Utter desolation. The playground’s swings creak; sway back and forth to nobody-in-particular’s tune. The ground gathers dust; prepares itself for… nothing in particular, really. Pathetic fallacy; the sky sighs, and then breathes out an atmosphere of sheer anticlimax. Harry sits alone, his suitcase beside him his only companion. It quietly whispers promises of adventure, mobility, dynamism… But for now, all is still.

The air is pregnant with possibility; cold and crisp. There is not a soul in sight, apart from one. The wind rolls itself out like a red carpet, announcing the arrival of… nobody in particular. Lightning strikes – there for an instant, and then completely gone. And it leaves behind no inspiration; instils no fear in Harry’s heart. It does, however, as Harry notices, bear some sort of likeness to the scarlet bolt on his forehead.

All that is true, right now, is the cold, and the darkness, and the sense of anticipation that cloaks the Chosen One’s entire being like an oversized winter coat. And the frost bites all his recollections of yesterday; all that was there before this encounter – this meeting with a great big Nothing. Harry does not know about all the adventures that eagerly outstretch their fingers towards him. See, they belong to their mistress Future, and what a laconic and mysterious woman she can be… Harry only knows that a bus is coming to pick him up. A night bus – knight in shining armour.

His legs are tired, and his teeth chatter unstoppably. In this stagnation, and in this unwearying weariness, all Harry can really do is watch his watch tick; comforted, at least somewhat, by the constant creak of the pendulum swing; the gradual encroachment of blackened clouds – forming a canopy of sorts above his somnolent head.

And a bus is almost certainly on its way. Wondrous, wonderful, things are almost certainly going to happen once the vehicle’s motions are introduced onto this scene. But in this moment, neither Harry nor his companion suitcase (and not even the certainty of the creaking swings) are able to tell us precisely what.

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