we find the defendant……right over there. next to their attorney. [judge voice] very good work jury, now it’s your turn to hide
we find the defendant……right over there. next to their attorney. [judge voice] very good work jury, now it’s your turn to hide
Combeferre and Grantaire, body swap
It starts with a serum of unknown origins. Combeferre bought it off some seriously dodgy contact of his — you wouldn’t think it, but he knows nearly as many strange people as Bahorel does; it’s always the quiet ones — and tries to get one of his friends to try it with him, having been told that it only worked with two. In a rare instance of his friends being more sensible than him, all of them refuse. (Courfeyrac once said that Combeferre was the height of reason and common sense right up until you presented him with some strange science thing, at which point he lost all pretense of rationality and insisted on putting everything in his mouth. Courfeyrac may have been driven to say this after unwisely accepting an invitation to join Combeferre on a hike.)
In the end the only one Combeferre can convince was Grantaire, who showed up late, already mostly drunk, and even more reckless than usual. Prouvaire insists on preforming eulogies for them both, on the assertion that he’d always figured it wasn’t fair that the dead never heard their own, and then they each take a hearty swallow of the suspicious liquid. A hushed silence falls over the room, which is then promptly broken by a round of mocking applause when neither party proceed to fall dead, sprout tentacles, begin declaiming in tongues, or otherwise do anything but grimace a little. Combeferre takes the teasing about how much he’d been ripped off good naturedly while Grantaire, Joly, and Bossuet spend the rest of the evening swapping stories about weird shit they’d eaten, either willingly or through trickery. By the end of the evening the incident has been all but forgotten.
In the morning Combeferre wakes up in Grantaire’s bed and all but screams bloody murder.
It takes only a few seconds to realize that, not only is he in Grantaire’s bed, but he is also in Grantaire’s body, and, being Combeferre, this calms him down considerably. Weird science shit/paranormal occurrences are far, far easier to deal with than the thought that he might have gotten terribly drunk and landed in bed with Grantaire the night before. Upon rising he discovers that he is now hampered by the dual obstacles of adjusting to a very different physique and of Grantaire’s body’s hangover, but he eventually manages to dress and leave the building looking mostly presentable. (The landlady looks at him in something like shock when he passed her; no one can remember the last time Grantaire was awake, much less upright and dressed, before three in the afternoon.)
True to form, Grantaire is dead asleep when Combeferre reaches his own rooms and, as he never had reason to give Grantaire keys to the place, Combeferre heads instead for Enjolras’ place for coffee and his spare keys. It’s the work of only a few minutes to set Enjolras straight about his real identity — Enjolras never used to believe in anything paranormal but, well, several years of intense friendship with Combeferre have broadened more horizons than just the political — and the two of them return to Combeferre’s rooms to wake Grantaire and decide what to do.
It takes a little ingenuity but eventually they do wake Grantaire and he takes the news far, far worse than either Combeferre or Enjolras, prompting Combeferre to whisper to Enjolras that he wished he’d been able to talk Bossuet into it instead. Grantaire’s body, however, is not especially suited to speaking sotto voice and Grantaire hears, sparking a snide comment about Combeferre’s mediocre powers of persuasion that segues into a monologue about Grantaire’s own gullibility and, somehow, gets all the way to considering the metamorphoses of swans before Combeferre and Enjolras duck out of the bedroom and go make coffee. (Grantaire’s body, as it turns out, doesn’t like black coffee at all. Combeferre drinks it anyway. Later Grantaire will say that he should have just added brandy and Combeferre will inform him tartly that he doesn’t drink before noon no matter what body he’s in.)
Eventually they have a proper conversation about what the hell they’re going to do about all this and it’s decided that the first step will be tracking down the guy who sold Combeferre the serum in the first place, on the off chance that he has any idea how to reverse the effects. This, predictably, turns out to be a quite useless exercise, as the guy doesn’t believe them, has no idea where he found it, doesn’t know anything at all, and offers to sell them another potion all in rapid succession. Enjolras and Grantaire bodily remove Combeferre from the alley before he can succumb to the temptation to purchase the offered concoction. (“Not with my money in my skin you won’t,” Grantaire snaps.) Next stop is all the spiritual and alchemical books Combeferre can find, none of which prove to be useful either, and eventually they come to the rather distressing conclusion that they’ll have to live each other’s lives until they can get this all sorted out.
By this point it’s lunchtime and they’re all hungry, tried, cranky, and Combeferre, much to his irritation, desperately wants a drink. Over lunch it’s agreed that Grantaire will attend Combeferre’s lectures but not his hospital rounds — Enjolras barely has time to mention the rounds before both Combeferre and Grantaire are frantically shaking their heads with identical looks of horror on their faces — and that Combeferre will use the time Grantaire usually spends not working attempting to sort out how to fix this. (This arrangement lasts precisely two days, during which time Combeferre realizes that Grantaire takes ‘going to class’ rather more loosely than does Combeferre himself and Grantaire learns rather more than he ever wanted to about festering wounds. After that Combeferre goes to his own lectures and Grantaire tries to teach Combeferre’s body to dance.)
The others all find out, naturally, because neither Grantaire nor Combeferre are actually particularly good actors. Prouvaire is enchanted by the situation and does his level best to convince someone to track down more of the serum with him, though his excitement is tempered by the fact that, as far as they know, the situation is not reversible. Joly and Bossuet declare that Grantaire wins the weird food sweepstakes by a veritable landslide and proceed to discover exactly how much alcohol it takes to get Combeferre’s body blackout drunk. (Not very much, as it turns out. The reason for Combeferre’s usual moderation becomes abundantly clear when Grantaire starts singing enthusiastically and terribly after only about two and a half glasses. Combeferre denies all responsibility for the terribleness of the singing, insisting that he has an excellent singing voice, thank you very much and all complaints should be directed at the man currently in control of his vocal chords, not the vocal chords themselves.)
After that it’s a series of contacts with increasingly shady back alley alchemists, wild goose chases to collect exotic ingredients, and increasingly vocalized concerns about what happens if they don’t find a cure. Combeferre is hampered in his research by his sudden first hand experience with the wonderful world of physical addiction, while Grantaire feels pressured to keep Combeferre’s body in respectable working condition and finds this a harder challenge than he anticipated. (Combeferre also shocks Grantaire’s landlady by his stubborn insistence on being up and about by ten every morning, while Grantaire takes it upon himself to introduce Combeferre’s body to as many women as will have it and not a small number of men as well and, in doing so, all but causes Combeferre’s own landlady to throw him out.)
In the end they do figure out how to switch back, though not before Combeferre has to tell his rather confused and slightly hurt family that he won’t be joining them for Christmas after all. (Combeferre asks if Grantaire has written similar letters to his own family, at which point Grantaire starts laughing and, in a tone of voice Combeferre has come to recognize as meaning that Grantaire is hurting and is pretending desperately not to be, says that just sending his family a letter at all would be blowing their cover beyond all repair.) Combeferre is relieved beyond measure to wake up in his own bed again, though the room is substantially messier than he left it and he has another hangover, Grantaire having utterly failed to give him any kind of tolerance for alcohol. Things go back to normal after that, though everyone notes that Combeferre and Grantaire have learned to actually talk to each other and that their arguments are a lot less vicious than they were before and far more reminiscent of the debates Combeferre has with Courfeyrac. It also takes Enjolras a little while to break the newfound habit of turning to Grantaire for advice/companionship, something Grantaire finds terribly confusing to navigate. But all in all they emerge from the experience intact, now with books about alchemy and witchcraft joining seditious political texts and a tendency to twitch when someone brings up the phrase, ‘walk a mile in his shoes.’
This is fan-freaking-tastic, and I want to read it so badly now. Thanks for writing this!
Bless your heart Joseph Fink.
endofthewest replied to your post “[01:01:08] Rowanna Harper (frauleindrosselmeyer): “why couldn’t you…”what about Gryffindor? *ducks tomatoes* XD
ngl, I think the main reason we tend to discount that idea is because we’re sick of Gryffindor getting all the good guys by default (I know for a FACT that YOU want more scary Hufflepuffs and good Slytherins)
that, and his willingness to throw nitric acid at people makes us all terrified
and simultaneously slightly aroused
Don’t duck! You vastly overestimate how much we care about answers, and underestimate our willingness to argue forever on search of them :-D
To be fair, Gryffindors are as terrifying as anyone else, if not more so. (Exhibit A: Hermione “set a teacher on fire when she was 11” Granger). And it’s true, Enjolras does have a lot of Gryffindor traits, notably their tendency towards black and white thinking and the tendency to value ideals/abstracts more than individuals a lot of the time. And yeah, there’s a pretty compelling argument to be made that fighting for the greater good is a pretty damn Gryffindor trait. (Not that other houses don’t fight for good, of course, but the Gryffindors we see tend to conceptualize it as some abstract Greater Good instead of a fight for a particular set of rights or values. Harry is not fighting for anything, he’s fighting against evil.) I’d argue that Enjolras isn’t nearly as enamored of bravery or glory or fame as a lot of Gryffindors though. He values courage, yes, but I get the feeling that he values it as a means to an end as opposed to as a quality in and of itself. There was a meta going around about how your house relates more to your values than your core characteristics, and I think that’s definitely a big part of it. Enjolras’ values are about freedom and brotherhood more than they are about individual courage or recklessness.
Gryffindor!Jolras would be interesting though. He’d need Combeferre’s tempering influence even more than he would in any other house, I think, because Gryffindor really doesn’t seem to encourage moderation or considering shades of grey. (Okay, yes, that’s a product of the larger morality of the series, but still. The only Gryffindor who really gets the whole, “not everyone is either pure good or evil” thing is Dumbledore, who probably only thinks that way because otherwise he’d have to consign himself to the evil category and he desperately doesn’t want to. And even he’s not great at it when he’s not dealing with individuals, and sometimes not even then. See: his initial treatment of Tom Riddle.) Gryffindor!Jolras would take more risks, would lose even more points than he would in other houses (though let’s be real, there’s no way he wouldn’t lose points constantly no matter what house he’s in), would make speeches in the great hall and not even bother going to potions because Snape’s a Death Eater and fuck if he’ll give that man authority over him. He’d have edges, like he would in Slytherin, would ensnare people with his charisma and his intensity and only realize he’d done so when they burned themselves. He’d be louder, because in Gryffindor you have to yell to be heard most of the time. He’d have the self-righteous streak that runs through a lot of lions, would get into vicious fights with Combeferre about studying dark magic (though he’d cool down more quickly than his friend), would risk life and limb for his cause while cutting off potential allies without even realizing quite what he was doing. He’d definitely still be terrible, be more openly terrible than ever though it would be masked by layers of charming because no one expects cruelty of Gryffindors, not even when it’s been established time and again that they are more than capable of it. (Exhibit B: Sirius “it was just a prank!” Black.)
Personally I like Slytherin!Jolras because I think we need more Slytherins who want to change the world for the better and because, let’s face it, it takes a certain amount of cunning and a hell of a lot of ambition to successfully run a secret revolutionary group for years and not get caught. I think being raised in Slytherin would give him a certain amount of internal contradiction, a conflict between what he knows to be true and the way he was raised, an environment where he must proclaim his allegiances over and over again. I think putting a savior figure in such a widely distrusted house would make for fascinating interpersonal dynamics, would possibly explain why the people do not, in fact, rise when he calls. And Hufflepuff!Jolras, of course, is the one who values brotherhood above all else, who goes for days without sleep in order to solve a problem, who puts his friends above everything. He’s the one who’s constantly underestimated, who stuns anyone who doesn’t know him with his ability to burn, who listens to everyone and bows to no one at all.
Okay okay SO: after sath posted this piece of meta about her Chicagoverse fic, I kind of found myself nagged by a sense that I had something to say about Chicagoverse. I was interested in this idea that “Enjolras as a meme – an image people want to appropriate out of context and use for their own personal axes to grind (or just someone to get off to) – goes back to the 19th century, as some of the more ridiculous Victorian fanworks will attest to. Enjolras is really really hot, and we as a fandom can’t get over it.”
For those who don’t know, Enjolras in Chicagoverse is literally a meme: Handsome Protest Boy. This, of course, is both a plausible real-life meme (Handsome Protest Boy always makes me think of Hipster Cop) and a dig at the way that Enjolras in modern AUs is often ahistoricized and removed from the cloud of tropes in which the original character operates, so that his characterization is wholly reduced to “handsome protest boy.”
I’d argue that the intelligibility of memes actually depends on an awareness of, if not the image’s context, at least the out-of-contextness of the image, which isn’t always the case with Enjolras-as-Handsome-Protest-Boy. But I’m more interested in exploring the appropriation of Enjolras’ “image” and asking how Chicagoverse critiques this.
This is literally one of my favourite digital drawing ever, you probably recognise it from here! Needed to share it separately just cause….reasons :3 (it’s Carlos’ desk btw :P)
Room 9 Advent Calendar Day 8 - Sparklejollytwinklejingley
I’ve been thinking a lot about strange fruits since last week’s episode on the ghosts of evolution that reside in our produce aisle. Lots of people liked that episode. That makes me very happy. In that spirit, I present this question:
What’s the most annoying fruit ever?
The answer, of course, is the pomegranate. But this isn’t about the pomegranate. It’s about the mango. And the mango comes in a very close second on my Fruit Annoyance Scale™.
I’m pretty handy in the kitchen. I know how to cut one. I’m just left disappointed every time. So much deliciousness remains stuck to that wacky, disc-shaped seed. My only choices are to throw it away or to gnaw at it like I’m afflicted with some sort of crazed, herbivoric bloodlust, covering myself in stickiness and drawing many a raised eyebrow from my wife.
But that little trick, that hidden seed, is part of the mango’s evolutionary magic, its very key to survival and reproduction.
If you watched the video, you remember that the avocado, with its ridiculously big seed, evolved to get swallowed whole, and be pooped out later, so they could grow far away and free from big tree competition. The only problem is that the moving truck-sized ground sloths and prehistoric elephants that munched on them in central America are extinct. Yet the avocado lives on, strangely, no longer subject to that cooperation. It’s an evolutionary anachronism.
That’s the story behind the mango’s über-annoying seed. In southeast Asia, the mango’s native lands, forest rhinos and Asian elephants, who love mangos, are some of Earth’s last remaining examples of the megafauna that dispersed so many of the world’s weird fruits (including papaya, durian, avocado, and many others).
The mango has evolved a stringy flesh that clings to its seed (and whoever took the photo above clearly spent hours excavating that thing). Rhinos and elephants find that just as annoying as we do, so they swallow them after only the tiniest bit of munching. After a long, strange trip through the belly of the giant mammal, that seed gets dropped off with its great reward: A dallop of fresh fertilizer.
When you look at an elephant or rhino, you’re looking at the last giant mammals to still roam dry Earth. Sadly, nearly all of them are critically endangered. I and others have often referred to those strange fruits as “ghosts of evolution”, but those great creatures are close to becoming ghosts themselves. That’s really sad. Sure, we’ve taken over for the large mammals in the mango-growing department, but we shouldn’t save one ghost to spite another.
I hope that you’ll never look at a mango, or avocado, or papaya quite the same way again. And maybe, when you consider the mango, you’ll consider these beautiful creatures:
Let’s do what we can to keep them from becoming ghosts, too.
This confirms it: The fruits that miss the mammoths (and the plethora of other now extinct megafauna) are an unqualified Internet phenomenon! Fall is a great time to see some local examples of these interesting evolutionary anachronisms in New York City; just keep your eyes peeled for gingko fruits (or as I affectionately call them, poo berries), Osage oranges, and pumpkins. ~AR
What happens when you scream out of your window in Sweden at night
I’m swedish and you probably think this is a joke, but its true
This mostly happens in areas where a lot of students live.
The scream usually happens in the evening from what I know but I might be wrong. People do this to relieve stress since a lot of people have tests and assignments at the same time, it is a tradition that dates back to at least the 1970’s.
Swedes are the biggest fucking circlejerkers in the world I swear to god if you do something wacky everyone will tag along and it’s great