It's A Kind of Magic
Wednesday, December 19th, 1990
On their way back to the States from a Winter vacation in Italy, Alice and Jasper touched down at London Heathrow in the small hours of the morning, keen to do a bit of Christmas shopping in the bustling metropolis before joining the rest of their family for the holiday.
As both were hungry after the long flight, they despatched their luggage to the Ritz in Piccadilly via courier and then went deer hunting in Richmond Park. Mindful that it was a growing nature reserve, Alice and Jasper limited their kills to one each and buried the corpses afterwards, leaving no trace that they had ever been there.
Now, a day later, husband and wife had left the slushy winter streets behind them for the warm, elegant environment of Harrods jewelry department. Classical music of the season played softly in the background, and the air was pleasant with the aroma of cinnamon and spice. Society's elite streamed around and past them, eager to find tasteful gifts for their loved ones, and trying hard to pretend they were too sophisticated to stare at the two stunning tourists by the Cartier booth.
"I know I saw it here somewhere," murmured Alice, searching the holly-and-ivy festooned display cabinet for the necklace she had seen in her vision: a beautiful little two color gold diamond and sapphire carriage charm and chain. Esme would be thrilled with it - if only Alice could find it.
Jasper questioned the salesgirl, who was clearly torn between answering him and simply gazing at him in wonder.
"The pendant?" he queried for the third time, using his gift to snap her out of her state of adoration. It worked. Within seconds, the girl was all brisk business once more.
"I'm sorry, sir," she said in a crisp English accent. "I'm afraid that particular pendant has been reserved by the Countess of Carlisle: a gift for her granddaughter, I believe. She will be here within the hour to collect it personally. Might I show you something else? We do have a superb ruby necklace just in this morning ..."
Alice drew in a sharp breath, but had nothing to do with the fatefully named Countess of Carlisle. Amber eyes suddenly blurred as her clairvoyant gift kicked into full swing, showing her a vision of the strangest old man she had ever seen in her life.
She was barely aware of Jasper leaving the counter and gently guiding her some distance away; nor was she aware any more of the hundreds of hearts beating around them, pumping their lifeblood - and her potential sustenance - around their fragile bodies. For several minutes, she was lost in her own world, watching, studying, smiling, frowning ...
Finally, her vision cleared, and Alice was herself once more.
"What did you see, pixie?" Jasper's hand was soft against her cheek, ever a comfort to Alice when her gift struck unexpectedly.
"I'm not sure," she replied in some confusion. "I saw an old man in a totally bizarre suit; we were dashing through the rain together, then everything blurred and I couldn't focus properly afterwards, no matter how much I concentrated."
"Were you in danger?" asked her husband, looking concerned. His fear was allayed when she shook her head.
"No. Not at all. Actually, I got a sense of happiness, elation even. But -"
Whatever else she had been about to say was cut off when a clock struck the quarter hour before eleven. Eyes widening, she grabbed Jasper by the hands.
"I have to go. I've only got fifteen minutes to get there or I'll miss him."
"I? You mean we."
"No. I. Look, honey, I'm sorry, I really have to go now. You need to finish up here. Get that carriage pendant for Esme, I don't care what you have to do. Tell the salesgirl you've been sent to collect it on the Countess of Carlisle's behalf, or something. It's sort of true. Esme is Carlisle's countess, isn't she?"
Jasper looked slightly panicked - a very appealing look - and if Alice had more time to spare, she'd like to stick around and tease him about it.
"You're gonna leave me in a storeful of England's wealthiest humans by myself?" he hissed, his voice so low that only she could hear him. "What if I drain half of them before you hit the sidewalk?"
She laughed, a beautiful tinkling sound that drew admiring gazes from men, and envious ones from women. "Don't be silly, sweetie. You know I'd never abandon you if I knew that was going to happen. I've already seen you charm the pendant out of the poor girl and go straight back to the hotel. You'll spend the next several hours watching re-runs of Star Wars, the Wizard of Oz, and the Christmas Special of a show called Boon, which you'll love." Pulling him close, she kissed him full on the lips, then gave him a dazzling smile before rushing away to meet her soon-to-be friend.
"Sir, are you still interested in the Cartier necklace?"
Huffing in irritation, Jasper returned to the salesgirl to do his now absent wife's bidding, feeling more than a little vexed at being abandoned by her for the rest of the day in favor of some weirdly dressed old English guy.
Exactly fifteen minutes later, Alice arrived in Barnaby Street. Spotting her quarry exiting a little bodega with a bulging plastic bag, she dodged the bustling Christmas shoppers and came to a halt a few feet away from him. Though somewhat prepared for the eccentricity of her friend-to-be, her amber eyes still widened in a mixture of fond astonishment at his bizarre appearance.
The dapper gent was tall and thin, with long silver hair and a flowing silver beard. A long crooked nose supported a pair of half moon glasses over which a pair of twinkling blue eyes peeped, and his lined face crinkled into a smile when a young girl waved cheerily at him before being pulled into a nearby store by her mother. Though old by human standards - easily well over eighty - the old man moved with a sprightly grace that many people half his age would envy.
He moved down the street using a long furled black-and-white umbrella as a cane of sorts. Fashionista that she was, Alice found herself eyeing his deep purple velvet suit, banana yellow striped shirt (which looked suspiciously like a pajama top), white-spotted purple necktie and black-and-white Spats boots with a shake of her head. The bizarre ensemble was completed with a purple bowler hat, which he tipped politely whenever a passer-by paused to stare at him in wide-eyed disbelief (which was often). Yet as strange as his clothes appeared, the look seemed oddly suited to him; or perhaps it was just his obvious indifference to the opinions of others, and the confidence of his gait, which made it seem so.
He was mere feet from her now and Alice, keen to introduce herself to this fascinating human, stepped around an enormously fat man in a sheepskin coat and right into his path.
Her quarry, assuming he was blocking her path, moved deftly aside, allowing her right of way. Silvery eyebrows rose when she stepped towards him instead.
"Hello," she repeated with a smile both in her voice and on her flawless face. "I'm Alice. Alice Cullen. We're going to be good friends."
To her new companion's credit, if Alice's declaration surprised him, he didn't let it show. Instead, bright, intelligent eyes quickly swept her from head to toe, taking in her short dark hair, ivory complexion, knee length dogtooth coat and jeans, before coming back to rest on her amber eyes.
"Good morning, Alice Cullen," said the gent warmly. "So, we are to be good friends, are we? Did the Christmas Fairy tell you that?"
She snickered. "There's no such thing as a Christmas Fairy," she said in amusement. "A Tooth Fairy, maybe. But not a Christmas one. Let's just say instead I have excellent intuition."
"Is that so? How splendid! And how rare for a man of my advanced years to be accosted by a very pretty young woman in the middle of the street and told that she and I are to be good friends! Not that I am complaining, of course. The more friends one has, the merrier, depending on aforementioned friend's disposition. It wouldn't be all that merry if, for example, you were as miserable as a wet Wednesday. Fortunately, you strike me as more of a sunny Saturday, so things are looking up!"
The strange old man politely tipped his bowler hat at her before continuing.
"Well, Miss Cullen, if you say that you and I are to be friends, then I am more than happy to accommodate you. In fact, it's the most delightful news I have had since the Weasley twins informed me that they were in serious debate with each other as to whether or not I was 'cooler than their brother Bill'. Granted, they only informed me of this last week, and I am still anxiously awaiting their final decision, but that is neither here nor there."
Blue eyes twinkled at her from across the half-moon spectacles, and Alice giggled. "If we are, as you say, to be friends - and I have at this time no reason to doubt the word of a young lady who demonstrates such excellent taste - then I think it only fair that you permit me to introduce myself. My name is Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. Some call me Albus, some call me Professor Dumbledore, and others call me a doddering old nincompoop. You may call me whatever you wish."
He tipped his hat in her direction once more, this time sketching a quick bow to accompany it. Alice was completely charmed by his courtesy and manners.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Professor," she replied with a dazzling smile. "Professor ... are you a teacher?"
"I was. Now I have the very great pleasure of being headmaster of the very school I once taught in. It is called Hogwarts. Have you heard of it?"
He watched her expectantly.
"I'm sorry, I haven't. Oh, but I am a tourist," she offered, in explanation of her ignorance.
"I had guessed as much by your delightful accent," replied her companion, in his own delightful accent.
Alice beamed at him. Strangely enough, he did not swoon at the sight - in fact he did not seem to be at all affected by her preternatural beauty, unlike some of the passers-by ...
"Cor, give us a kiss, darling!" growled a middle-aged man lustily; he had just crossed the road with his family in tow and ground to a halt in the middle of the slushy sidewalk. His wife slapped him on the head and stormed off in disgust with their two sons in tow, and he turned to run after them, apologising loudly.
"Fancy a shag?" yelled a passing acne-ridden teenage boy, and his friends elbowed each other whilst laughing at his cheek.
"I think, Alice, that it might be a good idea if you and I were to vacate the area before I have to single-handedly fight off a horde of your ardent admirers. Not that I'm incapable of what would surely be such a spectacular feat, but I would hate to make all those fine young men feel like impotent fools after being thrashed by an old codger!" stated Dumbledore conversationally. He crooked an elbow at her in invitation and she accepted it with a happy smile. "As it is, school has just broken up for the Christmas holidays, so you happen to find me today at something of a loose end. Perhaps I might interest you in a spot of afternoon tea? That way we might both sate our hunger and forge our new-found friendship at the same time."
Alice sincerely doubted he would want to see her sating her hunger, but she was happy to go along with the charade of humanity until they had a little more privacy.
"I'd love to share some tea with you," she replied, meaning every word. Dumbledore patted her hand and proceeded to lead her across several roads, round several corners and down several streets.
Having no idea where they were going, Alice followed him dutifully. It was odd, how much she trusted the odd Professor, having met him only moments before; but he exuded an aura of supreme confidence and intelligence that she had only ever before encountered in her adoptive father, Carlisle. How could she not trust him?
"I presume you are on holiday, my dear?" asked Dumbledore as they walked.
"Yes. My husband and I just flew in to London from Italy on our way home. We live in Olympia, Washington."
"Husband?" He surveyed her intently. "Forgive me, Alice. To these old eyes, everyone seems like a teenager."
"Oh, I'm older than I look," she said, grinning up at him. "Much older."
"Of that I have no doubt," he replied shrewdly, leading her to suspect that his clever mind was whirring away, putting the pieces together. She didn't mind: there was something about him that he was hiding too, at least for the moment. But Alice had no doubt that he would reveal his secret once they were away from prying eyes and flapping ears.
Ice cold rain began to fall as they walked and umbrellas shot up all around them, hiding some people from view. Others gasped as they dashed, swearing, for the cover of shops. Dumbledore paused to unfurl his own umbrella and covered them both with it; the rain drummed off it loudly, making further conversation impossible until they reached their destination.
They were half-way down Charing Cross Road when Dumbledore came to a halt outside an old record shop. People continued to flow past them; some eyeing his peculiar attire with dubious expressions, others pausing to gaze in admiration at the exquisite vampire.
"Now, my dear Alice, you have a choice to make," he said, turning to her with a smile. "We may either take our tea at the Prince of Wales, a tiny little pub with a very big personality -" he pointed one long finger in the general direction of the street ahead "- or, if you can tell me what you see directly in front of you, I will see if I might find somewhere slightly less ... conventional."
It seemed a strange question, given that - with her superior vision - she could probably see in more detail exactly what was in front of them better than he could. Nevertheless, she was happy to humor him.
"I see an old music store selling gramophones-" she began, thinking that that would be a very unconventional place to take tea "- a pretty generic-looking bookstore, and possibly the oldest bar on the planet - I mean the oldest pub on the planet - in between them."
Actually, 'old' was not the word she wanted to use to describe the shabby-looking Leaky Cauldron, but she didn't want to offend her kindly companion's taste in potential eateries by calling it dirty. The windows were so caked in filth that no light penetrated them, and the sign next to the door creaked as it swung stiffly in the wind. Fervently hoping that the inside was in better condition than the outside, but mentally preparing herself to get her expensive clothes dirty, she looked at Dumbledore expectantly. He watched her with a strangely satisfied expression.
"I think, Alice, that you are not quite what you appear to be," he said softly, guiding her a few steps towards the Leaky Cauldron, but stopping just shy of the door. Instantly, people stopped jostling past them, seeming instead to swerve around them. Gone were the curious stares, wistful expressions and occasional lusty comment. In fact, nobody was taking any notice of them at all, which struck Alice as peculiar. It was almost as if she and Dumbledore had disappeared.
Not that she was too concerned with public scrutiny at that moment; all her attention was riveted solely on her new purple-clad friend. His attention was likewise on her; his sparkling eyes searching her face intently. She stared back into them and, knowing she had nothing to fear, responded to his astute remark.
"You're right. But you have nothing to fear from me. No one does."
Dumbledore smiled. "This I already sensed, but it was kind of you to confirm it, my dear. I voiced my thoughts aloud to you only because once we step through that door -" he nodded his head toward the pub entrance" - I will be trusting you to keep everything you see in the strictest of confidence. Of course, the very fact you can see the Leaky Cauldron means I know that my confidence will not be misplaced. Yet I also wish to put you at ease and assure you that any confidences you yourself have to share will be equally safe within my keeping. It may also assure you to know that there are others in the world who may be considered as equally unconventional as yourself, even if it is not in quite the same manner. Do you trust me, Alice?"
She did. She couldn't explain why this was so, knowing so little about him, and having met him mere moments ago, but Alice found that she trusted this eccentric old Englishman as much as any member of her family. What's more, she had suspected there was something different about him during her vision earlier, and had known that it would be something wonderful, something that would change her view on the world forever, even if her vision was oddly vague about the details.
And Alice could hardly wait to find out what those details were.
"Yes, Professor. I trust you completely. I shouldn't, but I do." She lowered her voice. "I trust you enough to tell you I'm a vampire."
She waited for his reaction, half-expecting shock, denial or outright horror. But he looked no more ruffled than if she had just told him she was a chain-smoker.
"Ah," he said, looking strangely satisfied. "I knew there was something, though I didn't quite suspect that. The vampires I know, you see, are generally very different in appearance, and not nearly as pretty as you are, my dear."
Whatever she had expected him to say, it was not that. Momentarily stunned into speechlessness, Alice made no objection when he took her hand and laid it on his arm once more.
"Perhaps we might discuss the differences in your species over tea when we finally reach our destination," he said conversationally, "including the remarkable restraint you show amidst a crowd of humans? And once we have thoroughly exhausted that fascinating subject, we might then discuss the subject of my own ... ahem ... species."
And without any further explanation as to what he meant, Dumbledore steered the still speechless vampire toward the Leaky Cauldron and opened the door into a whole new world she had never known existed ...
The Leaky Cauldron inside was as equally dismal as it was outside. Grubby and dark, had she not possessed such acute vision Alice might have had trouble discerning the occupants scattered about the room.
An old woman in a pointed hat sat at a table by the window drinking a noxious-smelling liquid from a huge pewter goblet, and burping very loudly. A plump, harried-looking red-haired woman came bustling in from the back of the pub, laden with shopping bags and shooing four equally red-haired children towards a booth further up.
"Sit there and don't move a muscle until I get back," she said darkly, glowering at her twin boys in particular as she dropped numerous bags and packages at the table. "I'm just going to ask Tom if your father's been in yet."
"Don't move a muscle? But the heart's a muscle. D'you mean you want us to drop dead before you get back, Mum?" asked one of the twins, wearing a theatrically wounded expression. The youngest two children snickered into their hands.
"Stop being silly, Fred!" barked their mother, looking slightly horrified.
"Our lungs are muscles, too," proffered the other twin. "So if you really don't want us to snuff it -"
"- or kick the bucket -" added the first.
"- or pop our clogs -"
"- or our dragon-hide boots -"
"You don't have any dragon-hide boots, idiot," interjected the youngest boy.
"Ah, but we will one day, Ronniekins. We will."
"- or expire in any way shape or form," continued the second twin as if there had been no interruption, "then you'd better get back within fifty seconds 'cos we can't hold our breaths any longer than that."
"Although we're working on it," finished the first. Both boys gave their mother a cheeky grin, and both yelped when she cuffed them on the head before turning around and leaving them.
"Dragon-hide boots," enquired Alice of Dumbledore, watching the mother make her way to the bar to ask after her husband. The woman's rowdy offspring were currently rummaging around in a brown paper bag.
Dumbledore chuckled. "Those are the very Weasley twins I mentioned earlier, and a more mischievous pair of boys I haven't met in many a year. Ambitious too, if they're making plans for such a fine set of footwear ..."
Further elaboration was cut short: two men in colorful cloaks, who had been having a heated debate in the far corner of the establishment when they entered, began shouting at each other. One of them banged the table with his fist and stood up before lunging at the other. Someone behind them swore, and Alice turned to find that the wrinkled barkeeper had abandoned his flame-haired customer and was speeding towards them.
"That's enough, you lot!" he cried, stalking angrily towards the combatants.
The four red-haired children watched him eagerly, keen to enjoy the burgeoning fracas, and Alice laughed to hear them excitedly taking bets on whether or not Mr Brown Cloak would 'flatten' Mr Green Cloak before Old Tom reached them.
"Come, my dear," said Dumbledore, patting her hand before manoeuvering them both around tables and combatants toward the other end of the pub. Barely had they taken more than five steps when Mr Green Cloak punched Mr Brown Cloak so hard that his unlucky foe went flying over the table ahead and crashed into another one beside it. Picking himself up, he shook his head furiously, snarled like a wolf, and took a flying leap at his opponent.
Suddenly the flame-haired mother came dashing over from the bar, whipped out a small cylindrical piece of wood, and pointed it between the warring pair.
Alice nearly dropped in shock when ropes leapt out of the wooden stick and bound both Mr Green Cloak and Mr Brown Cloak tightly; they each toppled to the ground like a pair of skittles. Shouting in protest, both men wriggled furiously, trying desperately to free themselves.
"What the -" Alice stammered, but got no further.
"What the bloody hell d'you think your playing at, Missus?" yelled Mr Brown Cloak, glowering up at the older woman angrily.
"Get these ropes off me right now, you stupid fat hag, or I'll ..." began Mr Green Cloak, but was rudely cut off when she waved her odd little stick at his mouth. His lips clamped themselves firmly together, and though Alice could plainly see that he was trying to speak, the man appeared unable to open his mouth or vocalise anything other than furiously stifled grunts.
"Or you'll what?" demanded the angry mother, one hand gripping her stick, the other planted on a hip as she loomed over him. "Or you'll what? Call me more stupid names? That'll really terrify me into setting you loose, won't it?"
Her derisive tone drew chuckles from her children and the other patrons.
"What do you think you're doing anyway, fighting in front of children. MY CHILDREN! I didn't bring them in here so they could watch you two scrapping like Crups over a bone. This is a RESPECTABLE ESTABLISHMENT! Catering to RESPECTABLE PEOPLE!" she screeched irately; the volume of her voice made Alice wince. "Grown men behaving like toddlers! Well, if you insist on behaving like two-year-olds, you'd better expect to be treated like two-year-olds! If you can't sit down and resolve your differences like sensible adults instead of exposing innocent eyes to this shocking level of violence, I will be more than happy to throw each of you over my knees and spank you to within an INCH OF YOUR LIVES! YOU OUGHT TO BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES!"
From somewhere behind Alice, the unmistakeable voice of a twin said: "It's never wise to let her build up too much steam, she'll only harp on at them all the longer."
"True," added the other. "Not that they have any choice in the matter. Still, Mum can harp on at Green Cloak all day for all I care. Serves the git right for calling her names. What say you we give her a hand Gred?"
"Right you are, Forge."
Wood scraping against wood heralded the sound of twins rising, and seconds later they and their siblings passed Alice and Dumbledore.
"Morning Professor," said one twin, throwing her a cheeky wink as they passed. "Is that your girlfriend?"
"Good morning, Fred," replied Dumbledore, without missing a beat. "Alas, but Alice is far too young to be my beau, and far too sensible to be yours, before you ask."
Alice - still rather dazed by the sight of ropes sprouting from a stick - laughed aloud. Fred, however, did not look in the slightest bit discouraged.
"Fred and Alice. Alice and Fred. Mrs Alice Weasley. 'S'got a nice ring to it, doesn't it?"
He winked at her again.
"It does," she confirmed honestly, making him beam in delight. "But Jasper might not agree."
"Who's Jasper? Your boyfriend? I hate him already."
Alice laughed again.
"You're twelve, you idiot. Stop flirting!" admonished the little girl, shoving her brother forward.
"So what if I'm twelve? I might prefer mature women, for all you know," retorted Fred, frowning at his sister. His face transformed into a broad grin as he glanced back at Alice. "I'll wait for you, Alice Weasley. Stop two-timing me with that boyfriend of yours and owl me at the Burrow when you're ready to come back home to me and the kids!"
The children were just flanking their (still raging) mother when Dumbledore spoke up.
"Molly seems to be handling the current situation perfectly well without my help," he began, just as the woman - Molly - flicked her stick at the two men. Alice gaped in astonishment as the men rose into the air and were deposited on their respective chairs. "Come, my dear. Allow me to escort you somewhere a little quieter."
Fully unable to move after witnessing such an incredible feat, Dumbledore had to physically guide Alice past the growing crowd and toward a fireplace at the rear of the pub. Molly's furious voice rang out behind them as she continued to admonish her unfortunate victims; it mingled with Tom the barman's gruffer tones, who pleaded with her not to hex his customers too violently.
"Professor, what was that?" asked Alice, finding her own voice again.
"That was an argument, my dear. They happen all too frequently when alcohol is involved." The elderly gent dropped some coins into a stone jar, then dipped his hand into another. "Of course, arguments tend to get a little more ... shall we say colorful when they happen in the Leaky Cauldron."
"That's not what I meant."
Dumbledore withdrew his fist from the jar, and within it he clasped a handful of powder.
"Ah, you mean the ropes. The levitation."
"Levitation. It was more like -" Alice searched for the right word "- like magic! How did that lady - Molly - how did she do that? Is she telekinetic?"
Her eyebrows rose in surprise when her companion shook his head, chuckling. What was so funny?
"Telekinetic? Now that is Muggle word I haven't heard for a few years. But it doesn't apply to Molly, who can move neither objects nor people with the power of her mind. No, she is something altogether different. As are her children, and everyone else you have seen in the Leaky Cauldron, including myself." He gave her a searching glance, then smiled. "You strike me as an intelligent and perceptive young lady, Alice Cullen. Surely you have guessed the truth by now? You have already said it, don't you realise that?"
She had. But it was so outrageous that she could hardly believe it. "You can't mean ... magic? But how can that be? Magic doesn't exist."
Dumbledore own eyebrows rose. "Ah, but there are those who would say that vampires don't exist."
It was an excellent point. But still: magic.
"I see you need a little more convincing," said Dumbledore thoughtfully, dropping the powder back into the jar. He brushed the dust from his fingers and withdrew a wooden stick of his own from one of his purple pockets. "Perhaps an alternative and more dramatic mode of transport might do the job?"
Alice eyed the empty fireplace in puzzlement. "More dramatic than what? Where exactly are we going?"
"We are going to my office, where I do believe the ambience is a little more conducive to conversation than our present location. But first, I think a little stopover in the village of Hogsmeade would not be completely out of the question. If I know young ladies - and I do know a great deal of them - then you would no doubt care for a spot of shopping before tea. We may enjoy the stroll from there to Hogwarts afterwards."
Alice had no time to question him further before Dumbledore called out:
A brief, bright flash followe, and Alice had to shield her eyes until it dissipated. It lasted less than a second, but when she lowered her hand, she gasped.
Sitting on Dumbledore's shoulder was the most magnificent bird she had ever seen. With crimson plumage, a long golden tail and intelligent black eyes, it gazed at her imperiously, looking not the slightest bit threatened by her. This was an unusual occurrence, given what she was, but Alice was too stunned by its sudden appearance and grandeur to marvel at this.
"Where did it ... how did it ... I don't understand," she began, dazed and a little frustrated that her foresight had given her so little detail about this incredible place, and her incredible host.
"Fawkes is my familiar," said Dumbledore, stroking the beautiful bird's head.
"Familiar?" Alice enquired, unable to deny her suspicions any longer. "But only witches in storybooks have familiars."
"Not just in storybooks, my dear. And not just witches," he said evenly.
Incredulity was written all over her face. "Are you telling me -"
"That I'm a wizard?" Blue eyes sparkled down at her. "Yes, my dear Alice. That is exactly what I am telling you. I, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, am a wizard."
A loud yell behind them made both turn around, and Alice saw that the fighting men - who had rather unwisely been freed - were now at each others throats once more. Molly, apparently raging that they had broken a promise to behave like civilised people, was shouting at both in disgust, and using her magic stick to enchant a large pewter jug. It lifted itself magically into the air before taking turns to whack first one, then the other man over the head. Flame-haired Weasley children chortled and egged her on with chants of 'Get the gits, Mum!', while poor Tom the barman sank into a chair and buried his bald head in his hands.
Dumbledore sighed. "Welcome to civilisation, my dear. Welcome to the wizarding world."
Alice laughed in pure delight.