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This article covers a subject that has been deemed non-canon by either the author or the Harry Potter licensees, and thus should not be taken as a part of the "real" Harry Potter universe.
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The burning of the Burrow was a skirmish of the Second Wizarding War that occurred on 25 December, 1996 outside the Weasley family home on the outskirts of Ottery St. Catchpole. Planning to lure Harry Potter out of his safe house and capture him, the Death Eaters attacked The Burrow on Christmas day. While they succeeded in drawing Harry out into the open, they failed to capture him as several members of the Order of the Phoenix came to his protection. While all of its inhabitants were outside, except the family ghoul, the Death Eaters burned the Burrow to the ground after failing to capture Harry Potter.
In the aftermath of the Return of the Dark Lord, the capture of Harry Potter became among the highest priorities for Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters. Over the following year, they pursued a plan to capture Harry and the prophecy concerning him and Lord Voldemort. This plan resulted in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries and the death of Sirius Black at the hands of Bellatrix Lestrange. With Harry alive and having failed to obtain the Prophecy, the Death Eaters sought another way of capturing him.
For the Christmas holidays in 1996, Harry joined his friend Ron and his family at their home, The Burrow. While their usual companion, Hermione Granger, was not present due to a falling out with Ron, other family friends and members of the Order of the Phoenix namely, Nymphadora Tonks and Remus Lupin, had joined the family for Christmas supper.
By the time the assembled company had finished their Christmas supper, the Death Eaters were already hidden among the reeds in the marshland near The Burrow, spying on the house. As Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks were leaving, Bellatrix Lestrange Apparated a few metres from the front door then encircled the house with a raging ring of fire. Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley watched the scene from an upper-story window. When he saw Lestrange fleeing into the marshland, Harry took off after her in an attempt to avenge the murder of his godfather, Sirius Black, the previous summer.
Ginny ran after Harry trying to stop him, as the ring of fire closed behind her, attacking and holding back Lupin, Tonks, and Mr. Weasley who had attempted to follow the pair into the reeds. As Harry tore after Bellatrix through the tall-grass, she taunted him, chanting "I killed Sirius Black! I killed Sirius Black!" and "Are you coming to get me?" Suddenly, Bellatrix Disapparated, leaving Harry disoriented among the reeds.
By this time, Ginny had lost her way, as well. Hearing a noise behind her, she looked to see if it was Harry, only to be approached by Fenrir Greyback. As she was about to be attacked, Harry emerged from behind her and tried to Stun Greyback, but his spell was deflected with ease. Greyback then Disapparated into the surrounding tall-grass, where he and Bellatrix encircled the pair in order to confuse them. As the two Death Eaters heard the adults approaching, they started jinxing Harry and Ginny who deflected the spells.
Hearing the spells being cast ahead of them, Lupin, Tonks, and Mr. Weasley joined Harry and Ginny and tried to protect them. Largely outnumbered, the Death Eaters retreated, setting fire to The Burrow in the process. After the incident the Burrow was rebuilt during the rest of Harry's sixth year.
Behind the scenes
- This skirmish was shown in the film and video game adaptations of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and did not occur in the book. As it contradicts the events of the novel, it is not considered canon.
- In the the first part of the film adaptation of Deathly Hallows, parts of the Burrow appear to be freshly painted, presumably reflecting which parts were rebuilt after the fire.
- It has been speculated that the ring of fire Bellatrix cast around the Burrow may have been Fiendfyre, although this remains unconfirmed.
- In the video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry duels Bellatrix Lestrange and Fenrir Greyback, which doesn't happen in the film, where Harry only fires a few spells at Greyback, which he deflected.
- Despite the magical defences, Bellatrix still managed to cause major damage to the Burrow.
- In the trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film), Greyback is seen disarming Ginny of her wand but this scene is not in the final cut of the film. The reason for this is currently unknown.
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film) (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter LEGO Sets