Magic used to be fairy tales. It used to be something that happened in kingdoms far, far, away to dancing princesses and millers' daughters. It wasn't supposed to be real. Readers were only supposed to pretend it was. Suspension of disbelief, Mum called it—ignoring reality to enjoy a fantastical story.
I used to collect fairy tales. Lily loved them, and when I read she said she didn't need to look at illustrations. My voice painted the pictures in her mind. Images of Cinderella, The Frog Prince, and The Boy Who Drew Cats. English fairy tales, tales from Germany, France, Japan, and Greece: I read them all. Beneath lavender-scented covers with a torch; lying on a shaded riverbank; snuggled together on a window seat on a rainy afternoon. I borrowed books from the library, saved birthday and Christmas money to buy them and asked family for them as gifts. All so I could see the entranced look on my sister's face as we adventured with Ali Baba or searched for a castle east of the sun and west of the moon.
I stopped reading fairy tales when my sister discovered she was a witch. Make-believe didn't interest her anymore. Lily only wanted to talk about how wonderful it would be when she could go to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She spent her time on the riverbank with a freakish wizard boy who told her how special she was and how much better they were than non-magical people. Than Muggles. Than me.
I packed away my fairy tales the morning my parents took my sister to London to shop for spell books, a cauldron, and robes. I stacked the boxes in mum's garden trolley and carted them down to the village bookshop. Mr. Foley couldn't afford to pay the sum I needed, but when I told him what I wanted the money for he suggested a trade. I took it. When Lily burst into my room hours later, I told her to get out. I didn't care what amazing things she'd seen. I was only interested in the practical wizardry of my IBM Selectric, whose type-ball seemed to magically revolve to strike the characters as I typed "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog."
A/N: "The quick brown fox" sentence contains every letter of the alphabet, so it was often used for typing practice. I was challenged to write a drabble about the Wizarding World from the perspective of a Muggle looking in. Since I think the HP series has already done that for us—readers being the Muggles experiencing the world along with Harry—I decided to show how the Wizarding World affected Petunia Evans. Yes, I have issues about being told what to write, and can only hope readers won't have similar issues with being asked to review . . . if you're inclined to acquiesce to my request (Arrrgh, the PotC4 movie trailers are affecting me :D).