The twin cores collide

As Harry and Voldemort attempt to cast spells against each other, something very strange happens

Extract from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

By J.K. Rowling

Voldemort was ready. As Harry shouted ‘Expelliarmus!’, Voldemort cried, ‘Avada Kedavra!’

A jet of green light issued from Voldemort’s wand just as a jet of red light blasted from Harry’s – they met in mid-air – and suddenly, Harry’s wand was vibrating as though an electric charge was surging through it; his hand had seized up around it; he couldn’t have released it if he’d wanted to – and a narrow beam of light was now connecting the two wands, neither red nor green, but bright, deep gold – and Harry, following the beam with his astonished gaze, saw that Voldemort’s long white fingers, too, were gripping a wand that was shaking and vibrating.

And then – nothing could have prepared Harry for this – he felt his feet lift from the ground. He and Voldemort were both being raised into the air, their wands still connected by that thread of shimmering golden light. They were gliding away from the tombstone of Voldemort’s father, and then came to rest on a patch of ground that was clear and free of graves … The Death Eaters were shouting, they were asking Voldemort for instructions; they were closing in, re-forming the circle around Harry and Voldemort, the snake slithering at their heels, some of them drawing their wands –

The golden thread connecting Harry and Voldemort splintered: though the wands remained connected, a thousand more offshoots arced high over Harry and Voldemort, criss-crossing all around them, until they were enclosed in a golden, dome-shaped web, a cage of light, beyond which the Death Eaters circled like jackals, their cries strangely muffled now …

‘Do nothing!’ Voldemort shrieked to the Death Eaters, and Harry saw his red eyes wide with astonishment at what was happening, saw him fighting to break the thread of light still connecting his wand with Harry’s; Harry held onto his wand more tightly, with both hands, and the golden thread remained unbroken. ‘Do nothing unless I command you!’ Voldemort shouted to the Death Eaters.

And then an unearthly and beautiful sound filled the air … it was coming from every thread of the light-spun web vibrating around Harry and Voldemort. It was a sound Harry recognised, though he had heard it only once before in his life … phoenix song …

It was the sound of hope to Harry … the most beautiful and welcome thing he had ever heard in his life … he felt as though the song was inside him instead of just around him … it was the sound he connected with Dumbledore, and it was almost as though a friend was speaking in his ear …

Don’t break the connection.

I know, Harry told the music, I know I mustn’t … but no sooner had he thought it, than the thing became much harder to do. His wand began to vibrate more powerfully than ever … and now the beam between him and Voldemort changed, too … it was as though large beads of light were sliding up and down the thread connecting the wands – Harry felt his wand give a shudder under his hand, as the light beads began to slide slowly and steadily his way … the direction of the beam’s movement was now towards him, from Voldemort, and he felt his wand shudder angrily …

As the nearest bead of light moved nearer to Harry’s wand tip, the wood beneath his fingers grew so hot he feared it would burst into flame. The closer that bead moved, the harder Harry’s wand vibrated; he was sure his wand would not survive contact with it; it felt as though it was about to shatter under his fingers –

He concentrated every last particle of his mind upon forcing the bead backwards towards Voldemort, his ears full of phoenix song, his eyes furious, fixated … and slowly, very slowly, the beads quivered to a halt, and then, just as slowly, they began to move the other way … and it was Voldemort’s wand that was vibrating extra hard now … Voldemort who looked astonished, and almost fearful …

One of the beads of light was quivering, inches from the tip of Voldemort’s wand. Harry didn’t understand why he was doing it, didn’t know what it might achieve … but he now concentrated as he had never done in his life, on forcing that bead of light right back into Voldemort’s wand … and slowly … very slowly … it moved along the golden thread … it trembled for a moment … and then it connected …

At once, Voldemort’s wand began to emit echoing screams of pain … then – Voldemort’s red eyes widened with shock – a dense, smoky hand flew out of the tip of it and vanished … the ghost of the hand he had made Wormtail … more shouts of pain … and then something much larger began to blossom from Voldemort’s wand tip, a great, greyish something that looked as though it was made of the solidest, densest smoke … it was a head … now a chest and arms … the torso of Cedric Diggory.

If ever Harry might have released his wand from shock, it would have been then, but instinct kept him clutching his wand tightly, so that the thread of golden light remained unbroken, even though the thick grey ghost of Cedric Diggory (was it a ghost? It looked so solid) emerged in its entirety from the end of Voldemort’s wand, as though it was squeezing itself out of a very narrow tunnel … and this shade of Cedric stood up, and looked up and down the golden thread of light, and spoke.

'Hold on, Harry,’ it said.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

By J.K. Rowling