The heaven of starry heavens unfurled,
The sun before their face is dim
The Convent Threshold, Christina Rossetti
There was something different about Dumbledore this year, all the students could see his hand, charred black beneath the endless sleeves of his robes. But as they sat under the enchanted ceiling, stars twinkling merrily, they all knew something more was wrong.
Maybe it was just remments of Umbitch's reign last year, many of the students still had faint scars from her detentions.
Or maybe because he had been forced to allow Snape's request to be DADA teacher.
Or maybe it was guilt, at not fighting harder to make You-Know-Whos return believed.
Only a handful of Gryffindors and a lone Ravenclaw (currently lost amongst the red ties) had fought Death Eaters last year. And watched as Harry's lone magical guardian fell through the Veil.
Very few people would believe you if you told them that the affliction affecting Albus Dumbledore had nothing to do with the past. It had nothing to do with Voldermort's return or the lost of Sirius's life or the numerous mistakes the old wizard had made.
No, Albus Dumbledores eyes had finally lost their twinkle, for as he gazed down at his students each night, he couldn't help but wonder if the stars would be out when Snape kills him.
As he gazed down at his students, he couldn't help but worry, for he, the great wizard expected to lead Britain and the Ministry through this war, as he did in the first rising and with his old friend Grinelwald, was planning his own death, and leaving them all behind to fight.
And who was his replacement leader? A boy of mere 16, a mediocre wizard, who would win this war on the basis of possessing a 'power unknown' which Albus had decided some 15 years ago meant his ability to love.
Because to be honest, loving and accepting was what the young Harry Potter excelled at most. Yes, he had quidditch skill, but what use was that on the battlefield. Yes, he was brilliant at DADA, but that requires love and hope to create strong magic.
But Dumbledores famous twinkle had finally died, knowing that the body would follow soon, leaving innocents to fight a war he created.