Chapter 10: A Patronus Story
Back to Hogwarts, Harry resumed his life as an Invisible student. He read a lot. He dissected and went through all Dumbledore’s books, and now he concentrated on the book about snakes. Harry was of the opinion that we could achieve everything we wanted, if we had willingness enough, as well as determination and concentration of the spirit.
During his fifth year he had frequent flashes of Voldemort’s fits of mood. He had seen Mr Weasley attacked by Nagini through Nagini’s eyes. According to Dumbleore, there was a connection between Harry and Voldemort through the scar that Voldemort had left on Harry’s forehead. And if Harry could enter Voldemort’s mind, Voldemort as well could enter Harry’s mind. That was why Harry had to learn Occlumency during his fifth year, to close his mind to Voldemort’s intrusion. It was in this way, that Voldemort had been able to show to Harry the scene of Sirius’s torture in order to incite him to come to the Ministry and fall in his ambush. It was his fault if Sirius was dead. It was painful to think of that again, but he should plunge himself into it now, to analyse the question and find out how he could now enter Nagini’s head without stirring up Voldemort’s suspicion.
Since the death of Sirius, Harry had had no such flashes of Voldemort’s fits of temper. Dumbledore explained that perhaps Voldemort realized that it would be dangerous for him to let Harry enter his mind, and that now Voldemort was using Occlumency against Harry. That was already a good thing.
Every evening, Harry tried hard, with the image of Helga’s cup, imagining he was in Nagini undulated body, but with no result. He again did the exercise again and again.
He dissected Dumbledore’s book on snakes, how to approach them and how to kill them. In one of the chapters of the book they mentioned the utilisation of hypnotism; it was what the snake charmers used, the music they played was only to attract the spectators, but it was the eye contact that should not be discontinued.
“Quite interesting !”, Harry thought.
“Evening Harry !” greeted Hermione, entering the class, then as she saw the book on the desk, she added : “How would you do to get into Nagini’s head ? Have you thought of it ?”
“Perhaps you should learn Legilimency ?” suggested Ron who had arrived behind Hermione.
“Yes, in a certain way. Legilimency is a mean to read in others’ mind, but it can only be done when you are face to face with the person”, replied Harry.
“Then, how could you do ?” asked Ron, both worried and disappointed.
“In my case, I’ve a connection with Voldemort through my scar, but … yes, it’s kind of Legilimency from afar, let’s call it ‘remote’ Legilimency. Well, by concentration and determination of the spirit, I can’t see any other way”, said Harry in a firm tone. “Before, I’ve had flashes of Voldemort’s fits, because in those moments Voldemort fiercely thought of me with rage ! I should think about Nagini in the same way. But I don’t hate Nagini, it’s only a disgusting snake, that’s all ! It’s difficult to think about Nagini as I think about Voldemort, that’s why it’s still difficult.
“I admire you”, said Hermione. “You outstrip all of us, and by far, and I’m sure that you will succeed it.”
“Yesterday I had a dream: I was in an unknown and miserable district that, I’m sure, I’ve never been in before in my true life !”
“Perhaps it’s a clue ! In London ? And if it’s in London, there are many miserable districts, we should have other indications”, Hermione pointed out.
“Yes, of course ! But if we start off with London ! I should have a detailed map of London, I’ll order one.”
“This weekend, there will be a trip to Hogsmeade village. We could go out with the other students, and then we’ll go to The Burrow. My parents have sent me complete sets of what we need to take blood sample. We can send Bill’s and Lupin’s blood samples to the Laboratory. Lupin hasn’t transformed at the last full moon. Lupin and Tonks feel very hopeful, but Lupin said that he has always the feeling that he is sitting upon a time bomb and he fears very much a relapse. Tonks also, of course.”
“I understand them. Yes, that’s a good idea !” Harry approved.
It was a beautiful but very cold day. The snow of the last days covered all the countryside and became blazing under the sun.
“I’m freezing”, said Harry under his Invisibility Cloak.
The three friends met up at the foot of the Entrance Hall. They brought up the rear of the students who went to Hogsmeade village, but remained a little behind to be out of earshot.
“It’s normal, it is only February !” replied Ron.
“Where’s Ginny ?” asked Harry, surprised not to see her among the students.
“She is ill”, Hermione replied, “she’s got a stomach ache, poor little girl ! Missing such a wonderful day !”
“Who is it that I see there ? The journalist ?” burst out Harry, who at the moment forgot her name.
“She has desperately been hunting for news about you for many months. As it’s a trip of the students to the village, Rita Skeeter must think that she’ll have chances of catching you or having some news about you !” replied Hermione who, as usual, had an answer for everything.
“Deception !” Harry said in a singsong and ironic voice, glad to have an occasion to play a trick on Rita. “At the turning, we’ll leave the others move away, and we’ll Disapparate”, Harry proposed.
Suddenly, far away in the blue sky, he saw a dark mass flowing at a surprisingly quick rate towards them.
“Dementors ! An army of them !” Harry cried out, “We must get close to the others to protect them, and please, hide me, I must take out my wand !”
They ran towards the other students.
“Dementors !” Hermione cried out to the other students.
There was panic, but among the students, many voices were heard casting the formula “Expecto Patronum” and about thirty Patronus of various forms materialized on the middle of the road ready to stand up against those shapeless black monsters coming from darkness, which rushed towards them. Then suddenly, a silvery white stag, as enormous as a mammoth and as bright as the snow covering the meadows around them, appeared from nowhere, walking stately among the other animals. With great majesty, it raised its head which wore ramified antlers several yards wide. The Dementors monsters were as if sucked up by the stag, the way nails could be by a magnet, but they broke into pieces when they touched the pointed tips of the antlers and melted away into thin air. All this happened in a total silence, as all the persons present were wonder struck, they stood stock-still looking at the scene, speechless and out of breath. Suddenly a very familiar voice was heard:
“She’s not there !”
“Malfoy ?”, Harry blurted out in astonishment, but as he succeeded in locating where came Draco’s voice, Snape behind him, grasped hold of Draco’s arm and Disapparated with him after blowing a whistle.
“They must not have been alone. Other Death Eaters were with them ! And they were surely looking for Ginny ! Voldemort is always after Ginny ! As they could not get into the school, they waited for us on the road to the village. They must have sent the Dementors to create a diversion, while the Death Eaters would be busy kidnapping Ginny”, Harry said with rage.
“Your Patronus was wonderful !” Hermione burst out.
Rita Skeeter started asking whether someone knew whom the giant stag belonged to.
“Let’s go”, Harry proposed, and the three friends returned to the turning of the road, and safely Disapparated away from prying eyes.
“Dad, we’ve just been attacked by the Dementors, hundreds of them”, Ron said breathless, when they arrived at The Burrow and entered the kitchen like a rush of wind. “And you should have seen Harry’s Patronus ! It was wonderful and enormous, as big as a house ! Without his Patronus, we would all have been dead. Fortunately Ginny wasn’t there !”.
“Well, calm down, Ron, because I can’t understand a word”, Mr Weasley replied. “‘You’ve been attacked by the Dementors, where’s that ? And why do you say ‘fortunately Ginny wasn’t there’, where was she ?”
“We’ve been attacked by an army of Dementors, right out of the castles, on the way to Hogsmeade village,” Harry answered. “Ginny was not with the students, she was not well, and had preferred staying behind in the school. After the Dementors had been eliminated, we saw Draco Malfoy and Snape. When Malfoy cried out “She’s not there”, Snape grasped Malfoy’s arm and Disapparated with him after blowing a whistle. Surely they were with other Death Eaters; we haven’t had time to see the others. But it proves that Voldemort is always after Ginny ! I think we should ask Fred and George whether they could find an Invisibility Cloak for Ginny”.
“We must report it to the Order. Alastor has an Invisibility Cloak, he might lend it to me. And how are you with Ron and Hermione, Harry ?” asked Mr Weasley, surprised.
“Ron and Hermione told me to meet them before the school, to come here so as to take Bill’s and Lupin’s blood samples, I wanted to have news from you all.”
“And how were the Dementors eliminated ?” asked Mr Weasley.
“They’ve been eliminated, destroyed by Harry’s Patronus” replied Ron, happy he could resume his narration, “like that”, he added snapping his fingers.
“Destroyed « like that »”, repeated Mr Weasley, imitating Ron’s snapping of fingers … (while wondering about what his son was speaking of ?)
“Yes, like that”, said Ron snapping again his fingers.
“And what did they say at St Mungo’s Hospital about Lupins’s recovery ?”, asked Harry, desirous to change the subject of the conversation.
“They said that your idea that Bill’s blood may contain an antidote is a very interesting one and they would wish to have a sample of Bill’s blood”.
“I’ll do it.’ Hermione hastened to reply. “My parents said they’ve sent me here all that we need to take blood samples. You’ve received it ?”
“Yes, we’ve received a big parcel, but we haven’t opened it yet”, answered Mrs Weasley who was just entering the kitchen.
The parcel contained everything Hermione needed: four complete sets of sterilized tubes, syringes, absorbent compresses, a bottle of antiseptic to clean the skin, adhesive labels to use for various routine exams, and even a rubber strap… Hermione had only to add the patient’s name.
“I’ve got a first-aid certificate. Don’t be worried, Bill”, said Hermione, happy to show her knowledge. “What a pity that Mr Lupin isn’t there, we would have been able to send the two blood samples to the laboratory at the same time.”
“Yes, he won’t be long; he’ll be there any moment. He really wants to know more about that question of antidote, he wants to know whether he’s really cured and whether we’ll have a weapon against the werewolves”, Mr Weasley replied.
“I’m not worried, Hermione”, said Bill from the other end of the table. “We simply are not used to being ‘pricked’’ added Bill laughing, and stretching out his arm towards Hermione while rolling up his leaves.
Hermione displayed an almost professional know-how with order and method. She was filling the labels in the name of Bill when Lupin arrived.
“That’s perfect”, let out Mr Weasley.
“I’ll take your blood sample too, Professor !” said Hermione.
When everything was ready, she placed the tubes separately in two boxes, one containing Bill’s samples and the other Lupin’s ones, and wrapped both boxes together. She added some words to her parents and send the whole thing through Hedwig which was at that moment at the Burrow.
“We’ll have the results by the day after tomorrow. My parents will send them here”, said Hermione. “Now we must return to the school, at the same time as the other students, otherwise, the gate will be closed, Ron !”, she added turning to Ron.
“Me too, I must go !”’ Harry hastened to say.
Hermione gave the parcel of syringes she hasn’t used to Mrs Weasley.
“Please, keep it for another time… Good bye, we are in a hurry.”
“Good bye, Ron and Harry said at the same time, and the three friends went out into the garden and Disapparated.
Indeed, the gate was already closed. The students, after the attack of the Dementors, had no longer felt like going to the village and had all returned to the school shortly after. Ron sent his Patronus to Hagrid, and he arrived with an expression of relief.
‘We were wondering where you and Hermione had gone. The students have been back for a long time ago. But McGonagall didn’t seem very worried, otherwise we would have alerted your parents, Ron ! Tell me how the attack went along !’
“Surely the other students told you in detail. We were all there. And there were Draco Malfoy and Snape !” said Hermione.
“Really ? And what did Malfoy do ?”
“He cried : ‘She’s not there’. Then they Disapparated all. Surely they were looking for Ginny, but Ginny wasn’t there.”
“We must inform McGonagall; that Draco and Snape were there”, said Hagrid.
“Yes, we’ll bear it in mind”, Hermione hastened to reply.
“Don’t go away at once,” said Harry when they arrived before Harry’s room. “Come in, We have something to discuss about. We must find out where Draco and Snape are. They are wanted by the Ministry, so, they can’t be at home, they must be with Voldemort, at Voldemort’s Head Quarters, or perhaps they have a den, the den of the Death Eaters concealed somewhere. At the next meeting of the Order, we should talk about it, what do you think of it ?”
“But where ?” asked Ron, who had never neither reply nor imagination.
“I don’t know”, replied Harry. “We could station ourselves behind the Malfoys’ manor to watch out. Draco must surely return to his house from time to time to fetch a few things. Last year, he went away in panic, all of a sudden. We could make a round there, next weekend. His manor is in Gloucester, on the Seven, your Dad told me so.”
“Yes, Hermione and Ron replied at the same time, and they parted for the Great Hall after biding Harry “Good meal”.
The evening edition of the Daily Prophet related all details about the Dementors’ attack. They thought that over a hundred of them were in it. The article related how they had been destroyed by the enormous stag that nobody knew who had conjured. According to the Prophet many people knew that Harry Potter’s Patronus was a stag, but none of the students who had been interviewed confirmed it, they all said they had not seen Harry all year long.
The article was accompanied by a photo of the stag stately walking among the other Patronus and that of the Dementors which burst out into pieces when they touched the sharp pointes of the stag’s antlers, like rubber balloons on cactus thorns.
All the students were unharmed. They stood still, wonder struck, gazing at the scene, so grandiose, they had never seen.
Rita Skeeter had got some answers to her questions, mainly that the Otter was the Patronus conjured by Hermione Granger, the Jack Russell by Ronald Weasley, the Penguin by Neville Longbottom and the Hare by Luna Lovegood, all of them, close friends of Harry Potter, who had been with him at the Ministry some two years ago. According to the article, an examiner from the Ministry who had questioned Harry at his O.W.L. (Ordinary Wizarding Level examinations) confirmed that Harry Potter’s Patronus was a stag but assured that it was a stag of normal size.
The article referred to the Dementors’ attack in Norfolk at late Christmas, when about some thirty Aurors which had been dispatched to the place, were not able to do better than to chase them after one hours’ fighting; and this with a comparatively heavy toll. The article emphasized the fact that the stag had lately destroyed the Dementors must denote an extraordinary magic power.
The article also stated that all the wizarding community received the news with great joy and that according to them, perhaps all the Dementor army that You-Know-Who possessed might have been destroyed. Indeed the Ministry confirmed that the number of Dementors who were in service in Azkaban was nearly two hundred.
A Hufflepuff A.D. member brought Harry a copy of the Daily Prophet at the training session that followed the attack:
“We all knew that it was your Patronus, because it was the exact image of yours, but when you showed it to us during the training sessions, it was really of normal size”, she said.
“Yes !” Harry replied. “Let’s us say that I can conjure my Patronus at will, as I want, Harry added pointing his wand towards the door and the enormous stag appeared from thin air, touching the basilica ceiling of the class with its antlers.
“How can we conjure a Patronus in that way ?” asked many voices at the same time.
“I think that for this question I can’t give you much help. It’s a strictly individual and personal work. When Professor Lupin taught me how to conjure a Patronus, my stag was of a normal size. When I was attacked by the Dementors, there were two of them, and when I passed my O.W.L. my stag was of a normal size too. But since Dumbledore’s death, I’ve woken up; I said to myself that my Patronus should be of greater weight and size to exterminate an army of Dementors if ever Voldemort sent me one. Well, that’s my Patronus’ story. Think about it and perhaps you’ll find a solution. The main thing is concentration and determination of the spirit … It’s very important, in every curse, in all curses, and the whole power resides in it.”
“We’ve received the results from the Laboratory,” said Hermione at the end of the training session when all the D.A. members had left.
“The results are very good. I didn’t know very well what exams I should asked for, so I’ve just asked for the blood group, and the current and viral diseases, and mother said that it was good. Bill’s blood group is O+”
“Good, universal donor, that’s already a good thing”, said Harry.
“All the researches for various current diseases are negative. Lupin’s also is exempt from germs, but of AB+ group, universal recipient, Hermione said.
“Wonderful !” replied Harry. “Then perhaps we could give to St Mungos a sample ? I have an idea; we’ll spend our next weekend at Grimmauld Place. We’ll ask Hagrid to let us out and when we return, Ron’ll send him his Patronus so that he opens the gate for us. I would like to be a little more free, so as to make a tour in London. I have perhaps a new clue, I saw a black tower, a horrible black tower !”
“A horrible black tower ?” repeated Hermione, knitting her brows as she was thoughtful. “Where could it be ?”
And the three friends plunged their heads upon the London’s map that Harry had ordered, but they found nothing which might be a “horrible black tower”. The map only showed historic and tourist sites.
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