On Canons and Headcanons

So a while ago, I got a comment on one of my Harry Potter metaposts basically questioning why I bothered to write meta at all, since actual HP canon couldn’t be changed because Rowling had already written it, and questioning why I thus bothered to point out flaws in her writing because it wasn’t going to change for anyone. Here’s the actual comment below.

Here’s the thing… I see a lot of people commenting on various characters as if they were real, living people (how would Neville have turned out if Snape hadn’t abused him, etc.) Neville couldn’t have turned out any different, nor could Snape or anyone in any book ever, because that’s the way they were written. The author (in this case, J.K. Rowling) wrote each character in a particular way for a certain effect, and to fulfill a certain role and purpose in the story she was telling. It’s completely useless and pointless to speculate on how differently things might have been if only… because that is not the way the author wrote the story. Hermione couldn’t have been black; no-one besides Dumbledore could have been gay; Snape couldn’t have been nicer to Harry or Hermione or Neville; Neville couldn’t have grown up less downtrodden; Snape could never have married Lily… because that wasn’t J.K. Rowling’s story.

It’s like, when I was in a creative writing class and we were reading Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants”—the woman in that story is a class-A whiny pathetic nasty bitch. We were having a discussion in class about this, and about the awful way the man in the story treated her (because of how she acted, presumably). Someone said “well, she *was* a total bitch!” And the teacher said “Yes, because that’s the way Hemingway wrote her.” It was like this huge eye-opening moment…characters in literature *can’t* be different in any way from the way they were written because they have no existence except within the framework set by the author in order to tell a particular story. Change any of the characters, and you will change the story out of all recognition.

I get your point, commenter. I really do. I know logically that no matter what fans or fandom may choose to believe or say about Rowling’s canon and characters, they are ultimately hers, and in Potter canon, we will never really be able to change the facts as they are: Snape was a douchebag and that messed quite a few generations up. Neville grew up abused and traumatized. Lily Potter died that Halloween on 1981. I can’t change that. I get it. Rowling chose to write her canon that way, and I can’t do a damn thing about the words she ultimately ended up publishing.

But. One thing I think you didn’t really acknowledge, is that it isn’t just Rowling’s canon anymore.

When JK chose to publish The Philosopher’s Stone, she introduced the world to a young boy of eleven with a curious scar on his forehead. By the time the last adaptations of her novels were released, DHs Part 1 and 2, millions of people had read about and fallen in love with that no-longer-so-young boy with a (now iconic) scar on his forehead. And, each reader took the words she had put down on paper, and interpreted and read them in a completely different way. We read Rowling’s canon differently because we were all in different situations, on different walks of life.

And, in that small way, by adapting and interpreting her works differently, we took that canon and each made it uniquely ours.

I won’t argue that my ruminating on Snape’s dickish behaviour could possibly ever change what Rowling chose to write, because it won’t. I can’t argue that my wondering what Neville might have been able to achieve had he not been treated so terribly can ever affect canon.

But, I can argue that my wondering about Hermione’s race and other characters’ sexualities can change something. Because if people read my writing on these topics, they might realize the lack of representation that JK handed to us, and they might realize how much more representation people need in the media they consume.

When JK handed over Harry Potter’s chronicled adventures to the public, she invited us to consume her work. I think, in the back of every writer and artist and singer’s mind, they know or have realized that once you put your work out there, once you share it with someone, it isn’t just yours anymore. You may have begun it, written the source material, but inevitably, people will see it and draw their own conclusions, interpret it their own ways.

I choose to interpret Hermione as a black character. There’s nothing in canon that states that she isn’t. There’s nothing in canon that contradicts me (rather the opposite, in certain cases). I choose to interpret Snape as a child abuser and a person that really fucked over quite a few classes’ worth of kids and their futures. I choose to interpret Luna as genderqueer and asexual and neurodivergent, I choose to interpret Tonks and Teddy as genderqueer and pan, I choose to interpret Ginny as aromatic, I choose to interpret Harry and Neville as child abuse survivors. And I can, because it’s my interpretations of and additions to canon.

To be honest, I think many people don’t love Harry Potter canon as much as they think they do. Rather, I think it’s the fanon they love. It’s the possibilities that magic and Hogwarts and characters that can be built on provide, it’s the framework of Ministries and Diagons and Wizarding Wars that JK has given to us, and it’s what the fandom has built upon that framework, worlds of inclusive, diverse, wonderfully imaginative things that they love. At least, that’s what I’m in love with.

Don’t get me wrong, I love canon. I love that Fleur defended Bill and her love of him to Molly, I love that a young boy named Harry Potter realized he was capable of wonders, I love that a little girl named Hermione and a little boy named Ron decided to love him and support him through years of danger and fun, I love that Quidditch is really quite a complicated game. But I also love the universes where a post-DH Harry doesn’t go into law enforcement, he goes into professional Quidditch because it’s what he loves. I love the universes where we can see what can be really done with magic: mapping dangerous places, Cursebreaking and all the wonders that accompany it, what would happen if a Metamorphmagus became an Animagus, what might’ve happened if Sirius had become the Potters’ Secret Keeper anyway.

I can’t change canon.

But I can change how someone sees canon. I can choose to see canon differently from you. I can choose to add my own details, branch off differently. I get the feeling that you like to stick to the source material, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But me? I like to diverge. I like to twist and weave and mold. And to be honest, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that either.

We both love Harry Potter. We also just choose to see it differently. I’m not claiming to try and change canon. I’m not trying to change what you love. I’m just writing what I think of what I love, and posting it.

 

Posted in Books, Fandom-related, fangirl stuff, Harry Potter, Ideas, Me, Meta, Theories, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

2014 kinda sucked––but it was good at the same time

So 2014 was … eventful, to say the least. Hopefully, we all know about the Mike Brown case, resulting bullshit verdict, and the still-ongoing protesting (which I 110% support btw). There were also the Hong Kong protests, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the Leelah Alcorn suicide, the cases of Eric Gardner and Tamir Rice, Jennifer Laude’s murder, the kidnapping of 300 girls in Nigeria who are still missing, the Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, and a fuckton of a lot more. But hey, there was a lot of positive stuff happening too. 21 states in the US got equal marriage rights, 5 other states’ appeals are pending, representation of POC and LGBTQ+ people in the media has gotten a bit better… Personally, 2014 was a very mixed year for me. On one hand:

  • I cut my hair

It went from this

hair

to this

oh look other crappy webcam selfie

oh look other crappy webcam selfie from December

and I really really like it tbh.

  • I got much gayer
  • one of my sugar gliders had twins and is pregnant with another one oh god
here is one of the twin babies

here is one of the twin babies

  • Florida’s getting same-sex marriage on Jan. 5th and I am so. Happy. (to all of you newbies, I live in FL and this will be a very happy day)
  • my drawing improved a lottt (it’s still terrible though)
  • my writing also improved a lot (I am ridiculously happy about this)
  • I read a grand total of 46,419,341 words this year. At least, that’s everything I’ve managed to log.
  • I came out to a lot of people about my sexuality and mostly everyone’s chill about it
  • I came out to less people about my gender and less mostly everyone’s chill about it
  • I learned how to wirework, sort of:
I'm irrationally proud about the bigger ring tbh

I’m irrationally proud about the bigger ring tbh

my brother, modeling two other rings I made

my brother, modeling two other rings I made

  • my best friend and I went to Metrocon and it was great:

I swear I look better irl (I’m Hiccup [HTTYD] and she was Jack Frost [RoTG] in case you didn’t know)

  • my family got annual passes for the Universal Studios park in Orlando and it is awesome
  • I finished NaNoWriMo with 630 words over my goal
  • my poetry got a hell of a lot more powerful
  • I joined my school’s GSA and man is it great
  • I met a ton of wonderful people and learned more about a lot others
  • I made these dragonscale gloves for the wonderful Andy:
dragons1

trans pride ftw yo

  • I dated my first girlfriend (she dumped me but it was a fun few months)
  • Engie got me into Game of Thrones and it is wonderful
  • I became much less of a terrified gay baby than I was at the beginning of this year
  • I’m a QTPOC and, for the first time, I’m beginning to feel proud of it.

On the other hand:

  • I found out after a loud, semipublic argument that my dad is a racist, generally xenophobic person
  • the Leelah Alcorn thing hit me hard tbh, and it’s because I can see similarities between us
  • after extensive deliberation I have concluded that my parents will probably not take my coming out well at all and have decided that I’m going to wait. Forever.
  • a suicidal friend of mine disappeared for almost 2 weeks and fuck it was worrying
  • I suspect I failed my geometry EOC (god that EOC was hard)
  • I failed to acquire any glittery Lush bath bombs
  • I got yelled at a lot whoops
  • my anxiety became very not fun
  • something happened between me and my best friend that shouldn’t’ve happened and I’m kinda worried about it

There were a lot of ups and downs, and both were pretty extreme in some cases. I’m kinda scared to see what this year’s got in store. But (and this is really stupid but) idk man this song summarizes my feelings about 2015.

Posted in Awesomeness, crafts, Crochet, Events, Humanity, Me, Music, NaNoWriMo, Poetry, Rambles, School, The sugar glider, Thingies I did, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Harry Potter And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Representation

You guys should read this. It makes for really good food for thought.

Musings From Neville's Navel

Hello again, everyone. How were your holidays? If you celebrated Christmas, Kwanzaa, or Hanukkah, did you give or receive any books as presents? I certainly hope so.

Speaking of books, I’d like to talk about the Harry Potter books. Or more specifically, their author.

As as far as authors go, J.K. Rowling is kind of a mixed bag for me. On one hand, I love the detailed and meaningful names she gives her characters, and her foreshadowing is nothing short of brilliant. (I’ve lost count of the number of times I suddenly realized the EXTREME IMPORTANCE of some minuscule reference from an earlier book!)

On the other hand, there are some things she is, well, significantly less skilled at – representation comes to mind. The Harry Potter books just aren’t very diverse. And as if that weren’t frustrating enough… she pretends they are. And then I turn into a GRUMPY BOOKWORM…

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Poetry Titles and Poetry Jams

So, recently my interest in poetry has grown a lot. And by a lot, I mean I’m filling up notebooks with them and I’ve entered the Poetry Jam at my high school, even though I’m absolutely petrified of talking in public. And I was talking to one of my teachers, and she suggested I post some of my stuff online and see what people think of it. So, here’re a few things I wrote back in April of this year.

The story behind this first poem? To make it short, a tiny Asian kid with an East Coast accent, Chinese mannerisms, a chip on their shoulder a mile wide, and who didn’t know when to shut the hell up didn’t really fit in anywhere. Not in Malaysia, and not in Florida. Especially not in the tiny suburban neighborhood I lived in that was filled with extremely xenophobic asshole parents, and their even more xenophobic asshole children. I got picked on for anything and everything, from my skin color to the shoes I wore to–yes, my eyes. Specifically, the fact that they used to be this weird, not-quite-hazel and not-quite-brown color. (They darkened.) But it was a weird eye color to have in a place populated with stereotypical blond-blue-eyed-and-pale-as-fuck kids, so I got some shit for it.

To all brown-eyed little girls who have to deal with assholes

I have spent a lifetime watching people getting
trodden on,
beaten down, and
walked over
by uncaring, insensitive, bullying shitbags.

And, frankly, I’ve had enough of this.

Because it blows my mind
That after all the years you’ve spent alive and breathing on this Earth,
Nobody’s ever bothered to take the time to tell you that
Your eyes aren’t fucking brown.

They are:
copper against honey and sage
sunlight shining through a glass of whiskey
ochre oil paint drying on a canvas
the very personification of the word “alive”
the color I call home, and
they’re the same shade as the earth under your mother’s flowerbeds after it rains.

But they are definitely not
dirt, or
mud, or
trash.

So don’t you dare tell yourself that the bullies are right about your eyes. Don’t you dare tell yourself that they’re right about you.

You’re not as simple as they wanted you to be.

I am a bitter person and this is how I choose to embrace it. It could be worse, I could be out keying a car or something right now. But hey, here I am writing angry poetry. Speaking of poetry, this next one pretty much speaks for itself. No explanation needed.

Dear Me (also known as Jesus Christ I Fuck Up A Lot) (furthermore known as I’m Really Bad At Titles Someone Help Me)

Dear fiery, brave, little 13-year-old-self:

Being out-and-proud doesn’t mean all that you think it means.
You’ll lose friends (have lost them.)
You’ll get stares (have gotten them.)
And every time one of your queer friends who lives across the country is having a rough time, a little bit more of your heart is going to fracture for them.

But, you know, being out-and-proud has a good side too.

I know, I know, you’ve thought about this already. You already know (or think you know) what’s coming next in your life.

…Let me tell you, you have no idea.

When you come out to your (former, thank God) best friend, she’ll just want to know: “How did you learn what ‘pansexual’ means? Even I don’t know what that means! Are you sexually attracted to pans or something?”
…Yeah, it’s gonna hurt for a while. Brace yourself, because over the next part of your personal history, you’re going to keep getting reactions along that line.

And by along that line, I mean assholes.

But really, your life doesn’t suck that much. Not yet, from what I’ve experienced so far.

Because (and here’s what’s coming for you):
You’ll attend your first PRIDE.
You’ll get your first crush on a straight girl, and learn what it means when shit like that happens.
You’ll–accidentally–come out to everyone in your biology class.
You’ll (on purpose this time) come out to your freshman English class.

Because these are the continued misadventures of a not-so-straight, not-so-cis Asian kid in suburban Florida.

And god, are there going to be some weird-ass stories in here.

But the next time you try to work up the nerve to come out to someone in person,

Go with your gut. (I’ll bet you 10 bucks you’re going to like the results.)

So hey, if any of you guys’ve got something to say, comment! Even if it’s just yelling at my shitty-ass titles, I’ll take it. (My titles are seriously terrible, though, like jfc I reeeeally need to work on that.)

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Folklore is hella weird

Recently, in my creative writing class (Yes, I’m taking Creative Writing 1 this year. Yes, I’m fully aware of how much that makes me sound like a nerd.) we read about nonfiction pieces. We had to pick one of three pieces to read on our own, and the story I got mentioned an Indonesian folk tale about something called the aswang. I advise you, do not Google ‘aswang’ if you’re easily terrified. I googled ‘aswang’ right after a three-hour horror movie marathon and freaked myself the hell out once the image results loaded.

Apparently, the aswang takes the form of a beautiful young lady during daylight. But, after dark, she detaches her torso from the lower half of her body, proceeds to hide that lower half of her body somewhere it won’t be found easily, brushes this strange oil over her armpits, and then goes flying into the night, looking for her favorite food. And guess what that favorite food is? Fetus.

Aswangs are terrifying.

But anyway, reading about the Indonesian aswang and it’s admittedly weird habits got me thinking about folklore. Specifically, American folklore. If you grew up in the States, you’re probably familiar with Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, Johnny Appleseed, and the tale of how George Washington apparently chopped down a cherry tree in his youth. The thing is, all of these are generally tame subjects, when you think about it. I mean, Paul Bunyan’s a giant lumberjack who owns a huge blue cow. Not really the pinnacle of horror, is it? Johnny Appleseed was this hippie who went around the country sharing apples. It makes for a cute tale, I guess. And even one of the ‘shadier’ tales American kids grow up on, Persephone and Demeter, isn’t really that terrifying. A girl doesn’t listen to her mother, wanders off on her own, and then gets kidnapped by this creepy-ass ‘King of Hell’. Sounds more like a cautionary tale than anything else. (Though, I’m kind of confused as to why Greek mythology is so popular with the kids here. Maybe it’s an American thing.)

But compare Johnny Appleseed and George Washington to the aswang. Again, they’re supposed to wander around at night, completely detached from their lower halves, because they’re looking for fetuses to eat. And apparently, if you stumble over the ‘hidden’ lower half of an aswang and sprinkle this concoction involving lemon, pepper, and salt over it, the aswang won’t be able to reattach to its lower half and will die then and there. So an innocent person’s probably stumbled over a halved corpse smelling of citrus and spices and death. Isn’t that pleasant.

Oh, and don’t forget the claws. Because of course some terrifying torso needs claws in order to consume fetuses. (Fetuses? Fetii? What’s the plural of ‘fetus’, someone please tell me.)

In America, we associate ‘folklore’ with tame shit like cherry trees, Br’er Rabbit, and the Loch Ness Monster. Apparently in Indonesia, ‘folklore’ is synonymous with decapitated bodies that eat babies at night what the hell.

So that happened. Honestly though, aswangs are terrifying. Maybe they’ll make a cameo on Supernatural season 10 sometime soon.

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Fanfiction

So, over a month later, I have finally bullied myself into sitting at my computer and typing out this blog post. A while ago, I said that I would post some fanfiction I’d written recently, so this is it.

I wrote this in about 10 minutes in a random notebook during my biology class, so I’m not too sure how good it is. Personally, I’d score this a 6 or 7 out of 10, but then, I’m a harsh grader.

Anyway, if you’re a fan of Doctor Who, continue reading! I’d promise you like it, but then, that’s up to you, isn’t it?

Side note: I write best in 2nd person, so that’s why this fic is in 2nd person. Yeah, it’s slightly odd, but I find it easiest to write like this. Why, I have no idea.

So, without further ado, I present to you my writing once again:

Maybe It’s The Hair

You put your earbuds in, fiddling with the left one as you walk down the street. The left earbud never fails to fall out within five minutes of putting it in, so you make a halfhearted attempt to wriggle it into your ear enough that it stays put. You finally manage to fit the damn thing in, and turn your attention to your phone.

You quickly scroll past the instrumentals and take a glance at the slower music before moving on. You feel like listening to something fast-paced, the type of song that gets your heart pounding, your blood racing, and makes everything you do look and sound badass. You look through the playlist named simply, ‘cool.’ How about AC/DC? No. Arctic Monkeys? Not today. Daft Punk? Not the right song. You make a right and turn down a quieter road, still focused on your phone. A gust of wind blows and you pull your scarf tighter around your neck.

Suddenly, something shoots out from an alleyway and latches onto your right arm. You look down, but the thing holding onto you is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Tan, three-fingered, and heavily callused, the hand pulls you further into the alleyway. A face emerges from the shadows. Wait, is that … Mr. Potato Head? A head domed and ugly, with a heavy brow, sunken eyes, an upturned nose, and a strange smile stretched across it’s face, the creature before you could only be described as utterly and wholly alien.

“Yes, you will make a fine piece of bait to catch the Doctor,” it says. It’s voice has an almost robotic echo, and it sounds raspy and weirdly accented.

“W-wait, what doctor?” You stammer as it turns and begins walking back down the alleyway, keeping a firm grasp on your arm. As the thing steps into a bit of light, you see that it’s body is covered in some sort of metallic armor, the type that cheesy overly-fake sci-fi TV shows put on their ‘aliens.’

It does not answer you, choosing to continue on. You pull on your arm, trying and failing to get the creature’s grip to loosen. “Hey man, I’m just looking to get home,” you say, trying to speak calmly. By the look on the creature’s face as it turns to you, you’re definitely in some deep shit. You hurry on. “I don’t know any doctors around here, I’m just passing through because I missed my bus and I have to get home–”

The creature laughs in its deep rough voice and you squirm. The laugh emitting from the creature sounds threatening and fake and just wrong, as if such a creature should not ever be laughing.

“We’re not just looking for any human doctor, boy! We’re searching for the Doctor! The greatest protector of humanity in this universe, and an old enemy of my race.” It’s funny, but you could have sworn that the creature had almost sounded proud when it told of having an old enemy.

You open your mouth and start to pull air in, curious about this ‘race’ the creature spoke of, but before your lips can form a word, a hand clamps down hard over your mouth. You freeze, but the creature doesn’t notice. The owner of the hand leans forward and quickly whispers into your ear.

“Hello there, I’m the Doctor, and I’m going to get you out of this mess. I’m going to need you to stay calm, run when I tell you to, and follow me carefully. I’ll explain once we’re in a safer place. Now, in a few minutes, something is going to happen. I can’t tell you what, as I don’t really know myself, but trust me, you’ll know it when you see it. But anyway, when that something happens, you’re going to need to run. Fast. It’ll be the fastest you’ve ever run, and you can’t let your legs give in. All I ask is that you keep running. It’s, literally, a matter of life and death.” All this is said at an alarmingly quick pace, and you find yourself struggling to take in the sudden flow of information.

The (Doctor? Mysterious savior? Random prisoner?) leans forward again. “Got all that? Nod once if you do, and nod twice if you’d like me to explain it again. I’d really prefer that you nod once though, because we’ve not got much time before the–”

An explosion literally rocks the ground, and you are thrown backwards. The creature lets you go and runs off toward what you assume is the source of the explosion without a second thought for you. The (Doctor? Handsome hero? Prince Charming? Co-conspirator?) catches you before you hit the ground and sets you back on your feet. You turn around and look, really look, at him. He has brown hair that sticks up in the front, huge brown eyes, and is a little bit taller than you. He is also wearing a manic, truly insane grin that eerily resembles the Cheshire Cat’s famous smile.

“Come along, now, we’ve got work to do.” He grabs your hand and starts running back toward the road, and you, strangely, find yourself stumbling along behind him. His grip is loose enough that you could easily pull your hand from his, but for some unfathomable reason, you trust him.

Maybe it’s the hair.

Posted in Doctor Who, FANFIC, Writing | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

No one loves Snape like Snape loved Lily…

Because Snape wasn’t in love with Lily. He was obsessed, and that’s a really big difference from being in love with a person.

But anyway, this is a character analysis (aka meta post) about Severus Snape, because I felt like you guys (that’s the readers, obviously) needed a break from the complete radio silence and recently-blogged sexuality angstpost. Also, I told my English teacher that I was going to write a post and actually put it online this week. (Hi, Mrs. N!)

So, getting back to the point: Severus Snape.

Look at the bitchface on this man, like damn son I would kill to be able to pull off a bitchface like that man can.

I’ve got a little thing to confess: I love Severus Snape. I love his snark, I love his sarcasm, and I think he’s a pretty terrifyingly badass character.

I also think he’s an abusive, petty, neglectful bastard who can’t teach for shit. (Yes, I can recognize flaws in my favorite characters)

1. Severus Snape was a bad teacher.

There is no doubt about it: Severus Snape was a bad Potions professor and an even worse Headmaster. I’ve got some stuff to say about his position as Headmaster, but let’s talk about his Potions position first, shall we?

Harry Potter

See this adorable little nerd right here? Snape wants to crush him under his boot like a worm.

When Harry Potter walked into Hogwarts, Snape made it his mission to abuse, mistreat, neglect, and otherwise harm him. This is evidenced by Snape’s actions during Harry’s first Potions lesson, when he called on an unprepared, uneducated student who had only known about magic for a few months before his arrival at Hogwarts. Obviously, to fire questions at one’s students on the first day, when it is perfectly logical and reasonable to assume that at least a few of those same students have never brewed potions before, is a bad way to teach.

Snape went above and beyond this. He asked Harry, specifically, “What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?” Snape then continued to pepper Harry with questions, taking points off when Harry didn’t know them. Admittedly, I do see the point in wanting to know if your students had actually cracked open their schoolbooks during the summer, but Snape directed his questions only at Harry, and scorned Hermione when she tried to answer them. We see Snape from Harry’s biased point-of-view, so our perspectives of the Potions professor are somewhat tainted, but anyone who had observed that first scene would have realized that what Snape did was, at the very least, slightly unethical.

An addendum to this scene: Some fans have theorized that Snape meant something when he asked Harry about asphodel and wormwood. Apparently, in the Victorian language of flowers, asphodel is a type of lily meaning ‘my regrets follow you to the grave,’ and wormwood means ‘absence’ and symbolizes bitter sorrow. When you apply these meanings to the question Snape asks, its meaning changes to something along the lines of “Lily’s death is bitterly regretted.” Honestly, I think this is just J.K.’s mastery at work again, and isn’t supposed to be an intentional message from Snape to Harry. Besides, does Snape really expect Harry, an 11-year-old, to know the Victorian language of flowers? A pureblood first year might know the meaning of Snape’s question, but seeing as Malfoy was in Harry’s class and didn’t show any signs of having realized what Snape was allegedly trying to say, it’s pretty doubtful.

Snape continues to torment Harry throughout his years at Hogwarts, blaming him for others’ innocent mistakes–one notable incident occurred when Neville messed up his potion and Snape told Harry off for ‘not stopping Neville from doing the wrong thing.’ In his judgements, Snape is clearly biased against the houses Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff, but has a vendetta for the Golden Trio in particular. Several incidences of Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle tossing things into Harry’s potion in the middle of class, and Snape rounding on Harry for messing up, have occurred throughout the series. Obviously, Snape chooses to let the Slytherins have free reign in his classroom, and tries to thoroughly and completely squash anyone else who tries to achieve greatness under his foot.

Hermione Granger

This little girl? Snape hates her too.

This is further demonstrated in GoF, when Snape happens upon the Trio and Malfoy’s troupe of Slytherins fighting in the hall. As far as I can remember (I don’t have a copy of the 4th book on hand right now), Malfoy (?) hexes Hermione with Densaugeo, making her two front teeth (which she happens to be very self-conscious about) grow incredibly large. I think she was described as looking like a beaver in the book. Anyway, Snape looks around. He sees the evidence of a fight, and his eyes land on Hermione, who, at this point in time, is almost sobbing. Or at least I think so. But anyway, he says, “I see no difference” in Hermione’s appearance, and this sends Hermione into tears, and she flees the scene.

Additionally, Snape berates and humiliates Hermione countless times throughout the series; when she tries to help Neville, he tells her to stop; when she tries to answer a question, he calls her a know-it-all; he refers to her as the ‘Gryffindor know-it-all’, part of the Trio.

Some people have claimed that Snape hates and insults Hermione so much because she reminds him of another really smart, skilled female Gryffindor Muggleborn: Lily Evans.

What do I think? I think this is a bunch of crap. Yes, there are many surface similarities between Hermione and Lily, but wouldn’t Snape have tried to treat Hermione nicely, if he was supposed to have regretted Lily’s death so much? I don’t know about you, readers, but if I were reminded of a dead love by this precocious little kid, I wouldn’t treat them like shit. But anyway, let’s go on to Neville.

Neville Longbottom

And this innocent kid? Snape ruined his self-esteem.

 

Boy, have I got a lot to say about Neville and Snape.

From the very beginning of his 7 years at Hogwarts, Neville was constantly undermined, beaten down, and mentally and emotionally abused by Snape. Yes, abused. It is abuse if one of the people you can trust to take care of you insults your every attempt to learn, you know. Snape constantly talked down to Neville, told him he was nothing, and yelled at him every time he messed up, while making no attempt to correct Neville’s mistakes and teach him the correct methods of brewing.

Also, I want to talk a bit about a small moment in the 3rd book, PoA.

When Remus Lupin, the Defense teacher in 1993, brought in a real live Boggart for his third-years to face, Neville’s worst fear was Severus Snape. His worst fear wasn’t his parents lying dead on the floor, or Voldemort reborn, come to kill them all, or even a small phobia. It was his goddamn Potions professor. A teacher is someone you can trust, and at Hogwarts especially so. They do board there for 10 months out of the year, of course. But even if you can’t exactly trust your professor, you’d probably know them well enough that you wouldn’t really fear them. Except when you hadn’t done your homework.

But Neville? Neville was scared. He was scared of one of the only authority figures in his school life, because in his three years at Hogwarts, Snape had done nothing for Neville but insult him, laugh at his attempts at brewing, and completely undermine Neville’s enthusiasm and self-esteem. And to make things worse, Snape probably knew it. No, he definitely did. In canon, Snape treated Neville considerably worse after the Boggart lesson, because he had heard that Lupin had coached Neville to imagine Snape in Augusta Longbottom’s clothing. Like I said, abuse.

Snape really fucked up Neville’s education, in summary. And watching the frustration and hate grow in a young boy for a valuable subject and skill, to the point where he would shudder when talking about Potions or Snape, is just so sad. Because, as we saw in DH, Neville is a hero, in his own way. He helped kill Voldemort, stood up to the whole of the Death Eater army and the Dark Lord, and organized children into a veritable army. And this makes me wonder; if Snape had been a real, caring, good teacher, what would Neville have managed to accomplish in his Potions class? Would he potentially have gone on to invent the Wizarding World’s equivalent to a cancer cure? Maybe a better version of the Wolfsbane potion?

I have no idea. And that makes me sad. Because, if Neville, the boy ridiculed by pretty much everyone in his own house, was able to do such great things, how many other students has Snape’s negligence and shitty-as-hell teaching skills ruined?

—————————

Let’s sit back and summarize for a second, just to review what we’ve seen of Snape.

  • He undermined and ruined many students’ potentials
  • He neglected his teaching
  • He outright abused many of his students

Right.

Keeping all that in mind, let’s proceed to the topic of:

2. Lily Potter

(damn, this is a long post. 1540 words written already, and I still haven’t reached the Marauders yet)

Snape and Lily’s friendship is a very…complicated thing. The two were friends from their pre-Hogwarts years to right after the 5th-year OWLS. Then, Snape did the unthinkable: he called Lily a Mudblood.

In the HP canon, as J.K. has structured it, to call someone a Mudblood is, in a pinch, really fucking terrible. I’d wager it’s worse than calling someone the n-word, especially since that word has been removed of most of its shock value with pop culture. White boys, y’know? They just never stop calling each other f****ts and n****rs. (“Woo, yeah, let’s go make light of minorities’ struggles by calling each other derogatory insults!” seems to be the mentality I’ve seen.)

So, keeping in mind the sheer horror and intensity of the word ‘Mudblood,’ let’s proceed.

Snape and Lily, at the point in time before the Incident, were great friends. Though Lily disapproved of Snape’s associates in Slytherin, and Snape, in turn, disapproved of James Potter’s constant flirting with Lily, they were still the closest things to best friends they would ever be, up until the Incident.

The Incident itself is a pretty horrifying thing. Imagine that you’ve had a friend for, oh, about 6-8 years now. You share several very important secrets (the magic thing, for one) and you’re pretty much always seen together, even though everyone in your school disapproves of your friendship. You think you’re probably going to stay friends forever, and you plan to stay that way. Then, your best friend in the world calls you the most demeaning, insulting thing ever known to man (or wizard, in this case). Obviously, you’re going to feel betrayed, destroyed, like your friendship is now worthless. You probably never want to talk to your former friend again. Thing is, he keeps trying to talk to you.

That was probably Lily Evans’ reaction to the Incident. It’s entirely reasonable that she would act aloof, cold, and even rude to her former best friend after these events, no? Then why is it that people insist that Snape should have married Lily, and that Lily should have, in the words of a certain Tumblr user, “just sucked it up and forgiven him”?

Honestly, Snape merely fancied himself in love with Lily. He wasn’t in love with Lily, he was in love with the idea of her. He stalked her to the point of obsession, obsession so severe that his Patronus mirrored hers exactly.

Creep.

That’s not love. Having your Patronuses match doesn’t show love, it shows obsession. What James Potter had with Lily is a different matter. James’ Patronus was a stag. Lily’s, a doe. They were a pair, the two of them. Snape’s Patronus matched Lily’s, not because he loved her so much, but because he was obsessed.

Besides, if the real Lily Potter, not the construct Snape had built in his own mind, were alive, and if Snape were to tell her of his affections, I bet she would bitchslap him so hard there wouldn’t be anything left of him for James.

Seriously.

A man abuses your child for six years, plots to sacrifice the lives of your husband and child so that you can live, helped in the alienation of your elder sister, completely hated your husband and his friends, exposes your friend’s ‘furry little secret’ to the world, and then tells you he’s in love with you?

Because, of course it’s completely in character for Lily to say “OMG, I want a love story in which my best friend calls me a racial slur and then proceeds to join a terrorist group based on killing people of my heritage and then accidentally endangers me and tries to bargain the lives of my child and the man I love away in exchange for me like some creepy bartering system and in causing my death decides to protect my son out of guilt but really spends his entire childhood being an asshole to him – OH WAIT”

Basically, telling people you think Snape’s actions in the first six books and most of the last book are completely justified by his betrayal of Voldemort and ‘love’ for Lily is the cue for me to whip out my 2k+ metapost and slap you with it.

Also, telling people you “love them like Snape loved Lily” isn’t really a good thing.

———————————————————————–

And that’s the end of my hella long spiel on Snape. For now.

I mean, I really appreciate his snarkiness, but he doesn’t make for a character that symbolizes ‘good’ nearly as much as people think he does.

That said, I think Severus Snape is motherfucking fabulous.

And with that said, I think I’ll end the post here. This monster’s almost 2,400 words long, so…

Don’t worry, I’ll be back. I’m working on a Who fic I think some of you guys’ll like. A lot. So keep your eyes open, I guess, and check back at this blog for more soon!

Posted in Blogging, Books, Fandom-related, fangirl stuff, Harry Potter, Potterstuff, Theories | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

There’s something you should know about me…

First of all, I want to apologize to those of you who check my blog every week hoping for a new post. I know who you are, and I’m sorry, but I don’t think I’ll be making any new posts for a while. Extenuating circumstances have sapped most of my enthusiasm for writing. In short, life’s been a b*tch. Yeah.

But that’s not the main reason I’m writing this post. I’ve decided to post this because

  1. I’m done with hiding a part of myself, at least online. (For the people who know me offline and still check this blog, I ask you not to judge me.)
  2. This is a backwards way of telling my friends who still read my blog who I am. Because otherwise, I’m terrible at saying stuff like this in person and would probably definitely f*ck it up.
  3. I felt like writing about something I really care about and actually showing it to people, for once.

A few things you should know about this post:

  1. This was originally written in response to a prompt my teacher gave us in class once.
  2. I’m still figuring my sh*t out, so don’t take the last sentence as set in stone. I’m still working myself out.
  3. Read the whole thing before you comment below, yeah?
  4. The statistics provided about Floridian law in one of the last few paragraphs are sourced from trustworthy material and are completely true as of March 10th, 2014.
  5. A few warnings for homophobic/transphobic slurs and treatment.

Alright, here we go.

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

(In response to the prompt: “Have you ever broken someone’s heart? Have you ever had your heart broken?”)

As far as I can remember, I have never broken someone’s heart. Sure, I had the typical screaming matches with my parents, family, and former friends, but both members always seemed to bounce back from those fights, and there were many occasions of teary reconciliation on both ends. And you know what? I’m happy that I’ve never broken a heart. I’m happy that I’ve never had my heart broken, I am!

But, I’m also scared.

I’m scared that I’ll break my family’s heart when I tell them I’m not straight. I’m scared that my heart will break when I come out. I’m scared that by coming out, I’ll unearth deeply-rooted homophobia in parts of my family tree. I’m scared that my aunts, uncles, and cousins who are deep believers in heterosexuality will shun me. Hell, the atmosphere in my extended family was bad enough when one of my cousins got pregnant before she was married, and she was 22 and engaged at the time. If three of my aunts had the audacity to completely ignore her for months, what might happen to me when they find out I’m not straight? I’m scared that I won’t be accepted at family reunions, should I choose to bring a girlfriend along. I’m scared because I’ve heard of hate crimes and lynchings for less. A Muslim girl living in the US was killed because her father saw her holding hands with another girl, so what would happen to me if I were to kiss a girl in the company of certain relatives?

I’m scared that I’ll estrange some of my friends when I come out to them. I’m scared that I’ll never be looked at the same way again. I’m scared that I might lose the friendships of people I value, and I’m afraid because I know that that will hurt me. I’m scared that some people will spread nasty rumors about me at school, and I’m scared because I won’t know how to handle them. I’m scared because one of my friends who lives on the other side of the country suffers from severe gender dysphoria and isn’t allowed to dress like a boy or take testosterone because his parents are unsupportive and bigoted, and when he calls me and cries into the phone, I can’t do anything to help him. I’m scared because one of the people I know was severely injured, almost raped, and nearly killed because he chose the wrong person to come out to. I’m scared because when one of my friends called another boy a faggot,tranny, and a shemale because of his haircut, no one called them out on it. I’m scared because some of my friends have been bullied because they were brave enough to be themselves. I’m scared because I’ve heard horror stories about students, parents, and teachers bullying high school, middle school, and even elementary school kids because of their sexual or gender identity. I’m scared because sometimes, one of my friends makes a homophobic joke and everyone laughs along.

I’m scared because same-sex marriage is currently banned in Florida, and, because of the huge number of conservatives in my state, doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. I’m scared because, according to Florida law, I wouldn’t have the right to visit my wife if she were to be hospitalized, because we’d technically be a same-sex couple; because if I married a woman, our marriage wouldn’t be legally recognized in 33 out of 50 states in the US; because Florida law does not give me any protection against employment discrimination if I were open about my sexuality or gender identity; because if I wanted to rent an apartment with a girlfriend, there aren’t any current state laws that would stop a business from refusing us rental based on our sexuality. I’m scared because there hasn’t been a Florida law passed yet that addresses school bullying based on sexual or gender identity.

I’m scared because if I ever become a published author, I know that some parents would shun my work because of my sexuality, as if that were related to what I put down on paper. I’m scared because some people say that the abbreviation ‘LGBTQIAP+’ is “too confusing” for them, and refuse to recognize the ‘QIAP+’ part of their community. I’m scared because when Rick Riordan made one of the characters in the Heroes of Olympus series gay, people said that sexuality was something too confusing for children to understand, as if the romance between Percy and Annabeth was something not addressing sexuality. I’m scared because up until the age of 12, I wasn’t aware that any sexuality other than being hetero was normal or allowed, and I thought of myself as wrong, a freak, needing to be fixed. I’m scared because the other day I read an article about a little boy who killed himself, because one day he wore a pink dress to school and he was hated so much because of that clothing choice that he couldn’t stand it. I’m scared because I’ve seen normal people called nasty names and made jokes of and targeted because they had the audacity to be openly gay or bi or pan or ace or gray-a or demi or trans or bigender or genderqueer or genderfluid or anything that’s not the cisgender heteronormative way of life.

I’m a closeted pansexual gender-questioning teenage girl who’s scared of breaking hearts and having her heart broken, and I don’t know what to do.

Posted in Humanity, Me | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Loki, Gender and Costume Design in Thor: The Dark World

THANK YOU THIS IS WONDERFUL

Miriam Joy Writes

This post will probably be long, but I was asked to write it (and I’ve been wanting to since I went to see this film), so at least I know I have one reader interested enough to read to the end. Oh, and there are lots of pictures.

Edit: I’ve noticed this post is getting a lot of traffic, which is AWESOME, but hey, I’m really skint, so while I hate being the writer who constantly self-promotes, maybe some of you unexpected visitors would be interested in checking out my ‘Books’ tab? Okay, I feel guilty just writing this. I’m gonna go now. Thanks for reading.

I am by no means the person best qualified to write this post. I’m not a long-term Marvel fan who grew up reading the comics and I still haven’t read them. I jumped on the Marvel bandwagon when the Avengers came out, like…

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Your Creation Museum Report

Whatever

Yes, finally, ladies and gentlemen, I present you with your Creation Museum report! Thank you for your patience. Our report today has two parts: The first part is a photographic tour, with all the snarktasticness you’ve been no doubt hoping for. Click on the first picture and cruise on through. It’s long — 101 pictures — but, hey, you guys paid top dollar, so I don’t want to skimp. The second part, a think piece, if you will, is directly below. It’s no less snarky (as you will soon discover), but also somewhat more thoughtful. Enjoy.

ON THE CREATION MUSEUM
By John Scalzi

Here’s how to understand the Creation Museum:

Imagine, if you will, a load of horseshit. And we’re not talking just your average load of horseshit; no, we’re talking colossal load of horsehit. An epic load of horseshit. The kind of load of horseshit that…

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