Some books I do love: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
“Why do I care about all the wrong things, and nothing at all for the right ones? Or, to tip it another way: how can I see so clearly that everything I love or care about is illusion, and yet - for me, anyway - all that’s worth living for lies in that charm?”
“You can be just friends with people, you know,” Orla said. “I think it’s crazy how you’re in love with all those raven boys.” Orla wasn’t wrong, of course. But what she didn’t realize about Blue and her boys was that they were all in love with one another. She was no less obsessed with them than they were with her, or one another, analyzing every conversation and gesture, drawing out every joke into a longer and longer running gag, spending each moment either with one another or thinking about when next they would be with one another. Blue was perfectly aware that it was possible to have a friendship that wasn’t all-encompassing, that wasn’t blinding, deafening, maddening, quickening. It was just that now that she’d had this kind, she didn’t want the other.”
When you open your mouth and a Scottish accent comes out, people are surprised. You speak English really well, they say, and you nod politely as if your first words hadn’t been some form of ‘mum’ like 99% of the Hogwarts population. It gets better after a while—eleven year olds don’t really care where you’re from, as long as you’re nice and share your Honeydukes packages—so when the Beauxbatons delegation arrives your fifth year and that strange new potato dish appears on the table, you and Marietta Edgecombe, who’s also from Scotland, laugh and tell everyone that stovies are nothing new, really.
Still, that night when Roger Davies coaxes you to sneak up to the Astronomy Tower with him, he calls you exotic. You call him silly. Your grandparents are Chinese, but you have lived in Scotland all your life. Yet you follow him to the Astronomy Tower anyway, and let his ice blue eyes slide over your body because, for once, having porcelain skin and jet black hair makes you beautiful instead of just abnormal. For a while, at least, you are exotic.
Those Beauxbaton girls are exotic too, though, especially the girl with flowing blonde hair Davies fawns over all the way to the Yule Ball. You take that news unexpectedly well. Deep inside, you always knew you couldn’t compete with a Beauxbaton girl. They are French, and that’s the kind of exotic Hogwarts boys really want.
Except the Hufflepuff one, the one with grey eyes you had a crush on back in third year. Cedric Diggory, from Ottery St. Catchpole. He finds you by the lake, takes you aside under a beech tree as your friends giggle in the background, and shyly asks if you will go the Yule Ball with him. He shouldn’t be this shy. He needn’t be shy at all, because ‘yes’ tumbles out of your mouth with no reservation. He is so very handsome.
And good. And sweet. So deliciously, blithely sweet. He kisses you unexpectedly your first date at Madame Puddifoot’s Teashop, and then again in the alleyway behind Zonko’s. When you come up for breath and take a peak at this boy who makes your nerves tingle, his eyes remain closed as his lips reach for another taste.
Bad news from the zones, tumbleweeds. It looks like Jet-Star and the Kobra Kid had a clap with an Exterminator that went all Costa Rica, and uh, got themselves ghosted. Dusted out on Route Guano. So it’s time to hit the red line and up-thrust the volume out there! Keep your boots tight, keep your gun close, and die with your mask on if you’ve got to! Here is the traffic… (Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys)