I don't want to erase Jewish people from my medieval Europe-based fantasy story and I don't want them all (or possibly any of them) to be moneylenders. Are there any other professions/occupations/pastimes I should avoid (I already know not to make them bad witches or do anything involving blood magic)? Would it be ok to have some be moneylenders as long as I avoided any suggestion of greed/cheating, or should I just stay well clear?
Professions for Jewish characters in pseudomedieval European fantasy
Is your story actually set in real historical Europe or is it just a European-inspired made up place? Because if it’s not real Europe, I can see that as a great reason to completely omit the whole “you’re Jewish so we’re gonna forbid you from doing anything but moneylending since Christians can’t touch it” thing. There’s no reason you HAVE to reproduce the sucky parts of the real world in your made-up world and in fact I know I as a Jewish reader would have a much happier reading experience if my people, in general, were happier in the story than in real medieval Europe. (For example, did you know we were persecuted by Edward I and eventually he kicked us out of England? That’s fun. Yes, that’s the same king who threw his son’s boyfriend out the window in Braveheart.)
Going back to your specific question: it would be possible to write a sympathetic moneylender character if you needed one for plot reasons, but to be perfectly honest the whole idea has such a high potential for resentment on the part of their customers that I’d just stay away to play it safe. You’d have to go out of your way to make the character three-dimensional and humanize them, and unless they’re a major character, there may not be room for that within the scope of your story. Plus, while it’s completely possible to be a moneylender who’s nice and kind and patient, sometimes when people owe money they get angry at the fact they have to pay it back and like I said before, resentment is natural even if it’s not terribly rational. In other words, “avoiding the suggestion of greed/cheating” is gonna be difficult because some people see having to pay back lent money as inherently cheating, which isn’t fair, but it’s normal and you’d be working against human nature.
As far as what to stay away from unless you have significant representation in the heroic/kindly/generous direction: anything that makes us sound like we feed off the misfortune of others (especially of gentiles), either metaphorically or literally. That’s the specific bad trope. Some positive professions include rabbis, kosher butchers, and various kinds of craftsmen (like making clothing or candles.) You might want to check out Libi Astaire’s Jewish Regency mysteries (I just finished and loved The Vanisher Variations) to start seeing all the jobs there are in the community–wrong era for your story, but it might get your wheels turning.
One thing I would caution against is to keep the professions “Jewish.” By that I mean: people of marginalized identities are not and should not be limited exclusively to marginalized-coded occupations or end products.
Yes, many people of marginalized identities produce things that are for their own communities. But just because, say, a lot of Native artists do traditional cultural crafts, doesn’t mean there aren’t Native oil painters who do urban landscapes. Sure, paintings might have a twist that only a Native person can give, but they might not. That 100% depends on the character, and it’s not “losing culture” to have them enjoy things from the “outside” world. Culture is a big nuanced thing that is constantly being interacted with and debated by each individual who practices it.
Marginalized identities produce things for themselves (usually because nobody else does), but they also produce things outsiders traditionally consume— not just to survive, but because they like doing it. We don’t live in bubbles. By segregating activities based off of “this group does X predominantly”, you unintentionally other marginalized people by giving them no points to relate to others. Because you end up creating a system where there are Crafts and Jewish Crafts, which are obviously All Different because they’re Jewish. That isn’t the case.
It’s a highly limiting worldview to approach “what can this character do?” by asking “what is a thing their identity does?”. Identity is not a thing that actively limits individuals from doing stuff, at least, not to the extent most people think. It might modify the way they go about it, but it won’t stop them. So ask yourself what characters can do, then figure out how their identity would change their practice… while also accepting that culture is fluid and you can end up with Jewish writers who write extremely culturally steeped works that are unmistakably Jewish (like Shira’s Mangoverse) to Jewish writers who just have subtle nods to their identities (like Daniel Handler’s A Series of Unfortunate Events). Both works are just as Jewish as the other, even if one is overt vs subtle.
So work from characters. Ask what an individual person would like to do, consider how their identity would modify it, consider how their identity wouldn’t modify it, and go from there.
So, I wanted to write a piece about a trope about Jewish characters I’ve seen a lot in the media (and specifically, in original fiction and fanfiction, as well from many asks on here.) that has been leaving a bitter taste in my mouth. The trope in question is: Jews marrying out. The thing is, that I need to put a pretty big disclaimer first.
1. I am an ashki Orthodox Jew-ess. White passing, from London. (My matrilineal side is displaced Lebanese, but being Orthodox, I believe I get my tribe from my patrilineal side, which makes me ashkenazi. I’m happy to talk to people about having displaced mena/Lebanese culture though. Just know that it’s part of my history, but not part of my identity).
2. Interfaith marriages are totally legit, not at all something that should be looked down on, and in fact need representation! Like, interfaith families are super important. So many Jews - even Orthodox ones - I know are from interfaith backgrounds, and they need representation and need to be made to feel as if they are loved. Nothing here should be taken as an attack on actual interfaith marriages and couples.
-So, you might be asking, what’s the problem?
The problem is that any old representation is not always good representation. There are a number of problems with this trope, but the first & more glaringly obvious one being: it’s super common for gentiles to write about Jews marrying out.
(This may be applicable for other minorities too btw, but I see it for Jews all the time.)
You’ve all seen it. The two star crossed lovers: Julia McEnglish & Aaron Jewson. Aaron’s Jewish parents don’t like that he’s dating a goy, Julia can’t imagine giving up Christmas, but they just love each other anyway. Nearly always the minority character’s (although, sometimes it’s both characters as minorities) entire culture is eroticised and Orientalised. It’s their culture that throws up boundaries and difficulties to the relationship. And the tensions and upheaval of the stories are all found in the Jew’s culture being in the way.
Now, does Judaism get in the way of interfaith marriages? Well, yes. Sometimes. Definitely in the Orthodox community. Do I think that this needs to be written about ad nausea? No, and definitely not by non-Jews.
Other reasons why this trope should be put to rest is that it lies close to two other tropes: (1) the Jew marrying their oppressor & (2) Jewish men being repulsed by Jewish women trope.
(1) That first trope is a sliding scale, I’m sure many of these stories aren’t actually about Jews marrying their oppressor. Not every British person represents the dominant Christian society that oppressed Jews, denied them the ability to work, or obtain justice & periodically expelled them. The point is, that when you start putting your stories in vague sort-of history settings (fantasy or not) Jews reading it start feeling a bit uncomfortable.
“Like sure… that Ottoman-esque empire definitely would be best friends with our Jewish coded minority character, everything looks totally legit here.”
“Hah - like, it’s 15th Century venice, but not. Super romantic, artistic, and beautiful. And the Jews are definitely not living in a ghetto.“
Jew’s have a long memory of their relationship with non-Jew’s throughout history, it is very easy to fall into this trope. (If I need to explain to you why this trope is bad, something has gone seriously wrong. Just don’t do it. It’s not even a new idea, it’s been done many times before.)
(2) This is an intra-Jewish issue, and something many Jewish women are speaking about in their own communities, but Jewish misogyny often manifests itself in Jewish men artists (writers, actors, producers, you name it) portraying Jewish women as the negative stereotypes hurled at us by antisemites. There’s a long narrative on this, one that I don’t think is appropriate for this audience. But the point is, even if you’re using what you think are Jewish sources to justify your men-marrying-the-pretty-non-jew story, it probably reeks of sexist antisemitism.
So what should you be writing?
Well, the first thing is: let Jews fall in love with other Jews! What’s wrong with that? We’re great, we’re multifaceted, we deserve to get happy endings. Romance stories are wonderful, and although there definitely need to be more stories with female leads that don’t involve a romance plot (or even subplot) writing romance can be incredibly fulfilling to read. It’d be super awesome therefore if you let us Jews actually feel valued and represented in it, and not make us feel like our culture is something to be fetishised for non-Jews. Or worse, that if you’re a Jew that is interesting/pretty/charismatic/worthy of someone falling in love with: then you’re not going to some lowly Jew to marry. “No-no, you’ve been elevated to non-Jew worthy!” (You get the idea?)
You can even have some exciting Jewish based tension: ashkenazi verses sefardi practices over pesach: “You made RICE for my OMA!?” “What? I checked every grain!” Or, “In my family we daven Nusach Ari.” “I didn’t know you were chabadniks, we use the artscroll siddur in shul, but we have koren at home.” “Oh phew, I worried you were going to say you read from the Birnbaum.” “Hey! We may be Baal Teshuvas, but we’re not stupid!” See, the drama is endless. Jews literally love to crack open their practices and find out how what they do is significantly different.
But what if you really want some interfaith representation?
Now, maybe you’re Jewish and from an interfaith background. Maybe you’re just itching to use some fun creative interfaith holidays for two communities to celebrate. Well, sure, I’m not banning you from writing it. (Although really, you should check yourself a little bit if you’re a non-Jew. Just why is this so important to you?) There are some one ways you can do it:
Make the interfaith relationship already established, this will work best if it’s instead the parents of the main character, but it can work either way. (Extra kudos is said child of interfaith couple gets to marry a Jew.)
Slice off all that creepy fetishisation, and show a loving & already thriving interfaith relationship, over coming hurdles and hardships from the outside world, succeeding because of the strength of their interfaith relationship.
Try to keep in-law drama to a minimum (especially if it’s only the Jew mother in law who is the problem. Don’t do that, it’s awful) and instead show that Judaism in a beautiful and intricate ethno-religious identity, that can survive and exist in an interfaith relationship.
Maybe write a story where there are other Jews also having adventures, and falling in love, but this time with another Jew! So the interfaith relationship doesn’t dominate the story, or make it seem like this is the only way Jews get to be romantic, or happy, in fiction.
One last thing: people, please write more Orthodox Jews. We love adventures too, and there’s so little Orthodox representation in media, that people don’t even know the difference between Orthodox, Haredi & Hassidic. All Jews are great though, y'all the best.
It’s not just our women who are supposed to be undesirable, it’s also our men. There are more books out there than I’d like that pair our women with, and I am regrettably not exaggerating, literal Nazi officers. So obviously: don’t do this, but I think at least part of the reason it happens is that gentiles think our men are all Woody Allen or something. They’re not. As I’m fond of pointing out every time this comes up, slash fanfiction became a mass movement in fandom as a result of two of our men, Shatner and Nimoy, being too conventionally attractive to ignore. Natalie seems to have run into more of the other way around than I have, whereas I’ve see more of Jewish women with gentile men, but either way, the point stands.
Again, none of this is meant to say interfaith relationships shouldn’t be represented–heck, I’m in one since mine never went through with conversion and is a “Jewish-adjacent atheist” now–but when they’re all over the place to the point where we start feeling like gentile authors think all our genders are racing as fast as they can to avoid partnering up with another Jew, something is off kilter.
Remember, there are many scenarios that there is nothing wrong with in a vacuum because they exist IRL but when they’re overrepresented in writing by outsiders, they start to twist.
so you all know how fucking weak i am for the found family trope, and it really was lovely seeing neil find his family, but it’s nicky that stabs me through the fucking heart, because he lost what he thought was his “real” family, and he was so fucking desperate to get it back, before he realizes that he’s been surrounded by a true family all along, a family that’s ugly and broken and a fucking drag to deal with most of the time but it’s real and i’m a sobbing fucking mess
Yep, she’d be an example of a Native who has magic but is not a Magical Native American because it’s a mutation. I knew I was forgetting a pretty big name in that post.
Basically, anything where the superhero origin is “mutation causes x” or “got powers because of [insert freak accident here]” is much, much more likely to be safe. Note I specify freak accident. Something that happened because of neglect or colonialism or natural resources being exploited is dodgy at best.
“Ancient cultural ritual” or “has powers inspired by [Native cultural thing]” is something to be wary of. If it’s Native written, that’s one thing, but if it’s non-Native written, that is very much another.
That also kinda puts words to why I am not terribly fond of the premise of Kushala. She’s a product of genocide, and “accidentally” praying to the wrong god feels pretty wrong. Her origins is something that is deeply culturally tied and leverages Native pain to create somebody with awesome powers, which is veering into tragedy exploitation.
#thanksbioware for all the krem transphobia comments made by the inquisitor
#thanksbioware for all the ableism directed at anders in DA2
#thanksbioware for the alienages and not letting us improve them
#thanksbioware for making the dalish forget how valuable magic is to them in DAI despite it being valuable to them in DAO because we needed to oppress the mages more
#thanksbioware for not giving Cullen an actual redemption arc in DAI, and instead just glossing over his issues. AND not giving us the option to call him out on his bull shit in DAI if you WERE going to just leave him as a mage hating asshole on purpose
#thanksbioware for never letting us actually help the mages, and continuing to put the circles back via a poc woman mage in trespasser
#thanksbioware for hawke’s clearly ooc moments concerning merrill, blood mages, and anders in DAI
#thanksbioware for straight and white washed Cassandra Pentaghast
#thanksbioware for GREAT options like putting the mage hating seeker in the seat of divine, or giving Fenris back to Danarius, or killing Anders, sacrificing alienage elves for a blood magic ritual in DAO with Morrigan’s approval, killing the chargers and killing Bull, letting Celene live after what she’s done
#thanksbioware for not including the actual ending in DAI and making it dlc that people had to pay for, AND making it so ps3/360 players couldn’t get it anyway
#thanksbioware for making the rivalry trope in DA2 so prevalent all game, instead of actual good character development
#thanksbioware for not making Jowan recruit able in DAO like he was originally supposed to be
#thanksbioware for not making Nathaniel a companion in DA2 as was originally planned, despite there being a clear set up for him to be a companion in DA2 since Kirkwall doesn’t have a warden base
#thanksbioware for making Solas straight when he was originally supposed to be bi
#thanksbioware for all the wonderful healthy w/w side relationships in DA such as: Leliana x Marjorlaine, Briala x Celene, and Branka x Hespith
#thanksbioware for making it not so apparent that Wade x Herren are official, and having one of your writers tell everyone they were a couple on a website INSTEAD of making it apparent in the game
#thanksbioware for Sebastian Vael’s writing
#thanksbioware for Harvester Orsino
#thanksbioware for Isabela in the comics and drowning slaves
#thanksbioware for a comic named ‘mage killer’
#thanksbioware for white washing Zevran in DA2
#thanksbioware for making Loghain who was previously a hero, into a fucking SLAVER in DA:O
#thanksbioware for rivalmances
#thanksbioware for forgetting an entire fucking moon in DAI (there’s fan theories on why it’s not there but I’m still saying they forgot it)
#thanksbioware for lack of actual character development everywhere concerning companions in DAI
#thanksbioware for the fade mission in DAI, and emotional blackmail against Alistair fans and making them change their canon
I’m sure there are more, but I hope I covered this.
Do you think people like Reyes because he's the spicy Latino character? im trying to understand the hype. I kind of think people just like him for being hot brown boy with hot accent.
lol wtf you’re like the third nonny to ever ask me to speak for the entirety of Reyes stans and tell you why we like him. I mean, whatever answer I give will be personal and not necessarily a reflection on the community, so let me get started on something I can generalize: fetishization.
[*Note I have a small postscript answer anticipating Sloane Kelley’s characterization at the end of this post.]
Short answer: No, but… Long Answer: Yes, but… >both buts lead to: but racism is something we participate in regardless of whether or not we are anti-racist.
Basically, we consume and propagate tropes and images regardless of how we problematize it, and it’s really up to your consumption of Reyes’s character to determine your complicity in the fetishization that inevitably follows a character like him.
The Unintentional Lecture on the Spicy Brown Boy with an Accent Trope
I think you’d all be lying if you say you didn’t get a wee bit charmed by the accent when you first heard it. It’s subconscious; it’s ingrained in everything we consume; the person with the accent is exotic, mysterious, and jarringly different from the identities you formed in the creation of your protagonist.
Writers, filmmakers, and artists have constantly employed accents for characters to instill a very impermeable yet nonetheless alluring sense of “difference.” This is why George Lucas racistly gave the aliens accented English in the prequel trilogy despite having given them acceptable yet unintelligible (to us) alien languages in the original Star Wars trilogy. The bureaucrats starving Naboo for a trade deal get the haughty Japanese businessfolk accent; the slaver who owned Anakin and is “stingy” has a vaguely semitic accent; Jar Jar Binks with his “massah” lingo and incoherence eerily mimics the language white writers ascribed to black slaves in 19th-century fiction (as seen in Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Huckleberry Finn), and it’s weirdly reminiscent of Jamaican accents as well, so you can’t help but think of his “tomfoolery” in a racialized undertone. I’m sorry to call out George Lucas in this (I’m really not tho), because he isn’t alone. My point is that in the most blatant of cases, accents from real communities and groups are transposed onto alien or monstrous creatures in a move that simultaneously anthropomorphizes them (i.e. giving them voice and characterization) without granting them the dignity of being fully human and an American or British accented English seems to be the dominant mode of doing this. [Let’s not talk about how Bioware has handled accents for aliens in GENERAL in the ME Original Trilogy for now, because this is complicated]
So I haven’t done a book rec in a while and I’ve been reading all kinds of wonderful books lately so I thought I’d do a real quick one for you now. They are all inclusive of either lgbt rep*, characters of colour**, disability rep***, mental illness rep****, or all four, but you’ll be able to tell by the symbol. I’m gonna bold my favourites for you as well. (Inspired by @whiteguilt‘s book rec format)
If any of these books are offensive to you or have triggers in them that you would like me to forewarn people aboutplease tell me. you can also add to this
tell me again how a crush should feel by sara farizan */ ** This is genuinely one of the best books I have ever read. Not only does it have a lesbian muslim main character, but it also gives you an insight into just how flipping hard it is to come out to your parents when you can’t predict what their reactions might be. TW: secondary character going through stages of grief. It has been pointed out to me that the antagonist falls under the “abusive cheating bi” stereotype and and that could be harmful to readers
a quiet kind of thunder by sara barnard */ *** Wow there are a lot of authors called Sara on this list. Anyway. I waited for the release of this book for about sixteen months. I was so excited for it and it lived up to every single one of my out of this world expectations. For starters one of the main characters is a deaf MOC with a heart of absolute gold. I adopted him immediately. He is now my son. Then there’s the other main, a girl with selective mutism. So already you have more disability rep than half of the YA books I’ve ever read put together. Couple that with the insanely well written narrative and you’ve got yourself a winner!!
the sun is also a star by nicola yoon ** I’m only like four chapters in but so for I’m loving it. It features a jamaican-american female main and a korean-american male main which should give you some indication of how awesome this book is already.
london belongs to us by sarra manning */ ** WOC protagonist who traipses all over london to find her dickwad of a boyfriend. I feel like I spent most of this book in pain from either laughing or smiling too hard.
the upside of unrequited by becky albertalli */ ** Oh my gosh where do I begin? There are so many positive messages in this book, especially about body image, love, and looking beyond the surface. The main also has an interracial family with two mums. Don’t listen to that crusty old book blogger who gave it a two star. She’s very very wrong.
looking for derek by n.c. nest * Two boys meet, fall in love, and are separated after one of them acts like a complete knob jockey. It has a happy ending, I promise TW: homophobia (from secondary characters), threats, and death of a minor character
what happens at christmas by jay northcote * Suuuuuuuper nsfw!!!! I wouldn’t call this YA at all. But it’s on the list bc fake dating!!!! And also my favourite friends to lovers trope!!! TW: mild homophobia
game on by olley white * I can’t actually remember who recommended this to me, but it’s pretty cute. More fluff than anything else, but it has a cute ending and sequel.
cinderella boy by kristina meister * I read this one on tapas so I’m not sure whether it’s available elsewhere or for download, but as far as lgbtqa+ books go it’s honestly wonderful. There are so many different genders and sexualities represented including a pansexual character and a gender fluid character
the miseducation of cameron post by emily m. danforth * A beautiful lesbian protagonist who faces shitheap after shitheap and still manages to remain open, hopeful, and loving despite having been put through hell by her “family”. I’m not going to lie to you; at times its hard to read. It’s heartbreaking, then funny, then heartbreaking all over again. For any of you who have grown up with catholic parents or have been sent to a catholic school like I have, you will understand.
you against me by jenny downham Ok this book is not for everyone. It certainly isn’t for you if you are triggered by sexual assault or revenge plots. However, if you think that you will be ok to read it, just know that it deals with some pretty heavy stuff and you might need to put it down now and again and have a break. Like I said, it isn’t for everyone and thats ok, but I’m including it because it changed the way I think about a lot of scenarios and it made me question whether I was always getting the whole story out of people. TW: sexual assault, revenge plots, humiliation, revenge dating
two boys kissing by david levithan & you know me well by david leviathan * The first is about exactly what you think its about; you guessed it, two boys kissing. There’s a really good message to it. The second is about women loving women, finding yourself, and having a damn good time. They’re both gay as hell.
So I have a character She's mentally pretty unstable and has lack of empathy, kills and cannibalizes (yes I can go on but I hope you get the idea) I know torture etc leaves traces. But I wonder how much it will affect somebody who basically hurts others just as much... if not worse? I'm still exploring this 'story line' so I really want to investigate properly! Also I wonder how she would look at her abuser. In my head she ignores it all but still fears him and has a grudge yet can't lose him?
Add on: The torture is more lab experiment based. She’s ‘immortal’ and somebody who is just like her had captured her and put her in a lab. He’s a sadist but he used the excuse of lab experiments and science. The guy is just like her. They both can’t kill each other and they will meet again. But this story line is pretty fresh. I like the lab experiments but I want to know the effects before I continue this. I will probably change a lot about this tho. I need to see if it’s necessary and such.
well it sounds like there are several different questions here I’m going to try
and address them all as best I can.
question seems to be about whether being tortured would have a serious effect
on someone who is also a torturer.
second is about how she’d relate to the person who tortured her.
like to address your scenario though.
you like the idea of lab experiments. They play pretty heavily into a very
unrealistic trope about torture.
isn’t and by its nature can not be scientific.
is a method. It’s the idea that we can understand the world better through
observation and repeated experiment. It requires a degree of control, both over
what you do and the environment you do it in. It needs to be reproducible.
by its very nature isn’t any of those
aren’t controlled (though they often claim to be their behaviour does not
support the claim). Torturers rarely bother to exert control over the
environment they torture in. And the variance between individuals, both
physically and mentally, means that reproducibility is impossible.
want any kind of realism you’ve got two options with your scenario. You ditch
the torture or you ditch the science.
option doesn’t mean she isn’t being hurt. What it means is that any hurt is secondary to scientific results. That is
unethical and non-consensual experimentation. You can find examples of how
that’s happened historically by looking up Japan’s Unit 731 from World War 2
and by looking up the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment in the US.
recommend ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta
Lacks’ as a good summary of unethical experiments performed on black
people, mentally ill people and prisoners in the US. (I found it a very
interesting and easy-to-read book which goes out of its way to explain
scientific concepts in a straight forward way.)
second option means ditching the scientific trappings and being honest about
what this is: torture pure and simple.
impression I’m getting from your summary is that the second option would be a
better fit. It’s less complicated which means that you have more space to
concentrate on the two characters and their relationship with each other, which
seems to be what you’re most interested in.
suggest motivation more along the lines of what Rejali calls ‘Civic
Discipline’, where people are tortured as ‘punishment’ not necessarily because
of anything they’ve done but because the torturer sees them as less human than themselves. A real world
example would be police officers beating up homeless people for being in a
residential part of town.
random tangent- did you know the Russian language distinguishes between two
types of cannibalism? Eating someone who is already dead and killing someone to
eat them. (This came up in reading for the planned Starvation masterpost)
psychological effects of being tortured will not be reduced by your character
also being a torturer. The information we have on torturers and the way torture
affects them is all anecdotal at this point. But it shows a very clear pattern: torture damages torturers. The
psychological effects are actually roughly
the same as the psychological effects of being tortured. The effects are
weaker for the torturer than they are for the torture victim.
have any data on someone who was both.
However I would be very surprised if the symptoms weren’t
exacerbated- That being tortured would make the symptoms she’d already have
from being a torturer much much worse (and vice versa).
she has a lack of empathy- that won’t protect her from symptoms.
look at my Masterpost on the common effects of torture and think about what
sort of symptoms work for the character and your story. I think for what you’ve
described having violent tendencies and uncontrollable anger might work, so
would dissociative symptoms.
and continuing to torture essentially means that she won’t be recovering from
those symptoms. They’ll be getting worse, slowly over time.
second question, how she’d relate to her torturer, is a little trickier for me.
have that kind of first hand experience, what I know all comes from books, and
I think that’s an important distinction when we’re dealing with a topic as
tricky as this one.
I understand there are as many ways for a victim to relate to a torturer as
there are responses to trauma.
these are possible- She could panic every time she sees him or hears him speak.
She could be absolutely furious with him and try to hurt him every time she
sees him. She could shut down around him, dissociate and feel like she’s not
really there or like she’s reading from a movie script rather than actually
talking to him. She might think that she somehow ‘deserved’ what he did to her,
effectively blaming herself for being tortured.
saying that you should go with one of those responses, just trying to
illustrate that there’s a really range of options, all of which are realistic.
What sort of thing you should pick depends on what works for your characters
and your story.
There are a few things you should probably
avoid, such as having her easily forgive him or making their interactions easy-
It’s not going to be easy. Whatever happens and even if a lot of time has
passed you’re going to have some very strong emotions (and symptoms) cropping
up every time they come into contact. But ultimately what that looks like for
your character is up to you.
And you don’t need to apologise to me if your characters are awful people. I’ll probably have read worse. I want to help all of you write awful people well.
Prompt: Theres a new lesson that’s been added to the Hogwarts curriculum for the sixth years ran by Madam Pomfrey, Health and Social Care. This term, they’re learning about sexual health, teenage pregnancies and what it’s like to raise a baby.
- Remus found it challenging to touch the doll, let alone hold it.
- It really seemed to freak him out for some reason.
- Especially the fact that it was moving.
- Sirius though, he was a natural with it.
- He was burping it, changing it, singing to it, treating it as if it was a real child.
- It made butterflies flutter in Remus’ stomach.
- He didn’t know if that was from how endearing it was to watch Sirius, or how guilty he felt for not helping out much.
- After the first nappy changing, they found out that the baby was a boy.
- Sirius wanted to call him Leo after the Lion constellation (and as a memoir to his brother)
- Remus kind of wanted to call him Lyall after his father.
- They argued back and fourth and finally decided on Theodore Lyall-Leo Lupin, Teddy for short.
- Sirius did not want any child of his, real or fake, be burdened with the Black name.
- Peter and Mary decided to call their little girl Emilia.
- Peter was very shy and awkward around the doll, but loved it unconditionally and was extremely protective of it.
- So much so that when Alice suggested to Mary that her and Frank’s little Neville will be Emila’s husband when they grow up as a joke, Peter was personally offended that his daughter would be anyone’s husband.
- James and Lily decided to call their baby Harry because it was a family name of the Potters.
- Lily quite liked it and didn’t argue about it.
- As long as it wasn’t called something stupid like Vernon, she groaned.
- James shocked Lily with how passionate about the project he was.
- For some reason, she had thought he would treat the hold thing like a massive joke like some sort of ‘Lad’s Lad’ she always thought he was.
- But he was the complete opposite.
- He treated the doll as if it was real, pulling funny faces to it, singing it a lullaby his mother used to sing to him when he was small, and holding it as if it was the most precious thing in the world.
- He sorted out a sleep schedule so one of them would have the baby one night, then the other would have the baby the other night.
- She was impressed by how mature he was not to suggest they just share a bed together.
- James had even handed her a piece of parchment that Remus had given to him one Christmas and held up his own parchment.
- He told her that it was a way to communicate with each other from different places so if one of them were struggling with the baby and they weren’t together, they could write on their parchment and it would send the message to the other so they could meet up and help.
- Lily had to admit, it made her heart swell by the thoughtfulness of James, and watching him with the baby.
- Lily loved holding baby Harry, and James had no qualms about sharing him with her.
- She felt very maternal and didn’t understand how this was supposed to be a lesson on why you should think hard before having a child in your teenage years.
- She felt like she could have one now!
- Harry and Teddy and Emilia had only cried when they wanted to be fed or needed their nappies changing.
- They were perfect angels!
- Up to now, at least …
- On the first night after Dinner, Sirius was sat on Remus’ bed giving the baby it’s bottle and singing Oh You Pretty Things by David Bowie to him.
- James and Peter were in the commons with Lily and Mary looking after their respective dolls.
- Remus was sat crossed legged on the opposite side of the bed pretending to do some other homework, but really he was just watching Sirius through his lashes.
- His eyes traced along the line of Sirius’ sharp cheek bones and down his perfectly straight nose and to his plump red lips curving around the lyrics beautifully.
- He gulped.
- He really shouldn’t be looking at his best friend his way.
- His eyes trailed down further to where the doll was resting in his arms drinking from the bottle in Sirius’ hand.
- “You know,” Sirius said breaking the quiet and clearly catching Remus staring at him, “Teddy’s going to start thinking you don’t love him if you don’t hold him at some point!” He winked.
- “You want Daddy to hold you, baba?” Sirius nuzzled his nose against Teddy’s cheek.
- Remus put down his homework and pushed it to one side.
- He pulled himself further up the bed to sit directly in front of Sirius, their legs just touching.
- He looked down at the baby suckling the bottle in Sirius arms.
- He had to admit, it was pretty cute for a doll.
- “Do you want to try and hold him?” Sirius gently asked.
- Remus face shot up to stare at him with wide eyes, then back down to the doll.
- “It’s okay, just hold your arms out like you’re about to cradle him, I’ll ease him into your arms.” Sirius smiled reassuringly. “Just keep the head supported”
- Remus nervously nodded and did as Sirius said.
- Sirius put the baby’s bottle down and rearranged the baby into Remus’ arms, supporting his head as he went.
- Remus was staring star stuck at the baby he was now holding.
- The doll reached up to Remus who allowed the hand not supporting the head to hover over it to let the baby grab ahold of his finger.
- Then the baby giggled.
- Remus let out a happy breath of air.
- He was amazed that he was holding a child, real or not.
- This was something that he thought he would want - a child and a family - when he was older, but it was something he told himself he would never had.
- Werewolves weren’t allowed families.
- “See, he likes you. Don’t you, Teddikins? You like your Daddy, don’t you? Oh, yes you do! Yes you do!” Sirius cooed, blowing a light raspberry to Teddy’s cheek, earning an even louder giggle.
- He looked up to Remus who was watching him intently with an almost love-sick looking smile.
- Sirius felt his stomach drop as his eyes accidentally wandered down to Remus’ lips.
- He quickly raised his eyes again to see Remus’ had done the exact same thing.
- His hands started to feel clammy.
- He felt himself slowly leaning toward Remus.
- Then, Teddy let out and almighty cry.
- Remus’ eyes bulged out of his head as he passed the baby quickly back to Sirius.
- “What’s wrong with it? Why’s it doing that?” Remus panicked.
- “I don’t know.” Sirius confessed, gently shushing Teddy and rocking him back and forth.
- “It’s because I held it! It knew I was a werewolf, Sirius! It’s scared of me!” Remus jumped off the bed and started pacing the room.
- “Moony, that’s not the reason!” Sirius tried to calm him down, but was too stressed trying to figure out what was wrong with the doll.
- “What-da-matta? What-da-matta?” He chanted.
- “Pads, it’s not going to talk to you to tell you whats up!” Remus pulled at his hair.
- “Really, Remus?! Damn, here I thought he was going to tell me! Thank Merlin you’re around to point out the freakingobvious!” He shouted loudly, making the doll cry even harder.
- “Oh, no no no, no, I’m sorry baby. Padda didn’t mean to scare you.” He placed quick pecks to his cheeks.
- “Sorry, Teddy. Padda didn’t meant to scare you. Padda and Daddy still love you, Baby” He whispered even softer.
- The tears started to quieten down, but were still very prominent.
- “Sorry, Sirius,” Remus deflated. “I just scared me, I thought-.”
- “I know. It’s okay, I’m sorry too. I didn’t mean to snap.”
- Remus sat back down on the edge of the bed and let out a breathy laugh.
- “Geez, we really are parents now we’re arguing!”
- Sirius chuckled in return.
- They changed his nappy and Remus helped Sirius to put Teddy into a new onesie, they fed him a little more and burped him.
- But he still wasn’t happy.
- “Maybe he’s just tired?” Remus suggested.
- “Oh, I didn’t think of that!” Sirius praised. “Shit, we don’t have a cot. I completely forgot to pick one up from Pomfrey!”
- “Oh, right.” Remus furrowed and turned to look around the room. “I can go and pick one up, but she might not be happy since it’s after hours …”
- “I guess he’ll have to share one of our beds for now? Just put like a pillow fort around him so he doesn’t fall out?” Sirius pondered allowed.
- “We’d have to share a bed then, Pads, so he’s safely in the middle, otherwise he could roll out in the night.”
- Remus scrunched up his nose staring at the doll.
- “Do you think it could roll? Like, how much animation has it got?” He queried.
- “Well, she did say it’s like a real baby so … I’m assuming it could?” Sirius yawned. “I think sharing a bed would be wise.”
- His cheeks burnt a little bit like they always do whenever he and Remus share a bed, which seemed to be a lot more of late.
- “Sure, I’ll enlarge the bed and sort out the pillows whilst you go get ready, okay?” Remus threw him a lopsided smile and pulled out his wand.
- “Sounds good, hold Teddy for me whilst I go the bathroom, would you?”
- “Wha-”, but Sirius had already rearranged Remus’ arms and plopped Teddy into them and walked away.
- Remus was stood stiff with his wand in one hand and Teddy resting in his other, still sobbing.
- He threw his wand down onto the bed and held Teddy with both arms.
- “Erm … so …” Remus cringed, “bad weather we’re having lately, right?”
- Teddy’s cries seemed to have gotten louder.
- “Merlin, Remus, you’re so pathetic.” He insulted himself and readjusted Teddy in his arms.
- “Okay, okay okay.” He breathed deeply.
- “Hi, Teddy,” he whispered quietly so Sirius didn’t hear him.
- Teddy just stared at him with tears still rolling down his face but had quietened down all the same.
- “Oh, you’re not crying as much now, thats good! Good Teddy.” He beamed to the doll.
- “Erm … do you want a lullaby? Or a bedtime story? I’m not a great singer or story teller, but I’m sure I can think of something to make you sleepy.” He babbled.
- He took a deep breath and started to sing quietly, rocking Teddy back and forth.
- “Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high, theres a land that I’ve heard of, once in a lullaby …”
- Sirius had walked back into the room to see Remus singing and rocking Teddy, who was yawning sweetly and had stopped crying.
- “Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, that’s where dreams that you dare to dream, really do come true …”
- Sirius felt his knees buckle beneath him watching how beautiful Remus sang to their child.
- Theirchild, he thought over and over again.
- This would definitely be something that he could see in his future.
- Remus and him living in a cottage in a woodland area near a lake, raising two or three kids, with James and Peter in cottages near by.
- All of their kids playing and growing up together happily, like a real family.
- He felt a tear rolling down his cheek that he quickly wiped away.
- He walked over to Remus and the now sleeping Teddy in his arm’s and quickly placed a kiss to Teddy’s forehead.
- “How much did you hear?” Remus asked, embarrassed.
- “Just enough.” Sirius bit his lip.
- “I’ll sort the bed, Daddy,” he whispered into Remus’ ear almost seductively, sending a shiver down Remus’ body.
- Once Remus had gotten ready for bed, they both climbed under the covers and placed Teddy into the pillow fort on top of the covers between them with his own little blanket.
- He was peacefully sleeping.
- “Hey, Moons?” Sirius breathed.
- “Yeah Pads?” He replied over sleeping Teddy.
- “I’m glad we’re partners.” He sleepily smiled.
- “Me too.” Remus grinned, grabbing ahold of Sirius’ hand under the covers and squeezing it gently.
- They both started to drift off, still holding hands beneath a sleeping Teddy.
- Until James came into the dorm and accidentally banged the door against the wall.
- Teddy woke with a start and screamed the dorm down.
- “Prongs!” Sirius and Remus groaned in unison.
- This was going to be a long night.
I’ll write part three soon! Sorry it took so long to write this part, this have been super hectic lately, but I promise I’ll write more as soon as I can! I hope you like it!
(inspired by acejohnmurphy and her idea of the Drarry coffee shop AU in which they are stupid competitive boys in love)
Today Harry is Roonil Wazlib and it is a grande non-fat mochachino with soy milk and a dash of caramel, smelling heavenly and Malfoy is smirking at him across the counter. It’s raining cats and dogs outside and Harry’s still wet hair is partly plastered to his skull, some strands already beginning to stick up in odd angles and curling at the edges. He sighs and swipes an especially bothering strand from his face, sipping at the cup.
He listens to the music from the loudspeakers and is kind of glad that his friends aren’t here because they would tear Malfoy apart and make fun of him and that is Harry’s job, really. And as he leaves he places a ridiculously high tip without thinking of it. Malfoy doesn’t really need the high tip since his family is loaded but it surely can’t hurt, can it?
The next time he is Happy Potato and a Venti java chip chocolate cream with soy milk (he doesn’t drink normal milk as he is lactose-intolerant) and an extra dash of chocolate and kind of amused because of the name and Seamus and Dean are here too and their names are right and it makes Harry oddly proud that he is the only one Malfoy deliberately names wrong on the cups.
Then there is a match and they are both on fire that day and of course Harry’s team, the Lions, win by a high margin and of course Harry celebrates his win with a tall caramel frappé with cream and chocolate shavings and Malfoy is scowling at him and he is ‘The boy who lived to endlessly annoy me, really, Potter?’ and Harry snorts into his coffee and leaves another high tip because Malfoy’s eyes remind him of a storm cloud and doesn’t care about the stares of his teammates.
He meets Malfoy a week after that, again in the pouring rain and they get into a huge spat, sneering and scowling at each other and calling each other names, but suddenly Malfoy yells that Harry should just shut up and Harry dares him to try and make him shut up and then Malfoy presses him against a wall and teeth clash and warm bodies touch and hands tangle into hair and they are kissing as if they are about to drown, animalistic and wild, soaked with rain, their shirts translucent and quickly gotten rid off and they fall deeper, deeper, deeper.
When they surface, faces flushed and clothes sticky with rain and breathing hard, Malfoy just quirks an eyebrow at him and smirks that goddamn infuriating smirk of his before he pushes away and jogs off, leaving Harry standing there with a hammering heart and a quite scaring but kind of obvious relevation.
So he goes back to the coffeeshop and orders a regular black coffee without any specials and the barista is someone different this time and Harry can’t ignore the pang in his heart as he makes his way to his usual booth. But then he sees the small sticky note attached to the cup and begins to smile so widely that he fears his face will break.
‘Potter, this is Pansy. Draco’s best friend. He asked me to give you his number so here you go. And I am not a ruddy owl. Treat him well or I will gut you. Pansy xx’
He saves the number attached into his contacts and leaves, tipping her and leaves the shop.
‘Hi Draco, this is Harry.’ he types, painstakingly mulling over every word. You wanted my number, so here it is. How about a date next week? - Harry’ he ends and sends, waiting with baited breath.
‘Hello Potter. You seem a bit nervous about meeting up. Scared? - Draco’ is the answer after a few seconds.
Harry laughs and takes a sip of his coffee, watching Pansy scowling at him and types back two words while he gazes to the horizon and thinks of eyes like the storm and nimble movements and hot kisses and maybe also the start of a crush developing.
@misanthrobot replied to your chat“I get tipsy and call out fallout (to a friend)”
This is good, but what’s your stance on Covenant in this ooc?
It’s lazy? It’s stuff made up by the same people whose imagination made up the culture/counterculture dynamic between Diamond City and Goodneighbor.
Diamond City espouses the ideals of ‘clean and safe,’ but the environment is not too clean or too safe. The writers seem to use an an inherent distrust or accusation of the uncanny if something is too ‘wholesome.’ If it’s not leaving someone out in the cold, if something seems nicely functioning, aesthetically pleasing, harmonious then that ‘can’t’ be true. They obviously must be torturing people in their basement or something.
To me, it is not distrust of something ‘too normal’ but emotions that ‘normal’ people hold all the time to try and persuade themselves that their advantages are hard-earned and wholesome. Sure, they’re not like those freaks who shoot up in the gutter but they’re also not like The DINKs next door who don’t deserve the things they have, don’t know how hard it is to get by, don’t even have dirt on their nose. They probably murder people after hours or something, no one’s that perfect or nice.
I suppose there’s an ‘uncanny valley’ for this kind of situation where any setting approaching a utopia is obviously a dystopia with skeletons in the closet until it is 100% ‘there.’ Arguably until you reach the ‘total utopia’ zone the more and more horrific the skeletons are assumed to be, the more uncanny the mimic of a happy Culture it is.
It’s the same fiction that white people tell themselves that they’re just average, there are the ‘elite’ out there, a ‘whiter people’ with a whole other definition of humanity. And that the unfairnesses, unkindnesses of majority culture (especially to people it pushes out to become ‘counterculture’ and then caricatures) are somehow wholesome or natural because if god forbid we serve free lemonade we’d also probably be kidnapping and electrocuting people or something. It would be “too good to be true.”
It’s basically a lazy dystopia trope that relies on comment on our own society and the knowledge that erasing its “imperfections” implies eugenics or systemic removal of ‘problem’ people. Most people in real life would agree that the dystopia situation Covenant presents is super fucked up, because we are able to separate our ‘Normal’ from their ‘Uncannily Normal’ and through that observe it at a safe distance. But not everyone will notice that certain kinds of people are either missing or underground or novelties in Diamond City. Before going to Goodneighbor it’s likely a first time player might not even have noticed there was a variety of people who were forcibly banished from Diamond City. Most of us are too close to ‘normal’ to notice that it’s weird and fucked up that Normal’s still kicking (and marginalizing people) when it has no reason to be.
help i fell into gravity falls. shows about small towns with weird/creepy shit going down?? do u mean my most favourite genre ever
dipper’s hat was uncooperative so pretend it just got blown off. the cipher on dipper is bill’s, saying “trust no one” and the one on mabel is the author’s, saying “i trust you” bc hA HA THAT LAST EPISODE, kill me