|Author||J. K. Rowling|
|Released||July 2, 1998 (UK), June 2, 1999 (US)|
|Preceded by||'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'|
|Followed by||'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'|
It’s been another long summer at the Dursley’s for Harry Potter. He can’t wait to get back to Hogwarts and is counting down the days until he can return. He’s surprised when, on his birthday, a strange elfish creature named Dobby shows up with dire warnings for Harry: He must not return to Hogwarts!
When Harry refuses to stay home from school, Dobby lands him in heaps of trouble with the Dursley’s, who lock Harry up in his room and refuse to let him out. Before Harry can sink too far into despair, however, Ron Weasley and his two brothers, twins Fred and George, come to his rescue in a flying car and spirit him back to their house, where Harry is thrilled to spend the remainder of the summer.
Thus starts an eventful second year for Harry Potter. Between having to cope with more homework than ever, a Defense Against the Dark Arts professor who is vain and convinced Harry is too, and a mysterious voice he keeps hearing in the walls, Harry’s days are nothing if not interesting.
As the school year progresses, however, the mysterious voice Harry keeps hearing is getting more and more menacing, and soon vicious attacks start happening to the students of Hogwarts. When Harry discovers, quite by accident, that he is a Parslemouth and can speak to snakes, he’s quickly singled out as Slytherin’s heir, the person who, according to legend, will open the mysterious “Chamber of Secrets” and release the monster within.
Of course Harry has no idea who is attacking the students, but he quickly resolves to find out who is responsible. He, Ron, and Hermione come up with an elaborate plan to disguise themselves as Slytherin students so they can question Draco Malfoy, whom they believe is the one setting the monster loose in the school. The plan goes perfectly, but they’re disappointed when they find out from Draco that he is not the one they’re looking for.
The quest gets personal when Hermione is attacked and petrified by the monster. Ron and Harry are devastated, and are left on their own to uncover the true identity of the person responsible. Events come to a head when Ron’s sister, Ginny, is kidnapped and taken down into the Chamber of Secrets, and Ron and Harry discover an important clue that Hermione left for them. They quickly head down into the Chamber of Secrets to rescue Ginny.
Harry and Ron get separated once they’re down there and Harry is left to pursue the monster on his own. He quickly finds Ginny, and thanks to some mysterious help from Dumbledore and his pet phoenix, Fawkes, Harry is able to destroy Slytherin’s heir, who turns out to be a younger version of Lord Voldemort. Voldemort had possessed Ginny through an enchanted diary and was using her to set the monster loose on the students.
Harry and Ron are both hailed as heroes when they make it back out with Ginny, and Harry can’t imagine a finer end to such an eventful year when Hermione and the rest of the victims are healed and they win Gryffindor loads of House points.
|Author||J. K. Rowling|
|Released||July 8, 1999 (UK), September 8, 1999 (US)|
|Preceded by||'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets'|
|Followed by||'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire'|
Harry starts off his third year at Hogwarts rather eventfully when he inadvertently blows up his Aunt Marge, goes on the run, and is then personally absolved by the Minister of Magic himself. He then learns that mass murderer, Sirius Black, is intent on killing him, and Mr. Weasley makes him promise a strange thing, that no matter what he hears he won’t go looking for Black. Confused, Harry agrees.
As he heads back to school armed with this knowledge, he learns that dementors, evil, soul-sucking creatures, have been stationed around Hogwarts to protect the students from Black. The dementors affect Harry much more than the other students because of his terrible past, and he quickly resolves to learn to defend himself when he begins collapsing every time they come near. He finds a willing teacher in Professor Lupin, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, who begins teaching Harry the Patronus Charm, which is the only spell that will work against the foul creatures.
As the school year progresses, the third year students are buried under piles of homework. Hermione is already stressed out due to her enormous course load, and none of them can figure out how she’s getting to all her classes. It doesn’t help that Hermione’s cat, Crookshanks, repeatedly tries to eat Ron’s rat, Scabbers, causing the two friends to argue ceaselessly about the animals. They stop speaking entirely when it’s discovered that Crookshanks seems to have eaten Scabbers and Ron is devastated.
Harry has a few close calls with Black when he breaks into the castle, but Black is not apprehended. Things come to a climax as the school year ends when a number of events occur. First, Ron’s rat, Scabbers, turns out to still be alive and is really a wizard in disguise. This wizard, Peter Pettigrew, has chosen to hide himself in this way so that he can spy on Harry and his friends on behalf of Lord Voldemort. Harry learns that it was Peter, and not Sirius Black, that betrayed his parents to Voldemort. Just when Harry is sure Peter is finally going to be punished for his crimes, he escapes into the night.
Sirius, long thought to be a mass murderer and Voldemort supporter, turns out to be innocent. Harry also learns that Sirius is his godfather. He’s overjoyed when, for a moment, he thinks he might be finally free of the Dursleys and able to live with Sirius, but Sirius has to go on the run from the Ministry to avoid being apprehended.
Professor Lupin, Harry’s favorite teacher, ends up resigning his post when it’s discovered that he’s a werewolf. He narrowly avoids attacking the kids, and it’s Sirius that saves their lives when he turns into a huge shaggy dog to protect them.
It’s an action-packed year to be sure, but Harry is very happy that Sirius makes it out safely and is finally free from Azkaban. He’s comforted by the fact that he finally has a family-member, so to speak, out there watching over him.
|Author||J. K. Rowling|
|Released||July 8, 2000|
|Preceded by||'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'|
|Followed by||'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix'|
Harry can’t believe it. The Weasley’s have invited him to the Quidditch World Cup, which means he’ll get to leave the Dursley’s house early and go see a game that anyone would kill to see.
The game is intense, but not just because of the stellar players and non-stop action. Voldemort’s servants, the Death Eaters, make an appearance and the wizarding world is shocked when Voldemort’s sign appears in the sky after the game.
When Harry, Ron, and Hermione finally make it back to Hogwarts a few weeks later, they’re shocked to find that the school will be hosting the Triwizard Tournament this year. It’s a competition between the three wizarding schools of Hogwarts, Durmstrang, and Beauxbatons. A champion is chosen for each school and competes in very difficult challenges that test their skill and daring.
When the students from the other schools arrive in October, the students begin putting their name in the Goblet of Fire in order to be chosen as their school's champion. Harry is shocked beyond belief when, in spite of his inability to compete because of his age, he’s chosen as the fourth school champion.
What’s even worse is that Ron doesn’t believe that Harry didn’t put his name in the goblet. They get into a huge fight, and Ron stops talking to Harry. The rest of Hogwarts is also incensed that Harry is "looking for more fame", and the only person who stands by Harry’s side is Hermione.
In the tournament, the first task of fighting dragons goes great for Harry, and what’s even better is that it convinces Ron that Harry was telling the truth all along, and they become friends again.
As the school year progresses Harry is beset with troubles. Snooping journalist, Rita Skeeter, continues to publish gossipy articles about Harry that alienate him from the rest of the school, he’s turned down by his crush, Cho Chang, when he asks her to the Yule Ball, and in the days leading up to the second task of the tournament, which involves retrieving something important from the bottom of a lake filled with mer-people, he almost doesn’t find a way to accomplish what he’s got to do. Saved at the last minute, however, Harry again gets almost full marks and is tied for first place.
Sirius returns to keep an eye on Harry, as well as the mysterious happenings that keep taking place at Hogwarts. There is someone at the school who wants Harry dead, but no one knows who it is.
During the final task of the tournament, Harry and Cedric both tie for first place, but as soon as they grasp the winner's cup, they are transported to a creepy graveyard where Cedric is immediately killed and Harry tied up by Wormtail. He witnesses Voldemort’s return to power, and barely makes it back to Hogwarts alive, clutching Cedric’s body.
When he gets back he discovers that "Professor Moody",the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, was the traitor all along. He’s a magically disguised Death Eater who risked everything to kidnap Harry for Lord Voldemort. Harry tells Dumbledore what happened with Voldemort, and although the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, doesn’t believe Harry, Professor Dumbledore begins to take steps to mobilize against Voldemort.
|Cover Artist||Jason Cockcroft (UK),
Mary GrandPré (US)
Scholastic Press (US)
|Released||June 21, 2003|
|Preceded by||Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire|
|Followed by||Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince|
It's been another long, hot summer at the Dursleys' for Harry Potter. Having spent most of it in an adolescent "funk" of depression and bitterness over the lack of informative letters from his friends about Voldemort's return, he's suddenly jolted out of his bad mood when two Dementors show up in the town of Little Whinging and attack Harry and his cousin, Dudley. When Harry uses magic to drive them off, however, he quickly receives a succession of owls from the Ministry, requiring him to attend a disciplinary hearing. His heart sinks when he reads that the question of whether to expel him from Hogwarts will be decided at the hearing.
Harry is exonerated at the hearing but when Harry finally manages to make it back to school, he finds things are different than when he left. Hagrid's missing, there are skeletal horses pulling the school carriages that only he can see, and the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher is none other than toadlike, repulsive Dolores Umbridge, a Ministry representative whom Harry is all too familiar with.
Even worse is the constant mutterings of the other students. Having spent all summer discrediting both Harry and Dumbledore, the Ministry has succeeded in convincing everyone they're both crazy and that Voldemort's return is nothing but a figment of their imagination.
With only Ron and Hermione standing by his side, Harry is hard-pressed to stay in a good mood and often lashes out at the ones he is closest to. His defiant behavior lands him in detention for weeks at a time with Professor Umbridge, who soon rises to the status of Hogwarts High Inquistor and revels in sacking teachers and keeping the entire school under the control of her stubby, ugly-ringed fingers.
As the school year progresses Harry and Umbridge frequently lock horns, and she retaliates by taking away everything he cares about: Quidditch, letters from Sirius, and visits with Hagrid. So Harry fights back the only way he can, by forming a secret defense group, known as Dumbledore's Army, and teaching his friends how to fight properly.
In spite of the frantic workload in preparing for their OWLs (tests that determine the student's future career choices), the tyranny of Umbridge, and Harry's unbearable crush on Ravenclaw seeker, Cho Chang, Harry keeps having tantalizing dreams of dark corridors and locked doors that are distracting at best. His scar prickles constantly and he soon finds he's turned into a tiny antenna for Voldemort's mood swings, which certainly doesn't help his own temper.
Things take a disastrous turn when Dolores Umbridge finds out about Harry's secret defense group. Harry is filled with guilt when Dumbledore, claims credit for the group in order to protect Harry, and has to flee the school to escape arrest.
This installment ends with an epic battle of good and evil, resulting in a devastating loss to Harry when his godfather Sirius Black is killed, and the full revelation that his destiny lies intertwined with none other than Voldemort himself. In the end, Dumbledore reveals the lost prophecy to Harry: either Harry will kill Lord Voldemort or Voldemort will kill Harry.
|Author||J. K. Rowling|
|Released||16 July, 2005|
|Preceded by||Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix|
|Followed by||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows|
Harry's sixth year at Hogwarts opens to find him more mellow and grown up than ever. The death of Sirius Black has left an indelible mark on him, and he's more determined than ever to put an end to Voldemort and his Death Eaters. He's happy to escape the tyranny of the Dursley's early in the summer when Dumbledore picks him up to attend to a mysterious errand, which ends up in Harry's persuading ex-professor, Horace Slughorn, to come out of retirement to teach at Hogwarts again.
When the day finally arrives, Harry is as usual overjoyed to be back at school. He's been made Quidditch Team Captain. However, Harry and his friends are dismayed to find out that Professor Severus Snape has finally achieved his burning desire to become Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. Harry is excited to be taking private lessons with Dumbledore this year, who is showing him all about Voldemort's past. Dumbledore hopes that knowing as much as he can about Voldemort will help Harry in his final battle with the Dark Lord.
A mysterious book previously owned by the Half-Blood Prince comes into Harry's hands early on during his Potions class and changes the course of his school year by giving him a reputation for Potions brilliance that baffles everyone. Harry quickly grows to depend on the information he gets from the Half-Blood Prince's book and uses some of his spells outside of class, much to Hermione's displeasure.
Harry also keeps an increasingly close eye on Draco Malfoy. Convinced that Malfoy has replaced his father as the head of the Death Eaters, Harry believes Malfoy is constructing a dark plot inside the school but can't for the life of him figure out what it is. Between Ron and Hermione's skepticism, and Malfoy's disappearances from the school grounds, Harry has his hands full trying to uncover what Malfoy's up to.
As the year speeds by, Harry and Ron are both amazed at their blossoming love lives. Harry especially falls hard for someone he knows he shouldn't, his best friend Ron's sister, Ginny. His lessons with Dumbledore continue sporadically, and he's excited to hear that he might be able to go with Dumbledore on a dangerous mission to help destroy a horcrux that contains a part of Voldemort's soul.
Things reach a frantic pace when several things happen all at once. Harry and Dumbledore leave on their mission, Malfoy's dark plot finally works and he is able to sneak in Death Eaters to attack the school, and a fierce battle takes place between the students, members of the Order of the Phoenix, and the Death Eaters. Having succeeded in their mission to recover the horcrux, Harry and Dumbledore return only to get trapped on the Astronomy Tower where, to Harry's dismay, Professor Snape kills Dumbledore.
Dumbledore's death is a terrible blow to Harry, but it enables him to see clearly what his true mission is. He resolves that he will not return to Hogwarts, but instead sets off to destroy the remaining fragments of Voldemort's soul. He is bolstered by Ron and Hermione's insistence on going with him, and as soon as Dumbledore's funeral is over, they agree to start their journey together.
|Author||J. K. Rowling|
|Released||21 July, 2007|
|Preceded by||Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince|
Harry has finally come of age, and finally started on his final journey to defeat Voldemort for good. The Dursely’s are forced to go into hiding so that Voldemort’s Death Eaters will not torture them for information, and Harry sets off with Ron and Hermione on a difficult quest to find and destroy the last of Voldemort’s Horcruxes. Only once those have been destroyed, Harry knows, can Voldemort truly be killed.
It’s not easy. Harry is plagued with rumors of Dumbledore’s past, and begins to wonder if the Headmaster he so long revered might have had a much darker past than he ever let on. The three are frequently without food, and with winter coming their journey is no day at the beach. Because of their lack of plan, lack of food, and lack of progress, their spirits are often low, and Ron especially becomes argumentative. One night he and Harry get into an epic fight and Ron leaves to go back home.
Harry and Hermione are devastated that he’d abandoned them. They finally decide to revisit Godric’s Hollow in search of clues, and once again they’re almost caught by Voldemort. Every step they make, it seems, he is there anticipating them. They’ve almost died too many times to count, and their spirits sink even lower when Harry discovers his wand was broken in the battle.
Ron redeems himself a few weeks later by coming back and saving Harry’s life in the nick of time. They manage to destroy another Horcrux with Gryffindor’s sword, and they become excited again as they begin to learn about a mysterious trio of magical objects called the Deathly Hallows. Whomever possesses the three objects will be a master of death, and to Harry, it’s his one chance to beat Voldemort and live to tell the tale.
As his adventures and the danger he’s in increases, Harry begins to truly understand what Dumbledore intended him to do. He realizes, almost at the last minute, that his own life will have to be sacrificed in order for Voldemort to truly be vanquished. Filled with love for his friends, he willingly gives his life so that they may live.
His last act of heroism, however, saves his life. He meets Dumbledore again in death, and Dumbledore answers many of his questions. He is given a choice to stay or to go back, and he chooses to go back and fight.
It’s all over between Harry and Voldemort with just one spell. Harry is left alive, the true master of the Hallows, and Voldemort is killed for good. He now understands more than he ever has about love (which he loves Ginny), and life, and sacrifice, and in spite of the loss of many of his friends during the last battle, is grateful for the second chance he’s been given at life, and love.