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Half-Blood by maryh [Reviews - 3]


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Severus' Muggle father, Tobias Snape, is part of a Muggle family that is known for marrying into Wizarding families and occasionally producing a Muggle-born wizard or witch. Tobias loves Eileen and his son and admires Salazar Slytherin, which is why Severus' middle name is Salazar. None of Severus' relatives are pure-blood and they are all working class. They live in a medium sized town very close to Manchester.

Tobias has a brother, Rafe, who lives one street over from Spinner's End. Rafe is married to another Muggle, Pam, and they have four children when this snapshot takes place: Zeke, Jenny, Joe (who is seven, like Severus) and baby Rita. Eileen Prince Snape has two brothers. Severus is named after one of them, his Uncle Severus Prince, who lives a few streets over from Spinner's End and is married to Gwen, a witch. They have several children who are all away at Hogwarts most of the time.




Da is a Muggle, like Uncle Rafe and Aunt Pam and cousins Zeke and Jenny and Joe and Rita. Mum is a witch, like Grandma Prince and Aunt Gwen and Uncle Severus and the big boys and girls. Except Uncle Severus and the big boys are wizards cause girls are witches and boys are wizards. I'm a wizard.

Muggles use 'lectricity and motors and magical folk use wands. Both cost money, but wands just cost money once, while 'lectricity costs money over and over.

Mum and Grandma Prince and Aunt Gwen wash the dishes using their wands and a spell. I like to watch that. The sink fills itself with water and dish washing liquid and the dishrag and scouring pad wash the dishes and then they put themselves in the drying rack. Aunt Pam and Da have to turn on the tap to fill the sink with water and then turn it off. Then they have to move the dish cloth and scouring pad over the dishes themselves and then put them in the rack. That's how I have to do it, too, when I help Da with the dishes, but that's because I'm just seven and not old enough to have a wand yet -- not because I can't ever, like Zeke and Jenny and Joe and Da.

But Muggles who have enough money can have a dishwasher. Aunt Pam's sister has one and I've seen how it works. You still have to rinse the dishes under the tap, but then you skip the step where you use the dishrag and scouring pad. Instead, you put the dirty dishes in a cupboard with two drawers of drying racks, pour special dishwasher soap in a little hollow with a sliding door that you push closed until it clicks, shut the cupboard door, and turn a knob. The machine costs a lot and what's worse, you have to pay more money for the 'lectricity every time you use it. It makes a loud whooshing sound part of the time and a clattering sound part of the time and part of the time it's quiet, but steam comes out the edges of the cupboard. Then, when it's done, the dishes are too hot to touch for a while, but then you can take them out of the dishwasher and put them away. Magic dish washing is more fun to watch. But Muggle kids don't have to wait until they're ten or eleven before they can use a dishwasher.

I can't see much difference between the icebox that Uncle Rafe and Aunt Pam have and the one we have. Uncle Rafe and Aunt Pam's has white or see-through shelves and drawers, and ours has special wood shelves that are okay to get wet, but that's about it. Except Uncle Rafe and Aunt Pam's icebox plugs into the wall, which means it runs on 'lectricity, while Mum has to wave her wand and say the spell every so often to keep our icebox cold.

Da takes the bus to work and when we go to Diagon Alley with him, we take the train to London. But if Mum goes alone, she just disappears. And if she goes with just me, she holds me tight and we both disappear. Someday, I'll be old enough to 'perate by myself, but Da can't 'perate even if Mum holds him really tight, like she does with me.

There are lots of ways to get around. Muggles with lots of money have their own cars, but none of my relatives have that much money. Otherwise, they use buses and trains and some of them, again the ones with money, fly in airplanes. Wizards don't need money to 'perate, but they need money for the other ways -- the Knight Bus, which is sort of like a Muggle bus only faster and more exciting and the Floo Network -- which costs money to get your fireplace connected to the Network and then money for the Floo powder. Grandma Prince, and Uncle Severus and Aunt Gwen both have fireplaces on the Floo Network and a little tin of Floo powder. We don't, cause our house doesn't even have a regular Muggle fireplace, which would cost money to get, and then it would have to be put on the Floo Network, which would cost more money.

And then there's something called Portkeys. That's a piece of throwaway junk that you say a special spell over and then everyone who touches it goes to the same place at the same time. But you have to have permission from the Ministry of Magic to use the special spell and the only people I know that get that kind of permission are rich folks. Except I've heard that Aurors use Portkeys to bring accused criminals to the Ministry for trial and to Azkaban.

And wizards and witches can actually fly on brooms, too. But it isn't like the icebox, which is pretty much a normal Muggle cupboard that Mum waves her wand over from time to time. You can't just take a regular Muggle broom and say a spell and then it can fly. No, you have to pay a lot of money for a broom you can fly on, even more than a bicycle costs. Mum and Da are going to get me a bicycle, but they can't afford a flying broom. Uncle Severus and Aunt Gwen both have brooms and the big boys and girls do, too. Grandma Prince used to have one, but she gave hers to one of the big boys.

Zeke wants to get a scooter. That's a bicycle that has a motor so it can go fast without you needing to pedal it. I'd rather have a scooter than a flying broom. I've ridden on both and the scooter is way more comfortable. Also, you can't even get on your broom until you've already taken the bus way out to the country, but you can ride a scooter anywhere. And it doesn't even matter if people see you on it.

And that's complicated, too. There are three kinds of people in the world. There are magical people, like Mum and me, there are Muggles, like Uncle Rafe and Aunt Pam and Zeke and Jenny and Joe and most everybody, even Da. And then there are the eldritch, who are Muggles who live with magical people, and magical people that Muggles know can do stuff they can't explain. Mum and Da and me are eldritch. Mum and me are magical and Da is Muggle. Uncle Severus and Aunt Gwen and the big boys and girls are called eldritch by my Muggle relatives and they know what it means, but they don't use the word themselves.

You can't do magic in front of Muggles, unless they're eldritch. That's easy enough to figure out for the kind of magic that happens when you use a wand. But it can get really complicated. For example, we can let the Muggle relatives see our icebox, as long as they don't see Mum refresh the cooling spell on it with her wand, but we can't let them see the dishes being washed, even after Mum's finished casting the spell, and the dishrag and scouring pad are washing the dishes without any more wand waving. Even though the dishes also get washed by themselves inside a Muggle dishwasher.

It's okay to give Aunt Pam Mum's migraine potion after it's made, as long as you call it an "herbal remedy" instead of a potion and it's even okay for her to see it brewing on the stove. But you can't tell her all the ingredients. Some are okay, because Muggles use them, like ginger root. Some aren't okay, even though they're ordinary ingredients that Muggles know about too, because Muggles don't use them, like bat wings or lizard tongues. And some aren't okay because Muggles don't believe they even exist, like dragon scales or unicorn hair.

The category of things Muggles know about but don't use is the hardest to figure out. How come Muggles can understand that snake venom can be used in a remedy, but can't abide the idea of using snake scales? Some things you just have to learn by rote. My general rule is that if I've seen it in Uncle Rafe and Aunt Pam's kitchen, it's okay to say it's in the "herbal remedy."

And even the category of things Muggles don't know about can be tricky. I used to think that Muggles knew about fairies, after I saw Peter Pan with Zeke and Joe. I could tell the Muggles thought Neverland was make-believe, so I figured anyone who came from Neverland was supposed to be make-believe, too. Which made me think Muggles thought pirates were make-believe. What tricked me with the fairies was that Muggle grown-ups in the movie who had never been to Neverland were saying they believed in fairies, too.

Half-Blood by maryh [Reviews - 3]


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