Halloween gives me a great excuse to rave about Harry Potter! Tonight I’m reliving some of the fun moments from each Halloween in the HP books. Enjoy!
The Philosopher’s Stone
On Halloween 1981 Lily and James Potter are murdered by Lord Voldemort and he disappears after the killing curse aimed at Harry backfires.
At Harry’s first Halloween feast, Professor Quirrel bursts in claiming there is a troll in the dungeons and Harry and Ron end up fighting it in the girl’s bathroom to save Hermione.
‘A thousand live bats fluttered from the walls and ceiling while a thousand more swooped over the tables in low black clouds, making the candles in the pumpkins stutter. The feast appeared suddenly on the golden plates, as it had at the start-of-term banquet.
Harry was just helping himself to a baked potato when Professor Quirrell came sprinting into the hall, his turban askew and terror on his face.
Everyone stared as he reached Professor Dumbledore’s chair, slumped against the table, and gasped, “Troll — in the dungeons — thought you ought to know.” He then sank to the floor in a dead faint.’***
‘But from that moment on, Hermione Granger became their friend. 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.’
The Chamber of Secrets
Harry, Ron and Hermione go to Nearly Headless Nick’s Five Hundreth Deathday Party in the dungeons and later they find Mrs.Norris petrified and a message that says the chamber of secrets had been opened…
‘By the time Hallowe’en arrived, Harry was regretting his rash promise to go to the deathday party. The rest of the school was happily anticipating their Halloween feast; theGreat Hall had been decorated with the usual live bats, Rubeus Hagrid’s vast pumpkins had been carved
into lanterns large enough for three men to sit in, and there were rumours that Albus Dumbledore had booked a troupe of dancing skeletons for the entertainment.’
‘The passageway leading to Nearly Headless Nick’s party had been lined with candles, too, though the effect was far from cheerful: These were long, thin, jet-black tapers, all burning bright blue, casting a dim, ghostly light even over their own living faces. The temperature dropped with every step they took. As Harry shivered and drew his robes tightly around him, he heard what sounded like a thousand fingernails scraping an enormous blackboard.
“Is that supposed to be music?” Ron whispered. They turned a corner and saw Nearly Headless Nick standing at a doorway hung with black velvet drapes.
“My dear friends,” he said mournfully. “Welcome, welcome . . . so pleased you could come. . . .”
He swept off his plumed hat and bowed them inside.
It was an incredible sight. The dungeon was full of hundreds of pearly-white, translucent people, mostly drifting around a crowded dance floor, waltzing to the dreadful, quavering sound of thirty musical saws, played by an orchestra on a raised, black-draped platform. A chandelier overhead blazed midnight-blue with a thousand more black candles. Their breath rose in a mist before them; it was like stepping into a freezer. ‘***
‘On the other side of the dungeon was a long table, also covered in black velvet. They approached it eagerly but next moment had stopped in their tracks, horrified. The smell was quite disgusting. Large, rotten fish were laid on handsome silver platters; cakes, burned charcoal-black, were heaped on salvers; there was a great maggoty haggis, a slab of cheese covered in furry green mold and, in pride of place, an enormous gray cake in the shape of a tombstone, with tar-like icing forming the words, Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington died 31st October, 1492.’
‘And then Harry heard it.
“. . . rip . . . tear . . . kill . . .”
It was the same voice, the same cold, murderous voice he had heard in Lockhart’s office.’
The Prisoner of Azkaban
During the Halloween feast in Harry’s third year, Sirius Black attempts to break into the castle to murder Peter Pettigrew, who is disguised as Ron’s rat Scabbers. When the Fat Lady refuses to let him past he slashes her portrait.
‘”Yeah, maybe,” said Harry as they reached the entrance hall and crossed into the Great Hall. It had been decorated with hundreds and hundreds of candle-filled pumpkins, a cloud of fluttering live bats, and many flaming orange streamers, which were swimming lazily across the stormy ceiling like brilliant watersnakes.
The food was delicious; even Hermione and Ron, who were full to bursting with Honeydukes sweets, managed second helpings of everything. Harry kept glancing at the staff table. Professor Lupin looked cheerful and as well as he ever did; he was talking animatedly to tiny little Professor Flitwick, the Charms teacher. Harry moved his eyes along the table, to the place where Snape sat. Was he imagining it, or were Snape’s eyes flickering toward Lupin more often than was natural?
The feast finished with an entertainment provided by the Hogwarts ghosts. They popped out of the walls and tables to do a bit of formation gliding; Nearly Headless Nick, the Gryffindor ghost, had a great success with a reenactment of his own botched beheading. ‘***‘The Fat Lady had vanished from her portrait, which had been slashed so viciously that strips of canvas littered the floor; great chunks of it had been torn away completely. Dumbledore took one quick look at the ruined painting and turned, his eyes somber, to see Professors McGonagall, Lupin, and Snape hurrying toward him.
“We need to find her,” said Dumbledore. “Professor McGonagall, please go to Mr. Filch at once and tell him to search every painting in the castle for the Fat Lady.” ‘
The Goblet of Fire
The Goblet of Fire divulges the names of the champions to be taking part in the Triwizard Tournament.
‘The Halloween feast seemed to take much longer than usual. Perhaps because it was their second feast in two days, Harry didn’t seem to fancy the extravagantly prepared food as much as he would have normally. Like everyone else in the Hall, judging by the constantly craning necks, the impatient expressions on every face, the fidgeting, and the standing up to see whether Dumbledore had finished eating yet, Harry simply wanted the plates to clear, and to hear who had been selected as champions.’***
‘The fire in the goblet had just turned red again. Sparks were flying out of it. A long flame shot suddenly into the air, and borne upon it was another piece of parchment.
Automatically, it seemed, Dumbledore reached out a long hand and seized the parchment. He held it out and stared at the name written upon it. There was a long pause, during which Dumbledore stared at the slip in his hands, and everyone in the room stared at Dumbledore. And then Dumbledore cleared his throat and read out –
“Harry Potter.” ‘
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