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Chapter 4 : The Will
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The shock of losing Sirius had immersed Grimmauld Place in a depressed atmosphere. Everyone was tiptoeing around Harry, because they didn’t want to upset him even more. Harry wished they didn’t do that. The loss of his godfather did hurt him, but on the other hand he felt lighter than he ever felt before. It was almost as if a heavy weight had been lifted from him. He didn’t talk about this to anyone, they would probably think he was going mad. Instead he further isolated himself from the others.
When Harry entered the kitchen Saturday morning, it was already filled with people, despite the early hour. Mrs Weasley immediately jumped up when she saw him and started making him breakfast. Harry didn’t manage to eat anything. The fact that they would have to bury his godfather later had taken away his appetite.
Normally every Black family member was buried in the family grave in London, but Sirius had arranged before his death that he would be buried at Godric’s Hollow, on the same graveyard as Harry’s parents. Remus had promised him he would show him to his parents after the service. Harry had never even seen their graves.
“Will it be safe?” Harry suddenly asked the kitchen in general, referring to the funeral. He didn’t want any Death Eaters to show up in the middle of Sirius’ memorial service.
“The Order has arranged maximum protection.” Kingsley said reassuringly. “Besides I don’t think we have to fear an attack.”
“Voldemort has called off a period of truce.” Remus said.
“What?” Harry asked surprised.
It didn’t seem like Voldemort to do anything of the sort.
“He did it a couple of times during the first war too.” Remus explained. “Whenever one of the sides had suffered a major loss, he would allow them to mourn. He always respected it back then, so there’s no reason to believe he won’t now. Of course he would only to that if it was beneficial to him.”
“So he did this because of Sirius?” Harry asked.
“Because of you, more likely.” Mad-Eye grumbled.
“Voldemort disappeared right after he hit you with the killing curse.” Remus said. “He still thinks you are dead and has already spread the news.”
“So everyone thinks I’m dead?” Harry asked.
He thought about his friends in the DA.
“Well of course we have informed your friends from school that you are alive and well.” Remus smiled. “But we have told them it wouldn’t be necessary to let that be known to anyone else. We might as well surprise Voldemort now that we can.”
Sirius’ funeral happened in a small circle of family and friends. The only other people present besides Regulus, Harry and Jacinta were the members of the Order of the Phoenix and most of the DA members. The little church in Godric’s Hollow wasn’t even filled half.
“Sirius Black” Dumbledore said standing before the attendants, “was a very talented wizard, an accomplished duellist and a brave warrior. But above all, Sirius Black was a loyal friend, brother and godfather. To me, Sirius will always be a hero. Sirius gave his life fighting the dark forces that threaten our land and freedom. He fought valiantly in two wizarding wars, but that is not why he is a hero. He is a hero because he was the living embodiment of the words ‘actions speak louder than words’.”
“Yes, he was a man of few words. He would act before talk, sometimes rashly, but always with the best interest of his friends or family at heart. He may have seemed as tough and indestructible, but all of us who knew him know he had a good, good heart. A quality he proved again shortly before his death by taking in a little girl from a broken home, who had nowhere to go.”
“Today we have to say goodbye to a man who was an example to us in many ways, but as long as we remember him, he will live on. He will live on in his brother, Regulus, and his adopted children, Harry and Jacinta. We will treasure him in our hearts as long as we live.”
He turned to the coffin and bowed his head.
“Goodbye my friend.”
After Sirius had been buried, Remus took Harry to the grave of his parents as he promised. After hesitating shortly, Ginny took his hand and accompanied them, closely followed by Ron and Hermione. When they came to the white tombstone at the end of the row, Remus conjured a wreath of white purple flowers and lay it on their grave.
Harry didn’t immediately realize he was closer to his parents than he had been for years. Only when Remus told him quietly to take his time and meet him back by the church, he really saw the grave in front of him.
27 March 1960 – 31 October 1981
30 January 1960 – 31 October 1981
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death*
Suddenly the realization that the remains of his parents lay here right in front of him hit him rock-hard. He approached the graves slowly still hanging on to Ginny’s hand.
“Do you think you guys could give me a moment?” he asked softly.
“Of course, Harry.” Hermione said.
Harry noticed she sounded as if she was close to tears. Ginny gave him a watery a smile and squeezed his hand softly before they left him alone.
Harry kneeled in front of the graves.
“Hi mum, hi dad.” he said softly. “I’m sorry it took me so long to get here.”
He paused. Tears were burning behind his eyes.
“I’m so sorry that you died because of me.” he continued. “I wish you were here. I need you guys. I don’t think I can do this on my own.”
Tears were streaming down his face now. “I have to kill him. I have to kill the most powerful dark wizard there is and I haven’t even started my sixth year at Hogwarts. It’s not fair.”
Harry allowed himself to pour his heart out. Every thought, every fear he had been ashamed of and he had kept for himself came out in front of his parents. He longed so much for his mother’s arms to embrace him and for her to tell him everything would be okay. He longed so much for his father to help him and give him advice. But his outburst was only met by silence. Until –
Harry quickly turned around.
“Luna!” he said.
“I’m sorry to interfere.” Luna said. She sat down beside him on the ground. “But I thought maybe you wanted to talk to someone.”
“I don’t want to talk to anyone.” Harry said harshly. “Everyone tries to understand but...”
He sighed. He knew everyone meant well, but the truth was that no one really knew how it was to grow up without parents. To be alone for so long he didn’t even remember what having family felt like until he met the Weasleys.
“I know.” Luna said. “They say you still have family left and that you are loved by everyone. But they don’t know how it feels to stay behind. How it is impossible for that void to ever be filled again.”
Harry stared at her. He knew Luna and liked her. They had become friends over the last year, despite the fact a lot of people avoided her because she was ‘weird’. But he realized that he actually knew very little about her.
“Are you – “ he started. “Did you – ?”
He didn’t really know how to ask her.
“My mum.” Luna said softly. “She died when I was nine. I was there.”
Harry suddenly felt very guilty. Everyone tried to cheer him up and make him feel better, but Luna had just as much right to that as he had.
“I’m sorry.” Harry said. “I didn’t know.”
“That’s alright.” Luna smiled. “I do still have dad, you know. And mum – well – one day I’ll see her again. Just as you will see your parents and Sirius again. Our time just hasn’t come yet.”
“You really believe that?” Harry asked. “You really think Sirius was killed instead of me because my time hasn’t come yet?”
“Yes.” Luna said. Harry had never seen her talking this seriously. “I think we all have a part to play in this world. The fact that Sirius saved your life in that house means that your part hasn’t been played yet.”
“What if I don’t want to play my part.” Harry mumbled, more to himself than to Luna.
“No one can force you to do anything you don’t want to.” Luna said. “But I know that you won’t run away from your fate. You care too much.”
She stood up and reached him her hand. “Are you ready to go back?”
Harry smiled faintly and nodded. He grabbed her hand and let her pull him up.
“Thanks, Luna.” he said while they were walking back towards the church.
“Oh you’re welcome.” she said, back to her cheerful self. “I liked it. It was like helping a friend.”
Harry stared at her. “You did help a friend.” he said slowly.
“Oh that’s very nice of you.” she beamed. “I never really had any friends before I met you guys, you know.”
Harry didn’t really know what to say. He felt pity for her. To be honest, he did understand why some people were scared away by her eccentric appearance and behaviour, but once you got past that Luna was kind, attentive and a great friend.
“Well”, he finally said. “You have now. And we couldn’t ask for a better friend than you.”
Luna gave him a radiant smile.
Talking to Luna had been the best thing that could have happened to Harry today. He still felt sad about Sirius of course and he still carried the heavy burden of the Prophecy, but his friend had helped him to put everything in perspective. When they arrived back at Grimmauld Place he joined Ginny, Ron, Hermione and the twins in the living room instead of going back to his bedroom like he intended to.
When the six friends entered the kitchen for lunch, they were surprised to see that Dumbledore was there.
“Professor!” Harry said. “What are you doing here?”
“Well, Molly invited me to lunch for the seventh time since term ended and a man can only decline so many times.” Dumbledore said.
His voice sounded cheerful but Harry knew his headmaster had a reason for being here. He didn’t have to wait long before he found out.
When they had all finished lunch, Dumbledore cleared his throat. “If you don’t mind I would like to talk in private with Harry, Hermione, Remus, Regulus, Jacinta and the Weasleys.”
After the other Order members had left the kitchen Dumbledore spoke up again.
“I have asked and received permission from the Ministry to execute Sirius’ will. If everyone agrees with that of course.”
They all nodded.
Dumbledore waved his wand and a roll of parchment and a wooden case appeared on the table. Dumbledore rolled out the parchment, cleared his throat again and started reading out loud:
“To my brother Regulus. I know there has always been a lot of irritation and spite between us. Probably the inevitable effect of two stubborn boys growing up in the same house. I am extremely grateful that I found out about your true loyalties in time. Finding out that you had redeemed yourself and you had changed your beliefs was one of the greatest moments of my life.”
“I leave to you my brother, all the Black family heirlooms that are still at Grimmauld Place. I never really cared for them, but I know they still have value to you. There are yours now. I also leave you one fourth of the Black family fortune.”
Regulus was staring at the floor when Dumbledore had finished. He wasn’t crying, but his face was even whiter than when he was attacked. After a short silence, Dumbledore continued.
“To the Weasley family. I only got to really know all of you after I came back from Azkaban. You weren’t a part of the Order of the Phoenix during the first war, but I knew Molly’s brothers Fabian and Gideon, two of the bravest people I have ever met. I am grateful to have gotten to know all of you and to have been able to provide you with a safe place to stay after you were forced to leave your home. You have taken care of my godson as much as you could while I was not able to. I will be forever grateful for that.”
“I leave to you, my friends, one fourth of the Black family fortune. I know you will be hesitant to accept this, but please do. I cannot think of one family who deserves it as much as you do. Arthur, I also leave you my motorcycle. I haven’t been using it much lately, but I think you will find use for it.”
Molly started sobbing and Arthur quickly put his arm around her shoulders. He had taken of his glasses and was rubbing his eyes with his unoccupied hand.
“To Ron and Hermione. Thank you for always being there for Harry and having his back. I know that both of you are extremely loyal friends. Cherish your friendship, because a friendship like you have is extremely rare. Ron, the loyalty and understanding between you and Harry reminds me strongly of James and me in our years at Hogwarts. And yes, that is a good thing. Just don’t get into as much trouble as we did.”
Ron made a noise that seemed to be half a sob, half a snort of laughter.
“Hermione, I know that you are the brains of all the young enthusiasm. I know I can trust you to slow Harry down when he’s acting rashly, like you have repeatedly done in the past. You are the most talented young witch I have ever seen, and I grew up with Lily Evans, so that’s saying something.”
Silent tears were streaming down Hermione’s cheeks.
“To Ron, I leave my Nimbus 2002. You are a much better Quidditch player than I ever was. Use it well.”
“To Hermione, I leave the entire library of Grimmauld Place. I know how much you love reading and you probably won’t need much time to go through everything that’s in there. I must warn you that some books contain darker contents than you may be used to from the Hogwarts library. But I know you are too intelligent to be carried away by any of that.”
“To Ginny. I know you are very much in love with Harry and he is very much in love with you. It is clear for everyone that the two of you belong together. You have no idea how much the two of you look like Lily and James when they were younger. I don’t know what it is with Potter men and their redheads.” Ginny smiled weakly. “I am very happy that Harry has you in his life. You truly make him a better person, as he does you.”
“I leave you, Ginny, the necklace that once belonged to my mother. I know my mother wasn’t a very nice person, but it is a special necklace. It was once given as a gift by Godric Gryffindor to his wife. It’s supposed to have many powers, but not much is known about it. It belongs to you now.”
Dumbledore took a beautiful necklace with a simple red stone out of the case and handed it to Ginny. Harry was distracted for a moment when he heard the necklace had belonged to Gryffindor and looked at Dumbledore questioningly, but the headmaster almost unnoticeably shook his head. Of course, Sirius knew about the Horcruxes and that Voldemort tried to find items of the founders. He would already have informed Dumbledore about the necklace and checked if it was a Horcrux.
“To Remus. Moony.” Dumbledore continued. "We were the last Marauders left. I am truly sorry that I had to leave you behind by yourself, but I know you are strong. You’ll be fine. You promised you would take care of Harry and Jacinta if something happened to me and I don’t doubt for a second that you will stand by that promise. Don’t grieve too much, old friend. Remember the good times, everything we went through together. And about that on-and-off-relationship with my cousin you tried to keep from me first: get over yourself. I know that you guys would be great together.”
Harry looked at Remus and saw that the werewolf was smiling through his tears.
“I leave to you, Moony, one fourth of the Black family fortune. I know you are always uncomfortable when I help you out financially, so don’t even think about rejecting it or I swear to Merlin I will come back and haunt you.”
Remus wasn’t the only one that was smiling through his tears now. It was so characteristic for Sirius to say something like that, that Harry half expected to hear his bark-like laugh.
“To Harry and Jacinta.” Dumbledore continued. “If you hear this, it means that I have failed you. I wished I could have been there for both of you to grow up. Luckily, I already know that both of you are remarkable young people in your own ways.”
“Jacinta, I have taken you in happily. You brought a joy into our home. A joy that house hadn’t seen in a very long time. I am truly sorry that I wasn’t able to finish what I started. I leave to you, my sweet girl, my copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard. I know how much you loved that book. It’s yours now.”
Jacinta was crying hard as she took the book from Dumbledore. Hermione, who was sitting beside her, hugged her tight.
“Harry, I cannot begin to thank you enough for what you did for me. You saved me when they wanted to give me to the Dementors and a year later you cleared my name and exposed the truth to the whole wizarding world. The fact that everyone knows that I haven’t betrayed your parents now means more than I care to admit. “
“When your parents asked me to be your godfather all those years ago, I was of course happy to accept, but I didn’t understand why they asked me. I was an irresponsible, stuck-up, arrogant prat back then and I thought your parents were fools to trust me with their child if something would happen to them. Now I am extremely grateful that they did ask me. You are the best thing that could have ever happened to me. You’re like a son to me, Harry, and you always will be.”
“I leave you my diaries. I’m afraid I only started it when I was already out of Hogwarts so you won’t find anything about the trouble we got ourselves into while at school, but I think you will like it all the same.”
Dumbledore handed three books with a simple black cover to Harry. He opened one of them quickly and immediately recognized Sirius’ handwriting. He closed it again, he would look at them later. In private.
“I also leave one fourth of the Black family fortune to split between Harry and Jacinta. I know you are both comfortably off and neither of you cares much for gold, but you are my only children after all.”
“So this is it, my friends. Remember me, not with sadness, but happiness. We will see each other again.
“Harry, could you stay for a moment, please?”
Harry had made to follow his friends out of the kitchen, but Dumbledore had called him back. The headmaster waited patiently until everyone had left and then motioned for Harry to sit down again.
“I am sure you have heard this question so much already that you are tired of it, but forgive me for asking: how are you doing?”
Harry smiled at Dumbledore’s words.
“I’m fine really.” he said. “I mean, it’s terrible of course and I’ll miss him more than I can say… But I’m fine.”
Dumbledore nodded. “I can see that.” he said. “You look good too. More carefree, I might say.”
Harry merely shrugged.
“If I may ask.” Dumbledore asked politely “Do you feel any different than before since you woke up yesterday?”
Harry looked surprised at his headmaster. It was as if he knew.
“Yes.” he said slowly.
“I don’t know.” Harry said. “I mean.. I don’t know how to explain it. Lighter, I guess.”
“Lighter.” Dumbledore mused.
He seemed to be thinking deeply for a few minutes and Harry knew better than to break the silence.
“Would you mind if I tried something, Harry?” the headmaster finally said and he rose from his chair.
Harry shook his head. Dumbledore raised his wand.
A long black snake jumped out of the tip of Dumbledore’s wand as it did of Malfoy’s during Lockhart’s duelling club in second year. Harry froze.
“Give it an order.” Dumbledore said calmly.
“Leave.” Harry said. “Go away.”
The snake kept gliding towards him.
“Vipera Evanesca.” Dumbledore said firmly and the snake disappeared.
“What was that about?” Harry asked.
“You did not speak Parseltongue.” Dumbledore said.
“I didn’t?” Harry asked puzzled.
He never even realized when he did speak Parseltongue, how should he realize when he didn’t. Harry saw that this meant something for Dumbledore.
“Professor?” he asked tentatively.
Dumbledore looked at him. “So it is true.”
Dumbledore sat back down, facing Harry.
“I have been wondering about this ever since you were hit by Voldemort’s killing curse.” he finally said. “You see, someone sacrificing themselves for you usually is not enough to survive the killing curse. It is my belief that you survived the first time because your mother was a very accomplished witch and because the love of a mother for her child is possibly the strongest power on earth. Added to the fact that you are an extremely powerful wizard.”
“I’m not an extremely – “ Harry started, but Dumbledore raised his hands, indicating to let him finish.
“Even though Sirius was a rather accomplished wizard too and he loved you a great deal, I thought it strange that his sacrifice was enough to save you from being killed. Unless of course you were killed.”
“But I wasn’t…”
“You were not.” Dumbledore said. “But maybe part of you was.”
“What do you know that I don’t?” Harry asked suspiciously.
“I know nothing more than you do, Harry, but I have a strong idea what must have happened.”
Harry didn’t say anything, waiting for Dumbledore to continue.
“I believe that fifteen years ago, when Voldemort killed your parents and attempted to kill you, he had already made all or at least most of his Horcruxes. As you know, the human soul is meant to stay one, tearing it apart is an act against nature. With every Horcrux Voldemort made, he wounded himself further. The moment the killing curse he shot at you rebounded and hit him, the soul that was still residing in his body split into two pieces. One piece stayed with what Voldemort had become then, the other piece attached itself to the only living thing in the house.”
“Me?” Harry asked, feeling sick.
“You.” Dumbledore said. “I think I realized it the moment you were hit by Voldemort’s curse last time. The curse didn’t rebound towards Voldemort like it did the first time. It just hit you. But still, you were alive. And in my opinion, that can only mean one thing…”
“The curse killed the part of the soul in me.” Harry said flatly. “I have been living for fifteen years with a part of his soul in me?”
“I am afraid so.” Dumbledore said.
“Unbelievable.” Harry said. “Then I should have been placed in Slytherin. They were right when they said I was a dark wizard myself.”
“No they were not.” Dumbledore said sharply. “Harry, have you any idea what this means? No wizard alive should have been able to carry that burden for so long. This is prove that you are extremely powerful and now that you are released from it for good we will truly see how powerful.”
“How does that mean I’m powerful?” Harry asked puzzled.
Dumbledore started pacing through the kitchen.
“Harry, do you remember Tom Riddle’s diary?”
“That was a piece of his soul too and look at what it did to Ginny. The piece of soul residing in the diary completely took over her mind, as it would do to almost every witch or wizard. You have been living with a piece of his soul inside you and you never had any thoughts towards the Dark Arts. You have always been brave, good-natured and loyal.”
Harry shrugged. “Well, then it didn’t affect me so much.”
“But it did!” Dumbledore said. “It did affect you. It affected your magical abilities, for one.”
“What do you mean?” Harry asked, slightly insulted.
“Harry, you have always been a decent wizard. Average grades, average magical power. Nothing more, but certainly nothing less.”
“Don’t you see it?” Dumbledore said. “If an average wizard had carried a piece of Voldemort’s soul with him, he would probably be considered a Squib because the Horcrux affects his magical powers. You did carry a piece of his soul and no one ever noticed! Now that the Horcrux is destroyed, you true magical powers will show.”
Harry thought about Dumbledore’s words for a while. Could he be right?
“So you think I’ll be more powerful now?”
Dumbledore nodded, convinced of his theory. “Much more powerful.”
“How much more exactly?”
Dumbledore smiled. “With a bit of training and a lot of practice, I’m sure you will be one day be more powerful than I am.”
Harry stared at him with open mouth.
“You can’t really believe that”, he said slowly.
“I most certainly do. Voldemort has all the reason to be afraid.”
“The measure of a man is what he does with power” – Plato
*Quote taken from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
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