In Chapter 35, all hell breaks loose. Let’s go!
That smarmy voice at the end of the last chapter? Lucius Malfoy. All around them, Death Eaters start appearing in hooded, dark cloaks. Lucius keeps demanding the orb, but Harry asks where Sirius is. A woman cackles and revels that the Dark Lord “always knows.” Lucius asks for the orb again, calling it a prophesy, and when Harry asks about Sirius again, the woman mocks him.
“The little baby woke up fwightened and fort what it dweamed was twoo,” said the woman in a horrible, mock-baby voice.
We find out that this is none other than Bellatrix Lestrange. And can we just take a moment to mention how absolutely perfect Helena Bonham-Carter was in this role in the films? She made Bellatrix so demented and badass and awesome! I have a hard time thinking of anyone else who could have played that part.
Harry keeps demanding Sirius and Lucius keeps demanding the orb (or prophesy), but none of the Death Eaters attack, despite vastly outnumbering Harry and his friends. Bellatrix tries to summon the prophesy, but Harry blocks it with a shield spell. It is soon clear that the Death Eaters desperately want this glass orb and desperately don’t want it to get smashed. This gives Harry the slightest bit of leverage. He doesn’t care what the orb is. He just wants to get his friends out of harm’s way.
Bellatrix decides that the best course of action is to try and torture one of Harry’s friends and chooses the “smallest one,” being Ginny. Harry and the others form up around her, blocking Ginny from Bellatrix. He tells Bella, and all the Death Eaters, that if they attack, he will smash the orb, which obviously Voldemort wants. Instead, he tries to stall to get answers, asking what the prophesy is. Bellatrix can’t believe that Harry doesn’t know. She’s also incensed that Harry dares to speak Voldemort’s name.
“Shut your mouth!” Bellatrix shrieked. “You dare speak his name with your unworthy lips, you dare besmirch it with your half-blood’s tongue, you dare –”
“Did you know he’s a half-blood too?” said Harry recklessly. Hermione gave a little moan in his ear. “Voldemort? Yeah, his mother was a witch but his dad was a Muggle — or has he been telling you lot he’s pureblood?”
This is too much for Bellatrix and she attacks. Lucius is just barely able to deflect it, the spell hitting another shelf of prophesies causing several to fall. Once they shatter on the floor, misty ghostly forms of people float out of the orbs and being to speak. They are talking over each other while the Death Eaters are arguing, so it’s hard to hear what they are saying except for little bits.
Harry asks again about the prophesy in his hands and Lucius sneers that Dumbledore must not have told him that the reason for Harry’s scar was hidden in the Department of Mysteries. While Lucius is pontificating, Harry whispers to Hermione that they need to start smashing the shelves. Lucius continues that the only people that can pick up prophesies off the shelves are the people who the prophesies were made about. That’s why Bode wasn’t able to steal it when Voldemort tried to use him and how Bode ended up in the permanent spell damage ward at St. Mungo’s before he was killed by the Devil’s Snare.
It’s all coming together!
Everything Harry has wanted to know about why Voldemort came after him, why Voldemort killed his parents, why he had a scar with this weird connection to an evil Dark wizard — it’s all in the prophesy. Harry asks why Voldemort didn’t just get the prophesy himself, since he obviously could have.
“Get it himself?” shrieked Bellatrix on a cackle of mad laughter. “The Dark Lord, walk into the Ministry of Magic, when they are so sweetly ignoring his return? The Dark Lord, reveal himself to the Aurors, when at the moment they are wasting their time on my dear cousin?”
Yes, remember that Sirius and Bellatrix are cousins. That’s important to know.
Lucius is still talking, but Harry doesn’t want to wait any longer. He yells and he and his friends all cast Reducto spells on the shelves. Debris flies everywhere and they are soon surrounded by these ghostly figures speaking their prophesies into the air. They take off running through the shelves, fighting off Death Eaters and dodging falling shelves as they go. Harry runs through the door with the bell jar, followed by Hermione and Neville. Hermione seals the door after the close it, but they realize that Ron, Luna and Ginny, who they thought were ahead of them, are not there.
They hear Lucius telling the Death Eaters to split up and search for them, specifically saying that they can kill any of the other kids as long as they get the prophesy from Harry. Harry, Hermione and Neville run through the room before they hear the door forced open and hide under desks. A brief battle ensues between a few Death Eaters and the kids. One of the Death Eaters ends up with his head stuck in the bell jar with the hummingbird and it’s really, really bizarre what happens to him.
It was shrinking very fast, growing balder and balder, the black hair and stubble retracting into his skull, his cheeks smooth, his skull round and covered with a peachlike fuzz . . .
A baby’s head now sat grotesquely on top of the thick, muscled neck of the Death Eater as he struggled to get up again. But even as they watched, their mouths open, the head began to swell to its previous proportions again, thick black hair was sprouting from the pate and chin . . .
Hermione guesses that the bell jar is somehow a capsulation of time. That’s why the hummingbird kept going back and forth between being an egg and being born, and now the Death Eater’s head is doing the same thing. When the Death Eater is able to pull his head out, it’s stuck as a baby’s head on top of a full grown man’s body. They leave him to throw a tantrum in the room and leave.
They try to get out the other door but see two Death Eaters run through before Hermione can seal the door shut. One of them casts a spell that sends all three of them flying (Neville flipping over a desk, Hermione crashing into a bookcase full of books, and Harry slamming into a stone wall). Hermione casts Silencio on one of them and Harry casts Petrificus Totalus on the other. Before they can stop the silenced one, he casts one more spell.
But the Death Eater Hermione had just struck dumb made a sudden slashing movement with his wand from which flew a streak of what looked like purple flame. It passed right across Hermione’s chest; she gave a tiny “oh!” as though of surprise and then crumpled onto the floor where she lay motionless.
I really and truly thought that JKR had just killed off Hermione the first time I read this and I WAS SO ANGRY!!! Neville tries to crawl towards her, but the Death Eater kicks him in the face. Harry recognizes this one from the wanted poster as Dolohov, the wizard who had murdered the Prewetts, who were Molly Weasley’s brothers. He points to Harry, but is then distracted when the baby-headed Death Eater crashes into the room. Harry takes the moment to cast Petrificus on Dolohov.
They have a brief moment of respite to check on Hermione. Neville, who can barely talk around his swollen lip and broken nose, says he’s pretty sure he feels a pulse. So they know she’s alive at least. Harry wants to leave Neville with Hermione to hide and stay safe while he goes and looks for the others, but Neville’s not having it. He says he will carry Hermione since Harry is better at fighting and starts hoisting her over his shoulder. Neville’s wand (which had been his father’s) got broken during the fight, so Harry gives him Hermione’s wand to use.
They sneak past the baby Death Eater, who is too busy smashing things to notice them, and make it back to the round room with the candles. Unfortunately, the red Xs Hermione had put on the doors has faded by now, so they don’t know where they’ve been or which doors they haven’t tried. The room spins around and then stops, but before they can pick a door, one of them opens and Ron, Ginny and Luna fall through it.
Ron is . . . . Ron is messed up.
“Harry,” said Ron, giggling weakly, lurching forward, seizing the front of Harry’s robes and gazing at him with unfocused eyes. “There you are . . . Ha ha ha . . . You look funny, Harry . . . You’re all messed up . . .
Ron’s face was very white and something dark was trickling from the corner of his mouth. Next moment his knees had given way, but he still clutched the front of Harry’s robes, so that Harry was pulled into a kind of bow.
Ginny has also badly hurt her ankle. It’s probably broken. Luna tells them they were in a room full of planets. She’s not sure what did to Ron, but he’s been really batty ever since. They know they can’t sit there, so Luna helps Ginny and Harry pulls Ron along and they pick a door at random. Before they can open it, another door opens and it’s three Death Eaters led by Bellatrix. They shoot Stunning Spells, which the kids all duck as they flight themselves through the door they just opened. Harry seals it using the same spell Hermione had before, which will buy them a little bit of time, but not much.
They’re back in the room with the tank full of brains. More Death Eaters arrive. Harry tries to seal the other doors and Luna tries to help but doesn’t make it. She is hit with a curse and flies through the air, hitting a desk and falling unconscious. Ron, on the other hand, is giggling about the brains and in his befuddled state, thinks it would be fun to try and summon one. Which he does. It flies through the air and Ron catches it, which turns out to be a horrible thing to do.
The moment they made contact with his skin, the tentacles began wrapping themselves around Ron’s arms like ropes.
“Harry, look what’s happen — no — no, I don’t like it — no, stop — stop –”
But the thin ribbons were spinning around Ron’s chest now. He tugged and tore at them as the brain was pulled tight against him like an octopus’s body.
Brains with tentacles. That’s just nightmare fuel there. Harry tries to tear them off Ron but can’t. Ginny screams but then is hit with a Stunning spell and falls over. Neville is trying to fight back, but is having a hard time speaking the spells correctly since his face is so messed up. Harry doesn’t know what else to do except try and draw away the Death Eaters from his friends, so he holds up the prophesy, which he is miraculously still holding tightly in his hand, and takes off running the other way.
He goes through another door and falls down a series of stone steps. It’s the archway room and I don’t want to read any more. I know what’s about to happen and I DON’T WANT TO READ IT! CAN’T WE JUST SKIP IT AND PRETEND IT NEVER HAPPENED??
No? Okay fine.
Harry is all alone in the room now with the Death Eaters all surrounding him. No, check that, he’s not alone. Neville is with him. Neville, who can’t talk very well and is having a hard time casting spells because of it. Bellatrix recognizes Neville’s name and takes great delight in taunting him before casting Crucio on him. I swear, Bellatrix is almost a worse villain than Voldemort in this series. She absolutely delights in suffering.
Bellatrix tells Harry that he has to give up the prophesy or Neville will die a horrible, painful death, when suddenly she is interrupted by the arrival of Sirius, Lupin, Moody, Tonks and Kingsley! Yes!!! The cavalry has arrived! The Death Eaters are distracted and start attacking the Order members. Harry runs to Neville to see if he’s okay, which he is, mostly. A Death Eater tries to grab Harry by the throat to get the prophesy away from him and Neville attacks — he can’t cast spells, so he just jabs the Death Eater in the eye with the wand. Yes!
Sirius gets to Harry and tells him to get Neville and get out of there. Neville had been hit with a Tarantallegra spell and has no control over his legs that are frantically dancing underneath him. Lucius tries to stop them from leaving, but is repelled. Harry pushes the prophesy to Neville in order to fight off Lucius, Neville looses the prophesy . . . and it smashes to the ground. They all stop to watch the smoky figure emerge from the orb and then dissolve. No one could hear what it said.
Doesn’t matter because Dumbledore has arrived!! He’s going to fix everything, right?? No, because right after Dumbledore gets there, the worst thing happens.
Sirius is fighting Bellatrix. Bellatrix shoots a spell that Sirius easily dodges, but her next spell hits him right in the chest.
It seemed to take Sirius an age to fall. His body curved in a graceful arc as he sank backward through the ragged veil hanging from the arch . . .
And Harry saw the look of mingled fear and surprise on his godfather’s wasted, once-handsome face as he fell through the ancient doorway and disappeared behind the veil, which fluttered for a moment as though in a high wind and then fell back into place.
It takes Harry a moment to realize what has just happened. He thinks Sirius will just reappear on the other side, but he doesn’t. He’s gone. Harry goes to run to him, but Lupin stops him, saying there’s nothing he can do. Sirius is gone and he isn’t coming back.
See you next time for Chapter 36 (if I stop crying by then).