jeudi 24 janvier 2008


There he stood, alone in a foreign country, with an old and powerful witch who used to be Grindelwald’s consort, and he had just told her about the Deathly Hallows, about how he united the three of them. Perhaps Dumbledore had said she was right, but never that she was righteous. There he stood, a trustful and childish fool, after so many traps. He grasped his wand, nervously.
Milena’s eyes, acute and bright, followed his movement.
“That isn’t the Elder Wand” she said slowly.
“No, Harry muttered. It was just… I was just… only for a brief moment… they are away now. I don’t own them anymore.”
Except for the Cloak, he thought, but he had fortunately turned off the Translatongue, and she wasn’t able to read his mind… was she?
And in a second, in a few quiet music notes, everything was over. The room was warm again, with hot tea and sweet cakes. She was old again, frail again, smiling again. But her smile was a sad one, he was now able to tell. Was it really like that, a sudden wave of darkness, barely a few seconds of tentation, enough to throw someone on a dead end? Was it like that when Dumbledore had tried to use the Stone?
“Then it happened. I’m not sure if I shall be happy.”
“Only for the briefest moment” Harry repeated. He was almost breathless, as he had been after his greatest perils.
She nodded dreamily. “Perhaps that was the only way. For the briefest moment. Death wouldn’t allow more. But it was enough, wasn’t it? You survived, and defeated Voldemort. It was enough for the world, who has its own ways of… regulation. Yes, I suppose that was all we could expect.”
But she looked even sadder. She was no more frightening at all, and Harry felt the urge to comfort this very old woman.
“But you were right. I had to own the Cloak first. I had it with me, when I… used the Stone. Sort of. The third Hallow. I had the Cloak with me. You were right. ”
But she shaked her head. “No. I might have been right about that, but I don’t think that is the matter Albus had in mind. I think he meant… a much deeper question. Much more essential.”
Deeper than Death? More essential than the Quest of the Hallows for people into it since they were teenagers?
Milena probably saw doubt in Harry’s eyes.
“Yes, she smiled, there are deeper things, closer to our hearts, even for old obsessive wizards like us. I told you the story had little to do with you. That is an ancient one, one that took place at the end of our first war, when Albus finally defeated Grindelwald.”
“I was wondering…” But Harry blushed again, felt tactless again. He was nothing of a diplomat.
“Please go on. Every wonder is appreciable.”
“Well, I was wondering… why you needed Dumbledore. Sure he was powerful and everything, but your people certainly had its great witches and wizards, too, able to challenge Grindelwald… I mean, yourself…”
“I would have been able to beat him? Perhaps you are right. Many people believed it then. Including my own sister.” The music became dark, bringing bitter grief and bleeding remorse. “Perhaps they were right. I will never know. But there was a great difference between Albus Dumbledore and me. He was brave, while I am not.”
“You cannot say that ! Harry exclaimed. You had been in love with Grindelwald, of course you…”
“And so was Albus. Why do you think he waited for so long? Why do you think he was so reluctant to confront Gellert, even when his very country was threatened? But he did it. He managed to do it, at end, and I didn’t. That’s the sole difference between the brave one and the coward. Some are able to go through their fears and act. Some aren’t. I was not.”

lundi 21 janvier 2008


(At end... Sorry for delay...)

“You are probably tired of teachers, but I always thought better to begin from the student’s knowledge. And I do not want to bore you with needless repetitions. What did you learn about my past ?”
“I know little about your country, but I read you were once a renowned journalist, and that you fought against Grindelwald during the forty’s. It was said you to be a very gifted witch, but you never accepted a ministerial appointment. You are told to be no friend with the late Professor Karkaroff, and to disagree with the uses of Durmstrang. You even offered private lessons to the families who shared your views and refused to send their children at Durmstrang. You are presented like… some subversive personality”, he ended quite shamefully. She looked so old and respectable, not even odd as Dumbledore had been. She really wasn’t the kind of person you would call “subversive”.
“I suppose that will stay more or less as my official biography. Have you ever noticed how biographies usually ignore the youth of people who live old? That won’t be the same for you, of course. Your child and youth’s accomplishments already make you famous.”
“Perhaps I won’t live old”, smiled Harry. Strange how he was able to smile about such things, now.
But she answered seriously : “I’m afraid you will.” And he felt uneasy again. Was she a prophetess of some kind? He had read nothing like that, but one might want to hide such a gift, that wasn’t especially comfortable. She didn’t look like a prophetess, but he had little experience, except for Professor Trelawney. She really hadn’t the slightest resemblance with Trelawney.
“However I was about your age when I did the most important encounter of my life. One of these encounters from which you will never recover. One that binds the course of your life forever.”
Harry wonders if he had met such an encounter. It would probably have been Voldemort. He found it quite depressive.
“It was a young and brilliant wizard, and we met in the way boys and girls usually do. We fell in love, and shared many things, not only a bed.”
He blushed, and felt stupid to do it. Of course old people had been young, and made love. Milena had been a beautiful woman. The man she used to love should have been a remarkable one indeed. Then he understood, and felt stupid again.
“Grindelwald, he said. You fell in love with Grindelwald.”
“Certainly. Many did. He had the most fascinating personality. But I was the one who shared his life, for years. Until the darkness falled.”
Was it really like that ? Love and youth and enthusiasm, then someday the darkness falling upon people like a storm?
“I shared his magic and his dreams, and even his quest for the Deathly Hallows. We were dreaming of a way to become both immortals, I suppose. That is very common to young lovers, wanting to be so for eternity. We spoke about them so many times, in so many long lovers’ nights, that I cannot recall these conversations otherwise than as a sole one, a very long and often interrupted one. For years, his… our ambitions took this only shape, this only path. You probably know this part of the story : the first Hallow we managed to trace was the Elder Wand. I remember we argued about the order. I was defiant towards the Wand, and quite certain the Tale of the Three Brothers was showing us the sole way to unite the three Hallows : we should possess the Cloak first. Gellert answered that was all fine, but we cannot afford the luxury to wait for the Cloak when the Wand was at hand. I still thought that was wrong, and the Cloak was the only way to protect us against the lethal powers of the two other Hallows. The Wand’s or Stone’s owner would die from them before he could find the other ones. That was probably our first major discordance.”
“And you were right !” Harry cried with no care of what he was revealing. “That was it ! You were right, but we only had the proof last year, when… when I…”
He stopped. There was a new light in Milena’s eyes, and she was now looking much younger, and much more powerful, as Dumbledore had been in his most threatening moments.