“Mum, Dad, what’s a Mudblood?”
Harry and Ginny Potter looked at their daughter Lily.
“Why do you want to know?” said Ginny.
“When Aunt Hermione took Rose and me to Diagon Alley, someone called her that, but she wouldn’t tell me what it means,” said Lily apologetically, thinking she had upset her parents with her question.
Harry and Ginny looked at one another; they had known that questions like this would probably come up during their children’s lives, but it was still difficult to face the situation of telling such a young child about the horrible things in the world.
“Come here, dear,” said Ginny, and Lily sat down between her parents on the sofa. She gave her daughter a hug to let her know it was okay, that they weren’t angry at her.
Harry thought of his second year at Hogwarts and the conversation in Hagrid’s cabin after Draco Malfoy had called Hermione a Mudblood. He knew Hermione and Ron had already had this talk with their children, given the fact that Hermione was a Muggle-born and there was always the possibility that their children would hear such insults. “Do you remember how we told you before that there are people who care very much about whether a person’s ancestors were witches and wizards or Muggles and treat them differently, even though they shouldn’t?”
Ginny thought of her first year at Hogwarts, when she’d been controlled by Tom Riddle and forced to write those messages on the wall. “People who hate others who are different from them often come up with insulting names for those who they don’t like. It’s one of the ways they try to scare and bully others into believing that they’re inferior.”
The two of them sat there and talked to their daughter, wishing they could create a world in which their friend or their daughter or anyone else would have to hear such horrible things.