A lot of popular fictional stories have, as their primary premise, their protagonists traveling from one world (typically our world) into another, far different, world. Whether this is something like The Forbidden Kingdom (a movie about a white savior transported to ancient China which I nevertheless loved as a child) or the much better Spirited Away (a movie about a young girl who falls into the spirit world and grows up along the way), traveling to new and fantastical worlds is such a part of our fictional tradition that it’s seen dozens of times in new stories every year. But very few of these stories really explore the emotional cost of traveling to these new worlds. That’s where today’s fic comes in. Through the use of an unusually real medium, This American Life, today’s story This American Life episode 141: A Whole New World. (Transcript) discusses the pros and cons of traveling to new worlds.
The recently concluded arc of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, “The Smartest There Is”, opened on nine-year-old protagonist Lunella Lafayette learning that, thanks to her results on a test created by Bruce Banner, she is the smartest person. Not the smartest kid, or the smartest girl, or the smartest human, or the smartest being on Earth; she’s flat out “the smartest there is”, hence the name of the arc. The other people on the list (mostly adult men) are a bit salty about a little Black girl from the Lower East Side stealing their thunder, but none more so than one Victor Von Doom.
Doom sends robots to attack Lunella, and they’re unlike anything she’s fought before. Namely, they’re powered by Doom’s magic rather than by some kind of quantifiable science. So what does the smartest there is do when faced with something that defies scientific understanding? Attempt to explain it scientifically anyway.
Hours later, Hermione’s head was still throbbing and she desperately wanted a cup of tea and a very long nap. Both of those were far out of reach; instead, she was sitting in Director McGonagall’s office, trying not to shrink under her scrutiny.
“Are you sure that this is the report you want to submit?” McGonagall asked.
Hermione nodded, grimacing as the motion made her head throb a little harder. “Yes, Director.”
“That you can’t explain how Lovegood found the child in that cellar or what knocked you silly. Only that there was a bright light and voices.”
McGonagall sat forward, narrowing her eyes. “Agent Granger, we assigned you to Agent Lovegood to report on her cases and find some rational explanation for them. To debunk her notions about strange creatures and forces we can’t comprehend, before she makes a laughing stock of us all. Your report is rather less helpful on that front than we’d like.”
Hermione sat up straighter. “I know, Director, but I can only report what I saw. I can’t lie.”
“And you saw a light.”
“And heard voices.”
“And something flung you against a wall and knocked you unconscious.”
“Perhaps what you saw and heard was the kidnappers, and they were the ones who attacked you. In which case, we potentially have a kidnapping ring on the loose in Hampshire, and you can’t even describe them.”
“Agent Lovegood assures me that she didn’t see any kidnappers,” Hermione said, picking her words carefully. None of them were lies, precisely. They simply omitted a few facts that Lovegood had babbled at her as the paramedics tried to perform concussion checks. “The child was unconscious for the entire time she was missing, so we can’t ask her what happened.”
McGonagall nodded, her expression not softening in the slightest. “I suppose you’ve done everything you can. Go home and get some rest. You look dreadful. Try not to let Agent Lovegood drag you out on any wild goose chases for at least a couple of days.”
“Thank you, Director,” Hermione said, standing carefully in case she wobbled. “I’ll do my best.”
I’m not sure where I first encountered the idea of a Luna/Hermione X-Files AU. Clearly it was on Tumblr, but the specifics of when and where elude me. Needless to say, though, I was deeply intrigued by the premise. However, I struggled to find an actual fic that delivered on the idea. Even today, nearly a decade and a half after the heyday of Harry Potter fanfiction, it’s hard to find stories that don’t exclusively focus on Harry and Draco smooching. But I wanted to believe, pardon the pun, that a story like this existed, and this week my investigations paid off.
I have already expressed how underwhelmed I am with the new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie, but I am feeling exactly the opposite when it comes to the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. It’s the sequel to the Harry Potter books that I’ve always wanted, especially now that the cast has been announced.
While my mind is still on the topic of films that make me cry, I recall a point a couple years ago when I sat and watched The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (Toki o Kakeru Shoujo). The 2006 Mamoru Hosada film follows the life of protagonist Makoto as she gains and learns to utilize time travel powers, and what effect it has on her and her friends’ lives. With my current piqued interest in Life Is Strange, I’m noticing a trend in popular media (or at least the media I’m consuming) concerning the presence of time magic and, in this case, the young women who receive and use it. From Makoto and Max (from Life Is Strange) to Harry Potter’s Hermione, time travel is not only an important means for people to experience things as selfishly as they want, but also allow them to grow into their own sense of responsibility.
Spoilers for The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Life Is Strange beneath the cut.
This Valentine’s Day, as all Valentine’s Days, will not succeed in bringing our city down. This Valentine’s Day, as all Valentine’s Days, will soon recede into painful memory, fading with time, until another foul Valentine’s Day is upon us again.
—Welcome to Night Vale, “Valentine”
It’s that time of year again, nerd friends. That awful time of year known as Valentine’s Day. Once a year, before Valentine’s Day, our authors nominate and then vote on ships for our Top 20 Romantic Couples in Geekdom (10 Canon/10 Fanon) list. It is during this time that the LGG&F writers go from peaceful coexistence straight into full-blown anarchy as each writer battles for their favorite ships to make the list.
I’ve always been interested in the things J.K. Rowling did not mention in the text of the Harry Potter series. Quite honestly, I find the story that isn’t told much more interesting than the story that is told.
In this vein, I wanted to look at the damage that the war with Voldemort would cause to the trio—specifically which kid would’ve suffered the most post-war. And you know what I found out?
It’s a miracle Hermione isn’t in St. Mungos.
It’s that time again! Let’s take a look at today’s Web Crush!
Skottie Young is an artist and cartoonist who has work with Marvel, Warner Bros., Image, Upper Deck, Mattel and many other well known groups. His art style is not something I always like or enjoy, which is why it surprises me everyday when I view his latest sketches to find that I absolutely fall in love with them. The style works perfectly with the characters he draws and gives them a new look that is so distinct yet still so perfect for who he is depicting.
I strongly suggest everyone check out my latest Web Crush!