As promised, I give you all the ways Hufflepuff Harry dies in his first year of would-be adventures at Hogwarts.
Can’t be bothered explaining the whole self-fulfilling prophecy thing again. Read the other posts for context.
Let’s do this.
“Look!” said Malfoy, darting forward and snatching something out of the grass. “It’s that stupid thing Longbottom’s gran sent him”
The Remembrall glittered in the sun as he held it up.
“Give that here, Malfoy.” said Harry quietly. Everyone stopped talking to watch.
Malfoy smiled nastily.
“I think I’ll leave it somewhere for Longbottom to collect- how about- up a tree?”
“Give it here!” Harry yelled, but Malfoy had leapt on to his broomstick and taken off. “Come and get it, Potter!”
Harry grabbed his broom.
“No!” shouted Hermione Granger. “Madam Hooch told us not to move- you’ll get us all into trouble.”
Harry ignored her. Blood was pounding in his ears. He mounted the broom and kicked hard against the ground and up, up he soared.
“Give it here,” Harry called, “or I’ll knock you off your broom.”
“Catch it if you can, then!” Malfoy shouted, and he threw the glass ball high into the air and streaked back towards the ground.
Harry saw, as though in slow motion, the ball rise up into the air and then start to fall. He sped after it, wind rushing through his hair… and then he stopped.
“What’s he doing?” said Ernie Macmillan, squinting up at him.
“He’s lost it! He can’t see it!” said Justin Finch-Fletchley in a worried tone, watching as Harry desperately turned his head this way and that, looking for the glass ball.
“Harry!” cried Hannah Abbot in alarm. “Harry it’s above you!”
“What?” yelled back Harry.
“It’s above you!”
Everyone on the ground watched in horror as the glass ball tracked its way towards Harry’s head, impacting at high velocity with a sickening crack. He slumped sideways off his broom and began to fall.
“Oh no!” gasped Ernie.
“Harry! Nooo!” screamed Hannah.
The sound of Harry’s limp body hitting the ground haunted the dreams of the watching first years for weeks. As did the sound of his broom falling point-first into his ribcage a few seconds later.
“He thinks this door is locked,” Harry whispered. “I think we’ll be OK- get off, Neville!” For Neville had been tugging on the sleeve of Harry’s dressing-gown for the last minute. “What?”
Harry turned around- and saw, quite clearly, what. For a moment, he was sure he’d walked into a nightmare- this was too much, on top of everything that had happened so far.
They weren’t in a room, as he had supposed. They were in a corridor. The forbidden corridor on the third floor. And now they knew why it was forbidden.
They were looking straight into the eyes of a monstrous dog, a dog which filled the whole space between ceiling and floor. It had three heads. Three pairs of rolling, mad eyes; three noses, twitching and quivering in their direction; three drooling mouths, saliva hanging in slippery ropes from-
Harry moved forward, arms outstretched, waving in friendly motions at the giant hound. “Here boy!”
“Harry!” whispered Hermione in bewildered terror. “What are you doing? Get back!”
“It’s ok!” said Harry brightly, still advancing towards the three-headed monstrosity, which was watching him with all six of its furious eyes. “It’s ok, he’s just a dog! We can train him!”
Harry turned to the monster dog and said sternly, “sit! Sit!”
“Are you mad?!” hissed Ron. “It’ll eat you! Let’s get out of here!”
“Rubbish.” said Harry. “You aren’t going to eat me, are you? Are you?” he said to the dog.
Ron, Hermoine and Neville watched, frozen in horror, as the dog leaned one of its humongous heads in close to Harry, sniffing, considering him for a moment. Then, just as Harry was reaching out a hand to stroke it’s nose, it bit down and closed its terrible jaws over Harry, its mouth covering him down to his knees, and scooped him up into the air.
“Oh no!” cried Neville.
“Harry!!” screamed Hermione.
Harry’s legs flailed in the air for a moment and then went still. The last thing Hermoine, Ron and Neville saw as they ran screaming from the corridor, slamming the door behind them, was Harry’s wand falling from his limp hand and hitting the floor with a sad little rattle.
“Budge up there, move along.”
Ron and Hermione Squeezed together to give Hagrid enough space to join them.
“Bin watchin’ from me hut”, said Hagrid, patting a large pair of binoculars round his neck, “But it isn’t the same as bein’ in the crowd. No sign of the snitch yet, eh?”
“Nope. said Ron. “Harry hasn’t had much to do yet.”
“Kept outta trouble, though, that’s somethin’” said Hagrid, raising his binoculars and peering skywards at the speck that was Harry.
Way up above them, Harry was gliding over the game, squinting about for some sign of the snitch. This was part of his and Cedric’s game plan.
“Keep out of the way until you catch sight of the snitch.” Cedric had said. “We don’t want you attacked before you have to be.”
Harry was staring around for the snitch. After a moment he caught sight of a rush of movement far below him- a small, round thing moving very quickly- and dived down after it.
“He’s seen somethin’!” said Hagrid.
“Has he seen the snitch?” said Ron excitedly, peering up at Harry as he sped across the pitch.
“He’s definitely chasing something.” said Hermione. “Is that… oh no.”
Harry’s heart was racing and a broad grin spread across his face as he followed the ball, which, curiously, was heading straight for him. He was going to catch the snitch and prove he deserved his place on the Hufflepuff quiddich team. Everyone would be so proud of him. Over his excitement and the rush of air he heard Cedric calling his name.
“I know Cedric, I’m gonna get it!”
“Harry that’s not the snitch!”
“That’s a bludger!!”
Harry looked up just in time for the heavy black ball to impact him full in the face. There was a groan from the entire crowd and the Boy who Lived slid off his broom, the squirming bludger still embedded in his shattered skull.
“Bye-bye, Norbert!” Hagrid sobbed, as Harry and Hermione covered the crate with the invisibility cloak and stepped underneath it themselves. “Mummy will never forget you!”
How they managed to get the crate back up to the castle, they never knew. Midnight ticked nearer as they heaved Norbert up the marble staircase in the Entrance Hall and along the dark corridors. Up another staircase, then another- even one of Harry’s short cuts didn’t make the work much easier.
“Nearly there!” harry panted as they reached the corridor beneath the tallest tower.
“Well, well, well,” said a voice behind them. “We are in trouble.”
They whipped around, dropping the crate, to see Filch’s cruelly triumphant face loom suddenly out of the darkness. Behind him was professor McGonagall, in a tartan dressing-gown and a hairnet, holding Draco Malfoy by the ear.
“Oh no!” said Hermione.
Harry looked at the three of them staring at them, then down at the crate, shaking threateningly.
“Only one thing for it.” he said resolutely. He pointed his wand at the crate.
“Harry, NO!” shouted Hermione. Too late. Harry fired an unlocking spell at the crate, which burst apart, revealing the monster within.
“Aaaaargh!” screamed Filch as Norbert pounced, latching on to his face with his needle-like fangs. Filch collapsed to the floor in a bloody mess and Norbert reared his fearsome head with a roar that rent the air, before shooting a jet of terrible flames at professor McGonagall, who fell in a screaming ball of smoke and scorched flesh.
Draco Malfoy, pale with terror, turned to flee, but with a whip of his sinewy black tail Norbert knocked him to the ground. Malfoy let out a piteous whine as the dragon leapt at him, tearing at his chest in swipes that spattered crimson blood all along the stone floor.
“Great job, Norbert!” said Harry, smiling. Next to him Hermione stood frozen in horror, her expression suggesting she was reliving the moment the dragon’s claws entered Malfoy’s chest cavity, over and over. Harry stepped forward, calling to the dragon as it finished crunching down on Malfoy’s severed leg.
“Ok, Norbert! Back in the box!”
The dragon looked up at him.
It was only after Norbert had decapitated Hermione with a flick of his tail and began stalking towards him, a red glint in its lizard eyes, that Harry wondered if his decision to release a feral dragon in order to escape a telling-off might have been a little hasty.
…That one got a little graphic. Sorry. Won’t happen again. Let’s finish with some quick-fire deaths in the perilous dungeons under the third-floor trapdoor.
For the sake of these next sketches let’s assume Harry solves the mystery of the third-floor corridor with his Hufflepuff buddies Ernie, Justin and Hannah, not Ron and Hermione. Just so that Hermione can’t instantly call him out on his stupidity.
Through the Trapdoor
“See you in a minute, I hope…”
And Harry let go. Cold, damp air rushed past him as he fell down, down, down and-
FLUMP. With a funny, muffled sort of thump he landed on something soft. He sat up and felt around, his eyes not used to the gloom. It felt as though he was sitting on some sort of plant.
“It’s OK!” he called up to the light the size of a postage stamp which was the open trapdoor. “It’s a soft landing, you can jump!”
This is awesome, Harry thought. We’re actually doing this. We’re gonna stop Voldemort right here- just like real heroes. Just like Mum and-
It occurred to Harry, far too late, to move out of the way. Ernie hit him at incredible speed, reducing both of them to squishy goo that not even the devil’s snare they fell upon could mistake for a living thing.
“These birds… they can’t be here just for decoration,” said Hannah.
They watched the birds soaring overhead, glittering- glittering?
“They’re not birds! Harry said suddenly, “they’re shiny birds! They must like everything being clean and tidy! And it’s filthy down here. So that must mean…” he looked around the chamber while the other three squinted up at the flock of shiny, metal, key-shaped birds. “…Yes- look! Broomsticks! We’ve got to sweep up in here a bit and then the birds will be happy and will help us get through the door!”
Justin, Ernie and Hannah stared at him.
“…You think the solution is to sweep up?” said Ernie incredulously.
“…I like it!” said Ernie.
“You’re so smart, Harry!” said Hannah, grabbing a broom.
“Let’s do this!” said Harry.
Ten minutes later they were still sweeping.
“Harry are you sure this is right?” said Justin, wiping sweat from his forehead.
“Why else would there be brooms lying about down here?” demanded Harry. “We just haven’t made the pace tidy enough yet. Keep sweeping!”
They were still sweeping when Voldemort, having figured out the trick to the Mirror of Erised and subdued his desire to get the stone just long enough to make it appear, came back through the door and killed them.
It’s obvious, isn’t it?” said Justin. “We’re going to have to play our way across the room.”
“Behind the white pieces they could see another door.
“How?” said Hannah nervously.
“I think,” said Justin, “we’re going to have to be chessmen.”
“Nah, that’ll take too long.” said Harry. “Let’s just rush them!”
“Right on!” said Ernie.
The four first years ran at the line of pawns and were instantly cut down by cold, white hands.
“Brilliant,” said Hannah. “This isn’t magic- it’s logic – a puzzle. A lot of the greatest wizards haven’t got an ounce of logic, they’d be stuck in here forever.”
“But so will we, won’t we? Logic isn’t exactly what our house is known for.”
They read and re-read the parchment with the cryptic instructions written on it.
“…I got nothing.” said Justin eventually.
“Why don’t we just mix them all together?” said Harry. “the poisons will all cancel each other out.”
Ernie, Justin and Hannah stared at him.
“…You think that mixing together two potions, two cups of wine and three poisons will make something that’s safe to drink?” said Ernie.
“…I like it!” said Ernie enthusiastically.
“You’re so smart, Harry!”
“I’ll go first!” said Harry after they had combined the seven liquids together. He held up the mixture, which was black as death, and bubbling and smoking, and took a sip.
“I think it worked!” he said. And then he melted.
“Kill him, fool, and be done!” screeched Voldemort.
Quirrell raised his hand to perform a deadly curse, but Harry, by instinct, reached up and grabbed Quirrell’s face-
Quirrell rolled off him, his face blistering, and then Harry knew: Quirrell was a vampire! That’s why his skin was burning. And that’s why he hadn’t been able to see the stone in the mirror- vampires have no reflection!
Harry jumped to his feet pulled out his wand, snapped it in half and held up the two pieces in the shape of a cross.
Quirrell stared at him uncertainly.
“…What are you doing?” he said, nonplussed.
“Die, vampire!” yelled Harry, brandishing the cross.
“Um…” said Voldemort’s face.
“Why isn’t it working?” asked Harry.
“Master?” said Quirrell uncertainly.
“…Better just kill him.” said Voldemort, sounding a bit lost.
“Yeah…” said Quirrell, raising his wand.