You wish you had done things differently.
You find yourself wishing you had never met the boy; then suddenly find
yourself feeling bad for thinking that way. You wish you hadn’t wanted to be
the youngest witch to become Minister, or the first witch to land on the moon.
You know it was those thoughts that landed you in Slytherin.
You remember your years at Hogwarts, from
the tiny eleven-year-old who was scared of ghosts, to the mature young woman
who entered the Department of Mysteries as an Unspeakable at a mere eighteen
years of age. But most of all you remember the boy.
He was an ambitious one, far more than you
had ever been. He had a sharp tongue, a quick wit, and by the time you were in
fourth year, had every teacher wrapped around his little finger. All that is,
except one. He was older than you, smarter than you, more popular than you, but
he was your best friend.
You remember when you lost him to the Dark
Arts. You remember the way he scoured the papers every day, reading the news on
Grindelwald’s latest attack. You thought, hoped, this was a passing
obsession, until it escalated even further than just simple curiosity.
You had hoped he would grow out of it,
hoped he would suddenly take an interest in Quidditch like the other boys in
your year. You remember the day you had realised this would never happen, the
day he practically sold himself to a life of Dark Arts.
You had watched him as he read the Daily
Prophet, his brow furrowed, silently mouthing the words he read. You
watched as the shadow of a smile flitted across his face. You remember how he
turned to you and voiced the one sentence you had always feared was coming.
“Grindelwald’s got the right idea, killing
Muggles like that.”
You bite back a gasp. What had happened over
the previous summer that had made him think like this? You find your voice and
question his statement.
“You mean you’re going to join him?” you
ask. “Become one of his followers?”
“No,” he answers, his voice a deathly
whisper, “not follow. I wasn’t born to follow. I was born to lead, to conquer.”
His tone is scaring you, and he gradually
gets louder as he continues, gaining the attention of others in the room. “I
alone will achieve what Grindelwald has not. Mine alone will become the one
name wizards everywhere fear to speak. Someday, there will be no witch or
wizard who dares speak the name of Lord Voldemort!”
A dramatic silence fills the common room,
every Slytherin turned to look at him, now on his feet gazing down at you. A
quiet cough comes from a far corner of the room breaking the silence, and a
third year voices the question spinning through everyone’s mind.
‘Voldemort,’ you’ve heard of the name;
you’ve used the name. It was something you had taken to calling him. It was a
nickname. Where it came from, you couldn’t remember. It scares you to hear him
use it like that.
You watch him as he speaks to the silent
common room. You had always thought he would do well in politics. He had
something that captured the listener’s attention, made them believe whatever he
was saying was the right answer, no matter how wrong it was.
It was like that now. Him, raving about
Muggles contaminating the wizarding world, surrounded by an eager audience that
hung onto every word he spoke. You bite your lip, busy yourself shredding a
quill on the table in front of you. Doing anything to prevent you from
announcing him a hypocrite.
You remember his growing eagerness, his
evenings in the library. You remember the way he let his Head Boy duties fall
into the background, leaving you to do them for him. You told him you hadn’t
minded, but you did; your blindness for his happiness got in the way of how you
You remember the experiments he took:
Immortality Potions, hexes to harm and to kill, charms to trap the victim’s
soul inside their body. You don’t remember being afraid for his safety. You
were afraid for your own safety, for your family’s, and for that of the
families of the Muggleborns.
You remember the downfall of Grindelwald
that came a few years after you left Hogwarts. You remember the sigh of relief
you gave when you heard the news, hoping it had diminished his foolish ideals.
You remember the disappointment to find it hadn’t, to find he was more
determined now than ever.
You remember becoming distant from him, not
by choice, but by the way he had secluded himself from the world. You remember
forgetting him, assuming him dead from an experiment gone wrong.
You moved on with your life: rose in your
career, fell in love, married, had children. You remember the years that
passed, years filled with happiness, an innocent bliss. You remember hearing
whispers of Dark Activity. Oh, how you prayed it wasn’t due to him.
You remember Dumbledore’s confirmations.
You remember how they tore your heart in two. You felt betrayed somehow. Why?
You didn’t know. You agreed to your husband’s insistence on joining
Dumbledore’s resistance group. You were part of the war now, physically and
You remember how many followers he had
quickly gained. You cringed at the rumours of the Binding Spell he used on all
of them. You vomited when you saw for yourself they were true. He had burned
his mark into their arms, intent on killing them without second thought if
their loyalty wavered. You remember beginning to dread the large green sign
hovering over homes and battlefields, the sign that quickly became known as the
You remember letting your loyalty to the
Ministry slide. The Order of the Phoenix now controlled your life and your
destiny. You remember the battles: the injuries, the tortures and the deaths.
Innocent lives were destroyed, stolen, or scarred for a lifetime.
You had wanted no part in all of this. But
you found yourself more in the middle each day. Dread filled your stomach as
you heard names of former school friends declared either dead or loyal to him.
Green, once such a beautiful colour, now brings so many horrifying nightmares.
Green, once the colour associated with new life, was now the colour of torture,
the colour of death.
Of all your memories, death was the most
vivid. You remember the deaths you witnessed: Muggles, witches, wizards
tortured to insanity and left to die alone on the street, or killed instantly
by means of a spell. It didn’t matter to him, and after a while you’d seen so
much that you couldn’t let it matter to you either.
The world around you became afraid of him.
They started to avoid saying his name. But you didn’t. You knew that was what
he wanted, what he was aiming to achieve, and you’d be damned if you let him
You remember the first time you encountered
him face to face since leaving Hogwarts. Little did you know it was also your
last. He had changed dramatically since school. The little boy he had once been
was replaced by a stone cold snake-like… thing.
stare at him in sorrow, pity and bewilderment as he stands in your kitchen. He
is alone, not flanked by his power-hungry goons. You watch, stunned, as he
tortures your family: first your husband, then your children, all going down
valiantly during the fight.
to you. “You betrayed me,” he whispers. “I could have given you the world, the
power you desire. And instead you married that sorry excuse for a wizard and
bore his children.”
erupts inside your chest. How dare he insult your family! How dare he! You spit
in his face, and he retaliates with a curse. Five words and he has killed you
emotionally. Two and he has killed you physically.
watch him now from your cloud, just as you have done since your death. You saw
his first downfall, and his second rise to power. You admire the young boy
whose fate it is to destroy him. You are secretly rooting for him, secretly
wishing for him to rid the world of the evil monster you were ashamed to have
once called your friend.