Draco, do it, or stand aside so one of us -" screeched the woman, but at that precise moment the door to the ramparts burst open once more and there stood Snape, his wand clutched in his hand as his black eyes swept the scene, from Dumbledore slumped against the wall, to the four Death Eaters, including the enraged werewolf, and Malfoy. "We've got a problem, Snape, " said the lumpy Amycus, whose eyes and wand were fixed alike upon Dumbledore, "the boy doesn't seem able -" But somebody else had spoken Snape's name, quite softly. "Severus... " The sound frightened Harry beyond anything he had experienced all evening. For the first time, Dumbledore was pleading. Snape said nothing, but walked forwards and pushed Malfoy roughly out of the way. The three Death Eaters fell back without a word. Even the werewolf seemed cowed. Snape gazed for a moment at Dumbledore, and there was revulsion and hatred etched in the harsh lines of his face. "Severus... please... " Snape raised his wand and pointed it directly at Dumbledore. "Avada Kedavra!
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He felt his heart pounding fiercely in his chest. How strange that in his dread of death, it pumped all the harder, valiantly keeping him alive. But it would have to stop, and soon. Its beats were numbered. How many would there be time for, as he rose and walked through the castle for the last time, out into the grounds and into the forest?
But some part of him realized, even as he fought to break free from Lupin, that Sirius had never kept him waiting before... Sirius had risked everything, always, to see Harry, to help him... If Sirius was not reappearing out of that archway when Harry was yelling for him as though his life depended on it, the only possible explanation was that he could not come back... That he really was...
Harry Potter, " he said very softly. His voice might have been part of the spitting fire. "The Boy Who Lived." None of the Death Eaters moved. They were waiting. Everything was waiting. Hagrid was struggling, and Bellatrix was panting, and Harry thought inexplicably of Ginny, and her blazing look, and the feel of her lips on his- Voldemort had raised his wand. His head was still tilted to one side, like a curious child, wondering what would happen if he proceeded. Harry looked back into the red eyes, and wanted it to happen now, quickly, while he could still stand, before he lost control, before he betrayed fear- He saw the mouth move and a flash of green light, and everything was gone.
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Harry lost any sense of where they were: Streetlights above him, yells around him, he was clinging to the sidecar for dear life. Hedwig's cage, the Firebolt, and his rucksack slipped from beneath his knees - 'No - HEDWIG!' The broomstick spun to earth, but he just managed to seize the strap of his rucksack and the top of the cage as the motorbike swung the right way up again. A second's relief, and then another burst of green light. The owl screeched and fell to the floor of the cage. 'No - NO!' The motorbike zoomed forward; Harry glimpsed hooded Death Eaters scattering as Hagrid blasted through their circle. 'Hedwig - Hedwig -' But the owl lay motionless and pathetic as a toy on the floor of her cage.
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I DON'T CARE!" Harry yelled at them, snatching up a lunascope and throwing it into the fireplace. "I'VE HAD ENOUGH, I'VE SEEN ENOUGH, I WANT OUT, I WANT IT TO END, I DON'T CARE ANYMORE!" "You do care," said Dumbledore. He had not flinched or made a single move to stop Harry demolishing his office. His expression was calm, almost detached. "You care so much you feel as though you will bleed to death with the pain of it.
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One of the many things I learned at the end of that Classics corridor down which I ventured at the age of 18, in search of something I could not then define, was this, written by the Greek author Plutarch: What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality. That is an astonishing statement and yet proven a thousand times every day of our lives. It expresses, in part, our inescapable connection with the outside world, the fact that we touch other people's lives simply by existing.
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I have a real issue with anyone trying to protect children from their own imaginations. If we cannot acknowledge that a lot of us have a bit of darkness within ourselves, some more than others perhaps, and bring it into the light and examine it and talk about this part of the human condition, then I think we will be living in quite a dangerous climate. I think that's much more damaging for children.
Yes, alive, ' said Fudge. 'That is - I don't know - is a man alive if he can't be killed? I don't really understand it, and Dumbledore won't explain properly - but anyway, he's certainly got a body and is walking and talking and killing, so I suppose, for the purposes of our discussion, yes, he's alive.
He knew one thing only, and it was beyond fear or reason: He was not going to die crouching here like a child playing hide-and-seek; he was not going to die kneeling at Voldemort's feet... he was going to die upright like his father, and he was going to die trying to defend himself, even if no defense was possible...
SO WHAT" Harry shouted. "Don't you understand? If Snape gets hold of the Stone, Voldemort's coming back! Haven't you heard what it was like when he was trying to take over? There won't be any Hogwarts to get expelled from! He'll flatten it, or turn it into a school for the Dark Arts! Losing points doesn't matter anymore, can't you see? Do you think he'll leave you and your families alone if Gryffindor wins the house cup? If I get caught before I can get to the Stone, well, I'll have to go back to the Dursleys and wait for Voldemort to find me there, it's only dying a bit later than I would have, because I'm never going over to the Dark Side!
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A breeze ruffled the neat hedges of Privet Drive, which lay silent and tidy under the inky sky, the very last place you would expect astonishing things to happen. Harry Potter rolled over inside his blankets without waking up. One small hand closed on the letter beside him and he slept on, not knowing he was special, not knowing he was famous, not knowing he would be woken in a few hours' time by Mrs. Dursley's scream as she opened the front door to put out the milk bottles, nor that he would spend the next few weeks being prodded and pinched by his cousin Dudley... He couldn't know that at this very moment, people meeting in secret all over the country were holding up their glasses and saying in hushed voices: "To Harry Potter - the boy who lived!
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Can you think what the Mirror of Erised shows us all?" Harry shook his head. "Let me explain. The happiest man on earth would be able to use the Mirror of Erised like a normal mirror, that is, he would look into it and see himself exactly as he is. Does that help." Harry thought. Then he said slowly, "It shows us what we want... whatever we want... " "Yes and no, " said Dumbledore quietly. "It shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts. You, who have never known your family, see them standing around you. Ronald Weasley, who has always been overshadowed by his brothers, sees himself standing alone, the best of all of them. However, this mirror will give us neither knowledge or truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible. "The Mirror will be moved to a new home tomorrow, Harry, and I ask you not to go looking for it again. If you ever do run across it, you will now be prepared. It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that. Now, why don't you put that admirable cloak back on and get off to bed.
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I know that you are preparing to fight." There were screams amongst the students, some of whom clutched each other, looking around in terror for the source of the sound. "Your efforts are futile. You cannot fight me. I do not want to kill you. I have great respect for the teachers of Hogwarts. I do not want to spill magical blood." There was silence in the Hall now, the kind of silence that presses against the eardrums, that seems too huge to be contained by walls. "Give me Harry Potter, " said Voldemort's voice, "and they shall not be harmed.Give me Harry Potter and I shall leave the school untouched. Give me Harry Potter and you will be rewarded. "You have until midnight." The silence swallowed them all again. Every head turned, every eye in the place seemed to have found Harry, to hold him forever in the glare of thousands of invisible beams. Then a figure rose from the Slytherin table and he recognized Pansy Parkinson as she raised a shaking arm and screamed, "But he's there! Potter's there. Someone grab him!" Before Harry could speak, there was a massive movement. The Gryffindors in front of him had risen and stood facing, not Harry, but the Slytherins. Then the Hufflepuffs stood, and almost at the same moment, the Ravenclaws, all of them with their backs to Harry, all of them looking toward Pansy instead, and Harry, awestruck and overwhelmed, saw wands emerging everywhere, pulled from beneath cloaks and from under sleeves. "Thank you, Miss Parkinson." said Professor McGonagall in a clipped voice."You will leave the Hall first with Mr. Filch. If the rest of your House could follow.
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Harry - I think I've just understood something! I've got to go to the library!' And she sprinted away, up the stairs. 'What does she understand?' said Harry distractedly, still looking around, trying to tell where the voice had come from. 'Loads more than I do, ' said Ron, shaking his head. 'But why's she got to go to the library?' 'Because that's what Hermione does, ' said Ron, shrugging. 'When in doubt, go to the library.
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I never need to find time to read. When people say to me, 'Oh, yeah, I love reading. I would love to read, but I just don't have time, ' I'm thinking, 'How can you not have time?' I read when I'm drying my hair. I read in the bath. I read when I'm sitting in the bathroom. Pretty much anywhere I can do the job one-handed, I read.
A thousand years or more ago, When I was newly sewn, There lived four wizards of renown, Whose name are still well-known: Bold Gryffindor from wild moor, Fair Ravlenclaw from glen, Sweet Hufflepuff from valley broad, Shrewd Slytherin from fen. They share a wish, a hope, a dream, They hatched a daring plan, To educate young sorcerers, Thus Hogwarts school began. Now each of these four founders Formed their own house, for each Did value different virtues, In the ones they had to teach. By Gryffindor, the bravest were Prized far beyond the rest; For Ravenclaw, the cleverest Would always be the best; For Hufflepuff, hardworkers were Most worthy of admission; And power-hungry Slytherin Loved those of great ambition. While still alive they did divide Their favourates from the throng, Yet how to pick the worthy ones When they were dead and gone? 'Twas Gryffindor who found the way, He whipped me off his head The founders put some brains in me So I could choose instead! Now slip me snug around your ears, I've never yet been wrong, I'll have alook inside your mind And tell where you belong!
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It was, he thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the death and walking into the arena with your head held high. Some people, perhaps, would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but Dumbledore knew - and so do I, thought Harry, with a rush of fierce pride, and so did my parents - that there was all the difference in the world.
Harry, despite your privileged insight into Voldemort's world (which, incidentally, is a gift any Death Eater would kill to have), you have never been seduced by the Dark Arts, never, even for a second, shown the slightest desire to become one of Voldemort's followers!' 'Of course I haven't!' said Harry indignantly. 'He killed my mum and dad!' 'You are protected, in short, by your ability to love!' said Dumbledore loudly.
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At that moment, Harry fully understood for the first time why people said Dumbledore was the only wizard Voldemort had ever feared. The look upon Dumbledore's face as he stared down at the unconscious form of Mad-Eye moody was more terrible than Harry could have ever imagined. There was no benign smile upon Dumbledore's face, no twinkle in the eyes behind the spectacles. There was cold fury in every line of the ancient face; a sense of power radiated from Dumbledore as though he were giving off burning heat.
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An intense cold swept over them all. Harry felt his own breath catch in his chest. The cold went deeper than his skin. It was inside his chest, it was inside his very heart... Harry's eyes rolled up into his head. He couldn't see. He was drowning in cold. There was a rushing in his ears as though of water. He was being dragged downward, the roaring growing louder... And then, from far away, he heard screaming, terrible, terrified, pleading screams. He wanted to help whoever it was, he tried to move his arms, but couldn't... a thick white fog was swirling around him, inside him -
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Oh, for heaven's sake, Sirius, Dumbledore said no!' A bearlike black dog had appeared at Harry's side as Harry clambered over the various trunks cluttering the hall to get to Mrs. Weasley. 'Oh honestly, ' said Mrs. Weasley despairingly. 'Well, on your own head be it!' The great black dog gave a joyful bark and gamboled around them, snapping at pigeons, and chasing its own tail. Harry couldn't help laughing. Sirius had been trapped inside for a very long time.
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October arrived, spreading a damp chill over the grounds and into the castle. Madam Pomfrey, the nurse, was kept busy by a sudden spate of colds among the staff and students. Raindrops the size of bullets thundered on the castle windows for days on end; the lake rose, the flower beds turned into muddy streams, and Hagrid's pumpkins swelled to the size of garden sheds.
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