I heard my mother screaming – the flash of green light filled my eyes – the Dark Lord rushed above me. Slowly, I felt myself rise into the air, the whistling and howling wind, stinging my ears and slapping my face. Hissing sounds surrounded me. I was wet, cold, and rising higher still. I knew I was going to die, yet the curse meant for me that night did not kill me. The sacrifice of my mother – who freely gave herself in my place – saved me.
The hard knock that awoke me from my nightmare was the branch of an oak tree. I looked around me and found nothing but water. The trash-covered line of roofs below told me I was close to home, but the waters of the Mississippi surrounded me. The cold engulfed me and I shivered. I knew that somewhere my parents were looking for me. I was sure of this. I remembered the news reports, hurricane approaching, the wind and water, the sound of the darkness and finally the sobs of my mother as she searched the dark water for my father. The rushing sound that pulled her away from me as she lifted me, her scream being drowned out by the sound of the transformer exploding.
I heard another rushing, a humming sound, so soft at first it was as if a small roar began a million miles away. I clung to that old oak so tightly that a small branch broke off into my hands. That old oak, my protector, kept me from the clutches of the Dark Lord. His cloak of darkness surrounded me, yet the mighty oak, my protector, my own personal Hagrid, held me safe within his arms.
The rescuers pulled me out of the tree and I was covered in a blanket. While this reduced the chill, it did not remove the cold from within. The haunting realization that my parents were killed by the Dark Lord struck me. I forced myself to remember exactly what had occurred. The water came at us quickly, and my father was pushed away from us as he tried to lift us onto our truck. My mother placed me into the bed and began to search for him. Her screams, so vivid in my mind, were the last memories I had. Suddenly, with the coming of a hurricane, and the breaking of a levy, I was an orphan.
The dementors approached. The cold overcame me and I knew that I’d never be happy again. Jo has said that dementors are much like depression.1 Depression is dark, it’s cold, and you think you’ll never feel happy again. My parents were gone, giving their life so I could live. I became my favorite hero, living under the cupboard, which had now become my life, being followed by the dementors that tormented me daily. My worst memory was now my everyday existence.
I sat in the Superdome, cold, wet, and feeling as if my life would be filled with hell, and I was only fourteen. Shell shocked and sobbing, people looking like me filled the hollow space. Like cattle being led to the slaughter I followed a line to a bus set for Texas. Our exact destination still unknown, we were off for safer places.
From one Dome to the next, Houston held the promise of family. The dementor attacks were constant. I was cold, alone, no family or friends – just me against the darkness, searching for my Patronus.
The small plastic cup appeared in front of me. “You need to drink this young man,” a friendly voice whispered. I took the cup and drank, and the warmth filled me. I looked at the kind man’s face, he smiled, I smiled. “There is more hot chocolate,” he grinned as he pointed in the direction of the kitchen. It’s funny, Harry’s Lupin was much younger! I felt a smile wash over me, the chocolate performing its magical spell. This dementor attack – thwarted by chocolate.
There will be more dark times, more dementors, more depression. There will also be more chocolate and fewer attacks. I will survive, my parents died to make it so. Like Harry, I am the chosen one.
1) Puig, Claudia. “New ‘Potter’ Movie Sneaks in Spoilers for Upcoming Books”. USA Today. 2004. USA Today. 27 May, 2004.