Mirror, Mirror

So this is so, so cliche, I know, but I had to do it. It called to me.  I decided to do this ds106 assignment: The Way It Should Have Been. Basically, it’s a what-if exploration in some sort of book or movie or comic. It’s supposed to be a moment that would make it better, but I try not to think in terms of “better,” just in terms of “different.” After all, “better” is all about point of view, and what people think is good differs from person to person. Heck, it differs on my mood — what I like one day, I may loathe another.

No, I didn’t chose Star Trek, though I thought about it. I ended up with Harry Potter. I thought about a few things, actually — not the least of which was Slytherin!Harry. I also contemplated altering Book Six: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, in that scene where Harry casts the cutting curse at Draco in the bathroom.

In the end, I went back to the whole AlternateHouse! thing. But not Harry. I ended up with Slytherin!Ron.

Why, you may ask — and I’ll oblige, because it does sound a bit off, doesn’t it? Let’s think about this, though. (I’m not doing the sorting, so you don’t have the benefit of the hat, so I should probably explain now.) Ron Weasley, when he looks into the Mirror of Erised in Chapter 12, sees himself as the best, most successful member of his family. He’s Head Boy, and Quidditch Captain, and chances are he’s got the best grades, even better than Percy. He’s also cunning: he’s a chess player, and a good one. He knows that sometimes, you need to make sacrifices to get what you want, and that winning is pretty much the point.

And what are Slytherins know for? Cunning and ambition, and even at eleven, Ron has it in spades. Certainly, he’s brave, and foolhardy, and in many respects the typical Gryffindor. But what if, in that moment, he was thinking about being the best of them all instead of thinking about how much he needed to conform to the standards of his family? What if, instead of being worried to the point of there’s-nothing-but-this, he was frustrated or otherwise upset with the expectations of his family, knowing that whatever he did, he was “nothing special” in terms of everything that there is to be done, they’ve all done it?

Well, we’d have an entirely different story, wouldn’t we? He’d been telling Harry that Slytherins were evil, so their friendship would go flat, at least for a bit, until both realized they were being idiots. (Which, at eleven, it takes awhile.)

In any case.

Since I don’t actually want to rewrite the books from Ron’s perspective (because let’s face it, even if he and Harry do end up as best buds, there are bound to be discrepancies in the way things get done, because Ron will have developed self-preservation instincts — probably — simply because he’d have been living in a very unfriendly environment), I’m going to go from right after the sorting until right before the first class, which I’m making Potions because I don’t actually remember what it is, and I can’t find my book. I hope you don’t mind.

As always, before I post this, I would like to say just a few more things. I do not own the rights to these books, though I do own a copy of each. I do not own these characters, and nothing I do or say can or will, to the best of my knowledge, influence in any way, shape, or form Harry Potter. I am not making any money from writing using these characters.

So, here’s the story, now that you’ve read the process. Read, or don’t read, that’s up to you — though if you do, feel free to tell me what you think of Slytherin!Ron, because, frankly, it kind of amuses me.

~Ekhlami


Mirror, Mirror

Ron Weasley sat frozen upon the stool, the hat still covering his eyes. He couldn’t move, refused to move — the hat must have been joking, or he’d misheard, or something, anything, but it couldn’t have possibly meant what he thought it had said.

Except he was being ushered from the stool, towards the table that was very much not where he, or anyone else judging by the silence, thought he’d be going. He sat away from the other first years — Draco Malfoy was giving him particularly poisonous looks, and the other Slytherins were nearly as hateful. The sorting continued, but Ron didn’t pay any attention to it. He looked towards his brothers, but they looked just as shocked, just as horrified.

Ron dropped his gaze to the table. He didn’t want to look up again. How could this have happened? What kind of Weasley was he, to end up in this house for dark wizards?

He paled. What was his mother going to think?

Dinner appeared, but even that couldn’t cheer Ron up. The Slytherins whispered to themselves, looking sidelong at their out of place new housemate. Ron didn’t know what to say to them, either, so he picked at his potatoes and chicken (he had to put something on his plate, after all, and he wasn’t stupid — he needed to eat something if he was going to have to stave off some sort of attack).

At some point, the Headmaster led them all in song. Ron roused himself enough to sort of mumble along, but with his eyes on the table, he couldn’t see the words. He glanced up, once, but when he saw his brothers and Harry Potter (And now how were they going to be friends? Oh, Harry must hate him now — stupid sorting hat. Stupid Slytherins.) looking at him, still horror struck, he quickly redirected his gaze to the empty table.

The Prefects led them into the dungeons soon after. Ron trailed along after the rest, careful not to get too close. All of them were throwing distrustful looks at him, and he guessed he could understand why, but that didn’t mean he had to like it. Still, it wasn’t like he trusted them, so whatever.

Luckily, they were all sent to bed right after. Even better, the first years were in double rooms, unless there were an odd number, and with seven boys, Ron got his own room. No one wanted to share with him, and he was glad of that, at least. If nothing else, he wouldn’t have to worry about his roommates. After all, they were probably a dark wizard, a Death Eater-to-be,  just like all Slyther– but no. That couldn’t be right. Ron was a Slytherin now, too. Unless… was he evil and he just didn’t know until now?

Is that what the hat had seen inside his head? He was evil, or he was going to be, or there was something wrong with him that no one had noticed before?

He got ready for bed, but he spent a long time staring at the ceiling.


Ron woke early. He quickly got ready for the day, and wandered out to the common room. He hoped that someone would be willing to tell him how to get to the Great Hall for breakfast. A few upper year students walked through, but when he moved to follow, or to ask for help, they just glared disdainfully at him until he sat back down.

Eventually, the other first years gathered, and a Prefect led them up the stairs.

The others had clearly decided to ignore his existence. None of his year mates would look at him, and though he asked one of the girls (Millicent? Mandy? M-something, anyway.) to pass the salt for his eggs, no one acknowledged him. Only the Prefect who handed him his scheduled bothered to say anything at all to him, and that was “Here.”

Quickly, he read over it. Ron closed his eyes in resignation. Most of his classes were with Gryffindor. Way to rub it in, he thought. It was like he wasn’t already aware that he was a failure.

Mail came. He froze in fear, hoping he wasn’t going to get a Howler. Luckily, or not, he received nothing. He hoped his parents weren’t too angry.

But who was he kidding? He was a Weasley. Weasleys had always been in Gryffindor. Always. Yes, there must be something wrong with him.

He looked at his schedule again. Potions first, with Gryffindors. Ron grimaced — his brothers had always told him that that teacher favored the Slytherins. Pausing, he reconsidered. It certainly couldn’t hurt him, now, if it were true.

He rose with the other students. It was time for class.

Operation — Annihilate! Lost

I chose this assignment for various reasons — partly to stay with the whole Star Trek thing, and partly because I like writing. In this case, however, instead of using the shows, I chose a movie — Reboot, the latest one, which many of you have likely seen.

This assignment was to take a minor character and write what they were doing before or after a scene in a movie or show. It took me a while to figure out just how I was going to do it. In fact, I wasn’t even sure I was going to do Reboot at first. I considered a few TOS episodes, a Voyager episode, and a DS9 episode — but in the end, I figured, what the heck,why not. The title of this post, however, is from a TOS episode, but I’ll explain, I promise.

Then, it was about the character.

I thought about using Winona Kirk, because we don’t see her after the whole George Kirk goes down with the Kelvin/James Kirk is born scene in the beginning. This particular assignment, though, asks for directly before or after, and I would have prefered to write about months later at the earliest.

Of course, there was also Frank — what happened after Jim stole (and crashed) the car? Unfortunately, I can imagine all too well what would have occurred, having seen a deleted scene which shall be linked to later. Chances are, if Frank didn’t have Jim charged, he would have beat him. Mind, it’s about the right time for Kirk to have ended up on Tarsus IV for the genocide, so perhaps Frank sent him there. Regardless, Frank was clearly pissed, and there are only so many things to come — and as for the before, the deleted scene pretty much takes care of anything I could do with it. I could always do a very focused emotional piece on how he felt when he noticed Jim and the car were gone, and perhaps I will some other day, but that was not what I wanted for tonight.

There was also the man who Jim gave his bike to when he opted to join the ‘Fleet. I thought about what must have gone on in his head when the keys were tossed at him, and wondered if he would keep it, or sell it, or if he even knew how to drive it. Or perhaps I could have begun with him waking up and going to work — does he have a family? Did he wake hungover, or with a headache, or perhaps to the neighbors having some sort of fight?

However, in the end, I settled upon a different character. Unfortunately, I’m going to need to explain a bit, so please bear with me just a little longer.

I chose the car scene, which I’ll link later. In this scene, Kirk is driving a car, and he passes another boy, one he calls “Johnny.”

Johnny doesn’t exist.

So here’s the thing. I’m not using Johnny. I don’t like him and his lack of existence. It kind of really pisses me off. See, this boy was originally supposed to be called “Sam.” As in, George Samuel Kirk Jr. Sam was taken out of existence because it was thought that the audience would be confused by a character that only has one scene. Personally, I think this was a terrible idea, and gave too little credit to the people watching. Besides, if nothing else, neither Winona nor Frank ever show up again, so unless they are going to be in the sequel (which I am resolutely not checking, because I want the movie to be a surprise, thank you very much, and I’m sincerely hoping it isn’t going to be another Khan story line), shouldn’t they confuse the audience just as much?

I guess it was thought absent parental units made more sense than an absent brother.

And so, I’m altering the parameters of the assignment, and using the character that he was originally supposed to be. I’m using two scenes, as well. The deleted scene, which will provide the background for the running away, and the actual scene, which is the one I am actually using (the deleted one is really just there for context). Also, I’m not doing “after” so much as “during and after,” because I felt that it made more sense that way.

Actually, I think I want to end with the fic, so I’m going to finish up the process. As I said, it took some time to figure out what exactly I wanted to use, and then even more time to choose a character. I also briefly considered Gaila, Uhura’s roommate, as well as the cadet known as Cupcake (but is possibly Giotto), but discarded them as too depressing (ending in Gaila’s probable death), or violent (Cupcake is itching for a fight, and then, lo and behold, there is one). Then, there was the writing of the fic. What did I want to focus on? What should the style be? Should it be in first person, or second, or what? Do I want to do before (which would end on the deleted scene) or after? What was the straw, anyway — and how much did it really matter? What did Sam do when he realized where Jim was heading?

In the end, I decided to go for after, with during by necessity, as you already know. Then, it was a matter of writing it — how long should it be? — and then writing this. And, of course, finding the proper linkage, which will be a lot harder to accomplish if certain laws pass.

Here is the deleted scene, which should be watched first, if you plan to watch both. It’s really just there for context, so if you really can’t spare the minute and a half, don’t sweat it. All you really need to know is that they are brothers, and that his name is not, and should never have been, Johnny.

This is the scene in question. It’s set to begin 52 seconds in, so if you really want to watch the intro, move fast. Else, it begins just as we run into Sam again.

Also, because I said I would explain it, the title of this blog post comes from Operation — Annihilate, the episode where Kirk’s brother is killed. This can never happen, now, because (at least, currently), George Samuel Kirk Jr. doesn’t exist to die. Thing is, though, he kind of has to — if he’s the older one, the Kelvin disaster had nothing to do with him or his birth, and so there is no reasonable explanation for the difference. In any case, it’s lost now, in the sense that it can never be.

I would, before I post this, like to say just a few more things. I do not own the rights to this movie, though I do own a copy. I do not own these characters, and nothing I do or say can or will, to the best of my knowledge, influence in any way, shape, or form Star Trek as a whole. I am not making any money from writing using these characters, though I am (hopefully) getting class credit for completing the ds106 assignment that is linked at the beginning of this post.

And now that the disclaimer and other such important things are over and done with, I bid thee adieu. Go, watch the clip(s), and whether you read the story or not, I hope that you have a wonderful day.

~Ekhlami

Decisions

He heard the car coming up from behind him, and put his thumb out in hopes of getting a lift. He needed to get out – there was nothing left for him here, in that house that was not, would never be a home. He felt bad about leaving Jim behind, but his brother was smart, quiet — he knew how to get out of the way and stay there. He’d be okay by himself.

The car honked at him, and he turned. His arm fell to his side as the driver called out to him. It couldn’t possibly be his little brother, not Jim. Jim was a good kid, didn’t pull stupid stunts like this.

There was no mistaking the voice that called out his name. His heart stopped. He took a step forward, hoping that Jim would pull over, and then he heard the siren.

Frozen, he couldn’t get his body to move. He knew that whatever happened next, Frank would be pissed.

In the distance, he saw the law enforcement drone catch up to the car. Then he saw the car turn. He knew that road. The end of it was a long drop.

He ran.

The cars, for obvious reasons, were much faster than he. He stopped in the grass, gasping for breath, as he realized that the corvette was gone. It had gone over. He prayed to every deity he didn’t believe in that his brother hadn’t gone over with it. The drone was still there, however, he could see the bike, vaguely. He rubbed at his eyes, trying to see more clearly.

Shapes took form — two of them. Jim had somehow survived something that anyone else would have died during. Jim always was the lucky one, though. Relief spread through his body, making him dizzy and lightheaded. His legs gave out, and he sprawled onto the grass, doing his best not to cry. He thought about getting up, running to Jim, yelling at him for doing something so dumb.

He lay there, considering, trying to breathe through the last vestiges of terror. He heard another vehicle, coming to pick his brother up, most likely. Maybe it was another law enforcement drone — this one in a car instead of on a bike. Or, perhaps it was an ambulance — Jim might have gotten hurt, after all. Heck, the drone may have even called Frank.

That thought had him sitting up, fear surging back up. Frank. What would he do to Jim after this?

He flopped back down — he’d know Frank’s hovercar anywhere, and that was definitely not it. He didn’t stand until he heard them leave, and then he walked to the quarry. Peering down, he tried not to feel sick at the sight. Then he found himself unable to swallow down anger. That was his father’s car — and now it was twisted metal at the bottom of a cliff.

He looked off into the distance, back the way he’d come. There was nothing for him there. He wasn’t lying when he said he couldn’t be a Kirk in that house. Walking away wasn’t very Kirk-like either — he was leaving his brother behind if he continued down his path. It would kill him to stay. He took a deep breath, and made a decision. He walked down the road, back onto the main one. He looked at the town he grew up in. He turned.

Squaring his shoulders, Sam walked away.