Harry Potter 7





    by Kitty





    Chapter 1:  The Last Visit to Privet Drive



    The last rays of a late July sunset still lingered on the tops of the trees bordering Privet Drive. On the windowsill of a small room on the second floor of number four, a black haired adolescent had been leaning for hours, his eyes staring into space; a sad and preoccupied expression sharpened his pale, thin face. He was only a teen-aged boy, and yet a tragic past had marked him through his whole life. “Yes,” he said to himself, “it’s he, Voldemort. It’s all because of him !

    Voldemort was the greatest dark wizard of the century. He had killed Harry’s parents and made him an orphan. Voldemort had tried to kill him, Harry Potter, too, but the sacrifice of his mother had given him a magical protection until today, his seventeenth birthday, the day he came of age. Seventeen years old, yes, it was so in the Wizarding world …  because Harry was a wizard.

    At the thought of his mother, a surge of love flooded his heart.  He saw passing in his mind his father James who tried holding off Voldemort to give his mother time to flee with him, Harry. Voldemort, after having killed his father, turned to his mother to kill him, Harry. “Not Harry ! Not Harry ! Please”, begged his mother, sobbing. “Stand aside … stand aside, silly girl”, ordered Voldemort in his cold high-pitched voice, and his mother went on pleading: “Please, kill me instead, kill me !” That tragic scene happened sixteen years before at Godric’s Hollow where his parents had lived, and when Harry was barely one year old.

    He didn’t really remember the scene. But over the years, he had seen his parents in the mirror of Erised, heard the echoing voice of his father, the pleadings of his mother, and the merciless voice of Voldemort during the attack of the Dementors, the monsters who made you relive your worst memories. And little by little, that scene had taken shape clearly and vividly in his mind.

    However, he still remembered the bright green flash that dazzled him, which, as he understood only later on, was the killing curse Voldemort had cast on him after he had disposed of his mother.  But the curse backfired ripping off Voldemort and reducing him into a wandering spirit no more palpable than a dark shadow. And he, Harry, became famous with just a lightning shaped scar on his forehead, because he was the only one to ever survive a killing curse cast by the greatest wizard of the century.  People in the Wizarding world named him The-Boy-Who-Lived or The Chosen One.

    Yes, the Chosen One, because of a stupid prophecy, which made Voldemort hunt down his parents in order to kill him. A sad and ironical smile took shape on Harry’s face. But Voldemort had come back. Harry was there himself at his rebirth, two years ago, in the cemetery of Little Hangleton, where Voldemort had killed Cedric Diggory, a friend of Harry’s, just because the latter was an undesirable witness.   Moreover, Harry himself should not have survived.  That was not in Voldemort’s plan.  Harry had duelled against him, and had managed to escape, thanks to the « ghosts » of his parents that appeared out of their two wands under the effects of the « Priori Incantatem » spell.

    After the image of Cedric came that of his godfather, Sirius, a close friend of his parents, then that of Dumbledore, the former Headmaster of Hogwarts, the school he attended. Dumbledore was the greatest wizard, Harry’s most powerful protector, the only wizard Voldemort had ever feared.

    During the whole last school year, Dumbledore had explained to Harry many things concerning Voldemort.  How Voldemort had conquered death and gained immortality, and how to defeat him. Voldemort had created Horcruxes. They were objects in which Voldemort had concealed a bit of his soul, so they rendered him indestructible. According to Dumbledore’s researches, Voldemort had created six Horcruxes. The diary which Harry had destroyed in the Chamber of Secrets at the end of his second year at Hogwarts was one of these, and Dumbledore had destroyed a second one, the ring belonging to Gaunt, Voldemort’s grandfather, the only known descendant of Salazar Slytherin, one of the four founders of Hogwarts.

    Dumbledore thought that Voldemort had transferred to Harry, not intentionally of course, a bit of his own powers on the night he had attacked him and given him that scar on the forehead. That was why Harry could speak Parseltongue, the language of snake, spoken by Salazar Slytherin and Voldemort himself.

    It was to fetch the third Horcrux, Salazar Slytherin’s locket, that Dumbledore and Harry went to the cave by the seaside on the tragic night when Dumbledore died. But it was an unsuccessful operation, because the Horcrux had been stolen away by a certain R.A.B., and in its place was a fake one. Therefore, there were still four Horcruxes somewhere out there to track down and to destroy before he could think of the possibility of eliminating Voldemort himself.  At this thought, a sharp pain oppressed Harry’s heart. Dumbledore should not have sacrificed himself and drunk all that potion in the cave.  Harry realized now how much he had loved his Headmaster, he had loved him like a grandfather he had never had nor known.  It was for Harry an inestimable comfort at the beginning of each term to see him again in his throne-like chair at the staff table, his face illuminated by an inner light exuding wisdom, knowledge and kindness, and to receive from him a small smile full of understanding and complicity that meant a lot.

    His father, his mother, Sirius, Dumbledore, they all were dead directly or indirectly by the hand of Voldemort. Those who had cared for him, who had loved him, had stood in front of him, all determined to protect him, and they had one after the other perished in their attempt. His love for those he loved, and who had loved him, overwhelmed him like a tidal wave. “ Yes, I’ll take revenge for you, mother, for all of you !” Harry said in a sob, while leaving the windowsill.


    The street lamps in Privet Drive had just been switched on, bathing all the area in its yellow and misty light, chasing the last crepuscular rays.

    The day before, Ron, his best friend, had sent him a letter saying that his father Mr Weasley would come today at nightfall with Fred, one of his joker twin brothers, to escort him to The Burrow, where Ron’s family lived. Ron had told him that his parents invited him to stay at The Burrow as long as he would wish. But after deep reflection he decided he would go and live at number twelve, Grimmauld Place, the house he had inherited from his Godfather. He would settle himself there after Bill’s and Fleur’s wedding, and once he had passed his Apparition Test.

    “It would be wiser that way, for many reasons”, Harry thought.  He didn’t want to endanger Ron’s family by his presence at The Burrow. And on top of all this, at The Burrow, there was Ginny, Ron’s young sister, whom Harry loved.  He had known her for quite a long time, since his second year at Hogwarts, but it was only recently that he was conscious of that feeling. He realized that this feeling had always been in him, latent, but he was too young to understand it.  He had spent many summers at Ron’s house, had been in close contact with her. They had played Quidditch together. He had looked upon her as a sister; so much he was accustomed to her presence. But in reality it was not so. He still remembered how he had felt in the Chamber of Secrets, when he had knelt beside her inert and cold body, and how he had begged her not to die. He had felt as if part of his life was going away with her.

    Hardly a month before, at the end of the last school year Harry had taken a decision not to get involved with her any more, never to show himself with her, so as to avoid drawing Voldemort’s attention upon her.  Surely Voldemort would use her as a bait to reach him, as he had already made use of her to open the Chamber of Secrets, and draw him into an ambush, just because she was his best friend’s sister.  Yes, it would be too dangerous for Ginny. And also he should not tie up Ginny to his life, because he, himself, didn’t know whether he would be able to survive once more his last encounter with Voldemort. He, Harry, an apprentice wizard in front of a Voldemort, the most powerful and most pitiless sorcerer whom everybody feared, and whose name nobody dared pronounce. People called him He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

    Since his return to Privet Drive, Harry could not help turning these thoughts over and over again and wondering how he could eliminate Voldemort. The Prophecy said that only he, Harry, could vanquish Voldemort, and Dumbledore said that he possessed a power that Voldemort ignored, which was Love and that Harry possessed  « in such quantities ? » and that Voldemort had not at all ! But how to destroy that crazed killer of Voldemort with Love as an only weapon ! And to begin with, Harry thought he should have at least a minimum basis of magical power to survive through attacks, before he could « use » Love to destroy him !

    He had ordered from Flourish & Blotts, the greatest bookshop in Diagon Alley, high level books of Defence Against the Dark Arts (DADA), and every day he read them, dissected them, learnt the movements of the hand, and arm, and trained relentlessly, on the sly, in his room, leaving it just the necessary time for meals, if one could say so. He realized that he had made lots of progress, and he understood now that what was most important in a curse, was the concentration and determination of the spirit on the result one aimed at. Concentration and determination Harry had. Already in his fourth year, the fake professor of DADA had demonstrated the three Unforgivable Curses and had tested the Imperius one upon him.  He had been able to defeat the curse while other wizards much more experienced in magical power as well as much older in age had already been overwhelmed. He also trained to master the Non-verbal curses he now understood  their immense importance.


    Mr Weasley and Fred would come any moment now. Harry left the windowsill, and cast a quick look around his room: His trunk was packed, and set in the middle of the room, Hedwig, his owl, was in her cage, his Firebolt broom on his trunk. The room was cleaned.  All the posters on the wall as well as the photos of his parents on the bedside table had already been removed.

    Harry had informed his uncle Vernon Dursley and his aunt Petunia, his mother’s sister, of his departure today. The attitude of the Dursley towards him had somehow changed since he had come back to Privet Drive this year, as if they had expected his going away to show some kindness, or perhaps, they now understood that Harry would soon come of age, and that he would be able to use magic, and they feared that Harry would turn them into a pig family if he wanted to.  That idea probably amused him as a smile replaced the preoccupied expression on his face when he arrived in the kitchen. His cousin Dudley was on the sofa, with his eyes riveted on the large screened television, following a stupid entertainment programme while nibbling potato chips.  In anyway, there was no need to turn him into a pig; he looked already like a sow in the full meaning of the word. All by himself he occupied half the surface of the large sofa.

    Aunt Petunia had never loved him.  She was not really wicked, but simply indifferent as if he didn’t exist.  But since last summer, when Dumbledore explained to him why he was with the Dursley while many other wizard families would very much like to adopt him as their own son.  It was because of the blood link she had with his mother that procured the lingering magical protection he had enjoyed during those last sixteen years, and since, Harry had felt differently towards his aunt.  There was a note of gratitude in his feelings for her.

    His aunt was in the kitchen, halfway through her usual pre-bedtime cleaning; uncle Vernon was reading his evening paper in his usual armchair.

    “Aunt Petunia and uncle Vernon, you both know that I am leaving today. Some friends will come to fetch me at any moment now. Before leaving I would like to thank you for having taken me under your roof.”

    “Where are you going to live  ?” asked Petunia.

    “I’ll stay first at Ron’s parents’, then afterwards, perhaps I’ll settle in the house I inherited from my God father Sirius Black”, replied Harry, then he took his wand out from the back pocket of his faded jean, turned it in a smooth wave and a bunch of orchids appeared from nowhere in the air, which Harry took and placed in the hand of Petunia who was still holding the cleaning cloth. He had just wonderfully succeeded a Non-verbal curse, thought Harry, with a smile.

    “They are real flowers”, he said to his aunt, “put them in a vase to keep them fresh.”

    As soon as Harry had finished his sentence, sounds on the gravelled alley in front of the house were heard. Someone just rang the doorbell:

    “Harry ? It’s Arthur and Fred !”, Mr Weasley was calling with his booming voice from outside the door, to announce that it was friends and not some Death Eaters, Voldemort’s faithful followers.

    “I’m coming”, answered Harry while hurrying up towards the door.

    “Evening Harry !”,  greeted Mr Weasley, then turning to uncle Vernon who had just arrived behind Harry, he went on:

    “Good evening, Mr Dursley, here I am with my son, Fred, whom you have already met two years ago. You may remember him.”

    Harry thought that it was not very “diplomatic” from Mr Weasley to remind uncle Vernon of that visit when Fred and Georges, his twin brother, had transformed Dudley’s tongue into a foot-long python, testing one of the joker toffees of their own creation.

    “Good evening, Mr Weasly, Fred !”,  Harry hastened to reply, trying to divert the conversation.

    “Are you ready, Harry ?”, Mr Weasley inquired.

    “Yes, I’ll go and fetch my things. They are still upstairs.”

    “I’ll help you”, said Fred.

    Fred followed Harry upstairs onto his room and grabbed the handle of Harry’s trunk. Harry took the broom and Hedwig’s cage, and then cast again a quick look around the room. It was strange, he loathed this place where he had to return every summer under Dumbledore’s order, but now as the time had come to leave it forever, he felt like a kind of nostalgia. No ! It was not possible. He could not regret this place, where he had known nothing but sufferings and loneliness. It was only his childhood that he would leave forever. He would come of age this evening, at five minutes to midnight.  He would take his life in hand and will allow nobody else to stand between him and Voldemort. All his protectors were already dead for having defended him. The last one, the most powerful wizard the world had ever known, had also left him.  He felt lonelier than ever, lonelier than when he was only one year old. In the entrance hall, he found his aunt and Dudley who had just arrived from the kitchen; Petunia still had the flowers in her hands.  Harry placed Hedwig’s cage in Mr Weasley’s stretched hand.

    “Well, Good-bye, Mr, Mrs Dursley, Good bye Dudley”, said Mr Weasley. “We’ll wait for you in the garden, Harry !”

    “Er … bye then”, said Harry to all the Dursleys, while turning to follow Mr Weasley.

    “Bye, Harry”, it was aunt Petunia who replied, in a trembling voice, “you’ll give us news from time to time, we completely ignore where you are going, and thanks for the flowers”. A drop of tears shined in the corner of her eyes.

    And all of a sudden, without having prepared himself for it, Harry dashed towards her and kissed her on both cheeks. He had never fully appreciated that aunt Petunia was his mother’s sister.

    In the courtyard, Harry remained silent, still under the emotion of the moment he had just lived. Mr Weasley sent Harry’s things to the Burrow by a wave of his wand.

    “Hold on to my arm tightly. We’ll Apparate to The Burrow”, said Mr Weasly while proffering his arm to Harry.

    And the unpleasant and well known sensation oppressed Harry as if he was forced through a narrow and thick rubber tube depriving him of his breath until the moment he thought he could no longer bear it and would suffocate, he was already in the courtyard of The Burrow, the second place he loved most in the world, the first one being Hogwarts, the school he attended.


    “Will the school be opened this year, Mr Weasley ?”, asked Harry, speaking for the first time since he had left Privet Drive.

    “Yes, I think so, McGonagall has mentioned it the other day.”

    Harry thought of Ron and Hermione, his two best friends.  Hermione was a Muggle born witch. Her parents were both Muggles, i.e. non wizards. Will he come back to school ? He had been asking himself that question many times for the last month now, but had come to no definite and satisfactory decision.  He had now so many things to do, all a programme for tracking down and destroying the remaining Horcruxes and the final confrontation with Voldemort himself.

    Then he unconsciously recited in his head “the locket, the cup, the snake, something of Gryffindor’s or Ravenclaw’s”. That was the remaining Horcruxes according to Dumbledore. He had kept reciting this mantra to himself for more than a month now, as though by listing them he could bring them within reach.



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    Chapter 2:  Back to The Burrow


    Harry didn’t expect to meet so many people at The Burrow at that late hour. Mrs Weasley deplored his bad look, and stated that she would stuff him up with food during his stay here. That remark instead of making him laugh, on the contrary reminded him of an insignificant but painful anecdote still fresh in his memory. It was on this very doorway of The Burrow that Dumbledore had said about this time last year when he had escorted Harry here: “Let us not deprive Molly any longer of the chance to deplore how thin you are, Harry ”. He still heard echoing in his mind the warm and gentle voice of his former Headmaster and a twinge of pain oppressed him for a moment. He succeeded in pulling himself together in time to answer Mrs Weasley with a pale smile.

    Apart from the members of Ron’s large family, (Harry noticed that Percy, the third eldest Weasley brother, was not there. He had fallen out with the rest of the family.) many people were there: Mad Eye Moody, Lupin and Tonks, all members of the Order of the Phoenix founded by Dumbledore. There were also Fleur, Bill’s fiancée, her sister Gabrielle and Hermione.  Harry breathed easier at the sight of the latter. He had so many things to talk about with his friends Ron and Hermione. Fleur’s parents, Mr and Mrs Delacour, stayed at the village hotel.  Harry was not surprised to see Fleur and Gabrielle here, because Bill’s and Fleur’s wedding was due in three days’ time. Gabrielle didn’t want to stay at the hotel with her parents; she wished to get better acquaintance with Ginny who would be a bridesmaid like her. Harry had met her three years ago at Hogwarts.  He had almost practically fetched her from the bottom of the lake during the second task of the Triwizard Tournament in which he and Fleur were competitors, and after that Fleur had failed and abandoned the task for having been attacked by the underwater monsters.  Gabrielle was only a child but now she had become a young girl with a promising beauty as captivating as her sister, a beauty that deprived you from breath, as Ron would say.  At the Triwizard Tournament Fleur was a student of the seventh year of Beauxbatons, the School of sorcerers in France.

    Harry was mostly afraid at the prospect of meeting Ginny again, and he longed to leave The Burrow as quickly as possible after Bill’s marriage. He was afraid he would be overwhelmed by Ginny’s charms, and that he would not be able to maintain his decisions to remain aloof from her.  He was thankful to Gabrielle for being here; she kept Ginny busy and followed her everywhere. Already the familiar and vague perfume of garden flowers that exuded from Ginny had dangerously softened him on his arrival here when he hugged her (in a very formal way, though, in front of everybody!). Fortunately, he had succeeded in pulling himself together in time. In the rush of a big reunion after a long absence, he didn’t have to face with a private meeting with Ginny, and he thought he was very lucky then.

    Mrs Weasley had planned a delicious and copious supper. Everybody enjoyed it in a warm family atmosphere animated by Fred and George who made publicity advertisement for their most recent inventions, still in testing stage, the Bumper Coat and the Misleading Cloak which made you appear up to five yards closer than where you were really, and according to the distance between you and your opponent, yet within the efficient range of spell casting distance. The farther you were from your opponent, the more the misleading distance was important.  Harry thought that Fred and George had very ingenious ideas.  He had a suggestion and decided to speak to them as soon as possible. Apart from that, the catching chases to dragons who had escaped from the breeding centre, as recounted by Charlie, an other one of Ron’s brothers, made everybody’s blood run cold.  They spoke of everything, and of anything, except of Dumbledore. But it was Harry who first started talking about him. He was between Hermione and Ron, facing Mad-Eye Moody and Lupin, a werewolf who was a close friend of James, his father.

    “How is the Order of the Phoenix, now that Professor Dumbledore is dead ?”, asked Harry addressing Lupin.

    Everybody froze when hearing Harry pronounce Dumbledore’s name, and suddenly the whole room was deep in such a complete silence as if the time had just stopped in its course. Hermione put her hand on her mouth, Ginny from the other end of the table, between Bill and Gabrielle, looked up, staring at Harry with observatory eyes mingled with compassion, which intrigued Harry. A circular look about the whole assembly told him enough, that surely they’ve passed the word around not to speak of Dumbledore in front of him, at least, during this night, the night of reunion, when Dumbledore’s death was still too fresh in everyone’s memory, and specially in Harry’s.

    “Listen  !”, said Harry, “Dumbledore’s death affected me deeply, more than you can imagine, and I think you all understand me well. But I’m no longer a child, and you should understand that too. I’ve decided to take my life in hand and no more will I allow anyone to stand between me and Voldemort to protect me. And I would like to become a member of the Order of the Phoenix, if the Order is still active, of course.”

    “Me too”, stated Hermione.

    “Me too”, added Ron.

    “We both too”,  said Fred and George all together.

    Ginny opened her mouth as if about to speak but thought better of it. She foresaw what would be the answers of the old people and knew that her battle was lost in advance. She remained silent and sulky for the rest of the evening, which was already very late.

    “Listen, Harry”, Moody replied. “We’ve talked about you in the last meeting of the Order the other day. Well, we’ve spoken a lot about you in our last meetings, and because you are too important a person in this battle, in spite of your young age, we’ve decided to let you join the Order and we accepted also the membership of Ron and Miss Granger if ever you wished to. We’ve been a little knocked out lately, of course, by Dumbledore’s death.  He was our Leader and Secret Keeper. We’ve had to change temporarily our Head Quarters to Hogwarts because of Snape. Well, it was more precisely Dumbledore who had forecast everything in case he should disappear in a sudden way. He has left a letter for you.  I intended to inform you by the end of the supper, but because you’ve asked, I tell you now.  I cannot give you the letter, for I don’t have it.  It will be given to you at the next meeting of the Order, which is scheduled for the day after the wedding. Apart from that, the Order is still operating. For the time being, we still follow the directives Dumbledore has left before his death. As for George and Fred, they’ve come of age … er … a long time ago, Arthur and Molly do agree to let them join the Order of the Phoenix too.”

    “Mum ! Dad ! You haven’t told us anything”, protested Fred and George in chorus.

    At the mention of Snape, his former professor of Potions, Harry felt a surge of rage and hatred overwhelm him. Yes, it was also Snape who had started it all.  He was the one who had informed Voldemort of the contents of the prophecy, who had killed Dumbledore, cold bloodedly, on the steps of the Astronomy tower. Harry didn’t know which one of the two, Voldemort or Snape, he now hated most. Still lost in his fury, Harry heard from the other end of the table, Mr Weasley’s voice replying to Fred and George:

            “We wanted just to test your maturity”, then in front of Fred and George’s eyes full of protest, he added … “And also, we have been too busy with the preparations for the wedding.”

    “And who did know about the arrangements made by Dumbledore in case he died suddenly ?”, Harry inquired.

    “His brother Aberforth; you’ll meet him at the next meeting. What a hell of a leader, Albus Dumbledore ! We would never have a leader so perceptive and far-sighted as him, not to mention his magical power that nobody could compare with, of course. Dumbledore’s death is a very great lost for us all, not only on the ground of our strength against Voldemort, which is evident, but also on the affective level. We all have loved him.”

    At the name of Voldemort pronounced by Moody, Harry felt a little better, as if a fresh draught had just crossed the room, because most people dared not pronounce his name, and that irritated him badly.

    “Because you’ve been busy with the preparations for the wedding”, said Fred to his parents, “we’ll forget our grief against you, for not having told us earlier about our admission to the Order.”

    “Yes, we’ll forget”, George reinforced.

                “You are hugely indebted to us both, for that”, insinuated Bill, laughing and winking mischievously to Mr Weasley.  Fleur then displayed a beautiful smile on her Venus face to support Bill’s statement.

    “Hum !” let out Mrs Weasley from the sink where she was laying down her plate.

    And with this touch of cheerful mood, the light in the room was switched off all of a sudden, and replaced by a timid flickering glimmer from small candles that progressed floating from a dark corner of the room, nearly at ground level. Then, as a single voice, everybody started singing:

    “Happy birthday…’ … On the word “Harry” at the end of the sentence, Harry’s heart burst into tears.  He saw the tray of the birthday cake coming  towards him, and a small and familiar voice from under the tray made itself heard:

    “Happy birthday, Mr Harry Potter !”

    “Dobby !” Harry cried out, taking off the tray and discovered the little elf at his feet, “what are you doing here ?”

    “Dobby asked Professor McGonagall whether Dobby could come to serve Mr Potter, now that Mr Potter has come of age, Dobby will follow Mr Potter everywhere Mr Potter goes, and Winky too !”

    “Oh ! That’s very nice of you, thank you very much. It’s OK, we’ll talk about that later.”

    With a smile from ear to ear, Dobby stepped aside rapidly, revealing another tray carried by Winky, this one much larger, and full of presents wrapped in colourful paper.

    “Thank you, Winky, said Harry taking away the tray from the elf, and turning to the whole room, with watering eyes and trembling voice full of emotion, he continued: “Thank you very much, thank you all, I’ll remember this day all my life”, but he wondered within himself “Shall I survive Voldemort once again after the final battle and remember this evening ?”  Then to the whole assembly he went on “I’ll think about Voldemort later. For the time being, I’ll enjoy your warm company and this unforgettable evening, thank you again, I don’t know how to express myself, but I’m very touched !”

    The kitchen exploded with thunderous applause and the evening ended in a commotion of hugging and laughter and when the members of the Order hastily took leave to Disapparate home, it was already two o’clock in the morning. “I’ve come of age since more than two hours”, Harry thought.

    “Children ! Up to bed !” Mrs Weasley shouted from the door where she bade “Good-Bye” to the last guests. “We’ll have a busy day tomorrow.  We’ll have to go to Diagon Alley for the last minute purchases for the wedding.  Harry ! Do you need a new dress robe for the occasion ? Because Ron’s one has become a little too short, you may buy yours tomorrow at the same time !”

    “Yes, I think, Mrs Weasley, Harry answered, in a loud voice. He longed to be alone with Ron and Hermione.

    “Dobby, Winky, I need to speak to you, please come with me” said Harry to the elves, then to his friends: “Come on !”

    After having wished “good-night” in haste to everybody, as well as to Ginny, (Harry thought he was lucky for being able to leave Ginny in such a simple way) he ran up to the last floor where Ron’s room was and where Mrs Weasley had added a little bed for him, as usual. The three friends sat down on Harry’s bed to speak to the elves.

    “It’s very nice of you coming to serve me. I’m very touched. For the time being, I stay here with my friend Ron, so you will help Mrs Weasley in the household work and the preparations for the wedding”.

    “It’s already done, Mr Potter has no worries about that” replied Dobby promptly.

    “How long have you been here ?”

    “Since this morning, Sir. The Professor McGonagall had asked Dobby to come and help Mrs Weasley in the preparations for the wedding and Dobby took the opportunity to ask the professor whether Dobby and Winky could leave the school to come and serve Mr. Potter. As Professor Dumbledore is dead, and Mr Potter has come of age, Dobby thought that Dobby could come and serve Mr. Potter. And Dobby has told Winky of his intention and Winky agreed with Dobby.  Winky is no longer ill.  Since Professor Dumbledore’s death, Winky has woken up from her illness, and agreed to think that Mr Crouch Jr. was wrong in his choice of being one of You-Know-Who’s followers”, the elf replied at one go that deprived you from your breath if you wanted to follow him.

    “It’s OK. I accept your service on the condition that you do agree that I pay you.”

    “Dobby will obey every order from Mr. Potter”.

    But, at the idea of being paid, Winky began crying.

    “Winky didn’t expect to fall as low as being paid by the master Winky will serve … hic … hic…”

    “No, Winky, you should not think that way. You should think that you make me happy by receiving a pay from me. You like making me happy, don’t you ?”

    “Yes, Mr. Potter, Winky likes making you happy, because Dobby loves you very much.”

    “Well, that’s settled ! I’ll pay you each twenty Galleons a month, and you’ll have a day off every week.”

    “Dobby must obey Mr Potter. But twenty Galleons a month is too much. Professor Dumbledore has agreed to lower Dobby’s pay, on Dobby’s express request, to one Galleon a week, and one day off every month’, Dobby said sadly, tears dropping on his chest.

    “Don’t cry, Dobby. Well, I’ll pay you ten Galleons a month, and you’ll have one day off every week.  I will not accept to pay you less than that, OK ? And I want you to get yourselves properly and beautifully dressed, and I don’t want you to punish yourselves each time you think you have made a mistake.  Everybody can make mistakes. There are serious mistakes and less serious ones.  You will come to me and tell me about your mistakes whenever you think you have committed one, and we’ll find a solution together. OK ? “

    “Yes, Mr Potter, Mr Potter is too generous”, Dobby replied.

    “Winky, you should not be sad because I pay you. You should think that in receiving a pay from me, you make me happy. And I’m glad to learn that you are no longer ill. Now, it’s late, and I think that I’ll go to bed. Good night to you both.”

    “Good night, Mr Potter, and thank you,” said the elves in the same and one voice.




    “Woouuawh !” Ron blurted out, once the elves had left the room. “You have two elves to serve you alone ! Really, everything happens to you !”

    “Yes, everything”,  thought Harry. ‘Even Voldemort who wanted to kill me when I was just one year old. That didn’t happen to anybody !’ then:

    “No”, replied Harry in a loud voice. “I don’t think I’ll need two elves. I’ve taken some decisions that I would like to share with you. You said in your letter, Ron, that your parents invited me to stay here so long as I wished to.  That’s very nice of them.  But on reflection, I think that I'll settle down at Grimmauld Place after Bill’s wedding. By the way, when is your Apparition test, Ron ?”

    “It’s on the same day as yours, Dad said so, on the wedding day, at 9 o’clock in the morning.  He said he’d take us to the Ministry. But if you decide to stay at Grimmauld Place, I would like to come with you, if you agree, of course. I don’t know whether Mum and Dad would accept this idea ?”

    “Me too”, added Hermione, “if you agree, Harry.”

    “It’s very kind of you both.  I think that your parents will accept that idea, we are of age, ain’t we ?” replied Harry. “Then, I think we will need just Dobby. I’ll leave Winky here; she will help your mother.  I’ll talk to your parents tomorrow my intention to settle at Grimmauld Place and I’ll speak of Winky on the same occasion.  As for my other decisions, we can see later on, after the wedding.”

    “My parents are Muggle”, said Hermione. “I’ll come of age in September, in two months, I’ll be eighteen years old, according to Muggle law.”

    “Brilliant !”, let out Ron.


    They went on discussing till late in the night, and when Hermione left the room to go to bed it was already four o’clock in the morning.  Only some hours to sleep before Mrs Weasley awoke them to go to Diagon Alley.  But Harry remained awake in his bed, thinking about his new life as an adult, the missions he gave himself to accomplish, and the dark future that awaited him. When he finally fell asleep, a faint glimmer of the morning sun already broke through the splits of the window.




    “He was so pale, I dared not tell him yesterday”. The voice of Hermione could be heard in a whisper.

    “And what if we let him sleep a little more”, Ron replied her in a low voice.

    “There’s no need”, said Harry, opening his eyes, and sitting up in his bed. “I’m already awake.  Is it time ?” added Harry seeing both his friends already dressed.

    “Morning, Harry ! It’s ten o’clock”, replied Ron, “but you’ll still have time for your breakfast. Mother wants that you eat correctly.”

    “She rather wants to stuff me up,” and they all burst into laughter.

    “Morning Harry, greeted Hermione, bending down to kiss him on the cheek. “We’ll wait for you downstairs. You’d better take your breakfast properly”, then pulling on Ron’s sleeve, she walked out of the room.

    Smiling to himself, Harry put his feet down on the floor, and began to dress.  He’would think of Voldemort later, for the time being, he was happy to be back with his best friends.



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  •  Back to the Burrow­­­­ - 2nd part



    By Floo powder, they got to the Leaky Cauldron’s. Harry was glad to see the giant figure of Hagrid, the keeper of keys of Hogwarts, sitting at a table, sipping quietly his Butter Beer.

    “Morning Hagrid ! Thank you for the gift. It was brilliant”.

    “Happy birthday, Harry. I’ve made it myself. The bow is made of thousand-year-old willow wood and the string is of plaited unicorn hair. Did it please you ?”

    “Yes, it was great.”

    “I couldn’t come yesterday. I’ve found a wounded baby unicorn in the forest and I had to tend him urgently, because he has lost a lot of blood.  He’s much better now, and I think I’ll be able to release him by tomorrow, in trying to go as far as possible into the Forbidden Forest.”


    They divided into two groups, Mr and Mrs Weasley for the wedding purchases, Hagrid to accompany Ginny, Gabrielle, Harry, Ron and Hermione in their Diagon Alley walk. Only Ron and Harry had to buy their new robes. Hermione had had hers bought in a High fashioned Muggle shop in London. Ginny wanted to show to Gabrielle the joke shop Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes run by Fred and George.

    “We’ll meet in two hours at Fred and George’s, OK ?” said Mr Weasley. “And you won’t give Hagrid the slip, you three !” he added pointing with his finger Harry, Ron and Hermione, then pulling on Mrs Weasley’s  sleeve, he left in the direction of the shops for furniture and decoration.

    Diagon Alley was no longer as attractive as in the old days since Voldemort was back and operated in the open. It seemed even gloomier since Dumbledore’s death. People seemed to be in haste, they didn’t any more linger before the shop windows.  Once they had bought their robes at Madam Malkin’s (Harry’s a dark green one, and Ron’s a chocolate maroon one, all proposed by the three girls) they went directly to Fred and George’s. Their shop was always packed with young customers.  Parents often left their children there, and did their shopping quietly on their own.

    “I’ll stand guard outside, all right ? And don’t give me the slip, you three !”, said Hagrid in winking and smiling at Harry, Ron and Hermione, when they arrived in front of the joke shop.

    Mr and Mrs Weasley were not yet there.  Ginny, at once pulled Gabrielle towards the Wonder Witch products shelves.  George and Fred led Harry, Ron and Hermione to the back of the shop after asking their assistants not to disturb them.

    “Well, will you show us the Misleading Cloak ?” Ron asked when the door separating the two parts of the shop was closed.

    “Yes !” reinforced Harry. “I found your invention ingenious, and I have an idea. Who else does know about your inventions ?”

    “Nobody, why this question ?”, replied George. “As long as we haven’t deposited our invention for a patent, it’s top secret. We don’t want people to steal our idea !”

    “And if we keep that secret for us, I mean for our camp side”, suggested Harry. “I mean, your invention is really brilliant. The enemy cannot aim correctly at you. But … it’s your Darkness powder that gave me that idea.  You might have known that thanks to your powder Draco succeeded in smuggling the Death Eaters into Hogwarts last year.  Ron and Ginny were there but they couldn’t do anything. I think that for the products, which may be used as combat weapons, we should not sell them to anybody. And what about speaking of your invention at the meeting of the Order ?”

    “We regret very much for having sold that Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder to Malfoy, Ron taught us a long lesson about that”, replied George,  “I’ll go and fetch the Cloak”, and he darted away to the staircase.

    “Stay here, Harry”, suggested Fred, “near Ron, on that line.  And Hermione, stay against the window. The distance between Ron and the window is about five yards. Ah, yes, here is George. Harry ! Put on the Cloak. Yes, now, Hermione ! How do you see Harry and Ron  ?”

    “Er… they are no longer on the same line. Ron is always on the line, but Harry appears to be nearer er… he is about four yards away from me or a little more ? But … Harry’s image is weird, it’s floating, changing, it’s unreal… Oh ! It gives me sort of headache, no, it makes me rather dizzy !!!”

    “Yes, that’s why our invention is not quite ready yet. We still don’t know how to remove that floating effect. But it’s double edged. On one hand it makes it too evident and the enemy knows at once that the image is unreal, but on the other hand, it makes the target more difficult to aim at. You see what I mean ? Try and cast him a spell, Hermione !”

    “Nooo !”, cried out Harry. “Let me see”, said Harry while removing the cloak and giving it to Hermione. “Take my place”. Then Harry and Hermione swapped around.

    “Yes, it’s right ! It’s brilliant” said Harry.  “Er … No ! … Yes ! … Not only Hermione is no longer on the same line as Ron, but also it seems to me that she has drifted a little to the right. If I close my eyes, I have her image in my mind more to the left, nearer to Ron … Remove the Cloak, Hermione, so that I see you without it first. Stay on the intersection of the two lines, yes, like that. When I close my eyes, you put on the Cloak. Now, put on the Cloak”, said Harry, staying with his eyes closed, and facing Hermione. Then he opened his eyes: ‘Yes, it’s exactly as I thought, Hermione has drifted a little to the right, well about three or four inches far from the intersection of the two lines. It’s brilliant !”

    “Yes, this drifting effect, we’ve just succeeded in working out. And the farther we are from the enemy, the more important this gap becomes, and I’m glad that you’ve noticed it too”.

    “Stay in my place’, said Ron to Harry, “I would like to see it for myself too”.

    “Woouawh ! It’s really ingenious”, Ron burst out after a moment, “and how do you see me, Hermione ?”

    “But normal. You don’t have the Cloak, you fool ! Well, your right elbow is about four inches from the frame of the window.”

    Ron turned aside, trying to keep his elbow in place and measured the space between his right elbow and the window frame with his other hand.

    “If you stay within the maximum efficient range of a spell casting, the enemy will aim at you too short, but you always can reach him, you see ? We are thinking of creating a misleading cloak in two ways, that is to say, which gives an image of you either closer or farther as you want by mean of an incantation.  It’s but an idea”, said George…

    “It’s great ! The inventions are always born from ideas. Have many ideas”, encouraged Harry, while giving a friendly pat on Fred’s shoulder.

    At that moment, some one knocked at the door and Mr Weasley’s voice came from the other side:

    “Children ! It’s time to go.”

    “Yes, Dad, we are coming”, replied George.

    “We’ll talk again about it. Bye !” said Harry.

    “Bye everybody”, Fred and George replied in chorus.




    “Woouaawh ! We’ll have a wonderful day for dreaming !” said Ron as  he opened the window, flooding the room with the bright morning sun.

    “We are not daydreaming !” answered Hermione who just came into the room, already dressed, with a piece of parchment in her hand. “We’ll work !”

    “You are a real killjoy ! Tomorrow is the wedding, we’ll not start working today !”

    Harry, amused as he saw his two best friends started bickering once more, remained silent, pursuing his thoughts.

    “Drop it”, said Hermione, weary of discussing. “I’ve made a list of interesting and important spells, and of high level, we could look together and choose which ones are the most interesting for us. I have ordered from Flourish & Blotts high-level books of Defence Against the Dark Arts”.

    “Great minds think alike”,  thought Harry holding out his hand to take the parchment from Hermione.  He read it in silence, then pointed with his finger:

    “Yes, this is interesting, I’ve done it, and this too, and I’ve done this too…

    “But ! …”, Hermione looked up at Harry in astonishment.

    “One, two, three’ … Harry continued counting … ‘twenty, twenty-one, said Harry, “I’ve done twenty-one among the list. During the last month, at Privet Drive, I’ve done nothing else all day long, with no eating, no sleeping, well … nearly so !”

    Hermione looked at Harry half admiringly half with compassion:

    “Then you can show us how to do ! It’s always easier when some one shows us how to do things than to read in the book and grope one’s ways alone.”

    “No wonder you have but the skin on the bones !” said Ron from the window.

    “I’ve a better idea”, proposed Harry. “We’ll go down to the garden and try to Apparate from one end to the other. Because tomorrow is the test for Ron and me. We’ll choose specific places and cross mark them with branches, because accuracy counts too.  Your garden from one end to the other may be about one mile long, no ?” Then Harry thought that the Apparition licence was really important for their projects and that it would be very annoying if Ron failed the test. He would have to wait months and months again.

    “Oh ! you’ll have no problem”, said Ron, leaving the window. “You’ve already Apparated and succeeded !”

    “Exactly, we’ll then see whether you’ll still have both your eyebrows ! And also I would like to sit in the shade of a tree, I miss the open air badly”, added Harry.

    At the bottom of the staircase, Fleur intercepted:

    “Hermione ! Could you give me a hand, or rather an eye, for the decoration ? We are really lucky to have the two elves in the house.”



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    Chapter 3:  For Love’s Sake



    It was nearly eleven o’clock in the morning. Hermione, Ginny and Gabrielle were in the garden of The Burrow.

    “They should be back any moment now, if everything was fine”, said Hermione. “I’ve told them we’ll meet them here at this point which I’ve marked with a circle for them.”

    Then suddenly Harry appeared from thin air in front of them, with a tiny “Pop”, as if by magic.

    “Congratulations, Harry ! Where’s Ron ? Hasn’t he got it ?” asked Hermione, looking very concerned.

    “Yes, he has, he was near me when I Apparated”, replied Harry.

    Then with a tiny “Pop” Ron materialized too, about fifteen yards away.

    “I’ve got it ! I’ve got it !”, Ron shouted at the top of his voice, running towards them. “I’ve had both my eyebrows”. He then pulled a small pocket mirror out of his jean: “I took it from Mum’s handbag this morning, to check if I would have all my eyebrows ! At King’s Cross, I was quite far from the head of the train, where I should have landed. The examiner noted it on my paper, but he said it didn’t matter much; I was still in the acceptable boundaries.”

    “Wonderful !’ said Hermione, kissing Harry and Ron on the cheek by way of congratulations.

    Ginny and Gabrielle imitated her. The familiar garden flower scent filled Harry’s lungs and his heart started beating so loudly that he feared the others would hear it. He then tried a diversion looking in the opposite direction of Ginny, to hide his emotion:

    “At the Ministry, when the clerk looked for my test sheet, I saw Malfoy’s one on top of mine. When I returned my sheet, I still saw Malfoy’s on the desk, intact, clean, no stamp, no mark on it at all. He hasn’t come for the test.”

    “Well done for him”, said Ron, clearly very glad of the news.

    “At what time does the wedding ceremony start ?”, asked Harry, just to have something to say.

    “At four o’clock”, replied Gabrielle in her small and timid voice, “but the guests will be there by three o’clock”.

    “It was boiling hot at King’s Cross, I’ll go and freshen up”, said Harry, and they all returned to the house.




    The elves had worked wonders. The garden was practically unrecognisable. No more wellington boots scattered around the garden, no more heaps of dead leaves and branches; the hens were in their enclosure. The lawns, freshly mowed, were like a green velvet carpet that stretched far away. Here and there, some flowering bushes in pastel colours contributed, like the last painting touches, to make the whole scene a masterpiece. At the end of the garden, in front of the row of thousand-year-old poplars, a platform was erected, lined with flowerbeds. Garlands, hung above the platform under the branches, completed the decoration, and gave the impression that one was facing a fairy’s cave.

    Two rows of chairs in semi circle faced the platform.  Harry counted the chairs. No, there wouldn’t be too many people. The members of the families from both sides, bride and groom, would occupy about twenty chairs, then there would only be about twenty guests: some members of the Order, some colleagues of Bill and Mr Weasley, one or two friends of Fred and George. Ron had invited Neville, a school friend, who would come with her grandmother, and Luna Lovegood, a friend of Ginny, who would come with his father. Harry was glad to get to know Mr Lovegood, the editor of the Quibbler, who, two years ago, had agreed to publish his interview by Rita Skeeter, on Voldemort’s return, when nobody, including the Ministry, wanted  to believe him.

    Still lost in his thoughts, Harry saw Hermione from the kitchen door, as she stately walked out in her diaphanous ash mauve coloured dress that moulded her adolescent body harmoniously. She was like an apparition that emerged from the blue agapanthus bushes behind her. A timid smile in the corner of her small mouth gave her a specific expression of her own.  She was even more beautiful than at the Yull Ball of the Triwizard Tournament, three years ago, Harry thought.

    “You are very beautiful, Hermione !” Harry blurted out.

    “Thank you !”, Hermione replied … “I thought Ron was with you” she added to dispel the heavy atmosphere, conscious of her beauty and of its effects.

    “No !,” replied Harry, glad to be back down to earth. “I’ve been here for nearly a quarter of an hour.  Ron had just got out of his bath when I came down.  But he won’t be long, I think … I wonder whether Percy would be there. It’s his brother’s wedding, isn’t it ?”

    “I don’t know…. As far as I’m aware of, there was a present from Percy and Bill said he wouldn’t open it ! It’s sad ! Don’t you think so ?”

    “Yes, but if Percy sent him a gift, that means he’s trying to make the first steps. It would be better to give him a chance to redeem himself   !”

    Their conversation was interrupted by the general arrival of guests by Apparition. Neville and his grandmother, Luna and her father, some members of the Order: McGonagall, the new Headmistress of Hogwarts, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Mad-eye Moody, Hagrid … Ron chose that moment to come too. And the friends of the Dumbledore’s Army were glad to meet again and they went to take their seats in the corner, on the second row, so that they could discuss quietly amongst themselves. Mr Weasley and Charlie received the guests and led them to their seats. Tonks arrived hand in hand with Lupin. She looked radiant with her bright chewing-gum-pink coloured hair artistically twisted into a bun and a few stray locks floating in the wind. Lupin, very smart in his brand new black robe, smiled widely in the direction of Harry’s group.

    Bill, dressed in black Muggle style, with a red-wine coloured robe thrown over his jacket, and with a serious expression on his face, had just reached the foot of the platform with Mrs Weasley. He still showed traces of the bites by Greyback, a dreadful werewolf, smooth and pale scars on his suntanned face. He had lost a bit of his right eyebrow ! Harry thought that a micro aesthetic surgery in a Muggle hospital could certainly remove the scars, or at least make them less visible. But fortunately, his feature was still beautiful, and his profile intact.

    McGonagall was on the platform, looking serious. She was going to unite the bride and groom in Dumbledore’s place.

    At that moment, the wedding music was heard from somewhere in the air, unreal, and … from the kitchen door, Fleur, held by the arm by her father, walked out stately in her long, tight, pearly white low cut dress. A twisted string of pearls was dropping to the bottom of her breasts, and the famous goblin-made tiara of great auntie Muriel sat gracefully on her hair.  People might say that Venus had just come back to life. Behind her, Ginny and Gabrielle, in misty pale-yellow dresses with a pastel coloured floral crown on their heads and a posy in their hands, processed in Fleur’s wake, slightly shy, conscious of their role and of the guests’ scrutiny. Ginny’s flaming red hair melted away in the sunrays that succeeded in breaking through the dense poplar foliage.  Harry thought that Ginny was lovely, simply lovely and his heart started beating so rapidly that he had to press his hand on his chest to calm it down. ‘No, I should absolutely forget her’ he thought.

    When he got to the foot of the platform, Mr Delacour placed Fleur’s hand in Bill’s stretched one, then the bride and groom went up the platform. After Professor McGonagall had pronounced the ritual phrases for the circumstances, she said:

    “I declare you husband and wife. You may kiss !”

    Booming applause burst out from the gathering. And multicoloured confetti rained down on everyone from the branches. There was a total euphoria.

    Suddenly, Dobby appeared in front of Harry.

    “Mr Potter ! The Death Eaters are everywhere in the bushes !”

    Harry jumped onto the platform and cried to the whole gathering:


    Then he Apparated into Ron’s room, wrapped himself in his Invisibility Cloak. He then Apparated back into the garden, where a merciless and disorderly battle started doing damages. Bill and Fleur, with the tiara in one hand and the wand in the other, sided together facing Greyback who shouted to another Death Eater:

    “The red haired girl ! Quick !”

    Harry understood at once what that meant. Ginny was on the platform, behind Mr Weasley. He jumped onto the platform, took off his Invisibility Cloak and wrapped Ginny in it:

    “Quick here, Ginny !”, and he Apparated, with Ginny in his arms, to Diagon Alley in front of Fred’s and George’s shop.

    “Jump up to the attic, and stay there”, said Harry in a firm tone. “Wrap yourself in the cloak and don’t make any noise. I have to return to The Burrow to help the others, and don’t try to stop me.  You’ve heard what they said; it’s you they want. It’s Voldemort who wants to get to me through you. And I’m not yet ready to face him.  I have things to do first before I can confront him.”

    Then Harry Apparated back to The Burrow where the battle was still fierce. Bill and Lupin were lying one on top of the other in a pool of blood, visibly badly hurt or perhaps already dead. At the foot of the platform, Fleur facing Greyback, was in a very difficult situation, for the werewolf trapped her between an upturned table and the platform where Bill and Lupin were lying, which blocked every escape for Fleur.

    Greyback cried: “AVA…”

    Harry aimed at Greyback and cast in a clear and firm voice “Sectumsempra”. Blood spurted from Greyback’s face and chest as though he had been slashed with an invisible sword.  He staggered backwards and collapsed onto the steps of the platform.

    Fleur gave him the final stroke: “Avada Kedavra”, her face was twisted with rage.

    There were about thirty Death Eaters.  They formed small groups to fight against the guests. Nevile’s grandmother, in spite of her advanced age, revealed herself to be a dreadful witch. Ron and Luna sided together against a Death Eater. Harry succeeded an ‘anti-apparition’’ curse with a smooth swing of his wand which nailed the Death Eater down on the ground tied up from head to foot in a rope, with his wand dropped near him. Harry picked it up and launched it back to him after smashing it into two. Mr Weasley pursued a Death Eater up to the middle of the garden, but the Death Eater succeeded in Disapparating, narrowly escaping an ‘Incarceration’ curse cast by Mr Weasley. Then suddenly, the blow of a whistle was heard and the Death Eaters beat a hasty retreat and Disapparated all.

    Fleur dropped down over Bill and burst into tears:

    “I’ve taken revenge for you, my darling!” Fleur cried in a sob. Harry knelt down near her, felt Bill’s pulse, which was still beating, though weakly.

    “He is only wounded”, said Harry, then he removed Bill aside to examine Lupin. “He also is only wounded.  We must take them quickly to St Mungo’s Hospital, we may still save them”.

    Tonks came running from the other end of the garden where she pursued a Death Eater. She knelt down near Harry, took Lupin’s hand, and wept silently.

    “Bill !”, let out Mrs Weasley in a sob.

    It was urgent to take Bill and Lupin to St Mungo’s. They then agreed that Mr Weasley, Charlie, Tonks and Fleur would accompany Bill and Lupin to the hospital.

    “Where’s Ginny ?” cried out Mrs Weasley, panic stricken, suddenly realizing that her unique girl was nowhere.

    “She is safe” replied Harry,  “I’ve taken her and hidden her in the attic on Fred’s and George’s shop”.

    Without asking for more explanation she Disapparated, probably to Diagon Alley.

    McGonagall asked Hagrid to keep watch over Greyback and the Death Eater Incarcerated by Harry whom she tied up with more rope with her wand, then she said to Harry:

    “I’ll Apparate with Shacklebolt to the Ministry. On our side, two of us are seriously wounded, and on their side, one dead and one prisoner, is that right ? I’ll come back with someone from the Ministry; they should establish the death of Greyback and take away the prisoner”. Then she Disapparated with  Shacklebolt.

    Night was falling. Timidly the moon, nearly full, appeared at the horizon on a crepuscular reddish sky. The guests began to take leave.

    “Good bye, Mr Potter”, said Mr Lovegood. “You were brilliant.  I’ve seen you Incarcerate the Death Eater, with a smooth swing of your wand, without any effort.  You must have a high level magical power to succeed the curses in that way.  I thought I was seeing the movement of Dumbledore’s hand.  I am glad to know you.  But now I must leave. If I have a chance, I could relate what happened here in the evening edition.”

    “Please, don’t mention my name”, Harry begged. “The least people hear about me, the better for me.”

    “I understand you. Don’t be worried, Mr Potter.” Then he grasped Luna’s arm and Disapparated with her.

    At that moment Mrs Weasley appeared from thin air with Ginny in the garden. Ginny broke free from her mother’s grip, ran to Harry and gave him a big hug.

    “No, Ginny”, Harry succeeded in saying so and in getting free from Ginny’s embrace. Then with a firm voice, he went on: “We should absolutely keep our distance, and you must understand that. I have things to do before I could confront Voldemort. But if he succeeded in having you and forced me to face him, I could not leave you, and it would mean my death certainly. And then my death wouldn’t be useful, neither to you, nor to me, nor to anyone, but to Voldemort.”

    “Yes, Ginny,” Ron reinforced, “You should listen to Harry. I’m your brother, I love you very much, but Harry is right”.

    Ginny dropped her arms, ran to the house, and locked herself in her room. No one saw her again during the evening, Hermione brought up her dinner in her room.


    Not long before midnight, Mr Weasley, Tonks and Fleur came back from St Mungo’s. Bill and Lupin were out of danger. The healers had succeeded in closing the wounds, which were very deep, and stopping the bleeding, but they were still very weak, they had lost a lot of blood.  They were in the same room, and Charlie stayed with them.

    Fleur, with the tiara in her hand, her wedding dress speckled with blood and mud, with confetti still in her hairs, completely exhausted, dropped herself in an armchair. Tonks, in rags, came to the window and looked onto the garden, which was flooded in the silvery moonlight.

    Mrs Weasley came and sat near her new daughter-in-law, took the tiara from her, and patted gently on her shoulders:

    “My dear, we should think that we have been very lucky. Harry has succeeded in hiding Ginny in Diagon Alley.  Bill and Lupin will be all right in a few days, and Greyback is dead. You avenged Bill, haven’t you realized it ?”

    “It was Harry who saved me. My retreat was blocked. I was looking for a way to escape. Greyback was already mid-way in his incantation of Avada Kedavra when Harry seriously wounded him. He collapsed at my feet”, said Fleur. “And in my fury, I gave him the last stroke, I thought Bill was dead. I used the killing curse, the worst of the three Unforgivable ones. I am a killer !” added Fleur in a tone of deepest despair.

    “Half our family already owes their life to Harry”, replied Mrs Weasley. “Arthur, Ginny, Ron and now my daughter-in-law” added Mrs Weasley.

    “You were right in killing him”, let out Tonks from the window. “You’ve avenged Lupin for me too.  It was Greyback who had bitten Lupin when he was a kid. He deserves the Avada Kedavra a thousand times, and all our community will thank you for that.”

    “Tonks ! Stay here this night. Charlie’s room is vacant, Winky can get it ready for you within five seconds, and tomorrow we could go together to St Mungo’s before the Order’s meeting.”

    “No, thank you”, replied Tonks. “I’ll go home and and get myself freshened up. Good night everybody !”

    She went out and Disapparated before the kitchen door.


    When Harry, Ron and Hermione were alone in Ron’s room, Harry confided to his friends:

    “I’ve taken a decision. McGonagall said that Hogwarts would be opened again. I will go back to school. (Hermione let out a sigh of relief) But I will wear the Invisibility Cloak all the time. Only you two will know that, and McGonagall too, because I’ll have to tell her in order to organise how I would sleep and eat and so on… Nobody else will know, Ron, nobody else, neither Ginny, nor anybody, OK ? I’ve the feeling that the castle still holds some secrets we do not know, and you two will be there, I can’t do without you.”

    They went on discussing for a long time, and when Hermione bade them “good night” to go to bed, it was already two o’clock in the morning.  But Harry could not sleep. He stayed in his bed, looking through the open window at the small square of dark ink sky dotted with stars in the silvery moonlight.  How would he destroy Voldemort ? Would he use the killing curse and then feel remorse later as Fleur did ? It was a question he asked himself many times but had found no answer.

    A loud snore came from Ron’s bed breaking the flow of Harry’s thoughts in their course and the idea that Ron and Hermione would always be there with him gave him a taste of wild flower perfumed honey in the back of his throat. On this comforting picture of friendship and with a smile on his lips, Harry finally let himself sink into Morpheus’ embrace. The dark ink sky was already turning into a pale blue one by the first dawn glimmers.



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  • Chapter 4:  By the White Tomb



    The meeting of the Order of the Phoenix took place at Hogwarts.  As they were a bit in advance, Harry, Ron and Hermione went for a walk near the lake where Dumbledore’s white tomb was. It was the first time Harry was back here since the funeral. His heart twisted so painfully that he had to press his hand on his chest, trying to soothe it away.

    Harry knelt down in front of the tomb, held out his hand on the cold marble. He then felt a flow propagating from the marble up to his heart and a beautiful phoenix song, unreal, was heard from somewhere… from nowhere… from his own heart perhaps, and he felt his pain eased away. He didn’t know how long he had been there, then he said in his mind: ‘You’ve left too early, but you’ve shown me the path I had to follow in order to carry on your work.  This work is now mine, and I swear to fulfil it should I pay it with my life … I miss you so much,’ he added in a sob. He felt a warm blood flux slowly flowing through his heart.

    “Harry ! We must go now”, Hermione was coming near him, and put a tender hand on his shoulder.

    He got up but his thoughts were still far from where he was, with the phoenix song echoing in his mind.  Harry was convinced that Dumbledore was there; it was his way to manifest his presence, his way to say “I’m here”. And he felt comforted, and much more confident in himself.

    The meeting was held in the Staff room, where a long table was laid. There were about thirty persons, some of which Harry knew well, some others only by name or by view, and some others whom he didn’t know at all. Professor McGonagall first made a round of introductions. The meeting was somewhat shortened because Lupin who should make a report on his ‘underground’ mission among the werewolves during the last month was not there.

    Professor McGonagall made, for the new members, a succinct summary of the Order’s main objectives, the various current missions, the temporary arrangements until the next election of a new Leader, which was planned for the next meeting.

    Then she explained to Harry what was to be done about the Head Quarters at number twelve, Grimmauld Place. According to her, Dumbledore had premonitions that he might die all of a sudden or in a somewhat unnatural way, and he had planned in that case to block by his own death the entrance to the Head Quarters to all those who were in the Secret, except to Harry, the proprietor of the place.

    So, there was no chance for Rogue to materialize suddenly at the former Head Quarters.  By a letter he had left to Aberforth, Harry had to submit the house to new curses of dissimulation and protection and to re-name the place, and only then to allow access to the Head Quarters to the members of the Order. McGonagall said there were very good books on magical dissimulation and protection at the library and that she would show him after the meeting. She then said:

    “Mr Potter, now that you are a member of the Order, we would like to know what mission Professor Dumbledore had assigned to you, and what you did with him the night he died.”

    Harry had expected this question and his answer was ready in his mind. He replied promptly:

    “What Professor Dumbledore and I did on that night, and the mission he assigned to me, concern only Professor Dumbledore and me.  He didn’t tell me to reveal it to others in case he should die, or if I become a member of the Order. The least people knows about it, the better it would be, and for that reason, I request the Order not to insist”.

    “Very well !”, McGonagall let out with a resigned sigh. “But I would like you to know that whenever you need help, the Order will be ready to give it to you, and that one of the main missions of the Order is to insure your protection. According to information we have received, for the time being you-know-who’s followers are focussing on overthrowing the government. Yesterday’s attack was only a side-show. That may give you some respite.”

    “Yes”, Harry admitted, “the idea that I could have precious help from the Order whenever I need, is a great comfort to me, and for that I thank you in advance, from the bottom of my heart”.

    Fred and George then made a demonstration of their Misleading Cloak. The whole Assembly thought it a very ingenious invention, and requested them to keep it a secret, available only to the members of the Order. The Assembly meant to make a general order for each member, when the problem of the floating image would be settled, as the drifting effect of the cloak was already sufficient to keep the person out of the cursing axe. Apart from that, Fred and George got an assignment to keep an eye on the people who frequented the Knockturn Alley.  Ron and Hermione’s mission was to stay with Harry and help him.

    Mr Weasley then introduced the case of Fleur.

    “My daughter-in-law, Fleur Delacour Weasley, was on the verge of despair. She used the killing curse against Greyback yesterday. This morning she sent a confession letter to the Ministry.  I told her that it was a specific case of self-defence and that everybody would thank her for having killed Greyback, who deserved the Avada Kedavra a thousand times.  But you understand, when we are not a killer, it is difficult to accept it afterwards, even though we did it under the hold of furies or despair… She thought that Bill was dead”, Mr Weasley explained.

    After debate, the Assembly decided that the members of the Order would each send an individual petition to support Fleur.  The Assembly was of the opinion that Fleur’s letter would have but positives effects, it would prove how far our points of view could be different from those of the Death Eaters about the use of the killing curse, and the Assembly was sure that there would be lots of other petitions from the wizarding community to support Fleur, and that Fleur would be cleared of her act and probably even thanked for it.

    Then Aberforth gave Harry an envelope on which Harry saw a familiar thin, slanting writing that squeezed him painfully as if the point of a sword had just gone through his heart.

    “Mr Potter, my brother has entrusted me with this the day before his death”.


    Harry took the letter and kept it in the inside upper pocket of his robe. He had rather read it when he would be alone. He then looked up at Aberforth for the first time. The landlord appeared quite different from the image Harry had of him.  He looked very much like his brother Albus Dumbledore,  that was for sure, but a little younger, serious and serene.  He was far from the image of the manager of the Hog’s Head Harry had once seen. Harry was still in his thoughts, when Aberforth’s voice went on.


    “My brother has named me as executor of his will”, Alberforth said then he took out a piece of parchment and read:


    *   I leave to Harry James Potter:

    - My chalet ‘Concerto’ in Austria such as it is, with all its furniture, books and ornaments, and the ground that surrounds it.

    - All the books in the library of my manor in Scotland.

    - All my personal ornaments and books in my office at Hogwarts (Aberforth passed to Harry a list of books and objects, and among these, Harry saw there was the Pensieve)


    *  I leave to my brother Aberforth Dumbledore:

    - My manor in Scotland with all its furniture and ornaments and the forest that surrounds it.

    - The entire amount of my account in Northwitch bank in London.


    * I leave to the Order of the Phoenix the entire amount of my account in Gringotts for its expenditure and for grants to the families of its members, who might be direct or indirect victims of Voldemort or of his Death Eaters.


    “Very well!”, McGonagall said, “the meeting is over. As it’s already late, I have ordered a meal in the Great Hall in a quarter of an hour, so that the members, new and old, might get better acquaintance with each other”. Then to Harry she said “Come on with me to the library, Harry. As for Miss Granger, I think you can go to the Hospital wing. Mrs. Pomfrey can do something to your wound on the forehead which looks a bit nasty”.

    “Professor”, Harry said, “I would like to speak to you in private, and I see on Professor Dumbledore’s list that there is a book which might do for the circumstance: The Art of Dissimulation and Protection in Ancient Greece”, Harry added pointing his finger on the parchment.

    “In that case we’ll go to the office. Well, you all over there”, she went on, addressing to Fred, George, Ron and Hermione who had followed Harry out of the Staff room, “you can all go to the Hospital wing, Mrs Pomfrey can tend you. You all have got small wounds here and there since yesterday, she will be so glad to have some work to do, and tell her that I send you”.

    When they arrived in the office, Harry unconsciously glanced above the thronelike chair and met the portrait of Dumbledore who smiled serenely to him. Harry nearly missed a step, and succeeded in gathering himself together in time to answer him by a pale smile. With a twinge of pain in his heart, Harry greeted him “Good morning Professor Dumbledore”. Then he felt better, and thought that he should absolutely provide for himself a portrait of his former Headmaster.

    “Professor”, Harry addressed to Professor McGonagall, “I intend to come back to school this year, but I fear that my presence might endanger my friends.”

    “Yes, but they are in danger now everywhere, whether at their house or here, you know that very well, Potter !”, replied McGonagall while looking at random on the shelves for the book in question.

    “Yes, but my presence in the school would endanger them much more; it would attract the Death Eaters here. So, I think I will wear my Invisibility Cloak all the time.  Nobody should know that I return to school, and if you could arrange and give me a separate room with toilets and bathroom and if I could take my meals in my room too, I think it would be possible, and perhaps Dobby could come here to look after me ?”

    “Well … yes, perhaps it would be possible, I’ll think about it. Who else knows about your intention ?”

    ‘Ron and Hermione, and now, you, Professor. No one else.… Er … Professor, I see that the books are put in alphabetical order, the letter A must be on the first shelves, I’ll climb on the ladder”.

    When Harry was up on the ladder nearly at the same level with Dumbledore’s portrait, the portrait gave him a sign of approval with a nod and a warm smile.

    “I’ll inform you on what I could do for you about your room”, said McGonagall when Harry left the office.






    After the meal, and before leaving, Aberforth asked Harry:

    “When do you want to come and take your books in the Scotland manor ?”

    “Whenever you have a little time, I would come if I can, otherwise, I’ll send my elf.”

    “I invite you to come; it’s a beautiful place, with splendid surroundings, nearly enchanted, I would say, in a remote forest in the northern Highlands. An ideal place for rest, reading and meditation. The Austrian chalet is beautiful in a different way, and for a change of scenery, there is no better”.

    “In that case, could I come to Scotland with my friends Ron and Hermione, sometime before the beginning of term ?”

    ‘Yes, of course. You can come with your friends”, Aberforth replied kindly.

    “And how could I go to Austria ?”

    “My brother used to go on the back of a Thestral, keep it on the place, and come back with it ... Good bye and see you soon”.


    “Children !’, called out Mr Weasley, “We’ll go to St Mungo’s Hospital before returning home”.

    “Yes, Mr Weasley”, replied Harry. “We will join you there”, and then to Ron and Hermione, “We would like to go to the village first !”

    “To Hogsmeade ?” George asked, “We’ll come with you”.

    Arriving out of the Castle boundaries, they Apparated and landed right in front of Zonko shop.

    Harry bought a packet of Chocolate Frogs and a small frame for photos. He had some ideas behind his head, but he kept it for himself.




    To be continued on next page

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