Wow. If there's another word that better describes the results of the Harry Potter World Cup's second round, I haven't heard of it. After one tough week and over a million votes cast, the dust has finally settled and only 16 wizards and witches are still alive and kicking... though even after the polls closed, two races were still too close to call judging solely by percentages. We have the final tally for both battles, and can declare winners in just a few moments.
But first, as always, before looking forward at the Sweet 16, let's look back on the greater scope of round two. After the jump, find out who won, who lost, and which two contestants were a handful of votes away from moving onto the next round of the World Cup.
Small Victories, Minor Upsets
Future Minister for Magic and World Cup 14-seed Kingsley Shacklebolt surprised us all in the first round when he defeated the three-seed Mad-Eye Moody, but the numbers weren't on his side this time. In round two, Shacklebolt was easily defeated by Dobby, who moves on to face Severus Snape in the Sweet 16.
Another minor upset came within the Weasley family as Harry's girlfriend Ginny, a five-seed, was able to best her brother George, a four-seed. That leaves only one Weasley twin still in contention for the World Cup, as Fred was able to beat his father, Arthur. Given how events play out in "Deathly Hallows," there's more than a little bit of irony in the fact that Fred's the sole twin still standing, isn't there?
We warned you that round two was going to be a more competitive playing field than the first round, and as you can now see, we weren't kidding. Several duels came down to the wire: Sirius Black enjoyed a healthy lead earlier in the day when first facing Tonks, but his pink-haired cousin gradually closed the gap and nearly knocked Black off his block before the polls closed.
Likewise, it was a genuine nail-biter between Rubeus Hagrid and Lily Potter. Both competitors have nothing but love in their heart for good old Harry, and their mutual respect for one another goes without saying. In the end, however, Lily's run came to a close as Hagrid earned barely under 51% of the vote to clinch his seat in the Sweet 16.
The Cedric Factor
Of course, Hagrid goes up against very, very stiff competition in his next Hogsmeade showdown: here, he'll battle Cedric Diggory, the pride of Hufflepuff who was able to defeat Narcissa, the Malfoy matriarch who surprisingly shut down Luna Lovegood in the first round of the tournament. Though she wasn't able to pull off a repeat upset, Narcissa gave Cedric a serious run for his money: he won by a mere margin of 50.85% to 49.15%, and was even losing at multiple points throughout the week.
Considering that a fairly lower-tiered character was able to give the kid so much guff, Cedric and his fans should be very concerned about facing Hagrid, one of the most beloved figures in all of "Potter." This could very well be the end of the road for Diggory.
Molly Weasley versus Bellatrix Lestrange: easily one of the most anticipated duels in the entire Harry Potter World Cup, and these witches did not disappoint. After several shifts in the balance of power, Bellatrix was ultimately able to pull ahead with some hours left to go before voting came to a close. As a result, Ms. Lestrange narrowly avoided meeting the same fate as she did in the novel, and proceeds into the next round. Though she didn't get your daughter, Molly, the b---- did get you. We'll miss you greatly, Mama Weasley… it was a battle well fought.
The battles between Bellatrix and Molly and Cedric and Narcissa were undoubtedly fierce, but both paled in comparison to the contentious duels between Neville Longbottom and Minerva McGonagall and Lord Voldemort and James Potter. Both of these matches ended in 50/50 splits, percentage-wise. That's what you saw, at least… but we have the final tally, and can therefore declare winners.
Despite the fact that Minerva was leading the race for the vast majority of the week (by a mere one or two percent), Neville broke ahead in the final moments and won by a margin of 15 votes. Looks like Matthew Lewis' pitch to voters paid off in the end! Just as Neville evolved tremendously over the course of the "Potter" story, so too has his World Cup counterpart. Even in defeat, Professor McGonagall is surely proud of her brave Gryffindor pupil.
James Potter and the sorcerer formerly known as Tom Riddle fought an even tighter battle. Only two votes — that's right, two votes — came in between the winner and the loser. In the end, Lord Voldemort managed to conquer James once again, literally by two hairs. It's a sad blow for James and his fans, but Voldemort and his minions shouldn't get too cocky; the fact that a two-seed only bested a seven-seed by two votes should be very humbling indeed… and considering that good old Tom is going up against James' best friend Sirius in the upcoming round, something tells me that a healthy helping of payback is on the menu.
The Sweet 16
All eight of the current round's match-ups are going live today, and you'll have until next Wednesday (July 6) at 12:01 AM EST to cast your votes. That's a lot of time to mobilize your troops and get your favorite character to the top. Stay tuned throughout the day for your chance to start voting.
Who is the best "Harry Potter" character of all time? The "Harry Potter" World Cup" will find out! Voting is going on now right here, and you can also get the debate going on Twitter with the hashtag #mtvpottercup.