Chapter Thirty-six: The Parting of the Ways
A disgusted Dumbledore ties up Barty Crouch, sends Alastor Moody to the hospital wing, and takes Harry into his office, where Sirius awaits them. Harry doesn't want to think about what has happened, but he agrees to tell Dumbledore and Sirius everything while the memories are still fresh. Dumbledore explains the connection of the wands with the words "Priori Incantatem," meaning that the wands were not able to properly battle against each other because they were made from identical feathers from the same phoenix, Fawkes, who during this conversation has come to rest on Harry's knee. Once the twin wands connect, one forces the other to regurgitate its spells in the reverse order in which they were performed. As Harry explains what the shadows from Voldemort's wand did, Fawkes cries on Harry's leg, healing his wounds with phoenix tears. At the end, Dumbledore commends Harry's bravery in reliving the events, and he sends him to the hospital wing to sleep, accompanied by Sirius, disguised as a dog.
The Weasleys are waiting in the hospital wing, and Dumbledore instructs them not to question Harry. Madame Pomfrey gives Harry a potion for dreamless sleep, and he sleeps, only to be awakened in the night by an argument between Cornelius Fudge and Professor McGonagall. She is furious with him for having allowed a dementor to accompany him to see Barty Crouch, and to administer the fatal dementor's kiss, thus sucking out Barty's soul. Dumbledore enters and joins in the reprimands, as now Barty will not be able to testify for what he did. Fudge doesn't seem to believe that Voldemort has risen again, and he accuses Barty Crouch of being a lunatic, and Harry of hallucinating in his visions of Voldemort. Dumbledore then advises Fudge to take necessary precautions against Voldemort's return to power, such as removing Azkaban from dementor control, since dementors are natural allies of Voldemort; and such as resuming contact with the giants, who could be of great service against Voldemort, unless Voldemort gets to them first. Fudge refuses to do any of this, and Dumbledore accuses him of being blind to what is going on, and of being cowardly in his unwillingness to act. Dumbledore finally says that if Fudge refuses to ally with Dumbledore in a fight against Voldemort, then they must part ways.
Fudge is disbelieving, even after Snape shows him his own Dark Mark and explains that it burned that night, signifying Voldemort's return. Fudge leaves the room in a huff, after depositing Harry's Triwizard winnings, a thousand galleons, on his hospital bed. Dumbledore then asks Mrs. Weasley to beckon her husband and join him in his battle. He asks Sirius and Snape to make up, which they grudgingly do. He also asks Sirius to round up old friends, including Lupin. He says gravely to Snape to do what he knows he must. Everybody leaves except for Harry and the Weasleys. Harry doesn't want the money he has won, and he tries to give it to the Weasleys, who refuse to take it. Mrs. Weasley hugs him, and Harry feels on the verge of crying before he finishes his sleep potion and leaves the night behind him.
The following morning, Harry has a painful meeting with Cedric's heartbroken parents; he offers them the gold, but they refuse. Several days later, Harry, Ron, and Hermione visit Hagrid, who had made up with Madame Maxime and is planning to spend the summer with her, doing a mysterious task for Dumbledore. Hagrid says wisely that what will come, will come, and that all anyone can do is rise to meet it. On the night before leaving Hogwarts, the Great Hall is decorated in black to mourn Cedric, and during the dinner Dumbledore announces to everybody that Cedric was, in fact, murdered by Voldemort, and that Harry Potter risked his life to bring back Cedric's body. He says further that the time has come for everybody to understand the true merit of the Triwizard Tournament, which is to promote magical ties and understanding. He adds that Cedric was a good, brave, honest person who died unnecessarily at the hands of Voldemort. He says to think of the death as an example of how dangerous conversions to Dark Magic can be.
As the students bid each other farewell and prepare to board the Hogwarts Express back to London, Ron asks Krum for his autograph. On the train, Hermione shows Ron and Harry a beetle in a jar. She has caught Rita Skeeter, an unregistered animagus, who had been buzzing around Hogwarts collecting information for her untruthful articles. Malfoy and his cronies enter the train compartment at this point, and he says that Harry has picked the losing side, because Voldemort will triumph. At the same time, Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Fred and George strike them with various minor curses, knocking them out entirely. The Weasley twins explain the blackmailing fiasco, saying that Ludo Bagman paid them their winnings in Leprechaun gold, and that he was deeply in financial trouble with quite a few people and goblins at that point. At the end of the train ride, Harry pulls the twins aside and gives them his gold, telling them to use it for Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, and also to buy Ron a new set of dress robes. They accept the gift gratefully, and Harry returns to live with the Dursleys for the summer.
Dumbledore reiterates his belief the choices we make rather than our heritage dictate what sort of people we become. Here, this idea is illustrated with the brother wands whose differing strands of magic duel. Both Harry and Voldemort, when fate pairs them with their wands, are given the same potential for magic. However, when the wands face each other for the first time, Voldemort uses his wand for casting the killing curse, and Harry, for disarming Voldemort. The polar opposite intentions produce this effect, making it nearly impossible for either wand to harm the bearer of the other. Harry and Voldemort are bound not only by their pasts, but by their wands as well.