Where Next?

The final week was a blur. As graduating students prepared to leave, saying goodbye to the friends they’d made over the last seven years, Henry Fogg was busy readying himself for his next step in magical education. Every day he’d run through a mental checklist to ensure he hadn’t forgotten to pack anything important, “wand, books, clothes, broom,” he’d chant to himself. The hardest part was keeping quiet to those who asked what he intended to do next. Oftentimes he’d mutter a vague answer about working for the Ministry and that was enough to send the inquirers on their way.

He slammed his trunk shut, tapped the lock with his wand and muttered “Colloportus.” The lock gave a small click as it locked shut. Henry looked around the empty boys dormitory for the last time, a bittersweet sensation washing over him, before making his way to the common room and finally out of Ravenclaw Tower. His trunk was enchanted to follow in his stead as he walked the long trip to Professor Dumbledore’s office. Though saddened to leave the place he’d called home for most of his formative years, he was immensely elated to move on.

Which was why it came as a shock that the day he was supposed to leave Hogwarts for the last time Professor Dumbledore was nowhere to be found. What was worse, the portal was gone!

He sunk into the chair to wait for the professor, hoping he hadn’t forgotten this important day. He looked around the room, his eyes falling on the clock where the portal once was. He realized that with Dumbledore gone he could at least finally read that inscription up close. 

I per spatium temporis ad inflammandos animos. Multitudinis per iungo.” he read aloud. “Well that was underwhelming. Not to mention a mouthful.” 

He stepped back from the inscription and noticed a letter lodged in between the hands of the clock. He pulled the thick parchment out which, once silent from being jammed, began to tick once more. A key fell out of the note, small and silver in color with an almost ethereal glow. Henry picked it up, glancing at the note to see that it was addressed to him in Dumbledore’s familiar loopy handwriting.

Henry, 

I was called away on urgent business and as such had to leave the school. In my stead I leave my Alumnus Key, which will grant you one-way access into Uagadou as it, like Hogwarts, is protected by numerous wards. Once you have access, the key will return. Good luck Henry, you have both my and the staff of Hogwarts’ full confidence.

Best wishes,

Albus Dumbledore

Henry took the key, placing it in the keyhole of the grandfather clock and giving it a turn. Nothing happened. 

“What do I do? Where do I go?” he asked no one in particular. He drew his wand and pointed it at the clock, “Specialis Revelio!” If the clock had changed, Henry certainly couldn’t tell. 

To his surprise a soft voice replied. “When my mind is stretched, I find that focusing on one particular thought is quite helpful.”

Henry’s head snapped up and he looked around wildly, pulling out his wand.

“Hello? Is someone there?” 

The room was empty. but the disembodied voice continued on. “Come now dear boy, there’s no need for such things.” Referring to the wand in Henry’s hand. “Not that it could do much to me in this state.” The voice seemed to be coming from one of the portraits. Henry looked up and saw the portrait of a young woman with fair skin and dark eyes that matched her long hair; he’d seen her in many textbooks.

“You’re Rowena Ravenclaw…aren’t you? I’ve read all about you!”

She bowed her head to him and smiled. “That I am fellow Ravenclaw…or rather, that I was. As a portrait, I’m merely a shadow of my subject. I have her knowledge and wisdom but being confined to a picture makes all that a bit useless. But I digress. Now onto the matter of Uagadou.” She sat in her high-backed chair and gave Henry an inquiring look.

Henry’s head popped up excitedly. “Can you get me in?” 

She shook her head. “No, but you can get yourself in.” 

Henry felt confused as she continued on. “Many believe wand-based magic to be more refined and focused magic, and in some cases, they’re correct. But certain magics are better suited for wandless tasks. Creating a portal with a wand is almost impossible. The amount of energy channeled through it would surely make the wand shatter, which is why they prohibit wands on Uagadou’s campus. It is their belief that it’s too much of a crutch for the wizard to rely on. However, by using wandless magic, the wizard ironically has better control of the magic that flows through them. All you have to do is tap into it.” Ravenclaw paused to let the weight of her words sink in. Henry looked at the grandfather clock.

Tick, Tick, Tick”

His time was running out. He knew the school must know of his impending arrival. He closed his eyes and focused as hard as he could. Even though the memory was relatively new, he could barely remember the interactions that had happened only a week before. He frantically panicked. If Dumbledore wasn’t here now, who knew if he’d be here tomorrow? He had to act now.

Tick, Tick, Tick”

He closed his eyes and concentrated as hard as he could. He could see Dumbledore’s hands, the way they’d moved gracefully through the air, as if conducting an orchestra.

Tick, Tick, Tick”

Keeping his eyes closed, he put his wand away and lifted his hands. He could see the shapes Dumbledore formed with his hands and the harder Henry focused, the better he could hear the words Dumbledore muttered. He copied the movements to the letter, praying that the spell wouldn’t backfire. He felt a rush of energy the likes of which he hadn’t felt since his first time using magic at the age of four. There was a whoosh of air and a tingle in his spine and when he opened his eyes, there stood the portal, and with it, the entrance to Uagadou once more. Thinking quickly, he left a note on the reverse of Dumbledore’s on his desk.

Professor,

Thank you so much for the opportunity, I hope wherever you are you are safe. I will not let you down.

Best Regards,

Henry Fogg

He gave his luggage a tap with his wand and made for the portal, finally back on track.