Chapter 7 / Headmaster Dumbledore
‘Good morning, Katherine,’ a soft, wise voice greeted me as I stumbled out of the fireplace, into a large and beautiful circular room, ‘you arrived early.’
‘Good morning, professor Dumbledore,’ I patted the sooth of my new dress and looked up at the headmaster, ‘Professor Flitwick agreed to review some charms with me before the third task. I hope you don’t mind I used your fireplace. I didn’t really want to use the Ravenclaw one and scare everyone.’
‘As smart as ever, I see,’ Dumbledore smiled, ‘and I must say, if I may be so blunt, you look very smart too.’
‘Thank you, professor,’ I felt a blush creep up on my cheeks, ‘I hope I’m not overdressed.’
‘You can never be overdressed, Katherine, or overeducated, for that matter,’ his eyes twinkled behind his glasses, ‘please, take a seat. I’ll send for professor Flitwick right away. We wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise for Harry.’
The headmaster raised his wand into the air and pointed it towards the door. I saw something silvery dart out of it and streak away through the door like a ghostly bird. I stared after it.
‘Producing a Patronus is very advanced magic,’ he smiled as I took a seat, ‘I don’t think you are quit ready yet. Although, Harry Potter did learn to produce a Patronus last year.’
‘He is exceptional,’ I said, recalling our adventure in the Chamber of Secrets, ‘he might not be a magical genius, but his character, his perseverance, his courage… That’s what makes him truly special.’
‘I see you are really fond of him,’ Dumbledore pulled up an eyebrow.
‘Well, he is… Wait, you mean… No, it’s not like that! I mean, he’s great and all. But no, I don’t like him like that.’
‘Apologies for my curiosity.’
‘No problem, professor,’ I smiled, ‘between you and I, I think Ginny has a thing for Harry. She just can’t shut up about him in her letters.’
‘Ah,’ Dumbledore said, a slight smile on his face, ‘off course.’
We sat in silence for a while. I looked around the room, noticing the Sorting Hat for the first time.
‘Excuse me, professor,’ Dumbledore looked up as if I had interrupted his train of thought, ‘I have something to talk to you about. The past year… it’s been stressful and, well, I had a lot on my mind. But, I couldn’t help but wonder… this thing that’s happening to Harry… it has to do with the Dark Lord, right?’
‘We can’t be sure, but I assume you are right.’
‘Then, sir, if I may,’ I pushed my glasses up on my nose, ‘why let him compete?’
‘The rules are simple. Once a champion has been selected by the Goblet of Fire, he or she is obliged to see the Tournament through to the end.’
‘In my opinion, rules are made to be broken, sir,’ I gave him a little grin.
‘As you have done countless times,’ he smiled, ‘but the placing of your name in the Goblet constitutes a binding, magical contract. There can be no change of heart once you have become champion.’
‘But Harry didn’t put his name in the cup, so legally speaking, he didn’t even make the contract, isn’t that so?’
‘Unfortunately, the cup doesn’t make a difference between who did and did not put his name in. The cup only choses the champion.’
‘And, knowing Harry, he couldn’t just drop his wand in the first task and let everyone else take care of the dragon.’
‘He could not,’ Dumbledore’s eyes twinkled with mischief, ‘he’s personality just wouldn’t let him.’
‘That’s what you get for being the hero,’ I sighed.
‘That’s what you get when from the moment you set foot into the wizarding world, people remind you that you are the boy who lived,’ Dumbledore corrected politely, ‘Harry is forced to be a hero. All along, he just follows his instinct and does what he thinks is right, and saves his friends from danger. In real life, no one is born with a heroic personality. No one is born as a world savior. The so-called heroes are merely ordinary people desperate to protect and save their loved ones from danger. Harry just happens to have a connection to Voldemort, but he never chose to be the Chosen One. And so, he will never just drop his wand and let others take over.’
‘I hope that one day I’ll grow up just as wise as you are, professor.’