The Seven Potters

chapter four of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry says goodbye to Privet Drive and takes off with the Order of the Phoenix and six doppelgangers (actually friends using Polyjuice Potion) – but the group is soon ambushed by Death Eaters, with Harry and Hagrid personally attacked by Voldemort, and Harry crash-lands into a mud pit.
 

Goodbye, by Pen-umbra

“And under here, Hedwig” – Harry pulled open a door under the stairs – “is where I used to sleep! You never knew me then – Blimey, it’s small, I’d forgotten….”


 

Just Married (Tonks and Remus), by gerre

“Harry, guess what?” said Tonks… and she wiggled her left hand at him; a ring glittered there.

(by gerre)


 

Moody, by Michael Greenholt

“No need!” snarled Moody…. “You-Know-Who… might not be able to get at you or this house while your mother’s charm holds, but it’s about to break and they know the rough position of the place. Our only chance is to use decoys.”


 

7 Potters, by gerre

The real Harry thought that this might just be the most bizarre thing he had ever seen, and he had seen some extremely odd things.

(by gerre)


 

7 Potters, by ReallyCorking

He felt like asking them to show a little more respect for his privacy as they all began stripping off with impunity, clearly much more at ease with displaying his body than they would have been with their own.


 

by Leela Starsky

“My job’s ter get you there safe, Harry!” bellowed Hagrid, and he opened the throttle.


 

Confrigo, by TomScribble

As they soared upward… Harry spat blood out of his mouth, pointed his wand at the falling sidecar, and yelled, “Confrigo!” He knew a dreadful, gut-wrenching pang for Hedwig as it exploded.


 

Voldemort's Gonna Getchoo, by Cambryn

And then Harry saw him.

(by Cambryn)


 

Bleedin' You-Know-Who, by Loleia

Voldemort was flying like smoke on the wind, without broomstick or thestral to hold him, his snake-like face gleaming out of the blackness, his white fingers raising his wand again –

(by Loleia)


 

Potter Doodle 3, by Elad Tibi

Harry… was going to crash and there was nothing he could do about it…. He stared into the red eyes and was sure they would be the last thing he ever saw: Voldemort preparing to curse him once more….


 

about the chapter

 

There are plenty of surprises awaiting readers throughout Deathly Hallows, but this chapter held one of the biggest for me – for in no other book do we get an action sequence like this battle anywhere close to the beginning of the story. I remember reading this chapter for the first time and just being blown away. Rowling is giving us the message right up front that the wizarding world has changed, and Harry’s life along with it. And just as Harry doesn’t know when the threats might be coming, neither can we readers rely on waiting for the climax of the story before the action begins. Look out.
 

Something You May Not Have Noticed

In the previous chapter, Uncle Vernon demanded of Harry that Kingsley be assigned to protect his family rather than Dedalus Diggle and Hestia Jones. At the time Harry explained that this was impossible because Kingsley was needed to guard the Muggle Prime Minister, who was obviously much more important. But a few short minutes after the Dursleys depart, Kingsley does show up – and promptly tells Harry that he took the night off from the Prime Minister’s because Harry is “more important.” It’s fun to imagine what Uncle Vernon would have made of that pronouncement, coming from the only wizard he trusts!
 

Something Else You May Not Have Noticed

My first time through this chapter I totally missed the fact that each of the fake Harrys had a rucksack and a stuffed owl to match his. On one level, it’s sort of funny – I mean, wouldn’t it have just made sense for Harry to let Hedwig fly to the Burrow, and avoid all the trouble of handling six fake owl cages? But even more interesting is the fact that Moody had six rucksacks identical to Harry’s, and six pairs of glasses that matched Harry’s prescription. How would Moody have known how to make those?
 

The Final Word

(Question: “Why did you feel that Hedwig’s death was necessary?”)

“The loss of Hedwig represented a loss of innocence and security. She has been almost like a cuddly toy to Harry at times. Voldemort killing her marked the end of childhood. I’m sorry… I know that death upset a LOT of people!”
–J.K. Rowling, July 2007
 


77 Responses to “The Seven Potters”

  1. I think Hedwig had to be with the group, not only because that’s when Rowling kills her, but also because probably the Death Eaters are keeping watch in the area and they probably know what kind of owl Harry has. Given that white owls are rare, Hedwig sticks out and they would tail her hoping to find Harry. As for Moody having Harry’s exact glasses and prescription, I would say he probably just transformed some random objects into them for the occasion, or something along those lines.

  2. I love how one of the Harrys is wearing a bra in ReallyCorking’s picture :D

  3. I never thought about how Mad Eye knew what Harry’s prescription was or what his rucksack looked like, but maybe he just used geminio? (Replication charm used latter in this book.)

    I think the reason Hedwig did not just fly to the burrow in advance is the possibility of someone following her and figuring out where Harry was going next. There is also the matter of all of the extra charms and ‘protective spells’ around the Weasley’s house. Maybe she would not have been able to get access to the Burrow. If an owl could fly there wouldn’t the deatheaters be able to get there as well?

    I love the picture by ReallyCorking. The scene makes me laugh!

  4. I think that there was only one place where Harry could have send Hedwig without the risk of having anyone tailing her, and that place was Hogwarts. Hagrid would be glad to take care of her.

  5. Jose Lopes: Yes, but the Death Eaters might have suspected that Hedwig was Hedwig. I suppose she could have hidden in the Forbidden Forest, but she probably wouldn’t understand that she needed to stay away from Harry.

    In Cambryn’s picture, it looked a bit as if Voldemort has pearls attached to his head until I realized those were scales.

  6. Re: Something Else You May Not Have Noticed – That is really interesting! I never noticed that Moody handed out cages with stuffed snowy owls. The cages must have been a bit awkward for the other “Harrys” to manage on the broomsticks and thestrals! I’m sure they all got dropped in the ensuing battle.

    I also love it in this chapter when Hagrid pushes a button during the chase scene and a solid brick wall pops out the back of the motorcycle’s exhaust pipe. All the tweaks Mr. Weasley made to the motorcycle seem rather James Bondish in a magic sort of way.

  7. Re: Hedwig–I figured this was another fatal case of “literary necessity.”

    I mean, what would Harry have done with her while they were on the run all those months? As others have pointed out, while not the only white owl in existence, she is still readily identifiable.

  8. I agree that it’s unusual to have such an exciting scene near the beginning of a book, one with casualties, and not just Hedwig, as we are about to find out… But it does set the tone for the book. Harry still has a lot of help, but he’s more on his own than ever before.

  9. I also loved the art by ReallyCorking – especially the “Harry” in the bra – nice touch! But I also loved the picture by TomScribble – Hagrid hanging onto Harry for dear life, and Harry having to blast at the sidecar which held the body of his beloved bird, Hedwig. It really has that air of the end of his childhood.

  10. Bonnie, Pam, Jose Lopes, et al – I don’t know if I agree with the idea that sending Hedwig out is risky for Harry. Rowling has said, for example, that owls can’t be followed to people to find out where they are (such as the Ministry sending Sirius an owl when they were hunting for him, and following it). And it’s not as though Hedwig’s appearance would give the Death Eaters more information than they have – they already know where the Dursleys live (because they’re waiting there), and they know where the safe houses are (because they torture Tonks’s parents for information on Harry’s whereabouts, since they know he hid there). So it’s hard for me to imagine that Hedwig would change that. Besides which, Harry easily could have sent her to the Burrow (or to any other safe house, or to Hogwarts), say, a week earlier…. there just seem to be all kinds of ways around it, you know?

  11. Can anyone think of a reason why Tonks didnt become a Potter? After all she doesnt need any potion, I can only think that she knew she was pregnant, and transforming while pregnant isnt a good idea.

  12. I think if Hedwig had survived, there would have been a great temptation to use her to stay in touch with the trio by family and friends. A major theme in this book is the isolation and lack of support the trio experiences. That said, I still cry when I read this chapter.

  13. Matt W, I always assumed that Tonks was a protector because the Order needed their best wizards to be protectors – and Tonks is an Auror, so she’s almost certainly a better protector than, say, Arthur or Bill (or definitely Hagrid). Voldemort went for Moody first and then Kingsley, but I bet if he’d had to pick a third wizard he would have gone for Tonks. That’s pretty valuable.

  14. I really liked this chapter, except I thought it was cheesy that Harry gave himself away by using Expelliarmus. Ron and Hermione probably would have used the same spell. The way Harry was identified in the movie made more sense and hit with a lot more emotion (I won’t say how in case someone here hasn’t seen the movie yet). It’s one of the only occasions where I prefer the movie to the books.

  15. Well, since the comments are expected to be spoiled (well, maybe not so soon) I’d like to hear everyone’s view on how the movie addressed our concerns with Hedwig’s situation.

    I think it’s one of those rare times in which the scriptwriters made something of an Ockham’s choice out of a controversial point in Rowling’s original… And it totally worked for me.

    Btw, my favourite part of the chapter, hands down, is “Accio Hagrid”!! =D
    Second place goes to the super-crazy ending: with Hagrid sprawled on the ground and the next chapter being called “The Fallen Warrior”!! The truth behind that came almost welcome… The alternative would have been devastating.

  16. Hedwig’s death in the movie worked for me. I remember thinking it was neat how they smoothly sidestepped any messy book-to-movie details while making her death touching.

  17. A always had asked myself, why the heck they had teamed up Harry with Hagrid and placed him in the sidecar, where his capability of defending himself was rather limited. Since Harry waa probably the best broomstick flyer of them, it would have made more sense to let him travel by broomstick, on which he could easily take advance of his skills. Not neccessarily teamed up with Moody or Kingsley, but perhaps with Artur or Remus.

  18. Josie – I totally forgot about all that stuff about not being able to track an owl to a person. I guess it just comes down to the fact Harry didn’t know how he’d be transferred so he didn’t think he’d need to send her away ahead of time.

  19. The in-air battle scene of this chapter was so awesome in the movie!!!

  20. WHile this is one of the most brilliant passages ever written, I think this is one of Rowling’s weaker elaborate plans. Why? Because it makes no sense to transform seven people into Harry WHEN HARRY COULD HAVE JUST TRANSFORMED INTO THEM!! Take some of Ginny’s hair along, and leave Privet Drive with five Weasleys instead of four – who the hell would have noticed? I dunno, it would just make so much more sense that way – besides, good luck identifying which of fourteen Order members is fake!

    Of course, the other thing I take issue with if why there had to be Seven Potters instead of, say, six. Because frankly, the inclusion of Hagrid and Mundungus in this plan seems downright stupid and reckless.

    And while we’re on the subject, are these fourteen REALLY the best the Order has to offer? Two kids not even out of school, two kids only a year out of school, and a girl who’s not even part of the Order? Where the hell is the Advance Guard from OotP? Where are the twenty-plus members mentioned in Book 5? I dunno, I just don’t buy it.

  21. As for everybody transforming into Harry instead of him transforming into one of them, I believe this is because Voldemort wants to kill Harry himself. Therefore, the Death Eaters are only trying to kill the protectors, and everybody looking like Harry have a better chance of surviving.

  22. Yes, but the Death Eaters wouldn’t be trying to kill anyone if Harry wasn’t with them! And if they knew Harry was with them, then by your logic they wouldn’t kill ANYONE for fear it would be Harry. There’s just no advantage to Seven Potters that I can see.

  23. Might kill them just for fun. But I get your logic.

  24. hpboy13, I agree with you to a point. But I’d find it hard to believe a swarm of Death Eaters would see a group of the Order come by, say “oh, they don’t have Harry with them,” and just leave them alone. It’s kind of a ludicrous idea.

    But you’re right that this plan was stupid, too. To me, the biggest flaw in the way it all plays out (much like the Dept of Mysteries in book 5) is all the *survivors.* Voldemort wants to kill Harry, and assumes he’ll be with the toughest Aurors? Then why, on EARTH, would he not simply kill Mundungus (with Moody), then kill Hermione (with Kingsley), etc. It’s completely unrealistic that there aren’t at least a few dead Harry doppelgangers, and it makes Voldemort look like a bumbling fool. We’re presented a Voldemort who kills for fun, who doesn’t care how many casualties stand in his way, who is the most powerful Dark wizard in history, and so on, but when he actually encounters Harry’s friends he doesn’t act that way because the story needs them to survive. And don’t get me started on the Death Eaters. I mean, the only spell that dozens of Death Eaters managed to hit the Order with was Snape’s Sectumsempra that he was aiming at somebody else?

  25. Mmm… This begs the question: since the Unforgivable Curses need a particular strong will/intent on the caster’s part, would an Avada Kedavra work on the wrong person?? Meaning: would it work if Voldemort wanted to kill Harry but hit Mundungus posing as Harry?

    I believe the answer would be yes: most of the AKs we’ve seen either fail or kill the person they were aimed at… But at least one backfires (big time!!) and one is generally aimed at a fox who *might* be an Animagus, and it’s expected to be successful

  26. [sorry: I did the unintentional posting thing, again]

    I meant to add…

    After all, even in the Muggle world if you aim your gun at someone and hit someone else, you get indicted for murder all the same: your intent was murderous and you killed someone… Even if not the one your intent was directed towards.

    But it sounded like an interesting point to make, nonetheless.

  27. I also liked the way they killed of Hedwig in the movie. It was very touching. The movie, like the book, is a very different story than what we are used to. The kids have really grown up and are facing a whole new world.

  28. I remember reading somewhere that the number 7 is an especially magical number in the Harry Potter world and thatthere are special properties associated with it. In other words, it’s not just a symbolic number, it actually has a magical influence. Does that make sense? So one of the reasons it was 7, not 6 or 5, is that it really does matter.

  29. Just posting it as a thought. What if seven people had taken Polyjuice Potion to look like Harry AND Harry had taken Polyjuice Potion to look like, say, Ron? It seems like the Death Eaters and Voldemort assumed that the real Harry still looked like Harry. Turning Harry to someone else would have completely tripped them up. (Though I think Harry would have staunchly refused to pose as one of his friends while seven others took the risk of dying in his stead).

    I don’t know how bumbling Voldemort is. Mundungus Disapparated pretty quickly after seeing him, and we know what happened to Mad-Eye after that. The timeline about when he got to Kingsley and Hermione is unclear. My guess is he got word about Harry before he was able to aim a proper curse.

    As for the Death Eaters…it looks like the Hall of the Prophecy all over again.

    Deathly Hallows is a fine book, but it has some sloppy inconsistencies.

  30. When I first read this scene, I laughed because it seemed so meta in my mind’s eye. It looks like a Harry Potter convention, or something –especially the fake owls and glasses. Oh boy. Hahaha.

    I agree the plan isn’t the brightest, but I think it does have an element that hasn’t been considered in the discussion so far. And that is that it is almost as important to disguise Harry’s destination as it is to actually get him there. Side-along apparition, which is what they originally planned, would have hidden Harry’s destination. So would a portkey. But using brooms etc and actually travelling the physical miles makes it impossible unless you split everyone up and travel to multiple places. And if you’re going to do that, it kind of makes sense to make it look like Harry is actually going to all these places.

    If you think about it, the fact that they found out who the real Harry was, and that he was going to the Tonks’s place, must have been the reason they later attacked the Tonks house (don’t they? Or am I remembering wrong?). So that part of the plan failing does have consequences… but they aren’t made very clear by JK Rowling.

    Also I think Jo kind of sucks at writing heavy action, chases etc. (more personal “action” like at the end of GOF is another story). I found this chase a bit hard to buy.

  31. Also can I just say “Accio Hagrid!” just about broke my heart.

    Plus, it’s not often we get to see how internalized the use of magic has become, and this is so nonsensical it really brought home Harry’s state of mind in that instant.

    Aww…. :(

  32. About the protection for Harry not being very good…well the people who came with him were pretty much the only Order members left.
    I mean : Sturgis Podmore is in Azkaban (I think? Or maybe he has already been let out? I’m not sure.)

    Hestia Jones and Dedulas Diggle are with the Dursleys.

    Emmeline Vance is dead.

    The only other Order member I can think of is McGonangoll…and let’s face it-she’s pretty old. I don’t think she would be up to flying around on a broomstick at night with Death Eaters chasing her

    It’s possible that there are other members too (possibly Flitwick? But he’s old anyway), but they probably had other reasons why they couldn’t come (Harry is extremly important, but the Order didn’t know they would be attacked, so Moody probably thought 14 was enough).

    As for Moody and the owls and glasses- come on he’s really intelligent. He can work a simple Reduplication spell!

  33. @hazelwillow

    The DE had assaulted actually Tonk’s family and used the Cruciatus Curse on them according to Remus Lupin. But that Harry was actually there, was not the reason, since they didn’t know. The DE purely and simply attacked had attacked every house, which was connected with the Order, including burning down the house of Dedalus Diggle. (Ch.11)

  34. @Pam: I don’t know about seven being a magical number, but it is a biblical number for completion or perfection. I wouldn’t be surprised of JKR or the literary world considered seven to be a number of “magical proportions.”

  35. Josie, the Death Eaters aren’t attacking everyone they see just yet, especially since they’re focusing on Harry. If they saw a bunch of Weasleys just go by, I doubt that would be their prime concern.

    As to your points aout the battle. Well, I cna believe that very few spells hit their mark simply because they’re all flying at like 100 mph – it would be kinda hard to aim like that. Voldy probably ddn’t manage to hit many people (since he was all focused on who the real Harry is), and none of the other DEs could risk killing Harry because Voldy wants to do it. So I can believe the survival of all the doppelgangers.

  36. hazelwillow, your point about traveling to the seven houses is a good one, I hadn’t thought about it quite that way before but you’re completely right.

    Marco, hazelwillow is right that the Death Eaters *did* know that Harry was at Tonks’s parents, it’s made pretty clear when Harry learns at Shell Cottage that they attacked the house (plus, they found out in the chase who the real Harry was, so they had to know which house he ended up at).

    Ragmar Dorkins, remember that Tom Riddle says that seven is “the most magically powerful number” or something like that (I’m at my in-laws’ house for the holiday and don’t have my books) when he asks Slughorn about Horcruxes. So your idea is right on.

    And Wevi, I get that Moody is intelligent as well as a powerful wizard, but I can’t imagine a Reduplication spell is so simple when the things you’re trying to duplicate are hundreds of miles away….

  37. Josie, also the Death Eaters would be afraid of killing the protector outright in case the doppelganger either then escaped or fell off the broom, in the latter case the DEs then potentially being unable to find and ID Harry’s body, let alone the fact that Voldy wanted to personally kill Harry. Also they didn’t know there would be 7 Potters.

  38. We also know that the Death Eaters, regardless of relative intelligence, are arrogant bigots. Is it really so surprising they’d think up a stupid plan every once in a while, especially when considering that their boss is a homicidal maniac who doesn’t trust any of his followers and is capable of murdering any of them? As for the question of the score of ’96 Order members, I can name the following 19, and give credible reasons for their positions during the battle in all but one case.
    Albus D/Sirius/Vance – dead. Arthur/Bill/Lupin/Tonks/Kingsley/Mad-Eye/Hagrid/Mundungus – there. McGonagall/Doge/Aberforth – too old. (yes, Aberforth fought in TBOH, but he was less mobile there, plus less cynical and more called-upon – before, he’d run a pub where he could overhear and manipulate the DEs). Diggle/Jones – with the Dursleys. Snape – undercover. Molly – looking after Ginny and maybe with relatively little then-known combat skills. The only one I can’t figure is Podmore – perhaps the Ministry, as Hermione suspected, found a reason to prolong his stay in Azkaban.

  39. And the 20th – Arabella Figg – incapable of magic.

  40. 21st: Charlie, away. I’ll stop now.

  41. What I don’t understand is why they didn’t just Apparate once they got far enough away from Privet Drive, like Mundungus. Someone could have taken Harry by side-along Apparition.

    I guess Apparition is too useful a tool for narrative tension. *MILD MOVIE SPOILERS* I think that shows in the movie, actually, a bit. It’s hard to show the threat of Voldemort on his way to Bathilda’s house if he’s Apparating there and they’re Apparating away. Hard to imply that threat visually when all they have to do is disappear.

  42. St Heddwig is the patron saint of orphans. So of course Harry loses Hedwig’s patronage now that he is an adult and therefore no longer an orphan. It’s symbolic: he has allies, but no more protectors.

    SPOILER. Nobody protects a Christ-figure; he is the one who protects others.

  43. Actually, the number 7 thing is from “The Lexicon” book. I checked it out of the library the other day just to see if there are any things in it I am not familiar with yet. Gee, I am sounding like Hermione – “Just for a bit of light reading…”

  44. Since someone up there asked about movie opinions, I’ll throw in my two cents.

    ::MOVIE SPOILERS::

    I loved the simple and honorable way Hedwig was killed. Obviously different from the book, but seemed to work better for the film. However, I didn’t understand why they had Hagrid be unconscious for what seemed like half the flight which included the “meeting of the wands” moment. Granted, he was falling through the air at that point, but he was still awake and alert.

    And Irene and hazelwillow: I also love the “Accio Hagrid!” So very Harry. :) But, then again, so is the moment when Voldemort screams, “MINE!” I always picture him with a flushed face and balled up fists, a toddler wanting his way and no one else’s.

  45. I’m just re-reading #7, so I don’t really remember the details of what happens next, and I’m wondering why is Voldemort not using his own wand? Because in chapter 1 he took Lucius’ wand and stated that Lucius certainly wouldn’t be getting his in return (so LV has his own wand) and in this chapter once again he asked (or demanded) one of the Death Eaters hand over their wand.

    Is it something to do with the whole Elder Wand storyline? I’m sure it’ll be answered in later chapters, but I just can’t remember/understand why he’s refusing to use whatever wand he currently has.

  46. Samantha, this is answered in a couple of places later by Ollivander and later Dumbledore. But basically, Voldemort here has captured Ollivander, and Ollivander has told him that the reason his wand and Harry’s acted so strangely in the graveyard was because of the twin cores (both have a feather from Fawkes). So Voldemort thinks his wand won’t work against Harry’s, and asks for Lucius’s instead. But when Voldemort uses Lucius’s wand, Harry’s wand recognizes Voldemort anyway (from the time it dueled his wand, plus the Horcrux connection) and acts of its own power to snap the wand Voldemort is using. Voldemort is now wandless, and hence asks Selwyn for his wand in the midst of the battle.

    I think that summarizes it… does that make sense?

  47. Ahhh of course! That hadn’t even occurred to me, but when you put it like that it makes perfect sense. It’s been so long so since I’ve read this book that it’s like reading it for the first time!

  48. Grace has Victory, thank you for the point about St. Hedwig. I hadn’t known the significance of the name, and it fits so well.

  49. hazelwillow: It is stated that they can’t apparate because Harry still has the Trace on him, so the Ministry would be able to detect the magic.

    Also, all the rucksacks, clothes, and owls don’t have to be identical. It would only be a problem if the six fake Harrys matched each other and not the real Harry.

    I think it is extremely in character for Harry to refuse to stun Stan. That’s an interesting point about how Ron or Hermione might do the same thing (although I’m not sure I believe that it’s true), but I don’t think it really matters. If the Death Eaters think of Expelliarmus as Harry’s signature move, they’d go after whichever Harry used it. That would actually have been really interesting, if Ron or Hermione had used it, and the Death Eaters had taken that to mean that one of them was the real Harry.

    I’m in the minority that preferred Hedwig’s death in the book. In the movie she gets a hero’s death. Very cinematic and very satisfying. I also can’t think of a different way for them to identify the real Harry, because they left out the Stan subplot. In the book, though, it was completely unnecessary. It shows the cruelty of war and death in the same way that Cedric’s did; the innocent bystander getting killed without a chance to say goodbye or fight back.

  50. I suppose, for a book, it makes nice action to have the plan to move Harry like this, but as you’ve all pointed out, it does seem rather silly.

    If they know DE are watching the place, why risk anyone’s deaths at all by flying for miles? Moody goes on about how the Ministry can detect apparition and portkeys and such, but who cares? The point is to get Harry somewhere safe so the DE wouldn’t find him, ergo the Ministry shouldn’t be able to find him either.

    Besides, what is the Ministry going to do to them if they managed to get Harry to safety anyway, since the Auror office themselves had some sort of plan in place to move Harry on his birthday to begin with?

    Also, why didn’t the DE notice 13 people flying into Privet Drive? They didn’t just apparate there, they flew, right? *And* if they disillusioned Harry, why not everyone?

    This plan really frustrates me.

  51. Not sure if this is a mistake, but Polyjuice Potion is not supposed to be used for non-human. Hagrid can’t take it and he’s half giant. Fleur is…quarter-Veela, so not really fully human either. But Polyjuice Potion works for her. Intriguing.

  52. Liz: I thought it was that Polyjuice Potion wasn’t supposed to be used to turn INTO a non-human, not that non-humans couldn’t use it…?

  53. Maybe there is a magical way of making glasses to suit any prescription so moody would only need to make them look similar to harrys?
    I wonder what would have happened with hedwig once they reached tonks house had she not died? Can pets go along with portkeys and if not, wouldn’t she need to fly there anyway making her flying with harry pointless? I guess it was just one of those things an author needs to do in order to make part of a story work – jk obviously needed a good way to kill hedwig early on to make the “loss of innocence” point.
    Finally, something that is confusing me about this chapter – did Harry lose his broom? If so why isn’t he upset? It never seems to be mentioned again. I guess in comparison with the loss of hedwig the broom is relatively unimportant however it does surprise me he doesn’t feel some sense of loss. Maybe it’s a way of showing how much he has grown, when his nimbus is broken he is devastated but now he has more to worry about than quidditch. It may have proved useful during their time on the run – I have no doubt hermione could have squeezed it into that wonderful bag of hers!

  54. @Blaire: Yes, Harry loses his broom in this chapter, and he apparently never gives it another thought. It’s partly an indication of how much he’s matured, but he’s also dealing with so much loss and anxiety that the loss of his broom is pushed to the back of his mind. I would have thought, though, that he would have thought of his broom at some other moments in the book – when he sees the picture of himself riding a broom as a baby, for example.

    I’m sure Harry could have transported Hedwig by portkey as long as she was in her cage. When he and the Weasleys travel by portkey in GoF, they’re able to take their backpacks with them.

  55. I do like the Zelda t shirt :)

  56. It would have been nice for Harry to offer his boom to to another member who had a slower broom, ya know, its a firebolt.

  57. @Josie I think that the survival of the seven Harrys is actually pretty likely. Voldemort’s been trying to kill him for years, and I doubt he’s the kind of person to unceremoniously kill someone off like that. For example, in the episode with Charity Burbage at the beginning of the book he has her killed in front of all the death eaters as a kind of show, and he tried to do that with Harry in GOF. He’d probably rather keep all the Harrys alive just in case, and then when he found out which was the real one he was probably planning to hunt him and Hagrid down in front of all the death eaters. Obviously, this didn’t go to plan for him, but it’s just a guess at why he wasn’t simply killing anyone in his way.

  58. Just noticed that LV is capable of flying without a wand. His (Lucius) wand was destroyed by Harry’s wand, and he manages to fly without one (he’s asking for Selwyn’s wand to replace the one that was broken).

  59. In the film, Harry lets hedwig go before they set off and I thought brilliant Hedwig will be fine because when i read about her death a cried for ages, I always thought that Hedwig treated Harry not like she was his pet but like he was her chick. She brought him dead mice to eat in one book and always visits to give him an affectionate nip and even makes sure he gets his birthday presents but then right during the battle she comes back in like Fawkes and swoops in front of a killing curse (just like his mum) to me that was slightly more painful then reading about it in the book because of the echoes of behaviour. Lets just say i cried even more when I watched that bit.

  60. The thing about the spells being thrown i think its right that there is difficulty aiming well at that speed, Tonks even mentions it in the next chapter when she compliment Ron’s bility to hit a deatheater direct to the chest when flying at that height and speed

  61. The thing about this plan – as illogical and overcomplicated as it seems – is that it wasn’t the Order’s idea at all. Portrait!Dumbledore gave it to Snape and instructed him to Confund Mundungus and plant the plan in his subconscious so he could suggest it to Moody. Snape needed to be able to give enough accurate information to Voldemort to maintain his cover, but the Order needed a plan that would most likely ensure Harry survived.

  62. Man, when I first read that Hagrid was sprawled out on the ground and the next chapter was titled “Fallen Warrior”, I was crushed. I mean, I like Mad-Eye, but Hagrid was there from the beginning. He was Harry’s first friend.

    First reading the part with Voldemort flying through the sky without a broom or thestral gave me chills down my spine. That was just awe inspiring, that Voldemort had the power to do that. They really botched that in the movies, giving all the Death Eater’s the ability to fly. They could have really made movie magic with the 7 Potter’s scene in the movie if Voldemort was the only one who could fly unaided.

  63. Josiah, I had the exact same reaction to the ‘Fallen Warrior’ title. I wonder if it was a deliberate choice on Jo’s part to play with us like that.

  64. Josie, I would imagine it was. Hazelwillow: unless I’m much mistaken, dramatic tension in the book concerning LV’s arrival at the house in Godric’s Hollow is created through him being unable to Apparate directly into the house: he Apparates to outside the front gate and Harry and Hermione have to get away before he enters the house and the upstairs room.

  65. rtozier: yes, you’re perfectly right… I wasn’t trying to comment on the books, though. In the books we really understand the ins and outs of the different means of magical transportation and their loopholes, we know houses are generally apparition-proof etc. I’d ad that those loopholes are very neccessary for Rowling to maintain tension, however. The only reason certain kinds of magic aren’t an absolute scene-breaker is because Rowling has had books to explain to us the limits of magic.

    My comment was just in relation to the movies, because movies are very reliant on being able to capture a situation visually (hence car chases, etc), rather than on non-visual explanations, and I think that makes Apparition a potential problem for buidling tension in a movie scene. In the book, having Harry “feel” that Voldemort is coming closer by the building pain in his scar and having Harry be able to sense that it’s impossible to Disapparate in this place (as when he feels in Hogsmeade that “the space they needed to move through [to Disapparate] wasn’t there”), we can feel those sensations with him so it’s perfectly effective. But for a camera, those explanations are more abstract than immediate. It would be much more frightening to see Voldemort approaching up the front path of Bathilda’s house than to be told that he’s about to Apparate here. It would be hard to depict. I wonder if that’s part of the reason why they cut You-Know-Who out of the Bagshot scene in the film, I wouldn’t be surprised. That’s all!

  66. I didn’t read all the comments, sorry, so I don’t know if someone already said this, but: Why is flying without a broomstick so advanced? Why is everyone shocked that Voldemort can do it?
    I mean, wizards and witches can just conjur a live dog, or apparate a thousand miles, yet they can’t cast a few simple charms to make them fly?
    Cause if you think about it, all you would need to fly would be some sort of Wingardium Leviosa and a propelling charm, right?

  67. I agree with Charlotte – it just wouldn’t be like Voldemort to kill off everyone without a big ceremony… he’s the classic villain who has to make a big deal about these things. I imagine he really wants to show off with killing Harry, since Harry has become the symbol of hope. He wants a show, rather than being practical.

    Although, I do agree with you, Josie, that the Death Eaters come across like such idiots all the time. It bothers me a bit. The only ones I find frightening is Bellatrix and Snape. I also never saw how they could be so terribly loyal to Voldemort or how he could gain followers to begin with… they’re all terrified (that is, those who are not insane like Bellatrix and Crouch jr) of him, even if they share his views on muggles and muggleborns, they couldn’t possibly think the world would be a better place with Voldemort as a leader, could they?

    And, yes, Hewig’s death is just so very sad…

  68. I wonder why Ron was unhappy about having to share a ride with Tonks?

  69. Jeremy, I think because sharing a broomstick requires close contact. Tonks is an attractive, married woman… Ron is a seventeen year old with lots of hormones. Plus, Ron is a bit sexist and probably thinks that her being in charge makes him seem less competent, less of a ‘man’.

    And then there’s the fact that she’s totally clumsy.

  70. I think it’s 70% the fact that she’s so clumsy, 30% that she’s married to Lupin and Ron’s still a little immature. :)

  71. I think the reason Moody knew Harry’s prescription is because Hermione told him. She would have known something like that.

  72. It had to be seven Potters for the line “Even You-Know-Who can’t split himself into seven.” to work. ;-)

    I was kind of expecting you to mention the fact that Harry’s Polyjuice Potion is golden. I seem to remember a quote about that from JKR.

  73. I thought that this was the only time, I really prefered the movie version over the book version. Hedwig’s death is bad enough, but in the book, it’s so senseless, with her trapped in her cage. The movie version not only makes more sense, it gives Hedwig’s death some dignity.

  74. But then again, Hedwig didn’t give Harry away, his Expelliarmus attempt on Stan Shunpike did. I think Voldemort probably would have killed random doppelgangers, as it was pointed out that he doesn’t care who he kills. But as we all know, there wouldn’t be much plot left if Hermione or someone else crucial to the current plot would have been killed. Rowling saved the biggest hits for the end.

  75. first, thanks for this great website ;-) i usually just read, but i had to share my thoughts about this chapter

    the ‘7potters’ action bothers me whenever i read it. i mean, it looks nice, but why?? when dumbledore died, harry could go to the burrow straight away and nobody would have to risk their life for him. or he could just have used his invisibility cloak, walk underneath it a few miles and then fly off on a broom. or he could have used the polyjuice potion himself. none of the order members seemed to have any problem getting to harry´s house…

    i love hp books, but it seems to me that rowling sometimes didn´t think carefully….

  76. **spoiler***

    I’m kind of torn between the deaths of Hedwig (movie vs book.)
    While I do totally agree that the movie death is a more dignified end for Hedwig. I kind of like that in the book, Harry’s expelliarmus spell is considered his signature or that any wizard could have a ‘signature’ spell.
    Of course, in the novel, this is pointed out to Harry by Lupin. Which causes an initial aggravation and eventually erupts into an argument between the two.
    It just draws attention in the book, to the underlying tension of the dangerous situation they are all in.
    It highlights the fact that they are both under various degrees of stress. it’s ironic that Lupin wishes to avoid his problems by “escaping” his situation and deep down Harry would like to do the same thing!
    But when it comes down to it, they both realise that they cannot escape. That they have to face their responsibilities and “man up.”
    I think the reason that Harry gets so much more angry with Lupin, is that he came to that realisation ages ago.
    Though Harry is failing to appreciate the fact that Lupin’s “situation” only just came about.
    Thoughts?

  77. hazelwillow and Rose, another key reason Apparition, side-along or otherwise was not used to move Harry, is that the Death Eaters mention in the first chapter that they are monitoring Apparition and the Floo Network. Even those without the Trace on them as wizards and witches of age would have been caught if they used those transport methods.

    I also suspect that, knowing Harry was a very accomplished broom flyer, the Order would have assumed they could identify Harry that way. Remember, however, that each ‘Harry’ was with an Order protector who was actually doing the flying.

    Josie, as for silliness in this method, what methods would work better? The Death Eaters did know the new date, intentionally, as *spoiler* we learn in a later chapter, when Dumbledor’s portrait had Snape inform the Death Eaters. This helped Snape maintain credibility within Voldemort’s group. The only thing they could not figure out until it occurred was that there would be more than one ‘Harry’. It’s interesting how many ‘Harry’s there were, and how many Horcruxes there were.

    They did not know where the real Harry was going, other than to follow him once he was identified. They could not then follow Hagrid and Harry to the Tonks house, because of the shield protection over it. It worked the other way, so that Voldemort disappeared from Harry’s sight when they entered into the protected zone.

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