In Chapter 34, Harry has his long awaited showdown with Voldemort. Let’s go!
Voldemort is so nasty! Not only does he have Harry right where he wants him, but he has to play with him, like a cat with a mouse. After Wormtail cuts Harry free from his ropes, the other Death Eaters close in around them. There is no where to run, nowhere to hide. Voldemort asks if Harry has learned how to duel, as though this were some sort of civilized meeting.
“We bow to each other, Harry,” said Voldemort, bending a little, but keeping his snakelike face upturned to Harry. “Come, the niceties must be observed . . . Dumbledore would like you to show manners . . . Bow to death, Harry . . .”
Harry doesn’t want to give Voldemort the satisfaction, but then feels some magic power forcing him to bend — the Imperius curse. Voldemort immediately casts the Cruciatus curse at Harry, which was more pain than he had ever felt before. While Harry is trying to stand up, shaking, Voldemort asks Harry if he wants to be hit with that curse again and casts the Imperius curse to get him to answer. Harry is able to fight the curse, but only barely. He doesn’t want to look like he’s begging in any way, shape, or form. It may seem like a small thing, but his ability to throw off one of the Unforgivable curses quiets all the Death Eaters, who had been laughing up until this point.
Voldemort tries to curse Harry again, but Harry flings himself out of the way and the curse hits a nearby gravestone. It is only a momentary break. It’s not really a hiding spot — Voldemort knows exactly where Harry is. When Voldemort comes around the gravestone, Harry does the only thing he can think of, even though he doesn’t think it will work: he casts Expelliarmus. When he does, something weird happens. Voldemort had tried to cast Avada Kedavra at the same time, but the jets of light coming from both their wands connects somehow.
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 glided 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 golden thread connecting Harry and Voldemort splintered; though the wands remained connected, a thousand more beams arced high over Harry and Voldemort, crisscrossing 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 . . .
This is some weird stuff, nothing like anything we’ve ever read about in this series.
Harry’s wand is vibrating violently and it’s all he can do to hang on to it. There are several large beads of light along the thread connecting them and Harry is afraid that if one of them hits his wand, it will be destroyed. He tries to force them back towards Voldemort, concentrating very hard, and it works somehow. As the beads connect with Voldemort’s wand, various shadowy shapes start to appear. First, a hand. Next, the body of Cedric Diggory, which tells Harry to hold on. Next, an old man that Harry recognizes from his dreams, who tells Harry to fight. Next, Bertha Jorkins, who tells Harry not to let go.
It’s clear that whatever these beads of light are, they are making Voldemort’s wand regurgitate the last spells it cast. For the murders, a shadowy echo of the person, more substantial than a ghost, but short lived. As such, we know who the next shapes will be.
The smoky shadow of a young woman with long hair fell to the ground as Bertha had done, straightened up, and looked at him . . . Harry, his arms shaking madly now, looked back into the ghostly face of his mother.
“Your father’s coming . . .” she said quietly. “Hold on for your father . . . It will be all right . . . Hold on . . .”
This is the first time in his memory that he has been able to talk to his mother, and it’s at a time like this!
After James Potter emerges from Voldemort’s wand, he tells Harry to get back to the Portkey. Cedric’s shadow asks Harry to take his body back to his father. Harry pulls upwards on his wand, breaks the connection and runs. The shadowy figures block Voldemort, but other Death Eaters give chase. Harry is able to make it to Cedric’s body, but can’t get to the Triwizard Cup. He casts an Accio spell, catches the Cup, and is jerked away from the scene, leaving only Voldemort’s screams of anger behind him.
See you next time for Chapter 35!