Oooh!!! Will you do a post on aro + ace Charlie Weasley?
My goodness, yes! I loveeee Charlie. I have done quite a few on him, talking about his life here and here, and talking about the way he discovered he was ace-aro here, and his coming out to his parents here. Some of them are posts from the beginning of this blog :)
Charlie Weasley’s asexual aromantic identity was almost a relief to him. There wasn’t anything wrong with him for not wanting to date girls (or boys, no one at Hogwarts was terribly picky) - it was just another facet of him. Like the way he couldn’t catch a Quaffle to save his life but Seeking came so naturally. Like the way he could have full conversations with Percy or Bill across the dinner table without ever speaking a word. Like the way he could find his wand in his bag without looking by feeling for warmth against his perpetually-cold hands.
It wasn’t lack of acceptance for himself that sometimes made his last few years at Hogwarts less-than-comfortable, sometimes, lack of knowing he was and what he wanted. It was the way that people seemed to treat romance (and especially sex) as a goal, as something to focus energy on and find …what? Solace, in? He didn’t know.
He successfully ignored the things said about him, mostly, and instead focused on his friends and his brothers. He was always close with Dora Tonks (he would never get used to calling her by her surname only. She had introduced herself as Dora in their first double Herbology class first year, and Dora she would forever stay in his mind), and with the revolving Quiddich team from his second year on. People, even Bill, at times, got on him about dating - about girls and Hogsmeade dates and using protection and it’s not that hard, Charlie, you’re an attractive lad.
By the time he made Captain, keeping the core of the team strong was important enough to the House that they left him more or less alone about Finding A Mate, as he thinks of it in his head.
The dragon conservatory in Romania was a different world. He was the youngest in the barracks, having gotten a sparkling reference from the most dragon-crazy git in England straight out of NEWT studies, but he was a hard enough worker to earn his place several times over. He spent every day elbow-deep in difficult, bone-tiring, all-compassing and thrilling work. He got to work with dragons every. single day.
He loved it - rising at dawn to begin the morning’s work, eating large but simple meals in the field, and falling exhausted into bed each night. He loved the dragons, and the mountainous air and the people he worked with, an eclectic collection of young people from all over the world, united by their love of dragons. He made fast and deep friendships with everyone there, and no one ever ever mentioned romantic entanglements. It didn’t seem to be their priority, didn’t seem to be their goal, didn’t seem to even be on anyone’s mind. Some had partners at home, and some shared bunks and body heat between them, but most of them lived their lives like Charlie did - encompassed, and so so so fulfilled by the work, needing nothing else. He lives this way, blissful, for five years, and then lives the same life, but fraught with anxiousness for the family he’s helping only indirectly through the Order, for another three.
Coming home, back to mainstream society, back to a concept of leisure time, back to English insistence upon propriety, back to his family “wanting the best for him” was exhausting, but necessary after a war that took his little brother and half the world he had loved growing up and rejected later in life.
There would be plenty of time for a simpler life, later. He would find a way to live his life in a space not geared towards clingy, heterosexual monogamous pairings. But he would have to endure these spaces for now. His family needs him, and that’s more important than his own commitment to a life fulfilled on his own, with his friends, with his dragons.
He needs to be here to help his family heal. If that means taking a few questions about this dating life, he can handle that. He knows who he is. He’ll return to that life soon.