Hallows or Horcruxes

Harry must make the crucial decision of who to speak with first at Shell Cottage; Griphook or Ollivander

Extract from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

By J.K. Rowling

They were all sitting in the living room when he entered the little hall, their attention focused upon Bill, who was talking. The room was light-coloured, pretty, with a small fire of driftwood burning brightly in the fireplace. Harry did not want to drop mud upon the carpet, so he stood in the doorway, listening.

‘... lucky that Ginny’s on holiday. If she’d been at Hogwarts, they could have taken her before we reached her. Now we know she’s safe too.’

He looked round and saw Harry standing there.

‘I’ve been getting them all out of The Burrow,’ he explained. ‘Moved them to Muriel’s. The Death Eaters know Ron’s with you now, they’re bound to target the family – don’t apologise,’ he added, at the sight of Harry’s expression. ‘It was always a matter of time, Dad’s been saying so for months. We’re the biggest blood traitor family there is.’

‘How are they protected?’ asked Harry.

‘Fidelius Charm. Dad’s Secret Keeper. And we’ve done it on this cottage too; I’m Secret Keeper here. None of us can go to work, but that’s hardly the most important thing now. Once Ollivander and Griphook are well enough, we’ll move them to Muriel’s too. There isn’t much room here, but she’s got plenty. Griphook’s legs are on the mend, Fleur’s given him Skele-Gro: we could probably move them in an hour or –’

‘No,’ Harry said, and Bill looked startled. ‘I need both of them here. I need to talk to them. It’s important.’

He heard the authority in his own voice, the conviction, the sense of purpose that had come to him as he dug Dobby’s grave. All of their faces were turned towards him, looking puzzled.

‘I’m going to wash,’ Harry told Bill, looking down at his hands, still covered in mud and Dobby’s blood. ‘Then I’ll need to see them, straight away.’

He walked into the little kitchen, to the basin beneath a window overlooking the sea. Dawn was breaking over the horizon, shell pink and faintly gold, as he washed, again following the train of thought that had come to him in the dark garden ...

Dobby would never be able to tell them who had sent him to the cellar, but Harry knew what he had seen. A piercing blue eye had looked out of the mirror fragment, and then help had come. Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it. Harry dried his hands, impervious to the beauty of the scene outside the window and to the murmuring of the others in the sitting room. He looked out over the ocean and felt closer, this dawn, than ever before, closer to the heart of it all.

And still his scar prickled, and he knew that Voldemort was getting there too. Harry understood, and yet did not understand. His instinct was telling him one thing, his brain quite another. The Dumbledore in Harry’s head smiled, surveying Harry over the tips of his fingers, pressed together as if in prayer.

You gave Ron the Deluminator. You understood him ... you gave him a way back ... And you understood Wormtail too ... you knew there was a bit of regret there, somewhere ...

And if you knew them ... what did you know about me, Dumbledore?

Am I meant to know, but not to seek? Did you know how hard I’d find that? Is that why you made it this difficult? So I’d have time to work that out?

Harry stood quite still, eyes glazed, watching the place where a bright gold rim of dazzling sun was rising over the horizon. Then he looked down at his clean hands, and was momentarily surprised to see the cloth he was holding in them. He set it down and returned to the hall, and as he did so, he felt his scar pulse angrily, and there flashed across his mind, swift as the reflection of a dragonfly over water, the outline of a building he knew extremely well.

Bill and Fleur were standing at the foot of the stairs.

‘I need to speak to Griphook and Ollivander,’ Harry said.

‘No,’ said Fleur. ‘You will ’ave to wait, ’Arry. Zey are both ill, tired –’

‘I’m sorry,’ he said, without heat, ‘but it can’t wait. I need to talk to them now. Privately – and separately. It’s urgent.’

‘Harry, what the hell’s going on?’ asked Bill. ‘You turn up here with a dead house-elf and a half-conscious goblin, Hermione looks as though she’s been tortured and Ron’s just refused to tell me anything –’

‘We can’t tell you what we’re doing,’ said Harry flatly. ‘You’re in the Order, Bill, you know Dumbledore left us a mission. We’re not supposed to talk about it to anyone else.’

Fleur made an impatient noise, but Bill did not look at her; he was staring at Harry. His deeply scarred face was hard to read. Finally, Bill said, ‘All right. Who do you want to talk to first?’

Harry hesitated. He knew what hung on his decision. There was hardly any time left: now was the moment to decide: Horcruxes or Hallows?

‘Griphook,’ Harry said. ‘I’ll speak to Griphook first.'

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

By J.K. Rowling