restored castles

4

Winter Celchu visiting the Castle Lands
Berta, Bridal Fall 2017

• EXCERPT FROM WINTER, THE QUEEN’S SHADOW BY DR. BRIGHT STARFELL •

“…The correspondence between Winter and Leia has always been abundant, still amount of letters that survived to this day is simply staggering. Even separated in their later years due their duties to New Republic and Crown of Alderaan respectively, Lady Chelchu proved to be constant presence in the Queen’s life if only through the letters exchanged between the two. Be as it may, the correspondence between the sisters gives us ab unique firsthand account of their relationship during their lifetimes. 

Then again Winter was a diligent correspondent, and many of her letters to various people did survive. She wrote frequently to her adopted parents until their death in 22 ABY and 27 ABY, those letters perhaps gave us the clearest insight into Winter’s life, since she trusted Bail and Breha with her thoughts,  feelings and fears more then anyone else. B
ut perhaps most interesting is Winter’s relationship with Leia’s children. I is well known that Lady Celchu doted on the three of them, but she had a special bond with the twins having been large presence in their early years…”

Carew Castle, Wales

The present castle, which replaced an earlier stone keep, is constructed almost entirely from the local Carboniferous limestone, except for some of the Tudor architectural features such as window frames, which are made from imported Cotswold stone. Although originally a Norman stronghold the castle maintains a mixture of architectural styles as modifications were made to the structure over successive centuries.

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The Falcon and the Wolf Part 2

Summary:  This is an AU where you and Dean have been separated by a terrible curse for over two years.  You’re banding together with some old friends and old enemies to bring down the person responsible in hopes of removing the curse.  If you missed Part 1 get caught up HERE.

Characters: AU!Dean x Reader, AU!Sam, AU!Crowley, AU!Gadreel, AU!John, AU!Charlie, AU!Abbadon, AU!Cas, AU!Metatron (mentioned), AU!Rowena (mentioned), AU!Kevin (mentioned), AU!Cain (mentioned), AU!Arthur (mentioned), AU!Jess (mentioned)

Word Count: 3592

Warnings: blink-and-you-miss-it smut (I don’t know either guys), canon typical angstishness?

A/N:  This is partly inspired by one of my favorite childhood movies Ladyhawke, though I’m taking it in a different direction.  This will be a multi-part series.  This is my first AU series, so feedback is very much appreciated!

Thanks to the fabulous beta @wheresthekillswitch, you are so wonderful! I don’t know what I’d do without you!

Thank you to the amazing @arryn-nyxx for the BEAUTIFUL aesthetic you created!  You capture a feeling with color, light and pictures that I can rarely find with words.

My tags are open so send me a message or an ask if you’d like to be added to the list!

Crowley moves out from the back of the cave.  His black scales make him hard to see but his eyes give him away.  Glowing green, they watch you as you move closer.

“We’ve been looking for you.“

“Well, you’ve found me,” he says turning to go deeper into the cave.

“Wait, we need your help.”

“My help?” he whips around, his huge face mere inches from yours.  “Why should I help you?  Like you helped me when I needed it?”

“I’m sorry, we should have…” you say backing away.

Crowley laughs flapping his huge black wings.  The wolf growls at your side, his hackles rising, as he steps in front of you.

“Shut up dog.  I’m just teasing.  Besides, it’s not so bad being a dragon.”

“Really?”

“Of course, it’s bad!” he roars and the smell of dead meat fills the cave.  “It’s awful!  Why do you think I’m holed up here?”

“That’s why we’re here,” Sam says stepping up next to you.  “We have a plan to get you back to your old self.”

“And just what is this plan?”

“First, we need some information from you,” you say.

“Darling, information doesn’t come cheap.”

Rolling your eyes, you raise your crossbow and squeeze as a bolt zips out, hitting Crowley in his front leg.

“Ow! Hey, that hurt!”

“I’m so sorry princess,” you say lowering your arm.

“Y/N!” Sam gives you a look.

“What?” you shrug.

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Fic: Give These Clay Feet Wings

Fandom: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Characters & Pairing: Lumière/Plumette, Mrs. Potts

Rating: PG

Word Count: 1000

Summary: The curse is broken, but the cursed still have to mend.

Author’s Note: I was nine when the animated Beauty and the Beast came out in 1991, and I’ve shipped Lumière and Plumette since before she had a name and when she was Babette on Broadway. The live-action version is my favorite depiction yet and I just had to write a little fic. Enjoy! (Or on AO3, if you prefer.)

Give These Clay Feet Wings

Down.

A word meaning the softest of feathers, but also a direction. The latter meaning the one in use as Plumette’s wings cease to fly.

She tries not fear as she falls into Lumière’s arms. For all his amorous declarations that she makes him weak, he has ever been her strength. The curse is stronger, though, and his light is fading. She won’t see it snuffed out entirely, if she turns inanimate first–one small mercy granted to her. His face, handsome even cast in bronze, will be her last sight before her eyes stop seeing.

If only it weren’t etched in sorrow…Plumette would dust it away, shine him up if she could, but her wings are unmovable ivory. The handle of a cleaning tool, elegant, but useless. Rubbish, like Cogsworth said.

Lumière holds her like something precious until she becomes an object to be set down, and forgotten.

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My thoughts on BatB 2017 - Part 2: The Ending

Part 1: The Songs | Part 2: The Ending | Part 3: The New Scenes | Part 4: What I Loved | Part 5: Things That Bothered Me


* MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD *

The Reunion/Transformation/Ending

I won’t lie to you, the final sequence was a bit of a letdown for me. I am sure I will warm up to it in time, but as it was…I just didn’t feel it was intense enough…romantic enough…satisfying enough…

The reunion scene in the original animated movie is so powerful and so damn romantic: the Beast climbs to reach Belle, her small hand almost disappears in his big clawed one, he strokes her hair, she relaxes under his touch and you can see that for one precious moment the entire world disappeares for them.

Originally posted by partofyourtaleasoldastime


The live-action version just doesn’t do it justice. I had a very clear idea of this scene: Belle running into Beast’s arms as soon as he gets to her, Gaston attacking him from behind, Belle saving the Beast’s life and dragging him to the balcony… I need to see the movie again to be sure but I didn’t get the feeling of love and urgency I have every time I watch the animated version. They didn’t even touch that much in the new movie? And there was no “Romeo and Juliet” moment which was a shame since the movie referenced the play several times.

I don’t know if I am happy with the fact that in the 2017 adaptation it’s the Enchantress who reverses the spell. The Beast dies, his servants turn into lifeless objects, the rose loses its last petal and then Belle says “I love you”. Witnessing her proclamation, the Enchantress restores the Beast to life and to his human form and as he and Belle kiss, the servants become human again and the castle is restored to its former glory: much like in the original movie. Still, with Belle admitting her love after the last petal fell, the Enchantress’s intervention felt too much like a deux ex machina to me.

It doesn’t help that Dan Stevens’s screen time after the transformation is way too short and his and Belle’s dialogue is limited to a very short exchange during their celebration dance when she teases him “How would you feel about growing a beard?” - to which he laughs (actually he gives almost a Beast-like growl, which is cute). It’s not a terrible line - unlike some other people I wouldn’t interpret it as “she tries to change him already” or something like that (which would be very ooc for Belle too, so she is joking). But it doesn’t fit the scene either. This was a perfect chance to reference some of their past dialogues, Belle could quote Shakespeare and the Prince could answer her, they could make plans to travel the world together, or she could ask his freaking name, but no, we get a teasing line regarding his appearance. Like I say, it’s not too terrible, it just feels flat. And hey, he’s still nameless, I am so fucking angry about that.

Cinderella’s prince gets a name in the new movie but one of the most iconic Disney characters remains simply “the Beast”? How fucking hard is it to finally make the name “Adam” canon?

Also, no second kiss and no swirling Belle around. Oh my gods, I am such a romantic thrash. But I did miss it.

The Hunter & The Huntress

Summary: Modern twist on a classic tale of Beauty & The Beast. In a small town in the middle of nowhere, Gaston (Luke Evans) and his team of hunters fight off beasts that roam near their home. They keep the towns people safe and maintain order, till one night a young girl goes missing in the woods.

They send search parties after search parties into the forest to find the girl, but with no luck. Over time, reports of other young woman to roll in and the town begins to panic.

Gaston and his team decided to go deeper into the forest than they have been before. They find themselves face to face with beasts they’ve never seen before. When Gaston loses more than half his team, he decides to reach out for help.

Word gets it a master hunter name Eric (Michael Fassbender) and he heads off to aid the town. He brings with him a team of skill hunters, including his two sons, Michael (Tom Hardy) and Gabriel (Jai Courtney) and his daughter Belle (Crystal Reed).

The townspeople, couldn’t believe a female hunter could exist. People begin to harass Belle and tease her that she was only good for bait. However, Gaston sees Belle for who she really is, a beautiful huntress. But he’s not the only one that takes notice, the beast now has his eyes set on Belle.

Can Gaston, Belle, and the hunters stop this beast rain of terror and retriever the missing girls? Or will the beast over power them and claim Belle for his own? Find out in, The Hunter & The Huntress.

(Banner created by me using canva.com. Transparency done by @wadeyourebarelyalive)

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Tale as old as time (A short Batb fanfic)

I’ve mentioned in a few of my Beauty and the Beast headcanon posts a headcanon in which Belle and Adam’s daughter and Lumière and Plumette’s children put on plays for the castle and the villagers. This cute little scene kept playing in my head so I thought I would write it out and share the fluff.

If you’re interested, my related headcanon posts are here, here and here.

Summary – Adam and the children put on a little play as a surprise for Belle’s birthday.

A/N – I hope you enjoy this silly little fanfic! Writing it made me happy at the very least. Ready? Alright! Here we go…

Originally posted by imwhe

It was a joyous evening at the castle. The dining room was alive with the sounds of friendly chatter as a crackling fire danced in the fireplace. Prince Adam had invited their closest friends from the village to the castle for a dinner party in celebration of Belle’s birthday. Plumette and Belle were having a lively literary discussion with Père Robert, while LeFou and Stanley laughed with the Potts family. At the end of the meal Lumière gave Adam a conspiratorial signal and a smile. Adam stood, clinking his glass for an announcement.

“I’d like to thank you all for coming tonight to celebrate my beautiful wife’s birthday. Now, if you would all kindly adjourn to the library, the princess and her friends have prepared a little entertainment for us tonight.”

“Entertainment?” Belle asked curiously, as they got up from the table.

Adam just smiled and offered her his arm. “You’ll see.”

As they made their way into the library, they found Lumière’s seven year old son, Soleil setting up a makeshift stage, his twin sister Luna sorting through a box of handmade props with Belle’s daughter Rosie. Chip was standing by patiently as the two girls used his lanky arms as a costume rack.

“Ah! Welcome madames and monsieurs! Welcome. Welcome. Come, come. Sit. Make yourselves comfortable. Help yourself to some cake madame!” Soleil greeted, wheeling over a cart of desserts to the adults as they seated themselves. “As you all know, I am Soleil. I will be your story teller for this evening. In honor of the lovely Madame Belle’s birthday, we would like to present you with a tale near and dear to all of our hearts. A tale as old as time, yet not so very long ago… Are we ready, mademoiselles?”

Rosie and Luna gave him a thumbs up from their “backstage” behind one of the couches.

“Très bien! Than it is without further ado that we present the tale of “Beauty and the Beast!””

Belle looked over at Adam as they applauded, her eyebrow raised inquisitively. He chuckled as he handed her a piece of cake.

“Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, a young prince lived in a shining castle” Soleil began. He offered Adam a hand up from the couch and led him out to the makeshift stage. Adam shot Belle a wink.

“Although he had everything, the prince was spoiled, selfish, and unkind. Then one winter’s night an old beggar woman came to the castle…” Soleil continued as Luna entered the stage in a hooded cloak. “And offered him a single rose in return for shelter from the bitter cold! Repulsed by her haggard appearance, the prince turned her away. But she warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for true beauty is found within. When the prince dismissed her again, she revealed that she was truly an enchantress! As punishment for his cruelty, she turned the prince into a beast and placed a spell on the castle and all who lived there…”

Chip held up finger puppet versions of the enchanted castle staff over the top of the couch, improvising a quiet falsetto chorus of reactions for them.

Luna tossed back her cloak, waving her fingers at him. “Uncle Highness, bend down.” She whispered. Adam bent over so that she could reach his head. She placed a fluffy hat on his head to turn him into the “beast.” Luna led Adam to the side of the stage, Adam playfully baring his teeth with a little “grr” at the crowd as he made his exit.

Belle glanced over to Plumette, doing her very best to control a laugh.

“Now the rose the enchantress had offered was truly an enchanted rose. If the prince could learn to love another, and earn their love in return before the last petal fell, the spell would be broken. As the years past the prince lost hope, for who could ever learn to love a beast? Well…” Soleil explained “As fate would have it, there was a certain young maiden of exceptional mind and heart living in a nearby village.”

Rosie entered the stage, her nose in a book.

“While the maiden was exceedingly beautiful and kind, her village thought she was incredibly strange because she loved to read. They were a simple minded people, lacking in imagination as well as literacy, which left the maiden feeling quite alone. She longed for adventure beyond her quiet provincial life and for someone who understood and shared her interests. This village was also home to the villain of our story, a brutish huntsman adored by the village for reasons unknown.”

Stanley began to raise his hand as if to volunteer. LeFou immediately pulled his arm down.

“That’s not funny.” He chided. Stanley grinned and shrugged in surrender.

Instead of calling for a volunteer from the audience, Soleil produced a red handkerchief from his pocket and began to tie it around his neck as he continued his narration.

“Now the huntsman was a vain sort of fellow –Narcissus himself didn’t enjoy his own reflection as much as this guy– and when he found himself taken by our fair maiden’s beauty, he vowed to make her his bride.”

Soleil puffed out his chest and sauntered over to Rosie.

“Mademoiselle it is time you get your head out of those silly books and focus your attention on more important things… Like being my wife!” He stated in an exaggerated macho voice, knocking the book from her hands.

“Ew, no!” Rosie said in disgust, picking up her book and walking away. This drew several chuckles from the crowd and an audible snort from Adam off stage.

Soleil removed his handkerchief and continued his narration “Unsurprisingly, the maiden had no interest in marrying the huntsman. Despite her many firm refusals, he would still persist in demanding her hand. While the huntsman sulked over her rejected, our heroine went in search for her missing father, who had not returned from his trip to the market the day before. She soon found herself in a mysterious castle, where her father was being held prisoner by a beast after attempting to pick a rose from the castle garden as a gift for her. Knowing her father would surely die if he stayed in the castle dungeon, the maiden took her father’s place as the beast’s prisoner. This beast of course was none other than our enchanted prince.”

Luna held up a sign from behind the couch that read “Ooooh!”

Adam entered the stage again to stand next to Rosie. They both crossed their arms, making silly, antagonistic faces at each other.

“The maiden and the beastly prince were off to a rough start. But as time passed, they found they had more in common than they realized. They soon became friends, and then perhaps something even more…”

Adam and Rosie allowed themselves to laugh at the silly faces they had been making. Adam took his daughter’s hands and began to dance with her. From behind the couch Chip made the finger puppet staff dance along the couch with them while Luna held up a sign that read “Awwwww!” producing a mix of “awwws” and laughter from the audience.

“While the maiden had finally found a kindred spirit in our enchanted prince, she missed her father terribly. They soon learned through the use of a magic mirror that her father was in great danger as the huntsman had taken him captive until he agreed to promise him his daughter’s hand in marriage. The beastly prince immediately granted the maiden her freedom so that she might save her father, even though he feared it meant losing her forever. The maiden tried to reason with her father’s captor, but they soon found the huntsman had riled an angry mob and was off to attack the castle!”

New puppet versions of an angry mob started marching across the back of the couch.

“The huntsman had come to slay our beastly hero, having learned the enchanted prince had gained the maiden’s affections when he could not!” Soleil explained, once again tying on the red handkerchief.  “There was a mighty duel!” Soleil began to scale one of the bookcase ladders to duel with Adam.

“When our beastly prince was distracted by the return of his love, the huntsman took a dirty shot and blasted the prince in the back. Pow!”

Adam pretended to stumble back and lay on the floor.

“But the castle’s enchantment was causing it to crumble, and the huntsman soon fell to his doom! Aaaaaah!…” Soleil jumped off the ladder to the floor.

Rosie knelt by Adam as he lay on the floor doing his best not to smile. “I love you.” She said sweetly and kissed his forehead.

Soleil undid his handkerchief as he concluded his narration “With the maiden’s declaration of love coming as the last rose petal fell, the enchantress returned and lifted her curse!” Luna danced in and started tossing rose petals and confetti around them. Adam stood up and removed his beast hat, picking up Rosie and twirling her around happily. Then setting her down, he walked to Belle, adding to the narration.

“With the spell broken and their humanity restored, the castle celebrated for weeks on end. The prince and the maiden were wed. And…”

Belle smiled as Adam took her hand and brought her to stand with him. “And they lived happily ever after.” She finished.

The couple smiled at each other as their friends cheered, the children taking their bows. Rosie came and joined them, hugging her mother.

“Did you like our show?” she asked.

“I think it might be my new favorite play.” Belle replied with a smile.

“I told you this would win out over Romeo and Juliet.” Adam congratulated his daughter.

Belle crinkled her nose at his playful ribbing, but couldn’t help but smile. “Happy Birthday, Belle.” Adam said, kissing Belle’s hand.

Turning to their friends, he added “Who wants more cake?”

That’s How a Moment Lasts Forever - Post-BatB Oneshot

“Grandfather?”

“Mmm?”

“Why do you keep so many tea sets?”

The old man chuckled, leaning back in his armchair as he watched his littlest grandchild.  While her two older siblings had chosen to play outside in the snow, she stared at his bookcase, which, instead of being filled with books, was lined with teapots and teacups made of wood, porcelain, and china.

“Well, you know your father’s a potter; he gives me the ones that no one wants.”

“But do you even use them?” the girl asked.  “They’ve got chips and cracks in them.  They wouldn’t make good tea.”

“You are definitely your mother’s daughter,” the old man replied.  “I suppose…I keep them because they deserve a home, a place to belong.”

The girl raised her eyebrows.  “You make it sound like they’re alive.”

“Well…” The old man’s voice took on a spooky tone.  “Sometimes they talk to me at night.”

The girl laughed. “No they don’t!”

“No, they don’t,” he agreed, laughing in return.  “But can’t an old man have his hobbies?  I like antiques!  I’m a collector, always have been!  You see that?” He pointed at a tiny, intricately decorated box on the mantel above the fireplace.  “It plays a lullaby if you open it. The king’s grandfather made that for me when I was a boy.”

“Really?” The tea sets were momentarily forgotten as the little girl ran over to the mantel and seized the box in her hands.  

“Careful!” The man raised a gnarled hand, but there was no need; the girl set the box down with the utmost care.  She lifted open the box, revealing a tiny, incredibly detailed replica of a rose.  The rest of the inside was gold and cornflower blue, with a castle painted on the inside of the lid.  She located the winding handle on the side, and with a nod from her grandfather, wound it up and let it play.

At once, a little melody, strong but sweet, began to emit from the box, causing the rose to rotate slowly in place.  The girl sat, entranced by the box, while the man closed his eyes and hummed along.

“You won’t find a box like that anywhere else,” he finally said.  “That’s why it’s special.”

The girl waited until the last notes faded away, then looked up at her grandfather to ask him a question.  But what she saw startled her into concern rather than curiosity.

“You’re crying, Grandfather!”  She rushed forward, drawing out her handkerchief to wipe his tears away.  The song was beautiful, yes, but it wasn’t a song that should be cried over!

“Ah, well…” He smiled and let her wipe away his tears.  “You are very kind.  My mother used to sing that song for me.”  He didn’t need to say the rest.  

“Oh,” the girl whispered.  “I’m sorry.”

“You didn’t know,” the old man reassured her, smiling.  “Besides, I let that old box play every day, and you don’t see me crying all the time, do you?”

“No,” the girl answered, grinning.  “You’re very cheerful.”

“Well that’s good,” he exclaimed.  “I’m glad I didn’t grow up to be an old grump like my father did.”

They sat in silence for a few more minutes; she admiring the music box, and he gazing at the tea sets in the bookcase that he kept so well polished that the imperfections shone in the light.

“Do you want to know the real reasons behind the tea sets?” he asked suddenly, waking the girl from her short-lived reverie.  “Why I look after them like I do?  You have to promise not to laugh or walk away.”

The little one shrugged, but sidled up to her grandfather’s armchair.  “Okay.  Tell me.”

“Do you promise not to laugh?”

“I promise.” Her eyes gazed up at him, wide and trusting.

“It’s because I used to be one myself.”

The girl sat there, eyes wide, lips parted slightly in surprise.  She wanted to ask if it was a joke, but the old man looked completely serious.  And she was just at that age where she was learning to take care of herself, but still young enough to believe in fairy stories, if they were spun the right way.

“How?”

The old man’s lips curled into a real, genuine smile, one that only children would understand.  “Magic.”

“What happened?” the girl’s voice was barely a whisper.

“Well…sit back a little, and I’ll tell you,” the man replied.  “I was your age when this story took place.  It started with a spoiled prince, an old enchantress, and a young farm girl who saved us all…”


“You used to work at the castle?” the girl said after he had finished his tale.

“Well, it was mostly my mother; she was the head housekeeper.  I followed in the steps of my father, became a potter, and when I had your father, I taught him as well.  Hopefully your older siblings will carry on the family business for me.”

“I bet they will.”  The girl slumped in her chair.  But soon she straightened up again.  “Was the queen really an inventor?”

“Best in the world,” he replied.  “She’s the reason why you have a fountain behind your house for laundry.”

“Is the Enchantress still alive?”

“I have no idea. Probably.”

“Were the musicians really world-famous?”

“Of course they were.  Why would they lie?”

“Maybe to gain favor with the prince.”

“No, they’ve been in the paper before.  I have clippings, if you’re really that skeptical.”

“Wow…” For a moment she was lost in her own daydreams of what it would be like living with famous people.  But then another thought stole her mind away.  “Could Plumette really fly? Like a bird?”

“Even after the curse she could float for a while, if she wanted to.”

“And Lumiere?”

“What do you want me to say about him?  The man was an eccentric old codger right up until the day he…”  The man paused for a moment, lost in the past.  “Until he died.”

The girl pondered the word in silence, while the other sat in his armchair, thinking of times and thoughts that his granddaughter would never understand, no matter how much she listened, or how much she learned.  She would never learn to appreciate time as he had, especially now, after all these years.  And he was the last one, the one given the most time to contemplate what had happened.  Everyone else had already passed on.  

Sometimes, they would come to him in his dreams, as young as he remembered them that day: newly human and full of happiness.  Lumiere would ask him how old age was treating him, Chapeau would clap him on the back and comment on his family, his mother would wrap her arms around him and tell him how proud she was of him.  How proud they all were of him.

But Cogsworth always told him the time, how time was running out.  Tick-tock, there’s not much time left.  And though he always asked what Cogsworth meant, the old majordomo never explained himself, only kept repeating the same thing over and over again.  Even now, Cogsworth was still as incessant as a real clock.

And yet…though he had time well-spent…it never seemed like enough.  Well, not until now, as his youngest grandchild sat next to him, visions of magic and curses dancing in her head, the very age he was when the curse was cast.  Filled with the wonder of a story that would die with him.

“I have a special task for you, little one,” he murmured, and the girl’s eyes lit up.

“What is it?” she asked.  “Whatever it is, I’ll do it.”

“Don’t forget the story I’ve told you today.  Not a single word of it.  Write it down somewhere, make it a book.  And tell your grandchildren.  And have them tell theirs.”

“All right,” the child said.  “Is it that important?”

“I don’t want anyone to forget them,” he continued.  “They taught me a lesson; I am sure they will teach others too.  You’ve probably been told that nothing lasts forever, haven’t you?”

“That’s right,” she said.  “Mother told me that.”

“Well…this story only happened in a moment, out of all the time in the world.  And when I die, the days I’ve lived will disappear.  But now that I’ve told you, you can tell other people, and those people can tell other people, and the story will last longer than any of us.”

He wasn’t much of a storyteller at this age, but he could do this much for his family.  He didn’t live his whole life just to die without people really knowing what happened all those years ago.  It wasn’t just some curse; lessons were learned, and love was restored to the castle.  

“Okay.  I promise I’ll do it.  And my children will do it too.”  

Chip smiled and closed his eyes.  He could picture them now, in the castle, carrying out their duties, royalty and service alike.  Some would call them ordinary, but to him they were the most important people in the world.  They didn’t deserve to be fleeting.  They deserved to live on.  Through story, through song, through legend.

That’s how a moment lasts forever…when our song lives on.

7

Haunting beauty at the Wakayama WWII memorial below the shadow of the restored Wakayama Castle. 39,000 Japanese citizens and soldiers lost their lives in WWII from the town of Wakayama alone. 🗾🏯⛩🙏🏻🌸

Disrespectful comments of any kind will be met with the full force of the ban-hammer.

A Raven Came

For Feb 1 Valentine’s Day: First Kiss. For @jonxsansafanfiction 😊
Not sure if this ties in with the theme of the day but what the hell *grabs this from inside the trash can* so here goes.
This is show verse, what happens after S6x10. Maybe S6x13 or something.
Well, a girl can dream, right….
********

Sansa stared long and hard at the scroll, so hard till the words became a blur – it could not be. Was he protecting him? Even from Mother? Why did Father keep it a secret?

There were questions even Sansa’s keen mind could not comprehend. She didn’t know what to believe now, that Bran was alive and well or that Jon wasn’t whom everyone thought he was.

And she wondered what would happen if one day, everyone knew about Jon’s real heritage, what would she do then? What would be of Winterfell then? Both Jon and Sansa fought hard to reclaim their beloved home; Jon almost died and many had fallen in aiding their quest. Little did they know, they were pledging their allegiance to a King that didn’t belong in the North, by his birthright. He belonged on the Iron Throne.

Sansa leaned back on her chair and let out a deep sigh that made her body tremble slightly. She looked around her in the Lord’s chambers and noticed it was almost dusk. Sansa remembered that Jon would be returning soon from his hunt. Winter had already made its presence felt, after the deluge of snow that greeted Winterfell’s grounds that morning. Food was running scarce and there were people, wildfolk and commoners, Knights and squires; men, women and children to feed and look after. Jon and the Lords of the Northern Houses have agreed to a pact to share their resources so no one in the North would go cold and hungry. If Lord Cerywn words rang true, it would be a fierce and long winter they would have to endure.

Sansa had to give the message to Jon. After all, it was meant for him. Sansa didn’t trust anyone enough to hold on to the scroll when it was handed to her from Ser Davos. Jon may have his unyielding trust in him but Sansa didn’t. Nothing wrong with the old man, in fact he was a pleasant man, Sansa just needed some semblance of control in her life lately. She was indeed Lady of Winterfell, she decided it was time to act like one.

“Brienne.” Sansa called out for Brienne to enter.

“My Lady,” Brienne stepped in from her post at the door and nodded. Sansa smiled at the lady knight, her knight in shining armour. If it wasn’t for Brienne, Sansa would have been food for Ramsay’s wretched hounds. Sansa had no desire to further burden her sworn guard and sword, deciding that Brienne deserved some rest and respite tonight and the day after. Besides, Jon would keep her company. They would need to have a long talk tonight. There was much to discuss.

“Please let Jon know to come meet me here when he returns from his hunt. I need to have a word with him.” Brienne nodded at Sansa’s instruction.

“Would he be required to know what it is about, my Lady? If he asks.”
Sansa glanced again at the broken seal of the scroll that laid on her desk.

“Tell him, a raven came. From Castle Black. It’s.. A family matter,” Sansa paused to find the words without sounding too strange for Brienne to notice. She had astute powers of observation and Sansa didn’t want to cause unnecessary worry or unwanted attention.

“Yes, my Lady.” Sansa watched the door close behind Brienne and called out to her again, Sansa had almost forgotten.

“Oh and Brienne, why don’t you and Podrick take a rest tonight and tomorrow. Jon will be here with me. I trust him to look after me while you rest,” Sansa smiled as Brienne paused at the door. With a nod of approval, Brienne went out in search of Jon. It would be good to get some rest, perhaps run a hot bath to soothe her aching muscles. Brienne was sure Podrick would appreciate an evening on his own as well. The battle took place almost two moons past, since then it had been nothing but rebuilding and restoring the deteriorating castle and its grounds. Hard work she had been accustomed to but she was after all, human.

The sound of hooves and neighs Sansa heard from a distance signalled Jon’s return. Sansa felt her heart skip a beat and butterflies in her stomach. It was strange that she felt that. Sansa shook off her nerves before it got the better of her. She waited for Jon to come to her and in her mind, prepared her heart in telling Jon of the news she had for him. The hard knock on her door came sooner than expected, perhaps Brienne had been at the gates the moment he arrived.

“Sansa, you wanted to speak with me?” Jon peered in as he opened the door slightly. Sansa nodded for him to step in. She noticed the snowflakes in his hair and his reddened cheeks. Must have been quite the hunt.

“Jon, come sit with me.” Sansa pointed to the armchairs facing the fireplace. She still needed time to reveal properly what she knew. Jon walked to one of them and leaned back on the chair he was sitting on. It felt a little strange stepping into Father’s room as Jon observed his surroundings. His eyes fell on Sansa who was seated opposite of him, looking solemn and holding a scroll. Sansa’s eyes were downcast, Jon was curious as to why she did, Sansa had always been quite forward and been usually herself with him. Something was different, something had happened. Whatever it was, it was in that scroll. Jon inhaled deeply and leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees, hands tightly clenched in anticipation.

“Jon… A raven came. From Castle Black. I saw the seal. I don’t know how else to tell you but before you read it, please remember Father. And his words to you. And again I am so sorry for whatever I’ve said or done to you in the past. I know you’ll forgive me but it means even more to me now.”

Jon’s hands clenched even tighter, and took the scroll from Sansa as she handed it to him.

Sansa watched Jon as he read it, trying to decipher what was going through Jon’s mind as his eyes moved to read the words, line by line. He stopped and stared at it. Jon’s eyes were wide as he glanced at Sansa, probably looking for answers. He was in disbelief. Shock couldn’t even describe what he felt. Sansa felt sorry as Jon dropped his head into his hands.

“Jon.. Jon! Talk to me please… I’m sorry you had to find out like this. But like Bran said… There isn’t much time…”

“Bran’s alive? Sansa we have to get him back, to come home. Do you know what this means? And about..” Jon couldn’t bring himself to say it. Sansa’s bright blue eyes were now intently on him, as if waiting for him to say it.

“Jon, Father protected you. He didn’t want others to know who you were… Who your mother was. And that means.. You’re not a bastard. We’re family. We’re cousins, Jon..” Sansa stopped as she watched Jon leap to his feet. He was pacing back and forth now, the scroll still clutched in his hands.

“No, no! I am the blood of Ned Stark! He was our father! I am no Targaryen! Those murderers are not part of me… No Sansa! It can’t be..” Jon’s distraught voice bellowed through the chambers and almost shook Sansa to her core. Sansa wasn’t prepared for this, much like Jon. Jon dropped to his knees and keeled over, his body heaving and wracked with sobs. After all they had been through, Jon and Sansa could not stand another blow. Jon went silent as he looked up and faced Sansa. Sansa’s heart almost broke as she saw his tears and the agony that overtook him. She felt her own tears forming and delicately rolled down her cheek.

“Sansa, please tell me, that this is not true. That this was just an impostor. Why did you have to give me this? Sansa, please I can’t…” Jon’s quivering voice gave way to crying. Jon cried on Sansa’s lap, the only comfort she could give him. Sansa stroked his curls gently as she wiped away her own tears.

“But Jon.. You needed to know. I’m so happy that Bran is alive, we can take relief in that at least. Jon, please look at me.. We need to stay strong together. Please don’t give up now, Jon.. Please Jon. I-I need you… I don’t have anyone else but you,” Sansa pleaded with Jon as he slowly looked up at her with teary red eyes, her hands cupping his bearded face. Sansa was crying with him. It pained him to see her cry. Jon closed his eyes for a second and inhaled deeply. He was still King in the North. And he was still family after all. Sansa gave Jon a soft smile as she tucked away a stray curl from his face. Jon took whatever that was left in him to calm himself. Sansa wished she could do more for him. There were so many feelings that went through her very being, but one thing she knew she had to do was be there for him and hold him. After all, she was the one who gave him the scroll. Sansa’s arms went around him in a tight embrace that almost immediately soothed his nerves. Her skin smelled of lavender and lemon, so familiar and comforting. True enough there were only them now. Jon held on to Sansa for as long as he could. She was a balm to the sting that pierced through his core.

Sansa never felt relief like the one that washed over her as she embraced Jon. The truth was a painful one but liberating. At least for her. Father was still an honourable man, there was no blemish upon the Stark name like it had been before. Sansa couldn’t help but feel proud of Father and Jon. She felt happy for Jon too, now that he had finally known who his mother was. There were so many things that raced through her mind.

Jon pulled away and looked into Sansa’s calm blue eyes. She was right, they only had each other for that moment, for now. And he had to make the best of it.

“Am I still your King?” Jon quietly wondered out loud. Sansa wasn’t sure what came over her, overwhelmed by affections and emotions, or perhaps it was a reciprocating gesture on her part – that she bowed her head slightly and kissed Jon on his lips. Her lips lingered even though she felt Jon slightly jerk away, no doubt that he was taken aback by her actions. Sansa didn’t know why she didn’t let go, she had never felt like that with anyone. It was a first for her. But a second later, she felt Jon lean into her kiss, his lips were soft and smooth and Sansa’s lips parted slightly as she took in a breath. It came out as a whimper. Jon pulled away, confused as his eyes questioned hers. Jon couldn’t deny a slight stirring rising up within him.

Sansa covered her mouth and looked away, embarrassed by what she had done.

“Sansa.. I’m sorry… I don’t.. I don’t understand,” Jon stammered as he tried to make sense of what had just occurred. It was becoming a very confusing evening for him. Sansa’s eyes didn’t dare to look upon him as he questioned her. All she could do was shrug.

“I’m sorry Jon.. I just felt so happy for you, for Father now that we know the truth. I just… I was just glad that you’re here safe with me, that we’re together,” Sansa tried her best to explain. It was true, she was extremely relieved that they were together, both of them rebuilding Winterfell together and hoping that one day Bran and Arya, wherever she was, would return to.

Jon didn’t say a word as he gazed into her eyes, he understood completely what she had meant. He understood when she said she was overcome by her emotions, Jon felt the same, overwhelmed like she was. Although the touch of her lips on his, set off something in him that exploded within. He had a hunger, a need he didn’t think would ever surface again. Jon was overcome by something else entirely as he crashed his lips onto a surprised Sansa, fiercely parting her lips with his tongue in search of hers. May the gods forgive him or banish him to hell, but all he craved was a woman’s touch.

And Sansa tasted perfect in every way, in ways he never thought possible.

7

Torwood Castle Revisit.

Second visit here, according to a date stone found in a nearby ditch in 1918, Torwood Castle was built in 1566.  In 1957 the castle was bought by a Glaswegian accountant, Gordon Millar, who set about restoring it over the following 40 years, until his death in 1998. Although he did a lot of good work in stabilising the stonework, unfortunately he also made some questionable alterations to the castle, including a concrete reconstruction of the main staircase, and the use of cement-based mortars. It is now owned by the Torwood Castle Trust, set up as a charity with the aim of restoring the castle. 

It is now a category A listed building which outs is in a class of national or international importance, either architectural or historic. 

Any further restoration has to be passed by the local authorities who consult with  Historic Environment Scotland, which used to be called Historic Scotland. 

I want twins who are separated when sorted.

I know it’s been done, but hear me out.

After the Battle of Hogwarts and restorations of the castle are done, there are still the stereotypical prejudice of the Slytherin house.

There’s a pair of twin sisters who are waiting in line to be sorted, one with an unreadable mask who doesn’t talk to anyone besides her sister named Arya and the other with a nervous smile talking amongst her peers and laughing with everyone named Adrianna.

Both knows about the War and also know about the remaining prejudices for a certain house, they can feel the tension in the air.

Adrianna is the first to be sorted and was sorted into Hufflepuff, which everyone kind of expects since she was so bubbly and easy to talk to. She just bounces off the stool and heads for her table.

Arya is next and to everyone’s surprise she is sorted into Slytherin. The hall goes silent, then there was the whispering. Arya just quietly walks to the Slytherin table and ignores the other houses.

Weeks after the sorting, the sisters still get along just fine. They always find time to study together. But then little Adrianna starts noticing marks on her sister. She asks about it, but is always told that it was due to being clumsy and falling a lot.

One afternoon, Adrianna was on her way to the library to meet up with her sister and overhears some students in an empty corridor. When she peeks around the corner, she sees four upperclassmen picking on a first year. Upon closer inspection she sees that the first year is Arya, looking like a terrified trapped animal.

Adrianna flips her shit. She starts attacking the four bullies, sending hexes at each one. She doesn’t stop with the hexes, she keeps going and gets more physical. Next thing you know, all four bullies were in the hospital wing, a couple with bruises here and there, the others with broken bones.

When McGonagall tries to reprimand her, she claims she’s only done it in self defense. She pulls an innocent act out as well and starts crying, snot coming out of her nose. It wasn’t pretty. McGonnagall just lets her off with a warning and a letter to their parents.

The next day, there was buzz going around the Dining Hall about what happened. The four students were patched up and eating at their tables, but they don’t talk about what happened. They just keep saying things like “She’s a monster,"or "Pleas I don’t want to get hurt again.” The other students immediate thought was Arya was behind injuries.

Both sisters, enter the dining hall and acted as if nothing happened. The four bullies didn’t even look up from their plates. Adrianna casually says good morning to one of them and all four just shrink in fear.

Adrianna just kisses her sister on the cheek and they both go to their house tables. All eyes are on the Slytherin table staring at Arya, either in fear or in awe.

The morning mail comes in and both sister received a howler.

Arya’s receives hers first. The students leaned closer in anticipation, and it goes off. They hear her fathers calm voice first, telling her how he is sorry with what she was going through and that they love her no matter what house she’s in. A voice in the back can be heard, her mother’s yelling from the howler now, with how she was gonna be there as soon as they can to deal with the bullies.

Adrianna goes off next, it’s of their father thanking her for taking care of her sister and of how he is proud of the both of them. Then he goes on and says that breaking their bones seemed a little excessive, but then gets cut off from her mother yelling that she should of broken their necks and she was cut off from her father before she can go on. The howler then apologizes to McGonagall and wishes her and the rest of the teachers good luck.

When the howlers end the entire dining hall just stares slacked jaw at Adrianna. She just smiles sweetly then begins to eat her food.

At the Slytherin table, someone asks Arya what happened she just shrugs and casually says “I’m the shy one who got their fathers eyes and mothers face, while Adrianna was the bubbly one who got her fathers hair and mothers temper.” She then continues with “Father warned them about something like this.”

She then gets asked about their parents odd positive reaction to the entire situation, to which she replies “I think my father is just happy no one died. My mom probably thinks those four got off easy. My mother and sister do get a bit overprotective and also tend to go too far sometimes.”

The entire hall was listening in on the conversation and just stared at Adrianna, who was eating her second treacle tart and humming an unknown tune smiling at nothing. Arya catches her eye and she smiles even wider, waves at her sister, then goes back to what was doing.

The Slytherin first years stick as close as they can to Arya because nobody in their right mind would try to pick a fight with her, not if they want to face her sisters wrath.

Lohort Castle, Cork, Ireland

Lohort Castle was built around 1496 by Donogh Og McDonagh McCarthy. The castle was taken by the Irish forces during the Civil War. One of the bloodiest battles of the English Civil War took place on the grounds of Lohort Castle in in 1647 when over 4,500 men were killed in battle. Lohort was bombarded by Oliver Cromwell’s troops in 1650 and captured, but the castle withstood the cannon fire due to the immense strength of its 10 foot thick walls.

The castle as it now stands was rebuilt around 1750 by Sir John Percival, the Earl Of Egmont, and the Percivals lived there until the 20th century when it was burned down by the IRA in 1922. Some of the fireplaces from nearby Kanturk Castle appear to have been relocated to Lohort Castle - this was probably done when Lohort Castle was restored in the 18th century.

This historic castle is an impressive five story fortified tower with rounded corners, standing over 80 feet tall. The massive walls are 10 feet thick at the base, narrowing to six feet. Around the top story there is a machicolated parapet that runs unbroken apart for a short section on the eastern side. There used to be a deep moat around the castle with a drawbridge. The castle grounds cover more than 100 acres.

The castle is near Cecilstown in County Cork, Ireland.

More on Castle Lohort (Official Website)