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50 Greatest Harry Potter Moments

Beneath the Black Lake

The second task in the Tri-Wizard tournament sees the contestants head underwater to rescue a loved one. Cedric and Fleur opt for the bubble-head charm to help them breathe, and Harry Potter scoffs a mouthful of Gillyweed which gives him gills and flipper feet.

They face fanged mermaids, and some very bitey tentacled creatures, but the best moment comes in the form of a well-timed jump: a shark suddenly darts past Harry, before it's revealed to be fellow competitor Viktor Krum, semi-transformed into a sharkboy for the task.

Attack on the Weasley House

Harry is close to snogging Ginny on Christmas Eve at the Weasley house, but his amorous intentions are thwarted by an assault on the house by Death Eaters Bellatrix Lestrange and Fenrir Greyback.

A fire attack reigns down on the Burrow, with Harry, Ginny, Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks running outside into the high cornfields to defend themselves from the onslaught. The isolated location is the ideal setting for the tense blitzkrieg.

The Hex

Harry, Ron and Hermione trudge the snowy path back to Hogwarts after enjoying a butterbeer in The Three Broomsticks. A girl in a red coat walks in front, and after touching a cursed necklace that Draco Malfoy had slipped into her bag, she barely survives suffering the hex.

The scarlet coat against the snowy background makes for a striking image, not least when she's dragged around by unseen forces, before being suspended in midair, in a crucifix pose, silently screaming. Shuddersome.

Scary start

The Harry Potter movies had been getting darker and darker, and Goblet of Fire raises the stakes laid down by Azkaban in this genuinely creepy opening scene.

Light from a window alerts an elderly caretaker to some suspicious activity taking place in a house he oversees. Suspecting troublesome kids, he grabs his lantern and heads off to explore, leaving the kettle on the hob. Walking cautiously through the dark corridor to a room in which Voldemort, Pettigrew and a mystery figure are plotting, the old geezer is spotted and murdered, and the shrieking whistle of the kettle wakes Harry suddenly from his prophetic dream.

Malfoy gets a slap

Bookworm Hermione gets the chance to be just a little bit badass when she gives Draco Malfoy a much needed dressing down.

Hermione is pretty upset as she, Harry and Ron are looking down over the impending execution of Hagrid's beloved Hippogriff, Buckbeak, and she takes exception to Malfoy's ill-natured spectatorship. Embarrassing enough is when she pins the whimpering muppet to a wall with her wand, but the money shot comes when she punches him square on the kisser.

The lucky gal gets to rewatch the incident later thanks to a handy time-turner.

Learning with Hagrid

Hogwarts is not as unlike our normal schools as you'd expect: they'll happily shove the caretaker into a teaching role when they're a professor down. Gamekeeper Hagrid is tasked with teaching the young witches and wizards about magical creatures, and he introduces them to Buckbeak, a Hippogriff.

The VFX team ably handle the challenge of bringing to life the mythical beast, which is a cross between a horse and a griffin (which is itself a mishmash of various animals). Buckbeak does more than just looking pretty though: it takes Harry for a ride, allowing Hogwarts to be shown off in all its splendour, before attacking an interfering Draco Malfoy and setting the remainder of the plot in motion.

Body Swap

Harry and Ron are pretty keen to uncover the heir of Slytherin, as the ominous scrawling on the wall suggests that only that person will be able to unlock the gateway to the chamber.

The pair guess that loathsome Aryan posterboy Draco Malfoy could be the potential heir, so they brew up a batch of polyjuice and take on the form of Malfoy's heavy-set pals. Plotwise, its a bit of a dead end and doesn't really go anywhere, but Harry's transformation is impressive, and we get an all-too-rare behind the scenes glimpse at a relatively unguarded Malfoy in his private chamber.

Moody vs Malfoy

Professor Moody (Brendan Gleeson) arrived to quite dramatic effect during a thunderstorm in the Hogwarts hall, but he shows off his no-nonsense attitude to delightful effect here.

Patrolling the school grounds he chances across Draco Malfoy about to curse Potter with his back turned, and promptly turns the boy into a ferret. Before McGonagall gets the chance to break it up, the surly teacher has already taunted the life out of the transfigured albino.

Full Moon Rising

Having just been made aware that Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher Remus Lupin (David Thewlis) is a werewolf (Hogwarts really should perform more thorough background checks when recruiting for that role), the gang step outside into the moonlight.

Lupin's lycanthropic transformation put its 2004 werewolf rival Van Helsing to shame, and also pushes the boundaries for scares in a kiddie flick, as Sirius Black goes feral again to save the kids.

Battling the Basilisk

Having wisely learnt from the first movie's creepy but underwhelming climax, Chamber of Secrets successfully ups the action ante. Despite the fact Voldemort appears as his less-than-terrifying teenage self, there's a whopping great snake introduced into the mix to add a bit of dramatic tension.

The scales are weighed a little more against Harry than they were in his first outing, too. Where he had magic, love-infested hands before, he's now been given a sword that's less impressive than most letter-openers. Credit to ILM for the digital realisation of the Basilisk too, which brings the murder mystery (or should that be petrifying mystery?) to a satisfying end.