sailor moon :: make a wish

Film Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Happy August 1st everyone! I meant to update yesterday for Harry Potter/JK Rowling's birthday, but I basically spent the day helping my parents weed the garden freaking out over the fact that all of my friends had been chosen as betas for early access into and I had fallen asleep waiting for the site to load! (I'm registered now though, and my username is MoonThorn54. My sister got SnitchDragon25, which sounds so much cooler. If you made it in, what's yours?) I'm just incredibly excited because I've missed solving for clues to get stuff (like a book title, a la Half Blood Prince) from JK Rowling, and this reminds me so much of the locked door in the shady hallway on her website. Good times. And Pottermore excites me because a) BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING, b) We're only getting Book One right now, and stuff related to Philosopher's Stone, so JK Rowling has found a way to keep the magic, the actual WAITING for something Harry Potter related alive. I was siriusly going to miss that. (If you haven't registered yet, and you don't mind sacrificing some sleep, I siriusly recommend you wake up at 4 AM and refresh until the next clue is up, solve it, and register. There is something awesome about getting that Hogwarts email in your inbox. And the clues are fun, even though they're all numerical (and thus require some math XD ). I'm definitely waking up to see what clue from Prisoner of Azkaban goes up tomorrow because it's one of my favorite books!)

Anyway, I could spend this entry talking to you about complicated academic decisions, some awesome and not so awesome books I've read recently, how I've become addicted to the show How I Met Your Mother, or how it's Ramadan (Ramadan Mubarak to everyone celebrating/fasting today!), but I'm going to finally post my review for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 to celebrate the fact that it's tied James Cameron's Avatar's record for Fastest Film to $1 Billion worldwide. (DH2 has been shattering records left and right, and it is now the best, most grossing Potter film and I am so proud of it!) So... let's talk the final film in my favorite franchise of all time.

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Basically, this film was a rollercoaster of emotions for me, but it was so incredibly made, and even at the end, all I could do was thank Warner Bros., Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and the rest of the cast and crew, and especially JK Rowling for a job well done. It has been quite an amazing decade, and I am honestly going to miss it. (The only thing that will forever bother me is The Prince's Tale because I'm a marauders fangirl through and through, but that can't be helped...) I can't wait to see it again. AND IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN IT, GO RIGHT NOW!
sailor moon :: make a wish

Book Review: The Hunger Games Trilogy

Sorry this has taken forever to write. I finished reading the trilogy three weeks ago, but then I needed time to collect a response that would do the books justice. And after that school started, so two thirds of this went unwritten and it's probably incredibly jumbled now (completely unedited), but here you are anyway. (Haha, touchthesoul can probably tell that parts of this were written weeks ago because... I didn't talk to her this morning. XDDD)

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And actually, I could probably say even more about this, but I'll save the discussion for the movie(s). Overall, still mixed feelings, but I'd say the trilogy lies between 4-4.5 stars. Cookies for you if you actually read through all of that, haha. XDD
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sailor moon :: make a wish

fic: subtle perspectives [Lily/James]

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Lily/James fest! I had a ton of fun being part of that, and I'm incredibly happy to see that awesome people like touchthesoul, mandyloo, and pencil_gal participated! All the entries were amazing, fiction AND art, and yeah, just so much fun! (And a SPECIAL thanks to moon_destiny and touchthesoul for editing the mess my fic was before submission. Seriously, it wouldn't even be readable if it weren't for you two! ♥ )

I even walked away with an awesome award (though basically everything won an award, but it was still an extremely nice thing for them to do and some of the other categories were really amusing XDDD ):

Transfiguration Award for the Best Friendship to Romance Transition!

Insanely fun! Definitely participating again next year, if they do it again.

Fic is posted here (because I'm in the middle of studying and don't have time to format it in this entry), if anyone is interested. Drabbles for the flash fiction round (I got addicted and actually wrote the most!) to be posted soon. :D

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sailor moon :: make a wish

[Lily/James] Song-Fic Meme

Studying gets boring, so for the past two hours, every once in a while, I took a "random song" break and did this meme. Umm, just remember I'm under tons of stress and pressure before you read these (basically "please don't judge me for my... randomness/strangeness"). Though actually, they're a MILLION times more sane than the fics I'll be writing the SECOND I'm free.

Song-Fic Meme: 1. Pick a character, pairing, or fandom you like.
2. Turn on your music player and put it on random/shuffle.
3. Write a drabble related to each song that plays. You only have the time frame of the song to finish the drabble; you start when the song starts, and stop when it's over. No lingering afterwards!
(I cheated and lingered on for ten seconds of the last one, but THAT WAS IT. I swear I've never typed so fast in my life.)
4. Do seven of these, and then post them (DO NOT go back and edit).

(The song isn't mentioned, but some lyrics from each are. You're welcome to guess if you think you know them. --Haha, yes, a second meme inside this one meme. Or maybe I'm too lazy to label them as well. XD )

[Lily], it's almost over,
Let's promise that when we're older,
You'll meet me on Diagon Alley,
Take my hand and fly away with me.

James closed his eyes, hands held over the crystal ball so hesitatingly that if Sirius didn't know he was completely full of it, he might have taken him for a seer. The hint of a smirk was evident on his face, and his partner--somehow a very unhappy Lily Evans--was watching him carefully, part of her hoping that he would take the exam seriously and not jeopardize her grade as well.

"I see... Lily Evans--"

'Oh no, he wouldn't...'

"--in Diagon Alley after graduation, married to the most handsome bloke she's ever laid eyes upon."

Lily wanted to die. Thankfully, Remus came to the rescue.

"I didn't know you wanted Sirius to date her, Prongs."

Sirius barked. "I'm up for it, Evans."

...Or maybe not. Was it too late to transfer to another school yet? Beauxbatons, perhaps? Pigfarts?

Unbelievable sights,
Indescribable feeling,
Soaring, tumbling, freewheeling
Through an endless diamond sky

When James told her he had "the most amazing surprise" for her, Lily had never expected this.

"A magic carpet? Where did you get that from?"

He grinned. "Isn't it amazing? I nicked it from Filch's Office. He considers it "highly volatile; to be incinerated."

She laughed. "But... it just looks like a rug. How do you know it even wor--"

Before she could finish her sentence, he had grabbed her hand, lifting her up on the rug. Taking her into his arms, he nudged the carpet to fly.

And suddenly, they were soaring, high above Hogwarts, into the scintillating summer sky.

"James, this is..." She couldn't even get the words out. Reaching for his face, she kissed him, not even caring that the sudden swift movement jerked the rug, throwing her books (and all her homework) somewhere into the Forbidden Forest, and nearly knocking the glasses off of James' face.

At that very moment, nothing else mattered. Because when a guy treats you like a Disney princess, you hold onto him.

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Wow, that was wayyyy too much fun. I'm so tempted to do more, but I'll resist. Back to that awful to-do list!
sailor moon :: make a wish

more books... because they're all so pretty.

So I've been doing some reading lately... (Is anyone actually surprised?)


I hate myself because his voice gives me hope in the place in my stomach that's most anxious, and then I hate myself even more because when I turn, seeing him makes that feeling worse. Or better. I don't know.

"I was looking all over for you," Michael says, causing another desperate hopeful twinge in my gut. "I wanted to talk to you. About last Friday."

"Okay," I say.

"I don't think we should hang around each other anymore."

He doesn't try to soften it or anything; he just says it.
I don't think we should hang around each other anymore. Before I can even try to get a grip on it, he's saying more things I don't really want to hear.

"I wasn't fair to you. I let you sit with me at lunch and I let you do it for the wrong reasons and I should've known better--" He pauses. "--Even if you deserved it."

My mouth goes dry. "Great."


"It's fine."

"I just think it would--"

"It's fine, Michael," I say.

"I can't..." He trails off. I don't even understand why he's still talking, because I said it was fine. "And you're really in it, and I just think it's bullshit. It's a waste of time."

"Okay," I say. "Thanks. I'll see you--" I laugh. "Oh wait, I won't."

"I'm just trying to give you a reason--"

"My life is bullshit. I got that part. And I deserve it. You don't need to say anymore. I got it."

"That's not what I--"

"Kara and Anna--total bullshit. Got it. And Donnie? That was total--"

I press my fingers to my lips before I realize what I'm doing. It's like my body won't accept calling it bullshit because it wasn't. What Donnie did to me is still with me. It doesn't go away. A horrified realization crawls across Michael's face, because he didn't think that far back, which is okay, because I didn't deserve that.

But it hurts.

"Regina--" He sounds stunned, like he can't believe he has to backtrack on his awesome speech about how my life is such bullshit. "Regina, I--"

"It's fine, " I repeat, stepping around him. "You don't owe me anything."

Summary: Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard--falling from it is even harder. Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High... until vicious rumors about her and her best friend's boyfriend start going around. Now Regina's been "frozen out" and her ex-best friends are out for revenge. If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth and the bullying is getting more intense by the day. She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully. Friendship doesn't come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend... if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don't break them both first.

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It's hard not to notice Terra Cooper.She's tall, blond, and has an enviable body.

But with one turn of her cheek, all people notice is her unmistakably "flawed" face. Terra secretly plans to leave her stifling small town in the Northwest and escape to an East Coast college, but gets pushed off-course by her controlling father.

When an unexpected collision puts Terra directly in Jacob's path, the handsome but quirky Goth boy immediately challenges her assumptions about herself and her life, and she is forced in yet another direction. With her carefully laid plans disrupted, will Terra be able to find her true path?

[from book jacket]

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Ellie remembers how the boys kissed her. Touched her. How they begged for more. And when she gave it to them, she felt loved. For a while anyway. So when Josh, an eager virgin with a troubled home life, leads her from a party to the backseat of his van, Ellie follows. But their "one-time thing" is far from perfect: Ellie gets pregnant. Josh reacts with shame and heartbreak, while their confidantes, Caleb and Corinne, deal with their own complex swirl of emotions. No matter what Ellie chooses, all four teenagers will be forced to grow up a little faster as a result. Told alternately from each character’s point of view, this deeply insightful novel explores the aftershocks of the biggest decision of one fragile girl’s life — and the realities of leaving innocence behind.
[from book jacket]

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--Anyway, sorry for book-spamming flist again. These are probably the last ones I'm reading for a while, since I've officially begun spring semester.

sailor moon :: make a wish

...I love to read, okay?

I don't know if you guys realized this, but... I really really really love to read. A lot. In fact, I dragged my parents to the library in the middle of a snow storm just so I could have all these awesome books to read. Well, I didn't know that they were awesome at the time. I just had a list that I wanted to check out of authors and pretty covers and interesting summaries. Anyway, I didn't want to spam you guys, so basic summaries and covers for display, but actual reviews under the cut.

"Everyone has their awkward stage. Lanky, gawky, chubby, beanpole--whatever. It's just a phase, right? Except my awkward stage has stuck with me..."

Despite her charm and biting wit, 17-year-old Cyrie Bergerac doesn't have it all. Certainly not the heart of gorgeous and smart Eddie "Rox" Roxanninoff. Further complicating her crush is Cyrie's pretty but tongue-tied friend, Leyla, who admits that she's into Rox. When Leyla asks for Cyrie's help getting him to see her true self, Cyrie starts writing Rox e-mails about music and love and life... in Leyla's name.

Cyrie's got an armory of clever retorts for every lame insult that comes her way, but how do you get someone to know the real you if you can't show your face? Will the pain of watching her best friend hook up with her biggest crush cause Cyrie to face her worst fears and confess her love?

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"Just listen," Adam says with a voice that sounds like a shrapnel.
I open my eyes wide now. I sit up as much as I can. And I listen.
"Stay," he says.

[from book jacket]
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There were no surprises in Gatlin County. We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere. At least, that’s what I thought. Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

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Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all.
[from the publisher]
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About three things I was absolutely certain. First, Edwart was most likely my soul mate, maybe. Second, there was a vampire part of him–which I assumed was wildly out of his control–that wanted me dead. And third, I unconditionally, irrevocably, impenetrably, heterogeneously, gynecologically, and disreputably wished he had kissed me.

Pale and klutzy, Belle arrives in Switchblade, Oregon looking for adventure, or at least an undead classmate. She soon discovers Edwart, a super-hot computer nerd with zero interest in girls. After witnessing a number of strange events–Edwart leaves his tater tots untouched at lunch! Edwart saves her from a flying snowball!–Belle has a dramatic revelation: Edwart is a vampire. But how can she convince Edwart to bite her and transform her into his eternal bride, especially when he seems to find girls so repulsive?

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...Sorry for the really long entry. I just thought this would be better than reviewing all these books in separate posts and spamming flists. Anyway, there's actually MORE, believe or not, but I still have to read them. I don't know if I mentioned this, but I'm too lazy to review them, so if you guys like awesome YA, realistic, contemplative stuff, check out Sarah Zarr's Once Was Lost and if you're into steam punk, awesome historical retellings, definitely read Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan, though keep in mind that this one is a series as well (yeah, I didn't know, so now I'm anticipating a sequel next October, though that is only a rumored release date). Happy reading, guys!
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sailor moon :: make a wish

...once upon a time.

I was supposed to review several books in this post. I just finished Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl that I know several people have been asking about, but I don't think I have the energy to gather my thoughts about it right now. I'm still a little... disoriented.

I went to the bookstore today to read North of Beautiful. It's been missing from my library for over a year now (someone checked it out and never returned it) and it keeps getting sold out at the bookstores, but I actually saw a copy today. Then I decided I wouldn't read it yet because I want to buy it (later, when things are on sale because books these days are so expensive), so I was going to read Waiting for You by Susane Colasanti instead. But we ended up spending so much time looking through their humor/children's section (my sister wanted to get odd presents for some of her friends), and time just flew. I knew I'd never be able to finish it, so I went for the smaller book, Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott. It's the ONE book of hers I have yet to read and it's really difficult to find, but Borders had it, so I was in luck.

I heard this book was "written beautifully, but absolutely haunting and too disturbing for words," a unanimous consensus. Every one-star review states this. Every five star review states this. The appreciation of the disturbing is what makes the difference. Basically, everyone agrees that this book is brilliant, but some just wish they had warning.

I had warning, but... I found it... alluring? The critiques interested me. The fact that I love this author and she wrote something SO bizarre interested me. It was just calling. I answered. Part of me wishes I hadn't...

"Once upon a time, I did not live in Shady Pines.
Once upon a time, my name was not Alice.
Once upon a time, I didn't know how lucky I was."

"Alice" is a fifteen-year-old girl who was abducted when she was really young, taken when she had been separated from her class by an older man ("Ray") at the aquarium. By threatening to harm her family (after lying to her about how he'll take her home to discover where she lives), he gets her to do whatever. For the first few years, she cries all the time. He forces himself upon her, abusing her both sexually and physically, and he starves her, wanting to keep her 'young' and 'childlike' all the time because that's what he likes. (Ray was sexually abused as a child by his mother, so he's a really disturbed human being. If you can even call him that. Seriously, I wanted to punch this guy every time I read about him because 'douche' and 'jerk' do not even begin to describe what scum he is.)

"They know I do not belong here, that there is something not right about me. But they will do nothing about it.
They still say nothing, ask no questions.
No one does. No one has.
No one ever will..."

By the time she's fifteen, she has pretty much given up hope that someone will save her. She knows she can't be saved, so when Ray tells her to find someone else to take her place (since "Alice" was getting too old), she's fine with it. Another little girl will lose her life, but at least now, "Alice" won't have to suffer. She recognizes, on some level, that this is wrong, but she's so far removed from reality by now that survival is all she cares about. Even if it means letting Ray torture her. Even if it means delivering someone else to him, so that he'd torture her less. Or maybe even let her go/kill her.

"I can see myself in the plastic and it waves me into a strange, distorted creature, the shadow of something or someone.
I look wrong. I look dead.
I'm not though. I'm only partway there, a living dead girl.
I have been for five years."

What is chilling about "Alice"'s story is that she is telling her story AS she is living it (beginning from when she's fifteen). This book is written in the present tense, first person, and many chapters begin with "once upon a time" (especially used to relate events of the past), and tell a story in a seemingly harmless way, but the things she's saying are so... disturbing. She lives in a distorted reality, but this reality is no fantasy world. This is OUR world, and that is what chilled me most. Elizabeth Scott uses short sentences, but her writing is so simple and to the point, her words so carefully chosen that they really are "beautiful" and "haunting." You hear about abductions and sexual assaults all the time, but what hit me most was NOT the content of this book, but... the imagery. Everything is so vivid, but this is both what is fascinating and disturbing about it.

This book is a five star book. It IS brilliant, and if you can stomach it, please give it a go. It's the kind of YA novel you don't necessarily want to read, but you SHOULD at one point in your life because this is some girl's story. This is real, and someone out there is living it, as the rest of the world pays no mind.

I'm not finished with this book. We had to leave the bookstore when I just hit page 80 (almost halfway through), and I'm a little glad we did. I don't think I would have stopped reading. I felt like I had to know what happened to this girl--the mark of a good writer. But well, it's almost New Years, I'm on Christmas break, and I was in SUCH a good mood before I started reading. I've never winced/cringed/made as many faces as I did today while reading this book under the span of an hour. My sister said I looked like I was in pain, and I think the mental anguish was just too much for me. I overestimated my mental strength. (But I think... a while from now... maybe after finals or midterms next term, if I'm given the opportunity to read it again, I'll go for it. 'Alice' remains in my mind haunting me, and she can't be freed until I know.)
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Book Review: Going Bovine, Libba Bray

I probably should be doing some school work or writing, but I started this book yesterday and literally could not put it down...

So your name is Cameron Smith and you suffer from an intense form of apathy. You're incredibly intelligent, but you don't try to get grades above straight Cs. You don't "experience" music; you only listen to it to mock it. You have no friends, you don't care about yourself, or anyone else. You can't connect with your dad, who is possibly cheating on your mother and spends more time with his physics than he does with his family, or your mom, who is basically a doormat living through stories and myths she teaches her students, or your twin sister, who was probably once your best friend and now is so above you on the social ladder that she barely says two words to you. You've never gone on adventures or parties or road trips. In fact, the only time that felt real to you in life took place when you were five-years-old and almost drowned in the Small World ride at Disney World.

And then suddenly, you find out you have mad cow disease (the human form), and you're most definitely going to die. So you receive a vision in the form of a punk rocker angel who tells you not to fret--there's a cure! You just have to take this kid to whom you've never spoken with you and look for random but connected clues and you'll find this doctor and all will be well. You think you're losing your mind (you are), but since you've suddenly decided that you don't want to die, you go along with it. Suddenly, you're doing things you never imagined--rescuing talking garden gnomes who swear it's their mission to return to this parallel dimension, trying to save the world through music and physics, crashing parties you've never dreamed of attending, being a participant on a reality show and winning a ton of money, attending a jazz concert and speaking with a legendary musician, wishing on the tree of wishes, falling in love, connecting with your sister, building friendships with the gnome and that guy you once didn't care to know in such a way that you can't imagine never laughing and joking and being with them at all. You don't realize it, but somehow, you begin to care, to care more about... everything like you never thought possible, and for the first time in your life since that time when you were five at Disney World, you're actually happy. You're not simply existing, you're alive and this makes all the difference.

Going Bovine is just absolutely brilliant. It's hilarious, witty, and thoughtful, and honestly, I never thought it would affect me as much as it did. I thought Libba Bray was crazy the first time I heard about this book, and of course, I still think that, but this is not a fantasy novel. It's realistic fiction disguised as fantasy fiction and science fiction with a dab of young adult, but honestly, under it all, it's just... real. Cameron is like so many people today--people who don't live, but merely exist. The existential questions in this book are what got to me the most. And that ending! She threw me for a loop with The Sweet Far Thing, and here she does it again! I don't know why I don't expect the unexpected from her anymore. Anyway, this novel is a ton of craziness mixed with meaningful messages and insight and awesome characters you want to take home with you, garden gnome included. It's like Peter Pan meets Don Quixote meets some story about parallel universe traveling, and the insane mixture is addicting. Just brilliant.

Go read it! :D
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Book Review: Equus, Peter Shaffer

I know, I know--everyone on my flist is sick of hearing about Equus. But this is different! I had to read a play or poem of my choosing for my Poetics class, so I chose Peter Shaffer's Equus to read and honestly, I think I'm even more in love with this than I was before. There's something about Equus that's just so... real, even if the events described seem bizarre (though really, they're based on a true event) and completely insane. I can relate to everything Dysart says so well (which is something I noticed when I saw the stage production, but Richard Griffiths was sick that day, so I missed a lot of what he said--his character is so sarcastic that I absolutely love him. Reading the play was an interesting experience because--other than the fact that I heard Richard Griffiths' and Daniel Radcliffe's voices in my mind as I was reading their lines--the text is so focused on Dysart, while in the stage production(and I know this isn't just me--every critic said the same thing), Alan stole the show. I mean, it's the same words (minus my favorite one of Alan's jingles--he sings television jingles to irritate people so much that they leave him alone), but they just have a different effect both ways.

(Book Jacket) Summary: Alan Strang is a disturbed youth whose dangerous obsession with horses leads him to commit an unspeakable act of violence. As psychiatrist Martin Dysart struggles to understand the motivation for Alan's brutality, he is increasingly drawn into Alan's web and eventually forced to question his own sanity. In its remarkable 2008 production, Equus proves once again to be a timeless classic and a cornerstone of contemporary drama that delves into the darkest recesses of human existence.

Also, everyone should watch/listen to (at least the first minute or so of) this (because it's basically a jingle Dan wrote for Gypsy of the year and I love how he takes the seriousness of this story and just pokes fun at it).

Favorite Quotes

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Seriously guys, read this. It's so awesome and complex and it really makes you think--but it's also fun, too! It's probably one of my favorite plays ever. Wholeheartedly, wholeheartedly recommended!

(By the way, in case anyone has misconceptions about this, Alan is not in LOVE with the horse. Yeah, okay, he rides it bare, but it's because he worships the horse like a god--it's a ritual act and the core of it is that horse and rider have nothing between them; they're one person. Only in extremity, but you'll realize why if you read this.)
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fic: epistulae desiderantis [Lily/James]

Title: Epistulae Desiderantis
Author: amethysth
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Lily/James
Rating: G? PG? One of those.
Words: 2103

Summary: Suddenly, his lips press against hers—so slowly, so delicately—and she tries to ignore the feeling that this is goodbye. 'James will come back,' she persuades herself. 'I just know he will.'

Dedication: This is a gift!fic for obsessive_a101 because she wrote this amusing marauder piece for my belated birthday gift and I wanted to write her a gift!fic in return for her belated. (Also, I love how my birthday is your half birthday and so your birthday is my half birthday—it’s like treating myself! Haha.) I'm sorry it isn't a fandom you're actually in (since you can probably count the HP fanfics you've read on one hand), but I know you like Penelope and obviously you like Harry Potter, so this is the best I could do. For now.

—Also, it's dedicated to Lily and James Potter, for being awesome (and because Halloween marks the anniversary of their death, so it seems appropriate).

My Darling, James
James, My Love

Dear James,

She offers him the brightest and widest smile she can muster, and immediately his eyes fill with concern. He knows the gesture is halfhearted, that there are so many things she desires to scream at him at this very moment, but for reasons unknown to him, she forces the impulse away.

"I'll be fine," he starts to say, but Lily stops him.

"I believe in you."

Suddenly, his lips press against hers—so slowly, so delicately—and she tries to ignore the feeling that this is goodbye. Collapse )