Beyond the Veil
Chapter 35 of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: Beyond the Veil
Lucius Malfoy and eleven other Death Eaters, including the powerful, sadistic and dangerous Bellatrix Lestrange, emerge from the shadows. Harry refuses to give Malfoy the orb, threatening to smash it, and demands to know where Sirius is. It is becoming apparent, however, that Harry's visions were false. Bellatrix reviles Harry for being half-blood, but Harry reminds her that Voldemort's father was a Muggle, riling Bellatrix. Malfoy intervenes, and explains that the sphere contains a prophecy about the Dark Lord and Harry. They needed Harry to retrieve it because only those whom a prophecy concerns can safely pick up the orb, any others go insane. And Voldemort could not risk being seen at the Ministry, and instead lured Harry there to retrieve it for him.
On Harry's signal, the D.A. members blast the shelves and orbs with their wands. Harry, along with the others, runs from the Chamber clutching the prophecy, chased by the Death Eaters. Harry, Hermione, and Neville enter the bell jar room, though Ron, Ginny, and Luna have gotten separated from them. Malfoy organizes his fellow Death Eaters into pairs, instructing them to search the department for the six teens. Two Death Eaters enter the bell jar room and Hermione Stuns one, while Neville disarms the other.
As they head for the circular room, two more Death Eaters appear; Harry, Hermione and Neville veer into a side office, followed by Death Eaters. Hermione silences one Death Eater who is calling his accomplices, and Harry Petrifies another. Neville is kicked, breaking his wand and his nose. Harry, Hermione, and Neville make their way to the circular room, where they find Luna, Ginny, and Ron. As they search for an exit, several Death Eaters enter, including Bellatrix, and start attacking. Harry, Neville, and Luna quickly exit into the Brain Room; they try sealing the doors, but five Death Eaters burst in. After Hermione, Luna, Ron, Ginny, and Neville have been incapacitated, Harry runs for a door, tumbling down stone steps, landing near the Veiled Arch.
Surrounded by Death Eaters, Harry backs onto the dais with the veiled archway. Neville bursts in but is quickly immobilized, and is then tortured by Bellatrix to force Harry into surrendering the prophecy. Harry is about to relinquish it when Sirius, Tonks, Shacklebolt, Lupin, and Moody arrive. Macnair grabs Harry around the neck and demands the prophecy. Neville stabs McNair's eye with Hermione's wand, and he releases Harry who Stuns him. As Harry grabs Neville's robe to pull him up the steps, the pocket rips, and the orb falls out and is smashed, its wispy vapors vanishing. Dumbledore enters, and quickly apprehends the combatants while Sirius duels Bellatrix. As Sirius taunts her, Bellatrix blasts a spell squarely at his chest. His rigid body falls through the veiled arch. Harry rushes after him, but Lupin restrains him before he reaches the portal, saying it is too late. Sirius is gone.
This chapter is largely action, preparing for and then executing the battle. A number of things are learned here, as Harry stalls the Death Eaters, but this chapter is mostly immediate; this is the book's climax, the battle we have been building up to throughout this book.
One thing mentioned here is that only the persons who are connected to a prophecy can safely pick it up. (Presumably, this is the people listed on the label: in this case Harry, Voldemort, Dumbledore, and Trelawney.) This explains Bode's illness. We heard earlier that Malfoy put Bode under the Imperius curse, but that he had resisted having to retrieve something; it is now clear that he was being ordered to fetch this Prophecy, knowing it would drive him insane. As he was recovering his sanity, the Death Eaters moved to murder him in the hospital.
Although Harry and the others were outnumbered and outmatched by Voldemort's Death Eaters, all fought ably, mostly thanks to Harry's superb defensive training. It is conceivable that had a few more D.A. members been present, the Death Eaters could have been defeated without help from the Order of the Phoenix. Even though Harry considers them the weakest D.A. members, Neville, Ginny, and Luna perform admirably while under attack. And though they may not yet be the most technically proficient members, they are arguably the bravest, willingly risking their own lives to aid Harry, and fight Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Ginny and Neville prove they are true Gryffindors, while Luna could easily have fit into that House, as well as Ravenclaw. Harry will never forget what they have done for him.
When Harry contacted Grimmauld Place, Kreacher told Harry that Sirius had been taken to the Ministry of Magic. We can now guess that Kreacher, who remains loyal to the Black family, and, by extension, Voldemort, lied to Harry; Sirius was safely at Grimmauld Place with Buckbeak, unaware Harry was attempting to reach him.
Malfoy names the twelve Death Eaters involved in this battle shortly after Harry, Hermione, and Neville re-enter the bell jar room. They are: Lucius Malfoy, Bellatrix Lestrange, Nott, Rodolphus, Crabbe, Rabastan, Jugson, Dolohov, Macnair, Avery, Rookwood, and Mulciber. Of the two that initially attack Harry, Hermione, and Neville, one is Stunned, and the other falls into the bell jar and stumbles through the rest of the battle with a baby's head. The second pair that attack Harry are Dolohov and Jugson, and they both get Petrified. Nott is injured by falling shelves and may not play a further part in the battle. Lucius counts ten Death Eaters standing against Harry alone in the amphitheatre, so we can assume that the Stunned and Petrified Death Eaters have all been resuscitated at that point.
- Who can safely pick up a Prophecy Orb? What happens to those who are unable to?
- How was Bellatrix able to kill Sirius?
- Why does Lupin restrain Harry from going after Sirius?
- Which D.A. members were left standing at the end of the battle?
- Who alerted the Order of the Phoenix that the students were in trouble?
- What is the veiled archway? Why can only Harry and Luna hear the voices behind the veil?
- Based on what is learned in this chapter, what might have happened if Harry had gone through the veiled archway? Could he have returned?
We will discover that Order of the Phoenix reinforcements arrived at the Ministry of Magic because Snape alerted them, when Harry and the other students never returned from the Forbidden Forest. However, Harry later accuses Snape of deliberately waiting too long to sound the alarm, resulting in Sirius' death.
Neville, Luna, and Ginny will again show their bravery in the next book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, being the only members of Dumbledore's Army to answer Harry's distress call before the battle inside Hogwarts.
Harry later bemoans the Prophecy having been destroyed until Dumbledore informs him that the prophecy itself was not lost, but rather a memory of it, and that his original memory has been retained. Apparently, prophecies are stored by a process similar to how thoughts are stored in a Pensieve, as Dumbledore then shows Harry the memory involving the prophecy, using his Pensieve.
Neville's accidentally destroying the Time Turners will prove to be a minor, but in some ways essential, plot point. Time-Turners are an almost insanely useful device to have in a wizard duel, as a wizard could, if he chose, go back an hour multiple times using a Time Turner to multiply himself. Harry would stand precious little chance facing five Voldemorts. While there are laws preventing their use in such manner, we see that Voldemort pays little attention to laws, and if he were able to retain a Time Turner, things would go badly for the Order of the Phoenix. The only mention of this destruction, however, is in the opening chapters of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, where Hagrid rationalizes the Trio's decision to not take his Care of Magical Creatures course as being due to lack of time, which could not be remedied without the destroyed Time-Turners.