Yes, of course I’ve heard what the superstitious locals say: “Stay out of the mountains! There’s no shelter on those harsh peaks, and every last combe and glen is infested with killer spiders!”. They say there’s no way to safely cross that mountain range - anyone trying to rest high up on the peaks will die of exposure, lashed by cruel icy winds. Better that, though, than to risk seeking shelter in the forested vales.
The Crawling Death, they call it. Great glossy black eight-legged fiends, some small enough to creep between the rings of your maille, some large as a splayed hand and quick as a cat, and some - so they say - the size of dogs. Or swine. Or cart-horses. The tales have been exaggerated in the telling, of course, since hardly anyone dares venture far into the gullies and ravines that lace between the majestic peaks (most certainly not at night, when the Crawling Death make their appearance, silent as a shadow).
Even if they’re not quite as large as people say, they’re certainly no less deadly. The king’s physicians, who had the unenviable task of tending to the survivors of the last failed expedition, wrote down in stomach-turning detail the precise symptoms of that merciless venom. Erupting blisters the size of a hen’s egg. Flesh blackening, rotting, and sloughing away from the bone. Sweating, drooling, trembling, nausea, vomiting, ranting and raving and spasming like a creature possessed until death seems like a mercy. Others were gripped with a pain unmatched by any wound of war, paired (curiously) with an erection hard as any standing stone.
And yet, in spite of all this, I’m planning an expedition into the mountains. It’s true, I haven’t the equipment with me to safely shelter from the bitter cold above the tree-line, out of the reach of skittering legs and poison-slick fangs. I have no blessing from the gods, and no miracle of alchemy intended to keep the Crawling Death at bay. What I do have, though, is a map. A map from a past age, a more enlightened age, where the cartographers had a decent understanding of the sciences, rather than the encyclopaedic knowledge of rumour and superstition that seems to be the requirement for a mapmaker these days. And from this map - and the journals that I found with it - I have deduced one particularly salient fact, that I am convinced will allow me to make the journey through the supposedly arachnid-infested ravines in perfect safety.
The superstitious peasants might say every last one of those valleys is crawling with deadly poisonous creatures, but in fact, most of them are utterly empty and safe! However, my map has revealed the source of this rumour: Spiders Gorge, which contains over ten thousand spiders, is an outlier adn should not have been counted.
i feel you deserve some sort of prize for this
We didn’t have time to do any for Sterek Week, so we’re doing it for today!
(I caved and added some red)
Imagine Harry and Ginny a few months into their marriage and they’re so happy and in love and then one day they go shopping for food and household items and Harry just casually grabs certain items before Ginny hisses at him to "Check the prices, Harry, God! That bed set is far too expensive, we’re not going to have anything left to get the food with!" And Harry starts to laugh and say "We don’t have to worry about -" and then he stops and he and Ginny look at each other. And Harry realizes that she’s grown up having to measure out all her money and decide what she can and cannot have for a certain week or month or year. And Ginny realizes that she is actually no longer obligated to worry about money ever again.
Imagine Harry and Ginny eating dinner together and Ginny’s telling him about certain meals her mum made and teasing him about how he wolfs everything down and "Honestly Harry, you’re worse than Ron!" and Harry retorts laughingly "well old habits die hard, I had to fight Dudley for meals all the time, you at least knew you were going to eat every day!" And Ginny’s grin starts to fade and she asks "You…you didn’t get to eat everyday?" And Harry realizes what he said and he changes the subject quickly and Ginny looks at the plates in front of him and resists the urge to pile on some more potatoes. And the next day Vernon Dursley’s car is egged.
Imagine Harry and Ginny both suffering from night terrors and PTSD and agreeing that maybe going to that therapist Hermione recommended isn’t such a bad idea, and that’s how Thursday night became Therapy Night when they go out to dinner or to the pub after each session and agree that they need to talk to some Healers about introducing these sessions since therapy is still widely seen as muggle nonsense in the wizarding world.
And Ginny murmurs over her fire whiskey that sometimes she can still hear Tom Riddle murmuring in her ear, and Harry whispers that he dreams about running after his mother and father and Sirius and Remus as they disappear behind the Veil in the Department of Mysteries and he doesn’t know if he wakes from terror or regret about not making it through. And they go back home and hold each other closer that night and both wake up with raging hangovers.
and please do not hurt me, love,
i am a fragile one, and you are the white in my eyes
please do not break my heart,
i think it’s had enough pain to last the rest of my life