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01 October 2007 @ 10:01 am
Muggle Studies fic  
Written for hpmugglestudies; topic is Muggleborn assimilation and culture clash. Whee!

In 1990, prominent Muggleborn research wizard Cromwell Albertson embarked on an ambitious project. Inspired by Muggle Michael Apted’s “Seven Up!” documentary series, he chose six students from controversial headmaster Albus Dumbledore’s list of Muggle-borns to be admitted to Hogwarts in 1991 and 1992 and went to their homes to interview them – before and after their life-changing discovery of their wizarding talent. He continued these interviews over the next nine years, a period of time which spanned both the Chamber of Secrets attacks in 1992 and Voldemort’s second rise and subsequent persecution of Muggleborns in 1997. The Pensieve Projection that resulted won a Superbius award for artistic excellence in 2002 and has been required viewing in the Hogwarts Muggle Studies course since 2008.

Year Zero: December 1990
Dean Thomas, 10: “I’m going to be a famous footballer. But if that doesn’t work out then I suppose I’ll go to uni and do something else . . . Do I like school? Yeah, it’s fine. I like it when we do projects and things. And I like English, reading. Not maths so much. . . . No, I’m not scared about switching up to secondary school – I mean, it’ll be all the same people as here.”

Justin Finch-Fletchley, 10: “In two years, I’ll be up for Eton . . . I want to attend Balliol, that’s where my father was, but I don’t really care as long as it’s not Trinity. After that I expect I’ll be a barrister. But Mum says I ought to think about being a doctor, she says they do more good in the world.”

Hermione Granger, 10: “A teacher. Or a doctor. Or a famous research scientist, like Madame Curie; Madame Curie is my favorite historical personage, everything she did was so fascinating and she proved that women could be scientists, didn’t she, and – do I know what radium is? Of course. I’ve read all about her, all the biographies and everything. . . . Yes, I’m going to go to Oxford or Cambridge when I’m older. No, no one in my family’s done Oxbridge before.”

Colin Creevey, 9: “I’ve founded two clubs at my school – there’s the photography club, that’s just for taking pictures – my dad just bought me a new camera – and then I was president of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles club but that was last year. I’m not so interested in that anymore. I hope when I go on to secondary school they still let me do photography club. I don’t know if the school here has one.”

Anthony Goldstein, 10: “There was this one kid who used to push me around a little, but he went up to secondary last year. I get along really well with everyone else. I don’t do best in anything but I do all right . . . What do I want to do when I grow up? When I grow up I want to be a zookeeper.”

Carys Jones, 9: “Science is definitely my favorite subject. I really like it when we do experiments. We got to keep mealworms last year and that was fun too, although it was sad when they died. I named mine Madonna and Princess Di. . . . I’d like to be famous when I grow up, like a pop star or something. I don’t know if I want to get married. And then I could do science too sort of on the side.”

Year One: December 1991
Dean Thomas, 11, Gryffindor: “I mean, it’s magic, right? Not much to beat that, is there? I was really homesick for a bit, but I got over it. You do. I’m glad to be home for the hols, though. . . . My family? They were surprised, of course, not every day you get letters flooding the chimney. My mum and dad were a bit weird before I went off, kept giving me funny looks, but the kids, my brothers and sisters, they won’t shut up about it, ‘Dean, make your wand shoot sparks! Dean, Andrew stole my walkman, turn him into a toad!’

Yeah, I missed my friends here while I was gone. They’re all starting secondary school now, though, sounds a lot duller than what I’m doing. Not that I can tell them about that – they think I’m off at some posh public school. They’ve all been teasing me about it. I think I missed playing football with them most, hardly anyone at Hogwarts even knows what football is, they’re all off about Quidditch.”

Justin Finch-Fletchley, 11, Hufflepuff: “Well, now I’m home my mum keeps asking me, what can you do as a wizard, I mean what are your potential career paths, and I keep telling her, Mum, I’m a wizard, what more of a career do I need? She doesn’t listen of course . . . They’re talking about getting me a tutor for the summer, they want to make sure I keep up on everything so I can still go to uni after Hogwarts. They’ve told everyone I’m being home schooled.

. . . no, they really didn’t want me to come when we got the letter, they thought it was a scam or something. It took old McGonagall turning up and showing how I can do magic to make them let me. Good thing the school didn’t send Hagrid like they did for Goldstein is all I can say, they’d’ve been threatening to sue!”

Hermione Granger, 11, Gryffindor: “There’s just so much to learn. Nobody else sees it like that, they think you can just wave a wand and things happen and it’s about that, but that’s only what they’re teaching us now, in our first years. Just look at the library and you know how much more there is. I wish I was back there now. I mean, I’m happy to be home with my parents for Christmas, I know they missed me, but there’s so much more I could be doing there than here . . .

Homesick? I was, a bit. I had friends here and – I suppose it was harder making friends there. It got much better, though. It’s been good to see Bob and Susie and Joe over the holidays, but it’s hard, too, there’s so much I want to tell them about everything and I have to close my mouth just about every time I open it, I feel sometimes like I’m going to explode!”

Colin Creevey, 10: Albertson decided not to interview Colin Creevey again until his admission to Hogwarts next year.

Anthony Goldstein, 11, Ravenclaw: “It’s so different. It was really hard at first. They expect you to know all these things that you don’t and then when you don’t know them they look at you funny. And that’s not even talking about the people who - well, anyways, there’s two other Muggleborns in Ravenclaw – it’s the biggest house this year, did you know? Normally it’s Hufflepuff – and we all sort of stick together and talk about things when we get homesick. We all miss films. And television. I can’t believe wizards don’t have television.

Was I surprised to be sorted into Ravenclaw? Well, it’s not like I knew what the houses were like really at the time, only someone on the train – I think it was Padma’s sister – told me Ravenclaw was for the clever ones. I never thought I was all that clever, but I knew Dad would be proud if I got into the clever house. I thought we’d have to take an exam or something.”

Carys Jones, 10: Albertson decided not to interview Carys Jones again until her admission to Hogwarts next year.

Year Two: December 1992
Dean Thomas, 12, Gryffindor: “Well, yeah, it’s definitely more restful being back here on holiday. It’s all so normal here, you can’t really imagine that sort of thing going on, with monsters and all . . .

. . . yeah, of course it’s nerve-wracking a bit, being a Muggle-born at Hogwarts these days. You can’t let it get to you too much, though. I wish Dumbledore hadn’t sent that letter home, my mum and dad were talking about not sending me back for second term. But you can’t do that, can you? I mean it’s like letting them win, the people who don’t want Muggleborns at Hogwarts at all. I told that to Mum and she says she’s really proud of me. She told us all about Uncle Simon in America who got put in jail for drinking from the wrong water fountain, well of course we’d all heard it a million times before, and I tried to tell her that the teachers were all right, it was just the monster and the heir of Slytherin that was the trouble. But it means they’re letting me go back, anyways.”

Justin Finch-Fletchley, 12, Hufflepuff: Unable to be interviewed; in a state of Petrification.

Hermione Granger, 12, Gryffindor: Requested not to be interviewed this year due to temporary disfiguration.

Colin Creevey, 11, Gryffindor: Unable to be interviewed; in a state of Petrification.

Anthony Goldstein, 12, Ravenclaw: “The letter they sent home with us? I tore it up. My parents would never have let me go back if they’d seen it, students being Petrified, and of course Dad doesn’t trust wizarding medicine, he sends me with a whole first-aid kit every year . . .

Am I afraid? I’m - the older kids say we should be brave, and I’m trying to be brave. All of us Ravenclaw Muggles, we made a pact, we promised ourselves we would all come back and stick it out together. There’s no point in not going back. What would I do if I didn’t go back to Hogwarts? I’m not in school anymore, I’d be behind in everything at Muggle secondary school, and I couldn’t do magic anymore, so I guess I’d just end up a bum.”

Carys Jones, 11, Ravenclaw: “It was all really exciting when we got here at first but now I really don’t know. I guess I’m going back, though. They don’t make you pay tuition at Hogwarts or anything for feeding and housing you all year, you only have to pay for supplies, Mum said it was like a godsend when Professor McGonagall explained it all to her.

Yes, I gave Mum the letter about what was going on but I think she forgot to read it. It’s all right. I don’t want to worry her or anything. I haven’t told anyone at Hogwarts I’m Muggleborn except my very best friend Calliope and she’s teaching me all about wizarding music and food and everything so I won’t stand out.”

Year Three: December 1993
Dean Thomas, 13, Gryffindor: “Everything’s back to normal this year, as you can see, and things are going really great. We’ve got this new teacher, Professor Lupin – he never makes you feel stupid for not knowing the things that everyone else has since they were two. And Hogsmeade’s loads of fun, I bought up about half of Honeydukes to bring home for Christmas gifts. Only for the family, obviously, I’d have a hard time explaiing them to anyone else.

Of course I’m glad to be home. I mean, it’s always good to see my family. I’m thinking about asking Seamus if he wants to come home with me for the holidays sometime, but I don’t know. But he’s half-Muggle – he knows enough about, well, you know, normal things, I mean Muggle things, that he wouldn’t be staring all the time like Ron or Neville would. That’s probably one of the reasons we’re best mates. You can’t really count Harry. I mean, he grew up in a closet.

What do I want to be when I grow up? I don’t know. Wizards don’t do football, and Quidditch is fun, but you play any other position than Seeker and it’d probably feel a bit pointless. I like to draw. I don’t know if people pay for wizarding art.”

Justin Finch-Fletchley, 13, Hufflepuff: “What happened last year? I don’t think I’m traumatized or anything. It isn’t as if I remember any of it – I was unconscious the whole time I was Petrified, you know. Dad asked me if I wanted to see a psychiatrist when I got home, but what would I tell one – a giant snake put me in a coma? And I’ve never heard of a wizard having therapy. It’s a very Muggle thing . . . You do look at people differently, though, I suppose. After something like that. It was worse last year, when the attacks were happening – you looked at everybody and wondered if they were thinking ‘there goes Justin the Muggleborn.’ I’d never thought about it like that before then.

Yes, I’m still being tutored over the summer, it’s deadly. Even worse last summer because I’d missed half a year of school, and that made Mum and Dad really go ballistic. Even wizarding school is better than no school, I suppose. Once I told them I still wanted to go back to Hogwarts they were all for hiring me a wizarding tutor to catch me up too, but they didn’t know where to look.

When I grow up? Work for the Ministry of Magic, maybe. My dad’s quite taken with that idea ever since I told him about it. He thinks it would be respectable.”

Hermione Granger, 13, Gryffindor: “Obviously I’m not nervous about being at Hogwarts after the attacks, I’d hardly be here over my Christmas holidays if I were, would I? I’m sorry, I’ve been doing a lot of research and I haven’t got much time - you know Buckbeak’s hearing is scheduled for April? It’s a disgrace, really it is. The RSPCA would never allow it. Of course you can’t talk to people about things like that here, there are so many ways in which the wizarding government is just backwards –

Sad not to be home? Oh, I suppose, but I’ll see my parents in the summer. And it’s not like there’s anything really important I could be doing there. I don’t really talk to any of the others from primary school except Susan. It’s so difficult when there’s so much you can’t say. It’s hard even with her, but we’ve been friends forever so we work it out. No, I don’t tell Harry and Ron about her, it seems better to keep it separate somehow . . .

Yes, I’m taking Muggle Studies this year. It’s – well, it’s a class. I take it to learn. Do I need to have another reason? Yes, I am the only Muggleborn in the class. I suppose it can get a bit awkward having people look at me when they don’t understand things, but they do that in other classes too. And ask me to do their homework for them.

I haven’t really thought about what I’m going to do when I grow up. Continue with SPEW, obviously. There’s so much that needs to be changed. But really I can’t think too far ahead until I’ve taken my OWLS and my NEWTS – my whole future rests on those, really.

A-Levels? Why would I bother about them? I’m a witch.

Colin Creevey, 12, Gryffindor: “Oh no, Hogwarts is great! I’ve always felt safe here. No, I can see how you’d think last year might have been a rough kind of introduction, but honestly it’s just fantastic, I’ve made a million friends. And everyone here is so cool! I mean, I’m really going to school with Harry Potter – he made the wizarding world safe for Muggleborns like me. I think maybe I’d feel a lot less safe if he wasn’t here.

Yes, I’m really excited that Dennis is going to go to Hogwarts with me! It’s not official yet, but I saw him levitate something last year so we’re pretty certain. And it’s a great opportunity, too, we get the full education and don’t have to go to uni or anything. It would have been horrible for him if he hadn’t been able to come after I’d told him all about it. Though I suppose it will be hard on our parents, us both being away.

. . . I still want to be a photographer when I grow up. Look how much good my camera did last year! It’s like a sign or something, right?”

Anthony Goldstein, 13, Ravenclaw: “Safe? At Hogwarts? You’re joking, right? I’ve never felt safe at Hogwarts, and especially not after last year. That’s not why I go.

. . . no, why would that make a difference? Wizards don’t even know from religion, they do Christmas for the colors and the presents and the break from school. And the carols they sing aren’t proper carols at all. I know what Christmas carols are like, we did them in primary school. I had a note saying I didn’t have to sing. But anyways the wizards, they haven’t got any idea of it, all Muggles are the same to them. The only thing is Muggleborn or not. Pureblood or not, if you’re a Slytherin.

When I grow up I might want to be the next Care of Magical Creatures instructor. I think I’d do a better job of it than Hagrid, anyways.”

Carys Jones, 12, Ravenclaw: “Oh, it’s all right here now. Calliope and I swore ourselves, we’re best friends and sisters now forever, and she taught me everything so it’s hardly like I’m Muggleborn at all. At least I don’t feel that way when I’m at Hogwarts or at Calliope’s like I am now.

. . . I spent most of the summer at my aunt’s in Nottingham, I always do, Mum’s too busy. I’ve got friends there – we’ve only ever seen each other over the summers so it’s not strange really. Most of them are in secondary school already. It is a bit weird, I guess, doing different things than they are. I tell them my classes are History and Crafts and Self-Defense and Phys. Ed. and Science – Potions is a bit like science, it’s not really lying. Wizards don’t really have real science.

Calliope and I are going to be in a band together when we grow up – no, we don’t play any instruments yet, but I solemnly swore I’m going to learn guitar over the summer and she’s going to practice singing and look up amplifying spells. It’ll be fab.

Year Four: December 1994
Dean Thomas, 14, Gryffindor: “I’m definitely going home for Christmas. Mum would throw a fit if I didn’t. Oliver Wood lives in the area, he’s set up a Portkey there and back so I can still make the Yule Ball. The whole foreign exchange student thing has really livened things up, though I wonder why we do Beauxbatons and Durmstrang and not the American schools. Seamus has a cousin who goes to the school in Canada and he was really disappointed, he was hoping she’d be here. Rumor has it she’s hot stuff. But I suppose wizards can’t really broomstick across the Atlantic, and can you imagine a wizard on a plane? Anyways, of course I’ve got to root for Harry. He’s one of us, after all – House loyalty.

. . . Most important? I don’t know, do I have to pick? It’s not like being a Gryffindor and being Muggleborn go against each other. It’d be different if I was Slytherin, but I don’t even think they let Muggleborns in Slytherin, the bigoted wankers. I don’t ever let them get to me.”

Justin Finch-Fletchley, 14, Hufflepuff: “It’s sort of a double hit, being in Hufflepuff and being Muggleborn – like having two strikes against you. Though it helps that Hermione Granger’s top of the class, and everyone knows she’s Muggleborn. And if Cedric wins the Cup, well, everyone knows he’s a Hufflepuff. If he wins it will really stand for something. It’s just not fair if Harry Potter takes that away from him. Gryffindor always cleans up everything.

When I’m at home? Well, no one knows I’m a wizard, so it isn’t as if I get odd looks on that score. Mum and Dad are really determined that I’m not going to forget I’ve got a chance there as well as a chance here – hence the tutors and all that. They’ve been talking to some of the other Muggle parents about it. I think Mum wants to organize a support group. Tea and crumpets and commiseration about their children who aren’t even learning proper Latin.

I do miss Christmas at home this year, a bit. I wouldn’t have thought I did, a whole long meal with stuffy relatives everywhere, but there you go. It’s a funny thing.”

Hermione Granger, 14, Gryffindor:Please don’t ask me about the Yule Ball, I’ve got more than enough people pestering me about it already. Of course I’m quite used to spending Christmas here, my parents don’t think anything of it – they might be a bit disappointed, but I spent nearly the whole summer with them. And you know Christmas is a very busy time of year for dentists. All that pudding.

Do I feel more driven to succeed because of being Muggleborn? What sort of a question is that? It’s not like who my parents are matters to the people who really count. I suppose it’s nice to show that Draco Malfoy and all the other Slytherins up, the ones who think Muggles are so stupid – all right, maybe it is a factor, but it’s certainly not the main one. I really just want to learn and help Harry with – you aren’t going to show this to the awful Skeeter woman, are you?”

Colin Creevey, 13, Gryffindor: “I can hardly believe it’s my third year already. I want to stay at Hogwarts forever. I’ve got something of a reputation, you know. Everyone still remembers what happened first year, when Harry saved us all – well, Dennis keeps telling all the other first-years about it, and they come up and ask me what it was like, you know, was I awfully scared, and I tell them of course not, Harry Potter’s saved the day over and over again, right?

Oh, I’m rooting for Harry, no question about that. I mean none of the others really stand a chance, do they, I feel almost sorry for them. I have to admit it’s good business, though - didn’t I mention I’d started a business? All the foreign exchange students want their photos snapped next to famous Hogwarts landmarks to send back to their parents. And wizarding cameras are really expensive, and none of them know how to work a Muggle one. So you see there’s advantages!”

Anthony Goldstein, 14, Ravenclaw: “I don’t know, I’m not paying much attention to the whole Cup business. The challenges are sort of wonky, aren’t they? We’ve all been talking about the first one, us Ravenclaws, and it seemed much more about charging in and trusting to pure dumb luck than anything else. Gryffindor-biased, really. It’ll be all right as long as Durmstrang doesn’t win. They say it’s a real bastion for the Dark Arts up there. And did you know they didn’t let any Muggleborns come to put in their names for the cup? There’s one among the Beauxbatons group, though. She told me that they have immersion classes for Muggleborns there – an extra course that they have to take their first year in wizarding culture. To acclimate them or something.

. . . well, it’s not like missing Christmas is a tremendous loss for me. My parents asked if I wanted them to send eight presents, but I asked them not to. It would just be a bother to explain, you know?

The ball? I’m going with, ah, with Lisa Turpin. We’ve been sort of – no, I haven’t told my parents I’m seeing anyone.”

Carys Jones, 13, Ravenclaw: “I can’t believe they aren’t letting us go to the Yule Ball! The Weird Sisters are playing! Heathcote Barbary is my idol. Calliope got to see them in concert over the summer; she got me a magic music box with them singing but it’s just not the same. It’s not my fault my aunt can’t take me to any of those wizarding places. I tried to sneak out and go but, you know, we can’t use magic over the summer, and when no one else in your family can either it’s really limiting. . . .

. . . the Triwizard Cup? Well, it’s a bit depressing that Quidditch has been cancelled just so we can all troupe out to see some boys bash at dragons, isn’t it? Don’t tell anyone, but I’m rooting for Fleur. She may have stolen Roger Davies right out from under his girlfriend’s nose but it would still be nice to see a girl take the prize. Some of these wizarding boys, they’re right out of the Middle Ages. Of course I don’t say anything about it, the one time I did Calliope gave me a really queer look. . . .

Yes, she’s still the only one who knows I’m Muggleborn. I know there’s no real danger anymore but I’ve just got into the habit of not saying.”

Year Five: December 1995
Dean Thomas, 15, Gryffindor: “You’re not showing any of this to Professor Umbridge, right? All right, then – I do think Harry’s right about You-Know-Who. He may not have shown himself yet, but that’s hardly going to last. Seamus doesn’t want to believe it, but then he’s – well, he’s never really noticed there are differences, has he, he doesn’t like to think about the people that are prejudiced. I don’t blame him for not wanting to see it really. I’ve been talking a lot with Mum about it. And with my friends from around here, too, though I must sound a bit of an idiot only half being able to say – yes, I still spend time with them when I’m home. We play football together a lot, of course, but we talk too, and – there’s a lot of prejudice in Muggle schools, all kinds, race, country, class, whatever. But at least they talk to them about it. The teachers at Hogwarts never do that with us. I wish that they had. I mean, obviously they won’t now, with Umbridge in charge.

. . . well, I’m not worried for myself. But it is hard on the littlest ones. I wish Dumbledore was in a position to put some extra protections in place. We have a lot of Muggleborn students, you know?

Dumbledore’s Army? I don’t know anything about that. But it sounds like a good idea to me.”
Note: Later on, Dean admitted that by this point he was already a member of Dumbledore’s Army.

Justin Finch-Fletchley, 15, Hufflepuff: Elected not to be interviewed this year, claiming he had no time to spare from studying for his OWLs.

Hermione Granger, 15, Gryffindor: “Of course I think Harry’s right. He was there, he saw – if anyone would know about it he would. He’s faced You-Know-Who before. And now, after what happened with Mr. Weasley, I don’t see how anyone can – I don’t know why people don’t just listen to him! And you can tell everyone I said that if you want, loathsome Umbridge and everybody, I don’t care! This is where a parent-teacher association would do some good, that woman needs to have some kind of – of checks and balances!

No, I didn’t go home again this year. And no, I didn’t spend most of the summer at home either. There’s more important things in life than holidays! I don’t know why you’re always so fixated on them.

My parents? I miss them, I suppose, but I can’t worry about them right now. The less they know about all this the better off they are. I do write to them. And I write to Susan too, though at least three-quarters of everything I write to her is lies.”
Note: As Hermione could not be located over the winter holidays, this interview took place in January.

Colin Creevey, 14, Gryffindor: “If You-Know-Who is back, then there’s no one better to throw yourself behind than Harry Potter. I’ve always believed in him. He’s always watched out for me, for people like me, and taken the time to teach –

Well, I just mean he teaches us all how to be brave in a general sense. I think he’s sort of what Gryffindor is supposed to stand for. Courage and tolerance and everything like that.

Oh, no, I’m not afraid.”

Anthony Goldstein, 15, Ravenclaw: “I suppose I’m not really surprised that Voldemort is back. The rest of them all grew up hearing about him and his reign of terror – for them Voldemort is this sort of bogeyman, they can’t even say the name. And I guess you never want to believe that the bogeyman’s real. It’s like – oh, this is a really facile analogy and my parents would tear me apart for it, but it’s like if Hitler rose from the dead. Who’d want to believe it?

. . . well, it’s funny, really. In a way, I feel less sort of nervous, less different now than I did before. Because Voldemort’s everyone’s enemy, isn’t he? And Cedric Diggory wasn’t a Muggleborn.”

Carys Jones, 14, Ravenclaw: “I don’t think You-Know-Who is back. I’ve never been part of that whole Harry Potter fan club; I mean, what’s so special about him? He’s just a boy. Calliope’s whole family says that it’s impossible that Voldemort could ever return, and they would know better than that Dumbledore’s Gang would. They were there for it last time.

. . . oh yes, everyone knows about it. They think they’re so secret, but really it’s not so hard to figure out. No one’s going to turn them in, we all hate Umbridge too, but as an extra-curricular activity figuring out how to magically beat people up is not my top choice, you know? I don’t – well, you know, my mum doesn’t live in the best area, but she and my aunt both made sure that I knew from when I was little that violence was wrong. And violence is still violence whether you do it with a wand and a shower of colored sparks or with a gun. . . .”

Year Six: December 1996
Dean Thomas, 16, Gryffindor: “Well, everything’s normal here, aside from the great elephant in the room of the fact that, oh, You-Know-Who is back. But it’s best to go on as things are. You can’t live in a state of fear.

- well, no, I suppose it’s not as much of a relief as usual to be back home as usual, just because – well, it’s like Hogwarts. Everything seems perfectly normal but you never know what could be lurking ‘round the corner, so to speak. And after what happened to Katie Bell –

Oh – yes, I’m dating Ginny, have been since last year, that’s one good thing. She’s great. You know they say she’s the most gorgeous girl at Hogwarts? I’ve been showing some of the lads here her picture and they’re all jealous. Only a few of them, of course, wouldn’t be the best idea to explain to everyone. I mean, Ginny, well, she’s really white, isn’t she . . .

. . . yeah, I dated a Muggle girl once. Two summers ago – she plays on the girl’s football team here. Didn’t last, though, the long-distance thing is really hard. Not to mention it’s tricky to build an honest relationship when you can’t tell the girl one thing about what you really do for most of the year.”

Justin Finch-Fletchley, 16, Hufflepuff: “Yes, I was part of Dumbledore’s Army last year. If you want to know, that’s the real reason I requested not to interview – bit afraid I’d give the game away. So, sorry about that. You’d think my parents would have been pleased, it was like I was taking an extra course, but instead they’re fretting as usual. They say I didn’t look well after last year, that I’d lost weight. I suppose I was under stress. OWLs, you know. I got high marks, though, so they’re pleased about that, although that means they’re more than ever on about the A-levels too –

Frightened of Voldemort? I – well, all right, yes. I am. Mrs. Abbott was killed, and I met her once, Hannah and Ernie and I got together over the hols. You’ve got to be frightened after a thing like that. You hear things, rumors, and it’s hard to know who you can trust. I used to be on decent terms with one or two Slytherins – Daphne Greengrass isn’t so bad, we studied for OWLs together – but you sort of feel like they’re all going to side with Voldemort, don’t you. I mean You-Know-Who, sorry. It just sounds a silly thing to call the person who most likely wants to kill you.”

Hermione Granger, 16, Gryffindor: “I’m home for Christmas for the first time in years, as you can see. It just felt like the right thing to do, go home, spend time with my parents, and it’s nice to be away from Hogwarts for a bit and all that pressure. Though of course I’m still studying! NEWTS next year!

No, I haven’t told them about You-Know-Who and everything. I just want to – to be here, and not think about all of that for a little, and not have to be constantly answering their questions about it. I went to the movie theater with Susan today. We saw Romeo and Juliet, you know the new one – oh, it was a ridiculous interpretation, utterly over the top and not faithful to the original at all, but while I was thinking about how ridiculous it was I didn’t think about the wizarding world once. I really didn’t. Not until we got back.

Sometimes I do wish I’d spent more time back here, I suppose.”

Colin Creevey, 15, Gryffindor: “I miss the DA a lot, but I keep practicing. Don’t want to lose my touch. Not that I think that – I mean, I don’t feel threatened. And we’re back home now and everything’s great. But if anything did happen, Dennis is still just a kid, and Mum and Dad don’t know a thing about defensive magic, so it’s up to me, really, isn’t it?

Didn’t you just ask about – oh, you mean nervous about the OWLs! Well, a bit. But school isn’t everything. My dad never went to uni, and you know the Weasley twins are doing great in business now and they didn’t even graduate Hogwarts. You don’t really need a degree to be a photographer.

Yes, I still want to be a photographer. It’s my passion.”

Anthony Goldstein, 16, Ravenclaw: “Yes, I’m a prefect this year. I was last year, too. My dad thinks it’s great – about the only thing he thinks is great about the Hogwarts business these days. But it doesn’t mean anything really, they just pick as prefects people who don’t make too much trouble. It’s not as if anyone listens to us. It just means if something happens to people on your watch you feel worse about it . . . I feel sorry for the seventh-year Gryffindor prefect. I can’t imagine how they feel about Katie.

. . . yes, I’ve told my parents all about Voldemort and the risk. I thought about it for a bit, I didn’t want to worry them, but then I figured it wasn’t fair not to tell them when they’re at risk too. They’re not too happy about me going back, but I have to, of course. I can’t ever not be a wizard. But I can’t ever not be a Muggle, either, I can’t just blow it off the way some people do. Especially not now. More than ever now I think it’s important to remember – well, wizards think of Muggles as being just these stupid blind people, like little savages you just pat on the head and keep in the dark. The Ravenclaw Muggleborns, all of us, now that the DA is over, we’re doing something different. We’re having these – I guess you’d call them culture nights. We want to show all the other Ravenclaws, the ones who don’t understand, the things that Muggles really do right. It might sound stupid with everything that’s happening, to focus on culture and all that, but it’s important for them to understand . . . you do understand, don’t you? I mean, you’re a Muggleborn, aren’t you?

And we’re teaching them about Muggle weapons as well, of course. There is going to be a war on.”

Carys Jones, 15, Ravenclaw: “I know what Terry Boot and Anthony Goldstein and them are doing. I wish they wouldn’t. I don’t know why they have to draw attention to us. They keep asking me to go . . . well, I let slip to Terry that I was Muggleborn, it was stupid, and now they won’t let me alone about it.

. . . no, I’m not worried about my family. I’m worried about Calliope’s family, they’re the ones at risk. Why would Voldemort care about me or my aunt or my mum? We never did anything to him. I’m just one student, wasn’t even in the DA, I’m hardly a threat.

I don’t think I’m going to go back home this summer, though. Just in case. I mean, I’ll drop by to see my aunt, but there’s no point in drawing attention to them, is there? What with things – well, everything getting worse.”

Year Seven: December 1997
Dean Thomas, 17, Gryffindor: Could not be located for interview.

Justin Finch-Fletchley, 17, Hufflepuff: Could not be located for interview.

Hermione Granger, 17, Gryffindor: Could not be located for interview.

Colin Creevey, 16, Gryffindor: Could not be located for interview.

Anthony Goldstein, 17, Ravenclaw: Could not be located for interview.

Carys Jones, 16, Ravenclaw: Could not be located for interview.

Year Eight: December 1998
Dean Thomas, 18, Gryffindor: “Yes, I’m back at school. Finishing out the year, taking my NEWTS, all that. Uh, I don’t know if I – I know your studies on Muggleborns, and it turns out that I’m not really Muggleborn at all, my dad was – well, it’s a long story. But it seems I’m really a Half-blood. So I don’t know if this is helpful to your project still . . .

How do I feel about being back? Well, it’s going to be hard to – I mean, the people who hunted us down, herded us up, they’re still out there, still part of the community. I guess I still say ‘us’. I mean, I was raised as a Muggle, Mum’s a Muggle and Dad even if he’s not my real dad, and they chased me like a Muggleborn last year, so I think that makes me a Muggleborn in all the ways that count. And I don’t want to go around telling people I’m not, either. I’m staying close with my friends from home, too. I’ve never seen why I had to choose. And – you know, don’t release this to the wizarding world at large, ‘cause I might get prosecuted or something, but I’ve been thinking about showing them what I can do. Tell them what’s going on right under their noses. Rob, he’s one of the lads we’ve all known since he was five, he was killed by Death Eaters last year. Just out on a lark. I think they deserve to know.

. . . what do I want to be when I grow up? I’m a legal adult now, you know – no, I’m just joking, I know what you mean. Uh, well, I’ve been painting some of the things I saw last year, and that’s . . . I don’t know if I’m going to sell them. Maybe I’ll donate them to the school.

Or maybe I’ve still got a shot at being a football player, eh?”

Justin Finch-Fletchley, 18: “No, I wasn’t there for the final battle. My parents and I were in the Hamptons in America all last year. I took their exams – the SATs, you know – and my parents got documents from somewhere. All that summer tutoring paid off in the end, I suppose. I’m sending off applications to some of their universities; my parents think I’d do well at Princeton. . . .

I may look up the American wizarding communities while I’m there. I don’t know. My parents worked awfully hard to make sure I could live Muggle if I wanted – got to remember not to call it Muggle to the actual Muggles, of course – so I’m going to give it a try. If it doesn’t work out, I can always come back and take my last year, or finish it at one of the American schools.

. . . when I grow up? Minister of Magic doesn’t sound so hot now, I have to say, not a great record for the past few holders of the position. Maybe I’ll go into economics. My dad’s got a lot of investments.”

Hermione Granger, 18, Gryffindor: “I brought my parents back from Australia as soon as it was safe. They were – they weren’t happy with me, they’re still not, but I had to do it, don’t you see? I could never have known that they were safe otherwise. They’re only Muggles, what could they have done against Voldemort, and so many witches and wizards were killed –

Anyways we’re working things out, I think. But that’s why I’m at Ron’s instead of being home for Christmas. And then I’m back to finish my last year and take the NEWTs and go on to –

What? Well, I was just about to say. I think I’m going into Magical Law Enforcement. If there’s anything last year proved, it’s that wizarding law really needs some improvements, and I’m going to try to go at it from within, so to speak. Of course I need top marks in my degree for that, and then there’s some more schooling, but after last year, well, it’s all almost restful.

Muggle films? No, I haven’t seen any since last Christmas. Lord, when would I have found the time?”

Colin Creevey, 17: Killed in the Battle of Hogwarts.

Anthony Goldstein, 18, Ravenclaw: “There’s one thing about my family – Mum and Dad’ve been shoving Escape from Germany-type books at me since I could first read, so we all had a hundred ideas for going undercover. We’d been building plans with the Boots since last Christmas, when we knew things were getting bad, and – no, I’m not telling you what we did. No point in advertising, right? But the point is we were safe temporarily. We knew it was only temporary, we couldn’t hide for ever – my parents have jobs, they have a real life in the Muggle world – and that’s why me and Boot went back to fight. It had to end.

Am I still scared? Sorry for the language, but I’m fucking terrified. All the time. You don’t know how – but we made a pact, all the Ravenclaw Muggleborns, that first year, and we’re sticking to it. We’re all finishing the last year, we’re all taking our NEWTs, we’re keeping on with the culture nights we were doing sixth year, too. Without the rest of them I couldn’t have done it. I don’t think any of us could have. But there’s enough of us that – I think we are making a difference.

When I grow up . . . It’s still hard to believe that I am going to grow up. But when I graduate – remember how I used to want to teach Care of Magical Creatures? Well, now I think maybe I’ll teach Muggle Studies. It’s about time they had an actual Muggleborn teaching the class.”

Carys Jones, 17, Ravenclaw: “Yes, I stayed at Hogwarts last year. No one knew I was a Muggleborn, after all, and Calliope’s family – they were incredible, they got papers saying I was Calliope’s cousin and everything. I don’t know how they did it. I was –

It was bad, last year. But nobody knew. Nobody knows at school now except Terry Boot, because Calliope – Calliope’s dead. I think her parents think of me as a sort of substitute now –

I’m, I’m sorry. I cry at the drop of a hat these days, it’s awful. I, uh, I’ve been staying with them since. It seems to work out for the best that way. No, I haven’t really seen my family. . .

When I grow up? I don’t know, I won’t even graduate till this year, I – I don’t know. Just a witch.”
either a person or a bell: Duckyflyakate on October 1st, 2007 06:53 pm (UTC)
This is so great; I love how subtle the shifts in character come between this really cool bunch of Muggleborns. Great job!
the real kwon: twirlybookelfe on October 1st, 2007 07:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :D!
Pocket Hercules: iBookadiva_calandia on October 1st, 2007 07:33 pm (UTC)
. . . I think I love you.

I -- am staring at Hermione. A lot. Because . . . yes. They’re only Muggles. AAAH. And I love that you mentioned religion and the wizarding world, and the concept, and and. Aaaaah.

Run away with me?
the real kwon: dork love!bookelfe on October 2nd, 2007 12:16 am (UTC)
Sure! *hitches flight happily to Pittsburgh*

And Hermione terrified me in the most recent book. She was scary to write, too. :O
(Anonymous) on October 1st, 2007 08:19 pm (UTC)
Oh, BECCA. This is amazing. Honestly amazing. I love love love what you did with this fic, and with all the characters-- especially Dean, because he was so thoughtful and concerned for his friends, and Anthony because he was so intent on holding on to his identity as a Muggle and showing people why Muggles aren't just stupid and backwards and you could see where it was coming from, and Hermione because she was .... mildly frightening, really, and that was really interesting when contrasted with how she's presented in the books. The culture clash was so clear and painful to read about, because you do see how the Muggle kids really don't get any support at all-- they're supposed to acclimate on their own, or just .... I don't know. I also love that not all the Muggleborn kids said "You-Know-Who"-- was it Anthony who said it was a stupid thing to call someone who was likely to kill you?

Anyway, I should be critiquing but I don't wanna. So in conclusion: This was a wonderful, thoughtful, thought-provoking piece, and it makes me want to do something except I don't know what. Too bad I can't actually work to improve Muggle-wizard relations ...
Mercuriamercuriazs on October 1st, 2007 08:19 pm (UTC)
O hay, I forgot to log in.

I r smrt.
(no subject) - bookelfe on October 2nd, 2007 12:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
delectable tea, or deadly poison?: reading by the seashoregenarti on October 1st, 2007 09:33 pm (UTC)
...I love you, Becca.

This is beautifully fleshed out, and I love the different perspectives among the kids and the way things change over the course of the years. I think Anthony and Carys are my favorites -- the contrast between them, and the way they're juxtaposed by being next to each other -- but I love the whole thing, especially as a whole.
the real kwon: dork love!bookelfe on October 2nd, 2007 12:19 am (UTC)
I love you toooo! :D (Anthony was secretly my favorite to write, except this is probably not secret to anyone.)
(no subject) - genarti on October 2nd, 2007 02:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
ji: dexter: whatever's left of me to getschiarire on October 1st, 2007 10:27 pm (UTC)
The things I said! You healed them! With magic!
the real kwon: teach me to hear mermaidsbookelfe on October 2nd, 2007 12:20 am (UTC)
You healed them! With concrit!
(no subject) - schiarire on October 2nd, 2007 12:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
My restless soul is longing: open the cagesunravels on October 2nd, 2007 12:28 am (UTC)
This is SO good... the way their perspectives shift over the years, it's so subtle and absolutely right. ♥
the real kwon: wings gleebookelfe on October 2nd, 2007 12:33 am (UTC)
<3 Thank you! :D
the most saint-obsessed Jew you'll ever meetrymenhild on October 2nd, 2007 02:56 am (UTC)
Oh, very nice. I like how the external events we know from the books affect each individual student differently. You display those changes subtly and well.

Now I want to know what's up with Dean Thomas's biological father.
the real kwon: wildly enthusiasticbookelfe on October 2nd, 2007 07:24 am (UTC)
Thank you! :D

And dude, Rym, ME TOO. I was doing research for the fic, trying to pick characters to write about, and I found this whole thing that JKR says is unwritten backstory canon for Dean, about how his father was a Sekrit Wizard who never told his wife and left them in the middle of the night so Voldemort wouldn't find them and then got killed during the first wizarding war. And Sekrit Wizard DeanPapa/Civil Rights Era Deanmama is something that SO needs to be written. Like. I CRAVE this.
(Deleted comment)
the real kwon: wings gleebookelfe on October 2nd, 2007 07:26 am (UTC)

*beaming still* Thank you so much, Viv.
The massive continuity of ducksessayel on October 2nd, 2007 09:41 pm (UTC)
Oh, I really like this. It's so nice to see fic that looks to the bit part players for inspiration. JKR didn't do much with them other than to make them a background for Harry's heroics so its lovely to see them with their own stories and takes on canon.

The characterisations are really good too. I love Dean and particularly like Carys - and Anthony - oh they are all great.
the real kwon: twirlybookelfe on October 5th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
Eee, thank you! Yeah, I always find the bit characters more interesting than the main ones - just a lot more room to play around with. :D
(Deleted comment)
the real kwon: wings gleebookelfe on October 5th, 2007 08:40 pm (UTC)
:D!!! Thank you so much!

(Also yay! And why have I not friended you before? :O *runs to do so now*)
queen of the superficial: models: i'm here with all of my peoplechase_glasslace on January 5th, 2009 06:58 am (UTC)
This is amazing.

Especially Anthony. "Because Voldemort’s everyone’s enemy, isn’t he? And Cedric Diggory wasn’t a Muggleborn.” Hard hitting. The Ravenclaws sticking together was really powerful, as was his decision to be open with his parents ... contrasting with Hermione's "they're only Muggles". I think Anthony was my favourite.

Carys' story was very interesting ... not telling anyone she was Muggleborn and the repressed confusion at the end "I - I don't know. Just a witch". And of course Justin essentially turning his back on that world was an excellent balance. And the emotional impact had that same even quality - Dean was a calm opener to each year, Colin kept things optimistic and Hermione's development made me really, really sad (also scared). Her key line was a total kicker - they're only Muggles.

The issues this highlighted (lack of support for Muggleborns, checks and balances on staff, quiet vs open discrimination, the Ministry etc) were really well done too. Just ... wow.

Fantastic job.
the real kwon: glitterazzibookelfe on January 5th, 2009 03:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I am really glad that you enjoyed it, and that you found it an effective treatment of the issues. There are a lot of holes, I think, in the books' coverage of the Muggleborn/wizarding issue - which is great for fanfic writers, of course. (Anthony was my favorite too. :D)
The artist soon to be known as happydorkforeverdirt on November 12th, 2009 05:09 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow, this is amazing! I was totally absorbed -- they've all got such clear, powerful voices, and everything they say is so interesting and moving, especially all the little details that make it feel so real. I got chills reading this.
the real kwon: twirlybookelfe on November 12th, 2009 05:37 pm (UTC)
Oh man, thank you so much - saying that it feels real really means a lot, since that is what I was aiming for most.
Rekhytptolemy_rekhyt on September 20th, 2010 10:05 pm (UTC)
This. Is. Amazing.

If anything, I might change the order. I think it would be a lot more powerful to end with Anthony's testimony. "It’s about time they had an actual Muggleborn teaching the class," would sort of bring the issue of how Muggleborns are integrated into Wizarding society full circle, showing that there are people willing and working to change it for the better.
the real kwonbookelfe on September 21st, 2010 05:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm very glad that you enjoyed it (and glad that you thought anything about it was powerful, even if the order was not ideal. :D)
youreyesaregemsyoureyesaregems on November 29th, 2010 08:22 pm (UTC)
I found this from just clicking around on LJ and - why do more people not know about this? Why are there not more comments? I don't read a lot of gen but I think when it's done well (i.e. here) it can be better than any slashy/shippy fic. This is so brilliantly - not canon-flavoured, but just canon. And Anthony's background of constantly hearing about the Holocaust, how that played out; I thought that was really powerfully and subtly done, and in good taste. (Sorry if that seems a facile thing to say.)

Sorry about my rambling. I just thought this was an excellent, thoughtful fic that I will be bookmarking for future rereading.
the real kwon: bravely trottedbookelfe on November 29th, 2010 08:33 pm (UTC)
Oh, gosh - thank you! This is a fantastic comment to receive; I am so, so pleased that Anthony and his background worked for you, because that was a dynamic that I worried about a lot.

So basically: no need to apologize for rambling! I am very glad you liked it.
ojuzu: dancingojuzu on December 4th, 2010 06:18 pm (UTC)
*love love love love* I positively adore Anthony, and how hard he holds onto his identity, onto not being just a wizard, and his family's and the Boots' secret plans, and the culture nights, and his Plans For The Future. And Justin's thoughts about Muggle/Muggleborn/Wizarding interactions, and It just sounds a silly thing to call the person who most likely wants to kill you. Dean thinking his friends deserve to know what was really going on, and his nice factual You can’t really count Harry. I mean, he grew up in a closet, and him wanting the teachers to at least mention all the prejudice, and I mean, Ginny, well, she’s really white, isn’t she. . . . Colin's boundless faith in Harry, and his devotion to photography. Carys' non-violence, which doesn't seem like a thing wizards would even think about. The way Hermione ended up swallowing so much knowledge and culture from the magical world that she doesn't even notice all the bits she should have chewed first -- and after the whole debacle with the House Elves, why should she have wanted to?

. . . I would not object if you decided to write a GIANT NOVEL about Anthony or Dean or Justin. Just, y'know, for reference. ;)
the real kwon: endings are heartlessbookelfe on December 5th, 2010 04:14 am (UTC)
Aww, man, thank you so much for this comment! I am going like :D :D :D :D all over my face now. I am so, so glgad you liked it!

Hahahaha DON'T TEMPT ME. I think I have pretty much said what I want to say about Harry Potter in fic, but Anthony or Dean or Justin expys might totally turn up in a novel some day - I had way too much fun writing them all. >.>