At eighteen you form a telepathic connection with your soulmate.
At the age of eighteen, everyone hears their soulmate’s thoughts for the first time. It’s a simple connection that helps you find the other person, or at least figure out who the person is if you already happen to know them. It’s something that everyone waits with baited breath for; finding out who they’re destined to spend their life with. It doesn’t happen immediately on your eighteenth birthday of course, but somewhere within your eighteenth year. You remember when your cousin first heard her soulmate’s voice; she had been visiting at your house and halfway through dinner she gasped and dropped her fork. Your mom worriedly reached a hand out and asked if she was okay, and your cousin just looked up with a smile and tears in her eyes.
You turned eighteen a few months ago and so far it’d just been silence. You were getting a little antsy, but you knew that it’d happen soon enough. Maybe not this soon, though. You were trying your hardest to go over your notes for a big exam the next morning. It was almost midnight and you just couldn’t get the information down. Your own scribbled handwriting was glaring up at you, and you felt hatred for the lines of purple ink on the page. Why couldn’t you have done a better job at getting down the information from class? You wanted to scream, but you also didn’t want to wake up everyone within a 50-mile radius, so you tried your best to keep the scream on the inside. It turns out that someone had heard you even still, though.
“Nǐ hái hǎo ma?” a small voice asked somewhere in the back of your mind. Your eyes popped open and you sat up straight. Could that really have been what you thought it was? Was that…your soulmate? You focused as hard as you could to try and reach out into the spirit-net and say something back.
“Hello? Are you there?” you all but whispered to yourself, thinking it as hard as possible.
“Ó, wǒ de shàngdì” the low voice replied. Oh, well, shit. Okay. Yep. Definitely your soulmate. And that definitely was not a language you understood.
“Do you know English?” you asked him carefully. There was a long period of silence. You bit your lip and fiddled with the pen in your hands as you waited for him to say anything. The second hand moved all the way around the clock on your wall three times before you heard him reply.
“He…llo. My…name is Junhui.” the voice struggled to say. “I speak…no English, I live from China.” Oh god. Your soulmate was Chinese. You could feel your heart beat a mile a minute in your chest. This was going to make things a lot harder. God, what did you know how to say in Chinese? You knew how to say hello in Mandarin. You prayed he didn’t speak exclusively Cantonese, because then you’d be screwed.
“Nǐ hǎo, Junhui” you thought back to him, quickly grabbing your phone to get to google translate something as fast as possible. Your fingers flew across the keyboard, and you tried your best to read the romanization of the complex characters that popped up. “Wǒ de…míngzì shì…Y/N. Wǒ bù shuō…….zhōngwén” (My name is Y/N. I don’t speak Chinese). You hoped that had been understandable.
You stayed up way too late that night having completely forgotten about the exam you needed to be studying for, but instead having a slow, broken conversation with Jun through clunky google translated phrases. You learned that he liked acting, singing, and martial arts. You tried your best to tell him about yourself, but you eventually fell asleep as the sun began peeking through your window.
You got a less than stellar grade on the exam the next morning, but you’re not even phased as you race to the bookstore to buy as many beginner’s Chinese textbooks as you could afford. You spent the next year studying as much as you could, and Jun was doing the same thing with English. You loved hearing him excitedly thinking about a new English phrase he had learned that day. You managed to grow close with one another; mentally, of course. You still lived in totally different countries, but that would change soon. After a long year of sharing thoughts, dreams, and songs stuck in your head with each other, you finally were able to communicate well enough to set up a meeting.
You twiddled your thumbs at the airport, waiting in front of the arrival gate and trying to remember to breathe. He had gotten a direct flight from the Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport, meaning he’d be pretty tired. You didn’t want to overwhelm him, but you were also dying to meet him. You looked through the crowd of people walking towards the baggage claim, scanning each face worriedly.
“Where are you?” you thought to him, shifting your weight from foot to foot anxiously.
“Turn around.” you heard much louder and clearer than usual. You whipped your head around, and there he was. Tall, golden, and beautiful; your Jun. His mop of dark hair was swooped to the side, and he was wearing a big sweatshirt that spanned over his broad shoulders. You couldn’t believe your eyes. After all this time he was right there and you couldn’t even process it. He seemed to be drinking the sight of you in just as deeply, and the rest of the world seemed to fade away to the two of you.
“Wow,” somebody thought. You weren’t entirely sure which one of you had thought it, but it represented your feelings just the same. You finally broke out of it, throwing your arms around him.
“Zuìhòu,” you whispered into the soft material of his hoodie. He hummed into your hair, gripping you just as tight.
“Mmhmm. At last.” he murmured back. The sound of his voice was so much more satisfying than the sound of this thoughts. It sounded deep, warm, and so much like home.
Does net neutrality have anything to do with streaming limits? For example if you want more than X Gb of streaming you must pay more?
The FCC’s 2015 net neutrality rules didn’t ban data caps (including for streaming services), but it allowed the Commission to review specific plans on a case-by-case basis if it looked like they were being used in a way that violated net neutrality principles. The rules focused principally on banning Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from engaging in throttling, blocking, and paid prioritization. These rules more colloquially forbid the creation of “fast and slow lanes,” which means packets of data from all websites are treated equally. ISPs can still charge users for the amount of data they use. Net neutrality is really about ensuring that Internet users get to decide how they use the bandwidth they’re paying for; ISPs shouldn’t be permitted to block access to certain websites just because those websites didn’t pay the ISP a toll.
One of the more controversial parts of the 2015 net neutrality rules is the treatment of so-called “zero-rating” plans. Zero-rating is the practice of not counting certain websites or applications toward a user’s overall data cap. These programs are controversial because zero-rating arguably violates the spirit of net neutrality by distorting competitive markets. Just as we don’t want rich companies to get a leg up simply because they can pay for faster access to end users, they shouldn’t get a competitive advantage over startups simply because they can pay to exempt their services from data caps.
Stop. Pause your scrolling. Wait. I have a thing for you.
Actual Mummy Newt.
That’s it. Resume scrolling if you want, but know that I’ll be judging you - Graves will be judging you, because actual Mummy Newt is the most adorable thing in all of creation and if you hurt his feelings by ignoring him then Graves will have to eviscerate you. He won’t want to do it. It’ll make him sad. But he’ll do it.
Now how, you might ask, does Newt evolve into Actual Mummy Newt? Like this:
There’s a girl. The girl is desperate, the girl is scared, but the girl saw Newt save a Jengu spirit from a hunter’s net on the river banks and she thinks - she hopes - that he will be kind. She tucks her baby’s blankets more tightly around her and kisses her tiny fingers and says goodbye, and she leaves the baby on the doorstep of the tiny hut. She retreats - but not far, because there are wild dogs and wild cats and she is determined to see her baby safe - and waits.
The door opens. A man peers out, cautious, wand raised. Her breath stutters to a halt and her heart freezes in her chest, because it isn’t Newt, it isn’t the kind man - it’s Graves. Graves stalks around glaring balefully at the world and it’s easy to mistake him for an angry man. The girl knows angry men. She readies herself to move forwards, to take her daughter and run, to forget this plan and ignore the better future she hoped her daughter would have -
Graves picks the baby up, gently, nervously, as though she were something precious and fragile. His face, when he looks at her, is blank; when he looks up and sees through the girl’s pitiful illusens, there is sorrow and fury and careful understanding in his gaze. Remember, Graves was an auror because he wanted to protect people. Remember, Graves was an auror who saw all the things people needed protecting from. He makes to step forwards, baby cradled in his arms, to say something, perhaps - the girl vanishes. Her heart pounds and she’s crying and that’s it, that’s goodbye, she’s done everything she can do.
(It’s not goodbye. It’s only until later, and later is sixteen years away when the girl - the woman - holds her daughter close and presses desperate kisses into her curly hair and smooths her hands over her perfect face. In the background the man she thought was kind and the man she thought was angry stand to the side and smile. The woman will be crying then, when she says goodbye for the second time, but they will be different tears and a different goodbye and her daughter will turn around and say I’ll write, mama, and I’ll bring you photos next time to show you where I’ve been.)
But that is then and this is now, and now Graves goes down the ladder one careful step at a time and stares at the bundle held against his chest. Tiny grey eyes and tiny snuffling nose and tiny dark eyelashes blinking against tiny dark cheeks - she’s tiny.
“We’ll take her to Nairobi,” he tells Newt. “They’ll have an orphanage there, or a family who can take her in.”
Newt lays her down on his lap - she’s no longer than his thigh, she fits in like she’s made to be there and curls her legs against his stomach - and runs gentle fingers over the fluff on her head. “We can’t apparate with a baby,” he says. “It’ll be slow - a month, maybe?” The baby sneezes and Newt waves his fingers at her, distracting her while he wipes the bubbles of milk-spit away.
“It takes as long as it takes,” Graves says, and maybe he honestly deludes himself into thinking that will only be a month.
Because. That month.
The baby is two weeks old, or thereabouts. She can’t see, not really - she scowls at the world as it fails to come into focus and Graves scowls right back and makes Newt laugh. She can smell though, and for the first few nights she is miserable and howling because she can smell that her mother is gone; she tugs at the cloth of Newt’s shirt and scrabbles for milk that he doesn’t have and she wriggles against a hold that isn’t the right hold and she screams.
Newt bounces her and talks to her, always talks to her non stop nonsense words, and waits for her to get used to him. He mixes four different kinds of milk to make the best substitute he can (and sends Graves out among the habitats to collect them) and feeds it to her with a careful diligence while Graves hovers and worries about it being the right temperature. When she fusses and squalls, Newt rubs her back until burps and makes a face as he cleans away the excess milk.
There are a lot of cleaning charms involved. Babies make a lot of mess. Newt switches into old clothes, comfy clothes, over-large button shirts with the sleeves rolled up soft cardigans that he can wrap around the baby like a blanket and hug her against his chest. He bounces her and he babbles to her and he coos in delight when she looks at him and smiles, even though he knows it doesn’t mean anything at that age. He gets up in the middle of the night and shambles over to the cot on the other side of the room and stifles a yawn as he picks her up and tries to convince her to tell him what’s wrong.
“She’s a baby,” Graves grumps from where he’s trying to osmose through the sheets and become one with the mattress. “She can’t tell you what’s wrong. She doesn’t speak English, she speaks loud.”
Graves’ reply contains several swear words at that and Newt pointedly covers the baby’s ears. Graves’ reply to that is to offer a rude hand gesture on his zombie-stumbling way down to the kitchen to retrieve and heat up the milk. He hands it to Newt and stands behind him while Newt feeds her, Graves’ arms wrapped around Newt’s waist and Graves’ chin balanced on Newt’s shoulders.
“She needs a name,” Newt says softly while he’s tucking her blanket around her and setting her back down to sleep.
“It’s only three weeks to Nairobi,” Graves says back just as softly.
“I was thinking Claire,” Newt continues as though Graves hadn’t spoken, and the stubborn tilt to his chin says that Newt is prepared to engage selective deafness however many times Graves tries to raise the point.
Graves doesn’t try that hard. Six weeks later - because Newt and schedules? No. - they arrive in Nairobi and take Claire to the local centre for magical fostering. Ten days after that they leave Nairobi as the official, legally recognised adoptive parents of one Claire Mathilda Scamander-Graves, and by that point Graves has even learnt to keep the milk in a coolbox in the bedroom instead of falling down the ladder to the kitchen every night in search of it.
BayoJeanne Week Day 1| Prompt: Beach Day Pairing: Bayonetta/Jeanne
Summery: Cereza enjoys long warm days out on the shore, but she enjoys Jeanne’s company far more.
The shiny white sand of the shore reflected almost as much sunlight as the ocean. Tiny granules like little coals against the feet of the many, many beach goers that swarmed in fluctuation all around them. Off in the distance, the ocean pulsed on and ever on, hissing and sighing with each wave. It was perhaps the most textbook example of a beach day one could ever dream of.
“I thought the point of laying on the beach was to tan, Cereza?”
Including the occasional irritated tone of her present company.
Opening one eyelid by a sliver, Cereza looked up to see Jeanne staring across the open expanse of the ocean. Or at least, that’s where Cereza guessed she was looking, it was a bit hard to tell with the broad sunglasses Jeanne wore.
“And what does it look like I’m doing?” she replied as she luxuriously stretched her arms to the side and then brought them forward to prop her chin up on her hands, the warm fabric of the beach towel softly tickling her palms.
Jeanne titled her head to look down, her white hair spilling over her shoulder in pretty waves. “You look like you’re enjoying yourself, though as you know, it will take you hours before the sun will have any effect on your skin,” Jeanne reached up and shifted her sunglasses up to rest on her head, her gun-metal grey eyes shining with amusement, “one of the many side effects of our contracts that might be more of a hindrance than a help, at least in this situation.”
Hi, just wondering any witchcraft books or blogs you really like for info? I'm trying to find good quality info. Google is only giving me Wiccan results which I'm not Wiccan so not super helpful. Also I really love your blog have a cool day!
Well, to be perfectly honest, I’ll always plug my own works first, if only for the fact that I can personally vouch for all the content.
It has lots of free information on plant-based witchery, simple spells, magical charms and powders, and the practical and mechanical aspects of witchcraft. There’s also a section for advice to new practitioners, and a list of Online Resources for information and supplies.
Also, I’ve written two books in partnership with the super-talented @ean-amhran which you can find below.
A collection of non-denominational witchery based upon the collected
fairy tales of The Brothers Grimm. Over 70 spells and charms for all
occasions, including hands-on tutorials for such magical tools as
Witch’s Ladders, Witch Bottles, Wish Balls, Poppets, and Spirit Nets.
Available through Amazon in print and on Kindle. Co-written with Anna
Original recipes for magical salts, strews, and powders of various
kinds, from the personal files of two experienced witches. In these
pages, you will discover the formulae for such useful things as
Divination Salt, Jobfinder Powder, Beauty Salt, and that old standby,
Banishing Powder. Available through Amazon in print and on Kindle.
Co-written with Anna Zollinger.
Shorter Conservatives: society is for the rich, you minions distract yourself with 'individualism'
Conservatism is pushing “individualism” and “ownership” rhetoric. It has a goal of breaking down the collective human spirit, slashing safety nets, and in their trademarked heartless actions, conservatives choose at every instance to increase the suffering of the vulnerable/young/aged/veteran.
The reality is, these conservatives live in a society that has elected a socialized democracy and subsidizes complete industries in our ‘wannabe’ capitalistic model [banks, Wall St, Oil, farms]. We have privatized all the ways to make money, and socialized the costs of running a country [roads, PD, FD, military].
The socialism of this country has built fortunes. The overwhelming opportunities afforded these conservatives in our shared society, that they in turn, elect politicians to dismantle and further reward the ultra-rich, is the basis of conservative politics.
The conservative ruling class, with their inherited fortunes and institutional advantages, has convinced the wannabe “I’ll-be-rich-one-day” conservatives that they will be better off on their own. For the centuries-old society that made them wealthy, is a society they can not be expected to provide for the next generation with their taxable income. The nerve!
You must make it on your own. Just like they didn’t.