July 4, 1947
I awoke confused and displaced. Where on earth was I? After stretching my arms and blinking, I found that I was in my bed. And this bed was in an empty cabin on the coast of Albania. I was dreaming about Hogwarts, and the fact that I was not back in England took an adjustment. I tried to recall what I was doing before I went to sleep. The last thing I remembered was Tom flying me back home. I was sitting on his broom, and I felt terribly sad. But why?
Then I remembered his heartless words flood back to me. He was never going to love me. For the first time in my life, I felt truly heart broken. My heart was in pain, physically. I grabbed my chest and tried to hold back the rush of tears that I had dammed up. But I was failing. Last night, I remember feeling determined to make him love me - now, it was all gone. If I could never make him love me, what was the point of being here?
I became caught in a mix of emotions, mostly confusion. I was replaying his monologue over in my head, making sure I understood exactly what he was telling me, having tears flow the whole time. Yet I couldn't understand Tom's logic. He told me that he "refused" to love me, and that he would never "stoop" so low as to experience that emotion. Nonetheless, how else could I describe his previous actions towards me? Tom had saved my life in the third year, befriended me in the fourth, named me his most faithful servant in fifth, and, now, here I was, joining him on his quest for greatness, by his personal
invitation. If that isn't love, I don't know what is.
If what I surmised was true, then why wouldn't Tom submit to his feelings? I know he must have them, so why does he continue to bury them as if they never existed? What is so bad about loving another? A million of questions floated through my mind with no answers.
A loud ruffle caught my attention to my left. Hoot had made his way into his cage, and he was making himself ready for sleep. His large eyes blinked at me, as if he was trying to comfort me. I tried to smile reassuringly but I was afraid I failed.
What Tom said about his parents soon came to mind. I seemed that his mother had blindly loved his father, and it didn't turn out very well. They had both died and left him alone in a forgotten orphanage. I can't compare my childhood to his at all. I was loved and cared for by Mother, even if it was just a small amount of time. Then, after she died, I was sent to not just an ordinary boarding school but a prestigious one at that. A life of orphanages simply couldn't compare to my plush life I had so taken granted of.
Suddenly a rush of pity towards Tom filled me where I had never felt that for him before. In school, I knew he lived at an orphanage, but I never thought of the consequences of his daily life. I saw what they were last night. Since he was never loved, he felt that he
could never love. But I knew I
could. I was put on this earth for a reason, some reason I don't know about. Perhaps this was the reason: to teach him
something. I smiled to myself and wiped away the tears as I sat on the edge of the bed. As I looked down at the Dark Mark on my right forearm I realized that, for the first time, I
was born with something that he didn't have.
My body felt a quick jolt after hearing loud rapid raps on the front door while a voice calmly commanded me. "Get up Eva. You've been in there long enough. And we'll need to get going sometime this hour if I'm ever to take over the wizarding world."
I stood up and giggled to myself. Sometimes he could be overdramatic. Deciding to call back, instead of stay quiet, I replied, "I'm up, My Lord. There's no need to break down the door."
The rapping stopped, and I heard his footsteps march away on the dewy grass. I pulled the top drawer of the dresser to change into my green robes. Suddenly, I realized that my coat and shoes had been removed since last night. Tom must have taken the liberty of undressing me. I shoved the drawer shut angrily. I wasn't sure if I liked him doing that. He was not allowed to enjoy my body without cherishing my heart.
I was fixing my hat while I exited the small house. I twisted my golden curls into a bun with one hand, while my hand hesitantly wanted to stick my wand in it. Tom would have a cow if he saw. I grabbed a stick lying on the ground and quickly transfigured in into a hair pin. I spotted Tom poking around my makeshift garden. His fingers were absentmindedly smoothing his mustache as he examine my tomato plant, onion plant, cabbage plant, and potato plant, which were currently growing healthy with signs of fruit. I couldn't help but call out, "Looking for that diadem in there?"
He stood up straight and squared his shoulders. "Yes, very funny. I was just noticing your plants. They're doing better than I expected. I'm certainly glad I brought you now."
Why was he being such an ass this morning? I asked myself. It must have been last night's conversation. Since he couldn't run away from me, he would have to insult me and belittle me. But, if that's what it would take for things to go back to normal, I could be as docile as he wanted. I didn't want him to sense my pity for him, but that was a large part of why I hadn't started fighting. I tried to hide it with feeling proud about his compliments on my garden.
"Thank you, my lord."
He brightened up a little bit, "You're welcome. Today, we're going off to have a talk with the Dementors."
Although most of me wanted to protest, I didn't want to go searching in the forest again for his lost crown. Also, our encounter with the vampires last night was, although scary, riveting. The best part was that I wasn't looking at tree trunks for hours on end. But I had to know - why Dementors and why now?
"My lord? These... Dementors - is there a reason why are going to see them so soon after the vampires?" While I questioned him, I had walked next to him to also view my garden. There were a few weeds to pull which I mentally made a note of. A few feet ahead I could see the chickens milling about. They needed to be fed as well. Our water bucket was empty and needed to be re-charmed. Then I recalled the laundry piling up in the house as well as the dishes.
It seemed like there was enough to be done at the house, I wasn't sure if I saw the need to go with Lord Voldemort. He was much more powerful than me; I wasn't sure exactly what I brought to the picture.
He didn't answer me, but walked towards the house. Our two broomsticks were leaning against the wall near the door. He had already made preparations for us to leave – I saw two bags of what must have been lunch on the grass laying next to the brooms.
I followed him back to the house and started explaining my case of why I should stay. "There is laundry to do as well as dishes. Also, I think it would be best for me to stay and tend to the yard. I could sneak my way back into the village and maybe take some beef? I haven't eaten any beef in ages!"
Tom glared at me, frustrated with my stalling. "There is not enough to keep you busy here while I am gone."
I heaved a sigh. "My lord. I can do much with a free day. I wouldn't laze around the house as you might imagine me to do so. I am going to work hard, cleaning the house as well as your study – which I'm sure you need cleaned. And I shall finally have time to clean your and my sheets. We will sleep so much better, I promise you." I added the last part because for the past month I had slept by myself in the house and I always assumed he slept in a makeshift bed in his own shack. It was always so grimy every time I peered in; I guessed his bed would be unclean as well. He never looked well rested. Every night, though, I wished he would live in the main house with me and share a bed. But, currently, I needed to put those thoughts aside.
Tom, to my surprise, was becoming angrier, clutching his wand enough that it could snap. "Eva… I–" he began, with his teeth clenched.
I realized I had to change my tone soon or I would regret it. "I apologize my lord," as I went to my knees to show him respect. "If you let me stay, I won't just work at home. I will look for your diadem as well." I did my best to say it all with a straight face. Even if he looked into my mind, he would see that I meant no harm and that I was truthful about looking through the forest – though I was not thrilled about the job.
His eyes widened while he watched me fall to the ground. However, Lord Voldemort's face did not turn into the typical grin that he usually wore when receiving submission. He pursed his thin lips and clenched his jaw further. The next thing I knew, words were tumbling from his mouth that I barely understood.
"You're coming with me to the Dementors because I don't want to be alone."
After a moment's comprehension, I was shocked by his utter honesty. Before I had time to wash over his full meaning, his long fingers grabbed my arm and pulled me off the ground. "I don't want to hear a single word more on the matter. We are leaving." He shoved my broom into my arms, and I watched as he flew into the sky hurriedly. I took off soon after.
We flew in silence for the better part of an hour. Tom was far ahead of me, almost as if he didn't care if I followed him or not. But that wasn't true based on his recent words. I gazed down at the lush forest below, which was not lit enough by the moonlight last night to properly see. Tom and I had gone through, what I believed to be, a multitude of trees in the past month. But the farther and farther we flew, the more I saw how miserably and unpleasantly wrong I was. We had barely begun. Finding that diadem was going to take a very
Tom was so far ahead of me, I didn't much worry about him turning around and spying on me. I decided to risk lying on my stomach upon the broom, with my head placed on the back of my hands. I pondered our earlier conversation as I watched his miniscule body fly far ahead into a cloud.
Tom – Lord Voldemort – of all people didn't want to be alone? It practically didn't make sense. If I had not witnessed the words spill out of his mouth, I wouldn't have believed he ever said it. Yet he told me he didn't want to be alone to convince me not to stay at home. He couldn't have honestly meant it though – his happiness thrived off solidarity. I could tell it annoyed him if I was in his company for too long. I doubted the Dementors, though easily frightening, scared him at all since he was the one going to them.
I sat up on the broom with a surge of emotion. After all the pain and sadness he caused me last night and earlier this morning, he decides to toy with me by claiming he didn't want to be lonely? My pity for him was disintegrating. Was he playing me along like my feelings were a game? He was probably laughing up ahead, thinking how funny it is to have me hate him at one moment then love him the next. I entered into a cloud, blind to what was ahead of me. Hot tears burned in my eyes, and I couldn't say what caused them.
Maybe he really couldn't love me. More tears fell down my face but the wind dried them up instantly. I should just go back to England if this was how my time with Lord Voldemort was going to be for the rest of my life. I seriously debated leaving him behind, knowing if I just head north I could find my way. I emerged from the cloud and saw Tom, still far advanced.
What if, I questioned as another tear escaped, he really did have feelings for me but didn't know what to do with them? I had to remember he grew up alone without a parent or guardian to teach him how to love one another. Maybe with a little patience and effort, I could get Tom to open up and teach him to care for me the same way I cared for him. What if he truly was lonely for my companionship?
Immediately a terrible headache came over me. I doubled over as my stomach, too, began to contort in pain. I involuntarily let out a groan. What was happening to me?
Then, as sudden as it came, it left me. I saw that Tom hadn't moved an inch – what if I had fallen? Would he have even noticed? I growled in anger. That was the final straw. I turned my broom north and never once looked back at him.
It had taken a while but I eventually arrived back in London. Searching around Diagon Alley I learned the address of Norma. She took me in and I was grateful. Her fiancé Romule Lestrange had offered me a chance to work with him St. Mungos as a Healer. He was studying to take the M.A.G.E. (Medical Assessment Granting Experience) which allowed a witch or wizard to be an apprentice Healer. Once he or her finished three years of apprenticeship, they would be approved by the Magical Medicine Committee to be a full-fledged Healer. Norma was proud of him, and his study material seemed easy enough so I decided to work with him.
Months later, before I was about to take my own M.A.G.E. I had stumbled into Augustus Rookwood at Diagon Alley. He was still infatuated with me, and I was interested in what he had been doing after Hogwarts. He had asked me what I did after I graduated, but for an odd reason I had no recollection. All I could say was I had been with Norma studying to be Healer. He wouldn't allow me to stay with Norma further and invited me to live with him in his small flat. I didn't accept right away, but after I had walked in on Norma and Romule for the tenth time, I realized I needed to give them their space.
Living with Augustus was pleasant, but I never felt a deeper attachment to him beyond that of a friend. Yet he wanted us to court and I awkwardly felt obliged. Tom Riddle, who I had infatuated over in Hogwarts, was gone without a trace. Augustus was probably the best I would be able to do.
I had passed my M.A.G.E. and the years seemed to blur by. They had me work at St. Mungos usually over eighty hours a week, but I was happy to be busy. Before my meeting with the committee on whether I would be a true Healer, Augustus had proposed. What was I to do – of course I would have to say yes. Norma and Druella were so happy for me. The good news continued, it seemed, as I became a hired Healer at St. Mungos along with Romule.
Our wedding was nothing fancy, and we honeymooned in Spain. Yet I was not in love with him. I did, however, love my work in the hospital. It was painful when I couldn't save a patient, but helping others gave me my only satisfaction in life. Then a terrible sickness struck the magical community.
I spent countless nights mixing potion after potion to find a cure. Yet nothing could stop or prevent the fever, delirium, and finally the death that followed. There were six patients I treated and cared for, separated physically and magically from the rest of the hospital. I had done my best to protect myself, but it still came no surprise to me when I woke up one morning with an unnatural heat in my body.
Immediately I had checked myself into the hospital. Romule personally treated me, but I knew I was doomed. Augustus tearfully stood by my side, holding my hand, unwilling to accept the truth. I felt bad for him, but I wasn't upset leaving him. Norma and Druella, my only friends, also didn't want to believe that the sickness would take me. Only Romule and I knew what lied ahead – death within a day. As night fell, the delirium came upon me. The ceiling kept coming down trying to crush me, and I cried out constantly for help. I suddenly understood the fear my patients had while they were dying. It was horrific. Everything was coming to attack me and crush me. Augustus wanted to smother me with my pillow, while Druella had poisoned the water she offered me. I cried with anguish during a lucid moment. Was this my life now? What a waste it had become – I was going to die in a hospital bed, no older than twenty-five.
I turned my head to the right and became afraid. Was I still lucid or seeing things again. Tom Riddle was sitting in my bedside chair. He was thinner and less handsome than I had remembered him. His dark hair was thinning, his face unshaved, and his eyes were sunken. But despite his appearance, I reached out to him with a shaky, sweaty hand. Tom allowed me to touch his face but made no reaction. I sighed, knowing somewhere in my life I made the wrong decision. I had loved him more than anything else. My eyes felt heavy and the lids closed like a coffin lid.
An atmosphere of nothingness hung in the air. Every sense had become dark and absent.
My eyes sprang open and a searing pain erupted inside my head. But it felt like I had always been in pain – I always had this headache. I screamed, unable to keep silent. My hands grabbed my head, hoping to put pressure to end the pain. I felt a strong breeze on my face and saw that I was still flying. But while my head felt like it was going to burst, my stomach became feel nauseous. I could barely think.
Then, yet again, it subsided. Tom had heard me scream and slowed down to be near me. He seemed truly concerned for me. My heart soared and I tried to banish all my doubt of him away. After hours and conversations flew by, we made it to the Dementors. Then things rushed by in a blur. It was like being in a cinema with a film being projected onto my eyes. I saw numerous faces, some familiar and some unknown. Numerous locations rushed under my feet, like I was Apparating in a different place each second. Suddenly I saw giants, werewolves, vampires, trolls, dragons, manticors, Dementors, Goblins, and a plethora of all magical creatures. They were all under Lord Voldemort's control. And I was his most trusted servant. And then things slowed down. In a large house Tom pulled me aside into a beautiful room, closed the door, and finally kissed me. I realized I was his lover at last. He was going to protect me and love me like I had desired all these years.
But a change happened.
Along with the throbbing pain in my head and stomach, I began to feel crushed with an overwhelming sadness. It was misery but nothing I could ever compare to – like I was trapped in a well and walls were impossible to climb but much worse. Where was Tom, I wondered? He was supposed to protect me – had something terrible happened to him?
A strangely familiar scene materialized before my eyes. A robed arm, outstretched towards me. A crowd gathered. I was in beautiful robes, and jewelry adorned me. Yet all of the luxuries caused me further nausea. I was screaming in frustration at a stranger as he pointed his wand at me. But I knew what was going to happen and I was prepared. A green flash overwhelmed me but my pain continued.
My body convulsed and I, again, felt the cool wind due to high elevation. I opened my eyes and, though I tried to hold back, vomited to my left. My stomach finally began to calm and my sharp headache became dull. I finally had the capacity to feel a warm hand tightly holding my upper right arm. Slowly, because I was still hurting, I turned to my right to see Tom staring fiercely at my face. His eyebrows were slightly furrowed, and his other hand was holding onto my broom to keep it steady.
We said nothing as I stared ahead trying to remember my visions. That was what they were and this was the second time it had ever happened to me. The first was right before my mother had died but I didn't recall any of them. Except the robed stranger and the flash of light.
This second round of visions affected me much worse than it had when I was seven. They also lasted much longer. Yet this time I could recall images and emotions. When I was young, I didn't remember a thing except blacking out in the kitchen. It was Mother who told me what they were.
I racked my brain trying to remember what exactly tied all the scenes together, but as time continued I lost more understanding. I rubbed my temple with my left hand, as if I could force the memory out. It was no use. As the pain disappeared so did the memory of my vision.
Except I was certain I did not want to leave Tom. I wanted to remember him saving me in both visions, but I wasn't sure. However, he was here in reality saving me.
Tom, who had been silent the whole time, watched me as I struggled to recollect myself. His face was still serious, but I was unsure whether there was worry or anger. All I could think to say at the moment was, "I… I'm sorry my lord."
Now that I had broken the silence, he questioned me, "What happened?" His tone was not at all concerning. He spoke it like a parent would to a child who was found next to a valuable yet broken vase.
"I-I-I…I'm not sure. I supposed I had a… vision?"
"What do you remember? Tell me everything." His hand gripped a touch harder on my arm and his face moved only slightly closer to mine. I couldn't help but move back.
"I don't remember – that is I don't know how I could explain. There was no start or end – it just happened."
He frowned further, "Your eyes rolled back in your head for at least five minutes and you don't remember a single thing?"
I shook my head, "Not that I could explain." Then I paused and remembered that Tom could hear my thoughts and see my memories. Tom himself could tell me what my vision was. "My lord, I just realized that you
could go into my mind and tell me what I saw - what I foretold."
He threw my arm aside and moved his broom farther away from me in anger. "Wouldn't you think if I could do that, I would have?" he yelled. The breeze muted his voice so I was not very alarmed. It was surprising that my visions were unreadable by Tom. It must have frustrated him so. But did he want to know my visions to help me or to help himself? Most likely it was the latter.
Although I probably should have bowed my head, I held it up straight and said, "I apologize, my lord. I can't remember and you can't tell me what is in my head so we best put what happened to me aside and continue on."
Tom's face became a bit more frustrated that I was currently having the voice of reason rather than him. I too was a bit shocked that I, who experienced the episode, was calmer than Tom, who simply witnessed it. His face soon mellowed out. Then, startling me, he pulled out his wand and pointed it at my face. "Eva," he said calmly, "if I could curse the truth out of you, I would." I stared at him, not quite worried but nowhere near as calm as his face was. He put away his wand and finished, "But I can't… or maybe…"
Tom began to feel his short beard deep in thought. He looked up at me after a few seconds. "Actually, I will get it out of you…eventually," he mused while his eyes looked to the right in recollection.
After we began to fly for a comfortable amount of time, I told him, "Thank you my lord for holding onto me and the broom."
"Think nothing of it," he said with a bored look on his face.
I looked up into the clouds now high above us. "I would have fallen if you hadn't been there."
"I didn't think you were afraid of falling off your broom due to the ridiculous stunts you always pull," he said as we finally locked eyes. His brow was high, and I almost thought he was in a humorous mood. But I couldn't say for sure.
I smiled recalling my first thrill of flying broom and Mother helping me practice tricks. It was unusual for a young witch to ride a broom, but Mother thought it was important I had some sort of wizard tradition while we lived in our Muggle world. By the time I was in Hogwarts, flying lessons were absurdly easy, and I would fly around the grounds rather than listen to the instructor drone on. "I've always loved to fly. If I could, I'd fly without a broom, but that's impossible."
Tom regarded me – his face thoughtful. "Nothing's impossible."
I grinned, "No – I suppose not for the great Dark Lord."
"Your flattery is too much," he chided as he waved his hand.
I gave him a side glance. I could tell he was trying to keep a straight face and not smile from his own pride. I wanted so badly to grab his hand and hold it, especially after what he had done for me. But that would not go over well. I changed the subject.
"How much longer until we reach the Dementors?"
Tom flicked his wand, mumbling a spell. In front of him a red circle the size of a plate hovered. Within it was a blue dot and a green one. I couldn't tell much else from my angle. He scratched his facial hair. I could see it was bothering him a lot, and he would probably shave it the minute we got home. "It will be around five more hours."
I had to hold my tongue from exclaiming. Five more
hours of flying? Where on earth were we going: the moon? I sighed inwardly. Giving myself something to do, I pushed my broom to accelerate more. My hair whipped around my face, and soon I felt Tom's presence edge closer. He yelled over the sound of the wind in our ears, "Why are you going so fast?"
"I don't like waiting, so I thought we'd speed it up a bit," I yelled back.
Tom looked at me incredulously. "Aren't you afraid you'll lose control and fall off? It's a long way down, and your damage will probably be irreversible. I refuse to save you if you are going to be reckless."
"Why, my lord! Are you perhaps admitting that you might be afraid of heights?" I knew I shouldn't tease him, but he was being such a child. I almost couldn't believe he was the
Tom Riddle, the Dark Lord Voldemort. Afraid of heights is too normal a fear for him.
I stood up straighter on the broom and clenched his jaw in determination. "I am afraid of no such thing. I'm just saying it would be a tragedy if you died."
I couldn't help but speak the words in my heart. "Would you miss me?"
"I wouldn't miss your food." I rolled my eyes. It was the best I was going to get. "Aren't you afraid of dying?" he asked me casually.
I thought it over. There was a tingle in my brain similar to when you've forgotten the name of someone but you swore you knew it. I realized there must have been something in my vision to do with my death. Perhaps it was the arm and green flash. But recalling it didn't bring an emotion of fear – it brought one of relief. "No, not particularly," I answered.
Tom's face was empty of emotion and continued the conversation, as if it was about the weather. "So, if I threatened you with Avada Kedavra, you wouldn't even flinch?"
"You wouldn't do that. Then you would be flying by all by yourself." I didn't think about the words before they came out, but after seeing Tom's face I realized I should have not mentioned his morning episode.
Tom reacted to my words like I had pinched him. He was slightly surprised yet not at all happy. "Answer the question, Eva," he said in a cold voice.
I moved closer to him and slowed slightly so we wouldn't be yelling at each other. Tom slowed down too, apparently interested in the conversation. "I know you won't kill me To-my lord because…I know what my death will look like."
He looked at me straight in the eye. "You saw this in your vision. Am I there? What did you see? Tell me!"
I was taken aback by his demands. "My lord, I only remember a stranger with a wand and a flash of green. Even if you performed the Cruciatus Curse on me, there would be nothing more to tell you." Tom was heated enough that I almost thought he would. But then he realized we had already had had this conversation before.
I hung my head and admitted sadly, "I wish you could have saved me but you didn't." I lifted my head and caught his wary eyes. I was heading into a subject I knew Tom would rather not discuss. I let it go and so did he.
It did take us another four or so hours, but we ate our lunches and he graciously put in a book in each of our bags to read. We landed in a dense forest and the sun was already setting behind us. The sky was a perfect blue saturated with the last light. The trees appeared black in comparison. We left our brooms laying on a tree trunk wrapped with our infamous red stripe. We marched away from the sun, through the forest, and into the darkening sky. Lord Voldemort began to prepare me. "Now, have you ever met a Dementor?"
"No," I answered honestly.
"Well then, this will be your first time. They aren't very intelligent creatures, but they know what they want. And what they want is human happiness. They'll feed on all your good thoughts until you go mad. That is why they are so effective at Azkaban. Most wizards will tell you that the only way to get rid of a Dementor is by a Patronus. There is another way, but not many have what it takes to perform the charm." As we walked, it almost appeared like he was talking to himself, but after he finished he looked at me as if he was waiting for me to give him something.
"So first, let me see if you can make a Patronus."
I frowned and shifted my eyes. I remember learning of Patronuses at school, maybe from a question on the N.E.W.T.S., but I had never conjured a full-bodied one. To create one, a witch had to think of their happiest moment. The first happy moment I could think of was when Tom would genuinely smile at me (and I could count the times on one hand). We both stopped in unison and I pointed my wand out to the forest floor in front of us. "Expecto Patronum.
Nothing but a thick cord of silvery light slunk out of my wand. It didn't even land before it disintegrated.
"Ah well," Tom sighed, almost disappointed. "As I thought. It's quite alright. It's difficult to imagine a happy memory when life brings them so rarely."
I was upset that it didn't work. Stubbornly, I told myself that I was determined to remember my happiness. "No, I can do this. I know I can."
Tom silently agreed to let me do it again. I thought of not just myself and Tom, but when Mother and I used to go to the park, the time when Norma confided that she trusted me more than Druella, when Tom invited me to go to Albania with him, when Mother and I used to bake cakes, Tom and our shared kiss in the Chamber, and every time Tom looked in my eyes with a sense of incomprehension. It was at those times, I knew, Tom showed his true love for me. "Expecto Patronum
!" I screamed out.
And this time a small creature flew out. It spun through the sky then landed in front of a shocked Tom. I was ecstatic that it had worked. A small silvery mongoose looked back up at us, patiently waiting for its command. I beamed at Tom who looked a little dumbstruck.
"I-I didn't expect you to make one. But…this is good," he nodded. "You know, if I wasn't absolutely sure that you were in love with me, which I am, I would think you were out to destroy me."
I spun around to Tom. "What
? Why is that?"
"Your Patronus – it's a mongoose. They're the only animals that kill snakes for fun."
My eyes widened. "My lord! I meant no offense –"
Tom laughed, "I know. Send it away for now, and I'll show you my
I flicked the wand and the mongoose faded away. Tom pulled out his yew wand and spoke, "Infitialis Tutela
I blinked and it was as if someone had put a dark yet transparent tent around Lord Voldemort and me. Everything seemed to be in the shadows, which felt impossible to me since the forest was already dark enough. The only clear area was our ten foot diameter bubble. "What does this do?" I had to ask.
"It bounces back the effect of the Dementors. They feed on happiness of human souls. However, this shield gives them a negative emotion to feed on, which they also enjoy. They won't get any closer, and you can't feel their effects. The Patronus scares them away, while this charm allows you to get close to them. I find it much more effective, but since you can
do a Patronus…"
"Can't they see this shield?" I interrupted.
"Dementors don't have eyes. But even if they did, they couldn't. Only the people inside can see it."
Soon, we exited the forest into a clearing and stumbled into a dense fog. After hiking through for less than a half hour with Tom's shield still up, we began to see gates appear.
I stared at the run down iron gates. One was clinging onto its top hinge and the other gate had fallen down completely. I noticed there was a sign hanging above it. It stated, "Arbeit Macht Frei
." I couldn't understand the first word, but the last two sounded like "make free." Something could make these people free, but what it was I would never know. Tom seemed to be walking closer towards me, almost like he was protecting me from the Dementors he could sense. I found the act touching, knowing that he had already created a charm to do the same job.
"What is this place?" I asked as we walked over the run down gate.
"It was an extermination camp that some of the Muggles had made for other Muggles. The locals call it 'Auschwitz.' There was so much death and depression here, the Dementors started to grow. This is the biggest breeding ground I know of in the continent."
Even though there was a shield, I still felt a slight chill down my back. The whole place felt depressing, shield or no. Although I was not made to relive my memories, my mother's death kept zipping in and out of my mind. Muggles, no matter their magical status or not, were human. Even though Tom may forget that, I couldn't. It was hard for me to believe that this had been what he called an extermination camp. To knowingly gather up people and then kill them was unthinkable. What if there had been children here? Did they see their parents die and then die along with them?
By this time, the air had become murky and clammy. The sky was black while the shining stars were invisible due to Tom's spell. We were able to see farther into the fog and I began to see towers and buildings emerge like ships from a mist. So far, we had met no Dementors, but I couldn't shake this uneasy feeling, like I was being watched like prey.
Instantly, we were surrounded, like it had been with the vampires. Except this time the creatures were much more terrifying.
There were at least six Dementors, and each must have been ten feet tall with dark ragged cloaks for bodies. Long pallor hands reached out of the cloak for us. I was sure that they were going to come and grab me. But, as Tom had predicted, they reached for the shield and stopped. Their hands were open and they felt around the entire bubble. They were stroking our shield with a sick sort of tenderness.
I was struck dumb by watching this strange sight when Tom stood up straighter and commanded their attention by shooting a red spell through the crowd. The biggest Dementor, hovering in front of us, looked slightly startled, seemingly ignorant of the humans inside of the bubble. He pulled his hood down and I immediately wanted to retch. Its head was nothing but a skull with grey skin clinging to it lifelessly. There were no eyes, only sockets. And instead of a mouth, a hole – from which I could hear rattling instead breathing.
I wasn't afraid of Dementors in the sense that they would hurt me or suck out my soul. I was simply disturbed by their being; I was disturbed that such a creature could exist in this world. Never before had I witnessed a true dark magical being as this. How on earth could Tom lose his war with these monsters in his army? I couldn't imagine what it would have felt like in this place without Tom's magic to protect me. Still, I was curious what it would feel like if my protection was gone, but I didn't want to test the theory.
I looked back at Tom and noticed that he was intensely staring at the hoodless Demetor with his wand in his hand threateningly. He did not speak, out loud that is. I could see he was communicating with the Dementors through some power of him being a Legilimens. After this lengthy exchange, the Dementors simply began to float away. Tom grabbed my elbow lightly, leading me towards the floating creatures.
After walking further into the grounds of the camp, I saw more buildings of different widths and heights but they all experienced the markings of war. Grey wall after grey wall we followed the Dementors. I couldn't understand the idea of killing humans in this magnitude where a whole town was built for murder. There must have been room for over a thousand people within all these buildings. I began to feel nauseated. The thought of men, women, and perhaps children being killed for no proper reason made me upset. I couldn't stand this place any more. Yet, I knew I had to follow my lord.
Soon we entered into a building. It looked like a hospital, but I doubted it, with all sorts of sick notions of what it probably was. The Dementor led us down a secret staircase. In this basement, there was no light, which didn't give me much comfort. Tom had lit his wand and I followed the act. The basement was thick, not just with darkness but Dementors. And this was where they were growing.
An even larger Dementor than our previous host swooped forward towards the Dementor that had leaded us here. I noticed Tom smile because this was the leader who he wanted to talk to. Tom now communicated to it.
I could only watch Tom's face to get an understanding of how their conversation was going. For a while, Tom seemed carry a polite demeanor, but his face began to contort. As minutes progressed, Lord Voldemort's face became angrier and angrier, until finally he whipped out his wand and pointed it at the leader.
"Here!" he screamed, "Would you like me to prove that I am
stronger than the Ministry? Lord Voldemort is more powerful than all
of those wizards combined!"
And then Tom did something that I had never seen him, much less anyone else, do before. Using his wand more as a prop than an actual tool, he raised his hands and the walls of the building shook. Not only did they tremble, with dust and silt falling from the ceiling, but by the lkight of my wand I could see them rising. The Dementors could show no facial expressions yet I could tell that they were frightened. I
was frightened. Black cloaks started to scurry around, and the largest ones began to flee up the stairs. The head Dementor backed away from Tom and outstretched its robed arms, feeling for the walls. The blind creature could feel walls were being rising so it dug its white, fleshless fingers into them. But it was of no avail.
As the building continued to rise, more dust and wall fragments began to fall from above. There were loud cracks and snaps. I pointed my lit wand at Tom. His face was terrifying, just like how it had been when he brought me to the Chamber of Secrets. His maniacal smile did not ease my concern at all for our situation. I waved my wand out to see what exactly the state of the building was. In what used to be the corners of the room were grey slimy things, which looked like large piles of puss. A high-pitched buzzing began to ring in my ears. My eyes widened as I realized. The buzzing was the eerie screams from the developing Dementors.
Tom held the walls up a little higher until he heard the odd screaming stop. The head Dementor was rushing to us, in all appearances begging Lord Voldemort to stop. He obliged by slowly bringing the building down again. His face had returned to normal but an evil, satisfied smirk fixed on his lips.
Without another exchange he walked away, and I followed closely behind. None of the Dementors bothered us on our way out.