A Portal on Page 42

Jenny was sitting under a tree reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban for the fourteenth time when she felt a raindrop land on her arm. She was contemplating getting up and going inside to avoid getting wet when a second drop of rain fell and landed on a page in her book. Jenny reached forward to soak up the water with the sleeve of her jacket, but stopped when she saw that the ink under the raindrop was dissolving before her eyes. Within a second, it looked like no ink had ever been there, as if her copy of the book had always been missing a few letters in the middle of page 42.

This would have been strange on its own, without a rainbow of swirling… was it ink? Jenny’s description might simply have been swirling color. Whatever it was, it spiraled out of the page, getting bigger and bigger like a hurricane of color, until it was easily as tall as Jenny was. Then it simply stopped.

Jenny reached towards it. Briefly, she entertained the thought that poking mysterious occurrences might not be advisable. Finally, with a shrug, she did what she sensed (there really was no other word for it) she was supposed to and stepped through.


Jenny blinked. There was a castle on front of her. And off to one side, a tree was swaying in the wind. No, not in the wind, for Jenny suddenly realized that it wasn’t a particularly windy day. Then, near enough to see but—thankfully—too far to notice her, she saw them.


She knew it made no sense, but then, neither did a book opening a portal because of rain. She was definitely staring at dementors straight out of the Harry Potter book she’d been reading.

Amazed, Jenny was heading towards Hogwarts (with no idea how she would get in) when she heard a voice calling to her.

“Jenny! Jenny!” Someone was shaking her.

Oh. Waking her up. Under a tree. In the rain.

Well, that was a bit anticlimactic.

“Come on!” Jenny complained. “I was at Hogwarts!”

Her brother shook his head. “What drugs are you on?”

Jenny answered simply:

Reading rain drugs.

“We should get home,” he said, looking slightly amused but mostly eager to be out of the rain.

Jenny nodded in agreement.


She didn’t get her book back out until much later that night, when she’d had time to dry off and explain her dream to her brother so he’d know what she’d been talking about. She opened the book hoping to do a bit of reading before she went to sleep and instead ended up staring at the spot still missing ink on page 42.


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