- "Hogwarts is threatened! Man the boundaries, protect us, do your duty to our school!"
—Minerva McGonagall to the suits of armour
The Battle of Hogwarts was the final battle of the Second Wizarding War. It took place on 2 May, 1998, within the castle and on the grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. When Lord Voldemort learned that Harry Potter was in the castle to locate and destroy one of his final Horcruxes, he ordered every Death Eater and creature that had pledged loyalty to him to attack the school. Dumbledore's Army communicated the need to fight to the Order of the Phoenix and their other allies, leading to a large-scale battle. Lord Voldemort led his forces from the Shrieking Shack while Kingsley Shacklebolt and Minerva McGonagall led the defenders of Hogwarts. The battle ended with a decisive victory for the Order and the D.A., with many Death Eaters and Voldemort himself dead. It was the most devastating battle of the war, with casualties including Lord Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange, but also Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks, Severus Snape, Fred Weasley, Colin Creevey and at least fifty more who fought against Voldemort and his Death Eaters. It is also assumed to be the final conflict in which the Elder Wand took part.
HorcruxesEditAt the climax of the Battle of the Astronomy Tower the previous year, Albus Dumbledore was killed by then-Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Severus Snape. Dumbledore, however, had left Harry Potter with a final task: to find, and destroy the remaining Horcruxes that Voldemort created at different points in his life. Over several months, two Horcruxes had been found: Salazar Slytherin's locket which had been destroyed by [[Ronald Weasley|Ron Weasley]] in December of 1997 and the cup of Helga Hufflepuff which they had stolen from Bellatrix Lestrange's vault at Gringotts Wizarding Bank the day before the battle. Two other Horcruxes had also been destroyed already: Voldemort's old diary that he had during his school years at Hogwarts was destroyed in 1993 by Harry Potter, and the ring of Cadmus Peverell by Dumbledore sometime in July, 1996. After learning that his Horcruxes were being systematically hunted down and destroyed, Voldemort ordered a massive attack on Hogwarts Castle in an attempt to stop Harry Potter from destroying one of the remaining Horcruxes (Rowena Ravenclaw's Diadem), which was hidden in the Room of Requirement.
- "Well, it’s not really like Hogwarts any more,"
- —Neville about the situation in to Harry
- On the First of August, 1997, the current Minister for Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour, and the Head of the Auror Office were captured by Voldemort and interrogated for the whereabouts of Harry Potter. However, in one last brave act for Harry, Rufus Scrimgeour told Voldemort nothing, and was subsequently killed. This placed the Ministry of Magic under the control of Voldemort and his Death Eaters. [[Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry|Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry]] also fell under Voldemort's influence, and he appointed Severus Snape as new headmaster (ironically, Snape had killed the previous headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, just a few months before). The Carrow siblings were also appointed as teachers.
Many school subjects were revised at Voldemort's will; Defence Against the Dark Arts was more or less taught as a Dark Arts class, and Muggle Studies became a compulsory class for indoctrinating hatred against Muggles and Muggle-borns. As a result of this, a band of students began to fight back very early on in the 1997–1998 school year, led by seventh year Neville Longbottom and sixth years Ginny Weasley and Luna Lovegood. This group stood as the successor to the original Dumbledore's Army, founded by Harry, Ron, and Hermione in 1995.
"We'll go to Hogsmeade, and try to work something out once we see what the protection around the school's like."
— The trio planning to get into Hogwarts
Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger apparated into the main street of the village of Hogsmeade while wearing Harry's Invisibility Cloak and were immediately detected by a group of Death Eaters due to the fact that they had triggered a Cauterwauling Charm. They all tried to Disapparate but they had been trapped because they had been bound by an Anti-Disapparation Jinx. The Death Eaters tried to reveal their whereabouts by Summoning the Invisibility Cloak, the cloak however refused to be moved due to the fact that it was the Cloak of Legend from The Tale of the Three Brothers.The Death Eaters then sent Dementors to locate Harry, Ron, and Hermione. They agreed that sending Dementors would be a successful capture, as Harry would be given to Voldemort soul-less. Harry repelled them with his Patronus to send them away. They were then pulled into the Hog's Head by Aberforth Dumbledore. He told the Death Eaters that he had produced the Patronus and showed it was a goat, not a stag, and had set off the Cauterwauling Charm by letting his cat out. Aberforth fed Harry, Ron, and Hermione and explained that he had been watching them all throughout their journey hunting Horcruxes by Sirius Black's two-way mirror, purchased from Mundungus Fletcher. Aberforth explained many things to the trio, including Albus's involvement with Grindelwald, Ariana, and Ariana's tragic death due to the three-way duel Aberforth, Albus, and Grindelwald fought. Aberforth then led Harry, Ron and Hermione to a secret passage from his pub to the Room of Requirement where members of Dumbledore's Army had been hiding during the previous few weeks. Neville Longbottom greeted them enthusiastically, and then led Harry, Ron, and Hermione into Hogwarts.