intricate carvings

The West Wing

Remember when I asked if you all wanted a ficlet of Feyre finding Rhys’ mother’s and sister’s wings in Spring Court? And all you Maasochists said yes?

Well, here you go…

Originally posted by blmglove

~

I climbed the stairs to that part of the manor that I’d never visited before. Tamlin had never outright ordered me not to venture here, but it was always an unspoken understanding we had. Before everything that happened, before Rhys, Tamlin always came to my room when we spent the night together, I was never invited to his. Maybe that’s what drove me to explore while he was far from the manor. Not that I was afraid of him, I hadn’t been afraid of him for a long while now, but it would be so much easier to look around without him hovering over me.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Supercorp: Lena has a bucket list that she wrote when she was younger. It's a bucket list of places where she would like to have a kiss with her wife (she's known even back then she likes women). Places like the Eiffel Tower, Niagara Falls, etc.

Kara didn’t mean to pry; she had stumbled upon the list accidentally. She was sure that Lena had stolen her oversized blue hoodie and she was determined to find it. She knew her girlfriend would never admit to stealing it, but Kara hadn’t seen it at her own apartment in weeks. Her plan was to steal it back and wash it, so that it smelled like her again, before ‘leaving’ it at Lena’s.

Kara rummaged through the chest of drawers in the bedroom when she came across a wooden box with an intricate pattern carved into the top. She ran her fingertips over the swirls that were engraved and before she knew what she was doing, had opened the box.

She smiled at the contents; there wasn’t much in the box, but it contained a snap shot into Lena’s life. A baby picture from before she was adopted by the Luthors, school report cards showing that Lena was exceptional student from an early age, photos of Lena and Lex when they were younger, graduation pictures and a picture of Lena with a nose stud.

Kara’s eyes went wide; her girlfriend had never once mentioned having her nose pierced.

There was a folded piece of paper at the bottom of the box. Kara took it out and felt her heart melt as she read it; it was a list of places Lena wanted to kiss her future girlfriend/wife.

Kara scanned down the list and a wide smile crossed her face when she reached the final place on the list, National City Observatory. That, Kara thought, she could do.

A month later, after a wonderful date to Lena’s favourite restaurant, Kara led her towards the National City Observatory, instead of back to Kara’s apartment.

‘Kara, sweetie, the observatory has been shut for hours…’ Lena pointed out gently.

Kara just smiled and rapped her knuckles on the door.

An elderly gentleman suddenly appeared and opened the door.

'Ah! Ms Danvers!’ He exclaimed happily, 'everything is set up. Enjoy!’

Lena looked quizzically at Kara who was practically bubbling away in excitement.

'Thanks Ron!’ Kara grinned and pulled Lena by the hand to the stairwell leading up to the top of the building.

'How..? Why..? What..?’ Lena questioned, unsure of where to start. 'How come we’re here after it’s closed?’ Lena settled on.

'I have my ways…’ Kara answered cryptically, 'I was Ms Grant’s personal assistant for over two years, I picked up a few things!’

Keeping hold of Lena’s hand, Kara pushed the door open and pulled her inside. Lena let out a small gasp; only the interactive ceiling was on, flooding the room with the glow of the stars programmed in. Lena scanned the stars for a few moments before looking at Kara.

'Are these constellations what I think they are?’ She asked with a slight look of wonder in her eyes.

'These are the stars I grew up with, the ones my parents taught me the names of on Krypton’ Kara nodded.

'Will you teach me?’ Lena questioned.

Kara led Lena over to the blanket and pillows she had asked to be placed in the centre of the room. She sat, pulled Lena down and snuggled in next to her.

She spent the next hour pointing out the various constellations along with their names and meanings, enjoying the way her native language rolled off Lena’s tongue.

Finally Kara pointed out the group of stars named after a set of star crossed lovers, ones who fought against their families to be together.

'Like us’ Lena whispered as she laced their fingers together.

Kara smiled and leaned in for a kiss.

When they broke apart Kara looked almost bashful as she reached over to pick up her bag.

'I have a confession to make…’ Kara smiled shyly as she pulled out the piece of paper she had removed from the wooden box she had found in Lena’s chest of drawers a month ago. 'I found this’ she handed Lena the paper, 'I was looking for my hoodie and found your keepsake box…’

Lena unfolded the paper and chuckled as she saw the scrawling handwriting she had as a teenager, listing all the places she wanted to kiss her future girlfriend.

'Did you want to cross off the bottom one?’ Kara smiled as she handed Lena a pen.

Lena grinned and leant in for another kiss before putting a small tick next to National City Observatory.

2 years later

Kara was a ball of nerves as she paced up and down the hotel room waiting for Lena to finish getting ready. They had discussed traveling to London for a small getaway for months, before finally going ahead and making the arrangements.

The hotel was stunning, just like the pictures, and Kara couldn’t quite believe the views of central London from the window. Lena, of course, had booked a suite and they could see Tower Bridge from their room.

Kara checked her bag one final time to confirm that the little black box was in there and took a deep breath. She smoothed the non-existent creases in her midnight blue cocktail dress and turned as the bathroom door clicked open behind her.

Lena stepped out, a slinky black number that made Kara’s heart skip a beat, hugging her body.

'Lena… you look breath taking’ Kara murmured out.

'As do you, my love’ Lena answered and brought her lips to Kara’s for a quick kiss.

She slipped on her heels and held her hand out to Kara, 'shall we?’

Kara smiled as she took her girlfriend’s hand, her free hand ghosting over the jewellery box in her bag one final time.

After dinner Kara asked Lena is she wanted to walk along the river; they wander along the Thames from Tower Bridge down to the Houses of Parliament. Lena talked excitedly about the year she spent abroad studying in London and with the London Eye behind them, Kara can’t contain herself any longer.

She took Lena’s hand in hers and tugged slightly to get her attention.

'Lena’ she started, looking loving into her girlfriend’s eyes, 'I honestly never thought when I walked into your office all those years ago that I would fall madly in love with you. You are the most incredible woman I have ever met; you’re so smart and kind and Rao you are beautiful!’

Kara slipped her hand into her bag and pulled out the ring box.

'I may be the Superhero, but you Lena, you are the bravest person I know…’

Her hand slightly shaking, Kara opened the ring box to reveal a simple square cut solitaire diamond on a band of white gold.

'Lena Luthor, will you marry me?’

'Yes’ Lena whispered out as she held out her left hand. Kara slid the engagement ring on and smiled at her fiancé.

Lena pulled Kara in for a kiss and they broke apart giggling when they heard a few whoops and claps from the people passing by.

They glided back to their hotel, caught up in the magical moment that had just happened.

Once back in the room, Kara pulled a folded piece of paper from her bag and handed it to Lena; Lena laughed as she unfolded it and placed a small tick next to London.

There weren’t many places left; they had crossed off the Eiffel Tower a year ago and the Empire State building six months ago.

'My favourite kiss yet’ Lena smiled as she placed a small heart next to the tick she had just made.

10 years later

Lena and Kara had been happily married for eight years and had decided to travel to Niagara Falls to celebrate. As per their tradition they kissed and chuckled to themselves, still surprised that a kiss could still give them both butterflies.

That night Kara took out the list and handed it to Lena.

'That’s the last one…’ Kara said softly as she sat next to Lena on the bed, 'we’ve completed your list!’

Lena bit her lip as she reached over into her bag and handed Kara another folded piece of paper, 'I made a new one…’

Of Loyalty and Duty

Prompt: In an effort to save two kingdoms, an arranged marriage was made. At his request, Prince Lin-Manuel Miranda was to be wed to you, the youngest daughter in your royal family. RoyalAU. Written for the hamwriters write-a-thon Day 1.

Pairing: Lin x reader

Words: a whopping 5,803.

A/N: Hate me if it’s too AU, it’s okay. I was nervous as hell to post this, but thanks for several special people (you know who you are) I continued and went along with the idea. I didn’t realize it would turn into this monster. I had too much fun writing this and I WILL continue it after the write-a-thon. I didn’t send this to my beta to proofread because I’m stupid and I get too excited to share my work, especially when I feel really proud of it. Cheers to @hamwriters for setting this whole thing up, letting me explore the limits to my writing, and bringing the community together as a whole. I will try my best to finish out the week without my brain exploding. As always, let me know what you guys think. <3 Lola


You blinked back the tears that threatened to fall as you surveyed the scenery outside the carriage. You had to admit that it was beautiful -  you’d never seen the leaves in such various colors nor fields of farms that expanded beyond the horizon. While the Miranda kingdom focused on agriculture, industry was predominant in your kingdom so the view was unfamiliar to you.

You angrily swiped at the tears that escaped your treacherous eyes. In less than two weeks, you were going to be ripped away from the place that you’d called home. The population of the Miranda kingdom was increasing exponentially and they lacked the technology to produce enough food for their people. Your parents, despite their indifference to the Miranda’s, offered them an accord: in exchange for the industrial secrets that would help them prosper, the Miranda kingdom must give them military aid if the hostile empire from the North decided to attack. The treaty took days to settle, but in the end an agreement was made.

However, there was one caveat: Prince Lin-Manuel Miranda was to be wed to you.

Your hands balled into fists at the thought of the Prince. You’d met him on several occasions, but your most recent encounter with him was forever burned into your memory. You attended a wedding with your two older sisters at a neighboring kingdom and the celebration feast was just as glamorous and lavish as the ceremony. Prince Lin-Manuel was the life of the party, batting his long lashes while he flirted and danced with the women on the ballroom floor. When he came to greet you, you felt woozy, having consumed endless glasses of wine, and he managed to convince you to dance. He twirled and chatted you up the rest of the night, shooing away others who wanted a chance with him. Before you knew it, he was tugging you along the corridors of the castle, hands fumbling against the corset of your dress and his lips hungrily kissing yours.

Heat crept up your neck, still vividly remembering when another guest stumbled upon the two of you. You were mortified – you were a good girl, you didn’t do those types of things, especially with a playboy like him – and promptly shoved him to the ground. He lets out a shout of surprise and you turned and ran back to the ballroom, begging your sisters to leave with you.

When your parents broke the news of the treaty to you, you were furious. How dare they choose who you married?! You wanted to marry a man that you loved, not some fool who chased after women like it was his profession. You became even more angry when they told you that he gave his parents an ultimatum, demanding that he was to be married to you and not either of your sisters. You were convinced that he only did that to infuriate and toy with you, a payback of sorts from that night.

The carriage slowed, pulling you out of your thoughts. You craned your neck out the window, staring as the gates to the castle swung open, allowing your carriage to enter.

“All I’m asking of you is to be on your best behavior tonight,” you father murmured across from you, “It would be beneficial to you if you treat them kindly, considering that you’ll be living with them from now on.”

Your mother, who sat next to him, reached over and placed her hand over your clenched fists. “I know this isn’t the most ideal situation for you, but please, think of the future of our kingdom. We would be doomed if it wasn’t for you.”

You stayed silent. You had fought a long and futile battle with your parents about the arrangement. As the youngest of three, you were less involved with politics and lived life as freely as you liked within the castle. Your eldest sister had the daunting duty of leading the people of the kingdom, a position that you were not jealous of. But now that you were to be wed to a future King, your dreams of being free from the responsibilities that came with royalty were shattered.

But your parents were right.

Your people would die if you chose to refuse the engagement. The military was too small and would be outnumbered and overpowered if the North attacked. You needed the help from the Miranda’s.

You took a deep breath. “I will try my best.”

Keep reading

the almost kiss that i like to think happened that night

what happened during that night between 

and 

Originally posted by makeupbyainster

???


“Stay for just one more drink? And then decide.” Magnus held out the glass in front of Alec, his glitter glinting in the moonlight. Alec stood still, hand slowly pushing his phone back into his pocket. His eyes darted to his jacket that was strewn on the sofa, and then back to Magnus.

Alec closed his and took a deep breath. His mother could wait, at least for tonight. A small smile broke out on Alec’s face as he reached for the glass in Magnus’ hand. “I guess I could stay the night, to look after Luke – that is. If that’s okay with you.” Magnus simply nodded with a smile.

Magnus felt his shoulders relax as he followed the Shadowhunter onto the sofa. They sat next to each other, further apart than Magnus would’ve liked, but together nonetheless. Alec took another sip of his drink, grimacing at the sting one again.

Magnus chuckled. “You don’t have to drink it if you don’t like it, Alexander,” he said, clearly amused. Alec smiled back but kept the drink in his hand, leaning back into the couch and relaxing. It had been a while since he had had any free time. Isabelle would be all over him tomorrow.

But he didn’t care. For once he felt comfortable here, and he didn’t care what anybody else had to say about it. Looking around Magnus’ extravagant apartment, Alec’s eyes landed on a small picture frame on the table next to him.

It was a photo from a time that Alec could only guess was almost 200 years ago. He recognised Magnus immediately but the other two pictured didn’t look familiar. He expected Magnus to look younger, and he did, in a sense. He looked less mature, less wise. More carefree, that was for sure. “Who’s this?” asked Alec, curiously. Magnus scooted closer to Alec, still keeping some distance, but leaned in to look at the picture frame. Alec grabbed it and brought it onto his lap so that Magnus could see it better.

Magnus took in a deep breathe. “Green one’s Ragnor. Blue one’s Catarina.”

“Warlocks too?” Alec asked as his fingers ran over the intricately carved wooden frame.

Magnus nodded. “And two of my closest friends. We’ve known each other for almost 400 years now.” Alec raised his eyebrows in surprise and looked at Magnus. He still had a hard time remembering that Magnus had lived more lifetimes than he could count.

Nudging an elbow into Magnus’ side, Alec laughed. “Exactly how old are you?” he remarked, to which Magnus let out a carefree laugh. He liked the sound of it, Alec decided. An arm flew up to hit Alec in the shoulder.

“Don’t you know that’s rude to ask?” Magnus said in a low voice, his breath tickling Alec’s neck. Alec immediately seized up, gripping the photo frame tightly. Alec licked his suddenly dry lips as his breathing became unsteady. Alec hadn’t felt like this in a long time.

Magnus sighed, making Alec’s skin tickle again. Alec couldn’t tell if there was any magic in that action, but it sure felt like it. “There’s no need to be on guard all the time,” Magnus whispered, his eyes shifting up to meet Alec’s.

Alec looked down at Magnus’ eyes and he could’ve sworn he saw a sparkle in them. Magnus’ hand reached up but hovered over Alec’s neck. He was careful not to touch him unless he was completely comfortable. Alec’s breathe hitched in his throat, he didn’t know how to act. He figured he should lean closer, though he didn’t realise he had even made that decision. Magnus stayed still, his breathing getting heavier every millimeter that Alec got closer.

They weren’t far apart at all when Alec immediately pushed on Magnus’ thigh, a sharp intake of air harsh enough to kill the mood. Magnus turned his head away as Alec stood up abruptly. He clumsily placed the frame back in its position before standing there awkwardly, facing away from Magnus. He had never acted on his impulses before, and today wasn’t the day that would change.

Alec was a calculating man, risks were more Jace’s thing. “Um, I shou- I should go check on Luke,” he mumbled, cringing at the fact that he couldn’t even put a sentence together properly. Alec felt like his entire body was on fire, a burning sensation that just wouldn’t die down. He had never really felt like that before.

Magnus stayed seated on the couch, not wanting to say anything that would make Alec uncomfortable. Magnus didn’t know if Alec would still want to stay the night now. Nevertheless he got up, fished out the only plain grey shirt he owned and placed it on the foot of the guest bed along with a pair of sweatpants. Alec could take the bed tonight. And although Magnus would’ve loved to be in the bed right there with him – not doing anything, just sleeping, not even touching if that’s what it took – he decided it would be best for him to sleep on the couch.

Magnus waited on the couch for what felt like hours for Alec to return. When he didn’t, he decided to walk over to his room. The door was open only partially, enough for Magnus to hear what Luke and Alec were talking about.

“Alec, really, I’m fine…” he heard Luke’s voice say.

“I just want to make sure you’re alright, that’s all,” Alec replied nonchalantly. Magnus smiled. Alec always acted tough, but Magnus knew that although Alec hated everything that Clary brought, he would never want anyone to get hurt.

Luke chuckled. “Are you sure that’s it? Or are you trying to avoid Magnus?” he asked in a knowing tone.

“I- It’s not that,” Alec said, taken aback. He sighed. “I just don’t know how to act around him,” he said in a hushed voice.

“Just be yourself,” Luke advised. “And relax, you’re too tense for your own good.” Alec chuckled nervously.

Alec checked his watch. It was getting late. “I should get to bed. Let us know if you need anything.” Magnus backed away from the door as he heard Alec walking closer. He twirled around and pretended to be looking for a book on one of his many bookshelves.

“You can take the bed,” said Magnus.

“And you?” Alec inquired, lifting an eyebrow.

“I’ll be fine,” said Magnus with a smile. Alec smiled back shyly, turning around and walking into the guest bedroom.


just realised this kinda has parabatri vibes??

hope you enjoyed. let me know if there are any scenarios you would like to see!

in the meantime, magnus consoles alec after a nightmare.

{PART 14} I Won’t Stop You (M) // Jeon Jungkook, Vampire!AU

Originally posted by jengkook

Pairing: Jungkook x Reader

Genre: Vampire!AU, Fantasy, Angst, Smut

Summary; You wake up feeling a mixture of happiness and confusion at the remembrance of your night with Jungkook. But he soon chases away all confusion - showing you, yet another side of him that you can’t help but enjoy. Meanwhile, Yoongi shares his thoughts with Namjoon, revealing part of his grand plan to him.

I update this series every Tuesday evening, 9pm-10pm (UK Time)

Please note: This chapter contains scenes of a sexual nature. 

{Part 1} // {Part 13} {Part 14} {Part 15}

Keep reading

critical role relationship week: day 2

(percy & gilmore, perc’ahlia)

(day 1: scanlan & cassandra)

“Gilmore, I… May I ask a favour of you?”

Gilmore looked up from the book he was reading - a welcome break, for he’d been reading for some time and he could feel the sting of a headache in his temples - to see Percival de Rolo stood in the doorway. Immediately he straightened up, thumbing a bookmark into place before flipping the cover shut in one smooth motion.

“That depends on the favour,” Gilmore said, drumming his fingers on the book’s cover as he looked Percival up and down. He frowned. “I’m not fighting another dragon,” he added, and that seemed to wring a laugh out of Percival.

“No, no more dragons,” he agreed, leaning one shoulder against the doorframe. “At least for now. You know what we’re like; I make no promises.” Something in his smile seemed to run tight as he spoke - indeed, they both knew very well Vox Machina’s penchant for rushing headlong into danger, and Gilmore knew more than he would have liked about how often it came back to bite them.

Satisfied that he wasn’t about to be asked to face down an ancient dragon again, Gilmore leaned forward, propping his elbows on the table to perch his chin upon his hands. “So? Your favour, then? Come now, I haven’t all day.”

Keep reading

Imagine: Anakin getting flustered when he sees you

For @holy-chloe… Enjoy! I also made up a name for the reader, I hope that’s okay. The reader is also female.

“The two Jedi sent to protect you are here, m’lady.” One of your handmaidens said, dipping your head towards you and clasping her hands together. 

You smiled. “Thank you, Ditora.” 

The handmaiden looked up in surprise for a moment, as if shocked that you knew her name. She dismissed herself a second later, looking flustered as she joined with the other handmaidens.

Just then, the door to your bedroom opened and in stepped two men, one adorned in beige robes and the other, who was much younger, in black robes. Their eyes widened when they saw you approaching. 

“Princess Annix, it’s an honor.” Said the older one, dipping his head towards you. His golden fair hair fell over his forehead. “Obi Wan Kenobi at your service. This is my padawan, Anakin Skywalker.” 

Anakin, who looked incredibly pale, gave you a tiny smile and bowed, bending rigidly towards you. 

You bit back a laugh. 

“Please, you don’t have to do all of that. Bowing, I mean. I hardly consider myself royalty.” 

Anakin nodded quickly, his pale cheeks flushing red. 

“Sorry.” He muttered, staring at his shoes. 

Obi Wan caught your eye and smiled before leaning over to whisper something in his padawan’s ear. You turned around and got to work folding a few towels on your bed under the disapproving glances of your handmaidens. You couldn’t blame them. They were supposed to do all of the work for you, like straightening your bedsheets and collecting every bit of dust that formed on any surface in your bedroom, much to your dislike. You felt bad for the handmaidens, you truly did. 

“Anyways,” You chirped, looking back at the Jedi, “Where are you guys coming from again?” 

Obi Wan stepped forward, clasping his hands behind his back. 

“Coruscant, m’lady. The Jedi Temple.” 

You smiled, turning around and sitting on the edge of your bed. Anakin stood slightly behind his mentor, his eyes following you. 

“What’s it like? The Jedi Temple, I mean.” You asked. You had always wanted to go to Coruscant but since you were under the strict and watchful eyes of your parents, you were barely allowed out of the palace that you all lived in. It was quite a boring palace. Yes, it was incredibly beautiful and massive, with numerous rooms and gorgeous paints and priceless gifts from other planets. But when you’ve looked at all of that for the past eighteen every single day, it grows dull and boring. You had almost memorized the intricate patterns carved into the walls. 

This time Anakin spoke up. 

“W-well, the Temple is much like this palace. It’s massive and gorgeous, with c-countless rooms a-and several libraries and multitudes of people milling around it a-and, know that I think of it, the Temple is nothing like this palace. No offense.” He finished with a nervous laugh, his face reddening again. 

You smiled, studying the young man. He was about your age, maybe a little older. You couldn’t understand why he was acting so strangely, but yet again, you had only just met him. Maybe he was awkward around everyone.

Obi Wan looked slightly embarrassed with his padawan’s behavior and you saw him mutter something out of the corner of his mouth, but you quickly averted your gaze. Your handmaidens were giggling behind you as they folded towels but you snapped your hand up to silence them, something you had ever done before. The giggling ceased instantly. 

“How long will you be staying?” You asked the two Jedi, noticing how small Anakin now looked. A twinge of sympathy twisted in your chest. 

“About three weeks. Maybe even longer depending on how determined these bounty hunters are.” Obi Wan said, giving you a quick smirk. 

You leaned back on your hands. 

“Well I’ll certainly enjoy the company.” 

Preference; I’d Understand

Alec Volturi and Paul Lahote preference requested by anon! “Yoo hows my favorite blog?? I’m doin’ alright. Can i get a alec or paul imagine where they’re scared about reader leaving him. Due to alec being a vampire that likes human blood. Or if you do pauls about him being a hothead. Hopefully it makes sense” Hope you like it!

ALEC VOLTURI

In truth, you’d never been wholly comfortable with the meal-plan served in the Italian villa, given your awkward position as would-be appetizer. Despite your position in this so strange, vampiric court, despite your knowledge of the binding law protecting you from intentional harm, your stomach continued to twist and knot in fear. This discomfort, this terror stemmed not from your relations within the Volturi; no, even Aro had been kind, welcoming even, whispering about how overjoyed he was that his darling Alec had found such a promising mate. It was clear that he had a handful of particularly advantageous plans when the sunrise of your immortality broke the horizon, and thus took an affectionate liking to you. The subject of your mortality was a bit of a taboo, especially considering the diet of choice your new companions favoured, but your never felt discriminated for the beating of your heart.

It was never about your pulse, your necessary breath, the blood flowing through your veins, protected only by a thin layer of vulnerable flesh. Politically, you were fine. You were practically one of the guards, your transformation date set for sometime in the summer. It was never about you. It was about the thirty tourists you saw enter the throne room every week, it was their screaming that haunted your dreams, their horror that plunged the knife into your abdomen, churning your insides until you were reduced to nothing. It was your mate’s participation, his willing participation, that struck fear into your still-beating heart. If you had wandered into the villa, expecting a tour of Italian architecture, a history lesson on pillars or portraits, would he have slaughtered you as he slaughtered the others? Would he have spared you a second thought?

You were doubtful.

You stood with your back facing the entrance to your bedchamber, your eyes dissecting the intricate carvings laid into the marble of the walls. Though you had been distanced from the heart of the Volturi’s society, you could hear the echos reverberating down the hall nonetheless. Alec had noticed your discomfort and suggested a change of scenery, though you understood that even his residence in Verona would carry the weight of Volterra’s infractions. You were chewing the edge of your fingernail (a nervous habit you hoped would be kicked, finally, when you were torn from your human life) when your ears picked up on the subtlest wisp of movement, announcing the presence of your silent lover. Soon after, his hands were cooling your elbows, folding over your crossed arms, his honeyed breath polluting the air you inhaled. His lips pressed to your neck, your mind jumping from affection to unease as you noted the placement of his kiss. His voice, so soft, so sweet for so experienced a killer, sang against your ear, his hair brushing against your cheek.

“Darling, you’re troubled,” he observed, his icy fingers ghosting over your hands, lacing his fingers through yours, a tender gesture you were not expecting to be accompanied by the surprising warmth his frozen fingers carried. He’d fed recently, more recently than you cared to dwell on. A stranger’s blood warmed his frigid tissues. You flinched away from his touch, untangling yourself from his fingers, avoiding contact with his violent eyes, his angel’s lips parted in wounded confusion. “Y/n, what’s wrong? Is something the matter?” He extended his hand, and you once more slunk away from his touch. He ducked his head, slipping his hands into the pockets of his slacks, exhaling lowly. When he spoke, his voice had changed drastically, harbouring an injury you had yet to notice on his physical form. “Aro warned me this would happen.” You did not speak on the matter, but recalled easily the moment you had departed from Volterra, your hand sliding from Aro’s papery skin, his eyes reading your most recent thoughts, likely painting vivid imagery to accompany your internalized terror. Of course he would mention this to Alec. Your inability to cope directly affected him. “This is about the blood.” His voice did not lilt in inquiry; there was no question, no confusion muddying his understanding. You lifted your face to address him, his eyes a blazing crimson, burning from within with the glow of his most recent meal. Your words clung to the insides of your throat, scratching their way downward, refusing to surface. Alec’s jaw clenched, his gaze lowering to the floor’s mosaic, his brow furrowing the silken plane of his forehead. It was almost inhumane to witness, to cause, distress in so beautiful a creature.

“If I could avoid… the way that I feed, I would do it for you,” he continued, his voice softer, quieter than before, his words dripping with sorrow like an open wound, his tone ringing with a melancholic tenor. “Once you’ve turned, I believe, I hope, that you will understand the difficulty we face. This is not a choice, the way that we feed. Our thirst is not a decision; it’s a compulsion. I have very little control of how I ensure your safety… If I were to refrain, I’m afraid I would be unable to keep myself from causing you harm.” Your breathing grew shallow as he explained to you the honest truths behind his so frequent feasting, his plump lips downturned at the corners, his eyes projecting a most uncommon weakness in one of the most powerful man you had the pleasure of knowing. He pursed his lips before exhaling a broken sigh, his chest heaving unnaturally. “If this is not something that you can live with… I’d understand.” His voice, usually so determined, so confident, now drifted into silence. The only sound available to your feeble ears was your steady pattern of breathing. You turned your face away, unable to hold his gaze any longer, your heart breaking for the angel you’d reduced to ash and cinder before you. After a moment, Alec broke his uncharacteristic silence, his voice illustrating a heart, an organ you knew no longer beat within the chiseled stone of his chest, breaking. If he was capable of producing tears, you had no doubt they would have fallen freely from his scarlet eyes, painting glimmering trails against the alabaster of his complexion. “Will you leave me?” You turned, shocked by his inquiry. How was he able to fathom a universe where you did not see yourself at his side? Had your affections fallen flat? Were you unable to illustrate to him the depth of your love? You crossed to him, your fingers angling his chin upward, forcing him to meet your eye, his irises blooming dangerously beneath a broken brow.

“I could not leave you if remaining by your side ensured the end of my life. To be parted from you would cause me unbearable pain. You are not what I despise, and your thirst… I can’t blame you for that. It’s the executions, Alec, that bother me. You’re herding people to their deaths by the hundreds every year. I can’t help but be bothered by the deaths. I’m only human, for now. If there is another way that you can live, tell me, and we can pursue that path. Together.” His eyes softened, his breath flowing over your face. Though his brow remained furrowed, his lips formed a cautious grin. He glanced at the position of the sun through your veiled window, his eyes returning to your face. He lifted his palm to cradle your cheeks, his face alight with the force of the words he spoke next.

“There is a coven in America, the Cullens. If we leave now, we could reach their home by tomorrow. I never thought I would say this…” His thumbs stroked over your cheekbones, the weight of his decision weighing heavily on his shoulders. “I believe they may be able to help us.”

PAUL LAHOTE

You had been warned of this very scenario from the moment Paul’s realities had been revealed to you, the moment you became involved in the fiery universe that he was so ingrained in. You’d seen the evidence of a destructive temper on Emily’s face, scarring her for life, a warning sign to the other members of Sam’s pack: don’t get too close. You hadn’t had any issues as far as trust went; Paul was relatively calm when you were around, incredibly cautious to the point of over-protectiveness, and as kind and loving as the day you’d met him. He was well-prepared to prevent injuries similar to Emily’s, or worse, and handled his rage better than he had before you stumbled into him. According to his pack, he’d been a bit of a loose canon before imprinting, but your presence acted as a sedative to his usual rowdy, unpredictable nature. You’d been assured that his mannerisms, specifically his impulse to phase, had been quieted after he imprinted, but his actions spoke to combat the promises his brothers made.

Their observations had not been entirely false; Paul was, without doubt, a changed man, but he carried with him a fire that even you could not put out. While he wasn’t explosive, his fuse was relatively short. You hadn’t had the chance to argue, given the amount of time you’d known him, but you’d be witness to his quick temper. You’d never felt threatened in any way other than the typical back-away-if-he-starts-shaking, but that applied to any of the wolves. They all had off-days, but Paul was never someone to be feared, never someone to be wary of. He treated you with the utmost respect and care, but even he couldn’t put a stopper on the floodgates when you’d been approached by a group of men on First Beach. Their salutations had been more insult than greeting, their words slipping like an oil slick from between their unwashed teeth, their faces gleaming with a drunken sweat you could smell radiating from their bodies as you passed them by. Paul, of course, was not about to stand for this ill-treatment. You’d felt the vibrations rolling from his body through the hand that held his, heard his laboured breathing by your ear. You had enough time to extract your hand from his and press a palm to his chest before turning to the trio of vulgar men, warning them to leave before someone (here meaning them, but you couldn’t help but wonder if you also spoke in your own defense) was hurt. One look at Paul was enough to seal your threat in concrete. There was no question about his anger, and his bare torso was promise enough that any retribution would be undeniably painful. They fled, joining a throng of townspeople vacating the beach. Your eyes locked on his, his lips curling over his teeth. You’d attempted to whisper a few calming words before realizing how far gone he truly was. You backed away from his trembling form, every visible muscle tensing on his body as he too backed away from you.

“Y/n,” he snarled, his eyes flitting around as his convulsions intensified, watching the last of the beach’s crowd fade into the night. His unspoken plea was clear: run. You turned your back on him and joined the masses abandoning the darkness of the waters, their voices nearly masking the tear of clothing as Paul exploded from his skin. You turned in time to watch his tail disappear into the tree line. You headed for Emily’s place, hoping to find Sam or Jared holed-up in her kitchen. One of them must be willing to talk Paul down from his heated precipice. You knew they’d all done it before. Your trek was short-lived, and the harmonies reaching from Emily’s open windows carried promises of aid in the form of two, possibly three werewolves. You helped yourself in, your eyes finding Sam’s in the crowd surrounding Emily’s table. His face, lightened by Emily’s company, went dark when he met your gaze. It seemed he already knew. You cleared your throat, running a hand through your hair, watching as Jared, Quil, and Emily focused their attention on you.

“Anyone willing to track my boyfriend for me?” Jared cursed aloud, damning Paul to Hell as he dropped his half-eaten muffin onto his plate, clearly irritated with his friend’s lack of control. Quil offered an apologetic grimace, clapping you on the shoulder as he made his way to the door with Jared nipping at his heels. Sam said nothing outside of asking for Paul’s last-known location, departing with a a final glance at Emily, his fists balled around a pair of jean shorts. Emily’s hands fluttered about her table, sweeping crumbs from the surface, her eyes on your face. She nodded you over, inviting you to sit as she prepared her dinner, promising you that Paul’s episodes never lasted more than half an hour, and that was before you came along. She was almost certain he’d be back sooner. You chatted with her for the next fifteen minutes, your mind preoccupied, replaying the fading image of Paul ducking into the woods on the blank expanse of your eyelids. It wasn’t until Emily offered you a cup of tea that you noticed your hands were trembling. “Maybe I’m a wolf too,” you whispered, your voice failing your attempt at humour, Emily’s arms wrapping around your back as your body shuddered. She, of all people, knew the fear that now pooled in your stomach. Another ten minutes passed before you heard their approach, the sound of footsteps crunching against soil paired with Sam’s low, angry whispers. The three members of Paul’s rescue party had returned, and all three entered without a word, sitting at the table in absolute silence. Emily’s eyes focused on the doorway before finding yours, shooting you a sisterly glance you understood to be cautionary.

“Y/n,” your name was soft on his lips, a gentle tone meant to exhibit his level of calmness. You turned in your seat, abandoning your tea, your eyes falling on his form, propped-up against the open doorway. He gestured for you to join him outside, his hand running through his shorn hair. They did not tremble. You excused yourself and followed him onto Emily’s lawn, watching his shoulders heave with as he sighed, his back gleaming beneath the light of the moon. His hands were swinging at his sides, his muscles tensing and releasing as he paced. When he stopped, you were a good distance away from the house, out of earshot, you assumed, and away from any scrutiny. He turned, slowly, his every movement calculated, the effort behind his actions obvious. He was going out of his way to eliminate any perception you could have of him being a threat to your safety. He kept his distance, addressing you in a whisper from a handful of feet away, his bare feet digging into the earth as he spoke. “Y/n, I’m sorry. I don’t know what came over me. That was… I put you at risk, and I’m so, so sorry.” His eyes lifted to the stars, his head shaking with frustration. “And, you know, I can’t even promise that it won’t happen again. I’m not in control, not like that. This can happen again, and that…” his voice dropped off, his sentence hanging open, fluttering in the breeze. When his eyes returned to yours, his face was broken, his lips pursed to keep them from quivering. “I mean, I’d understand if it’s too much. As much as it kills me, I can understand if you need to go.” He raised his hands, surrendering. “I want you safe, that’s all. I can’t promise you’ll be safe around me. I can’t.” You shook your head, closing the distance between you, continuing even after he mirrored your first few steps, eager to keep you out of harm’s way.

“Paul, if anything, you went out of your way to keep me safe tonight. You warned me that you were losing control, and you backed up, and you gave me time to step back.” He opened his mouth to speak, but you refused to let berate himself further. “You are not a threat to me, and I’m not going anywhere.” He exhaled deeply, relieved, and closed his arms around your back, pulling you to the warmth of his chest.

10

A vardo (also wag(g)on, living wagon, van, and caravan) is a traditional horse-drawn wagon used by British Romani people as their home. Possessing a chimney, it is commonly thought of as being highly decorated, intricately carved, brightly painted, and even gilded. The British Romani tradition of the vardo is seen as a high cultural point of both artistic design and a masterpiece of woodcrafters art. The heyday of the living wagon lasted for roughly 70 years, from the mid-1800s through the first two decades of the twentieth century. Not used for year-around living today, they are shown at the Romanichal (British Romani) horse fairs held throughout the year, the best known of which is Appleby Horse Fair.

anonymous asked:

well I was going to ask for (20) for Zarry but if it doesn't work out any pairing of your choice would be great!

things you said I wasn’t meant to hear

“Haz, I can’t find my keys.” Zayn checks his pockets, his bag, under a few sofa cushions.

Harry pops in from around the corner. He jingles the keys in his hands with a big grin on his face. “I found them.”

“Thanks, babes.” He takes the keys and presses a kiss to his cheek. “You’re so good at finding my shit, dunno why I bother looking.”

Harry shrugs. “A simple Accio always gets the job done.”

Zayn quirks an eyebrow at him. “I don’t… understand what that means.”

“Family joke,” Harry says with a wave of his hand.

He says that a lot, he’s got quite the weird family. Makes sense, Harry’s quite the weird lad. He keeps a toaster in their bedroom and gets a little bewildered by escalators and says things like Accio. And any time he catches Zayn lifting an eyebrow at him, he chuckles and calls it a family thing.

It’s one of the reasons Zayn’s a little nervous to meet them. Not that he’d admit it.

Keep reading

The True Epilogue (a Harry Potter fanfic)

*in which all my ships are true and things are great*

Several pairs of curious eyes followed the family of five as they pushed through the crowd at Kings Cross Station toward the barrier between platforms nine and ten. Atop the packed trolleys that the parents pushed were two cages- one containing a beautiful snowy owl and the other a badger, which made grumpy noises every few seconds.
“Hang in there, Comet,” the black-haired boy said placatingly. “I know it’s no fun, but you’ve got to behave.”
“I don’t know why you had to bring the stupid thing anyway,” his brother said, rolling his eyes. “It’s not on the approved list.”
“Yes, but he’s injured!”
“All your pets are or were injured.”
“And he has separation anxiety!”
“I bet they’ll take it away from you.”
“James!” their father scolded as Matthew’s bright blue eyes widened in fear. “Don’t say things like that. Your dad and I wrote to Headmistress McGonagall in advance, and she said it was fine.” Draco put a hand on Matthew’s shoulder. “No one is going to take Comet away.”
“Hey,” Harry said suddenly, “there’s Ginny, Luna, and the girls.” The youngest Potter shrieked and made to run toward the family friends, but Draco grabbed her arm and pulled her back.
“Callisto Ariana Potter, what have we told you about running off?” he scolded. She smiled cheekily.
“Not to do it, I think.”
“Well, you think right. Look, here they are now, anyway.” The other family reached them, and there were cheerful greetings all around.
“So, shall we cross over?” Luna asked, and Ginny nodded. Their oldest daughter, Nymphadora, took a step forward, but her sister exclaimed, “Wait!” Nym raised an eye brow.
“What is it, Gillian?” The redhead bounced excitedly on her toes as she answered.
“This is Matty and my first year going through as actual students, so we should get to go first!” Matt held up both hands to show that he was not a part of this. Nym was already squinting, though.
“I say, whoever gets through first gets through first,” she said challengingly. She and Gillian turned and raced for the barrier together, disappearing through it within a second of each other. Ginny sighed in exasperation, pushing a trolley forward to follow them. Luna only looked amused as she trailed after her wife. Callisto tugged on Draco’s sleeve.
“I thought you said no running,” she told him, frowning.
“Yes, but I can’t control what they do. They’re not my children.” This argument lost its value, though, when James pushed ahead through the barrier as well. Harry groaned.
“I promise I’ll talk to him, Callie,” he said to avoid the rising complaints. The rest of the family followed James.
“Can I go this year, Daddy?” Callie asked. Harry shook his head with a chuckle.
“Just one more year, sweetheart.” She scowled and stamped the ground.
“Dad?” Matt said as James boarded the train with Nym (though Gillian stayed behind to wait). “Do you know what House I’m gonna be in?” Harry smiled and shook his head.
“No one knows for sure ahead of time,” he said, “but I know you’ll be great no matter what.”
“And luckily,” Draco added, “you know kids in every House, so you’ll always have someone to talk to.” Callie tossed her blonde hair over her shoulder.
“I’m gonna be a Slytherin,” she said confidently. A little bit of pride shone in Draco’s eyes.
“I don’t doubt it.”
“Alright, Matt. Go on and take your stuff,” Harry said gently. “You and Gillian should get on board. You don’t want to get left behind. Matt nodded and moved toward the train, then swiveled and threw himself into his father’s arms.
"I’m gonna miss you,” he said. Harry hugged him hard.
“I’ll miss you too, kiddo.” Matt hugged Draco too, and then he and Gillian got their stuff and waded through the small crowd to the train door.
“We’ll write!” Draco called after him.
“Every day, if you want!” Harry added. Matt gave them a slightly wavering grin before disappearing.
__________

Matthew thought he was ready for the Sorting. He thought he’d either be in Gryffindor, like Harry, or Slytherin like Draco. He definitely was not expecting the Sorting Hat to yell out “HUFFLEPUFF!” the moment it touched his head. To ecstatic cheers from his new Housemates, he made his way dazedly toward the Hufflepuff table. He’d heard Hufflepuffs called ‘duffers’ and 'goody two-shoes’ and even once 'the stoner House’, none of which sounded very positive to Matt. Still, he put on a brave face. A cobalt-haired Teddy Lupin clapped him on the back as he sat down.
“Glad to have you, Matt!” he enthused. That’s right! Teddy’s a Hufflepuff, and he’s not so bad. This thought didn’t erase his disappointment entirely, but it did help. What helped even more was hearing another shout of “HUFFLEPUFF!” immediately following a call of “Weasley, Gillian”. Matt broke into a grin as his best friend sat beside him.
“I can’t believe I’m a Hufflepuff,” he stage-whispered to her. Surprisingly, she rolled her eyes and laughed.
“Oh, please. Like you could have been anything else.” His eyebrows furrowed.
“What do you mean?”
“Let’s see. For starters, you’re a vegetarian. You always get one of your dads to take you to random volunteer things. You never let anyone get away with saying mean things. You take in injured animals- you’ve literally got twenty different pets now, if you hadn’t noticed- and your favorite just happens to be a badger, the symbol of Hufflepuff House. Honestly, if you’d been sorted anywhere else, I would have died of surprise.” Matt laughed.
“Well, when you put it like that.”
Any remaining worries he had about his Sorting vanished the moment they stepped foot in the common room. It was vastly wide and round, with honey-colored walls. The lighting was a mixture of natural light coming through the circular windows and and a warmer, golden light shining from within glass spheres on intricately carved stands. The room itself felt like mid-autumn and laughter. Best of all, there were animals. Matt suddenly understood why the Headmistress had given in to his parents’ request to accept Comet so quickly. There were maybe two dozen creatures- some magical (like a pixie and a clutter of puffskeins), some nonmagical (like a hawk, a dog, a rabbit, and a beautiful peacock). Matt heard a loud noise and turned.
“Comet!” The excited badger barreled across the room and into his legs. Matt crooned as he and Gillian bent down to pet it. A few of their new Housemates crowded around to coo at the addition to their strange zoo.
“I think this little guy will be happy here,” Teddy said. “As far as I know, we’ve never had a badger. Which is honestly ridiculous, given our symbol.” Matt laughed. I think I’m gonna like it here.
__________

James had never felt so ashamed and rejected. The words still echoed in his head. “Not the right fit,” they had said. He, James Alexander Potter, wasn’t the right fit for Gryffindor seeker. It was humiliating. After all, his own dad had supposedly been the best seeker Gryffindor ever had, and Draco had been his Slytherin counterpart. Yet James had failed.
It wasn’t that James was vain or inflexible- when they said he’d make a better chaser, he’d tried out with all his effort and scored the spot. It was a matter of belonging. James, the oldest, was the only one of the Potter children who wasn’t the biological child of either parent. Matt was Harry’s- as anyone could see by the untamable hair and the awkward knobby knees. Callie was Draco’s- again apparent by the blonde hair and the confident ambition. James was alone with his plain brown hair and hazel eyes and his (apparent) lack of Seeking skills. To add insult to injury, this meant he was the only one with no blood ties to the Lovegood/Weasley family, which had been interwoven with the Potters’ in the cases of Matt and Callie, as well as Nym and Gillian. In any case, he wasn’t sure what to do now. He had no other way to prove himself worthy of being the son of the Chosen One.
“You know it doesn’t matter to them,” Aiden Finnigan told him. “Your dads, I mean. You’re their son, and they love you.” They were in the Gryffindor common room that evening, and James gazed into the fire, only half-listening as he dwelled on his own shame. He sighed.
“Yeah, I know. It’s just… man, you know I don’t normally care what people think of me, but this is different. People look at Matt and they see Harry Potter. They don’t even act much alike, but Matt’s got the look and that’s enough for everyone. Me, what have I got?”
“Bravery, willingness, an open mind, a mischievous nature, and great taste in friends.” James looked up from the fire for the first time in ten minutes, a ghost of a smile crossing his face, and gave his best friend a light push.
“Hey, I’m serious,” Aiden continued. “I mean, I’m not much like either of my dads. I mean, I’ve been told I look like a Finnigan, but I definitely don’t act like one. And Dad #2 likes to joke that I got my extreme height from him, even though I don’t carry any of his blood. I don’t act much like him either. And that doesn’t bother me. We’re not meant to be pale echoes of our parents anyway; we’re meant to find and shape our own identities.” James nodded.
“I suppose you’re right.”
“As always.”
“Oh, shut it.”
A few days later, James’s owl showed up at breakfast with a letter from Harry.

Jamie-
I heard you made the Quidditch team, and I’m so proud of you! I knew you could do it if you wanted to- I’ve watched you fly, and you’re fantastic. Make sure to keep your nerves in check before games, okay? Ron can vouch for the fact that anxiety is a Quidditch player’s worst enemy. I’m not worried, though. Oh, I wish your Grandpa James could see you now. You know I never got to see him play, but he was a Chaser too in his day- don’t know if I ever told you that. He was also a hell of a prankster, just like you. McGonagall won’t tell you anything, because she can’t be seen condoning troublemaking, but if you see Fred floating around, he’ll tell you all the use he and George got out of the Marauders Map when they were students. Grandpa James is the one known as Prongs. I wish I could show you the map personally, but it went blank when Teddy’s dad died- he was the last Marauder standing; they called him Moony. Sorry, I’ve gone off on a tangent. My point is, we’re all proud of you, and your grandparents would be too. Lots of love,
-Dad

James was stunned. His grandfather, the one he had been named for, was a Gryffindor chaser? How had he not known? He re-read the note once, twice. It appeared that he was a bit of a Potter after all. He was curious about this Map thing too; he’d better find Fred.
__________

Ben was tired. Okay, maybe that was an understatement. “Exhausted” might have worked better; “barely functioning” was near perfect. He was tired because it was midnight and he was sitting in the hallway outside his common room. He was physically capable of going inside and lying down in his nice warm bed to sleep, but he could never do that. Neither could the thirteen other Slytherins sitting out in the hallway with him, including Nym. A prefect had come out three times now to order them all to bed, but no one budged.
“I’m not stepping foot in that place until they change the password,” Ben had told her the third time she came out. She had thrown up her hands and not come back, which earned Ben a few pats on the back.
The hallway was quiet enough that Ben could hear the footsteps long before anyone appeared down the far end.
“Someone’s coming,” he whispered. Everyone tensed. Would they be punished for this? Ben hoped not, but he needn’t have worried. He let out a breath of relief when he saw Teddy Lupin heading toward them. The Head Boy had probably been summoned to help mitigate the situation.
“What’s going on here, guys?” he asked.
“The new password is offensive,” a fifth year girl answered, “and we’re not going in until they change it.” Teddy Lupin frowned- not at those in the hallway, of course, but rather at the situation.
“Oh? What’s the password?”
“Clean blood,” Nym spat disgustedly. Teddy only sighed outwardly, but his hair turning scarlet was a clear sign of his true anger.
“Alright, well we can’t have you lot just sitting in the hallway, so you’ll have to come stay with us for the night.” There were hesitant nods all around, and the beginnings of smiles on a few faces. Staying with the Hufflepuffs…
Before we go, I have to check who’s coming. Your prefects gave me the list of absent students. Please say 'here’ when I call your name. Jade Moorland?“
"Here,” said the fifth-year who’d spoken up earlier.
“Nymphadora Weasley?”
“Here,” Nym said, and Teddy smiled. He’d always seemed fond of the younger girl, though maybe it was because she bore his mother’s name.
“Joshua Bingham?”
“Here.” Teddy went on down the list, ending with “Benjamin Wood?”
“Here,” Ben answered.
“Alright, that’s everyone. Come on, you all!”
Ben liked the Hufflepuff common room. He liked how friendly everyone was. He liked the peacock, Heracles, who seemed to like him too. There were even more things he liked the next day: for instance, how a cluster of Ravenclaws took turns shooting charms at the Slytherin door, trying to change the password or else get it to open without one. Or how, when that failed, the Gryffindors- led by their prefect, who happened to be Ben’s older sister, Elizabeth- attempted to forcibly remove the door entirely. This series of tries failed as well, but it stirred up enough commotion to draw in the Headmistress and she, upon understanding the problem, rectified it immediately, to great cheers from all parties. Ben hugged his sibling.
“Thanks for the help, Lizzy,” he said.
“Any time, little brother. It’s a good thing you guys did here today, pushing for change. Dads will be proud.”
“Think so?”
“I know so. You’ll probably make prefect next year too.” Ben laughed.
“Oh, D1 would love that.” He imagined Percy’s face when he learned that both of his children were now prefects like he had been, and Ben felt a warm rush in his stomach. I’d love that too, he thought to himself. Lizzy just grinned.
__________

Daisy hadn’t meant to start crying in the middle of Charms class; she just couldn’t hold it back anymore. She’d been trying to control her distress since the letter had arrived that morning from her father, letting her know that Grandpa Vernon didn’t want them coming over for Christmas that year or, it seemed, any year following. Of course, Dudley hadn’t explicitly told his daughter why they were no longer welcome, but she wasn’t dumb enough that she couldn’t figure it out on her own: it was because she had magic. It was already her second year at Hogwarts, but at holiday time last year her grandparents hadn’t known yet. Now they did, and Grandpa didn’t want to see her anymore.
She cried silently, with her head down, but her fellow Ravenclaws didn’t miss her shaking shoulders, and the room got quiet. Anna Granger-Weasley, her closest friend and the only one who knew what had happened, put a comforting hand on Daisy’s back.
“I know it’s not the same,” she whispered, so as not to disturb the rest of the class, “but you guys are totally coming to our Holiday gathering instead.” Daisy turned her head to look at Anna with teary eyes.
“We are?”
“Oh, absolutely. It’s a huge get-together that we do every year in James and Matt’s backyard. My Granny Molly makes twice as much food as we need, even though there’s already thirty-three of us in total. Uncle Percy drinks too much mulled wine and then goes on a rant about something or other, except none of it makes sense. Aunt Ginny and Uncle Oliver fight over which of their Quidditch teams are better- Ginny plays Chaser for the Holyhead Harpies and Oliver is Keeper for Puddlemere United. Uncle George tells us stories about Fred and him when they were students together. Aiden’s little sister Mallory, Professor Longbottom’s daughter Bex, and Callie sometimes decide to put on some silly show. It’s all great fun.” Daisy smiled weakly.
“Sounds great. You sure there’s room for me and my mum and dad?” Anna laughed softly.
“There’s always more room at a Weasley party, and the Potters’ backyard is distinctly huge.”
“I suppose that’s true.”
Daisy tried to grin after that, but Anna could probably tell she wasn’t back at 100%, because at lunch she started up a game.
“It’s called the Story Game. We take turns adding a sentence to a story as we go along. The sentences have to make grammatical sense, but the plot can be as strange or random as you want.”
“Ooh, sounds fun. Can we join in?” Daisy and Anna looked up to see Matt, Gillian, and Nym sliding in beside them (The school had recently switched to an open-seating policy to maintain camaraderie between the Houses).
“Yeah, sure,” Daisy said, scooting to make more room.
“Alright, I’ll start,” Anna said eagerly. She drummed her fingers in thought for a moment. “Okay. Once, there was an old, grumpy sorcerer who lived in a cave on a mountain.” Gillian jumped in next.
“The people at the base of the mountain believed that if you brought the sorcerer a gift that he liked, he would grant you a wish in exchange.”
“Every day,” Matt added, “Someone took a gift up the mountain, but the sorcerer didn’t like any of them.”
“Then a new woman moved to the town below,” Daisy inserted nervously, hoping she was doing this right.
“She heard about the man on the mountain, but nothing about his powers,” Nym put in. Anna’s eyes brightened as she saw where Nym was going with this.
“The woman thought the man must be lonely and perhaps cold all by himself, so she took a warm blanket and a fresh batch of cookies and brought them to him,” she said.
“The man was touched by her genuine generosity,” Gillian said, “and he offered her anything she wanted.”
“She thought for a long while, and finally she decided,” Matt contributed.
“And she asked, 'Can you put some brains in my son Tobias’s head, because he hasn’t got any.”
Anna snorted at the mention of her brother, and suddenly the whole group had dissolved into laughter.
“You can n-never tell Toby about this,” Daisy choked out between giggles. They all shook their heads in agreement, still fighting to contain the wave of mirth.
“This is why you’re my favorite,” Anna informed Daisy gleefully, and Daisy grinned. These really are the people I want to spend my holidays with, she realized.
__________

Aiden’s heart started racing the second the blood red envelope landed in front of him at breakfast. He elbowed James, eyes wide with horror.
“It’s a Howler,” he said with a voice full of dread. James gave a sympathetic smile.
“It might not be so bad. Maybe it’s some really good news, or maybe it’s just a prank from someone. You haven’t done anything wrong, have you?” Aiden shrugged.
“I mean, we did turn all Professor Longbottom’s gardening things pink and sparkly last week, but he didn’t seem to mind. I think he even sent a set home to Bex, who I’m sure was thrilled. It was an innocent bit of fun.” James smiled at the memory, but the smile dropped from his face almost immediately.
“Dude, it’s smoking at the edges.” Aiden jolted in alarm.
“Just open it, before it’s too late,” James counseled. Aiden took a deep breath, squeezed his eyes shut, and tore the envelope open.
When he heard his ten-year-old sister Mallory’s voice ring out, he thought he was safe. Just a prank after all. But then he heard her words.

“AIDEN OH MY GOD, I JUST FINISHED THE NEW SEASON OF NEVATERIA AND YOU’LL NEVER BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED!!! STEVEN AND MABEL KISSED, AND THE SHIFTMEN KILLED CODY, AND JONATHAN TOLD CHRIS THAT HE COULDN’T SEE BEA ANYMORE. I’M DYING AND I HAD TO TELL YOU. OKAY, BYE!!!”

For a moment, there was dead silence in the Great Hall, and then a hundred people started shouting at once. They were all muggleborns or half-bloods who watched Nevateria, the current most popular sci-fi show, and they were all furious at Aiden.
“I’m sorry!” he yelled. “I didn’t ask her to tell me!” James frowned.
“What was all that about?” he asked. Oh. Aiden had forgotten that, even though James’s dad was raised by Muggles, they didn’t watch television very often.
“It’s a show,” he tried to explain. “One of the best shows. And Mallory just spoiled it for everyone.”
“Ah.”
Aiden was shamed by his non-pureblood peers for the rest of the day. It might have continued on longer, except that Toby Granger-Weasley ran up to him in the hallway after his last class, out of breath, and exclaimed, “The Room of Requirement can generate wifi!”
“What?!”
“AND it can be a movie theater!”
“You’re joking.”
“I’m not! It’s officially the weekend. Let’s round everybody up and marathon Nevateria together, my guy! I’ve got Anna waiting in there so the room stays put. Whoever you pass, send them that way. We can get a few house elves to bring snacks. There’s tons of space, so if they want to watch too, that’s fine. Come on, let’s go!” Toby, Aiden, and James took off down the hallway together.
“Brilliant, you are!” Aiden exclaimed while they ran. “This is why you’re a Ravenclaw!”
The plan worked seamlessly. Everyone interested gathered in the Room of Requirement, sitting in movie theater seats, and they got the show to play. Several house elves carried around food and drink for those who wanted it, though a group of Hufflepuffs convinced two to sit down and watch for a while. It turned out Missy didn’t like it much, but Pokey was absolutely entranced. He babbled nonstop about the brilliance of it to his unfortunate neighbor, who happened to be Matt. Matt was too pleased at seeing a house elf freely enthuse about an interest to care. They all had a great time, and all the animosity toward Aiden ended. It was definitely a good day.
__________

There would certainly be more struggles ahead for the Potters, Granger-Weasleys, (Lovegood-)Weasleys, Finnigans, Woods, Longbottom, Lupin, and Dursley, but they didn’t have to worry. They were one huge team, a family, and they could handle anything. Well, almost anything. It turned out there was still a limit on how many animals a single person could bring into the school, which was a problem for Matt, who found himself missing his other creatures.
“You know, when they say don’t do something,” James said oh-so-helpfully, “they just mean don’t get caught doing it.” Matt shoved his brother, insisting that he wasn’t like that, but in the end he snuck all his animals into the castle, with help from Callie. Family meant helping each other, even if it’s helping them break school rules… didn’t it?

D&D Items I came up with at 3 am when I can't fall back asleep that could probably appear in a fantasy costco or whatever.

Great Sword
A regular longsword in appearance and function, but it gives you complements and reassures you after you miss. +2 Diplomacy while equiped, and you get +2 to hit if you miss.

Rich Man’s Club
It’s a Golf Club, one of the big ones. Same stats as a shillelagh, but you automatically crit when striking a prone enemy.

Moneyshot
A gun with a small portal in it, the projectile depends on how much money you put in it.
1-10 A regular Arrow
11-100 a Fire, Ice, or Shock Arrow
101-500 A bomb
501-1000 1d4 Bombs, with every 100 above 500 adding +1 bombs
1000+ a Balista bolt

Future Strike
A deadly weapon of extreme power, but the damage has a slight delay. 1d8+3 with 1d4 Chaos Spear, but the damage hits the target 1d4 rounds after the target is struck. (Chaos damage is a custom enchantment in our game, cannot be used by lawful characters. Roll a 1d8. If you roll a 1, nothing. 2, 1d4 ice damage. 3, 1d4 fire damage. 4, 1d4 Electric damage. 5, 1d4 fire and 1d4 Ice damage. 6, 1d4 shock and 1d4 Ice damage. 7, 1d4 shock and 1d4 Fire damage, 8 1d4 damage from Fire, Ice, and Shock.)

Androgynous Clothing
Made for a Nonbinary Wizard, these generic clothes are enchanted so it is impossible for people to tell what gender you are while wearing them. This generally makes people more awkward, so you have +2 to bluff and Diplomacy checks, and +4 to disguise.

Invisible Sculpture
This sculpture was created by a master artisan to be their greatest masterwork, but it was cursed by a competitor to be invisible, and thus the work has been defiled, or perhaps enhanced? The confusion around the meaning of art and whether it is now rendered pointless means you have +4 when appraising or evaluating Art.

Amazon Merchant Beast.
This large flying insect can be summoned using a small push-button, and you can buy basic supplies and sell items on the fly, with delivery fees attached of course.

Fisherang
This is a small fish shaped like a boomerang magically modified to stay alive no matter what. You can throw it at an opponent within 30 ft to ranged attack for 1d6 water damage, but you must make a dex saving throw of DC12 to catch it again. It is also kind of creepy, and showing it gives you a +2 to an intimidate check

Personal Raincloud
This item is a small orb that, when it detects you are on fire, releases a dark cloud that rains on you and gets you wet. However, you must make a will saving throw of DC13 or start feeling depressed.

Migraine Generator
This device is a small device with a suction cup and a button. Place it on a person with a Melee touch attack, and it gives them a migraine, making every task require a concentration check and every concentration check you normally could make is now impossible to do. Lasts for 30 seconds. If you fall prone while holding it, it goes off on you.

Sobering Mug.
Created by an alcohol therapy group, this mug removes alcohol from a drink. Pouring it out restores the alcohol to its contents, and it appears to have alcohol in every way until you drink it and don’t get drunk. On the side is a picture of a smiling dwarf man.

Buster Sword
Like the Final Fantasy sword of the same name, this weapon is a massive hunk of steel made into a weapon. However, this sword is entirely decorative and is impractical for combat, and it only to appeal to a tough person aesthetic. +4 Intimidate while it is on your back.

Me
I am a Masterwork+1 Knife. I am cursed so that I can only ever be referred to in the first person. I have intricate carvings and an Elven design. I deal 1d4+2 damage, and I appear to have no secondary effects. It is unknown how I was cursed.

Chicken of Summoning
Upon first glance, this appears to be a regular chicken. However, if damaged in any way it will summon another identical Chicken of summoning as a swift action, and ruthlessly attack whatever damaged it. The number of chickens will grow exponentially until whatever harmed it is defeated or is out of sight, upon which the other chickens will vanish and only the original will remain. This chicken was discovered after someone attempted to cook it, and the resulting swarm killed a famous chef.

Dice of Fate
Pick a number between 1 and 100, and tell your DM what this is. Roll percentile dice, and if it is what you chose fate itself will aid you, causing a mysterious coincidence that aids your goals.

Enchanted facial Cream
This product is excellent for growing facial hair, and it is enchanted so it grows exactly in the style you want. It can grow on any body, and it looks groomed and well cared for.

Twirling Spear
While in all other aspects a regular spear, if you hold it about your head and make a dex check DC15, you can levitate up 20ft. Using this ability is a full round action and you can only move vertically.

Occupational Hazard

Therapist!Ignis x Reader
Word Count: 1,930
SFW
For @staticeyes, who is so brave and deserves to be happy ♡

It was your mother that suggested you go to therapy. You didn’t like the idea at first—what would people think of you if they found out you were talking to a shrink? Would they think that there was something wrong with you if they put you on medication? You had all these thoughts racing through your head that you barely registered the sound of the receptionist at the office calling your name.

“Dr Scientia will see you now.”

You pulled open the heavy oak and stepped inside. It was a beautiful office. The ceilings were high, probably twelve or thirteen feet, with a skylight in the ceiling to let in the sun. Books lined the shelves, and there was even a narrow walkway that created a second floor where the library continued, which was held up by thin columns of intricately carved wood.

There was a desk at the far end of the room with some papers and a few open books, and two armchairs in the centre just below the skylight. Your therapist was sitting in one seat, his back facing you. You’d never met him before, but by the looks of the back of his head, he seemed…young.

The door clicked behind you as it shut, and he rose to greet you. When he turned and you saw his face, you tried to hide your initial shock.

He was…handsome. Definitely younger than you had expected, with tawny hair that was spiked back, high cheekbones and a sharp jawline. He was dressed in a crisp black suit jacket over top of a deep aubergine button up with a black collar, matching black dress pants and black alligator printed dress shoes. You also realized how tall he was as he strode towards you, his long legs closing the gap in a matter of seconds.

He greeted you and your name falling from his lips sounded almost musical as it hit your ears. “Come right this way,” he gestured to the armchairs in the centre of the room. “Have a seat and make yourself comfortable.”

“Thanks, Dr. Scientia.”

“Please,” he waved his hand. “Call me Ignis. I’m not one for titles.”

“Ignis,” you repeated, dropping your bag onto the floor and nestling yourself in the chair’s plush cushions.

“Would you like a beverage?” Ignis offered, gesturing to a small tea and coffee station near his desk. “I have some Ebony brewing, but I also have an assortment of different types of calming tea.”

You shook your head.

“I don’t want you to be uncomfortable around me,” he began, pulling out his notebook and a pen before taking the seat across from you. “I know that I am to be your therapist, but I am hoping as well that you will eventually see me as your friend and ally. I am here to assist you in whatever way I can, and if at any point you wish to leave, you are naturally afforded that right.”

You felt your shoulders relax. Something about his demeanour calmed you immediately, and you felt like you could trust him right away. You smiled at him, and he smiled back.

“Let’s begin.”

It had been eight months since you started seeing Ignis. He’d done a lot to help you during your sessions—offered you coping mechanisms, creative outlets, tissues when you needed to cry, and clever puns when you needed to laugh. He was one of the most incredible people that you’d ever met, and you felt your guard slowly lowering around him.

The only problem was that you were starting to develop feelings for him.

You had an internal battle about this. Was it just because he was your therapist, and so by opening up to someone, and having that person be receptive to all your flaws, that you started finding him attractive? You mentally disagreed, remembering that you thought he was handsome when you’d first met, and were entranced by him ever since.

But the fantasy of his lips on yours and his hands roaming your body still came almost nightly. You’d always wake up, a panting mess, cursing yourself for letting it get this far.

It was just a crush, you told yourself. Not like he thinks about you like that anyway.

One day, before your session, you got into a really, really awful fight with your father. You stormed off, tears stinging your eyes, and practically ran to his office.

He was at his desk, writing notes in his leather journal when you burst in through the door.

“You’re early,” he said, lifting his head to look at you. He was about to go back to writing when he noticed your tear-streaked face, and the way your hands were clutched into white-knuckled fists. You collapsed onto the armchair, trying your hardest to stop crying.

It wasn’t working.

Ignis came over to where you were sitting and kneeled in front of you. You were in worse condition than he had ever seen. He offered you a tissue, which you gratefully took, your fingers brushing against his. You hoped redness in your cheeks from crying hid the blush that spread across your face at the brief contact.

“Did you want to talk about it?” He finally asked, taking the seat opposite yours as usual.

You told him everything.

“My father just kept telling me that I wasn’t going to amount to anything,” you sniffled, unable to look Ignis in the eye. “I can’t afford to move out. I can’t get out of bed sometimes. And for my own dad, someone I’ve always looked up to, to say those things about me…” You tried to steady your breath. “For him to say what I’ve always thought about myself, it’s just…it confirmed in my mind what I’ve always been afraid to be true.”

Ignis came to kneel in front of you again. He rested one hand over yours, and the other came up to tilt your chin so you met his eyes. They were the most brilliant shade of green, the colour of shallow ocean water on a summer day. You gulped.

“You,” he stated, “are not worthless. You are someone with a brilliant mind and a beautiful soul. Your father said those things to you out of anger and projection. He is trying to place his burden on you, and I know that you have the fortitude deep down to not let him do it. You are braver than you know, and braver than I can imagine.”

You stared at him, your eyes darting over his face. He looked so sincere and so honest, and the way he squeezed your hand made your heart race. Your eyes traced the curve of his mouth, the soft expression in his gaze, the small freckles that dotted his complexion in faint constellations.

“I’m in love with you.”

The words left your mouth before you could stop them. His eyes widened and his mouth fell slightly agape. It took you a second to realize what you said, and when you did, you ripped your hand away from his, gathered your things and ran from his office.

You ran home, the last place you wanted to be, and slammed the door shut. The house was empty, thank the Six, and you ran up to your bedroom and sobbed into your pillow.

How could you be so stupid? Confessing to Ignis like that, being foolish enough to think that deep down, something could happen between the two of you. He was your doctor, someone you paid to talk to about your problems. And now he wasn’t even that, because you knew that you couldn’t go back to him after your outburst.

You heard a knock at the door from downstairs. You really didn’t want to answer it, but you wiped your face and decided to just suck it up and handle whoever was at the door.

“I’m coming,” you called irritably as the person knocked again. When you swung the door open, you were shocked to see Ignis standing at your doorstep. “W-what are you doing here?” You stammered. And then you lowered your voice. “How do you know where I live?”

“I may have checked your medical records,” Ignis admitted sheepishly. “Most likely a breech of protocol, but I thought it necessary.”

You didn’t move to let him in. You stood at the door way, frozen at the threshold. “So why are you here?”

Ignis took off his glasses and cleaned them off on the hem of his shirt. “I know that you have been through a lot in the recent past,” he began. “I am also cognizant of the fact that as your therapist, I hold a sort of unspoken power over you. It is not something I necessarily want, but it comes with my profession.”

He looked at you and your stare urged him to continue.

“I did not take your confession lightly. I want you to know that. But I also know that I cannot continue our professional relationship as your therapist.” Your heart sank, even though you already considered that outcome. “I’m here because I wanted to speak to you as your equal.”

You were confused, and then realized after a beat that he had stepped closer.

“I thought maybe,” he said, looking you in the eyes, “that my thoughts about you and my feelings towards you were wrong. I’ve never felt this way towards a patient before, and it’s something that could compromise my practice. But when you walked into my office for the first time, I was completely bewitched. I started looking forward to seeing you week to week, and wanted nothing more than to be able to see you outside of our scheduled sessions.”

Your mind was reeling. “W-what are you saying?”

He smiled, looking almost shy. “You’re clever. What do you think I’m saying?”

“Stop being coy and just say it,” you half-demanded, your heartbeat echoing in your ears.

Instead of using his words, Ignis stepped closer, leaned down and kissed you. After the initial shock wore off, you brought your arms around his shoulders and pulled him against you, his hands coming to snake around your waist.

When he finally pulled away, his arms still holding you tight, you let out a breath. “Wow.”

“Wow, indeed.”

You swallowed past the dryness in your throat, running your hands along his biceps. “Can we go slow?” You asked timidly. “This is all kind of…unexpected. And I’m not going to lie to you when I say it scares me a little bit.”

Ignis nodded. “I understand it’s overwhelming. But I do want to be with you. I can’t have you as my patient, but I would love to have you as my partner.”

You blushed, burying your face in his chest.

“Come,” he led you away from your house. “Would you like to come have dinner with me?”

You looked up at him and bit your lip, smiling for the first time in a long while. “Okay.”

2

Rāṇī kī vāv (राणी की वाव) – The Queen’s Well

Intricate carvings adorning the levels of the stepped well near the town of Pātaṇ - the medieval capital of the Soḷankī monarchs of Gujarat. The stepped well was constructed in memory of King Bhīma Deva by his widow, Queen Udayamatī in the 11th Century CE, earning it the name of Rāṇī kī vāv –   the Queen’s Well. The intricate carvings include images of Hindu deities and other celestial beings.