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Raid on the Hogwarts Express

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"Hey, losers. He isn't here."
Neville Longbottom faces the Death Eaters.[src]

Shortly after the Death Eater take-over of the Ministry of Magic, they conducted a raid at the Hogwarts Express in order to capture Harry Potter. The Death Eaters stopped the train while en route to Hogwarts Castle, in Scotland, on 1 September, 1997, but found nothing but other Hogwarts students, as Harry, Ron and Hermione were, at the time, in hiding at 12 Grimmauld Place.



Remus Lupin: "Effectively, [Voldemort] is the Minister, but why should he sit behind a desk at the Ministry? His puppet, Thicknesse, is taking care of everyday business, leaving Voldemort free to extend his power beyond the Ministry. Naturally many people have deduced what has happened: There has been such a dramatic change in Ministry policy in the last few days, and many are whispering that Voldemort must be behind it. […]'"
Harry Potter: "And this dramatic change in Ministry policy involves warning the Wizarding world against me instead of Voldemort?"
Remus Lupin: "That's certainly a part of it, and it is a masterstroke."
Remus Lupin and Harry Potter while the latter was in hiding at 12 Grimmauld Place.[src]

During the height of the Second Wizarding War, on 1 August, 1997, Lord Voldemort's Death Eaters managed to stage a "smooth and virtually silent" coup at the Ministry of Magic, by Imperiusing several high-ranking Ministry officials. Minister Rufus Scrimgeour was killed, and replaced by the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, Pius Thicknesse, who was under Death Eater control.[1]

There was a "dramatic change" in Ministry policy following the coup, so that it followed the Death Eaters ideology. Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, was (under the premise of involvement in Albus Dumbledore's murder) decreed Undesirable No. 1,[1] the price on his head and wand reached, in late March of 1998, two-hundred thousand Galleons.[2]

The raid

DH1 Death Eaters inside Hogwarts Express 02

The Death Eaters aboard the train.

On 1 September, 1997, three Death Eaters Apparated onto the railway tracks as the Hogwarts Express made its way through the British countryside heading towards Hogwarts Castle. One of them stopped the train, and then they boarded the student carriages. Upon crossing the aisles of the carriages, the Death Eaters were subject of the students stares and the odd comment 'My father will hear about this,' which they silently ignored. As they reached the end of the train, Neville Longbottom stood to face them, calling them losers and stating that obviously, given the situation, Harry was not there going to Hogwarts.[3]

Behind the scenes

  • Some fans would possibly say this event to be non-canon as it isn't shown in the book. However, to be fair, this is an event that cannot be considered non-canon as it isn't stated anywhere in the book that this attack didn't happen. It is just not shown anywhere or mentioned. This is the same about Pius Thicknesse's new appointment as Minister for Magic, which also isn't seen in the book, but is later revealed.


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 11 (The Bribe)
  2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 23 (Malfoy Manor)
  3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 - Chapter 10 (Theft of a Thief)

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