I thought this was a lovely piece, Jess - you really captured how Hugo felt about his sister going to Hogwarts and knowing that he would never be able to go. I think that's one of the saddest things about the wizarding world - that there can be Squibs, or muggleborns with muggle siblings, because it would be so hard not to feel hard done by all the time.
I also liked how you showed Ron and Hermione as trying their best to care for their son.
I thought Hugo's attempt go to Hogwarts by sending the letter himself was very realistic as a childlike response to the situation, and I felt so heartbroken for him when it didn't work... although of course I knew it never would work, and it would be worse for him to go to Hogwarts without magic than trying to live as a muggle.
Anyway, this was just really nicely written and very sad.
Jess, this was a very interesting story. I’ve never considered the possibility of Hugo being a Squib, but your story does this topic justice. By using the Weasleys as the affected family, you’ve managed to describe all the sufferings a family has to go through when there is a Squib in the household. The story flows well nicely, and the characterisations were very accurate, though rather depressing. Under the circumstances, though, it is exactly how I would expect each of them to act.
The first thing that drew me towards the story was the summary. It is short and concise, and I think this is more effective way to have an impact on the reader. One knows that something is going on the moment they read the summary, and this is confirmed in the beginning paragraphs of the story itself. Though we do not exactly know what Hugo is doing, phrases such as “pen stroke”, “green ink” and “expecting from his honorary Uncle Neville at Hogwarts” give us quite a clear indication of what is happening.
The initial couple of paragraphs acts as a mini-prologue, I think, and I like how there is a difference between them and the following scene. It starts off overlooking the dismal tones, and yet as it goes on, I start to notice a few hints scattered here and there. I do like how you do not straight out tell us that Hugo is a Squib, but rather use obscure hints to indicate his condition. For example, the time when Hermione think about how Ron would feel when his brothers would go off to Hogwarts leaving him alone, but Ron did still get to go, eventually. This kind of confirmed for me that Hugo could not go to Hogwarts.
This reality must have been so demoralising for him, and you’ve managed to express this really well. Hugo’s characterisation was perfect for a child of his age -- I imagine that his idea of sending a Hogwarts letter to his parents was a desperate attempt by a child who could not believe he was not going to attend Hogwarts. I especially felt sad when he actually came running down the stairs for his letter -- poor child! His certainty that his parents didn’t want him to go was also another good idea. I’ve often seen many children behave that way, and I myself was guilty of this “You don’t want me to do it” tantrum when I was a child. I also liked how he thought Mums weren’t girls … so they weren’t allowed to cry! This, I think describes a young child’s psychology well, because parents are like gods in their eyes; they are not allowed to show emotions -- just be strong for their children. Poor Hugo. He really didn’t deserve this, and I believe his character couldn’t have been written any better.
Speaking of parents, Ron and Hermione’s characterisation was spot on. I must have been devastating to know that their youngest son was a Squib, especially for Ron, considering that he was a Pureblood and cannot imagine life without magic. His reaction to the letter -- a vein on his forehead pulsed frighteningly. -- seemed accurate to me, because as a father he is bound to be mad at a person playing such a cruel joke. His fierce love for his family is well represented here, and I’m glad to see that, despite of Ron usually being the comical character, he was the strong one here. As the head of the family, he needed to be strong. I’m glad, though, that this did not shrouded the usually comical Ron; the plate crashing and the usual “bloody hell” are enough to keep Ron in his usual character. Hermione, on the other hand, seemed a bit too weak here. Then again, I guess she is allowed to be, considering her son was going through such a hard time.
I do believe that this story could have been a bit longer, though. If we got some insight about Rose, her sympathetic (or probably mocking?) nature, or maybe even the Potters or rest of the Weasleys, it would have been nice. Or maybe at the end you could describe how Hugo went on to be successful in the Muggle world? It would be lovely to see that despite all these, Hugo managed to overcome his sadness and start afresh, excelling in whatever he did.
Going through this again, I realise that the two Squibs we see in the series are usually there for slight comic relief, and hence the readers tend not to feel much for them. However, after reading this story, I can understand how hard it is for both the child and the parents to adjust to the situation. The emotions that the Weasleys show were very well done, especially Hugo’s hysterics. I felt so sorry for him, especially when the latter was snatched out of his hand and destroyed, because that was his only hope of ever going to Hogwarts. Having his dreams crushed must have been so difficult for him, and his description of “poor, tormented son” fits quite well because of that. I can’t imagine any other description that expresses his despair so aptly. You’ve handles this “sensitive” topic very well, and I commend you for this.
Thank you for the amazing read, Jess! I’ll be sure to look at more of your stuff soon.
At first, I didn't understand why he couldn't go and took a look at the review. This just proves I'm really dumb. Reading it again, I noticed how you wrote 'magic or no' at the last sentence. Nice touch, maybe I should have read that more carefully. I liked how you came up with an unusual plot, a boy with no magic. It was really creative, and the way you described Hugo was so real. I almost tricked myself into thinking he was right in front of me! I'm going to read more of your fics, you seem like a great writer.
Hi! I'm glad to see a new face and that you like my work. I would be happy to have you over any time. :)
Yeah, I didn't just come out and say he's a Squib, because it's usually not necessary to bludgeon a reader over the head with something they've likely figured out already. But really, it's not as if Ron and Hermione would keep Hugo from Hogwarts for any other reason than he just wasn't invited. And as you read the reviews, you can see a bit more of my thoughts on how the parents feel, but the story is mostly about Hugo and how he feels and his lack of coming to terms with not going.
Anyway, thank you for stopping in. Do swing by again some time. Out of a hundred stories, I hope I have some things you would like. ♥
Whoa. No magic. Now I get what you meant about a depressing Romione. This is so interesting, Jess. I don't know anything about how Love Notes work in SPEW, so I don't know if this was some kind of prompt or what, but it's very well done and very sad. I felt choked up when Hugo was trying to read the letter aloud to them.... great stuff. Congrats on the 10000th fic, girl! (Even though I don't think this is it, is it?) Depressing or not, it's always a good day for me when Jess writes Romione.
Loriiiii! Long time, no see, lol.
Yeah, no magic. Pobrecito Hugo. :( But really, is it too much of a stretch that one of the Weasley cousins could be a Squib? Personally, in my head canon, it's Lucy (Percy's daughter), but I needed a Romione moment for LoveNotes (the prompt was a pairing and a list of words, of which I chose 'letter'). I think Ron's anger over what he thought was a cruel joke reflects on how often he was picked on for being poor in school, and Hermione was upset because she knew exactly what Hugo was missing. Ron could never fathom what it's like to have no magic, but Hermione lived years of her life oblivious to its existence, and it'd be damned near impossible to give up.
Anyway, thank youuuuu for the review, and I'm glad you could enjoy some Romione, albeit a depressing one.
Well, bollocks--that's sad, isn't it? How could you do that to Hugo, you meanie-pants? I suppose it's possible, but bloody hell (this is my British review voice here) could you imagine the heartbreak for the Weasley family? And Hugo--guh, he doesn't deserve that! He deserves Scorpius! ;) I think you nailed his character's reaction in trying to fake it, but it was still sad and I want you to write something happy for him now.
Oh, and on the cc side, the 'No matter what' felt a bit abrupt--I could hear another line finishing it, probably something about Squibs. Unless he's not a Squib and had his magic tortured and ripped out of him as a child, which you would be mean enough to do, wouldn't you? In which case, you should just stab us in the heart again and add that in, and then write that happy-ending-in-the-Muggle-world for Hugo. I bet he makes it big--he could front the HP reboot!
Wow. This review is insane. I'm leaving it. Enjoy and ta for the sad feels!
Yes, this is sad. I really need to do mean things to Rose here and there, instead. Yet Hugo bears the brunt of my NG angst in the Weasley/Granger household. I just thought it would be interesting to explore the reactions of a wizarding family if a Squib were born into the fold. Personally, I almost think Hermione would take it harder than Ron would, because she knows how much having magic can change one's life, and Ron doesn't know what it's like to live without it. However, the story was more about how Hugo reacts to this and how his parents react to him. The logic is perfect for an eleven-year-old: didn't get a letter, so send one to yourself.
I may explore Squib!Weasley in the Muggle world at a later date, but for now, I'll leave this as-is. My normal NG canon has Hugo as Harry's successor for Head Auror, so he can't very well be both, lol.
Thanks for the review. *hugs*