When our house founder was very young, she fell in love with a distant cousin, a bastard Squib who had no special birthright, no learning, no refinement or badges of honor. He could only do very paltry things – tan the hides of beasts that bolder men had slain, carve toys for children from scattered bits of wood, thatch roofs for his neighbors, carry water for local widows, string together nuts and bits of horn for his bride.
And persons like this have no seat at our magical tables, we say. They are dull and uninspired and useless. They make neat straw people we can use to enact moral fables; they make sad tragedies, these kind and small people; they make good sacrifices. And so, naturally, Helga’s beloved was destined to–
What? What’s that? Did you think I was going to say die? Don’t be stupid. Just because we might think a good heart has no place here, just because we might suppose a person who has uncommon talents has no talents at all – that doesn’t mean he died. He did not die. They married. He lived. They were happy.
But you will not find these details in Hogwarts: A History. He does not make a good story. So we have erased him from the books, relegated him to that line of duffers ignored by time. Like many of Helga’s chosen, he is omitted by our cleverest chroniclers, waved out of history by the courageous and the cunning alike. And so you, who know only our records and our fables, you have begun to wish you had someone sparkling and sharp and witty, someone large and bold and heroic, someone dark and mysterious and thrillingly selfish – some story. You could love nothing less than that.
You are very clever. But to me, as long as you think like that, you will never be as wise as Helga was.
I don’t see why squibs can’t go to Hogwarts. There are more than a sufficient number of classes that don’t require your ability to cast spells and charms, and it seems unfair that children from magic families who grew up in a magical environment shouldn’t be integrated into magic society. It makes more sense to me for them to be potioneers or herbologists or finding some other way to integrate them into the world they grew up in as opposed to expecting them to adapt to the muggle world.
(Tech’s note: unfortunately you do need magic for those classes. I mean MAYBE dealing with magical creatures doesn’t require much, if you stick to the smaller stuff, but you can’t keep a dragon in check with no magic =| )
never forget that filch was trying to teach himself magic
like that was presented as something funny but when you think about how the wider wizarding world probably treats squibs, plus the fact that he could never fit into the muggle world as well, it’s kinda sad
OKAY, SO A FUNNY THING HAPPENED WITH ME & @partylovingmikey15 while we were cosplaying as Cosmo & Taloupe.
It was the last 15 seconds for turf war, and we decided to try and party with each other. EXCEPT…. we both super-jumped from opposite sides of the map and ended up awkwardly passing by and I just couldn’t stop laughing XD
The stages changed afterwards and we just screamed at each other through Skype about this wonderful moment, which is where Pingueno gave me the lines to write for this quick little comic strip >v>
It is a shame about Peony Pucey. I was down at Boarstall Park – you know, where the Puceys live? Normally such a neat, proper magical home. But there she was, all tarted up like a Muggle. Face painted, not wearing proper robes. And the Puceys are so patient with her! “Oh, our Peony isn’t one for the Wizarding Wireless.” “Oh, our Peony just wants a smoke by herself - she’s something solitary, our Peony. Always has been.” “Oh, our Peony should tell you all about her Aster Naught work. Do tell, our Peony.”
To see them trying to salvage the situation is dreadful. Young Adrien, he appears not the slightest bit resentful as they all sit round Peony and discuss Test Pie Letting, which is surely something disgraceful that jealous Muggles do, on account of how they can’t fly themselves. And all the while no one congratulates Adrien on his own Chaser work for the Slytherin Quidditch team, and the dear doesn’t say a word. Just looks up at that shameful sister of his with pretend adoration in his eyes. Oh, it must be difficult for him.
And then there’s little Primrose, who is so handy with charms. But no one compliments her on that when Peony is about. They just discuss how Peony can engineer. What she engineers they do not say. Probably a means to swallow up all her parents’ attention, which, for a girl like her, is disgraceful.
But the one who suffers most must be Primula. She married a Baddock, and they’ve three lovely little boys, all showing decent signs of magic. But you would think the poor dears didn’t exist when Peony is around. Talk turns to Peony’s husband, who is a Texan, which is I think a kind of American Muggle that specializes in milking oils out of cacti, and who has some atrocious name like Suares or Borres or Messes. Oh, to hear them go on about Suares Messes! “They met at training!" (As though one could fix what’s wrong with Peony through simple training). "He is an expert in Military Water Survival!” (Which I think is properly useless, as all one needs for that sort of thing is some Gillyweed). “He sent our Peony to the moon, you know!”
Well, let me tell you, after so much talk about that horrible, worthless girl, finally I could not take it. I stomped out after Peony when she went to smoke one of her filthy little cigars, and I said, “Well, I don’t believe you’ve been to the moon, Peony, as we all know perfectly well you couldn’t summon up a Cleansweep to fly to Bristol on a clear Tuesday.”
And do you know what that horrible girl told me? She said, “But I have been, cousin Parkinson. Honest.”
Which we all know must be a lie. So then I said, “I just as soon wish you had been, Peony, and I just as soon wish you’d stayed there, with how utterly arrogant and presumptuous it is of you to show your face around proper magical folk! Your poor, long-suffering family should not have to see you about, Peony, and that’s Merlin’s own truth!”
Oh, yes, I told her what was on my mind. Now, perhaps Headley and Princepia and Adrian and the girls are a bit angry with me now – and they must pretend to be, for Peony’s sake – but someone had to say it. For a girl like Peony to force her family into such a charade… It’s atrocious. Even Adrian, who is normally so sensibly Slytherin, was caught up in it.
“You can’t talk to Peony like that!” he said, when he came upon us, “I think you ought to leave, cousin Parkinson. Peony is a success. She’s an Aster Naught!”
Have you ever heard such a silly term? I don’t know what an Aster Naught is supposed to be. Something they’ve made up to cover up the shame, poor dears. But they never will. They pretend to be proud, but we all know perfectly well that being proud of a Squib is impossible. You’d sooner ship Muggles to the stars.
I always felt a little sorry for Petunia. It would suck to have a magical sibling and not be one yourself. It makes sense she decided to hate all things magic rather than be jealous and wishful forever. The magical world should have a place for Petunias/squibs.
little potterverse things: being born without magical talent and therefore being completely ostracised from your family and community despite being perfectly able to contribute via magical theory and being in on the secret of magic but being looked down on if you ever try to participate
Once upon a time, not so very long ago, there lived a little girl with a mother and a father who loved her very dearly. Her name – well her name is unimportant, though I suspect that once I have finished telling her tale, you will remember her name from a half-forgotten childhood tale.
For many years she wondered what her mother meant when she whispered the phrase ‘beauty from ashes’. Like a phoenix, her mother would tell her – but that was no answer, because that was the very nature of the phoenix; to die and rise and die and rise again, not to create beauty from ugliness.
She was twelve when she finally began to understand. For the year before, to her disappointment, she received no letter from Hogwarts telling her that she would join the ranks of the magical folk. She was, perhaps, not so heartbroken as she might have been, for her parents had suspected that she might never receive her Hogwarts letter when at eight she still showed no signs of magic. Nonetheless, she was disappointed, for she was to now remain forever cloistered here at home, smothered by the love of her parents and shunned by the rest of the wizarding world.
She learnt that year, when she was twelve, of the fauns and the satyrs and dryads and naiads and the magical fae people; most of them long dead, slaughtered in the great Wars of Fire of the early tenth century. Such horror and such pain, such burning and the murder of a whole people for nothing more than the trees and the wells they inhabited – how could any good ever happen again in this world? How could there be good when there had been so much death and when so many beautiful things had been set crudely to burn on nothing more than a whim?
And she wished in vain, that they were living and that she might meet them. And as is the way with children, she soon forgot about this idle wish and proceeded about what little lessons she had in a day without much further thought.
Then one day, quite by accident, while wandering through her house, she found a cupboard in a long forgotten guest room. Its wood was carved with strange images, of wild and strange creatures she had never seen before, dancing in circles and queens and kings hunting – queens and kings whose faces were altogether unfamiliar and somehow otherworldly – and oh when she reached out to trace these carvings, her fingers tingled and there were colourful sparks and she almost cried in relief because she had magic.
But when she ran down to tell her mother and her mother asked her to show her, her fingers refused to tingle and the sparks refused to fall about her in a shower. Her mother smiled sadly at her and gently told her that such hope was no longer left to her and she burst into tears.
She had felt it, after all, the warmth coursing through her veins and she had seen it too; the reds and pinks and silvers falling about her in a shimmering cascade of colours.
Unable to sleep, she returned that night and looked at the cupboard. It looked so ordinary, in the darkness where she could not see the carvings on the wood. It might well have been any of the other wooden wardrobes in the other rooms of the house, but as she moved closer she could feel it – the pricking and the calling. The pull. It was magic, she was certain, as she reached out to touch it and feel again that warmth and that tingling and to see that shower of colours again.
Perhaps it was the late hour that helped, that made it different, for when she touched it this time, she saw the light spread through the carvings and then, to her delight, the wood began to slowly move. They shook themselves first and some of them even stretched and then quite suddenly, the carvings were all alive and they were dancing and frolicking before her as if it was the most natural thing in all the world.
If this was the outside, she wondered, what delights awaited her on the inside?
And as she opened the door, those words came whispering back to her, I wish I wish there was a place where the fauns and the satyrs and the dryads all danced, whispered back to her on the breath of a cold winter wind – and in the distance, from inside, a light and an unfamiliar figure, half-man and half-goat.
You might recognize her name, or one of her names from your fairytales – Wendy, Alice, Lucy. Such tales are far too grand to keep hidden forever, not when the wizarding world’s most important discovery was made not by a wizard, but a young squib child whose only magic was to be able to find the little chinks in the world – created and sustained by fae magic – that led from one world to the next.
That was when she finally understood. Beauty from ashes. From the wizarding world’s greatest tragedy, a moment – a world – of infinite beauty; proof that even the darkest corners of the world can be penetrated by light and hope.
Her name, well you know her by many names, but her name was Titania Montgomery and her portrait hangs in the Department of Mysteries. It is an excellent likeness of her as a young Unspeakable, beaming happily at the world with her hand on the wardrobe.
If you were to ask her however, she will tell you that her favouritest one sits on a dressing table in the Lovegood home.