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The Other Hussain
by Sophia Hussain

I do not remember the moment I first learned of the existence
of him, the other Hussain. And then, suddenly, he was suffocating me.
The ominous laughter in roll call, age 7; The War on Terror, age 10;
the spider hole, age 13. I felt his presence, how could I not? He was
arguably the most famous person in the world.

Was I related to him? I didn’t think so. I was asked this
question frequently, and always disarmed by it. But the more I was
asked, the more I began to believe it was true, that I must be tainted
somehow. Harry Potter was not related to Voldemort, but how could
he explain the Parseltongue? I searched for his vestiges and, in his
thick, bushy eyebrows, I recognized my own. I accused them of
treason. In spite of my internal doubts, I knew that I needed to present
a brave face to the public, to dispel the confusion.

My first line of defense, age 7: Of course we are not related.
We spell our last names so differently—don’t you see? I with an “-ain,”
and he with an “-ein,” and the “e” really seals the deal, I think, so much
more suspiciously foreign and dangerous sounding, don’t you think?