The Will of Albus Dumbledore

chapter seven of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry’s birthday dawns, and his presents include a kiss from Ginny (much to Ron’s consternation) – but the evening’s celebrations are dampened when Rufus Scrimgeour arrives with the contents of Dumbledore’s will. The trio can’t figure out, though, why they were left an old Snitch, Dumbledore’s Deluminator, or a copy of the Tales of Beedle the Bard.

Happy Seventeenth, by Loleia

Ginny… took a step closer to him. “So then I thought, I’d like you to have something to remember me by, you know, if you meet some veela when you’re off doing whatever you’re doing.”

(by Loleia)


Special Present for Harry, by Hala Zabaneh

And then she was kissing him as she had never kissed him before.


Something to Remember Me By, by reallycorking

It was blissful oblivion…. she was the only real thing in the world, Ginny, the feel of her….


Awkwaaaard, by Behindtheveil

The door banged open and they jumped apart. “Oh,” said Ron pointedly. “Sorry.”


The Party Crasher, by haystax45

Scrimgeour gave Harry a cold, appraising look…. “Very well then, together,” he said, shrugging. He cleared his throat. “I am here, as I’m sure you know, because of Albus Dumbledore’s will.”


Another Scrimgeour, by Caladan

“You may wear that scar like a crown, Potter, but it is not up to a seventeen-year-old boy to tell me how to do my job! It’s time you learned some respect!”

(by Caladan)


After the Will, by Catching-Smoke

[Harry] felt as though he were sitting in an examination with a question he ought to have been able to answer in front of him, his brain slow and unresponsive. Was there something he had missed in the long talks with Dumbledore last year? Ought he to know what it all meant? Had Dumbledore expected him to understand?


about the chapter


The Boy Who Lived

When you think about the objects Dumbledore left for the trio in his will, it’s sort of amazing how little information Harry really has to go on in his search for Horcruxes. He has a rough idea of what some of the Horcruxes are, and perhaps enough information to hazard a guess or two at their locations. But he doesn’t have any idea how the Deluminator, the Tales of Beedle the Bard, a Snitch, or the sword of Gryffindor might play into his quest, and Hermione’s already pointed out in the previous chapter that if they do find Horcruxes, Harry doesn’t have the means of destroying them (and only knows how to destroy them thanks to Hermione’s stealing books from Dumbledore’s study!). Dumbledore’s plan may be revealed to the trio as they go on, but at the moment is seems he’s left an awful lot to chance – not to mention to the ingenuity and cleverness of Harry and his friends.


One part of this chapter that always bothers me is when Charlie arrives from Romania and Mrs. Weasley firmly announces that she’s going to give him “a proper haircut.” It’s certainly not out of character for Mrs. Weasley, but it’s odd because this is the first time in the series that the style of Charlie’s hair has even been mentioned – yet we’ve seen Molly pestering Bill about his long hair several times. It’s possible that both Bill and Charlie have long hair, of course, but I think it much more likely that over the years Rowling simply mixed up which brother she’d written as having the long hair, and her editors didn’t catch the mistake. It’s unusual for something like that to slip by her, though, so I wonder about it every time I come across the passage.

The Final Word

“I think you can see in the Ministry even before it’s taken over, there are parallels to regimes we all know and love…. I think that’s it’s a very healthy message to pass on to younger people that you should question authority and you should not assume that the establishment or the press tells you all of the truth.”–J.K. Rowling, October 2007

33 Responses to “The Will of Albus Dumbledore”

  1. Love all the views of Harry & Ginny kissing, and also Caladan’s Scrimgeour.

  2. Very nice art work!

    With the wedding coming nearer , Molly would have wanted her sons to be perfect in every aspect and that too Charlie being Bill’s best man she would have insisted him to get a proper haircut…

  3. Just like Harry, Ron and Hermione, I was at a complete loss as to why they had been left those items. But it also meant I felt their excitement when they discovered Dumbledore’s reasoning. Oh I wish I could read it again for the first time so I could re-live those emotions.

    As for the Harry/Ginny kiss, I’m a sucker for romance so I just loved that part. I really admire Ginny’s character as she is so tough. As Harry said this is one of the few times she cries (or at least he sees her cry) and considering everything she has been through that is quite amazing.

    The only thing I dislike about DH is the lack of Harry/Ginny. Well dislike is the wrong word. Lets just say I would have liked a little more interaction. I know there is so much else going on but for a series which emphasises the power of love, you would think the main character’s love interest would get a bit more time in the final book. We know she has been influential in the fight at Hogwarts since she is co-leader of the DA but it would have been nice to see just a little more of what she had done. Not too much as it isn’t a romantic novel but maybe just an additional conversation.

  4. The importance of The Tales of Beedle the Bard will be revealed later on, but I wonder what would have been like if JKR gave us knowledge of his existence, for instance, if it was one of the books on the Burrow on Harry’s first visit, and if was published a few years before, along with Fantastic Beasts and Quidditch Through the Years. Would any of the fans realized how important that book was?

  5. I agree with you, Josie, that Dumbledore left EVERYTHING up to chance, and really the odds of Harry succeeding are astronomical at this point. Honestly, did Dumbledore expect that Hermione would steal his books? And for someone who should be exceedingly familiar with the legal system, he really thought the corrupt Ministry would give Harry the sword?
    Back in the day, this was my biggest argument against Dumbledore arranging his own death – I jsut didn’t see how he could plan to die and leave Harry so helpless.

  6. but dumbledore didn’t think the ministry would give harry the sword. he just wanted harry to know that he needed it. see “A goblins revenge” and “the prince’s tale”

  7. I agree with you, Amy. This is why I became so intrigued with Ginny. She gets so little time with Harry, both on and off the screen, that it makes you wonder what Harry sees in her in the first place. I don’t understand why this unique relationship was not pursued more by Rowling. I thought the movies might be a little more daring, but they seemed to follow the author’s lead and just left her in the background. I too was very disappointed.

  8. This chapter made me feel really sad for Harry. He’s leaving everything behind him. He sacrificing so much. Even a future family, to go on this wild goose chase with the slightest chance of destroying Voldemort at the end.
    You’ve got to hand it to him, he put a whole lot of trust in Dumbledore’s theories…
    What if Dumbledore made a mistake? I’d hate to think what would of happened…

  9. Great artwork by Caladan!!

  10. Laura, you’re totally right about Harry’s sacrifices. It’s another one of those moments where it’s easy to forget his perspective – we know that whatever happens is going to take him a year, but from Harry’s perspective, killing Voldemort could be a quest that he’s on for decades. He literally is giving up his entire life for this. After all, it took Dumbledore years to find the first Horcrux, and that was presumably the easiest one to find!

  11. Anyone else notice that Ginny is almost always drawn wearing green? Must be the hair…
    As for Harry and Ginny’s relationship, I agree that it wasn’t as indepth as it could have been and I’ve always thought she wasn’t around as much as she should have been. Here’s how I see it:

    Book 2 = Shy little girl.
    Book 3 = Anybody seen Ginny?
    Book 4 = Again, nearly invisible
    Book 5 = Just another DA member (but a little closer)
    Book 6 = BAM! They’re SNOGGING!

    I don’t see how JK could have fit Ginny much more into DH, but because of the Ginny deficit in the other books, I guess this doesn’t bother me as much. I like Harry and Ginny together, but I just feel like we never see enough conversation between them. A lot of time spent in the same room prior to their relationship, but meaningful, growing conversation…?
    I’d be interested to see Josie’s thoughts in an essay…

  12. I must admit, I never thought that JKR might have muddled up the hair on the two eldest brothers! It did puzzle me, though, simply because of the probable nature of Charlie’s work. I wouldn’t think long locks flying in the breeze would be the very safest option in a dragon sanctuary! But maybe he’s just being macho at that point?

  13. Amy and Ragnor, I have to say that I think JKR bungled Ginny’s role in the books in several places. The amazing thing is that fans are so certain of the character she MEANT to write that it’s almost as if she did.

    Book 1 – Ron has a little sister.
    Book 2 – Ginny becomes the girl who Beheld Voldemort and Lived. I would have liked to see more of the “real” Ginny – perhaps Harry could have seen her through a window chattering away to the twins and noted to himself that she seemed different when he wasn’t around. And in the final chapter, Ginny should have worried more about Tom Riddle and the Basilisk and less about possible punishments for herself.
    Book 3 – Harry doesn’t notice Ginny, but I wish the reader had noticed her in a couple of places more.
    Book 4 – Ginny vanishes after the Yule Ball, which is right, but it would have been more pointed if she’d had a couple more scenes in the first half.
    Book 5 – Ginny is a DA member and a friend. The chocolate-in-the-library scene is spot-on, but there should have been at least one more similar scene to highlight both her empathy and her lively cheerfulness. I believe it should have been Ginny, not Hermione, who succeeded in pulling Harry out of his room in Grimmauld Place.
    Book 6 – Harry falls for Ginny hard, but too much is left to the imagination. He should have spent more time thinking about her in the middle of the book. He should have watched her being sympathetic or fun but not teasing Zacharias Smith (no matter if Z deserved it!). JKR should have SHOWN us that Ginny was the life & soul of the Quidditch team instead of merely stating it. We should have seen more evidence that Ginny was Harry’s best source of comfort, and he should have wanted to tell her all about the Horcruxes, even if he couldn’t because Dumbledore had forbidden it.
    Book 7 – Ginny leads the resistance at Hogwarts, but she should have done at least one thing that significantly contributed to the outcome – provided a clue or a necessary object. The final pages leave us feeling that while Harry is attracted to Ginny, Ron and Hermione are more important to him, which is unromantic.

    Despite all this, Ginny remains a powerful character who leaps off the pages almost every time we meet her. I don’t think anyone would claim that these minor flaws seriously detract from Ginny the character, Ginny as the Love Interest or the series as a whole.

  14. Harry has changed in the past two years. In book 5, he tells Ron and Hermione all about kissing Cho Chang, and volunteers that “she started it.” Here, he doesn’t let on that Ginny started it, in spite of considerable provocation from Ron. Either he just feels more protective of Ginny, or in the past two years he’s developed the instincts of a gentleman.

  15. @Grace has Victory “Ginny leads the resistance at Hogwarts, but she should have done at least one thing that significantly contributed to the outcome – provided a clue or a necessary object.”

    Yes!!! It took me a long time to figure out what bothered me about Ginny’s role in the story, and this is basically what I came up with. We hear about her doing cool things, like trying to steal the sword (along with other students), but she never really gets her heroic scene where she stands on her own and does something amazing.

    Maybe this is crazy, but I almost wish that, instead of Neville, GINNY had stood up to Voldemort, acquired Godric’s sword, and slayed his snake–just like Harry did for her so many years ago. To me, that would have made their relationship much more satisfying. Then Neville could have done some other awesome thing, like defeat Bellatrix :)

  16. Sara, I always wished that Neville had taken down Bellatrix too!

    I’m not sorry that Neville killed Nagini, but the idea of giving that task to Ginny is interesting. It would balance the scene in CoS, when Harry killed a serpent for her. Or mMaybe Ginny should have destroyed Ravenclaw’s Diadem?

    On my first reading, I hoped Ginny had somehow actually succeeded in stealing Gryffindor’s Sword and was the mysterious person who managed to convey it to Harry. In this scenario, she might not have destroyed a Horcrux, but she was the person who enabled the correct means of destruction.

  17. Oooo, @Grace has Victory, I never thought of that! As I explained in my comment under “The Silver Doe”, I had already guessed that Snape’s patronus was a doe before DH came out, so I never considered it might be someone else. But it would have worked if it were Ginny’s patronus—it would have really driven home the fact that she and Harry were made for each other!

  18. About Charlie’s haircut, I never imagined it long, like Bill’s, but thick, mangled, and wild. That’s probably why it was cut “brutally short”, to get past all the unbrushed mess.

  19. Along the same lines as Josiah, I figured Charlie was off with foreign wizards, outside Mum’s control and probably wasn’t all that fussed with his hair being neat. I’d like to add “singed in spots” to Josiah’s list of “thick, mangled, and wild”.

  20. A completely random note: if snitches have flesh memories to help a disputed catch, what about when one seeker fumbles or touches a snitch, but the other one actually catches it? Or does it know who has firmly grasped it and who has merely touched it? That never really made sense to me.

  21. Thank you for putting the picture by reallycorking in :) I remember writing to you in an email that you should use that picture, I think it really represents their relationship.

  22. I HATE SCRIMGEOUR HERE. Probably even more than Fudge. Fudge is certainly bad in OotP, but he seems to become fairly up to dealing with Voldemort after he’s revealed. He doesn’t cave into Voldemort’s blackmail, for one thing. SCRIMGEOUR, on the other hand, knows quite well that Voldemort’s back, as does everyone, but hushes EVERYTHING up, and, rather than doing anything productive, wastes all his time trying to interfere with Dumbledore, even AFTER death. ARGH.

  23. I always liked this chapter – Harry’s meetings with Scrimgeour always makes me so proud of Harry in a way. He has all these rude answers that he gives the leader of his world, it’s just so brilliant. But I don’t think Harry and Scrimgeour really dislike eachother, they’re on the same side, but fighting with different methods and different views. I think they would have gotten along quite good in a whole other scenario. Or, well, that’s how I see it.

  24. Something to remember: when Tonks and Lupin show up to Harry’s birthday party, Harry remarks that Lupin looks unhappy while Tonks looks radiant. I wonder what that could mean.

  25. Jeremy, I always thought that was because they had found out Tonks was pregnant.

  26. err, first time commenter, here.
    Just wanted to weigh in on the “Ginny never did anything heroic” and say that she, Hermione, and Luna (I believe, haven’t read the books in a while) hold their own against Bellatrix. (and then a curse barely misses Ginny, and cue Mrs. Weasley’s ” Not My Daughter, You B**** “)
    I know that that is not exactly her own awesome heroic moment, but still!

  27. Yes, at the end of DH Harry wants to be with Ron and Hermione because they have been more important to him! They are his friends, without whom he would not be alive or have ever gotten as far as he did.

    There’s a passage at the end of the book where Harry makes a mental note about Ginny as he leaves the Great Hall – there will be time to be with her (hours, days, weeks, years).

    In this series, it is Harry/Ron/Hermione. Ginny is his future hope, not his present reality. Not to sound crass, but she is the reward for a job well done. I think it was handled brilliantly.

  28. Here goes Mrs. Weasley again: How wonderful of her to give Harry this traditional birthday gift, making him feel a part of the wizarding world and of her family. And then she apologizes for it being used. For me the fact that it’s jewlery that belonged to her late brother, which would otherwise probably have been handed down within the family, makes it even more valuable!

  29. I don’t think that it’s a mistake. Unlike Bill, Charlie actually allows the hair cut.

  30. I always wondered about the Bill/Charlie hair. This was the first website I found referencing the issue, so props to you!

  31. Can anyone explain me please, why Lupin and Tonks hurried to disappear from Harry’s birthday party, when Arthur’s patronus announced Rufus Scrimgeour? Thank you!

  32. I have to agree with Deb. One of the things that makes this series awesome is that it’s not filled with over the top, cheesy, romantic sentiment!

    I believe that Harry almost mirrors J.K in that sense too.
    In that, Harry loves the fact that Ginny isn’t overtly emotional or dramatic.
    The book is from Harry’s perspective and Harry seems to appreciate her fire and ability to make him laugh, even in the face of danger.

    Everyone in the world is aware that romantic love is important and there are too many books out there that are based solely on that ideal, but I believe J.K was also trying to point out that there were other types of love and loyalty to focus on as well..

    Just food for thought:)

  33. Loved reallycorking, behindtheveil and Caladan’s pics.
    I didn’t realise that was an oops. I just assumed Charlie’s hair had grown really long & wild over the years as a dragon tamer and he never bothered to get it cut. I was certain somewhere in GoF Jo had mentioned his scraggly hair. But maybe it is a bit of a mixup.

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