katmarajade: Woman drinking coffee with words "wake up" over her face (xmas snowflake)
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Title: An Act of Rebellion: Eight Nights of Hope
Author: [livejournal.com profile] katmarajade
Written for: [livejournal.com profile] tree00faery
Characters: Anthony Goldstein and a cast of fellow Ravenclaws
Rating: PG
Word Count: 909
Prompt: someone trying to sneak Hanukkah candles past the Carrows during DH.
Summary: During the Carrows' reign of terror, Anthony decides to bring his House together in a surprising way.
Notes: In 1997 the first night of Hanukkah actually fell on Christmas Eve, so I took the liberty of using the 1996 dates so that the festival fell during a time in which all these kids would still be at Hogwarts to celebrate it. And I went with the "Hanukkah" spelling, though I recognize there are several legitimate transliterations.


It's not about Hanukkah, not really. Anthony enjoys the lights, the stories, and his mum's latkes, but he's never cared that much about observing the festivals and holy days. Maybe he should have done, but he left home at age eleven for a whole new world, a world where no one knows the difference between Yom Kippur and breakfast kippers. He likes this world, even as horrifying as it currently is, entrenched in the oppressive darkness of war, full of fear and prejudice.

It's not about Hanukkah, but it is, in a way, about faith. It's about hope. It's about needing something to believe in when the world gets dark and you find yourself losing your way. It's about light and miracles. It's a timely message.

Padma vanishes during the last week of November. No one knows for sure where she's gone, but there are rumors flying at Firebolt speed that she's been taken by the Carrows, others that she's disappeared into a secret hideaway inside the walls of Hogwarts. The older Ravenclaws band together even more tightly, watching out for each other, trying to protect the little ones. Anthony watches the fear and despair begin to seep into his formerly brightly shining housemates. He knows that they need something to hold onto.

The inspiration comes from a most unexpected source: Carrow the Evil (not to be confused with his sister, Carrow the Mad.) Lisa accidentally (or perhaps on purpose) screws up a curse during Dark Arts class and instead of knives flying at the practice dummy, there comes a rain of candles. Carrow yells furiously about her failure and vanishes the candles, claiming students aren't allowed the personal use of candles on school grounds.

Anthony decides that Ravenclaw house is going to celebrate Hanukkah this year, and he announces it to his housemates that evening in the common room. At first, most of them seem confused or indifferent. A few have never heard of the holiday, many think he's crazy for wanting to celebrate something so seemingly silly when there are such serious, terrible things happening around them.

"That's the point, don't you see?" He insists. "It's not about Hanukkah, not really. It's about miracles, about hope, about light when the world around us is growing dimmer by the minute. It's about faith, faith that someday this world will be a better place, someday we'll find a way to take back our lives, our heritage, and our futures. We won't have to hide from a tyrant and his evil minions. We won't have to practice dark arts and hurt innocent people. Someday, someday, but not today. For now we wait and we hope and we refuse to let them win. This is our rebellion. Prohibited candles, forbidden assemblies, and eight nights of lights, of hope, of faith that we're going to overcome this darkness eventually."

They clap wildly, which leaves Anthony speechless for a moment. He thinks of his late father, who had been a passionate politician from Leeds, famous for his stirring speeches and unapologetic dedication to ensuring freedom and destroying prejudice. If his father were still alive, Anthony thinks he would be proud of him and what he's doing.

Michael slaps him on the shoulder, standing by his side like he's always done. Lisa jokes about being a dab hand at candle transfiguration, then more seriously promises to procure some for them. It warms Anthony's heart to have such support from his friends.

The entirety of Ravenclaw tower comes together, sneaking in treats and tiny presents, and studying how to make some of the items they'll need. Anthony worries about how to get a menorah into the school and is surprised when Luna tells him she can manage it. He starts to ask her how she can do it but the warning look she gives him tells him that it's better that he doesn't know. She slips into the corridor one night unseen, and Anthony, Michael, and Lisa spend an hour and a half pacing the common room, waiting anxiously for her return. When she slips back into the tower at three in the morning, she simply gives them a dreamy smile and says it will be here by Wednesday. Anthony hopes she's right, because Hanukkah begins on Thursday at sundown.

The Ravenclaws retire early, returning to the common room in small groups early on Thursday evening. Anthony is setting up, and he's nervous, because he's never done this alone before. His parents or grandparents did the set up, the lights, the words. He never paid much attention, just delighted in presents and good food. Now it's up to him to make this happen, and he checks and rechecks his notes, making sure he's got the blessings written down properly. He touches the beautiful menorah that Luna brought back, amazed at how she obtained it. Glancing at the candles, assembled in a neat row, he hopes that he remembers the details, hazy from years of disuse. Always light from left to right. He finds himself missing his father more than ever.

He looks up to see a sea of quiet, waiting faces. He sees his friends, his classmates, his housemates, his fellow band of fighters, fighters in their own right. With a smile he joins them and begins to tell the story. A tale of faith, of hope, and of light triumphing over the darkness. It's their own act of rebellion in eight nights of lights.

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August 2017

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