Mrs Figg as a witness

Arabella Figg acts as a witness in Harry's trial, claiming to have seen the Dementor attack

Extract from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

By J.K. Rowling

A moment later, Percy returned, followed by Mrs Figg. She looked scared and more batty than ever. Harry wished she had thought to change out of her carpet slippers.

Dumbledore stood up and gave Mrs Figg his chair, conjuring a second one for himself.

‘Full name?’ said Fudge loudly, when Mrs Figg had perched herself nervously on the very edge of her seat.

‘Arabella Doreen Figg,’ said Mrs Figg in her quavery voice.

‘And who exactly are you?’ said Fudge, in a bored and lofty voice.

‘I’m a resident of Little Whinging, close to where Harry Potter lives,’ said Mrs Figg.

‘We have no record of any witch or wizard living in Little Whinging, other than Harry Potter,’ said Madam Bones at once. ‘That situation has always been closely monitored, given ... given past events.’

‘I’m a Squib,’ said Mrs Figg. ‘So you wouldn’t have me registered, would you?’

‘A Squib, eh?’ said Fudge, eyeing her suspiciously. ‘We’ll be checking that. You’ll leave details of your parentage with my assistant Weasley. Incidentally, can Squibs see Dementors?’ he added, looking left and right along the bench.

‘Yes, we can!’ said Mrs Figg indignantly.

Fudge looked back down at her, his eyebrows raised. ‘Very well,’ he said aloofly. ‘What is your story?’

‘I had gone out to buy cat food from the corner shop at the end of Wisteria Walk, around about nine o’clock, on the evening of the second of August,’ gabbled Mrs Figg at once, as though she had learned what she was saying by heart, ‘when I heard a disturbance down the alleyway between Magnolia Crescent and Wisteria Walk. On approaching the mouth of the alleyway I saw Dementors running –’

‘Running?’ said Madam Bones sharply. ‘Dementors don’t run, they glide.’

‘That’s what I meant to say,’ said Mrs Figg quickly, patches of pink appearing in her withered cheeks. ‘Gliding along the alley towards what looked like two boys.’

‘What did they look like?’ said Madam Bones, narrowing her eyes so that the edge of the monocle disappeared into her flesh.

‘Well, one was very large and the other one rather skinny –’

‘No, no,’ said Madam Bones impatiently. ‘The Dementors ... describe them.’

‘Oh,’ said Mrs Figg, the pink flush creeping up her neck now. ‘They were big. Big and wearing cloaks.’

Harry felt a horrible sinking in the pit of his stomach. Whatever Mrs Figg might say, it sounded to him as though the most she had ever seen was a picture of a Dementor, and a picture could never convey the truth of what these beings were like: the eerie way they moved, hovering inches over the ground; or the rotting smell of them; or that terrible rattling noise they made as they sucked on the surrounding air ...

In the second row, a dumpy wizard with a large black moustache leaned close to whisper in the ear of his neighbour, a frizzy-haired witch. She smirked and nodded.

‘Big and wearing cloaks,’ repeated Madam Bones coolly, while Fudge snorted derisively. ‘I see. Anything else?’

‘Yes,’ said Mrs Figg. ‘I felt them. Everything went cold, and this was a very warm summer’s night, mark you. And I felt ... as though all happiness had gone from the world ... and I remembered ... dreadful things ...’

Her voice shook and died.

Madam Bones’s eyes widened slightly. Harry could see red marks under her eyebrow where the monocle had dug into it.

‘What did the Dementors do?’ she asked, and Harry felt a rush of hope.

‘They went for the boys,’ said Mrs Figg, her voice stronger and more confident now, the pink flush ebbing away from her face. ‘One of them had fallen. The other was backing away, trying to repel the Dementor. That was Harry. He tried twice and produced only silver vapour. On the third attempt, he produced a Patronus, which charged down the first Dementor and then, with his encour- agement, chased the second one away from his cousin. And that ... that is what happened,’ Mrs Figg finished, somewhat lamely.


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

By J.K. Rowling