He who shall not be named became a very popular phrase after the Harry Potter books and movies broke into mainstream media in the early 2000s. An entire generation of muggles coined the phrase to refer to those people who were no longer worthy of being mentioned; an antagonistic character that chose us as their target for dark magic, pain and suffering, without us ever realizing why. Maybe we resembled them or possessed qualities that they envied or wanted to steal for themselves. Some Lord Voldemorts were once our most beloved friends, significant others, exes and even family members.
Throughout the years, I have had many Dark Lords in my life. These people wrought with misguided intentions unequivocally messed up our lives, breaking our hearts and changing our perception of relationships forever. They haunt our memories and our dreams. Worst case scenario, they were once a part of all that we held dear in the world and are no longer a part of our lives because they were disloyal, apathetic and downright mean. If it wasn’t for our close friends and loved ones, we would have never been able to get over the path of destruction they left ingrained in our souls, scars that although not visible like Harry’s, we nurse until they heal. Time is the only thing that makes the wounds sting less, but we will always remember the struggle to vanquish them to oblivion, forcing ourselves to learn to live again free and without their scrutiny.
The interesting thing about the phenomenon is that we all have at least a few of these people in our past. People we want to make sure stay there and become distant memories. We reclaim every activity and every location that we visited with them. Elementary school, middle school, high school, college and even the work place; we have learned to redefine our existence in order to repress the experience or at the very least avoid the mention of their names. We want to forget but at the same time we realize that the person will be a part of our core, that we will carry with us the mark that signals that at one point we associated with such a vile creature.
It doesn’t matter which house you belong too or what magical moments you have helped create, we all have at least one human that we would like to erase from our existence. Out of all the occupants of this planet they chose us for a reason, and not all of us will be able to find the prophecy that led us to meet our destiny. Once they selected us, they sealed our fate and just like Harry (and Neville), only love will help us get through the dark times ahead and emerge victorious.
I keep many of my friends’ “he/she who shall not be named” engraved in my heart to make sure these people never hurt them again. After all the suffering there is a bright side: we all get to bond over the Lord Voldemorts of our journey and we band together to defend ourselves from their influence. It is never an easy task, but we owe it to ourselves to complete it. Albus would be proud of us for facing our deepest fears with courage. Be the light others need to get through the dark times ahead…