Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows(english)

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A nnota tio n
Read ers b ew are . T he b rillia n t, b re ath ta k in g c o nclu sio n to J . K . R ow lin g’s
s p ellb in din g se rie s is n ot fo r th e fa in t o f h eart— su ch re v ela tio ns, b attle s, a n d
b etr a y als a w ait i n
Harry P otte r a nd t h e D ea th ly H allo w s
t h at n o f a n w ill m ak e i t
t o th e e n d u nsc ath ed . L uck ily , R ow lin g h as p re p ped lo yal r e ad ers f o r th e e n d o f
h er se rie s b y d olin g o ut in cre asin gly d ark an d d an gero us ta le s o f m ag ic an d
m yste ry , s h ot t h ro ugh w ith l e sso ns a b out h onor a n d c o nte m pt, l o ve a n d l o ss, a n d
r ig ht a n d w ro ng. F ear n ot, y ou w ill fin d n o s p oile rs in o ur re v ie w — to te ll th e
p lo t w ould ru in th e jo urn ey, a n d
Harry P otte r a nd th e D ea th ly H allo w s
is a n
o dysse y th e lik es o f w hic h R ow lin g’s f a n s h av e n ot y et s e en , a n d a re n ot lik ely
t o fo rg et. B ut w e w ould b e re m is s if w e d id n ot o ff e r o ne sm all su ggestio n
b efo re y ou e m bark o n y our f in al a d ven tu re w ith H arry — brin g p le n ty o f t is su es.
The h eart o f B ook 7 is a h ero ’s m is sio n— not ju st in H arry ’s q uest fo r th e
H orc ru xes, b ut in h is jo urn ey fro m b oy to m an — an d H arry fa ces m ore d an ger
t h an th at fo und in a ll s ix b ooks c o m bin ed , fro m th e d ir e ct th re at o f th e D eath
E ate rs an d Y ou-K now -W ho, to th e su btle perils of lo sin g fa ith in him se lf .
A tte n tiv e re ad ers w ould do w ell to re m em ber D um ble d ore ’s w arn in g ab out
m ak in g th e c h oic e b etw een “ w hat is rig ht a n d w hat is e asy ,” a n d k now th at
R ow lin g ap plie s th e sa m e d if f ic u lt p rin cip le to th e co nclu sio n o f h er se rie s.
W hile fa n s will fin d th e an sw ers to hotly sp ecu la te d questio ns ab out
D um ble d ore , S nap e, a n d Y ou-K now -W ho, it is a te sta m en t to R ow lin g’s s k ill a s
a sto ry te lle r th at ev en th e m ost astu te an d care fu l re ad er w ill be ta k en by
s u rp ris e .
A s p ecta cu la r f in is h to a p hen om en al s e rie s,
Harry P otte r a nd th e D ea th ly
H allo w s
is a b itte rs w eet re ad fo r fa n s. T he jo urn ey is h ard , fille d w ith e v en ts
b oth tr a g ic a n d tr iu m phan t, th e b attle fie ld litte re d w ith th e b odie s o f th e d eare st
a n d d esp is e d , b ut th e fin al c h ap te r is a s b rillia n t a n d b lin din g a s a p hoen ix ’s
f la m e, a n d fa n s a n d sk ep tic s a lik e w ill e m erg e fro m th e c o nfin es o f th e sto ry
w ith f u ll b ut h eav y h earts , g id dy a n d g ra te fu l f o r t h e e x perie n ce.
Harry P otte r a n d t h e D eath ly H allo w s
1. T H E D ARK L O RD A SC EN DIN G
2. I N M EM ORIA M
3. T H E D URSL EY S D EPA RT IN G
4. T H E S E V EN P O TTER S
5. F A LLEN W ARRIO R

6. T H E G HOUL I N P A JA M AS
7. T H E W IL L O F A LB U S D UM BLED ORE
8. T H E W ED DIN G
9. A P L A CE T O H ID E
10. K REA CH ER ’S T A LE
11 . T H E B RIB E
12. M AGIC I S M IG HT
13. T H E M UGGLE-B O RN R EG IS T R ATIO N C O M MIS SIO N
14. T H E T H IE F
15. T H E G OBLIN ’S R EV EN GE
16. G ODRIC ’S H OLLO W
17. B ATH IL D A’S S E C RET
18. T H E L IF E A ND L IE S O F A LB U S D UM BLED ORE
19. T H E S IL V ER D OE
20. X EN OPH IL IU S L O VEG OOD
21. T H E T A LE O F T H E T H REE B RO TH ER S
22. T H E D EA TH LY H ALLO W S
23. M ALFO Y M ANOR
24. T H E W ANDM AKER
25. S H ELL C O TTA GE
26. G RIN GOTTS
27. T H E F IN AL H ID IN G P L A CE
28. T H E M IS SIN G M IR RO R
29. T H E L O ST D IA DEM
30. T H E S A CK IN G O F S E V ER U S S N APE
31. T H E B ATTLE O F H OGW ART S
32. T H E E LD ER W AND
33. T H E P R IN CE’S T A LE
34. T H E F O REST A GAIN
35. K IN G’S C RO SS
36. T H E F L A W I N T H E P L A N
Epilo gue.

H arry P otte r a n d t h e D ea th ly H allo w s
The d ed ic a tio n o f t h is b ook i s s p lit s e ven w ays.
To N eil
To J essic a
To D avid
To K en zie
To D i
To A nne
And t o Y o u
If y o u h ave s tu ck w ith H arry u ntil t h e v ery e n d.
Oh, th e to rm en t b re d in th e r a ce, th e g rin din g s c re a m
of d ea th a nd th e str o ke th at h its th e v ein , th e h em orrh age
none c a n s ta unch , t h e g rie f, t h e c u rse n o m an c a n b ea r.
But th ere is a c u re in th e h ouse a nd n ot o uts id e it, n o,
not f r o m o th ers b ut f r o m t h em , t h eir b lo ody s tr ife . W e s in g t o
yo u, d ark g ods b en ea th t h e e a rth .
Now h ea r, yo u b lis sfu l p ow ers u nderg ro und— answ er
th e c a ll, se n d h elp . B le ss th e c h ild re n , g iv e th em T riu m ph
now .
Aesc h ylu s, T he L ib atio n B ea re rs
Dea th is b ut c ro ssin g th e w orld , a s fr ie n ds d o th e s e a s;
th ey l iv e i n o ne a noth er s till. F or t h ey m ust n eed s b e p re se n t,
th at l o ve a nd l iv e i n t h at w hic h i s o m nip re se n t. I n t h is d iv in e
gla ss t h ey s e e f a ce t o f a ce; a nd t h eir c o nverse i s f r e e, a s w ell
as p ure . T his is th e c o m fo rt o f fr ie n ds, th at th ough th ey m ay
be sa id to d ie , y et th eir fr ie n dsh ip a nd so cie ty a re , in th e
best s e n se , e ver p re se n t, b eca use i m morta l.
Willia m P en n, M ore F ru its o f S olitu de

1 . T H E D ARK L O RD A SC EN DIN G
The tw o m en a p peare d o ut o f n ow here , a fe w y ard s a p art in th e n arro w ,
m oonlit la n e. F or a s e co nd th ey s to od q uite s till, w an ds d ir e cte d a t e ach o th er’s
c h ests ; th en , re co gniz in g each oth er, th ey sto w ed th eir w an ds ben eath th eir
c lo ak s a n d s ta rte d w alk in g b ris k ly i n t h e s a m e d ir e ctio n.
“N ew s? ” a sk ed t h e t a lle r o f t h e t w o.
“T he b est,” r e p lie d S ev eru s S nap e.
The la n e w as b ord ere d o n th e le ft b y w ild , lo w -g ro w in g b ra m ble s, o n th e
r ig ht b y a h ig h, n eatly m an ic u re d h ed ge. T he m en ’s lo ng c lo ak s f la p ped a ro und
t h eir a n kle s a s t h ey m arc h ed .
“T hought I m ig ht b e la te ,” s a id Y ax le y, h is b lu nt f e atu re s s lid in g in a n d o ut
o f s ig ht a s t h e b ra n ch es o f o verh an gin g t r e es b ro ke t h e m oonlig ht. “ It w as a l ittle
t r ic k ie r t h an I e x pecte d . B ut I h ope h e w ill b e s a tis fie d . Y ou s o und c o nfid en t t h at
y our r e cep tio n w ill b e g ood?”
Snap e nodded , but did not ela b ora te . T hey tu rn ed rig ht, in to a w id e
d riv ew ay t h at l e d o ff t h e l a n e. T he h ig h h ed ge c u rv ed i n to t h em , r u nnin g o ff i n to
t h e d is ta n ce b ey ond th e p air o f im posin g w ro ught- ir o n g ate s b arrin g th e m en ’s
w ay. N eith er o f th em b ro ke s te p : I n s ile n ce b oth r a is e d th eir le ft a rm s in a k in d
o f s a lu te a n d p asse d s tr a ig ht t h ro ugh, a s t h ough t h e d ark m eta l w as s m oke.
The y ew h ed ges m uff le d th e so und o f th e m en ’s fo ots te p s. T here w as a
r u stle s o m ew here to th eir r ig ht: Y ax le y d re w h is w an d a g ain p oin tin g it o ver h is
c o m pan io n’s h ead , b ut th e s o urc e o f th e n ois e p ro ved to b e n oth in g m ore th an a
p ure -w hite p eaco ck , s tr u ttin g m aje stic ally a lo ng t h e t o p o f t h e h ed ge.
“H e a lw ay s d id h im se lf w ell, L uciu s.
Pea co cks… ”
Y ax le y th ru st h is w an d
b ack u nder h is c lo ak w ith a s n ort.
A h an dso m e m an or h ouse g re w o ut o f t h e d ark ness a t t h e e n d o f t h e s tr a ig ht
d riv e, lig hts g lin tin g in th e d ia m ond p an ed d ow nsta ir s w in dow s. S om ew here in
t h e dark gard en bey ond th e hed ge a fo unta in w as pla y in g. G ra v el cra ck le d
b en eath th eir f e et a s S nap e a n d Y ax le y s p ed to w ard th e f ro nt d oor, w hic h s w ung
i n w ard a t t h eir a p pro ach , t h ough n obody h ad v is ib ly o pen ed i t.
The hallw ay w as la rg e, dim ly lit, an d su m ptu ously deco ra te d , w ith a
m ag nif ic en t c arp et c o verin g m ost o f th e s to ne f lo or. T he e y es o f th e p ale -fa ced
p ortr a its o n th e w all fo llo w ed S nap e a n d Y ax le y a s th ey s tr o de p ast. T he tw o
m en h alte d a t a h eav y w ooden d oor le ad in g in to th e n ex t r o om , h esita te d f o r th e
s p ace o f a h eartb eat, t h en S nap e t u rn ed t h e b ro nze h an dle .
The d ra w in g ro om w as fu ll o f sile n t p eo ple , sittin g a t a lo ng a n d o rn ate

ta b le . T he ro om ’s u su al fu rn itu re h ad b een p ush ed care le ssly u p ag ain st th e
walls . Illu m in atio n cam e fro m a ro arin g fir e ben eath a han dso m e m arb le
man te lp ie ce su rm ounte d b y a g ild ed m ir ro r. S nap e a n d Y ax le y lin gere d fo r a
mom en t o n th e th re sh old . A s th eir e y es g re w a ccu sto m ed to th e la ck o f lig ht,
th ey w ere d ra w n u pw ard to th e str a n gest fe atu re o f th e sc en e: a n a p pare n tly
unco nsc io us h um an f ig ure h an gin g u psid e d ow n o ver t h e t a b le , r e v olv in g s lo w ly
as if s u sp en ded b y a n in vis ib le r o pe, a n d r e fle cte d in th e m ir ro r a n d in th e b are ,
polis h ed s u rfa ce o f th e ta b le b elo w . N one o f th e p eo ple s e ate d u ndern eath th is
sin gula r sig ht w ere lo okin g a t it e x cep t fo r a p ale y oung m an sittin g a lm ost
dir e ctly b elo w it. H e s e em ed u nab le to p re v en t h im se lf fro m g la n cin g u pw ard
ev ery m in ute o r s o .
“Y ax le y. S nap e,” s a id a h ig h, c le ar v oic e fro m th e h ead o f th e ta b le . “ Y ou
are v ery n early l a te .”
The sp eak er w as se ate d d ir e ctly in fro nt o f th e fir e p la ce, so th at it w as
dif f ic u lt, a t fir s t, fo r th e n ew a rriv als to m ak e o ut m ore th an h is s ilh ouette . A s
th ey d re w n eare r, h ow ev er, h is f a ce s h one t h ro ugh t h e g lo om , h air le ss, s n ak elik e,
with s lits f o r n ostr ils a n d g le am in g r e d e y es w hose p upils w ere v ertic al. H e w as
so p ale t h at h e s e em ed t o e m it a p early g lo w .
“S ev eru s, h ere ,” s a id V old em ort, in dic atin g th e s e at o n h is im med ia te r ig ht.
“Y ax le y — besid e D olo hov.”
The tw o m en to ok th eir a llo tte d p la ces. M ost o f th e e y es a ro und th e ta b le
fo llo w ed S nap e, a n d i t w as t o h im t h at V old em ort s p oke f ir s t.
“S o?”
“M y L ord , th e O rd er o f th e P hoen ix in te n ds to m ove H arry P otte r f ro m h is
cu rre n t p la ce o f s a fe ty o n S atu rd ay n ex t, a t n ig htf a ll.”
The in te re st a ro und th e ta b le sh arp en ed p alp ab ly : S om e stif f e n ed , o th ers
fid gete d , a ll g azin g a t S nap e a n d V old em ort.
“S atu rd ay … a t n ig htf a ll,” re p eate d V old em ort. H is re d e y es fa ste n ed u pon
Snap e’s b la ck o nes w ith s u ch in te n sity th at s o m e o f th e w atc h ers lo oked a w ay,
ap pare n tly f e arfu l th at th ey th em se lv es w ould b e s c o rc h ed b y th e f e ro city o f th e
gaze. S nap e, h ow ev er, lo oked c alm ly b ack in to V old em ort’s fa ce a n d, a fte r a
mom en t o r t w o, V old em ort’s l ip le ss m outh c u rv ed i n to s o m eth in g l ik e a s m ile .
“G ood. V ery g ood. A nd t h is i n fo rm atio n c o m es— ”
“— fro m t h e s o urc e w e d is c u sse d ,” s a id S nap e.
“M y L ord .”
Yax le y h ad le an ed fo rw ard to lo ok d ow n th e lo ng ta b le a t V old em ort a n d
Snap e. A ll f a ces t u rn ed t o h im .
“M y L ord , I h av e h eard d if f e re n tly .”
Yax le y w aite d , b ut V old em ort d id n ot s p eak , s o h e w en t o n, “ D aw lis h , th e

Auro r, le t s lip th at P otte r w ill n ot b e m oved u ntil th e th ir tie th , th e n ig ht b efo re
th e b oy t u rn s s e v en te en .”
Snap e w as s m ilin g.
“M y s o urc e to ld m e th at th ere a re p la n s to la y a f a ls e tr a il; th is m ust b e it.
No d oubt a C onfu ndus C harm h as b een p la ced u pon D aw lis h . It w ould n ot b e
th e f ir s t t im e; h e i s k now n t o b e s u sc ep tib le .”
“I a ssu re y ou, m y L ord , D aw lis h s e em ed q uite c erta in ,” s a id Y ax le y.
“If h e h as b een C onfu nded , n atu ra lly h e is c erta in ,” s a id S nap e. “ I a ssu re
yo u,
Y ax le y, th e A uro r O ff ic e w ill p la y n o f u rth er p art in th e p ro te ctio n o f H arry
Potte r. T he O rd er b elie v es t h at w e h av e i n filtr a te d t h e M in is tr y .”
“T he O rd er’s g ot o ne th in g r ig ht, th en , e h ?” s a id a s q uat m an s ittin g a s h ort
dis ta n ce f ro m Y ax le y ; h e g av e a w heezy g ig gle th at w as e ch oed h ere a n d th ere
alo ng t h e t a b le .
Vold em ort did not la u gh. H is gaze had w an dere d upw ard to th e body
re v olv in g s lo w ly o verh ead , a n d h e s e em ed t o b e l o st i n t h ought.
“M y L ord ,” Y ax le y w en t o n, “ D aw lis h b elie v es a n e n tir e p arty o f A uro rs
will b e u se d t o t r a n sfe r t h e b oy— ”
Vold em ort held up a la rg e w hite han d, an d Y ax le y su bsid ed at once,
watc h in g r e se n tf u lly a s V old em ort t u rn ed b ack t o S nap e.
“W here a re t h ey g oin g t o h id e t h e b oy n ex t? ”
“A t t h e h om e o f o ne o f t h e O rd er,” s a id S nap e. “ T he p la ce, a cco rd in g t o t h e
so urc e, h as b een g iv en e v ery p ro te ctio n th at th e O rd er a n d M in is tr y to geth er
co uld p ro vid e. I th in k th at th ere is little c h an ce o f ta k in g h im o nce h e is th ere ,
my L ord , u nle ss, o f c o urs e , th e M in is tr y h as f a lle n b efo re n ex t S atu rd ay, w hic h
mig ht g iv e u s th e o pportu nity to d is c o ver a n d u ndo e n ough o f th e e n ch an tm en ts
to b re ak t h ro ugh t h e r e st.”
“W ell, Y ax le y ?” V old em ort calle d d ow n th e ta b le , th e fir e lig ht g lin tin g
str a n gely i n h is r e d e y es.
“W ill
t h e M in is tr y h av e f a lle n b y n ex t S atu rd ay ?”
Once a g ain , a ll h ead s t u rn ed . Y ax le y s q uare d h is s h ould ers .
“M y L ord , I h av e g ood n ew s o n th at sc o re . I h av e— with d if f ic u lty , a n d
afte r gre at eff o rt— su cceed ed in pla cin g an Im periu s Curs e upon Piu s
Thic k nesse .”
Man y of th ose sittin g aro und Y ax le y lo oked im pre sse d ; his neig hbor,
Dolo hov, a m an w ith a l o ng, t w is te d f a ce, c la p ped h im o n t h e b ack .
“It is a sta rt,” sa id Vold em ort. “B ut Thic k nesse is only one m an .
Scrim geo ur m ust b e s u rro unded b y o ur p eo ple b efo re I a ct. O ne fa ile d a tte m pt
on t h e M in is te r’s l if e w ill s e t m e b ack a l o ng w ay.”
“Y es— my L ord , th at is tr u e— but y ou k now , a s H ead o f th e D ep artm en t o f
Mag ic al L aw E nfo rc em en t, T hic k nesse h as re g ula r c o nta ct n ot o nly w ith th e

Min is te r h im se lf , b ut a ls o w ith th e H ead s o f a ll th e o th er M in is tr y d ep artm en ts .
It w ill, I th in k, b e e asy n ow th at w e h av e s u ch a h ig h-ra n kin g o ff ic ia l u nder o ur
co ntr o l, to su bju gate th e o th ers , a n d th en th ey c an a ll w ork to geth er to b rin g
Scrim geo ur d ow n.”
“A s l o ng a s o ur f rie n d T hic k nesse i s n ot d is c o vere d b efo re h e h as c o nverte d
th e r e st,” s a id V old em ort. “ A t a n y r a te , it r e m ain s u nlik ely th at th e M in is tr y w ill
be m in e b efo re n ex t S atu rd ay. I f w e c an not t o uch t h e b oy a t h is d estin atio n, t h en
it m ust b e d one w hile h e t r a v els .”
“W e are at an ad van ta g e th ere , m y L ord ,” sa id Y ax le y, w ho se em ed
dete rm in ed to re ceiv e s o m e p ortio n o f a p pro val. “ W e n ow h av e s e v era l p eo ple
pla n te d w ith in th e D ep artm en t o f M ag ic al T ra n sp ort. I f P otte r A ppara te s o r u se s
th e F lo o N etw ork , w e s h all k now i m med ia te ly .”
“H e w ill n ot d o e ith er,” s a id S nap e. “ T he O rd er is e sc h ew in g a n y fo rm o f
tr a n sp ort t h at i s c o ntr o lle d o r r e g ula te d b y t h e M in is tr y ; t h ey m is tr u st e v ery th in g
to d o w ith t h e p la ce.”
“A ll th e b ette r,” s a id V old em ort. “ H e w ill h av e to m ove in th e o pen . E asie r
to t a k e, b y f a r.”
Again , V old em ort lo oked u p a t th e s lo w ly r e v olv in g b ody a s h e w en t o n, “ I
sh all a tte n d to th e b oy in p ers o n. T here h av e b een to o m an y m is ta k es w here
Harry P otte r i s c o ncern ed . S om e o f t h em h av e b een m y o w n. T hat P otte r l iv es i s
due m ore t o m y e rro rs t h an t o h is t r iu m phs.”
The c o m pan y a ro und th e ta b le w atc h ed V old em ort a p pre h en siv ely , e ach o f
th em , b y h is o r h er ex pre ssio n, afra id th at th ey m ig ht b e b la m ed fo r H arry
Potte r’s c o ntin ued e x is te n ce. V old em ort, h ow ev er, s e em ed to b e s p eak in g m ore
to h im se lf t h an t o a n y o f t h em , s till a d dre ssin g t h e u nco nsc io us b ody a b ove h im .
“I h av e b een c are le ss, a n d s o h av e b een t h w arte d b y l u ck a n d c h an ce, t h ose
wre ck ers o f a ll b ut t h e b est- la id p la n s. B ut I k now b ette r n ow . I u nders ta n d t h ose
th in gs t h at I d id n ot u nders ta n d b efo re . I m ust b e t h e o ne t o k ill H arry P otte r, a n d
I s h all b e.”
At th ese w ord s, s e em in gly in re sp onse to th em , a s u dden w ail s o unded , a
te rrib le , d ra w n-o ut c ry o f m is e ry a n d p ain . M an y o f th ose a t th e ta b le lo oked
dow nw ard , s ta rtle d , f o r t h e s o und h ad s e em ed t o i s su e f ro m b elo w t h eir f e et.
“W orm ta il,” s a id V old em ort, w ith n o c h an ge in h is q uie t, th oughtf u l to ne,
an d w ith out re m ovin g h is ey es fro m th e re v olv in g b ody ab o ve, “h av e I n ot
sp oken t o y ou a b out k eep in g o ur p ris o ner q uie t? ”
“Y es, m -m y L ord ,” g asp ed a s m all m an h alf w ay d ow n th e ta b le , w ho h ad
been s ittin g s o l o w i n h is c h air t h at i t a p peare d , a t f ir s t g la n ce, t o b e u noccu pie d .
Now h e s c ra m ble d fro m h is s e at a n d s c u rrie d fro m th e ro om , le av in g n oth in g
beh in d h im b ut a c u rio us g le am o f s ilv er.

“A s I w as s a y in g,” c o ntin ued V old em ort, l o okin g a g ain a t t h e t e n se f a ces o f
his fo llo w ers , “ I u nders ta n d b ette r n ow . I s h all n eed , fo r in sta n ce, to b orro w a
wan d f ro m o ne o f y ou b efo re I g o t o k ill P otte r.”
The fa ces aro und him dis p la y ed noth in g but sh ock ; he m ig ht hav e
an nounced t h at h e w an te d t o b orro w o ne o f t h eir a rm s.
“N o v olu nte ers ? ” s a id V old em ort. “ L et’s s e e… L uciu s, I s e e n o r e aso n f o r
you t o h av e a w an d a n ym ore .”
Luciu s M alf o y lo oked u p. H is sk in a p peare d y ello w is h a n d w ax y in th e
fir e lig ht, a n d h is e y es w ere s u nken a n d s h ad ow ed . W hen h e s p oke, h is v oic e w as
hoars e .
“M y L ord ?”
“Y our w an d, L uciu s. I r e q uir e y our w an d.”
“I… ”
Malf o y g la n ced s id ew ay s a t h is w if e . S he w as s ta rin g s tr a ig ht a h ead , q uite
as p ale a s h e w as, h er lo ng b lo nde h air h an gin g d ow n h er b ack , b ut b en eath th e
ta b le h er s lim fin gers c lo se d b rie fly o n h is w ris t. A t h er to uch , M alf o y p ut h is
han d in to h is ro bes, w ith dre w a w an d, a n d p asse d it a lo ng to V old em ort, w ho
held i t u p i n f ro nt o f h is r e d e y es, e x am in in g i t c lo se ly .
“W hat i s i t? ”
“E lm , m y L ord ,” w his p ere d M alf o y.
“A nd t h e c o re ?”
“D ra g on— dra g on h earts tr in g.”
“G ood,” s a id V old em ort. H e d re w o ut h is w an d a n d c o m pare d th e le n gth s.
Luciu s M alf o y m ad e a n in volu nta ry m ovem en t; fo r a fra ctio n o f a se co nd, it
se em ed h e e x pecte d to r e ceiv e V old em ort’s w an d in e x ch an ge f o r h is o w n. T he
gestu re w as n ot m is se d b y V old em ort, w hose e y es w id en ed m alic io usly .
“G iv e y ou m y w an d, L uciu s?
My
w an d?”
Som e o f t h e t h ro ng s n ig gere d .
“I h av e g iv en y ou y our lib erty , L uciu s, is th at n ot e n ough fo r y ou? B ut I
hav e n otic ed th at y ou a n d y our f a m ily s e em le ss th an h ap py o f la te … W hat is it
ab out m y p re se n ce i n y our h om e t h at d is p la ces y ou, L uciu s? ”
“N oth in g— noth in g, m y L ord !”
“S uch
lie s,
L uciu s… ”
The s o ft v oic e s e em ed to h is s o n e v en a fte r th e c ru el m outh h ad s to pped
movin g. O ne o r tw o o f th e w iz ard s b are ly re p re sse d a sh udder a s th e h is sin g
gre w l o uder; s o m eth in g h eav y c o uld b e h eard s lid in g a cro ss t h e f lo or b en eath t h e
ta b le .
The h uge sn ak e em erg ed to clim b slo w ly u p V old em ort’s ch air. It ro se ,
se em in gly e n dle ssly , a n d c am e to r e st a cro ss V old em ort’s s h ould ers : its n eck th e

th ic k ness of a m an ’s th ig h; its ey es, w ith th eir vertic al slits fo r pupils ,
unblin kin g. V old em ort s tr o ked th e c re atu re a b se n tly w ith lo ng th in fin gers , s till
lo okin g a t L uciu s M alf o y.
“W hy d o th e M alf o ys lo ok s o u nhap py w ith th eir lo t? I s m y r e tu rn , m y r is e
to p ow er, n ot t h e v ery t h in g t h ey p ro fe sse d t o d esir e f o r s o m an y y ears ? ”
“O f c o urs e , m y L ord ,” sa id L uciu s M alf o y. H is h an d sh ook a s h e w ip ed
sw eat f ro m h is u pper l ip . “ W e d id d esir e i t— we d o.”
To M alf o y’s le ft, h is w if e m ad e a n o dd, stif f n od, h er e y es a v erte d fro m
Vold em ort a n d t h e s n ak e. T o h is r ig ht, h is s o n, D ra co , w ho h ad b een g azin g u p a t
th e in ert b ody o verh ead , g la n ced q uic k ly a t V old em ort a n d a w ay a g ain , te rrif ie d
to m ak e e y e c o nta ct.
“M y Lord ,” sa id a dark w om an half w ay dow n th e ta b le , her voic e
co nstr ic te d w ith e m otio n, “ it i s a n h onor t o h av e y ou h ere , i n o ur f a m ily ’s h ouse .
There c an b e n o h ig her p le asu re .”
She sa t b esid e h er sis te r, a s u nlik e h er in lo oks, w ith h er d ark h air a n d
heav ily lid ded e y es, a s sh e w as in b earin g a n d d em ean or; w here N arc is sa sa t
rig id a n d im passiv e, B ella tr ix le an ed to w ard V old em ort, fo r m ere w ord s c o uld
not d em onstr a te h er l o ngin g f o r c lo se n ess.
“N o h ig her p le asu re ,” r e p eate d V old em ort, h is h ead t ilte d a l ittle t o o ne s id e
as h e c o nsid ere d B ella tr ix . “ T hat m ean s a g re at d eal, B ella tr ix , f ro m y ou.”
Her f a ce f lo oded w ith c o lo r; h er e y es w elle d w ith t e ars o f d elig ht.
“M y L ord k now s I s p eak n oth in g b ut t h e t r u th !”
“N o h ig her p le asu re … e v en c o m pare d w ith t h e h ap py e v en t t h at, I h ear, h as
ta k en p la ce i n y our f a m ily t h is w eek ?”
She s ta re d a t h im , h er l ip s p arte d , e v id en tly c o nfu se d .
“I d on’t k now w hat y ou m ean , m y L ord .”
“I’m ta lk in g a b out y our n ie ce, B ella tr ix . A nd y ours , L uciu s a n d N arc is sa .
She h as j u st m arrie d t h e w ere w olf , R em us L upin . Y ou m ust b e s o p ro ud.”
There w as an eru ptio n o f je erin g la u ghte r fro m aro und th e ta b le . M an y
le an ed fo rw ard to e x ch an ge g le efu l lo oks; a fe w th um ped th e ta b le w ith th eir
fis ts . T he g ia n t sn ak e, d is lik in g th e d is tu rb an ce, o pen ed its m outh w id e an d
his se d a n grily , b ut th e D eath E ate rs d id n ot h ear it, so ju bila n t w ere th ey a t
Bella tr ix a n d th e M alf o ys’ h um ilia tio n. B ella tr ix ’s fa ce, s o re cen tly flu sh ed w it
hap pin ess, h ad t u rn ed a n u gly , b lo tc h y r e d .
“S he is n o n ie ce o f o urs , m y L ord ,” s h e c rie d o ver th e o utp ourin g o f m ir th .
“W e— Narc is sa a n d I— hav e n ev er s e t e y es o n o ur s is te r s in ce s h e m arrie d th e
Mudblo od. T his b ra t h as n oth in g to d o w ith eith er o f u s, n or an y b east sh e
marrie s.”
“W hat s a y y ou, D ra co ?” a sk ed V old em ort, a n d th ough h is v oic e w as q uie t,

it c arrie d c le arly t h ro ugh t h e c atc alls a n d j e ers . “ W ill y ou b ab ysit t h e c u bs? ”
The h ila rity m ounte d ; D ra co M alf o y lo oked in te rro r a t h is f a th er, w ho w as
sta rin g d ow n i n to h is o w n l a p , t h en c au ght h is m oth er’s e y e. S he s h ook h er h ead
alm ost i m perc ep tib ly , t h en r e su m ed h er o w n d ead pan s ta re a t t h e o pposite w all.
“E nough,” s a id V old em ort, s tr o kin g t h e a n gry s n ak e. “ E nough.”
And t h e l a u ghte r d ie d a t o nce.
“M an y o f o ur o ld est fa m ily tr e es b eco m e a little d is e ase d o ver tim e,” h e
sa id a s B ella tr ix g azed a t h im , b re ath le ss a n d i m plo rin g, “ Y ou m ust p ru ne y ours ,
must y ou n ot, t o k eep i t h ealth y? C ut a w ay t h ose p arts t h at t h re ate n t h e h ealth o f
th e r e st.”
“Y es, m y L ord ,” w his p ere d B ella tr ix , an d h er ey es sw am w ith te ars o f
gra titu de a g ain . “ A t t h e f ir s t c h an ce!”
“Y ou s h all h av e i t,” s a id V old em ort. “ A nd i n y our f a m ily , s o i n t h e w orld …
we s h all c u t a w ay th e c an ker th at in fe cts u s u ntil o nly th ose o f th e tr u e b lo od
re m ain … ”
Vold em ort ra is e d L uciu s M alf o y’s w an d, p oin te d it d ir e ctly a t th e slo w ly
re v olv in g fig ure s u sp en ded o ver th e ta b le , a n d g av e it a tin y flic k . T he fig ure
cam e t o l if e w ith a g ro an a n d b eg an t o s tr u ggle a g ain st i n vis ib le b onds.
“D o y ou r e co gniz e o ur g uest, S ev eru s? ” a sk ed V old em ort.
Snap e r a is e d h is e y es t o t h e u psid e d ow n f a ce. A ll o f t h e D eath E ate rs w ere
lo okin g u p a t t h e c ap tiv e n ow , a s t h ough t h ey h ad b een g iv en p erm is sio n t o s h ow
cu rio sity . A s s h e r e v olv ed to f a ce th e f ir e lig ht, th e w om an s a id in a c ra ck ed a n d
te rrif ie d v oic e, “ S ev eru s! H elp m e!”
“A h, y es,” s a id S nap e a s t h e p ris o ner t u rn ed s lo w ly a w ay a g ain .
“A nd y ou, D ra co ?” a sk ed V old em ort, str o kin g th e sn ak e’s sn out w ith h is
wan d-fre e h an d. D ra co s h ook h is h ead je rk ily . N ow th at th e w om an h ad w oken ,
he s e em ed u nab le t o l o ok a t h er a n ym ore .
“B ut y ou w ould n ot h av e ta k en h er c la sse s,” s a id V old em ort. “ F or th ose o f
you w ho d o n ot k now , w e a re jo in ed h ere to nig ht b y C harity B urb ag e w ho, u ntil
re cen tly , t a u ght a t H ogw arts S ch ool o f W itc h cra ft a n d W iz ard ry .”
There w ere sm all nois e s of co m pre h en sio n aro und th e ta b le . A bro ad ,
hunch ed w om an w ith p oin te d t e eth c ack le d .
“Y es… P ro fe sso r B urb ag e ta u ght th e c h ild re n o f w itc h es a n d w iz ard s a ll
ab out M uggle s… h ow t h ey a re n ot s o d if f e re n t f ro m u s… ”
One o f t h e D eath E ate rs s p at o n th e f lo or. C harity B urb ag e r e v olv ed t o f a ce
Snap e a g ain .
“S ev eru s… p le ase … p le ase … ”
“S ile n ce,” sa id V old em ort, w ith an oth er tw itc h of M alf o y’s w an d, an d
Charity fe ll s ile n t a s if g ag ged . “ N ot c o nte n t w ith c o rru ptin g a n d p ollu tin g th e

min ds o f W iz ard in g c h ild re n , l a st w eek P ro fe sso r B urb ag e w ro te a n i m passio ned
defe n se o f M udblo ods i n t h e
Daily P ro phet.
W iz ard s, s h e s a y s, m ust a ccep t t h ese
th ie v es o f th eir k now le d ge a n d m ag ic . T he d w in dlin g o f th e p ure b lo ods is , s a y s
Pro fe sso r B urb ag e, a m ost d esir a b le c ir c u m sta n ce… S he w ould h av e u s a ll m ate
with M uggle s… o r, n o d oubt, w ere w olv es… ”
Nobody la u ghed th is tim e. T here w as n o m is ta k in g th e a n ger a n d c o nte m pt
in V old em ort’s voic e. F or th e th ir d tim e, C harity B urb ag e re v olv ed to fa ce
Snap e. T ears w ere p ourin g f ro m h er e y es i n to h er h air. S nap e l o oked b ack a t h er,
quite i m passiv e, a s s h e t u rn ed s lo w ly a w ay f ro m h im a g ain .
“Ava da K ed avra .”
The f la sh o f g re en lig ht illu m in ate d e v ery c o rn er o f th e r o om . C harity f e ll,
with a re so undin g cra sh , o nto th e ta b le b elo w , w hic h tr e m ble d an d cre ak ed .
Sev era l o f th e D eath E ate rs le ap t b ack in th eir c h air s . D ra co f e ll o ut o f h is o nto
th e f lo or.
“D in ner, N ag in i,” sa id V old em ort so ftly , a n d th e g re at sn ak e sw ay ed a n d
slith ere d f ro m h is s h ould ers o nto t h e p olis h ed w ood.

2 . I N M EM ORIA M
Harry w as b le ed in g. C lu tc h in g h is r ig ht h an d in h is le ft a n d s w earin g u nder
h is bre ath , he sh ould ere d open his bed ro om door. T here w as a cru nch of
b re ak in g c h in a. H e h ad tr o dden o n a c u p o f c o ld te a th at h ad b een s ittin g o n th e
f lo or o uts id e h is b ed ro om d oor.
“W hat t h e— ?”
He lo oked a ro und, th e la n din g o f n um ber f o ur, P riv et D riv e, w as d ese rte d .
P ossib ly th e c u p o f te a w as D udle y ’s id ea o f a c le v er b ooby tr a p . K eep in g h is
b le ed in g h an d e le v ate d , H arry sc ra p ed th e fra g m en ts o f c u p to geth er w ith th e
o th er h an d a n d th re w th em in to th e a lr e ad y c ra m med b in ju st v is ib le in sid e h is
b ed ro om d oor. T hen h e tr a m ped a cro ss to th e b ath ro om to ru n h is fin ger u nder
t h e t a p .
It w as s tu pid , p oin tle ss, ir rita tin g b ey ond b elie f th at h e s till h ad fo ur d ay s
l e ft o f b ein g u nab le to p erfo rm m ag ic … b ut h e h ad to a d m it to h im se lf th at th is
j a g ged c u t in h is f in ger w ould h av e d efe ate d h im . H e h ad n ev er le arn ed h ow to
r e p air w ounds, an d n ow h e cam e to th in k o f it— partic u la rly in lig ht o f h is
i m med ia te p la n s— th is s e em ed a s e rio us f la w i n h is m ag ic al e d ucatio n. M ak in g a
m en ta l n ote to a sk H erm io ne h ow it w as d one, h e u se d a la rg e w ad o f to ile t
p ap er to m op u p a s m uch o f th e te a a s h e c o uld b efo re r e tu rn in g to h is b ed ro om
a n d s la m min g t h e d oor b eh in d h im .
Harry h ad s p en t th e m orn in g c o m ple te ly e m pty in g h is s c h ool tr u nk f o r th e
f ir s t tim e s in ce h e h ad p ack ed it s ix y ears a g o. A t th e s ta rt o f th e in te rv en in g
s c h ool years , he had m ere ly sk im med off th e to pm ost th re e-q uarte rs of th e
c o nte n ts a n d re p la ced o r u pdate d th em , le av in g a la y er o f g en era l d eb ris a t th e
b otto m — old quills , desic cate d beetle ey es, sin gle so ck s th at no lo nger fit.
M in ute s p re v io usly , H arry h ad p lu nged h is h an d in to th is m ulc h , e x perie n ced a
s ta b bin g p ain in th e f o urth f in ger o f h is r ig ht h an d, a n d w ith dra w n it to s e e a lo t
o f b lo od.
He n ow p ro ceed ed a little m ore c au tio usly . K neelin g d ow n b esid e th e tr u nk
a g ain , h e g ro ped a ro und in th e b otto m a n d, a fte r re tr ie v in g a n o ld b ad ge th at
f lic k ere d f e eb ly b etw een
SU PPO RT C ED RIC D IG GORY
a n d
PO TTE R S T IN KS,
a c ra ck ed a n d w orn -o ut S neak osc o pe, a n d a g old lo ck et in sid e w hic h a n ote
s ig ned R . A . B . h ad b een h id den , h e fin ally d is c o vere d th e s h arp e d ge th at h ad
d one th e d am ag e. H e r e co gniz ed it a t o nce. I t w as a tw o-in ch -lo ng f ra g m en t o f
t h e e n ch an te d m ir ro r th at h is d ead g odfa th er, S ir iu s, h ad g iv en h im . H arry l a id i t
a sid e a n d f e lt c au tio usly a ro und t h e t r u nk f o r t h e r e st, b ut n oth in g m ore r e m ain ed

of h is g odfa th er’s la st g if t e x cep t p ow dere d g la ss, w hic h c lu ng to th e d eep est
la y er o f d eb ris l ik e g litte rin g g rit.
Harry s a t u p a n d e x am in ed th e ja g ged p ie ce o n w hic h h e h ad c u t h im se lf ,
se ein g n oth in g b ut h is o w n b rig ht g re en ey e re fle cte d b ack at h im . T hen h e
pla ced t h e f ra g m en t o n t o p o f t h at m orn in g’s
Daily P ro phet,
w hic h l a y u nre ad o n
th e b ed , a n d a tte m pte d to s te m th e s u dden u psu rg e o f b itte r m em orie s, th e s ta b s
of re g re t a n d o f lo ngin g th e d is c o very o f th e b ro ken m ir ro r h ad o ccasio ned , b y
atta ck in g t h e r e st o f t h e r u bbis h i n t h e t r u nk.
It to ok a n oth er h our to e m pty it c o m ple te ly , th ro w a w ay th e u se le ss ite m s,
an d s o rt th e r e m ain der in p ile s a cco rd in g to w heth er o r n ot h e w ould n eed th em
fro m n ow o n. H is s c h ool a n d Q uid ditc h r o bes, c au ld ro n, p arc h m en t, q uills , a n d
most o f h is te x tb ooks w ere p ile d in a c o rn er, to b e le ft b eh in d. H e w ondere d
what h is a u nt a n d u ncle w ould d o w ith th em ; b urn th em in th e d ead o f n ig ht,
pro bab ly , a s i f t h ey w ere e v id en ce o f s o m e d re ad fu l c rim e. H is M uggle c lo th in g,
In vis ib ility C lo ak , potio n-m ak in g kit, certa in books, th e photo gra p h alb um
Hag rid h ad o nce g iv en h im , a s ta ck o f le tte rs , a n d h is w an d h ad b een r e p ack ed
in to a n o ld r u ck sa ck . I n a f ro nt p ock et w ere th e M ara u der’s M ap a n d th e lo ck et
with th e n ote s ig ned R . A . B . in sid e it. T he lo ck et w as a cco rd ed th is p la ce o f
honor n ot b ecau se it w as v alu ab le — in a ll u su al se n se s it w as w orth le ss— but
becau se o f w hat i t h ad c o st t o a tta in i t.
This le ft a s iz ab le s ta ck o f n ew sp ap ers s ittin g o n h is d esk b esid e h is s n ow y
ow l, H ed w ig : o ne fo r each o f th e d ay s H arry h ad sp en t at P riv et D riv e th is
su m mer.
He g ot u p o ff th e flo or, s tr e tc h ed , a n d m oved a cro ss to h is d esk . H ed w ig
mad e n o m ovem en t a s h e b eg an t o f lic k t h ro ugh n ew sp ap ers , t h ro w in g t h em i n to
th e ru bbis h p ile o ne b y o ne. T he o w l w as a sle ep o r e ls e fa k in g; s h e w as a n gry
with H arry a b out th e lim ite d a m ount o f tim e s h e w as a llo w ed o ut o f h er c ag e a t
th e m om en t.
As h e n eare d th e b otto m o f th e p ile o f n ew sp ap ers , H arry slo w ed d ow n,
se arc h in g fo r o ne p artic u la r is su e th at h e k new h ad a rriv ed s h ortly a fte r h e h ad
re tu rn ed to P riv et D riv e fo r th e s u m mer; h e re m em bere d th at th ere h ad b een a
sm all m en tio n o n t h e f ro nt a b out t h e r e sig natio n o f C harity B urb ag e, t h e M uggle
Stu die s te ach er a t H ogw arts . A t la st h e fo und it. T urn in g to p ag e te n , h e s a n k
in to h is d esk c h air a n d r e re ad t h e a rtic le h e h ad b een l o okin g f o r.
ALBU S D UM BLED O RE R EM EM BER ED
by E lp hia s D oge
I m et A lb us D um ble d ore a t th e a g e o f e le v en , o n o ur f ir s t d ay a t
Hogw arts . O ur m utu al a ttr a ctio n w as u ndoubte d ly d ue to th e f a ct th at

we b oth fe lt o urs e lv es to b e o uts id ers . I h ad c o ntr a cte d d ra g on p ox
sh ortly befo re arriv in g at sc h ool, an d w hile I w as no lo nger
co nta g io us, m y pock -m ark ed vis a g e an d gre en is h hue did not
en co ura g e m an y to a p pro ach m e. F or h is p art, A lb us h ad a rriv ed a t
Hogw arts u nder th e b urd en o f u nw an te d n oto rie ty . S carc ely a y ear
pre v io usly , h is fa th er, P erc iv al, h ad b een c o nvic te d o f a sa v ag e a n d
well- p ublic iz ed a tta ck u pon t h re e y oung M uggle s.
Alb us n ev er a tte m pte d to d en y th at h is f a th er ( w ho w as to d ie in
Azk ab an ) h ad c o m mitte d th is c rim e; o n th e c o ntr a ry , w hen I p lu ck ed
up c o ura g e to a sk h im , h e a ssu re d m e th at h e k new h is fa th er to b e
guilty . B ey ond th at, D um ble d ore r e fu se d to s p eak o f th e s a d b usin ess,
th ough m an y atte m pte d to m ak e him do so . S om e, in deed , w ere
dis p ose d to p ra is e h is f a th er’s a ctio n a n d a ssu m ed th at A lb us to o w as
a M uggle -h ate r. They co uld not hav e been m ore m is ta k en . A s
an ybody w ho k new A lb us w ould a tte st, h e n ev er r e v eale d t h e r e m ote st
an ti- M uggle te n den cy. In deed , his dete rm in ed su pport fo r M uggle
rig hts g ain ed h im m an y e n em ie s i n s u bse q uen t y ears .
In a m atte r o f m onth s, h ow ev er, A lb us’s o w n f a m e h ad b eg un to
eclip se th at o f h is f a th er. B y th e e n d o f h is f ir s t y ear h e w ould n ev er
ag ain b e k now n a s th e s o n o f a M uggle -h ate r, b ut a s n oth in g m ore o r
le ss t h an t h e m ost b rillia n t s tu den t e v er s e en a t t h e s c h ool. T hose o f u s
who w ere p riv ile g ed to b e h is f rie n ds b en efite d f ro m h is e x am ple , n ot
to m en tio n h is h elp a n d e n co ura g em en t, w ith w hic h h e w as a lw ay s
gen ero us. H e c o nfe sse d to m e la te r in lif e th at h e k new e v en th en th at
his g re ate st p le asu re l a y i n t e ach in g.
He n ot o nly w on e v ery p riz e o f n ote th at th e s c h ool o ff e re d , h e
was so on in re g ula r c o rre sp onden ce w ith th e m ost n ota b le m ag ic al
nam es o f th e d ay, in clu din g N ic o la s F la m el, th e c ele b ra te d a lc h em is t;
Bath ild a B ag sh ot, th e note d his to ria n ; an d A dalb ert W aff lin g, th e
mag ic al th eo re tic ia n . Sev era l of his pap ers fo und th eir w ay in to
le arn ed public atio ns su ch as
Tra nsfig ura tio n To day, C halle n ges in
Charm in g,
a n d
The P ra ctic a l P otio neer.
D um ble d ore ’s fu tu re c are er
se em ed l ik ely t o b e m ete o ric , a n d t h e o nly q uestio n t h at r e m ain ed w as
when he w ould beco m e M in is te r of M ag ic . T hough it w as ofte n
pre d ic te d in la te r y ears th at h e w as o n th e p oin t o f ta k in g th e jo b,
how ev er, h e n ev er h ad M in is te ria l a m bitio ns.
Thre e y ears a fte r w e h ad sta rte d a t H ogw arts , A lb us’s b ro th er,
Aberfo rth , arriv ed at sc h ool. T hey w ere not alik e: A berfo rth w as
nev er b ookis h an d, u nlik e A lb us, p re fe rre d to se ttle arg um en ts b y

duelin g ra th er th an th ro ugh re aso ned d is c u ssio n. H ow ev er, it is q uite
wro ng to su ggest, a s so m e h av e, th at th e b ro th ers w ere n ot fr ie n ds.
They ru bbed a lo ng a s c o m fo rta b ly a s tw o s u ch d if f e re n t b oys c o uld
do. I n f a ir n ess to A berfo rth , it m ust b e a d m itte d th at liv in g in A lb us’s
sh ad ow c an not h av e b een a n a lto geth er c o m fo rta b le e x perie n ce. B ein g
co ntin ually o uts h one w as a n o ccu patio nal h azard o f b ein g h is frie n d
an d c an not h av e b een a n y m ore p le asu ra b le a s a b ro th er. W hen A lb us
an d I l e ft H ogw arts w e i n te n ded t o t a k e t h e t h en -tr a d itio nal t o ur o f t h e
world to geth er, vis itin g an d obse rv in g fo re ig n wiz ard s, befo re
purs u in g o ur se p ara te c are ers . H ow ev er, tr a g ed y in te rv en ed . O n th e
very e v e o f o ur tr ip , A lb us’s m oth er, K en dra , d ie d , le av in g A lb us th e
head , a n d s o le b re ad w in ner, o f th e fa m ily . I p ostp oned m y d ep artu re
lo ng e n ough t o p ay m y r e sp ects a t K en dra ’s f u nera l, t h en l e ft f o r w hat
was n ow to b e a s o lita ry jo urn ey. W ith a y ounger b ro th er a n d s is te r to
care fo r, a n d little g old le ft to th em , th ere c o uld n o lo nger b e a n y
questio n o f A lb us a cco m pan yin g m e.
That w as th e p erio d o f o ur liv es w hen w e h ad le ast c o nta ct. I
wro te to A lb us, d esc rib in g, p erh ap s in se n sitiv ely , th e w onders o f m y
jo urn ey, fro m narro w esc ap es fro m ch im aera s in G re ece to th e
ex perim en ts o f t h e E gyptia n a lc h em is ts . H is l e tte rs t o ld m e l ittle o f h is
day -to -d ay lif e , w hic h I g uesse d to b e fru str a tin gly d ull fo r su ch a
brillia n t w iz ard . I m mers e d in m y o w n e x perie n ces, it w as w ith h orro r
th at I h eard , to w ard th e e n d o f m y y ear’s tr a v els , th at a n oth er tr a g ed y
had s tr u ck t h e D um ble d ore s: t h e d eath o f h is s is te r, A ria n a.
Though A ria n a h ad b een i n p oor h ealth f o r a l o ng t im e, t h e b lo w ,
co m in g s o s o on a fte r t h e l o ss o f t h eir m oth er, h ad a p ro fo und e ff e ct o n
both o f h er b ro th ers . A ll th ose c lo se st to A lb us— an d I c o unt m yse lf
one o f th at lu ck y n um ber— ag re e th at A ria n a’s d eath , an d A lb us’s
fe elin g o f p ers o nal re sp onsib ility fo r it (th ough, o f co urs e , h e w as
guiltle ss), l e ft t h eir m ark u pon h im f o re v erm ore .
I re tu rn ed h om e to fin d a y oung m an w ho h ad ex perie n ced a
much o ld er p ers o n’s s u ff e rin g. A lb us w as m ore r e se rv ed th an b efo re ,
an d m uch le ss lig ht- h earte d . T o a d d to h is m is e ry , th e lo ss o f A ria n a
had l e d , n ot to a r e n ew ed c lo se n ess b etw een A lb us a n d A berfo rth , b ut
to an estr a n gem en t. (In tim e th is w ould lif t— in la te r years th ey
re esta b lis h ed , if n ot a c lo se r e la tio nsh ip , th en c erta in ly a c o rd ia l o ne.)
How ev er, h e ra re ly s p oke o f h is p are n ts o r o f A ria n a fro m th en o n,
an d h is f rie n ds l e arn ed n ot t o m en tio n t h em .
Oth er q uills w ill d esc rib e th e tr iu m phs o f th e fo llo w in g y ears .

Dum ble d ore ’s in num era b le co ntr ib utio ns to th e sto re o f W iz ard in g
know le d ge, in clu din g h is d is c o very o f th e tw elv e u se s o f d ra g on’s
blo od, w ill ben efit gen era tio ns to co m e, as w ill th e w is d om he
dis p la y ed in th e m an y ju dgm en ts w hile Chie f W arlo ck of th e
Wiz en gam ot. T hey s a y, s till, t h at n o W iz ard in g d uel e v er m atc h ed t h at
betw een D um ble d ore a n d G rin delw ald in 1 945. T hose w ho w itn esse d
it h av e w ritte n o f th e te rro r a n d th e a w e th ey fe lt a s th ey w atc h ed
th ese tw o e x tr a o rd in ary w iz ard s to b attle . D um ble d ore ’s tr iu m ph, a n d
its c o nse q uen ces fo r th e W iz ard in g w orld , a re c o nsid ere d a tu rn in g
poin t in m ag ic al h is to ry to m atc h th e in tr o ductio n o f th e I n te rn atio nal
Sta tu te o f S ecre cy o r t h e d ow nfa ll o f H e-W ho-M ust- N ot- B e-N am ed .
Alb us D um ble d ore w as nev er pro ud or vain ; he co uld fin d
so m eth in g to v alu e in an yone, h ow ev er ap pare n tly in sig nif ic an t o r
wre tc h ed , a n d I b elie v e th at h is e arly lo sse s e n dow ed h im w ith g re at
hum an ity a n d s y m path y. I s h all m is s h is frie n dsh ip m ore th an I c an
sa y, b ut m y lo ss is n oth in g c o m pare d to th e W iz ard in g w orld ’s . T hat
he w as th e m ost in sp ir in g a n d b est lo ved o f a ll H ogw arts h ead m aste rs
can not b e in q uestio n. H e d ie d a s h e liv ed : w ork in g a lw ay s fo r th e
gre ate r g ood a n d, to h is la st h our, a s w illin g to s tr e tc h o ut a h an d to a
sm all b oy w ith d ra g on p ox a s h e w as o n t h e d ay I m et h im .
Harry f in is h ed r e ad in g, b ut c o ntin ued to g aze a t th e p ic tu re a cco m pan yin g
th e o bitu ary . D um ble d ore w as w earin g h is fa m ilia r, k in dly sm ile , b ut as h e
peere d o ver th e to p o f h is h alf -m oon s p ecta cle s, h e g av e th e im pre ssio n, e v en in
new sp rin t, of X -ra y in g H arry , w hose sa d ness m in gle d w ith a se n se of
hum ilia tio n.
He h ad t h ought h e k new D um ble d ore q uite w ell, b ut e v er s in ce r e ad in g t h is
obitu ary h e h ad b een fo rc ed to re co gniz e th at h e h ad b are ly k now n h im a t a ll.
Nev er o nce h ad h e i m ag in ed D um ble d ore ’s c h ild hood o r y outh ; i t w as a s t h ough
he h ad s p ru ng in to b ein g a s H arry h ad k now n h im , v en era b le a n d s ilv er- h air e d
an d o ld . T he id ea o f a te en ag e D um ble d ore w as sim ply o dd, lik e tr y in g to
im ag in e a s tu pid H erm io ne o r a f rie n dly B la st- E nded S kre w t.
He h ad n ev er th ought to a sk D um ble d ore a b out h is p ast. N o d oubt it w ould
hav e f e lt s tr a n ge, im pertin en t e v en , b ut a fte r a ll it h ad b een c o m mon k now le d ge
th at D um ble d ore h ad ta k en p art in th at le g en dary d uel w ith G rin delw ald , a n d
Harry h ad n ot t h ought t o a sk D um ble d ore w hat t h at h ad b een l ik e, n or a b out a n y
of h is o th er f a m ous a ch ie v em en ts . N o, th ey h ad a lw ay s d is c u sse d H arry , H arry ’s
past, H arry ’s f u tu re , H arry ’s p la n s… a n d i t s e em ed t o H arry n ow , d esp ite t h e f a ct
th at his fu tu re w as so dan gero us an d so uncerta in , th at he had m is se d

ir re p la ceab le o pportu nitie s w hen h e h ad fa ile d to a sk D um ble d ore m ore a b out
him se lf , ev en th ough th e only pers o nal questio n he had ev er ask ed his
head m aste r w as als o th e only one he su sp ecte d th at D um ble d ore had not
an sw ere d h onestly :
“W hat d o y o u s e e w hen y o u l o ok i n t h e m ir ro r? ”
“I? I s e e m yse lf h old in g a p air o f t h ic k, w oole n s o cks.”
Afte r s e v era l m in ute s’ th ought, H arry to re th e o bitu ary o ut o f th e
Pro phet,
fo ld ed it c are fu lly , a n d tu ck ed it in sid e th e fir s t v olu m e o f
Pra ctic a l D efe n siv e
Magic and its U se again st th e D ark A rts .
T hen he th re w th e re st of th e
new sp ap er o nto th e r u bbis h p ile a n d tu rn ed to f a ce th e r o om . I t w as m uch tid ie r.
The o nly th in gs le ft o ut o f p la ce w ere to day ’s
Daily P ro phet,
s till ly in g o n th e
bed , a n d o n t o p o f i t, t h e p ie ce o f b ro ken m ir ro r.
Harry m oved a cro ss th e r o om , s lid th e m ir ro r f ra g m en t o ff to day ’s
Pro phet,
an d u nfo ld ed t h e n ew sp ap er. H e h ad m ere ly g la n ced a t t h e h ead lin e w hen h e h ad
ta k en t h e r o lle d -u p p ap er f ro m t h e d eliv ery o w l e arly t h at m orn in g a n d t h ro w n i t
asid e, a fte r n otin g th at it s a id n oth in g a b out V old em ort. H arry w as s u re th at th e
Min is tr y w as le an in g o n th e
Pro phet
to s u ppre ss n ew s a b out V old em ort. It w as
only n ow , t h ere fo re , t h at h e s a w w hat h e h ad m is se d .
Acro ss th e b otto m h alf o f th e f ro nt p ag e a s m alle r h ead lin e w as s e t o ver a
pic tu re o f D um ble d ore s tr id in g a lo ng, l o okin g h arrie d :
DUM BLED O RE— TH E T R UTH A T L A ST ?
Com in g nex t w eek , th e sh ock in g sto ry of th e fla w ed gen iu s
co nsid ere d by m an y to be th e gre ate st w iz ard of his gen era tio n.
Str ip in g a w ay th e p opula r im ag e o f se re n e, silv er- b eard ed w is d om ,
Rita S keete r re v eals th e d is tu rb ed c h ild hood, th e la w le ss y outh , th e
lif e -lo ng fe u ds, a n d th e g uilty s e cre ts th at D um ble d ore c arrie d to h is
gra v e. W HY w as th e m an tip ped to b e th e M in is te r o f M ag ic c o nte n t
to re m ain a m ere h ead m aste r? W HAT w as th e re al p urp ose o f th e
se cre t o rg an iz atio n k now n as th e O rd er o f th e P hoen ix ? H OW d id
Dum ble d ore r e ally m eet h is e n d?
The a n sw ers to th ese a n d m an y m ore q uestio ns a re e x plo re d in
th e e x plo siv e n ew b io gra p hy,
The L ife a nd L ie s o f A lb us D um ble d ore ,
by R ita S keete r, e x clu siv ely in te rv ie w ed b y B erry B ra ith w aite , p ag e
13, i n sid e.
Harry rip ped open th e pap er an d fo und pag e th ir te en . T he artic le w as
to pped w ith a p ic tu re s h ow in g a n oth er f a m ilia r f a ce: a w om an w earin g je w ele d
gla sse s w ith e la b ora te ly c u rle d b lo nde h air , h er te eth b are d in w hat w as c le arly

su ppose d to b e a w in nin g s m ile , w ig glin g h er f in gers u p a t h im . D oin g h is b est
to i g nore t h is n au se atin g i m ag e, H arry r e ad o n.
In pers o n, R ita S keete r is m uch w arm er an d so fte r th an her
fa m ously fe ro cio us q uill- p ortr a its m ig ht s u ggest. G re etin g m e in th e
hallw ay o f h er c o zy h om e, s h e le ad s m e s tr a ig ht in to th e k itc h en f o r a
cu p of te a, a slic e of pound cak e an d, it goes w ith out sa y in g, a
ste am in g v at o f f re sh est g ossip .
“W ell, o f co urs e , D um ble d ore is a b io gra p her’s d re am ,” sa y s
Skeete r. “ S uch a lo ng, f u ll lif e . I ’m s u re m y b ook w ill b e th e f ir s t o f
very , v ery m an y.”
Skeete r w as c erta in ly q uic k o ff th e m ark . H er n in e-h undre d -p ag e
book w as co m ple te d in a m ere fo ur w eek s afte r D um ble d ore ’s
myste rio us d eath in J u ne. I a sk h er h ow s h e m an ag ed th is s u perfa st
fe at.
“O h, w hen y ou’v e b een a j o urn alis t a s l o ng a s I h av e, w ork in g t o
a d ead lin e is se co nd n atu re . I k new th at th e W iz ard in g w orld w as
cla m orin g fo r th e fu ll s to ry a n d I w an te d to b e th e fir s t to m eet th at
need .”
I m en tio n t h e r e cen t, w id ely p ublic iz ed r e m ark s o f E lp hia s D oge,
Specia l A dvis o r to th e W iz en gam ot a n d lo ngsta n din g f rie n d o f A lb us
Dum ble d ore ’s , th at “S keete r’s book co nta in s le ss fa ct th an a
Choco la te F ro g c ard .”
Skeete r t h ro w s b ack h er h ead a n d l a u ghs.
“D arlin g D odgy! I r e m em ber in te rv ie w in g h im a f e w y ears b ack
ab out m erp eo ple r ig hts , b le ss h im . C om ple te ly g ag a, s e em ed to th in k
we w ere s ittin g a t th e b otto m o f L ak e W in derm ere , k ep t te llin g m e to
watc h o ut f o r t r o ut.”
And y et E lp hia s D oge’s accu sa tio ns o f in accu ra cy h av e b een
ech oed in m an y p la ces. D oes S keete r r e ally f e el th at f o ur s h ort w eek s
hav e b een e n ough to g ain a fu ll p ic tu re o f D um ble d ore ’s lo ng a n d
ex tr a o rd in ary l if e ?
“O h, m y d ear,” b eam s S keete r, ra p pin g m e a ff e ctio nate ly a cro ss
th e k nuck le s, “ y ou k now a s w ell a s I d o h ow m uch i n fo rm atio n c an b e
gen era te d b y a f a t b ag o f G alle o ns, a r e fu sa l t o h ear t h e w ord ‘ n o,’ a n d
a n ic e s h arp Q uic k -Q uote s Q uill! P eo ple w ere q ueu in g to d is h th e d ir t
on D um ble d ore a n yw ay. N ot e v ery one th ought h e w as s o w on derfu l,
you k now — he tr o d o n a n a w fu l lo t o f im porta n t to es. B ut o ld D odgy
Doge c an g et o ff h is h ig h h ip p ogrif f , b ecau se I’v e h ad a ccess to a

so urc e m ost jo urn alis ts w ould sw ap th eir w an ds fo r, o ne w ho h as
nev er sp oken in p ublic b efo re an d w ho w as clo se to D um ble d ore
durin g t h e m ost t u rb ule n t a n d d is tu rb in g p hase o f h is y outh .”
The ad van ce public ity fo r Skeete r’s bio gra p hy has certa in ly
su ggeste d th at th ere w ill b e sh ock s in sto re fo r th ose w ho b elie v e
Dum ble d ore to hav e le d a bla m ele ss lif e . W hat w ere th e big gest
su rp ris e s s h e u nco vere d , I a sk ?
“N ow , c o m e o ff it, B etty , I ’m n ot g iv in g a w ay a ll th e h ig hlig h ts
befo re an ybody’s bought th e book!” la u ghs Skeete r. “B ut I can
pro m is e th at a n ybody w ho s till th in ks D um ble d ore w as w hite a s h is
beard is in fo r a ru de a w ak en in g! L et’s ju st s a y th at n obody h earin g
him ra g e ag ain st You-K now -W ho w ould hav e dre am ed th at he
dab ble d in th e D ark A rts h im se lf in h is y outh ! A nd f o r a w iz ard w ho
sp en t h is la te r y ears p le ad in g fo r to le ra n ce, h e w asn ’t e x actly b ro ad -
min ded w hen he w as younger! Y es, A lb us D um ble d ore had an
ex tr e m ely m urk y p ast, n ot t o m en tio n t h at v ery f is h y f a m ily , w hic h h e
work ed s o h ard t o k eep h ush ed u p.”
I ask w heth er Skeete r is re fe rrin g to D um ble d ore ’s bro th er,
Aberfo rth , w hose c o nvic tio n b y th e W iz en gam ot f o r m is u se o f m ag ic
cau se d a m in or s c an dal f if te en y ears a g o.
“O h, A berfo rth is ju st th e tip o f th e d ung h eap ,” la u ghs S keete r.
“N o, n o, I ’m t a lk in g a b out m uch w ors e t h an a b ro th er w ith a f o ndness
fo r fid dlin g a b out w ith g oats , w ors e e v en th an th e M uggle -m aim in g
fa th er— Dum ble d ore c o uld n’t k eep e ith er o f th em q uie t a n yw ay, th ey
were b oth c h arg ed b y th e W iz en gam ot. N o, it’s th e m oth er a n d th e
sis te r th at in tr ig ued m e, a n d a little d ig gin g u nco vere d a p ositiv e n est
of n astin ess— but, a s I sa y, y ou’ll h av e to w ait fo r c h ap te rs n in e to
tw elv e fo r fu ll deta ils . A ll I can sa y now is , it’s no w onder
Dum ble d ore n ev er t a lk ed a b out h ow h is n ose g ot b ro ken .”
Fam ily sk ele to ns notw ith sta n din g, does Skeete r den y th e
brillia n ce t h at l e d t o D um ble d ore ’s m an y m ag ic al d is c o verie s?
“H e h ad b ra in s,” sh e co nced es, “alth ough m an y n ow q uestio n
wheth er he co uld re ally ta k e fu ll cre d it fo r all of his su ppose d
ach ie v em en ts . A s I r e v eal i n c h ap te r s ix te en , I v or D illo nsb y c la im s h e
had alr e ad y dis c o vere d eig ht use s of dra g on’s blo od when
Dum ble d ore ‘ b orro w ed ’ h is p ap ers .”
But th e im porta n ce of so m e of D um ble d ore ’s ach ie v em en ts
can not, I ven tu re , be den ie d . W hat of his fa m ous defe at of
Grin delw ald ?

“O h, n ow , I’m g la d y ou m en tio ned G rin delw ald ,” sa y s S keete r
with su ch a ta n ta liz in g sm ile . “ I’m a fra id th ose w ho g o d ew y-e y ed
over D um ble d ore ’s sp ecta cu la r v ic to ry m ust b ra ce th em se lv es fo r a
bom bsh ell— or p erh ap s a D ungbom b. V ery d ir ty b usin ess in deed . A ll
I’ll s a y is , d on’t b e s o s u re th at th ere r e ally w as a s p ecta cu la r d uel o f
le g en d. A fte r t h ey ’v e r e ad m y b ook, p eo ple m ay b e f o rc ed t o c o nclu de
th at G rin delw ald s im ply c o nju re d a w hite h an dkerc h ie f fro m th e e n d
of h is w an d a n d c am e q uie tly !”
Skeete r r e fu se s to g iv e a n y m ore a w ay o n th is in tr ig uin g s u bje ct,
so w e tu rn in ste ad to th e re la tio nsh ip th at w ill u ndoubte d ly fa sc in ate
her r e ad ers m ore t h an a n y o th er.
“O h yes,” sa y s S keete r, noddin g bris k ly , “I dev ote an en tir e
ch ap te r to th e w hole P otte r- D um ble d ore re la tio nsh ip . It’s b een c alle d
unhealth y, e v en s in is te r. A gain , y our r e ad ers w ill h av e t o b uy m y b ook
fo r th e w hole s to ry , b ut th ere is n o q uestio n th at D um ble d ore to ok a n
unnatu ra l in te re st in P otte r f ro m th e w ord g o. W heth er th at w as r e ally
in th e b oy’s b est in te re sts — well, w e’ll se e. It’s certa in ly an o pen
se cre t t h at P otte r h as h ad a m ost t r o uble d a d ole sc en ce.”
I a sk w heth er S keete r is s till in to uch w ith H arry P otte r, w hom
sh e s o f a m ously in te rv ie w ed la st y ear: a b re ak th ro ugh p ie ce in w hic h
Potte r sp oke e x clu siv ely o f h is c o nvic tio n th at Y ou-K now -W ho h ad
re tu rn ed .
“O h, y es, w e’v e d ev elo ped a c lo se r b ond,” s a y s S keete r. “ P oor
Potte r h as fe w re al frie n ds, a n d w e m et a t o ne o f th e m ost te stin g
mom en ts o f h is l if e — th e T riw iz ard T ourn am en t. I a m p ro bab ly o ne o f
th e o nly p eo ple aliv e w ho can sa y th at th ey k now th e re al H arry
Potte r.”
Whic h le ad s u s n eatly to th e m an y r u m ors s till c ir c u la tin g a b out
Dum ble d ore ’s f in al h ours . D oes S keete r b elie v e th at P otte r w as th ere
when D um ble d ore d ie d ?
“W ell, I d on’t w an t to s a y to o m uch — it’s a ll in th e b ook— but
ey ew itn esse s in sid e H ogw arts c astle sa w P otte r ru nnin g a w ay fro m
th e sc en e m om en ts afte r D um ble d ore fe ll, ju m ped , o r w as p ush ed .
Potte r l a te r g av e e v id en ce a g ain st S ev eru s S nap e, a m an a g ain st w hom
he h as a n oto rio us g ru dge. Is e v ery th in g a s it s e em s? T hat is fo r th e
Wiz ard in g c o m munity t o d ecid e— once t h ey ’v e r e ad m y b ook.”
On th at in tr ig uin g n ote , I ta k e m y le av e. T here c an b e n o d oubt
th at S keete r h as q uille d a n in sta n t b ests e lle r. D um ble d ore ’s le g io n o f
ad m ir e rs , m ean w hile , m ay w ell be tr e m blin g at w hat is so on to

em erg e a b out t h eir h ero .
Harry r e ach ed t h e b otto m o f t h e a rtic le , b ut c o ntin ued t o s ta re b la n kly a t t h e
pag e. R ev uls io n a n d f u ry r o se i n h im l ik e v om it; h e b alle d u p t h e n ew sp ap er a n d
th re w it, w ith a ll h is fo rc e, a t th e w all, w here it jo in ed th e re st o f th e ru bbis h
heap ed a ro und h is o verflo w in g b in .
He b eg an to str id e b lin dly a ro und th e ro om , o pen in g e m pty d ra w ers a n d
pic k in g u p b ooks o nly to re p la ce th em o n th e s a m e p ile s, b are ly c o nsc io us o f
what h e w as d oin g, a s r a n dom p hra se s f ro m R ita ’s a rtic le e ch oed i n h is h ead :
An
en tir e c h apte r to th e w hole P otte r-D um ble d ore re la tio nsh ip … It’s b een c a lle d
unhea lth y, e ven s in is te r… H e d abble d in th e D ark A rts h im se lf in h is y o uth …
I’v e h ad a ccess t o a s o urc e m ost j o urn alis ts w ould s w ap t h eir w ands f o r…
“L ie s!” H arry b ello w ed , an d th ro ugh th e w in dow h e sa w th e n ex t- d oor
neig hbor, w ho h ad p au se d t o r e sta rt h is l a w n m ow er, l o ok u p n erv ously .
Harry sa t d ow n h ard o n th e b ed . T he b ro ken b it o f m ir ro r d an ced a w ay
fro m h im ; h e p ic k ed it u p a n d tu rn ed it o ver in h is f in gers , th in kin g, th in kin g o f
Dum ble d ore a n d t h e l ie s w ith w hic h R ita S keete r w as d efa m in g h im …
A f la sh o f b rig hte st b lu e. H arry f ro ze, h is c u t f in ger s lip pin g o n th e ja g ged
ed ge o f th e m ir ro r a g ain . H e h ad im ag in ed it, h e m ust h av e d one. H e g la n ced
over h is sh ould er, b ut th e w all w as a sic k ly p each co lo r o f A unt P etu nia ’s
ch oosin g: T here w as n oth in g b lu e th ere f o r th e m ir ro r to r e fle ct. H e p eere d in to
th e m ir ro r f ra g m en t a g ain , a n d s a w n oth in g b ut h is o w n b rig ht g re en e y e l o okin g
back a t h im .
He h ad i m ag in ed i t, t h ere w as n o o th er e x pla n atio n; i m ag in ed i t, b ecau se h e
had b een t h in kin g o f h is d ead h ead m aste r. I f a n yth in g w as c erta in , i t w as t h at t h e
brig ht b lu e e y es o f A lb us D um ble d ore w ould n ev er p ie rc e h im a g ain .

3 . T H E D URSL EY S D EPA RTIN G
The so und o f th e fro nt d oor sla m min g e ch oed u p th e sta ir s a n d a v oic e
r o are d , “ O h! Y ou!”
Six te en y ears o f b ein g a d dre sse d t h us l e ft H arry i n n o d oubt w hen h is u ncle
w as c allin g, n ev erth ele ss, h e d id n ot im med ia te ly re sp ond. H e w as still a t th e
n arro w fra g m en t in w hic h , fo r a sp lit se co nd, he had th ought he sa w
D um ble d ore ’s e y e. It w as n ot u ntil h is u ncle b ello w ed , “ B O Y!” th at H arry g ot
s lo w ly o ut o f b ed a n d h ead ed f o r th e b ed ro om d oor, p au sin g to a d d th e p ie ce o f
b ro ken m ir ro r t o t h e r u ck sa ck f ille d w ith t h in gs h e w ould b e t a k in g w ith h im .
“Y ou to ok y ou tim e!” ro are d V ern on D urs le y w hen H arry a p peare d a t th e
t o p o f t h e s ta ir s , “ G et d ow n h ere . I w an t a w ord !”
Harry str o lle d d ow nsta ir s , h is h an ds d eep in h is p an ts p ock ets . W hen h e
s e arc h ed th e liv in g ro om h e fo und a ll th re e D urs le y s. T hey w ere d re sse d fo r
p ack in g; U ncle V ern on in a n f a w n z ip -u p ja ck et, A unt P etu nia in a n eat s a lm on-
c o lo re d c o at, a n d D udle y, H arry ’s la rg e, b lo nd, m usc u la r c o usin , in h is le ath er
j a ck et.
“Y es? ” a sk ed H arry .
“S it d ow n!” s a id U ncle V ern on. H arry r a is e d h is e y eb ro w s. “ P le ase !” a d ded
U ncle V ern on, w in cin g s lig htly a s t h ough t h e w ord w as s h arp i n h is t h ro at.
Harry s a t. H e th ough h e k new w hat w as c o m in g. H is u ncle b eg an to p ace
u p a n d d ow n, A unt P etu nia a n d D udle y fo llo w in g h is m ovem en t w ith a n xio us
e x pre ssio ns. F in ally , h is la rg e p urp le fa ce c ru m ple d w ith c o ncen tr a tio n. U ncle
V ern on s to pped i n f ro nt o f H arry a n d s p oke.
“I’v e c h an ged m y m in d,” h e s a id .
“W hat a s u rp ris e ,” s a id H arry .
“D on’t y ou ta k e th at to ne— ” b eg an A unt P etu nia in a sh rill v oic e, b ut
V ern on D urs le y w av ed h er d ow n.
“It’s a ll a lo t o f c la p tr a p ,” s a id U ncle V ern on, g la rin g a t H arry w ith p ig gy
l ittle e y es. “ I’v e d ecid ed I d on’t b elie v e a w ord o f it. W e’re s ta y in g p ut, w e’re
n ot g oin g a n yw here .”
Harry lo oked up at his uncle an d fe lt a m ix tu re of ex asp era tio n an d
a m use m en t. V ern on D urs le y h ad b een ch an gin g h is m in d ev ery tw en ty fo ur
h ours f o r t h e p ast f o ur w eek s, p ack in g a n d u npack in g a n d r e p ack in g t h e c ar w ith
e v ery c h an ge o f h eart. H arry ’s fa v orite m om en t h ad b een th e o ne w hen U ncle
V ern on, u naw are th e D udle y h ad a d ded h is d um bbells to h is c ase s in ce th e la st
t im e it b een r e p ack ed , h ad a tte m pte d to h ois t it b ack in to th e b oot a n d c o lla p se d

with a y elp o f p ain a n d m uch s w earin g.
“A cco rd in g to y ou,” V ern on D urs le y s a id , n ow r e su m in g h is p acin g u p a n d
dow n t h e l iv in g r o om , “ w e— Petu nia , D udle y, a n d I — are i n d an ger. F ro m — fro m
—”
“S om e o f ‘ m y l o t’ , r ig ht,” s a id H arry .
“W ell I d on’t b elie v e it,” r e p eate d U ncle V ern on, c o m in g to a h alt in f ro nt
of H arry a g ain . “ I w as a w ak e h alf th e n ig ht th in kin g it a ll o ver, a n d I b elie v e it’s
a p lo t t o g et t h e h ouse .”
“T he h ouse ?” r e p eate d H arry . “ W hat h ouse ?”
“This
h ouse !” sh rie k ed U ncle V ern on, th e v ein h is fo re h ead sta rtin g to
puls e .
“O ur
h ouse ! H ouse p ric es a re s k yro ck etin g a ro und h ere ! Y ou w an t u s o ut
of t h e w ay a n d t h en y ou’re g oin g t o d o a b it o f h ocu s p ocu s a n d b efo re w e k now
it t h e d eed s w ill b e i n y our n am e a n d— ”
“A re y ou o ut o f y our m in d?” d em an ded H arry . “ A p lo t to g et th is h ouse ?
Are y ou a ctu ally a s s tu pid a s y ou l o ok?”
“D on’t y ou d are — !” s q ueale d A unt P etu nia , b ut a g ain , V ern on w av ed h er
dow n. S lig hts o n h is p ers o nal ap peara n ce w ere it se em ed as n oth in g to th e
dan ger h e h ad s p otte d .
“Ju st in c ase y ou’v e fo rg otte n ,” s a id H arry , “ I’v e a lr e ad y g ot a h ouse , m y
godfa th er l e ft m e o ne. S o w hy w ould I w an t t h is o ne? A ll t h e h ap py m em orie s? ”
There w as sile n ce. H arry th ought h e h ad ra th er im pre sse d h is u ncle w ith
th is a rg um en t.
“Y ou c la im ,” s a id U ncle V ern on, s ta rtin g to p ace y et a g ain , “ th at th is L ord
Thin g— ”
“— Vold em ort,” s a id H arry i m patie n tly , “ an d w e’v e b een t h ro ugh t h is a b out
a h undre d tim es a lr e ad y. T his is n ’t a c la im , it’s fa ct. D um ble d ore to ld y ou la st
year, a n d K in gsle y a n d M r. W easle y — ”
Vern on D urs le y h unch ed h is s h ould ers a n grily , a n d H arry g uesse d th at h is
uncle w as a tte m ptin g to w ard o ff re co lle ctio ns o f th e u nan nounced v is it, a fe w
day s in to H arry ’s s u m mer h olid ay s, o f tw o f u lly g ro w n w iz ard s. T he a rriv al o n
th e d oors te p o f K in gsle y S hack le b olt a n d A rth ur W easle y h ad c o m e a s a m ost
unple asa n t sh ock to th e D urs le y s. H arry h ad to ad m it, h ow ev er th at as M r.
Weasle y h ad o nce d em olis h ed h alf o f th e liv in g ro om , h is re ap peara n ce c o uld
not h av e b een e x pecte d t o d elig ht U ncle V ern on.
“— Kin gsle y a n d M r. W easle y e x pla in ed it a ll a s w ell,” H arry p re sse d o n
re m ors e le ssly , “ O nce I ’m s e v en te en , t h e p ro te ctiv e c h arm t h at k eep s m e s a fe w ill
bre ak , a n d th at e x pose s y ou a s w ell a s m e. T he O rd er is su re V old em ort w ill
ta rg et y ou, w heth er to to rtu re y ou to tr y a n d f in d o ut w here I a m , o r b ecau se h e
th in ks b y h old in g y ou h osta g e I ’d c o m e a n d t r y t o r e sc u e y ou.”

Uncle V ern on’s a n d H arry ’s e y es m et. H arry w as s u re th at in th at in sta n t
th ey w ere b oth w onderin g th e s a m e th in g. T hen U ncle V ern on w alk ed o n a n d
Harry re su m ed , “Y ou’v e g ot to g o in to h id in g an d th e O rd er w an ts to h elp .
You’re b ein g o ff e re d s e rio us p ro te ctio n, t h e b est t h ere i s .”
Uncle V ern on s a id n oth in g b ut c o ntin ued to p ace u p a n d d ow n. O uts id e th e
su n h ung lo w o ver th e p riv et h ed ges. T he n ex t d oor n eig hbor’s la w n m ow er
sta lle d a g ain .
“I t h ought t h ere w as a M in is tr y o f M ag ic ?” a sk ed V ern on D urs le y a b ru ptly .
“T here i s ,” s a id H arry , s u rp ris e d .
“W ell, th en , w hy c an ’t th ey p ro te ct u s? It se em s to m e th at, a s in nocen t
vic tim s, g uilty o f n oth in g m ore th an h arb orin g a m ark ed m an , w e o ught to
qualif y f o r g overn m en t p ro te ctio n!”
Harry l a u ghed ; h e c o uld n ot s to p h im se lf . I t w as s o v ery t y pic al o f h is u ncle
to p ut h is h opes i n t h e e sta b lis h m en t, e v en w ith in t h is w orld t h at h e d esp is e d a n d
mis tr u ste d .
“Y ou h eard w hat M r. W easle y a n d K in gsle y s a id ,” H arry r e p lie d . “ W e t h in k
th e M in is tr y h as b een i n filtr a te d .”
Uncle V ern on s tr o de b ack to th e fir e p la ce a n d b ack b re ath in g s o s tr o ngly
th at h is g re at b la ck m usta ch e r ip ple d h is f a ce s till p urp le w ith c o ncen tr a tio n.
“A ll rig ht,” h e s a id . S to ppin g in fro nt o f H arry g et a g ain . “ A ll rig ht, le t’s
sa y f o r th e s a k e o f a rg um en t w e a ccep t th is p ro te ctio n. I s till d on’t s e e w hy w e
can ’t h av e t h at K in gsle y b lo ke.”
Harry m an ag ed n ot to ro ll h is e y es, b ut w ith d if f ic u lty . T his q uestio n h ad
als o b een a d dre sse d h alf a d ozen t im es.
“A s I ’v e t o ld y ou,” h e s a id t h ro ugh g ritte d t e eth , “ K in gsle y i s p ro te ctin g t h e
Mug— I m ean , y our P rim e M in is te r.”
“E xactly — he’s th e best! ” sa id U ncle Vern on, poin tin g at th e bla n k
te le v is io n s c re en . T he D urs le y s h ad s p otte d K in gsle y o n t h e n ew s, w alk in g a lo ng
th e M uggle P rim e M in is te r as h e v is ite d a h osp ita l. T his , an d th e fa ct th at
Kin gsle y h ad m aste re d th e k nack o f d re ssin g lik e a M uggle , n ot to m en tio n a
certa in r e assu rin g s o m eth in g in h is s lo w , d eep v oic e, h ad c au se d th e D urs le y s to
ta k e t o K in gsle y i n a w ay t h at t h ey h ad c erta in ly n ot d one w ith a n y o th er w iz ard ,
alth ough i t w as t r u e t h at t h ey h ad n ev er s e en h im w ith e arrin g i n .
“W ell, h e’s ta k en ,” s a id H arry . “ B ut H estia J o nes a n d D ed alu s D ig gle a re
more t h an u p t o t h e j o b— ”
“If w e’d e v en s e en C V s… ” b eg an U ncle V ern on, b ut H arry lo st p atie n ce.
Gettin g t o h is f e et, h e a d van ced o n h is u ncle , n ow p oin tin g a t t h e T V s e t h im se lf .
“T hese accid en ts are n ’t accid en ts — th e cra sh ed an d ex plo sio ns an d
dera ilm en ts a n d w hate v er e ls e h as h ap pen ed sin ce w e la st w atc h ed th e n ew s.

Peo ple a re d is a p pearin g a n d d yin g a n d h e’s b eh in d it— Vold em ort. I ’v e to ld y ou
th is o ver an d o ver ag ain , h e k ills M uggle s fo r fu n. E ven th e fo gs— th ey ’re
cau se d b y D em en to rs , a n d i f y ou c an ’t r e m em ber w hat t h ey a re , a sk y our s o n!”
Dudle y ’s h an ds je rk ed u pw ard to to w er h is m outh . W ith h is p are n ts ’ a n d
Harry ’s e y es u pon h im , h e s lo w ly lo w ere d th em a g ain a n d a sk ed , “ T here a re …
more o f t h em ?”
“M ore ?” l a u ghed H arry . “ M ore t h an t h e t w o t h at a tta ck ed u s, y ou m ean ? O f
co urs e t h ere a re h undre d s, m ay be th ousa n ds b y th is t im e, s e ein g a s th ey f e ed o ff
fe ar a n d d esp air — ”
“A ll rig ht, a ll rig ht,” b lu ste re d V ern on D urs le y. “ Y ou’v e m ad e y our p oin t
—”
“I h ope s o ,” s a id H arry , “ b ecau se o nce I’m s e v en te en , a ll o f th em — Death
Eate rs , D em en to rs , m ay be e v en I n fe ri— whic h m ean s d ead b odie s e n ch an te d b y
a D ark w iz ard — will b e a b le t o f in d y ou a n d w ill c erta in ly a tta ck y ou. A nd i f y ou
re m em ber t h e l a st t im e y ou t r ie d t o o utr u n w iz ard s, I t h in k y ou’ll a g re e y ou n eed
help .”
There w as a b rie f sile n ce in w hic h th e d is ta n t e ch o o f H ag rid sm ash in g
dow n a w ooden f ro nt d oor s e em ed to r e v erb era te th ro ugh th e in te rv en in g y ears .
Aunt P etu nia w as l o okin g a t U ncle V ern on; D udle y w as s ta rin g a t H arry . F in ally
Uncle V ern on b lu rte d o ut, “B ut w hat ab out m y w ork ? W hat ab out D udle y ’s
sc h ool? I d on’t s u ppose t h ose t h in gs m atte r t o a b unch o f l a y ab out w iz ard s— ”
“D on’t y ou u nders ta n d?” s h oute d H arry .
“They w ill t o rtu re a nd k ill y o u l ik e
th ey d id m y p are n ts !”
“D ad ,” sa id D udle y in a lo ud v oic e, “ D ad — I’m g oin g w ith th ese O rd er
peo ple .”
“D udle y,” s a id H arry , “ fo r t h e f ir s t t im e i n y our l if e , y ou’re t a lk in g s e n se .”
He k new t h e b attle w as w on. I f D udle y w as f rig hte n ed e n ough t o a ccep t t h e
Ord er’s h elp , h is p are n ts w ould a cco m pan y h im . T here c o uld b e n o q uestio n o f
bein g s e p ara te d f ro m t h eir D uddykin s. H arry g la n ced a t t h e c arr ia g e c lo ck o n t h e
man te lp ie ce.
“T hey ’ll b e h ere in ab out fiv e m in ute s,” h e sa id , an d w hen o ne o f th e
Durs le y s r e p lie d , h e le ft th e r o om . T he p ro sp ect o f p artin g— pro bab ly f o re v er—
fro m h is a u nt, u ncle , a n d c o usin w as o ne th at h e w as a b le to c o nte m pla te q uite
ch eerfu lly b ut th ere w as n ev erth ele ss a c erta in a w kw ard ness in th e a ir. W hat d id
you s a y t o o ne a n oth er a t t h e e n d o f s ix te en y ears ’ s o lid d is lik e?
Back i n h is b ed ro om , H arry f id dle d a im le ssly w ith h is r u ck sa ck , t h en p oked
a c o uple o f o w l n uts t h ro ugh t h e b ats o f H ed w ig ’s c ag e. T hey f e ll w ith d ull t h uds
to t h e b otto m w here s h e i g nore d t h em .
“W e’re le av in g s o on, r e ally s o on,” H arry to ld h er. “ A nd th en y ou’ll b e a b le

to f ly a g ain .”
The d oorb ell ra n g. H arry h esita te d , th en h ead ed b ack o ut o f h is ro om a n d
dow nsta ir s . It w as to o m uch to ex pect H estia an d D ed alu s to co pe w ith th e
Durs le y s o n t h eir o w n.
“H arry P otte r!” s q ueak ed a n e x cite d v oic e, th e m om en t H arry h ad o pen ed
th e d oor; a s m all m an in a m au ve to p h at th at w as s w eep in g h im a d eep b ow .
“A n h onor, a s e v er!”
“T han ks, D ed alu s,” s a id H arry , b esto w in g a s m all a n d e m barra sse d s m ile
upon th e d ark h air e d H estia . “It’s re ally g ood o f y ou to d o th is … T hey ’re
th ro ugh h ere , m y a u nt a n d u ncle a n d c o usin … ”
“G ood d ay to y ou, H arry P otte r’s r e la tiv es!” s a id D ed alu s h ap pily s tr id in g
in to t h e l iv in g r o om . T he D urs le y s d id n ot l o ok a t a ll h ap py t o b e a d dre sse d t h us;
Harry h alf e x pecte d a n oth er c h an ge o f m in d. D udle y s h ra n k n eare d t o h is m oth er
at t h e s ig ht o f t h e w itc h a n d w iz ard .
“I s e e y ou a re p ack ed a n d r e ad y. E xcelle n t! T he p la n , a s H arry h as t o ld y ou,
is a sim ple o ne,” sa id D ed alu s, p ullin g a n im men se p ock et w atc h o ut o f h is
wais tc o at a n d e x am in in g it. “ W e s h all b e le av in g b efo re H arry d oes. D ue to th e
dan ger of usin g m ag ic in your house — Harry bein g still undera g e it co uld
pro vid e th e M in is tr y w ith a n e x cu se to a rre st h im — we s h all b e d riv in g, s a y, te n
mile s o r s o b efo re D is a p para tin g t o t h e s a fe l o catio n w e h av e p ic k ed o ut f o r y ou.
You k now h ow t o d riv e, I t a k e i t? ” h e a sk ed U ncle V ern on p olite ly .
“K now h ow to — ? O f c o urs e I ru ddy w ell k now h ow to d riv e!” s p lu tte re d
Uncle V ern on.
“V ery cle v er of you, sir , very cle v er. I pers o nally w ould be utte rly
bam boozle d b y a ll t h ose b utto ns a n d k nobs,” s a id D ed alu s. H e w as c le arly u nder
th e im pre ssio n th at h e w as fla tte rin g V ern on D urs le y, w ho w as v is ib ly lo sin g
co nfid en ce i n t h e p la n w ith e v ery w ord D ed alu s s p oke.
“C an ’t e v en d riv e,” h e m utte re d u nder h is b re ath , h is m usta ch e rip plin g
in dig nan tly , b ut f o rtu nate ly n eith er D ed alu s n or H estia s e em ed t o h ear h im .
“Y ou, H arry ,” D ed alu s c o ntin ued , “ w ill w ait h ere f o r y our g uard . T here h as
been a l ittle c h an ge i n t h e a rra n gem en ts — ”
“W hat d ’y ou m ean ?” s a id H arry a t o nce. “ I th ought M ad -E ye w as g oin g to
co m e a n d t a k e m e b y S id e-A lo ng-A pparitio n?”
“C an ’t d o i t,” s a id H estia t e rs e ly , “ M ad -E ye w ill e x pla in .”
The D urs le y s, w ho had lis te n ed to all of th is w ith lo oks of utte r
in co m pre h en sio n o n th eir f a ces, ju m ped a s a lo ud v oic e s c re ech ed ,
“H urry u p!”
Harry lo oked a ll a ro und th e ro om b efo re re aliz in g th e v oic e h ad is su ed fro m
Ded alu s’s p ock et w atc h .
“Q uite rig ht, w e’re opera tin g to a very tig ht sc h ed ule ,” sa id D ed alu s,

noddin g a t h is w atc h a n d tu ck in g it b ack in to h is w ais tc o at. “ W e a re a tte m ptin g
to tim e y our d ep artu re f ro m th e h ouse w ith y our f a m ily ’s D is a p paritio n, H arry :
th us th e c h arm b re ak s th e m om en t y ou a ll h ead fo r sa fe ty .” H e tu rn ed to th e
Durs le y s, “ W ell, a re w e a ll p ack ed a n d r e ad y t o g o?”
None o f th em a n sw ere d h im . U ncle V ern on w as s till s ta rin g a p palle d a t th e
bulg e i n D ed alu s’s w ais tc o at p ock et.
“P erh ap s w e s h ould w ait o uts id e in th e h all, D ed alu s,” m urm ure d H estia .
She c le arly f e lt t h at i t w ould b e t a ctle ss f o r t h em t o r e m ain t h e r o om w hile H arry
an d t h e D urs le y s e x ch an ged l o vin g, p ossib ly t e arfu l f a re w ells .
“T here ’s n o n eed ,” H arry m utte re d , b ut U ncle V ern on m ad e an y fu rth er
ex pla n atio n u nnecessa ry b y s a y in g l o udly ,
“W ell, t h is i s g ood-b ye, t h en , b oy.”
He sw ung h is rig ht arm u pw ard to sh ak e H arry ’s h an d, b ut at th e la st
mom en t s e em ed u nab le to f a ce it, a n d m ere ly c lo se d h is f is t a n d b eg an s w in gin g
it b ack w ard a n d f o rw ard l ik e a m etr o nom e.
“R ead y, D id dy?” a sk ed P etu nia , fu ssily c h eck in g th e c la sp o f h er h an dbag
so a s t o a v oid l o okin g a t H arry a lto geth er.
Dudle y did not an sw er, but sto od th ere w ith his m outh slig htly aja r,
re m in din g H arry a l ittle o f t h e g ia n t, G ra w p.
“C om e a lo ng, t h en ,” s a id U ncle V ern on.
He h ad a lr e ad y re ach ed th e liv in g ro om d oor w hen D udle y m um ble d , “ I
don’t u nders ta n d.”
“W hat d on’t y ou u nders ta n d, p opkin ?” a sk ed P etu nia l o okin g u p a t h er s o n.
Dudle y r a is e d a l a rg e, h am lik e h an d t o p oin t a t H arry .
“W hy i s n ’t h e c o m in g w ith u s? ”
Uncle V ern on a n d A unt P etu nia f ro ze w hen th ey s to od s ta rin g a t D udle y a s
th ough h e h ad j u st e x pre sse d a d esir e t o b eco m e a b alle rin a.
“W hat? ” s a id U ncle V ern on l o udly .
“W hy i s n ’t h e c o m in g t o o?” a sk ed D udle y.
“W ell, h e— doesn ’t w an t to ,” s a id U ncle V ern on, tu rn in g to g la re a t H arry
an d a d din g, “ Y ou d on’t w an t t o , d o y ou?”
“N ot i n t h e s lig hte st,” s a id H arry .
“T here y ou a re ,” U ncle V ern on t o ld D udle y. “ N ow c o m e o n, w e’re o ff .”
He m arc h ed o ut o f th e ro om . T hey h eard th e fro nt d oor o pen , b ut D udle y
did n ot m ove a n d a fte r a f e w f a lte rin g s te p s A unt P etu nia s to pped t o o.
“W hat n ow ?” b ark ed U ncle V ern on, r e ap pearin g i n t h e d oorw ay.
It s e em ed th at D udle y w as s tr u gglin g w ith c o ncep ts to o d if f ic u lt to p ut in to
word s. A fte r se v era l m om en ts o f a p pare n tly p ain fu l in te rn al str u ggle h e sa id ,
“B ut w here ’s h e g oin g t o g o?”

Aunt P etu nia an d U ncle V ern on lo oked at each o th er. It w as cle ar th at
Dudle y w as f rig hte n in g t h em . H estia J o nes b ro ke t h e s ile n ce.
“B ut… s u re ly y ou k now w here y our n ep hew is g oin g?” s h e a sk ed lo okin g
bew ild ere d .
“C erta in ly w e k now ,” s a id V ern on D urs le y. “ H e’s o ff w ith s o m e o f y our l o t,
is n ’t h e? R ig ht, D udle y, l e t’s g et i n t h e c ar, y ou h eard t h e m an , w e’re i n a h urry .”
Again , V ern on D urs le y m arc h ed a s f a r a s t h e f ro nt d oor, b ut D udle y d id n ot
fo llo w .
“O ff w ith s o m e o f
our
l o t? ”
Hestia lo oked o utr a g ed . H arry h ad m et th is attitu de b efo re W itc h es an d
wiz ard s s e em ed s tu nned th at h is c lo se d liv in g re la tiv es to ok s o little in te re st in
th e f a m ous H arry P otte r.
“It’s f in e,” H arry a ssu re d h er. “ It d oesn ’t m atte r, h onestly .”
“D oesn ’t m atte r? ” re p eate d H estia , h er v oic e ris in g c o nsid era b ly . “ D on’t
th ese p eo ple re aliz e w hat y ou’v e b een th ro ugh? W hat d an ger y ou a re in ? T he
uniq ue p ositio n y ou h old i n t h e h earts o f t h e a n ti- V old em ort m ovem en t? ”
“E r— no, t h ey d on’t,” s a id H arry . “ T hey t h in k I ’m a w aste o f s p ace a ctu ally ,
but I ’m u se d t o — ”
“I d on’t t h in k y ou’re a w aste o f s p ace.”
If H arry h ad n ot s e en D udle y ’s l ip s m ove, h e m ig ht n ot h av e b elie v ed i t. A s
it w as, h e s ta re d a t D udle y f o r s e v era l s e co nds b efo re a ccep tin g t h at i t m ust h av e
been h is c o usin w ho h ad s p oken ; fo r o ne th in g, D udle y h ad tu rn ed re d . H arry
was e m barra sse d a n d a sto nis h ed h im se lf .
“W ell… e r… t h an ks, D udle y.”
Again , D udle y ap peare d to gra p ple w ith th oughts to o unw ie ld y fo r
ex pre ssio n b efo re m um blin g, “ Y ou s a v ed m y l if e .”
“N ot re ally ,” sa id H arry . “It w as your so ul th e D em en to r w ould hav e
ta k en … ”
He l o oked c u rio usly a t h is c o usin . T hey h ad h ad v ir tu ally n o c o nta ct d urin g
th is s u m mer o r la st, a s H arry h ad c o m e b ack to P riv et D riv e s o b rie fly a n d k ep t
to h is r o om s o m uch . I t n ow d aw ned o n H arry , h ow ev er, th at th e c u p o f c o ld te a
on w hic h h e h ad tr o dden th at m orn in g m ig ht n ot h av e b een a b ooby tr a p a t a ll.
Alth ough ra th er to uch ed , he w as nev erth ele ss quite re lie v ed th at D udle y
ap peare d to h av e e x hau ste d h is a b ility to e x pre ss h is f e elin gs. A fte r o pen in g h is
mouth o nce o r t w ic e m ore , D udle y s u bsid ed i n to s c arle t- fa ced s ile n ce.
Aunt P etu nia b urs t in to te ars . H estia J o nes g av e h er a n a p pro vin g lo ok th at
ch an ged to o utr a g e a s A unt P etu nia ra n fo rw ard a n d e m bra ced D udle y ra th er
th an H arry .
“S -s o sw eet, D udders … ” sh e so bbed in to h is m assiv e ch est. “S -s u ch a

lo vely b -b oy… s -s a y in g t h an k y ou… ”
“B ut h e h asn ’t s a id t h an k y ou a t a ll! ” s a id H estia i n dig nan tly . “ H e o nly s a id
he d id n’t t h in k H arry w as a w aste o f s p ace!”
“Y ea b ut c o m in g fro m D udle y th at’s lik e ‘I lo ve y ou,’ ” sa id H arry , to rn
betw een a n noyan ce a n d a d esir e to la u gh a s A unt P etu nia c o ntin ued to c lu tc h a t
Dudle y a s i f h e h ad j u st s a v ed H arry f ro m a b urn in g b uild in g.
“A re w e g oin g o r n ot? ” r o are d U ncle V ern on, r e ap pearin g y et a g ain a t th e
liv in g r o om d oor. “ I t h ought w e w ere o n a t ig ht s c h ed ule !”
“Y es— yes, w e a re ,” sa id D ed alu s D ig gle , w ho h ad b een w atc h in g th ese
ex ch an ges w ith a n a ir o f b em use m en t a n d n ow s e em ed to p ull h im se lf to geth er.
“W e r e ally m ust b e o ff . H arry — ”
He t r ip ped f o rw ard a n d w ru ng H arry ’s h an d w ith b oth o f h is o w n.
“— good l u ck . I h ope w e m eet a g ain . T he h opes o f t h e W iz ard in g w orld r e st
upon y our s h ould ers .”
“O h,” s a id H arry , “ rig ht. T han ks.”
“F arw ell, H arry ,” s a id H estia a ls o c la sp in g h is h an d. “ O ur th oughts g o w ith
you.”
“I h ope e v ery th in g’s o kay,” s a id H arry w ith a g la n ce to w ard A unt P etu nia
an d D udle y.
“O h I’m su re w e sh all e n d u p th e b est o f c h um s,” sa id D ig gle slig htly ,
wav in g h is h at a s h e l e ft t h e r o om . H estia f o llo w ed h im .
Dudle y gen tly re le ase d him se lf fro m his m oth er’s clu tc h es an d w alk ed
to w ard H arry , w ho h ad to re p re ss a n u rg e to th re ate n h im w ith m ag ic . T hen
Dudle y h eld o ut h is l a rg e, p in k h an d.
“B lim ey, D udle y,” s a id H arry o ver A unt P etu nia ’s re n ew ed s o bs, “ d id th e
Dem en to rs b lo w a d if f e re n t p ers o nality i n to y ou?”
“D unno,” m utte re d D udle y, “ S ee y ou, H arry .”
“Y ea… ” sa id H arry , ta k in g D udle y ’s h an d a n d sh ak in g it. “ M ay be. T ak e
care , B ig D .”
Dudle y nearly sm ile d . T hey lu m bere d fro m th e ro om . H arry heard his
heav y f o otf a lls o n t h e g ra v ele d d riv e, a n d t h en a c ar d oor s la m med .
Aunt P etu nia , w hose fa ce h ad b een b urie d in h er h an dkerc h ie f, lo oked
aro und a t t h e s o und. S he d id n ot s e em t o h av e e x pecte d t o f in d h ers e lf a lo ne w ith
Harry . H astily s to w in g h er w et h an dkerc h ie f in to h er p ock et, s h e s a id , “ W ell—
good-b ye,” a n d m arc h ed t o w ard s t h e d oor w ith out l o okin g a t h im .
“G ood-b ye,” s a id H arry .
She s to pped a n d l o oked b ack . F or a m om en t H arry h ad t h e s tr a n gest f e elin g
th at s h e w an te d to s a y s o m eth in g to h im . S he g av e h im a n o dd, tr e m ulo us lo ok
an d s e em ed t o t e ete r o n t h e e d ge o f s p eech , b ut t h en , w ith a l ittle o f h er h ead , s h e

hustle d o ut o f t h e r o om a fte r h e h usb an d a n d s o n.

4 . T H E S E V EN P O TTER S
Harry r a n b ack u psta ir s to h is b ed ro om , a rriv in g a t th e w in dow ju st in tim e
t o s e e th e D urs le y s’ c ar s w in gin g o ut o f th e d riv e a n d o ff u p th e r o ad . D ed alu s’s
t o p h at w as v is ib le b etw een A unt P etu nia a n d D udle y in th e b ack se at. T he c ar
t u rn ed r ig ht a t th e e n d o f P riv et D riv e, its w in dow s b urn ed s c arle t f o r a m om en t
i n t h e n ow s e ttin g s u n, a n d t h en i t w as g one.
Harry p ic k ed u p H ed w ig ’s c ag e, h is F ir e b olt, a n d h is ru ck sa ck , g av e h is
u nnatu ra lly tid y b ed ro om o ne la st s w eep in g lo ok, a n d th en m ad e h is u ngain ly
w ay b ack d ow nsta ir s to th e h all, w here h e d ep osite d c ag e, b ro om stic k , a n d b ag
n ear th e f o ot o f th e s ta ir s . T he lig ht w as f a d in g r a p id ly , th e h all f u ll o f s h ad ow s
i n th e e v en in g lig ht. It fe lt m ost s tr a n ge to s ta n d h ere in th e s ile n ce a n d k now
t h at h e w as a b out to le av e th e h ouse fo r th e la st tim e. L ong a g o, w hen h e h ad
b een le ft a lo ne w hile th e D urs le y s w en t o ut to e n jo y th em se lv es, th e h ours o f
s o litu de h ad b een a ra re tr e at: P au sin g o nly to s n eak s o m eth in g ta sty fro m th e
f rid ge, h e h ad ru sh ed u psta ir s to p la y o n D udle y ’s co m pute r, o r p ut o n th e
t e le v is io n a n d f lic k ed th ro ugh th e c h an nels to h is h eart’s c o nte n t. I t g av e h im a n
o dd, e m pty f e elin g r e m em berin g t h ose t im es; i t w as l ik e r e m em berin g a y ounger
b ro th er w hom h e h ad l o st.
“D on’t y ou w an t to ta k e a la st lo ok a t th e p la ce?” h e a sk ed H ed w ig , w ho
w as s till s u lk in g w ith h er h ead u nder h er w in g. “ W e’ll n ev er b e h ere a g ain . D on’t
y ou w an t to re m em ber a ll th e g ood tim es? I m ean , lo ok a t th is d oorm at. W hat
m em orie s… D udle y s o bbed o n it a fte r I s a v ed h im f ro m th e D em en to rs … T urn s
o ut he w as gra te fu l afte r all, can you belie v e it? … A nd la st su m mer,
D um ble d ore w alk ed t h ro ugh t h at f ro nt d oor… ”
Harry lo st th e th re ad o f h is th oughts f o r a m om en t a n d H ed w ig d id n oth in g
t o h elp h im r e tr ie v e it, b ut c o ntin ued to s it w ith h er h ead u nder h er w in g. H arry
t u rn ed h is b ack o n t h e f ro nt d oor.
“A nd u nder h ere , H ed w ig ”— Harry p ulle d o pen a d oor u nder t h e s ta ir s — “is
w here I use d to sle ep ! Y ou nev er knew m e th en — Blim ey, it’s sm all, I’d
f o rg otte n … ”
Harry lo oked a ro und a t th e s ta ck ed s h oes a n d u m bre lla s, r e m em berin g h ow
h e u se d to w ak e e v ery m orn in g lo okin g u p a t th e u nders id e o f th e sta ir c ase ,
w hic h w as m ore o fte n t h an n ot a d orn ed w ith a s p id er o r t w o. T hose h ad b een t h e
d ay s b efo re h e h ad k now n a n yth in g a b out h is tr u e id en tity ; b efo re h e h ad f o und
o ut h ow h is p are n ts h ad d ie d o r w hy s u ch s tr a n ge th in gs o fte n h ap pen ed a ro und
h im . B ut H arry c o uld s till re m em ber th e d re am s th at h ad d ogged h im , e v en in

th ose d ay s: c o nfu se d d re am s in volv in g fla sh es o f g re en lig ht a n d o nce— Uncle
Vern on had nearly cra sh ed th e car w hen H arry had re co unte d it— a fly in g
moto rb ik e…
There w as a su dden , deafe n in g ro ar fro m so m ew here nearb y. H arry
str a ig hte n ed u p w ith a je rk a n d sm ack ed th e to p o f h is h ead o n th e lo w d oor
fra m e. P au sin g o nly to e m plo y a fe w o f U ncle V ern on’s c h oic est s w ear w ord s,
he sta g gere d b ack in to th e k itc h en , c lu tc h in g h is h ead a n d sta rin g o ut o f th e
win dow i n to t h e b ack g ard en .
The d ark ness s e em ed to b e rip plin g, th e a ir its e lf q uiv erin g. T hen , o ne b y
one, fig ure s b eg an to p op in to sig ht as th eir D is illu sio nm en t C harm s lif te d .
Dom in atin g th e sc en e w as H ag rid , w earin g a h elm et a n d g oggle s a n d sittin g
astr id e a n e n orm ous m oto rb ik e w ith a b la ck sid ecar a tta ch ed . A ll a ro und h im
oth er p eo ple w ere d is m ountin g fro m b ro om s a n d, in tw o c ase s, s k ele ta l, b la ck
win ged h ors e s.
Wre n ch in g o pen th e b ack d oor, H arry h urtle d in to th eir m id st. T here w as a
gen era l c ry o f g re etin g a s H erm io ne flu ng h er a rm s a ro und h im , R on c la p ped
him o n t h e b ack , a n d H ag rid s a id , “ A ll r ig h’, H arry ? R ead y f e r t h e o ff ? ”
“D efin ite ly ,” sa id H arry , beam in g aro und at th em all. “B ut I w asn ’t
ex pectin g t h is m an y o f y ou!”
“C han ge o f p la n ,” g ro w le d M ad -E ye, w ho w as h old in g tw o en orm ous,
bulg in g s a ck s, a n d w hose m ag ic al e y e w as s p in nin g f ro m d ark en in g s k y t o h ouse
to gard en w ith diz zy in g ra p id ity . “L et’s get underc o ver befo re w e ta lk you
th ro ugh i t.”
Harry le d th em a ll b ack in to th e k itc h en w here , la u ghin g a n d c h atte rin g,
th ey se ttle d on ch air s , sa t th em se lv es upon A unt P etu nia ’s gle am in g w ork
su rfa ces, o r le an ed u p ag ain st h er sp otle ss ap plia n ces; R on, lo ng an d la n ky;
Herm io ne, h er b ush y h air tie d b ack in a lo ng p la it; F re d a n d G eo rg e, g rin nin g
id en tic ally ; B ill, b ad ly s c arre d a n d l o nghair e d ; M r. W easle y, k in d-fa ced , b ald in g,
his sp ecta cle s a little a w ry ; M ad -E ye, b attle -w orn , o ne-le g ged , h is b rig ht b lu e
mag ic al e y e w hiz zin g in its so ck et; T onks, w hose sh ort h air w as h er fa v orite
sh ad e o f b rig ht p in k; L upin , g ra y er, m ore lin ed ; F le u r, sle n der a n d b eau tif u l,
with h er lo ng s ilv ery b lo nde h air ; K in gsle y, b ald a n d b ro ad -s h ould ere d ; H ag rid ,
with h is w ild h air a n d b eard , s ta n din g h unch back ed to a v oid h ittin g h is h ead o n
th e c eilin g; a n d M undungus F le tc h er, s m all, d ir ty , a n d h an gdog, w ith h is d ro opy
bead y h ound’s e y es a n d m atte d h air. H arry ’s h eart s e em ed t o e x pan d a n d g lo w a t
th e s ig ht: H e f e lt in cre d ib ly f o nd o f a ll o f th em , e v en M undungus, w hom h e h ad
tr ie d t o s tr a n gle t h e l a st t im e t h ey h ad m et.
“K in gsle y, I th ought y ou w ere lo okin g a fte r th e M uggle P rim e M in is te r? ”
he c alle d a cro ss t h e r o om .

“H e c an g et a lo ng w ith out m e f o r o ne n ig ht,” s a id K in gsle y, “ Y ou’re m ore
im porta n t.”
“H arry , g uess w hat? ” sa id T onks fro m h er p erc h o n to p o f th e w ash in g
mach in e, a n d s h e w ig gle d h er l e ft h an d a t h im ; a r in g g lis te n ed t h ere .
“Y ou g ot m arrie d ?” H arry y elp ed , l o okin g f ro m h er t o L upin .
“I’m s o rry y ou c o uld n’t b e t h ere , H arry , i t w as v ery q uie t.”
“T hat’s b rillia n t, c o ngra t— ”
“A ll rig ht, all rig ht, w e’ll h av e tim e fo r a co zy catc h -u p la te r,” ro are d
Moody o ver th e h ubbub, a n d sile n ce fe ll in th e k itc h en . M oody d ro pped h is
sa ck s a t h is f e et a n d tu rn ed to H arry . “ A s D ed alu s p ro bab ly to ld y ou, w e h ad to
ab an don P la n A . P iu s T hic k nesse h as g one o ver, w hic h g iv es u s a b ig p ro ble m .
He’s m ad e i t a n i m pris o nab le o ff e n se t o c o nnect t h is h ouse t o th e F lo o N etw ork ,
pla ce a P ortk ey h ere , o r A ppara te in o r o ut. A ll d one in th e n am e o f y our
pro te ctio n, to p re v en t Y ou-K now -W ho g ettin g in a t y ou. A bso lu te ly p oin tle ss,
se ein g a s y our m oth er’s c h arm d oes t h at a lr e ad y. W hat h e’s r e ally d one i s t o s to p
you g ettin g o ut o f h ere s a fe ly .”
“S eco nd p ro ble m : Y ou’re u ndera g e, w hic h m ean s y ou’v e s till g ot th e T ra ce
on y ou.”
“I d on’t— ”
“T he T ra ce, th e T ra ce!” s a id M ad -E ye im patie n tly . “ T he c h arm th at d ete cts
mag ic al a ctiv ity a ro und u nder- s e v en te en s, th e w ay th e M in is tr y f in ds o ut a b out
undera g e m ag ic ! If y ou, o r a n yone a ro und y ou, c asts a s p ell to g et y ou o ut o f
here , T hic k nesse i s g oin g t o k now a b out i t, a n d s o w ill t h e D eath E ate rs .”
“W e can ’t w ait fo r th e T ra ce to bre ak , becau se th e m om en t you tu rn
se v en te en y ou’ll lo se a ll th e p ro te ctio n y our m oth er g av e y ou. In sh ort, P iu s
Thic k nesse t h in ks h e’s g ot y ou c o rn ere d g ood a n d p ro per.”
Harry c o uld n ot h elp b ut a g re e w ith t h e u nknow n T hic k nesse .
“S o w hat a re w e g oin g t o d o?”
“W e’re g oin g t o u se t h e o nly m ean s o f t r a n sp ort l e ft t o u s, t h e o nly o nes t h e
Tra ce c an ’t d ete ct, b ecau se w e d on’t n eed to c ast sp ells to u se th em : b ro om s,
th estr a ls , a n d H ag rid ’s m oto rb ik e.”
Harry c o uld se e fla w s in th is p la n ; h ow ev er, h e h eld h is to ngue to g iv e
Mad -E ye t h e c h an ce t o a d dre ss t h em .
“N ow , y our m oth er’s c h arm w ill o nly b re ak u nder tw o c o nditio ns: w hen
you c o m e o f a g e, o r” — Moody g estu re d a ro und th e p ris tin e k itc h en — “y ou n o
lo nger c all t h is p la ce h om e. Y ou a n d y our a u nt a n d u ncle a re g oin g y our s e p ara te
way s to nig ht, in th e fu ll u nders ta n din g th at y ou’re n ev er g oin g to liv e to geth er
ag ain , c o rre ct? ”
Harry n odded .

“S o t h is t im e, w hen y ou l e av e, t h ere ’ll b e n o g oin g b ack , a n d t h e c h arm w ill
bre ak th e m om en t y ou g et o uts id e its ra n ge. W e’re c h oosin g to b re ak it e arly ,
becau se t h e a lte rn ativ e i s w aitin g f o r Y ou-K now -W ho t o c o m e a n d s e iz e y ou t h e
mom en t y ou t u rn s e v en te en .
“T he o ne th in g w e’v e g ot o n o u r s id e is th at Y ou-K now -W ho d oesn ’t k now
we’re m ovin g y ou to nig ht. W e’v e le ak ed a f a k e tr a il to th e M in is tr y : T hey th in k
you’re n ot le av in g u ntil th e th ir tie th . H ow ev er, th is is Y ou-K now -W ho w e’re
dealin g w ith , s o w e c an ’t r e ly o n h im g ettin g t h e d ate w ro ng; h e’s b ound t o h av e
a c o uple o f D eath E ate rs p atr o llin g t h e s k ie s i n t h is g en era l a re a, j u st i n c ase . S o,
we’v e g iv en a d ozen d if f e re n t h ouse s e v ery p ro te ctio n w e c an th ro w a t th em .
They a ll lo ok lik e th ey c o uld b e th e p la ce w e’re g oin g to h id e y ou, th ey ’v e a ll
got s o m e c o nnectio n w ith t h e O rd er: m y h ouse , K in gsle y ’s p la ce, M olly ’s A untie
Murie l’s — you g et t h e i d ea.”
“Y eah ,” sa id H arry , n ot en tir e ly tr u th fu lly , b ecau se h e co uld still sp ot a
gap in g h ole i n t h e p la n .
“Y ou’ll b e g oin g to T onks’s p are n ts . O nce y ou’re w ith in th e b oundarie s o f
th e p ro te ctiv e e n ch an tm en ts w e’v e p ut o n th eir h ouse y ou’ll b e a b le to u se a
Portk ey t o t h e B urro w . A ny q uestio ns? ”
“E r— yes,” s a id H arry . “ M ay be t h ey w on’t k now w hic h o f t h e t w elv e s e cu re
house s I’m head in g fo r at fir s t, but w on’t it be so rt of obvio us once”— he
perfo rm ed a q uic k h ead co unt— “fo urte en o f u s f ly o ff t o w ard T onks’s p are n ts ? ”
“A h,” s a id M oody, “ I f o rg ot to m en tio n th e k ey p oin t. F ourte en o f u s w on’t
be f ly in g to T onks’s p are n ts . T here w ill b e s e v en H arry P otte rs m ovin g th ro ugh
th e sk ie s to nig ht, each o f th em w ith a co m pan io n, each p air h ead in g fo r a
dif f e re n t s a fe h ouse .”
Fro m in sid e h is c lo ak M oody n ow w ith dre w a fla sk o f w hat lo oked lik e
mud. T here w as n o n eed f o r h im to s a y a n oth er w ord ; H arry u nders to od th e r e st
of t h e p la n i m med ia te ly .
“N o!” h e s a id l o udly , h is v oic e r in gin g t h ro ugh t h e k itc h en . “ N o w ay !”
“I to ld th em you’d ta k e it lik e th is ,” sa id H erm io ne w ith a hin t of
co m pla cen cy.
“If y ou t h in k I ’m g oin g t o l e t s ix p eo ple r is k t h eir l iv es— !”
“— becau se i t’s t h e f ir s t t im e f o r a ll o f u s,” s a id R on.
“T his i s d if f e re n t, p re te n din g t o b e m e— ”
“W ell, n one o f u s re ally fa n cy it, H arry ,” s a id F re d e arn estly . “ Im ag in e if
so m eth in g w en t w ro ng a n d w e w ere s tu ck a s s p eck y, s c ra w ny g its f o re v er.”
Harry d id n ot s m ile .
“Y ou c an ’t d o i t i f I d on’t c o opera te , y ou n eed m e t o g iv e y ou s o m e h air.”
“W ell, th at’s th e pla n sc u ppere d ,” sa id G eo rg e. “O bvio usly th ere ’s no

ch an ce a t a ll o f u s g ettin g a b it o f y our h air u nle ss y ou c o opera te .”
“Y eah , th ir te en o f u s a g ain st o ne b lo ke w ho’s n ot a llo w ed to u se m ag ic ;
we’v e g ot n o c h an ce,” s a id F re d .
“F unny,” s a id H arry , “ re ally a m usin g.”
“If it h as to c o m e to fo rc e, th en it w ill,” g ro w le d M oody, h is m ag ic al e y e
now q uiv erin g a little in its so ck et as h e g la re d at H arry . “E very one h ere ’s
overa g e, P otte r, a n d t h ey ’re a ll p re p are d t o t a k e t h e r is k .”
Mundungus s h ru gged a n d g rim aced ; th e m ag ic al e y e s w erv ed s id ew ay s to
gla n ce a t h im o ut o f t h e s id e o f M oody’s h ead .
“L et’s h av e n o m ore a rg um en ts . T im e’s w earin g o n. I w an t a fe w o f y our
hair s , b oy, n ow .”
“B ut t h is i s m ad , t h ere ’s n o n eed — ”
“N o n eed !” s n arle d M oody. “ W ith Y ou-K now -W ho o ut th ere a n d h alf th e
Min is tr y o n h is s id e? P otte r, if w e’re lu ck y h e’ll h av e s w allo w ed th e fa k e b ait
an d h e’ll b e p la n nin g t o a m bush y ou o n t h e t h ir tie th , b ut h e’d b e m ad n ot t o h av e
a D eath E ate r o r t w o k eep in g a n e y e o ut, i t’s w hat I ’d d o. T hey m ig ht n ot b e a b le
to g et a t y ou o r th is h ouse w hile y our m oth er’s c h arm h old s, b ut it’s a b out to
bre ak a n d th ey k now th e r o ugh p ositio n o f th e p la ce. O ur o nly c h an ce is to u se
deco ys. E ven Y ou-K now -W ho c an ’t s p lit h im se lf i n to s e v en .”
Harry c au ght H erm io ne’s e y e a n d l o oked a w ay a t o nce.
“S o, P otte r— so m e o f y our h air , i f y ou p le ase .”
Harry g la n ced a t R on, w ho g rim aced a t h im i n a j u st- d o-it s o rt o f w ay.
“N ow !” b ark ed M oody.
With a ll o f th eir e y es u pon h im , H arry re ach ed u p to th e to p o f h is h ead ,
gra b bed a h an k o f h air , a n d p ulle d .
“G ood,” s a id M oody, lim pin g fo rw ard a s h e p ulle d th e s to pper o ut o f th e
fla sk o f p otio n. “ S tr a ig ht i n h ere , i f y ou p le ase .”
Harry d ro pped t h e h air i n to t h e m udlik e l iq uid . T he m om en t i t m ad e c o nta ct
with i ts s u rfa ce, t h e p otio n b eg an t o f ro th a n d s m oke, t h en , a ll a t o nce, i t t u rn ed a
cle ar, b rig ht g old .
“O oh, you lo ok m uch ta stie r th an Cra b be an d G oyle , H arry ,” sa id
Herm io ne, b efo re c atc h in g s ig ht o f R on’s r a is e d e y eb ro w s, b lu sh in g s lig htly , a n d
sa y in g, “ O h, y ou k now w hat I m ean — Goyle ’s p otio n t a ste d l ik e b ogie s.”
“R ig ht t h en , f a k e P otte rs l in e u p o ver h ere , p le ase ,” s a id M oody.
Ron, H erm io ne, F re d , G eo rg e, a n d F le u r l in ed u p i n f ro nt o f A unt P etu nia ’s
gle am in g s in k.
“W e’re o ne s h ort,” s a id L upin .
“H ere ,” s a id H ag rid g ru ff ly , a n d h e lif te d M undungus b y th e s c ru ff o f th e
neck a n d d ro pped h im d ow n b esid e F le u r, w ho w rin kle d h er n ose p oin te d ly a n d

moved a lo ng t o s ta n d b etw een F re d a n d G eo rg e i n ste ad .
“I’m a s o ld ie r, I ’d s o oner b e a p ro te cto r,” s a id M undungus.
“S hut it,” g ro w le d M oody. “ A s I ’v e a lr e ad y to ld y ou, y ou s p in ele ss w orm ,
an y D eath E ate rs w e ru n in to w ill b e a im in g to c ap tu re P otte r, n ot k ill h im .
Dum ble d ore a lw ay s s a id Y ou-K now -W ho w ould w an t to f in is h P otte r in p ers o n.
It’ ll b e th e p ro te cto rs w ho h av e g ot th e m ost to w orry a b out, th e D eath E ate rs ’ll
wan t t o k ill t h em .”
Mundungus d id n ot lo ok p artic u la rly re assu re d , b ut M oody w as alr e ad y
pullin g half a dozen eg gcu p-s iz ed gla sse s fro m in sid e his clo ak , w hic h he
han ded o ut, b efo re p ourin g a l ittle P oly ju ic e P otio n i n to e ach o ne.
“A lto geth er, t h en … ”
Ron, H erm io ne, F re d , G eo rg e, F le u r, a n d M undungus d ra n k. A ll o f th em
gasp ed a n d g rim aced a s t h e p otio n h it t h eir t h ro ats ; A t o nce, t h eir f e atu re s b eg an
to b ubble a n d d is to rt lik e h ot w ax . H erm io ne a n d M undungus w ere sh ootin g
upw ard ; R on, Fre d , an d G eo rg e w ere sh rin kin g; th eir hair w as dark en in g,
Herm io ne’s a n d F le u r’s a p pearin g t o s h oot b ack w ard i n to t h eir s k ulls .
Moody, q uite u nco ncern ed , w as n ow l o ose n in g t h e t ie s o f t h e l a rg e s a ck s h e
had b ro ught w ith h im . W hen h e str a ig hte n ed u p a g ain , th ere w ere six H arry
Potte rs g asp in g a n d p an tin g i n f ro nt o f h im .
Fre d an d G eo rg e tu rn ed to eac h o th er an d sa id to geth er, “W ow — we’re
id en tic al! ”
“I d unno, th ough, I th in k I ’m s till b ette r- lo okin g,” s a id F re d , e x am in in g h is
re fle ctio n i n t h e k ettle .
“B ah ,” s a id F le u r, c h eck in g h ers e lf i n t h e m ic ro w av e d oor, “ B ill, d on’t l o ok
at m e— I’m ’ id eo us.”
“T hose w hose c lo th es a re a b it r o om y, I ’v e g ot s m alle r h ere ,” s a id M oody,
in dic atin g th e fir s t sa ck , “ an d v ic e v ers a . D on’t fo rg et th e g la sse s, th ere ’s six
pair s in th e s id e p ock et. A nd w hen y ou’re d re sse d , th ere ’s lu ggag e in th e o th er
sa ck .”
The r e al H arry th ought th at th is m ig ht ju st b e th e m ost b iz arre th in g h e h ad
ev er s e en , a n d h e h ad s e en s o m e e x tr e m ely o dd th in gs. H e w atc h ed a s h is s ix
doppelg an gers ru m mag ed in th e sa ck s, p ullin g o ut se ts o f c lo th es, p uttin g o n
gla sse s, s tu ff in g th eir o w n th in gs a w ay. H e f e lt lik e a sk in g th em to s h ow a little
more re sp ect fo r p riv acy a s th ey a ll b eg an s tr ip pin g o ff w ith im punity , c le arly
more a t e ase w ith d is p la y in g h is b ody t h an t h ey w ould h av e b een w ith t h eir o w n.
“I k new G in ny w as ly in g a b out th at ta tto o,” s a id R on, lo okin g d ow n a t h is
bare c h est.
“H arry , y our e y esig ht r e ally i s a w fu l,” s a id H erm io ne, a s s h e p ut o n g la sse s.
Once dre sse d , th e fa k e H arry s to ok ru ck sa ck s an d ow l cag es, each

co nta in in g a s tu ff e d s n ow y o w l, f ro m t h e s e co nd s a ck .
“G ood,” s a id M oody, a s a t la st s e v en d re sse d , b esp ecta cle d , a n d lu ggag e-
la d en H arry s fa ced h im . “T he p air s w ill b e as fo llo w s: M undungus w ill b e
tr a v elin g w ith m e, b y b ro om — ”
“W hy’m I w ith y ou?” g ru nte d t h e H arry n eare st t h e b ack d oor.
“B ecau se y ou’re th e o ne th at n eed s w atc h in g,” g ro w le d M oody, a n d s u re
en ough, his m ag ic al ey e did not w av er fro m M undungus as he co ntin ued ,
“A rth ur a n d F re d — ”
“I’m G eo rg e,” s a id t h e t w in a t w hom M oody w as p oin tin g. “ C an ’t y ou e v en
te ll u s a p art w hen w e’re H arry ?”
“S orry , G eo rg e— ”
“I’m o nly y an kin g y our w an d, I ’m F re d r e ally — ”
“E nough m essin g aro und!!” sn arle d M oody. “T he o th er o ne— Geo rg e o r
Fre d o r w hoev er y ou a re — you’re w ith R em us. M is s D ela co ur— ”
“I’m t a k in g F le u r o n a t h estr a l,” s a id B ill. “ S he’s n ot t h at f o nd o f b ro om s.”
Fle u r w alk ed o ver t o s ta n d b esid e h im , g iv in g h im a s o ppy, s la v is h l o ok t h at
Harry h oped w ith a ll h is h eart w ould n ev er a p pear o n h is f a ce a g ain .
“M is s G ra n ger w ith K in gsle y, a g ain b y t h estr a l— ”
Herm io ne lo oked r e assu re d a s s h e a n sw ere d K in gsle y ’s s m ile ; H arry k new
th at H erm io ne t o o l a ck ed c o nfid en ce o n a b ro om stic k .
“W hic h le av es y ou a n d m e, R on!” sa id T onks b rig htly , k nock in g o ver a
mug t r e e a s s h e w av ed a t h im .
Ron d id n ot l o ok q uite a s p le ase d a s H erm io ne.
“A n’ y ou’re w ith m e, H arry . T hat a ll rig h’? ” s a id H ag rid , lo okin g a little
an xio us. “ W e’ll b e o n th e b ik e, b ro om s a n ’ th estr a ls c an ’t ta k e m e w eig ht, s e e.
Not a l o t o ’ r o om o n t h e s e at w ith m e o n i t, t h ough, s o y ou’ll b e i n t h e s id ecar.”
“T hat’s g re at,” s a id H arry , n ot a lto geth er t r u th fu lly .
“W e t h in k t h e D eath E ate rs w ill e x pect y ou t o b e o n a b ro om ,” s a id M oody,
who s e em ed to g uess h ow H arry w as f e elin g. “ S nap e’s h ad p le n ty o f tim e to te ll
th em e v ery th in g a b out y ou h e’s n ev er m en tio ned b efo re , s o i f w e d o r u n i n to a n y
Death E ate rs , w e’re b ettin g th ey ’ll c h oose o ne o f th e P otte rs w ho lo oks a t h om e
on a b ro om stic k . A ll rig ht th en ,” h e w en t o n, ty in g u p th e s a ck w ith th e fa k e
Potte rs ’ c lo th es in it a n d le ad in g th e w ay b ack to th e d oor, “ I m ak e it th re e
min ute s u ntil w e’re s u ppose d to le av e. N o p oin t lo ck in g th e b ack d oor, it w on’t
keep t h e D eath E ate rs o ut w hen t h ey c o m e l o okin g. C om e o n… ”
Harry hurrie d to gath er his ru ck sa ck , F ir e b olt, an d H ed w ig ’s cag e an d
fo llo w ed t h e g ro up t o t h e d ark b ack g ard en .
On e v ery s id e b ro om stic k s w ere le ap in g in to h an ds; H erm io ne h ad a lr e ad y
been h elp ed u p o nto a g re at b la ck th estr a l b y K in gsle y, F le u r o nto th e o th er b y

Bill. H ag rid w as s ta n din g r e ad y b esid e t h e m oto rb ik e, g oggle s o n.
“Is t h is i t? I s t h is S ir iu s’s b ik e?”
“T he v ery s a m e,” s a id H ag rid , b eam in g d ow n a t H arry . “ A n’ th e la st tim e
yeh w as o n i t, H arry , I c o uld f it y eh i n o ne h an d!”
Harry c o uld n ot h elp b ut f e el a l ittle h um ilia te d a s h e g ot i n to t h e s id ecar. I t
pla ced h im s e v era l fe et b elo w e v ery body e ls e : R on s m ir k ed a t th e s ig ht o f h im
sittin g th ere lik e a ch ild in a bum per car. H arry stu ff e d his ru ck sa ck an d
bro om stic k d ow n b y h is f e et a n d r a m med H ed w ig ’s c ag e b etw een h is k nees. H e
was e x tr e m ely u nco m fo rta b le .
“A rth ur’s d one a b it o ’ tin kerin ’,” s a id H ag rid , q uite o bliv io us to H arry ’s
dis c o m fo rt. H e s e ttle d h im se lf a str id e t h e m oto rc y cle , w hic h c re ak ed s lig htly a n d
sa n k in ch es in to th e g ro und. “ It’s g ot a f e w tr ic k s u p its h in dquarte rs n ow . T ha’
one w as m y i d ea.”
He p oin te d a t h ic k f in ger a t a p urp le b utto n n ear t h e s p eed om ete r.
“P le ase b e c are fu l, H ag rid ,” sa id M r. W easle y, w ho w as sta n din g b esid e
th em , h old in g h is b ro om stic k . “I’m still n ot su re th at w as ad vis a b le an d it’s
certa in ly o nly t o b e u se d i n e m erg en cie s.”
“A ll rig ht, th en ,” sa id M oody. “ E very one re ad y, p le ase . I w an t u s a ll to
le av e a t e x actly t h e s a m e t im e o r t h e w hole p oin t o f t h e d iv ers io n’s l o st.”
Every body m otio ned t h eir h ead s.
“H old tig ht n ow , R on,” sa id T onks, a n d H arry sa w R on th ro w a fu rtiv e,
guilty lo ok a t L upin b efo re p la cin g h is h an ds o n e ach s id e o f h er w ais t. H ag rid
kic k ed th e m oto rb ik e in to lif e : I t r o are d lik e a d ra g on, a n d th e s id ecar b eg an to
vib ra te .
“G ood lu ck , e v ery one,” s h oute d M oody. “ S ee y ou a ll in a b out a n h our a t
th e B urro w . O n t h e c o unt o f t h re e. O ne… t w o… T H REE.”
There w as a g re at r o ar f ro m t h e m oto rb ik e, a n d H arry f e lt t h e s id ecar g iv e a
nasty lu rc h . H e w as ris in g th ro ugh th e a ir fa st, h is e y es w ate rin g s lig htly , h air
whip ped b ack o ff h is fa ce. A ro und h im b ro om s w ere s o arin g u pw ard to o; th e
lo ng b la ck ta il o f a th estr a l flic k ed p ast. H is le g s, ja m med in to th e s id ecar b y
Hed w ig ’s c ag e a n d h is r u ck sa ck , w ere a lr e ad y s o re a n d s ta rtin g to g o n um b. S o
gre at w as h is d is c o m fo rt th at h e a lm ost f o rg ot to ta k e a la st g lim pse o f n um ber
fo ur P riv et D riv e. B y t h e t im e h e l o oked o ver t h e e d ge o f t h e s id ecar h e c o uld n o
lo nger t e ll w hic h o ne i t w as.
And th en , o ut o f n ow here , o ut o f n oth in g, th ey w ere s u rro unded . A t le ast
th ir ty h ooded f ig ure s, s u sp en ded in m id air , f o rm ed a v ast c ir c le in th e m id dle o f
whic h t h e O rd er m em bers h ad r is e n , o bliv io us—
Scre am s, a b la ze o f g re en lig ht o n e v ery s id e: H ag rid g av e a y ell a n d th e
moto rb ik e ro lle d o ver. H arry lo st an y se n se o f w here th ey w ere . S tr e etlig hts

ab ove him , yells aro und him , he w as clin gin g to th e sid ecar fo r dear lif e .
Hed w ig ’s c ag e, t h e F ir e b olt, a n d h is r u ck sa ck s lip ped f ro m b en eath h is k nees—
“N o— HED W IG !”
The b ro om stic k sp un to o, b ut h e ju st m an ag ed to se iz e th e str a p o f h is
ru ck sa ck a n d t h e t o p o f t h e c ag e a s th e m oto rb ik e s w ung t h e r ig ht w ay u p a g ain .
A s e co nd’s r e lie f, a n d th en a n oth er b urs t o f g re en lig ht. T he o w l s c re ech ed a n d
fe ll t o t h e f lo or o f t h e c ag e.
“N o— NO!”
The m oto rb ik e zo om ed fo rw ard ; H arry glim pse d hooded D eath E ate rs
sc atte rin g a s H ag rid b la ste d t h ro ugh t h eir c ir c le .
“H ed w ig —
Hed w ig — ”
But t h e o w l l a y m otio nle ss a n d p ath etic a s a t o y o n t h e f lo or o f h er c ag e. H e
co uld n ot t a k e i t i n , a n d h is t e rro r f o r t h e o th ers w as p ara m ount. H e g la n ced o ver
his s h ould er a n d s a w a m ass o f p eo ple m ovin g, f la re s o f g re en l ig ht, t w o p air s o f
peo ple o n b ro om s s o arin g o ff in to th e d is ta n ce, b ut h e c o uld n ot te ll w ho th ey
were —
“H ag rid , w e’v e g ot to g o b ack , w e’v e g ot to g o b ack !” h e y elle d o ver th e
th undero us ro ar o f th e e n gin e, p ullin g o ut h is w an d, ra m min g H ed w ig ’s c ag e
in to th e flo or, re fu sin g to belie v e th at sh e w as dead . “H ag rid , TU RN
ARO UND!”
“M y jo b’s te r g et y ou th ere s a fe , H arry !” b ello w H ag rid , a n d h e o pen ed th e
th ro ttle .
“S to p— ST O P!” H arry sh oute d , b ut a s h e lo oked b ack a g ain tw o je ts o f
gre en lig ht fle w p ast h is le ft e ar: F our D eath E ate rs h ad b ro ken a w ay fro m th e
cir c le a n d w ere p urs u in g t h em , a im in g f o r H ag rid ’s b ro ad b ack . H ag rid s w erv ed ,
but t h e D eath E ate rs w ere k eep in g u p w ith t h e b ik e; m ore c u rs e s s h ot a fte r t h em ,
an d H arry h ad to s in k lo w in to th e s id ecar to a v oid th em . W rig glin g a ro und h e
crie d ,
“Stu pefy !”
a n d a r e d b olt o f lig ht s h ot f ro m h is o w n w an d, c le av in g a g ap
betw een t h e f o ur p urs u in g D eath E ate rs a s t h ey s c atte re d t o a v oid i t.
“H old o n, H arry , th is ’ll d o fo r ’e m !” ro are d H ag rid , a n d H arry lo oked u p
ju st in tim e to s e e H ag rid s la m min g a th ic k fin ger in to a g re en b utto n n ear th e
fu el g au ge. A w all, a s o lid b la ck w all, e ru pte d o ut o f th e e x hau st p ip e. C ra n in g
his n eck , H arry s a w it e x pan d in to b ein g in m id air. T hre e o f th e D eath E ate rs
sw erv ed a n d a v oid ed it, b ut th e f o urth w as n ot s o lu ck y; h e v an is h ed f ro m v ie w
an d th en d ro pped lik e a b ould er fro m b eh in d it, h is b ro om stic k b ro ken in to
pie ces. O ne o f h is f e llo w s s lo w ed u p to s a v e h im , b ut th ey a n d th e a ir b orn e w all
were s w allo w ed b y d ark ness a s H ag rid le an ed lo w o ver th e h an dle b ars a n d s p ed
up.
More K illin g C urs e s f le w p ast H arry ’s h ead f ro m th e tw o r e m ain in g D eath

Eate rs ’ w an ds; th ey w ere aim in g fo r H ag rid . H arry re sp onded w ith fu rth er
Stu nnin g S pells : R ed a n d g re en c o llid ed in m id air in a s h ow er o f m ultic o lo re d
sp ark s, an d H arry th ought w ild ly o f fir e w ork s, an d th e M uggle s b elo w w ho
would h av e n o i d ea w hat w as h ap pen in g—
“H ere w e g o a g ain , H arry , h old o n!” y elle d H ag rid , a n d h e ja b bed a t a
se co nd b utto n. T his tim e a g re at n et b urs t f ro m th e b ik e’s e x hau st, b ut th e D eath
Eate rs w ere r e ad y f o r i t. N ot o nly d id t h ey s w erv e t o a v oid i t, b ut t h e c o m pan io n
who h ad slo w ed to sa v e th eir u nco nsc io us frie n d h ad c au ght u p. H e b lo om ed
su dden ly out of th e dark ness an d now th re e of th em w ere purs u in g th e
moto rb ik e, a ll s h ootin g c u rs e s a fte r i t.
“T his ’ll d o i t, H arry , h old o n t ig ht! ” y elle d H ag rid , a n d H arry s a w h im s la m
his w hole h an d o nto t h e p urp le b utto n b esid e t h e s p eed om ete r.
With a n u nm is ta k ab le b ello w in g ro ar, d ra g on fir e b urs t fro m th e e x hau st,
white -h ot a n d b lu e, a n d th e m oto rb ik e s h ot f o rw ard lik e a b ulle t w ith a s o und o f
wre n ch in g m eta l. H arry s a w th e D eath E ate rs s w erv e o ut o f s ig ht to a v oid th e
dead ly tr a il o f fla m e, a n d a t th e s a m e tim e fe lt th e s id ecar s w ay o m in ously : Its
meta l c o nnectio ns t o t h e b ik e h ad s p lin te re d w ith t h e f o rc e o f a ccele ra tio n.
“It’s a ll rig h’, H arry !” b ello w ed H ag rid , n ow th ro w n fla t o nto th e b ack b y
th e su rg e o f sp eed ; n obody w as ste erin g n ow , a n d th e sid ecar w as sta rtin g to
tw is t v io le n tly i n t h e b ik e’s s lip str e am .
“I’m o n it, H arry , d on’ w orry !” H ag rid y elle d , a n d fro m in sid e h is ja ck et
pock et h e p ulle d h is f lo w ery p in k u m bre lla .
“H ag rid ! N o! L et m e!”
“R EPA RO !”
There w as a d eafe n in g b an g an d th e sid ecar b ro ke aw ay fro m th e b ik e
co m ple te ly . H arry s p ed fo rw ard , p ro pelle d b y th e im petu s o f th e b ik e’s flig ht,
th en t h e s id ecar b eg an t o l o se h eig ht—
In desp era tio n H arry poin te d his w an d at th e sid ecar an d sh oute d ,
“W in gard iu m L evio sa !”
The s id ecar ro se lik e a c o rk , u nste era b le b ut a t le ast s till a ir b orn e. H e h ad
but a s p lit s e co nd’s r e lie f, h ow ev er, a s m ore c u rs e s s tr e ak ed p ast h im : T he th re e
Death E ate rs w ere c lo sin g i n .
“I’m c o m in ’, H arry !” H ag rid y elle d fro m o ut o f th e d ark ness, b ut H arry
co uld f e el th e s id ecar b eg in nin g to s in k a g ain : C ro uch in g a s lo w a s h e c o uld , h e
poin te d a t t h e m id dle o f t h e o nco m in g f ig ure s a n d y elle d ,
“Im ped im en ta !”
The j in x h it t h e m id dle D eath E ate r i n t h e c h est; F or a m om en t t h e m an w as
ab su rd ly s p re ad -e ag le d in m id air a s th ough h e h ad h it a n in vis ib le b arrie r: O ne
of h is f e llo w s a lm ost c o llid ed w ith h im —
Then th e sid ecar b eg an to fa ll in e arn est, a n d th e re m ain in g D eath E ate r

sh ot a c u rs e so c lo se to H arry th at h e h ad to d uck b elo w th e rim o f th e c ar,
knock in g o ut a t o oth o n t h e e d ge o f h is s e at—
“I’m c o m in ’, H arry , I ’m c o m in ’!”
A h uge h an d s e iz ed th e b ack o f H arry ’s ro bes a n d h ois te d h im o ut o f th e
plu m metin g s id ecar; H arry p ulle d h is r u ck sa ck w ith h im a s h e d ra g ged h im se lf
onto th e m oto rb ik e’s s e at a n d f o und h im se lf b ack -to -b ack w ith H ag rid . A s th ey
so are d u pw ard , a w ay f ro m t h e t w o r e m ain in g D eath E ate rs , H arry s p at b lo od o ut
of h is m outh , p oin te d h is w an d a t t h e f a llin g s id ecar, a n d y elle d ,
“C onfr in go!”
He k new a d re ad fu l, g ut- w re n ch in g p an g fo r H ed w ig a s it e x plo ded ; th e
Death E ate r neare st it w as bla ste d off his bro om an d fe ll fro m sig ht; his
co m pan io n f e ll b ack a n d v an is h ed .
“H arry , I ’m s o rry , I ’m s o rry ,” m oan ed H ag rid , “ I s h ould n’ta tr ie d te r r e p air
it m ese lf — yeh ’v e g ot n o r o om — ”
“It’s n ot a p ro ble m , ju st k eep fly in g!” H arry sh oute d b ack , a s tw o m ore
Death E ate rs e m erg ed o ut o f t h e d ark ness, d ra w in g c lo se r.
As th e c u rs e s c am e sh ootin g a cro ss th e in te rv en in g sp ace a g ain , H ag rid
sw erv ed a n d z ig zag ged . H arry k new t h at H ag rid d id n ot d are u se t h e d ra g on-fir e
butto n a g ain , w ith H arry se ate d so in se cu re ly . H arry se n t S tu nnin g S pell a fte r
Stu nnin g S pell b ack a t th eir p urs u ers , b are ly h old in g th em o ff . H e s h ot a n oth er
blo ck in g jin x a t th em : T he c lo se st D eath E ate r s w erv ed to a v oid it a n d h is h ood
slip ped , a n d b y th e r e d lig ht o f h is n ex t S tu nnin g S pell, H arry s a w th e s tr a n gely
bla n k f a ce o f S ta n le y S hunpik e— Sta n —
“E xp ellia rm us!”
H arry y elle d .
“T hat’s h im , i t’s h im , i t’s t h e r e al o ne!”
The h ooded D eath E ate r’s s h out re ach ed H arry e v en a b ove th e th under o f
th e m oto rb ik e’s en gin e. N ex t m om en t, both purs u ers had fa lle n back an d
dis a p peare d f ro m v ie w .
“H arry , w hat’s h ap pen ed ?” b ello w ed H ag rid . “ W here ’v e t h ey g one?”
“I d on’t k now !”
But H arry w as a fra id : T he h ooded D eath E ate r h ad s h oute d , “ It’s th e re al
one!” ; h ow h ad h e k now n? H e g azed a ro und a t th e a p pare n tly e m pty d ark ness
an d f e lt i ts m en ace. W here w ere t h ey ?
He c la m bere d a ro und o n th e se at to fa ce fo rw ard a n d se iz ed h old o f th e
back o f H ag rid ’s j a ck et.
“H ag rid , d o t h e d ra g on-fir e t h in g a g ain , l e t’s g et o ut o f h ere !”
“H old o n t ig ht, t h en , H arry !”
There w as a d eafe n in g, s c re ech in g ro ar a g ain a n d th e w hite -b lu e fir e s h ot
fro m t h e e x hau st. H arry f e lt h im se lf s lip pin g b ack w ard s o ff w hat l ittle o f t h e s e at
he h ad . H ag rid flu ng b ack w ard u pon h im , b are ly m ain ta in in g h is g rip o n th e

han dle b ars —
“I t h in k w e’v e l o st ’ e m , H arry , I t h in k w e’v e d one i t! ” y elle d H ag rid .
But H arry w as n ot c o nvin ced . F ear l a p ped a t h im a s h e l o oked l e ft a n d r ig ht
fo r p urs u ers h e w as s u re w ould c o m e… W hy h ad th ey f a lle n b ack ? O ne o f th em
had s till h ad a w an d…
It’s h im … i t’s t h e r e a l o ne…
T hey h ad s a id i t r ig ht a fte r h e
had t r ie d t o D is a rm S ta n …
“W e’re n early t h ere , H arry , w e’v e n early m ad e i t! ” s h oute d H ag rid .
Harry f e lt th e b ik e d ro p a little , th ough th e lig hts d ow n o n th e g ro und s till
se em ed r e m ote a s s ta rs .
Then t h e s c ar o n h is f o re h ead b urn ed l ik e f ir e : a s a D eath E ate r a p peare d o n
eith er sid e o f th e b ik e, tw o K illin g C urs e s m is se d H arry b y m illim ete rs , c ast
fro m b eh in d—
And th en H arry s a w h im . V old em ort w as fly in g lik e s m oke o n th e w in d,
with out b ro om stic k o r th estr a l to h old h im , h is s n ak e-lik e fa ce g le am in g o ut o f
th e b la ck ness, h is w hite f in gers r a is in g h is w an d a g ain —
Hag rid le t o ut a b ello w o f fe ar a n d ste ere d th e m oto rb ik e in to a v ertic al
div e. C lin gin g o n f o r d ear lif e , H arry s e n t S tu nnin g S pells f ly in g a t r a n dom in to
th e w hir lin g n ig ht. H e s a w a b ody f ly p ast h im a n d k new h e h ad h it o ne o f t h em ,
but t h en h e h eard a b an g a n d s a w s p ark s f ro m t h e e n gin e; t h e m oto rb ik e s p ir a le d
th ro ugh t h e a ir , c o m ple te ly o ut o f c o ntr o l—
Gre en je ts o f lig ht s h ot p ast th em a g ain . H arry h ad n o id ea w hic h w ay w as
up, w hic h d ow n. H is s c ar w as s till b urn in g; h e e x pecte d to d ie a t a n y s e co nd. A
hooded f ig ure o n a b ro om stic k w as f e et f ro m h im , h e s a w i t r a is e i ts a rm —
“N O!”
With a sh out o f fu ry H ag rid la u nch ed h im se lf o ff th e b ik e a t th e D eath
Eate r; to h is h orro r, H arry s a w b oth H ag rid a n d th e D eath E ate r, fa llin g o ut o f
sig ht, t h eir c o m bin ed w eig ht t o o m uch f o r t h e b ro om stic k —
Bare ly grip pin g th e plu m metin g bik e with his knees, Harry heard
Vold em ort s c re am ,
“M in e!”
It w as o ver: H e c o uld n ot s e e o r h ear w here V old em ort w as; h e g lim pse d
an oth er D eath E ate r s w oopin g o ut o f t h e w ay a n d h eard ,
“Ava da— ”
As th e p ain fro m H arry ’s s c ar fo rc ed h is e y es s h ut, h is w an d a cte d o f its
ow n a cco rd . H e f e lt it d ra g h is h an d a ro und lik e s o m e g re at m ag net, s a w a s p urt
of g old en f ir e t h ro ugh h is h alf -c lo se d e y elid s, h eard a c ra ck a n d a s c re am o f f u ry .
The re m ain in g D eath E ate r yelle d ; V old em ort sc re am ed ,
“N O !”
S om eh ow ,
Harry f o und h is n ose a n i n ch f ro m t h e d ra g on-fir e b utto n. H e p unch ed i t w ith h is
wan d-fre e h an d an d th e b ik e sh ot m ore fla m es in to th e air , h urtlin g str a ig ht
to w ard t h e g ro und.
“H ag rid !” H arry c alle d , h old in g o n t o t h e b ik e f o r d ear l if e . “ H ag rid —
Accio

Hagrid !”
The m oto rb ik e sp ed up, su ck ed to w ard s th e earth . F ace le v el w ith th e
han dle b ars , H arry c o uld s e e n oth in g b ut d is ta n t l ig hts g ro w in g n eare r a n d n eare r:
He w as g oin g to c ra sh a n d th ere w as n oth in g h e c o uld d o a b out it. B eh in d h im
cam e a n oth er s c re am ,
“Yo ur w and, S elw yn , g iv e m e y o ur w and!”
He f e lt V old em ort b efo re h e s a w h im . L ookin g s id ew ay s, h e s ta re d in to th e
re d ey es an d w as su re th ey w ould b e th e la st th in g h e ev er sa w : V old em ort
pre p arin g t o c u rs e h im o nce m ore —
And th en V old em ort v an is h ed . H arry lo oked d ow n a n d s a w H ag rid s p re ad -
eag le d o n th e g ro und b elo w h im . H e p ulle d h ard at th e h an dle b ars to av oid
hittin g h im , g ro ped fo r th e b ra k e, b ut w ith an ears p littin g, g ro und tr e m blin g
cra sh , h e s m ash ed i n to a m uddy p ond.

5 . F A LLEN W ARRIO R
“H ag rid ?”
Harry s tr u ggle d to r a is e h im se lf o ut o f th e d eb ris o f m eta l a n d le ath er th at
s u rro unded h im ; h is h an ds s a n k in to in ch es o f m uddy w ate r a s h e tr ie d to s ta n d.
H e c o uld n ot u nders ta n d w here V old em ort h ad g one a n d e x pecte d h im to s w oop
o ut o f th e d ark ness a t a n y m om en t. S om eth in g h ot a n d w et w as tr ic k lin g d ow n
h is c h in a n d f ro m h is f o re h ead . H e c ra w le d o ut o f t h e p ond a n d s tu m ble d t o w ard
t h e g re at d ark m ass o n t h e g ro und t h at w as H ag rid .
“H ag rid ? H ag rid , t a lk t o m e— ”
But t h e d ark m ass d id n ot s tir.
“W ho’s t h ere ? I s i t P otte r? A re y ou H arry P otte r? ”
Harry d id n ot r e co gniz e t h e m an ’s v oic e. T hen a w om an s h oute d .
“T hey ’v e c ra sh ed , T ed ! C ra sh ed i n t h e g ard en !”
Harry ’s h ead w as s w im min g.
“H ag rid ,” h e r e p eate d s tu pid ly , a n d h is k nees b uck le d .
The nex t th in g he knew , he w as ly in g on his back on w hat fe lt lik e
c u sh io ns, w ith a b urn in g s e n sa tio n in h is rib s a n d rig ht a rm . H is m is sin g to oth
h ad b een r e g ro w n. T he s c ar o n h is f o re h ead w as s till t h ro bbin g.
“H ag rid ?”
He o pen ed h is e y es a n d s a w th at h e w as ly in g o n a s o fa in a n u nfa m ilia r,
l a m plit s ittin g r o om . H is r u ck sa ck l a y o n t h e f lo or a s h ort d is ta n ce a w ay, w et a n d
m uddy. A f a ir - h air e d , b ig -b ellie d m an w as w atc h in g H arry a n xio usly .
“H ag rid ’s f in e, s o n,” s a id th e m an , “ th e w if e ’s s e ein g to h im n ow . H ow a re
y ou fe elin g? A nyth in g e ls e b ro ken ? I’v e fix ed y our rib s, y our to oth , a n d y our
a rm . I ’m T ed , b y t h e w ay, T ed T onks— Dora ’s f a th er.”
Harry s a t u p to o q uic k ly . L ig hts p opped in f ro nt o f h is e y es a n d h e f e lt s ic k
a n d g id dy.
“V old em ort— ”
“E asy , now ,” sa id T ed T onks, pla cin g a han d on H arry ’s sh ould er an d
p ush in g h im b ack a g ain st th e c u sh io ns. “ T hat w as a n asty c ra sh y ou ju st h ad .
W hat h ap pen ed , a n yw ay ? S om eth in g g o w ro ng w ith th e b ik e? A rth ur W easle y
o vers tr e tc h h im se lf a g ain , h im a n d h is M uggle c o ntr a p tio ns? ”
“N o,” sa id H arry , a s h is sc ar p uls e d lik e a n o pen w ound. “ D eath E ate rs ,
l o ad s o f t h em — we w ere c h ase d — ”
“D eath E ate rs ? ” sa id T ed sh arp ly . “W hat d’y ou m ean , D eath E ate rs ? I
t h ought t h ey d id n’t k now y ou w ere b ein g m oved t o nig ht, I t h ought— ”

“T hey k new ,” s a id H arry .
Ted T onks lo oked u p a t th e c eilin g a s th ough h e c o uld s e e th ro ugh it to th e
sk y a b ove.
“W ell, w e k now o ur p ro te ctiv e c h arm s h old , t h en , d on’t w e? T hey s h ould n’t
be a b le t o g et w ith in a h undre d y ard s o f t h e p la ce i n a n y d ir e ctio n.”
Now H arry u nders to od w hy V old em ort h ad v an is h ed ; it h ad b een a t th e
poin t w hen th e m oto rb ik e c ro sse d th e b arrie r o f th e O rd er’s c h arm s. H e o nly
hoped th ey w ould c o ntin ue to w ork . H e im ag in ed V old em ort, a h undre d y ard s
ab ove th em a s th ey s p oke, lo okin g f o r a w ay to p en etr a te w hat H arry v is u aliz ed
as a g re at t r a n sp are n t b ubble .
He s w ung h is le g s o ff th e s o fa ; h e n eed ed to s e e H ag rid w ith h is o w n e y es
befo re h e w ould b elie v e th at h e w as a liv e. H e h ad b are ly sto od u p, h ow ev er,
when a d oor o pen ed a n d H ag rid s q ueezed th ro ugh it, h is fa ce c o vere d in m ud
an d b lo od, l im pin g a l ittle b ut m ir a cu lo usly a liv e.
“H arry !” K nock in g o ver tw o d elic ate ta b le s a n d a n a sp id is tr a , h e c o vere d
th e flo or b etw een th em in tw o s tr id es a n d p ulle d H arry in to a h ug th at n early
cra ck ed h is n ew ly r e p air e d r ib s. “ B lim ey, H arry , h ow d id y eh g et o ut o ’ th at? I
th ought w e w ere b oth g oners .”
“Y eah , m e t o o. I c an ’t b elie v e— ”
Harry b ro ke o ff . H e h ad ju st n otic ed th e w om an w ho h ad e n te re d th e r o om
beh in d H ag rid .
“Y ou!” h e s h oute d , a n d h e t h ru st h is h an d i n to h is p ock et, b ut i t w as e m pty .
“Y our w an d’s h ere , s o n,” s a id T ed , ta p pin g it o n H arry ’s a rm . “ It f e ll r ig ht
besid e y ou, I p ic k ed i t u p… A nd t h at’s m y w if e y ou’re s h outin g a t.”
“O h, I ’m — I’m s o rry .”
As sh e m oved fo rw ard in to th e ro om , M rs . T onks’s re se m bla n ce to h er
sis te r B ella tr ix b ecam e m uch le ss p ro nounced : H er h air w as a lig ht, s o ft b ro w n
an d h er e y es w ere w id er a n d k in der. N ev erth ele ss, s h e lo oked a little h au ghty
afte r H arry ’s e x cla m atio n.
“W hat hap pen ed to our dau ghte r? ” sh e ask ed . “H ag rid sa id you w ere
am bush ed ; w here i s N ym phad ora ?”
“I d on’t k now ,” sa id H arry . “W e d on’t k now w hat h ap pen ed to an yone
els e .”
She a n d T ed e x ch an ged lo oks. A m ix tu re o f f e ar a n d g uilt g rip ped H arry a t
th e s ig ht o f t h eir e x pre ssio ns, i f a n y o f t h e o th ers h ad d ie d , i t w as h is f a u lt, a ll h is
fa u lt. H e h ad c o nse n te d t o t h e p la n , g iv en t h em h is h air …
“T he P ortk ey,” h e sa id , re m em berin g a ll o f a su dden . “ W e’v e g ot to g et
back to th e B urro w a n d fin d o ut— th en w e’ll b e a b le to s e n d y ou w ord , o r— or
Tonks w ill, o nce s h e’s — ”

“D ora ’ll b e o kay, ’ D ro m ed a,” s a id T ed . “ S he k now s h er s tu ff , s h e’s b een in
ple n ty o f tig ht s p ots w ith th e A uro rs . T he P ortk ey ’s th ro ugh h ere ,” h e a d ded to
Harry . “ It’s s u ppose d t o l e av e i n t h re e m in ute s, i f y ou w an t t o t a k e i t.”
“Y eah , w e do,” sa id H arry . H e se iz ed his ru ck sa ck , sw ung it onto his
sh ould ers . “ I— ”
He l o oked a t M rs . T onks, w an tin g t o a p olo giz e f o r t h e s ta te o f f e ar i n w hic h
he l e ft h er a n d f o r w hic h h e f e lt s o t e rrib ly r e sp onsib le , b ut n o w ord s o ccu rre d t o
him t h at h e d id n ot s e em h ollo w a n d i n sin cere .
“I’ll te ll T onks— Dora — to s e n d w ord , w hen s h e… T han ks f o r p atc h in g u s
up, t h an ks f o r e v ery th in g, I — ”
He w as g la d to le av e th e r o om a n d f o llo w T ed T onks a lo ng a s h ort h allw ay
an d in to a b ed ro om . H ag rid c am e a fte r th em , b en din g lo w to a v oid h ittin g h is
head o n t h e d oor l in te l.
“T here y ou g o, s o n. T hat’s t h e P ortk ey.”
Mr. T onks w as p oin tin g to a sm all, silv er- b ack ed h air b ru sh ly in g o n th e
dre ssin g t a b le .
“T han ks,” s a id H arry , r e ach in g o ut t o p la ce a f in ger o n i t, r e ad y t o l e av e.
“W ait a m om en t,” s a id H ag rid , l o okin g a ro und. “ H arry , w here ’s H ed w ig ?”
“S he… s h e g ot h it,” s a id H arry .
The re aliz atio n c ra sh ed o ver h im : H e fe lt a sh am ed o f h im se lf a s th e te ars
stu ng h is e y es. T he o w l h ad b een h is c o m pan io n, h is o ne g re at lin k w ith th e
mag ic al w orld w hen ev er h e h ad b een f o rc ed t o r e tu rn t o t h e D urs le y s.
Hag rid r e ach ed o ut a g re at h an d a n d p atte d h im p ain fu lly o n t h e s h ould er.
“N ev er m in d,” h e s a id g ru ff ly , “ N ev er m in d. S he h ad a g re at o ld l if e — ”
“H ag rid !” s a id T ed T onks w arn in gly , a s th e h air b ru sh g lo w ed b rig ht b lu e,
an d H ag rid o nly j u st g ot h is f o re fin ger t o i t i n t im e.
With a je rk b eh in d th e n av el as th ough an in vis ib le h ook an d lin e h ad
dra g ged him fo rw ard , Harry was pulle d in to noth in gness, sp in nin g
unco ntr o lla b ly , h is fin ger g lu ed to th e P ortk ey a s h e a n d H ag rid h urtle d a w ay
fro m M r. T onks. S eco nd l a te r, H arry ’s f e et s la m med o nto h ard g ro und a n d h e f e ll
onto h is h an ds a n d k nees i n t h e y ard o f t h e B urro w . H e h eard s c re am s. T hro w in g
asid e t h e n o l o nger g lo w in g h air b ru sh , H arry s to od u p, s w ay in g s lig htly , a n d s a w
Mrs . W easle y a n d G in ny ru nnin g d ow n th e s te p s b y th e b ack d oor a s H ag rid ,
who h ad a ls o c o lla p se d o n l a n din g, c la m bere d l a b orio usly t o h is f e et.
“H arry ? Y ou a re th e re al H arry ? W hat h ap pen ed ? W here a re th e o th ers ? ”
crie d M rs . W easle y.
“W hat d ’y ou m ean ? I s n ’t a n yone e ls e b ack ?” H arry p an te d .
The a n sw er w as c le arly e tc h ed i n M rs . W easle y ’s p ale f a ce.
“T he D eath Eate rs w ere w aitin g fo r us,” H arry to ld her, “W e w ere

su rro unded th e m om en t w e to ok o ff — th ey k new it w as to nig ht— I d on’t k now
what h ap pen ed to a n yone e ls e , f o ur o f th em c h ase d u s, it w as a ll w e c o uld d o to
get a w ay, a n d t h en V old em ort c au ght u p w ith u s— ”
He co uld h ear th e se lf -ju stif y in g n ote in h is v oic e, th e p le a fo r h er to
unders ta n d w hy h e d id n ot k now w hat h ad h ap pen ed t o h er s o ns, b ut—
“T han k g oodness y ou’re a ll r ig ht,” s h e s a id , p ullin g h im in to a h ug h e d id
not f e el h e d ese rv ed .
“H av en ’t g o’ a n y b ra n dy, h av e y eh , M olly ?” a sk ed H ag rid a little s h ak ily ,
“F er m ed ic in al p urp ose s? ”
She c o uld h av e s u m moned it b y m ag ic , b ut a s s h e h urrie d b ack to w ard th e
cro oked h ouse , H arry k new t h at s h e w an te d t o h id e h er f a ce. H e t u rn ed t o G in ny
an d s h e a n sw ere d h is u nsp oken p le a f o r i n fo rm atio n a t o nce.
“R on a n d T onks s h ould h av e b een b ack f ir s t, b ut th ey m is se d th eir P ortk ey,
it c am e b ack w ith out th em ,” s h e s a id , p oin tin g a t a ru sty o il c an ly in g o n th e
gro und n earb y. “ A nd th at o ne,” s h e p oin te d a t a n a n cie n t s n eak er, “ sh ould h av e
been D ad a n d F re d ’s , th ey w ere s u ppose d to b e s e co nd. Y ou a n d H ag rid w ere
th ir d a n d,” s h e c h eck ed h er w atc h , “ if th ey m ad e it, G eo rg e a n d L upin o ught to
be b ack i n a b out a m in ute .”
Mrs . W easle y r e ap peare d c arry in g a b ottle o f b ra n dy, w hic h s h e h an ded to
Hag rid . H e u nco rk ed i t a n d d ra n k i t s tr a ig ht d ow n i n o ne.
“M um !” s h oute d G in ny p oin tin g t o a s p ot s e v era l f e et a w ay.
A b lu e lig ht h ad a p peare d in th e d ark ness: I t g re w la rg er a n d b rig hte r, a n d
Lupin a n d G eo rg e a p peare d , s p in nin g a n d th en f a llin g. H arry k new im med ia te ly
th at th ere w as so m eth in g w ro ng: L upin w as su pportin g G eo rg e, w ho w as
unco nsc io us a n d w hose f a ce w as c o vere d i n b lo od.
Harry r a n f o rw ard a n d s e iz ed G eo rg e’s l e g s. T ogeth er, h e a n d L upin c arrie d
Geo rg e in to th e h ouse a n d th ro ugh th e k itc h en to th e liv in g ro om , w here th ey
la id h im o n th e s o fa . A s th e la m plig ht f e ll a cro ss G eo rg e’s h ead , G in ny g asp ed
an d H arry ’s s to m ach lu rc h ed : O ne o f G eo rg e’s e ars w as m is sin g. T he s id e o f h is
head a n d n eck w ere d re n ch ed i n w et, s h ock in gly s c arle t b lo od.
No s o oner h ad M rs . W easle y b en t o ver h er s o n t h at L upin g ra b bed H arry b y
th e u pper a rm a n d d ra g ged h im , n one to o g en tly , b ack in to th e k itc h en , w here
Hag rid w as s till a tte m ptin g t o e ase h is b ulk t h ro ugh t h e b ack d oor.
“O i! ” s a id H ag rid i n dig nan tly , “ L e’ g o o f h im ! L e’ g o o f H arry !”
Lupin i g nore d h im .
“W hat c re atu re s a t in th e c o rn er th e f ir s t tim e th at H arry P otte r v is ite d m y
off ic e a t H ogw arts ? ” h e s a id , g iv in g H arry a s m all s h ak e. “ A nsw er m e!”
“A — a G rin dylo w i n a t a n k, w asn ’t i t? ”
Lupin r e le ase d H arry a n d f e ll b ack a g ain st a k itc h en c u pboard .

“W ha’ w as t h a’ a b out? ” r o are d H ag rid .
“I’m so rry , H arry , b ut I h ad to c h eck ,” sa id L upin te rs e ly . “ W e’v e b een
betr a y ed . V old em ort k new th at y ou w ere b ein g m oved to nig ht an d th e o nly
peo ple w ho c o uld h av e to ld h im w ere d ir e ctly in volv ed in th e p la n . Y ou m ig ht
hav e b een a n i m posto r.”
“S o w hy a re n ’ y ou c h eck in ’ m e?” p an te d H ag rid , s till s tr u gglin g w ith th e
door.
“Y ou’re half -g ia n t,” sa id L upin , lo okin g up at H ag rid . “T he P oly ju ic e
Potio n i s d esig ned f o r h um an u se o nly .”
“N one o f th e O rd er w ould h av e to ld V old em ort w e w ere m ovin g to nig ht,”
sa id H arry . T he i d ea w as d re ad fu l t o h im , h e c o uld n ot b elie v e i t o f a n y o f t h em .
“V old em ort o nly c au ght u p w ith m e to w ard th e e n d, h e d id n’t k now w hic h o ne I
was i n t h e b eg in nin g. I f h e’d b een i n o n t h e p la n h e’d h av e k now n f ro m t h e s ta rt
I w as t h e o ne w ith H ag rid .”
“V old em ort cau ght u p w ith y ou?” sa id L upin sh arp ly . “W hat h ap pen ed ?
How d id y ou e sc ap e?”
Harry ex pla in ed how th e D eath E ate rs purs u in g th em had se em ed to
re co gniz e h im a s th e tr u e H arry , h ow th ey h ad a b an doned th e c h ase , h ow th ey
must h av e s u m moned V old em ort, w ho h ad a p peare d ju st b efo re h e a n d H ag rid
had r e ach ed t h e s a n ctu ary o f T onks’s p are n ts .
“T hey r e co gniz ed y ou? B ut h ow ? W hat h ad y ou d one?”
“I… ” H arry tr ie d to re m em ber; th e w hole jo urn ey se em ed lik e a b lu r o f
pan ic a n d c o nfu sio n. “ I s a w S ta n S hunpik e… Y ou k now , th e b lo ke w ho w as th e
co nducto r o n th e K nig ht B us? A nd I tr ie d to D is a rm h im in ste ad o f— well, h e
doesn ’t k now w hat h e’s d oin g, d oes h e? H e m ust b e I m periu se d !”
Lupin l o oked a g hast.
“H arry , th e tim e fo r D is a rm in g is p ast! T hese p eo ple a re tr y in g to c ap tu re
an d k ill y ou! A t l e ast S tu n i f y ou a re n ’t p re p are d t o k ill! ”
“W e w ere h undre d s o f f e et u p! S ta n ’s n ot h im se lf , a n d i f I S tu nned h im a n d
he’d f a lle n , h e’d h av e d ie d t h e s a m e a s i f I ’d u se d A vad a K ed av ra ! E xpellia rm us
sa v ed m e fro m V old em ort tw o y ears a g o,” H arry a d ded d efia n tly . L upin w as
re m in din g h im o f th e sn eerin g H uff le p uff Z ach aria s S m ith , w ho h ad je ere d a t
Harry f o r w an tin g t o t e ach D um ble d ore ’s A rm y h ow t o D is a rm .
“Y es, H arry ,” sa id L upin w ith p ain fu l re str a in t, “an d a g re at n um ber o f
Death E ate rs w itn esse d th at h ap pen in g! F org iv e m e, b ut it w as a v ery u nusu al
move th en , u nder th e im min en t th re at o f d eath . R ep eatin g it to nig ht in fro nt o f
Death E ate rs w ho e ith er w itn esse d o r h eard a b out th e f ir s t o ccasio n w as c lo se to
su ic id al! ”
“S o y ou t h in k I s h ould h av e k ille d S ta n S hunpik e?” s a id H arry a n grily .

“O f c o urs e n ot,” s a id L upin , “ b ut th e D eath E ate rs — fra n kly , m ost p eo ple !
—would h av e e x pecte d y ou t o a tta ck b ack ! E xpellia rm us i s a u se fu l s p ell, H arry ,
but th e D eath E ate rs s e em to th in k it is y our s ig natu re m ove, a n d I u rg e y ou n ot
to l e t i t b eco m e s o !”
Lupin w as m ak in g H arry fe el id io tic , an d y et th ere w as still a g ra in o f
defia n ce i n sid e h im .
“I w on’t b la st p eo ple o ut o f m y w ay j u st b ecau se t h ey ’re t h ere ,” s a id H arry ,
“T hat’s V old em ort’s j o b.”
Lupin ’s re to rt w as lo st: F in ally s u cceed in g in s q ueezin g th ro ugh th e d oor,
Hag rid s ta g gere d to a c h air a n d s a t d ow n; it c o lla p se d b en eath h im . I g norin g h is
min gle d o ath s a n d a p olo gie s, H arry a d dre sse d L upin a g ain .
“W ill G eo rg e b e o kay ?”
All L upin ’s f ru str a tio n w ith H arry s e em ed t o d ra in a w ay a t t h e q uestio n.
“I th in k s o , a lth ough th ere ’s n o c h an ce o f re p la cin g h is e ar, n ot w hen it’s
been c u rs e d o ff — ”
There w as a s c u ff lin g fro m o uts id e. L upin d iv ed fo r th e b ack d oor; H arry
le ap t o ver H ag rid ’s l e g s a n d s p rin te d i n to t h e y ard .
Tw o fig ure s h ad a p peare d in th e y ard , a n d a s H arry ra n to w ard th em h e
re aliz ed th ey w ere H erm io ne, n ow re tu rn in g to h er n orm al ap peara n ce, an d
Kin gsle y, b oth c lu tc h in g a b en t c o at h an ger, H erm io ne f lu ng h ers e lf in to H arry ’s
arm s, but K in gsle y sh ow ed no ple asu re at th e sig ht of an y of th em . O ver
Herm io ne’s s h ould er H arry s a w h im r a is e h is w an d a n d p oin t i t a t L upin ’s c h est.
“T he l a st w ord s A lb us D um ble d ore s p oke t o t h e p air o f u s!”
“‘H arry i s t h e b est h ope w e h av e. T ru st h im ,’ ” s a id L upin c alm ly .
Kin gsle y tu rn ed his w an d on H arry , but Lupin sa id , “It’s him , I’v e
ch eck ed !”
“A ll rig ht, all rig ht! ” sa id K in gsle y, sto w in g h is w an d b ack b en eath h is
clo ak , “ B ut s o m eb ody b etr a y ed u s! T hey k new , t h ey k new i t w as t o nig ht! ”
“S o it s e em s,” r e p lie d L upin , “ b ut a p pare n tly th ey d id n ot r e aliz e th at th ere
would b e s e v en H arry s.”
“S m all c o m fo rt! ” s n arle d K in gsle y. “ W ho e ls e i s b ack ?”
“O nly H arry , H ag rid , G eo rg e, a n d m e.”
Herm io ne s tif le d a l ittle m oan b eh in d h er h an d.
“W hat h ap pen ed t o y ou?” L upin a sk ed K in gsle y.
“F ollo w ed b y fiv e, in ju re d tw o, m ig ht’ v e k ille d o ne,” K in gsle y re ele d o ff ,
“an d w e s a w Y ou-K now -W ho a s w ell, h e jo in ed th e c h ase h alf w ay th ro ugh b ut
van is h ed p re tty q uic k ly . R em us, h e c an — ”
“F ly ,” s u pplie d H arry . “ I s a w h im t o o, h e c am e a fte r H ag rid a n d m e.”
“S o t h at’s w hy h e l e ft, t o f o llo w y ou!” s a id K in gsle y, “ I c o uld n’t u nders ta n d

why h e’d v an is h ed . B ut w hat m ad e h im c h an ge t a rg ets ? ”
“H arry b eh av ed a l ittle t o o k in dly t o S ta n S hunpik e,” s a id L upin .
“S ta n ?” r e p eate d H erm io ne. “ B ut I t h ought h e w as i n A zk ab an ?”
Kin gsle y l e t o ut a m ir th le ss l a u gh.
“H erm io ne, th ere ’s o bvio usly b een a m ass b re ak out w hic h th e M in is tr y h as
hush ed u p. T ra v ers ’s h ood f e ll o ff w hen I c u rs e d h im , h e’s s u ppose d to b e in sid e
to o. B ut w hat h ap pen ed t o y ou, R em us? W here ’s G eo rg e?”
“H e l o st a n e ar,” s a id L upin .
“L ost a n — ?” r e p eate d H erm io ne i n a h ig h v oic e.
“S nap e’s w ork ,” s a id L upin .
“Snape? ”
s h oute d H arry . “ Y ou d id n’t s a y — ”
“H e lo st h is h ood d urin g th e c h ase . S ectu m se m pra w as a lw ay s a s p ecia lty
of S nap e’s . I w is h I c o uld s a y I ’d p aid h im b ack i n k in d, b ut i t w as a ll I c o uld d o
to k eep G eo rg e o n th e b ro om afte r h e w as in ju re d , h e w as lo sin g so m uch
blo od.”
Sile n ce fe ll b etw een th e fo ur o f th em a s th ey lo oked u p a t th e s k y. T here
was no sig n of m ovem en t; th e sta rs sta re d back , unblin kin g, in dif f e re n t,
unobsc u re d by fly in g frie n ds. W here w as R on? W here w ere F re d an d M r.
Weasle y ? W here w ere B ill, F le u r, T onks, M ad -E ye, a n d M undungus?
“H arry , g iv e u s a h an d!” c alle d H ag rid h oars e ly f ro m th e d oor, in w hic h h e
was stu ck a g ain . G la d o f so m eth in g to d o, H arry p ulle d h im fre e, th e h ead ed
th ro ugh th e e m pty k itc h en a n d b ack in to th e s ittin g ro om , w here M rs . W easle y
an d G in ny w ere still te n din g to G eo rg e. M rs . W easle y had sta u nch ed his
ble ed in g now , an d by th e la m plig ht H arry sa w a cle an gap in g hole w here
Geo rg e’s e ar h ad b een .
“H ow i s h e?”
Mrs . W easle y l o oked a ro und a n d s a id , “ I c an ’t m ak e i t g ro w b ack , n ot w hen
it’s b een re m oved b y D ark M ag ic . B ut it c o uld ’v e b een s o m uch w ors e … H e’s
aliv e.”
“Y eah ,” s a id H arry . “ T han k G od.”
“D id I h ear s o m eo ne e ls e i n t h e y ard ?” G in ny a sk ed .
“H erm io ne a n d K in gsle y,” s a id H arry .
“T han k g oodness,” G in ny w his p ere d . T hey lo oked at each o th er; H arry
wan te d to h ug h er, h old o n to h er; h e d id n ot e v en c are m uch th at M rs . W easle y
was th ere , b ut b efo re h e c o uld a ct o n th e im puls e , th ere w as a g re at c ra sh f ro m
th e k itc h en .
“I’ll p ro ve w ho I a m , K in gsle y, a fte r I ’v e s e en m y s o n, n ow b ack o ff if y ou
know w hat’s g ood f o r y ou!”
Harry h ad n ev er h eard M r. W easle y s h out l ik e t h at b efo re . H e b urs t i n to t h e

liv in g r o om , h is b ald p atc h g le am in g w ith s w eat, h is s p ecta cle s a sk ew , F re d r ig ht
beh in d h im , b oth p ale b ut u nin ju re d .
“A rth ur!” s o bbed M rs . W easle y. “ O h t h an k g oodness!”
“H ow i s h e?”
Mr. W easle y d ro pped to h is k nees b esid e G eo rg e. F or th e fir s t tim e s in ce
Harry h ad k now n h im , F re d s e em ed t o b e l o st f o r w ord s. H e g ap ed o ver t h e b ack
of t h e s o fa a t h is t w in ’s w ound a s i f h e c o uld n ot b elie v e w hat h e w as s e ein g.
Perh ap s ro use d b y th e so und o f F re d an d th eir fa th er’s arriv al, G eo rg e
stir re d .
“H ow d o y ou f e el, G eo rg ie ?” w his p ere d M rs . W easle y.
Geo rg e’s f in gers g ro ped f o r t h e s id e o f h is h ead .
“S ain tlik e,” h e m urm ure d .
“W hat’s w ro ng w ith h im ?” c ro ak ed F re d , lo okin g te rrif ie d . “ Is h is m in d
aff e cte d ?”
“S ain tlik e,” re p eate d G eo rg e, open in g his ey es an d lo okin g up at his
bro th er. “ Y ou s e e… I ’m h oly .
Hole y,
F re d , g ed dit? ”
Mrs . W easle y s o bbed h ard er t h an e v er. C olo r f lo oded F re d ’s p ale f a ce.
“P ath etic ,” h e to ld G eo rg e. “ P ath etic ! W ith th e w hole w id e w orld o f e ar-
re la te d h um or b efo re y ou, y ou g o f o r
hole y? ”
“A h w ell,” s a id G eo rg e, g rin nin g a t h is te ar- s o ak ed m oth er. “ Y ou’ll b e a b le
to t e ll u s a p art n ow , a n yw ay, M um .”
He l o oked a ro und.
“H i, H arry — you a re H arry , r ig ht? ”
“Y eah , I a m ,” s a id H arry , m ovin g c lo se r t o t h e s o fa .
“W ell, a t le ast w e g ot y ou b ack o kay,” s a id G eo rg e. “ W hy a re n ’t R on a n d
Bill h uddle d r o und m y s ic k bed ?”
“T hey ’re n ot b ack y et, G eo rg e,” sa id M rs . W easle y. G eo rg e’s g rin fa d ed .
Harry g la n ced a t G in ny a n d m otio ned t o h er t o a cco m pan y h im b ack o uts id e. A s
th ey w alk ed t h ro ugh t h e k itc h en s h e s a id i n a l o w v oic e.
“R on a n d T onks s h ould b e b ack b y n ow . T hey d id n’t h av e a lo ng jo urn ey ;
Auntie M urie l’s n ot t h at f a r f ro m h ere .”
Harry sa id n oth in g. H e h ad b een tr y in g to k eep fe ar at b ay ev er sin ce
re ach in g th e B urro w , b ut n ow it e n velo ped h im , s e em in g to c ra w l o ver h is s k in ,
th ro bbin g in h is c h est, c lo ggin g h is th ro at. A s th ey w alk ed d ow n th e b ack s te p s
in to t h e d ark y ard , G in ny t o ok h is h an d.
Kin gsle y w as s tr id in g b ack w ard a n d f o rw ard , g la n cin g u p a t th e s k y e v ery
tim e h e tu rn ed . H arry w as re m in ded o f U ncle V ern on p acin g th e liv in g ro om a
millio n y ears ag o. H ag rid , H erm io ne, an d L upin sto od sh ould er to sh ould er,
gazin g u pw ard in s ile n ce. N one o f th em lo oked a ro und w hen H arry a n d G in ny

jo in ed t h eir s ile n t v ig il.
The m in ute s str e tc h ed in to w hat m ig ht as w ell hav e been years . T he
slig hte st b re ath o f w in d m ad e th em a ll ju m p a n d tu rn to w ard th e w his p erin g
bush o r tr e e in th e h ope th at o ne o f th e m is sin g O rd er m em bers m ig ht le ap
unsc ath ed f ro m i ts l e av es—
And t h en a b ro om m ate ria liz ed d ir e ctly a b ove t h em a n d s tr e ak ed t o w ard t h e
gro und—
“It’s t h em !” s c re am ed H erm io ne.
Tonks l a n ded i n a l o ng s k id t h at s e n t e arth a n d p eb ble s e v ery w here .
“R em us!” T onks c rie d a s s h e s ta g gere d o ff th e b ro om in to L upin ’s a rm s.
His fa ce w as se t a n d w hite : H e se em ed u nab le to sp eak , R on tr ip ped d azed ly
to w ard H arry a n d H erm io ne.
“Y ou’re o kay,” h e m um ble d , b efo re H erm io ne f le w a t h im a n d h ugged h im
tig htly .
“I t h ought— I t h ought— ”
“’M a ll r ig ht,” s a id R on, p attin g h er o n t h e b ack . “ ’M f in e.”
“R on w as g re at,” sa id T onks w arm ly , re lin quis h in g h er h old o n L upin .
“W onderfu l. S tu nned o ne o f th e D eath E ate rs , str a ig ht to th e h ead , a n d w hen
you’re a im in g a t a m ovin g t a rg et f ro m a f ly in g b ro om — ”
“Y ou d id ?” s a id H erm io ne, g azin g u p a t R on w ith h er a rm s s till a ro und h is
neck .
“A lw ay s th e to ne o f s u rp ris e ,” h e s a id a little g ru m pily , b re ak in g f re e. “ A re
we t h e l a st b ack ?”
“N o,” s a id G in ny, “ w e’re s till w aitin g f o r B ill a n d F le u r a n d M ad -E ye a n d
Mundungus. I ’m g oin g t o t e ll M um a n d D ad y ou’re o kay, R on— ”
She r a n b ack i n sid e.
“S o w hat kep t you? W hat hap pen ed ?” L upin so unded alm ost an gry at
Tonks.
“B ella tr ix ,” s a id T onks. “ S he w an ts m e q uite a s m uch a s s h e w an ts H arry ,
Rem us, s h e t r ie d v ery h ard t o k ill m e. I j u st w is h I ’d g ot h er, I o w e B ella tr ix . B ut
we d efin ite ly i n ju re d R odolp hus… T hen w e g ot t o R on’s A untie M urie l’s a n d w e
mis se d o ur P ortk ey a n d s h e w as f u ssin g o ver u s— ”
A m usc le w as ju m pin g in L upin ’s ja w . H e n odded , b ut s e em ed u nab le to
sa y a n yth in g e ls e .
“S o w hat h ap pen ed to y ou lo t? ” T onks a sk ed , tu rn in g to H arry , H erm io ne,
an d K in gsle y.
They re co unte d th e sto rie s of th eir ow n jo urn ey s, but all th e tim e th e
co ntin ued a b se n ce o f B ill, F le u r, M ad -E ye, a n d M undungus s e em ed to lie u pon
th em l ik e a f ro st, i ts i c y b ite h ard er a n d h ard er t o i g nore .

“I’m g oin g to h av e to g et b ack to D ow nin g S tr e et, I s h ould h av e b een th ere
an h our a g o,” s a id K in gsle y f in ally , a fte r a l a st s w eep in g g aze a t t h e s k y. “ L et m e
know w hen t h ey ’re b ack .”
Lupin n odded . W ith a w av e to th e o th ers , K in gsle y w alk ed a w ay in to th e
dark ness to w ard th e g ate . H arry th ought h e h eard th e fa in te st
pop
a s K in gsle y
Dis a p para te d j u st b ey ond t h e B urro w ’s b oundarie s.
Mr. an d M rs . W easle y cam e ra cin g d ow n th e b ack ste p s, G in ny b eh in d
th em . B oth p are n ts h ugged R on b efo re t u rn in g t o L upin a n d T onks.
“T han k y ou,” s a id M rs . W easle y, “ fo r o ur s o ns.”
“D on’t b e s illy , M olly ,” s a id T onks a t o nce.
“H ow ’s G eo rg e?” a sk ed L upin .
“W hat’s w ro ng w ith h im ?” p ip ed u p R on.
“H e’s l o st— ”
But t h e e n d o f M rs . W easle y ’s s e n te n ce w as d ro w ned i n a g en era l o utc ry . A
th estr a l h ad j u st s o are d i n to s ig ht a n d l a n ded a f e w f e et f ro m t h em . B ill a n d F le u r
slid f ro m i ts b ack , w in dsw ep t b ut u nhurt.
“B ill! T han k G od, t h an k G od— ”
Mrs . W easle y ra n fo rw ard , but th e hug B ill besto w ed upon her w as
perfu ncto ry . L ookin g d ir e ctly a t h is f a th er, h e s a id , “ M ad -E ye’s d ead .”
Nobody s p oke, n obody m oved . H arry f e lt a s th ough s o m eth in g in sid e h im
was f a llin g, f a llin g t h ro ugh t h e e arth , l e av in g h im f o re v er.
“W e s a w it,” s a id B ill; F le u r n odded , te ar tr a ck s g litte rin g o n h er c h eek s in
th e lig ht fro m th e k itc h en w in dow . “ It h ap pen ed ju st a fte r w e b ro ke o ut o f th e
cir c le : M ad -E ye an d D ung w ere clo se by us, th ey w ere head in g north to o.
Vold em ort— he c an f ly — wen t s tr a ig ht f o r t h em . D ung p an ic k ed , I h eard h im c ry
out, M ad -E ye t r ie d t o s to p h im , b ut h e D is a p para te d . V old em ort’s c u rs e h it M ad -
Eye f u ll in th e f a ce, h e f e ll b ack w ard o ff h is b ro om a n d— th ere w as n oth in g w e
co uld d o, n oth in g, w e h ad h alf a d ozen o f t h em o n o ur o w n t a il— ”
Bill’s v oic e b ro ke.
“O f c o urs e y ou c o uld n’t h av e d one a n yth in g,” s a id L upin .
They a ll s to od lo okin g a t e ach o th er. H arry c o uld n ot q uite c o m pre h en d it.
Mad -E ye d ead ; it c o uld n ot b e… M ad -E ye, s o to ugh, s o b ra v e, th e c o nsu m mate
su rv iv or…
At la st it s e em ed to d aw n o n e v ery one, th ough n obody s a id it, th at th ere
was n o p oin t o f w aitin g in th e y ard a n ym ore , a n d in s ile n ce th ey fo llo w ed M r.
an d M rs . W easle y b ack in to th e B urro w , a n d in to th e liv in g ro om , w here F re d
an d G eo rg e w ere l a u ghin g t o geth er.
“W hat’s w ro ng?” s a id F re d , s c an nin g th eir fa ces a s th ey e n te re d , “ W hat’s
hap pen ed ? W ho’s — ?”

“M ad -E ye,” s a id M r. W easle y, “ D ead .”
The t w in s’ g rin s t u rn ed t o g rim aces o f s h ock . N obody s e em ed t o k now w hat
to d o. T onks w as c ry in g s ile n tly i n to a h an dkerc h ie f: S he h ad b een c lo se t o M ad -
Eye, H arry k new , h is f a v orite a n d h is p ro té g é a t th e M in is tr y o f M ag ic . H ag rid ,
who h ad sa t d ow n o n th e flo or in th e c o rn er w here h e h ad m ost sp ace, w as
dab bin g a t h is e y es w ith h is t a b le clo th -s iz ed h an dkerc h ie f.
Bill w alk ed o ver to t h e s id eb oard a n d p ulle d o ut a b ottle o f f ir e -w his k y a n d
so m e g la sse s.
“H ere ,” h e s a id , a n d w ith a w av e o f h is w an d, h e s e n t tw elv e fu ll g la sse s
so arin g th ro ugh th e ro om to e ach o f th em , h old in g th e th ir te en th a lo ft. “ M ad -
Eye.”
“M ad -E ye,” t h ey a ll s a id , a n d d ra n k.
“M ad -E ye,” e ch oed H ag rid , a l ittle l a te , w ith a h ic cu p.
The fir e w his k y s e are d H arry ’s th ro at. It s e em ed to b urn fe elin g b ack in to
him , d is p ellin g th e n um bness a n d s e n se o f u nre ality fir in g h im w ith s o m eth in g
th at w as l ik e c o ura g e.
“S o M undungus d is a p peare d ?” s a id L upin , w ho h ad d ra in ed h is o w n g la ss
in o ne.
The a tm osp here c h an ged a t o nce. E very body l o oked t e n se , w atc h in g L upin ,
both w an tin g h im to g o o n, it s e em ed to H arry , a n d s lig htly a fra id o f w hat th ey
mig ht h ear.
“I k now w hat y ou’re th in kin g,” s a id B ill, “ an d I w ondere d th at to o, o n th e
way back here , becau se th ey se em ed to be ex pectin g us, did n’t th ey ? B ut
Mundungus can ’t h av e b etr a y ed u s. T hey d id n’t k now th ere w ould b e se v en
Harry s, th at co nfu se d th em th e m om en t w e ap peare d , an d in case you’v e
fo rg otte n , it w as M undungus w ho s u ggeste d th at little b it o f s k ulld uggery . W hy
would n’t h e h av e to ld th em th e e sse n tia l p oin t? I th in k D ung p an ic k ed , it’s a s
sim ple a s t h at. H e d id n’t w an t t o c o m e i n t h e f ir s t p la ce, b ut M ad -E ye m ad e h im ,
an d Y ou-K now -W ho w en t str a ig ht fo r th em . It w as en ough to m ak e an yone
pan ic .”
“Y ou-K now -W ho acte d ex actly as M ad -E ye ex pecte d him to ,” sn if f e d
Tonks. “ M ad -E ye s a id h e’d e x pect th e r e al H arry to b e w ith th e to ughest, m ost
sk ille d A uro rs . H e c h ase d M ad -E ye f ir s t, a n d w hen M undungus g av e t h em a w ay
he s w itc h ed t o K in gsle y … ”
“Y es, an d zat eez all v ery g ood,” sn ap ped F le u r, “b ut still eet d oes n ot
ex pla in ’ o w z ey k now w e w ere m ovin g ’ A rry t o nig ht, d oes e et? S om eb ody m ust
’a v e been care le ss. S om eb ody le t slip ze date to an outs id er. It is ze only
ex pla n atio n f o r z em k now in g z e d ate b ut n ot z e ’ o le p la n .”
She g la re d a ro und a t th em a ll, te ar tr a ck s s till e tc h ed o n h er b eau tif u l f a ce,

sile n tly d arin g a n y o f th em to c o ntr a d ic t h er. N obody d id . T he o nly so und to
bre ak th e s ile n ce w as th at o f H ag rid h ic cu ppin g fro m b eh in d h is h an dkerc h ie f.
Harry g la n ced a t H ag rid , w ho h ad ju st ris k ed h is o w n lif e to sa v e H arry ’s —
Hag rid , w hom h e l o ved , w hom h e t r u ste d , w ho h ad o nce b een t r ic k ed i n to g iv in g
Vold em ort c ru cia l i n fo rm atio n i n e x ch an ge f o r a d ra g on’s e g g…
“N o,” H arry sa id alo ud, an d th ey all lo oked at him , su rp ris e d : The
fir e w his k y s e em ed to h av e a m plif ie d h is v oic e. “ I m ean … if s o m eb ody m ad e a
mis ta k e,” H arry w en t o n, “ an d l e t s o m eth in g s lip , I k now t h ey d id n’t m ean t o d o
it. It’s n ot th eir fa u lt,” h e re p eate d , a g ain a little lo uder th an h e w ould u su ally
hav e sp oken . “ W e’v e g ot to tr u st e ach o th er. I tr u st a ll o f y ou, I d on’t th in k
an yone i n t h is r o om w ould e v er s e ll m e t o V old em ort.”
More s ile n ce f o llo w ed h is w ord s. T hey w ere a ll l o okin g a t h im ; H arry f e lt a
little h ot a g ain , a n d d ra n k so m e m ore fir e w his k y fo r so m eth in g to d o. A s h e
dra n k, he th ought of M ad -E ye. M ad -E ye had alw ay s been sc ath in g ab out
Dum ble d ore ’s w illin gness t o t r u st p eo ple .
“W ell s a id , H arry ,” s a id F re d u nex pecte d ly .
“Y ear, ’e ar, ’e ar,” sa id G eo rg e, w ith h alf a g la n ce a t F re d , th e c o rn er o f
whose m outh t w itc h ed .
Lupin w as w earin g a n o dd e x pre ssio n a s h e l o oked a t H arry . I t w as c lo se t o
pity in g.
“Y ou t h in k I ’m a f o ol? ” d em an ded H arry .
“N o, I t h in k y ou’re l ik e J a m es,” s a id L upin , “ w ho w ould h av e r e g ard ed i t a s
th e h eig ht o f d is h onor t o m is tr u st h is f rie n ds.”
Harry k new w hat L upin w as g ettin g a t: t h at h is f a th er h ad b een b etr a y ed b y
his frie n d P ete r P ettig re w . H e fe lt ir ra tio nally a n gry . H e w an te d to a rg ue, b ut
Lupin h ad tu rn ed a w ay fro m h im , se t d ow n h is g la ss u pon a sid e ta b le , a n d
ad dre sse d B ill, “ T here ’s w ork t o d o. I c an a sk K in gsle y w heth er— ”
“N o,” s a id B ill a t o nce, “ I’ll d o i t, I ’ll c o m e.”
“W here a re y ou g oin g?” s a id T onks a n d F le u r t o geth er.
“M ad -E ye’s b ody,” s a id L upin . “ W e n eed t o r e co ver i t.”
“C an ’t i t— ?” b eg an M rs . W easle y w ith a n a p pealin g l o ok a t B ill.
“W ait? ” s a id B ill, “ N ot u nle ss y ou’d r a th er t h e D eath E ate rs t o ok i t? ”
Nobody s p oke. L upin a n d B ill s a id g ood-b ye a n d l e ft.
The re st of th em now dro pped in to ch air s , all ex cep t fo r H arry , w ho
re m ain ed s ta n din g. T he s u dden ness a n d c o m ple te n ess o f d eath w as w ith th em
lik e a p re se n ce.
“I’v e g ot t o g o t o o,” s a id H arry .
Ten p air s o f s ta rtle d e y es l o oked a t h im .
“D on’t b e s illy , H arry ,” s a id M rs . W easle y, “ W hat a re y ou t a lk in g a b out? ”

“I c an ’t s ta y h ere .”
He r u bbed h is f o re h ead ; it w as p ric k lin g a g ain , h e h ad n ot h urt lik e th is f o r
more t h an a y ear.
“Y ou’re a ll i n d an ger w hile I ’m h ere . I d on’t w an t— ”
“B ut d on’t b e s o s illy !” s a id M rs . W easle y. “ T he w hole p oin t o f t o nig ht w as
to g et y ou h ere s a fe ly , a n d th an k g oodness it w ork ed . A nd F le u r’s a g re ed to g et
marrie d h ere r a th er th an in F ra n ce, w e’v e a rra n ged e v ery th in g s o th at w e c an a ll
sta y t o geth er a n d l o ok a fte r y ou— ”
She d id n ot u nders ta n d; s h e w as m ak in g h im f e el w ors e , n ot b ette r.
“If V old em ort f in ds o ut I ’m h ere — ”
“B ut w hy s h ould h e?” a sk ed M rs . W easle y.
“T here a re a d ozen p la ces y ou m ig ht b e n ow , H arry ,” sa id M r. W easle y.
“H e’s g ot n o w ay o f k now in g w hic h s a fe h ouse y ou’re i n .”
“It’s n ot m e I ’m w orrie d f o r!” s a id H arry .
“W e k now th at,” s a id M r. W easle y q uie tly , “ b ut it w ould m ak e o ur e ff o rts
to nig ht s e em r a th er p oin tle ss i f y ou l e ft.”
“Y er n ot g oin ’ a n yw here ,” g ro w le d H ag rid . “ B lim ey, H arry , a fte r a ll w e
wen ’ t h ro ugh t e r g et y ou h ere ?”
“Y eah , w hat a b out m y b le ed in g e ar? ” s a id G eo rg e, h ois tin g h im se lf u p o n
his c u sh io ns.
“I k now t h at— ”
“M ad -E ye w ould n’t w an t— ”
“I K NOW !” H arry b ello w ed .
He f e lt b ele ag uere d a n d b la ck m aile d . D id th ey th in k h e d id n ot k now w hat
th ey h ad d one fo r h im , d id n’t th ey u nders ta n d th at it w as fo r p re cis e ly th at
re aso n th at h e w an te d to g o n ow , b efo re th ey h ad to su ff e r a n y m ore o n h is
beh alf ? T here w as a lo ng a n d a w kw ard s ile n ce in w hic h h is s c ar c o ntin ued to
pric k le a n d t h ro b, a n d w hic h w as b ro ken a t l a st b y M rs . W easle y.
“W here ’s H ed w ig , H arry ?” sh e sa id c o ax in gly . “ W e c an p ut h er u p w ith
Pid w id geo n a n d g iv e h er s o m eth in g t o e at.”
His i n sid es c le n ch ed l ik e a f is t. H e c o uld n ot t e ll h er t h e t r u th . H e d ra n k t h e
la st o f h is f ir e w his k y t o a v oid a n sw erin g.
“W ait till it g ets o ut y eh d id it a g ain , H arry ,” s a id H ag rid . “ E sc ap ed h im ,
fo ught h im o ff w hen h e w as r ig ht o n t o p o f y eh !”
“It w asn ’t m e,” s a id H arry fla tly . “ It w as m y w an d. M y w an d a cte d o f its
ow n a cco rd .”
Afte r a f e w m om en ts , H erm io ne s a id g en tly , “ B ut th at’s im possib le , H arry .
You m ean t h at y ou d id m ag ic w ith out m ean in g t o ; y ou r e acte d i n stin ctiv ely .”
“N o,” sa id H arry . “ T he b ik e w as fa llin g, I c o uld n’t h av e to ld y ou w here

Vold em ort w as, b ut m y w an d s p un i n m y h an d a n d f o und h im a n d s h ot a s p ell a t
him , a n d i t w asn ’t e v en a s p ell I r e co gniz ed . I ’v e n ev er m ad e g old f la m es a p pear
befo re .”
“O fte n ,” s a id M r. W easle y, “ w hen y ou’re in a p re ssu re d s itu atio n y ou c an
pro duce m ag ic y ou n ev er d re am ed o f. S m all c h ild re n o fte n f in d, b efo re th ey ’re
tr a in ed — ”
“It w asn ’t l ik e t h at,” s a id H arry t h ro ugh g ritte d t e eth . H is s c ar w as b urn in g.
He f e lt a n gry a n d f ru str a te d ; h e h ate d th e id ea th at th ey w ere a ll im ag in in g h im
to h av e p ow er t o m atc h V old em ort’s .
No o ne s a id a n yth in g. H e k new th at th ey d id n ot b elie v e h im . N ow th at h e
cam e to th in k o f it, h e h ad n ev er h eard o f a w an d p erfo rm in g m ag ic o n its o w n
befo re .
His sc ar se are d w ith pain , it w as all he co uld do not to m oan alo ud.
Mutte rin g a b out f re sh a ir , h e s e t d ow n h is g la ss a n d l e ft t h e r o om .
As h e c ro sse d th e y ard , th e g re at sk ele ta l th estr a l lo oked u p— ru stle d its
en orm ous b atlik e w in gs, t h en r e su m ed i ts g ra zin g. H arry s to pped a t t h e g ate i n to
th e g ard en , s ta rin g o ut a t its o verg ro w n p la n ts , ru bbin g h is p oundin g fo re h ead
an d t h in kin g o f D um ble d ore .
Dum ble d ore w ould h av e b elie v ed h im , h e k new i t. D um ble d ore w ould h av e
know n how an d why Harry ’s wan d had acte d in dep en den tly , becau se
Dum ble d ore a lw ay s h ad th e a n sw ers ; h e h ad k now n a b out w an ds, h ad e x pla in ed
to Harry th e str a n ge co nnectio n th at ex is te d betw een his wan d an d
Vold em ort’s … B ut D um ble d ore , lik e M ad -E ye, lik e S ir iu s, lik e h is p are n ts , lik e
his p oor o w l, a ll w ere g one w here H arry c o uld n ev er t a lk t o t h em a g ain . H e f e lt a
burn in g i n h is t h ro at t h at h ad n oth in g t o d o w ith f ir e w his k y…
And th en , o ut o f n ow here , th e p ain in h is s c ar p eak ed . A s h e c lu tc h ed h is
fo re h ead a n d c lo se d h is e y es, a v oic e s c re am ed i n sid e h is h ead .
“Yo u t o ld m e t h e p ro ble m w ould b e s o lv ed b y u sin g a noth er’s w and!”
And in to h is m in d b urs t th e v is io n o f a n e m acia te d o ld m an ly in g in ra g s
upon a sto ne flo or, sc re am in g, a horrib le dra w n-o ut sc re am , a sc re am of
unen dura b le a g ony…
“N o! N o! I b eg y ou, I b eg y ou… ”
“Y ou l ie d t o L ord V old em ort, O lliv an der!”
“I d id n ot… I s w ear I d id n ot… ”
“Y ou s o ught t o h elp P otte r, t o h elp h im e sc ap e m e!”
“I s w ear I d id n ot… I b elie v ed a d if f e re n t w an d w ould w ork … ”
“E xpla in , t h en , w hat h ap pen ed . L uciu s’s w an d i s d estr o yed !”
“I c an not u nders ta n d… T he c o nnectio n… e x is ts o nly … b etw een y our tw o
wan ds… ”

“Lie s!”
“P le ase … I b eg y ou… ”
And H arry s a w th e w hite h an d r a is e its w an d a n d f e lt V old em ort’s s u rg e o f
vic io us a n ger, s a w t h e f ra il o ld m ain o n t h e f lo or w rith e i n a g ony—
“H arry ?”
It w as o ver a s q uic k ly a s it h ad c o m e: H arry s to od s h ak in g in th e d ark ness,
clu tc h in g th e g ate in to th e g ard en , h is h eart r a cin g, h is s c ar s till tin glin g. I t w as
se v era l m om en ts b efo re h e r e aliz ed t h at R on a n d H erm io ne w ere a t h is s id e.
“H arry , c o m e b ack in th e h ouse ,” H erm io ne w his p ere d , “ Y ou a re n ’t still
th in kin g o f l e av in g?”
“Y eah , y ou’v e g ot t o s ta y, m ate ,” s a id R on, t h um pin g H arry o n t h e b ack .
“A re you all rig ht? ” H erm io ne ask ed , clo se en ough now to lo ok in to
Harry ’s f a ce. “ Y ou l o ok a w fu l! ”
“W ell,” s a id H arry s h ak ily , “ I p ro bab ly l o ok b ette r t h an O lliv an der… ”
When h e h ad f in is h ed te llin g th em w hat h e h ad s e en , R on lo oked a p palle d ,
but H erm io ne d ow nrig ht t e rrif ie d .
“B ut it w as s u ppose d to h av e s to pped ! Y our s c ar— it w asn ’t s u ppose d to d o
th is an ym ore ! Y ou m ustn ’t le t th at co nnectio n open up ag ain — Dum ble d ore
wan te d y ou t o c lo se y our m in d!”
When h e d id n ot r e p ly , s h e g rip ped h is a rm .
“H arry , h e’s ta k in g o ver th e M in is tr y an d th e n ew sp ap ers an d h alf th e
Wiz ard in g w orld ! D on’t l e t h im i n sid e y our h ead t o o!”

6 . T H E G HOUL I N P A JA M AS
The sh ock of lo sin g M ad -E ye hung over th e house in th e day s th at
f o llo w ed ; H arry k ep t e x pectin g to s e e h im s tu m pin g in th ro ugh th e b ack d oor
l ik e th e o th er O rd er m em bers , w ho p asse d in a n d o ut to re la y n ew s. H arry fe lt
t h at n oth in g b ut a ctio n w ould a ssu ag e h is f e elin gs o f g uilt a n d g rie f a n d th at h e
o ught t o s e t o ut o n h is m is sio n t o f in d a n d d estr o y H orc ru xes a s s o on a s p ossib le .
“W ell, you can ’t do an yth in g ab out th e”— Ron m outh ed th e word
H orc ru xes—
“till y ou’re se v en te en . Y ou’v e still g ot th e T ra ce o n y ou. A nd w e
c an p la n h ere a s w ell a s a n yw here , c an ’t w e? O r,” h e d ro pped h is v oic e to a
w his p er, “ d ’y ou r e ck on y ou a lr e ad y k now w here t h e Y ou-K now -W hats a re ?”
“N o,” H arry a d m itte d .
“I th in k H erm io ne’s b een d oin g a b it o f r e se arc h ,” s a id R on. “ S he s a id s h e
w as s a v in g i t f o r w hen y ou g ot h ere .”
They w ere s ittin g a t th e b re ak fa st ta b le ; M r. W easle y a n d B ill h ad ju st le ft
f o r w ork . M rs . W easle y h ad g one u psta ir s to w ak e H erm io ne a n d G in ny, w hile
F le u r h ad d rif te d o ff t o t a k e a b ath .
“T he T ra ce’ll b re ak o n t h e t h ir ty -fir s t,” s a id H arry . “ T hat m ean s I o nly n eed
t o s ta y h ere f o ur d ay s. T hen I c an — ”
“F iv e d ay s,” R on c o rre cte d h im f ir m ly . “ W e’v e g ot to s ta y f o r th e w ed din g.
T hey ’ll k ill u s i f w e m is s i t.”
Harry u nders to od “ th ey ” t o m ean F le u r a n d M rs . W easle y.
“It’s o ne e x tr a d ay,” s a id R on, w hen H arry l o oked m utin ous.
“D on’t t h ey r e aliz e h ow i m porta n t— ?”
“’C ours e th ey d on’t,” sa id R on. “ T hey h av en ’t g ot a c lu e. A nd n ow y ou
m en tio n i t, I w an te d t o t a lk t o y ou a b out t h at.”
Ron g la n ced to w ard th e d oor in to th e h all to c h eck th at M rs . W easle y w as
n ot r e tu rn in g y et, t h en l e an ed i n c lo se r t o H arry .
“M um ’s b een t r y in g t o g et i t o ut o f H erm io ne a n d m e. W hat w e’re o ff t o d o.
S he’ll tr y y ou n ex t, s o b ra ce y ours e lf . D ad a n d L upin ’v e b oth a sk ed a s w ell, b ut
w hen w e s a id D um ble d ore t o ld y ou n ot t o t e ll a n yone e x cep t u s, t h ey d ro pped i t.
N ot M um , t h ough. S he’s d ete rm in ed .”
Ron’s pre d ic tio n cam e tr u e w ith in hours . Shortly befo re lu nch , M rs .
W easle y d eta ch ed H arry fro m th e o th ers b y a sk in g h im to h elp id en tif y a lo ne
m an ’s s o ck th at s h e th ought m ig ht h av e c o m e o ut o f h is r u ck sa ck . O nce s h e h ad
h im c o rn ere d i n t h e t in y s c u lle ry o ff t h e k itc h en , s h e s ta rte d .
“R on a n d H erm io ne s e em to th in k th at th e th re e o f y ou a re d ro ppin g o ut o f

Hogw arts ,” s h e b eg an i n a l ig ht, c asu al t o ne.
“O h,” s a id H arry . “ W ell, y eah . W e a re .”
The m an gle tu rn ed o f its o w n a cco rd in a c o rn er, w rin gin g o ut w hat lo oked
lik e o ne o f M r. W easle y ’s v ests .
“M ay I a sk
why
y ou a re a b an donin g y our e d ucatio n?” s a id M rs . W easle y.
“W ell, D um ble d ore le ft m e… stu ff to do,” m um ble d H arry . “R on an d
Herm io ne k now a b out i t, a n d t h ey w an t t o c o m e t o o.”
“W hat s o rt o f ‘ s tu ff ’? ”
“I’m s o rry , I c an ’t— ”
“W ell, f ra n kly , I th in k A rth ur a n d I h av e a r ig ht to k now , a n d I ’m s u re M r.
an d M rs . G ra n ger w ould a g re e!” s a id M rs . W easle y. H arry h ad b een a fra id o f t h e
“co ncern ed p are n t” atta ck . H e fo rc ed h im se lf to lo ok d ir e ctly in to h er ey es,
notic in g as h e d id so th at th ey w ere p re cis e ly th e sa m e sh ad e o f b ro w n as
Gin ny’s . T his d id n ot h elp .
“D um ble d ore d id n’t w an t a n yone e ls e to k now , M rs . W easle y. I’m so rry .
Ron a n d H erm io ne d on’t h av e t o c o m e, i t’s t h eir c h oic e— ”
“I d on’t s e e th at
yo u
h av e to g o e ith er!” s h e s n ap ped , d ro ppin g a ll p re te n se
now . “Y ou’re b are ly o f ag e, an y o f y ou! It’s u tte r n onse n se , if D um ble d ore
need ed w ork d oin g, h e h ad th e w hole O rd er a t h is c o m man d! H arry , y ou m ust
hav e m is u nders to od h im . P ro bab ly h e w as te llin g y ou so m eth in g h e
wante d
done, a n d y ou t o ok i t t o m ean t h at h e w an te d
yo u— ”
“I d id n’t m is u nders ta n d,” s a id H arry f la tly . “ It’s g ot t o b e m e.”
He h an ded h er b ack th e sin gle so ck h e w as su ppose d to b e id en tif y in g,
whic h w as p atte rn ed w ith g old en b ulr u sh es.
“A nd t h at’s n ot m in e. I d on’t s u pport P uddle m ere U nite d .”
“O h, o f c o urs e n ot,” s a id M rs . W easle y w ith a s u dden a n d r a th er u nnerv in g
re tu rn to h er c asu al to ne. “ I s h ould h av e r e aliz ed . W ell, H arry , w hile w e’v e s till
got y ou h ere , y ou w on’t m in d h elp in g w ith th e p re p ara tio ns f o r B ill a n d F le u r’s
wed din g, w ill y ou? T here ’s s till s o m uch t o d o.”
“N o— I— of c o urs e n ot,” s a id H arry , d is c o ncerte d b y th is s u dden c h an ge o f
su bje ct.
“S w eet o f y ou,” s h e r e p lie d , a n d s h e s m ile d a s s h e l e ft t h e s c u lle ry .
Fro m th at m om en t o n, M rs . W easle y k ep t H arry , R on a n d H erm io ne so
busy w ith p re p ara tio ns fo r th e w ed din g th at th ey h ard ly h ad a n y tim e to th in k.
The k in dest e x pla n atio n o f th is b eh av io r w ould h av e b een th at M rs . W easle y
wan te d to d is tr a ct th em a ll fro m th oughts o f M ad -E ye a n d th e te rro rs o f th eir
re cen t jo urn ey. A fte r tw o d ay s o f n onsto p c u tle ry c le an in g, o f c o lo r- m atc h in g
fa v ors , rib bons, an d flo w ers , of de-g nom in g th e gard en an d help in g M rs .
Weasle y c o ok v ast b atc h es o f c an ap és, h ow ev er, H arry s ta rte d t o s u sp ect h er o f a

dif f e re n t m otiv e. A ll th e jo bs sh e h an ded o ut se em ed to k eep h im , R on, a n d
Herm io ne a w ay f ro m o ne a n oth er; h e h ad n ot h ad a c h an ce t o s p eak t o t h e t w o o f
th em alo ne sin ce th e fir s t nig ht, w hen he had to ld th em ab out V old em ort
to rtu rin g O lliv an der.
“I th in k M um th in ks th at if s h e c an s to p th e th re e o f y ou g ettin g to geth er
an d p la n nin g, sh e’ll b e ab le to d ela y y ou le av in g,” G in ny to ld H arry in an
underto ne, a s t h ey l a id t h e t a b le f o r d in ner o n t h e t h ir d n ig ht o f h is s ta y.
“A nd th en w hat does sh e th in k’s goin g to hap pen ?” H arry m utte re d .
“S om eo ne e ls e m ig ht k ill o ff V old em ort w hile s h e’s h old in g u s h ere m ak in g v ol-
au -v en ts ? ”
He h ad s p oken w ith out t h in kin g, a n d s a w G in ny’s f a ce w hite n .
“S o i t’s t r u e?” s h e s a id . “ T hat’s w hat y ou’re t r y in g t o d o?”
“I— not— I w as j o kin g,” s a id H arry e v asiv ely .
They sta re d a t e ach o th er, a n d th ere w as so m eth in g m ore th an sh ock in
Gin ny’s e x pre ssio n. S udden ly H arry b ecam e a w are th at th is w as th e fir s t tim e
th at h e h ad b een a lo ne w ith h er s in ce th ose s to le n h ours in s e clu ded c o rn ers o f
th e H ogw arts g ro unds. H e w as su re sh e w as re m em berin g th em to o. B oth o f
th em j u m ped a s t h e d oor o pen ed , a n d M r. W easle y, K in gsle y, a n d B ill w alk ed i n .
They w ere o fte n jo in ed b y o th er O rd er m em bers fo r d in ner n ow , b ecau se
th e B urro w h ad r e p la ced n um ber tw elv e, G rim mau ld P la ce a s th e h ead quarte rs .
Mr. W easle y h ad ex pla in ed th at afte r th e d eath o f D um ble d ore , th eir S ecre t-
Keep er, each of th e peo ple to w hom D um ble d ore had co nfid ed G rim mau ld
Pla ce’s l o catio n h ad b eco m e a S ecre t- K eep er i n t u rn .
“A nd a s th ere a re a ro und tw en ty o f u s, th at g re atly d ilu te s th e p ow er o f th e
Fid eliu s C harm . T w en ty tim es a s m an y o pportu nitie s f o r th e D eath E ate rs to g et
th e s e cre t o ut o f s o m eb ody. W e c an ’t e x pect i t t o h old m uch l o nger.”
“B ut su re ly S nap e w ill h av e to ld th e D eath E ate rs th e a d dre ss b y n ow ?”
ask ed H arry .
“W ell, M ad -E ye s e t u p a c o uple o f c u rs e s a g ain st S nap e in c ase h e tu rn s u p
th ere a g ain . W e h ope th ey ’ll b e s tr o ng e n ough b oth to k eep h im o ut a n d to b in d
his to ngue if h e tr ie s to ta lk a b out th e p la ce, b ut w e c an ’t b e s u re . I t w ould h av e
been in sa n e to k eep u sin g th e p la ce a s h ead quarte rs n ow th at its p ro te ctio n h as
beco m e s o s h ak y.”
The k itc h en w as so cro w ded th at ev en in g it w as d if f ic u lt to m an eu ver
kniv es a n d f o rk s. H arry f o und h im se lf c ra m med b esid e G in ny; th e u nsa id th in gs
th at h ad ju st p asse d b etw een th em m ad e h im w is h th ey h ad b een s e p ara te d b y a
fe w m ore p eo ple . H e w as tr y in g so h ard to a v oid b ru sh in g h er a rm h e c o uld
bare ly c u t h is c h ic k en .
“N o n ew s a b out M ad -E ye?” H arry a sk ed B ill.

“N oth in g,” r e p lie d B ill.
They h ad n ot b een a b le t o h old a f u nera l f o r M oody, b ecau se B ill a n d L upin
had f a ile d t o r e co ver h is b ody. I t h ad b een d if f ic u lt t o k now w here h e m ig ht h av e
fa lle n , g iv en t h e d ark ness a n d t h e c o nfu sio n o f t h e b attle .
“T he
Daily P ro phet
h asn ’t s a id a w ord a b out h im d yin g o r a b out f in din g t h e
body,” B ill w en t o n. “ B ut th at d oesn ’t m ean m uch . I t’s k eep in g a lo t q uie t th ese
day s.”
“A nd t h ey s till h av en ’t c alle d a h earin g a b out a ll t h e u ndera g e m ag ic I u se d
esc ap in g th e D eath E ate rs ? ” H arry c alle d a cro ss th e ta b le to M r. W easle y, w ho
sh ook h is h ead .
“B ecau se th ey k now I h ad n o c h oic e o r b ecau se th ey d on’t w an t m e to te ll
th e w orld V old em ort a tta ck ed m e?”
“T he la tte r, I th in k. S crim geo ur d oesn ’t w an t to a d m it th at Y ou-K now -W ho
is a s p ow erfu l a s h e i s , n or t h at A zk ab an ’s s e en a m ass b re ak out.”
“Y eah , w hy te ll th e p ublic th e tr u th ?” sa id H arry , c le n ch in g h is k nif e so
tig htly th at th e f a in t s c ars o n th e b ack o f h is r ig ht h an d s to od o ut, w hite a g ain st
his s k in :
I m ust n ot t e ll l ie s.
“Is n ’t an yone at th e M in is tr y p re p are d to sta n d u p to h im ?” ask ed R on
an grily .
“O f c o urs e , R on, b ut p eo ple a re te rrif ie d ,” M r. W easle y re p lie d , “ te rrif ie d
th at th ey w ill b e n ex t to d is a p pear, th eir c h ild re n th e n ex t to b e a tta ck ed ! T here
are n asty ru m ors g oin g aro und; I fo r o ne d on’t b elie v e th e M uggle S tu die s
pro fe sso r a t H ogw arts r e sig ned . S he h asn ’t b een s e en f o r w eek s n ow . M ean w hile
Scrim geo ur r e m ain s s h ut u p in h is o ff ic e a ll d ay ; I ju st h ope h e’s w ork in g o n a
pla n .”
There w as a p au se in w hic h M rs . W easle y m ag ic k ed th e e m pty p la te s o nto
th e w ork s u rfa ce a n d s e rv ed a p ple t a rt.
“W e m ust decid e ’o w you w ill be dis g uis e d , ’A rry ,” sa id F le u r, once
ev ery one h ad p uddin g. “ F or z e w ed din g,” s h e a d ded , w hen h e lo oked c o nfu se d .
“O f c o urs e , n one o f o ur g uests a re D eath E ate rs , b ut w e c an not g uara n te e z at z ey
will n ot l e t s o m eth in g s lip a fte r z ey ’ a v e ’ a d c h am pag ne.”
Fro m t h is , H arry g ath ere d t h at s h e s till s u sp ecte d H ag rid .
“Y es, g ood p oin t,” s a id M rs . W easle y fro m th e to p o f th e ta b le w here s h e
sa t, s p ecta cle s p erc h ed o n th e e n d o f h er n ose , s c an nin g a n im men se lis t o f jo bs
th at s h e h ad s c rib ble d o n a v ery lo ng p ie ce o f p arc h m en t. “ N ow , R on, h av e y ou
cle an ed o ut y our r o om y et? ”
“W hy? ”
ex cla im ed R on, sla m min g his sp oon dow n an d gla rin g at his
moth er. “ W hy d oes m y r o om h av e t o b e c le an ed o ut? H arry a n d I a re f in e w ith i t
th e w ay i t i s !”

“W e a re h old in g y our b ro th er’s w ed din g h ere in a fe w d ay s’ tim e, y oung
man — ”
“A nd a re th ey g ettin g m arrie d in m y b ed ro om ?” a sk ed R on f u rio usly . “ N o!
So w hy i n t h e n am e o f M erlin ’s s a g gy l e ft— ”
“D on’t ta lk to y our m oth er lik e th at,” s a id M r. W easle y f ir m ly . “ A nd d o a s
you’re t o ld .”
Ron s c o w le d a t b oth h is p are n ts , th en p ic k ed u p h is s p oon a n d a tta ck ed th e
la st f e w m outh fu ls o f h is a p ple t a rt.
“I c an h elp , s o m e o f it’s m y m ess,” H arry to ld R on, b ut M rs . W easle y c u t
acro ss h im .
“N o, H arry , d ear, I ’d m uch r a th er y ou h elp ed A rth ur m uch o ut t h e c h ic k en s,
an d H erm io ne, I’d b e e v er s o g ra te fu l if y ou’d c h an ge th e s h eets fo r M onsie u r
an d M ad am e D ela co ur; y ou k now t h ey ’re a rriv in g a t e le v en t o m orro w m orn in g.”
But a s i t t u rn ed o ut, t h ere w as v ery l ittle t o d o f o r t h e c h ic k en s.
“T here ’s n o n eed to , er, m en tio n it to M olly ,” M r. W easle y to ld H arry ,
blo ck in g h is a ccess to th e c o op, “ b ut, e r, T ed T onks s e n t m e m ost o f w hat w as
le ft of S ir iu s’s bik e an d, er, I’m hid in g— th at’s to sa y, keep in g— it in here .
Fan ta stic stu ff ! T here ’s an ex hau st g ask in , as I b elie v e it’s calle d , th e m ost
mag nif ic en t b atte ry , a n d i t’ ll b e a g re at o pportu nity t o f in d o ut h ow b ra k es w ork .
I’m g oin g to tr y a n d p ut it a ll b ack to geth er a g ain w hen M olly ’s n ot— I m ean ,
when I ’v e g ot t im e.”
When t h ey r e tu rn ed to t h e h ouse , M rs . W easle y w as n ow here t o b e s e en , s o
Harry s lip ped u psta ir s t o R on’s a ttic b ed ro om .
“I’m d oin g it, I’m d oin g— ! O h, it’s y ou,” sa id R on in re lie f, as H arry
en te re d th e ro om . R on la y b ack d ow n o n th e b ed , w hic h h e h ad e v id en tly ju st
vacate d . T he ro om w as ju st a s m essy a s it h ad b een a ll w eek ; th e o nly c h an ge
was th at H erm io ne w as n ow sittin g in th e fa r co rn er, h er flu ff y g in ger cat,
Cro oksh an ks, a t h er f e et, s o rtin g b ooks, s o m e o f w hic h H arry r e co gniz ed a s h is
ow n, i n to t w o e n orm ous p ile s.
“H i, H arry ,” s h e s a id , a s h e s a t d ow n o n h is c am p b ed .
“A nd h ow d id y ou m an ag e t o g et a w ay ?”
“O h, R on’s m um f o rg ot th at s h e a sk ed G in ny a n d m e to c h an ge th e s h eets
yeste rd ay,” sa id H erm io ne. S he th re w
Num ero lo gy a nd G ra m matic a
o nto o ne
pile a n d
The R is e a nd F all o f t h e D ark A rts
o nto t h e o th er.
“W e w ere ju st ta lk in g a b out M ad -E ye,” R on to ld H arry . “ I r e ck on h e m ig ht
hav e s u rv iv ed .”
“B ut B ill s a w h im h it b y t h e K illin g C urs e ,” s a id H arry .
“Y eah , b ut B ill w as u nder a tta ck to o,” s a id R on. “ H ow c an h e b e s u re w hat
he s a w ?”

“E ven if th e K illin g C urs e m is se d , M ad -E ye still fe ll ab out a th ousa n d
fe et,” s a id H erm io ne, n ow w eig ht
Quid ditc h T ea m s o f B rita in a nd I r e la nd
in h er
han d.
“H e c o uld h av e u se d a S hie ld C harm — ”
“F le u r s a id h is w an d w as b la ste d o ut o f h is h an d,” s a id H arry .
“W ell, a ll r ig ht, if y ou w an t h im to b e d ead ,” s a id R on g ru m pily , p unch in g
his p illo w i n to a m ore c o m fo rta b le s h ap e.
“O f co urs e w e don’t w an t him to be dead !” sa id H erm io ne, lo okin g
sh ock ed . “ It’s d re ad fu l t h at h e’s d ead ! B ut w e’re b ein g r e alis tic !”
For th e fir s t tim e, Harry im ag in ed Mad -E ye’s body, bro ken as
Dum ble d ore ’s h ad b een , y et w ith t h at o ne e y e s till w hiz zin g i n i ts s o ck et. H e f e lt
a s ta b o f r e v uls io n m ix ed w ith a b iz arre d esir e t o l a u gh.
“T he D eath E ate rs p ro bab ly tid ie d u p a fte r th em se lv es, th at’s w hy n o o ne’s
fo und h im ,” s a id R on w is e ly .
“Y eah ,” s a id H arry . “ L ik e B arty C ro uch , tu rn ed in to a b one a n d b urie d in
Hag rid ’s f ro nt g ard en . T hey p ro bab ly t r a n sfig ure d M oody a n d s tu ff e d h im — ”
“D on’t! ” s q ueale d H erm io ne. S ta rtle d , H arry l o oked o ver j u st i n t im e t o s e e
her b urs t i n to t e ars o ver h er c o py o f
Spellm an’s S ylla bary.
“O h no,” sa id H arry , str u gglin g to get up fro m th e old cam p bed .
“H erm io ne, I w asn ’t t r y in g t o u pse t— ”
But w ith a g re at c re ak in g o f r u sty b ed sp rin gs, R on b ounded o ff th e b ed a n d
got th ere fir s t. O ne a rm a ro und H erm io ne, h e fis h ed in h is je an s p ock et a n d
with dre w a r e v oltin g-lo okin g h an dkerc h ie f t h at h e h ad u se d t o c le an o ut t h e o ven
earlie r. H astily p ullin g o ut h is w an d, h e p oin te d i t a t t h e r a g a n d s a id ,
“Terg eo .”
The w an d sip honed o ff m ost o f th e g re ase . L ookin g ra th er p le ase d w ith
him se lf , R on h an ded t h e s lig htly s m okin g h an dkerc h ie f t o H erm io ne.
“O h… th an ks, R on… I ’m s o rry … ” S he b le w h er n ose a n d h ic cu pped . “ It’s
ju st so a w f-fu l, is n ’t it? R -rig ht a fte r D um ble d ore … I j- ju st n -n ev er im ag in ed
Mad -E ye d yin g, s o m eh ow , h e s e em ed s o t o ugh!”
“Y eah , I k now ,” s a id R on, g iv in g h er a s q ueeze. “ B ut y ou k now w hat h e’d
sa y t o u s i f h e w as h ere ?”
“‘C -c o nsta n t v ig ila n ce,’ ” s a id H erm io ne, m oppin g h er e y es.
“T hat’s rig ht,” sa id R on, noddin g. “H e’d te ll us to le arn fro m w hat
hap pen ed to h im . A nd w hat I ’v e le arn ed is n ot to tr u st th at c o w ard ly little s q uit,
Mundungus.”
Herm io ne g av e a sh ak y la u gh an d le an ed fo rw ard to p ic k u p tw o m ore
books. A se co nd la te r, R on had sn atc h ed his arm back fro m aro und her
sh ould ers ; s h e h ad d ro pped
The M onste r B ook o f M onste rs
o n h is f o ot. T he b ook
had b ro ken f re e f ro m i ts r e str a in in g b elt a n d s n ap ped v ic io usly a t R on’s a n kle .

“I’m s o rry , I’m s o rry !” H erm io ne c rie d a s H arry w re n ch ed th e b ook fro m
Ron’s l e g a n d r e tie d i t s h it.
“W hat a re y ou d oin g w ith a ll th ose b ooks a n yw ay ?” R on a sk ed , lim pin g
back t o h is b ed .
“Ju st tr y in g to d ecid e w hic h o nes to ta k e w ith u s,” s a id H erm io ne, “ W hen
we’re l o okin g f o r t h e H orc ru xes.”
“O h, o f c o urs e ,” s a id R on, c la p pin g a h an d to h is f o re h ead . “ I f o rg ot w e’ll
be h untin g d ow n V old em ort i n a m obile l ib ra ry .”
“H a ha,” sa id H erm io ne, lo okin g dow n at
Spellm an’s Sylla bary.
“I
wonder… w ill w e n eed to tr a n sla te ru nes? It’s p ossib le … I th in k w e’d b ette r
ta k e i t, t o b e s a fe .”
She d ro pped th e s y lla b ary o nto th e la rg er o f th e tw o p ile s a n d p ic k ed u p
Hogw arts , A H is to ry.
“L is te n ,” s a id H arry .
He h ad sa t u p str a ig ht. R on an d H erm io ne lo oked at h im w ith sim ila r
mix tu re s o f r e sig natio n a n d d efia n ce.
“I k now y ou s a id a fte r D um ble d ore ’s f u nera l th at y ou w an te d to c o m e w ith
me,” H arry b eg an .
“H ere h e g oes,” R on s a id t o H erm io ne, r o llin g h is e y es.
“A s w e k new h e w ould ,” s h e s ig hed , t u rn in g b ack t o t h e b ooks. “ Y ou k now ,
I th in k I
will
ta k e
Hogw arts , A H is to ry.
E ven if w e’re n ot g oin g b ack th ere , I
don’t t h in k I ’d f e el r ig ht i f I d id n’t h av e i t w ith — ”
“L is te n !” s a id H arry a g ain .
“N o, H arry ,
yo u
lis te n ,” s a id H erm io ne. “ W e’re c o m in g w ith y ou. T hat w as
decid ed m onth s a g o— years , r e ally .”
“B ut— ”
“S hut u p,” R on a d vis e d h im .
“— are y ou s u re y ou’v e t h ought t h is t h ro ugh?” H arry p ers is te d .
“L et’s s e e,” s a id H erm io ne, s la m min g
Tra vels w ith T ro lls
o nto t h e d is c ard ed
pile w ith a ra th er fie rc e lo ok. “ I’v e b een p ack in g fo r d ay s, so w e’re re ad y to
le av e a t a m om en t’s n otic e, w hic h f o r y our i n fo rm atio n h as i n clu ded d oin g s o m e
pre tty d if f ic u lt m ag ic , n ot to m en tio n sm ugglin g M ad -E ye’s w hole sto ck o f
Poly ju ic e P otio n r ig ht u nder R on’s m um ’s n ose .
“I’v e a ls o m odif ie d m y p are n ts ’ m em orie s s o t h at t h ey ’re c o nvin ced t h ey ’re
re ally c alle d W en dell a n d M onic a W ilk in s, a n d th at th eir lif e ’s a m bitio n is to
move to A ustr a lia , w hic h th ey h av e n ow d one. T hat’s to m ak e it m ore d if f ic u lt
fo r V old em ort to tr a ck th em d ow n an d in te rro gate th em ab out m e— or y ou,
becau se u nfo rtu nate ly , I ’v e t o ld t h em q uite a b it a b out y ou.
“A ssu m in g I s u rv iv e o ur h unt f o r t h e H orc ru xes, I ’ll f in d M um a n d D ad a n d

lif t th e e n ch an tm en t. I f I d on’t— well, I th in k I ’v e c ast a g ood e n ough c h arm to
keep t h em s a fe a n d h ap py. W en dell a n d M onic a W ilk in s d on’t k now t h at t h ey ’v e
got a d au ghte r, y ou s e e.”
Herm io ne’s e y es w ere sw im min g w ith te ars a g ain . R on g ot b ack o ff th e
bed , put his arm aro und her once m ore , an d fro w ned at H arry as th ough
re p ro ach in g h im fo r la ck o f ta ct. H arry c o uld n ot th in k o f a n yth in g to s a y, n ot
le ast b ecau se i t w as h ig hly u nusu al f o r R on t o b e t e ach in g a n yone e ls e t a ct.
“I— Herm io ne, I ’m s o rry — I d id n’t— ”
“D id n’t r e aliz e t h at R on a n d I k now p erfe ctly w ell w hat m ig ht h ap pen i f w e
co m e w ith y ou? W ell, w e d o. R on, s h ow H arry w hat y ou’v e d one.”
“N ah , h e’s j u st e ate n ,” s a id R on.
“G o o n, h e n eed s t o k now !”
“O h, a ll r ig ht. H arry , c o m e h ere .”
For th e se co nd tim e R on w ith dre w h is arm fro m aro und H erm io ne an d
stu m ped o ver t o t h e d oor.
“C ’m on.”
“W hy?” H arry a sk ed , f o llo w in g R on o ut o f t h e r o om o nto t h e t in y l a n din g.
“D esc en do,”
m utte re d R on, p oin tin g h is w an d a t th e lo w c eilin g. A h atc h
open ed rig ht o ver th eir h ead s a n d a la d der s lid d ow n to th eir fe et. A h orrib le ,
half -s u ck in g, h alf -m oan in g so und c am e o ut o f th e sq uare h ole , a lo ng w ith a n
unple asa n t s m ell l ik e o pen d ra in s.
“T hat’s y our g houl, is n ’t it? ” a sk ed H arry , w ho h ad n ev er a ctu ally m et th e
cre atu re t h at s o m etim es d is ru pte d t h e n ig htly s ile n ce.
“Y eah , i t i s ,” s a id R on, c lim bin g t h e l a d der. “ C om e a n d h av e a l o ok a t h im .”
Harry fo llo w ed R on u p th e fe w sh ort ste p s in to th e tin y a ttic sp ace. H is
head an d sh ould ers w ere in th e ro om b efo re h e cau ght sig ht o f th e cre atu re
cu rle d u p a f e w f e et f ro m h im , f a st a sle ep i n t h e g lo om w ith i ts l a rg e m outh w id e
open .
“B ut i t… i t l o oks… d o g houls n orm ally w ear p aja m as? ”
“N o,” sa id R on. “ N or h av e th ey u su ally g ot re d h air o r th at n um ber o f
pustu le s.”
Harry c o nte m pla te d th e th in g, s lig htly r e v olte d . I t w as h um an in s h ap e a n d
siz e, a n d w as w earin g w hat, n ow th at H arry ’s e y es b ecam e u se d to th e d ark ness,
was c le arly a n o ld p air o f R on’s p aja m as. H e w as a ls o su re th at g houls w ere
gen era lly r a th er s lim y a n d b ald , r a th er t h an d is tin ctly h air y a n d c o vere d i n a n gry
purp le b lis te rs .
“H e’s m e, s e e?” s a id R on.
“N o,” s a id H arry . “ I d on’t.”
“I’ll e x pla in it b ack in m y r o om , th e s m ell’s g ettin g to m e,” s a id R on. T hey

clim bed b ack d ow n th e la d der, w hic h R on re tu rn ed to th e c eilin g, a n d re jo in ed
Herm io ne, w ho w as s till s o rtin g b ooks.
“O nce w e’v e le ft, th e g houl’s g oin g to c o m e a n d liv e d ow n h ere in m y
ro om ,” s a id R on. “ I t h in k h e’s r e ally l o okin g f o rw ard t o i t— well, i t’s h ard t o t e ll,
becau se a ll h e c an d o i s m oan a n d d ro ol— but h e n ods a l o t w hen y ou m en tio n i t.
Anyw ay, h e’s g oin g t o b e m e w ith s p atte rg ro it. G ood, e h ?”
Harry m ere ly l o oked h is c o nfu sio n.
“It i s !” s a id R on , c le arly f ru str a te d t h at H arry h ad n ot g ra sp ed t h e b rillia n ce
of th e p la n . “ L ook, w hen w e th re e d on’t tu rn u p a t H ogw arts a g ain , e v ery one’s
goin g to th in k H erm io ne a n d I m ust b e w ith y ou, r ig ht? W hic h m ean s th e D eath
Eate rs w ill g o s tr a ig ht f o r o ur f a m ilie s t o s e e i f t h ey ’v e g ot i n fo rm atio n o n w here
you a re .”
“B ut h opefu lly it’ ll lo ok lik e I’v e g one a w ay w ith M um a n d D ad ; a lo t o f
Muggle -b orn s are ta lk in g ab out goin g in to hid in g at th e m om en t,” sa id
Herm io ne.
“W e c an ’t h id e m y w hole f a m ily , i t’ ll l o ok t o o f is h y a n d t h ey c an ’t a ll l e av e
th eir jo bs,” s a id R on. “ S o w e’re g oin g to p ut o ut th e s to ry th at I ’m s e rio usly ill
with sp atte rg ro it, w hic h is w hy I can ’t g o b ack to sc h ool. If an yone co m es
callin g t o i n vestig ate , M um o r D ad c an s h ow t h em t h e g houl i n m y b ed , c o vere d
in p ustu le s. S patte rg ro it’s re ally c o nta g io us, s o th ey ’re n ot g oin g to w an t to g o
near h im . It w on’t m atte r th at h e c an ’t s a y a n yth in g, e ith er, b ecau se a p pare n tly
you c an ’t o nce t h e f u ngus h as s p re ad t o y our u vula .”
“A nd y our m um a n d d ad a re i n o n t h is p la n ?” a sk ed H arry .
“D ad is . H e h elp ed F re d a n d G eo rg e tr a n sfo rm th e g houl. M um … w ell,
you’v e s e en w hat s h e’s l ik e. S he w on’t a ccep t w e’re g oin g t ill w e’re g one.”
There w as s ile n ce in th e ro om , b ro ken o nly b y g en tle th uds a s H erm io ne
co ntin ued to th ro w b ooks o nto o ne p ile o r th e o th er. R on s a t w atc h in g h er, a n d
Harry lo oked fro m o ne to th e o th er, u nab le to s a y a n yth in g. T he m easu re th ey
had ta k en to p ro te ct th eir fa m ilie s m ad e h im re aliz e, m ore th an a n yth in g e ls e
co uld h av e d one, th at th ey re ally w ere g oin g to c o m e w ith h im a n d th at th ey
knew e x actly h ow d an gero us th at w ould b e. H e w an te d to te ll th em w hat th at
mean t t o h im , b ut h e s im ply c o uld n ot f in d w ord s i m porta n t e n ough.
Thro ugh th e sile n ce c am e th e m uff le d so unds o f M rs . W easle y sh outin g
fro m f o ur f lo ors b elo w .
“G in ny’s p ro bab ly le ft a s p eck o f d ust o n a p oxy n ap kin r in g,” s a id R on. “ I
dunno w hy t h e D ela co urs h av e g ot t o c o m e t w o d ay s b efo re t h e w ed din g.”
“F le u r’s s is te r’s a b rid esm aid , s h e n eed s to b e h ere fo r th e re h ears a l, a n d
sh e’s to o y oung to c o m e o n h er o w n,” s a id H erm io ne, a s s h e p ore d in decis iv ely
over
Bre a k w ith a B ansh ee.

“W ell, g uests a re n ’t g oin g t o h elp M um ’s s tr e ss l e v els ,” s a id R on.
“W hat w e r e ally n eed t o d ecid e,” s a id H erm io ne, t o ssin g
Defe n siv e M agic a l
Theo ry
in to th e b in w ith out a se co nd g la n ce a n d p ic k in g u p
An A ppra is a l o f
Magic a l E duca tio n i n E uro pe,
“ is w here w e’re g oin g a fte r w e l e av e h ere . I k now
you s a id y ou w an te d t o g o t o G odric ’s H ollo w f ir s t, H arry , a n d I u nders ta n d w hy,
but… w ell… s h ould n’t w e m ak e t h e H orc ru xes o ur p rio rity ?”
“If w e k new w here a n y o f th e H orc ru xes w ere , I’d a g re e w ith y ou,” s a id
Harry , w ho d id n ot b elie v e th at H erm io ne r e ally u nders to od h is d esir e to r e tu rn
to G odric ’s H ollo w . H is p are n ts ’ g ra v es w ere o nly p art o f t h e a ttr a ctio n: H e h ad a
str o ng, th ough in ex plic ab le , f e elin g th at th e p la ce h eld a n sw ers f o r h im . P erh ap s
it w as sim ply b ecau se it w as th ere th at h e h ad su rv iv ed V old em ort’s K illin g
Curs e ; n ow th at h e w as fa cin g th e c h alle n ge o f re p eatin g th e fe at, H arry w as
dra w n t o t h e p la ce w here i t h ad h ap pen ed , w an tin g t o u nders ta n d.
“D on’t y ou th in k th ere ’s a p ossib ility th at V old em ort’s k eep in g a w atc h o n
Godric ’s H ollo w ?” H erm io ne a sk ed . “ H e m ig ht e x pect y ou to g o b ack a n d v is it
your p are n ts ’ g ra v es o nce y ou’re f re e t o g o w here v er y ou l ik e?”
This had not occu rre d to Harry . W hile he str u ggle d to fin d a
co unte ra rg um en t, R on s p oke u p, e v id en tly f o llo w in g h is o w n t r a in o f t h ought.
“T his R . A . B . p ers o n,” h e sa id . “ Y ou k now , th e o ne w ho sto le th e re al
lo ck et? ”
Herm io ne n odded .
“H e s a id i n h is n ote h e w as g oin g t o d estr o y i t, d id n’t h e?”
Harry d ra g ged h is r u ck sa ck to w ard h im a n d p ulle d o ut th e f a k e H orc ru x in
whic h R . A . B .’ s n ote w as s till f o ld ed .
“‘
I h ave s to le n t h e r e a l H orc ru x a nd i n te n d to d estr o y i t a s s o on a s I c a n.’ ”
Harry r e ad o ut.
“W ell, w hat i f h e
did
f in is h i t o ff ? ” s a id R on.
“O r s h e,” i n te rp ose d H erm io ne.
“W hic h ev er,” s a id R on. “ it’ d b e o ne l e ss f o r u s t o d o!”
“Y es, b ut w e’re s till g oin g to h av e to tr y a n d tr a ce th e re al lo ck et, a re n ’t
we?” s a id H erm io ne, “ to f in d o ut w heth er o r n ot i t’s d estr o yed .”
“A nd o nce w e g et h old o f i t, h ow
do
y ou d estr o y a H orc ru x?” a sk ed R on.
“W ell,” s a id H erm io ne, “ I’v e b een r e se arc h in g t h at.”
“H ow ?” a sk ed H arry . “ I d id n’t th in k th ere w ere a n y b ooks o n H orc ru xes in
th e l ib ra ry ?”
“T here w ere n ’t,” sa id H erm io ne, w ho had tu rn ed pin k. “D um ble d ore
re m oved t h em a ll, b ut h e— he d id n’t d estr o y t h em .”
Ron s a t u p s tr a ig ht, w id e-e y ed .
“H ow in th e n am e o f M erlin ’s p an ts h av e y ou m an ag ed to g et y our h an ds

on t h ose H orc ru x b ooks? ”
“It— it w asn ’t s te alin g!” s a id H erm io ne, lo okin g f ro m H arry to R on w ith a
kin d o f d esp era tio n. “ T hey w ere still lib ra ry b ooks, e v en if D um ble d ore h ad
ta k en th em o ff th e s h elv es. A nyw ay, if h e
re a lly
d id n’t w an t a n yone to g et a t
th em , I ’m s u re h e w ould h av e m ad e i t m uch h ard er t o — ”
“G et t o t h e p oin t! ” s a id R on.
“W ell… it w as easy ,” sa id H erm io ne in a sm all voic e. “I ju st did a
Sum monin g Charm . You know — Accio . And— th ey zo om ed out of
Dum ble d ore ’s s tu dy w in dow r ig ht i n to t h e g ir ls ’ d orm ito ry .”
“B ut w hen d id y ou d o th is ? ” H arry ask ed , re g ard in g H erm io ne w ith a
mix tu re o f a d m ir a tio n a n d i n cre d ulity .
“Ju st a fte r h is — Dum ble d ore ’s — fu nera l,” s a id H erm io ne i n a n e v en s m alle r
voic e. “R ig ht afte r w e ag re ed w e’d le av e sc h ool an d go an d lo ok fo r th e
Horc ru xes. W hen I w en t b ack u psta ir s t o g et m y t h in gs i t— it j u st o ccu rre d t o m e
th at th e m ore w e k new a b out th em , th e b ette r it w ould b e… a n d I w as a lo ne in
th ere … so I tr ie d … an d it w ork ed . T hey fle w str a ig ht in th ro ugh th e o pen
win dow a n d I — I p ack ed t h em .”
She sw allo w ed an d th en sa id im plo rin gly , “I can ’t b elie v e D um ble d ore
would h av e b een a n gry , it’s n ot a s th ough w e’re g oin g to u se th e in fo rm atio n to
mak e a H orc ru x, i s i t? ”
“C an you hear us co m pla in in g?” sa id R on. “W here are th ese books
an yw ay ?”
Herm io ne r u m mag ed f o r a m om en t a n d th en e x tr a cte d f ro m th e p ile a la rg e
volu m e, b ound i n f a d ed b la ck l e ath er. S he l o oked a l ittle n au se ate d a n d h eld i t a s
gin gerly a s i f i t w ere s o m eth in g r e cen tly d ead .
“T his is th e o ne th at g iv es e x plic it in str u ctio ns o n h ow to m ak e a H orc ru x.
Secre ts o f t h e D ark est A rt—
it’s a h orrib le b ook, r e ally a w fu l, f u ll o f e v il m ag ic . I
wonder w hen D um ble d ore r e m oved it f ro m th e lib ra ry … if h e d id n’t d o it u ntil
he w as h ead m aste r, I b et V old em ort g ot a ll t h e i n str u ctio n h e n eed ed f ro m h ere .”
“W hy d id h e h av e to a sk S lu ghorn h ow to m ak e a H orc ru x, th en , if h e’d
alr e ad y r e ad t h at? ” a sk ed R on.
“H e o nly a p pro ach ed S lu ghorn to fin d o ut w hat w ould h ap pen if y ou s p lit
your s o ul in to s e v en ,” s a id H arry . “ D um ble d ore w as s u re R id dle a lr e ad y k new
how to m ak e a H orc ru x b y th e tim e h e ask ed S lu ghorn ab out th em . I th in k
you’re rig ht, H erm io ne, th at co uld easily hav e been w here he got th e
in fo rm atio n.”
“A nd th e m ore I’v e re ad a b out th em ,” s a id H erm io ne, “ th e m ore h orrib le
th ey s e em , a n d th e le ss I c an b elie v e th at h e a ctu ally m ad e s ix . I t w arn s in th is
book h ow u nsta b le y ou m ak e t h e r e st o f y our s o ul b y r ip pin g i t, a n d t h at’s j u st b y

mak in g o ne H orc ru x!”
Harry re m em bere d w hat D um ble d ore h ad sa id ab out V old em ort m ovin g
bey ond “ u su al e v il.”
“Is n ’t t h ere a n y w ay o f p uttin g y ours e lf b ack t o geth er? ” R on a sk ed .
“Y es,” s a id H erm io ne w ith a h ollo w s m ile , “ b ut it w ould b e e x cru cia tin gly
pain fu l.”
“W hy? H ow d o y ou d o i t? ” a sk ed H arry .
“R em ors e ,” s a id H erm io ne. “ Y ou’v e g ot to re ally fe el w hat y ou’v e d one.
There ’s a fo otn ote . A ppare n tly th e pain of it can destr o y you. I can ’t se e
Vold em ort a tte m ptin g i t s o m eh ow , c an y ou?”
“N o,” s a id R on, b efo re H arry c o uld a n sw er. “ S o d oes it s a y h ow to d estr o y
Horc ru xes i n t h at b ook?”
“Y es,” s a id H erm io ne, n ow t u rn in g t h e f ra g ile p ag es a s i f e x am in in g r o ttin g
en tr a ils , “b ecau se it w arn s D ark w iz ard s h ow str o ng th ey h av e to m ak e th e
en ch an tm en ts o n th em . F ro m a ll th at I ’v e r e ad , w hat H arry d id to R id dle ’s d ia ry
was o ne o f t h e f e w r e ally f o olp ro of w ay s o f d estr o yin g a H orc ru x.”
“W hat, s ta b bin g i t w ith a b asilis k f a n g?” a sk ed H arry .
“O h w ell, lu ck y w e’v e g ot s u ch a la rg e s u pply o f b asilis k f a n gs, th en ,” s a id
Ron. “ I w as w onderin g w hat w e w ere g oin g t o d o w ith t h em .”
“It d oesn ’t h av e t o b e a b asilis k f a n g,” s a id H erm io ne p atie n tly . “ It h as t o b e
so m eth in g so d estr u ctiv e th at th e H orc ru x can ’t re p air its e lf . B asilis k v en om
only h as o ne a n tid ote , a n d i t’s i n cre d ib ly r a re — ”
“— phoen ix t e ars ,” s a id H arry , n oddin g.
“E xactly ,” sa id H erm io ne. “O ur pro ble m is th at th ere are very fe w
su bsta n ces a s d estr u ctiv e a s b asilis k v en om , a n d th ey ’re a ll d an gero us to c arry
aro und w ith y ou. T hat’s a p ro ble m w e’re g oin g t o h av e t o s o lv e, t h ough, b ecau se
rip pin g, s m ash in g, o r c ru sh in g a H orc ru x w on’t d o t h e t r ic k . Y ou’v e g ot t o p ut i t
bey ond m ag ic al r e p air.”
“B ut e v en if w e w re ck th e th in g it liv es in ,” s a id R on, “ w hy c an ’t th e b it o f
so ul i n i t j u st g o a n d l iv e i n s o m eth in g e ls e ?”
“B ecau se a H orc ru x i s t h e c o m ple te o pposite o f a h um an b ein g.”
Seein g th at H arry a n d R on lo oked th oro ughly c o nfu se d , H erm io ne h urrie d
on. “ L ook, if I p ic k ed u p a s w ord r ig ht n ow , R on, a n d r a n y ou th ro ugh w ith it, I
would n’t d am ag e y our s o ul a t a ll.”
“W hic h w ould b e a r e al c o m fo rt t o m e, I ’m s u re ,” s a id R on. H arry l a u ghed .
“It s h ould b e, a ctu ally ! B ut m y p oin t i s t h at w hate v er h ap pen s t o y our b ody,
your s o ul w ill s u rv iv e, u nto uch ed ,” s a id H erm io ne. “ B ut i t’s t h e o th er w ay r o und
with a H orc ru x. T he fra g m en t o f so ul in sid e it d ep en ds o n its co nta in er, its
en ch an te d b ody, f o r s u rv iv al. I t c an ’t e x is t w ith out i t.”

“T hat d ia ry s o rt o f d ie d w hen I s ta b bed it,” s a id H arry , re m em berin g in k
pourin g lik e b lo od fro m th e p unctu re d p ag es, a n d th e s c re am s o f th e p ie ce o f
Vold em ort’s s o ul a s i t v an is h ed .
“A nd o nce th e d ia ry w as p ro perly d estr o yed , th e b it o f s o ul tr a p ped in it
co uld n o l o nger e x is t. G in ny t r ie d t o g et r id o f t h e d ia ry b efo re y ou d id , f lu sh in g
it a w ay, b ut o bvio usly i t c am e b ack g ood a s n ew .”
“H an g on,” sa id R on, fro w nin g. “T he bit of so ul in th at dia ry w as
posse ssin g G in ny, w asn ’t i t? H ow d oes t h at w ork , t h en ?”
“W hile t h e m ag ic al c o nta in er i s s till i n ta ct, t h e b it o f s o ul i n sid e i t c an f lit i n
an d o ut o f s o m eo ne i f t h ey g et t o o c lo se t o t h e o bje ct. I d on’t m ean h old in g i t f o r
to o lo ng, it’s n oth in g to d o w ith to uch in g it,” s h e a d ded b efo re R on c o uld s p eak .
“I m ean c lo se e m otio nally . G in ny p oure d h er h eart o ut in to th at d ia ry , s h e m ad e
hers e lf in cre d ib ly vuln era b le . Y ou’re in tr o uble if you get to o fo nd of or
dep en den t o n t h e H orc ru x.”
“I w onder h ow D um ble d ore d estr o yed th e r in g?” s a id H arry . “ W hy d id n’t I
ask h im ? I n ev er r e ally … ”
His v oic e tr a ile d a w ay : H e w as th in kin g o f a ll th e th in gs h e s h ould h av e
ask ed D um ble d ore , a n d o f h ow , sin ce th e h ead m aste r h ad d ie d , it se em ed to
Harry th at h e h ad w aste d so m an y o pportu nitie s w hen D um ble d ore h ad b een
aliv e, t o f in d o ut m ore … t o f in d o ut e v ery th in g…
The sile n ce w as sh atte re d as th e b ed ro om d oor fle w o pen w ith a w all-
sh ak in g cra sh . H erm io ne sh rie k ed an d dro pped
Secre ts of th e D ark est A rt;
Cro oksh an ks str e ak ed u nder th e b ed , h is sin g in dig nan tly ; R on ju m ped o ff th e
bed , s k id ded o n a d is c ard ed C hoco la te F ro g w ra p per, a n d s m ack ed h is h ead o n
th e o pposite w all; a n d H arry in stin ctiv ely d iv ed fo r h is w an d b efo re re aliz in g
th at h e w as lo okin g u p a t M rs . W easle y, w hose h air w as d is h ev ele d a n d w hose
fa ce w as c o nto rte d w ith r a g e.
“I’m so so rry to b re ak u p th is c o zy little g ath erin g,” sh e sa id , h er v oic e
tr e m blin g. “ I’m su re y ou a ll n eed y our re st… b ut th ere a re w ed din g p re se n ts
sta ck ed in m y ro om th at n eed s o rtin g o ut a n d I w as u nder th e im pre ssio n th at
you h ad a g re ed t o h elp .”
“O h y es,” s a id H erm io ne, lo okin g te rrif ie d a s s h e le ap t to h er f e et, s e n din g
books f ly in g i n e v ery d ir e ctio n. “ w e w ill… w e’re s o rry … ”
With a n a n guis h ed lo ok a t H arry a n d R on, H erm io ne h urrie d o ut o f th e
ro om a fte r M rs . W easle y.
“It’s lik e bein g a house -e lf ,” co m pla in ed R on in an underto ne, still
massa g in g his head as he an d H arry fo llo w ed . “E xcep t w ith out th e jo b
sa tis fa ctio n. T he s o oner t h is w ed din g’s o ver, t h e h ap pie r I ’ll b e.”
“Y eah ,” s a id H arry , “ th en w e’ll h av e n oth in g t o d o e x cep t f in d H orc ru xes…

It’ ll b e l ik e a h olid ay, w on’t i t? ”
Ron sta rte d to la u gh, b ut at th e sig ht o f th e en orm ous p ile o f w ed din g
pre se n ts w aitin g f o r t h em i n M rs . W easle y ’s r o om , s to pped q uite a b ru ptly .
The D ela co urs arriv ed th e fo llo w in g m orn in g at ele v en o ’ clo ck . H arry ,
Ron, H erm io ne a n d G in ny w ere f e elin g q uite r e se n tf u l to w ard F le u r’s f a m ily b y
th is tim e; a n d it w as w ith ill g ra ce th at R on stu m ped b ack u psta ir s to p ut o n
matc h in g s o ck s, a n d H arry a tte m pte d to f la tte n h is h air. O nce th ey h ad a ll b een
deem ed sm art e n ough, th ey tr o oped o ut in to th e su nny b ack y ard to a w ait th e
vis ito rs .
Harry h ad n ev er s e en t h e p la ce l o okin g s o t id y. T he r u sty c au ld ro ns a n d o ld
Wellin gto n b oots th at u su ally litte re d th e ste p s b y th e b ack d oor w ere g one,
re p la ced b y tw o n ew F lu tte rb y b ush es s ta n din g e ith er s id e o f th e d oor in la rg e
pots ; th ough th ere w as n o b re eze, th e le av es w av ed la zily , g iv in g a n a ttr a ctiv e
rip plin g e ff e ct. T he c h ic k en s h ad b een s h ut a w ay, th e y ard h ad b een s w ep t, a n d
th e n earb y g ard en h ad b een p ru ned , p lu ck ed , a n d g en era lly s p ru ced u p, a lth ough
Harry , w ho lik ed it in its o verg ro w n s ta te , th ought th at it lo oked ra th er fo rlo rn
with out i ts u su al c o ntin gen t o f c ap erin g g nom es.
He h ad l o st t r a ck o f h ow m an y s e cu rity e n ch an tm en ts h ad b een p la ced u pon
th e B urro w b y b oth th e O rd er a n d th e M in is tr y ; a ll h e k new w as th at it w as n o
lo nger p ossib le fo r an ybody to tr a v el b y m ag ic d ir e ctly in to th e p la ce. M r.
Weasle y h ad t h ere fo re g one t o m eet t h e D ela co urs o n t o p o f a n earb y h ill, w here
th ey w ere to arriv e by P ortk ey. T he fir s t so und of th eir ap pro ach w as an
unusu ally h ig h-p itc h ed la u gh, w hic h tu rn ed o ut to b e c o m in g f ro m M r. W easle y,
who ap peare d at th e g ate m om en ts la te r, la d en w ith lu ggag e an d le ad in g a
beau tif u l b lo nde w om an i n l o ng, l e af g re en r o bes, w ho c o uld b e F le u r’s m oth er.
“M am an !” c rie d F le u r, r u sh in g f o rw ard t o e m bra ce h er. “ P ap a!”
Monsie u r D ela co ur w as n ow here n ear a s a ttr a ctiv e a s h is w if e ; h e w as a
head s h orte r a n d e x tr e m ely p lu m b, w ith a little , p oin te d b la ck b eard . H ow ev er,
he lo oked g ood-n atu re d . B ouncin g to w ard s M rs . W easle y o n h ig h-h eele d b oots ,
he k is se d h er t w ic e o n e ach c h eek , l e av in g h er f lu ste re d .
“Y ou ’a v e b een s o m uch tr o uble ,” h e s a id in a d eep v oic e. “ F le u r te lls u s
you ’ a v e b een w ork in g v ery ’ a rd .”
“O h, i t’s b een n oth in g, n oth in g!” t r ille d M rs . W easle y. “ N o t r o uble a t a ll! ”
Ron r e lie v ed h is f e elin gs b y a im in g a k ic k a t a g nom e w ho w as p eerin g o ut
fro m b eh in d o ne o f t h e n ew F lu tte rb y b ush es.
“D ear la d y!” sa id M onsie u r D ela co ur, still h old in g M rs . W easle y ’s h an d
betw een h is o w n tw o p lu m p o nes a n d b eam in g. “ W e a re m ost h onore d a t th e
ap pro ach in g u nio n o f o ur t w o f a m ilie s! L et m e p re se n t m y w if e , A pollin e.”
Mad am e D ela co ur g lid ed f o rw ard a n d s to oped t o k is s M rs . W easle y t o o.

“E nch anté e,”
sh e sa id . “ Y our ’u sb an d ’a s b een te llin g u s su ch a m usin g
sto rie s!”
Mr. W easle y g av e a m an ia cal la u gh; M rs . W easle y th re w h im a lo ok, u pon
whic h h e b ecam e im med ia te ly s ile n t a n d a ssu m ed a n e x pre ssio n a p pro pria te to
th e s ic k bed o f a c lo se f rie n d.
“A nd, of co urs e , you ’a v e m et m y le etle dau ghte r, G ab rie lle !” sa id
Monsie u r D ela co ur. G ab rie lle w as F le u r in m in ia tu re ; ele v en y ears o ld , w ith
wais t- le n gth h air o f p ure , s ilv ery b lo nde, s h e g av e M rs . W easle y a d azzlin g s m ile
an d h ugged h er, th en th re w H arry a g lo w in g lo ok, b attin g h er e y ela sh es. G in ny
cle are d h er t h ro at l o udly .
“W ell, co m e in , do!” sa id M rs . W easle y brig htly , an d sh e ush ere d th e
Dela co urs in to th e h ouse , w ith m an y “ N o, p le ase !” s a n d “ A fte r y ou!” s a n d “ N ot
at a ll! ” s.
The D ela co urs , it s o on tr a n sp ir e d , w ere h elp fu l, p le asa n t g uests . T hey w ere
ple ase d w ith e v ery th in g a n d k een t o a ssis t w ith t h e p re p ara tio ns f o r t h e w ed din g.
Monsie u r D ela co ur pro nounced ev ery th in g fro m th e se atin g pla n to th e
brid esm aid s’ s h oes
“C harm ant! ”
M ad am e D ela co ur w as m ost a cco m plis h ed a t
house h old s p ells a n d h ad t h e o ven p ro perly c le an ed i n a t r ic e; G ab rie lle f o llo w ed
her e ld er s is te r a ro und, tr y in g to a ssis t in a n y w ay s h e c o uld a n d ja b berin g a w ay
in r a p id F re n ch .
On th e dow nsid e, th e B urro w w as not built to acco m modate so m an y
peo ple . M r. a n d M rs . W easle y w ere n ow sle ep in g in th e sittin g ro om , h av in g
sh oute d d ow n M onsie u r a n d M ad am e D ela co ur’s p ro te sts a n d in sis te d th ey ta k e
th eir b ed ro om . G ab rie lle w as s le ep in g w ith F le u r in P erc y ’s o ld ro om , a n d B ill
would be sh arin g w ith C harlie , his best m an , once C harlie arriv ed fro m
Rom an ia . O pportu nitie s to m ak e p la n s to geth er b ecam e v ir tu ally n onex is te n t,
an d it w as in d esp era tio n th at H arry , R on a n d H erm io ne to ok to v olu nte erin g to
fe ed t h e c h ic k en s j u st t o e sc ap e t h e o verc ro w ded h ouse .
“B ut s h e
still
w on’t le av e u s a lo ne!” s n arle d R on, a n d th eir s e co nd a tte m pt
at a m eetin g i n t h e y ard w as f o ile d b y t h e a p peara n ce o f M rs . W easle y c arry in g a
la rg e b ask et o f l a u ndry i n h er a rm s.
“O h, g ood, y ou’v e fe d th e c h ic k en s,” s h e c alle d a s s h e a p pro ach ed th em .
“W e’d b ette r s h ut th em a w ay a g ain b efo re th e m en a rriv e to m orro w … to p ut u p
th e te n t fo r th e w ed din g,” s h e e x pla in ed , p au sin g to le an a g ain st th e h en house .
She lo oked ex hau ste d . “M illa m an t’s M ag ic M arq uees… th ey ’re very good.
Bill’s e sc o rtin g t h em … Y ou’d b ette r s ta y i n sid e w hile t h ey ’re h ere , H arry . I m ust
sa y it d oes c o m plic ate o rg an iz in g a w ed din g, h av in g a ll th ese se cu rity sp ells
aro und t h e p la ce.”
“I’m s o rry ,” s a id H arry h um bly .

“O h, d on’t b e s illy , d ear!” s a id M rs . W easle y a t o nce. “ I d id n’t m ean — well,
your s a fe ty ’s m uch m ore im porta n t! A ctu ally , I ’v e b een w an tin g to a sk y ou h ow
you w an t t o c ele b ra te y our b ir th day, H arry . S ev en te en , a fte r a ll, i t’s a n i m porta n t
day … ”
“I d on’t w an t a fu ss,” s a id H arry q uic k ly , e n vis a g in g th e a d ditio nal s tr a in
th is w ould p ut o n t h em a ll. “ R eally , M rs . W easle y, j u st a n orm al d in ner w ould b e
fin e… I t’s t h e d ay b efo re t h e w ed din g… ”
“O h, w ell, if y ou’re s u re , d ear. I’ll in vite R em us a n d T onks, s h all I? A nd
how a b out H ag rid ?”
“T hat’ d b e g re at,” s a id H arry . “ B ut p le ase , d on’t g o t o l o ad s o f t r o uble .”
“N ot a t a ll, n ot a t a ll… I t’s n o t r o uble … ”
She lo oked at him , a lo ng, se arc h in g lo ok, th en sm ile d a little sa d ly ,
str a ig hte n ed u p, a n d w alk ed a w ay. H arry w atc h ed a s s h e w av ed h er w an d n ear
th e w ash in g lin e, a n d th e d am p c lo th es r o se in to th e a ir to h an g th em se lv es u p,
an d s u dden ly h e f e lt a g re at w av e o f r e m ors e f o r th e in co nven ie n ce a n d th e p ain
he w as g iv in g h er.

7 . T H E W IL L O F A LBU S D UM BLED O RE
He w as w alk in g a lo ng a m ounta in r o ad in th e c o ol b lu e lig ht o f d aw n. F ar
b elo w , s w ath ed i n m is t, w as t h e s h ad ow o f a s m all t o w n. W as t h e m an h e s o ught
d ow n th ere , th e m an h e n eed ed s o b ad ly h e c o uld th in k o f little e ls e , th e m an
w ho h eld t h e a n sw er, t h e a n sw er t o h is p ro ble m … ?
“O i, w ak e u p.”
Harry o pen ed h is e y es. H e w as ly in g a g ain o n th e c am p b ed in R on’s d in gy
a ttic ro om . The su n had not yet ris e n an d th e ro om w as still sh ad ow y.
P ig w id geo n w as a sle ep w ith h is h ead u nder h is tin y w in g. T he s c ar o n H arry ’s
f o re h ead w as p ric k lin g.
“Y ou w ere m utte rin g i n y our s le ep .”
“W as I ? ”
“Y eah . ‘ G re g oro vitc h .’ Y ou k ep t s a y in g ‘ G re g oro vitc h .’ ”
Harry w as n ot w earin g h is g la sse s; R on’s f a ce a p peare d s lig htly b lu rre d .
“W ho’s G re g oro vitc h ?”
“I d unno, d o I ? Y ou w ere t h e o ne s a y in g i t.”
Harry r u bbed h is f o re h ead , th in kin g. H e h ad a v ag ue id ea h e h ad h eard th e
n am e b efo re , b ut h e c o uld n ot t h in k w here .
“I t h in k V old em ort’s l o okin g f o r h im .”
“P oor b lo ke,” s a id R on f e rv en tly .
Harry s a t u p, s till r u bbin g h is s c ar, n ow w id e a w ak e. H e tr ie d to r e m em ber
e x actly w hat h e h ad s e en i n t h e d re am , b ut a ll t h at c am e b ack w as a m ounta in ous
h oriz o n a n d t h e o utlin e o f t h e l ittle v illa g e c ra d le d i n a d eep v alle y.
“I t h in k h e’s a b ro ad .”
“W ho, G re g oro vitc h ?”
“V old em ort. I th in k h e’s so m ew here a b ro ad , lo okin g fo r G re g oro vitc h . It
d id n’t l o ok l ik e a n yw here i n B rita in .”
“Y ou r e ck on y ou w ere s e ein g i n to h is m in d a g ain ?”
Ron s o unded w orrie d .
“D o m e a fa v or a n d d on’t te ll H erm io ne,” s a id H arry . “ A lth ough h ow s h e
e x pects m e t o s to p s e ein g s tu ff i n m y s le ep … ”
He g azed u p a t little P ig w id geo n’s c ag e, th in kin g… W hy w as th e n am e
“ G re g oro vitc h ” f a m ilia r?
“I t h in k,” h e s a id s lo w ly , “ h e’s g ot s o m eth in g t o d o w ith Q uid ditc h . T here ’s
s o m e c o nnectio n, b ut I c an ’t— I c an ’t t h in k w hat i t i s .”
“Q uid ditc h ?” s a id R on. “ S ure y ou’re n ot t h in kin g o f G org ovitc h ?”

“W ho?”
“D ra g om ir G org ovitc h , C hase r, tr a n sfe rre d to th e C hudle y C an nons fo r a
re co rd f e e t w o y ears a g o. R eco rd h old er f o r m ost Q uaff le d ro ps i n a s e aso n.”
“N o,” s a id H arry . “ I’m d efin ite ly n ot t h in kin g o f G org ovitc h .”
“I t r y n ot t o e ith er,” s a id R on. “ W ell, h ap py b ir th day a n yw ay.”
“W ow — th at’s r ig ht, I f o rg ot! I ’m s e v en te en !”
Harry s e iz ed th e w an d ly in g b esid e h is c am p b ed , p oin te d it a t th e c lu tte re d
desk w here h e h ad le ft h is g la sse s, a n d s a id ,
“A ccio G la sse s!”
A lth ough th ey
were o nly a ro und a f o ot a w ay, th ere w as s o m eth in g im men se ly s a tis fy in g a b out
se ein g t h em z o om t o w ard h im , a t l e ast u ntil t h ey p oked h im i n t h e e y e.
“S lic k ,” s n orte d R on.
Rev elin g in th e re m oval o f h is T ra ce, H arry s e n t R on’s p osse ssio ns fly in g
aro und th e ro om , c au sin g P ig w id geo n to w ak e u p a n d flu tte r e x cite d ly a ro und
his c ag e. H arry a ls o tr ie d ty in g th e la ces o f h is tr a in ers b y m ag ic (th e re su lta n t
knot to ok s e v era l m in ute s to u ntie b y h an d) a n d, p ure ly fo r th e p le asu re o f it,
tu rn ed t h e o ra n ge r o bes o n R on’s C hudle y C an nons p oste rs b rig ht b lu e.
“I’d d o y our fly b y h an d, th ough,” R on a d vis e d H arry , sn ig gerin g w hen
Harry im med ia te ly c h eck ed it. “ H ere ’s y our p re se n t. U nw ra p it u p h ere , it’s n ot
fo r m y m oth er’s e y es.”
“A b ook?” s a id H arry a s h e to ok th e r e cta n gula r p arc el. “ B it o f a d ep artu re
fro m t r a d itio n, i s n ’t i t? ”
“T his is n ’t y our a v era g e b ook,” s a id R on. “ It’s p ure g old :
Tw elv e F ail- S afe
Ways to C harm W itc h es.
E xpla in s e v ery th in g y ou n eed to k now a b out g ir ls . If
only I ’d h ad t h is l a st y ear I ’d h av e k now n e x actly h ow t o g et r id o f L av en der a n d
I w ould ’v e k now n h ow to g et g oin g w ith … W ell, F re d a n d G eo rg e g av e m e a
co py, a n d I’v e le arn ed a lo t. Y ou’d b e su rp ris e d , it’s n ot a ll a b out w an dw ork ,
eith er.”
When th ey a rriv ed in th e k itc h en th ey fo und a p ile o f p re se n ts w aitin g o n
th e t a b le . B ill a n d M onsie u r D ela co ur w ere f in is h in g t h eir b re ak fa sts , w hile M rs .
Weasle y s to od c h attin g t o t h em o ver t h e f ry in g p an .
“A rth ur to ld m e to w is h you a hap py se v en te en th , H arry ,” sa id M rs .
Weasle y, b eam in g a t h im . “ H e h ad to le av e e arly f o r w ork , b ut h e’ll b e b ack f o r
din ner. T hat’s o ur p re se n t o n t o p.”
Harry s a t d ow n, t o ok t h e s q uare p arc el s h e h ad i n dic ate d , a n d u nw ra p ped i t.
In sid e w as a w atc h v ery lik e th e o ne M r. a n d M rs . W easle y h ad g iv en R on fo r
his s e v en te en th ; i t w as g old , w ith s ta rs c ir c lin g a ro und t h e r a ce i n ste ad o f h an ds.
“It’s tr a d itio nal to g iv e a w iz ard a w atc h w hen h e c o m es o f a g e,” s a id M rs .
Weasle y, w atc h in g h im a n xio usly fro m b esid e th e c o oker. “ I’m a fra id th at o ne
is n ’t n ew lik e R on’s , it w as a ctu ally m y b ro th er F ab ia n ’s a n d h e w asn ’t te rrib ly

care fu l w ith h is p osse ssio ns, i t’s a b it d en te d o n t h e b ack , b ut— ”
The r e st o f h er s p eech w as lo st; H arry h ad g ot u p a n d h ugged h er. H e tr ie d
to p ut a lo t o f u nsa id th in gs in to th e h ug a n d p erh ap s sh e u nders to od th em ,
becau se sh e p atte d h is c h eek c lu m sily w hen h e re le ase d h er, th en w av ed h er
wan d in a s lig htly r a n dom w ay, c au sin g h alf a p ack o f b aco n to f lo p o ut o f th e
fry in g p an o nto t h e f lo or.
“H ap py b ir th day, H arry !” sa id H erm io ne, h urry in g in to th e k itc h en an d
ad din g h er o w n p re se n t to th e to p o f th e p ile . “ It’s n ot m uch , b ut I h ope y ou lik e
it. W hat d id y ou g et h im ?” s h e a d ded t o R on, w ho s e em ed n ot t o h ear h er.
“C om e o n, t h en , o pen H erm io ne’s !” s a id R on.
She h ad b ought h im a n ew S neak osc o pe. T he o th er p ack ag es c o nta in ed a n
en ch an te d ra zo r fro m B ill a n d F le u r (“ A h y es, z is w ill g iv e y ou z e s m ooth est
sh av e y ou w ill e v er ’ a v e,” M onsie u r D ela co ur a ssu re d h im , “ b ut y ou m ust te ll it
cle arly w hat y ou w an t… o zzerw is e y ou m ig ht f in d y ou ’ a v e a l e etle l e ss h air z an
you w ould lik e… ”), c h oco la te s f ro m th e D ela co urs , a n d a n e n orm ous b ox o f th e
la te st W easle y s’ W iz ard W heezes m erc h an dis e f ro m F re d a n d G eo rg e.
Harry , R on, an d H erm io ne d id n ot lin ger at th e ta b le , as th e arriv al o f
Mad am e D ela co ur, Fle u r, an d G ab rie lle m ad e th e kitc h en unco m fo rta b ly
cro w ded .
“I’ll p ack th ese fo r y ou,” H erm io ne s a id b rig htly , ta k in g H arry ’s p re se n ts
out o f h is a rm s a s th e th re e o f th em h ead ed b ack u psta ir s . “ I’m n early d one, I ’m
ju st w aitin g f o r t h e r e st o f y our u nderp an ts t o c o m e o ut o f t h e w ash , R on— ”
Ron’s s p lu tte r w as in te rru pte d b y th e o pen in g o f a d oor o n th e fir s t- flo or
la n din g.
“H arry , w ill y ou c o m e i n h ere a m om en t? ”
It w as G in ny. R on c am e to a n a b ru pt h alt, b ut H erm io ne to ok h im b y th e
elb ow a n d tu gged h im o n u p th e s ta ir s . F eelin g n erv ous, H arry f o llo w ed G in ny
in to h er r o om .
He h ad n ev er b een in sid e it b efo re . It w as s m all, b ut b rig ht. T here w as a
la rg e p oste r o f th e W iz ard in g b an d th e W eir d S is te rs o n o ne w all, a n d a p ic tu re
of G wen og Jo nes, C ap ta in of th e all- w itc h Q uid ditc h te am th e H oly head
Harp ie s, o n th e o th er. A d esk s to od fa cin g th e o pen w in dow , w hic h lo oked o ut
over th e o rc h ard w here h e a n d G in ny h ad o nce p la y ed a tw o-a -s id e Q uid ditc h
with R on a n d H erm io ne, a n d w hic h n ow h ouse d a la rg e, p early w hite m arq uee.
The g old en f la g o n t o p w as l e v el w ith G in ny’s w in dow .
Gin ny lo oked u p in to H arry ’s fa ce, to ok a d eep b re ath , a n d s a id , “ H ap py
se v en te en th .”
“Y eah … t h an ks.”
She w as l o okin g a t h im s te ad ily ; h e h ow ev er, f o und it d if f ic u lt to l o ok b ack

at h er; i t w as l ik e g azin g i n to a b rillia n t l ig ht.
“N ic e v ie w ,” h e s a id f e eb ly , p oin tin g t o w ard w ith w in dow .
She i g nore d t h is . H e c o uld n ot b la m e h er.
“I c o uld n’t t h in k w hat t o g et y ou,” s h e s a id .
“Y ou d id n’t h av e t o g et m e a n yth in g.”
She d is re g ard ed t h is t o o.
“I did n’t know w hat w ould be use fu l. N oth in g to o big , becau se you
would n’t b e a b le t o t a k e i t w ith y ou.”
He c h an ced a g la n ce a t h er. S he w as n ot te arfu l; th at w as o ne o f th e m an y
wonderfu l t h in gs a b out G in ny, s h e w as r a re ly w eep y. H e h ad s o m etim es t h ought
th at h av in g s ix b ro th ers m ust h av e t o ughen ed h er u p.
She t o ok a s te p c lo se r t o h im .
“S o th en I th ought, I ’d lik e y ou to h av e s o m eth in g to r e m em ber m e b y, y ou
know , i f y ou m eet s o m e v eela w hen y ou’re o ff d oin g w hate v er y ou’re d oin g.”
“I t h in k d atin g o pportu nitie s a re g oin g t o b e p re tty t h in o n t h e g ro und, t o b e
honest.”
“T here ’s th e s ilv er lin in g I’v e b een lo okin g fo r,” s h e w his p ere d , a n d th en
sh e w as k is sin g h im a s s h e h ad n ev er k is se d h im b efo re , a n d H arry w as k is sin g
her b ack , a n d it w as b lis sfu l o bliv io n b ette r th an fir e w his k y; s h e w as th e o nly
re al th in g in th e w orld , G in ny, th e fe el o f h er, o ne h an d a t h er b ack a n d o ne in
her l o ng, s w eet- s m ellin g h air —
The d oor b an ged o pen b eh in d t h em a n d t h ey j u m ped a p art.
“O h,” s a id R on p oin te d ly . “ S orry .”
“R on!” H erm io ne w as ju st b eh in d h im , s lig ht o ut o f b re ath . T here w as a
str a in ed s ile n ce, t h en G in ny h ad s a id i n a f la t l ittle v oic e,
“W ell, h ap py b ir th day a n yw ay, H arry .”
Ron’s e ars w ere s c arle t; H erm io ne lo oked n erv ous. H arry w an te d to s la m
th e d oor in th eir fa ces, b ut it fe lt a s th ough a c o ld d ra ft h ad e n te re d th e ro om
when th e d oor o pen ed , a n d h is s h in in g m om en t h ad p opped lik e a s o ap b ubble .
All th e re aso ns fo r e n din g h is re la tio nsh ip w ith G in ny, fo r sta y in g w ell a w ay
fro m her, se em ed to hav e slu nk in sid e th e ro om w ith R on, an d all hap py
fo rg etf u ln ess w as g one.
He lo oked at G in ny, w an tin g to sa y so m eth in g, th ough h e h ard ly k new
what, b ut sh e h ad tu rn ed h er b ack o n h im . H e th ought th at sh e m ig ht h av e
su ccu m bed , f o r o nce, to te ars . H e c o uld n ot d o a n yth in g to c o m fo rt h er in f ro nt
of R on.
“I’ll s e e y ou l a te r,” h e s a id , a n d f o llo w ed t h e o th er t w o o ut o f t h e b ed ro om .
Ron m arc h ed d ow nsta ir s , th ough th e still- c ro w ded k itc h en an d in to th e
yard , a n d H arry k ep t p ace w ith h im a ll th e w ay, H erm io ne tr o ttin g a lo ng b eh in d

th em l o okin g s c are d .
Once h e r e ach ed th e s e clu sio n o f th e f re sh ly m ow n la w n, R on r o unded o n
Harry .
“Y ou d itc h ed h er. W hat a re y ou d oin g n ow , m essin g h er a ro und?”
“I’m n ot m essin g h er aro und,” sa id H arry , as H erm io ne cau ght u p w ith
th em .
“R on— ”
But R on h eld u p a h an d t o s ile n ce h er.
“S he w as r e ally c u t u p w hen y ou e n ded i t— ”
“S o w as I . Y ou k now w hy I s to pped i t, a n d i t w asn ’t b ecau se I w an te d t o .”
“Y eah , b ut y ou g o s n oggin g h er n ow a n d s h e’s ju st g oin g to g et h er h opes
up a g ain — ”
“S he’s n ot a n i d io t, s h e k now s i t c an ’t h ap pen , s h e’s n ot e x pectin g u s t o — to
en d u p m arrie d , o r— ”
As h e s a id it, a v iv id p ic tu re fo rm ed in H arry ’s m in d o f G in ny in a w hite
dre ss, m arry in g a t a ll, f a cele ss, a n d u nple asa n t s tr a n ger.
In o ne sp ir a lin g m om en t it se em ed to h it h im : H er fu tu re w as fre e a n d
unen cu m bere d , w here as h is … h e c o uld s e e n oth in g b ut V old em ort a h ead .
“If y ou k eep g ro pin g h er e v ery c h an ce y ou g et— ”
“It w on’t h ap pen a g ain ,” s a id H arry h ars h ly . T he d ay w as c lo udle ss, b ut h e
fe lt a s t h ough t h e s u n h ad g one i n . “ O kay ?”
Ron lo oked h alf re se n tf u l, h alf s h eep is h ; h e ro ck ed b ack w ard a n d fo rw ard
on h is f e et f o r a m om en t, t h en s a id , “ R ig ht t h en , w ell, t h at’s … y eah .”
Gin ny d id n ot s e ek a n oth er o ne-to -o ne m eetin g w ith H arry fo r th e re st o f
th e d ay, n or b y a n y lo ok o r g estu re d id s h e s h ow th at th ey h ad s h are d m ore th an
polite c o nvers a tio n in h er r o om . N ev erth ele ss, C harlie ’s a rriv al c am e a s a r e lie f
to H arry . It p ro vid ed a d is tr a ctio n, w atc h in g M rs . W easle y fo rc e C harlie in to a
ch air , ra is e h er w an d th re ate n in gly , a n d a n nounce th at h e w as a b out to g et a
pro per h air c u t.
As H arry ’s b ir th day d in ner w ould h av e s tr e tc h ed th e B urro w ’s k itc h en to
bre ak in g p oin t e v en b efo re th e a rriv al o f C harlie , L upin , T onks, a n d H ag rid ,
se v era l ta b le s w ere p la ced e n d to e n d in th e g ard en . F re d a n d G eo rg e b ew itc h ed
a n um ber o f p urp le la n te rn s a ll e m bla zo ned w ith a la rg e n um ber 1 7, to h an g in
mid air o ver t h e g uests . T han ks t o M rs . W easle y ’s m in is tr a tio ns, G eo rg e’s w ound
was n eat a n d c le an , b ut H arry w as n ot y et u se d t o t h e d ark h ole i n t h e s id e o f h is
head , d esp ite t h e t w in s’ m an y j o kes a b out i t.
Herm io ne m ad e p urp le a n d g old s tr e am ers e ru pt f ro m th e e n d o f h er w an d
an d d ra p e t h em se lv es a rtis tic ally o ver t h e t r e es a n d b ush es.
“N ic e,” s a id R on, a s w ith o ne f in al f lo uris h o f h er w an d, H erm io ne tu rn ed

th e l e av es o n t h e c ra b ap ple t r e e t o g old . “ Y ou’v e r e ally g ot a n e y e f o r t h at s o rt o f
th in g.”
“T han k you, R on!” sa id H erm io ne, lo okin g both ple ase d an d a little
co nfu se d . H arry tu rn ed a w ay, s m ilin g to h im se lf . H e h ad a f u nny n otio n th at h e
would f in d a c h ap te r o n c o m plim en ts w hen h e f o und tim e to p eru se h is c o py o f
Tw elv e F ail- S afe W ays to C harm W itc h es;
h e c au ght G in ny’s e y e a n d g rin ned a t
her befo re re m em berin g his pro m is e to R on an d hurrie d ly str ik in g up a
co nvers a tio n w ith M onsie u r D ela co ur.
“O ut o f th e w ay, o ut o f th e w ay !” s a n g M rs . W easle y, c o m in g th ro ugh th e
gate w ith w hat a p peare d t o b e a g ia n t, b each -b all- s iz ed S nitc h f lo atin g i n f ro nt o f
her. S eco nds la te r H arry re aliz ed th at it w as h is b ir th day cak e, w hic h M rs .
Weasle y w as su sp en din g w ith h er w an d, ra th er th an ris k c arry in g it o ver th e
unev en g ro und. W hen th e c ak e h ad fin ally la n ded in th e m id dle o f th e ta b le ,
Harry s a id ,
“T hat l o oks a m azin g, M rs . W easle y.”
“O h, i t’s n oth in g, d ear,” s h e s a id f o ndly . O ver h er s h ould er, R on g av e H arry
th e t h um bs-u p a n d m outh ed ,
Good o ne.
By s e v en o ’c lo ck a ll th e g uests h ad a rriv ed , le d in to th e h ouse b y F re d a n d
Geo rg e, w ho h ad w aite d f o r th em a t th e e n d o f th e la n e. H ag rid h ad h onore d th e
occasio n b y w earin g h is b est, a n d h orrib le , h air y b ro w n su it. A lth ough L upin
sm ile d a s h e s h ook H arry ’s h an d, H arry t h ought h e l o oked r a th er u nhap py. I t w as
all v ery o dd; T onks, b esid e h im , l o oked s im ply r a d ia n t.
“H ap py b ir th day, H arry ,” s h e s a id , h uggin g h im t ig htly .
“S ev en te en , e h !” s a id H ag rid a s h e a ccep te d a b uck et- s iz ed g la ss o f w in e
fro m F re d . “ S ix y ears t e r t h e d ay s in ce w e m et, H arry , d ’y eh r e m em ber i t? ”
“V ag uely ,” sa id H arry , g rin nin g u p a t h im . “ D id n’t y ou sm ash d ow n th e
fro nt d oor, g iv e D udle y a p ig ’s t a il, a n d t e ll m e I w as a w iz ard ?”
“I f o rg e’ t h e d eta ils ,” H ag rid c h ortle d . “ A ll r ig h’, R on, H erm io ne?”
“W e’re f in e,” s a id H erm io ne. “ H ow a re y ou?”
“A r, n ot b ad . B in b usy , w e g ot s o m e n ew born u nic o rn s. I ’ll s h ow y eh w hen
yeh get back — ” H arry av oid ed Ron’s an d H erm io ne’s gazes as H ag rid
ru m mag ed i n h is p ock et. “ H ere . H arry — co uld n’t t h in k w hat t e r g et t e h , b ut t h en
I r e m em bere d t h is .” H e p ulle d o ut a s m all, s lig htly f u rry d ra w str in g p ouch w ith a
lo ng str in g, e v id en tly in te n ded to b e w orn a ro und th e n eck . “ M okesk in . H id e
an yth in ’ i n t h ere a n ’ n o o ne b ut t h e o w ner c an g et i t o ut. T hey ’re r a re , t h em .”
“H ag rid , t h an ks!”
“’S ’n oth in ’,” sa id H ag rid w ith a w av e o f a d ustb in -lid -s iz ed h an d. “ A n’
th ere ’s C harlie ! A lw ay s l ik ed h im — hey ! C harlie !”
Charlie ap pro ach ed , ru nnin g his han d slig htly ru efu lly over his new ,

bru ta lly s h ort h air c u t. H e w as s h orte r t h an R on, t h ic k se t, w ith a n um ber o f b urn s
an d s c ra tc h es u p h is m usc le y a rm s.
“H i, H ag rid , h ow ’s i t g oin g?”
“B in m ean in ’ t e r w rite f e r a g es. H ow ’s N orb ert d oin ’? ”
“N orb ert? ” C harlie la u ghed . “T he N orw eg ia n R id geb ack ? W e call her
Norb erta n ow .”
“W ha— Norb ert’s a g ir l? ”
“O h y eah ,” s a id C harlie .
“H ow c an y ou t e ll? ” a sk ed H erm io ne.
“T hey ’re a l o t m ore v ic io us,” s a id C harlie . H e l o oked o ver h is s h ould er a n d
dro pped h is v oic e. “W is h D ad w ould h urry u p an d g et h ere . M um ’s g ettin g
ed gy.”
They a ll lo oked o ver a t M rs . W easle y. S he w as tr y in g to ta lk to M ad am e
Dela co ur w hile g la n cin g r e p eate d ly a t t h e g ate .
“I th in k w e’d b ette r s ta rt w ith out A rth ur,” s h e c alle d to th e g ard en a t la rg e
afte r a m om en t o r t w o. “ H e m ust h av e b een h eld u p a t— oh!”
They a ll s a w i t a t t h e s a m e t im e: a s tr e ak o f l ig ht t h at c am e f ly in g a cro ss t h e
yard a n d o nto t h e t a b le , w here i t r e so lv ed i ts e lf i n to a b rig ht s ilv er w ease l, w hic h
sto od o n i ts h in d l e g s a n d s p oke w ith M r. W easle y ’s v oic e.
“M in is te r o f M ag ic c o m in g w ith m e.”
The P atr o nus dis so lv ed in to th in air , le av in g F le u r’s fa m ily peerin g in
asto nis h m en t a t t h e p la ce w here i t h ad v an is h ed .
“W e sh ould n’t be here ,” sa id L upin at once. “H arry — I’m so rry — I’ll
ex pla in s o m e o th er t im e— ”
He se iz ed T onks’s w ris t an d pulle d her aw ay ; th ey re ach ed th e fe n ce,
clim bed o ver i t, a n d v an is h ed f ro m s ig ht. M rs . W easle y l o oked b ew ild ere d .
“T he M in is te r— but w hy— ? I d on’t u nders ta n d— ”
But t h ere w as n o t im e t o d is c u ss t h e m atte r; a s e co nd l a te r, M r. W easle y h ad
ap peare d o ut o f t h in a ir a t t h e g ate , a cco m pan ie d b y R ufu s S crim geo ur, i n sta n tly
re co gniz ab le b y h is m an e o f g riz zle d h air.
The tw o n ew co m ers m arc h ed a cro ss th e y ard to w ard th e g ard en a n d th e
la n te rn -lit ta b le , w here e v ery body s a t in s ile n ce, w atc h in g th em d ra w c lo se r. A s
Scrim geo ur c am e w ith in ra n ge o f th e la n te rn lig ht, H arry sa w th at h e lo oked
much o ld er t h an t h e l a st t im e t h at h ad m et, s c ra g gy a n d g rim .
“S orry to in tr u de,” s a id S crim geo ur, a s h e lim ped to a h alt b efo re th e ta b le .
“E sp ecia lly a s I c an s e e t h at I a m g ate -c ra sh in g a p arty .”
His e y es l in gere d f o r a m om en t o n t h e g ia n t S nitc h c ak e.
“M an y h ap py r e tu rn s.”
“T han ks,” s a id H arry .

“I re q uir e a p riv ate w ord w ith y ou,” S crim geo ur w en t o n. “ A ls o w ith M r.
Ronald W easle y a n d M is s H erm io ne G ra n ger.”
“U s? ” s a id R on, s o undin g s u rp ris e d . “ W hy u s? ”
“I sh all te ll you th at w hen w e are so m ew here m ore priv ate ,” sa id
Scrim geo ur. “ Is t h ere s u ch a p la ce?” h e d em an ded o f M r. W easle y.
“Y es, o f c o urs e ,” s a id M r. W easle y, w ho lo oked n erv ous. “ T he, e r, s ittin g
ro om , w hy d on’t y ou u se t h at? ”
“Y ou c an l e ad t h e w ay,” S crim geo ur s a id t o R on. “ T here w ill b e n o n eed f o r
you t o a cco m pan y u s, A rth ur.”
Harry s a w M r. W easle y e x ch an ge a w orrie d lo ok w ith M rs . W easle y a s h e,
Ron, a n d H erm io ne s to od u p. A s th ey le d th e w ay b ack to th e h ouse in s ile n ce,
Harry k new th at th e o th er tw o w ere th in kin g th e s a m e a s h e w as; S crim geo ur
must, s o m eh ow , h ad le arn ed th at th e th re e o f th em w ere p la n nin g to d ro p o ut o f
Hogw arts .
Scrim geo ur d id n ot s p eak a s t h ey a ll p asse d t h ro ugh t h e m esse d k itc h en a n d
in to th e B urro w ’s s ittin g r o om . A lth ough th e g ard en h ad b een f u ll o f s o ft g old en
ev en in g l ig ht, i t w as a lr e ad y d ark i n h ere ; H arry f lic k ed h is w an d a t t h e o il l a m ps
as h e e n te re d a n d th ey illu m in ate d th e sh ab by b ut c o zy ro om . S crim geo ur sa t
him se lf in th e sa g gin g a rm ch air th at M r. W easle y n orm ally o ccu pie d , le av in g
Harry , R on, a n d H erm io ne to s q ueeze s id e b y s id e o nto th e s o fa . O nce th ey h ad
done s o , S crim geo ur s p oke.
“I h av e s o m e q uestio ns f o r t h e t h re e o f y ou, a n d I t h in k i t w ill b e b est i f w e
do it in div id ually . If y ou tw o”— he p oin te d a t H arry a n d H erm io ne— “can w ait
upsta ir s , I w ill s ta rt w ith R onald .”
“W e’re not goin g an yw here ,” sa id Harry , while Herm io ne nodded
vig oro usly . “ Y ou c an s p eak t o u s t o geth er, o r n ot a t a ll.”
Scrim geo ur g av e H arry a c o ld , a p pra is in g lo ok. H arry h ad th e im pre ssio n
th at th e M in is te r w as w onderin g w heth er it w as w orth w hile o pen in g h ostilitie s
th is e arly .
“V ery w ell th en , to geth er,” h e s a id , s h ru ggin g. H e c le are d h is th ro at. “ I a m
here , a s I ’m s u re y ou k now , b ecau se o f A lb us D um ble d ore ’s w ill.”
Harry , R on, a n d H erm io ne l o oked a t o ne a n oth er.
“A s u rp ris e , a p pare n tly ! Y ou w ere n ot a w are th en th at D um ble d ore h ad le ft
you a n yth in g?”
“A — all o f u s? ” s a id R on, “ M e a n d H erm io ne t o o?”
“Y es, a ll o f— ”
But H arry i n te rru pte d .
“D um ble d ore d ie d o ver a m onth a g o. W hy h as it ta k en th is lo ng to g iv e u s
what h e l e ft u s? ”

“Is n ’t it o bvio us? ” s a id H erm io ne, b efo re S crim geo ur c o uld a n sw er. “ T hey
wan te d to e x am in e w hate v er h e’s le ft u s. Y ou h ad n o r ig ht to d o th at! ” s h e s a id ,
an d h er v oic e t r e m ble d s lig htly .
“I had ev ery rig ht,” sa id Scrim geo ur dis m is siv ely . “T he D ecre e fo r
Ju stif ia b le C onfis c atio n g iv es th e M in is tr y th e p ow er th e c o nfis c ate th e c o nte n ts
of a w ill— ”
“T hat la w w as cre ate d to sto p w iz ard s p assin g o n D ark artif a cts ,” sa id
Herm io ne, “ an d th e M in is tr y is su ppose d to h av e p ow erfu l e v id en ce th at th e
decease d ’s p osse ssio ns a re ille g al b efo re s e iz in g th em ! A re y ou te llin g m e th at
you t h ought D um ble d ore w as t r y in g t o p ass u s s o m eth in g c u rs e d ?”
“A re y ou p la n nin g to fo llo w a care er in M ag ic al L aw , M is s G ra n ger? ”
ask ed S crim geo ur.
“N o, I’m n ot,” re to rte d H erm io ne. “ I’m h opin g to d o so m e g ood in th e
world !”
Ron la u ghed . S crim geo ur’s e y es flic k ere d to w ard h im a n d a w ay a g ain a s
Harry s p oke.
“S o w hy h av e y ou d ecid ed to le t u s h av e o ur th in gs n ow ? C an ’t th in k o f a
pre te x t t o k eep t h em ?”
“N o, it’ ll b e b ecau se th ir ty -o ne d ay s a re u p,” s a id H erm io ne a t o nce. “ T hey
can ’t k eep th e o bje cts lo nger th an th at u nle ss th ey c an p ro ve th ey ’re d an gero us.
Rig ht? ”
“W ould you sa y you were clo se to Dum ble d ore , Ronald ?” ask ed
Scrim geo ur, i g norin g H erm io ne.
Ron l o oked s ta rtle d .
“M e? N ot— not r e ally … I t w as a lw ay s H arry w ho… ”
Ron lo oked a ro und a t H arry a n d H erm io ne, to s e e H erm io ne g iv in g h im a
sto p— ta lk in g— now !
s o rt o f lo ok, b ut th e d am ag e w as d one; S crim geo ur lo oked
as th ough h e h ad h eard e x actly w hat h e h ad e x pecte d , a n d w an te d , to h ear. H e
sw ooped l ik e a b ir d o f p re y u pon R on’s a n sw er.
“If y ou w ere n ot v ery c lo se t o D um ble d ore , h ow d o y ou a cco unt f o r t h e f a ct
th at he re m em bere d you in his w ill? H e m ad e ex cep tio nally fe w pers o nal
beq uests . T he v ast m ajo rity o f h is p osse ssio ns— his p riv ate lib ra ry , h is m ag ic al
in str u m en ts , a n d o th er p ers o nal e ff e cts — were le ft to H ogw arts . W hy d o y ou
th in k y ou w ere s in gle d o ut? ”
“I… d unno,” s a id R on. “ I… w hen I s a y w e w ere n ’t c lo se … I m ean , I th in k
he l ik ed m e… ”
“Y ou’re b ein g m odest, R on,” s a id H erm io ne. “ D um ble d ore w as v ery fo nd
of y ou.”
This w as s tr e tc h in g th e tr u th to b re ak in g p oin t; a s fa r a s H arry k new , R on

an d D um ble d ore h ad n ev er b een a lo ne t o geth er, a n d d ir e ct c o nta ct b etw een t h em
had b een n eg lig ib le . H ow ev er, S crim geo ur d id n ot s e em to b e lis te n in g. H e p ut
his h an d in sid e h is c lo ak a n d d re w o ut a d ra w str in g p ouch m uch la rg er th an th e
one H ag rid h ad g iv en H arry . F ro m i t, h e r e m oved a s c ro ll o f p arc h m en t w hic h h e
unro lle d a n d r e ad a lo ud.
“‘T he Last W ill an d Testa m en t of Alb us Perc iv al W ulf ric Bria n
Dum ble d ore ’… Y es, h ere w e are … ‘T o R onald B iliu s W easle y, I le av e m y
Delu m in ato r, i n t h e h ope t h at h e w ill r e m em ber m e w hen h e u se s i t.’ ”
Scrim geo ur to ok fro m th e b ag an o bje ct th at H arry h ad se en b efo re : It
lo oked s o m eth in g l ik e a s ilv er c ig are tte l ig hte r, b ut i t h ad , h e k new , t h e p ow er t o
su ck a ll l ig ht f ro m a p la ce, a n d r e sto re i t, w ith a s im ple c lic k . S crim geo ur l e an ed
fo rw ard a n d p asse d t h e D elu m in ato r t o R on, w ho t o ok i t a n d t u rn ed i t o ver i n t h e
fin gers l o okin g s tu nned .
“T hat is a v alu ab le o bje ct,” s a id S crim geo ur, w atc h in g R on. “ It m ay e v en
be u niq ue. C erta in ly it is o f D um ble d ore ’s o w n d esig n. W hy w ould h e h av e le ft
you a n i te m s o r a re ?”
Ron s h ook h is h ead , l o okin g b ew ild ere d .
“D um ble d ore m ust hav e ta u ght th ousa n ds of stu den ts ,” Scrim geo ur
pers e v ere d . “ Y et th e o nly o nes h e r e m em bere d in h is w ill a re y ou th re e. W hy is
th at? T o w hat u se d id h e t h in k y ou w ould p ut t o t h e D elu m in ato r, M r. W easle y ?”
“P ut o ut l ig hts , I s ’p ose ,” m um ble d R on. “ W hat e ls e c o uld I d o w ith i t? ”
Evid en tly S crim geo ur h ad n o su ggestio ns. A fte r sq uin tin g at R on fo r a
mom en t o r t o w , h e t u rn ed b ack t o D um ble d ore ’s w ill.
“‘T o M is s H erm io ne J e an G ra n ger, I le av e m y c o py o f
The T a le s o f B eed le
th e B ard ,
i n t h e h ope t h at s h e w ill f in d i t e n te rta in in g a n d i n str u ctiv e.’ ”
Scrim geo ur n ow p ulle d o ut o f th e b ag a s m all b ook th at lo oked a s a n cie n t
as th e c o py o f
Secre ts o f th e D ark est A rt
u psta ir s . Its b in din g w as s ta in ed a n d
peelin g in p la ces. H erm io ne to ok it fro m S crim geo ur w ith out a w ord . S he h eld
th e b ook in h er la p a n d g azed a t it. H arry s a w th at th e title w as in r u nes; h e h ad
nev er le arn ed to re ad th em . A s h e lo oked , a te ar sp la sh ed o nto th e e m bosse d
sy m bols .
“W hy d o y ou th in k D um ble d ore le ft y ou th at b ook, M is s G ra n ger? ” a sk ed
Scrim geo ur.
“H e… h e k new I l ik ed b ooks,” s a id H erm io ne i n a t h ic k v oic e, m oppin g h er
ey es w ith h er s le ev e.
“B ut w hy t h at p artic u la r b ook?”
“I d on’t k now . H e m ust h av e t h ought I ’d e n jo y i t.”
“D id y ou e v er d is c u ss c o des, o r a n y m ean s o f p assin g s e cre t m essa g es, w ith
Dum ble d ore ?”

“N o, I d id n’t,” s a id H erm io ne, s till w ip in g h er e y es o n h er s le ev e. “ A nd if
th e M in is tr y h asn ’t fo und a n y h id den c o des in th is b ook in th ir ty -o ne d ay s, I
doubt t h at I w ill.”
She s u ppre sse d a s o b. T hey w ere w ed ged to geth er s o tig htly th at R on h ad
dif f ic u lty e x tr a ctin g h is a rm to p ut it a ro und H erm io ne’s s h ould ers . S crim geo ur
tu rn ed b ack t o t h e w ill.
“‘T o H arry J a m es P otte r,’ ” h e re ad , a n d H arry ’s in sid es c o ntr a cte d w ith a
su dden e x cite m en t, “ ‘I le av e th e S nitc h h e c au ght in h is f ir s t Q uid ditc h m atc h a t
Hogw arts , a s a r e m in der o f t h e r e w ard s o f p ers e v era n ce a n d s k ill.’ ”
As S crim geo ur p ulle d o ut t h e t in y, w aln ut- s iz ed g old en b all, i ts s ilv er w in gs
flu tte re d ra th er fe eb ly , an d H arry co uld n ot h elp fe elin g a d efin ite se n se o f
an tic lim ax .
“W hy d id D um ble d ore l e av e y ou t h is S nitc h ?” a sk ed S crim geo ur.
“N o id ea,” s a id H arry . “ F or th e re aso ns y ou ju st re ad o ut, I s u ppose … to
re m in d m e w hat y ou c an g et i f y ou… p ers e v ere a n d w hate v er i t w as.”
“Y ou t h in k t h is a m ere s y m bolic k eep sa k e, t h en ?”
“I s u ppose s o ,” s a id H arry . “ W hat e ls e c o uld i t b e?”
“I’m a sk in g t h e q uestio ns,” s a id S crim geo ur, s h if tin g h is c h air a l ittle c lo se r
to th e so fa . D usk w as re ally fa llin g outs id e now ; th e m arq uee bey ond th e
win dow s t o w ere d g hostly w hite o ver t h e h ed ge.
“I n otic e th at y our b ir th day c ak e is in th e s h ap e o f a S nitc h ,” S crim geo ur
sa id t o H arry . “ W hy i s t h at? ”
Herm io ne l a u ghed d eris iv ely .
“O h, i t c an ’t b e a r e fe re n ce t o t h e f a ct H arry ’s a g re at S eek er, t h at’s w ay t o o
obvio us,” s h e s a id . “ T here m ust b e a s e cre t m essa g e f ro m D um ble d ore h id den i n
th e i c in g!”
“I d on’t th in k th ere ’s a n yth in g h id den in th e ic in g,” s a id S crim geo ur, “ b ut a
Snitc h w ould b e a v ery g ood h id in g p la ce f o r a s m all o bje ct. Y ou k now w hy, I ’m
su re ?”
Harry sh ru gged , Herm io ne, how ev er, an sw ere d . Harry th ought th at
an sw erin g q uestio ns c o rre ctly w as s u ch a d eep ly in gra in ed h ab it s h e c o uld n ot
su ppre ss t h e u rg e.
“B ecau se S nitc h es h av e f le sh m em orie s,” s h e s a id .
“W hat? ” sa id H arry an d Ron to geth er; both co nsid ere d H erm io ne’s
Quid ditc h k now le d ge n eg lig ib le .
“C orre ct,” s a id S crim geo ur. “ A S nitc h is n ot to uch ed b y b are s k in b efo re it
is r e le ase d , n ot e v en b y th e m ak er, w ho w ears g lo ves. I t c arrie s a n e n ch an tm en t
by w hic h it can id en tif y th e fir s t h um an to la y h an ds u pon it, in case o f a
dis p ute d cap tu re . This Snitc h ”— he held up th e tin y gold en ball— “w ill

re m em ber your to uch , Potte r. It occu rs to m e th at D um ble d ore , w ho had
pro dig io us m ag ic al sk ill, w hate v er h is o th er fa u lts , m ig ht h av e e n ch an te d th is
Snitc h s o t h at i t w ill o pen o nly f o r y ou.”
Harry ’s h eart w as b eatin g ra th er fa st. H e w as su re th at S crim geo ur w as
rig ht. H ow c o uld h e a v oid ta k in g th e S nitc h w ith h is b are h an d in fro nt o f th e
Min is te r?
“Y ou d on’t sa y an yth in g,” sa id S crim geo ur. “P erh ap s y ou alr e ad y k now
what t h e S nitc h c o nta in s? ”
“N o,” s a id H arry , s till w onderin g h ow h e c o uld a p pear to to uch th e S nitc h
with out r e ally d oin g s o . I f o nly h e k new L eg ilim en cy, r e ally k new it, a n d c o uld
re ad H erm io ne’s m in d; h e c o uld p ra ctic ally h ear h er b ra in w hiz zin g b esid e h im .
“T ak e i t,” s a id S crim geo ur q uie tly .
Harry m et th e M in is te r’s y ello w e y es a n d k new h e h ad n o o ptio n b ut to
obey. H e h eld o ut h is h an d, a n d S crim geo ur le an ed f o rw ard a g ain a n d p la ce th e
Snitc h , s lo w ly a n d d elib era te ly , i n to H arry ’s p alm .
Noth in g h ap pen ed . A s H arry ’s fin gers c lo se d a ro und th e S nitc h , its tir e d
win gs f lu tte re d a n d w ere s till. S crim geo ur, R on, a n d H erm io ne c o ntin ued t o g aze
av id ly a t th e n ow p artia lly c o nceale d b all, a s if s till h opin g it m ig ht tr a n sfo rm in
so m e w ay.
“T hat w as d ra m atic ,” s a id H arry c o olly .
Both R on a n d H erm io ne l a u ghed .
“T hat’s a ll, th en , is it? ” a sk ed H erm io ne, m ak in g to ra is e h ers e lf o ff th e
so fa .
“N ot q uite ,” s a id S crim geo ur, w ho l o oked b ad t e m pere d n ow . “ D um ble d ore
le ft y ou a s e co nd b eq uest, P otte r.”
“W hat i s i t? ” a sk ed H arry , e x cite m en t r e k in dlin g.
Scrim geo ur d id n ot b oth er t o r e ad f ro m t h e w ill t h is t im e.
“T he s w ord o f G odric G ry ff in dor,” h e s a id .
Herm io ne a n d R on b oth stif f e n ed . H arry lo oked a ro und fo r a sig n o f th e
ru by-e n cru ste d h ilt, b ut S crim geo ur d id n ot p ull th e sw ord fro m th e le ath er
pouch , w hic h i n a n y c ase l o oked m uch t o o s m all t o c o nta in i t.
“S o w here i s i t? ” H arry a sk ed s u sp ic io usly .
“U nfo rtu nate ly ,” sa id S crim geo ur, “th at sw ord w as n ot D um ble d ore ’s to
giv e a w ay. T he s w ord o f G odric G ry ff in dor is a n im porta n t h is to ric al a rtif a ct,
an d a s s u ch , b elo ngs— ”
“It b elo ngs to H arry !” s a id H erm io ne h otly . “ It c h ose h im , h e w as th e o ne
who f o und i t, i t c am e t o h im o ut o f t h e S ortin g H at— ”
“A cco rd in g to re lia b le h is to ric al so urc es, th e sw ord m ay p re se n t its e lf to
an y w orth y G ry ff in dor,” s a id S crim geo ur. “ T hat d oes n ot m ak e it th e e x clu siv e

pro perty o f M r. P otte r, w hate v er D um ble d ore m ay h av e d ecid ed .” S crim geo ur
sc ra tc h ed h is b ad ly s h av en c h eek , s c ru tin iz in g H arry . “ W hy d o y ou t h in k— ?”
“— Dum ble d ore w an te d to g iv e m e th e sw ord ?” sa id H arry , str u gglin g to
keep h is t e m per. “ M ay be h e t h ought i t w ould l o ok n ic e o n m y w all.”
“T his is not a jo ke, Potte r!” gro w le d Scrim geo ur. “W as it becau se
Dum ble d ore b elie v ed th at o nly th e s w ord o f G odric G ry ff in dor c o uld d efe at th e
Heir of S ly th erin ? D id he w is h to giv e you th at sw ord , P otte r, becau se he
belie v ed , a s d o m an y, th at y ou a re th e o ne d estin ed to d estr o y H e-W ho-M ust-
Not- B e-N am ed ?”
“In te re stin g th eo ry ,” s a id H arry . “ H as a n yone e v er tr ie d s tic k in g a s w ord in
Vold em ort? M ay be th e M in is tr y sh ould p ut so m e p eo ple o nto th at, in ste ad o f
wastin g th eir tim e s tr ip pin g d ow n D elu m in ato rs o r c o verin g u p b re ak outs fro m
Azk ab an . S o th is is w hat y ou’v e b een d oin g, M in is te r, s h ut u p in y our o ff ic e,
tr y in g to b re ak o pen a S nitc h ? P eo ple a re d yin g— I w as n early o ne o f th em —
Vold em ort ch ase d m e acro ss th re e co untr ie s, h e k ille d M ad -E ye M oody, b ut
th ere ’s n o w ord a b out a n y o f th at fro m th e M in is tr y , h as th ere ? A nd y ou still
ex pect u s t o c o opera te w ith y ou!”
“Y ou g o t o o f a r!” s h oute d S crim geo ur, s ta n din g u p.
Harry ju m ped to h is f e et to o. S crim geo ur lim ped to w ard H arry a n d ja b bed
him h ard in th e c h est w ith th e p oin t o f h is w an d; I t s in ged a h ole in H arry ’s T -
sh ir t l ik e a l it c ig are tte .
“O i! ” s a id R on, j u m pin g u p a n d r a is in g h is o w n w an d, b ut H arry s a id ,
“N o! D ’y ou w an t t o g iv e h im a n e x cu se t o a rre st u s? ”
“R em em bere d y ou’re n ot a t s c h ool, h av e y ou?” s a id S crim geo ur b re ath in g
hard in to H arry ’s fa ce. “ R em em bere d th at I a m n ot D um ble d ore , w ho fo rg av e
your i n so le n ce a n d i n su bord in atio n? Y ou m ay w ear t h at s c ar l ik e a c ro w n, P otte r,
but i t i s n ot u p t o a s e v en te en -y ear- o ld b oy t o t e ll m e h ow t o d o m y j o b! I t’s t im e
you l e arn ed s o m e r e sp ect! ”
“It’s t im e y ou e arn ed i t,” s a id H arry .
The f lo or t r e m ble d ; t h ere w as a s o und o f r u nnin g f o ots te p s, t h en t h e d oor t o
th e s ittin g r o om b urs t o pen a n d M r. a n d M rs . W easle y r a n i n .
“W e— we th ought w e h eard — ” b eg an M r. W easle y, lo okin g th oro ughly
ala rm ed a t t h e s ig ht o f H arry a n d t h e M in is te r v ir tu ally n ose t o n ose .
“— ra is e d v oic es,” p an te d M rs . W easle y.
Scrim geo ur to ok a c o uple o f s te p s b ack f ro m H arry , g la n cin g a t th e h ole h e
had m ad e i n H arry ’s T -s h ir t. H e s e em ed t o r e g re t h is l o ss o f t e m per.
“It— it w as noth in g,” he gro w le d . “I… re g re t your attitu de,” he sa id ,
lo okin g H arry fu ll in th e fa ce o nce m ore . “ Y ou s e em to th in k th at th e M in is tr y
does not desir e w hat you— what D um ble d ore — desir e d . W e ought to w ork

to geth er.”
“I d on’t l ik e y our m eth ods, M in is te r,” s a id H arry . “ R em em ber? ”
For t h e s e co nd t im e, h e r a is e d h is r ig ht f is t a n d d is p la y ed t o S crim geo ur t h e
sc ar th at still sh ow ed w hite o n th e b ack o f it, sp ellin g
I m ust n ot te ll lie s.
Scrim geo ur’s e x pre ssio n h ard en ed . H e tu rn ed a w ay w ith out a n oth er w ord a n d
lim ped f ro m th e r o om . M rs . W easle y h urrie d a fte r h im ; H arry h eard h er s to p a t
th e b ack d oor. A fte r a m in ute o r s o s h e c alle d , “ H e’s g one!”
“W hat d id h e w an t? ” M r. W easle y a sk ed , l o okin g a ro und a t H arry , R on, a n d
Herm io ne a s M rs . W easle y c am e h urry in g b ack t o t h em .
“T o g iv e u s w hat D um ble d ore le ft u s,” sa id H arry . “T hey ’v e o nly ju st
re le ase d t h e c o nte n t o f h is w ill.”
Outs id e in th e g ard en , o ver th e d in ner ta b le s, th e th re e o bje cts S crim geo ur
had g iv en th em w ere p asse d fro m h an d to h an d. E very one e x cla im ed o ver th e
Delu m in ato r an d
The Ta le s of B eed le th e B ard
an d la m en te d th e fa ct th at
Scrim geo ur h ad r e fu se d to p ass o n th e s w ord , b ut n one o f th em c o uld o ff e r a n y
su ggestio n a s to w hy D um ble d ore w ould h av e le ft H arry a n o ld S nitc h . A s M r.
Weasle y e x am in ed th e D elu m in ato r fo r th e th ir d o f fo urth tim e, M rs . W easle y
sa id te n ta tiv ely , “ H arry , d ear, e v ery one’s a w fu lly h ungry w e d id n’t lik e to s ta rt
with out y ou… S hall I s e rv e d in ner n ow ?”
They all ate ra th er hurrie d ly an d th en afte r a hasty ch oru s of “H ap py
Bir th day ” an d m uch g ulp in g o f cak e, th e p arty b ro ke u p. H ag rid , w ho w as
in vite d to th e w ed din g th e fo llo w in g d ay, b ut w as fa r to o b ulk y to s le ep in th e
overs tr e tc h ed B urro w , l e ft t o s e t u p a t e n t f o r h im se lf i n a n eig hborin g f ie ld .
“M eet u s u psta ir s ,” H arry w his p ere d to H erm io ne, w hile th ey h elp ed M rs .
Weasle y r e sto re t h e g ard en t o i ts n orm al s ta te . “ A fte r e v ery one’s g one t o b ed .”
Up in th e attic ro om , R on ex am in ed h is D elu m in ato r, an d H arry fille d
Hag rid ’s m okesk in p urs e , n ot w ith g old , b ut w ith th ose ite m s h e m ost p riz ed ,
ap pare n tly w orth le ss th ough s o m e o f th em w ere th e M ara u der’s M ap , th e s h ard
of S ir iu s’s e n ch an te d m ir ro r, a n d R . A . B .’ s l o ck et. H e p ulle d t h e s tr in g t ig ht a n d
slip ped th e p urs e a ro und h is n eck , th en s a t h old in g th e o ld S nitc h a n d w atc h in g
its w in gs f lu tte r f e eb ly . A t l a st, H erm io ne t a p ped o n t h e d oor a n d t ip to ed i n sid e.
“M uff lia to ,” s h e w his p ere d , w av in g h er w an d i n t h e d ir e ctio n o f t h e s ta ir s .
“T hought y ou d id n’t a p pro ve o f t h at s p ell? ” s a id R on.
“T im es c h an ge,” s a id H erm io ne. “ N ow , s h ow u s t h at D elu m in ato r.”
Ron o blig ed at o nce. H old in g it u p in fro nt o f h im , h e clic k ed it. T he
so lita ry l a m p t h ey h ad l it w en t o ut a t o nce.
“T he th in g is ,” w his p ere d H erm io ne th ro ugh th e d ark , “w e co uld h av e
ach ie v ed t h at w ith P eru via n I n sta n t D ark ness P ow der.”
There w as a s m all
clic k,
a n d t h e b all o f l ig ht f ro m t h e l a m p f le w b ack t o t h e

ceilin g a n d i llu m in ate d t h em a ll o nce m ore .
“S till, it’s c o ol,” s a id R on, a little d efe n siv ely . “ A nd fro m w hat th ey s a id ,
Dum ble d ore i n ven te d i t h im se lf !”
“I k now , b ut s u re ly h e w ould n’t h av e s in gle d y ou o ut i n h is w ill j u st t o h elp
us t u rn o ut t h e l ig hts !”
“D ’y ou th in k h e k new th e M in is tr y w ould c o nfis c ate h is w ill a n d e x am in e
ev ery th in g h e’d l e ft u s? ” a sk ed H arry .
“D efin ite ly ,” s a id H erm io ne. “ H e c o uld n’t te ll u s in th e w ill w hy h e w as
le av in g u s t h ese t h in gs, b ut t h at w ill d oesn ’t e x pla in … ”
“… why h e c o uld n’t h av e g iv en u s a h in t w hen h e w as a liv e?” a sk ed R on.
“W ell, e x actly ,” s a id H erm io ne, n ow flic k in g th ro ugh
The T a le s o f B eed le
th e B ard .
“ If t h ese t h in gs a re i m porta n t e n ough t o p ass o n r ig ht u nder t h e n ose o f
th e M in is tr y , y ou’d t h in k h e’d h av e l e ft u s k now w hy… u nle ss h e t h ought i t w as
obvio us? ”
“T hought w ro ng, th en , d id n’t h e?” s a id R on. “ I a lw ay s s a id h e w as m en ta l.
Brillia n t a n d e v ery th in g, b ut c ra ck ed . L eav in g H arry a n o ld S nitc h — what th e
hell w as t h at a b out? ”
“I’v e n o id ea,” s a id H erm io ne. “ W hen S crim geo ur m ad e y ou ta k e it, H arry ,
I w as s o s u re t h at s o m eth in g w as g oin g t o h ap pen !”
“Y eah , w ell,” s a id H arry , h is p uls e q uic k en ed a s h e r a is e d th e S nitc h in h is
fin gers . “ I w asn ’t g oin g t o t r y t o o h ard i n f ro nt o f S crim geo ur, w as I ? ”
“W hat d o y ou m ean ?” a sk ed H erm io ne.
“T he S nitc h I c au ght in m y f ir s t e v er Q uid ditc h m atc h ?” s a id H arry . “ D on’t
you r e m em ber? ”
Herm io ne lo oked sim ply bem use d . Ron, how ev er, gasp ed , poin tin g
fra n tic ally f ro m H arry t o t h e S nitc h a n d b ack a g ain u ntil h e f o und h is v oic e.
“T hat w as t h e o ne y ou n early s w allo w ed !”
“E xactly ,” s a id H arry , a n d w ith h is h eart b eatin g f a st, h e p re sse d h is m outh
to t h e S nitc h .
It d id n ot o pen . F ru str a tio n a n d b itte r d is a p poin tm en t w elle d u p in sid e h im :
He l o w ere d t h e g old en s p here , b ut t h en H erm io ne c rie d o ut.
“W ritin g! T here ’s w ritin g o n i t, q uic k , l o ok!”
He n early d ro pped th e S nitc h in su rp ris e a n d e x cite m en t. H erm io ne w as
quite rig ht. E ngra v ed u pon th e sm ooth g old en su rfa ce, w here se co nds b efo re
th ere h ad b een n oth in g, w ere f iv e w ord s w ritte n in th e th in , s la n te d h an dw ritin g
th at H arry r e co gniz ed a s D um ble d ore ’s :
I o pen a t t h e c lo se .

He h ad b are ly r e ad t h em w hen t h e w ord s v an is h ed a g ain .
“‘I o pen a t t h e c lo se … ’ W hat’s t h at s u ppose d t o m ean ?”
Herm io ne a n d R on s h ook t h eir h ead s, l o okin g b la n k.
“I o pen a t t h e c lo se … a t t h e c lo se … I o pen a t t h e c lo se … ”
But n o m atte r h ow o fte n th ey re p eate d th e w ord s, w ith m an y d if f e re n t
in fle ctio ns, t h ey w ere u nab le t o w rin g a n y m ore m ean in g f ro m t h em .
“A nd th e s w ord ,” s a id R on fin ally , w hen th ey h ad a t la st a b an doned th eir
atte m pts to d iv in e m ean in g in th e S nitc h ’s in sc rip tio n. “ W hy d id h e w an t H arry
to h av e t h e s w ord ?”
“A nd w hy c o uld n’t h e ju st h av e to ld m e?” H arry s a id q uie tly . “ I w as
th ere ,
it w as rig ht th ere o n th e w all o f h is o ff ic e d urin g a ll o ur ta lk s la st y ear! If h e
wan te d m e t o h av e i t, w hy d id n’t h e j u st g iv e i t t o m e t h en ?”
He fe lt a s th ought h e w ere sittin g in a n e x am in atio n w ith a q uestio n h e
ought to hav e been ab le to an sw er in fro nt of him , his bra in slo w an d
unre sp onsiv e. W as th ere so m eth in g he had m is se d in th e lo ng ta lk s w ith
Dum ble d ore la st y ear? O ught h e to k now w hat it a ll m ean t? H ad D um ble d ore
ex pecte d h im t o u nders ta n d?
“A nd a s fo r th is b ook,” s a id H erm io ne,
“The T a le s o f B eed le th e B ard …
I’v e n ev er e v en h eard o f t h em !”
“Y ou’v e nev er heard of
The Ta le s of Beed le th e Bard ?”
sa id R on
in cre d ulo usly . “ Y ou’re k id din g, r ig ht? ”
“N o, I ’m n ot,” s a id H erm io ne i n s u rp ris e . “ D o y ou k now t h em t h en ?”
“W ell, o f c o urs e I d o!”
Harry lo oked u p, d iv erte d . T he c ir c u m sta n ce o f R on h av in g re ad a b ook
th at H erm io ne h ad n ot w as u npre ced en te d . R on, h ow ev er, lo oked b em use d b y
th eir s u rp ris e .
“O h c o m e o n! A ll th e o ld k id s’ s to rie s a re s u ppose d to b e B eed le ’s , a re n ’t
th ey ?
The F ounta in of F air F ortu ne… T he W iz a rd and th e H oppin g P ot…
Babbitty R abbitty a nd h er C acklin g S tu m p… ”
“E xcu se m e?” s a id H erm io ne g ig glin g. “ W hat w as t h e l a st o ne?”
“C om e o ff i t! ” s a id R on, l o okin g i n d is b elie f f ro m H arry t o H erm io ne. “ Y ou
must’ v e h eard o f B ab bitty R ab bitty — ”
“R on, y ou k now f u ll w ell H arry a n d I w ere b ro ught u p b y M uggle s!” s a id
Herm io ne. “ W e d id n’t h ear s to rie s lik e th at w hen w e w ere little , w e h eard
Snow
White a nd t h e S even D warv es
a n d
Cin dere lla — ”
“W hat’s t h at, a n i lln ess? ” a sk ed R on.
“S o t h ese a re c h ild re n ’s s to rie s? ” a sk ed H erm io ne, b en din g a g ain st o ver t h e
ru nes.
“Y eah .” S aid R on u ncerta in ly . “ I m ean , ju st w hat y ou h ear, y ou k now , th at

all th ese o ld s to rie s c am e f ro m B eed le . I d unno w hat th ey ’re lik e in th e o rig in al
vers io ns.”
“B ut I w onder w hy D um ble d ore t h ought I s h ould r e ad t h em ?”
Som eth in g c ra ck ed d ow nsta ir s .
“P ro bab ly j u st C harlie , n ow M um ’s a sle ep , s n eak in g o ff t o r e g ro w h is h air ,”
sa id R on n erv ously .
“A ll t h e s a m e, w e s h ould g et t o b ed ,” w his p ere d H erm io ne. “ It w ould n’t d o
to o vers le ep t o m orro w .”
“N o,” ag re ed R on. “A b ru ta l tr ip le m urd er b y th e b rid eg ro om ’s m oth er
mig ht p ut a b it o f d am per o n t h e w ed din g. I ’ll g et t h e l ig ht.”
And h e c lic k ed t h e D elu m in ato r o nce m ore a s H erm io ne l e ft t h e r o om .

8 . T H E W ED DIN G
Thre e o’c lo ck on th e fo llo w in g afte rn oon fo und H arry , R on, F re d an d
G eo rg e sta n din g o uts id e th e g re at w hite m arq uee in th e o rc h ard , a w aitin g th e
a rriv al o f th e w ed din g g uests . H arry h ad ta k en a la rg e d ose o f P oly ju ic e P otio n
a n d w as n ow th e d ouble o f a re d head ed M uggle b oy fro m th e lo cal v illa g e,
O tte ry S t. C atc h pole , fro m w hom F re d h ad sto le n h air s u sin g a S um monin g
C harm . T he p la n w as t o i n tr o duce H arry a s “ C ousin B arn y” a n d t r u st t o t h e g re at
n um ber o f W easle y r e la tiv es t o c am oufla g e h im .
All f o ur o f th em w ere c lu tc h in g s e atin g p la n s, s o th at th ey c o uld h elp s h ow
p eo ple to th e rig ht se ats . A h ost o f w hite -ro bed w aite rs h ad arriv ed an h our
e arlie r, alo ng w ith a gold en ja ck ete d ban d, an d all of th ese w iz ard s w ere
c u rre n tly s ittin g a s h ort d is ta n ce a w ay u nder a tr e e. H arry c o uld s e e a b lu e h aze
o f p ip e s m oke is su in g f ro m th e s p ot. B eh in d H arry , th e e n tr a n ce to th e m arq uee
r e v eale d ro w s a n d ro w s o f fra g ile g old en c h air s se t o n e ith er sid e o f a lo ng
p urp le c arp et. T he s u pportin g p ole s w ere e n tw in ed w ith w hite a n d g old f lo w ers .
F re d a n d G eo rg e h ad fa ste n ed a n e n orm ous b unch o f g old en b allo ons o ver th e
e x act poin t w here B ill an d F le u r w ould sh ortly beco m e husb an d an d w if e .
O uts id e, b utte rflie s a n d b ees w ere h overin g la zily o ver th e g ra ss a n d h ed gero w .
H arry w as ra th er u nco m fo rta b le . T he M uggle b oy w hose ap peara n ce h e w as
a ff e ctin g w as s lig htly f a tte r th an h im a n d h is d re ss r o bes f e lt h ot a n d tig ht in th e
f u ll g la re o f a s u m mer’s d ay.
“W hen I g et m arrie d ,” s a id F re d , tu ggin g a t th e c o lla r o f h is o w n r o bes, “ I
w on’t b e b oth erin g w ith a n y o f th is n onse n se . Y ou c an a ll w ear w hat y ou lik e,
a n d I ’ll p ut a f u ll B ody-B in d C urs e o n M um u ntil i t’s a ll o ver.”
“S he w asn ’t to o b ad th is m orn in g, c o nsid erin g,” s a id G eo rg e. “ C rie d a b it
a b out P erc y n ot b ein g h ere , b ut w ho w an ts h im . O h b lim ey, b ra ce y ours e lv es,
h ere t h ey c o m e, l o ok.”
Brig htly c o lo re d f ig ure s w ere a p pearin g, o ne b y o ne o ut o f n ow here a t th e
d is ta n t b oundary o f th e y ard . W ith in m in ute s a p ro cessio n h ad fo rm ed , w hic h
b eg an to sn ak e its w ay up th ro ugh th e gard en to w ard th e m arq uee. E xotic
f lo w ers a n d b ew itc h ed b ir d s f lu tte re d o n th e w itc h es’ h ats , w hile p re cio us g em s
g litte re d f ro m m an y o f t h e w iz ard s’ c ra v ats ; a h um o f e x cite d c h atte r g re w l o uder
a n d l o uder, d ro w nin g t h e s o und o f t h e b ees a s t h e c ro w d a p pro ach ed t h e t e n t.
“E xcelle n t, I t h in k I s e e a f e w v eela c o usin s,” s a id G eo rg e, c ra n in g h is n eck
f o r a b ette r l o ok. “ T hey ’ll n eed h elp u nders ta n din g o ur E nglis h c u sto m s, I ’ll l o ok
a fte r t h em … ”

“N ot so fa st, Y our H ole y ness,” sa id F re d , a n d d artin g p ast th e g ag gle o f
mid dle -a g ed w itc h es h ead in g f o r th e p ro cessio n, h e s a id , “ H ere —
perm etie z m oi
to
assis te r v o us,”
to a p air o f p re tty F re n ch g ir ls , w ho g ig gle d a n d a llo w ed h im
to e sc o rt th em in sid e. G eo rg e w as le ft to d eal w ith th e m id dle -a g ed w itc h es a n d
Ron t o ok c h arg e o f M r. W easle y ’s o ld M in is tr y -c o lle ag ue P erk in s, w hile a r a th er
deaf o ld c o uple f e ll t o H arry ’s l o t.
“W otc h er,” s a id a fa m ilia r v oic e a s h e c am e o ut o f th e m arq uee a g ain a n d
fo und T onks a n d L upin a t th e f ro nt o f th e q ueu e. S he h ad tu rn ed b lo nde f o r th e
occasio n. “ A rth ur to ld u s y ou w ere th e o ne w ith th e c u rly h air. S orry a b out la st
nig ht,” s h e a d ded in a w his p er a s H arry le d th em u p th e a is le . “ T he M in is tr y ’s
bein g v ery a n ti- w ere w olf a t th e m use u m a n d w e th ought o ur p re se n ce m ig ht n ot
do y ou a n y f a v ors .”
“It’s fin e, I u nders ta n d,” s a id H arry , s p eak in g m ore to L upin th an T onks.
Lupin g av e h im a s w if t s m ile , b ut a s th ey tu rn ed a w ay H arry s a w L upin ’s fa ce
fa ll a g ain in to lin es o f m is e ry . H e d id n ot u nders ta n d it, b ut th ere w as n o tim e to
dw ell o n th e m atte r. H ag rid w as c au sin g a c erta in a m ount o f d is ru ptio n. H av in g
mis u nders to od F re d ’s d ir e ctio ns a s h e h ad s a t h im se lf , n ot u pon th e m ag ic ally
en la rg ed a n d re in fo rc ed s e at s e t a sid e fo r h im in th e b ack ro w , b ut o n fiv e s e ts
th at n ow r e se m ble d a l a rg e p ile o f g old en m atc h stic k s.
While M r. W easle y re p air e d th e d am ag e a n d H ag rid s h oute d a p olo gie s to
an ybody w ho w ould lis te n , H arry h urrie d b ack to th e e n tr a n ce to f in d R on f a ce-
to -fa ce w ith a m ost e ccen tr ic -lo okin g w iz ard . S lig htly c ro ss-e y ed , w ith s h ould er-
le n gth w hite h air th e te x tu re o f c an dyflo ss, h e w ore a c ap w hose ta sse l d an gle d
in f ro nt o f h is n ose a n d r o bes o f a n e y e-w ate rin g s h ad e o f e g g-y olk y ello w . A n
odd s y m bol, ra th er lik e a tr ia n gula r e y e, g lis te n ed fro m a g old en c h ain a ro und
his n eck .
“X en ophiliu s L oveg ood,” h e s a id , e x te n din g a h an d t o H arry , “ m y d au ghte r
an d I l iv e j u st o ver t h e h ill, s o k in d o f t h e g ood W easle y s t o i n vite u s. B ut I t h in k
you k now m y L una?” h e a d ded t o R on.
“Y es,” s a id R on. “ Is n ’t s h e w ith y ou?”
“S he l in gere d i n t h at c h arm in g l ittle g ard en t o s a y h ello t o t h e g nom es, s u ch
a g lo rio us in fe sta tio n! H ow fe w w iz ard s re aliz e ju st h ow m uch w e c an le arn
fro m th e w is e little g nom es— or, to g iv e th em th eir c o rre ct n am e, th e
Gern um bli
gard en si.”
“O urs d o k now a lo t o f e x celle n t s w ear w ord s,” s a id R on, “ b ut I th in k F re d
an d G eo rg e t a u ght t h em t h ose .”
He l e d a p arty o f w arlo ck s i n to t h e m arq uee a s L una r u sh ed u p.
“H ello , H arry !” s h e s a id .
“E r— my n am e’s B arn y,” s a id H arry , f lu m moxed .

“O h, h av e y ou c h an ged t h at t o o?” s h e a sk ed b rig htly .
“H ow d id y ou k now — ?”
“O h, j u st y our e x pre ssio n,” s h e s a id .
Lik e h er fa th er, L una w as w earin g b rig ht y ello w ro bes, w hic h sh e h ad
accesso riz ed w ith a l a rg e s u nflo w er i n h er h air. O nce y ou g et o ver t h e b rig htn ess
of it a ll, th e g en era l e ff e ct w as q uite p le asa n t. A t le ast th ere w ere n o ra d is h es
dan glin g f ro m h er e ars .
Xen ophiliu s, w ho w as deep in co nvers a tio n w ith an acq uain ta n ce, had
mis se d th e e x ch an ge b etw een L una a n d H arry . B id in g th e w iz ard fa re w ell, h e
tu rn ed to h is d au ghte r, w ho h eld u p h er fin ger a n d s a id , “ D ad dy, lo ok— one o f
th e g nom es a ctu ally b it m e.”
“H ow w onderfu l! G nom e sa liv a is en orm ously ben efic ia l,” sa id M r.
Loveg ood, se iz in g L una’s outs tr e tc h ed fin gers an d ex am in in g th e ble ed in g
punctu re m ark s. “ L una, m y lo ve, if y ou s h ould f e el a n y b urg eo nin g ta le n t to day
—perh ap s a n u nex pecte d u rg e to s in g o pera o r to d ecla im s in M erm is h — do n ot
re p re ss i t! Y ou m ay h av e b een g if te d b y t h e G ern um blie s!”
Ron, p assin g t h em i n t h e o pposite d ir e ctio n l e t o ut a l o ud s n ort.
“R on can la u gh,” sa id L una se re n ely as H arry le d h er an d X en ophiliu s
to w ard th eir se ats , “b ut m y fa th er h as d one a lo t o f re se arc h o n G ern um bli
mag ic .”
“R eally ?” s a id H arry , w ho h ad lo ng s in ce d ecid ed n ot to c h alle n ge L una o r
her f a th er’s p ecu lia r v ie w s. “ A re y ou s u re y ou d on’t w an t t o p ut a n yth in g o n t h at
bite , t h ough?”
“O h, it’s fin e,” sa id L una, su ck in g h er fin ger in a d re am y fa sh io n an d
lo okin g H arry u p a n d d ow n. “ Y ou lo ok s m art. I to ld D ad dy m ost p eo ple w ould
pro bab ly w ear d re ss ro bes, b ut h e b elie v es y ou o ught to w ear su n c o lo rs to a
wed din g, f o r l u ck , y ou k now .”
As sh e d rif te d o ff a fte r h er fa th er, R on re ap peare d w ith a n e ld erly w itc h
clu tc h in g h is a rm . H er b eak y n ose , r e d -rim med e y es, a n d le ath ery p in k h at g av e
her t h e l o ok o f a b ad -te m pere d f la m in go.
“… an d y our h air ’s m uch to o lo ng, R onald , fo r a m om en t I th ought y ou
were G in ev ra . M erlin ’s b eard , w hat i s X en ophiliu s L oveg ood w earin g? H e l o oks
lik e a n o m ele t. A nd w ho a re y ou?” s h e b ark ed a t H arry .
“O h y eah , A untie M urie l, t h is i s o ur c o usin B arn y.”
“A noth er W easle y ? Y ou b re ed lik e g nom es. I s n ’t H arry P otte r h ere ? I w as
hopin g to m eet h im . I th ought h e w as a frie n d o f y ours , R onald , o r h av e y ou
mere ly b een b oastin g?”
“N o— he c o uld n’t c o m e— ”
“H m m. M ad e an ex cu se , d id h e? N ot as g orm le ss as h e lo oks in p re ss

photo gra p hs, th en . I’v e ju st b een in str u ctin g th e b rid e o n h ow b est to w ear m y
tia ra ,” s h e s h oute d a t H arry . “ G oblin -m ad e, y ou k now , a n d b een i n m y f a m ily f o r
cen tu rie s. S he’s a g ood-lo okin g g ir l, b ut still—
Fre n ch .
W ell, w ell, fin d m e a
good s e at, R onald , I a m a h undre d a n d s e v en a n d I o ught n ot to b e o n m y fe et
to o l o ng.”
Ron g av e H arry a m ean in gfu l lo ok a s h e p asse d a n d d id n ot re ap pear fo r
so m e tim e. W hen n ex t th ey m et a t th e e n tr a n ce, H arry h ad s h ow n a d ozen m ore
peo ple to th eir p la ces. T he M arq uee w as n early fu ll n ow a n d fo r th e fir s t tim e
th ere w as n o q ueu e o uts id e.
“N ig htm are , M urie l i s ,” s a id R on, m oppin g h is f o re h ead o n h is s le ev e. “ S he
use d to co m e fo r C hris tm as ev ery year, th en , th an k G od, sh e to ok off e n se
becau se F re d a n d G eo rg e se t o ff a D ungbom b u nder h er c h air a t d in ner. D ad
alw ay s sa y s sh e’ll h av e w ritte n th em o ut o f h er w ill— lik e th ey c are , th ey ’re
goin g to e n d u p r ic h er th an a n yone in th e f a m ily , r a te th ey ’re g oin g… W ow ,” h e
ad ded , b lin kin g ra th er ra p id ly a s H erm io ne c am e h urry in g to w ard th em . “ Y ou
lo ok g re at! ”
“A lw ay s th e to ne o f s u rp ris e ,” s a id H erm io ne, th ough s h e s m ile d . S he w as
wearin g a f lo aty , l ila c-c o lo re d d re ss w ith m atc h in g h ig h h eels ; h er h air w as s le ek
an d s h in y. “ Y our G re at- A unt M urie l d oesn ’t a g re e, I ju st m et h er u psta ir s w hile
sh e w as g iv in g F le u r th e tia ra . S he s a id , ‘ O h d ear, is th is th e M uggle -b orn ?’ a n d
th en , ‘ B ad p ostu re a n d s k in ny a n kle s.’ ”
“D on’t t a k e i t p ers o nally , s h e’s r u de t o e v ery one,” s a id R on.
“T alk in g a b out M urie l? ” in quir e d G eo rg e, re em erg in g fro m th e m arq uee
with F re d . “ Y eah , s h e’s ju st to ld m e m y e ars a re lo psid ed . O ld b at. I w is h o ld
Uncle B iliu s w as s till w ith u s, t h ough; h e w as a r ig ht l a u gh a t w ed din gs.”
“W asn ’t h e th e o ne w ho sa w a G rim a n d d ie d tw en ty -fo ur h ours la te r? ”
ask ed H erm io ne.
“W ell, y eah , h e w en t a b it o dd t o w ard t h e e n d,” c o nced ed G eo rg e.
“B ut b efo re h e w en t lo opy h e w as th e lif e a n d s o ul o f th e p arty ,” s a id F re d .
“H e u se d to d ow n a n e n tir e b ottle o f fir e w his k y, th en ru n o nto th e d an ce flo or,
hois t u p h is r o bes, a n d s ta rt p ullin g b unch es o f f lo w ers o ut o f h is — ”
“Y es, h e s o unds a re al c h arm er,” s a id H erm io ne, w hile H arry ro are d w ith
la u ghte r.
“N ev er m arrie d , f o r s o m e r e aso n,” s a id R on.
“Y ou a m aze m e,” s a id H erm io ne.
They w ere a ll la u ghin g s o m uch th at n one o f th em n otic ed th e la te co m er, a
dark -h air e d y oung m an w ith a l a rg e, c u rv ed n ose a n d t h ic k b la ck e y eb ro w s, u ntil
he h eld o ut h is i n vita tio n t o R on a n d s a id , w ith h is e y es o n H erm io ne, “ Y ou l o ok
vunderfu l.”

“V ik to r!” s h e s h rie k ed , a n d d ro pped h er s m all b ead ed b ag , w hic h m ad e a
lo ud t h um p q uite d is p ro portio nate t o i ts s iz e. A s s h e s c ra m ble d , b lu sh in g, t o p ic k
it u p, s h e s a id , “ I d id n’t k now y ou w ere — goodness— it’s l o vely t o s e e— how a re
you?”
Ron’s e ars h ad tu rn ed b rig ht r e d a g ain . A fte r g la n cin g a t K ru m ’s in vita tio n
as i f h e d id n ot b elie v e a w ord o f i t, h e s a id , m uch t o o l o udly , “ H ow c o m e y ou’re
here ?”
“F le u r i n vite d m e,” s a id K ru m , e y eb ro w s r a is e d .
Harry , w ho h ad n o g ru dge a g ain st K ru m , s h ook h an ds; th en fe elin g th at it
would b e p ru den t to r e m ove K ru m f ro m R on’s v ic in ity , o ff e re d to s h ow h im h is
se at.
“Y our f rie n d is n ot p le ase d to s e e m e,” s a id K ru m , a s th ey e n te re d th e n ow
pack ed m arq uee. “ O r is h e a re la tiv e?” h e a d ded w ith a g la n ce a t H arry ’s re d
cu rly h air.
“C ousin ,” Harry m utte re d , but Kru m was not re ally lis te n in g. His
ap peara n ce w as c au sin g a s tir , p artic u la rly a m ongst th e v eela c o usin s: H e w as,
afte r a ll, a f a m ous Q uid ditc h p la y er. W hile p eo ple w ere s till c ra n in g th eir n eck s
to g et a g ood lo ok a t h im , R on, H erm io ne, F re d , a n d G eo rg e c am e h urry in g
dow n t h e a is le .
“T im e to s it d ow n,” F re d to ld H arry , “ o r w e’re g oin g to g et r u n o ver b y th e
brid e.”
Harry , R on a n d H erm io ne to ok th eir s e ats in th e s e co nd ro w b eh in d F re d
an d G eo rg e. H erm io ne l o oked r a th er p in k a n d R on’s e ars w ere s till s c arle t. A fte r
a fe w m om en ts h e m utte re d to H arry , “ D id y ou se e h e’s g ro w n a stu pid little
beard ?”
Harry g av e a n onco m mitta l g ru nt.
A se n se of jitte ry an tic ip atio n had fille d th e w arm te n t, th e gen era l
murm urin g bro ken by occasio nal sp urts of ex cite d la u ghte r. M r. an d M rs .
Weasle y s tr o lle d u p t h e a is le , s m ilin g a n d w av in g a t r e la tiv es; M rs . W easle y w as
wearin g a b ra n d-n ew s e t o f a m eth yst c o lo re d r o bes w ith a m atc h in g h at.
A m om en t la te r B ill a n d C harlie s to od u p a t th e f ro nt o f th e m arq uee, b oth
wearin g d re ss ro bes, w ith la rg er w hite ro se s in th eir b utto nhole s; F re d w olf -
whis tle d a n d th ere w as a n o utb re ak o f g ig glin g f ro m th e v eela c o usin s. T hen th e
cro w d f e ll s ile n t a s m usic s w elle d f ro m w hat s e em ed t o b e t h e g old en b allo ons.
“O oooh!” sa id H erm io ne, sw iv elin g aro und in her se at to lo ok at th e
en tr a n ce.
A g re at c o lle ctiv e s ig h is su ed fro m th e a sse m ble d w itc h es a n d w iz ard s a s
Monsie u r D ela co ur a n d F le u r c am e w alk in g u p t h e a is le , F le u r g lid in g, M onsie u r
Dela co ur b ouncin g a n d b eam in g. F le u r w as w earin g a v ery s im ple w hite d re ss

an d se em ed to b e e m ittin g a str o ng, silv ery g lo w . W hile h er ra d ia n ce u su ally
dim med e v ery one e ls e b y c o m paris o n, t o day i t b eau tif ie d e v ery body i t f e ll u pon.
Gin ny an d G ab rie lle , b oth w earin g g old en d re sse s, lo oked ev en p re ttie r th an
usu al a n d o nce F le u r h ad re ach ed fo r h im , B ill d id n ot lo ok a s th ough h e h ad
ev er m et F en rir G re y back .
“L ad ie s a n d g en tle m en ,” s a id a s lig htly s in gso ng v oic e, a n d w ith a s lig ht
sh ock , H arry sa w th e sa m e sm all, tu fty -h air e d w iz ard w ho had pre sid ed at
Dum ble d ore ’s f u nera l, n ow s ta n din g in f ro nt o f B ill a n d F le u r. “ W e a re g ath ere d
here t o day t o c ele b ra te t h e u nio n o f t w o f a ith fu l s o uls … ”
“Y es, m y t ia ra s e t o ff t h e w hole t h in g n ic ely ,” s a id A untie M urie l i n a r a th er
carry in g w his p er. “ B ut I m ust s a y, G in ev ra ’s d re ss i s f a r t o o l o w c u t.”
Gin ny g la n ced a ro und, g rin nin g, w in ked a t H arry , th en q uic k ly fa ced th e
fro nt a g ain . H arry ’s m in d w an dere d a lo ng w ay fro m th e m arq uee, b ack to th e
afte rn oons s p en t a lo ne w ith G in ny in lo nely p arts o f th e s c h ool g ro unds. T hey
se em ed s o lo ng a g o; th ey h ad a lw ay s s e em ed to o g ood to b e tr u e, a s th ough h e
had b een s te alin g s h in in g h ours f ro m a n orm al p ers o n’s lif e , a p ers o n w ith out a
lig htn in g-s h ap ed s c ar o n h is f o re h ead …
“D o y ou, W illia m A rth ur, t a k e F le u r I s a b elle … ?”
In th e fro nt ro w , M rs . W easle y a n d M ad am e D ela co ur w ere b oth s o bbin g
quie tly in to sc ra p s o f la ce. T ru m petlik e so unds fro m th e b ack o f th e m arq uee
to ld ev ery one th at H ag rid had ta k en out one of his ow n ta b le clo th -s iz ed
han dkerc h ie fs . H erm io ne tu rn ed a ro und a n d b eam ed a t H arry ; h er e y es to o w ere
fu ll o f t e ars .
“… th en I d ecla re y ou b onded f o r l if e .”
The tu fty -h air e d w iz ard w av ed h is h an d h ig h o ver th e h ead s o f B ill a n d
Fle u r a n d a sh ow er o f silv er sta rs fe ll u pon th em , sp ir a lin g a ro und th eir n ow
en tw in ed fig ure s. A s F re d an d G eo rg e le d a ro und o f ap pla u se , th e g old en
ballo ons o verh ead b urs t. B ir d s o f p ara d is e a n d t in y g old en b ells f le w a n d f lo ate d
out o f t h em , a d din g t h eir s o ngs a n d c h im es t o t h e d in .
“L ad ie s an d gen tle m en !” calle d th e tu fty -h air e d w iz ard . “If you w ould
ple ase s ta n d u p!”
They all d id so , A untie M urie l g ru m blin g au dib ly ; h e w av ed h is w an d
ag ain . T he s e ats o n w hic h t h ey h ad b een s ittin g r o se g ra cefu lly i n to t h e a ir a s t h e
can vas w alls o f th e m arq uee v an is h ed , so th at th ey sto od b en eath a can opy
su pporte d by gold en pole s, w ith a glo rio us vie w of th e su nlit orc h ard an d
su rro undin g c o untr y sid e. N ex t, a p ool o f m olte n g old s p re ad f ro m th e c en te r o f
th e te n t to f o rm a g le am in g d an ce f lo or; th e h overin g c h air s g ro uped th em se lv es
aro und sm all, w hite -c lo th ed ta b le s, w hic h a ll flo ate d g ra cefu lly b ack to e arth
ro und i t, a n d t h e g old en -ja ck ete d h an d t r o oped t o w ard a p odiu m .

“S m ooth ,” sa id R on ap pro vin gly as th e w aite rs p opped u p o n all sid es,
so m e h earin g silv er tr a y s o f p um pkin ju ic e, b utte rb eer, a n d fir e w his k y, o th ers
to tte rin g p ile s o f t a rts a n d s a n dw ic h es.
“W e s h ould g o a n d c o ngra tu la te th em !” s a id H erm io ne, s ta n din g o n tip to e
to se e th e p la ce w here B ill an d F le u r h ad v an is h ed am id a cro w d o f w ell-
wis h ers .
“W e’ll h av e tim e la te r,” s h ru gged R on, s n atc h in g th re e b utte rb eers fro m a
passin g t r a y a n d h an din g o ne t o H arry . “ H erm io ne, c o p h old , l e t’s g ra b a t a b le …
Not t h ere ! N ow here n ear M urie l— ”
Ron le d th e w ay a cro ss th e e m pty d an ce f lo or, g la n cin g le ft a n d r ig ht a s h e
wen t; H arry f e lt s u re th at h e w as k eep in g a n e y e o ut f o r K ru m . B y th e tim e th ey
had r e ach ed t h e o th er s id e o f t h e m arq uee, m ost o f t h e t a b le s w ere o ccu pie d : T he
em ptie st w as t h e o ne w here L una s a t a lo ne.
“A ll r ig ht i f w e j o in y ou?” a sk ed R on.
“O h y es,” s h e s a id h ap pily . “ D ad dy’s ju st g one to g iv e B ill a n d F le u r o ur
pre se n t.”
“W hat i s i t, a l if e tim e’s s u pply o f G urd yro ots ? ” a sk ed R on.
Herm io ne a im ed a k ic k a t h im u nder th e ta b le , b ut c au ght H arry in ste ad .
Eyes w ate rin g i n p ain , H arry l o st t r a ck o f t h e c o nvers a tio n f o r a f e w m om en ts .
The b an d h ad b eg un to p la y, B ill a n d F le u r to ok to th e d an ce f lo or f ir s t, to
gre at a p pla u se ; a fte r a w hile , M r. W easle y le d M ad am e D ela co ur o nto th e f lo or,
fo llo w ed b y M r. W easle y a n d F le u r’s f a th er.
“I lik e th is s o ng,” s a id L una, s w ay in g in tim e to th e w altz lik e tu ne, a n d a
fe w se co nds la te r sh e sto od u p an d g lid ed o nto th e d an ce flo or, w here sh e
re v olv ed o n t h e s p ot, q uite a lo ne, e y es c lo se d a n d w av in g h er a rm s.
“S he’s g re at, i s n ’t s h e?” s a id R on a d m ir in gly . “ A lw ay s g ood v alu e.”
But t h e s m ile v an is h ed f ro m h is f a ce a t o nce: V ik to r K ru m h ad d ro pped i n to
Luna’s v acan t s e at. H erm io ne lo oked p le asu ra b ly flu ste re d b ut th is tim e K ru m
had n ot c o m e to c o m plim en t h er. W ith a s c o w l o n h is f a ce h e s a id , “ W ho is th at
man i n t h e y ello w ?”
“T hat’s X en ophiliu s L oveg ood, h e’s th e fa th er o f a frie n d o f o urs ,” sa id
Ron. H is pugnacio us to ne in dic ate d th at th ey w ere not ab out to la u gh at
Xen ophiliu s, desp ite th e cle ar pro vocatio n. “C om e an d dan ce,” he ad ded
ab ru ptly t o H erm io ne.
She lo oked ta k en ab ack , but ple ase d to o, an d got up. T hey van is h ed
to geth er i n to t h e g ro w in g t h ro ng o n t h e d an ce f lo or.
“A h, t h ey a re t o geth er n ow ?” a sk ed K ru m , m om en ta rily d is tr a cte d .
“E r— so rt o f,” s a id H arry .
“W ho a re y ou?” K ru m a sk ed .

“B arn y W easle y.”
They s h ook h an ds.
“Y ou, B arn y— you k now t h is m an L oveg ood w ell? ”
“N o, I o nly m et h im t o day. W hy?”
Kru m g lo w ere d o ver th e to p o f h is d rin k, w atc h in g X en ophiliu s, w ho w as
ch attin g t o s e v era l w arlo ck s o n t h e o th er s id e o f t h e d an ce f lo or.
“B ecau se ,” s a id K ru m , “ If h e v us n ot a g uest o f F le u r’s I v ould d ud h im ,
here a n d n ow , f o r v eerin g t h at f ilth y s ig n u pon h is c h est.”
“S ig n?” s a id H arry , lo okin g o ver a t X en ophiliu s to o. T he s tr a n ge tr ia n gula r
ey e w as g le am in g o n h is c h est. “ W hy? W hat’s w ro ng w ith i t? ”
“G rin delv ald . T hat i s G rin delv ald ’s s ig n.”
“G rin delw ald … t h e D ark w iz ard D um ble d ore d efe ate d ?”
“E xactly .”
Kru m ’s ja w m usc le s w ork ed as if he w ere ch ew in g, th en he sa id ,
“G rin delv ald k ille d m an y p eo ple , m y g ra n dfa th er, f o r i n sta n ce. O f c o urs e , h e v os
nev er p ow erfu l in th is c o untr y , th ey sa id h e fe are d D um ble d ore — an d rig htly ,
se ein g h ow h e v os f in is h ed . B ut t h is ” — he p oin te d a f in ger a t X en ophiliu s— “th is
is h is sy m bol, I re co gniz ed it at v unce: G rin delv ald carv ed it in to a v all at
Durm str a n g v er h e v os a p upil th ere . S om e id io ts c o pie d it o nto th eir b ooks a n d
clo th es th in kin g to s h ock , m ak e th em se lv es im pre ssiv e— until th ose o f u s w ho
had l o st f a m ily m em bers t o G rin delv ald t a u ght t h em b ette r.”
Kru m c ra ck ed h is k nuck le s m en acin gly a n d g lo w ere d a t X en ophiliu s. H arry
fe lt p erp le x ed . It s e em ed in cre d ib ly u nlik ely th at L una’s fa th er w as a s u pporte r
of th e D ark A rts , a n d n obody e ls e in th e te n t se em ed to h av e re co gniz ed th e
tr ia n gula r, f in lik e s h ap e.
“A re y ou— er— quite s u re i t’s G rin delw ald ’s — ?”
“I a m n ot m is ta k en ,” s a id K ru m c o ld ly . “ I w alk ed p ast th at s ig n f o r s e v era l
years , I k now i t v ell.”
“W ell, th ere ’s a ch an ce,” sa id H arry , “th at X en ophiliu s d oesn ’t actu ally
know w hat th e sy m bol m ean s, th e L oveg oods a re q uite … u nusu al. H e c o uld
hav e e asily p ic k ed i t u p s o m ew here a n d t h in k i t’s a c ro ss s e ctio n o f t h e h ead o f a
Cru m ple -H orn ed S nork ack o r s o m eth in g.”
“T he c ro ss s e ctio n o f a v ot? ”
“W ell, I d on’t k now w hat t h ey a re , b ut a p pare n tly h e a n d h is d au ghte r g o o n
holid ay l o okin g f o r t h em … ”
Harry f e lt h e w as d oin g a b ad j o b e x pla in in g L una a n d h er f a th er.
“T hat’s h er,” h e s a id , p oin tin g a t L una, w ho w as s till d an cin g a lo ne, w av in g
her a rm s a ro und h er h ead l ik e s o m eo ne a tte m ptin g t o b eat o ff m id ges.
“V y i s s h e d oin g t h at? ” a sk ed K ru m .

“P ro bab ly tr y in g to g et rid o f a W ra ck sp urt,” s a id H arry , w ho re co gniz ed
th e s y m pto m s.
Kru m d id n ot s e em to k now w heth er o r n ot H arry w as m ak in g f u n o f h im .
He d re w h is w an d f ro m in sid e h is r o be a n d ta p ped it m en acin gly o n h is th ig hs;
sp ark s f le w o ut o f t h e e n d.
“G re g oro vitc h !” sa id H arry lo udly , a n d K ru m sta rte d , b ut H arry w as to o
ex cite d to c are ; th e m em ory h ad c o m e b ack to h im a t th e s ig ht o f K ru m ’s w an d:
Olliv an der t a k in g i t a n d e x am in in g i t c are fu lly b efo re t h e T riw iz ard T ourn am en t.
“V ot a b out h im ?” a sk ed K ru m s u sp ic io usly .
“H e’s a w an dm ak er!”
“I k now t h at,” s a id K ru m .
“H e m ad e y our w an d! T hat’s w hy I t h ought— Quid ditc h — ”
Kru m w as l o okin g m ore a n d m ore s u sp ic io us.
“H ow d o y ou k now G re g oro vitc h m ad e m y v an d?”
“I… I r e ad it s o m ew here , I th in k,” s a id H arry . “ In a — a f a n m ag azin e,” h e
im pro vis e d w ild ly a n d K ru m l o oked m ollif ie d .
“I h ad n ot r e aliz ed I e v er d is c u sse d m y v an d w ith f a n s,” h e s a id .
“S o… e r… w here i s G re g oro vitc h t h ese d ay s? ”
Kru m l o oked p uzzle d .
“H e re tir e d se v era l years ag o. I w as one of th e la st to purc h ase a
Gre g oro vitc h v an d. T hey a re th e b est— alth ough I k now , o f c o urs e , th at y our
Brito ns s e t m uch s to re b y O lliv an der.”
Harry d id n ot a n sw er. H e p re te n ded t o w atc h t h e d an cers , l ik e K ru m , b ut h e
was th in kin g h ard . S o V old em ort w as lo okin g fo r a c ele b ra te d w an dm ak er a n d
Harry d id n ot h av e to se arc h fa r fo r a re aso n. It w as su re ly b ecau se o f w hat
Harry ’s w an d h ad d one o n t h e n ig ht t h at V old em ort p urs u ed h im a cro ss t h e s k ie s.
The h olly a n d p hoen ix fe ath er w an d h ad c o nquere d th e b orro w ed w an d, s o m e
th in g th at O lliv an der h ad n ot an tic ip ate d o r u nders to od. W ould G re g oro vitc h
know b ette r? W as h e tr u ly m ore s k ille d th an O lliv an der, d id h e k now s e cre ts o f
wan ds t h at O lliv an der d id n ot?
“T his gir l is very nic e-lo okin g,” K ru m sa id , re callin g H arry to his
su rro undin gs. K ru m w as p oin tin g a t G in ny, w ho h ad ju st jo in ed L una. “ S he is
als o a r e la tiv e o f y ours ? ”
“Y eah ,” s a id H arry , s u dden ly ir rita te d , “ an d s h e’s s e ein g s o m eo ne. J e alo us
ty pe. B ig b lo ke. Y ou w ould n’t w an t t o c ro ss h im .”
Kru m g ru nte d .
“V ot,” h e s a id , d ra in in g h is g oble t a n d g ettin g t o h is f e et a g ain , “ is t h e p oin t
of bein g an in te rn atio nal Q uid ditc h pla y er if all th e good-lo okin g gir ls are
ta k en ?”

And h e s tr o de o ff le av in g H arry to ta k e a s a n dw ic h fro m a p assin g w aite r
an d m ak e h is w ay a ro und t h e e d ge o f t h e c ro w ded d an ce f lo or. H e w an te d t o f in d
Ron, to te ll h im a b out G re g oro vitc h , b ut h e w as d an cin g w ith H erm io ne o ut in
th e m id dle o f th e flo or. H arry le an ed u p a g ain st o ne o f th e g old en p illa rs a n d
watc h ed G in ny, w ho w as now dan cin g w ith F re d an d G eo rg e’s frie n d L ee
Jo rd an , t r y in g n ot t o f e el r e se n tf u l a b out t h e p ro m is e h e h ad g iv en R on.
He had nev er been to a w ed din g befo re , so he co uld not ju dge how
Wiz ard in g c ele b ra tio ns d if f e re d fro m M uggle o nes, th ough h e w as p re tty su re
th at th e la tte r w ould not in volv e a w ed din g cak e to pped w ith tw o m odel
phoen ix es th at to ok flig ht w hen th e c ak e w as c u t, o r b ottle s o f c h am pag ne th at
flo ate d u nsu pporte d th ro ugh th e cro w d. A s th e ev en in g d re w in , an d m oth s
beg an to sw oop u nder th e can opy, n ow lit w ith flo atin g g old en la n te rn s, th e
re v elr y b ecam e m ore a n d m ore u nco nta in ed . F re d a n d G eo rg e h ad lo ng sin ce
dis a p peare d i n to t h e d ark ness w ith a p air o f F le u r’s c o usin s; C harlie , H ag rid , a n d
a sq uat w iz ard in a p urp le p ork pie h at w ere sin gin g “O do th e H ero ” in th e
co rn er.
Wan derin g t h ro ugh t h e c ro w d s o a s t o e sc ap e a d ru nken u ncle o f R on’s w ho
se em ed u nsu re w heth er o r n ot H arry w as h is s o n, H arry s p otte d a n o ld w iz ard
sittin g a lo ne a t a t a b le . H is c lo ud o f w hite h air m ad e h im l o ok r a th er l ik e a n a g ed
dan delio n c lo ck a n d w as to pped b y a m oth -e ate n fe z. H e w as v ag uely fa m ilia r.
Rack in g h is b ra in s, H arry s u dden ly r e aliz ed t h at t h is w as E lp hia s D oge, m em ber
of t h e O rd er o f t h e P hoen ix a n d t h e w rite r o f D um ble d ore ’s o bitu ary .
Harry a p pro ach ed h im .
“M ay I s it d ow n?”
“O f c o urs e , o f c o urs e ,” sa id D oge; h e h ad a ra th er h ig h-p itc h ed , w heezy
voic e.
Harry l e an ed i n .
“M r. D oge, I ’m H arry P otte r.”
Doge g asp ed .
“M y d ear b oy! A rth ur to ld m e y ou w ere h ere , d is g uis e d … I a m s o g la d , s o
honore d !”
In a f lu tte r o f n erv ous p le asu re D oge p oure d H arry a g oble t o f c h am pag ne.
“I th ought of w ritin g to you,” he w his p ere d , “afte r D um ble d ore … th e
sh ock … a n d f o r y ou, I a m s u re … ”
Doge’s t in y e y es f ille d w ith s u dden t e ars .
“I s a w th e o bitu ary y ou w ro te f o r th e
Daily P ro phet,”
s a id H arry . “ I d id n’t
re aliz e y ou k new P ro fe sso r D um ble d ore s o w ell.”
“A s w ell a s a n yone,” s a id D oge, d ab bin g h is e y es w ith a n ap kin . “ C erta in ly
I k new h im lo ngest, if y ou d on’t c o unt A berfo rth — an d s o m eh ow , p eo ple n ev er

do
s e em t o c o unt A berfo rth .”
“S peak in g o f t h e
Daily P ro phet…
I d on’t k now w heth er y ou s a w , M r. D oge
—?”
“O h, p le ase c all m e E lp hia s, d ear b oy.”
“E lp hia s, I d on’t k now w heth er y ou sa w th e in te rv ie w R ita S keete r g av e
ab out D um ble d ore ?”
Doge’s f a ce f lo oded w ith a n gry c o lo r.
“O h y es, H arry , I s a w it. T hat w om an , o r v ultu re m ig ht b e a m ore a ccu ra te
te rm , p ositiv ely p este re d m e to ta lk to h er, I a m a sh am ed to s a y th at I b ecam e
ra th er r u de, c alle d h er a n in te rfe rin g tr o ut, w hic h r e su lte d , a s y ou m y h av e s e en ,
in a sp ers io ns c ast u pon m y s a n ity .”
“W ell, i n t h at i n te rv ie w ,” H arry w en t o n, “ R ita S keete r h in te d t h at P ro fe sso r
Dum ble d ore w as i n volv ed i n t h e D ark A rts w hen h e w as y oung.”
“D on’t b elie v e a w ord o f it! ” s a id D oge a t o nce. “ N ot a w ord , H arry ! L et
noth in g t a rn is h y our m em orie s o f A lb us D um ble d ore !”
Harry lo oked in to D oge’s e arn est, p ain ed fa ce, a n d fe lt, n ot re assu re d , b ut
fru str a te d . D id D oge r e ally t h in k i t w as t h at e asy , t h at H arry c o uld s im ply
ch oose
not to belie v e? D id n’t D oge unders ta n d H arry ’s need to be su re , to know
every th in g?
Perh ap s D oge su sp ecte d H arry ’s fe elin gs, fo r h e lo oked co ncern ed an d
hurrie d o n, “ H arry , R ita S keete r i s a d re ad fu l— ”
But h e w as i n te rru pte d b y a s h rill c ack le .
“R ita S keete r? O h, I l o ve h er, a lw ay s r e ad h er!”
Harry a n d D oge lo oked u p to s e e A untie M urie l s ta n din g th ere , th e p lu m es
dan cin g o n h er h air , a g oble t o f c h am pag ne in h er h an d. “ S he’s w ritte n a b ook
ab out D um ble d ore , y ou k now !”
“H ello , M urie l,” s a id D oge, “ Y es, w e w ere j u st d is c u ssin g— ”
“Y ou t h ere ! G iv e m e y our c h air , I ’m a h undre d a n d s e v en !”
Anoth er re d head ed W easle y c o usin ju m ped o ff h is se at, lo okin g a la rm ed ,
an d A untie M urie l s w ung it a ro und w ith s u rp ris in g s tr e n gth a n d p lo pped h ers e lf
dow n u pon i t b etw een D oge a n d H arry .
“H ello a g ain , B arry o r w hate v er y our n am e is ,” s h e s a id to H arry , “ N ow
what w ere y ou s a y in g a b out R ita S keete r, E lp hia s? Y ou k now , s h e’s w ritte n a
bio gra p hy o f D um ble d ore ? I c an ’t w ait to r e ad it. I m ust r e m em ber to p la ce a n
ord er a t F lo uris h a n d B lo tts !”
Doge lo oked s tif f a n d s o le m n a t th is b ut A untie M urie l d ra in ed h er g oble t
an d c lic k ed h er b ony fin gers a t a p assin g w aite r fo r a re p la cem en t. S he to ok
an oth er la rg e g ulp o f c h am pag ne, b elc h ed a n d th en sa id , “ T here ’s n o n eed to
lo ok lik e a p air o f s tu ff e d f ro gs! B efo re h e b ecam e s o r e sp ecte d a n d r e sp ecta b le

an d a ll t h at t o sh , t h ere w ere s o m e m ig hty f u nny r u m ors a b out A lb us!”
“Ill- in fo rm ed s n ip in g,” s a id D oge, t u rn in g r a d is h -c o lo re d a g ain .
“Y ou w ould s a y th at, E lp hia s,” c ack le d A untie M urie l. “ I n otic ed h ow y ou
sk ate d o ver t h e s tic k y p atc h es i n t h at o bitu ary o f y ours !”
“I’m s o rry y ou th in k s o ,” s a id D oge, m ore c o ld ly s till. “ I a ssu re y ou I w as
writin g f ro m t h e h eart.”
“O h, w e a ll k now y ou w ors h ip ped D um ble d ore ; I d are sa y y ou’ll s till th in k
he w as a s a in t e v en i f i t d oes t u rn o ut t h at h e d id a w ay w ith h is S quib s is te r!”
“M urie l! ”
e x cla im ed D oge.
A c h ill t h at h ad n oth in g t o d o w ith t h e i c ed c h am pag ne w as s te alin g t h ro ugh
Harry ’s c h est.
“W hat d o y ou m ean ?” h e a sk ed M urie l. “ W ho s a id h is s is te r w as a S quib ? I
th ought s h e w as i ll? ”
“T hought w ro ng, th en , d id n’t y ou, B arry !” sa id A untie M urie l, lo okin g
delig hte d a t th e e ff e ct sh e h ad p ro duced . “ A nyw ay, h ow c o uld y ou e x pect to
know a n yth in g a b out it! It a ll h ap pen ed y ears a n d y ears b efo re y ou w ere e v en
th ought o f, m y d ear, a n d th e tr u th is th at th ose o f u s w ho w ere a liv e th en n ev er
knew w hat re ally h ap pen ed . T hat’s w hy I c an ’t w ait to fin d o ut w hat S keete r’s
unearth ed ! D um ble d ore k ep t t h at s is te r o f h is q uie t f o r a l o ng t im e!”
“U ntr u e!” w heezed D oge, “ A bso lu te ly u ntr u e!”
“H e n ev er t o ld m e h is s is te r w as a S quib ,” s a id H arry , w ith out t h in kin g, s till
co ld i n sid e.
“A nd w hy o n e arth w ould h e te ll y ou?” s c re ech ed M urie l, s w ay in g a little
in h er s e at a s s h e a tte m pte d t o f o cu s u pon H arry .
“T he re aso n A lb us n ev er sp oke a b out A ria n a,” b eg an E lp hia s in a v oic e
stif f w ith e m otio n, “ is , I s h ould h av e th ought, q uite c le ar. H e w as s o d ev asta te d
by h er d eath — ”
“W hy d id n obody e v er s e e h er, E lp hia s? ” s q uaw ked M urie l, “ W hy d id h alf
of u s n ev er e v en k now s h e e x is te d , u ntil th ey c arrie d th e c o ff in o ut o f th e h ouse
an d h eld a f u nera l f o r h er? W here w as s a in tly A lb us w hile A ria n a w as lo ck ed in
th e c ella r? O ff b ein g b rillia n t a t H ogw arts , a n d n ev er m in d w hat w as g oin g o n i n
his o w n h ouse !”
“W hat d ’y ou m ean , l o ck ed i n t h e c ella r? ” a sk ed H arry . “ W hat i s t h is ? ”
Doge l o oked w re tc h ed . A untie M urie l c ack le d a g ain a n d a n sw ere d H arry .
“D um ble d ore ’s m oth er w as a te rrif y in g w om an , s im ply te rrif y in g. M uggle -
born , t h ough I h eard s h e p re te n ded o th erw is e — ”
“S he n ev er p re te n ded a n yth in g o f th e so rt! K en dra w as a fin e w om an ,”
whis p ere d D oge m is e ra b ly , b ut A untie M urie l i g nore d h im .
“— pro ud a n d v ery d om in eerin g, th e so rt o f w itc h w ho w ould h av e b een

mortif ie d t o p ro duce a S quib — ”
“A ria n a w as n ot a S quib !” w heezed D oge.
“S o y ou s a y, E lp hia s, b ut e x pla in , t h en , w hy s h e n ev er a tte n ded H ogw arts !”
sa id A untie M urie l. S he tu rn ed b ack to H arry . “ In o ur d ay, S quib s w ere o fte n
hush ed u p, t h ought t o t a k e i t t o t h e e x tr e m e o f a ctu ally i m pris o nin g a l ittle g ir l i n
th e h ouse a n d p re te n din g s h e d id n’t e x is t— ”
“I te ll you, th at’s not w hat hap pen ed !” sa id D oge, but A untie M urie l
ste am ro lle re d o n, s till a d dre ssin g H arry .
“S quib s w ere u su ally sh ip ped o ff to M uggle sc h ools an d en co ura g ed to
in te g ra te in to th e M uggle c o m munity … m uch k in der th an tr y in g to f in d th em a
pla ce in th e W iz ard in g w orld , w here th ey m ust alw ay s b e se co nd cla ss, b ut
natu ra lly K en dra D um ble d ore w ould n’t h av e d re am ed o f le ttin g h er d au ghte r g o
to a M uggle s c h ool— ”
“A ria n a w as d elic ate !” s a id D oge d esp era te ly . “ H er h ealth w as a lw ay s to o
poor t o p erm it h er— ”
“— to p erm it h er to le av e th e h ouse ?” c ack le d M urie l. “ A nd y et sh e w as
nev er t a k en t o S t. M ungo’s a n d n o H eale r w as e v er s u m moned t o s e e h er!”
“R eally , M urie l, h ow c an y ou p ossib ly k now w heth er— ”
“F or y our in fo rm atio n, E lp hia s, m y c o usin L an celo t w as a H eale r a t S t.
Mungo’s a t th e tim e, a n d h e to ld m y fa m ily in s tr ic te st c o nfid en ce th at A ria n a
had n ev er b een s e en t h ere . A ll m ost s u sp ic io us, L an celo t t h ought! ”
Doge lo oked to b e o n th e v erg e o f te ars . A untie M urie l, w ho s e em ed to b e
en jo yin g hers e lf hugely , sn ap ped her fin gers fo r m ore ch am pag ne. N um bly
Harry t h ought o f h ow t h e D urs le y s h ad o nce s h ut h im u p, l o ck ed h im a w ay, k ep t
him o ut o f s ig ht, a ll fo r th e c rim e o f b ein g a w iz ard . H ad D um ble d ore ’s s is te r
su ff e re d th e s a m e fa te in re v ers e : im pris o ned fo r h er la ck o f m ag ic ? A nd h ad
Dum ble d ore tr u ly le ft h er to h er fa te w hile h e w en t o ff to H ogw arts to p ro ve
him se lf b rillia n t a n d t a le n te d ?
“N ow , if K en dra h ad n’t d ie d fir s t,” M urie l re su m ed , “ I’d h av e s a id th at it
was s h e w ho f in is h ed o ff A ria n a— ”
“H ow c an y ou, M urie l! ” g ro an ed D oge. “ A m oth er k ill h er o w n d au ghte r?
Thin k w hat y ou’re s a y in g!”
“If th e m oth er in q uestio n w as cap ab le o f im pris o nin g h er d au ghte r fo r
years o n e n d, w hy n ot? ” s h ru gged A untie M urie l. “ B ut a s I s a y, it d oesn ’t fit,
becau se K en dra d ie d b efo re A ria n a— of w hat, n obody e v er s e em ed s u re — ”
“Y es, A ria n a m ig ht hav e m ad e a desp era te bid fo r fre ed om an d kille d
Ken dra in th e s tr u ggle ,” s a id A untie M urie l th oughtf u lly . “ S hak e y our h ead a ll
you l ik e, E lp hia s. Y ou w ere a t A ria n a’s f u nera l, w ere y ou n ot? ”
“Y es I w as,” s a id D oge, t h ro ugh t r e m blin g l ip s, “ an d a m ore d esp era te ly s a d

occasio n I c an not r e m em ber. A lb us w as h eartb ro ken — ”
“H is heart w asn ’t th e only th in g. D id n’t A berfo rth bre ak A lb us’ nose
half w ay t h ro ugh t h e s e rv ic e?”
If D oge h ad lo oked h orrif ie d b efo re th is , it w as n oth in g to h ow h e lo oked
now . M urie l m ig ht h av e s ta b bed h im . S he c ack le d lo udly a n d to ok a n oth er s w ig
of c h am pag ne, w hic h d rib ble d d ow n h er c h in .
“H ow d o y ou— ?” c ro ak ed D oge.
“M y m oth er w as frie n dly w ith o ld B ath ild a B ag sh ot,” s a id A untie M urie l
hap pily . “ B ath ild a d esc rib ed th e w hole th in g to m oth er w hile I w as lis te n in g a t
th e d oor. A c o ff in -s id e b ra w l. T he w ay B ath ild a to ld it, A berfo rth s h oute d th at it
was a ll A lb us’ fa u lt th at A ria n a w as d ead a n d th en p unch ed h im in th e fa ce.
Acco rd in g t o B ath ild a, A lb us d id n ot e v en d efe n d h im se lf , a n d t h at’s o dd e n ough
in its e lf . A lb us c o uld h av e d estr o yed A berfo rth in a d uel w ith b oth h an ds tie d
beh in d h is b ack .
Murie l s w ig ged y et m ore c h am pag ne. T he re cita tio n o f th ose o ld s c an dals
se em ed to e la te h er a s m uch a s th ey h orrif ie d D oge. H arry d id n ot k now w hat to
th in k, w hat t o b elie v e. H e w an te d t h e t r u th a n d y et a ll D oge d id w as s it t h ere a n d
ble at fe eb ly th at A ria n a had been ill. H arry co uld hard ly belie v e th at
Dum ble d ore w ould n ot h av e in te rv en ed if s u ch c ru elty w as h ap pen in g in sid e h is
ow n h ouse , a n d y et t h ere w as u ndoubte d ly s o m eth in g o dd a b out t h e s to ry .
“A nd I’ll te ll y ou s o m eth in g e ls e ,” M urie l s a id , h ic cu ppin g s lig htly a s s h e
lo w ere d h er g oble t. “ I th in k B ath ild a h as s p ille d th e b ean s to R ita S keete r. A ll
th ose hin ts in Skeete r’s in te rv ie w ab out an im porta n t so urc e clo se to th e
Dum ble d ore s— goodness k now s s h e w as th ere a ll th ro ugh th e A ria n a b usin ess,
an d i t w ould f it! ”
“B ath ild a w ould n ev er t a lk t o R ita S keete r!” w his p ere d D oge.
“B ath ild a B ag sh ot? ” H arry s a id . “ T he a u th or o f
A H is to ry o f M agic ? ”
The n am e w as p rin te d o n th e fro nt o f o ne o f H arry ’s te x tb ooks, th ough
ad m itte d ly n ot o ne o f t h e o nes h e h ad r e ad m ore a tte n tiv ely .
“Y es,” s a id D oge, c lu tc h in g a t H arry ’s q uestio n lik e a d ro w nin g m an a t a
lif e h eir. “ A m ost g if te d m ag ic al h is to ria n a n d a n o ld f rie n d o f A lb us’s .”
“Q uite g ag a t h ese d ay s, I ’v e h eard ,” s a id A untie M urie l c h eerfu lly .
“If th at is so , it is ev en m ore dis h onora b le fo r S keete r to hav e ta k en
ad van ta g e of her,” sa id D oge, “an d no re lia n ce can be pla ced on an yth in g
Bath ild a m ay h av e s a id !”
“O h, th ere a re w ay s o f b rin gin g b ack m em orie s, a n d I ’m s u re R ita S keete r
know s t h em a ll,” s a id A untie M urie l. “ B ut e v en i f B ath ild a’s c o m ple te ly c u ck oo,
I’m su re sh e’d still h av e o ld p hoto gra p hs, m ay be e v en le tte rs . S he k new th e
Dum ble d ore s fo r years … W ell w orth a tr ip to G odric ’s H ollo w , I’d hav e

th ought.”
Harry , w ho h ad b een ta k in g a s ip o f b utte rb eer, c h oked . D oge b an ged h im
on t h e b ack a s H arry c o ughed , l o okin g a t A untie M urie l t h ro ugh s tr e am in g e y es.
Once h e h ad c o ntr o l o f h is v oic e a g ain , h e a sk ed , “ B ath ild a B ag sh ot liv es in
Godric ’s H ollo w ?”
“O h y es, sh e’s b een th ere fo re v er! T he D um ble d ore s m oved th ere afte r
Perc iv al w as i m pris o ned , a n d s h e w as t h eir n eig hbor.”
“T he D um ble d ore s l iv ed i n G odric ’s H ollo w ?”
“Y es, B arry , t h at’s w hat I j u st s a id ,” s a id A untie M urie l t e stily .
Harry fe lt d ra in ed , e m pty . N ev er o nce, in s ix y ears , h ad D um ble d ore to ld
Harry th at th ey h ad b oth liv ed a n d lo st lo ved o nes in G odric ’s H ollo w . W hy?
Were L ily an d Ja m es b urie d clo se to D um ble d ore ’s m oth er an d sis te r? H ad
Dum ble d ore v is ite d th eir g ra v es, p erh ap s w alk ed p ast L ily ’s a n d J a m es’s to d o
so ? A nd h e h ad n ev er o nce t o ld H arry … n ev er b oth ere d t o s a y …
And w hy it w as s o im porta n t, H arry c o uld n ot e x pla in e v en to h im se lf , y et
he f e lt it h ad b een ta n ta m ount to a lie n ot to te ll h im th at th ey h ad th is p la ce a n d
th ese e x perie n ces in c o m mon. H e s ta re d a h ead o f h im , b are ly n otic in g w hat w as
goin g o n a ro und h im , a n d d id n ot r e aliz e th at H erm io ne h ad a p peare d o ut o f th e
cro w d u ntil s h e d re w u p a c h air b esid e h im .
“I s im ply c an ’t d an ce a n ym ore ,” s h e p an te d , s lip pin g o f o ne o f h er s h oes
an d r u bbin g th e s o le o f h er f o ot. “ R on’s g one lo okin g to f in d m ore b utte rb eers .
It’s a b it o dd. I ’v e ju st s e en V ik to r s to rm in g a w ay f ro m L una’s f a th er, it lo oked
lik e th ey ’d b een a rg uin g— ” S he d ro pped h er v oic e, s ta rin g a t h im . “ H arry , a re
you o kay ?”
Harry d id n ot k now w here to b eg in , b ut it d id n ot m atte r, a t th at m om en t,
so m eth in g l a rg e a n d s ilv er c am e f a llin g t h ro ugh t h e c an opy o ver t h e d an ce f lo or.
Gra cefu l a n d g le am in g, th e ly nx la n ded lig htly in th e m id dle o f th e a sto nis h ed
dan cers . H ead s tu rn ed , a s th ose n eare st it f ro ze a b su rd ly in m id -d an ce. T hen th e
Patr o nus’s m outh o pen ed w id e a n d it sp oke in th e lo ud, d eep , slo w v oic e o f
Kin gsle y S hack le b olt.
“The M in is tr y h as fa lle n . S crim geo ur is d ea d. T hey a re co m in g.” “ The
Min is tr y h as fa lle n . S crim geo ur is d ea d. T hey a re c o m in g.” “ The M in is tr y h as
fa lle n . S crim geo ur i s d ea d. T hey a re c o m in g.”

9 . A P L A CE T O H ID E
Every th in g s e em ed fu zzy, s lo w . H arry a n d H erm io ne ju m ped to th eir fe et
a n d d re w th eir w an ds. M an y p eo ple w ere o nly ju st re aliz in g th at so m eth in g
s tr a n ge had hap pen ed ; head s w ere still tu rn in g to w ard th e silv er cat as it
v an is h ed . S ile n ce sp re ad outw ard in co ld rip ple s fro m th e pla ce w here th e
P atr o nus h ad l a n ded . T hen s o m eb ody s c re am ed .
Harry a n d H erm io ne th re w th em se lv es in to th e p an ic k in g c ro w d. G uests
w ere sp rin tin g in all dir e ctio ns; m an y w ere D is a p para tin g; th e pro te ctiv e
e n ch an tm en ts a ro und t h e B urro w h ad b ro ken .
“R on!” H erm io ne c rie d . “ R on, w here a re y ou?”
As th ey p ush ed th eir w ay a cro ss th e d an ce flo or, H arry s a w c lo ak ed a n d
m ask ed fig ure s ap pearin g in th e cro w d; th en h e sa w L upin an d T onks, th eir
w an ds r a is e d , a n d h eard b oth o f th em s h out,
“P ro te g o!” ,
a c ry th at w as e ch oed
o n a ll s id es—
“R on! R on!” H erm io ne c alle d , h alf s o bbin g a s s h e a n d H arry w ere b uff e re d
b y t e rrif ie d g uests : H arry s e iz ed h er h an d t o m ak e s u re t h ey w ere n ’t s e p ara te d a s
a str e ak of lig h t w hiz zed over th eir head s, w heth er a pro te ctiv e ch arm or
s o m eth in g m ore s in is te r h e d id n ot k now —
And t h en R on w as t h ere . H e c au ght h old o f H erm io ne’s f re e a rm , a n d H arry
f e lt h er tu rn o n th e s p ot; s ig ht a n d s o und w ere e x tin guis h ed a s d ark ness p re sse d
i n u pon h im ; a ll h e c o uld f e el w as H erm io ne’s h an d a s h e w as s q ueezed th ro ugh
s p ace a n d tim e, a w ay f ro m th e B urro w , a w ay f ro m th e d esc en din g D eath E ate rs ,
a w ay, p erh ap s, f ro m V old em ort h im se lf …
“W here a re w e?” s a id R on’s v oic e.
Harry o pen ed h is ey es. F or a m om en t h e th ought th ey h ad n ot le ft th e
w ed din g a fte r a ll; T hey s till s e em ed t o b e s u rro unded b y p eo ple .
“T otte n ham C ourt R oad ,” p an te d H erm io ne. “ W alk , ju st w alk , w e n eed to
f in d s o m ew here f o r y ou t o c h an ge.”
Harry d id a s s h e a sk ed . T hey h alf w alk ed , h alf r a n u p th e w id e d ark s tr e et
t h ro nged w ith la te -n ig ht re v ele rs a n d lin ed w ith c lo se d sh ops, sta rs tw in klin g
a b ove th em . A d ouble -d eck er b us ru m ble d b y a n d a g ro up o f m erry p ub-g oers
o gle d t h em a s t h ey p asse d ; H arry a n d R on w ere s till w earin g d re ss r o bes.
“H erm io ne, w e h av en ’t g ot a n yth in g to c h an ge in to ,” R on to ld h er, a s a
y oung w om an b urs t i n to r a u co us g ig gle s a t t h e s ig ht o f h im .
“W hy d id n’t I m ak e s u re I h ad th e I n vis ib ility C lo ak w ith m e?” s a id H arry ,
i n w ard ly c u rs in g h is o w n s tu pid ity . “ A ll l a st y ear I k ep t i t o n m e a n d— ”

“It’s okay, I’v e got th e C lo ak , I’v e got clo th es fo r both of you,” sa id
Herm io ne, “ Ju st t r y a n d a ct n atu ra lly u ntil— th is w ill d o.”
She le d th em dow n a sid e str e et, th en in to th e sh elte r of a sh ad ow y
alle y w ay.
“W hen y ou s a y y ou’v e g ot th e C lo ak , a n d c lo th es… ” s a id H arry , f ro w nin g
at H erm io ne, w ho w as c arry in g n oth in g e x cep t h er sm all b ead ed h an dbag , in
whic h s h e w as n ow r u m mag in g.
“Y es, th ey ’re here ,” sa id H erm io ne, an d to H arry an d Ron’s utte r
asto nis h m en t, s h e p ulle d o ut a p air o f je an s, a s w eats h ir t, s o m e m aro on s o ck s,
an d f in ally t h e s ilv ery I n vis ib ility C lo ak .
“H ow t h e r u ddy h ell— ?”
“U ndete cta b le E xte n sio n C harm ,” s a id H erm io ne. “ T ric k y, b ut I th in k I ’v e
done i t o kay ; a n yw ay, I m an ag ed t o f it e v ery th in g w e n eed i n h ere .” S he g av e t h e
fra g ile -lo okin g b ag a little s h ak e a n d it e ch oed lik e a c arg o h old a s a n um ber o f
heav y o bje cts r o lle d a ro und in sid e it. “ O h, d am n, th at’ ll b e th e b ooks,” s h e s a id ,
peerin g i n to i t, “ an d I h ad t h em a ll s ta ck ed b y s u bje ct… O h w ell… H arry , y ou’d
bette r t a k e t h e I n vis ib ility C lo ak . R on, h urry u p a n d c h an ge… ”
“W hen d id y ou d o a ll t h is ? ” H arry a sk ed a s R on s tr ip ped o ff h is r o bes.
“I to ld y ou at th e B urro w , I’v e h ad th e esse n tia ls p ack ed fo r d ay s, y ou
know , in c ase w e n eed ed to m ak e a q uic k g eta w ay. I p ack ed y our r u ck sa ck th is
morn in g, H arry , a fte r y ou c h an ged , a n d p ut i t i n h ere … I j u st h ad a f e elin g… ”
“Y ou’re a m azin g, y ou a re ,” s a id R on, h an din g h er h is b undle d -u p r o bes.
“T han k y ou,” sa id H erm io ne, m an ag in g a sm all sm ile a s sh e p ush ed th e
ro bes i n to t h e b ag . “ P le ase , H arry , g et t h at C lo ak o n!”
Harry th re w h is In vis ib ility C lo ak a ro und h is sh ould ers a n d p ulle d it u p
over h is h ead , v an is h in g fro m s ig ht. H e w as o nly ju st b eg in nin g to a p pre cia te
what h ad h ap pen ed .
“T he o th ers — ev ery body a t t h e w ed din g— ”
“W e c an ’t w orry a b out th at n ow ,” w his p ere d H erm io ne. “ It’s y ou th ey ’re
afte r, H arry , a n d w e’ll j u st p ut e v ery one i n e v en m ore d an ger b y g oin g b ack .”
“S he’s rig ht,” sa id R on, w ho se em ed to k now th at H arry w as ab out to
arg ue, e v en if h e c o uld n ot s e e h is fa ce. “ M ost o f th e O rd er w as th ere , th ey ’ll
lo ok a fte r e v ery one.”
Harry n odded , th en re m em bere d th at th ey co uld n ot se e h im , an d sa id ,
“Y eah .” B ut h e t h ought o f G in ny, a n d f e ar b ubble d l ik e a cid i n h is s to m ach .
“C om e o n, I t h in k w e o ught t o k eep m ovin g,” s a id H erm io ne.
They m oved b ack u p th e s id e s tr e et a n d o nto th e m ain r o ad a g ain , w here a
gro up of m en on th e opposite sid e w as sin gin g an d w eav in g acro ss th e
pav em en t.

“Ju st as a m atte r o f in te re st, w hy T otte n ham C ourt R oad ?” R on ask ed
Herm io ne.
“I’v e n o id ea, it ju st p opped in to m y h ead , b ut I ’m s u re w e’re s a fe r o ut in
th e M uggle w orld , i t’s n ot w here t h ey ’ll e x pect u s t o b e.”
“T ru e,” s a id R on, l o okin g a ro und, “ b ut d on’t y ou f e el a b it— ex pose d ?”
“W here e ls e is th ere ?” a sk ed H erm io ne, c rin gin g a s th e m en o n th e o th er
sid e o f th e r o ad s ta rte d w olf -w his tlin g a t h er. “ W e c an h ard ly b ook r o om s a t th e
Leak y C au ld ro n, can w e? A nd G rim mau ld P la ce is o ut if S nap e can g et in
th ere … I s u ppose w e c o uld t r y m y p are n ts ’ h om e, t h ough I t h in k t h ere ’s a c h an ce
th ey m ig ht c h eck t h ere … O h, I w is h t h ey ’d s h ut u p!”
“A ll rig ht, d arlin g?” th e d ru nkest o f th e m en o n th e o th er p av em en t w as
yellin g. “ F an cy a d rin k? D itc h g in ger a n d c o m e a n d h av e a p in t! ”
“L et’s sit d ow n so m ew here ,” H erm io ne sa id h astily as R on o pen ed h is
mouth t o s h out b ack a cro ss t h e r o ad . “ L ook, t h is w ill d o, i n h ere !”
It w as a s m all a n d s h ab by a ll- n ig ht c afé . A lig ht la y er o f g re ase la y o n a ll
th e F orm ic a-to pped ta b le s, b ut it w as a t le ast e m pty . H arry s lip ped in to a b ooth
fir s t an d R on sa t n ex t to h im o pposite H erm io ne, w ho h ad h er b ack to th e
en tr a n ce a n d d id n ot lik e it: S he g la n ced o ver h er sh ould er so fre q uen tly sh e
ap peare d t o h av e a t w itc h . H arry d id n ot l ik e b ein g s ta tio nary ; w alk in g h ad g iv en
th e i llu sio n t h at t h ey h ad a g oal. B en eath t h e C lo ak h e c o uld f e el t h e l a st v estig es
of P oly ju ic e l e av in g h im , h is h an ds r e tu rn in g to t h eir u su al l e n gth a n d s h ap e. H e
pulle d h is g la sse s o ut o f h is p ock et a n d p ut t h em o n a g ain .
Afte r a m in ute o r tw o, R on s a id , “ Y ou k now , w e’re n ot f a r f ro m th e L eak y
Cau ld ro n h ere , i t’s o nly i n C harin g C ro ss— ”
“R on, w e c an ’t! ” s a id H erm io ne a t o nce.
“N ot t o s ta y t h ere , b ut t o f in d o ut w hat’s g oin g o n!”
“W e k now w hat’s g oin g o n! V old em ort’s ta k en o ver th e M in is tr y , w hat e ls e
do w e n eed t o k now ?”
“O kay, o kay, i t w as j u st a n i d ea!”
They re la p se d in to a p ric k ly sile n ce. T he g um -c h ew in g w aitr e ss sh uff le d
over a n d H erm io ne o rd ere d tw o c ap puccin os: A s H arry w as in vis ib le , it w ould
hav e l o oked o dd t o o rd er h im o ne. A p air o f b urly w ork m en e n te re d t h e c afé a n d
sq ueezed i n to t h e n ex t b ooth . H erm io ne d ro pped h er v oic e t o a w his p er.
“I s a y w e fin d a q uie t p la ce to D is a p para te a n d h ead fo r th e c o untr y sid e.
Once w e’re t h ere , w e c o uld s e n d a m essa g e t o t h e O rd er.”
“C an y ou d o t h at t a lk in g P atr o nus t h in g, t h en ?” a sk ed R on.
“I’v e b een p ra ctic in g a n d I t h in k s o ,” s a id H erm io ne.
“W ell, a s lo ng a s it d oesn ’t g et th em in to tr o uble , th ough th ey m ig ht’ v e
been a rre ste d a lr e ad y. G od, th at’s re v oltin g,” R on a d ded a fte r o ne sip o f th e

fo am y, g ra y is h c o ff e e. T he w aitr e ss h ad h eard ; s h e s h ot R on a n asty lo ok a s s h e
sh uff le d o ff to ta k e th e n ew c u sto m ers ’ o rd ers . T he la rg er o f th e tw o w ork m en ,
who w as b lo nd a n d q uite h uge, n ow th at H arry c am e to lo ok a t h im , w av ed h er
aw ay. S he s ta re d , a ff ro nte d .
“L et’s get goin g, th en , I don’t w an t to drin k th is m uck ,” sa id R on.
“H erm io ne, h av e y ou g ot M uggle m oney t o p ay f o r t h is ? ”
“Y es, I to ok o ut all m y B uild in g S ocie ty sa v in gs b efo re I cam e to th e
Burro w . I ’ll b et a ll th e c h an ge is a t th e b otto m ,” s ig hed H erm io ne, r e ach in g f o r
her b ead ed b ag .
The tw o w ork m en m ad e id en tic al m ovem en ts , a n d H arry m ir ro re d th em
with out co nsc io us th ought: A ll th re e o f th em d re w th eir w an ds. R on, a fe w
se co nds la te in re aliz in g w hat w as g oin g o n, lu nged a cro ss th e ta b le , p ush in g
Herm io ne sid ew ay s onto her ben ch . T he fo rc e of th e D eath E ate rs ’ sp ells
sh atte re d th e tile d w all w here R on’s h ead h ad ju st b een , a s H arry , s till in vis ib le ,
yelle d ,
“Stu pefy !”
The g re at b lo nd D eath E ate r w as h it in th e fa ce b y a je t o f re d lig ht: H e
slu m ped s id ew ay s, u nco nsc io us. H is c o m pan io n, u nab le to s e e w ho h ad c ast th e
sp ell, fir e d an oth er at R on: S hin in g b la ck ro pes fle w fro m h is w an d-tip an d
bound R on h ead to fo ot— th e w aitr e ss sc re am ed a n d ra n fo r th e d oor— Harry
se n t a n oth er S tu nnin g S pell a t t h e D eath E ate r w ith t h e t w is te d f a ce w ho h ad t ie d
up R on, b ut th e s p ell m is se d , re b ounded o n th e w in dow , a n d h it th e w aitr e ss,
who c o lla p se d i n f ro nt o f t h e d oor.
“E xp uls o !”
b ello w ed th e D eath E ate r, a n d th e ta b le b eh in d w hic h H arry
was s ta n din g b le w u p: T he f o rc e o f t h e e x plo sio n s la m med h im i n to t h e w all a n d
he f e lt h is w an d l e av e h is h an d a s t h e C lo ak s lip ped o ff h im .
“P etr ific u s T o ta lu s!”
s c re am ed H erm io ne f ro m o ut o f s ig ht, a n d th e D eath
Eate r fe ll fo rw ard lik e a sta tu e to la n d w ith a c ru nch in g th ud o n th e m ess o f
bro ken ch in a, ta b le , an d co ff e e. H erm io ne cra w le d o ut fro m u ndern eath th e
ben ch , s h ak in g b its o f g la ss a sh tr a y o ut o f h er h air a n d t r e m blin g a ll o ver.
“D -d iffin do,”
s h e s a id , p oin tin g h er w an d a t R on, w ho r o are d i n p ain a s s h e
sla sh ed o pen th e k nee o f h is je an s, le av in g a d eep c u t. “ O h, I’m s o s o rry , R on,
my h an d’s s h ak in g!
Diffin do!”
The s e v ere d r o pes f e ll a w ay. R on g ot to h is f e et, s h ak in g h is a rm s to r e g ain
fe elin g in th em . H arry p ic k ed u p h is w an d a n d c lim bed o ver a ll th e d eb ris to
where t h e l a rg e b lo nd D eath E ate r w as s p ra w le d a cro ss t h e b en ch .
“I s h ould ’v e r e co gniz ed h im , h e w as th ere th e n ig ht D um ble d ore d ie d ,” h e
sa id . H e tu rn ed o ver th e d ark er D eath E ate r w ith h is f o ot; th e m an ’s e y es m oved
ra p id ly b etw een H arry , R on a n d H erm io ne.
“T hat’s D olo hov,” s a id R on. “ I r e co gniz e h im f ro m th e o ld w an te d p oste rs .

I t h in k t h e b ig o ne’s T horfin n R ow le .”
“N ev er m in d w hat t h ey ’re c alle d !” s a id H erm io ne a l ittle h yste ric ally . “ H ow
did t h ey f in d u s? W hat a re w e g oin g t o d o?”
Som eh ow h er p an ic s e em ed t o c le ar H arry ’s h ead .
“L ock t h e d oor,” h e t o ld h er, “ an d R on, t u rn o ut t h e l ig hts .”
He lo oked d ow n a t th e p ara ly zed D olo hov, th in kin g f a st a s th e lo ck c lic k ed
an d R on u se d t h e D elu m in ato r t o p lu nge t h e c afé i n to d ark ness. H arry c o uld h ear
th e m en w ho had je ere d at H erm io ne earlie r, yellin g at an oth er gir l in th e
dis ta n ce.
“W hat a re w e g oin g t o d o w ith t h em ?” R on w his p ere d t o H arry t h ro ugh t h e
dark ; th en , e v en m ore q uie tly , “ K ill th em ? T hey ’d k ill u s. T hey h ad a g ood g o
ju st n ow .”
Herm io ne s h uddere d a n d t o ok a s te p b ack w ard . H arry s h ook h is h ead .
“W e j u st n eed t o w ip e t h eir m em orie s,” s a id H arry . “ It’s b ette r l ik e t h at, i t’ ll
th ro w t h em o ff t h e s c en t. I f w e k ille d t h em i t’ d b e o bvio us w e w ere h ere .”
“Y ou’re th e b oss,” s a id R on, s o undin g p ro fo undly r e lie v ed . “ B ut I ’v e n ev er
dow n a M em ory C harm .”
“N or h av e I ,” s a id H erm io ne, “ b ut I k now t h e t h eo ry .”
She to ok a deep , calm in g bre ath , th en poin te d her w an d at D olo hov’s
fo re h ead a n d s a id ,
“O bliv ia te .”
At o nce, D olo hov’s e y es b ecam e u nfo cu se d a n d d re am y.
“B rillia n t! ” s a id H arry , c la p pin g h er o n th e b ack . “ T ak e c are o f th e o th er
one a n d t h e w aitr e ss w hile R on a n d I c le ar u p.”
“C le ar u p?” s a id R on, l o okin g a ro und a t t h e p artly d estr o yed c afé . “ W hy?”
“D on’t y ou th in k th ey m ig ht w onder w hat’s h ap pen ed if th ey w ak e u p a n d
fin d t h em se lv es i n a p la ce t h at l o oks l ik e i t’s j u st b een b om bed ?”
“O h r ig ht, y eah … ”
Ron s tr u ggle d f o r a m om en t b efo re m an ag in g to e x tr a ct h is w an d f ro m h is
pock et.
“It’s n o w onder I c an ’t g et it o ut, H erm io ne, y ou p ack ed m y o ld je an s,
th ey ’re t ig ht.”
“O h, I ’m s o s o rry ,” h is se d H erm io ne, a n d a s s h e d ra g ged t h e w aitr e ss o ut o f
sig ht o f t h e w in dow s, H arry h eard h er m utte r a s u ggestio n a s t o w here R on c o uld
stic k h is w an d i n ste ad .
Once th e c afé w as r e sto re d to its p re v io us c o nditio n, th ey h eav ed th e D eath
Eate rs b ack i n to t h eir b ooth a n d p ro pped t h em u p f a cin g e ach o th er.
“B ut h ow d id th ey f in d u s? ” H erm io ne a sk ed , lo okin g f ro m o ne in ert m an
to t h e o th er. “ H ow d id t h ey k now w here w e w ere ?”
She t u rn ed t o H arry .

“Y ou— you d on’t t h in k y ou’v e s till g ot y our T ra ce o n y ou, d o y ou, H arry ?”
“H e can ’t hav e,” sa id Ron. “T he Tra ce bre ak s at se v en te en , th at’s
Wiz ard in g l a w , y ou c an ’t p ut i t o n a n a d ult.”
“A s f a r a s y ou k now ,” s a id H erm io ne. “ W hat i f t h e D eath E ate rs h av e f o und
a w ay t o p ut i t o n a s e v en te en -y ear- o ld ?”
“B ut H arry h asn ’t b een n ear a D eath E ate r in th e la st tw en ty -fo ur h ours .
Who’s s u ppose d t o h av e p ut a T ra ce b ack o n h im ?”
Herm io ne d id n ot re p ly . H arry fe lt c o nta m in ate d , ta in te d : W as th at re ally
how t h e D eath E ate rs h ad f o und t h em ?
“If I c an ’t u se m ag ic , a n d y ou c an ’t u se m ag ic n ear m e, w ith out u s g iv in g
aw ay o ur p ositio n— ” h e b eg an .
“W e’re n ot s p littin g u p!” s a id H erm io ne f ir m ly .
“W e n eed a sa fe p la ce to h id e,” sa id R on. “ G iv e u s tim e to th in k th in gs
th ro ugh.”
“G rim mau ld P la ce,” s a id H arry .
The o th er t w o g ap ed .
“D on’t b e s illy , H arry , S nap e c an g et i n t h ere !”
“R on’s dad sa id th ey ’v e put up jin xes ag ain st him — an d ev en if th ey
hav en ’t w ork ed ,” h e p re sse d o n a s H erm io ne b eg an to a rg ue, “ so w hat? I s w ear,
I’d l ik e n oth in g b ette r t h an t o m eet S nap e!”
“B ut— ”
“H erm io ne, w here e ls e is th ere ? It’s th e b est c h an ce w e’v e g ot. S nap e’s
only o ne D eath E ate r. I f I ’v e s till g ot th e T ra ce o n m e, w e’ll h av e w hole c ro w ds
of t h em o n u s w here v er e ls e w e g o.”
She c o uld n ot a rg ue, t h ough s h e l o oked a s i f s h e w ould h av e l ik ed t o . W hile
sh e u nlo ck ed th e c afé d oor, R on c lic k ed th e D elu m in ato r to re le ase th e c afé ’s
lig ht. T hen , o n H arry ’s c o unt o f th re e, th ey re v ers e d th e s p ells u pon th eir th re e
vic tim s, a n d b efo re t h e w aitr e ss o r e ith er o f t h e D eath E ate rs c o uld d o m ore t h an
stir s le ep ily , H arry , R on a n d H erm io ne h ad tu rn ed o n th e s p ot a n d v an is h ed in to
th e c o m pre ssin g d ark ness o nce m ore .
Seco nds la te r H arry ’s lu ngs e x pan ded g ra te fu lly a n d h e o pen ed h is e y es:
They w ere n ow s ta n din g in th e m id dle o f a fa m ilia r s m all a n d s h ab by s q uare .
Tall, d ila p id ate d h ouse s lo oked d ow n o n th em f ro m e v ery s id e. N um ber tw elv e
was v is ib le to th em , fo r th ey h ad b een to ld o f its e x is te n ce b y D um ble d ore , its
Secre t- K eep er, a n d th ey ru sh ed to w ard it, c h eck in g e v ery fe w y ard s th at th ey
were n ot b ein g f o llo w ed o r o bse rv ed . T hey r a ced u p th e s to ne s te p s, a n d H arry
ta p ped th e f ro nt d oor o nce w ith h is w an d. T hey h eard a s e rie s o f m eta llic c lic k s
an d th e cla tte r o f a ch ain , th en th e d oor sw ung o pen w ith a cre ak an d th ey
hurrie d o ver t h e t h re sh old .

As H arry c lo se d th e d oor b eh in d th em , th e o ld -fa sh io ned g as la m ps s p ra n g
in to l if e , c astin g f lic k erin g l ig ht a lo ng t h e l e n gth o f t h e h allw ay. I t l o oked j u st a s
Harry re m em bere d it: e erie , c o bw eb bed , th e o utlin es o f th e h ouse -e lf h ead s o n
th e w all th ro w in g o dd s h ad ow s u p th e s ta ir c ase . L ong d ark c u rta in s c o nceale d
th e p ortr a it o f S ir iu s’s m oth er. T he o nly th in g th at w as o ut o f p la ce w as th e
tr o ll’s le g u m bre lla sta n d, w hic h w as ly in g o n its sid e as if T onks h ad ju st
knock ed i t o ver a g ain .
“I t h in k s o m eb ody’s b een i n h ere ,” H erm io ne w his p ere d , p oin tin g t o w ard i t.
“T hat c o uld ’v e h ap pen ed a s t h e O rd er l e ft,” R on m urm ure d b ack .
“S o w here a re t h ese j in xes t h ey p ut u p a g ain st S nap e?” H arry a sk ed .
“M ay be t h ey ’re o nly a ctiv ate d i f h e s h ow s u p?” s u ggeste d R on.
Yet th ey re m ain ed c lo se to geth er o n th e d oorm at, b ack s a g ain st th e d oor,
sc are d t o m ove f a rth er i n to t h e h ouse .
“W ell, w e c an ’t s ta y h ere f o re v er,” s a id H arry , a n d h e t o ok a s te p f o rw ard .
“Severu s S nape? ”
Mad -E ye M oody’s v oic e w his p ere d o ut o f t h e d ark ness, m ak in g a ll t h re e o f
th em ju m p b ack in f rig ht. “ W e’re n ot S nap e!” c ro ak ed H arry , b efo re s o m eth in g
whoosh ed o ver h im lik e co ld air an d h is to ngue cu rle d b ack w ard o n its e lf ,
mak in g it im possib le to sp eak . B efo re h e h ad tim e to fe el in sid e h is m outh ,
how ev er, h is t o ngue h ad u nra v ele d a g ain .
The o th er tw o s e em ed to h av e e x perie n ced th e s a m e u nple asa n t s e n sa tio n.
Ron w as m ak in g re tc h in g n ois e s; H erm io ne s ta m mere d , “ T hat m -m ust h av e b -
been t h e T -T ongue-T yin g C urs e M ad -E ye s e t u p f o r S nap e!”
Gin gerly H arry to ok an oth er ste p fo rw ard . Som eth in g sh if te d in th e
sh ad ow s a t t h e e n d o f t h e h all, a n d b efo re a n y o f t h em c o uld s a y a n oth er w ord , a
fig ure h ad ris e n u p o ut o f th e c arp et, ta ll, d ust- c o lo re d , a n d te rrib le ; H erm io ne
sc re am ed a n d s o d id M rs . B la ck , h er c u rta in s fly in g o pen ; th e g ra y fig ure w as
glid in g to w ard th em , f a ste r a n d f a ste r, its w ais t- le n gth h air a n d b eard s tr e am in g
beh in d it, its fa ce s u nken , fle sh le ss, w ith e m pty e y e s o ck ets : H orrib ly fa m ilia r,
dre ad fu lly a lte re d , i t r a is e d a w aste d a rm , p oin tin g a t H arry .
“N o!” H arry s h oute d , a n d th ough h e h ad r a is e d h is w an d n o s p ell o ccu rre d
to h im . “ N o! I t w asn ’t u s! W e d id n’t k ill y ou— ”
On t h e w ord
kill,
t h e f ig ure e x plo ded i n a g re at c lo ud o f d ust: C oughin g, h is
ey es w ate rin g, H arry lo oked a ro und to s e e H erm io ne c ro uch ed o n th e flo or b y
th e d oor w ith h er a rm s o ver h er h ead , a n d R on, w ho w as s h ak in g f ro m h ead to
fo ot, p attin g h er c lu m sily o n th e s h ould er a n d s a y in g, “ It’s a ll r- rig ht… It’s g -
gone… ”
Dust sw ir le d a ro und H arry lik e m is t, c atc h in g th e b lu e g aslig ht, a s M rs .
Bla ck c o ntin ued t o s c re am .

“M udblo ods, filth , sta in s o f d is h onor, ta in t o f sh am e o n th e h ouse o f m y
fa th ers— ”
“S H UT U P!” H arry b ello w ed , d ir e ctin g h is w an d a t h er, a n d w ith a b an g
an d a b urs t o f r e d s p ark s, t h e c u rta in s s w ung s h ut a g ain , s ile n cin g h er.
“T hat… t h at w as… ” H erm io ne w him pere d , a s R on h elp ed h er t o h er f e et.
“Y eah ,” sa id H arry , “ b ut it w asn ’t re ally h im , w as it? Ju st so m eth in g to
sc are S nap e.”
Had it w ork ed , H arry w ondere d , o r h ad S nap e a lr e ad y b la ste d th e h orro r-
fig ure asid e as casu ally as h e h ad k ille d th e re al D um ble d ore ? N erv es still
tin glin g, h e le d th e o th er tw o u p th e h all, h alf -e x pectin g so m e n ew te rro r to
re v eal its e lf , b ut n oth in g m oved e x cep t f o r a m ouse s k itte rin g a lo ng th e s k ir tin g
board .
“B efo re w e g o a n y f a rth er, I t h in k w e’d b ette r c h eck ,” w his p ere d H erm io ne,
an d s h e r a is e d h er w an d a n d s a id ,
“H om en um r e velio .”
Noth in g h ap pen ed .
“W ell, y ou’v e ju st h ad a b ig sh ock ,” sa id R on k in dly . “W hat w as th at
su ppose d t o d o?”
“It d id w hat I m ean t it to d o!” s a id H erm io ne ra th er c ro ssly . “ T hat w as a
sp ell t o r e v eal h um an p re se n ce, a n d t h ere ’s n obody h ere e x cep t u s!”
“A nd o ld D usty ,” s a id R on, g la n cin g a t th e p atc h o f c arp et f ro m w hic h th e
co rp se -fig ure h ad r is e n .
“L et’s g o u p,” s a id H erm io ne w ith a f rig hte n ed lo ok a t th e s a m e s p ot, a n d
sh e l e d t h e w ay u p t h e c re ak in g s ta ir s t o t h e d ra w in g r o om o n t h e f ir s t f lo or.
Herm io ne w av ed h er w an d to ig nite th e o ld g as la m ps, th en , sh iv erin g
slig htly in th e d ra fty ro om , s h e p erc h ed o n th e s o fa , h er a rm s w ra p ped tig htly
aro und h er. R on c ro sse d to th e w in dow a n d m oved th e h eav y v elv et c u rta in s
asid e a n i n ch .
“C an ’t s e e a n yone o ut th ere ,” h e r e p orte d . “ A nd y ou’d th in k, if H arry s till
had a T ra ce o n h im , th ey ’d h av e f o llo w ed u s h ere . I k now th ey c an ’t g et in th e
house , b ut— what’s u p, H arry ?”
Harry h ad g iv en a c ry o f p ain : H is s c ar h ad b urn ed a g ain st a s s o m eth in g
fla sh ed a cro ss h is m in d lik e a b rig ht lig ht o n w ate r. H e s a w a la rg e s h ad ow a n d
fe lt a f u ry th at w as n ot h is o w n p ound th ro ugh h is b ody, v io le n t a n d b rie f a s a n
ele ctr ic s h ock .
“W hat d id y ou s e e?” R on a sk ed , a d van cin g o n H arry . “ D id y ou s e e h im a t
my p la ce?”
“N o, I j u st f e lt a n ger— he’s r e ally a n gry — ”
“B ut t h at c o uld b e a t th e B urro w ,” s a id R on lo udly . “ W hat e ls e ? D id n’t y ou
se e a n yth in g? W as h e c u rs in g s o m eo ne?”

“N o, I j u st f e lt a n ger— I c o uld n’t t e ll— ”
Harry fe lt b ad gere d , c o nfu se d , a n d H erm io ne d id n ot h elp a s s h e s a id in a
frig hte n ed voic e, “Y our sc ar, ag ain ? B ut w hat’s goin g on? I th ought th at
co nnectio n h ad c lo se d !”
“It d id , f o r a w hile ,” m utte re d H arry ; h is s c ar w as s till p ain fu l, w hic h m ad e
it h ard to c o ncen tr a te . “ I— I th in k it’s s ta rte d o pen in g a g ain w hen ev er h e lo se s
co ntr o l, t h at’s h ow i t u se d t o — ”
“B ut th en y ou’v e g ot to c lo se y our m in d!” s a id H erm io ne s h rilly . “ H arry ,
Dum ble d ore d id n’t w an t y ou to u se th at c o nnectio n, h e w an te d y ou to sh ut it
dow n, th at’s w hy y ou w ere s u ppose d to u se O cclu m en cy ! O th erw is e V old em ort
can p la n t f a ls e i m ag es i n y our m in d, r e m em ber— ”
“Y eah , I d o r e m em ber, th an ks,” s a id H arry th ro ugh g ritte d te eth ; h e d id n ot
need H erm io ne to te ll him th at Vold em ort had once use d th is se lf s a m e
co nnectio n b etw een th em to le ad h im in to a tr a p , n or th at it h ad re su lte d in
Sir iu s’s d eath . H e w is h ed th at h e h ad n ot to ld th em w hat h e h ad s e en a n d f e lt; it
mad e V old em ort m ore th re ate n in g, as th ough he w ere pre ssin g ag ain st th e
win dow o f th e r o om , a n d s till th e p ain in h is s c ar w as b uild in g a n d h e f o ught it:
It w as l ik e r e sis tin g t h e u rg e t o b e s ic k .
He tu rn ed h is b ack o n R on a n d H erm io ne, p re te n din g to e x am in e th e o ld
ta p estr y o f th e B la ck fa m ily tr e e o n th e w all. T hen H erm io ne s h rie k ed : H arry
dre w h is w an d a g ain a n d s p un a ro und to s e e a s ilv er P atr o nus s o ar th ro ugh th e
dra w in g ro om w in dow an d la n d upon th e flo or in fro nt of th em , w here it
so lid if ie d i n to t h e w ease l t h at s p oke w ith t h e v oic e o f R on’s f a th er.
“F am ily s a fe , d o n ot r e p ly , w e a re b ein g w atc h ed .”
The P atr o nus d is so lv ed in to n oth in gness. R on le t o ut a n ois e b etw een a
whim per a n d a g ro an a n d d ro pped o nto th e s o fa : H erm io ne jo in ed h im , g rip pin g
his a rm .
“T hey ’re a ll rig ht, th ey ’re a ll rig ht! ” s h e w his p ere d , a n d R on h alf la u ghed
an d h ugged h er.
“H arry ,” h e s a id o ver H erm io ne’s s h ould er, “ I— ”
“It’s n ot a p ro ble m ,” s a id H arry , s ic k en ed b y t h e p ain i n h is h ead . “ It’s y our
fa m ily , ’ c o urs e y ou w ere w orrie d . I ’d f e el th e s a m e w ay.” H e th ought o f G in ny.
“I
do
f e el t h e s a m e w ay.”
The p ain in h is sc ar w as re ach in g a p eak , b urn in g a s it h ad b ack in th e
gard en o f th e B urro w . F ain tly h e h eard H erm io ne s a y “ I d on’t w an t to b e o n m y
ow n. C ould w e u se t h e s le ep in g b ag s I ’v e b ro ught a n d c am p i n h ere t o nig ht? ”
He h eard R on a g re e. H e c o uld n ot fig ht th e p ain m uch lo nger. H e h ad to
su ccu m b.
“B ath ro om ,” h e m utte re d , a n d h e le ft th e r o om a s f a st a s h e c o uld w ith out

ru nnin g.
He b are ly m ad e it: B oltin g th e d oor b eh in d h im w ith tr e m blin g h an ds, h e
gra sp ed h is p oundin g h ead a n d f e ll t o t h e f lo or, t h en i n a n e x plo sio n o f a g ony, h e
fe lt t h e r a g e t h at d id n ot b elo ng t o h im p osse ss h is s o ul, s a w a l o ng r o om l it o nly
by fir e lig ht, an d th e gia n t blo nd D eath E ate r on th e flo or, sc re am in g an d
writh in g, a n d a s lig hte r f ig ure s ta n din g o ver h im , w an d o uts tr e tc h ed , w hile H arry
sp oke i n a h ig h, c o ld , m erc ile ss v oic e.
“M ore , R ow le , o r s h all w e e n d it a n d f e ed y ou to N ag in i? L ord V old em ort
is n ot s u re t h at h e w ill f o rg iv e t h is t im e… Y ou c alle d m e b ack f o r t h is , t o t e ll m e
th at H arry P otte r h as e sc ap ed a g ain ? D ra co , g iv e R ow le a n oth er ta ste o f o ur
dis p le asu re … D o i t, o r f e el m y w ra th y ours e lf !”
A lo g fe ll in th e fir e : F la m es re are d , th eir lig ht d artin g a cro ss a te rrif ie d ,
poin te d w hite fa ce— with a se n se o f em erg in g fro m d eep w ate r, H arry d re w
heav in g b re ath s a n d o pen ed h is e y es.
He w as s p re ad -e ag le d o n th e c o ld b la ck m arb le f lo or, h is n ose in ch es f ro m
one of th e silv er se rp en t ta ils th at su pporte d th e la rg e bath tu b. H e sa t up.
Malf o y’s g au nt, p etr if ie d f a ce s e em ed b urn ed o n t h e i n sid e o f h is e y es. H arry f e lt
sic k en ed b y w hat h e h ad s e en , b y th e u se to w hic h D ra co w as n ow b ein g p ut b y
Vold em ort.
There w as a s h arp r a p o n th e d oor, a n d H arry ju m ped a s H erm io ne’s v oic e
ra n g o ut.
“H arry , d o y ou w an t y our t o oth bru sh ? I ’v e g ot i t h ere .”
“Y eah , g re at, th an ks,” h e s a id , f ig htin g to k eep h is v oic e c asu al a s h e s to od
up t o l e t h er i n .

1 0. K REA CH ER ’S T A LE
Harry w oke e arly n ex t m orn in g, w ra p ped in a s le ep in g b ag o n th e d ra w in g
r o om flo or. A c h in k o f s k y w as v is ib le b etw een th e h eav y c u rta in s. It w as th e
c o ol, cle ar blu e of w ate re d in k, so m ew here betw een nig ht an d daw n, an d
e v ery th in g w as q uie t e x cep t f o r R on a n d H erm io ne’s s lo w , d eep b re ath in g. H arry
g la n ced o ver a t th e d ark s h ap es th ey m ad e o n th e f lo or b esid e h im . R on h ad h ad
a f it o f g alla n tr y a n d in sis te d th at H erm io ne s le ep o n th e c u sh io ns f ro m th e s o fa ,
s o th at h er silh ouette w as ra is e d a b ove h is . H er a rm c u rv ed to th e flo or, h er
f in gers in ch es fro m R on’s . H arry w ondere d w heth er th ey had fa lle n asle ep
h old in g h an ds. T he i d ea m ad e h im f e el s tr a n gely l o nely .
He lo oked u p a t th e s h ad ow y c eilin g, th e c o bw eb bed c h an delie r. L ess th an
t w en ty -fo ur h ours a g o, h e h ad b een s ta n din g i n t h e s u nlig ht a t t h e e n tr a n ce t o t h e
m arq uee, w aitin g to s h ow in w ed din g g uests . It s e em ed a lif e tim e a w ay. W hat
w as g oin g to h ap pen n ow ? H e la y o n th e f lo or a n d h e th ought o f th e H orc ru xes,
o f t h e d au ntin g c o m ple x m is sio n D um ble d ore h ad l e ft h im … D um ble d ore …
The g rie f th at h ad p osse sse d h im sin ce D um ble d ore ’s d eath fe lt d if f e re n t
n ow . T he a ccu sa tio ns h e h ad h eard f ro m M urie l a t th e w ed din g s e em ed to h av e
n este d in h is b ra in lik e d is e ase d th in gs, in fe ctin g h is m em orie s o f th e w iz ard h e
h ad id oliz ed . C ould D um ble d ore h av e le t s u ch th in gs h ap pen ? H ad h e b een lik e
D udle y, c o nte n t to w atc h n eg le ct a n d a b use a s lo ng a s it d id n ot a ff e ct h im ?
C ould he hav e tu rn ed his back on a sis te r w ho w as bein g im pris o ned an d
h id den ?
Harry th ought of G odric ’s H ollo w , of gra v es D um ble d ore had nev er
m en tio ned th ere ; h e th ought o f m yste rio us o bje cts le ft w ith out e x pla n atio n in
D um ble d ore ’s w ill, an d re se n tm en t sw elle d in th e dark ness. W hy had n’t
D um ble d ore to ld h im ? W hy h ad n’t h e ex pla in ed ? H ad D um ble d ore actu ally
c are d a b out H arry a t a ll? O r h ad H arry b een n oth in g m ore th an a to ol to b e
p olis h ed a n d h oned , b ut n ot t r u ste d , n ev er c o nfid ed i n ?
Harry co uld not sta n d ly in g th ere w ith noth in g but bitte r th oughts fo r
c o m pan y. D esp era te fo r s o m eth in g to d o, fo r d is tr a ctio n, h e s lip ped o ut o f h is
s le ep in g b ad , p ic k ed u p h is w an d, a n d c re p t o ut o f th e r o om . O n th e la n din g h e
w his p ere d ,
“Lum os,”
a n d s ta rte d t o c lim b t h e s ta ir s b y w an dlig ht.
On th e s e co nd la n din g w as th e b ed ro om in w hic h h e a n d R on h ad s le p t la st
t im e th ey h ad b een h ere ; h e g la n ced in to it. T he w ard ro be d oors s to od o pen a n d
t h e b ed clo th es h ad b een r ip ped b ack . H arry r e m em bere d th e o vertu rn ed tr o ll le g
d ow nsta ir s . S om eb ody h ad s e arc h ed th e h ouse s in ce th e O rd er h ad le ft. S nap e?

Or p erh ap s M undungus, w ho h ad p ilf e re d p le n ty f ro m t h is h ouse b oth b efo re a n d
afte r S ir iu s d ie d ? H arry ’s g aze w an dere d t o t h e p ortr a it t h at s o m etim es c o nta in ed
Phin eas N ig ellu s B la ck , Sir iu s’s gre at- g re at gra n dfa th er, but it w as em pty ,
sh ow in g noth in g but a str e tc h of m uddy back dro p. Phin eas N ig ellu s w as
ev id en tly s p en din g t h e n ig ht i n t h e h ead m aste r’s s tu dy a t H ogw arts .
Harry c o ntin ued u p th e s ta ir s u ntil h e re ach ed th e to pm ost la n din g w here
th ere w ere o nly tw o d oors . T he o ne f a cin g h im b ore a n am ep la te r e ad in g S ir iu s.
Harry h ad n ev er e n te re d h is g odfa th er’s b ed ro om b efo re . H e p ush ed o pen th e
door, h old in g h is w an d h ig h to c ast lig ht a s w id ely a s p ossib le . T he ro om w as
sp acio us a n d m ust o nce h av e b een h an dso m e. T here w as a la rg e b ed w ith a
carv ed w ooden h ead board , a ta ll w in dow o bsc u re d b y lo ng v elv et c u rta in s a n d a
ch an delie r th ic k ly c o ate d in d ust w ith c an dle s c ru bs s till re stin g in its s o ck ets ,
so lid w ax b an gin g in f ro stlik e d rip s. A f in e f ilm o f d ust c o vere d th e p ic tu re s o n
th e w alls an d th e bed ’s head board ; a sp id er’s w eb str e tc h ed betw een th e
ch an delie r an d th e to p o f th e la rg e w ooden w ard ro be, an d as H arry m oved
deep er i n to t h e r o om , h e h eard a s c u rry in g o f d is tu rb ed m ic e.
The te en ag e S ir iu s had pla ste re d th e w alls w ith so m an y poste rs an d
pic tu re s th at little o f th e w all’s s ilv ery -g ra y s ilk w as v is ib le . H arry c o uld o nly
assu m e th at S ir iu s’s p are n ts h ad b een u nab le to r e m ove th e P erm an en t S tic k in g
Charm th at k ep t th em o n th e w all b ecau se h e w as su re th ey w ould n ot h av e
ap pre cia te d th eir e ld est so n’s ta ste in d eco ra tio n. S ir iu s se em ed to h av e lo ng
gone o ut o f h is w ay to a n noy h is p are n ts . T here w ere s e v era l la rg e G ry ff in dor
ban ners , f a d ed s c arle t a n d g old ju st to u nderlin e h is d if f e re n ce f ro m a ll th e r e st
of th e S ly th erin fa m ily . T here w ere m an y p ic tu re s o f M uggle m oto rc y cle s, a n d
als o (H arry h ad to a d m ir e S ir iu s’s n erv e) s e v era l p oste rs o f b ik in i- c la d M uggle
gir ls . H arry co uld te ll th at th ey w ere M uggle s b ecau se th ey re m ain ed q uite
sta tio nary w ith in th eir p ic tu re s, fa d ed sm ile s an d g la zed ey es fro zen o n th e
pap er. T his w as in c o ntr a st th e o nly W iz ard in g p hoto gra p h o n th e w alls w hic h
was a p ic tu re o f fo ur H ogw arts stu den ts sta n din g a rm in a rm , la u ghin g a t th e
cam era .
With a le ap o f p le asu re , H arry re co gniz ed h is fa th er, h is u ntid y b la ck h air
stu ck u p a t th e b ack lik e H arry ’s , a n d h e to o w ore g la sse s. B esid e h im w as
Sir iu s, care le ssly h an dso m e, h is slig htly arro gan t fa ce so m uch y ounger an d
hap pie r t h an H arry h ad e v er s e en i t a liv e. T o S ir iu s’s r ig ht s to od P ettig re w , m ore
th an a head sh orte r, plu m p an d w ate ry -e y ed , flu sh ed w ith ple asu re at his
in clu sio n in th is c o ole st o f g an gs, w ith th e m uch -a d m ir e d r e b els th at J a m es a n d
Sir iu s h ad b een . O n J a m es’s le ft w as L upin , e v en th en a little s h ab by-lo okin g,
but he had th e sa m e air of delig hte d su rp ris e at fin din g him se lf lik ed an d
in clu ded o r w as i t s im ply b ecau se H arry k new h ow i t h ad b een , t h at h e s a w t h ese

th in gs in th e p ic tu re ? H e tr ie d to ta k e it f ro m th e w all; it w as h is n ow , a fte r a ll,
Sir iu s h ad le ft h im ev ery th in g, b ut it w ould n ot b udge. S ir iu s h ad ta k en n o
ch an ces i n p re v en tin g h is p are n ts f ro m r e d eco ra tin g h is r o om .
Harry lo oked a ro und a t th e f lo or. T he s k y o uts id e w as g ro w in g b rig hte st. A
sh aft o f lig ht r e v eale d b its o f p ap er, b ooks, a n d s m all o bje cts s c atte re d o ver th e
carp et. E vid en tly S ir iu s’s b ed ro om h ad b een re ach ed to o, a lth ough its c o nte n ts
se em ed t o h av e b een j u dged m ostly , i f n ot e n tir e ly , w orth le ss. A f e w o f t h e b ooks
had b een s h ak en ro ughly e n ough to p art c o m pan y w ith th e c o vers a n d s u ndry
pag es l itte re d t h e f lo or.
Harry b en t d ow n, p ic k ed u p a fe w o f th e p ie ces o f p ap er, a n d e x am in ed
th em . H e re co gniz ed o ne a s a p art o f a n o ld e d itio n o f
A H is to ry o f M agic ,
b y
Bath ild a B ag sh ot, an d an oth er as belo ngin g to a m oto rc y cle m ain te n an ce
man ual. T he t h ir d w as h an dw ritte n a n d c ru m ple d . H e s m ooth ed i t o ut.
Dea r P adfo ot,
Thank y o u, th ank y o u, fo r H arry ’s b ir th day p re se n t! It w as h is
fa vo rite b y fa r. O ne y ea r o ld a nd a lr e a dy zo om in g a lo ng o n a to y
bro om stic k, h e l o oked s o p le a se d w ith h im se lf. I ’m e n clo sin g a p ic tu re
so y o u c a n s e e. Y o u k n ow it o n ly r is e s a bout tw o fe et o ff th e g ro und
but h e n ea rly k ille d th e c a t a nd h e s m ash ed a h orrib le v a se P etu nia
se n t m e f o r C hris tm as ( n o c o m pla in ts t h ere ). O f c o urse J a m es t h ought
it w as so fu nny, sa ys h e’s g oin g to b e a g re a t Q uid ditc h p la yer b ut
we’v e h ad to p ack a w ay a ll th e o rn am en ts a nd m ake su re w e d on’t
ta ke o ur e yes o ff h im w hen h e g ets g oin g.
We h ad a v ery q uie t b ir th day te a , ju st u s a nd o ld B ath ild a w ho
has a lw ays b een sw eet to u s a nd w ho d ote s o n H arry. W e w ere so
so rry y o u c o uld n’t c o m e, b ut t h e O rd er’s g ot t o c o m e f ir st, a nd H arry ’s
not o ld e n ough t o k n ow i t’s h is b ir th day a nyw ay! J a m es i s g ettin g a b it
fr u str a te d sh ut u p h ere , h e tr ie s n ot to sh ow it b ut I c a n te ll— als o
Dum ble d ore ’s still g ot h is In vis ib ility C lo ak, so n o ch ance o f little
excu rsio ns. I f y o u c o uld v is it, it w ould c h eer h im u p s o m uch . W orm y
was here la st w eeken d. I th ought he se em ed dow n, but th at w as
pro bably th e n ext a bout th e M cK in nons; I c rie d a ll e ven in g w hen I
hea rd .
Bath ild a d ro ps in m ost d ays, sh e’s a fa sc in atin g o ld th in g w ith
th e m ost a m azin g sto rie s a bout D um ble d ore . I’m n ot su re h e’d b e
ple a se d if he kn ew ! I don’t kn ow how m uch to belie ve, actu ally
beca use i t s e em s i n cre d ib le t h at D um ble d ore

Harry ’s e x tr e m itie s s e em ed t o h av e g one n um b. H e s to od q uite s till, h old in g
th e m ir a cu lo us p ap er in h is n erv ele ss fin gers w hile in sid e h im a k in d o f q uie t
eru ptio ns se n t jo y an d g rie f th underin g its eq ual m easu re th ro ugh h is v ein s.
Lurc h in g t o t h e b ed , h e s a t d ow n.
He re ad th e le tte r a g ain , b ut c o uld n ot ta k e in a n y m ore m ean in g th an h e
had d one th e f ir s t tim e, a n d w as r e d uced to s ta rin g a t th e h an dw ritin g its e lf . S he
had m ad e h er “ g ”s t h e s a m e w ay h e d id . H e s e arc h ed t h ro ugh t h e l e tte r f o r e v ery
one o f t h em , a n d e ach f e lt l ik e a f rie n dly l ittle w av e g lim pse d f ro m b eh in d a v eil.
The le tte r w as a n in cre d ib le tr e asu re , p ro of th at L ily P otte r h ad liv ed , re ally
liv ed , th at h er w arm h an d h ad o nce m oved a cro ss th is p arc h m en t, tr a cin g in k
in to t h ese l e tte rs , t h ese w ord s, w ord s a b out h im , H arry , h er s o n.
Im patie n tly b ru sh in g a w ay th e w etn ess in h is e y es, h e r e re ad th e le tte r, th is
tim e c o ncen tr a tin g o n th e m ean in g. It w as lik e lis te n in g to a h alf -re m em bere d
voic e.
They h ad a cat… p erh ap s it h ad p eris h ed , lik e h is p are n ts at G odric ’s
Hollo w … o r e ls e f le d w hen th ere w as n obody le ft to f e ed it… S ir iu s h ad b ought
him his fir s t bro om stic k … H is pare n ts had know n B ath ild a B ag sh ot; had
Dum ble d ore in tr o duced th em ?
Dum ble d ore ’s still g ot h is In vis ib ility C lo ak…
th ere w as s o m eth in g f u nny t h ere …
Harry p au se d , p onderin g h is m oth er’s w ord s. W hy h ad D um ble d ore ta k en
Ja m es’s In vis ib ility C lo ak ? H arry d is tin ctly re m em bere d h is h ead m aste r te llin g
him y ears b efo re , “ I d on’t n eed a c lo ak to b eco m e in vis ib le .” P erh ap s s o m e le ss
gif te d O rd er m em ber h ad n eed ed its a ssis ta n ce, a n d D um ble d ore h ad a cte d a s a
carrie r? H arry p asse d o n…
Worm y w as h ere …
P ettig re w , th e tr a ito r, h ad s e em ed “ d ow n.” H ad h e? W as
he a w are t h at h e w as s e ein g J a m es a n d L ily a liv e f o r t h e l a st t im e?
And fin ally B ath ild a a g ain , w ho to ld in cre d ib le s to rie s a b out D um ble d ore .
It s e em s i n cre d ib le t h at D um ble d ore —
That D um ble d ore w hat? B ut th ere w ere a n y n um ber o f th in gs th at w ould
se em i n cre d ib le a b out D um ble d ore ; t h at h e h ad o nce r e ceiv ed b otto m m ark s i n a
Tra n sfig ura tio n te st, fo r in sta n ce, or had ta k en up goat ch arm in g lik e
Aberfo rth …
Harry g ot t o h is f e et a n d s c an ned t h e f lo or: P erh ap s t h e r e st o f t h e l e tte r w as
here s o m ew here . H e s e iz ed p ap ers , tr e atin g th em in h is e ag ern ess, w ith a s little
co nsid era tio n a s th e o rig in al s e arc h er, h e p ulle d o pen d ra w ers , s h ook o ut b ooks,
sto od o n a c h air t o r u n h is h an d o ver t h e t o p o f t h e w ard ro be, a n d c ra w le d u nder
th e b ed a n d a rm ch air.
At la st, ly in g fa ced ow n o n th e flo or, h e sp otte d w hat lo oked lik e a to rn
pie ce o f p ap er u nder th e c h est o f d ra w ers . W hen h e p ulle d it o ut, it p ro ved to b e

most o f t h e p hoto gra p h t h at L ily h ad d esc rib ed i n h er l e tte r. A b la ck -h air e d b ab y
was z o om in g in a n d o ut o f th e p ic tu re o n a tin y b ro om , ro arin g w ith la u ghte r,
an d a p air o f l e g s t h at m ust h av e b elo nged t o J a m es w as c h asin g a fte r h im . H arry
tu ck ed t h e p hoto gra p h i n to h is p ock et w ith L ily ’s l e tte r a n d c o ntin ued t o l o ok f o r
th e s e co nd s h eet.
Afte r a n oth er q uarte r o f a n h our, h ow ev er, h e w as fo rc ed to c o nclu de th at
th e re st o f h is m oth er’s le tte r w as g one. H ad it s im ply b een lo st in th e s ix te en
years t h at h ad e la p se d s in ce i t h ad b een w ritte n , o r h ad i t b een t a k en b y w hoev er
had s e arc h ed th e ro om ? H arry re ad th e fir s t s h eet a g ain , th is tim e lo okin g fo r
clu es a s to w hat m ig ht h av e m ad e th e s e co nd s h eet v alu ab le . H is to y b ro om stic k
co uld hard ly be co nsid ere d in te re stin g to th e D eath Eate rs … The only
pote n tia lly use fu l th in g he co uld se e her was possib le in fo rm atio n on
Dum ble d ore .
It s e em s i n cre d ib le t h at D um ble d ore —
what?
“H arry ? H arry ?
Harry !”
“I’m h ere !” h e c alle d , “ W hat’s h ap pen ed ?”
There w as a c la tte r o f f o ots te p s o uts id e t h e d oor, a n d H erm io ne b urs t i n sid e.
“W e w oke u p a n d d id n’t k now w here y ou w ere !” s h e s a id b re ath le ssly . S he
tu rn ed a n d s h oute d o ver h er s h ould er, “ R on! I ’v e f o und h im !”
Ron’s a n noyed v oic e e ch oed d is ta n tly f ro m s e v era l f lo ors b elo w .
“G ood! T ell h im f ro m m e h e’s a g it! ”
“H arry , d on’t ju st d is a p pear, p le ase , w e w ere te rrif ie d ! W hy d id y ou c o m e
up h ere a n yw ay ?” S he g azed a ro und th e r a n sa ck ed r o om . “ W hat h av e y ou b een
doin g?”
“L ook w hat I ’v e j u st f o und— ”
He h eld o ut h is m oth er’s l e tte r. H erm io ne t o ok i t o ut a n d r e ad i t w hile H arry
watc h ed h er. W hen s h e r e ach ed t h e e n d o f t h e p ag e s h e l o oked u p a t h im .
“O h H arry … ”
“A nd t h ere ’s t h is t o o.”
He han ded her th e to rn photo gra p h, an d H erm io ne sm ile d at th e bab y
zo om in g i n a n d o ut o f s ig ht o n t h e t o y b ro om .
“I’v e b een l o okin g f o r t h e r e st o f t h e l e tte r,” H arry s a id , “ b ut i t’s n ot h ere .”
Herm io ne g la n ced a ro und.
“D id y ou m ak e a ll t h is m ess, o r w as s o m e o f i t d one w hen y ou g ot h ere ?”
“S om eo ne h ad s e arc h ed b efo re m e,” s a id H arry .
“I th ought s o . E very r o om I lo oked in to o n th e w ay u p h ad b een d is tu rb ed .
What w ere t h ey a fte r, d o y ou t h in k?”
“In fo rm atio n o n t h e O rd er, i f i t w as S nap e.”
“B ut y ou’d th in k h e’d a lr e ad y h av e a ll h e n eed ed . I m ean w as
in
th e O rd er,
wasn ’t h e?”

“W ell t h en ,” s a id H arry , k een t o d is c u ss h is t h eo ry , “ w hat a b out i n fo rm atio n
on D um ble d ore ? T he se co nd p ag e o f th e le tte r, fo r in sta n ce. Y ou k now th is
Bath ild a m y m um m en tio ns, y ou k now w ho s h e i s ? ”
“W ho?”
“B ath ild a B ag sh ot, t h e a u th or o f— ”
“A H is to ry o f M agic ,”
s a id H erm io ne, lo okin g in te re ste d . “ S o y our p are n ts
knew h er? S he w as a n i n cre d ib le m ag ic h is to ria n .”
“A nd s h e’s s till a liv e,” s a id H arry , “ an d s h e l iv es i n G odric ’s H ollo w . R on’s
Auntie M urie l w as ta lk in g a b out h er a t th e w ed din g. S he k new D um ble d ore ’s
fa m ily t o o. B e p re tty i n te re stin g t o t a lk t o , w ould n’t s h e?”
There w as a little to o m uch u nders ta n din g in th e s m ile H erm io ne g av e h im
fo r H arry ’s lik in g. H e to ok b ack th e le tte r a n d th e p hoto gra p h a n d tu ck ed th em
in sid e th e p ouch a ro und h is n eck , so a s n ot to h av e to lo ok a t h er a n d g iv e
him se lf a w ay.
“I u nders ta n d w hy y ou’d lo ve to ta lk to h er a b out y our m um a n d d ad , a n d
Dum ble d ore t o o,” s a id H erm io ne. “ B ut t h at w ould n’t r e ally h elp u s i n o ur s e arc h
fo r t h e H orc ru xes, w ould i t? ” H arry d id n ot a n sw er, a n d s h e r u sh ed o n, “ H arry , I
know y ou re ally w an t to g o to G odric ’s H ollo w , b ut I’m s c are d . I’m s c are d a t
how e asily th ose D eath E ate rs fo und u s y este rd ay. It ju st m ak es m e fe el m ore
th an e v er th at w e o ught to a v oid th e p la ce w here y our p are n ts a re b urie d , I’m
su re t h ey ’d b e e x pectin g y ou t o v is it i t.”
“It’s n ot ju st th at,” H arry s a id , s till a v oid in g lo okin g a t h er, “ M urie l s a id
stu ff a b out D um ble d ore a t t h e w ed din g. I w an t t o k now t h e t r u th … ”
He to ld H erm io ne ev ery th in g th at M urie l had to ld him . W hen he had
fin is h ed , H erm io ne s a id , “ O f c o urs e , I c an s e e w hy t h at’s u pse t y ou, H arry — ”
“I’m n ot u pse t,” h e l ie d , “ I’d j u st l ik e t o k now w heth er o r n ot i t’s t r u e o r— ”
“H arry , d o y ou r e ally t h in k y ou’ll g et t h e t r u th f ro m a m alic io us o ld w om an
lik e M urie l, or fro m R ita S keete r? H ow can you belie v e th em ? Y ou knew
Dum ble d ore !”
“I t h ought I d id ,” h e m utte re d .
“B ut y ou k now h ow m uch tr u th th ere w as in e v ery th in g R ita w ro te a b out
you! D oge is rig ht, h ow can y ou le t th ese p eo ple ta rn is h y our m em orie s o f
Dum ble d ore ?”
He lo oked a w ay, tr y in g n ot to b etr a y th e re se n tm en t h e fe lt. T here it w as
ag ain : C hoose w hat to b elie v e. H e w an te d th e tr u th . W hy w as e v ery body so
dete rm in ed t h at h e s h ould n ot g et i t?
“S hall w e g o d ow n t o t h e k itc h en ?” H erm io ne s u ggeste d a fte r a l ittle p au se .
“F in d s o m eth in g f o r b re ak fa st? ”
He a g re ed , b ut g ru dgin gly , a n d f o llo w ed h er o ut o nto th e la n din g a n d p ast

th e s e co nd d oor th at le d o ff it. T here w ere d eep s c ra tc h m ark s in th e p ain tw ork
belo w a s m all s ig n t h at h e h ad n ot n otic ed i n t h e d ark . H e p asse d a t t h e t o p o f t h e
sta ir s to r e ad it. I t w as a p om pous little s ig n, n eatly le tte re d b y h an d th e s o rt o f
th in g t h at P erc y W easle y m ig ht h av e s tu ck o n h is b ed ro om d oor.
Do N ot E nte r
With out t h e E xp re ss P erm is sio n o f R eg ulu s A rc tu ru s B la ck
Excite m en t tr ic k le d th ro ugh H arry , b ut h e w as n ot im med ia te ly s u re w hy.
He r e ad t h e s ig n a g ain . H erm io ne w as a lr e ad y a f lig ht o f s ta ir s b elo w h im .
“H erm io ne,” h e sa id , an d h e w as su rp ris e d th at h is v oic e w as so calm .
“C om e b ack u p h ere .”
“W hat’s t h e m atte r? ”
“R . A . B . I t h in k I ’v e f o und h im .”
There w as a g asp , a n d t h en H erm io ne r a n b ack u p t h e s ta ir s .
“In y our m um ’s l e tte r? B ut I d id n’t s e e— ”
Harry s h ook h is h ead , p oin tin g a t R eg ulu s’s s ig n. S he r e ad it, th en c lu tc h ed
Harry ’s a rm s o t ig htly t h at h e w in ced .
“S ir iu s’s b ro th er? ” s h e w his p ere d .
“H e w as a D eath E ate r,” s a id H arry . “ S ir iu s t o ld m e a b out h im , h e j o in ed u p
when h e w as re ally y oung a n d th en g ot c o ld fe et a n d tr ie d to le av e— so th ey
kille d h im .”
“T hat fits !” g asp ed H erm io ne. “ If h e w as a D eath E ate r, h e h ad a ccess to
Vold em ort, a n d if h e b ecam e d is e n ch an te d , th en h e w ould h av e w an te d to b rin g
Vold em ort d ow n!”
She re le ase d H arry , le an ed o ver th e b an is te r, a n d s c re am ed , “ R on! R O N!
Get u p h ere , q uic k !”
Ron a p peare d , p an tin g, a m in ute l a te r, h is w an d r e ad y i n h is h an d.
“W hat’s u p? I f i t’s m assiv e s p id ers a g ain I w an t b re ak fa st b efo re I — ”
He f ro w ned a t th e s ig n o n R eg u lu s’s d oor, in w hic h H erm io ne w as s ile n tly
poin tin g.
“W hat? T hat w as S ir iu s’s b ro th er, w asn ’t i t? R eg ulu s A rc tu ru s… R eg ulu s…
R. A . B .!
T he l o ck et— you d on’t r e ck on— ?”
“L et’s f in d o ut,” s a id H arry . H e p ush ed th e d oor: I t w as lo ck ed . H erm io ne
poin te d h er w an d a t th e h an dle a n d s a id ,
“A lo hom ora .”
T here w as a c lic k , a n d
th e d oor s w ung o pen .
They m oved o ver t h e t h re sh old t o geth er, g azin g a ro und. R eg ulu s’s b ed ro om
was slig htly sm alle r th an S ir iu s’s , th ough it had th e sa m e se n se of fo rm er
gra n deu r. W here as S ir iu s h ad s o ught to a d vertis e h is d if f id en ce f ro m th e r e st o f
th e f a m ily , R eg ulu s h ad s tr iv en to e m phasiz e th e o pposite . T he S ly th erin c o lo rs
of em era ld an d silv er w ere ev ery w here , d ra p in g th e b ed , th e w alls , an d th e

win dow s. T he B la ck f a m ily c re st w as p ain sta k in gly p ain te d o ver th e b ed , a lo ng
with its m otto , T O UJO URS P U R. B en eath th is w as a co lle ctio n of yello w
new sp ap er cu ttin gs, all stu ck to geth er to m ak e a ra g ged co lla g e. H erm io ne
cro sse d t h e r o om t o e x am in e t h em .
“T hey ’re a ll a b out V old em ort,” s h e s a id . “ R eg ulu s s e em s t o h av e b een a f a n
fo r a f e w y ears b efo re h e j o in ed t h e D eath E ate rs … ”
A little p uff o f d ust ro se fro m th e b ed co vers a s s h e s a t d ow n to re ad th e
clip pin gs. H arry , m ean w hile , had notic ed an oth er photo gra p h: a H ogw arts
Quid ditc h te am w as s m ilin g a n d w av in g o ut o f th e f ra m e. H e m oved c lo se r a n d
sa w th e sn ak es e m bla zo ned o n th eir c h ests : S ly th erin s. R eg ulu s w as in sta n tly
re co gniz ab le a s th e b oy s ittin g in th e m id dle o f th e f ro nt r o w : H e h ad th e s a m e
dark hair an d slig htly hau ghty lo ok of his bro th er, th ough he w as sm alle r,
slig hte r, a n d r a th er l e ss h an dso m e t h an S ir iu s h ad b een .
“H e p la y ed S eek er,” s a id H arry .
“W hat? ” sa id H erm io ne v ag uely ; sh e w as still im mers e d in V old em ort’s
pre ss c lip pin gs.
“H e’s sittin g in th e m id dle o f th e fro nt ro w , th at’s w here th e S eek er…
Nev er m in d,” s a id H arry , re aliz in g th at n obody w as lis te n in g. R on w as o n h is
han ds a n d k nees, s e arc h in g u nder th e w ard ro be. H arry lo oked a ro und th e r o om
fo r lik ely h id in g p la ces an d ap pro ach ed th e d esk . Y et ag ain , so m eb ody h ad
se arc h ed b efo re th em . T he d ra w ers ’ c o nte n ts h ad b een tu rn ed o ver r e cen tly , th e
dust dis tu rb ed , but th ere w as noth in g of valu e th ere : old quills , out- o f-d ate
te x tb ooks th at b ore e v id en ce o f b ein g ro ughly h an dle d , a re cen tly s m ash ed in k
bottle , i ts s tic k y r e sid ue c o verin g t h e c o nte n ts o f t h e d ra w er.
“T here ’s a n e asie r w ay,” s a id H erm io ne, a s H arry w ip ed h is i n ky f in gers o n
his j e an s. S he r a is e d h er w an d a n d s a id ,
“A ccio L ocket! ”
Noth in g h ap pen ed . R on, w ho h ad b een se arc h in g th e fo ld s o f th e fa d ed
cu rta in s, l o oked d is a p poin te d .
“Is t h at i t, t h en ? I t’s n ot h ere ?”
“O h, it co uld still be here , but under co unte r- e n ch an tm en ts ,” sa id
Herm io ne. “ C harm s t o p re v en t i t f ro m b ein g s u m moned m ag ic ally , y ou k now .”
“L ik e Vold em ort put on th e sto ne basin in th e cav e,” sa id H arry ,
re m em berin g h ow h e h ad b een u nab le t o S um mon t h e f a k e l o ck et.
“H ow a re w e s u ppose d t o f in d i t t h en ?” a sk ed R on.
“W e s e arc h m an ually ,” s a id H erm io ne.
“T hat’s a good id ea,” sa id R on, ro llin g his ey es, an d he re su m ed his
ex am in atio n o f t h e c u rta in s.
They co m bed ev ery in ch o f th e ro om fo r m ore th an an h our, b ut w ere
fo rc ed , f in ally , t o c o nclu de t h at t h e l o ck et w as n ot t h ere .

The su n h ad ris e n n ow ; its lig ht d azzle d th em ev en th ro ugh th e g rim y
la n din g w in dow s.
“It c o uld b e so m ew here e ls e in th e h ouse , th ough,” sa id H erm io ne in a
ra lly in g to ne a s th ey w alk ed b ack d ow nsta ir s . A s H arry a n d R on h ad b eco m e
more d is c o ura g ed , s h e s e em ed to h av e b eco m e m ore d ete rm in ed . “ W heth er h e’d
man ag e to destr o y it or not, he’d w an t to keep it hid den fro m V old em ort,
would n’t h e? R em em ber a ll th ose a w fu l th in gs w e h ad to g et rid o f w hen w e
were h ere la st tim e? T hat c lo ck th at s h ot b olts a t e v ery one a n d th ose o ld ro bes
th at tr ie d to str a n gle R on; R eg ulu s m ig ht h av e p ut th em th ere to p ro te ct th e
lo ck et’s h id in g p la ce, e v en t h ough w e d id n’t r e aliz e i t a t… a t… ”
Harry a n d R on l o oked a t h er. S he w as s ta n din g w ith o ne f o ot i n m id air , w ith
th e d um bstr u ck lo ok o f o ne w ho h ad ju st b een O bliv ia te d : h er e y es h ad e v en
drif te d o ut o f f o cu s.
“… at t h e t im e,” s h e f in is h ed i n a w his p er.
“S om eth in g w ro ng?” a sk ed R on.
“T here w as a l o ck et.”
“W hat? ” s a id H arry a n d R on t o geth er.
“In th e cab in et in th e d ra w in g ro om . N obody co uld o pen it. A nd w e…
we… ”
Harry fe lt as th ough a bric k had slid dow n th ro ugh his ch est in to his
sto m ach . H e re m em bere d . H e h ad ev en h an dle d th e th in g as th ey p asse d it
aro und, e ach tr y in g in tu rn to p ry it o pen . It h ad b een to sse d in to a sa ck o f
ru bbis h , a lo ng w ith th e s n uff b ox o f W artc ap p ow der a n d th e m usic b ox th at h ad
mad e e v ery one s le ep y…
“K re ach er n ic k ed l o ad s o f t h in gs b ack f ro m u s,” s a id H arry . I t w as t h e o nly
ch an ce, th e o nly s le n der h ope le ft to th em , a n d h e w as g oin g to c lin g to it u ntil
fo rc ed to le t g o. “ H e h ad a w hole s ta sh o f s tu ff in h is c u pboard in th e k itc h en .
C’m on.”
He r a n d ow n th e s ta ir s ta k in g tw o s te p s a t a tim e, th e o th er tw o th underin g
alo ng in h is w ak e. T hey m ad e so m uch n ois e th at th ey w oke th e p ortr a it o f
Sir iu s’s m oth er a s t h ey p asse d t h ro ugh t h e h all.
“F ilth ! M udblo ods! S cu m !”
s h e s c re am ed a fte r th em a s th ey d ash ed d ow n
in to th e b ase m en t k itc h en a n d sla m med th e d oor b eh in d th em . H arry ra n th e
le n gth o f th e ro om , s k id ded to a h alt a t th e d oor o f K re ach er’s c u pboard , a n d
wre n ch ed i t o pen . T here w as t h e n est o f d ir ty o ld b la n kets i n w hic h t h e h ouse -e lf
had o nce s le p t, b ut t h ey w ere n ot l o nger g litte rin g w ith t h e t r in kets K re ach er h ad
sa lv ag ed . T he o nly t h in g t h ere w as a n o ld c o py o f
Natu re ’s N obility : A W iz a rd in g
Gen ea lo gy.
R efu sin g to b elie v e h is e y es, H arry sn atc h ed u p th e b la n kets a n d
sh ook th em . A d ead m ouse fe ll o ut a n d ro lle d d is m ally a cro ss th e flo or. R on

gro an ed a s h e t h re w h im se lf i n to a k itc h en c h air ; H erm io ne c lo se d h er e y es.
“It’s not over yet,” sa id H arry , an d he ra is e d his voic e an d calle d ,
“K re a ch er!”
There w as a lo ud
cra ck
an d th e h ouse -e lf th at H arry h ad so re lu cta n tly
in herite d fro m S ir iu s a p peare d o ut o f n ow here in fro nt o f th e c o ld a n d e m pty
fir e p la ce: tin y, h alf h um an -s iz ed , h is p ale s k in h an gin g o ff h im in fo ld s, w hite
hair s p ro utin g c o pio usly f ro m h is b atlik e e ars . H e w as s till w earin g t h e f ilth y r a g
in w hic h th ey h ad f ir s t m et h im , a n d th e c o nte m ptu ous lo ok h e b en t u pon H arry
sh ow ed th at h is a ttitu de to h is c h an ge o f o w ners h ip h ad a lte re d n o m ore th an h is
outf it.
“M aste r,” cro ak ed K re ach er in h is b ullf ro g’s v oic e, an d h e b ow ed lo w ;
mutte rin g to h is k nees, “ b ack in m y M is tr e ss’s o ld h ouse w ith th e b lo od-tr a ito r
Weasle y a n d t h e M udblo od— ”
“I f o rb id y ou to c all a n yone ‘ b lo od tr a ito r’ o r ‘ M udblo od,’ ” g ro w le d H arry .
He w ould h av e fo und K re ach er, w ith h is s n outlik e n ose a n d b lo odsh ot e y es, a
dis tin ctiv ely unlo vab le obje ct ev en if th e elf had not betr a y ed Sir iu s to
Vold em ort.
“I’v e g ot a q uestio n f o r y ou,” s a id H arry , h is h eart b eatin g r a th er f a st a s h e
lo oked d ow n a t t h e e lf , “ an d I o rd er y ou t o a n sw er i t t r u th fu lly . U nders ta n d?”
“Y es, M aste r,” s a id K re ach er, b ow in g l o w a g ain . H arry s a w h is l ip s m ovin g
so undle ssly , u ndoubte d ly f ra m in g t h e i n su lts h e w as n ow f o rb id den t o u tte r.
“T w o y ears a g o,” sa id H arry , h is h eart n ow h am merin g a g ain st h is rib s,
“th ere w as a b ig g old lo ck et in th e d ra w in g r o om u psta ir s . W e th re w it o ut. D id
you s te al i t b ack ?”
There w as a m om en t’s s ile n ce, d urin g w hic h K re ach er s tr a ig hte n ed u p to
lo ok H arry f u ll i n t h e f a ce. T hen h e s a id , “ Y es.”
“W here is it n ow ?” a sk ed H arry ju bila n tly a s R on a n d H erm io ne lo oked
gle efu l.
Kre ach er c lo se d h is e y es a s th ough h e c o uld n ot b ear to s e e th eir r e actio ns
to h is n ex t w ord .
“G one.”
“G one?” e ch oed H arry , e la tio n f lo atin g o ut o f h im , “ W hat d o y ou m ean , i t’s
gone?”
The e lf s h iv ere d . H e s w ay ed .
“K re ach er,” s a id H arry f ie rc ely , “ I o rd er y ou— ”
“M undungus Fle tc h er,” cro ak ed th e elf , his ey es still tig ht sh ut.
“M undungus F le tc h er sto le it a ll; M is s B ella ’s a n d M is s C is sy ’s p ic tu re s, m y
Mis tr e ss’s g lo ves, th e O rd er o f M erlin , F ir s t C la ss, th e g oble ts w ith th e fa m ily
cre st, a n d— an d— ”

Kre ach er w as gulp in g fo r air : H is hollo w ch est w as ris in g an d fa llin g
ra p id ly , t h en h is e y es f le w o pen a n d h e u tte re d a b lo odcu rd lin g s c re am .
“— and th e lo cket, M aste r R eg ulu s’s lo cket. K re a ch er d id w ro ng, K re a ch er
fa ile d i n h is o rd ers!”
Harry re acte d in stin ctiv ely : A s K re ach er lu nged fo r th e p oker s ta n din g in
th e g ra te , h e la u nch ed h im se lf u pon th e e lf , fla tte n in g h im . H erm io ne’s s c re am
min gle d w ith K re ach er’s but H arry bello w ed lo uder th an both of th em :
“K re ach er, I o rd er y ou t o s ta y s till! ”
He f e lt th e e lf f re eze a n d r e le ase d h im . K re ach er la y f la t o n th e c o ld s to ne
flo or, t e ars g ush in g f ro m h is s a g gin g e y es.
“H arry , l e t h im u p!” H erm io ne w his p ere d .
“S o h e c an b eat h im se lf u p w ith th e p oker? ” s n orte d H arry , k neelin g b esid e
th e e lf . “ I d on’t th in k s o . R ig ht. K re ach er, I w an t th e tr u th : H ow d o y ou k now
Mundungus F le tc h er s to le t h e l o ck et? ”
“K re ach er s a w h im !” g asp ed th e e lf a s te ars p oure d o ver h is s n out a n d in to
his m outh fu ll o f g ra y in g te eth . “ K re ach er s a w h im c o m in g o ut o f K re ach er’s
cu pboard w ith h is h an ds fu ll o f K re ach er’s tr e asu re s. K re ach er to ld th e sn eak
th ie f t o s to p, b ut M undungus F le tc h er l a u ghed a n d r - ra n … ”
“Y ou c alle d t h e l o ck et ‘ M aste r R eg ulu s’s ,’ ” s a id H arry . “ W hy? W here d id i t
co m e fro m ? W hat d id R eg ulu s h av e to d o w ith it? K re ach er, s it u p a n d te ll m e
ev ery th in g y ou k now a b out th at lo ck et, a n d e v ery th in g R eg ulu s h ad to d o w ith
it! ”
The e lf s a t u p, c u rle d i n to a b all, p la ced h is w et f a ce b etw een h is k nees, a n d
beg an t o r o ck b ack w ard a n d f o rw ard . W hen h e s p oke, h is v oic e w as m uff le d b ut
quite d is tin ct i n t h e s ile n t, e ch oin g k itc h en .
“M aste r S ir iu s r a n a w ay, g ood r id dan ce, f o r h e w as a b ad b oy a n d b ro ke m y
Mis tr e ss’s h eart w ith h is la w le ss w ay s. B ut M aste r R eg ulu s h ad p ro per o rd er; h e
knew w hat w as d ue to th e n am e o f B la ck a n d th e d ig nity o f h is p ure b lo od. F or
years h e ta lk ed o f th e D ark L ord , w ho w as g oin g to b rin g th e w iz ard s o ut o f
hid in g to ru le th e M uggle s a n d th e M uggle -b orn s… a n d w hen h e w as s ix te en
years o ld , M aste r R eg ulu s j o in ed t h e D ark L ord . S o p ro ud, s o p ro ud, s o h ap py t o
se rv e…
“A nd o ne d ay, a y ear a fte r h e jo in ed , M aste r R eg ulu s c am e d ow n to th e
kitc h en to se e K re ach er. M aste r R eg ulu s alw ay s lik ed K re ach er. A nd M aste r
Reg ulu s s a id … h e s a id … ”
The o ld e lf r o ck ed f a ste r t h an e v er.
“… he s a id t h at t h e D ark L ord r e q uir e d a n e lf .”
“V old em ort n eed ed a n
elf? ”
H arry re p eate d , lo okin g a ro und a t R on a n d
Herm io ne, w ho l o oked j u st a s p uzzle d a s h e d id .

“O h yes,” m oan ed K re ach er. “A nd M aste r Reg ulu s had volu nte ere d
Kre ach er. It w as an h onor, sa id M aste r R eg ulu s, an h onor fo r h im an d fo r
Kre ach er, w ho m ust b e s u re to d o w hate v er th e D ark L ord o rd ere d h im to d o…
an d t h en t o c -c o m e h om e.”
Kre ach er r o ck ed s till f a ste r, h is b re ath c o m in g i n s o bs.
“S o K re ach er w en t to th e D ark L ord . T he D ark L ord d id n ot te ll K re ach er
what th ey w ere to d o, b ut to ok K re ach er w ith h im to a c av e b esid e th e s e a. A nd
bey ond t h e c av e w as a c av ern , a n d i n t h e c av ern w as a g re at b la ck l a k e… ”
The h air s o n th e b ack o f H arry ’s n eck s to od u p. K re ach er’s c ro ak in g v oic e
se em ed to c o m e to h im f ro m a cro ss th e d ark w ate r. H e s a w w hat h ad h ap pen ed
as c le arly a s t h ough h e h ad b een p re se n t.
“… There w as a b oat… ”
Of c o urs e th ere h ad b een a b oat; H arry k new th e b oat, g hostly g re en a n d
tin y, b ew itc h ed s o a s t o c arry o ne w iz ard a n d o ne v ic tim t o w ard t h e i s la n d i n t h e
cen te r. T his , th en , w as h ow V old em ort h ad te ste d th e d efe n se s s u rro undin g th e
Horc ru x, b y b orro w in g a d is p osa b le c re atu re , a h ouse -e lf …
“T here w as a b -b asin fu ll o f p otio n o n th e is la n d. T he D -D ark L ord m ad e
Kre ach er d rin k i t… ”
The e lf q uak ed f ro m h ead t o f o ot.
“K re ach er d ra n k, a n d a s h e d ra n k h e s a w t e rrib le t h in g… K re ach er’s i n sid es
burn ed … K re ach er crie d fo r M aste r R eg ulu s to sa v e him , he crie d fo r his
Mis tr e ss B la ck , b ut th e D ark L ord o nly la u ghed … H e m ad e K re ach er d rin k a ll
th e p otio n… H e d ro pped a lo ck et in to th e e m pty b asin … H e f ille d it w ith m ore
potio n.”
“A nd t h en t h e D ark L ord s a ile d a w ay, l e av in g K re ach er o n t h e i s la n d… ”
Harry co uld se e it h ap pen in g. H e w atc h ed V old em ort’s w hite , sn ak elik e
fa ce v an is h in g in to d ark ness, th ose r e d e y es f ix ed p itile ssly o n th e th ra sh in g e lf
whose death w ould occu r w ith in m in ute s, w hen ev er he su ccu m bed to th e
desp era te th ir s t th at th e b urn in g p ois o n c au se d its v ic tim … B ut h ere , H arry ’s
im ag in atio n c o uld g o n o f u rth er, f o r h e c o uld n ot s e e h ow K re ach er h ad e sc ap ed .
“K re ach er n eed ed w ate r, h e c ra w le d to th e is la n d’s e d ge a n d h e d ra n k f ro m
th e b la ck la k e… a n d h an ds, d ead h an ds, c am e o ut o f th e w ate r a n d d ra g ged
Kre ach er u nder t h e s u rfa ce… ”
“H ow d id y ou g et a w ay ?” H arry a sk ed , a n d h e w as n ot s u rp ris e d to h ear
him se lf w his p erin g.
Kre ach er ra is e d h is u gly h ead a n d lo oked H arry w ith h is g re at, b lo odsh ot
ey es.
“M aste r R eg ulu s t o ld K re ach er t o c o m e b ack ,” h e s a id .
“I k now — but h ow d id y ou e sc ap e t h e I n fe ri? ”

Kre ach er d id n ot s e em t o u nders ta n d.
“M aste r R eg ulu s t o ld K re ach er t o c o m e b ack ,” h e r e p eate d .
“I k now , b ut— ”
“W ell, i t’s o bvio us, i s n ’t i t, H arry ?” s a id R on. “ H e D is a p para te d !”
“B ut… you co uld n’t A ppara te in an d out of th at cav e,” sa id H arry ,
“o th erw is e D um ble d ore — ”
“E lf m ag ic is n ’t lik e w iz ard ’s m ag ic , is it? ” sa id R on, “ I m ean , th ey c an
Appara te a n d D is a p para te i n a n d o ut o f H ogw arts w hen w e c an ’t.”
There w as a sile n ce as H arry d ig este d th is . H ow co uld V old em ort h av e
mad e su ch a m is ta k e? B ut e v en a s h e th ought th is , H erm io ne sp oke, a n d h er
voic e w as i c y.
“O f c o urs e , V old em ort w ould h av e c o nsid ere d th e w ay s o f h ouse -e lv es f a r
ben eath h is n otic e… I t w ould n ev er h av e o ccu rre d to h im th at th ey m ig ht h av e
mag ic t h at h e d id n’t.”
“T he h ouse -e lf ’s h ig hest la w is h is M aste r’s b id din g,” in to ned K re ach er.
“K re ach er w as t o ld t o c o m e h om e, s o K re ach er c am e h om e… ”
“W ell, th en , you did w hat you w ere to ld , did n’t you?” sa id H erm io ne
kin dly . “ Y ou d id n’t d is o bey o rd ers a t a ll! ”
Kre ach er s h ook h is h ead , r o ck in g a s f a st a s e v er.
“S o w hat h ap pen ed w hen y ou g ot b ack ?” H arry a sk ed . “ W hat d id R eg ulu s
sa y w hen y ou t o ld h im w hat h ap pen ed ?”
“M aste r R eg ulu s w as very w orrie d , very w orrie d ,” cro ak ed K re ach er.
“M aste r R eg ulu s to ld K re ach er to s ta y h id den a n d n ot to le av e th e h ouse . A nd
th en … it w as a little w hile la te r… M aste r R eg ulu s c am e to f in d K re ach er in h is
cu pboard o ne n ig ht, a n d M aste r R eg ulu s w as str a n ge, n ot a s h e u su ally w as,
dis tu rb ed in h is m in d, K re ach er c o uld te ll… a n d h e a sk ed K re ach er to ta k e h im
to t h e c av e, t h e c av e w here K re ach er h ad g one w ith t h e D ark L ord … ”
And so th ey h ad se t o ff . H arry co uld v is u aliz e th em q uite cle arly , th e
frig hte n ed o ld elf an d th e th in , d ark S eek er w ho h ad so re se m ble d S ir iu s…
Kre ach er k new h ow to o pen th e c o nceale d e n tr a n ce to th e u nderg ro und c av ern ,
knew h ow t o r a is e t h e t in y b oat: t h is tim e i t w as h is b elo ved R eg ulu s w ho s a ile d
with h im t o t h e i s la n d w ith i ts b asin o f p ois o n…
“A nd h e m ad e y ou d rin k t h e p ois o n?” s a id H arry , d is g uste d .
But K re ach er sh ook h is h ead an d w ep t. H erm io ne’s h an ds le ap t to h er
mouth : S he s e em ed t o h av e u nders to od s o m eth in g.
“M -M aste r R eg ulu s to ok fro m h is p ock et a lo ck et lik e th e o ne th e D ark
Lord h ad ,” s a id K re ach er, te ars p ourin g d ow n e ith er s id e o f h is s n outlik e n ose .
“A nd h e to ld K re ach er to ta k e it a n d, w hen th e b asin w as e m pty , to s w itc h th e
lo ck ets … ”

Kre ach er’s s o bs c am e in g re at r a sp s n ow ; H arry h ad to c o ncen tr a te h ard to
unders ta n d h im .
“A nd h e o rd er— Kre ach er to le av e— with out h im . A nd h e to ld K re ach er—
to g o h om e— an d n ev er to te ll m y M is tr e ss— what h e h ad d one— but to d estr o y
—th e fir s t lo ck et. A nd h e d ra n k— all th e p otio n— an d K re ach er sw ap ped th e
lo ck ets — an d w atc h ed … a s M aste r R eg ulu s… w as d ra g ged b en eath th e w ate r…
an d… ”
“O h, K re ach er!” w aile d H erm io ne, w ho w as c ry in g. S he d ro pped to h er
knees b esid e th e e lf a n d tr ie d to h ug h im . A t o nce h e w as o n h is fe et, c rin gin g
aw ay f ro m h er, q uite o bvio usly r e p uls e d .
“T he M udblo od to uch ed K re ach er, h e w ill n ot a llo w it, w hat w ould h is
Mis tr e ss s a y ?”
“I to ld y ou n ot to c all h er ‘M udblo od’!” sn arle d H arry , b ut th e e lf w as
alr e ad y p unis h in g h im se lf . H e f e ll to th e g ro und a n d b an ged h is f o re h ead o n th e
flo or.
“S to p h im — sto p h im !” H erm io ne c rie d . “ O h, d on’t y ou s e e n ow h ow s ic k i t
is , t h e w ay t h ey ’v e g ot t o o bey ?”
“K re ach er— sto p, s to p!” s h oute d H arry .
The elf la y o n th e flo or, p an tin g an d sh iv erin g, g re en m ucu s g lis te n in g
aro und h is s n ot, a b ru is e a lr e ad y b lo om in g o n h is p allid f o re h ead w here h e h ad
str u ck h im se lf , h is e y es s w olle n a n d b lo odsh ot a n d s w im min g i n t e ars . H arry h ad
nev er s e en a n yth in g s o p itif u l.
“S o you bro ught th e lo ck et hom e,” he sa id re le n tle ssly , fo r he w as
dete rm in ed t o k now t h e f u ll s to ry . “ A nd y ou t r ie d t o d estr o y i t? ”
“N oth in g K re ach er d id m ad e a n y m ark u pon it,” m oan ed th e e lf . “ K re ach er
tr ie d e v ery th in g, e v ery th in g h e k new , b ut n oth in g, n oth in g w ould w ork … S o
man y p ow erfu l s p ells u pon th e c asin g, K re ach er w as s u re th e w ay to d estr o y it
was to g et in sid e it, b ut it w ould n ot o pen … K re ach er p unis h ed h im se lf , h e tr ie d
ag ain , he punis h ed him se lf , he tr ie d ag ain . K re ach er fa ile d to obey ord ers ,
Kre ach er c o uld n ot d estr o y th e lo ck et! A nd h is m is tr e ss w as m ad w ith g rie f,
becau se M aste r R eg ulu s h ad d is a p peare d a n d K re ach er c o uld n ot te ll h er w hat
had h ap pen ed , n o, b ecau se M aste r R eg ulu s h ad f -f-fo rb id den h im to te ll a n y o f
th e f -f-fa m ily w hat h ap pen ed i n t h e c -c av e… ”
Kre ach er b eg an to so b so h ard th at th ere w ere n o m ore c o here n t w ord s.
Tears f lo w ed d ow n H erm io ne’s c h eek s a s s h e w atc h ed K re ach er, b ut s h e d id n ot
dare t o uch h im a g ain . E ven R on, w ho w as n o f a n o f K re ach er’s , l o oked t r o uble d .
Harry s a t b ack o n h is h eels a n d s h ook h is h ead , t r y in g t o c le ar i t.
“I d on’t u nders ta n d y ou, K re ach er,” h e s a id f in ally . “ V old em ort tr ie d to k ill
you, R eg ulu s d ie d to b rin g V old em ort d ow n, b ut y ou w ere s till h ap py to b etr a y

Sir iu s to V old em ort? Y ou w ere h ap py to g o to N arc is sa a n d B ella tr ix , a n d p ass
in fo rm atio n t o V old em ort t h ro ugh t h em … ”
“H arry , K re ach er d oesn ’t th in k lik e th at,” s a id H erm io ne, w ip in g h er e y es
on th e b ack o f h er h an d. “ H e’s a s la v e; h ouse -e lv es a re u se d to b ad , e v en b ru ta l
tr e atm en t; w hat V old em ort d id to K re ach er w asn ’t th at fa r o ut o f th e c o m mon
way. W hat d o w iz ard w ars m ean to a n e lf lik e K re ach er? H e’s lo yal to p eo ple
who a re k in d t o h im , a n d M rs . B la ck m ust h av e b een , a n d R eg ulu s c erta in ly w as,
so h e s e rv ed t h em w illin gly a n d p arro te d t h eir b elie fs . I k now w hat y ou’re g oin g
to sa y,” sh e w en t o n as H arry b eg an to p ro te st, “th at R eg ulu s ch an ged h is
min d… b ut h e d oesn ’t s e em to h av e e x pla in ed th at to K re ach er, d oes h e? A nd I
th in k I k now w hy. K re ach er a n d R eg ulu s’s f a m ily w ere a ll s a fe st if th ey k ep t to
th e o ld p ure -b lo od l in e. R eg ulu s w as t r y in g t o p ro te ct t h em a ll.”
“S ir iu s— ”
“S ir iu s w as h orrib le to K re ach er, H arry , a n d it’s n o g ood lo okin g lik e th at,
you k now it’s tr u e. K re ach er h ad b een a lo ne fo r s u ch a lo ng tim e w hen S ir iu s
cam e to liv e h ere , a n d h e w as p ro bab ly s ta rv in g fo r a b it o f a ff e ctio n. I’m s u re
‘M is s C is sy ’ a n d ‘ M is s B ella ’ w ere p erfe ctly lo vely to K re ach er w hen h e tu rn ed
up, s o h e d id th em a f a v or a n d to ld th em e v ery th in g th ey w an te d to k now . I ’v e
sa id all alo ng th at w iz ard s w ould p ay fo r h ow th ey tr e at h ouse -e lv es. W ell,
Vold em ort d id … a n d s o d id S ir iu s.”
Harry h ad n o re to rt. A s h e w atc h ed K re ach er so bbin g o n th e flo or, h e
re m em bere d w hat D um ble d ore h ad s a id t o h im , m ere h ours a fte r S ir iu s’s d eath :
I
do n ot th in k S ir iu s e ver sa w K re a ch er a s a b ein g w ith fe elin gs a s a cu te a s a
hum an’s …
“K re ach er,” s a id H arry a fte r a w hile , “ w hen y ou f e el u p t o i t, e r… p le ase s it
up.”
It w as se v era l m in ute s b efo re K re ach er h ic cu pped h im se lf in to sile n ce.
Then h e p ush ed h im se lf in to a s ittin g p ositio n a g ain , ru bbin g h is k nuck le s in to
his e y es l ik e a s m all c h ild .
“K re ach er, I a m g oin g to a sk y ou to d o s o m eth in g,” s a id H arry . H e g la n ced
at H erm io ne f o r a ssis ta n ce. H e w an te d to g iv e th e o rd er k in dly , b ut a t th e s a m e
tim e, h e c o uld n ot p re te n d th at it w as n ot a n o rd er. H ow ev er, th e c h an ge in h is
to ne s e em ed t o h av e g ain ed h er a p pro val: S he s m ile d e n co ura g in gly .
“K re ach er, I w an t y ou, p le ase , t o g o a n d f in d M undungus F le tc h er. W e n eed
to fin d out w here th e lo ck et— where M aste r R eg ulu s’s lo ck et it. It’s re ally
im porta n t. W e w an t t o f in is h t h e w ork M aste r R eg ulu s s ta rte d , w e w an t t o — er—
en su re t h at h e d id n’t d ie i n v ain .”
Kre ach er d ro pped h is f is ts a n d l o oked u p a t H arry .
“F in d M undungus F le tc h er? ” h e c ro ak ed .

“A nd b rin g h im h ere , to G rim mau ld P la ce,” s a id H arry . “ D o y ou th in k y ou
co uld d o t h at f o r u s? ”
As K re ach er n odded a n d g ot to h is f e et, H arry h ad a s u dden i n sp ir a tio n. H e
pulle d o ut H ag rid ’s p urs e a n d to ok o ut th e f a k e H orc ru x, th e s u bstitu te lo ck et in
whic h R eg ulu s h ad p la ced t h e n ote t o V old em ort.
“K re ach er, I’d , e r, lik e y ou to h av e th is ,” h e s a id , p re ssin g th e lo ck et in to
th e e lf ’s h an d. “ T his b elo nged to R eg ulu s a n d I ’m s u re h e’d w an t y ou to h av e it
as a t o ken o f g ra titu de f o r w hat y ou— ”
“O verk ill, m ate ,” s a id R on a s th e e lf to ok o ne lo ok a t th e lo ck et, le t o ut a
how l o f s h ock a n d m is e ry , a n d t h re w h im se lf b ack o nto t h e g ro und.
It to ok th em n early h alf an h our to calm d ow n K re ach er, w ho w as so
overc o m e to b e p re se n te d w ith a B la ck f a m ily h eir lo om f o r h is v ery o w n th at h e
was t o o w eak a t t h e k nees t o s ta n d p ro perly . W hen f in ally h e w as a b le t o t o tte r a
fe w s te p s th ey a ll a cco m pan ie d h im to h is c u pboard , w atc h ed h im tu ck u p th e
lo ck et sa fe ly in h is d ir ty b la n kets , a n d a ssu re d h im th at th ey w ould m ak e its
pro te ctio n th eir f ir s t p rio rity w hile h e w as a w ay. H e th en m ad e tw o lo w b ow s to
Harry a n d R on, a n d e v en g av e a f u nny little s p asm in H erm io ne’s d ir e ctio n th at
mig ht h av e b een a n a tte m pt a t a r e sp ectf u l s a lu te , b efo re D is a p para tin g w ith th e
usu al l o ud
cra ck.

1 1 . T H E B R IB E
If K re ach er c o uld e sc ap e a la k e f u ll o f I n fe ri, H arry w as c o nfid en t th at th e
c ap tu re o f M undungus w ould ta k e a fe w h ours at m ost, an d h e p ro w le d th e
h ouse a ll m orn in g in a sta te o f h ig h a n tic ip atio n. H ow ev er, K re ach er d id n ot
r e tu rn th at m orn in g o r e v en th at a fte rn oon. B y n ig htf a ll, H arry f e lt d is c o ura g ed
a n d an xio us, an d a su pper co m pose d la rg ely of m old y bre ad , upon w hic h
H erm io ne h ad tr ie d a v arie ty o f u nsu ccessfu l T ra n sfig ura tio ns, d id n oth in g to
h elp .
Kre ach er d id n ot r e tu rn th e f o llo w in g d ay, n or th e d ay a fte r th at. H ow ev er,
t w o c lo ak ed m en h ad a p peare d in th e s q uare o uts id e n um ber tw elv e, a n d th ey
r e m ain ed t h ere i n to t h e n ig ht, g azin g i n t h e d ir e ctio n o f t h e h ouse t h at t h ey c o uld
n ot s e e.
“D eath E ate rs , fo r su re ,” sa id R on, a s h e, H arry , a n d H erm io ne w atc h ed
f ro m t h e d ra w in g r o om w in dow s. “ R eck on t h ey k now w e’re i n h ere ?”
“I d on’t th in k s o ,” s a id H erm io ne, th ough s h e lo oked f rig hte n ed , “ o r th ey ’d
h av e s e n t S nap e i n a fte r u s, w ould n’t t h ey ?”
“D ’y ou re ck on he’s been in here an d has his to ngue tie d by M oody’s
c u rs e ?” a sk ed R on.
“Y es,” s a id H erm io ne, “ o th erw is e h e’d h av e b een a b le t o t e ll t h at l o t h ow t o
g et in , w ould n’t h e? B ut th ey ’re p ro bab ly w atc h in g to s e e w heth er w e tu rn u p.
T hey k now t h at H arry o w ns t h e h ouse , a fte r a ll.”
“H ow d o t h ey — ?” b eg an H arry .
“W iz ard in g w ills a re e x am in ed b y th e M in is tr y , re m em ber? T hey ’ll k now
S ir iu s l e ft y ou t h e p la ce.”
The p re se n ce o f th e D eath E ate rs o uts id e in cre ase d th e o m in ous m ood
i n sid e num ber tw elv e. They had not heard a w ord fo rm an yone bey ond
G rim mau ld P la ce s in ce M r. W easle y ’s P atr o nus, a n d th e s tr a in w as s ta rtin g to
t e ll. R estle ss a n d ir rita b le , R on h ad d ev elo ped a n a n noyin g h ab it o f p la y in g w ith
t h e D elu m in ato r in h is p ock et. T his p artic u la rly in fu ria te d H erm io ne, w ho w as
w hilin g a w ay th e w ait fo r K re ach er b y s tu dyin g
The T a le s o f B eed le th e B ard
a n d d id n ot a p pre cia te t h e w ay t h e l ig hts k ep t f la sh in g o n a n d o ff .
“W ill y ou s to p it! ” s h e c rie d o n th e th ir d e v en in g o f K re ach er’s a b se n ce, a s
a ll t h e l ig ht w as s u ck ed f ro m t h e d ra w in g r o om y et a g ain .
“S orry , s o rry !” s a id R on, c lic k in g th e D elu m in ato r a n d r e sto rin g th e lig hts .
“ I d on’t k now I ’m d oin g i t! ”
“W ell, c an ’t y ou f in d s o m eth in g u se fu l t o o ccu py y ours e lf ? ”

“W hat, l ik e r e ad in g k id s’ s to rie s? ”
“D um ble d ore l e ft m e t h is b ook, R on— ”
“— an d h e l e ft m e t h e D elu m in ato r, m ay be I ’m s u ppose d t o u se i t! ”
Unab le to s ta n d th e b ic k erin g, H arry s lip ped o ut o f th e r o om u nnotic ed b y
eith er o f th em . H e h ead ed d ow nsta ir s to w ard th e k itc h en , w hic h h e k ep t v is itin g
becau se h e w as su re th at w as w here K re ach er w as m ost lik ely to re ap pear.
Half w ay d ow n th e flig ht o f s ta ir s in to th e h all, h ow ev er, h e h eard a ta p o n th e
fro nt d oor, t h en m eta llic c lic k s a n d t h e g rin din g o f t h e c h ain .
Every n erv e in h is b ody s e em ed to ta u te n : H e p ulle d o ut h is w an d, m oved
in to th e s h ad ow s b esid e th e d ecap ita te d e lf h ead s, a n d w aite d . T he d oor o pen ed :
He s a w a g lim pse o f th e la m plit s q uare o uts id e, a n d a c lo ak ed f ig ure e d ged in to
th e h all a n d c lo se d th e d oor b eh in d it. T he in tr u der to ok a ste p fo rw ard , a n d
Moody’s v oic e a sk ed ,
“Severu s S nape? ”
T hen th e d ust f ig ure r o se f ro m th e e n d
of t h e h all a n d r u sh ed h im , r a is in g i ts d ead h an d.
“It w as n ot I w ho k ille d y ou, A lb us,” s a id a q uie t v oic e.
The jin x b ro ke: T he d ust- fig ure e x plo ded a g ain , a n d it w as im possib le to
mak e o ut t h e n ew co m er t h ro ugh t h e d en se g ra y c lo ud i t l e ft b eh in d.
Harry p oin te d t h e w an d i n to t h e m id dle o f i t.
“D on’t m ove!”
He h ad fo rg otte n th e p ortr a it o f M rs . B la ck : A t th e s o und o f h is y ell, th e
cu rta in s h id in g h er fle w o pen a n d s h e b eg an to s c re am ,
“M udblo ods a nd filth
dis h onorin g m y h ouse — ”
Ron an d H erm io ne cam e cra sh in g d ow n th e sta ir s b eh in d H arry , w an ds
poin tin g, lik e h is , a t th e u nknow n m an n ow s ta n din g w ith h is a rm s r a is e d in th e
hall b elo w .
“H old y our f ir e , i t’s m e, R em us!”
“O h, th an k g oodness,” sa id H erm io ne w eak ly , p oin tin g h er w an d a t M rs .
Bla ck in ste ad ; w ith a b an g, th e c u rta in s s w is h ed s h ut a g ain a n d s ile n ce f e ll. R on
to o l o w ere d h is w an d, b ut H arry d id n ot.
“S how y ours e lf !” h e c alle d b ack .
Lupin m oved f o rw ard in to th e la m plig ht, h an ds s till h eld h ig h in a g estu re
of s u rre n der.
“I a m R em us J o hn L upin , w ere w olf , s o m etim es k now n a s M oony, o ne o f
th e f o ur c re ato rs o f t h e M ara u der’s M ap , m arrie d t o N ym phad ora , u su ally k now n
as T onks, a n d I ta u ght y ou h ow to p ro duce a P atr o nus, H arry , w hic h ta k es th e
fo rm o f a s ta g .”
“O h, a ll rig ht,” s a id H arry , lo w erin g h is w an d, “ b ut I h ad to c h eck , d id n’t
I? ”
“S peak in g a s y our e x -D efe n se A gain st th e D ark A rts te ach er, I q uite a g re e

th at y ou h ad to c h eck . R on, H erm io ne, y ou s h ould n’t b e s o q uic k to lo w er y our
defe n se s.”
They ra n d ow n th e s ta ir s to w ard s h im . W ra p ped in a th ic k b la ck tr a v elin g
clo ak , h e l o oked e x hau ste d , b ut p le ase d t o s e e t h em .
“N o s ig n o f S ev eru s, t h en ?” h e a sk ed .
“N o,” s a id H arry . “ W hat’s g oin g o n? I s e v ery one o kay ?’
“Y es,” sa id L upin , “b ut w e’re all b ein g w atc h ed . T here are a co uple o f
Death E ate rs i n t h e s q uare o uts id e— ”
“W e k now — ”
“I h ad to A ppara te v ery p re cis e ly o nto th e to p s te p o uts id e th e f ro nt d oor to
be s u re th at th ey w ould n ot s e e m e. T hey c an ’t k now y ou’re in h ere o r I ’m s u re
th ey ’d h av e m ore p eo ple o ut t h ere ; t h ey ’re s ta k in g o ut e v ery w here t h at’s g ot a n y
co nnectio n w ith y ou, H arry . L et’s g o d ow nsta ir s , th ere ’s a lo t to te ll y ou, a n d I
wan t t o k now w hat h ap pen ed a fte r y ou l e ft t h e B urro w .”
They d esc en ded in to th e k itc h en , w here H erm io ne p oin te d h er w an d a t th e
gra te . A f ir e s p ra n g u p i n sta n tly : I t g av e t h e i llu sio n o f c o zin ess t o t h e s ta rk s to ne
walls a n d g lis te n ed o ff th e lo ng w ooden ta b le . L upin p ulle d a fe w b utte rb eers
fro m b en eath h is t r a v elin g c lo ak a n d t h ey s a t d ow n.
“I’d h av e b een h ere t h re e d ay s a g o b ut I n eed ed t o s h ak e o ff t h e D eath E ate r
ta ilin g m e,” s a id L upin . “ S o, y ou c am e s tr a ig ht h ere a fte r t h e w ed din g?”
“N o,” s a id H arry , “ o nly a fte r w e r a n in to a c o uple o f D eath E ate rs in a c afé
on T otte n ham C ourt R oad .”
Lupin s lo pped m ost o f h is b utte rb eer d ow n h is f ro nt.
“W hat? ”
They e x pla in ed w hat h ad h ap pen ed ; w hen th ey h ad f in is h ed , L upin lo oked
ag hast.
“B ut h ow d id t h ey f in d y ou s o q uic k ly ? I t’s i m possib le t o t r a ck a n yone w ho
Appara te s, u nle ss y ou g ra b h old o f t h em a s t h ey d is a p pear.”
“A nd it d oesn ’t s e em lik ely th ey w ere ju st s tr o llin g d ow n T otte n ham C ourt
Road a t t h e t im e, d oes i t? ” s a id H arry .
“W e w ondere d ,” s a id H erm io ne te n ta tiv ely , “ w heth er H arry c o uld s till h av e
th e T ra ce o n h im ?”
“Im possib le ,” s a id L upin . R on l o oked s m ug, a n d H arry f e lt h ugely r e lie v ed .
“A part fro m a n yth in g e ls e , th ey ’d k now fo r s u re H arry w as h ere if h e s till h ad
th e T ra ce o n h im , w ould n’t th ey ? B ut I c an ’t s e e h ow th ey c o uld h av e tr a ck ed
you t o T otte n ham C ourt R oad , t h at’s w orry in g, r e ally w orry in g.”
He l o oked d is tu rb ed , b ut a s f a r a s H arry w as c o ncern ed , t h at q uestio n c o uld
wait.
“T ell u s w hat h ap pen ed a fte r w e le ft, w e h av en ’t h eard a th in g s in ce R on’s

dad t o ld u s t h e f a m ily w as s a fe .”
“W ell, K in gsle y s a v ed u s,” s a id L upin . “ T han ks to h is w arn in g m ost o f th e
wed din g g uests w ere a b le t o D is a p para te b efo re t h ey a rriv ed .”
“W ere t h ey D eath E ate rs o r M in is tr y p eo ple ?” i n te rje cte d H erm io ne.
“A m ix tu re ; b ut to a ll in te n ts a n d p urp ose s th ey ’re th e sa m e th in g n ow ,”
sa id L upin . “ T here w ere a b out a d ozen o f th em , b ut th ey d id n’t k now y ou w ere
th ere , H arry . A rth ur h eard a r u m or t h at t h ey t r ie d t o t o rtu re y our w here ab outs o ut
of S crim geo ur b efo re t h ey k ille d h im ; i f i t’s t r u e, h e d id n’t g iv e y ou a w ay.”
Harry lo oked a t R on a n d H erm io ne; th eir e x pre ssio ns r e fle cte d th e m in gle d
sh ock a n d g ra titu de h e fe lt. H e h ad n ev er lik ed S crim geo ur m uch , b ut if w hat
Lupin s a id w as t r u e, t h e m an ’s f in al a ct h ad b een t o t r y t o p ro te ct H arry .
“T he D eath E ate rs s e arc h ed th e B urro w fro m to p to b otto m ,” L upin w en t
on. “T hey fo und th e g houl, b ut d id n’t w an t to g et to o clo se — an d th en th ey
in te rro gate d th ose of us w ho re m ain ed fo r hours . T hey w ere tr y in g to get
in fo rm atio n o n y ou, H arry , b ut o f c o urs e n obody a p art f ro m t h e O rd er k new t h at
you h ad b een t h ere .
“A t th e sa m e tim e th at th ey w ere sm ash in g u p th e w ed din g, m ore D eath
Eate rs w ere f o rc in g th eir w ay in to e v ery O rd er- c o nnecte d h ouse in th e c o untr y .
No d eath s,” h e a d ded q uic k ly , fo re sta llin g th e q uestio n, “ b ut th ey w ere ro ugh.
They b urn ed d ow n D ed alu s D ig gle ’s h ouse , b ut a s y ou k now h e w asn ’t th ere ,
an d th ey u se d th e C ru cia tu s C urs e o n T onks’s fa m ily . A gain , tr y in g to fin d o ut
where y ou w en t a fte r y ou v is ite d t h em . T hey ’re a ll r ig ht— sh ak en , o bvio usly , b ut
oth erw is e o kay.”
“T he D eath E ate rs g ot th ro ugh a ll th ose p ro te ctiv e c h arm s? ” H arry a sk ed ,
re m em berin g how eff e ctiv e th ese had been on th e nig ht he had cra sh ed in
Tonks’s p are n ts ’ g ard en .
“W hat y ou’v e g ot t o r e aliz e, H arry , i s t h at t h e D eath E ate rs h av e g ot t h e f u ll
mig ht o f th e M in is tr y o n th eir s id e n ow ,” s a id L upin . “ T hey ’v e g ot th e p ow er to
perfo rm b ru ta l s p ells w ith out fe ar o f id en tif ic atio n o r a rre st. T hey m an ag ed to
pen etr a te e v ery d efe n siv e sp ell w e’d c ast a g ain st th em , a n d o nce in sid e, th ey
were c o m ple te ly o pen a b out w hy t h ey ’d c o m e.”
“A nd are th ey both erin g to giv e an ex cu se fo r to rtu rin g Harry ’s
where ab outs o ut o f p eo ple ?” a sk ed H erm io ne, a n e d ge t o h er v oic e.
“W ell,” L upin s a id . H e h esita te d , t h en p ulle d o ut a f o ld ed c o py o f t h e
Daily
Pro phet.
“H ere ,” h e s a id , p ush in g i t a cro ss t h e t a b le t o H arry , “ y ou’ll k now s o oner o r
la te r a n yw ay. T hat’s t h eir p re te x t f o r g oin g a fte r y ou.”
Harry s m ooth ed o ut t h e p ap er. A h uge p hoto gra p h o f h is o w n f a ce f ille d t h e
fro nt p ag e. H e r e ad t h e h ead lin e o ver i t:

WANTED F O R Q UEST IO NIN G A BO UT T H E D EAT H O F
ALBU S D UM BLED O RE
Ron an d H erm io ne gav e ro ars of outr a g e, but H arry sa id noth in g. H e
push ed th e n ew sp ap er a w ay ; h e d id n ot w an t to r e ad a n ym ore : H e k new w hat it
would sa y. N obody but th ose w ho had been on to p of th e to w er w hen
Dum ble d ore d ie d k new w ho h ad re ally k ille d h im an d, as R ita S keete r h ad
alr e ad y to ld th e W iz ard in g w orld , H arry h ad b een s e en ru nnin g fro m th e p la ce
mom en ts a fte r D um ble d ore h ad f a lle n .
“I’m s o rry , H arry ,” L upin s a id .
“S o D eath E ate rs h av e ta k en o ver th e
Daily P ro phet
to o?” a sk ed H erm io ne
fu rio usly .
Lupin n odded .
“B ut s u re ly p eo ple r e aliz e w hat’s g oin g o n?”
“T he c o up h as b een s m ooth a n d v ir tu ally s ile n t,” s a id L upin .
“T he o ff ic ia l v ers io n o f S crim geo ur’s m urd er is th at h e re sig ned ; h e h as
been r e p la ced b y P iu s T hic k nesse , w ho i s u nder t h e I m periu s C urs e .”
“W hy d id n’t V old em ort d ecla re h im se lf M in is te r o f M ag ic ?” a sk ed R on.
Lupin l a u ghed .
“H e d oesn ’t n eed t o , R on. E ff e ctiv ely , h e
is
t h e M in is te r, b ut w hy s h ould h e
sit b eh in d a d esk at th e M in is tr y ? H is p uppet, T hic k nesse , is ta k in g care o f
ev ery day busin ess, le av in g V old em ort fre e to ex te n d his pow er bey ond th e
Min is tr y .
“N atu ra lly m an y p eo ple h av e d ed uced w hat h as h ap pen ed : T here h as b een
su ch a d ra m atic c h an ge in M in is tr y p olic y in th e la st fe w d ay s, a n d m an y a re
whis p erin g th at V old em ort m ust b e b eh in d it. H ow ev er, th at is th e p oin t: T hey
whis p er. T hey d are n ’t c o nfid e i n e ach o th er, n ot k now in g w hom t o t r u st; t h ey a re
sc are d to sp eak o ut, in case th eir su sp ic io ns are tr u e an d th eir fa m ilie s are
ta rg ete d . Y es, V old em ort is p la y in g a v ery c le v er g am e. D ecla rin g h im se lf m ig ht
hav e pro voked open re b ellio n: R em ain in g m ask ed has cre ate d co nfu sio n,
uncerta in ty , a n d f e ar.”
“A nd th is dra m atic ch an ge in M in is tr y polic y,” sa id H arry , “in volv es
warn in g t h e W iz ard in g w orld a g ain st m e i n ste ad o f V old em ort? ”
“T hat’s c erta in ly a p art o f it,” s a id L upin , “ an d it is a m aste rs tr o ke. N ow
th at D um ble d ore i s d ead , y ou— th e B oy W ho L iv ed — were s u re t o b e t h e s y m bol
an d ra lly in g p oin t fo r a n y re sis ta n ce to V old em ort. B ut b y s u ggestin g th at y ou
had a h an d in th e o ld h ero ’s d eath , V old em ort h as n ot o nly s e t a p ric e u pon y our
head , b ut s o w n d oubt a n d f e ar a m ongst m an y w ho w ould h av e d efe n ded y ou.
“M ean w hile , t h e M in is tr y h as s ta rte d m ovin g a g ain st M uggle -b orn s.”

Lupin p oin te d a t t h e
Daily P ro phet.
“L ook a t p ag e t w o.”
Herm io ne tu rn ed th e p ag es w ith m uch th e s a m e e x pre ssio n o f d is ta ste s h e
had w hen h an dlin g
Secre ts o f t h e D ark est A rt.
“‘M uggle -b orn R eg is te r!’”
sh e re ad alo ud. “‘
The M in is tr y of M agic is
underta kin g a s u rv ey o f s o -c a lle d “ M uggle -b orn s” th e b ette r to u ndersta nd h ow
th ey c a m e t o p osse ss m agic a l s e cre ts .
“‘
Recen t r e se a rc h u nderta ken b y th e D ep artm en t o f M yste rie s r e vea ls th at
magic c a n o nly b e p asse d f r o m p erso n t o p erso n w hen W iz a rd s r e p ro duce. W here
no p ro ven W iz a rd in g a ncestr y exis ts , th ere fo re , th e so -c a lle d M uggle -b orn is
lik ely t o h ave o bta in ed m agic a l p ow er b y t h eft o r f o rc e.
“‘
The M in is tr y is d ete rm in ed to ro ot o ut s u ch u su rp ers o f m agic a l p ow er,
and to th is en d h as is su ed a n in vita tio n to every so -c a lle d M uggle -b orn to
pre se n t th em se lv es fo r in te rv ie w by th e new ly appoin te d M uggle -b orn
Reg is tr a tio n C om mis sio n.
’”
“P eo ple w on’t l e t t h is h ap pen ,” s a id R on.
“It
is
h ap pen in g, R on,” s a id L upin . “ M uggle -b orn s a re b ein g r o unded u p a s
we s p eak .”
“B ut h ow a re t h ey s u ppose d t o h av e ‘ s to le n ’ m ag ic ?” s a id R on. “ It’s m en ta l,
if y ou c o uld s te al m ag ic t h ere w ould n’t b e a n y S quib s, w ould t h ere ?”
“I k now ,” s a id L upin . “ N ev erth ele ss, u nle ss y ou c an p ro ve th at y ou h av e a t
le ast o ne c lo se W iz ard in g re la tiv e, y ou a re n ow d eem ed to h av e o bta in ed y our
mag ic al p ow er i lle g ally a n d m ust s u ff e r t h e p unis h m en t.”
Ron g la n ced a t H erm io ne, th en s a id , “ W hat if p ure b lo ods a n d h alf b lo ods
sw ear a M uggle -b orn ’s p art o f th eir fa m ily ? I’ll te ll e v ery one H erm io ne’s m y
co usin — ”
Herm io ne c o vere d R on’s h an d w ith h ers a n d s q ueezed i t.
“T han k y ou, R on, b ut I c o uld n’t l e t y ou— ”
“Y ou w on’t h av e a c h oic e,” s a id R on f ie rc ely , g rip pin g h er h an d b ack . “ I’ll
te ach y ou m y f a m ily t r e e s o y ou c an a n sw er q uestio ns o n i t.”
Herm io ne g av e a s h ak y l a u gh.
“R on, a s w e’re o n th e r u n w ith H arry P otte r, th e m ost w an te d p ers o n in th e
co untr y , I d on’t th in k it m atte rs . If I w as g oin g b ack to sc h ool it w ould b e
dif f e re n t. W hat’s V old em ort p la n nin g f o r H ogw arts ? ” s h e a sk ed L upin .
“A tte n dan ce is n ow co m puls o ry fo r ev ery y oung w itc h an d w iz ard ,” h e
re p lie d . “T hat w as an nounced y este rd ay. It’s a ch an ge, b ecau se it w as n ev er
oblig ato ry b efo re . O f c o urs e , n early e v ery w itc h a n d w iz ard in B rita in h as b een
ed ucate d a t H ogw arts , b ut th eir p are n ts h ad th e rig ht to te ach th em a t h om e o r
se n d th em a b ro ad if th ey p re fe rre d . T his w ay, V old em ort w ill h av e th e w hole

Wiz ard in g p opula tio n u nder h is e y e f ro m a y oung a g e. A nd i t’s a ls o a n oth er w ay
of w eed in g o ut M uggle -b orn s, b ecau se s tu den ts m ust b e g iv en B lo od S ta tu s—
mean in g t h at t h ey h av e p ro ven t o t h e M in is tr y t h at t h ey a re o f W iz ard d esc en t—
befo re t h ey a re a llo w ed t o a tte n d.”
Harry fe lt sic k en ed a n d a n gry : A t th is m om en t, e x cite d e le v en -y ear- o ld s
would b e p orin g o ver s ta ck s o f n ew ly p urc h ase d s p ell- b ooks, u naw are th at th ey
would n ev er s e e H ogw arts , p erh ap s n ev er s e e t h eir f a m ilie s a g ain e ith er.
“It’s … it’s … ” h e m utte re d , s tr u gglin g to fin d w ord s th at d id ju stic e to th e
horro r o f h is t h oughts , b ut L upin s a id q uie tly ,
“I k now .”
Lupin h esita te d .
“I’ll u nders ta n d if y ou c an ’t c o nfir m th is , H arry , b ut th e O rd er is u nder th e
im pre ssio n t h at D um ble d ore l e ft y ou a m is sio n.”
“H e d id ,” H arry re p lie d , “ an d R on a n d H erm io ne a re in o n it a n d th ey ’re
co m in g w ith m e.”
“C an y ou c o nfid e i n m e w hat t h e m is sio n i s ? ”
Harry lo oked in to th e p re m atu re ly lin ed fa ce, fra m ed in th ic k b ut g ra y in g
hair , a n d w is h ed t h at h e c o uld r e tu rn a d if f e re n t a n sw er.
“I c an ’t, R em us, I’m so rry . If D um ble d ore d id n’t te ll y ou I d on’t th in k I
can .”
“I th ought y ou’d s a y th at,” s a id L upin , lo okin g d is a p poin te d . “ B ut I m ig ht
still b e o f s o m e u se t o y ou. Y ou k now w hat I a m a n d w hat I c an d o. I c o uld c o m e
with y ou to p ro vid e p ro te ctio n. T here w ould b e n o n eed to te ll m e e x actly w hat
you w ere u p t o .”
Harry h esita te d . It w as a v ery te m ptin g o ff e r, th ough h ow th ey w ould b e
ab le t o k eep t h eir m is sio n s e cre t f ro m L upin i f h e w ere w ith t h em a ll t h e t im e h e
co uld n ot i m ag in e.
Herm io ne, h ow ev er, l o oked p uzzle d .
“B ut w hat a b out T onks? ” s h e a sk ed .
“W hat a b out h er? ” s a id L upin .
“W ell,” sa id H erm io ne, fro w nin g, “y ou’re m arrie d ! H ow does sh e fe el
ab out y ou g oin g a w ay w ith u s? ”
“T onks w ill b e p erfe ctly s a fe ,” s a id L upin , “ S he’ll b e a t h er p are n ts ’ h ouse .”
There w as s o m eth in g s tr a n ge i n L upin ’s t o ne, i t w as a lm ost c o ld . T here w as
als o s o m eth in g o dd in th e id ea o f T onks r e m ain in g h id den a t h er p are n ts ’ h ouse ;
sh e w as, a fte r a ll, a m em ber o f t h e O rd er a n d, a s f a r a s H arry k new , w as l ik ely t o
wan t t o b e i n t h e t h ic k o f t h e a ctio n.
“R em us,” s a id H erm io ne te n ta tiv ely , “ is e v ery th in g a ll r ig ht… y ou k now …
betw een y ou a n d— ”

“E very th in g i s f in e, t h an k y ou,” s a id L upin p oin te d ly .
Herm io ne tu rn ed pin k. There w as an oth er pau se , an aw kw ard an d
em barra sse d o ne, a n d th en L upin s a id , w ith a n a ir o f fo rc in g h im se lf to a d m it
so m eth in g u nple asa n t, “ T onks i s g oin g t o h av e a b ab y.”
“O h, h ow w onderfu l! ” s q ueale d H erm io ne.
“E xcelle n t! ” s a id R on e n th usia stic ally .
“C ongra tu la tio ns,” s a id H arry .
Lupin g av e an artif ic ia l sm ile th at w as m ore lik e a g rim ace, th en sa id ,
“S o… d o y ou a ccep t m y o ff e r? W ill th re e b eco m e fo ur? I c an not b elie v e th at
Dum ble d ore w ould h av e d is a p pro ved , h e a p poin te d m e y our D efe n se A gain st
th e D ark A rts te ach er, a fte r a ll. A nd I m ust te ll y ou th at I b elie v e w e a re f a cin g
mag ic m an y o f u s h av e n ev er e n co unte re d o r i m ag in ed .”
Ron a n d H erm io ne b oth l o oked a t H arry .
“Ju st— ju st to b e c le ar,” h e s a id . “ Y ou w an t to le av e T onks a t h er p are n ts ’
house a n d c o m e a w ay w ith u s? ”
“S he’ll b e p erfe ctly s a fe th ere , th ey ’ll lo ok a fte r h er,” s a id L upin . H e s p oke
with a fin ality b ord erin g o n in dif f e re n ce: “ H arry , I’m su re Ja m es w ould h av e
wan te d m e t o s tic k w ith y ou.”
“W ell,” s a id H arry s lo w ly , “ I’m n ot. I ’m p re tty s u re m y f a th er w ould h av e
wan te d t o k now w hy y ou a re n ’t s tic k in g w ith y our o w n k id , a ctu ally .”
Lupin ’s fa ce d ra in ed o f c o lo r. T he te m pera tu re in th e k itc h en m ig ht h av e
dro pped te n d eg re es. R on s ta re d a ro und th e r o om a s th ough h e h ad b een b id den
to m em oriz e it, w hile H erm io ne’s e y es sw iv ele d b ack w ard a n d fo rw ard fro m
Harry t o L upin .
“Y ou d on’t u nders ta n d,” s a id L upin a t l a st.
“E xpla in , t h en ,” s a id H arry .
Lupin s w allo w ed .
“I— I m ad e a g ra v e m is ta k e in m arry in g T onks. I d id it a g ain st m y b ette r
ju dgm en t a n d h av e r e g re tte d i t v ery m uch e v ery s in ce.”
“I s e e,” s a id H arry , “ so y ou’re ju st g oin g to d um p h er a n d th e k id a n d r u n
off w ith u s? ”
Lupin s p ra n g to h is f e et: H is c h air to pple d o ver b ack w ard , a n d h e g la re d a t
th em s o fie rc ely th at H arry s a w , fo r th e fir s t tim e e v er, th e s h ad ow o f th e w olf
upon h is h um an f a ce.
“D on’t y ou u nders ta n d w hat I ’v e d one to m y w if e a n d m y u nborn c h ild ? I
sh ould n ev er h av e m arrie d h er, I ’v e m ad e h er a n o utc ast! ”
Lupin k ic k ed a sid e t h e c h air h e h ad o vertu rn ed .
“Y ou h av e o nly e v er s e en m e a m ongst th e O rd er, o r u nder D um ble d ore ’s
pro te ctio n a t H ogw arts ! Y ou d on’t k now h ow m ost o f th e W iz ard in g w orld s e es

cre atu re s lik e m e! W hen th ey k now o f m y a ff lic tio n, th ey c an b are ly ta lk to m e!
Don’t you se e w hat I’v e done? E ven her ow n fa m ily is dis g uste d by our
marria g e, w hat p are n ts w an t th eir o nly d au ghte r to m arry a w ere w olf ? A nd th e
ch ild — th e c h ild — ”
Lupin a ctu ally s e iz ed h an dfu ls o f h is o w n h air ; h e l o oked q uite d era n ged .
“M y k in d d on’t u su ally b re ed ! I t w ill b e l ik e m e, I a m c o nvin ced o f i t— how
can I f o rg iv e m yse lf , w hen I k now in gly r is k ed p assin g o n m y o w n c o nditio n to
an in nocen t c h ild ? A nd if , b y so m e m ir a cle , it is n ot lik e m e, th en it w ill b e
bette r o ff , a h undre d tim es so , w ith out a fa th er o f w hom it m ust alw ay s b e
ash am ed !”
“R em us!” w his p ere d H erm io ne, te ars in h er e y es. “ D on’t sa y th at— how
co uld a n y c h ild b e a sh am ed o f y ou?”
“O h, I d on’t k now , H erm io ne,” s a id H arry . “ I’d b e p re tty a sh am ed o f h im .”
Harry d id n ot k now w here h is r a g e w as c o m in g f ro m , b ut it h ad p ro pelle d
him t o h is f e et t o o. L upin l o oked a s t h ough H arry h ad h it h im .
“If th e n ew re g im e th in ks M uggle -b orn s a re b ad ,” H arry s a id , “ w hat w ill
th ey d o to a h alf -w ere w olf w hose f a th er’s in th e O rd er? M y f a th er d ie d tr y in g to
pro te ct m y m oth er a n d m e, a n d y ou r e ck on h e’d te ll y ou to a b an don y our k id to
go o n a n a d ven tu re w ith u s? ”
“H ow — how d are y ou?” sa id L upin . “ T his is n ot a b out a d esir e fo r— fo r
dan ger o r p ers o nal g lo ry — how d are y ou s u ggest s u ch a — ”
“I th in k you’re fe elin g a bit of a dare d ev il,” H arry sa id , “Y ou fa n cy
ste p pin g i n to S ir iu s’s s h oes— ”
“H arry , n o!” H erm io ne b eg ged h im , b ut h e c o ntin ued to g la re in to L upin ’s
liv id f a ce.
“I’d n ev er h av e b elie v ed th is ,” H arry sa id . “ T he m an w ho ta u ght m e to
fig ht D em en to rs — a c o w ard .”
Lupin d re w h is w an d so fa st th at H arry h ad b are ly re ach ed fo r h is o w n;
th ere w as a lo ud b an g a n d h e f e lt h im se lf f ly in g b ack w ard a s if p unch ed ; a s h e
sla m med in to th e k itc h en w all an d slid to th e flo or, h e g lim pse d th e ta il o f
Lupin ’s c lo ak d is a p pearin g a ro und t h e d oor.
“R em us, R em us, c o m e b ack !” H erm io ne c rie d , b ut L upin d id n ot r e sp ond.
A m om en t l a te r t h ey h eard t h e f ro nt d oor s la m .
“H arry !” w aile d H erm io ne. “ H ow c o uld y ou?”
“It w as e asy ,” s a id H arry . H e s to od u p, h e c o uld f e el a l u m p s w ellin g w here
his h ead h ad h it t h e w all. H e w as s till s o f u ll o f a n ger h e w as s h ak in g.
“D on’t l o ok a t m e l ik e t h at! ” h e s n ap ped a t H erm io ne.
“D on’t y ou s ta rt o n h er!” s n arle d R on.
“N o— no— we m ustn ’t fig ht! ” sa id H erm io ne, la u nch in g h ers e lf b etw een

th em .
“Y ou s h ould n’t h av e s a id t h at s tu ff t o L upin ,” R on t o ld H arry .
“H e h ad it c o m in g to h im ,” s a id H arry . B ro ken im ag es w ere ra cin g e ach
oth er th ro ugh h is m in d: S ir iu s fa llin g th ro ugh th e v eil; D um ble d ore s u sp en ded ,
bro ken , in m id air ; a fla sh o f g re en lig ht a n d h is m oth er’s v oic e, b eg gin g fo r
merc y …
“P are n ts ,” sa id H arry , “ sh ould n’t le av e th eir k id s u nle ss— unle ss th ey ’v e
got t o .”
“H arry — ” s a id H erm io ne, s tr e tc h in g o ut a c o nso lin g h an d, b ut h e s h ru gged
it o ff a n d w alk ed a w ay, h is e y es o n t h e f ir e H erm io ne h ad c o nju re d . H e h ad o nce
sp oken to L upin o ut o f th at fir e p la ce, se ek in g re assu ra n ce ab out Ja m es, an d
Lupin h ad c o nso le d h im . N ow L upin ’s t o rtu re d w hite f a ce s e em ed t o s w im i n t h e
air b efo re h im . H e f e lt a s ic k en in g s u rg e o f r e m ors e . N eith er R on n or H erm io ne
sp oke, b ut H arry f e lt s u re th at th ey w ere lo okin g a t e ach o th er b eh in d h is b ack ,
co m munic atin g s ile n tly .
He t u rn ed a ro und a n d c au ght t h em t u rn in g h urrie d ly a w ay f o rm e ach o th er.
“I k now I s h ould n’t h av e c alle d h im a c o w ard .”
“N o, y ou s h ould n’t,” s a id R on a t o nce.
“B ut h e’s a ctin g l ik e o ne.”
“A ll t h e s a m e… ” s a id H erm io ne.
“I k now ,” s a id H arry . “ B ut if it m ak es h im g o b ack to T onks, it’ ll b e w orth
it, w on’t i t? ”
He c o uld n ot k eep th e p le a o ut o f h is v oic e. H erm io ne lo oked s y m path etic ,
Ron u ncerta in . H arry lo oked d ow n at h is fe et, th in kin g o f h is fa th er. W ould
Ja m es h av e b ack ed H arry in w hat h e h ad s a id to L upin , o r w ould h e h av e b een
an gry a t h ow h is s o n h ad t r e ate d h is o ld f rie n d?
The s ile n t k itc h en s e em ed to h um w ith th e s h ock o f th e re cen t s c en e a n d
with R on a n d H erm io ne’s u nsp oken re p ro ach es. T he
Daily P ro phet
L upin h ad
bro ught w as s till ly in g o n th e ta b le , H arry ’s o w n fa ce s ta rin g u p a t th e c eilin g
fro m th e fro nt p ag e. H e w alk ed o ver to it a n d sa t d ow n, o pen ed th e p ap er a t
ra n dom , a n d p re te n ded to re ad . H e c o uld n ot ta k e in th e w ord s; h is m in d w as
still to o fu ll o f th e e n co unte r w ith L upin . H e w as s u re th at R on a n d H erm io ne
had re su m ed th eir s ile n t c o m munic atio ns o n th e o th er s id e o f th e
Pro phet.
H e
tu rn ed a p ag e lo udly , a n d D um ble d ore ’s n am e le ap t o ut a t h im . I t w as a m om en t
or tw o b efo re h e to ok in th e m ean in g o f th e p hoto gra p h, w hic h s h ow ed a f a m ily
gro up. B en eath th e p hoto gra p h w ere th e w ord s:
The D um ble d ore fa m ily , le ft to
rig ht: A lb us; P erc iv a l, h old in g n ew born A ria na; K en dra , a nd A berfo rth .
His atte n tio n cau ght, Harry ex am in ed th e pic tu re more care fu lly .
Dum ble d ore ’s f a th er, P erc iv al, w as a g ood-lo okin g m an w ith e y es t h at s e em ed t o

tw in kle e v en in th is f a d ed o ld p hoto gra p h. T he b ab y, A ria n a, w as a little lo nger
th an a lo af o f b re ad a n d n o m ore d is tin ctiv e-lo okin g. T he m oth er, K en dra , h ad
je t b la ck h air p ulle d in to a h ig h b un. H er fa ce h ad a c arv ed q uality a b out it.
Harry th ought o f p hoto s o f N ativ e A m eric an s h e’d s e en a s h e s tu die d h er d ark
ey es, h ig h ch eek bones, an d str a ig ht n ose , fo rm ally co m pose d ab ove a h ig h-
neck ed s ilk g ow n. A lb us a n d A berfo rth w ore m atc h in g la cy c o lla re d ja ck ets a n d
had id en tic al, s h ould er- le n gth h air s ty le s. A lb us lo oked s e v era l y ears o ld er, b ut
oth erw is e th e tw o b oys lo oked v ery a lik e, f o r th is w as b efo re A lb us’s n ose h ad
been b ro ken a n d b efo re h e s ta rte d w earin g g la sse s.
The f a m ily lo oked q uite h ap py a n d n orm al, s m ilin g s e re n ely u p o ut o f th e
new sp ap er. B ab y A ria n a’s a rm w av ed v ag uely o ut o f h er s h aw l. H arry lo oked
ab ove t h e p ic tu re a n d s a w t h e h ead lin e:
EX CLU SIV E E X TR ACT F R O M U PC O M IN G
BIO GRAPH Y O F A LBU S D UM BLED O RE
by R ita S keete r
Thin kin g it c o uld h ard ly m ak e h im fe el a n y w ors e th an h e a lr e ad y d id ,
Harry b eg an t o r e ad :
Pro ud a n d h au ghty , K en dra D um ble d ore c o uld n ot b ear t o r e m ain
in M ould -o n-th e-W old afte r h er h usb an d P erc iv al’s w ell- p ublic iz ed
arre st a n d im pris o nm en t in A zk ab an . S he th ere fo re d ecid ed to u pro ot
th e f a m ily a n d r e lo cate to G odric ’s H ollo w , th e v illa g e th at w as la te r
to g ain f a m e a s th e s c en e o f H arry P otte r’s s tr a n ge e sc ap e f ro m Y ou-
Know -W ho.
Lik e M ould -o n-th e-W old , G odric ’s H ollo w w as hom e to a
num ber o f W iz ard in g f a m ilie s, b ut a s K en dra k new n one o f th em , s h e
would b e s p are d t h e c u rio sity a b out h er h usb an d’s c rim e s h e h ad f a ced
in h er f o rm er v illa g e. B y r e p eate d ly r e b uff in g t h e f rie n dly a d van ces o f
her n ew W iz ard in g n eig hbors , s h e s o on e n su re d th at h er fa m ily w as
le ft w ell a lo ne.
“S la m med th e d oor in m y fa ce w hen I w en t a ro und to w elc o m e
her w ith a batc h of hom em ad e C au ld ro n C ak es,” sa y s B ath ild a
Bag sh ot. “ T he f ir s t y ear t h ey w ere t h ere I o nly e v er s a w t h e t w o b oys.
Would n’t h av e k now n th ere w as a d au ghte r if I h ad n’t b een p ic k in g
Pla n gen tin es b y m oonlig ht th e w in te r a fte r th ey m oved in , a n d sa w
Ken dra l e ad in g A ria n a o ut i n to t h e b ack g ard en . W alk ed h er r o und t h e
la w n o nce, k eep in g a fir m g rip o n h er, th en to ok h er b ack in sid e.

Did n’t k now w hat t o m ak e o f i t.”
It s e em s th at K en dra th ought th e m ove to G odric ’s H ollo w w as
th e p erfe ct o pportu nity to h id e A ria n a o nce a n d f o r a ll, s o m eth in g s h e
had p ro bab ly b een p la n nin g fo r y ears . T he tim in g w as sig nif ic an t.
Aria n a w as b are ly s e v en y ears o ld w hen s h e v an is h ed f ro m s ig ht, a n d
se v en is th e a g e b y w hic h m ost e x perts a g re e th at m ag ic w ill h av e
re v eale d its e lf , if p re se n t. N obody n ow a liv e re m em bers A ria n a e v er
dem onstr a tin g e v en t h e s lig hte st s ig n o f m ag ic al a b ility . I t s e em s c le ar,
th ere fo re , th at K en dra m ad e a decis io n to hid e her dau ghte r’s
ex is te n ce ra th er th an su ff e r th e sh am e of ad m ittin g th at sh e had
pro duced a S quib . M ovin g a w ay f ro m th e f rie n ds a n d n eig hbors w ho
knew A ria n a w ould , o f c o urs e , m ak e im pris o nin g h er a ll th e e asie r.
The t in y n um ber o f p eo ple w ho h en cefo rth k new o f A ria n a’s e x is te n ce
co uld b e c o unte d u pon to k eep th e s e cre t, in clu din g h er tw o b ro th ers ,
who h ad d efle cte d a w kw ard q uestio ns w ith th e a n sw er th eir m oth er
had t a u ght t h em . “ M y s is te r i s t o o f ra il f o r s c h ool.”
Next w eek: A lb us D um ble d ore a t H ogw arts — th e P riz e s a nd th e
Pre te n se .
Harry h ad b een w ro ng: W hat h e h ad r e ad h ad in deed m ad e h im f e el w ors e .
He lo oked b ack a t th e p hoto gra p h o f th e a p pare n tly h ap py fa m ily . W as it tr u e?
How c o uld h e fin d o ut? H e w an te d to g o to G odric ’s H ollo w , e v en if B ath ild a
was in n o fit sta te to ta lk to h im : h e w an te d to v is it th e p la ce w here h e a n d
Dum ble d ore h ad b oth lo st lo ved o nes. H e w as in th e p ro cess o f lo w erin g th e
new sp ap er, to ask R on’s an d H erm io ne’s opin io ns, w hen a deafe n in g
cra ck
ech oed a ro und t h e k itc h en .
For th e f ir s t tim e in th re e d ay s H arry h ad f o rg otte n a ll a b out K re ach er. H is
im med ia te th ought w as th at L upin h ad b urs t b ack in to th e r o om , a n d f o r a s p lit
se co nd, h e d id n ot ta k e in th e m ass o f s tr u gglin g lim bs th at h ad a p peare d o ut o f
th in a ir rig ht b esid e h is c h air. H e h urrie d to h is fe et a s K re ach er d is e n ta n gle d
him se lf a n d, b ow in g l o w t o H arry , c ro ak ed , “ K re ach er h as r e tu rn ed w ith t h e t h ie f
Mundungus F le tc h er, M aste r.”
Mundungus sc ra m ble d u p a n d p ulle d o ut h is w an d; H erm io ne, h ow ev er,
was t o o q uic k f o r h im .
“E xp ellia rm us!”
Mundungus’s w an d s o are d in to th e a ir , a n d H erm io ne c au ght it. W ild -e y ed ,
Mundungus d iv ed f o r th e s ta ir s . R on r u gby-ta ck le d h im a n d M undungus h it th e
sto ne f lo or w ith a m uff le d c ru nch .
“W hat? ” h e b ello w ed , w rith in g in h is a tte m pts to fre e h im se lf fro m R on’s

grip . “ W ha’v e I d one? S ettin g a b le ed in ’ ’ o use -e lf o n m e, w hat a re y ou p la y in g
at, w ha’v e I d one, l e m me g o, l e m me g o, o r— ”
“Y ou’re n ot in m uch o f a p ositio n to m ak e th re ats ,” s a id H arry . H e th re w
asid e th e n ew sp ap er, c ro sse d th e k itc h en in a fe w str id es, a n d d ro pped to h is
knees b esid e M undungus, w ho s to pped s tr u gglin g a n d lo oked te rrif ie d . R on g ot
up, p an tin g, a n d w atc h ed a s H arry p oin te d h is w an d d elib era te ly a t M undungus’s
nose . M undungus s ta n k o f s ta le s w eat a n d to bacco s m oke. H is h air w as m atte d
an d h is r o bes s ta in ed .
“K re ach er a p olo giz es fo r th e d ela y in b rin gin g th e th ie f, M aste r,” c ro ak ed
th e elf . “F le tc h er know s how to av oid cap tu re , has m an y hid ey -h ole s an d
acco m plic es. N ev erth ele ss, K re ach er c o rn ere d t h e t h ie f i n t h e e n d.”
“Y ou’v e d one r e ally w ell, K re ach er,” s a id H arry , a n d t h e e lf b ow ed l o w .
“R ig ht, w e’v e g ot a fe w q uestio ns fo r y ou,” H arry to ld M undungus, w ho
sh oute d a t o nce.
“I p an ic k ed , o kay ? I n ev er w an te d to c o m e a lo ng, n o o ff e n se , m ate , b ut I
nev er v olu nte ere d to d ie fo r y ou, a n ’ th at w as b le ed in ’ Y ou-K now -W ho c o m e
fly in g a t m e, a n yone w ould a g ot o utta th ere . I s a id a ll a lo ng I d id n’t w an na d o it
—”
“F or y our i n fo rm atio n, n one o f t h e r e st o f u s D is a p para te d ,” s a id H erm io ne.
“W ell, you’re a bunch of ble ed in ’ ’e ro es th en , are n ’t you, but I nev er
pre te n ded I w as u p f o r k illin g m ese lf — ”
“W e’re n ot i n te re ste d i n w hy y ou r a n o ut o n M ad -E ye,” s a id H arry , m ovin g
his w an d a little clo se r to M undungus’s b ag gy, b lo odsh ot ey es. “W e alr e ad y
knew y ou w ere a n u nre lia b le b it o f s c u m .”
“W ell th en , w hy th e ’ e ll a m I b ein g ’ u nte d d ow n b y ’ o use -e lv es? O r is th is
ab out t h em g oble ts a g ain ? I a in ’t g ot n one o f ’ e m l e ft, o r y ou c o uld ’ a v e ’ e m — ”
“It’s n ot ab out th e g oble ts eith er, alth ough y ou’re g ettin g w arm er,” sa id
Harry . “ S hut u p a n d l is te n .”
It fe lt w onderfu l to h av e so m eth in g to d o, so m eo ne o f w hom h e co uld
dem an d so m e sm all p ortio n o f tr u th . H arry ’s w an d w as n ow so clo se to th e
brid ge o f M undungus’s n ose t h at M undungus h ad g one c ro ss-e y ed t r y in g t o k eep
it i n v ie w .
“W hen y ou c le an ed o ut th is h ouse o f a n yth in g v alu ab le ,” H arry b eg an , b ut
Mundungus i n te rru pte d h im a g ain .
“S ir iu s n ev er c are d a b out a n y o f t h e j u nk— ”
There w as th e s o und o f p atte rin g f e e, a b la ze o f s h in in g c o pper, a n e ch oin g
cla n g, a n d a s h rie k o f a g ony; K re ach er h ad ta k en a ru n a t M undungus a n d h it
him o ver t h e h ead w ith a s a u cep an .
“C all ’ im o ff , c all ’ im o ff , ’ e s h ould b e lo ck ed u p!” s c re am ed M undungus,

co w erin g a s K re ach er r a is e d t h e h eav y-b otto m ed p an a g ain .
“K re ach er, n o!” s h oute d H arry .
Kre ach er’s t h in a rm s t r e m ble d w ith t h e w eig ht o f t h e p an , s till h eld a lo ft.
“P erh ap s j u st o ne m ore , M aste r H arry , f o r l u ck ?”
Ron l a u ghed .
“W e n eed h im c o nsc io us, K re ach er, b ut if h e n eed s p ers u ad in g, y ou c an d o
th e h onors ,” s a id H arry .
“T han k y ou v ery m uch , M aste r,” s a id K re ach er w ith a b ow , a n d h e r e tr e ate d
a s h ort d is ta n ce, h is g re at p ale e y es s till f ix ed u pon M undungus w ith l o ath in g.
“W hen y ou s tr ip ped th is h ouse o f a ll th e v alu ab le s y ou c o uld f in d,” H arry
beg an a g ain , “ y ou to ok a b unch o f s tu ff f ro m th e k itc h en c u pboard . T here w as a
lo ck et th ere .” H arry ’s m outh w as su dden ly dry : H e co uld se n se R on an d
Herm io ne’s t e n sio n a n d e x cite m en t t o o. “ W hat d id y ou d o w ith i t? ”
“W hy?” a sk ed M undungus. “ Is i t v alu ab le ?”
“Y ou’v e s till g ot i t! ” c rie d H erm io ne.
“N o, h e h asn ’t,” sa id R on sh re w dly . “ H e’s w onderin g w heth er h e sh ould
hav e a sk ed m ore m oney f o r i t.”
“M ore ?” sa id M undungus. “T hat w ould n’t hav e been eff in g dif f ic u lt…
ble ed in ’ g av e i t a w ay, d i’ n ’ I ? N o c h oic e.”
“W hat d o y ou m ean ?”
“I w as s e llin g i n D ia g on A lle y a n d s h e c o m e u p t o m e a n d a sk s i f I ’v e g ot a
lic en se f o r tr a d in g in m ag ic al a rtif a cts . B le ed in ’ s n oop. S he w as g onna f in e m e,
but s h e to ok a fa n cy to th e lo ck et a n ’ to ld m e s h e’d ta k e it a n d le t m e o ff th at
tim e, a n d t o f in k m ese lf l u ck y.”
“W ho w as t h is w om an ?” a sk ed H arry .
“I d unno, s o m e M in is tr y h ag .”
Mundungus c o nsid ere d f o r a m om en t, b ro w w rin kle d .
“L ittle w om an . B ow o n t o p o f ’ e r h ead .”
He f ro w ned a n d t h en a d ded , “ L ooked l ik e a t o ad .”
Harry d ro pped h is w an d: I t h it M undungus o n th e n ose a n d s h ot r e d s p ark s
in to h is e y eb ro w s, w hic h i g nite d .
“A quam en ti! ”
sc re am ed H erm io ne, a n d a je t o f w ate r str e am ed fro m h er
wan d, e n gulf in g a s p lu tte rin g a n d c h okin g M undungus.
Harry lo oked u p a n d s a w h is o w n s h ock r e fle cte d in R on’s a n d H erm io ne’s
fa ces. T he s c ars o n t h e b ack o f h is r ig ht h an d s e em ed t o b e t in glin g a g ain .

1 2. M AG IC I S M IG HT
As A ugust w ore on, th e sq uare of unkem pt gra ss in th e m id dle of
G rim mau ld P la ce sh riv ele d in th e su n until it w as brittle an d bro w n. T he
i n hab ita n ts o f n um ber tw elv e w ere n ev er se en b y an yone in th e su rro undin g
h ouse s, a n d n or w as n um ber t w elv e i ts e lf . T he M uggle s w ho l iv ed i n G rim mau ld
P la ce h ad lo ng s in ce a ccep te d th e a m usin g m is ta k e in th e n um berin g th at h ad
c au se d n um ber e le v en t o s it b esid e n um ber t h ir te en .
And y et th e s q uare w as n ow a ttr a ctin g a tr ic k le o f v is ito rs w ho s e em ed to
f in d t h e a n om aly m ost i n tr ig uin g. B are ly a d ay p asse d w ith out o ne o r t w o p eo ple
a rriv in g i n G rim mau ld P la ce w ith n o o th er p urp ose , o r s o i t s e em ed , t h an t o l e an
a g ain st th e ra ilin gs fa cin g num bers ele v en an d th ir te en , w atc h in g th e jo in
b etw een th e tw o h ouse s. T he lu rk ers w ere n ev er th e sa m e tw o d ay s ru nnin g,
a lth ough th ey a ll se em ed to sh are a d is lik e fo r n orm al c lo th in g. M ost o f th e
L ondoners w ho p asse d th em w ere u se d to eccen tr ic d re sse rs an d to ok little
n otic e, th ough o ccasio nally o ne o f th em m ig ht g la n ce b ack , w onderin g w hy
a n yone w ould w ear c lo ak s i n t h is h eat.
The w atc h ers se em ed to b e g le an in g little sa tis fa ctio n fro m th eir v ig il.
O ccasio nally one of th em sta rte d fo rw ard ex cite d ly , as if th ey had se en
s o m eth in g i n te re stin g a t l a st, o nly t o f a ll b ack l o okin g d is a p poin te d .
On th e f ir s t d ay o f S ep te m ber th ere w ere m ore p eo ple lu rk in g in th e s q uare
t h an e v er b efo re . H alf a d ozen m en in lo ng c lo ak s sto od sile n t a n d w atc h fu l,
g azin g a s e v er a t h ouse s e le v en a n d th ir te en , b ut th e th in g f o r w hic h th ey w ere
w aitin g still ap peare d elu siv e. A s ev en in g dre w in , brin gin g w ith it an
u nex pecte d g ust o f c h illy r a in f o r th e f ir s t tim e in w eek s, th ere o ccu rre d o ne o f
t h ose in ex plic ab le m om en ts w hen th ey ap peare d to hav e se en so m eth in g
i n te re stin g. T he m an w ith th e tw is te d f a ce p oin te d a n d h is c lo se st c o m pan io n, a
p odgy, p allid m an , sta rte d fo rw ard , b ut a m om en t la te r th ey h ad re la x ed in to
t h eir p re v io us s ta te o f i n activ ity , l o okin g f ru str a te d a n d d is a p poin te d .
Mean w hile , in sid e n um ber tw elv e, H arry h ad ju st e n te re d th e h all. H e h ad
n early lo st h is b ala n ce a s h e A ppara te d o nto th e to p s te p ju st o uts id e th e fro nt
d oor, an d th ought th at th e D eath E ate rs m ig ht h av e cau ght a g lim pse o f h is
m om en ta rily e x pose d e lb ow . S huttin g th e fro nt d oor c are fu lly b eh in d h im , h e
p ulle d o ff th e In vis ib ility C lo ak , d ra p ed it o ver h is a rm , a n d h urrie d a lo ng th e
g lo om y h allw ay to w ard th e d oor th at le d to th e b ase m en t, a s to le n c o py o f th e
D aily P ro phet
c lu tc h ed i n h is h an d.
The u su al lo w w his p er o f
“Severu s S nape”
g re ete d h im , th e ch ill w in d

sw ep t h im , a n d h is t o ngue r o lle d u p f o r a m om en t.
“I d id n’t k ill y ou,” h e s a id , o nce it h ad u nro lle d , th en h eld h is b re ath a s th e
dusty jin x-fig ure e x plo ded . H e w aite d u ntil h e w as h alf w ay d ow n th e s ta ir s to
th e k itc h en , o ut o f e ars h ot o f M rs . B la ck a n d c le ar o f th e d ust c lo ud, b efo re
callin g, “ I’v e g ot n ew s, a n d y ou w on’t l ik e i t.”
The k itc h en w as a lm ost u nre co gniz ab le . E very s u rfa ce n ow s h one; c o pper
pots a n d p an s h ad b een b urn is h ed to a r o sy g lo w ; th e w ooden ta b le to p g le am ed ;
th e g oble ts a n d p la te s a lr e ad y la id f o r d in ner g lin te d in th e lig ht f ro m a m errily
bla zin g f ir e , o n w hic h a c au ld ro n w as s im merin g. N oth in g i n t h e r o om , h ow ev er,
was m ore d ra m atic ally d if f e re n t th an th e h ouse -e lf w ho n ow cam e h urry in g
to w ard H arry , d re sse d in a s n ow y-w hite to w el, h is e ar h air a s c le an a n d f lu ff y a s
co tto n w ool, R eg ulu s’s l o ck et b ouncin g o n h is t h in c h est.
“S hoes o ff , if y ou p le ase , M aste r H arry , a n d h an ds w ash ed b efo re d in ner,”
cro ak ed K re ach er, s e iz in g t h e I n vis ib ility C lo ak a n d s lo uch in g o ff t o h an g i t o n a
hook o n th e w all, b esid e a n um ber o f o ld -fa sh io ned r o bes th at h ad b een f re sh ly
la u ndere d .
“W hat’s h ap pen ed ?” R on a sk ed a p pre h en siv ely . H e a re H erm io ne h ad b een
pourin g o ver a s h eaf o f s c rib ble d n ote s a n d h an d d ra w n m ap s th at litte re d th e
en d o f th e lo ng k itc h en ta b le , b ut n ow th ey w atc h ed H arry a s h e s tr o de to w ard
th em a n d t h re w d ow n t h e n ew sp ap er o n t o p o f t h eir s c atte re d p arc h m en t.
A la rg e p ic tu re o f a fa m ilia r, h ook-n ose d , b la ck -h air e d m an sta re d u p a t
th em a ll, b en eath a h ead lin e t h at r e ad :
SE V ER US SN APE CO NFIR M ED AS HOGW ARTS
HEA DM AST ER
“N o!” s a id R on a n d H erm io ne l o udly .
Herm io ne w as q uic k est; s h e s n atc h ed u p th e n ew sp ap er a n d b eg an to r e ad
th e a cco m pan yin g s to ry o ut l o ud.
“‘S everu s Snape, lo ng-s ta ndin g P otio ns m aste r at H ogw arts Sch ool of
Witc h cra ft a nd W iz a rd ry, w as t o day a ppoin te d h ea dm aste r i n t h e m ost i m porta nt
of s e vera l s ta ffin g c h anges a t th e a ncie n t s c h ool. F ollo w in g th e re sig natio n o f
th e p re vio us M uggle S tu die s t e a ch er, A le cto C arro w w ill t a ke o ver t h e p ost w hile
her bro th er, Am ycu s, fills th e positio n of D efe n se Again st th e D ark Arts
pro fe sso r.
“‘I w elc o m e th e o pportu nity to u phold o ur fin est W iz a rd in g tr a ditio ns a nd
va lu es— ’
L ik e co m mittin g m urd er an d cu ttin g o ff p eo ple ’s ears , I su ppose !
Snap e, head m aste r! Snap e in Dum ble d ore ’s stu dy— Merlin ’s pan ts !” sh e
sh rie k ed , m ak in g b oth H arry a n d R on ju m p. S he le ap t u p fro m th e ta b le a n d

hurtle d f ro m t h e r o om , s h outin g a s s h e w en t, “ I’ll b e b ack i n a m in ute !”
“‘M erlin ’s p an ts ’? ” r e p eate d R on, l o okin g a m use d . “ S he m ust b e u pse t.” H e
pulle d t h e n ew sp ap er t o w ard h im a n d p eru se d t h e a rtic le a b out S nap e.
“T he o th er te ach ers w on’t sta n d fo r th is , M cG onag all an d F litw ic k an d
Spro ut a ll k now th e tr u th , th ey k now h ow D um ble d ore d ie d . T hey w on’t a ccep t
Snap e a s h ead m aste r. A nd w ho a re t h ese C arro w s? ”
“D eath E ate rs ,” s a id H arry . “ T here a re p ic tu re s o f t h em i n sid e. T hey w ere a t
th e to p o f th e to w er w hen S nap e k ille d D um ble d ore , s o it’s a ll f rie n ds to geth er.
And,” H arry w en t o n b itte rly , d ra w in g u p a c h air , “ I c an ’t se e th at th e o th er
te ach ers h av e g ot an y ch oic e b ut to sta y. If th e M in is tr y an d V old em ort are
beh in d S nap e it’ ll b e a c h oic e b etw een s ta y in g a n d te ach in g, o r a n ic e f e w y ears
in A zk ab an — an d th at’s if th ey ’re lu ck y. I r e ck on th ey ’ll s ta y to tr y a n d p ro te ct
th e s tu den ts .”
Kre ach er c am e b ustlin g to th e ta b le w ith a la rg e tu re en in h is h an ds, a n d
la d le d o ut s o up i n to p ris tin e b ow ls , w his tlin g b etw een h is t e eth a s h e d id s o .
“T han ks, K re ach er,” s a id H arry , f lip pin g o ver th e
Pro phet
s o a s n ot to h av e
to l o ok a t S nap e’s f a ce. “ W ell, a t l e ast w e k now e x actly w here S nap e i s n ow .”
He b eg an to s p oon s o up in to h is m outh . T he q uality o f K re ach er’s c o okin g
had im pro ved dra m atic ally ev er sin ce he had been giv en R eg ulu s’s lo ck et:
Today ’s F re n ch o nio n w as a s g ood a s H arry h ad e v er t a ste d .
“T here a re s till a lo ad o f D eath E ate rs w atc h in g th is h ouse ,” h e to ld R on a s
he a te , “ m ore th an u su al. It’s lik e th ey ’re h opin g w e’ll m arc h o ut c arry in g o ur
sc h ool t r u nks a n d h ead o ff f o r t h e H ogw arts E xpre ss.”
Ron g la n ced a t h is w atc h .
“I’v e b een th in kin g a b out th at a ll d ay. It le ft n early s ix h ours a g o. W eir d ,
not b ein g o n i t, i s n ’t i t? ”
In h is m in d’s e y e H arry s e em ed to s e e th e s c arle t s te am e n gin e a s h e a n d
Ron h ad o nce f o llo w ed it b y a ir , s h im merin g b etw een f ie ld s a n d h ills , a r ip plin g
sc arle t c ate rp illa r. H e w as s u re G in ny, N ev ille , a n d L una w ere s ittin g to geth er a t
th is m om en t, perh ap s w onderin g w here he, R on, an d H erm io ne w ere , or
deb atin g h ow b est t o u nderm in e S nap e’s n ew r e g im e.
“T hey n early s a w m e c o m in g b ack i n j u st n ow ,” H arry s a id , “ I l a n ded b ad ly
on t h e t o p s te p , a n d t h e C lo ak s lip ped .”
“I d o th at e v ery tim e. O h, h ere s h e is ,” R on a d ded , c ra n in g a ro und in h is
se at to w atc h H erm io ne re en te rin g th e kitc h en . “A nd w hat in th e nam e of
Merlin ’s m ost b ag gy Y F ro nts w as t h at a b out? ”
“I r e m em bere d t h is ,” H erm io ne p an te d .
She w as c arry in g a la rg e, fra m ed p ic tu re , w hic h sh e n ow lo w ere d to th e
flo or b efo re s e iz in g h er s m all, b ead ed b ag f ro m th e k itc h en s id eb oard . O pen in g

it, sh e p ro ceed ed to fo rc e th e p ain tin g in sid e a n d d esp ite th e fa ct th at it w as
pate n tly t o o l a rg e t o f it i n sid e t h e t in y b ag , w ith in a f e w s e co nds i t h ad v an is h ed ,
lik e s o m uch e ase , i n to t h e b ag ’s c ap acio us d ep th s.
“P hin eas N ig ellu s,” H erm io ne ex pla in ed as sh e th re w th e b ag o nto th e
kitc h en t a b le w ith t h e u su al s o noro us, c la n kin g c ra sh .
“S orry ?” sa id R on, b ut H arry u nders to od. T he p ain te d im ag e o f P hin eas
Nig ellu s B la ck w as a b le to tr a v el b etw een h is p ortr a it in G rim mau ld P la ce a n d
th e o ne th at h un g in th e h ead m aste r’s o ff ic e a t H ogw arts : th e c ir c u la r c o w er- to p
ro om w here S nap e w as n o d oubt s ittin g rig ht n ow , in tr iu m phan t p osse ssio n o f
Dum ble d ore ’s co lle ctio n of delic ate , silv er m ag ic al in str u m en ts , th e sto ne
Pen sie v e, t h e S ortin g H at a n d, u nle ss i t h ad b een m oved e ls e w here , t h e s w ord o f
Gry ff in dor.
“S nap e co uld se n d P hin eas N ig ellu s to lo ok in sid e th is h ouse fo r h im ,”
Herm io ne e x pla in ed to R on a s s h e r e su m ed h er s e at. “ B ut le t h im tr y it n ow , a ll
Phin eas N ig ellu s w ill b e a b le t o s e e i s t h e i n sid e o f m y h an dbag .”
“G ood t h in kin g!” s a id R on, l o okin g i m pre sse d .
“T han k y ou,” s m ile d H erm io ne, p ullin g h er s o up to w ard h er. “ S o, H arry ,
what e ls e h ap pen ed t o day ?”
“N oth in g,” s a id H arry . “ W atc h ed th e M in is tr y e n tr a n ce f o r s e v en h ours . N o
sig n o f h er. S aw y our d ad t h ough, R on. H e l o oks f in e.”
Ron n odded h is a p pre cia tio n o f t h is n ew s. T he h ad a g re ed t h at i t w as f a r t o o
dan gero us t o t r y a n d c o m munic ate w ith M r. W easle y w hile h e w alk ed i n a n d o ut
of t h e M in is tr y , b ecau se h e w as a lw ay s s u rro unded b y o th er M in is tr y w ork ers . I t
was, h ow ev er, r e assu rin g t o c atc h t h ese g lim pse s o f h im , e v en i f h e d id l o ok v ery
str a in ed a n d a n xio us.
“D ad a lw ay s to ld u s m ost M in is tr y p eo ple u se th e F lo o N etw ork to g et to
work ,” R on sa id . “ T hat’s w hy w e h av en ’t se en U m brid ge, sh e’d n ev er w alk ,
sh e’d t h in k s h e’s t o o i m porta n t.”
“A nd w hat a b out th at fu nny o ld w itc h a n d th at little w iz ard in th e n av y
ro bes? ” H erm io ne a sk ed .
“O h y eah , t h e b lo ke f ro m M ag ic al M ain te n an ce,” s a id R on.
“H ow d o y ou k now h e w ork s f o r M ag ic al M ain te n an ce?” H erm io ne a sk ed ,
her s o upsp oon s u sp en ded i n m id air.
“D ad s a id e v ery one f ro m M ag ic al M ain te n an ce w ears n av y b lu e r o bes.”
“B ut y ou n ev er t o ld u s t h at! ”
Herm io ne d ro pped h er s p oon a n d p ulle d to w ard h er th e s h eaf o f n ote s a n d
map s t h at s h e a n d R on h ad b een e x am in in g w hen H arry h ad e n te re d t h e k itc h en .
“T here ’s n oth in g i n h ere a b out n av y b lu e r o bes, n oth in g!” s h e s a id , f lip pin g
fe v eris h ly t h ro ugh t h e p ag es.

“W ell, d oes i t r e ally m atte r? ”
“R on, it
all
m atte rs ! If w e’re g oin g to g et in to th e M in is tr y a n d n ot g iv e
ours e lv es a w ay w hen th ey ’re
bound
to b e o n th e lo okout fo r in tr u ders , e v ery
little d eta il m atte rs ! W e’v e b een o ver a n d o ver th is , I m ean , w hat’s th e p oin t o f
all t h ese r e co nnais sa n ce t r ip s i f y ou a re n ’t e v en b oth erin g t o t e ll u s— ”
“B lim ey, H erm io ne, I f o rg et o ne l ittle t h in g— ”
“Y ou d o r e aliz e, d on’t y ou, th at th ere ’s p ro bab ly n o m ore d an gero us p la ce
in t h e w hole w orld f o r u s t o b e r ig ht n ow t h an t h e M in is tr y o f— ”
“I t h in k w e s h ould d o i t t o m orro w ,” s a id H arry .
Herm io ne s to pped d ead , h er j a w h an gin g; R on c h oked a l ittle o ver h is s o up.
“T om orro w ?” r e p eate d H erm io ne. “ Y ou a re n ’t s e rio us, H arry ?”
“I a m ,” s a id H arry . “ I d on’t th in k w e’re g oin g to b e m uch b ette r p re p are d
th an w e are n ow ev en if w e sk ulk aro und th e M in is tr y en tr a n ce fo r an oth er
month . T he lo nger w e p ut it o ff , th e fa rth er a w ay th at lo ck et c o uld b e. T here ’s
alr e ad y a g ood c h an ce U m brid ge h as c h uck ed i t a w ay ; t h e t h in g d oesn ’t o pen .”
“U nle ss,” sa id R on, “sh e’s fo und a w ay of open in g it an d sh e’s now
posse sse d .”
“W ould n’t m ak e a n y d if f e re n ce to h er, s h e w as s o e v il in th e fir s t p la ce,”
Harry s h ru gged .
Herm io ne w as b itin g h er l ip , d eep i n t h ought.
“W e k now ev ery th in g im porta n t,” H arry w en t o n, ad dre ssin g H erm io ne.
“W e k now t h ey ’v e s to pped A pparitio n i n a n d o ut o f t h e M in is tr y ; W e k now o nly
th e m ost se n io r M in is tr y m em bers a re a llo w ed to c o nnect th eir h om es to th e
Flo o N etw ork n ow , b ecau se R on h eard th ose tw o U nsp eak ab le s co m pla in in g
ab out i t. A nd w e k now r o ughly w here U m brid ge’s o ff ic e i s , b ecau se o f w hat y ou
heard t h e b eard ed b lo ke s a y in g t o h is m ate — ”
“‘
I’ll b e u p o n le vel o ne, D olo re s w ants to se e m e,
’” H erm io ne re cite d
im med ia te ly .
“E xactly ,” s a id H arry . “ A nd w e k now y ou g et i n u sin g t h ose f u nny c o in s, o r
to ken s, o r w hate v er th ey a re , b ecau se I s a w th at w itc h b orro w in g o ne fro m h er
frie n d— ”
“B ut w e h av en ’t g ot a n y!”
“If t h e p la n w ork s, w e w ill h av e,” H arry c o ntin ued c alm ly .
“I d on’t k now , H arry , I d on’t k now … T here a re a n a w fu l lo t o f th in gs th at
co uld g o w ro ng, s o m uch r e lie s o n c h an ce… ”
“T hat’ ll b e tr u e e v en if w e sp en d a n oth er th re e m onth s p re p arin g,” sa id
Harry . “ It’s t im e t o a ct.”
He c o uld te ll fro m R on’s a n d H erm io ne’s fa ces th at th ey w ere s c are d ; h e
was n ot p artic u la rly c o nfid en t h im se lf , a n d y et h e w as s u re t h e t im e h ad c o m e t o

put t h eir p la n i n to o pera tio n.
They had sp en t th e pre v io us fo ur w eek s ta k in g it in tu rn s to don th e
In vis ib ility C lo ak a n d s p y o n th e o ff ic ia l e n tr a n ce to th e M in is tr y , w hic h R on,
th an ks to M r. W easle y, h ad k now n sin ce c h ild hood. T hey h ad ta ile d M in is tr y
work ers o n th eir w ay in , e av esd ro pped o n th eir c o nvers a tio ns, a n d le arn ed b y
care fu l o bse rv atio n w hic h o f th em c o uld b e r e lie d u pon to a p pear, a lo ne, a t th e
sa m e tim e e v ery d ay. O ccasio nally th ere h ad b een a c h an ce to sn eak a
Daily
Pro phet
o ut o f s o m eb ody’s b rie fc ase . S lo w ly th ey h ad b uilt u p th e s k etc h y m ap s
an d n ote s n ow s ta ck ed i n f ro nt o f H erm io ne.
“A ll rig ht,” s a id R on s lo w ly , “ le t’s s a y w e g o fo r it to m orro w … I th in k it
sh ould j u st b e m e a n d H arry .”
“O h, d on’t s ta rt t h at a g ain !” s ig hed H erm io ne. “ I t h ought w e’d s e ttle d t h is .”
“It’s o ne th in g h an gin g a ro und th e e n tr a n ces u nder th e C lo ak , b ut th is is
dif f e re n t, H erm io ne,” R on ja b bed a f in ger a t a c o py o f th e
Daily P ro phet
d ate d
te n d ay s p re v io usly . “Y ou’re o n th e lis t o f M uggle -b orn s w ho d id n’t p re se n t
th em se lv es f o r i n te rro gatio n!”
“A nd y ou’re s u ppose d to b e d yin g o f s p atte rg ro it a t th e B urro w ! I f a n yone
sh ould n’t g o, i t’s H arry , h e’s g ot a t e n -th ousa n d-G alle o n p ric e o n h is h ead — ”
“F in e, I’ll sta y here ,” sa id H arry . “L et m e know if you ev er defe at
Vold em ort, w on’t y ou?”
As R on an d H erm io ne la u ghed , pain sh ot th ro ugh th e sc ar on H arry ’s
fo re h ead . H is h an d j u m ped t o i t. H e s a w H erm io ne’s e y es n arro w , a n d h e t r ie d t o
pass o ff t h e m ovem en t b y b ru sh in g h is h air o ut o f h is e y es.
“W ell, if a ll th re e o f u s g o w e’ll h av e to D is a p para te s e p ara te ly ,” R on w as
sa y in g. “ W e c an ’t a ll f it u nder t h e C lo ak a n ym ore .”
Harry ’s s c ar w as b eco m in g m ore a n d m ore p ain fu l. H e s to od u p. A t o nce,
Kre ach er h urrie d f o rw ard .
“M aste r h as n ot f in is h ed h is s o up, w ould m aste r p re fe r th e s a v ory s te w , o r
els e t h e t r e acle t a rt t o w hic h M aste r i s s o p artia l? ”
“T han ks, K re ach er, b ut I ’ll b e b ack i n a m in ute — er— bath ro om .”
Aw are th at H erm io ne w as w atc h in g h im s u sp ic io usly , H arry h urrie d u p th e
sta ir s t o t h e h all a n d t h en t o t h e f ir s t l a n din g, w here h e d ash ed i n to t h e b ath ro om
an d b olte d th e d oor a g ain . G ru ntin g w ith p ain , h e s lu m ped o ver th e b la ck b asin
with i ts t a p s i n t h e f o rm o f o pen -m outh ed s e rp en ts a n d c lo se d h is e y es…
He w as g lid in g a lo ng a t w ilit s tr e et. T he b uild in gs o n e ith er s id e o f h im h ad
hig h, tim bere d g ab le s; th ey lo oked lik e g in gerb re ad h ouse s. H e a p pro ach ed o ne
of th em , th en s a w th e w hite n ess o f h is o w n lo ng-fin gere d h an d a g ain st th e d oor.
He k nock ed . H e f e lt a m ountin g e x cite m en t…
The d oor o pen ed : A la u ghin g w om an sto od th ere . H er fa ce fe ll as sh e

lo oked i n to H arry ’s f a ce: h um or g one, t e rro r r e p la cin g i t…
“G re g oro vitc h ?” s a id a h ig h, c o ld v oic e.
She s h ook h er h ead : S he w as tr y in g to c lo se th e d oor. A w hite h an d h eld it
ste ad y, p re v en te d h er s h uttin g h im o ut…
“I w an t G re g oro vitc h .”
“E r w ohnt h ie r n ic h t m eh r!”
s h e c rie d , s h ak in g h er h ead . “ H e n o liv e h ere !
He n o l iv e h ere ! I k now h im n ot! ”
Aban donin g t h e a tte m pt t o c lo se t h e d oor, s h e b eg an t o b ack a w ay d ow n t h e
dark h all, a n d H arry fo llo w ed , g lid in g to w ard h er, a n d h is lo ng-fin gere d h an d
had d ra w n h is w an d.
“W here i s h e?”
“D as w eiß i c h n ic h t!
H e m ove! I k now n ot, I k now n ot! ”
He ra is e d h is h an d. S he s c re am ed . T w o y oung c h ild re n c am e ru nnin g in to
th e h all. S he tr ie d to s h ie ld th em w ith h er a rm s. T here w as a f la sh o f g re en lig ht

“H arry ! H ARRY !”
He o pen ed h is e y es; h e h ad s u nk to th e flo or. H erm io ne w as p oundin g o n
th e d oor a g ain .
“H arry , o pen u p!”
He h ad s h oute d o ut, h e k new i t. H e g ot u p a n d u nbolte d t h e d oor; H erm io ne
to pple d in sid e a t o nce, re g ain ed h er b ala n ce, a n d lo oked a ro und su sp ic io usly .
Ron w as rig ht b eh in d h er, lo okin g u nnerv ed a s h e p oin te d h is w an d in to th e
co rn ers o f t h e c h illy b ath ro om .
“W hat w ere y ou d oin g?” a sk ed H erm io ne s te rn ly .
“W hat d ’y ou t h in k I w as d oin g?” a sk ed H arry w ith f e eb le b ra v ad o.
“Y ou w ere y ellin g y our h ead o ff !” s a id R on.
“O h y eah … I m ust’ v e d ozed o ff o r— ”
“H arry , p le ase d on’t in su lt o ur in te llig en ce,” sa id H erm io ne, ta k in g d eep
bre ath s. “ W e k now y our s c ar h urt d ow nsta ir s , a n d y ou’re w hite a s a s h eet.”
Harry s a t d ow n o n t h e e d ge o f t h e b ath .
“F in e. I ’v e ju st s e en V old em ort m urd erin g a w om an . B y n ow h e’s p ro bab ly
kille d h er w hole f a m ily . A nd h e d id n’t n eed t o . I t w as C ed ric a ll o ver a g ain , t h ey
were j u st
th ere … ”
“H arry , y ou a re n ’t s u ppose d to le t th is h ap pen a n ym ore !” H erm io ne c rie d ,
her voic e ech oin g th ro ugh th e bath ro om . “D um ble d ore w an te d you to use
Occlu m en cy ! H e th ought th e c o nnectio n w as d an gero us— Vold em ort c an
use
it,
Harry ! W hat g ood i s i t t o w atc h h im k ill a n d t o rtu re , h ow c an i t h elp ?”
“B ecau se i t m ean s I k now w hat h e’s d oin g,” s a id H arry .
“S o y ou’re n ot e v en g oin g t o
tr y
t o s h ut h im o ut? ”

“H erm io ne, I c an ’t. Y ou k now I’m lo usy a t O cclu m en cy. I n ev er g ot th e
han g o f i t.”
“Y ou n ev er r e ally tr ie d !” s h e s a id h otly . “ I d on’t g et it, H arry — do y ou
lik e
hav in g t h is s p ecia l c o nnectio n o r r e la tio nsh ip o r w hat— whate v er— ”
She f a lte re d u nder t h e l o ok h e g av e h er a s h e s to od u p.
“L ik e i t? ” h e s a id q uie tly . “ W ould
yo u
l ik e i t? ”
“I— no— I’m s o rry , H arry . I j u st d id n’t m ean — ”
“I h ate it, I h ate th e f a ct th at h e c an g et in sid e m e, th at I h av e to w atc h h im
when h e’s m ost d an gero us. B ut I ’m g oin g t o u se i t.”
“D um ble d ore — ”
“F org et D um ble d ore . T his i s m y c h oic e, n obody e ls e ’s . I w an t t o k now w hy
he’s a fte r G re g oro vitc h .”
“W ho?”
“H e’s a fo re ig n w an dm ak er,” sa id H arry . “H e m ad e K ru m ’s w an d an d
Kru m r e ck ons h e’s b rillia n t.”
“B ut a cco rd in g to y ou,” s a id R on, “ V old em ort’s g ot O lliv an der lo ck ed u p
so m ew here . If h e’s a lr e ad y g ot a w an dm ak er, w hat d oes h e n eed a n oth er o ne
fo r? ”
“M ay be h e a g re es w ith K ru m , m ay be h e th in ks G re g oro vitc h is b ette r… o r
els e h e th in ks G re g oro vitc h w ill b e a b le to e x pla in w hat m y w an d d id w hen h e
was c h asin g m e, b ecau se O lliv an der d id n’t k now .”
Harry g la n ced in to th e c ra ck ed , d usty m ir ro r a n d s a w R on a n d H erm io ne
ex ch an gin g s k ep tic al l o oks b eh in d h is b ack .
“H arry , y ou k eep ta lk in g a b out w hat y our w an d d id ,” s a id H erm io ne, “ b ut
yo u
m ad e it h ap pen ! W hy a re y ou s o d ete rm in ed n ot to ta k e re sp onsib ility fo r
your o w n p ow er? ”
“B ecau se I k now i t w asn ’t m e! A nd s o d oes V old em ort, H erm io ne! W e b oth
know w hat r e ally h ap pen ed !”
They g la re d a t e ach o th er; H arry k new t h at h e h ad n ot c o nvin ced H erm io ne
an d th at sh e w as m ars h alin g c o unte ra rg um en ts , a g ain st b oth h is th eo ry o n h is
wan d a n d th e f a ct th at h e w as p erm ittin g h im se lf to s e e in to V old em ort’s m in d.
To h is r e lie f, R on i n te rv en ed .
“D ro p it,” he ad vis e d her. “It’s up to him . A nd if w e’re goin g to th e
Min is tr y t o m orro w , d on’t y ou r e ck on w e s h ould g o o ver t h e p la n ?”
Relu cta n tly , a s t h e o th er t w o c o uld t e ll, H erm io ne l e t t h e m atte r r e st, t h ough
Harry w as q uite su re sh e w ould atta ck ag ain at th e fir s t o pportu nity . In th e
mean tim e, th ey re tu rn ed to th e b ase m en t k itc h en , w here K re ach er s e rv ed th em
all s te w a n d t r e acle t a rt.
They d id n ot g et t o b ed u ntil l a te t h at n ig ht, a fte r s p en din g h ours g oin g o ver

an d o ver th eir p la n u ntil th ey c o uld r e cite it, w ord p erfe ct, to e ach o th er. H arry ,
who w as n ow s le ep in g i n S ir iu s’s r o om , l a y i n b ed w ith h is w an dlig ht t r a in ed o n
th e o ld p hoto gra p h o f h is fa th er, S ir iu s, L upin , a n d P ettig re w , a n d m utte re d th e
pla n to h im se lf f o r a n oth er te n m in ute s. A s h e e x tin guis h ed h is w an d, h ow ev er,
he w as t h in kin g n ot o f P oly ju ic e P otio n, P ukin g P astille s, o r t h e n av y b lu e r o bes
of M ag ic al M ain te n an ce; h e th ough o f G re g oro vitc h th e w an dm ak er, a n d h ow
lo ng he co uld hope to re m ain hid den w hile Vold em ort so ught him so
dete rm in ed ly .
Daw n s e em ed t o f o llo w m id nig ht w ith i n decen t h aste .
“Y ou lo ok te rrib le ,” w as R on’s g re etin g a s h e e n te re d th e ro om to w ak e
Harry .
“N ot f o r l o ng,” s a id H arry , y aw nin g.
They fo und H erm io ne d ow nsta ir s in th e k itc h en . S he w as b ein g se rv ed
co ff e e a n d h ot r o lls b y K re ach er a n d w earin g th e s lig htly m an ic e x pre ssio n th at
Harry a sso cia te d w ith e x am r e v ie w .
“R obes,” sh e sa id u nder h er b re ath , a ck now le d gin g th eir p re se n ce w ith a
nerv ous nod an d co ntin uin g to poke aro und in her bead ed bag , “P oly ju ic e
Potio n… In vis ib iliity C lo ak … D eco y D eto nato rs … Y ou sh ould each ta k e a
co uple j u st i n c ase … P ukin g P astille s, N ose b le ed N ougat, E xte n dab le E ars … ”
They g ulp ed d ow n th eir b re ak fa st, th en s e t o ff u psta ir s , K re ach er b ow in g
th em o ut a n d p ro m is in g to h av e a ste ak -a n d-k id ney p ie re ad y fo r th em w hen
th ey r e tu rn ed .
“B le ss h im ,” sa id R on fo ndly , “an d w hen y ou th in k I u se d to fa n ta siz e
ab out c u ttin g o ff h is h ead a n d s tic k in g i t o n t h e w all… ”
They m ad e th eir w ay o nto th e f ro nt s te p w ith im men se c au tio n. T hey c o uld
se e a c o uple o f p uff y -e y ed D eath E ate rs w atc h in g th e h ouse fro m a cro ss th e
mis ty s q uare .
Herm io ne D is a p para te d w ith R on f ir s t, t h en c am e b ack f o r H arry .
Afte r th e u su al b rie f sp ell o f d ark ness a n d n ear su ff o catio n, H arry fo und
him se lf in th e tin y a lle y w ay w here th e f ir s t p hase o f th eir p la n w as s c h ed ule d to
ta k e p la ce. It w as a s y et d ese rte d , e x cep t fo r a c o uple o f la rg e b in s; th e fir s t
Min is tr y w ork ers d id n ot u su ally a p pear h ere u ntil a t l e ast e ig ht o ’c lo ck .
“R ig ht th en ,” s a id H erm io ne, c h eck in g h er w atc h . “ sh e o ught to b e h ere in
ab out f iv e m in ute s. W hen I ’v e S tu nned h er— ”
“H erm io ne, w e k now ,” s a id R on s te rn ly . “ A nd I th ought w e w ere s u ppose d
to o pen t h e d oor b efo re s h e g ot h ere ?”
Herm io ne s q ueale d .
“I n early f o rg ot! S ta n d b ack — ”
She p oin te d h er w an d at th e p ad lo ck ed an d h eav ily g ra ff itie d fir e d oor

besid e th em , w hic h b urs t o pen w ith a c ra sh . T he d ark c o rrid or b eh in d it le d , a s
th ey k new fro m th eir c are fu l sc o utin g tr ip s, in to a n e m pty th eate r. H erm io ne
pulle d t h e d oor b ack t o w ard h er, t o m ak e i t l o ok a s t h ought i t w as s till c lo se d .
“A nd n ow ,” s h e s a id , tu rn in g, b ack to fa ce th e o th er tw o in th e a lle y w ay,
“w e p ut o n t h e C lo ak a g ain — ”
“— an d w e w ait,” R on fin is h ed , th ro w in g it o ver H erm io ne’s h ead lik e a
bla n ket o ver a b ir d cag e a n d r o llin g h is e y es a t H arry .
Little m ore th an a m in ute la te r, th ere w as a tin y
pop
a n d a little M in is tr y
witc h w ith fly aw ay g ra y h air A ppara te d fe et fro m th em , b lin kin g a little in th e
su dden b rig htn ess: th e s u n h ad ju st c o m e o ut fro m b eh in d a c lo ud. S he b are ly
had tim e to e n jo y th e u nex pecte d w arm th , h ow ev er, b efo re H erm io ne’s sile n t
Stu nnin g S pell h it h er i n t h e c h est a n d s h e t o pple d o ver.
“N ic ely done, H erm io ne,” sa id R on, em erg in g beh in d a bin besid e th e
th eate r d oor a s H arry to ok o ff th e In vis ib ility C lo ak . T ogeth er th ey c arrie d th e
little w itc h i n to t h e d ark p assa g ew ay t h at l e d b ack sta g e. H erm io ne p lu ck ed a f e w
hair s f ro m t h e w itc h ’s h ead a n d a d ded t h em t o a f la sk o f m uddy P oly ju ic e P otio n
sh e h ad ta k en fro m th e b ead ed b ag . R on w as ru m mag in g th ro ugh th e little
witc h ’s h an dbag .
“S he’s M afa ld a H opkir k ,” h e s a id , r e ad in g a s m all c ard th at id en tif ie d th eir
vic tim a s a n a ssis ta n t in th e Im pro per U se o f M ag ic O ff ic e. “ Y ou’d b ette r ta k e
th is , H erm io ne, a n d h ere a re t h e t o ken s.”
He p asse d h er se v era l sm all g old en co in s, all em bosse d w ith th e le tte rs
M.O .M ., w hic h h e h ad t a k en f ro m t h e w itc h ’s p urs e .
Herm io ne d ra n k th e P oly ju ic e P otio n, w hic h w as n ow a p le asa n t h elio tr o pe
co lo r, a n d w ith in s e co nds s to od b efo re t h em , t h e d ouble o f M afa ld a H opkir k . A s
sh e r e m oved M afa ld a’s s p ecta cle s a n d p ut t h em o n, H arry c h eck ed h is w atc h .
“W e’re r u nnin g l a te , M r. M ag ic al M ain te n an ce w ill b e h ere a n y s e co nd.”
They h urrie d to c lo se th e d oor o n th e re al M afa ld a; H arry a n d R on th re w
th e I n vis ib ility C lo ak o ver th em se lv es b ut H erm io ne r e m ain ed in v ie w , w aitin g.
Seco nds la te r th ere w as an oth er
pop,
an d a sm all, fe rre ty lo okin g w iz ard
ap peare d b efo re t h em .
“O h, h ello , M afa ld a.”
“H ello !” s a id H erm io ne i n a q uav ery v oic e, “ H ow a re y ou t o day ?”
“N ot so g ood, a ctu ally ,” re p lie d th e little w iz ard , w ho lo oked th oro ughly
dow ncast.
As H erm io ne a n d t h e w iz ard h ead ed f o r t h e m ain r o ad , H arry a n d R on c re p t
alo ng b eh in d t h em .
“I’m s o rry t o h ear y ou’re u nder t h e w eath er,” s a id H erm io ne, t a lk in g f ir m ly
over t h e l ittle w iz ard a n d h e t r ie d t o e x pound u pon h is p ro ble m s; i t w as e sse n tia l

to s to p h im f ro m r e ach in g t h e s tr e et. “ H ere , h av e a s w eet.”
“E h? O h, n o t h an ks— ”
“I in sis t! ” s a id H erm io ne a g gre ssiv ely , s h ak in g th e b ag o f p astille s in h is
fa ce. L ookin g r a th er a la rm ed , t h e l ittle w iz ard t o ok o ne.
The e ff e ct w as in sta n ta n eo us. T he m om en t th e p astille to uch ed h is to ngue,
th e l ittle w iz ard s ta rte d v om itin g s o h ard t h at h e d id n ot e v en n otic e a s H erm io ne
yan ked a h an dfu l o f h air s f ro m t h e t o p o f h is h ead .
“O h d ear!” sh e sa id , a s h e sp la tte re d th e a lle y w ith sic k . “ P erh ap s y ou’d
bette r t a k e t h e d ay o ff !”
“N o— no!” H e c h oked a n d re tc h ed , tr y in g to c o ntin ue o n h is w ay d esp ite
bein g u nab le t o w alk s tr a ig ht. “ I m ust— to day — must g o— ”
“B ut th at’s ju st s illy !” s a id H erm io ne, a la rm ed . “ Y ou c an ’t g o to w ork in
th is s ta te — I t h in k y ou o ught t o g o t o S t. M ungo’s a n d g et t h em t o s o rt y ou o ut.”
The w iz ard h ad co lla p se d , h eav in g, o nto all fo urs , still tr y in g to cra w l
to w ard t h e m ain s tr e et.
“Y ou s im ply c an ’t g o t o w ork l ik e t h is !” c rie d H erm io ne.
At la st he se em ed to accep t th e tr u th of her w ord s. U sin g a re p ose d
Herm io ne to c la w h is w ay b ack in to a s ta n din g p ositio n, h e tu rn ed o n th e s p ot
an d v an is h ed , le av in g n oth in g b eh in d b ut th e b ag R on h ad sn atc h ed fro m h is
han d a s h e w en t a n d s o m e f ly in g c h unks o f v om it.
“U rg h,” sa id H erm io ne, hold in g up th e sk ir t of her ro be to av oid th e
puddle s o f s ic k . “ It w ould h av e m ad e m uch l e ss m ess t o S tu n h im t o o.”
“Y eah ,” s a id R on, e m erg in g f ro m u nder th e c lo ak h old in g th e w iz ard ’s b ag ,
“b ut I still th in k a w hole p ile o f u nco nsc io us b odie s w ould h av e d ra w n m ore
atte n tio n. K een o n h is jo b, th ough, is n ’t h e? C huck u s th e h air a n d th e p otio n,
th en .”
With in t w o m in ute s, R on s to od b efo re t h em , a s s m all a n d f e rre ty a s t h e s ic k
wiz ard , a n d w earin g t h e n av y b lu e r o bes t h at h ad b een f o ld ed i n h is b ag .
“W eir d he w asn ’t w earin g th em to day, w asn ’t it, se ein g how m uch he
wan te d t o g o? A nyw ay, I ’m R eg C atte rm ole , a cco rd in g t o t h e l a b el i n t h e b ack .”
“N ow w ait h ere ,” H erm io ne to ld H arry , w ho w as s till u nder th e I n vis ib ility
Clo ak , “ an d w e’ll b e b ack w ith s o m e h air s f o r y ou.”
He h ad to w ait te n m in ute s, b ut it s e em ed m uch lo nger to H arry , s k ulk in g
alo ne in th e sic k -s p la tte re d alle y w ay b esid e th e d oor co ncealin g th e S tu nned
Mafa ld a. F in ally R on a n d H erm io ne r e ap peare d .
“W e d on’t k now w ho h e is ,” H erm io ne sa id , p assin g H arry se v era l c u rly
bla ck h air s , “ b ut h e’s g one h om e w ith a d re ad fu l n ose b le ed ! H ere , h e’s p re tty
ta ll, y ou’ll n eed b ig ger r o bes… ”
She p ulle d o ut a s e t o f th e o ld r o bes K re ach er h ad la u ndere d f o r th em , a n d

Harry r e tir e d t o t a k e t h e p otio n a n d c h an ge.
Once t h e p ain fu l t r a n sfo rm atio n w as c o m ple te h e w as m ore t h an s ix f e et t a ll
an d, fro m w hat h e c o uld te ll fro m h is w ell- m usc le d a rm s, p ow erfu lly b uilt. H e
als o h ad a b eard . S to w in g th e In vis ib ility C lo ak a n d h is g la sse s in sid e h is n ew
ro bes, h e r e jo in ed t h e o th er t w o.
“B lim ey, th at’s sc ary ,” sa id R on, lo okin g u p a t H arry , w ho n ow to w ere d
over h im .
“T ak e o ne o f M afa ld a’s to ken s,” H erm io ne to ld H arry , “ an d le t’s g o, it’s
nearly n in e.”
They s te p ped o ut o f th e a lle y w ay to geth er. F if ty y ard s a lo ng th e c ro w ded
pav em en t th ere w ere sp ik ed b la ck ra ilin gs fla n kin g tw o flig hts o f sta ir s , o ne
la b ele d G EN TLEM EN , t h e o th er L A DIE S.
“S ee y ou i n a m om en t, t h en ,” s a id H erm io ne n erv ously , a n d s h e t o tte re d o ff
dow n th e s te p s to L A DIE S. H arry a n d R on jo in ed a n um ber o f o ddly d re sse d
men d esc en din g in to w hat a p peare d to b e a n o rd in ary u nderg ro und p ublic to ile t,
tile d i n g rim y b la ck a n d w hite .
“M orn in g, R eg !” c alle d a n oth er w iz ard in n av y b lu e r o bes a s h e le t h im se lf
in to a c u bic le b y in se rtin g h is g old en to ken in to a s lo t in th e d oor. “ B lo om in g
pain in th e b um , th is , e h ? F orc in g u s a ll to g et to w ork th is w ay ! W ho a re th ey
ex pectin g t o t u rn u p, H arry P otte r? ”
The w iz ard r o are d w ith l a u ghte r a t h is o w n w it. R on g av e a f o rc ed c h uck le .
“Y eah ,” h e s a id , “ stu pid , i s n ’t i t? ”
And h e a n d H arry l e t t h em se lv es i n to a d jo in in g c u bic le s.
To H arry ’s le ft a n d rig ht c am e th e s o und o f flu sh in g. H e c ro uch ed d ow n
an d p eere d t h ro ugh t h e g ap a t t h e b otto m o f t h e c u bic le , j u st i n t im e t o s e e a p air
of b oote d fe et c lim bin g in to th e to ile t n ex t d oor. H e lo oked le ft a n d s a w R on
blin kin g a t h im .
“W e h av e t o f lu sh o urs e lv es i n ?” h e w his p ere d .
“L ooks lik e it,” H arry w his p ere d back ; his voic e cam e out deep an d
gra v elly .
They b oth s to od u p. F eelin g e x cep tio nally f o olis h , H arry c la m bere d i n to t h e
to ile t.
He k new a t o nce t h at h e h ad d one t h e r ig ht t h in g; t h ought h e a p peare d t o b e
sta n din g in w ate r, h is s h oes, f e et, a n d r o bes r e m ain ed q uite d ry . H e r e ach ed u p,
pulle d th e c h ain , a n d n ex t m om en t h ad z o om ed d ow n a s h ort c h ute , e m erg in g
out o f a f ir e p la ce i n to t h e M in is tr y o f M ag ic .
He got up clu m sily ; th ere w as a lo t m ore of his body th an he w as
accu sto m ed to . T he g re at A tr iu m se em ed d ark er th an H arry re m em bere d it.
Pre v io usly a g old en f o unta in h ad f ille d t h e c en te r o f t h e h all, c astin g s h im merin g

sp ots o f l ig ht o ver t h e p olis h ed w ooden f lo or a n d w alls . N ow a g ig an tic s ta tu e o f
bla ck s to ne d om in ate d th e s c en e. I t w as r a th er f rig hte n in g, th is v ast s c u lp tu re o f
a w itc h a n d a w iz ard sittin g o n o rn ate ly c arv ed th ro nes, lo okin g d ow n a t th e
Min is tr y w ork ers to pplin g o ut o f fir e p la ces b elo w th em . E ngra v ed in fo ot- h ig h
le tte rs a t t h e b ase o f t h e s ta tu e w ere t h e w ord s M AGIC I S M IG HT.
Harry re ceiv ed a h eav y b lo w o n th e b ack o f th e le g s. A noth er w iz ard h ad
ju st f lo w n o ut o f t h e f ir e p la ce b eh in d h im .
“O ut o f t h e w ay, c an ’t y — oh, s o rry , R unco rn .”
Cle arly frig hte n ed , th e b ald in g w iz ard h urrie d a w ay. A ppare n tly th e m an
who H arry w as i m pers o natin g, R unco rn , w as i n tim id atin g.
“P sst! ” s a id a v oic e, a n d h e lo oked a ro und to s e e a w his p y little w itc h a n d
th e f e rre ty w iz ard f ro m M ag ic al M ain te n an ce g estu rin g to h im f ro m o ver b esid e
th e s ta tu e. H arry h aste n ed t o j o in t h em .
“Y ou g ot i n a ll r ig ht, t h en ?” H erm io ne w his p ere d t o H arry .
“N o, h e’s s till s tu ck i n t h e h og,” s a id R on.
“O h, v ery f u nny… I t’s h orrib le , i s n ’t i t? ” s h e s a id t o H arry , w ho w as s ta rin g
up a t t h e s ta tu e. “ H av e y ou s e en w hat t h ey ’re s ittin g o n?”
Harry lo oked m ore clo se ly an d re aliz ed th at w hat h e h ad th ought w ere
deco ra tiv ely c arv ed th ro nes w ere a ctu ally m ounds o f c arv ed h um an s: h undre d s
an d h undre d s o f n ak ed b odie s, m en , w om en , a n d c h ild re n , a ll w ith r a th er s tu pid ,
ugly f a ces, t w is te d a n d p re sse d t o geth er t o s u pport t h e w eig ht o f t h e h an dso m ely
ro bed w iz ard s.
“M uggle s,” w his p ere d H erm io ne, “ In t h eir r ig htf u l p la ce. C om e o n, l e t’s g et
goin g.”
They jo in ed th e s tr e am o f w itc h es a n d w iz ard s m ovin g to w ard th e g old en
gate s a t th e e n d o f th e h all, lo okin g a ro und a s su rre p titio usly a s p ossib le , b ut
th ere w as n o s ig n o f th e d is tin ctiv e fig ure o f D olo re s U m brid ge. T hey p asse d
th ro ugh th e g ate s a n d in to a s m alle r h all, w here q ueu es w ere f o rm in g in f ro nt o f
tw en ty g old en g rille s h ousin g a s m an y lif ts . T hey h ad b are ly jo in ed th e n eare st
one w hen a v oic e s a id , “ C atte rm ole !”
They lo oked a ro und: H arry ’s s to m ach tu rn ed o ver. O ne o f th e D eath E ate rs
who h ad w itn esse d D um ble d ore ’s d eath w as s tr id in g to w ard th em . T he M in is tr y
work ers besid e th em fe ll sile n t, th eir ey es dow ncast; H arry co uld fe el fe ar
rip plin g t h ro ugh t h em .
The m an ’s sc o w lin g, slig htly b ru tis h fa ce w as so m eh ow a t o dds w ith h is
mag nif ic en t, s w eep in g ro bes, w hic h w ere e m bro id ere d w ith m uch g old th re ad .
Som eo ne in th e cro w d aro und th e lif ts calle d sy co phan tic ally , “M orn in g,
Yax le y !” Y ax le y i g nore d t h em .
“I re q ueste d so m eb ody fro m M ag ic al M ain te n an ce to so rt o ut m y o ff ic e,

Catte rm ole . I t’s s till r a in in g i n t h ere .”
Ron lo oked a ro und a s th ough h opin g s o m eb ody e ls e w ould in te rv en e, b ut
nobody s p oke.
“R ain in g… i n y our o ff ic e? T hat’s — th at’s n ot g ood, i s i t? ”
Ron g av e a n erv ous l a u gh. Y ax le y ’s e y es w id en ed .
“Y ou t h in k i t’s f u nny, C atte rm ole , d o y ou?”
A p air o f w itc h es b ro ke a w ay f ro m t h e q ueu e f o r t h e l if t a n d b ustle d o ff .
“N o,” s a id R on, “ n o, o f c o urs e — ”
“Y ou re aliz e th at I am o n m y w ay d ow nsta ir s to in te rro gate y our w if e ,
Catte rm ole ? I n f a ct, I ’m q uite s u rp ris e d y ou’re n ot d ow n th ere h old in g h er h an d
while s h e w aits . A lr e ad y g iv en h er u p a s a b ad j o b, h av e y ou? P ro bab ly w is e . B e
su re a n d m arry a p ure b lo od n ex t t im e.”
Herm io ne h ad le t o ut a little s q ueak o f h orro r. Y ax le y lo oked a t h er. S he
co ugh f e eb ly a n d t u rn ed a w ay.
“I— I— ” s ta m mere d R on.
“B ut if
my
w if e w ere a ccu se d o f b ein g a M udblo od,” s a id Y ax le y, “ — not
th at a n y w om an I m arrie d w ould e v er b e m is ta k en f o r s u ch f ilth — an d th e H ead
of D ep artm en t o f M ag ic al L aw E nfo rc em en t n eed ed a j o b d oin g, I w ould m ak e i t
my p rio rity t o d o t h is j o b, C atte rm ole . D o y ou u nders ta n d m e?”
“Y es,” w his p ere d R on.
“T hen a tte n d t o i t, C atte rm ole , a n d i f m y o ff ic e i s n ot c o m ple te ly d ry w ith in
an h our, y our w if e ’s B lo od S ta tu s w ill b e i n e v en g re ate r d oubt t h an i t i s n ow .”
The g old en g rille b efo re th em c la tte re d o pen . W ith a n od a n d u nple asa n t
sm ile to H arry , w ho w as ev id en tly ex pecte d to ap pre cia te th is tr e atm en t of
Catte rm ole , Y ax le y s w ep t a w ay to w ard a n oth er lif t. H arry , R on, a n d H erm io ne
en te re d th eir s , b ut n obody f o llo w ed th em : I t w as a s if th ey w ere in fe ctio us. T he
grille s s h ut w ith a c la n g a n d t h e l if t b eg an t o m ove u pw ard .
“W hat a m I g oin g to d o?” R on a sk ed th e o th er tw o a t o nce; h e lo oked
str ic k en . “ If I d on’t t u rn u p, m y w if e … I m ean , C atte rm ole ’s w if e — ”
“W e’ll c o m e w ith y ou, w e s h ould s tic k to geth er— ” b eg an H arry , b ut R on
sh ook h is h ead f e v eris h ly .
“T hat’s m en ta l, w e h av en ’t g ot m uch tim e. Y ou tw o f in d U m brid ge, I ’ll g o
an d s o rt o ut Y ax le y ’s o ff ic e— but h ow d o I s to p a r a in in g?”
“T ry F in ite I n can ta te m ,” s a id H erm io ne a t o nce, “ th at s h ould s to p t h e r a in i f
it’s a h ex o r c u rs e ; if it d oesn ’t s o m eth in g’s g one w ro ng w ith a n A tm osp heric
Charm , w hic h w ill be m ore dif f ic u lt to fix , so as an in te rim m easu re tr y
Im perv iu s t o p ro te ct h is b elo ngin gs— ”
“S ay it a g ain , s lo w ly — ” s a id R on, s e arc h in g h is p ock ets d esp era te ly fo r a
quill, b ut a t th at m om en t th e lif t ju ddere d to a h alt. A d is e m bodie d f e m ale v oic e

sa id , “L ev el fo ur, D ep artm en t fo r th e R eg ula tio n an d C ontr o l of M ag ic al
Cre atu re s, in co rp ora tin g B east, B ein g, an d S pir it D iv is io ns, G oblin L ia is o n
Off ic e, a n d P est A dvis o ry B ure au ,” a n d th e g rille s s lid o pen a g ain , a d m ittin g a
co uple o f w iz ard s a n d s e v era l p ale v io le t p ap er a ir p la n es th at flu tte re d a ro und
th e l a m p i n t h e c eilin g o f t h e l if t.
“M orn in g, A lb ert,” sa id a b ush ily w his k ere d m an , sm ilin g at H arry . H e
gla n ced over at R on an d H erm io ne as th e lif t cre ak ed upw ard once m ore ;
Herm io ne w as n ow w his p erin g fra n tic in str u ctio ns to R on. T he w iz ard le an ed
to w ard H arry , l e erin g, a n d m utte rin g “ D ir k C re ssw ell, e h ? F ro m G oblin L ia is o n?
Nic e o ne, A lb ert. I ’m p re tty c o nfid en t I ’ll g et h is j o b n ow !”
He w in ked . H arry sm ile d b ack , h opin g th at th is w ould su ff ic e. T he lif t
sto pped ; t h e g rille s o pen ed o nce m ore .
“L ev el tw o, D ep artm en t of M ag ic al Law Enfo rc em en t, in clu din g th e
Im pro per Use of M ag ic Off ic e, Auro r Head quarte rs , an d W iz en gam ot
Adm in is tr a tio n S erv ic es,” s a id t h e d is e m bodie d w itc h ’s v oic e.
Harry s a w H erm io ne g iv e R on a little p ush a n d h e h urrie d o ut o f th e lif t,
fo llo w ed b y th e o th er w iz ard s, le av in g H arry a n d H erm io ne a lo ne. T he m om en t
th e g old en d oor h ad c lo se d H erm io ne s a id , v ery f a st, “ A ctu ally , H arry , I t h in k I ’d
bette r g o a fte r h im , I d on’t th in k h e k now s w hat h e’s d oin g a n d if h e g ets c au ght
th e w hole t h in g— ”
“L ev el o ne, M in is te r o f M ag ic a n d S upport S ta ff .”
The g old en g rille s s lid a p art a g ain a n d H erm io ne g asp ed . F our p eo ple s to od
befo re th em , tw o o f th em d eep in c o nvers a tio n: a lo ng-h air e d w iz ard w earin g
mag nif ic en t r o bes o f b la ck a n d g old , a n d a s q uat, t o ad lik e w itc h w earin g a v elv et
bow i n h er s h ort h air a n d c lu tc h in g a c lip board t o h er c h est.

1 3. T H E M UG GLE-B O RN R EG IS T R AT IO N
C O M MIS SIO N
“A h, M afa ld a!” sa id U m brid ge, lo okin g a t H erm io ne. “ T ra v ers se n t y ou,
d id h e?”
“Y -y es,” s q ueak ed H erm io ne.
“G od, y ou’ll d o p erfe ctly w ell.” U m brid ge s p oke t o t h e w iz ard i n b la ck a n d
g old . “ T hat’s t h at p ro ble m s o lv ed . M in is te r, i f M afa ld a c an b e s p are d f o r r e co rd -
k eep in g w e sh all b e a b le to sta rt str a ig hta w ay.” S he c o nsu lte d h er c lip board .
“ T en p eo ple to day a n d o ne o f th em th e w if e o f a M in is tr y e m plo yee! T ut, tu t…
e v en here , in th e heart of th e M in is tr y !” S he ste p ped in to th e lif t besid es
H erm io ne, as did th e tw o w iz ard s w ho had been lis te n in g to U m brid ge’s
c o nvers a tio n w ith th e M in is te r. “ W e’ll g o str a ig ht d ow n, M afa ld a, y ou’ll fin d
e v ery th in g y ou n eed in th e c o urtr o om . G ood m orn in g, A lb ert, a re n ’t y ou g ettin g
o ut? ”
“Y es, o f c o urs e ,” s a id H arry i n R unco rn ’s d eep v oic e.
Harry s te p ped o ut o f th e lif e . T he g old en g rille s c la n ged s h ut b eh in d h im .
G la n cin g o ver h is s h ould er, H arry s a w H erm io ne’s a n xio us f a ce s in kin g b ack o ut
o f sig ht, a ta ll w iz ard o n e ith er sid e o f h er, U m brid ge’s v elv et h air - b ow le v el
w ith h er s h ould er.
“W hat b rin gs y ou h ere , R unco rn ?” a sk ed th e n ew M in is te r o f M ag ic . H is
l o ng b la ck h air a n d b eard w ere str e ak ed w ith silv er a n d a g re at o verh an gin g
f o re h ead s h ad ow ed h is g lin tin g e y es, p uttin g H arry i n t h e m in d o f a c ra b l o okin g
o ut f ro m b en eath a r o ck .
“N eed ed a q uic k w ord w ith ,” H arry h esita te d fo r a fra ctio n o f a se co nd,
“ A rth ur W easle y. S om eo ne s a id h e w as u p o n l e v el o ne.”
“A h,” s a id P lu m T hic k nesse . “ H as h e b een c au ght h av in g c o nta ct w ith a n
U ndesir a b le ?”
“N o,” s a id H arry , h is t h ro at d ry . “ N o, n oth in g l ik e t h at.”
“A h, w ell. I t’s o nly a m atte r o f tim e,” s a id T hic k nesse . “ If y ou a sk m e, th e
b lo od t r a ito rs a re a s b ad a s t h e M udblo ods. G ood d ay, R unco rn .”
“G ood d ay, M in is te r.”
Harry w atc h ed T hic k nesse m arc h a w ay a lo ng th e th ic k ly c arp ete d c o rrid or.
T he m om en t th e M in is te r h ad p asse d o ut o f s ig ht, H arry tu gged th e I n vis ib ility
C lo ak o ut fro m u nder h is h eav y b la ck c lo ak , th re w it o ver h im se lf , a n d s e t o ff
a lo ng th e c o rrid or in th e o pposite d ir e ctio n. R unco rn w as s o ta ll th at H arry w as

fo rc ed t o s to op t o m ak e s u re h is b ig f e et w ere h id den .
Pan ic p uls e d i n t h e p it o f h is s to m ach . A s h e p asse d g le am in g w ooden d oor
afte r g le am in g w ooden d oor, e ach b earin g a s m all p la q ue w ith t h e o w ner’s n am e
an d occu patio n upon it, th e m ig ht of th e M in is tr y , its co m ple x ity , its
im pen etr a b ility , se em ed to fo rc e its e lf u pon h im so th at th e p la n h e h ad b een
care fu lly c o nco ctin g w ith R on a n d H erm io ne o ver th e p ast fo ur w eek s s e em ed
la u ghab ly ch ild is h . T hey h ad co ncen tr a te d all th eir eff o rts o n g ettin g in sid e
with out b ein g d ete cte d : T hey h ad n ot g iv en a m om en t’s th ought to w hat th ey
would d o if th ey w ere fo rc ed to se p ara te . N ow H erm io ne w as stu ck in c o urt
pro ceed in gs, w hic h w ould u ndoubte d ly la st h ours ; R on w as str u gglin g to d o
mag ic th at H arry w as su re w as bey ond him , a w om an ’s lib erty possib ly
dep en din g o n t h e o utc o m e, a n d h e, H arry , w as w an derin g a ro und o n t h e t o p f lo or
when h e k new p erfe ctly w ell t h at h is q uarry h ad j u st g one d ow n i n t h e l if t.
He s to pped w alk in g, le an ed a g ain st a w all, a n d tr ie d to d ecid e w hat to d o.
The s ile n ce p re sse d u pon h im : T here w as n o b ustlin g o r ta lk o r s w if t fo ots te p s
here t h e p urp le -c arp ete d c o rrid ors w ere a s h ush ed a s t h ough t h e
Mufflia to
c h arm
had b een c ast o ver t h e p la ce.
Her o ffic e m ust b e u p h ere ,
H arry t h ought.
It se em ed m ost u nlik ely th at U m brid ge w ould k eep h er je w elr y in h er
off ic e, b ut o n th e o th er h an d it s e em ed f o olis h n ot to s e arc h it to m ak e s u re . H e
th ere fo re s e t o ff a lo ng th e c o rrid or a g ain , p assin g n obody b ut a f ro w nin g w iz ard
who w as m urm urin g i n str u ctio ns t o a q uill t h at f lo ate d i n f ro nt o f h im , s c rib blin g
on a t r a il o f p arc h m en t.
Now p ay in g a tte n tio n to th e n am es o n th e d oors , H arry tu rn ed a c o rn er.
Half w ay a lo ng th e n ex t c o rrid or h e e m erg ed in to a w id e, o pen s p ace w here a
dozen w itc h es a n d w iz ard s s a t in ro w s a t s m all d esk s n ot u nlik e s c h ool d esk s,
th ough m uch m ore h ig hly p olis h ed a n d f re e f ro m g ra ff iti. H arry p au se d t o w atc h
th em , f o r th e e ff e ct w as q uite m esm eriz in g. T hey w ere a ll w av in g a n d tw id dlin g
th eir w an ds in unis o n, an d sq uare s of co lo re d pap er w ere fly in g in ev ery
dir e ctio n lik e little p in k k ite s. A fte r a f e w s e co nds, H arry r e aliz ed th at th ere w as
a r h yth m t o t h e p ro ceed in gs, t h at t h e p ap ers a ll f o rm ed t h e s a m e p atte rn a n d a fte r
a fe w m ore se co nds h e re aliz ed w hat h e w as w atc h in g w as th e cre atio n o f
pam phle ts — th at th e p ap er s q uare s w ere p ag es, w hic h , w hen a sse m ble d , fo ld ed
an d m ag ic k ed i n to p la ce, f e ll i n to n eat s ta ck s b esid e e ach w itc h o r w iz ard .
Harry c re p t c lo se r, a lth ough th e w ork ers w ere s o in te n t o n w hat th ey w ere
doin g th at h e d oubte d th ey w ould n otic e a c arp et- m uff le d f o ots te p , a n d h e s lid a
co m ple te d p am phle t f ro m t h e p ile b esid e a y oung w itc h . H e e x am in ed i t b en eath
th e I n vis ib ility C lo ak . I ts p in k c o ver w as e m bla zo ned w ith a g old en t itle :

Mudblo od s
and t h e D angers T hey P ose t o a P ea cefu l P ure -B lo od S ocie ty
Ben eath th e title w as a p ic tu re o f a re d ro se w ith a s im perin g fa ce in th e
mid dle o f its p eta ls , b ein g s tr a n gle d b y a g re en w eed w ith fa n gs a n d a s c o w l.
There w as n o a u th or’s n am e u pon th e p am phle t, b ut a g ain , th e s c ars o n th e b ack
of h is rig ht h an d se em ed to tin gle a s h e e x am in ed it. T hen th e y oung w itc h
besid e h im c o nfir m ed h is su sp ic io n a s sh e sa id , still w av in g a n d tw ir lin g h er
wan d, “W ill th e old hag be in te rro gatin g M udblo ods all day, does an yone
know ?”
“C are fu l,” s a id t h e w iz ard b esid e h er, g la n cin g a ro und n erv ously ; o ne o f h is
pag es s lip ped a n d f e ll t o t h e f lo or.
“W hat, h as s h e g ot m ag ic e ars a s w ell a s a n e y e, n ow ?”
The w itc h g la n ced to w ard th e s h in in g m ah ogan y d oor f a cin g th e s p ace f u ll
of p am phle t- m ak ers ; H arry lo oked to o, a n d th e r a g e r e are d in h im lik e a s n ak e.
Where th ere m ig ht h av e b een a p eep hole o n a M uggle f ro nt d oor, a la rg e, r o und
ey e w ith a brig ht blu e ir is had been se t in to th e w ood— an ey e th at w as
sh ock in gly f a m ilia r t o a n ybody w ho h ad k now n A la sto r M oody.
For a s p lit s e co nd H arry f o rg ot w here h e w as a n d w hat h e w as d oin g th ere :
He ev en fo rg ot th at h e w as in vis ib le . H e str o de str a ig ht o ver to th e d oor to
ex am in e t h e e y e. I t w as n ot m ovin g. I t g azed b lin dly u pw ard , f ro zen . T he p la q ue
ben eath i t r e ad :
Dolo re s U m brid ge
Sen io r U nders e cre ta ry t o t h e M in is te r
Belo w t h at a s lig htly s h in ie r n ew p la q ue r e ad :
Head o f t h e M uggle -B orn R eg is tr a tio n C om mis sio n
Harry lo oked b ack a t th e d ozen p am phle t- m ak ers : T hough th ey w ere in te n t
upon th eir w ork , h e c o uld h ard ly s u ppose th at th ey w ould n ot n otic e if th e d oor
of a n e m pty o ff ic e o pen ed i n f ro nt o f t h em . H e t h ere fo re w ith dre w f ro m a n i n ner
pock et a n o dd o bje ct w ith l ittle w av in g l e g s a n d a r u bber- b ulb ed h orn f o r a b ody.
Cro uch in g d ow n b en eath th e C lo ak , h e p la ced th e D eco y D eto nato r o n th e
gro und.
It s c u ttle d a w ay a t o nce t h ro ugh t h e l e g s o f t h e w itc h es a n d w iz ard s i n f ro nt
of h im . A f e w m om en ts l a te r, d urin g w hic h H arry w aite d w ith h is h an d u pon t h e
doork nob, t h ere c am e a l o ud b an g a n d a g re at d eal o f a crid s m oke b illo w ed f ro m

a c o rn er. T he y oung w itc h i n t h e f ro nt r o w s h rie k ed : P in k p ag es f le w e v ery w here
as sh e an d her fe llo w s ju m ped up, lo okin g aro und fo r th e so urc e of th e
co m motio n. H arry tu rn ed th e d oork nob, ste p ped in to U m brid ge’s o ff ic e, an d
clo se d t h e d oor b eh in d h im .
He f e lt h e h ad s te p ped b ack i n t im e. T he r o om w as e x actly l ik e U m brid ge’s
off ic e at H ogw arts : L ace d ra p erie s, d oilie s an d d rie d flo w ers co vere d ev ery
su rfa ce. T he w alls b ore th e sa m e o rn am en ta l p la te s, each fe atu rin g a h ig hly
co lo re d , b erib boned k itte n , g am bolin g a n d f ris k in g w ith s ic k en in g c u te n ess. T he
desk w as co vere d w ith a flo uncy, flo w ere d clo th . B eh in d M ad -e y e’s ey e, a
te le sc o pic a tta ch m en t e n ab le d U m brid ge to s p y o n th e w ork ers o n th e o th er s id e
of t h e d oor. H arry t o ok a l o ok t h ro ugh i t a n d s a w t h at t h ey w ere a ll s till g ath ere d
aro und th e D eco y D eto nato r. H e w re n ch ed th e te le sc o pe o ut o f th e d oor, le av in g
a h ole b eh in d, p ulle d th e m ag ic al e y eb all o ut o f it, a n d p la ced it in h is p ock et.
The h e tu rn ed to fa ce th e ro om a g ain , ra is e d h is w an d, a n d m urm ure d ,
“A ccio
Locket.”
Noth in g h ap pen ed , b ut h e h ad n ot e x pecte d it to ; n o d oubt U m brid ge k new
all a b out p ro te ctiv e c h arm s a n d s p ells . H e th ere fo re h urrie d b eh in d h er d esk a n d
beg an p ullin g o pen a ll t h e d ra w ers . H e s a w q uills a n d n ote b ooks a n d S pello ta p e;
en ch an te d p ap er c lip s th at c o ile d s n ak elik e f ro m th eir d ra w er a n d h ad b e b eate n
back ; a fu ssy little la ce b ox fu ll o f s p are h air b ow s a n d c lip s; b ut n o s ig n o f a
lo ck et.
There w as a filin g c ab in et b eh in d th e d esk : H arry s e t to s e arc h in g it. L ik e
Filc h ’s filin g c ab in et a t H ogw arts , it w as fu ll o f fo ld ers , e ach la b ele d w ith a
nam e. It w as not until H arry re ach ed th e botto m most dra w er th at he sa w
so m eth in g t o d is tr a ct h im f ro m t h e s e arc h : M r. W easle y ’s f ile .
He p ulle d i t o ut a n d o pen ed i t.
ARTH UR W EA SL EY
Blo od S ta tu s:
Pure b lo od, but w ith unaccep ta b le pro -M uggle
le an in gs. K now n m em ber o f t h e O rd er o f t h e P hoen ix .
Fam ily :
W if e (p ure b lo od), se v en ch ild re n , tw o youngest at
Hogw arts . N B: Y oungest s o n c u rre n tly a t h om e, s e rio usly i ll, M in is tr y
in sp ecto rs h av e c o nfir m ed .
Secu rit y Sta tu s:
TR A CK ED . All movem en ts are bein g
monito re d . Str o ng lik elih ood U ndesir a b le N o.1 w ill co nta ct (h as
sta y ed w ith W easle y f a m ily p re v io usly ).
“U ndesir a b le N um ber O ne,” H arry m utte re d u nder h is b re ath a s h e r e p la ced
Mr. W easle y ’s f o ld er a n d s h ut t h e d ra w er. H e h ad a n i d ea h e k new w ho t h at w as,

an d s u re e n ough, a s h e s tr a ig hte n ed u p a n d g la n ced a ro und th e o ff ic e fo r fre sh
hid in g pla ces he sa w a poste r of him se lf on th e w all, w ith th e w ord s
UNDESIR A BLE N O.1 e m bla zo ned a cro ss h is c h est. A l ittle p in k n ote w as s tu ck
to it w ith a p ic tu re o f a k itte n in th e c o rn er. H arry m oved a cro ss to re ad it a n d
sa w t h at U m brid ge h ad w ritte n ,
“To b e p unis h ed .”
Angrie r th an e v er, h e p ro ceed ed to g ro pe in th e b otto m s o f th e v ase s a n d
bask ets o f d rie d flo w ers , b ut w as n ot a t a ll su rp ris e d th at th e lo ck et w as n ot
th ere . H e g av e th e o ff ic e o ne la st s w eep in g lo ok, a n d h is h eart s k ip ped a b eat.
Dum ble d ore w as s ta rin g a t h im f ro m a s m all r e cta n gula r m ir ro r, p ro pped u p o n a
bookcase b esid e t h e d esk .
Harry c ro sse d th e ro om a t a ru n a n d s n atc h ed it u p, b ut re aliz ed th at th e
mom en t h e to uch ed it th at it w as n ot a m ir ro r a t a ll. D um ble d ore w as s m ilin g
wis tf u lly o ut o f th e fro nt c o ver o f a g lo ssy b ook. H arry h ad n ot im med ia te ly
notic ed th e cu rly gre en w ritin g acro ss his hat—
The L ife and L ie s of A lb us
Dum ble d ore —
nor th e s lig htly s m alle r w ritin g a cro ss h is c h est: “ b y R ita S keete r,
bests e llin g a u th or o f
Arm ando D ip pet: M aste r o r M oro n?”
Harry o pen ed th e b ook a t ra n dom a n d s a w a fu ll- p ag e p hoto gra p h o f tw o
te en ag e b oys, b oth la u ghin g im modera te ly w ith th eir a rm s a ro und e ach o th er’s
sh ould ers . D um ble d ore , n ow w ith e lb ow -le n gth h air , h ad g ro w n a tin y w is p y
beard th at re calle d th e o ne o n K ru m ’s c h in th at h ad s o a n noyed R on. T he b oy
who ro are d in sile n t a m use m en t b esid e D um ble d ore h ad a g le efu l, w ild lo ok
ab out him . H is gold en hair fe ll in cu rls to his sh ould ers . H arry w ondere d
wheth er i t w as a y oung D oge, b ut b efo re h e c o uld c h eck t h e c ap tio n, t h e d oor o f
th e o ff ic e o pen ed .
If T hic k nesse h ad n ot b een lo okin g o ver h is s h ould er a s h e e n te re d , H arry
would n ot h av e h ad t im e t o p ull t h e I n vis ib ility C lo ak o ver h im se lf . A s i t w as, h e
th ought T hic k nesse m ig ht h av e c au ght a g lim pse o f m ovem en t, b ecau se fo r a
mom en t o r tw o h e re m ain ed q uite still, sta rin g cu rio usly at th e p la ce w here
Harry had ju st van is h ed . Perh ap s decid in g th at th at all he had se en w as
Dum ble d ore s c ra tc h in g h is n ose o n th e f ro nt o f th e b ook, f o r H arry h ad h astily
re p la ced it u pon th e s h elf . T hic k nesse f in ally w alk ed to th e d esk a n d p oin te d h is
wan d a t t h e q uill s ta n din g r e ad y i n t h e i n k p ot. I t s p ra n g o ut a n d b eg an s c rib blin g
a n ote to U m brid ge. V ery s lo w ly , h ard ly d arin g to b re ath e, H arry b ack ed o ut o f
th e o ff ic e i n to t h e o pen a re a b ey ond.
The p am phle t- m ak ers w ere s till c lu ste re d a ro und th e r e m ain s o f th e D eco y
Deto nato r, w hic h c o ntin ued t o h oot f e eb ly a s i t s m oked . H arry h urrie d o ff u p t h e
co rrid or a s th e y oung w itc h s a id , “ I b et it s n eak ed u p h ere fro m E xperim en ta l
Charm s, t h ey ’re s o c are le ss, r e m em ber t h at p ois o nous d uck ?”
Speed in g b ack to w ard th e lif ts , H arry re v ie w ed h is o ptio ns. It h ad n ev er

been lik ely th at th e lo ck et w as h ere a t th e M in is tr y , a n d th ere w as n o h ope o f
bew itc h in g its w here ab outs o ut o f U m brid ge w hile s h e w as s ittin g in a c ro w ded
co urt. T heir p rio rity n ow h ad to b e to le av e th e M in is tr y b efo re th ey w ere
ex pose d , a n d tr y a g ain a n oth er d ay. T he fir s t th in g to d o w as to fin d R on, a n d
th en t h ey c o uld w ork o ut a w ay o f e x tr a ctin g H erm io ne f ro m t h e c o urtr o om .
The lif t w as e m pty w hen it a rriv ed . H arry ju m ped in a n d p ulle d o ff th e
In vis ib ility C lo ak a s it s ta rte d its d esc en t. T o h is e n orm ous r e lie f, w hen it r a ttle d
to a h alt a t l e v el t w o, a s o ak in g-w et a n d w ild -e y ed R on g ot i n .
“M -m orn in g,” h e s ta m mere d t o H arry a s t h e l if t s e t o ff a g ain .
“R on, i t’s m e, H arry !”
“H arry ! B lim ey, I fo rg ot w hat y ou lo oked lik e— why is n ’t H erm io ne w ith
you?”
“S he h ad t o g o d ow n t o t h e c o urtr o om s w ith U m brid ge, s h e c o uld n’t r e fu se ,
an d— ”
But b efo re H arry c o uld f in is h th e lif t h ad s to pped a g ain . T he d oors o pen ed
an d M r. W easle y w alk ed in sid e, ta lk in g to a n e ld erly w itc h w hose b lo nde h air
was t e ase d s o h ig h i t r e se m ble d a n a n th ill.
“… I q uite u nders ta n d w hat y ou’re s a y in g, W ak an da, b ut I ’m a fra id I c an not
be p arty t o — ”
Mr. W easle y b ro ke o ff ; h e h ad n otic ed H arry . It w as v ery s tr a n ge to h av e
Mr. W easle y g la re a t h im w ith th at m uch d is lik e. T he lif t d oors c lo se d a n d th e
fo ur o f t h em t r u ndle d d ow nw ard o nce m ore .
“O h h ello , R eg ,” s a id M r. W easle y, lo okin g a ro und a t th e s o und o f s te ad y
drip pin g fro m R on’s ro bes. “Is n ’t y our w if e in fo r q uestio nin g to day ? E r—
what’s h ap pen ed t o y ou? W hy a re y ou s o w et? ”
“Y ax le y ’s off ic e is ra in in g,” sa id Ron. H e ad dre sse d M r. W easle y ’s
sh ould er, a n d H arry f e lt s u re h e w as s c are d t h at h is f a th er m ig ht r e co gniz e h im i f
th ey l o oked d ir e ctly i n to e ach o th er’s e y es. “ I c o uld n’t s to p i t, s o t h ey ’v e s e n t m e
to g et B ern ie — Pills w orth , I t h in k t h ey s a id — ”
“Y es, a lo t o f o ff ic es h av e b een r a in in g la te ly ,” s a id M r. W easle y. “ D id y ou
tr y M ete ro lo jin x R ecan to ? I t w ork ed f o r B le tc h le y.”
“M ete o lo jin x R ecan to ?” w his p ere d R on. “ N o, I d id n’t. T han ks, D — I m ean ,
th an ks, A rth ur.”
The lif t d oors o pen ed ; th e o ld w itc h w ith th e an th ill h air le ft, an d R on
darte d p ast h er o ut o f sig ht. H arry m ad e to fo llo w h im , b ut fo und h is p ath
blo ck ed a s P erc y W easle y s tr o de in to th e lif t, h is n ose b urie d in s o m e p ap ers h e
was r e ad in g.
Not u ntil th e d oors h ad c la n ged s h ut a g ain d id P erc y r e aliz e h e w as in a lit
with h is f a th er. H e g la n ced u p, s a w M r. W easle y, tu rn ed r a d is h r e d , a n d le ft th e

lif t th e m om en t th e d oors o pen ed a g ain . F or th e s e co nd tim e, H arry tr ie d to g et
out, b ut t h is t im e f o und h is w ay b lo ck ed b y M r. W easle y ’s a rm .
“O ne m om en t, R unco rn .”
The lif t d oors c lo se d a n d a s th ey c la n ked d ow n a n oth er f lo or, M r. W easle y
sa id , “ I h ear y ou h ad i n fo rm atio n a b out D ir k C re ssw ell.”
Harry h ad th e im pre ssio n th at M r. W easle y ’s a n ger w as n o le ss b ecau se o f
th e b ru sh w ith P erc y. H e d ecid ed h is b est c h an ce w as t o a ct s tu pid .
“S orry ?” h e s a id .
“D on’t p re te n d, R unco rn ,” sa id M r. W easle y fie rc ely . “ Y ou tr a ck ed d ow n
th e w iz ard w ho f a k ed h is f a m ily t r e e, d id n’t y ou?”
“I— so w hat i f I d id ?” s a id H arry .
“S o D ir k C re ssw ell is te n tim es th e w iz ard y ou are ,” sa id M r. W easle y
quie tly , a s th e lif t s a n k e v er lo w er. “ A nd if h e s u rv iv es A zk ab an , y ou’ll h av e to
an sw er t o h im , n ot t o m en tio n h is w if e , h is s o ns, a n d h is f rie n ds— ”
“A rth ur,” H arry i n te rru pte d , “ y ou k now y ou’re b ein g t r a ck ed , d on’t y ou?”
“Is t h at a t h re at, R unco rn ?” s a id M r. W easle y l o udly .
“N o,” s a id H arry , “ it’s a f a ct! T hey ’re w atc h in g y our e v ery m ove— ”
The lif t d oors o pen ed . T hey h ad re ach ed th e A tr iu m . M r. W easle y g av e
Harry a sc ath in g lo ok a n d sw ep t fro m th e lif t. H arry sto od th ere , sh ak en . H e
wis h ed h e w as im pers o natin g so m eb ody o th er th an R unco rn … T he lif t d oors
cla n ged s h ut.
Harry p ulle d o ut th e I n vis ib ility C lo ak a n d p ut it b ack o n. H e w ould tr y to
ex tr ic ate H erm io ne o n h is o w n w hile R on w as d ealin g w ith th e ra in in g o ff ic e.
When th e d oors o pen ed , h e s te p ped o ut in to a to rc h -lit s to ne p assa g ew ay q uite
dif f e re n t f ro m t h e w ood-p an ele d a n d c arp ete d c o rrid ors a b ove. A s t h e l e ft r a ttle d
aw ay a g ain , H arry s h iv ere d s lig htly , lo okin g to w ard th e d is ta n t b la ck d oor th at
mark ed t h e e n tr a n ce t o t h e D ep artm en t o f M yste rie s.
He se t off , his destin atio n not th e bla ck door, but th e doorw ay he
re m em bere d o n t h e l e ft h an d s id e, w hic h o pen ed o nto t h e f lig ht o f s ta ir s d ow n t o
th e c o urt c h am bers . H is m in d g ra p ple d w ith p ossib ilitie s a s h e c re p t d ow n th em :
He still h ad a c o uple o f D eco y D eto nato rs , b ut p erh ap s it w ould b e b ette r to
sim ply k nock o n t h e c o urtr o om d oor, e n te r a s R unco rn , a n d a sk f o r a q uic k w ord
with M afa ld a? O f c o urs e , h e d id n ot k now w heth er R unco rn w as su ff ic ie n tly
im porta n t to g et a w ay w ith th is , a n d e v en if h e m an ag ed it, H erm io ne’s n on-
re ap peara n ce m ig ht t r ig ger a s e arc h b efo re t h ey w ere c le ar o f t h e M in is tr y …
Lost i n t h ought, h e d id n ot i m med ia te ly r e g is te r t h e u nnatu ra l c h ill t h at w as
cre ep in g o ver h im , a s if h e w ere d esc en din g in to fo g. It w as b eco m in g c o ld er
an d c o ld er w ith e v ery s te p h e t o ok; a c o ld t h at r e ach ed r ig ht d ow n h is t h ro at a n d
to re a t h is lu ngs. A nd th en h e f e lt th at s te alin g s e n se o f d esp air , o r h opele ssn ess,

fillin g h im , e x pan din g i n sid e h im …
Dem en to rs,
h e t h ought.
And a s h e re ach ed th e fo ot o f th e s ta ir s a n d tu rn ed to h is rig ht h e s a w a
dre ad fu l s c en e. T he d ark p assa g e o uts id e th e c o urtr o om s w as p ack ed w ith ta ll,
bla ck -h ooded fig ure s, th eir fa ces c o m ple te ly h id den , th eir ra g ged b re ath in g th e
only s o und in th e p la ce. T he p etr if ie d M uggle -b orn s b ro ught in f o r q uestio nin g
sa t h uddle d a n d s h iv erin g o n h ard w ooden b en ch es. M ost o f th em w ere h id in g
th eir f a ces in th eir h an ds, p erh ap s in a n in stin ctiv e a tte m pt to s h ie ld th em se lv es
fro m th e D em en to rs ’ gre ed y m outh s. S om e w ere acco m pan ie d by fa m ilie s,
oth ers s a t a lo ne. T he D em en to rs w ere g lid in g u p a n d d ow n in f ro nt o f th em , a n d
th e c o ld , a n d t h e h opele ssn ess, a n d t h e d esp air o f t h e p la ce l a id t h em se lv es u pon
Harry l ik e a c u rs e …
Fig ht it,
h e to ld h im se lf , b ut h e k new th at h e c o uld n ot c o nju re a P atr o nus
here w ith out r e v ealin g h im se lf in sta n tly . S o h e m oved f o rw ard a s s ile n tly a s h e
co uld , a n d w ith e v ery s te p h e to ok n um bness s e em ed to s te al o ver h is b ra in , b ut
he f o rc ed h im se lf t o t h in k o f H erm io ne a n d o f R on, w ho n eed ed h im .
Movin g th ro ugh th e to w erin g b la ck fig ure s w as te rrif y in g: T he ey ele ss
fa ces h id den b en eath th eir h oods tu rn ed a s h e p asse d , a n d h e f e lt s u re th at th ey
se n se d h im , s e n se d , p erh ap s, a h um an p re se n ce th at s till h ad s o m e h ope, s o m e
re silie n ce…
And th en , ab ru ptly an d sh ock in gly am id th e fro zen sile n ce, o ne o f th e
dungeo n d oors o n t h e l e ft o f t h e c o rrid or w as f lu ng o pen a n d s c re am s e ch oed o ut
of i t.
“N o, n o, I ’m h alf -b lo od, I ’m h alf -b lo od, I t e ll y ou! M y f a th er w as a w iz ard ,
he
was,
lo ok h im u p, A rk ie A ld erto n, h e’s a w ell k now n b ro om stic k d esig ner,
lo ok h im u p, I t e ll y ou— get y our h an ds o ff m e, g et y our h an ds o ff — ”
“T his is your fin al w arn in g,” sa id U m brid ge’s so ft voic e, m ag ic ally
mag nif ie d s o th at it s o unded c le arly o ver th e m an ’s d esp era te s c re am s. “ If y ou
str u ggle , y ou w ill b e s u bje cte d t o t h e D em en to r’s K is s.”
The m an ’s s c re am s s u bsid ed , b ut d ry s o bs e ch oed t h ro ugh t h e c o rrid or.
“T ak e h im a w ay,” s a id U m brid ge.
Tw o D em en to rs a p peare d in th e d oorw ay o f th e c o urtr o om , th eir ro ttin g,
sc ab bed h an ds c lu tc h in g t h e u pper a rm s o f a w iz ard w ho a p peare d t o b e f a in tin g.
They g lid ed a w ay d ow n th e c o rrid or w ith h im , a n d th e d ark ness th ey tr a ile d
beh in d t h em s w allo w ed h im f ro m s ig ht.
“N ex t— Mary C atte rm ole ,” c alle d U m brid ge.
A s m all w om an s to od u p; s h e w as tr e m blin g fro m h ead to fo ot. H er d ark
hair w as s m ooth ed b ack in to a b un a n d s h e w ore lo ng p la in r o bes. H er f a ce w as
co m ple te ly b lo odle ss. A s s h e p asse d t h e D em en to rs , H arry s a w h er s h udder.

He d id it in stin ctiv ely , w ith out a n y s o rt o f p la n , b ecau se h e h ate d th e s ig ht
of h er w alk in g a lo ne in to th e d ungeo n: A s th e d oor b eg an to s w in g c lo se d , h e
slip ped i n to t h e c o urtr o om b eh in d h er.
It w as n ot th e sa m e ro om in w hic h h e h ad o nce b een in te rro gate d fo r
im pro per u se o f m ag ic . T his o ne w as m uch s m alle r, t h ough t h e c eilin g w as q uite
as h ig h it g av e th e c la u str o phobic s e n se o f b ein g s tu ck a t th e b otto m o f a d eep
well.
There w ere m ore D em en to rs in h ere , c astin g th eir fre ezin g a u ra o ver th e
pla ce; th ey sto od lik e fa cele ss se n tin els in th e c o rn ers fa rth est fro m th e h ig h,
ra is e d p la tf o rm . H ere , b eh in d a b alu str a d e, s a t U m brid ge, w ith Y ax le y o n o ne
sid e o f h er, a n d H erm io ne, q uite a s w hite -fa ced a s M rs . C atte rm ole , o n t h e o th er.
At t h e f o ot o f t h e p la tf o rm , a b rig ht- s ilv er, l o ng-h air e d c at p ro w le d u p a n d d ow n,
up a n d d ow n, a n d H arry r e aliz ed t h at i t w as t h ere t o p ro te ct t h e p ro se cu to rs f ro m
th e d esp air th at e m an ate d f ro m th e D em en to rs : T hat w as f o r th e a ccu se d to f e el,
not t h e a ccu se rs .
“S it d ow n,” s a id U m brid ge i n h er s o ft, s ilk y v oic e.
Mrs . C atte rm ole stu m ble d to th e sin gle se at in th e m id dle o f th e flo or
ben eath t h e r a is e d p la tf o rm . T he m om en t s h e h ad s a t d ow n, c h ain s c lin ked o ut o f
th e a rm s o f t h e c h air a n d b ound h er t h ere .
“Y ou a re M ary E liz ab eth C atte rm ole ?” a sk ed U m brid ge.
Mrs . C atte rm ole g av e a s in gle , s h ak y n od.
“M arrie d to Reg in ald Catte rm ole of th e Mag ic al Main te n an ce
Dep artm en t? ”
Mrs . C atte rm ole b urs t i n to t e ars .
“I d on’t k now w here h e i s , h e w as s u ppose d t o m eet m e h ere !”
Um brid ge i g nore d h er.
“M oth er t o M ais ie , E llie a n d A lf re d C atte rm ole ?”
Mrs . C atte rm ole s o bbed h ard er t h an e v er.
“T hey ’re f rig hte n ed , t h ey t h in k t h at I m ig ht n ot c o m e h om e— ”
“S pare us,” sp at Yax le y. “T he bra ts of M udblo ods do not stir our
sy m path ie s.”
Mrs . C atte rm ole ’s so bs m ask ed H arry ’s fo ots te p s as he m ad e his w ay
care fu lly to w ard th e s te p s th at le d u p to th e r a is e d p la tf o rm . T he m om en t h e h ad
passe d th e pla ce w here th e Patr o nus cat patr o lle d , he fe lt th e ch an ge in
te m pera tu re : I t w as w arm a n d c o m fo rta b le h ere . T he P atr o nus, h e w as s u re , w as
Um brid ge’s , an d it glo w ed brig htly becau se sh e w as so hap py here , in her
ele m en t, u phold in g th e tw is te d la w s s h e h ad h elp ed to w rite . S lo w ly a n d v ery
care fu lly h e e d ged h is w ay a lo ng th e p la tf o rm b eh in d U m brid ge, Y ax le y, a n d
Herm io ne, ta k in g a se at beh in d th e la tte r. H e w as w orrie d ab out m ak in g

Herm io ne ju m p. H e th ought o f c astin g th e
Mufflia to
c h arm u pon U m brid ge a n d
Yax le y, but ev en m urm urin g th e w ord m ig ht cau se H erm io ne ala rm . T hen
Um brid ge ra is e d h er v oic e to a d dre ss M rs . C atte rm ole , a n d H arry se iz ed h is
ch an ce.
“I’m b eh in d y ou,” h e w his p ere d i n to H erm io ne’s e ar.
As h e h ad ex pecte d , sh e ju m ped so v io le n tly sh e n early o vertu rn ed th e
bottle o f in k w ith w hic h sh e w as su ppose d to b e re co rd in g th e in te rv ie w , b ut
both U m brid ge a n d Y ax le y w ere c o ncen tr a tin g u pon M rs . C atte rm ole , a n d th is
wen t u nnotic ed .
“A w an d w as ta k en f ro m y ou u pon y our a rriv al a t th e M in is tr y to day, M rs .
Catte rm ole ,” U m brid ge w as sa y in g. “E ig ht- a n d-th re e-q uarte r in ch es, ch erry ,
unic o rn -h air c o re . D o y ou r e co gniz e t h e d esc rip tio n?”
Mrs . C atte rm ole n odded , m oppin g h er e y es o n h er s le ev e.
“C ould y ou p le ase t e ll u s f ro m w hic h w itc h o r w iz ard y ou t o ok t h at w an d?”
“T -to ok?” so bbed M rs . C atte rm ole . “ I d id n’t t- ta k e it fro m a n ybody. I b -
bought i t w hen I w as e le v en y ears o ld . I t— it— it—
ch ose
m e.”
She c rie d h ard er t h an e v er.
Um brid ge la u ghed a s o ft g ir lis h la u gh th at m ad e H arry w an t to a tta ck h er.
She le an ed fo rw ard over th e barrie r, th e bette r to obse rv e her vic tim , an d
so m eth in g g old s w ung f o rw ard t o o, a n d d an gle d o ver t h e v oid : t h e l o ck et.
Herm io ne h ad s e en it; s h e le t o ut a little s q ueak , b ut U m brid ge a n d Y ax le y,
still i n te n t u pon t h eir p re y, w ere d eaf t o e v ery th in g e ls e .
“N o,” s a id U m brid ge, “ n o, I d on’t th in k s o , M rs . C atte rm ole . W an ds o nly
ch oose w itc h es o r w iz ard s. Y ou a re n ot a w itc h . I h av e y our re sp onse s to th e
questio nnair e t h at w as s e n t t o y ou h ere — Mafa ld a, p ass t h em t o m e.”
Um brid ge h eld o ut a s m all h an d: S he l o oked s o t o ad lik e a t t h at m om en t t h at
Harry w as quite su rp ris e d not to se e w eb s betw een th e stu bby fin gers .
Herm io ne’s h an ds w ere s h ak in g w ith s h ock . S he f u m ble d in a p ile o f d ocu m en ts
bala n ced o n th e c h air b esid e h er, f in ally w ith dra w in g a s h eaf o f p arc h m en t w ith
Mrs . C atte rm ole ’s n am e o n i t.
“T hat’s — th at’s p re tty , D olo re s,” s h e s a id , p oin tin g a t th e p en dan t g le am in g
in t h e r u ff le d f o ld s o f U m brid ge’s b lo use .
“W hat? ” sn ap ped U m brid ge, gla n cin g dow n. “O h yes— an old fa m ily
heir lo om ,” s h e s a id , p attin g th e lo ck et ly in g o n h er la rg e b oso m . “ T he S s ta n ds
fo r S elw yn… I a m re la te d to th e S elw yns… In deed , th ere a re fe w p ure -b lo od
fa m ilie s to w hom I a m n ot re la te d … A p ity ,” s h e c o ntin ued in a lo uder v oic e,
flic k in g th ro ugh M rs . C atte rm ole ’s q uestio nnair e , “ th at th e s a m e c an not b e s a id
fo r y ou. ‘
Pare n ts p ro fe ssio ns: g re en gro cers.’ ”
Yax le y la u ghed je erin gly . B elo w , th e flu ff y silv er cat patr o lle d up an d

dow n, a n d t h e D em en to rs s to od w aitin g i n t h e c o rn ers .
It w as U m brid ge’s lie th at b ro ught th e b lo od s u rg in g in to H arry ’s b ra in a n d
oblite ra te d h is s e n se o f c au tio n— th at th e lo ck et s h e h ad ta k en a s a b rib e f ro m a
petty crim in al w as b ein g u se d to b ols te r h er o w n p ure -b lo od cre d en tia ls . H e
ra is e d h is w an d, n ot e v en tr o ublin g to k eep it c o nceale d b en eath th e I n vis ib ility
Clo ak , a n d s a id ,
“Stu pefy !”
There w as a f la sh o f r e d lig ht; U m brid ge c ru m ple d a n d h er f o re h ead h it th e
ed ge o f th e b alu str a d e: M rs . C atte rm ole ’s p ap ers s lid o ff h er la p o nto th e flo or
an d, d ow n b elo w , th e p ro w lin g s ilv er c at v an is h ed . I c e-c o ld a ir h it th em lik e a n
onco m in g w in d: Y ax le y, c o nfu se d , lo oked a ro und fo r th e s o urc e o f th e tr o uble
an d s a w H arry ’s d is e m bodie d h an d a n d w an d p oin tin g a t h im . H e tr ie d to d ra w
his o w n w an d, b ut t o o l a te :
“Stu pefy !”
Yax le y s lid t o t h e g ro und t o l ie c u rle d o n t h e f lo or.
“H arry !”
“H erm io ne, i f y ou t h in k I w as g oin g t o s it h ere a n d l e t h er p re te n d— ”
“H arry , M rs . C atte rm ole !”
Harry w hir le d a ro und, th ro w in g o ff th e I n vis ib ility C lo ak ; d ow n b elo w , th e
Dem en to rs h ad m oved o ut o f th eir c o rn ers ; th ey w ere g lid in g to w ard th e w om an
ch ain ed t o t h e c h air : W heth er b ecau se t h e P atr o nus h ad v an is h ed o r b ecau se t h ey
se n se d th at th eir m aste rs w ere no lo nger in co ntr o l, th ey se em ed to hav e
ab an doned r e str a in t. M rs . C atte rm ole le t o ut a te rrib le s c re am o f f e ar a s a s lim y,
sc ab bed h an d g ra sp ed h er c h in a n d f o rc ed h er f a ce b ack .
“E XPEC TO P A TR O NU M !”
The s ilv er s ta g s o are d f ro m th e tip o f H arry ’s w an d a n d le ap ed to w ard th e
Dem en to rs , w hic h f e ll b ack a n d m elte d in to th e d ark s h ad ow s a g ain . T he s ta g ’s
lig ht, m ore p ow erfu l an d m ore w arm in g th an th e cat’s p ro te ctio n, fille d th e
whole d ungeo n a s i t c an te re d a ro und t h e r o om .
“G et t h e H orc ru x,” H arry t o ld H erm io ne.
He ra n b ack d ow n th e s te p s, s tu ff in g th e In vis ib ility C lo ak in to h is b ack ,
an d a p pro ach ed M rs . C atte rm ole .
“Y ou?” s h e w his p ere d , g azin g in to h is fa ce. “ B ut— but R eg s a id y ou w ere
th e o ne w ho s u bm itte d m y n am e f o r q uestio nin g!”
“D id I ? ” m utte re d H arry , t u ggin g a t t h e c h ain s b in din g h er a rm s, “ W ell, I ’v e
had a c h an ge o f h eart.
Diffin do!”
N oth in g h ap pen ed . “ H erm io ne, h ow d o I g et
rid o f t h ese c h ain s? ”
“W ait, I ’m t r y in g s o m eth in g u p h ere — ”
“H erm io ne, w e’re s u rro unded b y D em en to rs !”
“I k now th at, H arry , b ut if s h e w ak es u p a n d th e lo ck et’s g one— I n eed to
duplic ate i t—
Gem in io !
T here … T hat s h ould f o ol h er… ”

Herm io ne c am e r u nnin g d ow nsta ir s .
“L et’s s e e…
Rela sh io !”
The ch ain s clin ked an d w ith dre w in to th e arm s of th e ch air. M rs .
Catte rm ole l o oked j u st a s f rig hte n ed a s e v er b efo re .
“I d on’t u nders ta n d,” s h e w his p ere d .
“Y ou’re g oin g to le av e h ere w ith u s,” s a id H arry , p ullin g h er to h er fe et.
“G o h om e, g ra b y our c h ild re n , a n d g et o ut, g et o ut o f th e c o untr y if y ou’v e g ot
to . D is g uis e y ours e lv es a n d r u n. Y ou’v e s e en h ow it is , y ou w on’t g et a n yth in g
lik e a f a ir h earin g h ere .”
“H arry ,” s a id H erm io ne, “ h ow a re w e g oin g t o g et o ut o f h ere w ith a ll t h ose
Dem en to rs o uts id e t h e d oor? ”
“P atr o nuse s,” sa id H arry , p oin tin g h is w an d a t h is o w n. T he sta g slo w ed
an d w alk ed , still gle am in g brig htly , to w ard th e door. “A s m an y as w e can
muste r; d o y ours , H erm io ne.”
“E xp ec— Exp ecto p atr o num ,”
s a id H erm io ne. N oth in g h ap pen ed .
“It’s th e o nly sp ell sh e ev er h as tr o uble w ith ,” H arry to ld a co m ple te ly
bem use d M rs . C atte rm ole . “ B it u nfo rtu nate , r e ally … C om e o n, H erm io ne… ”
“E xp ecto p atr o num !”
A s ilv er o tte r b urs t f ro m th e e n d o f H erm io ne’s w an d a n d s w am g ra cefu lly
th ro ugh t h e a ir t o j o in t h e s ta g .
“C ’m on,” s a id H arry , a n d h e l e d H erm io ne a n d M rs . C atte rm ole t o t h e d oor.
When th e P atr o nuse s g lid ed o ut o f th e d ungeo n th ere w ere c rie s o f s h ock
fro m th e p eo ple w aitin g o uts id e. H arry lo oked aro und; th e D em en to rs w ere
fa llin g b ack o n b oth s id es o f th em , m eld in g in to th e d ark ness, s c atte rin g b efo re
th e s ilv er c re atu re s.
“It’s b een d ecid ed t h at y ou s h ould a ll g o h om e a n d g o i n to h id in g w ith y our
fa m ilie s,” H arry to ld th e w aitin g M uggle -b orn , w ho w ere d azzle d b y th e lig ht o f
th e P atr o nuse s a n d s till c o w erin g s lig htly . “ G o a b ro ad if y ou c an . J u st g et w ell
aw ay fro m th e M in is tr y . T hat’s th e— er— new o ff ic ia l p ositio n. N ow , if y ou’ll
ju st f o llo w t h e P atr o nuse s, y ou’ll b e a b le t o l e av e t h e A tr iu m .”
They m an ag ed to g et u p th e s to ne s to ps w ith out b ein g in te rc ep te d , b ut a s
th ey a p pro ach ed th e lif ts H arry s ta rte d to h av e m is g iv in gs. I f th ey e m erg ed in to
th e A tr iu m w ith a s ilv er s ta g , a n d o tte r s o arin g a lo ngsid e it, a n d tw en ty o r s o
peo ple , h alf o f th em a ccu se d M uggle -b orn s, h e c o uld n ot h elp f e elin g th at th ey
would attr a ct unw an te d atte n tio n. He had ju st re ach ed th is unw elc o m e
co nclu sio n w hen t h e l if t c la n ged t o a h alt i n f ro nt o f t h em .
“R eg !” s c re am ed M rs . C atte rm ole , a n d s h e th re w h ers e lf in to R on’s a rm s.
“R unco rn l e t m e o ut, h e a tta ck ed U m brid ge a n d Y ax le y, a n d h e’s t o ld a ll o f u s t o
le av e t h e c o untr y . I t h in k w e’d b ette r d o i t, R eg , I r e ally d o, l e t’s h urry h om e a n d

fe tc h t h e c h ild re n a n d— why a re y ou s o w et? ”
“W ate r,” m utte re d R on, d is e n gag in g h im se lf . “ H arry , th ey k now th ere a re
in tr u ders in sid e th e M in is tr y , s o m eth in g a b out a h ole in U m brid ge’s o ff ic e d oor.
I r e ck on w e’v e g ot f iv e m in ute s i f t h at— ”
Herm io ne’s P atr o nus v an is h ed w ith a
pop
a s s h e t u rn ed a h orro r s tr u ck f a ce
to H arry .
“H arry , i f w e’re t r a p ped h ere — !”
“W e w on’t b e if w e m ove fa st,” s a id H arry . H e a d dre sse d th e s ile n t g ro up
beh in d t h em , w ho w ere a ll g aw pin g a t h im .
“W ho’s g ot w an ds? ”
About h alf o f t h em r a is e d t h eir h an ds.
“O kay, all of you w ho hav en ’t got w an ds need to atta ch yours e lf to
so m eb ody w ho h as. W e’ll n eed t o b e f a st b efo re t h ey s to p u s. C om e o n.”
They m an ag ed to c ra m th em se lv es in to tw o lif ts . H arry ’s P atr o nus sto od
se n tin el b efo re t h e g old en g rille s a s t h ey s h ut a n d t h e l if ts b eg an t o r is e .
“L ev el e ig ht,” s a id t h e w itc h ’s c o ol v oic e, “ A tr iu m .”
Harry k new at o nce th at th ey w ere in tr o uble . T he A tr iu m w as fu ll o f
peo ple m ovin g f ro m f ir e p la ce t o f ir e p la ce, s e alin g t h em o ff .
“H arry !” s q ueak ed H erm io ne. “ W hat a re w e g oin g t o — ?”
“S T O P!” H arry th undere d , an d th e pow erfu l voic e of R unco rn ech oed
th ro ugh th e A tr iu m : T he w iz ard s s e alin g th e fir e p la ces fro ze. “ F ollo w m e,” h e
whis p ere d to th e g ro up o f te rrif ie d M uggle -b orn s, w ho m oved fo rw ard in a
huddle , s h ep herd ed b y R on a n d H erm io ne.
“W hat’s u p, A lb ert? ” s a id t h e s a m e b ald in g w iz ard w ho h ad f o llo w ed H arry
out o f t h e f ir e p la ce e arlie r. H e l o oked n erv ous.
“T his lo t n eed to le av e b efo re y ou s e al th e e x its ,” s a id H arry w ith a ll th e
au th ority h e c o uld m uste r.
The g ro up o f w iz ard s i n f ro nt o f h im l o oked a t o ne a n oth er.
“W e’v e b een t o ld t o s e al a ll e x its a n d n ot l e t a n yone— ”
“A re y o u c o ntr a dic tin g m e? ”
H arry b lu ste re d . “ W ould y ou lik e m e to h av e
your f a m ily t r e e e x am in ed , l ik e I h ad D ir k C re ssw ell’s ? ”
“S orry !” g asp ed th e b ald in g w iz ard , b ack in g a w ay. “ I d id n’t m ean n oth in g,
Alb ert, b ut I t h ought… I t h ought t h ey w ere i n f o r q uestio nin g a n d… ”
“T heir b lo od is p ure ,” s a id H arry , a n d h is d eep v oic e e ch oed im pre ssiv ely
th ro ugh th e h all. “ P ure r th an m an y o f y ours , I d are sa y. O ff y ou g o,” h e b oom ed
to th e M uggle -b orn s, w ho sc u rrie d fo rw ard in to th e fir e p la ces an d b eg an to
van is h in p air s . T he M in is tr y w iz ard s h ung b ack , s o m e lo okin g c o nfu se d , o th ers
sc are d a n d f e arfu l. T hen :
“M ary !”

Mrs . C atte rm ole lo oked o ver h er sh ould er. T he re al R eg C atte rm ole , n o
lo nger v om itin g b ut p ale a n d w an , h ad j u st c o m e r u nnin g o ut o f a l if t.
“R -R eg ?”
She l o oked f ro m h er h usb an d t o R on, w ho s w ore l o udly .
The bald in g w iz ard gap ed , his head tu rn in g lu dic ro usly fro m one R eg
Catte rm ole t o t h e o th er.
“H ey — what’s g oin g o n? W hat i s t h is ? ”
“S eal t h e e x it! S E A L I T !”
Yax le y h ad b urs t o ut o f an oth er lif t an d w as ru nnin g to w ard th e g ro up
besid e th e fir e p la ces, in to w hic h a ll o f th e M uggle -b orn s b ut M rs . C atte rm ole
had now van is h ed . A s th e bald in g w iz ard lif te d his w an d, H arry ra is e d an
en orm ous f is t a n d p unch ed h im , s e n din g h im f ly in g t h ro ugh t h e a ir.
“H e’s b een h elp in g M uggle -b orn s e sc ap e, Y ax le y !” H arry s h oute d .
The b ald in g w iz ard ’s c o lle ag ues s e t u p a n d u pro ar, u nder c o ver o f w hic h
Ron gra b bed M rs . C atte rm ole , pulle d her in to th e still- o pen fir e p la ce, an d
dis a p peare d . C onfu se d , Y ax le y lo oked f ro m H arry to th e p unch ed w iz ard , w hile
th e re al R eg C atte rm ole sc re am ed , “M y w if e ! W ho w as th at w ith m y w if e ?
What’s g oin g o n?”
Harry s a w Y ax le y ’s h ead tu rn , s a w a n in klin g o f tr u th d aw n o n th at b ru tis h
fa ce.
“C om e on!” H arry sh oute d at H erm io ne; he se iz ed her han d an d th ey
ju m ped in to th e fir e p la ce to geth er a s Y ax le y ’s c u rs e sa ile d o ver H arry ’s h ead .
They s p un fo r a fe w s e co nds b efo re s h ootin g u p o ut o f a to ile t in to a c u bic le .
Harry flu ng open th e door: R on w as sta n din g th ere besid e th e sin ks, still
wre stlin g w ith M rs . C atte rm ole .
“R eg , I d on’t u nders ta n d— ”
“L et g o, I ’m n ot y our h usb an d, y ou’v e g ot t o g o h om e!”
There w as a n ois e i n t h e c u bic le b eh in d t h em ; H arry l o oked a ro und; Y ax le y
had j u st a p peare d .
“L ET’S G O!” H arry y elle d . H e s e iz ed H erm io ne b y th e h an d a n d R on b y
th e a rm a n d t u rn ed o n t h e s to p.
Dark ness e n gulf e d th em , a lo ng w ith th e se n sa tio n o f c o m pre ssin g h an ds,
but s o m eth in g w as w ro ng… H erm io ne’s h an d s e em ed to b e s lid in g o ut o f h is
grip …
He w ondere d w heth er h e w as g oin g to s u ff o cate ; h e c o uld n ot b re ath e o r
se e an d th e o nly so lid th in gs in th e w orld w ere R on’s arm an d H erm io ne’s
fin gers , w hic h w ere s lo w ly s lip pin g a w ay …
And th en h e sa w th e d oor to n um ber tw elv e, G rim mau ld P la ce, w ith its
se rp en t d oor k nock er, b ut b efo re h e c o uld d ra w b re ath , t h ere w as a s c re am a n d a

fla sh of purp le lig ht: H erm io ne’s han d w as su dden ly vic elik e upon his an d
ev ery th in g w en t d ark a g ain .

1 4. T H E T H IE F
Harry o pen ed h is e y es a n d w as d azzle d b y g old a n d g re en ; h e h ad n o id ea
w hat h ad h ap pen ed , h e o nly k new t h at h e w as l y in g o n w hat s e em ed t o b e l e av es
a n d t w ig s. S tr u gglin g t o d ra w b re ath i n to l u ngs t h at f e lt f la tte n ed , h e b lin ked a n d
r e aliz ed th at th e g au dy g la re w as s u nlig ht s tr e am in g th ro ugh a c an opy o f le av es
f a r a b ove h im . T hen a n o bje ct t w itc h ed c lo se t o h is f a ce. H e p ush ed h im se lf o nto
h is h an ds a n d k nees, r e ad y to f a ce s o m e s m all, f ie rc e c re atu re , b ut s a w th at th e
o bje ct w as R on’s f o ot. L ookin g a ro und, H arry s a w th at th ey a n d H erm io ne w ere
l y in g o n a f o re st f lo or, a p pare n tly a lo ne.
Harry ’s f ir s t th ought w as o f th e F orb id den F ore st, a n d f o r a m om en t, e v en
t h ough h e k new h ow f o olis h a n d d an gero us i t w ould b e f o r t h em t o a p pear i n t h e
g ro unds o f H ogw arts , h is h eart le ap t a t th e t h ought o f s n eak in g th ro ugh t h e t r e es
t o H ag rid ’s h ut. H ow ev er, in th e fe w m om en ts it to ok fo r R on to g iv e a lo w
g ro an a n d H arry to s ta rt c ra w lin g to w ard h im , h e re aliz ed th at th is w as n ot th e
F orb id den F ore st; T he tr e es lo oked y ounger, th ey w ere m ore w id ely s p aced , th e
g ro und c le are r.
He m et H erm io ne, a ls o o n h er h an ds a n d k nees, a t R on’s h ead . T he m om en t
h is e y es f e ll u pon R on, a ll o th er c o ncern s f le d H arry ’s m in d, f o r b lo od d re n ch ed
t h e w hole o f R on’s le ft s id e a n d h is fa ce s to od o ut, g ra y is h -w hite , a g ain st th e
l e af-s tr e w n e arth . T he P oly ju ic e P otio n w as w earin g o ff n ow : R on w as h alf w ay
b etw een C atte rm ole an d him se lf in ap peara n ce, his hair tu rn in g re d der an d
r e d der a s h is f a ce d ra in ed o f t h e l ittle c o lo r i t h ad l e ft.
“W hat’s h ap pen ed t o h im ?”
“S plin ch ed ,” sa id H erm io ne, her fin gers alr e ad y busy at R on’s sle ev e,
w here t h e b lo od w as w ette st a n d d ark est.
Harry w atc h ed , h orrif ie d , as sh e to re o pen R on’s sh ort. H e h ad alw ay s
t h ought o f S plin ch in g as so m eth in g co m ic al, b ut th is … H is in sid es cra w le d
u nple asa n tly a s H erm io ne la id b are R on’s u pper a rm , w here a g re at c h unk o f
f le sh w as m is sin g, s c o oped c le an ly a w ay a s t h ough b y a k nif e .
“H arry , quic k ly , in m y bag , th ere ’s a sm all bottle la b ele d ‘E sse n ce of
D itta n y’— ”
“B ag — rig ht— ”
Harry s p ed t o t h e p la ce w here H erm io ne h ad l a n ded , s e iz ed t h e t in y b ead ed
b ag , a n d th ru st h is h an d in sid e it. A t o nce, o bje ct a fte r o bje ct b eg an p re se n tin g
i ts e lf t o h is t o uch : H e f e lt t h e l e ath er s p in es o f b ooks, w oolly s le ev es o f j u m pers ,
h eels o f s h oes—

“Q uic kly !”
He g ra b bed h is w an d f ro m th e g ro und a n d p oin te d it in to th e d ep th s o f th e
mag ic al b ag .
“A ccio D itta ny!”
A s m all b ro w n b ottle z o om ed o ut o f t h e b ag ; h e c au ght i t a n d h aste n ed b ack
to H erm io ne a n d R on, w hose e y es w ere n ow h alf -c lo se d , s tr ip s o f w hite e y eb all
all t h at w ere v is ib le b etw een h is l id s.
“H e’s fa in te d ,” sa id H erm io ne, w ho w as a ls o ra th er p ale ; sh e n o lo nger
lo oked lik e M afa ld a, th ough h er h air w as s till g ra y in p la ces. “ U nsto pper it fo r
me, H arry , m y h an ds a re s h ak in g.”
Harry w re n ch ed th e sto pper off th e little bottle , H erm io ne to ok it an d
poure d th re e d ro ps o f th e p otio n o nto th e b le ed in g w ound. G re en is h sm oke
billo w ed u pw ard an d w hen it h ad cle are d , H arry sa w th at th e b le ed in g h ad
sto pped . T he w ound n ow lo oked s e v era l d ay s o ld ; n ew s k in s tr e tc h ed o ver w hat
had j u st b een o pen f le sh .
“W ow ,” s a id H arry .
“It’s a ll I fe el sa fe d oin g,” sa id H erm io ne sh ak ily . “ T here a re sp ells th at
would p ut h im c o m ple te ly rig ht, b ut I d are n ’t tr y in c ase I d o th em w ro ng a n d
cau se m ore d am ag e… H e’s l o st s o m uch b lo od a lr e ad y… ”
“H ow d id h e g et h urt? I m ean ”— Harry s h ook h is h ead , tr y in g to c le ar it, to
mak e s e n se o f w hate v er h ad ju st ta k en p la ce— “w hy a re w e h ere ? I th ought w e
were g oin g b ack t o G rim mau ld P la ce?”
Herm io ne t o ok a d eep b re ath . S he l o oked c lo se t o t e ars .
“H arry , I d on’t t h in k w e’re g oin g t o b e a b le t o g o b ack t h ere .”
“W hat d ’y ou— ?”
“A s w e D is a p para te d , Y ax le y c au ght h old o f m e a n d I c o uld n’t g et rid o f
him , he w as to o str o ng, an d he w as still hold in g on w hen w e arriv ed at
Grim mau ld P la ce, an d th en — well, I th in k h e m ust h av e se en th e d oor, an d
th ought w e w ere s to ppin g th ere , s o h e s la ck en ed h is g rip a n d I m an ag ed to s a k e
him o ff a n d I b ro ught u s h ere i n ste ad !”
“B ut th en , w here ’s h e? H an g o n… Y ou d on’t m ean h e’s at G rim mau ld
Pla ce? H e c an ’t g et i n t h ere ?”
Her e y es s p ark le d w ith u nsh ed t e ars a s s h e n odded .
“H arry , I th in k h e c an . I — I f o rc ed h im to le t g o w ith a R ev uls io n J in x, b ut
I’d a lr e ad y ta k en h im in sid e th e F id eliu s C harm ’s p ro te ctio n. S in ce D um ble d ore
die d , w e’re S ecre t- K eep ers , s o I ’v e g iv en h im t h e s e cre t, h av en ’t I ? ”
There w as n o p re te n din g; H arry w as s u re s h e w as rig ht. It w as a s e rio us
blo w . I f Y ax le y c o uld n ow g et i n sid e t h e h ouse , t h ere w as n o w ay t h at t h ey c o uld
re tu rn . Even now , he co uld be brin gin g oth er D eath Eate rs in th ere by

Apparitio n. G lo om y a n d o ppre ssiv e th ough th e h ouse w as, it h ad b een th eir o ne
sa fe r e fu ge; e v en , n ow th at K re ach er w as s o m uch h ap pie r a n d f rie n dlie r, a k in d
of h om e. W ith a tw in ge o f re g re t th at h ad n oth in g to d o w ith fo od, H arry
im ag in ed t h e h ouse -e lf b usy in g h im se lf o ver t h e s te ak -a n d-k id ney p ie t h at H arry ,
Ron, a n d H erm io ne w ould n ev er e at.
“H arry , I ’m s o rry , I ’m s o s o rry !”
“D on’t b e s tu pid , i t w asn ’t y our f a u lt! I f a n yth in g, i t w as m in e… ”
Harry p ut h is h an d in h is p ock et a n d d re w o ut M ad -E ye’s e y e. H erm io ne
re co ile d , l o okin g h orrif ie d .
“U m brid ge h ad s tu ck i t t o h er o ff ic e d oor, t o s p y o n p eo ple . I c o uld n’t l e av e
it t h ere … b ut t h at’s h ow t h ey k new t h ere w ere i n tr u ders .”
Befo re H erm io ne c o uld a n sw er, R on g ro an ed a n d o pen ed h is e y es. H e w as
still g ra y a n d h is f a ce g lis te n ed w ith s w eat.
“H ow d ’y ou f e el? ” H erm io ne w his p ere d .
“L ousy ,” c ro ak ed R on, w in cin g a s h e f e lt h is i n ju re d a rm . “ W here a re w e?”
“In th e w oods w here th ey h eld th e Q uid ditc h W orld C up,” s a id H erm io ne.
“I w an te d s o m ew here e n clo se d , u nderc o ver, a n d t h is w as— ”
“— th e f ir s t p la ce y ou th ought o f,” H arry f in is h ed f o r h er, g la n cin g a ro und
at th e ap pare n tly d ese rte d g la d e. H e co uld n ot h elp re m em berin g w hat h ad
hap pen ed th e la st tim e th ey h ad A ppara te d to th e fir s t p la ce H erm io ne h ad
th ought o f— how D eath E ate rs h ad fo und th em w ith in m in ute s. H ad it b een
Leg ilim en cy ? D id V old em ort o r h is h en ch m en k now , e v en n ow , w here H erm io ne
had t a k en t h em ?
“D ’y ou r e ck on w e s h ould m ove o n?” R on a sk ed H arry , a n d H arry c o uld t e ll
by t h e l o ok o n R on’s f a ce t h at h e w as t h in kin g t h e s a m e.
“I d unno.”
Ron s till lo oked p ale a n d c la m my. H e h ad m ad e n o a tte m pt to s it u p a n d it
lo oked a s th ough h e w as to o w eak to d o s o . T he p ro sp ect o f m ovin g h im w as
dau ntin g.
“L et’s s ta y h ere f o r n ow ,” H arry s a id .
Lookin g r e lie v ed , H erm io ne s p ra n g t o h er f e et.
“W here a re y ou g oin g?” a sk ed R on.
“If w e’re s ta y in g, w e s h ould p ut s o m e p ro te ctiv e e n ch an tm en ts a ro und th e
pla ce,” sh e re p lie d , a n d ra is in g h er w an d, sh e b eg an to w alk in a w id e c ir c le
aro und H arry a n d R on, m urm urin g in can ta tio ns a s sh e w en t. H arry sa w little
dis tu rb an ces in th e s u rro undin g a ir : It w as a s if H erm io ne h ad c ast a h eat h aze
upon t h eir c le arin g.
“Salv io H exia … P ro te g o T o ta lu m … R ep ello M uggle tu m … M ufflia to …
Y ou
co uld g et o ut t h e t e n t, H arry … ”

“T en t? ”
“In t h e b ag !”
“In t h e… o f c o urs e ,” s a id H arry .
He d id n ot b oth er to g ro pe in sid e it th is tim e, b ut u se d a n oth er S um monin g
Charm . T he te n t e m erg ed in a lu m py m ass o f c an vas, ro pes, a n d p ole s. H arry
re co gniz ed it, p artly b ecau se o f th e s m ell o f c ats , a s th e s a m e te n t in w hic h th ey
had s le p t o n t h e n ig ht o f t h e Q uid ditc h W orld C up.
“I th ought th is b elo nged to th at b lo ke P erk in s a t th e M in is tr y ?” h e a sk ed ,
sta rtin g t o d is e n ta n gle t h e p en t p eg s.
“A ppare n tly h e d id n’t w an t it b ack , h is lu m bag o’s s o b ad ,” s a id H erm io ne,
now perfo rm in g co m plic ate d fig ure -o f-e ig ht m ovem en ts w ith her w an d. “so
Ron’s d ad s a id I c o uld b orro w it.
Ere cto !”
s h e a d ded , p oin tin g h er w an d a t th e
mis sh ap en c an vas, w hic h in o ne f lu id m otio n r o se in to th e a ir a n d s e ttle d , f u lly
co nstr u cte d , o nto t h e g ro und b efo re H arry , o ut o f w hose s ta rtle d h an ds a t e n t p eg
so are d , t o l a n d w ith a f in al t h ud a t t h e e n d o f a g uy r o pe.
“C ave In im ic u m ,”
H erm io ne fin is h ed w ith a s k yw ard flo uris h . “ T hat’s a s
much a s I c an d o. A t th e v ery le ast, w e sh ould k now th ey ’re c o m in g; I c an ’t
guara n te e i t w ill k eep o ut V ol— ”
“D on’t s a y t h e n am e!” R on c u t a cro ss h er, h is v oic e h ars h .
Harry a n d H erm io ne l o oked a t e ach o th er.
“I’m s o rry ,” R on s a id , m oan in g a little a s h e r a is e d h im se lf to lo ok a t th em ,
“b ut it fe els lik e a — a jin x o r s o m eth in g. C an ’t w e c all h im Y ou-K now -W ho—
ple ase ?”
“D um ble d ore s a id f e ar o f a n am e— ” b eg an H arry .
“In c ase y ou h ad n’t n otic ed , m ate , c allin g Y ou-K now -W ho b y h is n am e
did n’t d o D um ble d ore m uch g ood in th e e n d,” R on s n ap ped b ack . “ Ju st— ju st
sh ow Y ou-K now -W ho s o m e r e sp ect, w ill y ou?”
“R esp ect? ”
H arry re p eate d , but H erm io ne sh ot him a w arn in g lo ok;
ap pare n tly h e w as n ot t o a rg ue w ith R on w hile t h e l a tte r w as i n s u ch a w eak en ed
co nditio n.
Harry a n d H erm io ne h alf c arrie d , h alf d ra g ged R on th ro ugh th e e n tr a n ce o f
th e te n t. T he in te rio r w as e x actly a s H arry r e m em bere d it; a s m all f la t, c o m ple te
with b ath ro om a n d tin y k itc h en . H e s h oved a sid e a n o ld a rm ch air a n d lo w ere d
Ron c are fu lly o nto th e lo w er b erth o f a b unk b ed . E ven th is v ery s h ort jo urn ey
had tu rn ed R on w hite r s till, a n d o nce th ey h ad s e ttle d h im o n th e m attr e ss h e
clo se d h is e y es a g ain a n d d id n ot s p eak f o r a w hile .
“I’ll m ak e s o m e te a,” s a id H erm io ne b re ath le ssly , p ullin g k ettle a n d m ugs
fro m t h e d ep th s o f h er b ag a n d h ead in g t o w ard t h e k itc h en .
Harry fo und th e h ot d rin k a s w elc o m e a s th e fir e w his k y h ad b een o n th e

nig ht t h at M ad -E ye h ad d ie d ; i t s e em ed t o b urn a w ay a l ittle o f t h e f e ar f lu tte rin g
in h is c h est. A fte r a m in ute o r t w o, R on b ro ke t h e s ile n ce.
“W hat d ’y ou r e ck on h ap pen ed t o t h e C atte rm ole s? ”
“W ith a n y lu ck , th ey ’ll h av e g ot a w ay,” s a id H erm io ne, c lu tc h in g h er h ot
mug f o r c o m fo rt. “ A s lo ng a s M r. C atte rm ole h ad h is w its a b out h im , h e’ll h av e
tr a n sp orte d M rs . C atte rm ole b y S id e-A lo ng-A pparitio n a n d t h ey ’ll b e f le ein g t h e
co untr y r ig ht n ow w ith t h eir c h ild re n . T hat’s w hat H arry t o ld h er t o d o.”
“B lim ey, I h ope th ey e sc ap ed ,” s a id R on, le an in g b ack o n h is p illo w s. T he
te a s e em ed to b e d oin g h im g ood; a little o f h is c o lo r h ad r e tu rn ed . “ I d id n’t g et
th e f e elin g R eg C atte rm ole w as a ll th at q uic k -w itte d , th ough, th e w ay e v ery one
was ta lk in g to m e w hen I w as h im . G od, I h ope th ey m ad e it… I f th ey b oth e n d
up i n A zk ab an b ecau se o f u s… ”
Harry l o oked o ver a t H erm io ne a n d t h e q uestio n h e h ad b een a b out t o a sk —
ab out w heth er M rs . C atte rm ole ’s la ck o f a w an d w ould p re v en t h er A ppara tin g
alo ngsid e h er h usb an d— die d i n h is t h ro at. H erm io ne w as w atc h in g R on f re t o ver
th e f a te o f th e C atte rm ole s, a n d th ere w as s u ch te n dern ess in h er e x pre ssio n th at
Harry f e lt a lm ost a s i f h e h ad s u rp ris e d h er i n t h e a ct o f k is sin g h im .
“S o, h av e y ou g ot it? ” H arry a sk ed h er, p artly to re m in d h er th at h e w as
th ere .
“G ot— got w hat? ” s h e s a id w ith a l ittle s ta rt.
“W hat d id w e j u st g o t h ro ugh a ll t h at f o r? T he l o ck et! W here ’s t h e l o ck et? ”
“Yo u g ot it? ”
sh oute d R on, ra is in g h im se lf a little h ig her o n h is p illo w s.
“N o o ne t e lls m e a n yth in g! B lim ey, y ou c o uld h av e m en tio ned i t! ”
“W ell, w e w ere r u nnin g f o r o ur liv es f ro m th e D eath E ate rs , w ere n ’t w e?”
sa id H erm io ne. “ H ere .”
And s h e p ulle d th e lo ck et o ut o f th e p ock et o f h er ro bes a n d h an ded it to
Ron.
It w as a s l a rg e a s a c h ic k en ’s e g g. A n o rn ate l e tte r
S,
i n la id w ith m an y s m all
gre en s to nes, g lin te d d ully in th e d if f u se d lig ht s h in in g th ro ugh th e te n t’s c an vas
ro of.
“T here is n ’t an y ch an ce so m eo ne’s d estr o yed it sin ce K re ach er h ad it? ”
ask ed R on h opefu lly . “ I m ean , a re w e s u re i t’s s till a H orc ru x?”
“I th in k so ,” sa id H erm io ne, ta k in g it b ack fro m h im an d lo okin g at it
clo se ly . “ T here ’d b e s o m e s ig n o f d am ag e i f i t h ad b een m ag ic ally d estr o yed .”
She p asse d it to H arry , w ho tu rn ed it o ver in h is f in gers . T he th in g lo oked
perfe ct, p ris tin e. H e r e m em bere d th e m an gle d r e m ain s o f th e d ia ry , a n d h ow th e
sto ne i n t h e H orc ru x r in g h ad b een c ra ck ed o pen w hen D um ble d ore d estr o yed i t.
“I re ck on K re ach er’s rig ht,” s a id H arry . “ W e’re g oin g to h av e to w ork o ut
how t o o pen t h is t h in g b efo re w e c an d estr o y i t.”

Sudden a w are n ess o f w hat h e w as h old in g, o f w hat liv ed b eh in d th e little
gold en d oors , h it H arry a s h e s p oke. E ven a fte r a ll t h eir e ff o rts t o f in d i t, h e f e lt a
vio le n t u rg e to flin g th e lo ck et fro m h im . M aste rin g h im se lf a g ain , h e tr ie d to
pris e th e lo ck et a p art w ith h is fin gers , th en a tte m pte d th e c h arm H erm io ne h ad
use d to o pen R eg ulu s’s b ed ro om d oor. N eith er w ork ed . H e h an ded th e lo ck et
back to R on a n d H erm io ne, e ach o f w hom d id th eir b est, b ut w ere n o m ore
su ccessfu l a t o pen in g i t t h an h e h ad b een .
“C an y ou f e el it, th ough?” R on a sk ed in a h ush ed v oic e, a s h e h eld it tig ht
in h is c le n ch ed f is t.
“W hat d ’y ou m ean ?”
Ron p asse d t h e H orc ru x t o H arry . A fte r a m om en t o r t w o, H arry t h ought h e
knew w hat R on m ean t. W as it h is o w n b lo od p uls in g th ro ugh h is v ein s th at h e
co uld f e el, o r w as i t s o m eth in g b eatin g i n sid e t h e l o ck et, l ik e a t in y m eta l h eart?
“W hat a re w e g oin g t o d o w ith i t? ” H erm io ne a sk ed .
“K eep it s a fe till w e w ork o ut h ow to d estr o y it.” H arry r e p lie d , a n d, little
th ough h e w an te d to , h e h ung th e ch ain aro und h is o w n n eck , d ro ppin g th e
lo ck et o ut o f s ig ht b en eath h is r o bes, w here it r e ste d a g ain st h is c h est b esid e th e
pouch H ag rid h ad g iv en h im .
“I t h in k w e s h ould t a k e i t i n t u rn s to k eep w atc h o uts id e t h e t e n t,” h e a d ded
to H erm io ne, s ta n din g u p a n d s tr e tc h in g. “ A nd w e’ll n eed to th in k a b out s o m e
fo od a s w ell. Y ou s ta y th ere ,” h e a d ded s h arp ly , a s R on a tte m pte d to s it u p a n d
tu rn ed a n asty s h ad e o f g re en .
With th e S neak osc o pe H erm io ne had giv en H arry fo r his bir th day se t
care fu lly u pon t h e t a b le i n t h e t e n t, H arry a n d H erm io ne s p en t t h e r e st o f t h e d ay
sh arin g th e r o le o f lo okout. H ow ev er, th e S neak osc o pe r e m ain ed s ile n t a n d s till
upon its p oin t a ll d ay, a n d w heth er b ecau se o f th e p ro te ctiv e e n ch an tm en ts a n d
Muggle -re p ellin g c h arm s H erm io ne h ad s p re ad a ro und th em , o r b ecau se p eo ple
ra re ly v en tu re d th is w ay, th eir p atc h o f w ood re m ain ed d ese rte d , ap art fro m
occasio nal b ir d s a n d s q uir re ls . E ven in g b ro ught n o c h an ge; H arry l it h is w an d a s
he s w ap ped p la ces w ith H erm io ne a t t e n o ’c lo ck , a n d l o oked o ut u pon a d ese rte d
sc en e, n otin g th e b ats f lu tte rin g h ig h a b ove h im a cro ss th e s in gle p atc h o f s ta rry
sk y v is ib le f ro m t h eir p ro te cte d c le arin g.
He f e lt h ungry n ow , a n d a l ittle l ig ht- h ead ed . H erm io ne h ad n ot p ack ed a n y
fo od in h er m ag ic al b ag , a s sh e h ad a ssu m ed th at th ey w ould b e re tu rn in g to
Grim mau ld P la ce th at n ig ht, s o th ey h ad h ad n oth in g to e at e x cep t s o m e w ild
mush ro om s th at H erm io ne h ad co lle cte d fro m am ongst th e n eare st tr e es an d
ste w ed in a B illy can . A fte r a c o uple o f m outh fu ls R on h ad p ush ed h is p ortio n
aw ay, lo okin g q ueasy ; H arry h ad o nly p ers e v ere d s o a s to n ot h urt H erm io ne’s
fe elin gs.

The s u rro undin g s ile n ce w as b ro ken b y o dd r u stlin gs a n d w hat s o unded l ik e
cra ck in gs o f tw ig s: H arry th ought th at th ey w ere c au se d b y a n im als r a th er th an
peo ple , yet he kep t his w an d held tig ht at th e re ad y. H is in sid es, alr e ad y
unco m fo rta b le d ue to th eir in ad eq uate h elp in g o f ru bbery m ush ro om s, tin gle d
with u nease .
He h ad th ought th at h e w ould f e el e la te d if th ey m an ag ed to s te al b ack th e
Horc ru x, but so m eh ow he did not; all he fe lt as he sa t lo okin g out at th e
dark ness, o f w hic h h is w an d lit o nly a tin y p art, w as w orry a b out w hat w ould
hap pen n ex t. I t w as a s th ough h e h ad b een h urtlin g to w ard th is p oin t f o r w eek s,
month s, m ay be e v en y ears , b ut n ow h e h ad c o m e to a n a b ru pt h alt, ru n o ut o f
ro ad .
There w ere o th er H orc ru xes o ut th ere s o m ew here , b ut h e d id n ot h av e th e
fa in te st id ea w here th ey c o uld b e. H e d id n ot e v en k now w hat a ll o f th em w ere .
Mean w hile h e w as a t a lo ss to k now h ow to d estr o y th e o nly o ne th at th ey h ad
fo und, th e H orc ru x th at cu rre n tly la y ag ain st th e bare fle sh of his ch est.
Curio usly , it h ad n ot ta k en h eat f ro m h is b ody, b ut la y s o c o ld a g ain st h is s k in it
mig ht ju st h av e e m erg ed fro m ic y w ate r. F ro m tim e to tim e H arry th ought, o r
perh ap s im ag in ed , th at he co uld fe el th e tin y heartb eat tic k in g ir re g ula rly
alo ngsid e h is o w n. N am ele ss fo re b odin gs c re p t u pon h im a s h e s a t th ere in th e
dark . H e tr ie d to r e sis t th em , p ush th em a w ay, y et th ey c am e a t h im r e le n tle ssly .
Neith er c a n liv e w hile th e o th er s u rv iv es.
R on a n d H erm io ne, n ow ta lk in g s o ftly
beh in d h im in th e te n t, c o uld w alk a w ay if th ey w an te d to : H e c o uld n ot. A nd it
se em ed to H arry a s h e s a t th ere tr y in g to m aste r h is o w n fe ar a n d e x hau stio n,
th at t h e H orc ru x a g ain st h is c h est w as t ic k in g a w ay t h e t im e h e h ad l e ft…
Stu pid
id ea ,
h e t o ld h im se lf ,
don’t t h in k t h at…
His s c ar w as s ta rtin g to p ric k le a g ain . H e w as a fra id th at h e w as m ak in g it
hap pen b y h av in g th ese th oughts , a n d tr ie d to d ir e ct th em in to a n oth er c h an nel.
He th ought o f p oor K re ach er, w ho h ad e x pecte d th em h om e a n d h ad re ceiv ed
Yax le y in ste ad . W ould th e elf k eep sile n t o r w ould h e te ll th e D eath E ate r
ev ery th in g he knew ? H arry w an te d to belie v e th at K re ach er had ch an ged
to w ard s h im in th e p ast m onth , th at h e w ould b e lo yal n ow , b ut w ho k new w hat
would h ap pen ? W hat if th e D eath E ate rs to rtu re d th e e lf ? S ic k im ag es s w arm ed
in to H arry ’s h ead a n d h e tr ie d to p ush th ese a w ay to o, f o r th ere w as n oth in g h e
co uld d o fo r K re ach er: H e a n d H erm io ne h ad a lr e ad y d ecid ed a g ain st tr y in g to
su m mon h im ; w hat if so m eo ne fro m th e M in is tr y c am e to o? T hey c o uld n ot
co unt o n e lf is h A pparitio n b ein g f re e f ro m th e s a m e f la w th at h ad ta k en Y ax le y
to G rim mau ld P la ce o n t h e h em o f H erm io ne’s s le ev e.
Harry ’s s c ar w as b urn in g n ow . H e th ought th at th ere w as s o m uch th ey d id
not k now : L upin h ad b een rig ht ab out m ag ic th ey h ad n ev er en co unte re d o r

im ag in ed . W hy h ad n’t D um ble d ore e x pla in ed m ore ? H ad h e th ought th at th ere
would b e t im e; t h at h e w ould l iv e f o r y ears , f o r c en tu rie s p erh ap s, l ik e h is f rie n d
Nic o la s F la m el? I f s o , h e h ad b een w ro ng… S nap e h ad s e en t o t h at… S nap e, t h e
sle ep in g s n ak e, w ho h ad s tr u ck a t t h e t o p o f t h e t o w er…
And D um ble d ore h ad f a lle n … f a lle n …
“G iv e i t t o m e, G re g oro vitc h .”
Harry ’s v oic e w as h ig h, c le ar, a n d c o ld , h is w an d h eld in f ro nt o f h im b y a
lo ng-fin gere d w hite h an d. T he m an a t w hom h e w as p oin tin g w as su sp en ded
upsid e d ow n i n m id air , t h ough t h ere w ere n o r o pes h old in g h im ; h e s w ung t h ere ,
in vis ib ly a n d e erily b ound, h is lim bs w ra p ped a b out h im , h is te rrif ie d f a ce, o n a
le v el w ith H arry ’s ru ddy d ue to th e b lo od th at h ad ru sh ed to h is h ead . H e h ad
pure -w hite h air a n d a t h ic k , b ush y b eard : a t r u sse d -u p F ath er C hris tm as.
“I h av e i t n ot, I h av e i t n o m ore ! I t w as, m an y y ears a g o, s to le n f ro m m e!”
“D o not lie to L ord V old em ort, G re g oro vitc h . H e know s… H e alw ay s
know s.”
The h an gin g m an ’s p upils w ere w id e, d ila te d w ith f e ar, a n d th ey s e em ed to
sw ell, b ig ger a n d b ig ger u ntil t h eir b la ck ness s w allo w ed H arry w hole —
And how H arry w as hurry in g alo ng a dark co rrid or in sto ut little
Gre g oro vitc h ’s w ak e a s h e h eld a la n te rn a lo ft: G re g oro vitc h b urs t in to th e r o om
at th e en d of th e passa g e an d his la n te rn illu m in ate d w hat lo oked lik e a
work sh op; w ood s h av in gs a n d g old g le am ed in th e s w in gin g p ool o f lig ht, a n d
th ere o n th e w in dow le d ge sa t p erc h ed , lik e a g ia n t b ir d , a y oung m an w ith
gold en h air. In th e sp lit se co nd th at th e la n te rn ’s lig ht illu m in ate d h im , H arry
sa w th e d elig ht u pon h is h an dso m e f a ce, th en th e in tr u der s h ot a S tu nnin g S pell
fro m h is w an d a n d ju m ped n eatly b ack w ard o ut o f th e w in dow w ith a c ro w o f
la u ghte r.
And H arry w as hurtlin g back out of th ose w id e, tu nnellik e pupils an d
Gre g oro vitc h ’s f a ce w as s tr ic k en w ith t e rro r.
“W ho w as t h e t h ie f, G re g oro vitc h ?”
s a id t h e h ig h c o ld v oic e.
“I d o n ot k n ow , I n ever k n ew , a y o ung m an— no— ple a se — PLE ASE !”
A s c re am t h at w en t o n a n d o n a n d t h en a b urs t o f g re en l ig ht—
“H arry !”
He o pen ed h is e y es, p an tin g, h is fo re h ead th ro bbin g. H e h ad p asse d o ut
ag ain st th e sid e of th e te n t, had slid sid ew ay s dow n th e can vas, an d w as
sp ra w le d o n th e g ro und. H e lo oked u p a t H erm io ne, w hose b ush y h air o bsc u re d
th e t in y p atc h o f s k y v is ib le t h ro ugh t h e d ark b ra n ch es h ig h a b ove t h em .
“D re am ,” h e sa id , sittin g u p q u ic k ly a n d a tte m ptin g to m eet H erm io ne’s
glo w er w ith a l o ok o f i n nocen ce. “ M ust’ v e d ozed o ff , s o rry .”
“I k now it w as y our s c ar! I c an te ll b y th e lo ok o n y our fa ce! Y ou w ere

lo okin g i n to V ol— ”
“D on’t s a y h is n am e!” c am e R on’s a n gry v oic e f ro m t h e d ep th s o f t h e t e n t.
“F in e,”
r e to rte d H erm io ne,
“Yo u-K now -W ho
’s m in d, t h en !”
“I d id n’t m ean it to h ap pen !” H arry s a id . “ It w as a d re am ! C an
yo u
c o ntr o l
what y ou d re am a b out, H erm io ne?”
“If y ou j u st l e arn ed t o a p ply O cclu m en cy — ”
But H arry w as n ot i n te re ste d i n b ein g t o ld o ff ; h e w an te d t o d is c u ss w hat h e
had j u st s e en .
“H e’s fo und G re g oro vitc h , H erm io ne, an d I th in k he’s kille d him , but
befo re h e k ille d h im h e r e ad G re g oro vitc h ’s m in d a n d I s a w — ”
“I th in k I’d b ette r ta k e o ver th e w atc h if y ou’re so tir e d y ou’re fa llin g
sle ep ,” s a id H erm io ne c o ld ly .
“I c an f in is h t h e w atc h !”
“N o, y ou’re o bvio usly e x hau ste d . G o a n d l ie d ow n.”
She d ro pped d ow n in th e m outh o f th e te n t, lo okin g s tu bborn . A ngry , b ut
wis h in g t o a v oid a r o w , H arry d uck ed b ack i n sid e.
Ron’s s till- p ale fa ce w as p okin g o ut fro m th e lo w er b unk; H arry c lim bed
in to th e o ne a b ove h im , la y d ow n, a n d lo oked u p a t th e d ark c an vas c eilin g.
Afte r s e v era l m om en ts , R on s p oke in a v oic e s o lo w th at it w ould n ot c arry to
Herm io ne, h uddle i n t h e e n tr a n ce.
“W hat’s Y ou-K now -W ho d oin g?”
Harry sc re w ed u p h is ey es in th e eff o rt to re m em ber ev ery d eta il, th en
whis p ere d i n to t h e d ark ness.
“H e f o und G re g oro vitc h . H e h ad h im t ie d u p, h e w as t o rtu rin g h im .”
“H ow ’s G re g oro vitc h s u ppose d t o m ak e h im a n ew w an d i f h e’s t ie d u p?”
“I d unno… I t’s w eir d , i s n ’t i t? ”
Harry c lo se d h is e y es, th in kin g o f a ll th at h e h ad s e en a n d h eard . T he m ore
he re calle d , th e le ss s e n se it m ad e… V old em ort h ad s a id n oth in g a b out H arry ’s
wan d, n oth in g a b out th e tw in c o re s, n oth in g a b out G re g oro vitc h m ak in g a n ew
an d m ore p ow erfu l w an d t o b eat H arry ’s …
“H e w an te d so m eth in g fro m G re g oro vitc h ,” H arry sa id , e y es still c lo se d
tig ht. “ H e a sk ed h im to h an d it o ver, b ut G re g oro vitc h s a id it h ad b een s to le n
fro m h im … a n d t h en … t h en … ”
He re m em bere d how he, as V old em ort, had se em ed to hurtle th ro ugh
Gre g oro vitc h ’s e y es, i n to h is m em orie s…
“H e re ad G re g oro vitc h ’s m in d, a n d I sa w th is y oung b lo ke p erc h ed o n a
win dow sill, a n d h e fir e d a c u rs e a t G re g oro vitc h a n d ju m ped o ut o f s ig ht. H e
sto le i t, h e s to le w hate v er Y ou-K now -W ho’s a fte r. A nd I … I t h in k I ’v e s e en h im
so m ew here … ”

Harry w is h ed h e c o uld h av e a n oth er g lim pse o f th e la u ghin g b oy’s fa ce.
The t h eft h ad h ap pen ed m an y y ears a g o, a cco rd in g t o G re g oro vitc h . W hy d id t h e
young t h ie f l o ok f a m ilia r?
The n ois e s o f t h e s u rro undin g w oods w ere m uff le d i n sid e t h e t e n t; a ll H arry
co uld h ear w as R on’s b re ath in g. A fte r a w hile , R on w his p ere d , “ C ould n’t y ou
se e w hat t h e t h ie f w as h old in g?”
“N o… i t m ust’ v e b een s o m eth in g s m all.”
“H arry ?”
The w ooden s la ts o f R on’s b unk c re ak ed a s h e r e p ositio ned h im se lf i n b ed .
“H arry , y ou d on’t re ck on Y ou-K now -W ho’s a fte r so m eth in g e ls e to tu rn
in to a H orc ru x?”
“I d on’t k now ,” s a id H arry s lo w ly . “ M ay be. B ut w ould n’t it b e d an gero us
fo r h im t o m ak e a n oth er o ne? D id n’t H erm io ne s a y h e h ad p ush ed h is s o ul t o t h e
lim it a lr e ad y?”
“Y eah , b ut m ay be h e d oesn ’t k now t h at.”
“Y eah … m ay be,” s a id H arry .
He h ad b een s u re th at V old em ort h ad b een lo okin g fo r a w ay a ro und th e
pro ble m o f th e tw in c o re s, s u re th at V old em ort s o ught a s o lu tio n fro m th e o ld
wan dm ak er… a n d y et h e h ad k ille d h im , a p pare n tly w ith out a sk in g h im a s in gle
questio n a b out w an dlo re .
What w as V old em ort tr y in g to f in d? W hy, w ith th e M in is tr y o f M ag ic a n d
th e W iz ard in g w orld a t h is fe e t, w as h e fa r a w ay, in te n t o n th e p urs u it o f a n
obje ct th at G re g oro vitc h h ad o nce o w ned , a n d w hic h h ad b een sto le n b y th e
unknow n t h ie f?
Harry c o uld s till s e e t h e b lo nd-h air e d y outh ’s f a ce; i t w as m erry , w ild ; t h ere
was a F re d a n d G eo rg e-is h a ir o f tr iu m phan t tr ic k ery a b out h im . H e h ad s o are d
fro m t h e w in dow sill l ik e a b ir d , a n d H arry h ad s e en h im b efo re , b ut h e c o uld n ot
th in k w here …
With G re g oro vitc h d ead , it w as th e m erry -fa ced th ie f w ho w as in d an ger
now , a n d it w as o n h im th at H arry ’s th oughts d w elle d , a s R on’s s n ore s b eg an to
ru m ble fro m th e lo w er b unk a n d a s h e h im se lf d rif te d slo w ly in to sle ep o nce
more .

1 5. T H E G OBLIN ’S R EV EN G E
Early n ex t m orn in g, b efo re th e o th er tw o w ere a w ak e, H arry le ft th e te n t to
s e arc h t h e w oods a ro und th em f o r th e o ld est, m ost g narle d , a n d r e silie n t- lo okin g
t r e e h e c o uld fin d. T here in its s h ad ow s h e b urie d M ad -E ye M oody’s e y e a n d
m ark ed th e s p ot b y g ougin g a s m all c ro ss in th e b ark w ith h is w an d. I t w as n ot
m uch , b ut H arry fe lt th at M ad -E ye w ould h av e m uch p re fe rre d th is to b ein g
s tu ck o n D olo re s U m brid ge’s d oor. T hen h e re tu rn ed to th e te n t to w ait fo r th e
o th ers t o w ak e, a n d d is c u ss w hat t h ey w ere g oin g t o d o n ex t.
Harry a n d H erm io ne f e lt t h at i t w as b est n ot t o s ta y a n yw here t o o l o ng, a n d
R on a g re ed , w ith t h e s o le p ro vis o t h at t h eir n ex t m ove t o ok t h em w ith in r e ach o f
a baco n sa n dw ic h . H erm io ne th ere fo re re m oved th e en ch an tm en ts sh e had
p la ced a ro und th e c le arin g, w hile H arry a n d R on o blite ra te d a ll th e m ark s a n d
i m pre ssio ns o n th e g ro und th at m ig ht s h ow th ey h ad c am ped th ere . T hen th ey
D is a p para te d t o t h e o uts k ir ts o f a s m all m ark et t o w n.
Once th ey h ad p itc h ed th e te n t in th e s h elte r o f a s m all c o pse o f tr e es a n d
s u rro unded it w ith fre sh ly cast defe n siv e en ch an tm en ts , H arry ven tu re d out
u nder th e In vis ib ility C lo ak to fin d su ste n an ce. T his , h ow ev er, d id n ot g o a s
p la n ned . H e h ad b are ly e n te re d th e to w n w hen a n u nnatu ra l c h ill, a d esc en din g
m is t, a n d a s u dden d ark en in g o f t h e s k ie s m ad e h im f re eze w here h e s to od.
“B ut y ou c an m ak e a b rillia n t P atr o nus!” p ro te ste d R on, w hen H arry a rriv ed
b ack a t th e te n t e m pty h an ded , o ut o f b re ath , a n d m outh in g th e sin gle w ord ,
D em en to rs .
“I co uld n’t… m ak e one,” he pan te d , clu tc h in g th e stitc h in his sid e.
“ W ould n’t… c o m e.”
Their ex pre ssio ns o f co nste rn atio n an d d is a p poin tm en t m ad e H arry fe el
a sh am ed . It h ad b een a n ig htm aris h e x perie n ce, se ein g th e D em en to rs g lid in g
o ut o f th e m ust in th e d is ta n ce a n d re aliz in g, a s th e p ara ly zin g c o ld c h oked h is
l u ngs a n d a d is ta n t s c re am in g f ille d h is e ars , th at h e w as n ot g oin g to b e a b le to
p ro te ct h im se lf . It h ad ta k en a ll H arry ’s w illp ow er to u pro ot h im se lf fro m th e
s p ot a n d r u n, le av in g th e e y ele ss D em en to rs to g lid e a m ongst th e M uggle s w ho
m ig ht n ot b e a b le to se e th em , b ut w ould a ssu re d ly fe el th e d esp air th ey c ast
w here v er t h ey w en t.
“S o w e s till h av en ’t g ot a n y f o od.”
“S hut u p, R on,” s n ap ped H erm io ne. “ H arry , w hat h ap pen ed ? W hy d o y ou
t h in k y ou c o uld n’t m ak e y our P atr o nus? Y ou m an ag ed p erfe ctly y este rd ay !”
“I d on’t k now .”

He s a t lo w in o ne o f P erk in s’s o ld a rm ch air s , fe elin g m ore h um ilia te d b y
th e m om en t. H e w as afra id th at so m eth in g had gone w ro ng in sid e him .
Yeste rd ay s e em ed a lo ng tim e a g o: T oday h e m ig ht h av e b een th ir te en y ears o ld
ag ain , t h e o nly o ne w ho c o lla p se d o n t h e H ogw arts E xpre ss.
Ron k ic k ed a c h air l e g .
“W hat? ” h e s n arle d a t H erm io ne. “ I’m s ta rv in g! A ll I’v e h ad s in ce I b le d
half t o d eath i s a c o uple o f t o ad sto ols !”
“Y ou g o an d fig ht y our w ay th ro ugh th e D em en to rs , th en ,” sa id H arry ,
stu ng.
“I w ould , b ut m y a rm ’s i n a s lin g, i n c ase y ou h ad n’t n otic ed !”
“T hat’s c o nven ie n t.”
“A nd w hat’s t h at s u ppose d t o — ?”
“O f c o urs e !” c rie d H erm io ne, c la p pin g a h an d to h er f o re h ead a n d s ta rtlin g
both o f th em in to sile n ce. “H arry , g iv e m e th e lo ck et! C om e o n,” sh e sa id
im patie n tly , c lic k in g h er fin gers a t h im w hen h e d id n ot re act, “ th e H orc ru x,
Harry , y ou’re s till w earin g i t! ”
She h eld o ut h er h an ds, a n d H arry l if te d t h e g old en c h ain o ver h is h ead . T he
mom en t it p arte d c o nta ct w ith H arry ’s s k in h e f e lt f re e a n d o ddly lig ht. H e h ad
not e v en r e aliz ed th at h e w as c la m my o r th at th ere w as a h eav y w eig ht p re ssin g
on h is s to m ach u ntil b oth s e n sa tio ns l if te d .
“B ette r? ” a sk ed H erm io ne.
“Y eah , l o ad s b ette r!”
“H arry ,” sh e sa id , c ro uch in g d ow n in fro nt o f h im a n d u sin g th e k in d o f
voic e h e a sso cia te d w ith v is itin g th e v ery sic k , “ y ou d on’t th in k y ou’v e b een
posse sse d , d o y ou?”
“W hat? N o!” he sa id defe n siv ely , “I re m em ber ev ery th in g w e’v e done
while I ’v e b een w earin g i t. I w ould n’t k now w hat I ’d d one i f I ’d b een p osse sse d ,
would I? G in ny to ld m e th ere w ere tim es w hen sh e co uld n’t re m em ber
an yth in g.”
“H m m,” s a id H erm io ne, lo okin g d ow n a t th e h eav y lo ck et. “ W ell, m ay be
we o ught n ot t o w ear i t. W e c an j u st k eep i t i n t h e t e n t.”
“W e a re n ot l e av in g t h at H orc ru x l y in g a ro und,” H arry s ta te d f ir m ly . “ If w e
lo se i t, i f i t g ets s to le n — ”
“O h, a ll r ig ht, a ll r ig ht,” s a id H erm io ne, a n d s h e p la ced it a ro und h er o w n
neck a n d tu ck ed it o ut o f s ig ht d ow n th e f ro nt o f h er s h ir t. “ B ut w e’ll ta k e tu rn s
wearin g i t, s o n obody k eep s i t o n t o o l o ng.”
“G re at,” s a id R on ir rita b ly , “ an d n ow w e’v e s o rte d th at o ut, c an w e p le ase
get s o m e f o od?”
“F in e, b ut w e’ll g o s o m ew here e ls e to fin d it,” s a id H erm io ne w ith h alf a

gla n ce at H arry . “T here ’s no poin t sta y in g w here w e know D em en to rs are
sw oopin g a ro und.”
In th e e n d th ey s e ttle d d ow n f o r th e n ig ht in a f a r f lu ng f ie ld b elo ngin g to a
lo nely f a rm , f ro m w hic h t h ey h ad m an ag ed t o o bta in e g gs a n d b re ad .
“It’s not ste alin g, is it? ” ask ed H erm io ne in a tr o uble d voic e, as th ey
dev oure d s c ra m ble d e g gs o n to ast. “ N ot if I le ft s o m e m oney u nder th e c h ic k en
co o?”
Ron ro lle d h is ey es an d sa id , w ith h is ch eek s b ulg in g, “E r- m y-n ee, ’o o
worry ’ o o m uch . ’ E la x !”
And, in deed , it w as m uch e asie r to r e la x w hen th ey w ere c o m fo rta b ly w ell
fe d . T he a rg um en t a b out t h e D em en to rs w as f o rg otte n i n l a u ghte r t h at n ig ht, a n d
Harry f e lt c h eerfu l, e v en h opefu l, a s h e t o ok t h e f ir s t o f t h e t h re e n ig ht w atc h es.
This w as th eir f ir s t e n co unte r w ith th e f a ct th at a f u ll s to m ach m ean t g ood
sp ir its , a n e m pty o ne, b ic k erin g a n d g lo om . H arry w as le ast s u rp ris e d b y th is ,
becau se b e h ad s u ff e re d p erio ds o f n ear s ta rv atio n a t th e D urs le y s’. H erm io ne
bore u p r e aso nab ly w ell o n t h ose n ig hts w hen t h ey m an ag ed t o s c av en ge n oth in g
but b errie s o r s ta le b is c u its , h er t e m per p erh ap s a l ittle s h orte r t h an u su al a n d h er
sile n ces d our. R on, h ow ev er, h ad a lw ay s b een u se d to th re e d elic io us m eals a
day, c o urte sy o f h is m oth er o r o f th e H ogw arts h ouse -e lv es, a n d h unger m ad e
him b oth u nre aso nab le an d ir a sc ib le . W hen ev er la ck o f fo od co in cid ed w ith
Ron’s t u rn t o w ear t h e H orc ru x, h e b ecam e d ow nrig ht u nple asa n t.
“S o w here n ex t? ” w as h is c o nsta n t re fra in . H e d id n ot se em to h av e a n y
id eas h im se lf , b ut e x pecte d H arry a n d H erm io ne to c o m e u p w ith p la n s w hile h e
sa t a n d b ro oded o ver th e lo w fo od s u pplie s. A cco rd in gly H arry a n d H erm io ne
sp en t f ru itle ss h ours tr y in g to d ecid e w here th ey m ig ht f in d th e o th er H orc ru xes,
an d h ow to d estr o y th e o ne th ey alr e ad y g ot, th eir co nvers a tio ns b eco m in g
in cre asin gly r e p etitiv e a s t h ey g ot n o n ew i n fo rm atio n.
As D um ble d ore h ad to ld H arry th at b e b elie v ed V old em ort h ad h id den th e
Horc ru xes in p la ces im porta n t to h im , th ey k ep t re citin g, in a so rt o f d re ary
lita n y, th ose lo catio ns th ey knew th at V old em ort had liv ed or vis ite d . T he
orp han ag e w here h e h ad b een b orn a n d ra is e d ; H ogw arts , w here h e h ad b een
ed ucate d ; B org in a n d B urk es, w here h e h ad w ork ed a fte r c o m ple tin g sc h ool;
th en A lb an ia , w here h e h ad s p en t h is y ears o f e x ile : T hese fo rm ed th e b asis o f
th eir s p ecu la tio ns.
“Y eah , le t’s g o to A lb an ia . S hould n’t ta k e m ore th an a n a fte rn oon to s e arc h
an e n tir e c o untr y ,” s a id R on s a rc astic ally .
“T here c an ’t b e a n yth in g th ere . H e’d a lr e ad y m ad e fiv e o f h is H orc ru xes
befo re h e w en t in to e x ile , a n d D um ble d ore w as c erta in th e s n ak e is th e s ix th ,”
sa id H erm io ne. “ W e k now t h e s n ak e’s n ot i n A lb an ia , i t’s u su ally w ith V ol— ”

“D id n’t I a sk y ou t o s to p s a y t h at? ”
“F in e! T he s n ak e i s u su ally w ith Y ou-K now -W ho— hap py?”
“N ot p artic u la rly .”
“I c an ’t s e e h im h id in g a n yth in g a t B org in a n d B urk es,” s a id H arry , w ho
had m ad e th is p oin t m an y tim es b efo re , b ut sa id it a g ain sim ply to b re ak th e
nasty s ile n ce. “ B org in a n d B urk e w ere e x perts a t D ark o bje cts , th ey w ould ’v e
re co gniz ed a H orc ru x s tr a ig hta w ay.”
Ron y aw ned p oin te d ly . R ep re ssin g a s tr o ng u rg e t o t h ro w s o m eth in g a t h im ,
Harry p lo w ed o n, “ I s till r e ck on h e m ig ht h av e h id den s o m eth in g a t H ogw arts .”
Herm io ne s ig hed .
“B ut D um ble d ore w ould h av e f o und i t, H arry !”
Harry r e p eate d t h e a rg um en t h e k ep t b rin gin g o ut i n f a v or o f t h is t h eo ry .
“D um ble d ore sa id in fro nt o f m e th at h e n ev er a ssu m ed h e k new a ll o f
Hogw arts s e cre ts . I ’m t e llin g y ou, i f t h ere w as o ne p la ce V ol— ”
“O i! ”
“Y OU-K NOW -W HO, th en !” H arry sh oute d , g oad ed p ast en dura n ce. “If
th ere w as one pla ce th at w as re ally im porta n t to Y ou-K now -W ho, it w as
Hogw arts !”
“O h, c o m e o n,” s c o ff e d R on. “ H is s c h ool? ”
“Y eah , h is s c h ool! It w as h is fir s t re al h om e, th e p la ce th at m ean t h e w as
sp ecia l: i t m ean t e v ery th in g t o h im , a n d e v en a fte r h e l e ft— ”
“T his is Y ou-K now -W ho w e’re ta lk in g a b out, rig ht? N ot y ou?” in quir e d
Ron. H e w as tu ggin g a t th e c h ain o f th e H orc ru x a ro und h is n eck ; H arry w as
vis ite d b y a d esir e t o s e iz e i t a n d t h ro ttle h im .
“Y ou to ld u s th at Y ou-K now -W ho a sk ed D um ble d ore to g iv e h im a jo b
afte r h e l e ft,” s a id H erm io ne.
“T hat’s r ig ht,” s a id H arry .
“A nd D um ble d ore th ought h e o nly w an te d to c o m e b ack to tr y a n d fin d
so m eth in g, p ro bab ly a n oth er f o under’s o bje ct, t o m ak e i n to a n oth er H orc ru x?”
“Y eah ,” s a id H arry .
“B ut h e d id n’t g et th e jo b, d id h e?” s a id H erm io ne. “ S o h e n ev er g ot th e
ch an ce t o f in d a f o under’s o bje ct t h ere a n d h id e i t i n t h e s c h ool! ”
“O kay, t h en ,” s a id H arry , d efe ate d . “ F org et H ogw arts .”
With out a n y o th er le ad s, th ey tr a v ele d in to L ondon a n d, h id den b en eath th e
In vis ib ility C lo ak , s e arc h f o r t h e o rp han ag e i n w hic h V old em ort h ad b een r a is e d .
Herm io ne s to le in to a lib ra ry a n d d is c o vere d fro m th eir re co rd s th at th e p la ce
had b een d em olis h ed m an y y ears b efo re . T hey v is ite d its s ite a n d f o und a to w er
blo ck o f o ff ic es.
“W e co uld tr y dig gin g in to fo undatio ns? ” Herm io ne su ggeste d

half h earte d ly .
“H e w ould n’t h av e h id den a H orc ru x h ere ,” H arry s a id . H e h ad k now n i t a ll
alo ng. T he o rp han ag e h ad b een th e p la ce V old em ort h ad b een d ete rm in ed to
esc ap e; h e w ould n ev er h av e h id den a p art o f h is s o ul th ere . D um ble d ore h ad
sh ow n H arry th at V old em ort s o ught g ra n deu r o r m ystiq ue in h is h id in g p la ces;
th is d is m al g ra y c o rn er o f L ondon w as a s fa r re m oved a s y ou c o uld im ag in e
fro m H ogw arts o f t h e M in is tr y o r a b uild in g l ik e G rin gotts , t h e W iz ard in g b an ks,
with i ts g ild ed d oors a n d m arb le f lo ors .
Even with out an y new id ea, th ey co ntin ued to m ove th ro ugh th e
co untr y sid e, p itc h in g th e te n t in a d if f e re n t p la ce e ach n ig ht fo r s e cu rity . E very
morn in g th ey m ad e s u re th at th ey h ad r e m oved a ll c lu es to th eir p re se n ce, th en
se t o ff to f in d a n oth er lo nely a n d s e clu ded s p ot, tr a v elin g b y A pparitio n to m ore
woods, to th e sh ad ow y cre v ic es of clif f s , to purp le m oors , gors e -c o vere d
mounta in sid es, a n d o nce a s h elte re d a n d p eb bly c o ve. E very tw elv e h ours o r s o
th ey passe d th e H orc ru x betw een th em as th ough th ey w ere pla y in g so m e
perv ers e , slo w -m otio n g am e o f p ass-th e-p arc el, w here th ey d re ad ed th e m usic
sto ppin g b ecau se t h e r e w ard w as t w elv e h ours o f i n cre ase d f e ar a n d a n xie ty .
Harry ’s sc ar k ep t p ric k lin g. It h ap pen ed m ost o fte n , h e n otic ed , w hen h e
was w earin g th e H orc ru x. S om etim es h e c o uld n ot s to p h im se lf re actin g to th e
pain .
“W hat? W hat d id y ou se e?” d em an ded R on, w hen ev er h e n otic ed H arry
win ce.
“A f a ce,” m utte re d H arry , e v ery tim e. “ T he s a m e f a ce. T he th ie f w ho s to le
fro m G re g oro vitc h .”
And R on w ould tu rn a w ay, m ak in g n o e ff o rt to h id e h is d is a p poin tm en t.
Harry k new th at R on w as h opin g to b ear n ew s o f h is fa m ily o r th e re st o f th e
Ord er o f th e P hoen ix , b ut a fte r a ll, h e, H arry , w as n ot a te le v is io n a eria l; h e
co uld o nly s e e w hat V old em ort w as th in kin g a t th e tim e, n ot tu ne in to w hate v er
to ok h is fa n cy. A ppare n tly V old em ort w as d w ellin g e n dle ssly o n th e u nknow n
youth w ith th e g le efu l fa ce, w hose n am e an d w here ab outs , H arry fe lt su re ,
Vold em ort k new n o b ette r t h an h e d id . A s H arry ’s s c ar c o ntin ued t o b urn a n d t h e
merry , blo nd-h air e d boy sw am ta n ta liz in gly in his m em ory , he le arn ed to
su ppre ss a n y s ig n o f p ain o r d is c o m fo rt, fo r th e o th er tw o s h ow ed n oth in g b ut
im patie n ce a t th e m en tio n o f th e th ie f. H e c o uld n ot e n tir e ly b la m e th em , w hen
th ey w ere s o d esp era te f o r a l e an o n t h e H orc ru xes.
As th e d ay s str e tc h ed in to w eek s, H arry b eg an to su sp ect th at R on an d
Herm io ne w ere h av in g co nvers a tio ns w ith out, an d ab out, h im . S ev era l tim es
th ey s to pped ta lk in g a b ru ptly w hen H arry e n te re d th e te n t, a n d tw ic e h e c am e
accid en ta lly upon th em , huddle d a little dis ta n ce aw ay, head s to geth er an d

ta lk in g fa st; b oth tim es th ey fe ll s ile n t w hen th ey re aliz ed h e w as a p pro ach in g
th em a n d h aste n ed t o a p pear b usy c o lle ctin g w ood o r w ate r.
Harry c o uld n ot h elp w onderin g w heth er th ey h ad o nly a g re ed to c o m e o n
what n ow f e lt l ik e a p oin tle ss a n d r a m blin g j o urn ey b ecau se t h ey t h ought h e h ad
so m e s e cre t p la n th at th ey w ould le arn in d ue c o urs e . R on w as m ak in g n o e ff o rt
to h id e h is b ad m ood, a n d H arry w as sta rtin g to fe ar th at H erm io ne to o w as
dis a p poin te d b y h is p oor le ad ers h ip . In d esp era tio n h e tr ie d to th in k o f fu rth er
Horc ru x lo catio ns, but th e only one th at co ntin ued to occu r to him w as
Hogw arts , an d as n eith er o f th e o th ers th ought th is at all lik ely , h e sto pped
su ggestin g i t.
Autu m n ro lle d o ver th e c o untr y sid e a s th ey m oved th ro ugh it. T hey w ere
now p itc h in g t h e t e n t o n m ulc h es o f f a lle n l e av es. N atu ra l m is ts j o in ed t h ose c ast
by t h e D em en to rs ; w in d a n d r a in a d ded to t h eir tr o uble s. T he f a ct t h at H erm io ne
was g ettin g b ette r a t i d en tif y in g e d ib le f u ngi c o uld n ot a lto geth er c o m pen sa te f o r
th eir co ntin uin g is o la tio n, th e la ck o f o th er p eo ple ’s co m pan y, o r th eir to ta l
ig nora n ce o f w hat w as g oin g o n i n t h e w ar a g ain st V old em ort.
“M y m oth er,” s a id R on o n n ig ht, a s th ey s a t in th e te n t o n a riv erb an k in
Wale s, “ can m ak e g ood f o od a p pear o ut o f t h in a ir.”
He p ro dded m oodily a t th e lu m ps o f c h arre d g ra y fis h o n h is p la te . H arry
gla n ced a u to m atic ally a t R on’s n eck a n d sa w , a s h e h as e x pecte d , th e g old en
ch ain o f th e H orc ru x g lin tin g th ere . H e m an ag ed to fig ht d ow n th e im puls e to
sw ear a t R on, w hose a ttitu de w ould , h e k new , im pro ve s lig htly w hen th e tim e
cam e t o t a k e o ff t h e l o ck et.
“Y our m oth er c an ’t p ro duce fo od o ut o f th in a ir ,” s a id H erm io ne, “ n o o ne
can . F ood is th e fir s t of th e fiv e P rin cip al E xcep tio ns to G am p’s L aw of
Ele m en ta l T ra n sfig ura — ”
“O h, s p eak E nglis h , c an ’t y ou?” R on s a id , p ris in g a f is h o ut f ro m b etw een
his t e eth .
“It’s im possib le to m ak e g ood fo od o ut o f n oth in g! Y ou c an S um mon it if
you k now w here it is , y ou c an tr a n sfo rm it, y ou c an in cre ase th e q uan tity if
you’v e a lr e ad y g ot s o m e— ”
“W ell, d on’t b oth er i n cre asin g t h is , i t’s d is g ustin g,” s a id R on.
“H arry c au ght t h e f is h a n d I d id m y b est w ith i t! I n otic e I ’m a lw ay s t h e o ne
who e n ds u p s o rtin g o ut t h e f o od, b ecau se I ’m a g ir l, I s u ppose !”
“N o, i t’s b ecau se y ou’re s u ppose d t o b e t h e b est a t m ag ic !” s h ot b ack R on.
Herm io ne ju m ped u p a n d b its o f ro ast p ik e s lid o ff h er tin p la te o nto th e
flo or.
“Y ou c an d o th e c o okin g to m orro w , R on, y ou c an f in d th e in gre d ie n ts a n d
tr y a n d c h arm th em in to s o m eth in g w orth e atin g, a n d I ’ll s it h ere a n d p ull f a ces

an d m oan a n d y ou c an s e e y ou— ”
“S hut u p!” s a id H arry , le ap in g to h is f e et a n d h old in g u p b oth h an ds. “ S hut
up n ow !”
Herm io ne l o oked o utr a g ed .
“H ow c an y ou s id e w ith h im , h e h ard ly e v er d oes t h e c o ok— ”
“H erm io ne, b e q uie t, I c an h ear s o m eo ne!”
He w as l is te n in g h ard , h is h an ds s till r a is e d , w arn in g t h em n ot t o t a lk . T hen ,
over th e r u sh a n d g ush o f th e d ark r iv er b esid e th em , h e h eard v oic es a g ain . H e
lo oked a ro und a t t h e S neak osc o pe. I t w as n ot m ovin g.
“Y ou c ast t h e M uff lia to c h arm o ver u s, r ig ht? ” h e w his p ere d t o H erm io ne.
“I d id e v ery th in g,” s h e w his p ere d b ack , “ M uff lia to , M uggle -R ep ellin g a n d
Dis illu sio nm en t C harm s, all o f it. T hey sh ould n’t b e ab le to h ear o f se e u s,
whoev er t h ey a re .”
Heav y s c u ff in g a n d s c ra p in g n ois e s, p lu s th e s o und o f d is lo dged s to nes a n d
tw ig s, to ld th em th at s e v era l p eo ple w ere c la m berin g d ow n th e s te ep , w ooded
slo pe th at d esc en ded to th e n arro w b an k w here th ey h ad p itc h ed th e te n t. T hey
dre w th eir w an ds, w aitin g. T he e n ch an tm en ts th ey h ad c ast a ro und th em se lv es
ought to b e s u ff ic ie n t, in th e n ear to ta l d ark ness, to s h ie ld th em f ro m th e n otic e
of M uggle s a n d n orm al w itc h es a n d w iz ard s. If th ese w ere D eath E ate rs , th en
perh ap s t h eir d efe n se s w ere a b out t o b e t e ste d b y D ark M ag ic f o r t h e f ir s t t im e.
The v oic es b ecam e lo uder b ut n o m ore in te llig ib le a s th e g ro up o f m en
re ach ed th e b an k. H arry e stim ate d th at th eir o w ners w ere f e w er th an tw en ty f e et
aw ay, b ut th e casc ad in g riv er m ad e it im possib le to te ll fo r su re . H erm io ne
sn atc h ed u p th e b ead ed b ag a n d s ta rte d to ru m mag e; a fte r a m om en t s h e d re w
out th re e E xte n dib le E ars a n d th re w o ne e ach to H arry a n d R on, w ho h astily
in se rte d th e e n ds o f th e fle sh -c o lo re d str in gs in to th eir e ars a n d fe d th e o th er
en ds o ut o f t h e t e n t e n tr a n ce.
With in s e co nds H arry h eard a w eary m ale v oic e.
“T here o ught to b e a f e w s a lm on in h ere , o r d ’y ou r e ck on it’s to o e arly in
th e s e aso n? A ccio S alm on!”
There w ere s e v era l d is tin ct s p la sh es a n d th en th e s la p pin g s o unds o f fis h
ag ain st fle sh . S om eb ody g ru nte d a p pre cia tiv ely . H arry p re sse d th e E xte n dab le
Ear d eep er in to h is o w n: O ver th e m urm ur o f th e r iv er h e c o uld m ak e o ut m ore
voic es, b ut th ey w ere n ot s p eak in g E nglis h o r a n y h um an la n guag e h e h ad e v er
heard . It w as a ro ugh an d u nm elo dio us to ngue, a str in g o f ra ttlin g, g uttu ra l
nois e s, a n d th ere s e em ed to b e tw o s p eak ers , o ne w ith a s lig htly lo w er, s lo w er
voic e t h an t h e o th er.
A f ir e d an ced i n to l if e o n t h e o th er s id e o f t h e c an vas, l a rg e s h ad ow s p asse d
betw een te n t an d fla m es. The delic io us sm ell of bak in g sa lm on w afte d

ta n ta liz in gly in th eir d ir e ctio n. T hen c am e th e c lin kin g o f c u tle ry o n p la te s, a n d
th e f ir s t m an s p oke a g ain .
“H ere , G rip hook, G orn uk.”
Goblin s!
H erm io ne m outh ed a t H arry , w ho n odded .
“T han k y ou,” s a id t h e g oblin s t o geth er i n E nglis h .
“S o, y ou th re e h av e b een o n th e r u n h ow lo ng?” a sk ed a n ew , m ello w , a n d
ple asa n t v oic e; it w as v ag uely fa m ilia r to H arry , w ho p ic tu re d a ro und-b ellie d ,
ch eerfu l- fa ced m an .
“S ix w eek s… S ev en … I f o rg et,” s a id t h e t ir e d m an . “ M et u p w ith G rip hook
in th e f ir s t c o uple o f d ay s a n d jo in ed f o rc es w ith G orn uk n ot lo ng a fte r. N ic e to
hav e a b ut o f c o m pan y.” T here w as a p au se , w hile k niv es s c ra p ed p la te s a n d tin
mugs w ere p ic k ed u p a n d r e p la ced o n t h e g ro und. “ W hat m ad e y ou l e av e, T ed ?”
co ntin ued t h e m an .
“K new th ey w ere c o m in g fo r m e,” re p lie d m ello w -v oic ed T ed , a n d H arry
su dden ly k new w ho h e w as: T onks’s fa th er. “ H eard D eath E ate rs w ere in th e
are a la st w eek a n d d ecid ed I ’d b ette r r u n f o r it. R efu se d to r e g is te r a s a M uggle -
born o n p rin cip le , s e e, s o I k new it w as a m atte r o f tim e, k new I ’d h av e to le av e
in t h e e n d. M y w if e s h ould b e o kay, s h e’s p ure -b lo od. A nd t h en I m et D ean h ere ,
what, a f e w d ay s a g o, s o n?”
“Y eah ,” s a id a n oth er v oic e, a n d H arry , R on, a n d H erm io ne s ta re d a t e ach
oth er, sile n t b ut b esid es th em se lv es w ith e x cite m en t, su re th ey re co gniz ed th e
voic e o f D ean T hom as, t h eir f e llo w G ry ff in dor.
“M uggle -b orn , e h ?” a sk ed t h e f ir s t m an .
“N ot s u re ,” s a id D ean . “ M y d ad l e ft m y m um w hen I w as a k id . I ’v e g ot n o
pro of h e w as a w iz ard , t h ough.”
There w as s ile n ce f o r a w hile , e x cep t f o r th e s o unds o f m unch in g; th en T ed
sp oke a g ain .
“I’v e g ot to s a y, D ir k , I ’m s u rp ris e d to r u n in to y ou. P le ase d , b ut s u rp ris e d .
Word w as t h at y ou’d b een c au ght.”
“I w as,” s a id D ir k . “ I w as h alf w ay to A zk ab an w hen I m ad e a b re ak f o r it.
Stu nned D aw lis h , a n d n ic k ed h is b ro om . I t w as e asie r th an y ou’d th in k; I d on’t
re ck on h e’s q uite rig ht a t th e m om en t. M ig ht b e C onfu nded . If so , I’d lik e to
sh ak e t h e h an d o f t h e w itc h o r w iz ard w ho d id i t, p ro bab ly s a v ed m y l if e .”
There w as a n oth er p au se in w hic h th e f ir e c ra ck le d a n d th e r iv er r u sh ed o n.
The T ed s a id , “ A nd w here d o y ou t w o f it i n ? I , e r, h ad t h e i m pre ssio n t h e g oblin s
were f o r Y ou-K now -W ho, o n t h e w hole .”
“Y ou h ad a fa ls e im pre ssio n,” s a id th e h ig her- v oic ed o f th e g oblin s. “ W e
ta k e n o s id es. T his i s a w iz ard s’ w ar.”
“H ow c o m e y ou’re i n h id in g, t h en ?”

“I d eem ed i n p ru den t,” s a id t h e d eep er- v oic ed g oblin . “ H av in g r e fu se d w hat
I c o nsid ere d a n im pertin en t re q uest, I c o uld se e th at m y p ers o n sa fe ty w as in
je o pard y.”
“W hat d id t h ey a sk y ou t o d o?” a sk ed T ed .
“D utie s ill- b efittin g th e d ig nity o f m y ra ce,” re p lie d th e g oblin , h is v oic e
ro ugher a n d l e ss h um an a s h e s a id i t. “ I a m n ot a h ouse -e lf .”
“W hat a b out y ou, G rip hook?”
“S im ila r re aso ns,” sa id th e h ig her v oic ed g oblin . “ G rin gotts is n o lo nger
under t h e s o le c o ntr o l o f m y r a ce. I r e co gniz e n o W iz ard in g m aste r.”
He ad ded so m eth in g under his bre ath in G obble d eg ook, an d G orn uk
la u ghed .
“W hat’s t h e j o ke?” a sk ed D ean .
“H e sa id ,” re p lie d D ir k , “th at th ere are th in gs w iz ard s d on’t re co gniz e,
eith er.”
There w as a s h ort p au se .
“I d on’t g et i t,” s a id D ean .
“I h ad m y s m all r e v en ge b efo re I l e ft,” s a id G rip hook i n E nglis h .
“G ood m an — goblin , I s h ould s a y,” a m en ded T ed h astily . “ D id n’t m an ag e
to l o ck a D eath E ate r u p i n o ne o f t h e o ld h ig h-s e cu rity v au lts , I s u ppose ?”
“If I had , th e sw ord w ould not hav e help ed him bre ak out,” re p lie d
Grip hook. G orn uk l a u ghed a g ain a n d e v en D ir k g av e a d ry c h uck le .
“D ean a n d I a re s till m is sin g s o m eth in g h ere ,” s a id T ed .
“S o is S ev eru s S nap e, th ough h e d oes n ot k now it,” s a id G rip hook, a n d th e
tw o g oblin s r o are d w ith m alic io us l a u ghte r. I n sid e t h e t e n t H arry ’s b re ath in g w as
sh allo w w ith e x cite m en t: H e a n d H erm io ne s ta re d a t e ach o th er, l is te n in g a s h ard
as t h ey c o uld .
“D id n’t y ou h ear a b out t h at, T ed ?” a sk ed D ir k . “ A bout t h e k id s w ho t r ie d t o
ste al G ry ff in dor’s s w ord o ut o f S nap e’s o ff ic e a t H ogw arts ? ”
An ele ctr ic cu rre n t se em ed to co urs e th ro ugh H arry , ja n glin g h is ev ery
nerv e a s h e s to od r o ote d t o t h e s p ot.
“N ev er h eard a w ord ,” s a id T ed , “ N ot i n t h e
Pro phet,
w as i t? ”
“H ard ly ,” c h ortle d D ir k . “ G rip hook h ere to ld m e, h e h eard a b out it fro m
Bill W easle y w ho w ork s fo r th e b an k. O ne o f th e k id s w ho tr ie d to ta k e th e
sw ord w as B ill’s y ounger s is te r.”
Harry g la n ced t o w ard H erm io ne a n d R on, b oth o f w hom w ere c lu tc h in g t h e
Exte n dab le E ars a s t ig htly a s l if e lin es.
“S he a n d a c o uple o f f rie n ds g ot in to S nap e’s o ff ic e a n d s m ash ed o pen th e
gla ss c ase w here h e w as a p pare n tly k eep in g th e s w ord . S nap e c au ght th em a s
th ey w ere t r y in g t o s m uggle i t d ow n t h e s ta ir c ase .

“A h, G od b le ss ’ e m ,” s a id T ed . “ W hat d id th ey th in k, th at th ey ’d b e a b le to
use t h e s w ord o n Y ou-K now -W ho? O r o n S nap e h im se lf ? ”
“W ell, w hate v er th ey th ought th ey w ere g oin g to d o w ith it, S nap e d ecid ed
th e s w ord w asn ’t s a fe w here it w as,” s a id D ir k . “ C ouple o f d ay s la te r, o nce h e’d
got t h e s a y -s o f ro m Y ou-K now -W ho, I i m ag in e, h e s e n t i t d ow n t o L ondon t o b e
kep t i n G rin gotts i n ste ad .”
The g oblin s s ta rte d t o l a u gh a g ain .
“I’m s till n ot s e ein g t h e j o ke,” s a id T ed .
“It’s a f a k e,” r a sp ed G rip hook.
“T he s w ord o f G ry ff in dor!”
“O h y es. It is a c o py— an e x celle n t c o py, it is tr u e— but it w as W iz ard -
mad e. T he orig in al w as fo rg ed cen tu rie s ag o by goblin s an d had certa in
pro pertie s o nly g oblin -m ad e a rm or p osse sse s. W here v er th e g en uin e sw ord o f
Gry ff in dor i s , i t i s n ot i n a v au lt a t G rin gotts b an k.”
“I s e e,” s a id T ed . “ A nd I ta k e it y ou d id n’t b oth er te llin g th e D eath E ate rs
th is ? ’
“I sa w n o re aso n to tr o uble th em w ith th e in fo rm atio n,” sa id G rip hook
sm ugly , a n d n ow T ed a n d D ean j o in ed i n G orn uk a n d D ir k ’s l a u ghte r.
In sid e th e te n t, H arry c lo se d h is e y es, w illin g s o m eo ne to a sk th e q uestio n
he n eed ed a n sw ere d , a n d a fte r a m in ute th at s e em ed te n , D ean o blig ed : h e w as
(H arry r e m em bere d w ith a j o lt) a n e x -b oyfrie n d o f G in ny’s t o o.
“W hat h ap pen ed to G in ny a n d a ll th e o th ers ? T he o nes w ho tr ie d to s te al
it? ”
“O h, t h ey w ere p unis h ed , a n d c ru elly ,” s a id G rip hook i n dif f e re n tly .
“T hey ’re o kay, th ough?” a sk ed T ed q uic k ly , “ I m ean , th e W easle y s d on’t
need a n y m ore o f t h eir k id s i n ju re d , d o t h ey ?”
“T hey s u ff e re d n o s e rio us i n ju ry , a s f a r a s I a m a w are ,” s a id G rip hook.
“L uck y fo r th em ,” sa id T ed . “W ith S nap e’s tr a ck re co rd I su ppose w e
sh ould j u st b e g la d t h ey ’re s till a liv e.”
“Y ou b elie v e t h at s to ry , t h en , d o y ou, T ed ?” a sk ed D ir k . “ Y ou b elie v e S nap e
kille d D um ble d ore ?
“C ours e I d o,” s a id T ed . “ Y ou’re n ot g oin g t o s it t h ere a n d t e ll m e y ou t h in k
Potte r h ad a n yth in g t o d o w ith i t? ”
“H ard t o k now w hat t o b elie v e t h ese d ay s,” m utte re d D ir k .
“I k now H arry P otte r,” s a id D ean . “ A nd I re ck on h e’s th e re al th in g— th e
Chose n O ne, o r w hate v er y ou w an t t o c all i t.”
“Y eah , th ere ’s a lo t w ould lik e to b elie v e h e’s th at, so n,” sa id D ir k , “ m e
in clu ded . B ut w here is h e? R un f o r it, b y th e lo oks o f th in gs. Y ou’d th in k if h e
knew a n yth in g w e d on’t, o r h ad a n yth in g s p ecia l g oin g f o r h im , h e’d b e o ut t h ere

now f ig htin g, r a lly in g r e sis ta n ce, in ste ad o f h id in g. A nd y ou k now , th e
Pro phet
mad e a p re tty g ood c ase a g ain st h im — ”
“T he
Pro phet? ”
sc o ff e d T ed . “Y ou d ese rv e to b e lie d to if y ou’re still
re ad in g t h at m uch , D ir k . Y ou w an t t h e f a cts , t r y
The Q uib ble r.”
There w as a s u dden e x plo sio n o f c h okin g a n d r e tc h in g, p lu s a g ood d eal o f
th um pin g, by th e so und of it. D ir k had sw allo w ed a fis h bone. A t la st he
sp utte re d ,
“The Q uib ble r?
T hat l u natic r a g o f X en o L oveg ood’s ? ”
“It’s n ot s o lu natic th ese d ay s,” s a id T ed . “ Y ou w an t to g iv e it a lo ok, X en o
is p rin tin g a ll th e s tu ff th e
Pro phet’s
ig norin g, n ot a s in gle m en tio n o f C ru m ple -
Horn ed S nork ack s in th e la st is su e. H ow lo ng th ey ’ll le t h im g et w ith it, m in d, I
don’t k now . B ut X en o sa y s, fro nt p ag e o f e v ery is su e, th at a n y w iz ard w ho’s
ag ain st Y ou-K now -W ho o ught to m ak e h elp in g H arry P otte r th eir n um ber- o ne
prio rity .”
“H ard t o h elp a b oy w ho’s v an is h ed o ff t h e f a ce o f t h e e arth ,” s a id D ir k .
“L is te n , th e fa ct th at th ey hav en ’t cau ght him yet’s one hell of an
ach ie v em en t,” s a id T ed . “ I’d ta k e tip s f ro m h im g la d ly ; it’s w hat w e’re tr y in g to
do, s ta y f re e, i s n ’t i t? ”
“Y eah , w ell, y ou’v e g ot a p oin t th ere ,” s a id D ir k h eav ily . “ W ith th e w hole
of t h e M in is tr y a n d a ll t h eir i n fo rm ers l o okin g f o r h im , I ’d h av e e x pecte d h im t o
be c au ght b y n ow . M in d, w ho’s to s a y th ey h av en ’t a lr e ad y c au ght a n d k ille d
him w ith out p ublic iz in g i t? ”
“A h, d on’t s a y t h at, D ir k ,” m urm ure d T ed .
There w as a lo ng p au se fille d w ith m ore c la tte rin g o f k niv es a n d fo rk s.
When t h ey s p oke a g ain i t w as t o d is c u ss w heth er t h ey o ught t o s le ep o n t h e b ack
or r e tr e at b ack u p th e w ooded s lo pe. D ecid in g th e tr e es w ould g iv e b ette r c o ver,
th ey e x tin guis h ed th eir fir e , th en c la m bere d b ack u p th e in clin e, th eir v oic es
fa d in g a w ay.
Harry , R on, a n d H erm io ne re ele d in th e E xte n dab le E ars . H arry , w ho h ad
fo und th e need to re m ain sile n t in cre asin gly dif f ic u lt th e lo nger th ey
eav esd ro pped , n ow f o und h im se lf u nab le to s a y m ore th en , “ G in ny— th e s w ord
—”
“I k now !” s a id H erm io ne.
She lu nged f o r th e tin y b ead ed b ag , th is tim e s in kin g h er a rm in it r ig ht u p
to t h e a rm pit.
“H ere … w e… are … ” sh e sa id b etw een g ritte d te eth , an d sh e p ulle d at
so m eth in g th at w as e v id en tly in th e d ep th s o f th e b ag . S lo w ly th e e d ge o f a n
orn ate p ic tu re f ra m e c am e i n to s ig ht. H arry h urrie d t o h elp h er. A s t h ey l if te d t h e
em pty p ortr a it o f P hin eas N ig ellu s fre e o f H erm io ne’s b ag , s h e k ep t h er w an d
poin tin g a t i t, r e ad y t o c ast a s p ell a t a n y m om en t.

“If so m eb ody sw ap ped th e re al sw ord fo r th e fa ce w hile it w as in
Dum ble d ore ’s o ff ic e,” s h e p an te d , a s th ey p ro pped th e p ain tin g a g ain st th e s id e
of th e te n t, “ P hin eas N ig ellu s w ould h av e s e en it h ap pen , h e h an gs r ig ht b esid e
th e c ase !”
“U nle ss h e w as a sle ep ,” s a id H arry , b ut h e s till h eld h is b re ath a s H erm io ne
knelt d ow n in f ro nt o f th e e m pty c an vas, h er w an d d ir e cte d a t its c en te r, c le are d
her t h ro at, t h en s a id :
“E r— Phin eas? P hin eas N ig ellu s? ”
Noth in g h ap pen ed .
“P hin eas N ig ellu s? ” s a id H erm io ne a g ain . “ P ro fe sso r B la ck ? P le ase c o uld
we t a lk t o y ou? P le ase ?”
“‘P le ase ’ a lw ay s h elp s,” s a id a c o ld , s n id e v oic e, a n d P hin eas N ig ellu s s lid
in to h is p ortr a it. A t o ne, H erm io ne c rie d :
“O bsc u ra !”
A bla ck blin dfo ld ap peare d over Phin eas N ig ellu s’s cle v er, dark ey es,
cau sin g h im t o b um p i n to t h e f ra m e a n d s h rie k w ith p ain .
“W hat— how d are — what a re y ou— ?”
“I’m v ery so rry , P ro fe sso r B la ck ,” sa id H erm io ne, “b ut it’s a n ecessa ry
pre cau tio n!”
“R em ove th is fo ul a d ditio n a t o nce! R em ove it, I sa y ! Y ou a re ru in in g a
gre at w ork o f a rt! W here a m I ? W hat i s g oin g o n?”
“N ev er m in d w here w e are ,” sa id H arry , an d Phin eas N ig ellu s fro ze,
ab an donin g h is a tte m pts t o p eel o ff t h e p ain te d b lin dfo ld .
“C an t h at p ossib le b e t h e v oic e o f t h e e lu siv e M r. P otte r? ”
“M ay be,” sa id H arry , k now in g th at th is w ould k eep P hin eas N ig ellu s’s
in te re st. “W e’v e g ot a co uple o f q uestio ns to ask y ou— ab o ut th e sw ord o f
Gry ff in dor.”
“A h,” s a id P hin eas N ig ellu s, n ow tu rn in g h is h ead th is w ay a n d th at in a n
eff o rt t o c atc h s ig ht o f H arry , “ y es. T hat s illy g ir l a cte d m ost u nw is e ly t h ere — ”
“S hut up ab out m y sis te r,” sa id R on ro ughly . P hin eas N ig ellu s ra is e d
su perc ilio us e y eb ro w s.
“W ho e ls e i s h ere ?” h e a sk ed , t u rn in g h is h ead f ro m s id e t o s id e. “ Y our t o ne
dis p le ase s m e! T he gir l an d her frie n ds w ere fo olh ard ily in th e ex tr e m e.
Thie v in g f ro m t h e h ead m aste r.”
“T hey w ere n ’t t h ie v in g,” s a id H arry . “ T hat s w ord i s n ’t S nap e’s .”
“It b elo ngs to P ro fe sso r S nap e’s s c h ool,” sa id P hin eas N ig ellu s. “ E xactly
what c la im d id th e W easle y g ir l h av e u pon it? S he d ese rv ed h er p unis h m en t, a s
did t h e i d io t L ongbotto m a n d t h e L oveg ood o ddity !”
“N ev ille i s n ot a n i d io t a n d L una i s n ot a n o ddity !” s a id H erm io ne.

“W here am I? ” re p eate d P hin eas N ig ellu s, sta rtin g to w re stle w ith th e
blin dfo ld a g ain . “ W here h av e y ou b ro ught m e? W hy h av e y ou r e m oved m e f ro m
th e h ouse o f m y f o re b ears ? ”
“N ev er m in d t h at! H ow d id S nap e p unis h G in ny, N ev ille , a n d L una?” a sk ed
Harry u rg en tly .
“P ro fe sso r S nap e s e n t th em in to th e F orb id den F ore st, to d o s o m e w ork f o r
th e o af, H ag rid .”
“H ag rid ’s n ot a n o af!” s a id H erm io ne s h rilly .
“A nd S nap e m ig ht’ v e th ough th at w as a p unis h m en t,” sa id H arry , “b ut
Gin ny, N ev ille , an d Luna pro bab ly had a good la u gh w ith H ag rid . The
Forb id den F ore st… th ey ’v e fa ced p le n ty w ors e th an th e F orb id den F ore st, b ig
deal! ”
He f e lt r e lie v ed ; h e h ad b een im ag in in g h orro rs , th e C ru cia tu s C urs e a t th e
very l e ast.
“W hat w e r e ally w an te d to k now , P ro fe sso r B la ck , is w heth er a n yone e ls e
has, u m , t a k en o ut t h e s w ord a t a ll? M ay be i t’s b een t a k en a w ay f o r c le an in g— or
so m eth in g!”
Phin eas N ig ellu s pau se d ag ain in his str u ggle s to fre e his ey es an d
sn ig gere d .
“M uggle -b orn s,”
h e s a id , “ G oblin -m ad e a rm or d oes n ot re q uir e c le an in g,
sim ple gir l. G oblin ’s silv er re p els m undan e dir t, im bib in g only th at w hic h
str e n gth en s i t.”
“D on’t c all H erm io ne s im ple ,” s a id H arry .
“I g ro w w eary o f c o ntr a d ic tio n,” s a id P hin eas N ig ellu s. “ p erh ap s it is tim e
fo r m e t o r e tu rn t o t h e h ead m aste r’s o ff ic e?”
Still b lin dfo ld ed , h e b eg an g ro pin g th e s id e o f h is f ra m e, tr y in g to f e el h is
way o ut o f h is p ic tu re a n d b ack in to th e o ne a t H ogw arts . H arry h ad a s u dden
in sp ir a tio n.
“D um ble d ore ! C an ’t y ou b rin g u s D um ble d ore ?”
“I b eg y our p ard on?” a sk ed P hin eas N ig ellu s.
“P ro fe sso r D um ble d ore ’s p ortr a it— co uld n’t y ou b rin g h im a lo ng, h ere , i n to
yours ? ”
Phin eas N ig ellu s t u rn ed h is f a ce i n t h e d ir e ctio n o f H arry ’s v oic e.
“E vid en tly it is not only M uggle -b orn s w ho are ig nora n t, P otte r. T he
portr a its o f H ogw arts m ay co m mune w ith each o th er, b ut th ey can not tr a v el
outs id e of th e castle ex cep t to vis it a pain tin g of th em se lv es els e w here .
Dum ble d ore c an not c o m e h ere w ith m e, a n d a fte r th e tr e atm en t I h av e r e ceiv ed
at y our h an ds, I c an a ssu re y ou t h at I w ill n ot b e m ak in g a r e tu rn v is it! ”
Slig htly c re stf a lle n , H arry w atc h ed P hin eas re d ouble h is a tte m pts to le av e

his f ra m e.
“P ro fe sso r B la ck ,” s a id H erm io ne, “ co uld n’t y ou ju st te ll u s, p le ase , w hen
was t h e l a st t im e t h e s w ord w as t a k en o ut o f i ts c ase ? B efo re G in ny t o ok i t o ut, I
mean ?”
Phin eas s n orte d i m patie n tly .
“I b elie v e t h at t h e l a st t im e I s a w t h e s w ord o f G ry ff in dor l e av e i ts c ase w as
when P ro fe sso r D um ble d ore u se d i t t o b re ak o pen a r in g.”
Herm io ne w hip ped a ro und t o l o ok a t H arry . N eith er o f t h em d are d s a y m ore
in f ro nt o f P hin eas N ig ellu s, w ho h ad a t l e ast m an ag ed t o l o cate t h e e x it.
“W ell, g ood n ig ht to y ou,” h e s a id a little w asp is h ly , a n d h e b eg an to m ove
out o f s ig ht a g ain . O nly th e e d ge o f h is h at b rim r e m ain ed in v ie w w hen H arry
gav e a s u dden s h out.
“W ait! H av e y ou t o ld S nap e y ou s a w t h is ? ”
Phin eas N ig ellu s s tu ck h is b lin dfo ld ed h ead b ack i n to t h e p ic tu re .
“P ro fe sso r S nap e h as m ore im porta n t th in gs o n h is m in d th at th e m an y
eccen tr ic itie s o f A lb us D um ble d ore .
Good-b ye,
P otte r!”
And w ith th at, h e v an is h ed c o m ple te ly , le av in g b eh in d h im n oth in g b ut h is
murk y b ack dro p.
“H arry !” H erm io ne c rie d .
“I k now !” H arry s h oute d . U nab le to c o nta in h im se lf , h e p unch ed th e a ir ; it
was m ore th an h e h ad d are d to h ope f o r. H e s tr o de u p a n d d ow n th e te n t, f e elin g
th at h e c o uld h av e r u n a m ile ; h e d id n ot e v en f e el h ungry a n ym ore . H erm io ne
was sq uash in g P hin eas N ig ellu s’s back in to th e bead ed bag ; w hen sh e had
fa ste n ed t h e c la sp s h e t h re w t h e b ag a sid e a n d r a is e d a s h in in g f a ce t o H arry .
“T he s w ord c an d estr o y H orc ru xes! G oblin -m ad e b la d es im bib e o nly th at
whic h s tr e n gth en s t h em — Harry , t h at s w ord ’s i m pre g nate d w ith b asilis k v en om !”
“A nd D um ble d ore d id n’t f iv e it to m e b ecau se h e s till n eed ed it, h e w an te d
to u se i t o n t h e l o ck et— ”
“— an d h e m ust h av e r e aliz ed t h ey w ould n’t l e t y ou h av e i t i f h e p ut i t i n h is
will— ”
“— so h e m ad e a c o py— ”
“— an d p ut a f a k e i n t h e g la ss c ase — ”
“— an d h e l e ft t h e r e al o ne— where ?”
They g azed a t e ach o th er. H arry f e lt th at th e a n sw er w as d an glin g in vis ib ly
in th e a ir a b ove th em , ta n ta liz in gly c lo se . W hy h ad n’t D um ble d ore to ld h im ? O r
had h e, i n f a ct, t o ld H arry , b ut H arry h ad n ot r e aliz ed i t a t t h e t im e?”
“T hin k!” w his p ere d H erm io ne. “ T hin k! W here w ould h e h av e l e ft i t? ”
“N ot a t H ogw arts ,” s a id H arry , r e su m in g h is p acin g.
“S om ew here i n H ogsm ead e?” s u ggeste d H erm io ne.

“T he S hrie k in g S hack ?” s a id H arry . “ N obody e v er g oes i n t h ere .”
“B ut S nap e k now s h ow t o g et i n , w ould n’t t h at b e a b it r is k y?”
“D um ble d ore t r u ste d S nap e,” H arry r e m in ded h er.
“N ot e n ough t o t e ll h im t h at h e h ad s w ap ped t h e s w ord s,” s a id H erm io ne.
“Y eah , y ou’re rig ht! ” sa id H arry , an d h e fe lt ev en m ore ch eere d at th e
th ought th at D um ble d ore had had so m e re se rv atio ns, how ev er fa in t, ab out
Snap e’s tr u stw orth in ess. “ S o, w ould h e h av e h id den th e s w ord w ell a w ay fro m
Hogsm ead e, t h en ? W hat d ’y ou r e ck on, R on? R on?”
Harry lo oked a ro und. F or o ne b ew ild ere d m om en t h e th ought th at R on h ad
le ft th e te n t, th en r e aliz ed th at R on w as ly in g in th e s h ad ow o f a b unk, lo okin g
sto ny.
“O h, r e m em bere d m e, h av e y ou?” h e s a id .
“W hat? ”
Ron s n orte d a s h e s ta re d u p a t t h e u nders id e o f t h e u pper b unk.
“Y ou t w o c arry o n. D on’t l e t m e s p oil y our f u n.”
Perp le x ed , H arry lo oked to H erm io ne fo r h elp , b ut sh e sh ook h er h ead ,
ap pare n tly a s n onplu sse d a s h e w as.
“W hat’s t h e p ro ble m ?” a sk ed H arry .
“P ro ble m ? T here ’s n o p ro ble m ,” s a id R on, s till re fu sin g to lo ok a t H arry .
“N ot a cco rd in g t o y ou, a n yw ay s.”
There w ere s e v era l
plu nks
o n th e c an vas o ver th eir h ead s. I t h ad s ta rte d to
ra in .
“W ell, y ou’v e o bvio usly g ot a p ro ble m ,” s a id H arry . “ S pit i t o ut, w ill y ou?”
Ron s w ung h is lo ng le g s o ff th e b ed a n d s a t u p. H e lo oked m ean , u nlik e
him se lf .
“A ll rig ht, I’ll sp it it o ut. D on’t e x pect m e to sk ip u p a n d d ow n th e te n t
becau se t h ere ’s s o m e o th er d am n t h in g w e’v e g ot t o f in d. J u st a d d i t t o t h e l is t o f
stu ff y ou d on’t k now .”
“I d on’t k now ?” r e p eate d H arry .
“I
d on’t k now ?”
Plu nk, p lu nk, p lu nk.
T he r a in w as f a llin g h ard er a n d h eav ie r; it p atte re d o n
th e le af-s tr e w n b an k a ll a ro und th em a n d in to th e riv er c h atte rin g th ro ugh th e
dark . D re ad d ouse d H arry ’s ju bila tio n; R on w as sa y in g ex actly w hat h e h ad
su sp ecte d a n d f e are d h im t o b e t h in kin g.
“It’s n ot l ik e I ’m n ot h av in g t h e t im e o f m y l if e h ere ,” s a id R on, “ y ou k now ,
with m y a rm m an gle d a n d n oth in g to e at a n d fre ezin g m y b ack sid e o ff e v ery
nig ht. I ju st h oped , y ou k now , a fte r w e’d b een r u nnin g r o und a f e w w eek s, w e’d
hav e a ch ie v ed s o m eth in g.”
“R on,” H erm io ne s a id , b ut in s u ch a q uie t v oic e th at R on c o uld p re te n d n ot
to h av e h eard i t o ver t h e l o ud t a tto o t h e r a in w as b eatin g o n t h e t e n t.

“I t h ought y ou k new w hat y ou’d s ig ned u p f o r,” s a id H arry .
“Y eah , I t h ought I d id t o o.”
“S o w hat p art o f it is n ’t liv in g u p to y our ex pecta tio ns? ” ask ed H arry .
Anger w as c o m in g to h is d efe n se n ow . “ D id y ou th in k w e’d b e s ta y in g in f iv e-
sta r h ote ls ? F in din g a H orc ru x e v ery o th er d ay ? D id y ou th in k y ou’d b e b ack to
Mum my b y C hris tm as? ”
“W e th ought y ou k new w hat y ou w ere d oin g!” s h oute d R on, s ta n din g u p,
an d h is w ord s H arry l ik e s c ald in g k niv es. “ W e t h ought D um ble d ore h ad t o ld y ou
what t o d o, w e t h ought y ou h ad a r e al p la n !”
“R on!” s a id H erm io ne, t h is t im e c le arly a u dib le o ver t h e r a in t h underin g o n
th e t e n t r o of, b ut a g ain , h e i g nore d h er.
“W ell, s o rry t o le t y ou d ow n,” s a id H arry , h is v oic e q uite c alm e v en t h ough
he f e lt h ollo w , in ad eq uate . “ I’v e b een s tr a ig ht w ith y ou f ro m th e s ta rt. I to ld y ou
ev ery th in g D um ble d ore to ld m e. A nd in th e c ase y ou h av en ’t n otic ed , w e’v e
fo und o ne H orc ru x— ”
“Y eah , a n d w e’re a b out a s n ear g ettin g r id o f it a s w e a re to f in din g th e r e st
of t h em — now here e ff in g n ear i n o th er w ord s.”
“T ak e off th e lo ck et, R on,” H erm io ne sa id , her voic e unusu ally hig h.
“P le ase ta k e it o ff . Y ou w ould n’t b e ta lk in g lik e th is if y ou h ad n’t b een w earin g
it a ll d ay.”
“Y eah , h e w ould ,” sa id H arry , w ho d id n ot w an t e x cu se s m ad e fo r R on.
“D ’y ou th in k I h av en ’t n otic ed th e tw o o f y ou w his p erin g b eh in d m y b ack ?
D’y ou t h in k I d id n’t g uess y ou w ere t h in kin g t h is s tu ff ?
“H arry , w e w ere n ’t— ”
“D on’t lie !” R on hurle d at her. “Y ou sa id it to o, you sa id you w ere
dis a p poin te d , y ou s a id y ou’d t h ought h e h ad a b it m ore t o g o o n t h an — ”
“I d id n’t s a y i t l ik e t h at— Harry , I d id n’t! ” s h e c rie d .
The r a in w as p oundin g th e te n t, te ars w ere p ourin g d ow n H erm io ne’s f a ce,
an d t h e e x cite m en t o f a f e w m in ute s b efo re h ad v an is h ed a s i f i t h ad n ev er b een ,
a s h ort- liv ed f ir e w ork t h at h ad f la re d a n d d ie d , l e av in g e v ery th in g d ark , w et, a n d
co ld . T he s w ord o f G ry ff in dor w as h id den th ey k new n ot w here , a n d th ey w ere
th re e t e en ag ers i n a t e n t w hose o nly a ch ie v em en t w as n ot, y et, t o b e d ead .
“S o w hy a re y ou s till h ere ?” H arry a sk ed R on.
“S earc h m e,” s a id R on.
“G o h om e t h en ,” s a id H arry .
“Y eah , m ay be I w ill! ” s h oute d R on, a n d h e t o ok s e v era l s te p s t o w ard H arry ,
who d id n ot b ack a w ay. “ D id n’t y ou h ear w hat th ey s a id a b out m y s is te r? B ut
you d on’t g iv e a ra t’s fa rt, d o y ou, it’s o nly th e F orb id den F ore st, H arry
I’v e-
Faced -W orse
P otte r d oesn ’t c are w hat h ap pen ed to h er in th ere — well, I d o, a ll

rig ht, g ia n t s p id ers a n d m en ta l s tu ff — ”
“I w as o nly s a y in g— sh e w as w ith t h e o th ers , t h ey w ere w ith H ag rid — ”
“Y eah , I g et it, y ou d on’t c are ! A nd w hat a b out th e r e st o f m y f a m ily , ‘ th e
Weasle y s d on’t n eed a n oth er k id i n ju re d ,’ d id y ou h ear t h at? ”
“Y eah , I — ”
“N ot b oth ere d w hat i t m ean t, t h ough?”
“R on!” sa id H erm io ne, fo rc in g h er w ay b etw een th em . “ I d on’t th in k it
mean s a n yth in g n ew h as h ap pen ed , a n yth in g w e d on’t k now a b out; th in k, R on,
Bill’s a lr e ad y s c arre d , p le n ty o f p eo ple m ust h av e s e en th at G eo rg e h as lo st a n
ear b y n ow , a n d y ou’re s u ppose d to b e o n y our d eath bed w ith s p atte rg ro it, I’m
su re t h at’s a ll h e m ean t— ”
“O h, y ou’re s u re , a re y ou? R ig ht th en , w ell, I w on’t b oth er m yse lf a b out
th em . I t’s a ll r ig ht f o r y ou, i s n ’t i t, w ith y our p are n ts s a fe ly o ut o f t h e w ay — ”
“M y p are n ts a re d ead !” H arry b ello w ed .
“A nd m in e c o uld b e g oin g t h e s a m e w ay !” y elle d R on.
“T hen G O!” r o are d H arry . “ G o b ack to th em , p re te n d y ou’re g ot o ver y our
sp atte rg ro it a n d M um my’ll b e a b le t o f e ed y ou u p a n d— ”
Ron m ad e a s u dden m ovem en t: H arry r e acte d , b ut b efo re e ith er w an d w as
cle ar o f i ts o w ner’s p ock et, H erm io ne h ad r a is e d h er o w n.
“P ro te g o!”
sh e c rie d , a n d a n in vis ib le sh ie ld e x pan ded b etw een h er a n d
Harry o n th e o ne s id e a n d R on o n th e o th er; a ll o f th em w ere f o rc ed b ack w ard a
fe w s te p s b y t h e s tr e n gth o f t h e s p ell, a n d H arry a n d R on g la re d f ro m e ith er s id e
of th e tr a n sp are n t b arrie r a s th ough th ey w ere s e ein g e ach o th er c le arly fo r th e
fir s t tim e. H arry fe lt a co rro siv e h atr e d to w ard R on: S om eth in g h ad b ro ken
betw een t h em .
“L eav e t h e H orc ru x,” H arry s a id .
Ron w re n ch ed th e ch ain fro m o ver h is h ead an d cast th e lo ck et in to a
nearb y c h air. H e t u rn ed t o H erm io ne.
“W hat a re y ou d oin g?”
“W hat d o y ou m ean ?”
“A re y ou s ta y in g, o r w hat? ”
“I… ” S he l o oked a n guis h ed . “ Y es— yes, I ’m s ta y in g. R on, w e s a id w e’d g o
with H arry , w e s a id w e’d h elp — ”
“I g et i t. Y ou c h oose h im .”
“R on, n o— ple ase — co m e b ack , c o m e b ack !”
She w as i m ped ed b y h er o w n S hie ld C harm ; b y t h e t im e s h e h ad r e m oved i t
he h ad a lr e ad y s to rm ed i n to t h e n ig ht. H arry s to od q uite s till a n d s ile n t, l is te n in g
to h er s o bbin g a n d c allin g R on’s n am e a m ongst t h e t r e es.
Afte r a f e w m in ute s s h e r e tu rn ed , h er s o ppin g h air p la ste re d t o h er f a ce.

“H e’s g -g -g one! D is a p para te d !”
She t h re w h ers e lf i n to a c h air , c u rle d u p, a n d s ta rte d t o c ry .
Harry f e lt d azed . H e s to oped , p ic k ed u p th e H orc ru x, a n d p la ced it a ro und
his ow n neck . H e dra g ged bla n kets off R on’s bunk an d th re w th em over
Herm io ne. T hen h e c lim bed o nto h is o w n b ed a n d s ta re d u p a t th e d ark c an vas
ro of, l is te n in g t o t h e p oundin g o f t h e r a in .

1 6. G ODRIC ’S H OLLO W
When H arry w oke th e fo llo w in g d ay it w as se v era l se co nds b efo re h e
r e m em bere d w hat h ad h ap pen ed . T hen h e h oped c h ild is h ly , th at it h ad b een a
d re am , t h at R on w as s till t h ere a n d h ad n ev er l e ft. Y et b y t u rn in g h is h ead o n h is
p illo w h e c o uld s e e R on’s d ese rte d b unk. It w as lik e a d ead b ody in th e w ay it
s e em s to d ra w h is e y es. H arry ju m ped d ow n f ro m h is o w n b ed , k eep in g h is e y es
a v erte d fro m R on’s . H erm io ne, w ho w as a lr e ad y b usy in th e k itc h en , d id n ot
w is h H arry g ood m orn in g, b ut t u rn ed h er f a ce a w ay q uic k ly a s h e w en t b y.
He’s g one,
H arry to ld h im se lf .
He’s g one.
H e h ad to k eep th in kin g it a s h e
w ash ed a n d d re sse d a s th ough re p etitio n w ould d ull th e s h ock o f it.
He’s g one
a nd h e’s n ot c o m in g b ack.
A nd th at w as th e sim ple tr u th o f it, H arry k new ,
b ecau se th eir p ro te ctiv e e n ch an tm en ts m ean t th at it w ould b e im possib le , o nce
t h ey v acate d t h is s p ot, f o r R on t o f in d t h em a g ain .
He a n d H erm io ne a te b re ak fa st in s ile n ce. H erm io ne’s e y es w ere p uff y a n d
r e d ; s h e lo oked a s if s h e h ad n ot s le p t. T hey p ack ed u p th eir th in gs, H erm io ne
d aw dlin g. H arry k new w hy s h e w an te d to s p in o ut th eir tim e o n th e riv erb an k;
s e v era l tim es h e sa w h er lo ok u p eag erly , an d h e w as su re sh e h ad d elu ded
h ers e lf in to th in kin g th at s h e h eard f o ots te p s th ro ugh th e h eav y r a in , b ut n o r e d -
h air e d f ig ure a p peare d b etw een th e tr e es. E very tim e H arry im ita te d h er, lo oked
a ro und ( fo r h e c o uld n ot h elp h opin g a little , h im se lf ) a n d s a w n oth in g b ut r a in -
s w ep t w oods, a n oth er little p arc el o f fu ry e x plo ded in sid e h im . H e c o uld h ear
R on sa y in g,
“W e th ought y o u k n ew w hat y o u w ere d oin g!” ,
a n d h e re su m ed
p ack in g w ith a h ard k not i n t h e p it o f h is s to m ach .
The m uddy r iv er b esid e th em w as r is in g r a p id ly a n d w ould s o on s p ill o ver
o nto th eir b an k. T hey h ad lin gere d a g ood h our a fte r th ey w ould u su ally h av e
d ep arte d th eir c am psite . F in ally h av in g e n tir e ly re p ack ed th e b ead ed b ag th re e
t im es, H erm io ne se em ed u nab le to fin d an y m ore re aso ns to d ela y : S he an d
H arry g ra sp ed h an ds an d D is a p para te d , re ap pearin g o n a w in dsw ep t h eath er-
c o vere d h ills id e.
The in sta n t th ey a rriv ed , H erm io ne d ro pped H arry ’s h an d a n d w alk ed a w ay
f ro m h im , fin ally s ittin g d ow n o n a la rg e ro ck , h er fa ce o n h er k nees, s h ak in g
w ith w hat h e k new w ere s o bs. H e w atc h ed h er, s u pposin g th at h e o ught to g o
a n d c o m fo rt h er, b ut s o m eth in g k ep t h im ro ote d to th e s p ot. E very th in g in sid e
h im fe lt c o ld a n d tig ht: A gain h e sa w th e c o nte m ptu ous e x pre ssio n o n R on’s
f a ce. H arry str o de o ff th ro ugh th e h eath er, w alk in g in a la rg e c ir c le w ith th e
d is tr a u ght H erm io ne at its cen te r, castin g th e sp ell sh e u su ally p erfo rm ed to

en su re t h eir p ro te ctio n.
They did not dis c u ss R on at all over th e nex t fe w day s. H arry w as
dete rm in ed n ev er t o m en tio n h is n am e a g ain , a n d H erm io ne s e em ed t o k now t h at
it w as n o u se f o rc in g t h e i s su e, a lth ough s o m etim es a t n ig ht w hen s h e t h ought h e
was s le ep in g, h e w ould h ear h er c ry in g. M ean w hile H arry h ad s ta rte d b rin gin g
out th e M ara u der’s m ap a n d e x am in in g it b y w an dlig ht. H e w as w aitin g f o r th e
mom en t w hen R on’s la b ele d d ot w ould re ap pear in th e c o rrid ors o f H ogw arts ,
pro vin g th at h e h ad r e tu rn ed to th e c o m fo rta b le c astle , p ro te cte d b y h is s ta tu s o f
pure b lo od. H ow ev er, R on d id n ot a p pear o n th e m ap a n d a fte r a w hile H arry
fo und him se lf ta k in g it out sim ply to sta re at G in ny’s nam e in th e gir l’s
dorm ito ry , w onderin g w heth er th e in te n sity w ith w hic h h e g azed at it m ig ht
bre ak in to h er s le ep , th at s h e w ould s o m eh ow k now h e w as th in kin g a b out h er,
hopin g t h at s h e w as a ll r ig ht.
By day, th ey dev ote d th em se lv es to tr y in g to dete rm in e th e possib le
lo catio ns o f G ry ff in dor’s sw ord , b ut th e m ore th ey ta lk ed a b out th e p la ces in
whic h D um ble d ore m ig ht h av e h id den it, th e m ore d esp era te an d fa r- fe tc h ed
th eir s p ecu la tio n b ecam e. C udgel h is b ra in s th ough h e m ig ht, H arry c o uld n ot
re m em ber D um ble d ore ev er m en tio nin g a pla ce in w hic h he m ig ht hid e
so m eth in g. T here w ere m om en ts w hen h e d id n ot k now w heth er h e w as a n grie r
with R on o r w ith D um ble d ore .
We th ought y o u k n ew w hat y o u w ere d oin g… W e
th ought D um ble d ore h ad t o ld y o u w hat t o d o… W e t h ought y o u h ad a r e a l p la n!
He c o uld n ot h id e i t f ro m h im se lf : R on h ad b een r ig ht. D um ble d ore h ad l e ft
him w ith v ir tu ally n oth in g. T hey h ad d is c o vere d o ne H orc ru x, b ut th ey h ad n o
mean s o f d estr o yin g it: T he o th ers w ere a s u natta in ab le a s th ey h ad e v er b een .
Hopele ssn ess th re ate n ed to e n gulf h im . H e w as sta g gere d n ow to th in k o f h is
ow n p re su m ptio n in accep tin g h is frie n ds’ o ff e rs to acco m pan y h im o n th is
mean derin g, p oin tle ss jo urn ey. H e k new n oth in g, h e h ad n o id eas, a n d h e w as
co nsta n tly , p ain fu lly o n t h e a le rt f o r a n y i n dic atio ns t h at H erm io ne t o o w as a b out
to t e ll h im t h at s h e h ad h ad e n ough. T hat s h e w as l e av in g.
They w ere s p en din g m an y e v en in gs in n ear s ile n ce a n d H erm io ne to ok to
brin gin g o ut P hin eas N ig ellu s’s p ortr a it a n d p ro ppin g it u p in a c h air , a s th ough
he m ig ht f ill p art o f t h e g ap in g h ole l e ft b y R on’s d ep artu re . D esp ite h is p re v io us
asse rtio n th at h e w ould n ev er v is it th em a g ain , P hin eas N ig ellu s d id n ot s e em
ab le to re sis t th e ch an ce to fin d o ut m ore ab out w hat H arry w as u p to an d
co nse n te d t o r e ap pear, b lin dfo ld ed , e v ery f e w d ay s o f s o . H arry w as e v en g la d t o
se e h im , b ecau se h e w as c o m pan y, a lb eit o f a sn id e a n d ta u ntin g k in d. T hey
re lis h ed an y new s ab out w hat w as hap pen in g at H ogw arts , th ough P hin eas
Nig ellu s w as n ot an id eal in fo rm er. H e v en era te d S nap e, th e fir s t S ly th erin
head m aste r s in ce h e h im se lf h ad c o ntr o lle d t h e s c h ool, a n d t h ey h ad t o b e c are fu l

not to c ritic iz e o r a sk im pertin en t q uestio ns a b out S nap e, o r P hin eas N ig ellu s
would i n sta n tly l e av e h is p ain tin g.
How ev er, h e d id le t d ro p c erta in sn ip pets . S nap e se em ed to b e fa cin g a
co nsta n t, lo w le v el o f m utin y fro m a h ard c o re o f stu den ts . G in ny h ad b een
ban ned fro m goin g in to H ogsm ead e. Snap e had re in sta te d U m brid ge’s old
decre e f o rb id din g g ath erin gs o f th re e o r m ore s tu den ts o r a n y u noff ic ia l s tu den t
so cie tie s.
Fro m a ll o f th ese th in gs, H arry d ed uced th at G in ny, a n d p ro bab ly N ev ille
an d L una a lo ng w ith h er, h ad b een d oin g th eir b est to c o ntin ue D um ble d ore ’s
Arm y. T his sc an t n ew s m ad e H arry w an t to se e G in ny so b ad ly it fe lt lik e a
sto m ach ach e; b ut it a ls o m ad e h im th in k o f R on a g ain , a n d o f D um ble d ore , a n d
of H ogw arts its e lf , w hic h h e m is se d n early a s m uch a s h is e x -g ir lf rie n d. I n deed ,
as P hin eas N ig ellu s ta lk ed a b out S nap e’s c ra ck dow n, H arry e x perie n ced a s p lit
se co nd o f m ad ness w hen h e im ag in ed s im ply g oin g b ack to s c h ool to jo in th e
desta b iliz atio n o f S nap e’s re g im e: B ein g fe d a n d h av in g a so ft b ed , a n d o th er
peo ple b ein g in c h arg e, s e em ed th e m ost w onderfu l p ro sp ect in th e w orld a t th is
mom en t. B ut th en h e re m em bere d th at h e w as U ndesir a b le N um ber O ne, th at
th ere w as a te n -th ousa n d G alle o n pric e on his head , an d th at to w alk in to
Hogw arts th ese d ay s w as ju st as d an gero us as w alk in g in to th e M in is tr y o f
Mag ic . I n deed , P hin eas N ig ellu s in ad verte n tly e m phasiz ed th is f a ct m y s lip pin g
in le ad in g questio ns ab out H arry an d H erm io ne’s w here ab outs . H erm io ne
sh oved h im b ack in sid e th e b ead ed b ag ev ery tim e h e d id th is , an d P hin eas
Nig ellu s in varia b ly re fu se d to re ap pear fo r se v era l day s afte r th ese
uncere m onio us g ood-b yes.
The w eath er g re w c o ld er a n d c o ld er. T hey d id n ot d are r e m ain in a n y a re a
to o lo ng, s o ra th er th an s ta y in g in th e s o uth o f E ngla n d, w here a h ard g ro und
fro st w as th e w ors t o f th eir w orrie s, th ey c o ntin ued to m ean der u p a n d d ow n th e
co untr y , b ra v in g a m ounta in sid e, w here sle et p ounded th e te n t; a w id e, fla t
mars h , w here th e te n t w as flo oded w ith c h ill w ate r; a n d a tin y is la n d in th e
mid dle o f a S co ttis h l o ch , w here s n ow h alf b urie d t h e t e n t i n t h e n ig ht.
They h ad a lr e ad y sp otte d C hris tm as T re es tw in klin g fro m se v era l sittin g
ro om w in dow s b efo re th ere c am e a n e v en in g w hen H arry re so lv ed to su ggest
ag ain , w hat s e em ed to h im th e o nly u nex plo re d a v en ue le ft to th em . T hey h ad
ju st e ate n a n u nusu ally g ood m eal: H erm io ne h ad b een to a s u perm ark et u nder
th e I n vis ib ility C lo ak ( s c ru pulo usly d ro ppin g th e m oney in to a n o pen till a s s h e
le ft) , a n d H arry th ought th at sh e m ig ht b e m ore p ers u ad ab le th an u su al o n a
sto m ach f u ll o f s p ag hetti B olo gnese a n d t in ned p ears .
He h ad a ls o h ad th e fo re sig ht to s u ggest th at th ey ta k e a fe w h ours ’ b re ak
fro m w earin g th e H orc ru x, w hic h w as h an gin g o ver th e e n d o f th e b unk b esid e

him .
“H erm io ne?”
“H m m?” S he w as c u rle d u p in o ne o f th e s a g gin g a rm ch air s w ith
The T a le s
of B eed le th e B ard .
H e c o uld n ot im ag in e h ow m uch m ore s h e c o uld g et o ut o f
th e book, w hic h w as not, afte r all, very lo ng, but ev id en tly sh e w as still
decip herin g s o m eth in g in it, b ecau se
Spellm an’s S ylla bary
la y o pen o n th e a rm
of t h e c h air.
Harry c le are d h is th ro at. H e fe lt e x actly a s h e h ad d one o n th e o ccasio n,
se v era l y ears p re v io usly , w hen h e h ad a sk ed P ro fe sso r M cG onag all w heth er h e
co uld go in to H ogsm ead e, desp ite th e fa ct th at he had not pers u ad ed th e
Durs le y s t o s ig n h is p erm is sio n s lip .
“H erm io ne, I ’v e b een t h in kin g, a n d— ”
“H arry , c o uld y ou h elp m e w ith s o m eth in g?”
Appare n tly s h e h ad n ot b een lis te n in g to h im . S he le an ed f o rw ard a n d h eld
out
The T a le s o f B eed le t h e B ard .
“L ook a t th at s y m bol,” s h e s a id , p oin tin g to th e to p o f a p ag e. A bove w hat
Harry a ssu m ed w as t h e t itle o f t h e s to ry ( b ein g u nab le t o r e ad r u nes, h e c o uld n ot
be su re ), th ere w as a p ic tu re o f w hat lo oked lik e a tr ia n gula r ey e, its p upil
cro sse d w ith a v ertic al l in e.
“I n ev er t o ok A ncie n t R unes, H erm io ne.”
“I k now t h at; b ut i t i s n ’t a r u ne a n d i t’s n ot i n t h e s y lla b ary , e ith er. A ll a lo ng
I th ought it w as a p ic tu re o f a n e y e, b ut I d on’t th in k it is ! It’s b een in ked in ,
lo ok, s o m eb ody’s d ra w n it th ere , it is n ’t r e ally p art o f th e b ook. T hin k, h av e y ou
ev er s e en i t b efo re ?”
“N o… N o, w ait a m om en t.” H arry lo oked c lo se r. “ Is n ’t it th e s a m e s y m bol
Luna’s d ad w as w earin g r o und h is n eck ?”
“W ell, t h at’s w hat I t h ought t o o!”
“T hen i t’s G rin delw ald ’s m ark .”
She s ta re d a t h im , o pen m outh ed .
“W hat? ”
“K ru m t o ld m e… ”
He re co unte d th e sto ry th at V ik to r K ru m h ad to ld h im at th e w ed din g.
Herm io ne l o oked a sto nis h ed .
“G rin delw ald ’s
m ark ?”
She lo oked fro m H arry to th e w eir d sy m bol a n d b ack a g ain . “ I’v e n ev er
heard th at G rin delw ald h ad a m ark . T here ’s n o m en tio n o f it in a n yth in g I’v e
ev er r e ad a b out h im .”
“W ell, lik e I sa y, K ru m re ck oned th at sy m bol w as carv ed o n a w all at
Durm str a n g, a n d G rin delw ald p ut i t t h ere .”

She f e ll b ack i n to t h e o ld a rm ch air , f ro w nin g.
“T hat’s v ery o dd. I f it’s a s y m bol o f D ark M ag ic , w hat’s it d oin g in a b ook
of c h ild re n ’s s to rie s? ”
“Y eah , it is w eir d ,” s a id H arry . “ A nd y ou’d th in k S crim geo ur w ould h av e
re co gniz ed i t. H e w as M in is te r, h e o ught t o h av e b een e x pert o n D ark s tu ff .”
“I k now … P erh ap s h e th ought it w as a n e y e, ju st lik e I d id . A ll th e o th er
sto rie s h av e l ittle p ic tu re s o ver t h e t itle s.”
She d id n ot s p eak , b ut c o ntin ued to p ore o ver th e s tr a n ge m ark . H arry tr ie d
ag ain .
“H erm io ne?”
“H m m?”
“I’v e b een t h in kin g. I — I w an t t o g o t o G odric ’s H ollo w .”
She lo oked u p a t h im , b ut h er e y es w ere u nfo cu se d , a n d h e w as s u re s h e
was s till t h in kin g a b out t h e m yste rio us m ark o n t h e b ook.
“Y es,” sh e sa id . “ Y es, I’v e b een w onderin g th at to o. I re ally th in k w e’ll
hav e t o .”
“D id y ou h ear m e r ig ht? ” h e a sk ed .
“O f c o urs e I d id . Y ou w an t to g o to G odric ’s H ollo w . I a g re e. I th in k w e
sh ould . I m ean , I can ’t th in k of an yw here els e it co uld be eith er. It’ ll be
dan gero us, b ut t h e m ore I t h in k a b out i t, t h e m ore l ik ely i t s e em s i t’s t h ere .”
“E r—
what’s
t h ere ?” a sk ed H arry .
At t h at, s h e l o oked j u st a s b ew ild ere d a s h e f e lt.
“W ell, th e s w ord , H arry ! D um ble d ore m ust h av e k now n y ou’d w an t to g o
back t h ere , a n d I m ean , G odric ’s H ollo w i s G odric G ry ff in dor’s b ir th pla ce— ”
“R eally ? G ry ff in dor c am e f ro m G odric ’s H ollo w ?”
“H arry , d id y ou e v er e v en o pen
A H is to ry o f M agic ? ”
“E rm ,” h e sa id , sm ilin g fo r w hat fe lt lik e th e fir s t tim e in m onth s: T he
musc le s in h is fa ce fe lt o ddly stif f . “ I m ig ht’ v e o pen ed it, y ou k now , w hen I
bought i t… j u st t h e o nce… ”
“W ell, a s th e v illa g e is n am ed a fte r h im I’d h av e th ought y ou m ig ht h av e
mad e th e c o nnectio n,” s a id H erm io ne. S he s o unded m uch m ore lik e h er o ld s e lf
th an s h e h ad d one o f la te ; H arry h alf e x pecte d h er to a n nounce th at s h e w as o ff
to t h e l ib ra ry . “ T here ’s a b it a b out t h e v illa g e i n
A H is to ry o f M agic ,
w ait… ”
She o pen ed th e b ead ed b ag a n d ru m mag ed fo r a w hile , fin ally e x tr a ctin g
her c o py o f th eir o ld s c h ool te x tb ook,
A H is to ry o f M agic
b y B ath ild a B ag sh ot,
whic h s h e t h um bed t h ro ugh u ntil f in din g t h e p ag e s h e w an te d .
“‘
Upon th e sig natu re of th e In te rn atio nal Sta tu te of Secre cy in 1689,
wiz a rd s w en t i n to h id in g f o r g ood. I t w as n atu ra l, p erh aps, t h at t h ey f o rm ed t h eir
ow n s m all c o m munitie s w ith in a c o m munity . M any s m all v illa ges a nd h am le ts

attr a cte d s e vera l m agic a l fa m ilie s, w ho b anded to geth er fo r m utu al s u pport a nd
pro te ctio n. T he v illa ges o f T in w orsh in C orn w all, U pper F la gle y in Y o rk sh ir e ,
and O tte ry S t. C atc h pole o n th e s o uth c o ast o f E ngla nd w ere n ota ble h om es to
kn ots of W iz a rd in g fa m ilie s who liv ed alo ngsid e to le ra nt and so m etim es
Confu nded M uggle s. M ost c ele b ra te d o f th ese h alf- m agic a l d w ellin g p la ces is ,
perh aps, G odric ’s H ollo w , th e W est C ountr y villa ge w here th e gre a t w iz a rd
Godric G ry ffin dor w as born , and w here B ow m an W rig ht, W iz a rd in g sm ith ,
fo rg ed th e fir st G old en S nitc h . T he g ra veya rd is fu ll o f th e n am es o f a ncie n t
magic a l fa m ilie s, a nd th is a cco unts , n o d oubt, fo r th e s to rie s o f h auntin gs th at
have d ogged t h e l ittle c h urc h b esid e i t f o r m any c en tu rie s.’
“Y ou a n d y our p are n ts a re n ’t m en tio ned ,” H erm io ne s a id , c lo sin g th e b ook,
“b ecau se P ro fe sso r B ag sh ot d oesn ’t co ver an yth in g la te r th an th e en d o f th e
nin ete en th cen tu ry . But you se e? Godric ’s Hollo w , Godric Gry ff in dor,
Gry ff in dor’s sw ord ; d on’t y ou th in k D um ble d ore w ould h av e e x pecte d y ou to
mak e t h e c o nnectio n?”
“O h y eah … ”
Harry d id n ot w an t to a d m it th at h e h ad n ot b een th in kin g a b out th e s w ord
at a ll w hen h e s u ggeste d th ey g o to G odric ’s H ollo w . F or h im , th e lo re o f th e
villa g e la y in h is p are n ts ’ g ra v es, th e h ouse w here h e h ad n arro w ly esc ap ed
death , a n d i n t h e p ers o n o f B ath ild a B ag sh ot.
“R em em ber w hat M urie l s a id ?” h e a sk ed e v en tu ally .
“W ho?”
“Y ou k now ,” h e h esita te d . H e d id n ot w an t to sa y R on’s n am e. “ G in ny’s
gre at- a u nt. A t t h e w ed din g. T he o ne w ho s a id y ou h ad s k in ny a n kle s.”
“O h,” sa id H erm io ne. It w as a stic k y m om en t: H arry k new th at sh e h ad
se n se d R on’s n am e i n t h e o ff in g. H e r u sh ed o n:
“S he s a id B ath ild a B ag sh ot s till l iv ed i n G odric ’s H ollo w .”
“B ath ild a B ag sh ot,” m urm ure d H erm io ne, ru nnin g h er in dex fin ger o ver
Bath ild a’s e m bosse d n am e o n th e fro nt c o ver o f
A H is to ry o f M agic .
“ W ell, I
su ppose — ”
She g asp ed so d ra m atic ally th at H arry ’s in sid es tu rn ed o ver; h e d re w h is
wan d, lo okin g a ro und a t th e e n tr a n ce, h alf e x pectin g to s e e a h an d fo rc in g its
way t h ro ugh t h e e n tr a n ce f la p , b ut t h ere w as n oth in g t h ere .
“W hat? ” h e sa id , h alf a n gry , h alf re lie v ed . “ W hat d id y ou d o th at fo r? I
th ought y ou’d s e en a D eath E ate r u nzip pin g t h e t e n t, a t l e ast— ”
“H arry ,
what if B ath ild a’s g ot th e s w ord ?
W hat if D um ble d ore e n tr u ste d it
to h er? ”
Harry co nsid ere d th is possib ility . B ath ild a w ould be an ex tr e m ely old
wom an b y n ow , a n d a cco rd in g to M urie l, sh e w as “ g ag a.” W as it lik ely th at

Dum ble d ore w ould h av e h id den th e s w ord o f G ry ff in dor w ith h er? I f s o , H arry
fe lt th at D um ble d ore h ad le ft a g re at d eal to c h an ce: D um ble d ore h ad n ev er
re v eale d th at h e h ad re p la ced th e sw ord w ith a fa k e, n or h ad h e so m uch a s
men tio ned a frie n dsh ip w ith B ath ild a. N ow , h ow ev er, w as n ot th e m om en t to
cast d oubt o n H erm io ne’s t h eo ry , n ot w hen s h e w as s o s u rp ris in gly w illin g t o f a ll
in w ith H arry ’s d eare st w is h .
“Y eah , h e m ig ht h av e d one! S o, a re w e g oin g t o g o t o G odric ’s H ollo w ?”
“Y es, b ut w e’ll h av e t o t h in k i t t h ro ugh c are fu lly , H arry .” S he w as s ittin g u p
now , a n d H arry c o uld te ll th at th e p ro sp ect o f h av in g a p la n a g ain h ad lif te d h er
mood a s m uch a s h is . “ W e’ll n eed to p ra ctic e D is a p para tin g to geth er u nder th e
In vis ib ility C lo ak fo r a sta rt, an d p erh ap s D is illu sio nm en t C harm s w ould b e
se n sib le to o, u nle ss y ou th in k w e sh ould g o th e w hole h og a n d u se P oly ju ic e
Potio n? In th at c ase w e’ll n eed to c o lle ct h air fro m s o m eb ody. I a ctu ally th in k
we’d b ette r d o t h at, H arry , t h e t h ic k er o ur d is g uis e s t h e b ette r… ”
Harry le t h er ta lk , n oddin g a n d a g re ein g w hen ev er th ere w as a p au se , b ut
his m in d h ad l e ft t h e c o nvers a tio n. F or t h e f ir s t t im e s in ce h e h ad d is c o vere d t h at
th e s w ord i n G rin gotts w as a f a k e, h e f e lt e x cite d .
He w as a b out to g o h om e, a b out to r e tu rn to th e p la ce w here h e h ad h ad a
fa m ily . I t w as in G odric ’s H ollo w th at, b ut f o r V old em ort, h e w ould h av e g ro w n
up a n d s p en t e v ery s c h ool h olid ay. H e c o uld h av e in vite d f rie n ds to h is h ouse …
He m ig ht e v en h av e h ad b ro th ers a n d s is te rs … It w ould h av e b een h is m oth er
who h ad m ad e h is se v en te en th b ir th day c ak e. T he lif e h e h ad lo st h ad h ard ly
ev er s e em ed s o r e al t o h im a s a t t h is m om en t, w hen h e k new h e w as a b out t o s e e
th e p la ce w here it h ad b een ta k en fro m h im . A fte r H erm io ne h ad g one to b ed
th at n ig ht, H arry q uie tly e x tr a cte d h is ru ck sa ck fro m H erm io ne’s b ead ed b ag ,
an d f ro m in sid e it, th e p hoto gra p h a lb um H ag rid h ad g iv en h im s o lo ng a g o. F or
th e f ir s t tim e in m onth s, h e p eru se d th e o ld p ic tu re s o f h is p are n ts , s m ilin g a n d
wav in g u p a t h im f ro m t h e i m ag es, w hic h w ere a ll h e h ad l e ft o f t h em n ow .
Harry w ould g la d ly h av e s e t o ut f o r G odric ’s H ollo w t h e f o llo w in g d ay, b ut
Herm io ne h ad o th er id eas. C onvin ced a s s h e w as th at V old em ort w ould e x pect
Harry to r e tu rn to th e s c en e o f h is p are n ts ’ d eath s, s h e w as d ete rm in ed th at th ey
would se t off only afte r th ey had en su re d th at th ey had th e best dis g uis e s
possib le . It w as th ere fo re a fu ll w eek la te r— once th ey had su rre p titio usly
obta in ed h air s fro m in nocen t M uggle s w ho w ere C hris tm as s h oppin g, a n d h ad
pra ctic ed A ppara tin g a n d D is a p para tin g w hile u ndern eath th e I n vis ib ility C lo ak
to geth er— th at H erm io ne a g re ed t o m ak e t h e j o urn ey.
They w ere t o A ppara te t o t h e v illa g e u nder c o ver o f d ark ness, s o i t w as l a te
afte rn oon w hen th ey fin ally sw allo w ed P oly ju ic e P otio n, H arry tr a n sfo rm in g
in to a b ald in g, m id dle -a g ed M uggle m an , H erm io ne in to h is sm all a n d ra th er

mousy w if e . T he b ead ed b ag c o nta in in g a ll o f th eir p osse ssio ns ( a p art f ro m th e
Horc ru x, w hic h H arry w as w earin g a ro und h is n eck ) w as tu ck ed in to a n in sid e
pock et o f H erm io ne’s b utto ned -u p co at. H arry lo w ere d th e In vis ib ility C lo ak
over t h em , t h en t h ey t u rn ed i n to t h e s u ff o catin g d ark ness o nce a g ain .
Heart b eatin g i n h is t h ro at, H arry o pen ed h is e y es. T hey w ere s ta n din g h an d
in h an d in a s n ow y la n e u nder a d ark b lu e s k y, in w hic h th e n ig ht’s fir s t s ta rs
were a lr e ad y g lim merin g fe eb ly . C otta g es sto od o n e ith er sid e o f th e n arro w
ro ad , C hris tm as d eco ra tio ns tw in klin g in th eir w in dow s. A s h ort w ay a h ead o f
th em , a g lo w o f g old en s tr e etlig hts i n dic ate d t h e c en te r o f t h e v illa g e.
“A ll th is s n ow !” H erm io ne w his p ere d b en eath th e c lo ak . “ W hy d id n’t w e
th in k o f s n ow ? A fte r a ll o ur p re cau tio ns, w e’ll le av e p rin ts ! W e’ll ju st h av e to
get r id o f t h em — you g o i n f ro nt, I ’ll d o i t— ”
Harry d id n ot w an t to e n te r th e v illa g e lik e a p an to m im e h ors e , tr y in g to
keep t h em se lv es c o nceale d w hile m ag ic ally c o verin g t h eir t r a ces.
“L et’s ta k e o ff th e C lo ak ,” sa id H arry , a n d w hen sh e lo oked frig hte n ed ,
“O h, c o m e o n, w e d on’t l o ok l ik e u s a n d t h ere ’s n o o ne a ro und.”
He sto w ed th e C lo ak u nder h is ja ck et a n d th ey m ad e th eir w ay fo rw ard
unham pere d , th e ic y a ir s tin gin g th eir fa ces a s th ey p asse d m ore c o tta g es. A ny
one o f th em m ig ht h av e b een th e o ne in w hic h J a m es a n d L ily h ad o nce liv ed o r
where B ath ild a liv ed n ow . H arry g azed a t th e fro nt d oors , th eir s n ow -b urd en ed
ro ofs , a n d th eir f ro nt p orc h es, w onderin g w heth er h e r e m em bere d a n y o f th em ,
know in g d eep in sid e th at it w as im possib le , th at h e h ad b een little m ore th an a
year o ld w hen h e h ad le ft th is p la ce fo re v er. H e w as n ot e v en s u re w heth er h e
would b e a b le t o s e e t h e c o tta g e a t a ll; h e d id n ot k now w hat h ap pen ed w hen t h e
su bje cts o f a F id eliu s C harm d ie d . T hen th e little la n e a lo ng w hic h th ey w ere
walk in g cu rv ed to th e le ft an d th e h eart o f th e v illa g e, a sm all sq uare , w as
re v eale d t o t h em .
Str u ng a ll a ro und w ith c o lo re d lig hts , th ere w as w hat lo oked lik e a w ar
mem oria l in th e m id dle , p artly o bsc u re d b y a w in dblo w n C hris tm as tr e e. T here
were s e v era l s h ops, a p ost o ff ic e, a p ub, a n d a little c h urc h w hose s ta in ed -g la ss
win dow s w ere g lo w in g j e w el- b rig ht a cro ss t h e s q uare .
The sn ow here had beco m e im pacte d : It w as hard an d slip pery w here
peo ple h ad tr o dden o n it a ll d ay. V illa g ers w ere c ris sc ro ssin g in fro nt o f th em ,
th eir f ig ure s b rie fly illu m in ate d b y s tr e etla m ps. T hey h eard a s n atc h o f la u ghte r
an d p op m usic a s th e p ub d oor o pen ed a n d c lo se d ; th en th ey h eard a c aro l s ta rt
up i n sid e t h e l ittle c h urc h .
“H arry , I t h in k i t’s C hris tm as E ve!” s a id H erm io ne.
“Is i t? ”
He h ad l o st t r a ck o f t h e d ate ; t h ey h ad n ot s e en a n ew sp ap er f o r w eek s.

“I’m s u re it is ,” s a id H erm io ne, h er e y es u pon th e c h urc h . “ T hey … th ey ’ll
be i n t h ere , w on’t t h ey ? Y our m um a n d d ad ? I c an s e e t h e g ra v ey ard b eh in d i t.”
Harry f e lt a th rill o f s o m eth in g th at w as b ey ond e x cite m en t, m ore lik e f e ar.
Now th at h e w as so n ear, h e w ondere d w heth er h e w an te d to se e afte r all.
Perh ap s H erm io ne k new h ow h e w as fe elin g, b ecau se s h e re ac h ed fo r h is h an d
an d to ok th e le ad fo r th e fir s t tim e, p ullin g h im fo rw ard . H alf w ay a cro ss th e
sq uare , h ow ev er, s h e s to pped d ead .
“H arry , l o ok!”
She w as poin tin g at th e w ar m em oria l. A s th ey had passe d it, it had
tr a n sfo rm ed . I n ste ad o f a n o belis k c o vere d in n am es, th ere w as a s ta tu e o f th re e
peo ple : a m an w ith u ntid y h air a n d g la sse s, a w om an w ith lo ng h air a n d a k in d,
pre tty f a ce, a n d a b ab y b oy s ittin g in h is m oth er’s a rm s. S now la y u pon a ll th eir
head s, l ik e f lu ff y w hite c ap s.
Harry d re w c lo se r, g azin g u p i n to h is p are n ts ’ f a ces. H e h ad n ev er i m ag in ed
th at th ere w ould b e a s ta tu e… H ow s tr a n ge it w as to s e e h im se lf r e p re se n te d in
sto ne, a h ap py b ab y w ith out a s c ar o n h is f o re h ead …
“C ’m on,” sa id H arry , w hen h e h ad lo oked h is fill, a n d th ey tu rn ed a g ain
to w ard th e c h urc h . A s th ey c ro sse d th e ro ad , h e g la n ced o ver h is s h ould er; th e
sta tu e h ad t u rn ed b ack i n to t h e w ar m em oria l.
The sin gin g g re w lo uder a s th ey a p pro ach ed th e c h urc h . It m ad e H arry ’s
th ro at c o nstr ic t, it r e m in ded h im s o f o rc efu lly o f H ogw arts , o f P eev es b ello w in g
ru de v ers io ns o f c aro ls fro m in sid e su its o f a rm or, o f th e G re at H all’s tw elv e
Chris tm as tr e es, o f D um ble d ore w earin g a b onnet h e h ad w on in a c ra ck er, o f
Ron i n a h an d-k nitte d s w eate r…
There w as a k is sin g g ate a t t h e e n tr a n ce t o t h e g ra v ey ard . H erm io ne p ush ed
it o pen a s q uie tly a s p ossib le a n d th ey e d ged th ro ugh it. O n e ith er s id e o f th e
slip pery p ath t o t h e c h urc h d oors , t h e s n ow l a y d eep a n d u nto uch ed . T hey m oved
off th ro ugh th e s n ow , c arv in g d eep tr e n ch es b eh in d th em a s th ey w alk ed a ro und
th e b uild in g, k eep in g t o t h e s h ad ow s b en eath t h e b rillia n t w in dow s.
Beh in d th e c h urc h , ro w u pon ro w o f s n ow y to m bsto nes p ro tr u ded fro m a
bla n ket of pale blu e th at w as fle ck ed w ith dazzlin g re d , gold , an d gre en
where v er th e re fle ctio ns fro m th e s ta in ed g la ss h it th e s n ow . K eep in g h is h an d
clo se d tig htly o n th e w an d in h is ja ck et p ock et, H arry m oved to w ard th e n eare st
gra v e.
“L ook a t t h is , i t’s a n A bbott, c o uld b e s o m e l o ng-lo st r e la tio n o f H an nah ’s !”
“K eep y our v oic e d ow n,” H erm io ne b eg ged h im .
They w ad ed d eep er a n d d eep er i n to t h e g ra v ey ard , g ougin g d ark t r a ck s i n to
th e s n ow b eh in d th em , s to opin g to p eer a t th e w ord s o n o ld h ead sto nes, e v ery
now a n d th en s q uin tin g in to th e s u rro undin g d ark ness to m ak e a b so lu te ly s u re

th at t h ey w ere u nacco m pan ie d .
“H arry , h ere !”
Herm io ne w as tw o r o w s o f to m bsto nes a w ay ; h e h ad to w ad e b ack to h er,
his h eart p ositiv ely b an gin g i n h is c h est.
“Is i t— ?”
“N o, b ut l o ok!”
She p oin te d to th e d ark sto ne. H arry sto oped d ow n an d sa w , u pon th e
fro zen , lic h en -s p otte d g ra n ite , th e w ord s
Ken dra D um ble d ore
a n d, a s h ort w ay
dow n h er d ate s o f b ir th a n d d eath ,
and H er D aughte r A ria na.
T here w as a ls o a
quota tio n:
Where y o ur t r e a su re i s , t h ere w ill y o ur h ea rt b e a ls o .
So R ita Skeete r an d M urie l had got so m e of th eir fa cts rig ht. The
Dum ble d ore f a m ily h ad i n deed l iv ed h ere , a n d p art o f i t h ad d ie d h ere .
Seein g th e g ra v e w as w ors e th an h earin g a b out it. H arry c o uld n ot h elp
th in kin g th at h e a n d D um ble d ore b oth h ad d eep r o ots in th is g ra v ey ard , a n d th at
Dum ble d ore o ught to h av e to ld h im s o , y et h e h ad n ev er th ought to s h are th e
co nnectio n. T hey co uld h av e v is ite d th e p la ce to geth er; fo r a m om en t H arry
im ag in ed c o m in g h ere w ith D um ble d ore , o f w hat a b ond th at w ould h av e b een ,
of h ow m uch i t w ould h av e m ean t t o h im . B ut i t s e em ed t h at t o D um ble d ore , t h e
fa ct th at th eir fa m ilie s la y sid e b y sid e in th e sa m e g ra v ey ard h ad b een an
unim porta n t c o in cid en ce, i r re le v an t, p erh ap s, t o t h e j o b h e w an te d H arry t o d o.
Herm io ne w as l o okin g a t H arry , a n d h e w as g la d t h at h is f a ce w as h id den i n
sh ad ow . H e r e ad t h e w ord s o n t h e t o m bsto ne a g ain .
Where y o ur t r e a su re i s , t h ere
will y o ur h ea rt b e a ls o .
H e d id n ot u nders ta n d w hat th ese w ord s m ean t. S ure ly
Dum ble d ore h ad ch ose n th em , as th e eld est m em ber o f th e fa m ily o nce h is
moth er h ad d ie d .
“A re y ou s u re h e n ev er m en tio ned — ?” H erm io ne b eg an .
“N o,” sa id H arry c u rtly , th en , “ le t’s k eep lo okin g,” a n d h e tu rn ed a w ay,
wis h in g h e h ad n ot s e en t h e s to ne: H e d id n ot w an t h is e x cite d t r e p id atio n t a in te d
with r e se n tm en t.
“H ere !” crie d H erm io ne ag ain a fe w m om en ts la te r fro m out of th e
dark ness. “ O h n o, s o rry ! I t h ought i t s a id P otte r.”
She w as ru bbin g a t a c ru m blin g, m ossy sto ne, g azin g d ow n a t it, a little
fro w n o n h er f a ce.
“H arry , c o m e b ack a m om en t.”
He d id n ot w an t t o b e s id etr a ck ed a g ain , a n d o nly g ru dgin gly m ad e h is w ay
back t h ro ugh t h e s n ow t o w ard h er.

“W hat? ”
“L ook a t t h is !”
The g ra v e w as e x tr e m ely o ld , w eath ere d s o th at H arry c o uld h ard ly m ak e
out t h e n am e. H erm io ne s h ow ed h im t h e s y m bol b en eath i t.
“H arry , t h at’s t h e m ark i n t h e b ook!”
He p eere d a t t h e p la ce s h e i n dic ate d : T he s to ne w as s o w orn t h at i t w as h ard
to m ak e o ut w hat w as e n gra v ed th ere , th ough th ere d id s e em to b e a tr ia n gula r
mark b en eath t h e n early i lle g ib le n am e.
“Y eah … i t c o uld b e… ”
Herm io ne l it h er w an d a n d p oin te d i t a t t h e n am e o n t h e h ead sto ne.
“It s a y s I g — Ig notu s, I t h in k… ”
“I’m g oin g to k eep lo okin g fo r m y p are n ts , a ll rig ht? ” H arry to ld h er, a
slig ht e d ge t o h is v oic e, a n d h e s e t o ff a g ain , l e av in g h er c ro uch ed b esid e t h e o ld
gra v e.
Every n ow a n d th en h e r e co gniz ed a s u rn am e th at, lik e A bbott, h e h ad m et
at H ogw arts . S om etim es th ere w ere s e v era l g en era tio ns o f th e s a m e W iz ard in g
fa m ily re p re se n te d in th e g ra v ey ard : H arry c o uld te ll fro m th e d ate s th at it h ad
eith er d ie d o ut, o r th e c u rre n t m em bers h ad m oved a w ay f ro m G odric ’s H ollo w .
Deep er a n d d eep er a m ongst t h e g ra v es h e w en t, a n d e v ery t im e h e r e ach ed a n ew
head sto ne h e f e lt a l ittle l u rc h o f a p pre h en sio n a n d a n tic ip atio n.
The d ark ness a n d th e sile n ce se em ed to b eco m e, a ll o f a su dden , m uch
deep er. H arry lo oked a ro und, w orrie d , th in kin g o f D em en to rs , th en r e aliz ed th at
th e c aro ls h ad fin is h ed , th at th e c h atte r a n d flu rry o f c h urc h goers w ere fa d in g
aw ay a s th ey m ad e th eir w ay b ack in to th e s q uare . S om eb ody in sid e th e c h urc h
had j u st t u rn ed o ff t h e l ig hts .
Then H erm io ne’s v oic e c am e o ut o f th e b la ck ness f o r th e th ir d tim e, s h arp
an d c le ar f ro m a f e w y ard s a w ay.
“H arry , t h ey ’re h ere … r ig ht h ere .”
And h e k new b y h er to ne th at it w as h is m oth er a n d fa th er th is tim e: H e
moved to w ard h er, f e elin g a s if s o m eth in g h eav y w ere p re ssin g o n h is c h est, th e
sa m e se n sa tio n h e h ad h ad rig ht a fte r D um ble d ore h ad d ie d , a g rie f th at h ad
actu ally w eig hed o n h is h eart a n d l u ngs.
The h ead sto ne w as o nly t w o r o w s b eh in d K en dra a n d A ria n a’s . I t w as m ad e
of w hite m arb le , j u st l ik e D um ble d ore ’s t o m b, a n d t h is m ad e i t e asy t o r e ad , a s i t
se em ed to s h in e in th e d ark . H arry d id n ot n eed to k neel o r e v en a p pro ach v ery
clo se t o i t t o m ak e o ut t h e w ord s e n gra v ed u pon i t.
JA M ES P O TTER
BO RN 2 7 M ARCH 1 960

DIE D 3 1 O CTO BER 1 981
LIL Y P O TTER
BO RN 3 0 J A NUARY 1 960
DIE D 3 1 O CTO BER 1 981
The l a st e n em y t h at s h all b e d estr o yed i s d ea th .
Harry r e ad th e w ord s s lo w ly , a s th ough h e w ould h av e o nly o ne c h an ce to
ta k e i n t h eir m ean in g, a n d h e r e ad t h e l a st o f t h em a lo ud.
“‘T he la st e n em y th at sh all b e d estr o yed is d eath ’… ” A h orrib le th ought
cam e to h im , a n d w ith a k in d o f p an ic . “ Is n ’t th at a D eath E ate r id ea? W hy is
th at t h ere ?”
“It d oesn ’t m ean d efe atin g d eath in th e w ay th e D eath E ate rs m ean it,
Harry ,” s a id H erm io ne, h er v oic e g en tle . “ It m ean s… y ou k now … l iv in g b ey ond
death . L iv in g a fte r d eath .”
But t h ey w ere n ot l iv in g, t h ought H arry . T hey w ere g one. T he e m pty w ord s
co uld n ot d is g uis e th e f a ct th at h is p are n ts ’ m old erin g r e m ain s la y b en eath s n ow
an d s to ne, in dif f e re n t, u nknow in g. A nd te ars c am e b efo re h e c o uld s to p th em ,
boilin g h ot th en in sta n tly f re ezin g o n h is f a ce, a n d w hat w as th e p oin t in w ip in g
th em o ff o r p re te n din g? H e le t th em f a ll, h is lip s p re sse d h ard to geth er, lo okin g
dow n a t th e th ic k s n ow h id in g f ro m h is e y es th e p la ce w here th e la st o f L ily a n d
Ja m es l a y, b ones n ow , s u re ly , o r d ust, n ot k now in g o r c arin g t h at t h eir l iv in g s o n
sto od s o n ear, h is h eart s till b eatin g, a liv e b ecau se o f th eir s a crif ic e a n d c lo se to
wis h in g, a t t h is m om en t, t h at h e w as s le ep in g u nder t h e s n ow w ith t h em .
Herm io ne h ad ta k en h is h an d a g ain a n d w as g rip pin g it tig htly . H e c o uld
not lo ok a t h er, b ut re tu rn ed th e p re ssu re , n ow ta k in g d eep , s h arp g ulp s o f th e
nig ht air , tr y in g to ste ad y h im se lf , tr y in g to re g ain co ntr o l. H e sh ould h av e
bro ught s o m eth in g to g iv e to th em , a n d h e h ad n ot th ought o f it, a n d e v ery p la n t
in th e g ra v ey ard w as le afle ss a n d f ro zen . B ut H erm io ne r a is e d h er w an d, m oved
it in a c ir c le th ro ugh th e a ir , a n d a w re ath o f C hris tm as r o se s b lo sso m ed b efo re
th em . H arry c au ght i t a n d l a id i t o n h is p are n ts ’ g ra v e.
As s o on a s h e s to od u p h e w an te d to le av e: H e d id n ot th in k h e c o uld s ta n d
an oth er m om en t t h ere . H e p ut h is a rm a ro und H erm io ne’s s h ould ers , a n d s h e p ut
hers a ro und h is w ais t, a n d th ey tu rn ed in s ile n ce a n d w alk ed a w ay th ro ugh th e
sn ow , p ast D um ble d ore ’s m oth er a n d s is te r, b ack t o w ard t h e d ark c h urc h a n d t h e
out- o f-s ig ht k is sin g g ate .

1 7. B AT H IL D A’S S E C RET
“H arry , s to p.”
“W hat’s w ro ng?”
They h ad o nly j u st r e ach ed t h e g ra v e o f t h e u nknow n A bbott.
“T here ’s s o m eo ne th ere . S om eo ne w atc h in g u s. I c an te ll. T here , o ver b y
t h e b ush es.”
They s to od q uite s till, h old in g o n to e ach o th er, g azin g a t th e d en se b la ck
b oundary o f t h e g ra v ey ard . H arry c o uld n ot s e e a n yth in g.
“A re y ou s u re ?”
“I s a w s o m eth in g m ove. I c o uld h av e s w orn I d id … ”
She b ro ke f ro m h im t o f re e h er w an d a rm .
“W e l o ok l ik e M uggle s,” H arry p oin te d o ut.
“M uggle s w ho’v e ju st b een la y in g flo w ers o n y our p are n ts ’ g ra v e? H arry ,
I ’m s u re t h ere ’s s o m eo ne o ver t h ere !”
Harry th ought o f
A H is to ry o f M agic ;
th e g ra v ey ard w as su ppose d to b e
h au nte d ; w hat i f — ? B ut t h en h e h eard a r u stle a n d s a w a l ittle e d dy o f d is lo dged
s n ow i n t h e b ush t o w hic h H erm io ne h ad p oin te d . G hosts c o uld n ot m ove s n ow .
“It’s a c at,” s a id H arry , a fte r a s e co nd o r tw o, “ o r a b ir d . I f it w as a D eath
E ate r w e’d b e d ead b y n ow . B ut le t’s g et o ut o f h ere , a n d w e c an p ut th e C lo ak
b ack o n.”
They g la n ced b ack r e p eate d ly a s th ey m ad e th eir w ay o ut o f th e g ra v ey ard .
H arry , w ho did not fe el as sa n guin e as he had pre te n ded w hen re assu rin g
H erm io ne, w as g la d t o r e ach t h e g ate a n d t h e s lip pery p av em en t. T hey p ulle d t h e
I n vis ib ility C lo ak b ack o ver th em se lv es. T he p ub w as fu lle r th an b efo re . M an y
v oic es in sid e it w ere now sin gin g th e caro l th at th ey had heard as th ey
a p pro ach ed th e c h urc h . F or a m om en t, H arry c o nsid ere d su ggestin g th ey ta k e
r e fu ge i n sid e i t, b ut b efo re h e c o uld s a y a n yth in g H erm io ne m urm ure d , “ L et’s g o
t h is w ay,” a n d p ulle d h im d ow n th e d ark s tr e et le ad in g o ut o f th e v illa g e in th e
o pposite d ir e ctio n f ro m w hic h th ey h ad e n te re d . H arry c o uld m ak e o ut th e p oin t
w here th e c o tta g es e n ded a n d th e la n e tu rn ed in to o pen c o untr y a g ain . T hey
w alk ed a s q uic k ly a s t h ey d are d , p ast m ore w in dow s s p ark lin g w ith m ultic o lo re d
l ig hts , t h e o utlin es o f C hris tm as t r e es d ark t h ro ugh t h e c u rta in s.
“H ow a re w e g oin g to fin d B ath ild a’s h ouse ?” a sk ed H erm io ne, w ho w as
s h iv erin g a l ittle a n d k ep t g la n cin g b ack o ver h er s h ould er. “ H arry ? W hat d o y ou
t h in k? H arry ?”
She t u gged a t th is a rm , b ut H arry w as n ot p ay in g a tte n tio n. H e w as l o okin g

to w ard th e d ark m ass th at sto o d a t th e v ery e n d o f th is ro w o f h ouse s. N ex t
mom en t h e s p ed u p, d ra g gin g H erm io ne a lo ng w ith h im , s h e s lip ped a little o n
th e i c e.
“H arry — ”
“L ook… L ook a t i t, H erm io ne… ”
“I d on’t… o h!”
He c o uld s e e it; th e F id eliu s C harm m ust h av e d ie d w ith J a m es a n d L ily .
The h ed ge h ad g ro w n w ild in th e s ix te en y ears sin ce H ag rid h ad ta k en H arry
fro m th e ru bble th at la y sc atte re d a m ongst th e w ais t- h ig h g ra ss. M ost o f th e
co tta g e w as s till s ta n din g, th ough e n tir e ly c o vere d in th e d ark iv y a n d s n ow , b ut
th e rig ht s id e o f th e to p flo or h ad b een b lo w n a p art; th at, H arry w as s u re , w as
where th e c u rs e h ad b ack fir e d . H e a n d H erm io ne s to od a t th e g ate , g azin g u p a t
th e w re ck o f w hat m ust o nce h av e b een a c o tta g e j u st l ik e t h ose t h at f la n ked i t.
“I w onder w hy n obody’s e v er r e b uilt i t? ” w his p ere d H erm io ne.
“M ay be y ou c an ’t re b uild it? ” H arry re p lie d . “ M ay be it’s lik e th e in ju rie s
fro m D ark M ag ic a n d y ou c an ’t r e p air t h e d am ag e?”
He slip ped a h an d fro m b en eath th e C lo ak an d g ra sp ed th e sn ow y an d
th ic k ly ru ste d g ate , n ot w is h in g to o pen it, b ut s im ply to h old s o m e p art o f th e
house .
“Y ou’re n ot g oin g t o g o i n sid e? I t l o oks u nsa fe , i t m ig ht— oh, H arry , l o ok!”
His to uch o n th e g ate s e em ed to h av e d one it. A s ig n h ad ris e n o ut o f th e
gro und in f ro nt o f th em , u p th ro ugh th e ta n gle s o f n ettle s a n d w eed s, lik e s o m e
biz arre , f a st- g ro w in g f lo w er, a n d i n g old en l e tte rs u pon t h e w ood i t s a id :
On th is s p ot, o n th is n ig ht o f 3 1 O cto ber 1 981, L ily a n d J a m es
Potte r lo st th eir liv es. T heir s o n, H arry , r e m ain s th e o nly w iz ard e v er
to h av e s u rv iv ed th e K illin g C urs e . T his h ouse , in vis ib le to M uggle s,
has b een le ft in its r u in ed s ta te a s a m onum en t to th e P otte rs a n d a s a
re m in der o f t h e v io le n ce t h at t o re a p art t h eir f a m ily .
And a ll a ro und th ese n eatly le tte re d w ord s, sc rib ble s h ad b een a d ded b y
oth er w itc h es a n d w iz ard s w ho h ad c o m e to s e e th e p la ce w here th e B oy W ho
Liv ed h ad e sc ap ed . S om e h ad m ere ly sig ned th eir n am es in E verla stin g In k;
oth ers h ad c arv ed th eir in itia ls in to th e w ood, s till o th ers h ad le ft m essa g es. T he
most re cen t of th ese , sh in in g brig htly over six te en years ’ w orth of m ag ic al
gra ff iti, a ll s a id s im ila r t h in gs.
Good l u ck , H arry , w here v er y ou a re .
If y ou r e ad t h is , H arry , w e’re a ll b eh in d y ou!

Long l iv e H arry P otte r.
“T hey s h ould n’t h av e w ritte n o n t h e s ig n!” s a id H erm io ne, i n dig nan t.
But H arry b eam ed a t h er.
“It’s b rillia n t. I ’m g la d t h ey d id . I … ”
He b ro ke o ff . A h eav ily m uff le d fig ure w as h obblin g u p th e la n e to w ard
th em , s ilh ouette d b y t h e b rig ht l ig hts i n t h e d is ta n t s q uare . H arry t h ought, t h ough
it w as h ard to ju dge, th at th e fig ure w as a w om an . S he w as m ovin g slo w ly ,
possib ly frig hte n ed o f s lip pin g o n th e s n ow y g ro und. H er s to op, h er s to utn ess,
her s h uff lin g g ait a ll g av e a n i m pre ssio n o f e x tr e m e a g e. T hey w atc h ed i n s ile n ce
as s h e d re w n eare r. H arry w as w aitin g to s e e w heth er s h e w ould tu rn in to a n y o f
th e c o tta g es s h e w as p assin g, b ut h e k new in stin ctiv ely th at s h e w ould n ot. A t
la st sh e c am e to a h alt a fe w y ard s fro m th em a n d sim ply sto od th ere in th e
mid dle o f t h e f ro zen r o ad , f a cin g t h em .
He d id n ot n eed H erm io ne’s p in ch to h is a rm . T here w as n ex t to n o c h an ce
th at th is w om an w as a M uggle : S he w as s ta n din g th ere g azin g a t a h ouse th at
ought to h av e b een c o m ple te ly in vis ib le to h er, if sh e w as n ot a w itc h . E ven
assu m in g th at s h e w as a w itc h , h ow ev er, it w as o dd b eh av io r to c o m e o ut o n a
nig ht th is c o ld , s im ply to lo ok a t a n o ld r u in . B y a ll th e r u le s o f n orm al m ag ic ,
mean w hile , sh e ought not to be ab le to se e H erm io ne an d him at all.
Nev erth ele ss, H arry h ad th e s tr a n gest f e elin g th at s h e k new th at th ey w ere th ere ,
an d a ls o w ho th ey w ere . Ju st a s h e h ad re ach ed th is u neasy c o nclu sio n, sh e
ra is e d a g lo ved h an d a n d b eck oned .
Herm io ne m oved c lo se r to h im u nder th e C lo ak , h er a rm p re sse d a g ain st
his .
“H ow d oes s h e k now ?”
He sh ook h is h ead . T he w om an b eck oned a g ain , m ore v ig oro usly . H arry
co uld th in k o f m an y re aso ns n ot to o bey th e s u m mons, a n d y et h is s u sp ic io ns
ab out h er id en tity w ere g ro w in g s tr o nger e v ery m om en t th at th ey s to od fa cin g
each o th er i n t h e d ese rte d s tr e et.
Was it p ossib le th at s h e h ad b een w aitin g fo r th em a ll th ese lo ng m onth s?
That D um ble d ore h ad to ld h er to w ait, a n d th at H arry w ould c o m e in th e e n d?
Was i t n ot l ik ely t h at i t w as s h e w ho h ad m oved i n t h e s h ad ow s i n t h e g ra v ey ard
an d h ad fo llo w ed th em to th is s p ot? E ven h er a b ility to s e n se th em s u ggeste d
so m e D um ble d ore -is h p ow er t h at h e h ad n ev er e n co unte re d b efo re .
Fin ally H arry s p oke, c au sin g H erm io ne t o g asp a n d j u m p.
“A re y ou B ath ild a?”
The m uff le d f ig ure n odded a n d b eck oned a g ain .
Ben eath th e C lo ak H arry a n d H erm io ne lo oked a t e ach o th er. H arry r a is e d

his e y eb ro w s; H erm io ne g av e a t in y, n erv ous n od.
They s te p ped to w ard th e w om an a n d, a t o nce, s h e tu rn ed a n d h obble d o ff
back th e w ay th ey h ad c o m e. L ead in g th em p ast s e v era l h ouse s, s h e tu rn ed in a t
a gate . T hey fo llo w ed her up th e fro nt path th ro ugh a gard en nearly as
overg ro w n a s t h e o ne t h ey h ad j u st l e ft. S he f u m ble d f o r a m om en t w ith a k ey a t
th e f ro nt d oor, t h en o pen ed i t a n d s te p ped b ack t o l e t t h em p ass.
She s m elle d b ad , o r p erh ap s it w as h er h ouse ; H arry w rin kle d h is n ose a s
th ey s id le d p ast h er a n d p ulle d o ff th e C lo ak . N ow th at h e w as b esid e h er, h e
re aliz ed h ow t in y s h e w as; b ow ed d ow n w ith a g e, s h e c am e b are ly l e v el w ith h is
ch est. S he c lo se d th e d oor b eh in d th em , h er k nuck le s b lu e a n d m ottle d a g ain st
th e p eelin g p ain t, th en tu rn ed a n d p eere d in to H arry ’s f a ce. H er e y es w ere th ic k
with c ata ra cts a n d s u nken in to f o ld s o f tr a n sp are n t s k in , a n d h er w hole f a ce w as
dotte d w ith b ro ken v ein s a n d liv er s p ots . H e w ondere d w heth er s h e c o uld m ak e
him o ut a t a ll; e v en if s h e c o uld , it w as th e b ald in g M uggle w hose id en tity h e
had s to le n t h at s h e w ould s e e.
The o dor o f o ld a g e, o f d ust, o f u nw ash ed c lo th es a n d s ta le f o od in te n sif ie d
as s h e u nw ound a m oth -e ate n b la ck s h aw l, r e v ealin g a h ead o f s c an t w hite h air
th ro ugh w hic h t h e s c alp s h ow ed c le arly .
“B ath ild a?” H arry r e p eate d .
She n odded a g ain . H arry b ecam e a w are o f th e lo ck et a g ain st h is s k in ; th e
th in g in sid e it th at s o m etim es tic k ed o r b eat h ad w oken ; h e c o uld f e el it p uls in g
th ro ugh th e c o ld g old . D id it k now , c o uld it se n se , th at th e th in g th at w ould
destr o y i t w as n ear?
Bath ild a s h uff le d p ast th em , p ush in g H erm io ne a sid e a s th ough s h e h ad n ot
se en h er, a n d v an is h ed i n to w hat s e em ed t o b e a s ittin g r o om .
“H arry , I ’m n ot s u re a b out t h is ,” b re ath ed H erm io ne.
“L ook a t th e s iz e o f h er, I th in k w e c o uld o verp ow er h er if w e h ad to ,” s a id
Harry . “ L is te n , I s h ould h av e t o ld y ou, I k new s h e w asn ’t a ll t h ere . M urie l c alle d
her ‘ g ag a.’ ”
“C om e!” c alle d B ath ild a f ro m t h e n ex t r o om .
Herm io ne j u m ped a n d c lu tc h ed H arry ’s a rm .
“It’s o kay,” sa id H arry re assu rin gly , an d h e le d th e w ay in to th e sittin g
ro om .
Bath ild a w as t o tte rin g a ro und t h e p la ce l ig htin g c an dle s, b ut i t w as s till v ery
dark , n ot t o m en tio n e x tr e m ely d ir ty . T hic k d ust c ru nch ed b en ea th t h eir f e et, a n d
Harry ’s nose dete cte d , undern eath th e dan k an d m ild ew ed sm ell, so m eth in g
wors e , lik e m eat g one b ad . H e w ondere d w hen w as th e la st tim e a n yone h ad
been in sid e B ath ild a’s h ouse to c h eck w heth er s h e w as c o pin g. S he s e em ed to
hav e fo rg otte n th at s h e c o uld d o m ag ic , to o, fo r s h e lit th e c an dle s c lu m sily b y

han d, h er t r a ilin g l a ce c u ff i n c o nsta n t d an ger o f c atc h in g f ir e .
“L et m e d o th at,” o ff e re d H arry , a n d h e to ok th e m atc h es fro m h er. S he
sto od w atc h in g h im a s h e f in is h ed l ig htin g t h e c an dle s tu bs t h at s to od o n s a u cers
aro und th e ro om , p erc h ed p re cario usly o n sta ck s o f b ooks a n d o n sid e ta b le s
cra m med w ith c ra ck ed a n d m old y c u ps.
The la st s u rfa ce o n w hic h H arry s p otte d a c an dle w as a b ow -fro nte d c h est
of d ra w ers o n w hic h t h ere s to od a l a rg e n um ber o f p hoto gra p hs. W hen t h e f la m e
dan ced in to lif e , its r e fle ctio n w av ere d o n th eir d usty g la ss a n d s ilv er. H e s a w a
fe w tin y m ovem en ts fro m th e p ic tu re s. A s B ath ild a fu m ble d w ith lo gs fo r th e
fir e , h e m utte re d “ T erg eo ”: T he d ust v an is h ed f ro m th e p hoto gra p hs, a n d h e s a w
at o nce th at h alf a d ozen w ere m is sin g f ro m th e la rg est a n d m ost o rn ate f ra m es.
He w ondere d w heth er B ath ild a o r s o m eb ody e ls e h ad re m oved th em . T hen th e
sig ht o f a p hoto gra p h n ear th e b ack o f th e c o lle ctio n c au ght h is e y e, a n d h e
sn atc h ed i t u p.
It w as th e gold en -h air e d , m erry -fa ced th ie f, th e young m an w ho had
perc h ed o n G re g oro vitc h ’s w in dow sill, sm ilin g la zily u p at H arry o ut o f th e
silv er f ra m e. A nd i t c am e t o H arry i n sta n tly w here h e h ad s e en t h e b oy b efo re : i n
The Life and Lie s of Alb us D um ble d ore ,
arm in arm w ith th e te en ag e
Dum ble d ore , a n d th at m ust b e w here a ll th e m is sin g p hoto gra p hs w ere : in R ita ’s
book.
“M rs .— Mis s— Bag sh ot? ” h e sa id , a n d h is v oic e sh ook slig htly . “ W ho is
th is ? ”
Bath ild a w as s ta n din g in th e m id dle o f th e ro om w atc h in g H erm io ne lig ht
th e f ir e f o r h er.
“M is s B ag sh ot? ” H arry re p eate d , a n d h e a d van ced w ith th e p ic tu re in h is
han ds a s th e fla m es b urs t in to lif e in th e fir e p la ce. B ath ild a lo oked u p a t h is
voic e, a n d t h e H orc ru x b eat f a ste r u pon h is c h est.
“W ho i s t h is p ers o n?” H arry a sk ed h er, p ush in g t h e p ic tu re f o rw ard .
She p eere d a t i t s o le m nly , t h en u p a t H arry .
“D o y ou k now w ho t h is i s ? ” h e r e p eate d i n a m uch s lo w er a n d l o uder v oic e
th an u su al. “ T his m an ? D o y ou k now h im ? W hat’s h e c alle d ?”
Bath ild a m ere ly lo oked v ag ue. H arry fe lt a n a w fu l fru str a tio n. H ow h ad
Rita S keete r u nlo ck ed B ath ild a’s m em orie s?
“W ho i s t h is m an ?” h e r e p eate d l o udly .
“H arry , w hat a re y ou d oin g?” a sk ed H erm io ne.
“T his pic tu re . Herm io ne, it’s th e th ie f, th e th ie f who sto le fro m
Gre g oro vitc h ! P le ase !” h e s a id t o B ath ild a. “ W ho i s t h is ? ”
But s h e o nly s ta re d a t h im .
“W hy d id y ou a sk u s to c o m e w ith y ou, M rs .— Mis s— Bag sh ot? ” a sk ed

Herm io ne, r a is in g h er o w n v oic e. “ W as t h ere s o m eth in g y ou w an te d t o t e ll u s? ”
Giv in g n o s ig n th at s h e h ad h eard H erm io ne, B ath ild a n ow s h uff le d a fe w
ste p s c lo se r t o H arry . W ith a l ittle j e rk o f h er h ead s h e l o oked b ack i n to t h e h all.
“Y ou w an t u s t o l e av e?” h e a sk ed .
She re p eate d th e g estu re , th is tim e p oin tin g fir s tly a t h im , th en a t h ers e lf ,
th en a t t h e c eilin g.
“O h, r ig ht… H erm io ne, I t h in k s h e w an ts m e t o g o u psta ir s w ith h er.”
“A ll r ig ht,” s a id H erm io ne, “ le t’s g o.”
But w hen H erm io ne m oved , B ath ild a s h ook h er h ead w ith s u rp ris in g v ig or,
once m ore p oin tin g f ir s t a t H arry , t h en t o h ers e lf .
“S he w an ts m e t o g o w ith h er, a lo ne.”
“W hy?” a sk ed H erm io ne, a n d h er v oic e ra n g o ut sh arp a n d c le ar in th e
can dle lit r o om , t h e o ld l a d y s h ook h er h ead a l ittle a t t h e l o ud n ois e .
“M ay be D um ble d ore t o ld h er t o g iv e t h e s w ord t o m e, a n d o nly t o m e?”
“D o y ou r e ally t h in k s h e k now s w ho y ou a re ?”
“Y es,” s a id H arry , lo okin g d ow n in to th e m ilk y e y es f ix ed u pon h is o w n. “ I
th in k s h e d oes.”
“W ell, o kay t h en , b ut b e q uic k , H arry .”
“L ead t h e w ay,” H arry t o ld B ath ild a.
She se em ed to u nders ta n d, b ecau se sh e sh uff le d aro und h im to w ard th e
door. H arry g la n ced b ack a t H erm io ne w ith a re assu rin g s m ile , b ut h e w as n ot
su re sh e h ad se en it; sh e sto od h uggin g h ers e lf in th e m id st o f th e c an dle lit
sq ualo r, lo okin g to w ard th e b ookcase . A s H arry w alk ed o ut o f th e r o om , u nse en
by b oth H erm io ne a n d B ath ild a, h e s lip ped th e s ilv er- fra m ed p hoto gra p h o f th e
unknow n t h ie f i n sid e h is j a ck et.
The sta ir s w ere ste ep an d n arro w ; H arry w as h alf te m pte d to p la ce h is
han ds on sto ut B ath ild a’s back sid e to en su re th at sh e did not to pple over
back w ard o n t o p o f h im , w hic h s e em ed o nly t o o l ik ely . S lo w ly , w heezin g a l ittle ,
sh e c lim bed to th e u pper la n din g, tu rn ed im med ia te ly rig ht, a n d le d h im in to a
lo w -c eilin ged b ed ro om .
It w as p itc h -b la ck a n d s m elle d h orrib le : H arry h ad j u st m ad e o ut a c h am ber
pot p ro tr u din g f ro m u nder th e b ed b efo re B ath ild a c lo se d th e d oor a n d e v en th at
was s w allo w ed b y t h e d ark ness.
“Lum os,”
s a id H arry , a n d h is w an d ig nite d . H e g av e a s ta rt: B ath ild a h ad
moved c lo se to h im in th ose f e w s e co nds o f d ark ness, a n d h e h ad n ot h eard h er
ap pro ach .
“Y ou a re P otte r? ” s h e w his p ere d .
“Y es, I a m .”
She n odded slo w ly , so le m nly . H arry fe lt th e H orc ru x b eatin g fa st, fa ste r

th an h is o w n h eart; I t w as a n u nple asa n t, a g ita tin g s e n sa tio n.
“H av e y ou g ot a n yth in g f o r m e?” H arry a sk ed , b ut s h e s e em ed d is tr a cte d b y
his l it w an d-tip .
“H av e y ou g ot a n yth in g f o r m e?” h e r e p eate d .
Then s h e c lo se d h er e y es a n d s e v era l th in gs h ap pen ed a t o nce: H arry ’s s c ar
pric k le d p ain fu lly ; th e H orc ru x tw itc h ed s o th at th e f ro nt o f h is s w eate r a ctu ally
moved ; th e d ark , fe tid ro om d is so lv ed m om en ta rily . H e fe lt a le ap o f jo y a n d
sp oke i n a h ig h, c o ld v oic e: H old h im !
Harry sw ay ed w here h e sto od: T he d ark , fo ul- s m ellin g ro om se em ed to
clo se a ro und h im a g ain ; h e d id n ot k now w hat h ad j u st h ap pen ed .
“H av e y ou g ot a n yth in g f o r m e?” h e a sk ed f o r a t h ir d t im e, m uch l o uder.
“O ver h ere ,” s h e w his p ere d , p oin tin g to th e c o rn er. H arry ra is e d h is w an d
an d s a w t h e o utlin e o f a c lu tte re d d re ssin g t a b le b en eath t h e c u rta in ed w in dow .
This tim e s h e d id n ot le ad h im . H arry e d ged b etw een h er a n d th e u nm ad e
bed , h is w an d r a is e d . H e d id n ot w an t t o l o ok a w ay f ro m h er.
“W hat is it? ” h e a sk ed a s h e r e ach ed th e d re ssin g ta b le , w hic h w as h eap ed
hig h w ith w hat l o oked a n d s m elle d l ik e d ir ty l a u ndry .
“T here ,” s h e s a id , p oin tin g a t t h e s h ap ele ss m ass.
And i n t h e i n sta n t t h at h e l o oked a w ay, h is e y es t a k in g t h e t a n gle d m ess f o r
a s w ord h ilt, a r u by, s h e m oved w eir d ly : H e s a w it o ut o f th e c o rn er o f h is e y e;
pan ic m ad e h im t u rn a n d h orro r p ara ly zed h im a s h e s a w t h e o ld b ody c o lla p sin g
an d t h e g re at s n ak e p ourin g f ro m t h e p la ce w here h er n eck h ad b een .
The s n ak e s tr u ck a s h e r a is e d h is w an d: T he f o rc e o f t h e b ite t o h is f o re arm
se n t th e w an d s p in nin g u p to w ard th e c eilin g; its lig ht s w ung d iz zy in gly a ro und
th e ro om an d w as ex tin guis h ed ; T hen a p ow erfu l b lo w fro m th e ta il to h is
mid rif f k nock ed th e b re ath o ut o f h im : H e f e ll b ack w ard o nto th e d re ssin g ta b le ,
in to t h e m ound o f f ilth y c lo th in g—
He ro lle d sid ew ay s, n arro w ly av oid in g th e sn ak e’s ta il, w hic h th ra sh ed
dow n u pon th e ta b le w here h e h ad b een a s e co nd e arlie r. F ra g m en ts o f th e g la ss
su rfa ce r a in ed u pon h im a s h e h it th e f lo or. F ro m b elo w h e h eard H erm io ne c all,
“H arry ?”
He c o uld n ot g et e n ough b re ath in to h is lu ngs to c all b ack : T hen a h eav y
sm ooth m ass s m ash ed h im to th e flo or a n d h e fe lt it s lid e o ver h im , p ow erfu l,
musc u la r—
“N o!” h e g asp ed , p in ned t o t h e f lo or.
“Y es,” w his p ere d t h e v oic e. “ Y esss… h old y ou… h old y ou… ”
“A ccio … A ccio W and… ”
But n oth in g h ap pen ed a n d h e n eed ed h is h an ds to tr y to fo rc e th e sn ak e
fro m h im a s i t c o ile d i ts e lf a ro und h is t o rs o , s q ueezin g t h e a ir f ro m h im , p re ssin g

th e H orc ru x h ard in to h is c h est, a c ir c le o f ic e th at th ro bbed w ith lif e , in ch es
fro m h is o w n f ra n tic h eart, a n d h is b ra in w as f lo odin g w ith c o ld , w hite lig ht, a ll
th ought oblite ra te d , his ow n bre ath dro w ned , dis ta n t fo ots te p s, ev ery th in g
goin g…
A m eta l h eart w as b an gin g o uts id e h is c h est, a n d n ow h e w as f ly in g, f ly in g
with t r iu m ph i n h is h eart, w ith out n eed o f b ro om stic k o r t h estr a l…
He w as a b ru ptly a w ak e in th e s o ur- s m ellin g d ark ness; N ag in i h ad r e le ase d
him . H e s c ra m ble d u p a n d s a w th e s n ak e o utlin ed a g ain st th e la n din g lig ht: It
str u ck , an d H erm io ne d iv ed asid e w ith a sh rie k ; h er d efle cte d cu rs e h it th e
cu rta in ed w in dow , w hic h s h atte re d . F ro zen a ir fille d th e ro om a s H arry d uck ed
to a v oid a n oth er sh ow er o f b ro ken g la ss a n d h is fo ot slip ped o n a p en cil- lik e
so m eth in g— his w an d—
He b en t a n d s n atc h ed it u p, b ut n ow th e r o om w as f u ll o f th e s n ak e, its ta il
th ra sh in g; H erm io ne w as n ow here to b e s e en a n d fo r a m om en t H arry th ought
th e w ors t, b ut th en th ere w as a lo ud b an g a n d a f la sh o f r e d lig ht, a n d th e s n ak e
fle w i n to t h e a ir , s m ack in g H arry h ard i n t h e f a ce a s i t w en t, c o il a fte r h eav y c o il
ris in g u p to th e c eilin g. H arry r a is e d h is w an d, b ut a s h e d id s o , h is s c ar s e are d
more p ain fu lly , m ore p ow erfu lly t h an i t h ad d one i n y ears .
“H e’s c o m in g! H erm io ne, h e’s c o m in g!”
As he yelle d th e sn ak e fe ll, his sin g w ild ly . E very th in g w as ch ao s: It
sm ash ed s h elv es fro m th e w all, a n d s p lin te re d c h in a fle w e v ery w here a s H arry
ju m ped o ver t h e b ed a n d s e iz ed t h e d ark s h ap e h e k new t o b e H erm io ne—
She sh rie k ed w ith p ain a s h e p ulle d h er b ack a cro ss th e b ed : T he sn ak e
re are d ag ain , but H arry knew th at w ors e th an th e sn ak e w as co m in g, w as
perh ap s a lr e ad y a t th e g ate , h is h ead w as g oin g to s p lit o pen w ith th e p ain f ro m
his s c ar—
The s n ak e lu nged a s h e to ok a r u nnin g le ap , d ra g gin g H erm io ne w ith h im ;
as it str u ck , H erm io ne sc re am ed ,
“C onfr in go!”
a n d h er sp ell fle w a ro und th e
ro om , e x plo din g th e w ard ro be m ir ro r a n d ric o ch etin g b ack a t th em , b ouncin g
fro m f lo or t o c eilin g; H arry f e lt t h e h eat o f i t s e ar t h e b ack o f h is h an d. G la ss c u t
his c h eek a s, p ullin g H erm io ne w ith h im , h e le ap t fro m b ed to b ro ken d re ssin g
ta b le a n d th en s tr a ig ht o ut o f th e s m ash ed w in dow in to n oth in gness, h er s c re am
re v erb era tin g t h ro ugh t h e n ig ht a s t h ey t w is te d i n m id air …
And th en h is sc ar b urs t o pen a n d h e w as V old em ort a n d h e w as ru nnin g
acro ss th e f e tid b ed ro om , h is lo ng w hite h an ds c lu tc h in g a t th e w in dow sill a s h e
glim pse d th e b ald m an a n d th e little w om an tw is t a n d v an is h , a n d h e s c re am ed
with ra g e, a sc re am th at m in gle d w ith th e g ir l’s , th at e ch oed a cro ss th e d ark
gard en s o ver t h e c h urc h b ells r in gin g i n C hris tm as D ay …
And h is sc re am w as H arry ’s sc re am , h is p ain w as H arry ’s p ain … th at it

co uld h ap pen h ere , w here it h ad h ap pen ed b efo re … h ere , w ith in sig ht o f th at
house w here h e h ad c o m e s o c lo se to k now in g w hat it w as to d ie … to d ie … th e
pain w as s o te rrib le … rip ped fro m h is b ody… B ut if h e h ad n o b ody, w hy d id
his h ead h urt s o b ad ly ; if h e w as d ead , h ow c o ld h e fe el s o u nbeara b ly , d id n’t
pain c ease w ith d eath , d id n’t i t g o…
The nig ht w et an d w in dy, tw o ch ild re n dre sse d as pum pkin s w ad dlin g
acro ss th e s q uare a n d th e s h op w in dow s c o vere d in p ap er s p id ers , a ll th e ta w dry
Muggle t r a p pin gs o f a w orld i n w hic h t h ey d id n ot b elie v e… A nd h e w as g lid in g
alo ng, t h at s e n se o f p urp ose a n d p ow er a n d r ig htn ess i n h im t h at h e a lw ay s k new
on th ese o ccasio ns… N ot an ger… th at w as fo r w eak er so uls th an h e… b ut
tr iu m ph, y es… H e h ad w aite d f o r t h is , h e h ad h oped f o r i t…
“N ic e c o stu m e, m is te r!”
He s a w t h e s m all b oy’s s m ile f a lte r a s h e r a n n ear e n ough t o s e e b en eath t h e
hood o f th e c lo ak , s a w th e f e ar c lo ud h is p ain ed f a ce: T hen th e c h ild tu rn ed a n d
ra n a w ay … B en eath th e r o be h e f in gere d th e h an dle o f h is w an d… O ne s im ple
movem en t a n d th e c h ild w ould n ev er r e ach h is m oth er… b ut u nnecessa ry , q uite
unnecessa ry …
And a lo ng a n ew a n d d ark er s tr e et h e m oved , a n d n ow h is d estin atio n w as
in s ig ht a t la st, th e F id eliu s C harm b ro ken , th ough th ey d id n ot k now it y et…
And h e m ad e l e ss n ois e t h an t h e d ead l e av es s lith erin g a lo ng t h e p av em en t a s h e
dre w l e v el w ith t h e d ark h ed ge, a n d s te ere d o ver i t…
They h ad n ot d ra w n th e c u rta in s; h e s a w th em q uite c le arly in th eir little
sittin g ro om , th e ta ll b la ck -h air e d m an in h is g la sse s, m ak in g p uff s o f c o lo re d
sm oke e ru pt f ro m h is w an d f o r th e a m use m en t o f th e s m all b la ck -h air e d b oy in
his b lu e p aja m as. T he c h ild w as la u ghin g a n d tr y in g to c atc h th e s m oke, to g ra b
it i n h is s m all f is t…
A d oor o pen ed a n d th e m oth er e n te re d , s a y in g w ord s h e c o uld n ot h ear, h er
lo ng d ark -re d h air f a llin g o ver h er f a ce. N ow th e f a th er s c o oped u p th e s o n a n d
han ded h im t o t h e m oth er. H e t h re w h is w an d d ow n u pon t h e s o fa a n d s tr e tc h ed ,
yaw nin g…
The g ate c re ak ed a l ittle a s h e p ush ed i t o pen , b ut J a m es P otte r d id n ot h ear.
His w hite h an d p ulle d o ut th e w an d b en eath h is c lo ak a n d p oin te d it a t th e d oor,
whic h b urs t o pen …
He w as o ver th e th re sh old a s Ja m es c am e sp rin tin g in to th e h all. It w as
easy , t o o e asy , h e h ad n ot e v en p ic k ed u p h is w an d…
“L ily , t a k e H arry a n d g o! I t’s h im ! G o! R un! I ’ll h old h im o ff !”
Hold h im o ff , w ith out a w an d in h is h an d!… H e la u ghed b efo re c astin g th e
cu rs e …
“A vad a K ed av ra !”

The g re en lig ht fille d th e c ra m ped h allw ay, it lit th e p ra m p ush ed a g ain st
th e w all, it m ad e th e b an is te rs g lo w lik e lig htin g r o ds, a n d J a m es P otte r f e ll lik e
a m ario nette w hose s tr in gs w ere c u t…
He c o uld h ear h er s c re am in g fro m th e u pper flo or, tr a p ped , b ut a s lo ng a s
sh e w as se n sib le , sh e, at le ast, h ad n oth in g to fe ar… H e clim bed th e ste p s,
lis te n in g w ith f a in t a m use m en t to h er a tte m pts to b arric ad e h ers e lf in … S he h ad
no w an d u pon h er e ith er… H ow s tu pid th ey w ere , a n d h ow tr u stin g, th in kin g
th at th eir sa fe ty la y in frie n ds, th at w eap ons co uld be dis c ard ed ev en fo r
mom en ts …
He f o rc ed t h e d oor o pen , c ast a sid e t h e c h air a n d b oxes h astily p ile d a g ain st
it w ith o ne la zy w av e o f h is w an d… a n d th ere s h e s to od, th e c h ild in h er a rm s.
At th e s ig ht o f h im , s h e d ro pped h er s o n in to th e c rib b eh in d h er a n d th re w h er
arm s w id e, a s if th is w ould h elp , a s if in s h ie ld in g h im f ro m s ig ht s h e h oped to
be c h ose n i n ste ad …
“N ot H arry , n ot H arry , p le ase n ot H arry !”
“S ta n d a sid e, y ou s illy g ir l… s ta n d a sid e, n ow .”
“N ot H arry , p le ase n o, t a k e m e, k ill m e i n ste ad — ”
“T his i s m y l a st w arn in g— ”
“N ot H arry ! P le ase … h av e m erc y … h av e m erc y … N ot H arry ! N ot H arry !
Ple ase — I’ll d o a n yth in g… ”
“S ta n d a sid e. S ta n d a sid e, g ir l! ”
He c o uld h av e f o rc ed h er a w ay f ro m t h e c rib , b ut i t s e em ed m ore p ru den t t o
fin is h t h em a ll…
The g re en lig ht f la sh ed a ro und th e r o om a n d s h e d ro pped lik e h er h usb an d.
The c h ild h ad n ot c rie d a ll th is tim e. H e c o uld s ta n d, c lu tc h in g th e b ars o f h is
crib , a n d h e lo oked u p in to th e in tr u der’s fa ce w ith a k in d o f b rig ht in te re st,
perh ap s th in kin g th at it w as h is f a th er w ho h id b en eath th e c lo ak , m ak in g m ore
pre tty l ig hts , a n d h is m oth er w ould p op u p a n y m om en t, l a u ghin g—
He p oin te d th e w an d v ery c are fu lly in to th e b oy’s f a ce: H e w an te d to s e e it
hap pen , th e d estr u ctio n o f th is o ne, in ex plic ab le d an ger. T he c h ild b eg an to c ry :
It h ad s e en th at h e w as n ot J a m es. H e d id n ot lik e it c ry in g, h e h ad n ev er b een
ab le t o s to m ach t h e s m all o nes w hin in g i n t h e o rp han ag e—
“A vad a K ed av ra !”
And th en h e b ro ke. H e w as n oth in g, n oth in g b ut p ain a n d te rro r, a n d h e
must h id e h im se lf , n ot h ere in th e ru bble o f th e ru in ed h ouse , w here th e c h ild
was t r a p ped s c re am in g, b ut f a r a w ay … f a r a w ay …
“N o,” h e m oan ed .
The s n ak e ru stle d o n th e filth y, c lu tte re d flo or, a n d h e h ad k ille d th e b oy,
an d y et h e w as t h e b oy…

“N o… ”
And n ow h e s to od a t th e b ro ken w in dow o f B ath ild a’s h ouse , im mers e d in
mem orie s o f h is g re ate st lo ss, an d at h is fe et th e g re at sn ak e slith ere d o ver
bro ken ch in a an d g la ss… H e lo oked d ow n an d sa w so m eth in g… so m eth in g
in cre d ib le …
“N o… ”
“H arry , i t’s a ll r ig ht, y ou’re a ll r ig ht! ”
He s to oped d ow n a n d p ic k ed u p t h e s m ash ed p hoto gra p h. T here h e w as, t h e
unknow n t h ie f, t h e t h ie f h e w as s e ek in g…
“N o… I d ro pped i t… I d ro pped i t… ”
“H arry , i t’s o kay, w ak e u p, w ak e u p!”
He w as H arry … H arry , n ot V old em ort… a n d t h e t h in g t h at w as r u stlin g w as
not a s n ak e… H e o pen ed h is e y es.
“H arry ,” H erm io ne w his p ere d . “ D o y ou f e el a ll— all r ig ht? ”
“Y es,” h e l ie d .
He w as in th e te n t, ly in g o n o ne o f th e lo w er b unks b en eath a h eap o f
bla n kets . H e c o uld t e ll t h at i t w as a lm ost d aw n b y t h e s tilln ess a n d q uality o f t h e
co ld , fla t lig ht b ey ond th e c an vas c eilin g. H e w as d re n ch ed in s w eat; h e c o uld
fe el i t o n t h e s h eets a n d b la n kets .
“W e g ot a w ay.”
“Y es,” s a id H erm io ne. “ I h ad to u se a H over C harm to g et y ou in to y our
bunk. I c o uld n’t l if t y ou. Y ou’v e b een … W ell, y ou h av en ’t b een q uite … ”
There w ere p urp le s h ad ow s u nder h er b ro w n e y es a n d h e n otic ed a s m all
sp onge i n h er h an d: S he h ad b een w ip in g h is f a ce.
“Y ou’v e b een i ll,” s h e f in is h ed . “ Q uite i ll.”
“H ow l o ng a g o d id w e l e av e?”
“H ours a g o. I t’s n early m orn in g.”
“A nd I ’v e b een … w hat, u nco nsc io us? ”
“N ot e x actly ,” sa id H erm io ne u nco m fo rta b ly . “ Y ou’v e b een sh outin g a n d
moan in g a n d… th in gs,” s h e a d ded in a to ne th at m ad e H arry f e el u neasy . W hat
had h e d one? S cre am ed c u rs e s l ik e V old em ort, c rie d l ik e t h e b ab y i n t h e c rib ?
“I co uld n’t g et th e H orc ru x o ff y ou,” H erm io ne sa id , an d h e k new sh e
wan te d to c h an ge th e s u bje ct. “ It w as s tu ck , s tu ck to y our c h est. Y ou’v e g ot a
mark ; I ’m s o rry , I h ad t o u se a S ev erin g C harm t o g et i t a w ay. T he s n ak e h it y ou
to o, b ut I ’v e c le an ed t h e w ound a n d p ut s o m e d itta n y o n i t… ”
He p ulle d t h e s w eaty T -s h ir t h e w as w earin g a w ay f ro m h im se lf a n d l o oked
dow n. T here w as a s c arle t o val o ver h is h eart w here th e lo ck et h ad b urn ed h im .
He c o uld a ls o s e e t h e h alf h eale d p unctu re m ark s t o h is f o re arm .
“W here ’v e y ou p ut t h e H orc ru x?”

“In m y b ag . I t h in k w e s h ould k eep i t o ff f o r a w hile .”
He l a y b ack o n h is p illo w s a n d l o oked i n to h er p in ch ed g ra y f a ce.
“W e s h ould n’t h av e g one t o G odric ’s H ollo w . I t’s m y f a u lt, i t’s a ll m y f a u lt.
Herm io ne, I ’m s o rry .”
“It’s n ot y ou fa u lt. I w an te d to g o to o; I re ally th ought D um ble d ore m ig ht
hav e l e ft t h e s w ord t h ere f o r y ou.”
“Y eah , w ell… w e g ot t h at w ro ng, d id n’t w e?”
“W hat h ap pen ed , H arry ? W hat h ap pen ed w hen s h e to ok y ou u psta ir s ? W as
th e s n ak e h id in g s o m ew here ? D id i t j u st c o m e o ut a n d k ill h er a n d a tta ck y ou?”
“N o.” h e s a id . “ S he w as t h e s n ak e… o r t h e s n ak e w as h er… a ll a lo ng.”
“W -w hat? ”
He c lo se d h is e y es. H e c o uld s till s m ell B ath ild a’s h ouse o n h im ; it m ad e
th e w hole t h in g h orrib ly v iv id .
“B ath ild a m ust’ v e b een d ead a w hile . T he s n ak e w as… w as i n sid e h er. Y ou-
Know -W ho p ut i t t h ere i n G odric ’s H ollo w , t o w ait. Y ou w ere r ig ht. H e k new I ’d
go b ack .”
“T he s n ak e w as i n sid e h er? ”
He o pen ed h is e y es a g ain . H erm io ne l o oked r e v olte d , n au se ate d .
“L upin s a id th ere w ould b e m ag ic w e’d n ev er im ag in ed ,” H arry s a id . “ S he
did n’t w an t t o t a lk i n f ro nt o f y ou, b ecau se i t w as P ars e lto ngue, a ll P ars e lto ngue,
an d I d id n’t r e aliz e, b ut o f c o urs e I c o uld u nders ta n d h er. O nce w e w ere u p i n t h e
ro om , th e s n ak e s e n t a m essa g e to Y ou-K now -W ho, I h eard it h ap pen in sid e m y
head , I f e lt h im g et e x cite d , h e s a id t o k eep m e t h ere … a n d t h en … ”
He r e m em bere d t h e s n ak e c o m in g o ut o f B ath ild a’s n eck : H erm io ne d id n ot
need t o k now t h e d eta ils .
“… sh e c h an ged , c h an ged i n to t h e s n ak e, a n d a tta ck ed .”
He l o oked d ow n a t t h e p unctu re m ark s.
“It w asn ’t su ppose d to k ill m e, ju st k eep m e th ere till Y ou-K now -W ho
cam e.”
If h e h ad o nly m an ag ed t o k ill t h e s n ak e, i t w ould h av e b een w orth i t, a ll o f
it… S ic k a t h eart, h e s a t u p a n d t h re w b ack t h e c o vers .
“H arry , n o, I ’m s u re y ou o ught t o r e st! ”
“Y ou’re th e o ne w ho n eed s sle ep . N o o ff e n se , b ut y ou lo ok te rrib le . I’m
fin e. I ’ll k eep w atc h f o r a w hile . W here ’s m y w an d?”
She d id n ot a n sw er, s h e m ere ly l o oked a t h im .
“W here ’s m y w an d, H erm io ne?”
She w as b itin g h er l ip , a n d t e ars s w am i n h er e y es.
“H arry … ”
“W here ’s m y w an d?”

She r e ach ed d ow n b esid e t h e b ed a n d h eld i t o ut t o h im .
The h olly a n d p hoen ix w an d w as n early s e v ere d in tw o. O ne f ra g ile s tr a n d
of p hoen ix fe ath er k ep t b oth p ie ces h an gin g to geth er. T he w ood h ad s p lin te re d
ap art c o m ple te ly . H arry t o ok i t i n to h is h an ds a s t h ough i t w as a l iv in g t h in g t h at
had s u ff e re d a t e rrib le i n ju ry . H e c o uld n ot t h in k p ro perly : E very th in g w as a b lu r
of p an ic a n d f e ar. T hen h e h eld o ut t h e w an d t o H erm io ne.
“M en d i t. P le ase .”
“H arry , I d on’t t h in k, w hen i t’s b ro ken l ik e t h is — ”
“P le ase , H erm io ne, t r y !”
“R -R ep aro .”
The d an glin g h alf o f t h e w an d r e se ale d i ts e lf . H arry h eld i t u p.
“Lum os!”
The w an d s p ark ed f e eb ly , t h en w en t o ut. H arry p oin te d i t a t H erm io ne.
“E xp ellia rm us!”
Herm io ne’s w an d g av e a little je rk , b ut d id n ot le av e h er h an d. T he f e eb le
atte m pt a t m ag ic w as to o m uch f o r H arry ’s w an d, w hic h s p lit in to tw o a g ain . H e
sta re d a t it, a g hast, u nab le to ta k e in w hat h e w as s e ein g… th e w an d th at h ad
su rv iv ed s o m uch …
“H arry ,” H erm io ne w his p ere d s o q uie tly h e c o uld h ard ly h ear h er. “ I’m s o ,
so s o rry . I t h in k i t w as m e. A s w e w ere l e av in g, y ou k now , t h e s n ak e w as c o m in g
fo r u s, a n d s o I c ast a B la stin g C urs e , a n d it r e b ounded e v ery w here , a n d it m ust
hav e— must h av e h it— ”
“It w as an accid en t,” sa id H arry m ech an ic ally . H e fe lt em pty , stu nned .
“W e’ll— we’ll f in d a w ay t o r e p air i t.”
“H arry , I d on’t th in k w e’re g oin g to b e a b le to ,” s a id H erm io ne, th e e ars
tr ic k lin g d ow n h er fa ce. “R em em ber… re m em ber R on? W hen h e b ro ke h is
wan d, c ra sh in g t h e c ar? I t w as n ev er t h e s a m e a g ain , h e h ad t o g et a n ew o ne.”
Harry th ought o f O lliv an der, k id nap ped a n d h eld h osta g e b y V old em ort; o f
Gre g oro vitc h , w ho w as d ead . H ow w as h e su ppose d to fin d h im se lf a n ew
wan d?
“W ell,” h e sa id , in a fa ls e ly m atte r- o f-fa ct v oic e, “w ell, I’ll ju st b orro w
yours f o r n ow , t h en . W hile I k eep w atc h .”
Her f a ce g la zed w ith t e ars , H erm io ne h an ded o ver h er w an d, a n d h e l e ft h er
sittin g b esid e h is b ed , d esir in g n oth in g m ore t h an t o g et a w ay f ro m h er.

1 8. T H E L IF E A ND L IE S O F A LBU S
D UM BLED O RE
The s u n w as c o m in g u p: T he p ure , c o lo rle ss v astn ess o f th e s k y s tr e tc h ed
o ver him , in dif f e re n t to him an d his su ff e rin g. H arry sa t dow n in th e te n t
e n tr a n ce a n d to ok a d eep b re ath o f c le an a ir. S im ply to b e a liv e to w atc h th e s u n
r is e o ver t h e s p ark lin g s n ow y h ills id e o ught t o h av e b een t h e g re ate st t r e asu re o n
e arth , y et h e c o uld n ot a p pre cia te it: H is s e n se s h ad b een s p ik ed b y th e c ala m ity
o f lo sin g h is w an d. H e lo oked o ut o ver a v alle y b la n kete d in sn ow , d is ta n t
c h urc h b ells c h im in g t h ro ugh t h e g litte rin g s ile n ce.
With out r e aliz in g it, h e w as d ig gin g h is f in gers in to h is a rm s a s if h e w ere
t r y in g to r e sis t p hysic al p ain . H e h ad s p ille d h is o w n b lo od m ore tim es th an h e
c o uld c o unt; h e h ad l o st a ll b ones i n h is r ig ht a rm o nce; t h is j o urn ey h ad a lr e ad y
g iv en h im s c ars to h is c h est a n d f o re arm to jo in th ose o n h is h an d a n d f o re h ead ,
b ut nev er, until th is m om en t, had he fe lt him se lf to be fa ta lly w eak en ed ,
v uln era b le , a n d n ak ed , a s th ough th e b est p art o f h is m ag ic al p ow er h ad b een
t o rn f ro m h im . H e k new e x actly w hat H erm io ne w ould s a y if h e e x pre sse d a n y
o f t h is : T he w an d i s o nly a s g ood a s t h e w iz ard . B ut s h e w as w ro ng, h is c ase w as
d if f e re n t. S he h ad n ot f e lt th e w an d s p in lik e th e n eed le o f a c o m pass a n d s h oot
g old en fla m es a t h is e n em y. H e h ad lo st th e p ro te ctio n o f th e tw in c o re s, a n d
o nly n ow t h at i t w as g one d id h e r e aliz e h ow m uch h e h ad b een c o untin g o n i t.
He p ulle d th e p ie ces o f th e b ro ken w an d o ut o f h is p ock et a n d, w ith out
l o okin g at th em , tu ck ed th em aw ay in H ag rid ’s p ouch aro und h is n eck . T he
p ouch w as n ow to o f u ll o f b ro ken a n d u se le ss o bje cts to ta k e a n y m ore . H arry ’s
h an d b ru sh ed th e o ld S nitc h th ro ugh th e m okesk in a n d f o r a m om en t h e h ad to
f ig ht th e te m pta tio n to p ull it o ut a n d th ro w it a w ay. Im pen etr a b le , u nhelp fu l,
u se le ss, l ik e e v ery th in g e ls e D um ble d ore h ad l e ft b eh in d—
And h is fu ry a t D um ble d ore b ro ke o ver h im n ow lik e la v a, s c o rc h in g h im
i n sid e, w ip in g o ut e v ery o th er f e elin g. O ut o f s h eer d esp era tio n th ey h ad ta lk ed
t h em se lv es in to belie v in g th at G odric ’s H ollo w held an sw ers , co nvin ced
t h em se lv es t h at t h ey w ere s u ppose d t o g o b ack , t h at i t w as a ll p art o f s o m e s e cre t
p ath la id out fo r th em by D um ble d ore : but th ere w as no m ap , no pla n .
D um ble d ore h ad l e ft t h em t o g ro pe i n t h e d ark ness, t o w re stle w ith u nknow n a n d
u ndre am ed -o f te rro rs , a lo ne a n d u naid ed : N oth in g w as e x pla in ed , n oth in g w as
g iv en fre ely , th ey h ad n o sw ord , an d n ow , H arry h ad n o w an d. A nd h e h ad
d ro pped th e photo gra p h of th e th ie f, an d it w ould su re ly be easy now fo r

Vold em ort t o f in d o ut w ho h e w as…
Vold em ort h ad a ll t h e i n fo rm atio n n ow …
“H arry ?”
Herm io ne lo oked frig hte n ed th at h e m ig ht c u rs e h er w ith h er o w n w an d.
Her fa ce str e ak ed w ith te ars , sh e c ro uch ed d ow n b esid e h im , tw o c u ps o f te a
tr e m blin g i n h er h an ds a n d s o m eth in g b ulk y u nder h er a rm .
“T han ks,” h e s a id , t a k in g o ne o f t h e c u ps.
“D o y ou m in d i f I t a lk t o y ou?”
“N o,” h e s a id b ecau se h e d id n ot w an t t o h urt h er f e elin gs.
“H arry , y ou w an te d to k now w ho th at m an in th e p ic tu re w as. W ell… I ’v e
got t h e b ook.”
Tim id ly s h e p ush ed it o nto h is la p , a p ris tin e c o py o f
The L ife a nd L ie s o f
Alb us D um ble d ore .
“W here — how — ?”
“It w as in B ath ild a’s s ittin g r o om , ju st ly in g th ere … T his n ote w as s tic k in g
out o f t h e t o p o f i t.”
Herm io ne r e ad t h e f e w l in es o f s p ik y, a cid -g re en w ritin g a lo ud.
“‘D ea r B atty , T hanks fo r y o ur h elp . H ere ’s a c o py o f th e b ook, h ope y o u
lik e it. Y o u s a id e very th in g, e ven if y o u d on’t r e m em ber it. R ita .’
I th in k it m ust
hav e a rriv ed w hile th e r e al B ath ild a w as a liv e, b ut p erh ap s s h e w asn ’t in a n y f it
sta te t o r e ad i t? ”
“N o, s h e p ro bab ly w asn ’t.”
Harry lo oked d ow n u pon D um ble d ore ’s fa ce a n d e x perie n ced a su rg e o f
sa v ag e p le asu re : N ow h e w ould k now if all th e th in gs th at D um ble d ore h ad
nev er t h ought i t w orth t e llin g h im , w heth er D um ble d ore w an te d h im t o o r n ot.
“Y ou’re s till r e ally a n gry a t m e, a re n ’t y ou?” s a id H erm io ne; h e lo oked u p
to se e fre sh te ars le ak in g o ut o f h er e y es, a n d k new th at h is a n ger m ust h av e
sh ow n i n h is f a ce.
“N o,” h e s a id q uie tly . “ N o, H erm io ne, I k now it w as a n a ccid en t. Y ou w ere
tr y in g to g et u s o ut o f th ere a liv e, a n d y ou w ere in cre d ib le . I’d b e d ead if y ou
had n’t b een t h ere t o h elp m e.”
He t r ie d t o r e tu rn h er w ate ry s m ile , t h en t u rn ed h is a tte n tio n t o t h e b ook. I ts
sp in e w as s tif f ; it h ad c le arly n ev er b een o pen ed b efo re . H e rif f le d th ro ugh th e
pag es, lo okin g fo r p hoto gra p hs. H e c am e a cro ss th e o ne h e so ught a lm ost a t
once, th e young D um ble d ore an d his han dso m e co m pan io n, ro arin g w ith
la u ghte r a t s o m e l o ng-fo rg otte n j o ke. H arry d ro pped h is e y es t o t h e c ap tio n.
Alb us D um ble d ore , sh ortly afte r h is m oth er’s d eath , W ith h is
frie n d G elle rt G rin delw ald .

Harry g ap ed a t th e la st w ord fo r s e v era l lo ng m om en ts . G rin delw ald . H is
frie n d Grin delw ald . He lo oked sid ew ay s at Herm io ne, who was still
co nte m pla tin g th e n am e a s th ough s h e c o uld n ot b elie v e h er e y es. S lo w ly s h e
lo oked u p a t H arry .
“G rin delw ald !”
Ig norin g th e re m ain der of th e photo gra p hs, H arry se arc h ed th e pag es
aro und th em f o r a r e cu rre n ce o f th at f a ta l n am e. H e s o on d is c o vere d it a n d r e ad
gre ed ily , b ut b ecam e l o st: I t w as n ecessa ry t o g o f a rth er b ack t o m ak e s e n se o f i t
all, an d ev en tu ally h e fo und h im se lf at th e sta rt o f a ch ap te r en title d “T he
Gre ate r G ood.” T ogeth er, h e a n d H erm io ne s ta rte d t o r e ad :
Now ap pro ach in g his eig hte en th bir th day, D um ble d ore le ft
Hogw arts in a bla ze of glo ry — Head B oy, P re fe ct, W in ner of th e
Barn ab us F in kle y P riz e fo r E xcep tio nal S pell- C astin g, B ritis h Y outh
Rep re se n ta tiv e to th e W iz en gam ot, G old M ed al- W in ner fo r G ro und-
Bre ak in g C ontr ib utio n to th e In te rn atio nal A lc h em ic al C onfe re n ce in
Cair o . D um ble d ore in te n ded , n ex t, to ta k e a G ra n d T our w ith E lp hia s
“D ogbre ath ” D oge, t h e d im -w itte d b ut d ev ote d s id ek ic k h e h ad p ic k ed
up a t s c h ool.
The tw o young m en w ere sta y in g at th e L eak y C au ld ro n in
London, p re p arin g to d ep art f o r G re ece th e f o llo w in g m orn in g, w hen
an ow l arriv ed bearin g new s of D um ble d ore ’s m oth er’s death .
“D ogbre ath ” D oge, w ho re fu se d to b e in te rv ie w ed fo r th is b ook, h as
giv en th e p ublic h is o w n s e n tim en ta l v ers io n o f w hat h ap pen ed n ex t.
He re p re se n ts K en dra ’s d eath as a tr a g ic b lo w , an d D um ble d ore ’s
decis io n t o g iv e u p h is e x ped itio n a s a n a ct o f n oble s e lf -s a crif ic e.
Certa in ly D um ble d ore re tu rn ed to G odric ’s H ollo w at once,
su ppose d ly t o “ care ” f o r h is y ounger b ro th er a n d s is te r. B ut h ow m uch
care d id h e a ctu ally g iv e t h em ?
“H e w ere a h ead c ase , th at A berfo rth ,” s a id E nid S m eek , w hose
fa m ily liv ed o n th e o uts k ir ts o f G odric ’s H ollo w a t th at tim e. “ R an
wild . ’C ours e , w ith h is m um a n d d ad g one y ou’d h av e fe lt s o rry fo r
him , o nly h e k ep t c h uck in g g oat d ung a t m y h ead . I d on’t th in k A lb us
was f u sse d a b out h im . I n ev er s a w t h em t o geth er, a n yw ay.”
So w hat w as A lb us doin g, if not co m fo rtin g his w ild young
bro th er? T he a n sw er, i t s e em s, i s e n su rin g t h e c o ntin ued i m pris o nm en t
of h is s is te r. F or th ough h er f ir s t ja ile r h ad d ie d , th ere w as n o c h an ge
in th e p itif u l co nditio n o f A ria n a D um ble d ore . H er v ery ex is te n ce
co ntin ued to be know n only to th ose fe w outs id ers w ho, lik e

“D ogbre ath ” D oge, c o uld b e c o unte d u pon to b elie v e in th e s to ry o f
her “ ill h ealth .”
Anoth er s u ch e asily sa tis fie d frie n d o f th e fa m ily w as B ath ild a
Bag sh ot, th e c ele b ra te d m ag ic al h is to ria n w ho h as liv ed in G odric ’s
Hollo w fo r m an y y ears . K en dra , o f co urs e , h ad re b uff e d B ath ild a
when s h e f ir s t a tte m pte d to w elc o m e th e f a m ily to th e v illa g e. S ev era l
years la te r, h ow ev er, th e a u th or se n t a n o w l to A lb us a t H ogw arts ,
hav in g been fa v ora b ly im pre sse d by his pap er on tr a n s-s p ecie s
tr a n sfo rm atio n in
Tra nsfig ura tio n T o day.
T his in itia l c o ntr a ct le d to
acq uain ta n ce w ith th e en tir e D um ble d ore fa m ily . A t th e tim e of
Ken dra ’s d eath , B ath ild a w as t h e o nly p ers o n i n G odric ’s H ollo w w ho
was o n s p eak in g t e rm s w ith D um ble d ore ’s m oth er.
Unfo rtu nate ly , th e b rillia n ce th at B ath ild a e x hib ite d e arlie r in h er
lif e h as n ow d im med . “ T he fir e ’s lit, b ut th e c au ld ro n’s e m pty ,” a s
Iv or D illo nsb y p ut it to m e, o r, in E nid S m eek ’s slig htly earth ie r
phra se , “ S he’s n utty a s s q uir re l p oo.” N ev erth ele ss, a c o m bin atio n o f
tr ie d -a n d-te ste d re p ortin g te ch niq ues en ab le d m e to ex tr a ct en ough
nuggets o f h ard f a ct t o s tr in g t o geth er t h e w hole s c an dalo us s to ry .
Lik e th e re st o f th e W iz ard in g w orld , B ath ild a p uts K en dra ’s
pre m atu re d eath d ow n to a b ack fir in g ch arm , a sto ry re p eate d b y
Alb us a n d A berfo rth in la te r y ears . B ath ild a a ls o p arro ts th e fa m ily
lin e o n A ria n a, callin g h er “fra il” an d “d elic ate .” O n o ne su bje ct,
how ev er, B ath ild a is w ell w orth th e eff o rt I put in to pro cu rin g
Verita se ru m , fo r s h e, a n d s h e a lo ne, k now s th e fu ll s to ry o f th e b est-
kep t se cre t o f A lb us D um ble d ore ’s lif e . N ow re v eale d fo r th e fir s t
tim e, it c alls in to q uestio n e v ery th in g th at h is a d m ir e rs b elie v ed o f
Dum ble d ore : h is s u ppose d h atr e d o f t h e D ark A rts , h is o ppositio n i n to
th e o ppre ssio n o f M uggle s, e v en h is d ev otio n t o h is o w n f a m ily .
The v ery s a m e s u m mer th at D um ble d ore w en t h om e to G odric ’s
Hollo w , n ow an o rp han an d h ead o f th e fa m ily , B ath ild a B ag sh ot
ag re ed t o a ccep t i n to h er h om e h er g re at- n ep hew , G elle rt G rin delw ald .
The n am e o f G rin delw ald is ju stly fa m ous: In a lis t o f
Most
Dangero us D ark W iz a rd s o f A ll T im e,
h e w ould m is s o ut o n th e to p
sp ot o nly b ecau se Y ou-K now -W ho a rriv ed , a g en era tio n la te r, to s te al
his c ro w n. A s G rin delw ald n ev er e x te n ded h is c am paig n o f te rro r to
Brita in , h ow ev er, t h e d eta ils o f h is r is e t o p ow er a re n ot w id ely k now n
here .
Educate d at D urm str a n g, a sc h ool fa m ous ev en th en fo r its
unfo rtu nate to le ra n ce o f th e D ark A rts , G rin delw ald s h ow ed h im se lf

quite a s p re co cio usly b rillia n t a s D um ble d ore . R ath er t h an c h an nel h is
ab ilitie s in to th e a tta in m en t o f a w ard s a n d p riz es, h ow ev er, G elle rt
Grin delw ald d ev ote d h im se lf n o o th er p urs u its . A t s ix te en y ears o ld ,
ev en D urm str a n g f e lt i t c o uld n o l o nger t u rn a b lin d e y e t o t h e t w is te d
ex perim en ts o f G elle rt G rin delw ald , a n d h e w as e x pelle d .
Hith erto , all th at has been know n of Grin delw ald ’s nex t
movem en ts is th at h e “ tr a v ele d a ro und f o r s o m e m onth s.” I t c an n ow
be r e v eale d th at G rin delw ald c h ose to v is it h is g re at- a u nt in G odric ’s
Hollo w , a n d th at th ere , in te n se ly s h ock in g th ough it w ill b e f o r m an y
to h ear it, h e s tr u ck u p a c lo se f rie n dsh ip w ith n one o th er th an A lb us
Dum ble d ore .
“H e s e em ed a c h arm in g b oy t o m e,” b ab ble s B ath ild a, “ w hate v er
he b ecam e la te r. N atu ra lly I in tr o duced h im to p oor A lb us, w ho w as
mis sin g t h e c o m pan y o f l a d s h is o w n a g e. T he b oys t o ok t o e ach o th er
at o nce.”
They c erta in ly d id . B ath ild a s h ow s m e a le tte r, k ep t b y h er th at
Alb us D um ble d ore s e n t G elle rt G rin delw ald i n t h e d ead o f n ig ht.
“Y es, e v en a fte r th ey ’d sp en t a ll d ay in d is c u ssio n— both su ch
brillia n t young boys, th ey got on lik e a cau ld ro n on fir e — I’d
so m etim es hear an ow l ta p pin g at G elle rt’s bed ro om w in dow ,
deliv erin g a le tte r f ro m A lb us! A n id ea w ould h av e s tr u ck h im a n d h e
had t o l e t G elle rt k now i m med ia te ly !”
And w hat id eas th ey w ere . P ro fo undly sh ock in g th ough A lb us
Dum ble d ore ’s fa n s w ill fin d it, here are th e th oughts of th eir
se v en te en -y ear- o ld h ero , a s r e la y ed to h is n ew b est f rie n d. ( A c o py o f
th e o rig in al l e tte r m ay b e s e en o n p ag e 4 63.)
Gelle rt—
Yo ur poin t about Wiz a rd dom in ance bein g FO R TH E
MUGGLE S’ O W N G OOD— th is , I th in k, is th e c ru cia l p oin t. Y es, w e
have b een g iv en p ow er a nd y es, th at p ow er g iv es u s th e r ig ht to r u le ,
but it a ls o g iv es u s r e sp onsib ilitie s o ver th e r u le d . W e m ust s tr e ss th is
poin t, it w ill b e th e fo undatio n s to ne u pon w hic h w e b uild . W here w e
are o ppose d , a s w e su re ly w ill b e, th is m ust b e th e b asis o f a ll o ur
co unte ra rg um en ts . W e se iz e co ntr o l F O R T H E G REATE R G OOD.
And fr o m th is it fo llo w s th at w here w e m eet re sis ta nce, w e m ust u se
only th e fo rc e th at is n ecessa ry a nd n o m ore . ( T his w as y o ur m is ta ke
at D urm str a ng! B ut I d o n ot c o m pla in , b eca use if y o u h ad n ot b een
exp elle d , w e w ould n ever h ave m et.)
Alb us

Asto nis h ed a n d a p palle d th ough h is m an y a d m ir e rs w ill b e, th is
le tte r c o nstitu te s th e S ta tu te o f S ecre cy a n d e sta b lis h in g W iz ard ru le
over M uggle s. W hat a b lo w fo r th ose w ho h av e alw ay s p ortr a y ed
Dum ble d ore as th e M uggle -b orn s’ g re ate st ch am pio n! H ow h ollo w
th ose sp eech es p ro m otin g M uggle rig hts se em in th e lig ht o f th is
dam nin g new ev id en ce! H ow desp ic ab le does A lb us D um ble d ore
ap pear, b usy p lo ttin g h is ris e to p ow er w hen h e sh ould h av e b een
mourn in g h is m oth er a n d c arin g f o r h is s is te r!
No d oubt t h ose d ete rm in ed t o k eep D um ble d ore o n h is c ru m blin g
ped esta l w ill b le at th at h e d id n ot, a fte r a ll, p ut h is p la n s in to a ctio n,
th at h e m ust h av e su ff e re d a ch an ge o f h eart, th at h e cam e to h is
se n se s. H ow ev er, t h e t r u th s e em s a lto geth er m ore s h ock in g.
Bare ly tw o m onth s in to th eir g re at n ew frie n dsh ip , D um ble d ore
an d G rin delw ald p arte d , n ev er to s e e e ach o th er a g ain u ntil th ey m et
fo r th eir le g en dary d uel (fo r m ore , s e e c h ap te r 2 2). W hat c au se d th is
ab ru pt ru ptu re ?
Had
D um ble d ore co m e to h is se n se s? H ad h e to ld
Grin delw ald h e w an te d n o m ore p art i n h is p la n s? A la s, n o.
“It w as poor little A ria n a dyin g, I th in k, th at did it,” sa y s
Bath ild a. “ It c am e a s a n a w fu l s h ock . G elle rt w as th ere in th e h ouse
when it h ap pen ed , a n d h e c am e b ack to m y h ouse a ll o f a d ith er, to ld
me h e w an te d to g o h om e th e n ex t d ay. T errib ly d is tr e sse d , y ou k now .
So I a rra n ged a P ortk ey a n d t h at w as t h e l a st I s a w o f h im .
“A lb us w as b esid e h im se lf a t A ria n a’s d eath . It w as s o d re ad fu l
fo r t h ose t w o b ro th ers . T hey h ad l o st e v ery body e x cep t f o r e ach o th er.
No w onder te m pers ra n a little h ig h. A berfo rth b la m ed A lb us, y ou
know , as peo ple will under th ese dre ad fu l cir c u m sta n ces. But
Aberfo rth alw ay s ta lk ed a little m ad ly , poor boy. A ll th e sa m e,
bre ak in g A lb us’s n ose a t th e fu nera l w as n ot d ecen t. It w ould h av e
destr o yed K en dra to se e her so ns fig htin g lik e th at, acro ss her
dau ghte r’s body. A sh am e G elle rt co uld not hav e sta y ed fo r th e
fu nera l… H e w ould h av e b een a c o m fo rt t o A lb us, a t l e ast… ”
This d re ad fu l c o ff in -s id e b ra w l, k now n o nly to th ose fe w w ho
atte n ded A ria n a D um ble d ore ’s fu nera l, ra is e s s e v era l q uestio ns. W hy
ex actly d id A berfo rth D um ble d ore b la m e A lb us f o r h is s is te r’s d eath ?
Was it, a s “ B atty ” p re te n ds, a m ere e ff u sio n o f g rie f? O r c o uld th ere
hav e been so m e m ore co ncre te re aso n fo r his fu ry ? G rin delw ald ,
ex pelle d fro m D urm str a n g fo r th e near- fa ta l atta ck s upon fe llo w
stu den ts , fle d th e c o untr y h ours a fte r th e g ir l’s d eath , a n d A lb us (o ut
of s h am e o r f e ar? ) n ev er s a w h im a g ain , n ot u ntil f o rc ed to d o s o b y

th e p le as o f t h e W iz ard in g w orld .
Neith er Dum ble d ore nor Grin delw ald ev er se em s to hav e
re fe rre d to th is b rie f b oyhood frie n dsh ip in la te r lif e . H ow ev er, th ere
can b e n o d oubt th at D um ble d ore d ela y ed , fo r so m e fiv e y ears o f
tu rm oil, fa ta litie s, an d dis a p peara n ces, his atta ck upon Gelle rt
Grin delw ald . W as it lin gerin g aff e ctio n fo r th e m an or fe ar of
ex posu re a s h is o nce b est f rie n d th at c au se d D um ble d ore to h esita te ?
Was it o nly r e lu cta n tly th at D um ble d ore s e t o ut to c ap tu re th e m an h e
was o nce s o d elig hte d h e h ad m et?
And h ow d id th e m yste rio us A ria n a d ie ? W as s h e th e in ad verte n t
vic tim o f s o m e D ark r ite ? D id s h e s tu m ble a cro ss s o m eth in g s h e o ught
not t o h av e d one, a s t h e t w o y oung m en s a t p ra ctic in g f o r t h eir a tte m pt
at g lo ry a n d d om in atio n? Is it p ossib le th at A ria n a D um ble d ore w as
th e f ir s t p ers o n t o d ie “ fo r t h e g re ate r g ood”?
The c h ap te r e n ded h ere a n d H arry lo oked u p. H erm io ne h ad re ach ed th e
botto m o f th e p ag e b efo re h im . S he tu gged th e b ook o ut o f H arry ’s h an ds,
lo okin g a little a la rm ed b y h is e x pre ssio n, a n d c lo se d it w ith out lo okin g a t it, a s
th ough h id in g s o m eth in g i n decen t.
“H arry — ”
But h e s h ook h is h ead . S om e in ner c erta in ty h ad c ra sh ed d ow n in sid e h im ;
it w as e x actly a s h e h ad f e lt a fte r R on le ft. H e h ad tr u ste d D um ble d ore , b elie v ed
him th e e m bodim en t o f g oodness a n d w is d om . A ll w as a sh es: H ow m uch m ore
co uld h e l o se ? R on, D um ble d ore , t h e p hoen ix w an d…
“H arry .” S he se em ed to h av e h eard h is th oughts . “L is te n to m e. It— it
doesn ’t m ak e a v ery n ic e r e ad in g— ”
“Y eah , y ou c o uld s a y t h at— ”
“— but d on’t f o rg et, H arry , t h is i s R ita S keete r w ritin g.”
“Y ou d id r e ad t h at l e tte r t o G rin delw ald , d id n’t y ou?”
“Y es, I— I d id .” S he h esita te d , lo okin g u pse t, c ra d lin g h er te a in h er c o ld
han ds. “ I th in k th at’s th e w ors t b it. I k now B ath ild a th ought it w as a ll ju st ta lk ,
but ‘ F or th e G re ate r G ood’ b ecam e G rin delw ald ’s s lo gan , h is ju stif ic atio n f o r a ll
th e a tr o citie s h e c o m mitte d la te r. A nd… fro m th at… it lo oks lik e D um ble d ore
gav e h im th e id ea. T hey s a y ‘F or th e G re ate r G ood’ w as e v en c arv ed o ver th e
en tr a n ce t o N urm en gard .”
“W hat’s N urm en gard ?”
“T he p ris o n G rin delw ald h ad b uilt to h old h is o pponen ts . H e e n ded u p in
th ere h im se lf , o nce D um ble d ore h ad c au ght h im . A nyw ay, it’s — it’s a n a w fu l
th ought th at D um ble d ore ’s id eas h elp ed G rin delw ald ris e to p ow er. B ut o n th e

oth er h an d, e v en R ita c an ’t p re te n d th at th ey k new e ach o th er fo r m ore th an a
fe w m onth s o ne s u m mer w hen t h ey w ere b oth r e ally y oung, a n d— ”
“I t h ought y ou’d s a y t h at,” s a id H arry . H e d id n ot w an t t o l e t h is a n ger s p ill
out a t h er, b ut it w as h ard to k eep h is v oic e s te ad y. “ I th ought y ou’d s a y ‘ T hey
were y oung.’ T hey w ere th e s a m e a g e a s w e a re n ow . A nd h ere w e a re , r is k in g
our liv es to f ig ht th e D ark A rts , a n d th ere h e w as, in a h uddle w ith h is n ew b est
frie n d, p lo ttin g t h eir r is e t o p ow er o ver t h e M uggle s.”
His te m per w ould n ot re m ain in ch eck m uch lo nger: H e sto od u p an d
walk ed a ro und, t r y in g t o w ork s o m e o f i t o ff .
“I’m n ot tr y in g to d efe n d w hat D um ble d ore w ro te ,” sa id H erm io ne. “ A ll
th at ‘rig ht to ru le ’ ru bbis h , it’s ‘M ag ic Is M ig ht’ a ll o ver a g ain . B ut H arry , h is
moth er h ad j u st d ie d , h e w as s tu ck a lo ne i n t h e h ouse — ”
“A lo ne? H e w asn ’t a lo ne! H e h ad h is b ro th er a n d s is te r fo r c o m pan y, h is
Squib s is te r h e w as k eep in g l o ck ed u p— ”
“I d on’t b elie v e i t,” s a id H erm io ne. S he s to od u p t o o. “ W hate v er w as w ro ng
with th at g ir l, I d on’t th in k s h e w as a S quib . T he D um ble d ore w e k new w ould
nev er, e v er h av e a llo w ed — ”
“T he D um ble d ore w e th ought w e k new d id n’t w an t to c o nquer M uggle s b y
fo rc e!” H arry s h oute d , h is v oic e e ch oin g a cro ss th e e m pty h illto p, a n d s e v era l
bla ck bir d s r o se i n to t h e a ir , s q uaw kin g a n d s p ir a lin g a g ain st t h e p early s k y.
“H e ch an ged , H arry , h e ch an ged ! It’s as sim ple as th at! M ay be h e d id
belie v e th ese th in gs w hen h e w as s e v en te en , b ut th e w hole o f th e r e st o f h is lif e
was d ev ote d to fig htin g th e D ark A rts ! D um ble d ore w as th e o ne w ho s to pped
Grin delw ald , th e o ne w ho a lw ay s v ote d f o r M uggle p ro te ctio n a n d M uggle -b orn
rig hts , w ho f o ught Y ou-K now -W ho f ro m th e s ta rt, a n d w ho d ie d tr y in g to b rin g
him d ow n!”
Rita ’s b ook la y o n th e g ro und b etw een th em , so th at th e fa ce o f A lb us
Dum ble d ore s m ile d d ole fu lly a t b oth .
“H arry , I’m so rry , but I th in k th e re al re aso n you’re so an gry is th at
Dum ble d ore n ev er t o ld y ou a n y o f t h is h im se lf .”
“M ay be I a m !” H arry b ello w ed , a n d h e f lu ng h is a rm s o ver h is h ead , h ard ly
know in g w heth er h e w as tr y in g to h old in h is a n ger o r p ro te ct h im se lf f ro m th e
weig ht o f h is o w n d is illu sio nm en t. “ L ook w hat h e a sk ed fro m m e, H erm io ne!
Ris k y our lif e , H arry ! A nd a g ain ! A nd a g ain ! A nd d on’t e x pect m e to e x pla in
ev ery th in g, j u st t r u st m e b lin dly , t r u st t h at I k now w hat I ’m d oin g, t r u st m e e v en
th ough I d on’t t r u st y ou! N ev er t h e w hole t r u th ! N ev er!”
His v oic e c ra ck ed w ith th e s tr a in , a n d th ey s to od lo okin g a t e ach o th er in
th e w hite n ess a n d e m ptin ess, a n d H arry f e lt th ey w ere a s in sig nif ic an t a s in se cts
ben eath t h at w id e s k y.

“H e l o ved y ou,” H erm io ne w his p ere d . “ I k now h e l o ved y ou.”
Harry d ro pped h is a rm s.
“I d on’t k now w ho h e lo ved , H erm io ne, b ut it w as n ev er m e. T his is n ’t
lo ve, th e m ess h e’s le ft m e in . H e sh are d a d am n sig ht m ore o f w hat h e w as
re ally t h in kin g w ith G elle rt G rin delw ald t h an h e e v er s h are d w ith m e.”
Harry p ic k ed u p H erm io ne’s w an d, w hic h h e h ad d ro pped in th e s n ow , a n d
sa t b ack d ow n i n t h e e n tr a n ce o f t h e t e n t.
“T han ks fo r th e te a. I’ll fin is h th e w atc h . Y ou g et b ack in th e w arm .” S he
hesita te d , b ut r e co gniz ed th e d is m is sa l. S he p ic k ed u p th e b ook a n d th en w alk ed
back p ast h im in to th e te n t, b ut a s s h e d id s o , s h e b ru sh ed th e to p o f h is h ead
lig htly w ith h er h an d. H e c lo se d h is e y es a t h er to uch , a n d h ate d h im se lf fo r
wis h in g t h at w hat s h e s a id w as t r u e: t h at D um ble d ore h ad r e ally c are d .

1 9. T H E S IL V ER D O E
It w as sn ow in g b y th e tim e H erm io ne to ok o ver th e w atc h a t m id nig ht.
H arry ’s d re am s w ere c o nfu se d a n d d is tu rb in g: N ag in i w ove in a n d o ut o f th em ,
f ir s t th ro ugh a w re ath of C hris tm as ro se s. H e w oke re p eate d ly , pan ic k y,
c o nvin ced th at s o m eb ody h ad c alle d o ut to h im in th e d is ta n ce, im ag in in g th at
t h e w in d w hip pin g a ro und t h e t e n t w as f o ots te p s o r v oic es.
Fin ally h e g ot u p i n t h e d ark ness a n d j o in ed H erm io ne, w ho w as h uddle d i n
t h e e n tr a n ce t o t h e t e n t r e ad in g
A H is to ry o f M agic
b y t h e l ig ht o f h er w an d. T he
s n ow w as fa llin g th ic k ly , a n d s h e g re ete d w ith re lie f h is s u ggestio n o f p ack in g
u p e arly a n d m ovin g o n.
“W e’ll g o s o m ew here m ore s h elte re d ,” s h e a g re ed , s h iv erin g a s s h e p ulle d
o n a s w eats h ir t o ver h er p aja m as. “ I k ep t th in kin g I c o uld h ear p eo ple m ovin g
o uts id e. I e v en t h ough I s a w s o m eb ody o nce o r t w ic e.”
Harry p au se d in th e a ct o f p ullin g o n a ju m per a n d g la n ced a t th e s ile n t,
m otio nle ss S neak osc o pe o n t h e t a b le .
“I’m s u re I im ag in ed it,” s a id H erm io ne, lo okin g n erv ous. “ T he s n ow th e
d ark , it p la y s tr ic k s o n y our e y es… B ut p erh ap s w e o ught to D is a p para te u nder
t h e I n vis ib ility C lo ak , j u st i n c ase ?”
Half a n h our la te r, w ith th e te n t p ack ed , H arry w earin g th e H orc ru x, a n d
H erm io ne clu tc h in g th e bead ed bag , th ey D is a p para te d . T he usu al tig htn ess
e n gulf e d th em ; H arry ’s fe et parte d co m pan y w ith th e sn ow y gro und, th en
s la m med h ard o nto w hat f e lt l ik e f ro zen e arth c o vere d i n l e av es.
“W here a re w e?” h e a sk ed , p eerin g a ro und a t th e fre sh m ass o f tr e es a s
H erm io ne o pen ed t h e b ead ed b ag a n d b eg an t u ggin g o ut t h e t e n t p ole s.
“T he F ore st o f D ean ,” s h e s a id , “ I c am e c am pin g h ere o nce w ith m y m um
a n d d ad .”
Here to o s n ow la y o n th e tr e es a ll a ro und a n d it w as b itte rly c o ld , b ut th ey
w ere a t l e ast p ro te cte d f ro m t h e w in d. T hey s p en t m ost o f t h e d ay i n sid e t h e t e n t,
h uddle d fo r w arm th a ro und th e u se fu l b rig ht b lu e fla m es th at H erm io ne w as
a d ep t a t p ro ducin g, a n d w hic h c o uld b e s c o oped u p a n d c arrie d in a ja r. H arry
f e lt a s th ough h e w as re cu pera tin g fro m so m e b rie f b ut se v ere , a n im pre ssio n
r e in fo rc ed by H erm io ne’s so lic ito usn ess. T hat afte rn oon fre sh fla k es drif te d
d ow n u pon th em , so th at e v en th eir sh elte re d c le arin g h ad a fre sh d ustin g o f
p ow dery s n ow .
Afte r t w o n ig hts o f l ittle s le ep , H arry ’s s e n se s s e em ed m ore a le rt t h an u su al.
T heir e sc ap e f ro m G odric ’s H ollo w h ad b een s o n arro w th at V old em ort s e em ed

so m eh ow c lo se r t h an b efo re , m ore t h re ate n in g. A s d ark ness d ro ve i n a g ain H arry
re fu se d H erm io ne’s o ff e r t o k eep w atc h a n d t o ld h er t o g o t o b ed .
Harry m oved a n o ld c u sh io n in to th e te n t m outh a n d s a t d ow n, w earin g a ll
th e s w eate rs h e o w ned b ut e v en s o , s till s h iv ery . T he d ark ness d eep en ed w ith t h e
passin g h ours u ntil it w as v ir tu ally im pen etr a b le . H e w as o n th e p oin t o f ta k in g
out th e M ara u der’s M ap , so as to w atc h G in ny’s d ot fo r a w hile , b efo re h e
re m em bere d t h at i t w as t h e C hris tm as h olid ay s a n d t h at s h e w ould b e b ack a t t h e
Burro w .
Every t in y m ovem en t s e em ed m ag nif ie d i n t h e v astn ess o f t h e f o re st. H arry
knew t h at i t m ust b e f u ll o f l iv in g c re atu re s, b ut h e w is h ed t h ey w ould a ll r e m ain
still a n d s ile n t s o th at h e c o uld s e p ara te th eir in nocen t s c u rry in gs a n d p ro w lin gs
fro m n ois e s th at m ig ht p ro cla im o th er, s in is te r m ovem en ts . H e r e m em bere d th e
so und o f a c lo ak s lith erin g o ver d ead l e av es m an y y ears a g o, a n d a t o nce t h ought
he h eard i t a g ain b efo re m en ta lly s h ak in g h im se lf . T heir p ro te ctiv e e n ch an tm en ts
had w ork ed f o r w eek s; w hy s h ould th ey b re ak n ow ? A nd y et h e c o uld n ot th ro w
off t h e f e elin g t h at s o m eth in g w as d if f e re n t t o nig ht.
Sev era l tim es h e je rk ed u prig ht, h is n eck ach in g b ecau se h e h ad fa lle n
asle ep , slu m ped a t a n a w kw ard a n gle a g ain st th e sid e o f th e te n t. T he n ig ht
re ach ed s u ch a d ep th o f v elv ety b la ck ness th at h e m ig ht h av e b een s u sp en ded in
lim bo b etw een D is a p para tio n a n d A ppara tio n. H e h ad j u st h eld a h an d i n f ro nt o f
his f a ce t o s e e w heth er h e c o uld m ak e o ut h is f in gers w hen i t h ap pen ed .
A b rig ht s ilv er lig ht a p peare d r ig ht a h ead o f h im , m ovin g th ro ugh th e tr e es.
Whate v er th e so urc e, it w as m ovin g so undle ssly . T he lig ht se em ed sim ply to
drif t t o w ard h im .
He ju m ped to h is f e et, h is v oic e f ro zen in h is th ro at, a n d r a is e d H erm io ne’s
wan d. H e s c re w ed u p h is e y es a s th e lig ht b ecam e b lin din g, th e tr e es in f ro nt o f
it p itc h b la ck i n s ilh ouette , a n d s till t h e t h in g c am e c lo se r…
And th en th e s o urc e o f th e lig ht s te p ped o ut fro m b eh in d a n o ak . It w as a
silv er w hite d oe, m oon-b rig ht a n d d azzlin g, p ic k in g h er w ay o ver th e g ro und,
still s ile n t, a n d l e av in g n o h oofp rin ts i n t h e f in e p ow derin g o f s n ow . S he s te p ped
to w ard h im , h er b eau tif u l h ead w ith i ts w id e, l o ng-la sh ed e y es h eld h ig h.
Harry s ta re d a t th e c re atu re , f ille d w ith w onder, n ot a t h er s tr a n gen ess, b ut
her i n ex plic ab le f a m ilia rity . H e f e lt t h at h e h ad b een w aitin g f o r h er t o c o m e, b ut
th at h e h ad fo rg otte n , u ntil th is m om en t, th at th ey h ad a rra n ged to m eet. H is
im puls e to s h out fo r H erm io ne, w hic h h ad b een s o s tr o ng a m om en t a g o, h ad
gone. H e k new , h e w ould h av e s ta k ed h is lif e o n it, th at s h e h ad c o m e f o r h im ,
an d h im a lo ne.
They g azed a t e ach o th er f o r s e v era l l o ng m om en ts a n d t h en s h e t u rn ed a n d
walk ed a w ay.

“N o,” h e s a id , a n d h is v oic e w as c ra ck ed w ith l a ck o f u se . “ C om e b ack !”
She c o ntin ued to s te p d elib era te ly th ro ugh th e tr e es, a n d s o on h e b rig htn ess
was s tr ip ed b y th eir th ic k b la ck tr u nks. F or o ne tr e m blin g s e co nd h e h esita te d .
Cau tio n m urm ure d it c o uld b e a tr ic k , a lu re , a tr a p . B ut in stin ct, o verw helm in g
in stin ct, t o ld h im t h at t h is w as n ot D ark M ag ic . H e s e t o ff i n p urs u it.
Snow c ru nch ed b en eath h is fe et, b ut th e d oe m ad e n o n ois e a s s h e p asse d
th ro ugh t h e t r e es, f o r s h e w as n oth in g b ut l ig ht. D eep er a n d d eep er i n to t h e f o re st
sh e le d h im , a n d H arry w alk ed q uic k ly , s u re th at w hen s h e s to pped , s h e w ould
allo w h im to a p pro ach h er p ro perly . A nd th en s h e w ould s p eak a n d th e v oic e
would t e ll h im w hat h e n eed ed t o k now .
At la st s h e c am e to a h alt. S he tu rn ed h er b eau tif u l h ead to w ard h im o nce
more , a n d h e b ro ke in to a r u n, a q uestio n b urn in g in h im , b ut a s h e o pen ed h is
lip s t o a sk i t, s h e v an is h ed .
Though th e d ark ness h ad s w allo w ed h er w hole , h er b urn is h ed im ag e w as
still i m prin te d o n h is r e tin as; i t o bsc u re d h is v is io n, b rig hte n in g w hen h e l o w ere d
his e y elid s, d is o rie n tin g h im . N ow f e ar c am e: H er p re se n ce h ad m ean t s a fe ty .
“Lum os!”
h e w his p ere d , a n d t h e w an d-tip i g nite d .
The im prin t o f th e d oe f a d ed a w ay w ith e v ery b lin k o f h is e y es a s h e s to od
th ere , lis te n in g to th e so unds o f th e fo re st, to d is ta n t cra ck le s o f tw ig s, so ft
sw is h es o f sn ow . W as h e a b out to b e a tta ck ed ? H ad sh e e n tic ed h im in to a n
am bush ? W as he im ag in in g th at so m eb ody sto od bey ond th e re ach of th e
wan dlig ht, w atc h in g h im ?
He h eld th e w an d h ig her. N obody ra n o ut a t h im , n o fla sh o f g re en lig ht
burs t f ro m b eh in d a t r e e. W hy, t h en , h ad s h e l e d h im t o t h is s p ot?
Som eth in g g le am ed in th e lig ht o f th e w an d, a n d H arry s p un a b out, b ut a ll
th at w as t h ere w as a s m all, f ro zen p ool, i ts b la ck , c ra ck ed s u rfa ce g litte rin g a s h e
ra is e d h is w an d h ig her t o e x am in e i t.
He m oved f o rw ard r a th er c au tio usly a n d l o oked d ow n. T he i c e r e fle cte d h is
dis to rte d sh ad ow a n d th e b eam o f w an dlig ht, b ut d eep b elo w th e th ic k , m is ty
gra y c ara p ace, s o m eth in g e ls e g lin te d . A g re at s ilv er c ro ss…
His h eart s k ip ped i n to h is m outh : H e d ro pped t o h is k nees a t t h e p ool’s e d ge
an d a n gle d th e w an d s o a s to f lo od th e b otto m o f th e p ool w ith a s m uch lig ht a s
possib le . A g lin t o f d eep r e d … I t w as a s w ord w ith g litte rin g r u bie s in its h ilt…
The s w ord o f G ry ff in dor w as l y in g a t t h e b otto m o f t h e f o re st p ool.
Bare ly b re ath in g, h e s ta re d d ow n a t i t. H ow w as t h is p ossib le ? H ow c o uld i t
hav e c o m e to b e ly in g in a fo re st p ool, th is c lo se to th e p la ce w here th ey w ere
cam pin g? H ad s o m e u nknow n m ag ic d ra w n H erm io ne to th is s p ot, o r w as th e
doe, w hic h h e h ad t a k en t o b e a P atr o nus, s o m e k in d o f g uard ia n o f t h e p ool? O r
had th e s w ord b een p ut in to th e p ool a fte r th ey h ad a rriv ed , p re cis e ly b ecau se

th ey w ere h ere ? In w hic h c ase , w here w as th e p ers o n w ho w an te d to p ass it to
Harry ? A gain he dir e cte d th e w an d at th e su rro undin g tr e es an d bush es,
se arc h in g fo r a h um an o utlin e, fo r th e g lin t o f an e y e, b ut h e co uld n ot se e
an yone th ere . A ll th e sa m e, a little m ore fe ar le av en ed h is e x hila ra tio n a s h e
re tu rn ed h is a tte n tio n t o t h e s w ord r e p osin g u pon t h e b otto m o f t h e f ro zen p ool.
He p oin te d t h e w an d a t t h e s ilv ery s h ap e a n d m urm ure d ,
“A ccio S w ord .”
It d id n ot s tir. H e h ad n ot e x pecte d it to . I f it h ad b een th at e asy th e s w ord
would h av e la in o n th e g ro und f o r h im to p ic k u p, n ot in th e d ep th s o f a f ro zen
pool. H e s e t o ff a ro und th e c ir c le o f ic e, th in kin g h ard a b out th e la st tim e th e
sw ord h ad d eliv ere d its e lf to h im . H e h ad b een in te rrib le d an ger th en , a n d h ad
ask ed f o r h elp .
“H elp ,” he m urm ure d , but th e sw ord re m ain ed upon th e pool botto m ,
in dif f e re n t, m otio nle ss.
What w as it, H arry a sk ed h im se lf (w alk in g a g ain ), th at D um ble d ore h ad
to ld h im th e la st tim e h e h ad r e tr ie v ed th e s w ord ?
Only a tr u e G ry ffin dor c o uld
have p ulle d th at o ut o f th e h a t.
A nd w hat w ere th e q ualitie s th at d efin ed a
Gry ff in dor? A s m all v oic e i n sid e H arry ’s h ead a n sw ere d h im :
Their d arin g n erv e
and c h iv a lr y s e t G ry ffin dor a part.
Harry s to pped w alk in g a n d le t o ut a lo ng s ig h, h is s m oky b re ath d is p ers in g
ra p id ly u pon th e fro zen a ir. H e k new w hat h e h ad to d o. If h e w as h onest w ith
him se lf , h e h ad th ought it m ig ht c o m e to th is fro m th e m om en t h e h ad s p otte d
th e s w ord t h ro ugh t h e i c e.
He g la n ced a ro und a t th e s u rro undin g tr e es a g ain , b ut w as c o nvin ced n ow
th at n obody w as g oin g to a tta ck h im . T hey h ad h ad th eir c h an ce a s h e w alk ed
alo ne th ro ugh th e f o re st, h ad h ad p le n ty o f o pportu nity a s h e e x am in ed th e p ool.
The o nly r e aso n to d ela y a t th is p oin t w as b ecau se th e im med ia te p ro sp ect w as
so d eep ly u nin vitin g.
With f u m blin g f in gers H arry s ta rte d to r e m ove h is m an y la y ers o f c lo th in g.
Where “ ch iv alr y ” e n te re d in to th is , h e th ought r u efu lly , h e w as n ot e n tir e ly s u re ,
unle ss it c o unte d a s c h iv alr o us th at h e w as n ot c allin g fo r H erm io ne to d o it in
his s te ad .
An o w l h oote d s o m ew here a s h e s tr ip ped o ff , a n d h e t h ought w ith a p an g o f
Hed w ig . H e w as sh iv erin g now , his te eth ch atte rin g horrib ly , an d yet he
co ntin ued to s tr ip o ff u ntil a t la st h e s to od th ere in h is u nderw ear, b are fo ote d in
th e s n ow . H e p la ced t h e p ouch c o nta in in g h is w an d, h is m oth er’s l e tte r, t h e s h ard
of S ir iu s’s m ir ro r, an d th e o ld S nitc h o n to p o f h is clo th es, th en h e p oin te d
Herm io ne’s w an d a t t h e i c e.
“D iffin do.”
It c ra ck ed w ith a s o und lik e a b ulle t in th e s ile n ce. T he s u rfa ce o f th e p ool

bro ke a n d c h unks o f d ark ic e r o ck ed o n th e r u ff le d w ate r. A s f a r a s H arry c o uld
ju dge, it w as n ot d eep , b ut to re tr ie v e th e sw ord h e w ould h av e to su bm erg e
him se lf c o m ple te ly .
Conte m pla tin g t h e t a sk a h ead w ould n ot m ak e i t e asie r o r t h e w ate r w arm er.
He s te p ped to th e p ool’s e d ge a n d p la ced H erm io ne’s w an d o n th e g ro und s till
lit. T hen , t r y in g n ot t o i m ag in e h ow m uch c o ld er h e w as a b out t o b eco m e o r h ow
vio le n tly h e w ould s o on b e s h iv erin g, h e j u m ped .
Every p ore o f h is b ody sc re am ed in p ro te st. T he v ery air in h is lu ngs
se em ed t o f re eze s o lid a s h e w as s u bm erg ed t o h is s h ould ers i n t h e f ro zen w ate r.
He c o uld h ard ly b re ath e: tr e m blin g s o v io le n tly th e w ate r la p ped o ver th e e d ges
of th e p ool, h e fe lt fo r th e b la d e w ith h is n um b fe et. H e o nly w an te d to d iv e
once.
Harry put off th e m om en t of to ta l su bm ers io n fro m se co nd to se co nd,
gasp in g a n d s h ak in g, u ntil h e to ld h im se lf th at it m ust b e d one, g ath ere d a ll h is
co ura g e, a n d d iv ed .
The c o ld w as a g ony: It a tta ck ed h im lik e fir e . H is b ra in its e lf se em ed to
hav e f ro zen a s h e p ush ed th ro ugh th e d ark w ate r to th e b otto m a n d r e ach ed o ut,
gro pin g f o r t h e s w ord . H is f in gers c lo se d a ro und t h e h ilt; h e p ulle d i t u pw ard .
Then s o m eth in g c lo se d tig ht a ro und h is n eck . H e th ought o f w ate r w eed s,
th ough n oth in g h ad b ru sh ed h im a s h e d iv ed , a n d r a is e d h is h an d t o f re e h im se lf .
It w as not w eed : T he ch ain of th e H orc ru x had tig hte n ed an d w as slo w ly
co nstr ic tin g h is w in dpip e.
Harry k ic k ed o ut w ild ly , tr y in g to p ush h im se lf b ack to th e su rfa ce, b ut
mere ly p ro pelle d h im se lf in to th e r o ck y s id e o f th e p ool. T hra sh in g, s u ff o catin g,
he s c ra b ble d a t th e s tr a n glin g c h ain , h is fro zen fin gers u nab le to lo ose n it, a n d
now little lig hts w ere p oppin g in sid e h is h ead , a n d h e w as g oin g to d ro w n, th ere
was n oth in g le ft, n oth in g h e c o uld d o, a n d th e a rm s th at c lo se d a ro und h is c h est
were s u re ly D eath ’s …
Chokin g a n d r e tc h in g, s o ak in g a n d c o ld er th an h e h ad e v er b een in h is lif e ,
he c am e to fa ced ow n in th e sn ow . S om ew here , c lo se b y, a n oth er p ers o n w as
pan tin g a n d c o ughin g a n d s ta g gerin g a ro und, a s s h e h ad c o m e w hen th e s n ak e
atta ck ed … Yet it d id n ot s o und lik e h er, n ot w ith th ose d eep c o ughs, n o ju dgin g
by t h e w eig ht o f t h e f o ots te p s…
Harry h ad n o s tr e n gth to lif t h is h ead a n d s e e h is s a v io r’s id en tity . A ll h e
co uld d o w as ra is e a sh ak in g h an d to h is th ro at a n d fe el th e p la ce w here th e
lo ck et h ad c u t tig htly in to h is fle sh . It w as g one. S om eo ne h ad c u t h im fre e.
Then a p an tin g v oic e s p oke f ro m o ver h is h ead .
“A re — you—
men ta l? ”
Noth in g b ut th e sh ock o f h earin g th at v oic e c o uld h av e g iv en H arry th e

str e n gth t o g et u p. S hiv erin g v io le n tly , h e s ta g gere d t o h is f e et. T here b efo re h im
sto od R on, f u lly d re sse d b ut d re n ch ed to th e s k in , h is h air p la ste re d to h is f a ce,
th e s w ord o f G ry ff in dor in o ne h an d a n d th e H orc ru x d an glin g fro m its b ro ken
ch ain i n t h e o th er.
“W hy th e
hell,”
pan te d R on, hold in g up th e H orc ru x, w hic h sw ung
back w ard an d fo rw ard on its sh orte n ed ch ain in so m e paro dy of hypnosis ,
“d id n’t y ou t a k e t h e t h in g o ff b efo re y ou d iv ed ?”
Harry c o uld n ot a n sw er. T he s ilv er d oe w as n oth in g, n oth in g c o m pare d w ith
Ron’s r e ap peara n ce; h e c o uld n ot b elie v e it. S hudderin g w ith c o ld , h e c au ght u p
th e p ile o f c lo th es s till l y in g a t t h e w ate r’s e d ge a n d b eg an t o p ull t h em o n. A s h e
dra g ged s w eate r a fte r s w eate r o ver h is h ead , H arry s ta re d a t R on, h alf e x pectin g
him to h av e d is a p peare d e v ery tim e h e lo st s ig ht o f h im , a n d y et h e h ad to b e
re al: H e h ad j u st d iv ed i n to t h e p ool, h e h ad s a v ed H arry ’s l if e .
“It w as y -y ou?” H arry sa id a t la st, h is te eth c h atte rin g, h is v oic e w eak er
th an u su al d ue t o h is n ear- s tr a n gula tio n.
“W ell, y eah ,” s a id R on, l o okin g s lig htly c o nfu se d .
“Y -y ou c ast t h at d oe?”
“W hat? N o, o f c o urs e n ot! I t h ought i t w as y ou d oin g i t! ”
“M y P atr o nus i s a s ta g .”
“O h y eah . I t h ought i t l o oked d if f e re n t. N o a n tle rs .”
Harry p ut H ag rid ’s p ouch b ack a ro und h is n eck , p ulle d o n a fin al s w eate r,
sto oped t o p ic k u p H erm io ne’s w an d, a n d f a ced R on a g ain .
“H ow c o m e y ou’re h ere ?”
Appare n tly R on h ad h oped t h at t h is p oin t w ould c o m e u p l a te r, i f a t a ll.
“W ell, I ’v e— you k now — I’v e c o m e b ack . I f— ” H e c le are d h is t h ro at. “ Y ou
know . Y ou s till w an t m e.”
There w as a p au se , in w hic h th e s u bje ct o f R on’s d ep artu re s e em ed to r is e
lik e a w all b etw een th em . Y et h e w as h ere . H e h ad r e tu rn ed . H e h ad ju st s a v ed
Harry ’s l if e .
Ron l o oked d ow n a t h is h an ds. H e s e em ed m om en ta rily s u rp ris e d t o s e e t h e
th in gs h e w as h old in g.
“O h y eah , I g ot it o ut,” h e s a id , r a th er u nnecessa rily , h old in g u p th e s w ord
fo r H arry ’s i n sp ectio n. “ T hat’s w hy y ou j u m ped i n , r ig ht? ”
“Y eah ,” s a id H arry . “ B ut I d on’t u nders ta n d. H ow d id y ou g et h ere ? H ow
did y ou f in d u s? ”
“L ong sto ry ,” sa id R on. “ I’v e b een lo okin g fo r y ou fo r h ours , it’s a b ig
fo re st, is n ’t it? A nd I w as ju st th in kin g I ’d h av e to g o k ip u nder a tr e e a n d w ait
fo r m orn in g w hen I s a w t h at d eer c o m in g a n d y ou f o llo w in g.”
“Y ou d id n’t s e e a n yone e ls e ?”

“N o,” s a id R on. “ I— ”
But h e h esita te d , g la n cin g a t tw o tr e es g ro w in g c lo se to geth er s o m e y ard s
aw ay.
“I d id t h in k I s a w s o m eth in g m ove o ver t h ere , b ut I w as r u nnin g t o t h e p ool
at th e tim e, b ecau se y ou’d g one in a n d y ou h ad n’t c o m e u p, s o I w asn ’t g oin g to
mak e a d eto ur t o — hey !”
Harry w as a lr e ad y h urry in g to th e p la ce th at R on h ad in dic ate d . T he tw o
oak s g re w c lo se to geth er; th ere w as a g ap o f o nly a fe w in ch es b etw een th e
tr u nks a t e y e le v el, a n id eal p la ce to s e e b ut n ot b e s e en . T he g ro und a ro und th e
ro ots , h ow ev er, w as f re e o f s n ow , a n d H arry c o uld s e e n o s ig n o f f o otp rin ts . H e
walk ed back to w here R on sto od w aitin g, still hold in g th e sw ord an d th e
Horc ru x.
“A nyth in g t h ere ?” R on a sk ed .
“N o,” s a id H arry .
“S o h ow d id t h e s w ord g et i n t h at p ool? ”
“W hoev er c ast t h e P atr o nus m ust h av e p ut i t t h ere .”
They b oth l o oked a t t h e o rn ate s ilv er s w ord , i ts r u bie d h ilt g lin tin g a l ittle i n
th e l ig ht f ro m H erm io ne’s w an d.
“Y ou r e ck on t h is i s t h e r e al o ne?” a sk ed R on.
“O ne w ay t o f in d o ut, i s n ’t t h ere ?” s a id H arry .
The H orc ru x w as s till s w in gin g f ro m R on’s h an d. T he lo ck et w as tw itc h in g
slig htly . H arry k new th at th e th in g in sid e it w as a g ita te d a g ain . I t h ad s e n se d th e
pre se n ce o f th e s w ord a n d h ad tr ie d to k ill H arry r a th er th an le t h im p osse ss it.
Now w as n ot t h e t im e f o r l o ng d is c u ssio ns; n ow w as t h e m om en t t o d estr o y o nce
an d fo r a ll. H arry lo oked a ro und, h old in g H erm io ne’s w an d h ig h, a n d s a w th e
pla ce: a f la ttis h r o ck l y in g i n t h e s h ad ow o f a s y cam ore t r e e.
“C om e h ere ,” h e sa id a n d h e le d th e w ay, b ru sh ed sn ow fro m th e ro ck ’s
su rfa ce, a n d h eld o ut h is h an d fo r th e H orc ru x. W hen R on o ff e re d th e s w ord ,
how ev er, H arry s h ook h is h ead .
“N o, y ou s h ould d o i t.”
“M e?” s a id R on, l o okin g s h ock ed . “ W hy?”
“B ecau se y ou g ot th e sw ord o ut o f th e p ool. I th in k it’s su ppose d to b e
you.”
He w as n ot b ein g k in d o r g en ero us. A s c erta in ly a s h e h ad k now n th at th e
doe w as ben ig n, he knew th at R on had to be th e one to w ie ld th e sw ord .
Dum ble d ore h ad a t l e ast t a u ght H arry s o m eth in g a b out c erta in k in ds o f m ag ic , o f
th e i n calc u la b le p ow er o f c erta in a cts .
“I’m g oin g to o pen it,” sa id H arry , “an d y ou w ill sta b it. S tr a ig hta w ay,
okay ? B ecau se w hate v er’s in th ere w ill p ut u p a fig ht. T he b it o f R id dle in th e

Dia ry t r ie d t o k ill m e.”
“H ow a re y ou g oin g t o o pen i t? ” a sk ed R on. H e l o oked t e rrif ie d .
“I’m g oin g to a sk it to o pen , u sin g P ars e lto ngue,” s a id H arry . T he a n sw er
cam e s o r e ad ily to h is lip s th at th ought th at h e h ad a lw ay s k now n it d eep d ow n:
Perh ap s it h ad ta k en h is r e cen t e n co unte r w ith N ag in i to m ak e h im r e aliz e it. H e
lo oked a t th e se rp en tin e
S,
in la id w ith g litte rin g g re en sto nes: It w as e asy to
vis u aliz e i t a s a m in is c u le s n ak e, c u rle d u pon t h e c o ld r o ck .
“N o!” s a id R on. “ D on’t o pen i t! I ’m s e rio us!”
“W hy n ot? ” a sk ed H arry . “ L et’s g et r id o f th e d am n th in g, it’s b een m onth s
—”
“I c an ’t, H arry , I ’m s e rio us— you d o i t— ”
“B ut w hy?”
“B ecau se th at th in g’s b ad f o r m e!” s a id R on, b ack in g a w ay f ro m th e lo ck et
on t h e r o ck . “ I c an ’t h an dle i t! I ’m n ot m ak in g e x cu se s, f o r w hat I w as l ik e, b ut i t
aff e cts m e w ors e t h an i t a ff e cts y ou a n d H erm io ne, i t m ad e m e t h in k s tu ff — stu ff
th at I w as th in kin g a n yw ay, b ut it m ad e e v ery th in g w ors e . I c an ’t e x pla in it, a n d
th en I ’d ta k e it o ff a n d I ’d g et m y h ead s tr a ig ht a g ain , a n d th en I ’d h av e to p ut
th e e ff in g t h in g b ack o n— I c an ’t d o i t, H arry !”
He h ad b ack ed a w ay, t h e s w ord d ra g gin g a t h is s id e, s h ak in g h is h ead .
“Y ou c an d o it,” s a id H arry , “ y ou c an ! Y ou’v e ju st g ot th e s w ord , I k now
it’s s u ppose d t o b e y ou w ho u se s i t. P le ase , j u st g et r id o f i t, R on.”
The s o und o f h is n am e s e em ed t o a ct l ik e a s tim ula n t. R on s w allo w ed , t h en
still b re ath in g h ard t h ro ugh h is l o ng n ose , m oved b ack t o w ard t h e r o ck .
“T ell m e w hen ,” h e c ro ak ed .
“O n th re e,” s a id H arry , lo okin g b ack d ow n a t th e lo ck et a n d n arro w in g h is
ey es, c o ncen tr a tin g o n t h e l e tte r
S,
i m ag in in g a s e rp en t, w hile t h e c o nte n ts o f t h e
lo ck et r a ttle d l ik e a t r a p ped c o ck ro ach . I t w ould h av e b een e asy t o p ity i t, e x cep t
th at t h e c u t a ro und H arry ’s n eck s till b urn ed .
“O ne… t w o… t h re e…
open .”
The la st w ord c am e a s a h is s a n d a s n arl a n d th e g old en d oors o f th e lo ck et
sw ung w id e o pen w ith a l ittle c lic k .
Beh in d b oth o f th e g la ss w in dow s w ith in b lin ked a liv in g e y e, d ark a n d
han dso m e a s T om R id dle ’s e y es h ad b een b efo re h e tu rn ed th em s c arle t a n d s lit-
pupile d .
“S ta b ,” s a id H arry , h old in g t h e l o ck et s te ad y o n t h e r o ck .
Ron ra is e d th e sw ord in h is sh ak in g h an ds: T he p oin t d an gle d o ver th e
fra n tic ally s w iv elin g e y es, a n d H arry g rip ped th e lo ck et tig htly , b ra cin g h im se lf ,
alr e ad y i m ag in in g b lo od p ourin g f ro m t h e e m pty w in dow s.
Then a v oic e h is se d f ro m o ut t h e H orc ru x.

“I h ave s e en y o ur h ea rt, a nd i t i s m in e.”
“D on’t l is te n t o i t! ” H arry s a id h ars h ly . “ S ta b i t! ”
“I h ave s e en y o ur d re a m s, R onald W ea sle y, a nd I h ave s e en y o ur fe a rs. A ll
yo u d esir e i s p ossib le , b ut a ll t h at y o u d re a d i s a ls o p ossib le … ”
“S ta b !” sh oute d H arry , his voic e ech oed off th e su rro undin g tr e es, th e
sw ord p oin t t r e m ble d , a n d R on g azed d ow n i n to R id dle ’s e y es.
“Lea st lo ved , a lw ays, b y th e m oth er w ho c ra ved a d aughte r… L ea st lo ved ,
now , by th e gir l w ho pre fe rs yo ur fr ie n d… Seco nd best, alw ays, ete rn ally
oversh adow ed … ”
“R on, s ta b it n ow !” H arry b ello w ed : H e c o uld fe el th e lo ck et q uiv erin g in
th e g rip a n d w as s c are d o f w hat w as c o m in g. R on r a is e d th e s w ord s till h ig her,
an d a s h e d id s o , R id dle ’s e y es g le am ed s c arle t.
Out o f th e lo ck et’s tw o w in dow s, o ut o f th e e y es, th ere b lo om ed lik e tw o
gro te sq ue b ubble s, t h e h ead s o f H arry a n d H erm io ne, w eir d ly d is to rte d .
Ron y elle d in s h ock a n d b ack ed a w ay a s th e fig ure s b lo sso m ed o ut o f th e
lo ck et, f ir s t c h ests , th en w ais ts , th en le g s, u ntil th ey s to od in th e lo ck et, s id e b y
sid e lik e tr e es w ith a c o m mon ro ot, s w ay in g o ver R on a n d th e re al H arry , w ho
had s n atc h ed h is f in gers a w ay f ro m t h e l o ck et a s i t b urn ed , s u dden ly , w hite -h ot.
“R on!” he sh oute d , but th e Rid dle -H arry was now sp eak in g with
Vold em ort’s v oic e a n d R on w as g azin g, m esm eriz ed , i n to i ts f a ce.
“W hy re tu rn ? W e w ere b ette r w ith out y o u, h appie r w ith out y o u, g la d o f
yo ur a bse n ce… W e la ughed a t y o ur s tu pid ity , y o ur c o w ard ic e, y o ur p re su m ptio n
—”
“P re su m ptio n!”
e ch oed th e R id dle -H erm io ne, w ho w as m ore b eau tif u l a n d
yet m ore t e rrib le t h an t h e r e al H erm io ne: S he s w ay ed , c ack lin g, b efo re R on, w ho
lo oked h orrif ie d , y et tr a n sfix ed , th e s w ord h an gin g p oin tle ssly a t h is s id e.
“W ho
co uld lo ok a t y o u, w ho w ould e ver lo ok a t y o u, b esid e H arry P otte r? W hat h ave
yo u e ver d one, c o m pare d w ith th e C hose n O ne? W hat a re y o u, c o m pare d w ith
th e B oy W ho L iv ed ?”
“R on, sta b it, S TA B IT !” H arry y elle d , b ut R on d id n ot m ove. H is e y es
were w id e, an d th e R id dle -H arry an d th e R id dle -H erm io ne w ere re fle cte d in
th em , th eir h air s w ir lin g lik e f la m es, th eir e y es s h in in g r e d , th eir v oic es lif te d in
an e v il d uet.
“Yo ur m oth er co nfe sse d ,”
sn eere d R id dle -H arry , w hile R id dle -H erm io ne
je ere d ,
“th at sh e w ould have pre fe rre d m e as a so n, w ould be gla d to
exch ange… ”
“W ho w ould n’t p re fe r h im , w hat w om an w ould ta ke y o u, y o u a re n oth in g,
noth in g, n oth in g to h im ,”
c ro oned R id dle -H erm io ne, a n d sh e str e tc h ed lik e a
sn ak e an d en tw in ed hers e lf aro und R id dle -H arry , w ra p pin g him in a clo se

em bra ce: T heir l ip s m et.
On th e g ro und in fro nt o f th em , R on’s fa ce fille d w ith a n guis h . H e ra is e d
th e s w ord h ig h, h is a rm s s h ak in g.
“D o i t, R on!” H arry y elle d .
Ron lo oked to w ard h im , a n d H arry th ought h e s a w a tr a ce o f s c arle t in h is
ey es.
“R on— ?”
The s w ord f la sh ed , p lu nged : H arry th re w h im se lf o ut o f th e w ay, th ere a s a
cla n g o f m eta l a n d a lo ng, d ra w n-o ut s c re am . H arry w hir le d a ro und, s lip pin g in
th e s n ow , w an d h eld r e ad y t o d efe n d h im se lf , b ut t h ere w as n oth in g t o f ig ht.
The m onstr o us v ers io ns o f h im se lf a n d H erm io ne w ere g one: T here w as
only R on, s ta n din g th ere w ith th e s w ord h eld s la ck ly in h is h an d, lo okin g d ow n
at t h e s h atte re d r e m ain s o f t h e l o ck et o n t h e f la t r o ck .
Slo w ly , H arry w alk ed b ack to h im , h ard ly k now in g w hat to s a y o r d o. R on
was b re ath in g h eav ily : H is e y es w ere n o lo nger r e d a t a ll, b ut th eir n orm al b lu e:
th ey w ere a ls o w et.
Harry sto oped , pre te n din g he had not se en , an d pic k ed up th e bro ken
Horc ru x. R on h ad p ie rc ed th e g la ss in b oth w in dow s: R id dle ’s e y es w ere g one,
an d th e s ta in ed s ilk lin in g o f th e lo ck et w as s m okin g s lig htly . T he th in g th at h ad
liv ed in th e H orc ru x h ad v an is h ed ; to rtu rin g R on h ad b een its fin al a ct. T he
sw ord c la n ged a s R on d ro pped i t. H e h ad s u nk t o h is k nees, h is h ead i n h is a rm s.
He w as s h ak in g, b ut n ot, H arry r e aliz ed , f ro m c o ld . H arry c ra m med th e b ro ken
lo ck et in to h is p ock et, k nelt d ow n b esid e R on, a n d p la ced a h an d c au tio usly o n
his s h ould er. H e t o ok i t a s a g ood s ig n t h at R on d id n ot t h ro w i t o ff .
“A fte r y ou le ft,” h e s a id in a lo w v oic e, g ra te fu l f o r th e f a ct th at R on’s f a ce
was h id den , “ sh e c rie d f o r a w eek . P ro bab ly lo nger, o nly s h e d id n’t w an t m e to
se e. T here w ere lo ad s o f n ig hts w hen w e n ev er e v en s p oke to e ach o th er. W ith
you g one… ”
He c o uld n ot fin is h ; it w as n ow th at R on w as h ere a g ain th at H arry fu lly
re aliz ed h ow m uch h is a b se n ce h ad c o st t h em .
“S he’s l ik e m y s is te r,” h e w en t o n. “ I l o ve h er l ik e a s is te r a n d I r e ck on t h at
sh e f e els t h e s a m e w ay a b out m e. I t’s a lw ay s b een l ik e t h at. I t h ought y ou k new .”
Ron d id n ot re sp ond, b ut tu rn ed h is fa ce a w ay fro m H arry a n d w ip ed h is
nose n ois ily o n h is s le ev e. H arry g ot t o h is f e et a g ain a n d w alk ed t o w here R on’s
en orm ous r u ck sa ck la y y ard s a w ay, d is c ard ed a s R on h ad r u n to w ard th e p ool to
sa v e H arry f ro m d ro w nin g. H e h ois te d it o nto h is o w n b ack a n d w alk ed b ack to
Ron, w ho cla m bere d to his fe et as H arry ap pro ach ed , ey es blo odsh ot but
oth erw is e c o m pose d .
“I’m s o rry ,” h e s a id i n a t h ic k v oic e. “ I’m s o rry I l e ft. I k now I w as a — a— ”

He lo oked a ro und a t th e d ark ness, a s if h opin g a b ad e n ough w ord w ould
sw oop d ow n u pon h im a n d c la im h im .
“Y ou’v e so rt o f m ad e u p fo r it to nig ht,” sa id H arry . “ G ettin g th e sw ord .
Fin is h in g o ff t h e H orc ru x. S av in g m y l if e .”
“T hat m ak es m e s o und a l o t c o ole r t h an I w as,” R on m um ble d .
“S tu ff lik e th at a lw ay s s o unds c o ole r th an it re ally w as,” s a id H arry . “ I’v e
been t r y in g t o t e ll y ou t h at f o r y ears .”
Sim ulta n eo usly th ey w alk ed fo rw ard a n d h ugged , H arry g rip pin g th e s till-
so ppin g b ack o f R on’s j a ck et.
“A nd n ow ,” s a id H arry a s th ey b ro ke a p art, “ all w e’v e g ot to d o is f in d th at
te n t a g ain .”
But it w as n ot d if f ic u lt. T hough th e w alk th ro ugh th e d ark fo re st w ith th e
doe h ad s e em ed l e n gth y, w ith R on b y h is s id e, t h e j o urn ey b ack s e em ed t o t a k e a
su rp ris in gly s h ort tim e. H arry c o uld n ot w ait to w ak e H erm io ne, a n d it w as w ith
quic k en in g e x cite m en t t h at h e e n te re d t h e t e n t, R on l a g gin g a l ittle b eh in d h im .
It w as g lo rio usly w arm a fte r th e p ool a n d th e fo re st, th e o nly illu m in atio n
th e b lu eb ell fla m es s till s h im merin g in a b ow l o n th e flo or. H erm io ne w as fa st
asle ep , c u rle d u p u nder h er b la n kets , a n d d id n ot m ove u ntil H arry h ad s a id h er
nam e s e v era l t im es.
“H erm io ne!”
She s tir re d , t h en s a t u p q uic k ly , p ush in g h er h air o ut o f h er f a ce.
“W hat’s w ro ng? H arry ? A re y ou a ll r ig ht? ”
“It’s o kay, e v ery th in g’s fin e. M ore th an fin e, I’m g re at. T here ’s so m eo ne
here .”
“W hat d o y ou m ean ? W ho— ?”
She sa w R on, w ho sto od th ere h old in g th e sw ord a n d d rip pin g o nto th e
th re ad bare carp et. H arry back ed in to a sh ad ow y co rn er, slip ped off R on’s
ru ck sa ck , a n d a tte m pte d t o b le n d i n w ith t h e c an vas.
Herm io ne s lid o ut o f h er b unk a n d m oved lik e a s le ep w alk er to w ard R on,
her e y es u pon h is p ale fa ce. S he s to pped rig ht in fro nt o f h im , h er lip s s lig htly
parte d , h er e y es w id e. R on g av e a w eak h opefu l s m ile a n d h alf r a is e d h is a rm s.
Herm io ne la u nch ed h ers e lf f o rw ard a n d s ta rte d p unch in g e v ery in ch o f h im
th at s h e c o uld r e ach .
“O uch — ow — gerro ff ! W hat t h e— ? H erm io ne— OW !”
“Y ou— co m ple te —
arse —
Ronald — Weasle y !”
She p unctu ate d e v ery w ord w ith a b lo w : R on b ack ed a w ay, s h ie ld in g h is
head a s H erm io ne a d van ced .
“Y ou— cra w l— back — here — afte r— week s— an d— week s— oh,
where ’s m y
wand?”

She l o oked a s t h ough r e ad y t o w re stle i t o ut o f H arry ’s h an ds a n d h e r e acte d
in stin ctiv ely .
“P ro te g o!”
The in vis ib le sh ie ld e ru pte d b etw een R on a n d H erm io ne. T he fo rc e o f it
knock ed h er b ack w ard o nto th e f lo or. S pittin g h air o ut o f h er m outh , s h e le p t u p
ag ain .
“H erm io ne!” s a id H arry . “ C alm — ”
“I w ill n ot c alm d ow n!” s h e s c re am ed . N ev er b efo re h ad h e s e en h er lo se
co ntr o l lik e th is ; s h e lo oked q uite d em en te d . “ G iv e m e b ack m y w an d!
Giv e it
back t o m e!”
“H erm io ne, w ill y ou p le ase — ”
“D on’t y ou t e ll m e w hat d o, H arry P otte r!” s h e s c re ech ed . “ D on’t y ou d are !
Giv e i t b ack n ow ! A nd Y OU!”
She w as p oin tin g a t R on in d ir e a ccu sa tio n: It w as lik e a m ale d ic tio n, a n d
Harry c o uld n ot b la m e R on f o r r e tr e atin g s e v era l s te p s.
“I c am e r u nnin g a fte r y ou! I c alle d y ou! I b eg ged y ou t o c o m e b ack — ”
“I k now ,” R on s a id , “ H erm io ne, I ’m s o rry , I ’m r e ally — ”
“O h, y ou’re
so rry !”
She la u ghed a h ig h-p itc h ed , o ut- o f-c o ntr o l s o und; R on lo oked a t H arry f o r
help , b ut H arry m ere ly g rim aced h is h elp le ssn ess.
“Y ou c am e b ack a fte r w eek s—
weeks—
an d y ou th in k it’s a ll g oin g to b e a ll
rig ht i f y ou j u st s a y
so rry ? ”
“W ell, w hat e ls e c an I s a y ?” R on s h oute d , a n d H arry w as g la d t h at R on w as
fig htin g b ack .
“O h, I d on’t k now !” y elle d H erm io ne w ith aw fu l sa rc asm . “R ack y our
bra in s, R on, t h at s h ould o nly t a k e a c o uple o f s e co nds— ”
“H erm io ne,” in te rje cte d H arry , w ho c o nsid ere d th is a lo w b lo w , “ h e ju st
sa v ed m y— ”
“I d on’t care !” sh e sc re am ed . “I d on’t care w hat h e’s d one! W eek s an d
week s, w e c o uld h av e b een
dea d
f o r a ll h e k new — ”
“I k new y ou w ere n ’t d ead !” b ello w ed R on, d ro w nin g h er v oic e f o r th e f ir s t
tim e, a n d a p pro ach in g a s c lo se a s h e c o uld w ith t h e S hie ld C harm b etw een t h em .
“H arry ’s all over th e
Pro phet,
all over th e ra d io , th ey ’re lo okin g fo r you
ev ery w here , a ll th ese ru m ors a n d m en ta l s to rie s, I k new I’d h ear s tr a ig ht o ff if
you w ere d ead , y ou d on’t k now w hat i t’s b een l ik e— ”
“W hat i t’s b een l ik e f o r
yo u??”
Her v oic e w as n ot s o s h rill o nly b ats w ould b e a b le to h ear it s o on, b ut s h e
had r e ach ed a le v el o f in dig natio n th at r e n dere d h er te m pora rily s p eech le ss, a n d
Ron s e iz ed h is o pportu nity .

“I w an te d to c o m e b ack th e m in ute I ’d D is a p para te d , b ut I w alk ed s tr a ig ht
in to a g an g o f S natc h ers , H erm io ne, a n d I c o uld n’t g o a n yw here !”
“A g an g o f w hat? ” a sk ed H arry , a s H erm io ne th re w h ers e lf d ow n in to a
ch air w ith h er a rm s a n d l e g s c ro sse d s o t ig htly i t s e em ed u nlik ely t h at s h e w ould
unra v el t h em f o r s e v era l y ears .
“S natc h ers ,” s a id R on. “ T hey ’re e v ery w here — gan gs tr y in g to e arn g old b y
ro undin g u p M uggle -b orn s a n d b lo od t r a ito rs , t h ere ’s a r e w ard f ro m t h e M in is tr y
fo r e v ery one c ap tu re d . I w as o n m y o w n a n d I lo ok lik e I m ig ht b e s c h ool a g e;
th ey g ot r e ally e x cite d , th ought I w as a M uggle -b orn in h id in g. I h ad to ta lk f a st
to g et o ut o f b ein g d ra g ged t o t h e M in is tr y .”
“W hat d id y ou s a y t o t h em ?”
“T old t h em I w as S ta n S hunpik e. F ir s t p ers o n I c o uld t h in k o f.”
“A nd t h ey b elie v ed t h at? ”
“T hey w ere n ’t t h e b rig hte st. O ne o f t h em w as d efin ite ly p art t r o ll, t h e s m ell
of h im … ”
Ron g la n ced a t H erm io ne, c le arly h opefu l sh e m ig ht so fte n a t th is sm all
in sta n ce o f h um or, b ut h er e x pre ssio n r e m ain ed s to ny a b ove h er tig htly k notte d
lim bs.
“A nyw ay, th ey h ad a ro w a b ou t w heth er I w as S ta n o r n ot. It w as a b it
path etic to b e h onest, b ut th ere w ere s till f iv e o f th em a n d o nly o ne o f m e, a n d
th ey ’d ta k en m y w an d. T hen tw o o f th em g ot in to a fig ht a n d w hile th e o th ers
were d is tr a cte d I m an ag ed to h it th e o ne h old in g m e in th e s to m ach , g ra b bed h is
wan d, D is a rm ed t h e b lo ke h old in g m in e, a n d D is a p para te d . I d id n’t d o i t s o w ell.
Splin ch ed m yse lf ag ain ”— Ron h eld u p h is rig ht h an d to sh ow tw o m is sin g
fin gern ails : H erm io ne r a is e d h er e y eb ro w s c o ld ly — “an d I c am e o ut m ile s f ro m
where y ou w ere . B y th e tim e I g ot b ack to th at b it o f riv erb an k w here w e’d
been … y ou w ere g one.”
“G osh , w hat a g rip pin g s to ry ,” H erm io ne s a id i n t h e l o fty v oic e s h e a d opte d
when w is h in g to w ound. “ Y ou m ust h av e b een s im ply te rrif ie d . M ean w hile w e
wen t to G odric ’s H ollo w a n d, le t’s th in k, w hat h ap pen ed th ere , H arry ? O h y es,
You-K now -W ho’s sn ak e tu rn ed u p, it n early k ille d b oth o f u s, a n d th en Y ou-
Know -W ho h im se lf a rriv ed a n d m is se d u s b y a b out a s e co nd.”
“W hat? ” R on s a id , g ap in g f ro m h er t o H arry , b ut H erm io ne i g nore d h im .
“Im ag in e lo sin g fin gern ails , H arry ! T hat re ally puts our su ff e rin gs in to
pers p ectiv e, d oesn ’t i t? ”
“H erm io ne,” s a id H arry q uie tly , “ R on j u st s a v ed m y l if e .”
She a p peare d n ot t o h av e h eard h im .
“O ne th in g I w ould lik e to k now , th ough,” s h e s a id , fix in g h er e y es o n a
sp ot a fo ot o ver R on’s h ead . “H ow ex actly d id y ou fin d u s to nig ht? T hat’s

im porta n t. O nce w e k now , w e’ll b e ab le to m ak e su re w e’re n ot v is ite d b y
an yone e ls e w e d on’t w an t t o s e e.”
Ron g la re d a t h er, t h en p ulle d a s m all s ilv er o bje ct f ro m h is j e an s p ock et.
“T his .”
She h ad t o l o ok a t R on t o s e e w hat h e w as s h ow in g t h em .
“T he D elu m in ato r? ” sh e a sk ed , so su rp ris e d sh e fo rg ot to lo ok c o ld a n d
fie rc e.
“It d oesn ’t ju st tu rn th e lig hts o n a n d o ff ,” s a id R on. “ I d on’t k now h ow it
work s o r w hy it h ap pen ed th en an d n ot an y o th er tim e, b ecau se I’v e b een
wan tin g to c o m e b ack e v er s in ce I le ft. B ut I w as lis te n in g to th e ra d io re ally
early o n C hris tm as m orn in g a n d I h eard … I h eard y ou.”
He w as l o okin g a t H erm io ne.
“Y ou h eard m e o n t h e r a d io ?” s h e a sk ed i n cre d ulo usly .
“N o, I h eard y ou c o m in g o ut o f m y p ock et. Y our v oic e,” h e h eld u p th e
Delu m in ato r a g ain , “ cam e o ut o f t h is .”
“A nd w hat ex actly did I sa y ?” ask ed H erm io ne, her to ne so m ew here
betw een s k ep tic is m a n d c u rio sity .
“M y n am e. ‘ R on.’ A nd y ou s a id … s o m eth in g a b out a w an d… ”
Herm io ne tu rn ed a fie ry s h ad e o f s c arle t. H arry re m em bere d : it h ad b een
th e f ir s t tim e R on’s n am e h ad b een s a id a lo ud b y e ith er o f th em s in ce th e d ay h e
had l e ft; H erm io ne h ad m en tio ned i t w hen t a lk in g a b out r e p air in g H arry ’s w an d.
“S o I to ok it o ut,” R on w en t o n, lo okin g a t th e D elu m in ato r, “ an d it d id n’t
se em d if f e re n t o r a n yth in g, b ut I w as s u re I ’d h eard y ou. S o I c lic k ed it. A nd th e
lig ht w en t o ut i n m y r o om , b ut a n oth er l ig ht a p peare d r ig ht o uts id e t h e w in dow .”
Ron r a is e d h is e m pty h an d a n d p oin te d in f ro nt o f h im , h is e y es f o cu se d o n
so m eth in g n eith er H arry n or H erm io ne c o uld s e e.
“It w as a b all o f lig ht, k in d o f p uls in g, a n d b lu is h , lik e th at lig ht y ou g et
aro und a P ortk ey, y ou k now ?”
“Y eah ,” s a id H arry a n d H erm io ne t o geth er a u to m atic ally .
“I k new t h is w as i t,” s a id R on. “ I g ra b bed m y s tu ff a n d p ack ed i t, t h en I p ut
on m y r u ck sa ck a n d w en t o ut i n to t h e g ard en .
“T he little b all o f lig ht w as h overin g th ere , w aitin g fo r m e, a n d w hen I
cam e o ut it b obbed a lo ng a b it a n d I fo llo w ed it b eh in d th e s h ed a n d th en it…
well, i t w en t i n sid e m e.”
“S orry ?” s a id H arry , s u re h e h ad n ot h eard c o rre ctly .
“It s o rt o f f lo ate d to w ard m e,” s a id R on, illu str a tin g th e m ovem en t w ith h is
fre e in dex fin ger, “ rig ht to m y c h est, a n d th en — it ju st w en t s tr a ig ht th ro ugh. It
was h ere ,” h e to uch ed a p oin t c lo se to h is h eart, “ I c o uld f e el it, it w as h ot. A nd
once it w as in sid e m e, I k new w hat I w as s u ppose d to d o. I k new it w ould ta k e

me w here I n eed ed to g o. S o I D is a p para te d a n d c am e o ut o n th e s id e o f a h ill.
There w as s n ow e v ery w here … ”
“W e w ere th ere ,” s a id H arry . “ W e s p en t tw o n ig hts th ere , a n d th e s e co nd
nig ht I k ep t th in kin g I co uld h ear so m eo ne m ovin g aro und in th e d ark an d
callin g o ut! ”
“Y eah , w ell, th at w ould ’v e b een m e,” sa id R on. “Y our p ro te ctiv e sp ells
work , a n yw ay, b ecau se I c o uld n’t s e e y ou a n d I c o uld n’t h ear y ou. I w as s u re
you w ere a ro und, th ough, s o in th e e n d I g ot in m y s le ep in g b ag a n d w aite d f o r
one o f y ou t o a p pear. I t h ought y ou’d h av e t o s h ow y ours e lv es w hen y ou p ack ed
up t h e t e n t.”
“N o, actu ally ,” sa id H erm io ne. “W e’v e been D is a p para tin g under th e
In vis ib ility C lo ak a s a n e x tr a p re cau tio n. A nd w e le ft re ally e arly , b ecau se a s
Harry s a y s, w e’d h eard s o m eb ody b lu nderin g a ro und.”
“W ell, I s ta y ed o n th at h ill a ll d ay,” s a id R on. “ I k ep t h opin g y ou’d a p pear.
But w hen it s ta rte d to g et d ark I k new I m ust h av e m is se d y ou, s o I c lic k ed th e
Delu m in ato r ag ain , th e blu e lig ht cam e out an d w en t in sid e m e, an d I
Dis a p para te d a n d a rriv ed h ere in th ese w oods. I s till c o uld n’t s e e y ou, s o I ju st
had t o h ope o ne o f y ou w ould s h ow y ours e lv es i n t h e e n d— an d H arry d id . W ell,
I s a w t h e d oe f ir s t, o bvio usly .”
“Y ou s a w t h e w hat? ” s a id H erm io ne s h arp ly .
They e x pla in ed w hat h ad h ap pen ed a n d a s th e s to ry o f th e s ilv er d oe a n d
th e sw ord in th e p ool u nfo ld ed , H erm io ne fro w ned fo rm o ne to th e o th er o f
th em , c o ncen tr a tin g s o h ard s h e f o rg ot t o k eep h er l im bs l o ck ed t o geth er.
“B ut it m ust h av e b een a P atr o nus!” s h e s a id . “ C ould n’t y ou s e e w ho w as
castin g it? D id n’t y ou s e e a n yone? A nd it le d y ou to th e s w ord ! I c an ’t b elie v e
th is ! T hen w hat h ap pen ed ?”
Ron ex pla in ed h ow h e h ad w atc h ed H arry ju m p in to th e p ool, an d h ad
waite d fo r h im to re su rfa ce; h ow h e h ad re aliz ed th at so m eth in g w as w ro ng,
div ed in , a n d sa v ed H arry , th en re tu rn ed fo r th e sw ord . H e g ot a s fa r a s th e
open in g o f t h e l o ck et, t h en h esita te d , a n d H arry c u t i n .
“— an d R on s ta b bed i t w ith t h e s w ord .”
“A nd… a n d i t w en t? J u st l ik e t h at? ” s h e w his p ere d .
“W ell, i t— it s c re am ed ,” s a id H arry w ith h alf a g la n ce a t R on. “ H ere .”
He th re w th e lo ck et in to h er la p ; g in gerly s h e p ic k ed it u p a n d e x am in ed its
punctu re d w in dow s.
Decid in g th at it w as a t la st s a fe to d o s o , H arry r e m oved th e S hie ld C harm
with a w av e o f H erm io ne’s w an d a n d t u rn ed t o R on.
“D id y ou ju st s a y n ow th at y ou g ot a w ay fro m th e s n atc h ers w ith a s p are
wan d?”

“W hat? ” s a id R on, w ho h ad b ee n w atc h in g H erm io ne e x am in in g t h e l o ck et.
“O h— oh y eah .”
He tu gged o pen a b uck le o n h is r u ck sa ck a n d p ulle d a s h ort d ark w an d o ut
of h is p ock et. “ H ere , I f ig ure d i t’s a lw ay s h an dy t o h av e a b ack up.”
“Y ou w ere r ig ht,” s a id H arry , h old in g o ut h is h an d. “ M in e’s b ro ken .”
“Y ou’re k id din g?” R on s a id , b ut a t th at m om en t H erm io ne g ot to h er fe et,
an d h e l o oked a p pre h en siv e a g ain .
Herm io ne p ut th e v an quis h ed H orc ru x in to th e b ead ed b ag , th en c lim bed
back i n to h er b ed a n d s e ttle d d ow n w ith out a n oth er w ord .
Ron p asse d H arry t h e n ew w an d.
“A bout t h e b est y ou c o uld h ope f o r, I t h in k,” m urm ure d H arry .
“Y eah ,” s a id R on. “ C ould ’v e b een w ors e . R em em ber th ose b ir d s s h e s e t o n
me?”
“I s till h av en ’t r u le d it o ut,” c am e H erm io ne’s m uff le d v oic e f ro m b en eath
her bla n kets , but H arry sa w R on sm ilin g slig htly as he pulle d his m aro on
paja m as o ut o f h is r u ck sa ck .

2 0. X EN O PH IL IU S L O VEG OOD
Harry h ad n ot ex pecte d H erm io ne’s an ger to ab ate o ver n ig ht an d w as
t h ere fo re u nsu rp ris e d th at s h e c o m munic ate d m ain ly b y d ir ty lo oks a n d p oin te d
s ile n ces t h e n ex t m orn in g. R on r e sp onded b y m ain ta in in g a n u nnatu ra lly s o m ber
d em ean or in h er p re se n ce a s a n o utw ard sig n o f c o ntin uin g re m ors e . In fa ct,
w hen a ll th re e o f th em w ere to geth er H arry fe lt lik e th e o nly n on-m ourn er a t a
p oorly a tte n ded fu nera l. D urin g th ose fe w m om en ts h e s p en t a lo ne w ith H arry ,
h ow ev er ( c o lle ctin g w ate r a n d s e arc h in g th e u nderg ro w th f o r m ush ro om s), R on
b ecam e s h am ele ssly c h eery .
“S om eo ne h elp ed u s,” h e k ep t s a y in g, “ S om eo ne s e n t th at d oe, S om eo ne’s
o n o ur s id e, O ne H orc ru x d ow n, m ate !”
Bols te re d b y th e d estr u ctio n o f th e lo ck et th ey s e t to d eb atin g th e p ossib le
l o catio ns o f th e o th er H orc ru xes a n d e v en th ough th ey h ad d is c u sse d th e m atte r
s o o fte n b efo re , H arry fe lt o ptim is tic , c erta in th at m ore b re ak th ro ughs w ould
s u cceed th e fir s t. H erm io ne’s s u lk in ess c o uld n ot m ar h is b uoyan t s p ir its ; T he
s u dden u psw in g in th eir fo rtu nes, th e ap peara n ce o f th e m yste rio us d oe, th e
r e co very o f G ry ff in dor’s sw ord , an d ab ove all, R on’s re tu rn m ad e H arry so
h ap py t h at i t w as q uite d if f ic u lt t o m ain ta in a s tr a ig ht f a ce.
Late in th e afte rn oon h e an d R on esc ap ed H erm io ne’s b ale fu l p re se n ce
a g ain an d under th e pre te n se of sc o urin g th e bare hed ges fo r nonex is te n t
b la ck berrie s, th ey c o ntin ued th eir o ngoin g e x ch an ge o f n ew s. H arry h ad f in ally
m an ag ed to te ll R on th e w hole s to ry o f h is a n d H erm io ne’s v ario us w an derin gs,
r ig ht u p t o t h e f u ll s to ry o f w hat h ad h ap pen ed a t G odric ’s H ollo w ; R on w as n ow
f illin g H arry in o n ev ery th in g h e h ad d is c o vere d ab out th e w id er W iz ard in g
w orld d urin g h is w eek s a w ay.
“… an d how did you fin d out ab out th e T ab oo?” he ask ed H arry afte r
e x pla in in g t h e m an y d esp era te a tte m pts o f M uggle -b orn s t o e v ad e t h e M in is tr y .
“T he w hat? ”
“Y ou a n d H erm io ne h av e s to pped s a y in g Y ou-K now -W ho’s n am e!”
“O h, y eah , W ell, i t’s j u st a b ad h ab it w e’v e s lip ped i n to ,” s a id H arry . “ B ut I
h av en ’t g ot a p ro ble m c allin g h im V — ”
“N O!” ro are d R on, c au sin g H arry to ju m p in to th e h ed ge a n d H erm io ne
( n ose b urie d in a b ook a t th e te n t e n tr a n ce) to s c o w l o ver a t th em . “ S orry ,” s a id
R on, w re n ch in g H arry b ack o ut o f th e b ra m ble s, “ b ut th e n am e’s b een jin xed ,
H arry , th at’s how th ey tr a ck peo ple ! U sin g his nam e bre ak s pro te ctiv e
e n ch an tm en ts , it c au se s s o m e k in d o f m ag ic al d is tu rb an ce— it’s h ow th ey f o und

us i n T otte n ham C ourt R oad !”
“B ecau se w e u se d h is
nam e? ”
“E xactly ! Y ou’v e g ot t o g iv e t h em c re d it, i t m ak es s e n se . I t w as o nly p eo ple
who w ere s e rio us a b out s ta n din g u p to h im , lik e D um ble d ore , w ho e v en d are d
use it. N ow th ey ’v e p ut a T ab oo o n it, a n yone w ho s a y s it is tr a ck ab le — quic k -
an d-e asy w ay t o f in d O rd er m em bers ! T hey n early g ot K in gsle y — ”
“Y ou’re k id din g?”
“Y eah , a b unch o f D eath E ate rs c o rn ere d h im , B ill s a id b ut h e fo ught h is
way o ut. H e’s o n th e r u n n ow ju st lik e u s.” R on s c ra tc h ed h is c h in th oughtf u lly
with t h e e n d o f h is w an d. “ Y ou d on’t r e ck on K in gsle y c o uld h av e s e n t t h at d oe?”
“H is P atr o nus i s a l y nx, w e s a w i t a t t h e w ed din g, r e m em ber? ”
“O h y eah … ”
They m oved f a rth er a lo ng t h e h ed ge, a w ay f ro m t h e t e n t a n d H erm io ne.
“H arry … y ou d on’t r e ck on i t c o uld ’v e b een D um ble d ore ?”
“D um ble d ore w hat? ”
Ron lo oked a little e m barra sse d , b ut s a id in a lo w v oic e, “ D um ble d ore …
th e d oe? I m ean ,” R on w as w atc h in g H arry o ut o f th e c o rn ers o f h is e y es, “ h e
had t h e r e al s w ord l a st, d id n’t h e?”
Harry d id n ot la u gh a t R on, b ecau se h e u nders to od to o w ell th e lo ngin g
beh in d th e q uestio n. T he id ea th at D um ble d ore h ad m an ag ed to c o m e b ack to
th em , t h at h e w as w atc h in g o ver t h em , w ould h av e i n ex pre ssib ly c o m fo rtin g. H e
sh ook h is h ead .
“D um ble d ore ’s d ead ,” h e sa id . “I sa w it h ap pen , I sa w th e b ody. H e’s
defin ite ly g one. A nyw ay h is P atr o nus w as a p hoen ix , n ot a d oe.”
“P atr o nuse s c an c h an ge, th ough c an ’t th ey ?” s a id R on, “ T onks’s c h an ged ,
did n’t i t? ”
“Y eah , b ut if D um ble d ore w as a liv e, w hy w ould n’t h e s h ow h im se lf ? W hy
would n’t h e j u st h an d u s t h e s w ord ?”
“S earc h m e,” s a id R on. “ S am e r e aso n h e d id n’t g iv e it to y ou w hile h e w as
aliv e? S am e re aso n h e le ft y ou a n o ld S nitc h a n d H erm io ne a b ook o f k id ’s
sto rie s? ”
“W hic h is w hat? ” ask ed H arry , tu rn in g to lo ok R on fu ll in th e fa ce
desp era te f o r t h e a n sw er.
“I d unno,” s a id R on. “ S om etim es I ’v e t h ought, w hen I ’v e b een a b it h ack ed
off , h e w as h av in g a la u gh o r— or h e ju st w an te d to m ak e it m ore d if f ic u lt. B ut I
don’t th in k s o , n ot a n ym ore . H e k new w hat h e w as d oin g w hen h e g av e m e th e
Delu m in ato r, d id n’t h e? H e— well,” R on’s e ars tu rn ed b rig ht r e d a n d h e b ecam e
en gro sse d in a tu ft o f g ra ss at h is fe et, w hic h h e p ro dded w ith h is to e, “h e
must’ v e k now n I ’d r u n o ut o n y ou.”

“N o,” H arry co rre cte d h im . “H e m ust’ v e k now n y ou’d alw ay s w an t to
co m e b ack .”
Ron lo oked g ra te fu l, b ut s till a w kw ard . P artly to c h an ge th e s u bje ct, H arry
sa id , “ S peak in g o f D um ble d ore , h av e y ou h eard w hat S keete r w ro te a b out h im ?”
“O h y eah ,” sa id R on at o nce, “p eo ple are ta lk in g ab out it q uite a lo t.
’C ours e , if th in gs w ere d if f e re n t it’ d b e h uge n ew s, D um ble d ore b ein g p als w ith
Grin delw ald , b ut n ow it’s ju st s o m eth in g to la u gh a b out fo r p eo ple w ho d id n’t
lik e D um ble d ore , a n d a b it o f a s la p i n t h e f a ce f o r e v ery one w ho t h ought h e w as
su ch a g ood b lo ke. I d on’t k now th at it’s s u ch a b ig d eal, th ough. H e w as r e ally
young w hen t h ey — ”
“O ur a g e,” s a id H arry , ju st a s h e h ad r e to rte d to H erm io ne, a n d s o m eth in g
in h is f a ce s e em ed t o d ecid e R on a g ain st p urs u in g t h e s u bje ct.
A l a rg e s p id er s a t i n t h e m id dle o f a f ro ste d w eb i n t h e b ra m ble s. H arry t o ok
aim a t it w ith th e w an d R on h ad g iv en h im th e p re v io us n ig ht, w hic h H erm io ne
had s in ce c o ndesc en ded t o e x am in e, a n d h ad d ecid ed w as m ad e o f b la ck th orn .
“E ngorg io .”
The sp id er g av e a little sh iv er, b ouncin g slig htly in th e w eb . H arry tr ie d
ag ain . T his t im e t h e s p id er g re w s lig htly l a rg er.
“S to p th at,” sa id R on sh arp ly , “ I’m so rry I sa id D um ble d ore w as y oung,
okay ?”
Harry h ad f o rg otte n R on’s h atr e d o f s p id ers .
“S orry —
Red ucio .”
The sp id er d id n ot sh rin k. H arry lo oked d ow n at th e b la ck th orn w an d.
Every m in or s p ell h e h ad c ast w ith it s o fa r th at d ay h ad s e em ed le ss p ow erfu l
th an th ose h e h ad p ro duced w ith h is p hoen ix w an d. T he n ew o ne f e lt in tr u siv ely
unfa m ilia r, l ik e h av in g s o m eb ody e ls e ’s h an d s e w n t o t h e e n d o f h is a rm .
“Y ou ju st n eed to p ra ctic e,” sa id H erm io ne, w ho h ad ap pro ach ed th em
nois e le ssly fro m b eh in d an d h ad sto od w atc h in g an xio usly as H arry tr ie d to
en la rg e a n d r e d uce t h e s p id er. “ It’s a ll a m atte r o f c o nfid en ce, H arry .”
He k new w hy sh e w an te d it to b e all rig ht; S he still fe lt g uilty ab out
bre ak in g h is w an d. H e b it b ack th e re to rt th at s p ru ng to h is lip s, th at s h e c o uld
ta k e th e b la ck th orn w an d if sh e th ought it m ad e n o d if f e re n ce, a n d h e w ould
hav e h ers i n ste ad . K een f o r t h em a ll t o b e f rie n ds a g ain , h ow ev er, h e a g re ed ; b ut
when R on g av e H erm io ne a te n ta tiv e s m ile , s h e s ta lk ed o ff a n d v an is h ed b eh in d
her b ook o nce m ore .
All th re e o f th em re tu rn ed to th e te n t w hen d ark ness fe ll, a n d H arry to ok
fir s t w atc h . S ittin g in t h e e n tr a n ce, h e tr ie d t o m ak e t h e b la ck th orn w an d l e v ita te
sm all s to nes a t h is fe et; b ut h is m ag ic s till s e em ed c lu m sie r a n d le ss p ow erfu l
th an it h ad d one b efo re . H erm io ne w as ly in g o n h er b unk re ad in g, w hile R on,

afte r m an y n erv ous g la n ces u p a t h er, h ad ta k en a s m all w ooden w ir e le ss o ut o f
his r u ck sa ck a n d s ta rte d t o t r y t o t u ne i t.
“T here ’s th is o ne p ro gra m ,” h e to ld H arry in a lo w v oic e, “ th at te lls th e
new s lik e it re ally is . A ll th e o th ers are o n Y ou-K now -W ho’s sid e an d are
fo llo w in g th e M in is tr y lin e, b ut th is o ne… y ou w ait till y ou h ear it, it’s g re at.
Only th ey c an ’t d o it e v ery n ig ht, th ey h av e to k eep c h an gin g lo catio ns in c ase
th ey ’re r a id ed a n d y ou n eed a p assw ord t o t u ne i n … T ro uble i s , I m is se d t h e l a st
one… ”
He dru m med lig htly on th e to p of th e ra d io w ith his w an d m utte rin g
ra n dom w ord s under his bre ath . H e th re w H erm io ne m an y co vert gla n ces,
pla in ly f e arin g a n a n gry o utb urs t, b ut f o r a ll th e n otic e s h e to ok o f h im h e m ig ht
not h av e b een th ere . F or te n m in ute s o r s o R on ta p ped a n d m utte re d , H erm io ne
tu rn ed th e pag es of her book, an d H arry co ntin ued to pra ctic e w ith th e
bla ck th orn w an d.
Fin ally H erm io ne c lim bed d ow n f ro m h er b unk. R on c ease d h is ta p pin g a t
once.
“If i t’s a n noyin g y ou, I ’ll s to p!” h e t o ld H erm io ne n erv ously .
Herm io ne d id n ot d eig n t o r e sp ond, b ut a p pro ach ed H arry .
“W e n eed t o t a lk ,” s h e s a id .
He l o oked a t t h e b ook s till c lu tc h ed i n h er h an d. I t w as
The L ife a nd L ie s o f
Alb us D um ble d ore .
“W hat? ” h e s a id a p pre h en siv ely . It fle w th ro ugh h is m in d th at th ere w as a
ch ap te r o n h im in th ere ; h e w as n ot s u re h e fe lt u p to h earin g R ita ’s v ers io n o f
his r e la tio nsh ip w ith D um ble d ore . H erm io ne’s a n sw er h ow ev er, w as c o m ple te ly
unex pecte d .
“I w an t t o g o a n d s e e X en ophiliu s L oveg ood.”
He s ta re d a t h er.
“S orry ?”
“X en ophiliu s L oveg ood, L una’s f a th er. I w an t t o g o a n d t a lk t o h im !”
“E r— why?”
She to ok a d eep b re ath , a s th ough b ra cin g h ers e lf , a n d s a id , “ It’s th at m ark ,
th e m ark i n
Beed le t h e B ard .
L ook a t t h is !”
She th ru st
The L ife a nd L ie s o f A lb us D um ble d ore
u nder H arry ’s u nw illin g
ey es a n d sa w a p hoto gra p h o f th e o rig in al le tte r th at D um ble d ore h ad w ritte n
Grin delw ald , w ith D um ble d ore ’s fa m ilia r th in , sla n tin g h an dw ritin g. H e h ate d
se ein g a b so lu te p ro of th at D um ble d ore r e ally h ad w ritte n th ose w ord s, th at th ey
had n ot b een R ita ’s i n ven tio n.
“T he s ig natu re ,” s a id H erm io ne. “ L ook a t t h e s ig natu re , H arry !”
He o bey ed . F or a m om en t h e h ad n o id ea w hat s h e w as ta lk in g a b out, b ut,

lo okin g m ore c lo se ly w ith th e a id o f h is lit w an d, h e s a w th at D um ble d ore h ad
re p la ced t h e
A o f A lb us w ith a t in y v ers io n o f t h e s a m e t r ia n gula r m ark i n sc rib ed
upon
The T a le s o f B eed le t h e B ard .
“E r— what are y ou— ?” sa id R on te n ta tiv ely , b ut H erm io ne q uelle d h im
with a l o ok a n d t u rn ed b ack t o H arry .
“It k eep s c ro ppin g u p, d oesn ’t it? ” sh e sa id . “ I k now V ik to r sa id it w as
Grin delw ald ’s m ark , b ut it w as d efin ite ly o n th at o ld g ra v e in G odric ’s H ollo w ,
an d th e d ate s o n th e h ead sto ne w ere lo ng b efo re G rin delw ald c am e a lo ng! A nd
now t h is ! W ell, w e c an ’t a sk D um ble d ore o r G rin delw ald w hat i t m ean s— I d on’t
ev en k now w heth er G rin delw ald ’s s till a liv e— but w e c an a sk M r. L oveg ood. H e
was w earin g t h e s y m bol a t t h e w ed din g. I ’m s u re t h is i s i m porta n t, H arry !”
Harry d id n ot a n sw er im med ia te ly . H e lo oked in to h er in te n se , e ag er fa ce
an d th en o ut in to th e s u rro undin g d ark ness, th in kin g. A fte r a lo ng p au se h e s a id ,
“H erm io ne, w e d on’t n eed a n oth er G odric ’s H ollo w . W e ta lk ed o urs e lv es in to
goin g t h ere , a n d— ”
“B ut i t k eep s a p pearin g, H arry ! D um ble d ore l e ft m e
The T a le s o f B eed le t h e
Bard ,
h ow d o y ou k now w e’re n ot s u ppose d t o f in d o ut a b out t h e s ig n?”
“H ere w e g o a g ain !” H arry fe lt slig htly e x asp era te d . “ W e k eep tr y in g to
co nvin ce o urs e lv es D um ble d ore l e ft u s s e cre t s ig ns a n d c lu es— ”
“T he D elu m in ato r tu rn ed o ut to b e p re tty u se fu l,” p ip ed u p R on. “ I th in k
Herm io ne’s r ig ht, I t h in k w e o ught t o g o a n d s e e L oveg ood.”
Harry th re w h im a d ark lo ok. H e w as q uite su re th at R on’s su pport o f
Herm io ne h ad little to d o w ith a d esir e to k now th e m ean in g o f th e tr ia n gula r
ru ne.
“It w on’t b e lik e G odric ’s H ollo w ,” R on a d ded , “ L oveg ood’s o n y our s id e,
Harry ,
The Q uib ble r’s
b een fo r y ou a ll a lo ng, it k eep s te llin g e v ery one th ey ’v e
got t o h elp y ou!”
“I’m s u re t h is i s i m porta n t! ” s a id H erm io ne e arn estly .
“B ut d on’t y ou th in k if it w as, D um ble d ore w ould h av e to ld m e a b out it
befo re h e d ie d ?”
“M ay be… m ay be it’s so m eth in g y ou n eed to fin d o ut fo r y ours e lf ,” sa id
Herm io ne w ith a f a in t a ir o f c lu tc h in g a t s tr a w s.
“Y eah ,” s a id R on s y co phan tic ally , “ th at m ak es s e n se .”
“N o, it d oesn ’t,” s n ap ped H erm io ne, “ b ut I s till th in k w e o ught to ta lk to
Mr. L oveg ood. A sy m bol th at lin ks D um ble d ore , G rin delw ald , an d G odric ’s
Hollo w ? H arry , I ’m s u re w e o ught t o k now a b out t h is !”
“I th in k w e s h ould v ote o n it,” s a id R on. “ T hose in fa v or o f g oin g to s e e
Loveg ood— ”
His han d fle w in to th e air befo re Herm io ne’s . Her lip s quiv ere d

su sp ic io usly a s s h e r a is e d h er o w n.
“O utv ote d , H arry , s o rry ,” s a id R on, c la p pin g h im o n t h e b ack .
“F in e,” sa id H arry , h alf am use d , h alf ir rita te d . “O nly , o nce w e’v e se en
Loveg ood, le t’s tr y a n d lo ok f o r s o m e m ore H orc ru xes, s h all w e? W here d o th e
Loveg oods l iv e, a n yw ay ? D o e ith er o f y ou k now ?
“Y eah , th ey ’re n ot fa r fro m m y p la ce,” s a id R on. “ I d unno e x actly w here ,
but M um a n d D ad a lw ay s p oin t to w ard th e h ills w hen ev er th ey m en tio n th em .
Should n’t b e h ard t o f in d.”
When H erm io ne h ad r e tu rn ed t o h er b unk, H arry l o w ere d h is v oic e.
“Y ou o nly a g re ed t o t r y a n d g et b ack i n h er g ood b ooks.”
“A ll’s fa ir in lo ve a n d w ar,” s a id R on b rig htly , “ an d th is is a b it o f b oth .
Cheer u p, i t’s t h e C hris tm as h olid ay s, L una’ll b e h om e!”
They h ad a n e x celle n t v ie w o f t h e v illa g e o f O tte ry S t. C atc h opole f ro m t h e
bre ezy hills id e to w hic h th ey D is a p para te d nex t m orn in g. F ro m th eir hig h
van ta g e p oin t th e v illa g e lo oked lik e a co lle ctio n o f to y h ouse s in th e g re at
sla n tin g s h afts o f s u nlig ht s tr e tc h in g to e arth in th e b re ak s b etw een c lo uds. T hey
sto od fo r a m in ute o r tw o lo okin g to w ard th e B urro w , th eir h an ds sh ad ow in g
th eir e y es, b ut a ll th ey c o uld m ak e o ut w ere th e h ig h h ed ges a n d tr e es o f th e
orc h ard , w hic h a ff o rd ed t h e c ro oked l ittle h ouse p ro te ctio n f ro m M uggle e y es.
“It’s w eir d , b ein g t h is n ear, b ut n ot g oin g t o v is it,” s a id R on.
“W ell, it’s not lik e you hav en ’t ju st se en th em . Y ou w ere th ere fo r
Chris tm as,” s a id H erm io ne c o ld ly .
“I w asn ’t a t th e B urro w !” sa id R on w ith a n in cre d ulo us la u gh. “ D o y ou
th in k I w as g oin g t o g o b ack t h ere a n d t e ll t h em a ll I ’d w alk ed o ut o n y ou? Y eah ,
Fre d a n d G eo rg e w ould ’v e b een g re at a b out it. A nd G in ny, sh e’d h av e b een
re ally u nders ta n din g.”
“B ut w here h av e y ou b een , t h en ?” a sk ed H erm io ne, s u rp ris e d .
“B ill a n d F le u r’s n ew p la ce. S hell c o tta g e. B ill’s a lw ay s b een d ecen t to m e.
He— he w asn ’t im pre sse d w hen h e h eard w hat I’d d one, b ut h e d id n’t g o o n
ab out it. H e k new I w as r e ally s o rry . N one o f th e r e st o f th e f a m ily k now I w as
th ere . B ill to ld M um h e a n d F le u r w ere n ’t g oin g h om e fo r C hris tm as b ecau se
th ey w an te d to s p en d it a lo ne. Y ou k now , f ir s t h olid ay a fte r th ey w ere m arrie d . I
don’t t h in k F le u r m in ded . Y ou k now h ow m uch s h e h ate s C ele stin a W arb eck .”
Ron t u rn ed h is b ack o n t h e B urro w .
“L et’s t r y u p h ere ,” h e s a id , l e ad in g t h e w ay o ver t h e t o p o f t h e h ill.
They w alk ed fo r a fe w hours , H arry , at H erm io ne’s in sis te n ce, hid den
ben eath th e In vis ib ility Clo ak . The clu ste r of lo w hills ap peare d to be
unin hab ite d a p art f ro m o ne s m all c o tta g e, w hic h s e em ed d ese rte d .
“D o y ou th in k it’s th eir s , an d th ey ’v e g one aw ay fo r C hris tm as? ” sa id

Herm io ne, p eerin g t h ro ugh t h e w in dow a t a n eat l ittle k itc h en w ith g era n iu m s o n
th e w in dow sill. R on s n orte d .
“L is te n , I’v e g ot a fe elin g y ou’d b e ab le to te ll w ho liv ed th ere if y ou
lo oked t h ro ugh t h e L oveg oods’ w in dow . L et’s t r y t h e n ex t l o t o f h ills .”
So t h ey D is a p para te d a f e w m ile s f a rth er n orth .
“A ha!” s h oute d R on, a s th e w in d w hip ped th eir h air a n d c lo th es. R on w as
poin tin g u pw ard , to w ard th e to p o f th e h ill o n w hic h th ey h ad a p peare d , w here a
most s tr a n ge-lo okin g h ouse r o se v ertic ally a g ain st t h e s k y, a g re at b la ck c y lin der
with a g hostly m oon h an gin g b eh in d it in th e a fte rn oon s k y. “ T hat’s g ot to b e
Luna’s h ouse , w ho e ls e w ould liv e in a p la ce lik e th at? It lo oks lik e a g ia n t
ro ok!”
“It’s n oth in g l ik e a b ir d ,” s a id H erm io ne, f ro w nin g a t t h e t o w er.
“I w as t a lk in g a b out a c h ess r o ok,” s a id R on. “ A c astle t o y ou.”
Ron’s le g s w ere th e lo ngest a n d h e re ach ed th e to p o f th e h ill fir s t. W hen
Harry a n d H erm io ne c au ght u p w ith h im , p an tin g a n d c lu tc h in g s titc h es in th eir
sid es, t h ey f o und h im g rin nin g b ro ad ly .
“It’s t h eir s ,” s a id R on. “ L ook.”
Thre e h an d-p ain te d s ig ns h ad b een ta ck ed to a b ro ke-d ow n g ate . T he fir s t
re ad ,
TH E Q UIB BLER . E D IT O R, X . L O VEG OOD
th e s e co nd,
PIC K Y OUR O W N M IS T LETO E
th e t h ir d ,
KEEP O FF T H E D IR IG IB LE P L U M S
The g ate c re ak ed a s t h ey o pen ed i t. T he z ig zag gin g p ath l e ad in g t o t h e f ro nt
door w as o verg ro w n w ith a v arie ty o f o dd p la n ts , in clu din g a b ush c o vere d in
ora n ge ra d is h lik e fru it L una so m etim es w ore as earrin gs. H arry th ought he
re co gniz ed a S narg alu ff a n d g av e th e w iz en ed stu m p a w id e b erth . T w o a g ed
cra b a p ple t r e es, b en t w ith t h e w in d, s tr ip ped o f l e av es b ut s till h eav y w ith b erry -
siz ed re d fru its a n d b ush y c ro w ns o f w hite b ead ed m is tle to e, s to od s e n tin el o n
eith er s id e o f th e f ro nt d oor. A little o w l w ith a s lig htly f la tte n ed h aw klik e h ead
peere d d ow n a t t h em f ro m o ne o f t h e b ra n ch es.
“Y ou’d b ette r ta k e o ff th e In vis ib ility C lo ak , H arry ,” s a id H erm io ne. “ It’s

you M r. L oveg ood w an ts t o h elp , n ot u s.”
He d id a s s h e s u ggeste d , h an din g h er th e C lo ak to s to w in th e b ead ed b ag .
She th en ra p ped th re e tim es o n th e th ic k b la ck d oor, w hic h w as s tu dded w ith
ir o n n ails a n d b ore a k nock er s h ap ed l ik e a n e ag le .
Bare ly te n s e co nds p asse d , th en th e d oor w as flu ng o pen a n d th ere s to od
Xen ophiliu s L oveg ood, b are fo ot an d w earin g w hat ap peare d to b e a sta in ed
nig hts h ir t. H is lo ng w hite c an dyflo ss h air w as d ir ty a n d u nkem pt. X en ophiliu s
had b een p ositiv ely d ap per a t B ill a n d F le u r’s w ed din g b y c o m paris o n.
“W hat? W hat is it? W ho a re y ou? W hat d o y ou w an t? ” h e c rie d in a h ig h-
pitc h ed , q ueru lo us v oic e, lo okin g fir s t a t H erm io ne, th en a t R on, a n d fin ally a t
Harry , u pon w hic h h is m outh f e ll o pen i n a p erfe ct, c o m ic al O .
“H ello , M r. L oveg ood,” s a id H arry , h old in g o ut h is h an d, “ I’m H arry , H arry
Potte r.”
Xen ophiliu s did not ta k e H arry ’s han d, alth ough th e ey e th at w as not
poin tin g i n w ard a t h is n ose s lid s tr a ig ht t o t h e s c ar o n H arry ’s f o re h ead .
“W ould it b e o k ay if w e c am e in ?” a sk ed H arry . “ T here ’s s o m eth in g w e’d
lik e t o a sk y ou.”
“I… I’m n ot s u re th at’s a d vis a b le ,” w his p ere d X en ophiliu s. H e s w allo w ed
an d c ast a q uic k lo ok a ro und th e g ard en . “ R ath er a s h ock … M y w ord … I … I ’m
afra id I d on’t r e ally t h in k I o ught t o — ”
“It w ont ta k e lo ng,” sa id H arry , slig htly d is a p poin te d b y th is le ss-th an -
warm w elc o m e.
“I— oh, a ll r ig ht t h en . C om e i n , q uic k ly . Q uic k ly !”
They w ere b are ly o ver th e th re sh old w hen X en ophiliu s s la m med th e d oor
sh ut b eh in d th em . T hey w ere s ta n din g in th e m ost p ecu lia r k itc h en H arry h ad
ev er se en . T he ro om w as p erfe ctly c ir c u la r, so th at h e fe lt lik e b ein g in sid e a
gia n t p ep per p ot. E very th in g w as c u rv ed t o f it t h e w alls — th e s to ve, t h e s in k, a n d
th e c u pboard s— an d a ll o f it h ad b een p ain te d w ith f lo w ers , in se cts , a n d b ir d s in
brig ht p rim ary c o lo rs . H arry th ought h e re co gniz ed L una’s s ty le s. T he e ff e ct in
su ch a n e n clo se d s p ace, w as s lig htly o verw helm in g.
In th e m id dle o f th e flo or, a w ro ught- ir o n s p ir a l s ta ir c ase le d to th e u pper
le v els . T here w as a g re at d eal o f c la tte rin g a n d b an gin g c o m in g f ro m o verh ead :
Harry w ondere d w hat L una c o uld b e d oin g.
“Y ou’d bette r co m e up,” sa id Xen ophiliu s, still lo okin g ex tr e m ely
unco m fo rta b le , a n d h e l e d t h e w ay.
The r o om a b ove s e em ed t o b e a c o m bin atio n o f l iv in g r o om a n d w ork pla ce,
an d a s s u ch , w as e v en m ore c lu tte re d t h an t h e k itc h en . T hough m uch s m alle r a n d
en tir e ly r o und, th e r o om s o m ew hat r e se m ble d th e R oom o f R eq uir e m en t o n th e
unfo rg etta b le o ccasio n th at it h ad tr a n sfo rm ed its e lf in to a g ig an tic la b yrin th

co m pris e d o f c en tu rie s o f h id den o bje cts . T here w ere p ile s u pon p ile s o f b ooks
an d p ap ers o n e v ery s u rfa ce. D elic ate ly m ad e m odels o f c re atu re s H arry d id n ot
re co gniz e, a ll f la p pin g w in gs o r s n ap pin g j a w s, h ung f ro m t h e c eilin g.
Luna w as n ot t h ere : T he t h in g t h at w as m ak in g s u ch a r a ck et w as a w ooden
obje ct c o vere d in m ag ic ally tu rn in g c o gs a n d w heels , It lo oked lik e th e b iz arre
off s p rin g o f a w ork ben ch a n d a s e t o f s h elv es, b ut a fte r a m om en t H arry d ed uced
th at it w as a n o ld -fa sh io ned p rin tin g p re ss, d ue to th e fa ct th at it w as c h urn in g
out
Quib ble rs.
“E xcu se m e,” s a id X en ophiliu s, a n d h e s tr o de o ver to th e m ach in e, s e iz ed
gru bbily ta b le clo th fro m b en eath an im men se n um ber o f b ooks an d p ap ers ,
whic h a ll t u m ble d o nto t h e f lo or, a n d t h re w i t o ver t h e p re ss, s o m ew hat m uff lin g
th e l o ud b an gs a n d c la tte rs . H e t h en f a ced H arry .
“W hy h av e y ou c o m e h ere ?”
Befo re H arry c o uld s p eak , h ow ev er, H erm io ne l e t o ut a s m all c ry o f s h ock .
“M r. L oveg ood— what’s t h at? ”
See w as p oin tin g a t a n e n orm ous, g ra y sp ir a l h orn , n ot u nlik e th at o f a
unic o rn , w hic h h ad b een m ounte d o n th e w all, p ro tr u din g s e v era l fe et in to th e
ro om .
“It i s t h e h orn o f a C ru m ple -H orn ed S nork ack ,” s a id X en ophiliu s.
“N o, i t i s n ’t! ” s a id H erm io ne.
“H erm io ne,” m utte re d H arry , e m barra sse d , “ n ow ’s n ot t h e m om en t— ”
“B ut H arry , i t’s a n E ru m pen t h orn ! I t’s a C la ss B T ra d eab le M ate ria l a n d i t’s
an e x tr a o rd in ary d an gero us t h in g t o h av e i n a h ouse !”
“H ow ’d y ou k now it’s a n E ru m pen t h orn ?” a sk ed R on, e d gin g a w ay fro m
th e h orn a s f a st a s h e c o uld , g iv en t h e e x tr e m e c lu tte r o f t h e r o om .
“T here ’s a d esc rip tio n in
Fanta stic B ea sts a nd W here to F in d T hem !
M r.
Loveg ood, y ou n eed to g et r id o f it s tr a ig hta w ay, d on’t y ou k now it c an e x plo de
at t h e s lig hte st t o uch ?”
“T he C ru m ple H orn ed S nork ack ,” s a id X en ophiliu s v ery c le arly , a m ulis h
lo ok u pon h is f a ce, “ is a s h y a n d h ig hly m ag ic al c re atu re , a n d i t’s h orn — ”
“M r. L oveg ood, I r e co gniz e t h e g ro oved m ark in gs a ro und t h e b ase , t h at’s a n
Eru m pen t h orn a n d i t’s i n cre d ib ly d an gero us— I d on’t k now w here y ou g ot i t— ”
“I bought it,” sa id X en ophiliu s dogm atic ally . “T w o w eek s ag o, fro m a
delig htf u l y oung w iz ard w ho k new m y in te re st in th e ex quis ite S nork ack . A
Chris tm as s u rp ris e f o r m y L una. N ow ,” h e s a id , tu rn in g to H arry , “ w hy e x actly
hav e y ou c o m e h ere , M r. P otte r? ”
“W e n eed s o m e h elp ,” s a id H arry , b efo re H erm io ne c o uld s ta rt a g ain .
“A h,” s a id X en ophiliu s, “ H elp , H m m.”
His good ey e m oved ag ain to H arry ’s sc ar. H e se em ed sim ulta n eo usly

te rrif ie d a n d m esm eriz ed .
“Y es. T he t h in g i s … h elp in g H arry P otte r… r a th er d an gero us… ”
“A re n ’t y ou th e o ne w ho k eep s te llin g e v ery one it’s th eir f ir s t d uty to h elp
Harry ?” s a id R on. “ In t h at m ag azin e o f y ours ? ”
Xen ophiliu s gla n ced beh in d him at th e co nceale d prin tin g pre ss, still
ban gin g a n d c la tte rin g b en eath t h e t a b le clo th .
“E r— yes, I h av e e x pre sse d t h at v ie w . H ow ev er— ”
“T hat’s f o r e v ery one e ls e t o d o, n ot y ou p ers o nally ?” s a id R on.
Xen ophiliu s d id n ot a n sw er. H e k ep t s w allo w in g, h is e y es d artin g b etw een
th e t h re e o f t h em . H arry h ad t h e i m pre ssio n t h at h e w as u nderg oin g s o m e p ain fu l
in te rn al s tr u ggle .
“W here ’s L una?” a sk ed H erm io ne. “ L et’s s e e w hat s h e t h in ks.”
Xen ophiliu s g ulp ed . H e s e em ed to b e s te elin g h im se lf . F in ally h e s a id in a
sh ak y v oic e d if f ic u lt to h ear o ver th e n ois e o f th e p rin tin g p re ss, “ L una is d ow n
at t h e s tr e am , f is h in g f o r F re sh w ate r P lim pie s. S he… s h e w ill l ik e t o s e e y ou. I ’ll
go a n d c all h er a n d t h en — yes, v ery w ell. I s h all t r y t o h elp y ou.”
He d is a p peare d d ow n th e s p ir a l s ta ir c ase a n d th ey h eard th e f ro nt o pen a n d
clo se . T hey l o oked a t e ach o th er.
“C ow ard ly o ld w art,” s a id R on. “ L una’s g ot t e n t im es h is g uts .”
“H e’s p ro bab ly w orrie d a b out w hat’ ll h ap pen to th em if th e D eath E ate rs
fin d o ut I w as h ere ,” s a id H arry .
“W ell, I a g re e w ith R on, “ sa id H erm io ne, “ A w fu l o ld h ypocrite , te llin g
ev ery one e ls e t o h elp y ou a n d t r y in g t o w orm o ur o f i t h im se lf . A nd f o r h eav en ’s
sa k e k eep a w ay f ro m t h at h orn .”
Harry c ro sse d to th e w in dow o n th e fa r s id e o f th e ro om . H e c o uld s e e a
str e am , a t h in , g litte rin g r ib bon l y in g f a r b elo w t h em a t t h e b ase o f t h e h ill. T hey
were v ery h ig h u p; a b ir d f lu tte re d p ast th e w in dow a s h e s ta re d in th e d ir e ctio n
of th e B urro w , n ow in vis ib le b ey ond a n oth er lin e o f h ills . G in ny w as o ver th ere
so m ew here . T hey w ere c lo se r to e ach o th er to day th an th ey h ad b een s in ce B ill
an d F le u r’s w ed din g, b ut s h e c o uld h av e n o id ea h e w as g azin g to w ard h er n ow ,
th in kin g o f h er. H e su ppose h e o ught to b e g la d o f it; a n yone h e c am e in to
co nta ct w ith w as i n d an ger, X en ophiliu s’s a ttitu de p ro ved t h at.
He tu rn ed a w ay f ro m th e w in dow s a n d h is g aze f e ll u pon a n oth er p ecu lia r
obje ct s ta n din g u pon th e c lu tte re d , c u rv ed s lid e b oard ; a s to ne b ut o f a b eau tif u l
but au ste re -lo okin g w itc h w earin g a m ost biz arre -lo okin g head dre ss. Tw o
obje cts t h at r e se m ble d g old en e ar t r u m pets c u rv ed o ut f ro m t h e s id es. A t in y p air
of g litte rin g b lu e w in g w as s tu ck to a le ath er s tr a p th at ra n o ver th e to p o f h er
head , w hile o ne o f th e o ra n ge r a d is h es h ad b een s tu ck to a s e co nd s tr a p a ro und
her f o re h ead .

“L ook a t t h is ,” s a id H arry .
“F etc h in g,” s a id R on. “ S urp ris e d h e d id n’t w ear t h at t o t h e w ed din g.”
They h eard th e fro nt d oor c lo se , a n d a m om en t la te r X en ophiliu s c lim bed
back u p t h e s p ir a l s ta ir c ase i n to t h e r o om , h is t h in l e g s n ow e n case i n W ellin gto n
boots , b earin g a t r a y o f i ll- a sso rte d t e acu ps a n d a s te am in g t e ap ot.
“A h, y ou h av e sp otte d m y p et in ven tio n,” h e sa id , sh ovin g th e tr a y in to
Herm io ne’s a rm s a n d j o in in g H arry a t t h e s ta tu e’s s id e.
“M odele d , fittin gly en ough, upon th e head of th e beau tif u l R ow en a
Rav en cla w , ‘ W it b ey ond m easu re i s a m an ’s g re ate st t r e asu re !’”
He i n dic ate d t h e o bje cts l ik e e ar t r u m pets .
“T hese are th e W ra ck purt sip hons— to re m ove all so urc es o f d is tr a ctio n
fro m th e th in ker’s im med ia te are a. H ere ,” h e p oin te d o ut th e tin y w in gs, “a
billy w ig p ro pelle r, to in duce a n e le v ate d f ra m e o f m in d. F in ally ,” h e p oin te d to
th e o ra n ge r a d is h , “ th e D ir ig ib le P lu m , s o a s to e n han ce th e a b ility to a ccep t th e
ex tr a o rd in ary .”
Xen ophiliu s s tr o de b ack to th e te a tr a y, w hic h H erm io ne h ad m an ag ed to
bala n ce p re cario usly o n o ne o f t h e c lu tte re d s id e t a b le s.
“M ay I o ff e r y ou a ll a n in fu sio n o f G urd yro ots ? ” sa id X en ophiliu s. “ W e
mak e it o urs e lv es.” A s h e sta rte d to p our o ut th e d rin k, w hic h w as a s d eep ly
purp le a s b eetr o ot ju ic e, h e a d ded , “ L una is d ow n b ey ond B otto m B rid ge, s h e is
most e x cite d th at y ou a re h ere . S he o ught n ot to b e to o lo ng, sh e h as c au ght
nearly en ough P lu m pie s to m ak e so up fo r all o f u s. D o sit d ow n an d h elp
yours e lv es t o s u gar.
“N ow ,” h e r e m ove a t o tte rin g p ile o f p ap ers f ro m a n a rm ch air a n d s a t d ow n,
his W ellin gto ned l e g s c ro sse d , “ h ow m ay I h elp y ou, M r. P otte r? ”
“W ell,” s a id H arry , g la n cin g a t H erm io ne, w ho n odded e n co ura g in gly , “ it’s
ab out th at sy m bol you w ere w earin g aro und your neck at B ill an d F le u r’s
wed din g, M r. L oveg ood. W e w ondere d w hat i t m ean t.”
Xen ophiliu s r a is e d h is e y eb ro w s.
“A re y ou r e fe rrin g t o t h e s ig n o f t h e D eath ly H allo w s? ”

2 1. T H E T A LE O F T H E T H REE
B R O TH ER S
Harry t u rn ed t o l o ok a t R on a n d H erm io ne. N eith er o f t h em s e em ed t o h av e
u nders to od w hat X en ophiliu s h ad s a id e ith er.
“T he D eath ly H allo w s? ”
“T hat’s rig ht,” sa id X en ophiliu s. “Y ou h av en ’t h eard o f th em ? I’m n ot
s u rp ris e d . V ery , v ery fe w w iz ard s b elie v e. W itn ess th at k nuck le -h ead ed y oung
m an at your bro th er’s w ed din g,” he nodded at R on, “w ho atta ck ed m e fo r
s p ortin g th e sy m bol o f a w ell- k now n D ark w iz ard ! S uch ig nora n ce. T here is
n oth in g D ark a b out th e H allo w s— at le ast n ot in th at c ru de s e n se . O ne s im ply
u se s th e s y m bol to r e v eal o nese lf to o th er b elie v ers , in th e h ope th at th ey m ig ht
h elp o ne w ith t h e Q uest.”
He stir re d se v era l lu m ps o f su gar in to h is G urd yro ot in fu sio n a n d d ra n k
s o m e.
“I’m s o rry ,” s a id H arry , “ I s till d on’t r e ally u nders ta n d.”
To b e p olite , h e to ok a s ip f ro m h is c u p to o, a n d a lm ost g ag ged : T he s tu ff
w as q uite d is g ustin g, a s th ough s o m eo ne h ad liq uid iz ed b ogey -fla v ore d E very
F la v or B ean s.
“W ell, y ou se e, b elie v ers se ek th e D eath ly H allo w s,” sa id X en ophiliu s,
s m ack in g h is l ip s i n a p pare n t a p pre cia tio n o f t h e G urd yro ot i n fu sio n.
“B ut w hat
are
t h e D eath ly H allo w s? ” a sk ed H erm io ne.
Xen ophiliu s s e t a sid e h is e m pty t e acu p.
“I a ssu m e t h at y ou a re f a m ilia r w ith
The T a le o f t h e T hre e B ro th ers? ”
Harry s a id , “ N o,” b ut R on a n d H erm io ne b oth s a id , “ Y es.”
Xen ophiliu s n odded g ra v ely .
“W ell, w ell, M r. P otte r, th e w hole th in g s ta rts w ith
The T a le o f th e T hre e
B ro th ers…
I h av e a c o py s o m ew here … ”
He g la n ced v ag uely a ro und th e r o om , a t th e p ile s o f p arc h m en t a n d b ooks,
b ut H erm io ne s a id , “ I’v e g ot a c o py, M r. L oveg ood, I ’v e g ot i t r ig ht h ere .”
And s h e p ulle d o ut
The T a le s o f B eed le th e B ard
fro m th e sm all, b ead ed
b ag .
“T he o rig in al? ” in quir e d X en ophiliu s sh arp ly , an d w hen sh e n odded , h e
s a id , “ W ell th en , w hy d on’t y ou re ad it o ut a lo ud? M uch th e b est w ay to m ak e
s u re w e a ll u nders ta n d.”
“E r… a ll r ig ht,” s a id H erm io ne n erv ously . S he o pen ed th e b ook, a n d H arry

sa w th at th e s y m bol th ey w ere in vestig atin g h ead ed th e to p o f th e p ag e a s s h e
gav e a l ittle c o ugh, a n d b eg an t o r e ad .
“‘T here w ere once th re e bro th ers w ho w ere tr a velin g alo ng a lo nely ,
win din g r o ad a t t w ilig ht—
’”
“M id nig ht, o ur m um a lw ay s t o ld u s,” s a id R on, w ho h ad s tr e tc h ed o ut, a rm s
beh in d h is h ead , t o l is te n . H erm io ne s h ot h im a l o ok o f a n noyan ce.
“S orry , I j u st t h in k i t’s a b it s p ookie r i f i t’s m id nig ht! ” s a id R on.
“Y eah , b ecau se w e re ally n eed a b it m ore fe ar in o ur liv es,” sa id H arry
befo re h e co uld sto p h im se lf . X en ophiliu s d id n ot se em to b e p ay in g m uch
atte n tio n, b ut w as s ta rin g o ut o f t h e w in dow a t t h e s k y. “ G o o n, H erm io ne.”
“In tim e, th e b ro th ers re a ch ed a r iv er to o d eep to w ade th ro ugh a nd to o
dangero us to s w im a cro ss. H ow ever, th ese b ro th ers w ere le a rn ed in th e m agic a l
arts , a nd s o t h ey s im ply w aved t h eir w ands a nd m ade a b rid ge a ppea r a cro ss t h e
tr e a ch ero us w ate r. T hey w ere halfw ay acro ss it w hen th ey fo und th eir path
blo cked b y a h ooded f ig ure .
“‘
And D ea th s p oke t o t h em — ’”
“S orry ,” i n te rje cte d H arry , “ b ut
Dea th
s p oke t o t h em ?”
“It’s a f a ir y t a le , H arry !”
“R ig ht, s o rry . G o o n.”
“‘
And D ea th s p oke to th em . H e w as a ngry th at h e h ad b een c h ea te d o ut o f
th e th re e n ew v ic tim s, fo r tr a vele rs u su ally d ro w ned in th e r iv er. B ut D ea th w as
cu nnin g. H e p re te n ded to c o ngra tu la te th e th re e b ro th ers u pon th eir m agic , a nd
sa id t h at e a ch h ad e a rn ed a p riz e f o r h avin g b een c le ver e n ough t o e va de h im .
“‘S o th e o ld est b ro th er, w ho w as a c o m bativ e m an, a sk ed fo r a w and m ore
pow erfu l t h an a ny i n e xis te n ce: a w and t h at m ust a lw ays w in d uels f o r i ts o w ner,
a w and w orth y o f a w iz a rd w ho h ad c o nquere d D ea th ! S o D ea th c ro sse d to a n
eld er tr e e o n th e b anks o f th e r iv er, fa sh io ned a w and fr o m a b ra nch th at h ung
th ere , a nd g ave i t t o t h e o ld est b ro th er.
“‘T hen th e se co nd b ro th er, w ho w as a n a rro gant m an, d ecid ed th at h e
wante d to h um ilia te D ea th s till fu rth er, a nd a sk ed fo r th e p ow er to r e ca ll o th ers
fr o m D ea th . S o D ea th p ic ked u p a s to ne fr o m th e r iv erb ank a nd g ave it to th e
se co nd b ro th er, a nd to ld h im th at th e s to ne w ould h ave th e p ow er to b rin g b ack
th e d ea d.
“‘A nd th en D ea th a sk ed th e th ir d a nd y o ungest b ro th er w hat h e w ould lik e.
The y o ungest b ro th er w as th e h um ble st a nd a ls o th e w is e st o f th e b ro th ers, a nd
he d id n ot tr u st D ea th . S o h e a sk ed fo r s o m eth in g th at w ould e n able h im to g o
fo rth fr o m th at pla ce w ith out bein g fo llo w ed by D ea th . A nd D ea th , m ost
unw illin gly , h anded o ver h is o w n C lo ak o f I n vis ib ility .’ ”
“D eath ’s g ot a n I n vis ib ility C lo ak ?” H arry i n te rru pte d a g ain .

“S o h e c an s n eak u p o n p eo ple ,” s a id R on. “ S om etim es h e g ets b ore d o f
ru nnin g a t t h em , f la p pin g h is a rm s a n d s h rie k in g… s o rry , H erm io ne.”
“‘T hen D ea th sto od a sid e a nd a llo w ed th e th re e b ro th ers to c o ntin ue o n
th eir w ay, a nd t h ey d id s o t a lk in g w ith w onder o f t h e a dven tu re t h ey h ad h ad a nd
adm ir in g D ea th ’s g ifts .
“‘In d ue c o urse t h e b ro th ers s e p ara te d , e a ch f o r h is o w n d estin atio n.
“‘T he fir st b ro th er tr a vele d o n fo r a w eek m ore , a nd re a ch in g a d is ta nt
villa ge, s o ught o ut a fe llo w w iz a rd w ith w hom h e h ad a q uarre l. N atu ra lly , w ith
th e E ld er W and a s h is w ea pon, h e c o uld n ot fa il to w in th e d uel th at fo llo w ed .
Lea vin g h is e n em y d ea d u pon th e flo or th e o ld est b ro th er p ro ceed ed to a n in n,
where h e b oaste d lo udly o f th e p ow erfu l w and h e h ad sn atc h ed fr o m D ea th
him se lf, a nd o f h ow i t m ade h im i n vin cib le .
“‘T hat v ery n ig ht, a noth er w iz a rd c re p t u pon th e o ld est b ro th er a s h e la y,
win e-s o dden u pon h is b ed . T he th ie f to ok th e w and a nd fo r g ood m ea su re , s lit
th e o ld est b ro th er’s t h ro at.
“‘A nd s o D ea th t o ok t h e f ir st b ro th er f o r h is o w n.
“‘M ea nw hile , th e se co nd b ro th er jo urn eyed to h is o w n h om e, w here h e
liv ed a lo ne. H ere h e t o ok o ut t h e s to ne t h at h ad t h e p ow er t o r e ca ll t h e d ea d, a nd
tu rn ed it th ric e in h is h and. T o h is a m aze m en t a nd h is d elig ht, th e fig ure o f th e
gir l h e h ad o nce h oped to m arry, b efo re h er u ntim ely d ea th , a ppea re d a t o nce
befo re h im .
“‘Y et s h e w as s a d a nd c o ld , s e p ara te d fr o m h im a s b y a v eil. T hough s h e
had re tu rn ed to th e m orta l w orld , s h e d id n ot tr u ly b elo ng th ere a nd s u ffe re d .
Fin ally th e s e co nd b ro th er, d riv en m ad w ith h opele ss lo ngin g, k ille d h im se lf s o
as t o t r u ly j o in h er.
“‘A nd s o D ea th t o ok t h e s e co nd b ro th er f r o m h is o w n.
“‘B ut th ough D ea th s e a rc h ed fo r th e th ir d b ro th er fo r m any y ea rs, h e w as
never a ble to fin d h im . It w as o nly w hen h e h ad a tta in ed a g re a t a ge th at th e
yo ungest b ro th er fin ally to ok o ff th e C lo ak o f I n vis ib ility a nd g ave it to h is s o n.
And th e h e g re ete d D ea th a s a n o ld fr ie n d, a nd w en t w ith h im g la dly , a nd,
eq uals , t h ey d ep arte d t h is l ife .’ ”
Herm io ne c lo se d th e b ook. It w as a m om en t o r tw o b efo re X en ophiliu s
se em ed to r e aliz e th at s h e h ad s to pped r e ad in g; th en h e w ith dre w h is g aze f ro m
th e w in dow a n d s a id : “ W ell, t h ere y ou a re .”
“S orry ?” s a id H erm io ne, s o undin g c o nfu se d .
“T hose a re t h e D eath ly H allo w s,” s a id X en ophiliu s.
He p ic k ed u p a q uill fro m a p ack ed ta b le a t h is e lb ow , a n d p ulle d a to rn
pie ce o f p arc h m en t f ro m b etw een m ore b ooks.
“T he E ld er W an d,” h e sa id , an d d re w a str a ig ht v ertic al lin e u pon th e

parc h m en t. “ T he R esu rre ctio n S to ne,” h e s a id , a n d a d ded a c ir c le o n to p o f th e
lin e. “ T he C lo ak o f I n vis ib ility ,” h e f in is h ed , e n clo sin g b oth lin e a n d c ir c le in a
tr ia n gle , to m ak e th e s y m bols th at s o in tr ig ued H erm io ne. “ T ogeth er,” h e s a id ,
“th e D eath ly H allo w s.”
“B ut th ere ’s n o m en tio n o f th e w ord s ‘ D eath ly H allo w s’ in th e s to ry ,” s a id
Herm io ne.
“W ell, o f co urs e n ot,” sa id X en ophiliu s, m ad den in gly sm ug. “T hat is a
ch ild re n ’s t a le , t o ld to a m use r a th er t h an to i n str u ct. T hose o f u s w ho u nders ta n d
th ese m atte rs , h ow ev er, r e co gniz e t h at t h e a n cie n t s to ry r e fe rs t o t h re e o bje cts , o r
Hallo w s, w hic h , i f u nite d , w ill m ak e t h e p osse sso r m aste r o f D eath .”
There w as a s h ort s ile n ce in w hic h X en ophiliu s g la n ced o ut o f th e w in dow .
Alr e ad y t h e s u n w as l o w i n t h e s k y.
“L una o ught t o h av e e n ough P lim pie s s o on,” h e s a id q uie tly .
“W hen y ou s a y ‘ m aste r o f D eath ’— ” s a id R on.
“M aste r,” s a id X en ophiliu s, w av in g a n a ir y h an d. “ C onquero r. V an quis h er.
Whic h ev er t e rm y ou p re fe r.”
“B ut th en … d o y ou m ean … ” s a id H erm io ne s lo w ly , a n d H arry c o uld te ll
th at s h e w as tr y in g to k eep a n y tr a ce o f s k ep tic is m o ut o f h er v oic e, “ th at y ou
belie v e t h ese o bje cts — th ese H allo w s— re ally e x is t? ”
Xen ophiliu s r a is e d h is e y eb ro w s a g ain .
“W ell, o f c o urs e .”
“B ut,” s a id H erm io ne, a n d H arry c o uld h ear h er r e str a in t s ta rtin g to c ra ck ,
“M r. L oveg ood, h ow c an y ou p ossib ly b elie v e— ?”
“L una h as t o ld m e a ll a b out y ou, y oung l a d y,” s a id X en ophiliu s. “ Y ou a re , I
gath er, n ot u nin te llig en t, b ut p ain fu lly l im ite d . N arro w . C lo se -m in ded .”
“P erh ap s y ou o ught t o t r y o n t h e h at, H erm io ne,” s a id R on, n oddin g t o w ard
th e l u dic ro us h ead dre ss. H is v oic e s h ook w ith t h e s tr a in o f n ot l a u ghin g.
“M r. L oveg ood,” H erm io ne b eg an a g ain , “ W e a ll k now th at th ere a re s u ch
th in gs a s I n vis ib ility C lo ak s. T hey a re r a re , b ut t h ey e x is t. B ut— ”
“A h, b ut th e T hir d H allo w is a
tr u e
C lo ak o f In vis ib ility , M is s G ra n ger! I
mean to s a y, it is n ot a tr a v elin g c lo ak im bued w ith a D is illu sio nm en t C harm , o r
carry in g a B ed azzlin g H ex , o r e ls e w oven f ro m D em ig uis e h air , w hic h w ill h id e
one in itia lly b ut f a d e w ith th e y ears u ntil it tu rn s o paq ue. W e a re ta lk in g a b out a
clo ak th at r e ally a n d tr u ly r e n ders th e w eare r c o m ple te ly in vis ib le , a n d e n dure s
ete rn ally , g iv in g c o nsta n t a n d im pen etr a b le c o ncealm en t, n o m atte r w hat s p ells
are c ast a t i t. H ow m an y c lo ak s h av e y ou e v er s e en l ik e
th at,
M is s G ra n ger? ”
Herm io ne o pen ed h er m outh to a n sw er, th en c lo se d it a g ain , lo okin g m ore
co nfu se d t h an e v er. S he, H arry a n d R on g la n ced a t o ne a n oth er, a n d H arry k new
th at th ey w ere a ll th in kin g th e s a m e th in g. It s o h ap pen ed th at a c lo ak e x actly

lik e th e o ne X en ophiliu s h ad ju st d esc rib ed w as in th e ro om w ith th em a t th at
very m om en t.
“E xactly ,” sa id X en ophiliu s, as if h e h ad d efe ate d th em all in re aso ned
arg um en t. “ N one o f y ou h av e e v er s e en s u ch a th in g. T he p osse sso r w ould b e
im measu ra b ly r ic h , w ould h e n ot? ”
He g la n ced o ut o f th e w in dow a g ain . T he sk y w as n ow tin ged w ith th e
fa in te st t r a ce o f p in k.
“A ll rig ht,” sa id H erm io ne, d is c o ncerte d . “ S ay th e C lo ak e x is te d … w hat
ab out t h at s to ne, M r. L oveg ood? T he t h in g y ou c all t h e R esu rre ctio n S to ne?”
“W hat o f i t? ”
“W ell, h ow c an t h at b e r e al? ”
“P ro ve t h at i s n ot,” s a id X en ophiliu s.
Herm io ne l o oked o utr a g ed .
“B ut t h at’s — I’m s o rry , b ut t h at’s c o m ple te ly r id ic u lo us! H ow c an I
possib ly
pro ve i t d oesn ’t e x is t? D o y ou e x pect m e t o g et h old o f— of a ll t h e p eb ble s i n t h e
world a n d te st th em ? I m ean , y ou c o uld c la im th at
anyth in g’s
re al if th e o nly
basis f o r b elie v in g i n i t i s t h at n obody’s
pro ved
i t d oesn ’t e x is t! ”
“Y es, y ou c o uld ,” s a id X en ophiliu s. “ I a m g la d to s e e th at y ou a re o pen in g
your m in d a l ittle .”
“S o th e E ld er W an d,” sa id H arry q uic k ly , b efo re H erm io ne c o uld re to rt,
“y ou t h in k t h at e x is ts t o o?”
“O h, w ell, in th at c ase th ere is e n dle ss e v id en ce,” s a id X en ophiliu s. “ T he
Eld er W an d i s t h e H allo w t h at i s m ost e asily t r a ced , b ecau se o f t h e w ay i n w hic h
it p asse s f ro m h an d t o h an d.”
“W hic h i s w hat? ” a sk ed H arry .
“W hic h is th at th e p osse sso r o f th e w an d m ust c ap tu re it f ro m its p re v io us
ow ner, i f h e i s t o b e t r u ly m aste r o f i t,” s a id X en ophiliu s. “ S ure ly y ou h av e h eard
of th e w ay th e w an d c am e to E gbert th e E gre g io us, a fte r h is s la u ghte r o f E m eric
th e E vil? O f h ow G odelo t d ie d in h is o w n c ella r a fte r h is s o n, H ere w ard , to ok
th e w an d f ro m h im ? O f th e d re ad fu l L oxia s, w ho to ok th e w an d f ro m B ara ab as
Dev erill, w hom h e h ad k ille d ? T he b lo ody tr a il o f th e E ld er W an d is s p la tte re d
acro ss t h e p ag es o f W iz ard in g h is to ry .”
Harry g la n ced a t H erm io ne. S he w as f ro w nin g a t X en ophiliu s, b ut s h e d id
not c o ntr a d ic t h im .
“S o w here d o y ou t h in k t h e E ld er W an d i s n ow ?” a sk ed R on.
“A la s, w ho k now s? ” sa id X en ophiliu s, as h e g azed o ut o f th e w in dow .
“W ho k now s w here th e E ld er W an d lie s h id den ? T he tr a il g oes c o ld w ith A rc u s
an d L iv iu s. W ho c an s a y w hic h o f th em r e ally d efe ate d L oxia s, a n d w hic h to ok
th e w an d? A nd w ho c an s a y w ho m ay h av e d efe ate d th em ? H is to ry , a la s, d oes

not t e ll u s.”
There w as a p au se . F in ally H erm io ne a sk ed s tif f ly , “ M r. L oveg ood, d oes t h e
Pev ere ll f a m ily h av e a n yth in g t o d o w ith t h e D eath ly H allo w s? ”
Xen ophiliu s lo oked ta k en a b ack a s s o m eth in g s h if te d in H arry ’s m em ory ,
but h e c o uld n ot l o cate i t. P ev ere ll… h e h ad h eard t h at n am e b efo re …
“B ut y ou h av e b een m is le ad in g m e, y oung w om an !” s a id X en ophiliu s, n ow
sittin g u p m uch s tr a ig hte r in h is c h air a n d g ogglin g a t H erm io ne. “ I th ought y ou
were n ew to th e H allo w s Q uest! M an y o f u s Q ueste rs b elie v e th at th e P ev ere lls
hav e e v ery th in g—
every th in g!—
to d o w ith t h e H allo w s!”
“W ho a re t h e P ev ere lls ? ” a sk ed R on.
“T hat w as th e n am e o n th e g ra v e w ith th e m ark o n it, in G odric ’s H ollo w ,”
sa id H erm io ne, s till w atc h in g X en ophiliu s. “ Ig notu s P ev ere ll.”
“E xactly !” s a id X en ophiliu s, h is f o re fin ger r a is e d p ed an tic ally . “ T he s ig n o f
th e D eath H allo w s o n I g notu s’s g ra v e i s c o nclu siv e p ro of!”
“O f w hat? ” a sk ed R on.
“W hy, th at th e th re e b ro th ers in th e s to ry w ere a ctu ally th e th re e P ev ere ll
bro th ers , A ntio ch , C ad m us a n d Ig notu s! T hat th ey w ere th e o rig in al o w ners o f
th e H allo w s!”
With a n oth er g la n ce a t t h e w in dow h e g ot t o h is f e et, p ic k ed u p t h e t r a y, a n d
head ed f o r t h e s p ir a l s ta ir c ase .
“Y ou w ill sta y fo r d in ner? ” h e calle d , as h e v an is h ed d ow nsta ir s ag ain .
“E very body a lw ay s r e q uests o ur r e cip e f o r F re sh w ate r P lim ply s o up.”
“P ro bab ly to sh ow th e P ois o nin g D ep artm en t a t S t. M ungo’s ,” sa id R on
under h is b re ath .
Harry w aite d u ntil t h ey c o uld h ear X en ophiliu s m ovin g a b out i n t h e k itc h en
dow nsta ir s b efo re s p eak in g.
“W hat d o y ou t h in k?” h e a sk ed H erm io ne.
“O h, H arry ,” sh e sa id w earily , “ it’s a p ile o f u tte r ru bbis h . T his c an ’t b e
what th e s ig n r e ally m ean s. T his m ust ju st b e h is w eir d ta k e o n it. W hat a w aste
of t im e.”
“I s ’p ose t h is
is
th e m an w ho b ro ught u s C ru m ple -H orn ed S nork ack s,” s a id
Ron.
“Y ou d id n’t b elie v e i t e ith er? ” H arry a sk ed h im .
“N ah , th at sto ry ’s ju st o ne o f th ose th in gs y ou te ll k id s to te ach th em
le sso ns, is n ’t it? ‘D on’t g o lo okin g fo r tr o uble , d on’t g o p ic k fig hts , d on’t g o
messin g a ro und w ith s tu ff t h at’s b est l e ft a lo ne! J u st k eep y our h ead d ow n, m in d
your o w n b usin ess, a n d y ou’ll b e o kay. C om e t o t h in k o f i t,” R on a d ded , “ m ay be
th at s to ry ’s w hy e ld er w an ds a re s u ppose d t o b e u nlu ck y.”
“W hat a re y ou t a lk in g a b out? ”

“O ne of th ose su pers titio ns, is n ’t it? ‘M ay -b orn w itc h es w ill m arry
Muggle s.’ ‘J in x by tw ilig ht, undone by m id nig ht.’ ‘W an d of cid er, nev er
pro sp er.’ Y ou m ust h av e h eard t h em . M y m um ’s f u ll o f t h em .”
“H arry a n d I w ere r a is e d b y M uggle s,” H erm io ne r e m in ded h im . “ W e w ere
ta u ght dif f e re n t su pers titio ns.” S he sig hed deep ly as a ra th er pungen t sm ell
drif te d u p fro m th e k itc h en . T he o ne g ood th in g a b out h er e x asp era tio n w ith
Xen ophiliu s w as th at it s e em ed to h av e m ad e h er f o rg et th at s h e w as a n noyed a t
Ron. “ I th in k y ou’re rig ht,” s h e to ld h im . “ It’s ju st a m ora lity ta le , it’s o bvio us
whic h g if t i s b est, w hic h o ne y ou’d c h oose — ”
The t h re e o f t h em s p oke a t t h e s a m e t im e: H erm io ne s a id , “ th e C lo ak ,” R on
sa id , “ th e w an d,” a n d H arry s a id , “ th e s to ne.”
They l o oked a t e ach o th er, h alf s u rp ris e d , h alf a m use d .
“Y ou’re
su ppose d
t o s a y t h e C lo ak ,” R on t o ld H erm io ne, “ b ut y ou w ould n’t
need to b e in vis ib le if y ou h ad th e w an d. A n
unbea ta ble w and,
H erm io ne, c o m e
on!”
“W e’v e a lr e ad y g ot a n In vis ib ility C lo ak ,” s a id H arry , “ A nd it’s h elp ed u s
ra th er a lo t, in c ase y ou h ad n’t n otic ed !” sa id H erm io ne. “ W here as th e w an d
would b e b ound t o a ttr a ct t r o uble — ”
“O nly if y ou s h oute d a b out it,” a rg ued R on. “ O nly if y ou w ere p ra t e n ough
to go dan cin g aro und w av in g it over your head , an d sin gin g, ‘I’v e got an
unbeata b le w an d, c o m e a n d h av e a g o if y ou th in k y ou’re h ard e n ough.’ A s lo ng
as y ou k ep t y our t r a p s h ut— ”
“— Yes, but co uld you keep your tr a p sh ut? ” sa id H erm io ne, lo okin g
sk ep tic al. “ Y ou k now th e o nly tr u e th in g h e s a id to u s w as th at th ere h av e b een
sto rie s a b out e x tr a -p ow erfu l w an ds f o r h undre d s o f y ears .”
“T here h av e?” a sk ed H arry .
Herm io ne lo oked e x asp era te d : T he e x pre ssio n w as s o e n dearin gly f a m ilia r
th at H arry a n d R on g rin ned a t e ach o th er.
“T he D eath stic k , th e W an d o f D estin y, th ey c ro p u p u nder d if f e re n t n am es
th ro ugh th e cen tu rie s, u su ally in th e p osse ssio n o f so m e D ark w iz ard w ho’s
boastin g a b out th em . P ro fe sso r B in ns m en tio ned s o m e o f th em , b ut— oh it’s a ll
nonse n se . W an ds are o nly as p ow erfu l as th e w iz ard s w ho u se th em . S om e
wiz ard s j u st l ik e t o b oast t h at t h eir s a re b ig ger a n d b ette r t h an o th er p eo ple ’s .”
“B ut h ow d o y ou k now ,” sa id H arry , “ th at th ose w an ds— th e D eath stic k ,
an d th e W an d o f D estin y— are n ’t th e s a m e w an d, s u rfa cin g o ver th e c en tu rie s
under d if f e re n t n am es? ”
“W hat i f t h ey ’re a ll r e ally t h e E ld er W an d, m ad e b y D eath ?” s a id R on.
Harry la u ghed : T he str a n ge id ea th at h ad o ccu rre d to h im w as a fte r a ll,
rid ic u lo us. H is w an d, h e re m in ded h im se lf , h ad b een o f h olly , n ot e ld er, a n d it

had b een m ad e b y O lliv an der, w hate v er it h ad d one th at n ig ht V old em ort h ad
purs u ed h im a cro ss th e s k ie s a n d if it h ad b een u nbeata b le , h ow c o uld it h av e
been b ro ken ?
“S o w hy w ould y ou t a k e t h e s to ne?” R on a sk ed h im .
“W ell, if y ou c o uld b rin g p eo ple b ack , w e c o uld h av e S ir iu s… M ad -E ye…
Dum ble d ore … m y p are n ts … ”
Neith er R on n or H erm io ne s m ile d .
“B ut acco rd in g to B eed le th e B ard , th ey w ould n’t w an t to co m e b ack ,
would th ey ?” sa id H arry , th in kin g a b out th e ta le th ey h ad ju st h eard . “ I d on’t
su ppose th ere h av e b een lo ad s o f o th er s to rie s a b out a s to ne th at c an ra is e th e
dead , h av e t h ere ?” h e a sk ed H erm io ne.
“N o,” s h e r e p lie d s a d ly . “ I d on’t th in k a n yone e x cep t M r. L oveg ood c o uld
kid t h em se lv es t h at’s p ossib le . B eed le p ro bab ly t o ok t h e i d ea f ro m t h e S orc ere r’s
Sto ne; y ou k now , in ste ad o f a s to ne to m ak e y ou im morta l, a s to ne to re v ers e
death .”
The sm ell fro m th e k itc h en w as g ettin g str o nger. It w as so m eth in g lik e
burn in g u nderp an ts . H arry w ondere d w heth er it w ould b e p ossib le to e at e n ough
of w hate v er X en ophiliu s w as c o okin g t o s p are h is f e elin gs.
“W hat a b out th e C lo ak , th ough?” s a id R on s lo w ly . “ D on’t y ou r e aliz e, h e’s
rig ht? I ’v e g ot s o u se d to H arry ’s C lo ak a n d h ow g ood it is , I n ev er s to pped to
th in k. I’v e n ev er h eard o f o ne lik e H arry ’s . It’s in fa llib le . W e’v e n ev er b een
sp otte d u nder i t— ”
“O f c o urs e n ot— we’re i n vis ib le w hen w e’re u nder i t, R on!”
“B ut a ll th e s tu ff h e s a id a b out o th er c lo ak s, a n d th ey ’re n ot e x actly te n a
Knut, y ou k now , is tr u e! It’s n ev er o ccu rre d to m e b efo re b ut I’v e h eard s tu ff
ab out c h arm s w earin g o ff c lo ak s w hen th ey g et o ld , o r th em b ein g r ip ped a p art
by s p ells s o th ey ’v e g ot h ole s, H arry ’s w as o w ned b y h is d ad , s o it’s n ot e x actly
new , i s i t, b ut i t’s j u st… p erfe ct! ”
“Y es, a ll r ig ht, b ut R on, t h e s to ne… ”
As th ey arg ued in w his p ers , H arry m oved aro und th e ro om , only half
lis te n in g. R each in g th e s p ir a l s ta ir , h e ra is e d h is e y es a b se n tly to th e n ex t le v el
an d w as d is tr a cte d a t o nce. H is o w n fa ce w as lo okin g b ack a t h im fro m th e
ceilin g o f th e ro om a b ove. A fte r a m om en t’s b ew ild erm en t, h e re aliz ed th at it
was n ot a m ir ro r, b ut a p ain tin g. C urio us, h e b eg an t o c lim b t h e s ta ir s .
“H arry , w hat a re y ou d oin g? I d on’t th in k y ou sh ould lo ok a ro und w hen
he’s n ot h ere !”
But H arry h ad alr e ad y re ach ed th e n ex t le v el. L una h ad d eco ra te d h er
bed ro om ceilin g w ith fiv e beau tif u lly pain te d fa ces: H arry , R on, H erm io ne,
Gin ny, a n d N ev ille . T hey w ere n ot m ovin g a s th e p ortr a its a t H ogw arts m oved ,

but th ere w as a certa in m ag ic ab out th em all th e sa m e. H arry th ought th ey
bre ath ed . W hat a p peare d to b e a fin e g old en c h ain s w ove a ro und th e p ic tu re s
lin kin g th em to geth er, but afte r ex am in in g th em fo r a m in ute or so , H arry
re aliz ed th at th e c h ain s w ere a ctu ally o ne w ork re p eate d a th ousa n d tim es in
gold en i n k: f rie n ds… f rie n ds… f rie n ds…
Harry fe lt a g re at ru sh o f a ff e ctio n fo r L una. H e lo oked a ro und th e ro om .
There w as a l a rg e p hoto gra p h b esid e t h e b ed , o f a y oung L una a n d a w om an w ho
lo oked v ery lik e h er. T hey w ere h uggin g. L una lo oked r a th er b ette r- g ro om ed in
th is p ic tu re th an H arry h ad e v er se en h er in lif e . T he p ic tu re w as d usty . T his
str u ck H arry a s s lig htly o dd. H e s ta re d a ro und. S om eth in g w as w ro ng. T he p ale
blu e c arp et w as a ls o th ic k w ith d ust. T here w ere n o c lo th es in th e w ard ro be,
whose d oors s to od a ja r. T he b ed h ad a c o ld , u nfrie n dly l o ok, a s t h ough i t h ad n ot
been sle p t in fo r w eek s. A sin gle c o bw eb str e tc h ed o ver th e n eare st w in dow
acro ss t h e b lo od r e d s k y.
“W hat’s w ro ng?” H erm io ne a sk ed a s H arry d esc en ded th e sta ir c ase , b ut
befo re h e co uld re sp ond, X en ophiliu s re ach ed th e to p o f th e sta ir s fro m th e
kitc h en , n ow h old in g a t r a y l a d en w ith b ow ls .
“M r. L oveg ood,” s a id H arry . “ W here ’s L una?”
“E xcu se m e?”
“W here ’s L una?”
Xen ophiliu s h alte d o n t h e t o p s te p .
“I— I’v e a lr e ad y to ld y ou. S he is d ow n a t th e B otio ns B rid ge fis h in g fo r
Plim pie s.”
“S o w hy h av e y ou o nly l a id t h at t r a y f o r f o ur? ”
Xen ophiliu s tr ie d to s p eak , b ut n o s o und c am e o ut. T he o nly n ois e w as th e
co ntin ued c h uggin g o f th e p rin tin g p re ss, a n d a slig ht ra ttle fro m th e tr a y a s
Xen ophiliu s’s h an ds s h ook.
“I d on’t th in k L una’s b een h ere fo r w eek s,” sa id H arry . “ H er c lo th es a re
gone, h er b ed h asn ’t b een s le p t in . W here is s h e? a n d w hy d o y ou k eep lo okin g
out o f t h e w in dow ?”
Xen ophiliu s d ro pped th e tr a y. T he b ow ls b ounced an d sm ash ed . H arry ,
Ron, a n d H erm io ne d re w th eir w an ds. X en ophiliu s f ro ze h is h an d a b out to e n te r
his p ock et. A t th at m om en t th e p rin tin g p re ss h av e a h uge b an k a n d n um ero us
Quib ble rs
cam e s tr e am in g a cro ss th e flo or fro m u ndern eath th e ta b le clo th , th e
pre ss fe ll sile n t at la st. H erm io ne sto oped dow n an d pic k ed up one of th e
mag azin es, h er w an d s till p oin tin g a t M r. L oveg ood.
“H arry , l o ok a t t h is !”
He s tr o de o ver t o h er a s q uic k ly a s h e c o uld t h ro ugh a ll t h e c lu tte r.
The fro nt o f
T he Q uib ble r
c arrie d h is o w n p ic tu re , e m bla zo ned w ith th e

word s “ U ndesir a b le N um ber O ne” a n d c ap tio ned w ith t h e r e w ard m oney.
“The Q uib ble r’s
g oin g f o r a n ew a n gle , t h en ?” H arry a sk ed c o ld ly , h is m in d
work in g v ery f a st. “ Is th at w hat y ou w ere d oin g w hen y ou w en t in to th e g ard en ,
Mr. L oveg ood? S en din g a n o w l t o t h e M in is tr y ?”
Xen ophiliu s l ic k ed h is l ip s.
“T hey to ok m y L una,” h e w his p ere d , “ B ecau se o f w hat I’v e b een w ritin g.
They to ok m y L una a n d I d on’t k now w here s h e is , w hat th ey ’v e d one to h er.
But t h ey m ig ht g iv e h er b ack t o m e i f I — If I — ”
“H an d o ver H arry ?” H erm io ne f in is h ed f o r h im .
“N o d eal,” s a id R on f la tly . “ G et o ut o f t h e w ay, w e’re l e av in g.”
Xen ophiliu s lo oked ghastly , a cen tu ry old , his lip s dra w n back in to a
dre ad fu l l e er.
“T hey w ill b e h ere a n y m om en t. I m ust s a v e L una. I c an not lo se L una. Y ou
must n ot l e av e.”
He s p re ad h is a rm s in f ro nt o f th e s ta ir c ase , a n d H arry h ad a s u dden v is io n
of h is m oth er d oin g t h e s a m e t h in g i n f ro nt o f h is c rib .
“D on’t m ak e u s h urt y ou,” H arry s a id . “ G et o ut o f t h e w ay, M r. L oveg ood.”
“H ARRY !” H erm io ne s c re am ed .
Fig ure s o n b ro om stic k s w ere f ly in g p ast th e w in dow s. A s th e th re e o f th em
lo oked a w ay f ro m h im . X en ophiliu s d re w h is w an d. H arry r e aliz ed t h eir m is ta k e
ju st in tim e. H e la u nch ed h im se lf s id ew ay s, s h ovin g R on a n d H erm io ne o ut o f
harm ’s w ay a s X en ophiliu s’s S tu nnin g S pell s o are d a cro ss th e r o om a n d h it th e
Eru m pen t h orn . T here w as a c o lo ssa l e x plo sio n. T he s o und o f it s e em ed to b lo w
th e r o om a p art. F ra g m en ts o f w ood a n d p ap er a n d r u bble f le w in a ll d ir e ctio ns,
alo ng w ith a n i m pen etr a b le c lo ud o f t h ic k w hite d ust. H arry f le w t h ro ugh t h e a ir ,
th en c ra sh ed to th e f lo or, u nab le to s e e a s d eb ris r a in ed u pon h im , h is a rm s o ver
his h ead . H e h eard H erm io ne’s sc re am , R on’s y ell, a n d a se rie s o f sic k en in g
meta llic th uds w hic h to ld h im th at X en ophiliu s h ad b een b la ste d o ff h is f e et a n d
fa lle n b ack w ard d ow n t h e s p ir a l s ta ir s .
Half b urie d in r u bble , H arry tr ie d to r a is e h im se lf . H e c o uld b are ly b re ath e
or s e e fo r d ust. H alf o f th e c eilin g h ad fa ll in a n d th e e n d o f L una’s b ead w as
han gin g th ro ugh th e h ole . T he b ust o f R ow en a R av en cla w la y b esid e h im w ith
half its f a ce m is sin g f ra g m en ts o f to rn p arc h m en t w ere f lo atin g th ro ugh th e a ir ,
an d m ost o f th e p rin tin g p re ss la y o n its s id e, b lo ck in g th e to p o f th e s ta ir c ase to
th e k itc h en . T hen a n oth er w hite s h ap e m oved c lo se b y, a n d H erm io ne, c o ate d in
dust lik e a se co nd sta tu e, p re sse d h is fin ger to h er lip s. T he d oor d ow nsta ir s
cra sh ed o pen .
“D id n’t I te ll y ou th ere w as n o n eed to h urry , T ra v ers ? ” s a id a r o ugh v oic e.
“D id n’t I t e ll y ou t h is n utte r w as j u st r a v in g a s u su al? ”

There w as a b an g a n d a s c re am o f p ain f ro m X en ophiliu s.
“N o… n o… u psta ir s … P otte r!”
“I to ld y ou la st w eek , L oveg ood, w e w ere n ’t c o m in g b ack f o r a n yth in g le ss
th an s o m e s o lid in fo rm atio n! R em em ber la st w eek ? W hen y ou w an te d to s w ap
your dau ghte r fo r th at stu pid ble ed in g head dre ss? A nd th e w eek befo re ”—
Anoth er b an g, a n oth er s q ueal— “W hen y ou th ought w e’d g iv e h er b ack if y ou
off e re d u s p ro of t h ere a re C um ple ”— Ban g— “H ead ed ”— ban g— “S nork ack s? ”
“N o— no— I b eg o f y ou!” s o bbed X en ophiliu s. “ It r e ally i s P otte r, R eally !”
“A nd n ow it tu rn s o ut y ou o nly c alle d u s h ere to tr y a n d b lo w u s u p!”
ro are d t h e D eath E ate r, a n d t h ere w as a v olle y o f b an gs i n te rs p ers e d w ith s q ueals
of a g ony f ro m X en ophiliu s.
“T he p la ce lo oks lik e it’s ab out to fa ll in , S elw yn,” sa id a co ol se co nd
voic e, e ch oin g u p th e m an gle d sta ir c ase . “ T he sta ir s a re c o m ple te ly b lo ck ed .
Could t r y c le arin g i t? M ig ht b rin g t h e p la ce d ow n.”
“Y ou l y in g p ie ce o f f ilth ,” s h oute d t h e w iz ard n am ed S elw yn.
“Y ou h av e n ev er s e en P otte r in y our lif e , h av e y ou? T hought y ou’d lu re u s
here t o k ill u s, d id y ou? A nd y ou t h in k y ou’ll g et y our g ir l b ack l ik e t h is ? ”
“I s w ear… I s w ear… P otte r’s u psta ir s !”
“H om en um r e velio ,”
sa id th e v oic e a t th e fo ot o f th e sta ir s . H arry h eard
Herm io ne g asp , a n d h e h ad t h e o dd s e n sa tio n s o m eth in g w as s w oopin g l o w o ver
him , i m mers in g h is b ody i n i ts s h ad ow .
“T here ’s s o m eo ne u p t h ere a ll r ig ht, S elw yn,” s a id t h e s e co nd m an s h arp ly .
“It’s P otte r, I te ll y ou, it’s P otte r!” s o bbed X en ophiliu s. “ P le ase … p le ase …
giv e m e L una, j u st l e t m e h av e L una… ”
“Y ou c an h av e y our l ittle g ir l, L oveg ood,” s a id S elw yn, “ if y ou g et u p t h ose
sta ir s a n d b rin g m e d ow n H arry P otte r. B ut if th is is a p lo t, if it’s a tr ic k , if
you’v e g ot a n a cco m plic e w aitin g u p th ere to a m bush u s, w e’ll s e e if w e c an
sp are a b it o f y our d au ghte r f o r y ou t o b ury .”
Xen ophiliu s g av e a w ail o f fe ar a n d d esp air. T here w ere sc u rry in gs a n d
sc ra p in gs. X en ophiliu s w as t r y in g t o g et t h ro ugh t h e d eb ris o n t h e s ta ir s .
“C om e o n,” H arry w his p ere d , “ w e’v e g ot t o g et o ut o f h ere .”
He s ta rte d to d ig h im se lf o ut u nder c o ver o f a ll th e n ois e X en ophiliu s w as
mak in g on th e sta ir c ase . R on w as burie d th e deep est. H arry an d H erm io ne
clim bed , a s q uie tly a s t h ey c o uld , o ver a ll t h e w re ck ag e t o w here h e l a y, t r y in g t o
pris e a h eav y ch est o f d ra w ers o ff h is le g s. W hile X en ophiliu s b an gin g an d
sc ra p in g d re w n eare r a n d n eare r, H erm io ne m an ag ed to f re e R on w ith th e u se o f
a H over C harm .
“A ll rig ht,” b re ath ed H erm io ne, a s th e b ro ken p rin tin g p re ss b lo ck in g th e
to p o f th e s ta ir s b eg in to tr e m ble . X en ophiliu s w as fe et a w ay fro m th em . S he

was s till w hite w ith d ust.
“D o y ou t r u st m e, H arry ?”
Harry n odded .
“O kay th en ,” H erm io ne w his p ere d . “ G iv e m e th e In vis ib ility C lo ak . R on,
you’re g oin g t o p ut i t o n.”
“M e? B ut H arry — ”
“P le ase , R on! H arry , h old o n t ig ht t o m y h an d, R on, g ra b m y s h ould er.”
Harry h eld o ut h is le ft h an d. R on v an is h ed b en eath th e C lo ak . T he p rin tin g
pre ss b lo ck in g th e s ta ir s w as v ib ra tin g. X en ophiliu s w as tr y in g to s h if t it u sin g a
Hover C harm . H arry d id n ot k now w hat H erm io ne w as w aitin g f o r.
“H old t ig ht” s h e w his p ere d . “ H old t ig ht… a n y s e co nd… ”
Xen ophiliu s’s p ap er- w hite f a ce a p peare d o ver t h e t o p o f t h e s id eb oard .
“O bliv ia te !”
c rie d H erm io ne, p oin tin g h er w an d fir s t in to h is fa ce th en a t
th e f lo or b en eath t h em .
“D ep rim o!”
She h ad b la ste d a h ole in th e sittin g ro om flo or. T hey fe ll lik e b ould ers .
Harry s till h old in g o nto h er h an d fo r d ear lif e , th ere w as a s c re am fro m b elo w ,
an d h e g lim pse d t w o m en t r y in g t o g et o ut o f t h e w ay a s v ast q uan titie s o f r u bble
an d b ro ken f u rn itu re r a in ed a ll a ro und t h em f ro m t h e s h atte re d c eilin g. H erm io ne
tw is te d in m id air a n d th underin g o f th e c o lla p sin g h ouse r a n g in H arry ’s e ars a s
sh e d ra g ged h im o nce m ore i n to d ark ness.

2 2. T H E D EAT H LY H ALLO W S
Harry fe ll, p an tin g, o nto g ra ss a n d s c ra m ble d u p a t o nce. T hey s e em ed to
h av e la n ded in th e c o rn er o f a f ie ld a t d usk ; H erm io ne w as a lr e ad y r u nnin g in a
c ir c le a ro und t h em , w av in g h er w an d.
“P ro te g o T o ta lu m … S alv io H exia … ”
“T hat tr e ach ero us o ld b le ed er,” R on p an te d , em erg in g fro m b en eath th e
I n vis ib ility C lo ak a n d th ro w in g it to H arry . “ H erm io ne, y ou’re a g en iu s, a to ta l
g en iu s. I c an ’t b elie v e w e g ot o ut o f t h at.”
“C ave I n im ic u m …
D id n’t I
sa y
it w as a n E ru m pen t h orn , d id n’t I te ll h im ?
A nd n ow h is h ouse h as b een b lo w n a p art! ”
“S erv es h im rig ht,” s a id R on, e x am in in g h is to rn je an s a n d th e c u ts to h is
l e g s, “ W hat’ d y ou r e ck on t h ey ’ll d o t o h im ?”
“O h I h ope th ey d on’t k ill h im !” g ro an ed H erm io ne, “ T hat’s w hy I w an te d
t h e D eath E ate rs to get a glim pse of H arry befo re w e le ft, so th ey knew
X en ophiliu s h ad n’t b een l y in g!”
“W hy h id e m e t h ough?” a sk ed R on.
“Y ou’re s u ppose d to b e in b ed w ith s p atte rg ro it, R on! T hey ’v e k id nap ped
L una b ecau se h er f a th er s u pporte d H arry ! W hat w ould h ap pen to y our f a m ily if
t h ey k new y ou’re w ith h im ?”
“B ut w hat a b out
yo ur
m um a n d d ad ?”
“T hey ’re in A ustr a lia ,” sa id H erm io ne, “T hey sh ould b e all rig ht. T hey
d on’t k now a n yth in g.”
“Y ou’re a g en iu s,” R on r e p eate d , l o okin g a w ed .
“Y eah , y ou a re , H erm io ne,” a g re ed H arry fe rv en tly . “ I d on’t k now w hat
w e’d d o w ith out y ou.”
She b eam ed , b ut b ecam e s o le m n a t o nce.
“W hat a b out L una?”
“W ell, i f t h ey ’re t e llin g t h e t r u th a n d s h e’s s till a liv e— ” b eg an R on.
“D on’t s a y th at, d on’t s a y it! ” s q ueale d H erm io ne. “ S he m ust b e a liv e, s h e
m ust! ”
“T hen s h e’ll b e i n A zk ab an , I e x pect,” s a id R on. “ W heth er s h e s u rv iv es t h e
p la ce, t h ough… L oad s d on’t… ”
“S he w ill,” sa id H arry . H e c o uld n ot b ear to c o nte m pla te th e a lte rn ativ e.
“ S he’s to ugh, L una, m uch to ugher th an y ou’d th in k. S he’s p ro bab ly te ach in g a ll
t h e i n m ate s a b out W ra ck sp urts a n d N arg le s.”
“I h ope y ou’re r ig ht,” s a id H erm io ne. S he p asse d a h an d o ver h er e y es. “ I’d

fe el s o s o rry f o r X en ophiliu s i f — ”
“— if h e h ad n’t j u st t r ie d t o s e ll u s t o t h e D eath E ate rs , y eah ,” s a id R on.
They p ut u p t h e t e n t a n d r e tr e ate d i n sid e i t, w here R on m ad e t h em t e a. A fte r
th eir n arro w e sc ap e, t h e c h illy , m usty o ld p la ce f e lt l ik e h om e: s a fe , f a m ilia r, a n d
frie n dly .
“O h, w hy d id w e g o t h ere ?” g ro an ed H erm io ne a fte r a f e w m in ute s’ s ile n ce.
“H arry , y ou w ere r ig ht, it w as G odric ’s H ollo w a ll o ver a g ain , a c o m ple te w aste
of tim e! T he D eath ly H allo w s… su ch ru bbis h … a lth ough a ctu ally ,” a su dden
th ought s e em ed to h av e s tr u ck h er, “ h e m ig ht h av e m ad e it a ll u p, m ig htn ’t h e?
He p ro bab ly d oesn ’t b elie v e i n t h e D eath ly H allo w s a t a ll, h e j u st w an te d t o k eep
us t a lk in g u ntil t h e D eath E ate rs a rriv ed !”
“I d on’t t h in k s o ,” s a id R on. “ It’s a d am n s ig ht h ard er m ak in g s tu ff u p w hen
you’re u nder s tr e ss th an y ou’d th in k. I f o und th at o ut w hen th e S natc h ers c au ght
me. It w as m uch e asie r p re te n din g to b e S ta n , b ecau se I k new a b it a b out h im ,
th an in ven tin g a w hole n ew p ers o n. O ld L oveg ood w as u nder lo ad s o f p re ssu re ,
tr y in g t o m ak e s u re w e s ta y ed p ut. I r e ck on h e t o ld u s t h e t r u th , o r w hat h e t h in ks
is t h e t r u th , j u st t o k eep u s t a lk in g.”
“W ell, I d on’t s u ppose it m atte rs ,” s ig hed H erm io ne. “ E ven if h e w as b ein g
honest, I n ev er h eard s u ch a l o t o f n onse n se i n a ll m y l if e .”
“H an g o n, t h ough,” s a id R on. “ T he C ham ber o f S ecre ts w as s u ppose d t o b e
a m yth , w asn ’t i t? ”
“B ut t h e D eath ly H allo w s
ca n’t
e x is t, R on!”
“Y ou k eep s a y in g t h at, b ut o ne o f t h em c an ,” s a id R on. “ H arry ’s I n vis ib ility
Clo ak — ”
“The T a le o f th e T hre e B ro th ers
is a s to ry ,” s a id H erm io ne f ir m ly . “ A s to ry
ab out h ow h um an s a re f rig hte n ed o f d eath . I f s u rv iv in g w as a s s im ple a s h id in g
under t h e I n vis ib ility C lo ak , w e’d h av e e v ery th in g w e n eed a lr e ad y!”
“I d on’t k now . W e c o uld d o w ith a n u nbeata b le w an d,” s a id H arry , tu rn in g
th e b la ck th orn w an d h e s o d is lik ed o ver i n h is f in gers .
“T here ’s n o s u ch t h in g, H arry !”
“Y ou sa id th ere h av e b een lo ad s o f w an ds— th e D eath stic k a n d w hate v er
th ey w ere c alle d — ”
“A ll rig ht, e v en if y ou w an t to k id y ours e lf th e E ld er W an d’s re al, w hat
ab out t h e R esu rre ctio n S to ne?” H er f in gers s k etc h ed q uota tio n m ark s a ro und t h e
nam e, a n d h er to ne d rip ped s a rc asm . “ N o m ag ic c an ra is e th e d ead , a n d th at’s
th at! ”
“W hen m y w an d c o nnecte d w ith Y ou-K now -W ho’s , it m ad e m y m um a n d
dad a p pear… a n d C ed ric … ”
“B ut th ey w ere n ’t re ally b ack fro m th e d ead , w ere th ey ?” s a id H erm io ne.

“T hose k in d o f— of p ale im ita tio ns a re n ’t th e s a m e a s tr u ly b rin gin g s o m eo ne
back t o l if e .”
“B ut s h e, th e g ir l in th e ta le , d id n’t re ally c o m e b ack , d id s h e? T he s to ry
sa y s th at o nce p eo ple are d ead , th ey b elo ng w ith th e d ead . B ut th e se co nd
bro th er s till g ot t o s e e h er a n d t a lk t o h er, d id n’t h e? H e e v en l iv ed w ith h er f o r a
while … ”
He sa w co ncern an d so m eth in g le ss easily defin ab le in H erm io ne’s
ex pre ssio n. T hen , a s s h e g la n ced a t R on, H arry r e aliz ed th at it w as f e ar: H e h ad
sc are d h er w ith h is t a lk o f l iv in g w ith d ead p eo ple .
“S o th at P ev ere ll b lo ke w ho’s b urie d in G odric ’s H ollo w ,” h e s a id h astily ,
tr y in g t o s o und r o bustly s a n e, “ y ou d on’t k now a n yth in g a b out h im , t h en ?”
“N o,” s h e r e p lie d , lo okin g r e lie v ed a t th e c h an ge o f s u bje ct. “ I lo oked h im
up afte r I sa w th e m ark o n h is g ra v e; if h e’d b een an yone fa m ous o r d one
an yth in g im porta n t, I’m s u re h e’d b e in o ne o f o ur b ooks. T he o nly p la ce I’v e
man ag ed to fin d th e nam e ‘P ev ere ll’ is
Natu re ’s Nobility : A W iz a rd in g
Gen ea lo gy.
I borro w ed it fro m K re ach er,” sh e ex pla in ed as R on ra is e d his
ey eb ro w s. “ It lis ts th e p ure -b lo od f a m ilie s th at a re n ow e x tin ct in th e m ale lin e.
Appare n tly t h e P ev ere lls w ere o ne o f t h e e arlie st f a m ilie s t o v an is h .”
“E xtin ct i n t h e m ale l in e?” r e p eate d R on.
“It m ean s th e n am e d ie d o ut,” s a id H erm io ne, “ cen tu rie s a g o, in th e c ase o f
th e P ev ere lls . T hey c o uld s till h av e d esc en den ts , th ough, th ey ’d ju st b e c alle d
so m eth in g d if f e re n t.”
And t h en i t c am e t o H arry i n o ne s h in in g p ie ce, t h e m em ory t h at h ad s tir re d
at t h e s o und o f t h e n am e “ P ev ere ll” : a f ilth y o ld m an b ra n dis h in g a n u gly r in g i n
th e f a ce o f a M in is tr y o ff ic ia l, a n d h e c rie d a lo ud, “ M arv olo G au nt! ”
“S orry ?” s a id R on a n d H erm io ne t o geth er.
“M arv o lo G aunt!
Y ou-K now -W ho’s gra n dfa th er! In th e P en sie v e! W ith
Dum ble d ore ! M arv olo G au nt s a id h e w as d esc en ded f ro m t h e P ev ere lls !”
Ron a n d H erm io ne l o oked b ew ild ere d .
“T he r in g, th e r in g th at b ecam e th e H orc ru x, M arv olo G au nt s a id it h ad th e
Pev ere ll c o at o f a rm s o n it! I s a w h im w av in g it in th e b lo ke f ro m th e M in is tr y ’s
fa ce, h e n early s h oved i t u p h is n ose !”
“T he P ev ere ll c o at o f a rm s? ” s a id H erm io ne s h arp ly . “ C ould y ou s e e w hat i t
lo oked l ik e?”
“N ot r e ally ,” s a id H arry , tr y in g to r e m em ber. “ T here w as n oth in g f a n cy o n
th ere , a s f a r a s I c o uld s e e; m ay be a f e w s c ra tc h es. I o nly e v er s a w i t r e ally c lo se
up a fte r i t h ad b een c ra ck ed o pen .”
Harry s a w H erm io ne’s c o m pre h en sio n in th e s u dden w id en in g o f h er e y es.
Ron w as l o okin g f ro m o ne t o t h e o th er, a sto nis h ed .

“B lim ey … Y ou r e ck on i t w as t h is s ig n a g ain ? T he s ig n o f t h e H allo w s?
“W hy n ot,” s a id H arry e x cite d ly , “ M arv olo G au nt w as a n ig nora n t o ld g it
who liv ed lik e a p ig , a ll h e c are d a b out w as h is a n cestr y . If th at rin g h ad b een
passe d d ow n th ro ugh th e c en tu rie s, h e m ig ht n ot h av e k now n w hat it r e ally w as.
There w ere n o b ooks i n t h at h ouse , a n d t r u st m e, h e w asn ’t t h e t y pe t o r e ad f a ir y
ta le s to h is k id s. H e’d h av e lo ved to th in k th e s c ra tc h es o n th e s to ne w ere a c o at
of arm s, b ecau se as fa r as h e w as co ncern ed , h av in g p ure b lo od m ad e y ou
pra ctic ally r o yal.”
“Y es… an d th at’s all very in te re stin g,” sa id H erm io ne cau tio usly , “b ut
Harry , i f y ou’re t h in kin g w hat I t h in k y ou’re t h in k— ”
“W ell, w hy n ot?
Why n ot?
s a id H arry , a b an donin g c au tio n. “ It w as a s to ne,
wasn ’t it? ” H e lo oked at R on fo r su pport. “W hat if it w as th e R esu rre ctio n
Sto ne?”
Ron’s m outh f e ll o pen .
“B lim ey — but w ould i t s till w ork i f D um ble d ore b ro ke— ?”
“W ork ?
Work ?
Ron, it nev er w ork ed !
There ’s no su ch th in g as a
Resu rre ctio n S to ne!”
H erm io ne le ap t to h er f e et, lo okin g e x asp era te d a n d a n gry .
“H arry , y ou’re t r y in g t o f it e v ery th in g i n to t h e H allo w s s to ry — ”
“F it e very th in g in ?”
h e re p eate d . “ H erm io ne, it fits o f its o w n a cco rd ! I
know th e sig n o f th e D eath ly H allo w s w as o n th at sto ne! G au nt sa id h e w as
desc en ded f ro m t h e P ev ere lls !”
“A m in ute a g o y ou t o ld u s y ou n ev er s a w t h e m ark o n t h e s to ne p ro perly !”
“W here ’d you re ck on th e rin g is now ?” R on ask ed H arry . “W hat did
Dum ble d ore d o w ith i t a fte r h e b ro ke i t o pen ?”
But Harry ’s im ag in atio n was ra cin g ah ead , fa r bey ond Ron an d
Herm io ne’s …
Thre e o bje cts , o r H allo w s, w hic h , if u nite d , w ill m ake th e p osse sso r m aste r
of D ea th … M aste r… C onquero r… V a nquis h er… T he la st e n em y th at sh all b e
destr o yed i s d ea th …
And h e sa w h im se lf , p osse sso r o f th e H allo w s, fa cin g V old em ort, w hose
Horc ru xes w ere n o m atc h …
Neith er c a n l iv e w hile t h e o th er s u rv iv es…
W as t h is
th e a n sw er? H allo w s v ers u s H orc ru xes? W as th ere a w ay a fte r a ll, to e n su re th at
he w as th e o ne w ho tr iu m phed ? If h e w ere th e m aste r o f th e D eath ly H allo w s,
would h e b e s a fe ?
“H arry ?”
But h e s c arc ely h eard H erm io ne: H e h ad p ulle d o ut h is In vis ib ility C lo ak
an d w as r u nnin g it th ro ugh h is f in gers , th e c lo th s u pple a s w ate r, lig ht a s a ir. H e
had n ev er s e en a n yth in g to e q ual it in h is n early s e v en y ears in th e W iz ard in g
world . T he C lo ak w as e x actly w hat X en ophiliu s h ad d esc rib ed :
A c lo ak th at

re a lly a nd tr u ly r e n ders th e w ea re r c o m ple te ly in vis ib le , a nd e n dure s e te rn ally ,
giv in g c o nsta nt a nd i m pen etr a ble c o ncea lm en t, n o m atte r w hat s p ells a re c a st a t
it…
And t h en , w ith a g asp , h e r e m em bere d —
“D um ble d ore h ad m y C lo ak t h e n ig ht m y p are n ts d ie d !”
His v oic e s h ook a n d h e c o uld f e el t h e c o lo r i n h is f a ce, b ut h e d id n ot c are .
“M y m um to ld S ir iu s th at D um ble d ore b orro w ed th e C lo ak ! T his is w hy!
He w an te d to e x am in e it, b ecau se h e th ought it w as th e th ir d H allo w ! Ig notu s
Pev ere ll is b urie d in G odric ’s H ollo w … ” H arry w as w alk in g b lin dly a ro und th e
te n t, fe elin g a s th ough g re at n ew v is ta s o f tr u th w ere o pen in g a ll a ro und h im .
“H e’s m y a n cesto r. I ’m d esc en ded f ro m t h e t h ir d b ro th er! I t a ll m ak es s e n se !”
He f e lt a rm ed i n c erta in ty , i n h is b elie f i n t h e H allo w s, a s i f t h e m ere i d ea o f
posse ssin g th em w as g iv in g h im p ro te ctio n, a n d h e f e lt jo yous a s h e tu rn ed b ack
to t h e o th er t w o.
“H arry ,” s a id H erm io ne a g ain , b ut h e w as b usy u ndoin g th e p ouch a ro und
his n eck , h is f in gers s h ak in g h ard .
“R ead it,” h e to ld h er, p ush in g h is m oth er’s le tte r in to h er h an d. “ R ead it!
Dum ble d ore h ad th e C lo ak , H erm io ne! W hy e ls e w ould h e w an t it? H e d id n’t
need a C lo ak , h e c o uld p erfo rm a D is illu sio nm en t C harm s o p ow erfu l th at h e
mad e h im se lf c o m ple te ly i n vis ib le w ith out o ne!”
Som eth in g fe ll to th e flo or an d ro lle d , g litte rin g, u nder a ch air : H e h ad
dis lo dged th e S nitc h w hen h e p ulle d o ut th e le tte r. H e s to oped to p ic k it u p, a n d
th en t h e n ew ly t a p ped s p rin g o f f a b ulo us d is c o verie s t h re w h im a n oth er g if t, a n d
sh ock a n d w onder e ru pte d i n sid e h im s o t h at h e s h oute d o ut.
“IT ’S I N H ER E! H e l e ft m e t h e r in g— it’s i n t h e S nitc h !”
“Y ou— you r e ck on?”
He c o uld n ot u nders ta n d w hy R on lo oked ta k en a b ack . It w as s o o bvio us,
so c le ar to H arry . E very th in g f it, e v ery th in g… H is C lo ak w as th e th ir d H allo w ,
an d w hen h e d is c o vere d h ow to o pen th e S nitc h h e w ould h av e th e s e co nd, a n d
th en a ll h e n eed ed t o d o w as f in d t h e f ir s t H allo w , t h e E ld er W an d, a n d t h en —
But it w as a s th ough a c u rta in f e ll o n a lit s ta g e: A ll h is e x cite m en t, a ll h is
hope a n d h ap pin ess w ere e x tin guis h ed a t a str o ke, a n d h e sto od a lo ne in th e
dark ness, a n d t h e g lo rio us s p ell w as b ro ken .
“T hat’s w hat h e’s a fte r.”
The c h an ge i n h is v oic e m ad e R on a n d H erm io ne l o ok e v en m ore s c are d .
“Y ou-K now -W ho’s a fte r t h e E ld er W an d.”
He tu rn ed h is b ack o n th eir s tr a in ed , in cre d ulo us f a ces. H e k new it w as th e
tr u th . I t a ll m ad e s e n se , V old em ort w as n ot s e ek in g a n ew w an d; h e w as s e ek in g
an o ld w an d, a v ery o ld w an d in deed . H arry w alk ed to th e e n tr a n ce o f th e te n t,

fo rg ettin g a b out R on a n d H erm io ne a s h e l o oked o ut i n to t h e n ig ht, t h in kin g…
Vold em ort h ad b een r a is e d i n a M uggle o rp han ag e. N obody c o uld h av e t o ld
him
The T a le s o f B eed le t h e B ard
w hen h e w as a c h ild , a n y m ore t h an H arry h ad
heard th em . H ard ly a n y w iz ard s b elie v ed in th e D eath ly H allo w s. W as it lik ely
th at V old em ort k new a b out t h em ?
Harry g azed i n to t h e d ark ness… I f V old em ort h ad k now n a b out t h e D eath ly
Hallo w s, su re ly h e w ould h av e so ught th em , d one a n yth in g to p osse ss th em :
th re e o bje cts th at m ad e th e p osse sso r m aste r o f D eath ? If h e h ad k now n a b out
th e D eath ly H allo w s, h e m ig ht n ot h av e n eed ed H orc ru xes in th e fir s t p la ce.
Did n’t th e s im ple f a ct th at h e h ad ta k en a H allo w , a n d tu rn ed it in to a H orc ru x,
dem onstr a te t h at h e d id n ot k now t h is l a st g re at W iz ard in g s e cre t?
Whic h m ean t th at V old em ort s o ught th e E ld er W an d w ith out re aliz in g its
fu ll p ow er, w ith out u nders ta n din g th at it w as o ne o f th re e… fo r th e w an d w as
th e H allo w th at c o uld n ot b e h id den , w hose e x is te n ce w as b est k now n…
The
blo ody tr a il o f th e E ld er W and is sp la tte re d a cro ss th e p ages o f W iz a rd in g
his to ry …
Harry w atc h ed t h e c lo udy s k y, c u rv es o f s m oke-g ra y a n d s ilv er s lid in g o ver
th e fa ce of th e w hite m oon. H e fe lt lig hth ead ed w ith am azem en t at his
dis c o verie s.
He tu rn ed b ack in to th e te n t. It w as a sh ock to se e R on an d H erm io ne
sta n din g e x actly w here h e h ad l e ft t h em , H erm io ne s till h old in g L ily ’s l e tte r, R on
at h er s id e l o okin g s lig htly a n xio us. D id n’t t h ey r e aliz e h ow f a r t h ey h ad t r a v ele d
in t h e l a st f e w m in ute s?
“T his is it,” H arry sa id , tr y in g to b rin g th em in sid e th e g lo w o f h is o w n
asto nis h ed c erta in ty , “ T his e x pla in s e v ery th in g. T he D eath ly H allo w s a re re al
an d I ’v e g ot o ne— may be t w o— ”
He h eld u p t h e S nitc h .
“— an d Y ou-K now -W ho’s c h asin g t h e t h ir d , b ut h e d oesn ’t r e aliz e… h e j u st
th in ks i t’s a p ow erfu l w an d— ”
“H arry ,” s a id H erm io ne, m ovin g a cro ss t o h im a n d h an din g h im b ack L ily ’s
le tte r, “ I’m s o rry , b ut I t h in k y ou’v e g ot t h is w ro ng, a ll w ro ng.”
“B ut d on’t y ou s e e? I t a ll f its — ”
“N ot, it d oesn ’t,” sh e sa id . “ It
doesn ’t .
H arry , y ou’re ju st g ettin g c arrie d
aw ay. P le ase ,” s h e s a id a s s h e s ta rte d t o s p eak , “ p le ase j u st a n sw er m e t h is : I f t h e
Death ly H allo w s re ally e x is te d , a n d D um ble d ore k new a b out th em , k new th at
th e p ers o n w ho p osse sse d a ll o f th em w ould b e m aste r o f D eath — Harry , w hy
would n’t h e h av e t o ld y ou? W hy?”
He h ad h is a n sw er r e ad y.
“B ut y ou s a id i t, H erm io ne! Y ou’v e g ot t o f in d o ut a b out t h em f o r y ours e lf !

It’s a Q uest! ”
“B ut I o nly s a id th at to tr y a n d p ers u ad e y ou to c o m e to th e L oveg oods’!”
crie d H erm io ne i n e x asp era tio n. “ I d id n’t r e ally b elie v e i t! ”
Harry t o ok n o n otic e.
“D um ble d ore u su ally le t m e fin d o ut stu ff fo r m yse lf . H e le t m e tr y m y
str e n gth , t a k e r is k s. T his f e els l ik e t h e k in d o f t h in g h e’d d o.”
“H arry , th is is n ’t a g am e, th is is n ’t p ra ctic e! T his is th e re al th in g, an d
Dum ble d ore le ft y ou v ery c le ar in str u ctio ns: F in d a n d d estr o y th e H orc ru xes!
That s y m bol d oesn ’t m ean a n yth in g, f o rg et t h e D eath ly H allo w s, w e c an ’t a ff o rd
to g et s id etr a ck ed — ”
Harry w as b are ly lis te n in g to h er. H e w as tu rn in g th e S nitc h o ver a n d o ver
in h is h an ds, h alf e x pectin g it to b re ak o pen , to r e v eal th e R esu rre ctio n S to ne, to
pro ve t o H erm io ne t h at h e w as r ig ht, t h at t h e D eath ly H allo w s w ere r e al.
She a p peale d t o R on.
“Y ou d on’t b elie v e i n t h is , d o y ou?”
Harry l o oked u p, R on h esita te d .
“I d unno… I m ean … b its o f it s o rt o f fit to geth er,” s a id R on a w kw ard ly ,
“B ut w hen y ou l o ok a t t h e w hole t h in g… ” H e t o ok a d eep b re ath . “ I t h in k w e’re
su ppose d to g et r id o f H orc ru xes, H arry . T hat’s w hat D um ble d ore to ld u s to d o.
May be… m ay be w e s h ould f o rg et a b out t h is H allo w s b usin ess.”
“T han k y ou, R on,” s a id H erm io ne. “ I’ll t a k e f ir s t w atc h .”
And s h e s tr o de p ast H arry a n d s a t d ow n in th e te n t e n tr a n ce b rin gin g th e
actio n t o a f ie rc e f u ll s to p.
But H arry h ard ly sle p t th at n ig ht. T he id ea o f th e D eath ly H allo w s h ad
ta k en p osse ssio n o f h im , a n d h e c o uld n ot r e st w hile a g ita tin g th oughts w hir le d
th ro ugh h is m in d: th e w an d, th e s to ne, a n d th e C lo ak , if h e c o uld ju st p osse ss
th em a ll…
I o pen a t th e c lo se …
B ut w hat w as th e c lo se ? W hy c o uld n’t h e h av e th e
sto ne n ow ? I f o nly h e h ad t h e s to ne, h e c o uld a sk D um ble d ore t h ese q uestio ns i n
pers o n… an d H arry m urm ure d w ord s to th e S nitc h in th e dark ness, tr y in g
ev ery th in g, e v en P ars e lto ngue, b ut t h e g old en b all w ould n ot o pen …
And th e w an d, th e E ld er W an d, w here w as th at hid den ? W here w as
Vold em ort se arc h in g n ow ? H arry w is h ed h is sc ar w ould b urn an d sh ow h im
Vold em ort’s th oughts , b ecau se fo r th e fir s t tim e e v er, h e a n d V old em ort w ere
unite d in w an tin g th e v ery s a m e th in g… H erm io ne w ould n ot lik e th at id ea, o f
co urs e … B ut t h en , s h e d id n ot b elie v e… X en ophiliu s h ad b een r ig ht, i n a w ay …
Lim ite d , N arro w , C lo se -m in ded .
T he tr u th w as th at s h e w as s c are d o f th e id ea o f
th e D eath ly H allo w s, e sp ecia lly o f th e R esu rre ctio n S to ne… a n d H arry p re sse d
his m outh a g ain t o t h e S nitc h , k is sin g i t, n early s w allo w in g i t, b ut t h e c o ld m eta l

did n ot y ie ld …
It w as n early d aw n w hen h e r e m em bere d L una, a lo ne in a c ell in A zk ab an ,
su rro unded b y D em en to rs , a n d h e su dden ly fe lt a sh am ed o f h im se lf . H e h ad
fo rg otte n a ll a b out h er in h is f e v eris h c o nte m pla tio n o f th e H allo w s. I f o nly th ey
co uld re sc u e her, but Dem en to rs in th ose num bers would be vir tu ally
unassa ila b le . N ow h e c am e to th in k a b out it, h e h ad n ot tr ie d c astin g a P atr o nus
with t h e b la ck th orn w an d… H e m ust t r y t h at i n t h e m orn in g…
If o nly t h ere w as a w ay o f g ettin g a b ette r w an d…
And desir e fo r th e E ld er W an d, th e D eath stic k , unbeata b le , in vin cib le ,
sw allo w ed h im o nce m ore …
They p ack ed u p th e te n t n ex t m orn in g an d m oved o n th ro ugh a d re ary
sh ow er o f r a in . T he d ow npour p urs u ed t h em t o t h e c o ast, w here t h ey p itc h ed t h e
te n t t h at n ig ht, a n d p ers is te d t h ro ugh t h e w hole w eek , t h ro ugh s o dden l a n dsc ap es
th at H arry fo und b le ak an d d ep re ssin g. H e co uld th in k o nly o f th e D eath ly
Hallo w s. It w as a s th ough a fla m e h ad b een lit in sid e h im th at n oth in g, n ot
Herm io ne’s f la t d is b elie f n or R on’s p ers is te n t d oubts , c o uld e x tin guis h . A nd y et
th e f ie rc er t h e l o ngin g f o r t h e H allo w s b urn ed i n sid e h im , t h e l e ss j o yfu l i t m ad e
him . H e b la m ed R on a n d H erm io ne: T heir d ete rm in ed i n dif f e re n ce w as a s b ad a s
th e r e le n tle ss r a in f o r d am pen in g h is s p ir its , b ut n eith er c o uld e ro de h is c erta in ty ,
whic h re m ain ed ab so lu te . H arry ’s belie f in an d lo ngin g fo r th e H allo w s
co nsu m ed him so m uch th at he fe lt is o la te d fro m th e oth er tw o an d th eir
obse ssio n w ith t h e H orc ru xes.
“O bse ssio n?” s a id H erm io ne i n a l o w f ie rc e v oic e, w hen H arry w as c are le ss
en ough t o u se t h e w ord o ne e v en in g, a fte r H erm io ne h ad t o ld h im o ff f o r h is l a ck
of in te re st in lo catin g m ore H orc ru xes. “ W e’re n ot th e o ne w ith a n o bse ssio n,
Harry ! W e’re t h e o nes t r y in g t o d o w hat D um ble d ore w an te d u s t o d o!”
But h e w as i m perv io us t o t h e v eile d c ritic is m . D um ble d ore h ad l e ft t h e s ig n
of th e H allo w s fo r H erm io ne to d ecip her, an d h e h ad als o , H arry re m ain ed
co nvin ced o f it, le ft th e R esu rre ctio n S to ne h id den in th e g old en S nitc h .
Neith er
ca n liv e w hile th e o th er su rv iv es… m aste r o f D ea th …
W hy d id n’t R on an d
Herm io ne u nders ta n d?
“‘T he l a st e n em y s h all b e d estr o yed i s d ea th ,’ ”
H arry q uote d c alm ly .
“I th ought it w as Y ou-K now -W ho w e w ere su ppose d to be fig htin g?”
Herm io ne r e to rte d , a n d H arry g av e u p o n h er.
Even th e m yste ry of th e silv er doe, w hic h th e oth er tw o in sis te d on
dis c u ssin g, s e em ed le ss im porta n t to H arry n ow , a v ag uely in te re stin g s id esh ow .
The o nly o th er th in g th at m atte re d to h im w as th at h is s c ar h ad b eg un to p ric k le
ag ain , a lth ough h e d id a ll h e c o uld to h id e th is fa ct fro m th e o th er tw o. H e
so ught s o litu de w hen ev er i t h ap pen ed , b ut w as d is a p poin te d b y w hat h e s a w . T he

vis io ns h e a n d V old em ort w ere s h arin g h ad c h an ged i n q uality ; t h ey h ad b eco m e
blu rre d , s h if tin g a s th ough th ey w ere m ovin g in a n d o ut o f f o cu s. H arry w as ju st
ab le to m ak e o ut th e in dis tin ct f e atu re s o f a n o bje ct th at lo oked lik e a s k ull, a n d
so m eth in g lik e a m ounta in th at w as m ore sh ad ow th an su bsta n ce. U se d to
im ag es s h arp a s r e ality , H arry w as d is c o ncerte d b y th e c h an ge. H e w as w orrie d
th at th e co nnectio n betw een him se lf an d V old em ort had been dam ag ed , a
co nnectio n th at h e b oth fe are d an d, w hate v er h e h ad to ld H erm io ne, p riz ed .
Som eh ow H arry c o nnecte d t h ese u nsa tis fy in g, v ag ue i m ag es w ith t h e d estr u ctio n
of h is w an d, a s if it w as th e b la ck th orn w an d’s f a u lt th at h e c o uld n o lo nger s e e
in to V old em ort’s m in d a s w ell a s b efo re .
As th e w eek s c re p t o n, H arry c o uld n ot h elp b ut n otic e, e v en th ro ugh h is
new s e lf -a b so rp tio n, th at R on s e em ed to b e ta k in g c h arg e. P erh ap s b ecau se h e
was d ete rm in ed to m ak e u p fo r h av in g w alk ed o ut o n th em , p erh ap s b ecau se
Harry ’s d esc en t i n to l is tle ssn ess g alv an iz ed h is d orm an t l e ad ers h ip q ualitie s, R on
was t h e o ne n ow e n co ura g in g a n d e x hortin g t h e o th er t w o i n to a ctio n.
“T hre e H orc ru xes le ft,” h e k ep t s a y in g. “ W e n eed a p la n o f a ctio n, c o m e
on! W here h av en ’t w e l o oked ? L et’s g o t h ro ugh i t a g ain . T he o rp han ag e… ”
Dia g on A lle y, H ogw arts , th e R id dle H ouse , B org in a n d B urk es, A lb an ia ,
ev ery p la ce th at th ey k new T om R id dle h ad e v er liv ed o r w ork ed , v is ite d o r
murd ere d , R on a n d H erm io ne ra k ed o ver th em a g ain , H arry jo in in g in o nly to
sto p H erm io ne p este rin g h im . H e w ould h av e b een h ap py to s it a lo ne in s ile n ce,
tr y in g to r e ad V old em ort’s th oughts , to f in d o ut m ore a b out th e E ld er W an d, b ut
Ron in sis te d o n jo urn ey in g to ev er m ore u nlik ely p la ces sim ply , H arry w as
aw are , t o k eep t h em m ovin g.
“Y ou nev er know ,” w as R on’s co nsta n t re fra in . “U pper Fla g le y is a
Wiz ard in g v illa g e, h e m ig ht’ v e w an te d to liv e th ere . L et’s g o a n d h av e a p oke
aro und.”
These fre q uen t fo ra y s in to W iz ard in g te rrito ry bro ught th em w ith in
occasio nal s ig ht o f S natc h ers .
“S om e o f th em a re s u ppose d to b e a s b ad a s D eath E ate rs ,” s a id R on. “ T he
lo t th at g ot m e w ere a b it p ath etic , b ut B ill re co ns so m e o f th em are re ally
dan gero us. T hey s a id o n
Potte rw atc h — ”
“O n w hat? ” s a id H arry .
“P otte rw atc h ,
d id n’t I te ll y ou th at’s w hat it w as c alle d ? T he p ro gra m I
keep tr y in g to g et o n th e ra d io , th e o nly o ne th at te lls th e tr u th a b out w hat’s
goin g o n! N early a ll o f th e p ro gra m s a re fo llo w in g Y ou-K now -W ho’s lin e, a ll
ex cep t
Potte rw atc h ,
I r e ally w an t y ou t o h ear i t, b ut i t’s t r ic k y t u nin g i n … ”
Ron s p en t e v en in g a fte r e v en in g u sin g h is w an d t o b eat o ut v ario us r h yth m s
on to p o f th e w ir e le ss w hile th e d ia ls w hir le d . O ccasio nally th ey w ould c atc h

sn atc h es o f ad vic e o n h ow to tr e at d ra g onpox, an d o nce a fe w b ars o f “A
Cau ld ro n F ull o f H ot, S tr o ng L ove.” W hile h e ta p ed , R on c o ntin ued to tr y to h it
on t h e c o rre ct p assw ord , m utte rin g s tr in gs o f r a n dom w ord s u nder h is b re ath .
“T hey ’re n orm ally s o m eth in g t o d o w ith t h e O rd er,” h e t o ld t h em . “ B ill h ad
a r e al k nack f o r g uessin g t h em . I ’m b ound t o g et o ne i n t h e e n d… ”
But n ot u ntil M arc h d id lu ck f a v or R on a t la st. H arry w as s ittin g in th e te n t
en tr a n ce, o n g uard d uty , sta rin g id ly at a clu m p o f g ra p e h yacin th s th at h ad
fo rc ed th eir w ay th ro ugh th e c h illy g ro und, w hen R on s h oute d e x cite d ly fro m
in sid e t h e t e n t.
“I’v e g ot i t, I ’v e g ot i t! P assw ord w as ‘ A lb us’! G et i n h ere , H arry .”
Rouse d fo r th e fir s t tim e in d ay s fro m h is c o nte m pla tio n o f th e D eath ly
Hallo w s, H arry h urrie d b ack in sid e th e te n t to f in d R on a n d H erm io ne k neelin g
on th e f lo or b esid e th e little r a d io . H erm io ne, w ho h ad b een p olis h in g th e s w ord
of G ry ff in dor ju st f o r s o m eth in g to d o, w as s ittin g o pen -m outh ed , s ta rin g a t th e
tin y s p eak er, f ro m w hic h a m ost f a m ilia r v oic e w as i s su in g.
“… ap olo giz e f o r o ur te m pora ry a b se n ce f ro m th e a ir w av es, w hic h w as d ue
to a n um ber o f h ouse c alls i n o ur a re a b y t h ose c h arm in g D eath E ate rs .”
“B ut t h at’s L ee J o rd an !” s a id H erm io ne.
“I k now !” b eam ed R on. “ C ool, e h ?”
“… now f o und o urs e lv es a n oth er s e cu re l o catio n,” L ee w as s a y in g, “ an d I ’m
ple ase d to te ll y ou th at tw o o f o ur r e g ula r c o ntr ib uto rs h av e jo in ed m e h ere th is
ev en in g. E ven in g, b oys!”
“H i.”
“E ven in g, R iv er.”
“‘R iv er’— th at’s L ee,” R on e x pla in ed . “ T hey ’v e a ll g ot c o de n am es, b ut
you c an u su ally t e ll— ”
“S hh!” s a id H erm io ne.
“B ut b efo re w e h ear f ro m R oyal a n d R om ulu s,” L ee w en t o n, “ le t’s ta k e a
mom en t to re p ort th ose d eath s th at th e
Wiz a rd in g W ir e le ss N etw ork N ew s
a n d
Daily P ro phet
d on’t th in k im porta n t e n ough to m en tio n. It is w ith g re at re g re t
th at w e i n fo rm o ur l is te n ers o f t h e m urd ers o f T ed T onks a n d D ir k C re ssw ell.”
Harry fe lt a s ic k , s w oopin g in h is b elly . H e, R on, a n d H erm io ne g azed a t
one a n oth er i n h orro r.
“A goblin by th e nam e of G orn uk w as als o kille d . It is belie v ed th at
Muggle -b orn D ean T hom as a n d a se co nd g oblin , b oth b elie v ed to h av e b een
tr a v elin g w ith T onks, C re ssw ell, an d G orn uk, m ay h av e esc ap ed . If D ean is
lis te n in g, o r if a n yone h as a n y k now le d ge o f h is w here ab outs , h is p are n ts a n d
sis te rs a re d esp era te f o r n ew s.
“M ean w hile , in G ad dle y, a M uggle fa m ily o f fiv e h as b een fo und d ead in

th eir h om e. M uggle au th oritie s are attr ib utin g th eir d eath s to a g as le ak , b ut
mem bers o f th e O rd er o f th e P hoen ix in fo rm m e th at it w as th e K illin g C urs e —
more ev id en ce, as if it w ere need ed , of th e fa ct th at M uggle sla u ghte r is
beco m in g l ittle m ore t h an a r e cre atio nal s p ort u nder t h e n ew r e g im e.
“F in ally , w e re g re t to in fo rm o ur lis te n ers th at th e re m ain s o f B ath ild a
Bag sh ot h av e b een d is c o vere d in G odric ’s H ollo w . T he e v id en ce is th at s h e d ie d
se v era l m onth s a g o. T he O rd er o f th e P hoen ix in fo rm s u s th at h er b ody s h ow ed
unm is ta k ab le s ig ns o f i n ju rie s i n flic te d b y D ark M ag ic .
“L is te n ers , I’d lik e to in vite y ou n ow to jo in u s in a m in ute ’s sile n ce in
mem ory of T ed T onks, D ir k C re ssw ell, B ath ild a B ag sh ot, G orn uk, an d th e
unnam ed , b ut n o l e ss r e g re tte d , M uggle s m urd ere d b y t h e D eath E ate rs .”
Sile n ce fe ll, a n d H arry , R on, a n d H erm io ne d id n ot s p eak . H alf o f H arry
yearn ed t o h ear m ore , h alf o f h im w as a fra id o f w hat m ig ht c o m e n ex t. I t w as t h e
fir s t t im e h e h ad f e lt f u lly c o nnecte d t o t h e o uts id e w orld f o r a l o ng t im e.
“T han k you,” sa id L ee’s voic e. “A nd now w e can re tu rn to re g ula r
co ntr ib uto r R oyal, f o r a n u pdate o n h ow t h e n ew W iz ard in g o rd er i s a ff e ctin g t h e
Muggle w orld .”
“T han ks, R iv er,” s a id a n u nm is ta k ab le v oic e, d eep , m easu re d , r e assu rin g.
“K in gsle y !” b urs t o ut R on.
“W e k now !” s a id H erm io ne, h ush in g h im .
“M uggle s r e m ain ig nora n t o f th e s o urc e o f th eir s u ff e rin g a s th ey c o ntin ue
to s u sta in h eav y c asu altie s,” s a id K in gsle y. “ H ow ev er, w e c o ntin ue to h ear tr u ly
in sp ir a tio nal s to rie s o f w iz ard s a n d w itc h es ris k in g th eir o w n s a fe ty to p ro te ct
Muggle f rie n ds a n d n eig hbors , o fte n w ith out t h e M uggle s’ k now le d ge. I ’d l ik e t o
ap peal to all our lis te n ers to em ula te th eir ex am ple , perh ap s by castin g a
pro te ctiv e c h arm o ver a n y M uggle d w ellin gs in y our s tr e et. M an y liv es c o uld b e
sa v ed i f s u ch s im ple m easu re s a re t a k en .”
“A nd w hat w ould y ou s a y, R oyal, to th ose lis te n ers w ho r e p ly th at in th ese
dan gero us t im es, i t s h ould b e ‘ W iz ard s f ir s t’ ? ” a sk ed L ee.
“I’d s a y th at it’s o ne s h ort s te p fro m ‘W iz ard s fir s t’ to ‘P ure b lo ods fir s t,’
an d th en to ‘D eath E ate rs ,’ ” re p lie d K in gsle y. “W e’re all h um an , are n ’t w e?
Every h um an l if e i s w orth t h e s a m e, a n d w orth s a v in g.”
“E xcelle n tly p ut, R oyal, a n d y ou’v e g ot m y v ote fo r M in is te r o f M ag ic if
we e v er g et o ut o f th is m ess,” sa id L ee. “ A nd n ow , o ver to R om ulu s fo r o ur
popula r f e atu re ‘ P als o f P otte r.’ ”
“T han ks, R iv er,” s a id a n oth er v ery f a m ilia r v oic e. R on s ta rte d to s p eak , b ut
Herm io ne f o re sta lle d h im i n a w his p er.
“W e k n ow i t’s L upin !”
“R om ulu s, d o y ou m ain ta in , a s y ou h av e e v ery t im e y ou’v e a p peare d o n o ur

pro gra m , t h at H arry P otte r i s s till a liv e?”
“I d o,” sa id L upin fir m ly . “ T here is n o d oubt a t a ll in m y m in d th at h is
death w ould b e p ro cla im ed a s w id ely a s p ossib le b y th e D eath E ate rs if it h ad
hap pen ed , b ecau se it w ould s tr ik e a d ead ly b lo w a t th e m ora le o f th ose r e sis tin g
th e n ew re g im e. ‘T he B oy W ho L iv ed ’ re m ain s a sy m bol o f ev ery th in g fo r
whic h w e a re f ig htin g: th e tr iu m ph o f g ood, th e p ow er o f in nocen ce, th e n eed to
keep r e sis tin g.”
A m ix tu re o f g ra titu de a n d s h am e w elle d u p in H arry . H ad L upin f o rg iv en
him , t h en , f o r t h e t e rrib le t h in gs h e h ad s a id w hen t h ey h ad l a st m et?
“A nd w hat w ould you sa y to H arry if you knew he w as lis te n in g,
Rom ulu s? ”
“I’d te ll him w e’re all w ith him in sp ir it,” sa id L upin , th en hesita te d
slig htly , “ A nd I’d te ll h im to fo llo w h is in stin cts , w hic h a re g ood a n d n early
alw ay s r ig ht.”
Harry l o oked a t H erm io ne, w hose e y es w ere f u ll o f t e ars .
“N early a lw ay s r ig ht,” s h e r e p eate d .
“O h, d id n’t I te ll y ou?” s a id R on in s u rp ris e . “ B ill to ld m e L upin ’s liv in g
with T onks a g ain ! A nd a p pare n tly s h e’s g ettin g p re tty b ig t o o… ”
“… an d our usu al update on th ose frie n ds of H arry Potte r’s w ho are
su ff e rin g f o r t h eir a lle g ia n ce?” L ee w as s a y in g.
“W ell, as re g ula r lis te n ers w ill know , se v era l of th e m ore outs p oken
su pporte rs o f H arry P otte r h av e n ow b een im pris o ned , in clu din g X en ophiliu s
Loveg ood, e rs tw hile e d ito r o f
The Q uib ble r,”
s a id L upin .
“A t l e ast h e’s s till a liv e!” m utte re d R on.
“W e h av e a ls o h eard w ith in th e la st fe w h ours th at R ubeu s H ag rid ”— all
th re e o f th em g asp ed , an d so n early m is se d th e re st o f th e se n te n ce— “w ell-
know n g am ek eep er a t H ogw arts S ch ool, h as n arro w ly e sc ap ed a rre st w ith in th e
gro unds o f H ogw arts , w here h e is ru m ore d to h av e h oste d a ‘S upport H arry
Potte r’ p arty in h is h ouse . H ow ev er, H ag rid w as n ot ta k en in to c u sto dy, a n d is ,
we b elie v e, o n t h e r u n.”
“I su ppose it h elp s, w hen esc ap in g fro m D eath E ate rs , if y ou’v e g ot a
six te en -fo ot- h ig h h alf b ro th er? ” a sk ed L ee.
“It w ould te n d to g iv e y ou a n e d ge,” a g re ed L upin g ra v ely . “ M ay I ju st a d d
th at w hile w e h ere a t
Potte rw atc h
a p pla u d H ag rid ’s s p ir it, w e w ould u rg e e v en
th e m ost d ev ote d o f H arry ’s s u p porte rs a g ain st f o llo w in g H ag rid ’s l e ad . ‘ S upport
Harry P otte r’ p artie s a re u nw is e i n t h e p re se n t c lim ate .”
“In deed th ey a re , R om ulu s,” s a id L ee, “ so w e s u ggest th at y ou c o ntin ue to
sh ow your dev otio n to th e m an w ith th e lig htn in g sc ar by lis te n in g to
Potte rw atc h !
A nd n ow l e t’s m ove t o n ew s c o ncern in g t h e w iz ard w ho i s p ro vin g

ju st a s e lu siv e a s H arry P otte r. W e lik e to r e fe r to h im a s th e C hie f D eath E ate r,
an d h ere to g iv e h is v ie w s o n s o m e o f th e m ore in sa n e r u m ors c ir c u la tin g a b out
him , I ’d l ik e t o i n tr o duce a n ew c o rre sp onden t. R oden t? ”
“‘
Roden t
’? ” s a id y et a n oth er f a m ilia r v oic e, a n d H arry , R on, a n d H erm io ne
crie d o ut t o geth er:
“F re d !”
“N o— is i t G eo rg e?”
“It’s F re d , I th in k,” s a id R on, le an in g in c lo se r, a s w hic h ev er tw in it w as
sa id ,
“I’m n ot b ein g ‘ R oden t,’ n o w ay, I t o ld y ou I w an te d t o b e ‘ R ap ie r’!”
“O h, a ll rig ht th en , ‘R ap ie r,’ c o uld y ou p le ase g iv e u s y our ta k e o n th e
vario us s to rie s w e’v e b een h earin g a b out t h e C hie f D eath E ate r? ”
“Y es, R iv er, I c an ,” s a id F re d . “ A s o ur lis te n ers w ill k now , u nle ss th ey ’v e
ta k en r e fu ge a t th e b otto m o f a g ard en p ond o r s o m ew here s im ila r, Y ou-K now -
Who’s s tr a te g y o f re m ain in g in th e s h ad ow s is c re atin g a n ic e little c lim ate o f
pan ic . M in d y ou, if a ll th e a lle g ed s ig htin gs o f h im a re g en uin e, w e m ust h av e a
good n in ete en Y ou-K now -W hos r u nnin g a ro und t h e p la ce.”
“W hic h s u its h im , o f c o urs e ,” s a id K in gsle y. “ T he a ir o f m yste ry i s c re atin g
more t e rro r t h an a ctu ally s h ow in g h im se lf .”
“A gre ed ,” s a id F re d . “ S o, p eo ple , le t’s tr y a n d c alm d ow n a b it. T hin gs a re
bad e n ough w ith out i n ven tin g s tu ff a s w ell. F or i n sta n ce, t h is n ew i d ea t h at Y ou-
Know -W ho c an k ill p eo ple w ith a s in gle g la n ce f ro m h is e y es. T hat’s a
basilis k ,
lis te n ers . O ne s im ple te st: C heck w heth er th e th in g th at’s g la rin g a t y ou h as g ot
le g s. If it h as, it’s s a fe to lo ok in to its e y es, a lth ough if it re ally is Y ou-K now -
Who, t h at’s s till l ik ely t o b e t h e l a st t h in g y ou e v er d o.”
For th e fir s t tim e in w eek s a n d w eek s, H arry w as la u ghin g: H e c o uld fe el
th e w eig ht o f t e n sio n l e av in g h im .
“A nd t h e r u m ors t h at h e k eep s b ein g s ig hte d a b ro ad ?” a sk ed L ee.
“W ell, w ho w ould n’t w an t a n ic e little h olid ay a fte r a ll th e h ard w ork h e’s
been p uttin g i n ?” a sk ed F re d . “ P oin t i s , p eo ple , d on’t g et l u lle d i n to a f a ls e s e n se
of s e cu rity , t h in kin g h e’s o ut o f t h e c o untr y . M ay be h e i s , m ay be h e i s n ’t, b ut t h e
fa ct re m ain s h e c an m ove fa ste r th an S ev eru s S nap e c o nfro nte d w ith s h am poo
when h e w an ts to , so d on’t co unt o n h im b ein g a lo ng w ay aw ay if y ou’re
pla n nin g to ta k e a n y ris k s. I n ev er th ought I’d h ear m yse lf sa y it, b ut sa fe ty
fir s t! ”
“T han k y ou v ery m uch f o r th ose w is e w ord s, R ap ie r,” s a id L ee. ” L is te n ers ,
th at b rin gs u s to th e e n d o f a n oth er
Potte rw atc h .
W e d on’t k now w hen it w ill b e
possib le to bro ad cast ag ain , but you can be su re w e sh all be back . K eep
tw id dlin g th ose d ia ls : T he n ex t p assw ord w ill b e ‘M ad -E ye.’ K eep e ach o th er

sa fe : K eep f a ith . G ood n ig ht.”
The ra d io ’s d ia l tw ir le d a n d th e lig hts b eh in d th e tu nin g p an el w en t o ut.
Harry , R on, a n d H erm io ne w ere s till b eam in g. H earin g f a m ilia r, f rie n dly v oic es
was a n e x tr a o rd in ary to nic ; H arry h ad b eco m e s o u se d to th eir is o la tio n h e h ad
nearly fo rg otte n th at o th er p eo ple w ere re sis tin g V old em ort. It w as lik e w ak in g
fro m a l o ng s le ep .
“G ood, e h ?” s a id R on h ap pily .
“B rillia n t,” s a id H arry .
“It’s so bra v e of th em ,” sig hed H erm io ne ad m ir in gly . “If th ey w ere
fo und… ”
“W ell, t h ey k eep o n t h e m ove, d on’t t h ey ?” s a id R on. “ L ik e u s.”
“B ut did you hear w hat Fre d sa id ?” ask ed H arry ex cite d ly ; now th e
bro ad cast w as over, his th oughts tu rn ed aro und to w ard his all co nsu m in g
obse ssio n. “ H e’s a b ro ad ! H e’s s till l o okin g f o r t h e W an d, I k new i t! ”
“H arry — ”
“C om e o n, H erm io ne, w hy a re y ou s o d ete rm in ed n ot t o a d m it i t? V ol— ”
“H ARRY, N O!”
“— dem ort’s a fte r t h e E ld er W an d!”
“T he n am e’s T ab oo!” R on b ello w ed , le ap in g to h is fe et a s a lo ud c ra ck
so unded o uts id e th e te n t. “ I to ld y ou, H arry , I to ld y ou, w e c an ’t s a y it a n ym ore
—we’v e g ot to p ut th e p ro te ctio n b ack a ro und u s— quic k ly — it’s h ow th ey f in d
—”
But R on sto pped ta lk in g, a n d H arry k new w hy. T he S neak osc o pe o n th e
ta b le h ad lit u p a n d b eg un to sp in ; th ey c o uld h ear v oic es c o m in g n eare r a n d
neare r: r o ugh, e x cite d v oic es. R on p ulle d th e D elu m in ato r o ut o f h is p ock et a n d
clic k ed i t: T heir l a m ps w en t o ut.
“C om e o ut o f th ere w ith y our h an ds u p!” c am e a r a sp in g v oic e th ro ugh th e
dark ness. “ W e k now y ou’re in th ere ! Y ou’v e g ot h alf a d ozen w an ds p oin tin g a t
you a n d w e d on’t c are w ho w e c u rs e !”

2 3. M ALFO Y M ANO R
Harry lo oked a ro und a t th e o th er tw o, n ow m ere o utlin es in th e d ark ness.
H e s a w H erm io ne p oin t h er w an d, s e t t o w ard t h e o uts id e, b ut i n to h is f a ce; t h ere
w as a b an g, a b urs t o f w hite lig ht, a n d h e b uck le d in a g ony, u nab le to s e e. H e
c o uld fe el his fa ce sw ellin g ra p id ly under his han ds as heav y fo otf a lls
s u rro unded h im .
“G et u p, v erm in .”
Unknow n h an ds d ra g ged H arry ro ughly o ff th e g ro und, b efo re h e c o uld
s to p th em , so m eo ne had ru m mag ed th ro ugh his pock ets an d re m oved th e
b la ck th orn w an d. H arry c lu tc h ed a t h is e x cru cia tin gly p ain fu l fa ce, w hic h fe lt
u nre co gniz ab le b en eath h is fin gers , tig ht, s w olle n , a n d p uff y a s th ough h e h ad
s u ff e re d so m e vio le n t alle rg ic re actio n. H is ey es had been re d uced to slits
t h ro ugh w hic h h e c o uld b are ly s e e; h is g la sse s f e ll o ff a s h e w as b undle d o ut o f
t h e te n t: a ll h e c o uld m ak e o ut w ere th e b lu rre d s h ap es o f fo ur o r fiv e p eo ple
w re stlin g R on a n d H erm io ne o uts id e t o o.
“G et— off — her!” R on sh oute d . T here w as th e unm is ta k ab le so und of
k nuck le s h ittin g f le sh : R on g ru nte d i n p ain a n d H erm io ne s c re am ed , “ N o! L eav e
h im a lo ne, l e av e h im a lo ne!”
“Y our b oyfrie n d’s g oin g to h av e w ors e th an th at d one to h im if h e’s o n m y
l is t,” s a id th e h orrib ly f a m ilia r, r a sp in g v oic e. “ D elic io us g ir l… w hat a tr e at… I
d o e n jo y t h e s o ftn ess o f t h e s k in … ”
Harry ’s s to m ach tu rn ed o ver. H e k new w ho th is w as, F en rir G re y back , th e
w ere w olf w ho w as p erm itte d to w ear D eath E ate r ro bes in re tu rn fo r h is h ir e d
s a v ag ery .
“S earc h t h e t e n t! ” s a id a n oth er v oic e.
Harry w as t h ro w n f a ce d ow n o nto t h e g ro und. A t h ud t o ld h im t h at R on h ad
b een c ast d ow n b esid e h im . T hey c o uld h ear f o ots te p s a n d c ra sh es; t h e m en w ere
p ush in g o ver c h air s i n sid e t h e t e n t a s t h ey s e arc h ed .
“N ow , le t’s se e w ho w e’v e got,” sa id G re y back ’s glo atin g voic e fro m
o verh ead , a n d H arry w as ro lle d o ver o nto h is b ack . A b eam o f w an d lig ht fe ll
o nto h is f a ce a n d G re y back l a u ghed .
“I’ll b e n eed in g b utte rb eer to w ash th is o ne d ow n. W hat h ap pen ed to y ou,
u gly ?”
Harry d id n ot a n sw er i m med ia te ly .
“I
sa id ,”
re p eate d G re y back , a n d H arry re ceiv ed a b lo w to th e d ia p hra g m
t h at m ad e h im d ouble o ver i n p ain . “ w hat h ap pen ed t o y ou?”

“S tu ng,” H arry m utte re d . “ B een S tu ng.”
“Y eah , l o oks l ik e i t,” s a id a s e co nd v oic e.
“W hat’s y our n am e?” s n arle d G re y back .
“D udle y,” s a id H arry .
“A nd y our f ir s t n am e?”
“I— Vern on. V ern on D udle y.”
“C heck th e lis t, Scab io r,” sa id G re y back , an d H arry head him m ove
sid ew ay s t o l o ok d ow n a t R on, i n ste ad . “ A nd w hat a b out y ou, g in ger? ”
“S ta n S hunpik e,” s a id R on.
“L ik e ’ e ll y ou a re ,” s a id th e m an c alle d S cab io r. “ W e k now S ta n S hunpik e,
’e ’s p ut a b it o f w ork o ur w ay.”
There w as a n oth er t h ud.
“I’b B ard y,” sa id R on, an d H arry co uld te ll th at h is m outh w as fu ll o f
blo od. “ B ard y W easle y.”
“A W easle y ?” r a sp ed G re y back . “ S o y ou’re r e la te d to b lo od tr a ito rs e v en if
you’re n ot a M udblo od. A nd l a stly , y our p re tty l ittle f rie n d… ”
The r e lis h i n h is v oic e m ad e H arry ’s f le sh c ra w l.
“E asy , G re y back ,” s a id S cab io r o ver t h e j e erin g o f t h e o th ers .
“O h, I’m n ot g oin g to b ite ju st y et. W e’ll se e if sh e’s a b it q uic k er at
re m em berin g h er n am e t h an B arn y. W ho a re y ou, g ir ly ?”
“P en elo pe Cle arw ate r,” sa id Herm io ne. She so unded te rrif ie d , but
co nvin cin g.
“W hat’s y our b lo od s ta tu s? ”
“H alf -B lo od,” s a id H erm io ne.
“E asy e n ough to c h eck ,” sa id S cab io r. “ B ut th e ’o le lo t o f ’e m lo ok lik e
th ey c o uld s till b e ’ o gw arts a g e— ”
“W e’b l e b t,” s a id R on.
“L eft, ’a v e y ou, g in ger? ” s a id S cab io r. “ A nd y ou d ecid ed to g o c am pin g?
And y ou t h ought, j u st f o r a l a u gh, y ou’d u se t h e D ark L ord ’s n am e?”
“N od a l a u gh,” s a id R on. “ A ggid en .”
“A ccid en t? ”
There w as m ore j e erin g l a u ghte r.
“Y ou know w ho use d to lik e usin g th e D ark L ord ’s nam e, W easle y ?”
gro w le d G re y back . “ T he O rd er o f t h e P hoen ix . M ean a n yth in g t o y ou?”
“D oh.”
“W ell, th ey d on’t s h ow th e D ark L ord p ro per re sp ect, s o th e n am e’s b een
Tab ooed . A fe w O rd er m em bers h av e b een tr a ck ed th at w ay. W e’ll se e. B in d
th em u p w ith t h e o th er t w o p ris o ners !”
Som eo ne y an ked H arry u p b y th e h air , d ra g ged h im a s h ort w ay, p ush ed

him d ow n in to a sittin g p ositio n, th en sta rte d b in din g h im b ack -to -b ack w ith
oth er p eo ple . H arry w as s till h alf b lin d, b are ly a b le to s e e a n yth in g th ro ugh h is
puff e d -u p ey es. W hen at la st th e m an ty in g th en had w alk ed aw ay, H arry
whis p ere d t o t h e o th er p ris o ners .
“A nyone s till g ot a w an d?”
“N o,” s a id R on a n d H erm io ne f ro m e ith er s id e o f h im .
“T his i s a ll m y f a u lt. I s a id t h e n am e. I ’m s o rry — ”
“H arry ?”
It w as a n ew , b ut fa m ilia r v oic e, a n d it c am e fro m d ir e ctly b eh in d H arry ,
fro m t h e p ers o n t ie d t o H erm io ne’s l e ft.
“D ean ?”
“It
is
y ou! If th ey fin d o ut w ho th ey ’v e g ot— ! T hey ’re S natc h ers , th ey ’re
only l o okin g f o r t r u an ts t o s e ll f o r g old — ”
“N ot a b ad little h au l fo r o ne n ig ht,” G re y back w as sa y in g, a s a p air o f
hobnaile d b oots m arc h ed clo se b y H arry an d th ey h eard m ore cra sh es fro m
in sid e th e te n t. “ A M udblo od, a r u naw ay g oblin , a n d th ese tr u an ts . Y ou c h eck ed
th eir n am es o n t h e l is t y et, S cab io r? ” h e r o are d .
“Y eah . T here ’s n o V ern on D udle y u n ’ e re , G re y back .”
“In te re stin g,” s a id G re y back . “ T hat’s i n te re stin g.”
He c ro uch ed d ow n b esid e H arry , w ho s a w , t h ro ugh t h e i n fin ite sim al g ap l e ft
betw een h is s w olle n e y elid s, a fa ce c o vere d in m atte d g ra y h air a n d w his k ers ,
with poin te d bro w n te eth an d so re s in th e co rn ers of his m outh . G re y back
sm elle d a s h e h ad d one a t th e to p o f th e to w er w here D um ble d ore h ad d ie d : o f
dir t, s w eat, a n d b lo od.
“S o you are n ’t w an te d , th en , V ern on? O r are you on th at lis t under a
dif f e re n t n am e? W hat h ouse w ere y ou i n a t H ogw arts ? ”
“S ly th erin ,” s a id H arry a u to m atic ally .
“F unny ’ o w th ey a ll th in ks w e w an ts to ’ e ar th at,” le ere d S cab io r o ut o f th e
sh ad ow s. “ B ut n one o f ’ e m c an t e ll u s w here t h e c o m mon r o om i s .”
“It’s in th e d ungeo ns,” s a id H arry c le arly . “ Y ou e n te r th ro ugh th e w all. I t’s
fu ll o f s k ull