Written by: Anna Dudás
Nothing happened for like ten minutes, he counted again, for sure, so Clibis pushes some buttons around. To which the cabin door makes a hissing sound, then a couple of clanking, then the door went flying out and brightness came gushing in. But it’s not outside.
The room is very open, the windows have no glass and in the middle is an enormous bell. The machinery is far less advanced. Every little corner had smaller and smaller detailed decor carved into the marvel wall ornaments, all reaching up to the top.
This whole thing was pretty high up, townsfolk’s chitchats are far into the distance, but the loudest thing is an indescribable chanting: something majestic and holy, like in the old monk sanctuaries back at his village, just fancier.
The staircase down didn’t take too long. But this was enough to be more than enough! How can this Harry Potter be hidden so deep in the pits of hell??
– To hell with it! – Clibis stomps a foot down or two, but people look at him in disgust and disbelief, some begin to whisper to one another but someone dressed in gold and silk starts laughing and coughing.
– Magnificent! Bravo! – his bear belly trembles with every step. – Tell me thy name young gentleman! Better yet, come with me! Hilarity this kind is to be rewarded! Take him with us servants, right this instant!
And they did, right that instant, at least 8 servants came, all dressed in purple, the chariot’s seats padded with soft leather and everything smelled like lavender oil. The large man shimmied in his seat all comfortable, a dumb smile on his face.
– So. Chat to met about yourself, sir. Ah no! – he puts a finger up. – I will decide.
Clibis just blinks and the man just smiles: – How about you get 1 percent of my monthly income, live like the Gods in thy Heaven and you… – he leans back with a coy smile – entertain me until you become ash and dust. How does that sound to your funny ears?
– I just have this letter to Harry Potter. – Clibis pulls the dirty wrinkled piece of paper out from his coat’s pocket, to which the man’s smile quickly seeps back, like a weazening piece of grape.
– Harry?… Oh… oh no, my great sir… no I think I will get that letter to him myself…- and he reaches with his chunky arms but Clibis refuses and stuffs the letter back inside. – Ah… Ahaha, of course, I apologize deeply, what a fool I am!
His smile seems to become one with his fat chins.
Now they’re inside the palace: gold on gold’s back, silk and velvet and muffins and mittens and the sickening smell of perfume and money hits Clibis in the face on first sight.
– Marvelous isn’t it? – the pig grunts. – Now… about our business…
He sinks back in his throne and sips on something that must contain more sugar than a bakery.
– Say that thing you say! Make me laugh servant!
His gaze pierces only Clibis so there’s no other choice.
– Uhm… Harry Potter?
– DO NOT MENTION THAT FILTHY CUNT’S NAME IN MY PRESENCE EVER AGAIN YOU DISGRACE OF A MAN! – Clibis could swear he saw flames come out of his mouth.
One of the servants whisper to Clibis: „to hell, to hell!”
– To hell with it? – the fat man’s face morphs back into place and starts clapping and laughing again. „Extraordinary! Continue!”
– To hell with it! – the man becomes hysterical, the claps become uncontrollable.
– Hell! Hell! Hell! Hell! – now he wheezes and coughs in laughter, suddenly he keels over and starts suffocating in his own spit, to which all servants come rushing to save his life. „Your highness, my lord!”
One slave doesn’t help though, rather run inside of another room when his gaze meets the little Clibis. He follows.
Harry’s eyes could be compared to that of a runaway lamb’s.
– Do not tell that animal that I came in here, I beg of you! – he shuffles in his place awkwardly.
– Why, what is in here?
It seemed like the highness’s luxurious bedroom, nothing special, but the servant gestured at the vitrin’s containts.
– Proof. That filth of a peasant had gold to pay back to my mother and instead of paying back what he later earned, he outplayed the law to put us under his outrageous games. We belong to him until we can wash ourselves clean.
The faint choking of the lord grows louder and more menacing.
– There is no time, you owe to help me! Here! – he shoved a bag of quiet havy stuff in Clibis’ tiny boy arms. Inside is shiny gold, some wrinkly and burned documents and a golden dagger with dark, dried up blood on its’ edges. – Now we should g-
A burst of laughter and coughing hit the two boy’s ears, far too close to the entrance of the room. – Absolutely no time! – they sneak out of the window and onto the dark streets of the night. – Run as fast as you can, friend!
And so they run, cough, huff and puff, turn corners and run without looking back or hesitating. – Stop, stop stop! Stop there! – the out of breath servant yanks at Clibis and tears the bag out of his hands. He takes the papers and the weapon out and looks the wimp in his eyes while giving him back the bag full of money.
– I will end this man’s whole career thanks to you. Do whatever you wish with this, you’re free.
Harry then scurries off into the darkness never to be seen. What now? Maybe a door… Ah! Clibis spots a shiny knob once again and twists it like it’s the last knob he will ever twist! The stepping inside doesn’t happen though, because when it opens, salty sea water swallows him like a hungry orca, leaving him no time to even say Oops.
The tides are strong on the little boy, he is tossed and turned and sent underwater by walls of waves, seemingly never letting up. The crushing weight of the salty water makes him swallow a bunch, this might be the end for him! There’s no door anywhere out in the open sea!
Oh, but wait, he barely hears yelling of men and whistling before being sent underwater again. Like angels grabbing him around, he is caught in a fishing net and pulled up by men on a rather large ship.
– Whach yerself kiddo! – is the only thing he can dismantle from the men’s grunting and yelling. Everyone abroad is soaking wet from the frantic storm, they’re running to places with bowls, trying to shovel out the water, some are ontop the mast, shouting orders and the ship itself is acting like it’s at a battle dance off.
– Get da hell inside, ya underfoot! – a skinny bearded figure shoves at him while running to his ordered task and Clibis would rather throw up everything thats inside of him, but he manages to scoot under some crates of half rotten vegetables.
– Capt ’Arry! Round four ’oles, left wing! – a guy shouts, as a tall, bald person in holey clothes and lots of jewels exits the ship cabinet. His face full of scars and pierces, he had at least 5 earrings and one majestic pirate hat.
– Get da barrels up aboard befohitall senks, we’ll shovel the muck out de shep aftede storm settles! – Clibis could feel the vinegar in his throat as he spoke with a deep rumble. – Mighty Lo’d whut we gone have intah. – this time he looks at the pained little boy hugging a bunch of thick ropes. – Get on in, yee don lookin likah bigol thret.
Clibis didn’t have to study in pirate school to understand that he will very likely have a bad time outside, so he follows the slender man. Inside is not that much quieter but there’s two chairs and a table to lean against for the seasick.
– Captain Harry for yee. – he plops down in the fancier looking armchair and pours himself a glass of something with ease while the ship wiggles around like an anrgy boar at the rodeo. – Storm will settle inabouta minute, no biggie. Mighteswel get comftobel eh? – Harry gestures at the beverage but Clibis raises an eyebrow.
– Your kind is as barbaric as it gets mister.
– Small price tahpay fora lil somthing somthing. – he winks and points back at the map behind him which is full of tears, exes (not that kind) and crossed out words. – Yee trade sum words for the spare of yee life, whadaya say? Traiters meet de feit of de plank! – he crosses his neck with one finger and shows a painful expression. – Sherk food, whada tragedy!
Clibis remembers the bag of money he recieved and starts to tap his pockets for it but it’s empty. Could he have lost it underwater? Oh now he’s gonna get the plank for sure!
– Captan sir Capten! Report, land in front! – jowful sounds come from outside and Captain Harry stands up like the thunder hit him and rushes outside.
The sky cleared up and the ship fell back asleep shortly, and truth be told, a small island emerges in their field of view, almost bigger than a peach seed. Everyone’s eyes light up, some start dancing, some sing their songs and Harry throws his hat in the air.
– Mighteh Jehsus we foundit boys! Yarr to be alive thes day!
The people shout „Put de enchor down, get de sails!” and all of them run and jump down the land once the sailing stops. Two or three start vigorously shoveling with hands and tools at one spot, four more a little further away and Harry himself gets down on four legs.
– I’ve got it! We hit metal! – his throat almost gives up the screaming. – Lendme a hend, comon, hurry ye fuckheds!
While all of them pile up on one spot to help digging, Clibis trips in a smaller pile of sand, or he thought, but the colour of it is too familiar to be just sand. He found his money!
– A… door? Who da hecking Christ ol Mighty buries a door in send?! – the Captain sound furious and looks around for something with red eyes. – Get that rat you guys, he has the treasure! – and points to the scared little Clibis who clutches onto his sack of golden coins.
Quickly he sneaks himself past the pirate lads and fells face first in the whole where the door is. It’s dusty knob looks modern and unfamiliar, but to hell with it, he twists it fast and falls to his demise. Behind him, it gets shut immediately and Clibis gets the feeling he won’t be followed there.
Clibis didn’t even know what to make of the sounds around him now. Clanking, hissing, and an indescribable pit pat.
He was walking in a long, narrow metal room with many seats sitting symmetrically on both sides, in the middle was a long line of red carpet, above the seats were iron rods, some had coats hanging from it, some just made place for suitcases, boxes and small bags. There were many windows and the ceiling hanged very low, but the latter didn’t bother Clibis the slightest.
He saw some people sitting down, watching a magical screen with colours flashing in all sorts of ways on it, some were speaking to palm-sized plastic boxes held up against their ears and some just slept with their mouths open.
One person was reading a book though, rather thick with tiny letters. She was well dressed, her hair poofy blonde, her clothes with much frills and buttons.
– Hello? Can you tell me the time, lady?
– Why yes, it is currently twelve fourty-nine, well over departure time, but it seems we’ll be stuck for another hour, unfortunately. – she spoke delicately, all while looking the boy in the face. – Did you lose your parents?
– No – Clibis shook his head and sat down beside the lady. – Have you met someone named Harry Potter?
– Harry Potter… No, I’m afraid I have not, but what a nice ring does it have to it. Harry Potter…- and she writes the name down on a piece of paper. – And what name do you go by, little boy?
– Clibis Jerome Weasley. I was supposed to be learning magic, but my master passed away before I could learn anything other than sweeping with a broom.
The woman listened carefully. „Weasley, how cute… Weasley..” – she wrote down all of what Clibis was saying.
– I am Joanna Rowling, now on my way to London, trying to find a book publisher that would consider working with me. Do you like books, Clibis?
– Yes of course! I read about dragons and knights and ancient times, I am very wise!
– I can see it in your eyes – Joanna giggled and handed him a lot thinner book from her purse. – Moby Dick is just as interesting, read it. People don’t really read anymore, after such a liftoff in technology. They keep inventing new things, which is amazing but…where I come from, people keep losing their precious jobs because of it, you
know? Actually, how would you know, little boy, I apologize for bombarding you. Take this book with you, I have read it countless times when I was smaller.
He thanked the woman and left the money bag on the seat for her to find, then looked around for another door that would bring him another step closer to the right Harry. And find he did: dark wood, shin knob. Only takes a twist and… Clibis was in front of the old tower again.
The same old tower laid before his eyes, maybe a slightly more crooked version, but no wonder, it’s his home. He gazed around for people to see, and wow… oh, uhm wow…
There he was. Another him, the same him, but different. In a newer green coat and shorter red hair, but it was him. The duplicate was talking to the merchant lady in the cart, so the older Clibis approached them.
– Well if it isn’t the little Clibis! Shall I take you to your destination?
– Thank you. Do—
– Hello again, Ms. Helder!
The merchant smiled wider now.
– Well if isn’t another Clibis! Shall i take you two to your destinations?
The young Clibis’ eyes grew wider and his jaw dropped. The older, just as surprised, leaned closer to grab his hand, but as soon as he did, like a lightning hit him, he was paralyzed and couldn’t see.
Nothing was around him anymore, just pure colour that he didn’t know
of, no shapes, no sound, not even his own body, just a looot of space.
– Welcome, boy! – an aged voice echoed – Step forward, don’t need to be shy!
Clibis did something that he thought was a step, then, like magic, he was somewhere again with a body. That somewhere was still quiet empty, but at least it had him, and another very old, hunched man standing not so far from him.
– Clabongis sent you, but forgot to actually send you, I heard. You must have been trained extraordinarily to figure it out on your own though! Wonderful work! Here’s a cookie…
The boy’s hand suddenly had a cookie inside. Sweet!
– This is…not really a space. There’s no actual time either, that cookie would have remained in its’ standard form for eternity if you wouldn’t have eaten it just now. This is a place where Time resets. Not from zero of course, there is no zero. Or there was no zero. And never will be. But it resets when Time is torn in a way it isn’t supposed to. That is not such an easy task, however, but duplicating is a wonderfully effective way, you’re quiet smart!
Clibis didn’t really know what to say, but he knew he should feel pride in himself.
– So, you are Harry Potter?
– I can be, yes. I, in some way, shape or form, am related to your master, and I understand his… hesitations. I will always remember him, if I mean the original definition of „always” of course.
– Are you some sort of God?
Harry man smiles gently and the „space” or „not space” starts warping around him, showing a beautiful garden full of trees and flowers and two people.
– You people have awful interesting ways of dealing with powers above you. No, I am no creator, nor recreator, nor am I living or thinking of new things. But I wasn’t created either. – he tore down and apple from the tree, to which a new one grew back in its’ place. – I just am.
– Indeed, I would say.
They both stare at nothing, or something, for a little while, or maybe no while at all.
– I can’t bring Calbongis back to life, It’s just not how it goes, I think you understand. But I also think you have your own path to walk now, little Clibis. To grow up.
– My own?
The space warps into the shape of the tower and the village, the merchant and nature.
– You’re not destined or meant to live happily ever after, there is no set path for you to walk and the readers don’t get to read about your life from now on. But as I am not a dreamer or thinker, they are. Whatever they make of your story, won’t actually change or make you a story. You will just live and die and someone will or will not remember that. Make of that what you will. – the man smiles one last time and turns around as if to walk away.- Oh and thanks for the birthday wish! – he swings the wrinkled letter in his hand with a bigger smile. – Whatever that is for me.
And Clibis stays where he was standing, by the tower, with no cookie in hand, but a cookie in his stomach. Or at least he really believes he ate that cookie.
– Awesome. – he smiles and enters the tower, now for real, through the door, no time warping, just arriving home (to possibly clean out that awful smell of lemon tea from the place).