The Final Chapter of Book
7 (abridged): THE SCAR
by James Garvey
Harry’s heart pounded as he snuck past what was left
of Hagrid’s hut – mere ashes – a symbol of Voldermort’s return to an even
greater strength than he had known sixteen years ago.
A bundle of nerves, Harry’s forearm ached from
grasping his wand so tight. He stole one last glimpse at Hogwarts.
Set below a starless sky, it looked dreary and
foreboding, reeking of a terror that had not been present when it served as
Harry’s home for six glorious years.
Harry tore his eyes from the castle and forced his
seventeen-year old body into the forbidden forest.
Venturing through the looming trees, Harry wished that
Professor Dumbledore were still around.
Dumbledore had been the only person Voldermort ever
feared and at the end of Harry’s sixth year when Voldermort finally succeeded
in killing the beloved headmaster, the dark lord’s terror skyrocketed, driving
the entire world, muggle and magical alike, into hiding.
Harry refused to live in fear and as he stepped deeper
into the forest Harry almost wished he hadn’t refused Ron and Hermione’s help.
He had never faced Voldermort alone, but this time he had insisted that Ron and
Hermione stay behind.
“This is my prophecy,” he had informed them resolutely.
“And I am the one who has to fulfill it.”
Harry stepped into the small dirt clearing, the one
Voldermort had designated as their meeting place. He knew what he had to do –
kill Voldermort. His parents hadn’t backed down and neither would Harry.
After a few minutes of standing alone Harry began to
worry that Voldermort had played him for a fool. Maybe Voldermort wasn’t going
to battle him like his cryptic invitation indicated… Maybe he was going to
mercilessly curse Harry!
Harry’s skepticism vanished when a tremendous green
flash ripped through the emptiness.
Harry’s scar simmered in pain. Voldermort appeared in
the flesh just feet away.
Harry raised his wand prepared to strike, but
Voldermort was quicker, muttering “armadigoccia”
and knocking Harry’s wand to the ground.
“Harry,” reprimanded Voldermort in a slithering
whisper, “we shall do this fairly. Your mudblood mother protected you as a
baby, Dumbledore’s phoenix rescued you in the chamber, the shadows helped you
escape my grave, but tonight we shall fight alone and the greater wizard will
fulfill the prophecy.”
Harry said nothing, glaring at Voldermort with the
utmost loathing. Voldermort waved his wand and Harry’s shot back into its
“Back to back,” instructed Voldermort, turning his
back to Harry. “We will commence this like a proper wizard’s duel.”
Harry wanted to slay Voldermort right then and there,
but he didn’t. His competitive need-to-prove-myself attitude crept in and he
refused to shoot Voldermort in the back. Harry would show his fortitude by
demolishing Voldermort in a traditional duel if that’s what he wanted. He
might be nervous but Harry’s no coward.
Pride in check, Harry turned his back to Voldermort’s.
“On the count of three,” said Voldermort dryly. Harry’s
heart was really pumping now. Sweat poured from his forehead. “One, tw – on
Voldermort swung around, pointed his wand at Harry,
who was caught off guard, and yelled “Avada
Kedavra” releasing the most deadly of Unforgivable curses at Harry
Harry felt the spell penetrate his body, his eyes
blinded with a piercing green light, his scar burned worse than ever. This was
death, thought Harry, and as he felt the life slipping from his body, Harry had
Last June, Hagrid, who had always said he would
willingly give his life for Dumbledore, attempted to shield Dumbledore from
The curse struck Hagrid and because he was touching
Dumbledore it killed them both. The human body is a conductor of curses and
spells, much the same way it is a conductor of electricity. A simple touch of
one person to another while being struck affects both individuals.
Harry would have to sacrifice himself to kill
Voldermort. To terminate the dark lord they would both have to die.
With little energy left in his body and unable to see
anything, Harry reached out and grabbed hold of Voldermort. He could vaguely
hear the dark lord holler in agony.
As he clung to Voldermort, infecting them both with
the curse, the piercing light grew too strong and Harry no longer felt
anything. He had sacrificed himself.
Glowing in the forbidden forest sunrise, Harry opened
his eyes and knew instantly that he was dead. He was looking directly into the
bespeckled eyes of Albus Dumbledore.
“Well Hello Harry,” greeted Dumbledore as he floated
above Harry, a transparent ghostlike figure.
“Professor … Is this the afterlife?”
Dumbledore chuckled. “I’m sorry Harry, but you are not
“I’m not? I mean we’re not?”
“I most certainly am,” admitted Dumbledore. “Do you
remember during your first year when I told you that in the Mirror of Erised I
saw myself holding socks? Clothes represent freedom to an enslaved house elf
and I lived enslaved by my fear of death, the thing I desired most was freedom
from my fears. I became a ghost when Voldermort killed me, doomed to wander
Hogwarts for eternity.”
Harry couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “But how
am I not dead? Voldermort used the killing curse.”
“You may also recall that I once said scars can prove
useful… Scars can be like vaccines. Once you get a bit of measles from a
measles vaccine you are immune to measles. Similarly, when you were a baby you
received a bit of the killing curse from Voldermort. Your scar symbolizes your
immunity towards it.”
Harry rubbed his hand over the lighting bolt scar
amazed that his lifelong mark had saved his life.
After concluding their conversation, Harry mounted a
nearby thestral. With the ghost of Dumbledore at his side, Harry flew from the
forbidden forest prepared to inform the world that Voldermort had eternally
been defeated and the world was again a safe place, able to tell them this
because of the protection of a lighting bolt scar.