Dumbledore's final gift

Harry, Ron and Hermione ponder Dumbledore's parting gifts from his will

Extract from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

by J.K. Rowling

‘I always said he was mental. Brilliant, and everything, but cracked. Leaving Harry an old Snitch what the hell was that about?’

‘I’ve no idea,’ said Hermione. ‘When Scrimgeour made you take it, Harry, I was so sure that something was going to happen!’

‘Yeah, well,’ said Harry, his pulse quickening as he raised the Snitch in his fingers. ‘I wasn’t going to try too hard in front of Scrimgeour, was I?’

‘What do you mean?’ asked Hermione. ‘The Snitch I caught in my first ever Quidditch match?’ said Harry. ‘Don’t you remember?’

Hermione looked simply bemused. Ron, however, gasped, pointing frantically from Harry to the Snitch and back again until he found his voice.

‘That was the one you nearly swallowed!’ ‘Exactly,’ said Harry, and with his heart beating fast, he pressed his mouth to the Snitch.

It did not open. Frustration and bitter disappointment welled up inside him, he lowered the golden sphere, but then Hermione cried out.

‘Writing! There’s writing on it, quick, look!’ He nearly dropped the Snitch in surprise and excitement. Hermione was quite right. Engraved upon the smooth golden surface, where seconds before there had been nothing, were five words written in the thin slanting handwriting that Harry recognised as Dumbledore’s

I open at the close. He had barely read them when the words vanished again. “I open at the close ...” What’s that supposed to mean?’ Hermione and Ron shook their heads, looking blank.

‘I open at the close ... at the close ... I open at the close ...’

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

BY J.K. Rowling