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10 top moments leading to Harry Potter's final battle with Voldemort

Fans, in particular, don't want to say it: The first movie of the two-part conclusion to Harry Potter's battle against evil was a slugfest. • And not the good kind. • Viewers slogged through Harry, Ron and Hermione's journey to collect horcruxes that included multiple campsites, bitter arguments, Ron's disappearance and a much-talked-about hint at romance between Harry and Hermione. • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' first 23 chapters played out slowly — very slowly — over the movie's 146-minute running time. It meandered much like the first two-thirds of J.K. Rowling's final book. • Cue the fast and furious action. • But first, let's take a look back at 10 key moments from the series significant to the Harry Potter endgame. Because we know that even the most well-read Potterphile might need a quick refresher course on Rowling's sprawling, complicated series before any wands are wielded on the big screen.

Jennifer DeCamp, Times staff writer



Remember back to the first book/movie, when Harry learns his mother died protecting him from the Dark Lord, Voldemort, who lives but without a human body? No matter, because Voldemort decides to share Professor Quirrell's head (didn't anybody wonder what was under that purple turban?), allowing him to face off against Harry for the first time. But when Quirrell touches Harry's skin, it burns his hands. The power of Lily Potter's selfless sacrifice will protect Harry from Voldemort's attacks throughout his years at Hogwarts.

DUMBLEDORE: "Harry, do you know why Professor Quirrell couldn't bear to have you touch him? It was because of your mother. She sacrificed herself for you, and that kind of act leaves a mark. … This kind of mark cannot be seen. It lives in your skin."

HARRY: "What is it?"

DUMBLEDORE: "Love, Harry. Love."

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone



Harry becomes the only first-year student to play on a house Quidditch team. As in everything he does, Harry's ability in the Quidditch pitch is part skill, part luck. He wins the first match for Gryffindor by capturing the Golden Snitch — a tiny, fast-flying ball — in his mouth. Dumbledore wills the Snitch to him after his death but Harry has yet to understand the cleverly concealed riddle: "I open at the close."



When Harry enters the Chamber of Secrets to save Ginny Weasley, Tom Riddle (a.k.a. Voldemort) orders Salazar Slytherin's basilisk (a.k.a. giant snake) to attack Harry. Dumbledore's phoenix comes to the rescue — with the old Sorting Hat. But then Harry pulls the sword of Gryffindor, which only appears when a true Gryffindor is in need, from the hat and slays the snake. The goblin-made sword has special powers, which Hermione later realizes can destroy horcruxes. Finally, Dumbledore's bequest of the sword to Harry makes sense.

TOM MARVOLO RIDDLE: "So this is what Dumbledore sends his great defender. A songbird and an old hat."

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets



Dumbledore and Harry are the only people who know the full prophecy made by Hogwarts professor Sybill Trelawney: "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches … and the Dark Lord shall mark him as his equal but he shall have power the Dark Lord knows not. … For neither can live while the other survives. …" Voldemort's knowledge of the first part was the reason he tried to murder baby Harry. Harry's knowledge of the final part leaves little doubt about the future.

HARRY: "Why didn't you tell me?"

DUMBLEDORE: "For the same reason you tried to save Sirius. And the same reason your friends saved you. After all these years, after all you suffered, I didn't want to cause you any more pain."

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix



Narcissa Malfoy and her sister Bellatrix Lestrange secretly seek out Professor Severus Snape's help when Voldemort entrusts Draco with a secret mission to kill Dumbledore. She asks him to confirm his allegiance to the Dark Lord by making the Unbreakable Vow. Snape swears to protect Draco and to kill Dumbledore if Draco cannot. This will not be the only time that Narcissa's love for her son eclipses her loyalty to Voldemort.

SNAPE: "As it so happens, I'm aware of your situation."

BELLATRIX LESTRANGE: "You? The Dark Lord told you?"

SNAPE: "Your sister doubts me. Over the years I've played my part well, so well I've deceived one of the greatest wizards of all time."

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince



Harry and Dumbledore discover Voldemort's fascination with horcruxes, a dark magic that traps pieces of a person's soul in everyday objects. As long as a piece of the soul lives, that person could survive without a physical body, achieving a different kind of immortality. Finally, Dumbledore has proof of how Voldemort survived the killing curse that rebounded off Harry after his mother cast her protective charm. Voldemort wished to create many horcruxes; three have already been destroyed.

HARRY: "How could you find them all. They could be hidden anywhere."

DUMBLEDORE (while studying Harry): "True. But magic, especially dark magic, leaves traces … and I think perhaps I may have found another."

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince



Draco disarms Dumbledore at Hogwarts, becoming the new master of the powerful Elder Wand. But Draco hesitates; he doesn't have the guts to kill his headmaster. Snape appears and kills Dumbledore himself. The terms of the Unbreakable Vow have been fulfilled.

BELLATRIX LESTRANGE: "Well look what we have here. Dumbledore wandless, alone, and cornered in his own castle. Well done, Draco!"

DUMBLEDORE: "Good evening, Bellatrix. I think introductions are called for."

LESTRANGE: "Love to, Albus, but I'm afraid we're on a bit of a tight schedule."

LESTRANGE (to Draco): "Do it!"

FENRIR GREYBACK: "He doesn't have the stomach, like his father…"

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince



Harry tries out dozens of wands at Ollivander's before finding the right one — holly and phoenix feather, 11 inches long — only to find out it shares the same core as Voldemort's wand. Voldemort's inability to kill Harry using his own wand and a borrowed wand lead him on a quest to become master of the Elder Wand, the most powerful wand in the world. He steals the wand from Dumbledore's tomb.

MR. OLLIVANDER: "It so happens that the phoenix whose tail feather resides in your wand, gave another feather — just one other. It is very curious that you should be destined for this wand when its brother gave you that scar."

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone



The loyalty of Severus Snape has been an underlying thread throughout the series. He protected Harry in Sorcerer's Stone, but also bears the Dark Mark of Voldemort's followers and passed on the first part of the prophecy to Voldemort years ago. Since then, he has been the ultimate double agent infiltrating both Dumbledore's Order of the Phoenix and Voldemort's Death Eaters. Dumbledore never questions Snape's loyalty, yet Snape kills him.

SNAPE: "Has it ever crossed your brilliant mind that I don't want to do this anymore?"

DUMBLEDORE: "Whether it has or it hasn't is irrelevant; you gave me your word."

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

LORD VOLDEMORT: "Severus. I was beginning to worry that you had lost your way. Come, we've saved you a seat. You bring news I trust?"

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1



A wizarding bedtime story tells the tale of three brothers who cheated death. In return, death gives each a reward: the Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone, the Cloak of Invisibility. Together, they make up the Deathly Hallows and the person who wields all three becomes the Master of Death. Dumbledore passed on James Potter's Invisiblity Cloak to his son during Harry's first year at Hogwarts. Voldemort has stolen the Elder Wand. The Resurrection Stone has yet to be discovered.


The final battle looms. Hogwarts will be rubble strewn. Fan favorites will die. But will you know what's going on, or will the curses literally fly over your muggle head?


Causes instantaneous, painless death.

Also known as the killing curse.

 CONFUNDO: Confusion.

 CRUCIO *: Inflicts unbearable pain.

 DIFFINDO: Cuts or severs objects.


 IMPERIO *: Forces target to obey commands of the spell caster.

 STUPEFY: Renders victim unconscious.

 SILENCIO: Silences target.

These are the three Unforgivable Curses used during Voldemort's reign of terror. Before the

Death Eaters took control, use of these curses would mean a life sentence in Azkaban Prison.

Sources:, the Harry Potter movies and books.

Photos: Warner Brothers

10 top moments leading to Harry Potter's final battle with Voldemort 07/13/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 4:31am]
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