Aim to stun

Harry, Ron, Hermione and Neville fend off Death Eaters in the Department of Mysteries

Extract from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

by J.K. Rowling

‘Stand aside!’ said a rough voice. ‘Alohomora!’

As the door flew open, Harry, Hermione and Neville dived under desks. They could see the bottom of the two Death Eaters’ robes drawing nearer, their feet moving rapidly.

‘They might’ve run straight through to the hall,’ said the rough voice.

‘Check under the desks,’ said another.

Harry saw the knees of the Death Eaters bend; poking his wand out from under the desk, he shouted, ‘STUPEFY!’

A jet of red light hit the nearest Death Eater; he fell backwards into a grandfather clock and knocked it over; the second Death Eater, however, had leapt aside to avoid Harry’s spell and was pointing his own wand at Hermione, who was crawling out from under the desk to get a better aim.

‘Avada –’

Harry launched himself across the floor and grabbed the Death Eater around the knees, causing him to topple and his aim to go awry. Neville overturned a desk in his anxiety to help; and pointing his wand wildly at the struggling pair, he cried:


Both Harry’s and the Death Eater’s wands flew out of their hands and soared back towards the entrance to the Hall of Prophecy; both scrambled to their feet and charged after them, the Death Eater in front, Harry hot on his heels, and Neville bringing up the rear, plainly horrorstruck by what he had done.

‘Get out of the way, Harry!’ yelled Neville, clearly determined to repair the damage.

Harry flung himself sideways as Neville took aim again and shouted:


The jet of red light flew right over the Death Eater’s shoulder and hit a glass-fronted cabinet on the wall full of variously shaped hour-glasses; the cabinet fell to the floor and burst apart, glass flying everywhere, sprang back up on to the wall, fully mended, then fell down again, and shattered –

The Death Eater had snatched up his wand, which lay on the floor beside the glittering bell jar. Harry ducked down behind another desk as the man turned; his mask had slipped so that he couldn’t see. He ripped it off with his free hand and shouted: ‘STUP––’

‘STUPEFY!’ screamed Hermione, who had just caught up with them. The jet of red light hit the Death Eater in the middle of his chest: he froze, his arm still raised, his wand fell to the floor with a clatter and he collapsed backwards towards the bell jar. Harry expected to hear a clunk, for the man to hit solid glass and slide off the jar on to the floor, but instead, his head sank through the surface of the bell jar as though it were nothing but a soap bubble and he came to rest, sprawled on his back on the table, with his head lying inside the jar full of glittering wind.

‘Accio wand!’ cried Hermione. Harry’s wand flew from a dark corner into her hand and she threw it to him.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

by J.K. Rowling