In 1907, the visit of King Edward VII to Ireland was marred by the discovery of the theft of the “Irish Crown Jewels”, the regalia of the order of St. Patrick, just a few days before. It was thought to be an inside job, but the culprit was never found and the jewels never recovered.
About six months ago, my keys disappeared and I haven’t found them since.
I was fuming, because not only did I have to replace all of my keys (I have THREE different keys!) but I also lost my Hufflepuff keyring that I bought for an extortionate price at the Harry Potter Studio tour.
They are just… gone.
Nobody will ever accuse me of being tidy. Or organised. I’m not slovenly, but I’m pretty content to live amongst clutter. A few things on the floor. Shelves in disarray. A couple of boxes/drawers/wardrobes full of “stuff” that I might get around to sorting out. But I usually know where everything is. Roughly. Those keys, however, have never turned up. Not even during one of my sporadic bouts of cleaning.
There were many theories on the disappearance of the crown jewels, some more plausible than others. But I feel that I can say with confidence that my mistress hasn’t stolen my keys and fled to Paris, nor has the Irish Republican Brotherhood smuggled them to the USA.
The clues that the crown jewels had been stolen were not subtle. The front door was open, as was the safe. But usually when you lose everyday objects, it tends to be more gradual. Their disappearance sneaks up on you.
There are levels of lost. Your first thought is “where did I leave that?”, followed by “I’m sure it will turn up”. You then start asking people if they’ve seen it. No? No problem, I’m sure it’s around here somewhere. Then you start to question the last time you actually saw it. You search everywhere. You eventually have to concede that it is lost forever, disappeared off the face of the earth.
“Where do vanished objects go?”
“Into non-being, which is to say, everything.”
Nicely phrased, Professor McGonagall.
So dismissing the possibilities of Borrowers, vanishing spells and national conspiracies, I have to assume that my keys are just… Gone. Along with my iPod shuffle, exactly half my socks and at least €100 in small change.
They are gone into non-being. And perhaps that’s where the Irish Crown Jewels are, too. They are definitely not under my bed, anyway.