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Harry Potter Wiki

Molly Weasley: "I’ve been wanting to ask you how you want to celebrate your birthday, Harry. Seventeen, after all, it’s an important day...."
Harry Potter: "I don’t want a fuss. Really, Mrs Weasley, just a normal dinner would be fine... It’s the day before the wedding... please, don’t go to loads of trouble."
— Conversation regarding Harry's birthday party[src]

A party was held at The Burrow in Devon, England for Harry Potter's seventeenth birthday on 31 July, 1997. The party took place days after the Order of the Phoenix removed Harry from his relatives' home, battling Death Eaters in the process and the day before the wedding of Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour was held at the Burrow.

The party was interrupted by the arrival of Minister for Magic Rufus Scrimgeour, who wanted Harry to support the Ministry of Magic during the Second Wizarding War.[1]



"And then, out of nowhere, out of nothing, they were surrounded. At least thirty hooded figures, suspended in midair, formed a vast circle in the midst of which the Order members had risen, oblivious —. Screams, a blaze of green light on every side: Hagrid gave a yell and the motorbike rolled over."
— Description of the Battle of the Seven Potters[src]

Harry Potter lived with his maternal relatives, the Dursley family, after his father and mother were murdered by Lord Voldemort on 31 October, 1981. Because his aunt Petunia Dursley is the older sister of Harry's mother, whose loving sacrifice protected him from Voldemort's Killing Curse, Harry was protected by ancient magic while he lived with his aunt.[2]

The seven Potters

This protection would expire when Harry became an adult in the wizarding world, on his seventeenth birthday of 31 July, 1997. The Order of the Phoenix and the Death Eaters were both aware of this. Thus, the Death Eaters manipulated the Ministry of Magic to cut off Harry's means of transportation away from 4 Privet Drive, and the Order made a plan to remove Harry on 27 July.[2]

The Order used Polyjuice Potion to disguise six members as Harry, so that seven teams of two would fly away from Little Whinging to divert anyone if they were attacked. The group was attacked by at least thirty Death Eaters and Lord Voldemort himself joined the sky battle.[2] Harry was brought to safety at the Burrow, but Alastor Moody and Harry's owl Hedwig were killed in the process.[3]

Birthday celebrations

Presents in the morning

"Arthur told me to wish you a happy seventeenth, Harry. He had to leave early for work, but he'll be back for dinner. That's our present on top... It's traditional to give a wizard a watch when he comes of age..."
— Molly giving Harry her deceased brother's watch[src]

Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches

When Harry awoke on the morning of his seventeenth birthday, he immediately used magic, summoning his glasses. Ron Weasley gave him his present right away, not wanting his mother to see it. It was a copy of Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches, a book that Ron had been given previously by his older brothers Fred and George. Ron found it extremely useful for dealing with girls.[1]

The boys then headed downstairs for breakfast, where Mrs Weasley and Monsieur and Apolline Delacour all wished Harry a happy birthday. Harry also received a variety of presents, including a watch from Mrs Weasley that had once belonged to her late brother Fabian Prewett, which he hugged her in thanks for. Hermione Granger then entered the kitchen with her gift for Harry, a new Sneakoscope. Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour gave him an enchanted razor, the Delacours gave him chocolates, and Fred and George gave him an enormous box of merchandise from their joke shop.[1]

Harry and Ginny

"I couldn't think what to get you... I didn't know what would be useful. Nothing too big, because you wouldn't be able to take it with you. So then I thought, I'd like you to have something to remember me by, you know, if you meet some Veela when you're off doing whatever you're doing."
— Right before Ginny gives him a kiss for his birthday present[src]

Ginny giving Harry his birthday present

After breakfast, Ginny Weasley approached Harry and asked to speak to him alone in her bedroom. Although Ron did not like the idea, Hermione pulled him away, and Harry followed Ginny into her room. There, Ginny said that she did not know what to get him for his birthday, and then kissed Harry as she had never kissed him before. They were interrupted by Ron and Hermione; the former angrily reminded Harry that he had broken up with Ginny and that he should not be "messing her around". Harry regretfully agreed that it would not happen again.[1]


Rubeus Hagrid: "Seventeen, eh! Six years ter the day since we met, Harry, d'yeh remember it?"
Harry Potter: "Vaguely. Didn't you smash down the front door, give Dudley a pig's tail, and tell me I was a wizard?"
— Discussion regarding their first meeting during dinner[src]

For Harry's celebratory dinner, Fred and George bewitched a number of purple lanterns with "17" on them to hang above the kitchen and Hermione conjured purple and gold streamers to be draped around the trees and bushes, and turned a crabapple tree to gold. Charles Weasley, Rubeus Hagrid, Remus Lupin, and Nymphadora Tonks also joined everyone for dinner. Mrs Weasley baked a cake in the form of a Golden Snitch, sized bigger like a beach-ball, and Hagrid gave Harry his gift of a pouch.[1]

Before the dinner could get started, however, Arthur Weasley's Patronus arrived to warn the guests that Minister for Magic Rufus Scrimgeour was accompanying him to the Burrow. Remus and Tonks quickly left, since the two had recently married and the Ministry of Magic had anti-werewolf legislation in effect. Arthur and Scrimgeour arrived shortly afterward, and the latter requested a private word with Harry, Ron, and Hermione.[1]

Dumbledore's will

"Sorry to intrude. Especially as I can see that I am gate-crashing a party. Many happy returns... I require a private word with you. Also with Mr Ronald Weasley and Miss Hermione Granger."
Rufus Scrimgeour interrupts the celebrations[src]

Scrimgeour gives the first Snitch Harry caught, willed to him by Albus Dumbledore

Once in the sitting room, Scrimegour wanted to speak to each of them individually, but Harry refused. Scrimgeour then explained to them that they had all been bequeathed items in Albus Dumbledore's will. To Harry, Dumbledore had left the first Snitch he ever caught, as well as Godric Gryffindor's Sword. To Ron he left a Deluminator and to Hermione a first edition of The Tales of Beedle the Bard. The Ministry had held the will and its contents under the Decree for Justifiable Confiscation for 31 days, as they suspected that Dumbledore was attempting to communicate secret information to the trio.[1]

Scrimgeour suspiciously questioned all three of them, but ultimately turned over all the objects but the Sword, which he argued did not belong to Dumbledore and was not his to give. Scrimgeour also attempted to convince Harry to support the Ministry for the second time, and again, Harry turned him down, reminding him that he did not agree with the Ministry's methods, such as their cover-up of the recent break-out of Azkaban prisoners. Scrimgeour left in a fury.[1]

Afterwards, everybody ate dinner quickly, and Harry, Ron, and Hermione met once everyone had gone to bed to discuss what had happened.[1] It was not until much later that they realised the full significance of Dumbledore's will, and how it assisted them in their search for the Horcruxes and knowledge of the Deathly Hallows.



Notes and references