His brilliant silver beard was distinctly duller; the wrinkles in his old face seemed to have settled deeper into the grooves in his skin. There was little merriment in his eyes, and the bags underneath them betrayed tales of countless worries and sleepless nights. He spoke with a weariness that few had heard before, and the light curve that always traced his lips was too heavy for him to hold.
The hush that held the room as he spoke was a tense one. A few students smiled awkwardly to try and ease the stifling air; others glanced around with wide eyes. They all had seen it.
This man- this great wizard before them- was their only hope. While he was supposed to be unbreakable, it was evident that he was not. Their hero stooped slightly before them, living testimony of one simple, horrible fact.
The war was real.