Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Chapter Summary and Analysis - Part Three
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 Lost Diadem
- Even though he was torn, cut and bruised, it wasn't difficult to tell that Neville was simply ecstatic to finally see them. As they all climbed up onto the mantelpiece, and into the tunnel, Harry thanked Aberforth for saving their lives twice. "Well look after 'em, then," he said, "I might not be able… a third time." None of them wanted to do any "telling," they all wanted to "hear" about the other's activities. Harry confirmed the rumors that Neville had heard. Neville said that the Death Eater "Carrow's" had been treating Hogwarts like their own personal concentration camp. DADA students had to practice the Cruciatus Curse on other students who were in detention, and Alecto taught that Muggle's were nothing more than animals in Muggle Studies. Neville had been beaten because he refused to do the Cruciatus curse, then was slashed in the face for asking Alecto how much Muggle blood she had in her. When Ron told him that "there was a time and place" for cheek, Neville said: "it helps when people stand up to them, it gives everyone hope. I used to notice that when you did it, Harry." Neville showed them that "Dumbledore's Army" had been reinstated, and they were using their old coins to communicate. But when Luna got captured and Ginny didn't come back, it got harder for the rest of them. Michael Corner was tortured when he released a first-year, the Carrow's had chained up, so they dropped the frivolous mayhem type stuff. Trying to stop Neville, the Death Eaters "went for gran," he told them; but, "Dawlish is still in St Mungo's and Gran's on the run… and is proud of me." Then they decided to "do away with me" so I went into hiding, he said, as he opened a door to reveal where everyone had been hiding the room of requirement. Neville said that when he had gotten hungry, and wished he could get something to eat, the room opened up a passageway to the Hog's Head, and they've been using it ever since. That's how Aberforth had summoned Dobby for Harry's help. Besides Neville, Seamus and Lavender Brown, both Patil twins, Terry Boot, Ernie Macmillan, Anthony Goldstein and Michael Corner were there.
Harry's welcome was broken with pain in his scar and a vision of being in the Gaunt house, beside an empty black hole under the floorboards. Pulling back out of Voldemort's mind he told everyone they needed to "get going," which started a bristling conversation because Harry attempted to keep the other kids out of what he considered "his personal fight." Neville was heatedly reminding Harry that everyone in the room had proven themselves loyal to both Dumbledore and Harry, just as Luna and Dean came through the passageway. Neville had promised Luna and Ginny to tell them when Harry showed up. In a loosing battle, Harry tried again to deflect their insistence on helping with the mission, just as Ginny, Fred, George, and Lee Jordan came through the hole… followed by his first girlfriend, Cho Chang. They told Neville that Aberforth was wanting a kip and wasn't happy about all the traffic in his bar. In Harry's clear frustration, Ron took him aside and asked "why can't they help?" They didn't need to tell them the whole truth about the Horcruxes; but, they could help look for something from Ravenclaw. Padma, Michael, Terry and Cho, all from Ravenclaw, had nothing to offer; but, Luna answered: "The lost Diadem." It was lost centuries ago, and was supposed to enhance wisdom of the wearer. Cho offered to take Harry up to the Ravenclaw common room, so he could see what one looked like from a statue; but, Ginny fiercely offered Luna's assistance! They went out another exit, which opened into a different area of Hogwarts every day. Under Harry's cloak, and using the Marauder's map, the two slipped into the cupboard and ended up in the fifth floor corridor. They made their way to a steep, spiral staircase; then, ascended to a door with no handle or keyhole, but a bronze knocker in the shape of an eagle. When Luna knocked the eagle asked, in a musical voice: "Which came first, the phoenix of the flame?" Luna explained, for entrance into their common room, students had to answer a question… "That way you learn." She called out the answer: "a circle has no beginning," and the knocker said "well reasoned" and opened. At the other side of the largest room Harry had ever seen at Hogwarts, was a white marble statue of Rowena Ravenclaw. It wore a tiara, similar to Auntie Muriel's. Harry stepped out from under the cloak to read, aloud, some tiny writing etched onto it: "'Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure.'" "Which makes you pretty skint witless," said the cackling voice of Alecto Carrow from behind him. Before he could turn and raise his wand, the stoop-shouldered Eater had pressed the black, skull and snake brand on her arm, which summoned Voldemort.
- The Sacking of Severus Snape
- While Harry was occupied with another forced vision of Voldemort being at the entrance to the seaside cave and receiving Alecto's message, Luna threw her first ever stunning spell at the Eater and commented on how "noisy" the spell was. The awakened Ravenclaw's thundered down the stairs as Harry ducked back under the cloak. From outside the door, the students heard Amycus not being able to answer: "where do vanished objects go," and thereby being denied entrance. Harry's scar throbbed and he saw Voldemort walking along the tunnel in the cave. Amycus banged and shouted, afraid of what Voldemort would do if they didn't have Harry. McGonagall was heard accosting Amycus about his loud behavior and being as obstructionistic as she dared. "You answer it… you old besom…," he bellowed; and she, reluctantly, answered "into nonbeing, which is to say, everything." Seeing his sister unconscious, he began hatching a plan to blame their 'not having Potter' onto the kids upstairs, so Voldemort would punish them instead. That incensed and appalled McGonagall, who told him so; and Amycus spit in her face saying: that they (he and his sister) were in charge now. Of course, that incensed Harry, who appeared from under the cloak and said: "you shouldn't have done that," before he cried "crucio!" The despicable man writhed and screamed before he hit a bookcase and was rendered unconscious like Alecto. Astonished, McGonagall had to sit down as Harry told her: "Voldemort is on his way" knowing that the prohibition against using the name no longer applied, because he already knew where Harry was. McGonagall "imperio'd" the awakening Amycus into relinquishing the wands and laying dumbly down next to Alecto, so they could be tied up. Harry confided that they were there to "find something of Ravenclaw's… on Dumbledore's orders…," as his head again split with pain and he saw Voldemort by the basin and realizing that his locket was gone. McGonagall decided to secure the school while Harry did his looking, and Harry told her about the exit in the Room of Requirement. She used her cat patronesses to alert the other heads of houses, then led Harry and Luna, under the cloak, down two floors where they ran into Severus Snape.
Snape snarled, silkily, at her, and she couldn't resist getting in a few insults as well, until he bluntly demanded that she turn over "Potter." Like lightening, she had slashed through the air with her wand; but incredibly, Snape still produced a shield charm. She transfigured a torch into a ring of flame, then into a black serpent and finally into a ring of daggers which attacked Snape. He hid behind a suit of armor, which the daggers punctured; then Flitwick, who came with Sprout and Slughorn, squealed "you'll do no more murders at Hogwarts," and charmed the armor alive. Snape fled, with the others in full pursuit, then leapt from a window and flew (like Voldemort had done, without a broom) into the night. McGonagall organized the evacuation of all students who were under age, and those who didn't want to stay and fight. Flitwick began casting charms of great complexity out the window. "Protego Horribilis," he called as Harry interrupted for information about the Diadem. "No one's seen it in living memory," he told Harry. McGonagall, responding to Slughorn's hesitancy, told him that he could "leave with his students"; but, if he stayed and "offered any resistance or sabotage, they would duel to kill!" As he sputtered, she informed him that "The time has come for Slytherin house to decide upon its loyalties." McGonagall used "Peritotum Locomotor" to animate statues and suits of armor all along the halls; while she was also tongue-lashing the tattling Filch that he should "do something constructive (for a change) and go find Peeves!" At the Room of Requirement, Harry saw that many others had arrived as well: Kingsley, Lupin, Oliver Wood, Katie Bell, Angelina Johnson, Alicia Spinnet, Bill, Fleur and Mr. and Mrs. Weasley. The rest of the DA had informed the Order and they were all coming. Ginny's demands to fight, despite being underage, were quashed by her father who ordered her to remain in the Room of Requirement. Even Percy appeared, and Lupin needed to break the awkward silence by stating that his son Teddy, was with Tonks at her parents. Percy admitted that he was a "pompous prat," but then was at a loss for more words, so Fred offered: "a Ministry-loving, family-disowning, power-hungry moron." Percy said "yes," so Fred broke into a smile and forgave him, with their mom and dad. Ron and Hermione had disappeared and Ginny said that she had heard them "say something about a bathroom," before they had left. Another vision seared through Harry's mind, this time of Voldemort entering the Hogwarts gates with his snake draped around his neck.
- Besom: Scottish, A besom is also 'a bundle of twigs attached to a handle and used as a broom.' Perhaps it is like calling a woman a 'witch' as witches were thought to ride besom-type brooms.
- The Battle of Hogwarts
- All eyes, both living and dead, were upon McGonagall as she explained that Snape had "done a bunk" in the face of Voldemort's attack, and the evacuation plan. Before she finished, a high, cold voice seemed to radiate from the walls telling them that their "efforts are futile," and to "give me Harry Potter" and no one would be hurt. Pansy Parkinson screamed "someone grab him," pointing at Harry; but, the Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws all stood ready to fight any Slytherin who moved. McGonagall told her "thank you… you will leave the hall first." Those of age, who wanted to remained to fight, stayed behind, including half the Gryffindor table. McGonagall had to chivvy Colin Creevey, Peaks and others away. With only 30 minutes left on Voldemort's deadline, Kingsley stepped forward and laid out assignments. Flitwick, Sprout and McGonagall would go to the highest towers Ravenclaw, Astronomy and Gryffindor to cast spells downward. Lupin, Arthur Weasley and he would go to the grounds with their groups. Asking for volunteers to defend the "secret passageways" into the school, Fred and George's hands shot up immediately. McGonagall had to remind Harry, who was caught up in the moment, that he "was supposed to be looking for something!" He couldn't find Ron or Hermione anywhere on the Marauders Map; but, realized that Voldemort had "telegraphed" that he knew Harry was going after Horcruxes, and was worried about one from Ravenclaw, because he stationed the Carrow's in the tower. Then he remembered Flitwick's statement about "living memory" and found the "Gray Lady," Ravenclaw's ghost. She turned out to be Helena Ravenclaw, Rowena's daughter. Under much urgent pressure from Harry, she admitted that she had stolen the Diadem from her mother, but her mother had covered up its loss. On her death-bed she had sent a former lover of Helena's, a baron, to bring her home. A heated argument ensued, when she refused to go, and the baron killed her. Overcome with remorse, the baron killed himself with the same knife. Harry realized that it had been the Bloody Baron, Slytherin's ghost. Then, it dawned on him that Tom Riddle must have silkily, extracted the same information out of Helena when he was at school. She admitted that she had hidden the Diadem in an empty tree trunk in Albania! Riddle had probably retrieved it from the stump, Harry surmised, after graduating from school. Then, after he'd made it a Horcrux, he brought it back to the school to hide it… when he came to ask for a job! That's why he went back to the familiar place after loosing his body.
Before Harry could think of where the Diadem was hidden, Hagrid came flying in through the window, where Grawp had put him down… they heard the voice and had come to help. Then, seeing a broken statue, Harry remembered the one of the ugly old warlock onto which he had place a wig and tiara… in the Room of Requirement! In his arrogance, Riddle had thought he was the only one who would be wise enough to find the room, and it was on the way to Dumbledore's office. With a large explosion, Fang ran off, and Hagrid after him. Sprout and Neville were throwing Mandrakes over the wall at Death Eaters and Fred, Lee and Hanna were listening for intruders at the mouth of a broken passageway. Aberforth came along fighting and complained that no one had thought to keep a few Slytherin students as hostages from their Death Eater parents. Finally Ron and Hermione showed up with some basilisk fangs they had retrieved from the Chamber of Secrets by Ron's mimicry of Harry's sounds. Ron had insisted on Hermione using one to destroy the cup, because it was "her turn." Back in the Room of Requirement they found Ginny, Tonks and Neville's grandmother who immediately excused herself to go "assist Neville." Harry asked the remaining two to leave the room "for only a minute" so they could change it into the storage hall where the Diadem was. Ron suggested someone needed to release the house-elves so they wouldn't get hurt, and Hermione threw herself around his neck in surprised gratitude over his new-found empathy. "OI! There's a war going on here!" Harry, annoyed, screamed at them. "Accio Diadem," Hermione shouted, once they were inside the correct room. Nothing came, but it had been worth a try. They split up, and just as Harry had spotted, and was reaching for the Diadem, Draco Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle appeared from behind him. Draco, who had been using his mother's wand, wanted his old wand back from Harry. The gormless Crabbe boasted that they had hung back in order to capture Harry under "Diss-lusion" charms. In the ensuing fight, Crabbe told Malfoy that he didn't take orders from him any more because he and his dad were finished! Crabbe threw "Crucio" at Harry then "Avada Kedavra" at Hermione. Malfoy and Goyle lost their wands and Goyle was stunned. From behind them a magically conjured roaring fire came, chasing both Ron and Crabbe, who apparently had no control over what he had done. The magic fire mutated into different forms as it pursued them. Harry threw an old broom to Ron and Hermione; and, taking another, bounded into the air. As they were heading for the door, Harry heard screams from Malfoy; and, over Ron's frantic objections, went to help. "IF WE DIE FOR THEM, I'LL KILL YOU, HARRY," Ron screamed as he helped drag Malfoy and Goyle onto their brooms. Then, again, over Malfoy's panic, Harry swooped down for the Diadem he had spotted and caught it around his wrist. The scorching fire licked around them, but did not follow, as they flew out the door and hit the opposite corridor wall. Crabbe had been killed by the fire he had created. Harry first noticed that Ginny wasn't there, where she was supposed to have waited. Then he saw the etched writing on the hot, blackened Diadem; before, a dark, tarry substance leaked out and it disintegrated. Hermione then recognized that it had been "Fiendfyre" a cursed, uncontrollable substance that destroyed Horcruxes. Before they could catch their breath, however, Fred and Percy backed into the hallway fighting Death Eaters. "Hello minister… I'm resigning," Percy said as Thicknesse fell. Then, they were all on the floor, under the rubble of a corridor which had collapsed when the side of the castle had been blown away. Percy and Ron were kneeling by the body of Fred… "the ghost of his last laugh still etched on his face."
- Ghostly laugh: What a wonderful literary image and metaphor. Fred's laughter had died with him, almost as if it was so much a part of him that it refused to be left behind. He died as he had lived, with a smile on his face.
- The Elder Wand
- Curses flying all around them, Harry and Ron had to forcibly help Percy move Fred's body into safety because he wasn't otherwise going to move. An Aragog-sized spider tried to climb in through the hole in the wall but was repelled by several stunning spells. Percy, seeing Rookwood, let out a scream and went blazing after him; and Hermione had to restrain Ron, who wanted to go "kill Death Eaters." She advised Harry to "look into Voldemort" because they needed to know where he was. It seemed easy for Harry to see Voldemort: rolling the Elder Wand between his fingers; thinking of the room in which he had hidden the Diadem; looking at his snake overhead in its floating, protective, bubble; and suggesting to a ragged, bruised Lucius Malfoy that "perhaps Draco had joined Potter," because he hadn't come to him "like the rest of the Slytherins." Voldemort demanded Malfoy "go and fetch Snape." Harry recognized that he had just seen the Shrieking Shack, and that Voldemort was planning to have Harry come to him for the snake. Just then Hermione had to use "Glisseo" to turn the stairs into a slide in order to escape two Death Eaters. On the other side of the tapestry she used "Duro" to turn it to brick and heard the crunch of bone from the two men following close behind. McGonagall passed them yelling "CHARGE," and Harry ducked back under the cloak as they descended another flight of stairs. The corridor was full of duelers being encouraged on by all the paintings, full to the frames with characters visiting from other portraits. Dean, having won a new wand, took on Dolohov and Parvati dueled Travers. Peeves was dropping slimy Snargaluff pods on people's head's and a Death Eater noticed when one landed on top of the cloak and hovered in the air. Dean stunned the Eater and Parvati "Body-Binded" Dolohov. They passed Draco Malfoy begging for his life from a masked Death Eater, saying: "I'm on your side, I'm Draco Malfoy." Harry stunned the Eater and, as Malfoy turned to see who had done it, Ron slugged him from under the cloak, exclaiming: "And that's the second time we've saved your life tonight, you two-faced bastard!" Flitwick was taking on Yaxley and Kingsley was right next to him. Neville came with a handful of Venomous Tentacula which reeled in the nearest Eater. Hermione saw a gray animal speed toward a fallen girl and produced a deafening blast which smashed Fenrir Greyback away from Lavender Brown. Then a bright crystal ball fell onto his head, crumpling him to the ground it was from Trelawney. More spiders flooded in the front door preventing the kid's escape but just then Hagrid came forward advising: "Doan hurt 'em…." Unfortunately the spiders grabbed him and carried him, en masse toward the forest. The kid's tried to follow but there was nothing they could do. Grawp appeared and seemed to distract another giant who was grabbing at people through broken upstairs windows. Then 100 dementors advanced on them. Ron's terrier flickered feebly and extinguished. Hermione's otter twisted then faded; and Harry's wand hand just trembled, doing nothing; while, in his exhaustion, he almost welcomed the oncoming oblivion. Then a silver hare, boar and fox soared past from Luna, Ernie and Seamus! Just as if they were all back in DA lessons, Luna told Harry: "That's right, Harry… come on, think of something happy…" To his questioning look, she whispered, "We're all still here… we're still fighting. Come on, now…." With that thought, Harry's wand burst forth with his stag which sent the dementors scattering. The appearance of another giant sent all the kids scattering and they found themselves at the foot of the Whomping Willow. Ron wished they had Crookshanks to press the "off button" and Hermione, exasperated, exclamed "are you a wizard, or what?" He then used "Wingardium Leviosa," the very first spell he had ever learned, and had once used on a troll, to levitate a branch and press the trunk.
They wiggled through the passageway and remembered it to be a lot bigger the last time they were there. Under the cloak, Harry spied from behind overturned crates, to watch as Voldemort told Snape he "didn't need to have him go get Potter," because Harry would come to him. Snape seemed oddly insistent that he be let go, to bring in Potter; but Voldemort ignored his advice, instead talking about how the Elder Wand wasn't working for him like it should. Even though Voldemort sounded his silky self, Harry recognized all to well the throbbing, which was beginning in his scar. Voldemort had decided that, because Snape had killed Dumbledore, so as long as Snape was alive the wand would never really belong to him. Voldemort swiped the air and Nagini's cage came down to enclose Snape. "Kill," Voldemort said in Parseltongue, then calmly walked away while the snake did its work. The cage rolled off the dying Snape; and, without knowing why, Harry felt compelled to go to him. When Snape saw that Harry was there, he cried "take… it… take… it…" referring to silvery blue material gushing from his head. Hermione conjured a flask to contain it; and when it was full, Snape slackened his grip and whispered: "Look… at… me…." Harry's green eyes complied… until his seven-year nemesis' hand thudded, lifeless, to the ground.
- Are you a wizard: JKR shows her humor when she has Hermione repeat the same words to Ron that he had used on her in the first book. When she had wished for some light, he told her "are you a witch or what?"Eye's: People don't seem to get enough of Harry's eyes. We have been told, probably more than we need, that Harry's eyes were those of his mother.
- The Prince's Tale
- While Harry kneeled, looking down at Snape, Voldemort, again, used his "broadcast system" to taunt those fighting against him. Still not recognizing that anyone who was fighting him was not the type to believe his lies and sham promises, he claimed that he was "merciful" and would give them an hour to "dispose of your dead with dignity." However, he did seem to know at least one thing that might work, he spoke directly to Harry suggesting that he not involve others any more and face him directly he would be waiting in the forest. They went back to the castle where they found the survivors in the Great Hall. Firenze's flank poured blood and he was being treated by Madame Pomfrey. Mrs. Weasley lay across Fred's body, crying. Both Remus and As Harry left the room he saw that Remus and Tonks had both been killed the parents of his Godson. Using the password: "Dumbledore," he was admitted to the Headmasters office, such as it was, and headed directly for the Pensieve. Pouring Snape's memories into the bowl, he embarked on a lengthy journey, containing many seemingly disjointed parts... but which would change his life.
- In a sunny deserted playground he saw his mother, when she was only nine or ten years-old, and aunt Petunia swinging. A skinny boy, Severus Snape, watched from behind some bushes and there seemed to be "something" in the boys eye's, which were directed at the youngest girl, his mother. When Lily showed Petunia several "tricks" that she could do, and said she didn't know how she did them, Severus could resist no longer, and stepped out to explain. She was a "witch", like his mother, and he knew because he was a "wizard". From the beginning, Petunia disliked Severus, as being from "down Spinner's End by the river." The girls left the playground and Severus seemed very disappointed over how poorly the exchange had gone.
- Next, in a small thicket of trees by a river, his mother and Severus sat cross-legged on the ground discussing "wizarding stuff." They would both soon get a letter from Hogwarts, but Petunia wouldn't. The ministry didn't punish magic done by children until they were eleven and got a wand. The two seemed to have been friends for awhile, because Lily knew about Severus' parents fighting and asked him to tell her about the "dementors again," and Azkaban. Petunia, who had been spying, fell from behind a tree and began arguing with Severus. Her taunts and insults seemed to hurt him and a tree-branch cracked and struck Petunia on the shoulder. Lily didn't seem to believe that he "hadn't done it on purpose."
- Next, was on platform nine and three-quarters. Severus was standing next to his thin, sallow-faced mother, and Lily was trying to comfort a very upset Petunia. She called Lily and Severus "weirdo's" who were going to a "freak school." It came out that Lily had seen the reply from the Headmaster of Hogwarts to Petunia's letter, requesting special consideration be made for her admission to the school, before Petunia stormed off.
- On the train, Severus changed into his robes then found Lily sitting in a compartment with a couple of "rowdy boys," James and Sirius. She had been crying and Severus tried to comfort her; but, even back then, Harry could tell that his mother's friend had little thought for "Muggle's." He told her that he wanted her to be in Slytherin. James, who had ignored them until then, butted in and derided Slytherin. Sirius admitted that his whole family had been in the house; but, that maybe he would break the tradition. James said he was going to Gryffindor, like his dad. Severus' light cough brought an in-your-face challenge from James. A caustic insult from Sirius offended Lily, and they sought another compartment to Sirius' mocking farewell to "Snivellus!"
- At the sorting, his mother was placed into Gryffindor the minute the hat touched her dark red hair, and Severus gave a small groan. Lily gave him a sad little smile; then, when Sirius made room for her on the bench, she huffily turned her back on him. Lupin, Pettigrew and James joined the Gryffindor's; then, Severus was sorted to Slytherin and he went to join the newly appointed prefect, Lucius Malfoy.
- Lily and Severus were in the courtyard, apparently arguing. "I thought we were supposed to be best friends?" he told her. "We are, Sev, but I don't like some of the people you're hanging around with!" and she listed Avery and Mulciber who had tried to do some Dark Magic on one of her friends. To counter, he pointed out that Potter and his mates must be up to something, sneaking around at every full moon. She pointed out that they didn't use Dark Magic, and that James had "saved" him from something in the Whomping Willow's tunnel. Snape's face contorted with anger and he claimed that James "wasn't acting the hero." Flaring, Lily's bright green eyes became slits and Snape backed off, saying that James "fancied her," and he just didn't want her to get hurt. She called Potter "an arrogant toe-rag," so Snape relaxed and heard nothing more she said about his friends acting evil.
- Next, Harry saw the incident with his father, after they had sat the DADA OWL's. He kept his distance, because he knew what was going to happen and got no pleasure in seeing it again. Filled with anger and humiliation he heard a voice utter "Mudblood," and saw his mother storm off.
- In her dressing gown, Lily stood talking to Snape outside the Gryffindor common room. He had threatened to sleep there all night; so, she came out to talk to him. He apologized profusely, but she said that he called everyone like her a "Mudblood," so why should he treat her any different? She said that she was through making excuses for him with her friends, and that "he and his precious little Death Eater friends" couldn't wait to join You-Know-Who. She told him that "You've chosen your way, and I've chosen mine," then turned and climbed back through the portrait hole.
- Next, Snape was waiting on a hilltop. He ducked, in fear of being killed, when a blinding, jagged jet of white light flew through the air at him and caused him to loose his wand. Dumbledore had arrived expecting a message from Voldemort, but Snape said it was only a personal request from him. He said that he had revealed what he had heard about the prophecy to Voldemort, and the Dark Lord was now going to kill all the Potter's. When he answered that he already had tried to bargain for Lily's life, Dumbledore flared in disgust. "Hide them all then," Snape requested; and when Dumbledore asked what he would give him in return, Snape replied… "anything."
- In Dumbledore's office, Snape wept like a wounded animal. After a moment, he raised his head and asked: "I thought you were going… to keep her… safe…" Dumbledore responded that "she and James put their faith in the wrong person…," (like you did in Voldemort keeping his word). Dumbledore then played on the fact that "her son survives… with precisely her eyes." Snape, bellowed "Stop… I wish I were dead…." Dumbledore told him that if he truly loved Lilly, his way was clear. He must make "sure her death was not in vain," by helping him protect Lily's son after Voldemort returned. After a pause, Snape agreed: "very well," he said, "But never, never tell… especially Potter's son." And he extracted Dumbledore's word on it.
- Next, Snape was telling Dumbledore that Harry was as "mediocre and arrogant as his father… attention seeking and impertinent." Dumbledore simply told him that "You see what you expect to see, Severus. Other teachers report the boy is modest, likable, and reasonably talented. Personally, I find him an engaging child." By the way, he said, "keep an eye on Quirrell, won't you?"
- At the Yule Ball Snape informed Dumbledore that "Karkaroff's Mark was getting darker too" and he was planning to flee if it burned. Snape responded that "he was not such a coward," and Dumbledore, assessingly said: "No. You are a braver man by far than Igor. You know, I sometimes think we sort too soon…."
- The next vision was back in Dumbledore's office with the headmaster slumped in his chair. Snape, uttering incantations, and giving him potions, eventually looked up in dismay. "Why did you put on that ring?" Dumbledore only answered that he had been a fool… tempted… but didn't say about what. Snape said that he was only able to contain the powerful curse in the hand for awhile. Eventually it would grow stronger and break out of the containment, he said, "possibly you have a year." The ring was lying broken on the desk, and Snape asked if he had thought that doing so would break the curse. Dumbledore just said "something like that." He then acknowledged that his imminent death "made matters more simple." They both knew of Voldemort's plan to have Draco try and kill Dumbledore, as punishment for his father having failed to obtain the prophecy (and most likely for loosing the Horcrux Diary). That was a sure death sentence on Draco, who Dumbledore was determined to save. He asked Snape to reiterate his promise to look after the student's safety if Dumbledore wasn't there; and, to try and offer to help Draco, so innocent people didn't get hurt. Then he requested that Snape take over for Draco and "do the deed" so as not to "damage his soul on my account." "What about my soul?" Snape snapped. "You alone," Dumbledore told Snape, "know whether it will harm your soul to help an old man avoid pain and humiliation." He said that he didn't want it to be Greyback who got him, or Bellatrix, who "likes to play with her food before she eats it." At last Snape nodded his assent.
- Dumbledore and Snape were strolling in the deserted castle-grounds. Snape wanted to know what he was doing with Potter all those nights. When Dumbledore answered that he had "things to discuss before it is too late," Snape seemed offended that Harry, with no Occlumency skill, was trusted more than he! Dumbledore complimented Snape on his skill at giving Voldemort what appears to be valuable information while withholding the essentials, and being in constant danger. He told Snape that Voldemort feared the connection he had with Harry, after having a taste of it in the ministry, and would not use it again. When the headmaster brought up killing him again, Snape responded "you take a great deal for granted… perhaps I have changed my mind." Dumbledore asked him to come to his office that night… "and he wouldn't complain about not being trusted."
- Dumbledore still refused to tell him Harry's exact mission, but said "there will come a time when Voldemort will seem to fear for the life of his snake." When that happens, he said, "It will be safe to tell Harry that… when the curse rebounded… a fragment of Voldemort's soul latched onto Harry… while Harry lives, Voldemort cannot die." Snape, dumbfounded, restated that "all these years I've been protecting Harry... for Lily… and you have been raising him like a pig for slaughter…." Dumbledore, snidely, asked if Severus "had grown to care for the boy." Instead of answering in anger, Snape called "Expecto Patronum" and a silver doe burst from his wand, bounded across the floor and out the window (the same as had been Lily's). "After all this time?" Dumbledore asked, through tears. "Always," Snape responded.
- Then, talking to the portrait of Dumbledore, responded that he would follow the advice to tell Voldemort the date of Harry's transfer from the Dursley's. He would, however, confund Mundungus into suggesting using decoys. Dumbledore told him that he was "counting upon you to act… convincingly" in order to remain in Voldemort's good graces. "Otherwise," he said, "Hogwarts will be left to the mercy of the Carrows…."
- Snape was with Mundungus confunding him into suggesting they use Polyjuice potion and decoys as his own idea.
- Flying along side Snape, with other Death Eaters, he watched as Snape used "Sectumsempra" to try and prevent him from killing Lupin. The spell, intended for the Death Eaters hand, hit George instead.
- Next, Snape was kneeling in Sirius' bedroom, reading Lily's letter… crying. He took the page with Lily's signature and the top half of the photo with her laughing, letting the torn bottom half, with Harry and his father, fall to the floor.
- Back in the Headmaster's study, Phineas Nigellus reported to him that "they were in the Forest of Dean," after hearing "the Mudblood say it. Snape reprimanded him: "Do not use that word!" Dumbledore's portrait then reminded Snape of the Sword. Snape opened a secret cavity behind the portrait and removed the sword. Dumbledore admonished him that it must be "taken under conditions of need and valor," so that Voldemort wouldn't be able to read Harry's mind and trace it back to Snape. "I know," he said as he left the room, "I have a plan."
That was it! Harry lay on the carpeted floor, just as it had been… but, He wasn't!
- The Prince:While on the surface, the title seems to be just capitalizing on that of a previous book (The Half-Blood Prince), JKR slyly may be trying to convey a bit more. For reasons, still known only to him (and JKR), Snape kept his true self so well hidden that the assumed title, once considered a simple mockery, takes on its true meaning. Not only were his efforts to convey his memories to Harry a noble effort… it is a true tale, of a Prince.Exposition: An incredible amount of exposition of facts given in flash-backs. JKR pulls it off, only because it covers material that readers have been eager to understand for the past six books. It is also given in a very active, fast paced, unique way which tends to hold the interest.What about my soul? That's a very interesting question. From this, we take it that, even after these many years associated with Voldemort, Snape has been able to avoid splitting his soul by committing murder. Well done Severus! Not at all like a Slytherin.Sort too soon: Indeed, Snape is showing incredible bravery and astounding integrity. To honor a commitment made years ago, in a time of great duress, long after the necessity of doing so has past, shows the type of honor for which Sirius demeaned Wormtongue: "I would die rather than betray my friends." And certainly as great as any other character JKR has given us in any of the stories. It does, indeed, reveal the irony of the sorting hat's lament: "I sometimes fear that doing so (sorting children) will bring about the very thing I fear (discord)." [What if it had placed the boy Severus in Gryffindor…?]Snape's Patronus: Snape seemed to know firsthand why Tonk's patronus had changed form after Sirius' death. One would think that he would have shown a bit more compassion for her… although, he is a Slytherin.Euthanasia: This will be a difficult explanation for a parent. In most civilized cultures Euthanasia or Assisted Suicide is unacceptable behavior, and legally sanctioned. JKR has, however, managed to 'muddle the issues' sufficiently enough to raise external considerations. There have been some accounts of soldiers in an un-extractable situation, facing certain and excruciating demise, requesting death at the hands of a friend rather than an enemy. If we assume (as we must because it's JKR's own reality after all) that there is no hope for Dumbledore's survival; certainly, the Avada Kedavra method would be preferable to Fenrir Greyback. JKR attempted to provide her own answer in her message to Snape from Dumbledore: "You alone know whether it will harm your soul to help an old man avoid (certain) pain and humiliation." A decision, hopefully, that none of our children will ever have to make.
- The Forest Again
- He was not supposed to survive!" And, Harry thought, IF he could figure out a way to accomplish it, he should "take Voldemort with him!" In a way, it was fortunate that he was already so exhausted that he was numb; or, Dumbledore's betrayal and his "cold-blooded walk to his own destruction" would probably feel different. He wished he had already died on one of the many times he had already the chance. If he had, his parents, and Sirius, and Dobby might still be alive. Voldemort's evil soul and choices had, pretty much, completely and utterly taken over, defined and wasted Harry's life up to this point. Dumbledore had known him better than he had known Dumbledore, his old mentor. He could not, now, let anyone else die; now that he knew it was in his power to stop it except for one small thing… the snake. But, he thought, someone might have an easier time of it, now. Looking at his coming-of-wizarding-age watch, he saw that half of the allotted hour was gone, so he put on the cloak and headed for the forest. With a sudden thought, he removed the cloak when he saw Neville. Harry lied, and denied Neville's concern that he was going to go and hand himself over; but, told him that Voldemort's snake must be killed, if Ron and Hermione didn't get around to it. Back under the cloak, Harry passed Ginny comforting a crying girl and had to force himself to keep walking.
He had no strength left in him for the swarm of dementors at the forest's edge; but, remembered the snitch, and its markings: "I open at the close." This was the close, he thought, so spoke the words: "I am about to die," to the golden metal. It did open and the ring was inside. He turned it over three times in his hand; and, as foretold, several personages appeared more substantial than ghosts: James, Sirius, Lupin… and his mother, Lily. He noticed that their presence was acting like a patronus, driving all despair from him. They all, in turn, expressed their pride in him and told him how brave he was being. "Does it hurt?" asked Harry. "Not at all," replied Sirius, "easier than falling asleep." Lupin offered comfortingly that "Voldemort is so worried about you, that he will want it to be over quickly." Harry asked his mother to "stay close to me." As he moved forward, his mind seem disconnected and his body was moving on its own. When he arrived in Aragog's clearing, he found Voldemort surrounded by Death Eaters. Greyback was skulking and chewing his nails; Rowle dabbing his bleeding lip; Lucius looking terrified; and Narcissa appearing sunken and apprehensive. Bellatrix, groveling in worshipfulness, had been silenced, so Voldemort could tell the group that "it looked as though he had been mistaken," Harry wasn't going to come. Unseen, Harry removed his invisibility cloak; and, along with his wand, put it inside his robes. That way, he told himself, he wouldn't be tempted to use them. "You weren't," Harry spoke clearly, and everyone gasped. Hagrid, who was bound to a tree, yelled "Harry, no!"'; but was silenced by Rowle. Voldemort and Harry stood looking at each other for a time. "Harry Potter," Voldemort finally said softly, "the boy who lived." Harry said nothing. He wanted it to happen now, while he still had the strength to stand… and in a green flash… everything was gone.
- A Cold-blooded walk: An amazingly rich word image. His final walk became "cold-blooded" toward a "cold-blooded" murder, sixteen years in the making. Like a patronus: There are several "teaching moment" opportunities for parents reading this chapter with children. Even teens can empathize with Harry's emotions going into an overwhelming trial. Rowling described trials as: "like dementors!" Ask: "What helps in real life?" "What helped Harry?" Family, and those we care about, "just being present."Does death hurt: "I don't know" is not a kind, or even correct, answer for a parent to give. Most all "life after life" accounts we have, claim, like Sirius, it's: "Easier than going to sleep."Seems disconnected: Rowling accurately describes the "disconnectedness" feeling of "impending and certain trial." Without other recourse, the body just seems to "go automatic," while the mind travels much faster on another level. The term "a living daydream," or in this case "nightmare" is believable.9. Atonement with "Father": "The hero might finally reconcile the tyrant and merciful aspects of a father-like authority figure in order to understand both himself and the figure better."10. Apotheosis: "Usually the hero must put aside his 'ego' and experience a 'breakthrough' expansion of understanding. His idea of reality may change, and he may find a new ability and see a larger point of view, allowing the hero to sacrifice himself."Harry's growth: Harry's frustration with both Dumbledore (and Snape) is almost negated by the revelations of the Pensieve. It's amazing how a few critical pieces of information can entirely change one's perspective. Harry has been seeing the "larger view" for a long time; but now, more fully realizing his role, he adopts his mothers courage and knows what he "must" do. The antagonist has seemingly prevailed; but, literature has always held a special place for an "innocent" who willingly sacrifices himself for others.
- King's Cross
- Harry laid face down on "something," completely alone and unclothed. Eventually, he knew that it was "something" he was laying on; because, he could feel it on his bare skin. He tested to see if he had eyes, by opening them. The floor was white, and he just seemed to "know" that the vapor all around, wasn't so much hiding anything, as it was that it just hadn't formed into anything yet. He could see his body, but he wasn't wearing any glasses. He had no scar, and everything was totally quiet, except for a pitiful noise coming from somewhere. He merely thought that he would like not to be without any clothes; and robes appeared, which were soft and warm when he put them on. The great domed ceiling, he noticed, was like a palace… sort of; then the source of the noise came into view… a naked child, curled, with rough, raw skin shuddering under a seat where it had been abandoned. He was repulsed by it, but as he thought he should probably do something, a voice came from behind him: "You cannot help." There, was the sweeping-robed, Midnight blue-eyed, open-armed, Albus Dumbledore coming toward him saying: "You wonderful boy… you brave, brave man. Let us walk." To Harry's question, Dumbledore admitted that he was dead; but, that "On the whole, dear boy, I think (that you're) not." He made Harry puzzle out answers for himself, while he radiated happiness. When Harry said that he had "not defended himself," Dumbledore proffered: "and that will, I think, have made all the difference." "The part of Voldemort's soul in me… has gone?" Harry asked; and Dumbledore said "your soul is whole and completely your own." Then, as he looked at the naked child under the chair, Dumbledore opined that it was "something that is beyond either of our help." Dumbledore made Harry think for himself why he might not be dead, if he had let himself be killed. It must have been because Voldemort "took my blood" to rebuild his body, Harry finally realized. "Lily's protection inside both of you," Dumbledore said, "tethered you to life while he lives!" Incredible as the discussion had been to this point, he and Dumbledore discussed many of Harry's unanswered questions:
Harry was a seventh, unintended, Horcrux, made when Voldemort's unstable soul shattered and the fragment attached itself to the only other living thing in the room. Voldemort's knowledge is woefully inadequate about things he does not value: house-elves, children's tales, love, loyalty and innocence. His body, made with Harry's blood, keeps Harry's mother's sacrifice alive… and Harry. The best guess about why Harry's wand attacked Voldemort, on it's own, was that: with a doubled bond, the shared-core wand produced an effect which frightened Voldemort more than it did Harry. Harry's wand overpowered Voldemort's, and imbibed some of its power and qualities. Then Harry's wand recognized Voldemort as both "kin and mortal enemy," so regurgitated some of Voldemort's own magic against him. "He killed me with your wand!"… No, "He failed to kill you with my wand." Harry wanted to know where they were, but Dumbledore told him "It's your party." Harry decided that it was Kings Cross Station only cleaner. When Harry brought up the Deathly Hallows, Dumbledore began begging forgiveness incessantly, almost as a child seeking validation. "The master of death," Dumbledore said, "I too sought a way to conquer death." Harry had to point out the difference. Dumbledore hadn't killed if he could avoid it… "Hallows not Horcruxes," Harry reminded. Grindelwald had been looking for the Hallows too, so came to explore the grave of Ignotus Peverell. The brothers were real, however probably only gifted, but dangerous, wizards, who made the magical objects which later became the stuff of legends. The cloak passed from father to son until it reached Harry who was the last descendant of Ignotus. Dumbledore had asked James if he could examine the cloak, which is why it wasn't in the house when Voldemort came. Dumbledore said that he "despised himself" for how he had let his quest for the Hallow's consume the way he had treated his family. He said he had been selfish, "more than you, who are a remarkably selfless person, could possibly imagine." "Grindelwald's ideas caught and inflamed me," Dumbledore said, and he probably knew what Grindelwald was really like, but "assuaged his conscience with empty words." Neither of them needed the cloak, Dumbledore said… the unbeatable wand meant power… and the resurrection stone meant "my parents back, to remove the burden of raising my family." Aberforth confronted them both, demanding that they could not drag Ariana around the country, and Grindelwald refused to hear it. It became a fight and Grindelwald lost control until Ariana lay dead on the floor. Grindelwald fled but continued his dreams of power. Dumbledore turned down Minister of Magic offers several times, because he was afraid of unleashing his own temptations for power. Those most suited for power, he said, are those like Harry who never seek it, but have it thrust upon them. He was slow to go and face Grindelwald, because he was fearful that he might find out who had actually cast the curse which killed his sister. Finally, it would have been too shameful to delay any longer, so he went. Dumbledore won the duel and won the allegiance of the Elder Wand (which Grindelwald had stolen.) Harry thought he finally knew what Dumbledore would actually see in the Mirror of Erised Ariana and his parents; which is why he seemed to understand what Harry had seen. Grindelwald lied to Voldemort about the wand, possibly from remorse in his later years. Dumbledore tried on the ring when he found it; because, for a moment, he totally forgot that it was a Horcrux and expected to see Ariana, with his parents, and be able to apologize. "Maybe a man in a million could unite the Hallows, Harry," Dumbledore said, "I was fit only to posses the wand, and not boast of it, or kill with it… I could tame it, because I took it, not for gain, but to save others from it. The cloak… was only a curiosity… the stone, would have drug back those who are at peace." Harry, he said, was the "true, worthy possessor of the Hallows" Harry couldn't stay mad at Dumbledore, but asked: "why did you have to make it so hard?" The man smiled, and said that he had "counted on Hermione to slow you up," so that your head wouldn't dominate your heart, like it had for him, and try to "seize the Hallows at the wrong time for the wrong reasons." Voldemort never knew about the Hallows. If he had, he would have only been interested in the wand. He didn't need the cloak, and had no one that he would even want to bring back from the dead. The search for the Elder Wand became an obsession of Voldemort's as great as his obsession with Harry. Dumbledore had planned that Snape would win the wand with his death. It was up to Harry to decide whether or not he would "go back". If he didn't, he could probably just "board a train and go… on." If he did, there was a chance Voldemort may be finished for good. But I know this, Dumbledore said, "you have less to fear from returning here than he does." Although not as hard as walking into the forest, deciding to go back would be toward pain, and the fear of more loss. And, last, that "of course (all this) is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"And with that, they both stood, and looked into each others eyes for a long moment… their conversation over.
- Dumbledore's apology Harry's old mentor became almost despondent that he had not thought better of Harry and helped him more. Harry accepted his apology, now on a more level footing with him, and recognized his value as a friend. However, old habits die hard as witnessed by all the 'tap dancing' Dumbledore did trying to keep Harry from knowing that the baby, screaming under the bench, was the portion of Voldemort's soul which had now died with Harry.7. Meeting the Goddess: "Sometimes the ultimate trial is represented as a marriage between the hero and a queen or mother-like figure. This represents the hero's mastery of life (represented by the feminine) as well as the totality of what can be known."
Harry's sacrifice was identical to his mothers; so, in effect, he has "merged" with his mother - a willing sacrifice for others when he didn't need to. 9. Atonement with "Father": Harry continues his reconciliation with his "imperfect" mentor, when Dumbledore begged his forgiveness. Harry found that, even though his "father figure" was flawed, he still respected him and valued his friendship. They were now on somewhat more of an equal plane and Harry could actually help Dumbledore see his own life in better perspective: "Hallows not Horcruxes."10. Apotheosis: Harry's enlightenment came in two stages. He now realizes that his quest isn't yet over and that he has an opportunity to return and repeat it over again. He isn't given any guarantee that he will survive a second time… but merely that he had less to fear about it than Voldemort.11. The Ultimate Boon: "The hero will then be ready to obtain his goal, an item or new awareness that, will benefit the society that he has left."
Harry now realizes that if he does go back, he just may be the only person who can free his friends (in fact the world) from tyranny. The events of his self sacrifice, allegiance of wands and secret knowledge make him still yet the bearer of the cross.
- The Flaw in the Plan
- Yet again, he was lying facedown on the ground, only this time he had his robes on. His body screamed with pain, but he didn't move a muscle because he was surrounded by Death Eaters. Bellatrix was groveling, trying to arouse Voldemort; who, had apparently also gotten "knocked out" when Harry "died." Immediately, he demanded to know if "the boy" was dead, and sent Narcissa to check. Soft hands touched Harry's face, pulled back an eyelid, then groped beneath his shirt down to his chest. He knew the woman could feel his heartbeat, but she whispered, inaudibly low, "is Draco alive?" He breathed back, "yes," and she rose and told the group "He is dead." Harry realized that Narcissa no longer cared if Voldemort won, she wanted to go back and look for her son. Unfortunately, Voldemort now had the "courage" to beat up a "dead man," and he did. He was thrown up in the air and back down several times; but, curiously, he did not feel pain! Voldemort demanded that Hagrid carry Harry's body back to present to the castle as their defeat. He wrapped the snake around his neck. Passing Bane and the other centaur's, Hagrid gave them a tongue lashing for their cowardice. Voldemort spoke his usual lies to the survivors, telling them Harry had died while trying to run away. Still with his eyes closed, Harry heard McGonagall scream and Bellatrix laugh at seeing her anguish. Voldemort forced silence on them, with a spell, and proclaimed: "see, he was nothing, ever, but a boy who relied on others to sacrifice themselves for him!" Ron broke the spell and called out "He beat YOU!" Harry heard more shouts, running and a thud, as someone had tried to attack Voldemort, but had been stopped. It was Neville who told Voldemort, in the ensuing bargaining, that he wouldn't join his gang. Only in such a sick mind as Voldemort's, would there be rationalization that it was now Neville's own fault that he was going to die. Voldemort summoned the sorting hat from inside the school and onto Neville's head. He said that, from now on, all students would be Slytherin's; then, caused the hat to burst into flames. Just as Harry was beginning to act, battle cries came from all round the grounds. There were hooves and bows and a plea for "HAGGER!" In the distraction, Harry donned his cloak and Neville broke free and pulled Gryffindor's sword from the hat. With a single stroke, Neville had dispatched the snake. Harry cast a shield charm around Neville, and Hagrid yelled that "Harry was gone." Hippogriff's, Thestrals and centaurs were forcing everyone back into the castle, and Harry stunned Death Eaters from under the cloak.
Still undetected in the Great Hall, Harry protected Voldemort's victims with shield charms: Seamus, Hannah and others. Myriads of people were streaming up the steps as reinforcements: parents and friends of students, residents and shopkeepers of Hogsmead… and house elves being led by Kreacher, who was clearly fighting in the memory of his beloved Regulus. Yaxley was slammed down by George and Lee, Dolohov fell from Flitwick's spell, McNair was thrown into a wall by Hagrid, Ron and Neville took down Fenrir, Aberforth stunned Rookwood, Arthur and Percy floored Thicknesse… and both Malfoy's were merely running around looking for Draco. Hermione, Ginny and Luna were all dueling Bellatrix, who was holding her own. When Ginny missed a death curse by only an inch, Harry deflected from Voldemort to Bellatrix; but, was knocked out of the way by a totally incensed Molly Weasley screaming: "Out of my way… she's mine!" from every pore on her face. Haughtily, and mistakenly, Bellatrix taunted Molly; who then began punctuating her every word with a spell: "you- will- never- touch- our- children- again!" As Bellatrix gave her habitual mocking laugh, a spell hit her squarely in the chest, a dawn of realization hit her, then she crumpled to the ground. Voldemort, watching, screamed in rage; and, like slow-motion, McGonagall, Kingsley and Slughorn were blasted backward and his wand was pointed directly at Molly. "Protego," Harry yelled and the shield charm expanded in the hall as he finally pulled off his cloak. The two began to circle each other and Harry told everyone to "hold off… its got to be me!" Voldemort immediately began lying to taunt others into the battle; but, Harry calmly reminded that there were "no Horcruxes left… and neither can live while the other survives… so one of us is about to leave for good…." Voldemort called Harry's many victories all "accidents," but was clearly loosing the battle of words. Harry called to Voldemort's attention the correlation between his "willing sacrifice" for these people being "like what my mother did," and that "none of your spells are binding (on them)." Harry began calling him "Riddle," and said that he knew some important things that Riddle didn't. This remark spawned a tirade against "love" from Riddle that was staunched by Harry's statement that he believed he had "Both: magic that Riddle didn't and a weapon more powerful." Riddle claimed more power than Dumbledore because he had brought about the man's death. Harry countered that Dumbledore had arranged his own death, long before, with Snape. He revealed that Snape had loved his mother all his life and was a spy for Dumbledore.
Riddle merely laughed and claimed that it didn't matter because he had won the Elder Wand by killing Snape, so Dumbledore's plan had a flaw. Harry advised him to "try for some remorse" before he tried to kill him. That stopped Riddle's rhetoric long enough for Harry to repeat that he should "try for some remorse." It was Draco's wand against the Elder Wand and Harry showed that he knew much more about wand lore than Riddle dreamed. Dumbledore planned that the wand would be given, not won, to Snape so it would never recognize a new master; but, it was Draco who won it (and Harry knew how) before Dumbledore died, so was now the master it recognized "the wand chooses the wizard." Riddle shrugged it off planning to deal with Draco later; but, Harry went further: "You're too late… I took Draco's wand… the Elder Wand knows it's master was disarmed… I am the true master of the Elder Wand!" At that moment, three important things happened simultaneously: Riddle's "Avada Kedavra," Harry's "Expelliarmus"… and the brilliant red burst of dawn sunlight which hit both their faces. The spells met, the Elder Wand flew from Riddles hand "toward the master it would not kill," and Riddle splayed backwards, dead from his own rebounding spell. The yells and cheers, back-pats and hand-shakes merely became a blur in Harry's exhaustion that was, never-the-less completely ignored by everyone. News that the imperioused were coming to themselves, Death Eaters were fleeing and captured, innocent were released from Azkaban and Kingsley was appointed Minister… seemed like a fog to him. There were the bodies of Fred, Tonks, Lupin, Colin Creevy, and fifty others in the next room. Finally, Harry found himself sitting next to Luna who nonchalantly stated "I'd want some peace and quiet, if it were me." When he nodded, she stood and pointed toward a "Blibbering Humdinger" out the window. As everyone turned, Harry put on the cloak and could be alone, in the midst of everyone. Neville had admirers around him and the sword, the three Malfoy's were huddled together, ignored, but unsure if they were supposed to be there or not.
He gathered Ron and Hermione for a walk, alone, and recounted to them all that he had seen in the Pensieve, what happened in the forest and what happened with Riddle. He asked the broken gargoyle if they could go up, and it replied "feel free." An earsplitting applause greeted them from the portraits around the Headmasters Office. The tears on the face of Dumbledore, however, filled Harry the same as did phoenix song. He chose his words to Dumbledore with great care and said "the thing hidden in the Snitch… was dropped in the forest… I'll not look for it… do you agree?" Dumbledore did. Harry said that he was going to "keep Ignotus's present," and, and again the Headmaster nodded. He held up the Elder Wand and said that he was happier with his own. Even though Hermione had said it could never be fixed, he held his broken phoenix core wand to the tip of the Elder Wand and said "reparo." With sparks it resealed and was whole. He then said he was "putting the Elder wand back where it came from… so when I die naturally… its power will be broken… the previous master never defeated." They both just smiled at each other… Harry only thinking about a four-poster bed in Gryffindor tower, and that he'd "had enough trouble for a lifetime."
- Voldemort's Wand The author goes to great length in trying to explain/justify odd characteristics of wand abilities necessary for her plot (see Tales of Beedle the Bard - Three Brothers). Harry acknowledges understanding of the dilemma that passing a wand from one wizard to the other creates. Current custom, expounded upon by Dumbledore, is to break or burn the wand at a wizards death. Why wasn't that done with Dumbledore's wand? If he was so concerned about it, why didn't Harry break it before putting it back? Additionally, Voldemort's wand is probably just as dangerous. We are not told of its disposition - possibly for use in a 'sequel'?
- Epilogue: Nineteen Years Later
- It was September 1st, the day students from all over Britain left for Hogwarts; so, Harry and Ginny were taking their children to King's Cross Station. James was teasing Albus, his younger first-year brother, about being sorted to Slytherin, and Lily was complaining that she wouldn't get to go for two more years. Navigating through the barrier, they heard Percy's voice pontificating about broomstick's in the fog; then found Ron, Hermione and their children, by the last carriage. Rose, Ron's oldest, was in her new first-year robes, and Hugo, their youngest, was Lily's age-mate. Ron had just taken his Muggle driving test for a license, but whispered to Harry that he had to Confundus the examiner. They nodded politely to the receding-haired, Draco Malfoy who was standing a ways off with his wife, and first-year son, Scorpius. Ron joked with Rose that she should "beat him in every test" and Hermione "for heavens sake'd" him. He rapidly apologized, but added just "don't get too friendly with him, though, Granddad Weasley would never forgive you if you married a pureblood." James came running up with news that "Teddy's back there… Snogging Victoire!" He was disappointed that the news Teddy Lupin was kissing their cousin, Victoire, was met with only: "if they got married Teddy would really be part of our family!" Ginny told James to "give our love" to Neville and he bristled about "not giving Herbology Professor Longbottom love." James gave Albus one last tease about watching out for Thestrals then kissed his mother, hugged his father and leapt aboard the train. Seeing his youngest son's worry, Harry bent down and said: "Thestrals are gentle things… anyway you'll be riding in boats." After their hug, Harry's final advice was that Hagrid had invited them to tea, not to mess with Peeves, and not to duel anyone till he knew how.
Secretly, Albus revealed a worry that he might be placed in Slytherin. Harry crouched, to conceal his answer, and looked into his only child who had Lily's eyes. He told him quietly that he was named Albus Severus, after two headmasters of Hogwarts; one, a Slytherin, was "probably the bravest man I ever knew." As they watched the train pull away, Harry touched the lightening scar on his forehead which had not pained him for nineteen years. "All was well."
- "Last word is Scar" This didn't happen as Rowling has claimed it would for years! In her original draft she claims that the last line was: “Only those who he loved could see the lightning scar,” ….or “something like that." Ultimately, however she felt that the line was too ambiguous, and begged the question about whether the scar was still there or not. She said she wanted a more concrete statement that Harry had won; Voldemort had been defeated; the scar was still there, but now it was only a scar. “I wanted to say it’s over. It’s done.” Changing the last line to All was well felt right, she said, at least to her. Many loyal readers disagree, however. Not only is "a promise is a promise," to the U.S. readers ear the term "all was well" is the most ambiguous of all and merely begs to be overturned.