Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Chapter Summary and Analysis - Part One
This is the seventh, and last, book in the 'Harry Potter and the...' series. The lines of customers at the book release were much, much longer, and their composition has changed even more so. Think about it. Nine year old's, who began the journey with Harry, are now twenty three! Unfortunately, the publishers have continued to try and position the book as just another book in the children's series! It is, most emphatically, not! For one thing, its evil is much more: "in-your-face," "unrelenting," and "gratuitous" than the first book's. Its motif is the same; but, its thematic material is incredibly more adult oriented. Not in the "smut" sense, but the rise of tyranny, assisted suicide and euthanasia, and self-sacrifice are hardly the fare of seven to ten year olds; not to mention the murder, torture and mayhem normally associated with "war." There are some very sophisticated redeeming themes; but, for younger children, they are barely noticeable, let alone understood.
It is for this reason that I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this book for children under twelve, which seem to be within the publishers 'targeted' age. Does that mean that I don't think it is a good book? Definitely not! It’s a great ending to the saga. Nor, does it mean that I don't recommend the series to parents for their children - it’s a wonderful book for teens and young adults, who are both intellectually and emotionally capable of seeing, and understanding, its many redeeming, albeit convoluted, thematic nuances.
What I do recommend, is that children read the series, like it was originally written: one book, every year or two, beginning at about 9 or 10. That way, especially with parental read-aloud and guidance, children can have the best of both worlds no pun intended. They can experience the intensely interesting world of magical fantasy; but, eventually be led to an exposure with: selfless love, friendship, diversity and intensely personal courage. And to the counter effect that they all have on bigotry, arrogance, terrorism and tyranny. What more can a responsible parent ask for? Than to find something that will not only captivate imaginations, but will motivate the reading of four thousand one hundred and six pages, and end up in a nearly 'back-door' understanding of such moral principles!
For parents of older children, Chapters 34 and 35 are ideal for parent and child to read together. Chapter 34 deals with Harry's final decision for self-sacrifice, for the "greater good," and the support he receives from his parents and friends. Thirty-five is his "life after life" experience with Dumbledore "oops, I shouden'a tole yer that! … "Obliviate!" ...
Ahh… yes... the wand motion for "Heroica" is a "jabbing" motion and it refers to that Muggle fellow, Joseph Campbell, who spent his career categorizing legends, myths and stories from all around the world, then wrote a book called "The Hero With a Thousand Faces." He blatantly revealed the story points which make stories memorable. His book was read by George Lucas (Star Wars), Christopher Vogler (Disney) and many others (including Rowling) who have used it to synthesize their plots so that they will "feel right" and "ring a familiar chord" with readers. You can find a more full description at: The Hero's Journey in the "helps" section.
Review: This is a very DARK book and is probably less appropriate for younger children than "Lord of the Rings" due to its greater "identifiability." The plot is very complicated, deals with mature thematic material, and more than a few, very endearing characters die. All of which most likely make it an intensely interesting fulfillment of the quest 23 year-olds began with Harry when they were 10.
The quote from Aeschylus' "Libation Bearers" is a prayer uttered to "the Gods," who were basically dead progenitors of importance, on behalf of two children: Orestus and Electra. Their father, Agamemnon had been killed by their mother, Clytaemnestra, and their great uncle, Aegisthus, who were lovers. The children, and chorus, "prayed" to the dead for help with vengance; or, the "opportunity to do so." Orestus does receive the opportunity, and does the deed, but finds that the "furies" consider killing your mother to be worse than killing your husband or brother and begin to torment Orestus. Harry's parents are dead, but I'm unable to see any further meaning from the quote except that the wording: "bless the children, give them triumph now" is kinda cute. Difficult are the battles of your parents.
Parent's Guide: This is not a book for under teens. Thematic material including self-sacrifice, tyrany, wanton murder, assisted suicide and others of an adult or mature nature, make this book unsuitable for children under twelve. It is the last book in the series and should probably be read as the author originally wrote it. One book a year, beginning at around 8 or 9 years old. That way when the child reaches this book they will be 14 or 15 and able to understand and place in perspective these adult themes.
The Hero's Journey: With the concluding plot elements revealed in this book, it is interesting to see just how much congruence the Harry Potter series now has to the Campbellian outline. Each of the series books, individually, follow's it's own Hero's journey, of sorts; but, with book 7, the allegory is fulfilled and themes are made evident. The Hero has endured his journey and returned.
- The Dark Lord Ascending
- Death Eater's Snape and Yaxley apparated to a large mansion with Iron gates and held up their left arms, showing the Dark Mark, for entrance. A pure white peacock gave away the opulence that was the home of Lucius Malfoy. When they entered the "council" room, Voldemort beckoned Snape to sit at his right hand. Everyone seemed to be ignoring a "lifeless" body turning slowly in the air above the table, and Voldemort asked for a report. Snape informed that the Order of the Phoenix was going to move Harry Potter to a secret, heavily protected, location (the home of one of the order) "Saturday next, at nightfall." Voldemort's eyes glared into Snape's so intently that others turned away for fear of being "scorched." He appeared to pass Voldemort's legillimancy test; because, the snake-like personage asked for more. Snape, citing "the source we discussed," said that the Order would no longer have anything to do with the Ministry because they were convinced that it had been "infiltrated" by the Death Eaters - which actually was correct. Snape opined that Harry would be unobtainable once there, "unless the ministry has fallen."
All then turned to Yaxley, who had been given the task of "taking down" the ministry. He claimed that the auror Dawlish had said that Potter would not be moved until the day before his 17th birthday and that both Auror's and The Order would do it. He also reported that he had placed an imperious curse on Pius Thicknesse, the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. He said that their attempt on the life of Scrimgeour wouldn't fail because Thicknesse had regular contact with not only him but all the heads of departments. Voldemort believed Snape's version - that Dawlish had been confunded, and the Order would have nothing to do with the ministry; so, decided to "take Potter" during their journey to his new hiding place. He told the Death Eaters that he would "do it myself," so there would be no foul-ups. Uncharacteristically, he took responsibility for the boy's several previous "escapes," and said that he "knew better now." At Voldemort's words, a scream was heard "below their feet," and Wormtail was sent to "quiet the prisoner." Voldemort told Lucius Malfoy that he would "not need a wand any more" and demanded that he give it over, for use in killing Harry. Lucius did, answering that it was elm with a dragon heartstring core, and then looked disappointed when Voldemort didn't offer his wand in exchange. Noticing the look, Voldemort began a series of taunts to Lucius, Draco and Narcissa about their not being happy with his presence in their house. When Bellatrix tried to interject, Voldemort taunted her with the marriage of "their relative," Nymphadora Tonks, to the werewolf Remus Lupin, and ordered her to "prune her family tree."
Voldemort then reanimated the floating body, hanging in the air, and introduced her as Charity Burbage, the Muggle Studies teacher at Hogwarts. Voldemort quoted her recent article defending Muggle's, and, as she plead with Snape for help, killed her with Avada Kedavra. As her body fell to the table, Draco fell off his chair and Voldemort told Nagini: "dinner."
- JKR is communicating bluntly, from the start, that this is NOT the same Harry Potter adventure we FIRST started reading 14 years ago. Despite claiming in interviews that she would always write for children - her definition of "children" seems to have changed.
The "Enemy" is much more clearly defined now. We've been told that Snape is skillful with Voldemort - now we see it. People have labeled Voldemort as wantonly, and capriciously evil - now we see it. Tyranny is the ultimate act of Narcissism - absolutely no one else matters but yourself. His accepting blame was a sham, said to 'preempt' others' judgment of his blunder.
Chapter 1 Re-introduces Voldemort and the Death Eaters (in case you had forgotten) and basically "set's up" the problem.
Snape: Our doubts about his alignment seem to be settled here. Giving Voldemort the timing of Harry's vulnerability is treason to the cause.Parent's Guide: Unfortunately, the author chose this chapter to read, publicly, to children at the book launch. Television cameras panned the faces of eight and nine year-olds as Voldemort terrified his Death Eaters, held a screaming captive in the basement, and plotted the death of Harry. If that were not enough, the chapter concluded by revealing a female teacher which Voldemort had captured. He then proceeded to mercilessly torture her before wantonly killing her and telling his snake that her body was its dinner! What, on earth, was Rowling thinking? This type of thematic material is NOT appropriate for children of that age - under any sensible parents guidelines. The death of a teacher, even fictional, produces a great deal of emotional turmoil to elementary grade students. Such children, subjected to the story, will need reassurance, probably more than once, of its fictional nature. The mental image of being eaten by a snake may carry over to other experiences with death the child might have had.Hero's Journey: The "road of trials" continues for Harry as the Hero. The trials of previous books have been but a prologue to what, we are assured, is the battle finale' between Harry and Voldemort. It is clear that Harry is still unprepared for battle and will need the same "supernatural" help that he has received here-to-fore. As described in Campbell's outline, Harry will need to confront his nemesis, and all he represents, as a critical part of his journey. He will need to see his arch-enemy not as ethereal and invincible but as mortal and defeatable not as Voldemort but as the unfortunate orphan Tom Riddle.
- In Memoriam
- Harry Potter cut himself on a fragment of broken mirror while he was cleaning out his trunk, in his bedroom at the Dursley home, four days before his birthday. He then tripped over a "booby trap" half-full tea cup outside his door on his way to the bathroom to clean the blood from his finger, and realized just how woefully inadequate his knowledge of spells was. He didn't even know a healing charm. He saw that the only thing left of Sirius' magic mirror was a two inch fragment and a bunch of glass powder in the bottom of his trunk. He was leaving most all of his school stuff behind and had placed only a few books, potion kit, invisibility cloak, photograph album, letters and his wand into a rucksack. He carried the Marauder's Map and "R.A.B." locket in his pocket. He re-read a newspaper which had reported: the resignation of Charity Burbage from Hogwarts, and a "memoriam" about Albus Dumbledore, former Headmaster, who had been killed by Severus Snape. In it, Elphias Doge, a classmate of Dumbledore's, reminisced about his friendship. He said that Dumbledore had befriended him, when no-one else would because of his Dragon Pox scars; and, had admitted that he knew his father, Percival, had been guilty of the attack on three young Muggle's which had placed him Azkaban, where he later died. Despite some who thought Albus must be anti-Muggle, like his father, he actually championed Muggle rights; and that had gained him many enemies. In his FIRST year, Albus was clearly known as the most brilliant student ever seen at Hogwarts. He was generous and encouraging and loved to teach. He won every prize at the school and corresponded with: Nicolas Flamel, Bathilda Bagshot (historian), and Adalbert Wafling (theoretician);
as well as, Transfiguration Today, Challenges in Charming, and The Practical Potioneer where he routinely submitted articles. His brother, Aberforth, entered Hogwarts three years later; and, although friends with his brother, was unlike him in that he settled arguments by dueling rather than reasoned discussion. Doge said that before they could take their traditional graduation "tour of the world" together, Dumbledore's mother, Kendra, died, leaving Albus with a younger brother and sister to care for. Within a year, Albus' sister, Ariana, who had been in poor health for a long time, also died, and Albus felt personally responsible for it, which seemed to leave a mark on him forevermore. Albus and Aberforth became estranged until a later reconciliation to cordiality. Doge recounted Dumbledore's accomplishments, including: discovery of 12 uses for dragon blood, judgments while Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, and the ferocious and terrible duel with Grindelwald in 1945 which was a "turning point in magical history" equal to the introduction of the "statue of secrecy" and downfall of "you-know-who."
Harry felt guilty for never asking Dumbledore anything about his past. He hardly knew the man except for his one question: "What do you see in the Mirror of Erised" and he thought that the answer "myself holding thick woolen socks" must not have been honest. The final piece of clutter in his packing was today's newspaper and an article about Rita Skeeter's forth-coming 900 page book: "The Life and Times of Albus Dumbledore," by Betty Braithwaite. Skeeter claimed she paid Galleons to obtain a "source that journalists would swap their wands for." Although giving no real facts, she insinuated that Dumbledore had "dabbled in the Dark Arts," "hushed a murky past," had a brother "with a fondness for fiddling with goats, and a Muggle-maiming father," "nasty mother and sister," "plagiarized Ivor Dillonsby's paper about dragon blood," "brought Grindelwald in after he had peacfully surrendered," and had an "unhealthy and sinister relationship with Harry Potter." What upset Harry further was the Skeeter claim that she still had a "close bond" with him, since her article in the Quibbler. She insinuated that Dumbledore "fell, jumped or was pushed" from the tower, Harry was first seen running away, and then gave evidence against Snape, for whom he has had "a notorious grudge."
Even though Doge had written that "Skeeter's book contains less fact than a Chocolate Frog card," Harry's mind was blinded by fury over the lies. In a half daze, he fondled the broken piece of mirror while thinking of Dumbledore; and, for a brief moment, there was a "flash of brightest blue" in the mirror, which he thought he must have imagined. If anything, "the bright blue eyes of Albus Dumbledore would never pierce him again."
- The Dursleys Departing
- Still gazing into the mirror where, for a split second, he had thought he saw Dumbledore's eye, Harry was startled by the bellow of his Uncle, Vernon Dursley, demanding that he come down and talk, immediately, "please." His relatives all had their coats on, but his uncle anxiously told Harry that he had "changed his mind" (again) and now they "weren't going." He accused Harry of a plot to steal their house once they were "hidden" and out of the way. Kingsley Shacklebolt and Arthur Weasley had come to talk with the Dursley's, several weeks ago, and offered them sanctuary from Voldemort, once Harry was of age. They were able to convince them, initially, that the Dursley's were in danger, either as targets or as hostages (and at the later, both Harry and his uncle had both paused - probably wondering the same thing: if Harry really would attempt rescue). Dursley brought up his tired arguments again: HE wasn't really back (yes, he was);
why couldn't it be the MINISTRY who shielded them (it had been infiltrated);
and, if his family went, why couldn't they go with Kingsley, who they liked (because he was guarding the Prime Minister and was busy). Harry finally lost patience with the arguments, and got in Dursley's face saying: Voldemort "kills Muggles for fun." Even the fog is from dementors, he reminded, and "if you can't remember what they are, ask your son!" Even at that, his uncle still continued to argue; until, the terrified Dudley broke in and stammered that he WAS "going with these Order people." Dedalus Diggle and Hestia Jones arrived to take the Dursley's away. They planned to drive in their car to a place where they then could Disapparate to the safe location. Harry, on the other hand, was to have gone with Mad-Eye Moody via Side-Along-Apparition (so the ministry wouldn't have any excuse to arrest Harry);
but, they were now trying to time his departure from the house with the Dursley's Disapparition, thus the charm would break when they all headed for safety.
Hestia and Dedalus offered to leave the room while Harry and the Dursley's said farewell; but, Vernon merely blurted out "It's good-bye then," started to offer his hand in a handshake, then swung it limply after he thought better of it. As they were leaving, Dudley merely stood there and asked, puzzled, "why isn't he coming with us?" Then, when given a superficial answer, he asked, "but where's he going to go." Hestia became incensed that the family obviously had no idea of what Harry had gone through, what danger he was in, or what he meant to the wizarding world. Harry explained that it "was ok," he was "used to it" and that they pretty much thought he was just "a waste of space." He was absolutely stunned to hear the words: "I don't think you're a waste of space," coming from Dudley. "You saved my life," Dudley said, and Harry realized that the empty cup of tea outside his bedroom door had probably not been a booby-trap after all. Hestia, still upset, observed that Dudley hadn't said "thank you" at all; but, Harry interjected that "coming from Dudley, that's like 'I love you'." Dedalus and Hestia told Harry that the hopes of the wizarding world went with him. Touchingly, Dudley held out his hand to shake Harry's, and said "See you." Harry responded, "Yeah, maybe. Take care, Big D." Petunia stopped in the door, looking like she had something more to say, but then brusquely left the house.
- The Seven Potters
- Harry watched out his window as the Dursley's drove away with their unlikely companions. Hedwig seemed angry with him, probably because he hadn't been letting her out to fly. Even his mild teasing about how much they were going to "miss this wonderful place full of memories," didn't help. With a roar, several people rippled into site as their Disillusionment Charms lifted. Hagrid, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Nymphadora Tonks, Remus Lupin, Alastor Moody, Hermione Granger, Fleur DeLacour and Mundungus Fletcher were there; in addition to Arthur, Bill, Fred, George and Ron Weasley. They had brought a Motorcycle, brooms and Thestrals, in addition to several sacks of clothing. Mad Eye explained that Pius Thicknesse had "gone over" and had placed laws against Floo connections, port keys or Apparition in or out of Harry's house - ostensibly for Harry's own "protection" but really to trap him inside the house. He also explained that Harry still had "the Trace" on him which detects magical activity around under-seventeen's. So, he said, they were all going to use "normal," untraceable transportation, and there would be "seven Harry Potters." Harry absolutely refused to let them have any of his hair to add to Moody's polyjuice potion; because, he didn't want anyone risking their life because of him. But, they all backed him down, and Mad Eye said they would take it by force if necessary, so Harry relented. There were twelve, Order related, houses around London which had been given heavy protective charms, in order to confuse anyone who was watching about their destinations. Moody's, Tonks parents, Kinglsey's, Auntie Muriels and the Weasley's houses all had been given protection. Harry would go with Hagrid on Sirius' old motorcycle (which had been souped up by Arthur) to the Tonks home, where he would take a port key to the Burrow. Hermione would take the potion and be escorted by Kingsley on a Thestral. Ron by Tonks on a broom, George by Lupin on a broom, Fred by Arthur on a broom and Fleur by Bill on a Thestral. Hagrid had to intimidate Mundungus to take the potion, as they had planned, and be escorted by Mad Eye on a broom. Mundungus still was complaining about going with Mad Eye so was told that "he was the one who needed watching." The six "potential Harry's" all took their potion and soon began to undress "Harry" all around the room. It seemed his bare body was being exhibited all around the room and Harry felt that they all seemed "much too willing" to expose his skin to the world as they changed clothes. Some even felt a compulsion to comment on how it looked or felt. Once the Dursley's and Harry had left the house, with full intent to never come back, the protective spell would be lifted. Harry put his rucksack and Hedwig in the sidecar with him and they awaited the signal to leave.
Immediately upon leaving they were surrounded by at least 30 hooded Death Eaters, who evidently knew they were coming! Scattering in different directions, Harry and Hagrid were chased by at least 4 who fired spells at them - all of which were the green killing spells, aimed directly at Hagrid. One spell missed and hit Hedwig, dropping her to the bottom of her cage. Hagrid pressed the green modified button and a brick wall sprung out of his tail-pipe. Only one Death Eater smashed into it and fell to the ground. Harry cast stunning spells back at their attackers, but a second button, which produced a net, didn't stop any at all. The third button produced a dragon flame out of the tail-pipe; but, the burst of speed seemed to shatter the bolts holding the sidecar on the cycle. Harry fell and needed to use Wingardium Leviosa to stay aloft until Hagrid could come back and retrieve him. As he was lifted onto the cycle, Harry grabbed his rucksack, then he used "Confringo" to explode the sidecar when it was near a Death Eater, knocking him off his broom. As Hagrid used the "purple button" dragon flame again, the exhaust knocked a hood from the following Death Eater revealing: Stan Shunpike. Harry used "Expelliarmus" against him; but, it missed and Stan cried out "that's him, that's the REAL one." The Death Eaters pulled back, and they were alone for only a moment, when Harry's scar split with pain. Two killing curses flew past him and Harry turned to see Voldemort flying on the wind without a broom. The bike tumbled in the air from all the attack; and, Harry threw curses wildly while holding on. He could see a Death Eater raise his arm to attack and Hagrid leapt onto him in mid-air knocking him from his broom. Together they fell toward the ground. Although Harry couldn't see Voldemort anywhere, he saw a Death Eater leap out of the way and, as he was blinded by pain, heard "Mine!" then "Avada…" Harry's wand began acting all on its own. It drug his hand around, like on a string, then fired a spurt of golden fire. He heard a scream of fury; then, a Death Eater yelled, and Voldemort cried "No!" Harry pressed the "purple button" and fired toward the ground while he cried "accio Hagrid" trying to save his friend. Voldemort followed and screamed "give me your wand Selwyn." Harry watched as the evil incarnate raised his arm to curse, but then unexpectedly vanish. Speeding toward the ground Harry saw Hagrid's motionless body, tried to brake, but crashed into a muddy pond.
- Fallen Warrior
- Harry came to consciousness with Ted Tonks standing over him; his broken tooth, arm and ribs having been mended; and, Hagrid being taken care of in the back room. Everyone was surprised that there were Death Eaters; but, their protective charms worked which is why Voldemort had vanished as Harry crossed them. Harry initially drew his wand to defend against Ted's wife Andromeda, who looked almost like her sister Bellatrix Lestrange. They took a silver-backed, hairbrush, Port-Key back to the Burrow where they were greeted by Mrs. Weasley. Ron and Tonks had missed their rusty oil can Port Key and Arthur missed their old sneaker with Fred. Lupin appeared next holding an unconscious and wounded George, missing an ear. Remus grabbed Harry and demanded to know that he had a grindylow in his office during their first visit as 'password' type information to make sure it wasn't Harry who had been the imposter traitor. Hagrid was upset that he hadn't been checked until reminded that polyjuice potion wasn't meant for non-human use. There was a traitor but it didn't seem like anyone in the Order because Voldemort didn't know about the use of decoys. Lupin mildly chastised Harry for the 'mercy' he showed to Stan Shunpike; because, the 'Expelliarmus' charm was becoming known as his 'signature charm' after having used it against Voldemort. Harry, indignantly retorted that he "wasn't going to blast people just because they were there. That's Voldemort's job." As Lupin advised that George's ear couldn't be fixed because it had been 'Dark Magic'd' off, Hermione and Kingsley came using their bent coat hanger. Kingsley questioned Lupin like he had done to Harry. The last words of Dumbledore to them both had been: "Harry is the best hope we have. Trust him." They identified Travers as one of the attackers and had been attacked by Voldemort as well but he had left. It had been Snape who had cut George's ear off with Sectumsempra. Arthur and Fred arrived, finally, and George told them that he "felt saint like you know, Holey." Then Ron and Tonks came on their brooms, and Hermione threw herself at Ron. They had injured Rudolphus but had been fiercely attacked by Bellatrix which delayed them to Auntie Muriel's.
A thestral brought Bill and Fleur who related the news that Mad-Eye was dead. Voldemort himself had gone for the Mundungus Harry first and Mundungus turned 'turncoat' and disapparated leaving Mad-Eye to be hit full in the face with the curse. Bill reminded them all that it had been Mundungus who had suggested the seven Harry's; so, because Voldemort hadn't known about it, it couldn't have been Mundungus who was the traitor. Mad-Eye had warned that Voldemort would think the real Harry was with the most experienced Auror's first, and he did go after Mad-Eye first then switched to Kingsley. Hagrid was getting drunk on "medicinal" alcohol and Fleur made the comment that "someone" must have been careless and "let slip" the date. Harry, remembering Hagrid's letting slip information about "fluffy" in exchange for a dragon's egg, said "it may have been an accident. I trust all of you. I don't think anyone in this room would ever sell me to Voldemort." Lupin told Harry that he sounded like his father James who "would have regarded it as the height of dishonor to mistrust his friends." Lupin and Bill went to try and recover Mad-Eye's body. Harry said that he needed to be going as well, to which everyone seemed to come 'unglued'. A hundred arguments were thrown at him including trying to shame him into capitulation. His scar was beginning to hurt and when George tried to throw up having lost his ear to get Harry safe, Harry bellowed "I KNOW" being hurt over their lack of understanding that he was just trying to keep them all safe. Hermione, as typical, didn't believe his story about his wand having acted on its own and started ragging on him; so, when his scar seared with pain, he went alone in to the garden. At the pain's peak, Harry heard Voldemort torturing Ollivander complaining that he had "told me the problem would be solved by using another's wand." The old wand maker couldn't understand why Lucius' wand was destroyed because the "connection only exists between your two wands." When Harry 'awakened,' Ron and Hermione were there so he told them about his vision. And, characteristically still, Hermione started in, again, with "he's taking over the Ministry and the newspapers and half the Wizarding world! Don't let him inside your head too!"
- The Ghoul in Pajamas
- Even though he wanted to get going, Harry really couldn't leave the Burrow until he was seventeen because he still had "the trace" on him for four more days. The wedding was in five and they were expected to stay for that. While Mrs. Weasly was in the scullery overseeing her mangle and dustbins doing "automatic" housework she began interrogating Harry for information that she hadn't been able to get out of Ron or Hermione. But Harry rebuffed her attempt at bullying information about his "mission" from him, so she decided to keep the kids all so busy at separate tasks, that they couldn't plan anything. He couldn't even be alone with Ginny. And the one time he did, Ginny kissed him only to have Ron catch them and fly off the handle to Harry about leading her along and breaking her heart again. They abandoned Gimmalud Place because the "secret keeper post" that Dumbledore was keeping passed down to all the 20 people he had confided in after his death. Moody had placed some anti-Snape cursed before he died. Scrimgeour was keeping the Voldemort attack and the Azkaban breakout secret from the press; and had been keeping shut up in his office for weeks. Mrs. Weasley erred in her assignments once and the kids had a moment to talk. Hermione had been packing for days and had just about everything crammed into a magically enlarged purse, including her books, potions, tent and clothes (including Ron's underpants). She had modified her parents memories to forget that they had a daughter, their names and with a desire to move to Australia - Wendell and Monica Wilkins. Ron showed Harry that he had charmed the ghoul in their attic to look like him with a severe case of spattergroit. Dressed in Ron's pajamas it was looking forward to living in Ron's room after they left. That way neither of them would be missed when they didn't go back to Hogwarts. Hermione said that she was surprised it had worked; but, she had used accio to summon a Horcrux book, which Dumbledore had removed from the library, from his office to the girls dormitory just after his funeral. They figured that it was the book Riddle had seen when at school, before Dumbledore became headmaster, and warned that even making one made your soul extremely unstable, let alone six. There was a way to put your soul back together but excruciatingly painful with remorse! You've got to feel what you've done and the book said the pain of it could destroy you. It can only be destroyed by something so destructive that it can't repair itself. Basilisk venom only has one antidote phoenix tears. Hermione explained that a Horcrux is an anti-human being. When a human gets killed, his soul is untouched; but, a Horcrux is dependant on its container. While the container is intact, the bit of soul can flit in and out of someone IF they get too close, either emotionally or prolonged exposure.
The Burrow had never looked so proper. Both the Order and the Ministry had placed security enchantments. Guests had to arrive on a hill and be brought down. Fleur's parents and sister arrived and were pleasant house guests. When asked, Harry told Mrs. Weasley that he just wanted a quiet dinner for his birthday. When he watched the work she was having to go through, he felt a wave of remorse for the trouble he was causing them.
- Mangle: A device introduced in the '70's to America, to replicate the 'mass production' nature of commercial laundry equipment in the average home. Two heated, linen covered, rollers turned, in opposite directions, pulling clothes between them 'ironing' them flat. The timing of this invention's release, largely spelled it's own demise. Introduced only months before 'wash and wear' coatings on clothing (which made them need no ironing) largely caused these expensive machines to disappear. The term, and possibly the machines, were more meaningful in Europe, where it possibly means, what American's called, 'wringers.' They were rollers attached to old-time, tub washing machines, and used for 'wringing' out the water from clothes. They too disappeared, but probably before they did in Europe.Descriptive words: Mangle, dust bin's, scullery - add to the author's "mideval," or at least "old time," literary motif.
- The Will of Albus Dumbledore
- He awoke with his scar prickling having dreamt that he was walking along a mountain road, at dawn, looking for a man. Ron told him that he had been repeating the name: "Gregorovitch"; but, neither could remember the "poor bloke," who it seemed Voldemort was abroad, looking for. It was his birthday and his first "adult" spell was to "Accio" his glasses to him, to just flippantly try out spells, now that his "trace" was expired. He tried to magically tie his shoelaces, and accidentally got them in a terrible knot; so, Ron advised him that he had better "do his fly by hand." Ron gave him a book: Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches; which, he said, the twins had given him and was "pure gold." The Weasley's gave Harry the traditional "coming-of-age" watch, that wizards always receive, and apologized that it wasn't new… it was her brother Fabian's (who had been killed by Death Eaters). Harry didn't hear the rest of her apologies; because, he was trying to put a lot of unsaid things into the hug that he was giving her. Hermione had given him a new Sneakoscope. Bill and Fleur, an enchanted razor; chocolates from the Delacour's; and, a big box of Wizard Wheezes merchandise from Fred and George. Ginny asked him to come with her, and she took him to her bedroom. She said that she wanted to give him something that he could remember her by, in case he met some veela while he was "off doing," and kissed him hard. Unfortunately Ron caught them; and, after Ginny left, tore into Harry for "messing around" now, after he had previously ditched her. Ron complimented Hermione on her decorations for Harry's party, and Harry just knew that there was probably a chapter on compliments in the book that Ron had given him. Hagrid gave Harry a very rare "Mokeskin" a bag to wear around your neck, and put things in, which no one else could remove. Charlie told Hagrid that Norbert was called "Norberta" now. A bright silver weasel flew in, and spoke in Mr. Weasley's voice: "Minister of Magic coming with me." It was his patronus and through everyone into a tizzy.
Rufus Scrimgeour gave his apologies, then told Harry that he required a private word with he, Ron and Hermione. He began by trying to interview them each separately, which Harry blatantly refused. Reluctantly, he then told them that Albus Dumbledore had left them some items in his will. Harry asked why the delay and Hermione surprised Scrimgeour by citing wizarding law. The ministry only had power to examine and seize items if they had powerful evidence that the possessions were illegal, she challenged him; and said that he was only giving them back now because the 31 days are up. Scrimgeour wanted to know why Dumbledore would single out each of the kids for items in his will. Ronald Bilius Weasley his Deluminator, "in the hope that he will remember me when he uses it"; Hermione Jean Granger his copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, "in the hope that she will find it entertaining and instructive"; and Harry James Potter the Snitch he caught in his first Quidditch match, "A reminder of the rewards of perseverance and skill." The Minister challenged Harry that he "knew why it (the snitch) would be a great hiding place for a small object"; but, it was Hermione who had to advise that it was because a Snitch had a "flesh memory," of the first person to touch it, in case of a disputed capture. Scrimgeour made Harry hold it in order to see what it did, but nothing happened. Before he left, quite unhappy, Scrimgeour said that Dumbledore had left him the "sword of Godric Gryffindor" as well, but that "it wasn't Dumbledore's to give" and it was going to stay with the school. He then tried to get Harry into an argument and possibly reveal that he was "the chosen one." Harry, tired of his continued rhetoric challenged him about all the cover-up he was doing, while Voldemort was running around loose killing people. Scrimgeour advanced on Harry and poked him in the chest with his wand, burning a hole in his shirt. Ron's preparation to defend Harry, was stopped by Harry so as not to "give him any excuse to arrest us." Scrimgeour yelled that it was time Harry "learned some respect"; and Harry countered that "It's time you earned it!" The commotion caused the already nervous birthday guests to rush in the door and Scrimgeour immediately calmed. He accused Harry of not thinking that the Ministry had the same desire both he and Dumbledore had "we should be working together" he said. Harry held up the Umbrige-scarred back of his hand and said "I don't like your methods, Minister, remember?"
After his party, and everyone was asleep, Harry, Ron and Hermione met in the attic. Harry put his Marauder's Map, shard of Sirius's mirror and R.A.B's locket into his mokeskin purse. They believed Dumbledore must have known that his will and bequests would be examined, and that they must contain some coded purpose; but, were miffed that he hadn't given them at least a hint about them while he was alive. Harry reminded them that he had not caught the snitch with his hands rather, he had swallowed it. He put it in his mouth and the words "I open at the close" appeared on it. No one had a clue, however, what they meant. Harry was exasperated by the puzzle, and Hermione was as well. Ron chastised her for not knowing the stories of Beetle the Bard, like every wizard child did. They both had to remind him that neither of them were raised in wizard homes, on wizard bedtime fairy tales.
- Fabian's Watch: This kind of gift tells us more about what Molly thinks of Harry than pages of words the author could write.Fabian's watch: Ask what it must mean for someone to give a family heirloom. When someone you care about dies, the few objects left behind (especially those given as gifts) take on a very special, and dear, meaning. Molly's brother was killed by Death Eaters, an idea that she worries might happen to other members of her family, so his watch has intense meaning to her. It takes an equally intense emotion to prompt giving such a treasure as a gift, she must love Harry dearly. It is unfortunate that sometimes a recipient of such a gift might not recognize it's significance. Harry seems to understand; but, not as fully as he will when he gives something of his fathers to someone he loves.
- The Wedding
- Harry was polyjuice-transformed into a redheaded Muggle boy, cousin Barney and acted, like the rest, as ushers for the wedding. Of course Fred, calling George "his Holeyness," escorted the beautiful veela cousins into the tent speaking French, and George got the middle aged relatives. Ron took in Perkins from the ministry and Harry got Lupin, who looked miserable, and Tonks who explained that the ministry was being very anti-werewolf. Ron was confronted with Xenophilius Lovegood in egg-yolk yellow robes and an odd triangular eye medallion; then, Luna tardily came up and recognized Harry immediately "from your expression." Ron escorted his ornery, 107-year-old, Great Auntie Muriel in and Hermione arrived telling the three that Muriel had called her a "Muggle-born with bad posture and skinny ankles." Viktor Krum also came which seemed to upset Ron. Fleur's simple white dress seemed to magically radiate a silvery glow beautifying everyone else in the procession, including Ginny and Gabrielle; and, upon reaching Bill, he looked as though he'd never been bitten by Greyback. A short ceremony pronounced them "bonded for life" as a shower of silver stars fell over them. Balloon's burst, birds flew, the tent disappeared and a pool of gold spread out from the center into a gleaming dance floor surrounded by white tables and chairs. As the three sat at a table, Krum sat down with them asking about Xenophilius Lovegood. Ron and Hermione left, dancing, leaving Krum alone with Harry and saying that, if he weren't at a party, he would duel Lovegood for wearing that symbol of the Dark wizard Grindelvald, who Dumbledore had defeated. He had killed Krum's grandfather and, while at Durmstrang, carved that symbol on a wall. Some students had foolishly copied it onto their clothes until "those of us who had lost family to Grindelvald taught them better." Krum took his wand out of his robe and, when Harry saw it, he remembered the Triwizard Tournament and that Ollivander had said that Gregorovitch had made Krum's wand. Krum said that Gregorovitch had retired years ago and that he had the man's last wand. Harry realized that his holly and phoenix feather wand had conquered Voldemort's borrowed wand on the night they left which is why Voldemort was searching for Gregorovitch. Harry spotted Elphias Doge, Dumbledore's old friend, and whispered that he was really Harry Potter and asked if he could talk to him.
Doge said that he had called Skeeter an "interfering trout," which is why she had attacked his sanity, and told Harry not to believe even one word of what she said. Muriel, hearing Skeeter's name, sat down with them, saying that she loved the woman and was going to buy her upcoming book. The two began arguing about their opinions of Dumbledore. Muriel saying that there were "funny rumors," most didn't know he had a sister Ariana, she was probably a squib, and Albus may have "done away" with her; Doge saying Ariana was in ill health, and Albus was quiet because he was devastated. Muriel repeated that Albus was "away" while their "terrifying, Muggle-born," mother kept Ariana in the cellar; Doge said Kendra, their mother, was a fine woman and Ariana wasn't a squib. Muriel said her cousin, Lancelot, was a healer at St Mungo's and no healer had ever treated the girl. Muriel, getting drunk and snapping her fingers for more champagne, had Doge near tears. She opinioned that Ariana might have made a bid for freedom and killer their mother, then Albus returned to continue the shameful confinement. Aberforth, his brother, had fought with Albus at their mothers funeral and broken his nose. Muriel claimed that she had eavesdropped on her mothers friends, Bathilda Bagshot, conversation and heard that Aberforth had shouted that it was all Albus's fault Ariana was dead then punched him in the face. Albus didn't even defend himself. Muriel thought it was Bagshot who Skeeter had gotten her information from, even though the old historian was "Quite gaga these days." "Worth a trip to Godric's Hollow," she said, where Bagshot lived, neighbors to the Dumbledore's since they "moved there after Percival was imprisoned."
Harry sat stunned thinking that Dumbledore's lack of telling him they had experiences in common at Godric's Hollow was tantamount to a lie. Hermione sat next to him as a silver lynx patronus fell onto the dance floor and said, in the loud, deep, slow voice of Kingsley Shacklebolt, "The Ministry has fallen. Scrimgeour is dead. They are coming."
- A Place to Hide
- Panic ensued and many guests began Disapparating, the protective spells apparently broken. Harry took Hermione's terrified hand and ran through the fleeing crowd until they found Ron who also took Hermione's hand. They felt Hermione turn, then the familiar squeeze of Disapparition. Hermione panted that they had landed in Tottenham Court Road, a Muggle area, and they hurried to change clothes. The boys initial panic, over not being prepared with their things, resolved when Hermione told them that she had been carrying her pre-packed small beaded handbag with her for weeks, containing everything! Even money from her "Building Society" account. Harry donned the invisibility cloak and they all walked down the road toward a small café, Hermione having to endure cat-calls from local men lining the road. When they were seated inside, Hermione ordered drinks and responded to an un-doable suggestion from Ron by saying "we know what's going on. Voldemort's taken over the ministry." A pair of burly workmen squoze into the booth next to them, then turned away the affronted waitress when she came for their order. When the kids got up to leave, the workmen made identical movements; and, without even thinking, Harry unconsciously mirrored them, drawing his wand. The Death Eater's spells barely missed Ron as he pushed Hermione out of the way, and Harry's "Stupefy" spell took the large blond one out. The other produced ropes out of his wand to bind Ron, then Harry's "Stupefy" missed. Harry was pinned against the wall by the twisted-faced Death Eater's "Expulso," but Hermione used the body bind to stop the fight. Ron was released and Harry chastised himself for not recognizing the blond Death Eater who had been there the night Dumbledore was killed. Ron recognized the Death Eater's as Dolohov and Thorfinn Rowle (the big one). Instead of killing them, Harry suggested using the memory charm, so that no one would actually know that they were there; but, none of them had actually performed it before. Hermione said she "knew the theory" so uttered "Obliviate," and it worked.
They had no idea how the Death Eater's tracked them during their Disapparition; so, Harry over-rode Hermione's objections and decided to go to Number 12 Grimmauld Place, despite the fact that Snape could get in. They Disapparated to its steps, and Harry unlocked the door. The troll's leg umbrella stand was on its side, like someone had been there before them. As they stepped forward, Mad-Eye Moody's voice called out: "Severus Snape?" Harry answered "No," but something cold hit him and his tongue curled up in his mouth. The curse released, but as he stepped forward again, something big and dreadful appeared at the end of the hall raising its arm to curse directly at Harry. He shouted, "No! We didn't kill you!" And, at the word "kill," the apparition dissolved; however, Mrs. Black continued her screaming about "Mudbloods" from her painting, until Harry blasted her curtains shut. Hermione used "Homenum revelio" to reveal that no humans were present in the house except themselves. Looking out the window, they couldn't see that anyone had followed them. Harry's scar burned again as he saw a large shadow and felt a fury not his own. Tiredly, Hermione set off again on her usual nagging about "shutting off" the visions, and Harry felt that he just had to endure her tirade and should never tell them again about his scar. A silver weasel patronus flew through a window and, in Mr. Weasley's voice, said: "Family safe, do not reply, we are being watched." Ron was visibly relieved and Harry told him "I'd feel the same way," but thought to himself of Ginny and that, "I do feel the same way." Hermione said she didn't want to sleep alone and asked for them to sleep in sleeping bags in the same room. The pain in his head reached a crescendo and Harry ran to the bathroom. In his mind there was a long room lit only by firelight, and the Blond Death Eater was on the floor screaming. Voldemort said "more Rowle, or shall we end and feed you to Nagini?" He was telling Draco to curse Rowle or he would get the same thing. "You called me back for this, to tell me that Harry Potter has escaped again?" Harry felt sickened by seeing the use to which Malfoy was being put by Voldemort, and the gaunt, petrified face seemed branded on the inside of Harry's mind, as he lay panting on the bathroom floor after the vision. There was a knock on the bathroom door and Harry opened it to take his toothbrush from Hermione.
- Kreacher's Tale
- Awake on the drawing room floor, Harry saw, through the early morning light, that the others were still asleep. He couldn't help from thinking about his mission, given to him by a man who he had heard so much negative about over the past few hours. He needed to think about something else so he quietly lit his wand and climbed the stairs. The picture of Phineas Black was empty and rooms looked like they had been searched. Sirius' room contained pictures of Muggle girls and motorcycles, stuck with charms so they couldn't be removed. The only wizarding picture was that of him and his 3 closest friends: James, Remus and Peter. One of the papers on the floor was a handwritten note, apparently from Lily to Sirius thanking him for the toy broomstick he had given little Harry for his birthday. Although there was only the first page of the note it mentioned that Harry was already chasing the cat, Bathilda dropped in with stories about Dumbledore that he probably wouldn't like, James was frustrated at being secluded, 'wormy' had visited and seemed 'down' and Dumbledore still had James's invisibility cloak. The last sentence wasn't finished; but, cryptically ended that she didn't know how much to believe of Bagshot's stories, because "it seems incredible that Dumbledore…" He could find no second page and only the bottom half of a photograph of him flying and his fathers feet. He was puzzling that Dumbledore didn't need a cloak to be invisible just as Hermione burst inside very upset that he had gone missing. His telling her about what he had found merely doubled her insistence that they not visit Godric's hollow for fear of Death Eater entrapment. On the way down the stairs they passed the room of Sirius's brother with a sign that said: "Do not enter without the express permission of Regulus Arcturus Black." They had found their R.A.B. who had stolen the locket. Hermione was able to unlock the room and they tried "accio'ing" the locket without effect. It still could have been in there but under counter-enchantments, so they searched the room by hand, but didn't find it. At their failure, Hermione startled herself by remembering that they had found a locket when they had been cleaning the drawing room years ago. They also remembered the Kreacher, the house elf, had made it a habit of stealing the things they were throwing away and hiding them in his cupboard 'nest.' They ran to search it, but it was empty except for an old book: Nature's Nobility: A Wizarding Genealogy. Harry said: "It's not over" and magically called for "Kreacher."
The wizened elf appeared with the same sour expression that he had always had. Harry had to forbid him from calling anyone blood traitor or Mudblood, then asked him if he had stolen the locket back. Reluctantly, Kreacher said "yes," and told them that he had seen Mundungus Fletcher steal it, along with everything else. The elf lamented that "Kreacher had lost master Regulus' locket and had failed in his mission." Then after it had grabbed a poker to punish himself for revealing the information, Harry had to restrain him on the floor. Just as reluctantly, Kreacher recalled for Harry that Regulus had joined the Dark Lord when he was sixteen. A year later, Regulus (who had always liked me) came and said the Dark Lord required an elf… and ordered Kreacher to do whatever the Dark Lord wanted and then to come home. Voldemort had taken him into a cave beside the sea, into a cavern and across a black lake in a boat. Kreacher had to drink the potion in the basin, which made him see terrible things; but, Voldemort only laughed as he dropped the locket into the basin and refilled it and sailed away leaving the elf alone. Kreacher drank from the lake and was pulled under by dead hands. His master had told him to "come home" so Kreacher used "elf magic" to apparate back. Hermione explained that Voldemort would have mistakenly never even considered the abilities of such an inferior being. Regulus was very worried when he was told what happened; so, at first, told Kreacher to hide in the house. Later, very disturbed, he had Kreacher take him to the cave and onto the island. Then, Regulus took the fake locket out of a pocket and ordered Kreacher to switch lockets, after he had himself drunk the potion, then to leave without him. He was supposed to destroy the real locket and never tell anyone else about it. Kreacher watched as Regulus was dragged under the lake, then went home and tried several times to destroy it but couldn't. The elf was wracked with emotion and pain over the telling, and Hermione's trying to comfort him only added to his pain. He had tried to obey Regulus' order to destroy it, but failed and had to punish himself over and over again. Mrs. Black was distraught with grief but Kreacher couldn't tell her what had happened. With Kreacher's continued sobbing, Hermione explained that mistreating house elves was the norm and they responded to people who treated them nicely; like Regulus and Mrs. Black had done and Bellatrix and Cissy had done when Sirius had told him to get out. Seeing this, Harry, kindly, told Kreacher that they wanted to finish "master Regulus' work" and asked him to go bring Mundungus Fletcher to them. Inspired, Harry gave Kreacher the fake locket, which he and Dumbledore had retrieved, to have as his very own. The elf completely decompensated over the kindness and Ron whispered "overkill mate." It was 30 minutes before Kreacher could bow to Harry and Ron, and even make a little 'spasm' toward Hermione, then Disapparate.
- The Bribe
- Creature didn't return for days and they began seeing two cloaked Death Eaters hang around the square outside the house. Things didn't make sense. The ministry reviewed wills so the house was public record; they hadn't sent Snape in; Snape had probably already been there and was tongue tied by Moody's curse or he would have told them how to get in. Harry couldn't take Ron and Hermione's bickering any more so went downstairs alone to wait for Kreacher. The locks on the door began to rattle then open just as he passed them. Moody's alarm called out "Severus Snape?" and the figure arose from the carpet. A voice softly said "It was not I who killed you Albus" and the jinx broke. Harry's wand pointing at him and Mrs. Black screeching insults, Lupin called out "hold your fire"; then, as Ron and Hermione rushed down he nearly told them his life story as "the password." He said he had to apparate precisely onto the top step in order to avoid being seen by the Death Eaters outside. He told them that they were staking out everywhere that had connection to Harry. The Ministry and Death Eaters were one and the same now, he said, and they had full power to perform brutal spells without fear of arrest. Scrimgeour was tortured but apparently didn't tell on Harry. Most guests at the wedding had time to Disapparate; but, every Order connected house was entered and searched at the same time with occupants brutalized. The Burrow was searched and they found the Ghoul but didn't get too close to him. He showed them a copy of the Daily Prophet which, over Harry's picture read: "Wanted for questioning about the death of Albus Dumbledore." The coup was smooth and "virtually silent," Lupin told them, even Scrimgeour had "resigned" and been replaced by Pius Thicknesse! The wizarding world was in a state back to before Voldemort left. Mistrust and suspicion over major changes in policy. They were acting against Muggle-born's now, creating a "registry" for them and demanding that they show their parentage, all the while propagandizing that the only way they could have gotten their power was "by theft or force." If they couldn't prove wizard parents then they suffered punishment. Education at Hogwarts was mandatory now.
Lupin asked Harry directly if he had been given a "mission," and, although Harry refused to answer what it was, he revealed that he had and Ron and Hermione were in on it. Lupin desperately tried to make a case for taking him along with them, even if they didn't tell him what they were doing. His insistence and their refusals to take him escalated to the point that they pointed out his responsibility to his wife, Tonks. His arguments then became more revealing of the torment he had been going through. He said the should have "never married her… even her own family is disgusted by our marriage… my child, will be like me, I'm convinced… they will be a hundred times better off without a father of whom it must be ashamed." Harry took the "devil's advocate offensive and feigned that Lupin was right "people would be pretty ashamed of him." "What would the new regime… do to a half-werewolf who's father was in the Order," Harry said angrily. My father died to save us, he continued, "do you think he'd tell you to abandon your kid to go on an adventure with us?" To Lupin's further statements, Harry continued, "you want adventure… to fill Sirius' shoes… I'd never believed… that the man who taught me to fight dementors… a coward!" Lupin drew his wand before Harry even saw it coming and blasted him back against the kitchen wall. Before the could call him back he had turned and was out the door. Hermione began to chastise Harry and Harry responded; then, Ron took after Harry and, finally Hermione had to reign in the argument. Still flowing with anger Harry remembered flashes of Sirius, Dumbledore and his mother, then spat out: "Parents shouldn't leave their kids unless unless they've got to." Turning to the fireplace and in the oppressive silence, Harry's anger soften and he wondered if his father would have approved of him treating his old friend that way. "But," he finally told the two, "if it makes him go back to Tonks, It'll be worth it."
Lupin's Daily Prophet contained a photograph of Dumbledore's family: Percival, Kendra, Albus, Aberforth and Ariana to accompany an article about Rita Skeeter's upcoming book. Full of obvious opinions-presented-as-fact it claimed that Kendra had continued the "imprisonment" of Ariana after their move to Godric's Hollow from Mould-on-the-Wold following Percival's sentence to Azkaban. Bathilda Bagshot's attempt at making friends was rebuffed by Kendra and the former only ever saw the boys until one night she observed Kendra lead Ariana around the back yard for a brief walk. The not-so-veiled accusation was that Ariana was a Squibb of which Kendra (and the family) was ashamed and keeping locked up. Skeeter claimed that Albus and Aberforth were taught to parrot their mother's excuse that: "My sister is too frail for school." Harry sat, disillusioned and discouraged, when Kreacher returned with a loud "crack." Hermione had to disarm Mundungus who was raising his wand. Kreacher apologized for the delay but "Fletcher has many hidey-holes and accomplices." Mundungus sputtered that he had "never wanted to go on Harry's retrieval but was forced to go by Moody." He never wanted to be a "hero." He said he had "none of 'em Goblets left." Harry, with his wand between Mundungus's eyes, told him to shut up and listen. He wanted the locket that he had stolen. Mundungus said that he was selling in Diagon Alley when a witch came up and asked if he had a license for trading magical artifacts. Was going to fine me until she volunteered to take the locket for a bribe. The kids anxious questions about "who was it" could only be answered with: "A little woman. Bow on top of 'er head. Looked like a toad." That was as good as an answer… Dolores Umbridge!
- Magic Is Might
- Nearly three months had passed since last school year and today (September 1st, 1997) students were meeting at Kings Cross station to return to Hogwarts; many, most likely, with dread for the first time in their lives. The "watchers" in the square had been constant and today were joined by at least six others and possibly dementors, from all of the chilly rain. Harry nearly lost his balance apparating back to the top step but brought news from one of his frequent forays for food. Severus Snape, the Prophet said, had been confirmed as Headmaster of Hogwarts. Not only that, Death Eaters Alecto Carrow and brother Amycus had been appointed as Muggle Studies and Defense Against the Dark Arts professors, respectfully. Hearing the news, Hermione jumped to her feet shouting "Merlin's Pants" and ran from the room to Ron's amusement. She returned with the portrait of Phineas Nigellus from the upstairs room and stuffed it into her purse with difficulty. They didn't want any spies for Snape in their house. They had been watching the Ministry for weeks and knew that no one but high officials could apparate in or out anymore and that Umbridge's office was on the first floor with the minister. Harry decided that tomorrow was the day they would break into the Ministry and try and retrieve the locket. Kreacher had made an unbelievable turn-around since Harry's kindness. He was wearing clean robes, groomed himself, was helpful and considerate and become a good cook. But, Harry had to excuse himself from the soup because his scar began hurting again. "Bathroom," he said as he left the room. His vision this time was of Voldemort interrogating a woman for the location of Gregorovitch. She said that he had moved but Voldemort followed her into her house anyway. When two children rushed into the hall to her screams, Voldemort killed them all. Hermione banged on the bathroom door then demanded he not insult their intelligence when he denied anything was wrong. She began her usual nagging and he, finally, backed her down saying that he didn't like it, but couldn't stop it so he was going to use it to track Voldemort. Harry didn't care that neither of them believed his wand had saved him from Voldemort on its own. "Both Voldemort and I know it," he said, and he is trying to find out why.
The next day, with all of their potions, extendable ears, and decoy detonators, they Disapparated to the Ministry. They found their intended victim, Mafalda Hopkirk, and stunned her. Hiding her in an abandoned theater they took her small "M.O.M. coins" which would allow admittance. Hermione took her hair and, using Polyjuice, became her double. She then was to give a selected maintenance worker a Puking Pastille so Ron could replace him. She got his hair but when she insisted that he go he adamantly refused saying that "today… he must go." Finally he became so ill that he relented and Disapparated. They noticed he wasn't wearing his work clothes, but Ron took his place finding the name, "Reg Cattermole," on the label. Ron and Hermione went out and brought back some hairs for Harry of an unknown man who "had gone home with a nosebleed." When he transformed he was six feet tall and muscular. They found that they had to "flush themselves into a magic toilet" in order to get into the ministry now. The fountain had been replaced by a statue of a witch and wizard on mounds of naked bodies of Muggles, with the caption: "Magic is Might." Yaxley, a Death Eater, accosted Ron (as Cattermole) about needing maintenance to stop it raining in his office. He said that he was on his way to the dungeons to interrogate Mrs. Cattermole about her blood status and Ron better take care of his office, or else! Hermione was trying to explain the needed charms to Ron when the elevator door opened and he had to get out. On their ride to the first floor, Hermione decided to go back and help Ron but the door opened… and there was Umbridge and Pius Thicknesse!
- The Muggle-born Registration Commission
- Umbridge assumed Hermione (Mafalda) was there to accompany her to the Muggle-born interrogation which she ran as: Head of the Muggle-Born Registration Commission. Harry (as Albert Runcorn) got off the lift into the conversation with Minister Thicknesse. He had to explain that he was there looking for Arthur Weasley then needed to tap-dance and back-track because Thicknesse jumped to the conclusion that Weasley was in trouble. Using his cloak, he found a dozen secretaries making pamphlets entitled: "Mudbloods and the dangers they pose to a peaceful Pure-Blood society." He found a mahogany door with Mad-Eye Moody's magical eye in place of where the peep-hole should be. He used a decoy detonator to distract the secretaries while he slipped into Umbridge's office. Using "Accio Locket" failed, as he thought it would, so he had to do a manual search of the entire office. He found nothing except a folder on Arthur Weasley which said that he was: pure-blood; married to a pure-blood; had unacceptable Muggle leanings; seven children - the youngest boy home with a confirmed illness; and WAS BEING TRACKED because "Undesirable No. 1" may show up. He saw a poster of himself on her wall with the same inscription and a "yellow-sticky" note that said "will be punished." Anger exploded inside him as he saw a copy of Skeeter's upcoming book. He opened it to a photograph of Dumbledore standing next to a "golden haired" boy, their arms around each other's shoulders. Just then, the door opened and he was nearly discovered by Thickness who scribbled a note for Umbridge. Harry used the opportunity to exit the room. Fortunately, Harry met a soaking Ron in the elevator but before having a chance to talk, Mr. Weasley stepped in talking to a witch. On the next floor the witch left and Ron explained why he wasn't with his wife in the interrogation. Mr. Weasley told him to try "Meteolojinx Recanto" which had worked for others, and Ron left. Harry tried to leave as well but was blocked by Percy's entrance. At the next floor Percy made a hasty exit but Harry was stopped by Arthur's arm. Weasley told Harry (Runcorn) that he knew it was him who had 'informed' on Cresswell. The only thing Harry could think of saying was to tell him "you know you are being tracked." Harry continued alone to the Department of Mysteries level and put on the cloak.
When he reached the dungeon corridor he found it full of people awaiting hearings and packed with Dementors. The door to a chamber opened and Umbridge was heard to threaten a "convicted" man with the Dementor's kiss if he struggled. She called "Next Mary Cattermole" and Harry slipped in with the woman. Umbridge with Yaxley and Hermione were protected from the Dementors by a patrolling patronus cat. Harry whispered to Hermione, making her jump, at the same time Umbridge leaned forward exposing the locket hanging around her neck. Hermione commented on how pretty it was to Umbridge and she said that it was "an old family heirloom. The S stands for Selwyn… I'm related to them… to almost all pure-bloods." At hearing this blatant lie Harry became so incensed that he stupefied her with a blast of red light, crumpling her over with her head hitting the balustrade. Her patronus cat disappeared and as Yaxley spotted Harry's wand, Harry hit him with "Stupefy" as well. As the Dementor's took control and began to "kiss" Mrs. Cattermole, Harry produced his patronus which completely cleared the room. Hermione grabbed the Horcrux and replaced it with a conjured replica. He told the bewildered Cattermole that she needed to escape with him, retrieve her family and go into hiding. With Hermione's otter patronus they gathered the awaiting people in the hall and advised them to all go into hiding. As they met a soaked Ron (Cattermole) at the Atrium Elevator, Mrs. Cattermole threw herself at him saying she wanted to go home to their children. Ron advised that they knew there were intruders because of a "hole in a door," and Harry had all with wands escort those without wands to the fireplaces. Harry cried "Stop" to the people who were sealing off the fireplaces and told them "this lot need to leave before you seal them." While he was arguing with the wizards the escapees began to vanish. Then the real Reg Cattermole rushed forward and called "Mary!" making the wizard suspicious, so he raised his wand. As Yaxley came toward them, Harry slugged the wizard and told Yaxley that he had been helping Muggle-borns escape. Ron grabbed Mrs. Cattermole and pulled her into the fireplace. The real Cattermole cried "who was that with my wife" and Yaxley seemed to show a gleam of understanding as Harry grabbed Hermione's hand and jumped into the fireplace just missing Yaxley's spell. They found Ron wrestling with Mrs. Cattermole in the toilet and grabbed him to Disapparate. Just as they did, however, Yaxley appeared. The Disapparition seemed funny to Harry and Hermione's hand slipped away just as they landed on the step at Grimmauld Place. There was a purple flash, a scream and suddenly Hermione's vice-like grip attached to his arm before everything went dark again.