The Tale of the Three Brothers (BB)
The story tells of three brothers who defied Death by using magic to create a bridge across a raging river which normally claimed the lives of all who attempted to cross it without using magical means. Death then supposedly appeared before the brothers and offered each one a gift. The first brother asked for the most powerful wand in existence, and Death gave him the Elder Wand. The second brother asked for the ability to bring back others from Death, and received the Resurrection Stone. The third brother asked for something that would prevent Death from following him, and received the Invisibility Cloak (DH21).
The first two brothers met their Deaths quickly. The first brother, having bragged of his wand's abilities, was killed by a man who was tempted by the promise of such great power. The second brother used the Resurrection Stone to call back his dead fiancée, but as she was dead, she was not truly back with him, and he killed himself so he could join her. The third brother, however, wore the Invisibility Cloak for many years and lived a long, full life before meeting with Death when he was old and ready to die (DH21).
The story is not merely an idle tale. Collectively, the items the brothers received from Death are known as the Deathly Hallows, and it is said that anyone who possesses all three objects will become the master of Death (DH21). The brothers themselves are actually the Peverell brothers, from whom many wizarding families, including the Potters and the Gaunts, are descended (BLC). However, it is more likely that the Peverell brothers created the objects, after which the legend sprung up to explain the existence of such powerful objects (DH35). Reading The Tale of the Three Brothers is the first step for any Hallows Quester.
The three objects are united in the symbol of the Deathly Hallows: a circle circumscribed inside a triangle, with a straight line drawn from the top point of the triangle to the triangle's base. The line represents the Elder Wand; the circle, the Resurrection Stone; and the triangle, the Invisibility Cloak. This symbol is found inked above the title of The Tale of the Three Brothers in the version of Beedle's book that Hermione Granger inherited from Albus Dumbledore (DH16), and is also the mark of a Hallows Quester (DH21).
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