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"You are protected, in short, by your ability to love! The only protection that can possibly work against the lure of power like Voldemort's! In spite of all the temptation you have endured, all the suffering, you remain pure of heart, just as pure as you were at the age of eleven, when you stared into a mirror that reflected your heart's desire, and it showed you only the way to thwart Lord Voldemort, and not immortality or riches. Harry, have you any idea how few wizards could have seen what you saw in that mirror?"
— Albus Dumbledore describing Harry's rare nature[src]

Harry James[58] Potter (b. 31 July 1980)[1] was an English half-blood[2] wizard, and one of the most famous wizards of modern times. The only child and son of James and Lily Potter (née Evans), Harry's birth was overshadowed by a prophecy, naming either himself or Neville Longbottom as the one with the power to vanquish Lord Voldemort, the most powerful and feared Dark Wizard in the world. After half of the prophecy was reported to Voldemort, courtesy of Severus Snape, Harry was chosen as the target due to his many similarities with the Dark Lord. In turn, this caused the Potter family to go into hiding.

Voldemort made his first attempt to circumvent the prophecy when Harry was a year and three months old. During this attempt, he murdered Harry's parents as they tried to protect him, but this unsuccessful attempt to kill Harry led to Voldemort's first downfall. This downfall marked the end of the First Wizarding War, and to Harry henceforth being known as "The Boy Who Lived",[5] as he was the only known survivor of the Killing Curse due to being magically protected by his mother's loving sacrifice. In accordance with the terms of the prophecy, this attempt on his life also established him, not Neville, as Voldemort's nemesis.

One consequence of Lily's sacrifice was that her orphaned son had to be raised by her only remaining blood relative, his Muggle aunt Petunia Dursley, and her husband, uncle Vernon Dursley. While in their care, he would be protected from Lord Voldemort due to the Bond of Blood charm that Albus Dumbledore placed upon him.[59] This powerful charm would protect him until he either came of age, or no longer called his aunt's house home. Due to Petunia's resentment of her sister and her magical abilities, Harry grew up abused and neglected.

Shortly before Harry's eleventh birthday, there were several attempts from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to send him a letter inviting him to not only come to Hogwarts, but also to explain his magical heritage. Though Vernon Dursley ultimately made the decision to leave their residence at 4 Privet Drive temporarily to evade the letters, his attempts were ultimately for naught. On his eleventh birthday, Harry learned from Rubeus Hagrid that he was a wizard[60]. Rubeus Hagrid took Harry from the Dursley family the next day to Diagon Alley. This is where Harry withdrew some of his money from Gringotts Wizarding Bank, where Rubeus Hagrid bought Harry's snow-white owl, Hedwig. While he was in Diagon Alley, Harry also got his school supplies (i.e., books from Flourish and Blotts, his robes from Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions, and his potion equipment from Slug & Jiggers Apothecary). Harry began attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in 1991. The Sorting Hat told Harry that he would do well in Slytherin House, but Harry pleaded "not Slytherin". The Hat heeded this plea and sorted the young wizard into Gryffindor House.[56] At school, Harry became best friends with Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. He was also the youngest Seeker in a century, making the house team in his first year when Minerva McGonagall introduced him to Oliver Wood, Gryffindor's Quidditch captain at the time. He later became the captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch Team in his sixth year, winning two Quidditch Cups.[61] While in school, Harry also demonstrated an extraordinary talent for Defence Against the Dark Arts.[62][63][64][65][66]

He became even better-known in his early years for protecting the Philosopher's Stone from Voldemort, saving Ron's sister Ginny Weasley, solving the mystery of the Chamber of Secrets, slaying Salazar Slytherin's basilisk, and learning how to conjure a corporeal Patronus at the age of thirteen, which took the form of a stag. In his fourth year, Harry won the Triwizard Tournament, although the person had to be seventeen to enter, and Harry was only fourteen. The competition ended with the tragic death of Cedric Diggory and the return of Lord Voldemort. During the next school year, in defiance of Dolores Umbridge's and the Ministry of Magic's strict regime against the teaching of Defence Against the Dark Arts and the continued introduction of the new Educational Decree, Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger first had the idea of creating an illegal Defence Against the Dark Arts group called Dumbledore's Army. Harry was initially reluctant to the idea, but he gradually came to like it and eventually agreed to start the group. He also fought in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, during which he lost his godfather, Sirius Black, and the prophecy was destroyed.

Harry played a significant role in many other battles of the Second Wizarding War. He, Ron, and Hermione hunted down and destroyed Voldemort's Horcruxes. During the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry personally saw the deaths of Severus Snape and Fred Weasley while learning that Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks, Colin Creevey, and many others had fallen in the battle as well. He encountered Voldemort and nearly sacrificed himself, knowing that his doing so was the only way to destroy the fragment of Voldemort's soul inside of him. While in limbo, after Voldemort cursed him in the forest clearing, Dumbledore gave Harry advice and background information on the Dark Lord. When told that he could choose to live or to "move on", Harry ultimately chose to live. After he awoke, Harry confronted Voldemort and defeated him once and for all.

Harry was also noted for being the only known Master of Death, having united the three Deathly Hallows at the mere age of seventeen.

After the war, Harry became an Auror and helped reform and revolutionise the Ministry of Magic.[54] At some point, he married Ginny, with whom he had three children: James Sirius, Albus Severus, and Lily Luna. He was also named the godfather of Edward "Teddy" Remus Lupin. In 2007, Harry was promoted to Head of the Auror Office at the age of 26,[67][53] and would occasionally deliver Defence Against the Dark Arts lectures at Hogwarts.[54] He was later promoted to Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement by the summer of 2020.[55]


Family lineage

"The Potter family is a very old one, but it was never (until the birth of Harry James Potter) at the very forefront of wizarding history, contenting itself with a solid and comfortable existence in the backwaters."
— Early description of the Potters[src]

Harry as an infant with his parents

The Potters were an old and wealthy pure-blood family,[68] dating back to their founding patriarch Linfred of Stinchcombe. Linfred was given the nickname "Potterer", which was changed simply to "Potter" over the years. The family took on the simplified nickname as a surname, thus leading to future generations calling themselves Potter.[45]

The Potters were also descended from the Peverell family, via Hardwin Potter's marriage to Iolanthe Peverell.[45] As such, they are related to Ignotus Peverell, one of the three brothers that created the Deathly Hallows, who passed the Cloak of Invisibility down to his descendants as a family heirloom. The Gaunt family were also descended from the Peverells through Cadmus Peverell, who passed the Resurrection Stone as an heirloom, set in a signet ring.[69] The Potters were thus indirectly related to the Gaunts as well, and by extension, Lord Voldemort.[70]

Before the start of the 17th century, some of Harry's ancestors migrated to the United States, and held strong ties with the Magical Congress of the United States of America.[71] These ties developed as a result of Abraham Potter being one of the original twelve Aurors of MACUSA. This distant relation of Harry's was uncovered by genealogists centuries after Abraham's death.[71]

The Potters were related to many other wizarding families in Britain, largely through the marriage of Charlus Potter to Dorea Black, who was, in fact, the great-aunt of Sirius Black, Harry's godfather and best friend of his father, James Potter. It is very likely that both Charlus and Dorea were closely related to Harry.

Two members of the Potter family had held positions on the Wizengamot. The first was Ralston Potter and the second Henry Potter. Harry inherited much wealth from his grandparents Fleamont and Euphemia, as Fleamont invented Sleekeazy's Hair Potion, which quadrupled the family gold.[72] Harry's father James Potter was born late in the couple's lives. By that time, his parents were both elderly (even by wizarding standards), and he grew up in a doting household to the point where he became a proud yet arrogant boy. But deep down, James was a good person.[73]

Conversely, Harry's mother Lily J. Evans was a Muggle-born, who was introduced to the wizarding world via her friendship with Severus Snape, who lived nearby. The discovery of Lily being a witch caused a rift between her and her older sister Petunia, who envied her abilities.[74]

James and Lily first met when they attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry together in 1971. Their relationship was a rocky one; while James was a popular student and talented Quidditch player, Lily was unimpressed with him. This had to do with James' hostile relationship with Snape, who was falling in with a gang of Slytherins aspiring to join the Death Eaters.[75]

By their seventh year, James lost the less savoury aspects of his personality and was even appointed Head Boy, despite the fact that he had not been a prefect. This impressed Lily, who was appointed Head Girl, and the two began dating.[75]

The couple eventually married after graduation in 1978, and served as members of the original Order of the Phoenix at the height of the First Wizarding War. They personally defied Voldemort on three occasions, the first being when they refused to join his cause when he tried to recruit them (possibly at Snape's request).

Early life (1980–1991)

Harry: "But what happened to Vol - Sorry, I mean, You-Know-Who?"
Rubeus Hagrid: "Good question, Harry. Disappeared. Vanished. Same night he tried to kill you. Makes yeh more famous. That's the biggest myst'ry, see ... he was gettin' more an' more powerful - why'd he go?"
— Hagrid and Harry discussing Voldemort[src]

Harry James Potter was born on 31 July 1980, at Godric's Hollow in the West Country, England, only hours after his future classmatee Neville Longbottom.[76] Around this time, a prophecy regarding a boy born at the end of July with the power to defeat Voldemort was stated to wizards.[77] Harry's christening was quiet and quick, with only mother, father, and Sirius Black in attendance.[78] Harry spent his infancy in hiding with his parents in the Potter cottage.[22]

A young Harry having a jolly time on his toy broomstick

For Harry's first birthday, Sirius bought him a toy broomstick. Lily's letter to Sirius mentioned that this broomstick had been Harry's favourite present and that he had smashed a horrible vase that had been a gift from Petunia and nearly killed their cat. In the letter, Lily also included a picture of Harry flying around on the broom and James chasing after him. Lily also stated in the letter that Harry looked pleased with himself while flying around on the toy broom. Lily and James also hosted a very quiet birthday tea. The only ones in attendance were them, Harry, and Bathilda Bagshot also used to dote on infant Harry. The Potters owned a cat, but what happened to it after Voldemort's attack it remains unknown.

Voldemort arriving at Godric's Hollow, planning to murder the infant Harry

When it became clear that Voldemort marked the Potters for death in regards to the prophecy, Albus Dumbledore suggested that they use the Fidelius Charm to keep them safe. He even offered to be the Potter's Secret Keeper, but the Potters had already planned to make Sirius their Secret Keeper instead. On Sirius's advice, they changed this designation to Peter Pettigrew, who they thought would be less suspicious.[79] In a terrible turn of fate, Pettigrew was a Death Eater spy, and betrayed the Potters' whereabouts barely a week later.[80]

Attack at Godric's Hollow (1981)

"This boy will be famous, a legend. I wouldn't be surprised if today was known as Harry Potter day in future. There will be books written about Harry, every child in our world will know his name!"
Minerva McGonagall regarding Harry's future in the wizarding world[src]

The Potter family home under attack, as Lily Potter was being murdered by Lord Voldemort

On the evening of Hallowe'en in 1981, Lord Voldemort arrived at Godric's Hollow and murdered James and Lily. He murdered James first, who tried to distract the Dark Lord; unfortunately, he did not have his wand with him and was killed immediately. Voldemort then advanced on Lily, who died trying to protect Harry.[81] Her sacrifice prevented the Killing Curse from working on Harry, resulting in her love for Harry becoming a barrier to protecting him. When Voldemort attempted the curse on Harry, it backfired on the caster and instead of murdering Harry, Voldemort lost all his powers and his physical form was obliterated.

Harry as an infant facing death for the first time at the hands of Lord Voldemort

Voldemort was saved from death by the five Horcruxes he had made up to that point, including his diary, Gaunt's ring, Slytherin's locket, Hufflepuff's cup, and Ravenclaw's diadem.[82] This later included Harry himself also, because a piece of Voldemort's unstable soul latched onto the only living being present. This gave him some of Voldemort's abilities such as the ability to speak Parseltongue. This event made Harry the only person to have survived the Killing Curse, thus giving him the title the "Boy Who Lived". The failed curse left a lightning-bolt scar on his forehead, marking him as Voldemort's equal. The scar would be both a bane and a blessing to Harry in the years to come, as it opened a telepathic link between Lord Voldemort and himself, giving each some awareness of each other's thoughts.

Rubeus Hagrid delivering baby Harry to 4 Privet Drive

Rubeus Hagrid rescued Harry from the house, partially destroyed by Voldemort's faulty killing curse, and was given specific orders from Albus Dumbledore to take him to his aunt and uncle. As Hagrid left, he was intercepted by Sirius Black, a close friend of the Potters, who pleaded for Hagrid to give the baby to him, as he was the chosen guardian in the event of James and Lily's death. Hagrid refused, saying that he was under orders from Dumbledore to take Harry to his relatives. Sirius reluctantly relented and gave Hagrid his flying motorcycle to take Harry to Privet Drive, and left to find Pettigrew, who subsequently faked his death and framed Sirius for his death and that of twelve Muggles.[83]

Hagrid delivered Harry to Dumbledore late on the evening of 1 November 1981.[5] Dumbledore left a letter of explanation to the family living in the house, the Dursleys, who did not want to take care of Harry.[59]

On 1 September 1984, Albus Dumbledore mentioned Harry Potter's name at the Start-of-Term Feast to the residents of Hogwarts, telling them that he was safe, and that when old enough, he too would attend Hogwarts.[84]

Life at Privet Drive

"I'm not having one in the house, Petunia! Didn't we swear when we took him in we'd stamp out that dangerous nonsense?"
— Vernon Dursley refusing that Harry was a wizard[src]

Dumbledore leaving the infant Harry with a note at the doorstep of 4 Privet Drive

As the Dursleys were Muggles, they could not use magic. They knew about its existence, but refused to associate with witches and wizards. They proudly considered themselves a "normal" family and despised anything out of the ordinary, even if it had nothing to do with witches, wizards, and magic. They lied to Harry about his parents' death, claiming they had died in a car crash. They also claimed that the lightning-bolt scar on Harry's forehead was from the same crash.[85] Whenever Harry tried to remember it, all that he could vaguely recall (as if he 'strained his memory') was a green flash of light and a high, cold laugh. He tried to understand what it was, or if it was from the car crash, but he simply could not. Petunia and Vernon Dursley, Harry's new guardians, forbade him from asking questions, particularly those regarding his parents. In addition, the Dursleys refused to have pictures of Lily and James, and did their best to avoid the subject of Harry's parents altogether.[86]

They resented Harry for his magic, which was sporadic but evident, and strongly discouraged any sort of imagination. They neglected Harry, verbally and emotionally abused him, and inflicted cruel punishments, like depriving him of meals and locking him into the cupboard under the stairs on him whenever something "unusual" occurred. Their behaviour was left unreported to authorities. In his youth, Harry could make strange things happen without understanding why he could, as no one had told him that he was a wizard.

For instance, after Petunia had sheared off all of his messy hair using a pair of kitchen scissors in her fury that it would not lay flat, leaving him almost completely bald with only the fringe at the front, it had grown all the way back, and to its previous messy state at that, by the next morning. Harry was punished, even though he had not done anything on purpose. Another time, Dedalus Diggle bowed to him in a shop, and Petunia furiously interrogated Harry as to know how he knew the man before leaving the shop hastily.[85]

Harry living in a cupboard beneath the staircase

The Dursleys spoiled and pampered their son, Dudley, and paid almost no attention to Harry with what little attention they did pay to him being negative in its entirety. All his clothes were hand-me-downs from Dudley and were far too large for Harry. He was forced to sleep in the Cupboard Under the Stairs, while his cousin got two bedrooms to himself (one for sleeping in and one for storing all his toys). They also made Harry do household chores for them, such as making food and getting the post. In time, Dudley started bullying Harry. The Dursleys took Dudley and his friend Piers Polkiss to someplace spectacular every year for his birthday, but the only thing Harry ever got for his birthday was one of Vernon's old socks or a coat hanger.

The Dursleys always hid evidence of Harry's existence by not having pictures of him in the house. Among the few people who did know about Harry were Petunia's friend Yvonne and Vernon's sister Marge, the latter of whom the boy was forced to consider an aunt to him, despite not being a relative of his. Aunt Marge showed the most dislike for the frail boy while visiting Privet Drive during Dudley Dursley's fifth birthday, when she whacked Harry around the shins to stop him from beating Dudley at musical statues, and on holidays like Christmas, when she brought a computerised robot for Dudley and a box of dog biscuits for Harry to apparently eat. She eventually made a fool out of the young Potter during Dudley's tenth birthday, when Harry accidentally stepped on the paw of her favourite pet bulldog Ripper, causing the enraged dog to chase him out into the garden and up a tree. Dudley laughed himself silly at the sight of his cousin then, and to the Dursleys' delight, Marge refused to call Ripper off until past midnight.[87]

Harry with his aunt in the kitchen of 4 Privet Drive

Harry's hardship, however, was highly necessary as by returning to live with his mother's only living blood relative, the protection that Lily gave Harry would continue. While Harry could call that place home he could not be harmed. However, the Bond of blood charm would be broken when Harry turned seventeen years old, or when he no longer called 4 Privet Drive his home.[59]

Unknown to Harry, one of his neighbours, Arabella Figg, was a Squib who had been ordered by Albus Dumbledore to keep an eye on Harry but to not reveal anything of the wizarding world to him. Unfortunately for Harry, to maintain favour with the Dursleys, she was forced to give him a lousy time whenever she had to look after him, as the Dursleys would never have let him go if they knew Harry was enjoying himself, a possibility that infuriated them. Harry discovered her connection to the wizarding world when it was revealed during the summer before his fifth year that she worked undercover for the Order of the Phoenix to keep tabs on Harry for his safety.[88]

Potter speaking Parseltongue to a boa constrictor at the zoo

On 23 June 1991, Dudley's eleventh birthday, the Dursleys went to the zoo with Dudley and Piers. Unfortunately for the Dursleys, they had to take Harry with them, as Mrs Figg had broken her leg and there was no one to take Harry, and they refused to leave him alone in their house. At the zoo, Harry spoke with a boa constrictor and unintentionally made the glass of its enclosure disappear. This allowed the snake to slither out of his cage which scared Dudley into thinking it was after him. Harry was able to communicate in Parseltongue with the freed boa, which thanked Harry briefly, then slithered out of the reptile house calmly.[85] After this incident, the enraged Dursleys sentenced Harry to his cupboard until the beginning of the summer holidays.[89]

St. Grogory's Primary School

"At school, Harry had no one. Everybody knew that Dudley's gang hated that odd Harry Potter in his baggy old clothes and broken glasses, and nobody liked to disagree with Dudley's gang."
— The reason Harry had no friends at school[src]

Harry attended St. Grogory's Primary School,[90] a Muggle primary school, with Dudley. He had no friends there, since all the students were afraid of Dudley's tough friends, who hated Harry simply because Dudley did. Dudley and his friends liked to play a unique game — 'Harry Hunting' — which involved chasing Harry for hours on end. Although Harry was good at sports, he was always the last picked for a team because no one wanted to admit to Dudley that they liked him, rather than because he was no good.

Harry accidentally turned his teacher's wig blue

Harry got decent, if not good grades at school. On one occasion, Harry accidentally turned his teacher's wig blue; on another, he accidentally apparated onto the school kitchen roof when escaping from Dudley's gang; and on a third, he made Dudley's old jumper shrink as Aunt Petunia tried to shove it over his head. These incidents always enraged the Dursleys, and after each, they would punish Harry by throwing him into the cupboard — except for after the jumper incident because Aunt Petunia thought that the jumper had shrunk in the wash.

If Harry had not gone to Hogwarts, then he would have attended Stonewall High, a Muggle secondary school that Harry dreaded attending.[91]

Discovery of being a wizard

Rubeus Hagrid: "Harry - yer a wizard."
Harry: "I'm a what?"
Rubeus Hagrid: "A wizard, o' course, an' a thumpin' good'un, I'd say once yeh've been trained up a bit. With a mum an' dad like yours, what else would yeh be? An' I reckon it's about time yeh read yer letter."
— Hagrid informing Harry of his heritage[src]

Potter's Hogwarts acceptance letter

Harry had no birthday celebrations until the day he turned 11, which was the same day that he discovered the exceptional reality about his identity. On the week of Harry's birthday, hundreds of letters began arriving at the Dursleys' home, addressed to him from a place called Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. When the Dursleys saw the first letter was addressed as "cupboard under the stairs", they panicked at the thought of Harry's ill treatment being observed and transferred him to Dudley's second bedroom out of fear of being arrested for child abuse, which soon appeared on letters as the smallest bedroom.

When Uncle Vernon first read the letter, he turned a pale porridge grey out of fear that witches and wizards were trying to contact Harry. Because of this, Vernon tried to destroy the letters in a futile attempt to keep Harry from his destiny. But the letters kept coming in increasingly larger quantities, to the point where they started flying out of the fireplace by the dozens, and as they did, the Dursleys saw no alternative, but to flee from them. This was not enough to let the Dursleys avoid the letters, however, as the owls carrying these letters followed them wherever they went. On 30 July 1991, In a final desperate move on, the Dursleys moved to a shack on a rocky island at the edge of the sea.[89]

Potter receiving a birthday cake from Hagrid on his eleventh birthday

At midnight on Harry's birthday, Rubeus Hagrid appeared in person to find out why Harry had not received his letter. He was infuriated by the Dursleys and explained to Harry, in spite of Vernon's obstinate protests, that he was a wizard, how his parents died, that Dumbledore demanded him to take Harry from the ruined house to his hated relatives, and that he was to be sent to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.[60]

This would be Harry's first birthday celebration and Hagrid gave him a small homemade birthday cake and later, a snowy owl. Harry named her Hedwig, a name he had found from his textbook (A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot). This was the first birthday present Harry ever received. Hagrid took Harry to the Leaky Cauldron, where he learned that he was famous. He met Quirinus Quirrell, his soon-to-be Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts, the Inn-keeper Tom, a witch named Doris Crockford, and Dedalus Diggle — the man who had bowed to Harry several years earlier. Hagrid then took Harry to Diagon Alley, where he learned more about his fame in the wizarding world and that his parents had left him a small fortune in a vault at Gringotts Wizarding Bank.

Potter at Ollivander's on Diagon Alley buying his wand

Harry bought his first wand from Ollivander's that very day. The wand that chose Harry was made of holly wood and had a phoenix feather core; it was 11", nice and supple. The phoenix feather at its core came from Dumbledore's phoenix Fawkes. It was crafted by Garrick Ollivander, who had also created a twin wand. This wand had been made from yew, and contained the only other feather supplied by Fawkes. This twin wand had chosen Tom Riddle as its master long ago. But after turning to evil and assumed the alias of Lord Voldemort, Riddle ended up using this wand to attack Harry and his parents. Sharing the same phoenix origin, the two wands had a unique connection that would prevent them from successfully duelling against each other in the years to come.

Hogwarts years (1991–1997)

First year

Harry: "But why couldn't Quirrell touch me?"
Albus Dumbledore: "Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn't realise that love as powerful as your mother's for you leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign... to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever. It is in your very skin. Quirrell, full of hatred, greed, and ambition, sharing his soul with Voldemort, could not touch you for this reason. It was agony to touch a person marked by something so good."
Albus Dumbledore regarding the power of love[src]
Aboard the Hogwarts Express

Harry was guided further to his destiny on 1 September, 1991, when he was dropped off by the Dursleys at King's Cross Station. Vernon helped Harry wheel his things to the platforms and left laughing about how Platform Nine and Three-Quarters had not yet been built. The family then drove off, leaving Harry at the busy station all alone. With only ten minutes left until the train's departure at eleven a.m., Harry was panicking when he overheard a red-headed family complaining about the station being packed with Muggles, and he noticed that they had an owl with their belongings.

Harry meeting the Weasleys for the first time at King's Cross Station

Harry watched as the older boys magically passed through the barrier between platforms nine and ten. Harry nervously interrupted them and was introduced to their youngest son Ron, who was starting his first year as well. Molly (Ron's mother) kindly gave him instructions on how to board the platform. Harry quickly ran through the barrier, followed by Ron, and arrived on the Platform, catching his first sight of the Hogwarts Express. As most of the compartments were full, Harry pushed his things to near the end of the train, and with some help from twins from the red-headed family, was able to get his things aboard.[92]

While helping, the twins noticed his scar and recognised that he must be Harry Potter. While Harry sat near the window in his compartment watching the family, the twins Fred and George Weasley reported this discovery to the amazement of their little sister Ginny and their older brother Percy who was a Prefect and had already changed into his robes. After boarding, the train soon departed and Ron asked if he could sit with Harry, who agreed. Ron asked Harry about his scar, and Harry asked if Ron's whole family were wizards, which they are except for his mother's second cousin, who was an accountant. When the trolley witch came by around half-past twelve, Harry bought some of all the treats from the cart and shared them with Ron.

The trio meeting for the first time aboard the Hogwarts Express

Neville Longbottom soon came by searching for his lost toad, Trevor. While Ron was attempting a magic spell to change his rat Scabbers, Hermione Granger interrupted trying to help find Trevor. After Ron's spell failed, Hermione introduced herself and upon learning Harry's name, informed him that he was in several books on magical history. While speculating which house they might be in, Harry and Ron were interrupted by Draco Malfoy, Vincent Crabbe, and Gregory Goyle. Although Draco attempted to ingratiate himself, Harry refused to shake his hand after he insulted Ron and his family. When Goyle attempted to take some of their Chocolate Frog Cards, Scabbers bit his finger and helped drive them off. Ron afterwards explained that the Malfoy family were on Voldemort's side, but came back saying they had been bewitched, although his father did not believe it.[92]

Upon arriving, Hagrid gathered all the first years together and they followed a path down to the edge of a Great Lake. In groups of no more than four, they climbed aboard a little fleet of small boats, and sailed across the lake to an underground harbour. Helping to remind Neville to take his toad, Hagrid took them up a passageway to the gates of the castle.[92]

The Sorting Ceremony
"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
— Harry's choice to be sorted into Gryffindor[src]

The new students were greeted at the castle door by Professor Minerva McGonagall, who explained the four houses of Hogwarts: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin, as well as the rules of the House Cup. McGonagall led the first years into a small room off the Entrance Hall and told them to wait until she returned. When she did, they were led into the Great Hall, where they were greeted by the rest of the students, and more importantly, a shabby wizard's hat on a small stool.

Harry during the Sorting Ceremony

Harry was particularly anxious, as he did not feel that any of the Houses as they were described in the Hat's song were right for him. Harry noted that Draco Malfoy, whom Harry had met in Diagon Alley, was instantly placed in Slytherin, and remembered what Hagrid and Ron had told him about Slytherin's reputation for turning out Dark Wizards, and that Voldemort had been in Slytherin. When Harry put on the Hat, it slipped down past his eyes, and the hat told him that he "would do well in Slytherin". Thinking of Voldemort, Harry desperately repeated the phrase "not Slytherin". The Hat heeded Harry's request and placed Harry in Gryffindor along with Ron and Hermione Granger. In his second year during a visit to Dumbledore's office, the Sorting Hat re-emphasised the idea that Harry "would do well in Slytherin".

The Sorting Ceremony was followed by the Welcoming Feast. Having previously never been allowed to eat as much as he wanted, Harry was overwhelmed by the sheer variety of foods in front of him. Dessert arrived, and talk turned to the first years' families. Neville Longbottom told the others how his family thought he was a Squib until his Great-Uncle accidentally dropped him out of a window, and he bounced.

Harry as his scar began to hurt during the Sorting Ceremony after making eye contact with Severus Snape

It was during the Feast that Harry's scar hurt for the first time: Harry was looking up at the staff table at Professor Quirrell when the hook-nosed teacher Quirrell was talking to looked past Quirrell at Harry, who immediately felt a sharp pain in his scar. This was because Lord Voldemort was inhabiting Quirrell's body as anytime Voldemort was near Harry's scar hurt. After the last morsels melted from the golden plates and goblets, Dumbledore gave a speech welcoming the new students to the school and the old students back. He added a few warnings about staying away from the Forbidden Forest, and avoiding the third-floor corridor before leading the school in singing the School Song and sending everyone off to their dormitories.

First-years' lessons/classes
Severus Snape: "What is the difference, Potter, between monkshood and wolfsbane?"
Harry: "I don't know. I think Hermione does, though, why don't you try her?"
Severus Snape: "...And a point will be taken from Gryffindor House for your cheek, Potter"
— From this first interaction Harry deduces Snape's hatred of him[src]

In his first ever Potions class, Harry discovered that Professor Snape hated him, mocking him as the school's "new celebrity" before teaching the class how to brew a Boil-Cure Potion. Harry and Ron went down to Hagrid's hut for tea, where they met Hagrid's huge and fierce-looking dog, Fang. Hagrid told Harry that he was overreacting to Snape's treatment, asserting that he would have no reason to hate him. Hagrid and Ron began to talk about Ron's older brother Charlie Weasley. While they were talking, Harry picked up a cutting from the Daily Prophet that was lying on the table. The article detailed a break-in that occurred on Harry's birthday at Gringotts. The vault that was broken into was number 713, the same vault Hagrid visited with Harry on their trip to Diagon Alley.

The first flying class of the 1991–1992 school year

One of the things that Harry had been looking forward to was learning to fly until he found out that the Gryffindors would be taking flying lessons with the Slytherins. Malfoy had been bragging about his skill to anyone who would listen. Madam Rolanda Hooch taught the class by starting with basic broom control. After learning the theory, the students were told to hover gently off the ground on Madam Hooch's go-ahead. Terrified of being left behind, Neville panicked and kicked off before anyone else, rising fifty feet in the air before falling off and breaking his wrist. Madam Hooch took Neville to the Hospital Wing after warning the other students to stay on the ground until she got back.

Draco Malfoy nicked Neville's Remembrall from off the ground and was told to give it to Harry, jeering that he would leave it "up a tree" unless Harry stopped him and took off on his broom. Harry mounted his broom and kicked off after him. As much to his surprise as everyone else's, he discovered that he could not only fly, but that it was something he did not need to be taught. Bending low on the broom handle, he shot toward Draco, who realised that Harry was a better flyer and threw the Remembrall into the air, daring the famous boy to catch it. Harry raced the ball towards the ground, catching it and coming out of his dive a foot from the ground. He toppled lightly onto the grass amidst the cheers of the Gryffindors, grinning wildly.

McGonagall discovering Harry's potential as the new Gryffindor Seeker

His euphoria did not last long, however, as Professor McGonagall quickly arrived on the scene. Having seen the dive, she ordered Harry to follow her. Expecting punishment, Harry was instead introduced to Oliver Wood, whom she pulled out of a Charms class. Captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, Wood's confusion at being introduced to a first year quickly turned to excitement and ecstasy upon hearing McGonagall recount the dive. He told her that Harry would need a decent broom if they were to compete, and explained to Harry that he would make an excellent Seeker, perhaps rivalling the legendary Charlie Weasley.

The midnight duel
Harry: "You're a lot braver now that you're back on the ground and you've got your little friends with you."
Draco Malfoy: "I'd take you on anytime on my own. Tonight, if you want. Wizard's duel. Wands only — no contact. What's the matter? Never heard of a wizard's duel before, I suppose?"
— Malfoy challenging Harry to a one-on-one duel[src]

Harry told Ron about everything that happened after he left with McGonagall over dinner that night, but warned him that Wood wanted to keep it a secret. Much calmer on the ground, and with his cronies Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle flanking him, Draco came over to taunt Harry about getting in trouble earlier. Enraged that Harry not only escaped trouble, but was instead rewarded, he challenged Harry to a wizard's duel. In spite of Hermione's attempt to dissuade them from breaking the school rules, (or perhaps because of it), Harry accepted the challenge.

The trio trespassing in the restricted third-floor corridor

As they left the tower, the trio found Neville (whose wrist had been fixed by Madam Pomfrey) waiting outside, having forgotten the password. Neville decided to go with them and the four arrived at the Trophy Room (the site of the duel), but Malfoy was nowhere to be found. They speculated that he may have chickened out and were deciding what to do next when they heard the school caretaker Argus Filch and his cat, Mrs Norris, enter the room. Realising that Draco tricked them and informed Filch of their location, they attempted to quietly exit the room. A nearby doorknob rattled and Peeves, Hogwarts' resident poltergeist, burst into the hallway, threatening to expose them.[93]

The trio encountering Fluffy, a three-headed dog, guarding a trap door

Growing desperate, Ron took a swipe at Peeves, who began to bellow their whereabouts as loud as he could, attracting Filch. The four kids ran right to the end of the corridor, where they found themselves stopped by a locked door, which Hermione opened with the Unlocking Charm using Harry's wand. They hurried inside, thinking themselves out of danger until turning around and coming face-to-face with a monstrous sight: a giant three-headed dog. Choosing Filch over death, the children ran for it, somehow managing to get back to their dormitory without running into anyone along the way. Though shaken by the night's events, Harry's interest in exploring was piqued by Hermione's pointing out that the dog was standing on a trapdoor.

The Nimbus 2000
"Wood — I've found you a Seeker. The boy's a natural. I've never seen anything like it. Was that your first time on a broomstick, Potter?"
— Harry becoming Gryffindor's new Seeker[src]

Harry receiving a Nimbus 2000, a gift from Professor McGonagall

Over breakfast the next morning, Harry and Ron were discussing what Fluffy could be guarding when the mail arrived. Harry, who had received no mail apart from Hagrid's letter, was intrigued as everyone else by the long, oddly-shaped package in the mail that morning, and was even more surprised than the others when he discovered what was inside: a Nimbus 2000, and with a note from Professor McGonagall warning him not to open the package at the table, and that he was to meet Wood that night for Quidditch practice. Taking the broom up to their dormitory, Harry and Ron were stopped by Malfoy, who seized the package and told Harry that first-year students are not allowed their own brooms. When Professor Flitwick walked up to them, he tried to report Harry, but Flitwick, who had been told of Harry's special permission, just expressed admiration for Harry's talent.

"But from that moment on, Hermione Granger became their friend. There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them."
— Harry and Ron forming a friendship with Hermione[src]

A Hallowe'en lesson on the Levitation Charm

On Hallowe'en, Professor Flitwick began teaching his students how to perform the Levitation Charm. Only Hermione succeeded; offended by her air of superiority, Ron later made a nasty comment that she overheard. The comment was about her lack of friends, causing her to run off to lock herself in the girl's bathroom in tears and making him and Harry feel slightly guilty. When the two went down to the Hallowe'en feast later, their guilt was forgotten amidst the splendour of the decorations.

Partway into the feast, Quirrell arrived to announce that there was a twelve-foot Mountain Troll in the dungeons before fainting where he stood. The prefects led the students back to their dorms, but Harry realised that Hermione did not know about the troll and convinced Ron to help save her, since they were responsible. They sneaked off to the girl's bathroom to warn Hermione, locking the troll inside. However, they did not realise their mistake until they heard Hermione's terrified scream emanate from the bathroom. A horrified Harry and Ron ran back into the bathroom to rescue her. After a brief skirmish, during which Harry stuck his wand up the troll's nose, Ron finally knocked the troll out, by levitating the troll's own club to smash into its head.

The mountain troll in the bathroom, where Hermione was hiding

Attracted by the troll's yells, the teachers arrived to find Harry, Ron, and Hermione covered in dust, and the bathroom in disarray. Professor McGonagall, head of Gryffindor, began scolding the boys for not going straight to their dormitories with the rest of their house, but instead putting themselves in grave danger. Much to Harry and Ron's surprise, Hermione lied to McGonagall and told her that she had gone looking for the troll, as she thought she could handle them. She claimed that Harry and Ron were looking for her, (which was true), and she would most likely be dead if the boys had failed to rescue her (also true). The three bonded over the shared experience, and were friends thereafter.

Harry: "I've got the Snitch!"
Marcus Flint: "He didn't catch it, he nearly swallowed it!"
— Harry catching the Golden Snitch with his mouth[src]

As the Quidditch season began, Harry became increasingly nervous. The first match of the season was against Slytherin. Harry was under increasing pressure to show that he was not just a famous name. In an attempt to calm his nerves, Harry borrowed a book entitled Quidditch Through the Ages, a book that was comprehensive history of the sport, that Hermione must have checked put from the library. During break on the day before the match, Harry, Ron, and Hermione were huddled together around a jar of flames, which had been conjured by Hermione, to keep warm.

Harry noticing the blood on Snape's robes and a slight limp when he walked

Snape noticed their guilty faces, and looking for a reason to punish them, confiscated Harry's book on the feeble pretext that library books were not be taken outside. Harry noticed that Snape was limping, as though his leg was injured, strengthening his suspicions that the Potions Master was after whatever it was that Fluffy was guarding. Nervous about the next day's match, Harry decided to ask Snape for the book back; realising that he would most likely be in the staffroom and that it would be harder for Snape to bully him if there were other teachers around, Harry decided to confront him. Approaching the door, Harry overheard Snape complaining to Filch about Fluffy. After opening the door, Harry saw Filch helping Snape to bandage his leg. He returned to the Common Room and then told his two friends everything he had seen.

Harry playing in his first Quidditch match against Slytherin

Harry had little time to dwell on Snape's injury as the first Quidditch match began the very next morning. Harry's job as being the Gryffindor Seeker was to catch the Golden Snitch. The snitch is a walnut-sized gold ball, that is extremely fast and difficult to see. The entire match rested upon the retrieval of the Snitch. Harry's first attempt to catch the Snitch was foiled when the Slytherin Seeker blatched him. Though the Seeker was penalised, the move succeeded in stopping Harry from getting to the Snitch.

Soon after, Harry's broom began bucking uncontrollably as if trying to unseat him. The bucking became even more violent with each passing second, until Harry was hanging from the broom with just one hand. As the crowd looked on with horror, some of the professors had their wands at the ready should he fall. Ron and Hermione began to wonder if the other was at fault. That is until Hagrid, who had arrived to watch the game, noted that it would take powerful dark magic to make a broomstick so hard to manage, magic that powerful was well above the level of a second year and therefore had to have been cast by a qualified wizard. This announcement did nothing to help the worried friends.

Harry catching the Snitch and winning the opening match against Slytherin

Hermione, who had turned her gaze away from Harry, and was scanning the stands, noticed that Snape was staring unblinkingly at Harry and muttering non-stop under his breath. Thinking quickly, Hermione took advantage of the fact that everyone's attention was now focused on Harry (and the Weasley twins' attempts to rescue him) to run around the entire stadium, knocking over Professor Quirrell, and ending up behind Snape. Muttering a few "well-chosen words" Hermione lit Snape's robes on fire with Bluebell Flames; a yell of shock told her she had done her job and she scooped the fire into a jar. Suddenly, up in the air, the spell on Harry's broomstick was broken and he was once again able to control his broom. The spectators watched in confusion as Harry dove towards the ground, only to clasp his hand to his mouth as if he was being violently sick the instant he landed. In actuality, Harry had caught the Snitch in his mouth. His capture of the Snitch ended the match, resulting in Gryffindor's victory.

The trio searching for information on Flamel in the Hogwarts Library

After the match, Hagrid took the three back to his hut. Ron and Hermione told Harry and Hagrid about what was happening on the other side of the stands, and how Snape was cursing his broomstick. Hagrid, however, did not believe them, asking why Snape would try to kill Harry; Harry told Hagrid about Snape being bitten by the dog in the third-floor corridor. Surprised by their knowledge, Hagrid involuntarily revealed that the dog belonged to him, and that what the dog was guarding did not concern them, as it was a secret known only to Albus Dumbledore and a man named Nicolas Flamel.

Christmas season
"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that."
— Albus Dumbledore warning Harry about the Mirror[src]

Impressed as they were with the fact that Harry had managed to hold onto a bucking broomstick, Malfoy soon found that the rest of the school no longer found his taunts that Harry was to be replaced amusing, and so reverted to teasing Harry about having to stay at Hogwarts for the holidays. Harry, however, was looking forward to spending Christmas away from the Dursleys, especially in light of the fact that Ron was also staying at Hogwarts, but also because it would give them some time to look up Nicolas Flamel; they were certain that the librarian would be able to find a book on Flamel in an instant, but were worried that it might be suspicious, and were thus forced to search for themselves.

Harry receiving his father's Cloak of Invisibility as a Christmas gift

On Christmas day, Harry and Ron awoke to a pile of presents, each at the foot of their beds. At the bottom of the pile, he found a package containing an Invisibility Cloak and an anonymous note telling him only that the cloak once belonged to his father, and to "use it well". That night, Harry thought on the Cloak and decided to try it out. Realising he could go anywhere, he snuck back to the library and headed straight for the Restricted Section. Knowing he had to start somewhere, Harry pulled down one of the heavier books, and let it fall open on his knee. To his shock and horror, the silence was rent by a blood-curdling scream that issued from the book in front of him. He stuffed the book back in its place and ran for the door, knocking over the lantern he brought with him in his haste. Ducking under Filch's outstretched arms, Harry ran down the dark corridors, away from the library, and away from Filch.

Thinking he had escaped, Harry was scared to hear Filch's voice approaching, and horrified when he realised whom Filch was talking to: Snape. As Snape and Filch rounded the corner, Harry realised that although his father's cloak made him invisible, it did not stop him from being solid, and that he had no chance of sneaking past them, as the corridor was particularly narrow. Thinking quickly, (and panicking slightly), Harry noticed a door to his left; slipping inside, he found himself in an abandoned classroom. After Filch and Snape passed his hiding place, Harry relaxed and took in more details about the room he was in.

Harry standing in front of the Mirror of Erised

In doing so, he noticed something he had missed the first time: an old, gilded mirror bearing the inscription “Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi”. Stepping in front of the mirror, Harry very nearly cried out in shock: inside the mirror he saw a large crowd of people standing behind him. Shocked, Harry turned around to look at the room, but saw no one there. Turning back to the mirror and looking more closely, Harry realised that the man and woman in the front looked oddly like him. The man looked just like him, from his untidy hair to his glasses, and the woman, Harry saw, had the same eyes he had. Understanding, Harry focused on other members of the crowd, and saw others who had his untidy hair, his eyes, and even an old man who had Harry's knees; Harry was looking at his family, for the first time in his life.

The next night, Harry brought Ron with him to the mirror room. Ron did not see Harry's family in the mirror, but instead saw himself standing alone, tall, holding the House Cup, wearing badges indicating he was Head Boy and Quidditch Captain. The two began arguing over who would be allowed to look in the mirror; Mrs Norris, Filch's prowling cat, entered the room, attracted by the sounds of their argument. The next day, Ron, worried about being caught and about his friend's obsession with the mirror, warned Harry not to return; Harry, however, was not to be dissuaded.

Dumbledore advising Harry from seeking out the mirror again

Going to the room that evening, Harry was ready to stay there all night, staring at the family he lost. However, in his haste, he failed to notice Professor Dumbledore standing by the door until after he removed his cloak. Dumbledore, who had been waiting for Harry, explained that the mirror, which was known as the “Mirror of Erised”, displayed the deepest, most desperate desire of whoever looked into it. Harry, who had never known his family, saw them standing around him; Ron, ever overshadowed by his older brothers, saw himself standing alone, the best of them all.

Before sending Harry back to bed, however, Dumbledore warned him that the mirror was a dangerous object; men had been driven mad by what they saw in the mirror, not knowing if what they saw was real, or even possible. He told Harry that the mirror was to be moved to a new location, and warned Harry to not go looking for it. Before he left, Harry asked the headmaster what he saw in the mirror. Much to his surprise, Dumbledore told Harry that he saw himself with a pair of woollen socks. Despite his promise to Dumbledore, Harry found it difficult to forget the image of his parents, until Wood told the team that Snape would be refereeing the next Quidditch match against Hufflepuff.

Harry cheering Neville up after the latter was bullied by Draco Malfoy

Shortly before the match, Malfoy, ever eager to pick on Neville, used the Leg-Locker Curse on Neville, forcing him to bunny hop his way back to the Common Room. Harry told Neville he was "worth twelve of Malfoy" and gave him a Chocolate Frog. Thanking Harry, Neville handed the card back to Harry for his collection. Looking down, Harry noted it was Dumbledore's card, the first he ever got. He turned the card over and suddenly remembered where he read the name Nicolas Flamel before: on the train on the way to school.

As the Gryffindor vs. Hufflepuff Quidditch match drew nearer, tensions mounted in the school; Gryffindor had failed to overtake Slytherin in the Inter-House Quidditch Cup for seven years, and Harry was worried that it would be impossible with Snape as a referee. Unknown to Harry, Ron and Hermione had been practising the Leg-Locker Curse to use on Snape, should he show any signs of wanting to harm Harry. Before the match began, Wood took Harry aside and reminded him that he needed to catch the Snitch as soon as he could, before Snape could favour Hufflepuff too much. Harry performed his role as Seeker phenomenally, catching the Snitch within five minutes of the game starting, putting Gryffindor in first place for the Quidditch Cup.

Firenze: "It will keep you alive, even if you are an inch from death, but at a terrible price. You have slain something pure and defenceless to save yourself, and you will have but a half-life, a cursed life, from the moment the blood touches your lips."
Harry: "But — who would choose such a life?"
— Firenze explaining the properties of unicorn blood[src]

The trio watching a dragon egg hatch while in Hagrid's Hut

Having realised how much Harry, Ron, and Hermione had worked out about the Stone after running into them in the library, Rubeus Hagrid told them to meet him in his hut later. When the trio arrived later, they noticed that the fire was lit, despite the heat of the day. Although he was reluctant to answer their questions, Hermione managed to manipulate him into talking about the various protections used to guard it: Fluffy, the three headed dog, was Hagrid's, along with enchantments from Professors Sprout, Flitwick, McGonagall, Quirrell, and Snape. Growing uncomfortable in the heat, Harry asked Hagrid to open a window, something Hagrid refused to do as he had a dragon egg in the fire. Unfortunately, Draco Malfoy discovered the dragon, and decided to use the knowledge to get revenge by getting them into trouble for possessing an illegal dragon. So Malfoy in turn, tried to tell McGonagall of the trio's activities.

Harry and Hermione waiting on top of the Astronomy tower with baby Norbert

To save everyone involved, Harry, Ron, and Hermione convinced Hagrid to send Norbert off to Ron's brother Charlie Weasley, who would take Norbert to a Romanian dragon preserve. While helping Hagrid to prepare Norbert for the journey, the dragon bit Ron's hand, causing it to swell up and forcing Ron to see Madam Pomfrey. On the pre-arranged night, Harry and Hermione managed to smuggle Norbert in a crate up to the Astronomy Tower under Harry's invisibility cloak. On the way up, they witnessed Professor McGonagall hauling Malfoy away for being out of bed at night, who protested that Harry was in possession of a dragon. Harry and Hermione passed the crate off to Charlie's friends and headed back down the stairs, where they were confronted by a gleeful Argus Filch; they had left the Cloak behind.

Harry in the Dark Forest with Draco Malfoy during their detention

Filch took them to McGonagall's office, where they found Neville, who had attempted to warn them about Malfoy. Minerva McGonagall, who was very disappointed in them, took fifty points each from Harry, Hermione, and Neville and gave the three detention, which they were to serve along with Malfoy. Riding high on his Quidditch wins, Harry's popularity plummeted: no one wanted to talk to the "stupid first year" who, along with two others, had lost Gryffindor their chance of defeating Slytherin, and winning the House Cup. A week or so before exams, Harry's new determination to not meddle in others' business was tested when he heard Professor Quirrell, whimpering as if he was being threatened. Believing that Snape was the one threatening Quirrell, and that he was going after the Stone, Hermione suggested that they go talk to Professor Dumbledore, but Harry dismissed the idea, as they had no proof.

The next morning, Harry, Hermione, and Neville received notes from Professor McGonagall informing them their detention would begin at eleven that night. Argus Filch took them out to the Forbidden Forest, where Hagrid was waiting for them. Hagrid led them into the Forbidden Forest and showed them a pool of unicorn blood on the ground. They split up, Hagrid taking Harry and Hermione, while Neville and Malfoy went off with Fang. After Malfoy scared Neville into sending up red sparks, Hagrid sent Harry off with Malfoy, deciding that Malfoy would be less likely to scare Harry.

Harry with Firenze in the forest discussing the properties of unicorn blood

As they continued, Harry noticed the pools of unicorn blood they were following seemed to be growing larger and larger, as if the animal had been thrashing around. Eventually, they came to a clearing and found the laying on the ground, and very dead. As they watched, a hooded figure emerged from the bushes and began to drink the unicorn's blood. Malfoy screamed and bolted away with Fang, leaving Harry, half blinded by the pain in his scar to stumble away from the advancing figure. Harry was saved by Firenze, a palamino centaur, who allowed Harry to ride on his back out of the forest. Firenze told Harry the properties of unicorn blood. Harry realised that there would only be one person who would be so desperate as to kill a unicorn: Lord Voldemort.

The Philosopher's Stone
Harry: ""Professor, I think — I know — that someone's going to try and steal the Stone. I've got to talk to Professor Dumbledore."
Minerva McGonagall: "Professor Dumbledore will be back tomorrow. I don't know how you found out about the Stone, but rest assured, no one can possibly steal it, it's too well protected."
— The trio warning McGonagall of the plot to steal the stone[src]

While talking to Ron and Hermione after finishing their exams, Harry realised the strange coincidence that had occurred: Hagrid wanted a dragon more than anything else, only to meet a stranger who had one to give him. They ran down to ask Hagrid more about the man who gave him Norbert, only to find out that the stranger never lowered his hood, something of a fashion in the Hogs head. Hagrid explained that he could not remember much, as the man kept buying him drinks, but said that he thought they talked about Hogwarts and the kinds of creatures Hagrid looks after there.

The trio attempting to tell McGonagall about the plot to steal the Philosopher's Stone

Focused on remembering what had happened that night, Hagrid accidentally let slip that Fluffy fell asleep when played music. Now convinced that Snape had all the information he needed to get past Fluffy,Harry, Ron, and Hermione decided to go see Professor Dumbledore and tell him their suspicions. While walking across the Entrance Hall, they were stopped by Professor McGonagall, and decided to tell her what they had found out. She insisted that no one could steal the Stone, and told them that Dumbledore was in London for the day.

As the trio set off that night to stop Snape, they were stopped themselves by Neville, who believed that they were sneaking out without reason again, and was worried that they would loose Gryffindor even more points. Desperate as they were for time, Hermione paralysed Neville. When they arrived the third-floor corridor, it was to find Fluffy awake, but a harp by his feet. Remembering what Hagrid told them, Harry began to blow into the wooden flute Hagrid gave him for Christmas. From the first notes, Fluffy's eyes began to droop, and he quickly fell asleep. Jumping through the trapdoor, they found themselves in Professor Sprout's room, filled with Devil's Snare, which almost smothered them.

Harry retrieving the right key from the swarm

The next room, Professor Flitwick's, held a bunch of flying keys and some broomsticks. Harry found the correct key, caught it, and unlocked the next door with it. The next room was Professor McGonagall's, and had a large chessboard, for a game of Wizard's Chess which Ron won at the cost of sacrificing himself. Harry and Hermione continued to the next room (leaving an unconscious Ron where they could return for him), to find an unconscious troll; Professor Quirrell's room. Lastly, they entered Professor Snape's room, and found seven potions in bottles along with a roll of paper giving clues on which one to drink to continue: a logic puzzle. Hermione solved the puzzle, and at Harry's urging, drank the potion that allowed her to head back so that she could get Ron out, while Harry drank the potion to go forward to the final room.

Harry and Quirrell in the Dungeon

Once inside the room, Harry's attention was drawn to two things: the Mirror of Erised, and Quirrell. Quirrell bound Harry before explaining that the Mirror was the key to finding the Stone. Desperate to distract him from the Mirror, Harry questioned Quirrell, who revealed that he was serving Lord Voldemort, and although Snape hated Harry (because Snape allegedly loathed his father in their time at school), he never wanted him dead. Unable to locate the Stone, Quirrell asked Voldemort for help; much to Harry's surprise, a voice which seemed to issue from Quirrell himself said "to use the boy".

Looking in the Mirror, Harry saw his reflection pull the Stone out of his pocket and replace it, at which point he felt the real Stone drop his real pocket. He told Quirrell that he saw himself winning the House Cup, but Voldemort, an accomplished Legilimens, informed Quirrell that Harry was lying, and ordered Quirrell to allow him to speak "to the boy". Quirrell unwrapped his turban, and turned away from Harry. Sticking out of the back of Quirrell's head, Voldemort demanded that Harry give him the Stone. Harry refused, and Quirrell seized him, causing Harry's scar to sear with pain; but contact with Harry's skin burned Quirrell's hands, forcing him to release Harry. Realising that contact caused Quirrell pain, Harry grabbed Quirrell's arm and held on until he blacked out.

Harry in the Hospital Wing after the attack in the Underground Chambers

He woke in the Hospital Wing, where Albus Dumbledore reassured him that Quirrell did not succeed at getting the Stone, and that the Stone had in fact, been destroyed. Dumbledore then explained the reason why Quirrell could not touch him was that because Harry's mother had died to save him, granting him protection against Voldemort.

At the End-of-Term Feast, after seemingly congratulating Slytherin on winning the House Cup, Dumbledore awarded Ron and Hermione fifty points, Harry sixty points, and Neville ten, which allowed them to win the cup.

Second year

"You see? It was a name I was already using at Hogwarts, to my most intimate friends only, of course. You think I was going to use my filthy Muggle father's name forever? I, in whose veins runs the blood of Salazar Slytherin himself, through my mother's side? I, keep the name of a foul, common Muggle, who abandoned me even before I was born, just because he found out his wife was a witch? No, Harry — I fashioned myself a new name, a name I knew wizards everywhere would one day fear to speak, when I had become the greatest sorcerer in the world!"
— Harry meeting Tom Riddle in the Chamber of Secrets[src]
Meeting Dobby

Harry's second year in 1992 started out badly and gradually got worse. Throughout the preceding summer, the Dursleys became so fearful of his newly discovered magical abilities that they locked away all of his school supplies immediately after his return home to them. They even went as far as to ban him from saying words pertaining or related to magic in general, as evident to Harry getting reprimanded by Uncle Vernon for saying the word "magic" at the breakfast table one day.

This, however, did not stop Harry from exploiting their paranoia in order to have quiet time alone, such as taunting Dudley with made-up magical incantations (like Jiggery Pokery, Hocus Pocus, and Squiggly wiggly) whenever the latter teased him. Furthermore, he had no contact with any of his friends nor any news from the wizarding world, and Hedwig took to making noise out of boredom from being padlocked in her cage.

Harry in the garden at 4 Privet Drive

On 31 July (Harry's twelfth birthday), Harry felt very lonely from receiving no letters from his friends. Dudley taunted him stating "Who would want to be friends with you?" The Dursleys seemed to have forgotten his birthday too, for they were too busy preparing for a dinner party with a client of Vernon's at work. The sight of the hedge supposedly staring back startled Harry, but Dudley Dursley came over to bother him as the eyes vanished. Harry tried to scare his cousin away by pretending the use of incantations would set the hedge on fire. Petunia then threatened him with a soapy pan and tasked him with a list of chores to keep him out of her way until Vernon and Dudley returned home from buying dinner jackets.

Dobby introducing himself to Harry

When he was sent up to his bedroom later that evening for the dinner party, he found a house-elf named Dobby waited on his bed to warn him against returning to Hogwarts, as it meant putting himself in great danger. He tried to tell Dobby that Hogwarts was his home and where he belonged. The elf then revealed that he prevented the direct deliverance of the mail from Harry's friends and promised to give the letters back when Harry complied with the warning.

This bargain failed as well, so Dobby crashed the dinner party downstairs via a Hover Charm on Petunia's homemade masterpiece of pudding, which splattered everywhere when the spell was lifted, and disappeared. The mess left behind was thus blamed on Harry, who received an official warning from the Ministry of Magic about using magic outside school. Taking advantage of this incident and using it as a means to suppress the magical blood in their nephew, the Dursleys locked him in his room with bars on his window to prevent him from returning to Hogwarts as punishment.

Escape to the Burrow
Molly Weasley: "Your sons flew that car to Harry's house and back last night! What have you got to say about that, eh?"
Arthur Weasley: "Did you really? Did it go all right? I — I mean, that — that was very wrong, boys — very wrong indeed...."
— Molly Weasley informing her husband Arthur about their son's use of his flying car[src]

Fred, George, and Ron rescuing Harry from the Dursleys with the use of a Flying Ford Anglia

Three nights later, Harry was rescued from his imprisonment by Ron, who was worried about not hearing from him all summer and flew with his older brothers Fred and George Weasley in a flying Ford Anglia belonging to their father Arthur Weasley, the Head of the Ministry's Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office, to break off the bars on Harry's window and help him retrieve his school things. Hedwig's screeches soon alerted the Dursleys of the getaway, but they were unable to do anything as the car flew off with Harry in tow. During the flight to the Weasley family's home the Burrow, Harry told Ron and the twins about Dobby's warning, which Fred and George concluded must have been part of a joke from Draco Malfoy, whose family was of great wealth.

They arrived at their destination early the next morning to find a worried-sick Molly Weasley waiting in the kitchen to punish her three sons for taking the vehicle without permission by having them and Harry (who volunteered) de-gnome the garden. Mr Weasley came home to discuss the results of his proposed Muggle Protection Act to the Ministry with his family, and was glad to meet Harry once introduced to him, despite his wife berating him for bewitching their car. As a generous measure, the Weasleys welcomed the young wizard into the family fold for the rest of the summer, though this made Ron's younger sister Ginny Weasley spend the entire day hiding in Harry's presence.

Welcoming at Flourish and Blotts
Ron Weasley: "Where did you come out?"
Harry: "Knockturn Alley."
Weasley twins: "Excellent!"
— Harry's Floo mishap landing him in Borgin and Burkes[src]

Harry in Knockturn Alley inside Borgin and Burkes

When a Hogwarts acceptance letter for Ginny arrived a week later, the Weasleys set out for Diagon Alley using the Floo Network eight days afterwards to buy some school supplies. Harry ended up at Borgin and Burkes in the adjacent Knockturn Alley. While inside the shop he was forced to hide in a Crushing Cabinet, as Draco Malfoy and his father Lucius Malfoy entered. Draco made many sulky remarks regarding Harry's talent in Quidditch.

The shopkeeper, Mr Borgin, was surprised that Mr Malfoy was only selling dark and illegally enchanted artefacts and not buying. Mr Malfoy was sealing the items before they could be confiscated by the raids on wizarding households that Mr Weasley was conducting as part of the Muggle Protection Act. Borgin expressed pity to the current decline of blood purity. Draco, on the other hand, had interest in a few of the items already on sale, including the Hand of Glory and a cursed opal necklace, and was stopped from approaching Harry's hiding place by his father.

Gilderoy Lockhart embarrassing Harry while in Flourish and Blotts

As soon as the Malfoys left, Harry was found leaving the shop himself by Rubeus Hagrid, who brought him out of Knockturn and into Diagon Ally's Flourish and Blotts, where the Weasleys were in line with Hermione and her parents for a book signing for the arrival of flamboyant but incompetent celebrity author Gilderoy Lockhart, who was recently appointed the new Defence Against the Dark Arts professor at Hogwarts. When Lockhart saw Harry for the first time, he got excited and beckoned him up to the front, allowing the audience to take pictures of them together before giving Harry a set of his books.

Harry was too embarrassed by this publicity stunt, and gave the books to Ginny since he could afford a set of his own. Draco went over to congratulate him for being unable to avoid making the front page when walking into a bookstore, but then his father moved him aside to have a one-on-one argument with Mr Weasley over the latter's obsession with Muggles (finding an example of which in Hermione's parents, both Muggle dentists), provoking Weasley into lunging at him. Hagrid broke up the fight just in time, but not before the senior Malfoy slipped a diary into Ginny's cauldron of school books.

Car flight alongside the Hogwarts Express
"Brilliant! Inspired! What an entrance! Flying a car right into the Whomping Willow, people'll be talking about that one for years —"
— The impressed inhabitants of Gryffindor Tower[src]

Harry and Ron Weasley crossing the magical barrier to Platform 9¾ only to find it blocked

When Harry and Ron tried to get onto Platform 9¾ to join Hermione and the rest of the Weasleys, the barrier mysteriously sealed, and they hit the wall. They missed the Hogwarts Express as a result, and decided to fly the car to Hogwarts, reasoning that they would not be seen due to the Invisibility Booster that Mr Weasley installed. However, the booster failed shortly after takeoff, and the car was spotted by several Muggles as they flew northward alongside the train.

Their day-long flight ended with them crashing into the Whomping Willow, instead of with the graceful landing they imagined. Ron's wand was inadvertently broken by the resulting impact as the gigantic tree started pounding the car in anger of being hit, but luckily for them, the battered Angila broke free from the branches to eject Harry and Ron out of the front seat with their belongings before driving off into the Forbidden Forest. Both boys were found by Professor Snape watching the Sorting Ceremony from the window. They were taken to his office, where they were given separate detentions by Albus Dumbledore and professor Minerva McGonagall. Ginny Weasley, meanwhile, was sorted into Gryffindor.

Harry helping Lockhart answer fan-mail as detention before he heard the voice inside the walls

The next day at breakfast, Ron received a Howler from his mother, who told him that he would be brought home if he broke another rule. The day only got worse when the Gryffindors attended their first Defence Against the Dark Arts class. Lockhart's teaching was a disaster, since the first thing he did was give them a pop quiz on himself and claimed the answers could be found in his books. He then let a cage of "freshly caught" Cornish Pixies loose and struggled to round them up, but ran to hide from them leaving his young pupils to save the day.

As the DADA lessons continued, Harry found himself having to act out scenes from Lockhart's books as he read them in class. Lockhart was in love with fame and kept bothering Harry, who had to help him answer his fan-mail while Ron had to polish the school's prizes and trophies. But he was not the only one who paid him extra attention: many first-year Gryffindors like Colin Creevey were star-struck by Harry, and Ginny had a huge crush on him that developed over the summer since she first saw the famous Potter on Platform 9¾ at the start and end of his first year. After hours of tedious work, Harry heard a disembodied, sinister voice, which Lockhart was unable to hear.

Deathday Party
"The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the Heir Beware."
— A grim message from the Heir of Slytherin[src]

The trio attending Sir Nicolas's Deathday Party

In return for distracting Argus Filch just when he was about to give Harry severe punishment for something he did not do, Harry promised he would attend Nearly Headless Nick's Death-day Party on Hallowe'en. He did this as a favour in order to help boost Nick's reputation, so that he might achieve his desire of joining the Headless Hunt. He brought Ron and Hermione along, as well. Hermione was excited at the prospect of attending the event, as most living beings have not been to a Deathday Party. Ron on the other hand was not excited at attending the event.

The writing on the wall and the petrified form of Mrs Norris

The event was dismal and dreary. The party entailed a candlelit dinner of rancid, mouldy food, the smell of which caused all three to gag. Harry knew the reason for this was the claim that a ghost can "almost taste" seriously spoiled food. Sir Nicolas was deeply touched that the three students put in an appearance, in part because it gave him a certain status in the eyes of his fellow deceased. But the three of them quickly grew tired of the ghostly party and returned to the Great Hall. Before they got to the Hallowe'en feast, Harry heard the voice (which Ron and Hermione also could not hear). He followed it to the second floor where he found the bathroom flooded and Mrs Norris, Filch's cat, petrified — coupled with a message on the wall.

Filch became distraught and threatened Harry, as he mistakenly believed Harry to be the culprit. Filch and Snape then tried to get Harry in trouble for this, but Dumbledore said that it was powerful dark magic that no second year student could perform. They decided that Sprout's mandrakes would be used, once they were mature enough, to create a draught capable of reviving Mrs Norris. This occurrence left the students and staff with a sense of dread and worry, as many believed that the writing on the wall was just the beginning.

History of Magic
Hermione Granger: "I was wondering if you could tell us anything about the Chamber of Secrets?"
Cuthbert Binns: "The story goes that Slytherin had built a hidden chamber in the castle, of which the other founders knew nothing. Slytherin, according to the legend, sealed the Chamber of Secrets so that none would be able to open it until his own true heir arrived at the school. The heir alone would be able to unseal the Chamber of Secrets, unleash the horror within, and use it to purge the school of all who were unworthy to study magic."
— The legend of the Chamber of Secrets[src]

Professor Binns telling his students the legend of the Chamber of Secrets

Hermione wanted to research the Chamber of Secrets, so she talked History of Magic Professor Cuthbert Binns into telling the class about its origin. To begin the story, Binns explained that it all started with the founding of Hogwarts itself around 990 A.D., at the hands of two of the greatest wizards and two of the greatest witches of the age: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin. But Slytherin got into an argument with the other founders about whether Muggle-borns should be admitted and, when the rift grew too large between him and Gryffindor, he left the school.

According to legend, he built a going-away present to the school in the form of a secret chamber that could only be opened by his true heir. This "Chamber of Secrets" allegedly contained a monster that, once released, would purge the school of all Muggle-borns. Professor Binns unsuccessfully tried to assure the class that the Chamber did not actually exist and that the school had been searched many times in vain.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione decided that the heir was probably Draco Malfoy. To try to prove it, Hermione proposed to use the Polyjuice Potion, which can change one's appearance into somebody else's for an hour. Hermione warned that the potion would take a month to brew, supposing they gathered all the necessary ingredients (one of which could only be found in Professor Snape's private inventory) and managed to keep it a secret.

Harry: "So there is a Chamber of Secrets? And did you say it's been opened before? Tell me, Dobby!"
Dobby: "Ah, sir, ask no more, ask no more of poor Dobby. Dark deeds are planned in this place, but Harry Potter must not be here when they happen — go home, Harry Potter, go home. Harry Potter must not meddle in this, sir, 'tis too dangerous —"
— A midnight visitor and a serious conversation about the Chamber of Secrets[src]

Harry playing against Draco Malfoy in the opening match of the season

During the month that it took the Polyjuice Potion to brew, a Quidditch match between Gryffindor and Slytherin took place. Draco Malfoy had been made Slytherin's new Seeker, on the merit of his father's generous contribution to the team: a set of Nimbus 2001 brooms. During the match one of the Bludgers took after Harry and focused completely on him. Malfoy lost no time in making fun of the manoeuvres Harry had to perform in order to avoid the Bludger. Since Bludgers were supposed to attack each and every player, the crowd soon realised that this Bludger had been tampered with.

Harry still managed to catch the Snitch and Gryffindor won. He caught it right out from under Malfoy's nose, who was more focused on taunting Harry then looking for the Snitch. However, the Bludger broke his arm, and Lockhart, in his attempt to fix it, removed all of the bones instead. Madam Pomfrey gave Harry a potion called Skele-Gro to counter this, and he was forced to stay in the Hospital Wing overnight.

Dobby and Harry in the Hospital Wing, after Harry injured his right arm during a Quidditch match

During that night, Dobby visited Harry and revealed that it was he who made the Bludger chase after Harry and was also responsible for the barrier of platform 9¾ not letting him in. Dobby did this in hopes of Harry leaving or never arriving at Hogwarts. This was a misguided attempt to protect Harry from the monster inside the chamber. Dobby proceeded to ask Harry to leave the school, something he refused to do. He also revealed that the Chamber of Secrets had been opened before and immediately punished himself, as he was not supposed to reveal anything. After Dobby disappeared, Dumbledore, McGonagall, and Madam Pomfrey entered with Colin Creevey, who had apparently been petrified. He was found with a camera containing film that had been burnt to the melting point.

Duelling Club
Ron Weasley: "You're a Parselmouth. Why didn't you tell us?"
Harry: "I'm a what?"
Ron Weasley: "A Parselmouth! You can talk to snakes!"
Harry: "I know. I mean, that's only the second time I've ever done it. I accidentally set a boa constrictor on my cousin Dudley at the zoo once — long story — but it was telling me it had never seen Brazil and I sort of set it free without meaning to that was before I knew I was a wizard —"
Ron Weasley: "A boa constrictor told you it had never seen Brazil?"
Harry: "So? I bet loads of people here can do it."
Ron Weasley: "Oh, no they can't. It's not a very common gift. Harry, this is bad."
— Harry and Ron discussing Parseltongue[src]

Meeting of the Duelling club, where Harry and Draco participated in a practice duel

Harry signed up for a Duelling Club, which was (to Harry's great displeasure) taught by his two least favourite teachers: Lockhart and Snape. The event was scheduled to take place in the Great Hall. During the club's first meeting Lockhart demonstrated an ineptitude. He was successfully disarmed by Snape and floundered throughout the entire practice duel. Also during a practice battle in the first meeting, Draco Malfoy conjured a snake to attack Harry. Malfoy conjured this snake via instructions from Snape. Lockhart tried to banish it, but all he managed was to set it loose on the students.

Harry saw that the snake was rapidly advancing on a Muggle-born student and Hufflepuff named Justin Finch-Fletchley (who had introduced himself to Harry before this incident) and instinctively told it to stop, which — to Harry's great surprise — it did. The others students were less than ecstatic about this development, however. All they saw was Harry speaking Parseltongue, the language of snakes, and became afraid. Since they could not understand it, it seemed to them that he was egging the snake on.

It turned out that Parseltongue was a very rare gift that was closely associated with Salazar Slytherin. This was something Slytherin was famous for, hence why the symbol of Slytherin house is a serpent. Due to this, Harry became the number one suspect among students for being the heir of Slytherin. Hermione even told him that since Salazar Slytherin lived so long ago, he might actually be. His ability to speak Parseltongue also caused the student body to spread vicious rumours about him. They claimed that he could not be a decent wizard, since he could speak to snakes.

Harry meeting Fawkes for the first time after finding a petrified Justin

Seconds after leaving a conversation with Hagrid, Harry ran into a petrified Justin Finch-Fletchley and a black, smoking Nearly-Headless Nick. Peeves alerted the whole school, and a Hufflepuff called Ernie Macmillan claimed that Harry had been caught red-handed. For the first time, Harry was taken to Dumbledore's office, and there he witnessed Fawkes — Dumbledore's phoenix — bursting into ashes and being reborn. Dumbledore says that he did not believe Harry to be behind the attacks, a belief reinforced by Hagrid backing Harry's alibi, but a large portion of the school was sure that Harry was Slytherin's heir.

Disguised as Slytherins
Hermione Granger: "There might be a way. Of course, it would be difficult. And dangerous, very dangerous. We'd be breaking about fifty school rules, I expect… What we'd need to do is to get inside the Slytherin common room and ask Malfoy a few questions without him realising it's us."
Harry: "But that's impossible."
Hermione Granger: "No, it's not. All we'd need would be some Polyjuice Potion..."
— The trio planning to expose the Heir of Slytherin[src]

The trio brewing Polyjuice Potion in an attempt to gain information from Draco Malfoy, disguised as Slytherins

Harry, Ron, and Hermione all signed up to remain at the school during Christmas, since Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle had done so as well. This gave them the perfect opportunity to use their Polyjuice potion. When Christmas arrived they drugged Crabbe and Goyle via chocolate cakes, took their hairs and assumed their forms. Hermione tried to use a hair she thought belonged to Millicent Bulstrode, but it was actually her cat's and Hermione was transformed into a hybrid. Hermione was forced to spend a few weeks in the Hospital Wing.

Posing as Crabbe and Goyle, Harry and Ron interrogated an unsuspecting Malfoy and discovered that Draco was not the Heir of Slytherin. They also heard that the last time the Chamber was opened, a Muggle-born girl died and whoever was responsible was expelled. During the interrogation Malfoy also mentioned Dumbledore and Harry. He relayed his negative opinion of them, stating that Dumbledore was the worst thing to happen to Hogwarts. Malfoy also mentioned his father's secret stash of illegal artefacts that was kept within Malfoy Manor.

The trio discussing possible theories behind Tom Riddle's mysterious diary

Weeks later, Ron and Harry overheard Argus Filch complaining about his workload and leaving. They arrive at Myrtle Warren's bathroom to find it flooded. A sulking ghost, Myrtle explained that she had flooded it because somebody threw a diary at her. Harry picked it up; it turned out to have belonged to a T.M. Riddle and appeared to be completely blank. Ron remembered from his detention that Riddle had won an award for special service to the school fifty years before. Hermione deduced that since this coincided with the last time the Chamber was opened, Tom Riddle might have received his prize for catching whoever was responsible for the attacks back then. Even though all attempts to extract information from the diary failed, Harry felt a strange compulsion to keep it.

On Valentine's Day, Ron and Harry were dismayed to learn that Lockhart had spread dwarves dressed as cupids throughout the school to receive and deliver Valentines. One cupid-dwarf managed to deliver one to Harry. While struggling to avoid him, the embarrassed Harry tripped and fell, spilling ink all over the contents of his bag. Ginny noticed the diary and assumed a horrified expression.

The secret diary
"Harry saw at once that it was a diary, and the faded year on the cover told him it was fifty years old. He opened it eagerly. On the first page he could just make out the name "T M. Riddle" in smudged ink."
— Harry coming across the diary of Tom Riddle[src]

Later, Harry realised that even though the ink was spilled all over the diary, it was not stained at all. He tried writing to the diary and, to his surprise, the diary — or rather T.M. Riddle — began to write back. Riddle explained that he was the one who caught the person who opened the Chamber of Secrets the last time, and he could show Harry what happened. Harry agreed and got sucked into a "recording" of Riddle's memory.

Diary Riddle showing Harry a selected memory of his

Harry witnessed the school's previous headmaster, Armando Dippet, informing Riddle that the school would be closed and Riddle, apprehensive of this, catching Rubeus Hagrid fiddling with a large spider in a box. Riddle reported Hagrid to Dippet. During the memory, Harry also learned that Riddle was an orphan that did not want to go back to the orphanage, and his full name was Tom Marvolo Riddle. Having seen this, Harry wondered whether Hagrid was the one who opened the Chamber fifty years before and whether he was responsible this time. This was exactly what Riddle wanted.

Harry's possessions were ransacked by a fellow Gryffindor in search of Tom Riddle's diary

Harry, Ron, and Hermione decided not to ask Hagrid about it, hoping that the attacks had stopped — and indeed, almost four months after the attack on Justin and Nearly-Headless Nick, the disembodied voice kept quiet and the attacks seemed to have ceased. However, odd things kept happening: Harry returned to his dormitory one day to find it a mess. Ron deduced that somebody had been looking for something, and Harry eventually noticed that Tom Riddle's diary was gone. This greatly befuddled them, seeing as only a Gryffindor could know the password to enter the dormitory.

Cornelius Fudge
Rubeus Hagrid: "If anyone wanted ter find out some stuff, all they'd have ter do would be ter follow the spiders. That'd lead 'em right. That's all I'm sayin'."
Ron Weasley: "We're in trouble now. No Dumbledore. They might as well close the school tonight. There'll be an attack a day with him gone."
— Hagrid's clue before he was taken to Azkaban[src]

The next day, the scheduled Quidditch match between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff was cancelled due to yet another attack and Harry heard the voice again. This time, Minerva McGonagall called for Harry and Ron personally, and led them to the Hospital Wing, where they saw Hermione petrified. She was found near the library with a Ravenclaw prefect, inexplicably holding a small, circular mirror. This removed Harry as a suspect in the eyes of many of the students, as they knew he would never harm Hermione. Some students even offered him an apology, such as Ernie Macmillan.

Harry and Ron visiting Hagrid right before he was taken to Azkaban

Harry and Ron decided they now must talk to Hagrid. With the now constant supervision on students, this was not easy, but they managed to do it by using Harry's Invisibility Cloak. When they reach Hagrid's cabin, Harry and Ron managed to hide just before Dumbledore and Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge arrived at the scene. Fudge announced that Hagrid, who to the best of his knowledge opened the Chamber of Secrets the last time, would be sent to wizard prison Azkaban as a precaution.

They were shortly joined by Lucius Malfoy, who declared that he and the other Hogwarts governors unanimously voted to suspend Dumbledore, despite the obvious logic that this would only worsen the situation. Both Hagrid and Dumbledore gave last words, but Hagrid covertly suggested to Harry and Ron that if they want the truth, they should "follow the spiders", and Dumbledore said that he would only truly have left the school when none there remained loyal to him. He also stressed that if anybody at Hogwarts needed help, it would always be available.

Visit to Aragog's lair
Aragog: "The thing that lives in the castle is an ancient creature we spiders fear above all others."
Harry: "What is it?"
Aragog: "We do not speak of it! We do not name it!"
— Discussion of the monster within the chamber[src]

Harry and Ron decided to follow the spiders as per Hagrid's advice. Walking along the trails of the spiders, which were strangely all fleeing Hogwarts, they went into the Forbidden Forest. Even though Ron was deeply arachnophobic, the fact that Hermione had been petrified and that they may be able to help through this investigation gave him the willpower to go along anyway. There, they encountered the Ford Anglia, which had apparently taken to driving through the forest like some sort of wild animal.

Harry and Ron following the spiders, which led them to Aragog

They eventually meet Aragog, a giant spider which had been the monster that Hagrid had been "caught" setting on other students fifty years ago. Aragog explained that Hagrid was innocent, but rather than letting Harry and Ron go, he decided to leave them as dinner for his children. Mr Weasley's Ford Anglia came blasting through the layers of spiders, however, and assisted the boys' escape.

After this, Harry and Ron felt that they had reached dead ends everywhere, until one possible last hope occurred to them. Aragog said the monster's last victim died in a bathroom, and it occurred to Harry that Myrtle Warren might have been that victim. Of course, with the school under such security, it would be almost impossible to sneak in the girls' bathroom near where the first attack occurred.

The last attack
— The final message on the wall[src]

Later that same day, Harry and Ron managed to trick Lockhart — who was leading them to their next class — into letting them go by stroking his ego. Just as they patted themselves on the back, they were caught by Professor McGonagall, and Harry had to make up an excuse — they were going to see Hermione in the Hospital Wing, where visitors were now barred. They now had to go along to make their story appear convincing, but rather than simply hanging around Hermione's petrified form, this time Harry noticed a piece of paper tightly clutched in her hand.

Hermione Granger and the other petrified students being visited by Harry and Ron

This piece of paper revealed what Hermione had found out before she was attacked. She discovered, based on strong circumstantial evidence, that the monster in the Chamber of Secrets was a Basilisk (a giant slithering serpent capable of feeding on human and animal aura to cause petrifaction and death to anyone near it via direct eye contact), which explained why only Harry could hear it. But none of its victims died because they did not look directly at its gaze: Colin Creevey saw it through his camera, Justin Finch-Fletchley saw it through Nearly-Headless Nick (who was already dead), Mrs Norris saw its reflection in the waters from the flooded bathroom, and Hermione used a mirror to look around corners after figuring things out. There was also a note about how spiders feared the Basilisk (which explained them fleeing Hogwarts) and the rooster's call being potentially fatal to it (which explained Hagrid's roosters having been mysteriously killed during the year). This summed up the year's events.

The message written on the wall after Ginevra Weasley was taken into the Chamber of Secrets

On the note was also scribbled a single word, "pipes", which meant that the serpent moved around through the plumbing. Having solved the mystery, Harry and Ron decided to go to the staff room and report to the teachers. When they got there, they overheard the teachers talking about another attack that had occurred. Harry and Ron decided to hide to hear more details, and learning that Ginny had been kidnapped and the heir of Slytherin had left another message under the previous one: Harry and Ron also heard that Hogwarts would be closed the following day. The teachers then forced Lockhart to deal with the monster, as he had been claiming that he could handle whatever was responsible for the attacks, irritating the rest of the staff to no end. Looking very crestfallen, he left for his room.

Discovery in the bathroom
Moaning Myrtle: "I died in this very stall. I remember it so well... The door was locked, and I was crying, and then I heard somebody come in. They said something funny. A different language, I think it must have been. Anyway, what really got me was that it was a boy speaking. So I unlocked the door, to tell him to go and use his own toilet, and then — I died."
Harry: "How?"
Moaning Myrtle: "No idea. I just remember seeing a pair of great, big, yellow eyes."
— Myrtle's death after she met the deadly gaze of Slytherin's Basilisk[src]

That night, Harry and Ron felt utterly useless and helpless, until it occurred to Harry that if the serpent used the plumbing to get around and the last time the chamber was opened a girl died, then the chamber entrance must be in the bathroom that Myrtle Warren haunted. Harry and Ron decided that if Lockhart was going to deal with the monster, they might as well tell him what they knew. They went to his room, only to find him frantically packing, having decided to run away. When questioned on why such a talented wizard as himself was leaving, Lockhart admitted that he was a fraud and that he put Memory Charms on the people who really did the things that he claimed to have done in his books.

Harry, Ron, and Lockhart discovering the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets

He then attempted to put a memory charm on Harry and Ron as well. They managed to disarm him and under wand threats took him to Myrtle Warren's bathroom. Harry then asked Moaning Myrtle about her death, which she happily explained. She stated that the last thing she saw was a pair of enormous eyes by one of the sinks. This sink incidentally had a tap that had never worked. Harry came to the conclusion that the tap can only be opened by the use of Parseltongue. He found a snake carved on the tap and then opened the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets.

The entrance into the main section of the chamber

Harry, Ron, and Lockhart slid down a large pipe and found themselves in maze-like tunnels far under the school. Down there, they encountered a snake skin left by the Basilisk. Just then, Lockhart feigned fainting and stole Ron's wand. Victoriously proclaiming that he would erase Harry and Ron's memories and tell everybody that they lost their sanity at the sight of Ginny's mangled body, Lockhart attempted a spell. Ron's broken wand caused the charm to backfire, erasing Lockhart's memory and causing a portion of the ceiling to cave in. This trapped Harry in the direction of the chamber and Ron in the direction of the castle. Ron had no choice but to stay behind and clear a path through the rocks while Harry continued in search of Ginny. Harry then encountered a wall with stone snakes on it, opened it by speaking Parseltongue, and entered the Chamber itself.

The Chamber of Secrets
Harry: "Why do you care how I escaped? Voldemort was after your time..."
Tom Riddle: "Voldemort is my past, present, and future, Harry Potter..."
— Tom Riddle revealing that he was in fact Lord Voldemort[src]

Harry in the entrance chamber of the Chamber of Secrets

Inside, he found Ginny lying on the ground, pale and cold. He dropped his wand and ran to her, trying to get a response from her, but to no avail. He then saw Tom Riddle smiling at him and holding Harry's wand. Riddle explained his presence in the present by revealing that he was a memory, which had been preserved in his diary for fifty years.

He then explained what had happened. Riddle had opened the Chamber of Secrets fifty years ago and planned to purge the school of Muggle-borns and half-bloods; however, when he learned that the school was going to close down due to the attacks and that Dumbledore (then the Transfiguration teacher) was keeping a closer and closer watch on him, he had no choice but to cease the attacks and frame Hagrid for doing it. Not wanting to waste all the years he had spent on figuring out where the Chamber was and how to get to it, he left behind a diary containing the memory of his sixteen-year-old self in hopes that it would, one day, fall into the hands of an unsuspecting victim who would help him finish his work.

Harry and an unconscious Ginny in the main chamber, with Riddle watching

Ginny had been writing in the diary all year. Riddle had written back sympathetically and Ginny grew to confess her fears, hopes, and feelings to him. She essentially poured some of her soul into him, which was exactly what he wanted. He gradually grew more powerful and eventually managed to pour some of his soul back into her, possessing her and using her body to open the chamber and launch the new series of attacks.

However, Ginny eventually became suspicious of the diary and decided to get rid of it by flushing it down the toilet in Myrtle Warren's bathroom. This is when Harry found it. When Ginny saw Harry with the diary on Valentine's Day, she panicked and worried that Riddle had told all of her secrets to Harry, so she stole it back from Harry's dormitory. It began taking control of her again, but this time with the intention of killing Harry, so he had Ginny write her own farewell on the wall and come down to wait, luring Harry to the rescue and, consequently, his doom.

I am Lord Voldemort

Riddle then asked how Harry managed to defeat the Dark Wizard Lord Voldemort as a mere baby. Harry asks Riddle why he cares, as Voldemort existed after his time. Riddle replies that Voldemort was his "past, present and future." He then wrote his name in the air with Harry's wand: TOM MARVOLO RIDDLE Riddle then waved the wand and the letters rearrange themselves into I AM LORD VOLDEMORT. Needless to say, this meant that Riddle grew up to become Lord Voldemort. Riddle then revealed he was, in fact, a half-blood, and his mother had named him Tom after his Muggle father and Marvolo after his wizard grandfather, a descendant of Salazar Slytherin. He scrambled his "filthy Muggle father's name" to create a new one, which he knew that people would fear when he became the most powerful wizard in the world.

Battling the Basilisk
"Let's match the power of Lord Voldemort, Heir of Salazar Slytherin, against the famous Harry Potter."
— Tom Riddle unleashing the Basilisk[src]

Harry retorted that he must be mistaken, because the greatest wizard in the world, as everybody knew, was not Voldemort, but Dumbledore. Even when Voldemort was at the peak of his power, he was afraid of Dumbledore, and now he was barely alive. Riddle angrily answered that Dumbledore had been driven out the castle by the mere memory of him. Harry yelled that Dumbledore was not as gone as Riddle seemed to believe. In this display of loyalty, he summoned Fawkes the phoenix to him, who also brought with him the Sorting Hat, both assets that Riddle deems extremely useless.

Harry slaying Slytherin's Basilisk with the Sword of Gryffindor

Riddle then summoned the Basilisk and commanded it to kill Harry. However, Fawkes was not as defenceless as one might initially think, and pecked out the Basilisk's eyes, thus preventing its gaze from killing. The Basilisk could still smell Harry, however, and remained very dangerous; in desperation, Harry put on the Sorting Hat, wishing against hope for help. Instead of an answer, Harry had a heavy sword with a hilt embedded with rubies fall on his head from inside the hat. After several missed strikes from the blinded Basilisk, Harry plunged the sword into the roof of its mouth, killing it. However, one of its poisonous fangs sank into his arm, injecting a deadly poison. While Riddle gloated over his "win", Fawkes proceeded to cry on the wound and Harry was instantly cured.

Harry stabbing Tom Riddle's diary with a Basilisk fang (unknowingly destroying one of Voldemort's Horcruxes)

Harry then stabbed the diary three times with the Basilisk fang to rid himself of Riddle, unknowingly destroying one of Voldemort's Horcruxes in the process. Riddle's manifestation exploded, therefore foiling his attempt to return to life. Ink began pouring out of the book and the memory of Riddle faded out of existence; Ginny immediately stirred and woke up, quite distraught. Harry and Ginny travelled back through the Chamber to find Ron and Lockhart, who had no idea of who or where he was.

Escaping the chamber
Ron Weasley: "He looks like he wants you to grab hold... But you're much too heavy for a bird to pull up there —"
Harry: "Fawkes isn't an ordinary bird."
— Harry and others escaping the chamber with the aid of Fawkes[src]

Harry, Ron, Ginny, and Lockhart grabbed onto Fawkes and flew out of the Chamber (another phoenix specialty). They returned to the castle to find Dumbledore, McGonagall, Arthur and Molly Weasley, who were delighted to see them alive. Harry worried that Ginny would get blamed for being the person behind the attacks, but to his great relief, Dumbledore rightly deduced that Voldemort was the culprit. After Ginny left to get a much-needed rest, Harry and Ron both received 200 house points each for Gryffindor and both got an Award for Special Services to the school. Dumbledore then gave Ron Hagrid's release paper for him to mail and then spoke with Harry alone.

Harry and Dumbledore talking after Harry slayed the Basilisk in the chamber

Harry expressed his concern that he belonged in Slytherin. Dumbledore revealed that Voldemort transferred some of his powers to Harry when he gave him his scar, explaining his ability to speak Parseltongue. He asked Harry why he thought the Sorting Hat put him in Gryffindor if he had so many Slytherin qualities, and Harry admitted that the only reason it did was because he had asked it to. Dumbledore confirmed this and told Harry that "it is our choices, rather than our abilities, that reveal who we truly are". He also commended Harry for showing him real loyalty in the Chamber, for only that could have called Fawkes to his aid. He pointed out to the sword Harry had drawn out of the hat — Harry now noticed it had Godric Gryffindor's name on it. Dumbledore said that only a true Gryffindor would be able to draw it out.

Dobby's reward
Lucius Malfoy: "You lost me my servant!"
Dobby: "You shall not harm Harry Potter!"
— Dobby defending Harry after the latter freed him from servitude[src]

Lucius Malfoy barged into Dumbledore's office, outraged that Dumbledore had returned to the school after being dismissed. Dumbledore calmly responded that the governors had asked him to return once they heard that Arthur Weasley's daughter was attacked. They apparently had been blackmailed by Lucius to vote for Dumbledore's dismissal in the first place on pain of Lucius cursing their families. Dobby followed Lucius into the room, thus showing that his masters were the Malfoys.

Harry freeing Dobby from his enslavement

Dumbledore and Malfoy had a calm and venomous interchange (respectively), during which Dumbledore and Harry (with the help of Dobby's unspoken hints) essentially exposed Lucius sneaking Riddle's diary (one of his illegal artefacts) into Ginny's school things during the fight with Arthur at Flourish and Blotts. This was supposed to frame Ginny for the attacks, with heavy implications on the Muggle Protection Act that Arthur Weasley had been suggesting. Malfoy dared Dumbledore to prove his accusation, and while the Headmaster has insufficient evidence to do that, he cautioned Malfoy against orchestrating further such plots.

Knowing that a master could release his house-elf by giving them some clothes, Harry tricked Malfoy into freeing Dobby by giving Malfoy one of his own socks, which he promptly threw away, and was caught by Dobby. After discovering Harry's trick, Malfoy attempted to kill Harry, only to be stopped by Dobby. Dobby thanked Harry dearly for freeing him and left. At the ending feast, Dumbledore announced his school treat of cancelling all final exams (much to Hermione's dismay) and that Lockhart would not return to Hogwarts.

Third year

Hermione Granger: "Sirius Black escaped to come after you? Oh, Harry... you'll have to be really, really careful. don't go looking for trouble, Harry..."
Harry: "I don't go looking for trouble. Trouble usually finds me."
Ron Weasley: "How thick would Harry have to be, to go looking for a nutter who wants to kill him?"
— Harry, Ron and Hermione discussing Sirius Black's escape[src]
Inflation accident

Harry in his bedroom reading a Daily Prophet article

Harry's third year in 1993 started out almost as bad as the year prior, and gradually got depressing. Throughout the preceding summer, the Dursleys became fearful of his magical abilities getting exposed that they banned him from talking to the neighbours immediately after his return home to them. They even went as far as punishing him for giving their phone number to his friends, as evident to Harry getting reprimanded by Uncle Vernon when the latter received a call from Ron.

This, however, did not stop Harry from studying magic every night by sneaking his school supplies and hiding them in his room one night while Aunt Petunia and Dudley were out admiring Vernon's new company car. Furthermore, he had little contact with his friends nor any news from the wizarding world since the phone incident, but Hedwig was allowed out of her padlocked cage because the Dursleys could no longer take the noise she made in boredom.

On 31 July (Harry's thirteenth birthday), which might have made the Dursleys forget about his birthday, for they were too busy preparing for a visit from Aunt Marge. The sight of a copy of the Daily Prophet among the mail from Errol interested Harry, as it said that Ron had returned from a trip to Egypt to visit his oldest brother Bill Weasley (a Curse-Breaker of Gringotts) for which Arthur Weasley paid using seven hundred galleons he won in the Daily Prophet Grand Prize Galleon Draw. The article also showcased a picture of the Weasleys standing in front of a pyramid. It was there that Ron bought Harry the most fascinating present: a Sneakoscope, which was sold for tourists. He also received birthday presents from Hermione and Hagrid as well.

An enraged Harry inflating Marge Dursley

When his Hogsmeade permission form was delivered, Harry was worried of the trouble he'll probably go through in order to persuade his aunt or uncle to sign it. They agreed to do so the next morning, but only if he behaved during Marge's visit. However, Marge began insulting the memory of Harry's mother at the dinner table three days later, describing her as a "bad egg" who ran off with a "scoundrel" and left the Dursleys with Harry as the "result in front of them". Harry lost his temper to this, inadvertently making Marge's wine glass explode.

The insults transitioned to his father on the final day of her visit, making him very upset to such extent that he ended up losing all control of his magic powers and accidentally inflated her with the Inflating Charm. Vernon ordered his nephew to put Marge back the way she was, but Harry said no and instead packed up his school things and left the house. He fled out of fear of being expelled from Hogwarts by the Ministry of Magic, for using underage magic outside school, something he had already been warned about.

Later that night, Harry was picked up off the curb of Magnolia Crescent by the triple-decker wizard transport the Knight Bus, which was sent to drive him as two members of the Ministry's Accidental Magic Reversal Squad were dispatched to deflate and Obliviate Marge. During the ride to the Leaky Cauldron, the bus' conductor Stan Shunpike gave him a copy of the Daily Prophet with its front page story being about the Ministry's continuing struggle to recapture Sirius Black, a convicted Voldemort supporter who recently escaped from the wizard prison Azkaban (the first person ever to have done so) after spending twelve years there for the mass-murder of thirteen people with a single Blasting Curse.

Minister Cornelius Fudge personally seeing that Harry was safe

They arrived at their destination to find a relieved-looking Cornelius Fudge waiting at the restaurant door to welcome Harry in for a meeting. To Harry's relief though, the Minister for Magic took no action against him since accidental uses of magic did not count as a violation to the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery, but described the choice of running away as very irresponsible despite it putting the Ministry in a right flap. As a generous measure, Fudge booked the young wizard a room in the Leaky Cauldron Inn for the rest of the summer, though this made something about Fudge's tone spike Harry's suspicion.

Stay at the Leaky Cauldron
Molly Weasley: "But no one's really sure that Black's after Harry."
Arthur Weasley: "The guards told Fudge that Blacks been talking in his sleep for a while now. Always the same words: 'He's at Hogwarts... he's at Hogwarts.' Black is deranged, Molly, and he wants Harry dead."
— Harry finding out that Sirius Black supposedly wanted him dead[src]

When finished with his exploration of Diagon Alley for school supplies three weeks later, Harry found Ron and Hermione looking all over for him at Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour four days afterwards while the Weasleys were booking a room at the inn. They already heard of his inflation of Marge, and while Ron thought it funny, Hermione was amazed to learn that Harry was not expelled and wondered why Fudge really let him off the hook. Ron, however, was more concerned for his pet rat Scabbers, who was looking very ill since he was brought back from Egypt (possibly due to the stress of the trip), so he and Harry went over to the Magical Menagerie to buy a bottle of rat tonic for him.

Crookshanks in Magical Menagerie right before being purchased by Hermione

While in Diagon Alley, Harry found it very interesting to learn from the saleswoman behind the counter that most rats have an expected life span of three years. He found this odd, since Scabbers originally belonged to Ron's older brother Percy Weasley. Thus Scabbers lived much longer than Ron could remember, at least 12 years. As Ron declined the Saleswoman's offer to buy a sleek black rat as a replacement, a half-Kneazle cat named Crookshanks tried to attack Scabbers, who scurried away to hide in a wastepaper bin outside Quality Quidditch Supplies with his owner and Harry following. Hermione spent the early birthday money from her parents to buy the tonic and Crookshanks, much to Ron's displeasure.

Arthur Weasley warning Harry of the danger that he was possibly in

When the rat tonic was misplaced somewhere around the Leaky Cauldron salon later that night, Harry volunteered to search for it there while Ron was busy helping Percy search for his new Head Boy badge in their room at the inn. But the conversation which a worried Molly Weasley was having with her husband soon caught his attention, so Harry listened to what they were saying about Sirius Black's escape, and what connection it had to Harry himself. According to Mr Weasley, when Voldemort met his downfall, Black lost everything he hoped to gain, but to that day he remained a faithful servant to the Dark Lord's cause.

The Ministry feared that the killer's motive was to use Harry to return his master to full strength, as evident to the report from Fudge's inspection of Azkaban saying that Black was repeatedly muttering "He's at Hogwarts" in his sleep. This shook Harry a little to the realisation that Fudge let him go because he was relieved to see Harry all right after running away. Though he was convinced that Hogwarts was a a safe haven because of the presence of Albus Dumbledore, the senior Weasleys agreed that Black could break into the school if he could break out of his Azkaban.

Delay on the Hogwarts Express
"Standing in the doorway, illuminated by the shivering flames in Lupin's hand, was a cloaked figure that towered to the ceiling. Its face was completely hidden beneath its hood. Harry's eyes darted downward, and what he saw made his stomach contract... And then the thing beneath the hood, whatever it was, drew a long, slow, rattling breath, as though it were trying to suck something more than air from its surroundings. An intense cold swept over them all."
— Harry's first encounter with a guard of Azkaban[src]

A Dementor entering the trio, Neville, and Ginny's compartment

When they got onto Platform 9¾, Mr Weasley moved Harry aside to tell him not to go looking for Black, but Harry claimed that he would never look for someone who wanted him killed. He, Ron, and Hermione found only one empty compartment on the Hogwarts Express, but had to share with a friend of Harry's parents, Remus Lupin, who was recently appointed Hogwarts' new Defence Against the Dark Arts professor.

As Harry told his friends of what he heard about Black coming after him until, the train stopped almost halfway to Hogwarts, letting one of the Dementors (a gliding wraith capable of feeding on human happiness to cause depression and madness to anyone near it via mental energy draining) used as the Azkaban guards aboard to determine if Black himself was hiding on it. At some point Ginny and Neville entered the trio's compartment, as the presence of the Dementors frightened them. Lupin managed to drive the Dementor off with a disguised Patronus.

A Dementor sucking all the happiness out of Harry

Only Harry and Ginny Weasley were the most affected by the creature (since he had the worst past involving the night Voldemort killed his parents, and she had the worst experience of being under the control of the sentient memory within Voldemort's old school diary the year before), and were about to fall victim to its fatal kiss when Lupin cast a Patronus Charm which drove it away. Harry fainted to the sound of his mother screaming, but recovered when Lupin gave him a piece of chocolate to feel better and sent a letter ahead to Professor Minerva McGonagall saying he was ill.

Elective classes
"There were, however, things that Harry needed to buy. He went to the Apothecary to replenish his store of potions ingredients, and as his school robes were now several inches too short in the arm and leg, he visited Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions and bought new ones. Most important of all, he had to buy his new schoolbooks, which would include those for his two new subjects, Care of Magical Creatures and Divination."
— Harry buying his third-year school supplies[src]

Harry's first Divination lesson involving tea leaves

Lessons started the next day. Harry, Ron and Hermione headed to the North Tower for their first Divination lesson. They met Sybill Trelawney, who predicted future events using tea leaves. Harry saw a black dog in his tea cup, which Trelawney identified as the Grim, the omen of death.[94] This worried Harry, as he remembered the black dog he saw when he ran away. While in Transfiguration, Professor Minerva McGonagall assured Harry that Trelawney had predicted the deaths of a number of students, none of whom have died.[94]

Harry's first Care of Magical Creatures lessons involving hippogriffs

For one, Hermione was taking nearly twice as many classes, including some taught at the same time. While Lupin's lessons were enjoyable, Hagrid's soon became dreary. In their Care of Magical Creatures lesson, Hagrid taught them about Hippogriffs. Although initially nervous, Harry successfully approached and rode a grey hippogriff named Buckbeak. During the first lesson, Draco Malfoy deliberately provoked the Buckbeak into attacking him.[94]

This in turn cased Draco to tell his father of the provoked attack. Lucius Malfoy, then filed a complaint against Hagrid. Lucius filed this complaint with the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, more specifically the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures. Meanwhile, tensions grew between Hermione and Ron over Crookshanks's continuing habit of trying to harm Scabbers.

Sirius Black's first break-in
"Oh yes, Professorhead, he got very angry when she wouldn't let him, you see. Nasty temper he's got, that Sirius Black."
Peeves to Professor Dumbledore regarding the Fat Lady[src]

Lupin jumping in front of Harry's Boggart which had transformed into a Dementor

Harry learnt that Black had been sighted near Hogwarts. During a Potions lesson, Malfoy hinted that Black may be connected to Harry's past. In Defence Against the Dark Arts, Lupin taught the third-years about Boggarts, shape-shifters that took the shape of a person's worst fear. The class then took on the Boggart, forcing it to assume a shape they find amusing. When it came to Harry's turn he was sure the Boggart would turn into a Dementor but Lupin jumped in and repeled the Boggart for him.[95] Faced by Lupin, the Boggart took the shape of a bright glowing orb. Harry was disappointed that Lupin did not let him fight the Boggart, thinking that Lupin felt he was not up to the task.

In October, the Gryffindor Quidditch team practised hard for the upcoming Quidditch season, especially since this was their team captain Oliver Wood's final year at Hogwarts. Oliver believed that despite the misfortune which occurred during the previous two years their team should be able to win the Quidditch Cup before he graduates. Third-years were also visiting Hogsmeade on Hallowe'en, and only Harry was not allowed, because his uncle did not sign his permission form. Harry spent the day in Lupin's office, drinking tea with him. Lupin told him that he did not let Harry face the Boggart because he did not want the Boggart to become Lord Voldemort.[96] Shortly afterwards, Snape appeared with a mysterious potion for Lupin. Lupin claimed to simply have an illness, and that he was aided by the potion.

Fat Lady portrait slashed by Sirius Black

A few hours later, Ron and Hermione returned from Hogsmeade. They reached the portrait of the Fat Lady and saw that it was slashed and that the Fat Lady was gone. Using his Animagus form, Sirius was able to enter the castle undetected. He made his way unseen all the way up to the entrance of Gryffindor Tower and changed back to his true form. However, The Fat Lady would not let him in without the password. Frustrated, Black slashed her portrait and fled. Peeves revealed Black to be the attacker, and that he had seen the Fat Lady fleeing through other portraits. Albus Dumbledore, Percy Weasley, and Argus Filch then went to locate her.[96]

Maurader's Map
George Weasley: "This, Harry, is the secret of our success."
Fred Weasley: "It's a wrench, giving it to you, but we decided last night, your need's greater than ours."
George Weasley: "Anyway, we know it off by heart. We bequeath it to you. We don't really need it anymore."
Harry: "And what do I need with a bit of old parchment?"
Fred Weasley: "A bit of old parchment! Explain, George."
— Harry being given the Marauder's Map[src]

During the last weekend before the holidays, while the eligible students visited Hogsmeade, Harry was yet again not able to go. To bring some Christmas cheer to Harry, Fred and George revealed that they knew secret passages in and out of Hogwarts. They gave Harry the Marauder's Map as a Christmas present and instructed him on how to use it. It showed Hogwarts' secret passages, corridors, classrooms, offices, common rooms, etc., as well as every person's location within the castle and the grounds.

Harry using the map to sneak off to Hogsmeade

Harry used the Marauder's Map to sneak into Hogsmeade. He then met Ron and Hermione in Honeydukes, where they were discussing what kind of sweets to get Harry. They visited the Three Broomsticks, a pub run by Madam Rosmerta. When Cornelius Fudge, Minerva McGonagall, Filius Flitwick, and Rubeus Hagrid arrived, Harry hide underneath their table to avoid being seen. Harry used a tunnel to sneak into Hogsmeade village.

While sneaking back into the school, he overheard a disturbing conversation that had a severe impact on his mental state.[83] Sirius Black was his parents' best friend, and was his godfather and legal guardian. Black was the Potters' Secret Keeper and he allegedly divulged the Potters' secret whereabouts to Lord Voldemort and murdered their friend Peter Pettigrew, as well as twelve Muggle bystanders. Peter left a finger to prove that he had been killed with the twelve Muggles.[83]

The Firebolt
"It was a Firebolt, identical to the dream broom Harry had gone to see every day in Diagon Alley. Its handle glitteredas he picked it up. He could feel it vibrating and let go; it hung in midair, unsupported, at exactly the right height for him to mount it. His eyes moved from the golden registration number at the top of the handle, right down to the perfectly smooth, streamlined birch twigs that made up the tail."
— Harry receiving a Firebolt for Christmas from Sirius Black[src]

Harry receiving a Firebolt for Christmas that was shortly confiscated by McGonagall

After several Dementors approached Harry during a Quidditch match, causing him to faint and fall off his broomstick. Albus Dumbledore stopped Harry's fall, but his Nimbus 2000 flew into the Whomping Willow and was destroyed, much to Harry's dismay. At Christmas, Harry received a new, superb Firebolt broomstick, although Hermione suspected Black was the anonymous donor. She reported it to Professor Minerva McGonagall, who confiscated the broom for testing.[97]

Harry and Ron were furious with Hermione and they stopped speaking to her. When the broom was returned some months later, the two boys tried to make up with her, but it went wrong when Ron discovered Scabbers was missing. Ron blamed Crookshanks because he found cat hairs and blood on his dormitory floor. The perceived loss of Scabbers upset Ron greatly, the twins and Harry were unable to cheer Ron up.[98]

The Patronus
Remus Lupin: "So... The spell I am going to try and teach you is highly advanced magic, Harry — well beyond Ordinary Wizarding Level. It is called the Patronus Charm."
Harry Potter: "How does it work?"
Remus Lupin: "Well, when it works correctly, It conjures up a Patronus, which is a kind of anti-Dementor — a guardian that acts as a shield between you and the Dementor. The Patronus is a kind of positive force, a projection of the very things that the Dementor feeds upon — hope, happiness, the desire to survive — but it cannot feel despair, as real humans can, so the Dementors can't hurt it. But I must warn you, Harry, that the charm might be too advanced for you. Many qualified wizards have difficulty with it."
— Remus Lupin explaining the Patronus Charm[src]

Lupin and Harry's anti-Dementor lessons, during which Harry produced an incorporeal Patronus

Harry started his lessons with Lupin. Lupin told Harry that the spell to drive off Dementors is called the Patronus Charm. Lupin then instructed him in how to cast one, and lets him practise on a Boggart. Harry failed to produce a Patronus at first. This, however, was to be expected; the Patronus Charm was well beyond O.W.L. standard. During his first lesson, Harry learned that Lupin was a friend of his father James during their days at Hogwarts, and that he knew Sirius Black as well.[98]

By February, Harry had became quite good at producing a Patronus after a few lessons, but did not master it entirely. At the end of a lesson, Lupin explained the concept of a Dementor's Kiss and revealed that it would be Black's punishment, as an article in the Daily Prophet confirmed that the Ministry gave the Dementors permission to use the Kiss on Black when they find him. While thinking about the horror of the punishment, Harry ran into McGonagall on his way back to Gryffindor Tower. McGonagall gave Harry back the Firebolt, which had been proven not to be jinxed, and suggested that he practise with it before the match.[98]

Harry letting Ron ride his Firebolt around the Quidditch pitch

Harry met up with Ron and they decided to go make up with Hermione. Outside Gryffindor Tower, they bumped into Neville who was in trouble because he lost a list. After the pair let him in, Neville told Harry and Ron that he made a list of the passwords for Gryffindor Tower because Sir Cadogan was still changing them twice a day but somehow they got lost. Harry attempted to patch things up with Hermione but Scabbers disappeared after they arrived at Gryffindor Tower, ruining any chance for Ron and Hermione's reconciliation.[98]

Harry winning the Quidditch Cup for Gryffindor

As March arrived, a new Quidditch match approached: Gryffindor vs. Ravenclaw. Harry spent the last practice session before the match getting used to his Firebolt. During the game, just as Harry was about to catch the Snitch, fourth-year Seeker Cho Chang screamed. Harry looked around and saw three Dementors in the stands. He reacted instantly, sending a full-fledged Patronus at the Dementors. Harry caught the Snitch before Cho Chang, which led to Gryffindor winning the match. Gryffindor would later play Slytherin and win the Quidditch Cup.[99]

Cat, rat, and dog
Sirius Black: "Going to kill me, Harry?"
Harry Potter: "You killed my parents."
Sirius Black: "I don't deny it... But if you knew the whole story."
— The trio confronting Sirius Black inside the Shrieking Shack[src]

After Harry completed his Divination exam, Professor Trelawney entered a trance and predicted that the Dark Lord's servant would return to him that night. Harry and Ron finally made peace with Hermione, but the trio soon learned that Buckbeak would be executed. When they visited Hagrid to console him, Scabbers appeared, and Ron picked him up. Cornelius Fudge, Albus Dumbledore and the executioner were making their way to Hagrid's hut, and Harry, Ron, and Hermione made their way out the back door.

Sirius Black capturing Ron and dragging him to the Whomping Willow

As they were walking up the path, they thought they heard Buckbeak executed, when all of a sudden, Scabbers bit Ron, and Ron chased him to the Whomping Willow. A large dog attacked Ron and dragged him and Scabbers into a hole at the tree's base. Harry and Hermione followed, finding a tunnel leading to the Shrieking Shack. Inside, Harry confronted Sirius Black, who, as an unregistered, and therefore illegal, Animagus, could transform into an animal at will.

The Prisoner of Azkaban
"The Dark Lord lies alone and friendless, abandoned by his followers. His servant has been chained these twelve years. Tonight, before midnight... the servant will break free and set out to rejoin his master. The Dark Lord will rise again with his servant's aid, greater and more terrible than ever he was. Tonight... before midnight... the servant... will set out... to rejoin... his master."
— Professor Trelawney's second prediction[src]

The trio encountering Sirius Black in the Shrieking Shack

Lupin, who spotted the group on the Marauder's Map, suddenly burst in and embraced his old friend Black. Harry, Ron and Hermione refused to believe that Pettigrew was alive, pointing out that he was murdered by Black. Black denied this, and Lupin convinced him to tell Harry the truth of what happened. Lupin told the story about his time at Hogwarts; he had been bitten as a child, and Dumbledore took precautions for his stay at Hogwarts, having the Shrieking Shack and the passage leading to it built to provide Lupin with a safe place to transform.The Whomping Willow was planted on the entrance to the tunnel to prevent anyone from running into the transformed Lupin. The rumours that the Hogsmeade residents started about the Shack being haunted by violent ghosts were allowed to spread to keep people from guessing that it was actually a werewolf making those sounds.[100]

Eventually, Lupin's friends, Sirius, Pettigrew and James Potter, discovered Lupin's secret, and became Animagi to support him. Sirius became a dog to keep Lupin under control with James, and Pettigrew became a rat so he could disable the Willow by scurrying under its branches and touching a certain spot on its trunk. Lupin admitted that he has not told Dumbledore about Sirius being an Animagus, as it would have meant admitting that he had betrayed his trust and led three students into illegally becoming Animagi. He also revealed the reason for Snape's animosity towards him during the year: during their days at school, Sirius had played a near-fatal trick on Snape involving Lupin in his transformed form but James saved him. Snape thought both of them were involved with Sirius' trick. Just then, Snape arrived using Harry's Invisibility Cloak, which he had left at the foot of the Whomping Willow.[100]

Sirius and Lupin forcing Pettigrew back into human form

Snape was knocked out by Harry, Ron and, Hermione who all tried to disarm Snape at the same time. Harry was sceptical, until Black and Lupin forced Pettigrew back into his human form. This came as a huge shock to Harry, Ron, and Hermione. It was especially shocking to Ron, as Scabbers had been his pet for the last three years and had slept in their dormitory. Black then explained he discovered that Pettigrew was still alive and escaped Azkaban to seek revenge, as well as to make sure that Pettigrew could not harm Harry. Harry stopped Black and Lupin from murdering Pettigrew, believing that his father would not have wanted his two best friends to become killers.[79]

Saving the innocent
"f you succeed tonight, more than one innocent life may be spared."
— Dumbledore's parting words to Harry and Hermione[src]

As the group headed back to the castle, the full moon rose, causing Lupin to turn into a werewolf. During the ensuing commotion, Pettigrew escaped, while Sirius turned into his dog form to protect the others from Lupin. Lupin fled, leaving Black badly injured. As Dementors moved in to attack Black, Harry saw a mysterious figure in the distance cast a powerful stag-shaped Patronus, scattering the vicious creatures. Harry became convinced it was his father, or at least his father's spirit, who produced the Patronus. Black was then captured and taken to the castle where the Dementors intended to suck out his soul.

Harry and Hermione using the Time-Turner in order to save Buckbeak and Sirius Black

Hermione revealed to Harry that she was entrusted with a time-travelling device, called a Time-Turner, which was how she was able to attend so many classes. Prompted by Dumbledore, she and Harry travelled three hours into the past, watching themselves go through the night's previous events. They freed Buckbeak and returned to the Whomping Willow. As the Dementors were about to attack the "other" Harry and Sirius, Harry realised that the mysterious figure he saw earlier was actually himself. He cast the powerful Patronus that repelled the dementors. Harry and Hermione freed Black, who escaped on Buckbeak, as they rushed back to where they were before. As they saw Dumbledore exiting the hospital wing, they completed their journey.

Harry and Hermione rescuing Sirius and Buckbeak

After Sirius was revealed to have once again escaped, Severus Snape burst into the hospital wing and blamed Harry, but left when he was unable to convince anyone without any proof. Fudge said he would remove the Dementors because they tried to perform their kiss on Harry. Draco Malfoy was furious that Buckbeak escaped, while Hagrid was ecstatic. Professor Lupin resigned after Snape "accidentally" revealed that he was a werewolf. Harry the previous nights events Harry visited Lupin in his office, during which the map was returned to him.

When Harry told Dumbledore about Professor Trelawney's prophecy, Dumbledore encouraged him to not feel guilty about letting Pettigrew live. On the train back, Harry received a letter from Sirius, telling him that he sent him the Firebolt, and included a letter giving Harry permission to visit Hogsmeade. The letter was delivered by a small minute owl, which Sirius gives to Ron as a replacement for Scabbers. The owl was later named Pigwidgeon by Ginny.

Fourth year

"You have shown bravery beyond anything I could have expected of you."
— Dumbledore regarding Harry's ecape from Voldemort[src]
Journey to the Quidditch World Cup

Harry woke up from a nightmare at the Dursleys' house on Privet Drive. He experienced a vivid dream, regarding Muggle Frank Bryce. Bryce had learned of Voldemort's plans to reward Pettigrew for his help in capturing Bertha Jorkins. Jorkins was a Ministry employee, who Voldemort extracted information from before murdering. Frank was eventually discovered by Voldemort's snake Nagini. The Dark Lord, unhappy that the elderly gardener was spying on him, cast the Killing Curse, ending the elderly gardener's life. After which Harry woke up with his scar hurting and considered writing to his friends and even Dumbledore, but eventually decided to write a letter to Sirius. He did not mention the dream, just that his scar was hurting and planned to send the letter once Hedwig returned.

Harry and others watching Bill and Charlie joust with tables at The Burrow

The next day, a letter from Mrs Weasley addressed to the Dursleys arrived and she asked if Harry could join Hermione and the Weasley family to go to the Quidditch World Cup final between Ireland and Bulgaria. The letter upset Vernon and he intentionally said no, but one mention of Sirius Black was enough to convince him to let Harry go. Harry immediately wrote back to Ron and on Sunday afternoon, the Weasleys attempted to use Floo powder to access the Dursley household. They did this unaware that the Dursleys had an electric fireplace, which resulted in Mr Weasley destroying half the sitting room. One of the twins purposely dropped a Ton-Tongue Toffee as a means of product testing, which Dudley ate. Things only got worse form that point forward and resulted in Vernon throwing figurines at Mr Weasley.

Harry attends the 1994 Quidditch World Cup with Herrmione and the Weasleys

On 25 August, 1994 Harry, the Weasley family (besides Mrs Weasley), and Hermione Granger attended the Quidditch World Cup. At Stoatshead Hill, Cedric Diggory and his father, Amos joined them. Once at the camp grounds, they met Ludo Bagman, Barty Crouch Snr with his house-elf Winky, and many other Hogwarts students and their families, including: Seamus Finnigan, Dean Thomas, Oliver Wood, and Draco Malfoy. They were able to see the match between the Irish and Bulgarian national teams up close, because Harry, the Weasleys, and Hermione had seats in the Top Box, thanks to a favour Mr Weasley had done for Ludo Bagman. It was during this World Cup that Harry learned of the existence of foreign wizarding schools, something he had not given any thought to before the cup.

Reappearance of the Dark Mark
Harry: "Death Eaters? What are Death Eaters?"
Bill Weasley: "It's what You-Know-Who's supporters called themselves. I think we saw what's left of them tonight..."
— Discussion of the mysterious crowd[src]

Death Eaters causing a riot, attacking the Muggle Roberts family

The night after the match, while the Irish team's supporters were still celebrating, a group of black-cloaked, hooded figures held terrifying celebrations of their own by suspending the Muggle camp site manager and his family in air like twisted marionettes done via Levicorpus. They also proceeded to pillage and destroy everything in sight. On Mr Weasley's orders, Harry fled into the woods near the camp site, along with Ron, Hermione, Fred, George, and Ginny. The group was separated in the woods and the trio were on their own. In the chaos Harry had lost his wand, he speculated that it most have fallen out of his pocket at some point. The trio ran into Draco Malfoy in the woods, and he all but told them that his father was among the cloaked wizards. Malfoy also gave a nasty bit of advice to the trio regarding Hermione's blood status, saying that she would be safer out of the hooded figures' sight.

The reappearance of the Dark Mark at the 1994 Quidditch World Cup

Later, Harry learned that Barty Crouch Jnr had stolen his wand from his pocket. While in a clearing in the woods, Harry, Ron, and Hermione heard someone shout the incantation Morsmordre, casting the Dark Mark — a green skull with a snake protruding from its mouth like a tongue — into the sky. Although Harry did not immediately recognise its significance, he soon learned that the Dark Mark had evil implications. Then, Barty Crouch Snr, Amos Diggory, and other Ministry of Magic employees Apparated into the clearing and began to question Harry, Ron, and Hermione about the Dark Mark. After Harry mentioned he had heard another voice conjure the Dark Mark, the Ministry employees searched the area and found the house-elf Winky unconscious in the bushes. Since Harry's wand was found in Winky's hand, Mr Crouch fired her for bringing shame to his family.

"Mad-Eye" Moody
"Not pleasant. And there's no counter-curse. There's no blocking it. Only one known person has ever survived it, and he's sitting right in front of me"
— Harry was the only known survivor of the Killing Curse[src]

At the Hogwarts start-of-term feast, Professor Dumbledore announced that Hogwarts would host the Triwizard Tournament, a recently revived inter-school competition in which the Beauxbatons Academy of Magic and the Durmstrang Institute would also participate. New rules stated that only students seventeen and older could compete, for safety reasons. Also, during the start of term feast, Dumbledore introduced "Mad-Eye" Moody, an ex-Auror, as the newly appointed Defence Against the Dark Arts professor. This news was greeted with a mixture of responses, as Moody was known to be a great Auror, a little crazy, and to have a magical eye, earning him the nickname "Mad-Eye" Moody.

A Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson on the Unforgivable Curses

During the first lesson with Moody on a Thursday, he reveals tht he will only be staying for the year and decides to show the fourth-year Gryffindors the Unforgivable Curses. Despite some fear amongst the students (especially Neville, who needs comfort from both the trio and Moody after the lesson; Moody later lends Neville a Herbology book to cheer him up), Moody shows the entire class the three curses using spiders as his test subjects: the Imperius Curse, Cruciatus Curse, and Killing Curse . He also reveals the the use of these spells gain the user a one way ticket to Azkaban.

The Goblet of Fire
Harry: "I didn't put my name in that Goblet!"
Ron Weasley: "Yeah, okay."
— Ron and the student body were sceptical of Harry[src]

The Goblet of Fire selecting Harry as the unexpected fourth champion

Around Hallowe'en, the students from Beauxbatons Academy of Magic and Durmstrang Institute arrived at the school. The arrival of famous international Quidditch Star Viktor Krum caused a lot of excitement, particularly among girls. Viktor Krum, Fleur Delacour, and Cedric Diggory were all chosen to represent their respective schools in this tournament. However, Harry was mysteriously chosen as a fourth competitor. This came as a shock for all those present, due to the fact that he was under-age and that he never entered his name into the Goblet of Fire during the selection process. Many people (even Ron and fellow Gryffindors) did not believe Harry's story. They thought this to be nothing but another attempt to gain even more fame and eternal glory. This caused extreme tension between the two friends and they did not speak again for a long time. Ron started spending more time with Dean Thomas and Seamus Finnigan.

Hermione on the other hand "accepted his story without question" and explains the reason behind Ron's recent actions toward Harry, stating that it steams from jealousy. She later assisted Harry in preparing for the Tournament by teaching him useful spells, such as the Summoning Charm. Harry used this charm in the first task of the Tournament. The champions were to face three dangerous challenges on their way to the Triwizard Cup. These challenges were in correspondence to the four elements.

Rita Skeeter interviewing Harry during the wand weighing ceremony

A few days after his name unexpectedly came out of the Goblet, Harry attended the wand weighing ceremony, where his wand was inspected. After examining the other champion's wands, Ollivander examines Harry's and deems it in perfect condition. After the champions and judges go through a long photoshoot, Harry goes to dinner and then returns to Gryffindor Tower. Once in the tower Ron tells him that he has an owl and that their detention starts later. The letter is from Sirius telling Harry he will contact him on 22 November at 1:00 a.m. Harry must be alone at the fireplace in the Gryffindor common room at that time. There the notorious Daily Prophet reporter Rita Skeeter asked him many leading questions, took everything he said out of context, and wrote a ludicrous article about him and Hermione.

The result of Draco and Harry's duel outside of Potions class, after having teased Harry

This article was titled "HARRY POTTER'S SECRET HEARTACHE". The piece claimed that Hermione was Harry's girlfriend and that she was toying him around by seeking the affections of Viktor Krum, who himself was very much smitten with her. Harry faced even more turmoil during this time, as the majority of the student body was making everyday life difficult for him. Hufflepuff believed that Harry was stealing spotlight from their house and Draco Malfoy was doing everything in his power to make Harry even more miserable. He accomplished this by making and mass producing "POTTER STINKS" badges, which many students proceeded to wear around. Malfoy had also taking to commenting and reading aloud Rita Skeeter's articles every chance he got, making Harry very uncomfortable.

The First Task
Ludo Bagman: "Look at that! Will you look at that! Our youngest champion is quickest to get his egg! Well, this is going to shorten the odds on Mr Potter!"
Minerva McGonagall: "That was excellent, Potter!"
— Harry taking the lead in the Tournament after the First Task[src]

In the first task, each champion needed to get past a dragon in order to collect a golden egg. Harry received help from Hagrid, who showed the dragons to him and Madam Maxime. Realising that every champion but Cedric had found out about the dragons, Harry told Cedric about the first task. He did this as a way of levelling the playing field. The newly appointed Defence Against the Dark Arts professor, Alastor Moody, witnessed Harry telling Cedric but did not report him. Instead he advised Harry to play to his strengths, hinting that he should use his flying ability to get the golden egg.

Harry facing a Hungarian Horntail in the first task of the Triwizard Tournament

Four different dragons were chosen for each of the champions to face. On 24 November, Fleur ended up with the Common Welsh Green, Cedric with the Swedish Short-Snout, Viktor Krum with the Chinese Fireball, and Harry faced the Hungarian Horntail (the most dangerous of the four). Harry used a Summoning Charm to bring him his Firebolt and dodged the Hungarian Horntail to get the golden egg. Harry escaped the dangerous task with a mild cut to the arm, due to being grazed by one of the Horntail's spikes.

Harry proved to be the fastest when it came to capturing his egg, which earned him a compliment from Professor McGonagall. He and Viktor Krum tied for first at the end of the task. After seeing how dangerous the task was, Ron decided that Harry did not put his own name in the Goblet. He also came to the conclusion that someone was trying to kill Harry and made amends with him after months of not speaking. Harry was so relieved that Ron had come to his scenes that he instantly forgave him.

Yule Ball
Harry: "Dance partners? I don't dance."
Minerva McGonagall: "Oh yes, you do. That's what I'm telling you. Traditionally, the champions and their partners open the ball."
— The unexpected task of finding a date[src]

Between the first and second tasks, the Yule Ball, a Triwizard Tournament tradition took place on Christmas. Ron, dismayed to discover that Viktor Krum had asked Hermione to go with him, called her out for "consorting with the enemy", though he and Hermione acted as if they had not fought the following day. Harry asked his long-time crush Cho Chang to attend the Yule Ball with him, but was disappointed to learn that she had already accepted an invitation from Cedric Diggory, a fellow champion. Harry and Ron ended up attending with Parvati and Padma Patil, respectively.

Harry and Parvati dancing at the Yule Ball on Christmas Day

While at the ball both Harry and Ron ended up neglecting their dates. Harry watched Cho with Cedric and Ron was overcome with jealousy for Viktor Krum, who danced with Hermione. After the Yule Ball, Rita Skeeter struck again. She had overheard Hagrid telling Madame Maxime about his family and his heritage. She then wrote an article exposing Hagrid as a half-giant, and he was so ashamed that he stopped teaching and stopped coming to meals in the Great Hall. Dumbledore tried to bring him around by visiting his hut, but to no avail. Only after Harry, Ron, and Hermione proved that they still liked and that it did not matter to them that he was half-giant did he finally return to his post.

Harry in the prefect's bathroom working out the clue of the golden egg

To prepare for the second task, Harry was told that he had to open the egg he had won from the dragon, but every time he did, it let out a horrifying screech. His rescue from that particular problem came when Cedric Diggory paid him back with the information that he would figure it out if he were to "mull things over in the hot water" with the egg. Harry reluctantly followed this advice and decided to take a bath in the prefects' bathroom. He had an uncomfortable exchange with Moaning Myrtle, and on the way back to the common room, he ran into Professors Snape and Moody. The latter informed Harry of Barty Crouch Snr's obsession with catching Dark Wizards.

The Second Task
"Harry Potter used Gillyweed to great effect. He returned last, and well outside the time limit of an hour. However, the Merchieftainess informs us that Mr Potter was first to reach the hostages, and that the delay in his return was due to his determination to return all hostages to safety, not merely his own. Most of the judges feel that this shows moral fibre and merits full marks."
— Harry's performance in the Second Task[src]

Harry meeting the Merpeople colony in the Black Lake during the second task

Harry learned that the second task was going into the Black Lake to rescue "the thing they would miss most" from the merpeople. Harry's new problem was how he was going to survive underwater for an hour. He got his answer in the form of gillyweed from Dobby, who had come to work at Hogwarts. The second task took place on 24 February. Harry was able to save Ron, but when he reached him he was shocked to find Hermione, Cho, and Gabrielle Delacour (Fleur's sister), there as well. After the other hostages were rescued, Harry hung around and saved Gabrielle, as well as Ron. The judges were then informed that Harry reached to hostages first. He was outside the hour that had been allotted, although doing so earned him extra points for "moral fibre". After the second task had finished, Harry and Cedric were tied for first, Viktor was in second, and Fleur was in last place.

The trio visiting Sirius in the cave in which he was hiding

After Harry was mysteriously entered in the Triwizard Tournament, Sirius hid in a cave near Hogsmeade, where Harry, Ron, and Hermione occasionally visited him, and provided mostly moral support to Harry during this time. Sirius warned him about Igor Karkaroff, the Durmstrang headmaster, telling Harry that Karkaroff used to be a Death Eater and that he gave up a considerable number of names in exchange for his freedom. Harry told Sirius about seeing the name "Bartemius Crouch" appear on the Marauder's Map when he was working on the second clue. Sirius admitted that it was fishy, but told Harry to focus on the task at hand and leave the mystery surrounding Crouch to others.

A month before the final task, the Champions were shown the beginnings of the challenge. Harry and Cedric both expressed horror at the sight of the Quidditch pitch being turned into the hedge maze, put were quickly reassured by Bagman that it would be put right after the Tournament. They were told the third and final task was going into a maze filled with obstacles to find the Triwizard Cup. On the way back to the castle, Krum took Harry aside to ask him something. Thinking that this was something important, Harry went with him.

Hermione receiving hate mail from in response to Skeeter's article about her and Harry

Krum then asked Harry about his relationship with Hermione, in whom Krum was deeply interested. Harry told him that there was nothing between him and Hermione and that she was just a friend. He also told Krum not to believe anything Rita Skeeter, who had recently written in Witch Weekly that there was a Harry-Hermione-Krum love triangle, wrote about him. This supposed love triangle also led to Hermione receiving numerous amounts of hate mail. At that moment, Barty Crouch Snr appeared in the forest disoriented and asking for Dumbledore. He disappeared when Harry went to fetch Dumbledore.

The Dream and the Pensieve
Albus Dumbledore: "I have a theory, no more than that... It is my belief that your scar hurts both when Lord Voldemort is near you, and when he is feeling a particularity strong surge of hatred."
Harry: "But... why?"
Albus Dumbledore: "Because you and he are connected by the curse that failed. That is no ordinary scar."
— The reason behind Harry's vivid dreams[src]

Harry preparing to enter Dumbledore's Pensieve without permission

During a Divination lesson, Harry passed out and had a vision of Voldemort being informed of someone's death and him torturing Wormtail for failing to prevent someone from escaping. Harry awoke with his scar badly hurting and pretended he needed to go to the hospital wing, he actually went to see Dumbledore. Once in the headmaster's office, Harry overheard an argument between Dumbledore, Moody, and Cornelius Fudge, regarding the Barty Crouch situation: Fudge refused to believe the words that Crouch said about Bertha Jorkins being dead and, while debating what had happened to Crouch, Fudge suggested that Madame Maxime was the likely culprit given her half-giant physiology. Dumbledore then accused the Minister of acting on personal prejudice, which he ignored due to Dumbledore's friendship with Hagrid. Moody interrupted the debate to explain that Harry had arrived.

Harry witnessing the trial of the Lestranges and Barty Crouch Jnr through the pensieve

Harry was left alone in the office after Dumbledore, Fudge, and Moody left to examine the school grounds. While looking around, Harry noticed Dumbledore's Pensieve. Through curiosity, Harry peered in and ended up looking into three of Dumbledore's memories, from the days immediately after the end of the First Wizarding War. The first was the trial of Igor Karkaroff, in which he renounced his support of the Death Eaters and gave the names of existing Death Eaters, including Snape. Dumbledore (in the memory) stated that Snape had defected the Death Eaters and was a spy against Voldemort and no longer a threat.

The second memory showed the trial of Ludo Bagman, who was accused of passing information to Voldemort, but his popularity quickly cleared him. The third was the trial of the Lestranges (Bellatrix, Rodolphus, and Rabastan) and Crouch's son, for the use of the Cruciatus Curse on Alice and Frank Longbottom. Crouch sentenced them all to a lifetime in Azkaban.

The Third Task
"Harry was practising hexes at every available moment. He felt more confident about this task than either of the others. Difficult and dangerous though it would undoubtedly be, Moody was right: Harry had managed to find his way past monstrous creatures and enchanted barriers before now, and this time he had some notice, some chance to prepare himself for what lay ahead."
— Preparation for the Third Task[src]

To prepare for the final task, Harry, Ron, and Hermione used vacant classrooms to practise spells and jinxes. In Divination class between two of these study periods, Harry dozed off dreaming about Voldemort and left the classroom in a disturbing fashion. Rita Skeeter had witnessed this event and she wrote, on 24 June, 1995, the day of the final task, that Harry was "disturbed and dangerous". This did nothing to boost Harry's morale, but when he spent the day with Bill and Molly Weasley, they cheered him up. They also came to watch the final task as his substitute family.[49]

Harry in the hedge maze with an Imperiused Viktor Krum

Harry successfully navigated the maze with the aid of the Four-Point Spell. He got past both a Blast-Ended-Skrewt and a Boggart disguised as a Dementor. Along the way, he heard Fleur scream. Harry rescued Cedric, who had been attacked by an bewitched Krum; Harry managed to stun Krum and send out a signal for Krum to be rescued before he and Cedric moved on. Harry managed to pass a sphinx.[49]

During this final event, Harry saved Cedric from a Acromantula and Cedric being grateful offered Harry the cup. Both Hogwarts champions then showed supreme sportsmanship and cooperation despite the tension brought on by the maze. They agreed to touch the Triwizard Cup simultaneously, as it would be a Hogwarts victory either way, which would result in tie for first place. Harry and Cedric were unaware that the cup was actually a portkey and were transported to the graveyard in Little Hangleton.[49]

Rebirth of Lord Voldemort
"He knew one thing only, and it was beyond fear or reason: He was not going to die crouching here like a child playing hide-and-seek; he was not going to die kneeling at Voldemort's feet... he was going to die upright like his father, and he was going to die trying to defend himself, even if no defence was possible...."
— Harry standing his ground against Voldemort[src]

Cedric's murder at the hands of Peter Pettigrew and Lord Voldemort

This graveyard was the Riddle family's final resting place, where Lord Voldemort was waiting. Just as Harry and Cedric are trying to figure out what happened, someone appears and Harry's scar begins hurting again. Acting on Voldemort's orders, his servant Wormtail murdered Cedric with the Killing Curse. Harry saw a flash of green light and heard Cedric's body hit the graveyard's ground with a thud. Harry is then dragged to a large marble tombstone, with the name Tom Riddle engraved upon were he is bound. From there he was forced to witness a ritual in which Pettigrew used some of Harry's blood to restore Voldemort's body. The Death Eaters were summoned to the cemetery.

After his Death Eaters arrived, Voldemort spends time criticising them for failing to seek him out during these last thirteen years, even though they knew that he had found a way to escape mortal death. He then rewards Wormtail for aiding with his rebirth by creating a new silver hand for him. The Dark Lord identifies more Death Eaters and reveals that this servant who is at Hogwarts has ensured that Harry would win the tournament and be brought to the graveyard. Voldemort then frees the injured and weakened Harry and orders him to face him in a duel, wishing to prove who among the two is stronger in front of his minions now that there is no one around to protect Harry.

Harry duelling Voldemort in a battle of wills, triggering the effect of Priori Incantatem

Voldemort then tortured him by subjecting him to the Cruciatus Curse and used the Imperius Curse, but when it didn't work he tried to murder Harry using the Killing Curse. Harry fired back with the Disarming Charm. The nature of their wands' mystical connection caused their magical streams to interlock, which created an effect called Priori Incantatem (Reverse Spell effect). Harry and Voldemort then engaged in a battle of will. After Harry was momentarily shielded by the echoes of Lord Voldemort's previous victims, including Harry's parents and Cedric. Cedric's echo asked Harry to return his body to his parents. This bought Harry some time to grab Cedric's body and the Portkey.

Exposure of Barty Crouch Jnr
Harry: "You're mad!"
Barty Crouch Jnr: "Mad, am I? We'll see! We'll see who's mad, now that the Dark Lord has returned, with me at his side! He is back, Harry Potter, you did not conquer him — and now — I conquer you!"
— Barty Crouch Jnr before trying to murder Harry[src]

The truth about Barty Crouch Jnr was exposed

Chaos erupted when Harry returned to Hogwarts with Cedric's dead body in tow. It was uncovered that Barty Crouch Jnr, who had willingly taken the Dark Mark as a young man, was throughout the school year disguised as Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher Alastor Moody. Crouch (disguised as Moody) managed to usher Harry away from the panicking crowd to interrogate him about Voldemort's return. He wanted to murder Harry, but Albus Dumbledore and several other members of the Hogwarts staff arrived to stop him. Under the influence of Veritaserum, Crouch confessed everything.

The Minister for Magic visiting Harry in the Hospital Wing

In a terrible turn of fate Crouch's soul was extracted by the Dementor's Kiss, from the Dementor that accompanied Cornelius Fudge. Fudge felt that his personal safety was in jeopardy, hence why he brought the Dementor. As a result, Crouch Jnr could not give testimony and the Ministry of Magic began to dispute Harry's and Dumbledore's insistence that Voldemort had returned. The Minister refused to believe Harry's account of Voldemort's return, even when he was supported by Albus Dumbledore. This was due to Fudge not wanting the peace and tranquillity they worked so hard for to be destabilised by this announcement. The Ministry publicly denied the Dark Lord's return and branded Harry and Dumbledore either liars or nutters in the press. Voldemort and his Death Eaters took advantage of this to operate in secret, while Dumbledore called for a reconstitution of the Order of the Phoenix.

Fifth year

Molly Weasley: "Watch me. You've given Harry plenty of information. Any more and you might just as well induct him into the Order straightaway."
Harry: "Why not? I'll join, I want to join, I want to fight —"
— Harry's willingness to fight Voldemort and his followers[src]
Dementor attack

Harry with others in 12 Grimmauld Place preparing to clean

Witnessing Cedric Diggory's murder was very difficult for Harry, and it was not helpful that he was forced back to number 4 Privet Drive in the school holidays. He suffered constant nightmares and flashbacks. Also his friends, Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger seemed to block him from information and he was blocked entirely from the wizarding world except for the Daily Prophet that said that Harry was wrong. To make things worse than they were already, on 2 August someone sent Dementors to attack Harry in the Muggle town of Little Whinging, in an attempt to neutralise him. He was forced to perform a Patronus Charm in order to save Dudley and himself.

After Harry explained to the Dursleys about the Dementor's abilities, Vernon blamed Harry and was ready to throw Harry out. He had always yearned to do so since the family received Harry, when Petunia received a Howler. Before she had an opportunity to open the letter, it burst into flames and a menacing voice said, "Remember my last, Petunia". Petunia then immediately convinced her husband to let Harry remain at Privet Drive and told him that he needed to stay in his room. Harry, having no idea of what was going on, retreated to his room and proceeded to stay there.

"As you have already received an official warning for a previous offence under section 13 of the International Confederation of Wizards' Statute of Secrecy, we regret to inform you that your presence is required at a disciplinary hearing at the Ministry of Magic at 9 a.m. on August 12th. Hoping you are well, Yours sincerely, Mafalda Hopkirk"
Mafalda Hopkirk's first Ministry letter to Harry, informing him of his impending trial[src]

Harry's hearing for using magic in front of a Muggle

Subsequently, Harry was formally accused of performing underage magic in the presence of a Muggle and was expelled, but thanks to Albus Dumbledore's intervention, this was changed to a disciplinary hearing in front of the entire Wizengamot at the Ministry of Magic on 12 August. In a further attempt to discredit Harry, the Ministry changed the time and location of the hearing at the last minute, but Harry was able to make it there just minutes late. He was threatened with expulsion from Hogwarts, but was exonerated with help from Dumbledore, who had a witness and legal loopholes to help him.

Dolores Umbridge
"He let out a gasp of pain. The words had appeared on the parchment in what appeared to be shining red ink. At the same time, the words had appeared on the back of Harry's right hand, cut into his skin as though traced there by a scalpel — yet even as he stared at the shining cut, the skin healed over again, leaving the place where it had been slightly redder than before but quite smooth..."
— Harry experiencing the Black Quill for the first time[src]

Umbridge teaching a purely theoretical DADA lesson

In retaliation against Dumbledore, Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge appointed Dolores Umbridge, his Senior Under-Secretary, as the new Hogwarts Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher so that she could spy on the school. She was later appointed Hogwarts High Inquisitor, empowered to arbitrarily change and impose school rules whenever she chose. She made numerous rules that the students were expected to follow and if they did not harsh punishments would be enacted. Umbridge proved to be sadistic and cruel, with a personality that resembled poisoned honey.

Harry hated her on sight and she had a deep dislike for him as well. This dislike bordered on hatred and came about because of her inability to control him. Every time Harry spoke out of turn or even mentioned Voldemort, Umbridge threw him into detention. The detentions he had with her were torturous, forcing him to write with a Black Quill. The Black Quill was of her own invention and it made him write with his own blood, scribed the message "I must not tell lies" onto the back of his hand. Harry had to endure numerous sessions with the quill, so many that the words are now permanently carved into his hand. These detentions however did not sway him from his opinions or make him subservient to Umbridge. They had the opposite effect and strengthen his resolve to stand by his statements of Voldemort's return.

Harry in detention with Umbridge, being forced to use a Black Quill

However, Umbridge presumed the message had failed to sink in, as Harry spread the word through The Quibbler about the previous year's events, and thus he was banned from any more Hogsmeade visits. Also once Umbridge found out that he gave The Quibbler an exclusive interview she banned the magazine, which caused the whole student body to take an interest in it. Later in the year Ron was chosen to be a prefect, not him. This surprised everyone, as they all believed that Harry would have gotten the badge instead of Ron.

It was later revealed that Ron was chosen instead of Harry because Dumbledore thought that Harry had "enough responsibility to be going on with". Harry's jealousy threatened to affect his friendship with Ron, but he felt better when he discovered that his father was also not chosen as a prefect at school. This suggests that Harry's desire in becoming prefect was to emulate his father, who was Head Boy in his day, not to inflate a sense of his own importance.

Dumbledore's Army
Hermione Granger: "No, I agree, we've gone past the stage where we can just learn things out of books. We need a teacher, a proper one, who can show us how to use the spells and correct us if we're going wrong."
Harry: "...Who, then?"
Hermione Granger: "Isn't it obvious? I'm talking about you, Harry."
— Hermione convincing Harry to teach the legal study group[src]

Because Fudge was raked with paranoia and stubbornly believed that Dumbledore was training an army to overthrow him, Umbridge had the Defence Against the Dark Arts class reduced to reading textbooks. This proved an ineffective teaching method and did nothing to prepare students for what was to come. Hermione proposed the idea that Harry teach the students, as he has previous experience defending himself against the Dark Arts and various monsters.

The meeting of students in the Hog's Head that would become known as Dumbledore's Army

The trio held a meeting at the Hog's Head to discuss with other students the possibility of Harry giving them Defence lessons. Harry is stunned at how many there are various Gryffindors, Ravenclaws, and Hufflepuffs show up. Although he harboured the suspicion that a few, such as Zacharias Smith, only wanted to hear about the night Cedric Diggory was murdered. After some initial scepticism, the students started to list Harry's achievements: the rescue of the Philosopher's Stone from a disembodied Voldemort, slaying of Slytherin's basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets with the Sword of Gryffindor, ability to produce a corporeal Patronus, and winning of the Triwizard Tournament.

Harry instructing Neville Longbottom and others during a D.A. meeting

Giving into Hermione's persistent urgings Harry secretly trained a group of students in practical defensive magic. In an attempt to make light of the Ministry's fears the group called themselves Dumbledore's Army (or the D.A.). Aware that arranging meetings and passing the word about them verbally was not a secure method of communication, Hermione bewitched several coins with a Protean Charm one for each member of the D.A. When activated by Harry, the numbers on each coin would change to inform the bearer of the time and date of the next meeting. Feeling highly anxious and frustrated most of the time Harry found that the D.A. was now his chief source of happiness, and the thing to which he looked forward throughout his school day. This happiness was felt by most members, as all of them (particularly Neville and the Creevey brothers) gained a lot of skills under Harry's tutelage.

Harry teaching the members of the D.A. the Patronus Charm

Harry taught the group many different spells, ranking from the simplistic Disarming Charm to the highly advanced Patronus Charm. The class progressed at a fair rate, practising the Impediment Jinx, Reductor Curse, Stunning Spell, and various other hexes and jinxes before temporarily breaking up for Christmas break. Lessons continued during the early months of 1996, The class mastered the Shield Charm, and began to work on the Patronus Charm. Some members were even able to produce corporeal Patronuses, Harry thought this might have been due to the lack of Dementors present, as there was nothing to make the students scared.

Christmas on the Closed Ward
Harry: "I didn't want anyone to talk to me."
Ginny Weasley: "Well, that was a bit stupid of you, seeing as how you don't know anyone but me who's been possessed by You-Know-Who, and I can tell you how it feels."
— Harry worrying that he might have been possessed by Voldemort[src]

Harry and Cho kissing for the first time underneath mistletoe

Cho Chang also became a member. During the meetings whenever Harry was near, she would become so flustered that she had difficulty casting spells correctly. Before the Christmas holidays, she and Harry were discussing how she had never been able to pull of the Stunning Spell before, when the room generated mistletoe. The room did this due to sensing the tension that was present. Under the mistletoe, the two kissed for the first time. This moment was confusing to Harry, as Cho, clearly still suffering from her ex-boyfriend's death, had been crying during their kiss. Cho's crying during the kiss also caused concern in Harry.

Harry later informed Hermione and Ron of his disastrous first kiss and Hermione comforted him saying that it was not his kissing that made Cho cry. However, Harry took on some much more pressing worries later that night. Lord Voldemort, wanting a "secret weapon" against him, had heard of a prophecy hidden in the Ministry's Department of Mysteries concerning both of them. Voldemort had been obsessing over the door to the Hall of Prophecy for the past few months, and had been inadvertently allowing Harry to read his thoughts through Legilimency. The link between Harry and Voldemort's minds had been growing stronger for quite a while.

Harry witnessing Nagini's attack on Arthur Weasley

A result of this growing connection come to pass after Harry fell asleep in the boys dormitory (on the night of his kiss with Cho). Harry witnessed Nagini attack Arthur Weasley in his dream, and felt almost as if he had been the snake. Harry woke the other boys and proceeded to vomit, Professor McGonagall was immediately alerted to the problem. Realising what could happen if the link grew more powerful, Dumbledore commissioned Snape to train Harry in Occlumency in an effort to prevent further problems.

Critically injured, Arthur was taken to St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. Harry, Ron, Ginny, Fred, and George took a portkey to Grimmauld Place. When they arrive at headquarters, they were greeted by Sirius, who ordered them to stay put and wait for news. Mrs Weasley stated that Arthur survived the attack and was grateful towards Harry. Even though Arthur survived, he was required to take a Blood-Replenishing Potion at regular intervals. Mr Weasley also shared the ward with a man who had been bitten by a werewolf and a woman with a massive chunk out of her leg who refused to tell the Healers what had bitten her, arousing suspicions she had been handling something illegal.

The trio and Ginny seeing Lockhart in the Janus Thickey Ward for spell damage

Hermione joined Harry and the Weasleys at Grimmauld Place for Christmas, and Percy sent back his Weasley jumper, which made his mother cry. Hermione, Ron and Ginny discovered that Neville's parents were insane and living at St Mungo's. They were informed of this by Neville's grandmother, who made it known that Frank and Alice were tortured by Death Eaters for information regarding Voldemort. They also saw their former Defence Against the Dark Arts professor Gilderoy Lockhart. Also Harry finally admitted that he knew what happened to Neville's parents.

Severus Snape: "The headmaster has sent me to tell you, Potter, that it is his wish for you to study Occlumency this term."
Harry: "Study what?"
Severus Snape: "Occlumency, Potter. The magical defence of the mind against external penetration. An obscure branch of magic, but a highly useful one."
— Harry's mandatory extra lessons with Snape[src]

Harry's first Occlumency lesson with Snape

Lessons were given once a week, under the guise of Remedial Potions, much to Harry's discomfort. Unfortunately, Harry was extremely curious about the door he keep seeing within his dreams. Under Snape's tutelage, Harry repeatedly had his mind broken into in order to train him. Snape also ordered Harry to close his mind every night as practice. Unfortunately, due to the mutual animosity between the teacher and student, Snape was unkind and discouraging in his methods despite his own mastery of the skill, while Harry did not take Snape's lessons too seriously, and neglected to practise.[101]

Coupled with Harry being emotionally open at all times, the lessons did not progress much, with only rare instances where Harry was able to resist, if only briefly. If anything, having his mind repeatedly assaulted forced Harry to leave himself more vulnerable, as he barely tried to close it willingly. During a lesson in Occlumency, Snape stepped out of the room, and Harry's curiosity got the best of him. He looked into the pensieve, which contained Snape's memories, and, to his dismay, Harry found images of his father bullying Snape and of his mother rushing to his defence. Harry found himself siding with his mother, agreeing that James' treatment of Snape was wrong and it bordered on being almost cruel.[102]

A memory Harry saw featuring Lily Evans standing up to James Potter

The conflict escalated to the point where Snape called Lily a "Mudblood". Snape attempted to apologise for his actions, but this incident cost him her friendship. Snape himself discovered Harry's spying. Snape refused to give him any more Occlumency lessons, something that Harry was not particularly concerned about and something he did not inform anyone of. Uncovering the source behind Snape's hatred for James left Harry seeing his father in a slightly different light. He also found comfort in the fact that at least his mother appeared to be person of strong morals while wondering why she ever agreed to marry James in the first place.

Dumbledore's escape
"Dumbledore's Army, Cornelius. Not Potter's Army. Dumbledore's Army."
— Dumbledore taking the fall for Harry[src]

Harry in the Headmaster's office, just prior to Dumbledore's escape from Hogwarts

As the second term progressed, Harry's relationship with Cho became more strained. While the two did like each other, Cho was mistakenly jealous of Hermione due to the latter's closeness with Harry, and Harry still felt awkward about Cho's feelings over Cedric. When Cho's friend, Marietta Edgecombe, betrayed the D.A. to Umbridge, the members were all punished and forced to end their meetings.

Harry was furious with Marietta but Cho insisted on defending her friend. Cho even claimed that it was not Marietta's fault because she was being pressured by her mother. At this point, Cho's and Harry's relationship "fell apart", and the two no longer saw each other romantically. Umbridge is appointed Headmistress and imposes even tighter control. Fred and George Weasley rebelled against the new authority at the school. On one occasion, the twins released enchanted fireworks through the castle.

Harry and others watching as Fred and George openly mocked Umbridge's authority

Fred and George took it easy during the Easter holidays, but then took their rebellion to a new level. They turned a corridor of the school into a swamp to create a diversion for Harry to access the fireplace in Umbridge's office in an attempt to contact Sirius, and were cornered by Umbridge and members of the Inquisitorial Squad. In a final act of defiance, the twins summoned their brooms, openly mocked Umbridge's authority, struck the Squad members with a variety of jinxes, and escaped the school behind to pursue a career in their joke shop with the money Harry lent them.

Careers Advice and Grawp
Rubeus Hagrid: "They were bullyin' him, Hermione, 'cause he's so small!"
Hermione Granger: "Small? Small?"
Rubeus Hagrid: "Hermione, I couldn't leave him. See — he's my brother!"
Harry: "Hagrid, when you say 'brother', do you mean — ?"
Rubeus Hagrid: "Well — half-brother. Turns out me mother took up with another giant when she left me dad, an' she went an' had Grawp here —"
— Hagrid introducing Grawp to Harry and Hermione[src]

The fifth years began the sessions on the advice of what they would need to do to prepare for the careers they would pursue after graduation. During Harry's career advice session with Professor McGonagall, he told her that he wanted to be an Auror. During this admission they were rudely interrupted several times by Umbridge; she remarked against Harry's ambition of becoming an Auror. She stated that applicants could not have a criminal record, and these constant interruptions angered McGonagall. The meeting ended with McGonagall supporting him, and having a screaming argument with Umbridge.

Hagrid introducing Harry and Hermione to the sixteen foot giant Grawp

During the final Quidditch match of the year — in which Harry did not play as Umbridge had banned him for life — Hagrid, who had returned to the school months into the term and very badly beaten, decided to show Harry and Hermione why he was so badly injured. This caused them to miss much of Gryffindor's Quidditch match. Hagrid also relayed to the trio were he had been during those months that he was away. He along with Madam Maxime were given a mission to the Giant Colony, in order to persuade them to join Dumbledore and his cause. This mission proved to be a failure to the Order, as the giants chose to align with the Death Eaters, due to their shared love of violence and killing.

Hagrid had dragged a giant back with him from his mission over the summer. It transpired that the giant (named Grawp) was Hagrid's half-brother on his mother's side, and that Hagrid had been attempting to civilise the giant, but with few results. He made Harry and Hermione promise that they would look after Grawp, should Hagrid be forced to leave the school for any reason. Hagrid was attacked and left the school during O.W.L. examinations, and thus Harry never had to go down to Grawp in the forest.

Skirmish in the Forbidden Forest
Neville Longbottom: "We were all in the D.A. together. It was all supposed to be about fighting You-Know-Who, wasn't it? And this is the first chance we've had to do something real — or was that all just a game or something?"
Harry: "No — of course it wasn't —"
— The six D.A. members preparing to depart to the Ministry[src]

Harry's false vision of Voldemort torturing Sirius Black in the Hall of Prophecy

Eventually, late in the O.W.L. examinations on 18 June, while taking his History of Magic exam Harry dozed off. He received a vision of Voldemort torturing Sirius and ordering him to get the prophecy. Harry was prepared to go to the Ministry immediately, but Hermione advised him to check Grimmauld Place first to see if Sirius was still there. Harry used the Floo Network in Umbridge's office to peer into Grimmauld Place, where Kreacher stated that Sirius was gone. Unfortunately, Umbridge caught Harry and his friends in the act.

Umbridge interrogating Harry and threatening him with the Cruciatus Curse

Umbridge asked Snape to extract information from Harry through the use of Veritaserum, but Snape claimed to have none left in his stocks. Umbridge then resorted to the Cruciatus Curse, revealing that it was she who set the Dementors loose on Harry. Hermione managed to save him by luring Umbridge into the Forbidden Forest. Once in the forest Umbridge attempted to harm Harry and Hermione, but was dragged off by centaurs for calling them "filthy half-breeds! Beasts!" and "creatures of near-human intelligence". Harry and Hermione escaped when Grawp stumbled into the centaur camp looking for Hagrid. The trio, along with D.A. members Ginny Weasley, Neville Longbottom, and Luna Lovegood — who had assisted in Harry's attempt to contact Grimmauld Place — used Thestrals to fly to London.

Battle of the Department of Mysteries
Harry: "Don't do anything. Not yet —"
Bellatrix Lestrange: "You hear him? You hear him? Giving instructions to the other children as though he thinks of fighting us!"
Lucius Malfoy: "Oh, you don't know Potter as I do, Bellatrix. He has a great weakness for heroics; the Dark Lord understands this about him. Now give me the prophecy, Potter."
Harry: "I know Sirius is here. I know you've got him!"
Lucius Malfoy: "It's time you learned the difference between life and dreams, Potter. Now give me the prophecy, or we start using wands."
— The start of the Battle of the Department of Mysteries[src]

Death Eaters surrounding the six D.A. members in an attempt to retrieve the prophecy

After reaching the Department of Mysteries, Harry led them all through various rooms in search of Sirius, without finding him. The group became doubtful until they came across a room filled with crystal balls, later to be known as prophecies. One of the prophecies had Harry's name on it, and he picked it up, much to the displeasure of Hermione. Upon picking up the prophecy Death Eaters appeared, revealing that it was all a ruse to bring him there. Harry then attempts to buy time by fully mocking Voldemort in front of his Death Eaters, which infuriates Bellatrix, yet Lucius stops her from hurting Potter, not through defence, but so that they can protect the prophecy. Harry still refuses to hand over the prophecy, so Lucius then begins to tease him that the prophecy holds the answer to his scar, why Voldemort wishes to kill him, and the cause of the Second Wizarding War.

Harry and Sirius duelling Death Eaters Lucius Malfoy and Antonin Dolohov

Just then, on Harry's signal, the six D.A. members all use the Reductor Curse to smash the shelves of prophecies, distracting the Death Eaters so that they could flee. Ron, Ginny, and Luna had taken another path and Harry, Hermione, and Neville did not know where they were. Chaos ensued, Harry's group was chased through various rooms. When in he Death Chamber, all but Harry and Neville were incapacitated in the fighting. Then reinforcements from the Order of the Phoenix, alerted by Snape, arrived to help aid in the battle. In the ensuing fighting, Sirius Black was murdered by a killing curse from his cousin, Bellatrix Lestrange, and fell through a mysterious stone arch. Harry pursued Bellatrix, using the Cruciatus Curse, but he was unable to kill her.

Voldemort appeared, angered by the failures of his Death Eaters. For the second time, he attempted to fatally curse Harry, who was too transfixed to even defend himself, but Dumbledore's sudden arrival saved him. Voldemort then fully possessed Harry, hoping that Dumbledore would sacrifice Harry in order to kill Voldemort. However, Voldemort was forced to leave Harry's body when Harry's grief for Sirius became too overwhelming to bear, as Voldemort did not understand the concept of love. Voldemort then grabbed Bellatrix and Disapparated, but not before the Minister and Ministry employees saw him and finally accepted that he was back.

The prophecy
"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches... Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives..."
Sybill Trelawney's first prophecy[src]

Dumbledore telling Harry the whole prophecy

Back at Hogwarts, Harry appeared in Dumbledore's office and tried to get out after Phineas Nigellus Black mentioned Sirius, only to find the door locked. Harry was none too pleased about Dumbledore's name being mentioned by the portraits. When the Headmaster returned, Harry lost his temper and started destroying Dumbledore's possessions, trying to get Dumbledore to let him out; Dumbledore refused, asking Harry to sit down and listen to what Dumbledore needed to say.

Dumbledore explained to Harry the real reason why Voldemort tried to kill him as an infant. A prophecy stated that he was destined to defeat the Dark Lord, for he had powers Voldemort did not: the ability to love, something that the Department of Mysteries was trying to research in a locked room. As a result of the battle, the Ministry of Magic realised that Lord Voldemort had indeed returned, and Harry and Dumbledore were vindicated along with Sirius (though he didn't live long enough to enjoy his freedom, but was honoured as hero by the Ministry). Serious steps were taken following this change in policy, such as the dismissal of Umbridge. However, this was not a sea of change, as the Ministry still had a mistrust of Dumbledore.

Sixth year

Albus Dumbledore: "So, Harry. You have been wondering, I am sure, what I have planned for you during these — for want of a better word — lessons?"
Harry: "Yes, sir."
Albus Dumbledore: "Well, I have decided that it is time, now that you know what prompted Lord Voldemort to try and kill you fifteen years ago, for you to be given certain information."
Harry: "You said, at the end of last term, you were going to tell me everything. Sir."
— Dumbledore and Harry speak of their upcoming lessons together [src]
Helping recruit Horace Slughorn

In the wake of the Battle of the Department of Mysteries Harry was sent home to 4 Privet Drive for the summer holidays. There, he obsessed and brooded over his godfather's death where he hardly left his room and refused meals. As the battle had taken place at one point in the famed Hall of Prophecy, many in the wizarding community including the Daily Prophet began to speculate about the relationship between Harry and that place, leading to, accidentally correct reports calling Harry "the Chosen One", the one destined to defeat Lord Voldemort once and for all.

Dumbledore and Harry searching for Horace Slughorn

Early in his summer, Dumbledore requested that Harry join him in some unknown adventure. He arrived to pick Harry up at 4 Privet Drive on a Friday, late in the evening. Harry had not informed his aunt and uncle of this development and it came as a great surprise to them. However, they could not depart immediately, because there was a piece of business to attend to: Sirius's will. Much to his rage, Harry inherited his godfather Sirius Black's estate. This included: 12 Grimmauld Place, the Black family vault, and the Blacks' irritating and half-crazed house elf, Kreacher. Harry still retained animosity towards Kreacher after his involvement in Sirius' death a few months previous. He also gave Dumbledore permission to continue to use Grimmauld Place as Order headquarters. Afterwards they were off, and Dumbledore Apparated Harry to the small village of Budleigh Babberton, where Harry was introduced to Horace Slughorn.

Harry meeting Horace Slughorn, the former Hogwarts Potions Master

In their time together, Harry and Slughorn discussed some of the professor's old students and the improved security at Hogwarts. When Harry and Dumbledore made to leave, Slughorn agreed to return to the school if he got a raise and a larger office. Following their visit, Dumbledore dropped Harry off at The Burrow, where Harry spent the rest of the summer playing two-sided Quidditch, but not before informing Harry that he was to be given special lessons by Dumbledore himself. Later in the summer Harry learned that he had achieved seven O.W.L.s: one 'Outstanding'[66], five 'Exceeds Expectations'[66], and one 'Acceptable'[66]. He also received a surprise when he was made Captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, which put him on equal standing with prefects.

N.E.W.T. classes
"This Book is the Property of the Half-Blood Prince."
— Harry finding the signature inside the book[src]

Having learned of Professor Slughorn's propensity for hand-picking favourites. Harry experienced this first-hand. He and many others were invited to join Horace Slughorn's Slug Club, during the ride to Hogwarts aboard the Hogwarts Express. Harry did not enjoy the experience, and made to leave as soon as he possibly could. Instead of returning to his previous compartment, Harry made to eavesdrop upon Draco Malfoy. Malfoy's precipitation in meeting weeks earlier had led Harry to believe he had taken the Dark Mark. What he heard did nothing to dispel his suspicions.

Professor Slughorn giving Harry the vial of Felix Felicis

Harry arrived late to the Welcoming Feast, due to an encounter with Malfoy, in which Malfoy realised he was eavesdropping in his Hogwarts Express compartment under his invisbility cloak. Malfoy froze him with the Full Body-Bind Curse and stomped on his nose, breaking it and leaving him there unconscious, where he soon found by Nymphadora Tonks who healed his nose and escorted him to the castle. At the feast, Harry was shocked to learn that Severus Snape had been promoted to Defence Against the Dark Arts professor. While this disappointed Harry greatly, his career as an Auror reopened, as Professor Slughorn would accept his 'Exceeds Expectations' score in Potions.

Harry proceeded to take five classes this year: Charms, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Herbology, Potions, and Transfiguration. As Harry had not bothered to buy a text book, Slughorn allowed Harry to borrow an old one from the supply cabinet. When Harry examined it, he found that it once had belonged to a student identified only as the "Half-Blood Prince". The book contained copious handwritten notes that helped Harry excel in Potions for once. In fact, his skills won him a prize from Slughorn — a small vial of Felix Felicis, also known as "liquid luck".

Private lessons
"I told you everything I know. From this point forth, we shall be leaving the firm founda-tion of fact and journeying together through the murky marshes of memory into thickets of wildest guesswork. From here on in, Harry, I may be as woefully wrong as Humphrey Belcher, who be-lieved the time was ripe for a cheese cauldron."
— Assumptions regarding Riddle's plans[src]

As promised, Dumbledore began the private series of lessons with Harry concerning Lord Voldemort. In the first lesson, Dumbledore showed Harry the first of a number of memories he had collected concerning Voldemort's past using his Pensieve. These lessons regarding Riddle's past were in order to learn his secrets and weaknesses. Dumbledore promised Harry that this information would help him survive and would prove crucial to the eventual defeat of Lord Voldemort.

A private lesson with Dumbledore, Harry about to view a memory in the Pensieve

In their first lesson, the pair delved into the origin of the boy Tom Riddle, by viewing the Gaunt family that once lived around Little Hangleton. It showed a former Head of the Magical Law Enforcement Patrol, Bob Ogden visiting a man named Marvolo Gaunt in order to summon his son Morfin to a Ministry hearing in connection with an attack on a Muggle named Tom Riddle Snr. A huge commotion occurred: Morfin attacked Ogden, with Marvolo stoutly defending his son's actions. Marvolo also tried to attack his daughter Merope after finding out that she had an intense infatuation with Riddle.

After viewing this memory, Dumbledore told Harry that both Marvolo and Morfin were sentenced to six months and three years imprisonment respectively in Azkaban due to their behaviour. During this lesson, Harry also learned who Tom Riddle's parents were and how they came to be married. He also learned what kind of mindset of the Gaunt family possessed, and how Marvolo and Morfin believed strongly in blood supremacy, something the Voldemort's mother (Merope) did not share.

Quidditch Captain
Harry: "I dunno why the team's this popular all of a sudden."
Hermione Granger: "Oh, come on, Harry. It's not Quidditch that's popular, it's you! You've never been more interesting, and frankly, you've never been more fanciable."
— Harry as the new captain and his increased popularity[src]

Quidditch Captain Harry supervising Gryffindor tryouts

The Saturday following Harry's first lessons, while in the Great Hall the trio find out (courtesy of the Daily Prophet) that Stan Shunpike has been arrested for supposed Death Eater activity. Apparently he was over heard talking about the Death Eaters secret plans while in a pub. Harry believed that Stan most likely knew nothing regarding secret plans, as Stan had a habit of greatly exaggerating. Afterwards Harry, as the new Gryffindor Quidditch Captain held trials to select the team for the annual Quidditch Cup. Due to Harry's popularity, it proves to be extremely taxing and difficult, with even first-years, Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs turning up for the trials.

The first test he administered was a basic flying test, something that proved to be a good idea as it became clear to Harry that most of the students present where not adapt flyers. After an arduous morning of tantrums, foolishness, and many complaints Harry picked the members of his team. The three Chasers, one of which was Ginny Weasley (who out flew all her competition and scored seventeen goals), two Beaters, and Ron Weasley as Keeper. Ron had only survived the tryouts with Hermione's help, who confunded his competition, Cormac McLaggen.

Harry becoming increasingly fascinated with the Half-Blood Prince's textbook

In studying the Half-Blood Prince's book, Harry discovered numerous hand-written spells that the Prince supposedly invented himself, such as Levicorpus and Muffliato. He tried these spells and became increasingly fascinated with the book, going as far as having it on him at all times. This was something that his friends were quick to comment on, stating that "all he does is read that bloody book" and that he "practically sleeps with it".[103] Harry even considered the book to be almost a friend, a teacher and sort of guide.

Hermione disapproved of the book, partly because some of its spells have a dark nature, but mainly because it allows Harry to outperform her in potions. Three times, Slughorn attempts to invite Harry to one of his Slug Club parties, but Harry avoids them. Throughout the autumn, Harry used Quidditch to dodge Professor Slughorn's Slug Club events, doing this because he disliked the idea and because it was kinder than leaving Ron alone as Hermione had been invited as well.

The Opal Necklace
Harry: "I think Draco Malfoy gave Katie that necklace, Professor."
Minerva McGonagall: "That is a very serious accusation, Potter. Do you have any proof?"
— Harry's suspensions regarding Malfoy[src]

The trio watching as Katie Bell was subjected to the curse on the Opal Necklace while in Hogsmeade

In October, during a Hogsmeade visit, Katie Bell was nearly killed after being bewitched to carry a cursed necklace to Dumbledore. Remembering seeing the same necklace in Borgin's shop, Harry voices his suspicions of Malfoy to Professor McGonagall. But she (like Ron and Hermione) rubbishes his theory, stating that Malfoy did not go to Hogsmeade as he had a detention with her, and that there is no proof that he bought the necklace. Harry felt annoyance towards Ron and Hermione, as they did not back him up, but he did not give up on his theory.

Harry's lessons were quite sporadic that autumn, and he did not have another one until after tragedy befell someone at Hogwarts. In this lesson, Harry first sees Caractacus Burke talking about Slytherin's Locket which a pregnant and desperate Merope had sold him, her husband having abandoned her when she stopped giving him love potion. Dumbledore then focused on Tom Riddle just as he was on the cusp of his Hogwarts years, and Harry discovered a troubled orphan who consciously used his magic to bully and intimidate the other children. Also Harry shared his suspicions of Malfoy with Dumbledore during their lesson, only to be rebuffed.

Harry playing as Seeker in the first match of the season

Not long after that meeting, Quidditch season was upon them. In preparation for their first game, Harry replaced the injured Katie Bell with Dean Thomas. The change produced some results, both expected, as the team excelled on the pitch, and unexpected, as Harry found himself in a jealous rage after seeing Dean kissing Ginny after practice. The team's only problem was Ron, who was suffering from a lack of confidence. In an attempt to boost Ron's confidence, Harry blatantly acted as if he had spiked Ron's pumpkin juice with Felix Felicis. Ron took the bait and played a flawless match; however, Hermione took the bait as well and acted unkindly toward Ron and Harry. While she made up with Harry when he told her of the ruse, Ron's sudden relationship with Lavender Brown led to continued strife, as it spiked jealousy in Hermione.

A Frosty Christmas
Rufus Scrimgeour: "Dumbledore's man through and through, aren't you, Potter?"
Harry: "Yeah, I am. Glad we straightened that out."
— Harry's refusal to be used by the Ministry[src]

While Harry attempted to reconcile his best friends, the Christmas holidays were fast approaching and with them the Slug Club Christmas party out of which Harry could not wrangle. Since "the Chosen One" rumours had been printed, Harry had received an unnatural amount of attention from the young ladies at Hogwarts. Specifically a fourth year named Romilda Vane, who's attention bordered on obsession. As Harry could not ask Ginny to the party, he was left to ask Luna Lovegood to attend with him as a friend. This made Luna extremely happy and hugely disappointed the gaggles of giggling girls who awaited Harry below every doorway with mistletoe, they gave him resentful looks.

Harry overhearing a strange conversation between Draco Malfoy and Professor Snape

At the party, Harry was surprised to learn that Hermione attended with Cormac McLaggen, a large Gryffindor seventh year whom Ron despised. Hermione confessed that she did this solely on the fact that fact that it would annoy Ron the most. He told her that it served her right when McLaggen was less than gentlemanly, only talking about himself and Quidditch. Harry was then forced to endure a conversation with both Snape and Slughorn in regards to his potion making skills and his future career choice. Later, after Malfoy was apprehended "gate-crashing" the party by Filch, Harry learned that Malfoy was indeed up to something. He also learned that Professor Snape had made the Unbreakable Vow with Narcissa in order to protect him.

Harry discussing the overheard conversation between Snape and Malfoy during Christmas holidays

Harry's Christmas was less than enjoyable, as he was cornered by the new Minister for Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour. Scrimgeour had been hoping to speak with Harry for months and used Percy Weasley as his way in. The Minister interrupted the Weasley family Christmas. He tried to persuade Harry to become the Ministry's mascot, an idea that Harry was not prepared to accept. During the meeting Harry proceeded to tell Scrimgeour why he would not offer the Ministry his support, the main reasons being the Ministry's ineffectiveness in dealing with the Death Eater threat, the knowledge that Dolores Umbridge still held a position within the Ministry, the Ministry's refusal to come to his aid when he tried to inform the wizarding community of Voldemort's return the previous year, the fact that the Ministry had proven throughout the previous year that it was incredibly corrupt and dangerously complacent to the point of being rotten, and the mere fact that Harry had no desire to be used. This discussion left Harry and Scrimgeour on increasingly bad terms.

Poisoned mead
"Half our family does seem to owe you their lives, now I stop and think about it... well, all I can say is that it was a lucky day for the Weasleys when Ron decided to sit in your compartment on the Hogwarts Express, Harry."
Arthur Weasley expressing his gratitude[src]

Upon returning to Hogwarts, Harry's sporadic lessons with Dumbledore continued. Early in January, Harry delved into a memory that all but proved that Riddle had murdered his own paternal family after his fifth year at Hogwarts. Then Dumbledore showed Harry a most curious memory, a memory that Professor Slughorn had apparently tampered with, and he gave Harry his first homework assignment: to get the real memory from Slughorn. After impressing Slughorn using a bezoar in class, Harry tried the direct approach only to be instantly shot down.

Harry saving Ron, after the latter ingested poisoned mead

By 1 March, Harry had still not acquired Slughorn's true memory and had begun to grow more obsessed with Draco Malfoy. That morning he awoke to find Ron under the influence of a very powerful Love Potion, and he took him to Slughorn, only for Ron to end up poisoned. Harry managed to act quickly and save him with a Bezoar. This was enough for Hermione to overcome her animosity toward Ron, and the three became friends again. Ron survived, but was not fit for the upcoming Quidditch match, so he was replaced by McLaggen. This turned out to be a bad choice, as McLaggen accidentally knocked Harry unconscious mid-match. Upon his recovery, Harry had yet another lesson with the Headmaster.

One funeral, two memories
Harry: "But you won't help her son. She gave me her life, but you won't give me a memory."
Horace Slughorn: "Don't say that. It isn't a question... If it were to help you, of course... but no purpose can be served..."
Harry: "It can. Dumbledore needs information. I need information. I am the Chosen One. I have to kill him. I need that memory."
— Retrieving the true memory from Slughorn[src]

Harry retrieving the true memory from Slughorn

In his lesson with the Headmaster Harry was upbraided by Dumbledore for not completing his assignment, witnessed the young Tom Riddle murder Hepzibah Smith for the famous artefacts (Slytherin's Locket and Hufflepuff's Cup) she owned, and jinx the Defence Against the Dark Arts post at Hogwarts. However, Harry still could not figure out how to obtain the memory and focused on Malfoy. His interest was bordering on obsession. It was Ron who came up with the solution to Harry's dilemma with Slughorn. He suggested Felix Felicis, liquid luck. In the evening, Harry took the potion and not only managed to obtain the memory, but also solved many of his and his friends's problems, including breaking up not only Ginny Weasley and Dean Thomas, but also Ron and his overly clingy girlfriend Lavender Brown.

Harry and Dumbledore preparing to witness Slughorn's true memory

Even though it was after midnight, Harry immediately went to Dumbledore with the new memory. It confirmed Dumbledore's theory that Lord Voldemort had created not one but multiple Dark magical objects called Horcruxes to ensure his immortality. Together, they theorised that the Dark Lord had created Horcruxes out of special objects such as Riddle's diary and Slytherin's locket. Before Harry left, Dumbledore promised to let Harry join him if he found another Horcrux. With the memory found, Harry had only Quidditch and Malfoy on his mind.

"Harry looked around; there was Ginny running toward him; she had a hard, blazing look in her face as she threw her arms around him. And without thinking, without planning it, without worrying about the fact that fifty people were watching, Harry kissed her. After several long moments — or it might have been half an hour — or possibly several sunlit days — they broke apart."
— Harry and Ginny kissing for the first time[src]

Meanwhile, a recovered Katie had returned to the school, causing Harry to ask her who gave her the necklace. She states that someone Imperiused her in the girl's bathroom at The Three Broomstick. In the week before the final Quidditch match, Harry discovered Malfoy crying in the toilet and a duel ensued. With Malfoy on the verge of using an Unforgivable Curse, Harry cast Sectumsempra, a curse with unknown effects that he found in the Half-Blood Prince's book. The curse nearly killed Malfoy and earning Harry indefinite Saturday detentions with Snape and a telling off from McGonagall.

Harry and Ginny kissing for the first time, thus beginning their romantic relationship

Unable to play in the final match, Harry waited with anticipation as he sat through his first detention. When the dentition was finally over he arrived back at Gryffindor Tower and was happy to discover that the team had won the Quidditch Cup without him. Harry having learned previously that Ginny and Dean had split up and having come to terms with his feelings, was still unwilling to ask her out, fearing Ron's reaction. So in the heat of the moment he spontaneously kissed Ginny while over fifty people watched, about whom he had been thinking quite often. He kissed her after she embraced him in the post-match elation; this marked the beginning of their relationship.

Skirmish in the Horcrux Cave
Albus Dumbledore: "If I tell to to leave me and save yourself, you will do as I tell you"
Harry: "Yes, Sir."
— Dumbledore making a request of Harry[src]

On 30 June, Dumbledore led Harry out of the castle in search of a Horcrux. Before they left, Dumbledore made Harry swear to obey any order given him, regardless of his feelings about said order. From Hogsmeade, they Apparated to a sea-side cave, where Tom Riddle had traumatised two young children from his orphanage in his youth. Once inside, Dumbledore attempted to locate the Horcrux's second line of defence. He spoke in a whispered tongue and found a hidden doorway which only opened when it received an offering of blood. The cave was difficult to enter with a toll paid in blood, and to get to the island in the centre of the cave there was only a small boat.

Dumbledore and Harry arriving in the Crystal Cave

They next found themselves in a vast chamber containing an underground lake, with a solitary island at its centre from which a faint green light was visible. After a failed attempt by Harry at Summoning the Horcrux, Dumbledore located a carefully concealed boat that would allow them safe passage across the lake. During the crossing, Harry learned another of the Horcrux's lines of defence. The lake was filled with Inferi (animated corpses of Voldemort's previous victims) which would attack anyone who touched the lake's water. Dumbledore instructed Harry on the use of fire as the weapon of choice against the Inferi, should it become necessary. Inferi fear both light and warmth. The thought of the Inferi hidden below caused Harry unease, but was quickly reassured by Dumbledore.

Harry forcing Dumbledore to continue drinking the emerald potion within the stone basin

Once on the island, Dumbledore found a stone basin from which he could not remove the Horcrux, without drinking the Emerald Potion that the Horcrux resided in. Harry was reluctant that either one of them drink it, as they did not know its effects, but there was no way to avoid it. Dumbledore extracted a promise from Harry that he would force him to drink, no matter how much he tried to persuade him not to. With this promise, Dumbledore drank and Harry watched as Dumbledore was driven out of his mind, but upheld his promise.

Dumbledore drank and experienced intense stomach pains, dehydration and saw visions that mentally tortured him. Harry later thought that Dumbledore saw the duel between him, Aberforth, and Grindelwald. Harry managed to get the potion down Dumbledore's throat. When they finally finished the potion, Dumbledore fell unconscious. When he was revived by Harry he asked for water. Harry attempted to conjure water for Dumbledore with a Water-Making Charm, but this proved ineffective as the water disappeared before Dumbledore could drink it. This being another defence designed by Voldemort. In desperation Harry filled a cup with water from the lake, triggering the army of Inferi that were waiting below.

Harry was overwhelmed by Voldemort's army of Inferi

As he splashed the water on Dumbledore's face, Harry felt something ice cold on his arm and saw a disgusting hand and the Inferi climbing up from the lake. Harry panicked and attempted to fight back with a multitude of spells and curses, including Impedimenta and Sectumsempra. None of the spells worked, since the Inferi were too numerous and could not feel pain. He was overwhelmed and dragged under.

Dumbledore, having regained consciousness, created a ring of fire around them that repelled the Inferi. He pocketed the Locket and drove the Inferi back into the lake while he and Harry escaped in the boat. Harry then proceeded to Apparate them back to Hogsmeade.

Battle of the Astronomy Tower
"The lightning-struck tower. Calamity. Disaster. Coming nearer all the time."
— Prediction of the battle[src]

After a short broomstick ride through the village they landed atop the Astronomy Tower. Once on the tower they discovered that Hogwarts had been invaded by Death Eaters, but Harry's friends Ron, Hermione, Luna, Neville, and Ginny, who had been ordered by Harry to watch the school lest Malfoy accomplish his nefarious goal. The D.A. members battled alongside the Order of the Phoenix, on the floor below Harry and Dumbledore, with some help from the remainder of Harry's vial of Felix Felicis. Dumbledore had stopped Harry from fighting and frozen him against a wall with a Full Body-Bind Curse, hidden underneath his invisibility cloak, so all he could do was helplessly watch and wait. While waiting Harry witnessed the death of Albus Dumbledore at the hands of Severus Snape.

Harry witnessing Albus Dumbledore's death at the hands of Severus Snape

Dumbledore's body plummeted from the tallest tower at Hogwarts. With Dumbledore dead, Harry was free of the spell that petrified him. He immediately set off after Snape, petrifying a Death Eater and seeking revenge. As the Death Eaters made their way out of Hogwarts Castle and on to the grounds, trying to reach the border where they would be able to Apparate again, Harry pursued and faced off against Snape. Harry tried many times to defeat Snape, even weakly attempting the Cruciatus Curse and Snape's own hand crafted spells, all with no effect. In the process, Snape identified himself as the Half-Blood Prince, and escaped Hogwarts with Draco Malfoy and the other Death Eaters.

Harry kneeling net to the body of the recently deceased Albus Dumbledore

Hagrid found Harry and together they managed to extinguish the fire that burnt Hagrid's hut (caused by Thorfinn Rowle) with the Water-Making Charm. Harry then told Hagrid that "Snape killed Dumbledore", but Hagrid refused to believe him. Harry and Hagrid returned to the castle to find people staring at Dumbledore's crippled and lifeless body. Harry moved forward the base of the Astronomy Tower and found his mentor's body lying still upon the ground and Hagrid finally believed him. Harry proceeded to stay next to Dumbledore's body thinking that everything that previously happened that night had been all for naught. Harry started crying over Dumbledore's corpse as well as straightening his half-moon spectacles upon his crooked nose and Harry wiping a trickle of blood from the dead Headmaster's mouth with his (Harry's) own sleeve. Hagrid tried many times to get Harry to move, but did not succeed. It was only when he was comforted by Ginny that Harry finally consented to move.

Harry and Hermione reading the note from Regulus Black inside the fake locket

Harry remembering the locket, took it from Dumbledore's robes. He was absolutely beside himself when he learned it was just a plain bit of jewellery. It was in fact a decoy; there was a note inside the locket that revealed the real Horcrux was taken by someone called 'R.A.B.'. It appeared to Harry that Dumbledore had died in vain and that they had achieved nothing that night. Harry was still processing this information while Ginny escorted him to the Hospital Wing on McGonagall's orders, all the while holding his hand as means of comfort. Later at the end of the year, Harry would inform Hermione and Ron of the decoy locket.

Once in the Hospital Wing he found a injured Neville apparently asleep in bed, as well as: Ron, Hermione, Luna, Tonks, Lupin, Madam Pomfrey, and Ron's brother Bill Weasley. At some point during the battle Bill had been horribly scarred by Fenrir Greyback. When Ginny announced that Dumbledore was dead, everyone appeared horrified. Lupin actually lost control for a moment, while Madam Pomfrey burst into tears and McGonagall was weak-kneed. Harry explained to everyone what had happened on the Astronomy Tower and when he was finished, they were all shocked by what he had said. Harry also revealed Dumbledore's apparent reasons for trusting Snape and allowing him a second chance.

Funeral of Albus Dumbledore
"And he knew, without knowing how he knew it, that the phoenix had gone, had left Hogwarts for good, just as Dumbledore had left the school, had left the world... had left Harry."
— Fawkes leaving represented Dumbledore's departure[src]

After leaving the hospital wing McGonagall questions Harry about what he and Dumbledore were doing, but Harry under orders from Dumbledore not to tell anyone except Ron and Hermione, refuses. The teachers then discuss the future of Hogwarts, and plans for Dumbledore's funeral. Harry turns his back on the Half-Blood Prince's book, and regrets ever possessing it. Hermione and Ron comfort him, stating that nothing in the book ever indicated that he was capable of murder.

Harry attending Dumbledore's funeral (left side, sixth row)

Following the death of Albus Dumbledore, his funeral was carried out. Harry was disgusted to see that Dolores Umbridge and Rita Skeeter had the nerve to attend his funeral, but he did not want to make a scene at Dumbledore's funeral and bit his tongue. Knowing that he would have to hunt down Voldemort's Horcruxes and, fearing for her safety, Harry took Ginny aside, and broke off their romance. Ginny told him that she did not care about the danger of being his girlfriend, but Harry still thought it was best if the two stopped seeing each other. He then spoke to Ron and Hermione, who committed to forgoing their final year at Hogwarts in order to accompany him, despite his protests.

Horcrux hunt (1997–1998)

Hermione Granger: "You said to us once before that there was time to turn back if we wanted to. We've had time, haven't we?"
Ron Weasley: "We're with you, whatever happens mate."
— A vow to help Harry with his hunt for Horcruxes[src]

Harry and Petunia saying their goodbyes to each other

After Albus Dumbledore's death (Dumbledore was the one who began the hunt in July 1996) at the hands of Severus Snape during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower, the mission fell to Harry Potter to complete. He had to complete it if he was to finally defeat Voldemort. He was joined by Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. With four Horcruxes remaining (plus the unknown soul fragment residing inside Harry) the trio made plans.

Harry, Hermione, and Ron all remained committed to their goal to locate and destroy Voldemort's Horcruxes. To protect their families Hermione altered her parents' memories so that they forgot they had a daughter, then instructed them to move to Australia, and with some help from Fred, George, and their father, Ron transfigured the family ghoul to resemble himself with Spattergroit. Harry's aunt and uncle were taken into hiding by several members of the Order of the Phoenix, such as Dedalus Diggle and Hestia Jones, despite many misgivings on the part of the Dursleys.

Battle of the Seven Potters

Hermione Granger: "I told them you'd take it like this."
Harry: "If you think I'm going to let six people risk their lives — !"
Ron Weasley : "— because it's the first time for all of us."
— The trio arguing over the seven Potters plan[src]

The seven Potters

Harry stayed at 4 Privet Drive for a time, but the Order of the Phoenix needed to evacuate him to the Burrow before he turned seventeen. On 27 July the Order sent the Dursleys into hiding first. Harry was surprised by Dudley's gratitude towards him for saving his soul and his sincere goodbye. Six out of thirteen of Harry's escorts took Polyjuice Potion to take on Harry's appearance in order to be diversions if they were attacked, despite Harry's protests. Harry also secretly thought that he wished they would respect his body more. Upon leaving, the group was attacked by over thirty cloaked Death Eaters. Harry rode with Hagrid on his godfather Sirius' old motorbike, that had been modified. They were attacked by multiple Death Eaters, including an Imperiused Stan Shunpike and eventually Lord Voldemort himself, who had invented and mastered unsupported flight.

Harry's wand retaliating automatically against Voldemort during the battle

Harry's owl Hedwig was hit by a stray Killing Curse a Death Eater sent Harry's way. When Voldemort caught up with them, Harry thought this was the end, but his wand acted on its own to strike out at the man who was both "kin and mortal enemy", destroying Voldemort's borrowed wand. The chaos ended when Harry and Hagrid passed the protective enchantments placed over the house of Nymphadora Tonks' parents, although Harry was still completely grief-stricken over the death of his beloved owl. After finding Hagrid safe and sound, the pair took a Portkey to the Burrow, where he found a worried Molly and Ginny Weasley standing watch outside in the darkness.

Harry and others safely at the Burrow after participating in the sky battle earlier that night

Harry was relieved to see that Hermione and Ron were fine, but was shocked when Remus Lupin arrived with George Weasley, who had lost an ear. Everyone else arrived safely, but Alastor Moody who had been murdered by Voldemort and Mundungus Fletcher, who had Disapparated as soon as the fight started. Many amongst those gathered at the Burrow believed that they had been betrayed, but Harry refused to believe any of those he loved would sell him to Voldemort, much to the chagrin of Remus Lupin. Harry then stormed outside, where he was struck by a vision of Voldemort torturing Ollivander.

Time at the Burrow

Rufus Scrimgeour: "Remembered you're not at school, have you? Remembered that I am not Dumbledore, who forgave your insolence and insubordination? You may wear that scar like a crown, Potter, but it is not up to a seventeen-year-old boy to tell me how to do my job! It's time you learned some respect!"
Harry: "It's time you earned it."
— A row during the reading of Albus Dumbledore's will[src]

Once settled in at the Burrow, Harry, Ron, and Hermione helped prepare the wedding ceremony of Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour. The day before the wedding, the group celebrated Harry's seventeenth birthday. Harry received a watch from Mr and Mrs Weasley, a traditional coming-of-age gift. Ginny also gave him the most passionate kiss they have ever shared. It was something to remember her by in case he "meets some veela" during the Horcrux hunt. Harry responded by saying that "dating opportunities will be thin". The pair was then interrupted by Ron and Hermione.

Scrimgeour giving the first Snitch Harry caught, willed to him by Albus Dumbledore

At the party that night, Minister for Magic Rufus Scrimgeour arrived to release the contents of Albus Dumbledore's will. Harry was left the first Snitch he had ever caught in a Quidditch match and Godric Gryffindor's Sword; Scrimgeour withheld this second gift, claiming that it was a historical magical item and was not exclusively Harry's property. Noting that Harry, Ron, and Hermione were the only students mentioned by name in the will, he asked the trio why this was; the three were unable to give him an answer.

On 1 August, Harry attended Bill and Fleur's wedding disguised as a distant Weasley cousin, Barny Weasley. They used polyjuice potion and the hairs of a red-haired Muggle boy from the village to disguise him. During the party, Harry met Luna Lovegood's father, Xenophilius, (who wore a necklace bearing an Triangle-Eyed symbol) and Viktor Krum, (who dislikes the symbol for it is synonymous with the dark wizard Grindelwald, who attended Krum's school, Durmstrang). The reception was interrupted when the Patronus of Kingsley Shacklebolt arrived and announced the fall of the Ministry of Magic and the death of Rufus Scrimgeour. Chaos erupted and guests started to flee, while Harry and Hermione drew their wands and grabbed Ron before Disapparating to Tottenham Court Road.

The trio duelling Antonin Dolohov and Thorfinn Rowle in Luchino Caffe

There, Hermione revealed that she had planned ahead, packing supplies in her bag, which had an Undetectable Extension Charm on it. Ron changed, and Harry put on his Invisibility cloak, and the three then entered a nearby café to hang low for a while. Whilst at the café, Ron and Hermione discussed the events of the wedding and Voldemort's coup. They unwittingly broke the Taboo curse that had been placed on Voldemort's name when the Death Eaters overthrew the Ministry of Magic, alerting Death Eaters Antonin Dolohov and Thorfinn Rowle to their location. After a brief skirmish, the trio defeated the Death Eaters, whose memories Hermione wiped at Harry's suggestion. Harry, Ron, and Hermione then found refuge at 12 Grimmauld Place.

Infiltrating the Ministry of Magic

"You're going to leave here with us. Go home, grab your children, and get out, get out of the country if you've got to. Disguise yourselves and run. You've seen how it is, you won't get anything like a fair hearing here."
— Harry freeing prisoners from the Muggle-Born Registration Commission[src]

Harry labelled as "Undesirable No. 1" by the Ministry

Having found no leads regarding the Horcruxes over the summer, Harry discovered R.A.B. during the trio's first morning at 12 Grimmauld Place. Once Hermione remembered that the locket had been in the house during its occupation by the Order of the Phoenix, Harry summoned Kreacher, and they learned that it had been stolen by Mundungus Fletcher. When the trio questioned him about it, he revealed that it was now in the possession of Dolores Umbridge. On the same day, Remus Lupin had been to visit. He asked Harry if he could join them, but once Harry found out that Tonks was pregnant, he refused. This caused a temporary rift between the two of them.

For the following month, the trio would take turns under the Invisibility cloak to watch the Ministry entrance. On 2 September after formulating their plans, they managed to infiltrate the Ministry. Using Polyjuice Potion Harry transformed into Albert Runcorn. Once inside the Ministry it became apparent that the trio did not plan well enough, as they focused all their attention on how to get in and not what they were going to do once inside. Harry searched Umbridge's office but did not find the locket. He did, however, take Moody's eye from her door. Finding Umbridge trying Muggle-borns for "stealing" magic, Hermione managed to trick Umbridge into revealing the locket, and she lied about how she obtained it.

Harry casting his stag Patronus at Dementors, right before capturing Slytherin's locket

Furious, Harry stunned both her and Yaxley. He and Hermione freed the Muggle-borns who were being held by the Muggle-Born Registration Commission, and Hermione conjured a copy of the locket while they took the real thing. They met up with Ron again and escaped, though Yaxley grabbed Hermione's arm while they were Disapparating. She evaded him with a Revulsion Jinx, but the location of 12 Grimmauld Place was revealed to him, and they were forced to abandon it as a hide-out. But instead Hermione took them to the woods that were once the location of the Quidditch World Cup.

Ron's departure

Harry: "I thought you knew what you'd signed up for."
Ron Weasley: "Yeah, I thought I did too."
Harry: "So what part of it isn't living up to your expectations? Did you think we'd be staying in five-star hotels? Finding a Horcrux every other day? Did you think you'd be back to Mummy by Christmas?"
Ron Weasley: "We thought you knew what you were doing! We thought Dumbledore had told you what to do, we thought you had a real plan!"
— Harry and Ron having a nasty row before the latter's departure[src]

After securing Slytherin's locket, the three friends took turns wearing it, to ensure it was not lost. The locket had a negative influence on all of them, straining relations and causing them to all act moody and inclined to get into petty arguments. They overheard a goblin saying that the sword protected by Snape was a fake. They learned that the Sword of Gryffindor in Snape's office was a copy of the real sword, and that they would have to trace the location of the real sword.

Harry and Ron Weasley rowing before Ron abandoned the hunt

Harry and Hermione were excited at knowing what object they could use to destroy Horcruxes, but the locket's negative energy pushed Ron over the edge. Knowing that they now had something they were not close to destroying, Ron and Harry got into a horrible row. Ron accused Harry of not knowing what he was doing and not being very concerned when they learned that Ginny Weasley had been punished for attempting to steal Gryffindor's sword for them, along with Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood. Ron then abandoned his friends accusing Hermione of preferring Harry to himself.

Harry and Hermione apparating away

Ron's departure left both Harry and Hermione depressed. Once he left, Harry and Hermione left the camping site they were last in. Hermione tied her scarf on a tree for a reason. With the locket in hand they apparated away to Malham Cove.

Harry and Hermione happily dancing, forgetting about life and having a good time

They set up the tent and Harry stared into the sunset before dark. Hermione was listening to music in which Harry noticed and came in. Hermione was even more depressed as her boyfriend left them. Harry offered Hermione a dance in which she took and they danced until the song ended, they were happy for that moment.

Harry watching his Snitch fly

That morning, Harry sat in his tent bed and watched his Golden Snitch and kissed it, revealing it was made from Flesh Memory.

Harry and Hermione discussing, they should go to Godric's Hollow

He went to Hermione and told her this in which she replied that she noticed the Sign of the Deathly Hallows in her copy. They decided to head to Godric's Hollow, as Harry wanted to visit his parents' graves, and Hermione had convinced herself that Dumbledore might have entrusted the Sword of Gryffindor to Bathilda Bagshot, a magical historian who lived there and who had been friendly with the Potters and the Dumbledores.

Attack at Godric's Hollow

Hermione Granger: "Meanwhile, we went to Godric's Hollow and, let's think, what happened there, Harry? Oh yes, You-Know-Who's snake turned up, it nearly killed both of us and then You-Know-Who himself arrived and missed us by about a second."
Ron Weasley: "What?"
— Hermione recounting the attack at Godric's Hollow[src]

Harry and Hermione visiting James and Lily's grave while in Godric's Hollow

They arrived on Christmas Eve. After seeing the memorial dedicated to his parents and himself, Harry and Hermione searched the graveyard for the Potters's grave and came across the grave of Kendra and Ariana Dumbledore and that of Ignotus Peverell. Harry was filled with regret that Dumbledore had not shared this connection with him. Upon discovering Harry's parents' grave Hermione called out to him and comforted Harry when he reached the grave. After placing a conjured wreath of flowers on his parents' graves, the two then met Bathilda Bagshot, who motioned for them to follow her into her home. Believing Bathilda wanted to give him Gryffindor's Sword, Harry accompanied her upstairs alone when she indicated that Hermione should stay downstairs.

Nagini attacking Harry in Bathilda Bagshot's cottage

Once there, she questioned Harry in what he did not realise was Parseltongue, revealing herself to in fact be Nagini, Voldemort's snake. Voldemort had murdered Bathilda and animated her corpse to hide Nagini, who attacked Harry, biting and coiling herself around Harry. Hermione raced upstairs and repelled the snake, while Harry's scar burned, alerting him to Voldemort's approach. The pair managed to escape, but Harry was knocked unconscious and such a close call with Voldemort caused the connection to re-open and Harry had a vision of his parents' demise. And in the scuffle, Harry's wand was accidentally broken by Hermione's Blasting Curse.

Ron's return and obtaining the Sword of Gryffindor

"Ron, stab it, STAB IT! "
— Harry and Ron confronting Voldemort's locket Horcrux[src]

After escaping Voldemort, Harry and Hermione camped out in the Forest of Dean, where Hermione healed Nagini's bite with Dittany. When they were camped out there, Harry and Hermione read parts of Rita Skeeter's biography of Dumbledore, The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore which Hermione had stolen from the home of Bathilda Bagshot. Upon reading, Harry felt betrayed, because Dumbledore had not shared this information with him. Hermione tried to convince Harry that Dumbledore had his best interests at heart, but Harry became quite disillusioned.

Harry being led by a doe Patronus to the hiding place of the Sword of Gryffindor

A couple nights later, while standing guard outside the tent, Harry was lead by a silver doe Patronus to a frozen pool into which someone had placed the Sword of Gryffindor, which leads Harry to strip to his underwear and jump in the pool. While trying to acquire the sword, the locket attempted to strangle him, but he was rescued by Ron, who had returned through the use of his Deluminator.

Ron destroying the locket Horcrux with the Sword of Gryffindor

During the brief intense skirmish, the Horcrux created disturbing imagery, as a last line of defence. Ron was showed his deepest fears, such as spiders and telling him that he was the least loved by his mother who craved a daughter. The final taunt was creating apparitions of Harry and Hermione. The naked Harry and Hermione began to kiss passionately angering Ron, who then destroyed the Horcrux with the sword, casting the two away. As Ron had saved his life, Harry forgave him for leaving and after seeing the Horcrux torture Ron, explained that he had no feelings for Hermione beyond that of a sibling. Hermione, who had been inside the tent during the destruction of the Horcrux, was angry with Ron for a longer period.

Visit to the Lovegood House

Hermione Granger: "‘There were once three brothers who were travelling along a long, winding road at twilight — "
Ron Weasley : "Midnight, our mum always told us. Sorry, I just think it's a bit spookier if it's midnight!"
Harry: "Yeah, because we really need a bit more fear in our lives."
— The reading of The Tales of Beedle the Bard at the Lovegood House[src]

The trio speaking with Xenophilius Lovegood at his home, near the village of Ottery St Catchpole

On 30 December at Hermione's request, the three friends travelled to Luna Lovegood's home to question Xenophilius Lovegood. They asked about a triangular symbol Dumbledore had left them to decipher in the book he bequeathed to Hermione. After learning of the Deathly Hallows, Harry, Ron, and Hermione discovered that Xenophilius summoned Death Eaters in an attempt to persuade them to return his abducted daughter. The trio escaped the Death Eaters when Hermione blasted the floor open to show them Harry, but managed to keep Ron's alibi of being sick at home with spattergroit intact by covering him with the Invisibility Cloak.

Hermione arguing with a listless Harry over his obsession with the Deathly Hallows

Harry soon became obsessed by the Deathly Hallows. He spent everyday brooding over the possibilities, forgetting about his responsibilities. With Harry's new found obsession with the Hallows, he became more and more withdrawn and listless. He came to believe that the Resurrection Stone was enclosed within the Golden Snitch bequeathed to him by Dumbledore. He also surmised that Lord Voldemort was abroad in a search for the Elder Wand. This obsession troubled his friends, and with the drop in Harry's attentiveness Ron's leadership qualities flourished.

Skirmish at Malfoy Manor

"You're a lying, you filthy Mudblood, and I know it! You have been inside my vault at Gringotts! Tell the truth, tell the truth! What else did you take? What else have you got? Tell me the truth or, I swear, I shall run you through with this knife! What else did you take, what else? ANSWER ME! CRUCIO!"
— Overheard parts of Bellatrix's interrogation of Hermione Granger[src]

After listening to a broadcast of Potterwatch around Easter 1998, Harry determined that Voldemort was seeking the Elder Wand, and accidentally broke the Taboo on Voldemort's name. Captured by a gang of Snatchers led by Fenrir Greyback, the trio were questioned about who they were. Hermione had previously hit Harry in the face with a Stinging Hex in an attempt to conceal their true identities, but it all amounted to nothing as the Snatchers then found the Sword of Gryffindor. After Greyback and Scabior realised that they had caught Harry Potter, the trio were taken to Malfoy Manor in Wiltshire. The Snatchers decided to forgo taking Harry to the Ministry, but instead to Voldemort directly.

Bellatrix Lestrange incapacitating Snatchers at Malfoy Manor

When Bellatrix Lestrange learned that Harry had been caught, she immediately sought to summon Voldemort. She planned to do this, until she noticed one of the Snatchers had the Sword of Gryffindor, which was supposed to be in her vault at