Chapter 38 Summary
The Second War Begins
The Daily Prophet finally admits that “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named Returns” and reveals that the dementors work for Voldemort, thus clearing Harry and Dumbledore of all slanders uttered against them.
Harry and his friends, most of whom are still recovering from Death Eater curses, reminisce in the hospital wing. Professor Flitwick finally got rid of Fred’s and George’s swamp in the hall but left a small area roped off because it was such spectacular magic.
Professor Trelawney and Hagrid were welcomed back as teachers. Professor Umbridge lies in the hospital wing too, quiet until she hears anything about centaurs (even a hoofbeat), when she sits straight up in a panic.
Even with all of this news, Harry stops short of telling his friends that he either has to kill Voldemort or be killed by him.
After a brief spar with Draco Malfoy and Snape, Professor McGonagall saves the day by awarding fifty points to each of Harry’s Gryffindor friends as well as to Luna, from Ravenclaw, for telling the world about Voldemort’s return.
Harry goes to visit Hagrid, who tells him that Sirius would have wanted to die casting spells at Death Eaters.
Harry has a hard time enjoying what most students enjoy these days. Harry finds himself wanting simply to be alone with his thoughts. He can’t even bring himself to attend the feast in the Great Hall.
While Harry packs, he finds something Sirius gave him: a mirror that would have allowed Harry to talk with Sirius. The mirror, of course, no longer works.
Suddenly Harry has an idea. Harry goes to find Nearly Headless Nick and asks if Sirius Black might come back as a ghost. Nearly Headless Nick admits that being a ghost at Hogwarts means that a spirit is not ready to let go of its earthly presence. It’s not the best option as Sirius Black would have chosen to “go on.”
Harry feels drained of all hope. Ironically, it’s Luna Lovegood who raises Harry’s spirits a bit when he meets her in the hall. She talks about her mom’s death and admits, “In that room with the archway. They were just lurking out of sight, that’s all. You heard them.” Harry feels better as a result.
On the Hogwarts Express riding home, Hermione admits that the new war against Voldemort is beginning again. Harry is not looking forward to spending yet another summer with the Dursleys. However, he realizes that most of the members of the Order of the Phoenix are there to greet him to talk with the Dursleys about Harry’s treatment. They threaten the Dursleys not to treat Harry badly.
Mrs. Weasley also offers to invite Harry to the Burrow as soon as she can. Harry is truly touched about all of these things and remains speechless as he leaves with the Dursleys.