Can you think of anything better than Christmas at Hogwarts? If you’ve ever visisted Hogwarts in the Snow at the Warner Bros Studio Tour, you’ll know the magic that is Hogwarts in winter. I’ve trawled through all the Christmas passages in the Harry Potter series so you don’t have to (not that it was a chore!) and compiled a list of the best moments throughout the 7 books at Christmas time. Some are happy, some are sad, some are funny and most are heartwarming. So without further ado, may I present Christmas at Hogwarts: a journey through the years.
The Philosopher’s Stone
Fred and George throw snowballs at Quirrell
Christmas was coming. One morning in mid-December, Hogwarts woke to find itself covered in several feet of snow. The lake froze solid and the Weasley twins were punished for bewitching several snowballs so that they followed Quirrell around, bouncing off the back of his turban.
The Great Hall gets a makeover
The hall looked spectacular. Festoons of holly and mistletoe hung all around the walls, and no less than twelve towering Christmas trees stood around the room, some sparkling with tiny icicles, some glittering with hundreds of candles.
The Gryffindor Common Room
They had the dormitory to themselves and the common room was far emptier than usual, so they were able to get the good armchairs by the fire. They sat by the hour eating anything they could spear on a toasting fork — bread, English muffins, marshmallows — and plotting ways of getting Malfoy expelled, which were fun to talk about even if they wouldn’t work.
Harry’s First Real Presents
“Merry Christmas,” said Ron sleepily as Harry scrambled out of bed and pulled on his bathrobe.
“You, too,” said Harry. “Will you look at this? I’ve got some presents!”
“What did you expect, turnips?” said Ron, turning to his own pile
The First Christmas Hogwarts’ Feast
Harry had never in all his life had such a Christmas dinner. A hundred fat, roast turkeys; mountains of roast and boiled potatoes; platters of chipolatas; tureens of buttered peas, silver boats of thick, rich gravy and cranberry sauce — and stacks of wizard crackers every few feet along the table. These fantastic party favours were nothing like the feeble Muggle ones the Dursleys usually bought, with their little plastic toys and their flimsy paper hats inside.
Harry pulled a wizard cracker with Fred and it didn’t just bang, it went off with a blast like a cannon and engulfed them all in a cloud of blue smoke, while from the inside exploded a rear admiral’s hat and several live, white mice. Up at the High Table, Dumbledore had swapped his pointed wizard’s hat for a flowered bonnet, and was chuckling merrily at a joke Professor Flitwick had just read him.
Harry sees his family for the first time
Harry was so close to the mirror now that his nose was nearly touching that of his reflection.
“Mom?” he whispered. “Dad?”
They just looked at him, smiling. And slowly, Harry looked into the faces of the other people in the mirror, and saw other pairs of green eyes like his, other noses like his, even a little old man who looked as though he had Harry’s knobbly knees — Harry was looking at his family, for the first time in his life.
The Potters smiled and waved at Harry and he stared hungrily back at them, his hands pressed flat against the glass as though he was hoping to fall right through it and reach them. He had a powerful kind of ache inside him, half joy, half terrible sadness.
Dumbledore reveals his Christmas wish
“One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.”
The Chamber of Secrets
An Empty Hogwarts
At last the term ended, and a silence deep as the snow on the grounds descended on the castle. Harry found it peaceful, rather than gloomy, and enjoyed the fact that he, Hermione, and the Weasleys had the run of Gryffindor Tower, which meant they could play Exploding Snap loudly without bothering anyone, and practice dueling in private.
The Second Hogwarts’ Feast
No one, not even someone dreading taking Polyjuice Potion later, could fail to enjoy Christmas dinner at Hogwarts. The Great Hall looked magnificent. Not only were there a dozen frost-covered Christmas trees and thick streamers of holly and mistletoe crisscrossing the ceiling, but enchanted snow was falling, warm and dry, from the ceiling.
Dumbledore led them in a few of his favourite carols, Hagrid booming more and more loudly with every goblet of eggnog he consumed. Percy, who hadn’t noticed that Fred had bewitched his prefect badge so that it now read “Pinhead,” kept asking them all what they were sniggering at. Harry didn’t even care that Draco Malfoy was making loud, snide remark about his new sweater from the Slytherin table. With a bit of luck, Malfoy would be getting his comeuppance in a few hours’ time.
Fooling Crabbe and Goyle
“How thick can you get?” Ron whispered ecstatically as Crabbe gleefully pointed out the cakes to Goyle and grabbed them. Grinning stupidly, they stuffed the cakes whole into their large mouths. For a moment, both of them chewed greedily, looks of triumph on their faces. Then, without the smallest change of expression, they both keeled over backward onto the floor.
Hermione accidentally turns into a cat
Hermione let her robes fall and Ron backed into the sink. Her face was covered in black fur. Her eyes had turned yellow and there were long, pointed ears poking through her hair.
“It was a c-cat hair!” she howled. “M-Millicent Bulstrode m-must have a cat! And the p-potion isn’t supposed to be used for animal transformations!”
“Uh-oh,” said Ron.
The Prisoner of Azkaban
Fred and George gift Harry the Marauders Map
He took out his wand, touched the parchment lightly, and said, “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”
And at once, thin ink lines began to spread like a spider’s web from the point that George’s wand had touched. They joined each other, they crisscrossed, they fanned into every corner of the parchment; then words began to blossom across the top, great, curly green words, that proclaimed:
Messrs. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs Purveyors of Aids to Magical Mischief-Makers are proud to present THE MARAUDER’S MAP
Hogsmeade at Christmas
Hogsmeade looked like a Christmas card; the little thatched cottages and shops were all covered in a layer of crisp snow; there were holly wreaths on the doors and strings of enchanted candles hanging in the trees.
The first tasting of Butterbeer
Ron came back five minutes later, carrying three foaming tankards of hot butterbeer. “Merry Christmas!” he said happily, raising his tankard. Harry drank deeply. It was the most delicious thing he’d ever tasted and seemed to heat every bit of him from the inside.
Harry discovers Black knew his parents
“Quite the double act, Sirius Black and James Potter!”
Harry dropped his tankard with a loud clunk. Ron kicked him.
“Precisely,” said Professor McGonagall. “Black and Potter. Ringleaders of their little gang. Both very bright, of course — exceptionally bright, in fact — but I don’t think we’ve ever had such a pair of troublemakers —”
“I dunno,” chuckled Hagrid. “Fred and George Weasley could give ’em a run fer their money.”
“You’d have thought Black and Potter were brothers!” chimed in Professor Flitwick.
“Of course they were,” said Fudge. “Potter trusted Black beyond all his other friends. Nothing changed when they left school. Black was best man when James married Lily. Then they named him godfather to Harry. Harry has no idea, of course. You can imagine how the idea would torment him.”
“Because Black turned out to be in league with You-KnowWho?” whispered Madam Rosmerta.
“Worse even than that, m’dear. . . .”
The Third Hogwarts’ Feast
Thick streamers of holly and mistletoe were strung along the corridors, mysterious lights shone from inside every suit of armour, and the Great Hall was filled with its usual twelve Christmas trees, glittering with golden stars. A powerful and delicious smell of cooking pervaded the corridors, and by Christmas Eve, it had grown so strong that even Scabbers poked his nose out of the shelter of Ron’s pocket to sniff hopefully at the air.
Harry receives a Firebolt
Harry ripped the parcel open and gasped as a magnificent, gleaming broomstick rolled out onto his bedspread. Ron dropped his socks and jumped off his bed for a closer look.
“I don’t believe it,” he said hoarsely. It was a Firebolt, identical to the dream broom Harry had gone to see every day in Diagon Alley. Its handle glittered as he picked it up. He could feel it vibrating and let go; it hung in midair, unsupported, at exactly the right height for him to mount it. His eyes moved from the golden registration number at the top of the handle, right down to the perfectly smooth, streamlined birch twigs that made up the tail.
The fourth (mini) Christmas Hogwarts’ Feast
At lunchtime they went down to the Great Hall, to find that the House tables had been moved against the walls again, and that a single table, set for twelve, stood in the middle of the room. Professors Dumbledore, McGonagall, Snape, Sprout, and Flitwick were there, along with Filch, the caretaker, who had taken off his usual brown coat and was wearing a very old and rather mouldy-looking tailcoat. There were only three other students, two extremely nervous-looking first years and a sullen-faced Slytherin fifth year.
“Merry Christmas!” said Dumbledore as Harry, Ron, and Hermione approached the table. “As there are so few of us, it seemed foolish to use the House tables. . . . Sit down, sit down!”
Harry, Ron, and Hermione sat down side by side at the end of the table.
“Crackers!” said Dumbledore enthusiastically, offering the end of a large silver noisemaker to Snape, who took it reluctantly and tugged. With a bang like a gunshot, the cracker flew apart to reveal a large, pointed witch’s hat topped with a stuffed vulture.
The Goblet of Fire
Yule Ball Excitement
Harry had never known so many people to put their names down to stay at Hogwarts for Christmas; he always did, of course, because the alternative was usually going back to Privet Drive, but he had always been very much in the minority before now. This year, however, everyone in the fourth year and above seemed to be staying, and they all seemed to Harry to be obsessed with the coming ball — or at least all the girls were, and it was amazing how many girls Hogwarts suddenly seemed to hold; he had never quite noticed that before.
Girls giggling and whispering in the corridors, girls shrieking with laughter as boys passed them, girls excitedly comparing notes on what they were going to wear on Christmas night. . . .
“Why do they have to move in packs?” Harry asked Ron as a dozen or so girls walked past them, sniggering and staring at Harry. “How’re you supposed to get one on their own to ask them?”
“Lasso one?” Ron suggested. “Got any idea who you’re going to try?”
Hogwarts at its best yet
When the decorations went up, Harry noticed that they were the most stunning he had yet seen inside the school. Everlasting icicles had been attached to the banisters of the marble staircase; the usual twelve Christmas trees in the Great Hall were bedecked with everything from luminous holly berries to real, hooting, golden owls, and the suits of armour had all been bewitched to sing carols whenever anyone passed them.
It was quite something to hear “O Come, All Ye Faithful” sung by an empty helmet that only knew half the words. Several times, Filch the caretaker had to extract Peeves from inside the armour, where he had taken to hiding, filling in the gaps in the songs with lyrics of his own invention, all of which were very rude.
An unexpected visit from Dobby
Harry awoke very suddenly on Christmas Day. Wondering what had caused his abrupt return to consciousness, he opened his eyes, and saw something with very large, round, green eyes staring back at him in the darkness, so close they were almost nose to nose.
“Dobby!” Harry yelled, scrambling away from the elf so fast he almost fell out of bed. “Don’t do that!”
“Dobby is sorry, sir!” squeaked Dobby anxiously, jumping backward with his long fingers over his mouth. “Dobby is only wanting to wish Harry Potter ‘Merry Christmas’ and bring him a present, sir! Harry Potter did say Dobby could come and see him sometimes, sir!”
Harry gifts Dobby a pair of old socks
“Socks are Dobby’s favourite, favourite clothes, sir!” he said, ripping off his odd ones and pulling on Uncle Vernon’s. “I has seven now, sir. . . . But sir . . .” he said, his eyes widening, having pulled both socks up to their highest extent, so that they reached to the bottom of his shorts, “they has made a mistake in the shop, Harry Potter, they is giving you two the same!”
Dobby gifts Harry a pair of hand-knitted socks
Dobby now handed Harry a small package, which turned out to be — socks.
“Dobby is making them himself, sir!” the elf said happily. “He is buying the wool out of his wages, sir!” The left sock was bright red and had a pattern of broomsticks upon it; the right sock was green with a pattern of Snitches.
“They’re . . . they’re really . . . well, thanks, Dobby,” said Harry, and he pulled them on, causing Dobby’s eyes to leak with happiness again.
Everyone sees Hermione in a new light
His eyes fell instead on the girl next to Krum. His jaw dropped. It was Hermione. But she didn’t look like Hermione at all. She had done something with her hair; it was no longer bushy but sleek and shiny, and twisted up into an elegant knot at the back of her head.
She was wearing robes made of a floaty, periwinkle-blue material, and she was holding herself differently, somehow — or maybe it was merely the absence of the twenty or so books she usually had slung over her back. She was also smiling — rather nervously, it was true — but the reduction in the size of her front teeth was more noticeable than ever; Harry couldn’t understand how he hadn’t spotted it before.
Hints of Ron and Hermione’s romance appear
“Why don’t you go and find Vicky, he’ll be wondering where you are,” said Ron.
“Don’t call him Vicky!” Hermione jumped to her feet and stormed off across the dance floor, disappearing into the crowd.
Ron watched her go with a mixture of anger and satisfaction on his face.
We find out Hagrid is half-giant
“It was my mother,” said Hagrid quietly. “She was one o’ the las’ ones in Britain. ’Course, I can’ remember her too well . . . she left, see. When I was abou’ three. She wasn’ really the maternal sort. Well . . . it’s not in their natures, is it? Dunno what happened to her . . . might be dead fer all I know. . . .”
Madame Maxime didn’t say anything. And Harry, in spite of himself, took his eyes off the beetle and looked over the top of the reindeer’s antlers, listening. . . . He had never heard Hagrid talk about his childhood before.
“Me dad was broken-hearted when she wen’. Tiny little bloke, my dad was. By the time I was six I could lift him up an’ put him on top o’ the dresser if he annoyed me. Used ter make him laugh. . . .” Hagrid’s deep voice broke.
The Order of the Phoenix
For once, Harry wants to get away from Hogwarts
He did not want to think about Christmas. For the first time in his school career, he very much wanted to spend the holidays away from Hogwarts. Between his Quidditch ban and worry about whether or not Hagrid was going to be put on probation, he felt highly resentful toward the place at the moment.
The only thing he really looked forward to were the D.A. meetings, and they would have to stop over the holidays, as nearly everybody in the D.A. would be spending the time with their families. Hermione was going skiing with her parents, something that greatly amused Ron, who had never before heard of Muggles strapping narrow strips of wood to their feet to slide down mountains.
A very “Harry” Christmas
Harry arrived early in the Room of Requirement for the last D.A. meeting before the holidays and was very glad he had, because when the lamps burst into light he saw that Dobby had taken it upon himself to decorate the place for Christmas. He could tell the elf had done it, because nobody else would have strung a hundred golden baubles from the ceiling, each showing a picture of Harry’s face and bearing the legend HAVE A VERY HARRY CHRISTMAS!
Harry’s first kiss
“Mistletoe,” said Cho quietly, pointing at the ceiling over his head.
“Yeah,” said Harry. His mouth was very dry. “It’s probably full of nargles, though.”
“What are nargles?”
“No idea,” said Harry. She had moved closer. His brain seemed to have been Stunned.
“You’d have to ask Loony. Luna, I mean.” Cho made a funny noise halfway between a sob and a laugh. She was even nearer him now. He could have counted the freckles on her nose.
“I really like you, Harry.”
He could not think. A tingling sensation was spreading throughout him, paralyzing his arms, legs, and brain. She was much too close. He could see every tear clinging to her eyelashes. . . .
Hermione gives Ron and Harry a lesson in girls
Hermione sighed and laid down her quill.
“Well, obviously, she’s feeling very sad, because of Cedric dying. Then I expect she’s feeling confused because she liked Cedric and now she likes Harry, and she can’t work out who she likes best. Then she’ll be feeling guilty, thinking it’s an insult to Cedric’s memory to be kissing Harry at all, and she’ll be worrying about what everyone else might say about her if she starts going out with Harry. And she probably can’t work out what her feelings toward Harry are anyway, because he was the one who was with Cedric when Cedric died, so that’s all very mixed up and painful. Oh, and she’s afraid she’s going to be thrown off the Ravenclaw Quidditch team because she’s been flying so badly.” A slightly stunned silence greeted the end of this speech, then Ron said,
“One person can’t feel all that at once, they’d explode.”
“Just because you’ve got the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn’t mean we all have,”
Christmas Day at Grimauld Place
How could he have dreamed of returning to Privet Drive for Christmas? Sirius’s delight at having the house full again, and especially at having Harry back, was infectious. He was no longer their sullen host of the summer; now he seemed determined that everyone should enjoy themselves as much, if not more, than they would have done at Hogwarts, and he worked tirelessly in the run-up to Christmas Day, cleaning and decorating with their help, so that by the time they all went to bed on Christmas Eve the house was barely recognisable.
The tarnished chandeliers were no longer hung with cobwebs but with garlands of holly and gold and silver streamers; magical snow glittered in heaps over the threadbare carpets; a great Christmas tree, obtained by Mundungus and decorated with live fairies, blocked Sirius’s family tree from view; and even the stuffed elf heads on the hall wall wore Father Christmas hats and beards.
Arthur Weasley tries “muggle” stitches
“It sounds as though you’ve been trying to sew your skin back together,” said Mrs. Weasley with a snort of mirthless laughter, “but even you, Arthur, wouldn’t be that stupid —”
“I fancy a cup of tea too,” said Harry, jumping to his feet. Hermione, Ron, and Ginny almost sprinted to the door with him. As it swung closed behind them, they heard Mrs. Weasley shriek, “WHAT DO YOU MEAN, THAT’S THE GENERAL IDEA?”
“Typical Dad,” said Ginny, shaking her head as they set off up the corridor.
“Stitches . . . I ask you . . .”
Lockhart is found in the hospital
The smile faded slowly from Lockhart’s face. For a few moments he gazed intently at Harry, then he said, “Haven’t we met?”
“Er . . . yeah, we have,” said Harry.
“You used to teach us at Hogwarts, remember?”
“Teach?” repeated Lockhart, looking faintly unsettled. “Me? Did I?” And then the smile reappeared upon his face so suddenly it was rather alarming. “Taught you everything you know, I expect, did I? Well, how about those autographs, then? Shall we say a round dozen, you can give them to all your little friends then and nobody will be left out!”
The truth about Neville’s parents
“I’m not ashamed,” said Neville very faintly, still looking anywhere but at Harry and the others. Ron was now standing on tiptoe to look over at the inhabitants of the two beds.
“Well, you’ve got a funny way of showing it!” said Mrs. Longbottom.
“My son and his wife,” she said, turning haughtily to Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny, “were tortured into insanity by YouKnow-Who’s followers.”
The Half-Blood Prince
The sixth snowy Hogwarts
Snow was swirling against the icy windows once more; Christmas was approaching fast. Hagrid had already single-handedly delivered the usual twelve Christmas trees for the Great Hall; garlands of holly and tinsel had been twisted around the banisters of the stairs; everlasting candles glowed from inside the helmets of suits of armour and great bunches of mistletoe had been hung at intervals along the corridors.
Large groups of girls tended to converge underneath the mistletoe bunches every time Harry went past, which caused blockages in the corridors; fortunately, however, Harry’s frequent nighttime wanderings had given him an unusually good knowledge of the castle’s secret passageways, so that he was able, without too much difficulty, to navigate mistletoe-free routes between classes.
Kreacher gifts Harry some maggots
Harry had given a loud yell and leapt out of his camp bed; the package contained a large number of maggots. “Nice,” said Ron, roaring with laughter. “Very thoughtful.”
The Deathly Hallows
Snowy Godrick’s Hollow
They were standing hand in hand in a snowy lane under a dark blue sky, in which the night’s first stars were already glimmering feebly. Cottages stood on either side of the narrow road, Christmas decorations twinkling in their windows. A short way ahead of them, a glow of golden streetlights indicated the centre of the village.
Christmas Eve at Godrick’s Hollow
“Harry, I think it’s Christmas Eve!” said Hermione.
“Is it?” He had lost track of the date; they had not seen a newspaper for weeks.
“I’m sure it is,” said Hermione, her eyes upon the church. “They . . . they’ll be in there, won’t they? Your mum and dad? I can see the graveyard behind it.”
Harry felt a thrill of something that was beyond excitement, more like fear. Now that he was so near, he wondered whether he wanted to see after all. Perhaps Hermione knew how he was feeling, because she reached for his hand and took the lead for the first time, pulling him forward. Halfway across the square, however, she stopped dead.
“Harry, look!” She was pointing at the war memorial. As they had passed it, it had transformed. Instead of an obelisk covered in names, there was a statue of three people: a man with untidy hair and glasses, a woman with long hair and a kind, pretty face, and a baby boy sitting in his mother’s arms. Snow lay upon all their heads, like fluffy white caps. Harry drew closer, gazing up into his parents’ faces. He had never imagined that there would be a statue. . . . How strange it was to see himself represented in stone, a happy baby without a scar on his forehead. . . .
Harry’s Painful Christmas Memories
The singing grew louder as they approached the church. It made Harry’s throat constrict, it reminded him so forcefully of Hogwarts, of Peeves bellowing rude versions of carols from inside suits of armour, of the Great Hall’s twelve Christmas trees, of Dumbledore wearing a bonnet he had won in a cracker, of Ron in a hand-knitted sweater. . . .
The Potter’s grave
He should have brought something to give them, and he had not thought of it, and every plant in the graveyard was leafless and frozen. But Hermione raised her wand, moved it in a circle through the air, and a wreath of Christmas roses blossomed before them. Harry caught it and laid it on his parents’ grave.
Ron’s Christmas Miracle
“It doesn’t just turn the lights on and off,” said Ron. “I don’t know how it works or why it happened then and not any other time, because I’ve been wanting to come back ever since I left. But I was listening to the radio really early on Christmas morning and I heard . . . I heard you.” He was looking at Hermione.
“You heard me on the radio?” she asked incredulously.
“No, I heard you coming out of my pocket. Your voice,” he held up the Deluminator again, “came out of this.”
Ron’s “little ball of light”
“The little ball of light was hovering there, waiting for me, and when I came out it bobbed along a bit and I followed it behind the shed and then it . . . well, it went inside me.”
“Sorry?” said Harry, sure he had not heard correctly.
“It sort of floated toward me,” said Ron, illustrating the movement with his free index finger, “right to my chest, and then — it just went straight through. It was here,” he touched a point close to his heart.
And that’s all folks! Which is your favourite Christmas at Hogwarts moment? It’s hard to choose with so many different things going on in each book. I think the best has to be Harry’s first Christmas at Hogwarts, his first happy Christmas!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!
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