The black clouds rolling in shielded the sun like a dark blanket, allowing no warmth through. I vaguely recalled an article in the Daily Prophet titled “When Darkness Arrives, Happiness Leaves” pertaining recent dementors attacks. However it wasn’t even on the front page, so I hadn’t paid any notice. None of my mates talked about it, and even Headmistress McGonagall didn’t warn us. But there it was once more, flashing in front of my closed eyes like a warning.
“As his first act as Minister of Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt decided to outlaw the use of dementors in the government. ‘They are temperamental creatures,’ he explained, ‘And I’ve no use for them.’ But even such a great wizard as himself couldn’t have predicted a rogue dementor to fight back, wreaking havoc, and fortunately not injuring any victims fatally.”
I glanced around, quietly stepping on leaves and trying not to make a sound. I was vaguely aware of what appeared to make me the only person in the Forbidden Forest, when I heard the telltale giggling of the First Years I had volunteered to watch for the day. Again. It was a common occurrence that they wanted to come here, and I always complied, as it just made my job easier.
It had been years since our savior, Harry Potter, defeated Voldemort, and the wizarding world had been in a false sense of security ever since. Or that is what I assumed, because my maman never actually slipped what her auror job entailed, or the dark secrets she knew.
A dark figure loomed ahead, flying vertically to one of the dogwood trees that I often lounged under, where I saw my favorite witch and wizard occupying. “Madeline!” I yelled at the top of my lungs, as everything began to make sense. “Peter! This is not a joke! Run to the castle, as fast as you can! I’ll be there shortly after! Shut the doors! GO!”
Horror began to fill my body, as I struggled with the fact that all of this was actually happening. In all my years, I had never witnessed something like this. I had never even felt something like this. My mouth was far too dry, my throat couldn’t swallow, and I was nauseous.
Their blonde heads turned to me in confusion, but upon hearing my hysteria and seeing my panicked expression, they actually chose to listen for once. I was grateful—their childhood innocence would attract the beast easily. They were full to the brim with happy memories.
It took eighteen seconds for them to reach the castle, and I spent that time recalling every pleasant memory I had. Anything to distract the dementor from the children I was supposed to be protecting. If I was actually protecting them, I would have noticed the cold atmosphere the second it happened, and not written it off as temperature changes.
A single tear rolled down my cheek, as I focused on remembering all the good times I’d spent with my best mate, my boyfriend, and my family. The looming figure drew nearer, and I sucked in a deep breath.
I hadn’t exactly had your average experience at school, but it was enough for me. I wasn’t a smarmy Slytherin, constantly trying to one-up people. I was a genuinely happy person, and had no reason not to be. But in my final hours, I was finding it extremely difficult to think positive thoughts.
My hand was enclosed around my wand, but it was no use. I was seventeen, and completely frozen under pressure. It was only the start of term at Hogwarts, and I had barely been passing N.E.W.T. potions—everyone knew that Transfiguration was my best subject.
As a Ravenclaw, it was often found amusing that I could be so excellent at some subjects, and then completely fail others. I suppose I had more common sense than book smarts, something I had always been grateful for. But what good is it doing me, now? Shouldn’t I have gone into survival mode already?
It was a foot away from me, and I looked with brief disgust at the grey body, the shredded cloths, and the large, dirty mouth. I watched in horror as it sucked at my face, leaving a growing sense of dread in the air. It was almost surreal, seeing pieces of me leaving my body, almost like an unwanted goodbye, a final hurrah.
But I didn’t want to say goodbye. I wanted to completely ace all of my N.E.W.T. exams, and possibly even trump Hermione Granger-Weasley. This was supposed to be my year, my time to shine. I even read most of my textbooks over the summer, just so that I would have that extra edge. I suppose none of that mattered now.
Suddenly, memories flashed before my eyes—when I realized that my boyfriend of two and a half years was cheating on me on several different occasions, when I was eleven and someone made fun of me for never having a father, when my maman would constantly cry because she was lonely. The first night I spent away from my twin brother, George. When I got my first T for troll. Little by little, all energy possessed was drained from my newly fragile body.
I was always a petite girl—it was just my stature. But never had I felt so helpless—usually I could triumph all. I was well known for creating various spells to help Teddy Lupin with his latest pranks. I was on top of the world, then. Not now.
I had no fight left, and my wand lay forgotten on the pavement ground. The dementor stood over me, sucking until all I had left were horrid memories. I was slowly losing my mind, and for a short second I tampered with the idea of begging for death, to be killed. But there was nothing I feared more than death itself. With a final surge of energy, I reached my hand up to half-heartedly push the dementor away. It didn’t work.
I distantly heard a piercing scream; one that I knew could only be from my part-veela mate. But what was she doing out here? And why was no one helping? I wasn’t ready for this. I could hear my brother yelling at her, yelling at me, maybe he was just yelling in general. But no one saved me.
My eyes opened just in time to see people running towards me with their wands out, and I prayed that they would get here in time. I couldn’t go, not now, and not like this. Not when my life was just beginning. It wasn’t fair. To this day, I still swear that I saw the glowing light leave my body.