|Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Major Event|
|Visit to / Escape from Malfoy Manor|
|Time Period||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, March or April|
|Important Characters||Harry, Hermione, Ron, Luna Lovegood, Peter Pettigrew, Dobby, among others|
On his return to the group, Ron tells Harry and Hermione that Voldemort has put a taboo on his name; anyone saying his name will have most of their defensive spells disabled, and will be immediately located by Snatchers. A few months later Harry forgets this, and speaks Voldemort's name. The Trio are very shortly captured by a group of Snatchers led by Fenrir Greyback, who also have captured Dean, and the Goblin Griphook. The Snatchers recognize Hermione, who has been described as traveling in company with Harry, Undesirable Number 1, but Hermione's quick thinking allowed her to cast a spell on Harry which disguised him superficially. The disguise, and Harry's use of a wand other than his own, confuse the Snatchers, but the reward for Harry is tempting enough that the Snatchers take all their captives to Malfoy Manor.
Hermione's attempt to disguise Harry seems to have worked as Narcissa and Lucius Malfoy seem unsure enough of Harry's identity to risk summoning Voldemort. Draco, also brought in to try and confirm Harry's identity, seems uncharacteristically reticent. Narcissa does recognize Hermione, however, and Lucius feels that is sufficient justification to call Voldemort. Bellatrix Lestrange, arriving on the scene, sees that the Trio are carrying the Sword of Gryffindor, and for some reason stops Lucius from summoning Voldemort. Keeping Hermione upstairs for questioning, Bellatrix has the others sent to a locked room in the cellar, where they encounter Luna and Ollivander who are also being held prisoner there. Though the new arrivals are tied up, Luna has found a nail with which she is able to cut their bonds.
Bellatrix tortures Hermione to try to determine where they had found the Sword of Gryffindor. Desperate at hearing Hermione's cries of pain from above, Harry is nervously fidgeting with the fragment of the magic mirror Sirius had given him years before, and sees a sky-blue eye looking out of it at him. Harry pleads for help from the owner of the eye, and shortly Dobby apparates into the cell. Harry bids Dobby take Dean, Ollivander, and Luna to safety at Shell Cottage. From upstairs where she is now torturing Griphook, Bellatrix hears the noise of Dobby Disapparating, and sends Wormtail to investigate. Harry and Ron ambush Pettigrew but are unable to defeat him. Harry reminds Pettigrew of his life debt to Harry, which makes him hesitate; his own magical silver hand detects this and strangles him to death.
Though initially successful in their attempt rescue Hermione and Griphook, Harry and Ron are forced to surrender when a disarmed Bellatrix threatens Hermione with a silver knife; Draco collects Bellatrix' and Pettigrew's wand. Dobby announces his return by causing a chandelier to fall on Bellatrix. Harry seizes the wands Draco Malfoy is holding, and Stuns Fenrir. Ron collects Hermione and Disapparates to Shell Cottage, while Harry similarly collects Griphook. As Harry Disapparates, Bellatrix throws her knife at him. Harry, not knowing where he is heading, is relieved to find, in the midst of his Disapparition, that he can feel Dobby alongside. Arriving at Shell Cottage, Harry discovers that Dobby has been fatally wounded by Bellatrix' thrown knife. Dobby dies moments later, his final words being "Harry Potter".
- Peter Pettigrew and Dobby die. Pettigrew would seem to be very little loss, but Dobby's death is very saddening.
- Mr. Ollivander is rescued. Ollivander had been Voldemort's captive for some time, presumably because of Voldemort's concerns about the strength of Harry's wand. It is likely that Harry also has some questions about wand lore, because of the loss of his own wand, and his hopes that it might be repaired.
- Griphook is rescued, and so owes Harry a debt of honour. Harry seems to have some plans that may require assistance from Griphook.
- Harry notes Bellatrix' panic at the sight of the Sword of Gryffindor, and is aware that she believes the Sword is in her vault at Gringotts Wizarding Bank. Her apparent belief that it would be fatal if Voldemort found out about the Sword having left the vault may have triggered some understanding in Harry.
- Harry has captured Pettigrew's wand, as well as Bellatrix' and Draco's. This leaves only one wand, Narcissa's, in the Malfoy family, and with Ollivander safe, it may be very difficult for either the Malfoys or Bellatrix to get another.
- The vision that Harry experienced during this episode, which came to his mind from Voldemort's, leads us to understand that whatever Voldemort was seeking from the young thief, Grindelwald, is no longer in Grindelwald's possession. Harry may be able to draw some conclusions from this as well.
This episode is one of the points at which Harry, along with Ron and Hermione, are in their deepest peril. Hermione's attempt to disguise Harry by means of a spell that causes his face to swell up seems to be effective, as nobody seems able to identify him; all the same, the Trio is deep in the enemy's stronghold, bound and wandless, and Voldemort has been summoned. And yet they escape, with assistance from Luna and Dobby. Saddening as it is, Dobby's death, or some similarly saddening event, must occur in order to dampen the Trio's celebrations at their escape. Harry has learned some very important things at Malfoy Manor and must pursue them in order to keep the narrative flow going. A celebration of their escape would interrupt the narrative, while the details of Dobby's passing allow Harry the solitary reflection and introspection time that he needs in order to determine what his next steps are, and how to accomplish them.
We will see that this same pattern continues from this point in the story onwards. There will be one break in the action, as the Trio and Griphook consult about the next move; but it is worth noting that the author, from this point on, will arrange events so that the end of one episode will trigger an immediate need to proceed to the next.
We should make one note here about wands. When Harry wrests the three wands away from Draco, they all shift allegiance to him. The one he tosses to Ron, by blind luck, is Pettigrew's, which Ron had earlier wrested away from Pettigrew, and so its allegiance reverts to Ron. this leaves Harry holding Draco's and Bellatrix's wands, both of which now owe allegiance to Harry. This issue of allegiance will be important later in our story.
The two key things that Harry is able to learn from this episode are, first, that something very valuable to Voldemort is kept in Bellatrix' deep vault at Gringotts, and second, that Voldemort is hunting for, and has perhaps found, the Elder Wand or Deathstick, a supposedly unbeatable wand.
Given Bellatrix' fear that Voldemort would fly into a murderous rage at the thought that something, notably the Sword of Gryffindor, had been removed from Bellatrix' vault, Harry guesses that the specific treasure in the deep vault is a Horcrux. Knowing that Voldemort had stolen Hufflepuff's cup during his first rise to power, Harry further guesses that he will be looking for that cup. In order to recover it, he must somehow break into Gringotts, something he is only likely to do with the help of Griphook. In the next chapters, we will see how Harry convinces Griphook to assist, and the price he agrees to pay for that assistance.
Harry's understanding of what Voldemort seeks from Grindelwald is more tenuous, though it turns out his logic is sound. Harry knows that Voldemort believes Harry's wand has some power over his own, and we have seen that Voldemort is avidly seeking information about and from a wandmaker, Gregorovitch. We also know that Voldemort captured Ollivander, another wandmaker. Harry, Hermione, and Ron have recently been discussing the Tale of the Three Brothers from The Tales of Beedle the Bard, and Harry believes that Voldemort has become aware of the legends surrounding the Elder Wand. Harry suspects that Voldemort, obsessed as he is with the apparent strength of Harry's wand, wants the Elder Wand in the belief that it is the only wand that could possibly be stronger than Harry's. Harry's discussions with Ollivander will serve to reassure Harry that, despite his actually holding the Elder Wand, Voldemort will not master it. Until the closing chapters of this book, however, Harry will retain significant doubt about the wand's allegiance.