I can hardly remember those early days. They are from a foreign, alien time, and long lost to me now; a distant memory, or perhaps, wishful dream...
Two little girls; one redhead, the other brunette, shrieking as they tumbled to the ground in a furious game of ‘Tag’… laughing gaily as they pushed each other on the swings… teasing softly over a family meal…
The metallic clang of a letter box.
In that instance I felt my world shift.
It turned out she was special
; she was a witch, and she was different to me. My mother was ecstatic; my father was proud. I was ordinary. I was nothing like her. I saw my mother comparing us, and I felt a flicker of something ignite deep within me.
She promised faithfully she’d write. She did at first; she told us about castles, spells, potions and broomsticks. She talked about mermaids and centaurs and ghosts and every fantastic thing that had ever graced my wildest imaginations and my most fervent dreams. Quite simply, she lived the life I read about in fairytales. I tried to be happy for her; I tried to be proud, I really did. That spark of jealously deep down inside of me, however, sputtered and growled and leaped a little larger.
She became engaged a year after she left that school. According to my parents, James Potter was everything that Vernon wasn’t; talented, brilliant, handsome and charismatic. My fire burned brighter by the second.
She had not only been my sister, but my best friend. Now, however, I hated her. I hated how she lived a life I could only dream about. I hated how she was special, and I hated that my parents knew I wasn’t. Mostly though, I hated how she didn’t realise I hated her, for she continued loving me until she died. Perhaps I hated her for the understanding, or worse, pity, she gave my hatred. Whatever the reason, I know one fact with heart-wrenching certainty; by the time she died, I loathed my sister.
Looking back, I know exactly what to blame. That letter. Everything changed the moment that letter popped through our letterbox; a time-bomb, waiting to rip two little girls apart. That letter stole my mother’s eyes and my father’s pride. It stole a sister’s devotion, and a best friend’s trust.
Worse, however, was what I have done to myself. I let that letter destroy me; I added it to my burning pyre of jealously and watched the flames erupt. That inferno demanded vengeance for all the times I had been ignored, and Vernon shunned. Yes, it demanded vengeance, and, My Lord, did I exact it.
For when the tiny, innocent, form of Lily’s son arrived on my front porch, those flames snatched him greedily, wrapped their sinister tendrils around his trusting form, and locked him in a cupboard.
That letter changed me into a monster… and the worst part of this entire tale is that I let it.