We go about our daily routine, but the tension is palpable. He has been dreaming of it for a couple of years now. He would talk of the place and the sights he wanted to see there, the things he would do, the people he would finally meet. It has been a while and he knows that it would not be as he remembered and, except for the buildings and the paths, things would have changed. “For better or for worse?” he would ask me anxiously. Somehow, I could never give a convincingly comforting answer. That was where he belonged, he would say and I would smile. I had forgotten that dreams could be so intense, so vivid and so overpowering.
For the last six months or so, he has stopped talking of it and I find that worrying. The date of journey was approaching and I was making a list of things he would be needing there, but he doesn’t seem to be interested. Was it that anticipation and apprehension has gripped him to an extent of shutting his emotions. I mention the place in random conversations and refer to familiar things, but he is busy with the many other things that so preoccupy one at his age. Or is he just preparing himself for reality, just in case? Casual remarks tell me that he still wistfully longs to go there, that the memories are still there tucked away in an obscure corner of his brain. Now they do not haunt him though.
I think he has crossed it out from his list, and I feel a little lost and empty inside. He laughs and I see that he has grown up and out of it, and I feel betrayed. It was as much his dream as it was mine. I pick up a book and lose myself in the hypnotic flow of black ink, but the suspense is killing.
I do realize that it is not really where we long to be, it is about the magic that is within us that matters. But dreams never sit quietly in a corner you know, and I have a feeling there is a train waiting for us at platform nine and three-quarters.
There is a voice in my head that keeps repeating, ‘There are 11 days to go. Will he get the letter on his birthday?’.
(This post is with reference to Harry Potter and the letter from Hogwarts)