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"But then, through the mist in front of him, he saw, with an icy surge of terror, the dark outline of a man, tall and skeletally thin, rising slowly from inside the cauldron. "Robe me," said the high, cold voice from behind the steam, and Wormtail, sobbing and moaning, still cradling his mutilated arm, scrambled to pick up the black robes from the ground, got to his feet, reached up, and pulled them one-handed over his master's head. The thin man stepped out of the cauldron, staring at Harry...and Harry stared back into the face that had haunted his nightmares for three years. Whiter than a skull, with wide, livid scarlet eyes and a nose that was as flat as a snakes with slits for nostrils... Lord Voldemort had risen again."
— Harry Potter witnessing Voldemort's rebirth[src]

The return of Lord Voldemort took place on 24 June 1995 in the graveyard of Little Hangleton. While in the graveyard, Lord Voldemort was restored to physical form and full magical power.[1] He was restored after being incorporeal for nearly fourteen years.[3]

The rebirth was the result of months of meticulous planning by Voldemort and his servants, Peter Pettigrew and Bartemius Crouch Junior, who manipulated the Triwizard Tournament being held at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry that year in order to deliver Harry Potter to Voldemort.[4]

Once Harry was delivered to Voldemort, Pettigrew murdered Cedric Diggory, who was transported along with Harry, and used some of Harry's blood in the ritual to restore Voldemort.[1] Voldemort then called his Death Eaters to him and duelled Harry,[3][2] who managed to escape and warn Albus Dumbledore.[4]

This event marked the beginning of the Second Wizarding War, although the Ministry of Magic did not admit this until a year later, due to their desire to maintain the peace they worked so hard to create.[5]


Background information[]

First Wizarding War[]

"The Dark Lord will rise again, Crouch! Throw us into Azkaban; we will wait! He will rise again and will come for us, he will reward us beyond any of his other supporters! We alone were faithful! We alone tried to find him!"
Bellatrix Lestrange during her war crimes trial[src]

During Lord Voldemort's first rise to power, a prophecy was made about an infant with the power to defeat him who would be born to a couple who had thrice defied him. The prophecy stated that the infant would be a boy and would be born at the end of July. Voldemort marked Harry, son of Order of the Phoenix members James and Lily Potter, who had thrice defied Voldemort.[6]

Potter family murder

Voldemort murders Lily Potter after she refused to stop shielding her infant son

The Potters went into hiding, yet Voldemort soon located them and arrived at their home in Godric's Hollow. Although his murder of James was immediate and effortless, he offered Lily a chance to save herself because one of his Death Eaters, Severus Snape, had requested it of him.[7]

Finally, Voldemort used the Killing Curse on her and then on Harry. Because Lily had willingly and lovingly sacrificed herself for Harry by refusing to stop shielding him, the curse backfired. This left the boy with a lightning-bolt scar on his forehead and Voldemort's body was destroyed. The rebounding Killing Curse split Voldemort's already mangled soul once again; the piece of Voldemort's soul that broke off then attached itself to Harry's body, inadvertently turning him into a Horcrux.[8]

B4C30M1 Wizengamot trial Pensieve memory

The Lestranges and Barty Crouch Junior stand trial for their crimes

This marked the end of the First Wizarding War, after which many of Voldemort's followers were imprisoned in Azkaban or managed to convince the Ministry of Magic of their innocence. Sirius Black was imprisoned for Pettigrew's crimes, as everyone believed him to be the Potters' Secret-Keeper. Pettigrew went into hiding for years in his Animagus form of a rat, known as Scabbers, acting as a pet to Percy Weasley and later to his younger brother Ron.[9] Some Death Eaters, such as the Lestranges, declared that the Dark Lord would return, while others resisted arrest and were ultimately killed, such as Evan Rosier.[10]

Triwizard Tournament plot[]

"Who put your name in the Goblet of Fire, under the name of a different school? I did. Who frightened off every person I thought might try to hurt you to prevent you from winning the tournament? I did. Who nudged Hagrid into showing you the dragons? I did. Who helped you see the only way you could beat the dragon? I did."
— Barty Crouch Junior revealing the tournament plot[src]

Voldemort made a prior attempt to regain his physical form and power in his attempt to use Quirinus Quirrell to obtain the Philosopher's Stone and to murder Harry Potter.[11][3] This plot failed, and by 1994, Voldemort had all but given up hope of ever returning.[3] However, that summer, Peter Pettigrew, the man who had treacherously provided the whereabouts of Harry's parents in the first place, returned to his service; his true identity and crimes were exposed after Sirius Black escaped from Azkaban, and, with the assistance of his old friend Remus Lupin, confronted Pettigrew and informed Harry of the truth behind his parents' deaths.[9]

Wormtail & Voldemort

Peter and Voldemort making the plot

Pettigrew managed to escape and contact his former master.[12][13] They also managed to free Bartemius Crouch Junior, one of Voldemort's fanatical Death Eaters, from his father's control. Voldemort ordered Crouch to infiltrate Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and to bring him Harry Potter, a task which Crouch completed with success.[4]

B4C16M1 Champions chosen v1

The Goblet of Fire choosing Harry Potter as a fourth champion

Crouch managed this by abducting Alastor Moody, the new Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor at Hogwarts and using Polyjuice Potion to take his place. In this position, he was able to manipulate the Triwizard Tournament so that the Goblet of Fire selected Harry as a fourth Champion. Harry was bewildered by this and by how his scar was increasingly beginning to burn.

By the Third Task of the Tournament, Crouch had succeeded in turning the Triwizard Cup into a Portkey that would transport whoever touched it to Little Hangleton, where Voldemort and Pettigrew were waiting.[4] Harry and Cedric Diggory, the other Hogwarts champion, agreed that they were equally winners and thus touched the Cup at the same time.[14]

Restoration of Lord Voldemort[]

The ritual[]

"Bone of the father, unknowingly given, you will renew your son. Flesh of the servant, willingly given, you will revive your master. Blood of the enemy, forcibly taken, you will resurrect your foe."
Peter Pettigrew conducting the ritual to restore Voldemort[src]
Cedric's Death

Cedric is murdered by Pettigrew on Voldemort's orders

Harry and Cedric were both transported to the graveyard of Little Hangleton. Voldemort ordered Pettigrew to "kill the spare", and Cedric was struck with the Killing Curse. To his horror, Harry saw a flash of green light then heard the sound of a body hitting the graveyard's ground. Cedric was dead instantly.

He was then restrained to Tom Riddle Snr's grave marker so that Pettigrew could cut his arm open and take some of his blood to use in a Dark potion to restore Voldemort to full power and strength. While taking Harry's blood Pettigrew refused to make eye-contact, possibly feeling some reluctance regarding his actions.[1] This reluctance by steam from Harry having saved his life the year prior.

B4C32M1 Voldemort rises in Little Hangleton graveyard

The rebirth in progress, Voldemort emerging from the cauldron

Pettigrew also took a bone from the grave of Tom Riddle Snr and his own hand as part of the potion. Voldemort regained a corporeal body and therefore was returned to full power.[1] He ordered Pettigrew to stretch out his uninjured left arm, bearing the Dark Mark. Voldemort touched it, and Death Eaters who were loyal or evaded capture came to him at once.[3]

Battle of wills[]

"You know of course, that they have called this boy my downfall? You all know that on the night I lost my powers and my body, I tried to kill him. His mother died in the attempt to save him — and unwittingly provided him with a protection I admit I had not foreseen... I could not touch the boy. His mother left upon him the traces of her sacrifice... This is old magic, I should have remembered it, I was foolish to overlook it... but no matter. I can touch him now."
Voldemort's first downfall and the magic that caused it[src]
Voldemort and his followers

Voldemort surrounded by his supporters

Voldemort greeted and confronted several of the Death Eaters for not trying to find him during his absence, such as Lucius Malfoy, Crabbe Snr, Goyle Snr, Nott Snr, Avery, and Walden Macnair. They all claimed to still be loyal to him, though he uncovered these hasty lies with ease. He expressed fury and disappointment at their lack of faith, torturing Avery. Voldemort also swore vengeance on those who did not respond to his summons, such as Igor Karkaroff. He praised the Lestranges for their loyalty, announcing that they will be honoured beyond their dreams for their loyalty.

Voldemort crucio harry

Voldemort tortures Harry with the Cruciatus Curse twice

He explained his situation after his first downfall. At this point he also created a silver hand for Pettigrew in reward for helping him return to his body. The Dark Lord then turned to Harry, remarking upon how the boy had survived his Killing Curse thirteen years ago and how, with his blood in his body, he could now touch him. He used the Cruciatus Curse on Harry briefly and then demanded that he duel him. He used the Imperius Curse on him briefly to force him to bow, which Harry was able to resist, much to the astonishment of all those present.[3]

Priori Incantatem Pottermore

The wands of Voldemort and Harry Potter connecting in Priori Incantatem

The duel started with Voldemort casting the Killing Curse, while Harry cast the Disarming Charm. Because the cores of their wands shared the same source, Harry's wand and Voldemort's wand are brothers and thus the rare effect of Priori Incantatem was created when they conflicted. A battle of wills began and Harry's wand (the dominate) forced Voldemort's wand (the submissive) to regurgitate its past spells, Voldemort's murder victims emerged in spirit form.

Cedric Diggory's echo

Cedric's echo asks Harry to take his body back to his parents

Cedric's spirit asked Harry to return his body to his parents and the spirits of Harry's parents told him that they would provide a distraction so that he could escape. Harry quickly seized Cedric's body and the Triwizard Cup with the Summoning Charm, transporting back to Hogwarts.[2]

During the duel, according to Albus Dumbledore, when Harry's wand forced Voldemort's to regurgitate its spells, it had absorbed a part of Voldemort's own dark powers, making Harry's wand even stronger and more powerfully effective, but only against Voldemort himself.[15] This would later save his life in the Battle of the Seven Potters.

Exposure of Barty Crouch Junior[]

"Mad, am I? We'll see! We'll see who's mad, now that the Dark Lord has returned, with me at his side! He is back, Harry Potter, you did not conquer him — and now — I conquer you!"
— Barty Crouch Junior before trying to murder Harry Potter[src]
Barty Crouch Junior exposed

Bartemius Crouch Junior being interrogated

Chaos erupted when Harry returned to Hogwarts with Cedric's body in tow. Students were shocked, dismayed, and disbelieving all at once. Amos Diggory was devastated by the loss of his son. Crouch, disguised as Moody, managed to usher Harry away from the panicking crowd to interrogate him about Voldemort's return. He wanted to kill Harry, but Albus Dumbledore and several other members of the Hogwarts staff arrived to stop him. Dumbledore was furious and Harry finally understood why Dumbledore was so feared.

Alastor Moody

Alastor Moody as he is discovered down in the trunk

Under the influence of Severus Snape's Veritaserum, Crouch confessed everything.[4] The real Alastor Moody was discovered in trunk, and had been there for quite some time. Before he could testify before the Wizengamot, however, Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge arrived with a Dementor, which performed the Dementor's Kiss on him.[15]


" [...] in the light of Voldemort's return, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. Lord Voldemort's gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open."
Albus Dumbledore after Voldemort's return[src]
Daily prophet the boy who lies

The Daily Prophet accusing Harry of lying about Voldemort's return

The Ministry of Magic refused to believe Harry Potter's account of Voldemort's return, even when he was supported by Albus Dumbledore. This denial and refusal to see the truth was due to Fudge not wanting the peace and tranquillity they worked so hard for to be destabilised by this announcement.

The Ministry publicly denied the Dark Lord's return and branded Harry and Dumbledore either liars or nutters in the press. The Daily Prophet in particular was known to print copies with headlines such as, "The Boy Who Lies?" and "Dumbledore: Daft or Dangerous?"

Voldemort and his Death Eaters took advantage of this campaign to discredit Dumbledore and Harry. They used it to operate in secret and advance their plans. At the same time Dumbledore called for a reconstitution of the Order of the Phoenix in order to combat Voldemort and his Death Eaters.[5]

Interfering at Hogwarts[]

"The Ministry of Magic has always considered the education of young witches and wizards to be of vital importance...There again, progress for progress's sake must be discouraged, for our tried and tested traditions often require no tinkering... Let us move forward, then, into a new era of openness, effectiveness, and accountability, intent on preserving what ought to be preserved, perfecting what needs to be perfected, and pruning wherever we find practices that ought to be prohibited."
— Umbridge rudely interrupting Albus Dumbledore's start-of-term speech[src]

The issue of Voldemort's return would be highly divisive amongst the public. In Harry's next year of school, many of his fellow students were sceptical of his claims, even some he considered friends, such as Seamus Finnigan.[16] Percy Weasley also had a severe falling out with the rest of his family over their loyalty to Dumbledore over the Ministry.[17]

Umbridge inspecting classes OOTPF

Umbridge inspecting classes and interfering at Hogwarts

The Ministry was so suspicious of Dumbledore that Dolores Umbridge was installed at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as High Inquisitor during the 1995–1996 school year, a position she used to monitor and undermine Dumbledore and to spread Ministry propaganda.[16] Umbridge's dictatorial reign over the school sowed the seeds of rebellion.

Dumbledore's Army

Dumbledore's Army is formed, taught and lead by Harry Potter

Harry, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley founded Dumbledore's Army, a group in which students could learn practical Defence Against the Dark Arts and oppose Ministry control at Hogwarts.[18] Harry's side of the story eventually got to the public after Hermione arranged for Rita Skeeter to interview him and Luna Lovegood helped get it published in The Quibbler. In the meantime, Voldemort was able to gain more followers and to stage a break-out of many of his Death Eaters from Azkaban.[19]

The Ministry did not admit that Voldemort had returned until June of 1996, after the Dark Lord was seen by the Minister for Magic himself in the Ministry following the Battle of the Department of Mysteries.[5]

Other repercussions[]

Voldemort's usage of Harry's blood for his revival was due to his belief that it would allow him to bypass the protection that Lily bestowed onto him. This, however, was a mistake due to Voldemort's lack of understanding of the power of love, and while Voldemort was able to touch Harry without injuring himself, in truth, it strengthened the protection by anchoring Harry to the world of the living even after being struck by the Killing Curse again, thus ensuring Voldemort's defeat three years later.[8][20]


Behind the scenes[]

  • In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, instead of using Harry's blood for the Regeneration potion, Peter Pettigrew used Harry's glasses, likely to make the game more Family-friendly.
  • There are a few changes in the duel between Harry and Voldemort that follow Voldemort's rebirth. In the film adaption, Bertha Jorkins doesn't appear with the echo of James and Lily Potter, Cedric Diggory, and Frank Bryce when Harry's wand and Voldemort's connected, despite being the victim he used to create Nagini. Also, the echo of Frank Bryce doesn't say anything after appearing, while in the novel, he voices to Harry his shock that he was killed by a wizard and tells Harry to stand his ground.
Graveyard Scene - Pop-Up

The graveyard scene presented in Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Book

  • In the novel, Wormtail tied Harry to Tom Riddle Snr's gravestone so tightly and gagged him that he could neither move nor speak. In the film, Wormtail levitated Harry high above the tombstone (which has a statue of the angel of death) and had the statue hold Harry with a neck-lock via the scythe.
  • The manner in which Voldemort is reborn differs between the films and the novel. In the novel, Voldemort rises from the cauldron naked and is clothed by Wormtail. In the film, the cauldron dissolved in flame (as seen in the image heading the page) and quickly merged with Voldemort, making him appear dressed in the black robes already. This was done for censorship reasons.
  • In the novel, Voldemort was joined by at least 30 Death Eaters, including Lucius Malfoy, Crabbe, Goyle, Avery, Nott, and more. In the film, fewer than 10 were shown to join him.
  • In the novel, Voldemort gave no notice to Cedric's corpse upon his rebirth. In the film, he stepped on the body while mocking Cedric before Harry demanded him to stop.


Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 32 (Flesh, Blood and Bone)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 34 (Priori Incantatem)
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 33 (The Death Eaters)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 35 (Veritaserum)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 36 (The Only One He Ever Feared)
  6. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 37 (The Lost Prophecy)
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 33 (The Prince's Tale)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 35 (King's Cross)
  9. 9.0 9.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 19 (The Servant of Lord Voldemort)
  10. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30 (The Pensieve)
  11. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 17 (The Man with Two Faces)
  12. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 20 (The Dementor's Kiss)
  13. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 1 (The Riddle House)
  14. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 31 (The Third Task)
  15. 15.0 15.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 36 (The Parting of the Ways)
  16. 16.0 16.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 11 (The Sorting Hat's New Song)
  17. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 5 (The Order of the Phoenix)
  18. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 18 (Dumbledore's Army)
  19. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 25 (The Beetle at Bay)
  20. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36 (The Flaw in the Plan)