My name is Albus Dumbledore. Well not really. I am not going to tell you my real name for then you could probably track my family down and, I don’t know, laugh at them or something.
I am a self-insert from a world very much different to the magical Harry Potter universe. Oh, we have magic, but it is nothing like here. Our magic is not something we can manipulate with wands. Our magic works for a very lucky few who are tired of life. If they wish hard enough or suffer long enough (our scientists are still unsure as to the exact formula, or we would be replicating this, don’t believe otherwise), they can escape into a new world. More specifically, into a book world.
What you need to know is that for us, books are just another universe, filtering through our thoughts, urging us to pen it down, to marvel over beings that would never know of our existence. For Inserts, the book world will become their new home, where they will live to the end of their days, unable to return; presumably now content, or at minimum satisfied.
I was not satisfied! Why did I have to become an old man with hairy balls! I had never wanted to be a man!
I came into my new body, standing in front of a sea of pointed hats and childlike faces lit by floating candles. For a wild moment, I thought that I was stuck in a medieval world with chamber pots under beds. It was a toss up between that or having gone nuts, which I would much rather be than suffer without adequate modern facilities, believe me. It was the starry dome above our heads that clued me in. I, who will never tell you my former name, had been inserted into none other than Harry Potter world.
Yes, I admit it, I squeaked like a little girl. Don’t let me be Voldemort! Or Umbridge! I couldn’t stop myself from having a mini freakout, and what came out—in a suspiciously male voice—sounded like babbling.
I sat down.
The children clapped and cheered, a deafening noise.
Food appeared on the table like magic. On my left, a woman turned to ask, “Really, Albus? Nitwit, Blubber, Oddment, Tweak? Whatever will you do next.”
“I will try the pumpkin juice.”
Oh fuck. I am Albus Dumbledore.
Why couldn’t I have been anyone else? Luna! I definitely felt like a Luna! I leaned forward to look down the length of the table: a line of unrecognizable faces to both sides. And young. So very young. For a stupid moment, I wondered why they didn’t resemble their actor counterparts, since all the teachers were nearly croaking in the films.
Oh hell, then we are still in the first book—hello, Quirrell. A pale man in his mid twenties, he sat vibrating next to a wizard that must, by the process of elimination, be Snape. Greasy hair and a hooked nose, how old was he, thirty one? He looked closer to the book’s age than Alan ever did (Sorry, Mr. Rickman, we know it was casting). The line of faces all looked so young compared to myself, and at that moment, I would rather have been anyone else, Quirrell excluded.
“What are you looking for, Albus?" the woman asked. "Your juice is right in front of you.”
“Yes? Oh, good.”
I was not going to cry. That wobble that you heard in my voice was because I am old. An old man. I blinked hard at the golden goblet that swam in front of me and reached for it to shut her up; tried not to freak out yet again when I saw a thin, very much male hand with liver spots, bringing the goblet to my face. Something was tugging at my chin and I looked down. Oh my word, I had a beard. The thing was tucked into my belt, the long hair pulling weirdly at my chin when I moved.
I needed to get out of here! What’s this happily ever after? I was an old man, and I had, what, six years before I died? Oh my god. I hadn’t read past book four!
Pumpkin juice. Think of cold, thick, sickly sweet pumpkin soup, and never bother yourself with it. I nearly choked. I certainly spilled some in my bloody silver beard and spent an embarrassing time mopping myself up, resolutely not looking at the woman when she tsked. She must be Minerva. She was probably fifty years, give or take a few. Her hair was black, not even a bit of grey, and her face looked pinched and stern. Scary. I would have avoided her like the plague if she had been my teacher.
There was nothing for it. I ate. The beard nearly made me cry. It took some time to figure out just how to bite without the food getting into my new facial hair. No, I did not usually eat with pork chop all over my face, but you try eating without anything touching your lips. Then consider that bloody lips hidden under a bushel of hair, and figure it out for yourself. Fuck you. Sorry. Sorry. It’s me, not you. You would probably take to having a beard like a duck to water.
The meal was endless. Minerva kept talking about things I had no clue of. If I ignored her, I would have to pay attention to the weirdly short man on my other side, who I could only hope was Flitwick. Was that his name or his family name? Fidelius Flitwick? No, that was the charm. The books were nowhere near to look it up, and they would surely Loony Bin me if I asked. Talking to Minerva felt like the safest bet. Minerva who was currently trying to pin me down on some issues with the damn schedule.
“You’re my Deputy Headmistress, right?”—please don’t say no!—“Surely you can sort it out. I’ll leave it all up to you." I’m honestly just holding it together until I can find my rooms and have the mother of all freakouts.
She glared at me.
“And your capable hands," I added lamely, inwardly cursing myself.
“Of course I will sort it out, Albus. I am just informing you.”
“Ah. Well, good. What do you think of the new students?” This seemed a safe enough question, and she spent a merry time talking my ear off answering.
It was quite easy to find the eleven year olds at the tables, weirdly small between the rest of the student body. I spotted Malfoy’s white hair right off the bat in the middle of the green group. The Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs I had no clue of, and struggled to remember which colours was which. At the far opposite were the Gryffindors in their scarlet and gold.
I automatically searched for Harry Potter and the Weasleys. The Weasley children were not the only ones with red hair—consider a bit what country we were in, please—but there was a group of red bunched together that looked promising. Two of the boys looked like twins, so the dark head between them and another ginger must, by process of elimination, belong to Harry Potter. He looked tiny, nearly drowned behind the table stacked with food, but then again, so did his seatmate. Kids. A piece of carrot fell into my beard.
Why the ever loving FUCK couldn’t I have self-inserted as a kid instead?!