The Electricity of Life, Death and Redemption
“There are no isolated islands in an electric universe.”
—David Talbott and Wallace Thornhill1
Harry is bolstered still further by the love which Sirius, his godfather, had for him in life and which touches his heart still. The author of the series will not confirm whether we will see Sirius again, instead giving her readership only a tantalizing statement:
SiriuslyLovinSirius: If we ever see Sirius again, what form will he be in?
JK Rowling replies -> I couldn’t possibly answer that for fear of incriminating myself.5
It is possible that Harry will journey to the Otherworld and return, see his godfather, and be released from his grief at last knowing that the Dog Star which gives Sirius his name burns as brightly as it ever did. In life Sirius chased storms and rode their consequences. More than once he came into conflict with Severus Snape, whose own storm cloud hides his vacillating loyalties until the author of the series has the last word. Snape could not overcome the combination of the negative and positive energies which fused the relationship between Sirius and James. His conflict with the Marauders led to his rejection of their energy; Snape is repelled by it and is defined by his bitterness.
As a dog Animagus, Sirius protected his godson, breaking the bonds of his former home to race to Harry’s aid. He died as bravely as he had lived. Sirius loved Harry and gave up his life for the boy, finding his own redemption in that love. His life energy has been stilled, but the love he had for Harry ensures that he lives on in his godson’s heart.
His last gift to Harry was a two-way mirror, one of a pair; the broken pieces of that mirror lie in Harry’s trunk but are ready and waiting for Harry to remember their presence and use the mirror again. Sirius sits beyond the veil with his brother Regulus at his side—in life they were separated by their choices, one to the Order, the other to the Death Eaters … in death, they can act together to help Harry.
In mythology, Regulus was a “sentinel star” and a “guardian.” 6 In death he holds the key to Lord Voldemort’s ultimate vulnerability and conceit: the Horcruxes, which contain the fragments of the Dark Lord’s shattered soul. Regulus was the favored son of the Blacks and joined the Death Eaters, but may have been the one who struck a mortal blow at the Dark Lord by stealing the locket Horcrux and leaving a fake instead in the dark cave where Dumbledore took Harry to search for Voldemort’s secrets.
The same negative pole energy in Sirius and his own rebellious streak fuelled Regulus to act; something in the Dark Lord’s philosophy and his own family’s pure-blood prejudices did not square with him; something repulsed him and he acted to spike Voldemort’s lightning power. A note inside the fake locket hints that Regulus had discovered the Dark Lord’s secret; is it possible that Voldemort’s plans for immortality are in jeopardy from one of his own? Could Regulus truly be the “heart of the lion” or “Cor Leonis” as his name suggests?7
The two-way mirror may provide an answer:
Kelpie_8: Will the two way mirror Sirius gave Harry ever show up again?
JK Rowling replies ->Ooooo good question. There’s your answer.8
MA: And perhaps, being Sirius’s brother, he had another mirror – [...]
MA: Does he have the other mirror, or Sirius’s mirror —
JKR: I have no comment at all on that mirror. That mirror is not on the table.9
In remembering how much Sirius loved him, Harry also needs to remember his godfather’s words: “I want you to use it if you need me, all right?”10
Repairing the shattered mirror could give Harry a means of communication with the Otherworld; a means of finding out for himself the secret which Regulus might still possess. If Harry uses his two-way mirror to communicate with Sirius, he may well look into it and see the face of Regulus instead. In this way, Regulus and Sirius can join forces from beyond the grave to nullify Voldemort before he has the chance to strike again.
The stabilizing force of the Marauders is Remus Lupin, and his influence on past and future events is profound. He has suffered much and been prematurely aged in a relatively short life because of the ravages of lycanthropy and his experiences, yet he has never lost his humanity and decency; in fact, it is one of the strongest factors in his favor. Werewolves have status as Dark creatures, but Remus has never weakened, never faltered, never crossed to the Dark side. Remus has lived his life knowing that people would judge him for what he is, not who he is; he likes to be liked, but he is liked by all, and that is a huge strength. He has chosen to keep his mind, and with that, his heart and soul.
In the past he was the earth element which tempered the mischief and impulsivity of his great friends James and Sirius. In the present he has used his considerable abilities as a wizard to teach Harry the Patronus Charm, which brought James back into Harry’s life in a very real way; learning this spell showed Harry that James lives on his heart. Harry’s Patronus also helps to repel the dementors, soul-sucking forces of darkness which drive all happiness from the earth, and it was the means of saving more than one innocent life when everything seemed lost. The positive energy of the Patronus is an incomparable gift from Remus; thanks to him, Harry has proof once again that love is enormously powerful, a force to be reckoned with and a powerful weapon in his armory.
In the finale to come, Remus will be the voice of intuition and reason which Harry needs as he seeks to channel all his energy and the knowledge Dumbledore gave him into defeating Lord Voldemort. Dumbledore gave Harry a vital piece of information in Half-Blood Prince when he said: “You are protected, in short, by your ability to love!”11 Remus is also one of the few remaining links to Harry’s past.
Another key figure will be Severus Snape, whose own life touched, and was touched by, those of the Marauders both in life and in death. In order for Harry to focus all his energies on defeating Lord Voldemort, he must first of all deal with the intense anger he feels towards Snape for the death of Albus Dumbledore. The storm clouds gathered over Dumbledore at the last and Snape broke the circuit. It seems as though Dumbledore’s trust in Snape was mistaken, but Harry has to reach an understanding with Snape—not because Snape has to be on the side of good, but because Dumbledore could not have been so fatally wrong.
In his efforts to protect the wizarding world against the Dark Lord’s lightning surges, Dumbledore could not hope to get everything right all the time, but his relationship with the enigmatic Snape has an element of the “magic at its deepest, its most impenetrable” 12 of which he spoke long ago. His faith in Snape and his decency deserve to be vindicated by future events. Snape has the chance to mend the breach in the circuit caused by Dumbledore’s death. He has alienated everyone else to the point where no one trusts him; the one person who did is dead, by Snape’s hand. It remains to be seen whether Snape will ever be trusted by anyone again.
Grief has made Harry bitter but Remus has the power to bridge the divide and act as the catalyst for Harry’s heart to open once more and show its mercy toward Snape. Remus trusted Snape because Dumbledore did and he is now at a crossroads of his own. He too grieves for Dumbledore but he has a cool head in the eye of the storm and on his understanding and empathy hinges much of what will follow. Harry is linked by the prophecy to Lord Voldemort but he has the huge advantage which the Dark Lord will never have—a pure, untarnished soul, inextricably bound to the heart of one who loves. Remus will help Harry to channel that love—there is a war to be won and the time for recriminations is over.