28 December 2020
On Sunday December the 27th, 2020, the Convention Hall at Millennium Conference Centre in London, England was filled with witches, wizards and goblins alike. There was an event taking place in less than fifteen minutes, and already wands could be spotted out in the open, cooling the wielders with a gentle breeze.
An author, Trista Truelove happened to be there to share with the crowd – of mostly females – her thoughts and opinions. She would also be promoting her new slew of romance books for the fans. I felt oddly singled out, sitting in a row of girls. I was perhaps one of ten to fifteen boys in the hall. And I can safely say that the only reason I was there was because it was all my girlfriend’s fault (no offense, Miss Truelove).
Halfway through her little speech, I was already falling asleep while my girlfriend listened with rapt attention. Her hands clutched her copy of Myrtle Mopps and the Mysterious Muggle, eager to have an autograph on the inside cover, proof that, yes, Eleora Chance met and spoke to a trash novelist.
“There once was a man, whom we all know of. He was a fascinating man and seemingly had an answer for everything. I was fortunate enough to be a pupil at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry when he was Headmaster. He taught me a great deal about right and wrong. Tolerance and peace. He fought for those things. What else would a Gryffindor fight for?” she had said during her very long winded speech. However, this is the part my knowledge thirsty ears perked up for.
“His death is still shrouded in mystery for us common folk. Those who were there knew only the aftermath of what happened to the Wizarding World’s most loved, and respected wizard of all time.” She later goes on to share with the crowd her plans for the future – a biography of Albus Dumbledore.
I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at the idea. Not out of disrespect for the man or the wizard, but for yet another author who thought their version of Professor Dumbledore’s life was more eye-opening than any of the other hundred’s of biographies on him. I personally think she is fooling herself in thinking she has something better to offer, though I believe her popularity in the Romance novel industry will give her enough credibility to be successful.
I, on the other hand, have access to something she did not.
I found myself in Arthur Weasley’s (the current Headmaster’s) office after the New Year had begun. While waiting on the Headmaster to arrive for our scheduled appointment, I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with the Greatest Wizard the world has ever known – rather, his portrait.
“I don’t think Headmaster Weasley would look too kindly on a student occupying his chair, my boy,” the portrait with a golden plaque stamped with “PROFESSOR DUMBLEDORE” informed me. I looked up at the portrait, giddishly happy that I had this chance to take advantage of.
Usually, students paid no mind to the portraits in Hogwarts; their loss, I say, because the portraits hold the key to Hogwarts’ own history and the added bonus of secret passages. I’m not afraid to admit I was a little intimidated by a portrait – just this one.
“I think he’ll be happy I don’t have my feet on his desk,” I replied with a smile. “I’ve read about you before.”
“Have you now?”
“Yes. In fact, there are many biographies written about you.”
“Yes, I suppose there are.”
“I found some inconsistencies after reading a fair few.”
“Ah,” he nodded his head knowingly at me. “Those who are not me do not know what it is like to be me. Tell me what you’ve found.. Forgive me, I do not know your name.”
“Lyceus Falls,” I reply. “It’s true that you have all the memories of – how to put this – the actual Professor Dumbledore right up until he died?” He nodded at me. I caught a slight twinkle in his eye. It was as if he had a sense of understanding about everyone, and everything, and I knew this was something he got from his life well lived. “Several books claim you were pushed from the Astronomy tower that night.”
“Pushed?” he chuckled. “My, it’s wonderful how over the years stories get twisted into something unrecognizable with each telling.” It made sense, but I was still confused. With such a popular subject, I found it difficult to believe the truth that slapped so many people in the face was lost to them. “You will find, Mr. Falls, that there are those who might twist the truth to make sense of something they don’t understand. Or, perhaps it was to cover some tracks.”
“Are you saying that some of these writers might have had a hand in the plot against you?”
“That, I cannot say.” He stroked his white beard. “Perhaps, perhaps not.”
“Rita Skeeter said some insulting things about you, Professor.”
“Yes, Headmaster Weasley told me about that. We cannot control what people say or do. If people believe the lies, there’s not much to be done to counter it.”
“The truth would,” I told him firmly.
“The same truth that is twisted and obscured with each retelling?” he asked. “At this point in time, there is not much that can be said either way to change anything.”
“But… I could do it,” I told him. “It wouldn’t be someone trying to piece your life together. You could tell me everything, and I could write your biography. It would be the irrefutable account of Albus Dumbedore’s life. Isn’t that worth inspiring our fellow wizardfolk? Isn’t it worth setting the record straight?”
I would let him think on that.
I thanked the portrait for his time, a smile on my face, and a newfound sense to find the truth in things. It was odd that this revelation came from a portrait of all things, but it was what it was. I paused at the door and turned to look at the portrait once more. “One more thing, Professor,” I grab his attention, “just how old were you?”
He smiled with that same twinkle in his eye. “Goodnight, Mr. Falls.”
So, after all of that, I went to the white marble sarcophagus, a rose in my hand that I secretly plucked from the Greenhouse and paid my respects to a man I had never actually met. However, his memory does indeed live on.
Today is the anniversary of his death.
This is a story of a great man, a marvelous mentor, the greatest wizard to ever walk this Earth, and it’s one well known in varying degrees and told with an alarming amount of contradictions through the years before and after his untimely death. It’s just a shame this lowly article will never be read.
Or, apparently, it will.