Teen Age Idol

Who did you idolize as a teenager? Did you go crazy for the Beatles? Ga-ga over Duran Duran? In love with Justin Bieber? Did you think Elvis was the livin’ end?

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/teen-age-idol/

75891-leonardo-dicaprio-young

Like many 90s girls, my first celebrity crush was on this guy right here, after watching Titanic a thousand times.  I decked out my whole room in posters, and learnt the movie word for word (a skill I probably still possess today, although I haven’t watched it in a long time to know).  I also avidly watched all his previous movies, and waited eagerly for his new ones to come out.  Even though clearly I was way too young, I’d pretend like one day we’d get married (as you do at 14-years-old).  I’d hoard photos of him on my computer, and my home page was his official website.  This went on for years, until it fizzled out and he was replaced by the Aussie singer Ben Lee.  Now, I have a deepfound respect for Leo, but don’t rush out to see his movies like I did back then.  He’s still my favourite actor, and probably always will be.

Who was your idol back in the day?

J x

My First Crush

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “First Crush.”
Who was your first childhood crush? What would you say to that person if you saw him/her again?

My first crush happened when I was eleven, on a boy a year and two foot taller than me.  We met on the first day of my-grade-five-his-grade-six year (we were in a composite class).  At first, he just came off as weird, and was one of those guys that everyone got on with, but not many would actually go so far as to call him a friend.

Over the next couple of months we got to know each other better.  He was so funny.  Like, he could turn any situation into something worth laughing about.  He had the class in stitches at least once a day.  He was good to talk to, and would actually listen.  That’s no small fete for a twelve year old.

Throughout the course of the year we kept getting closer, until I was choosing to hang out with him at lunch over my other friends.  People started commenting, saying we were dating – a big, strange concept at that age.  I didn’t really understand it, and I don’t think he did either, but I’m sure if this had of happened a few years later, we would have wound up together.  Instead, we just kept up this awkward I-like-you-you-like-me friendship.

Then suddenly, it was over.  School finished for the year, he went off to high school and we lost contact.  This was about two or three years before MSN and MySpace really took off, and back then none of us had mobile phones.  It was pretty much the end when you went to different schools, unless you called their home phone…and that wasn’t going to happen.

While I wasn’t in love with him, it was still my first taste of heartbreak.  I missed him terribly that summer.  Eventually, I got on with things, as we all do.  I finished primary school and headed off to high school…the same one he went to.  By then, over a year had passed since we’d seen each other, and that’s a long time when you’re young.

About a month or so into my first year at high school, as I was standing around waiting to go into class, he comes up to me out of the blue, a big goofy smile on his face.  “Remember me?” he asks.  I nod and say of course.  We didn’t really have anything to talk about as so much seemed to have changed, and we didn’t try to talk again after that.  Kind of sad how time changes everything, isn’t it?

If I spoke to him today, I’m not sure what I’d say.  I suppose I should ask him if he wanted to get a drink, catch up, see how things went…you know, see if the connection is still there somewhere.  Whether I would actually do that, though, I don’t know.  Some things are best left in the past.

Draco’s Perspective

Today’s prompt, and many more, can be found here. Rewrite a book scene from a different character’s perspective.

I chose to rewrite the scene in the first Harry Potter book (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) when Harry and Draco first met in Madam Malkin’s shop in Diagon Alley before they started at Hogwarts.  I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Draco as although he is definitely a little shit, the book puts him in a horrible light all the time.  The original scene is below:

One wild cart ride later they stood blinking in the sunlight outside Gringotts. Harry didn’t know where to run first now that he had a bag full of money. He didn’t have to know how many Galleons there were to a pound to know that he was holding more money than he’d had in his whole life — more money than even Dudley had ever had.
“Might as well get yer uniform,” said Hagrid, nodding toward Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions. “Listen, Harry, would yeh mind if I slipped off fer a pick-me-up in the Leaky Cauldron? I hate them Gringotts carts.” He did still look a bit sick, so Harry entered Madam Malkin’s shop alone, feeling nervous.
Madam Malkin was a squat, smiling witch dressed all in mauve.
“Hogwarts, dear?” she said, when Harry started to speak. “Got the lot here — another young man being fitted up just now, in fact.”
In the back of the shop, a boy with a pale, pointed face was standing on a footstool while a second witch pinned up his long black robes. Madam Malkin stood Harry on a stool next to him, slipped a long robe over his head, and began to pin it to the right length.
“Hello,” said the boy, “Hogwarts, too?”
“Yes,” said Harry.
“My father’s next door buying my books and mother’s up the street looking at wands,” said the boy. He had a bored, drawling voice. “Then I’m going to drag them off to look at racing brooms. I don’t see why first years can’t have their own. I think I’ll bully father into getting me one and I’ll smuggle it in somehow.”
Harry was strongly reminded of Dudley.
“Have you got your own broom?” the boy went on.
“No,” said Harry.
“Play Quidditch at all?”
“No,” Harry said again, wondering what on earth Quidditch could be.
“I do — Father says it’s a crime if I’m not picked to play for my House, and I must say, I agree. Know what House you’ll be in yet?”
“No,” said Harry, feeling more stupid by the minute.
“Well, no one really knows until they get there, do they, but I know I’ll be in Slytherin, all our family have been — imagine being in Hufflepuff, I think I’d leave, wouldn’t you?”
“Mmm,” said Harry, wishing he could say something a bit more interesting.
“I say, look at that man!” said the boy suddenly, nodding toward the front window. Hagrid was standing there, grinning at Harry and pointing at two large ice creams to show he couldn’t come in.
“That’s Hagrid,” said Harry, pleased to know something the boy didn’t. “He works at Hogwarts.”
“Oh,” said the boy, “I’ve heard of him. He’s a sort of servant, isn’t he?”
“He’s the gamekeeper,” said Harry. He was liking the boy less and less every second.
“Yes, exactly. I heard he’s a sort of savage — lives in a hut on the school grounds and every now and then he gets drunk, tries to do magic, and ends up setting fire to his bed.”
“I think he’s brilliant,” said Harry coldly.
“Do you?” said the boy, with a slight sneer. “Why is he with you? Where are your parents?”
“They’re dead,” said Harry shortly. He didn’t feel much like going into the matter with this boy.
“Oh, sorry,” said the other, not sounding sorry at all. “But they were our kind, weren’t they?”
“They were a witch and wizard, if that’s what you mean.”
“I really don’t think they should let the other sort in, do you? They’re just not the same, they’ve never been brought up to know our ways. Some of them have never even heard of Hogwarts until they get the letter, imagine. I think they should keep it in the old wizarding families. What’s your surname, anyway?”
But before Harry could answer, Madam Malkin said, “That’s you done, my dear,” and Harry, not sorry for an excuse to stop talking to the boy, hopped down from the footstool.
“Well, I’ll see you at Hogwarts, I suppose,” said the drawling boy.

[Excerpt From: J. K. Rowling. “Harry Potter 1 – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” iBooks.]

Harry_Potter_and_the_Sorcerer's_Stone

This is my version, from Draco’s view:

Draco was standing awkwardly on a small stool, a witch fussing over his measurements and getting him to try on different robes.  He’d been there a long time; he knew the witch was nervous after the talk his father had given her earlier.  It had been out of earshot, but the boy knew exactly what had been said.  “Make sure these robes fit perfectly or else,” was basically how it would have gone.  His father was very passionate about the image he and his family displayed; it went hand-in-hand with being one of the most well-known wizarding families in the country.
Draco shifted his weight from foot to foot, getting increasingly impatient.  Madam Malkin was walking around the shop, fixing up displays, occasionally saying offhanded things to the witch next to him like “remind me to order in more Hufflepuff patches” and “don’t forget to allow room for growth when you measure!”.  She seemed to be doing it out of habit and with no real conviction behind it.  It sounded like she was just trying to fill in the silence.
Suddenly, the front door opened and a boy around Draco’s age entered.  He was pale and skinny, with cheap glasses perched on his nose.  He looked nervous.  Madam Malkin looked relieved for the distraction and hurried towards him, smiling from ear to ear.
“Hogwarts, dear?” she said, when the boy opened his mouth to speak. “Got the lot here — another young man being fitted up just now, in fact.”
The boy looked around, his eyes landing on Draco.  Madam Malkin lead him to the stool to his right.  When he didn’t stand up on it, she gestured for him to do so.  He looked around nervously, then did as he was asked.  Before he had a chance to say anything, she pulled a robe over his head and grabbed her measuring tape, which began floating around him in the same way a tape was doing to Draco.
“Hello,” Draco started, glad for a way to break the monotony, “Hogwarts, too?”
“Yes,” said the boy.
“My father’s next door buying my books and mother’s up the street looking at wands,” Draco explained. “Then I’m going to drag them off to look at racing brooms. I don’t see why first years can’t have their own. I think I’ll bully father into getting me one and I’ll smuggle it in somehow.”
He was waiting to see the boy’s reaction, to gauge whether he recognised the trademark Malfoy blonde hair.  Everyone seemed to know him if they were pureblood.  It had always been that way.  The boy was too nervous to give anything away, much to Draco’s annoyance. “Have you got your own broom?” he asked.
“No,” said the boy, once again not giving anything away.
“Play Quidditch at all?”
“No,” the boy said.  Draco thought he saw a flicker of confusion across his face, but maybe it was still just nerves.  Surely anyone headed to Hogwarts would know about Quiddich.
“I do — Father says it’s a crime if I’m not picked to play for my House, and I must say, I agree. Know what House you’ll be in yet?”
“No.”
Draco was growing very tired of the boy, and began to assume he was one of those filthy mudbloods who got sent a letter out of nowhere.  How else could the boy’s nerves and confusion be explained?  Despite this, Draco kept talking, knowing the boy was his only source of entertainment until this was over.  “Well, no one really knows until they get there, do they, but I know I’ll be in Slytherin, all our family have been — imagine being in Hufflepuff, I think I’d leave, wouldn’t you?”
“Mmm,” the boy murmured in agreement.
Suddenly, something caught Draco’s eye from the shop window.  He whirled around.  A giant black mass was blocking out almost all the natural light.  It took his eyes a few moments to realize the mass was actually a huge, heavy-set man in an even bigger cloak.  He was holding two ice cream cones, though they looked tiny in his colossal grasp.  “I say, look at that man!” The man began waving at the boy and pointing to the treats.
“That’s Hagrid.  He works at Hogwarts.”
“Oh,” said Draco, surprised the boy knew of anything magic at all.  “I’ve heard of him. He’s a sort of servant, isn’t he?”
“He’s the gamekeeper,” the boy frowned at Draco.
“Yes, exactly. I heard he’s a sort of savage — lives in a hut on the school grounds and every now and then he gets drunk, tries to do magic, and ends up setting fire to his bed.”
“I think he’s brilliant,” the boy’s face darkened.
“Do you?” Draco sneered.  Who was this kid?  Why did he think a servant who lived in a hut is brilliant?  He’d never heard anyone describe Hagrid as that, or anything nice at all really. “Why is he with you? Where are your parents?”
“They’re dead,” the boy muttered, trying to turn away but finding it difficult with the oversized robe over his shoulders.
“Oh, sorry,” Draco said flatly, deciding it was time to ask the question that had been dancing on his lips the whole time; the only really important question his family had to anyone they met. “But they were our kind, weren’t they?”
“They were a witch and wizard, if that’s what you mean.”
Draco was surprised, but relieved.  His father wouldn’t take it well if he’d found out he’d been talking to a mudblood.  He still didn’t really like the boy, but he felt a lot more comfortable with him now.  “I really don’t think they should let the other sort in, do you? They’re just not the same, they’ve never been brought up to know our ways. Some of them have never even heard of Hogwarts until they get the letter, imagine.  I think they should keep it in the old wizarding families.”  Draco stopped.  As the boy was moving, he thought he saw something on his forehead.  But no, surely it couldn’t be.  “What’s your surname, anyway?”
“That’s you done, my dear,” Madam Malkin interrupted, and helped the boy off the stool.  Before Draco could ask anything else, the boy hurried out of the store, leaving with Hagrid.  He went to ask Madam Malkin who the boy was, but didn’t get the chance as his father glided back into the shop, his long, flowing hair following behind.  As his father began berating the witch for taking so long, the thoughts of the strange boy faded from Draco’s mind.

Let me know what you think 🙂

-JD

#loveme challenge – Day Fourteen

IMG_0546-0

Day 14 – Share a Fear You Overcame

This one goes back a loooooong time.  When I was little, I was terrified of dogs.  Like, I couldn’t be in the same room as them…or same house…or park.  I don’t know why exactly, though I could guess that being that small they must have looked like giants with big teeth and scary barks.  Plus, even since I can remember, we had this terrifying black dog “toy” that I hated.  It was about the size of an actual small dog, and was on wheels and had a handle.  I still don’t really understand what the point of it was.  Was it for me to ride on when I was tiny?  Was I supposed to push it around like a kiddie stroller?  Was I supposed to pet it like it was a real dog?  I have no idea.  All I remember is, when it was nighttime I had to walk past the playroom it was stored in to get to my bedroom, and all I could see through the darkness were its glassy eyes looking back at me.  I would sprint past the room every night.  Needless to say, I never once played with it.

The fear got worse when I was about five.  I was at a park with my mum and baby sister, and all I remember was being chased by a labrador.  I was terrified and screaming my head off and my shoes fell off and I kept running.  The dog obviously thought it was a game, and chased me.  The owner didn’t step in at all.  What sort of person lets their big dog chase a screaming five year old?  I don’t know.  An asshole, no doubt.

My sister (always the opposite of me) loved animals.  She wasn’t afraid of them, she talked about them all the time…yeah, she was one of those kids.  When she turned 4, my parents decided to get her a dog.  That was the excuse, anyway, though I have a sneaking suspicion the real reason was because they were embarrassed about having a 7-year-old that was mortally afraid of canines.

I remember all the homework my mum did on which dog breed to get.  She trawled through paperwork and books.  She wasn’t sure if she wanted a tiny dog or a slightly bigger one.  She’s grown up with all kind of dog breeds; my dad hadn’t had any at all.  I know deep down she wanted a corgi, but I guess she found too many reasons not to as it didn’t make the final list of options.  I don’t really remember what I was feeling as this was going on, though I can guess I didn’t like it.

The day finally came when mum had found a breed she was happy with, and a breeder with puppies.  We drove all the way to Geelong (which felt like forever at that age).  There was only one puppy left.  I don’t remember any of it, but dad has told us countless times that the first time he met the puppy, she peed on him.  I guess she claimed him as her own, because she came home with us.

On the way back, we discussed names.  I remember that.  It came down to two options, Wags (yes, like the Wiggles) or Patch, because of the big black spot on her back.  We ultimately went with Patch, which is probably a better option given Wags is horribly ironic when she had a docked tail.

I don’t remember how long it took me to come around to her, though I feel like it actually wasn’t long.  I guess maybe because she was so small and the rest of the family seemed to be okay with her, then I was too.

She grew up with me, my faithful furry friend.  She lived for 17 years, passing away from kidney failure last year.  It was tough, but she’d lived a long (spoilt) life, and by the end was blind, mostly-deaf and somewhat incontinent.  She’s the reason I love animals now, and the reason I have my own fluffy friend.  I’m glad she came into my life and helped me overcome my fears.  I’m sure eventually I would have to some degree, but I know I wouldn’t love dogs like I do now.

Thank you Patchy, RIP ❤

patch_insidedoghouse Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 5.05.18 pm