Failed Identification

So I was lurking around the X-Men First Class kink meme (the one set up by the Inception people) looking for an interesting new fic to read when suddenly I came across this photo:

Not something you often see in a kink meme. XD But after a few good laughs at the reactions everyone had, it started really, really bothering me that I had absolutely no idea what it was. I don’t know if anyone else gets this, but yeah, that horrible feeling when you feel like you should know what something is but don’t, and you’ll never sleep again if you don’t find out? Definitely had it.

Set about looking for what it was- I was pretty sure it was an eel, though considering I was on the XMFC meme it was probably some sort of shark (fandom trope, haha) but honestly, does this look like a shark to you? The teeth (or were they weird plankton-grabbers?) looked sharp and its body was streamlined so it was probably a predator, but it wasn’t entirely perfect because it had a weird flat head. So I looked up eels- nope, not a moray. Closer to an electric with the flat head, but the body was totally different. I ended up going through several different families of eels on Wikipedia (ENTIRELY UNHELPFUL). I was honestly thinking about it being a shark, but then discarding the notion because of the obvious lack of dorsal fin (I’d conveniently forgotten about lots of other species of shark, haha).

So I thought I’d figure it out tomorrow, and went to save it, but I couldn’t save without viewing the image alone. So I did, and LO AND BEHOLD, THERE WAS A URL AND IT SAID FRILLED SHARK. I actually had to physically restrain myself from banging my head on my keyboard. What the hell, brain. Seriously.

Anyway despite being a complete failure at identifying this thing, it was the most fun I’d had in ages. Alright, yes, I’m a nerd. But it makes me wonder whether microbiology really is the way I want to go- big things are cool too!

I really miss Pisay. Especially Bio 1. I don’t know, exams are difficult in Woldy but I just don’t get the same pleasure out of it. Sometimes I feel like the fun’s been sucked out of lessons- like we’re doing it to follow government rules, not just doing it because we really want to. Despite Bio 1 being one of the most terrifying classes I’ve ever been in, I was motivated. I had a teacher who would give more than what was required, drill the information into our heads until we exploded not because it was necessary, but because he could.

So I don’t know if I’m going to start trawling across the internet trying to happen across random things like this or not, but maybe I should. Lord knows I don’t use my brain enough. Maybe I’ll finally be motivated enough to actually do something then.


Something Really Happy

Yeah, I’m absolutely amazed at the reception This Little Indulgence received on LJ, but this took the cake. A Featured Reviewer and good friend of ours, Dayang Lucilla, wrote a sort of introduction for my fic when she featured it on H&V, and it was absolutely amazing. I nearly cried; no one’s ever done anything like that for me before.

“It was not truly love, and not entirely friendship. It was more than the simple mind could comprehend, but it was them.” One of those stories you could very well insert in canon. Drama without melodrama. Angst without anger. A contemplation of love’s constant two faces: joy and sorrow, delight and heartbreak, clarity and confusion. And all the foibles in between. Draco and Hermione, for us, are meant to be together, but they don’t always end up that way. This Little Indulgence does not bemoan that, but rather celebrates their togetherness, its perfection and their harmony; their friendship and its amicable close; their love and its selfless restraint. Will make you weep, will make you smile.

This was amazing of her to say. Thank you so much!


This Little Indulgence

Going to clog up my front page with this post. I figured I might as well have something to show for my long absence, yes? I’m really proud of this, it’s been advertised by a Featured Reviewer on Hawthorn & Vine, and I think it’s gotten the most single-chapter reviews out of anything I’ve ever written, including the Dragonverse Hetalia fics and Close Every Door.

Title: This Little Indulgence
Rating: PG-13
Recipient: Patty/ thewordmap
Disclaimer: In its use of intellectual property and characters belonging to JK Rowling, Warner Bros, Bloomsbury Publishing, et cetera, this work of fiction is intended to be transformative commentary on the original. No profit is being made from this work.
Warning(s): Angst
Author Note(s): Written for the DMHG Fic Exchange, Darkest Before the Dawn. Took two spoken lines from the books, so this isn’t even entirely mine. I included a scene from one of the books; however, I did not have the book with me during the whole writing period, so forgive me any inconsistencies.  Thanks very much to my betas, pips_n_chiaw, especially for all that moral support!
Summary: They were practical and they were efficient, and together they could almost be beautiful. But for all their planning, it was never meant to end like this.

Avaritia

Hermione Granger had always been known as an infinitely practical person.

It was this practicality, in fact, that so differentiated her from her peers. When the other girls her age obsessed over the latest fashions and Witch Weekly, she chose comfortable clothes and kept up with current events. When the boys tended to dive headfirst into reckless situations, she was there fighting along with them, but taking care of the basic things essential to survival that they often forgot about. She liked credit for her achievements, but did not hesitate to work in the background when it would take away unwanted attention. Practicality was present in all aspects of her life, and it had saved her on numerous occasions.

This wasn’t to say that she wasn’t averse to the odd indulgence now and then.

She threaded slender fingers through his sweat-slicked, darkened hair. The fire was warm in this room, too warm. She murmured a quick spell and the temperature lowered somewhat- she was never without her wand, of course. Not anymore.

Malfoy grinned, expression feral in the dim flicker of the cooled flames, and whispered a quick thank you before descending upon her again, laying chaste kisses along the underside of her jaw. He bit at her suddenly, harshly, and she humoured this eccentricity without much protest. It was nothing a simple charm couldn’t fix, after all.

“Careful,” she muttered teasingly nonetheless, pleased to see him pout a little before reassuming his usual smirk. “Taking one too many liberties there, aren’t you, Malfoy?”

He didn’t reply, but only looked at her, then moved down to rest his cheek against her chest and stretch further out on the sofa. She slid her hand through his hair again, and watched the dancing fire for the rest of the night.

If this is indulgence, she thought hazily as she drifted off to sleep, I may never go back.

~

Gula

They weren’t in love. It was obvious in their actions, the way they talked, in their work, and if anyone happened to suggest that they were in a relationship, nobody would have believed them.

Their partnership was practical, and it was only natural that they would have gravitated towards each other. But for people such as them, things reserved for cold days and late nights and Floo calls on a whim were not enough. They needed trust, understanding, companionship, reliability, and they ate these things up greedily. It was not truly love, and not entirely friendship. It was more than the simple mind could comprehend, but it was them.

Although, sometimes, one could almost believe that they were more than that.

It was common for them to lie like this, sprawled over Hermione’s sofa and each other while waiting for their dinner to finish cooking. Periodically Malfoy would get up and check on the food, sometimes tasting and sometimes stirring and sometimes fixing. He was far from the best cook in the world, but he was satisfactory enough and he enjoyed it once he forgot the fact that he was essentially doing housework. Hermione rather suspected his lack of imagination with his dishes was due only to his treating them like potions. Otherwise, he could have passed for a regular Molly Weasley.

She stifled a giggle at the mental image, and propped her head on her hand when Draco untangled himself from her yet again to check the spaghetti sauce. “There’s something to be said about your perseverance,” she said quietly.

“Well, if I don’t keep trying, I won’t get better, right?” He tasted the sauce, frowning. “Was I meant to dice the garlic or just slice it?”

She sighed, and it was almost fond. “I suppose dicing would have increased the surface area and made the flavour stronger, but it really doesn’t matter. It’s not exactly life or death.”

“But if you don’t treat things as life or death, you never put all your best effort into it. Like in Potions.” He looked contemplatively at the bubbling pot. “Or perhaps in potions, life and death-”

“Oh, don’t go pretending to be all philosophical now, I know better than to believe you,” she said in mock irritation, earning a laugh.

Finally he pronounced their dinner as ready as it could be, and he began to set the table as Hermione double-checked that the Floo was down and the Apparition Wards were up. One could never be sure when a friend would turn up unannounced, especially there was something to hide.

She sometimes wondered whether it- they, he– was worth the effort. But perhaps Malfoy was right. She had been in dangerous situations since she was eleven- she could continue with their little life-or-death games a bit longer.

~

Luxuria

There were days when they took it slow, when the work and the normalcy just became too much. They curled up on Hermione’s sofa- their favourite spot- or on the floor of Draco’s newly-bought, barely furnished flat, not saying a word. It was a partnership of convenience, after all, and mutual silence was still infinitely better than being alone. There were days when they were both soft and lazy and flung into separate ends of the room, unwilling to make the effort to come closer.

This was not one of those days.

Really, Hermione thought as she was shoved against a wall and pinned there with his weight and his stare, this should be illegal. And it probably is.

She surged forward, impatient and rough, and caught his mouth with her own. There was a heady rush that came with kissing Malfoy, a hint of darkness and danger, and a touch of madness as well. She chalked it down to adrenaline, cataloguing every action and reaction, because this was not an emotional fling; oh no, they were too smart for that trap. They were practical, they were efficient- and oh God, were they efficient, she thought as the kiss began to stray past their usual boundaries and she grew weak in the knees.

Malfoy pulled away to catch his breath, pressing his forehead against hers momentarily, and her sight was filled with distorted steel before she closed her eyes and surrendered.

~

Acedia

“Funny how we always end up like this,” Malfoy commented, a smile playing on his lips as he sprawled himself face-down on the floor, making himself comfortable. “It’s like we have this default relaxing pose that we’re cursed to do at every opportunity.”

Hermione snorted and shifted, settling the slight swell of her stomach more comfortably in the dip of his back, lying perpendicular to him. “Yours is rather masochistic,” she replied, propping up her book to see better. “Or are you such an old man that you need a bit of weight to relieve your back pain?”

“Or maybe you’re just so evil that you like draping your fat self over innocent people and forcing them to take your weight.”

She laughed and smacked him on the side of his thigh with her book, ignoring his indignant protest. “You know those comments don’t work on me.”

“Hence my saying them.” Malfoy folded his arms and laid his chin on them, looking across the floor into seemingly nothing. They contented themselves with this silence for a while, before he started shifting uncomfortably. “Oi, get up, I can’t breathe.”

“Oh, alright.” She rolled lazily over onto her back, still pinning him to the ground, but now lying on his knees.

“I’ll be nice. Now shush, I’m trying to read.”

“Is it Hogwarts: A History again? I swear, you stalk everyone in the school. They should remove the self-updating charm just for you.”

“It’s for work, actually. A Study in Servitude: the Psychology of a House-Elf. Radical book. Terribly hard to find, but worth it.”

He hummed in acknowledgement and fell silent. Several minutes passed, in which Hermione scanned the book for relevant information- submissive nature part of the natural psyche, blind subservience unique to this magical creature, inherited or affected by environment?– and felt a cruel twist at the thought of Dobby. She would right every wrong done to his kind. She would climb and climb until she could make a difference. Maybe something in international law- yes, she’d like that.

Malfoy shifted beneath her, and she sat up to relieve the pressure on his legs. He twisted around to kiss her lips, and she parted them obligingly, not in the mood for arguing today.

“You’ll get there eventually,” he told her, and she cocked her head to the side.

“How did you know what I was thinking?”

He grinned. “You were reading your house-elf thing, and your breathing went quicker and you got more agitated. I’m not an idiot, Granger. I can put two and two together. You’ve always been an ambitious witch. You want to make a difference.”

“Not yet, maybe. But soon.”

“Climb the promotional ladder. Nice, very practical; earn their respect first to increase your chances. As I said, you’ll get there eventually.” His smirk was wide and arrogant. “But not today; you’re with me today.”

She laughed and pulled him into another kiss.

~

Ira

“I’m marrying Astoria Greengrass, by the way.”

The tone was light, conversational, and Hermione choked on her toast as the words sank in. “Astoria Greengrass?”

“Yes. You know, the tall one with the curls?” Malfoy continued buttering his own slice of toast, not bothering to clarify his rather vague description. “You should know her, she’s not that much younger than us.”

“Daphne’s sister. Right?”

“That’s the one.”

“Ah.”

Of course. She hadn’t expected this, but she should have. It was far too large an oversight by her usual standards. Malfoy was marrying someone else, of course it wouldn’t have been her, they’d agreed nothing would come of this, and damn it, he wouldn’t even look at her-

The realisation hit her like a punch to the gut; she’d become too invested, too involved in this little skeleton of a relationship that wasn’t even meant to exist. It was raw, it was painful, and she wanted to hurl her plate at the wall and curse and curse and curse.

She bit into her bread viciously, trying to ignore the furious, sinking feeling in her stomach as she thought of Astoria and Malfoy, of the end of their own relationship. A savage thought swept into her mind, like a light for a lost man- she never has to know, I’m good at keeping secrets– but she stopped herself. She wasn’t a home-wrecker, and never would be.

And if this was the punishment for her indulgence, then by God, she would take it with dignity.

She blinked away the wetness- stupid, stupid– to raise her head; their eyes met across the table and she smiled.

~

Invidia

This would be the last time.

The flat was dark, like it was all other times, and neither had thought to make this more special than usual. Why should they? The last was the same as the one before, and the one before that, and the one before that. It had never been guaranteed that they should have a next, after all, only statistically likely. The change in probability (now zero, or at least close) shouldn’t have had an effect.

But emotions were irrational, as Hermione knew all too well, and you couldn’t pack them into convenient little boxes for whenever you wanted them.

They were exhausted, brought down by the events of the day and the problems at work, and normally this was when they would curl up beside each other and rant about it all, knowing they were listened to and understood. They had made a half-hearted attempt, at best, and Hermione felt a pang of regret at the idea that they could not even seem to make the effort.

She could tell him as much. She could open her mouth and let it all spill from her lips, the anger, the regret, the jealousy- God, the jealousy– and watch him soak it up like a sponge, drill the words into him until it pounded in his veins and he never ever forgot her. She could make this special. She could pretend, just for now, that they were star-crossed lovers pulled apart by fate and not their own stupidity, not her stupidity.

But that would happen if this were truly a farce. But it was real, all too real, and she couldn’t bear to have him burdened with that knowledge and that responsibility. He deserved a new start and a beautiful wife, without the reminder that out there, there was Hermione Granger, who still cared. Who maybe, possibly, loved.

But she couldn’t resist asking; she never could. “Do you like her?” she whispered quietly into his hair, threading her fingers through it as she often did.

Malfoy hummed. “She’s tolerable. I could have done worse, but she’s certainly nothing to lose my mind over.”

“Good,” she murmured. “That’s good.”

“Does it bother you?”

She could tell him this. “A little.”

“It really shouldn’t,” he said, stroking her cheek, and her breath caught in her throat. “You should know better than that.”

It was ambiguous, it was confusing, but Hermione couldn’t ponder on it as Malfoy had crushed his mouth to hers in that instant, ravenous and desperate like a dying man. And this was it, just one of the moments that built up this fallacy of a relationship, the point where she would open her mouth and forget their rationality and it would be raw and glorious and only for them, and they would lose their minds and never regret.

Not this, she thought in satisfaction as she let herself go. She’ll never have this.

~

Superbia

The invitation came in the post one morning, all gossamer silk and heavy parchment. She couldn’t say she hadn’t been expecting it, but it was still a surprise to see it, addressed to her. She looked for resentment in the swirling letters, looked for bitterness and apology -and maybe, perhaps, love, but that was a silly notion and she threw it out of her head.

She found nothing.

Instead, a small slip of parchment fell out of the elaborate card, unscented and plain, with ordinary black ink arranged in the hasty scrawl of a schoolboy. Some things never changed.

I don’t expect you to come, the letter said, as jarring and to the point as its sender often was. I just thought you might appreciate the invite.

She was tempted, oh how she was tempted not to accept and to spend that wedding day holed up in her room, reading stories or doing something productive. Perhaps she could get to work writing down ideas for house-elf rights; God knows she had better things to do than watch Draco Malfoy get married.

Her world did not revolve around one man, no matter how badly she had miscalculated. But she and Malfoy had had something, no matter how fragile or meaningless it had been, and they had been there for each other, damn it, and she would be there for him. Emotions be damned; she wasn’t a teenager anymore.

Swallowing back the lump in her throat, she went to her closet to decide if she had anything to wear.

~

Temperantia

There was the expected rush of emotion as she stepped through the barrier of Platform 9 3/4, hand-in-hand with Ron. She swallowed down a lump in her throat, and caught sight of her husband through the corner of her eye. He looked quiet, for once, contemplative; he squeezed her fingers and she smiled.

But now was not the time to be nostalgic. She let go of Ron’s hand to fix her daughter’s wild red hair, smoothing the curls behind an ear. “Behave yourself, Rose,” she said, firm but kind, getting a mischievous grin in return. “I mean it, I don’t want to be getting any letters about your behaviour.”

“Too late,” Ron said in amusement. “She and Hugo have already made plans for her to be sent back. They’re exactly like us.”

“Excuse me?” Hermione huffed, crossing her arms at her husband. “I don’t recall us ever planning our adventures in advance. I was always dragged into yours and Harry’s little escapades.”

Ron laughed and leaned in to kiss her softly. “Yeah, well, we couldn’t have done anything without you.”

She felt a grin tug at the corners of her lips, and she let it stretch her mouth in a large smile. “Stop being a bad influence on the children.” Nevertheless, she leaned up to kiss him quickly on the cheek. “I love you anyway.”

His face lit up, as it always did when she said those words, as if it were a surprise even after all these years. She smiled fondly at him, and almost didn’t hear his embarrassed reply over the sound of their children yelling a greeting to their cousins who had just arrived.

“Harry!” Hermione exclaimed, reaching to wrap her friend in a hug.

Harry greeted her warmly, and turned to Ron who had leaned in to whisper something in his ear. Directing her attention elsewhere, Hermione scanned the crowd for nothing in particular, when a flash of blond caught her attention.

It was Draco Malfoy, pale and sharp as ever, accompanied by Astoria and their son, who was the spitting image of his father. Hermione closed her eyes and breathed deeply. God, even after all these years. Things were tentatively getting better between them at work, but seeing him and seeing her– Astoria even looked like her, something she could never forget, only taller, prettier, more glamorous, and perhaps that was what made her feel like her world was being pulled out from under her feet.

“So that’s little Scorpius,” Ron commented, breaking through her thoughts. “Make sure you beat him in every test, Rosie. Thank God you inherited your mother’s brains.”

“Ron, for heaven’s sake. Don’t try to turn them against each other before they’ve even started school!”

As soon as the words left her lips, Malfoy’s head snapped up, and he caught sight of her. His lips were parted slightly, as if he were about to speak, and she felt her stomach drop again.

She cursed him for still doing this to her. Her children didn’t deserve it, Ron didn’t deserve it, and she loved them too dearly to ever consider leaving. But Malfoy was standing there, oblivious to the roiling frustration in the pit of her stomach, as if nothing had ever happened between them. As if they had never known each other in that silent, unspeakable way, when they knew each other’s thoughts and habits and raw weaknesses. As if the past fifteen years spent apart was the only piece of history they had ever shared.

God, it would be so easy to walk up to him now, talk to him about work and office parties and little Scorpius and Rose starting school, just to hear if he’d say her name in the same way still. If he felt the way she did now, or if he’d forgotten what indulgence was.

Temperance, she reminded herself as Draco broke their gaze and nodded at Harry.

Then he turned his face away, and their eyes met over the noisy crowd. And for them, that was enough.


A Planning Post

Because I can’t get over the fact that I haven’t updated this in ages. Well, for good reason, but still ages.

I’m not going to go on a whole spiel about what’s happened with me because this is primarily a literature account (supposedly), and instead I’ll just put in what I’m supposed to write, in no particular order.

  • Harry Potter- Dramione Remix fic
  • Harry Potter- something special with Blaise Zabini being a really good friend 😉
  • Hetalia- model AU
  • Hetalia- dragonverse
  • Hetalia- angel AU
  • Hetalia- recovery fic
  • Hetalia- Misery-based punkish fic
  • Hetalia- princess AU

Gah, seriously, I am absolutely horrible at planning and doing. Well, okay- good at planning, DEFINITELY NOT at doing. XD


MUNA 2011

…as the Russian Federation delegate for GA2 Human Rights saw it.

1 Feb 2011

The day felt absolutely ordinary. It was one of those usual ones where I had to rush to get things done because I hadn’t managed it the night before. I still had one last resolution to make, on the rights of children in post-disaster areas, and I hadn’t even begun my policy statements. I was supposed to take part in the British Biology Olympiad, but that was set for lunchtime so I figured it was more important that I finished my MUN stuff first.

Basically it was a long, tiring day, and by the time I was in Dr. Shipton’s chemistry class I as about ready to drop to the floor and curl up dead. Unfortunately I had to run back to Berwick as soon as class ended, because the bus to the station was leaving in less than fifteen minutes and I had to change out of my suit and pack my blazer. It was absolute chaos!

Then we all had to take the train to Victoria, then take the Tube to Liverpool Street, where we had to run to our train. I managed to get all my resolutions checked by Mr Peachey, and wanted to start on policy statements, but I was practically dying of exhaustion and I spent the rest of the train ride in a bit of a daze. Unfortunately I managed to doze off just as we arrived at Manningtree where we had to change to get the one to Harwich. We got off at Harwich International, hanging around there for about an hour or so before finally boarding the ferry.

Stena Hollandica = AMAZING. Although I’m probably biased because there were SO MANY FILIPINOS. I adored the looks on their faces when I said “Good evening po.” They basically brought every single Filipino staff member out there to meet me, and there were two people from Pangasinan, which was absolutely awesome. I got a bit of special treatment and I also managed to freak out my friends, who have never ever heard me speak Filipino. Well, there’s a first time for everything! XD So basically the staff and I started trading stories and jokes and experiences, and they wished me luck in MUN and hoped I’d make an excellent speech. This may have worked- I’ll come to that later. XD

Went up to my cabin later on; I was the only one not sharing with anyone because I get really badly seasick. Indeed, the seas were calm and no one felt anything, except me. 😦 I took a shower and stayed up until maybe 2:30 AM writing policy statements and transferring all my resolutions to my external hard disk- and it was a really good thing I did this too! Basically after I’d finished packing everything back away I passed out on the bed, still mildly nauseous, but too exhausted to be anything but dead to the world.

Stairs count: 8

2 Feb 2011

Woke up at around 6 to have breakfast. Louise refused to spend 7.50 euros on breakfast, so I ate with Mai, and it was really nice. XD Less Filipino staff in the morning, much to my disappointment, but I managed to say goodbye to a few of them on our way out of the ferry.

We passed immigration without incident, though Lulu left her mobile in the ferry so she had to go back to get it. After we made our way out of the port we took the train to Rotterdam Centraal and changed for Den Haag (yes, the Dutch language is BEAUTIFUL and I will try my hardest never to refer to places by their English names again). We had 3 minutes to run up and down stairs to catch our train! After that we met up with Mr De Haas, who organised a lot of it, and we dropped off our suitcases in a minivan then took the tram to the Peace Palace. We weren’t allowed in yet, so we ate at this adorable little cafe called Cafe Blooming just across the street, though I only had an orange juice. 🙂

The Peace Palace is absolutely gorgeous inside. I haven’t been so floored by the interior of a non-religious building since… I can’t even think of one. It was so ornate and extravagant that I could only imagine how much the carpets and marble floors we were standing on cost. One of the carpets we were on was actually a Turkish tapestry which is the biggest in Europe! There was also an amazing love story that I’ll have to talk about later, and a statue of Jesus which apparently isn’t about religion at all. We went to the little Hall of Justice, where they explained the process of arbitration, then the great Hall of Justice, which had the most beautiful and moving stained glass windows ever. I was really sorry to leave.

After that we took the train directly to Zoetermeer, then walked to Alfrink College, where we had this epically chaotic riot over our suitcases. We had to first find them, then change into our suits, then drop them off at some room, then we went to the staff room where they had a special lunch for us because we’d been running on adrenaline for ages. We ate in about 5 minutes, a feat for some of us, and went to the opening ceremonies.

The speech given by the guest speaker, Dheera Sujan, was deeply moving. I know I’m the type of person to cry at EVERYTHING, but this was particularly sad. She spoke of journalistic freedom, and the effort that goes into reporting difficult subjects, and the horrors journalists see when they try to investigate. She spoke of bodies floating in the delta, soldiers playing cards as civilians cleared roads of fallen trees, and terrified children taking care of a mother that had only a day to live. She spoke of people crossing mine-ridden land to get to the nearest clinic, crossing borders illegally to get any sort of medical attention. It was the most eye-opening speech I’ve heard in a long time.

Back to what students (rather idealistically) know as reality, we were called to say that we had to take our suitcases out of the room and somewhere else, because ECOSOC was meeting there. We dragged our suitcases ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE SCHOOL to the cloakroom, where we dropped them then rushed back to our committees. I was inexcusably late, though they didn’t seem to mind so much. I was annoyed, though; the Russian Federation must never be late. XD

We went down to the media centre for lobbying, which is basically when we try and get as many people to sign our resolutions as possible. I managed a rather decent 6 co-submitters for my journalistic freedom resolution, which I was actually quite proud of, then I got a look at Olaf’s. Olaf, henceforth to be known as Cuba, had previously gifted me with a pretty Soviet Union pin, so I had figured he and I would have similar aims and resolutions. What I got was unexpected- his wasn’t at all the same, but it was a direct follow-up of my own. We merged our resolutions into one gigantic one with about 15 or so clauses and 17 co-submitters, which actually was almost perfect, in Russia’s and my own personal opinion.

Mark (Zimbabwe) and Richard (Bangladesh) and Cuba and I wrote and re-wrote the resolution several times until it was finally approved by the Approval Panel, but that took most of the afternoon so I hadn’t really been able to do anything with the other resolutions I had. I left that lobbying session rather satisfied, because I’d also managed to make friends with Friederike (Vietnam) and Joyce (Rwanda).

A bit more chaos as I attempted to find my host, Yvette. I eventually found her and after we went to get our stuff in the cloakroom, we went home by train. We missed the train the first time, so I had to lug my suitcase around even more stairs to get to the next platform. I admit I have an odd liking for hearing the words “De volgende halte is:”, especially when passing by Monstersestraat or De La Reyweg. XD We got off at Dierenselaan, and Yvette’s house is about a two-minute walk away, though it feels like forever when you’ve got luggage. We arrived at the house where there was an amazing dinner courtesy of Yvette’s lovely and absolutely wonderful family. It was the first time anyone had actually managed to make me eat a combination of tuna, tomatoes and cucumber- and I loved it! Our dessert was Greek yoghurt with walnuts and honey, which was quite sour for me on the first go, but I liked it later on and was only sorry that I was too full to have more.

Noemie, the French girl Yvette was also hosting, and I shared a room on the second floor (third floor to everyone else). Even though she’d arrived a day before me, we were both exhausted, so again we just fell unconscious onto our lovely warm beds. 🙂

Stairs count: 7

3 Feb 2011

We missed our train, so Yvette’s mum was kind enough to drive us to Alfrink on her way to work. After everyone had arrived we started lobbying again, and Cuba and I ended up drafting a second resolution, on oppression of ethnic and religious minorities. It wasn’t quite as complete as the first one, but at the time I was half-dead with residual tiredness so I wasn’t up to thinking of anything more to add.

Committees were in session at the end of the lobbying, so basically we opened the debates. Everything was a bit of a blur, but I remember that Rwanda and I got along absolutely swimmingly from the start. I tried to represent Russia as best as I could but there were some times when I really couldn’t decide what to do! I was very happy that Connie had managed to print out for me a copy of Russia’s positions in the 61st to 64th General Assemblies, so that was quite useful, but still sometimes I found myself wondering- “what would Medvedev do?” I need a WWMD bracelet. 😦 Cuba and I kept passing notes to each other asking whether we’d vote in favour of or against something. It was, however, an interesting time. Jonathan (Afghanistan) and Charmaine (Israel) were frequent speakers, though I have to applaud Josefien (Myanmar) and Tijn (Saudi Arabia) for being so confident even with very controversial opinions! I adored the way they argued with everyone else in the ethnic oppression debate.

Lunch was really nice. I had a kaassouffle, blackcurrant bread and a chocolate croissant. I haven’t ever liked a bread-based lunch as much as I’d liked that one.

More debating after lunch. The Israel and Palestine issue was, as predicted, a long and drawn-out debate, though quite a bit shorter than I’d anticipated. Israel defended her position brilliantly, though of course she was probably the only one who wanted what she did. Russia is for the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state, but I figured I could accept peace treaties as well. I was a bit more awake then, so I did speak once, and that was in response to an amendment that Josh (USA) proposed about the creation of an autonomous state of Jerusalem. Basically I made a quick statement about the importance of Jerusalem to Jews, Muslims, and Christians (THANK YOU MR MASSEY!) and said something about Jerusalem then being a country in a constant state of civil war. Not sure if I managed to convince anyone any further, but I’m rather proud of myself for speaking. I never speak up even in class, because I was traumatised by the threats of humiliation in Biology 1. 😦

We managed to pass 3 resolutions (rights of children in post-war areas, journalistic freedom [YAY], and the Israel and Palestine thing). Cuba and I were quite beside ourselves with glee that our resolution had been passed, though that wasn’t the end of it at all.

The Human Rights committee got a bit wild after the break. I’m not sure how it happened, but Afghanistan decided to represent Atlantis instead, so Saudi Arabia proposed to make a resolution detailing under what conditions Atlantis should become a member of the UN, and eventually this started the Mexico-Atlantis war. Transcript of events to follow, but let me just say that we had a huge laugh with the Security Council over this.

Noemie, Yvette and I went home to have quick showers, fix our hair then have dinner before going to the MUNA party. I was a bit apprehensive as it was apparently in some sort of disco or club place and I’m not generally a party person. Had a quick blow-drying of hair before applying the tiniest possible amount of concealer because we were running late, and I didn’t want to look so made-up. Dinner was amazing AGAIN- some sort of vegetable soup with fusilli, and warm bread with a side of olives and feta cheese. Dessert was waffles with pear-flavoured ice and whipped cream. I swear the Dalm family spoils us too much. XD

At the party I was a bit of a wallflower at first. I tried to dance but I just couldn’t, until Mai arrived. She went a bit crazy, I went a bit crazy- and it all went downhill from there. XD Before I knew it I was going wild and dancing with random people I didn’t know, bumping into Cuba and Saudi Arabia having a mini-protest in a corner of the club, getting on top of a table and dancing with Mai and some random guy whom I later found out was the Chair of the Disarmament committee, and having to be pulled down by the bouncers. It was (supposedly) an alcohol-free party, and looking at what people were doing, I have to say it’s AMAZING what people will do when sober. In the end we had this huge dance circle with Lulu, Connie, Mai, Joran (Sudan), Vietnam, and a few other people I don’t know, because it was all a blur. Sudan pulled me over to dance with him, and I had so much fun even if I’m about half his height!

The end of the party was a disappointment, because I know all 270~ delegates had fun, even though Louise sat at the bar watching the whole night. We were tired but pleased, and we went home with hoarse voices and aching feet.

Stairs count: None. Didn’t bring a suitcase! XD

4 Feb 2011

Nam’s birthday.

Had to be shaken awake by Noemie again, as I’d incorporated my alarm into my dream. 😦 Ate very quickly, packed my suitcase and rushed as fast as possible to the station, but we’d missed the train because I couldn’t run fast enough with my case. Dropped stuff off at the cloakroom and went to our committees- I pretty much know my way around the relevant areas of the school now.

Cuba’s resolution on ethnic minorities was the topic of today’s debate, and Afghanistan opened it by saying that the bigger countries needed to speak more, since the only ones making an effort were the smaller nations and they all had pretty much the same opinion. I know he wasn’t targeting me, but I felt bad anyway so I figured I should say something that day.

With a bit of tweaking, the resolution was passed, so Cuba (and I, to an extent) felt really great about that. We figured nothing would come up again today, so we felt rather lighthearted. I talked with Jorinde (Pakistan) a lot about loads of different things, and I got the facebook names of a few more people. We’d thought it was over. Imagine our surprise when we walked in and saw the journalistic freedom resolution on the board again.

Apparently, Iris (Canada) had thought that we didn’t discuss it thoroughly enough and that it violated the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, so she brought it up again. I admit I was a bit annoyed with this at first, but I understood her point and thought we should debate it again. I immediately began to worry. If Canada was against this, she might pull the USA in, who’d then convince the UK, who might have an effect on the EU. I guess Afghanistan’s wish for a more interesting debate was granted.

Lots of amendments were proposed and most failed, though I think the most memorable one for me was the last amendment, proposed by the UK, to strike clause 1. Now, that clause was the very first clause I’d written, one that I’d slaved away on to try and make it as specific as possible without plagiarising any official documents on international media rights. It was about creating an international policy setting the limits of journalist investigation, what constitutes treason, etc. She said this was against Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights- and I see why. I really admire her for bringing this amendment up, because without that clause the entire resolution would have been meaningless. She’s really quite brave.

But the whole debate had been going around and around in circles, with WikiLeaks and Twitter constantly being brought up, with one interesting mention of “We don’t need to know when Obama is going to the toilet!” by Saudi Arabia. But no one could agree on anything. The bigger countries were all for the freedom of the press, accusing the smaller countries of oppression, while the smaller countries shot back with government security clearances and the like. I felt this debate needed to end before we all lost our minds, so at the first possible chance I stood up to speak against the amendment.

I don’t really know what I said. I just know that I was probably being the most forceful I’ve been in ages, defending the idea that this clause was not against human rights but that it supported everyone’s rights, and that it would define treason and limits once and for all so that there would be no further argument. It was pretty impassioned, so I’m sure my Critical Thinking teacher would make that a flaw in my case, but I had apparently shocked a number of people in the room. Considering that they all loom over me like towers I can guess why.

My mini-speech didn’t change people’s minds, but I got a number of notes from lots of delegates that I hadn’t gotten the chance to speak to congratulating me on the mini-speech. I think this made me happier than the idea that I’d gone up and defended my clause- the idea that I was finally more like part of the group, rather than just some tiny girl who hung out by herself during breaks and stayed silent even as the biggest country in the world.

The amendment failed, and the resolution was eventually passed. Cuba and I were ecstatic, as we had written exactly half of it each. We went down to General Assembly, where everyone in the GA committees were. The resolution that the Human Rights committee presented was the ethnic and religious minorities one, which was first presented by Cuba. He then called on me to take the floor and answer a few questions. In a way it was the most embarrassing experience of MUN. It was the fact that I KNEW no one could see me over the lectern, but in a way it was kind of awesome to think that I was a disembodied little voice answering people’s questions. I felt a bit like one of those hallucination-gods that people dream up on bad trips.

Closing ceremonies at the end, then we picked up our photos and there was more chaos as we got our suitcases and said our goodbyes to everyone. We ate at this Chinese restaurant, Asian Garden, where it was Cherie and Betty and Katie’s turn to befriend the owners. The food was brilliant, and I had proper rice for the first time in ages. After eating we took the train and had about 3 changes before we arrived at Hoek van Holland to catch the Stena Britannica.

Stena Britannica had a much smaller number of Filipino staff, though I did befriend most of them again. 🙂 They were really very sweet, and were older than the Stena Hollandica staff. They looked so happy when I pulled out my plastic bag of seasickness pills- the Mercury Drug logo is loved by every Filipino. XD Anyway, I took a quick shower and sat on my lovely round windowsill for a while fighting back nausea before giving up and sleeping. I felt I rather deserved it.

Stairs count: 8

5 Feb 2011

Papa Doc’s birthday.

Woke up with about 15 minutes to disembarkation, so I was in a huge rush. I don’t think I left anything behind, but I can’t be sure yet.

Took a train directly to Liverpool Street without having to change, thank goodness, but the Circle line wasn’t working so we had to take the Central to Oxford Circus then the Victoria to Victoria. 😛 We had about half an hour to our train so we had time to eat.

On the train we were all exchanging stories about the ridiculous things that happened at MUN, from the Mexico-Atlantis war to the establishment of a city in the atmosphere to Russia starting WWIII. We all were so disappointed we couldn’t stay longer, and the trip back to Woldingham was rather dismal.

As cheesy as it sounds, I’m really glad to have been part of such a wonderful experience. It built up the confidence that had been broken way back in high school, and I have so many more friends. I found out I go totally wild at parties, and that if necessary I can actually stand up to speak in front of about a hundred people, and that it doesn’t matter how tiny I am or how no one could even see me because it was never about me personally. It was about representing something much more important, and I would never have traded taking part in MUNA 2011 for anything. Hope I can join again next year!

Stairs count: 9

Total number of staircases we climbed while bringing our suitcases: 36.

I feel all strong and physically fit now. (Pffffft XD)


Another New Look

This time with the theme Elegant Grunge, header courtesy of my best friend Adrian Begonia.

Here’s the original.

It’s pretty big, so I wasn’t sure which part to crop- I do like how it turned out though.

This theme, instead of being based on a song or score, is based off my own works. A little vain, I know, but I haven’t written original work in a long time and I wish I could do it again. On the edge of inspiration- I’m sure most writers are familiar with that. The story, the poem, the article, burning at the tips of your fingers yet unable to be translated to words. So close, so frustratingly almost there.

The widgets are named after some lines from my own poems. Lost Thoughts- from Renaissance. An apt poem, seeing as it’s about the lack of inspiration. Another Ten Thousand Today- from Death March. Under the Surface, and the smaller text “water swirls”- from Ophelia.

A lot of things have happened since my last update, not least of all transferring schools (transferring countries) to England. I have to say I love this country, with all its faults and quirks. There’s just something to this place, something underneath the day to day life that I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s almost magical.

I’ll end this here for now because really, I should be working. It’s very frustrating though, trying to concentrate on work when all you want to do is let the tingle at your fingertips guide your mind. On the edge of inspiration, indeed.


So apparently I write like…

Close Every Door- David Foster Wallace [for a Hetalia fanfic]

He remembers pain as if it were far, far away- oh how insignificant that old pain seems now- as he worked through the week, lovingly cutting and carving and painting until his hands were stained red with blood from scratched fingertips and from the scarlet coats of the men he was creating. Every soldier had a different face, a different expression, and he remembers the joy in America’s eyes when he discovered this and the pride in his voice when he told the boy that it was made for him and only him.

But the soldiers are faceless now and their red coats have faded into a sombre grey-brown that reminds England vaguely of America’s jacket, and he reflects on how America has taken something that was so English and turned it into himself.

America is good at that, England thinks. At making people change.

Winner Takes All- Douglas Adams [another Hetalia fanfic]

Arthur Kirkland leaned back in his seat, heaving a sigh as the man in front of him rattled off places to go for their monthly excursion. As usual they had left the planning late, and though it didn’t really pose a problem for them, Arthur hated to procrastinate.

“There’s the AirCruise,” Francis Bonnefoy said, waving a hand in the vague shape of a kite before bringing his wineglass to his lips. He smoothed a hand over his elaborate blue crushed velvet shirt- casual wear, lovingly created for him by his mother, who owned one of the world’s most renowned designer brands. Arthur personally thought it was the tackiest thing he had ever had the displeasure of seeing.

“It isn’t open to the public, is it?” Arthur’s finger twirled lazily around the rim of his glass of water- Francis had wanted him sober for the discussion, much to Arthur’s dismay- as he rested his chin on his hand. “I hate to mingle with the masses.”

“It’s quite a thrill,” Francis laughed, and Arthur’s lip curled in a sneer. “But no, at the moment it is not. It goes from London to New York in 37 hours. Long, but the facilities are passable.”

“By whose standards?” Arthur wondered aloud, then shook his head. “Knowing the way these people price things, it would cost a few thousand grand each. Perhaps it would be measured in millions. No, thank you.”

Francis threw a couple of their notes in the air, miming throwing bills. “When has the cost ever stopped us?”

Piri-tan! (tentatively, Manifest Destiny)-Arthur C. Clarke [a Hetalia fanfic]

He’d called you Mary.

He’d called you Mary, and you treasured it like your own name when the drawling two syllables spilled lazily from his tongue and the words were breathed across your skin- too close, too close, you’d protested, but he would have none of that- and you treasured it even more when he tried, in his own stumbling, charming manner to pronounce your old name. Dora, he’d give up and call you with an apologetic grin, and you’d fall in love hard again as you gently corrected him.

Cloudwatching (tentatively, The Pier)- J. K. Rowling [a Harry Potter fanfic]

There is a little river near the edge of her town, a river that wanders its way through green valleys and yellow fields on its journey to the welcoming arms of the sea, which isn’t too far away from her house either. There are days when it is brown and murky, as after a storm, but on clear afternoons the river reflects the blue, blue sky, and it is on one of these afternoons that Hermione makes her way to the old, unused pier that sits on her side of the banks.

It is not the first time that she has come here, but it is the first time that she sees him. He is oddly out of place, all bones and sharp angles and ice within the serenity, and she hesitates before sitting down beside him, keeping her distance and a hand on her wand.

Ouroboros- J. K. Rowling [a Harry Potter fanfic]

Trembling, pale hands sifted through the pictures, separating and sorting.

He methodically separated the photographs, placing them in the correct labeled envelopes. The one labeled Minerva McGonagall was the first to be finished, soon sent off with Draco’s own eagle owl. The second was of Rubeus Hagrid, thin and considerably lighter, enough to be sent on a tiny owl that resembled Ron Weasley’s old owl, Pigwidgeon. But the heaviest and thickest envelope was the one labeled Hermione Granger.

Images formed in Draco Malfoy’s mind- bushy brown hair, large front teeth, a plain face. A sigh escaped his lips as he was reminded of his old rival once again.

It wasn’t that he hated her particularly, now. No, of course not.

Blazhenstvo– Leo Tolstoy [an original story]

The pale man stopped, startled. He had not expected his companion to continue speaking to him. “What rumours?”

Dmitri lowered his voice even further. “There have been talks of a disagreement between Prime Minister Leonov and Britain’s Prime Minister Watson. You know how hot-tempered both of them are- it’s entirely possible that this could escalate into something much worse.”

Aleksandr lost the little colour he had in his cheeks. “You mean… a war?”

“No, not necessarily. But if it does happen, we may not stand a chance. You know America will side with Britain, and possibly everyone else along with them.”

“Russia is strong. It will not be too bad, I think.”

Dmitri stared at Aleksandr, shaking his head in amazement. “You are so innocent, Reznikov. Far too innocent for this line of work.”

Aleksandr simply smiled.

Previous blog post- Vladimir Nabokov

(It was protected for a reason, by the way!)

May I just take this chance to say that I absolutely adore my line-up? Okay so I’m not too familiar with David Foster Wallace or Arthur C. Clarke but still. I love my line-up. Thank you so much I Write Like!

P.S.: I’ve been looking for things that might make me write like Stephenie Meyer but the worst fic in my history, written about seven years ago, is apparently in Oscar Wilde’s style. I’d just like to put in a disclaimer: I do love Oscar Wilde! In fact I’m so surprised that I have to wonder if this thing isn’t broken!