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"On this day, the thirteenth of June of the year two thousand and thirty four, in the spirit of honesty, safety and the equality of all mankind, the magical population and the non-magical population will no longer remain hidden from one another, but will be unified as one. Rather than withholding from one another, we today take a step toward a better future, as the union of two such extraordinary cultures and resources promises a betterment in quality of life for all. This statute applies to every living being that is capable of thinking and reasoning for itself. Either Discrimination or Deceptiveness in respect to the statute are both considered the highest form of noncompliance in all countries involved, and are punishable as treason. Every world leader, both magical and non-magical, have signed this statute in agreement that Transparency between the respective communities of the world is the best path toward knowledge and peace."
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 Bennett, Matthew
Matthew Bennett
 Posted: Jun 1 2016, 06:35 PM
Matthew Bennett
In a Relationship with Ariadne O'Rieley
No Special Ability

16. Half-blood. Slytherin. Nicholas Hoult.

It's not what we look like
I've never cared much about how I look. I don't now. But for just a moment, right now, I can't help but stare at my reflection in the mirror - mostly because all of a sudden I realize that I can't remember when I changed. Some people spend hours every day shaping themselves into what they want to look like. Me - yeah, I don't do that. For basically my whole life, I've pictured myself as the short scrawny kid. Honestly, for years I think I still pictured myself as a kid. It's never bothered me before. It wouldn't bother me now - if that was still what I looked like, that is. I mean, don't get me wrong. I'm no Quidditch star - but I've only just realized that I don't exactly look like a twelve year old anymore either. I mean, I'm still thin like Ollie. But at least now I'm tall and thin. And I'm not entirely scrawny. Though, I guess most people would laugh if they knew that the muscles that I do have are more from climbing trees and doing other obscure things than actually working out. Let's be honest - I've never worked out a day in my life. Though, I'm contemplating it slightly right now, only because my arms and back (which get the most use) make the rest of me look extra weak. I try to figure out what you're even supposed to do to build muscle on your chest, but then stop because I know I won't do whatever it is anyway, even if I figure it out.

I reach up to push some of my hair off of my face, and note for the millionth time in my life how much I look like my brother. When we were little, there were times that we were scarily similar. Then, Ollie grew up and I didn't, and we looked nothing alike. Now, at sixteen, I think I've finally evened us out again. I'm a couple inches taller than him now, and his face is more square than mine. But our skin is the same pale olive color - minus the tattoos, for me. We have the same dark hair that doesn't stay put. And of course, our eyes are nearly identical - that sort of blue where you've had to insist more than once to muggles that no, you're not wearing colored contacts and to wizards that no, you aren't using a color changing charm. Who even does that? Either of those? Anyway, my eyes are completely real. So are Ollie's. We didn't charm them to be matching shades of blue, or anything - that would be completely horrific.

It feels strange, to realize all of a sudden how much older I am. But I can't spend all day in front of the mirror I guess - so I pull a plain gray tee-shirt over my head, shrug one arm into a hooded sweatshirt at random, and continue with my day. I guess I shouldn't take too much time - I wouldn't want the Hogwarts Express to leave without me!

It's not where we've been
I still remember my first bit of magic. So does the muggle lady whose hair I set on fire. I was seven. I thought it was brilliant. Mum didn't. But it wasn't as though I meant to, so I didn't get disowned. Just grounded. But for a lot longer than Ollie did when he turned my hair green. Apparently, turning someone's hair green is harmless, and setting someone's hair on fire is "much more dangerous." But that lady was completely fine - it was so harmless that she doesn't even remember that it happened. Though, yes, that's because the obliviators had to come in and wipe her memory. But still, no harm done, right?

So, that was basically the difference between me and Ollie as kids. Ollie was weird and wrote stories and did this weird yoga thing and listened to odd chanting music for no reason and turned my hair green. I climbed trees to the very top and snuck out the dog door so many times that dad had to nail it shut and set a woman's entire head on fire and thought nothing of it. So yes, I suppose I exasperated mum and dad a bit. But the fact that I don't regret a single moment of my childhood pretty much makes it all worth it. Ollie is two years older than me. As kids, we were always best friends. I loved him. Like, worshiped the ground he walked on, loved him. In my mind, nobody was cooler. Even though I didn't want to do yoga or listen to chanting, I still always wanted to be just like him. To his credit, when we were little, Ollie never got annoyed at me. And he was always the one helping me to get out of situations before Mom could punish me - like that time I got stuck in that tree I wasn't supposed to be climbing and Ollie guided me down.

I'll admit that when I first arrived at Hogwarts, I was basically a hyperactive ball of energy that had no sense of boundaries or personal space. I was sorted into Slytherin. The only things that could hold my attention for more than two seconds were Ollie, and fire. Which meant that I basically learned nothing in my first year - except for a couple of fire spells, which I was incredibly good at and practiced all the time. Also, anything that could keep Ariadne O'Rieley away from me was definitely a priority. When I met Ari in first year, holy shit was she annoying. And of course, she was in my house, so there wasn't much I could do about it. And unfortunately, I didn't know any spells to do anything other than light her on fire, and I'm not that mean.

Second year, I was at least a little more focused. I was still working on a way to get rid of Ari. But no matter what I did, she wouldn't leave me alone. She'd even started calling me her best friend, which was ridiculous because I'd never given her a reason to think I liked her. All she did was sing Disney songs all day, and talk about herself. So, when I met Duncan, I literally jumped at the chance for a normal friend. He was a year below me, but he was a Slytherin, too. And although replacing Ari was impossible, being that she's just invite herself along everywhere, having a third person around made her a little more bearable. That was also the year I met Astrid. Astrid was nice, and much less annoying than Ari, and we actually became pretty good friends right away.

By fourth year, we were all pretty much inseparable. Duncan was moody, but had become a good friend. Astrid and I always had a great time together. Though I wouldn't admit it, I'd long since stopped minding Ari's company - it probably helps that we'd both settled down a bit by then. But it wasn't until over the summer before fifth year that I really started to feel like maybe I'd really misjudged her. Maybe, Ari wasn't so bad. Maybe she was better than not so bad. But, being that it was me, it took me ages to figure out that somewhere along the way I'd gone from hating her guts to liking her. Like, liking her, liking her. Which left me completely helpless, because I mean, I'd never liked a girl before. As far as I was concerned, I was still that eleven year old kid seeing the castle for the first time. Growing up wasn't something I'd planned on for a while. It's funny how a girl can change all of that. To make a long story short, the road to where we are now was, if nothing else, awkward. Mostly on my part. It involved at least one failed attempt at kissing her, several weeks of us not speaking, and a whole night of taking care of Ari, who was a nightmare when she was drunk. Only after all that did I actually accept that I needed to just talk to her about it. I did. We're still together.

Somewhere in the middle, Ollie and I grew apart. He went to Norway for some exchange program, and I wound up with Ari - the two hate each other, by the way. In the end, I'm not even really sure what caused it. I feel like he changed. I know that I did.

What matters most is how well we walk through the fire.
I'm known for my obsession with fire - and I'm not even going to deny it. Fire, after all this time, has never failed to fascinate me. It's never failed to challenge me. And it's never failed to help me, when I need it to. Yes, I love fire. But aside from that, most people have no idea why.

Truthfully, I'm a really easygoing person. I'm friendlier than most Slytherins at least. I love to be around people, and I've always been the type to drag strangers at random into my latest adventure. Yes, I'm aware that maybe I talk too much, some of the time, on very rare occasions. But in my opinion, it's better than never knowing what to say. I'm a rambler - once I get started talking about something, it takes me a while to stop. Even if the other person hasn't said anything. Even if they don't seem to be listening. I'm pretty positive most of the time, and it's normally pretty difficult to upset or frustrate me. It isn't that it can't happen - it has. It would just take something a bit more major to have much effect. I prefer to blow small things off rather than dwell on them.

It's funny, because I've had plenty of people tell me that I don't belong in Slytherin. Sometimes, I wonder if they're right. But they aren't. They think I don't belong because I'm scattered and talkative and nice. But, none of that means that I lack ambition. I just go about it in a different way. My ambition isn't general like some people's. Plenty of people want to get the best grades, or get a certain job. But mine's different - focused. It's normally a desire to accomplish something narrowly specific, or immediate, and grows into something massive. Sometimes something entirely irrelevant. But I obsess over it until I've succeeded Sort of like my interest in fire. In first year, all I wanted was to learn the fire spell. I did. Now, fire is literally my way of coping with reality. Not that my reality is bad. But everyone has hard times, even if they aren't terrible hard times, and everyone has ways to cope. Being able to control fire - to bend it to your will - it isn't as easy as it looks. It takes a lot of knowledge, and practice, and especially focus. It's all about feeding the fire in all the right places, and starving it in others. When I can't control anything else in my life, at least I can do this. There's no room to think about anything else, and understanding something that most people are afraid of is an empowering feeling. It's also pretty badass to be able to shoot fireballs out of your wand, and make it into shapes and all that. Just, you know, an additional reason to play with it.

In the long run, I'm just a friendly, good-natured person. I love being around all kinds of people, and love making new friends. But even still, Duncan, Astrid and Ari generally get the best of me. By that, I mean that they get to see the coolest fire tricks that I know how to do and everything. Of course, I'm not only good at fire spells. I've developed a pretty strong knack for all sorts of charms. I think it's because charms are definitely the most interesting out of all magic. Everything else is so predictable, but charms are just all over the place. Want to make a fireball? Check. Want to change the color of your hair? Check. Want to make a piece of paper fold itself into a gorilla and actually eat a real banana? Double check. It's much cooler than blocking offensive spells, or turning a matchstick into a needle.

Truthfully, it took me a long time to grow up - though I guess I already touched on that. And sometimes, I'm still not sure that I have. Not all the way at least. I mean, I was anything but smooth with Ari. I'm not the smooth type. I think I'm past being the awkward type, at least, but I'll never be one of those people that always says the right thing. If I can't think of the right thing, I just ramble for ages and hope that at least something that comes out of my mouth sounds good. I do always make an effort to be nice though, so that has to count for something. And I actually enjoy helping people, so it's not uncommon for people to come to me with their problems. I'm not always the best advice giver, but most people seem to feel at least a little better after talking to me. I'm not sure if it's because I'm helpful or distracting, but it's something.

I'm not much of a deep thinker unless I have to be. Or unless I'm in a particularly bad mood. Both scenarios don't happen all that often. I prefer to live my life without getting upset or concerned about things that don't matter. And the truth is that there are a lot of things that don't matter. Just, most people think that they do. Or they want them to. But in the end, most things aren't worth getting worked up over. I try to live by that, if I can. So far, it's turned out alright. I guess we'll still find out if it'll do any good in the future.

Jett. 24. EST.
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