It has become late as you silently strode around a small corner in this dark alley. There was not much left of what you usually would call „street“ and so you had to be specially careful to avoid the many puddles that paved your way instead. Even as no light was actually hitting the ground for you to see much more than blurry silhouettes of shabby buildings and shady businesses laying ahead you were constantly pierced by those always looking, preying eyes all around you. Nobody actually cared about them anymore. They became just as common as your air to breathe. They were simply there; and they no longer required any reasoning. They were present as their sole purpose.
You had followed along that path for too long now. It didn’t matter where you went or when you arrived. You could check in for your place for this September summer night at any time; though you would never leave. You would be welcome, people told you when you tried to arrange things earlier. As you passed by at Knockturn Alley you swiftly felt a breeze of cold wind at your neck. A few meters further you finally reached the decided on meeting place, a small tavern that didn’t look like it belonged in this time and relative dimension in space. At least not as far as you could decide, when you finally stepped through the tiny front door. It was actually bigger on the inside – came a though to your mind – as you realized how spacy everything seemed.
In a far off corner sat a group of average people, not quite, entirely unlike of what you expected to find in this place. As you passed the customers at this place to meet up with that group, you noticed sharp gazes carefully avoiding eye contact – stinging anyway as you passed table by table, chair by chair. Your throat was dry and anyway you needed something for a change. As you hit the bar you firmly ordered two dry martinis – shaken, not stirred -; one for your dry mouth and the other for your humour.
Slowly you approached the long table you spotted earlier. People one by one went silent as you drew near. It was not so much the feeling of impeding doom or you to have prepared for this evening – same as you usually did every evening -, but the faint feeling of unease you felt grow in your throat. Just seconds before people around you were talking about the weather – actually not that you actually would have wanted to talk about the thick, low-hanging rain clouds all around you in the sky -, sports you never really had gotten warm with (The Eurasian players somehow had beaten the Oceanian team) and celebrities you only ever heard about here – who the hell was this Hackbeard C. Line anyway and why would you care). Just a last step away from the table you reached out with your hand to knock; when you noticed the first people lifting their eyes and hands to greet you at this corner of society.
The welcome was warm as you would have expected given the introductory conversations you have had earlier today. Even though nobody was openly harmful you still felt separated from this group. Slowly you sat down at the next free chair around the table everybody already had made themselves comfortable at. When you were half into following up yourself, to prepare your place for the next hours to follow, discussions slowly reignited again.