Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Chapter 16

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Chapter 16

Godric's Hollow

  • Harry and Hermione are devastated by Ron's angry departure. They wander around for the next few days, trying to figure out what to do next. They question Phineas Nigellus again, and gather that Ginny, Neville, and Luna, and perhaps others, are trying to resurrect Dumbledore's Army, their resistance group from Book 5.
  • One day near Christmas, Harry has something to tell Hermione – but she distracts him with something in Tales of Beedle the Bard, the book Dumbledore left her in his will. She's found a mysterious symbol written in the margin – a triangle that looks like an eye.
  • This is the same symbol they saw Xenophilius Lovegood wearing a the wedding – Grindelwald's mark. They don't know what to make of it. Clearly it's not Dark Magic, because Scrimgeour didn't notice it when he examined the book – so what is it?
  • Harry goes ahead and breaks his news to Hermione: he wants to go to Godric's Hollow. To his surprise, she readily agrees. According to A History of Magic, one of her perennial favorite books, Godric Gryffindor himself was born in that village too, so she thinks Dumbledore might have left the sword there.
  • The decision is made. After a week of preparations, the pair ventures to Harry's birthplace, in disguise.
  • The village is small and quaint, with twinkling Christmas lights, and all evidence of a small, lively community. It seems to be Christmas Eve – Harry and Hermione had completely lost track of the date.
  • Through the gently falling snow, they notice a memorial statue in the town square. It depicts a family – Harry's.
  • They venture to the graveyard, feeling very alone as they hear jolly Christmas carols coming from the village church.
  • The first significant graves they find belong to Kendra, Dumbledore's mother, and Ariana, his sister. It seems like there could be some truth to Rita Skeeter's tales, after all.
  • Another grave catches Hermione's eye – she thinks it says "Potter," but it turns out not to. However, it does have an item of interest; the mysterious symbol from Beedle the Bard is carved on it. The name on the graveyard looks like it says "Ignotus," which isn't familiar to either of them.
  • They keep moving around the graveyard, seeing some family names they recognize, until Hermione calls Harry over – she's found his parents.
  • The gravestone is white marble, like Dumbledore's, and is engraved with a mysterious motto: "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death."
  • Harry's puzzled and a little angered by it at first, but then Hermione comments that it's about the idea that we can attain life beyond death.
  • Harry and Hermione stand before the grave, and Harry tries to keep control. Hermione conjures a wreath of roses, and Harry puts it on his parents' grave before the two of them leave the graveyard.

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