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HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS

Family Gatherings
Like Harry Potter, Lord Voldemort is also on a mission: to end the life of "the Boy Who Lived.” Yates says, "Voldemort is on the cusp of absolute power. He's been hiding in the shadows, biding his time until he could come back and impose his will on the rest of the world. Everything else in his master plan has come together; he just needs to deal with this one tiny detail. Voldemort doesn't understand how this ‘child' has become his strongest adversary, but he does know he must be the one to kill Harry Potter.

First of all, it was destined and, secondly, there is the sheer satisfaction of it after being thwarted so often. It's beyond personal at this point.”

Ralph Fiennes, who is virtually unrecognizable in the role of Lord Voldemort, says that his character is "driven by a deep rage. The only thing that fires him up is power and more power—the ability to control, to manipulate and to destroy people. It's his addiction.”

Yates remarks, "Ralph is very scary when he's playing Voldemort. He has the capacity to tune into some very dark places as an actor; you can literally feel the temperature in the room drop as he inhabits the character.”

The Death Eaters regard the Dark Lord with a mixture of reverence and fear, knowing he needs little provocation to turn on even his most loyal followers. If they need a reminder of that threat, it is there in the companion always at Voldemort's side—and the only living creature Voldemort treats with actual tenderness—the great snake named Nagini.

Voldemort has summoned his most elite Death Eaters to Malfoy Manor to plan when, where and how to ambush Harry Potter. The last to arrive is Severus Snape, played by Alan Rickman. "Every time I watch Alan as Snape, I am amazed at the complexity and all the nuances of his performance,” says Heyman. "He can convey humor and venom in the same breath. And in this film, you begin to sense the tremendous burden of the secret Snape is carrying.”

Snape informs those assembled when Harry will be leaving his Privet Drive home, warning them that he will be "given every protection” by the Order of the Phoenix. Nevertheless, Fiennes states, "Voldemort believes he is finally going to defeat Harry Potter. He is enjoying his rule, emperor-like.”

However, Voldemort has discovered that he cannot kill Harry Potter with his own wand. He has extracted from wand maker Ollivander (John Hurt) that his and Harry's wands are "twins,” possessing the same core and thereby robbing them of their power against each other. In a voice dripping with thinly veiled malice, he suggests that Lucius Malfoy have the "honor” of giving up his wand to Voldemort.

"Wands are an important part of the story in ‘The Deathly Hallows'—wand law and how personal they are to wizards,” Yates specifies. "The properties of wands make them almost like characters in their own right. In the very first book, we learned from Ollivander that ‘the wand chooses the wizard'; to them, losing a wand can be like losing a part of oneself. So when Voldemort took Lucius Malfoy's wand, it was like taking his manhood, something that was vital to his self worth.”

When we met Lucius Malfoy in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” he was a pompous wizard who did not bother to hide his disdain for most everyone he felt was beneath him, and who was raising his son, Draco, in his image. But he has returned from a brief imprisonment at Azkaban a shadow of his former self. He must now silently endure the fact that he has been replaced at the head of his family table, and his own home has been commandeered by Voldemort as his headquarters.

far, the worst. "To take a wizard's wand is to completely undermine him, and not only does Voldemort take it, but he also snaps off the snake head—a flashy, personal family adornment—and flings it on the table like a piece of dirt, which emasculates Lucius in front of all the other Death Eaters. Lucius had always been an incredibly vain and arrogant peacock; he'd always assumed he'd stand with Voldemort as his right-hand man. But after being broken by prison, after Draco failed in his mission to kill Dumbledore, and after this public humiliation, he has no idea what the future holds for him…if he has a future. All-in-all, a just reward.”

Seated next to his father, Draco Malfoy is dealing with misgivings of his own. Once the arrogant young bully of Slytherin, he is now faced with the cold-blooded reality of being a Death Eater. Tom Felton, who plays Draco, offers, "In the last film, we saw that, despite wanting to be the protégé of his father, to be the evil ‘Chosen One,' if you will, Draco doesn't have it in him in the slightest. He's realizing that these are not the sort of people he wants to associate himself with, but he doesn't really have a choice in the matter. Make no mistake; Draco is not a nice guy by any standards. But he's definitely questioning what he's witnessing, and not even he has a clue what he's ultimately going to do. We have a few opportunities to explore that in the story, which was really interesting for me as an actor.”

Draco's aunt, Bellatrix Lestrange, has no such compunctions. Returning to the part, Helena Bonham Carter declares that Bellatrix is in her glory as Voldemort's most obsequious and bloodthirsty disciple. "She just loves his supremacy, his superiority and particularly his no-nose. It's so sexy,” she laughs. "Bellatrix is a fanatic, not to mention completely mad. She has no limits; she's always full-out so she took all my energy. It could be quite exhausting, but that's a big part of why she was so much fun to play.”

"Helena had a ball with this character,” Barron says. "I think it's a testament to her skill that she makes us love Bellatrix even though she's a nasty piece of work.”

With Voldemort in control, the danger reaches beyond Harry Potter to everyone associated with him, as well as their families. Being wizards, the Weasleys are able to fight magic with magic, but Harry's and Hermione's Muggle families are especially vulnerable.

To save her parents, Hermione makes an impossible choice. In a scene that is only alluded to in the book, she leaves her home behind, taking her parents' memories of their only child with her. Watson says, "Hermione knows that by siding with Harry she is putting her parents in danger. The only way she can protect them is by completely cutting them off, so she removes their memories of her, which is tragic because she is losing her mum and dad forever. I was really charmed by the way Steve Kloves wrote the scene. It was moving and also brings home the magnitude of the sacrifice Hermione, and also Ron, are making for their friend Harry.”

While it is decidedly less of a sacrifice, Harry must also say goodbye to his Muggle family: his insufferable Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin, Dudley. As the Dursleys drive away from their now-empty home on Privet Drive, Harry doesn't have long to reminisce about his childhood spent in the cupboard under the stairs.

A noise at the front door alerts him to the arrival of his security escort: Ron and Hermione; Arthur Weasley; Mad-Eye Moody; Tonks and Lupin; twins Fred and George Weasley; their oldest brother, Bill, and his fiancé, Fleur Delacour; Mundungus Fletcher; Kingsley Shacklebolt; and last, but never least, Rubeus Hagrid. They have all come to transport Harry to a safe house.

There is no safety in numbers when battling Death Eaters, so Mad-Eye has devised a decoy scheme. Six of the group will take Polyjuice Potion, resulting in seven identical "Harry Potters” departing in seven different directions. "The name of the game is confus

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