Chapter 11 : I Have To Do What Now?
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When the four friends arrived in the kitchen for dinner, they were greeted by a familiar face.
“Sirius!” Harry hugged his godfather.
Sirius grinned broadly. “It’s great to see you”, he said. How have you been?”
Harry hadn’t seen Sirius since the last Hogsmeade visit and they had a lot of catching up to do, while the others went and helped Mrs Weasley to set the table for dinner.
Mr and Mrs Weasley and Bill, Charlie and Percy had all joined the Order of the Phoenix over the summer. Bill was now going out with Fleur Delacour, who had broken up with her French boyfriend and stayed in Britain after the Triwizard Tournament. She greeted Harry happily. Harry learned that Cedric Diggory had also joined the Order, but he had already left.
During dinner Harry learned of what had been going on the last few days from the members of the Order of the Phoenix. Apparently Rufus Scrimgeour had been appointed Minister for Magic ad interim. Dumbledore had said that Scrimgeour was probably a better leader in this situation than Fudge would have been. Scrimgeour had a long career as an Auror behind him and didn’t underestimate Voldemort and his Death Eaters.
“By the way, Harry,” Remus said, “Dumbledore is stopping by tomorrow. He said he needed to talk to you.”
“Alright”, Harry answered. He directed his next question to Sirius: “What about Pettigrew’s trial. Is it still up for next week?”
Sirius nodded. “Yes the date still stands for Monday. Too bad I can’t be there to see that rat go down.”
Harry had a grim look on his face. “Oh I’ll give you all the details afterwards, I’ll make sure I’m there.” He paused. “So…” He looked at the adults. “What has Voldemort been up to? Has he come out in the open yet?”
“No”, Remus said. “He has been extraordinary silent. It is weird, because Scrimgeour has alerted the magical community that he had returned. He even warned the Muggle Prime Minister.”
Harry didn’t understand. “Then why is he lying low? I thought he would want to show everyone he was back?”
“Maybe that isn’t his main concern”, Sirius answered. “Maybe he wants to obtain something before he comes out into the open.”
“What do you mean?”
“Something that will give him answers. Something he didn’t know last time.”
“That’s enough, Sirius”, Molly said sharply. He doesn’t need to know everything. Otherwise we might as well take him into the Order.”
“Why not?”, Harry asked. “If Voldemort is getting stronger I want to fight!”
“No”, Sirius said. “I’m sorry Harry, but you’re too young to be a fully-fledged member of the Order. The Order of the Phoenix consists of people who are adults – “
“We are adults”, Fred said and he pointed at George and himself.
“People who have finished their education”, Sirius corrected himself. “We won’t keep everything from you Harry, we know you have a right to know what’s going on.”
“Then why can’t you tell me?”
“The decision which information you will hear isn’t ours to make”, Remus said. “All the information you will hear will be via Dumbledore.”
After dinner Harry, Ginny, Ron, Hermione, Fred and George were all in Harry and Ron’s room, talking about what Sirius had said (or not said).
“Maybe he’s after some weapon”, Fred said.
“No, Sirius said it was something that would give him answers”, Hermione pointed out. “Something he didn’t know last time…”
Harry spoke up: “Maybe he wants to find out why he wasn’t able to kill me when I was a baby.”
“Oh but surely he has realized that already, Harry!”, Hermione said.
“Well then, maybe he’s trying to find a way around it.”
“There is no way around it!”, Ginny said fearfully. “Is there?”
They all looked at Hermione who shrugged: “Not that I know of, but that doesn’t guarantee anything.”
Ginny was looking at Harry worriedly. “Don’t worry, Ginny”, he said, putting his arms around her. “I’m probably the most protected kid in the world. He’d have a tough job getting to me.”
“On a different note”, George grinned. “When are you going to tell Mum and Dad you’re dating?”
Harry and Ginny looked at each other. The looks Bill, Charlie and Percy had given him over dinner told Harry that the three older Weasley brothers already knew about it, but Mr and Mrs Weasley were still oblivious. They looked anxious just thinking about it. The others laughed at their expressions.
“Honestly, I don’t understand what you guys are worried about”, Ron laughed. “Mom and Dad are fond of Harry, they couldn’t love him more if he was their own son!”
“Yeah”, Fred agreed. “They’d be happy for you, you know that.”
“What if they say I’m too young?”, Ginny asked.
“You’re going to be fourteen soon, it’s not that young”, Hermione stated. If she was honest with herself she had to admit that she was a bit jealous of Ginny. It had been a while until they officially started dating after they went to the Yule Ball together last year, but Harry had expressed his feelings for Ginny fairly quickly, a lot more quickly than Hermione expected actually. Ron on the other hand was still completely daft.
When Harry entered the kitchen the next morning, he was enveloped in a manly bear hug.
“Hey Cedric!” He smiled broadly. It was great to see his co-champion again. “How are you?”
“Can’t complain”, Cedric grinned. “What about you? Sorry I didn’t see you yesterday. I was on night duty.”
“Night duty?”, Harry asked.
Cedric nodded. “For the Order”, he explained. “It’s great to see you again! I must say it’s a little weird I won’t be going back to Hogwarts this year.”
“Right! What are you planning to do?”
“I’m in Auror training actually”, Cedric said proudly. “Kingsley is my mentor. Tough one, that one is. But I’m learning a lot from him. He has tons of experience.”
Harry thought about Cedric had said. He wondered if the Auror Office would be a good career path for him when he was finished at Hogwarts. He could perfectly picture himself chasing bad guys and fighting the dark arts for a living.
Shortly after lunch Sirius knocked on the door of Harry’s room where he was playing an exciting game of Wizard’s Chess with Ron, while Ginny and Hermione were watching from the other bed.
“Harry”, he said, poking his head around the door. “Dumbledore is here, he wants to talk to us.”
Harry followed his godfather to the living room where Dumbledore sat waiting for him. Harry hadn’t been in this room before and he watched the tapestry of the Black family on the wall. He frowned when he read the words Toujours Pur. Harry knew this had been the house of the parents of Sirius, but he didn’t know they were purists.
“Good afternoon, Harry”, Dumbledore said looking up from the Pensieve that was placed on the desk in front of him. “I am here to discuss some important matters with you and as Sirius is your godfather I found it wisely that he would also be present.”
Harry nodded as Sirius put his hand on his shoulder.
“First of all, Harry, it is with great grief that I have to inform you that Professor Trelawney has been killed in her home yesterday.”
Harry’s hart sank. He had never liked Professor Trelawney. She was a fraud and a dismal teacher, but her fate shocked him. “Why?”, he asked. “Why did they go after her?” He couldn't imagine a person with less value to Voldemort or the Death Eaters than his old Divination teacher.
Dumbledore looked extremely old when he looked at Harry. “Do you remember that Professor Trelawney made a prediction about Wormtail returning to his master, shortly before you met Sirius?” He gestured at his godfather. Harry nodded. “Do you also remember me telling you then that that was probably Professor Trelawney’s second accurate prediction?”
Harry nodded again. He hadn’t given much thought to the words of Dumbledore back then because he had had other things on his mind.
“Sixteen years ago”, Dumbledore continued. “Professor Trelawney made a Prophecy. A Prophecy that is registered in the Hall of Prophecy in the Department of Mysteries in the Ministry of Magic.”
Sirius sat up a bit more straight. “That’s the Prophecy we’ve been guarding.”
Dumbledore nodded. “The Prophecy is about you and Voldemort, Harry.”
Harry was staring at his headmaster, flabbergasted. “There is a Prophecy about me and Voldemort?”
Dumbledore nodded. “And the content of that Prophecy is of great importance.”
“But no one knows what the Prophecy says”, Sirius said. “We decided we wouldn’t try to find out the contents so Voldemort wouldn’t find out either!”
“Very true, Sirius”, Dumbledore agreed. “But the Prophecy was made to someone. And that someone remembers every word of it.”
“It was made to you, wasn’t it”, Harry stated. Dumbledore nodded. “What did it say?”
Dumbledore sighed deeply. He suddenly looked uncharacteristically old. He took his wand, whirled around in the contents of the Pensieve and then the face of the now late Sybill Trelawney floated to the surface.
“The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches.
Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies.
And the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not.
And either must die at the hand of the other, for neither can live while the other survives. *
What followed was a deafening silence. Sirius was the first to speak up. “Does that mean – “, he stuttered. “Dumbledore, what does it mean?”
Harry had never seen his headmaster look older than he did this very moment. “It means”, he answered, “that there is only one person that has the power to defeat Voldemort. A person who was born at the end of July and who was marked by Voldemort himself as his equal.”
“And that’s me”, Harry said. He was surprised how calm his voice sounded.
“The description could have been about one other boy”, Dumbledore said. “But by attacking you when you were a baby – “
“Voldemort marked me as his equal”, Harry nodded. “I have to kill him.”
“No!”, Sirius shouted. “You can’t expect a fifteen year old boy to defeat the darkest wizard our world has ever seen!”
“I am afraid there is no other way, Sirius”, Dumbledore said. “The second part of the Prophecy says that neither can live while the other survives. It has to be Harry. He is the only one who can do it.”
Sirius looked beaten. Harry was staring at his headmaster. Finally he said: “You have known this all along, haven’t you? You should have told me. I had the right to know!”
“I know, Harry”, Dumbledore sighed. “I should probably have told you the moment you set foot into Hogwarts, but I couldn’t bring myself to put that kind of burden onto an eleven year old boy. As the years passed, I have had many opportunities to tell you, but I cared too much about you to worry you that much. I wanted you to be happy.”
Harry looked at Dumbledore and to his embarrassment, he saw tears welling in his blue eyes. He didn’t have the heart to be angry at his headmaster, but he still felt mad about being kept in the dark. He merely nodded and said: “The Prophecy says that I would have power the Dark Lord knows not.”
Dumbledore nodded. “It does.”
“But”, Harry continued, puzzled. “How can I? Voldemort is probably the most powerful wizard in the world, except for you. How could I have any power that he doesn’t have?”
“Yes Harry, Voldemort is an extremely powerful wizard”, Dumbledore answered. “But he has one very big flaw: Voldemort is not capable of love. He has never felt it, he has never received it, and therefore he does not understand it.”
“That may be”, Harry said. “But how will that help me? Voldemort possesses and kills people in a heartbeat. I’m not capable of such things.”
Dumbledore considered his words before he spoke. “It may seem insignificant to you right now, Harry, but trust me when I say that there is no greater power in this world than the power of love.” Harry looked at him sceptically, but Dumbledore merely smiled. “Harry, do you remember I told you after your confrontation with Quirrell three years ago, how you were able to survive when Voldemort first tried to kill you?”
Harry nodded. “Because my mother gave her life for me.” Sirius shifted on his chair when he said that.
“Indeed”, Dumbledore confirmed. “She refused to step aside when Voldemort tried to kill you. Her love saved you that night, Harry. Her determination to protect her only son made sure that the Killing Curse Voldemort shot at you rebounded and your life was spared. You are still the only person ever to be known to survive that curse. The Killing Curse never fails. According to all magical laws, there is no protection possible against it. But love made sure you survived that night. Love is the only power in this world that can cheat death.”
Harry let Dumbledore’s words sink in and looked over at Sirius. He saw his godfather had tears streaming down his face. The combined story of Lily’s sacrifice and the Prophecy had probably been a bit much for him. Harry didn’t know why he wasn’t more afraid. He should be, shouldn’t he? Not only did the darkest wizard in the world want to kill him, now he also found out he was the only one who could stop him and that he would either have to kill him or be killed. But Harry felt that he had always known it would end like that eventually. Although he didn’t know the reason, it had always been clear that Voldemort wanted him dead since he was only a year old. He had known that Voldemort would keep hunting after him until he succeeded. Or until he was killed himself.
“Does he know?”, Sirius asked. “Voldemort? Has Trelawney told him?”
“Sybill Trelawney did not have any recollection of the Prophecy.”, Dumbledore answered. “But I am afraid that there are ways to recover lost memories, ways Voldemort undoubtedly knows of. So yes, I am afraid he knows about the Prophecy.”
After a long silence Dumbledore spoke up again. “I realize that this is a lot to take in, Harry. Unfortunately I have not much time left and I still wanted to talk to you about the coming school year.” Dumbledore paused until Harry had nodded and then he continued. “Now that Voldemort has returned and that you know about the Prophecy, I think it is time that I am personally more engaged in your education. I will be giving you private lessons next school year.”
“What will you teach me?”, Harry asked.
Dumbledore simply answered: “Everything I can, Harry.” He rose from his seat. “I’m afraid I need to leave now. I am sure I will see you soon”, he said to Harry. He walked over to the door, turned around and said: “I am sure you understand, Harry, that it would not be good if the contents of the Prophecy would be known by too many.”
Harry hesitated. “What about my friends?”
Dumbledore nodded and said: “I think that your friends, Mr Weasley and Mrs Granger are to be trusted. So is Miss Weasley”, he added with a small smile. “Actually, I would encourage you to tell them. They would want to know and I think you would be doing them a disservice by keeping them in the dark. Tell them when you are ready Harry, but know that you are not alone in this. Do not make the same mistakes that I did” And with a polite nod to Harry and Sirius, he left the room.
Harry looked over at his godfather with a puzzled look on his face at that last remark from his headmaster. Sirius merely shrugged, but then the worried look he had been wearing ever since they heard the Prophecy slid back over his face. He didn’t seem to know what he had to say to Harry, but Harry didn’t really mind. He didn’t want to hear he was sorry, he didn’t want to hear everything was going to be alright. Harry knew just as much as Sirius did that would all be empty words. No one could guarantee how the Prophecy would turn out. The only thing Harry was sure of, was that one day he would have to face his arch enemy. One day, he would have to face the man that still filled his nightmares, who took the lives of his parents and so many other innocent people.
I have to kill him. The realization hit Harry as he was thinking about the words he had heard about half an hour before. Harry knew that Voldemort was a monster. He had to be stopped and Voldemort wasn’t the average criminal who would let himself get caught. He knew the only way of stopping Voldemort was killing him, but now that he knew he had to be the one to do it, he doubted if he would be able to. Not only because Voldemort was so much stronger than him, but also because Harry didn’t think himself capable of killing someone, even if it was Voldemort. If I kill him, would I be any better than him? Wouldn’t I be just as much of a monster as he is?
*The words from the Prophecy are taken from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, chapter 37: The Lost Prophecy by J.K. Rowling.
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