talking snakes

anonymous asked:

Okay, putting a flower crown on serial killers harms absolutely nobody. When was the last time someone was actually injured by a serial killer, the 50s? Sorry if you think this is a trend, but putting a circlet of flowers on top of a real human being that drove a 5 inch steel knife into an innocent persons beating heart can be qualified as self expression. Learn it. PS. I play reaper in overwatch and talk like solid snake when Im on the phone. I could hack the stock market if I needed to. Bye

i cant decide what my favorite line of this is

So the thing is in the actual book series JK Rowling never said what House Hagrid was in. We find out that Hagrid actually went to Hogwarts as a student really in the 2nd book–when we see Tom Riddle, the Slytherin prefect confront Hagrid in his own dorm room, and the two seemed pretty familiar with each other.

Hagrid was expelled as a 3rd year. He was born in 1928, and Riddle was born 1926. So Riddle was a 5th year prefect,

Hagrid doesn’t seem like he was particularly good at any branch of magic other than Care of Magical Creatures, so how would the two know each other? Hagrid is 2 years younger than Tom, so how would they have known each other well enough for Hagrid to call him ‘Tom,’ not Riddle?

Now, the prefects are some of the only people the oblivious Harry Potter recognizes from other Houses, other than Quidditch players. And yet we’ve never heard about prefects from other Houses coming in to discipline Gryffindor students. Hell we’ve never heard about people from other houses in the Gryffindor common room period. You really think that Tom Riddle would know enough about a 3rd year Gryffindor nobody, someone who isn’t even his year?

Not to mention this is when the Chamber of Secrets is open, a girl was killed. You think Gryffindor is going to let a powerful Slytherin traipse around their tower, when tensions are running high after being terrified all year? No.

But you know what’s much more plausible? Hagrid was a Slytherin.

Whereas it wouldn’t make any sense to be friends with a young Gryiffindor, young Slytherins are Tom’s responsibility. Tom knowing, and being able to access a 3rd year Slytherin’s dormitory–how he knew Hagrid well enough to know about Arigog, and where he’s kept– makes much more sense. Not to mention they are looking for the heir of Slytherin. Guess what hint hint they’re probably looking at a Slytherin to be accountable for Myrtle’s murder. Not a Gryffindor.

The only reason suspicion fell on Harry was because he could literally talk to snakes, and people who didn’t know enough about what happened in the past made the obvious leap “Slytherin’s monster=Snake; harry can talk to snakes=Harry’s the heir of Slytherin.”

And damn, it makes sense that Hagrid’s a Slytherin. If there’s anyone who’s a true friend to Harry it’s Hagrid, the man who tried to make sure Harry had everything he ever needed (I still get emotional thinking about Hagrid making that scrapbook for Harry. @Dumbledore maybe Harry wouldn’t have been so enraptured by the Mirror of Erised if he actually had a damn photo of his parents).

And it makes perfect sense for Hagrid to be prejudiced against Slytherin. These are the people who threw him away, who got him kicked out of Hogwarts, who would have taken away his home if Dumbledore hadn’t allowed him to stay on as groundskeeper. And yeah don’t get me wrong Hagrid definitely has morals but he’s like the definition of Slytherin loyalty, he’d do anything for the people he cares about. Just think of him hiding Gawp in the Forbidden Forest. It’s not safe or wise or brave, he keeps that knowledge from even Dumbledore (Dumbledore, who he believes in not because of his ideals or what he stands for but because he is Dumbledore, someone Hagrid is loyal to).

But this is his brother, who is going to get hurt if he stays with the other giants. Think of how Hagrid loves Harry–now, think of Narcissa Malfoy, willing to do anything if it meant the chance her son was alive, even defy Voldemort and go against what her family had been working towards for decades. Hagrid is such a Slytherin parent.

tl;dr sure, JKR might have posted on her twitter or Pottermore that Hagrid was a Gryffindor, but writing is about showing, not telling. And she might have told us that he’s Gryffindor, but she’s showed us he’s Slytherin

100 Harry Potter Prompts: Part 1

This list is #$@&%*! amazing, amigos! Thanks for all the submissions. Here is part 1:

  1. Parseltongues aren’t the only ones who can talk to certain animals; There are a number of hereditary abilities that allow wizards to understand and communicate with other species. You are a young wizard who can understand birds, and it is driving you CRAZY.
  2. 10 years later, on the day of the battle of Hogwarts. George is standing in front of the mirror, looking himself in the eyes, wishing that his reflection was someone else.
  3. Harry Potter prompt: The Basilisk from the Chamber of Secrets is back! …but now it’s the size of a thread snake.
  4. A muggle angered by the fact that there are only 10 dragons in this world and 7 of them are European, sets off to find more dragons.
  5. Your entire family is full of Hufflepuffs, so during your sorting you begged the Sorting Hat to place you there. Now you’re older and definitely a Slytherin and you need to hide it.
  6. Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes has an adult section in the back.
  7. after Ron picks up the wrong hairs for a polyjuice potion Hermione is making, the two find themselves in each other’s bodies.
  8. You are the new heir of Slytherin, capable of opening the Chamber of Secrets and talking to snakes. On your first visit you find the monster dead. Not that you care, you never hated muggles anyway. Instead you start giving guided tours, charging a couple of Sickles for each tour, trying your best not to make the teachers notice.
  9. You’re a muggle born sorted into Slytherin of all places. The other students warn you that the Bloody Baron hates muggles, but to your surprise, the ghost has somewhat of a different view on muggleborns like you…
  10. Harry DOES get sorted into Slytherin when he asks not to be and becomes best friends with Draco as well.
  11. No one knew Voldemort was the last line of defence against them. Now he’s gone, and they are coming.
  12. Many years after the Dark Lord Voldemort was killed, a new dark lord has come. He’s part of the ministry and the new candidate for minister of magic..
  13. When Harry Potter dies in his first year at Hogwarts, Hermoine Granger takes on the duty of defeating the dark lord and succeeds in her task in the second year. The wizarding world is safe once again. Describe how she managed this.
  14. Write about Hermiones struggles and success as Minister of Magic.
  15. The dementors may suck the souls out of their victims with their kiss, but what happens to the soul after that?
  16. As a young gifted wizard, Sirius Black once found the Mirror of Erised; but what did he see as he glanced upon its glass?
  17. Hagrid comes every year to celebrate Harry’s birthday
  18. Harry never got a letter. He goes through his day to day life as a muggle, never noticing obnoxiously weird things around him. Write a day in the life of harry the muggle
  19. You’re invited to Tom riddle’s 6th birthday party
  20. Magical patronuses are extremely rare. It’s said that only the pure or the purely evil can conjure them. You’re a Slytherin trying to prove what they say about Slytherins is wrong. In Defence against dark arts, you just found out your patronus is a Hungarian horntail.
  21. “Don’t worry, Potter,” said the Dark Lord, “killing will get easier. And as my right hand man, you’ll need to get used to it.”
  22. Au where Snape is the chosen one and Harry is the Potions master
  23. In second year, Draco writes in the diary of Tom Riddle instead, and gets some pretty sound advice.
  24. “You went to school for seven years and THIS is what you use your skills on? Just- Just tell us why THIS branch of Animagi…?”
  25. Harry’s a girl, and has to deal with all the Voldemort shit when she has cramps so she’s extra pissed off.
  26. The Nimbus 3000 just came out, you are one galleon short but you desperately want it, how will you get your hands on the new broom?
  27. You somehow stumble into Filch’s office and grab the nearest artifact before you escape.
  28. Both Harry and Neville are the ‘chosen ones’. Only together are they able to defeat the Dark Lord. Unfortunately, everyone thinks only Harry is the ‘chosen one’. Follow Neville and co. as they discover the truth.
  29. Divination has a new muggle-born teacher, who seems more intent on teaching useful life lessons than magic.
  30. “You’re a wizard, Hermione.”
  31. “How many times have I told you to leave your dragons in Romania?!”
  32. “You’re a wizard, Harry.” “No shit!”
  33. All the Harry Potter character have switch roles, so that the heroes are now the villains. Who’s who and what happens?
  34. Mcgonagall, after noticing Harry’s letter is being ignored, goes to the Dursleys to check on the young wizard.
  35. Harry wonders what the fuck kinda school this is when Dumbledore says “ The third floor corridor is out of bounds for anyone that doesn’t want to die a most painful death.”
  36. Hermione Granger is one of those kids who is in classes meant for those a few years older than her, she is a genius.
  37. You are a muggle, yet direct magic doesn’t affect you, you wander into Hogwarts, you are not harmed by the shriek of mandrake plants, a basilisk cannot petrify you, magical devices break at your touch. you are a magic null.
  38. You thought you’d made a simple mistake in potions. As you sit outside the headmaster’s office, straining to hear the grave conversation from behind the door, it dawns on you that your error couldn’t have been as simple as it seemed.
  39. Harry goes on a journey of self-love by hiking around an Arby’s parking lot at 2am.
  40. The series is entirely the same but Voldemort and Snape have swapped noses .
  41. A day in the life of Dobby.
  42. Lucius is sacrificed by Voldemort and dies in the Wizarding War leaving pregnant Narcissa disillusioned and scared. She seeks help from Dumbledore and becomes a double agent.
  43. “Hmm, courage… yes… plenty of intelligence too! Very loyal… but crafty… hmm. Tricky, very tricky. I’m sorry, but you don’t seem to belong in any specific house. Better be… HOGWARTS!!!”
  44. Harry and Ron/Hermione and Ginny become the canon ships.
  45. Hermione and Ron visit America for a family vacation. Write about their adventures.
  46. Sassy harry calling Snape and Dumbledore out on their bullshit   24/7.
  47. Ravenclaws have a chamber of secrets, but it’s just a library of infinite knowledge too nerdy to touch.
  48. Post-apocalyptic Draco and Harry, where Draco needs the help of Harry in order for both of them to survive.
  49. You thought you were a muggle-born witch/wizard and then you find one of your long before ancestors in the portraits of the school’s corridors.
  50. You can do magic without a wand. You are the second most wanted after Voldemort.
  51. Disco balls and disco and lgbt folks at Hogwarts
  52. A student is accepted into Hogwarts only to find out it was a mistake and they don’t actually have any magical abilities. Tell their story of trying to make it through Hogwarts after all these years.
  53. Remus Lupin adopts Harry.  He never lived with the Dursleys. Tell us his happy Wizarding Childhood.
  54. You’re a historian writing a critical paper on The Battle Of Hogwarts. You believe the existing discourse has ignored the significance of one woman: Mrs Norris. Write a paper discussing her much-maligned role in the Battle of Hogwarts.
  55. A story about the lonely, never-useful life of Snape’s shampoo bottle.
  56. Rumour has it the new Defense against the Dark Arts teacher has already arrived and is hiding. Whoever finds them gets 500 points for their house.
  57. write the wizarding sex ed pamphlet that gets handed out to fifth years.
  58. everything’s the same except every character is a lizard.
  59. Describe the three trials in the next Triwizard Tournament.
  60. “Nobody knew about the fifth Hogwarts founder, and the secret they hid in the castle… until now”
  61. Minerva McGonagall is quite puzzled by Dumbledore’s recent hires for Defense Against the Dark Arts, and would like to have a serious talk with him about it.
  62. You decide to try flying on a broom just for shits and giggles. It works, and now you need help. A lot of help.
  63. The previous magical protection of the prime minister has been retired. You have taken their place.
  64. The Wizarding World decided it’s time to explore space.
  65. Doleres Umbridge is now the head teacher of Hogwarts and president Snow form panel is the minister for magic. They have reinvented the triwizard tournament to have aspects of the hunger games. Tell the story of this year’s tributes.
  66. “When I wished to be part of the world of Harry Potter, I was hoping for an acceptance letter to Hogwarts, not for the bridge I was crossing to be demolished by death eaters on my way home from work!”
  67. You are a squib from a long line of witches and wizards who has never made any contact with the Muggle world. Today is your first day of high school.
  68. Hermione blinked. “You’re right, Ron. I’ve been doing it wrong all this time.”
  69. Through a series of events, you land yourself in the world of Harry Potter. The catch? You’ve never read a word from the books and have absolutely no clue what’s going on.
  70. The entire series but everyone is emo as hell.
  71. You are Harry Potter’s less famous twin sibling. All you want is a quiet wizarding school life.
  72. Write the science behind magic.
  73. You are in the infamous library where no books have titles. Somehow, you pick up Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. You want to help in any way you can.
  74. “The wand chooses the wizard” except this time three have chosen the same master. And they’re attempting to duel each other.
  75. Re-write one of the quidditch chapters from the perspective of the snitch.
  76. Harry being raised by Sirius and Remus because they actually caught Wormtail
  77. Dumbledore reads My Immortal and thinks it’s really good.
  78. “The Death Eaters stole this from the Muggles. What is it, Hermione?” “Ron, I…I think it’s a Nuke.”  "WICKED! Dad’s gonna love this!“
  79. Draco and Ron get in a wizard’s fight; Harry has to reveal his love for Draco by protecting him.
  80. While looking through Filch’s files of rescinded objects, you find something extremely dangerous. Just as you put it in your pocket for later investigation, you get caught by Peeves the poltergeist.
  81. A deaf Ravenclaw, a disabled Slytherin, a mute Gryffindor, and a black trans Hufflepuff help together to cope with each other’s’ problems.
  82. You’ve just received a Howler in front of the whole school. What does it say and how does the school react?
  83. A very derpy Dementor who doesn’t even try and suck souls, but just wants to be friends with everyone and gets sad easily so everyone has to cheer it up.
  84. As it turns out, Neville is the strongest wizard of all.
  85. Write a love story about Dumbledore and Grindelwald.
  86. Your boggart and your reflection in the Mirror of Erised show the same thing.
  87. Who maintains the enchanted ceiling at Hogwarts? How did they get the job and what’s their life like?
  88. Finally, Hogwarts gets its Wi-Fi hotspot.
  89. After a traumatising first year at Hogwarts, Ginny Weasley has to learn to deal with the long-term psychological effects of having been possessed by a dark wizard.
  90. Someone didn’t focus enough when trying to apparate somewhere and somehow wound up on Mars.
  91. You show someone the Mirror of Erised for the first time. You ask what they see, and they just look at you strangely. “What? Did you forget how mirrors work? I just see us.”
  92. A story written from the perspective of a student who died in the battle of Hogwarts, and is now a ghost there.
  93. Hogwarts wants to open a school in another part of the world.
  94. It’s been a hundred years, or so, and you’re still stuck in this dusty, shabby place. As a wand, it would be nice if you could finally choose the perfect wizard to wield you.
  95. You hide pictures of Voldemort in most  unusual places to freak other students out
  96. AU where all spells are imaginary. They’re basically running around with sticks yelling nonsense.
  97. The DA learned their most important lesson from Hermione - always bring a gun to a wand fight.
  98. Write about the day the magical world discovered internet (and proceeded to make their own WizNet)
  99. Harry Potter where Harry’s dad survived but is left emotionally destroyed by Voldemort’s attack.
  100. Harry Potter lowers his wand at himself. He swore he would rid the world of Horcruxes. He was about to make good on that promise.

 Let’s make a new list right away. Do you have a prompt for us?

  • So they have parseltongues right. Talking to snakes is totally a thing in the wizard world. But do they have other animal languages too? like idk eaglemouth for example
  • Harry: CAW CAWWW CAWWWWWWW
  • Also Harry: *flaps arms in a bird like fashion
  • Hermione: Harry, there's a reason the symbol of Ravenclaw is an eagle. Rowena Ravenclaw was an eaglemouth. She could talk to eagles too
Hogwarts Headcannons
  • Give me Dean, muggleborn that he is, imitating Steve Irwin in Care of Magical Creatures class, much to everyone's confusion except for Harry and Hermione who are. On the ground. Unable to breathe. And refusing to explain why.
  • Give me Harry, demisexual that he is, realizing that the reason he can't stop obsessing over Draco is because Draco is the one who saw - and subsequently disliked - 'Harry', and not The Boy Who Lived. Realizing that Draco was the only one to first talk to him for HIM, in that robe shop, and not his parents or fame (because even Ron and Hermione did that at first). And thus, leading to him randomly starting crying in the middle of lunch and claiming he's doomed, much to everyone's fear.
  • Give me Seamus, pyro that he is, super happy one Christmas when Hermione buys him a book on fire caution, flammable materials, and elements such as magnesium. Thus afterward, the mysterious fires that have always happened are far more safe and controlled.
  • Give me Luna, wonderful airhead that she is, being stared at as, calm as anything, she waltzes right into the Slytherin common room and starts talking to the mermaids like its absolutely normal. A first year drops a book he's staring so hard, because HOW DID SHE KNOW THE PASSWORD. Draco just sighs, gets up, goes over to her, and offers her tea.
  • Give me Draco. Who looks on as Neville offers Harry rhubarb pie that he made himself, as Harry stares forlornly at his Treacle Tart, and makes and annoyed sound. "Dammit Longbottom he hates bittersweets." The Slytherins stare and Pansy just mutters "How do you even know these things. Merlin, help him realize."
  • Give me Parvati, who is being constantly mistaken for her sister by Ron, who panics and screams "IM A LESBIAN" when it gets to be too much.
  • Give me Ron, who stares wide-eyes from a distance whenever he sees Padma from that moment on for a full week, until Padma flips out too and hexes him. Parvati awkwardly wonders why Ron starts getting scared whenever she tries to approach from then on, since she knows Ron doesn't have problems due to that sort of thing from how he handles Harry.
  • Give me the thirty or so of the school's Muggle-raised, who made the mistake of showing their folks howlers, and react accordingly whenever one of the families sends one that is just a recording of Rick Astley, or High School Musical, or spoilers for Doctor Who. And the Wizard-raised just... staring... in fear... watching their savior and multiple other students as they run around screaming and crying in an absolute panic for some reason even though it was a different student that got the weird howler.
  • Give me Harry, whose hair surprises people by being dark red like his mother's when in direct sunlight. And usually at the Weasley den they're inside, but one day Harry joins them outside for a picnic, and Molly is so confused about where Harry went to then has do do a mental tally of her children.
  • Give me George, who in the midst of the final battle, hit Lucius with an Anaticula curse, so that every spell he tries makes a duck instead. And the Death Eaters are just so confused. "Lucius... is that a duck?"
  • Give me the Gryffindor common room. The new first years suggest Monopoly for game night. The entire room goes dead silent. One first year tries to ask what they did wrong. "Never mention that game again," is the only response they get. "But why-" "NEVER TALK ABOUT SIXTH YEAR. WE NEVER TALK ABOUT SIXTH YEAR." Their brave upperclassman Neville yells, trembling. Hermione starts crying. Harry goes into a panic attack. Ron whispers, "There are many reasons we don't talk about sixth year. If The Incident had been the only thing that happened, we would only not talk about The Incident. Many things happened that year. Thus, we do not speak of that year, or of that game."
  • Give me McGonagall, who struggles to control the cat population, because while students are told to have their cats fixed you know not all 100 students that brought cats did so. Her curling up around a litter that lost their mother to illness. Training them to stalk the corridors. Albus had his ways of getting information, and hers is the spy network of cats.
  • Give me muggleborns singing everything from Phantom of the Opera to Katy Perry in the corridors. Singing We Will Rock You to a pureblood who disses them for it. The purebloods thinking the weird songs and their tunes are some kind of Rite of Passage and fleeing whenever a muggleborn student starts singing. Altering song lyrics. "I throw my ferret in the air some-times, singin EEEEEEEYO, this is DRAAAAAACO!"
  • Give me muggleborns that are really confused about the whole quill instead of pens things, throwing transfigured pokeballs in Care of Magical Creatures, the band students bringing kazoos and harmonicas and the wizrd-raised students that are just so confused as to how those things even work, because it must be some sort of air magic, right??
  • Give me muggleborns making entire conversations out of pop culture references specifically to confuse some Slytherin who just called one girl a Mudblood. "These are not the droids you were looking for." "I'm right on top of that now Rose, I promise." -jazz hands-
  • Give me muggleborns with Patronus that are things like Pikachu, velociraptors, the quiet Canadian transfer student with a moose patronus the size of a SMALL HOUSE, the one whose is a angeled-out Castiel, the one whose patronus is the democrat donkey and another the republican elephant and the two, previously best friends, become mortal enemies rivaling the fame of Harry and Draco.
  • Give me muggleborns hugging each other before break, promising to 'call' each other, trading weird codes, how they can't wait to go for 'sushi' or planning that trip together to 'disneyland' where they can go flying?? But no one's allowed magic?? Or flying?? And the wizard-raised think that somehow, shockingly,<i> these children totally new to our world have developed a way to cheat the system?? Muggleborns are badasses!!</i>
  • Give me muggleborns who are fully aware that the anti-tech wards were made when, like, radios barely even existed, much less cellphone towers and microprocessors, so while they can't turn them on inside the stone school walls there's this group that Harry joins constantly that just sit there in silence staring at these tiny things and sometimes randomly laughing hysterically, and every now and then standing and just running all the way across to the other side of the lake all at the same time with no signal whatsoever. The purebloods are <i>terrified</i> of this frequent happening.
  • Give me Harry, Hermione, Dean, and Justin from the D.A, muggleborns they are, doing a movie night every week to help the D.A. relax and bond. They re-start this after the battles, during eighth year, with several other people such as the returned Slytherins joining in. The entire year they play things like Tangled, The Breakfast Club, Brave, Lion King. But then the last four weeks, they announce they don't want to mislead everyone that everything is all fun and rainbows. The last four movies are My Sister's Keeper, The Shining, Marley and Me, and for the last week, a marathon of the entire Jurassic Park series.
  • Give me Hufflepuffs, who secretly are very relieved to be the 'normal' House. Jocks over there, know-it-alls over there, goth wannabees over there, now lets go camp out by the kitchens we're gonna need it to survive the next seven years like this.
  • Give me Ravenclaws who are so done with the riddles when they stumble back at midnight after having fallen asleep in the Library. "What's the truth?" "THE TRUTH IS THAT I WILL SET YOU ON FIRE IF YOU DON'T LET ME IN."
  • Give me the Trio, who use the Marauder's Map to find the most absolutely ridiculous routes to class, knowing every single one of the shortcuts. It's not odd for them to simply appear out of the ceiling. One day the new first years try to follow them, to learn the school better, but it doesn't go so well because then they try to go through a disappearing wall the Trio just did they instead run headfirst into it, and the next time they do behind a tapestry, down a waterside, around some sort of tower, causally past an entire doorless room full of bats, and somehow come out on the complete other side of the castle.
  • Give me Draco whose just completely had it with Harry's staring and confronts him, like they always do, and Harry just blurts out that he likes Draco's new haircut and can he touch his hair, and Draco so shocked he lets him. "Potter stop treating me like a cat I'm evil remember? Bloody hell have you gone daft?!" "But... it's soft..." "I hate you." But he just can't find any anger over this, so there's like no venom whatsoever in it and Harry can't stop giggling.
  • Give me Ginny, who can't stop giggling as Luna confuses the fuck out of an entire crowd with her way of speaking, and who during seventh year could 100% get away with insulting the Death Eaters because of the way she said things. Who after Luna used said tactic to get her out of a Crucio punishment just clung to Luna, shaking, and realizing that she loves Luna so much for this very reason. That there will never be another person like Luna in her life, ever.
  • Give me Harry, who was not really well educated while living at the Dursleys, who couldn't read very well but was wonderful at sneaking around, little tricks like hiding things, and loved music. He taught himself magic tricks, and MERLIN ALMIGHTY THIS 11 YEAR OLD KID HAS MASTERED VANISHING SPELLS, WHAT, HOW, and Percy, uptight prefect he is, just looses it.
  • Give me Ron walking in on Harry talking to some random snake in their dorm room, laughing like the snake said a particularly good joke, tipping his head and smiling as he responds, the python slowly curling up his arm to rest over his shoulder. Ron freezes, stares, and then slowly backs away, closes the door and stands there staring at it for a full half hour in absolute horror.
  • Give me the rest of the D.A. walking into the Room of Requirement and hearing screaming, Dean shrieking that he's going to murder someone, Hermione crying, Justin cursing like a sailor yelling for everyone to stop, and the rest panic and run around the corner and there the four Muggle-raised students are. With some sort of odd device in their hands. Playing Mario Kart.

anonymous asked:

What if Harry Potter, the chosen one, had turned out to be a squib, how do you think history would have turned out differently?

It was Mrs. Figg who suspected first.

She noticed many things, sitting on her side of her fence with her cats chasing butterflies and nuzzling her ankles, Mundungus and the other watchers dropping by for tea now and then.

Mrs. Figg noticed that Petunia was a nosy bit of work with insecurities hanging from her every harsh angle. She noticed when Dudley learned the word MINE– the whole neighborhood noticed that one. She noticed that Vernon glared at owls.

She noticed that when Petunia gave Harry a truly horrendous haircut one year, it grew back in at a normal rate. Harry was uneven and weird-looking for ages, hiding under beanies when he could.

When Mrs. Figg had Harry over for carefully miserable afternoons of babysitting, she noticed nothing moved that shouldn’t. He didn’t accidentally make flowers out of fallen leaves, or levitate anything during tantrums, or turn toys funny colors.

Mrs. Figg called up her mother, interrupting the wizarding bridge game she was winning against the nursing home staff, and asked her how she had known, decades back, that her youngest daughter was a squib.

When Albus Dumbledore received Mrs. Figg’s letter he wrote back a polite thank you and then went to talk with Minerva McGonagall, who inhaled sharply in horror when he told her the news.

Finally, McGonagall gave a gathered sigh. “I suppose we can ask one of the wizarding families to homeschool him,” she said. “We can’t have the Boy Who Lived not knowing about his own world.”  

“No, he’ll come to Hogwarts,” said Dumbledore.

“Hogwarts is not a place for–” Her voice fell. “–squibs, Albus.”

Dumbledore shook his head. “Harry must be taught.”

“Be taught what, Albus?”

But Dumbledore just sighed and offered her a lemon drop.

Years later, the owls and the letters came to 4 Privet Drive. The Dursleys ran, dragging Harry with them, and the letters and one stubborn gamekeeper followed– none of this would change with a magicless Harry.

When Hagrid asked Harry in that little cabin on that little rock in the middle of the sea if weird things always happened around him, Harry couldn’t tell him about vanishing glass and setting captive snakes free, about ending up somehow on the school roof, or growing his hair out overnight.  

“Strange things always happen around you, don’ they?”

“Um,” said Harry, racking his brain. “Well… I live in a cupboard under the stairs…”

Harry could tell him about how snakes sometimes talked back, because that had never been Harry’s magic, but when he did Hagrid just blanched and changed the subject.

Hagrid held out hope, even against Dumbledore’s quiet warning explanations, until they made it to Ollivander’s Wands. Harry marveled at Diagon Alley, got his hands shaken in the Leaky, pressed his nose up against shop windows. Hagrid watched the scant boy– looked at James’s messy hair, Lily’s eyes, Harry’s own wandering gaze– and he wondered how this boy could be anything but magical.

In the wand shop, Ollivander said, “James Potter, yes… mahogany, eleven inches. Pliable. A powerful wand for Transfiguration.” He said, “And your mother, Lily…  strong in Charms work, ten and… yes, ten and a quarter, willow, swishy.”

Harry picked up stick after wooden stick. They remained just that– wood with bits of feather or scale or hair. Harry wondered if the creatures who gave these offerings were still alive– if they were given or taken. What did it do to your wand when they died? He waved a maplewood wand (unicorn hair, eleven inches) and a gust from the door opening blew some receipts off the counter.

“Well, said Ollivander. “I think that’s as close as we’re likely to get.”

He sent them out with the maplewood. Hagrid bought Harry a snowy owl and a fudge sundae and tried not make it too obvious that these were condolence gifts. The next day the Prophet’s headlines read: The Boy Who Lived– A Squib? Various magical medical experts weighed in on how it might have happened. Fingers were pointed at childhood trauma, at his upbringing, at his family lineage.

Harry still met Ron on the train– Ron was still smudge-nosed and Harry still bought enough candy to share. When Molly had helped him through the platform entrance, her voice had been a little softer, a little more pitying– but it was still better than the laughter that had been in his aunt and uncle’s voices when they dropped him here to find a platform they didn’t think existed.

Hermione Granger dropped by their compartment, looking for Neville’s toad, but got distracted when she spotted Harry. “I’ve read about you! In my books, and in the paper,” she said. “You’re the Boy Who Lived, and you’re a squib.”

Harry sank down in his seat. Ron hid Scabbers under a candy wrapper.

“Squibs have never been allowed in Hogwarts,” Hermione announced. “According to Hogwarts, A History, squibs try to sneak in now and then– the furthest anyone’s ever gotten is to the Sorting Hat before they got found out.” At eleven, Hermione still believed in expulsion being worse than death. Her voice was thrumming with sympathetic horror.

“But they already found out about me,” Harry said, alarmed.

“It’s alright, mate,” said Ron. “You’re Harry Potter. Oy, Granger,” he added. “What’s this Hat? Fred and George were trying to sell me some story about having to fight a mountain troll to get your House…”

Harry sat back and watched the countryside rush by. Yes, he was Harry Potter– his aunt’s useless sister’s useless child, the boy in the lumpy hand-me-down sweaters who named the spiders who lived in his cupboard. And here, in new world, he was apparently useless too.

When they got to Hogwarts, Harry clenched his fists and stood in line with the other first years. He barely twitched at the ghosts or Peeves, just stared ahead and thought about how far he would get before they turned him around and sent him back to Vernon and Petunia.

They opened the Great Hall doors. They called the first years one by one. Harry clenched his teeth and walked up to the Hat when they called his name.

As he turned to sit down on the stool, he really caught sight of the Hall for the first time– the hovering candles, the big wooden tables, the black robes that swallowed the light. Translucent ghosts gossiped with the students beside them. The paintings on the far walls– were they moving?

Harry’s jaw had unclenched, falling open. His fists curled open, curving around the stool’s seat as he leaned forward to stare. If this was it, if this was as far as he’d get in this world, then he wanted to drink it all in. The candles were floating, in mid-air.

The Hat dropped down over his eyes and blocked out the light.

Well, said the dry voice that had been hollering House placements all night. What do we have here?

Ron had been begging for not-Slytherin. Draco from the robes shop had been scornful of Hufflepuff, desperate in his disdain. Neville had begged for Hufflepuff, sure he was not brave enough for Gryffindor.

Please, thought Harry. Don’t send me back.

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