Chapter 18 / Sirius Black
Dumbledore stood up. He stared down at Barty Crouch for a moment with disgust on his face. Then he raised his wand once more and ropes flew out of it, ropes that twisted themselves around Barty Crouch, binding him tightly. He turned to Professor McGonagall. ‘Minerva, could I ask you to stand guard here while I take Harry upstairs?’ ‘Of course,’ said Professor McGonagall. She looked slightly nauseous, as though she had just watched someone being sick. However, when she drew out her wand and pointed it at Barty Crouch, her hand was quite steady.
‘Severus’ — Dumbledore turned to Snape — ‘please tell Madam Pomfrey to come down here; we need to get Alastor Moody into the hospital wing. Then go down into the grounds, find Cornelius Fudge, and bring him up to this office. He will undoubtedly want to question Crouch himself. Tell him I will be in the hospital wing in half an hour’s time if he needs me.’
Snape nodded silently and swept out of the room.
‘Harry?’ Dumbledore said gently. Harry got up and swayed again. I saw that he was shaking and drew out my wand.
‘It’s broken, I think,’ I bent down and looked up at Dumbledore, ‘may I, professor?’
‘Off course. I believe you had some training with madame Pomfrey in your first year.’
I healed his leg in seconds. Dumbledore gripped his arm and helped him out into the dark corridor.
‘I want you to come up to my office first, Harry,’ he said quietly as they headed up the passageway. ‘Sirius is waiting for us there. Katherine, would you join us too? I think these events tonight affect you too.’
I nodded. The truth was starting to sink in and a kind of complete unreality came upon me.
‘Professor,’ Harry mumbled, ‘where are Mr. and Mrs. Diggory?’
‘They are with Professor Sprout,’ said Dumbledore. His voice, which had been so calm throughout the interrogation of Barty Crouch, shook very slightly for the first time. ‘She was Head of Cedric’s house, and knew him best.’
We had reached the stone gargoyle. Dumbledore gave the password, it sprang aside, and we went up the moving spiral staircase to the oak door. A tall, well-built man was leaning against the wall. He might have been handsome once, but now, he looked gaunt and white. I recognized him immediately and took a step back as he crossed the room.
‘Harry, are you all right? I knew it — I knew something like this — what happened?’ His hands shook as he helped Harry into a chair in front of the desk. ‘What happened?’ he asked more urgently.
I stood back as I tried to process what I just saw. The guy in Dumbledore’s office was Sirius Black, who was sent to Azkaban years ago for killing thirteen people and was known to have betrayed Harry’s parents to the Dark Lord. And now, he was here, taking care of Harry like he was his best friend.
‘I’ll explain later,’ Dumbledore mumbled to me as he moved to his desk and sat down behind it. He began to tell Sirius everything Barty Crouch had said.
I was only half listening. As I sat down next to Harry, I felt a sudden cold coming over me and the hairs on my arms stood up.
There was a soft rush of wings. Fawkes the phoenix had left his perch, flown across the office, and landed on Harry’s knee.
‘’Lo, Fawkes,’ said Harry quietly. He stroked the phoenix’s beautiful scarlet-and-gold plumage. Fawkes blinked peacefully up at him. There was something comforting about his warm presence.
Dumbledore stopped talking. He was looking at Harry, who avoided his eyes. Dumbledore was going to question him. He was going to make Harry relive everything. I felt sorry for Harry, but on the other hand, I wanted to know what had happened. I wanted to know how the Dark Lord had returned. I wanted to know everything.
‘I need to know what happened after you touched the Portkey in the maze, Harry,’ said Dumbledore.
‘We can leave that till morning, can’t we, Dumbledore?’ said Sirius harshly. He had put a hand on Harry’s shoulder. ‘Let him have a sleep. Let him rest.’
I looked at Dumbledore, but he didn’t take notice of Sirius’s words. He leaned towards Harry. Harry looked up.
‘If I thought I could help you,’ Dumbledore said gently, ‘by putting you into an enchanted sleep and allowing you to postpone the moment when you would have to think about what has happened tonight, I would do it. But I know better. Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it. You have shown bravery beyond anything I could have expected of you. I ask you to demonstrate your courage one more time. I ask you to tell us what happened.’