The first time a Muggle boy shouted at Amarice Kelley on the street, she was so startled, she hardly knew how to respond.
Pure of blood and strong of will, Amarice had grown up ensconced in an all-wizarding community. There and at school, she knew everyone by name, knew what to expect from them. It had been lovely, safe, but so small. She loved the big Muggle city she now worked in, loved the noise and the bustle and the smells, loved the ingenuity of the Muggles she moved among, their resourcefulness and cleverness and humor. But this — this, she had not expected, such open vulgarity, and from a stranger.
The second time, she delivered a hexing so thorough it sent the portly electrician to St. Dymphna’s, and only a friendly cousin working at the DSO spared Amarice an uncomfortable inquiry and embarrassing mention in the Sorcery Standard.
Thereafter, Amarice learned to temper her vengeance.
A memory charm on the man who stroked her thigh on the subway made him miss his stop and an important appointment. A drop of tentacula essence in stale beer retaliated for a forced kiss at a party. A rearrangement charm cost the banker who propositioned her half a day’s work in sorting out his files. Little things, hard to trace, nothing that would draw attention from the authorities. They satisfied the momentary urge to bite back, Amarice found, but did little to quell the fury in her heart.
What baffled her even more was that the Muggle women hardly ever fought back, hardly even seemed to acknowledge the slights.
When Amarice, home on holiday, asked her parents about this strange quirk of Muggle culture, her father had huffed superciliously. “Of course they don’t know better, these Muggles,” he said. “Our boys grow up seeing what witches are capable of. That breeds respect. Muggle men might think so little of Muggle women, but wizards don’t think that way about witches.”
Her mother had a different response. She sighed, hardly looking up from her case files, and said, “Of course we’re not immune, sweetheart. It’s just difficult to express it so openly when a witch can fight back the way… well, the way you did. But it’s there. Of course, it’s there.”
And Amarice thought of the boy who’d refused to speak to her for the rest of the year when she’d turned him down as a date for the spring dance. She thought of the teacher who’d suggested that she’d overloaded her schedule in her EWE years, yet hadn’t given the same council to the male classmate with the same goal and lower grades. She thought of the mothers of several of her friends, who stayed home and kept house while their husbands jockeyed for position in the bureaucratic hierarchy.
Amarice wondered how she’d missed it until it had been shouted at her.
[Mod Note: This post is a wizarding-world response to the #YesAllWomen phenomenon that has dominated Twitter trending for several days.]
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