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This is my first attempt at any sort of fanfiction, so hopefully it is not too unbearable. I do hope you will review, as critiques (honest ones, at least) are wanted, encouraged, and indeed the reason I decided to write this. I have a fair few chapters mapped out or written (though not typed), so the wait should not be too long. I will be juggling the writing of this story with school, an Extended Essay, and the rest of my hectic life; so although I will try my best to churn out chapters regularly, I can make no promises. Please remember to mentally insert the standard disclaimer
here.Well, Enjoy!

When people talked about Harry and Ginny Potter’s misfortune, they tended to do so in whispers. Some were sympathetic, wondering how the saviour of the wizarding world (and muggle one, too; although they were, as usual, oblivious) could be made to suffer any more than he already had. Others, who clung to slightly outdated ideals, were amused or even malicious, hinting at tainted bloodlines or rejoicing that not even Potter’s life was perfect. But all of them were secretly (or not so secretly) relieved that it hadn’t happened to them. 

Ginevra Potter was pretty much fed up with all of them. She had taken to avoiding places which drew large crowds of wizarding folk, like Diagon Alley and Hogsmede. Which was why she was attempting to make her way through an overly crowded muggle supermarket in Dorset with three young children, a cart with a wonky wheel, an over-sized hand bag, and a wand sticking rather conspicuously out of her back pocket (in easy reach—some habits die hard). In the midst of all of this, her eldest son had reduced her younger, usually unbearably sensible, son to tears. Now he was well on his way to a raging fit and more than just a few passer-bys had stopped passing to stand and glare at her, a few making disparaging tutting noises at her obvious lack of parenting skills. 

“Tell him I don’t like girls! Tell him!” her 12 year old chanted. 

James was smirking a few feet off (conveniently out of range, Ginny noted) and Lily had melted into the fringe of the crowd, trying to distance herself from her family’s antics with an expression of detached interest. 

“I don’t like them, Mum! I don’t, I don’t!” 

If this had been anyone else’s child, Ginny would have tittered quietly behind a raised hand, the whole situation was so ridiculous. 

“Al, Al” she tried, reaching a hand out to comfort (or restrain) her visibly shaking son. Al hiccupped quietly. 

“Al, I’m sure you don’t like girls. You know James is just taking the mickey out of you. He’s not being serious. No one here thinks you like girls. James knows girls are… icky.” Oh Lord, if Ron were here, he would be in hysterics. A snort made her turn around. 

“Not so, Mum. I like girls. It’s just Al who’s got the problem.” James was damn lucky he was surrounded by a crowd of muggles, and he knew it. Both she and Al could whip out a wicked Bat Bogey Hex and had dead good aim. 

Al, of course, responded to his brother’s taunt with a fresh surge of tears and a howl. Hormones, Ginny thought bitterly. 

“James, you will stuff it this instant! I will deal with you at home! Suffice it to say that you are beyond grounded.” Ginny’s voice was deadly. James paled and gulped miserably. Several people in the crowd stepped back involuntarily. 

James’ distraction meant that Ginny felt the magic only seconds before it happened. She turned, a frantic “NO!” dying on her lips as watched the kindly employee and the tray of free samples she had brought to try to mollify Al fly backwards some five feet, as if repelled by some invisible force. Luckily for her, there were quite a few onlookers by this point, so her fall was cushioned. Unluckily for the onlookers, they also caught the contents of the tray. For what seemed like ages nobody moved; Ginny, Al, and James frozen in identical positions of horror. 

Then, Lily, quick thinking as always, darted across the pastry strewn floor, making to help the still-stunned clerk. As she purposefully crossed the exact spot where Al had accidentally blown the clerk off her feet, Lily let out a small yelp and slipped theatrically, landing in a small heap at the clerk’s feet. 

“Sorry,” Lily said, her face flaming from embarrassment, “it’s really slippery there.” 

The sighs of relief washed through the crowd like a wave. Lily, grinning sheepishly, offered a hand up to the bemused clerk and giggled. Like magic, the giggles spread, starting with the now cherry and boysenberry-flavoured bystanders all the way around to where Ginny was standing. Relieved laughter. Even Ginny had to smile tiredly.

And then the manager (conspicuously absent before) swooped in with a rag-tag team of employees with brooms, mops, and wary expressions. By the time the dust had settled and the manager had encouraged those covered in pastry to pick one out for free as well as began handing out the promotional ice-pops a day early, Ginny was receiving friendlier and more sympathetic glances (as well as quite a few pieces of advice from those closest to her on how to raise children). Lily, quietly sucking on an orange ice-pop, was rewarded with a few affectionate pats on the head and even an unexpected chocolate bar. 

The woman who had handed Lily the candy bar was waiting for them by the doors. Her hair was blue, and her face wrinkled, but when she winked at Ginny she looked twenty years younger. The strange woman shook her head and said laughingly (and rather knowingly) “Magical.” By the time Ginny had gotten her head together and the children out of the store, the woman had disappeared, as if into thin air. Suddenly, Ginny didn’t find the whole afternoon quite as miserable as she had before. For the first time that afternoon, Ginny laughed. 

By the time Ginny pulled their muggle car into the drive of Lyons, the Potter house (mansion, really), she had recovered from her brief bout of hysteria and her headache had returned. Thoughts of the irate Ministry letter which would undoubtedly await them in the kitchen led to thoughts of the one piece of mail she had awaited all summer, which had not arrived. Thoughts Ginny had tried so hard to avoid that she had taken to going to muggle supermarkets in the first place. As long as Hermione had not heard anything, Ginny could try to believe any one of the various excuses she had clung more and more desperately to as the summer days slipped by. 

With a grunt she pulled herself out of her reverie and began filling her arms with groceries. Her children, perhaps for the first time ever, all helped without complaint, and the silent train trudged down the hall to the kitchen. 

“Oh! Here, I’ll help!” A bright and cheerful voice called. 

Hermione’s too bright and too cheerful voice. 

Ginny sank into a chair. “James, Al, leave your bags here and go upstairs. Take Lily with you.” 

It just went to show how worried the two were about their respective fates that James didn’t protest and Al failed to raise one of his naturally inquisitive eyebrows at her request. As soon as they were safely out of range, Ginny turned to Hermione and said in a flat voice, “Hugh’s gotten his letter.” 

Hermione chewed her lip and nodded, looking as though she felt absurdly guilty about the whole situation. “I’m so sorry, Ginny—“ she started. 

“No. Don’t. Congratulations.” Ginny’s voice still sounded oddly tinny to her. “I shouldn’t have reacted that way. I mean…” Ginny trailed off and ran her hands through her long red hair before sighing. 

Hermione grabbed her friend’s hand and squeezed it comfortingly, if a bit awkwardly. She really wasn’t any better at this than Ron, she thought as she tried desperately to come up with something to say. A long silence stretched uncomfortably across the kitchen in which either woman (had each not been too caught up in their own thoughts) might have heard a slight creak from the pantry. 

Lily, however, being the cause of the noise, heard it acutely and froze, holding her breath. The marvelous thing about this old house the Potters had bought when Lily was quite young was that although it was far removed from any large wizarding settlement, it was magical to the core. In this case that meant a number of secret passageways and hidden rooms, as well as oversized fireplaces for a more comfortable flooing experience. Of course, James had discovered a few of these passages (including the ever important one from a spare room to the pantry, in which Lily now stood) almost immediately, and Al had found an old alchemy laboratory off the library quite by accident. But no one knew the house quite like Lily, who was more tenacious (or at least, less easily distracted) than James and more interested than Al (who would often wander off to go read in the middle of an expedition). Lily had learnt long ago that adults rarely told kids anything of use, so the best way to find things out was to listen to what they told eachother when they thought there were no little ears around. The secret passages and alcoves in the house had served her well in that regard. Lily was not above listening at keyholes, but she found it undignified and was glad that in this house it was essentially unnecessary. So, as soon as Al and James had sulked off to their rooms, Lily slipped out of hers and through the passageway into the pantry in the hopes of overhearing something important. Now, however, as seconds became minutes, she began to despair that she’d missed everything already. 

“It’s not fair!” Ginny cried, breaking the silence and making Hermione (and Lily) jump. 

“I, I know, Ginny, it’s not.” 

“It’s not fucking fair.” Her voice was thick with tears as she pounded her fist on the table. Lily felt a chill run down her back. 


“No, Hermione. It’s not fair that Harry can save the world and then have this happen. It’s not fair that after how hard we fought and how much we lost, that when we think everything is ok, everything is going to be fine now, we’re finally going to get a chance to be happy, something else fucking happens!” 


“Why, Hermione? What did I do, what did we do wrong? Is it because I fought? Or my family? Or because I did something wrong when I was pregnant?” Ginny’s voice got quieter. “Is it my fault, Hermione? Could we have done something different?”
The anguish in her voice made Lily cringe. For the first time she wondered if she really wanted to be hearing this. 

Hermione sounded just as pained. “Ginny, nobody knows exactly why or how… It’s really rare, and most families keep it quiet, so there haven’t been all that many opportunities to study…” 

“Hermione, I’ve read the fucking literature, too! NOBODY KNOWS! Nobody BLOODY knows! Well, I want to know! I want to know why my daughter is a Squib!” 

There were two identical intakes of breath, one from the pantry. Once again, neither woman noticed. Lily was almost positive she didn’t want to hear this, only her legs seemed to have forgotten how to move. They curled in a useless heap under her as she sank to the floor. 

“Oh, come off it, Hermione! It’s not like we haven’t heard it said before. Sure, we all did our best to ignore it, but now… We’ve been hearing people whisper it for nearly three years now. Lily can’t do magic.” 

Hermione, who could do magic, cringed. Lily, who couldn’t do magic, felt herself begin to cry. No, she didn’t want to hear this. 

“Ginny… Ginny, maybe she’s just an, erm, late bloomer. She’s not eleven yet.” 

“You don’t know how much I wish I really believed that, ‘Mione. But I’ve been telling myself that for three years now…” Ginny said sadly, shaking her head. 

So have I,
Lily thought sadly, closing her eyes. 

“But, ‘Mione, Hogwarts is never wrong. Kids don’t just fall through the cracks. Harry Potter’s kids don’t fall through the cracks. If Lily was a witch, Hogwarts would know, and we would have gotten a letter.” 

Hermione was shaking her head now. “Ginny, Hogwarts can only know as much as we know. They don’t have some, for lack of a better term, crystal ball that tells them if a child can do magic. They have to wait until they first exhibit it. Lily’s magic could just be latent, or blocked. I’ve read about how that can happen in certain atmospheres ---“ 

“Enough. Enough, ‘Mione. We’ve waited. NOTHING has happened. Lily is eleven in three weeks. We’re out of time. James and Al have gotten their letters, Hugo got his letter, everyone going to Hogwarts this year have gotten their letters. Lily is not getting a letter…” Ginny’s voice broke, the tears finally coming through. “And I don’t know how to handle that…” she sobbed to her friend.

Lily’s legs were working again. She wished she hadn’t heard any of that. She wished her mother and aunt were wrong. She wished she didn’t know they were right. She wished she could do magic. She wished, she wished, she wished. And she ran.
Through the passage, through the spare room, through the hall, past a confused James, past offended portraits, up one flight of stairs, around a corner, up another, into a closet, one more set of spiraling stairs, through a trapdoor, an attic, and out onto an ancient balcony on the tallest ancient turret in the ancient house. It was a good thing Lily’s legs had given out again, because she was surrounded by nothing but sky--- and a very, very long and unpleasant way down was the ground. Lily perched on the low wall, nestled against the curve of the turret and slightly sheltered from the damp day by a slight over hang which only dripped every so often on her battered trainers. 

Lily’s thoughts whirled even as her breathing began to slow. Squib, squib, squib. The word pounded in her head like the blood in her ears, a steady heartbeat. No magic. It was true, Lily had never done magic. She had not broken several vases and a lightbulb in a temper-tantrum, like James. She had not turned James purple, like Al. She had not produced lovely golden bubbles with her mother’s wand, like Rose, or even accidentally made herself hover in anger, like Hugo. In fact, Lily had never done anything out of the ordinary, except be ordinary in a family of extremely talented witches and wizards. 

She hadn’t thought much of it when she was younger. After all, James, Al, and Rose were all older than her. And Dom and Louis were part Veela, so they didn’t count. And Molly and Lucy were perfect at everything, so of course they were doing complex spells by the age of five. But as the years passed, there were fewer and fewer cousins left to show signs of magic, and Lily was running out of excuses. Then Lily was eight—but, no worries, Great-Uncle Bilius had a late start, too. Lily was nine when Louis stole the show at four. But hadn’t Neville been almost nine himself when his great-uncle accidentally dropped him out of a window? Lily was ten, her mother’s eyes got tight, and it seemed like everyone was holding their breath. No one had any honest words of encouragement this time around. 

Now she was almost eleven and still no sign of magic. Lily didn’t know what was worse, counting down the days desperately hoping that something would happen or the sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach that made her feel as if she had swallowed lead and the insidious voice inside her head which told her she already knew the answer. She wouldn’t be able to do magic, ever. Something was wrong with her, or broken, and so she didn’t work. She would never get to be a part of her family’s world, never get a wand, never get to go to Hogwarts. 

She had wanted to go to Hogwarts since she could remember. She and Hugo had all sorts of plans. All sorts of plans. Her father was supposed to give her the Map, because Al hadn’t wanted it. She was supposed to have dorm mates who became her best friends, and boyfriends who would enchant the stars to sing for her and Uncle Neville for Herbology. She was supposed to become a famous auror, or quidditch player, or healer, or dragon tamer, or… 

“It’s not fair” Lily whispered to the wind, echoing her mother. 

“IT’S NOT FAIR!” Lily screamed to the world. 

“It’s not, it’s not, it’s not…” she told herself over and over when nobody heard her. 

Eventually, Lily ran out of tears. Her anger or sadness, or whatever it was, had faded to a dull throbbing at the back of her throat. As she stood, carefully, looking over the grounds, a thought came to her. Her Aunt Hermione had said something about latent magic. Sometimes people didn’t show magic until some situation forced them to, anger or fear, usually. Anger didn’t work. Lily had a short fuse and she’d been as mad as Al was at the store that afternoon before. Nothing had happened. But Lily had never been honestly scared. It was a long way down. Uncle Neville had been dropped out a window and bounced. Falling out of trees and through that one staircase had given her bruises and a few cuts, but not even a broken bone… there must not really have been enough risk involved. It was a long way down: lots of risk. She was scared just thinking about it. It was a really long way down. 

Well, if there was ever a time for her magic to show itself, this would be it. If it didn’t show… No, Lily, think positive. It will. Nothing will go wrong. You’ll bounce. Hopefully. 

As Lily stepped off the wall, she heard the doors behind her open. She had a fleeting glance of her father’s ashen face before – 


A/N: Right, well, there it is. I hope you enjoyed it... so much so that you feel inclined to review right away. If all goes well, the second chapter should be up soon.



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