TCWT: My Role in a Fictional World


This month’s Teens Can Write, Too! Blog chain prompt was an unusual one, though not one that hasn’t been considered by every person who ever loved reading:

Which fictional world would you most like to be a part of, and what role do you think you would fulfil within it? How would you make your living? Would you even survive? Don’t feel that you have to stick to jobs outlined canonically in the books – use your imagination about who else might exist in this society.

Now, this is a hard question for me to answer, simply because, though I love the worlds I have been introduced to, I’m ruthlessly traditional and passionately afraid of change. The five universities I chose to apply to were all within two hours’ range of my old house, less if one considers the train journey. It’s difficult for me to think of myself in any other world than England.

Firstly, I’m taking this prompt as ‘what sort of world?’ rather than ‘what sort of plot?’. As always, Christie’s 1930s England would be my favourite era into which to dive, but, of course, I’m used to seeing it through Poirot’s eyes, the private detective who lives at Whitehaven Mansions. Although the main characters of my novel A Game of Murder are servants, I don’t think I’d survive being on the other end of the class spectrum. Yeah, I’d quite like to be a waitress/barperson in a posh restaurant or a housemaid for a Lord and Lady in real life, in a fictitious imagining, I wouldn’t rise in the ‘30s.

So, I started considering where I could apply my patriotism and love of being in one, modern-day place at a time.

You know, I’d always believed I’d fit in at Hogwarts. Not in the “OMG, he’s the Chosen One” way, but in a make-do-and-mend way. It was never the magical powers for me; entertainment always came from the castle itself. Moving stairs and talking paintings? Yes, please! Following on from the sentiment Nevillegirl expressed in her own post, though: I’d be too old to be a student. And I’m not sure I’d want to be. I’d like the subjects I’ve already taken, and my own schooling was…interesting, to say the least. I love the idea of Hogwarts – I could choose my subjects from the range (mixing potions, making spells and studying runes? Again: yay!) – but my role would be something different.

Now, of course, I try and make this as close to my real life as possible. After all, if I ever crossed into the Wizarding World, I’d want to retain the ‘muggle’ parts of myself*. I’d definitely have gained Muggle Studies and Ancient Runes NEWTs; whilst Potions intrigues me, I don’t know if I’d be much good at it. Same with Transfiguration. AS Physics was fascinating and the practicals manageable, but the written exams swept the rug from under my feet. Assuming that Charms translates as English (it’s very wordy, after all!), I’d have an O in the OWL, but didn’t care to continue it.

There are so many different subjects that, as a ‘muggle’ (see asterisk point #1), I’d love to try or have tried at Hogwarts. Astrology was always my field in Physics, but I don’t know how useful that would be for my future as a witch. Maybe as an OWL but no further. Amusingly, when I won a prize for Religious Studies a few years ago, my father remarked that at his school he’d won the same prize – but back then it had been called Divination. I guess that would be my third NEWT*, then!

Trelawney would love me. I’d keep an open mind and be enthusiastic about every aspect of the course, though I suspect my skill would be in ‘sensing’ and prophecy-making, rather than the cards or the crystal ball.

But I digress. For her Harry Potter-themed eighteenth birthday last year, a friend of mine created a Witch card for me (along with home-made chocolate frogs. Luckily, they weren’t alive!). It reads:

A highly intellectual witch, Alex Brant worked with Hermione Granger to overcome prejudice within the wizarding community. She has also created many spells to help heal and cure certain magical injuries.

I feel I also ought to make an update to that, due to my recent uni exploits, I’ve another feather to my cap:

In 2013, she became the Social Secretary for the Reading Rocs* Quidditch team, the job of which includes encouraging wizards and witches, especially those from muggle households, to learn and play Quidditch from an early age.

Reading Rocs Quidditch Team

I also do some playing, as you may know. My main position is that of Chaser, and I can beat, though my aim can be off. I keep like Ron during his tryouts: by sheer luck, headsaves and the occasional confundus charm. I’ve tried seeking, but that takes endurance and a combination of good broom and fast flying, neither of which I have.

Have I rambled enough? I’d love to be a witch just to experience the way I could use my previous skills – and I’d get to stay in my home country, board a beautiful train (remind you of the Orient Express, anyone?) and explore a castle in one! I think I’d be in training at the current moment, maybe an apprentice to a creative, eccentric wizard, whilst keeping the Reading Rocs on their feet at the weekends.

Ollivander’s apprentice, anyone?

What about you? In what world would you find yourself best suited?

*And, just for the record, I don’t like that someone is either muggle or wizard. Surely there is magic within the readers of the books anyway? Surely we possess each a bit of every element? I know chemists who might as well have an O in Potions NEWTs.

*The number of NEWTs set to be taken is debated amongst fans. Whilst some people equate it to A Levels – as I have done, choosing only three to take the full way – some suggest that five is the correct average, as though an advanced muggle didn’t drop any. In that case, the five probably closest to my combined AS and A Levels would be: Ancient Runes (Latin), Divination (Religious Studies), Muggle Studies (Psychology…yeah, I know), Transfiguration (Physics) and Music (Theatre Studies. There is no dramatical Potter subject, so that’ll do.) I’d definitely be part of the frog choir.

*In case you didn’t know, a Roc is a mythical bird, rather like a large eagle with a sharper beak. Here’s what Wikipedia says it looks like:

Edward Julius Detmold49.jpg

Check out the remainder of the chain:

4th December ~
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22nd December ~ <You are here>
23rd December ~
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