Ashley Pritchard
thorabirch.gif
Portrayed By Thora Birch
House Ravenclaw
Year Fourth
Position Student
Sex Female
Race Muggle-born
Age 14
Place of Birth Liverpool, Merseyside, England
Date of Birth 19 June 1981
Mother Mariel Gwendolyn (Broderick) Pritchard
Father Leighton Geoffrey Pritchard
Siblings Dylan (16), Brianna (13), Christopher (12), Morgan (11), Caerwyn (9), Tristan (6)
Marital Status Single
Children None
First Appearance
Last Appearance

Character History:

Born to a pair of "salt-of-the-earth", working-class Welsh on 19 June 1981 in Liverpool, Ashley Marietta Pritchard was never one for creature comforts. Her father, Leighton, was employed as a foreman on the Liverpool docks, one of the great industries in the historical port. Her mother, Mariel, also worked as a teacher and secretary at the neighborhood primary school. Part of a large family, she quickly learned responsibilities with taking care of her younger siblings. Her life was normal for a Muggle for her first eleven years - primary school, summer holidays, tramping up and down the community rows when not in school - but a visitor in her eleventh summer changed her world forever.

Ashley overheard her parents speaking with a strange visitor one day that summer when coming in from play. Bits and pieces floated around, but the words that stuck out most were "Hogwarts", "magic", and "witch". Belatedly realizing her parents were calling for her when the conversation went dead, she hurried into the kitchen and saw the visitor first-hand. Nothing out of the ordinary in normal business clothes, but he held a piece of what looked like parchment ("Folk still write on those?") glowing with vivid, emerald-green ink. This letter told both her and her parents of what was waiting as her education in Hogwarts. After an especially brief talk with her parents, she jumped at this offer and looked forward to the new world that awaited.

With a brief visit to Diagon Alley for supplies before the ride on the Hogwarts Express, excitement turned to nervousness as Ashley overheard other first-years talk of the upcoming term. Wrestling trolls or testing poisons was not her idea of a "Sorting Test", whatever that meant. After a ride across the lake and stepping into the Great Hall, her fears were slightly allayed as she caught glimpse of the most ragged hat she'd ever seen. As her name was called, she took her place with the Hat, and was surprised to hear it speaking to her. "Ambitious, it said, crooning into her ears, "yet hard-working too. Wanting to succeed, a hunger to prove yourself and stand out from the crowd… tricky, tricky. And above all a love of learning and putting that knowledge to good use…" It seemed a lifetime that the Hat had spent with her, yet a sudden cry of "Ravenclaw!" echoed through the Great Hall.

Ashley's first year was, for the most part, uneventful. She settled into wizarding life fairly easily for a Muggle-born, with an attitude of determination to learn all she can of her new life. With her studies set toward practical aims, Potions and Herbology were her best subjects, and flying lessons gave a thrilling change to the classroom studies. Each of the lessons let her get down-and-dirty with subjects she loved. On the contrary, Charms was somewhat more difficult. Coming from a Muggle world where paying the telly tax to the Beeb was the height of everyday life, the swishy "hocus-pocus" taught in Charms was incredibly hard to master even the most basic principles. Extensive tutoring from fellow students helped with eking a (barely) passing grade from Flitwick by the end of the year.

Fresh from the end of term, Ashley's parents decided to surprise her with a small present. Four months of savings went into purchasing her a scraggly barn owl she named Boudica. Her siblings were impressed with the owl, and she herself was still amazed at wizarding owls as she sent post to her newfound friends from Hogwarts over the summer holiday. The holiday celebration, however, was cut short. Leighton was injured in a lift accident on the docks and was pensioned by the company. With little discretionary spending money in the good times, the large family had to cut back when he was put onto the dole. Jumpers and trainers would be a bit more threadbare, and only essentials in schoolbooks and supplies were made for Ashley before term started. Any spending money for little things, she'd have to earn on her own.

Ashley's second and third years passed without incident. Picking up Arithmancy, Care of Magical Creatures and Divination for her electives going into her third year, both Arithmancy and Care of Magical Creatures became favorite subjects. Divinations, however, was easily the equal of Charms in her performance, though she vowed to stick it out in the slight event of learning something useful. Odd jobs for neighbors throughout Liverpool gave her enough spending money to afford a third-hand Cleansweep Five just before her third year began, along with some small leftovers to spare for Hogsmeade weekends. She continued to practice with her broom in hopes of qualifying for Ravenclaw's Quidditch team,

Personality

Stubborn and grounded in practical magic is the best way to describe Ashley. Most of the time, she'll only back off a position she holds once she sees proof that she's wrong. She's as studious as any Ravenclaw, but focuses on the down-to-earth aspects of magic, particularly Potions, Herbology and Care of Magical Creatures. While not entirely forsaking the "hocus-pocus" parts (as she puts it), she does considerably worse with swishy lessons such as Charms or Divination.

With one heavy foot in the Muggle world, Ashley tries to integrate both Muggle and wizard aspects into her life. She's as likely to have a poster-sized Abbey Road cover hanging on the wall as a team-autographed poster of the Holyhead Harpies. From a large family that's on the dole, she's a bit jealous of other families (both wizard and Muggle) that have better means to support themselves. She's earned most of the discretionary spending money on her own through hard work for neighbors, but she wishes she could be more like other children and have her parents afford a simple allowance for her. Secondhand is the order of the day: whether it's trainers and jumpers, schoolbooks, or other equipment, it's all been preowned to save her money. Just once she wishes for a new, modern broom that hasn't been ridden by someone else.

Timeline

Other Information

Memorable Quotes:

"What do you mean, John and Paul weren't wizards? Getting a few hundred million folk across the world listening to their music sounds an awful lot like magic to me."

Trivia and Notes:

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License