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Chapter 48 : Filius Flitwick
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Beta read by: Jessi_Rose and slytheringinny
Chapter Graphic: sauerkraut_poet
Title: The Mirror of Egdelwonk
Rating/Warnings: 12+ (none)
For the Staff: Lots of flowers to our loverly staff! What would we all
do without you? And of course lots of thanks to my great betas
jessi_rose and slytheringinny, and to sauerkraut_poet for the
Another year at Hogwarts was finally over, and the summer holidays had started. I had decided to take a real holiday this year, and was now apparating to Hamburg in Germany.
The German Ministry for Magic provided a room in the train station of Hamburg-Altona where wizards and witches from all over the world could arrive and depart by Apparition, Floo Powder or Portkeys. An elderly Ministry witch was in charge of selling Muggle maps and train tickets to those who, like me, wanted to continue their journey by Muggle means of transport.
I had bought some casual Muggle clothes for my holidays, exchanged money and even learned a little German. Aside from being quite quick with new languages anyway, I also know a potion or two to aid in learning a little faster.
So now here I was, leaving the Ministry room and setting out towards the platforms with my trunk on a Muggle luggage trolley. It was quite easy to find the correct platform; apparently, Muggles aren’t as chaotic as they are said to be. I boarded the train to Westerland, that’s on the isle of Sylt, which would take two hours to bring me to my destination. It’s sometimes quite hard to believe how slowly Muggles travel.
This “Muggle style” holiday was not an idea that would normally have occurred to me, but I talked a lot to Arthur Weasley lately, and it’s quite hard not to be intrigued by Muggle life when you listen to him.
Two hours later we arrived at a small station where Muggles could get their cars aboard the train to have them transported to the island. You could reach Sylt by ship or train, but there was no Muggle road.
Around us was marshland, with a few solitary trees every now and then, stretching perfectly flat to the horizon. It was a truly romantic landscape, just as though it had been created to serve as a place to spend one’s holidays.
Soon after that, we turned west towards the island. The railway was built directly across the shallow area of sea that fell dry twice a day at low tide, and that the whole area was so famous for. Luckily, I was travelling at high tide, and the greyish blue waves of the North Sea almost reached the railway on one side. On the other side, sheep were grazing on the salty grass. We would soon be reaching Sylt.
I never liked big hotels, so I had rented a room in a house in the old town of Westerland. The landlady had told me the house once belonged to the captain of a big trading-vessel who had made quite a fortune in China or Japan. I don’t remember which.
The old house was not far from the station. Like the other buildings in the neighbourhood, it was built of red bricks and had a roof of reed. I rang the bell, and an elderly, motherly-looking Muggle woman opened the door.
At first she looked right over my head, but I’m quite used to that by now. People are always a little astonished by my size, or rather my lack of size. However, she recovered quite fast.
“Good day, Madam, I am Filius Flitwick; I rented one of your rooms for two weeks,” I said in German.
“Ah yes, I’ve been expecting you! Come in please, Mr Flitwick!”
The landlady, Mrs. Tadsen, led me into the house. Through a small corridor we reached the “Pesel”, as the living-room in a Friesian house is called. It had a low wooden ceiling, and the furniture consisted of a large table with a couple of chairs around it, a few old shelves and cupboards, and a TV set. Up to waist height, the wall was covered in old tiles showing mainly maritime pictures in blue and white.
“The guests who rent only one room, like yourself, can all use the Pesel together. I will come here, too, sometimes, to chat a bit with my guests,” Mrs Tadsen explained.
“It looks really nice, Mrs. Tadsen. Almost as though it came directly from the 18th century. Except, of course, for the TV,” I said.
“These houses are considered valuable historical monuments, so we have to keep them as they were when they were built,” my landlady explained, “But I really like it that way, too, and so do the tourists. This way,” she indicated a door to her left, “is your bedroom.”
We went into my bedroom, which was furnished in the same style as the Pesel. Through another door opposite the one leading to the Pesel I could get to a bathroom, which I also had to my own.
When Mrs Tadsen had showed me around the house, I unpacked my trunk and decided to go down to the beach. It was still afternoon and quite warm outside, and I didn’t feel like spending the first day of my holidays indoors.
I found myself a nice spot on the beach, away from the larger crowds of tourists, and sat down in the warm sand. Behind me was the dyke with cafés and bistros on top of it. Before me, the waves of the sea stretched away into infinity.
I had just settled down and was taking out my Muggle crime novel when a large brown owl landed neatly next to me. Some Muggles looked my way, surprised to see an owl in bright daylight, and apparently a tame one. I quickly placed an Obscuring Charm on the owl. Any Muggle looking at it would instantly be distracted by something more interesting. Then I untied the scroll of parchment from the owl’s outstretched leg. Opening it, I read:
The Order needs your help. We have been looking for an ancient magical device known as the Mirror of Egdelwonk. Undoubtedly, you know about the Mirror of Erised; the Mirror of Egdelwonk was manufactured by the same wizard, who apparently suffered from a lack of imagination when it came to names. However, I recently learned where this mirror might be hidden, and I think you are aware how useful it would be for us if we found it.
The mirror was made somewhere in the orient and sent to a wizard who lived in a small town called Rungholt. This place is located a little south of Sylt, but we have not yet found out exactly where it is. I suppose you will be able to gain access to that information more easily since it has to be near Sylt, and someone there should know more about it.
It is possible that Lord Voldemort has learned about the Mirror as well by now. You will have to be careful.
I hope you do not mind that I had to spoil your holidays like this. If you find the mirror, please bring it to Headquarters as soon as you can.
Spoil my holidays? Not at all! There is little I enjoy more than a nice mystery, and Albus knows it.
Rungholt. I did not remember having seen the name on any map of the area, and decided to ask Mrs Tadsen.
After everyone had come back from dinner, we sat in the Pesel and chatted a bit. We, that was Mrs Tadsen, Ms. Ashley Sue McMillan (a beautiful blonde from New York City in designer clothing and with an air of perfection about her), Mr. and Mrs. Huber (a middle aged married couple from somewhere in Bavaria), and myself. “Myself, that was, as far as the others knew, a physics professor from a boarding school in the north of England – close enough, I’d say.
We talked about this and that for a while, soon switching over to English, because the Hubers’ English was a lot better than my German.
After a while I asked Mrs Tadsen, “A friend told me about a place called Rungholt, but I couldn’t find it on the maps I have. Can you tell me where it is?”
Our landlady seemed a bit surprised when she answered, “Why, no wonder you didn’t find it! The town sank in a tidal wave in 1362. All you will find in the place where it’s been is water.”
“That’s like, so interesting!”, Ms McMillan exclaimed excitedly, “Where was it?”
“It was about 60 kilometres south-east of here,” Mrs Tadsen began her explanation, “On an island called ‘Strand’. In 1362, Rungholt sank in a stormy night. A few centuries later, other parts of that island were washed away as well. Today there are just a few more or less small islands and sands left.”
“Was Rungholt, like, a totally big place?”, Ms McMillan wanted to know; I could see Mrs Huber roll her eyes, but Mrs Tadsen didn’t seem to mind Ms McMillan’s way.
“Yes, it was. It must have been an important place for sea trade. Merchants from all over the world came there. Legend has it that Rungholt was as big and important as ancient Rome had been, but I suppose that’s an exaggeration.”
“Did archaeologists try to find any remains of the town? Can that be done at all if it’s all underwater now and probably already destroyed?”, I asked her, fearing for the fate of the Mirror.
“Yes, of course, people did search,” Mrs Tadsen replied. “Some areas of the old island of Strand are dry at low tide, so you can look for traces of civilisation rather easily. A few things were found, too, like remains of buildings or wells, and some pieces of pottery. The trouble is, most things have either been washed away long ago, or else sunken deep into the mud. If some item surfaces from the mud, it can be seen for some time – years, if you’re lucky – but then it’ll be destroyed by the water.”
“That’s a real pity,” Mrs Huber interjected, “so there are no ruins underwater?”
“Would be romantic, wouldn’t it?”, Mrs Tadsen said. “No, I suppose there aren’t any. Maybe there’s something under all the mud, though.”
“Like, oh my God! What about the people of Rungholt? Where they, like, rescued?” Ms McMillan inquired, her eyes wide with interest.
“Most weren’t, I suppose,” Mrs Tadsen answered. “Those who were in the town in the night of that horrible tidal wave didn’t have much of a chance to get away. A few may have made it to higher grounds. Anyway, it is said that the richer their town got, the citizens of Rungholt would get even more arrogant. They might not have believed anything would happen until it was already too late.”
“Like the passengers of the Titanic,” Ms McMillan remarked.
“Yes, in a way,” Mrs Tadsen said thoughtfully.
Both Ms McMillan and myself were interested in the old legends and urged Mrs Tadsen to tell us more. I hoped to get some bits of information as to where the Mirror might be today. Telling the truth, what Mrs Tadsen had said up to now had been rather discouraging.
Apparently, people thought of Rungholt as some kind of a second Atlantis. Just as glamorous, as rich, as mystical as the “real” Atlantis. I took it for a good sign that the inhabitants of Rungholt were believed to be mighty sorcerers, although Ms McMillan didn’t believe it. (“Magic? No, there is no such thing! I would know, because I always feel it when there’s something strange around. I would sense anything supernatural, and I never have, so there is no magic.”) I think it is understandable that I didn’t try to correct her.
On the next day, I phoned every museum in the area to find out if they had a mirror from Rungholt. If they had the one I was looking for, I would try to buy, or the Order could do that; or, in the worst case I could always steal it and replace it by a look-alike.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t successful. It seemed that the Mirror was still in Rungholt, or else destroyed. I had high hopes that it would still be intact because it must have been protected by spells. At least that’s what I’d have done. There was always the possibility that someone had found the Mirror and brought it away, which would be really bad; I tried not to think about that and hoped that there was magical protection against that, too.
I finally decided to take a look around Rungholt. I’d do that at high tide, diving with Gillyweed so that no Muggles or, yet worse, Death Eaters, could see me if there were any.
To reach Rungholt, I chose the easiest possibility: A Muggle tourist ship. It would have been an enjoyable voyage, had I not been so anxious about the Mirror. I’m afraid I get excited far too easily…
As the ship approached Rungholt, I found myself a spot where I would not be observed and chewed the Gillyweed I had ordered from a wizards’ store nearby. I waited for the herb to take effect and then disapparated into the water.
The water of the North Sea wasn’t very clear, so I didn’t see much. I took my wand out to perform a Lumos spell in order to get some light. The ground of the sea wasn’t far below me, and I reached it quickly. Among the sea plants and shells, I looked around for anything that looked as though it was made by humans, and indeed I found remains of walls and wooden buildings.
Even with the light my wand cast I couldn’t see very far, and after all there were no places in sight where a mirror could be safely hidden for such a long time. I had expected that and brought a Magic Detector. Unlike common Dark Detectors, it indicates any kind of magic around. It had taken me some time to bewitch it to work underwater, but finally I had managed.
I took out the small instrument that looked like a normal clock, and waited for the hands to give off some sign of magic. At first it didn’t react. Then, suddenly, all the hands shot up to what would have been 12 o’clock on a normal watch. A strong source of magic must have appeared out of nowhere – definitely not the Mirror.
I extinguished the light at the tip of my wand and watched, trying to make no sound.
Everything around me seemed to be as quiet as you’d expect the bottom of the sea to be.
I ducked inside an ancient well to make sure I wouldn’t be seen if there was someone around. Peering over the well’s rim, I looked around, trying to make out any shapes in the dirty water.
Suddenly, I saw Bellatrix walking cautiously closer.
She had her wand out and was searching the ground for something. What this something was wasn’t really hard to guess – the Mirror, of course. She was using a Bubble-Head Charm for diving.
Bella hadn’t noticed me yet but it was only a question of time until she would. Of course, I could have apparated out of the water again without her even noticing I had ever been there. But I couldn’t leave her alone to find the Mirror.
I climbed out of the well, and Bella spotted me immediately. I barely managed to duck the curse she shot my way, and quickly put up a Shield Charm before she could make another attempt.
I couldn’t hear any incantations because of the Bubble-Head Charm, so basically I had to guess her spells to react properly. I admit she kept me very busy.
All the stray spells soon threw up so much mud that we could only guess where the other one was standing.
Suddenly I felt a curse hit the hem of my robes. I was lucky it hadn’t touched me, because it looked a lot like a Killing Curse.
I was trying to circle Bella now in order to get a clear shot at her and hoped that she wouldn’t have the same idea. I tried to use only defensive spells that wouldn’t be visible from wherever she was standing or floating so that she couldn’t figure out what I was doing.
Bella started to direct her curses in different directions, and some hit the ground dangerously close to me. Based on the course her spells took, I tried to guess where she was. When I thought I had found out exact enough, I pointed my wand that way and thought, “bulla magica interpellandam est,” trying to perform the complicated wand moves in the water before me.
I had never before done that curse, but I knew it had worked when seconds later I heard a splashing in the water before me as Bella apparently struggled to keep her balance. Then there was silence.
Before I could do anything else I got more Gillyweed out and chewed it because the portion I had taken earlier was already ceasing to work.
As soon as I could breathe freely again I edged forward to where Bella had stood. She had now disapparated, of course. My curse had caused the bubble around her head to collapse, and to my relief it would also prevent her from using the Bubble-Head Charm again too soon.
I continued my search for the Mirror. Another hour later I had found – nothing. My Magic Detector couldn’t pick up the faintest trace of anything magical.
In the evening I came back to Mrs Tadsen’s house, I was not only exhausted but also at a loss for ideas as to where to look for the Mirror next.
Ms McMillan lay on the sofa absorbed in a book titled “Rungholt”. I had heard enough of Rungholt for one day, but she greeted me excitedly, “Hello Mr Flitwick! This is so, like, interesting! Did you, like, know that legend about some people, like, knowing there was a tidal wave, like, coming?”
I admit I can’t stand Ms McMillan, but this sounded interesting. I told her no, I didn’t, and of course she had to “like tell me” lengthily.
Apparently, there were theories that some sorcerers in Rungholt had predicted the tidal wave.
“This like legend must have been, like, invented back in the days when people still believed in, like, magic, “ Ms McMillan commented.
“Some people still do,” I hazarded.
“Yeah, alright,” Ms McMillan replied in an offhand sort of voice, “but they’re, like, nutters. Come on, you’re a scientist, you can’t, like, believe that!”
Obviously I couldn’t – there’s still the Statute of Secrecy.
Luckily, Ms McMillan wasn’t waiting for a reply but went right on explaining the old legend.
According to her book, the sorcerers of Rungholt tried to convince the Muggles in their town of the coming natural disaster but, like Mrs Tadsen had already pointed out, they were getting arrogant and thought the dykes around Rungholt would be strong enough to protect them.
When the citizens decided to stay, the sorcerers did the same. They wanted to try and help the Muggles with their magic, hoping to save at least a few lives. It was the only decent thing to do, but Ms McMillan was very much impressed by this “like nobleness”.
Anyways, the sorcerers wanted to get any important magical items out of Rungholt, and so they sent them to friends all over the world.
Ms McMillan starting listing different things the Muggle legends mentioned. I didn’t quite take them in, because I was so anxious to hear anything about the Mirror. And indeed, its fate was known! It was brought to... Japan! But where in Japan – that was not stated anywhere. My famous luck. But at least I had a point to start from, and maybe the Mirror was still intact – wherever it might be. Chances were it was already brought out of Japan again, or owned by Muggles, or destroyed, or…
I admit I didn’t quite like Ms McMillan. She seemed to be such a spoiled, arrogant girl. But now I began to change my mind about her. At least her curiosity was very useful.
I had to travel to Japan and contact a few friends there. And I had to do that fast, before Bella found this bit of information as well.
As soon as Ms McMillan had finished her story (and that seemed to take forever) I went to my room and packed my trunk.
Why couldn’t these ancient sorcerers simply leave the Mirror where it had been, and protect it magically? Why did they have to make me go on a treasure hunt all over the world? The next thing I had to do was tell Mrs Tadsen that I had to leave now. It could all have been so easy!
I walked over into the kitchen to see if Mrs Tadsen was there. I looked around the beautifully furnished room, but didn’t see her. I noticed that our landlady seemed to like antique decoration objects. Unusual enough for a kitchen, there were paintings on the walls and even an old mirror on the wall opposite the door. I looked at my reflection for a moment –
– and then the image in the mirror changed. It didn’t reflect me and the room around me anymore. It showed me giving a mirror – the very same mirror – to Albus.
There it was.
Right before me.
It had been there all the time.
I felt like laughing out loud. I had searched the ground of the sea, got myself into that battle with Bella, and I’d almost gone on a trip to Japan. But I’d never thought I might find the Mirror right here. Fate is playing games with me sometimes… But, you know, humour is the best way to take them… Especially if they’re this ridiculous.
The rest of the story is quickly told. It was true that the Mirror had been brought to Japan centuries ago. It had many owners – Muggles as well as sorcerers. Finally, a Muggle with no idea of the value of the Mirror sold it to the captain of a European trading-vessel. This man was the one who built the house that now belonged to Mrs Tadsen. Why, she mentioned that on my first day here! The families who owned the house after he died kept the Mirror. They were all Muggles, so no one ever noticed that there was more to the Mirror. Apparently it didn’t work when a Muggle looked into it.
I talked Mrs Tadsen into selling the Mirror to me without telling her the entire truth. She wasn’t all too sad about it, especially since I paid her enough money to buy several new or, if she wanted, antique mirrors.
Seeing as my holidays would be over in a few days’ time anyway, it wasn’t even suspicious that I left the day after I found the Mirror of Egdelwonk. Albus was absolutely delighted to see the Mirror. Of course he was unable to restrain himself from laughing at my story but I suppose I wouldn’t have reacted differently.
Albus hung the Mirror in his office in Hogwarts where it would be safe. I helped him put it up, and now, for the second time, I saw something in it. Something other than the normal reflection a mirror is supposed to give. I saw a group of people, most of them members of the Order, celebrating something in the Headmaster’s office. It was like one of the parties fourteen years ago when Lord Voldemort almost died. The picture vanished again before I could make out any details. Any but one. Albus’ portrait was hanging on the wall.
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