I've heard differing interpretations of the role of Harry's mother's magic.

The one I currently believe, is that, Voldemort did in fact evade his mother's magic, but that protective magic was reinstated as soon as Voldemort's soul fragment was removed from Harry's soul. This is justified by the fact that when Harry grabbed Voldemort and tried to fall to their death, they screamed in pain as they flew around, because the contact hurt Voldemort once more.

But there's another-that was that that magic was exactly what protected him when Voldemort hit Harry with the killing curse. This is specifically in conflict with the idea that since Harry was the true owner of the Elder wand, the Elder wand would allow him to win any duel.

The problem with the Elder wand idea is that, there were other cases owners of the elder wand were killed by competitors, as when Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald. If it has more to do with the fact that his mother's magic protects him, then how do we interpret the purpose of the Elder wand? If it's the Elder wand, then why didn't the Elder wand kill Voldemort in that attempt straight away, rather than before he tried to invade the castle again?

Also, the idea of Elder wand ownership is kind of funny when it comes to Harry since he is occupied by two souls, his own and Voldemort's fragment. To which soul does the Elder wand attribute loyalty, and how does it determine this, if it is in fact the Elder wand's doing that stops the killing curse from rupturing Harry's own soul as well?

  • Just to clarify; it looks like you are asking about MOVIE canon, right? I'm basing this on the fact that there was no fall to the death attempt in the books. – K-H-W Feb 16 '15 at 0:49
  • He didn't pull Voldemort over the edge in the books? Gosh, I thought that was there... I guess that I missed that from them – Adam Miller Feb 16 '15 at 0:55
  • when did dumbledore kill grindelwald ??? – RicoRicochet Feb 16 '15 at 3:49
  • grindelwald was arrested and locked up in top most cell of Nurmengard... – RicoRicochet Feb 16 '15 at 3:50
  • He defeated grindelwald, and in the tales of beedle the bard, lots of times current owners of the Elder wand were defeated with magic in various trickery. – Adam Miller Feb 16 '15 at 3:51

If it's the Elder wand, then why didn't the Elder wand kill Voldemort in that attempt straight away, rather than before he tried to invade the castle again?

Because Harry, the Elder wands owner, did not want to kill Voldemort in the forrest. He came there to sacrifice himself in order to protect his friends. The wand is still "just" a tool, and it does not engage on his own.

Also, since Harry was not defeated (again, he didn't fight, he WANTED to die and succeeded), the wand did not change ownership.

Back to the question: What magic protected Harry when he was about to die?

His mothers protection does not work since the events of "The Goblet of Fire", so it's not that. It had to do with Voldemort being reborn using the blood of Harry. (The whole "jumping off the bridge" thing is only in the movies, and i think they scream because they are falling down a bridge, which doesn't seem like fun.)

My understanding is, that he was not protected. Harry died. He was in Kings Cross and could have easily gone towards the light, if he so choosed. The reason he had the option to return was, that it was the Harry-Horcrux (the little Voldemort baby thingy) that died for good, so it took the bullet for him.

Voldemort killed himself by trying to kill the sacrificing Harry. The wand had little to do with it, maybe it directed the curse at the Voldemort piece inside Harry.

  • 1
    Actually, the fact the Voldemort took Harry's blood is part of what saved Harry, since it kept the protection alive. Dumbledore explains this in the 'King's Cross' chapter (though the horcrux part no doubt helped as well). The wand may have a bigger part in this than you give it credit: if you don't have a wand's allegiance, it will not work well for you (explained by Olivander). The fact that Voldemort did not not have the wand's allegiance (he said it didn't feel right) and used it against it's owner MAY have weakened it's effects so much that Harry could've survived even without protection. – Andreas Feb 16 '15 at 16:17

when Harry grabbed Voldemort and tried to fall to their death

This was done for the movie because it looked cool

But there's another-that was that that magic was exactly what protected him when Voldemort hit Harry with the killing curse. This is specifically in conflict with the idea that since Harry was the true owner of the Elder wand, the Elder wand would allow him to win any duel.

OK... 2-parter here...

  1. Harry's mother's sacrifice is PART of what saved him... more on that below.
  2. You're slightly wrong about the Elder wand. It's the most powerful wand in existence, true, but that doesn't mean it's owner can win any dual. If I bring a knife to a fight and you bring a gun, the gun doesn't help you if you're holding it backwards. The wand is the most powerful TOOL, but if the wizard wielding it isn't good enough, he can still be defeated... and the wand's loyalty would pass to the victor.

If it has more to do with the fact that his mother's magic protects him, then how do we interpret the purpose of the Elder wand?

As I stated above, his mother's protection was still on him, and because Voldemort took his blood, he is keeping that protection alive. The wand acted against the one attacking it's true master (see my next answer for explanation), but had Voldemort used a different wand, Harry would have been protected by his mother's sacrifice.

If it's the Elder wand, then why didn't the Elder wand kill Voldemort in that attempt straight away, rather than before he tried to invade the castle again?

A piece of Voldemort's soul was in Harry. When Voldemort tried to use the Elder wand against its true master, it DID kill Voldemort in that attempt... it killed the piece of Voldemort's soul that was inside Harry. Though not stated in the books, I believe if Harry didn't have that piece of Voldemort's soul within him, the spell would have backfired just like it does later.

Also, the idea of Elder wand ownership is kind of funny when it comes to Harry since he is occupied by two souls, his own and Voldemort's fragment. To which soul does the Elder wand attribute loyalty, and how does it determine this, if it is in fact the Elder wand's doing that stops the killing curse from rupturing Harry's own soul as well?

Harry's soul is in control. It's who he is. Voldemort's soul fragment is just in there. It starts to influence Harry (book 5) but Harry doesn't become Voldemort because his soul is still the main one.

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