“Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic, capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it.
Hello! Today, I will be reviewing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. This book is the conclusion to the 7 book series, and one of my favorites. If you haven’t read Harry Potter yet- I absolutely recommend that you do.
Because of the large amount of text in this book, I have split up my review into two parts. I’ll try to publish the second part as soon as possible!
The book begins when two death eaters meet in the middle of the night- Yaxley and Severus Snape. Having just returned after killing Dumbledore, Snape was prepared to update Lord Voldemort on Harry Potter’s status. As both entered the house of Lucius Malfoy, they were greeted by an unusual sight. The Muggle Studies teacher at Hogwarts was hanging from the ceiling. She would be dead by the end of the night. As Voldemort welcomed Snape and Yaxley into the room, he quickly requested when Harry Potter would be departing from Privet Drive. The reason for this was that, at the age of 17, any protection that had been placed on Privet Drive would expire- and Harry Potter would be vulnerable. What surprised me, though: Snape gave Voldemort accurate information on when Harry Potter would be leaving, and where he would be traveling to, despite being a part of the Order.
In the minutes following, Voldemort also revealed his plans for infiltrating the Ministry of Magic, and had already placed an Imperius charm on an employee close to the minister- Pius Thinknesse. This first step was one of many that would lead to the ultimate plan of killing Harry Potter.
Harry is bleeding. Not only did he cut his hand, trying to clear out his old school trunk, but also stepped on a full teacup that Dudley had left outside his door. In his effort to clear his room before he left the Durseley’s, Harry rummaged through several old copies of the Daily Prophet, and found the article he had been looking for- a pleasant obituary by Elphias Doge regarding the death of Albus Dumbledore. As heart-warming as the article was, it made Harry question how much he really knew Dumbledore. And, to make matters worse, the current Daily Prophet presented a new book by Hermione’s least favorite journalist, Rita Skeeter: The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore. The book included an entire chapter dedicated to Dumbledore and Harry, and spoke about how treacherous their relationship was. The announcement of the book continuously worsened Harry’s day, and Vernon Durseley didn’t help either.
Now downstairs, Harry tried to explain to Vernon how they too would be vulnerable once the protections expired. While Vernon was insistent on refusing the Order’s protection, Dudley helped convince him otherwise. The group was soon joined by Deadalus Diggle and another member of the order, who would help with the transportation to the safe house.
After an awkward goodbye, the Durseleys left Privet Drive one last time, leaving Harry to wait for the Order’s arrival. When they did, though, Harry was devastated at the plan that had been put in place. The members of the order that were present that night (Mad-Eye, Fred and George, Arthur, Tonks and Lupin, Mundungus Fletcher, Kingsley, Hagrid, and of course Hermione and Ron) would break up into pairs of 2, and one member would use Polyjuice potion to transform into Harry. Harry himself would be traveling alongside Hagrid, in the same motorbike he used on the night of Lilly and James’s death.
The moment the group ascended into the atmosphere, they were surrounded by death eaters. In an attempt to reach the safe house, Harry used an Expelliarmus spell. As this was Harry’s signature spell, he only caused Voldemort to come flying after him.
Both Harry and Hagrid would have been killed had they not passed through the boundary of the safe house at just the right moment. Worse, though, was that by the end of the night George would have a missing ear and Mad-Eye Moody would be dead.
After being transported to the Burrow, Harry, Ron, and Hermione began to discuss their plans for the upcoming school year. In fact- they would not even attend Hogwarts at all. Instead they would spend the year hunting Horcruxes in hopes of defeating Voldemort. Mrs. Weasley knew of the plan, and she kept all three apart while preparing for Bill and Fleur’s wedding that would be held at the Burrow. With Harry’s birthday coming up, and the realization of what he was to face ahead, Harry wasn’t sure how to feel.
That night, at Harry’s birthday party, the Rufus Scrimgoeur paid the trio a visit. After pulling Harry, Ron, and Hermione into the living room of the Burrow, he announced that in his will, Dumbledore had entitled each of them distinct items that had found their way into each of their lives one way or another. The only thing was- none of them made sense. Ron got Dumbledore’a old deluminator, Hermione a set of children’s stories titled The Tales of Beedle the Bard, and Harry the first snitch that he had ever caught. In addition, Harry was to be given the sword of Godric Griffindor- but the Ministry, seeing it as a historical artifact, decided to withhold it. Rufus was extremely suspicious as to why Dumbledore would choose these items to go to specifically three students, who Dumbledore hardly knew. Nevertheless, Rufus wasn’t able to prove anything. However, after Rufus left, Harry pressed the Snitch to his mouth, and the words “I open at the close” appeared.
The next day, the Weasley family began accompaning guests at Fleur’a wedding, a day that would quickly turn catastrophic. I loved this part- it was so suspenseful! At first, everything seemed normal, even despite the fact that Vikor Krum had dislike the triangular necklace that Luna Lovegood’s father was wearing. Soon after though, while Harry was sitting with Elphias Doge, they were joined by Ron’s Aunt Muriel. While Doge tried to defend Dumbledore in every aspect, but Muriel kept unraveling ‘truths’ about his past that again made Harry question how much he knew Dumbledore- and whether he should have ever trusted him in the first place.
The minutes that followed were total chaos. Within seconds, the place was swarmed with death eaters. Despite having to leave everyone behind, the three apparated to a Muggle town not far from the leaky cauldron. After changing, they ducked into a nearby cafe and began to speak about the night’s events. At mention of the word ‘voldemort’, two men immediately entered the cafe and sat at a table across from them. Now, you don’t find out about this until later in the story, but I albsoluty loved this little touch- it left the characters and the reader afraid of the ‘greater’ force behind them, for whenever the word ‘Voldemort’ is uttered, death eaters were automatically notified of their location. At that point, though, they only believed it was a trace. This important piece of the story would foreshadow something even larger and more horrible that would happen later on in the story.
Simultaneously, the two men pointed their wands at the trio, who responded with several spells and eventually altered their memory so that there was no trace of them ever being there. The group then travelled to the only safe place they could think of- Grinwauld Place. Of course, they knew that Snape could come in as well- but they were willing to take the risk. In fact, Harry was to find that there were several security measures put in place- even one that brought back a terrifying image of Dumbledore.
As they began to unpack, however, Harry’s scar began to hurt again. And, as he rushed to the bathroom, he saw an image of Draco being forced to torture one of the Death Eaters.
It was very hard for me to read this next part, but it was necessary to happen. After arriving at Grimwauld Place, Lupin arrived with news. After marrying Tonks, they decided to have a baby. Now, Lupin was ashamed of himself, and wanted to give the baby a peaceful life without a werewolf father, and so therefore proposed to help Harry with his mission. While I do feel hat Lupin should return to take care of his baby, I really felt like I was in Lupin’s shoes with the way Harry reacted to this- and it wasn’t for the better.
But what bothered me even more was, now that Voldemort had taken over the Ministry, the story of Dumbledore’s death was completely twisted. In the Daily Prophet, a sign read “Harry Potter: Wanted for Questioning About the Death of Albus Dumbledore”. It must have felt like a knife to his heart to see that. After all Harry had been through, I couldn’t help feeling terrible for him. For the next several pages after reading that, I was left with a peculiar feeling. I once again applaud J.K Rowling on her amazing writing skills- her books made me not only picture each scene, but feel the atmosphere and truly be able to put myself in another’s shoe.
Another thing that I was really glad happened was that Harry and Kreacher truly began to bond and be friends in this book. They were no longer treated like ‘vermin’. After sending Kreacher out to find Mundungus Fletcher, Kreacher began to feel more kindness towards Harry, Ron, and Hermione. In fact, Kreacher soon begins to clean the house and prepare breakfast for the trio. His actions really warmed my heart while reading. In addition, Kreacher no longer felt like he was a servant, and I felt that he had deserved this after many years of mistreatment.
In the end, Kreacher did bring back Mundungus for questioning about the real locket that was stolen by RAB (Regulus Black). Mundungus finally gave up startling news- the dreaded Professor Umbridge had purchased the locket. I guess I really should have expected this- but it was a real plot twist in the story.
While things soon began to quiet down, another Daily Prophet arrived stating that Severus Snape was to become Hogwarts headmaster. When I first read this book, I was absolutely horrified. However, I now feel bad for Snape. All he wanted- well, I won’t spoil that until it’s absolutely necessary.
Thanks so much for reading! Keep an eye out for Part 2 of this review!