Just a Glance
You gave us some place to
I never said thank you for
I thought I might have one
May angels lead you in…
On sleepless roads the
May angels lead you in…
-Jimmy Eat World, Hear You Me
The castle is
quiet, the cheerful fires of the common rooms long since burnt out. An
unnatural silence falls as I step inside. Immediately I can feel the
hair-raising tingle of a place filled with magic.
The stairs are for once still as I climb, somehow finding my
way through the twisted maze of halls. I smile to myself as I think how many
first years have been lost in these corridors…and how many times they
have walked them.
The portrait is just as I imagined it, and the voice that
issues from within is pleasantly accented: that of one who has asked the same
question uncountable times.
“Sugar Quill,” I reply
softly, keenly aware that my voice has broken the nearly trance-like stillness
of the corridors. Without a word the frame swings forward to allow me
entrance. I step inside, knowing how many would give anything to be in my
position at the moment.
I am standing inside the
Gryffindor common room, which is furnished nearly all in a deep scarlet,
accented with gold. The chairs are soft and inviting, the tables large enough
for most of Hermione’s books. A roaring fire must have burned in the huge
stone fireplace on the far wall, but has now faded to embers. The coals cast
an eerie glow on the scarlet and gold tapestries, which depict lions caught in
mid-roar and portrayls of this very castle, that adorn the walls. The overall
effect is decidedly creepy, and I find myself shivering as I turn to the couch
nearest to the fire.
There they lie, the three of them, the trio, the dream team,
HHR…They are here. I look carefully at them, one by one, taking in everything
I can, simply enjoying seeing the three of them together and at peace.
Harry is slumped in between Ron and Hermione, his head
tilted to the side, his glasses slipping down his face, and his scar hidden by
his hair. He looks somehow ordinary, like he should have been…just a normal
kid going to school with his friends, without the weight of the world on his
shoulders. How peaceful he seems! Yet, I know his waking hours and his dreams
are plagued by fears and threats. His life is not easy, but, looking at him, I
know he can handle it.
“Be strong, but not forever,”
I whisper, hoping I won’t wake him, but he only turns, shifting his head to
Hermione…asleep she seems
far more innocent and careless, not worrying about Harry, or Ron, or the next
test. Her long hair has fallen out of what was once a tight bun to fall around
her shoulders, framing a rather pretty face. She will grow up to be beautiful,
that I know, but she will not let that stand in the way of knowledge, I’m
sure. Her left hand rests on a book; Hogwarts: A History, the title
reads, and I smile. Perhaps that is what put the boys to sleep in the first
“Always stand for your dreams,” I tell her, glancing at the
large clock on the wall. It is soon that I must leave, but before I do, I
glance at Ron.
His brilliant red hair is
messier than Harry’s at the moment, and I see that he still holds his quirky
smile. He will always be the jester of the three, a lighter note in times of
trial, a light that refuses to be switched off. I pray he will never lose
that, come war or death. He has slumped down on the couch, something Hermione
would surely scold him for, were she awake, and his lanky form is in grave
danger of hitting the floor in the near future. Harry mumbles in his sleep,
and reaches over to pull Ron up, neither of them fully waking, yet I shrink
back into the shadows. Morning is approaching, and it is time; I must leave.
“Have hope as long as magic
lives, and trust not to shadow, but hold to light.”
The phrase, which I have waited
so long to say, seems shallow, and insignificant, and I only pray that they
will always have each other, come every new trial.
“Farewell,” I say softly, and turn,
heading for the common room door. Through the window I can see the grey sky of
dawn quickly approaching.
Gliding quickly through the
shadows, I nearly trip over a small form huddled against the wall. Neville.
He sits hunched over, crying. In his hand he holds a letter, and I can make
out the words ‘St. Mungo’s’ on the signature.
“Neville?” I question softly,
half hoping he will not hear me. I am not supposed to interfere…
His head jerks up, and I can see
that his face is tearstained, and his eyes red, as though he has cried for a
long time. Sad eyes dart through the darkness, trying to locate me.
I step forward, only a trifle
“Just me,” I say. I know it is
a silly answer, yet he seems to accept it
without question. “Neville…” I hesitate. What does one tell someone like him,
one who has lost family and never made great friends? “It will get better,
Neville, I promise.”
“I know it won’t,” he says
softly. “They’re gone, and nothing can change it.”
go on,” I say, unsure of what I am really doing; he just looks as though he
needs to hear something. “Neville, you have magic, no matter how poor your
grades are, no matter how dark things seem, you can do magic, you have friends
who care about you. You just need to trust and hope. Things will be better.”
Surprising myself more than him,
I pull him into a hug, and he does not pull back. When I release him, I see
that the dawn has broken, spilling rays of brilliant light over the forest,
sparkling on the lake.
“Look to the dawn,” I say, as
much to Neville as to the Trio, who remain soundly asleep on the couch, their
And I take my leave, with only
one last glance back at the characters I love, never to return. I have had my
glance, and I must not meddle more. I can do nothing for them…yet, perhaps
Harry’s nightmares abate for a time, perhaps Hermione takes a break from
studying, maybe Ron finds that he can joke again…and Neville, maybe tomorrow he
answers a question correctly, or finds that his potion comes out right for
once…Tomorrow, we shall see…