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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Chapter Twenty-three:
Malfoy Manor

Notes by Michele L. Worley
Page editor Belinda Hobbs

U.S. hardcover edition: pages 446 - 476
U.K. hardcover edition: pages 362 - 385
Timeframe: ? March, 1998 (during Hogwarts' Easter holidays)

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.

illustration by Mary Grandpré

Interesting facts and notes about the text of this chapter:

For my own satisfaction, I am going to annotate who has what wand or wands at various points, and who Disarms whom, insofar as I can, in light of what is said by Ollivander in the following chapter on the subject of wandlore.

'Anyone still got a wand?'

'No,' said Ron and Hermione from either side of him.

So at this point all three of them have been disarmed. Harry still has the broken pieces of his original wand in the mokeskin pouch, however, since the Death Eaters searched his pockets but didn't take the pouch away from him. (And as Hagrid said when he gave the pouch to Harry, nobody but the owner can take something out of the pouch once it has been put in (DH7)).

'Half-blood,' said Hermione.

Presumably this really is Penelope Clearwater's blood status, since Hermione has gone to the trouble of identifying herself as a real person whom she knows.

A Mudblood

That would be Dean Thomas.

a runaway goblin


and three truants

Harry, Ron, and Hermione.

My son, Draco, is home for his Easter holidays.

Checking the U.S. Naval Observatory's Astronomical Applications Department website, in 1998 Ash Wednesday was February 25 and Easter Sunday was 12 April.

then took a short silver knife from under her robes.

I have no idea whether this is magical or not, or why she cut Hermione's bindings with this rather than using a Severing Charm. It serves to establish that Bellatrix is carrying a knife that doesn't depend on her being able to Conjure a weapon with her wand, though, so that we know she has access to it whether or not she has her wand.

You lost your authority when you lost your wand, Lucius!

This was back in DH1, when Voldemort took Lucius' wand to use instead of his own.

even though there were four of them

In addition to Scabior (who has already been Stunned), so that means that there are three other Snatchers in addition to Greyback and Scabior.

Harry choked, attempting to prise off the metal fingers

I usually have a problem with scenes like this (that is, someone being able to speak while being choked to death). At least Harry can 'barely breathe', which explains how he can still talk.

'And we'll have that,' whispered Ron, tugging Wormtail's wand from his other hand.

So now Ron has Peter Pettigrew's wand, while Harry and Hermione are still disarmed.

You will not win, you cannot win! That wand will never, ever be yours -

From this, it sounds as though someone let Grindelwald know about Albus Dumbledore's death, which would make it impossible for the Elder Wand's full powers to pass to anyone else if Albus had died without ever being defeated or Disarmed by another wizard.

Expelliarmus! he roared, pointing Wormtail's wand at Bellatrix

So now Harry has Bellatrix's wand, having Disarmed her, and Ron has Pettigrew's wand (having taken it from him without using magic).

he dropped Bellatrix's wand on the floor at his feet. Ron did the same with Wormtail's.

They were ordered to drop the wands, but neither was Disarmed magically or by force.

Draco hurried back with the wands

So now Draco has Bellatrix's wand and Pettigrew's wand, having just picked them up.

All of them looked upwards in time to see the crystal chandelier tremble

Possibly this ought to be added to the Evil Overlord's list, if it's not there already: never have a chandelier in your headquarters, because in the end they always fall down.

Harry took his chance; he leapt over an armchair and wrested the three wands from Draco's grip

We know that Draco had just picked up the wands dropped by Harry (Bellatrix's) and Ron (Pettigrew's), but now there are three of them. As we find out from Ollivander later (DH24), the third wand turns out to be Draco Malfoy's own wand.

Narcissa's wand, too, flew into the air and landed on the other side of the room

So Dobby just Disarmed Narcissa, but neither took the wand nor passed it to someone else.

a blur of flying silver, as Bellatrix's knife flew across the room at the place where he was vanishing

And caught Dobby in the back, though we don't yet know this.

Characters introduced in this chapter:

  • Scabior

  • (unnamed) three other Snatchers

Characters returning in this chapter:

Characters mentioned in this chapter:

Settings and locations introduced or returning in this chapter:

Settings and locations mentioned in this chapter:

Exceptional character moments:

  • Bellatrix, who can take odds of four to one easily.

  • Bellatrix, using the Cruciatus Curse rather than the Imperius Curse to try to compel Hermione to tell her the truth - and jumping to conclusions about what the truth is, making it easier for Hermione to lie and say that the true sword is the false one, since Bellatrix is more concerned with how it was obtained than exactly what it is. (Veritaserum, of course, would have been even better, but I don't suppose there's a lot of that left lying around Malfoy Manor.)

  • Dobby, returning to Malfoy Manor although he is terrified to do so.

  • Hermione, maintaining the story that the true sword is only a copy under torture.


Links and Resources:

Memorable lines:

  • 'If she dies under questioning, I'll take you next,' she said. 'Blood traitor is next to Mudblood in my book.'

Strictly British:


Begins immediately after the preceding chapter's action, which puts it sometime in March. Draco is home for the Easter holidays, according to his mother.


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