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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."
—Description of Harry's deepest nature[src]

Harry James[60] Potter (b. 31 July 1980[1]) is a 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), both respected members of the original Order of the Phoenix, Harry was conceived in the overshadow of a recently made prophecy naming either him or his future classmate Neville Longbottom the sole person to bring about Lord Voldemort's downfall, which was partially overheard by Lily's childhood best friend and then-Death Eater, Severus Snape. In response to being marked for death, he spent a portion of his infancy hiding with his parents under a Fidelius Charm cast on the Potter Cottage for their safety, only for their location to be divulged to Voldemort by its Secret-Keeper. In Voldemort's vain attempt to circumvent the prophecy, when the boy was only a year and three months old at the time, Harry witnessed the murder his parents as they tried to protect him, but an unsuccessful attempt to vanquish Harry led to Voldemort's first downfall, marking the end of the First Wizarding War and to Harry henceforth being known as the "Boy Who Lived."[5]

One consequence of Lily's loving sacrifice was that her orphaned son had to be raised by her only remaining blood relative, his Muggle aunt Petunia Dursley. While in her care he would be protected from Lord Voldemort, due to the Bond of Blood charm Albus Dumbledore placed upon him.[61] This powerful charm would protect him until he became of age, or no longer called his aunt's house home. As the only known survivor of the Killing Curse (up to that point), Harry was already famous before he arrived at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The Dursley family were quite cruel to Harry growing up even forcing him to room in a broom closet and to wear their son Dudley's hand me downs. They did not treat Harry as a son as Dumbledore had hoped, but as a burden. They (unsuccessfully) tried to stamp every ounce of magic out of him.

On his eleventh birthday, Harry learned that he was a wizard.[62] He began attending Hogwarts in 1991 and was Sorted into Gryffindor House.[63] While at school, Harry became best friends with Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, and later became the youngest Quidditch Seeker in over a century and eventually the captain of his house's team, winning two Quidditch Cups.[64] 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 stag Patronus at the age of thirteen. In his fourth year, Harry won the Triwizard Tournament, although the competition ended with the tragic death of Cedric Diggory and the return of Lord Voldemort. During the next school year, Harry reluctantly taught and led Dumbledore's Army. He also fought in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, during which he lost his godfather, Sirius Black.

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, and learned that Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks, Colin Creevey, and many others had fallen in battle as well. He encountered Voldemort and sacrificed himself, knowing that his doing so was the only way to destroy the fragment of Voldemort's soul inside him. In limbo, after Voldemort cursed him in the forest clearing, Albus Dumbledore gave Harry advice and background information on the Dark Lord. When told he could choose to live or to "move on", Harry chose to live. After he awoke he confronted Voldemort and defeated him once and for all. Harry was also notable 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.[58] At some point, he married Ginny Weasley, with whom he had three children: James Sirius (named after his father and godfather), Albus Severus (named after Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape), and Lily Luna (named after his mother and Luna Lovegood). He was also named the godfather of Edward Remus Lupin. In 2007 Harry was promoted to Head of the Auror Office at the age of 26[65][57], and would occasionally deliver Defence Against the Dark Arts lectures at Hogwarts.[58] He later went on to be Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement by the summer of 2020.[59]

Biography

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]
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Harry as an infant with his late parents

The Potters were an old and wealthy pure-blood family[66], descended from their founding patriarch Linfred of Stinchcombe. Linfred was given the nickname 'Potterer', which over the years was corrupted into 'Potter'. The family took on the simplified nickname as a surname, thus leading to future generations calling themselves Potter.[46]

The Potters were also descended from the Peverell family, through Iolanthe Peverell.[46] 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, another of the three brothers that created the Hallows, who passed the Resurrection Stone down to his descendants as a family heirloom, set in a signet ring.[67] The Potters were thus indirectly related to the Gaunts as well, and by extension Lord Voldemort.[68]

Before the start of the 17th century, some of Harry's ancestors migrated to the US. The Potters once held strong ties with the Magical Congress of the United States of America.[69] 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.[69]

Two members of the Potter family have held positions on the Wizengamot.[46] 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.[46]

Conversely, Harry's mother Lily Evans was a Muggle-born, the first witch in her family. Lily had an older sister, Petunia, who, after Lily's death, was forced to raise Harry alongside her son, Dudley Dursley.

As the Potters were considered a pure-blood family, Harry was related paternally to various other wizards and witches through families like the: Blacks, MalfoysWeasleys, and Longbottoms (as well as many other pure-blood families).[70] Harry's only known maternal relatives were the Evans and Dursley families, who were Muggles.

Early life (1980-1981)

"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]
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Harry as an infant faces death for the first time at the hands of Lord Voldemort

Harry James Potter was born on 31 July, 1980,[1] to James and Lily Potter (née Evans), two members of the original Order of the Phoenix at the height of the First Wizarding War, only hours after his classmate-to-be Neville Longbottom.[71]

Lily and James went into hiding in late 1979 when they discovered she was pregnant.[72] When Harry was born, Lily held a christening; it was quiet and quick, with only James, Lily, Harry, and Sirius in attendance.[73] Harry spent his infancy in hiding with his parents in the Potter Cottage at Godric's Hollow in the West Country, England.[23]

For Harry's first birthday, Sirius bought him a toy broomstick. In Lily's letter to Sirius, it 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. Lily and James also hosted a very quiet birthday tea. The only ones in attendance were them, Harry, and Bathilda Bagshot. The Potters owned a cat, but it is unknown what happened to it after Voldemort's attack.[73]

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Voldemort arrives at Godric's Hollow intending to murder infant Harry

To keep them safe from Lord Voldemort, who had marked them for death after hearing of a prophecy regarding his downfall at the hands of a male child born at the end of July in 1980, Albus Dumbledore suggested they use the Fidelius Charm. The Potters had planned to make Harry's godfather Sirius Black their Secret Keeper, but on his advice, changed this designation to Peter Pettigrew, whom they thought would be less suspicious.[74] In a terrible turn of fate, Pettigrew was a spy and Death Eater for Voldemort and barely a week later betrayed the Potter's and gave their whereabouts.[75]

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The Potter family home under attack, Lily is 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.[76] Her sacrifice prevented the Killing Curse from working on Harry, resulting in her love for Harry becoming a barrier 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.

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.[77] Later, this also included Harry himself because a piece of Voldemort's unstable soul latched onto Harry, giving some of his abilities such as the ability to speak Parseltongue, to Harry. 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 a bane and also 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.

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Rubeus Hagrid delivers 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, though reluctant, relented and gave Hagrid his flying motorcycle to take Harry to Privet Drive, and left to find Peter Pettigrew, who subsequently faked his death and framed Sirius for his death and the death of twelve muggles. [78] Later this encounter with Hagrid is used to support the idea that Sirius Black betrayed the Potters to Voldemort.

Hagrid delivered Harry to Dumbledore late on the evening of 1 November 1981.[5] Dumbledore left a letter of explanation to the Dursleys, but they never relayed it to Harry. Instead, Harry spent the next decade of his life in their strict and miserable home without knowing that he was a wizard.

Life at Privet Drive (1981-1991)

"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]
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Albus Dumbledore leaves infant Harry and a note on the doorstep of 4 Privet Drive 

As Harry's aunt and uncle, the Dursleys were Muggles, and they had no understanding of magic, and even though his aunt and uncle knew about his lineage, they wanted absolutely nothing to do with it. The Dursleys proudly considered themselves a "normal" family and despised anything out of the ordinary. 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 (which he had received from Voldemort's failed Killing Curse, and could vaguely recall as if he 'strained his memory' a green flash of light and a high, cold, laugh.) was from the same car crash his parents died in.[79] He tried to understand what it was, or if it was from the car crash, but he simply could not. Petunia and Vernon forbid Harry 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.[80]

They resented Harry for his magic, which was sporadic, but evident. They strongly discouraged any sort of imagination. The Dursleys also verbally and emotionally abused Harry — sometimes by depriving him of meals — whenever something "unusual" occurred. The way he was treated bordered on abuse, but 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.[79]

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Harry's cupboard beneath the staircase

The Dursleys spoiled and pampered their son Dudley and paid almost no attention to Harry; indeed, what little attention they did pay to him was negative in its entirety. All his clothes were hand-me-downs from Dudley and were far too large for Harry. He was made 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 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.

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. Unlike Vernon, 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.[79] She eventually made a fool out of the young Potter during Dudley's tenth birthday, when Harry accidentally stepped the paw of her favourite pet bulldog Ripper, causing the enraged mutt 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.[79]

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Harry standing with his aunt in the kitchen at 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.

Unknown to Harry, one of his neighbours, Arabella Figg, was a Squib. Unfortunately for Harry, to maintain favour with the Dursleys, she was forced by Albus Dumbledore 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's suffering.

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Harry 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's best friend Piers Polkiss. 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.[79] After this incident, the enraged Dursleys sentenced Harry to his cupboard until the beginning of the summer holidays.[81]

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]
BlueWig

Harry Potter accidentally turns his primary school teacher's wig blue

Harry attended St. Grogory's Primary School,[82] a Muggle primary school, with Dudley. He had no friends there, since all the students were afraid of Dudley's gang, all of whose members hated Harry because Dudley did. In particular, Dudley's friends liked to play a unique game — 'Harry Hunting' — which involved chasing Harry. Although he 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 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.[83]

Discovery of being a wizard

"Yer a wizard, Harry, and a thumpin' good one I'd wager, once yer trained up a bit, o' course."
Rubeus Hagrid upon meeting Harry for the first time[src]
Hogwarts letter

Harry receives his 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's 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 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, 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.[81]

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Hagrid prepared a birthday cake for Harry 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.[62]

This would be Harry's first birthday celebration, and Hagrid gave him a small homemade birthday cake and later, a snowy owl, whom Harry named Hedwig, a name he had found from his textbook ( History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot). 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.

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Harry at Ollivanders in 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 long ago chosen Tom Riddle as its master. But Riddle, after he turned to evil and assumed the alias of Lord Voldemort, ended up using this wand to attack Harry and his parents. The two wands, sharing the same phoenix origin, had a unique connection which would prevent them from successfully duelling against each other in the years to come.

Hogwarts years (1991-1997)

First year

Albus Dumbledore: "Harry, do you know why Professor Quirrell couldn't bear to have you touch him? It was because of your mother. She sacrificed herself for you. And that kind of act leaves a mark... This kind of mark cannot be seen. It lives in your very skin."
Harry: "What is it?"
Albus Dumbledore: "Love, Harry. Love."
Professor Dumbledore regarding the power of love[src]

Harry was guided further to his destiny on 1 September, 1991, when he was dropped off by the Dursleys King's Cross Station. Vernon helped Harry wheel his things to the platforms and left laughing about how Platform Nine and Three-Quarters hadn't been built yet. 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 they had an owl with their belongings.

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Harry meets the Weasleys for the first time while 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 the youngest son Ron, who was starting his first year as well. Molly (Ron's mother) kindly gave him insructions 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.[84]

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 Weasley and George 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.

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The trio meet 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 attmpted 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 didn't believe it.[84]

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.[84]

The Sorting ceremony and Start-of-Term Feast
"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.

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Harry Potter being Sorting during the Start-of-Term Feast

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-emphasized the idea that Harry "would do well in Slytherin".

The Sorting Ceremony was followed by the Welcoming Feast. Harry, who had never been allowed to eat as much as he wanted, 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.

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Harry's scar hurts during his Sorting ceremony when he makes 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 is because Lord Voldemort was inhabiting Quirell's body as anytime Voldemort is 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 brother Charlie Weasley, and 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, in Vault 713, the same vault Hagrid visited with Harry on their trip to Diagon Alley.

Flying class in 1991

Flying class

One of the things 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. Neville, terrified of being left behind, 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'd leave it "up a tree" unless Harry stopped him and took of 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 didn't 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.

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Harry becomes 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. Harry, expecting expulsion, 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.

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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 told Filch 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.[85]

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The trio encounter 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 becomes Gryffindor's new Seeker[src]
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Harry receives 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 practise. 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.

Hallowe'en
"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 form a friendship with Hermione[src]
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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; Ron, offended by her air of superiority, 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 snuck off to the girl’s bathroom to warn Hermione, locking the troll inside. However, they didn't 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 trolls nose. Ron finally knocked the troll out, by levitating the troll's own club to smash into it's head.

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The mountain troll in the bathroom, where Hermione is hiding

The teachers arrived, attracted by the troll’s yells, 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.

Quidditch
Harry: "I've got the Snitch!"
Marcus Flint: "He didn't catch it, he nearly swallowed it!"
— Harry catches 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 most have checked put from the library. During break 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.

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Harry notices the blood on Snape's robes and a slight limp when he walks

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.

Quidditch, first year

Harry playing in his first Quidditch match against Slytherin

Harry had little time to dwell on the 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 retrival 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. 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 is well above the level of a second year and therefore had to be cases by a qualified wizard. This announcement did nothing to help the worried friends. 

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Harry catches the Snitch and wins 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 nonstop 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, thus Gryffindor won.

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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. Hagrid, surprised by their knowledge, 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.

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Harry receives 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, thoughts 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 who 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.

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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.  

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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 whomever 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 and 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

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Harry cheers 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.

Detention
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]
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The trio watch the 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. Harry, growing uncomfortable in the heat, 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.

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Harry and Hermione wait 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.

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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. Harry's popularity, riding high on his Quidditch wins 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 other's 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. 

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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."
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 warn McGonagall of 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 couldn't 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.

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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. Harry, Ron, and Hermione, now convinced that Snape had all the information he needed to get past Fluffy, 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'd 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 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.

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Harry retrieves 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.

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Harry battles Voldemort for possession of the Philosopher's Stone

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 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. Voldemort, who was sticking out of the back of Quirrell's head, 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. Harry, realising that contact caused Quirrell pain, grabbed Quirrell's face and held on until he blacked out.

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Harry in the Hospital Wing after the attack in the underground chamber

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

Ron Weasley: "You're a Parselmouth! Why didn't you tell us?... Now the whole school is gonna think you're his great-great-great-grandson or something."
Harry: "But I'm not! I can't be."
Hermione Granger: "He lived a thousand years ago. For all we know, you could be."
— Harry finding out that he is a Parselmouth[src]

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.

Garden

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, in response Dudley told Petunia. 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.

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Dobby introduces himself to Harry

When he was sent up to his bedroom later that evening for the dinner party, a house-elf named Dobby waiting 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 to 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. The Dursleys taking advantage of this incident and using it as a means to suppress the magical blood in their nephew, locked him in his room with bars on his window to prevent him from returning to Hogwarts as punishment.

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Fred, George, and Ron rescue 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 lands him in Borgin and Burkes[src]
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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's sulky remarks on Harry's talent in Quidditch the shopkeeper, Mr Borgin. Surprised that Mr Malfoy was only selling dark and illegally enchanted artefacts before they could be confiscated by the raids on wizarding households 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, 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.

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Gilderoy Lockhart embarrasses Harry while in Flourish and Blotts

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 Hogwarts' new Defence Against the Dark Arts professor. 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]
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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 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, meanwhile, was sorted into Gryffindor.

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Harry helping Lockhart answer fan-mail as detention, before he hears 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 Herbology 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 years 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.

Death-day Party
"The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the Heir Beware."
—A grim message from the Heir of Slytherin[src]
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The writing on the wall and the petrified form of Mrs Norris

In return for distracting Argus Filch just when he was about to give Harry severe punishment, 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 Death-day Party. Ron on the other hand was not excited at attending the event.

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The trio attended Sir Nicolas's Death-day Party

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 occurance 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]
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Professor Binns tells 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.

Quidditch
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]
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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 preform 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.

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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 monter 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
Draco Malfoy: "Scared Potter?"
Harry: "You wish!"
— Harry prepares to enter a practise duel with Malfoy[src]
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Meeting of the Duelling club, where Harry and Draco participate in a practise 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 practise duel. Also during a practise 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 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, something that he 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.

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Harry meets 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 Potter: "But that’s impossible."
Hermione Granger: "No, it’s not. All we’d need would be some Polyjuice Potion..."
— Trio planning to expose the Heir of Slytherin[src]
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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. 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, fifty years ago, a Muggle-born girl died and whoever was responsible was expelled. Malfoy also mentioned his father's secret stash of illegal artefacts.

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The trio discuss 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. Myrtle, a sulking ghost, 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 find out 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 comes across the diary of Tom Riddle[src]
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Diary Riddle showing Harry a selected memory of his

Later, Harry realised that even though 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. He 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.

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 keep 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
Hagrid: "If anybody was looking for some stuff, then all they'd have to do would be to follow the spiders. Yep. That would leave them right. That's all I have to say."
Harry: "You heard what Hagrid said. Follow the spiders."
Ron Weasley: "They're heading to the Dark Forest?"
— Hagrid's clue before he is 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.

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Harry and Ron visit Hagrid right before he is 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]
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Harry and Ron follow the spiders, which lead them to Aragog

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, take them 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 Angla, which had apparently taken to driving through the forest like some sort of wild animal. They eventually meet Aragog, a giant spider which had been the monster 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
"HER SKELETON WILL LIE IN THE CHAMBER FOREVER"
—The final message on the wall[src]
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Hermione Granger and the other petrified students being visited by Harry and Ron

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.

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 didn't look at its gaze directly: 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 explains Hagrid's roosters having been mysteriously killed during the year).

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The message written on the wall after Ginevra Weasley is 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 having 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 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 meet the deadly gaze of Slytherin's basilisk[src]

That night, Harry and Ron felt utterly useless and helpless, until it occurred to them 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 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 planning 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.

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Harry, Ron, and Lockhart discover 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 found a snake carved on the tap and then opened the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets by speaking Parseltongue.

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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 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 enters 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 revels that he is in fact Lord Voldemort[src]
Inside the chamber

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 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 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.

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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, eventually Ginny 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.

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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 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 people would fear when he became the most powerful wizard in the world.

Basilisk
"Let's match the power of Lord Voldemort, Heir of Salazar Slytherin, against the famous Harry Potter."
—Tom Riddle unleashes 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.

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Harry slays 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; Harry, in desperation, 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.

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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 come back 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 escape 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, and then Dumbledore asked to speak with Harry alone.

After the invent in the chamber

Harry and Dumbledore talk 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 commends Harry for showing him real loyalty in the Chamber, for only that could've 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've lost me my servant, boy!"
Dobby: "You shall not harm Harry Potter!"
— Dobby defends Harry after the latter frees 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. Apparently they 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.

Dobby free

Dobby is freed by Harry Potter

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 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. Malfoy, after discovering Harry's trick, 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

"He was their friend... and he betrayed them. HE WAS THEIR FRIEND! I hope he finds me, because when he does, I'm gonna be ready! When he does, I'm gonna kill him!"
—Harry believing Sirius Black to be the man who betrayed his parents[src]
The smallest bedroom

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 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 revived birthday presents from Hermione and Hagrid ass well.

Marge starts to inflate

A enraged Harry inflates 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, possibly with an Engorgement Charm. Vernon ordered his nephew to put Marge back the way she was, but Harry siad 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.

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Minister Cornelius Fudge personally sees that Harry is 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 finds out that Sirius Black supposedly wants 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.

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Crookshanks in Magical Menagerie right before being purchased by Hermione

While there, Harry found it very interesting to learn from the saleswoman 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 her 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.

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Arthur Weasley warns Harry of the danger that he is 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]
Dementor on the train

Dementors board the Hogwarts Express in search of Sirius Black

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.

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.

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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. Rubeus Hagrid for Care of Magical Creatures. While Lupin's lessons were enjoyable, Hagrid's soon become dreary. During the first lesson, Draco Malfoy deliberately provoked the hippogriff Buckbeak into attacking him. This in turn forced Lucius Malfoy to file a complaint against Hagrid with the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. Meanwhile, tensions grew between Hermione and Ron over Crookshanks' continuing habit of trying to harm Scabbers.

Christmas Firebolt

Harry receives a Firebolt for Christmas that is 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. 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.

Mauraders Map
Harry: "So this map shows — everyone."
Weasley twins: "Everyone. Where they are — what they're doing — every minute — every day."
Harry: "Brilliant!"
— Fred and George give Harry the Marauder's Map[src]
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Harry using the map to sneak off to Hogsmeade

Shortly before Christmas, the Weasley twins gave Harry their Marauder's Map, a magical document that showed every person's location within Hogwarts, what they were doing, and secret passageways in and out of the castle. Harry used a tunnel to sneak into Hogsmeade village, where he overheard a disturbing conversation that Sirius Black was his parents' best friend, as well as 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 has been killed with the twelve Muggles.

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Sirius Black captures Ron and drags him to the Whomping Willow

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. 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]
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The trio encounter 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. Confronted by Hermione, Lupin admitted to being a werewolf, as well as the Map's creator along with Sirius, Peter Pettigrew, and James Potter, the latter two also being illegal Animagi (a rat and a stag, respectively). Lupin and Black explained that Scabbers was actually Peter Pettigrew in his Animagus form. He was Voldemort's servant, and he betrayed the Potters (as Black had switched his position as Secret-Keeper with Pettigrew), framing Black for the crimes. Harry was sceptical until Black and Lupin forced Pettigrew back into his human form. Black 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.

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.

Turning time

Harry and Hermione use 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.

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Harry and Hermione rescue 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]
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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.

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 probably 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, the trio going one way and Fred. George, and Ginny going another. 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. 

Roit at the World cup

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

Later, Harry learned that Barty Crouch Jr 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.

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.

Selection of the Champions

The Goblet of Fire selects Harry as the fourth champion

Around Hallowe'en, the students from Beauxbatons Academy of Magic and Durmstrang Institute arrived at the school. 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, even though he was under-age and even though he had never entered his name into the Goblet of Fire during the selection process. Many people, even Ron, did not believe Harry's story, believing this to be nothing but another attempt to gain fame. This caused extreme tension between the two friends. Hermione, on the other hand, "accepted his story without question", and assisted Harry in preparing for the Tournament by teaching him useful spells, such as the Summoning Charm, which Harry used in the first task of the Tournament. The champions were to face three dangerous challenges on their way to the Triwizard Cup. A few days after his name came out of the Goblet, Harry attended the wand weighing ceremony, where his wand was inspected. 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.

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

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.

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. He also 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, as well as the other students made amends with Harry.

Harry Potter (GoF-07)

Harry in his Yule Ball attire on Christmas day

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. Harry and Ron ended up attending with Parvati and Padma Patil, respectively.

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.

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.

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Harry meets 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 that he had no idea of how 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 to save his best friend Ron but when he reached him, he was shocked to find Hermione, Cho, and Gabrielle Delacour, Fleur's sister, there as well. After Cedric had rescued Cho and Viktor had rescued Hermione, Harry hung around, and, concerned for Gabrielle, he saved her 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.

A month before the final task, the Champions were shown the beginnings of the challenge. 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. 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. At that moment, Barty Crouch Snr appeared in the forest disoriented and asking for Dumbledore. He disappeared when Harry went to fetch Dumbledore.

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Harry in the hedge maze with an Imperiused Viktor Krum

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.

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. This graveyard was the Riddle family's final resting place, where Lord Voldemort was waiting. 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.

Duel graveyard

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

Harry was bound to Tom Riddle Snr's tombstone and was forced to witness a ritual in which Pettigrew used some of Harry's blood to restore Voldemort's body. At which time, the Death Eaters were summoned to the cemetery. After Voldemort regained a full-size human form and explained his downfall and disappearance to his followers, he engaged Harry in a duel. Voldemort then tortured Harry by subjecting him to the Cruciatus Curse and used the Imperius Curse but when it didn't work, tried to murder him using the Killing Curse. Harry fired back with the Disarming Char. The nature of their wands' mystical connection caused their magical streams to interlock, which created an effect called Priori Incantatem (Reverse Spell effect). After a battle of wills with Voldemort, Harry was momentarily shielded by the echoes of Lord Voldemort's previous victims, including Harry's parents and Cedric, with the last of whom asking Harry to return his body to his parents, which allowed Harry some time to grab Cedric's body and the Portkey and escape back to Hogwarts.

It was uncovered that Barty Crouch Jr, 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. In a terrible turn of fate, Crouch's soul was destroyed by the Dementor's Kiss from the Dementor that accompanied Cornelius Fudge. As a result, he could not give testimony, and the Ministry of Magic began to dispute Harry's and Dumbledore's insistence that Voldemort had returned, insisting that Dumbledore was trying to stir up trouble and that Harry was insane.

Fifth year

Molly Weasley: "All right, that's enough! He's just a boy! You might as well induct him into the Order!"
Harry: "Good, then I want to join! If Voldemort's building up an army then I want to fight!"
— Harry's willingness to fight Voldemort and his followers[src]
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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. 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 (Dolores Umbridge) 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.

Subsequently, Harry was formally accused of performing under-age 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.

The Hearing

Harry on trail for underage magic in front of the entire Wizengamot

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. Umbridge proved to be sadistic and cruel, with a personality that resembled poisioned 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. 

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 with his mother as Head Girl respectively, not to inflate a sense of his own importance.

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

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. Urged by Hermione 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.). 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 Longbottom) gained a lot of skills under Harry's tutelage.

Harry taught the group many different spells, ranking from the simplistic Disarming Charm to the highly advanced Patronus Charm. Some memers were even able to produe corporeal Patronuses, Harry thought this might have been due to the lack of Dementors present, as there was nothing to make the students scared. Cho Chang also became a member. During the meetings whenever Harry was near, she would become so flustered that she had difficulty casting spells. Before the Christmas holidays, she and Harry kissed under the mistletoe in the Room of Requirement after a D.A. meeting. This moment was confusing to Harry, as Cho, clearly still suffering from her ex-boyfriend's (Cedric Diggory) death, had been crying during their kiss. Cho's crying during the kiss also caused concern in Harry.

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Harry's first Occlumency lesson with Snape

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. As a result, after falling asleep 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. 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.

Unfortunately, Harry did not enjoy having his mind peered into and did not focus on using Occlumency, having indeed been extremely curious about the door himself. 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. 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.

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Umbridge discovers the D.A.'s meeting place (the Room of Requirement)

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. At this point, Cho's and Harry's relationship "fell apart", and the two no longer saw each other romantically.

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. 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, 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. Hagrid was attacked and left the school during O.W.L. examinations, and Harry never had to go down to Grawp in the forest.

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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, Harry dozed off and 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 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.

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Harry and Sirius duelling Death Eaters Lucius Malfoy and Antonin Dolohov

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. Chaos ensued, and 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, enraged, 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.

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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: "You are of course, wondering why I brought you here tonight?"
Harry: "Actually sir, after all these years I sort of just go with it."
— Dumbledore and Harry speak briefly of their tasks[src]

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. 

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Dumbledore and Harry searching for Horace Slughorn

Early in his summer, Dumbledore requested that Harry join him in some unknown adventure and arrived to pick Harry up on a Friday, late in the evening. However, they could not depart immediately, because there was a piece of business to attend to: Sirius's will. Much to his chagrin, Harry inherited his godfather Sirius Black's estate, including Grimmauld Place and the Blacks' melancholic and half-crazed house elf, Kreacher. They soon were off, and Dumbledore Apparated Harry to the village of Budleigh Babberton, where Harry was introduced to Horace Slughorn.

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',[86] five 'Exceeds Expectations',[86] and one 'Acceptable'.[86] He also received a surprise when he was made Captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, which put him on equal standing with prefects.

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Harry with Professor Slughorn being handed the vial of Felix Felicis

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

Arriving late to the Welcoming Feast, due to an encounter with Malfoy, Harry learned 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".

Within the first week of school, Dumbledore made good on his promise of private lessons. He informed Harry that they would be viewing memories of Tom Riddle, before he came to be known as Lord Voldemort. 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. 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. During this lesson Harry 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. How Marvolo and Morfin Gaunt believed strongly in blood supremacy, something the Voldemort's mother (Merope) did not share.

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Quidditch Captain Harry supervising Gryffindor tryouts

The Saturday following Harry's first lesson, he assumed his Captain's duties holding open try-outs. 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, whom confunded his competition, Cormac McLaggen.

In studying the Half-Blood Prince's book, Harry discovered numerous spells that the Prince supposedly invented himself, such as Levicorpus and Muffliato. Hermione Granger 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.

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

Harry's lessons were quite sporadic that autumn, and he did not have another one until after tragedy befell someone at Hogwarts. In October, during a Hogsmeade visit, Katie Bell was nearly killed after being bewitched to carry a cursed necklace to Dumbledore. The following Monday, Harry shared his suspicions of Malfoy with Dumbledore during their lesson, only to be rebuffed. 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.

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 practise. 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.

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Harry overhears a strange conversation between Draco Malfoy and Severus Snape

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. As Harry could not ask Ginny to the party, he was left to ask Luna Lovegood to attend with him as a friend. This hugely disappointed the gaggles of giggling girls who awaited Harry below every doorway with mistletoe. At the party, Harry was surprised to learn that Hermione attended with Cormac McLaggen, a large Gryffindor seventh year whom Ron despised, and told her that it served her right when he was less than gentlemanly. Later, after Malfoy was apprehended "gate-crashing" the party, Harry learned that Malfoy was indeed up to something and that Professor Snape had made the Unbreakable Vow to protect him.

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 in. The Minister interrupted the Weasley family Christmas. He tried pitching Harry on becoming the Ministry's mascot, an idea that Harry was not prepared to accept. During the meeting Harry proceeded to tell the Scrimgeour why he would not offer the Ministry his support. The main reasons for his lack of support 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 following year, and the mere fact that Harry had no desire to be used. This discussion left Harry and Scrimgeour on increasingly bad terms.

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.

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Harry retrieves the true memory from Slughorn

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.

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, when Ron came up with the solution to Harry's dilemma with Slughorn: Felix Felicis. 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.

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

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.

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. Unable to play, Harry waited with anticipation as he sat through his first detention. When he arrived back at Gryffindor Tower he was happy to discover that they had won the Quidditch Cup. In the heat of the moment he spontaneously kissed Ginny while over fifty people watched, about whom he had been thinking quite often, when she embraced him in the post-match elation; this marked the beginning of their relationship.

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Harry and Dumbledore in the cave overwhelmed by Inferi

On 30 June, Dumbledore led Harry out of the castle in search of a Horcrux. From Hogsmeade, they Apparated to a sea-side cave, where Tom Riddle had traumatised two young children from his orphanage in his youth. 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, only made to fit one. Once on the island, Dumbledore found a basin from which he could not remove the Horcrux without drinking the emerald potion that the Horcrux resided in. 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. When the basin was empty Dumbledore asked for water which Harry was forced to get from the lake, triggering the Inferi that were waiting there. Panicking, Harry was dragged below, but was saved when an incredibly weakened Dumbledore conjured a firestorm that fended off the Inferi. Harry then proceeded to Apparate them back to Hogsmeade Village.

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 Freezing Charm, hidden underneath his invisibility cloak, so all he could do was helplessly watch and wait.

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

Harry witnessed the death of Albus Dumbledore at the hands of Severus Snape, and Dumbledore's body then 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.

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.

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

Harry took the locket from Dumbledore's robes and was 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. Ginny escorted Harry to the Hospital Wing on McGonagall's orders, where 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. 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.

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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]
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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, 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]
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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 and his 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.

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Harry's wand retaliated 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.

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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.

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Scrimgeour gives 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.

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The trio duelling Antonin Dolohov and Thorfinn Rowle in Luchino café

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 and obtaining the locket

"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]
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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. He 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.

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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 have 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.

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Harry and Ron Weasley row before Ron abandons 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.

Ron’s departure left both Harry and Hermione depressed. After some listless time in which they accomplished nothing, 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 recounts the attack at Godric's Hollow[src]
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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's grave Hermione called out to him and comforted Harry when he reached the grave. After placing a conjured wreath of flowers on his parents’s 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.

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

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.

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.

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Ron destroying the locket Horcrux with the Sword of Gryffindor

During the brief skirmish with the Horcrux, a taunting Harry and Hermione appear, created by the Horcrux. 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]
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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.

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.

Capture and 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, attempting 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.

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Bellatrix Lestrange incapacitating Snatchers at Malfoy Manor

When Bellatrix Lestrange learned that Harry had been caught, she sought to summon Voldemort, until she noticed one of the Snatchers had the Sword of Gryffindor, which was supposed to be in her vault at Gringotts Wizarding Bank. From her drastic change in tone of voice and her worries that they would all perish, Harry determined that another Horcrux was hidden there, as well. Bellatrix isolated Hermione for interrogation based on the knowledge that she was Muggle-born, stating that she wished to talk "girl to girl with her" and proceeded to brutally torture her with the Cruciatus Curse. While being tortured Hermione lied, claiming that the Sword was just a copy. Harry convinced Griphook (a goblin prisoner) to support this story, knowing that Bellatrix would interrogate Griphook next, as she would want a goblin's opinion on the Sword.

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Dobby dropping the chandelier allowing the prisoners time to escape

In panic as Hermione screamed in pain upstairs, and Ron sobbed at hearing her, Harry called out for help — a cry heard by Aberforth Dumbledore through a fragment of a two-way mirror in the cellar. Aberforth sent Dobby the house-elf to rescue the prisoners. Harry had him take Luna Lovegood, Garrick Ollivander, and Dean Thomas to Shell Cottage, while he and Ron went to rescue Hermione. On the way, they had to fight Peter Pettigrew, whose silver hand strangled him to death when he hesitated to hurt Harry, who reminded him that he had once saved his life. A skirmish ensued upstairs, during which Harry took Draco Malfoy's wand from him, and he and Ron saved Hermione and Griphook with Dobby's assistance.

Escape and Dobby's death

Harry: "Dobby, no, don't die, don't die —"
Dobby: "Harry... Potter...."
— Dobby's final moments in Harry's arms[src]
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Dobby dying in Harry's arms on the beach at Shell Cottage

As they escaped Malfoy Manor by Apparition, Bellatrix Lestrange threw a silver dagger to where they were Disapparating. Harry was initially relieved to realise he had managed to apparate to Shell Cottage with Ron, Hermione, and Dobby in tow, but was horrified to see the knife protruding from the elf's chest. Harry managed to lie him on the grass, where Dobby collapsed and died in Harry's arms his last words being Harry's name.

Harry decided that he would not dig Dobby's grave with magic, opting instead to do so manually, using a shovel; this was his way of both repaying Dobby's bravery and ebbing his own grief. As he dug, he got glimpses of Lord Voldemort furiously punishing Bellatrix Lestrange, the Malfoys, and the others that were present in the manor for their failure to keep him in their custody and allowing him and the other prisoners to escape.

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Harry in front of Dobby's grave after having dug it without the use of magic

Harry, his scar now burning temptingly threatening to have Voldemort's thoughts engulf him, was finally able to learn control of denying Voldemort's entry into his mind. He attributed this to his grief and love for Dobby. While digging the grave, more understanding came to Harry. He realised that though the Deathly Hallows were tempting objects, Dumbledore had tasked him with destroying Horcruxes. He decided to trust Dumbledore, reaffirming his faith in his mentor. During the funeral, Luna Lovegood gave a short eulogy to Dobby, and Harry managed to say his final goodbye to one of his most loyal friends.

Shell Cottage and break-in of Gringotts

Harry: "He can have it after we've used it on all of the Horcruxes. I'll make sure he gets it then. I'll keep my word... I won't be lying... really."
Hermione Granger : "I don't like it."
Harry: "Nor do I, much."
— The solution to Griphook's demand for the Sword of Gryffindor[src]

Following the death of Dobby, Harry, Ron, and Hermione stayed at Shell Cottage for some time. During their stay, the trio formed a plan to break into the Lestrange Vault to obtain the Horcrux within, with the help of Griphook. Due to the fact that Griphook would only help in exchange for Godric Gryffindor's Sword, Harry decided to word his request so that the handover would not take place until after Harry had used it to dispose of the remaining Horcruxes. Harry also found out information regarding the Elder Wand from Ollivander. He learned that his hunch that Elder Wand was real and that Voldemort was going abroad to search for it was correct. Harry also learned some complex wandlore, such as what happens when a wand's allegiance changes to that of another individual and that a wand's allegiance doesn't necessarily have to change hands through murder, as most (including Lord Voldemort) believed.

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Harry speaking with Griphook about what lies within the Lestrange vault at Gringotts

Although feeling guilty for the deception, Harry knew that the sword was their only known weapon against the Horcruxes. The other residents of Shell Cottage could not fail to notice the trio's behaviour. Bill Weasley took Harry aside and advised Harry to be cautious when making deals with Griphook who Harry was increasingly disliking. Around the same time, Remus Lupin came to Shell Cottage bearing tidings of new birth. He asked Harry to be the godfather of his newborn child, Edward Lupin. It seemed as if the incident between them at 12 Grimmauld Place had never occurred.

The trio and Griphook left Shell Cottage early on the morning of 1 May to break into Gringotts. Hermione disguised herself as notorious Death Eater Bellatrix Lestrange, using Polyjuice Potion. The goal was to try and fool the goblins at Gringotts into believing that it was really Bellatrix who was entering the vault. The trio had Bellatrix's wand that Harry had captured at Malfoy Manor as further proof for the disguise. Ron was Transfigured to look like a foreign wizard named Dragomir Despard, and Harry had Griphook on his shoulders; both were under the Invisibility Cloak.

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Hermione impersonating Bellatrix Lestrange (Harry and Griphook under the Invisibility Cloak)

Their plan proceeded reasonably well; Hermione made a convincing Bellatrix, despite a close encounter with a Death Eater named Travers, whose suspicions seemed to be eased and accompanied the group to Gringotts. Two human guards there had Probity Probes that detected concealment charms, and Harry used a Confundus Charm on them to get Hermione passed unchecked. Inside, the Goblins requested Bellatrix's identification. When Hermione hesitated, one nervously said that her wand was sufficient proof, though Hermione claimed it was new. Harry suspected the goblins knew that Bellatrix's wand was stolen and were looking for an impostor.

Griphook told Harry to use the Imperius Curse, he complied and Bogrod then accepted the wand as being correct. Bogrod requested the Clankers, and then led the trio, Griphook, and Travers into a passageway. The door slammed shut, and Harry sent Travers away to hide. Bogrod, still under the Imperius curse, summoned a cart that descended deep within Gringotts. After many twists and turns, the cart passed through Thief's Downfall, a security waterfall that washed away all illusion charms. When the cart overturned and dumped them out, Hermione and Ron had been reverted to themselves. Griphook believed the other Goblins knew they were impostors, but Harry wanted to continue and cursed Bogrod again.

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Harry searches for Hufflepuff's Cup inside the Lestranges' vault

The trio and Griphook found the vault guarded by an aged, half-blind dragon. Griphook subdued it using the Clankers. Hearing pursuit approaching, Harry forced Bogrod to open the vault, which was filled with precious objects. Hermione screamed in pain, and they discovered that the vault's protective charms included the Flagrante and Gemino curses: the contents would multiply and become searing hot every time something was touched. Harry spotted Hufflepuff's Cup, the Horcrux, but it was out of reach. Hermione levitated Harry by the ankle and he snagged the Cup by using Gryffindor's Sword. Meanwhile Hermione, Ron, Griphook, and Bogrod all struggled to stay above the searing-hot rapidly multiplying objects below.

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The trio escaped Gringotts on the back of a half-blind Ukrainian Ironbelly

As Harry was setting himself down, he dropped both the Sword and the Cup. Griphook grabbed Gryffindor's Sword, and flipped Hufflepuff's cup up into the air. Harry caught it, ignoring the searing heat. Borne by a treasure avalanche spilling from the now-opened vault, Griphook ran off with Gryffindor's Sword, yelling that thieves were in the vault. Harry, Hermione, and Ron hurled curses at the Goblin throng. Harry released the half-blind dragon and the three jumped on its back. The freed dragon took flight, the three blasting holes into the ceiling for it to fly through as they made their escape.

Battle of Hogwarts

Harry: "Dumbledore left the three of us a job, and we weren't supposed to tell — I mean, he wanted us to do it, just the three of us."
Neville Longbottom: "We're his army. Dumbledore's Army. We were all in it together, we’ve been keeping it going while you three have been off on your own... Everyone in this room’s been fighting and they’ve been driven in here because the Carrows were hunting them down. Everyone in here’s proven they’re loyal to Dumbledore — loyal to you."
— The trio's return to Hogwarts and the D.A.'s loyalty to Harry[src]
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The trio Apparate into Hogsmeade before the start of the final battle

A vision from Voldemort helped Harry realise that the third Horcrux, whilst unbeknownst to him at the time, Ravenclaw's Diadem, remained at Hogwarts. Harry, Ron, and Hermione set out on their final mission to return to the school and obtain the diadem, inadvertently tripping the Caterwauling Charm upon Apparating to Hogsmeade and thereby alerting the waiting Death Eaters to their presence. Due to the trio being under the Invisibility cloak, however, the Death Eaters resorted to unleashing Dementors into the streets to try to force the intruders out of hiding.

Having no choice, Harry conjured his Patronus to protect himself and his friends, automatically giving away their position and confirming their identities (the Death Eaters having been pre-warned that Harry Potter's Patronus took the form of a stag). As Death Eaters began to close in on the still invisible trio, Aberforth Dumbledore emerged from the Hog's Head, hurriedly telling the three to enter his pub. While Harry, Ron, and Hermione did so, Aberforth remained outside, proclaiming to the Death Eaters that it was he who tripped the alarm (by letting his cat out) and conjured the Patronus to ward off the Dementor threat; mockingly contradicting a Death Eater, saying that what he had seen was a goat Patronus rather than a stag. The incensed Death Eaters believed this and retreated.

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D.A. members in the Room of Requirement welcome Harry back on 1 May

After Aberforth re-entered his pub and home, he scolded them for coming to Hogsmeade advising them to leave the country. After Harry engaged in a fierce argument with him, he led the grateful trio directly into Hogwarts through a secret entrance behind the portrait of his deceased sister, Ariana Dumbledore. Neville Longbottom, acting as their escort, then guided them into the Room of Requirement, where they were greeted by the reconstituted Dumbledore's Army; most of which were beaten and bruised yet ready to fight the Death Eaters controlling the school. Harry tried to tell them that he, Ron, and Hermione only returned to find something, but Neville contacted other allies with a call to arms. Harry was initially reluctant to allow the others to help, but in an attempt to be a better man than Dumbledore, whom he feared he was turning into, and after some discussion with Ron and Hermione, he allowed it.

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Harry and Luna entering Ravenclaw Tower

Harry hesitantly asked the room at large if they had ever heard of any sort of legendary artefact belonging to one of the Founders of Hogwarts. Luna Lovegood then elaborated on the fabled Diadem of Ravenclaw, pronouncing that a statue in Ravenclaw Tower depicted Rowena Ravenclaw wearing a diadem. Harry, having no idea of what the diadem looked like, was led by Luna to the Ravenclaw Common Room to observe the statue. Here the pair were ambushed by Alecto Carrow who pressed her Dark Mark immediately upon noticing Harry, summoning Voldemort, before Luna stunned her from under the Invisibility cloak. Amycus Carrow attempted to force his way through the common room door, designed only to open after the door-knocker's question was correctly answered, by seeking the help of Minerva McGonagall, who easily allowed him entry by solving the door's riddle herself; by that time, Harry had managed to rejoin Luna under the Invisibility cloak.

Amycus, in fear of his master's wrath, suggested framing Alecto's apparently mistaken summoning of the former on the Ravenclaw students; as he did, he spontaneously devised a lie that made it seem as though the students had forced Alecto to touch her Dark Mark at wand-point. In her outrage, McGonagall strongly insinuated that Amycus was a coward for proposing such an idea. Carrow spat in McGonagall's face in retaliation, utterly enraging Harry who suddenly revealed himself while momentarily casting the Cruciatus Curse on the surprised Carrow, sending him flying backwards into the wall where he crumpled and fell unconscious. Harry then told McGonagall about the mission Dumbledore had left him, and she offered to hold Voldemort and his invading forces off, buying him the time he needed to search for the Horcrux. All students of age, the D.A., and the members of the Order of the Phoenix who had arrived to fight prepared themselves for the impending siege. The Battle of Hogwarts began as Voldemort and his army approached the outer boundaries of the school.

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McGonagall, Mrs Weasley, and the suits of armour prepare for battle

On 2 May, Lord Voldemort upon arrival at Hogwarts, demanded that the school turn over Harry, and the Battle of Hogwarts began. Harry realised that the positioning of Alecto Carrow in Ravenclaw Tower confirmed the Horcrux's identity. It was the lost diadem of Ravenclaw. After thinking on it for some seconds, he went to ask the Grey Lady about the diadem. From her information, Harry surmised that the Horcrux had been hidden in the Room of Requirement. Harry, in the meantime, was worried about Hermione and Ron, who seemed to have disappeared. They had gone into the Chamber of Secrets, where Hermione destroyed Helga Hufflepuff’s Cup with basilisk fangs, which were one of the few weapons able to destroy Horcruxes.

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The trio escaping from Fiendfyre that was cast by Vincent Crabbe

The trio quickly headed for the Room of Requirement where Harry remembered seeing the Diadem the previous year. However, Draco Malfoy, Vincent Crabbe, and Gregory Goyle ambushed them. After a skirmish, the entire room was destroyed by the cursed fire Crabbe unleashed but could not control. Harry managed to fly himself and Malfoy out, while Ron and Hermione grabbed Goyle, but Crabbe perished in the flames that also destroyed the diadem. With one Horcrux remaining, Harry, Ron, and Hermione continued their pursuit of Nagini, but before they could go search for it, they witnessed the death of Fred Weasley. This incensed Ron and Harry, but Hermione reminded them that only they could finish Voldemort and that to obtain the final Horcrux they would have to do their share of fighting.

Snape's death

"Finally, the truth. Lying with his face pressed into the dusty carpet of the office where he had once thought he was learning the secrets of victory, Harry understood at last that he was not supposed to survive. His job was to walk calmly into Death's welcoming arms."
—Harry comes to the realisation that he must die by Voldemort's hand[src]
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Snape's last moments during which he gives Harry his memories

They fought their way to the Shrieking Shack. Along the way, Harry witnessed many scenes of horror. On the grounds, Voldemort's Dementors were waiting. After having seen so much pain and death, Harry could not summon the happiness required to conjure a Patronus. In fact, Harry welcomed the oblivion that would come with the Dementor's Kiss. But, after seeing the patronuses conjured by Luna Lovegood, Ernie Macmillan, and Seamus Finnigan, Harry summoned the will to conjure his and managed to drive the Dementors away.

Once the trio arrived at the Shrieking Shack, they witnessed Voldemort order Nagini to kill Snape, as he believed that Snape was preventing him from being the true owner of the Elder Wand. Dumbledore was the previous owner of the wand, and as Snape killed him, Voldemort believes with Snape's demise, he will finally gain true mastery of the wand. Before he died, Snape gave Harry memories to view in the Pensieve and asked him to look into his eyes. Upon returning to the castle, Harry saw the corpses of Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks near Fred's, and he felt devastated. He left his friends behind to use Albus Dumbledore's Pensieve, welcoming the time in another's head to distract him from what was happening in his own.

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Harry using Dumbledore's Pensieve to view Snape's memories during the one-hour armistice

During a one-hour ceasefire, Harry viewed the memories given by a dying Snape, which revealed to him that he had inadvertently been turned into a Horcrux himself. This occurred when Voldemort attempted to murder him as a baby. Because Lily Potter's loving sacrifice made Voldemort's Killing Curse rebound and a fragment of his soul latched itself onto the only living thing it could find: Harry himself. This led to the awful truth being revelled, that Voldemort had to kill him in order to be rendered mortal. Harry was unwillingly tethering Voldemort to life.

Harry also learned that Snape was, all along, with Dumbledore because he loved Lily Evans, since before they started school. It was clear that Harry's life span had always been determined by how long it took to get rid of the Horcruxes, and that it was an elegant plan not to waste any more lives but to give the tasks to the boy who had already been marked for death, and whose death would not be tragic but simply another blow against Voldemort. Heavy of heart, Harry courageously slipped off on his own to carry out this dreadful task. He felt ghostly as he strode through the castle's empty halls, feeling as if he was already dead.

As Harry passed the Great Hall, he could not see Hermione, Ron, or the other Weasleys, nor Luna. He felt he would have given anything for one last look at them, but then he thought he would never be able to stop looking. He also came to realise that Luna had become one of his closest and dearest friends. During his way to Voldemort, he saw the corpse of Colin Creevey, who snuck back into the castle to fight despite being underage and remarked that Colin looked "tiny in death". Harry in a moments decision told Neville to slay Nagini, if he could, as Ron and Hermione might be too busy to do so. He passed Ginny, who was comforting a small girl, and almost wished she could have seen him, but under the Invisibility cloak, this was impossible. As he passed Hagrid's hut on the Grounds, he emotionally remembered his trips there, particularly rock cakes, Ron vomiting slugs, and baby dragon Norbert.

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Harry willingly lets Voldemort hit him with the Killing Curse

Harry then entered the Forbidden Forest, where he managed to open the Golden Snitch, which said on it, "I open at the close"; and the words to open it were, "I'm about to die"; this revealed the Resurrection Stone contained within. Harry used it to speak to the spirits of his parents, Sirius Black, and Remus Lupin, who gave him comfort and courage before he met Voldemort and offered to shield him from the Dementors. They set off, and the Dementor's chill did not overcome him; his companions acted like Patronuses, and Harry continued deeper in the forest to find Voldemort. As Harry approached the Death Eater camp, he dropped the Resurrection Stone. Harry offered no resistance as Voldemort struck him with the Killing Curse. His last thoughts were of Ginny: her red hair, blazing looks, and the feel of her lips upon his before everything went black.

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Harry in limbo speaking with a deceased Albus Dumbledore

However, the "death" he met was not permanent: the blood Voldemort had taken from Harry to restore his physical form in 1995 still contained the Bond of Blood, anchoring him to life and protecting Harry from Voldemort's curse, and his willingness to die triggered protections on the people of Hogwarts similar to the protections he received from his mother's sacrifice. Also, since he had part of Voldemort's soul in him, Voldemort's Killing Curse unknowingly destroyed the part of Voldemort's soul, leaving one Horcrux left. Harry entered a state of limbo, where he met the spirit of Albus Dumbledore and the piece of Voldemort's soul that had just been destroyed. Dumbledore explained everything to Harry saying that he had "no more secrets from Harry". After reconciling with his mentor, Harry made the choice to return to the physical world rather than go on to the afterlife with Dumbledore.

Endgame

Harry: "There are no more Horcruxes. It's just you and me. Neither can live while the other survives, and one of us is about to leave for good."
Lord Voldemort: "One of us? You think it will be you, do you, the boy who has survived by accident, and because Dumbledore was pulling the strings?"
Harry: "You won't be killing anyone else tonight. You won't be able to kill any of them ever again."
— The final confrontation between two mortal enemies[src]
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Narcissa Malfoy telling Voldemort and the gathered Death Eaters that Harry is "dead"

Harry woke up, but feigned death. He was assisted in this by Narcissa Malfoy, who had secretly turned against Voldemort by telling him Harry was dead in order to protect her son, because she knew the only way she would be permitted to enter Hogwarts was with the rest of the Death Eaters in their victory march. Voldemort then triumphantly disgraced Harry's "dead" body with the Cruciatus Curse then forced Hagrid to carry Harry's body back to Hogwarts, proclaiming Harry dead and demanding surrender. At first, the surviving fighters were heartbroken, especially Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and Professor McGonagall. They screamed abuse at the Death Eaters in anger, remaining defiant. Harry's apparent death had spurred the defenders of Hogwarts on.

Neville Longbottom courageously stood up to Voldemort, and when the latter offered Neville a rank in his Death Eater society, Neville proudly refused and screamed to the high heavens, "Dumbledore's Army!" Voldemort cast the Full Body-Bind Curse, then Summoned the Sorting Hat and placed it upon Neville's head. After he announced that there would be no houses and that the school colours would be those loyal to Salazar Slytherin, he caused the hat to burst into flames. As Neville cried in pain, a distant uproar came from the direction of the school boundaries. Centaurs, thestrals, Buckbeak the hippogriff, Hagrid's half brother Grawp, and the families of the Hogwarts students who remained to fight, plus the shop and home keepers of Hogsmeade joined the fight with a flourish.

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Voldemort gloating over Harry's 'death', Neville slays Nagini, and the second half of the battle breaks out

This distracted Voldemort and his Death Eaters, and Neville was able to pull off the Sorting Hat, and from its depths he received the Sword of Gryffindor and sliced off Nagini's head in one swift, fluid motion. Harry slipped away in the ensuing mêlée under the Invisibility Cloak. Death Eaters started to fold under sheer weight of numbers as the house-elves in the kitchens joined the battle, with Kreacher at its front, declaring war against the Dark Lord in the name of brave Regulus Black. Using his Invisibility Cloak, Harry protected the defenders of Hogwarts from attack. Soon, only Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange were the only two remaining and fighting, with Voldemort duelling McGonagall, Slughorn, and Kingsley at once, and Bellatrix duelling Hermione, Luna, and Ginny. Harry was torn between the two until he saw a Killing Curse aimed at Ginny, the latter missing death by a mere inch.

Harry redirected his path to Bellatrix, until being roughly knocked aside by Molly Weasley, who duelled and ultimately killed Bellatrix. Voldemort's fury at the fall of his last, best lieutenant exploded with the force of a bomb and Harry turned in to see McGonagall, Slughorn, and Kingsley blasted backwards in pain and Voldemort directing his wand at Molly. Harry then cast a Shield Charm to protect her from Voldemort's wrath, revealing himself for the final duel.

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Harry's final defeat of Lord Voldemort and the end of the Second Wizarding War

Unbeknownst to Voldemort, mastery of the Elder Wand, which he had stolen from Dumbledore's grave, had not been taken from Dumbledore by Snape, but by Draco Malfoy, because Draco had disarmed Dumbledore on the night of his murder, before Snape killed him. Thus, when Harry had disarmed Malfoy in Malfoy Manor weeks earlier, he had become the true master of the Elder Wand.

When Harry and Voldemort faced off for the last time, Harry tried to tell him this and about the other mistakes he had made. Harry also asked him to feel some remorse, which Voldemort rejected. Voldemort cast the Killing Curse, and Harry countered with the Disarming Charm. The Elder Wand refused to attack its master, and the Killing Curse rebounded, destroying Voldemort once and for all.

After battle

The battle-worn trio the morning after the battle

Immediately, Harry was surrounded by overjoyed fellow fighters; Hermione and Ron reached him first, and then Ginny, Neville, and Luna. Victory celebrations began and Harry was an indispensable part of the grief and celebration. Everyone wanted him there with them, their leader, symbol, and guide. He must speak to the bereaved and witness their sadness, and hear the news that the Imperiused all over the nation had come back to normal. The Death Eaters were fleeing or else captured, the innocent in Azkaban were being released, and Kingsley Shacklebolt had been named temporary Minister for Magic, but Harry soon grew weary. Luna created a distraction so that he could slip away under his Invisibility Cloak in order to find Ron and Hermione.

The trio visited Albus Dumbledore's portrait, and along the way he explained everything to his two best friends. Harry decided to prevent the Deathly Hallows from ever being reunited again by keeping the Cloak of Invisibility, leaving the Resurrection Stone where it lay in the Forbidden Forest, and returning the Elder Wand to Dumbledore's grave, but not before using it to fix his wand.

When Voldemort destroyed the piece of his soul residing in Harry, Harry lost the ability to speak Parseltongue,[87].

Later life (1998-2020)

"Harry and his friends have their own history depicted on Chocolate Frogs cards."
—The trio are honoured with their own Chocolate Frog Cards[src]
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Harry and Ginny Potter with their three children

Harry ensured that Severus Snape's portrait was hung in the Headmaster's office at Hogwarts.[88] He also made occasional visits to the school to give lectures to the students on Defence Against the Dark Arts. At some point the trio were featured on Chocolate Frog Cards for their accomplishments.

Harry was also on "Christmas card" terms with his cousin Dudley Dursley and his family, and occasionally visited him, which were occasions dreaded by his own children.[89] Harry also made peace with his former rival Draco Malfoy, something that his father and his friends were never able to do with Severus Snape. They were civil towards each other; however, their schoolboy enmity meant that they were still not friends at this stage.

Also following the war, he aided in the care of his godson, Teddy Lupin, thus fulfilling the role that his own godfather, Sirius Black, never got to play. Harry and Teddy eventually became very close. Harry's children commented that they wanted Teddy to move in with the family, Harry mentioned that Teddy had already been coming to their home for dinner four times a week, and that he was practically living with them as it was.[90] The Potters were also thrilled at the idea that Teddy, who was seen snogging Victoire Weasley (the eldest daughter of Bill and Fleur Weasley) might officially become a part of their family.

Career as an Auror

"Harry and Ron utterly revolutionised the Auror Department in — at the Ministry of Magic. So they — I mean, they are now the consummate — they are experts... And by the time — 19 years later — I would imagine that Harry is heading up that department, which is not corrupt in any way. "
J. K. Rowling regarding Harry's career after the war[src]

At the end of the Second Wizarding War Harry was recruited by the new Minister for Magic Kingsley Shacklebolt and became an Auror at the Ministry of Magic. Kingsley permitted those who had fought in the final battle to become Aurors without getting their N.E.W.T.s. Along with his friend Ron Weasley, Harry was considered an expert and helped reform and revolutionise the Auror department and the rest of the Ministry, along with Hermione Granger, who became a high ranking official in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.[58] In 2007, Harry became the Head of the Auror Office at the age of 26 or 27.[57]

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A middle aged trio, who helped reform and revolutionise the Ministry of Magic

Harry had married Ginny likely sometime before 2005, but certainly by 2014.[91][92] By 2017, the couple had three children of their own: two sons James Sirius and Albus Severus, and one daughter Lily Luna. Harry attended the final of the 427th Quidditch World Cup in early July of 2014 in the Patagonian Desert. Harry, James, and Albus joined Ginny Potter, who had been in Patagonia since the start of the Cup, in her capacity of special Quidditch correspondent to the Daily Prophet.[93]

Harry along with his family (including Teddy Lupin) and Dumbledore's Army were granted access to the VIP section of the campsite. Harry embraced Viktor Krum, who was competing again after being retired for a few years, upon meeting him and introduced him to his sons, James and Albus.[94] He supported Bulgaria in the match together with the rest of his family (save for Albus) and looked "emotional" when Viktor Krum and his team had won the match. While at the game Harry also sported a nasty cut over his right cheekbone, which was a result of his top-secret work for the Auror Office.

On 31 July, 2014 Rita Skeeter launched a book at Flourish and Blotts titled Dumbledore's Army: The Dark Side of the Demob, regarding the lives of the members of Dumbledore's Army. The book according to Rita's description, seemed to focus on the D.A. members "imperfections". Harry and Ginny were featured on the front cover.

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Harry with his family at King's Cross Station in 2017 escorting his sons to Platform 9¾

On 1 September, 2017 Harry and Ginny took their three children to King's Cross Station to see James and Albus off to Hogwarts. There, they met Ron and Hermione and their two children, Harry's niece Rose and nephew Hugo. When Albus expressed a fear that he might be Sorted into Slytherin House, Harry told his son that Albus was named after two Hogwarts Headmasters of whom one was a Slytherin and "probably the bravest man [he] ever knew." Harry assured him that his parents would be proud of him regardless of where he was Sorted. He also told him that the Sorting Hat would take his preferences into consideration, which happened to him when he was being Sorted. This was a secret he had never shared with his other children.

Head of Department of Magical Law Enforcement

"Love blinds. We have both tried to give our sons, not what they needed, but what we needed. We've been so busy trying to rewrite our own pasts, we've blighted their present."
—Harry realising his mistakes in regards to his second son[src]

When he picked Albus up from King's Cross, who had returned from a year at Hogwarts, he was surprised to find Albus distant and colder. The relationship would stay strained for the next couple of years.

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Harry seeing James, Lily, and Rose off to Hogwarts, while Albus stands off to the side

In September 2018, Harry took Albus to King's Cross again. He was hurt when Albus told him he wanted to be alone. Harry thought his friendship with Scorpius Malfoy, the child of his rival, was the reason why and demanded Albus sever their friendship, but he refused.

In September 2019, Harry took Albus to King's Cross yet again, where he gave Albus the permission slip he needed to visit Hogsmeade. When Albus destroyed the slip, Harry was left angry with him.

By late summer of 2020, Harry had been made Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.[59] Harry helped the Ministry of Magic confiscate an illegal and very powerful Time-Turner from a hermit, Theodore Nott. He returned to his office, laden with paperwork, where he and Hermione spoke about recent activity among Voldemort's former allies.

Harry was later visited at home by Amos Diggory, who had heard he might have the Time-Turner. While Albus and Delphi Diggory, who claimed to be Amos' carer and niece, listened in, Amos demanded Harry go back in time and save Cedric. However, Harry refused due to the implications of intervening greatly with the past.

Harry's relationship with Albus had strained increasingly since he had left for Hogwarts. In an effort to mend things, Harry spoke to Albus and tried to give him the old baby blanket he received from his mother Lily, in the hope a reminder of what happened would make him change his behaviour. When Albus rejected the gift, it led to an argument in which they both expressed the wish that they were not related. Harry regretted what he said, but it was too late to take it back.

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Harry's awoken from a nightmare after his scar pains him for the first time in many years

Harry began to experience nightmares and pains in his scar, something that he had not experienced since his final defeat of Voldemort. Ginny tried to comfort him and proceeded to ask what was wrong. When Harry explained, they decided to let Hermione know. Harry took his scar hurting to be an ominous sign and it left him with many worries concerning his son and the outcome of the future.

He and Hermione held a public meeting, but the community was not convinced there is a threat, as they were not willing to go except that danger was once again imminent. Draco accused Harry of only wanting his name in the papers and proceeded to storm out of the public meeting. Later on Harry, Ginny, and Draco then learnt that Albus and Scorpius were missing. This prompted Draco to start a duel with Harry, Ginny was quick to interrupt it, before it got out of hand. They had decided to retrieve the Time-Turner and help Amos save Cedric. Ginny concluded Albus ran away after his argument with Harry, and Draco was upset that Scorpius had been pulled into their family issues.

Albus and Scorpius's time-travelling antics created two separate alternate timelines. This was something that could have disastrous effects for everyone. In one, Harry received a dream revealing Albus's location in the Forbidden Forest. As he and the others searched, Harry came across the centaur Bane. Bane warned him that a "dark cloud" haunted Albus. He took this "dark cloud" to mean Scorpius and his doubts regarding his son's friendship with him strengthened even more. He, Ron, and Ginny found the boys just after they return from the past. Scorpius was uninjured, but Albus sustained a broken arm.

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Harry conversing with the portrait of Albus Dumbledore

Albus was brought to the school's hospital wing, where Harry conversed with a portrait of Albus Dumbledore. After Harry aired decades of pint-up emotion left over from the horrors of his childhood and Dumdledore reassuring him he did what he though was best for Harry's well being at the time, the portrait advised him to see Albus as he is. Harry demanded that Albus break off his association with Scorpius. He even went so far as to bully Headmistress Minerva McGonagall into using the Marauder's Map to keep them apart. This was something that he would not normally do. Harry's worry for his son had intensified so much that it blinded him to the bigger picture.

When Albus and Scorpius went time travelling again, Harry and Ginny received a visit from Draco. He and Harry argued about their children, which resulted in a premature wizards' duel. When Ginny intervenes and reminds them their children are missing, Draco surprised them by explaining how lonely he was at Hogwarts and how lucky Harry was to have such great friendships.

Harry and Draco finally gained a mutual respect for one another, and looked upon each other as friends. When Draco speaks of the great bond and sacrifices he has made for Scorpius and his late wife, Harry finally realised he was dangerously isolating Albus. They returned to Hogwarts, where Harry apologised to Professor McGonagall and they attempted to locate the boys, ultimately discovering that they had the Time-Turner.

However, in the other timeline, Albus and Scorpius had created a world where Harry had died at the Battle of Hogwarts. Fortunately, Scorpius managed to salvage the original timeline and returned both Harry, and Albus to life. Harry visited Albus in his dormitory where despite his anger, he manages to plant the seed for a reconciliation with Albus.

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Harry visiting Albus and the two begin to talk and reconcile

Later, Harry and his friends learn that Albus and Scorpius were missing again and were last seen with Delphi. They went to see Amos to find out what he knows, and found out he had been Confunded by Delphi into believing she was his niece and carer.

Searching the room for clues to find out Delphi's true identity, they stumbled upon a prophecy that, if fulfilled, would enable the return of Voldemort, and realised Delphi's true identity as Voldemort's secret daughter with Bellatrix Lestrange. However, since they did not know where in time Delphi, Albus, and Scorpius were, they could only bide their time and wait.

At home, Harry looked at the blanket he had tried to give Albus. He noticed writing on it, and found out it was a message sent by Albus from the past. He and Ginny noticed the date, being 30 October 1981 — one day before the night that Voldemort killed Harry's parents. They alerted Ron and Hermione. Draco, who joined in, secretly revealed to them that his family had a Time-Turner that would be more potent and valuable than the one seized by the Ministry, which was merely a prototype and thus not as covetable to a true Death Eater.

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Harry, Ron, Draco, and others travelling back in time to assist Albus and Scorpius

They travelled back in time to join Albus and Scorpius. However, under Ginny's prodding, they realised that Delphi did not to want to kill baby Harry, but rather to stop Voldemort from doing so in the hope he would live and his reign would continue. Delphi thought she could make her father stronger as he would know love when he met her, which its lacking was what had originally led to his downfall.

Everyone agreed they had to transfigure Harry to look like Voldemort in the hope that they could fool Delphi and hinder her in saving the real Voldemort. They picked Harry because he not only knew Voldemort well through the connection they shared when he was a Horcrux, but he now also understood Parseltongue again.

Delphi pleaded with her "father" to recognise her, which Harry managed before the transfiguration spell came undone. However, when Delphi sees she had been set up, she engaged in a fierce duel with Harry, who is later joined by his friends and Albus. They managed to subdue her and she pleaded that she only wants to know her father. A surprised Harry explained that this would not be possible; they cannot change the past.

Upon hearing the real Voldemort arrive to kill Harry's parents, Delphi tried calling out to him, but Hermione and Malfoy silenced her and sent her back to present day. Harry decided to watch the scene of his parents' murder once more, with Albus by his side, to provide a sense of closure for them. They later returned to the present when a devastated Hagrid arrived at the scene to bring Harry to the Dursleys.

Back at Hogwarts, Albus is asked by Harry to join him one afternoon for a hike up a steep hill. Harry revealed that he had brought Albus to Cedric Diggory's grave, which he regularly visits so he could apologise for his role in his death.

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Harry in his first year, age 11

Physical appearance

"Harry has his father's and mother's good looks."
J. K. Rowling comments on Harry's appearance[src]

Harry was a near-spitting image of his father, having untidy jet-black hair, but his startlingly green, almond-shaped eyes were identical to those of his mother. Harry's physique as a boy was described as "small and skinny", with a thin face and knobbly knees, due to his poor quality of life in his childhood. However, despite the neglect he suffered, Harry seems to have grown at the same rate as James, as when he was fifteen he was within an inch of James at the same age, and when he was seventeen he was exactly the same height his father was, and James was often described as tall. Harry wore round-rimmed glasses, peculiarly similar to his father's glasses. During his time hunting Voldemort's Horcruxes, Harry's black hair grew shoulder length as was described when he saw his reflection in Malfoy Manor. This was due to his preoccupation with the hunt for the Horcruxes and his lack of interest in his appearance.

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Harry in his sixth year, age 16

Upon Harry's forehead, covered by his unruly black hair, was a scar shaped like a lightning bolt. The scar was a result of the failed (and famed) Killing Curse cast on him by Lord Voldemort when he was an infant. It burned painfully whenever Voldemort was near Harry or feeling particularly strong emotions, but this stopped after Voldemort's death and was reduced into an ordinary scar.

Harry also had a faint scar on the back of his right hand which said, "I must not tell lies". This scar was caused while Harry spent detentions with Dolores Umbridge, who forced him to use the Black Quill that carved the words into the back of his hand. In addition, Harry has an oval-shaped scar over his heart where the locket-Horcrux seared his skin during the confrontation with Nagini in Bathilda Bagshot's house, Godric's Hollow.

When possessed by Lord Voldemort at the end of the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, Harry's eyes became somewhat glassy green in appearance, and his voice became a mixture of his own and Voldemort's.

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Middle aged Harry Potter

Harry had "great skin" and never suffered from zits.[95]

At age 33, Harry already had "a couple of threads of silver" in his hair, according to Daily Prophet gossip columnist Rita Skeeter.[94] In the summer of 2014, Harry made an appearance in the Patagonian Desert, where he would attend the final of the 427th Quidditch World Cup with his family, sporting a nasty cut over his right cheekbone, which was a result of his top-secret work for the Auror Office. At the age of 40, it is cited by Moaning Myrtle that Harry seems to have gotten more handsome in his older age.[94]

Personality and traits

"I see Harry as someone who is struggling to do the right thing, who is not without faults, who acts impetuously as you would expect someone of his age to act, but who is ultimately a very loyal person, and a very very courageous person. So, in as much as he has qualities that I admire most I would say he is a good role model. That doesn't mean that he is saintly, but then frankly, who is? But I think you do see enough of Harry’s inner life, the workings of his mind in the books to know that he is ultimately human, struggling to do the right thing, which I think is admirable."
J. K. Rowling on why Harry's an excellent role model[src]

Harry was an extremely brave, loyal, and selfless person who possessed tremendous strength of character. He willingly went to what he truly believed to be his death, because he believed that this was the only way to defeat the Dark Lord. Harry was also marked by what Lord Voldemort once deemed a "weakness for heroics" — he would go to great lengths and take great risks in order to help others, particularly his loved ones. Notably, this was taken advantage of by Voldemort in 1996, when he lured Harry to the Department of Mysteries by making him believe that his godfather was in danger.[96] Harry was also very strong-willed and unafraid to stand up for himself. The fact that he was capable of repelling the Imperius Curse suggests that he had an unusually strong sense of himself and his morals.[97] Dumbledore once made parallels between Harry's traits and qualities that Salazar Slytherin looked for in his own hand-picked students. He also noted that Harry's choice not to draw on those qualities really defined who he was, rather than the simple fact that he had them.[98]

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Harry resourcefully using the Sword of Gryffindor, as a way of retrieving Hufflepuff's cup from mounds of burning treasure

"Hmm. Difficult. Very difficult. Plenty of courage, I see. Not a bad mind either. There's talent, oh my goodness, yes — and a nice thirst to prove yourself, now that's interesting... So where shall I put you?"
—The Sorting Hat looking into Harry's mind[src]

Harry was perfectly prepared to put his friends' needs and best interests first, shown by how he ended his relationship with Ginny Weasley, due to his concern for her well being (even though being with her was one of the best things that ever happened to him).[99] The amount of trust that Harry put into his friends was so strong that he absolutely refused to consider that any of them would betray him to Voldemort. Considering that Harry knew a person (Peter Pettigrew) who had betrayed all of his closest friends to Voldemort, his closest friends being Harry's parents, godfather, and Remus Lupin who was there when Harry declared his trust in him, proves Harry's ability to love so unequivocally.

The closeness that Harry felt for many was great enough for him to behave violently if any of them were harmed.[100] When his godfather was murdered by Bellatrix Lestrange, Harry attacked her in a grief-stricken rage of righteous anger and attempted to use the Cruciatus Curse on her. He also attacked Severus Snape after the latter murdered Albus Dumbledore. Ironically, the only people with whom Harry ever initiated a duel were Snape and Bellatrix and he only desired to do so right after they killed someone he loved. This highlights Harry's bravery even further because Harry was fully aware that Snape and Bellatrix were two very skilled and experienced duellists, but did not hesitate to harm them as soon as he was pushed into it.

"Listen to me, Harry. You happen to have many qualities Salazar Slytherin prized in his hand-picked students. His own very rare gift, Parseltongue; resourcefulness; determination; a certain disregard for the rules..."
—Dumbledore discussing some of Harry's personality traits[src]

However, Harry was also accused of being arrogant, in particular by Severus Snape (although in fairness, Snape was extremely biassed, and Harry often found being famous and admired very difficult), and could be hot-tempered and impulsive. This could sometimes make him rude to authority figures such as Professor Snape and Minister for Magic Rufus Scrimgeour. In contrast, Dumbledore stated that "many teachers report that [Harry's] modest, likeable, and reasonably talented".[45]

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Harry brooding over the Snitch, left to him in Dumbledore's will

Harry was prone to moodiness and unkind remarks towards even his friends during his adolescence, though this is likely the result of the great emotional stress and trials he endured during this period. Harry was also not one to let bygones be bygones and had at best, a vengeful and at worst, a spiteful streak towards those who did him wrong. This varied from wanting to murder/torture those whom had performed unforgivable acts like: Bellatrix, Voldemort, and Dolores Umbridge to a desire for pettiness towards Ron Weasley, Draco Malfoy, Snape, and the Dursley's. Harry even wanted Sirius (before learning of his innocence) and Pettigrew to suffer the Dementor's kiss for their crimes and spent the entirety of the Horcrux hunt mad at Dumbledore for the latter's lack of trust.

"You're a sharp boy, Potter."
Barty Crouch Jr's opinion of Harry's intelligence[src]

Harry possessed an instinctual, intuitive intelligence that allowed him to make intellectual leaps, as opposed to the logical intelligence of Hermione. For example, Harry divined the truth about the Deathly Hallows, well before Hermione would accept it.[101] And although he was clever, Harry lacked intellectual curiosity, rarely putting forth effort into school work; for example, he relied on the notes of the Half-Blood Prince to get ahead in his sixth year Potions class rather than devoting time to studying[102] (although he did study reasonably hard for his Ordinary Wizarding Levels, the only set of wizarding qualifications he sat at Hogwarts), and generally did his best magical work when tackling practical exams rather than theoretical ones. This could be a result of the lack of confidence that Harry developed from growing up with the Dursleys.

Barty Crouch Jr (disguised as Alastor Moody) remarked that Harry possessed a streak of pride and independence that almost cost him the Triwizard Tournament. His pride didn't allow him to ask for help regarding the problem of breathing underwater for an hour, which was required for the Second task that took place in the Black Lake, was what almost cost him the competition.[97] Harry was also known for wanting to tackle challenges and obstacles on his own, without the aid or interference of others. His friends had to frequently remind him that he needed their assistance and that he "did not always have to go it alone".

Harry also seemed to have a bit of an obsessive personality, a trait he shared with his arch enemy Lord Voldemort. He could be somewhat nosy and was known for sleuthing around and getting involved in things that did not concern him. For instance, during his sixth year Harry became intensely preoccupied with finding out what Malfoy was doing in his free time.[102] He also developed on unhealthy obsession with the Deathly Hallows, to the point where he was listless with longing for the three artefacts. This period of listlessness lasted for many weeks during the hunt for Lord Voldemort's Horcruxes.

Harry & Ginny kiss

Harry and his love for Ginny Weasley, his then ex-girlfriend and future wife

Harry's greatest strength was his ability to feel love, despite having a miserable childhood of neglect. Harry was extremely loyal to and protective of his loved ones and that love was what allowed him to overcome Voldemort. Dumbledore noted that Harry's strength of will at resisting the temptation of the Dark Arts, even when granted a direct insight into Voldemort's mind and methods was due to Harry's ability to love. Harry even claimed that he felt sorry for Voldemort because of his inability to feel or understand love. Ginny, his wife, commented that he was the kindest and most loving man anyone would ever meet.[103]

Albus Dumbledore noted that Harry was unfailingly kind and compassionate. This is shown by how he freed Dobby from the Malfoys and by standing up for Muggle-borns, half-bloods, and half-breeds (like Hagrid). This is likely attributable to his childhood, during which the Dursleys deprived him of compassion and discriminated against him due to his magical abilities. His compassionate led him to spare the life of Delphi, the daughter of Lord Voldemort, despite the history between himself and the Dark Lord. Also, Harry was not a cruel person and he never wished anyone harm. He rarely initiated duels, instead fighting in self-defence. Even after Bellatrix Lestrange had murdered his godfather, Harry failed to cast the Cruciatus Curse on her. Bellatrix noted the he had failed to cast the curse properly because he had cast it out of righteous anger and not malicious intent.[104] However, he did use the Cruciatus Curse more effectively on Amycus Carrow after he spat at and insulted Minerva McGonagall. In addition, he saved Peter Pettigrew from being killed by his (Pettigrew's) former friends Sirius Black and Remus Lupin, though this was not done for humanitarian reasons but for the memory of his father.

"I see Harry as an old soul."
—J.K. Rowling regarding Harry's spirit[src]

Remus Lupin once noted that Harry had very good and nearly always right instincts.[101] Harry had a strong awareness of the incalculable power of certain acts, which is never more apparent than when he refused to allow Lupin to accompany him and leave his wife and child at home and realised that Ron Weasley was meant to destroy Slytherin's locket.

Harry temper

Harry loses his temper with "Aunt" Marge

In some ways, Harry can become extremely intimidating toward people such as: Gilderoy Lockhart, Mundungus Fletcher, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley. It is seen that Harry can become extremely frightening when pushed to the point of anger or extreme annoyance. When in a bad mood and argumentative, even Harry's closest friends have been shown to be wary of him, usually replying to his angry tone in a calm and appeasing voice. The only person who does not appear to be afraid of him when he is angry (other than his teachers and other authority figures in his life) is Ginny Weasley. Dumbledore is a special case, as he acts fatherly towards Harry.

Harry seems to have good and long memory, as he remembers the motorbike ride to Privet Drive with Hagrid when he was eleven and could remember the deaths of his mother and Voldemort's laughter when the events occurred ten years earlier.[47] Despite needing glasses, Harry possessed a tremendous eyesight as well, he was able to locate the Golden Snitch (which was approximately the size of a golf ball) in a massive Quidditch field. Harry also cared very much for his children. He comforted his daughter, Lily Potter when she was upset about not going to Hogwarts. He also made sure his younger son Albus Potter would not be teased a lot by Harry's older son, James Potter.

Harry: "Yes,"
Severus Snape: "Yes sir."
Harry: "There's no need to call me 'sir,' Professor."
— Harry being cheeky to Snape during a DADA lesson[src]

Although never as given to sarcasm or humour as his best friend Ron, Harry often displayed a dry wit. For instance, on finding out that Hermione Granger intended to take twelve O.W.Ls, he asked her if she planned to eat or sleep at all that year. This humour often became more cutting when applied to people Harry disliked. When threatened by Draco Malfoy and his cronies after the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, Harry remarked that he supposed that "Lord Voldemort's just a warm-up act compared to you three?", responding to Malfoy's threat that he was dead by casually commenting "funny, you'd think I'd have stopped walking around".[6] Harry also displayed wittiness when he first encountered Crookshanks, remarking that he was either "a very large cat or quite a small tiger".[105] He was also known to apply his cutting wit to Severus Snape as well. During his first Potions lesson Snape antagonised Harry with question after question, until Harry responded with "I don't know. I think Hermione does, though, why don't you try her?"[47]

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Harry as the leader of Dumbledore's Army, while teaching a lesson on the Stunning Spell

Although he never sought power himself and would be content with a normal life, when a situation required him to step up he would do so. Such as when he, Ron, and Hermione discovered Voldemort and Quirrell's attempt to steal the Philosopher's Stone and his time as teacher/leader of Dumbledore's Army. Harry has shown not-inconsiderable leadership abilities, to the point that Dumbledore reflected that Harry was a better leader than him as he never sought power for himself but simply had to assume the mantle of leadership due to circumstances beyond his control and found in the process that he did it well.

During his youth, Harry tended to see things in a rather stark, absolute manner, particularly when it came to the Hogwarts Houses. Harry generally regarded members of Slytherin House as evil and therefore his enemies, while Gryffindors, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuffs were allies. The former part could be due to his own status as a Gryffindor and that many of the Slytherins he encountered, such as Lord Voldemort, Draco Malfoy, and Severus Snape, were significant enemies of his during this period. In addition, many of his friends and allies, such as Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, and Hagrid, were fellow Gryffindors. However, this mentality eroded as he aged, since he encountered both allies among Slytherin, such as Horace Slughorn (and later, Snape), and enemies among the other three Houses, such as Peter Pettigrew (a fellow Gryffindor) and Quirinus Quirrell (a Ravenclaw). By 2017, Harry had adopted a more moderate attitude on the Houses, telling his younger son Albus Potter that "it doesn't matter to us" if Albus was Sorted in Slytherin or Gryffindor. In addition, Harry named that same son after Severus Snape, whom he recounted as "the bravest man [he] ever knew".

In the aftermath of the Secondary Wizarding War, Harry is shown to suffer from survivors guilt and also Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These to symptoms extend into his childhood and throughout his life at Hogwarts. Because of his depression he also claims that he was supposed to die and everyone knew it, but he survived it all. He also claims that too many people died for the "Boy Who Lived" and that he wasn't worth dying for at all. Harry's depression and trauma are caused by not having removed Voldemort completely from his life. He fears that he will always allow Voldemort to have some mental and emotional control over him.

Harry also has shown signs of suffering from recurring clinical depression, such as his sullen and withdrawn demeanour during his mid-to-late teens as a result of the tragedies in his life. A particular symptom of this is his outrageous temper during his bouts of depression, which frighten all but Ginny by their sheer force and magnitude alone. Overall, Harry is much the same as any other soldier, struggling to carry on despite the horrors of his past and the brutality he has been a part of for so long.

Harry does have some fears, though he hides them extremely well from his family. In fact he hide them so well that his younger son considered his father to be utterly fearless. These fears include the dark, pigeons, small spaces, and seeing his family in danger.

It is commented by his son, that Harry's personality is complicated and this is furthered by Ron, who calls him intense in terms of his traits and past experiences.[106]

Magical abilities and skills

Patronus PM SilverStagPatronus MomentIllust

Harry's corporeal stag Patronus

"Harry.... is becoming exceptionally good at Defence Against the Dark Arts. So that's the one area in which, almost instinctively, he is particularly talented. Apart from Quidditch."
J. K. Rowling regarding Harry's magical talents[src]

Harry was seen and had proven himself to be an extremely talented and powerful wizard. His power was evident from the start: he demonstrated immediate command of a broomstick, was able to conjure a corporeal Patronus at an exceptionally young age (a mark of superior magical ability[92]), and even survived numerous encounters with Lord Voldemort. He mastered a wand made of hawthorn, which one should only ever consider placing in the hands of a witch or wizard of proven talent.[107] Harry was also a very gifted flyer and Quidditch player, the youngest Seeker in a century.

  • Love: Harry's greatest power of all was his ability to love. In spite of being raised by a family that treated him with anything but affection, Harry remarkably turned out capable of very strong love. For example, Harry's love for his friends caused him to sacrifice himself to Lord Voldemort. His love for his friends also caused him to feel no concern for his own well being or happiness when they were at risk, and put himself in danger many times to protect them. This loving sacrifice conferred a certain amount of protection onto his allies, making it so that spells Voldemort tried to place on them quickly wore off.[108] Harry's ability to love has also protected and helped him on several occasions, such as when he produced a Patronus that could drive hundreds of Dementors away,[56] repelled Voldemort when he possessed him,[100] and allowed himself to close the connection between himself and Voldemort when he was unable to perform Occlumency.[109] His love was strongest when directed at Ginny Weasley, who was the driving force that kept him going until Voldemort was defeated.
"Harry — he has an extraordinary instinct for the right thing to do. He's just got the right instinct, and that's what would make him, in due course, a phenomenal Auror."
J. K. Rowling regarding Harry's time as an Auror[src]
  • Auror skills: Harry was extremely young for an Auror, which spoke highly of his magical abilities. He became head of the Auror Office at the age of 26.[57] After completing his training he had skills in various areas of magic such as, Concealment and Disguise, Stealth and Tracking, and poisonsand antidotes. All of these areas of magic were essential studies for Aurors. He also had high skill in Transfiguration, as Aurors had to frequently transfigure and untransfigure things in their line of work.[110] Harry also possessed a great instinct for the right thing to do when faced with stressful and difficult situations, something that contributed to him becoming a fantastic Auror.
"Harry, you're the best in the year at Defence Against the Dark Arts."
Hermione Granger emphasising Harry's talent in defensive magic[src]
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Harry defends himself against Grindylows in 1995

  • Defence Against the Dark Arts: Harry was extremely adept in Defence Against the Dark Arts, having mastered all manners of spells, such as the: Stunning Spell, Disarming Charm, Impediment Jinx, Full Body-Bind Curse, and Reductor Curse.[111] In fact, his Stunning Spell was so strong that opponents would get knocked out if they were hit directly. He was also skilled at defending himself against Dark creatures such as: Grindylows, Red Caps, Hinkypunks, Boggarts, Erklings, and Dementors. In his third year, he was the only student who flawlessly made it through the end-of-the-year exam (an obstacle course containing some of the said creatures.[112]) In his fifth year, Professor McGonagall stated that Professor Lupin said he showed a "pronounced aptitude" for the subject, and that he had "achieved high marks on all his Defence Against the Dark Arts tests".[113] In fact, Harry had beaten Hermione in two of the three Defence Against the Dark Arts exams they had taken together. The only exam she beat him in was their first year exam and Hermione later reflected that it did not count as Quirrell "wasn't a particularly good teacher".[114] During his O.W.L. examination, Professor Tofty (Wizarding Examinations Authority) expressed pleasure at Harry's performance of Defence Against the Dark Arts, calling it "excellent".[115] This statement was later proven true when he achieved an 'Outstanding'[86] Defence Against the Dark Arts O.W.L. (something that not even Hermione achieved), a testament of his extraordinary talent in defensive magic. In 1996, Ron stated that it came as no surprise that Harry was top of the class at Defence Against the Dark Arts.[86] Indeed, Harry was so good at DADA that when the Ministry of Magic prevented the subject from being taught effectively in 1995, he set up his own DADA club and successfully taught members how to defend themselves against the Dark Arts. He immediately became an Auror after the Second Wizarding War, which also required considerable skill in both defensive and offensive magic. Harry also developed a high level of resistance towards the Imperius Curse as well, demonstrated when it was cast upon him by Barty Crouch Jr (disguised as Alastor Moody) in 1994 and by Lord Voldemort himself in 1995.[97]
"...there's no point pretending that you're not good at Defence Against the Dark Arts, because you are. You were the only person last year who could throw off the Imperius Curse completely, you can produce a Patronus, you can do all sorts of stuff that full-grown wizards can't."
—Hermione Granger regarding Harry's abilities in 1995[src]
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Harry duelling Voldemort in Little Hangleton graveyard

  • Duelling: Despite his young age, Harry was an accomplished and skilful duellist. He was able to single-handedly defeat some of the most formidable Death Eaters and even survive numerous encounters with Lord Voldemort himself. He eventually defeated Voldemort by becoming the master of the Elder Wand. In many battles of the Second Wizarding War, he was able to incapacitate much more experienced Death Eaters. During the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, he was the only one of the six D.A. members to be neither injured nor incapacitated and, along with Albus Dumbledore and Remus Lupin, was the only fighter on their side to emerge from the battle physically unscathed. In that time he had defeated Lucius Malfoy and had defeated the extremely powerful Antonin Dolohov twice. Later, in the same battle, he was able to hold his own against Bellatrix Lestrange, who was the most powerful of all the Death Eaters.[116] In 1997, Harry defeated Yaxley, Fenrir Greyback, and one of the two Carrows.[45] He fought off several Death Eaters in the Battle of the Seven Potters. During the Skirmish at Malfoy Manor he overpowered Lucius Malfoy, Draco Malfoy, and Fenrir Greyback and avoided direct conflict damage all throughout the Battle of Hogwarts (ensuring that mastery of the Elder Wand did not waver from him[45]). He was known to be very quick off the draw and had an aggressive duelling style, even incorporating Unforgivable Curses. He was also known to taunt his opponents and get them to talk at length, angering them and throwing them mentally off-balance, buying himself time to strategise or lulling them into lowering their guard. Harry was especially skilled in the Disarming Charm and used it so much that it was seen as his "signature spell" by many Death Eaters. His most notable uses of the Disarming Charm were when he formed Priori Incantatem with Voldemort and when he finally killed the Dark Lord. At the remarkably young age of seventeen Harry became an Auror and, in 2007, was promoted to Head of the Auror Office at the age of 26 or 27.[57]
" Imperio" Harry said again; his voice echoed through the stone passage as he felt the familiar sense of heady control that flowed from brain to wand."
—Harry casting an Unforgivable Curse on Bogrod[src]
"You're the youngest Seeker in a century."
Ron Weasley discussing Harry's flying talent[src]
Harry Potter Quidditch Firebolt

Harry on his broom

  • Flying: Harry had inherited his father's talent for flying and for Quidditch. Harry showed immediate command of a broomstick in his first year, which made him a naturally good Seeker. This was the first magical skill for which he discovered an aptitude, as he found in 1991. In fact, at the mere age of eleven, Harry became the youngest Seeker in a century.[120] His extraordinary flying skills aided him when he had to capture Winged Keys to get past Professor Flitwick's challenge in the Philosopher's Stone Chambers, and also helped him in the Triwizard Tournament (where he had to steal a golden egg from a Hungarian Horntail), and during the Battle of Hogwarts, during which he managed to escape a Fiendfyre inferno in the Room of Requirement.
  • Parselmouth: Because he carried a piece of Voldemort's soul within himself, Harry was able to speak and understand Parseltongue from 1981 to 1998. After that soul fragment was destroyed, Harry lost this ability. However, in 2020, Harry had somehow regained the ability to speak Parseltongue again, although it was possible he never lost to begin with or that the ability simply became temporarily suppressed after the Horcrux was destroyed.
  • Insight into Voldemort's mind: Also due to the piece of Voldemort's soul, Harry was able to look into Voldemort's mind and see through his senses from time to time. He sometimes used this ability to monitor what Voldemort was doing. However, it was a dangerous ability to have as well; Voldemort once used it, along with Legilimency, to plant a false vision in Harry's mind of Sirius Black being tortured, which he used to lure Harry to the Department of Mysteries.[121] Additionally, because of their connection, Harry felt a burning pain in his scar whenever he and Voldemort were in close proximity or whenever Voldemort felt strong negative emotions. Harry lost this ability as well when the soul fragment within him was destroyed. Harry also possessed a non-magical insight into Voldemort's mind from the information Dumbledore shared with him during their lessons. This insight allowed Harry to figure out that a Horcrux was stored at Gringotts Wizarding Bank after which Ron and Hermoine noted Harry's understanding of Voldemort causing to Harry admit that he did understand parts of Voldemort.
  • Master of Death: Harry mastered all three Deathly Hallows and accepted his own death.[45] First, he inherited the Cloak of Invisibility from his father, James. Then, he inherited the Resurrection Stone from Dumbledore, which was inside a snitch. Finally, he won the Elder Wand from Draco Malfoy during the Skirmish at Malfoy Manor. All three were directly or indirectly employed by Harry in the Forbidden Forest: he was wearing the Cloak, using the Stone, and was preparing to be killed by the Wand, which he had already won.[122] The only Hallow he choose to keep was the cloak as it was a priceless family heirloom; the stone was lost in the forest and the wand returned to Dumbledore's tomb.[108]
"He had even exceeded expectations at Potions!"
—Harry reviewing his O.W.L. result[src]
Harry potions sixth year 1 hi res

Harry brewing a N.E.W.T.-level potion

  • Potions: Harry's Potions ability was apparently better than it appeared. He achieved an 'Exceeds Expectations'[86] on his O.W.L. exam — proof of his proficiency in the subject. He was one of only twelve students able to reach the required level to take N.E.W.T. potions.[12] He improved greatly during his sixth year when he came into possession of the Half-Blood Prince's copy of Advanced Potion-Making, that had revised versions of potions curtsey of the Half-Blood Prince (Severus Snape). However, the usage of this textbook was noted by both Hermione and Snape to be cheating, and when forced to hide it Harry's potion skills suffered. It was revealed, that even without the Prince's book, Harry was still able to do a decent enough job at potion-making that Slughorn's suspicions were not raised. Apparently Harry had no problems with potions at all as long as Snape was not around.[113][115]
"I was pleased with your Transfiguration mark, Potter, very pleased."
Professor McGonagall complimenting Harry's O.W.L. result[src]
  • Transfiguration: Harry achieved an 'Exceeds Expectations'[86] on his O.W.L. exam, showing proficiency in the subject and advanced to N.E.W.T.-level. He was able to perform Conjuration an advanced type of Transfiguration. In his sixth year Harry demonstrated this by conjuring ropes and water.[123] He could also vanish objects, which is one of the most complicated spells taught at Ordinary Wizarding Level. In 1996, Harry vanished the whole of an iguana[115] and in 1997 a snake that crossed his path. He could also transform objects into other objects for example, he can cast the Avifors Spell.[124] Harry is also skilled enough to perform human Transfiguration, which is noted to be "immensely difficult". He accomplished this during a 1996 Transfiguration lesson, were he succeeded in turning his eyebrow bright yellow.[14] Minerva McGonagall herself complimented him on his Transfiguration ability.[12] After having travelled back in time to 1981 Harry uses human Transfiguration to an impressive degree to disguise himself as Voldemort.[125]
Harry casting the Shield Charm

Harry casting a Shield Charm during the Battle of Hogwarts

  • Charms: Harry achieved an 'Exceeds Expectations'[86] on his O.W.L. exam and advanced to N.E.W.T.-level. He proved to be particularly talented in this subject. Harry frequently used the Summoning Charm successfully, would occasionally cast the protective enchantments that Hermione used during the Horcrux hunt[23][126], and was able to cast the Confundus Charm.[118] He displayed an impressive mastery of the Shield Charm, surpassing that of many Ministry employees:[127] his Shield Charms were so powerful that they were able to deflect curses from Lord Voldemort himself.[108] During the Battle of the Seven Potters, he was able to levitate a side-car with himself in it for a long stretch of time. He could also cast simpler charms such as the; Wand-Lighting Charm, Colour Change Charm, Banishing Charm, Refilling Charm, and various others. Under the teaching of Remus Lupin, Harry was able to conjure an extremely powerful corporeal Patronus in his third year (in the form of a stag), which was a remarkable feat and yet another proof of his talent, given that many talented adult wizards were unable to cast the difficult charm successfully.[92]
"Impressive. A true Patronus at that age... very impressive indeed."
Madam Amelia Bones impressed by Harry's ability to conjure a corporeal Patronus[src]
  • Healing magic: Harry was able to effectively cast healing spells. He fixed Demelza Robins' broken lip in 1996 with a spell used to treat mild to moderate injuries.[128] He also used the healing spell for clearing up dried blood from a bleeding wound.[76]
  • Apparition: Harry had not earned a licence to apparate, but he used the ability frequently during 1997 and 1998 to great success, even when forced to apparate with only a few seconds' notice or while guiding others.[45] He also used apparition in his sixth year to a very impressive degree, to get himself and a weakened Albus Dumbledore over an incredibly vast distance even though he was inexperienced.[123]
  • Non-verbal and wandless magic: In 1995, when the Dementors attacked in Little Whinging, Dudley had knocked Harry's wand out of his hand when he punched him moments before. In desperation, Harry calls out "Lumos!" Although his wand was not in his hand, the wand tip lit up.[129] During 1997 and 1998, Harry began using spells non-verbally and became quite proficient at it when Snape was not bothering him.[45] He used both non-verbal and wandless magic in 1991, when he caused the glass window of a snake's cage at the zoo to vanish, and again in 1993, when he inflated Marge Dursley, although both of these occurrences were accidents fuelled by pure anger. Few other wizards have exhibited this power, although Dumbledore and Voldemort were among them. This further testifies to Harry's skill, as only some of the most powerful wizards of his time were able to do so. As an adult Harry displays the ability to consciously use wandless magic; shown when he straightened his work-space with the simple wave of a hand.[130] 
"she was inflating like a monstrous balloon, her stomach bursting free of her tweed waistband, each of her fingers blowing up like salami —"
—Harry loses control of his magic in 1993[src]
Harry Potter Buckbeak

Harry and Buckbeak, first lesson of Care of Magical Creatures

  • Care of Magical Creatures: Harry achieved an 'Exceeds Expectations'[86] on his O.W.L. exam, he has shown on more than one occasion to have good skill in handling numerous sorts of magical creatures. For example, he was the first in his class to tame a hippogriff, which he did very excellently.[131] He befriended the hippogriff, Buckbeak, to the extent that Buckbeak defended him when he was in danger. Harry has also shown on three occasions that he is quite competent at dealing with dragons. This is shown when he was able to help Hagrid take care of baby Norbert the dragon, outsmart the Hungarian Horntail in the Triwizard Tournament, and tame a half-blind dragon into helping the trio escape Gringotts by flying out on its back. He was also one of very few in his class who was able to see Thestrals, and had no trouble mounting his in June 1996. Harry was also good with House-elves, befriending the house-elf Dobby and eventually freeing him, which made the little elf so loyal to him that he gave his life to save him.[109] He also earned the respect and loyalty of Kreacher, a very difficult task.
  • Herbology: Harry attended N.E.W.T. Herbology classes. He achieved an 'Exceeds Expectations'[86] on his O.W.L. exam, showing aptitude in the subject. In 1998 Harry was able to recognise a Snargaluff plant at the Lovegood House and knew to gave it a wide berth of space.[132] He also had knowledge of plants such as: Devil's Snare, Gillyweed, Venomous Tentacula, and Fanged Geranium from hands on experience. He could cast plant-related spells such as the Fire-Making Spell[133] and Herbivicus Charm.
  • Astronomy: Though not excellent at Astronomy, Harry was able to pass his O.W.L. exam with an 'Acceptable'.[86] Although it was stated that he didn't finish his exam, due to the fact that he was distracted by Dolores Umbridge's attempt to arrest Hagrid during the time the exam was being taken. It is not known if he was able to advance to the N.E.W.T class or not, seeing as he did not apply for advancement.
  • Wand versatility: Harry was able to use Hermione's wand after his was broken during the Attack at Godric's Hollow in 1997. He was able to use spells such as: the Wand-Lighting Charm, the Shield Charm, and the Severing Charm at full strength, despite not having won the wand's allegiance.[19] He also gained the allegiance of Draco Malfoy's wand, the Elder Wand, and quite possibly Voldemort's wand by defeating the previous masters.
  • Expert detective skills: Harry, along with Ron and Hermione, was also a formidably talented investigator. While in school, the trio had a knack for solving difficult mysteries and discovering the truth despite all attempts by others to conceal it, with Hermione generally finding the background information while Harry put the pieces together to make a coherent picture. In his first year, Harry uncovered the truth about the Philosopher's Stone and saved it from Voldemort. Over the next six years, he would solve the mystery of the Chamber of Secrets,[134] find the truth about the prophecy, and hunt down and destroy all of Voldemort's Horcruxes using his amazing deductive skills. Harry's deductive skills also allowed him to uncover the mystery of the Deathly Hallows[101] and learn that he mastered the three of them when even Ron and Hermione were initially sceptical of their existence. Harry also had a knack for spotting things that others did not, and had a sharp eye for details, as he was able to tell that Luna Lovegood had not been home in weeks by the state of her room,[135] and he became suspicious when Dobby revealed that he had known that Harry was not getting any letters in 1992. His intelligence allowed him to intuitively know that Draco Malfoy had been branded with the Dark Mark despite no solid proof, that Malfoy was using the Room of Requirement as a work shop, and that he was having Crabbe and Goyle use Polyjuice Potion in order to disguise themselves as girls while keeping watch outside the room.[136]
"And you feel that you have exerted your very best efforts in this matter, do you? That you have exercised all of your considerable ingenuity? "
Albus Dumbledore commenting on Harry's resourcefulness[src]
  • Resourcefulness: Harry showed resourcefulness in many different situations. In his first year, Harry impersonated the Bloody Baron, warning Peeves to stay away from the third floor that night so he wouldn't inconvenience the trio on their quest to save the Philosopher's Stone.[137] In his second year, when encountering Professor McGonagall on his and Ron's way to Moaning Myrtle's bathroom, he lied and said that that they were on their way to see Hermione in the hospital wing[138] also in his second year, he used a basilisk fang to destroy Riddle's Diary.[139] In his fifth year, while under interrogation from Umbridge, he relayed a coded message to Snape in an attempt to warn him and by extension the Order, that Voldemort had Sirius. In the same year, while surrounded by Death Eaters Harry came up with the plan to smash the shelves in the Hall of Prophecy as a distraction so that he and the D.A. could try and escape. During the hunt for Horcruxes, he used the Godric Gryffindor's Sword as a way of retrieving Helga Hufflepuff's cup from the mounds of burning treasure and used the half-blind Dragon as a means to escape from Gringotts Wizarding Bank.[118] Harry was also cunning enough that the Sorting Hat heavily considered Sorting him into Slytherin house.[63]
"It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well."
Albus Dumbledore regarding Harry's outstanding leadership skills[src]
Dumbledore's Army

Harry, leader and teacher of Dumbledore's Army

  • Leadership skills: While Harry never deliberately set out to be a leader to others, he had often taken charge when the situation required it. This began with his impulsive decision to find and warn Hermione about the presence of a troll in the school during the 1991 Hallowe'en feast. It progressed to the point where over thirty students, some of them in their sixth and seventh years — respect him as a teacher in Dumbledore's Army despite his being younger than they were.[140] Dumbledore later noted that Harry was a superior leader to him. Dumbledore had deliberately sought power in his youth and subsequently avoided anything more demanding than his role as Hogwarts headmaster — while Harry had leadership thrust upon. Harry accepted the burden of command, acknowledging his responsibilities towards those who "followed" him. He did this regardless of how uncomfortable he might feel about the prospect and coordinating his efforts against his enemies well, when left with no other option but to take control.[20] Harry's natural talents later served the rest of the wizarding community of Great Britain. In 2007 he was promoted to the Head of the Auror Office, at age 26 and was later made the Head of Magical Law Enforcement.[141] His promotion to these positions of power at relatively young ages demonstrate Harry's natural talent as a commander.
  • Indomitable will: Harry appears to possess an unbreakable spirit and, though not above depression, he has never truly given up on any mission. He's been shown to rise from defeat and loss, such as the deaths of many loved ones, even stronger than before. His indomitable will is exemplified by his ability to resist the Imperius Curse, and also by the fact that he had never begged for mercy even in life-and-death situations, but fought back in defiance, as well as perform non-verbal spells flawlessly.[45] His inability to perform Occlumency (despite possessing the required willpower) is due to his inability to keep his emotions under control.
"You're a r-really good teacher, you know. I've never been able to Stun anything before."
—Cho Chang regarding Harry's teaching ability[src]
  • Teaching skills: Harry has shown tremendous skill in teaching others. Having mastered many spells at a young age, Harry successfully passed them onto others even when he was still a student himself, giving proper instructions and corrections on how to perform many fields of magic, ranging from the relatively simplistic Disarming Charm to the highly advanced Patronus Charm.[116] Harry's effectiveness as a teacher led many, some even older than him, to choose him over the Ministry-installed professional Dolores Umbridge, and he even returned to Hogwarts to give occasional lectures.

Possessions

"He's been left a house?"
Vernon Dursley regarding Harry's inheritance[src]
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Harry's first wand: 11", holly, and phoenix feather

"We've decided that your need is greater than ours."
—Fred and George giving Harry the Marauder's Map[src]
Marauder'sMap

The Marauder's Map

  • Marauder's Map: One of Harry's most treasured possessions. In his third year, Fred Weasley and George Weasley gave it to Harry while he was trying to sneak into Hogsmeade. It was confiscated by Remus Lupin, but later returned when Lupin quit his job. Harry kept it with him for a long period of time, keeping it in the mokeskin wallet he had gotten from Hagrid, until it was finally stolen from his desk by his son, James.
  • Cloak of Invisibility: Another valued and useful possession is Harry's Cloak of Invisibility. In his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he received it as an anonymous Christmas gift. He later learned the gift came from Albus Dumbledore, who obtained it in turn from Harry's father, James Potter. It was later revealed to be a family heirloom as well as one of the three Deathly Hallows. From this Harry realises he is a direct descendant of Ignotus Peverell, one of the three brothers who created the Deathly Hallows. Harry later gave the Cloak to his eldest son, James Sirius.
  • Hedwig: Harry's animal companion, Hedwig was vitally helpful in delivering messages and packages for Harry, especially while Sirius was in hiding from the Ministry. Hedwig loved Harry dearly, showing signs by nibbling his ear or fingers, and loyally obeyed his every command (even pecking Ron and Hermione until they answer back). Harry loved her as much as she loved him. Hedwig was killed during the Battle of the Seven Potters by a stray Killing Curse that was most likely meant for Hagrid. Harry was overcome with grief over Hedwig's death.
Deathly Hallows

The Deathly Hallows (left to right): Cloak of Invisibility, Resurrection Stone, and the Elder Wand

  • Deathly Hallows: For a brief time, Harry was master of all three Deathly Hallows: the Cloak of Invisibility, the Resurrection Stone, and the Elder Wand (though he was not in physical possession of the Elder Wand until after losing the Resurrection Stone). These three artefacts are the most powerful magical items in all of the wizarding world and were so ancient that they were only the subject of fairy tales. When Harry lost the Resurrection Stone inside the Forbidden Forest, he decided to leave it there. Harry also interred the Elder Wand in Albus Dumbledore's grave, so the power of the wand would be extinguished after Harry's eventual death. However, the portrait of Dumbledore that hangs in the Headmaster's office advised Harry to keep the Invisibility cloak, since it was his father's.
"It belongs to Harry! It chose him, he was the one who found it, it came to him out of the Sorting Hat"
—Hermione arguing with Rufus Scrimgeour, regarding the ownership of the Sword of Gryffindor[src]
Sir Harry of Gryffindor

Sword of Gryffindor

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A Firebolt, his second broom and a Christmas gift

  • Firebolt: During Harry's third year at Hogwarts, the Nimbus 2000 broomstick he'd been riding since his first year was destroyed by the Whomping Willow, and Sirius Black replaced it by giving Harry the finest broom available as an anonymous gift. The broom was one of Harry's most prized possessions for years. It was lost during the Battle of the Seven Potters. It is not known if Harry ever recovered or replaced it.
  • Nimbus 2000: This broomstick was gifted to him from Professor McGonagall after agreeing to join the Gryffindor Quidditch team in 1991. He used it during his first and second years at Hogwarts. In his third year it blew into the Whomping Willow and was smashed to bits, breaking it beyond repair.
  • Communication mirror: Harry also owns one in a pair of two-way mirrors, given to him by his godfather Sirius Black. The mirror was intended to be a means covert communication, but Harry broke it out of anger over Sirius' death. Harry did not realise the mirror could still work, although he kept a shard out of sentimentality. When Harry and several friends are captured at Malfoy Manor, at the time being used as a headquarters for Voldemort, Harry used the shard of mirror to communicate with Aberforth Dumbledore, who had the other mirror. Aberforth sent Dobby to rescue Harry and the other prisoners.
  • Schoolbag: A schoolbag was used by Harry Potter to carry around textbooks, quills, and other items throughout his six years attending Hogwarts. It is possible that this bag was used even in his Muggle education before attending Hogwarts.
    Harry In his New Jumper from Mrs Weasley

    Harry wearing a Weasley jumper

  • Weasley jumpers: Harry received a homemade jumper every Christmas from Mrs Weasley. His were said to be much more extravagant, as Mrs Weasley "made much more effort" when her presents were not made for actual family members. The known jumpers he has include an emerald green one, a scarlet one, a green one with a Hungarian Horntail on the front, and one with a Golden Snitch on the front.
  • Sneakoscope: Hermione Granger gave Harry a Sneakoscope as a gift for his seventeenth birthday at breakfast, the trio would later take it on their hunt for Horcruxes.
  • Alarm clock: In the summer of 1991, Harry found and repaired the alarm clock and in the summer of 1996, this alarm clock ticked on Harry's windowsill as he slept on the night that Albus Dumbledore came to collect him.
  • Golden Snitch: This Snitch was caught by Harry during the 1991-1992 school year. It was later left to him in Albus Dumbledore's will, to posthumously ensure that Marvolo Gaunt's Ring would be safely delivered to him.
"Harry took off his watch, which he was only wearing out of habit, as it didn't work anymore, and stuffed it into his pocket."
—Harry takes off his watch before a lesson about nifflers[src]
Harry Potter (GoF-07) dress robes

Harry Potter's dress robes at the Yule Ball

  • Dress robes: Harry wore dress robes to the Yule Ball for the 1994 Triwizard Tournament, they were bottle green that matched his eyes. He also wore dress robes to Bill and Fleur's wedding in 1997. He also wore a set of dress robes to Slughorn's Christmas Party in 1996.
  • Fabian Prewett's watch: Molly Weasley gave Harry the watch of her late brother Fabian Prewett for his seventeenth birthday. It has a dent in it, but Harry kept the watch, even into his thirties. The watch does not have arms; rather, it has stars.
  • Mokeskin pouch: A birthday present from Hagrid. Harry kept it with him throughout the Deathly Hallows, and kept in it his treasures that were of no use to his search; the Snitch, the broken mirror, his broken wand, his mother's letter and the fake Horcrux. Harry also received a photo album, from Hagrid, which had photos of his parents and other family members.
  • Rucksack: This rucksack was owned by Harry during the 1997-1998 school year. He packed it with everything he felt he would need during the hunt for Horcruxes. He almost lost it during the Battle of the Seven Potters, but managed to keep hold of it.
  • Enchanted razor: In 1997, Harry received an enchanted razor on his seventeenth birthday from Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour. It is not known whether he used it at any point or if he still owns it.
  • Practical Defensive Magic and Its Use Against the Dark Arts: This book had moving colour illustrations of all the counter-jinxes and hexes it described. Harry received a set of these books in 1995 as a Christmas present from Sirius Black and Remus Lupin. Harry planned to put them to good use in his lessons for Dumbledore's Army.
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Harry owned a copy of this book, as was mandatory for any student of Hogwarts studying Care of Magical Creatures. He shared it with Ron Weasley after the latter lost his. The trio doodled and wrote messages to each other throughout the book.
  • Flying with the Cannons: Harry received a copy of this from Ron Weasley in 1992 as a Christmas present.[143]
  • Quidditch Teams of Britain and Ireland: Hermione Granger gave this book to Harry in 1994, as a Christmas gift.
  • Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches: This book is a sophomoric manual on dating and flirting with girls. A copy was given to Harry on his seventeenth birthday from Ron Weasley. Harry speculated that there might be an entire chapter devoted to compliments.
  • Notebook: This notebook was owned by Harry from at least 1997. It was used to keep his notes and other writings, such as things he wanted to remember.
  • Toy broomstick: this was a gift to him from Sirius Black, it was the first broomstick he had ridden. It's unknown what happened to it after the 1981 attack at Godric's Hollow.
  • Car: This car was used by Harry to drive his family to King's Cross Station on 1 September, 2017. On Platform 9¾, Ron Weasley asked Harry if he had parked the vehicle alright, then told him he had managed to park his own car.
  • Potter family house: Sometime following the war, Harry acquired his own house and raised his three children there alongside his wife, Ginny. This can be assumed due to Harry denying James' request to have Teddy move in with them in exchange for sharing a room with his younger brother, to which Harry replied that he would only allow the two Potter brothers to share a room when "[he wanted] the house demolished."

After Sirius Black died, all of his remaining possessions were passed along to Harry. This included:

"As you can see, Harry, Kreacher is showing a certain reluctance to pass into your ownership."
Albus Dumbledore confirming that Harry now owns the Black estate[src]
Grimmauld Place1995

12 Grimmauld Place, London

  • Black family residence: Located at 12 Grimmauld Place, it and all the contents and furnishings of the house, including Kreacher (the family house-elf) became Harry's. Mundungus Fletcher would later try to steal many of Harry's inherited possessions, including Slytherin's Locket.
  • Black family inheritance: Harry also inherited the remainder of Sirius' wealth in wizard's gold at Gringotts. Since Sirius was disowned at the age of sixteen, it is likely that this wealth was limited to the gold left to him by his uncle Alphard Black. However, that is open to debate because although Sirius Black was disinherited by his family, he ended up inheriting the 12 Grimmauld Place after their death, which might lead us to believe in the existence of forms of inheritance from his family other than what his uncle left him.
  • Sirius Black's motorbike: As one of Sirius's possessions, it was left to Harry, presumably in his will. Despite the severe damage done to it in the Battle of the Seven Potters, Arthur Weasley managed to repair the bike and returned it to Harry.[68] Harry presumably learned to ride it sometime after the war. Given the ease with which he learned to fly a broomstick, ride animals such as hippogryphs and thestrals, and even a dragon, Harry likely learned how to ride with very little trouble at all.

Relationships

Throughout his life, Harry has had many relationships with a variety of people. Because of his upbringing, he had few connections in his early years, the only people he truly interacted with being the abusive Dursleys. With his introduction to the wizarding world, this changed and he built connections with many of the residents of the magical community, both good and bad. His strongest relationships are with: his parents, his children, Hermione Granger, the Weasley family, Sirius Black, Hedwig, Dobby, Albus Dumbledore, Rubeus Hagrid, Minerva McGonagall, Remus Lupin, Neville LongbottomLuna Lovegood and Teddy Lupin.

Media

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Videoswiki For more Harry Potter videos check out Wikia's video library

Etymology

Harrypotter dormwindow

Harry Potter in his dormitory with Hedwig

Harry is the Middle English form of the name Henry, derived from the Germanic name Heinrich, from the words heim, meaning "home", and ric, meaning "power, ruler". It has been a very popular name in the English-speaking world for centuries. Harry can also be a diminutive form of the name Harold, from the Old English name Hereweald, meaning "leader of the army". It has been the name of five kings of Norway, three kings of Denmark, and two kings of England.[144][145] In an interview J. K. Rowling stated that 'Harry' had always been one of her favourite boy's names and that if her daughter had been a son she would have named him 'Harry', although then she would have to have come up with a different name for the books as it "would have been too cruel to name him after my own son".[146]

James is derived from the same Hebrew name as Jacob, meaning “holds the heel” (in the Genesis narrative, Jacob was born grasping Esau′s heel and later bought his birthright). The name came into English language from the French variation of the Late Latin name Iacomus, a dialect variant of Iacobus, from the New Testament Greek Ἰάκωβος (Iakōbos), from Hebrew word יעקב (Yaʻaqov). James is Harry's middle name, James was the name of his father and is also the name of his first son.

Potter is a very common surname of English origin.[147] It traditionally refers to the occupation of making pottery. Beatrix Potter was a well-known English children's author. Potter's Field is the name for a burial ground for the unknown or unclaimed dead, particularly soldiers and orphans; the Potter family had many members that fit that description. The Potter Box is a model for making ethical decisions developed at Harvard University. J. K. Rowling has also commented that she has liked the name since childhood, as a family that had lived near her carried this surname.[146][148]

Behind the scenes

"There are quite a few real Harry Potters out there. So far I have heard of a newborn baby who actually has Harry's full name (Harry James Potter), a barrister in London, a grandfather who was very pleased that he had become cool in his grandchildren's eyes, a soldier who died in the second world war (I was sent a picture of his tombstone) and a clockmaker who worked in London in the last century."
J. K. Rowling regarding the name Harry James Potter[src]
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Harry as he appears on Pottermore

  • In a deleted scene of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, when he is disguised as Albert Runcorn, Harry calls Arthur Weasley by his first name. This is the only time Harry does this.
  • Daniel Radcliffe and Harry were both born in July — Harry on the 31st and Daniel on the 23rd.
  • Harry has green eyes, but in the films he has blue eyes. This is due to the fact that Daniel Radcliffe was allergic to the contact lenses. Radcliffe also has brown hair, as opposed to Harry's black hair, and also has a strong physical body, rather than the slim frame Harry is described as having. However Harry is only described as having an uncommonly 'slim' frame in the earlier instalments, so it is possible that he bulked out a little into a lean frame as he matured.
  • Harry's birthday of 31 July is also the birthday of Harry Potter author, J. K. Rowling, and actor Richard Griffiths who played Harry's Uncle Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter films.
  • In the Mirror of Erised, Harry saw his family, a lot of people with untidy black hair, his own noses, mouths and knees. However, he also saw some people with almond-shaped green eyes, which could indicate that he saw his Muggle family as well, even though he did not see the Dursley family.
Dh.c18-life-and-lies-of-albus-dumbledore

Harry as portrayed in Deathly Hallows book art

  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry is seen practising Lumos Maxima under the covers in his bedroom, but Harry does not get a letter from the Improper Use of Magic Office even though he is under-age, however, judging by the book he is reading, his reason for doing so is most likely for homework. In the book he is simply using a torch while writing his homework for History of Magic.
  • While Harry repeatedly states Hermione is the best student in his year in all classes, he has beaten her in two of the three Defence Against the Dark Arts exams they had together, with Hermione only beating him in their first year exam. In addition, J. K. Rowling has said that Harry could have beaten Hermione in a magical duel halfway through Prisoner of Azkaban.[150] Part of this can be put down to Professor Lupin's way of teaching, as it seemed to help bring out Harry's own talent at the subject. It is probably more accurate to say that Hermione is the best student in every subject but DADA, in which Harry is strongest; hence, in Harry's mind she is the best student overall.
  • Harry's niece and nephew, Rose and Hugo, have some of the same heritage of Harry. A Muggle-born mother, Lily and Hermione, and a pure-blood father, James and Ron. This makes Rose, Hugo and Harry all half-bloods.
  • When Harry is cleaning out his school trunk in 1997, he finds a "Support Cedric Diggory!" badge in there. Considering the badges were only created by Draco Malfoy to get a rise out of Harry in 1994, it seems out of place that Harry has it, although he may have it by accident, or out of respect for Cedric. He could also have kept one as a memento from the Tournament.
  • Throughout the films, Harry's hair grows longer and longer (the longest point was in Goblet of Fire) until it was cut for Order of the Phoenix. It has since grown to about the same length as it was for Prisoner of Azkaban.
  • In the films, Harry's scar is off-centre on his forehead; this was apparently done at J. K. Rowling's request: because of the books' artwork, many fans believe the scar is in the centre of his head. But it is never explicitly mentioned where the scar is located. On all the U.S. book covers (illustrations), the scar on Harry's forehead is located in the centre. The same is definitely true of the last two U.K. instalments; however, on early U.K. book covers, Harry's scar tends to appear slightly off-centre. It is somewhat hard to tell on most of these covers, as Harry's face is only visible in profile. However, on the U.K. cover of Chamber of Secrets, Harry's scar is decidedly off-centre. It is perhaps of this book that Rowling was thinking.
  • Harry shows many signs of clinical depression throughout his mid-to-late teens, however this extended to his older life. In his mid-to-late teens, Harry shows signs of these symptoms: general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, mood swings, in