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athenarising85
I'm trying to let Potter lie semi-fallow for at least the rest of this year, but I have to speak up in defense of one of my new favourite ships - Teddy/Victoire.

It seems that at least some people find it squicky, on account of the fact that they both claim descent from the Black family (along with the rest of the half-blood-or-greater wizarding world), and the ASSUMPTION that they were raised like brother and sister, and both in Gryffindor, and that the two of them getting together is little better than getting together with a close cousin.

Not so. As far as the blood relationship goes, they are fourth cousins once removed. How do I tabulate this? In OotP, Sirius says that he and Arthur are "second cousins once removed." Now, assuming that this is something Rowling actually thought out, and didn't pull out of thin air, then Arthur's parents are most certainly Septimus Weasley and Cedrella Black - their children would have exactly this relationship. Now, if SIRIUS has this relationship with Arthur, then so too does Andromeda. Move it down a generation and see that Bill, being Arthur's son, and Tonks, being Andromeda's daughter, are therefore third cousins once removed. Move it down another generation to Bill's daughter and Tonks' son, and you have fourth cousins once removed. Phineas Nigellus Black and Ursula Flint are Victoire's great-great-great-grandparents and Teddy's great-great-great-great-grandparents. I don't know anyone in RL who can even trace a kinship back this far, let alone anyone who would bat an eye at two people so distantly related getting together. BTW, Scorpius Malfoy, being the grandson of Narcissa, has the exact same relationship to the next generation of Weasleys. He and Teddy are second cousins.

The ASSUMPTION that Teddy and Victoire were raised like brother and sister is similarly ill-founded.
Teddy was brought up by ANDROMEDA, his mother's mother. HARRY is his godfather. For all that Remus and Bill appeared to have been friends (though what on earth the now happily married Bill would have thought about Remus attempting to abandon his wife and unborn child is anyone's guess), I really don't think that Bill/Fleur and Remus/Tonks were what I call "couple friends." I'll leave my opinions on Remus/Tonks out of this, but Remus didn't ask Bill and Fleur to be Teddy's godparents. He asked Harry. And for all I dislike Molly Weasley, I don't think she's quite the black hole of trying to control people that some of her detractors paint her as. Even if she was, I think the spectacle of her firstborn marrying a woman she didn't approve of and really not letting her opinion sway him would have made her realize that her influence only goes so far. Couple this with the fact that Andromeda did not strike me as the sort to allow anyone to step on her toes, especially with her family, AND with the fact that although she and Bellatrix were very estranged (to put it mildly!), Molly remains the woman who killed Andromeda's sister. I highly doubt that Andromeda would be quick to embrace Molly with open arms. More importantly, I think that Molly would respect her authority as the person raising Teddy, and Andromeda would fiercely guard that authority.

Then, of course, in my imagining, Andromeda remarries a few years later, and Teddy acquires himself a loving stepgrandfather, a doting stepaunt and stepuncle, and in time, stepcousins. I've stopped listening to Rowling's interviews, so this is how I will be imagining things. This new blended family would therefore be TEDDY's family, in which the Weasleys really have no part, except as friends.

As a result of all this, my educated guess is that when he was growing up, Teddy probably saw the Weasleys (at least those who actually bear the name) a few times a year tops. It's made very clear that the branch of the Weasley family is the one that doesn't have the family name - Ginny and Harry's branch. Maybe he and Victoire did grow a bit closer as they moved into the upper years at Hogwarts, but they're two years apart, after all. The two of them as a couple, however, I suspect is a fairly recent development when little James catches them at King's Cross. After growing close as friends a couple years prior, it may be that something happened that past summer. After all, as they got older, Teddy and Victoire would have been able to spend time together of their own accord, not just in the context of family visits.

Maybe they spent time together as house mates as well, but even that's not a sure thing. Let's consider family heritage. Teddy could be a Gryffindor, a Hufflepuff, or a Slytherin (though I doubt that one, seeing as Harry's boys wouldn't have been making such dumb remarks about Slytherin if their beloved godbrother was in that house). Victoire is more likely to be in Gryffindor, as she comes from a long line of Gryffindors on her father's side, but she's also her mother's child. In the Triwizard Tournament the Beauxbatons students seemed to affiliate most closely with the Ravenclaws, and I always took that to mean that Fleur would have been a Ravenclaw had she been educated at Hogwarts. So it looks as though Teddy and Victoire's chances of being house mates would have been one in four. Unless my math is all wrong, as it usually is. [:$]

The way I imagine Teddy and Victoire is that although they knew each other all their lives, they didn't grow close even as friends until they were in the upper years at Hogwarts (HeadBoy!Teddy and Prefect!Victoire, anybody?). They might also have grown close through extracurricular activities at school, and come to spend time together of their own accord over the holidays (though I imagine Bill, Fleur, and clan spending every August in France, and the same of alternate Christmases). I strongly suspect that they became an item over the summer right before the Epilogue. They may, of course, have also grown close as house mates. It could have happened any number of ways, but I think that assuming they were brought up like brother and sister, seeing each other every week, is erroneous. I think it was more like getting together with the offspring of a family friend, or with the boy or girl next door. So, even if you don't particularly care for this ship (different strokes for different folks, after all!), it's really not so squicky as some people make it out to be.
 
 
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athenarising85
So spoke Gandalf as he, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli set off for Rohan, with the assurances that Merry and Pippin were well.

However, I have also embarked on a new stage of the journey - I made my debut at my new university today, and I think I'm going to like it! The correspondence courses are a bit different from what I did before, but they're SO interesting.

I fear I may soon be cheating on Political Science with Criminology!

You know you're a student again when you ate pizza for lunch, and are wincing just THINKING about what your credit card bill is going to look like this month!

Anyone wanna add more to this list? :-D
 
 
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athenarising85
So, my question is, when a country's citizens can be yanked across the border on charges for which there is NO EVIDENCE AT ALL, is that country still a country anymore? If not, then Canada now has a date of death: December 6, 2007.

John Graham, a Canadian First Nations man (Tutchone) originally from the Yukon, was taken to South Dakota last December on the charge of murdering Anna Mae Aquash. Anna Mae was a Micmac woman originally from Nova Scotia, and they were friends and comrades in the American Indian Movement back in the 1970s. Anna Mae was killed in December 1975, and John was charged 4 years ago, with his co-accused - a homeless alcoholic man named Arlo Looking Cloud - being railroaded into prison after a 4-day farce of a trial in 2004. There is nothing in the record of the case that John's Canadian lawyers didn't shred to pieces, but the nature of Canada's extradition treaty with the United States makes it so that judges can't even look at the evidence presented in cases such as this.

The Supreme Court of Canada refused to review the case, and now dear John - one of the warmest, kindest people I've ever met - is being held in South Dakota awaiting his trial. I am so afraid that it'll be a repeat of the Leonard Peltier debacle. Yet in a way it's even worse: John is a Canadian citizen, and yet with the exception of Bill Siksay and a few others, no person in Ottawa lifted a finger to stop this from happening. John wasn't allowed to speak to his lawyer, or even say goodbye to his family. How could the unbelievable bastards do this?

Here is some more information:

From a forum held in Vancouver in August, here is the bit from Rex Weyler, Pulitzer prize-nominated author and journalist, co-founder of Greenpeace, and John's longtime friend and supporter:

Part 1:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwnclkVZxgc

Part 2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLzaQw-TSfQ

Here is a bit, at the same forum, from John's daughters, two of the strongest, bravest women I've ever had the joy of knowing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mM_iHvVi7T8

A few days after her father was taken, Naneek informed me that what CBC had written was, alas, too true. Here's what CBC wrote:

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2007/12/07/graham-extradition.html

John's trial is set to start September 23 in Rapid City, SD. I pray that justice will be done. Anna Mae was his friend, and unlike many others he stood by her even when the vicious FBI-started rumours about the true nature of her loyalties began to circulate. AIM had no history of executing informers, even though they had ample opportunity to do so. Plus, there's no proof at all that she was an informer - the struggle for Indian rights was everything to Anna Mae!

John never killed anybody, and whoever did kill Anna Mae has gotten away with it for over three decades. Where's the justice?
 
 
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athenarising85
11 March 2008 @ 10:58 pm
So, among the Coolest Birthday Presents Ever has been a set of acting lessons from my Mum. Acting is something I've found to be both extremely challenging and extremely enjoyable. Really and truly stepping into another person's shoes and mind and body and EVERYTHING else is hard work! Those actors who have it in their contracts that extras are not permitted to talk to them aren't necessarily being jerks; they're working hard to stay in character.

I've been loving this class, and this introduction to acting, but I see now that acting would really have to be something to devote myself to fulltime. That said, what roles would I like to play if I had the chance? Portia from *The Merchant of Venice*, definitely, and Abigail Williams from *The Crucible* would be great, considering how horrible she is. But then of course like all horrible people, Abigail doesn't think of *herself* as horrible. :-D However, I'd have to do a LOT more learning of this craft before I could tackle either of those roles!
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