A/N: This was written for Round 13 of Season 4 of the Quidditch League Fanfiction Competition. I am Chaser 2 for the Caerphilly Catapults.
For this round, everyone got a different prompt - one of the prompts from the past seasons. So, I was assigned to write about someone going to a Quidditch match in Caerphilly.
My optional prompts were 8. (quote) "Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please." - Mark Twain, 10. (song) "Reach" by S Club 7, and 15. (word) prod.
Harry Potter, when he became a father, believed that his children should have the skills to blend in with Muggles, if the need arose. This often perplexed his children. They were as much for Muggle rights as the next 7-, 5-, and 3-year-olds, but each of them had already had their first taste of magic and they could not imagine any reason that they should give it up. It didn't help that the accounts they heard of the Muggle world were largely stories from Harry's childhood. Lily, for one, firmly believed that all Muggle children had to live in cupboards under the stairs, and in her mind the thought of living a Muggle life was a threat to make children like herself behave. And it worked.
As Ginny's work as a reporter for the Daily Prophet had taken the family to a largely-Muggle region in Wales—Caerphilly, to be exact—Harry was determined to make the most of this opportunity to test out his children in Muggle society. Ginny understood, of course, the very real possibility that over the course of the next century, their family would be targeted as a part of any Wizarding Wars, and supported her husband in his mission to keep his family safe. However, she would also be the first to admit that she thought she stuck out like a sore thumb when they went among Muggles, no matter how much she enjoyed their clothing.
She was sporting a nice pair of jeans and what Muggles would call a "romantic," green bell-sleeved top that morning as she followed her husband and their children into a Muggle tourist-attraction—the Caerphilly castle. She felt herself flinch at every glance the Muggles gave her, and wished she'd worn something different—something more Muggle-y. She hoped her children didn't notice how uncomfortable she was. The boys seemed to be as interested as their father in every new exhibit around every turn, but Ginny had a feeling that Lily sensed some of the trepidation her mother was struggling with. Her little hand clutched at her mother's finger, and she had been uncharacteristically quiet since they'd arrived.
Ginny found her eye caught by a plaque on the side of the castle wall. It described a Muggle battle which had given the castle its many scars. Harry was reading a plaque farther forward, which described how knights swore fealty to each other, promising in rhyme: "When the world leaves you feeling blue, you can count on me, I will be there for you. When it seems all your hopes and dreams are a million miles away I will reassure you." Ginny was reminded of something Hermione had said to her when she first approached her sister-in-law about her Muggle anxiety. "In the Muggle world," Hermione had told her, "Wizards don't exist because they can't exist. Muggles have been finding evidence of the Wizarding World for thousands of years, but then they explain it away. It's sort of as though you get your facts first, then you can distort them all you like." She resisted the urge to smile at the memory.
Suddenly, Harry stopped—so suddenly that Ginny nearly ran into him. She shot him a nervous glance, thinking every minute that the worst was going to happen, even if she didn't know clearly what the worst was.
Her husband seemed to be very interested in two particular Muggles. They were an elderly couple. The man was quite round and seemed to have very little neck, if any at all, while his wife's tall, thin frame seemed to have an excess of neck as though to compensate.
Ginny's unoccupied hand clenched and unclenched, nervously, stopping herself from reaching into her pocket where her wand wouldn't be.
"Uncle Vernon! Aunt Petunia!" Harry seemed so delighted to see the two that it took Ginny a moment to understand what he'd said—that these were the people who'd kept him in a cupboard under the stairs for the first eleven years of his life. But when she realized, she went very still, as though she were an animal under attack. Her mind was racing. How could Harry be actually glad to see his aunt and uncle? Was it a trap? Was he trying to tell her that something was wrong without drawing attention to himself? But he'd drawn attention to himself when he'd shouted across the castle to them.
For a long moment, nothing happened. Then, the man turned, and his eyes widened, and his face went a bit purple around the edges. He prodded his wife, who turned after him. And that was when she screamed.
It was a blood-curdling scream—the kind that made the hair on Ginny's arms stand on-end. The startled glances of the people around them turned to accusatory glares at the man and his family, who had apparently caused the disturbance.
Harry ignored the stares, if he even noticed them at all, and marched straight up to his aunt and uncle. "Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon," he said, drawing them excitedly back toward the rest of the family, "This is my wife, Ginny, and our children James, Albus, and Lily." He pointed each of them out proudly. Petunia gave a little shriek when she hear the children's names. However, neither Dursley seemed to be inclined to say anything more to their relatives.
Ginny realized very quickly that she was the one who was expected to speak. She gathered her composure and managed to get out: "You must be Petunia and Vernon Dursley. I've heard so much about you." She held out her hand to shake theirs.
While this turn of events seemed to satisfy the onlookers, who were returning to their previous activities, Ginny was very aware that it had been the wrong thing to say to Petunia and Vernon. Both had shrunk away from her hand, and she pulled it back awkwardly.
Petunia, gesturing to Ginny, said , "She's a—?"
Ginny panicked behind her forced smile.
"Yes," laughed Harry, "Yes, we're all alike in this family. But how have you two been? My God, it's been ages."
At that point, Petunia swooned into her husband's arms, and Vernon shuffled her away, muttering about "disruptive Potters."
Harry turned back to Ginny, a mischievous grin on his face. "I've always wanted to do that!" he said, seeming quite pleased with himself. He began to laugh, and then Ginny, realizing that she'd been part of an impromptu prank, started laughing, too. The children, though they hadn't quite understood what happened, had been holding in smiles at their relatives' reactions. "Did you see how purple he got?" James whispered to Albus, before they both burst into laughter. Even Lily giggled madly.
After that experience, Ginny stopped being afraid of their Muggle outings. She realized she could be herself even while pretending to be a Muggle, so she did. Next to Muggles like that, she reasoned, who could really call her or her family strange?