A piece about the importance of “Watch Night” within the African-American Christian community began circulating on the Internet in April 2001. The earliest versions we encountered attributed it to Agnes Barron-Steward, the director of Multicultural Student Services at Pierce College in Los Angeles, but her authorship has yet to be confirmed: Many of you who live or grew up in Black communities in the United States have probably heard of “Watch Night Services, ” the gathering of the faithful in church on New Years Eve. The service usually begins anywhere from 7 p. m. to 10 p. and ends at midnight with the entrance of the New Year. Some folks come to church first, before going out to celebrate. For others, church is the only New Years Eve event. Like many others, I always assumed that Watch Night was a fairly standard Christian religious service — made a bit more Afro centric because thats what happens when elements of Christianity become linked with the Black Church. Still, it seemed that predominately White Christian churches did not include Watch Night services on their calendars, but focused instead on Christmas Eve programs. In fact, there were instances where clergy in mainline denominations wondered aloud about the propriety of linking religious services with a secular holiday like New Years Eve. However, there is a reason for the importance of New Years Eve services in African American congregations. The Watch Night Services in Black communities that we celebrate today can be traced back to gatherings on December 31, 1862, also known as “Freedoms Eve. ” On that night, Blacks came together in churches and private homes all across the nation, anxiously awaiting news that the Emancipation Proclamation actually had become law. Then, at the stroke of midnight, it was January 1, 1863, and all slaves in the Confederate States were declared legally free. When the news was received, there were prayers, shouts and songs of joy as people fell to their knees and thanked God. Black folks have gathered in churches annually on New Years Eve ever since, praising God for bringing us safely through another year. Its been 141 years since that first Freedoms Eve and many of us were never taught the African American history of Watch Night, but tradition still brings us together at this time every year to celebrate “how we got over”. PS- Pass this information on so we can educate more of our family and friends! “Watch Night, ” according to, can properly refer either generally to New Years Eve or specifically to a religious service held on New Years Eve. The term is now much less familiar among the general population than it once was, as the observance of “watch nights” has morphed over the years from being a general practice among Christian denominations to a more specifically African-American church practice. Watch Night is celebrated among communities by congregants gathering at their churches on the last evening of the year to attend special services that typically commence between 7 and 10 p. and continue through midnight and into the New Year. These services are regarded by participants as a time to reflect upon and give thanks for the departing year and pray for the future, a spiritual way of celebrating a largely secular holiday. Many churches embrace such services as an alternative to the rowdy partying and drinking often associated with New Years Eve. Yet as strongly as Watch Night is now linked to the black community, its observance did not originate with that group, nor did it begin on 31 December 1862, the night before the Emancipation Proclamation came into effect. Watch Night began with the Moravians, a small Christian denomination whose roots lie in what is the present-day Czech Republic. The first such service is believed to have been held in 1733 on the estates of Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf in Hernhut, Germany. John Wesley, founder of the Methodist movement, picked it up from the Moravians, incorporating a Watch Night vigil into the practices of his denomination beginning in 1740. Methodist Watch Nights were held once a month and on full moons, with the first such service in the United States reportedly taking place in 1770 at Old St. Georges Church in Philadelphia. These services survive to the present day in that denominations worship manuals as “Covenant Renewal Services. ” What was being “watched over” in those earlier services was ones covenant with God. Those gatherings were a time for congregants to meditate on their state of grace: were they spiritually ready to meet their maker if the call were suddenly to come? As the 13th chapter of Mark instructs, the faithful need to be ever vigilant, because the hour of the Lords coming is not known. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh. ) The end-of-year Watch Night of 1862 took on special significance attaching to the impending 1 January 1863 enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation, and that night has come to be known as “Freedoms Eve. ” On 22 September 1862, President Lincoln issued his Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which stated: “[O]n the first day of January … all persons held as slaves within any State, or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free. ” Lincoln subsequently issued the Emancipation Proclamation itself on 1 January 1863. While that proclamation did not end slavery the moment it was issued, it did at least proclaim some slaves free. Knowing that this was going into effect the next day must certainly have influenced the nature of that years Watch Night within the African-American and abolitionist communities, adding a second symbolic layer of what was being watched for (the coming of freedom at the stroke of midnight) to the more usual fare (the coming of the Christ at an unspecified future date and therefore the need to maintain a constant personal state of spiritual preparation. Among African-American congregations, that second layer of meaning has since become permanently woven into the fabric of the original, making New Years Eve Watch Night services as much now about remembering the end of slavery as it is upon personal reflection on the state of ones soul. One additional bit of legend has attached to the origin of Watch Night, the dubious claim that slaves would gather on the final night of the year to shiver in fear as they awaited news about which of them would be sold the next day to satisfy outstanding debts. By the lights of that theory, while those so assembled were also watching for the coming of the master, the one they were keeping an eye out for was going to sell off some of them (as opposed to redeeming their souls and transporting them to life everlasting. While the practice of entering the New Year free of financial obligation is a very old one ( superstition dictates all debts must be retired prior to the beginning of the year) the idea that accounts would be settled on January 1 is unlikely. The first day of the year was a time for paying social calls on ones neighbors, and only the exceedingly gauche would have thought to sully such interactions with so much as a mention of anything business-related, let alone attempt to transact the buying and selling of slaves on that day. Moreover, anyone acting out of desire to enter the New Year clear of debt would fail in that effort if he put off selling or transferring property until the first of January. We therefore suggest taking with a large grain of salt Watch Day origins that feature huddled slaves assembled for their one last night together before some of them were sold off.
A/N: So this one ended up being a bit later than I wanted! Quite a bit, actually. Work's been busy, as usual, and I've also been putting a lot of effort into plotting out the upcoming episodes, later major events, and world building. I have outlines or drafts of Episodes 13-17, with Episode 17 starting Act IV, and drafts of a couple episodes in Acts V and VI. I have a draft of Episode 11. 5, and I have more or less fully plotted out Tyriel's story arc, which will tie into the transition between Act V and Act VI (Act VI being the final act of the series. I also have drafts of a few other half-episode side adventures that will be popping up in Acts IV and V. So I've got a lot coming down the pipeline, and I've done some important world building and deep-story plot development, but work's still going to be busy for a while yet, and I haven't made as much progress on producing finished episodes as I would like. I'm hoping to get more up soon, but can't make any promises. I'm posting this episode direct to public, since it's so late, but I'll be making the drafts for the next five episodes, along with the draft of Tyriel's 11. 5 available for my Patreons today. So, with all of that said, here is Episode 12! It's shorter than my average, at a little under 5500 words, but it kicks off Act III, and introduces several new keshmin artificers! I hope you enjoy! Retreat, Hell – Episode 12 [ First] Prev] Next] “Battaaalion! Atten-huh! ” Nearly eight hundred boots stomped the packed dirt. “Dress right, dress! ” Bradford stuck her left arm straight out to the side, head turned to the right, and shuffled into even separation. Directly behind her, Rinn was quick to copy her motions. “Ready, front! ” Arm down, facing straight ahead. “Left, face! ” Boots stomped as eight hundred Marines and one keshmin pivoted in place. “At a close interval, dress left, dress! ” Rinn was a little quicker to copy Bradford and the other Marines this time. These facing commands arent too dissimilar from Ganlin Army training, and the principle is the same… “Ready, front! Right, face! ” The muffled thump of almost eight hundred boots clopping the dirt reverberated across the impromptu parade ground. “At ease! ” Rinn relaxed from his attention posture along with the rest of the battalion, and had to resist the urge to reach up and tug on a horn. As polished as they are, I dont want to smudge them… He smirked, remembering his encounter with the rest of the squad the previous night. He had walked into the squads tent alone. Bradford had all but sprinted for the head as soon as they were dropped off. Stepping inside, he found the rest of the squad all staring at him with unnerving grins. “Were meeting all them fancy new artificers tomorrow, ” Kawalksi said, “And damnit if our Shields aint gonna show ‘em all up! ” “No, ” Rinn said, taking a step back, every danger sense he had flaring. “Cmon, Rinn, ” Kimber said, holding up a “power tool” they had purchased the other day. “Mr. Dremels calling your name! ” He pressed a button on the side, causing the tip to spin at an alarming rate with a high-pitched whine. Reen. REEEEEN. His ears jumped up in alarm, then swept flat back against his skull. “Fuck. No. ” The human explicative seemed to fit. “Cmon, brah! ” Stephens said. “It wont hurt! I think…” Rinn took a step back, deciding it was time to leave. His ears shot up again as he found his path blocked by a living mountain. Tahsh. “Hold him! ” Kawalski said. Rinn tried to bolt, he really did, but Gomez already had his arms around him. Before he knew it, the rest of the squad piled on. He squirmed, trying to break free, but Gomezs arms just squeezed tighter. A hand reached in to grab his head. He snapped at it. “Ah, fuck, he bit me! ” “Pin him down! ” The world tilted, and Rinn found himself on the ground, pinned under the weight of several Marines. But his hands were still free. Ish. He concentrated, drawing up his reserves, shaping the mana as he wriggled around, quickly losing the battle to keep them from completely pinning him. The charge was ready, and a leg came into convenient reach. “Ow, fuck! Shit! God fucking damnit! He fucking zapped me! Get his hands! Goddamnit, my whole leg dont fucking work! ” “Fucking hold still! ” “Now, you tell me if this starts to hurt, ” Kimber said. The Dremel whined. “Fuck you! ” Rinn growled. “Damn, I shoulda worn a mask for this…” “Ugh, blegh, I got Ahyat dust in my mouth! ” Rinn struggled and cursed for several more minutes before finally resigning himself to their efforts, though he grumbled the entire time. Two hours later, and his horns were smoother and glossier than they had ever been in his entire life. With just a little polish in the morning, they gleamed a deeper ebony than his fur. He might have also gotten a cracked rib or two in the process, he wasnt sure. Something was definitely bruised, at least… Snapping back to the present, he realized that the battalions XO was talking. “-are representing more than just the battalion. You are representing the entire US Marine Corps, the entire US military, the United States itself, and all of humanity. I have faith in all of you. Do not disappoint me. ” An awkward silence fell as Winters stepped to the side. She glanced at her watch with a subtle frown. “So how long are we gonna be waiting here? ” someone whispered. “Dunno any more than you do, man, ” said someone else. “Stand by to stand by, ” said a third Marine. Rinn snorted. “Ive stood at attention for half a day waiting on some lord general to come address the troops more than once. ” “Heh. Fucking brass are all the same, ” the first Marine said. Motion caught his eye, and he saw a Humvee approaching, followed by three carriages, each pulled by a pair of queshi. “Battalion! Attenhuh! ” Conversation died as the Marines snapped to attention. The Humvee rolled to a stop in front of the battalion, the carriages in a line behind it. The queshi team of the lead carriage snorted and shook their heads at the squeal of the humvees brakes. “Are those horses or elk? ” he heard a Marine mutter. The front passenger door of the Humvee opened, and Lieutenant Colonel Michaels stepped out. As he turned to face the carriages, footmen leapt down from the two leading carriages to place steps before their doors and open them. The passengers of the rear carriage, which appeared less well-appointed, were left to open their own door. Six keshmin stepped out of the carriages. The first carriage held only one passenger, the second held three, and the last held two. Rinns ears twitch as he recognized the livery of the first coach. That carriage belongs to Archduke Ki-Kami Yeshai! He and his son are eight and ninth in line for the throne! Michaels approached the Duke and shook his hand, and they led the rest of the artificers to stand in front of Barrakis and Winters, who stood at the head of the formation. Barrakis saluted. “All present, sir! ” Michaels returned the salute. “Outstanding, Sergeant Major. Tell the men to stand at ease. ” “Aye, sir. Battalion! At ease! ” Rinn relaxed with the other Marines, subtly leaning around Bradfords shoulder to get a glimpse of his fellow keshmin. A pair of Ospreys rumbled overhead in the near distance. “Second Battalion! ” Micheals said. “These are the new artificers that will be joining us for the next few weeks. ” He gestured to the sandy-and-cream colored keshmin standing next to him. He lacked the distinctive, reddish color of the royal family, but his fur still had a hint of rust color, and his blunter nose and forward-jogging horns clearly marked him as high nobility. “We are honored by the presence of Lord Commander Ki-Namu Yeshai, Duke of Yeshai, ” he moved next to a tawny keshmin with a short, narrow snout and forward-curved horns. “Earl and Knight Captain Telmu Anyo. ” Anyo gave a curt nod as Michaels indicated a dusky-furred keshmin speckled black stripes, and a tan-and-cream keshmin. Both of their horns had a gentle forward curve. “Lord Artificers Ayesh Ayan and Kimo Sayiash, Second Artificer Nalmu Tyetyeh, ” Michaels pointed at a russet keshmin with splotches of tan and cream and straight horns, “And Second Artificer-“ Shiyan Yenyed! Rinns ears popped up as he recognized the distinctive brown spots and stripes of his cream-furred roommate. I havent seen him since University! “Over the next few weeks, we will work together to develop combined arms tactics and techniques. Two artificers will be assigned to work with each company, with Duke Yeshai joining me at Battalion HQ. ” He turned to smile at Rinns company. “Im sorry, Echo Company, but youre only getting one new artificer. Youve already got one. ” A few chuckles rippled through the ranks, and somebody nudged Rinn from behind. “After we make those assignments, ” Michael continued, turning to look across the rest of the Marines. “You will have a day to get your new squadmates settled in and familiarized with the camp and basic ops. Tomorrow, we hit the ground running. Major Winters has worked with liaisons from the Ganlin Royal Host, as well as our own experts, and put together an aggressive training and integration program. Well be putting each other through our paces to show what each can do, coupled with strategy and planning sessions, and team building exercises. ” He paused, sweeping his gaze across the battalion for effect. “Were entering new territory here, integrating capabilities new to both sides. We know how Marines fight. Our Ganlin friends know how the Royal Host fights. Weve all seen first hand how the enemy fights. ” He stretched himself a little taller, raising his voice for emphasis. “There is nobody who has had a better look at the challenges of this war than all of you standing here now. ” He raised his fist, his thumb pointed up, shaking it up-and-down. “If you have ideas, suggestions, solutions, pass them up the chain. Youre the ones who have seen this shit for real. ” He pointed his whole hand at the battalion. “Youre the ones who will have to make whatever we come up with work out in the field. Id rather get as much input from all of you, the actual boots on the ground, than a bunch of pencil-pushing bean counters deployed to a cubicle somewhere back in DC. Oorah? ” “OORAH! ” He pointed at the ground beneath their feet. “What we do here in the next few weeks will set the foundation for combat doctrine for years to come. ” He pointed at the battalion again. “Do it right. Do it the Marine way. And make your country proud. Oorah? ” “OORAH! ” “Major Winters, I want a company commanders meeting at HQ in one-five minutes, officers and senior enlisted. Well determine company assignments, and discuss accommodations and chain-of-command for our new artificer specialists. ” “Aye, sir! ” “Sergeant Major, keep our resident experts behind, but you may dismiss the rest of the battalion to the barracks. Theyll be meeting the artificers assigned to their companies soon. ” “Aye, sir! ” Barrakis turned to the formation. “Battalion! Atten-huh! ” Rinn snapped to attention along with the Marines. “Second Squad, First Platoon, Echo Company, stay here. The rest of you are to return to the barracks and stand by. Oorah? ” “Oorah! ” He eyed the formation. “Retreat! ” “HELL! ” “Two-Five! ” “RETREAT, HELL! ” “Dismissed! ” As the rest of the battalion fell out of formation, Bradford remained standing at attention. Rinn followed her lead, intently studying the tight bun her hair was folded into, his ears locked in line with his horns. Once the other Marines moved away from them, Bradford relaxed and stepped forward. Rinn and the rest of the squad fell in behind her. She stopped in front of Colonel Michaels and snapped out a crisp salute. The rest of the Marines stopped and did the same. Rinn bent forward slightly and dipped his head in a proper, military bow. “Second Squad reporting as ordered, sir! ” “Stand at ease, Sergeant, ” Michaels said, returning the salute. Rinn noted that Winters and Barrakis both saluted, as well. Duke Yeshai snapped to attention and dipped his head in crisp acknowledgement. The other nobles hesitated, but at a subtle flick of Yeshais tail, quickly followed his example. Bradford dropped her salute and eased into a relaxed posture, clasping her hands in front of her waist. “Lord Commander, ” Michaels said. “This is Sergeant Bradford, and Second Artificer Ahyat. The Second Artificer linked up with Second Squad in our first fight in the war, and has been tagging along ever since. ” “Its a pleasure to meet you, Second Artificer, ” Yeshai said. “From what Colonel Michaels has told me, you have provided invaluable service to his battalion. ” “I was merely doing my job, my lord, ” Rinn said, his ears swinging back in stifled embarrassment at the recognition. “And polishing up quite well, I see, ” Yeshai said, glancing him up and down. “You put our travel-dusty appearance to shame. ” He gestured at the other keshmin. Anyo flicked his ears in annoyance while staring over Yeshais shoulder. Rinn felt the pride and vindication beaming off the humans beside and behind him. “I have the rest of my squad to thank for that, mlord. They have a few… tricks for cleaning one up. ” Anyo swung an ear forward as his eyes narrowed ever so slightly. “Well, hopefully they share, ” Yeshai yipped a laugh. “In the meantime, try not to blind us with the glare from your horns! ” “Ill do so, mlord. ” “Id be more concerned with being brained by that great snout of his, my lord! ” Yenyed said, stepping forward, earning himself a glare from Anyo. “Shiyan, ” Rinn smiled, reaching out his hand to clasp his old friends arm. “I havent seen you in an age! ” “Not since we shared a room at Yagyhanae! ” Yenyed grinned, gripping his arm tight. “Seven years, and I still cant get out of sight of that snout of yours. ” “When did you join the army? I thought you had an academic writ. ” Rinn asked. The last thing I need is for him to keep talking about how big my nose is in front of the humans… “About four years ago, when the writ ran out. ” He rolled his ears and shrugged. “Its been a soldiers life since. ” He released Rinns arm and flicked his ears at him while tapping his own horns. They had a gentler rearward curve. “Though it looks like its done you well. ” Rinn shrugged his ears, stepping back in line with the humans. “I see that not all introductions are necessary, ” Yeshai said, flicking an amused ear at them. “Second Artificer Ahyat, since you have developed some experience with humans, it was Major Winters suggestion that you might be able to provide some initial guidance, and Colonel Michaels and I agree. Short as your time with the humans has been, I am given to understand that it has not been uneventful, and that you have even made two trips to Earth. ” “Yes, my lord, ” Rinn said, dipping his head in a slight bow of affirmation, his ears held back as he shifted awkwardly. Yeshai glanced at Michaels, giving him a deferring flick of his ear. Michaels nodded. “Ahyat, in addition to everything else, you are assigned to act as a cultural guide and liaison for your fellow artificers, and for the battalion. For the first couple weeks, anyway, while we get used to each other. ” Yeshai smiled. “You are the resident human expert, after all. ” “Yes, mlord, ” Rinn nodded to both of them. “Though Im not sure I can provide more insight than what can be gained by just asking each other. ” “From what all I have been taught and experienced in diplomacy, ” Yeshai said, chuckling, “Its the asking that is always the sticking point. ” “As you say, my lord, ” Rinn said, his ears drooping in resignation. He nodded again, then had to suppress a frown when he caught Anyo glaring at him again. Thats a “youre talking above your station” glare for sure… “Colonel? ” Winters said, stepping into the conversation. She nodded over her shoulder at an officer in a different-styled uniform. “Excuse me for a moment, ” he said, stepping away. “So, ” Nalmu said, strutting forward. Rinns nose twitched as the musk he wore wafted along with him. “Pardon my forwardness, my lords, but I do hope we get some time away from camp. There arent many tails around here to snag, if you know what I mean. ” Rinn glanced at his artificially straight horns and had to keep himself from rolling his eyes. Typical… “Oh, were Marines, ” Davies piped up with a smirk and a wink. “We always know how to find tail to snag, if you know what I mean. ” Taking a deep breath, Rinn dove into his newly-assigned role as “cultural guide. ” “So, humans, ” he said. “Present! ” Kawalski said. Rinn took another deep breath. “Humans look a lot like stocky elves-“ “Heh, hes talking about you, Davies, ” Kawalski said in an exaggerated whisper. Rinn could feel the heat of Davies return glare through the fur on the back of his head. “They look much like elves, but resemblance aside, they are nothing like elves. ” “I am beginning to see that, ” Yeshai said, his ears twitching in amusement. “Humans are often brash, loud, and abrasive, or at least these ones are, ” he flicked his ears at the Marines around him. “I take that as a compliment, ” Kawalski said. “Some more than others…” Kawalski grinned. “But they are also kind, compassionate, and caring. They have much to share with us, and as alien as they may seem, we are not so different in the core of who we are. ” He touched his chest, near his heart. “And they have incredible miracles that they are willing to throw in against the elves, ” Yeshai said. “For now, ” Anyo muttered, earning himself a slight ear twitch from the Duke. “Miracles that they can teach us! ” Rinn said. “As amazing as what they can do seems, and you havent seen a fraction of it, they werent any more advanced than us only a few centuries ago. ” “But are they willing to teach us? ” “I cant speak for our diplomats and political leaders, ” Bradford spoke up, “But we have no reason not to share a lot of things. Plus, youve got magic, and I can assure you, sir, well be happy to trade a lot for that. ” “Sir? ” Anyo stepped forward. “He is no sir! He is the son of Archduke Yeshai! He is a member of the royal family, and you will address him as ‘my lord or ‘your grace, soldier! In any other circumstance, your proper action would be to kneel before him. Remember your place, and the appropriate treatment of your betters. ” “Pardon me, sir, ” Bradford said, turning a steely-eyed glare at him, her back ram-rod straight. “But in America we do not have nor recognize nobility. Our nation was founded on the principle that all people are born equal, and Americans do not kneel before anyone. ” “All are equal? ” Anyo snorted, his ears twirling in a dismissive flip. “And who rules you? Do you just pick someone from among you and all vote on it? ” “Yes, ” Bradford said. “Its called Democracy. ” Anyo opened his mouth to give further mockery but found himself brought up short by Bradfords response. Ha! He didnt expect that! Rinn thought, Though, I didnt, either… “And we are not ruled, we are governed, ” Bradford added. “The United States of America is a Republic, with duly- and democratically-elected representatives, who form a government by the people, for the people, and of the people. ” “That is the most impetuous, absurd thing I have ever heard! ” Anyo sneered, his ears perked straight up. “And I will not be spoken to in such a way by a common soldier, nevermind a woman playing at-“ “Knight Captain! ” Yeshai said, his sharp tone signaling the end of the discussion. “The humans clearly have many cultural differences, but this is not the first time we have encountered, nor worked with peoples of wildly different cultures. Nor should you be so surprised by female warriors. Many of the most powerful Dohlgra battlecasters are women, after all. The humans have shown they wish to be both our friends and allies, and gods above and below know we need them. ” He gave Anyo a stern glare. “Whatever cultural differences and disagreements we have with them must be put aside. ” “As you say, your grace, ” Anyo said, dipping forward in a modest bow. He stepped back, but made no apology. Bradford eyed him for a moment, then turned away, clearly dismissing him from her thoughts. Rinn heaved an internal sigh of relief, glad he did not have to choose between trying to calm the situation, and defending Bradford. “Everything alright over here? ” Michaels asked, returning to the group. “Just fine, sir, ” Bradford replied without hesitation. “Good, ” Michaels said. “Lord Commander, Im about to meet with the rest of the battalion leadership. Im sure youll want to be present. ” “Of course, ” Yeshai said. He glanced at Anyo with a pointed flick of an ear. “I expect our integration to begin apace while Im gone. ” “Yes, my lord, ” Anyo replied. “Sir! ” Bradford said, snapping to attention and rendering a crisp salute. “Carry on, Sergeant. ” Michaels returned the salute. “Give them a tour of the new facilities. ” “Aye, sir! ” Bradford said, dropping her arm. Michaels turned and departed, the Duke alongside. Bradford turned and glanced at the keshmin, then the Marines. “We just put up a whole new mini-compound for this op. Lets go to the barracks first, then what our training facilities. ” She considered a moment. “Then well show you the MCX they just put up on the other side of the base. Theres not much there, yet, but they might occasionally have something in stock worth buying while youre here. By then, it should be chow time. ” The two enlisted artificers gave agreeable nods, perking up at the mention of food. Ayan and Sayiash both glanced at Anyo, taking their cue from him. The Ganlin Earl narrowed his eyes at Bradford, his ears cocked at a distasteful angle, but nodded in allowance. Bradford nodded her head past the Marines. “Barracks are this way, then. ”. “Man, that guy is a dick, ” Kimber muttered as they left the sparsely-stocked and half-constructed, pre-assembled building that was MOB Tolkiens MCX. “And he seems to have a stick up his ass about us, ” Dubois said, glancing over his shoulder at Anyo, who trailed behind the enlisted humans and keshmin, flanked by the other Ganlin nobles. “Its not just you, ” Shiyan said, sniffing at the “snickers” the squad had purchased for him. “Were from the same artillery regiment. Hes not in my line or battery, thank the gods, but Ive passed him often enough. He has ‘a stick up his ass about everything. ” He chuckled. “I like that phrase. Im going to steal it. ” “Be our guest, ” Edison said. “The Corps has shamelessly stolen enough of our own over the years. ” Shiyan nodded, then frowned at his Snickers, perplexed by the wrapper. Rinn held up his own, and demonstrated how to open it, copying what he had seen the Marines do. The candy bars exposed, they both eyed them skeptically, gave them another sniff, and each took a bite. Their ears shot up in unison. “Abof an belo! ” Rinn said around his bite. The sticky-chewy bit in the middles a bit awkward, but the nuts, and those are definitely nuts, give it a satisfying crunch… and its so sweet! He took another bite, and he and Shiyan fell into a race to see who could finish theirs the fastest. “So goo! ” “Yeah, I think chocolates a hit, ” Sampson said. “Yup, ” Miller said. “If it doesnt kill them…” Bradford sighed. “Wha? ” Shiyan asked, freezing with his tongue still on the inside of his wrapper. “Nah, nothin weve fed to Shieldss made him keel over yet! ” Kawalski waved away any concerns. “Theyll be fine. ” “I dunno… He shat out that pile of death while we were patrolling the wall Saturday morning…” Kimber said. “Looked like he wanted to die while doing it, too. ” “Nah, Mexican food will do that to anyone. Gomez about died doing the same thing. ” “Yeah, well, he also chugged half a bottle of Holy Jolokia, ” Kimber laughed. “That would make anyone regret living on the way back out…” “Whats bad about… ‘chocolate? ” Rinn asked, looking mournfully down at his empty wrapper. And it was so good, too… “Its got alkaloids in it that can kill a lot of creatures if they eat enough of it, ” Bradford said. “Dont know what theyll do to you, which is why you really need to stop eating whatever these guys try to feed you. ” “But theyre safe for humans? ” “More or less, ” Bradford shrugged. “We just tolerate them a lot better, I think. ” “Dude, humans can eat just about anything, ” Edison said. “Theres not a thing on Earth that someone hasnt eaten or tried to eat at some point or other. ” “Well, ” Rinn said, eyeing his wrapper for any residual trace of chocolate. “If we keshmin can survive Royal Host field rations, I think we can survive anything you guys make as food. ” Shiyan snorted. “Gods above know that for a truth. ” “Speaking of food…” Tyetyeh said, holding up his own empty wrapper. “Are we going to have more of these? ” Bradford chuckled. “Chow halls right up here. Its not gourmet dining, but its better than MREs. ” “Human field rations, ” Rinn said when Tyetyeh cocked an ear. “Gourmet dining compared to our field rations. ” The straight-horned artificer nodded, scratching an ear. “So, uh… Ahyat, ” he said in a low voice. “I cant help but notice that the humans seem to, ah… match up in some areas. If you put a sack over their head, or snuff out the candles, one might not be able to tell the difference, if you know what I mean. ” Rinn blinked in initial confusion, but his ears twitched as realization started to dawn. I dont know what you mean… I dont know what you mean… I dont know what you mean… Fuck… “You havent, per chance, gone chasing some… alternate tail, have you? And maybe be able to give a guys report, eh? ” Tyetyeh waggled his ears suggestively. Staring straight ahead, Rinn locked his expression in place, his agitation betrayed only by a slight twitch of the ear. “Artificer Tyetyeh, such a thing would be unspeakably inappropriate, and unbecoming, as has been most of your dialogue. ” “Ah, Ahyat, dont be a prude! Were soldiers in the midst of a war! Manly men, doing menly things! We might die tomorrow, ‘s what I always tell ‘em. Gets me up their skirts right quick. ” He waggled an ear. “That, and a coin or two, if you know what I mean. ” Rinn was saved from further uncomfortable conversation by their arrival at the chow hall. After brief directions to the lords on where to find the officers mess, the enlisted persons fell into line for food. He made sure to distance himself from Tyetyeh, and found himself sitting next to Bradford, as usual. Is she doing that on purpose? “So, hes quite the womanizer, ” she said, nodding at his recent source of annoyance. “Its to be expected, ” he sighed, “Given his horns. ” “I noticed they seemed unusually straight. Whats up with that? ” “He had them straightened. ” He paused to scoop a bite of food into his mouth. The main dish was some kind of meat with gravy and noodles. Bradford raised an eyebrow, and he continued when his mouth was clear again. “For most keshmin, commoners, our horns curve backwards, to varying degrees. ” He gestured at his own horns while scarfing down a couple more bites. It wasnt the greatest meal he ever had, but it was better than most hed had in the last few years. “Fo th nomble falies, ” he swallowed. “For most of them, their horns curve forward to some degree. The royal family has a sharp jog forward, like Lord Commander Yeshais horns. ” “Your noble classes are based on the curve of your horns? ” she gave him sidelong glance. “No, ” he shook his head. “Not exactly… I mean…” He frowned. Well, when you put it that way… “Yeah, kind of…” He sighed. “Its a sign of family lineage, and all the original Ganlin noble families had forward-curving horns. Not all nobility come from families with forward-curving horns anymore, but most do. ” “So forward curving horns are a sign of nobility. Wealth and prosperity. While rearward-curving horns are a sign of peasantry. So he had his horns straightened to make himself more attractive? ” “Yef. ” He nodded, grateful for the opportunity to shovel more food down his gullet. “But why straight? Why not curve them forward? ” “Because that could get him charged with impersonating nobility. ” “Ah, such a great and dastardly crime. ” Bradford rolled her eyes. “Yef, ” Rinn nodded around another bite of food. “So people who want to appear wealthier or higher status than they are, usually to impress the ladies, will have the shape of their horns modified. ” “But if theyre just peasants, they dont dare have them curved forward. ” “Yes, ” he nodded, scraping his plate and scooping what was left onto his fork. “Thats so silly…” she shook her head, then sighed. “Though, I guess we cant talk too much. We used to discriminate against and even enslave each other based on skin color. ” She frowned. “Some still do. Discriminate, that is. Slavery is illegal. So is discrimination, but thats harder to prove and take action against. ” Rinn quirked an ear. “Slavery is… not common these days. ” He gathered his utensils on his tray and stood up. Bradford quickly scooped the last of her food into her mouth and joined him. “Tha could be a prolem, ” she said, before swallowing. “At least in the long-term. ” He shrugged. “There are hardly any slaves in the Kingdom anymore. ” He dropped his trash and utensils in the appropriate receptacles. “Most slaves were indentures who sold themselves into slavery to pay debts, or prisoners captured in battle. With the war against the elves going the way it has, the King offered to pay off any indenture, and pay double the standard rate for indenture for enlistment in the Royal Host. Between that, and the drafts, there arent many who would sell themselves to slavery. ” “And elves dont let themselves get captured. ” Exiting the chow hall, Bradford stepped to the side and sat down on a stack of lumber that hadnt been used or moved yet. “Almost never, yes, ” he nodded, joining her. He looked down at the precision-cut timbers they sat on, then up at the rapidly-built structures around him, some of which were still under construction. “Will you really teach us all of this? ” he asked, waving at the sights around them. “Dont see why not, ” she said, then snorted. “Besides, its not like we could do much to prevent it. There are too many businesses that will jump at the new markets and trade you guys represent. We couldnt stop it if we tried. “Youll just have to be careful they dont rob you blind. ” “Ha! ” he waggled his ears at her. “Our lords and merchants are quite good at robbing people blind themselves! I think well be fine. ” She chuckled. “Good. We havent always done right by people who were technologically behind us. “Were more conscious of it now, and I think you guys have plenty of leverage with your magic, but its a trap we might fall into without even realizing. ” He nodded, then glanced back at the chow hall as his nose twitched. Yenyed was walking out alongside Shinyan and the rest of the squad. Does any woman fall for him, as heavy as he throws it on? “Where to next, boss? ” Kawalski asked. “Wherever they tell us, ” Bradford said, nodding at the exit to the officers mess, where the nobles were exiting, along with Colonel Michaels, Major Winters, and Lord Captain Yeshai. She stood up as they approached, and the whole group popped to attention and saluted. “Good afternoon, sir! ” she said as Michaels returned the salute. “At ease, Sergeant. ” He glanced at the squad. “Marines, artificers, we have your assignments. ” Yeshai stepped forward, reading from a scrap of paper. “Lord Sayiash, you will be joining Second Artificer Ahyat in Echo Company. Lord Ayan, you and Second Artificer Tyetyeh will be joining Foxtrot Company. Knight Captain Anyo, you and Second Artificer Yenyed will be joining Delta Company. I will be working with Colonel Michaels and Major Winters in Headquarters Company. Are there any questions? ” “No, my lord, ” the artificers quietly echoed. Rinn glanced at Shinyan, a little disappointed that he was not assigned to Echo Company with him. We were never great friends, but we were friends, and I have so few of them left these days… He rolled his ears. Either way, well still be working together. “Excellent, ” Yeshai said, folding the paper and tucking it away. “Sergeant, ” Michaels said, “Take your men and escort everyone to their respective companies and provide introductions. ” He nodded at Winters and Yeshai. “We have some training plans to finalize. ” “Aye, sir, ” Bradford nodded. “Oh, and Sergeant, ” Michaels said, pausing as he started to turn away. “Make sure the company commanders know that, once everyone has settled in, they are to be taken to Medical. Everyone needs to get their shots. ” “Aye, sir, ” she said again. Michaels gave her a satisfied nod, then turned and led Winters and Yeshai away. She turned to look at the squad and accompanying artificers. “Back to the barracks it is. ” “You said well all be sleeping there together? ” Tyetyeh asked, leering. “Because if there are any ladies around, I wont be sleeping at all, if you know what I mean. ” Bradford pursed her lips, Rinn sighed, Davies chuckled, and the rest of the squad rolled their eyes or suppressed a groan. At least we wont have to deal with him so much… [ First] Prev] Next.
We have three Marauders-Snape interactions from their school days, and I argue that they, by themselves, with no need for more context, prove that at least until the end of their 5th year, the Marauders bullied Snape, and it was undeserved, one-sided, and extreme. The Express Scene This is the 1st interaction between Snape, James, and Sirius: Snape enters a compartment containing Lily and a group of rowdy boys, including James and Sirius. This passage is followed by Snape and Lilys brief argument, and then: “But were going! ” he said, unable to suppress the exhilaration in his voice. “This is it! Were off to Hogwarts! ” She nodded, mopping her eyes, but in spite of herself, she half smiled. “Youd better be in Slytherin, ” said Snape, encouraged that she had brightened a little. “Slytherin? ” One of the boys sharing the compartment, who had shown no interest at all in Lily or Snape until that point, looked around at the word, and Harry, whose attention had been focused entirely on the two beside the window, saw his father: slight, black-haired like Snape, but with that indefinable air of having been well-cared-for, even adored, that Snape so conspicuously lacked. “Who wants to be in Slytherin? I think Id leave, wouldnt you? ” James asked the boy lounging on the seats opposite him, and with a jolt, Harry realized that it was Sirius. Sirius did not smile. “My whole family have been in Slytherin, ” he said. “ Blimey, ” said James, “ and I thought you seemed all right! ” Sirius grinned. Snapes exhilaration lasts five minutes before James hears something he doesnt like. The text hints at what kind of person 11 years old James is another way - he sounds like Draco: “Imagine being in Hufflepuff, I think Id leave, wouldnt you? ” Back to James and Snape: James picks a fight with Snape without provocation - Snape is talking to Lily. Where are you heading, if youve got the choice? ” James lifted an invisible sword. “‘Gryffindor, where dwell the brave at heart! Like my dad. ” Snape made a small, disparaging noise. James turned on him. “Got a problem with that? ” “No, ” said Snape, though his slight sneer said otherwise. “If youd rather be brawny than brainy —” “Brawny” is not even an insult, and a “slight sneer” is called for, given that James said hed rather leave than be in Slytherin. Snape also doesnt insult James - he rolls his eyes at the fact that James values physical courage over intelligence. James is the one who confronts Snape directly. “ Wherere you hoping to go, seeing as youre neither? ” interjected Sirius. James roared with laughter. Lily sat up, rather flushed, and looked from James to Sirius in dislike. “Come on, Severus, lets find another compartment. ” “Oooooo. ” James and Sirius imitated her lofty voice; James tried to trip Snape as he passed. “See ya, Snivellus! ” a voice called, as the compartment door slammed. James picks a fight and throws the first indirect insult. Sirius throws the first direct insult, calling Snape stupid and weak. James approves. Lily wants to get away, gets mocked, and James tries to trip Snape, meaning he is escalating to physical violence, as Snape and Lily were leaving, no less! Brawny indeed! Someone also throws the first rude nickname, Snivellus (incidentally, Snape never refers to James or Sirius by anything other than their actual name. This is the first Snape+Lily and proto-Marauders interaction. Snape is uninteresting until he gives James a reason to hate him, and then James and Sirius seem to bond over their hatred of everything Slytherin, including Snape, and Lily, who is Slytherin-bound at this point. Sirius tries to make peace with Lily once she is Sorted, but she's still hurt. She took one look at him, seemed to recognize him from the train, folded her arms, and firmly turned her back on him. The Prank The "prank" takes place sometime in their fifth year. This is Lupins account of it: ”Snape had seen me crossing the grounds with Madam Pomfrey one evening as she led me toward the Whomping Willow to transform. Sirius thought it would be — er — amusing, to tell Snape all he had to do was prod the knot on the tree trunk with a long stick, and hed be able to get in after me. Well, of course, Snape tried it — if hed got as far as this house, hed have met a fully grown werewolf — but your father, whod heard what Sirius had done, went after Snape and pulled him back, at great risk to his life. Snape glimpsed me, though, at the end of the tunnel. He was forbidden by Dumbledore to tell anybody, but from that time on he knew what I was. ” Sirius doesnt correct Lupin, and neither does Snape, so we can take it at face value. Why did Sirius do it? In his words: ” It served him right, ” he sneered. “ Sneaking around, trying to find out what we were up to… hoping he could get us expelled. ” In Siriuss mind, at 16 (and at 33) sneaking around is punishable by death. Maybe Sirius didnt intend Snape to use the information? But then, why give it? Did he want to frighten Snape so he'll leave them alone? Why would he do that in a way that hurts Lupin? The only explanation is that Sirius either wanted Snape dead, or did not think of the consequences ( or of Lupin) only of his own amusement. Fortunately, James did. Since Jamess life was endangered (despite James possibly already being an Animagus) Snapes was, too. Dumbledore agrees that this was attempted murder: “Sirius Black showed he was capable of murder at the age of sixteen, ” he breathed. “You havent forgotten that, Headmaster? You havent forgotten that he once tried to kill me? ” “ My memory is as good as it ever was, Severus, ” said Dumbledore quietly. We know Dumbledore knows how to shut Snape down, and even dismiss his concerns. That he doesnt do so here suggests that Snapes feelings are more than justified. Snape did not know what Lupin was. The only sign that he knew is Lilys “I know your theory”. Here it is in context: “It was Dark Magic, and if you think thats funny —” “ What about the stuff Potter and his mates get up to? ” demanded Snape. His color rose again as he said it, unable, it seemed, to hold in his resentment. “Whats Potter got to do with anything? ” said Lily. “ They sneak out at night. Theres something weird about that Lupin. Where does he keep going? ” “ Hes ill, ” said Lily. “They say hes ill —” “Every month at the full moon? ” said Snape. “I know your theory, ” said Lily, and she sounded cold. I heard what happened the other night. You went sneaking down that tunnel by the Whomping Willow, and James Potter saved you from whatevers down there. ” This conversation is a little after the prank, because Lily refers to James saving Snape from something thats down the tunnel by the Whomping Willow the other night. Snape is provoked because Lily is lecturing him about Dark Magic, and Lupin is a textbook Dark creature who had been used to nearly kill him. He impulsively asks about Potter and his mates. Now knowing what Lupin is, he is trying to steer Lily to that conclusion. The “theory” Lily knows can be literally anything. Assuming that the theory is “werewolf”, Lilys response makes no sense - she is the one who says “hes ill” as if refuting it. Most tellingly, “the other night” was a full moon night, and Lily does not wonder why Snape went down to the Whomping Willow if he had expected a werewolf. Also, werewolves are 3rd year material - if he had been needlessly obsessing with the Marauders and keeping track of them at all times, he would have realized this in their third year, like Hermione, and he would have known how to deal with a werewolf before going into the tunnel. What happened was that he was completely unprepared for this and he froze (as one does when trapped in a confined space with a predator) and was pulled out by James. If Snape knew, then why, rather then tell everyone and ruin the Marauders life, did he endanger himself? Why did Lupin say “but from that time on he knew what I was”? Why did Sirius say he was “ trying to find out what we were up to? ” Most importantly, who cares? Being stupid or curious is not a crime. The “prank” was attempted murder and Sirius was an attempted murderer. Meanwhile, the accusations leveled against teenage Snape are that he was “an oddball who was up to his eyeballs in the Dark Arts”, jealous of James, hung around with Slytherins who then became Death Eaters; found what Mulciber did to Mary funny, and that, per Lupin, “Sectumsempra was always a specialty of Snapes”. Even Lily only accuses him of hanging around with (not of being one of the) people she finds creepy, who do “Dark Magic”, and of calling people Mudbloods. This, when lecturing Snape about his wrongdoings and ending the friendship, meaning these were her strongest complaints. Sectumsempra was probably developed after the attempted murder - it is a clear escalation from the other spells Snape developed, which were more defensive, and I have good reason to believe it made its debut in Snapes worst memory. Conclusion: Sirius tried to kill Snape because Snape had inconvenienced him and his friends. How did the school handle this? Dumbledore forbade Snape from telling anyone about it. Sirius wasnt expelled. We also have this conversation (yes, again. JRK is a wonderful author and this is extremely layered) “And youre being really ungrateful. I heard what happened the other night. You went sneaking down that tunnel by the Whomping Willow, and James Potter saved you from whatevers down there —” Snapes whole face contorted and he spluttered, “Saved? Saved? You think he was playing the hero? He was saving his neck and his friends too! Youre not going to — I wont let you —” This might be the first time Snape realizes that James hadnt been silenced. James goes around bragging about saving Snape, making himself look like a hero who saved that idiot Snape - and Lily believes James over her supposed best friend. Since the thing adult Snape accuses James of the most is arrogance, I think this is the worst thing James did, in Snapes view - ruining his credibility and reputation with his bragging. James took credit for saving Snapes life, but astonishingly, this was not a wake-up call. The Marauders did not see the error of their ways, at all. Even after graduation, Snape held on to Lupins secret for 20 years, until the end of POA. This hints at some sort of magical silencing, but whether or not you buy it, the way Dumbledore handled the attempted murder is appalling, and nowadays, the similarity to the systemic hushing-up and victim-blaming and discrediting that often follows rape should be obvious, even if the analogy was unintentional. James, conversely, looks the hero. This level of bullying and enabling is extreme, and should be understood as such. Snapes Worst Memory Heres adult Lupin trying to comfort Harry about not being made a prefect: “I think Dumbledore might have hoped that I would be able to exercise some control over my best friends, ” said Lupin. “ I need scarcely say that I failed dismally. ” This is foreshadowing, even if Lupin makes it sound cute. The pretext for Harry viewing SWM is that Snape rushes out of class to help Montague, who finally resurfaced after being shoved in the Vanishing Cabinet by the twins. Heres what Harry sees: Snape-the-teenager had a stringy, pallid look about him, like a plant kept in the dark. This is the boy who was barely able to contain his exhilaration at going to Hogwarts. This place has really done a number on him. James yawned hugely and rumpled up his hair, making it even messier than it had been. Then, with a glance toward Professor Flitwick, he turned in his seat and grinned at a boy sitting four seats behind him. James doesnt look like hes been having a hard time. Whatever Snape did to them didnt make them change their demeanor. Heres Sirius: Harry saw Sirius give James the thumbs-up. Sirius was lounging in his chair at his ease, tilting it back on two legs. He was very good-looking. and a girl sitting behind him was eyeing him hopefully, though he didnt seem to have noticed. Harry looked down at his father, who had hastily crossed out the L. E. he had been embellishing, jumped to his feet, stuffed his quill and the exam question paper into his bag, which he slung over his back, and stood waiting for Sirius to join him. Harry looked around and glimpsed Snape a short way away, moving between the tables toward the doors into the entrance hall, still absorbed in his own examination paper. Round-shouldered yet angular, he walked in a twitchy manner that recalled a spider, his oily hair swinging about his face. A gang of chattering girls separated Snape from James and Sirius. Snape and Lily have been drifting apart: James and Sirius wait for each other after their exam, Snape and Lily dont. The gang includes Lily. Later, we also learn why Sirius doesnt notice the girl. Snape walks with a hunch, hes twitchy, hes looking from side to side (his hair is swinging. His body language is screaming: he is scared. Snape remained close by, still buried in his examination questions; but this was Snapes memory, and Harry was sure that if Snape chose to wander off in a different direction once outside in the grounds, he, Harry, would not be able to follow James any farther. To his intense relief, however, when James and his three friends strode off down the lawn toward the lake, Snape followed, still poring over the paper and apparently with no fixed idea of where he was going. How hard must it have been for Snape to answer questions about werewolves while in the same room as Sirius and Lupin? I think he had to dissociate heavily to get through the exam, and this is why he is wandering aimlessly and appears unaware of his surroundings. Hes definitely not trying to bother the Marauders. Moving on. He started playing with the Snitch, allowing it to fly as much as a foot away and seizing it again; his reflexes were excellent. Wormtail watched him in awe. They stopped in the shade of the very same beech tree on the edge of the lake. Snape had settled himself on the grass in the dense shadows of a clump of bushes. He was as deeply immersed in the O. W. L. paper as ever, which left Harry free to sit down on the grass between the beech and the bushes and watch the foursome under the tree. The sunlight was dazzling on the smooth surface of the lake, on the bank of which the group of laughing girls who had just left the Great Hall were sitting with shoes and socks off, cooling their feet in the water. James was still playing with the Snitch, letting it zoom farther and farther away, almost escaping but always grabbed at the last second. Wormtail was watching him with his mouth open. Every time James made a particularly difficult catch, Wormtail gasped and applauded. After five minutes of this, Harry wondered why James didnt tell Wormtail to get a grip on himself, but James seemed to be enjoying the attention. Harry noticed his father had a habit of rumpling up his hair as though to make sure it did not get too tidy, and also that he kept looking over at the girls by the waters edge. “Put that away, will you? ” said Sirius finally, as James made a fine catch and Wormtail let out a cheer. “Before Wormtail wets himself from excitement. ” Wormtail turned slightly pink but James grinned. “If it bothers you, ” he said, stuffing the Snitch back in his pocket. Harry had the distinct impression that Sirius was the only one for whom James would have stopped showing off. This establishes that: 1. Snape is minding his own business. 2. James is so attention-seeking, its making Harry uncomfortable. 3. Lily is nearby and James wants her to notice him. 4. Sirius is the only one who can put James in his place. 5. Jamess reflexes are excellent. The horror show begins: “ Im bored, ” said Sirius. “Wish it was full moon. ”. “ Thisll liven you up, Padfoot, ” said James quietly. “Look who it is. ” Siriuss head turned. He had become very still, like a dog that has scented a rabbit. “Excellent, ” he said softly. “Snivellus. ” Sirius and Jamess motivation is boredom. There is no sign that they are scared of Snape, on the contrary, this is fun for them. Sirius and Snape are literally compared to a dog and a rabbit - predator and prey. Harry turned to see what Sirius was looking at. Snape was on his feet again, and was stowing the O. paper in his bag. As he emerged from the shadows of the bushes and set off across the grass, Sirius and James stood up. Lupin and Wormtail remained sitting: Lupin was still staring down at his book, though his eyes were not moving and a faint frown line had appeared between his eyebrows. Wormtail was looking from Sirius and James to Snape with a look of avid anticipation on his face. “All right, Snivellus? ” said James loudly. Snape reacted so fast it was as though he had been expecting an attack: Dropping his bag, he plunged his hand inside his robes, and his wand was halfway into the air when James shouted, “ Expelliarmus! ” Snapes wand flew twelve feet into the air and fell with a little thud in the grass behind him. This behavior is nothing unusual: otherwise, what is Lupin worried about? What is Peter avidly anticipating? Why does Snape react as though he had been expecting this? Why does it appear like they never retired the nickname from the Express scene? Snape had now been disarmed. Everything that follows is an attack against someone helpless. Sirius let out a bark of laughter. “Impedimenta! ” he said, pointing his wand at Snape, who was knocked off his feet, halfway through a dive toward his own fallen wand. Students all around had turned to watch. Some of them had gotten to their feet and were edging nearer to watch. Some looked apprehensive, others entertained. Snape lay panting on the ground. James and Sirius advanced on him, wands up, James glancing over his shoulder at the girls at the waters edge as he went. James publicly attacks Snape in two out of two scenes he appears in. If the text wanted to establish a rivalry, it failed. James and Sirius are advancing on a guy who is laying panting on the ground without his wand. James is trying to get Lilys attention with this behavior. Wormtail was on his feet now, watching hungrily, edging around Lupin to get a clearer view. “Howd the exam go, Snivelly? ” said James. “I was watching him, his nose was touching the parchment, ” said Sirius viciously. “Therell be great grease marks all over it, they wont be able to read a word. ” Thats why Sirius didn't notice the girl. He was preoccupied with Snape, he hates him this much. He never grew out of it. From POA: “Snape? ” said Black harshly, taking his eyes off Scabbers for the first time in minutes and looking up at Lupin. “ Whats Snape got to do with it? ” Sirius, 33, hates Snape so much, it makes him take his eyes off Pettigrew, who betrayed the Potters, killed 12 people, and framed him. Why? How could this possibly be rational? It's worth noting, in this context, that the Marauders' Map insults Snape's looks too. It appears that they were very preoccupied with it, much more than with his interest in the Dark Arts. Moving on: Several people watching laughed; Snape was clearly unpopular. Wormtail sniggered shrilly. Snape was trying to get up, but the jinx was still operating on him; he was struggling, as though bound by invisible ropes. “You — wait, ” he panted, staring up at James with an expression of purest loathing. “You — wait. ” “Wait for what? ” said Sirius coolly. “Whatre you going to do, Snivelly, wipe your nose on us? ” When Snape is openly threatening James, Sirius does not believe him capable of worse than wiping his nose on them. Heres Sirius to an opponent he respects (20 years later, but still) “Come on, you [Bellatrix] can do better than that! ” Indeed, she can. Moving on: Snape let out a stream of mixed swearwords and hexes, but his wand being ten feet away, nothing happened. “Wash out your mouth, ” said James coldly. “Scourgify! ” Pink soap bubbles streamed from Snapes mouth at once; the froth was covering his lips, making him gag, choking him — “Leave him ALONE! ” James and Sirius looked around. Jamess free hand jumped to his hair again. It was one of the girls from the lake edge. She had thick, dark red hair that fell to her shoulders and startlingly green almond-shaped eyes — Harrys eyes. Harrys mother. James is telling Snape: Youre nothing. Youre so low, youll be punished (by choking) for attempting to defend yourself. Snape is supposed to be the one who is all about the scary Dark Arts, but it seems that Scourgify can certainly do enough damage when applied to a human mouth, no? Anyway, James accomplished his goal - Lily is finally paying attention to him. “All right, Evans? ” said James, and the tone of his voice was suddenly pleasant, deeper, more mature. “Leave him alone, ” Lily repeated. She was looking at James with every sign of great dislike. “ Whats he done to you? ” “Well, ” said James, appearing to deliberate the point, “ its more the fact that he exists, if you know what I mean. ” Many of the surrounding watchers laughed, Sirius and Wormtail included, but Lupin, still apparently intent on his book, didnt, and neither did Lily. “You think youre funny, ” she said coldly. “But youre just an arrogant, bullying toerag, Potter. Leave him alone. ” If Snape deserves this, why does Lily ask James why he is attacking him? Why does James make a point of explaining how low Snape is, instead of producing a reason Lily would approve of? Why is Lupin staying out of it and not defending his friends? Why is Lily calling James a bully? My guess about the “he exists” line is that James is teasing Snape because Snape owes him his life. Imagine being teased about being nearly killed. This is two Gryffindor Prefects on the scene now, who are obligated not only to protest what is going on, but to stop it and report it. Lupin is failing miserably, and Lily is failing only slightly less miserably (or maybe more, because she and Snape are ostensibly friends, still. “ I will if you go out with me, Evans, ” said James quickly. “Go on. Go out with me, and Ill never lay a wand on old Snivelly again. ” Behind him, the Impediment Jinx was wearing off. Snape was beginning to inch toward his fallen wand, spitting out soapsuds as he crawled. “I wouldnt go out with you if it was a choice between you and the giant squid, ” said Lily. Snape is still on the floor, coughing up soap, wandless, crawling. James is not doing this because Snape deserves it. A pro-Marauders fanfic I read attempted to make James look good in this scene by having Snape torture Peter in the same manner first. Lets say this happened. Proof by elimination: James isnt giving Lily the real reason for the sake of Petes dignity. This also explains Petes anticipation. But why is Lupin disapproving? How come James promises to end the hostility for a date, if hes retaliating for something? More generally, If James is being moral, why target Snape, and not Avery and Mulciber, who actually do bad things? What did Bertram Aubrey do? Conclusion: Snape did nothing to deserve this. Moving on: “Bad luck, Prongs, ” said Sirius briskly, turning back to Snape. “OY! ” But too late; Snape had directed his wand straight at James; there was a flash of light and a gash appeared on the side of Jamess face, spattering his robes with blood. James whirled about; a second flash of light later, Snape was hanging upside down in the air, his robes falling over his head to reveal skinny, pallid legs and a pair of graying underpants. Many people in the small crowd watching cheered. Sirius, James, and Wormtail roared with laughter. Lily, whose furious expression had twitched for an instant as though she was going to smile, said, “Let him down! ” “Certainly, ” said James and he jerked his wand upward. Snape fell into a crumpled heap on the ground. This is Sectumsempra's debut. If Snape had used it before, Sirius would have had more to worry about than Snape's boogers. He was certainly not famous for attacking people with it, as some claim. This hypothesis is based on Lupin saying Sectum was a specialty of Snapes - but of course it was, he invented it, and Lupin is one of the enemies for whom it was intended. Hell, the inscription “for enemies” proves teen Snape knew you dont use this spell on just anyone. The fact that it takes Snape using it again (in the 7 Potters battle, ironically, in an attempt to protect Lupin) for Lupin to remember that he ever used it shows that he didnt use it indiscriminately. James had it coming. James is also the type of person who would leverage the safety of a girls friend to score a date with her. Appalling. Moving on: Disentangling himself from his robes, he got quickly to his feet, wand up, but Sirius said, “Petrificus Totalus! ” and Snape keeled over again at once, rigid as a board. “LEAVE HIM ALONE! ” Lily shouted. She had her own wand out now. James and Sirius eyed it warily. “ Ah, Evans, dont make me hex you, ” said James earnestly. “Take the curse off him, then! ” James sighed deeply, then turned to Snape and muttered the countercurse. “There you go, ” he said, as Snape struggled to his feet again, “ youre lucky Evans was here, Snivellus — ” Thanks for remembering you have a wand, Lily. No wonder Snape had to seek out friends who might be more enthusiastic about protecting him (although, where are they? How tight was he with his Slytherin gang at this point. James earnestly threatens Lily, whom he likes. He is displeased at having to release Snape, he threatens him with what could have been. This is clearly intended to humiliate Snape, and it works. When Harry views this scene for the second time, in The Princes Tale, this moment is described like this: “Distantly he heard Snape shout at her in his humiliation and his fury, the unforgivable word: “Mudblood. ” Snape tried to reclaim some dignity, some of his masculinity, even. Sadly, it backfired horrendously. “ I dont need help from filthy little Mudbloods like her! ” Lily blinked. “Fine, ” she said coolly. “ I wont bother in future. And Id wash your pants if I were you, Snivellus. ” “Apologize to Evans! ” James roared at Snape, his wand pointed threateningly at him. “I dont want you to make him apologize, ” Lily shouted, rounding on James. “ Youre as bad as he is. ” “What? ” yelped James. “Id NEVER call you a — you-know-what! ” “. walking down corridors and hexing anyone who annoys you just because you can — Im surprised your broomstick can get off the ground with that fat head on it. You make me SICK. ” She turned on her heel and hurried away. “Evans! ” James shouted after her, “Hey, EVANS! ” But she didnt look back. “What is it with her? ” said James, trying and failing to look as though this was a throwaway question of no real importance to him. “Reading between the lines, Id say she thinks youre a bit conceited, mate, ” said Sirius. “Right, ” said James, who looked furious now, “right —” There was another flash of light, and Snape was once again hanging upside down in the air. “Who wants to see me take off Snivellys pants? ” And scene. The key words were “I dont need help”, not “Mudbloods”. This is not saying slurs are OK. However, this was in 1970s UK, and Wizarding society is behind Muggle society in every way. Unfortunately, slurs were more common then, meaning it was not just the raging racists who used them. In universe, we know Snape used that word on others (which is worse than doing it at a moment of rage and hurt, by the way) and James doesn't say that's why he's attacking Snape. Even when Draco uses it, nobody starts a campaign against slurs. Harry, Lily's son, barely even remembers that Snape used that word - he correctly identifies what's the bigger transgression in this scene, even though he hates Snape. Why is the use of a slur scrutinized so heavily when, in universe, it is clearly not downplayed and is in fact a major plot point? Why are the abuse and public degradation that are the context for using it downplayed and whitewashed? People insist that things must have happened, off-page, that justify what James and Sirius did, but ignore the on-page explanation for what Snape did. Even Lily, the “Mudblood” in question, who is clearly hurt, says James is as bad as Snape, and accuses James of hexing people because he can. Lilys “I wont bother in the future” is further proof that she knows there will be a next time - this was not a one time thing, shes had to defend Snape before. James is a menace. And the menace is furious. He was not furious before, mind you, just bored. Its because he had no reason to be furious with Snape. Jamese is furious now because Lily rejected him. It is a near-certainty that James then exposed Snapes genitals in front of a crowd (in UK English, pants means underpants) The scene ends there, with the literary equivalent of a fade to black. James seems intent on delivering on his threat. Lupin and Sirius dont say it didnt happen. Snape has now been sexually assaulted at least once. To put this in perspective, something similar is done to someone else, by a bad group of people, and it is referred to as torture. From GOF: One of the marchers below flipped Mrs. Roberts upside down with his wand; her nightdress fell down to reveal voluminous drawers and she struggled to cover herself up as the crowd below her screeched and hooted with glee. Voldemorts heard of this: You are still ready to take the lead in a spot of Muggle-torture, I believe? Except what Snape endured is worse in some respects, because his underpants were removed, he was a minor, his assailants were not strangers and he continued to see them every day, and all of this is going on the charitable assumption that the assault at the end of SWM was the only one. Mrs. Roberts is a victim of a hate crime (although she doesnt know it) and she is experiencing a horror she cannot comprehend, true; and yet - within the moral landscape of HP, this is extreme behavior. Harry views this scene and he is horrified, the thought of his father makes him ashamed. He never tells anyone hes seen it, except Sirius and Lupin. For nearly five years the thought of his father had been a source of comfort, of inspiration. Whenever someone had told him he was like James he had glowed with pride inside. And now… now he felt cold and miserable at the thought of him. From the same chapter: Directly ahead of him, Harry could see the towering beech tree below which his father had once tormented Snape. He was not sure what Sirius could possibly say to him that would make up for what he had seen in the Pensieve, but he was desperate to hear Siriuss own account of what had happened, to know of any mitigating factors there might have been, any excuse at all for his fathers behavior. He gets none. If Snape and the Marauders had been rivals, then the people who knew Snape would have had something worse to say about him than vague accusations of being into Dark Arts. Even when Snape kills Dumbledore, and it is “proven” that he was never good, nobody has anything concrete to say to make any sense of it. On the contrary: they are all shocked. Heres Siriuss analysis of the kind of company Wormtail sought out, in a startlingly rare display of self-awareness: Youd want to be quite sure he was the biggest bully in the playground before you went back to him, wouldnt you? James has multiple advantages over Snape: He has 3 sidekicks, including a prefect. Hes a rich, popular pureblood. McGonagall, whos in charge of disciplining him, is known to bend rules when it comes to Quidditch stars. His Quidditch skills make him hard to evade and beat. Dumbledore has already shown that he will let them get away with murder, quite literally. He has an infallible surveillance system of the school and a perfect invisibility cloak. Snape was no match to all of that. Rather than prove that he had “changed”, the fact that James was made Head Boy proves that James set the terms for any encounter between Snape and himself, no matter how many times Lupin says Snape was a special case. The only thing about Snape that was special was that he was an especially easy target, and also, he was friends with Lily, which James really didn't like. Sirius and Lupin admit that their behavior was unacceptable: “Im not proud of it, ” said Sirius quickly. “Did I ever tell you to lay off Snape? ” he [Lupin] said. “Did I ever have the guts to tell you I thought you were out of order? ” “Yeah, well, ” said Sirius, “ you made us feel ashamed of ourselves sometimes. That was something. Why would Lupin think his friends were out of order, why would he make them feel ashamed of themselves sometimes, if they had been a mutual rivalry, or if they had been defending the school against a deranged psycho, as some like to portray it? Harry is so disgusted by his father's behavior, he does not understand what Lily saw in him: “She started going out with him in seventh year, ” said Lupin. “Once James had deflated his head a bit, ” said Sirius. “And stopped hexing people just for the fun of it, ” said Lupin. “ Even Snape? ” said Harry. “Well, ” said Lupin slowly, “Snape was a special case. I mean, he never lost an opportunity to curse James, so you couldnt really expect James to take that lying down, could you? ”“And my mum was okay with that? ” “ She didnt know too much about it, to tell you the truth, ” said Sirius. “I mean, James didnt take Snape on dates with her and jinx him in front of her, did he? ” Lupin speaks slowly because hes lying. Its James who never missed an opportunity, and Snape was expected to take it lying down. James knew he was in the wrong, otherwise, why lie? Since James managed to hide his stunts from Lily, why not from the staff? Given his bragging that he “saved Snapes life, ” lying to look good to Lily is a pattern. Lupin is a known liar, as proven by the entire plot of POA. Jamess two best friends have nothing concrete to say in his defense, except that he “stopped hexing people for fun. ” This is damning with faint praise. The defenses they offer are laughable: “I wouldnt like you to judge your father on what you saw there, Harry. He was only fifteen — ” “ Im fifteen! ” said Harry heatedly. Harry knows 15 is old enough to know better. So do the Centaurs: “They brought her here, Ronan, ” replied the centaur who had such a firm grip on Harry. “And they are not so young. He is nearing manhood, this one. ” Moving on: “Look, Harry, ” said Sirius placatingly, “James and Snape hated each other from the moment they set eyes on each other, it was just one of those things, you can understand that, cant you? I think James was everything Snape wanted to be — he was popular, he was good at Quidditch, good at pretty much everything. And Snape was just this little oddball who was up to his eyes in the Dark Arts and James — whatever else he may have appeared to you, Harry — always hated the Dark Arts. ” “Yeah, ” said Harry, “ but he just attacked Snape for no good reason, just because — well, just because you said you were bored. ” Sirius is either lying or misremembering: we know James and Snape didnt hate each other from the first moment for no reason, but because James and Sirius antagonized Snape. Also, why would Snapes supposed jealousy of James contribute to James feeling so inferior compared to Snape, that hed treat him like that? According to JKR, it was James who was jealous of Snape, over Lily. Given that Sirius is blatantly wrong, there is no reason to believe the Dark Arts had anything to do with it. It reads like an attempt to move the conversation to more comfortable territory, and is extremely hypocritical: James didnt pretend he was being righteous in real time and neither did Sirius. They set a werewolf loose on Hogsmeade and used an illegal hex (i. e., Dark Magic) on Bertram Aubrey, so James didn't hate the Dark Arts this much; the dichotomy between Dark and legitimate magic reads as arbitrary nonsense at best and self-serving at worst, and Ill forever maintain that using Scourgify on a person is extremely violent, Dark" or not. If James had a problem with Snape's brand of magic, why did he use a spell Snape invented? Harry recognizes that this is irrelevant. The defense campaign ends with: “Look, ” he said, “your father was the best friend I [Sirius] ever had, and he was a good person. A lot of people are idiots at the age of fifteen. He grew out of it. ” “ Yeah, okay, ” said Harry heavily. “ I just never thought Id feel sorry for Snape. ” To me, this reads like: “Look, ” he said, “I am extremely biased and I miss your father and this conversation is making me uncomfortable. Your father was an idiot and eventually he stopped, thats all I actually have to say in his defense. “ I just never thought Id feel sorry for the person I hate, who treats me like total shit, my dad was really bad! ” Also, Sirius never grew out of it, and he was OK with it in the first place, so his opinion doesnt count. At 15, Harry is more mature than him, and he is unconvinced. In one of the last interactions between Snape and Sirius (OOTP:24) Sirius still calls him Snivellus, by calling him “Luciuss lapdog”, he's possibly suggesting something very unsavory, hes the first to raise his wand. Harry is the one who tries to defuse the situation. Snapes behavior is cringe-worthy too, but he is giving Sirius life-saving information: His dog covers been blown. He is being protective, in his trademark snarky way. Note that Sirius has yet to apologize for the attempted murder, or for anything else. This isnt somebody who knows anything about growing up, so his opinion can be dismissed. The same goes for Lupin, who has a lifelong pattern of letting his desire to be accepted get the better of him. To quote JKR, this was relentless bullying. Downplaying, whitewashing, excusing, and blaming the victim for it, is sickening.
2020 is the year to cut the cord. Streaming services are rising in popularity and a vast number of people are turning to online TV and premium movie streaming services such as Netflix, Disney Plus and Hulu for consuming entertainment. There are also many free movie apps that allows you to download and watch movies and TV shows online. Here are the best free movie apps available: 1. YouTube Before you go on a hunt to watch the movie you want to watch on Google, try looking it up on the YouTube app. A lot of production companies upload their movies on YouTube and they are officially available to watch. You wont have to pay anything to watch these movies and the production company earns from the AdSense ads on the movie page. This is definitely one of the best ways to watch a movie online since YouTube is a very good app and it is also capable to streaming high quality HD videos even on slower networks. YouTube is officially available on iOS as well as Android and on Android, it comes as a preloaded app which means you dont have to download it. Download YouTube for Android Download YouTube for iPhone & iPad 2. Google Play Movies & TV Google Play Movies & TV is an app dedicated towards buying and renting movies and TV shows. But every once in a while, Google offers free rental of a movie or a TV show so you can check the app to grab those limited time rentals. Alternatively, you can install the Google Rewards app which will send you regular surveys every month and for every survey you complete, you will be awarded with some Play Credits that you can use to rent the movies and TV shows. This ultimately turns out to be a free and legal movies app for Android and iOS with the Google Rewards app. Download Google Play Movies & TV for Android Download Google Play Movies & TV for iPhone and iPad 3. Tubi TV Tubi TV is a free movies app that is available for both Android as well as iOS and you can watch a bunch of popular movies and TV shows on the app legally without paying anything. You dont even need a credit card to use the app as the app is monetized by ads. The app is updated with free movies and TV shows every week so you will never run out of new things to watch. You can watch your favorite movies of different genres like action, classics, documentaries and even movies from other countries like Korean movies, drama and more. The app works with the internet but behaves like a cable TV which means it is completely free and legal. Download Tubi TV for Android Download Tubi TV for iPhone & iPad 4. SnagFilms SnagFilms is a completely legal way of watching movies and TV shows on your Android and iOS device. The app is also supported by Android TV so if you have a smart TV that runs on Android TV, you can download the app and enjoy it on the television as well. SnagFilms offers more than 5000 movies, documentaries and TV shows. It also has a portfolio of films in different genres like action, adventure, comedy and more. The app is updated with new content every month and the best part is that you dont have to pay even a single penny in order to use the app. Download SnagFilms for Android Download SnagFilms for iPhone and iPad 5. Viewster Viewster lets you watch movies, TV shows, and even Anime without the need for payment or a subscription. It has a huge portfolio of movies, TV shows and anime which includes newer anime and even classics that you might love. The best part about Viewster is that you dont need to sign up to start watching. Just download the Android or iOS app and you will be able to watch whatever you want from the portfolio instantly. You can choose channels you want to watch, and the app also has a watch later functionality in case you find movies or something that you want to watch later. Download Viewster for Android Download Viewster for iPhone & iPad 6. Popcorn Flix Popcorn Flix is another good free movies app that is officially available on Play Store and the iTunes app store. You can watch full-length free movies on the app easily without any fees or subscription. You can choose from more than 700 movies available starring actors like Brad Pitt, Kristen Stewart and more. The movies are available in many genres and the app is updated every day with new movies. You can also start watching without any fees and there is no limit to the number of movies that can be watched. The app is supported by ads, so you may see a few ads but its better than paying fees on a monthly basis, right? Download Popcorn Flix for Android Download Popcorn Flix for iPhone & iPad 7. Crackle Crackle is a great way to watch Hollywood movies and TV shows. The app also provides a lot of Crackle Original content that is absolutely free to watch. You can easily stream the content from the official apps available on Play Store and iTunes App Stores. With such a large portfolio, Sony Crackle is definitely one of the best free ways to watch a movie. You can even sign up for the service and have personalized options like syncing the last play progress or a playlist so if you switch devices, you will be able to resume and access your synced watch later content. Download Sony Crackle for Android Download Sony Crackle for iPhone & iPad 8. BIGSTAR Movies BIGSTAR Movies is a great way to watch independent movies along with foreign films, documentaries, and even short movies. It contains thousands of movies and hundreds of titles that can be watched for free. The thing about this app is, it doesnt really cover any Hollywood movies but other independent movies and movies from different genres are available for free. The app provides more than hundreds of titles for free while the full portfolio is available for 4. 99 a month. The app is available for Android, iOS, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Smart TV, Chromecast and many other platforms. The app is updated with new additions in the portfolio every week. Download BIGSTAR Movies for Android Download BIGSTAR Movies for iPhone & iPad 9. Crunchyroll Crunchyroll is something that anime lovers will definitely appreciate. The service comes with free access to more than 25, 000 episodes and more than 15, 000 hours of latest anime. You will be able to watch anime and movies of titles such as Naruto, Dragon Ball, One Piece and more. It comes with free access to the content but you can also sign up for the premium version which brings instant access to latest anime episodes after they are streamed in Japan. The best part about Crunchyroll is that it is free on all platforms like Android and iOS and you can also access it on other platforms like Windows, Xbox One consoles, PlayStation and more. Download Crunchyroll Movies for Android Download Crunchyroll Movies for iPhone & iPad 10. Hotstar Hotstar is another service which allows you to watch free movies and TV shows on Android and iOS. You can easily download it on your device and start watching movies in different languages. You can watch Hollywood movies, Bollywood movies, and more. There is also a premium subscription option that brings HBO, and Hotstar Originals to the people who have subscribed to the premium service. Download Hotstar for Android Download Hotstar for iPhone & iPad 11. JioCinema JioCinema is one of the many apps that Jio has provided for its users. The app lets you watch movies for free on your Android and iOS device. All you need is a Jio ID which can easily be obtained if you are already using Jio as your network provider or from a friend who uses Jio. The ID can be used to sign in to the app on Android, iOS, and even web and you will be able to watch a huge portfolio of movies for free. There is no need to pay anything extra for the service since the service is completely free to use with your Jio account. Download JioCinema for Android Download JioCinema for iPhone & iPad 12. Wynk Movies Wynk Movies is a service by Airtel for Airtel users and it has a huge number of movies available from Hollywood, Bollywood and more. The app is completely free to use with your Airtel account and works without any monthly subscription if you already have a data plan from the company. The app is available for Android and iOS and can work without using up your data on Airtel network if you are signed in which means your data wont be consumed if you are watching movies from this app on Airtels network. Download Wynk Movies for Android Download Wynk Movies for iPhone & iPad 13. Movie Box Movie Box is something that can be termed as a ShowBox alternative for iOS. The app has been designed by keeping iOS devices in mind and it works extremely well just like ShowBox. It has a large portfolio of movies and TV shows and the app is updated daily with new content. You will be able to stream the free movies right on your iOS device with Movie Box as it gives you an option to choose from the source that you want to stream the content. Download Movie Box for iPhone & iPad 14. Popcorn Time Popcorn Time is an app that streams movies and TV shows from torrents right on your Android device. It is also available for Windows, macOS and even Android TV but sadly the app isnt available for iOS. It is a great choice for people who want an app that streams directly from torrents instead of streaming from slower services. The main advantage of using Popcorn Time is that since it is torrent based, it works great and download movies as full download speed unless your ISP has throttled the speeds for torrent downloads. But anyhow, the Popcorn Time app is definitely worth a try for your free movie watching needs. 15. Terrarium TV Terrarium Tv lets you watch movies and TV shows on your Android device for free and not only that, but it also allows you to download movies and TV show episodes on your Android devices storage, so you can have it with you if you want to watch it another time. The download option is also useful when you are traveling, and the network isnt great to support streaming. The app has a really nice design laid out in an organized way. You can open up a movies profile and see the details, ratings and more. You can also sort the content using filters like newly added, most popular and more. 16. Cinema Box Cinema Box is another alternative to ShowBox and Terrarium TV, but it is specifically designed to watch movies for free. The app lets you watch new movies from Hollywood and a few other industries in full HD and HD resolutions and these movies can be added to your Watch List which will help you keep track of the movies you have watched and the movies that you want to watch later. The app is very simple to use even though it doesnt have the content organization that a few other apps mentioned above do but that is the only downside of Cinema Box and otherwise it works really well. 17. VideoMix VideoMix is an app that lets you watch the latest movies and TV shows right on your Android device. The app can stream the movies and TV shows from sources like GorillaVid, Putlocker and more. It downloads the stream and then you can use a third-party video player like VLC or MX Player to play the downloaded content. Each of these movies has details, trailers, ratings and even other information which is sourced from IMDb. The app isnt that modern looking, but it does what it says, and the UI isnt a problem when all you have to do is watch movies. 18. Movie HD App The Movie HD is a great free movies app for Android is a great choice and alternative to the above-mentioned free movie apps for Android. The Movie HD app makes sure that you have access to all the latest movies that are released, and it can easily stream it on your Android device using a third-party player like MX Player or VLC. The apps design is quite good and all the movies and TV shows have been organized in a very nice manner to help you browse through the movies and TV show episodes easily. 19. Megabox HD MegaBox HD is another free movie app lets you watch a lot of movies and TV shows right on your Android device and you can choose to either download or stream these movies in any quality you want. You can watch and download these movies in resolutions like 360p, 720p and even 1080p which is full HD. The design of the app has been developed by keeping good user interface experience in mind which means movies and TV shows are already categorized according to their genres, year of release and more. The app also shows information about the chosen content like the details, ratings and more. You can choose to download something and watch later, and the app will download the whole movie or TV show so you can watch the content without needing the internet. 20. PlayBox HD PlayBox HD is an app specifically made for iOS and can be installed very easily. The app lets you watch free movies and TV shows on your iOS device with ease. Even the UI is designed for iOS users which is clear when you use the app for the first time. The app shows details about all movies and their IMDb ratings right inside the movie profile which is useful when you are finding a movie to watch. 21. UnderAnime Just like Crunchyroll, UnderAnime lets you watch latest anime episodes and movies for free in full resolution right on its Android app. You can choose from the quality of episode that you want to watch, and you can watch these episodes in 360p and 720p resolution. The app also comes with extra features such as notifications when new episodes are added to your favorite anime and more. It has support for Google Chromecast as well and it also lets you play the content on a third-party player if you wish to do so. Download UnderAnime for Android 22. Bobby Movie Bobby Movie is an app available for both Android and iOS. It can be installed on Android with the downloaded APK and in order to get this app on iOS, you need to open their website in Safari on your iOS device. You will be able to install Bobby HD on iOS from there. The app itself is one of the very few free movie apps available for iOS and has a good UI and all the movies and TV shows are laid out in a nice way with all the details. Bobby Movie is now known as CotoMovies. You can download CotoMovies here. 23. TeaTV TeaTV is a great and feature rich app for watching free movies. It has a collection of all the latest movies and TV shows and the UI is very simple to use making it one of the best apps for this purpose out there. It can stream movies and TV shows in full HD 1080p and it works on Android, Windows 10 and macOS. On Android, you can easily install the APK while on Windows 10 and macOS you will need an Android emulator to run the app. 24. FreeFlix HQ The FreeFlix Hq app is available for Android, Windows 10 and even macOS. The app is readily functional on Android after you install the APK and on Windows 10 and macOS you can use an Android emulator to run the app. Its a free movie streaming app and comes with a bunch of features like Chromecast support, download and watch-later functionality, a calendar to track movie releases and episodes and even live TV and WWE pay per view. This makes this app one of the most feature-rich apps to watch shows and movies and enjoy for free. It comes with an inbuilt player, so you dont need something else like MX Player and VLC. Download FreeFlix HQ for Android 25. ShowBox ShowBox App is perhaps one of the most popular free movie apps thats available natively on the Android platform. It offers a huge library of movies and shows, both classics and the latest. Its got a userbase of more than 10 million and is very well rated by its users despite having “video not available” issues from time to time, mainly because of the vastness of its content library. Download the APK from here. Be cautious when using the app as it got into a little bit of legal trouble in the US just recently. Download ShowBox for Android 26. MediaBox HD Media Box HD is yet another free movies app that is popular amongst movie lovers. MediaBox has a huge collection of HD movies, TV shows and cartoon shows for both Android and iOS users. Its 100% working as of November 2019 and has the ability to download content and add subtitles to any show or movie. Download MediaBox HD APK Conclusion This article has delved deeper into the world of mobile phone movie watching and brought you the 26 best free movie apps that can help you watch movies on your mobile device. The best free movie apps that we have discussed here have been tested, reviewed and found to be working fine in 2020. Therefore, you can rest assured that any movie app weve reviewed will work fine on your mobile device. It is our hope that these apps will simplify for you the process of searching free movie apps from either Google Play Store or the iPhone Appstore. What is your favorite free movie app for Android and iOS device? Share your movie-watching experience with us.
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I would like to give some advice to new guitar players and old alike, I would like to say I am not the best nor worst guitar player, and the advice I am giving is from my own experience. Disclaimer: I won't be giving any tabs or explanation of what to play. This is in no way complete, and, full disclosure, this is a [X- re)post. of my own work from 7+ years ago, with updates. And I have not changed the links, so if any link is now disabled please let me know and I will try to find another one on topic, I am not supporting any particular website, so links are purposefully from multiple website, some better than others but all resources none the same. This post is a path, much of it was my path. But, for new or good or whatever guitarists. I think sometimes we struggle trying to find a path, and this post if you read to the end will give you something, an idea, of where your path is going. First, use your pinky finger. Many people don't do this in the beginning because it hard to do, later youre going to either be glad you used your pinky from the start or wish you did Practice. Practice Practice. All the time. Once a day, even for 10 mins and you'll improve. Learn how to play ABCDEFG major and minor chords in the first 3 frets. Music using western notes only has 12 notes, you have 6 stings, this means that in any four fret space (open + 3 frets) you have all of the notes spanning at least two octaves. Then learn how to play major and minor chords down the next, take a lets say A major chord and learn how to play it in different places on the neck. Learn to switch chords smoothly, this takes practice but it will help. Go from A to D to E to A to E to D for example over and over, until it sounds good and you can do it blind. A lot of songs are literally just a pattern of these chords. Learn the Major and minor scales, first in a four fret space and then all the way down the neck. In doing this you will be able to play in key much easier because the major scales essentially is a key (I know that it a little more complicated than that but for beginners it a good step. Many people will say learn the blues scales (or other scale) first but for the most part these scales are part of the overall major scale, or a slight change. The reason why your frets are where they are on the neck is because of the major scale, the guitars (and other instruments) are made for the major scale, as opposed to Chinese scales and Indian scales. For example Metallica plays in the E minor scale/key a lot, some of their songs use it almost exclusively, from riff, chorus, bridge to solo. Read. Learn to read tabs Take advice anywhere you can get it. There are many websites that offer tabs, and lesson. There are many books that also do this. I suggest the Guitar Grimoire series. If you can understand these books you won't need another book to learn any chord or scale ever! These links are random as to not endorse using only one source. When another guitarist want to show you something pay attention. Jimi Hendrix once said he tried to learn something from every guitarist he ever met. (regardless of skill level. Even when you are better the guitar (And any musical instrument) is so personal that you can learn a cool riff, a new chord progression, little riff tricks anything. Generally you want to play with your other musicians so you have to learn to play music from others to do that. Your muscles need to be strengthened. Most people can't pick up a guitar and do a bar across all six strings, or accurately stretch very far. This is because your fingers and hands are clumsy, they need to build muscles to be able to finger chords correctly, stretch far enough, and press down hard enough that the sound is clear, this is called dexterity. A good rule of thumb is that when your hand hurts, dull pain, the "burn" is good and building muscle. Sharp pain is bad and is ripping muscles a bad way, you should STOP playing when this happens, like all muscles they need time to rest and rebuild stronger Time to talk "proper" holding, this is for completeness, I mean Hendrix played with his teeth right. When sitting, both feet should be on the ground (same with standing) with the guitar on your left leg (assumed right-handedness) this may be strange, honestly some much better guitarists than me will look at me strange for saying this, it's ok for it to be on you right leg if it's uncomfortable on your left most players do that, I do honestly. When standing your arm should be able to have a 90 degree turn at your elbow and hold the guitar comfortable wrists straight. Too low is bad as well as too high, it shouldn't strain your wrist thats what's important. Your thumb should be always on the back of the neck, in the "center" of what your doing on the other side, a little higher for some things a little lower, but always pressing fully, with baring this really helps thinking of where your thumb should be so all the strings have good pressure. When fingering a fret it's in the space a little away from bar, in some respects every guitar has a sweet spot for this, but it is not on the bar 99. 999% of the time. Take care of your guitar. Replace strings, nuts, bridges etc. when needed. Use string cleaner, guitar polish and lint free cloths. Wash your hands before you play. I use Elixir webbed strings, I find them to be the best. Don't get discouraged. It's hard to play music. You'll find that sometimes it seems like youre not getting any better even with practice, this is not true. I find that people plateau for a while throughout their playing, what is really happening is you are training your muscles and your mind to think better. You will not progress at an even pace, you will jump suddenly and play things you didn't think you could at ease, and then plateau again, then jump is honestly a never ending frustration for all guitarist no matter the level IMO. This is especially true in the beginning, because you need to build muscles, learn a whole new language basically, and you start with knowing nothing at all, everyone is surprised at the end of their first year of how good they have really gotten. Don't forget your right hand (assuming youre playing right handed guitars) Many people concentrate solely on where their left hand is, placing fingers at the right place, switching chord etc. You can't forget you right hand, it is the only thing that makes noise (ok tapping is an exception) you have palm muting, pinch harmonics, alternate picking, finger picking, tapping, sweep picking etc. Learn an entire song. You don't have to learn an entire song every time but when you learn a few good songs until the end you'll learn a lot, hopefully (there are some bad players out there. If you are wondering what your next/first/must have guitar pedal should be, the answer is a looper. A looper pedal is simple, it records in real time what you are playing then repeats it on a loop (over and over) so your amp plays what you just played and you can play over it yourself, it just let it go on and on and hear yourself (make a fuck-ton of mistakes. Listen to yourself while not playing it sounds different. It does not matter the genre, if you dont have a looper buy one. (If you want multiple electric guitar pedals invest in a “one spot” a multiple pedal adapter that can power multiple pedals from one single outlet, all pedals AFAIK use the same charge cable. Repetition is the key to music (and not just practice) this may sound boring, but music comes back around and starts over, the trick especially in soloing is repeating in interesting ways, maybe I repeat a fifth up, or an octave down this time around, Beethoven fifth. Repetition is the key of music Dont ignore silence, called a rest, it is a part of music too, you can easily just mute everything to bring the song together. Music is the logical arrangement of noises and silences. Have goals. Say I want to memorize this scale, i want to play this song. I want to know all the notes on the fret board, maybe only where all the E's are for now. Imagine what you can do and what you want one step further to be, is it strumming, is it clearer sound, Interval training, timing, switching chords, slides, pull offs? Try to focus on what you want to be better at by itself. Dont try to do everything at once until you have everything down. Slow the F* down, seriously everyone wants to shred like Van Halen, but if you start and learn every note painfully slowly, focus on where both your hands are and what they ought to be doing, then half speed, then normal, then fast, you'll be faster at the end, if you just tried really fast first, trust me. Dont be afraid to come back worse than where you were. Its not a competition and life happens. A good player is one you can play music with, not someone that can play note for note a song. Youd be surprised how easy it is from a bad play to play well with a good player. Dont try to overshadow other players. Yeah we can say Im better than you but that doesnt mean another person doesnt have something to say musically that is special and all his/her own. Its annoying and kind of makes you a dick. And I get the whole Im fucking good mentality, but dont discourage others, show them how to play a song. Be patient and help others, please. Finally, always be a student of the guitar, truly there are no masters, there are no gods just people that never stopped learning, listening from yourself, others and from reading.