If there was anything which I yearned to do, it was to live in the magical world among wizards and witches.
There was a time when I wished that somebody would just apparate in my room and tell me that I am a wizard. That, however, never happened. So, there I was, wasting precious time and a good life in some muggle nonsense in London.
One fine day, I was walking along the Charing Cross Road. I used to be excited whenever I came here, because this was supposed to be where the Leaky Caudron was. The Leaky Cauldron…the gateway to Diagon Alley. Did that ever exist? I never found out. For several years, I thought it was hidden by a Fidelius Charm, but now I gave up. This time I didn’t even bother to look around for the inn. But I knew I was alert anyway, because I noticed somebody tailing me. What was more, that person was wearing the most unlikely set of clothes I had ever seen. I turned around when I reached an open place (so that he couldn’t hide). But he was nowhere to be seen. It was as if he had vanished into thin air.
Days went by, and I forgot that incident. On September 1st, I had to go to Manchester. I took a ticket from King’s Cross Station. The train was coming in platform 8. After the explosions in King’s Cross, they had restructured the platforms. Now the barrier was between platforms 8 and 9. I remembered the times when I would feel the barrier around hoping to find some hidden entrance to platform 9 3/4.
I couldn’t resist a smile as I looked at the barrier. But the smile was momentary. Then I saw that…a piece of black cloak vanishing into the barrier. Totally grossed out, I took a step backwards. Then, almost involuntarily, I ran towards the barrier and touched it. It was solid. But I was so convinced that I took 10 steps backwards and started running towards the barrier. As I neared it, I closed my eyes, a part of my brain saying, “Fool! You are only going to get bruised and hurt.”
The collision with the solid mass of bricks was just milliseconds away…But it didn’t happen. I went on and almost collided with a jolly young couple who jumped in their seats. Then I heard it…the long whistle..I turned and saw a black and crimson steam engine. “Hogwarts Express” was written in big letters in that.
A dream come true..that indeed was. My joy knew no bounds.
Then I saw someone I knew. It was Jo (J K Rowling). I went up to her and asked, “What are you doing here?”
Although it was something rude to hear from a stranger, she seemed to understand what I meant and who I was.
She just replied, “I’m a witch.”
I introduced myself as a muggle who happened to get into platform 8 3/4 (It was renamed now!) by sheer chance. She smiled and said that she was about to board the train with her daughter to Hogwarts. It was her first year at school.
“So it exists..Hogwarts and all”
“What do you think? I made up a story so vivid in a few hours of train journey?”
“So what you wrote was a story based on your world which actually exists”
“No. I wrote a biographical story. Harry Potter is a real life character and is very much alive. He’s almost your age now, is an Auror with the ministry and is happily married to Ginny Weasley, who too is working in the ministry.”
“Oh I see”, I said very seriously as if I wasn’t amazed. But only I knew what was inside my mind….The greatest joy since I was ever born.
I asked, “Why are you going to the school?”
“I’m a teacher there. I teach potions.”
“Er…I hope everything is finished, Voldemort vanquished.”
“Why? You afraid?”
“Shoudn’t I be?”
“Don’t worry. He’s dead.”
“I’m still wondering how the gateway opened for me.”
“You’ll get to know. Let’s get on to the train.”
I was not a fool to refuse a ride aboard Hogwarts express.
As the train sped past the green meadows, I kept on looking alternately outside and Jo’s face. Jo’s daughter was playing with a Reusable Hangman. Jo was immersed in a book. On the front cover, I saw the words “Witch Weekly”
I got an opening to talk with Jo only when the familiar witch with the trolley came. After buying a few chocolates for her daughter, Jo asked, “So…how’s it feeling to be in wizarding world so far?”
“I still don’t believe it. You didn’t answer me. Why give me…a..a muggle a free trip to Hogwarts when the ministry is desperately trying to hide it from muggles?”
“Because you are going to get a chance to be a part of the wizarding world forever.”
“I..I don’t understand. I don’t have the slightest amount of magic in me.”
“But you have the love and belief in magic.”
“But what am I gonna do in the magical world? I’m no better than a squib.”
“There’s a seat vacant for a teacher in Hogwarts.”
“But I’m not even qualified to be a wizard, leave alone a teacher”
“We have a subject called Muggle Studies.”
“Heh…You think I will accept that?”, I asked.
She mocked me, “Heh. You think you will refuse an offer to live your dream?
“Wait for a few hours…The answers are coming….”
To be concluded…
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership of the characters or the articles mentioned in this story. They are owned by appropriate authorities