Annoyingly Cryptic: My Response to a Writing Prompt Found on Pinterest

“Tell me something I don’t know already.”

“That’s a dangerous statement, for there are many things you do not know, and there are even more things which should be kept secret.”

“You’re annoyingly cryptic, old man.”

“I try.”


(The above is the writing prompt. The following is my addition.)


“Tell me something, have you ever just answered a question with a straightforward answer in your life?  Or do you go out of your way to answer every question with another question?  Is it really necessary to be so bloody mysterious all the time, or do you enjoy driving everyone mad?” Harry asked, looking across the headmaster’s desk into a pair of twinkling blue eyes.  The amusement he saw there just exasperated him that much more.

“Silly question, of course you enjoy it, what was I thinking?  You apparently have nothing better to do than sit up here and think up deliberately obtuse answers to all the questions you could possibly be asked in a day’s time, and just wait for the opportunity to use them.”

“That’s not true, Harry.  I also enjoy knitting, crossword puzzles, and playing chess with Phineas Nigellus.”

Harry shot him an annoyed look.  Dumbledore simply beamed back.

“Bloody annoying old…” Harry muttered.  “Okay, let’s try this one: Why now?  Why couldn’t you have told me all this after Voldemort’s return?  You could have waited until Fudge and the others had left, and then told me everything then.  Or was there a particular reason you just had to wait until now to impart this knowledge?”

Dumbledore sighed.  “It seems our time is growing short in our Horcrux hunt, and the longer it takes us to find them all, the greater the possibility that Voldemort will eventually realize what we are up to, and take steps to protect his remaining Horcruxes in such a way that it would be nearly impossible to obtain them.  I say nearly because, as skilled a strategist as he is, even Voldemort cannot guard against every possible permutation, and will inevitably leave a gaping hole in his defenses that, if we are very clever and very, very lucky, we may discover before he does and be able to exploit.  That is why it is so important that we find and gather as many of them as possible before he realizes what we are up to, destroying them as we go.  With any luck, by the time he does realize what we’re up to, we will only have one final Horcrux to destroy before your final confrontation.”

“The snake, Nagini,” Harry guessed.  Dumbledore nodded his agreement.

“Yes, Nagini.  If he has not made her a Horcrux yet, it is only a matter of time before he does, and when that happens he will no longer let her out of his sight, fearing that if anything were to happen to her he would be more vulnerable than ever before, even though he apparently does not realize that any of his other Horcruxes have already been destroyed.”

“Then we’d better make sure we get them all before he figures it out,” Harry replied, more determined than ever to finish this once and for all.

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