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Methleigh

My Castalia

6th January 2020

welcome

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9th January 2018

Content Index

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first posted to my dreamwidth account.

8th August 2015

(no subject)

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I was actually in Palo Alto recently. And one day I zoomed down to San Fransisco. When I say zoomed, I mean I took a regular bus, a super exciting commuter train, and a super exciting streetcar thing, only with extra tunnels. I love travelling.

The super exciting streetcar dropped me off in front of a magic shop, which is something I seek out and find irresistible, as if I were, you know, proverbial metal filings and the magic shop was a proverbial magnet.

And it was here that I found KENDAMAS were all the rage, the hip new thing in San Fransisco! Hurray!

I had seen an advertisement for them tucked in with the yoyo I bought in Palo Alto, and i had seen them in the toyshop there. (One of the toyshops, inevitably.) Here they were with the wall of packet jokes you can play on your friends (black soap, shocking pens, squirt rings, etc.) It is the prominent wall in most magic shops, with the actual magic behind or under the counter.

And the wee tots were clamouring for these kendamas, jumping up and down and tugging on their father’s arms, and bursting into tears when their siblings got the colour they wanted.

OHO! And then I looked around Golden Gate Park and there were kendamas everywhere! When we went to Japantown in San Jose, they were in the shops and people looked upon my practice fondly. Someone stopped me just yesterday and I let them try etc. and they were full of excitement because they were all the rage in Hawaii. They said their pastor had told their child not to play with them during church (I should just think so!!!! 8^O )

Here is a helpful article

Here are some tips and tricks. My kendama is a Sweets Kendama.

My grandmother had a kendama. It was plain wood with thin red stripes, and a thin black stripe. I played with it less than the tops, but it was apparently full of more potential than that for which I gave it credit.

Here is the review part:

My kendama is as pictured above in that exact colour. It proved much more engaging and challenging than the yoyo, which promptly whizzed off the string into the street scattering ball bearings everywhere. It is something to do while walking. It is something to do while talking to neighbours. It is something to do, in short. And things to do fall into various categories of concentration. this one is just right for these activities. It is also very pleasing because it involves practice, and I am a big fan of practice. it is not impossible or frustrating, but gratification is not automatic or too easily attained either. I have not reached its potential after about 2 weeks of use (while walking, talking to neighbours, etc.) I walk a lot, so I don’t mean from the car to the front door. I mean a walk to the beach or through the street festival or the farmer’s market. It keeps boredom at bay.

I award it lots of stars.

Toy Reviews

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I am now officially in the TOY FANDOM.
The fact is, I have always been in the toy fandom, as was my grandmother before me.

Toys.
It's what we do.

In other news, this is still and always will be a journal for adults. There is no sex. It is just that children want all the toys and maybe chew them or maybe they want to set their Action Men on fire to stimulate war scenarios. I love toys, and I love toys intact. And I'm not inclined to situations where I want to fight with wee tots for that special blue block that will match the green block on the block castle I am building. I tend to be that person who wants that special blue block EVEN MORE because the wee tot will possibly just use it to beat an uneven tattoo on the leg of my table. I understand ABSOLUTELY why children fight over toys in the sandbox.

So. Toy reviews. I intend to review toys. Hurray! I recently went to San Fransisco and, er, indulged. There is nothing wrong with indulging. Life is hard and adults need toys as compensation, at least adults in the TOY FANDOM do.

19th August 2013

Celebration for Andrew

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Here is a pic I took of my friend Adrian with Little Sevvie at Andrew's celebration.


Here is the pic Adrian took of Little Sevvie and I.


I wanted to play Loch Lomond on my violin, but there would have really been no opportunity. Everyone dressed up in bright colours as Andrew would have liked. You can see a wee faerie child in the background. (I don't know her. I knew scarcely anyone, which I found very odd.) Adrian is the father of one of Andrew's co-parented children. He is a dear boy but declined a picture. Andrew is to be cremated in his Baby Cthulhu costume. With a wand.

17th August 2013

Superman

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So, my friend Andrew passed away this week. It was very sudden and utterly unexpected with no foreshadowing whatsoever. I still don't know how this is possible in this world. He was super smart, super fun, super warm, super hard-working, super easy-going, super inclusive, super giving, super everything. In short, he was superman.

He knew who I am. And he loved me.

He was a Topless Wish Faerie. He was in the Carnival Band. He co-parented three children, two of them disabled, one severely so. He was a wonderful gamesmaster. He worked for the government. His most famous costume was a cute Baby Cthulhu. He wore super clothing. It was like he was cosplaying himself, all the time.

He was awesome at playing.

You should have seen him playing with the children and teaching them to be good loving fun citizens by example and word and by knowing who they were, too. Your hear would have melted, I swear. People are better than celebrities. In less than five seconds with Andrew you would have been enchanted.

I took more pictures. Where are the pictures when you want them? These are the only two good ones I could find on my computer.


Here he is playing a dombek (I believe (I am not so good with hand drums)) in green bloomers and a purple tutu and a flower crown. This is before flower crowns were a 'thing.'


Here he is with Little Sevvie with striped pirate trousers and a feather sash (it is fancier than a boa,) and sparkle makeup.

The last time I saw him I ran into him at the library and he was wearing a cloak (he always wore a cloak) and a red velvet top hat. We were going to meet up at a fun game restaurant here which is fandom-decorated and has super great inexpensive original (and fandom-named) food. No, that's not true. We also went swimming on the day I sprained my ankles. He was singing little comic songs to his disabled daughter and helping her with the pool things. At one time I spent every Sunday at his home.

I don't know how this is possible.

Forgive me for posting two pictures without a cut. Forgive me for saying 'faeries.' That's what we say here in Vancouver. It's a cultural thing.
I chose the icon he would have liked best.

1st April 2013

The idea is to post a poem each day for the whole month. You don't have to write them. You just have to post them. I have quite a number of beloved poems. I'll start with Hesse. And YES the icon is about this poem, or vice versa. I memorised this decades ago. That is going to be true for the first poems I post. I'll let you know.

THE IMMORTALS
by Hermann Hesse, from The Steppenwolf

Ever reeking from the vales of earth
Ascends to us life's fevered surge,
Wealth's excess, the rage of dearth,
Smoke of death meals on the gallow's verge;
Greed without end, imprisoned air;
Murderers' hands, usurers' hands, hands of prayer;
Exhales in foetid breath the human swarm
Whipped on by fear and lust, blood raw, blood warm,
Breathing blessedness and savage heats,
Eating itself and spewing what it eats,
Hatching war and lovely art,
Decking out with idiot craze
Bawdy houses while they blaze,
Through the childish fair-time mart
Weltering to its own decay
In the glare of pleasure's way,
Rising for each newborn and then
Sinking for each to dust again.

But we above you ever more residing
In the ether's star translumined ice
Know not day nor night nor time's dividing,
Wear nor age nor sex for our device.
All your sins and anguish self-affrighting,
Your murders and lascivious delighting
Are to us but as a show
Like the suns that circling go,
Changing not our day for night;
On your frenzied life we spy,
And refresh ourselves thereafter
With the stars in order fleeing;
Our breath is winter; in our sight
Fawns the dragon of the sky;
Cool and unchanging is our eternal being,
Cool and star bright is our eternal laughter.

15th October 2012


Click the banner to take you to darkarts_ldws 5th Round, Dark Creatures, and sign up for a hard-driving LDWS that allows you to use all your cunning and ingenuity.

22nd September 2012

Sad News

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To all those of you who knew Kyria of Delphi, I am so sorry for your loss. I will learn to play Loch Lomond in her honour.

22nd July 2012

I am not photogenic. but they took this photo at the con:

30th April 2012

Goodbye, OWL

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I am so sad to see you go. I made the best friends here. My stories are sad. They have yet to find another home.

16th April 2012

ugh

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I think I have the flu. I'm sorry if I didn't answer some comments. I will try tomorrow.

20th March 2012

So Convincing

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Author: verus_janus
Title: So Convincing
Characters: Barty Crouch Jr., Moaning Myrtle, someone else
Word Count: 1330
Rating: R
Warnings: Depression. If you think that's not bad or not madness don't say you weren't warned.
For: [profile] darkarts_ldws
Prompt: Barty Crouch, Jr., Driving to insanity
Notes: This is the original story I wrote, in longhand, which I then had to cut to 500 words exactly for the Dark Arts, Last Drabble Writer Standing com. Thank you SO MUCH to [profile] valkyriekat_47 and [personal profile] sionna_raven, the com mods. Thank you SO MUCH to [personal profile] mingbutterfly, my alphabeta.

He had discovered the unused bathroom in first year.Collapse )

first posted to my dreamwidth account.

Unfair!

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Author: verus_janus
Title: Unfair!
Characters: Bella Black, Sirius Black, Regulus Black
Word Count: 600
Rating: G
Warnings: um, torture. child abuse.
For: [profile] darkarts_ldws
Prompt: Bella, Torture

Normally they would have been left with either their governess or tutor, or they would have been trusted to behave themselves, watched over by Kreacher. But their mother had been impressed by Cygnus and Druella's teen-aged children and had decided their sons must get to know their cousins.

Sirius and Regulus sat side by side on the stone step. When the weekend had been proposed, they had thought it would be fun - an adventure. Other children! They could have perhaps played with their cousin Andy, but even he was too much older to know what to do with them and had gone off with friends. Narcissa was clearly not sure how to play, with her dry perfect elegance, mirroring a proper adult. Everything she presented as a possible toy was brittle and pale. Disappointed, she had disappeared. And Bella...

"Bella's mean."

Of course he didn't really know this; he had only heard it. Sirius was just telling his little brother for something to say. The stone was cool and the sun was hot through their robes, more formal than the ones they wore at home. Regulus' were still tidy even if the creases were wilting, but Sirius, bored, had tried somersaults on the lawn.

At his words the door flew open and his eldest cousin, fluttering in black silk, seized him under the arms, dragging his heels over the steps and lifting his elbows awkwardly into the air. The door slammed after them.

"Crucio!" Regulus only heard it quietly, but he heard his brother's scream. It was sharp with tension, helplessly full throated, sudden. The horror of it echoed through Regulus' young body, brief though it was.

The door flew open again and Sirius was plunked next to him, more disheveled, off-balance as if he were a sack of something unwanted rather than a little boy. And Bella was gone again.

"See?"

Even shaking at the shock of the pain, Sirius was still surprised he had been so quickly proved right. He hadn't known, after all. It had been an idle remark. But he wanted to cement his fortune as smug skill to his little brother. Regulus just looked at him with wide eyes, afraid to say anything or move. Sirius was trembling.

Indeed, at his question he was whisked just as suddenly back inside the house, his expression this time was not mere surprise but terror. He was too inexperienced and trusting for it to occur to him such punishment might be repeated.

"You didn't learn your lesson the first time? You will Not talk about me like that. Crucio!"

Again the screams sounded behind the white door with its scrolled mouldings. They were more protracted this time, horrible, hopeless and unearthly.

This time when Bella dragged him back she simply tossed him by one arm onto the grass. "You can't tell on me, either. Who do you think they'll believe? Me?" She drew an open hand gesturing to her black ruffled gown, then pointed at Sirius, gasping and streaming tears and mucus. "Or you?"

She slammed the door again, but did not wait to hear further defamation. She ran upstairs and threw herself on her bed, pounding her pillow with her fists.

Why did they have to be like that? Why couldn't they like her? They were her cousins. They were supposed to like her. They were supposed to be good and loyal and happy to be near her and they were supposed to bring her cakes. She hadn't done anything. She was only looking after them. And the big one had said she was mean.

first posted to my dreamwidth account.

After School

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Author: verus_janus
Title: After School
Characters: Lucius Malfoy, Abraxas Malfoy, Horace Slughorn
Word Count: 450
Rating: G
Warnings: manipulation, of course
For: [profile] darkarts_ldws
Prompt: Lucius, Magical Coercion

"Come," his father had said, "and bring your friends. I'll be expecting you."

It had been said with a wink and a smile at the corner of his father's mouth. This told Lucius it was a test of ingenuity, of strategy and praxis. Of course they both knew he and his young friends were virtual prisoners at Hogwarts. It was Lucius' last year, and he would soon take his place as his father's heir.

Lucius considered. Saturday night. They would all be playing The Minister's Cat for sweets, the First Years letting Slughorn win for favour. They did this because it worked. Lucius and those who did not need anything from him would lounge around the edges, smirking but idle. And so did those who saw him for what he was. He needed them. He had nothing to offer. Well, they would take freedom, and Slughorn had more to lose than Lucius did for casting an unforgiveable.

He came early to class.

"Imperius!" And he saw the focus of Slughorn's eyes turning unwaveringly to him, open to his next words. "You will have a little Slug Club party on Saturday. Invite all your favourites. Plan a soiree! Late into the night. Food, revels, luxuries. And you will not ask where we are. You have no need to know. Have a good time."

The man's round eyes widened, then narrowed in a disapproving frown, then slid to the side in resignation. There was nothing he could do in any case.

Horace hated the way they sneered at him. He hated them. Malfoy, with his damned lazy confidence. He had everything he wanted, and anything he thought he wanted he would be able to arrange. Except at school. And now...

There was nothing he could do. His beautiful children. And that little Gryffindor girl, so happy to be invited, with her muggle parents. If the children knew... he could picture their innocent faces closing against him, sneering.

And then they would grow up. He wanted them... oh, damn him... he wanted them to love him. He wanted them. Photographs? Just photographs. Of course, but... perhaps photographs did take a portion of the soul. His children. But only as long as they agreed. So long and no longer. He could not lie to himself if they sneered at him.

So, he had his little party, and the children pretended to sophistication, innocent and happy. And someday they would really be sophisticated.

And Lucius, the Lestrange brothers, the elder Black sisters, the Rosier boy, and a stringy new half-muggle named Snape clicked glasses and smiled in the Malfoy dining room. In one year Lucius would be free to enter the family business. Politics.

first posted to my dreamwidth account.

Hide and Seek

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Author: verus_janus
Title: Hide and Seek
Characters: Evan Rosier, Bella Black, Narcissa Black,
Word Count: 700
Rating: G
Warnings: coersion
For: darkarts_ldws
Prompt: Evan Rosier, Breeding Dementors

The house was isolated. Only the Lestranges lived nearby - an afternoon's walk through the green fields, along the stone walls, past the spring and small lake. When Evan was older, there would be floo powder. Even now, he hoarded some, thinking using it unbidden to visit his friends.

The visit to the Blacks' home was quite a treat. There were children! Andy was nearest his age and temperament. He showed off a little, putting extra energy into everything, careening a little too fast, climbing a little too high. Narcissa was pale and good. He could see she did not think much of him, but he wanted to be impressive anyway. At least he did not want them to overlook him or leave him alone in a nursery with picture books while they did interesting things.

Narcissa was six years older; Bella was eight, almost twice as old as he. He did not bother to reason this out, only barely registering their names. They were older girls, but wizarding children still, and he watched them longingly from the pleasantries his parents exchanged with theirs. Then he was freed to meet them and play games. He felt shy but suppressed it.

"Hide and seek," the eldest declared after tea. He was a little surprised. She hadn't seemed interested. They watched him run about, playing quidditch without a broom after they had played tag with their pets in the garden. Andy joined him. The quiet one obviously wanted to be elsewhere but was too polite to abandon a guest. This girl watched him with a superior dark twinkle.

They all cried, "Not it!" And the quiet blond girl was last. Evan liked her, despite her difference from him. She seemed organised and gentle. He would have liked to talk, but he was carried away by the others.

As soon as she began to set the counter and tracer spells, the oldest girl took his hand. "Come. I'll show you the perfect place to hide. I want to show you something anyway. Something exciting." Andy had disappeared. Doubtless he had favourite places already selected..

Yes, it was exciting. He was drawn quickly away, his hand captured in Bella's. He was proud she liked him enough to show him her secrets. They went down a side path by the house, into a swampy wood. where it wound hard and dry. It not far, just next to the house, really. He could see a kind of annexe or summer house, a play house perhaps. It was low and long, shaded and shadowy, indistinct under the trees and wound in obscuring vines.

He wanted to pull away and go back to the sun and gardens, sit at Narcissa's feet and let him tell her about her cat. His scalp felt creepy and dirty, though his hair was perfectly clean. His skin itched with repulsion. His hand was caught tight. "You aren't afraid, are you? A big boy like you?"

"No" The sound of his voice was a surprise. He really meant 'Yes.' It showed in the bareness of the tiny word. He could hear the others beginning to hunt for them and call.

"Look here."

She opened the door, drawing him forward, and his eyes bulged dry and round. His mouth opened in horror and then he heard himself screaming. She still held him tight. He could not pull away or run. A single room of not-people, ragged, horrifying not-mist, though their breath was a filthy visible nightmare. And each not-person held a keening haunting gasping small not-child. It was not even the sight or the eerie sound that unnerved him. It was the vortex against light and colour that tried to suck him into it. He couldn't run.

He screamed and screamed, and Bella laughed.

Then his mother was there, warm and human. Even though he was eight, he clung to her for comfort without shame.

"Of course they cannot breed dementors in Azkaban itself. The creation of anything there, even themselves, is quite impossible. They have to do it somewhere, my pet."

"They'll never get me. I'll never go there, ever, ever, ever," he sobbed.

"Of course not, dear. You're a Rosier."

first posted to my dreamwidth account.

Testing

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Author: verus_janus
Title: Testing
Characters: Severus Snape, and someone else
Word Count: 700
Rating: G
Warnings: None
For: [profile] darkarts_ldws
Prompt: Severus Snape, Invading the Mind

The Dark Lord had ordered it, and he was always a loyal servant,wasn't he? No matter that his old loyalties, hidden with the Dark Lord's ascendance, had been sworn to another in his youth. His youth? Well, if he was not exactly old now, he was not the young man - barely more than a boy - he had been. The venerable old man was gone now. And the Dark Lord had ordered this.

He knew he was secure, his secrets locked in Occlumency more intense than that in anyone he had thus far met. This boy - this young recruit. What would he know of the precariousness of divided
allegiance? He seemed ardent. He was clever. That was why the Dark Lord chose him.

He took the thin young wrist in his fingers, indelibly stained with his own Dark Arts. The pulse was surprisingly calm and steady. Why? The Dark Lord had summoned the boy to this as well. Would he not be trepidatious at all? Everyone had some secret.

"Look at me."

But the dark eyes that raised to his were not afraid either. They were lit, not with defiance, but with electricity born of concentration. Something was odd.

Was it a test for him, a trap? Was the boy more than he seemed, trained perhaps to power? The Dark Lord always feared betrayal. What of Karkaroff, for instance? What of the dead? He had thought himself secure, after all these years, but he was always careful. This very request to test the boy spoke of the paranoia of these times, ripe with momentum and tumult. But perhaps paranoia was prudent.

"Legilimens!"

The boy let him slide in almost easily; his barrier of resistance was thin and flexible. It seemed contrived. The shock of another inside his mind, prodding his soul, was no sudden start. It had been expected. He looked inside. There was the boy, light of loyalty blazing within him. Just beyond, obscured, was his secret love of his friends, as if it were guilty of eclipsing his love of the Dark Lord. Perhaps a touch of divided loyalties after all? But there was little else. Studiousness and inventiveness - the boy working with books and spells. Another half-obscured weakness: the boy was worried he would be disliked because he was too serious. Strangely, the rest was opaque and smooth. If the inside of a mind could have a colour, it would have been a soft swirl of mother of pearl. He had never seen anything like it. What did the boy do to relax? Where was his family? What did he dream? What had hurt him?

And then there was a flash of metaphoric light within him, and the boy was looking back into him. Curious, he had left himself unguarded. He shut the boy out utterly. But not before he revealed the vision of the old man, shining, arms raised in spell and beauty, his beard flowing white against the night. It was as if a door had opened and then closed between them. He was no longer in the boy's mind either, though he still held the thin wrist.

He prepared to cast Obliviate. This would not come out. Ever. He had guarded it too long.

But the boy spoke. "Gellert Grindelwald was a great man, Mr. Dolohov. Of course you revere him." He smiled - one of the first times Antonin had seen him do so - and his eyes smiled with secrets. It was not a popular sentiment, but he had spoken it. The Dark Lord was jealous. The boy was opening himself to trust by agreeing.

"Yes he was, Severus," the man answered. Perhaps, after all, he would not make him forget. His mind was fine. The boy had prepared for this, stilled his pulse, shown him what he was looking for - a weakness, a hidden secret, talents and good qualities. Whatever his true secrets were, they remained his own. Why not work with such a one, as an ally rather than a rival? Why tear such a promising young boy to political pieces? Perhaps, after all, he really did enjoy study and experimentation - books and spells. There was always room for one more alliance.

first posted to my dreamwidth account.

Adolphopoiesis

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Author: verus_janus
Title: Adolphopoiesis
Characters: Regulus Black, Severus Snape, Rabastan Lestrange, Evan Rossier
Word Count: 500
Rating: G
Warnings: ritual scarification (obviously)
For: [profile] darkarts_ldws
Prompt: Regulus, Ritual Scarification

Regulus was youngest. But Severus was only one year older and Rabastan was only two. They were no longer children, with the world bubbling and percolating around them, not with the promise of spy games turned to real intrigue and the exciting stimulating aroma of danger, a tantalising, almost-real presence. Almost-breathless, they watched the older ones. Lucius was out of school now, and Bella, Regulus' cousin, and Roddy, Rabastan's brother. They were children nevertheless. They wanted to be more, already.

Regulus would have been downcast, but for the sense the very air seemed to thrum with dark magic. "Rabastan will be next; then it will be Sev's turn. I'll be all alone, just waiting. Maybe an errand boy."

Severus thought of the others, one day cradling their arms as if nonchalantly, then hiding them, sleeves always tight, always long. The flowing grace of Lucius' silk tamped around his arms. They, the younger ones, were factors in the calculations, part of the plan. But only factors.

They sat beneath the big tree. Severus leaned his head against a thick root. Considering, he looked at Regulus sitting above, toes pointing downward. He looked at Rabastan next to him, quiet and solid. He looked at the branches and said to the sky, "There's something Antonin told me. Something they do in Bulgaria. It's not a Mark, but something we can do. Magic between us. I'll ask him tonight. Even if we can't really be Death Eaters yet, we can join each other!"

"Adelphopoiesis," Severus pronounced carefully, excited, corners of his mouth stretched up, as he tried to pretend he was not thrilled to be central among them. It was two days later and they were under the tree again with Evan Rossier, older than Severus, younger than Rabastan.

"So... we're actually going to cut each other?"

"It's blood magic. Brothers. To the end."

"That's what a Dark Mark is, partly anyway."

"We don't want to wait."

Regulus drew the circle around them; Rabastan set the wards. Severus pronounced the words from Antonin; Evan sliced deep into each palm, left and right with a razor he'd acquired. He was careful not to cut tendons, but these were not just paper cuts.

They joined hands, palm to palm, a circle within Regulus', becoming one as their blood flowed from cut to cut. They changed places. Their placement and lithe movement - dancing - formed patterns of power. Where Regulus had been between Severus and Rabastan, he now held Rabastan's hand and Evan's. The air within the circle was contained, vibrating, pushing heat through them as they stepped carefully. Now Regulus was between Evan and Severus. Now he was back where he started, and it was done.

They looked at one another, a little shy, humble at the deep change they had made in themselves, bound blood brothers.

The cuts healed white, raised, like embroidered lines hemming a blanket. When Regulus died, then Evan, they bled for days. And then only Severus and Rabastan were left.

first posted to my dreamwidth account.

Our Secret. Ours.

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Author: verus_janus
Title: Our Secret. Ours.
Characters: Lucius Malfoy, Draco Malfoy
Word Count: 675
Rating: G
Warnings: dark object and intent
For: [profile] darkarts_ldws
Prompt: Draco, Borgin and Burke's

The cabinet. Always the cabinet. It bored him, but he continued weaving it about with restorative spells, and reinforcing old spells. The undamaged cabinet also remained available for analysis. It was duty that carried his feet to Borgin and Burke's every time - every single time - he got away from that so-called school. He was learning more on his own.

But his duty was genuine. When he though of his father in prison his scalp clenched with indelible urgent dread. Was this the feeling they said felt as if one's hair were standing on end? It felt more as if a cap of ice had been set upon his head.

This was his feeling when he thought of his father and what was being done unto him. Tales of Azkaban had been the horror stories with which he had been raised, and recently the evidence of the eccentric madness of Dolohov and the vacant eyes of the younger Lestrange brother were more haunting than any tale. It was also the feeling that filled him when he walked through the door of Borgin and Burke's to again examine the implacable vanishing cabinet. The store was sprinkled with things his father had sold to elude the hounds of the hunters, as it were. These things should have come to Draco with the house and family name to be his in the distant but inevitable future. There were fantastically rare and irreplaceable dark family heirlooms.

There it was, for instance - a simple gold toothpick with a gold owl on top, smaller than Draco's very finger. He remembered the little thrill it had given him when he had looked at it in his father's case as a small boy. Even now, imprisoned in the glass cabinet, its point turned towards him and he felt the slight pang of exciting fear until it winked.

"Why does it wink at me, papa?" he had asked when he was small.

Lucius had taken the little toothpick from its resting place and showed him the almost microscopic channel for poison running into its tip. It was tiny in any case, but Draco could make out the faint browning that showed it had been used.

"Do you stab someone with it?" He had been thrilled and intrigued.

"No, it stabs them itself." Lucius had winked just like the owl. He had felt the same fascinated fear as Draco now felt when his father had originally showed it to him. "Do you see how it turns toward you, just before it winks? There is a dark spell within it that turns it towards anyone who encounters it. But if you are a foe of its owner - that would be me - it does not wink but rushes towards you, stabbing deep into your flesh. And then the poison works its way to your very heart. It kills you like: so!"

Draco had jumped when Lucius had suddenly clapped his hands, but then he had giggled in conspiracy.

He looked now at his family's little owl, blinking its bright ruby eyes from behind the glass. His scalp froze again with loss. He wanted to show it to his own son, to clap his hands and make his son jump and giggle. It should have been his.

It was slim and tiny. Surely they would not know if... Surely Snape would allow him such a trinket at the gate. He had a little pocket money, and it was so small. It felt imperative that he free it from its confinement - a symbol of freeing his father. Perhaps it would even turn towards Potter and, unblinking, free them all.

"How much?"

"A couple of galleons. But what do you want with that? It only turns about. It doesn't even point to anything particular, just the nearest person."

Evidently Lucius hadn't told him and he hadn't found the secret.

Draco paid and wrapped the sharp toothpick in his handkerchief. One injustice had been made right. Perhaps it was a sign.

"I will call you Athene to protect us," he whispered.

first posted to my dreamwidth account.

Draughts

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Author: verus_janus
Title: Draughts
Characters: Abraxas Malfoy, Horace Slughorn
Word Count: 500
Rating: G
Warnings: None
For: [profile] darkarts_ldws
Prompt: Horace Slughorn, Draught of the Living Death

Horace was not like other boys in Slytherin, with money and honeyed aristocratic accents. But there was no doubt he belonged there. He valued greatness more than they did - more than anything. He knew what they did not. He knew what it was like to be normal. This spurred him to strive to live in their world, to learn their ways, tastes, and graces, and to somehow adopt a certain indulgence with himself.

Horace loved food. There had been no House Elves at home, and no hired cooks either. But his mother had taught him to cook even while she taught him to talk. Cakes, trifles and pies; omelets, roasts and exquisite soups. She taught her baby which spices tasted delicious, which marinades produced tenderness and infused with a tang or a melting carmelising sweetness.

He used both types of knowledge to become more surely Slytherin - more surely a real and true member of his House. He tried to bribe them with delicacies - not only oral delicacies but those to favour all their senses. He always seemed to know where to place a satiny pillow to make one more comfortable, how to tip a little potion into a warm glass dish to make a room's aroma exciting with spice, exotic with cinnamon and outre fruit, or homely with smells of sugar cookies and chocolate. He also had the knack of finding the softest silkiest pyjamas, the most gleaming wand polish, the thickest, creamiest parchment.

All was offered to others with such transparent guile it was almost endearing. Horace found belonging, not through greatness but through desire, and through his association with greatness. He was so round, pleasant, young and innocent that his generosity of admiration was flattering. He was so pleased by the slightest glance or affection that he was adopted on his pleasure alone. For holidays he was always invited to the home of a fellow despite his modest, if pureblood, background.

The first class of sixth year something happened so wonderful it inscribed the arc of his life before him. He watched Abraxas Malfoy sideways, appreciating the grace and smooth shining hair. It was not love, but pure aesthetic. And Abraxas' Draught of the Living Death was perfect, silver as his eyes, the steam curling from it as lithe and simple as his movements.

Horace, surprised, felt something unexpected course through him as he looked at the other boy's potion. Perfect. Even I can create perfection! He realised he truly could. His long happy contemplations in that childhood kitchen and his keen awareness of wealthy beauty charged him with inspiration and instinctive knowledge. He cut. He swirled. He pressed the oil from the seeds. He knew exactly how to concoct, with vision and an eye that opened in his head like a dream. Silver. The silver of a true Slytherin. He reached for it, and it formed before him, swirling silver, perfect. Like Abraxas.

Emulation as inspiration; immersion as instinct. Potions became the epitome of his magical aspirations.

first posted to my dreamwidth account.

Indelible

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Author: verus_janus
Title: Indelible
Characters: Abraxas Malfoy, Orion Black, Regulus Black, Sirius Black
Word Count: 600
Rating: G
Warnings: depression
For: [profile] darkarts_ldws
Prompt: Orion Black, 12 Grimmauld Place

He had been expecting the invitation. Actually, he had been expecting a visit. Abraxas would have preferred the role of host. Would not a comradely stroll through the cool gardens among the topiaries have been more reassuring and amenable that the awkwardness of the cramped city house on Grimmauld place? Young Regulus had not been seen in weeks, and even though they were not close, there were times when a man needed more than to simply breast his own griefs, as the poets said. Walpurga would scarcely be a comfort to a man who had lost his sons. Yes, he had been expecting this. They had all been at school together, after all.

Abraxas took the enclosed signet ring and spun through the aether to land with scarcely a stumble on the worn but venerable carpet in the hall of Orion's home. He was met with a cup of scotch. "So..." he said.

"So." Orion spread his hands to show there was nothing really more to be said. Yet he had requested company. Perhaps simply that would comfort him. Perhaps the simple knowledge that he could share his... His what? It was not incredulity, for he believed it. It was not grief - it ran deeper than that. It was over.

Abraxas obligingly followed him, touring the rooms, drink in hand. He was taken to Regulus' room, spotless and perfect. "Look at his books; the way he studied. Look at his clothes; the care he took. Look at the pride he had in his friends, his family, everything he did. The very House Elf has locked himself in a closet and cries for his Master Regulus."

The visit to the drawing room was surprisingly brief. They did not pause before the fireplace to pose and smoke but stood facing the back wall, covered with an ornate complex tapestry defaced by numerous burn marks. "Here he is." Orion touched the lost boy's face, whose eyes almost shone at them from the wall. He also ran his fingers over the indistinct scorch mark where the other boy would have been. "And look. This was Sirius."

There was nothing to say. What could one say? 'I'm sorry for your loss... your losses...' But Regulus had not been found dead, and Sirius was very much alive. Orion met Abraxas' eyes, his loss unspoken in dignity, but his helpless pain and almost bewilderment communicated nonetheless.

He led Abraxas to Sirius' vacant room. It was filled with Muggle nonsense. If Sirius had been Abraxas son... Well, he never would have been. And yet, Orion was demonstrating that the ridiculous... common... posters were immovable and could not be peeled from the wall. "I did that myself. She may remove my son from her precious parlour, but she will never erase his presence from this house. This was my son, in all his headstrong stupidity. This."

Yet Abraxas noticed he still used the past tense. Sirius was rumoured to be living with a well-bred but not well-raised school chum.

They returned to Regulus' room and Orion sat on the small twin bed. His weight wrinkled the coverlet and dented the pillow. Of course, it was simply not done - to sit on a bed. He was in extremis, and this small act, forgetting himself and disregarding all he knew of place and pure-blood precision, revealed it more than the tremour of his hands.

Oh yes, Abraxas had noticed. And he allowed Orion to mourn.

"I loved both my sons," Orion said. "I named them as I was named: for the very stars. My sons."

It was over.

first posted to my dreamwidth account.

Confiscation

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Author: verus_janus
Title: Confiscation
Characters: Argus Filch, Sirius Black
Word Count: 600
Rating: G
Warnings: None
For: [profile] darkarts_ldws
Prompt: Argus Filch, Confiscated Goods

He'd had to go all the way up to the Gryffindor common-room to collect it - the result of the latest exploit of the unholy trinity, sodden with polluted magic. He knew how they raised their aristocratic toffee-noses at him as they sneered at his failed shreds of spells and stiff awkward attempts at muggle conjuring. He always hoped someday... something... would work, that there would be that little spark of miraculous wonder for him, after all. Not all children exhibited it at once. Perhaps even a man could have delayed ability. Such were his perennial musings.

Dumbledore had told him to remove it.

"Is it dangerous?" he'd asked the Headmaster.

"You should perhaps wear gloves. And bring something sturdy in which to carry it, like a metal box."

"What happened?"

" You know how young people love to edge around a forbidden world. Sirius Black found it by Knockturn Alley and took it as some kind of charm.They cast a spell on it, or several spells. So inventive and imaginative. Of course they can't be expected to have learned prudence yet. "

No, of course not. Not prudence. Argus thought sarcastically.

He had sighed and trudged frowning up the stairs to mitigate yet another disaster. Apparently the room had required evacuation. The more nervous students were still shrilly jittery outside the door. Someone had been taken to the hospital wing. There were still drips of blood sinking into his wood floor.

But when he entered, the common-room was quiet. There it was on the rug, in the shadow of one of the big comfortable velvet couches. He approached cautiously, but it seemed inert. Crouching, he extended his hand to pick it up and shut it in the box.

Then it was awake, hissing, all tense backbone, pointed teeth, and extended claws, gripping the rug, backing away, even as it held its ground, even as it prepared to spring. It was so sad, Argus thought, that such a little creature, so brave and ragged, should be their sport. Just as he was. And it was then that the miracle happened.

The tiny kitten relaxed and stretched under his sad eyes. It retracted its claws to soft little paws, and looked at him. He held it up before him, looking into its eyes. And something changed forever. Somehow, the touch of magic he had always wanted had bloomed between himself and the little cat. He could feel its emotions. He could see through its eyes. He saw himself as the kitten saw him: a hand of kindness and salvation, watery pale eyes and a smile. He was smiling?

Yes, he was. He felt its relief as well as its hatred of the heedless children who had toyed with it, teased it, experimented on it, and run from it with infectious shrieks.

"I don't think we will need the box after all. Or the gloves," Argus said to himself and the kitten. He tucked it into his shirt where it cuddled and fell asleep, exhausted now that it was safe. He could just see the edge of its dreams at the edge of his vision. He could feel the thought of its pleasure at his old soft clothes. He held his arm around it protectively.

"I'm confiscating this cat." He told the children abruptly as he strode past them and their scattered selfish energy.

When he got back to his rooms, with the little cat curled on his own cushion, he whispered, "I will call you Mrs. Norris." It shouldn't be difficult to care for her.

first posted to my dreamwidth account.

Magic Is Light

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Author: verus_janus
Title: Magic Is Light
Characters: Abraxas Malfoy, Lucius Malfoy
Word Count: 499
Rating: G
Warnings: None
For: [profile] darkarts_ldws
Prompt: Lucius, Knockturn Alley

At six, Abraxas had been dressed in white - all light. Now he looked at his small son in deep viridian and silver, with the warming black over-robe. His hair, eyes, and skin shone contrasting, brighter than Abraxas' had shone in soft 1930s lambswool.

"Things are seldom what they seem," he explained. "Sometimes in the darkness, light shines most brightly, especially in these times."

"We are the light here. We are the light of the world." Lucius mock-recited, carefully stepping around a sizzling puddle of... something that turned the cobblestones into tiny slippery islands. He tucked his elegant clothes closer, away from those of the beggars and the lounging buyers and sellers of contraband.

"Almost. Magic is the light of the world, and we are of the light. In Diagon Alley and the pretty streets with school supplies and little cafes with sparkling ice cream and surprising candy, magic is safe, bought and sold - measured so it is just enough to keep us quiet and never more. Here, where you least expect it, where it looks impossible for it to exist, where it looks like nothing can grow: here is its secret palace."

"Palace?" Lucius looked dubious. Even he knew this was the opposite of a palace.

"What makes a palace?" Abraxas spoke gently, proud, even though Lucius was wrong.

"Fine things! And fine people!"

"Fine people, yes. And fine things. But fine things are magical things, and magic is abundant here. And fine people are great wizards, and those who bring magic into being."

"Like us."

"Yes. But also like those whose work is not well-paid, but secret and brilliant. The Ministry hates magic that they can't control. Here they fear it less because it looks less than it is, because of... all you see. Because the power is not visible or apparent."

Abraxas stopped by a man in Knockturn dirty-grey holding a nondescript cloth by the corners so the belly of it suspended something round. "What is this?"

"What'll you give me for a look-see? The boy'll like it."

Abraxas opened his hand, revealing bright silver and copper.

The shredded finger-holes of the man's gloves brushed Abraxas' perfect palm as he took the money. Then he opened the cloth.

"It's all right." Abraxas touched his son's shoulder encouragingly.

Lucius came up to peer within the cloth's folds. He saw his own face in a mirrored ball, upside down. But then the mirror darkened, and he saw himself riding a white horse over Salisbury plain towards Stonehenge, alight with wisps of ghosts that called laughing for him to play. It was his very own dream from the night before. He looked wonderingly up at his father as the man gathered the corners of his cloth.

"Magic. The light of the world. That was not what you were expecting."

Lucius shook his head.

"Yet it is called Dark Magic because it is free."

The boy followed his father into Borgin & Burkes. Curiosity had replaced revulsion.

first posted to my dreamwidth account.

Cabal

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Author: verus_janus
Title: Cabal
Characters: Bellatrix Lestrange, Rabastan Lestrange, Rodolphus Lestrange, The Dark Lord
Word Count: 425
Rating: G
Warnings: None
For: [profile] darkarts_ldws
Prompt: Bella, Helga Hufflepuff's Cup

The significance had escaped none of them, and they had all been young and beautiful then, even the Dark Lord. His hair was still rich then, his face firm and whole, and his nose, cheekbones and brows aristocratic. And they were all sane, before their hearts were separated from their bodies, before their hearts were separated from their minds in Azkaban. Beautiful and whole, they looked at the chalice so holy no one was permitted to drink from it. It was to be placed in their vault to be guarded safe by their family. It would wait until one day an heir yet unborn would hold it, then give his soul to it that their Dark Lord might live again. They stood in the vault as their Dark Lord held it now, to show them.

They had not been allowed to handle it. Even Rabastan was curious for once, his eyes intrigued and bright, his mind full of antiques as he hovered near it. It should have been his hour, but the Dark Lord had cradled the precious thing in his hands alone. Rodolphus was the new patriarch, with a new wife... and such a wife! But he was not permitted to investigate the cradled cup either.

But Bella... Bella, with a mischievous smile that was half delight, half awe, placed her hands over those of the Dark Lord. She did this gently, so gently and slowly that it was exquisite. And the power from the small object, shining silver and perfect, poured through his hands, like the sun through a white curtain. She could almost see it, it was so potent, immediate, and tangible. It was dark and intoxicating, so strong that, even through his hands, she felt stunned by its white pure power. And at the power, her mouth and eyes opened unbidden, in wonder and reverence, her soul caught and carried away from her for that moment.

Nothing would be more beautiful, and she sealed the secret of the little cup in her heart, their hope, their last chance always hidden waiting, through time until that time was right. The Dark Lord would always have this portal back to the world, whatever happened, whatever befell them.

The Lestrange brothers, in tandem, cast the Geminio spells, the spells that would protect it, the spells of white hot fire. But Bella stood silhouetted in the doorway, her face still lit with pure power. And afterwards her smile was triumph. For they had been entrusted with a secret that would preserve their world.

first posted to my dreamwidth account.

The Price of Magic

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Author: verus_janus
Title: The Price of Magic
Characters: Severus, Ollivander
Word Count: 450
Rating: G
Warnings: None
For: [profile] darkarts_ldws
Prompt: Severus, The Wand of Destiny

The skinny boy's eyes were framed by lank black hair, bracketed by his fingertips on the counter, which were circled in turn by rings of dirty coat-sleeves obscuring the rest of his hands. Ollivander approached and at once the boy appeared taller, second-year. He had not come for his first wand, then. No. Ollivander remembered him from the year before, and his mother bargaining at the door for a second-hand wand.

Silently, he looked down at the boy, waiting.


"Tell me more about my wand, please."
All right. He was polite, and Ollivander found a smile within him as the boy removed a wand from the horrible coat and unwrapped it carefully from a scarf, green and silver, the only bright thing he seemed to have. Ollivander took it and weighed it in his hand, feeling its life, recalling its creation.

"Walnut and Augery feather," Ollivander stated. It was sturdy and inflexible. He looked keenly at the tight thin-lipped boy, frowning at the wand, dissatisfied, wanting it to be special. "This is not your wand." He touched the point to the top of the boy's head, watching his eyes as they followed it, then snapped back to Ollivander's, wanting more. There was none.


The boy frowned up at him, clearly disappointed. "Nothing?"
"Nothing more. It is not your wand. A wand must choose you. This wand chose someone else." Ollivander took pity on him. "I cannot give you a wand. A wand must be purchased, but here is a holster. You should have your wand at the ready. Don't worry. This will keep it better than your scarf." He took the latter, placing it gently around the boy's neck, noticing the slight smile of pleasure. He was a boy after all.


"What is the most powerful wand in the world?"
Ollivander leaned forward. What did this boy want with such things? But he was earnest and his eyes burned black, sincere, wanting, reaching. This one could be great. And he could change all the world with his will and the trajectory of his aching. Intently, he told this child, "It is the Elder Wand. The Wand of Destiny. It will work all wonders, weave and turn Magic in its very grain. But it is treacherous! It passes to a wizard who defeats the wand's owner utterly. And such a deed invites repetition! Down through all of time."

The boy's lips parted, eyes unblinking as he listened silently. He knew his words were not worth any of Ollivander's. Yet.

Ollivander was curious, still leaning close. "What do you think that means, lad? A price, payment: wonders for doom? Is worth it?"

"Yes, for the magic."

Olivander smiled.

first posted to my dreamwidth account.

Dark Halo

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Author: verus_janus
Title: Dark Halo
Characters: Draco
Word Count: 275
Rating: G
Warnings: None
For: [profile] darkarts_ldws
Prompt: Draco, Hand of Glory

Draco wanted the Hand of Glory the moment he saw it. It wasn't just that it was dark and magical. It wasn't only that it was a tool, a light in the darkness which would shine around him and him only, a potential halo as his world produced obscuring clouds of gloom, smoke and night. It intrigued him, made him think perhaps it was company, a ghost to accompany him, a spirit who knew the darkness in which he increasingly walked. Surely if he could find kinship in a dead man, a man hanged, and surely a wizard, surely one who had known darkness, who had set his hand, this hand to deeds outside... outside not just the law but everything that people lived. A man hanged, his fat rendered into... candles. Dark stuff, that. And yet, surely, surely he retained some portion of spirit that would know Draco, would light his world, just his world, just for him.

And when it was his, when he held it in his hands and when he lit it that first time, it was as if he had another hand in his own, its spirit curling around them both. And they were encircled in light, even as that hand, those candles, irreplaceable, rendered and moulded perhaps in mourning... even as those candles were consumed. And Draco, eyes open, stood straight and true, consuming himself, for the Dark Lord whether he willed it or not, for his father who faced such degradation unearned, against his fellow classmates who walked randomly and blindly. They stood together, the living and the dead, both lost, in the halo of the light of darkness.

first posted to my dreamwidth account.
Originally posted by sabrebabe at All U.S. Internet Providers will be policing downloads by July 12, 2012
Originally posted by voxangelus at All U.S. Internet Providers will be policing downloads by July 12, 2012
Originally posted by paean_sf at All U.S. Internet Providers will be policing downloads by July 12, 2012
Originally posted by marguerite_26 at All U.S. Internet Providers will be policing downloads by July 12, 2012


(this is an edited version of lk737's post here)

According to this article, dated March 15, 2012:
http://www.digitaltrends.com/webnews/major-isps-turn-into-copyright-police-by-july-says-riaa/

"File-sharers, beware: By July 12, major US Internet service providers (ISPs) will voluntarily begin serving as copyright police for the entertainment industry, according to Cary Sherman, chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The so-called “six-strikes” plan is said to be one of the most effective anti-piracy efforts ever established in the US."

The article goes on to give details. After six notices, internet providers will decide to throttle a person's internet speed, or cut it off altogether. No more downloading eps of your favorite shows for vidding, gifs, or fanfiction art. No more downloading screencaps possibly.

Fox news confirms this:
http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/03/17/us-isps-become-copyright-cops-starting-july-12/

Youtube video explaining this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5OG0R-yS-c



11th March 2012

Your rainbow is shaded indigo.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

What is says about you: You are a proud person. You appreciate cities, technology, and other great things people have created. Friends count on you for being honest and insightful.

Find the colors of your rainbow at spacefem.com.

1st March 2012

Cymru am byth!

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cymru am byth
Wear a leek in your hat today! Hooray!
Happy St. David's Day.

19th February 2012

tarot meme

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"Oh look," I said to my friend, "they're doing tarot card memes."

"My card is the hanged man."

"Really? Mine is too!"

And lo. It is.


You are the Hanged Man


Self-sacrifice, Sacrifice, Devotion, Bound.


With the Hanged man there is often a sense of fatalism, waiting for something to happen. Or a fear of
loss from a situation, rather than gain.


The Hanged Man is perhaps the most fascinating card in the deck. It reflects the story of Odin who offered himself as a sacrifice in order to gain knowledge. Hanging from the world tree, wounded by a spear, given no bread or mead, he hung for nine days. On the last day, he saw on the ground runes that had fallen from the tree, understood their meaning, and, coming down, scooped them up for his own. All knowledge is to be found in these runes.


The Hanged Man, in similar fashion, is a card about suspension, not life or death. It signifies selflessness, sacrifice and prophecy. You make yourself vulnerable and in doing so, gain illumination. You see the world differently, with almost mystical insights.


What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

16th February 2012

(no subject)

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I haven't been able to see LJ in days. Thank you so much for the hearts. I got the emails though I could not access the site. I still have only partial access. Hopefully all is well with you. If you need me I still have Facebook and email and Dreamwidth (janus.)

Posted via Journaler.

7th February 2012

25 Question HP Fandom Meme

1.Which house do you suit/are in?
Slytherin. But I used to say Slytherenclaw, and I may be coming back to it...

2.Which family do you admire, the Blacks, Potters or Weasleys?
None. Obviously, I would pick the one that is not blood traitors to a man, but the Black family tree is full of maniacs. I suppose... I like Regulus, which is one more member than I like in any of these other houses.

3.What is your Patronus?
I think I recently decided it was a beagle.

4.What does your Boggart turn into?
Ah, but that would be telling. Um... a Japanese fighting fish in a dixie cup?

5.What do you force it to become, that's laughable?
one fish two fish red fish blue fish in a pan, answering: "oh fish, are you faithful to the old covenant..."

6.Which spell do you prefer, Sectumsempra or Protego?
Sectumsempra. Not only is the best defence a good offence, the best defence is not to put yourself in a position where you need defence in the first place. Sectumsempra is also useful on a daily utilitarian basis. Always carry a pocket knife.

7.What animal would you take to Hogwarts?
an owl. nothing is more important than communication. on the other hand I don't especially like birds. I would like a dog. Possibly a cat.

8.Who are your two best friends in Hogwarts? Any era.
My Rabastan Lestrange, and Evan Rossier, but a less obvious choice would be Albus Dumbledore, before he turned to the dark side (against Grindelwald.)

9.What is your HP OTP?
Severus/Rabastan/Evan/Regulus

10.Which character would you marry?
Rabastan

11.Death Eater or Auror?
ideological Death Eater loyal to Grindelwald over Riddle every time.

12.What is your most obvious house trait?
Being Best (Pride)

13.What is your favourite Wizard Rock song?
I kind of hate Wizard Rock. I liked it a tiny bit until I saw it live. I used to like March of the Death Eaters, by The Misuse of Muggle Artefacts and Snape, by Flying with Wilma

14.Princes, Prewetts or Peverells?
Severus is only half Prince, and I am dubious about his relatives. Marrying muggles!!! The Prewetts are out of the question. Therefore I will have to say Peverells, but the later Peverells (Potters) were intolerable.

15.If you could only learn fives spells, what would they be?
Legilimens, Occlumens, Imperius, Evanesco, Expecto Patromen

16.Which movie is your favourite, and which is your least favourite?
Favourite film: Deathly Hallows 2, but I also liked Deathly Hallows 1 and Goblet of Fire is always a favourite. Least favourite: Halfblood Prince

17.Which book did you like and which did you dislike?
Favourite book: Deathly Hallows, dislike: Deathly Hallows

18.Which professor strikes your fancy the most? And least?
Ugh. I don't know. Snape was not really a good teacher. Lupin was cowardly and self-serving... um...

19.Did you get into Pottermore? Ignore it? Discard it?
Ugh. I got in almost at once, saw there was nothing to do and that it was broken, then I ignored it.

20.Which piece would you pick on a Wizard Chess board?
the queen is obviously most useful. What kind of question is this? Next best is a knight because it is sneakiest.

21.Which is your overall favourite character?
Gellert Grindelwald.

22.Which three characters are you most like?
In order: Severus (I am Severus,) Antonin Dolohov, Regulus Black. I wish I were like my Rab, but I'm not.

23.What scene would you like to be in, in any HP book/film? Without changing the outcome.
I would like to hang out with Gellert on his research take-over-the-world travels. The Little Hangleton Graveyard is a more concrete possibility.

24.What scene would you least like to be in?
In the book where Riddle killed Gellert.

25.Did Voldemort/Riddle have any redeeming qualities in your opinion?
Yes he had some good ideals, but he was created to be a villain. He was thus racist, and his more complex opposition to repression was minimalised and subjugated to and simplified into the single flaw of racism.

24th January 2012

The fiasco continues

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Originally posted by electricdruid at The fiasco continues

ACTA in a Nutshell –

What is ACTA?  ACTA is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. A new intellectual property enforcement treaty being negotiated by the United States, the European Community, Switzerland, and Japan, with Australia, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Mexico, Jordan, Morocco, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and Canada recently announcing that they will join in as well.

Why should you care about ACTA? Initial reports indicate that the treaty will have a very broad scope and will involve new tools targeting “Internet distribution and information technology.”

What is the goal of ACTA? Reportedly the goal is to create new legal standards of intellectual property enforcement, as well as increased international cooperation, an example of which would be an increase in information sharing between signatory countries’ law enforcement agencies.

Essential ACTA Resources

  • Read more about ACTA here: ACTA Fact Sheet
  • Read the authentic version of the ACTA text as of 15 April 2011, as finalized by participating countries here: ACTA Finalized Text
  • Follow the history of the treaty’s formation here: ACTA history
  • Read letters from U.S. Senator Ron Wyden wherein he challenges the constitutionality of ACTA: Letter 1 | Letter 2 | Read the Administration’s Response to Wyden’s First Letter here: Response
  • Watch a short informative video on ACTA: ACTA Video
  • Watch a lulzy video on ACTA: Lulzy Video

Say NO to ACTA. It is essential to spread awareness and get the word out on ACTA.

Via Tumblr

20th January 2012

Originally posted by morgandawn at Seems I Am Not The Only One....
......who feels the need to take a break from an increasingly dysfunctional relationship.

Black March - Thursday March 1st 2012 to Saturday March 31st 2012 With the continuing campaigns for internet-censoring litigation such as SOPA and PIPA, and the closure of sites like Megaupload under allegations of 'piracy' and 'conspiracy' the time has come to take a stand against music, film, and media companies' lobbyists. The only way is to hit them where it hurts. Their profit margins. March 2012 is the end of the First Quarter in economic reports world wide. Do not buy a single record. Do not download a single song, legally or illegally. Do not go to see a single film in cinemas, or download a copy. Do not buy a DVD in the stores. Do not buy a videogame. Do not buy a single book or magazine. Wait the four weeks to buy them in April: see a film later, etc... Holding out for just four weeks, maximum, will leave a gaping hole in media companies profits for the first quarter, an economic hit which will in turn be observed by governments world wide as stocks and shares will blip from a large enough loss of incomes. This action will give a statement of intent: "We will not tolerate the Media Industries' lobbying for legislation that will censor the internet."
Original image and campaign source: reddit.


Text of image
Black March - Thursday March 1st 2012 to Saturday March 31st 2012
With the continuing campaigns for internet-censoring litigation such as SOPA and PIPA, and the closure of sites like Megaupload under allegations of 'piracy' and 'conspiracy' the time has come to take a stand against music, film, and media companies' lobbyists.
The only way is to hit them where it hurts.
Their profit margins.
March 2012 is the end of the First Quarter in economic reports world wide.
Do not buy a single record. Do not download a single song, legally or illegally. Do not go to see a single film in cinemas, or download a copy. Do not buy a DVD in the stores. Do not buy a videogame. Do not buy a single book or magazine.
Wait the four weeks to buy them in April: see a film later, etc... Holding out for just four weeks, maximum, will leave a gaping hole in media companies profits for the first quarter, an economic hit which will in turn be observed by governments world wide as stocks and shares will blip from a large enough loss of incomes. This action will give a statement of intent:
"We will not tolerate the Media Industries' lobbying for legislation that will censor the internet."

14th January 2012

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you from both of us! Oh my goodness, we are quite overwhelmed! Our little hearts are full of happiness! How thoughtful to have included the little one in this joy! Of course it was his little birthday too as he too is a little Snape.

He has a new camera, just his size. It is a Leica, made by Minox, but it is a single lens reflex miniature camera and still has all the settings of an old style camera, so it is a bit tricky to use. We had been waiting for this exciting day to use it for the very first time ever! But as it is a muggle device and a rather arcane one at that, we didn't realize the pictures had not turned out until it was too late. Little Sevvie and I had taken turns taking picots of the miraculous gifts, but only mine were focussed as intended. So I present them to you now that you might share our wonder on this happy day!

CUT FOR GIANT PICTURES!Collapse )

16th November 2011

Gift for: verus_janus

From: magnetic_pole

Title: Us. Here. Now.
Pairing: Severus Snape/Evan Rosier
Rating: G
Summary: On Halloween, you can move between worlds.
Notes: For Verus_Janus, a Death Eater Halloween coming out story. Enjoy the festivities, V!



Evan Rosier appeared in the Floo while Severus was washing up. Evan, who hadn’t
owled since leaving school. Not once.

“Hullo,” Evan muttered. “You, er, said you’d show me. The Muggles? Halloween?”

Four months ago, they were friends. Now Severus wasn’t sure.

“Never mind--”

“Don’t go!” Severus exclaimed. “You...can’t wear that. That’s missing the point.” Upstairs,
he rummaged for an extra set of robes quietly, so Mum wouldn’t hear.

They walked to the crowded high street where bonfires burned. Severus loved Halloween. Like the spirits, he could slip between two worlds.

When the Dark Lord came to power, every day might be Halloween.

It was hard to explain the holiday’s pull, now that the Dark Lord had shown him another
way. “When I was young,” Severus said, “It was the only time I didn’t need to pretend.”

“I don’t like pretending, either,” Evan said.

Severus was confused. Evan had never lived with Muggles.

“I like being with you,” Evan said. “Us. Here. Now.”

The pieces fell into place. The awkward silences. The unexpected return. Mum always
said magic was strong on Halloween. Anything could happen.

“Yeah?” Severus feigned nonchalance.

Evan grinned. “Halloween’s fine, too. But, yeah.”

In the distance, the bells chimed midnight, ushering in a new season.

first posted to my dreamwidth account.

11th November 2011

God Give Them Peace

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I am reposting the story I wrote for Remembrance Day last year. So much has happened since then. Everything is different.

Title: God Give Them Peace
Author: janus
Rating: G
Characters: Severus
Word Count: 2261
Warnings: none
Summary: Severus celebrates Remembrance Day in communion with others through a particularly poignant hymn.
Author's Notes: This is my first songfic. The song is What Shall We Pray by Carnwadric Parish Church and John L Bell (as nearly as I can determine.)

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9th September 2011

Steps: 10233
Miles: 5.1165

Steps: 7868
Miles: 3.934

Steps: 8637
Miles: 4.3185

Steps: 8369
Miles: 4.1845

But each day I took off my pokéwalker when I got home from work.
On the other hand, I didn't go anywhere after I got home but only made dinner, cleaned, packed boxes, etc.

edit: that's not true. I went to see my friend on Monday, a holiday, and on Wednesday I drove out with friends to the induction of a new priest in the valley - a nice road trip with little walking.

14th August 2011

writing meme

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I will ask as well:

If I made Cinderella, the audience would immediately
be looking for a body in the coach.
—Alfred Hitchcock

So, when I write a story, what do readers immediately look for?

8th June 2011

Title: Close Encounter (Rabastan)
Author: Janus
Character: Rabastan
Rating: G
Wordcount: 1059
Warnings: none
Summary: Rabastan meets a magical creature.
Gift: This is for Draco.

Close Encounter (Rabastan)Collapse )

first posted to my dreamwidth account.

6th June 2011

Second Son

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Title: Second Son
Author/Artist: Janus
Character(s): Rabastan, Rodolphus, other young Death Eaters
Rating: G
Wordcount/Media: 2600
Warnings (if any): none
Summary: Rabastan is the younger of the Lestrange brothers, and this fact allows him to come into his own life.
Author's/Artist’s Notes (if any): with thanks to a friend for discussing the heart of Rabastan's particular magic.

Second SonCollapse )

first posted to my dreamwidth account.

My Aeternitas Talk.

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Title: There but for Fortune: Gellert's Legacy and the Soldiers of the Dark Lord
Author: Janus
Word Count: 4377
Rating: M
Summary: My intent in this presentation is to demonstrate the idealistic roots of the so-called Dark side of the Wizarding Wars and to show that the war is not comprised of angels and demons, but of humans who believe in ideals, despite the sacrifice of honor that war demands as people kill and people die. The honor and sacrifice of those who have lost a war remains with its children, and does not die simply because their ideals were warped to make them seem despicable. Gellert Grindelwald lost a war of ideals and was reviled, but his followers and heirs lived on, and naturally rose again as Death Eaters under the burden of the revulsion of Wizarding society, and perhaps their own to some degree, for they too named themselves 'Dark.'
Warnings: controversial
Author's notes: none

There but for FortuneCollapse )

first posted to my dreamwidth account.

17th May 2011

Dark Halo

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Title: Dark Halo
Author: Janus
Word Count: 275
Rating: M
Summary: Draco and the Hand of Glory
Warnings: darkness
Author's notes: none

Draco wanted the Hand of Glory the moment he saw it. It wasn't just that it was dark and magical. It wasn't only that it was a tool, a light in the darkness which would shine around him and him only, a potential halo as his world produced obscuring clouds of gloom, smoke and night. It intrigued him, mading him think perhaps it was company, a ghost to accompany him, a spirit who knew the darkness in which he increasingly walked. Surely even he could find kinship in a dead man, a man hanged, and surely a wizard, surely one who had known darkness, who had set his hand, this hand, to deeds outside... outside not just the law but everything that people lived. A man hanged, his fat rendered into... candles. Dark stuff, that. And yet, surely, surely he retained some portion of spirit that would know Draco, would light his world, just his world, just for him.

And when the Hand of Glory was his, when he held it in his hands and when he lit it that first time, it was as if he had another hand in his own, its spirit curling around them both. And they were encircled in light, even as that hand, those candles, irreplaceable, rendered and moulded perhaps in mourning... even as those candles were consumed. And Draco, eyes open, stood straight and true, consuming himself for the Dark Lord whether he willed it or not, for his father who faced such degradation unearned, against his fellow classmates who walked randomly and blindly. They stood together, the living and the dead, both lost, in the halo of the light of darkness.

first posted to my dreamwidth account.

5th May 2011

Eye of the Beholder

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Please read the beautiful story given to me in the Eye of the Beholder exchange. It is perfect and I love it.

http://hp-beholder.livejournal.com/46584.html#cutid1
http://asylums.insanejournal.com/hp_beholder/64803.html

13th March 2011

Just in Case

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Author: janus
Title: Just in Case
Prompt: A badly wounded Evan shows up at Severus’ place in the middle of the night…
Characters/Pairings: Severus, Evan, Rabastan, Regulus
Rating: PG
Warnings: none
Word Count: 3900
Summary: In increasingly dark and dangerous days, young Death Eaters do their best to save their lives. But Regulus disappears, and then Evan is injured.
Notes: for Alley Skywalker

Just in CaseCollapse )

first posted to my dreamwidth account.

5th March 2011

Title: A Hand and a Heart and a Brain
Author: Janus
Word Count: 500
Rating: M
Summary: Dolohov helps Rabastan demonstrate to himself that he possesses the necessary tools to be a Death Eater.
Warnings: violence and dark ideas
Author's notes: none

"Can you kill your brother?"

Rabastan's eyes slid past Dolohov's. He was here to protect Rodolphus.

"If he were a traitor, could you kill him?" The older man persisted, leaning forward intently. "Until you know, you won't be able to act reliably. This is war, but it isn't easy. These are not battles of masses. Our missions are strategic, precise, and acts of scalpels rather than fireworks. Reality is keen when you must kill where you have been smiling, where your targets may be misguided schoolmates. And if one of you is turned, he must be killed as well, perhaps by the one closest to him, lest you all be lost."

Rabastan's eyes slid to the others: to serious little Regulus, wide-eyed with learning; to determined Severus, already eradicating feeling; to Evan, steeling himself to be worthy of this adventure for the world; to dangerous, scornful Bella; to Roddy himself, wanting nothing more than to please her. To protect Rabastan, they would do what they had to do. If Rabastan could not do the same for them, he was nothing. He would not be able to save them - all he wanted to do - and he would not be worthy of their company.

He nodded at Dolohov, who held his eyes until they matched the movement of his head.

"You will be paired with Rodolphus for this exercise." 'This exercise' was not Avada Kedavra, but another unforgivable: the Cruciatis curse. "If you were to actually kill one another at this stage, it would only be counter-productive."

There was nervous laughter at this. It was not funny. But it was funny because it was true. Clearly their teacher was trying to relieve the tension without doing so. Did that make it funny, or uncomfortable?

"Focus and do not hesitate, or you would be helpless against a real target, standing foolishly while their hands were not thus stayed."

Rabastan faced Rodolphus. He took a slightly shaky breath and cast. "Crucio!"

"Crucio!" Rodolphus.

"Crucio!" Rabastan.

"Crucio!" Rodolphus.

"You have to mean it," Bella interrupted. Her tone was just short of dismissive.

Severus' curse had finally managed to catch Regulus, and immediately he lurched towards him with a broken-hearted sound.

Rabastan filled with horror. He had to be able to protect his loved ones, no matter what he had to do. If someday Severus meant this, Rabastan would have to kill him.

"Crucio!" Somehow Rabastan had now succeeded against Rodolphus. And it was his turn to run weeping to cradle his brother's dazed and tortured head. He had done this.

"Yes," said Dolohov. "You must also love one another. You must trust one another. The other part of this lesson is that without that bond, without knowing your heart through brutal experience, you are more likely to be turned. You must have hands to kill and hearts to keep you. Well done."

Rabastan stroked Roddy's hair back from his face as his brother came back to himself. Bella knelt beside them, proud of him for once in a way.

first posted to my dreamwidth account.

27th February 2011

Title: Welcome Back
Author: janus
Characters: Severus Snape, Antonin Dolohov, Rabastan Lestrange
Rating: G
Challenge: prompt #373: "Snape's Kiss"
Word Count: 200
Warnings: None

Severus was at Hogwarts when the prisoners were liberated. He had neither broken nor named names like Karkaroff. But he had allowed himself to be saved. Though his acts had never been less than the others', he had been free.

He wanted to be at the Manor, which had still been his adoptive home when they had been taken. He wanted to see them. But he had a tricky job to do and subterfuge to maintain.

And he was afraid his guilt would utterly consume him like a fire.

Eventually he was finally able to leave his post. He dressed carefully, though not ostentatiously. He wanted to be... gentle. And humble before those who had endured what he should have shared.

He had left Rabastan drained and shrunken on the cold stone bench of a hard icy cell. Rabastan had always been a reassuring bulwark against whatever ills had befallen Severus' boyhood. How could he look into his eyes without shame?

But Antonin met him first, carrying an unruly owl. "Our young comrade." Taking Severus' hand, he turned it and kissed it delicately. "With odeur d'aconit."

It would be all right. He could help them now. And here came Rabastan.

first posted to my dreamwidth account.

24th February 2011

The Subtle Things

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Title: The Subtle Things
Recipient: a_shadow_there
Author: janus
Rating: NC-17 for dark ideas. no sex. no violence. strictly gen.
Characters: Regulus Black, Barty Crouch Jr., The Dark Lord,
Summary: Regulus undertakes a mission for the Dark Lord.
Warning: Systematic manipulation. This is the darkest piece I have ever written, though this is disputed. It is cold and brutal, though there is diligence, loyalty and warmth. Please heed the warning, dear friends' list, if you do not want to read such a piece. I can say at least that Regulus is sincere and believes this is the best he can do.
Word Count: 2,409
Author's Notes: With kind thanks to slytherinlaurel, my beta. She is inspired and thorough. I can't say enough good things about her work.

The Subtle ThingsCollapse )

first posted to my dreamwidth account.
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