The fallen owl

Hagrid fails to repair the broken motorbike and sidecar

Extract from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

by J.K. Rowling

With an unmistakable bellowing roar, dragon fire burst from the exhaust, white-hot and blue, and the motorbike shot forwards like a bullet with a sound of wrenching metal. Harry saw the Death Eaters swerve out of sight to avoid the deadly trail of flame, and at the same time felt the sidecar sway ominously: its metal connections to the bike had splintered with the force of acceleration.

‘It’s all righ’, Harry!’ bellowed Hagrid, now thrown flat on to his back by the surge of speed; nobody was steering now, and the sidecar was starting to twist violently in the bike’s slipstream.

‘I’m on it, Harry, don’ worry!’ Hagrid yelled, and from inside his jacket pocket he pulled his flowery pink umbrella.

‘Hagrid! No! Let me!’


There was a deafening bang and the sidecar broke away from the bike completely: Harry sped forwards, propelled by the impetus of the bike’s flight, then the sidecar began to lose height – In desperation Harry pointed his wand at the sidecar and shouted, ‘Wingardium Leviosa!’

The sidecar rose like a cork, unsteerable but at least still airborne: he had but a split second’s relief, however, as more curses streaked past him: the three Death Eaters were closing in.

‘I’m comin’, Harry!’ Hagrid yelled from out of the darkness, but Harry could feel the sidecar beginning to sink again: crouching as low as he could, he pointed at the middle of the oncoming figures and yelled, ‘Impedimenta!’

The jinx hit the middle Death Eater in the chest: for a moment the man was absurdly spread-eagled in mid-air as though he had hit an invisible barrier: one of his fellows almost collided with him – Then the sidecar began to fall in earnest, and the remaining Death Eater shot a curse so close to Harry that he had to duck below the rim of the car, knocking out a tooth on the edge of his seat –

‘I’m comin’, Harry, I’m comin’!’

A huge hand seized the back of Harry’s robes and hoisted him out of the plummeting sidecar; Harry pulled his rucksack with him as he dragged himself on to the motorbike’s seat and found himself back to back with Hagrid. As they soared upwards, away from the two remaining Death Eaters, Harry spat blood out of his mouth, pointed his wand at the falling sidecar, and yelled, ‘Confringo!’

He knew a dreadful, gut-wrenching pang for Hedwig as it exploded; the Death Eater nearest it was blasted off his broom and fell from sight; his companion fell back and vanished.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

By J.K. Rowling