Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

by J. K. Rowling


Throughout the six previous novels in the series, the main character Harry Potter has struggled with the difficulties of adolescence along with being famous as the only person ever to survive the Killing Curse. The curse was cast by the evil Tom Riddle, better known as Lord Voldemort, a powerful evil wizard who murdered Harry's parents and attempted to kill Harry as a baby in the belief this would thwart a prophecy which claimed Harry would be able to stop him. As an orphan, Harry was placed in the care of his Muggle (non-magical) relatives Petunia Dursley and Vernon Dursley, who already had a son called Dudley Dursley.

In The Philosopher's Stone, Harry re-enters the wizarding world at age 11 and enrolls in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He makes friends with fellow students Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger and is mentored by the school's headmaster, Albus Dumbledore. He also meets Professor Severus Snape, who dislikes and bullies him. Harry fights Voldemort several times while at school as the wizard tries to regain a physical form. In Goblet of Fire, Harry is mysteriously entered in the Triwizard Tournament, which he discovers is a trap designed to allow the return of Lord Voldemort to full strength. In Order of the Phoenix, Harry and several of his friends face off against Voldemort's Death Eaters, a group of Dark witches and wizards. In Half-Blood Prince, Harry learns that Voldemort has divided his soul into several parts, creating "Horcruxes" from various unknown objects to contain them. In this way, he has ensured his immortality as long as at least one of the Horcruxes still exists. Two of these had already been destroyed: a diary destroyed by Harry in Chamber of Secrets and a ring destroyed by Dumbledore shortly before the events of Half-Blood Prince. Dumbledore takes Harry along in the attempt to destroy a third Horcrux contained in a locket. However, the Horcrux had been taken by an unknown wizard, and upon their return, Dumbledore is ambushed and disarmed by Draco Malfoy, although Draco cannot bring himself to kill Dumbledore. Dumbledore is subsequently killed by Snape.


Following Dumbledore's death, Voldemort is attempting to take control of the Ministry of Magic. Meanwhile, Harry is about to turn seventeen, at which time he will lose the protection from his mother. Members of the Order of the Phoenix explain the situation to the Dursleys and move them to a new location for protection. Using Harry's peers and friends as decoys, the Order plans to move Harry to the Burrow under protection, by flying him there. However, the Death Eaters have been tipped off about this plan, and the group is attacked upon departure. In the ensuing battle, "Mad-Eye" Moody and Hedwig are killed and George Weasley severely wounded. Voldemort arrives to kill Harry, but Harry's wand fends him off on its own.

At the Burrow, Harry, Ron, and Hermione prepare to hunt down Voldemort's four remaining Horcruxes, and inherit strange bequests from Dumbledore: a Golden Snitch for Harry, a Deluminator for Ron, and a book of short tales called The Tales of Beedle the Bard for Hermione. They are also bequeathed the Sword of Hogwarts co-founder Godric Gryffindor, which can destroy Horcruxes, but the Ministry prevents them from receiving it. During Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour's wedding, the Ministry falls to Voldemort, and the wedding is attacked by Death Eaters. Harry, Ron, and Hermione flee to 12 Grimmauld Place in London, the family home of Sirius Black that Harry inherited.

Harry realizes that Sirius's late brother Regulus had stolen the real Horcrux locket, and had hid it in the Black house, where it was stolen by the criminal Mundungus Fletcher. With the help of house-elf Kreacher, the trio locate Fletcher, who had since had the locket taken from him by Dolores Umbridge. Harry, Ron and Hermione infiltrate the Ministry and steal the locket from Umbridge, but, as they escape, Ron is injured and Grimmauld Place is compromised, forcing the three to hide in the Forest of Dean. There, with no way to destroy the locket and no further leads, they pass many weeks in hiding. The locket exerts a negative influence on them, especially Ron, leading him to abandon Harry and Hermione. Harry and Hermione discover more about Dumbledore's past, including the death of Dumbledore's younger sister Ariana and his connection to the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. They travel to Godric's Hollow, Harry's birthplace, and meet the elderly magical historian Bathilda Bagshot. However, they discover that the real Bathilda has been killed, instead being Nagini in disguise. The snake attacks, and they barely escape, but Harry's wand is damaged beyond repair in the fight. One day, a doe Patronus guides Harry to a pond containing Gryffindor's sword. When Harry tries to recover the sword, the locket tries to kill him. Ron, who was guided back to Harry by the Deluminator, saves him and destroys the locket using the sword. Reading Dumbledore's book, Hermione identifies a symbol worn at Bill and Fleur's wedding by Xenophilius Lovegood, the father of Luna Lovegood. They visit Xenophilius and are told the symbol represents the mythical Deathly Hallows, objects from the fairy tale The Tale of the Three Brothers: the Elder Wand, an unbeatable wand; the Resurrection Stone, which can summon the dead; and an infallible Invisibility Cloak. As Xenophilius behaves strangely, the trio realize that he is stalling to allow Death Eaters to catch them, in exchange for Luna's freedom, as she had previously been captured. Escaping, the three reflect on what they learned. Harry believes the Hallows are real and suspects Voldemort is hunting the Elder Wand, which was in Dumbledore's possession after he defeated Grindelwald. The description of the third Hallow matches his own Invisibility Cloak, and he believes the Snitch given to him by Dumbledore contains the Resurrection Stone.

The trio are captured by Snatchers and taken to Malfoy Manor. Ron and Harry are imprisoned, and Bellatrix tortures Hermione, believing they stole Gryffindor's sword from her vault at Gringotts. With the help of Dobby the house-elf, they escape to Bill and Fleur's house along with fellow prisoners Luna, wandmaker Peter Pettigrew is strangled by his silver hand after showing mercy towards Harry, and Dobby is killed by Bellatrix. At Bill and Fleur's, they devise a plan to break into Bellatrix's vault at Gringotts, believing another Horcrux to be hidden there. Harry has a vision of Voldemort breaking open Dumbledore's tomb and stealing the Elder Wand.

With Griphook's help, they break in, retrieve Hufflepuff's golden cup, and escape on a dragon. In the chaos, Griphook steals Gryffindor's sword. Harry has a vision of Voldemort being informed of the heist. Enraged, Voldemort decides to check on his Horcruxes, revealing the two remaining ones: Nagini, and an unidentified one at Hogwarts.

The trio enter the school through a secret entrance in the Hog's Head, a bar in Hogsmeade owned by Dumbledore's brother Aberforth. While searching for the Horcrux, Harry accidentally alerts Voldemort to his presence at the school. Voldemort mounts an assault on Hogwarts, so the teachers mobilize the students to defend the school and buy Harry time to locate the Horcrux. Ron and Hermione destroy Hufflepuff's cup with basilisk fangs taken from the Chamber of Secrets as Voldemort and his army besiege the castle. Harry discovers that the Horcrux is Ravenclaw's diadem, which he recalls as being hidden in the Room of Requirement. The trio find the diadem but are ambushed by Draco and his friends Crabbe and Goyle. Crabbe tries to kill them using Fiendfyre, a cursed fire, but is unable to control it; the fire destroys the diadem and kills Crabbe. Meanwhile, many are killed in the Battle of Hogwarts, including Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks, Colin Creevey, and Fred Weasley.

In his encampment, Voldemort feels the Elder Wand is not performing as expected. Reasoning that Snape, having killed Dumbledore, is the true owner of the Elder Wand, Voldemort murders Snape. Harry arrives as Snape is dying, and Snape passes him memories to view in Dumbledore's Pensieve. They reveal Snape had a lifelong love for Harry's mother, and at Dumbledore's request had acted as a double agent against Voldemort. He had been watching over the trio as they searched for the Horcruxes, conjuring the doe Patronus. It is also revealed that Dumbledore was dying after mishandling the ring Horcrux, and his "murder" by Snape was planned by the both of them. The memories also explain that Harry himself is a Horcrux, unbeknownst to Voldemort, and that he must die at Voldemort's hands for Voldemort to become mortal. Harry accepts his death and gives himself up to Voldemort, instructing Neville Longbottom to kill Nagini. On the way, he opens the Snitch and uses the Resurrection Stone within to reunite with his dead loved ones. He loses the stone as he meets Voldemort, and does not defend himself as Voldemort uses the Killing Curse on him.

Harry awakens in a dreamlike location resembling King's Cross station and is greeted by Dumbledore. He explains that Voldemort's original Killing Curse left a fragment of Voldemort's soul in Harry, which caused the connection they felt. The fragment had been destroyed by the Killing Curse, allowing Harry to return to life or to "go on." Dumbledore also admits to his past, in which his friendship with Grindelwald resulted in the murder of Ariana and estrangement from Aberforth. Harry chooses to return to life and feigns death. Voldemort calls for a truce at Hogwarts and displays Harry's body, offering to spare the defenders if they surrender. Neville, however, pulls the Sword of Gryffindor out of the Sorting Hat and beheads Nagini, rendering Voldemort mortal. Harry hides under his cloak as the battle resumes. Bellatrix is killed by Molly Weasley, and Harry reveals himself to Voldemort. He explains to Voldemort the Elder Wand's loyalty transfers upon the defeat, not necessarily the killing, of its previous master. Snape had not been the Elder Wand's master as Draco had disarmed Dumbledore before Snape killed him. Having disarmed Draco at Malfoy Manor weeks prior, Harry is the master of the Elder Wand. Voldemort attempts the Killing Curse on Harry, but the Elder Wand refuses to act against Harry and the spell rebounds, killing Voldemort. Harry uses the Elder Wand to repair his original wand, intending to return the Elder Wand to Dumbledore's tomb, for its power to vanish if Harry dies undefeated. He keeps his Invisibility Cloak, while allowing the Resurrection Stone to remain lost in the forest. The wizarding world returns to peace once more.

;Epilogue In an epilogue set in King's Cross 19 years later, the main characters are seeing their children off to Hogwarts. Harry and Ginny have three children: James Sirius, Albus Severus, and Lily Luna. Ron and Hermione also have two children, Rose and Hugo. Harry's godson Teddy Lupin is found kissing Bill and Fleur's daughter Victoire; Neville is now a Hogwarts professor; and Draco and his wife are sending off their son Scorpius. Albus is departing for his first year at Hogwarts and worries he will be placed in Slytherin House. Harry reassures him, telling his son of Snape's bravery, and that the Sorting Hat could account for his preferences. Noting that his scar has not hurt in 19 years, Harry is at peace, as "all is well".