Maybe indian!Harry goes to the zoo for Dudley’s birthday. And there’s the Brazilian Boa Constrictor up ahead, but before he reaches it, he spots a gorgeous cobra, hood flared wide and absolutely regal. Dudley and Piers do the glass tapping, the snake winks at him, and eventually, Harry asks, “Where do you come from, anyway?”
The snake jabs its tail at a little sign next to the glass: Indian Cobra, India.
The Dursleys have never told him where his father is from, but with Vernon’s snide side comments and his brown skin and unruly black hair, he’s pretty sure he’s Indian. A hole opens up in his stomach. “Was it nice there?”
The boa constrictor jabs its tail at the sign again: This specimen was bred in the zoo. “Oh, I see–so you’ve never been to India.” The snake shakes his head.
Harry gets it.
There are 3 varieties of snake native to England. They’re all
small, lurking about in gardens sneaking unnoticed.
One of the 3 isn’t even particularly common, and certainly not in
Privet Dr. Harry never spots any during summers back at the house.
There are 272 varieties of snake native to India. Some large, some poisonous, awesome in every sense of the word. Harry has no cultural ties to India, missing so much by growing up at the Dursleys’. For him, India is only written into his skin, nothing substantial below the surface. In the muggle world, so many strangers walk up to him, jabbering in hindi and he shrugs away their disappointment when he says he can’t understand it. When he takes Parvati to the ball, there’s a missed connection on both their ends. The Patil twins miss their Indian community. Harry doesn’t know if he belongs in it. He doesn’t know how or where to get what he’s been denied, if he even has the right.
So he likes to go to the zoo during the summers. The workers at the reptile house don’t question him sitting in front of the snakes, hissing as if he’s talking with them. He tells the zookeepers when something’s wrong with them, so they leave him alone. Every day is spent with a different Indian snake, chatting with
them, learning everything he can about them in their glass cages. They’re all from India, but most are from this English zoo.
This is the most he let himself have. And once Voldemort’s horcrux is gone, and with it his parseltongue, this is the one thing he’ll miss of it.
I was just thinking lately why anyone would go through so much trouble. You would think that if nothing else happened between two individuals they’d simply deny it publicly right? Like it’s not so hard to say, “ Hey, we get that you think we’re together, but absolutely nothing happened between us. Now could you please leave us alone. We’re not together and we’re just best friends. Thank you.” BUT NO. NO. What do they do? They pretend that neither of them exist to one another. They go years and days without talking to each other, without being seen together, without being near each other and ignoring each other’s existence completely. IT’S WEIRD OKAY.