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Expecto Patronum!

I’ve been working my way through the Harry Potter books and movies in preparation for this week’s release of Part I of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. On this weekend’s agenda were the third and fourth film. Partway through Prisoner of Azkaban, I started to think about the memories I might choose to cast my own patronus charm.

For those of you not hip to the Harry Potter lingo, a patronus charm is a powerful bit of magic that protects you from the soul-sucking guardians of the wizard prison. (In later books, it’s also used as a kind of messenger system, which is silly and weird.) To cast the spell effectively, you need to summon your very happiest memory and hold onto it.

Watching Harry conjure up a possibly-imagined memory, I started thinking about some of my own happiest memories over time and wondering which one I would choose. Plenty of memories fill me with a warm fuzzy feeling, but which one is the best? Which one would sustain me the longest? Of all of the little moments in my life – because the small things are the ones I tend to cling to more than others – which one is the happiest

* Sitting with my fiance at his parents’ house late after everyone had gone to sleep, watching the snow fall outside the living room window.

* The Red Sox winning Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS. (Oh, sure the World Series win was wonderful, but after the roller coaster of emotions that was the ALCS, it was a little anticlimactic, don’t you think?)

* The day I brought my kittyface home from the SPCA.

* Meeting Peter Lerangis in Toronto earlier this year.

* Riding the Vaxholm ferry in Stockholm with a bunch of friends on study abroad.

* Howard Dean coming in third place in the 2004 Iowa Caucuses. (I guess 2004 was a pretty good year.)

* Moving with the Mister into our very own house in my favorite neighborhood in my beloved hometown.

It’s hard to pick just one, and it’s easy to wonder whether these would be strong enough to be a “happiest” memory. And of course, they’re all from the past several most recent years that I actually remember. I suppose if I dug long enough, I could come up with plenty of happy childhood memories, too. In any case, this is my long-winded, roundabout way of asking all of you Persephone readers what you think your best memory is. I am curious!

2 replies on “Expecto Patronum!”

Really corny stuff: the births of my two sons. Maybe not in the first few moments when I was feeling dead, but after they and I had been cleaned up. I still remember the labor pains, but pushing out two breathing purple hunks did *groan* put me in touch with nature and the universe.

What a good question! Here are a few memories I might use:

The night my now-fiance told me he loved me – I had never been in love before and had been dying to tell him but was really scared, and I burst into the happy ugly cry while blubbering that I loved him too.

When I won first place for poetry in my university’s annual writing competition; I could also use the senior creative writing major reading – I wore an awesome dress, read my favorite poems, and my voice didn’t shake once, and my parents and most of my friends came to hear me read. It was a really satisfying and proud moment for me.

Obama winning the election – once again, happy crying and shrieking out the window with two of my roommates and another friend

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