They’re born into magical families, but they have no magical ability themselves. They never get to go to Hogwarts, they never get a wand from Ollivander’s… But they are always surrounded by magic. Mothers and fathers all casting spells all the time, while they trudge along behind, unable to join in. And it must be the worst, to know about this world and know that you’re the disappointing child who can’t be like the rest of the family.
But what if they just develop their own brand of magic?
Dream with me. We know that Harry & CO learn all about the witch hunts. It’s brushed over in the books and stuff. We only hear about the witches and wizards who get caught, enjoy the process of burning with all their protective spells, and then go on their merry way. We assume that it was a bunch of muggles who were really killed. Weird old women who lived alone in the woods. Young women who made poultices and grew herbs. Men who had great affinity with the earth and the seasons.
They were targeting squibs.
Squibs, who had grown up with magic, but always seen it as unattainable. So they turned outward, toward the magic of the energies of the world. They learned to divine the future with cards and drops of ink. They found a way to gently push at the flow of life around them, doing a smaller, slower sort of magic. And they formed covens, to talk about their way of life and to share their methods.
And as time passes, as history moves past burnings and trials, they still practice. They charge crystals in the moonlight. They have incredible gardens. And, incredibly, they have access to the magical paraphernalia in their homes. Their brothers and sisters come home from Diagon Alley with bags full of mandrake root, because wouldn’t you know it, it’s the perfect thing to mix with mugwort to produce deep, dreamless sleep! They pour over the old family copy of The Standard Book Of Spells for tips on how to give a real kick to their sigils. When a friend is stressing over exams, they may not be able to help blocking hexes, but you can bet they’ll be there with supportive words and a fresh spell jar to help soothe anxiety!
And sure, witches and wizards mutter about the incredibly simple magic. It’s a big joke that’s giggled over in Witch Weekly articles. But simple as it is, the magic works. And better, it provides these beautiful, kind people with a community of their own that they can turn to. And sometimes the families will get involved, celebrating Samhain with conjured bats and floating candles, and enchanting maypoles to twirl through the air for Beltane, and always offering tips where they can, for the bits of magic that you don’t need to be born magical to do.
It’s not the right, “normal” sort of magic. It’s magic with a big bold “k” tacked onto the end of it, bold as brass. But somehow, this world blooms in the heart of the wizarding world. Somehow, everyone gets along.
Just in case you’re wishing there was more Downton Abbey
I’ve got a few recommendations:
The Bletchley Circle: A group of former WWII code breakers take a series of unsolved crimes into their own hands, seeing as how no one will listen to them. Just being women and all.
Call the Midwife: How many different words for “amazing” can I use before they start to lose meaning? I love this show SO much! The characters are so engaging and this snapshot into 1950s-60s Poplar life is endearing, heart-breaking, and eye-opening.
Also, definitely read Jenny Worth’s memoirs on which the series is based, titled either The Midwife or Call the Midwife (after the TV tie-in).
Home Fires: Series two is airing now in the US and it is a lovely series with the same dosages of scandal, small-town life, classism, and fabulous costuming as Downton Abbey, only in the 1940s.
The Crown: A truly great Netflix original about the young Queen Elizabeth II which offers a fascinating insight into her young life.
Pan Am: Oh, Pan Am! What a fabulous show! Beautiful costuming and soundtrack, as well as a pretty good plotline. But beware of watching on-demand - ABC aired the series out of order because they thought that would be a good idea for some reason. The story-line straightens out about half-way through,and by that time you will probably be hooked.
Rebellion: Haven’t watched it yet, but it seems promising. From Netflix, “As World War I rages, three women and their families in Dublin choose sides in the violent Easter Rising revolt against British rule.
Victoria: Jenna Coleman is an absolute vision as young Queen Victoria. The first season shows Victoria’s ascent to the throne, her young love with her advisor, Lord Melbourne, and then eventually her husband, Prince Albert, as well as the mine-field of intrigue and ulterior motives from her family and household. Spectacular!
The Paradise: Not as great as some of the others, but still a pretty entertaining look into the birth of the “one-stop-shop” in Edwardian England.
Mercy Street: I think this show is pretty amazing, although it is not for the squeamish (like my husband) who gag at the slightest sight of a putrefied wound. As a southerner - a Virginian, no less - what I love about this show is that it shows that there are good and bad people on both sides of a decidedly horrible issue, meaning not all Southerners are evil bigots, and not all Yankees are heroes in blue. Still true today, keep that in mind. Rant over - watch the show.
And last, but not least,
Vikings: A delicious mix of The Tudors and Game of Thrones. Quite a bit more violent and vulgar than Downton Abbey, but I still can’t help myself from recommending it to anyone who will listen. I find myself rooting for people who, if I met them in real life, would make me run for cover. Prepare to spend several hours at work looking up awesome braided hairstyles on Pinterest!
All that being said, I would also love to hear some others’ recommendations for fabulous period dramas. Can’t stop, won’t stop!
Get to know your host, with this list of the most!
A book you read for a movie
A favorite adapted movie
A guilty pleasure
A movie from your favorite director you didn’t liked
A movie that was better than the book
A movie that you know is bad but you can’t help but love it
A movie you watched mainly for an actor
Any piercings that you want?
Any tattoos you want?
Anyone you’re giving up on?
Are relationships ever worth it?
Are you a forgiving person?
Are you a heavy sleeper?
Are you a jealous person?
Are you a social or an antisocial person?
Are you allergic to anything?
Are you currently in a relationship?
Are you dating the last person you talked to?
Are you due sometime this year for a doctor’s visit?
Are you easy to get along with?
Are you going out of town soon?
Are you good at hiding your feelings?
Are you good at math?
Are you happy with the person you’ve become?
Are you lonely?
Are you mad at someone right now?
Are you nice to everyone?
Are you outgoing or shy?
Are you over your past?
Are you someone’s best friend?
Are you the kind of friend you would want to have as a friend?
Are you tired right now?
Are you wearing any perfume or cologne?
Are you wearing socks right now?
Are your toenails painted pink?
Basic question: what’s your favorite color/colors?
Baths or showers?
Biggest age gap between you and someone you’ve dated
Can insanity bring on more creativity?
Can you commit to one person?
Can you drive a stick shift?
Can you drive? If so do you like, why?
Can you hold your breath under water without using your hand?
Can you live a day without TV?
Can you tie a bow-tie? A regular tie? If yes, how and when did you learn?
Coke or Pepsi?
Currently wanting to see anyone?
Dark, milk, or white chocolate?
Deadpool is the greatest; discuss.
Describe your best friends. Personality and looks.
Describe your favorite food. Who makes it?
Describe your physical “ideal mate”
Did you have a dream last night?
Did you have a good day yesterday?
Did you wake up cranky?
Do you believe everyone deserves a second chance?
Do you believe in ghosts? How about aliens?
Do you believe in karma?
Do you believe in love?
Do you believe in luck?
Do you believe in magic?
Do you believe in soul mates?
Do you believe that everyone has a soul-mate?
Do you care if people talk badly about you?
Do you chew on your straws?
Do you collect anything?
Do you cry easily?
Do you drive? If so, have you ever crashed?
Do you eat meat?
Do you ever wanna get married?
Do you fall for people easily?
Do you get a lot of colds?
Do you get butterflies around the person you like?
Do you hate anyone?
Do you hate the last guy you had a conversation with?
Do you have a boyfriend or girlfriend? If not, do you want one?
Do you have a collection of anything?
Do you have a crush?
Do you have a tan? Is it fake or real?
Do you have any body modifications?
Do you have any empty alcohol bottles hidden somewhere in your room?
Do you have any nicknames?
Do you have any obsessions right now?
Do you have any pictures on your Facebook?
Do you have any piercings?
Do you have any relatives in jail?
Do you have any strange phobias?
Do you have any tattoos?
Do you have many toys? What are your favorites?
Do you have someone of the opposite sex you can tell everything to?
Do you have someone you can be your complete self around?
Do you have trust issues?
Do you like anime?
Do you like true crime?
Do you like deep conversations?
Do you like hot sauce?
Do you like it when people play with your hair?
Do you like sports? Which ones?
Do you like the climate you live in? What do you like or would change?
Do you like to wear any jewelry? Bracelets? Necklaces?
Do you like watching scary movies?
Do you like your neighbors?
Do you miss anyone right now?
Do you need to do laundry?
Do you plan on moving out within the next year?
Do you play video games? What are your favorites?
Do you prefer talking on the phone or video chatting online?
Do you prefer to be behind the camera or in front of it?
Do you prefer to be friends with girls or boys?
Do you prefer to text or call your friends?
Do you replay things that have happened in your head?
Do you save money or spend it?
Do you secretly like someone?
Do you sleep with or without clothes on?
Do you sleep with the door open or closed?
Do you still talk to the first person that you kissed
Do you think someone has feelings for you?
Do you think someone is thinking about you right now?
Do you think the person you have feelings for is protective of you?
Do you think you can last in a relationship for 6 months and not cheat?
Do you think you like someone?
Do you think you’ll be married in 5 years?
Do you think you’re a strong person?
Do you think your life will change dramatically before 2014?
Do you want a boyfriend or girlfriend?
Do you want any piercings? Where?
Do you want children? How many and what would you name them?
Do you want tattoos? What of?
Do you want to try any drugs? Acid? Shrooms? Ecstasy?
Do you want your tongue pierced?
Do you wash your car or let the car wash do it?
Do you wear jeans or sweats more?
Do you work out?
Does anyone hate you?
Does anyone like you?
Does anyone regularly (other than family) tell you they love you?
Dogs or Cats? Why?
Don’t tell me lies, is the last person you texted attractive?
Draw a selfie.
Ever been in a physical fight?
Ever been in love?
Ever been on a plane?
Ever been suspended or expelled? what for?
Ever go to camp?
Ever had a poem or song written about you?
Ever had a rumor spread about you?
Ever had a terrible breakup?
Ever kissed under fireworks?
Favourite comic book movie
Favourite day of the year
Favourite Disney Movie
Favourite feature on yourself
Favourite fictional character
Favourite food for munchies?
Favourite hobbies or things to do after smoking?
Favourite ice cream?
Favourite Love Story
Favourite Movie Soundtrack
Favourite movie remake
Favourite mythical creature and why?
Favourite quote from a movie
Favourite quote from a song
Favourite quotes in general?
Favourite Science Fiction movie
Favourite season and why?
Favourite stage show?
Favourite store to shop in?
Favourite things to do
Favourtte TV show?
First thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word: food?
First thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word: love?
Get the book closest to you, open to page fifty. What’s the first line?
Girls love it when boyfriends cry; correct?
Girls…. (finish the sentence); Boys…. (finish the sentence)
Give me the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word: heart.
Has anybody ever given you butterflies?
Has anyone of your friends ever seen you cry?
Has anyone told you they don’t want to ever lose you?
Has someone of the opposite sex ever told you they loved you, and meant it?
Have you been to a gig in the past month?
Have you been to the movies in the last 5 days?
Have you bought any clothing items in the last week?
Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight?
Have you ever been called a tease?
Have you ever been in a physical fight?
Have you ever been in love?
Have you ever caught a butterfly?
Have you ever cried over a guy?
Have you ever drank your soda from a straw?
Have you ever eaten a crayon?
Have you ever fallen for your ex’s best friend?
Have you ever felt replaced?
Have you ever found it hard to tell someone you like them?
Have you ever had your heart broken?
Have you ever kissed a Chris?
Have you ever kissed a Sophie?
Have you ever kissed someone older than you?
Have you ever kissed someone whose name begins with the letter ‘A’?
Have you ever liked one of your best friends of the opposite sex?
Have you ever liked one of your best friends of the same sex?
Have you ever liked someone who your friends hated?
Have you ever liked someone who didn’t like you back?
Have you ever liked someone you didn’t expect to?
Have you ever thrown up in the car?
Have you ever told someone you loved them?
Have you ever wanted someone you couldn’t have?
Have you ever wanted something you couldn’t have?
Have you had any real Tumblr crushes? If you want to keep your mystery, answer with a drawing.
Have you heard a song that reminds you of someone today?
Have you kissed someone whose name starts with a ‘J’?
Have your pants ever fallen down in public?
Have your parents ever caught you doing something you wish they hadn’t?
How are you?
How are you really?
How do you like your eggs?
How do you look on a night out?
How do you look right now?
How do you vent your anger?
How is your best friend?
How late did you stay up last night and why?
How long can you hold your breath for?
How long does it take you to bath?
How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
How long does it take you to get ready for a night out?
How long does it take you to shower?
How many kids do you want to have?
How many TRUE friends do you have?
How mature are you
How much do you weigh?
How much do you want to weigh?
How often do you bathe?
How often do you go to see live music?
How often do you listen to music?
How old are you?
How old were you when you got your first boy/girlfriend
How old were you when you had your first kiss
How tall are you?
How tall is your crush?
How’s your heart?
Ice cream or cake? Why?
If the person you like says they like someone else, what would you do?
If the person you like says they like someone else, what would you say?
If the person you wish to be with were with you, what would you be doing right now?
If the whole world were listening to you right now, what would you say?
If you are outside, what are you most likely doing?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
If you could change your eye color, would you?
If you could have one wish, what would it be?
If you could meet anyone on this earth, who would it be?
If you could move somewhere else, would you?
If you could press a button and make anyone in the world instantaneously explode, who would it be?
If you had to delete one day of your life completely, which would it be?
If you had to delete one year of your life completely, which would it be?
If you were drunk, who would you want to take care of you?
If you’re being extremely quiet what does that mean?
If your first true love knocked on your door with apology and presents, would you accept?
In a relationship?
In the next 48 hours, will you hang out with a girl?
In your opinion, what makes a great relationship?
Is cheating ever okay?
Is it cute when guys kiss you on your forehead?
Is there a boy who you would do absolutely everything for?
Is there anyone you can tell EVERYTHING to?
Is there anyone you want to tell EVERYTHING to?
Is there anyone you know with the name Michael?
Is there anything pink on you?
Is there anything pink within 10 feet of you?
Is there someone mad because you’re dating/talking to the person you are?
Is there someone you will never forget?
Is there something that happened in your past that you hate talking about?
Is your life anything like it was one year ago?
Is your life anything like it was two years ago?
JFK: conspiracy or not?
Last book you read?
Last food that you ate?
Last gig you went to?
Last movie you watched?
Last person you cried in front of?
Last person you talked to?
Last person you talked to for over an hour?
Last person’s house you were in?
Last place you were?
Last play you saw?
Last prank call you remember doing?
Last show you watched?
Last show you watched with a friend?
Last song you listened to?
Last song you sang?
Last sport you played?
Last thing that made you cry?
Last time you cried?
Last time you got stopped by a cop or pulled over?
Last time you hung out with anyone?
Last time you hung out with a group?
Last time you kissed someone?
Last time you took a shower?
Last time you were insulted and what was it?
Least favorite sport?
Least favourite animals
List 5 movies that you love.
List all the countries you’ve been to. Write a comment on each of them. Or some, if you can’t be bothered.
Loud music or soft?
Loud or soft music?
Meaning behind your url
Most adventurous place you’ve smoked?
Most attractive celebrity of the opposite gender?
Most attractive celebrity of the same gender as you?
Name of the person you first kissed
Name something you dislike about the day you’re having.
Name something you’re happy about the day you’re having.
Name something you have to do tomorrow?
Name something you’re glad you don’t have to do tomorrow?
Name three things you like about yourself.
Next trip you are going to take?
One movie you can watch everyday of your life?
One must have?
One night you wake up because you heard a noise. You turn on the light to find that you are surrounded by MUMMIES. The mummies aren’t really doing anything, they’re just standing around your bed. What do you do?
One thing you would say to a person who hurt you?
Opinions on dating people older than you
Opinions on dating people younger than you
People you want to smoke with? Whether they actually smoke or not?
Pick something from your immediate surroundings and tell the story behind the item.
Pick up the nearest printed material in your first language and copy out a random paragraph.
Place you want to visit?
Place you’d want to smoke most?
Places you’d like to visit?
Post a picture of yourself
Put on shuffle, what came on and what are your favorite lyrics?
Put your music playlist on shuffle. Give me the first 6 songs that pop up.
Reading or watching?
Smell the air. What do you smell?
So, the last person you kissed just happens to arrive at your door at 3AM; do you let them in?
Something you miss?
Stick your right arm out; what do you touch first? Do the same with your left arm.
Suppose you see your ex kissing another person what would you
The last time you noticed you’d put a piece of clothing on incorrectly, i.e. backwards/inside out/etc?
The reason I joined Tumblr?
The relationship between you and the person you last texted?
The Zodiac Killer is…?
Think back 2 months ago; were you in a relationship?
Think back 12 months ago; were you in a relationship?
Think of the last person who said I love you, do you think they meant it?
Three names you go by..
Top 5 actors
Top 5 actresses
Top 5 directors
Top 5 favorite blogs on Tumblr.
Top 5 movies
Trip to outer space or bottom of the ocean?
Wearing any bracelets?
Were you happy with the person you liked in March?
Were you in a relationship in January? How was it going?
Were you single over the last summer?
What are you actually gonna do for a career?
What are you listening to right now?
What ARE you looking forward to?
What are you NOT looking forward to?
What are you sitting on right now?
What are you supposed to be doing right now?
What are you wearing right now?
What are you wearing?
What are your fears?
What are your plans for tonight?
What brought you to Tumblr?
What color bottoms are you wearing?
What color is your shirt?
What color shirt are you wearing?
What color underwear are you wearing?
What do you do/what do you want to do when you grow up
What do you think about most?
What do you think about tattoos and piercings?
What do you want to know about the future?
What does your last text message say?
What does your latest text message from someone else say?
What exactly are you wearing right now?
What gender do you identify as?
What has been the biggest moment in your life so far?
What is a typical breakfast for you?
What is the single best decision you have made in your life so far?
What is your all-time favorite romance movie?
What is your current mood? Write and/or draw.
What is your current screen saver?
What is your favorite animal?
What is your favorite word?
What kind of people are you attracted to?
What makes you laugh no matter what?
What should you be doing right now?
What size shoes do you where?
What song are you listening to right now?
What tabs do you have open right now?
What was the last book you read?
What was the last lie you told?
What was the last movie you watched in theaters?
What was the last thing you had to drink?
What were you doing at 12AM last night?
What would be a question you’d be afraid to tell the truth on?
What’s a song that always makes you happy when you hear it?
What’s a song that always makes you sad when you hear it?
What’s a sound you hate; sound you love?
What’s the first thing you notice in the opposite sex
What’s the last sporting event you watched?
What’s the last thing you purchased?
What’s the last thing you put in your mouth?
What’s the meaning behind your url?
What’s the relationship between you and the last person you texted?
What’s the worst place you have ever been to?
What’s your biggest “what if”?
What’s your current problem?
What’s your dream job?
When did your last hug take place?
When is the last time you ran?
When is the last time you went to the mall?
When was the last time you cried?
When was the last time you drove out of town?
When was the last time you smiled?
When was the last time you told someone you loved them?
When was the last time you were extremely disappointed?
When’s the last time you were aggravated and happy at the same time?
Where do you go when you’re sad?
Where is the shirt you are wearing from?
Where is your best friend?
Where were you 3 hours ago?
Where were you last week at this time?
Where were you yesterday?
Who are you in love with?
Who are your best friends?
Who do you feel most comfortable talking to about anything?
Who do you have texts from?
Who is probably talking a load of crap about you right now?
Who is the biggest gossiper you know?
Who is your celebrity crush?
Who is your favourite Beatle?
Who was the first person you talked to today?
Who was the last person you drove with?
Who was the last person you had a deep conversation with?
Who was the last person you held hands with?
Who was the last person you talked to before you went to bed last night?
Who was the last person you talked to?
Who was the last person you took a picture of?
Who was the last person you were on the phone with?
Who was your first crush?
Who’s in your profile picture with you?
Will you be in a relationship in 2 months?
Will you get married?
Will your next kiss be a mistake?
Worst injury you’ve ever had?
Would you date an 18-year-old at the age you are now?
Would you ever smile at a stranger?
Would you rather be hot or cold?
WOuld you survive a zombie apocalypse?
Write a 6 word story.
Write an autograph version of your URL.
Write your URL in some writing that you thought were super cool when you were younger. Eg, bubble letters, digital clock letters, letters with lots of embellishments, or letters with smiley faces in them.
You accidentally eat some radioactive vegetables. They were good, and what’s even cooler is that they endow you with the super-power of your choice! What is that power?
You are at the doctor’s office and she has just informed you that you have approximately one month to live. a) Do you tell anyone/everyone you are going to die? b) What do you do with your remaining days? c) Would you be afraid?
You are walking down the street on your way to work. There is a dog drowning in the canal on the side of the street. Your boss has told you if you are late one more time you get fired. What do you do?
You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?
You can only have one of these things: trust or love.
You can re-live any point of time in your life. The time-span can only be a half-hour, though. What half-hour of your past would you like to experience again?
You have the opportunity to sleep with the music-celebrity of your choice. Who would it be?
You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where are you gonna go?
Your best friend likes you, what do you do?
Your best friend wants to do something you really don’t want to do. What do you do?