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I am numb. The thoughts that are going through my mind are ones that I’ve seen before, and ones that I hoped never to see again. I’ve lost them. The rain pounds down hard all around me but I can’t feel a thing. It’s so damn unfair, how things like this happen to only the innocent. Lily and James Potter are dead. They were murdered just tonight. Was it happening as I marked the fourth year essays? Was Lily screaming for her life as I sat down to dinner? Was James fighting for his family as I settled down in front of the fire? Was little Harry screaming for his mother as I sipped my cup of hot tea? How can you see someone laughing and proud one day, and see their cold, lifeless bodies the next? I remember taking a million house points from James for his pranks, and I remember commending Lily on her fabulous Transfiguration Essay. But, oh, oh I remember holding Harry in my arms, looking at his sweet face, a mirror image of his father, and those brilliant green eyes just like his mother. Lily was smiling and telling me that they had named him Harry, and James and Sirius were grinning broadly and laughing just like old times. Peter and Remus stood at the sides, laughing and enjoying themselves, unaware that a traitor lie hidden among them. We left that same day, Albus and I. Lily and James were happily talking about their new house in Godric’s Hollow. The house that is now a smoldering pile of debris. I remember Albus telling me that I had to come quickly. There had been another murder. I followed him immediately; wondering what in God’s name could be wrong, and praying for my family’s safety. We reached the end of the street, where nothing stood but a chard frame and wrought iron fence. The muggles were swarming around, but I pushed on through, my heart in my throat and tears in my eyes. Albus told me no, that I shouldn’t go. That Hagrid would take care of it. But I went anyway. I would believe nothing, until I saw it for myself. As I looked around the remains of the once proud home, I saw James, face down. The blood was trickling down his face, and he wore an expression of grim determination. I heard the terrified shrieking of a frightened baby. Rushing through the ruins, careful not to set my skirt a blaze, I searched for any sign that he was still alright. I found him. He was huddled and shaking in the corner, near a ruined support beam. He was wrapped in a ragged flannel blanket and a strangely shaped cut above his eye was bleeding. It hurt my heart to look at him. Inside I had frozen. Somewhere, deep in my mind I was still hoping to wake up from this nightmare, clinging to the hope that this was some horrible dream. I’m not sure where I got the presence of mind to do it, but I picked him up gently. His skin was cool to the touch, and so, so soft. I crooned to him, trying to calm him down. His eyes were wide with fear, and as I looked into his face, it held such an expression of understanding, that I wanted to break down and cry. Instead, I took a deep breath in, and vowed to be strong, if not for me, then for him. For this small child who would grow up without ever knowing his parents, and live in a home devoid of love, with a family who despised him. Hagrid came, and I handed Harry to him reluctantly. I trusted Hagrid, as far as I’d trust anyone, but I couldn’t help but feel that he was something of my family now. Albus and I left without a word. There was nothing to say. So now, I sit in the comfort of my room, remembering the expression on the face of that innocent child. His large, pleading eyes, staring at me from inside that bundle of blankets, as I placed him on the step of the prison he would be hereby condemned to for the next eleven years. Somehow, I wish that I hadn’t gone when Albus told me not to. That I’d let Hagrid bring him to me. Yet I’m glad I went. I’m glad that I saw. But all the same, the image of the ruined house and Harry’s frightened face burns inside my head. The Dark Lord is gone at last, but I know that he will return. Be it in ten years, or twenty years, he will come back. But what’s important right now, at this moment in time, is that Harry is somewhere where he cannot be harmed, or so I hope. That he is warm, safe and dry somewhere else, while a storm rages here, and in my heart. I will see him soon, I tell myself. I feel strangely empty, though. Hogwarts students are like my children, and in a way, I’ve just lost my son and daughter, and I’ve placed my grandchild on the step of an unloving family. Why is this different than the rest of my life? It too is filled with the pain of loss, and the sorrow which love can bring. This is different, because Harry is different. I was closer to James and Lily than any of the other students, and I have just lost my child. I turn the light low, and cry myself to sleep.
Minerva Anne McGonagall.