Chapter 1 : Dominique
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Georgia (aka Jellyman)
for encouraging me to finally post this one-shot
and for being lovely in general!
I hate the post. It is the bane of my existence. My left eye twitches whenever I see an owl – even the wild ones; they’re guilty by association.
Specifically, it’s the post from people who have never met me – new professional contacts, routine Ministry rubbish, loads of junk mail and adverts. Those are the ones that have been ruining my mornings ever since I was seven years old and received my first pamphlet about Junior Quidditch League.
Even Hogwarts didn’t get it right. Hogwarts! Run by the greatest magical minds of our time, and still my letter was addressed to:
Miss Dominique Weasley
What the hell is magic good for, exactly, if not to make sure that the Miss you’re writing to isn’t actually a Mister??
That’s right – I’m setting the record straight. This is my personal affirmation. This is my declaration of self. This is my airing of grievances.
I am a man. Always have been, always will be. A bloke. A guy. I am not made of sugar and spice and whatever else is in that Muggle nursery rhyme. When I was younger, I liked snakes and toads and wanted a Manticore as a pet.
None of that matters, because Dominique sounds like a girl’s name. When people who don’t know me see the “M” next to my name, they simply assume it was in error and I’m actually an “F.”
Need I explain what my first day at Hogwarts was like? I thought I’d need bleeding therapy after having my name read as “Miss Weasley” at the beginning of every single class. Professor Sinistra was still calling me Miss Weasley up through my Fourth Year. Stupid old bat.
I blame my mother. Her and her obsession with giving us all posh French names. Victoire, Dominique, Louis…they’re all so elegant you’ve got to flourish your hand a bit when you say them. I think that, in her quest to give us lovely, exotic names, she quite forgot that our last name (and hers, I might add) is Weasley.
It’s a rather vulgar-sounding surname, there are no two ways about it. Mum went from being a lyrical Delacour to being a plain old Weez-lee. The woman needs to get over it and not take out her frustration on her firstborn son by naming him Dominique.
Yes, alright – technically, Dominique is a gender-neutral name. Works just as well for a boy as it does for a girl.
I don’t care, and no, it doesn’t – not outside of France, at least.
Why’ve they got to have the same name for a boy and a girl, anyway? If I were Italian, I’d be Domenico, not Domenica. If I were Spanish, I’d be Domingo. If my mum had decided to be normal and given me an Anglicized name, I’d be Dominic.
Honestly, I’d be happy as a niffler in a pile of Galleons if we’d just avoided “Dom” names altogether and I’d been named something like Steve or Michael or John. Mum thinks those are dreadful, common names, not at all musical enough. (This is the Delacour version of Mum, of course.)
What absolutely kills me about this is that I’m stuck in the middle of a family where all of the men have good, strong, manly English names. Bill. Charlie. Arthur. James. Albus has a wonky name, but at least you know he’s a bloke. And all of the women have lovely, feminine names. Audrey. Hermione. Lily. Molly.
And then there’s me. A veritable cloud of androgyny.
Meet the Weasley family! There’s Charlie, who’s got massive muscles and rides dragons all over the Romanian countryside. There’s Harry, who, you know, killed Voldemort. Yes, yes, quite impressive. And then we have Dominique. He’s part Veela. He’s very pretty.
The Veela thing only makes it worse. Girls would kill to be part Veela. I would like to kill someone because I’m part Veela. I do not want luminous skin and hair that looks like it’s made of moonbeams. Because, when people are trying to decide whether I’m a very pretty man or a boyish-looking woman, guess which way the scales tip once they’ve heard my name.
My whole life is one sick joke. My best subject was Charms, and everyone knows that’s a girly subject. I was decent at Quidditch and was scouted by none other than the Holyhead Harpies in my seventh year – it seems they saw the name “Dominique” on the roster and drew their own conclusions. I wanted to be a journalist, anyway, but I got rejection letters from the Daily Prophet and five other wizarding periodicals. I got one job offer. Really, by that point in my life, I should have expected it.
Dominique Weasley, reporting for Witch Weekly.
They were a bit surprised when I skulked into their office for the interview – asked me five times if I’d misspelled my own name. No, I said, Merlin just hates me.
I got the job; they reckoned it would be nice to have a male perspective.
They started me out in the Fashion Department.
The worst part is that my job requires me to deal constantly with people I’ve never met before – new sources, interviews, and the like. These are contacts who have only ever seen my name in print and draw their own assumptions accordingly. So when people write to me, it’s “Miss Weasley this” and “Miss Weasley that,” and occasionally “Madam.” I get really excited when I’m addressed as “Ms.,” because it makes me feel liberated.
My family doesn’t get it – or maybe they do, and they’re just being nice. I’m overreacting, they tell me, and my name is just fine. I know for a fact that Nana is lying, anyway, because everyone knows she doesn’t like the way Mum chose to name us.
One person gets it – and capitalizes on it – and that’s Teddy Lupin. To this day, he still addresses all of his letters to me using “Miss.” Oh, yeah, he’s a laugh, alright. Stupid berk.
At least my name isn’t Theodore.
Everyone always wants to know what I think about Teddy. Fine, I’ll tell you what I think about Teddy: I think he’s a right wally. I think he needs to stop running his hands all over my sister in public – actually, he needs to stop running his hands all over her, full stop. I think Teddy needs to make Victoire into a fellow Lupin if he knows what’s good for him, because what kind of bloke dates a girl for seven years and doesn’t marry her?
I’d like every eligible female within a 500-mile radius to know that Dominique William Weasley is not one such bloke.
Dominique William. Now there’s gender confusion if I ever heard it.
It’s hard enough trying to get girls, being part Veela. Empirically, I suppose I’m attractive, but no girl wants to date a guy who’s prettier than her. The icing on that depressing cake is that they just can’t bring themselves to say, “This is my boyfriend: Dominique.”
Not that it’s stopped me from trying, of course.
There’s a new girl who just moved into my block of flats. Her name’s Georgiana, but she doesn’t like that name because she thinks it makes her sound like an upper-class twit. She goes by George instead.
Incidentally, George is the fittest girl I have ever seen. She’s got legs up to Godric-knows-where, she’s new in town, and guess who she’s just asked to take her out and show her around.
That’s right. Dominique Weasley. Only she thinks my name is Nick, but we can sort out the details later.
I think George and I are going to get along spiffingly.
A/N: Some of you may be experiencing some confusion at this point. "Isn't Dom a girl?" you may ask. The truth is, I think JKR never really specified Dominique's gender - she only gave the name, and it could easily being to either a boy or girl. This one-shot was just an amusing idea that popped into my mind when I was pondering the fact that the vast majority of fanfic authors automatically assume Dom must be a girl (I also made that assumption at first, and until now I have never written Dom as a boy!)
I wrote this piece a few months ago and just never got around to posting it. This seems as good a time as any, and as it so happens, Dominique is airing his grievances just in time for Festivus (I hope some of you got that Seinfeld reference!)
Anyway, I'd love to hear your thoughts in a review. Happy holidays!