NOTE 1/28/2014: This story on this archive is abandoned. I have an updated/revised version on my Ao3 account at: http://archiveofourown.org/users/kitsunealyc
Sorry for the inconvenience!
Her Uncle Pete
(Author’s note: I only own my ideas, nothing else. The characters and their worlds belong to Joss Whedon and J.K. Rowling. I’m just playing, promise. No profit, no lawsuit, please ;>)
Her Uncle Pete’s visit had been the best time in Amy’s recent memory. Her mother had been much nicer, and almost never criticized Amy when Uncle Pete could hear. They ate out all the time, and best of all Uncle Pete was much more powerful in magic than her mother (“practically a squib”, he’d called her, and her mother flinched. Amy didn’t know why, but she filed this away for future reference).
Now, she and Uncle Pete were at the park, sitting under one of the trees and just enjoying the California sunshine. He’d promised to show her something very special today, something she could do that her mother couldn’t. Amy had always known that her mother was jealous of her, although she didn’t understand why. Her mother had been prettier, more popular, a better cheerleader, everything that was important. Sometimes Amy wondered if it was maybe because of the magic. Amy had always seemed to intuitively grasp things that her mother found difficult. And her mother had been livid when Amy received the invitation to go to that special boarding school, so mad that she’d sent a vehement refusal before tearing the letter up into tiny pieces. The school didn’t have a cheerleading team, her mother had told her at the time. No daughter of hers was going to miss out on being Head Cheerleader.
Amy looked back at her Uncle Pete. He was short, skinny and twitchy – not really the kind of person most early-teen girls would hero-worship, but he made her mother nervous and took her away from the house, and that was enough for Amy. She even admired his fake silver hand, and begged him over and over to tell the story about how he lost the real one in an effort to bring some poor man back to life. Her Uncle Pete was a hero!
“Amy,” he said, his shoulders hunched forward, his narrow face focused on her even as his eyes shifted back and forth, “it’s a shame that your mother wouldn’t allow you to be properly educated. You could be a very strong witch with the right training. I can’t do much now, but just you wait. Your Uncle Pete knows powerful people, he does. He’ll see you’re taken care of,” he patted her hand in a paternal sort of way.
“Now, I can’t show you much since you don’t have a wand, but there is one thing I can show you. It’s in the blood, so to speak.” He looked around again, then squeezed his eyes shut. And suddenly sitting before Amy was a rather scraggly-looking rat, right were her Uncle Pete had been.
“Uncle Pete? Uncle Pete!” she gasped, then just as suddenly the rat was gone, and she was looking into the twitchy, narrow features of her uncle again. He smiled in a way that was intended to be reassuring.
“Now I’ll show you how to do it. Don’t worry dear, been in our family for generations. Should be quite easy for you to pick up.”
Amy spent the next half hour squeezing her eyes shut and thinking Rat. She was getting tired and frustrated and was just about to give up, when suddenly she felt a strange popping shiver go through her, and found herself huddled under a pile of cloth that was her sundress, staring up at a much larger Uncle Pete through beady black rat eyes. Her uncle smiled, and a moment later he waved a polished stick of wood over her, muttering the words Metti Posto.
And then Amy was Amy again. She adjusted her sundress so that it was on properly, then looked at her Uncle Pete with shining eyes filled with wonder and admiration.
“Don’t worry,” he smiled, patting her hand again, “The next time I visit, I’ll teach you how to turn back. There’s nothing worse than living half your life as a rat. Believe me, I know.”
Amy beamed and nodded, already looking forward to his next visit. Her Uncle Pete was the best!