“ I DON'T CARE!" Harry yelled at them, snatching up a lunascope and throwing it into the fireplace. "I'VE HAD ENOUGH, I'VE SEEN ENOUGH, I WANT OUT, I WANT IT TO END, I DON'T CARE ANYMORE!"
"You do care," said Dumbledore. He had not flinched or made a single move to stop Harry demolishing his office. His expression was calm, almost detached. "You care so much you feel as though you will bleed to death with the pain of it. ”
“ He accused me of being Dumbledore's man through and through."
"How very rude of him."
"I told him I was."
Dumbledore opened his mouth to speak and then closed it again. Fawkes the phoenix let out a low, soft, musical cry. To Harry's intense embarrassment, he suddenly realized that Dumbledore's bright blue eyes looked rather watery, and stared hastily at his own knee. When Dumbledore spoke, however, his voice was quite steady.
"I am very touched, Harry. ”
“ A pair of werewolves occupied another booth. They were eating raw shanks of lamb and arguing about who would win in a fight: Dumbledore from Harry Potter books or Magnus Bane.
"Dumbledore would totally win," said the first one. "He has the badass Killing Curse."
The second lycanthrope made a trenchant point. "But Dumbledore isn't real."
"I don't think Magnus Bane is real either," scoffed the first. "Have you ever met him?"
"This is so weird," said Clary, slinking down in her seat. "Are you listening to them?"
"No. It's rude to eavesdrop," said Jace. ”
“ But this is touching, Severus, said Dumbledore seriously. Have you grown to care for the boy, after all?
For him? shouted Snape. Expecto Patronum!
From the tip of his wand burst the silver doe. She landed on the office floor, bounded once across the office, and soared out of the window. Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears.
After all this time?
Always, said Snape. ”
“ I took a wrong turn on the way to the bathroom and found myself in a beautifully proportioned room I had never seen before, containing a really rather magnificent collection of chamberpots. When I went back to investigate more closely, I discovered that the room had vanished. But I must keep an eye out for it. Possibly it is only accessible at five thirty in the morning. Or it may only appear at the quarter moon - or when the seeker has an exceptionally full bladder. ”
“ Can you think what the Mirror of Erised shows us all?" Harry shook his head.
"Let me explain. The happiest man on earth would be able to use the Mirror of Erised like a normal mirror, that is, he would look into it and see himself exactly as he is. Does that help."
Harry thought. Then he said slowly, "It shows us what we want... whatever we want..."
"Yes and no," said Dumbledore quietly.
"It shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts. You, who have never known your family, see them standing around you. Ronald Weasley, who has always been overshadowed by his brothers, sees himself standing alone, the best of all of them. However, this mirror will give us neither knowledge or truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible.
"The Mirror will be moved to a new home tomorrow, Harry, and I ask you not to go looking for it again. If you ever do run across it, you will now be prepared. It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that. Now, why don't you put that admirable cloak back on and get off to bed. ”
“ I feel I owe you another explanation Harry," said Dumbledore hesitantly. "You may, perhaps, wondered why I never chose you as a prefect? I must confess...that I rather thought...you had enough responsibility to be going on with."
Harry looked up at him and saw a tear trickling down Dumbledore's face into his long silver beard. ”
“ Draco, do it, or stand aside so one of us -" screeched the woman, but at that precise moment the door to the ramparts burst open once more and there stood Snape, his wand clutched in his hand as his black eyes swept the scene, from Dumbledore slumped against the wall, to the four Death Eaters, including the enraged werewolf, and Malfoy.
"We've got a problem, Snape," said the lumpy Amycus, whose eyes and wand were fixed alike upon Dumbledore, "the boy doesn't seem able -"
But somebody else had spoken Snape's name, quite softly.
The sound frightened Harry beyond anything he had experienced all evening. For the first time, Dumbledore was pleading.
Snape said nothing, but walked forwards and pushed Malfoy roughly out of the way. The three Death Eaters fell back without a word. Even the werewolf seemed cowed.
Snape gazed for a moment at Dumbledore, and there was revulsion and hatred etched in the harsh lines of his face.
"Severus ... please ..."
Snape raised his wand and pointed it directly at Dumbledore. "Avada Kedavra! ”
“ There is a room in the Department of Mysteries, that is kept locked at all times. It contains a force that is at once more wonderful and more terrible than death, than human intelligence, than forces of nature. It is also, perhaps, the most mysterious of the many subjects for study that reside there. It is the power held within that room that you possess in such quantities and which Voldemort has not at all. That power took you to save Sirius tonight. That power also saved you from possession by Voldemort, because he could not bear to reside in a body so full of the force he detests. In the end, it mattered not that you could not close your mind. It was your heart that saved you. ”
“ But he understood at last what Dumbledore had been trying to tell him. It was, he thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the death and walking into the arena with your head held high. Some people, perhaps, would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but Dumbledore knew —
and so do I
, thought Harry, with a rush of fierce pride,
and so did my parents
— that there was all the difference in the world. ”