how did we get here? well, i suppose everyone’s got an origin story.
imagine, if you will, me. teddy lupin, thirteen years old. my hair is not yet blue.
i’m standing in my bedroom. one of them, at least. this is the one that mum and dad — that is, harry and ginny — keep for me at their house. it’s a little less decorated than my room at gran’s, but it’s comfortable.
there’s a shattered mirror on the floor. tears pricking at dull brown eyes.
as a metamorphmagus, i should be able to transform into any shape i want to be. but who is there to teach me? we are rare. the only metamorphmagus i know is long gone.
but at thirteen years old, puberty is beginning. and it’s not right. there are lumps on my chest that hurt when i press on them, shrink ever so slightly, but this is the default shape and i hate it.
i hate that i can’t control the only talent i seem to have.
“it’ll just take practice.”
that was what everyone said. and at first, it was funny, when my hair flashed different colours over an argument at dinner, and i woke up with a nose that protruded out of my face like a beak.
but now, in the privacy of my own room, it’s infuriating. i can’t look the way i want, and i can’t explain that to anyone else, because all they see is a girl.
“i’m not. i’m not.” i flop back down on the bed, face buried in the pillow. outside, various potter/weasley children play a game of tag up and down the street. they’re having fun, enjoying the summer sun while it’s out, and i’m up here, sulking. in how many more ways can i be different from the others?
as much as they tell me, harry and ginny aren’t really my parents. i’m not a potter, or a weasley. and now — how can this even be normal?
transgender. i already know what it means — at this point, i’m something of an expert. it means inwardly cringing every time someone says ‘she’. it means hiding the way i look, even to myself.
the adults know something’s up. this has been going on — badly — for weeks, ever since i got home from school. those changes had crept up on me during exams and now there’s nothing to distract me from the disaster happening right in front of me.
so now i hide. in my room, away from their casual inquiries. this is not a light dinner conversation.
there’s a knock, so soft it might have been imaginary. but her voice follows.
“can I come in?” victoire. perhaps the only person in the world who could make me feel better right now. possibly. i don’t want to let her in, but how can i say no?
her blonde hair seems to light up the room as she closes the door behind her. it had something to do with being part-veela, i’m sure. victoire is always like this. more so now than usual, in fact. she’s starting hogwarts in september, and she’s thrilled. the first weasley to be back in over a decade. something to be proud of.
“alright, what’s wrong?” she asks bluntly, perching herself on the foot of my bed. i put on my best frown, but she’s not convinced.
“don’t you think i don’t know? you’ve been hiding here since you got home, uncle harry says. we’re only going to be visiting for a few days and then i won’t see you for a whole month. not until school. and you haven’t talked to me at all.”
“yes i have!”
“but not like we’re best friends. or did you forget?”
no. i stare up at the ceiling so that i can’t see the hurt in her eyes. i miss her, dearly, but i haven’t even written to her since june, because what if she finds out? she’s only eleven. what if she doesn’t want to be my friend any more?
“just tell me. please.” i am a hufflepuff, not a gryffindor. i’m not brave, or reckless, or whatever the rest of it is. the small, rational part of me knows i must deal with it, but it seems like it would be a far more manageable problem if it stayed inside my own head.
“i- i’m sorry.” i’m hoping victoire will say something, will cut across me so that i don’t have to speak, but she stays silent.
“i think i’m a boy.” it was quieter than i’d intended, but the catastrophic destruction i’d been expecting does not come. the house doesn’t collapse. the world doesn’t burn. and still, victoire is silent.
“i look like a girl, and i’m not even a good enough metamorphmagus to change that. i hate it. i hate— i just want to be normal.” my voice is beginning to crack, my throat starting to get sore.
finally, she speaks.
“so you’re transgender?” she asks, very matter-of-factly.
“did you really think i’d care? i know what it means.” of course she does. of course. clever girl like her? i should have expected this. “if you say you’re a boy, then you’re a boy. but you’re still you.” she smiles now, and seems to be holding something back. probably a hug.
“i suppose it makes sense though. you always made your nan keep your hair short. but that doesn’t matter. boys can have long hair.” she pauses, and then says, “am I talking too much?”
i shouldn’t laugh at that, but i do. a panicked, anxious sort of laugh. is she serious? she’s brushed past the whole thing as if i were simply telling her tomorrow’s weather.
“are— i suppose— i don’t know. it doesn’t upset you that your best friend is a boy? that your best friend is trans?”
“of course not. that’s silly. you’re not just my best friend, you know. you’re family.” i bite my lip, but i know i’ve been incredibly stupid. i’ve been so afraid of what she might say, that i’ve completely forgotten exactly what kind of person she is.
“you’re going to have to tell everyone. and pick a new name. ooh, and maybe get new clothes, and you’ll look different — this is so exciting! i promise, when i come to hogwarts with you, I’ll jinx anyone who gets it wrong.” school? i’m flattered, but can i really make that change so soon?
at least someone’s excited about it.
“is it going to be ok, do you think? with mum and dad, and, well, everyone.” the weasley family is a large, but close and trusting unit. once someone finds out, everyone will be talking about it within a few days. there are a lot of opinions to worry about.
“of course it will. stop worrying about everything, you always do that. you never trust anyone. and i’m really sorry if i mess up.”
“s’ok. it’s gonna take a lot of getting used to, i think. even for me.”
“yeah. i wish you’d told me sooner — or am i not your best friend any more? you can trust me. with everything.” she’s smiling, but i’m still guilty.
“i’m sorry. it’s just— it was hard.” being shut up for weeks does things to you. the possibility of rejection plays over and over again in your mind.
“i’m sorry too. from now on, i’ll make sure you know you can trust me. everything’s going to be ok.” and who exactly is the older brother in this relationship? i should be looking after her.
but as she reaches over to hug me, we both say the same thing.