Grindelwald's sign

Viktor Krum is displeased to see Xenophilius Lovegood wearing a symbol which is darkly familiar to him

Extract from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

by J.K. Rowling

But the smile vanished from his face at once: Viktor Krum had dropped into Luna’s vacant seat. Hermione looked pleasurably flustered, but this time Krum had not come to compliment her. With a scowl on his face he said, ‘Who is that man in the yellow?’

‘That’s Xenophilius Lovegood, he’s the father of a friend of ours,’ said Ron. His pugnacious tone indicated that they were not about to laugh at Xenophilius, despite the clear provocation. ‘Come and dance,’ he added abruptly to Hermione.

She looked taken aback, but pleased too, and got up: they vanished together into the growing throng on the dance floor.

‘Ah, they are together now?’ asked Krum, momentarily distracted.

‘Er – sort of,’ said Harry.

‘Who are you?’ Krum asked.

‘Barny Weasley.’

They shook hands.

‘You, Barny – you know this man Lovegood vell?’

‘No, I only met him today. Why?’

Krum glowered over the top of his drink, watching Xenophilius, who was chatting to several warlocks on the other side of the dance floor.

‘Because,’ said Krum, ‘if he vos not a guest of Fleur’s, I vould duel him, here and now, for vearing that filthy sign upon his chest.’

‘Sign?’ said Harry, looking over at Xenophilius too. The strange, triangular eye was gleaming on his chest. ‘Why? What’s wrong with it?’

‘Grindelvald. That is Grindelvald’s sign.’

‘Grindelwald ... the Dark wizard Dumbledore defeated?’

‘Exactly.’

Krum’s jaw muscles worked as if he were chewing, then he said, ‘Grindelvald killed many people, my grandfather, for instance. Of course, he vos never poverful in this country, they said he feared Dumbledore – and rightly, seeing how he vos finished. But this –’ He pointed a finger at Xenophilius. ‘This is his symbol, I recognised it at vunce: Grindelvald carved it into a vall at Durmstrang ven he vos a pupil there. Some idiots copied it on to their books and clothes, thinking to shock, make themselves impressive – until those of us who had lost family members to Grindelvald taught them better.’

Krum cracked his knuckles menacingly and glowered at Xenophilius. Harry felt perplexed. It seemed incredibly unlikely that Luna’s father was a supporter of the Dark Arts, and nobody else in the tent seemed to have recognised the triangular, rune-like shape.

‘Are you – er – quite sure it’s Grindelwald’s –?’

‘I am not mistaken,’ said Krum coldly. ‘I valked past that sign for several years, I know it vell.’

‘Well, there’s a chance,’ said Harry, ‘that Xenophilius doesn’t actually know what the symbol means. The Lovegoods are quite ... unusual. He could easily have picked it up somewhere and think it’s a cross-section of the head of a Crumple-Horned Snorkack or something.’

‘The cross-section of a vot?’

‘Well, I don’t know what they are, but apparently he and his daughter go on holiday looking for them ...’

Harry felt he was doing a bad job explaining Luna and her father.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

By J.K. Rowling