The Lightning-Struck Tower

One of my favorite moments in the Harry Potter books is this — in book six when Dumbledore is cornered, and Draco is taunting him:

‘Isn’t that the secret method of communication the group that called themselves Dumbledore’s Army used last year?’ asked Dumbledore. His voice was light and conversational, but Harry saw him slip an inch lower down the wall as he said it.
‘Yeah, I got the idea from them,’ said Malfoy, with a twisted smile. ‘I got the idea of poisoning the mead from the Mudblood Granger, as well, I heard her talking in the library about Filch not recognising potions …’
‘Please do not use that offensive word in front of me,’ said Dumbledore.
Malfoy gave a harsh laugh.
‘You care about me saying “Mudblood” when I’m about to kill you?’
’Yes, I do,’ said Dumbledore.

Poised, direct. Composed. Dumbledore is seconds from death and he knows it, but he still won’t allow slurs in his presence.

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