gaila

Let's have some memes

Here's one about fic:

Pick any passage of 500 words or less from any fanfic I’ve written, and comment to this post with that selection. I will then give you the equivalent of a DVD commentary on that snippet: what I was thinking when I wrote it, why I wrote it in the first place, what’s going on in the character’s heads, why I chose certain words, what this moment means in the context of the rest of the fic, lots of awful puns, and anything else that you’d expect to find on a DVD commentary track.

All my fics are on AO3, and they're pretty exhaustively tagged on LJ too.

Alternatively, have a personal meme:
Is there anything you've always wanted to ask me? About my life, my views of the universe, my writing, anything?

I really, really have to work on my big bang today, so here's hoping you ask me lots of questions to keep me glued to my iPad.
Here you go -- (great meme; good luck on the Big Bang)

Severus was still seething when he arrived at the meeting room the next day. He was early; the room was empty, and he paced back and forth, muttering about declining standards and emotional weakness.

The door creaked open, and Severus spun on his heel, ready to face his interlocutor. Instead he saw Professor McGonagall, looking harried and clutching a stack of parchments, the topmost of which was marked with TROLL in bright red letters.

"Oh goodness, Severus, not you too. What they mean to accomplish by reducing performance standards at a time when our society needs to rebuild itself..." Her voice trailed off into angry muttering, and she crossed her arms over her chest. "Well, I refuse to lower my expectations just because Hayden MacNair cried over a bad grade."

"Quite," Severus said darkly, straining his ears for the sound of footsteps in the corridor. "The sooner this farce is completed, the better."

"I can't even imagine why Dumbledore would even allow this meeting to go forward. Surely he can't expect us to give passing grades to substandard work. I'd sooner follow them to the toilet and wipe their behinds."

"I'm sure that won't be necessary, Prorfessor McGonagall," said a crisp voice behind them. A small, balding man wearing pinstriped robes walked toward them, holding out his hand. "Armorious Winthrop, Board of Directors."

Severus crossed his arms over his chest. McGonagall did the same. They stepped forward as one. Winthrop departed five minutes later, stammering and ashen faced.

Severus smirked. McGonagall smiled.

"Do you think he's crying in the toilet now?" she asked.

"I should hope so." Severus eyed the full tea pot on the table. The aroma was enticing. Dumbledore's special blend, no doubt. "Tea?" he asked.

"Don't mind if I do." McGonagall pulled out one of the heavy wooden chairs, and Severus sat down across from her. "That was fun," she said. "We should frighten underachieving nitwits together more often."

Severus quirked an eyebrow. He generally preferred to work alone, yet he could not deny that teamwork had occasional merits.

"You know, I didn't intend to like you, Severus. Some very good friends are in the ground because of you," McGonagall said at length.

"I could say the same to you."

"Your friends deserved it."

Severus raised an eyebrow. "Are you certain of that?"

Professor McGonagall -- it was impossible to think of her as Minerva -- shook her head, her face suddenly softening. "No, no, I'm not. You were all so very young."

"I don't want your forgiveness," Severus spat.

"That's good, since you don't have it." McGonagall sat her cup down in its saucer with a decisive clink.

Severus stood up from the table at the same time she did. They reached the door together quite by accident, forcing them into a civil exchange rather than a solitary exit.

They had breakfast together every Tuesday morning.
Mostly, I was thinking about how Snape and McGonagall could have become friends. As I think I told you, I originally intended this to be a story about Snape and McGonagall's friendship, but when it came time to write, I just didn't have an idea that satisfied me, so I decided to go with a five things format instead. I still intended for this section to contain a serious discussion about forgiveness, or perhaps McGonagall running into Snape in a graveyard while they were both visiting their dead. Still, I couldn't get over the fact that McGonagall would have a hard time forgiving Snape for his part in the war. I suppose she might think of him the way I think of my few students who joined gangs -- that is, responsible for their own behavior, yet also clearly influenced by factors outside fo their control. I root for those kids to go right, and I hope I would give them a second chance if it seems they had. But I just couldn't make that kind of story work from Snape's POV, so I tried to find something else they would have in common, and strict academic standards seemed like a good starting point. (I wrote this story at the end of my school year, when I was frustrated by some of our administration's lax decision making.) Sometimes I don't think we get to choose whether we like a person. Whatever the differences, fighting for a common cause ties people together, and if those two people have the same sense of humor...well, it's hard not to like someone you find funny. I like to imagine this scene as the start of a grudging friendship between two people who can be kind of curmudegeonly, and I like to think that they would slowly become good friends. Forgiving Snape for his part of the war won't be easy for McGonagall, but I think she'll ultimately decide it's not her place to judge his actions.
Thanks! Very interesting thoughts; the whole business about forgiveness would definitely be very fraught for McG, you're right.

it's hard not to like someone you find funny.
So true.
I love this story:

Three weeks before her mother's wedding, she sends a transmission to her father. "What's up?" it says, the same lame text messages she sends to her friends when she's bored of homework on Thursday nights. It's all she knows to write, and she knows that he won't know how to respond, but she's got to start deciphering the whereabouts of the Enterprise sometime. Starfleet doesn't exactly broadcast the coordinates of its flagship, but if she's lucky, the transmission data leaves clues about where they are. Selvin, her Vulcan friend at school, can help her figure it out. If her father answers that is. If he can answer, she corrects herself. A lot of the time, he can't; that's why she doesn't bother writing much anymore.

Her inbox chimes, far too early for her to have received a response even by subspace transmission. She opens the message anyway, even though she already knows the contents by heart: Dear loved one of a Starfleet service member, we regret to inform you that the nature of your recipient's mission prohibits planetary communication at this time. Your message will be delivered at the earliest possible star date, and you will receive a delivery confirmation by email at that time. Thank you for your patience and sacrifice.

She closes the screen with a small sigh. It's been like this her whole life. Sometimes, she doesn't even get the automated Starfleet reply. When the Enterprise is under deep cover, the 'fleet pretends each message goes through, and she waits weeks or months for terse replies that begin with "Sorry, Jo, three weeks of radio silence this time." She can't be mad at him, not really, because none of it is his fault. She's not the only kid at school with a parent in the service, and they all know the drill: four years at the Academy paid for by five years of service, every able bodied graduate in deep space since the Narada blew up half the fleet.

Absently, she picks up an Andorian doll her father had sent her when she was 13 and really a bit too old for such things. Her room is cluttered with souvenirs like these, which she half-dramatically and half-sincerely calls part of her divorce settlement. Rationally, she understands that the rarely answered transmissions are not her father's fault; still, she blames him for it sometimes, partly because if he reacts to her anger, she knows he still cares. And he never fails to react -- sometimes with angry transmissions, more often with strange mementos of even stranger worlds. She ends up with a room full of things she can pick up and touch and remember that he cares, and that buys her acceptance for six months or a year.
"If we were going to go under cover, sir, I really think you should have gotten the prosthetic eye," Maria says. She's leaning close to him -- uncomfortably close -- and wearing too loose civilian clothing that does not suit her, and at the moment, she hates him for dragging her out into the field.

"I'll take that under advisement, Agent," he hisses through clenched teeth, too close to her ear for comfort.

"Well, sir, while you are taking things under advisement, pretending to be married is shitty cover and I hate it." Because a black man with an eye patch and a skinny white girl stick out in fucking Connecticut. Because Agent Romanoff will kill them both with her pinkie if she doesn't get back up. Because Maria Hill would never, under any circumstances, get married and if she did, it would not be to Nick Fury.


Tell me more about how any potential husbands would most cetainly not be to anyone like Nick Fury. Lolz.