Just because you’ve got magical parents doesn’t mean you’re going to be a wizard yourself, you know. On the other hand, many muggle parents have raised fine young wizards; it’s all a genetics game. The prize is that Hogwarts acceptance letter, but there’s no way to know if any new baby is going to be a wizard… or a squib.
For our guy Harry Potter, fate was on his side, and he grew up to be one of the best wizards ever (you get that title if you defeat Voldemort, TWICE). But in some alternate Harry Potter reality, he grew up without magic, without spells, and never managed to cast a patronus. It might be weird to think about, and now you’re going to be thinking about it a lot thanks to fan’s short story about Harry Potter, The Boy Who Was a Squib.
Tumblr user ink-splotch clearly knows their wizarding world inside and out, because they’ve composed a novella-length story about what might have happened if Lily and James Potter had a non-magical child. Sticking completely true to the foundations of Harry (so yes, Lily and James are killed, and Harry goes to live with the Dursleys, the Chamber of Secrets is opened, the Triwizard tournament happens, etc), all this happens without any trace of magic. What would it be like for Harry to grow up as the most famous wizard of his time, but yet not be a wizard himself?
The choices ink-splotch makes cause you to really THINK about Harry, too. Like, how it’s explained that Harry does retain some magic, but the magic isn’t actually his. In the story, he’s still a parseltongue, because that’s Voldemort’s magic. He’s also still a superb Quidditch player, because “brooms are magic unto themselves” just like how “invisibility cloaks are magic unto themselves [and] little boys who believe in fighting for other people are magic unto themselves.”
Harry also still becomes friends with Ron and Hermione, because that’s going to happen in every single Harry Potter universe, no questions asked.
The story’s also an interesting read because it explains that without magic, Harry had to earn all his magic. He also found himself being given magic, like how “Dumbledore had given him his father’s Cloak and he would leave him a Snitch with a secret at its center. Sirius had given him his Firebolt. Lily had given him the protection of her lifeblood until Voldemort had burned it out of him. And old Tom himself – Voldemort had given Harry a little ugly piece of his soul.”
That’s not something we really think about throughout the novels; we just accept that Harry has his magic, and he is magic. It’s interesting to now see it from a completely new angle, one where there’s no way to call something via a quick accio!
While the story’s long, it’s definitely worth a look (and I may or may not have teared up at a few points, because even fan-written Harry Potter is Harry Potter). You can check out the full story here, and prepare for some intense squib feels you didn’t even know were possible.
Images via Warner Bros.