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  • Maia Ross

Have You Ever Thought about What You Would See in a Boggart?

Have you ever thought about what you would see in a boggart? I have. I'd see a mirror version of myself as I am my worst enemy and I am the thing I fear most (being alone by myself with my thoughts). It's a hard realization as it's the truth, nobody can hurt me more than I've already hurt myself. The lies the voice in my head whispers to me when I'm alone and crowded by people telling me everything I've done wrong. The lies about how I am not worth it. The lies about how maybe it hurts badly enough to wish it all away. But I don't. I've learned my lesson again and again. I never one hundred percent believe in that voice I know that when I fell down that well that voice was the only thing keeping me company and I hated it and I did everything in my power to stand up and yell out a command and although I wasn't willing to stand up for a few very long months I got there in the end and it was by the help of a friend calling out the spell instead. Fast forward a year and I've fallen back down that well and I'm barely hanging on to the stones —trying to claw myself back up all by myself. I almost made it. Once again, I reached out and a girl took my hand and led me into the light and showed me how to stand my ground against the voices and my own boggart.

Another year has passed and I've fallen flat back into the well, breaking my back on the way down leaving me with no choice other than to yell for help and hope someone hears me. I didn't want to yell because at the same time I wanted to stay down there where I felt safe as sometimes it feels good and comfortable to be down there (after all I've spent many hours, days, even months down there). eventually I had enough of my sickness, of everything swirling around me, of the voice whispering sweet nothingness which was really just lies. In reality the voice focused on the lies to try and make me believe in them to give the boggart a form. And I wish I could tell you I was strong enough. I wish I could tell you I didn't give in to new mistakes but I'd be lying just like the voices always did. I gave in and surrendered all but the little hope I had left which floated up and once it hit the surface it reflected down and hit me square in the chest and when I looked around there was this magical force field surrounding me although the voice could slip in undetected it was often forced out upon discovery in minutes to hours to days. I wish I could tell you it was as easy as shouting out "Wingardium Leviosa" and floating up. But it wasn't. But I still fought back against the voices. I still fought back as I knew in the very soul of my being that the worst thing I could do is to give in. Give into my past mistakes and old habits. Give into the darkness which whirls around me —trying to break the surface of the light yellow glow surrounding me. It's at this moment when I realize that the power was within me after all. The voices only have so much power against the written. Against the deep magic within me. The light which surrounds me is only as strong as I am. Thus I wished for a pen instead and I wrote and wrote about my struggles and about life. I wrote and wrote until one day I had a piece titled "May" and within it I described everything here. And it's true. Although I made new mistakes and the darkness clouded my judgement for some days more than others. I did not give in. I did not give in to my first mistake. And probably half way through May I read the almost completed piece aloud and someone heard me. Someone heard me and sent down a ladder and whispered to me that it was time to pull myself out. I almost took it. Instead I chose to climb myself out. I looked down plenty of times and whispered to the voice who always managed to whisper back reminding me what I was escaping from and reminding me that although I broke my back when I fell down I am my own strength. as I was reaching into the sunlit part the boggart floated upwards towards me and asked, "Why are you leaving so soon? We haven't had any fun yet. Can't you stay a little longer." And I spoke loud and clear and recited "May" right to my own face, waiting just waiting for the boggart to understand I've faced the worst and I'm still here. I'm still climbing out with a recovered broken back.

Because I am not broken as long as sunlight is pouring in and lighting up the world. I am not broken. I am not worthless either and you can say whatever you want because I'm not going to give you anymore power than you already have. I'm not going to make that choice. You can tell me that I've failed, you can belittle me and bully me all you want, you can urge me to make decisions. But I've had enough. So I yell, loud and clear and just like that you fade away. you fade away and I grab onto the ladder and thrust myself up. It takes weeks but I've made it to the green outdoors with bushes, trees, flowers in full bloom and I'm here. I'm here and I'm safe. I can still hear the voices but instead of being near and personal they are far away locked in a cage whispering and shouting that they deserve to get out. How they deserve more than this. How they know I can't resist myself for long. instead of giving in. I find my circle of trust and friends and I tell them my story. I trust them with the key to the cage and let them know I don't want access for another year. I ask them to whisk you away from me, because I knew I wouldn't be tempted by something I could not see. Because I knew I wouldn't be tempted by something I could not hear.

And I was right. A year flew by and occasionally I thought I still heard the voice but as soon as the thoughts appeared I could shine the light and they'd be gone. Sent back to the miserable cage that I'd locked them in. It all fell apart but I didn't break in a well kind of way. I could just feel bits of me crumble into ash and float away. and I looked up and the key had appeared in my purse one afternoon but I didn't really think about it until a week later when the voice returned. Begging me to let it out. Begging me to unlock the cage and I realized in that moment that the cage was doing nothing. I realized that I could be my own cage. So I wandered until I found the well again and I looked down and threw the key down. I never heard it clunk at the bottom. Instead I heard the voices sweep up and urge me to come down. The voices told me sweet little lies that I may have believed once but I know better now. I thought I'd mastered it all. That nothing could surprise me. Boy was I wrong. A couple days later I came by the well again and stumbled falling immediately into the well and I thought I'd fall and break my back. That the boggart —myself would hurt me again. but instead of freaking out, I closed my eyes and thought of my friends and the rest who'd miss me if I fell. As I thought of them I whispered a spell to myself and I floated down to say a goodbye to myself. Knowing that this time I'd be leaving the key in it's own cage. I was going to swallow the key. I am strong enough to be a cage. I am strong enough to not give in. I am strong enough to yell "Ridikulus" and look straight into my own hazel eyes. I float down and reach the boggart —myself who's demanding me to let my guard down. Instead of giving in, I look straight into my own hazel eyes and take a last once over my bleached blonde hair and natural hair colliding. And I take a breath in and let the air out —it swirls around me in a sort of light yellow mist —sunlight. Sunlight reminding me why I'm down here. So I say goodbye. I say goodbye to the wishes I wished all those years ago. I say goodbye to my first mistake. I say goodbye to the boggart. I told her that this is our last meeting. That I was locking her up forever. She reached over and looped our fingers together and told me it's not. That I'm not the one in control of that. It hurt but it didn't hurt as much as looking into her eyes and saying I'll miss you. I'll miss our hugs, your very presence but most of all your voice.

She replies that she's ready. I turn away I'm done looking at mirror me. I'm done looking at my worst fears. I'm done looking at my nightmare. I'm done running away from the mirror worried it wouldn't be mirroring my action (instead I'd see her). I'm done with it all. I turn around, mind set. I utter the words and she's gone and I've swallowed the key. Until next time, mirror me. my other half that I never want anyone else to see. and for the first time I don't hear her voice and I feel safe. it takes awhile for me to not miss her — sparking my attention—announcing her presence with a whisper. It was so long that a year later I didn't recognize her at first. I guess it's because she learned from me. Most of all I have learned from her that the words that are written down and spoken aloud give power to the light.

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