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*my blue lullaby * Mary P.

Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets

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Memories and gift

It often happens to me that people say, ‘What a memory you have!’

It really is incredible how I remember even the smallest things. There are memories I have from when I was three or even two years old. Those memories are usually connected to my mother.

I vaguely remember her dark hair which would fall on my face when she kissed me good-night. I remember how nervous ((anxious? apprehensive?)) she was those days. I remember how every day she ate less and less even though she was pregnant. And I remember her happy, soft face when she was holding the little newborn baby in her hands and saying, ‘Lollia, you’ve got sister!’

But what I remember most clearly is when they came to take her to the place from which few return – Azkaban. I cried, I screamed, I begged her with all my heart to stay, but nothing helped. Her eyes never left my face as they led her away along with dad.

Soonafter that I met Andromeda Tonks for first time. Apparently she’s my aunt, though I’d never heard of her. As time went by, it became clear that she and my mum had argued, but that my sister and I were to live with her and her family while mum was ‘away’.

In the beginning, I used to sit by my window every day, waiting for her and almost hating Andromeda for not letting me see her. But then one day I accidentally called Dromeda ‘mum’—and it stuck that way.

I was happy because my sister, Lin, couldn’t remember mother or how they took her, because she’d been only a few months old. She was spared the memories that haunted me. There where nights when she was sad then she would look at me with her big, round eyes and say ‘Lola, Lolita, tell me about mother and father again!’ and I would repeat the story for hundred and first time. That story was partly from fact, partly from my memories, and partly from old photographs. Some of it was even my own imagination.

Mama Dromeda loved Lin and me just as much as she loved her own daughter, now our sister, Nymphadora. She loved us, she cared for us, and she told everyone she was our mother. Her husband, Ted Tonks, became our father, and Dora has always been my big sister.

Everyone in and out of our house loved us with their whole heart. They paid more attention to me than they should, and talked about me so much (‘ Isn’t she adorable?’, ‘She’s a dark-haired angel!’, ‘Look at those beautiful blue eyes!’, ‘This girl is going to be a beauty-queen someday!’) that I became a spoiled brat. Most of my sentences started with ‘I want.’ My personal motto was ‘Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets.’

Everybody saw me for what I really was, and yet they continued obeying my every command. It was like they couldn’t help it.

Dromeda became really upset – she was the first to realize why everyone always jumped up to help me whenever I said ‘I want.’ She was the first to figure out what kind of a bad, dark power I actually had – to control people’s minds. Naturally, to an eight-year-old it was great fun, but later I realized how dangerous it was. Once, when I got really mad at our neighbor, I wished she would fall down – a few hours later I found out she’s at St Mongo’s, having fallen down two flights of stairs. When it finally dawned on me what I had done, I went to visit her, wishing that she would survive. That was one of my few wishes that didn’t come true...

Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts, came few days after that horrible happening – I still remember his worried face. He couldn’t make my powers disappear, but he did somehow manage to make them less dangerous.

Ever since, I’ve learned to think before I wish. My motto was changed from ‘Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets’ to ‘Be careful what you wish for’.

Apart from my family and Dumbledore, no one knew about my strange power, nor did Dromeda want anyone to know. But sometimes I still said things like ‘I want that dress!’ or ‘I want to climb that tree’ – and my wishes would come true.

To control my emotions, I started to dance, sing and act at a very young age. In dance, I found the strength to go on, in song I expressed my feelings and when acting I got rid of bad emotions.

I had two inner Lolas – one was the hurt, scared Lola who always jumped up whenever anyone knocked on door, hoping that it would be her mother. The other was the spoiled, evil Lola who could lie without detection, who could hurt people and enjoy it and who could make people do whatever she wanted.

Dancing helped me to keep my figure slender, which made me a favorite in male company. My tall figure; the shape of my face; my dark, wavy hair; the shape of my large, cat-like eyes and my full lips I got from my mother. The color of my dark blue eyes and my small, snub nose I inherited from my father’s family.

Lin grew to be beautiful, if not quite as attractive as me. She had black hair as well, but hers was less wavy. She was shorter than me, and looked more like our father than I did. But you could still point at the two of us and say ‘They are sisters’, and know that you’re right.

She was smart, strong, lucid, honest, and down-to-earth – a much better person than I was. She was never bad, and never had evil thoughts.

But even though Lin was a better person than me, we were both quite arrogant, stubborn and rebellious – Dromeda maintained that those were bad genes from our mother. Maybe it was that, and maybe it was my ‘I want to see her’ that made Dromeda dress us in our best white robes and take us to the place where fears become reality. Azkaban seen through my eyes was everything I’d ever been afraid of – darkness, spiders, and blood. Lin, who was eight at the time, didn’t show any fear; she sighed and went into the small room where we were supposed to meet our mother. We were old enough to know that our mother had committed some horrible crime, but we were never quite sure what we actually felt about her. To this day I’m still not sure what to think…

Lin and I watched the door as two guards guards led a woman in. A wave of cold fear swept over me at the sight of them and I shivered.

For moment I wondered if they’d gotten the wrong person— there was little left of the elegant, proud and beautiful woman I’d seen in photographs and in my memories. This woman had disheveled, frizzy black hair; her face was sunken and bony. But she still had the same heavily-lidded eyes, and in those eyes I saw fanatic light, even more fanatic than before Azkaban— it scared me.

She noticed Dromeda first. ‘What do you want?’ she hissed angrily as the guards ((dementors)) put her in chair in front of Dromeda. Now only the table was between them.

‘Don’t worry, Bellatrix,’ said Dromeda quietly, ‘It isn’t I who wants to see you...’

For moment, mother didn’t understand what she was talking about; but then she noticed us, the two little girls in white who looked like her, peacefully sitting on either side of Dromeda. Her eyes widened and her jaw dropped as she stared at Lin and me. ‘Lollia Rennette,’ she whispered, ‘and Messalina Annette. You’ve grown! How old are you now?’

Lin didn’t dare to speak. ‘I am ten,’ I finally answered, ‘and Lin turned eight last month...’

‘Lin?’ mother frowned ‘ I gave you perfectly good names after well-respected women!’ Dromeda made noise of protest, but mother ignored her. ‘My daughters weren’t named after nymphs!’ mother hissed. Not wanting to start a fight, Dromeda merely sighed and rolled her eyes. ‘I hope my daughters are receiving all the attention they need, Andromeda...’ mother continued in warning tone.

‘I have raised your daughters as my own, Bellatrix.’ whispered Dromeda ‘They are getting everything they need, mainly love and care. Lola actually receives a little too much attention...’ I tried not to grin, remembering how I got a diamond necklace on the way here, again with my ‘I-want.’

‘Which reminds me...’s said Dromeda innocently, ‘Do you happen to know anything about all those strange things Lollia wants and gets?’

Mother knew perfectly well what Dromeda was talking about. That mad happiness filled her eyes and her smile was now quite twisted. She took a good look at me, a look full of respect ((pride)), as if she’d just realized I was in the room.

‘Even that fool Dumbledore couldn’t explain it, could he?’ she said to no one in particular, without removing her gaze from my face.

‘I know all about that. That is Lollia’s and my gift.’ She looked at Dromeda again, still smiling that evil smile. ‘From the Dark Lord!’

These words had a strange effect on Dromeda; she jumped up, looking more upset than I’d ever seen her.

’Leaving so soon, sister dear?’ mother asked sarcastically. Dromeda took our hands firmly and started to pull us towards the door. Guards ((Dementors)) closed in on our mother, who continued to stare at us with that fanatic glow in her eyes. ‘The Dark Lord will come again and we’ll all be rewarded. You won’t protect them by your stupid love...’ she declared, glaring at Dromeda, who had opened the door and who was now nearly running.

‘The Dark Lord will come! We will come for you!’ she screamed; addressing, I was sure, Lin and me. But if she said anything else, I didn’t hear it, as we were now in the hall and Dromeda’s grip on my arm was so strong that it was starting to hurt.

We didn’t say a word to each other that day, which confused daddy-Ted. Mama Dromeda was really upset – she nearly cut her fingers off while preparing dinner. Dora made her take a nap, so she could pull herself together (meaning we had Scrambled eggs with bits of egg-shell in them for dinner—Dora is quite clumsy). But it was worth it because Dromeda looked much better when she came to turn off our light and put us to bed.

‘Mum...’ I said in an undertone ‘Who is that Dark Lord? Maybe I should thank him... For my powers and...’

‘You should not thank anyone for those so-called ‘powers’, especially not him!’ she said, her voice rising dangerously. Then she saw my scared face which clearly asked “What did I do?”, so she sat down beside me.

‘Lola, the Dark Lord is You-Know-Who! Your mother was Death Eater; she served him. You know what evil things You-Know-Who has done to world. I... I don’t know why your mother supports him, Lola...’ she said, answering the question I’d just been about to ask ‘but she’s done many bad things as well. And a gift from You-Know-Who isn’t something that we want in the world,’

She put her hand on mine. ‘So please don’t tell anyone about your ‘gift’, alright?’

Lin and I discussed my gift, our mother and the Dark Lord after Dromeda had left. ‘I don’t think we should stop loving her,’ whispered Lin. ‘She hasn’t done anything bad to us, has she?’

‘Except for leaving us...’ I reminded her.

‘But she didn’t want to! You told me they took her...’

‘Well, they probably had a reason why they took her like that. And she probably knew she would have to leave us after she broke the law!’

Lin didn’t argue, so I became afraid I’d destroyed her visions of a mother who smiled over her crib.

‘But of course we can’t judge her,’ I said, trying to coax an answer from Lin. Then I had an idea. ‘Why don’t we say that what she did was bad, but still start calling You-Know-Who the “Dark Lord”, like she does. For respect.’

Lin agreed, so ever since, to Dromeda’s horror and Ted’s great surprise, we have called the man who had changed our lives before we were even born our Lord.

This didn’t change even when we found out what our mother had actually done, which still sends shivers up my spine. It didn’t change after we found out what Lord had done and was still doing. It didn’t even change when Lin started at Hogwarts, (I had already been at a Wizarding school in Spain for two years) and received strange looks whenever she said ‘the Dark Lord’.

But maybe it should have been changed. If those things had been different then, maybe some things would be different today...