The Muggle Studies classroom is always locked. In fact, there are few rooms in the castle with as much magical protection. There’s a special password needed to enter that’s distributed carefully to the year’s students on the first day of classes. They are sworn to secrecy and, to date, no one has broken that trust.
There’s more to this security than just fear of vandalism, though there has been that. Charity Burbage spent more than her fair share of time scrubbing nasty messages off her office door when she first started teaching. For a while it was a point of pride that she used her own effort to remove the hateful words. Then came the morning when she fell asleep next to a bucket of soapy water and was nearly late for her first lesson of the day. After that, she cast a Repelling Charm on her office and tried not to feel guilty about it.
The real reason for the layers of charms wrapped around the classroom is what goes on after hours. If you were to stroll by on any given night. you may see a tearful first year or a stressed out fifth year or even a cool and confident prefect strolling up to the door. You’d see them execute a complex set of wand patterns, whisper a word, and look around furtively before they enter.
If you were to follow them in (and I would not suggest this, for the room has its own way of dealing with intruders), you’d see students of all Houses and years, talking and studying and reading. But you may miss what they have in common: they’re all Muggle born. This classroom is the after-hours refuge of those who feel as if they don’t belong, those who find themselves trapped between the magical and the mundane, their parents and their classmates. Here there are shelves of magazines whose covers don’t move; there are stacks of textbooks on science and math, heavy tomes of Shakespeare and thin volumes of poetry.
In the corner you may see Justin Finch-Fletchley studying for his A-levels. He had promised his mum that he would at least try for them, even if he wasn’t sure he would ever leave the magical world. Sometimes Hermione Granger joins him, and they teach each other calculus and world history and pore over the periodic table.
By the fireplace you could find that tearful first year sitting with the calm prefect, their heads bent close. You might hear the first year pour out his heart, outline his fears, confess his insecurities. The prefect could respond in kind, admitting to the knot of confusion that lies underneath her placid exterior. They might then take out their wands and practice a spell, or pull out a child’s fairy tale collection and read aloud.
If you were a Muggle-born, this might be your sanctuary. It might be the place you miss most when you go home for the summer and try to fit your square peg into a world of round holes. It might be what you defend at the Battle of Hogwarts, fighting for your right to be confused and not fit in. It might be why you come back as the new Muggle Studies professor, why you create an after-hours class to help others get their A-levels and apply to university.
But then again, it might be just another classroom.
(written and submitted by the lovely ppyajunebug. There’s a tremendous sweetness to this that I find very appealing, something comforting about knowing that the Muggle-borns have their own space. This blog often explores the horrifying and strange, but sometimes it’s nice to consider good things, as well.)
"When I was a student at Cambridge I remember an anthropology professor holding up a picture of a bone with 28 incisions carved in it. “This is often considered to be man’s first attempt at a calendar” she explained. She paused as we dutifully wrote this down. ‘My question to you is this – what man needs to mark 28 days? I would suggest to you that this is woman’s first attempt at a calendar.’
It was a moment that changed my life. In that second I stopped to question almost everything I had been taught about the past. How often had I overlooked women’s contributions?"
I just woke up from a dream about Christmas shopping with my family. My WHOLE family. I got to see, touch, listen to my mom and my grandpa. Dreams like that are always kind of sad for me. On one hand I am so, so glad I get to hug them again, hear their voices again. But on the other hand when I wake up, reality crashes down and I know that’s never going to happen. And that is so incredibly heartbreaking.
Animals getting help from people.
The smallrus is tiniest of the seal family, not much larger (and rather similiar in shape) to the garden slug. They prefer damp areas with large amounts of water, like well-watered gardens with fish ponds, and can often be seen sporting in puddles and bird baths, making their typical call (a sort of squeaky bellow.*) Any gardener is generally delighted to see the smallrus appear, as the occasional nibble of a leaf is more than made up for by their ability to keep down the number of mosquito larvae and other small aquatic nuisances.
This is so my ex-husband’s fault.
One day he was wandering around singing “I am the smallrus!”
"How big is a smallrus?" I asked.
"Very, very tiny."
"They’re bred as sock warmers. You can put your socks on the smallri to keep warm."
And just when I was thinking that I had misjudged this man for ten whole years, that he was capable of great depths of adorableness, that his capacity for cuteness was far beyond anything I’d guessed, and he’d merely been hiding it behind a facade of mild pervesion and non-sequitor—
"And they’re great with honey-mustard sauce!"
As my friend Kathy said, “He is capable of great flights of whimsy, you just can’t listen all the way to the end.” -Ursula Vernon
*Inhale a good lungful of helium and yell “GRONK!” and you’ve about got it.
True story: online, I refer to my son as the Smallrus (I called myself a walrus while pregnant, which, logically made him a small walrus, or Smallrus: so). As it happens, the creator of the illustration above follows me on Twitter, and I follow her, and when she saw me use the word Smallrus, she shot me a message asking, had I named my son after her painting? When I said no, she showed me her artwork, I exclaimed over its awesomeness, and she - because she is also awesome - mailed me a print of it, because Smallruses should stick together.
And ever since we moved to our new house, that same framed Smallrus print has sat on the shelf by my son’s bedside: tangible proof that the internet - much like imagination and human kindness - is a weird and wonderful creature.
Gertie drinking water (by Run Auggie Run)
This video of this puppy with a cleft palate drinking water is all I need today. Also, look closely… GERTIE IS WEARING A DIAPER.
Okay, okay, I’m going to tell you what Hermione sees in Ron.
A trio is a balancing act, right? They’re equalizers of each other. Harry’s like the action, Hermione’s the brains, Ron’s the heart. Hermione has been assassinated in these movies, and I mean that genuinely—by giving her every single positive character trait that Ron has, they have assassinated her character in the movies. She’s been harmed by being made to be less human, because everything good Ron has, she’s been given.
So, for instance: “If you want to kill Harry, you’re going to have to kill me too”—RON, leg is broken, he’s in pain, gets up and stands in front of Harry and says this. Who gets that line in the movie? Hermione.
“Fear of a name increases the fear of the thing itself.” Hermione doesn’t say Voldemort’s name until well into the books—that’s Dumbledore’s line. When does Hermione say it in the movies? Beginning of Movie 2.
When the Devil’s Snare is curling itself around everybody, Hermione panics, and Ron is the one who keeps his head and says “Are you a witch or not?” In the movie, everybody else panics and Hermione keeps her head and does the biggest, brightest flare of sunlight spell there ever was.
So, Hermione—all her flaws were shaved away in the films. And that sounds like you’re making a kick-ass, amazing character, and what you’re doing is dehumanizing her. And it pisses me off. It really does.
In the books, they balance each other out, because where Hermione gets frazzled and maybe her rationality overtakes some of her instinct, Ron has that to back it up; Ron has a kind of emotional grounding that can keep Hermione’s hyper-rationalness in check. Sometimes Hermione’s super-logical nature grates Harry and bothers him, and isn’t the thing he needs even if it’s the right thing, like when she says “You have a saving people thing.” That is the thing that Harry needed to hear, she’s a hundred percent right, but the way she does it is wrong. That’s the classic “she’s super logical, she’s super brilliant, but she doesn’t know how to handle people emotionally,” at least Harry.
So in the books they are this balanced group, and in the movies, in the movies—hell, not even Harry is good enough for Hermione in the movies. No one’s good enough for Hermione in the movies—God isn’t good enough for Hermione in the movies! Hermione is everybody’s everything in the movies.
Harry’s idea to jump on the dragon in the books, who gets it in the movies? Hermione, who hates to fly. Hermione, who overcomes her withering fear of flying to take over Harry’s big idea to get out of the—like, why does Hermione get all these moments?
[John: Because we need to market the movie to girls.]
I think girls like the books, period. And like the Hermione in the books, and like the Hermione in the books just fine before Hollywood made her idealized and perfect. And if they would have trusted that, they would have been just fine.
Would the movies have been bad if she was as awesome as she was in the books, and as human as she was in the books? Would the movies get worse?
She IS a strong girl character. This is the thing that pisses me off. They are equating “strong” with superhuman. To me, the Hermione in the book is twelve times stronger than the completely unreachable ideal of Hermione in the movies. Give me the Hermione in the book who’s human and has flaws any single day of the week.
Here’s a classic example: When Snape in the first book yells at Hermione for being an insufferable know-it-all, do you want to know what Ron says in the book? “Well, you’re asking the questions, and she has to answer. Why ask if you don’t want to be told?” What does he say in the movie? “He’s got a point, you know.” Ron? Would never do that. Would NEVER do that, even before he liked Hermione. Ron would never do that."
Amazing hotels you need to visit before you die.
I just learned that dreams are even more amazing just than these creative adventures. What our brain does is, it reassess the data from the day and picks out the stuff that we signaled as important, via how we emotionally and physically responded. Then, it takes that information and connects it to other situations we may have experienced that had a similar reaction, and attempts to create a unique experience from it. Why? To give us an opportunity to try out experimental scenarios without being actually exposed to them. You know when you have a dream that felt real? That’s why. It was meant to feel as real as possible so that way your response can be genuine and your brain can learn from it. But it’s crazy because our brain is doing things to try and prepare our conscious. How many people am I made up of?