Written by: Anna Dudás
The old crooked tower was packed full of books and papers in every
round corner, damped with the smell of lemon tea and zest. Only two
people lived here, the one and only Great Clabongis and his little
wimpy apprentice Clibis. On top of the tower was a little room, in the
room was a little bed and on the bed lied Clabongis the Magnificent,
little bit under himself, coughing and wheezing like there’s no
tomorrow, and he knew all well there won’t be.
– Boy. – he called, his voice cold like the November’s wind. The Boy
flinched and pealed his ears. – Listen boy. Pull out that first drawer
in the corner, would you. No, the other corner. There’s a letter
*cough* to my younger brother. I never got the courage to send it to
him. Your last errand…*wheeze* is to bring it *cough* to him. He
Suddenly Clabongis took a long long breath and his eyes bulged out.
Clibis grasped his veiny old fingers with desperation “Yes, he
– *cough* He… – and the life left the old wheezer.
The letter looked ancient, with spots that seemed to be instant coffee
and strawberry jam. Only words on the back of the letter wrote “to
Harry Potter”. One ridiculous name, Clibis thought, who on Earth would
call their child Harry Potter? But he couldn’t make himself to open
the envelope. What kind of apprentice would he be then?
The dusty green coat on Clibis felt a little tight after months of
staying inside and treating the Great and Wise. None of the town folks
knew what type of magic he actually does in that smelly tower, not even
Clibis, but whatever he did, he sure was Great at it. And Clibis made
sure to learn all that greatness, or at least he tried his best to.
Now, if Clibis was a Harry Potter, where would he be? Surely people in
the neighbouring kingdom would know! – he said out loud and spotted a
travelling merchant by the side of the road.
– Well if it isn’t the little Clibis! Shall I take you to your
destination? – the woman invited, her brown face hidden behind a large
– Thank you. Do you happen to know a lad by the name of Harry Potter?
– I heard nothing of no Hairy Pots, young man. That’s a crazy thought
that caught your mind. Lord save me if my pots began to grow fur out
of thin air, imagine that! Not even a holy prayer would help my soul
if that were to happen!
She made the sign of the cross on her chest and clutched the rosary in
her palm while holding the reins of the horse. The cart was her home
and shop at open hours, selling wooden crosses and saint pictures of
all kind, to the religious.
– Harry Potter, lady! Do you happen to come across any Harry Potters!
– Mmm.. now that you tell me… my sister had bought a sheep named
that once. We made a stew lasting for days out of it, thank you Lord,
it was the feast of the kings, I tell you!
Clibis shook his head and wished her luck on her remaining
journey. Behind the walls of the kingdom were children men and women
of all shapes and sizes, doing their simple deeds of simple needs,
rushing from place to place, looking from face to face, buying,
selling, executing, all the usual.
Clibis tried its best to shout louder than the rest “Harry Harry,
where you hiding!” Took no longer to see a door, knob shiny and
inviting; he twisted it and went inside.
Out he came, in different clothes, little modern, little not, felt
like ages have passed with that one step! The town was rebuilt, now
with stone, roofs of hay now out of tile, town’s men now all on carts,
better clothes and better hats; if only there were less of rats. The
roads were hard, the carts were fast, weird smooth paper in people’s
hands, everything’s in so much order, men in blue shout “Order,
Oh, but who cares, where’s this Potter? Clibis wanders around in the
town and sees faces much familiar. Maybe a dream or the high
temperature but Clibis has walked these paths before. Just as he
wanders like this, his eyes lock with the newspaper’s: “HARRY POTTER
SENTENCED FOR MURDER, BREAKS LOSE FROM PRISON”
If it isn’t! That rascal is a criminal! Clibis stomps a foot down and
crosses his arms.
– Psst. You there. – creeps a man from a cart with broken handles. –
move out of the way or get in, I’m better gone from this town today.
Clibis sneaks in the cart next to him.
– Are you by any chance this Harry person, the brother of Clabongis?
– You tell that to no one, young boy, but I heard of no Clababis
before, that’s today’s news for me. To be honest, the news about me aren’t
so favourable either. You see, I was falsely accused…
– Were you?
– I promise a leg to that.
– This letter-
– No time, questions later, my boy!
And they drive out of the so called Town onto the next one, with
bigger houses, fancier clothes, criminal Harry’s eyes on the road. The
name’s similar but it couldn’t be him, the journey continues where it
left off. Clibis spots another door of the same kind, he hops off says
bye and grabs the knob to pass through this one as well.
Cheerful music awaits him behind the alley, children laugh and women
sing, all the faces in happy spring and everything is so colourful and
joyous. Lights beam from all the complex machines, they move and cough
and wheeze and huff and puff similar to the Great but they seem to
have a lot more.. iron and buttons and beeps and boops. Sweet and sour
linger in the air, oily food on the ground beside the feet of huge
round people. They now wear looser fits, women have pants like men do
and men have short sleeves with writings as decor. On their heads are flat
hats that block out the sun, “Great America” on one is written. Clibis
knew nothing of this America but Great was a word much familiar. He
approaches this man by the yellow iron cart, who leaned against it
with a dazed gaze and rested face.
– Good day to you, – the wimp cracked.
– Whas up. – the large man blurped. Strange question, the
sky is above, everyone knows that. – You don’t seem round ’ere. Well,
They both get in.
– So, where to?
– A couple villages to the south would be splendid, thank you.
– Sweet. Name’s Harry by the way.
– The Potter kind?! – Clibis opened his eyes twice the size.
– Shit man, howdya know. I don’t go round telling it to everyone.
The nervous question left him once more: – I have this letter from your brother…
– I have no brothers, man, couldn’t be me who you’re
searching for. Good luck tho, it’s a big, massive, unfair world we
– Quiet small if you tell me.
The man sighs and turns the machine over with the swirl of the
interesting wheel thing.
– Here’s your stop, Flabongobis street. That’ll be 30 bucks—
But Clibis sneaked out before he could finish. He shimmied his way to
the nearest exit, dark wood door of an apartment building. The shiny
knob have been twisted and onto the next chapter we go…