The Will of Dumbledore
"'The last Will and Testament of Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore' . . . Yes, here we are . . . 'To Ronald Bilius Weasley, I leave my Deluminator, in the hopes that he will remember me when he uses it.'"
Scrimgeour took from the bag an object Hermione had never seen before. It looked something like a silver cigarette lighter. Scrigmeour leaned forward and passed the Deluminator to Ron, who took it and turned it over in his fingers, looking stunned.
"That is a valuable object," said Scrigmeour, watching Ron. "It may even be unique. Certainly it is of Dumbledore's own design. Why would he have left you an item so rare?"
Ron shook his head, looking bewildered.
"Dumbledore must have taught thousands of students," Scrigmeour persevered. "Yet, the only ones he remembered in his will are you three. Why is that? To what use did he think you would put his Deluminator, Mr. Weasley?"
"Put out lights I s'pose," mumbled Ron. "What else could I do with it?"
Evidently, Scrigmeour had no suggestions. After squinting at Ron for a moment or two, he turned back to Dumbledore's will.
"'To Miss Hermione Jean Granger, I leave my copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, and Hogwarts, A History, in the hopes that she will find them entertaining and instructive.'"
Scrigmeour now pulled out of the bag a small book that looked as ancient as Secrets of the Darkest Arts upstairs, and a larger familiar book. Hermione took them from Scrigmeour without a word. She held the books in her lap and gazed at them. Hermione saw the The Tales of Beedle the Bard title was written in runes. A tear rolled out of her eye and splashed onto the book, leaving a dark, wet stain.
"Why do you think Dumbledore left you those books, Miss Granger?" Asked Scrigmeour.
"He . . . he knew I liked books." Said Hermione in a thick voice, mopping her eyes with her sleeve.
"But why those particular books?"
"I don't know. He must have thought I'd enjoy them."
"Did you ever discuss codes, or any means of passing secret messages with Dumbledore?"
"No I didn't," said Hermione, still wiping her eyes on her sleeve. "And if the ministry hasn't found any hidden codes in these books in thirty-one days, I doubt that I will." She suppressed a sob. Ron struggled to free his arm to wrap it awkwardly around her shoulders.
. . . .
"Meet us upstairs, after everyone's gone to bed." Harry whispered in her ear, while they helped Mrs. Weasley restore the garden to its normal state.
When Hermione tiptoed into the attic room, Ron was examining his Deluminator, and Harry was filling Hagrid's mokeskin purse. "Muffliato." She waved her wand in the direction of the stairs.
"I thought you didn't approve of that spell?" Said Ron
"Times change," said Hermione. "Now, show us that Deluminator."
Ron obliged at once. Holding it up in front of him, he clicked it. The solitary lamp that they had lit went out at once.
"The thing is," she whispered in the dark, "we could have achieved that with Pruvian Instant Darkness Powder."
There was a small click, and the ball of light from the lamp flew back to the ceiling and illuminated them all once more.
"Still, it's cool," said Ron, a little defensively. "And from what they said, Dumbledore invented it himself!"
"I know, but surely he wouldn't have singled you out in his will just to help us turn out the lights!"
"D'you think he knew the Ministry would confiscate his will and examine everything he left us?" Asked Harry.
"Definitely," said Hermione. "He couldn't tell us in the will why he was leaving us these things, but that still doesn't explain. . . ."
"Why he couldn't have given us a hint while he was alive?" Asked Ron.
"Well, exactly," said Hermione, now flicking through The Tales of Beedle the Bard. "If these things are important enough to pass on right under the nose of the Ministry, you'd think he'd have let us know why. . . . unless he thought it was obvious?"
"Thought wrong then, didn't he?" Said Ron. "I always said he was mental. Brilliant and everything, but cracked. Leaving Harry a Snitch-what the hell was that all about?"
"I have no idea."
Hermione tuned them into background noise as she placed The Tales of Beedle the Bard beside her and picked up Hogwarts, A History. She flicked through the pages, not seeing anything new.
"Ow!" She flicked her finger, trying to cool it from the burning sensation of a paper cut.
"What is it, Hermione?" Asked Ron, sliding down to sit beside her on the old, worn-down couch.
"Just a. . . ." Her words cut out as the book began to take on a yellowish glow. Before long, the light died out and Hermione could see the book once again, the only thing, the book was no longer a book. Sitting in her lap were two letters and a Time-Turner. One letter was addressed to her and the other to Dumbledore."
"Why would Dumbledore leave himself a letter?"
"I have know idea." Hermione picked up the letter addressed to her and opened it with steady fingers. The letter was written in Dumbledore's elegant, looping script.
Miss Hermione Jean Granger
By now, you have found the secret contents that were transfigured to look like Hogwarts, A History. I have enchanted the book to reveal its true contents when in contact with your blood.
I leave you my Time-Turner. It is for you to use when all hope seems lost. It is to be used as a last resort. I have already set the Turner to take you to the time you need to be if and when it is needed. I know you will figure out what to do, my dear girl.
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.
"What the bloody hell!" Hermione couldn't help but to agree with Ron's words.