Published on Jul 22nd 2021
In 1997 Harry left Privet Drive for the very last time. We take a look at the heart-stopping moments from this important night – from the death of Hedwig to Harry's wand saving him...

When Harry came face to face with seven versions of himself

This moment might not strike you as dramatic or one that will take you breath away. But we can’t help but imagine just how surreal it would be to see seven versions of ourselves staring back at us – especially as they seem rather lax about privacy…

The real Harry thought that this might just be the most bizarre thing he had ever seen, and he had seen some extremely odd things. He watched as his six doppelgängers rummaged in the sacks, pulling out sets of clothes, putting on glasses, stuffing their own things away. He felt like asking them to show a little more respect for his privacy as they all began stripping off with impunity, clearly much more at ease with displaying his body than they would have been with their own.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

When they found that they were surrounded

Having successfully taken off from Privet Drive for the final time, we’re sure that Harry and the rest of the Order were hoping for a relatively uneventful journey. However, almost immediately after taking to the skies they found themselves in a life-or-death situation with very little chance of escape. This was certainly a moment where we realised how high the stakes actually were…

And then, out of nowhere, out of nothing, they were surrounded. At least thirty hooded figures, suspended in mid-air, formed a vast circle in the midst of which the Order members had risen, oblivious –

Screams, a blaze of green light on every side: Hagrid gave a yell and the motorbike rolled over. Harry lost any sense of where they were: street lights above him, yells around him, he was clinging to the sidecar for dear life. Hedwig’s cage, the Firebolt and his rucksack slipped from beneath his knees
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

When Hedwig was killed

Before Harry could even fully comprehend the situation that he, Hagrid, the decoys and their protectors were in – tragedy struck. Hedwig had been Harry’s companion from the very first day that he became part of the wizarding world. She had been his connection to it when he was stuck at the Dursley’s, she had watched over him (and kept him on the straight and narrow with the odd peck or clip round the ear) and most importantly – she had been his friend. To lose Hedwig in such a quick and brutal way was devastating.

The broomstick spun to earth, but he just managed to seize the strap of his rucksack and the top of the cage as the motorbike swung the right way up again. A second’s relief, and then another burst of green light. The owl screeched and fell to the floor of the cage.

‘No – NO!’

The motorbike zoomed forwards; Harry glimpsed hooded Death Eaters scattering as Hagrid blasted through their circle.

‘Hedwig – Hedwig –’

But the owl lay motionless and pathetic as a toy on the floor of her cage.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

When Voldemort appeared

While being surrounded by Death Eaters is terrifying enough on its own, Voldemort suddenly appearing would be heart-stopping. Harry and Hagrid were already in the thick of things and struggling to hold off those they were fighting. So, when Voldemort made his entrance – we had no idea how they would survive this encounter. What made it even scarier was that Voldemort had picked up a new skill and could now fly…

Then the scar on his forehead burned like fire: as a Death Eater appeared on either side of the bike, two Killing Curses missed Harry by millimetres, cast from behind –

And then Harry saw him. Voldemort was flying like smoke on the wind, without broomstick or Thestral to hold him, his snake- like face gleaming out of the blackness, his white fingers raising his wand again
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

When Harry’s wand saved him

Having thought that Harry and Hagrid were about to meet their end, we suddenly found ourselves holding our breath as help came from an unlikely source. As Hagrid tumbled to the ground, the pain overwhelmed Harry and Voldemort was on the verge of victory – Harry’s wand acted on its own, providing Harry with the opportunity he needed.

As the pain from Harry’s scar forced his eyes shut, his wand acted of its own accord. He felt it drag his hand round like some great magnet, saw a spurt of golden fire through his half-closed eyelids, heard a crack and a scream of fury. The remaining Death Eater yelled; Voldemort screamed, ‘No!’: somehow, Harry found his nose an inch from the dragon-fire button: he punched it with his wand-free hand and the bike shot more flames into the air, hurtling straight towards the ground.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

When George was left without an ear

The Weasley family are Harry’s family – and we feel just as protective over them. So, when George returned without his ear, we were shocked. To have a character that is usually so light-hearted injured in such a ghastly way, made us truly recognise the horror and weight of what had transpired that night. Though in typical George fashion he didn’t let it keep him down for long – who can remember those truly terrible ‘holey’ jokes?

Harry ran forwards and seized George’s legs. Together, he and Lupin carried George into the house and through the kitchen to the sitting room, where they laid him on the sofa. As the lamplight fell across George’s head, Ginny gasped and Harry’s stomach lurched: one of George’s ears was missing. The side of his head and neck were drenched in wet, shockingly scarlet blood.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

When we learnt Moody’s fate

While we worried about the fate of those travelling to The Burrow, we assumed that the worst had passed with the loss of Hedwig and George’s ear. We were wrong. Mad-Eye Moody was the gruff, tough and talented Auror that seemed pretty indestructible. He frequently risked his life and while he suffered some war wounds (such as losing some of his nose and his eye), we never thought Moody would die. To hear that he had in fact been killed and had fallen from his broom was devastating – especially as a hero as valiant as Moody deserved a proper send-off.

Mrs Weasley ran forwards, but the hug Bill bestowed upon her was perfunctory. Looking directly at his father, he said, ‘Mad- Eye’s dead.’

Nobody spoke, nobody moved. Harry felt as though something inside him was falling, falling through the earth, leaving him forever.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


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