In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie, Harry gets his Firebolt broom at the end. It had Buckbeak’s feather attached and no note. Harry suspects correctly it is a gift from Sirius Black. However, things happen slightly differently in the book.
Sirius Black did indeed send it in the books also, but a full six months earlier, at Christmas. And the package had no feathers and no other clues. The gang didn’t even save Buckbeak then. Harry simply woke up on Christmas morning and there it was.
An excerpt from the book
“What’s that?” said Ron, looking over, a freshly unwrapped pair of maroon socks in his hand.
Harry ripped the parcel open and gasped as a magnificent, gleaming broomstick rolled out onto his bedspread. Ron dropped his socks and jumped off his bed for a closer look.
“I don’t believe it,” he said hoarsely.
It was a Firebolt, identical to the dream broom Harry had gone to see every day in Diagon Alley. Its handle glittered as he picked it up. He could feel it vibrating and let go; it hung in midair, unsupported, at exactly the right height for him to mount it. His eyes moved from the golden registration number at the top of the handle, right down to the perfectly smooth, streamlined birch twigs that made up the tail.”
Taken from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
If you read this bit from the book carefully, you will see that Harry already had his eye on the Firebolt sometime before. It was when he ran away from the Dursleys and was picked up by the weird bus. The bus took him to Diagon Alley where he spent a lot more time than appears in the movie.
It was during that time that Harry was walking around town and saw the broom. He marveled at the Firebolt in a shop window.
The Firebolt mix-up
This Firebolt broom was incorrectly named Nimbus 2000 in a LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 handheld version of the game. When Harry uses it in the First Task for the Triwizard Tournament.
Harry lost his original broom playing against Cedric Digory
Harry did lose his original Nimbus during a quidditch match played in heavy rain, during which the dementors cause him to fall. He barely survives, but his broom gets smashed.
What the movies don’t show was that it was a match against Hufflepuff where Cedric Digory played, meaning he is introduced much sooner than in the movies, but we covered that in our previous post. Be that as it may, the broom arrives, and, back then, readers couldn’t guess who it was from.
When was Harry’s Firebolt Destroyed?
This Firebolt broom served Harry very well. He used it on every quidditch match from his third year (1993) to his seventh year at Hogwarts (1997). It was lost when Voldemort and the Death Eaters ambushed Harry and his friends who have all drank the Polyjuice Potion to look like him, in what was later called the Battle of the Seven Potters.