• Chapter 11 - 2


    Spinner's End - 2nd part



    The sewer was large enough for a man to enter it, standing.  Harry rolled up the hem of his trousers and stepped inside. The water was up to the sole of his shoes, dirty, black and the air was unbreathable. He lighted his wand and turned it around in every direction so as to light every corner of the sewer.  The three friends were moving forward deep into the sewer when Harry heard hissings and at the same time he saw what it was.

    “Get out, you both, quickly ! It’s a snake’s nest, in a recess on the ceiling. Adders, plenty of them ! Get out quickly, jump to the bank where we came from, I’ll try to shove them away”, said Harry; then in Parseltongue:

    “Calm down !” said Harry while backing quickly towards the sewer mouth, and then he jumped onto the bank in front of his friends, clearing completely the passage. He then threw a fire ball with a movement of his wand, as far as possible into the sewer, then he picked up the back of a broken chair and protected his feet with it tapping it on the ground whenever a snake came close to him. Hundreds of black dotted yellow adders with triangular heads slithered out. Harry went on speaking in Parseltongue: “Calm down ! Go !  Go the other way !”

    “How did you manage so that they come out of the sewer, all of them like that ?”  asked Ron.

    “I threw a fireball far inside the sewer, so they all come in this way. Snakes don’t like fire, neither light nor smoke, according to Dumbledore’s book”, Harry explained.

    When there were no more adders coming out of the sewer, Harry threw again a fireball into the sewer to light every corner of it and stepped in, followed closely by Hermione and Ron.  There were no more snakes. At the bottom of the recess on the ceiling was a small tarnished brass casket.

    “Look !” Harry burst out. “There’s a small casket in the recess ! Voldemort must have thought that the hundreds of those adders would be sufficient to keep away whoever wanted to take the casket ! Wait a minute; I’ll put on my gloves.  There might still be some more adders hidden behind the casket, I will not climb up there”, added Harry putting on his gloves, then with a wave of the wand he made the casket fly down to him and caught it in mid air.  But in fact the casket was hiding another cavity and again hundreds of adders were swarming about in the recess.

    “Get out ! Quick !” The three friends ran towards the mouth of the sewer.  Harry threw another fireball between themselves and the mass of adders to repel them. When they came to the bank, he threw three smoke balls in a row into the sewer, then he grasped Hermione’s arm and climbed up the bank, running behind Ron.

    “It was a narrow escape !” said Ron, while running.

    “Yes, as you said”, replied Harry, panting ... “Ouch !”

    An adder that was concealed in the grass just bit him on his naked calf.

    “I’ve been bitten on the ankle !” Harry cried out, casting a quick look at his feet, just in time to see the adder disappear in the grass, but he continued running and dragging Hermione along with him, up to the border of the street.

    “Sit down here !” said Hermione. “Lean against the tree and relax. Show me your ankle !”

    “There !” said Harry pointing a finger at the place that burned him on the calf, a little above his ankle. There were two close tiny traces that were hardly visible. Then Harry rolled up the trouser above his knee.

    With her teeth Hermione tore off a strip of tissue at the bottom of her shirt and made a tourniquet above the wound. “Give me your bag, have you got a knife in it ?”

    “No, I don’t think so.”

    “It’s doesn’t matter !” Then Hermione pointed her wand on the wound, where now a small bump started to form and where the skin colour turned into violet.  She made a small, deep cross incision on the bump, then she pressed her hands around the wound to force blood leaking out.

    Ron remained silent, watching carefully the grass around.

    But Harry’s whole leg was already insensitive.  He felt that his breath was failing him. ‘Oh ! If only Fawkes was there, how could I fulfil my mission if I am to die now’, he thought miserably, then aloud: ‘Fawkes, if you hear me !, he cried out, with his eyes shut; but his voice was hardy audible. He dropped his arms along his body as if he had no more strength to keep them on his knees.

    Hermione stopped to look up at Harry with a worried expression.

    A phoenix song was suddenly heard from somewhere. Ron looked up and searched around. Harry felt something warm on his knee. He opened his eyes and saw the flaming red head of the phoenix leaning against it. The bird dropped its tears on the wound that Hermione had opened.

    “Oh ! Fawkes ! Thank you for answering my call !”

    Many minutes went by, the incision made by Hermione started to heal, and the skin became normal again. Harry knew that Fawkes was going to leave.

    “Thank you, Fawkes. And if you ever meet your master, tell him ‘thanks’ on my behalf; tell him that I miss him very much”, Harry said  holding out his hand to stroke the bird's head, but his hand touched nothing but air, Fawkes had disappeared.

    Hermione and Ron, stupefied, looked at Harry in silence.

    Harry bent down to look at his wound. But there was no more wound, the colour of the skin had become normal, he just felt some tingling sensation in his leg.

    “How do you feel ?”

    “Fine ! You saved me, Hermione ! If you had not made the incision on my wound, Fawkes’s tears wouldn’t have had much effect.”

    “But, there was no Fawkes ! You gave us such a fear when you became delirious ! You spoke to Fawkes !” said Ron.

    “I haven’t been delirious ! Fawkes was there. I heard its song, you too, you’ve heard it and you looked around searching it. And I saw it and felt the comforting warmth of its head against my knee !”

    “It seemed to me that I heard the phoenix song, yes, but Fawkes himself wasn’t there”, said Hermione while examining Harry’s ankle.

    “How could we explain that ? Because my wound and the incision you’ve made are healed  ! No more trace of the icision !”

    “Yes, it’s strange” replied Hermione after a moment’s silence.

    “Or perhaps the last times when Fawkes had cured me, it left in my blood, for ever, the healing power of its tears, and effectively, just now, I had hallucinations ?”

    Hermione and Ron didn’t say anything.

    But Harry, within himself, thought that Fawkes had well and truly been there. That idea comforted him a lot, for it proved that somehow he always had a close contact with Dumbledore, though unreal and mystical. He undid the tourniquet, put it in his bag, and tested his leg making some movements, then he got up.

    “Quite fortunate, your having got a first-aid certificate. You saved me !” said Harry taking Hermione’s hand and kissing it.

    “We have the casket ! Does it contain Helga’s golden cup ?” Harry wondered aloud after a moment’s silence, but he didn’t expect any answer, for the three friends went on each one following his own thoughts.

    They walked for a long time before they came to a bus stop.  They were no longer in the same area as Spinner’s End, for the houses here were different, but it was still a poor area, the houses were not more luxurious than in Spinner’s End.

    “An orphanage !” Harry exclaimed pointing at the sign of an old house on the other side of the street. “Surely Voldemort was here in that orphanage  !”

    “I understand now why he chose this place to hide his things. It’s here that he grew up”, said Hermione, breaking out her silence. “Broouuh ! Those swarming snakes give me a terrific gooseflesh !” she added shivering.

    The three friends returned to Grimmauld Place by the London bus.


    They settled down in their living room on the second floor to examine the casket. The handle was in the form of a snake, roughly wrought. Its neck had been welded onto the lid, but the head was raised up as well as the pointed end of its tail.

    “Fortunately I’ve put on my thick glove; otherwise I could have been wounded ! And if the point of its tail was poisonous !” Then in Parseltongue, he said:

    “Open up !”

    And the casket opened out as if by magic.

    “Woouuawh ! Wait, don’t touch anything, put on your gloves !”, Harry suggested.

    Inside the casket, there was a little box and  a yo-yo.

    “What ! I thought that Dumbledore had ordered him to return these objects that he had stolen, to their owners: the yo-yo, the silver thimble and the mouth organ ! He had dared disobey Dumbledore … and … he was already very good at Occlumency … when he was only eleven years old !” Harry added, then with his gloved hand he picked up the box and opened it. There, in its silken wrappings was a small golden cup with two artistically wrought handles. He examined it closely and handed it to Hermione who took it with her gloved hand too.

    “Yes, it’s Helga’s cup with the finely engraved badger that we saw in the Pensieve” said Hermione.

    “How can we destroy it  ?” inquired Ron.

    “Well, as we did it last time, I suppose. Let’s try ! Come here, place yourself  behind me.”

    Harry put the cup before him, on the table, then got up and stood right in front of it. With a smooth wave of his wand he cast the ‘Reducto’ curse by snapping the wand tip straight on the cup which broke into two neat parts releasing a wisp of dark smoke on which Harry pointed his wand crying:

    “Avada Kedavra !” A dazzling green flash darted out from the wand tip, and the smoke broke into pieces and melted away into thin air.

    “Ouff ”, Ron let out with relief.

    “I think that you’ve just destroyed the fourth Horcrux” said Hermione.

    “I hope so !” Harry sighed … waving his wand to mend the cup. As for the fifth Horcrux, I don’t yet know how I could find it. Up until now, I used to think hard of Helga’s cup while trying to enter Nagini’s head, but we don’t know what the fifth Horcrux looks like, we know nothing about it !” added Harry, looking thoughtful.

    “And what should we do with the yo-yo ?” Ron wondered aloud. “Do you think it’s also a Horcrux ?”

    “No, I don’t think so. I think Voldemort kept it as a symbol of his disobedience towards Dumbledore. Dumbledore had ordered him to return these objects to their owners, saying “I shall know…” I saw it in the Pensieve, in the scene when Dumbledore came to the Orphanage to offer him a place at Hogwarts. Dumbledore found the mouth organ along with Gaunt’s ring too !”

    Harry pointed his wand on the yo-yo which at once broke into two pieces, but no smoke slipped out from it.

    “You see ! When he was eleven years old, Voldemort was already a superb Occlumens.  It was in his nature to lie, and be secretive ! At the age of sixteen, when he opened the Chamber of Secrets, Dumbledore didn’t know that Voldemort was the one who had done it. Dumbledore was too ‘emotionally’ good, to be on top at Legilimency.”




    ‘Look !’ Harry whispered, nudging Ron’s side.  The three friends were again crouched in a bush in Gloucester’s forest, behind the Malfoys’ manor.

    A frail flickering light could be guessed through the splits of the closed windows of the manor. The light moved from one room to the other, then died away. The three friends stayed for quite a long time to keep watching, but nothing more happened.

    Again, from time to time, they felt muffled thuds underneath them, they laid down on their stomach with their ears against the ground to listen, and they all agreed that it were sounds of foot steps, many foot steps.

    Up to midnight nothing more happened, and they decided to return to the Head Quarters to spend the remaining of the night.

    But Harry could not sleep. He stayed awake, thinking about the fifth Horcrux, which was very vague in his mind. What was it ? And where could he find it. It was an enigma that only HE, Harry, could solve. Why Dumbledore had left him so early when he needed him so badly ?  And when Harry let himself finally go into drowsiness, the first morning gleams were already breaking through the splits of his windows.


    Hermione and Ron were already in the kitchen where Dobby was preparing the breakfast, when Harry entered:

    “What shall we do today ?” Ron inquired.

    “I would like to go to Gloucester to see whether we could find ventilation shafts. I think that in broad daylight they won’t dare show themselves. Just to make sure whether there are underground passages or not. I’m sure there are.”

    “You don’t look very well”, said Hermione … “I’m sure you haven’t slept properly !” Hermione said gently, looking worried.

    “Bof ! It’s alright”, replied Harry shrugging, and sitting down before the dish of scrambled eggs Dobby had  just slid in front of him, “Just a short stroll, after lunch, to be clear in our mind, before returning to Hogwarts”, added Harry.


    They decided to Apparate to Gloucester from a park near Grimmauld Place, behind a large hydrangea bush.

    The Malfoys’ manor was mid-way on a hill, quite far from the village, and behind the manor was a fairly dense  forest.

    “If there are ventilation shafts, they must be hidden in the bushes.  We should try every bush. I shall order a detailed map of the region”, Harry said.

    But there were so many bushes.  When they had come deep into the forest, Harry heard a sound. At once, he covered his friends under his Invisibility Cloak and they stayed quietly behind a small bush. Some one came from the dense forest, wearing a black hooded cloak, he turned his head left then right, hid himself behind a bush then Disapparated. The three friends dared not venture any further, and as the sun was going down, they decided to Apparate from their hiding spot straight to Hogwarts.

    Their weekend was fruitful, and they decided to talk to the Order about what they had found in the forest behind the Malfoys’ manor.





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