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Prisoner of Azkaban
When I first learned about the Harry Potter series, I wanted nothing to do with it. The popularity factor bothered me, because I was that type of ‘rebel’ child, who liked to believe that I was above the norm. The boy who sat next to me in third grade, Drew Tucker, was constantly absorbed in the series, kept pestering me to read it. After he brought my reading skills into question, I begrudgingly agreed to give the series a chance.
I had just started reading the first chapter of the first book when I was interrupted. My father, who had just gotten home from a business trip, came into my room. I knew that I was in trouble right away, because he never looked for me unless I was. As soon as I stopped reading, my suspicions were confirmed; his fists were clenched at either side, and his eyes were churning with an all too familiar anger.
“Lauren, why is your room not clean yet?” He boomed, stomping over the scattered books and papers on my floor to stand at the foot of my bed. I immediately flushed in remembrance; I knew there was something I was forgetting to do.
“I forgot.” I admitted sheepishly, figuring that lying would be useless. All of our ‘conversations’ ended the same way no matter what I said. “I’ll do it in a minute.”
“That’s what you said before. Do it now.” He demanded, pulling the book from my hand and throwing it down onto my bed.
“Just let me finish the chapter!” I begged, reaching for it. He slammed it down on top of my bookshelf.
“You have to show responsibility sometime, Lauren. What’s going to happen when you’re in college? No one is going to want to be your roommate because you can’t keep your room clean for a week. Do you she’ll stand for you throwing your crap everywhere? And do you think anyone will ever hire you if they know that you aren’t organized? Employers look for organization and responsibility. How are you can you ever expect to get a job if you are neither?”
“…I’m seven…” I tried to reason, tears already threatening to fall from my eyes.
“The habits you have now, you’ll have for the rest of your life.” He interrupted, glaring slightly for having the audacity to disagree with him. “Do you think you can get through life being a lazy slob?”
“No.” I sighed, conceding to my role in this ‘lecture’. It would be over faster if I just agreed with what he said.
“You think that you can do whatever you want, and you can’t.” I clenched my jaw, attempting to stop the words that were being forced up my throat.
“Don’t tell me what I’m thinking.” I muttered as he was leaving, tears finally falling freely. He swung around strode back to my bed. That was the one thing that got me every time during these ‘lectures’; I could never stand when he tried to tell me what I was feeling or thinking, because they were all based off of the assumption that I was a horrible person. I was forgetful and I procrastinated; I didn’t feel that either of these things made me awful.
“You have no idea how I feel. You have no idea who I am! All you do is yell about things that don’t matter, then try and…try and act like you know!” I sobbed, not caring if he saw me crying anymore. “You’re never here, and when you are, all you do is yell at us!”
“Lauren, you’re not listening to me.” He stated forcefully.
“I am listening!”
“No, you’re not! I am trying to help you become a better person, and you’re blowing it out of proportion!”
He stood in silence, before completely exploding. “You’re going to be just like Jennifer when you grow up!” He stormed out, and slammed my door behind him. It was broken from this constant routine, and opened slightly again. I got up and pushed it shut, sinking against the wooden frame as I began to hyper-ventilate. Jennifer was his sister, who he hated more than anything else in the world. Telling me that I was going to be like her was like equating me to Hitler.
I sat there crying for almost an hour before I was calm enough to move. Sniffling, I made my way back to my bed, and picked up the almost forgotten Harry Potter book from the shelf. Opening back to my place, I completely immersed myself into Harry’s world. I forgot to clean my room, and was ‘lectured’ again the next day.
Harry Potter became my haven from that moment on. I prayed that I could be him, even if it was just for a second. Having no parents at all seemed better than having my father. I started reading to pretend that I was in a different place, wishing that it was true. I started acting to pretend that I was someone else, wishing that it was true. I started writing to create for others what JK Rowling created for me: a place where I was finally free.