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In the film version of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Harry is walking along the platform to return to Hogwarts when he sees Voldemort standing there wearing a black suit.

Was Voldemort actually present or was Harry's mind playing tricks on him? If he was present, did he come just to see Harry off?

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    Many fans were critical of the scene where Harry sees Voldemort at the train station dressed in a Muggle suit, saying it was out of character for Voldemort to do such a thing. Director David Yates and producer David Heyman both defended the scene, though each had different takes on it. Yates explained that it was Voldemort's way of taunting Harry, that Voldemort could appear in plain sight in a crowd of Muggles who would not realize how dangerous he is. Heyman, on the other hand, said that it's a figment of Harry's imagination, symbolizing Voldemort taking control of Harry's mind. – Valorum Aug 30 '15 at 17:17
  • m.imdb.com/title/tt0373889/trivia – Valorum Aug 30 '15 at 17:17
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    @Richard That's got to be the answer isn't it? – ThruGog Aug 30 '15 at 17:54
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This does not happen in the books. Now, putting away the book and focusing only on the movie, it is still clear that Voldemort did not come to the station:

  • Only Harry seems to notice him. Remember that there are dozens of muggles and wizards transiting the station, and no one bats an eye. There's really no feasible way a whole crowd won't notice that handsome man in the middle.
  • Voldemort doesn't do anything. Clearly he didn't come to kill Harry - so what then? See Draco off to school?

Since this particular book puts special emphasis on Harry's and Voldemort's "mental" link, it is very likely that this was nothing but a way to illustrate how Harry is starting to lose his mind.

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    Who would know better than Voldemort himself? – Jack B Nimble Aug 30 '15 at 19:28
  • “No feasible way”? You mean apart from giving himself the same treatment The Leaky Cauldron, Hogwarts, and the Quidditch World Cup grounds got, making himself Unplottable and essentially invisible to Muggles? I don’t recall any instances of this being done on humans in the book, but there’s no reason to believe Voldy wouldn’t be able to make himself un-Muggleable quite easily. Your second point is much better: it would make absolutely no sense for him to randomly show up, look evil for a few seconds, and then shimmy back off again. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 24 '18 at 22:41
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Adding to what everyone said, it might be a sign of Harry's PTSD from the fight with Voldemort. During the whole movie he is showing signs of it, and seeing his attacker in the crowd for a moment are very normal symptoms of PTSD.

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Voldemort doesn't actually arrive on the platform. He appears only as a figment of Harry's imagination. I believe this moment is symbolic of Harry's inner emotional struggle to convince the wizarding world of Voldemort's return. Earlier on, Dumbledore says the evidence of his return is incontrovertible yet nobody believes him or Harry. Even though Harry can see Voldemort in plain sight, nobody acknowledges him, leaving him to feel helpless in his efforts to shed light on the imminent danger that lies ahead. In addition, it's also a clever way of introducing the connection between Harry and Voldemort, as they share an ominous personal moment amidst a large crowd of people on the platform.

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It is clear that Voldemort was never there. Voldemort made Harry think things that were not true such as Sirius being in the Ministry when really he was actually was at 12 Grimmauld Place! Also, Voldemort would have no reason to just randomly stand around in a platform, shaking his head, wearing a suit. Even Muggles would think he looks odd. This is clearly Voldemort taunting Harry, this is another proof of why Harry was told he needed Occlumency classes to get Voldemort out of his head.

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I think that Voldemort wasn't really there, but either Harry was going mad, was thinking about him and imagined him there, or he used his skills at Legilimency to make Harry imagine he was there and disturb him. Here is further information on the subject:

  1. He was imagining it.

    In the case of Harry thinking about him, he must've been going mad and/or thinking about him so much that he imagined him being right in front of him.

  2. You-Know-Who used his Legilimency to let only Harry see him right there, because he wasn't exactly imagining it.

It is a very complicated subject, so don't worry if you don't understand. I don't completely get it either. I think I'll add more on my subject another time.

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    What does this add that is not already covered by the accepted answer? – amflare Dec 1 '17 at 23:46
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    Legilimency seems highly unlikely here. This is before the school year begins, and Voldemort is not yet aware of the mental connection that exists between him and Harry which allows him to plant visions in Harry’s mind. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 24 '18 at 22:43

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