Mr. and Mrs. Ahmed of 16 Widdershaw Lane liked to pretend they were a perfectly normal Muslim family, thank you very much.

Marwan Ahmed was a tall, dark-haired man with far-away green eyes, bony elbows and dark skin that gave a nod to his Moroccan heritage. He was prone to thickening of his T’s and curving of his I’s (lending flavour to his London accent), and flurries of fluid Arabic poetry that made his wife roll her eyes.

Iman Ahmed - of Pakistani descent - was as petite as her husband was tall, with a no-nonsense demeanor that belied her family’s five generations in Leeds. She was a wonderfully blunt woman, though immensely kindhearted, with a tongue sharp enough to embarrass even the most wayward child.

The Ahmed’s only child, Aliyah was their pride and joy. A vivacious child born with big brown eyes and a temper at odds with her wheat-coloured hair, she was perhaps a little more spoiled than the Ahmeds would have liked to admit.

Mr. and Mrs. Ahmed began to see the first signs that something was different with their daughter the day the impatient three-year-old made an apple slice zoom right out of her distracted mother’s hands.

After the original shock had worn off, her parents read Quran over her and throughout the house to ward against djinn, but the accidental magic continued. With fingers made cautious from fear, they wrote Qur’anic verses on pieces of paper and put them in a locket for her to wear in order to protect her from the evil eye and black magicians.

Now this family were Muggles through and through, but being Muslim, certain types of magic were very real to them. Being a particularly Muggle craft, such “Black Magic” employed the use of evil djinns, which resulted in a type of sorcery only the most depraved Muggles would use (involving urine stored in jars and all manner of hideous things).

When she was old enough, Aliyah’s parents sat her down and explained properly why her abilities needed to be kept secret, and what magic in Islam was and why her abilities, though entirely pure, would be seen as evil by close-minded, fearful people. 


February  1   •  461  •   ( + )
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