where the grass

procraesthetics  asked:

I wonder what would happen if Dudley grew up in the wizarding world but still as a muggle? like kind of reverse AU where his parents are dead and he has to go to Lily for whatever reason? do you think he would become bitter like Petunia about magic?

Lily remembered her sister, how there had been a time she was curious and delighted about magic, before it slowly sank in that she could look and not touch.

The last thing Petunia had said to Lily before she died was a chilly goodbye, ending a holiday dinner where they’d had a shrieking row in the entryway. Petunia had said freak and Lily had hissed better than this, better than this being my whole fucking world, Tune, do you even see yourself, are you happy–

And now here was Dudley Vernon Dursley fussing himself to sleep as Lily walked the halls of the Godric’s Hollow house. His tiny soft hands with their tiny soft fingernails curled under her chin, the same way Harry always had.

She passed James, who was gently bouncing his way up the hall the opposite way. “I think he’s asleep,” James mouthed over Harry’s tousled head. His hair was the same mess, bent down to peer at his sleeping son.

Lily stopped where she stood, her nephew heavy on her chest, her husband smiling, her sister buried. “James,” she said. “How are we going to do this?”

“Oh,” he said. “Hey. Don’t you cry, you’ll start them off– unless you need to cry, I mean, you go ahead, hey, sweetheart, hey, it’s alright, you just let it out.” He stepped forward, shifting Harry gently to his other shoulder, and pressed his forehead to hers. “We tuck them in, okay, that’s what we do next. Then we go to our own bed, okay, and go to sleep, and when we wake up it’ll be a new day.”

“A new day,” she said. “Another day– James, that’s the– I’m so tired.”

“So let’s sleep. It’ll look better in the morning,” he said. “And if it doesn’t look better this morning, it’ll look better in the next one.”

“You promise?”

“Better than that. I’ll show you. Every day,” he said and kissed her cold forehead.

Dudley had not shown up on the Potters’ doorstep with the milk bottles. Lily had gotten a phone call from the landline she still had installed in Godric’s Hollow, about an accident, and she had gone down to the Muggle police station to identify the bodies.

The cupboard under the stairs was filled with spiders, broomsticks, and the sewing machine Lily’s mother had given her when she married James– that’s all. Dudley slept downstairs. Uncle Remus taught Dudley and Harry to knock out coded messages through the wall their rooms shared.

In the backyard, beside a rickety porch and an ambitious hedge, James taught them to fly– first on little tot brooms where their toes brushed the grass the whole time, then out of the barrels of practice brooms James used for lessons and coaching Little League Quidditch.

When the boys turned ten, five weeks apart, they both got shiny new Nimbuses on Dudley’s birthday (which came first), and a set of enchanted Quidditch balls on Harry’s, to share. The Bludgers were enchanted to be very kind but Dudley spent long afternoons whacking them far afield while Harry chased the Snitch at his back.

Harry had a scar on his forehead, like a jagged bit of lightning. Dudley had no scars– the car crash that had killed his parents hadn’t touched him where he sat strapped into a car seat in the back, chewing on a stuffed dinosaur toy.

Lily did not believe in lying to the children. She was bare years off being a child herself, and spare moments on the far side of a war. When Dudley asked about his parents, she told him there had been an accident. She pulled pictures off the shelf and wrote Petunia’s old university friends for more.

Photographs came by mailman, the images still and unnatural to Dudley’s eye. Every day he’d gone out to play, for years, he’d been waving at the picture near the back door of his aunt and uncle on their wedding day, and they waved back every time.

“She was very clever,” Lily said. “Your mom liked to know everything.”

“And my dad?”

“Vernon liked… cars?” James offered. “That’s the word, right, Lily?”

“I didn’t know him very well,” Lily said. “He liked drills, I think; he worked for a firm that made them, and he talked about that a lot.”

Dudley brushed his thumbs over the dull edges of the photos. When Lily went off to Auror headquarters the next morning for work, James bundled the boys up and took them on an impromptu invisible tour of Grunnings Drill Manufacturing Inc.

They tiptoed down halls and past water coolers and ringing fellytones. They held hands under the Cloak as they dodged around the machines on the manufacturing floor, thumping and pounding and whirring away loudly enough that Harry and Dudley could whisper to each other under the noise. An elevator took them all the way up to the top floor. Harry whistled cheerily and eerily along with the elevator music while the Muggles slowly edged toward the doors and pressed floor buttons lower than they’d originally wanted.

There were boxes and cabinets and folders and desks and staticky monitor screens full of numbers strewn in endless grids. “Merlin’s knuckles,” said Harry, who was seven and a half and rather proud of this expletive. “People can look at this all day, their whole lives, and not die?”

“Work is hard work,” said James.

“At least mum gets to curse things.”

“But my dad liked it?” Dudley said, peering at a white board that was bleeding enthusiastic marker. “There’s a lot of things, here. Maybe he liked knowing things, too.”

When the boys asked about the scar on Harry’s forehead, Lily and James looked at each other. “You know how sometimes we sit with Uncle Remus and talk about a war?” James said. “Or with Ms. Amelia or Mr. Mundungus.”

“Mr. Mundungus is kinda smelly,” Harry said helpfully.

“It’s not nice to say so though,” said James, and Lily made a face.

“Are we raising them to be nice?” Lily said.

“I’m trying,” said James.

“You talk about a war,” said Harry and shrugged. Dudley nodded.

“There was a very bad man, in those days,” said James.

“Voldemort,” said Lily, and James made a face.

“He was so scary a lot of people don’t like to say his name, even now,” said James. “And he was coming after us because we had been fighting against him, in the war. He came to the house and he tried to hurt you, Harry. But it didn’t work. It hurt him instead, and gave you that scar.”

“Is he going to come back?” said Dudley, who was paler than his normal pink.

“No one’s heard of him since then,” said Lily.

“Where were you?” said Harry, because all his life they had been right there.

“Oh,” said Lily, but her throat closed up.

“We were at Dudley’s mum and dad’s funeral,” said James. “Our friend– our friend Sirius was watching you two. The bad man, he came to the house. He. Well. I.”

“Sirius died,” said Lily, one hand squeezing James’s knee and the other reaching down to brush hair off Dudley’s forehead. “You lived, Harry, and Voldemort vanished. And that’s why sometimes people stare in the streets, baby.” James tweaked Harry’s collar absently.

Two days after they had buried Lily’s sister, the Potters had stood together in the first chills of November and buried James’s brother.

Sirius had been burned off the Black family tree years before. Lily and James had talked to his cousin Andromeda, to Remus, and then they had laid him to rest in the Potter family plot. At the wake, they’d told old jokes about squirrel breath, shedding, and man’s best friend. Remus had fallen asleep on their couch and stayed for a month.

It took a two hour row with HR for Lily to get two passes to the Ministry’s Bring Your Kid To Work Day.

“He’s a Muggle.”

“He’s not,” Lily snapped. “He’s family.”

She had to get permission, sign a million forms, and she also had to take the boys in early so that Dudley could get smothered in the spells that would keep the Anti-Muggle wards around the Ministry from activating on him. “If a Muggle stumbles in somehow, they just see a funny-smelling supply cabinet and turn back around,” Lily told Dudley. He nodded and dragged Harry off by the wrist to go look at the fountain.

The windows were pouring sunlight into the underground room– the maintenance workers had just gotten a win on their contract negotiations and had banished the grimy rain-spattered windows of the previous weeks. The light hit the falling water, the golden statues, and the small excitable crowd of Ministry dependents who were gathering in the atrium. Dudley was fishing about in the fountain for Knuts to toss back out again, elbow-deep, and Harry was laughing and coming up with weird wishes to make on them.

Lily hadn’t said son. She’d said family, and that was true enough, wasn’t it? She didn’t say son– she had a son, and she had a nephew, a ward, another child who came to her after nightmares and scraped knees. It was not less, it was just words.

Lily worried about stealing more things from Petunia. Tuney had shrieked at her, in ladies’ restrooms and suburban foyers, had hissed at her in grocery store aisles and family dinners, because Lily got everything. And now Lily had her son.

Lily could just imagine it– could just see Petunia’s face twisting and chin stabbing at the air. You could have anything, and you took my son– my son!

“You left him to me,” Lily whispered, but that wasn’t quite right. “You left,” she whispered, and that wasn’t quite right either, so she strode off toward the fountain to ask the boys if they wanted to go see the Auror spellwork ranges. Dudley’s sodden shirt sleeves dripped all over the Ministry floors. Harry’s hair fell down into his eyes and they both grinned bright enough to rival the spelled sunlight.

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dreamy aesthetics

- flickering neon motel signs that always seem to be missing a really significant letter rendering the glowing word or phrase meaningless

- carnivals that move from town to town; the air hot and ripe with secrets and the sugar-icing scent of cotton candy

- those nights when the wind sounds like the breath of the beautiful stranger sleeping next to you

- crop circles and fields of singed grass where local residents claim alien ships land on the darker eves of the year

- the back alleys of the dingiest night club on the block that look like places where serial killers claim their victims or superheroes swoop to the rescue or cults practice witchcraft

- those nineties themed diners with rollerblading waiters, jukeboxes and cold fries but bucketlist worthy milkshakes

- sitting atop a rooftop you skilfully climbed up but with a terrifying prospect of getting down, pointing to every star that never granted you wishes running your hands through your best friend’s hair and the air feels like warm milk in the throat

- listening to a stream gurgling and gargling rocks in a forest so green it’s like sitting in the heart of an emerald

- binge watching the X-Files in your pajamas there’s chocolate chip ice cream and your two dogs are cuddled up against you, one on your lap and the other curled around your ankles

- greenhouses that swim with sunlight all these exotic flowers that you can’t name aquamarine and scarlet and canary yellow blooms it smells like dirt and honeysuckle and budding life

anonymous asked:

If it hasn't already been done (I know I haven't read them all yet) could you do 71 with matt and niel? I can't ever get enough of their friendship

71: “There’s a thunderstorm outside and you want to do what?” 

The court is soup, stirring and humid, and Matt stares straight up at the ceiling, trying to catch a proper breath. He’s aware of Dan folded almost in half by the benches, holding a stitch in her side like something’s about to pop out. 

Nicky’s starfished a metre away from Matt, gasping dramatically with both arms criss-cross flung over his eyes. The rest of the team is hunched or stretched like roman statues, twisted in grotesque shapes to take the pressure off of their overworked ankles and lungs.

Inevitably, Neil is utterly solid on his feet, chest still heaving with exertion but eyes focused. Andrew passes him an unscrewed water bottle and they make eye contact for five whole seconds too long. Matt snorts, rolling away onto his front and grimacing at the sweaty peeling sound his uniform makes.

“Neil,” he calls, holding his own flushed cheeks. “Any ETA on when we can scrape ourselves off the court?”

“What?” he asks sharply.

“We just want to whither and die in our own homes,” Nicky moans.

“We have a half hour left in our regular practice plus we’re a month away from semifinals,” Neil says, incredulous. “We should be working harder than ever.”

“A month,” Allison repeats. “As in one month. As in what— over forty practices to go?”

Matt sneaks a glance and Neil has his arms crossed, his mouth sour. “The ravens will be—“

“Nope,” Allison interrupts,  “I’m sick of hearing about what Edgar Allan’s demonic fucking automatons would do. They don’t play by the same rules as us. That’s sort of the point.”

“We’ll be better fresh, Neil,” Dan says, still panting a little from her last lap. “You know what pushing too hard looks like.”

“And I know what not pushing hard enough looks like,” Neil snaps, harsh and echoey in their plexiglass cage. He swallows a couple of times, maybe trying to get the taste of his outburst out of his mouth, and then he looks away. “Some of you meet resistance and stop pushing.”

“I mean If I know anything about Q-tips, that’s what you’re supposed to do,” Nicky says.

“Your body resists for a reason.” Aaron grimaces, apparently upset to be agreeing with his cousin.

“Neil’s right,” Kevin says, and everyone groans. His eyes narrow, and he taps his racquet on the floor like he’s calling order to a courtroom. “We’re not improving. We’re stagnant, and we’re taking the extra bulk of the newbies for granted. More bodies doesn’t guarantee a win, we know this. We have to switch things up.”

“Switch things up,” Allison repeats, leaning back on her hands. “What would you propose, Queenie? You want us to switch jersey’s? Play on a basketball court?”

“The jersey thing sounds fun,” Matt says, sly. “Dibs on Dan’s.”

“Switch things up,” Neil echoes, and Matt watches helplessly as a bad idea dawns on him. 

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They always say “that that’s the way it is” and “you’ll get over it”.
Maybe you will get over it, maybe you’ll get over my absence…but will I get over yours?


You were everything to me, my best friend, my diary, my safe place.

The person I could run to and suddenly the miserable day I had wouldn’t matter because we’d be singing together so loudly that I couldn’t even hear my thoughts… I skip the songs now.

The 3am phone call when I couldn’t sleep and my thoughts were filling my lungs like a flood travelling up into my throat,almost like I could vomit them straight back up again every time I tried to swallow and suppress them…now the only comfort I find is my tear stained pillow.

The continuous laughter from a joke 10 minutes ago that wasn’t even mildly funny but we thought that it was hilarious…sighs replace our giggles now.

The smile across the room when something made me nervous and I’d look at you, you’d reassure me with that smile…you don’t look at me anymore.

The eye contact when someone asked if I was okay and I muttered I’m fine under my breath, because you didn’t need to ask and I didn’t need to say…it’s been months of “I’m fine.”,I stare at the ground now.

The sleepovers when that morning I didn’t even want to leave my bed, the inside jokes that made me laugh when I didn’t even want to smile,the plans for the future we made when I didn’t even see one for myself. Because you felt like home, you were my best friend.

You were my happiness.

But what was I to you?

Stepping stones.

Something you walked over as you stood above me,used so you could get over your obstacles and reach the side where the grass is always greener.

I didn’t mind helping you along though, but then you walked on the stepping stones to the side that had more to offer, the side that offered alcohol for you to drink, boys for you to love, and better people for you to trust and laugh with,

I don’t blame you though, but you never came back.

You left me stuck in the middle, the water got deeper and deeper and it was surrounding me and no matter how strong I stood it kept washing over me leaving me gasping for air and choking on the water,along with the lies you fed me.

But here you were laughing, creating new memories with thousands of others while I was left in the ocean with no one else but myself.

I don’t know if I can forgive you. I miss you quite terribly but my stepping stone days are done because I have now realised that nobody will ever deserve to feel like they’re not worthy of love.

But when you get tired and the grass loses its vibrant colour and starts to rot and you want to just come home, it’s too late because there will be no access to the side that was never good enough for you.

Because when you burn bridges you may rebuild them after a lot of work and effort. But you can never rebuild stepping stones.
—  I miss you quite terribly.
The Secret (11)

prologue; part one; part two; part three; part four; part five; part six; part seven; part eight; part nine; part ten; part eleven; part twelve; part thirteen;

With Baekhyun touring in Japan, things quickly went back to normal for you and Zoe. You woke up and wrestled your daughter into her school uniform, dropped her off at school and headed to work, picked Zoe up in the afternoon and took her to one of her many classes. Then it was dinner, bath and bed – for the both of you. It was just how things were before you introduced Baekhyun to your daughter … before you’d even met Baekhyun again after years apart.

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don’t tell me isak and even haven’t done that cheesy thing where they’re lying on the grass looking at the stars, and isak is trying not to cry because he’s tough and manly, but it’s not working. space always makes him emotional. even says that space makes him feel small, alone, but isak’s always just felt like he belonged. he’s a part of this wider constellation of stardust and unexplained phenomena, and one day, space and time had come together to decide that isak valtersen should exist. he’s trying not to cry as he’s whispering space facts to even, but honestly, even’s just looking down at isak’s open face thinking there are no stars that could shine brighter than this boy. 

Speaking with people who have been terrorized by roosters.

I accidentally ended up with a rooster a couple years ago from a mis-sexed chick, and decided to keep him because I thought he could keep an eye on my little T. rexes while they were foraging. He was socialized like his brood-sisters, so I figured he’d be a decent pet as long as he never became too hormonal.

This bird was the biggest coward I have ever encountered. Any perceived threat- dogs, hawks, people- he would abandon the hens and go tearing across the stable parking lot to dive under a truck. Where he would hide for hours. I caught him one time when he tried to flee and leave the hens to die, and he fluffed himself up while screaming that he was being mauled by a mountain lion.

Every evening when I’d herd the chickens back into their run, River would take off in the opposite direction, screaming, and go hide in the tall grass. Where I would search for a half hour before giving up and deciding he was just going to have to be coyote bait. After sundown he’d be spotted doing laps around the coop, trying to get inside. Our stable’s caretaker would have to drive down the hill from his house to open the door for this dumbass.

He was a Barnvelder- they’re not lightweights. I have no idea why he was incapable of basic chicken dignity, much less terrorizing anything. I could describe him as Heihei’s fat twin.

We ended up giving him to one of our caretaker’s friends who wanted a breeder that would add weight to his mixed flock’s lines. Friend also has small children, so River being completely nonaggressive meant he was perfect for them. He’s more of a family pet now.

truth or dare: c.h. 

quick note: thanks to @girethka for the request!! (my inbox is always open send me an idea!)

You braced yourself as you brought your fist to the door and knocked. It was Luke’s rent house and the band was hosting a party to celebrate the end of the tour. Everyone who had anything to do with it was invited and you were the girl who made sure they got to the right places at the right times.

Over the past few months you’d gotten to know them each well. You knew that Michael liked to sleep in and didn’t like early flights, but you didn’t mind booking them extra early for him. You knew Luke didn’t mind the time as long as he had his headphones and a window seat-he liked to space out. And Ashton was always ready for a plane ride, carrying his trusted notebook and pen along with him. You knew Calum was-

“Hey, Y/n!” Right in front of you apparently.

“Hi, Calum!” You smiled back at the beaming boy. You could feel your heart melting at the sight of his smile. He moved aside so you could come in, handing him the six pack of beer you’d been asked to bring.

“Ah, sweet!” He said in his heavy accent; all the days away from home and he’d still not lost any of it. He closed the door while you took a few steps into the entry way. You could hear music coming from the backyard. A few people were lounging in the living room but you figured the rest were outside in the pool.

Calum opened his mouth to say something, but you didn’t see as your friend from work, Roxy, jumped up to say hi. “Y/n! I’m so glad to see you.” She pulled you into a hug and Calum settled for a tight smile as he set the beer down in the kitchen on his way to the backyard. He figured you’d find your way out. And you did.

You’d been told by Luke that there was a pool a little bit before you were leaving and you’d shown up late because you put on a bikini underneath your dress. You were always one to go for a swim. You’d managed to get Roxy to come outside with you, even though she insisted she was having fun on the couch on her phone. Now she was happily chatting with Michael and a few other crew members.

You looked around the backyard, recognizing a lot of faces. Ashton was sitting on the diving board, legs dangling as he sipped his beer talking to his friends floating in the water. He glanced up and caught your eye, waving to say hello. You raised your hand and waved back, earning a quick smile before he looked back to his friends.

Luke yelled your name and you found him leaned up against the pool wall, intense blue eyes watching you. “Hi.” He said with a grin.

“Hi.” You said back, stepping closer to hear him better.

“How are you?” He asked, sounding genuinely curious.

“I’m good! How are you?”

“Can’t complain. Would you like to join me?” He said, gesturing to the pool behind him.

“Actually, yes.” You’d been  wanting to take a dip in the pool ever since you’d heard there was going to be one. He smiled and turned around, leaning his back against the side of the pool. You took off your shirt and shorts, leaving them on a chair by the pool. You left your shoes by them and put up your hair.

You went to the stairs and stuck your foot in, immediately taking it back out. “Why is it so cold?” You scowled at Luke like it was his fault, while he just laughed.

“It’s almost ten at night, the water’s bound to cool down. You’ll adjust to it, just get in.” He said while laughing, watching you stick your foot back in cautiously.

“Fine.” You quickly stepped into the water, sucking in a breath as it hit you. Luke laughed, sipping his beer as you slowly joined him at the side of the pool.

“You alright?” He asked as you had your eyes screwed shut, hands hanging above the surface

“Fine.” You whispered, adjusting a bit to the temperature. When you opened your eyes you immediately found Calum across the pool sitting with a few other friends at a table. He was nodding and laughing at something, eyes crinkling as he smiled the cutest smile. You’d kill to make him smile like that.

“What are you staring at?” Luke teased, knowing full well what you were looking at.

“Oh, shut up!” You whispered, before clearing your throat. “Shut up.” You said in a louder voice, tearing your eyes from the now shirtless boy.

“Just ask him out already! It’s so obvious you two are made for each other.” You rolled your eyes. “All you ever do is drool over each other.” He said through a laugh. You pushed his shoulder, causing him to lose his balance and tip over into the water. Now it was your turn to laugh. His beer bottle went under the water as he was trying to regain balance and he glared at you when he was upright again.

He poured the beer and pool water onto the concrete behind him while looking at you with a smirk. This ended your laughter as you knew he had an idea. “Everyone!” He said, calling the attention to him. He held up the empty beer bottle for them to see. “Let’s play spin the bottle!” A few cheers were heard back and you looked at him wide-eyed as he set the bottle to the side and pulled himself out of the pool.

You looked to where Calum had previously been and now he had his lip tucked between his teeth, looking like he was seriously thinking something over before his eyes met yours. You saw his worried brown eyes become something else. With a slight smirk he stood from his chair and left his beer bottle on the table, following the others to where Luke had set the game up.

You reluctantly followed to an open patch of grass where people were sitting around a pizza box with a bottle on it. Luke had put on a shirt and some basketball shorts. “Okay so this is Truth or Dare spin the bottle which is you spin the bottle and ask the person truth or dare and then you give them a truth or dare.” Luke said, eyeing you from his spot. You sat in between Roxy and Michael, watching as Luke asked for someone to go first.

Ashton offered and spun the bottle, landing on Roxy. “Truth or Dare?” He said with a smile as he sipped from his beer bottle.

She pretended to be lost in thought before saying, “Dare!” With an exciting tone.

“I dare you to jump in the pool naked.” Ashton said without missing a beat. You’d think for colleagues that was a little too much but before you all worked together, you were all pretty good friends. There was Roxy, you, Dallas (the outfits), Luke, Ashton, Michael, Calum, Blake (the social media), and Hoeg who preferred to be called that over his real name and he was of course the photographer.

Roxy stood up with a triumphant smirk and began stripping, earning whoops from Dallas and Michael. You watched with laughter as she ran naked towards the pool and jumped in. Everyone was laughing as she surfaced and said with a grin, “My turn.”

When she was back and in shorts and her bra, she spun the bottle. It landed on Luke. “Truth or d-“ But before she could finish the sentence he was saying dare with a smirk, like nothing could faze him.

“I dare you to…take off one item of clothing for dare, including this one!” Roxy smiled viciously as he looked at her confused for a moment.

“No problem.” He covered up his shock with a smirk as he quickly pulled his shirt over his head, revealing his toned stomach and chest. “My turn.” He said, moving to spin the bottle. Calum looked at Luke, smiling as he said,

“Dare.” Luke smirked back, standing up to take off his shorts. You hoped he was wearing boxers for his own sake. While he ws taking off his shorts he said,

“I dare you to kiss the prettiest person here.” He said, revealing that he did have boxers on. You wondered when he’d changed.

“Easy.” Calum replied, but he sounded like it was more difficult than that. You watched as his eyes scanned the circle, quickly finding your face. He didn’t seem nervous as he stood and walked to your side of the circle. You looked at him, feeling the red rising to your cheeks as he held his hand out for you.

You heard Roxy say, “Oo la la.” Somewhere but that seemed far away as you took his hand and stood up. He snaked his hand around your waist, tugging you closer to his shirtless torso. The other hand cupped your cheek as he smiled down at you.

“Is this okay?” He whispered, so only you could hear. You nodded, at loss for words while finding your own hands winding around his neck.
He leaned down and pressed his lips to yours, earning cheers and whoops from your friends. You quickly met his pace and kissed him back, surprised when you felt his  plump lips part and even more surprised when you didn’t hesitate to part yours. The open mouthed kisses grew hot quickly and soon Michael was yelling to get a room. You laughed, pulling back and looking at the beaming Calum.

“Maybe we will.” You said to Michael glancing at Luke to see him wearing a devilish grin. He’d succeeded.