Harry gets a unique opportunity to get to know Severus Snape. Who knew
Snape would turn out to be a cat person? 8th year at Hogwarts,
Snape!lives, animagus fic, rated M for later scenes of slash.
Themes: Understanding. Creature!Harry.
Genre: Romance. Fluff. LOTS OF IT.
Narrative: There is something that the author uses to make this otherwise cliché story to have a lot of heart. There are certain things that are glossed over, where I found myself thinking “Oh come on, this is too sudden I need some background info”. Then the more I read, the more I got the pace and the overall feeling of the story; understood I was expecting something that wasn’t going to be in the story, and that I had to pay attention in a different way. It’s, with the utmost respect, a quite simplistic story. It’s not complex and it doesn’t pretend to be, but that’s what makes it really special. Instead it wants to show you something else. Something more precious, that may or may not get in the way of your headcanons, but that I ultimately think is worth the read.
Brief Character Breakdown: The most noted changes are in Severus Snape. He is not mellow, sweet, nice or amicable, but there is certainly something softer about him. Something not quite so jaded and despairing. He is, for lack of a better word, “chill”, in a more private setting, which is what Harry gets to see. I like that duality. Harry is a little more playful than usual. Canon!Harry is delightfully sarcastic and caustic too, and I think that many fic authors sometimes don’t exploit that, and I always make notice of it when it doesn’t happen, but when I read this, I feel like the author replaced that dry, sarcastic wit with something else. Something that I think I can appreciate well. Harry is so playful here, lovely as always, and well meaning and also a little bit of a well-meaning but inconsiderate klutz, which I love about canon and fanon Harry.
My Opinion: Highly recommend it. The author is also a master at navigating UST. The fic is not exactly slow-burn but it makes you feel that way. There is a lot of flirting, which I think it’s an underused resource in fan fic. It’s also really sweet and fluffy. Not exactly something you can expect from a Snarry that takes itself seriously, but I mean cats just work magic so….
The duality of Snape’s persona in public and private, and the duality of his feelings for Harry in public and private is D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S.
As many are aware, the male/female binary correspondence system is very prevalent in traditional magic systems but has many problems: it’s very cissexist in that it usually often assigns penis-shaped things male correspondences and yonic-shaped things female correspondences. It also ignores the many nonbinary gender experiences people have, associates the masculine with assertiveness and the feminine with passivity, often associates objects as feminine just because they have holes in them, and implies a hetero bias in nature and magic itself. It also keeps invoking The Discourse when all we wanted to do was cast a spell to get us more money to blow in Vegas this weekend. So we at BOA have collected a list of other binaries you can invoke for whatever duality-oriented magic you need to work!
Do you have any citations, evidence, or historical sources on the term black magic having a racist connotation?
It’s pretty hard to find any sources talking about this in detail (which is bad in and of itself because it would be cool if this kind of info was accessible) so I’m going to try and explain as best I can and back it up with some citations and quotations from various sources on the occult and the fantasy genre.
Disclaimer: This discussion is specifically linked to the fantasy genre’s portrayal of magic and evil, as well as to a historic negative use of “black magic” to put down African American religions. My use of evil, corrupt, and impure, reflect on the bad guys in fantasy, and on the stereotype created by that history, and not at all on modern witches who may feel the need to use hexes, curses or anything else fitting under “black magic” (although we need a new name for it pronto, this one stinks of colonialist bs.). Practice whatever spells you wish lovelies xx
Also please remember that I am about as white as white can be, so it isn’t up to me to decide what is and isn’t racism. I may get things wrong and make mistakes in discussing issues like this and I have no wish to talk over anyone, so please call me out if I say something I shouldn’t.
“Even the terminology of “white” and “black” magic is racist and redolent of bias.”
Or in plain English: saying that all things white are pure and good, whereas all things black are evil and bad, feeds into racist outlooks. And yes, obviously the black in ‘black magic’ is not referring to black people. But that doesn’t mean that the idea doesn’t carry across - all too often we really do see anything related to blackness and black culture as evil or violent or savage. And the terms black and white magic further feed into that rhetoric.
Here’s a quote from a Santeria church resource explaining further about this topic:
Remember when you see depictions like this in movies or television programs, they are racist depictions serving to scare those of European descent by portraying African religions as barbaric. Even the term “black magic” is a racist term. It originates from the labeling of African people as black and the characterization of their religions as purely evil. Therefore “black magic” meant black religious practice was evil.
This link will take you to the full article which is mainly focused on discussion of the difference between voodoo (voudoun), hoodoo and santeria. If you skip to the section titled “Stereotypical and Racist Depictions of Santeria and other ATRs” you can find more on black magic being a racist term.
Here’s a book you can read to find further info on the history of magic and religion in African American culture should you have the desire and the time. It’s available free on Google Scholar:
The Tumblr blog @paganstudygrouppage has a tag you can find here all revolving around the discussion of black magic as a term. It’s worth a scroll through if you have anymore questions and they often link to books and sources on the matter to.
And the thing is, fantasy as a genre (as much as I love it) is notoriously bad for this sort of thing. The black magic vs. white magic duality is only one tiny part of the much larger use of black as a pejorative term and the use of white vs. black as an allegory for good vs. evil.
The blog Writing With Colour here on Tumblr has an excellent resource on this form of symbolism which you can find here.
And just take a look at this article by John Yatt published in The Guardian. It examines the black vs. white concept in Lord Of The Rings with the good guys being white and the bad guys being orcs - described as dark-skinned, and depicted with dreadlocks in the films and explains the whole system and its issues brilliantly.
So yeah: I love the fantasy genre. But part of loving it is recognising its flaws, and wanting it to grow and develop into something even better. There is a lot more we can do to help diversity in fantasy, and the first thing I’m going to do, is stop with this black = bad crap.
It is a mistake to consider any belief more liberated than another. It is the possibility of change which is important. Every new form of liberation is destined to eventually become another form of enslavement for most of its adherents. There is no freedom from duality on this plane of existence, but one may at least aspire to choice of duality.
Wang Jie. The Diamond Sutra. Buddha and Subhuti (Frontispiece); 868 AD.
The Diamond Sutra in the British Library is the earliest dated printed book in the world. ‘Sutra’ is an ancient Indian word meaning a sort of classical text, and it was later taken up by the Buddhists when Buddhism came into India after the birth of the Sakyamuni, the Historical Buddha. And it got used in Buddhism to mean the words, the sermons, the lectures of the Historical Buddha himself. So all sutra are supposedly sermons, lectures of the Buddha, and the Diamond Sutra itself is a dialogue between the Buddha and his elderly disciple Subhuti.
How to be one with everything, the essential meaning of Buddhism, that of non-duality: the fact that there are no individual existences in this world. That all is an illusion: we just think we exist as individuals but we don’t, in fact, we’re in a state of complete non-duality: there are no individuals, no sentient beings. Subhuti asks questions of the Buddha, and the Buddha explains the sutra, the essential teaching of Buddhism.
The Buddhist canon is an enormous multi-volume work: first are all the lectures of the Buddha, the sutra, and then there were philosophical treatises, discussions of the lectures, and then there was a third part of the canon which was about how Buddhist monks should live their lives. So this forms the 'three baskets’, or tripitaka, of the Buddhist canon. -Susan Whitfield, director Dunhuang Project.
Okay, so this is a fun headcanon I have for Akko and Andrew. Obviously, Akko will become a successful stage witch and make people smile through her magic shows just like Shining Chariot did. But with Andrew, I'd like to think that maybe he quits being a statesman and continue his practice of Piano with him than becoming a famous pianist. So of course, during Akko magic shows, she will get Andrew to play the piano during her show.
I can kind of see this, but this was before the ending of lwa.
Now I really can’t see Akko having the patience for performances and all the red tape they entail. She’s impulsive and wouldn’t be able to stick to schedule.
She’d probably rather go off on her own adventures and ends up meeting people and showing them the wonders of magic. So maybe she’s more off an ambassador of magic or something. She and Andrew often go on trips together to help bring people together and become more accepting of the duality of magic and the modern world.
Why do you ship Kagehina? What do you think is the most important thing in order for their relationship (or friendship) to work? kagehina metaaaaaaaa pleaseeeee <3
The intensity of this question is as good as asking me why I love anime. A multitude of reasons come to my mind and then I realize:”But damn, how do I find the words for such perfection?” Still, I shall do my best to grasp them.
First of all, I am a sucker for duality. When I first watched Kuroko no Basuke (and when it was still free from Zone overdose) what made me fall in love with Kuroko and Kagami’s relationship was the “Light and Shadow” metaphor. I loved the idea of the protagonist deviating from the classic stereotype of a superhero messianic image. The idea of complementary protagonists is charming in itself since one gets to see how the two characters support each other to achieve their goal.
To me, this complementing magic and duality provide the reasons why I ship Kageyama and Hinata. They are similar to the Light and Shadow duo of Seirin in the sense that like Kuroko and Kagami, Kageyama and Hinata have supported each other countless times. Both have tossed each other words of encouragement just to boost each other’s morale, and the good things is, both have received these “tosses” and imbibed them, honing them into a better volleyball player.