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Complete, detailed and amazing Reader's Guides
Harry Potter
and the Deathly Hallows

by J. K. Rowling

Chapter by Chapter

chapter synopses and notes by Steve Vander Ark and Michele L. Worley

Chapter One - The Dark Lord Ascending

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 1)
In which Snape reports to Voldemort the plans of the Order of the Phoenix to move Harry Potter from number four Privet Drive, Voldemort takes Lucius Malfoy's wand, the Death Eaters gathered in Malfoy Manor make fun of Tonks' marriage to a werewolf, and Voldemort kills Charity Burbage, the erstwhile Hogwarts Muggle Studies teacher.

Chapter Two - In Memoriam

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 2)
In which Harry is preparing to leave Privet Drive, emptying his school trunk and packing a rucksack with the items most important to him. In the process, he also sorts through the newspapers of the past few weeks to re-read and save Dumbledore's obituary. At the end of his packing, he notices an interview in the current day's paper in which Rita Skeeter is talking about her upcoming tell-all biography, The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore.

Chapter Three - The Dursleys Departing

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 3)
In which Vernon Dursley is reluctant for the family to flee Privet Drive on Harry's say-so, Harry explains the situation again, and Dudley talks sense.

Chapter Four - The Seven Potters

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 4)
In which Mad-Eye arrives with Ron, Hermione, and various Order members in tow, announcing a change in plans. Six of them are to use Polyjuice Potion to act as decoy Harry Potters while seven act as protectors, which each protector/Potter pair heading to a different safe-house. Upon getting airborne and splitting up, all of them are attacked, and Hedwig is soon killed. Harry gives himself away by using the Disarming Charm, and he and Hagrid barely escape with their lives, crashing into the Tonks' back garden.

Chapter Five - Fallen Warrior

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 5)
In which the survivors make their way to the Burrow, learning that Mad-Eye was killed in the fight and George Weasley severely hurt, while Mundungus fled. Harry then has a vision of Voldemort torturing Ollivander, seeking to know why using Lucius Malfoy's wand did not solve the problem of being unable to defeat Harry Potter.

Chapter Six - The Ghoul in Pyjamas

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 6)
In which Molly Weasley loads HRH up with wedding-preparation chores in an attempt to stop them from making plans to leave, while Ron and Hermione prove to Harry that they understand what's involved in accompanying him and have taken steps to protect their families from retaliation. Hermione reveals that she has researched the problem of destroying Horcruxes using books stolen from Dumbledore's office. Fleur's parents arrive for the wedding, and simple plans are made to celebrate Harry's birthday, which falls the day before the ceremony.

Chapter Seven - The Will of Albus Dumbledore

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 7)
In which it is Harry's seventeenth birthday, and Rufus Scrimgeour arrives to deliver the bequests of Albus Dumbledore to Harry, Ron, and Hermione in an attempt to pump them for information.

Chapter Eight - The Wedding

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 8)
In which Harry, disguised by Polyjuice Potion, attends Bill's wedding to Fleur, where he meets Xenophilius Lovegood and Ron's Great Aunt Muriel and reencounters Viktor Krum and Elphias Doge. Thanks to Krum, Harry remembers who Gregorovitch is and learns that Xenophilius is wearing a symbol associated with Grindelwald, and thanks to Muriel's gossip he hears more about the Dumbledores. The party is broken up by the arrival of Shacklebolt's Patronus, warning the guests that the Ministry has fallen and Scrimgeour is dead, so the Death Eaters are coming.

Chapter Nine - A Place to Hide

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 9)
In which HRH flee the Death Eaters by Apparating to Tottenham Court Road, Hermione's handbag turns out to have hidden depths, and HRH go to a Muggle café to plan their next move. Dolohov and Rowle arrive, they duel, and after cleaning up Harry recommends hiding out in Grimmauld Place.

Chapter Ten - Kreacher's Tale

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 10)
In which Harry explores more of Grimmauld Place, finding a letter from his mother in Sirius' room, then discovering that Sirius' brother Regulus was the mysterious R.A.B. Hermione remembers seeing the locket two summers before, Harry calls Kreacher, and Kreacher reveals that while he took the locket, it was then taken from him by Mundungus Fletcher, and explains how it came into Regulus' possession. Harry then asks Kreacher to find Mundungus and bring him to Grimmauld Place, and wins Kreacher's loyalty by giving him the false locket for his own.

Chapter Eleven - The Bribe

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 11)
In which Lupin seeks out HRH at Grimmauld Place and offers to accompany them on their quest, but Harry refuses, recognizing that Lupin is seeking escape from complications in his personal life. Kreacher returns with Mundungus, who reveals that Umbridge took the locket from him as a bribe for not turning him in for selling magical artefacts without a license.

Chapter Twelve - Magic Is Might

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 12)
In which HRH, after weeks of planning, ambush three Ministry workers, assume their identities, and sneak into Ministry headquarters. To their horror, they learn that Ron has taken the identity of a man whose wife is about to be interrogated about her blood status, and who faces a sentence in Azkaban for being a Muggle-born with a wand.

Chapter Thirteen - The Muggle-born Registration Commission

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 13)
In which Hermione accompanies Umbridge to court while Harry breaks into Umbridge's office, to find Mad-Eye's eye mounted on her door, while inside she has a file on Arthur Weasley and a copy of Rita Skeeter's book. Harry retrieves the eye and heads back downstairs to the courtroom, where he and Hermione Stun the Ministry workers, take the locket, and release the prisoners, telling them to go into hiding. They collect Ron and attempt to return to Grimmauld Place, but must abandon it when they realize they've accidentally brought a Death Eater with them into its protections.

Chapter Fourteen - The Thief

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 14)
In which HRH have Apparated to the old Quidditch World Cup campgrounds, Ron having been splinched in the process. Hermione treats Ron's injuries and they set up camp, whereupon Harry has a vision of Voldemort interrogating Gregorovitch and realizes that Voldemort is searching for something Gregorovitch once had but which was stolen by a young man long ago.

Chapter Fifteen - The Goblin's Revenge

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 15)
In which HRH spend weeks moving from place to place, failing either to destroy the locket Horcrux or to think of a lead to find the others and squabbling with one another in frustration, aggravated by the Horcrux's poisonous influence. Eventually they stumble across other fugitives - a party of Muggle-born wizards and goblins on the run - and learn that a fake has been substituted for Gryffindor's sword. They then question the portrait of Phineas Nigellus (which Hermione hid in her bag) and learn that the sword should be able to destroy Horcruxes. Ron, his self-control sapped by the Horcrux, then loses his temper and leaves.

Chapter Sixteen - Godric's Hollow

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 16)
In which weeks pass while Harry and Hermione, the heart gone out of them with Ron, concentrate on finding a lead to the sword's location. At Christmastime, Harry asks to go to Godric's Hollow for personal reasons and Hermione agrees for quest-related reasons. After planning carefully, they Apparate into Godric's Hollow in disguise and visit the graves of Harry's parents.

Chapter Seventeen - Bathilda's Secret

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 17)
Leaving the cemetery, Harry and Hermione see the Potters' old house, then encounter someone who appears to be Bathilda Bagshot but does not speak until she gets Harry alone. Too late, Harry discovers that they've been led into a trap, and that Bathilda's corpse is being used as a disguise for Nagini. He and Hermione manage to escape, at the cost of Harry's wand being broken accidentally by Hermione.

Chapter Eighteen - The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 18)
In which Hermione gives Harry a copy of The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore that she picked up in the Bagshot house, and they learn that the young man in the picture was Gellert Grindelwald, who according to Rita Skeeter was very close to Albus Dumbledore for a brief period when they were young, at a crucial period in both their lives.

Chapter Nineteen - The Silver Doe

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 19)
In which Hermione Apparates with Harry to the Forest of Dean, where Harry, keeping watch late at night, sees and follows a Patronus in the form of a silver doe to a frozen pool in which the sword of Gryffindor lies. He is nearly strangled by the locket Horcrux's chain when he dives to retrieve it, and is saved from drowning by Ron, who has been shown the way back by the Deluminator. Ron then confronts and destroys the Horcrux after Harry commands it to open in Parseltongue. They return together to camp, where Harry has to protect Ron from Hermione for a while.

Chapter Twenty - Xenophilius Lovegood

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 20)
In which Harry and Ron bring each other up to date on their adventures, Hermione finds the triangular mark in a photograph of one of Dumbledore's letters, and the trio seek out Xenophilius Lovegood at his home for further information about the mark.

Chapter Twenty-One - The Tale of the Three Brothers

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 21)
In which Xenophilius Lovegood explains that the symbol is the symbol of the Deathly Hallows, and that the origin of the story is "The Tale of the Three Brothers", which Hermione then reads aloud. Xenophilius then explains the symbolism of the symbol and discusses the Hallows. Harry, wandering around the house, notices that there is no sign of Luna having been present for weeks, then confronts Xenophilius. Xenophilius then reveals that the Death Eaters took her, and he plans to hold HRH until they arrive so that he can trade them for her. HRH manage to escape while making it clear that Xenophilius wasn't making up what he told the Death Eaters.

Chapter Twenty-Two - The Deathly Hallows

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 22)
In which Harry becomes obsessed with the Hallows, particularly the Stone (which he realizes is hidden inside the Snitch that Dumbledore left him). Ron takes over the hunt for Horcruxes. Then Ron finally manages to pick up a Potterwatch broadcast, from which HRH learn that Voldemort is out of the country - and Harry deduces that Voldemort is looking for the Elder Wand. Harry then accidentally says Voldemort's name aloud, which breaks their protective enchantments, betraying their whereabouts to a gang of Snatchers.

Chapter Twenty-Three - Malfoy Manor

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 23)
In which Hermione disguises Harry's appearance with a jinx just before the Snatchers kidnap all three of them and take them to Malfoy Manor. Unfortunately, the Snatchers recognize Hermione and find the sword, so the subsequent questioning at Malfoy Manor soon takes a grim turn - Hermione is tortured by Bellatrix, who wants to know how they got the sword. Harry uses the broken two-way mirror to ask for help, and Dobby appears. Dobby helps Ron and Harry rescue all the captives at the Manor, which includes Disarming Bellatrix and Draco, but in the end Dobby is fatally wounded by Bellatrix.

Chapter Twenty-Four - The Wandmaker

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 24)
In which Harry buries Dobby and regains perspective, putting the Horcrux hunt above the Hallows quest, though he realizes where the Elder Wand is and that Voldemort is about to get it as well as that there is probably a Horcrux hidden in the Lestranges' Gringotts vault. He first asks for Griphook's help in breaking into Gringotts, then asks Ollivander about the Elder Wand before telling the others that Voldemort is stealing the Elder Wand from Dumbledore's grave.

Chapter Twenty-Five - Shell Cottage

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 25)
In which Griphook agrees to help break into Gringotts in exchange for the sword, which he considers to be rightfully goblin property, and Harry and Ron agree in bad faith, planning to retain it until the Horcrux hunt is over. Lupin arrives to announce the birth of his son and to ask Harry to be godfather, and Bill takes Harry aside in the confusion to warn Harry against breaking faith with goblins.

Chapter Twenty-Six - Gringotts

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 26)
In which, plans and preparations being complete, Griphook accompanies HRH to Gringotts, hiding with Harry under the Cloak while Hermione poses as Bellatrix and Ron assumes a false identity. By using various spells to interfere with the minds of Gringotts staff members, they manage to reach the level of the Lestranges' vault before various defences are set off against them. They manage to obtain the cup from the vault, then escape by releasing the dragon guarding the most secure vaults and helping it break out.

Chapter Twenty-Seven - The Final Hiding Place

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 27)
In which HRH spend most of the day riding the dragon, only to get away from it near sunset. Harry has a vision of the theft being reported to Voldemort, and realizes that they are running out of time - Voldemort now knows that they are after Horcruxes, and they have to get to the Hogwarts Horcrux before he does.

Chapter Twenty-Eight - The Missing Mirror

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 28)
In which Harry, Ron, and Hermione return to Hogsmeade, are pursued by Death Eaters, and are rescued by Aberforth Dumbledore, who advises them to give up their quest, and explains why he doesn't blindly trust his late brother's judgement by telling them the true story of the life and death of Ariana Dumbledore.

Chapter Twenty-Nine - The Lost Diadem

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 29)
In which Neville escorts Harry, Ron, and Hermione through the passageway from the Hog's Head to the Room of Requirement, where Dumbledore's Army recaps the situation in Hogwarts and the Ravenclaws tell Harry about Ravenclaw's diadem. Luna escorts Harry to Ravenclaw Tower to look at its representation on Ravenclaw's statue, and Alecto Carrow ambushes them in the Ravenclaw common room.

Chapter Thirty - The Sacking of Severus Snape

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 30)
In which the Carrows are tied up, Voldemort learns of both the theft of the locket Horcrux and Harry's arrival in Ravenclaw Tower, Snape takes a short break, McGonagall rouses the castle, and many alumni arrive to help defend Hogwarts from the Death Eaters.

Chapter Thirty-One - The Battle of Hogwarts

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 31)
In which McGonagall orders the evacuation of those underage or who do not wish to fight, Voldemort delivers an ultimatum, and Harry learns how Voldemort acquired the diadem. Ron and Hermione return from destroying the cup, and together HRH go to the Room of Requirement to destroy the diadem. There they encounter Draco Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle, but his former henchmen no longer answer to Draco; during the subsequent duel, Crabbe unleashes Fiendfyre, which destroys much of the room's contents and kills him. HRH escape, rescuing Draco and Goyle in the process. They then encounter Percy and Fred, duelling Death Eaters, only to be caught by an explosion that kills Fred.

Chapter Thirty-Two - The Elder Wand

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 32)
In which the battle continues but Voldemort remains with Nagini in the Shrieking Shack, awaiting Harry and brooding on the Elder Wand. He reaches a conclusion about the latter and sends for Snape while the trio make their way to him under the Invisibility Cloak, only to arrive in time to witness Snape's murder and receive some of his memories as a final message.

Chapter Thirty-Three - The Prince's Tale

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 33)
In which Harry, using the Pensieve, learns of his mother's childhood friendship with Severus Snape, that Snape's worst memory was of how they became estranged, of how Snape became Dumbledore 's agent, and that he himself was accidentally made a Horcrux on the night his parents were murdered.

Chapter Thirty-Four - The Forest Again

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 34)
In which Harry, having learned that he himself was turned into a Horcrux when Voldemort killed his parents, goes to keep his appointment with Voldemort in the Forbidden Forest. Along the way, he makes sure that Neville knows about Nagini, then retrieves the Resurrection Stone from the Snitch and uses it. Upon reaching Aragog's web, where the Death Eaters are now camped, he permits Voldemort to use the Killing Curse on him without attempting to defend himself.

Chapter Thirty-Five - King's Cross

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 35)
In which Harry awakens in what seems to him to be King's Cross station, where he encounters a fragment of Voldemort's soul, now powerless, and Albus Dumbledore, who explains what has just happened. Harry has to choose between going on or going back, and chooses to go back.

Chapter Thirty-Six - The Flaw in the Plan

(Reader's Guide to Chapter 36)
In which both Harry and Voldemort regain consciousness in the Forest, Harry plays dead, and Hagrid is forced to carry Harry's body up to the castle, where Voldemort displays him to the defenders in an attempt to break their will to resist. Neville confronts Voldemort, who Body-Binds him and puts the Sorting Hat on him to make a point. Neville pulls Gryffindor's sword out of the Hat and kills Nagini when Voldemort is distracted by the arrival of the centaurs, the battle resumes, and Voldemort is finally defeated by Harry.

Epilogue - Nineteen Years Later

(Reader's Guide to the Epilogue)
In which Harry, Ginny, Hermione, Ron, and Draco are all putting their older children on the Hogwarts Express.

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