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Priori Incantatem

- Chapter 34

"Don't let go, now!"
-- Bertha Jorkins

GF34: Priori Incantatem

Voldemort again attempts to kill Harry but their spells clash, shades of Voldemort’s victims emerge from his wand, and Harry escapes through the Portkey.

Calendar and Dates

This chapter takes place immediately after the end of the preceding chapter.

Interesting facts and notes

the Death Eaters closed ranks, forming a tighter circle around him and Voldemort, so that the gaps where the missing Death Eaters should have stood were filled.

Just how many Death Eaters were there in the graveyard that night? Which one(s) were missing? These questions were thoughtfully analyzed in this essay.

Voldemort and Harry in scene from Goblet of Fire.

"You have been taught how to duel. Harry Potter?" said Volde­mort softly, his red eyes glinting through the darkness.

Sadly, other than the Duelling Club two years ago, Harry and his fellow classmates have not been. This essay discusses the nature of dueling in the Potter universe and compares it to that found in other fantasy series.

"Come out, Harry . . . come out and play, then ... it will be quick ... it might even be painless ... I would not know... I have never died. . . ."

One could argue that since he purposely broke off and placed a piece of himself into a certain book fifty years ago, he did in fact experience a type of death. As in, the Tom Riddle he was before committing murder and creating said book ceased to exist. --KT

He was not going to die crouching here like a child playing hide-and-seek; he was not going to die kneeling at Voldemort s feet... he was going to die upright like his father, and he was going to die trying to defend himself, even if no defense was possible. . . .

This will not be the last time Harry will choose to be brave in the face of death.

a narrow beam of light con­nected the two wands, neither red nor green, but bright, deep gold....though the wands remained connected, a thousand more beams arced high over Harry and Voldemort, crisscrossing all around them, until they were enclosed in a golden, dome-shaped web, a cage of light...

And then an unearthly and beautiful sound filled the air. ... It was coming from every thread of the light-spun web vibrating around Harry and Voldemort. It was a sound Harry recognized, though he had heard it only once before in his life: phoenix song.

The power of a phoenix once again comes to Harry's defense.

more shouts of pain . . . and then something much larger began to blossom from Voldemorts wand tip, a great, grayish something, that looked as though it were made of the solidest, densest smoke. ...(was it a ghost? it looked so solid)...

From where are these ghosts being recalled from? Their voices sound far away, but they can speak and seem aware of themselves (who they are, what's happening, who had killed them). Are they the real spirits of the people who died, being brought back from a different plane of existence? Are they like the portraits at Hogwarts and merely imprints that had been stored in their killer's wand? Does (and if so how) the wand have awareness of the spells its master has conducted and/or the victims of these spells? We've seen, from speaking with Ollivander three years ago, that wands seem to have sentience with regards to choosing their owners. Perhaps this is another aspect of this sentience? --KT

And now another head was emerging from the tip of Voldemort's wand...and Harry knew when he saw it who it would be...

But who is it? In the first edition, the next sequence is the infamous "wand order error" (see this essay and Edits and Changes to the Text).

Ghosts of Cedric Diggory, Lily and James Potter.

"Accio!" Harry yelled, pointing his wand at the Triwizard Cup. It flew into the air and soared toward him. Harry caught it by the handle....he felt the jerk behind his navel that meant the Portkey had worked - it was speeding him away in a whirl of wind and color....

Much fan discussion has been made surrounding the Triwizard Cup being made into a Portkey. Why was it set up to be a two-way key and by whom? Who was it supposed to bring back?

Exceptional character moments

Harry's determination to go down fighting even though he accepts the situation as hopeless.

Voldemort's classic villain reaction: "Stand aside! I will kill him! He is mine!"

Memorable lines

And as he heard Voldemort draw nearer still, he knew one thing only, and it was beyond fear or reason: He was not going to die crouching like a child playing hide-and-seek; he was not going to die kneeling at Voldemort's feet...he was going to die upright like his father, and he was going to die trying to defend himself, even if no defense was possible...

Commentary

Related Images:

Voldemort and Harry in scene from Goblet of Fire. Ghosts of Cedric Diggory, Lily and James Potter.  

Pensieve (Comments)

Tags: bravery defiance despair escapes fighting resistance running surprise

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The Harry Potter Canon