The Scar: A Harry Potter Alternate Universe

Harry Potter has been part of my life for 17 years. Interesting how numbers can be important. A witch or wizard comes of age at 17.

 

And after 17 years of Harry Potter, yesterday I realized that my son is exactly the age Harry was when Lily and James died.

 

This got me thinking, once more, about all the things that scare me about parenthood, primarily, What would happen to my baby if something happened to me and Nic?  

 

I envisioned the scene at Godric’s Hollow. Voldemort walking through the broken Fidelius Charm and into the Potter’s home. I saw Lily pick up toddler Harry and race up the stairs as James tried to hold Voldemort off without his wand.

I grabbed my light-up holly and phoenix feather wand and carried it with me all day, even inside my oversized handbag while out shopping at the grocery store with C, even knowing it’s a kid’s toy, containing two aaa batteries, instead of being made of willow, or being good for charm work. Not exactly a match for a dark wizard’s unforgivable curses. It was a psychological security measure.

 

I thought about what would happen . . . like, even if a dark wizard didn’t show up, what if . . .

 

What if there really had been a car crash like Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon had always told Harry that Lily and James had died in?

 

I thought about my sister, and how, thankfully, she’s about as unDursleyish as I am. Though she’s got two kids of her own, I know that she would do her best to take good care of my baby, raise him like her own, give him everything she could and make sure he knows he is deeply loved by his whole family.

 

So, what if that had been the case with Harry? What if his aunt and uncle had cared more?

 

What if Harry ‘s cool aunt & uncle had raised him on elaborate tales of magical heritage and a narrow escape from an evil dark wizard after his parents died . . . in a car crash.

 

The perfect opposite of what happened in the series. Harry as an ordinary boy whose loving aunt and uncle told him bedtime stories about a wizarding world to cheer him up as he grew up parentless?

 

I discussed this with my sister all afternoon.

 

If anything happens to me and Nic, Bettie and Oslowe know what to do.

 

And now, without further ado, my rewrite of an excerpt from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

 

Chapter One. The Boy Who Lived.

Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number 4 Privet Drive, were perfectly normal, if normal were a thing that actually existed. They were above average people who might be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they were fascinated by that sort of thing.

. . . Mrs. Potter was Mrs. Dursley’s sister, but they hadn’t met for several years, because the country was just too big and neither of them had the budget for regular visits.

. . . When Mr. and Mrs. Dursley woke up on the bright, cloudless Tuesday our story starts, there was nothing about the blue sky outside to suggest that a profoundly personal tragedy would soon be gripping news readers all over the country.

. . .

Chapter Two.

Nearly ten years had passed since the Dursleys had been woken by the police bringing their nephew up the front step, but Privet Drive had hardly changed at all.

. . . Only the photographs on the mantlepiece really showed how much time had passed. Ten years ago, there had been lots of pictures of what looked like a large pink beach ball wearing different-coloured bobble hats – but Dudley Dursley was no longer a baby, and now the photographs showed a large, blond boy riding his first bicycle, beside his dark haired cousin, both grinning with matching ripped trouser knees from where they’d fallen one after another around the same corner as they learned how to ride. There was no sign that the second boy hadn’t always lived there.

Harry Potter was asleep at the moment, but not for long. His Aunt Petunia was awake and it was her voice which made the first sound of the day.

“Up, boys! Get up!”

Harry woke with a start. His aunt knocked on the door again.

“Come on, get up!”

Harry heard her walking down the stairs and towards the kitchen, and then the sound of the frying pan being put on the cooker. He rolled on to his back and tried to remember the dream he had been having. It had been a good one. There had been a huge fire engine in it. He had a funny feeling he’d had the same dream before.

 

. . . Harry had always been small and skinny for his age. . . He had a thin face, knobbly knees, black hair and bright-green eyes. He wore round glasses. The only thing Harry liked about his own appearance was a very thin scar on his forehead which was shaped like a bolt of lightning. He had had it as long as he could remember and the first question he could ever remember asking his Aunt Petunia was how he had got it.

“In the attack by the dark wizard Voldemort when your parents were killed,” she had said. “I’m sure you’ll have lots of questions.” And she hugged him.

 

 

 

 

Rewritten from:
Rowling, J.K.. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. 1997. London: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

 

 

 

I’ve made mousse au chocolat, so if you’re feeling at all the way I am, come over and have some. Professor R.J. Lupin had it right, you know.

Smile

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Pain is temporary ~ Glory is forever ~ Chicks dig scars.

 

Einstein

I like a good theme.

 

1995 – London – Museum of Moving Images (gift shop)

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2000 – Washington, DC

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2011 – Los Angeles – Griffith Observatory

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Sleeping Patterns

My baby loves being held while he sleeps. I’m glad of this because I love holding him. But sometimes I need to do things like go to the bathroom and I prefer to do that alone. So I try to put him down and he wakes up and I pick him back up and he falls immediately to sleep again and so I put him down and he wakes up and finally I place him in the cradle in our dark bedroom and he stays asleep and I go potty and we all live happily ever after.

Mornings

After I pour the half and half into my reheated cup of coffee, I pass by the pack n play to make sure he’s breathing before I sit back down at the computer.

The dog, my beloved fluffy companion, is curled on the couch by the window, awaiting some attention which has been seriously lacking the past few months.

It is still very cold outside and snowed a bit yesterday. I’m wearing a heavy open fronted sweater over one of the two borrowed maternity shirts I wear almost every day. They gained favour by opening down the front enough to make feeding easy.

The baby wakes and reaches for the stars hanging over him in the play crib. He’s grown quite adept at aiming for them.

I think about the first time I saw him. I’d been looking at my husband as he held my hand. With a sense of confusion at the voices telling me to turn my head the other way, I did so, and there was this messy muddy baby covered in goo. I’d forgotten what the purpose of this stage of the crucible was. We’d been at the hospital so long that I’d forgotten why we’d gone there. I didn’t expect anything out of the experience except another step in the journey that had taken up nearly all of the three days following Christmas. After forty-three and half hours of contractions, the later of which were at an intensity that was literally off the chart, three hours of unsuccessful pushing, and the final decision that if he wasn’t able to come out on his own we’d have to go in and get him, it was hard for me to remember there was a bright side to it all. When the surgery was done, I’d go to the recovery room, then Nic and I would go home, just the two of us. Business as usual. I had completely forgotten that we had a very good chance of going home with somebody else. I’d forgotten we were there to get our baby. But there he was. Messy but alive.

A minute later they brought him, cleaned up and wrapped in a blanket, to my husband while they stitched me up. At one point they laid him down next to my head. I couldn’t hold him yet. But I remember his eyes. The deepest, darkest blue I’d ever seen. With lashes thick and dark. And so, so beautiful.

Then they took him to the nursery and, after they were done closing the rift in my abdomen, wheeled me back upstairs to my room in the maternity ward.

At around 8:00pm they brought him to me. I’ll never forget that vision: Tiny angel in a Christmas Tree hat, swaddled tightly over a little kimono shirt and a Huggies diaper bearing Winnie the Pooh. His face glowed when he heard me speak to him. And then he was in my arms.

I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t even stand. I was full of medications and anesthetics and completely worn out. My dream of keeping him in the room with me every night was dashed. He could have stayed, but I knew that as exhausted and delirious as I was it wouldn’t have been safe. So after he nursed for the first time and I held him for a while, he went away and I tried to sleep. I kept waking up. It was horrid being alone, in the darkness. Falling asleep after all those hours of pointless labor should have been easy. I kept waking. Occasionally a nurse would come in to check my vitals. Finally at around 1:30 or 2:00 in the morning he came back. It was like in His Dark Materials when Pan had been too far away – that pang in my heart, almost painful, finally eased.

At some point, during one of his midnight visits to me, he was placed in my arms, the nurse left, and instead of feeding, he laid his head on top of my bosom and went so happily to sleep. One time I heard him crying all the way up the hall. Once he was in the room I called to him, and his face split into radiance and he stopped crying immediately. He knew me. He knew me!

 

***

A shower and a few diaper changes later, I sit eating two left over slices of pepperoni pizza and thinking about my postpartum body. The baby cries and I give him his lunch as well.

I gained about 55 lbs during our pregnancy, 20 more than the outer limit of what I was *supposed to* gain. I think of my friends who had at this point already lost more than they’d gained. I still have 19 lbs to go. I try to remember that some of those women were horribly sick their entire pregnancies and I was fortunate enough to have a relatively easy one. I try to remember that every body is different just as every pregnancy is different. I think of my cousins and friends who had easy, short labors, those who have two or three kids, and I wonder why I didn’t get to experience that. Two pregnancies, only one baby to show for it. A three week bleed with a ten hour laborious miscarriage at 11 weeks. A 43.5 hour labor, three hours of pushing, and still I needed a c-section to get my baby out. I think about this and remember: afterwards we were both safe; we were both healthy and, most importantly, Alive.

I look at this little milk-sotted face, sleeping against my breast, (he smiles in his sleep, his eyes slightly open), and I know that while I could never do it again, it was in some way All Worth It. I get jealous of friends who got healthy pregnancies on the first try. I think of those ten months of trying before we had a successful healthy low-risk pregnancy. The tests and exams and poking and prodding and fruitless perfect lab results leading to more questions and fewer answers. I remember the tears, the frustration, the agony, the guilt, the wondering – why couldn’t I succeed in this? And then I look again at this little face. He wrinkles it in his sleep and I wonder if in his dreams he remembers his harrowing journey to reach us. I kiss the wrinkles away and tell him it’s okay and that I’m right here.

Will I ever forget our trials? Probably not. I know with all my heart I could not be looking at This face if it had worked out any other way. I start to lower him into the pack n play to nap and he grasps at me. We sit back down together, his little head resting on Mommy’s Magical Dinner Pillows ™, these ridiculous breasts that finally have a purpose.

He turned two months on Sunday. My little sugar pea. Our sweet and perfect son. My whole magnificent world.

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Our little miracle. photo by Jenny Rader, brilliant and devoted nurse

 

 

Octember 1st

An Autumn Ramble about Knitting and Such

Today is October 1st. It is cloudy, and windy, and rawther chilly at my house (outside and in).

I will work at the massage studio later today, but for this morning I’m taking some time to start a new knitting project.

Or at least try to.


I recently finished one of the longest drawn out projects of my knitting career and now I’m looking for something to occupy the creative centers of my brain/time/soul/whathaveyou.

I say I’d like to start a new project, but the truth is I’ve started about four projects so far this week and none of them have made it past the second row for various reasons.

The most recent attempt was just minutes ago as I struggled to start what looked like a simple (and adorable) pattern for a baby bonnet from the Fall 2012 issue of Jane Austen Knits (Bonnet for Baby Emma by Susan Strawn). I attempted the beginning four times then decided I needed to look elsewhere because I was just not getting it together.

There are a number of patterns I already have that I’d like to try, but they require needle sizes that I do not own. I’m looking for new patterns that work with the needles I already have and this is seeming a more and more difficult task.

My projects of late, excepting of course my 4-year Neville Socks and a baby cozy from What to Knit When You’re Expecting, have been very simple, uncharted, dabbling attempts at making little bags, specifically for gamers’ dice. These can be made with virtually any yarn and any needle, assuming there occur no major gaps for dice to fall through. Eventually I hope to sell a few of them but I wanted to build a stock first. Trouble is I like a challenge and these simple little squares are kind of boring after a while. I don’t know how many more shawls I really need and the thumb of my Crystal Gloves (by Martin Storey found in Rowan Winter Warmers, September 2011) is giving me so much head pain that I’ve not gone back to those either.

Socks seem the ticket. Here in Western New York State I’m about to need warm socks in a big way.

So, what to choose?

My Neville Socks (by Erica Lueder) were knit on size 1 (US) dpns. The next size up I have in any needle is a 7, either straight or circular, but not exactly right for tight circles (I haven’t learned magic loup yet and am not sure now is the right time). So the search continues.

I just printed the longest knitting pattern ever (11 pages!!!) for a sock requiring size 1 needles. It’s either going to be awesome or end up in the recycling bin, so please think good thoughts for me!

If you are a knitter, look for me on Ravelry! My username there is CrimeofPoisson.

Happy knitting! and Stay Warm!

Thoughts on Pennsic XLIV (44)

Sometimes I write about my Medievalist Adventures! This past weekend I had one of those, so here is my newest collection of thoughts!

The C is For Creative

This past weekend, Gunther and I attended the Pennsic War near Slippery Rock, PA. We were able to attend the middle weekend due to the generosity of a good friend in our local group. The following are some thoughts on our mini vacation.

Visiting Pennsic as a Day Trip was one of the best decisions we have ever made in regard to SCA events. I do love the fresh air and comradery of sleeping outdoors, surrounded by friends,  but . . . I am 4 months pregnant; we are poor; our personal encampment style is not at all what I want it to be (our Shire encampment is wonderful!); last time we camped I had a heat exhaustion induced migraine and our neighbors talked drunkenly and loudly pretty much ALL night. Living only 2 hours from site afforded us the ability, however exhausting, to visit for a few hours each day…

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Miracle.

And sometimes, just sometimes, after hardship and heartache, you get a miracle.

Expected January 2016

Expected January 2016

Farmageddon

So did everyone else in my hometown have the same experience just now? Visions of the start of world war three? The apocalypse? Pompeii?

Opening shot: Modest couple. Standing happily in the garden with a bouquet of fresh cut daffodils, and a happy dog.

When suddenly….. MOTHER FUCKING WAR PLANES.

Followed, presumably, by a shock wave, walls of fire . . .

Inevitably: breadlines, breakdown of government, looting, squatting, gang warfare, etc etc etc.

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Ohp, there go the sirens.

Dregs

I gazed longingly across the counter at the Large cup, imagining how sad I would be when I did not drink it fast enough and its remains sat cold and lonely on the break room table until someone took pity on it and threw it out.

I ordered the Medium instead.

I paid and she placed the paper cup and plastic lid on the counter before me. I immediately regretted my decision.

Ten minutes later I sat cold and lonely at the break room table staring longingly at my empty coffee cup.

And rethinking a lifetime of bad decisions.

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