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1. The End is just the Beginning

Newton Pulsifer and Anathema Device decided they did not want to be descendants for the rest of their lives. They agreed that they would never read 'Further Nife and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter'. If they did, they would find out that

When the Ende endeth, a new Beginninge sharl beginne,

For what He dreams, is true for Them.

Birds of the Nighte sharl bring the news

And Hogge Warts sharl teach Them alle They need to knowe.

And there sharl be chaos,

And strange thinges sharl happen,

For what He believes, is true for Them…

And so on…

XXX

Adam Young closed the book. He didn't normally read many books, but these were very interesting. And so this was the fifth book he had read since the day when the end of the world hadn't come. For a while he thought he wished the world inside the book was real, and that he was a wizard. Then he realised what he had just thought. And, since he already had saved the world once this summer, he decided that he'd had enough strange adventures for a while and right now he'd rather be a normal boy instead. But every eleven-year-old child sometimes wishes they could do magic just for a while. And this while was enough…

XXX

Newt walked into the room just in time to see Anathema take her head out of the fireplace. He had heard her talking to someone, but she appeared to be alone. This was strange. Well, this was not the first strange thing that happened to him. He had been a witchfinder(1) for a while. Than he had found the witch. And she had helped him, and they had helped stop the end of the world. And then they somehow found themselves living together and actually enjoying it. That is quite a lot of strange things to happen in such a short time. But some people just can't get used to it when their lives suddenly become interesting.

'What are you doing?' he asked, slightly shocked.

'I think I've got a new job' she said.

'Oh, that's great! Where?'


(1)The Witchfinder Army is an organisation that fights witches. If they find any. Usually they don't. Witchfinder Sergeant Shadwell claims there are quite a lot of witchfinders (Some of them have names like Tin or Milk, many are called Smith, and probably even more don't have names.), the truth is that there are two of them.

XXX

Our story begins(2) on a dark and stormy night. A dark and stormy night is quite a good time for a story to begin. But the owl flying through the rain with a large envelope tied to its legs wished it wasn't a dark and stormy night. It was rather cold and very wet, and, of course, it is not easy to fly in such a strong wind. But it had a letter to deliver…


(2)Er… I mean really begins. The part before was just the… well… beginning. You know what I mean…

XXX

The dark and stormy night was over and Adam hadn't even noticed the storm. When he woke up, it was already over. He looked at the window and there was no sign of it outside at all. Well, maybe except for the owl sitting on the window-sill, looking as if it had just flown through a tornado. A very wet tornado. The owl appeared to have something tied to its legs…

'Oh my…!' said Adam and hesitated. It sounds kind of weird when the Antichrist says 'oh my God'.

The boy opened the window and let the bird in. It did indeed have a letter tied to its legs.

'Wow!' said Adam 'An owl with a letter! Just like in the book!'

XXX

'Are you sure it was a right thing to do, Headmaster?'

Albus Dumbledore thought about it. It seemed perfectly normal. The boy was eleven years old, British and, kind of , magical… it was a slightly different kind of magic, but how bad can that be?

'Yes,' said the headmaster 'I think we must give the boy a chance to - '

'But you know what… who this child is! Are you sure he can be trusted… '

'I trust him' said Dumbledore

'You trust everybody'

'Yes, I do. And I am usually right. And besides, our new Defence against the Dark Arts teacher says Mr. Young is actually a really nice boy'

'And who is this new teacher?' This question just had to be asked. The last five people teaching the subject had been a man with Voldemort sitting inside his head, an idiot, a werewolf, a crazy Death Eater pretending to be a paranoid Auror and…er… well… Professor Umbridge…

XXX

Adam didn't know what to do. For a few weeks he had been sure he was just an ordinary boy. During the week before those few weeks he had not been ordinary, but now, he thought, everything was supposed to be back to normal. And he was just a boy, and his friends were just kids, and Dog (his dog) was just a dog. And everything. The end of the world was over and he was not the Antichrist any more. And things didn't happen just because he thought about them too much. And he was not a wizard either. Or was he? But why? He hadn't even wanted it to happen… well, all right, maybe a bit…

But how was he going to tell his parents about it? How was he going to tell his friends that he had to leave them? How was he going to get all the necessary things… the wand, the books…? He really didn't know what to do. He needed someone to help him. But who…?

XXX

As Adam walked through Lower Tadfield towards Jasmine Cottage, he was very sad, happy and confused at the same time. He was confused, because anyone would be if they suddenly found out that they can do magic and the story they had just read turned out to be real. This was why he needed to talk to Anathema. She was a witch. Well, sort of… Anyway, the boy thought she just might be able to help him. He was happy because most kids would be if they were just about to start learning magic. He was also a little sad, because he liked it here, in his town and wasn't sure he wanted to leave it. And he would miss his friends. Pepper, Wensleydale and Brian were probably not going with him. This felt very strange. Pepper, Wensleydale and Brian had always gone with him everywhere. How was he going to tell them that…

And then he saw them. All three of them were standing in front of Anathema's house, talking about something, each of them holding something in their hands. Something that looked very much like the letter he had got this morning!

'Hi, Adam!' they all shouted. They seemed very relieved to see him. They knew Adam always knew what to do. Except this time.

'Hi' said Adam 'What's up?'

'I got this letter this morning -' Pepper started talking.

'Yeah, we all got those letters -' Brian interrupted her.

'It says I'm a witch' Pepper continued 'An' Brian an' Wensley are wizards, an' - '

'But it can't be true, can it?' said Wensleydale 'There is no magic - '

'Well, it looks like there is' argued Brian

'What d'you think we should - '

'I got one too' said Adam 'I was just going to ask Anathema about it…'

The Them looked at their leader.

'Well, she's a witch, isn't she?' he said 'She should know what to do'

And then they knocked on the door.