Children of War
Another year begins. Another batch of overly enthusiastic students new to this world, waiting to explore and venture out. I see the number. I see the faces, trying to recognize them, trying to match it with the faded memory of their parents, maybe grandparents, or any other relatives I taught. At least some of them look familiar. The new ones, who hadn’t even thought of beginning their next academic year in a different school, they look so awestruck. But every student is trying to absorb every moment, making memories of their first time here. The reactions are always similar.
I guide them to the hall. They’ll be allotted to different houses within a span of a few minutes. This procedure used to take up a good amount of time. The number has drastically fallen. But, it’s on a rising trend. The classes seem bigger than what they are, the hallways seem emptier than usual. There are a few rooms in dormitories that have been locked for over a decade. The seats have been rearranged so that the students don’t see the other empty benches that take up more than half of a class room. The hall looks so big, when I see it from the podium. The books in the library are always available because there aren’t enough students to keep the multiple copies issued .We haven’t used two towers of the premises because all the classes can be taken in the remaining ones. We have less noise than the usual. Less laughter. Less students. Because they are the children of war. Born in distressed times. I see the children that survived the war. And the ones that didn’t.
(Written with reference to Harry Potter universe, from Minerva McGonagall’s point of view. It’s almost the start of a new term in Hogwarts.)