Here you will find a Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows summary (J.K. Rowling's book).
We begin with a summary of the entire book, and then you can read each individual chapter's summary by visiting the links on the "Chapters" section.
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At the Malfoy residence, Snape shares with Voldemort the information regarding Harry's moving plans organized by his friends. Harry, who is preparing to leave his Privet Drive home, reads two obituaries for Dumbledore, sparking a realization that he may not have known him as intimately as he assumed. Given the increasing danger from Voldemort, the Dursleys have to disappear too. Harry's transfer to the Weasleys’ residence, the Burrow, is led by the Order of the Phoenix and involves six of Harry’s allies taking a potion to mimic his appearance as a decoy. Snape’s tip-off to the Death Eaters results in an attack on Harry and his friends. Despite Voldemort’s chase, Harry’s wand wards him off mysteriously. Upon landing at the Burrow, Harry is informed about Moody's death and George Weasley's injury. Harry then starts receiving visions of Voldemort’s actions. Harry, along with Ron and Hermione, gather necessary resources for the quest that Dumbledore left them: locating and destroying the Horcruxes, into which Voldemort had split his soul to gain immortality. The three are handed items from Dumbledore's will by the Minister of Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour. The trio are initially clueless about the importance of these items. As the Weasleys host a wedding, it gets disrupted by Death Eaters announcing Voldemort’s control over the Ministry of Magic. On the run, the trio teleport to London only to be attacked by Death Eaters. They find refuge at Sirius Black’s enchanted house, where they make sense of the initials R.A.B. and the stolen Horcrux locket. They summon Kreacher, the house-elf, who reveals the locket's whereabouts. Once they have the locket, the trio are forced to abandon the house due to a Death Eater threat. Moving from one spot to another, they remain clueless about the next Horcrux or how to destroy the locket. Harry continues to receive visions of Voldemort’s pursuits. In a forest, they learn about the real Sword of Gryffindor's power to destroy Horcruxes. After a brief falling out, Ron returns to the group, rescuing Harry and destroying the locket. They then learn about the Deathly Hallows from Xenophilius Lovegood but narrowly escape his attempt to betray them to the Death Eaters. They get caught and are taken to Malfoy Manor where they escape with the help of Dobby, the house-elf. Breaking into a Gringotts bank vault with the help of Griphook the goblin, they steal the Hufflepuff Cup. Harry, through a vision, learns about the final Horcrux at Hogwarts, leading to a huge battle as Voldemort and his followers attack the school. Snape's memories reveal Harry's destiny and his sacrifice leads to the final duel where Harry kills Voldemort. In the end, Harry, now married to Ginny, and Ron and Hermione, see their children off to Hogwarts.
Snape and a Death Eater named Yaxley convene at Lucius Malfoy’s residence where Voldemort and his minions are settled. A captive figure is suspended in mid-air over the table. Snape communicates to Voldemort that Harry Potter's relocation will occur on the upcoming Saturday at dusk. Yaxley, however, disputes this, suggesting a later date. Voldemort, aware of how Snape acquired his information, places more faith in Snape's report. In a bid to win Voldemort's favor, Yaxley informs him of having turned Pius Thicknesse, a Ministry of Magic employee, to their side. They have more Death Eaters in the Magical Transport department, ready to monitor Harry's movements if he opts for magic transportation. Voldemort reveals his scheme to trap Harry during his transit. An eerie wail interrupts the meeting. Voldemort dismisses Wormtail to attend to the “prisoner”. He then coerces Lucius into handing over his wand, mocking the Malfoy family for their uneasiness in his company. Bellatrix Lestrange, Narcissa's sister, insists they're delighted by his presence, but Voldemort scorns them for the recent wedlock of Narcissa and Bellatrix's niece to the werewolf, Remus Lupin. Lastly, Voldemort unveils the captive figure to be Charity Burbage, a Hogwarts teacher who advocated for Muggle equality. Despite Burbage's plea for help, Snape remains indifferent and Voldemort extinguishes her life with the Killing Curse.
Emerging from his room at the Dursleys', Harry clutches his injured hand. He accidentally steps on a tea cup left outside his room, and after nursing his wound and cleaning the mess, he resumes his task of sorting his school possessions. He's dividing his things into what he’ll discard and what he’ll keep, now that he's departed Hogwarts and is planning to leave the Dursleys’. His injury was caused by a fragment of the mirror Sirius gave him, which is now reduced to a single piece. Harry engages with two articles about Albus Dumbledore. The first, written by Elphias Doge, a longtime friend of Dumbledore, reminiscences about his extraordinary school career, his father's imprisonment, his less talented brother, Aberforth, the double tragedy of losing his mother and sister, his victory against the Dark wizard Grindelwald, and his successful tenure as headmaster. Harry is filled with remorse, realizing he knew little about Dumbledore's life. The second article is an interview with Rita Skeeter, who has authored a controversial biography about Dumbledore titled The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore. Skeeter claims her book exposes Dumbledore's real story, which contrasts with his popular image, reveals disturbing family secrets, and portrays his relationship with Harry as harmful. Repulsed by Skeeter's fabrications, Harry discards the paper. Harry, while examining the shard from Sirius's mirror, is reminded of Skeeter's falsehoods. Spotting a flash of bright blue reflected in the shard, he is reminded of Dumbledore's blue eyes. Confused, he dismisses it as a figment of his imagination, as there was nothing blue around him.
Harry is called downstairs by Uncle Vernon, where he finds the Dursleys ready to travel. Despite previously agreeing to hide from danger with the Order of the Phoenix, Vernon now dismisses Harry's warnings about Voldemort and refuses to go into hiding. Harry tries to convince them that their lives are at risk, especially since the Ministry of Magic has been compromised. Unexpectedly, Dudley sides with Harry and chooses to accompany the Order's representatives. His parents, Vernon and Petunia, reluctantly comply. Soon, Hestia Jones and Dedalus Diggle, who are part of the Order, arrive to escort the Dursleys to a safe place. Dudley's concern for Harry's safety surprises everyone, including Harry, as he questions where Harry will be staying. More surprisingly, Dudley expresses his gratitude to Harry for saving his life and denies viewing Harry as worthless. Harry realizes that Dudley’s unexpected kindness, such as the tea cup left outside his bedroom, is a sign of his gratitude. After a handshake between the two, the Dursleys leave with the Order.
Harry reflects on his past while surveying his old home before a large group of wizards unexpectedly appear to take him away for his safety. The group includes Hagrid, Ron, Hermione, Fleur Delacour, Mad-Eye Moody, the Weasley family, Remus Lupin, Tonks, Kingsley, and Mundungus Fletcher. Moody discloses that their original plan has been altered due to Pius Thicknesse siding with Voldemort and the Ministry's controlled transportation being unsafe for them. The revised plan involves sending Harry to Tonks's parents' home and creating six duplicates of Harry using Polyjuice Potion as a diversion. Despite Harry's initial objection fearing for his friends' safety, he eventually consents upon realizing their willingness to take the risk. After taking hair from Harry for the Potion, his friends turn into Harry's duplicates and they all take flight, with Harry flying in Hagrid's sidecar. Almost instantly, they are ambushed by a gang of at least thirty Death Eaters, resulting in a high-speed chase where Harry's owl, Hedwig, is killed. As they attempt to escape, the sidecar detaches after Hagrid projects dragon fire from the motorbike. Harry recognizes one of the Death Eaters as Stan Shunpike, but is taken aback when an unfamiliar Death Eater identifies him as the real Harry Potter. The Death Eaters scatter, only to return with Voldemort, who is determined to kill Harry himself. Hagrid crashes to the ground while Harry's wand spontaneously casts an unknown defense spell, shattering Voldemort's wand. The chapter concludes as Harry crashes his bike into a pond.
Harry recovers from his injuries at Tonks’s parents’ home, thanks to Ted Tonks' healing. The house's magical protections prevented Voldemort and the Death Eaters from entering. Before leaving via a Portkey to the Weasley's home, Harry promises to update Mr. Tonks about his daughter's safety. Arriving at the Burrow, Harry and Hagrid are met by a worried Mrs. Weasley. Soon, Lupin comes with an injured George Weasley, who lost an ear to Snape's curse. Suspecting betrayal, Lupin challenges Harry's identity by questioning him about their first meeting. Harry passes the test by recalling the presence of a grindylow. Lupin criticizes Harry's reluctance to harm Stan Shunpike, which exposed him as the real Harry to the Death Eaters. One by one, the rest of the group arrive safely, including Kingsley, Hermione, Mr. Weasley, Fred, Ron, Tonks, Bill, and Fleur. They reveal that Mad-Eye Moody died when Mundungus Fletcher deserted their group. A discussion ensues about the potential traitor as Voldemort was unaware of the seven decoys. Harry considers leaving to avoid endangering friends, but they refuse this suggestion. Feeling his scar's pain intensifying, Harry steps outside. In his suffering, he experiences Voldemort torturing Ollivander, the wandmaker. Ollivander had advised Voldemort to use a different wand against Harry, but the plan failed, rendering Lucius Malfoy's borrowed wand useless. Harry shares his vision with Ron and Hermione, who sternly advises him to sever his dangerous mental link with Voldemort.
Harry is eager to embark on his mission to destroy the Horcruxes, fragments of Voldemort's soul that grant him immortality. He seeks to discuss this with Ron and Hermione, his companions from the last book, but Mrs. Weasley tries to talk them out of leaving Hogwarts and keeps them apart by involving them in wedding preparations for Bill Weasley and Fleur. The trio manages to find a moment to meet in Ron’s room, where they share the measures they've taken for the mission. Hermione has bewitched her Muggle parents to forget about her and move to Australia to hide from Voldemort. To cover his absence from Hogwarts, Ron has magically altered a ghoul to appear ill with an infectious disease, spattergroit, in his likeness. Most crucially, Hermione discloses that she stole the books about Horcruxes, removed by Dumbledore for safety, from his office posthumously. She mentions that Voldemort is unlikely to destroy the Horcruxes himself, as it would involve remorse, contrary to his nature. However, their destruction poses a significant challenge as it requires highly destructive items, like the basilisk's fang Harry used to destroy one of the Horcruxes in a previous book. Fleur’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Delacour, arrive, and Harry is burdened with guilt about causing stress for Mrs. Weasley due to his presence and the increased security.
In a dream, Harry finds himself searching for a man named Gregorovitch in the mountains, a name he later realizes he was muttering in his sleep. This discovery leads him to believe that he was viewing the world through Voldemort's eyes in his sleep, a phenomenon he has experienced before. On waking, Harry is excited to remember that it's his seventeenth birthday and the Trace, a Ministry of Magic spell that tracks underage wizard's magic, is now lifted, giving him the liberty to use magic freely. He receives gifts from his friends and the Weasley family. Ginny presents him with a passionate kiss but their moment is interrupted by an angry Ron, leading Harry to promise not to kiss Ginny again. The birthday celebrations are cut short by the arrival of Rufus Scrimgeour, the Minister of Magic. He has a private conversation with Harry, Ron, and Hermione about bequests left to them in Dumbledore's will. Ron receives the Deluminator, a device that controls light, Hermione gets a copy of "The Tales of Beedle the Bard", and Harry is bequeathed the first Snitch he ever caught and the sword of Godric Gryffindor, although Scrimgeour claims the sword wasn't Dumbledore's to give away. Scrimgeour confesses he had the items for thirty-one days, the maximum time allowed by law, to inspect them for dark magic. The three friends can't answer his questions about the odd bequests, leaving Scrimgeour frustrated. He speculates that the Snitch may open for Harry, but is disappointed when it doesn't. After Scrimgeour leaves, Harry recalls how he caught his first Snitch with his mouth. He tries this trick again, and although the Snitch doesn't open, it reveals a new message: "I open at the close."
After Harry's birthday, Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour's wedding is held at the Weasley home. Harry disguises himself as a red-headed local boy named "Cousin Barny" using Polyjuice Potion to keep his presence a secret. Guests include Luna Lovegood and her father, Xenophilius, who is wearing a triangular eye pendant that Luna recognizes. Fleur’s guest, Viktor Krum, is a professional Quidditch player who Hermione had a brief crush on during the Triwizard Tournament. Upon seeing Xenophilius's pendant, Krum reveals it to be a symbol of the dark wizard Grindelwald, responsible for his grandfather's death. Krum's agitation leads Harry to recall the name "Gregorovitch", the wand maker for Krum’s wand. Harry later engages in a conversation with Elphias Doge, the writer of Dumbledore’s obituary. Despite Doge's assurances to the contrary, Harry suspects Dumbledore may have dabbled in the Dark Arts when he was younger. Their discussion is interrupted by Ron’s Aunt Muriel, a fan of Rita Skeeter who berates Doge for avoiding Dumbledore's controversial past. Aunt Muriel shares rumors about Dumbledore’s backstory, alleging his sister Ariana was a Squib (a non-magical child born to wizard parents) and was locked away by their mother Kendra. She even suggests Dumbledore may have killed Ariana after their mother's death. These rumors come from Bathilda Bagshot, a resident of Godric’s Hollow where Harry was born, and Dumbledore’s family lived after his father's arrest. Harry is shocked to learn not only of Dumbledore's troubled past, but also that they both lived in Godric’s Hollow without Dumbledore ever mentioning it. The wedding is abruptly ended when Kingsley Shacklebolt's Patronus, a silver lynx, announces that Scrimgeour is dead, the Ministry has fallen and the Death Eaters are approaching.
Amidst chaos and fear, cloaked figures known as Death Eaters emerge. Harry, Ron, and Hermione manage to escape together, teleporting to Tottenham Court Road, a bustling area in London's Muggle world. Hermione reveals she packed essentials like clothes, Harry’s Invisibility Cloak, books, a magic tent, Polyjuice Potion, and more, all neatly tucked in a small handbag that defies its physical size. They decide to strategize in a cafe, contemplating their next move under Voldemort's reign. However, they're ambushed by two Death Eaters disguised as workmen, leaving them baffled and concerned about how they were found so quickly. With their current location compromised, they opt to seek refuge in Number Twelve Grimmauld Place, a house inherited by Harry from Sirius Black. They rely on the protective enchantments to shield them from Snape and the Death Eaters. Indications of recent activity make them suspect someone was in the house, but it seems deserted. The group experiences the effects of a Tongue-Tying charm, a protective measure placed by Mad-Eye Moody preventing them from revealing house secrets. Harry fears Snape may bypass the charm due to his previously trusted status with Dumbledore. A sharp pain in Harry's scar signals Voldemort's fury, hinting at their reconnected minds. Ron is anxious about Voldemort's actions, worried about his family's safety, while Hermione chides Harry for allowing this dangerous connection. News arrives via Ron's father's Patronus that the family is safe, albeit under surveillance. As the pain in his scar intensifies, Harry secludes himself to view his vision without interruption. He witnesses Voldemort's wrath, as he tortures a Death Eater for alerting him but allowing Harry to escape.
Harry explores the house and finds Sirius's room filled with Gryffindor memorabilia and pictures of Muggle women, suggestive of Sirius's rebellion against his family. He discovers a letter addressed to Sirius from his mother, Lily. The letter discloses that Sirius gifted Harry his first broomstick, that his parents were acquainted with Bathilda Bagshot, and that Dumbledore had borrowed James Potter's Invisibility Cloak for an unexplained reason, around the time Harry turned one, shortly before his parents' demise. Searching more, Harry finds a fragment of a photo from the letter showing him, at one year old, near his father's legs, on a broomstick. The remaining parts of the letter and photo are missing. Feeling a pull towards his past, Harry decides to visit Godric’s Hollow, hoping to meet Bathilda and visit his parents’ grave. He faces opposition from Hermione, who believes it's a waste of time and reminds him of their primary task of finding and destroying the Horcruxes to defeat Voldemort. A revelation occurs when the duo discover the room of Sirius's deceased younger brother, Regulus Arcturus Black, a former Death Eater. They realize Regulus could be the R.A.B. who stole the real locket Horcrux that they need to find. Hermione recalls seeing a locket in the house before, which everyone had handled but couldn't open, but it is now missing. Their last hope hinges on Kreacher, the inherited house-elf, known for hoarding trinkets from the house. They summon him and Kreacher confesses to stealing the locket two years ago. However, he reveals that it was taken by Mundungus Fletcher, referring to it as "Master Regulus's". This prompts Harry to demand the story behind the locket. Kreacher recounts how Regulus, after Sirius deserted their parents, became deeply implicated in the Dark Arts and joined Voldemort at sixteen. Voldemort used Kreacher to test the defenses protecting the locket Horcrux situated in an underground cavern. After surviving the ordeal, Kreacher was able to return to Regulus due to the unique magic of house-elves. Regulus subsequently betrayed Voldemort, replaced the locket with a fake one, and commanded Kreacher to destroy the real one and keep his actions a secret. Despite seeing Regulus perish in the cavern, Kreacher could not destroy the locket due to the powerful enchantments protecting it. He returned to Grimmauld Place, burdened with the secret of Regulus's fate and a command he couldn't fulfill. Despite Harry's resentment towards Kreacher for his past betrayal of Sirius, Hermione insists that Kreacher's actions were loyal and consistent, given that Regulus never disclosed his change of allegiance to him. Harry then orders Kreacher to find Mundungus and bring him back to Grimmauld Place. Grateful for being gifted with Regulus's fake locket as a memento, Kreacher sets off to complete his task.
Kreacher's return is delayed, a worrisome fact for Harry as he watches Death Eaters stationed outside his house. Their presence confirms they know Harry owns the house, information likely obtained from Ministry of Magic's will recordings. However, they're unable to see or enter the house due to protective charms cast on it. Lupin pays a visit, bringing updates from outside. The Ministry wants Harry for an inquiry. All wizards are being demanded to verify their blood purity through parent interviews. If found lacking wizarding lineage, a wizard will be assumed to have stolen magic secrets and will face trial. Lupin volunteers to join the trio on their mysterious journey, promising safety despite their inability to elaborate on their mission. He discloses that his pregnant wife, Tonks, is residing with her parents for protection. He confesses his regret for marrying her and possibly fathering a half-werewolf child, foreseeing an ostracized future for the child. Harry refuses Lupin's assistance, accusing him of cowardice for wanting to abandon his unborn child. This confrontation ends with Lupin's exit. Still fuming, Harry peruses a leftover newspaper from Lupin featuring an excerpt from Rita Skeeter's Dumbledore biography. A quote from Bathilda Bagshot reveals that Dumbledore's mother, Kendra, became a recluse after moving to Godric’s Hollow and kept Dumbledore’s sister, Ariana, hidden. Bathilda's statement implies that Ariana, never seen using magic, was likely a Squib. Finally, Kreacher shows up with Mundungus Fletcher. Upon harsh interrogation, Mundungus confesses to stealing the locket, which was taken from him by an unmistakably described Dolores Umbridge in Diagon Alley.
August progresses with unseen watchers in cloaks persistently stationed around Grimmauld Place, number twelve. Kreacher becomes invaluable during this period, busying himself with cleaning, cooking, and maintaining his cleanliness. Harry and his friends discover from newspapers that Snape is now the headmaster of Hogwarts, along with two new faculty members, the Carrows, both of whom are Death Eaters. Hermione recalls a portrait of Phineas Nigellus Black in their house. Phineas, a former headmaster, can move between this portrait and the one in the headmaster's office at Hogwarts. To prevent him from spying on them, Hermione removes the painting and stores it in her bag. The trio starts observing Ministry of Magic workers, using the Invisibility Cloak to understand their schedules for infiltrating the Ministry. The goal is to reach Umbridge’s office and find the locket. Harry announces prematurely that they are ready and plans to break in the next day. That evening, Harry experiences a painful vision from Voldemort. Voldemort is seen knocking on a door in Europe, asking for Gregorovitch, and killing a woman in front of her children when she doesn’t provide the information. Hermione reprimands Harry for allowing Voldemort into his mind again, but Harry insists that Voldemort is trying to understand how Harry's wand defeated him. The following day, the friends breach the Ministry of Magic using Polyjuice Potion to impersonate employees. Hermione becomes Mafalda Hopkirk, an assistant, Ron takes on the role of Cattermole, a support services worker, and Harry becomes Runcorn, a high-level wizard. They teleport into the Ministry through magic portals in public restrooms. Upon their arrival, Yaxley, a Death Eater, sends Ron (as Cattermole) on a maintenance job, threatening him about his wife's impending Mudblood hearing.
Harry and Hermione head to Level One and encounter Dolores Umbridge, who makes Hermione her note-taker for the Muggle-Born Registration Commission. Harry, disguised as Runcorn, is greeted by the new Minister of Magic, Pius Thicknesse. When alone, Harry dons the Invisibility Cloak and makes his way to Umbridge’s office. In a room outside her office, employees are creating pamphlets warning about the threat of Mudbloods. Mad-Eye Moody’s magical eye watches them from Umbridge's office door. Harry distracts the employees with a Decoy Detonator to get inside. Within the office, Harry takes Moody’s eye and pockets it. He finds Arthur Weasley’s file and learns he is under surveillance. Harry spots his own photo with the label “Undesirable Number One” and finds a new book about Dumbledore but doesn't find the locket he is searching for. Thicknesse enters the office, forcing Harry to slip out unnoticed. He runs into Ron, who is busy fixing Yaxley’s rain issue, and Arthur Weasley, whom he warns about being watched. Harry then makes his way to Umbridge’s hearing room, where Dementors guard suspected Mudbloods. Umbridge is interrogating Mary Cattermole, accusing her of stealing her wand. Mary tries to charm Umbridge by admiring a locket she wears, which Harry realizes is the Horcrux. Umbridge lies about the locket's inscription, saying it represents her pureblood lineage. An enraged Harry stuns Umbridge and Yaxley, allowing Hermione to swap the real locket with a fake one. They lead Mary and the other prisoners away, reunite with Ron, and advise the prisoners to hide. They then Disapparate together.
Harry wakes up in a forest alongside Hermione and an injured Ron. Ron has been Splinched during Disapparation, which means he's left a part of himself behind and is bleeding heavily. Hermione explains that she attempted to bring them to Grimmauld Place, but was followed by Yaxley, so she had to bring them to this forest, a former Quidditch World Cup site. Now Yaxley knows their hideout, they can't go back. Harry and Hermione establish a tent and cast protective spells. They possess the Horcrux - a locket Hermione successfully took from Umbridge. However, they can't open or destroy it, so Harry hangs it around his neck for safekeeping. They're also clueless about the location of other Horcruxes and have little food supplies. Harry's scar tingles and he has a vision of Voldemort interrogating wand maker Gregorovitch. Voldemort believes Gregorovitch is lying about not having what he wants, and kills him. Harry sees a memory of a young blonde man stealing from Gregorovitch and escaping. Hermione is upset about Harry's vision and refuses to listen, but Harry shares it with Ron. He's perplexed by Voldemort's actions, as he presumed Voldemort wanted Gregorovitch to create a powerful wand to defeat him. Harry suspects the blonde thief is Voldemort's next target, and he feels he has seen this man before.
Harry finds a resting place for Moody's eye in the woods. They set up camp near a town where Harry attempts to steal food but encounters dementors. He's unable to use his Patronus charm for protection because of the Horcrux he's wearing. The negative energy from the Horcrux is preventing him from accessing the positive emotions needed to conjure a Patronus. They decide to rotate who wears the Horcrux, but it causes each of them to become grumpy and confrontational. This phase of their journey is fraught with difficulties, including frequent relocation, food scarcity, and escalating disagreements about their next moves. During a spat between Ron and Hermione, they overhear voices nearby. It turns out to be Tonks's dad, a young wizard named Dean, and two goblins, all fleeing from Voldemort and the Ministry. One goblin regales them with a tale of revenge against the Ministry wizards. According to the goblin, three Hogwarts pupils—Ginny, Neville, Luna—attempted to steal the sword of Gryffindor from Snape’s office. Snape moved the sword to Gringotts after they were caught, but the goblin claims that the Gringotts goblins identified the sword as a counterfeit and kept it a secret. Harry and his friends question Phineas Black's portrait, which is forced to wear a blindfold, about the sword's last whereabouts. Phineas mentions the last time he saw the sword was when Dumbledore used it to destroy a ring. They realize that Dumbledore was destroying Marvolo Gaunt’s Horcrux and the Sword of Gryffindor can destroy such objects because it's impregnated with basilisk venom. They suspect that Dumbledore left the sword in his will to Harry as a hint to its significance, and created a replica to be kept in the office. They're left wondering where Dumbledore hid the real sword. Ron, however, is not satisfied with their progress. He's wearied and angry because of the Horcrux he's wearing and Harry's lack of a concrete plan, which leads to a heated argument. Ron removes the Horcrux, asks Hermione to choose between him and Harry, and when she chooses to stay, he Disapparates.
Harry and Hermione, sidestepping discussions about Ron, anticipate his return. However, Ron doesn't come back, forcing them to relocate. Feeling lost without him, they frequently consult Phineas Nigellus's portrait. Phineas reveals that Ginny, Neville, and Luna are continuing Dumbledore's Army at Hogwarts, subtly opposing Snape. In her study of 'The Tales of Beedle the Bard', Hermione uncovers a mysterious symbol resembling a triangular eye. Harry recognizes it from Luna's father's attire at the wedding and mentions that Krum identified it as Grindelwald's mark. Unexpectedly, Hermione agrees to Harry's proposal to visit Godric’s Hollow, which she had previously dismissed. She believes it could be the hiding place for Gryffindor’s sword, given that it was Godric Gryffindor’s hometown. Harry recalls that Bathilda Bagshot resides there and suggests that Dumbledore might have left the sword with her. They meticulously plan their voyage to Godric’s Hollow, utilizing Polyjuice Potion for disguise and cloaking themselves in invisibility. Upon arrival on Christmas Eve, they visit the cemetery, discovering the resting places of Kendra and Ariana Dumbledore. Hermione spots a grave marked with the same triangular symbol, belonging to Ignotus Peverell. Nonetheless, Harry is more concerned with locating his parents' grave. They eventually find Lily and James Potter’s grave, engraved with the phrase “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” Realizing he has no memento to leave, Hermione crafts a wreath for him to place on the grave. Afterward, they leave the cemetery and head back into the town.
Harry and Hermione, donning the Invisibility Cloak, depart from the cemetery fearing they're being followed. As they weave through the town, they stumble upon a desolate house which appears to be the former home of James and Lily Potter. The house, partially destroyed, is an emblem of Voldemort's curse gone wrong. Upon touching the gate, a sign ascends stating that the house, invisible to Muggles, serves as a reminder of the Potter family's tragic end. A muffled, old lady appears, beckoning them despite their invisibility and disguise. She confirms she is Bathilda when Harry inquires. She leads them into another house, hers, that's unclean and reeking. Harry notices many missing photos in her house. He spots a photo of a man who he recognizes from Rita Skeeter’s book, the same man who stole Gregorovitch's wand, standing beside Dumbledore. He deduces Rita Skeeter must have taken the missing photos for her book. Harry tries to engage Bathilda, but she only beckons him upstairs, leaving Hermione behind. In the repugnant room, Harry asks Bathilda if she has the sword of Gryffindor for him, only to be met with a vision of Voldemort instructing someone to "hold him there". Back in reality, he is aghast as Voldemort's snake, Nagini, bursts from Bathilda's corpse. It appears Bathilda was lifeless for quite some time and the snake was using her body. Harry and Hermione battle the snake, with Hermione successfully repelling it. They escape via Disapparation. In the split second before they vanish, Harry inadvertently sees through Voldemort’s eyes. He witnesses their escape, feeling Voldemort's fury. He then experiences another flashback to when Voldemort killed Harry’s parents. Voldemort, wandless and vulnerable, is quickly defeated, while Lily begs for Harry's life at the expense of her own. Instead of killing Harry, Voldemort's curse rebounds, tearing him from his body and leaving him in an ethereal state of pain and terror. Once the flashback ends, Harry sees Voldemort retrieve a picture of the thief from the floor of Bathilda’s home. Harry, now in his own body, berates himself for dropping the photograph. Hermione informs him that he was unconscious for a while because the Horcrux got stuck on him, which she removed with a severing charm. As Harry offers to keep watch, Hermione reveals that her spell accidentally broke Harry's wand. Their attempts to mend it are futile. Despite his anger and disappointment, Harry uses Hermione's wand to keep watch.
Harry is devastated and terrified due to the damage to his wand, which shared a core with Voldemort's—both containing feathers from Dumbledore's pet phoenix, Fawkes. This unique connection had previously aided Harry in his encounters with Voldemort. Without his wand, he feels vulnerable and blames Dumbledore for not providing enough guidance on his quest. Angry with Dumbledore, Harry anticipates reading about his hidden past in Rita Skeeter's book, The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore, which Hermione found in Bathilda's house. He discovers that the man Voldemort is searching for, the one who stole the wand from Gregorovitch, is Gellert Grindelwald. This revelation shocks Harry and Hermione as Grindelwald is a notorious Dark wizard defeated by Dumbledore, yet the book contains photos of them as friendly teenagers. The book reveals that following his mother's death, Dumbledore returned home to care for his sister, coinciding with the arrival of Grindelwald, who was visiting his great-aunt Bathilda. The pair formed a close friendship. A letter from Dumbledore to Grindelwald shows him expressing views favoring wizarding domination over Muggles, contradicting his later beliefs. The book suggests their friendship ended due to Dumbledore's sister, Ariana's, sudden death. It alleges a fight between Dumbledore and his brother Aberforth, with Grindelwald swiftly leaving to start his dark career and Dumbledore not interfering for five years. Skeeter hints at their potential involvement in Ariana's death and the mysterious connection between them. Hermione cautions Harry about trusting Skeeter's book due to her reputation for lying and sensationalism. However, Harry's faith in Dumbledore wavers. Hermione's attempts to comfort Harry, stating that Dumbledore was young when he wrote the letter and that his love for Harry was genuine, do little to console him. Harry's unease grows as he finds himself in similar dangerous circumstances at the same age as Dumbledore was during these events. Despite Hermione's efforts, Harry struggles to believe in Dumbledore's affection for him.
During a snowy night, Harry and Hermione encounter a silvery doe. Feeling a trustful instinct, Harry tails it, reaching a frozen pool where he spots the Sword of Gryffindor submerged under ice. Knowing that only a true Gryffindor can fetch it, Harry dives into the icy pool. As he does, the Horcrux strangles him, causing him to pass out. Coming to his senses, Harry finds Ron has saved him, pulling him out of the water and retrieving the sword. He also cut the Horcrux from Harry's neck. Ron expresses his wish to continue their quest. Harry insists that Ron, having procured the sword, should use it to obliterate the locket Horcrux. Suddenly, Harry understands that opening the locket requires speaking Parseltongue. Harry instructs Ron to strike the locket before it attempts to harm him, and then he unlocks it. The locket manipulates Ron's deepest insecurities, suggesting he's overshadowed by Harry and unloved by Hermione. After the locket creates a taunting illusion of Harry and Hermione kissing, Ron shatters it with the sword. Harry reassures Ron about his and Hermione's platonic relationship, and Ron apologizes for leaving. Back at the tent, Hermione angrily confronts Ron. Eventually, Ron reveals he was detained by Snatchers after leaving but managed to escape. He found them because he heard Hermione's voice through the Deluminator, guiding him to their location. Harry recalls this was when they mentioned Ron's name for the first time following his departure. A guiding light led Ron to them and the silver doe. At last, Hermione accepts Ron's return. Ron gives Harry an extra wand he filched from the Snatchers, and they retire for the night.
Despite Hermione's lingering annoyance with Ron, the latter and Harry are in better spirits, having successfully eradicated a Horcrux. Ron reveals to Harry that saying Voldemort’s name triggers a magical Trace, allowing the Ministry to locate the speaker, a fact that explains their earlier discovery in Tottenham Court Road. To their advantage, Harry and Hermione are already accustomed to referring to Voldemort as You-Know-Who. Hermione proposes a visit to Xenophilius Lovegood after spotting the triangular Grindelwald emblem, also worn by Xenophilius, in Dumbledore's signed letter, included in Skeeter’s book. Ron agrees, acknowledging the supportive stance of Xenophilius's newspaper, The Quibbler, towards Harry, despite the bounty on Harry’s head. Reaching the Lovegood residence, they find Xenophilius uneasy and hesitant to assist them. Eventually, he reluctantly allows them inside. Ron criticizes his reluctance to aid Harry, despite advising others to do so in his newspaper. Finally, Xenophilius concedes to help. He steps away briefly, claiming to call Luna who's supposedly fishing outside, and returns to serve them an unpleasant root drink. When queried about the symbol by Harry, Xenophilius reveals that it represents the Deathly Hallows.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione are puzzled about the Deathly Hallows, which Xenophilius tells them are not related to Dark Magic. The symbol merely signifies a wizard's belief in a certain legend and their pursuit of the Deathly Hallows. To clarify, Xenophilius has Hermione read a fairy tale from The Tales of Beedle the Bard. The story tells of three brothers who met Death halfway across a magically created bridge. Death, annoyed they avoided their fate, still rewarded them with gifts. The eldest received an unbeatable wand, the second a stone with resurrection power, and the youngest an Invisibility Cloak. The first brother was murdered after bragging about his wand, the second committed suicide after unsuccessfully resurrecting his lost love, and the third lived a long life before passing the cloak on and meeting Death as an old friend. The Elder Wand, Resurrection Stone, and Invisibility Cloak are the Deathly Hallows, Xenophilius explains. Those familiar with the legend believe that owning all three grants mastery over Death. While Hermione doubts their existence, Xenophilius points out that Harry's cloak matches the story's description. He can't confirm the stone's existence but assures them that many famous wizards have possessed the wand, each winning it from its previous owner. When Hermione inquires about the Peverells' connection to the Hallows, having seen their symbol in Godric’s Hollow, Xenophilius suggests that they were the original three brothers. He then leaves to prepare dinner. The trio discusses the possible existence and value of the Hallows. Harry stumbles upon Luna's room, where he finds old photographs and realizes Luna has been absent for months. Xenophilius confesses that the Ministry took Luna hostage due to his pro-Potter articles and that he had sent an owl to them. Soon, Death Eaters arrive. Xenophilius tries to capture the trio but accidentally detonates an Erumpent horn, causing an explosion. The Death Eaters berate Xenophilius for his false alarms but detect someone upstairs. Harry, Ron, and Hermione escape, but not before Hermione uses a Forgetting spell on Xenophilius and ensures the Death Eaters catch a glimpse of Harry, confirming Xenophilius's claims.
After safely apparating to an empty field, Ron, Harry, and Hermione discuss the possibility of the Deathly Hallows' existence. Hermione dismisses the idea, but Harry becomes engrossed in connecting the dots. He recalls seeing Marvolo Gaunt, Voldemort's grandfather, in Dumbledore's Pensieve, who claimed to descend from the Peverells and had their symbol on his ring. Harry believes that this ring, which was a Horcrux destroyed by Dumbledore, contains the Resurrection Stone and is part of the Deathly Hallows. Harry also deduces that Voldemort's pursuit of Ollivander, Gregorovitch, and Grindelwald was driven by his desire for the Elder Wand, one of the Hallows. Harry's Invisibility Cloak, a gift from his dad, he believes is another Hallow. He speculates that he might be a descendant of the Peverells, just like the third brother in the story. Harry theorizes that Dumbledore, who once borrowed his cloak, knew its significance and wanted to collect all Hallows. Convinced that possessing the Hallows will enable him to defeat Voldemort, Harry grows obsessed with the idea. He suggests Voldemort is unaware of the Hallows, otherwise, he would have sought them instead of creating Horcruxes. Hermione objects to Harry's theory, arguing Dumbledore would have shared information about the Hallows if they were real. She reminds him about the mission to destroy Horcruxes. Ron agrees with Hermione, but Harry can't shake off his ideas and starts imagining what he can do with the Hallows. One night, the trio listens to the illegal radio show "Potterwatch", where they learn about the worsening situation for wizards and Muggles alike. They discover that Voldemort might be in Europe seeking the Elder Wand. Unfortunately, Harry accidentally breaks the Trace by uttering Voldemort's name, alerting the Ministry's agents to their location. As the chapter concludes, they are ordered to surrender by an unknown voice.
Hermione uses magic to distort Harry's face, rendering him unrecognizable, as they're captured by a group of Snatchers. They lie about their identities, but are recognized nonetheless after the Snatchers find Hermione's photo in a newspaper. During this, Harry experiences visions of Voldemort at a black fortress, Nurmengard. The Snatchers decide to take them to Malfoy Manor, Voldemort’s headquarters. At the Manor, the Malfoys are unsure about Harry's identity due to his altered face. However, Bellatrix Lestrange is certain it's them when she discovers the Sword of Gryffindor, which she thought was safe in her vault. She locks Harry and Ron in the basement and begins interrogating Hermione. In the basement, they find Luna, Ollivander, Dean Thomas, and Griphook, a goblin from Gringotts. They manage to untie themselves using a nail Luna found. Hermione, upstairs, continues to be tortured by Bellatrix. Unable to find a way out, Harry peers into a shard of a magic mirror, seeing Dumbledore's eye. He pleads for help. They overhear Hermione insisting that the sword is a replica. Bellatrix then expresses her intent to question Griphook. Harry convinces Griphook to support Hermione's claim. As darkness falls, Malfoy descends to bring Griphook upstairs. Suddenly, Dobby, the house-elf who used to serve the Malfoys, appears. He's ready to save them, as his magic enables him to teleport in and out of the house. Harry instructs Dobby to transport Luna, Ollivander, and Dean out first, and then return for the rest. However, the people upstairs hear Dobby disappearing and send Wormtail to investigate. In the ensuing struggle, Wormtail's enchanted hand strangles him to death after a moment of hesitation. Meanwhile, upstairs, Griphook confirms the sword is a fake, and a relieved Bellatrix summons Voldemort. Harry experiences a vision of an angry Voldemort killing Grindelwald. Bellatrix then offers Hermione to Greyback. Harry and Ron burst in, disarm Bellatrix and overpower Lucius. Bellatrix, however, threatens Hermione with a knife, forcing the boys to surrender their wands. Suddenly, a chandelier crashes down, creating chaos. Harry secures Draco's wand and the two others that Draco had collected. Narcissa spots Dobby and realizes he's been helping Harry. When Bellatrix demands Dobby's death, Dobby snatches her wand. Harry, Ron, Griphook, and Dobby teleport to Bill Weasley’s cottage. But Dobby arrives fatally injured, having been stabbed by Bellatrix just before disappearing. Despite Harry's attempts at comforting him, Dobby dies in his arms after uttering Harry's name.
While helping rescued prisoners, Bill and Fleur witness Harry gently cover Dobby's body with his jacket. Harry's grief for Dobby, stemming from deep affection, allows him to ignore the fury of Voldemort. He manually digs a grave for Dobby, rejecting the use of magic. Dobby's brief funeral follows, marked by Harry carving the words “Here Lies Dobby, A Free Elf” on a stone with a confiscated wand. After some reflection, Harry chooses to prioritize hunting down the Horcruxes as Dumbledore had advised, rather than chasing after the Hallows. He surmises that Dumbledore intentionally kept information about the Hallows to himself so that Harry would eventually realize on his own that they are not worth pursuing. The trio - Harry, Ron, and Hermione - meet with Griphook to request his assistance in infiltrating the Lestrange vault at Gringotts. Impressed by Harry's genuine respect for non-human magical beings, Griphook considers the proposition. Harry shares his suspicion that the vault could be sheltering a Horcrux, given Voldemort's appreciation for grandeur, his trust in Bellatrix, and her alarm at the thought of her vault being invaded. Later, they seek information from Ollivander who declares Harry's broken wand irreparable. He explains to them that wands, if taken, often align with their new master. Ollivander admits being held captive and tortured by Voldemort to learn how to defeat Harry, whose wand shared a core with his. When a borrowed wand failed, Voldemort sought the Elder Wand, guided by Ollivander’s advice to consult Gregorovitch who reportedly owned it. Despite knowing the Elder Wand's history, Ollivander remains unaware of the Deathly Hallows and the wand's link to the other articles. Harry pieces together the Elder Wand's probable journey from Gregorovitch to Grindelwald, then to Dumbledore following their iconic duel, as he saw in Voldemort's thoughts. He accepts that Voldemort likely possesses the wand now, having already ransacked Dumbledore's tomb. His decision to consult Griphook before Ollivander shows his commitment to pursuing Horcruxes over Hallows. At Hogwarts, Voldemort breaches Dumbledore's tomb and claims the Elder Wand.
The trio strikes a deal with Griphook to infiltrate Bellatrix Lestrange's vault in Gringotts, with the Sword of Gryffindor as his reward. This leaves them in a dilemma as yielding the sword would mean they lose their only weapon against the Horcruxes. Harry, however, devises a clever plan. He assures Griphook that he'd hand over the sword post the heist, but doesn't specify the timeline. Despite his slight guilt, Harry gives his word to the goblin and they spend weeks planning the infiltration. Lupin pays a visit to the cottage to announce the birth of Tonks' child. Overwhelmed, he requests Harry to be the baby's godfather to which Harry happily agrees. Before they set out for their mission, Bill imparts some wisdom to Harry about goblins. Unaware of their plan or Griphook's involvement, he advises Harry to tread with caution while dealing with goblins as they are known to be suspicious of wizards. He elaborates on the goblins' belief system, their perception of wizards as disrespectful, and their concept of ownership, especially in the case of goblin-made objects. He underscores the perils of breaking a pact with a goblin.
Hermione morphs into Bellatrix Lestrange and alters Ron’s look to make him unidentifiable. Harry and Griphook, hidden under the Invisibility Cloak, join them to Diagon Alley where they observe desperate witches and wizards, stripped of their wands by the Ministry. Travers, a Death Eater, interrupts Hermione/Bellatrix but she rebuffs him in true Bellatrix fashion. Coincidentally, Travers is also heading to Gringotts and they enter the bank together. Their first security hurdle comes in the form of Probity Probes that sense Concealment spells and magical objects. Harry, under his cloak, confuses the guards with spells. Hermione, at the customer service counter, demands access to Bellatrix’s vault. The goblin’s request for her wand as identification tips Harry off about their knowledge of Bellatrix losing her wand and he uses the Imperius curse to manipulate the goblin’s mind. Travers grows suspicious, prompting Harry to control him as well. The mind-controlled goblin leads them all into a rail cart towards the vaults. Harry regrets their approach as the Death Eaters are aware of the theft of Bellatrix’s wand and their disguise has attracted unwanted attention. When a waterfall washes away their Disguising spells, Griphook informs them that the Gringotts staff have set up defenses in anticipation of imposters. A dragon guards the vault but retreats when Griphook uses Clankers, metal instruments the dragon has been conditioned to fear. The enchanted goblin opens the vault door. Harry, recalling conversations with Dumbledore, knows the Horcrux within could be the Hufflepuff cup or another object, so they must search for the cup. Unfortunately, everything they touch burns and multiplies into useless copies, threatening to fill and squash them in the vault. Eventually, they spot the cup, but it’s out of reach. As the dragon growls and the heat from the multiplying treasure intensifies, Hermione magically lifts Harry towards the cup. However, he topples a suit of armor and they’re swamped with hot objects. Harry spears the cup with the sword just as Griphook is engulfed by the burning treasure. Harry rescues him, losing hold of the sword in the process. Griphook grabs the sword and throws the cup into the air. Harry realizes Griphook never expected him to keep his promise but he manages to recapture the cup as Griphook vanishes. Goblins assemble in the corridor to capture Harry and his friends. Harry uses his wand to liberate the chained dragon and they make their escape on its back, bursting out of the bank and soaring over Diagon Alley.
Escaping on a dragon, Harry, Hermione, and Ron plunge into a lake from a considerable height, managing to reach the shore with the stolen cup Horcrux intact, despite their injuries. Harry experiences a vision, viewing through Voldemort's eyes and thoughts. Voldemort interrogates a goblin about the Gringotts break-in, learning that Harry is the thief and the stolen item is his cup. Enraged, he slaughters the goblin and any wizards too slow to escape, using the Elder Wand. Unaware that Harry is actively destroying his Horcruxes, he doesn't notice when his cup Horcrux is gone, leading him to realise Harry might be hunting his Horcruxes, possibly with Dumbledore's guidance. He decides to check the safety of his ring and locket Horcruxes and to keep Nagini, a Horcrux itself, close. He also plans to verify the security of his last Horcrux at Hogwarts. After sharing Voldemort's thoughts with Hermione and Ron, they understand their time is limited. They predict Voldemort will soon find his ring and locket missing and possibly relocate the last Horcrux. Nonetheless, they're relieved to learn the final Horcrux's location: Hogwarts. Thus, they head towards the nearby village of Hogsmeade.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione's arrival in Hogsmeade sets off an alarm, causing Death Eaters to swarm out of the Three Broomsticks pub. They're under an Invisibility Cloak, but they're stuck as enchantments prevent them from teleporting. The Death Eaters send out dementors to find them. Harry conjures his Patronus, which risks revealing their location. Just when they're about to be found, a voice invites them into a room above the Hog’s Head Inn. The man who saved them is the Hog's Head barman. He deceives the Death Eaters by claiming he set off the alarm by letting out his cat after curfew, not the trio. He also says that the Patronus was his own goat, not Harry's stag. Believing him, the Death Eaters leave him be. Harry recognizes the man's blue eyes from the magic mirror and realizes that he is Aberforth, Dumbledore’s brother, who also sent Dobby to them. Aberforth admits he's been monitoring Harry but denies leading them to the sword. Aberforth tries to persuade Harry to abandon his mission before he ends up like Dumbledore. He criticises Dumbledore’s secretive nature and points out that those Dumbledore cared for often ended up worse off. Hermione deduces Aberforth is referring to his sister, Ariana, and he reveals the truth about her. Ariana was traumatised at a young age by Muggle boys who saw her performing magic. She was left mentally unstable, and their father was sent to Azkaban for retaliating against the boys. Dumbledore's early belief in wizard supremacy was fuelled by his anger over Ariana and their father's plight. When their mother died, Dumbledore took care of Ariana. He and Grindelwald had plans for changing the world but were confronted by Aberforth, who insisted that Ariana couldn't be left alone. During the resulting fight, Ariana was unintentionally killed by one of their curses. Grindelwald fled, freeing Dumbledore to pursue his career. Harry tells Aberforth that Dumbledore was always haunted by his past and shares a memory of Dumbledore pleading with an unseen figure to harm him instead of “them”- a reference to Aberforth and Ariana. Harry asserts his intention to defeat Voldemort, and Aberforth agrees to assist him to infiltrate Hogwarts. Aberforth directs an oil painting of Ariana to execute a task. Ariana walks down a tunnel in the painting and returns with a weary and battered Neville Longbottom, who steps out of the portrait.
Neville confirms Harry's recent activity at Gringotts and goes on to explain the current situation at Hogwarts. The Carrow siblings, Amycus and Alecto, are the new professors responsible for discipline. Amycus teaches the students the Cruciatus Curse, while Alecto imposes an anti-Muggle agenda in her Muggle studies class. Neville shows off his battle scars, earned from his defiance against the Carrows. His efforts are influenced by Harry's previous stand against unfair authority, which was a source of hope for the other students. Luna's removal from school and Ginny's absence after Easter made Neville more of a lone fighter against the oppressive regime. When the Death Eaters targeted his grandmother, who managed to hospitalize a Death Eater before fleeing, Neville went into hiding in the Room of Requirement. Neville, Harry and the others move into the Room of Requirement, where about twenty students, all Dumbledore’s Army members and Harry’s supporters, are in hiding. Their arrival is met with joy and excitement. Luna Lovegood and Dean arrive shortly after. The students are willing to help Harry but are disappointed when they learn that Harry, Ron, and Hermione are on a secret mission. However, Harry, under Ron and Hermione's advice, decides to involve them in the search for the Horcrux, without revealing its nature. Harry informs the students that they are seeking a unique object, possibly linked to Ravenclaw. Luna suggests the lost diadem of Ravenclaw, a legend missing for centuries, and Harry can view a replica on a statue in the Ravenclaw common room. Luna and Harry, under the Invisibility Cloak, make their way to the Ravenclaw room. Entry to the room is granted by answering a philosophical question rather than a password. Luna answers the question, “Which came first, the phoenix or the flame?” with “A circle has no beginning” and they enter. Harry attempts to examine the tiara on the statue, only to be caught by Alecto Carrow, who then summons Voldemort using her Dark Mark.
Voldemort receives a summons, a vision which Harry experiences. Alecto, a Death Eater, is stunned by Luna, rousing the Ravenclaw students. Unable to answer a riddle, another Death Eater, Amycus, can't get inside the common room. Harry realizes Voldemort is first checking on a Horcrux, which leaves him some time. Professor McGonagall lets Amycus enter the room, where he only sees unconscious Alecto. He contemplates blaming the Ravenclaw students to avoid punishment from Voldemort. When Amycus shows disrespect towards Professor McGonagall, Harry retaliates with a Cruciatus Curse. Despite McGonagall's advice to run, Harry stays to search for Ravenclaw's diadem. This is as per Dumbledore's instructions. McGonagall says the teachers will protect the school while Harry looks for the diadem. Harry's visions reveal Voldemort's realization that his Horcrux is missing and he is now headed to Hogwarts. McGonagall and Harry strategize to alert the heads of houses and evacuate students unable or unwilling to fight Voldemort. While en route to alert the heads, with Harry and Luna cloaked, they run into Snape. When Snape inquires about Harry, a duel ensues between him and McGonagall, ending with Snape's escape. McGonagall leads the professors in setting up magical defenses and evacuating students, assigning those who can help, including Dumbledore's Army. The Weasley family and Lupin arrive to lend a hand, with Percy apologizing for his past behavior and Lupin showcasing his newborn baby photo with Tonks. Harry learns from Ginny that Ron and Hermione are in a bathroom. As he starts to search for them, he sees a vision of Voldemort at the school gates, with Nagini, his snake.
Hogwarts' students are getting ready for the impending struggle, when Voldemort's voice reverberates throughout the school, offering to spare it if they surrender Harry Potter by midnight. Pansy Parkinson, a Slytherin, suggests turning Harry in, but the Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs, and Ravenclaws protect him. The Slytherins depart, while Professor McGonagall forces underage students from other houses who wish to stay and fight for Harry, to leave. The faculty assume their combat positions as Harry resumes his quest for Ravenclaw's lost diadem. Recalling that the diadem hasn’t been seen for ages, he seeks assistance from the Gray Lady, Ravenclaw's House ghost. Initially resistant, she discloses her true identity as Helena Ravenclaw, when Harry reveals the threat to Hogwarts. Helena, who had stolen the diadem from her mother, Rowena Ravenclaw, to increase her own intelligence, took refuge in an Albanian forest, where the diadem remained even after her death. Under Harry’s pressure, the Gray Lady confesses that she had relayed this story to Tom Riddle, now known as Voldemort, when he was a Hogwarts student. Harry deduces that Riddle must have retrieved the diadem from Albania, turned it into a Horcrux, and hidden it back at Hogwarts. Harry recalls that the diadem is in the Room of Requirement from a previous vision. As Harry departs Ravenclaw Tower, he bumps into Hagrid, accompanied by his giant dog Fang and half-brother, Grawpy. He guides them to find Ron and Hermione amidst signs that the Hogwarts battle has already started. During their journey, Harry suddenly remembers seeing the diadem in the Room of Requirement when hiding his Potions book. Harry finally finds Ron and Hermione, who have been in the Chamber of Secrets procuring basilisk teeth to destroy the Horcruxes with. They successfully destroyed the cup after Ron managed to mimic Harry’s Parseltongue to gain access. They proceed to the Room of Requirement, observing the intensifying battle. Harry locates the diadem but is confronted by Draco Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle, who have followed him in hopes of turning him over to Voldemort. Draco's companions attempt to kill Harry instead of capturing him, during which the diadem is dropped. In an uncontrolled attack, Crabbe uses a fire curse, prompting Harry and Ron to rescue Hermione, Goyle, Malfoy, and the diadem on broomsticks, while Crabbe perishes. On leaving the Room of Requirement, they find that the diadem Horcrux has been destroyed by Crabbe's fire curse. They become aware of Death Eaters invading Hogwarts. As the trio joins the defense, Fred Weasley loses his life in the battle.
As Death Eaters' allied giant spiders invade Hogwarts, Harry, Ron, and the Weasleys struggle to secure Fred's corpse. Despite Ron's desire for revenge, Hermione reminds him of their crucial mission: Nagini's destruction. Utilizing his connection with Voldemort, Harry senses the Dark Lord in the Shrieking Shack, urging a distressed Lucius Malfoy to summon Snape. They embark towards the Whomping Willow, the gateway to the Shrieking Shack, combating Death Eaters and inadvertently rescuing Draco Malfoy on the way. They also witness giants participating in the conflict and encounter a swarm of dementors, which Luna, Ernie, and Seamus help fend off with Patronuses. Upon reaching the Shrieking Shack, they overhear Voldemort expressing dissatisfaction with the Elder Wand's performance to Snape. Believing Snape to be the wand's rightful master due to Dumbledore's murder, Voldemort commands Nagini to kill Snape, hoping to claim the wand's allegiance. After the fatal attack, Voldemort departs. Finally alone with the dying Snape, Harry is told to "Take it," as Snape releases a silvery substance. With Hermione's assistance, Harry gathers it in a flask. Following Snape's plea to "look at him," the man draws his last breath.
Voldemort grants Hogwarts a one-hour break to attend to the casualties of their fight, threatening to kill every ally of Harry if he doesn't face Voldemort in the Forbidden Forest alone after the hour. The casualties, including Lupin and Tonks, are laid in the Great Hall. Harry heads to Dumbledore's office to view Snape's memories in the Pensieve and learns about Snape's past. He watches Snape attempting to befriend Lily Evans, Harry's mother, by revealing her witch identity at a young age. Snape becomes Lily's friend and guide to the wizarding world, which sparks a feud with her sister, Petunia. Snape's friendship with Lily strains when he attacks Petunia, leading to Lily distancing from him. Harry views a Hogwarts Express scene where young James Potter and Sirius Black ridicule Snape. He witnesses Snape's disappointment when Lily is sorted into Gryffindor instead of Slytherin. Lily and Snape's friendship further weakens when Snape calls her a 'Mudblood', leading to their separation. Harry sees Snape's secret meeting with Dumbledore on a hilltop, pledging to protect Lily from Voldemort's plan to kill her and her family. Snape also promises to protect Harry after Lily's death. Snape expresses his dislike for Harry's resemblance to his father. The memories reveal Snape's attempts to save Dumbledore after he suffered a curse from Marvolo Gaunt's ring. Snape promises to protect Hogwarts students and kill Dumbledore when the time comes. Dumbledore instructs Snape to inform Harry that Harry is the seventh Horcrux once Voldemort starts fearing for his snake's life. Snape is furious with the realization that Dumbledore has been preparing Harry to be killed by Voldemort. After Dumbledore's death, Snape gives Voldemort Harry's escape date and suggests using decoys. Snape unintentionally hurts George Weasley while trying to shield Lupin from a Death Eater. Snape steals a letter fragment and a picture of Lily from Sirius's house. Finally, Snape is told by Phineas Nigellus's portrait that Harry and Hermione are in the Forest of Dean. Urged by Dumbledore, Snape brings the Sword of Gryffindor to them using his Patronus. After watching all these memories, Harry wakes up in the headmaster's office.
Understanding he must die, Harry trusts that others can kill the remaining snake, Nagini, if he cannot. Cloaked in invisibility, he narrowly avoids Neville while he's carrying Colin Creevey's body. He informs Neville that Nagini must be destroyed if anything happens to Ron and Hermione. Entering the forest, Harry speaks to the Snitch, which opens to reveal the Resurrection Stone. The stone summons the spirits of his parents, Sirius, and Lupin, all assuring him that death doesn't hurt and pledging to stay by his side. Deeper in the forest, the spirits protect Harry from the dementors. He finds Voldemort in a clearing, who doubts that Harry would ever show up. Harry reveals himself by stepping out from his invisibility, causing the spirits to disappear. He keeps his wand hidden. As everyone anticipates Voldemort's move, Hagrid, now a captive, tries to warn Harry, but is hushed. As Harry reflects on his love for Ginny, Voldemort casts the deadly spell, causing Harry's world to fade.
Harry awakens in a strange, dreamy place, naked. He desires clothing, and robes appear. He's in a large hall, where he spots a small, battered child-like creature, gasping for air. As much as he wants to help, he is repelled by it. Dumbledore's voice advises him he can't assist the creature. Harry and Dumbledore settle into some chairs. Dumbledore praises Harry's courage and explains that he himself is dead, but Harry might not be. He informs Harry that Voldemort has just destroyed his own soul fragment in Harry, but Harry remains alive because Voldemort used Harry's blood to rebuild his own body. Therefore, as long as Voldemort lives, he unintentionally continues Lily Potter's protective charm, meaning Harry can't die from Voldemort's hand. The mystery of Harry's wand overpowering Voldemort with Malfoy's wand is explained. Harry's wand absorbed some of Voldemort's power and recognized him as an enemy during their first duel, which is why it defended against him later. The topic of Deathly Hallows arises. Dumbledore admits that he was once enticed by their power over death. His interest in the Hallows led to his alliance with Grindelwald. However, understanding his weakness for power, Dumbledore refused the position of Minister of Magic and remained at Hogwarts. He was reluctant to confront Grindelwald due to the fear of learning he was the one who killed Ariana. Despite defeating Grindelwald and acquiring the Elder Wand, Dumbledore confesses that he would never have been able to unite the Hallows as he obtained the Cloak out of curiosity and sought the Stone for selfish purposes. Harry, in contrast, sought these items for selfless reasons. Dumbledore discloses that he had relied on Hermione to ensure Harry didn't rashly pursue the Hallows. Voldemort merely wanted a strong wand, unaware of the Hallows' true power. Dumbledore had hoped to protect the Wand from falling into the wrong hands by having Snape kill him, but things didn't go as planned. Dumbledore offers Harry a choice: return to life or move on. He confirms that despite these events occurring in Harry's head, they are no less real.
Harry finds himself at the location where Voldemort attempted to kill him, appearing lifeless. He overhears that Voldemort also fell unconscious. Narcissa, upon checking Harry's vital signs, learns that he is alive. She asks Harry about her son Draco's fate, to which he assures her of Draco's safety. Narcissa then falsely declares Harry dead. Voldemort's supporters rejoice, and he toys with Harry's body using the Cruciatus Curse but Harry doesn't experience the expected pain. Voldemort then commands Hagrid to transport Harry's "corpse" to Hogwarts. At Hogwarts, Voldemort proclaims Harry's death and demands submission from all present. The crowd, including McGonagall, Ron, and Hermione, resists. Neville Longbottom rejects Voldemort's offer to join the Death Eaters. Voldemort, declaring Hogwarts' allegiance to Slytherin, attempts to humiliate Neville by igniting the Sorting Hat on his head. Neville, instead, pulls out the Gryffindor Sword from the hat and slays Nagini. This act incites another showdown between the opposing sides. In the chaos, Harry, under his cloak, attacks the Death Eaters. As Voldemort duels McGonagall, Kingsley, and Slughorn, Hermione, Ginny, and Luna fight Bellatrix. Mrs. Weasley steps in and kills Bellatrix, attracting Voldemort's wrath. Harry protects Mrs. Weasley with a Shield charm then reveals his survival. Harry and Voldemort face off as a tense silence falls. Harry counters Voldemort's accusations of being manipulated by others with the fact that his self-sacrifice has protected Hogwarts from Voldemort's curses. Harry then reveals that Dumbledore orchestrated his own death and was never killed by Voldemort. He mentions Snape's true allegiance to Dumbledore due to his love for Lily Potter. Harry tells Voldemort that he isn't the true master of the Elder Wand as he didn't defeat Dumbledore, but Draco did. Despite Draco not claiming the wand, it recognized him as the master. But Draco was later disarmed by Harry, making Harry the true master. Harry challenges Voldemort to prove this theory. Voldemort's Killing Curse rebounds off Harry's Disarming Curse, killing Voldemort and transferring the wand to Harry. Hogwarts celebrates their victory. Harry, Ron, and Hermione retire to the headmaster's office where the portraits applaud Harry. He reveals to Dumbledore's portrait his plans to abandon the Stone, restore the Wand back to Dumbledore's grave, and retain his Cloak. Dumbledore expresses his approval.
Nearly two decades have passed and Harry is at the train station, ready to send his youngest son off to start his magical education at Hogwarts. Harry and his wife, Ginny, are parents to three children: James, already a student at Hogwarts; Albus Severus, a newcomer; and Lily, yet to embark on her Hogwarts journey. James playfully teases Albus about possibly being sorted into Slytherin House. They bump into Ron and Hermione, who are also married with two kids. Their eldest daughter, Rose, is beginning her first year at Hogwarts, while their son Hugo is younger. Draco Malfoy is also present at the platform with his wife and son, Scorpius. He acknowledges Harry with a brief nod before looking away. News comes from James that Teddy Lupin, son of Lupin and Tonks, is seen being affectionate with their cousin Victoire, Bill and Fleur Weasley's daughter. Ginny requests James to pass on her best to Neville Longbottom, who is currently the Professor of Herbology at Hogwarts. Before the train leaves, Harry reassures Albus Severus, reminding him that Severus Snape, one of the men he's named after and a former Slytherin, was the most courageous man he ever met. As the train pulls away, Harry waves goodbye and exchanges a few words with Ginny before touching his scar. It hasn't caused him pain in nineteen years, and everything is peaceful.