"Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"
-- Albus Dumbledore
Harry awakens in what seems to him to be King’s Cross station. Harry encounters what remains of the fragment of Lord Voldemort’s soul (now powerless) that was attached to Harry. Albus Dumbledore appears, celebrating Harry’s bravery. Dumbledore tells Harry that he doesn’t believe that Harry is truly dead; He explains that, by taking Harry’s blood, Voldemort tied Harry to him, so as long as Voldemort lives Harry lives. Dumbledore apologizes for not trusting Harry enough to tell him about the Deathly Hallows. He admits to Harry how selfish he was in searching for the Hallows and how he realized he could never be trusted with power. He asks Harry for forgiveness. Dumbledore tells Harry he has the choice between going on or going back. Harry chooses to go back.
Calendar and Dates
In the small hours of the morning, later in the same day than the preceding chapter and immediately following it.
Interesting facts and notes
'King's Cross station!'
According to JKR, this happened "[f]or many reasons. The name works rather well, and it has been established in the books as the gateway between two worlds, and Harry would associate it with moving on between two worlds (don't forget that it is Harry's image we see, not necessarily what is really there)" (BLC).
At last he knew what Dumbledore would have seen when he looked in the Mirror of Erised, and why Dumbledore had been so understanding of the fascination it had exercised over Harry.
Because Dumbledore saw what Harry saw - that is, "his family alive, whole, and happy" (BLC).
Exceptional character moments
Dumbledore's admission of guilt and selfishness over his actions. His asking Harry for forgiveness.
"But I should have died - I didn't defend myself! I meant to let him kill me!"
"And that," said Dumbledore, "will I think, have made all the difference."
"Lily's protection inside both of you! He tethered you to life while he lives!"
"...the true master does not seek to run away from Death. He accepts that he must die, and understands that there are far, far worse things in the living world than dying."
"And his knowledge remained woefully incomplete, Harry! That which Voldemort does not value, he takes no trouble to comprehend. Of house-elves and children's tales, of love, loyalty and innocence. Voldemort knows and understands nothing. Nothing. That they all have a power beyond his own, a power beyond the reach of any magic, is a truth he has never grasped."
"Can you forgive me for not trusting you? For not telling you? Harry, I only feared that you would fail as I had failed. I only dreaded that you would make my mistakes. I crave your pardon, Harry. I have known, for some time now, that you are the better man."
"Hallows, not Horcruxes."
"I loved them. I loved my parents, I loved my brother and my sister, but I was selfish, Harry, more selfish than you, who are a remarkably selfless person, could possibly imagine."
"You are the worthy possessor of the Hallows."
"We are in King's Cross, you say? I think that if you decided not to go back, you would be able to... let's say... board a train."
"And where would it take me?"
"On," said Dumbledore simply.
"Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love."
Words and phrases
From the Web
- Critical Commentary of King's Cross
- MuggleCast Episode 151: Google, Define: Goat (Chapter 35 of Deathly Hallows)
- Who is Death?
The-Leaky-Cauldron: Choice or Chance? by Avogadro
Harry Potter Wiki:
WizardingWorld (Pottermore) feature:
Tags: apology arrogance bitter blood blood magic bravery choices cloaks comfort death explanation family glasses guilt innocence light loss love loyalty mist motherly love real regret robes sacrifices scar silence stone time truth understanding wands white
Regarding Dumbledore's "Do not pity the dead..." line, cf. Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act I, scene v, lines 4-5. --BB