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Then he placed the fragment on top of that morning's Daily Prophet, which lay unread on the bed, and attempted to stem the sudden upsurge of bitter memories, the stabs of regret and of longing the discovery of the broken mirror had occasioned, by attacking the rest of the rubbish in the trunk.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I don't quite understand "of longing the discovery of the broken mirror had occasioned". According to dictionaries, 'occasion' is a transitive verb, meaning "to cause", but here it's used as an intransitive verb and the sense "to cause" doesn't seem to fit. So, I'm confused.

What's the phrase "of longing the discovery of the broken mirror had occasioned" modifying, "the stabs" or "the sudden upsurge"?

And what does it mean exactly?

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...to stem the sudden upsurge of bitter memories, the stabs of regret and of longing (that) the discovery of the broken mirror had occasioned.

The discovery of the broken mirror had occasioned the longing.

  • Certainly, but more detail would not go amiss. Perhaps explain the grammar structures involved? – Andrew Aug 19 at 13:34
  • Why is there no definite article preceding 'longing'? the longing (that) the discovery of the broken mirror had occasioned – dan Aug 19 at 13:47
  • @Andrew Alas, that's beyond me. If somebody post a fuller answer, I'll delete mine. – Michael Login Aug 19 at 13:49
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    @dan It's actually the discovery of the broken mirror had occasioned the stabs of regret and of longing; i.e., the stabs of regret and the stabs of longing. – userr2684291 Aug 19 at 14:39

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