It was a typical cold October evening in London. While most of her citizens stayed indoors, glued to the evening news, old Wilhelma in Eastwick Drive was hosting a most singular party. Her neighbours failed to notice that while the crowd at the party seemed to double by the hour, no guest was seen entering through the door. Furthermore, anyone who would have peered into Wilhelma’s house through the windows would have seen a peculiar sight. In that tiny house, which could accommodate no more than four people, there now stood over fifty men, women and children. They were dressed in the most outlandish robes with tall hats and boots to match. Bottles of wine floated through the air and filled every empty glass. The pictures on the wall were animated as if they were playing a repeating video. Some guests stepped into the fireplace and disappeared in a burst of flames, while others appeared through the same.
A man got up from the long table in the center, removed a wand from his robes and swished it around. The room was suddenly filled with silence. He said “Now that we are all here and well refreshed with the merry wine and the charming cakes, which Wilhelma was so kind as to bake for us, I wish to request the professor to say a few words”. A murmur of approval followed and the man sat down.
At the head of the table sat an old man with a flowing grey beard and horn rimmed glasses. His eyes were closed and his burrows creased, as if lost deep in thought. He stood up silently. He opened his mouth to speak but no words came out. He lowered his head and stood silently for a minute or so. And then he spoke.
“Forgive me, but…this small celebration we have had tonight threw me deep into the wells of nostalgia. It seems to me that it was in a past century, when we could meet our friends and family without the ominous smell of death stalking our every move, when our children could play on the streets and the parks and breathe the free air, when the school was still running and brimming with the energy of a thousand eager minds, when you and I could take a walk under the subtle light of a star-studded sky. But such is our nature. We crave for great things in normal circumstances and hunt for the most innocent little pleasures in difficult times. Aah… but i digress. The lament of an old man, tired and weary of war. But you are all still young. We shall speak of the more important things that are this evening.”
He stiffened and stood up straight.
“It is true that the giants have retreated back to their mountain hideouts. Our campaigns in the Munros and on the continent have been successful enough to scare them off, for now. I see no active threats from them in the next few years of the war.”
The assembled wizards and witches, cheered, clapped and hooped with joy. Dumbledore raised his hands to request for silence.
“It is too soon to celebrate as yet. He is still strong. His army is vast and still expanding. What manner of foul creatures he will next employ to do his bidding none can say. Be assured, this is but a temporary setback for him. He will strike back and strike back hard. And we must be ready. There have been stirrings of trouble across the sea. He is now commanding the fear of dark wizards on the continent. I have sent emmisaries to other Ministries of Magic. We cannot afford to let the war escalate. A global alliance of dark wizards pledging allegiance to Voldemort is the last thing we need.”
He walked over to the window and peered out.
“It is getting late. It would be prudent to leave now and make haste. But before we go, a good tiding to share with you all.” He smiled and motioned two people to come towards him. They handed him a small bundle and he placed it gingerly on the table.
“I believe not everyone here have had the good fortune to see him yet”, he said motioning towards the baby, in sound sleep, in the center of the table. The wizards and witches huddled around silently to catch a better glimpse of the baby.
“Everyone! Id like you to meet the newest member of our family. Harry Potter.”
to be continued…