how do you think being raised by a military family impacted helia
SO MANY THOUGHTS MAN
For starters, practically every fear, anxiety, and just general “negative” qualities that Helia has are super common for people that grow up in military families, particularly ones that want (expect) their children to follow along. The constant need to be perfect and people serving, the fear of losing control, the dual need for excitement and wanting more calm, trying to prove himself to anyone who might be upset with him, etc. Literally just…. everything. While all of these things are definitely not exclusive to that upbringing, they’re seen often with these kids and Helia is no exception. Other than that, I do have some headcanons as well!
- Helia is a very light sleeper. Pretty much every specialist is, but Helia takes it to a new level. Any little bump can wake him up and not a single night goes by where he doesn’t wake up at least once. Because of that though, he’s also gotten really good at falling asleep quickly and if he’s trying hard enough, he can be out within a minute.
- Helia is a little too used to death. It still upsets him of course, especially if he was close to them, but he moves on quickly. It’s dangerous to be too in your mind or too emotional on missions so they teach students how to turn off certain emotions without losing rationality or empathy. Growing up with this drilled into his head because almost all of his family is either in the military, was in the military, or is at least close enough to it to be a target, has made him really good at letting go of people. (Plus, seeing how much it affected Saladin and Codatorta whenever a student or even former student died was… traumatic to say the least.)
- It wasn’t hard for Helia to make friends as a kid, but it was hard to make lasting relationships. He moved around a lot and was usually never in one area for longer than a year. He had the opportunity to interact with a lot of different people because of this though and that has been beneficial when meeting new people. (One of the reasons Helia had such a hard time realizing the specialists and Winx were his close friends is because of this.)
- Like I’ve mentioned before, Helia has an intense need for excitement. It’s ironic considering he also craves a calm environment and likes a slow-paced life. Unfortunately, that military upbringing has trained him for fast-paced missions and making quick decisions. Helia flourishes in faster fights where he needs to make a snap decision (too slow and he starts thinking too much). A big reason he’s moving around so much and making a new life-changing decision every year is partly because of this!
- There were a lot of moments growing up where his family straight up would not let him leave the house, at least not without supervision and protection. Times of political unrest had a big hand in this. Saladin and other members are just too high in the chain and weaker links (like children) are seen as easy targets to get to them. Thankfully, training and strict rules made sure that nothing bad happened to him. Can’t say the same for other family members.
- Helia had a mixture of private school education and home tutors. Well… the tutors were always older family members, but during lessons, it was a rule to not act familiar with them. He has gone to public school though and it was one of the best experiences from his childhood (that was when they briefly lived on Lynphea and where he met a certain nature fairy).
- Saladin made sure that Helia kept himself busy with creative and otherwise non-military related hobbies when he was younger. He didn’t want Helia to become one of those high strung assholes yknow? Saladin was also firm in his belief that Helia should have other classes and electives that weren’t related to fighting, politics, etc. He’s a big reason why Helia just… knows so many different things despite not being particularly interested in them (like ice skating).
- During his ~teen rebellion~ stage, his version of rebelling against his family was literally just failing at school. He still attended classes and stuff, but he also purposefully failed tests or didn’t do projects. The only classes he didn’t fail were the ones not related at all to military, politics, or anything else they wanted him to know. (His battle strategies teacher actually thought it was hilarious and purposefully gave them more tests just to see Helia’s parents mad.)
- His little “pacifist” phase was more of a seeing the harsher realities of war and not wanting to be part of it. He was never a pacifist in its full definition, but he was definitely hesitant to go further in the RF program because he was scared that he would be forced (by order or situation) to do something horrible. His time at art school was backed up with a lot of research into past wars and current laws. (He always knew these things happened, but being an Official Student hit him like a freight train.)