Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsJ. K. RowlingDark Miasma
2T HEDEDICATIONOF THIS BOOKIS SPLITSEVEN WAYSTON EIL ,TOJ ESSICA ,TOD AVID,TOK ENZIE ,TOTODI,A NNE ,AND TO YOU,IF YOU HAVESTUCKWITHH ARRYUNTIL THEVERYEND.
Contents1 The Dark Lord Ascending52 In Memoriam153 The Dursleys Departing294 The Seven Potters415 Fallen Warrior576 The Ghoul in Pajamas777 The Will of Albus Dumbledore978 The Wedding1199 A Place to Hide13910 Kreacher’s Tale15311 The Bribe17312 Magic is Might19113 The Muggle—born Registration Commission21114 The Thief23115 The Goblin’s Revenge2453
4CONTENTS16 Godric’s Hollow26717 Bathilda’s Secret28318 The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore30119 The Silver Doe31320 Xenophilius Lovegood33321 The Tale of the Three Brothers34722 The Deathly Hallows36323 Malfoy Manor38124 The Wandmaker40725 Shell Cottage42726 Gringotts44127 The Final Hiding Place46128 The Missing Mirror46929 The Lost Diadem48330 The Sacking of Severus Snape49731 The Battle of Hogwarts51332 The Elder Wand53733 The Prince’s Tale55534 The Forest Again58135 King’s Cross59336 The Flaw in the Plan609
CONTENTS37 Epilogue—Nineteen Years Later5631
Chapter 1The Dark Lord AscendingThe two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane. For a second they stood quite still, wands directed at each other’s chests; then, recognizing each other , theystowed their wands beneath their cloaks and started walking briskly in thesame direction.“News?” asked the taller of the two.”The best,” replied Severus Snape.The lane was bordered on the left by wild, low-growing brambles, on theright by a high, nearly manicured hedge. The men’s long cloaks flapped aroundtheir ankles as they marched.“Thought I might be late,” said Yaxley, his blunt features sliding in and outof sight as the branches of overhanging tress broke the moonlight. “It wasa little trickier than I expected. But I hope he will be satisfied. You shouldconfident that your reception will be good?”Snape nodded, but did not elaborate. They turned right, into a wide driveway that led off the lane. The high hedge curved into them, running off into thedistance beyond the pair of impressive wrought-iron gates barring the men’sway. Neither of them broke step; In silence both raised their left arms in akind of salute and passed straight through, as though the dark metal were7
8CHAPTER 1. THE DARK LORD ASCENDINGsmoke.The yew hedges muffled the sound of the men’s footsteps. There was arustle somewhere to their right; Yaxley drew his wand again, pointing it overhis companion’s head, but the source of the noise proved to be nothing morethan a pure-white peacock, strutting majestically along the top of the hedge.“He always did himself well, Lucius. Peacocks . . . ” Yaxley thrust his wandback under his cloak with a snort.A handsome manor house grew out of the darkness at the end of the straightdrive, lights glinting in the diamond-paned downstairs windows. Somewherein the dark garden beyond the hedge a fountain was playing. Gravel crackled beneath their feet as Snape and Yaxley sped toward the front door, whichswung inward at their approach, though nobody had visibly opened it.The hallway was large, dimly light, and sumptuously decorated, with amagnificent carpet covering most of the stone floor. The eyes of the pale-facedportraits on the walls followed Snape and Yaxley as they strode past. The twomen halted at a heavy wooden door leading into the next room, hesitated forthe space of a heartbeat, then Snape turned the bronze handle.The drawing room was full of silent people, sitting at a long and ornatetable. The room’s usual furniture had been pushed carelessly up against thewalls. Illumination came from a roaring fire beneath a handsome marble mantelpiece surmounted by a gilded mirror. Snape and Yaxley lingered for a moment on the threshold. As their eyes grew accustomed to the lack of light, theywere drawn upward to the strangest feature of the scenes an apparently unconscious human figure hanging upside down over the table, revolving slowly asif suspended by an invisible rope, and reflected in the mirror and in the bare,polished surface of the table below it. He seemed unable to prevent himselffrom glancing upward every minute or so.“Yaxley, Snape,” said a high, clear voice from the head of the table. “You arevery nearly late.”The speaker was seated directly in front of the fireplace, so that it was difficult, at first, for the new arrivals to make out more than his silhouette. As they
9drew nearer, however, this face shone through the gloom, hairless, snakelike,with slits for nostrils and gleaming red eyes whose pupils were vertical. Hewas so pale that he seemed to emit a pearly glow.“Severus, here,” said Voldemort, indication the seat on his immediate right.“Yaxley—beside Dolohov.”The two men took their allotted places. Most of the eyes around the tablefollowed Snape, and it was to him that Voldemort spoke first.“So?”“My Lord, the Order of the Phoenix intends to move Harry Potter from hiscurrent place of safety on Saturday next, at nightfall.”The interest around the table sharpened palpably; Some stiffened, othersfidgeted, all gazing at Snape and Voldemort.“Saturday . . . at nightfall,” repeated Voldemort. His red eyes fastened uponSnape’s black ones with such intensity that some of the watchers looked away,apparently fearful that they themselves would be scorched by the ferocity ofthe gaze. Snape, however, looked calmly back into Voldemort’s face and, after amoment or two. Voldemort’s lipless mouth curved into something like a smile.“Good. very good. And this information comes—”“—from the source we discussed,” said Snape.“My Lord.”Yaxley had leaned forward to look down the long table at Voldemort andSnape. All faces turned to him.“My Lord, I have heard differently,”Yaxley waited but Voldemort did not speak, so he went on, “Dawlish, theAuror, let slip that Potter will not be moved until the thirtieth, the night beforethe boy turns seventeen.”Snape was smiling,“My source told me that there are plans to lay a false trail; this must be it.No doubt a Confundus Charm has been placed upon Dawlish. It would not bethe first time; he is known to be susceptible.”“I assure you, my Lord, Dawlish seemed quite certain,” said Yaxley.
10CHAPTER 1. THE DARK LORD ASCENDING“If he has been Confunded, naturally he is certain,” said Snape. “I assureyou, Yaxley, the Auror Office will play no further part in the protection of HarryPotter. The Order believes that we have infiltrated the Ministry.”“The Order’s got one thing right, then, eh?” said a squat man sitting a shortdistance from Yaxley; he gave a wheezy giggle that was echoed here and therealong the table.Voldemort did not laugh. His gaze had wandered upward to the body revolving slowly overhead, and he seemed to be lost in thought.“My Lord,” Yaxley went on, “Dawlish believes an entire party of Aurors willbe used to transfer the boy—”Voldemort held up a large white hand, and Yaxley subsided at once, watching resentfully as Voldemort turned back to Snape.“Where are they going to hide the boy next?”“At the home of one of the Order,” said Snape. “The place, according to thesource, has been given every protection that the Order and Ministry togethercould provide. I think that there is little chance of taking him once he is there,my Lord, unless, of course, the Ministry has fallen before next Saturday, whichmight give us the opportunity to discover and undo enough of the enchantments to break through the rest.”“Well, Yaxley?” Voldemort called down the table, the firelight glinting strangelyin his red eyes. “Will the Ministry have fallen by next Saturday?”Once again, all heads turned. Yaxley squared his shoulders.“My Lord, I have good news on that score. I have—with difficulty, and aftergreat effort—succeeded in placing an Imperius Curse upon Pius Thicknesse.”Many of those sitting around Yaxley looked impressed; his neighbor, Dolohov,a man with a long, twisted face, clapped him on the back.“It is a start,” said Voldemort. “But Thicknesse is only one man. Scrimgeourmust be surrounded by our people before I act. One failed attempt on theMinister’s life will set me back a long way.”“Yes—my Lord, that is true—buy you know, as Head of the Department ofMagical Law Enforcement, Thicknesse has regular contact not only with the
11Minister himself, but also with the Heads of all the other Ministry departments. I will, I think, be easy now that we have such a high-ranking officialunder our control, to subjugate the others, and then they can all work togetherto bring Scrimgeour down.”“As long as our friend Thicknesse is not discovered before he has convertedthe rest,” said Voldemort. “At any rate, it remains unlikely that the Ministrywill be mine before next Saturday. if we cannot touch the boy at his destination,the it must be done while he travels.”“We are at an advantage there, my Lord,” said Yaxley, who seemed determined to receive some portion of approval. “We now have several peopleplanted within the Department of Magical Transport. If Potter Apparates oruses the Floo Network, we shall know immediately.”“He will not do either,” said Snape. “The order is eschewing any form oftransport that is controlled or regulated by the Ministry; they mistrust everything to do with the place.”“All the better,” said Voldemort. “He will have to move in the open. Easierto take, by far.”Again, Voldemort looked up at the slowly revolving body as he went on, “ Ishall attend to the boy in person. There have been too many mistakes whereHarry Potter is concerned. Some of them have been my own. That Potter livesis due more to my errors than to his triumphs.”The company around the table watched Voldemort apprehensively, each ofthem, bu his or her expression, afraid that they might be blamed for HarryPotter’s continued existence. Voldemort, however, seemed to be speaking moreto himself than to any of them, still addressing the unconscious body abovehim.“I have been careless, and so have been thwarted by luck and chance, thosewreckers of all but the best-laid plans. But I know better now. I understandthose things that I did not understand before. I must be the one to kill HarryPotter, and I shall be.”At these words, seemingly in response to them, a sudden wail sounded, a
12CHAPTER 1. THE DARK LORD ASCENDINGterrible, drawn-out cry of misery and pain. Many of those at the table lookeddownward, startled, for the sound had seemed to issue from below their feet.“Wormtail,” said Voldemort, with no change in his quiet, thoughtful tone,and without removing his eyes from the revolving body above, “have I not spoken to you about keeping our prisoner quiet?”“Yes, m-my Lord,” gasped a small man halfway down the table, who hadbeen sitting so low in his chair that it had appeared, at first glance, to be unoccupied. Now he scrambled from his seat and scurried from the room, leavingnothing behind him but a curious gleam of silver.“As I was saying,” continued Voldemort, looking again at the tense faces ofhis followers, “I understand better now. I shall need, for instance, to borrow awand from one of you before I go to kill Potter.”The faces around his displayed nothing but shock; he might have announcedthat he wanted to borrow one of their arms.“No volunteers?” said Voldemort. “Let’s see . . . Lucius, I see no reason foryou to have a wand anymore.”Lucius Malfoy looked up. His skin appeared yellowish and waxy in thefirelight, and his eyes were sunken and shadowed. When he spoke, his voicewas hoarse.“My Lord?”“Your wand, Lucius. I require your wand.”“I . . . ”Malfoy glanced sideways at his wife. She was staring straight ahead, quiteas pale as he was, her long blonde hair hanging down her back, but beneaththe table her slim fingers closed briefly on his wrist. At her touch, Malfoy puthis hand into his robes, withdrew a wand, and passed it along to Voldemort,who held it up in from of his red eyes, examining it closely.“What is it?”“Elm, my Lord,” whispered Malfoy.“And the core?”“Dragon—dragon heartstring.”
13“Good,” said Voldemort. He drew out his own wand and compared thelengths. Lucius Malfoy made an involuntary movement; for a fraction of a second, it seemed he expected to receive Voldemort’s want in exchange for his own.The gesture was not missed by Voldemort, whose eyes widened maliciously.“Give you my wand, Lucius? My wand?”Some of the throng sniggered.“I have given you your liberty, Lucius, is that not enough for you? But Ihave noticed that you and your family seem less than happy of late . . . What isit about my presence in your home that displeases you, Lucius?”“Nothing—nothing, my Lord!”“Such lies, Lucius . . . ”The soft voice seems to hiss on even after the cruel mouth had stoppedmoving. One or two of the wizards barely repressed a shudder as the hissinggrew louder; something heavy could be heard sliding across the floor beneaththe table.The huge snake emerged to climb slowly up Voldemort’s chair. It rose, seemingly endlessly, and came to rest across Voldemort’s shoulders; its neck thethickness of a man’s thigh; its eyes, with their vertical slits for pupils, unblinking. Voldemort stroked the creature absently with long thin fingers, stilllooking at Lucius Malfoy.“Why do the Malfoys look so unhappy with their lot? Is my return, my riseto power, not the very thing they professed to desire for so many years?”“Of course, my Lord,” said Lucius Malfoy. His hand shook as he wiped sweatfrom his upper lip. “We did desire it—we do.”To Malfoy’s left, his wife made an odd, stiff nod, her eyes averted from Voldemort and the snake. To his right, his son, Draco, who had been gazing up at theinert body overhead, glanced quickly at Voldemort and away again, terrified tomake eye contact.“My Lord,” said a dark woman halfway down the table, her voice constrictedwith emotion, “it is an honor to have you here, in our family’s house. There canbe no higher pleasure.”
14CHAPTER 1. THE DARK LORD ASCENDINGShe sat beside her sister, as unlike her in looks, with her dark hair andheavily lidded eyes, as she was in bearing and demeanor; where Narcissa satrigid and impassive, Bellatrix leaned toward Voldemort, for mere words couldnot demonstrate her longer for closeness.“No higher pleasure,” repeated Voldemort, his head tilted a little to one sideas he considered Bellatrix. “That means a great deal, Bellatrix, from you,”Her face flooded with color; her eyes welled with tears of delight.“My Lord knows I speak nothing but the truth!”“No higher pleasure . . . even compared with the happy event that, I hear,has taken place in your family this week?”She stared at him, her lips parted, evidently confused.“I don’t know what you mean, my Lord.”“I’m talking about your niece, Bellatrix. And your, Lucius and Narcissa.She has just married the werewolf, Remus Lupin. You must be so proud.”There was an eruption of jeering laughter from around the table. Manyleaned forward to exchange gleeful looks, a few thumped the table with theirfists. The great snake, disliking the disturbance, opened its mouth and hissedangrily, but the Death Eaters did not hear it, so jubilant where that at Bellatrix and the Malfoys’ humiliation. Bellatrix’s face, so recently flushed withhappiness, had turned an ugly, blotchy red.“She is no niece of ours, my Lord,” she cried over the outpouring of mirth.“We—Narcissa and I—have never set eyes on our sister since she married theMudblood. This brat has nothing to do with either of us, nor any beast shemarries.”“What say you, Draco?” asked Voldemort, and though his voice was quiet,it carried clearly through the catcalls and jeers. “Will you babysit the cubs?”The hilarity mounted; Draco Malfoy looked in terror at his father, who wasstaring down into his own lap, then caught his mother’s eye. She shook herhead almost imperceptibly, then resumed her own deadpan stare at the opposite wall.“Enough,” said Voldemort, stroking the angry snake. “Enough.”
15And the laughter died at once.“Many of our oldest family trees become a little diseased over time,” he saidas Bellatrix gazed at him, breathless and imploring. “You must prune yours,must you not, to keep it healthy? Cut away those parts that threaten the healthof the rest.”“Yes, my Lord,” whispered Bellatrix, and her eyes swam with tears of gratitude again. “At the first chance!”“You shall have it,” said Voldemort. “And in your family, so in the world. . . we shall cut away the canker that infects us until only those of the trueblood remain . . . ”Voldemort raised Lucius Malfoy’s wand, pointed it directly at the slowlyrevolving figure suspended over the table, and gave it a tiny flick. The figurecame to life with a groan and began to struggle against invisible bonds.“Do you recognize our guest, Severus?” asked Voldemort.Snape raised his eyes to the upside down face. All of the Death Eaterswere looking up at the captive now, as though they had been given permissionto show curiosity. As she revolved to face the firelight, the woman said in acracked and terrified voice. “Severus! Help me!”“Ah, yes,” said Snape as the prisoner turned slowly away again.“And you, Draco?” asked Voldemort, stroking the snake’s snout with hiswand-free hand. Draco shook his head jerkily. now that the woman had woken,he seems unable to look at her anymore.“But you would not have taken her classes,” said Voldemort. “For those ofyou who do not know, we are joined here tonight by Charity Burbage, who untilrecently, taught at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.”There were small noises of comprehension around the table. A broad, hunchedwoman with pointed teeth cackled.“Yes . . . Professor Burbage taught the children of witches and wizards allabout Muggles . . . how they are not so different from us . . . ”One of the Death Eaters spat on the floor. Charity Burbage revolved to faceSnape again.
16CHAPTER 1. THE DARK LORD ASCENDING“Severus . . . please . . . please . . . ”“Silence,” said Voldemort, with another twitch of Malfoy’s wand, and Char-ity fell silent as if gagged. “Not content with corrupting and polluting the mindsof Wizarding children, last week Professor Burbage wrote an impassioned defense of Mudbloods in the Daily Prophet. Wizards, she says, must accept thosethieves of their knowledge and magic. The dwindling of the purebloods is, saysProfessor Burbage, a most desirable circumstance . . . She would have use allmate with Muggles . . . or, no doubt, werewolves . . . ”Nobody laughed this time; There was no mistaking the anger and contemptin Voldemort’s voice. For the third time, Charity Burbage revolved to faceSnape. Tears were pouring from her eyes into her hair. Snape looked backat her, quite impassive, as she turned slowly away from his again.“Avada Kedavra.”The flash of green light illuminated every corner of the room. Charity fell,with a resounding crash, onto the table below, which trembled and creaked.Several of the Death Eaters leapt back in their chairs. Draco fell out of his ontothe floor.“Dinner, Nagini,” said Voldemort softly, and the great snake swayed andslithered from his shoulders onto the polished wood.
Chapter 2In MemoriamHarry was bleeding. Clutching his right hand in his left and sweating under his breath, he shouldered open his bedroom door. Therewas a crunch of breaking china. He had trodden on a cup of coldtea that had been sitting on the floor outside his bedroom door.“What the—?”He looked around, the landing of number four, Privet Drive, was deserted.Possibly the cup of tea was Dudley’s idea of a clever booby trap. Keeping hisbleeding hand elevated, Harry scraped the fragments of cup together with theother hand and threw them into the already crammed bin just visible insidehis bedroom door. Then he tramped across to the bathroom to run his fingerunder the tap.It was stupid, pointless, irritating beyond belief that he still had four daysleft of being unable to perform magic . . . but he had to admit to himself that thisjagged cut in his finger would have defeated him. He had never learned howto repair wounds, and now he came to think of it—particularly in light of hisimmediate plans—it seemed a serious flaw in his magical education. Makinga mental note to ask Hermione how it was done, he used a large wad of toiletpaper to mop up as much of the tea as he could, before returning to his bedroomand slamming the door behind him.17
18CHAPTER 2. IN MEMORIAMHarry had spent the morning completely emptying his school trunk for thefirst time since he had packed it six years ago. At the start of the interveningschool years, he had merely skimmed off the topmost three quarters of thecontents and replaced or updated them, leaving a layer of general debris atthe bottom—old quills, desiccated beetle eyes, single socks that no longer fit.Minutes previously, Harry had plunged his hand into this mulch, experienceda stabbing pain in the fourth finger of his right hand, and withdrawn it tosee a lot of blood. He now proceeded a little more cautiously. Kneeling downbeside the trunk again, he groped around in the bottom and, after retrievingan old badge that flickered feebly between SUPPORT CEDRIC DIGGORY andPOTTER STINKS, a cracked and worn-out Sneakoscope, and a gold locketinside which a note signed R.A.B. had been hidden, he finally discovered thesharp edge that had done the damage. He recognized it at once. It was a twoinch-long fragment of the enchanted mirror that his dead godfather, Sirius, hadgiven him. Harry laid it aside and felt cautiously around the trunk for the rest,but nothing more remained of his godfather’s last gift except powdered glass,which clung to the deepest layer of debris like glittering grit.Harry sat up and examined the jagged piece on which he had cut himself,seeing nothing but his own bright green eye reflected back at him. Then heplaced the fragment on top of that morning’s Daily Prophet, which lay unreadon the bed, and attempted to stem the sudden upsurge of bitter memories,the stabs of regret and of longing the discovery of the broken mirror had occasioned, by attacking the rest of the rubbish in the trunk.It took another hour to empty it completely, throw away the useless items,and sort the remainder in piles according to whether or not he would need themfrom now on. His school and Quidditch robes, cauldron, parchment, quills, andmost of his textbooks were piled in a corner, to be left behind. He wonderedwhat his aunt and uncle would do with them; burn them in the dead of night,probably, as if they were the evidence of some dreadful crime. His Muggleclothing, Invisibility Cloak, potion-making kit, certain books, the photographalbum Hagrid had once given him, a stack of letters, and his wand had been
19repacked into an old rucksack. In a front pocket were the Marauder’s Mapand the locket with the note signed R.A.B. inside it. the locket was accordedthis place on honor not because it was valuable—in all usual senses it wasworthless—but because of what it had cost to attain it.This left a sizable stack of newspapers sitting on his desk beside his snowyowl, Hedwig: one for each of the days Harry had spent at Privet Drive thissummer.He got up off the floor, stretched, and moved across to his desk. Hedwigmade no movement as he began to flick through the newspapers, throwingthem into the rubbish pile one by one. The owl as asleep, or else faking: shewas angry with Harry about the limited amount of time she was allowed out ofher cage at the moment.As he neared the bottom of the pile of newspapers, Harry slowed down,searching for one particular issue that he knew had arrived shortly after hehad returned to Privet Drive for the summer; he remembered that there hadbeen a small mention on the front about the resignation of Charity Burbage,the Muggle Studies teacher at Hogwarts. At last he found it. turning to pageten, he sank into his desk chair and reread the article he had been looking for.ALBUS DUMBLEDORE REMEMBEREDby Elphias DogeI met Albus Dumbledore at the age of eleven, on our first dayat Hogwarts. Our mutual attraction was undoubtedly due to thefact that we both felt ourselves to be outsiders. I had contracteddragon pox shortly before arriving at school, and while I was nolonger contagious, my pockmarked visage and greenish hue did notencourage many to approach me. For his part, Albus had arrived atHogwarts under the burden of unwanted notoriety. Scarcely a yearpreviously, his father, Percival, had been convicted of a savage andwell-publicized attack upon three young Muggles.Albus never attempted to deny that his father (who was to die in
20CHAPTER 2. IN MEMORIAMAzkaban) had committed this crime; on the contrary, when I pluckedup courage to ask him, he assured me that he knew his father to beguilty. Beyond that, Dumbledore refused to speak of the sad business, though many attempted to make him do so. Some, indeed,were disposed to praise his father’s action and assumed that Albustoo was a Muggle-hater. They could not have been more mistaken.As anybody who knew Albus would attest, he never revealed theremotest anti-Muggle tendency. Indeed, his determined support forMuggle rights gained him many enemies in subsequent years.In a matter of months, however, Albus’s own fame had begunto eclipse that of his father. By the end of his first year he wouldnever again be known as the son of a Muggle-hater, but as nothingmore or less than the most brilliant student ever seen at the school.Those of us who were privileged to be his friends benefited from hisexample, not to mention his help and encouragement, with which hewas always generous. He confessed to me in later life that he kneweven then that his greatest pleasure lay in teaching.He not only won every prize of note that the school offered, hewas soon in regular correspondence with the most notable magical names of the day, including Nicolas Flamel, the celebrated alchemist; Bathilda Bagshot, the noted historian; and Adalbert Waffling, the magical theoretician. Several of his papers found theirway into learned publications such as Transfiguration Today, Challenges in Charming, and The Practical Potioneer. Dumbledore’s future career seemed likely to be meteoric, and the only question thatremained was when he would become Minister of Magic. Though itwas often predicted in later years that he was on the point of takingthe job, however, he never had Ministerial ambitions.Three years after we had started at Hogwarts, Albus’s brother,Aberforth, arrived at school. They were not alike; Aberforth wasnever bookish and, unlike Albus, preferred to settle arguments by
21dueling rather than through reasoned discussion. However, it isquite wrong to suggest, as some have, that the brothers were notfriends. They rubbed along as comfortably as two such differentboys could do. In fairness to Aberforth, it must be admitted thatliving in Albus’s shadow cannot have been an altogether comfortableexperience. Being continually outshone was an occupational hazardof being his friend and cannot have been any more pleasurable as abrother.When Albus and I left Hogwarts we intended to take the thentraditional tour of the world together, visiting and observing foreignwizards, before pursuing our separate careers. However, tragedyintervened. On the very eve of our trip, Albus’s mother, Kendra,died, leaving Albus the head, and sole breadwinner, of the family. Ipostponed my departure long enough to pay my respects at Kendra’sfuneral, then left for what was now to be a solitary journey. With ayounger brother and sister to care for, and little gold left to them,there could no longer be any question of Albus accompanying me.That was the period of our lives when we had least contact. Iwrote to Albus, describing, perhaps insensitively, the wonders of myjourney, from narrow escapes from chimaeras in Greece to the experiments of Egyptian alchemists. His letters told me little of hisday-to-day life, which I guessed to be frustratingly dull for such abrilliant wizard. Immersed in my own experiences, it was with horror that I heard, toward the end of my year’s travels, that yet another tragedy had struck the Dumbledores: the death of his sister,Ariana.Though Ariana had been in poor health for a long time, the blow,coming so soon after the loss of their mother, had a profound effect on both of her brothers. All those closest to Albus-and I countmyself one of that lucky number-agree that Ariana’s death, and Albus’s feeling of personal responsibility for it (though of course, he
22CHAPTER 2. IN MEMORIAMwas guiltless), left their mark upon him forevermore.I returned home to find a young man who had experienced amuch older person’s suffering. Albus was more reserved than before,and much less lighthearted. To add to his misery, the loss of Arianahad led, not to a renewed closeness between Albus and Aberforth,but to an estrangement. (In time this would lift-in later years theyreestablished, if not a close relationship, then certainly a cordialone.) However, he rarely spoke of his parents or of Ariana from thenon, and his friends learned not to mention them.Other quills will describe the triumphs of the following years.Dumbledore’s innumerable contributions to the state of Wizardingknowledge, including his discovery of the twelve uses of dragon’sblood, will benefit generations to come, as will the wisdom he displayed in the many judgments he made while Chief Warlock of theWizengamot. They say, still, that no Wizarding duel ever matchedthat between Dumbledore and Grindelwald in 1945. Those who witnessed it have written of the terror and the awe they felt as theywatched these two extraordinary wizards do battle. Dumbledore’striumph, and its consequences for the Wizarding world, are considered a turning point in magical history to match the introductionof the International Statute of Secrecy or the downfall of He-WhoMust–Not-Be-Named.Albus Dumbledore was never proud or vain; he
8 CHAPTER 1. THE DARK LORD ASCENDING smoke. The yew hedges mufﬂed the sound of the men’s footsteps. There was a rustle somewhere to