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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Chapter Thirty-One:
The Battle of Hogwarts

"And he never realized anyone could get in?"

Notes by Michele L. Worley
Page editor Belinda Hobbs

U.K. hardcover edition: pages 489 - 512
U.S. hardcover edition: pages 608 - 637
Timeframe: 11:30 p.m. ? May, 1998 - ?+1, May, 1998

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.

illustration by Mary GrandPré

Interesting facts and notes about the text of this chapter:

We've only got half an hour until midnight

So it is 11:30 p.m. Harry, Ron, and Hermione got up at dawn for the raid on Gringotts, so they've had a very long day already.

the three highest Towers - Ravenclaw, Astronomy, and Gryffindor -

We already knew that these three towers existed and that the Astronomy Tower is the highest in the castle, but it's nice to know that Ravenclaw and Gryffindor are the next highest. Since Astronomy is mentioned in the middle instead of first or last, we can't tell from the order in which they're named whether either of the House towers might be taller than the other.

We know from that the entrance to Ravenclaw Tower is on at least the sixth floor, since it is at the top of a staircase beginning on the fifth floor (DH29), but we don't know how many floors are spanned by the staircase, so we aren't sure whether the entrance to Ravenclaw Tower is on the sixth floor or on the seventh floor. Gryffindor Tower's entrance is on the seventh floor.

Tom Riddle, who confided in no one and operated alone, might have been arrogant enough to assume that he, and only he, had penetrated the deepest mysteries of Hogwarts Castle.

And this is borne out by what we have been shown of Voldemort's thoughts about this Horcrux's hiding place.

"My mother," said Draco.
"We 'ung back, Potter. We decided not to go. Decided to bring you to 'im."

So Draco Malfoy, Gregory Goyle, and Vincent Crabbe are not supposed to be here this time. They are expected to be in the battle. Possibly Narcissa was ordered to give her wand to her son, but if she wasn't, it's hard to see why she would be willing to do so. He was bound to get into trouble with it, and while she was Disarmed she wouldn't be able to protect him effectively.

Death Eaters... masked and hooded men

So there appear to be only two Death Eaters present. This is confirmed at the end of the duel.

the man duelling Percy

As stated, when his hood slips, this man is revealed to be Pius Thicknesse, the current Minister for Magic.

Characters introduced in this chapter:

  • (unnamed) half of Gryffindor

  • (unnamed) a number of Hufflepuffs

  • (unnamed) Ravenclaw girl

  • (unnamed) a number of older Ravenclaws

  • (unnamed) Slytherin girl

  • (unnamed) Death Eater

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:

  • Vincent Crabbe, turning on Draco Malfoy now that the latter and his father have fallen from power, then proceeding to use spells that he can't control.

  • Fred Weasley, dying with his last laugh still on his lips.


Links and Resources:

Memorable lines:


  • "What are you doing, what are you doing? The door's that way!"

  • "If he hadn't tried to kill us all, I'd be quite sorry he was dead."

  • "Did I mention I'm resigning?"

Strictly British:


Immediately after the preceding chapter's action, so still later on the same night in May, 1998. We know it's not the next day yet at the beginning of the chapter because Voldemort's ultimatum expires at midnight.


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