The wand connection

Dumbledore explains the connection between Harry and Voldemort's wands and the strange spell that happened when they were used in a duel

Extract from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

By J.K. Rowling

Harry went on; he explained how Voldemort had emerged from the cauldron, and told them all he could remember of Voldemort’s speech to the Death Eaters. Then he told how Voldemort had untied him, returned his wand to him, and prepared to duel.

But when he reached the part where the golden beam of light had connected his and Voldemort’s wands, he found his throat obstructed. He tried to keep talking, but the memories of what had come out of Voldemort’s wand were flooding into his mind. He could see Cedric emerging, see the old man, Bertha Jorkins ... his mother ... his father ...

He was glad when Sirius broke the silence.

‘The wands connected?’ he said, looking from Harry to Dumbledore. ‘Why?’

Harry looked up again at Dumbledore, on whose face there was an arrested look.

‘Priori Incantatem,’ he muttered.

His eyes gazed into Harry’s and it was almost as though an invisible beam of understanding shot between them.

‘The reverse spell effect?’ said Sirius sharply.

‘Exactly,’ said Dumbledore. ‘Harry’s wand and Voldemort’s wand share cores. Each of them contains a feather from the tail of the same phoenix. This phoenix, in fact,’ he added, and he pointed at the scarlet and gold bird, perching peacefully on Harry’s knee.

‘My wand’s feather came from Fawkes?’ Harry said, amazed.

‘Yes,’ said Dumbledore. ‘Mr Ollivander wrote to tell me you had bought the second wand, the moment you left his shop four years ago.’

‘So what happens when a wand meets its brother?’ said Sirius.

‘They will not work properly against each other,’ said Dumbledore. ‘If, however, the owners of the wands force the wands to do battle ... a very rare effect will take place.

‘One of the wands will force the other to regurgitate spells it has performed – in reverse. The most recent first ... and then those which preceded it ...’

He looked interrogatively at Harry, and Harry nodded.

‘Which means,’ said Dumbledore slowly, his eyes upon Harry’s face, ‘that some form of Cedric must have reappeared.’

Harry nodded again.

‘Diggory came back to life?’ said Sirius sharply.

‘No spell can reawaken the dead,’ said Dumbledore heavily. ‘All that would have happened is a kind of reverse echo. A shadow of the living Cedric would have emerged from the wand ... am I correct, Harry?’

‘He spoke to me,’ Harry said. He was suddenly shaking again. ‘The ... the ghost Cedric, or whatever he was, spoke.’

‘An echo,’ said Dumbledore, ‘which retained Cedric’s appear- ance and character. I am guessing other such forms appeared ... less recent victims of Voldemort’s wand ...’

‘An old man,’ Harry said, his throat still constricted. ‘Bertha Jorkins. And ...’

‘Your parents?’ said Dumbledore quietly.

‘Yes,’ said Harry.

Sirius’ grip on Harry’s shoulder was now so tight it was painful.

‘The last murders the wand performed,’ said Dumbledore, nodding. ‘In reverse order. More would have appeared, of course, had you maintained the connection. Very well, Harry, these echoes, these shadows ... what did they do?’

Harry described how the figures which had emerged from the wand had prowled the edges of the golden web, how Voldemort had seemed to fear them, how the shadow of Harry’s father had told him what to do, how Cedric’s had made its final request.

At this point, Harry found he could not continue. He looked around at Sirius, and saw that he had his face in his hands.


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

By J.K. Rowling