Everyone can start at any point. And for Usubi, she decided to start after the End. She loved the school and her recent possession made her feel that she could keep on loving it. Moreover, there was that declaration from the ministry. Ah, how could she forget it. Coming back to her starting she decided that the best time to start would be tomorrow, but after mulling over this thought, she scolded herself for she had had the same thought the day before yesterday, the day before and she had been thinking the same for the last three months.
Preparations are necessary, she liked to tell herself, but realized it later how that was an excuse for her procrastination. What had she learnt in that story? She tried to recollect, seeing as how scatter-brained she was, it took quite a moment before she remembered that the story taught her that the best time to start was now. As she rose, she smoothed her greased, poor excuse of a frock and then apparated straight to the headmaster’s, scratch that, headmistress’ office.
The old lady engrossed in her paperwork wrote on with her quill and acknowledged her presence only with slowing down to dip the required device in the inkpot and saying: “Yes?”
Usubi took a sharp breath and inhaled as much oxygen as she could. She inhaled deeply as if, in the next moment, the twilight infused room would vacuum itself and leave nothing for her to breathe.(She liked to be self-sufficient.)
“May I talk to professor Dumbledore?” she squeaked. Started with a bang, ended with a whimper.
She fidgeted and shuffled her weight on her feet and then clasped her hands behind her back, looking down through out the activity as though the ground would sneak away and let her fall through if she lost sight of it. (She was very cautious about such things.)
“May I take him?” she whispered. Professor Mcgonagall would have missed it if it hadn’t been the silence and the enormous grandeur of of the room that allowed her tiny voice to have an echo. For so small a voice, the echo was unimaginable. Professor Mcgonagall looked up. “Oh no, it’s okay if I can’t. I’m sorry to bother you. Good evening” Usubi started, terrified at realizing that the mistress was looking at her and turned around to apparate.
“I never said you may not.”
Usubi stopped at once and turned to face the professor, her eyes welled in tears and her elongated ears shaking slightly perhaps. “Oh thank you, thee hath no idea what it means to me!” Usubi had this habit of mixing contemporary English and Shakespearean English when she was overwhelmed. And the tears? Well, it’s a house elf thing one can suppose.
She apparated to Dumbledore’s picture and immediately vanished from sight. Professor Mcgonagall who had known Usubi for years, shrugged and continued with the reading and writing and scanning and marking and signing the documents.
Usubi sat in the room of the requirement with the picture of Hogwarts greatest headmaster. The sky had changed from yellow to orange, orange to red, red to dark blue and dark blue to black. It was only when moonlight streamed in that Usubi picked up enough courage (yes, courage was quite a bit of mess in her scattered brain and it took quite a lot of time to pick it all up, or so she likes to imagine.) to talk the talk she wanted to talk.
“Good evening professor.”
“Good evening. I assume that greetings and pleasantries is not the only reason that you have brought me here.” Dumbledore smiled good naturedly.
“Yes, ah I meant no.” she shook her head to clear herself.
“Well, I was, uh, thinking about discussing some improbabilities.”
“About the end?” the picture supplied
Usubi nodded mutely.
“What kind of improbabilities?”
“You know, what if” Usubi started, looked for a fraction of second at the headmaster and then looked down again. “You never died?” she finished hurriedly.
“Then Voldemort would have won” Dumbledore answered easily.
“Huh?” she hadn’t expected such a straight answer. “I mean why?” She corrected herself and scolded herself for being as impolite as to display so freely her disbelief.
“That, you won’t understand, my child. But I can see that you are going to ask what if professor Snape hadn’t died.”
“Right.” Usubi gasped. It never ceased to fascinate Usubi how Dumbledore knew exactly what she was thinking. She was amazed to the extent that she forgot to close her mouth.
“I’m afraid but there’s a possibility of a fly entering your systems.”
Usubi immediately closed her mouth with a force that her teeth crashed and the feeling send down a shot of cold chill and pain trough her body. Dumbledore smiled. “But there are some people –students to be particular – whose deaths were unnecessary and should they live, the outcome remains unchanged. ”
“How doth thee know?”
“I believe there’s a means at your disposal that can help you with your task.”
Usubi understood that Dumbledore knew exactly what he was talking about and the rest of the conversation took place in silence as each understood the other. Usubi, even with her unorganized self, was very good at talking in silence once the rapport was established. It wasn’t telepathy, just mutual feelings that she understood better and liked it that way.
In the night when she had finished her conversation with only a few phrases and sentences being spoken here and there, she apparated back to the office, put the picture in its erstwhile place and thanked professor Mcgonagall. In the last parting glance, Usubi caught the twinkle in Dumbledore’s eye and she smiled. She raised her hand to her left eye covering it and then she disappeared. But the gesture had meant more than peculiar to the former headmaster. It was a wink.
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