3 Powerful Moments from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Dark spoiler aler. If you haven’t read the seventh book in the series you might as well return, unless of course you know how to use the obliviate spell for spoilers!

After one year, one month and eighteen day, a magical journey ended. That was the exact time I needed to finish all the seven books in the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. The final book is filled with intensity as the magical world prepares to face Voldemort, alongside Harry. Many secrets are revealed, and Rowling’s masterpiece is woven together as all pieces are placed in their perfect order.

The reason I chose these moments has to do with the spontaneity it comes in and catches the reader and the characters, and eventually ends up revealing so much more about them and the context everything is happening in. These moments are subtle and yet carry so much weight in them.

There are so many powerful moments of loss, pain, change and inspiration, and this list definitely does not suffice. Nonetheless, here are the three powerful but subtle moment from the final Harry Potter book.

  1. Harry discovering the paintings in Luna’s room

Luna had decorated her bedroom ceiling with five beautifully painted faces: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Neville. They were not moving as the portraits at Hogwarts moved, but there was a certain magic about them all the same: Harry thought they breathed. What appeared to be fine golden chains wove around the pictures, linking them together, but after examining them for a minute or so, Harry realised that the chains were actually one word, repeated a thousand times in golden ink: … friends … friends …

Harry felt a great rush of affection for Luna.

I absolutely adore Luna, for her witty lines and her deep caring intent. While we as readers are able to see into her, perhaps the other characters in the books do not know much about her, with the little exception of Harry. Even so, I’d like to believe Harry did not know the depth of care that Luna carried for everyone. In this moment when he discovers the paintings, Luna becomes really special to Harry. No, she’ll never be Ron or Hermoine or Ginny, but Luna will be Luna. She never explicitly expresses how she feels about her friends. It is only through her little actions that her nature is revealed. And in this exact moment Harry realises how much Luna holds inside of her.

There’re many of us who are like Luna. And she continues to be herself, the irreplaceable Luna. And we continue to be our irreplaceable self.

2. Harry’s feelings after Dobby’s death

Harry placed the elf into the grave, arranged his tiny limbs so that he might have been resting, then climbed out and gazed for the last time upon the little body. He forced himself not to break down as he remembered Dumbledore’s funeral, and the rows and rows of golden chairs, and the Minister for Magic in the front row, the recitation of Dumbledore’s achievements, the stateliness of the white marble tomb. He felt that Dobby deserved just as grand a funeral, and yet there the elf lay between bushes in a roughly dug hole.

Harry mirroing Dumbledore’s death and his deep thought that Dobby deserves the same grandeur to celebrate his life and death, teared me up. Dobby was a tiny little character and yet because of his love and respect towards Harry he manages to carve his place. In this fight everyone has their part, big or small. Dobby, of whose life we do not know much, might have been a small part of it all, but he still remains equally important. Dobby stands as a reflection to all the ones who have played small and yet equally respectful roles not just in Harry Potter but also in our lives.

3. Neville Standing up against Alecto Carrow

‘…..I got this one,’ he indicated another slash to his face, ‘for asking how much Muggle blood she and her brother have got.’

‘Blimey, Neville,’ said Ron, ‘there’s a time and a place for getting a smart mouth.’

‘You didn’t hear her,’ said Neville. ‘You wouldn’t have stood it either. The thing is, it helps when people stand up to them, it gives everyone hope. I used to notice that when you did it, Harry’.

Neville Longbottom is such a wonderful character that has grown over the course of these seven books. In the final book, Neville has grown into so much more than what he started out as. ‘It gives everyone hope,’ this is a beautiful statement made by Neville, despite the pain and fear he might have faced when he decided to stand up against Alecto. Courage was a choice, not something given and Neville proves it over and over again, more visible than ever in the The Battle of Hogwarts.

It also made me reflect the words of Albus Dumbledore for Neville from the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends. I therefore award ten points to Mr. Neville Longbottom.

The more I think about the books, the more I realize that Harry Potter is about so many things, and one of them would be how we all have our spaces in our worlds. They might be big or small, but they have something to do. Without all the ones who believed and worked for the good side, the Boy Who Lived might not have been successful at overthrowing You-Know-Who. Harry Potter may have been the mighty arsenal, the sword, the weapon bestowed power to vanquish the dark lord, but the vessels that were inside of him, that gave him his life, belonged to all those who fought for the good. Tiny little stones make up sky piercing mighty mountains.

Or we might say in the words of Albus Dumbledore himself (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets), it is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. 

Reading Harry Potter at 20 something

Vantage Points

I grew up along with two cousin sisters. We started by playing house. We cooked fake dinners and served imaginary tea. Then we moved on to barbie dolls, online dress up games, art and craft (which I sucked at!). After a point it was now time for exams and school assignments (which still hasn’t left us yet!). But whenever we met, there was a time dedicated specially for Harry Potter. My sisters became Potterheads while they were quite young. I on the other hand, listened to the stories they retold. While I had never read the books and watched only a few of the films, their narration of the Hogwarts world never ceased to make me wonder.  But I never picked up the books, not even from the school library.

Enchanted by the magical world, I continued listening to the stories they told me for many years to come. Sometimes it was about the Patronus, other times about Lily Potter and then Severus Snape. It was even more fascinating to see the two of them try their level best to narrate all the interesting portions from the books and the films as young teens.

One fine day last year I picked up the books, courtesy of one of the same Potterhead sister who had just bought the entire series. The covers looked interesting with the illustrations of the famous Harry Potter with his scar. Then, I read, and read, and read.

Three books later, I can slowly understand what was it in the stories my sisters retold that enchanted me so much many years ago. It was the look in their eyes, how innocently they believed in the story and still do, the warm feeling that lingers after you finish reading each chapter and the urge to know what happens next. Now, Harry Potter references are a common thing between the three of us. The bond between us has grown stronger and special in its own way.

Here are my favorite quotes from the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone at the 20th year anniversary of its release.

‘You flatter me,’ said Dumbledore calmly. ‘Voldemort had powers I will never have.’

‘We can only guess,’ said Dumbledore. ‘We may never know.’

‘I would trust Hagrid with my life,’ said Dumbledore.

There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve foot mountain troll is one of them.

It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.

‘And what if I wave my wand and nothing happens?’
‘Throw it away and punch him on the nose,’ Ron suggested.

To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.

Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.

It takes great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.

I’d like to believe there’s a reason why I began reading Harry Potter at 20 something instead of 12, and the magic is still as strong as ever. I continue to remain awe stuck at the the world crafted by J.K. Rowling through her fine words.

With each page I turn, I marvel at the power of literature, words and stories. I smile, I hope and I dream. And I continue to write.