Cecilia would have been 42 this year. An old woman. She had remembered her 41st birthday, her last, oldest birthday. Here, in the original world, she was coming 30. Why was it that she had returned to her

original age but remembered so much about the other time and place?

She had never broached it with Dumbledore, not least because she didn't want a philosophical discussion with him. Nevertheless, Cecilia often thought, she would have liked to have understood.

Cecilia thought about the other world often, and considered the first time that she had met Dumbledore here, in this world, as Mr White, convincing her that her talents were just what they were looking for.

And then there was there, the same person, in completely different circumstances. Albus Dumbledore back there had been so enraptured with Gellert Grindelwald. If only he had known himself in the other world...t

A knock on the door brought Cecilia's mind to the present, and she put a plate onto the draining board that had nearly slipped out of her hands.

"Freya, get that, wiill you?"

"Yes, Cecilia."

"Don't let Septimus out, will you? He might fall on the steps."

When she got to the door, a round faced, happy looking woman smiled back to Cecilia. She had a wrigglng child in her arms.

"I'm Kathleen Scott. I'm your neighbour. Sorry ro bother you like this, have you seen a sheet blown from her washing line?" And to the child in her arms added, "Julian! Have you torn a page out of Ivanhoe?"


In the cellar of 12, Grimmauld Place lay a large ledger, in some of which the writing was scripts, different languages even, different dialects: middle, then old English. Further back was Latin, then Greek.

The first name to appear in that ledger was Herpo. Herpo Mavros, was his name and, in the blocky writing of ancient Green explained that his purpose was to unite wizards, gods and people. He had been the first reciprocator; he had formed a horcrux with the help of other like-minded wizards in Athens. This book was an effort of preservation, so his work would last through the ages.


The first Black.

And now he, Dumbledore was the last.

But no, not last, latest. For the stewardship of that role had now passed on to a Black descendent. Sirius was the right choice, the perfect choice. Magic: it was in the blood.