A/N: Hey guys. I'm so sorry for taking such along with this. I have a bit of writer's block. Every time I think I have the chapter just the way I want it, some plot hole comes up which forces me to rewrite the entire thing. I promise that I'll be done with it all real soon, but for now, I'm going to post an excerpt from Rorschach's diary that will hopefully, with your infinite patience, tide you over. It was meant to be the start to the chapter I'm doing, so I guess I can call this "Part 1" of Chapter 3, despite being much shorter than Part 2.
CHAPTER 3 (PART 1)
Died in Antarctica but reborn in another world. New life bearable but unpleasant. Have to deal with women's clothing. Have to live in little girls body. I had nightmares about the man made holocaust started by Veidt for the first few nights, and had further nightmares about suddenly turning female for the next few weeks afterward, but I'm over both of them now. The girl who I am involuntarily possessing is named Ginevra Molly Weasley. Ginny for short. Ginevra is Italian for Guinevere I'm told. Wonderful, now I'm associated with a harlot. May as well call me Lilith or Inanna. Why do the names in this culture have a bizarre archaic quality to them? It's worse than Atticus Finch and all those hilljacks down in the South, or the numerous minority crack babies with unpronounceable, made up monikers who lived and died right next to me in the tenement where I used to slum.
Why- how- did this happen? More than three months have passed, and I am no closer towards finding out the answers than I was at the beginning- or is it the ending? I could be dead for all I know. This might be Heaven. Might be Hell. Might be Fiddler's Green. But it is unquestionably not the place I grew up in. It is childlike and whimsical and full of eccentric adults who are named after constellations in the sky, but can't even pronounce words like "detective" or "electricity". It is a world of magic.
There are two layers to this world: the normal, everyday world, filled with normal citizens and their lives, and wizards and witches who live in secrecy from the topmost layer. When certain people are born in this world, they possess the (genetic?- It's not clear) ability to channel and shape a very mysterious, physics defying energy that the community at large charmingly calls magic. The theory goes that this energy rests within their very selves: the "core of their being", and it stays with them for the rest of their lives, never waxing or waning. An infinite resource. The ability to control this energy has to be fine tuned through years of study and dedicated instruction by a superior. Most Brits send their kids to Hogwarts, a boarding school for wizards and witches set up in Scotland which is invisible to normal people. They do not invoke pagan gods or make deals with demons or sprites, or use any occult rituals of any kind, although admittedly there is a lot of observance paid to the occult, in a haphazard kind of way. They are also primitive in a lot of other ways, which I will get to.
This world is nearly eight years into the future relative to my own. When I died, it was October of 1985, and when I woke up, it was May of 1992. One moment I was in the cold void of the southernmost continent, and the next, I was in the underground caverns of Albion. Other, smaller but more disturbing "A Sound Of Thunder" type changes exist alongside that mad revelation. So far I've discovered zero counterparts to my crimefighting brethren the Minutemen or the Crimebusters. There is no Veidt Enterprises. No Doctor Manhattan. No records of anyone named Jon Osterman,Wally Weaver, or Janey Slater working at the Gila Flats test base either in fact. No Milton Glass. No 51st state of Vietnam. No Happy Harry's bar anywhere in New York City that I could find. No gang calling themselves the "Knot Tops". No Hector Godfrey editing the New Frontiersman, and no Doug Roth writing at the Nova Express, for neither periodical exists here. VMN does not exist either; some monstrosity called MTV does in it's place. Very few electric cars roam the under lit freeways, and technology in general seems at least ten or twenty years behind my own world. Wizards eschew things not made by them, by muggles, so my predicament is even worse. I'm living in a community that's at least one-hundred years behind mine. Although in many respects wizards outstrip regular people, in terms of longevity and resistance to injury they certainly do(some might even call them superhuman), their common sense is severely lacking. The greatest wizard philosophers, theologians, theoreticians, and scientists would probably be laughed out of any prestigious muggle university for their gross incompetence. It's just as well. I'm not Ivy League brass either.
Magical culture's anonymity from the rest of the world stems from mass memory erasure. Damnation memoriae is their entire foundation. Squads of fascistic "Obliviators" prowl the cities and countryside alike for muggles who may have seen something- anything- supernatural as an excuse to destroy the continuity of their lives. The theory goes that "Muggles", the epithet that they use for non-wizards and non-witches, would go crazy and suddenly start trying to killing them again Matthew Hopkins style if they found about the existence of magic. In my opinion, that's a government enforced delusion. Judging by my own experiences with bigots of many colors, a few religious zealots would get up in arms, but they would be poorly organized and wouldn't know what to look for. Most witches don't have warts on their faces, and not all wizards don pointed hats.
In this world, the Cold War officially ended two years ago with the U.S.S.R collapsing under the weight of it's own contradictions and thankfully without any nuclear fallout. The Berlin Wall fell nearly four years ago. Forcibly estranged family members saw each other for the first time in years, and Checkpoint Charlie earned a very nice gold watch for itself. Ironically, neither event needed mass murder for it to happen. Tricky Dick resigned from office in '74 after mass protests concerning the bugging scandal at the Watergate Hotel(in my world, that event was heavily censored and eventually forgotten about). On September 8th of the same year, Nixon was pardoned by his replacement Gerald Ford for all of his crimes. Nice. Then came Jimmy Carter in '77, a one term abject failure liberal from Georgia who made us look weak in front of the Iranians. Ronald Reagan, the old RKO cowboy actor, was President throughout this version of the 1980s up until a number of years ago when his simian looking running mate took over. Reagan was by all accounts an OK Commander in Chief, but Bush looks like he won't be reelected after not keeping his promise to lower taxes(and for vomiting on a Japanese diplomat at a U.N meeting). Now some sexual deviant Democrat from Arkansas is in the running. How do I properly literate an eyeroll?
On the British side of things, the current Prime Minister is John Major, a
None of the above really effect me though, since, as I have inferred, the wizards are all isolationists. Speaking of which, I must introduce Ginevra's parents.
Arthur(the patriarch) is a bureaucrat who works at the Ministry of Magic, the wizard's federal government. Most countries have similar systems for their wizardmen, except in places like Australia and New Zealand where descendents of convicted criminal wizards now homestead off the land in relative libertarian freedom and isolation(and the same story applies to Indian wizards in the U.S). Arthur earns a steady pay in the Misuse Of Muggle Artifacts Department to keep his family alive, but since this is a plutocracy, he is undermined at every turn by the idle rich. He should be making more than he earns. I still can't understand why scarcity still exists since wizard's have the ability to duplicate anything in unlimited quantities, but the economy may have to do with the goblins, who have a monopoly over the economy and are greedy little bastards to begin with(Doesn't this sound familiar?). Arthur's wife Molly is a homemaker, and she is a typical married woman. She cares about her kids and husband deeply when she's not henpecking them with cryptic commands. She must have let herself go at some point, typical of women her age, as she is a little rotund, although I'm she prefers to call herself "zaftig". Both of Arthur and Molly's records are clean of corruption as far as I can tell, but I am at severe disadvantage. Ginevra, ergo me, is indefinitely banned from having any kid of writing pad, diary, or journal after the Tom Riddle incident. Molly and Arthur inspect my room daily to see if I have smuggled anything in. Children have very little legal independence from their guardians during the best of times, so I have forced myself to learn the "Disillusionment" spell to hide it from them and other prying adults. For the remainder of my stay here, I'm either going to have to run away from home or stick with the Weasley's if I want to truly be free. Since the Weasley's are good people who feed their children well, I'll stick with them for now until I can find a more permanent residence.
No costumed heroes appear to exist in this world at all. Disturbingly, the very concept of a hero, masked or otherwise, is treated by non magical adults with patronizing anecdotes from their childhood. They speak with pride about how they wanted to grow up to be Superman, Batman, or Wonder Woman when they were kids, but "outgrew" such things when they learned to read real literature. Heroes in the popular culture are relegated to the world of comic books, cartoons, and the occasional live action movie, meant only for children and social pariahs. If they only knew what it was really like. One man though did write a comic book in this version of the 1980s about costumed heroes as nothing but neurotic screw ups. Heh. At least someone got that part right. Must either kill that man someday or give him a Pulitizer for diving the truth so thoroughly. Who knows, perhaps he's a wizard himself. The comic is entitled "Doom Patrol", and the writer is Grant Morrison.
On the other hand compared to regular people, magicals retain an unhealthily high level of hero worship. Merlin the White is treated tantamount to a deity. Epithets like "Merlin's Beard", "Merlin's Pants", and even "Merlin's Balls" are used in place of "Goddamn", "Oh my God", and other blasphemies. What did Merlin do to get wizards to refer to him like this? Must have missed something in the Arthurian myths. Or maybe the legends are different here. Albus Dumbledore, the maestro of Hogwarts, is treated with an undue amount of privilege for merely being an academic. Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein never got treated nearly as well as him. Antoine Lavoisier even died during the French Reign of Terror just for being one. Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived, killed the evil warlock Tom Riddle(renaming himself "Lord Voldemort" sometime after he came of age) when he was only a baby. Harry's parents died protecting him, and he grew up with his abusive Aunt and Uncle(on the mother's side) in Muggle land not knowing about his birthright until two years ago on his birthday. That's his story. I asked around how an infant could possibly kill a grown man, especially a homicidal grown man, and I have turned up short so far. Sounds unbelievable. Probably true.
The late evil warlock was an analogue for Hitler, wanting to exterminate everyone who couldn't trace wizard/witch heritage all the way down the line in their families genealogy, and he also wanted to subjugate others who lacked the perfect 100% "blood purity". Riddle founded a cult of terrorist minions to help him with this, all bearing the same "Dark Mark", a tattoo that forms the image of a glittering green skull with a snake protruding from it's mouth. It can be found on either forearm, usually the right forearm. These minions have for the most part been sent to wizard prison, a giant stone complex called "Azkaban", but a couple have faked stories that they were either coerced or brainwashed into helping Riddle(tell that to Leslie Van Houten and the rest of the Manson Family). Chief among these liars are Lucius Malfoy, the same rich man which gave Ginevra the accursed diary containing of Voldemort's soul to begin with, and started the chain of events which ended with her dying and me somehow taking control of her body. He will be the first to be punished. That might be my purpose here: to clean up the corruption of people too oblivious to do it themselves. Perhaps I die, and am reborn somewhere else in perpetuity, destined to the same thing forever.
When I was at Charlton Home, I devoured their meager book collection. Among the forgotten titles were H.G Wells' "Men Like Gods" and Roger Zelazny's "Chronicles of Amber". Later on, I watched the Mirror Universe episodes of "Star Trek", and much further along into my adulthood, "Doctor Who". A year ago, I savored Robert A. Heinlein's "Job: A Comedy of Justice". These science fiction stories introduced me to the concept of parallel universes. In my spare time(and I have a lot of spare time), I did research into the real life possibilities of such a thing, and I was then educated by the works of Doctor Manhattan, Veidt, and many other intellectuals. Manhattan may have used his more esoteric special abilities to transport me here, to a real life parallel universe. In his mind, it may have been a compromise. Instead of killing me outright like I wanted, he sends my consciousness forward here, to this life. But why this life? Why this body? Is there some special purpose, some kind of poetic symmetry between I and this girl who has been robbed of her bodily vessel? Did events in this timeline alter so radically from my own that I was destined to be a magical red haired British magical girl born in the 1980's instead of a "muggle" red haired American boy born in the 1940's? Why are there no heroes?
Doctor Manhattan's very existence demonstrates the cold truth that consciousness is not entirely materially based. It exists independently of the of human body. Manhattan(formerly Osterman) reassembled himself from nothing, lacking but a single atom to his name after the accident at the Gila Flats test base in 1959. How could he do that without a metaphysical anchor? How could Voldemort store his soul into a diary? This Cartesian conundrum will have to be answered later.
Now that I'm caught up, where am I now? Currently riding the train to Ginevra's second year at the boarding school where this all started. Earlier had young boy named Colin Creevey sitting next to me in my compartment, hounding me about the incident in the Chamber Of Secrets. I bribed him with a chocolate frog to move to another compartment. All the other Weasley kids are off on their own; Ronald with his friend Harry Potter and his future girlfriend Hermione Granger, Fred and George off with their partner in crime Lee Jordan, Percy with his girlfriend Penelope Clearwater(I've caught him masturbating to her picture multiple times), and Bill and Charlie are grown up and out of the house.
The summer was spent in exhaustive research. Since Daniel is not present, I had to consult the technical and academic literature on my own, which is admittedly not my best area. I developed my own weaponry, as well as a new face again. It matters not that I am stuck as a female, for Ginny Weasley is nubile and athletic.
Not any closer to finding out how I got here, or what happened to the young lady, however.
I went to the local library every day, resisting succumbing to the eternal temptation of reliving my childhood.
Let me continue from where I last left off, me leaving the Hogwarts infirmary in the sure hands of Molly and Arthur Weasley.