May 29, 2017 by J L Wells
The sound of clinging keys echoed throughout the building of the Jeweles bookshop as an older women with greying bornw hair and brilliant blue eyes unlocked the front door. She propped it open slightly and the gentle wind blew her hair. She reached up, behind the door, and pulled the string down to bring up the blind while calling out, “Karline, can you pull up the window blinds? We’re opening up shop in 10 minutes.”
A young girl, around the age of 11 popped around the corner of the backroom. Her dark black hair was flowing behind her as she ran towards the front of the building. Her green eyes stood out again the darkness of her hair. She seemed like a perfectly normal, happy little girl, but her mother knew more than she did but didn’t wish to tell her. After what had happened to her husband, she wanted to leave that life behind and make sure that her daughter never entered it. But she knew…she knew that tomorrow her daughter would be letting a letter and no matter how many times she would throw it out, more would arrive until she would finally write to the headmaster that she refused to allow her daughter to go. That, unfortunately, didn’t do much. She would get a visit from the deputy headmistress.
“Mama, what tasks do you have for me today?” Karline said after opening up the blinds and walking to the cashier’s desk.
“Well, we have a small donations box that arrived last night that I want you to organize and put away. Do you think you’re up for that?” Her mother asked.
“Yes, I think so.” She said before walking to the back of the store, and finding the box of books. She took them out and placed each book on the nearby table. She started stacking each book in specific piles: romance, history (each with their own pile according to time period), sci-fi/fantasy, and religious. Those were the only topics in the box and she quickly went out to place the books on the correct shelf after putting a bookmark in each one of them.
The day went by with many locals, foreigners, and funny looking people, that looked like they were celebrating Halloween too soon. Karline didn’t ask her mother why they were dressed like that – she figured that maybe there was some sort of party and everyone had to dress like a witch/wizard. It was nearly 8pm and her mother told her that she could go ahead and head upstairs and get ready for dinner before bed.
Karline waited for her mother after she had made dinner. It was around 9:30pm and her mother still hadn’t come up. She was usually up by 9pm. She waited a few more minutes and still nothing so she decided to walk down to see what was keeping her. As she got half way down the stairs, she heard her mother and an elderly man talking with hushed voices. Since the stairs were a spiral, she was able to be shielded a bit as she peered through the iron slits of the side railing. The man looked to be around the age of 80, though he moved about as if he were younger. His long white hair and beard was a bit odd, since she hadn’t seen anyone with that long of hair before. His glasses were half-mooned shaped. They looked hand-crafted and very old. But what got her the most was what he was wearing. He looked like those wizard/witches that came about throughout the day. Maybe a customer was keeping her late for some reason but with the movements and the frustration on her mother’s face didn’t look like the usual “a customer being difficult.”
“I understand, but war is upon us Charvel. The biggest we have ever seen before. Many of the great witches and wizards are getting old and can’t withstand as much anymore,” the elderly man said calmly yet sternly.
“She’s turning eleven. Tomorrow! She’s just a child. How can I put her in a battle she knows nothing about?” Charvel said angrily.
“Once she is done with school, she will be a part of it. During, she will get her normal schooling but with more emphasis on defensive spells and charms. Only those that are in their 7th year will be talked with, as a house, about what is going on and what we need of them. We aren’t forcing them to join, but encouraging them. We need all that we can get,” the man continued.
Charvel exhaled sharply and paced around the room for a few minutes. Karline was confused. Defensive spells? Charms? What is going on here? This has got to be a dream. She continued watching and saw the man hand over a fancy looking envelope to her mother. Her mother turned it over with her hands and looked over it, shaking her head slightly.
“How am I going to tell her? I wanted her to live a normal, non-magical life. I wanted to put an end to magic in the family. Especially after what happened to… Promise me you’ll protect her, Dumbledore?” Her mother said pleadingly.
“I will do what I can. The Potter boy will be more in the front lines of this. He knows nothing of what’s even happening in this world, but on July 31st, Hagrid will inform him of our world and some of what’s going on. Because he did not die, Voldemort has returned. I’m having to keep up the illusion that I do not know..for the time being.”
“Jesus, what are you saying?”
“What I am saying is that Voldemort seeks revenge for being defeated by a mere baby. He plans on building up an army to kill the boy,” Dumbledore said, walking into the light of the latern near the front desk.