Somewhere in London, around 1:00AM, in a 3bhk flat, Harry Potter was sipping third peg of his Jack Denials. He looked back at his bed to see Ginny sleeping with a smile on her face. For a moment he imagined Cho in place of Ginny and immediately chucked away the thought.
We have been married for so long. I shouldn’t be thinking like this. Harry told himself.
“Harry. Harry” he heard someone calling his name. The voice looked extremely familiar although he couldn’t recall it. Harry turned to the fireplace and got a shock.
“Blimey. Professor, what the hell you are doing here?” he asked professor Dumbledore’s face which was peeping out of the fire.
“I just came to meet you Harry?” said Professor Dumbledore.
“Meet me? From the dead? I think that idiot again sold me some homemade liquor in the name of JD” Harry said.
“Nope Harry. It’s me. It’s really me” said Dumbledore while lifting Harry from his chair and putting him back again – just to show that Harry wasn’t imagining.
“Damn. I will sue that shopkeeper. This isn’t JD. This is hooch” Harry said.
“Oh Harry. Believe me. It’s me” said Dumbledore and threw a piece of burning coal near Harry.
“Ouch!!!” the heat immediately made Harry realize that it was for real “You are back from dead? Are you really or it’s all happening inside my mind”
“Oh Harry!!! Of course it’s happening inside your head but that doesn’t mean it’s not….”
“Cut the crap Professor. What do you want?” Harry didn’t allow him to complete the sentence.
“I am here to discuss something very important Harry”
“Is it so important that you are making me see a ghost? Whatever it is professor, make it fast. I don’t want Ginny to see me talking to you. I mean your ghost. I mean whatever”
“What? Ginny is here. Oh I can see her. Wake her up Harry. It’s always pleasure to meet a Weasley” Dumbledore said while smiling at Ginny who was fast asleep.
“Shut up professor. If Ginny sees you here, you might well have me as your company in your grave”
“Why?” Dumbledore said while wondering why Ginny would disapprove her beloved headmaster’s ghost’s presence.
“Ever since Rowling told everyone about you being a gay , Ginny has developed hatred towards you. She has serious doubts on the relationship we have had. I mean you and me” Harry explained.
“What but Harry? No self-respecting wife would like her husband’s proximity with a male who is a gay, Professor. Proximity with another female might be disapproved with strictness but proximity with you is a punishable offence”
“Why is that Harry? She can accept your closeness to a female but not me?”
“Because if I am close to a female, let’s say Cho – it is like throwing a challenge to Ginny. All women have a common art to lure men. Just that some know it better than the rest. But with a male, let’s say you; she can’t even compete because the playing ground is totally different”
“Ohhhhh” said Dumbledore with a deep breath.
“Stop it Professor. It sounds as if you are moaning. Come to the point please, will you”
“Okay. I have heard that they have offered you a post, an honorable one, in the ministry of magic and you have accepted it.”
“Yes they have. It’s a huge honor. I am so proud on this achievement of mine” said a beaming Harry.
“But why Harry, why?”
“What do you mean by why? I am the best wizard ever seen. I even won the Quiditch world cup last year. If the ministry wants to reward me for all I have achieved in life, I am entitled to oblige them”
“But Harry, being in ministry is nothing about wizardry. Politicians sit in the ministry, not wizards. You are a great wizard Harry, probably the greatest ever. I have no doubts about it. But you are no politician Harry”
“What do you mean by that Professor? I will do my job with utmost honesty and rest will follow automatically. As far as politics is concerned, I know a bit about it”
“That is the difference Harry. Doing your job honestly isn’t enough in politics. In fact more often than not, you end up not only stalling your own job but also not letting ministry do their job. And what do you know about politics. Have you ever taken publically a stand on any issue? You have been busy teaching Cho’s husband about Confendus charm or how to make that Malfoy boy Stufly when he is flirting with Ginny”
How the hell he knows about that Malfoy thing. I seriously think they are having an affair, Ginny and Draco. Else why would Ginny get her “headaches” so often and for all I know, there is nothing in her head to give an ache. The thought struck Harry’s mind. “Well I did take a stand. During the London riots last year when the looting was going all around, my shop was also looted. When asked by the media about it I told them – I am a Londoner and a very proud Londoner. But as far as my shop is concerned, it belongs to me and no one else”.
“And an ex-minister from the minister publically asked you to shut up and focus on wizardry” replied Dumbledore.
“What well Harry? What well? It’s politics. Stay away from it.”
“Well old man, I am close to my retirement. I may tell the world that I will go on as long as I want but deep down I know, I am about to give up. I need a post-retirement plan for my future”
“You can do a whole lot of things Harry. Become a coach. If you want, I can use my contacts to get you a commentator’s job in All England Quiditch League. Like Ron, you can do a great job there”
“Nope professor, I want to be in the ministry. See, I am too good to be a coach. My voice isn’t suited for doing commentary. I better sit in the ministry of magic. Ministry is the place for me.”
“But don’t forget Harry, when in ministry, you will no longer be seen as a wizard, the wizard. You will be seen as a politician. These two are vastly different”
“What difference professor? I will work in the ministry as selflessly as I have worked all these years as a wizard” argued Harry.
“There is a difference Harry, there is a difference. When you were a wizard, you were a maverick fighting a battle against the dark forces, white forces, and brown forces. People ignored your little selfish acts in the name of your heroism”
“I never acted selfishly professor. Never” Harry abruptly ended Dumbledore’s argument.
“Well Harry, no matter what you think, you are never smart enough to fool everyone. Do you think everyone ignored your acts in THAT Quiditch match when you were trying to score your 100th goal? You didn’t let anyone else score because you wanted to get to the 100th and ended up being on the losing side” Dumbledore was famous for choosing his words and choosing them wisely. Seeing Harry speechless against his argument, Dumbledore continued “But when you are wearing a politician’s cap, such acts will not be ignored. In fact such acts will be magnified by your foes and more so by your friends”
“But professor, I am Harry Potter, the Harry Potter. Everyone knows I am the chosen one. They don’t love me, they adore me. They know it all about my integrity and honesty. They will all expect me to be a clean politician and that is what I shall be”
“Politics is never clean Harry. It’s always dirty. You should either have it in your blood or learn the traits while flourishing in the dirt. You don’t possess the former quality. For later, you will burn your hands Harry. Don’t take politics lightly. It has the capacity to burn you down to ashes.”
“But they all…” Harry tried to argue.
“They all what, Harry? For them, you are The Harry Potter. You are greater than the greatest. You are holier than the holiest. One mistake and it will all be gone. They will be willing to forgive a lesser mortal because he is nobody in their eyes. But you are Harry Potter.” said Dumbledore to a silent Harry “Remember Harry. A clean, white and shining white cloth with a small black spot looks dirtier than an actually dirty cloth. You are the best everyone has seen in three generations Harry. A miniscule blemish will make you look lot dirtier.”
“Okay professor. I shall give it some consideration. But look at it this way professor. This will give me a challenge worth looking forward in life. Ever since I finished Lord Voldemort, I haven’t had any challenge in my life” said a serious looking Harry.
“Shhhh…Harry. Don’t take his name? He is back” Dumbledore had never looked so scared.
“Whose name, professor? Who is back?” said a puzzled Harry.
“The Lord You-Know-Who is back Harry”
“Professor. I killed him myself. How can he come back? And since when you started fearing him so much that you can’t even take his name?”
“Yes, Harry. He is back. And he has come back much stronger this time. He is strong enough to put fear in the strongest of minds Harry, even mine.”
“What? He is back? Where?”
“Right not he is in his country Harry – that Frodo look alike, short, curly haired guy lives in Miss Patil’s country. Lord you-know-who is there Harry”
“India. What the hell is he doing there professor?”
“I am not sure Harry but my sources tell me that he has been playing in IPL for CSK. Oh Harry, looks like Ginny is about to wake up. I better go. You must take good care of yourself, Harry. And do keep yourself updated about the Lord you-know-who” said Dumbledore and gone was he.
Harry switched his TV on. On one of the channels they were showing an IPL match involving CSK. He saw a curly haired, left arm spinner jumping in air and banging his head towards right after getting opposition’s opener’s wicket with score line reading 190/1 in 15 overs.
A cold wave went through Harry’s spine. He started shivering. He started sweating. He looked completely aghast. This was surely Lord you-know-who. HE had really come back.
“Harry? What’s the matter with you? Are you feeling alright?” said Ginny who had just woken up.
“Pack our stuff Ginny. We are going to shift to our atom-bomb-safe bunker. We need to do it immediately” said a worried looking Harry.
“Why Harry? What’s wrong?” asked Ginny who was still half asleep.
“Lord you-know-who is back. And he is back stronger than ever” was Harry’s reply.
PS 1: Credit to Rowling for you-know-what.
PS2: Work of fiction. Resemblance to any living or dead is unintentional.