Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) opens Dumbledore's tomb on a small island in the Black Lake near the Hogwarts castled campus, creepily lowering himself over Dumbledore's pale corpse (Michael Gambon), and snatching Dumbledore's wand (the Elder Wand of the wizarding world's myths and legends, which is one of three "deathly hallows" supposed to grant power over Death itself to the man or woman possessing all three hallows at the same time (the other two deathly hallows are the Resurrection Stone and the Cloak of Invisibility...with the Cloak belonging to Harry since the first film and the Resurrection Stone still a mystery as of the beginning of Deathly Hallows Part 2)). Once obtained, Voldemort uses the Elder Wand to shoot a jolt of bright energy into the air, triumphant.
Flash cut to the familiar Warner Bros. shield logo, colored grey with black specs, like cold marble...which turns into the gray marble of a tombstone standing in the sand near Shell Cottage, the Weasley family's vacation home by the sea. Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) stands above Dobby's grave, where he buried him after Part 1 in a sand dune near the cottage. The tombstone reads: "Here Lies Dobby, A Free Elf". A morose Harry contemplates Dobby's sacrifice while the rest of his group awaits his return to the cottage where they are gathering information from the Gringott's Bank goblin (Griphook, played by Warwick Davis) and Mr. Ollivander (John Hurt). Bill and Fleur Delacour Weasley (Domhnall Green and Clemence Poesy) and Luna Lovegood (Evannah Lynch) are also at Shell Cottage - the Weasleys are helping to protect Harry while Luna's there because she too was kidnapped and taken to Malfoy Manor, then apparated to Shell Cottage by Dobby at the end of Part 1.
Note: If you have not seen Deathly Hallows Part 1, you will be lost because there's no exposition explaining who anyone is or what's happening...you just have to know, and the director assumes these films will be watched together back to back as one 6-hour film in the future. You do not need to have read the Potter books, however, to watch the movie, though here and there some things might not make any sense to you unless you know the backstory in the books omitted from the films.
Luna's fascinated with the shells used to decorate the cottage, particularly the wind chimes she notes are used by Muggles to ward off evil spirits...which Luna finds ridiculous (and considering it's Luna talking about other people doing ridiculous things, it's a funny line, because she believes in things even the weirdest wizards think are ridiculous). Harry, Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) are all shell-shocked and still visibly exhausted from the events of Part 1, but soldier on planning to obtain the next horcrux (items that were imbued by Voldemort with parts of his soul, so that Voldemort can live forever as long as these hidden objects are not destroyed). In Part 1, the trio realized Voldemort's journal, a ring with a black stone (the Gaunt family ring), and Slytherin's necklace were all horcruxes, which have now been destroyed...so the trio anticipates searching for at least three more horcruxes and destroying them (though they do not know what these horcruxes look like or where they are hidden...and they have just assumed there are six horcruxes total, without anyone ever confirming that definitively). Because Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) was so adamant about learning "what else" was taken from her Gringott's Bank vault in Part 1 (where it was revealed Bellatrix had what she believed to be the Sword of Godric Griffindor hidden in her vault), the trio deduce another horcrux must be hidden in her vault. They question Griphook about what's inside that vault and how they can break into Gringott's to destroy it.
Griphook regards Harry with more respect than he gives most wizards, because Griphook notes Harry buried Dobby like a wizard equal and rescued Griphook from Malfoy Manor, when he didn't have to save Griphook's life. Harry remembers Griphook from when he was 11 and Hagrid brought him to Gringott's for the first time and Griphook remembers Harry because his fame is known in goblin circles as well. Harry offers Griphook his gold if Giphook gets the trio into Gringott's and inside Bellatrix's vault, but Griphook has no interest in the gold. Sitting in an upper room of Shell Cottage talking to the trio, Griphook stares at the Sword of Griffindor that's standing against the wall. He makes Harry a deal: he will get them into Gringott's if Harry gives him the sword. Though it's not explained directly in the movie, Griphook wants the sword because it's goblin-made and goblins have been wanting it back for hundreds of years, feeling they were forced against their will to make it for wizards in the first place. It's also not explained that Bellatrix has a fake Sword of Griffindor inside her vault (which was stolen from Dumbledore's office before Part 1, after Dumbledore and Snape hid the real Sword of Griffindor in the Forest of Dean for Harry to find in Part 1, according to Dumbledore's plan to leave clues and items for the trio to find to help them in their final battle with Voldemort).
Harry agrees to give Griphook the Sword of Griffindor in return for Griphook's help, though Harry is not sharp enough to make the goblin promise to get them back to safety once they are inside (important later).
After questioning Griphook, Harry, Hermione, and Ron talk to Mr. Ollivander about his knowledge of wands and the deathly hallows. First, Harry has him identify the two wands the trio collected in the battle at Malfoy Manor in Part 1. A crooked, evil-looking, crazy wand belongs to Bellatrix and the other mystery wand is Draco Malfoy's (Tom Felton). Mr. Ollivander explains that Draco's hawthorn tree/dragon heart string wand had a recent switch of allegiance after Harry bested Draco in battle at Malfoy Manor. This means that while the wand would still work in Draco's possession, it would be unpredictable and erratic, because Harry now technically owns this wand. Mr. Ollivander educates the trio about wand ownership and reminds them that a wand's true allegiance is always to the person the wand was created for, or the person who took that wand from its last owner in battle. This has serious implications for Voldemort regarding the Elder Wand because Voldemort believes Professor Snape (Alan Rickman) won the wand from Dumbledore before Snape killed him, when in reality Draco disarmed Dumbledore and won the Elder Wand from him in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Mr. Ollivander tells the trio that no wand in history was ever as powerful as the Elder Wand and that if Voldemort possesses this wand, and if it was loyal to him, then he would be unbeatable. Mr. Ollivander is pessimistic about the trio's chances of defeating Voldemort and resigns himself to the fact that Voldemort has indeed won and taken over the wizarding the world. The trio leave him and prepare for their raid on Gringott's Bank.
Hermione snatched one of Bellatrix's hairs off of her clothes before the trio apparated away; she used that personal item from Bellatrix to create a Pollyjuice potion to turn herself into a Bellatrix look-a-like for the bank raid. Ron has disguised himself as an unknown, random Death Eater (follower of Voldemort) by magically adding a goatee to his face and dressing in black, dour clothes to look like a henchman/servant in Bellatrix's employ. Harry and Griphook will be concealed under the Invisibility Cloak. Harry puts the Sword of Griffindor into Hermione's enchanted bag (seen in Part 1, with the ability to carry an unlimited number of large objects inside) and tells Griphook he will get the sword when they have found the horcrux inside Bellatrix's vault, whatever it may be. The trio and Griphook join hands on a dune outside Shell Cottage and apparate to Diagon Alley, near Gringott's Bank.
Wanted posters reveal Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley to be the most wanted "undesirables" in the wizarding world by order of the Ministry of Magic.
Near Gringott's, a passerby says hello to Bellatrix and Hermione perkily shouts "Good morning!" and is promptly scolded by Griphook, since Bellatrix would not behave this way. Hermione has great difficulty staying in character as Bellatrix, and even more trouble walking in Bellatrix's high heels. Ron walks right behind her into the bank, while Griphook rides Harry's shoulders so the two can both hide under the Invisibility Cloak and trail behind the others into the bank. Hermione presents herself to the goblin clerk working a high marble desk and demands to be let into "her" vault; the goblins have been alerted that someone would be asking to get into Bellatrix's vault, so they are suspicious of Hermione but also afraid of angering the real Bellatrix if this indeed was her in front of them. The clerk calls a manager over and the manager Bogrod (Jon Kev) demands to see Bellatrix's wand as proof of her identity. Even though they possess the wand, Hermione refuses to show it and the Gringott's security officer starts to move towards them...but, from under the invisibility cloak Harry uses his own wand to cast a euphoria spell on Bogrod, making him so happy and delighted he allows Hermione and Ron behind Gringott's security.
Hermione, Ron, Harry, and Griphook all join Bogrod on a rollercoaster-like mine car for the journey deep into the earth where Bellatrix's vault is located. This is a super-tight security cavern deep under Gringott's. Bogrod is magically charmed to have no idea what is happening at that moment. All's well until the mine car passes under a waterfall called "Theives' Down Fall" that's magically enchanted to wash away all magical charms...when the group clears the waterfall, drenched, and is dumped off the mine car to land near Bellatrix's vault, Bogrod is no longer charmed and Hermione and Ron have lost their disguises. Ron recharms Bogrod and the group walks over to a large wooden box that possesses noise making devices used to scare an abused, albino dragon into submission. Griphook explains the dragon was charmed to expect pain when it hears the noise, so it immediately shies away into a corner as the group passes through with the noise makers. Hermione notes the bloody cuts and numerous scars on the dragon, as well as the massive spikes jutting out the dragon's back along its spine. She also checks where on the walls the dragon's chains are bolted, for her future, ever-thinking reference.
Inside Bellatrix's vault, piles of gold and silver clutter the room, which has been enchanted to allow no magical spells like the "acchio horcrux!" spell the trio have repeatedly tried using (in vain) to summon horcruxes to them. They need to deduce what object in the room is a horcrux and find it without magic, while also avoiding a curse placed on the objects in the room that causes them to multiply when touched by an intruder. Hermione knocks over a golden cup and it starts splitting into two, four, six, eight, etc. while Ron knocks over a tray filled with various items that start to flood the room with metal. Harry spots an ornate, antique cup high on a ledge in the room and realizes it must be a horcrux...this is the Cup of Helga Hufflepuff, keeping with Voldemort's obsession with finding items related to Hogwarts founders and turning them into horcruxes. Harry swims through an undulating sea of multiplying treasure to reach the horcrux cup and snatch it from the shelf using the Sword of Griffindor as a reaching tool. Harry wants to use the sword to destroy the horcrux right there, but Griphook insists on taking the sword at that very moment as his fee for getting them into the vault.
Griphook then betrays the trio, telling them the deal was to get them in, not out. Griphook and a still-enchanted Bogrod scurry away, leaving the trio in the vault. Hermione uses her wand to blast through a doorway, and the trio sees Griphook scurrying past security officers and other goblins who've come to see what's happening in the vault. The trio realizes they are trapped, and Hermione tells Harry and Ron she has a crazy idea to get them out. As they watch Bogrod being incinerated by the albino dragon (when he stopped to waive at it, since the spell he's under made him think the dragon was friendly), Hermione jumps on the dragon's back, using a spike as a sort of riding saddle. She then starts blasting the chains holding the dragon to the wall. Harry and Ron follow her lead and the dragon's soon free. It quickly realizes it can escape its abusers and it claws its way through the cave to an opening leading to fresh air, with the trio on its back. The dragon belches flames at the security officers and goblins, smashing the mine car tracks as reinforcements race into the cavern trying to stop the trio's escape. The dragon lets nothing stop its escape to freedom, as it climbs up through the cave and punches through the marble floor of the Gringott's lobby, while dozens of goblins keep working on their accounting ledgers and counting their gold. The dragon bursts through the Gringott's Bank dome and starts crawling over the buildings on Diagon Alley, with the trio clutching tightly to its back. The dragon takes to the skies and flies high above London, banking hard and heading towards the countryside. Over a lake, the trio decide to jump off the dragon's back and land into the water.
Hitting the surface hard, the trio plunge deep into the dark water, where Harry gets a flash of what Voldemort's up to: he's furious the trio is hunting horcruxes, and for the first time Harry senses that Voldemort is afraid of being defeated. Harry catches a glimpse of Voldemort, Bellatrix, and other DeathEaters executing all the goblins in Gringott's not long after the trio escaped on the dragon. Voldemort realizes the Hufflepuff Cup is gone and that the sword in the vault is a fake. The real Sword of Griffindor was still in Griphook's hand, but once he died on the floor of the bank with many other goblins, the Sword disappeared magically (and will not reappear in the movie via the Sorting Hat until a true and deserving Griffindor house member needs it, as established in previous movies). Harry explains to Hermione and Ron that Voldemort knows what they are doing, and that they need to find a way to destroy the Cup now that they have lost the Sword of Griffindor. They also need to identify and find the remaining horcruxes. With no other leads, the trio decides to apparate to Hogsmeade Village (just outside Hogwarts) to continue their quest there. After changing into dry clothes from Hermione's bag, the trio heads to Hogsmeade.
Immediately upon apparating into Hogsmeade, the trio set off all sorts of screeching alarms, since magical charms were setup by the DeathEaters to detect apparating into the village, especially by Harry Potter. The Snatchers Scabior (Nick Moran), Fenrir Greyback (Dave Legeno), and others begin hunting for the trio, turning over tables in the Three Broomsticks' outdoor patio. Aberforth Dumbledore (Ciaran Hinds), Albus Dumbledore's brother, finds the trio and immediately conceals them inside his home. There, Harry realizes the person he saw in Part 1 (while he was in the Malfoy Manor dungeon, when he called for help and Dobby arrived to save them) in a piece of mirror he's been carrying around was actually Aberforth (and not Albus, as Harry might have assumed). This bit is confusing in the movie because for some reason the mirror was never explained in any of the films: it's a two-way mirror that's the wizard equivalent of Skype video conferencing...Harry has a piece of mirror that came off one of two mirrors that were a set...his uncle Sirius possessed these two mirrors at one time and after Sirius' death they went missing. Harry had a shard of the mirror with him in his pocket all throughout Part 1. Aberforth explains that Mundungus (the thief in Part 1 who stole the Slytherin necklace and ultimately gave it to Delores Umbridge) stole this mirror and sold it to Aberforth. Harry tells Aberforth that Dobby was killed while helping them escape Malfoy Manor. Aberforth is depressed and Harry believes he's given up in the battle against Voldemort, because Aberforth seems to have some of the pessimism that Mr. Olivander showed back at Shell Cottage. Aberforth tells the painting of his sister Ariana Dumbledore (Hebe Bearsall) to "go get him", though Aberforth doesn't tell the trio who he's talking about. A few moments later, Ariana returns to her painting walking down a country road, seemingly with someone in tow behind her.
It's actually Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis), who has been leading Dumbledore's Army inside Hogwarts in Harry's absence. Neville is battered and bruised and explains to the trio that all the magical passageways into Hogwarts have been sealed up, so the only way into the castle is through a tunnel the Room of Requirement created between the school and Aberforth's home in Hogsmead. Aberforth has been providing Dumbledore's Army with food and supplies via the hole behind the painting. Neville also explains that Hogwarts is under DeathEater control, with Snape installed as Headmaster and "the Carrows" in charge of torturing Hogwarts students. Amycus Carrow (Ralph Ineson) is the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, though Neville explains "it's just Dark Arts now", since Carrow teaches students how to use the Cruciatus Curse on first year students. Alecto Carrow (Suzie Toase) joins her brother in enforcing the DeathEaters' hold over Hogwarts. As Neville guides the trio through the passageway into the Room of Requirement, it's clear Hogwarts is a very changed place: Dementors fly freely all over the grounds, students are marched in tight formations across the ground like in military parades in fascist countries, and the students are all bloody and bruised from being abused by the Carrows and their student enforcers. When Neville arrives first through the passageway into the Room of Requirement, he announces to the Dumbledore's Army members that he has a surprise with him. Dean Thomas (Alfie Enoch) and Seamus Finnigan (Devon Murray) speculate on whether it's more of Aberforth's bad cooking, but then Harry appears and the assembled students burst into cheers. Immediately, the student operating the Dumbledore's Army Underground Radio takes to the airwaves with the assigned coded message "Lightning has struck", which was the agreed-upon signal to the remaining Order of the Phoenix and other Resistance fighters that Harry Potter had returned and the time to assemble at Hogwarts for battle was now.
Off screen, all of Harry's allies get the message to head to Hogwarts as Harry's reinforcements.
Harry, Hermione, and Ron speak to the assemblage of Dumbledore's Army members, with Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright) thrilled to see Harry. Ron comments that his own sister Ginny hasn't seen him in six months and treats him like a first year student she's never met, with all her attention and concern going to Harry. Eagerly, Dumbledore's Army wants to know what Harry's plan is, and he tells them they "need to find something, but we don't know what it is, and we don't know where it is, but it's somewhere in the castle". Harry says the thing they need to find will be small and very important historically. Luna, part of Ravenclaw house, suggets a small historically-important item at Hogwart's that could be well-hidden is the missing diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw, which has been missing for centuries. Harry instantly realizes that Luna is right, since Voldemort used Slytherin's necklace and Hufflepuff's cup for two of his other horcruxes. Harry, Hermione, and Ron decide they must find the diadem -- which is explained to be like a tiara -- somewhere in the castle, with Harry believing the Ravenclaw common room would be a place to start looking. It's noted that no one alive today has ever seen the diadem, which Luna alone realizes will lead them to the horcrux.
While Harry's meeting with Dumbledore's Army and the Order of the Phoenix remnants are arriving at Hogwarts, Snape's called an assembly in the Great Hall where he's threatening the students with discipline if they do not reveal the location of Harry Potter, since the Snatchers in Hogsmeade got word to Hogwarts that Harry was spotted in the village but disappeared again. The Carrows are standing at the front of the hall with Snape, though they never speak in the movie. Snape threatens the students and tells them that if they do not reveal Potter's location he will be forced to punish them. While this has been happening, Harry snuck into the Great Hall and took a place near the back of the gallery of students...emerging dramatically to confront Snape. "How dare you stand where he once stood?", Harry demands of Snape, in reference to Snape taking the place of the beloved Dumbledore. Everyone is shocked that Harry has appeared and a duel begins between Snape and Harry, but Professor McGonagall (Maggie Smith) intervenes and duels Snape herself. McGonnagall's spells are giant whips of flame that smash into Snape, knocking the evil Carrows unconscious as well. Snape turns into black smoke and bursts through the stained glass window in the hall, escaping. There's a momentary cheer for Harry, but that's stopped short by Voldemort broadcasting loudly to everyone in Hogwarts, telling them that he is close by with an army of DeathEaters and that if they do not give Harry Potter to him that he will attack the school and kill them all. Voldemort tells them that he does not want to do this and that if they just give Harry Potter to him that he will leave Hogwarts alone.
There's a pause while everyone in the hall absorbs Voldemort's threat. Pansy Parkinson (Scarlett Byrne), of Slytherin house, speaks up and asks what everyone is waiting for, urging them to give Harry over to Voldemort. Ginny is first to step forward and stand in front of Harry, protecting him. She's joined by other students, first Griffindors and then Ravenclaw and Hufflepuffs too. The door bursts open and Hermione and Ron join in to defend Harry, with Order of the Phoenix members like the Weasley family, Kingsley Shacklebolt (George Harris), Remus Lupin (David Theliss), Nymphaora Tonks (Natalia Tena), Fleur, and others. Pansy is clearly outnumbered in her anti-Harry sentiments.
At that moment, Argus Filch (David Bradley), bursts into the room with his cat Mrs. Norris informing McGonnagall that "students are out of their beds!". McGonnagall calls him an idiot, because CLEARLY everyone in the castle is awake and assembled, but tells him his interruption is well-timed because he needs to escort Pansy and the rest of Slytherin house into the dungeons for safe-keeping. All the Slytherins are then marched off so that they cannot betray Harry or assist Voldemort in the battle McGonnagall knows will come. Somehow, though, Malfoy, Gregory Goyle, and Blaise Zabini avoid being locked in the dungeon.
McGonnagall assembles the Hogwarts staff and students and empowers them to defend the school at all costs. McGonngall tells Harry she will give him time to do what he needs to do, but that even the combined might of the faculty will not be able to hold Voldemort's forces at bay for long. Harry then dashes off to find the diadem of Ravenclaw while Hermione and Ron head to the Chamber of Secrets where they know the basilisk's skeleton must still remain: they reason that since Harry used a basilisk fang to destroy Tom Riddle's journal in their second year, that the fangs from the basilisk must be able to destroy the Hufflepuff cup. Harry is in a rush to get to the Ravenclaw common room, but Luna stops him on the stairs even though he is trying to ignore her. The soft-spoken and always-polite Luna tells him squarely, "Harry Potter, you will listen to me" and then insists he's on a fool's errand because while no one alive has seen the diadem of Ravenclaw, the ghost of the Grey Lady has seen it...and it's known this ghost was the daughter of Rowena Ravenclaw. It seems that Luna has befriended the ghost and knows the part of the castle she usually haunts, so Luna takes Harry there while students and faculty race throughout the building preparing for battle.
McGonnagall leads the faculty's protection efforts from the Entrance Courtyard to the castle, casting a spell that summons the stone statues of knights in armor to life and ordering them to defend the perimeters. "Our school is threatened. Man the boundaries! Do your duty. Protect us!", she shouts, as statues leap from the walls and doorways and begin to march across the main stone bridge to block Voldemort's forces. After casting the spell, McGonnagall says to Molly Weasley (Julie Walters), "I've always wanted to use that spell".
Little Professor Flitwick (Warwick Davis) raises his wand into the air and helps cast part of the shield that covers the entire school, with other faculty joining in to help power it. Professor Sprout (Miriam Margolves) conjures tentacula vines around the grounds to ensnarl Voldemort's forces when they get through the shield. Professor Slughorn (Jim Broadbent), though head of Slytherin house, is loyal to Hogwarts and helps man the defenses. McGonnagall gives a special project to Neville and Seamus, telling them to blow up the bridge to Hogsmeade village (the long, rickety covered bridge seen in previous films). Seamus especially can't believe it and keeps asking whether he really has permission to blow up a bridge, but McGonnagall urges him to do so since he has a flare for pyrotechnics (it was a running joke in the film series that Seamus got a face full of exploding something or another in just about every movie).
Meanwhile, Ron and Hermione have made it to the Chamber of Secrets offscreen, and Ron opens the Chamber using parseltongue sounds he heard Harry making in his sleep through the years. "Harry talks in his sleep, did you know?" he asks Hermione, and she's embarrassed because she's never slept with Harry so she says "of course I don't know that". The sexual chemistry between Ron and Hermione has really built up in all the tension, and this is the last moment before they really give into that for good...so as they cross the barrier into the Chamber of Secrets Hermione also magically becomes Ron's girlfriend. Once inside, Ron snaps fangs off the basilisk skeleton while Hermione prepares the Hufflepuff cup for puncturing. Ron gives Hermione the honor of destroying this horcrux (as Ron destroyed the Slytherin locket, Dumbledore destroyed the Gaunt ring, and Harry destroyed Tom Riddle's journal in previous films). When the Cup is punctured, Voldemort screams and Harry feels the pain as well. The evil inside the cup causes the water in the Chamber of Secrets to explode sideways into a tsunami that chases Ron and Hermione, before draining away in the sides of the walls. Ron looks at Hermione and she looks at him and the two realize how much they love each other. They kiss passionately, before heading back upstairs to rejoin the preparation for battle.
During this time, Luna has led Harry down to a lower level of the castle where the Grey Lady (Kelly Macdonald) haunts, telling Harry that he needs to do this on his own so she leaves him at the doorway. The Grey Lady presents herself and tells Harry she's fond of Luna, who is so kind. The ghost is a Ravenclaw, which is a house that loves riddles (and has a riddle as the common room's password in the books...instead of the normal passwords that the other houses have). While Harry is talking to her, the ghost plays games for a spell and does not want to tell him anything, until Harry reminds her that she has a duty to the school her mother founded. There's a lot of backstory to the diadem that's not in the film, but the movie boils it down to the diadem belonging originally to Rowena Ravenclaw, Tom Riddle tricking the Grey Lady into finding it many years ago, and then Riddle (before he was Voldemort), stealing the diadem and turning it into a horcrux. Harry reminds the Grey Lady that she wants the diadem destroyed and if she tells him where it is he will do that. The Grey Lady then gives Harry a riddle to solve, about finding something where lost things are, and that if he doesn't know where that is then he shouldn't even look. Harry is puzzled, but thinks about what part of the castle the Grey Lady could be talking about. Elsewhere, Ron and Hermione have the Mauraders' Map and are looking for Harry. They quickly spot him on the map, but he disappears. Ron and Hermione try to figure out what that means, but it's Ron who solves it: the Room of Requirement is where they need to go. Ron actually gives Hermione credit for this bit of mystery-solving, since he figure out where Harry was based on something she said to him a while ago. Hermione looks at Ron in a new light, clearly realizing he's now her boyfriend and that she loves him.
The trio head to the Room of Requirement, unaware Malfoy, Gregory Goyle (Josh Herdman), and Blaise Zabini (Louis Cordice) are following them. Vincent Crabbe (portrayed by Jamie Waylett), one of Malfoy's usual henchman, is not in the movie because the actor who plays him was arrested on drug charges before filming so Blaise is inserted in his place and other things are reconfigured in the movie as a result. Inside the Room of Requirement, all of Hogwarts' lost items are accumulated in various stacks and towers. The blue Cornish pixies from the second film make an appearance. Ron distracts Malfoy, Goyle, and Zabini while Harry and Hermione look for the diadem...which Harry quickly finds inside a box. The diadem is shaped like an eagle, the symbol of Ravenclaw. Before Harry can destroy it, the diadem's zapped out of his hands by Malfoy and ends up behind a bunch of broken furniture heaped into a pile. While in the Room of Requirement, Harry makes mention of Malfoy not revealing Harry's identity in Part 1, back at Malfoy's Manor, when Bellatrix and Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs) asked Malfoy if the person with the stinging spell jinxed face was indeed Harry. Harry realizes that Malfoy is not all evil at heart, otherwise he would have betrayed Harry when he had the chance...but in essence Malfoy saved his life and the life of his friends. Harry and Hermione recover the diadem from behind the furniture just as Ron comes racing towards them chased by a wall of fire. "Goyle's set the whole place on fire!" he shouts, as the trio race towards the door, all the avenues of junk being filled by living fire that's taken the shape of various ferocious animals like a giant fire eagle, a fire bear, a fire lion, etc. Goyle is killed by the flames as Malfoy and Zabini climb a tower of junk in tears, afraid they will be killed. Harry, Hermione, and Ron find brooms and start to ride out of the Room, but Harry tells them they must save Malfoy and Zabini. Ron says, "Fine. But if we die trying to save the two people who just tried to kill us, I'll kill you Harry". The trio race on their brooms and save Malfoy and Zabini and deposit them outside the Room of Requirement just as the wall starts to seal itself. Harry grabs a basilisk fang and punctures the diadem seconds before Ron picks up the horcrux and throws it into the flames. The wall seals and they are safe, though Harry is visibly hurt by the destruction of the horcrux...as is Voldemort, who's outside with his forces, feeling another part of his soul destroyed.
Voldemort's forces fire bolts of magic at the shield covering Hogwarts, to no avail. Voldemort and his DeathEaters are attacking Hogwarts' front entrance, where the giant clocktower is located, as well as the Entrance Courtyard. The Snatchers and other ragtag villains are attacking the other entrance to Hogwarts, from the Hogsmeade village bridge side. Switching between these two fronts on the battle, a handful of Snatchers are obliterated like bugs in a backyard zapper when they try to run through the magical barrier. Neville's on the bridge, working with Seamus to rig it with explosives, taunting these villains because he's safely behind the magical shield. After the destruction of the diadem, Voldemort is so enraged he uses an immense amount of energy and magic to attack the shield, weakening it so severely it starts to collapse in little bits of flame and embers. Voldemort's forces rush the stone bridge to the Entrance Courtyard, using giants to pummel the stone statues guarding that entrance. The Snatchers realize the barrier is down and rush towards Neville on the bridge. Neville sets off the explosives and races back to Hogwarts as the bridge collapses beneath him...he just makes it to safety, but everyone on the bridge behind him is killed. Neville, Seamus, and other students then return inside Hogwarts to assist with the battle at the Entrance Courtyard, where Voldemort's forces are making headway.
During all this, Kingsley, the Weasley Twins (James and Oliver Phelps), Remus and Tonks, and other powerful fighters are manning the towers blasting the DeathEaters who've taken smoke form and are trying to invade the castle from the air. As a fight approaches, Remus and Tonks reach out to touch one another, their fingers not quite meeting, in a poignant bit before fighting starts. Flitwick, McGonnagall, Sprout, and Slughorn (the Hogwarts heads of house) are the generals leading their respective students to fight back the DeathEaters and Voldemort as they attack the castle. During this fighting, Fred Weasley is killed in a tower and Nigel Wespurt (William Melling, playing a character created just for the films that is an amalgam of the Colin and Dennis Creevey little boy characters in the books) is found dead amongst Hogwarts rubble. Giants smash the stone guards on the bridge. Acromantulas crawl across the grounds, biting Hogwarts defenders, Dementors swarm over the fighters, and blasts of magic are exchanged nonstop between the forces of good and evil.
It is a massive battle with action at every turn.
When Voldemort fired the Elder Wand at Hogwarts' defensive shield, the wand actually cracked because it was resisting him. It took Voldemort a while to realize what happened, but it occurred to him that the wand must not owe its allegiance to him...even though he took it from Dumbledore's dead body...because he figures Snape must have taken it from Dumbledore before Snape killed him. Voldemort is wrong of course -- since Draco Malfoy disarmed Dumbledore in the battle of the Astronomy tower in the Half Blood Prince the Elder Wand doesn't owe allegiance to Snape, but to Malfoy (and then Harry since Harry disarmed Malfoy). Voldemort dispatches Lucius Malfoy to find Snape so that he can bring the Elder Wand under better control.
Voldemort's poor decisions and misjudgement's of the Elder Wand's loyalty begin his defeat starting at this point.
Hermione and Ron urge Harry to focus on the remaining horcrux, to determine where and what it is. The trio comes to realize Nagini the snake is a horcrux and that Voldemort would want to personally guard the snake so it won't be destroyed. Harry focuses on where Voldemort might be, and realizes he is in the Hogwarts boat house on the Black Lake. The trio head there to attempt to destroy Nagini, thinking this is the last horcrux and its destruction will render Voldemort mortal at last.
Inside the boat house, Voldemort has summoned Snape and says that while Snape was a good servant, that Voldemort now needs to kill him so that the Elder Wand will not owe its allegiance to Snape any more. This is the moment that Snape knew was coming for many years, when Snape would have to die so that Harry Potter could live and everything Snape and Dumbledore worked on together would come to fruition. Snape bravely takes it while Voldemort uses the Elder Wand to slash at Snape's throat. Then Voldemort compels Nagini to bite Snape repeatedly, injecting him with poison. Voldemort leaves Snape to die but does not have Nagini eat him. When Voldemort leaves the boat house, Harry, Hermione, and Ron rush in (as they had been hiding outside while Snape was attacked). Harry rushes over to comfort the dying Snape, though not yet realizing Snape was actually one of the good guys the whole time. It's just Harry's good nature to comfort the dying. Snape tells Harry to bottle his tears and take the memories contained therein to a pensieve so that Harry can view them and learn Snape's secrets. Hermione gives Harry some vials she had in her magic purse for this task. Snape dies and the trio head back to the castle, with Harry breaking off from the group to use the pensieve in Dumbledore's (and Snape's) old Headmaster's Office.
Knowing he is not yet at full strength, Voldemort orders a strategic stop to the fighting with another offer that he'll withdraw his forces if Harry Potter is given to him within one hour. Voldemort says that too much wizarding blood is being spilled in the conflict and that all he wants is Harry Potter. Voldemort then addresses Harry directly and tells him that he needs to come to Voldemort in the Forbidden Forest to surrender himself, or else any other deaths will be on his conscience because people are dying while protecting him. Inside Hogwarts, this lull is used to gather the dead and wounded into the Great Heall. The Weasleys mourn Fred, with Ron having a breakdown over his brother's bloody body. Harry is destroyed inside seeing how many people have been killed or seriously maimed in the conflict...including Remus and Tonks, whose bodies are on stretchers in the triage area of the Great Hall, their hands almost but not quite touching, the same way they were shown up on the tower in an earlier scene when they were still alive. All around Harry, the castle is in tatters, with stone and crumbled statues and broken arches everywhere. It is a complete wreck, with many of the iconic towers and the giant clock face obliterated.
After Harry makes his way to the Headmasters office,, Harry views Snape's secrets and it's revealed that throughout the films that Snape has indeed been a good guy, working for Dumbledore, no matter how he conducted himself around Harry. It was all part of a long-planned strategy to deceive Voldemort into believing Snape was a DeathEater, when in fact Snape had pledged his life to protect Harry Potter because Harry is Lily Potter's son and Snape loved Lily since they were children growing up together. Harry sees a childhood memory of Snape and Lily playing together, after Lily was berated by her older sister Petunia (Harry's aunt, who married Vernon Dursley after deciding to hate magic and the wizarding world...largely because she was jealous of Lily because Petunia was not magical). Lily brought a crushed flower to life in the memory, and Petunia ran off after scolding Lily, saying Lily was a freak and that Petunia was going to tell everyone that. Snape then showed Lily he could do magic too, and the pair became friends. At Hogwarts, Lily is shown being sorted into Griffindor, where she joined the table next to James Potter, who welcomed her. It was at that moment that Snape felt crushed, since he saw his friend moving away from him. A flash forward several years later showed the students at school, older, with Lily now James' girlfriend and Snape pining for her. The often-used image of Lily and James dancing (which Harry has a moving picture of, and has been displayed in several of the previous films) is shown, with Snape sadly lamenting that James got Lily and Snape didn't. Another flashforward reveals that Snape accidentally told Voldemort about the prophesy that a child born at the end of July would be his destruction. Snape went to Dumbledore with this information and asked him to protect James, Harry, and Lily Potter because Snape knew Voldemort would come for them (the prophesy could have also been made about Neville Longbottom, who was born one day before Harry). Dumbledore made Snape promise to be part of this protection effort, since the Potters were betrayed by Peter Pettigrew, who was supposed to be their true friend. Dumbledore realized the Potters were in grave danger but it was too late. Snape got there just after Lily was killed. Snape saw the scar on Harry and in a later memory Dumbledore told Snape that Harry has a part of Voldemort inside him, since the Avada Kedavra killing curse Voldemort used on Lily rebounded on him and unintentionally turned the baby Harry into a living horcrux, since the part of Voldemort's soul that was shaved off in the attack went inside the only other living thing in the room to seek refuge...and 17 years or so later, that horcrux remains Harry. Snape then confronted Dumbledore as he realized that Dumbledore wants to keep Harry alive until the day that Harry needs to die...since Voldemort cannot be defeated unless Harry is dead. Dumbledore makes Snape agree to protect Harry until the day comes when Harry must be killed...the day that Voldemort is weakest...the day when all the other horcruxes have been found and destroyed so that Harry will be the last horcrux destroyed. This way, Harry would get to live as long as possible before being killed. Snape is disgusted by this reality and compares this plan to treating Harry like a pig being fattened up over the years to be slaughtered, but there's no other way to handle this since Dumbledore knew Voldemort would rise again and could only be defeated when all the horcruxes - including Harry - were destroyed. In the penseive, Harry also saw that in destroying the Gaunt ring, Dumbledore was cursed by Voldemort's powerful magic that infected his hand...which Snape tried to treat, but failed". Snape did confine the curse to Dumbledore's right hand, but told him within a year he'd be killed by the curse. Dumbledore then told Snape that he was aware Voldemort ordered "the Malfoy boy" to kill Dumbledore, so Snape should do this instead to spare the boy's soul. Snape doesn't want to kill Dumbledore -- or anyone -- but it's clear that Dumbledore believes this is the only way to beat Voldemort...especially since Dumbledore will be dead soon anyway.
The most important thing revealed in Snape's memories is that Snape's patronus is a doe...the same animal that Lily's patronus formed. Snape's doe patronus was what Harry saw in the Forest of Dean that led Harry to the Sword of Griffindor. It is proof that Snape indeed was watching over him from afar and that his love for Lily was neverending, so much a part of Snape that it manifested in his patronus.
After Harry pulls his head out of the penseive, the effect of all this is that he's not only resigned to what he must do in the Forbidden Forest, but that he has forgiven Snape for all the misunderstanding and misdirected hatred that he's harbored all these years. It is a lot for Harry to bear, so when he leaves the Headmaster's Office, he finds a quiet place on the ruined Hogwarts stairs and stands by himself for a while. Ron and Hermione eventually find him, not knowing where he's been. They assumed he went to the Forbidden Forest to surrender himself without telling them goodbye. They urge him not to go, but Harry tells them he must, and gives Hermione a long loving hug, with a look towards Ron like he never expects to see either of these friends again. His love for his friends is palpable.
Before Harry reaches Voldemort in the forest, he tries one more time to open the golden snitch Dumbledore gave him. Once again, the words "I open at the close" appear on the game piece. Harry tells the snitch he is prepared to die and kisses it. The snitch opens to reveal the black stone that was in the Gaunt ring Dumbledore destroyed. The stone was not damaged as it is magical. It is actually the Resurrection Stone from the Deathly Hallows. Harry turns it over in his palm three times and the ghosts of his mother Lily, his father James, his godfather Sirius Black, and his friend Remus appear to him, giving him comfort and telling him that they will be there with him and that he needs to be brave. Everyone knows that Harry must die now, and so they steel his nerve so that he can fulfill his destiny. They tell him that even if he can't see them, he is never alone and he is always loved.
Harry drops the Resurrection Stone on the ground and walks away from it -- presumably letting the stone disappear from history forever in the Forbidden Forest. This is the first of the deathly hallows that Harry gives up willingly.
In the forest, Voldemort and DeathEaters are waiting for Harry, with Voldemort insisting he will indeed show up to spare his friends' lives. They have Hagrid tied up in ropes, with Narcissa Malfoy (Helen McCrory), actually struggling with what's happening, worried about the fate of her son Draco and not all that comfortable with killing Harry Potter...a boy in her son's class. The rest of the DeathEaters are chomping at the bit to murder Harry. When Harry does appear, there's a hush over this crowd, with Voldemort gloating that he's finally achieved his victory. Harry closes his eyes and accepts the inevitable, taking strength and courage from the encounter he had with the ghosts in the woods. Voldemort is so giddy at this point that he can barely get the words AVADA KEDAVRA out of his mouth. He shoots his wand at Harry and both of them are knocked to the ground.
Harry dies, and is sent to what he imagines is the gateway to Heaven: King's Cross station in London, only all-white and billowy with clouds, and cleaner than any real train station would ever be. Harry hears something under a bench on the train platform. When he looks, it's a disgusting and creepy naked baby/snake hybrid that's representative of the part of Voldemort that's been living inside Harry all these years. THIS is the reason Harry could speak to snakes and was so attuned to what Voldemort was doing all these years...because this tiny bit of Voldemort was "born" inside Harry like a lithopedian fetus hidden inside a living person for decades, without that person ever realizing. Dumbledore appears to Harry on the train platform, dressed all in white, to explain that Voldemort's fragment in Harry was killed by Voldemort in the Forbidden Forest...and this means that the last horcrux besides Nagini the snake has now been destroyed. Once Nagini is dead, Voldemort will be mortal.
Harry has a choice about being dead himself however. Dumbledore explains that Harry saw this gateway to the after life as a train station, and so that means he can choose to board a train "going on" or he can choose to go back to rejoin the battle. After questioning Dumbledore if whether all of this was real or just inside Harry's head, Dumbledore tells him that it is both inside his head and very much real. Classic Dumbledore non-answers full of answers wrapped in mysteries. Dumbledore heads towards the end of the train station as a whistle blows and Harry makes his choice.
He chooses life and awakens back in the Forbidden Forest. Voldemort was knocked unconscious too, when the last part of his horcruxed-soul died. Narcissa was sent over to Harry's body to determine if he was really dead. All the DeathEaters are actually afraid to go near Harry, since shooting him knocked Voldemort down the way it did. Narcissa realizes immediately that Harry is alive and asks him if her son Draco has died. Harry tells Narcissa that Draco is alive, and the camera backs away from her. It's implied Harry whispers things to Narcissa and she agrees to keep Harry's secret by telling Voldemort and the others that Harry is dead. Narcissa tells them Harry died and they all cheer. Hagrid is upset, and is charged with carrying Harry's dead body back to Hogwarts.
The defenders of the castle have assembled in the Entrance Courtyard, where Neville is poking through the rubble and discovers the Sorting Hat. This is the hat that Fawkes the phoenix delivered to Harry in the Chamber of Secrets many years ago...from which Harry pulled the Sword of Griffindor when he needed it most. Neville sees something glisten in the hat and pulls out the Sword, not knowing at first what to do with it. Voldemort and his forces march across the stone bridge with Harry's body, casually kicking fallen DeathEaters into the river below like they are garbage. When they get to the Entrance Courtyard, the castle defenders come out and are stunned that Harry is dead. Voldemort is giddy like a kid at Christmas and Bellatrix is cackling "Harry Potter's dead! Harry Potter's dead!". Everyone at Hogwarts, even Draco Malfoy, is visibly upset. Voldemort then says "The Boy Who Lived is now dead. Give your allegiance to me". He addresses the crowd and tells them that too much magical blood has been spilled and they all need to come over to his side now that their champion Harry is gone.
Narcissa and Lucius Malfoy call for their son Draco to come over to them. Draco hesitates a moment but complies. Voldemort addresses him and honors him for his role in killing Dumbledore. Draco joins his parents, but he and Narcissa (and truthfully, Lucius too), look sick being there.
Neville, hobbled, bloodied, and barely able to walk limps forward and Voldemort mocks him, saying that he wants people to join him but he expected better caliber of followers. Neville tells Voldemort he has something to say and Voldemort allows him to speak. Neville gives an impassioned speech about Harry Potter's life, which obliterates the fact that he's dead. Neville says that Harry died fighting for good, and that this good in him lives on in the rest of them...that it doesn't matter if Harry indeed died because what he stood for deserves fighting for and that none of them should ever surrender. Voldemort and the rest start to mock Neville, but Harry jumps out of Hagrid's arms and runs over the rubble to dash into the castle. Many DeathEaters are stunned that the Boy Who Lived survived the Killing Curse TWICE in his lifetime...and they start to disaparate and abandon Voldemort. The Malfoys make their retreat across the Hogwarts bridge as a family, turning their back on Voldemort. Other DeathEaters turn to black smoke and fly away. The Hogwarts defenders run inside the castle, where they mount a renewed effort to fight Voldemort with Harry in the lead.
Only zealots like Bellatrix remain loyal to Voldemort. Inside the castle, another battle ensues where Bellatrix aims a killing curse at Ginny, grazing her. Molly sees this and turns all of her maternal love into a massive bolt of power that's aimed at Bellatrix as she shouts the fan-favorite line: "Get away from my daughter, you BITCH". Bellatrix is killed and turned to dust and bits of singed fabric.
Harry, Hermione, and Ron now attempt to destroy Nagini the snake so that Voldemort will be fully mortal and thus killable. In these attempts, Nagini foils Harry, with Voldemort in hot pursuit. Harry explains to Voldemort that the Elder Wand will not obey him because Snape didn't take the wand from Dumbledore, that Draco did, and that Harry then defeated Draco so Harry is the master of the wand and it can't kill him. Voldemort is horrified that he was so wrong about everything related to the Elder Wand and that the prophesy of his destruction is coming true. Harry and Voldemort then battle all around the castle, with Voldemort taking smoke form and fighting with Harry in the air all over the place before eventually landing back where they started in the Entrance Courtyard. Ron and Hermione also battle with Nagini, but their spells keep passing right through the snake, since it's under some sort of protection charm where magic passes right through it.
And then, in the courtyard, just as Nagini is trying to strike Hermione and Ron, Neville appears with the Sword of Griffindor and slices through Nagini, killing the snake and turning its remnants into black smoke and dust. Neville was also born at the end of July, and as previous films/books established, the prophesy Voldemort feared could have been about Neville instead of Harry...so it's thought-provoking to see Neville destroy the last of Voldemort's horcruxes and thus remove the last obstacle to Voldemort's permanent defeat. In a way, it ends up being Neville who does indeed bring about Voldemort's defeat by destroying his last horcrux.
This happens just as Harry and Voldemort are dueling...and as soon as Nagini is dead, Harry is more powerful than Voldemort and the spell Voldemort was trying to work against Harry is pushed back against him, killing him and turning his body into dust and ash. Voldemort is gone for good now. The seven years of terror and the epic Battle of Hogwarts are over.
There is a stunned quiet and silence as everyone realizes what happened.
Everyone is traumatized by the battle. Inside the ruined Great Hall, Poppy Pomfrey (Gemma Jones) and Nurse Wainscott (Pauline Stone) attend to the wounded. Professor Trelawney (Emma Thompson) makes a cameo, raising the spirits of the battered and bloodied. The camera pans around the room and gives the survivors of the Battle of Hogwarts one final bit of screen time in the series, with many teachers and students who've appeared in the various films getting one last goodbye glimpse as they tend to their wounds and recover from the battle. Filch pushes a broom across the battered floor, beginning the cleanup.
Hagrid sees Harry and gives him a hug, impressed with his fighting. Then Harry goes outside for a quiet moment with Hermione and Ron.
On the battered bridge, in front of the ruins of Hogwarts, Harry and his best friends contemplate everything they have been through. The last thread to tie up is what to do with the Elder Wand, which Ron wants Harry to keep so Harry can be the most powerful wizard who ever lived. Harry does not want this power, so he snaps the wand in two and tosses it over the side of the bridge, destroying it. Ron can't believe he did this, but Hermione is proud. The screen fades to black as the three friends stare straight into the camera, perhaps thinking about what to do now that the 7 years' of battling Voldemort is really and truly over.
"19 Years Later" appears on the screen.
It's Kings Crossing Station and Harry Potter's son Albus is making his first trip to Hogwarts. Harry married Ginny and had three children: James Sirius Potter (named after Harry's dad and godfather), Albus Severus Potter (named after Dumbledore and Snape), and Lily Luna Potter (named after Harry's mother and good friend Luna Lovegood). Albus has a pet ferret, which apparently are allowed at Hogwarts 19 years in the future, along with the owl, cat, rat, and toad that were permitted as familiars when Harry first took the train from Platform 9 3/4. Harry, Ginny, Hermione, Ron, and Draco Malfoy all appear on the train platform with their children -- all aged to look in their late 30s/early 40s (they would all be around 37 if this was 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts). Albus Potter is afraid of being put into Slytherin house by the Sorting Hat, but Harry reminds his middle-child son that he's named after TWO headmasters of Hogwarts, with one of them being a Slytherin "and the bravest man I've ever known". This is indication that since the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry has come to revere Snape greatly, appreciating the sacrifices he made to save Harry and protect his beloved Lily's son. Hermione and Ron's children are there, with Hermione doting on her red-headed daughter and already missing her as she leaves for school. The kids all board the train, playing with chocolate frogs and other goodies as the Hogwarts Express gets ready to roll out. Harry, Hermione, Ron, Draco, and the other parents waive their children goodbye until Christmas break.
The train lurches forward as the credits roll and life goes on peacefully for wizards and muggles alike.
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