He could hear someone scuttling own the cellar steps; next moment, Draco’s shaking voice spoke from behind the door.

“Stand back. Line up against the back wall. Don’t try anything, or I’ll kill you!”

They did as they were bidden; as the lock turned, Ron clicked the Deluminator and the lights whisked back into his pocket, restoring the cellar’s darkness. The door flew open; Malfoy marched inside, wand held out in front of him, pale and determined. He seized the little goblin by the arm and backed out again, dragging Griphook with him. The door slammed shut and at the same moment a loud crack echoed inside the cellar.

Ron clicked the Deluminator. Three balls of light flew back into the air from his pocket, revealing Dobby the house-elf, who had just Apparated into their midst.

“DOB—!”

Harry hit Ron on the arm to stop him shouting, and Ron looked terrified at his mistake. Footsteps crossed the ceiling overhead: Draco marching Griphook to Bellatrix.

Dobby’s enormous, tennis-ball shaped eyes were wide; he was trembling from his feet to the tips of his ears. He was back in the home of his old masters, and it was clear that he was petrified.

“Harry Potter,” he squeaked in the tiniest quiver of a voice, “Dobby has come to rescue you.”

“But how did you—?”

An awful scream drowned Harry’s words: Hermione was being tortured again. He cut to the essentials.

“You can Disapparate out of this cellar?” he asked Dobby, who nodded, his ears flapping.

“And you can take humans with you?”

Dobby nodded again.

“Right. Dobby, I want you to grab Luna, Dean, and Mr. Ollivander, and take them—take them to—”

“Bill and Fleur’s,” said Ron. “Shell Cottage on the outskirts of Tinworth!”

The elf nodded for a third time.

“And then come back,” said Harry. “Can you do that, Dobby?”

“Of course, Harry Potter,” whispered the little elf. He hurried over to Mr. Ollivander, who appeared to be barely conscious. He took one of the wandmaker’s hands in his own, then held out the other to Luna and Dean, neither of whom moved.

“Harry, we want to help you!” Luna whispered.



“We can’t leave you here,” said Dean.

“Go, both of you! We’ll see you at Bill and Fleur’s.”

As Harry spoke, his scar burned worse than ever, and for a few seconds he looked down, not upon the wandmaker, but on another man who was just as old, just as thin, but laughing scornfully.

“Kill me, then, Voldemort, I welcome death! But my death will not bring you what you seek… There is so much you do not understand…”


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