Harry Potter Wiki
Harry Potter Wiki

"That went well."
Neville Longbottom after the bridge collapses[src]

This skirmish was one of the first conflicts of the Battle of Hogwarts. Shortly after Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters managed to break the protective enchantments around Hogwarts Castle at midnight of 2 May, 1998 during the height of the Second Wizarding War.

The Snatchers tried to cross the Wooden Bridge in order to gain access to the Castle. Neville Longbottom, who was stationed on the Gatehouse, briefly duelled Scabior before blowing up the bridge, sending Scabior and many Snatchers to their deaths on the chasm below.


Background information

Neville Longbottom: "To blow it up? Boom?"
Minerva McGonagall: "BOOM!"
Neville and Professor McGonagall discussing the destruction of the Wooden Bridge.[src]

Three Snatchers die after crossing the magical barrier around the Castle

After Lord Voldemort's ultimatum to give him Harry Potter, who was at the Castle, the Hogwarts forces started to organise their defences and to prepare themselves for battle. As the teachers secured the Castle, Minerva McGonagall, predicting the Snatchers' move, instructed Neville Longbottom to lead Seamus Finnigan to rig the Wooden Bridge, one of the two entryways into the Castle, and bring it down if necessary.[1]

The Snatchers arrived at the Hogwarts Grounds shortly before midnight. Three of their number died on the spot after inadvertently crossing the magical barriers around the Castle. The Snatchers waited outside the Sundial Garden for the Death Eaters to break the magical protections and were taunted by Neville Longbottom, as they were powerless to attack.[1]

The skirmish

"Yeah, you and whose army?"
Neville Longbottom taunts the Snatchers after their way is barred by the magical protections around the Castle.[src]

Ginny, Seamus, Padma, Nigel, Ernie and Leanne on the bridge waiting to see if Neville survived the explosion

At midnight, the Death Eaters started the attack on Lord Voldemort's orders, effectively breaking the protective enchantments around the school. After Scabior tested if it was safe to cross the now-broken protections, the Snatchers charged into the Wooden Bridge. As Neville ran for the Clock Tower Courtyard, he briefly duelled Scabior before casting a spell that rebounded into the wooden beams producing a large explosion on the Sundial Garden-side of the Wooden Bridge.[1]

As the Snatchers fell into the ravine below, Neville threw himself onto the un-exploded part of the bridge, holding to the intact wooden beams, as Ginny Weasley, Seamus Finnigan, Cho Chang, Ernie Macmillan, Leanne, Padma Patil, and Nigel Wolpert managed to help him up.[1]


Scabior and some Snatchers fall to their death

This skirmish resulted in the loss of many Snatchers who were loyal to Lord Voldemort. It was also a tactical achievement, as it resulted in the destruction of the Wooden Bridge, one of the entryways into the Castle, thus making the enemy attack more difficult.[1]

Behind the scenes

  • Seamus Finnigan and the other DA members plant bombs to destroy the Wooden Bridge. It was not included in the book or seen in the movie but mostly mentioned. But it's shown as a deleted scene and in LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7. However when the movie zooms down to the scene on the bridge one can actually see some Lumos lights and some students walking around on the stands.
  • In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7, Scabior survived the Bridge collapse but only for a moment before Neville and Seamus push him down.


Notes and references