Growing Strong (Burning Bright), Chapter Five (2016-01-09)

Something Doctor Shamal told him springs to mind as he sits rigidly in his estraged sister’s photoshoot perfect receiving room. Different types of flames have different aspects–abilities, yes, but also character traits. At the time, Branton had chalked it up to more of that mystical mumbo jumbo, but now he’s not so sure.

Storm types were devoted (obsessive), Mist types were insightful (manipulative), Sun types were optimistic (naive), so on and so forth, little things like that. It had seemed as legitimate as the silly color changing mood rings that had been a fad during his teenage years. His own independent (isolated) tendencies certainly match Shamal’s description of Cloud types–he’d shudder at the thought of this suburban lifestyle, settling down to start a family, if he weren’t trying to make a good impression on his estranged sister.

Or at least a not absolutely terrible impression.

“I won’t make a scene outside where the neighbors can witness,” she says, begrudgingly bringing a tea set and placing it on the table between them. Impeccable manners even if the actual well-meaning intentions aren’t behind it, “I expect you to say your piece and leave. Preferably for another two decades if not longer.”

It’s not exactly the best reception he could have had, but it’s fair enough. Certainly better than what he was expecting.

Then again, he’s not sure what he was expecting, really, hadn’t known what twenty years would do to the fifteen year old girl he’d left behind in Cokeworth. Still has no idea what it did to the thirteen year old he can’t find anything about.

Branton knows bringing up their little sister, the sister who Petunia had always been at least a little jealous over, isn’t exactly going to endear him to her. But given that he literally has exhausted all other means, well…

Frankly, he hadn’t actually wanted to see Petunia again. Not out of any ill-will–actually, quite the opposite. He knows she’s got a nice, normal life set up here, far from their Cokeworth past; far from her brother’s criminal inclinations and her sister’s magical existence. There’s no reason for her and her new family to get tangled up in this at all, not when she has no way to defend herself against it.

He expects to say his piece and leave her life again. This time for good, because Petunia doesn’t deserve this, him, showing up on her front door out of the blue.

He can’t say the same for his other sister, who stepped into an entirely different world than the one Branton did, and only ever sometimes looked back. A world where every person was armed and dangerous and capable of doing impossible things.

Well, maybe her world was a little like his.

Branton nods, gets back on track, steels himself for the final severing of ties between himself and Petunia. “Where’s Lily?” he asks, and notes the way her mouth flattens into a hard, displeased line. The way it always had after their little sister received a letter neither of them had gotten.

But he also sees the way Petunia’s eyes narrow, her eyebrows curve. Not out of distaste or jealousy or even anger. Out of confusion and then shock and then quickly hidden sorrow, “You’re thirteen years too late to ask me that,” she responds through gritted teeth. She looks away, though, lets him deal with the news without her cutting, accusing gaze.

Maybe Lily’s world was more like his than he thought.

~

A/N: Lalalala, I swear I will get to Harry soon… maybe.

Growing Strong (Burning Bright), Chapter Four (2015-12-28)

When Branton knocks on the door of Number Four Privet Drive, a small whale of a human opens it. He’s seen some pretty strange things over the course of his career, so he has a pretty decent poker face, but he can still feel his cheek twitch.

“What do you want?” the whale says through a mouth full of something brown. Hopefully it’s chocolate.

“Does Petunia Dursley live here?” He asks, civil at least in the face of such rudeness.

“Muuum!” the whale shrieks, not unlike a death throe, before retreating back into the house. It leaves the door wide open, and Branton can’t help the flash of thought–no self preservation, weak, soft, pathetic, I could kill you so easily–but he shoves it down. That’s his sister’s son, why would he?

Tuney appears in the hallway, mouth in a smile that immediately becomes strained upon spotting him. He’s not insulted at all–he’d probably do the same if he bothered with polite smiles–mostly, he’s surprised she recognized him at all.

He hardly recognizes her in turn, though that’s probably unfair. Last time he saw Tuney, she was only fifteen, hardly past childhood. Now she’s a mother, a woman with wrinkles and brittle hair, pale and skeletal and sullen.

Then again, the sullen part hasn’t changed very much.

“Tuney,” he greets simply.

“It’s Petunia,” she corrects through gritted teeth, then, “Briar Rose,” she bites out in acknowledgement.

“Petunia,” he accedes, then, “I go by Branton now,” he doesn’t smile.

She doesn’t even bother maintaining her own smile, her expression transforming completely into a scowl.

He’s wearing one of his sharper suits, the one that emphasizes his broad shoulders and lethality, so he doesn’t know why she’s surprised.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve seen each other,” he tries.

“Through no fault of mine,” she shuts him down.

They stand in silence for a moment: Branton is so keenly aware of the doorway between them, him outside on the front step, her in the immaculate shell of her house.

“May I come in?”

~

A/N: Finally titled the HPxKHR fusion of criminal Evans uncle with Flames. Also finally decided on a first name for said uncle 😀

Running Backwards Chapter Seven (2015-12-27)

I woke up with a jerk, and almost startled sideways off of my bed. The room was still unfamiliar and thus disorienting in the dark.
Despite being underground, the Hufflepuff dorm ceilings were supposed to be lit following the school’s circadian pattern. Meaning that there was no reason for me to be awake.

I wasn’t one to awaken easily in the night, despite being in a new location, and so I sat up to search for the reason.

Our room was fairly large, understandable since it did have to house four adolescent boys and their inevitable mess, but still small enough to feel cozy. As my eyes adjusted to the dark, I spotted Farold and Arthur’s prone bodies across the room. Besides Farold’s mild whistling snore, which I had accustomed myself to early on in the night, neither of them were the cause of my conscious state.

In the bed beside mine, a blanket cocoon curled further in on itself, and a muffled cry made its way over to my ears.

Ah. Cedric.

I dithered, unsure whether or not I should go over or leave him alone. I didn’t want to embarrass him by causing a fuss, especially since we didn’t know each other all that well, but he was my friend and I remembered being eleven and being homesick. Even if I had the maturity of a previous life, the first time around I didn’t, and I remembered my own bouts of loneliness. By day, they had seemed silly, but the nights made it hurt more.

Another muffled cry made the decision for me.

I padded over on silent feet to Cedric’s bed and laid a hand on his shoulder, “Cedric?” I murmured.

His shaking form stiffened, even though he shouldn’t have been able to feel my touch through the blanket cocoon. The tawny brown of his hair popped out and his face freed itself soon after, “Sorry, sorry,” he half-sobbed, pressing his damp face into the pillow, still trying to stop the flow of his tears, “I didn’t mean to wake you up.”

“It’s okay, Cedric,” I assured him and sat down in the empty space left by the curve of his body. Petting his hair would be far too forward, even if it did look remarkably fluffy, so I kept my hand on his shoulder in a hopefully soothing manner, “It’s okay,” I repeated inanely.

“I don’t know why–this is stupid–I’m sorry. I shouldn’t,” he stammered, but his breathing calmed and his tears stopped and he didn’t make any moves to push me away, so I assumed I was doing something correct.

I hesitated to speak, the only thing on my tongue was yet another rendition of ‘it’s okay’–which was practically useless. “It’s okay to miss your parents,” I said, which was at least more substantial than before, “But you don’t have to feel alone,” which was much better.

“I’m here for you and so are Arthur and Farold and Stephanie. And the rest of the Hufflepuffs will be, too,” I continued, voice becoming less certain, before I gathered myself to reaffirm, “You can cry, there’s nothing wrong with that. And if you need me, I’ll be here.”

I gave a wobbly, helpless smile, which Cedric returned.

Several hours later, in the morning proper, Arthur woke up to find the two of us in symmetric blanket cocoons on Cedric’s bed.

~

A/N: … who are you @cheloneuniverse? What is your methodology for going through my posts? Chronological? By fandom? Do you follow the trail of tags into the rabbit hole?

Well, anyway, thanks for reminding me of this series. And I’m glad you enjoy my writing 🙂

Learning How To Fly (a DSS Requirement Zacharias Smith fanmix)

  1. It’s Time (Round Mashup) by Imagine Dragons/Kayla Camacho
  2. Young Volcanoes by Fall Out Boy
  3. Fly Me To The Moon by Westlife
  4. Binary Mind by Ra Ra Riot
  5. Love Love by Take That
  6. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by Sleeping At Last
  7. What Is Love by Jaymes Young
  8. Give Me Love / Say Something by Song-Masher
  9. Lonely Boy by The Black Keys
  10. Invincible by OK Go
  11. I Love You by Woodkid
  12. I Follow Rivers (ft. Max Giesinger) by Michael Schulte
  13. When Can I See You Again? by Owl City

Find it here!
(The link sends you to a mediafire folder, only the zip file is necessary for the entire mix)

~

A/N: I admit that this won’t make any sense until I write/post my DSS Requirement fic remix drabble featuring Zacharias Smith (and, boy, do I have a lot of feels about that!) but these are some songs off of my “favorites” list that resonated SO NICELY with the drabble to be that I couldn’t help but make this fanmix (also, I didn’t want to have two Missed Posts in a row).

Obviously, Zacharias’ feelings are not as platonic as Marietta’s 🙂

DSS Requirement (the Payoff For Faith remix), Part Two (2015-12-14)

A/N1: Based off @esamastation‘s DSS Requirement ‘verse in which the DA (from the Harry Potter series) find an Asgard ship (of the Stargate variety) and become the first magical crew IN SPACE.

~

In a different timeline, one with different decisions and different consequences, an impossible phenomenon occurred. Specifically, the three Hallows of Death were gathered by one wizard; in doing so, he became its Master. And while that miracle allows him to come back to life, it would be decades before he realized the full extent of repercussions.

But in this timeline, such a thing never comes to be. Because the Requirement is possessive. Its Captain will never have to rely on Death’s double-edged powers, when the ship can save the world instead.

Death gave to the Peverell brothers a wand, a stone, and a cloak. The Requirement gave its crew lost knowledge, advanced technology, and itself.

(circle)

Unlike the other teams, the information team isn’t at all cohesive. It’s not a problem, it’s just how they work best. But, frankly, it’s a little alienating.

Angelina is used to the camaraderie of Gryffindor’s quidditch team, to the coordination of three chasers flying separately for the same goal. She’s the head of the information team, but it’s nothing at all like being the quidditch team captain.

Instead of making friends with her team, they remain workplace acquaintances. Efficient, but lonely. Anthony Goldstein is her deputy head, but besides being a Ravenclaw and almost as skilled in Ancient Runes as she is, Angelina knows nothing about him.

But he’s a good deputy, quick on the uptake: every time they uncover a new line of research, Anthony can keep up with her. He helps her prioritize the translations, and with allocating who on their team should take over certain topics, and together they hold weekly tutoring sessions for the crew members who aren’t Ancient Runes students.

The work is fulfilling, if not fun, and Angelina honestly appreciates the opportunity. She had been concerned about her future, the way all seventh years do, unsure about what to do next after graduating from Hogwarts. She’d never been passionate about anything–not the way Oliver was about quidditch, or the twins about inventing pranks–and so there was nothing guiding her career path.

Translating the information on the Requirement seems like a natural progression for her, not quite a student anymore but she’ll still be constantly learning. This ship, this team, it’s a worthy cause and a good job; she’s content.

(triangle)

Being a muggleborn in a castle full of magically raised students is similar to being the talkative, know-it-all in a primary school–it means a person is different, and thus disliked. It means having trouble making friends or making trouble your only friend. Either way, it’s difficult to find a place to belong.

But, eventually, they both did. For Hermione, it involved more life-endangering and rule-breaking antics than she would have preferred. For Lee, it involved finding a pair of similarly inclined trouble-makers; but they both did it. They both made friends.

And then, on board the Requirement, they both found a place to belong.

Because their heritage and their intelligence isn’t a burden at all. It should be something to take pride in, to improve their lives, and help them reach their dreams. As co-heads of the engineering team, Hermione and Lee have found the place where being a muggleborn is a strength, where being talkative and a know-it-all doesn’t mean being a nuisance.

It’s not just being a bridge between their past and their present, it’s the foundation for the future. For their future and their team’s and the entire crew of the Requirement.

They are the Requirement’s heads of engineering, and they are finally where they belong.

(line)

The members of the command team aren’t the ones in charge so much as they’re the ones who have to keep the rest of the crew on track, reign in the more fantastical ideas and channel it into something productive. It’s a bit like herding kneazles.

Ron hates kneazles.

But being part of the Requirement’s crew is like answering a calling he never even knew existed until now. He knows he has a complex, growing up the youngest son among six; trying to carve out a corner of existence for himself, only to find that his brothers have already broken ground.

Even if it’s not to the extent that Hermione or Harry have grown into their roles, Ron feels settled in a way that he hoped for but never really expected.

The difference between a group of children thrust into war and a crew that will win said war is organization and strategy. Hence, the command team.

It’s not enough that the crew has equipment that will help them survive, if the people they care for aren’t similarly protected. Their small club of twenty eight students can’t fully access all the ship has to offer–lacking expertise and manpower. And it’s not fighting a war if all they do is wait to get hit first.

Business, Administration, and Strategy, the three main objectives of the command team. While the rest of the teams are in the preparation and training stage, command has to begin acting: distributing or selling modified versions of engineering’s technology, building an outside structure to recruit more people, and figuring out how best to turn their captain’s goals into reality.

It’s a bit like herding kneazles, yes, but it’s far more similar to getting ornery chess pieces to play a proper game. Ron is a damn fine chess player, it’s what makes him a great executive officer.

~

A/N2: … :/ Part Two was more difficult than Part One, but I hope you enjoyed it! I think I have maybe one or two more DSS Requirement fic remixes, but I think I’ll give my brain a bit of time to rest.

Anyway, esama, thanks again for building such a cool world. If you would like me to change anything/delete this, just let me know.

Now for some ranting under the cut:

The information team is the translation/research team (I figured “information” would be sufficient to cover both roles), and its symbol is a circle:

  1. Angelina Johnson (Head)
  2. Anthony Goldstein (deputy)
  3. Katie Bell (also in operations and possibly engineering)
  4. Terry Boot (also in engineering)
  5. Michael Corner (also in operations and possibly navigation and medical)
  6. Justin Finch-Fletchley (also possibly in navigation and command)
  7. Padma Patil (also possibly in medical)
  8. Zacharias Smith (also somehow in navigation, operations, and possibly command)

The engineering team is basically everyone** who is mentioned to have created anything in the story as well as a few crew members whose canon skills would be complementary to engineering. Its symbol is a triangle:

  1. Hermione Granger (co-head)
  2. Lee Jordan (co-head)
  3. Katie Bell (also in operations and possibly information)
  4. Terry Boot (also in information)
  5. Lavender Brown (also probably in command)
  6. Colin Creevey
  7. Seamus Finnegan (also probably in operations)
  8. Luna Lovegood (also deputy of operations and possibly in medical)
  9. Fred Weasley (also probably in command)
  10. George Weasley (also probably in command)

**[Okay, technically, Zacharias Smith also used the replicator to create a silver box for Slytherin’s locket but in comparison to the other feats of engineering I wasn’t sure if that ought to count. Also, that would mean Zacharias is on literally every team except medical, gotta give him a break…]

The command team is loosely split into three subdivisions/specialties–Business, Administration, and Strategy. Their symbol is a vertical line/bar. Also, even if Heads/Co-heads/deputies are not explicitly part of the command team, they probably also have the vertical line/bar on their symbol to denote their rank:

  1. Harry Potter (Captain)
  2. Hermione Granger (co-XO and also co-head of engineering)
  3. Ron Weasley (co-XO)
  4. Susan Bones (Strategy/Administration, also possibly in operations)
  5. Lavender Brown (Business, also in engineering)
  6. Marietta Edgecombe (Administration, also deputy of navigation)
  7. Justin Finch-Fletchley (Administration/Business, possibly also in information and navigation)
  8. Parvati Patil (Administration/Business, probably also in navigation)
  9. (maybe) Zacharias Smith (Strategy, also somehow in information, navigation, and operations)
  10. Fred Weasley (Business, also in engineering)
  11. George Weasley (Business, also in engineering)

DSS Requirement (the Payoff For Faith remix), Part One (2015-12-12)

A/N1: Based off @esamastation’s DSS Requirement ‘verse in which the DA (from the Harry Potter series) find an Asgard ship (of the Stargate variety) and become the first magical crew IN SPACE.

~

Seven is a magical number, but for them, six is better. Even and stable and unifying. Two sets of three or three sets of two.

Six like the number of sides in a hexagon, the strongest and most efficient shape. Six like the colors of their suits, red and gold and blue and bronze and yellow and black. Six like the number of teenagers that would have crept into the ministry, if their world hadn’t made a small but crucial shift several months ago.

Yes, six is a good number.

Medical, Operations, Navigation, Information, Engineering, and Command.

(cross)

Hannah Abbott becomes one of the co-heads of the medical team because she is literally the only crew member with any healing experience. She’s been helping Madame Pomfrey in the infirmary for the past two years worth of weekends in lieu of the bimonthly greenhouse sessions Professor Sprout mandates for all of her Hufflepuffs. Except for the first years, who can’t really be trusted with much more than fetch and carry (and even then, sometimes mess that up), Hannah is the only Hufflepuff not on the Herbology chore rota (she has the worst allergies).

A fact which makes the identity of the other co-head of the medical team somewhat ironic–Neville Longbottom is the only non-NEWT level, non-Hufflepuff on said chore rota.

To be honest, Neville isn’t really all that suited to be on the medical team, let alone be one of it’s co-heads. In comparison to the other members, he’s mediocre at Charms and absolute bollocks when it comes to Potions (no surprise there). No, Neville will never be a Healer, and he knows this.

It’s not as if he’s never had hopes as a child–that one day he’d become a brilliant wizard and cure his parents and they’d all live happily together. Eventually, though, he became resigned to the fact that it didn’t matter what kind of wizard he was. Magic couldn’t fix his parents.

But maybe science could.

He’s been learning runes as much as the next crew member–he’s not good enough to be one of Angelina’s team of translators–but he’s a lot more motivated to tackle the medical research than anyone else is. Neville doesn’t need to be a magical Healer, to be a medic on the Requirement.

(shield)

Ginny’s father is in a coma. She is fourteen years old, one of the strongest combatants amongst the Requirement’s crew–let alone in Hogwarts–and she is angry.

Her father is in a coma and the Order will not let her do anything or even tell her what is going on. It’s no wonder she’s angry. She is tired of sitting on her hands and letting shit happen to her. Ginny hates being the victim, so she’s not going to let this keep on.

She doesn’t need the Order’s permission to act. And neither does the rest of her team.

Before they were just kids playing around, making toys and candy and reveling in their new secret clubhouse. Now, as part of the Requirement’s new direction, the crew will be using their unique advantages to do what the Order cannot–war is coming, and the Requirement is going to be ready when it comes.

The operations team has three main purposes: combat, security, and retrieval. Eventually the entire crew will be taking part in such missions–no matter how much the captain says the don’t have to–but similarly to how the other teams are learning and preparing, Ginny is training her team to be the leaders. It’s not unlike quidditch, except that these practices will one day save lives.

It’s a lot of responsibility for one fourteen year old girl. Which is why Luna is her deputy.

(diamond)

Cho doesn’t feel as empty when she’s charting the Requirement’s path. Space is a void–like the vacuum clawing away at her chest whenever she stops and thinks about how it would’ve been their anniversary soon–but there are asteroids and planets and stars. There’s an entire galaxy waiting for her out here and every day she gets to go somewhere new, somewhere no human has gone before.

It’s a sense of control she hasn’t had since–the third task, seeing him walk into the maze and out of her life–since ever. Cho can control a ship bigger than Hogwarts with a mixture of astronomy, arithmancy and muggle math. It’s flight without the reminder of quidditch–of the way their brooms would circle around each other, looking for the snitch. It’s dancing without the aching feet–and the new high-heeled shoes she wore to match her dress she was still so much shorter than him.

It’s freedom without loss, silence without sorrow. Cho feels more like herself than she has in a long time; settled and, if not happy, then satisfied.

She knows Marietta is relieved, sees it in the way her smiles are less strained, in the absence of her. Now instead of awkward silences, they talk about the navigation team and Marietta’s continued endeavors to make the captain more professional. They actually eat meals together, instead of Marietta eating and Cho pushing the food around on her plate. They are friends again, because Cho is herself again; and she will always be grateful to the Requirement for giving that to her.

~

A/N2:  … well… I did warn you… Part One of Two because I said so?

Some unnecessarily long reasoning and ranting under the cut.

Uh, but before that–again, esama, thanks for building such a cool world. If you’d like me to change anything/take this down please just let me know.

Anyway, at the end of Chapter Ten of DSS Requirement, Captain Harry gave his crew a “homework assignment” to figure out an organization system for the ship. Having been hit in the feels, to the point where I made a spreadsheet of the crew members and came up with different occupation allocations, I was like… well. I guess I did it… I should probably get something out of all this effort.

Truthfully, I’m a little embarrassed by how long I spent on it, combing through each chapter to see if a certain name gets mentioned even briefly, but I’m also a little proud? Like… it was also kind of fun, but my brain just kept pestering me to figure this out.

So I figured six different teams/departments (as listed in the tiny first section). As of the main story of DSS Requirement (apparently esama might do a Christmas update oneshot, fingers crossed) there is no operations, medical, or command team but I interpreted certain sentences as going in that direction. Like Neville when he was visiting his parents, Ginny and Luna’s spar, the team breaking into Umbrdige’s office to steal back Ginny’s armor, etc.

Anyway, here is the who’s who of the medical, operations, and navigation teams.

Medical:

  1. Hannah Abbott (co-head),
  2. Neville Longbottom (co-head),
  3. Michael Corner (also in operations, and possibly navigation and/or information),
  4. Luna Lovegood (also deputy of operations and in engineering),
  5. Ernie Macmillan,
  6. Padma Patil (also in information),
  7. Alicia Spinnet (also in operations)

Operations:

  1. Ginny Weasley (Head),
  2. Luna Lovegood (deputy, also in medical and engineering),
  3. Katie Bell (possibly also in information and/or engineering),
  4. Susan Bones (possibly also in command),
  5. Michael Corner (also in medical, and possibly navigations and/or information),
  6. Dennis Creevey,
  7. Seamus Finnegan (also possibly in engineering),
  8. Zacharias Smith (somehow also in navigation, information, and possibly command),
  9. Alicia Spinnet (also in medical),
  10. Dean Thomas (also in navigation)

Navigation:

  1. Cho Chang (Head),
  2. Marietta Edgecombe (deputy also in command),
  3. Michael Corner (also in operations, and possibly medical and/or information),
  4. Justin Finch-Fletchley (also possibly in information),
  5. Parvati Patil (also possibly in command),
  6. Zacharias Smith (somehow also in navigation, information, and possibly command), 
  7. Dean Thomas (also in navigation)

Frankly, a lot of people were never mentioned in the story. Period. Some whose names were mentioned had like one line of dialogue with no clue as to what they are doing the entire time. Zacharias Smith was mentioned in a whopping six out of ten chapters and he is doing something productive in at least four of them on different teams. That boy is busy.

So really it’s a lot of guessing and looking at the HP wiki and seeing whose skills would be best where (which is how I found out that Hannah Abbott actually becomes a Healer so…)

As for the section headers, I figure since–completely against my Star Trek influenced brain–the uniform colors are related to House and not jobs, that they’d probably have to figure out a different way to differentiate team members on sight. So basic symbols in painted in white possibly on their back of on their shoulders or somewhere easily visible. So medical is the classic cross shape (apparently it’s called a Greek cross when all arms are equal length and it is not slanted), operations are a heater shaped shield, and navigation is a diamond (though I’m not sure if I just want a regular diamond like a diagonal square or if I want the skinny slanted thing so that it looks like a compass needle).

Information, engineering, and command I had the weird persevering thought that they represented the three Deathly Hallows? So information is a circle (like the resurrection stone–like the communication stones), engineering is a triangle (like the Invisible cloak of both the magic and scientific varieties), and command is a vertical line/bar (like the Elder Stick, because wands are the only things that the Requirement can’t give them… possibly).

And then, for those crew members who are on multiple teams, they would have multiples symbols with their main team being the largest and their other designations being smaller and inside. So for example Luna, who is deputy of operations and also in engineering and medical, hers would be a shield with a cross and a triangle inside. (I have no idea what Zacharias Smith’s would look like).

In Part Two I will talk about the information, engineering, and command teams. 😀

DSS Requirement (the Gold Over Silver remix) (2015-12-10)

A/N1: Based off of @esamastation’s D.S.S. Requirement ‘verse, in which the DA (of Harry Potter series) find an Asgard ship (of the Stargate variety) and become the first magical crew IN SPACE.

Seriously, go read it. You don’t even really need to know anything about Stargate to understand it.

~

Marietta almost became a traitor.

She knows it. She’s owned up to it. She’s even admitted as such to the captain.

But almost is an important word.

Marietta almost became a traitor, but she didn’t. She chose not to.

She chose the ship, she chose the crew, she chose the captain instead.

Marietta chose to be the best version of herself, and that does not include being a traitor.

Despite how petty sounding it may be, it’s difficult to be Cho Chang’s best friend.

Cho is pretty and athletic and smart, she has a nice family and pocket money and the most handsome boyfriend in school.

Until he dies, that is.

Then Cho is a weepy mess, still somehow attractive to other people, but they’re not the ones who have to sit beside her in the middle of the night when she can’t stop crying in the bathroom. They’re not the ones who have to remind her to eat, at least a little bit, or wake her up on the weekends so she doesn’t spend the entire time in bed doing nothing.

And then the DA happens, and Cho, finally interested in something (or maybe, that snide part of her thinks, interested in someone) drags Marietta along.

That snide, petty part of Marietta still begrudges Cho for that. The rest of her, the majority of her, is so grateful.

She can’t imagine what her life would be like without the Requirement.

For once, being second to Cho is how Marietta prefers it. Cho is better at astronomy and arithmancy, she’s more suited to be head of the navigation team. Marietta is content with being deputy head, because that gives her time to turn their captain from a messy haired, teenage schoolboy into a messy haired, potential employer.

“No one’s going to take you seriously if you don’t have an office or some kind of meeting room,” she says to him, eyeing the storage pods lining the walls, “And then how are we supposed to convince recruits that we’re a legitimate enterprise?”

It’s not that Harry is lacking as a captain. He has the respect of his crew and he wears his authority well–he has the presence of a leader, the kind that fills a room and makes his people want to work harder be better.

But to outsiders, he’s still just a Hogwarts student.

Well, for now. Marietta’s part of the command team, too; she hasn’t started working yet.

In another world, in another life, Marietta would have been a traitor.

She could never do that now. Not because there’s a threat of punishment stopping her, but because she chooses not to.

Choices. Every day is about choices.

The best part about her job is when the captain asks, “Where are we going?”

Maybe it’s in a literal sense–as deputy head of navigation, she and Cho are the ones who decide how and when and where the Requirement moves. Maybe it’s in a figurative sense–as one of the aministrative officers, she has influence over in what direction this organization of theirs will grow.

She’ll never have to be a lowly clerk in the Ministry, belittled and constrained the way her mother was.

Marietta doesn’t have to follow the captain, but she’s a part of the Requirement’s crew–she’ll follow him anywhere.

And in space? That’s a lot of anywhere to promise, but that’s what she wants. So that’s what she chooses.

~

A/N2: I’ve been in an esama re-reading binge lately (this happens to me at least twice a year) so no one should be surprised by this.

What I am surprised by is how many feelings my re-reading of DSS Requirement gave me–like, for some reason, it touched me more emotionally now than it did the first time around? I guess it’s because I didn’t fully realize the implications of certain things.

I mean (spoilers!) this Marietta Edgecombe not betraying DA is an obvious one, but there are several other parts of esama’s fic which struck me and, heads up, I have had many feels. So there will probably be several more DSS Requirement fic remixes headed your way.

Brace yourselves. 😀

Also, esama, again, thanks for making such a cool world to play in. If you would like me to change anything or take this down I will, just let me know.

Island of Fire (the Eyes and Teeth remix) (2015-12-09)

A/N1: I’m basically playing around in the sandbox that is @esamastation’s Island of Fire ‘verse. The second section, specifically, is based on the information we get from the Battle for Atlantis arc–which is meant to be a doubly translated transcript of a conversation from William Laurence’s recollection of the events from several years previous. Also he probably made assumptions that aren’t even correct, so who knows how legit any of his info is.

Anyway, if you haven’t read it… this really won’t make any sense.

~

On Atlantis, the victim gets to choose the perpetrator’s punishment.

It is one of the few laws of the island–like “those who do not work, do not eat” (later modified to “those who do not contribute, do not benefit”) and “dragons are not allowed inside communal buildings”–and like those laws, it is brought about because of how small and tightly knit their society is.

In a country numbering in the millions, one person hurting another is unfortunate, yes, but ultimately insignificant. In a society of less than a hundred, such a crime is not tolerated. Repeat offenders are not something that exist on Atlantis.

And so, barring death or banishment, of course, or inflicting harm greater than what was originally done to them, the victim gets to choose the perpetrator’s punishment.

There is an exception to the law–all rules may be fluid, so long as justice is not–but not in the way one might think.

When the British Navy arrived and attacked, several Atlanteans had been wounded. For the most part, nothing major, nothing that their small infirmary couldn’t fix with a spell or two. Except for one girl who took a shot to the leg–Ophelia Michaelson.

The healers, themselves not having completed their training, didn’t know if they’d be able to save her. And then, after several hours of grueling spell and rune work, weren’t sure if they’d be able to save the leg. But she was alive, and the entire island had been so relieved that they wouldn’t have to make a sixth grave so soon.

But the Council had to think further ahead. They, too, were relieved that it hadn’t gone any worse, but they had to make a decision and act. How would they deal with the invaders?

Charlie’s idea had been to scare them off: use their numerous dragons as a show of force. Cedric’s suggested mass Obliviation–though it wasn’t a skill that any of the schools had actually taught. Viktor wanted to seize everything but the bare minimum the sailors would need to survive, and send them on their way. Fleur thought they should seize everything–the ships, the supplies, the weapons, even the people themselves–make them literally pay for and work off their crimes.

Harry stayed silent.

For this, they would make an exception to the law–more of a modification, actually. If Ophelia wanted all of the attackers executed, even those British remaining on the three warships, they would do it.

Harry would have done it.

But instead, she just wanted them gone; completely and as quickly as possible. The French Navy, too.

And so both groups were spared, unknowing of how insecure their fates had been.

On Atlantis, almost everything is communal–food, water, clothing, shelter, knowledge, even baths–so the idea that something can be stolen seems… unlikely. After all, in order for theft to happen, there has to be proper ownership first.

However, there are a few, rare things that are private and personal. Besides wands, of course, but no one would dare steal someone else’s wand. Wands and magic are what allow the Atlanteans to work, to function, to live. But there are other personal items, things that people managed to bring with them from the other world.

It’s mostly wearable things–for example, Hogwarts students treasure their House scarves, even if the weather is too warm for it, the Beauxbatons girls their cufflinks, the Durmstrang group the medallions which allowed them passage in a school they would never return to–but particularly jewelry, and gifts from family members at that.

Luna’s dirigible plum earrings probably set a bad precedent. She had given them to Neville of her own free will, only after the first greenhouse had been built, that is. And yet, everyone had been so angry at her–had felt entitled to it because even if they had been her earrings they were resources–potential food, wood that could one day be made into something.

Of course, that kind of reasoning could be extended into metals. Silver and gold, especially in the hands of some of the older islanders, the ones who could turn a necklace or a bracelet into something more with a few spells and runes. Creating devices to predict storms, as one such possibility. Couldn’t it be argued that, for such a cause, Atlantis was entitled to a mere shiny trinket.

And yet, Petra Eszes had not asked; nor had Anne-Laure Valluy assented. It didn’t matter that her father’s pocket watch no longer worked–salt water and a lack of magical engineers–it was still hers to keep and cherish. Now it was warped and destroyed and changed–it could not be returned to its original state.

This was not something that could or would be tolerated, regardless of whether or not Petra’s storm predictor worked, but the Council could not decide on a fitting punishment.

Anne could. She wanted Petra to forfeit her Durmstrang medallion as communal property. The Council agreed it was a fair decision and stood by it; and thus the Atlantean law for punishments was created.

~

A/N2: Anyway, some random thoughts:

I figure the five-person council is probably the four champions plus Charlie as the dragon “champion/representative.“

Ophelia Michaelson I made up because most of the Hogwarts sounding names were canon characters that would have been older than fourteen at the time of Battle for Atlantis, but Petra Eszes (probably Durmstrang) and Anne-Laure Valluy (probably Beauxbatons) are names pulled from different POV snippets in Island of Fire.

Truthfully, that last section dragged on longer than I wanted it to, but I couldn’t figure out what parts to trim. If anything I was going to go off in a different (longer) direction involving Luna and bullying but then I realized that bullying is really impractical and would be even more stupid in society like Atlantis. Also, it ended abruptly but… :/

Anyway, esama, thanks for creating such a cool ‘verse. If you would like me to make changes or take this down, I totally understand and would be willing to do so. Just let me know.

Two Messy Misc. Fusion Fic Brainstorms (2015-10-17)

A couple of very tiny brainstorms, such tiny storms of brains… It’s a feast for zombie ants.

1) HTGAWM x Inception fusion

IIIIIIIIIIII… don’t even know? I’ve just been getting a lot Inception vibes while watching HTGAWM? Like especially the parallels between Cobb with Arthur and and Mal then Annalise with Frank+Bonnie and Sam. And, let’s be real, how much more interesting would Inception have been as a movie if it had been Annalise Keating instead of Dominic Cobb (ugh, all his manpain is like mayo on wonderbread).

Anyway so…

How To Get Away With Inception

It’s not enough to be the first. In this industry? You have to be the best.

And the best is Annalise Keating.

Featuring: Extractor!Annalise, Pointmen!Frank+Bonnie,  Forger!Connor, Chemist!Michaela, Architect!Laurel, Jack-of-all-trades?Wes, and Tourist!Asher. (Tbh, I’m iffy on Frank, Laurel, Wes, and Asher’s roles. I do want Wes to not seemingly have a specialty and so the others think he’s just Annalise’s puppy like in canon, but I also want him to be able to do stuff. OH WHAT IF–)

I dunno. I wouldn’t want it to be a one-to-one copy-paste type of fusion/crossover. But there are definitely some parallels between the two that I think it would be absolutely fascinating to explore HTGAWM through an Inception lens.

Like, maybe in a post-Inception world, dream-sharing becomes more legitimate. There are actual firms created in the defense (and intrusion) of minds. It would make sense for it to begin with lawyers–and surely an ex-lawyer would be a better extractor than an ex-architect?

Anyway, it’s a small practice at first, since really all the Keating Four (at the time, Annalise, Sam, Frank, and Bonnie) focus on is defense. But then… something happens with the Lila Stangard job. Something which leaves the mark brain dead, Sam Keating in a coma, and Annalise with a greater grasp of dream sharing than previously thought possible much less attainable.

And so Annalise supposedly stops working–stops helping the rich people of the world build security for their minds. Because now she’s breaking into them instead, extracting has always been more of a lucrative business than securing.

Except then this broke kid comes along and says he may have a way to fix Sam Keating. He’s seen something similar, but not quite. Instead of Lila and Sam, it’s Rudy and Rebecca. And, yes, that broke kid is Wes.

So Tourist!Wes into the mind of Rebecca who may have the key to figuring out how to fix Sam? Ugh, I dunno. Intricate plots are not my wheelhouse.

2) HPxDescendants fusion

Because I received this anonymous ask, and it sort of got me thinking on what I would do in my own HPxDescendants crossover. I’m not particularly motivated to do this one–Once Then Always is much higher on my list–but I figured I ought to type it out than let it stagnate in my head. And it’s not that much anyway:

In line with anonymous’ Harry is raised in Auradon… I was actually thinking it might be interesting if instead of taking Carlos’ place, Harry takes Jane’s or, maybe, is raised alongside Jane as her brother. Like… where best to hide a magical baby than with the baby of one of the most magical beings in Auradon.

But I guess the fic would be a lot about how Harry has been doing accidental magic since he was young and how that twists Jane’s self-esteem because her brother has magic but she (supposedly) doesn’t. But, tbh, I don’t care that much about Jane to the point of writing a Jane-centric HP-fusion fic.

And I guess there could be some interesting conflict/drama about how Harry’s eye color is worryingly similar to a certain evil fairy’s. And so maybe the story is about how people think that there is a good and evil fairy born to every generation then–until Harry’s true origin is revealed–the evil fairy is assumed to be Harry (when in fact it is Mal). I dunno.

I’d go about connecting the two world through magic lore, but I don’t know enough/don’t care enough to create one interesting enough to sustain a fusion fic.

Like I said. Very messy.

1/? HP!anon. Sorry about the confusion, but asks have a word limit. My thinking was that Cruellla grabbed Harry in a plot to remain in England should she be caught. If she is living outside of their kingdom AND has a baby, then surely the good people of Auradon wouldn’t force to the isle. Rather then wait 9 months, she just grabbed the baby on the doorstep. When that ended up not working, Cruella didn’t have a reason for a child and so Carlos/Harry is treated more like a servant then a Heir.

2/3 But your idea for a dead Carlos contributing to Cruella’s Crazy was really good to, and now I’m not sure what I want to do with that. But for the tournament itself, I’m not sure if i want to stick with Dragon Hall causing mayhem as the 4th school, or play with the timelines and have Carlos taken while in Auradon instead. My reason for no one finding him was the fairy godmothers barrier. So for DH either the goblet ceremony happens coincidentally as Carlos makes his hole in the barrier…
3/3 and Carlos’ only ‘Friend’ is Evie. Or it’s after the book, before the movie and the Goblet completely shatters the barrier and releases all the Villains to grab it’s Champion. On the otherhand Auradon as the 4th school, the villains aren’t released to complete mayhem and destruction, but King Beast still gets to deal with keeping a foreign countries SAVIOR in horrible conditions on the isle of the lost. and Malificent can stay as the end of the Fic big bad.

I’m all for the more disturbing and heart-wrenching option, so feel free to use the dead Carlos idea if you want.

Hm… I mean, if this Carlos is in fact Harry (and there’s no Carlos to hold Harry’s place) then I would think that Dumbledore and co. have been looking for Harry for years now. In which case, you don’t even really have to stick to the Goblet of Fire timeline–unless that tournament is specifically what you want to do. But, hm, I never really thought the Goblet was all that powerful? Like, sure supposedly it compels Harry to compete but that was only stated not actually proven? But, then again, this is not a post about the plot holes of the HP series and so we could take it as fact.

Anyway, at most, I think the Goblet would only be able to compel Harry/Carlos to compete, not shatter the barrier around the Isle (because how would an age barrier be formed around the goblet if that was one of its powers?). So, again, your timing is what matters most–if you do decide to have it when the gang is already in Auradon then I suppose you can also decide whether or not there is an Auradon Prep delegation and who would be on it. Then you would have a mix of villain kids and hero kids if you want.

As for diplomacy, at this point Ben is King not the Beast so he would have to be the one to deal with the political fallout of having the UK’s Chosen One living on the Isle of the Lost. Then again… I mean, they have Azkaban, so it’s not like they’re unfamiliar with the idea of island prisons. And, in comparison to a dementor-ridden 24/7 torture prison, Harry living in Auradon’s equivalent of a ghetto isn’t so bad? Like, actually, considering no one cared about the abuse he suffered under the Dursleys I don’t think people would care all that much of his poor living standards on the Isle.

As for big bads, well, since this is a crossover fic, you may want to consider having the big bads also crossover. That is, have Voldemort involved. Especially since this is GoF year which is when Voldemort returns, it could very well be that the villains take notice of this. I mean, maybe not necessarily work together–because teamwork, boo, but also it’s not like Maleficent has anything against Harry/Carlos in particular.

ACTUALLY maybe even have the big bads turn against each other. Obviously, Maleficent’s main goals are to get free of the barrier and get revenge on Auradon. Voldemort’s is to kill Harry/Carlos. Depending on how you have them act on their motivations you could put them at cross-purposes or have them cooperate. Or even a little of both.

Sorry I can’t really be of more help. I realize some of it is due to an inefficient messaging system which makes discussing a fic difficult, but my main concern is that there are so many plot points you have to juggle that the story collapses under it’s own weight. Because if you do wait for this to happen when the Lost kids are in Auradon already then you have so many factions with contradicting goals. You have the villains, the villain kids, Auradon, the Light side, and then Voldemort. If you do pre-Auradon, then the villain kids are not as separate from the villains, and so the factions are just Isle of the Lost, Light side, Voldemort. Much easier to handle and easier to keep the plot contained.