one's fled

I got some thoughts on Little Nightmares. As usual for me, I am more interested in everybody else and not the main character. Typical me.

Anyway as far as the world goes the basics are not hard to grasp. You are a human on a giant’s vessel. Giants were known to be maneaters in many of the different cultures they appear in, so raising and preparing human like domesticated livestock is no big surprise.  

What I am interested in is this particular crew. Been looking at things and the websites and I got some info. Like many others, the sight of fat customers coming aboard to eat en masse reminded me of tourism/the food industry-and with The Lady looming over as she does, it’s not hard to deduce she runs this eatery. Now here’s what it says about “The Lady” on the site -

“Admist the chaos of the world outside, The Maw is the only place that makes sense.”

It gives off the impression she might have been drifting before, lost, without a purpose and without a place to belong. Obviously she looks Japanese and aside from the eatery, not a lot of other places in the boat follow that aesthetic. She is far from home. But not just that-I think the others were lost too-if fact I think they were all together before as well. Look at this one-

-”he fled the world and found The Maw.”  People point out the painting of The Lady with other shadowy figures when contemplating the identity of Six, but you’ll notice the other pictures are quite interesting too. I believe our man here is in one of them-the chefs too. 

With the chefs, I’m thinking they were probably twins who were born fused together separated a little after birth-more on that theory later though.

.

 Mr. Legless sure looks like Mr. Arms tho. That The Lady keeps pictures of them gives me the impression they must have all known each other for a long time-predating The Maw. 

Not only that, but they are all wearing masks. The Janitor’s mask seems to be peeling and blocks his view, The chefs can be seen scratching under their mask and The Lady is wearing a much more obvious mask. Perhaps they are all from the same place and are trying to “blend in” with their new found culture/people. -Another interesting possibility-they are outcasts even among giants. The smashed mirrors, the masks and the Janitor - maybe these were originally a band of misfits-rejected at home who drifted aimlessly for a while before finding a place to belong, a place that “makes sense”. 

After all, no one cares what you look like if you’re serving up grub. 

This game, I hear, was originally called Hunger. Once you play the game yourself, you’ll see how that theme remains. Hunger drives what we assumed to be an innocent little girl to prefer to kill and eat others savagely to survive. Hunger can take you dark places. The Maw itself is a dark place, I’ve heard a youtuber comment after seeing it all that Six became “like them”. 

Perhaps hunger was also what drove them to such an extreme. Fattening, slaughtering, serving, in an endless cycle. It’s not pretty but it keeps them alive. It’s a purpose-it’s a living. 

Maybe this was something the game was trying to get across. How ruthless the fight for survival can really be and how things like good and evil can sometimes be made to take a backseat when you’re starving to death. 

Nothing To Be Afraid Of

Warnings: Alcohol

Pairing: Jeff Atkins x Reader, Zach Dempsey x Reader

Requested by: anonymous

Request: Omg your Jeff imagine was super cute! Can I request a Jeff imagine where the reader is dating Jeff but she’s best friends with Zach cuz they grew up together so Jeff gets a little jealous? (You can make it as fluffy or whatever as you want 💕)

A/N: I’m such a newbie to this whole imagine thing urghh. I hope you like it, anon. Let me know what you think.

SEND IN REQUESTS

Originally posted by cynicalsunset

You and Zach Dempsey were childhood friends. That’s all. Nothing more, nothing less. However to some, namely your boyfriend Jeff Atkins, it supposedly looked like you and Zach were ‘an old married couple’.

When you were younger, Zach’s mom and your mom would arrange play dates for the both of you. You and Zach had been friends since you were both in diapers. Long before the social segregation that came with high school. This meant that no matter how popular Zach was, he would always find time for you. After all, you were his best friend. The bond shared between you and Zach was unbreakable, but strictly platonic. The friendship you had with Zach was nothing compared to what you felt with Jeff.

No matter how many times you would reassure him that you loved him and only him, Jeff held a spark of jealousy whenever he saw you and Zach together. Seeing how happy Zach made you, made Jeff feel as though he wasn’t good enough for you. Jeff would look at you two, wishing that he made you as happy as Zach did. What Jeff didn’t know was that he made you feel so much more than Zach ever could. 

“Y/N! Over here!” Zach had spotted you in a crowd of people. You and Jeff had both been invited to Jessica’s party but Jeff had run errands before the party. The two of you had agreed for Jeff to meet you at the party. 

The sweaty, dancing bodies surrounding you made it hard for you to move towards Zach and his friends - who weren’t exactly your friends but they were aways nice to you - until his hand reached out for you. You gladly took it and began to maneuver through the crowd. Once you had reached Zach, his hand retreated from your own and settled around your waist. Of course, you just passed it off as a protective gesture and thought nothing of it. After greeting them, you, Zach, Justin, Jessica and Montgomery then moved over to Jessica’s couch. 

Justin then yelled your name over the music to get your attention to get your attention, “You want a drink?”

“Sure but I don’t want to get too drunk before Jeff gets here.”

“Yeah, ok.” Justin nodded before leaving with Montgomery to get drinks. They came back moments later and Monty handed you a red solo cup.  Truth be told you weren’t the biggest party animal there was but you definitely knew how to have a good time.

It didn’t take long for you to get tipsy. In fact, maybe you were a little more than tipsy - so much so, you didn’t notice that Jeff had arrived until he was standing right in front of you and Zach.

“Hey ba- whoa,” Jeff didn’t let you finish. Instead, he had grabbed your arm and pulled you up out of your seat on the couch.

“We’re leaving.” He clenched his jaw and spoke through gritted teeth. You could tell he was angry - everyone within a mile of him could - but you didn’t want to cause a scene. Honestly, you didn’t want to leave. Tonight was one of the first nights you had where you actually enjoyed the company of Zach’s friends.

“You literally just arrived.” you said softly, trying to get him calm down a little.

“Huh, didn’t think you noticed. You looked a little busy all cosied up with Zach.“

“Dude, what’s your problem?” Zach rose from his position on the couch.

Jeff no longer faced you and he had taken a step towards Zach, “You’re my problem.”

Maybe a fight would have ensued if Justin hadn’t intervened, “Guys, seriously knock it off, it’s a party. You wanna fight? Outside. Not here.”

“Forget it, let’s just go.” You did not want your best friend and boyfriend to fight. Leaving was the best decision for now.


The car journey to Jeff’s place was completely silent. Both of you were radiating anger and any words said would just fuel the feeling.

Jeff’s parents had left for a weekend business trip, which had allowed you to stay the night. Your parents had no idea and believed you were staying at Jessica’s house.

As soon as Jeff pulled up outside of his house, you left the car as quick as you could and opened the door with the spare key that you knew they kept behind one of the rocks. You fled to one of their bathrooms and locked yourself in. You definitely didn’t want to confront Jeff about what happened but you knew you had to. As you washed your face, you heard a knock on the door.

“Y/N, baby. Listen, I love you. I’m sorry if I embarrassed you or made you feel bad or anything. I guess I’m just jealous.” you sighed before opening the door.

“But why? Why would you be jealous?” You walked closer to Jeff and held his face in your hands.

“I don’t know. I see how happy you are with him and it makes me upset.” Looking down, Jeff started to scratch the back of his neck.

“Don’t you understand that you make me happy too? I know we’ve been friends for so long but you make me happier than Zach ever could.”

Jeff looked up at this and you started to lean in. The two of you shared a kiss that held more meaning and more passion than any other kiss you’ve shared before. The two of you broke away from each other to catch your breath and leaned your foreheads against each other.

“Listen, babe. You have nothing to be afraid of. I’m yours and only yours.”

“I love you so much, Y/N Y/LN.”

“And I love you, Jeffrey Atkins.”

Today is Yom Hashoah.

Today is Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.
We remember the six million Jews and ¼-½ million Roma that died in the Holocaust.
We remember the five million lgbtq people, disabled, and others that died in the Holocaust.
Today is also Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. Don’t exclude them. Genocide is genocide.
Don’t forget that while many groups were targeted in the Holocaust, Jews and Rroma were their focus, the primary ones they sought to wipe from the face of the earth. The Holocaust left deep scars in our cultural memory. You can’t understand that kind of abiding collective anguish unless you are one of us.
To put the numbers in perspective: The Jewish global population pre-Holocaust was 17 million at its peak in 1939. The Jewish population of Europe was 9 million. The Rroma population of Europe was just under 1 million.
6 million Jews was OVER ONE THIRD of the number of Jews IN THE ENTIRE WORLD, and TWO THIRDS OF ALL EUROPEAN JEWS.
220,000-500,000 Romani was ONE QUARTER TO ONE HALF of the Rroma in Europe.
The Jewish population STILL has not recovered to prewar levels. We’re at 13-14 million today. Again, that is the GLOBAL POPULATION. That’s less than the population of New York state (20 million).
There are Holocaust survivors STILL LIVING. This isn’t distant memory.
I live in the US (like many Ashkenazi Jews) because some of my family fled. The ones who stayed didn’t survive.
Do not let this happen again.
Nazis are rising again, and they’re finding their way into the top echelons of our government. Not theoretically, LITERALLY. Hate crimes are skyrocketing, and we are becoming habituated to fear.
Fight back against those that would bring the horror back again. Keep protesting, keep fighting, keep standing up for minorities, for the persecuted and marginalized.
We remember.
Never again.

זכר קדוש לברכה
May the memory of the holy be a blessing.

Fic: Little talks late at night

A little 2x08 reaction fic. Because Alec and Magnus need to talk about what happened on that rooftop. (Word count: 2,351)

Read it on the AO3

Magnus kept it together as long as they were busy dealing with the aftermath of Magnus’s fight with Iris. Once he had closed the door behind Jace, Clary, Izzy and Simon, he leaned his head against the wood for a second and took a deep breath. Him and Alec needed to talk.

Keep reading

2

The girl who lost things | A RebelCaptain modern!AU

There was once a girl with her head full of dreams
she wondered around, in her yellow machine.
The world was her home because hers was lost,
until one day a Captain her road crossed.
He was a cynic and and his dream were gone cold,
her heart full of hope turned his back into gold.
But she was the girl who kept losing things,
afraid of his love, she fled one day of spring.
He never gave up and the whole world he roamed,
until he finally found her and gave her a home.

anonymous asked:

So when's the next update

I’m Working As Hard As I Can. I had a bunch of relatives over the past few days and it’s just been Hell Time with my self esteem and self worth and Dealing With Derogatory Comments From Loved Ones © 

So I fled into my suffering cave and just been catatonic there. But now I’m slowly crawling out and going back to my regular schedule. I reckon it’ll take maybe 3-4 more days or less. 

Up soon:

Dallas hanging up posters of missing persons. “I slur a plea for you to come home. But I know it’s too late, And I should have given you a reason to stay
Given you a reason to stay, Given you a reason to stay”

Not Enough

Spiritassassin Week 2017, Prompt 3: Hurt/Comfort 

( Also the poem in this is by e.e. Cummings, which, look, I know that Star Wars exists “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”, but my Cummings book was *right there* and I couldn’t be arsed to make up my own poem so. It is what it is.)

The temple does not fall all at once, though he thinks it would have been better that way, quicker, cleaner. No, it is a slow thing like water eating into the side of a cliff. Little by little the Imperials chip away at everything that they are, everything that they have, until the foundation is too spindly to support the weight, until it falls in on itself, top heavy and reeling. It does not end with a fire or an explosion. There is not a great battle waged between the Guardians and the Empire. It is a waning, as of a moon, until there is just a sliver left. It is easy to force a handful of the disenfranchised out. It is easy to make them give their ground, their livelihood, their world. It should not be, but it is. It is easier than Baze ever wants to admit because it is a shame heavier than everything else in the universe. He who is a mountain. He who is a pillar of faith onto himself. He should not have been moved.

Keep reading

AAaaand the third promptfill for @emsiecat(seconded by @ahiddenkitty):

FLIRTY SPARRING ✧・゚:*✧・゚:* \(◕ω◕✿)/ *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

(or rather the end of it. Dwalin is so done.)

2

“Ka Po’ Tun is the "Tiger-Dragon’s Empire”. The cat-folk here are ruled by the divine Tosh Raka, the Tiger-Dragon. They are now a very great empire, stronger than Tsaesci (though not at sea). After the Serpent-Folk ate all the Men, they tried to eat all the Dragons. They managed to enslave the Red Dragons, but the black ones had fled to (then) Po Tun. A great war was raged, which left both the cats and the snakes weak, and the Dragons all dead. Since that time the cat-folk have tried to become the Dragons. Tosh Raka is the first to succeed. He is the largest Dragon in the world, orange and black, and he has very many new ideas.“  - Mysterious Akavir

So, I’ve been reading up on Akavir last time and I gave a shot drawing this guy’s appearance. How do dragons and tigers mix.

Going to Hogwarts With Newt Scamander Would Include...

Originally posted by duarteartiq

  • Naturally, since the first moment he saw you, he had a tiny bit of a crush on you.
    • But even then, admitting that to another person, much less himself, was dangerous because he wasn’t wildly liked at the school and if anyone caught wind of this new infatuation, he would be constantly ridiculed for something on top of his peculiar love for magical creatures.
  • Takes very seriously to his class work.
    • But, equally to his interest and passion for creatures. Given the absolute choice, he would pick his creatures over his schooling. His dedication to his creatures equals, and occasionally overpowers him. This can lead him to acting irrationally without thinking.
      • Probably gets really excited in his seat when any of his professors even mention a magical creature, and is eager to answer any question they may ask.
        • He can hear people laughing at him for being so willing to answer, but he rolls it off his shoulders. He knows about them, and he’s proud of them. Just because others don’t see them the way he does doesn’t give them the right to judge. But, it’s something that even he can’t stop.
      • Most definitely took the elective “Care For Magical Creatures” when it was available his 3rd Year.
        • Excelled and more in that class, as it nurtured and cared for his love for the creatures, that started at a young age.
  • Your friends telling you to stay away from him, unless you wanted to be caught in the mess known as the “Creature”.
    • One of the many names Newt has gotten over the years, but he’s learned to tune them out. They’re merely calling you that because of their own insecurities, he would remind himself.
  • The two of you meeting officially when you ram into him while on your way to class.
    • Not paying attention, the two of you ended up bumping into each other. His book, full of the information of magical creatures fell to the ground with a soft clutter along with a few skewed papers.
      Mumbling an apology, he avoided eye contact with you and leaned down to pick up his things and whispered, “It’s quite alright.”
      You tuck back some of your hair and finally look at him. You’d never seen anyone willingly this close to him before. He seemed normal enough, you weren’t sure what all the fuss was about.
      “You’re… Newt Scamander, right?”
      He nodded his head, his ashy red hair bouncing as he did. Newt’s fingers were fast to snap his small book shut after shoving a few folded pieces of paper into it. “And you’re (Name).”
      “How did you kn-”
      “I sit behind you in Charms.” The smile he gives you is slight, tilting to the side as he shuffles in front of you. He wasn’t good one on one, and fled from the situation before you could say much else to him.
  • Ever since then, you began taking more and more notice to him, as strange as it seemed.
    • Actually acknowledging him when you pass in the halls. Saying hi sometimes, waving. Sitting next to him wordlessly in class.
    • You would offer to sit with him at meals. He’s hesitant to answer, afraid that perhaps you being nice to him was another trick. But when he nods, and you actually sit down next to him, Newt finds himself completely stiffened by the situation.
      Until you turn and looked at the open notebook in front of him and ask, “What’s that? I see you carry it around.”
  • A friendship begins as he starts explaining to you about the creatures, and all he knows. Newt being so excited and happy that someone was willing to listen to him blunder on and on about the facts of them, and how they are not as dangerous as they had been lead to believe.
    • Slow, but surely, you start to gain interest in it as well.
      • The two of you start bonding over the mutual respect you’d gained for magical creatures.
  • The two of you in the courtyard between classes, close together while he’s reading what he had written in his notebook the previous night before.
    • Him giving you his scarf when you’ve forgotten yours. You joke around, “This is the time I finally take a Hufflepuff scarf for myself.”
    • You asking him questions excitedly, and having him equally excited to answer them.
    • Ultimately, you had begun asking so many questions, and helped him answer so many, that you were helping him with his new developing book. He couldn’t thank you enough, really.
      • The sudden interest you’d taken in Newt has left your ‘Friends’ worried, and has lead to a few people wondering exactly what it was you saw in him.
      • They just didn’t take the time to notice that he was actually a sweet, young man. 
    • Fellow students calling him out on his obvious affection for you. Making kissy faces at him when he’s with you. Thankfully, you hadn’t noticed them yet. And Newt hopes you don’t. He’s not sure he’s ready for that sort of rejection.
  • Coming to the realization that your friendship had grown into something else.
    • Something much more intense, personal and loving.
    • You were developing feelings for him.
  • Your feelings coming out for him when he finally builds enough courage to ask you to accompany him to the Yule Ball.
    • Poor Newt is probably a stumbling mess when asking you, constantly moving his hands, jumping from one foot to another before finally getting to, “I’d really like it if you went to the Yule Ball with me, (Name). More like, love it actually… I can’t imagine myself going with any other.”
      There’s a long silence between the two of you as he stares straight at you, before looking down at his feet. Taking the silence as defeat, he clears his throat, “Of course not, why go with me, right?”
      “Yes.” You finally say after overcoming the pure joy in your mind, “I do. I want to go with you, Newt.” You smiled, “I can’t imagine myself going with any other.”

That’s all for now lol. Likes and reblogs are appreciated, thanks. Hope you liked. Stay tuned for more Newt. Boii.

“Soon” (Optional Bias)

a/n: A few days ago, I asked you guys for advice regarding my crush and I’m delighted to tell you that I have decided to drop my feelings for him before it became something deeper. Apparently, he had a girl he liked and like I said, I’m a smol child that everyone treats like a little sister. Maybe some part of me got scared, but I don’t know… This feels like the right decision. Anyway, due to the fact that I have a lot of excess feelings, I wrote this. I was inspired by a conversation I had with @sunshine-scenarios and a poem I wrote and posted a long time ago entitled, “Forget”. For the people who take time to read these musings, I love you. 

Genre(s): Angst, Romance (I’m really comfortable with writing angst if you guys noticed at least 70% my scenarios are angst)

Your mouth hung open and you could already feel the hot tears come streaming from the back of your eye. It stung. It did, but not as much as seeing your boyfriend half-naked in his apartment with a model clinging on his shoulders.

He looked shocked, but you noticed that his eyes were hazy and the apartment looked like a pigsty. He met your eyes and looked at the poor girl in front of him, then back at you, almost like he couldn’t believe that you were standing on his doorway. He pushed the girl away, as if he just regained his senses. She looked offended, took her bag and pushed past you outside the door.

You looked back at him and thought, ‘This is the most clichéd thing that could happen, but it happened.’ You let out a short laugh as tears spilled from the corners of your eyes.

“Jagiyah…” he breathed as he took a step towards you.

You held up a finger, using your other hand to wipe the tears away and hold in your sobs.

“I leave… I left for one week, ______.” You breathed deeply. “I left because I didn’t want to fight anymore and you replace me?”

“Jagiyah, she was not a replacement. I wasn’t it my right mind, I was drunk and I missed so, so bad.” He took another step forward and you didn’t even flinch.

He took another step and took your hands, held them tightly with his and you didn’t push him away.

“Am I supposed to understand this again?” You asked, maybe more to yourself than to him.

But he answered anyway, “No. I don’t want you to understand… I want you to get angry with me, I want you to stay in this room and get angry at me. Hurt me. I can take it, just don’t leave me again.”

“Excuse me, the café is closing already in a while.” A young girl wearing the uniform of the said café tapped your shoulder, breaking your reverie.

You gave her a curt nod and looked at your cold cup of coffee, debating whether to finish it or to leave it. Looking at your cup, you caught sight of the empty chair in front of you and the scenes that played in your head earlier.

You wondered as you stood up and walked out of the café. It was drizzling, so you pulled out your umbrella. You weren’t really paying attention while walking, looking at your feet as you tried to match the cracks on the sidewalk. You bumped against someone and you muttered an apology before going your way. At least you were when you felt someone hook a hand on your arm to stop you from going any further.

You looked back to see a man’s chest and you slowly trailed your eyes upward, knowing who he is from just the sight of his lips. You met his gaze, his warm yet invading gaze.

His name left your lips in a matter-of-fact manner; your mind can’t quite process how or why he was standing in front of you then.

He echoed with the sound of your name and a small smile on his lips. “You were here, huh? Was I too late? Did the café close already?”

You slowly nodded.

“I’m… I’m going to leave… now?” you pulled your hands away from his grasp and you felt him freeze on his spot, as if his breathing also halted as he searched your eyes for answers.

“Y/N…” he tried, he was trying and you could feel that he was putting his whole heart on your palms.

“I’m gonna leave and this time, I’m not coming back.” You made your resolve, but you couldn’t bare to look him in the eyes. For someone you loved so much, you just can’t walk away while bravely meeting his gaze. But you did. Weak and tired and helpless as you felt, you stared right back, uncontrollable tears running down your cheek. “Let me walk away, please. Don’t ask me to stay. Give me this one last gift.”

“No.” He grabbed your wrist again and for the first time that night, you backed away. “You may think I’m selfish but I’m not letting you go. I’d rather that you stay here and hate me, than not be here at all.”

“But if I leave…” you interjected. “If I leave now, I will love you and our memories; I will love every thought of you and the fact that you loved me enough to let me go. I can love you forever this way.”

You pulled your hands away and with one last look, you fled out of the door, out of the building and presumably, out of his life.

This time, he didn’t stop you because he knew, maybe not then when he cried in his sleep nor when he heard your voice in his dreams, that he could love you that way too.

“Is that so?” He clicked his tongue and pushed his hands in his pockets.

“Yeah. It was nice seeing you. I’ll go ahead.” You turned around immediately but he called after you.

“Do you mean that?” you can hear the melancholia in his voice.

“Mean what?” you turned around again.

“That it was nice seeing me… Do you mean that?” he repeated and took a step closer.

You pondered for a second, looking at him and the circles around his eyes. He looked great still, without make-up on; inhibited and tired, yet smiling. “Yeah, I meant it. I meant every word.”

“I missed you. I miss you almost every day. I see you every time I close my eyes to sleep.” He took another step and you were rooted to your spot. “Do you…” he hesitated and he never hesitated before. “…miss me at all?”

“Every day. I missed you just now, back in the café actually.” You shrugged like it was the most normal occurrence.

“It’s only been a month. I think I’m going to die.” He was already standing in front of you, so close that you can smell the mixture of his cologne and the late evening drizzle as it clung to his skin. “Do you still want to leave? Because at the state I am in right now, I still selfishly want you to stay with me.” He chuckled to himself. “Am I being pitiful?”

“If I’m honest, I’d say you’re convincing, but as much as I have loved you for the past three years… Lately, I realized that I should love myself as much, so to answer your first question…” you didn’t even blink and he could almost hear his own heart break. “Yes. I can’t stay.”

He nodded, gulping back any words that he might’ve used to beg you. “Will you be okay?”

“I’m not okay yet.” You tightened your grip on the handle of your umbrella. “But I will be, soon. I hope you too.”

You gave him a broken smile and turned around.

You walked away again.

“Someday!” he called after you.

You stopped and somehow, with just one word you understood.

‘Someday.’ You sighed. ‘That’s a nice thought.’

“Maybe.” You said, before resuming your steps.

You resumed your steps, further and further.

You walked on without turning back.

My mom and I are out in rural Virginia for a wedding this weekend… on our drive down I looked on sightings and saw TOGETIC. We had to track him down ourselves.

This was the second Togetic I’ve seen in the wild. First one (back in February) fled after 20+ balls. This one was captured after just 3!

Stoked af. It was my moms first one!

Glad we had this vacay and took the route we did.

AND I saw another on sightings a while later but we couldn’t hunt it down cuz there were no exits on the interstate :((( but it’s really just a used slot for Pokémon storage I’d rather not fill with a generally useless pokemon :/ super fun times tho!!!
ugly: in defense of pansy parkinson

“And who did [Draco] marry? It wasn’t Pansy right, or was it?”

JKR: “No! God, it wasn’t Pansy Parkinson. I loathe Pansy Parkinson. I don’t love Draco but I really dislike her. She’s every girl who ever teased me at school. She’s the Anti-Hermione. I loathe her.”

Let’s talk about how Pansy Parkinson was a bully, how she sliced and cut with words, how she lied, cajoled, and taunted. She probably left some scars that never quite healed.

Now let’s talk about James Potter.

Let’s talk about James and his carefully rumpled hair and his cruel entertainments. Let’s talk about how McGonagall wept for him, how Hagrid bawled, how Lily loved him and Harry stood tall in his image.

No one wept for Pansy Parkinson.

Tell me about a Pansy who plucked the Inquisitor’s Squad badge off her chest with shaking fingers only in the cold comfort of her room or Draco’s, who leaned against him and whispered under the fire’s crackle, some nights, “What are we doing? Do you know what we’re doing?”

They both knew the answer to that question. Some nights Draco said, “Whatever we want,” or “What we have to,” and some nights he said, “Surviving.”

She listened to the shake in his voice and thought, with something like pride, and another something like grief, the boy’s learned how to lie.

“This isn’t what I thought heroics would look like,” she confided, one night, when she’d fled to Draco’s little single room because Millicent Bulstrode had been crying herself to sleep in hers.

“Who said we’re the heroes?” said Draco, but he let her curl up on the other half of his bed, a careful three inches between their crescent-moon spines.

Tell me about the Carrows calling them into their office, telling them about all the viscera they would come to love, the sick little noises, about how good they all were, such promise, even you, Millicent, stop sniveling. 

 –

Let’s talk about how Pansy and Draco grew up at different rates. One had a tattoo on his left forearm and the other had terror in her voice when she told her school to give up Harry Potter and save themselves. The ink beading Draco’s skin, that was terror too, plain and simple, grasping for anything that looked like safety.

They screamed at each other, over the years, across mahogany dining tables and sticky pub booths, over words and deeds, broken hearts and old tremors. He felt guilty when she felt vulnerable. He felt redeemable when she felt dirty.

How dare you? Do you remember what they did? Do you remember what we did? Do you?

They swapped words, insults and frequencies, him shrilling in their own defense and her rumbling their own guilt. They spat and screamed and brought each other coffee on cold mornings.

“I want you to have something warm to hold onto,” they didn’t say, as they bumped shoulders, sighed, and swallowed the bitter liquid down.

Warmth curled in their stomachs all day long. For the first few years, panic ran the edge of it, that warmth, because they were not supposed to be warm. Pansy let her fingers freeze some mornings, like a penance, though she wasn’t sure if it was for old deeds or for this morning, just this morning, taking a cup of coffee from Draco and loving the warmth.

You do not get to redeem forty year old stalkers on the grace of their undying obsessions and then leave young women out to rot.

Snape loved to oblivion, to delirium. He remade his Patronus in her image. Somehow, this saved him.  

There is a difference between a bully and a Death Eater. There is a difference between a teenaged girl spitting words no crueler than her Head of House’s, and a professor–a teacher–an adult who terrorizes children who cannot escape him.

Snape never forgave Harry for his father’s sins. Severus saved his life, but only for his eyes–not for what Harry saw with them, or what he did, or said, or saved, or loved, but because of their color. For this, for this, Snape is redeemed.

Pansy Parkinson drifts on the page, wreathed in smug contempt.

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I know this isn’t a reaction, but given that for the past two weeks I’ve been sick and swamped with school, this is the best I can do until I have more time.

While I’ve been sick, I’ve been playing the Fallout 4 survival beta. For anyone who doesn’t know, this ‘beta’ ups the difficulty to what can be called realistic levels. No longer can you take twenty bullet wounds and come out unscathed, or go days without eating or drinking. Now, sleep, food and water are essential to your well-being, bullet wounds are far more deadly, and even illnesses are potential threats as part of this new mode. Saves and quicksaves are disabled, as well. The only way to save your game is going to sleep, whereupon the game autosaves. You have one save. Only one.

And it’s kind of the shit, y’all.

While normally I didn’t want to play Fallout 4 over again, the idea of playing a game dangerously close to reality, if you can forgive the parts about mutants and raiders and sentient robots, intrigued me. I hadn’t played the survival mode for New Vegas yet, but I’m told Fallout 4′s version dwarfs even that. And it’s amazing, in a cruel, punishing sort of way. 

Suddenly even bloodbugs and radroaches are viable threats. The scripted fights, in Concord and otherwise, are much deadlier. One bullet, two bullet, you’re not looking carefully enough - bam! Your character falls over dead, and you have to replay ten minutes of game time, just getting back to where you were. I’m not a rager, and I don’t mind having to be persistent, but I can see where many would find this frustrating.

While in the normal difficulty of the game, you’re encouraged to be a hero, to help people who need it. While yes, you can go the ‘sarcastic’ route, or ask for caps in exchange for your help, generally the game restricts you from doing immoral actions. This is a direct departure from the more ‘grey-morality’ of Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 3, but that’s a discussion for another time.

My point is thus; when the stakes are raised, the idea of being a hero is suddenly much less appealing. 

When I first played through the game, I helped everyone I could, never asking for caps or any kind of reward. Why would I need to? Bullets and stimpacks were plentiful. I could fast-travel anywhere, and if I needed to stock up on anything, my settlements had piles of caps waiting to be picked up and the loot dropped by my kills sustained my needs rather nicely.

But now? 

When Preston asks me to go help out a settlement, I’m not thinking of it in terms of a quest. I’m thinking of it in terms of how much danger will be involved. Do I have the caps for this? The bullets? Should I upgrade my equipment before I go? In my first playthrough, I only bothered to upgrade my armor after doing the majority of the story. In survival mode, keeping your armor fully upgraded and your guns modded is crucial.

And it didn’t stop there. Drumlin Diner, a location on the road to Diamond city, has a scripted scene where you manage negotiations between a disgruntled parent and two drug dealers. On multiple occasions I was tempted to just walk past it, but that meant diverting from the road and missing out on a potential merchant. So I helped.

I passed by the Cambridge Police Station, where my Pip-Boy honed in on a radio distress signal by some Brotherhood of Steel members. But they were located in the city, and I could hear gunfire even from where I was in the plains on the opposite side of the river. So I kept walking.

As I approached Diamond City, I made the mistake of walking too close to two raiders, one of which I killed and other one I fled from. Rounding a corner, [CAUTION] in bright red letters at the top of my screen, I encountered a woman standing outside a building, begging for help, saying, “She’s hurt! Someone, please, help us!” And I kept walking.

Under my breath, a new, unprompted thought rose on my tongue. If you can’t make it out in the wasteland, you shouldn’t be here. I’ve got bigger problems.

By the time I got to Diamond City, I was hungry and thirsty, and at some point had been infected with Parasites, meaning I needed to eat much more often. Piper and McDonough were having a heated argument, but I found myself walking past, talking to Danny Sullivan instead. When Piper asked for my opinion on the press, again I thought, Is this really my business? Do I care? I need to find out if Diamond City had beds. I really don’t care. 

Because in all my hours of my first playthrough, I never once bothered to see if Diamond City had rentable beds. I knew they had a home, Home Plate, but seeing as I didn’t have the caps for that, it was out of the question. Even Takahashi’s rad-free noodles were an luxury I couldn’t afford. 

As I wandered around Diamond City, searching for a sleeping place, I encountered two different events I didn’t remember from my first playthrough. One, Mayor McDonough’s speech in front of the wall, in which he declares “I. Am not. A synth.” And two, a brutal murder in the market square, where a man accusing his brother of being a synth is shot. 

After that I discovered I could rent beds in the Dugout Inn, so I went to sleep.

It occurred to me, later on, that this is what Fallout really is. All the people so aghast and astonished by how you effortlessly mow down hundreds upon hundreds of enemies - they suddenly made so much more sense. Because in truth, no human being could do that. 

On my first playthrough, I didn’t pay much attention to the endless praise I received, from various questgivers amazed by my skills. But now I treasure that praise, because I fucking earned it. Yes, you’re right, I worked my ass off to get here, so now I’m going to have some motherfucking Bobrov moonshine, thank you. 

Not only have I found a new level of respect for NPCs and other characters who’ve made it so far in the wasteland, I’m surprised by my new callousness, and I wasn’t exactly a good person character to begin with, if you catch my drift. Human life is not a necessity, it’s an expense, priced in bullets and stimpacks. It seems (big shock) that being a good person is hard when doing so means putting your life on the line.

As a player, it’s not so grim, but it isn’t pleasant to have to relive twenty minutes of gameplay, shorter or longer depending on how recently you slept. Every move you make has to be careful, has to be calculated. Stealth now means so much more, because being discovered is almost a death sentence, and even every bullet you pick up must be considered, because now every bullet has weight. A small weight, but it adds up over time. This is worse when you’re low level and haven’t specialized in a weapon yet, meaning you have to carry a variety of guns on you at all times.

The next item on my agenda is to find Nick Valentine’s office, and rescue him from his captors. How that’ll go, I can only guess. (My guess is not very well.) I don’t know if what I’ve detailed here is any great revelation, but it gave me something to think about. If nothing else, Fallout 4′s survival mode made me take one of my favorite franchises, and appreciate it on a whole new level.

I can’t wait until I get to the Freedom Trail.