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Narcissa Malfoy’s lie and 3 other acts of motherly love

Here are four rather important moments in which a mother (or grandmother) did something great.

Narcissa checking if Harry is dead
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

The Harry Potter series is about good, evil, magic, courage and death. But, between Lily Potter, Molly Weasley, Narcissa Malfoy and Augusta Longbottom, the books are also about motherly love. Want proof? How about these moments...

Narcissa Malfoy’s very dangerous lie

Draco Malfoy’s mother Narcissa was cold, cunning and devoted to the Dark Lord. But she was also a mother, which meant she was willing to risk everything to make sure her son was safe. When Harry survived Voldemort’s Killing Curse for the second time, Narcissa pretended he was dead so she could get to Draco. Lying to the Darkest wizard that ever lived, in his angriest moment? That took serious courage…

Hands, softer than he had been expecting, touched Harry’s face, pulled back an eyelid, crept beneath his shirt, down to his chest and felt his heart. He could hear the woman’s fast breathing, her long hair tickled his face. He knew that she could feel the steady pounding of life against his ribs.
‘Is Draco alive? Is he in the castle?’
The whisper was barely audible; her lips were an inch from his ear, her head bent so low that her long hair shielded his face from the onlookers.
‘Yes,’ he breathed back.
He felt the hand on his chest contract; her nails pierced him. Then it was withdrawn. She had sat up.
‘He is dead!’ Narcissa Malfoy called to the watchers.
And now they shouted, now they yelled in triumph and stamped their feet, and through his eyelids Harry saw bursts of red and silver light shoot into the air in celebration.
Still feigning death on the ground, he understood. Narcissa knew that the only way she would be permitted to enter Hogwarts, and find her son, was as part of the conquering army. She no longer cared whether Voldemort won.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Lily Potter’s ultimate sacrifice

We can’t very well talk about motherly love without mentioning Lily Potter’s sacrifice. Harry’s mother died trying to protect her baby boy, and in so doing, shielded him from the most terrifying wizard in the world. What she did was more powerful than Dark Magic, and it protected Harry for the rest of his life. Her death was the ultimate gesture of selfless, all-consuming love.

‘Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn’t realise that love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign ... to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever. It is in your very skin.’
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Mrs Weasley’s Christmas jumpers

Molly Weasley was the quintessential magical matriarch. She had her hands full with seven children, but that didn’t stop her loving Harry Potter like her own. When Harry woke on his first Christmas morning at Hogwarts to find one of Molly’s hand-knitted jumpers at the foot of his bed, it was worth all 39 of his cousin Dudley’s birthday presents. It was a really significant moment for Harry, post-Privet Drive, and summed up Mrs Weasley’s kindness and warmth.

‘I think I know who that one’s from,’ said Ron, going a bit pink and pointing to a very lumpy parcel. ‘My mum. I told her you didn’t expect any presents and – oh, no,’ he groaned, ‘she’s made you a Weasley jumper.’

Harry had torn open the parcel to find a thick, hand-knitted sweater in emerald green and a large box of home-made fudge.
‘Every year she makes us a jumper,’ said Ron, unwrapping his own, ‘and mine’s always maroon.’

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Molly embraces Harry when he returns from Hogwarts
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

Augusta Longbottom’s grandmotherly protection

Neville Longbottom was a somewhat surprising hero. Sure, he used to be as awkward as a bewitched Boggart on roller-skates, but he grew up to be a true Gryffindor – and for that, he can probably thank his grandmother. Like Harry, Neville grew up without his parents. So Augusta, who always knew just how to keep him out of trouble, raised him. And she raised him beautifully.

As the walls trembled again, he led the other two back through the concealed entrance and down the staircase into the Room of Requirement. It was empty except for three women: Ginny, Tonks, and an elderly witch wearing a moth-eaten hat, whom Harry recognised immediately as Neville’s grandmother.
‘Ah, Potter,’ she said crisply, as if she had been waiting for him. ‘You can tell us what’s going on.’ ‘Is everyone OK?’ said Ginny and Tonks together.
‘’S far as we know,’ said Harry. ‘Are there still people in the passage to the Hog’s Head?’
He knew that the Room would not be able to transform while there were still users inside it.
‘I was the last to come through,’ said Mrs Longbottom. ‘I sealed it, I think it unwise to leave it open now Aberforth has left his pub. Have you seen my grandson?’
‘He’s fighting,’ said Harry.
‘Naturally,’ said the old lady proudly. ‘Excuse me, I must go and assist him.’
With surprising speed, she trotted off towards the stone steps.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows