Chapter 23 Summary
Christmas on the Closed Ward
On the way back to Grimmauld Place from the hospital, Harry spends lots of time thinking about what he just heard. He wonders if that was the reason Dumbledore didn’t want to look him in the eye and if Harry is the weapon that Voldemort is trying to possess.
When Harry doesn’t look well, Mrs. Weasley sends him upstairs for a rest. Harry’s worry continues, and he realizes that he is putting everyone in danger by staying at Grimmauld Place.
Just when he is about to leave, one of the former headmasters of Hogwarts gives Harry a message from Dumbledore: “Stay where you are.” Harry stays at Grimmauld Place but is more frustrated than ever. He tries to sleep but only has the dream again about the door that won’t open. Harry vows to stay locked in his room, convinced that he is a danger to everyone.
As everyone else continues to hang Christmas decorations, Harry stays locked up in the same room most of the next day. Hermione arrives to spend Christmas at Grimmauld Place and knocks on Harry’s door.
Finally, Harry meets with Ron, Ginny, and Hermione. It’s Ginny who is quite angry with Harry. She is the only one who actually has been possessed by Voldemort and therefore, “I can tell you how it feels.”
Harry feels quite badly that he has forgotten this fact. After hearing Ginny’s description of being possessed by Voldemort, Harry feels a bit better that this is not what is happening to him.
Christmas arrives and everyone opens presents. Hermione even gets a present for Kreacher, the house elf of Grimmauld Place. When they find Kreacher’s living space, everyone begins to question his loyalty as Kreacher is nowhere to be found. They still can’t find him as they prepare to leave for the hospital to visit Mr. Weasley.
At St. Mungo’s, Mr. Weasley is thrilled to be trying out the very Muggle medicine of “stitches” to help heal his snake wound. Mrs. Weasley is less than thrilled, so the friends explore the hospital. In their exploration, they find Gilderoy Lockhart, who is thrilled to see some visitors and is still hospitalized because the Memory Charm that he meant to hit Ron backfired on him.
After seeing Lockhart, they are surprised to see Neville Longbottom. Neville is visiting his parents, who were both permanently damaged by the Cruciatus Curse inflicted by Bellatrix Lestrange.