Chapter 7 Summary

The Will of Albus Dumbledore

Harry is dreaming and talking in his sleep. In his dream, Harry is looking for “the man who held the answer, the answer to his problem . . . Gregorovitch.” Neither Harry nor Ron knows who that is. Harry assumes he is having visions from Voldemort’s own mind.

Today is Harry’s seventeenth birthday. Harry Potter is no longer under age in the wizarding world, which means he can no longer be tracked by his superiors. Harry opens some nice gifts and is the most excited by a kiss from Ginny that sends him into “blissful oblivion.” Unfortunately, Ron gets mad at Harry for this kiss. Ron does not want his sister’s hopes dashed in the end.

Harry has a quiet birthday dinner with the Weasleys and a few members of the Order of the Phoenix until the Minister of Magic arrives. It is Arthur Weasley’s patronus (a weasel) that warns the group of Rufus Scrimgeour’s impending arrival. He desires a meeting with Harry, Ron, and Hermione to give them the items bequeathed to them in Albus Dumbledore’s will. Ron receives Dumbledore’s Deluminator (which allows Ron to remove light, only to put it right back again). Hermione receives an old book of wizard stories told to children, The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Harry receives the golden snitch he caught in his very first Quidditch match. All of them, including Scrimgeour, are confused by the gifts.

After Hermione informs them that “snitches have flesh memories” and this one should remember Harry, everyone is expecting something to happen when the snitch is dropped into Harry’s hand. Nothing happens. Scrimgeour then moves on to the last thing passed down to Harry from Dumbledore: the sword of Godric Griffindor. Scrimgeour, however, does not give Harry the sword because he claims that it was not Dumbledore’s sword to give. This angers Harry, and Mr. and Mrs. Weasley have to break up a verbal fight before the Minister of Magic leaves.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione meet in secret to try to figure out the meaning behind the gifts. They are still confused by them, but they do figure out that Harry caught the snitch in his mouth (instead of his hand), so Harry tries touching the snitch to his lips. Writing appears: “I open at the close.” Then, thinking of the sword of Griffindor, Harry wonders why Dumbledore did not just give Harry the sword, which was always right in Dumbledore’s office.

Unable to figure out any meaning behind the gifts, the three of them grow more frustrated and finally retire to bed. The wedding awaits them when they awaken.