Middle Names


Story Summary:
Lily Potter doesn't like her middle name, until it crops up when she least expects it.

Chapter 01



Lily Potter did not like her middle name.

Thankfully, she usually could pretend it didn't exist. Even when she got into trouble, her mother rarely used it. Usually, she was just Lily Potter, Lily, Lils, Potter to the Slytherins, and, sometimes to her brothers or cousins, "the redheaded nightmare." Lily found that last bit very funny, considering that half the cousins were redheads themselves.

She envied her brothers. James Sirius? The majority's reaction would probably be, "oh, cool." He even found a use for the middle name. Lily was pretty certain who posted stories on the Internet under the pseudonym "Sirius Weasley." Lily smiled at that. Her brother could write pretty good sci-fi, but coming up with a more creative alias seemed beyond him. Lily, who could never use her name like that, had to learn to improvise. James was lucky.

A lot of people thought Albus Severus was a strange name. Al himself didn't think so, and would usually introduce himself with his full name. Also, he had another adventure. Though most were a few years older than him, there were a lot of Albuses in the wizarding world. And Percivals, and Wulfrics, and Brians... and Harrys and Rons and Hermiones and Nevilles--and a few combinations that would have made Lily cringe... if it wasn't for her own name. Plus, Albus and Severus at least made sense together, unlike what she got saddled with.

So, Lily didn't like her middle name. She never gave it out, unless she had to. Her friends didn't even know she had one. Soon after she got her hands on a wand, her brothers learned not to mention it. Her mother knew what she was talking about when she taught Lily the bat-boogey hex.

Maybe she'd have changed the name when she became an adult, but she got so used to going without it at that point that she forgot. She still never used it except on official forms--and nobody read those. She certainly didn't give the name to anyone she dated. That included her current boyfriend of two years, Alan Jordan.

As a result, she was incomprehensibly staring at him now, as he was holding an open box with a ring in it.

"What did you say?" she whispered.

"I asked you to marry me, Lils."

"No. Repeat exactly what you said."

"Okay. Lily Nymphadora--"

"How did you learn my middle name?"


"The truth, Alan. I'm serious."

"What's wrong, Lils?" Why are you so worked up over--"

"Where did you learn it?"

"Your brother."

"Which one?"

"Al. Lis--"

She pulled out her wand. "I'm going to kill him. He knew I didn't like the--"

"Why not?"


"I like it. It's... interesting. Why don't you?"

"It's long, it doesn't fit with Lily, it has 'nympho' in it, it--"

"No, it doesn't."


"It doesn't. Or did your brother trick me when he said it's N-Y-M-P-H-A-D-O-R-A. Is it really spelled with an 'O'?"

"No, he was right."

"There. No 'nympho', except to those who can't spell. As I said, I like it. Nymphadora."

"Don't call me that!"

"Can I have that privilege if you marry me?"


"Of calling you Nymphadora."

For some reason, Lily didn't scream "NO!" at the top of her lungs.

"Oh, by the way, Lils," Alan said, "I talked to your dad--after I learned the name. Do you know what he said?"


"Your namesake didn't like her name either. So you're in good company."

She laughed. He reached out and lowered her wand. "Now, are you still going to kill your brother?"

"Well... not kill," she said after a long pause. "But I can't let him get away with this, either. He knew he shouldn't reveal my name. He knew. A few hexes should remind him."

Alan laughed and kissed her. "By the way," Lily said as she pulled back, "the answer is yes."

She took the ring and slipped it on her finger. "Now, to see about my brother..."

He kissed her again. "I love you, Nymphadora."

She couldn't resist. "I love you too--Hyperion," she said.

Alan's face contorted. "Wait, how--"

But Lily Disapparated before he managed anything else. She smiled to herself.

She wasn't the only one with a sibling who talked too much.