One’s own family and situation are all one knows as a child. Therefore they are, by default, normal. I thought everyone had a papa who sometimes stayed awake all night writing philosophical papers, only to burn them all in a rage in the morning. It was only when I was old enough to notice that other fathers didn’t act like my own that I realized the truth.

Before I was born my father disowned me. You know those ones who get the females pregnant, and then say the baby is not theirs? He rejected me, told my mother that I am not his child, so I never had a relationship with my father. Shelton ‘Apples’ Burrows reform gang leader

The accountant lingers at his children’s doorway a moment more, listening to the easy rhythm of their breathing, and something cold moves through him, like the passage of a ghost – but he know that’s not it. It’s more like the portent of a future. A future that must never come to pass…
…and for the first time, he gives rise to a thought that is silently echoed in millions of homes that night.
My God… what have we done?

I know what I’m talking about, Alecto! When I think of Jud, I think of the times he wanted to be a coal miner, the times he took Wendy and me sailing in the harbour, the times he showed me how to play soccer, but I forgot all the bullying and I’ll never understand why. And now you ask me, you ask me what happened once we were in high school. You said you didn’t understand what having a family was like, so ask me!

Some children were lucky enough to have their Potter novels banned by witch-hunting school boards and micromanaging ministers. Is there any greater job than a book you’re not allowed to read, a book you could go to hell for reading?

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