Thanks to Trelawney’s prophecy, Harry was destined to antagonize Lord Voldemort. The prophecy clearly stated that “either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives.”
As there were a few ways of reading the prophecy, and in truth, they were all correct in a way, we could understand that Harry needed to die to defeat Voldemort. After realizing his destiny, Harry embraced it and met Voldemort, prepared to give up his life.
Did Harry Potter Die?
No, Harry Potter didn’t die. At least not yet.
When Avada Kedavra struck him for the second time, Harry survived again. Even though afterward he met with Albus Dumbledore, who, in fact, was dead, Harry was only stuck in a kind of limbo between life and death.
Dumbledore confirmed that Harry didn’t die:
“He failed to kill you with my wand,” Dumbledore corrected Harry. “I think we can agree that you are not dead.”
In the place where he found himself after the killing curse hit him, he saw a piece of Voldemort’s soul looking like a shriveled and suffering creature. We can assume since Dumbledore said there was no hope for it, the soul was already dead.
On the other hand, Harry felt really good, even after all the suffering he went through.
“I feel great at the moment, though,” said Harry, looking down at his clean, unblemished hands.
How Did Harry Potter Come Back To Life?
Harry ended up in limbo between life and death, and he could choose if he wanted to come back or take the train forward. He consulted with Dumbledore, what are his options
“I’ve got to go back, haven’t I?”
“That is up to you.”
“I’ve got a choice?”
“Oh yes.” Dumbledore smiled at him. “We are in King’s Cross, you say? I think that if you decided not to go back, you would be able to… let’s say… board a train.”
“And where would it take me?”
“On,” said Dumbledore simply.
Harry decided that he would go back, continue fighting, and prevent more souls from being maimed and more families from being torn apart.
Harry wasn’t truly dead, and the whole meeting with Dumbledore happened in his head, but as Dumbledore stated, just because it was in Harry’s head, it didn’t mean it wasn’t real.
When he came about, it was like waking up. Harry found himself on the ground, and the place where the killing curse hit him felt like a bruise after a solid punch.
From the goings-on in the forest, we can assume that the “King’s Cross” meeting with Dumbledore lasted only a few seconds because when he regained consciousness.
Harry could discern rushed footsteps around and murmurs as if Death Eaters had witnessed their leader falling on the ground just seconds before.
Why Did Harry Potter Not Die?
There were two instances when Harry faced death by killing curse and didn’t die. The first one was easy to understand, and Dumbledore explained it pretty well at the end of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
When Voldemort tried to kill an infant Harry, and Harry’s mother gave her life to protect her son, she placed a protection charm on her baby boy. The killing curse bounced off the shielding charm that lodged itself in Harry’s blood and hit Voldemort instead. It was the first time Harry survived.
As for the second time, we can speculate that there were a few reasons why Harry Potter didn’t die.
During Voldemort’s rebirth ceremony, Wormtail used Harry’s blood to restore his master’s body. As we know already, Harry’s blood is pumping with the love magic left behind by his mother’s sacrifice. That same blood and magic coursed through Voldemort, and it tethered Harry to the life for as long as Voldemort lived.
Another part that helped Harry survive the second time is a piece of Voldemort’s soul. When Voldemort tried to kill Harry, and the curse struck him instead, a part of Voldemort’s soul detached itself from the unsteady whole and found the first vessel strong enough to survive – baby Harry.
When trying to kill Harry in the Forbidden Forest, Voldemort killed a piece of his own soul. He never realized that the piece was there in the first place because he never intended to make that Horcrux. When Harry went on the ground unconscious, so did Voldemort. The piece of Voldemort’s soul took the hit instead of Harry.
In the world of magic, matters of life and death should technically be the same as in the Muggle world. Alas, they aren’t.
Even though one may say there are no ways of preventing one’s death, there are a few tricks people sometimes try. It worked for Harry, although in his defense, he never tried to trick the Grimm Reaper.
Unbeknownst to the young wizard, Harry’s mother’s sacrifice, Voldemort’s Horcrux, and his use of Harry’s blood worked their magic in preventing Harry’s death.
We genuinely don’t think that one would be successful if one were to recreate the sequence to live forever. Therefore, we advise treating Harry’s coming back to life as a miracle and maybe making the Sorcerer’s Stone instead.