Chapter 5: Back to the Sources
Back to The Borrow, Harry ran up to Ron’s room, and locked himself in order to read Dumbledore’s letter. Hermione discreetly gave Ron a significant look and pulled him to the kitchen.
The letter was undated.
If you received this letter from my brother Aberforth’s hand, it means that my departure had been somehow a little precipitated. But be assured, as I once told you, that for ordered people, death is but the next great adventure.
You know now why Voldemort is indestructible, and you also know how to vanquish him. Don’t forget that Love is your strength; it’s the only weapon against which Voldemort would be powerless. And bear in mind that help would be given to anyone who asks for it, and that I would only truly have left, when none here are loyal to me. I am always at your side.
I am confident in our victory.
Good luck to you, Harry.
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.
P.S. There are Muggle style security devices at your chalet in Austria. The code is twice the date of your birth then your birth hour.
Harry fell down onto his bed, with his face in his pillow, and gave way to his sorrow. When Hermione brought up his meal, she found him in that position with the letter in his hand.
“Harry”, said Hermione kneeling down beside his bed, and putting a comforting hand round his shoulders.”I brought your meal.”
Harry sat up on his bed and gave her the letter.
Hermione read it slowly in silence.
“It’s a way for him to say Good Bye to you”, said Hermione after having read the letter through to the end, “so that his departure may not be too brutal to you. He certainly loved you very much.”
Hermione always proved to be thoughtful and understanding, Harry thought with gratitude. Ron just came into the room, bringing the dessert on a small plate.
“Well ?”, Ron asked in a carefree and rather tactless mood, “What did Dumbledore say in the letter ?”
Hermione gave him a reproachful look and handed him the letter. Ron read it straight through.
“It sounds perfectly like Dumbledore. That doesn’t get you anywhere !” Ron snapped, handing back the letter.
Harry took it and saw that the P.S. was no longer there, but said nothing. He started taking his meal.
“What’s the program for tomorrow ?” Ron inquired.
“I think I’ll go through Dumbledore’s book tonight”, replied Harry. “And tomorrow we’ll go to number twelve, Grimmauld Place to prepare the house for our settlement. And I’d like to go to Godric’s Hollow afterwards”.
“We’ll come with you”, said Hermione and Ron together.
And the three friends stayed late in the night, to read the book and discuss about the best way to dissimulate and protect magically the Head Quarters. They finally decided to adopt an associated way of protection and dissimulation which was to be performed by many persons, (here four people including Dobby. Yes, the elves were very magically powerful, but they only used magic when their masters allowed them to do so) each one with his own formula, and then to re-christen the house under another name.
Harry just woke up, when Hermione, already dressed, came into the room and went straight to the window to open it widely.
“Up to work ! You boys !”
Harry sat up in his bed:
“I’ve an idea”, then he called “Dobby !” and the elf appeared from thin air in front of him.
“Mr Potter asks for Dobby ?”
“Could you prepare some sandwiches for us” asked Harry. “We’ll make a picnic, for you too, because I wish you to come with us, … in an hour …” added Harry.
“Yes, Sir !”.
The three friends came down and took their breakfast hastily.
“Mum ! Dobby has prepared sandwiches for us. Don’t wait for us for lunch, said Ron to Mrs Weasley.
“And where are you going ?” asked Mrs Weasley, then … “if I am allowed to know ?” she added with a mocking smile.
“We are going to Grimmauld Place”, answered Harry. “And Dobby will come with us. We’d like to prepare and re-name the Head Quarters for the Order.”
Then, each of them gave Mrs Weasley a kiss on the cheek.
“Dobby”, said Harry, “you’ll wait for us discreetly at Grimmauld Place. As for us, Ron, Hermione and I, we’ll go by the Muggle bus. No need for you to be there too early before us. OK ?”, added Harry.
“Yes, Sir ! Don’t be worried Mr Potter”, Dobby answered promptly.
The Muggle bus was very slow and not at all to Ron’s taste.
“Is it the way you travel ?” asked Ron in exasperation.
“Yes ! But we don’t fall over and get our neck broken !”, Hermione snapped back.
When they reached Grimmauld Place, which was deserted like most residential quarters, they all got down.
“I don’t see any number twelve !”, Ron burst out looking desperate.
“It’s normal ! Wait for me here”, said Harry. “I’m the only one who can still see the number twelve.”
Harry went to the house and put his hand on the doorknob. He heard sounds from behind the door: “click ! click ! click ! click !” as if someone had just taken away the bars from inside. He went in and closed the door. Then with a wave of his wand and in turning a round on himself, he cast a curse to remove all the former formulas of dissimulation and protection, as was indicated in Dumbledore’s book. Then he went to the door, opened it and waved for his friends to come in. From a branch on a leafy tree, Dobby dropped himself onto the ground with the picnic basket, and followed Hermione and Ron into the house. Harry then put back the bars on the door.
Harry cast a new curse of dissimulation in the same way in turning a round on himself. Then Hermione and Ron did the same thing, one after the other.
“Dobby ! You’ll cast a curse for the protection of the house too!”, said Harry.
Dobby didn’t expect to be asked to do such a thing, really very touched, and with tears in his eyes, he stood facing the main door, then with his two hands, he pushed in the air in front of him, as if he pushed out some one invisible, with a very concentrated expression on his face.
When he had finished, Harry asked:
“What’s the curse you’ve used, Dobby ?”
“It’s a curse of old magic, very old magic, which repels everyone who wants to enter the house with an ill intention towards my master. It’s a very powerful curse, and you must do it with love. If your mother was able to protect you by her sacrifice, Dobby’s curse will protect you in the same way, by love and with love.”
“Oh Dobby, it’s very kind of you”, said Harry and he lifted the elf up in the air, and gave him a kiss on each cheek.
Then Harry cast another spell pointing his wand on the door, and shouting with a firm voice: “WULFRIC”
“Well, I’ve just re-named the house “Wulfric”, said Harry “Dobby ! Would you like to be my Secret Keeper ?”
“Oh, Mr Potter ! Dobby is very honoured !”, replied the elf, … “Dobby will die in keeping your secret. Dobby will never betray you”, the elf added in a sob.
“Thank you, Dobby !”
Then Dobby turned a round on himself, and stopping before Hermione, he said: “Wulfric” then before Ron he said also “Wulfric”.
“Thank you, Dobby” said Hermione and Ron together.
“Dobby will do the cleaning of the house”, said the elf, running to the kitchen to hide his emotion.
“No, Dobby, we’ll go and choose our rooms first”
The house was very large. And it was the first time that Harry, Ron and Hermione visited the house thoroughly, on reconnaissance. On the ground floor, there were a living room, a dining room, a cavernous kitchen and toilets. On the second floor, there were four rooms, toilets and bathrooms, the third floor with as many rooms as the second one. And the attic, as large as the surface of the house with small windows in the roof, where were stocked upside down all that was no longer in use. They have decided to set up all their rooms on the second floor, with a library-living room for them, the third floor would be for the guests. The ground floor would be entirely kept for the Order of the Phoenix.
“Dobby, you’ll choose a room for you on the third floor”, Harry said.
“No, Dobby will not sleep in a room. Dobby will sleep in the cupboard under the staircase, and that will do for Dobby”.
“No, I want you to choose a proper chamber, so that you may have room to receive Winky when she comes to see you. OK ?” replied Harry. “And I want you to try to take away the big portrait of the lady in the first landing, if you can, because we’ve tried but have not been able to remove it. Tomorrow we’ll settle ourselves here, you’ll bring our things here, and don’t forget to give Winky permission to come and see you”.
In the cupboard under the stair, Harry found a brass plate with the name “BLACK” on it. He gave it to Dobby, asking him to change it into “WULFRIC”, and to place it on the outside of the entrance door.
Dobby prepared their meal. Harry found in the dresser the whole set of goblets in solid silver with the Black family’s crest. Surprised, Harry burst out:
“But, I thought that these had been stolen by Mundungus ? They are all still here ? The silverware too … I don’t understand ,” he added.
“Perhaps Dumbledore ordered him to restore them”, suggested Hermione.
“Perhaps … yes, because we have no other explanations”, replied Harry.
There were still some bottles of butter-beer in the cave. And they were happy to share their picnic with the feeling that their adult and independent life had just begun.
The three friends decided to Apparate to Godric’s Hollow. They landed on the slope of a small hill dotted with pines. It was still early afternoon, during siesta hours. They saw at their feet a small village, with the spire of the village church, and its graveyard. Behind them, mid way to the top of the hill and hidden behind a thick row of pines were the ruins of an old building. Something told Harry that this was the place where his parents had lived. A large path thickly overgrown by vegetation but might still be guessed, wounding its way to the foot of the hill, where two masonry posts and an imposing wrought iron gate were still undamaged. The three friends ran down to the gate, and Harry could read on a brass plate the inscription ‘Godric’s Hollow’. His heart began to beat in a disorderly manner and he again saw the scene of his parents’ murder flash in his mind. A combination of love for his parents and of fury against Voldemort overwhelmed him, and he had to lean against the post to pull himself together.
Hermione, always very attentive, put an arm on Harry’s shoulder, she remained silent for a while, and then with a timid voice, she asked:
“Are you alright… We are here with you.”
Ron remained silent, looking at him with compassion.
“It’s alright” replied Harry, then he stood up and they went back to the hill. The building must have been very important considering the large surface occupied by the rubble. There were two sections of wall forming a corner still partly up.
‘There must be something left here’, said Harry. If only I had a photo of the house I could have it rebuilt as it was before.
Then they began to remove little by little the layers of rubble with their wands. After many hours, their efforts were rewarded. In the bottom of the corner where the two sections of wall still remained up, they found a small piece of furniture, miraculously undamaged. It was a finely carved bedside table made in solid olive wood. In the drawer they found a small photo album, an ivory comb with a silver handle artistically worked with a floral pattern, a small oval pocket mirror in its silver frame and with a handle worked in the same style (‘surely they were my mother’s things’, Harry thought, happy to have some relics belonging to her), and some pieces of parchment. On one of these, in Sirius’s handwriting and bearing no date, they could read,:
« I don’t know what this may mean: Regulus seems to be preoccupied and very worried. I saw him today at my parent’s where I went to fetch some of my things. »
On another piece of parchment, also in Sirius’s handwriting:
« They’ve found Regulus’ corpse in the forest in Yorkshire, under the Dark Mark ! »
Harry emptied the contents of the drawer into his bag. They decided to hide the table behind the rubble, for the time being; they would come back to retrieve it after their visit to the graveyard. Then they went down the hill. They didn’t meet anyone on their way because the graveyard was on the outskirts of the village and they did not need to cross it. They didn’t waste much time to find out the tomb of Harry’s parents. It was a grey granite vault near other vaults bearing the same name “Potter”. Perhaps this part of the graveyard was reserved to the Potter’s family for there were still empty places in the surroundings. On the vault of James and Lily there was a bunch of garden flowers not yet really withered, in a round marble vase full of water.
‘Who placed flowers here?’ asked Harry.
But no one could give him an answer. Hermione, always full of delicacy, discreetly pulled Ron towards other tombs, leaving Harry alone to meditate on his parents’ one. When Harry stood up, the sun was already under the horizon. They returned in silence to the hill.
‘I must come back here again to find out who puts flowers on my parents’ tomb,’ said Harry, removing completely the drawer from the bedside table and giving it to Ron. Then, he took the table through the hole left by the drawer, and they Apparated to the Burrow.
Charlie came right at the moment when the inhabitants of The Burrow were gathering around the table for diner. Bill and Lupin’s state of health were much better but they were still very weak and still had to take the Blood-Replenishing Potion every hour. The night before was a full moon one. At St Mungos’ Hospital, the healers moved Lupin into a special room with a double glass door to have a look on him, but Lupin didn’t transform. They didn’t know how to explain that phenomenon, and thought that perhaps he was still too weak to transform. Tonks hoped hard for a miracle. As for Bill, he was much better and might come back home soon.
Fleur’s confession letter was very moving, and had been integrally published by the morning edition of the Daily Prophet. On the other hand, the Ministry of Magic has already received thousands of petitions in Fleur’s favour, but Fleur has retrieved her smile only when Bill, who had sufficiently recovered to be able to speak, told her that she had been right in killing Greyback, and that if she had to do it over again, he would ask her to cast the Avada Kedavra curse against the werewolf a million times.
Mr Weasley had caught sight of Percy at the Ministry, but Percy avoided him as always, and Mr Weasley swore that he would never forgive Percy, for it was the second time that Bill was seriously wounded and that Percy had never tried to ask for news about his brother’s health.
“Perhaps he thought that in sending a present to Bill in that way, and every body should be thankful to him. He can wait a long time for a word of thanks !” said Mr Weasley.
“How sad !”, thought Harry.
Gabrielle was still at the Burrow. Fleur told them that Gabrielle had registered at Hogwarts this year, and she would be in the fifth year class, the same as if she returned to Beauxbatons.
“She’ll be the youngest in her class, she skipped one class at Beauxbatons last year”, Fleur said.
“A class below Ginny, and she is probably a very good student to have been able to skip one class !“, Harry thought.
In the evening the three friends prepared their trunks for their moving the next day. Harry was glad that Ginny was not at The Burrow. She was staying at Fred and George’s to give a hand to her brothers, because they were both very busy on their research to improve their Misleading Cloak. They were suddenly becoming serious to Mr and Mrs Weasley’s great satisfaction and relief.
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