Reunited with Dumbledore

Harry returns to Dumbledore's office to speak to his portrait after the Battle of Hogwarts

Extract from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

by J.K. Rowling

Since he had last seen it, the gargoyle guarding the entrance to the Headmaster’s study had been knocked aside, it stood lopsided, looking a little punch-drunk, and Harry wondered whether it would be able to distinguish passwords anymore.

‘Can we go up?’ he asked the gargoyle.

‘Feel free,’ groaned the statue.

They clambered over him and on to the spiral stone staircase that moved slowly upwards like an escalator. Harry pushed open the door at the top.

He had one, brief glimpse of the stone Pensieve on the desk where he had left it, and then an ear-splitting noise made him cry out, thinking of curses and returning Death Eaters and the rebirth of Voldemort.

But it was applause. All around the walls, the headmasters and headmistresses of Hogwarts were giving him a standing ovation; they waved their hats and in some cases their wigs, they reached through their frames to grip each other’s hands, they danced up and down on the chairs in which they had been painted; Dilys Derwent sobbed unashamedly, Dexter Fortescue was waving his ear-trumpet; and Phineas Nigellus called, in his high, reedy voice, ‘And let it be noted that Slytherin house played its part! Let our contribution not be forgotten!’

But Harry had eyes only for the man who stood in the largest portrait directly behind the Headmaster’s chair. Tears were sliding down from behind the half-moon spectacles into the long silver beard, and the pride and the gratitude emanating from him filled Harry with the same balm as phoenix song.

At last, Harry held up his hands, and the portraits fell respectfully silent, beaming and mopping their eyes and waiting eagerly for him to speak. He directed his words at Dumbledore, however, and chose them with enormous care. Exhausted and bleary-eyed though he was, he must make one last effort, seeking one last piece of advice.

‘The thing that was hidden in the Snitch,’ he began, ‘I dropped it in the Forest. I don’t know exactly where, but I’m not going to go looking for it again. Do you agree?’

‘My dear boy, I do,’ said Dumbledore, while his fellow pictures looked confused and curious. ‘A wise and courageous decision, but no less than I would have expected of you. Does anyone else know where it fell?’

‘No one,’ said Harry, and Dumbledore nodded his satisfaction.

‘I’m going to keep Ignotus’s present, though,’ said Harry, and Dumbledore beamed.

‘But of course, Harry, it is yours forever, until you pass it on!’

‘And then there’s this.’

Harry held up the Elder Wand, and Ron and Hermione looked at it with a reverence that, even in his befuddled and sleep-deprived state, Harry did not like to see.

‘I don’t want it,’ said Harry.

‘What?’ said Ron loudly. ‘Are you mental?’

‘I know it’s powerful,’ said Harry wearily. ‘But I was happier with mine. So ...’

He rummaged in the pouch hung around his neck, and pulled out the two halves of holly still, just, connected by the finest thread of phoenix feather. Hermione had said that they could not be repaired, that the damage was too severe. All he knew was that if this did not work, nothing would.

He laid the broken wand upon the Headmaster’s desk, touched it with the very tip of the Elder Wand and said, ‘Reparo.’

As his wand resealed, red sparks flew out of its end. Harry knew that he had succeeded. He picked up the holly and phoenix wand, and felt a sudden warmth in his fingers, as though wand and hand were rejoicing at their reunion.

‘I’m putting the Elder Wand,’ he told Dumbledore, who was watching him with enormous affection and admiration, ‘back where it came from. It can stay there. If I die a natural death like Ignotus, its power will be broken, won’t it? The previous master will never have been defeated. That’ll be the end of it.’

Dumbledore nodded. They smiled at each other.

‘Are you sure?’ said Ron. There was the faintest trace of longing in his voice as he looked at the Elder Wand.

‘I think Harry’s right,’ said Hermione quietly.

‘That wand’s more trouble than it’s worth,’ said Harry. ‘And quite honestly,’ he turned away from the painted portraits, thinking now only of the four-poster bed lying waiting for him in Gryffindor Tower, and wondering whether Kreacher might bring him a sandwich there, ‘I’ve had enough trouble for a lifetime.’


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

by J.K. Rowling