Harry Potter (plot)

From Academic Kids

This page contains a detailed synopsis of all the books released so far in the Harry Potter series. For information on how the movies differ from the corresponding books, see the appropriate movie page.


Book 1: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

See Movie for differences.

Harry Potter, born on July 31, 1980, was orphaned on October 31, 1981, when the evil wizard Lord Voldemort murdered his parents, Lily and James Potter, a witch and wizard, respectively. Voldemort broke into their house at Godric's Hollow and dueled with James. After killing him, he turned his attention to Lily and Harry. Lily begged for him to spare Harry's life, but he ignores her pleas and killed her "Stand aside, girl!". His mother's sacrificial attempt to save Harry causes the killing spell (Avada Kedavra) to backfire on Voldemort, forming a fated connection between the two, during which parts of Voldemort's power was transfered to the infant, giving Harry a lightning-bolt shaped scar on his forehead and nearly killing Voldemort, forcing him into the spirit world. This has made Harry an extremely popular figure in the wizarding world, as Voldemort had been an agent of terrorism who attempted genoncide for over a decade. His mother's love and Voldemort's powers give Harry a lingering magical protection against further attacks by Voldemort through his blood.

Harry is retrieved by Hagrid under the orders of Albus Dumbledore and put in the reluctant care of his Muggle (non-magical person) relatives, his mother's sister Petunia Dursley and her husband Vernon. They live in Little Whinging, a suburb of London, along with their spoiled son Dudley (born June 22, 1980). The Dursleys, who intensely dislike magic, conceal from Harry any knowledge of his magical abilities and tell him that his parents were killed in a car crash. The Dursleys mistreat Harry, whose bedroom is a cupboard under the stairs, filled with spiders.

A week before his 11th birthday, Harry begins receiving letters, through seemingly desparate means, informing him of his acceptance at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Despite the Dursley's attempts to stop the letters, which include a great deal of fleeing across the countryside, Hagrid eventually tracks them down, and briefly rescues Harry from his relatives' grasp so that Harry can purchase his school supplies, only to return him to the Dursleys with a train ticket to Hogwarts.

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is in a castle in Scotland, according to a margin note in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Rowling's own comments in an interview. All students get to school on the Hogwarts Express train from Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross station, London.

There are four houses in Hogwarts, each with very specific characteristics. Slytherin is filled entirely with ambitious, cunning witches and wizards. Ravenclaw is home to the most intelligent witches and wizards. Gryffindor houses only the brave, and Hufflepuff is where the most fair and honest go. Each student, upon arriving at Hogwarts, must go through the Sorting Ceremony. They each try on a wizard hat that is hundreds of years old. It speaks to them and decides where to put them by examining their thoughts. Though it considers placing him in Slytherin, Harry is sorted into Gryffindor house. His closest friends at Hogwarts become Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, and his biggest rival is Draco Malfoy, who belongs in the rival Slytherin house.

In the course of the year, Harry, Ron, and Hermione discover that a 3-headed dog, christened Fluffy by Hagrid, guards a trapdoor in a forbidden corridor of Hogwarts. They speculate as to what it guards and eventually they figure out that Fluffy guards the legendary Philosopher's Stone. The three friends come to believe Severus Snape, the sinister-looking Potions Professor, is trying to steal it in order to restore Lord Voldemort to power.

When they feel they have no choice, the friends go through the trapdoor to get to the Stone first. They negotiate the security system set up by the teachers and find that Professor Quirrell, not Snape, is trying to steal the Stone. Snape was, in fact, actually grudgingly trying to protect Harry from harm all along because Harry's father had saved his life when they were at Hogwarts. Harry confronts Quirrel and survives a second encounter with Lord Voldemort, who has been living on the back of Quirrel's face. Quirrel is killed in the process, and Voldemort is driven away. Dumbledore agrees with Nicolas Flamel, the manufacturer of the Stone, to destroy it.

Book 2: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

See Movie for differences.

The story continues with Harry's second year at Hogwarts. Several new characters are introduced, such as Moaning Myrtle, Gilderoy Lockhart, Colin Creevy, Ginny Weasley and Dobby.

Harry is warned not to return to Hogwarts by Dobby, who informs him that if he goes back to Hogwarts he will be in mortal danger. Despite the house-elf's advice, pleas, and subsequent attempts to stop him, Harry decides to return. Unfortunately, the Dursleys have locked his books and wand up, so Harry is a prisoner. The Weasleys come to the rescue with their flying car. After spending a pleasant summer with his best friend Ron and Ron's family, the lot of them are shipped off to platform 9 and three quarters, but Harry and Ron are trapped outside. In desperation, Harry and Ron fly the flying car up to Hogwarts. Once at school, Harry finds himself at the centre of attention of three people: the vain new Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor Gilderoy Lockhart, admirer Colin Creevy and Ron's sister Ginny Weasley, who has a crush on him.

However, Harry's second year at Hogwarts takes a really bad turn when the Chamber of Secrets is opened again and someone or something goes on a rampage, petrifying students. According to legend, the Chamber was built by Salazar Slytherin and can be opened only by his true heir to purge Hogwarts of students whose lineage is not purely magical. Many suspect Harry of being the Heir, especially after he inadvertently displays the ability of Parseltongue (the ability to communicate with snakes), a distinctive trait of Dark wizards which Harry obtained from Voldemort. Harry, Ron, and Hermione spend the majority of the novel trying to discover the true identity of the Heir of Slytherin.

The attacks increase in frequency, leaving more pertified characters in the hospital wing, including Hermione. To top it all, a message is written on a wall declaring that a student - Ginny Weasley - has been taken into the Chamber, where "her bones will lie forever".

With Ron's help, Harry discovers the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets, where he discovers that it was Ginny who opened the Chamber, but that she wasn't acting of her own free will - she was possessed by Tom Riddle, a.k.a. Lord Voldemort in his youth. Riddle had imprinted a memory of himself in an enchanted diary, hoping to one day continue the work he had begun when he first opened the Chamber fifty years ago and framed Hagrid for it.

The memory of Tom Riddle them tries to kill Harry with a basilisk (the monster responsible for petrifying the students) but fails when Dumbledore sends Fawkes, his phoenix, and the sorting hat, through which Harry draws the sword of Godric Gryffindor. Fawkes blinds the basilisk so that it cannot use its fatal gaze, and Harry slays it with the sword. Riddle is vanquished when the diary is destroyed. Ginny is saved from Riddle's clutches, and despite her fears is not punished for her actions. The petrified students are restored to normal. It transpires that Lucius Malfoy, father of Draco and owner of Dobby, is responsible for the diary coming into Ginny's possession in a complex plot to discredit Dumbledore and the muggle-supporting Mr. Weasley, but he suffers no consequence due to insufficient evidence.

Meanwhile, Gilderoy Lockhart has been exposed by Harry and Ron as a fraud who wipes the memories of others and claims their achievements. When Lockhart tries to wipe their memories with Ron's malfunctioning wand, the spell backfires and wipes his memory, leaving him confused and harmless.

Book 3: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

See Movie for differences.

At the Dursley's

The book begins, as usual, during the summer holidays, where Harry is again at the Dursleys', celebrating his birthday alone. This time, however, he has received gifts and cards from his friends at Hogwarts. Among them he receives a newspaper clipping from Ron Weasley, indicating that Ron's father Arthur had won the Daily Prophet Grand Prize Galleon Draw.

The muggle news is filled with warnings about an awful-looking, mad, escaped prisoner named Sirius Black. However, most horrifying to Harry is the news that Aunt Marge (Vernon Dursley's sister) is coming to visit. As a third year student at Hogwarts, Harry has the privilege of making occasional visits to Hogsmeade, a wizarding village close to Hogwarts, provided he can provide a permission slip signed from a parent or legal guardian. To get this, he bargains with Uncle Vernon, who expects Harry to convince Aunt Marge that he attends "St. Brutus' Secure Centre for Incurably Criminal Boys". Though Harry attempts to play along, Marge enrages him by insulting his parents. Harry's anger inadvertently causes her to magically swell like a balloon.

Journey to Diagon Alley

Having has already received a warning from the Ministry of Magic regarding underage use of magic in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (though it was a house-elf, Dobby, and not he who had used magic). Fearing both his expulsion from Hogwarts and Vernon's retribution, Harry gathers his things and runs away from the Dursleys' home. As he puzzles over what he is to do, Harry feels he is being watched. When he uses his wand to provide light, he is startled to see a large black dog staring at him. Harry is again startled by the appearance of the Knight Bus, the wizards' bus which he has unwittingly flagged down by holding out his arm.

While Harry is on the bus, he notices that the wizarding news also feature Sirius Black, a dangerous wizard criminal. He was thought to be a follower of Lord Voldemort who has escaped from Azkaban, where he was sent for killing thirteen people.

Cover of the United States edition
Cover of the United States edition

The Knight Bus takes Harry to Diagon Alley, where he runs head-long into Cornelius Fudge, the Minister for Magic himself. Harry is surprised when Fudge shrugs off the suggestion of punishment and suggests that Harry take a room in the Leaky Cauldron inn. Harry spends the remainder of his holidays around Diagon Alley, before he is joined by the Weasley family and Hermione. While shopping for their school things, Ron decides to get something for his magical pet rat Scabbers, who had been sick since returning from their holiday in Egypt. While in the magical creatures shop, Hermione buys a cat, Crookshanks, who takes an immediate dislike to Scabbers.

On the night before returning to Hogwarts, Harry overhears Mr. and Mrs. Weasley arguing; Mr. Weasley wants to tell Harry that Black is after him, which explains why the Minister for Magic was so lenient to Harry; he was relieved to see him alive. The next day, Mr. Weasley calls Harry aside to tell him this, but Harry explains that he overheard. Mr. Weasley then asks Harry to not go after Black. Harry is puzzled, as he sees no reason to do such a thing.

Hogwart's Express

On board the Hogwarts Express, Harry, Ron, and Hermione share a coach with a sleeping Professor Lupin, who they correctly presume to be the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. The journey goes as normal at first, but the train comes to an unexpected stop, and hooded figures enter their compartment. After getting a brief glance at the creature, Harry faints; when he comes to, he is told that while everyone else felt as though they would never be happy again, no one else had fainted. Professor Lupin informs them that the hooded figures were Dementors, the prison guards of Azkaban.

Start of Term

At the school's opening day feast, Professor Dumbledore announces that the Dementors will be standing guard at the gates of Hogwarts while Sirius Black is on the loose. Dumbledore also welcomes two new teachers — Professor Lupin, who receives a look of utter hatred from Snape; and Hagrid, as the Care of Magical Creatures teacher.

Harry, Ron and Hermione begin some new subjects chosen at the end of the previous school year, though Hermione has chosen to take all of the available subjects. Her timetable is a conundrum to Ron and Harry, listing several subjects for the same time periods. The first new class they attend is Divination, with Professor Trelawney. Harry begins to fear that the black dog he had seen is a Grim — an omen of death.

Their first lesson with Hagrid is a failure: Hagrid attempts to teach them how to approach a hippogriff, but Draco Malfoy is wounded by one after insulting it, in defiance of Hagrid's warning. Malfoy exaggerates the extent of his injury.

Later, Harry is given the task of preparing his ingredients in potions class. As he is doing this, Malfoy tells Harry if he were Harry he'd want revenge on Black. Again, Harry does not understand why he would want that.

Facing the Boggart

The students' first Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson with Professor Lupin is more successful. Lupin gives a practical lesson, teaching the class how to banish a Boggart. Harry is disappointed when Lupin prevents him from facing it. It turns into a floating white orb before Lupin, leading some of the students to wonder why Lupin is afraid of crystal balls.

Harry gets his chance to ask why he was prevented from facing the Boggart when the first Hogsmeade visit comes up (since he does not have a signed permission slip); Lupin replies that he assumed the Boggart would appear as Voldemort for Harry, which would have been upsetting for all of the students. While there, Snape comes in with a potion for Lupin; Harry is shocked to see Lupin drink it, thinking that Snape had brewed a poison.

Later in the evening, the Gryffindors find themselves locked out of their quarters, the Fat Lady's portrait which guards the entrance having been shredded by Sirius Black, causing her to flee to another portrait. While Black is on the loose, the Fat Lady's place is taken by Sir Cadogan, an overly-brave but mildly insane knight.

The class is surprised one day to find Snape teaching in place of Lupin, who has taken ill. They are also shocked when he skips to the end of the book to make them study werewolves, assigning an essay on the ways of recognising and killing them.

Gryffindor's first Quidditch match, against Hufflepuff, ends in a loss when Harry falls from his broom — the Dementors were drawn to the game — though the Hufflepuff captain, Cedric Diggory insisted on a rematch, because of the circumstances. Worse still for Harry is that his broom was destroyed by the Whomping Willow. Lupin explains to Harry that he is affected more by the Dementors because of his traumatic experience of his parents' murder and promises to teach him how to drive Dementors away.

The Marauder's Map

When the next Hogsmeade visit comes up, Ron Weasley's twin brothers Fred and George help Harry leave the school grounds by providing him with the Marauder's Map and showing him a secret passage from Hogwarts to Hogsmeade. Using his Invisibility Cloak, Harry goes to the Three Broomsticks with Ron and Hermione. They overhear a conversation between Fudge, Hagrid, Professors Flitwick and McGonagall, and Madam Rosmerta, proprietor of the Three Broomsticks. Fudge reveals that Black had been James Potter's best friend, best man at his wedding, and Harry's godfather — and the Potter's secret keeper at the time Voldemort was looking for them. He also tells that Black betrayed the Potters to Voldemort and killed Peter Pettigrew, another friend of the Potters. Harry finally realises the reason Black is thought to be after him and why he himself might want to exact revenge on Black.

Christmas Holidays

Over the Christmas holidays, Harry, Ron and Hermione are reassured to hear that Hagrid will not be charged over the Hippogriff's attack on Malfoy; Hagrid, however, is distraught because of the decision that the Hippogriff, Buckbeak, is to be destroyed. They vow to help Hagrid in his appeal.

On Christmas Day, Harry is surprised to receive an anonymous gift of a Firebolt, the most advanced broomstick available. Hermione, however, feels it may have been sent by Black as a trap, and Professor McGonagall takes it away to examine it. This leads to a rift, with neither Harry nor Ron speaking to Hermione.

As the new term begins, so do Harry's anti-Dementor lessons with Professor Lupin. Harry learns how to use the Patronus charm and practices it on Boggarts, though his progress is slow. Eventually, Harry's Firebolt is returned to him, and he prepares for his next Quidditch game. The rift with Hermione is healed, but only temporarily; Ron finds blood stains on his sheets and Scabbers missing, and naturally blames Crookshanks. During the game against Ravenclaw, the Dementors make a reappearance, but this time Harry's Patronus is strong enough to allow him to win the game. Harry later finds out that it was Malfoy and his cohorts Crabbe and Goyle dressed as Dementors. All seems well, but later Ron violently awakens in the middle of the night, having seen Black standing over him with a knife. Black has tricked Sir Cadogan into letting him in by acquiring a list of passwords belonging to Neville Longbottom.

Visit to the Shrieking Shack

At the next secret Hogsmeade visit, Harry visits a local haunted house, the Shrieking Shack, with Ron when Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle turn up. Under his Invisibility Cloak, Harry throws mud at them, but the cloak slips, revealing Harry's head. When he returns to Hogwarts, Snape calls him aside and confronts him. Snape tells him that he is arrogant like his father was, and Harry loses his temper, telling him that he knows his father saved Snape's life. Snape corrects Harry by revealing that his father saved him from a joke played by his friends, which would have led to Snape's death as well as Potter's expulsion. Snape inspects Harry's pockets and finds the Marauder's Map. When he tries to determine the map's purpose, he receives a list of insults from the map's creators: Padfoot, Prongs, Moony and Wormtail.

On seeing this, Snape calls in Professor Lupin, who tells him it's a probably a trick parchment from a joke shop. At this, Ron bursts into the room, saying he bought the items in Hogsmeade for Harry; Lupin declares the matter closed, and asks Harry and Ron to follow him. Lupin then admonishes Harry for using the map, which he confiscates, saying that he thinks the creators would find it amusing to lure him out of Hogwarts with it.

After Lupin leaves them, they bump into Hermione, who tells them that Hagrid has lost the Buckbeak case. Ron offers to help her with the appeal, thus ending their fight. Harry and Ron are surprised when she misses Charms class, having walked with them to the classroom. Later in Divination class, she has an argument with Professor Trelawney. As a result, Hermione leaves the Divination class in a huff, and ends up dropping Divination as a subject.

The night before the match against Slytherin, Harry apparently spots Crookshanks with the Grim, though both disappear before Harry can rouse Ron to confirm this. The game itself is won by Gryffindor, though Harry has to refrain from catching the Snitch immediately, as Gryffindor needed to beat Slytherin by a large margin to win the Quidditch cup instead of just the match.

Trelawney's Prediction

Exam time comes, and the day of the final exam is also the day of Buckbeak's appeal. Harry's final exam is Divination, where he makes up a prediction about a Hippogriff flying away free. As he turns to leave, Professor Trelawney speaks, but in a different voice, and predicts that Voldemort's servant will return to him that night and aid his return; when Harry asks her about this, however, she insists he must have fallen asleep.

After the exam, Harry is told that Hagrid lost his appeal, and that Buckbeak is to be executed. Using the Invisibility Cloak, Harry, Ron and Hermione go to Hagrid's house. While they are there, Ron finds Scabbers, alive and unharmed, just before they hear the executioner approach. As Hagrid lets them out the back door, the three friends hear the axe fall and Hagrid shout — Buckbeak has been executed.

Return to the Shrieking Shack

While walking away from the hut, Scabbers escapes. Ron runs after him, and both Harry and Hermione follow him, discarding the cloak. As they catch up to him, the Grim appears again, leaping on Harry. The dog grabs Ron, dragging him away through a gap in the roots of the Whomping Willow, followed by Harry and Hermione. At the end of the tunnel, they find themselves in a house — the Shrieking Shack. They hear movement upstairs, and find Ron, who tries to tell him that the dog was Black, an animagus. Though Black gets their wands, Harry catches him by surprise. As the three surround him, Black tries to get Harry to listen to the whole story of what happened to his parents.

While they are considering what to do, they are startled when Professor Lupin enters the room. At first relieved to see him, they are shocked when he disarms them. He starts speaking to Black, asking "Where is he?"; Black points to Ron. Lupin continues speaking to Black and thinking out loud, before embracing Black, shocking Harry, Ron and Hermione, who instantly accuse him of being Black's accomplice. Hermione in particular feels betrayed; she had been hiding Lupin's secret, which she had known since seeing Lupin's Boggart and doing Snape's essay — that he is a werewolf. Lupin explains that he had seen them go to the Shrieking Shack using the Marauder's Map, the map he had helped write as "Moony". "Padfoot", "Wormtail" and "Prongs" are respectively nicknames for his schoolmates Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew and James Potter.

Lupin tells them that Pettigrew is the real traitor, not Black. He reveals that Pettigrew is alive and an animagus; in fact, he is Scabbers! Hermione points out that animagi are registered with the Ministry of Magic. Lupin counters that there were three unregistered animagi during his time as a student at Hogwarts — James Potter, Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew. They became animagi after learning that Lupin was a werewolf, so they could keep him in line enough to go on adventures. He then tells them of his regret for leading his friends to break the law, and of deceiving Dumbledore, who had trusted Lupin and given him chances others would have denied him (to become a student and later a teacher).

As Lupin tells them this, Snape enters the room wearing Harry's cloak. He aims his wand at Lupin and Black — he had seen the map on Lupin's desk and followed him. Hermione tries to explain that Snape hasn't heard the whole story, but he is interested only in revenge against his school-time foes. Harry tries arguing with Snape, but he realises that it's in vain, so Harry disarms him — both Ron and Hermione had decided to do this at the same time, the combined force of their charms leaving Snape unconscious.

Black and Lupin continue to explain about Pettigrew/Scabbers. Black explains that he saw Scabbers in the picture accompanying the newspaper article about the Weasley's prize and recognised him. This prompted him to escape Azkaban and track Harry to Hogwarts in his dog form (the "Grim"). Lupin notices that Scabbers has a missing toe — the largest part that had been found after Pettigrew's "death" was a finger, which he had cut off himself. The pair prove Scabbers' true identity by forcing Pettigrew to resume his human form.

Once restored, Pettigrew attempts to keep the finger of blame pointed at Black. Black explains that, at his suggestion, the Potters secretly switched secret keepers to Pettigrew, as it would have been too obvious that he, James' best friend, was their secret keeper. Though Harry now believes Black, he won't allow Black and Lupin to kill Pettigrew; his father wouldn't have wanted his best friends to become murderers over Pettigrew. They decide to turn him over to the Dementors.

Pettigrew escapes

They leave the Shrieking Shack with Ron and Lupin tied to Pettigrew, the still-unconscious Snape being carried magically. Black tells Harry that Harry's parents appointed him Harry's godfather and guardian. Black asks Harry to move in with him, an offer Harry eagerly accepts. As they leave the tunnel, the clouds suddenly part, revealing the full moon, and Lupin begins to transform. Snape's potion should help him keep his human mind in this state, but in the excitement he has neglected to take it. Black immediately transforms and attacks Lupin, dragging him away from Ron and Pettigrew. In the commotion, Pettigrew seizes Lupin's wand, attacking Ron and Crookshanks. Though Harry manages to disarm him, he cannot stop him from transforming and is unable to follow him in the dark. Sirius goes in search of him, but soon gives out a yelp. When Harry follows, Hermione close behind, he sees Sirius in human form, crouched with his hands on his head.

Then Harry sees the Dementors, in huge numbers, closing in on them. Harry tries unsuccessfully to conjure a Patronus. As he passes out, he sees a fully formed Patronus chasing away the Dementors before crossing the lake to a figure he thinks is his father. When he comes to, he hears Fudge congratulating Snape on his capture of Black. Harry finds himself in the hospital wing, and upon hearing that the Dementors are going to suck out Sirius' soul in punishment, Harry tries to convince Fudge of Sirius' innocence. Snape, however, has done a better job of convincing Fudge that Harry, Ron, and Hermione have been bewitched by Black.

The Time-Turner

Dumbledore enters, seeking to speak privately to Harry and Hermione. Though Dumbledore can't help them to convince Fudge of Sirius' innocence, he tells Hermione pointedly that they need more time, as well as where to find Sirius. He finishes by saying that if all goes well, they can save more than one innocent life. After Dumbledore locks the door to the hospital wing, Hermione produces an hour glass from around her neck — a Time Turner — and uses it to transport herself and Harry three hours backwards in time. As for Ron, his leg was injured when dog-Sirius dragged him into the hole under the Whomping Willow, and he remains behind on his hospital bed.

Hermione reveals that the Time Turner has been given to her in order to attend all her classes at the same time. It occurs to Harry that the other innocent life Dumbledore means for them to save is Buckbeak's; they are supposed to bring Buckbeak to Sirius so they can both get away. He and Hermione head towards Hagrid's hut, and after waiting for the executioner to see Buckbeak tethered outside so that Hagrid is not blamed for its escape, Harry and Hermione make their rescue attempt. Harry frees Buckbeak and they hide in the forest. The executioner swings his axe in anger and Hagrid shouts for joy.

Hermione and Harry wait for Sirius to be taken to the castle. Keeping watch, Harry sees himself run to Sirius' aid and runs to where he thought he had seen his father. While waiting, Harry realises that he had in fact seen himself; he conjures a full Patronus, thereby creating a predestination paradox. At the return of the Patronus, he sees that it has taken the form of a stag, and the meaning of his father's nickname, Prongs, becomes clear to him.

Finally, they see MacNair, the executioner, set off to fetch the Dementors to execute Sirius. Hermione and Harry seize their opportunity, freeing Sirius from his cell and sending him away on Buckbeak. Harry and Hermione then race to the hospital wing, before Dumbledore locks them in. They meet him as he is about to lock the door and take to their just-vacated beds, closing the time loop. A few minutes later, Snape bursts into the ward, accusing Harry of having set Sirius free, but with both Dumbledore and Madam Pomfrey the head nurse to provide alibis, Snape can only storm out in fury.

Lupin Resigns

The next day, they meet an overjoyed Hagrid, and feign surprise when he tells them about Buckbeak's escape. Hagrid also tells them that Snape told the Slytherins about Lupin being a werewolf, and that Lupin had tendered his resignation that morning. Harry makes an unsuccessful attempt to talk him out of it, and Lupin returns the Invisibility Cloak and the Marauder's Map. Dumbledore enters to wish Lupin farewell, and remains after Lupin's departure to speak to Harry. He reassures Harry that his sparing Pettigrew was for the best; that having Pettigrew owe him the debt of his life may prove valuable. Harry tells Dumbledore about Professor Trelawney's unusually specific prediction, and Dumbledore agrees that it was a true prediction, bringing her total to two.

On the Hogwarts Express, Harry finds himself in low spirits, returning to the Dursleys when he had been so close to having a new life with Sirius. Ron promises to convince his parents to invite Harry to stay for some of the summer and go to the Quidditch World Cup together. His spirits are raised further when a tiny owl appears at the compartment window, carrying a letter from Sirius. Sirius confirms that it was he who sent the Firebolt, which put a strain on the contents of his bank vault, but was an attempt to make up for 13 years of missed birthday presents. He also enclosed a permission slip for Harry to visit Hogsmeade, and, in a postscript, offered Ron the owl in place of Scabbers. Hermione says that she has dropped another subject so that she will have a normal curriculum next year and thus has handed the Time-Turner in. When Harry reaches the station and is met by Vernon Dursley, he is swift to inform Vernon of his godfather, whom, he tells them, is a convicted murderer and expects regular letters from him. Harry looks forward to a more pleasant summer than usual.

Book 4: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

The movie is being made at the moment.

The Quidditch World Cup

In this book, Harry Potter spends the end of his summer with the Weasleys in anticipation of the Quidditch World Cup. During the World Cup, a group of Death Eaters attack a number of muggle bystanders, but flee when the Dark Mark - Voldemort's sign - mysteriously appears above them. The sign is found to have been made by a wand found with Winky, the House-Elf of Barty Crouch, a respected official at the Ministry of Magic. Winky is fired by her master at once. Crouch's treatment of Winky prompts Hermione to start campaigning for elves' rights.

The Tri-Wizard Tournament

When Harry arrives at Hogwarts, he finds that the Triwizard Tournament - which had been banned since many participants died during it - was to be restarted, and to be held at Hogwarts. The names of all intending participants would be put into a goblet - known as the Goblet of Fire - which would shoot out one name from each of the three competing wizarding schools (Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang). After choosing Viktor Krum from Durmstrang, Fleur Delacour from Beauxbatons, and Cedric Diggory from Hogwarts, the Goblet spits out Harry's name - although he was too young to have added his name to the Goblet. Harry is forced to participate, to the outrage of many.

With help from his friends and teachers, Harry manages to make it through the first two parts of the Triwizard Tournament. During this time, his relationship with his best friend, Ron Weasley, is temporarily strained by Harry's sudden explosion of fame. This fame soon backfires, as Daily Prophet reporter Rita Skeeter begins to dig deep to find anything which will tarnish Harry's reputation. Harry's friendship with Ron is saved once Ron realises just how perilous the Tournament will be for Harry.

In the last part of the Tournament - in which the four competitors have to run through a maze populated by many dangerous creatures - Harry and Cedric arrive at the trophy (placed in the centre of the maze) first and decide, because of the help they provided to each other, to grab the trophy at the same time, since it will be a Hogwarts victory anyway.

Confrontation in the Graveyard

The trophy turns out to be a Portkey, a magical object which transports them to a graveyard - where they find Peter Pettigrew (also known as Wormtail) and Voldemort. Peter kills Cedric using the unstoppable Avada Kedavra curse, then uses Harry's blood as part of a macabre ritual which results in Voldemort being reborn, more powerful than before, and immune to the charm which had prevented him from harming Harry twice before. Voldemort then summons the Death Eaters and attempts to kill Harry, to prove that "the boy who lived" will not be his undoing again. However, because Harry's and Voldemort's wands are formed from the same core - a feather from Dumbledore's pet phoenix Fawkes - a freak phenomenon known as Priori Incantatem occurs, in which Voldemort's wand begins to produce ghostly echoes of its past victims - including Harry's parents. The echoes hold off Voldemort while Harry manages to escape to the trophy which transports him and Cedric's body back to Hogwarts.

Barty Crouch, Jr. Revealed

On reaching Hogwarts again, Harry lands in the centre of the confusion caused by his disappearance. He is led up to the castle by his Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher and Auror (Dark-wizard-catcher), Professor Moody. Moody reveals himself as a Death Eater, saying that it was he who put Harry's name into the Goblet, and who ensured that Harry made it through the three rounds of the tournament so that he would be delivered to Voldemort. As Moody is about to attack Harry, Dumbledore, Snape and McGonagall barge into the room, and stop Moody. After Dumbledore's interrogation of "Prof. Moody", it is revealed that "Moody" was Barty Crouch's son in disguise. The real Professor Moody had been kept imprisoned in a magical trunk for the entire year.

Having learned that Voldemort had risen again, Dumbledore began proceedings to restart the Order of the Phoenix. Snape and the Durmstrang Headmaster are revealed as ex-Death Eaters. Barty Crouch Jr. has his soul sucked out by a Dementor before he can repeat his story to The Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge. The Minister refuses to believe that Voldemort has risen again on the word of Dumbledore and Harry, which results in Dumbledore being removed from several important posts within the wizard community, and the reputation of Harry Potter being trampled judiciously in the next book.

Book 5: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

No movie has yet been released for this book.

The Order of the Phoenix

The story begins with Harry at the Dursleys' home. Harry is frustrated because he doesn't know what Lord Voldemort is planning and his friends won't share any information. After a fight with his aunt and uncle, Harry wanders around Little Whinging and meets his obnoxious cousin, Dudley. As the two boys are heading home, Dementors appear and attack them, but Harry successfully drives them off with the Patronus Charm. Dudley, on the other hand, is chilled to the bone and becomes nauseous, but fortunately their neighbour Mrs. Figg arrives to help. She reveals that she is a Squib and that she has been watching over Harry on Professor Dumbledore's behalf.

Once the boys arrive home Vernon and Petunia turn on their nephew, blaming him for Dudley's illness. Vernon demands that Harry leave, even though Harry explains that Voldemort is after him. On top of this, Harry receives a letter stating that he has been expelled from Hogwarts, but then several other letters arrive in quick succession. Letters from Arthur Weasley and Sirius Black warn Harry not to leave the house, while another overturns his expulsion and orders him to appear at a hearing at the Ministry of Magic. The last letter is a Howler which screams "Remember my last, Petunia". Upon hearing this, Petunia insists that Harry will have to stay.

After being locked in his room for several days, a large menagerie of wizards and witches come to rescue Harry. They take him to the home of Sirius Black's parents, who used various techniques to hide the building, making it ideal for the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix. The Weasleys, Hermione, and Sirius are all living there. Sirius has been ordered not to leave the house because of the Ministry's continued search for him (see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban for details). Harry is angry about being kept in the dark, and also perturbed by the fact that Ron and Hermione were made Prefects while he was not. Everyone explains that the secrecy was under Dumbledore's orders; Harry also manages to learn quite a bit about what has transpired since the summer began.

Although both Harry and Dumbledore have told the world that Lord Voldemort is back, no one believes them. Indeed, the Ministry of Magic has made it their job to discredit them both, using the wizarding newspaper The Daily Prophet to slander the duo. Those in the know, however, have resurrected the Order of the Phoenix, which existed the last time that Lord Voldemort threatened the world. A number of new members are in the Order as well, and it is dedicated to saving everyone from the resurgence of Death Eaters and Voldemort.

Harry on Trial

Harry's hearing for his possible expulsion from Hogwarts and loss of his wizarding status finally arrives. It fills much of the household with trepidation, but they are fairly confident that he will come out okay - he used the magic strictly in self-defence, which is an allowed exception to the rules. However, upon arrival at the Ministry of Magic, Harry and Mr. Weasley find out that the time of the hearing has been changed to take place earlier, and its location moved to deep down in the basement, near the Department of Mysteries - when Harry arrives, he realises that a full trial has been called, with the entire Wizengamot assembled.

Although this appears to be an attempt to both intimidate Harry and keep Dumbledore from showing up as Harry's defence, the ancient wizard and headmaster of Hogwarts appears nonetheless; with Mrs. Figg as a witness, testifying that the Dementors were real, not mere figments of Harry's imagination or lies, Harry manages to be exonerated. However, something seems strange - Dumbledore scarcely pays any attention to Harry, and as the young boy leaves, he sees Lucius Malfoy conferring with Cornelius Fudge. This shocks Harry, as Malfoy is a known Death Eater, though Mr. Weasley alludes to bribery.

Return to Hogwarts

Eventually, Harry and the other kids go back to school. On the Hogwarts Express they meet a girl named Luna Lovegood, who takes on a prominent role later in the book. At Hogwarts they discover two shocking bits of news: Hagrid has still not returned from whatever task Dumbledore sent him on at the end of last term, and their new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher ,Dolores Umbridge, not only does not want them to use actual spells, but in fact works for the Ministry of Magic and seems to be pushing its agenda on the school.

Once school starts, things happen at a rapid pace. The fifth year is the year in which the O.W.L.s are sat, and the teachers push hard for the students to do well on them. Professor Umbridge gains more and more influence on the school, through a succession of new laws passed by the Ministry of Magic, until she actually becomes the Hogwarts High Inquisitor, and begins to poll both students and teachers about their abilities. Ron is made the new Keeper for the Gryffindor Quidditch team.

Umbridge's Oppression

When Dolores Umbridge refuses to teach anything useful in her Defence Against the Dark Arts classes, Hermione convinces Harry to give secret lessons to a number of students who want to learn how Defence Against the Dark Arts really works; reluctantly, he agrees, and they all sign a paper stating their intent to not squeal on the group to Umbridge.

Hagrid has returned as well, looking much the worse for wear. Although he eventually divulges his mission to recruit the giants on the Order's side, he is much more reluctant to come clean about the cause of his injuries. Both he and Professor Trelawney are under heavy observation by Umbridge, as she seems to suspect both of being incompetent; Umbridge also dislikes "half-breeds," and Hagrid is half-human, half-giant.

As Umbridge convinces Fudge to pass more and more edicts, activities in the school become more intensely curtailed. All student groups are banned; the Slytherin Quidditch team is almost immediately reactivated--to no one's great surprise--but the Gryffindor team is held up until Minerva McGonagall goes over Umbridge's head and has Dumbledore reinstate it. The Slytherins compose a taunting ditty entitled "Weasley is Our King" in an attempt to make Ron extremely uncomfortable and therefore a poor player. It works, but Harry captures the Golden Snitch in the first game to clinch victory. However, a fight afterwards provoked by Draco Malfoy results in Harry and the Weasley twins, Fred and George, to be permanently banned from playing the game by Umbridge.

Dumbledore's Army

Secretly, however, the Defence Against the Dark Arts classes led by Harry go on. They now call themselves the "D.A.", initially for Defence Association but settling on Dumbledore's Army, as many believe Fudge's recent actions against Hogwarts are to keep Dumbledore from creating an army of his own to use against the Ministry of Magic.

All along, Harry has had a number of strange dreams, mostly about running down a hallway and attempting to open a door. Eventually, however, he has a dream from the point of view of a snake, where he attacks Ron's father, Arthur Weasley. Waking up, he immediately tells everyone, and Arthur is indeed discovered with poisonous snake bites and hospitalised, eventually escaping danger. Harry begins to wonder if he is being possessed and transported by Voldemort to do his bidding; others reassure him that this is not so. Soon, however, Dumbledore orders Harry to be placed under Severus Snape's tutelage in the art of Occlumency, the ability to block one's mind from being manipulated.

Hermione arranges for Harry to be interviewed by Rita Skeeter concerning the truth about Voldemort (though Rita only agrees because otherwise Hermione would reveal she's an unregistered animagus to the authorities). Luna Lovegood's father happens to be the editor of The Quibbler, and her father agrees to take Rita's article. When the article appears, Umbridge is furious: she forbids Harry from Hogsmeade weekends and bans students from having copies of The Quibbler. Fortunately for Harry, this merely gives the magazine the lure of the forbidden and soon the publication spreads like wildfire throughout the school despite Umbridge's frantic efforts to stop it.

Umbridge attempts to throw Trelawney out, but Dumbledore allows her to stay at the castle; in her place, a centaur named Firenze, who Harry met in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, becomes the new teacher. This irritates Umbridge greatly; Dumbledore did not consult her, and she dislikes "half-breeds" like centaurs and Hagrid.

A Dating Disaster

Harry's continuing attraction to the Ravenclaw Quidditch player Cho Chang further complicates the situation; he is awkward and confused in close situations with her. A particularly painful experience in the wizarding town of Hogsmeade appears to destroy what little foundation the two had built for their relationship; Cho's jealousy of Harry's relationship with Hermione appears to be the key factor.

Things begin to come to a head when someone eventually does tell Umbridge about Dumbledore's Army; the sneak gets what's coming to her, but Harry is captured. Dumbledore lies to Fudge that it was all his idea, and that it is indeed a plan to depose Fudge as the Minister of Magic, in order to protect the students from taking the blame. He goes on the run, and Umbridge installs herself as the new Headmistress and begins the Inquisitorial Squad. The Weasley twins use their considerable talents in pranks to give her as much trouble as they possibly can while all of the teachers, who dislike Umbridge intensely, rebel by doing nothing to help her cope.

The Weasley twins set off one last conflagration so that Harry can talk to Sirius via the fireplace in Umbridge's office - the rest are under watch after Sirius used them once too many times to talk to Harry - and are caught; they decide to leave school in a spectacularly memorable manner, and to use the winnings from the Triwizard Tournament that Harry had given them to finally start their Joke Shop.

Sirius in Trouble

During the OWLs, Harry and others witness a group of people attempting to capture Hagrid to expel him. Professor McGonagall tries to stop them, and is hit with a large number of Stun Charms, which requires her to be hospitalised. Soon after, Harry has a dream which seems to complete the journey down the hallway: as Voldemort, he has Sirius captured in the Department of Mysteries, and is torturing him slowly.

Harry and his crew make a desperate attempt to contact Sirius via the fireplace in Umbridge's office, but the Black family's house-elf tells Harry that Voldemort has indeed taken his godfather; Umbridge and her minions--Slytherin students--capture Harry's gang. She attempts to get Snape to give her some Veritaserum, but he says he has none left; little does she know that he is also a member of the Order of the Phoenix. She also tells Harry that it was she who ordered the Dementors on him during the summer. Thinking fast, Hermione makes up a story about who they were trying to contact, and says that they were protecting a weapon, and that she and Harry would take her to the weapon.

Escape to London

They entice Umbridge into the woods, knowing that the centaurs, very angry that one of their brethren now works for humans, are disposed to hate adult wizards. The centaurs take Umbridge away, and are about to do the same to Harry and Hermione, when Hagrid's half-brother--a "small" giant named Grawp, whom Hagrid had brought back with him from his quest over the summer--appears and distracts the centaurs. Ron, Ginny, Luna and Neville appear, and they all decide to go to the Ministry of Magic to rescue Sirius, riding on thestrals, horse-like creatures which only people who have seen death can see.

Upon arriving at the Department of Mysteries, and after a number of false turns, they arrive at the location in Harry's dream, to find not Voldemort and Sirius but a bunch of Death Eaters. The Death Eaters include, among others: Draco's father Lucius Malfoy, MacNair the executioner in the employ of the Ministry, Azkaban escapee and former Department of Mysteries employee Rookwood and Azkaban escapee couple the Lestranges (including Bellatrix Lestrange - cousin of Sirius Black and torturer of the Longbottoms). The vision of Sirius's torture at the Department of Mysteries was a trap. When Voldemort realised that Harry could see his actions, he planted fake ones in his mind. The Death Eaters are there to force Harry to retrieve a glass sphere; the record of a prophecy. Only the people the prophecy is about are able to retrieve it. As Voldemort does not want to risk being found out, he lures Harry into retrieving it for him. The prophecy, made before Harry's birth, is apparently about Voldemort and Harry Potter. As an initial partial understanding of that prophecy was directly linked to Voldemort's initial downfall (when he tried to kill Harry as a baby), Voldemort is determined to hear the full prophecy.

The Battle

A great skirmish begins, with the students versus the Death Eaters. Most of the students are injured, and as they near defeat, many of the adult wizards from the Order of the Phoenix appear to help them including Sirius. During the ensuing battle, the glass sphere which holds the prophecy is shattered. A ghostly image pronounces the prophecy but no one can hear it. Also, tragically, Sirius is struck by a curse from the wand of his cousin and Death Eater Bellatrix Lestrange. He falls through a veil held inside an arch in the Death Chamber of the Department of Mysteries, which literally and figuratively marks his end. Dumbledore shows up and ropes off most of the Death Eaters, but Bellatrix escapes.

Harry blindly chases after Bellatrix, intent to avenge Sirius' death, and as he is catching up with her in the main atrium of the Ministry of Magic, they have a small battle. Then Lord Voldemort himself appears inside the atrium. He and Dumbledore duel, and after a dramatic fight and a brief episode where Voldemort actually manages to possess Harry, tempting Dumbledore to kill him in the body of Harry, Voldemort eventually retreats via disapparating and takes Bellatrix with him. Alerted Ministry of Magic employees arrive in time to see him by themselves - most importantly Cornelius Fudge, who finally accepts Voldemort's return and believes what Dumbledore and Harry have been saying. In turn, the Daily Prophet reverses its hostile stand on the pair, restoring and gilding their reputations with the additional accolade as the forewarners of Voldemort's return in the face of all odds and opposition.

The Prophecy

As the story draws to a close, Dumbledore explains much to Harry. He did not wish to be close to him during the year, as he could sense Voldemort's growing power over the boy--indeed, on more than one occasion, Harry was filled with a desire to strike down Dumbledore. He regretted not helping Harry with learning Occlumency, and also tells him the prophecy: the copy in the Department of Mysteries was just that, a copy. It turns out that at her initial Hogwarts interview sixteen years ago (held in a room at the Hog's Head Inn in Hogsmeade) Trelawney predicted that:

The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches...born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies...and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not...and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives...the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies...

This was interpreted that either Voldemort would kill Harry or Neville Longbottom, or Harry or Neville would kill Voldemort. After Voldemort's attack on Harry as a child, the latter part of the prophecy was realised; Harry would be his foe and kill or be killed by him, not Neville.

The existence of this prophecy brings clarity to Dumbledore remarking that Trelawney's prediction in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban has been her second real one. The first prediction was the Harry/Voldemort prophecy.

Dumbledore also elaborates on the reason why Harry has to stay at the Dursleys' each summer: as Harry's mother died for him, imparting him with magical protection through her sacrifice, he is safe in the Dursleys' home because Aunt Petunia shares Lily Potter's blood, therefore the protection extends to the Dursley home and Voldemort cannot hurt him there, provided he returns once per year. Dumbledore was the one who sent Petunia the Howler, reminding her of her agreement to take Harry in.

In the end, Harry goes back to the Dursleys', but not without Vernon and Petunia getting a stern talking-to by a number of wizards in the Order (including a menacing Mad-Eye). Changes are brewing in the wizarding world. Indeed, the last chapter of the book is entitled "The Second War Begins."

Book 6: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

  • New Places Visited: Unknown
  • Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher: Unknown
  • Title Refers To: An Unknown Person
  • Title Doesn't Refer To: Harry, Voldemort, Tom Riddle, Hagrid

This book has not yet been released: any plot details are nothing more than speculation.

  • Release date: July 16, 2005

Book 7: As yet unreleased

  • New Places Visited: Unknown
  • Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher: Unknown
  • Title Refers To: Unknown

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