One Day at a Time


I don't know why I did it. That's one thought that was always on my mind. When the spell was over and my hand was still holding the wand it felt like it was the only thing I could have done, but I was starting to question that.

I was pondering this one day, when I was informed that I had a visitor. I vaguely glanced at the smooth stone walls of the room I was waiting in and wondered what the weather outside was like; I had not been outside today and there were no windows in this room. "Hello, Liseli," Dumbledore greeted me when he entered the room. The twinkle was gone from his blue eyes, and instead a heavy sadness rested on his face. "I'm sorry to have to see you under these terms. I have—ah—been informed of everything, already." I averted my gaze, feeling as though I was physically unable to meet his eyes. "Why did you do it?" there was almost a soft curiosity in his voice.

"I-I don't know. I d-don't know why anybody does anything, anymore," I stuttered.

He was looking at me intently, even though I refused to meet his eyes. As though he had not heard my response, he repeated his question, "Why did you do it?"

"I don't know why," I repeated again, as though that phrase was a shield which would protect me. Yet every time I said that phrase aloud I felt something deep within me twinge, a small part of me which hissed "Ah, but you do know why. You just don't want to admit it." Dumbledore sighed, and the small room filled with a silence, a screaming, suffocating silence. "I wonder—" I started before I abruptly cut myself off.

"Wonder what?" the white-haired man asked.

"I wonder how much we're a product of our environment, and how much we're a product of—of something else," I lamely stated. I was replaying a question that I had shared with someone else. It had only been a little over half a year ago and yet somehow it seemed as though years, decades, had gone by since it.

"I told Harry something once. I said that it is our choices that show what we truly are, but I think I should have said it is our choices that make us what we are." He said it in a final, all-knowing tone, as though he was stating the answer to a simple arithmetic problem.

I thought back to the first time I had had this conversation, and to the path that had led me to my current situation. I suppose if I wanted to tell the whole story I'd have to start with my childhood, but I don't really want to discuss that. Instead, I'm going to start with the year that I took the Defense Against the Dark Arts job. 1996. Harry Potter's sixth year…

Disclaimer: I don't own Dumbledore or his world. I do, however, own Liseli.

A/N: Just as a general note, my chapters are longer than this; this is short just because it's the prologue. Also, those of you who have read this story before have probably noticed that I rewrote the prologue again, but I'm 99.9% sure this is the last time.