Since ancient times, people have passed down stories from generation to generation, and when people began to use the written word, stories began to be told in writing, with Homer’s Iliad about the Trojan War being one of the earliest examples. In the 21st Century, there are now possibly millions of books available for people to read, and in those millions, there are possibly thousands of different series from every form of genre, with one of the most popular book genres being fantasy. There are three main things needed for a fantasy book series to be truly extraordinary: a complex and thrilling story, a massive and very detailed world, and incredibly intriguing characters who are either loved or disliked.
There have been multiple fantasy series that have had all three of these components, like The Lord of The Rings trilogy, and The Wheel of Time series, and the Harry Potter book series is a part of that list as well. Author J.K. Rowling created a compelling series consisting of seven books and eight movies, which focuses on a young male wizard named Harry Potter, who strives to defeat an evil wizard who murdered his parents and wants to rule the wizarding world. He meets two lifelong friends named Ron and Hermione, and the three become heroes by the end of the immensely popular series which still has millions of fans around the world. For those who read the books or simply watched the movies, here is a list of 15 secrets that will change the way you view Harry Potter.
15. Snape Was Almost Not Remembered As Being A Headmaster
From the moment people first met Severus Snape in the first book and movie, they became intrigued by his character, as it appeared that he may be one of the story’s main antagonists. As the story progressed, Snape became a more fleshed out character, especially after he kills Dumbledore in The Half-Blood Prince (after an already dying Dumbledore secretly told Snape to kill him). In The Deathly Hallows, Snape takes over as Hogwarts’ headmaster to secretly protect the students from the Death Eaters added to the staff. During the battle for Hogwarts, Snape is killed by Voldermort as Harry watches from safety, but before he dies, he gives Harry the means to see some past memories where it is revealed that Snape had been on the side of good all along because of his love for Harry’s dead mother. After Voldermort is beaten, Harry enters the headmaster’s office, where he is greeted by applause from the moving portraits of all of Hogwarts’ former headmasters, with the exception of Snape who was not considered worthy at the time, after abandoning his duties during the climactic battle.
14. Ron’s Biggest Achievement Wasn’t Landing Hermione
At some point or another, a person will start to collect things, whether it be stuff like dolls, toys, books, stamps, coins, or memorabilia; but one of the most common things people collect are trading cards. This statement is also true in the fictional world of Harry Potter, where even the wizarding world has its own collectable trading cards known as Chocolate Frog Cards. These cards can only be found when buying a chocolate frog package, with each card sporting a picture of a known wizard or witch, offering a little bit of information about them as well. After the battle at Hogwarts, Harry, Ron and Hermione were each honored for their roles in defeating Voldermort by getting their own commemorative chocolate frog card. Ron accomplished a good deal of things, like surviving the dark lord, marrying Hermione, and having kids, but despite all that, he credits getting his own card as being the greatest achievement of his life.
13. Harry Has A Motorbike
Throughout both the book and movie series, Harry Potter was seen as being a very competent flyer when using a broomstick, as seen during his quidditch matches and when facing a dragon in The Goblet of Fire. One would think that an accomplished flyer like Harry would either be an avid broomstick user or collector, but neither are the case; what he does have however, is a motorbike. The bike initially belonged to Sirius Black, and it ended up getting damaged in The Order of The Phoenix, during the mid-air battle against the Death Eaters, while the order tried to get Harry to safety. Somehow the bike wound up in the shed of Ron’s father, and thanks to Arthur Weasley’s interest in fixing both magical and Muggle (non -magical) things, he rebuilt the bike and gave it back to Harry as a gift some time after the events of the Second Wizarding War.
12. Neville’s Parents Never Recovered
As members of the Order of The Phoenix, Neville’s parents, Alice and Frank Longbottom helped to oppose Voldermort and his Death Eaters prior to the events of the series, but as noble as their actions were, they suffered greatly because of them. After Voldermort was defeated the first time, four Death Eaters, including Bellatrix Lestrange tracked down Neville’s parents and tortured them with the cruciatus curse, one of the three most powerful curses in the series which causes excruciating pain to those it is cast upon. Frank and Alice were tortured for so long and so severely, that they were never able to emerge out of the curse’s torturous effects, and as a result, the pair have remained long-term residents of the incurable wing of St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, where they continue to receive palliative care. The worst part of their predicament, besides the never-ending pain, is the fact that they were never able to see their son grow up into a hero who managed to avenge them.
11. Harry Made Amends With Dudley
Sometimes, family tragedies force a child to have to be taken in by other relatives, and a lot of the time, the child goes on to have a reasonably happy upbringing, but in some cases, the child grows up miserable. Harry was one of these unfortunate cases, as seen in the early books and films which saw Harry living with his aunt, uncle and cousin, Dudley. For some reason, his mother’s side of the family were not very fond of Harry or his mother because of their magical potential/abilities, they even made him live in a cramped space under the stairs. Harry and Dudley did not get along very well with each other when they were young, in fact Dudley more or less tormented him, but following the events of the Second Wizarding War, Dudley went ahead and attempted to make some form of amends with Harry when he told him: “I don’t think you’re a waste of space.” Apparently that worked as Harry drops by to visit his cousin from time to time and they sit together as they watch their children play.
10. Ron, Hermione and Harry Became High-Ranking Officials
Throughout the length of the series, the Ministry of Magic (the governing body of Great Britain’s magical community), whose job it was to preserve magical law, was more of a hindrance than a help when it came to stopping Voldermort after his return. The Ministry became a corrupt organization, and was even taken over by the Death Eaters in the final few books; Fortunately for the world though, the ministry underwent some much needed change after Voldermort was defeated. Harry and Ron went on to become aurors (highly-trained individuals who investigate crimes dealing with dark magic), and Harry himself became the head of the department before he was thirty years old. Hermione began her career in the ministry by working in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, where she acted as an advocate for house elves. She would go on to rise up through the ranks and become a high-ranking member within the Department of Magical Law Enforcement where she tries to eliminate pureblood magical prejudice.
9. Neville Got A Cool Reputation
In almost every type of fantasy series, there is always at least one named character who often provides some form of comedic relief to lighten up the mood of the story, and for a good part of the Harry Potter series, Neville Longbottom was one of the comedic characters. When we first meet Neville, he is a shy and clumsy boy who was always being told by his grandmother that he was not good enough and could never live up to his parent’s legacy. Near the end of the series however, even though the clumsiness still followed him, Neville became a heroic figure near the end of the Second Wizarding War. He single handedly destroyed one of Voldermort’s Horcrux’s when he beheaded the snake Nagini with a legendary sword. When the war was over, Neville started to be considered as a great wizard, and when he got older, he went on to become Hogwarts’ Herbology professor. His students thought he was cool, but not really because of his heroic actions, it was mainly because he was married to the owner of The Leaky Cauldron bar and lived right above it.
8. Professor McGonagall Was A More Fleshed Out Character
Professor Minerva McGonagall, was a constant figure throughout the Harry Potter series, where she served as a teacher for the students of Hogwarts, and later on as headmistress after Voldermort was defeated. She is known for having fought against the Dark Lord and his forces in both Wizarding Wars, but not much is known about her early life prior to the events of the main story. McGonagall had once been a Quidditch player, and she was even severely injured during her senior year. After graduating, she fell in love with a muggle boy but because she feared violating the International Statute of Secrecy, and losing her job at the Ministry of Magic, she had to reject his marriage proposal and chose to never see him again; this decision left her heartbroken and filled with hate towards her chosen profession, which ultimately led her to become a Hogwarts professor. She would end up marrying her former boss from the Ministry, but three years into their marriage, he died after being bitten by a venomous spider.
7. Professor Quirrel Was A Temporary Horcrux
The end of the series saw Harry and his friends set out on a quest to destroy all of Voldermort’s Horcruxes so they could permanently destroy him. A Horcrux is an object usually used by dark wizards or witches to hide a fragment of their soul in order to try and attain immortality. The idea behind this, is that as long as a part of the person’s soul survives within a Horcrux, that person will still technically be alive even if their body was fully destroyed. Voldermort had a grand total of seven legitimate Horcruxes, but he also had at least one temporary Horcrux in the form of professor Quirinus Quirrel. Quirrel started out as the professor of Muggle Studies, but he later taught Defense Against The Dark Arts. Before the events of the books though, he went out in search of whatever remained of Voldermort after his first defeat in order to become famous or to learn things from the Dark Lord. He found him, but Voldermort took over his body after he found out Quirrel worked at Hogwarts, and used him to locate the Philosopher’s Stone, and it was at the moment of the takeover that Quirrel became a temporary Horcrux.
6. Remus Was Turned Into A Werewolf Because Of His Father
Werewolves or other types of lycanthropic creatures have been in horror and fantasy novels for a long time, and they have also appeared in the Harry Potter series. Werewolves were fully introduced in The Prisoner of Azkaban, when it was revealed that Remus Lupin, a friend of Harry Potter’s parents, Order of The Phoenix member, and former Defense Against The Dark Arts professor, was revealed to be a werewolf. He was not born a werewolf though, he was in fact bitten as a child by another werewolf named Fenrir Greyback, who was aligned with Voldermort. The reason behind Greyback’s biting of Remus, was not because he hated Remus, but because he wanted revenge on Remus’ father who said that werewolves are “soulless, evil, deserving nothing but death”. Remus had to spend the rest of his life as a werewolf, all because of his father’s prejudiced words.
5. Remus And Tonks Almost Lived While Ron And Arthur Weasley Almost Didn’t
One of the hardest things for an author to do is kill off one of their protagonist characters, especially when they have put years into developing said characters, and that was something J.K. Rowling had to really think about in regards to Ron and his father. At one point about halfway through the books, she almost killed Ron off “out of sheer spite”, but luckily for fans, she overcame the dark personal issues she had at the time and decided to keep the trio together. In regards to Arthur Weasley, it was a much more complicated decision, as she knew that by the end of the series at least one Weasley had to die from a pure statistical basis. She chose to go with Arthur’s other son Fred, instead of Arthur himself because it would have had too much of a negative impact on Harry who viewed him as a father, and on Ron who would likely lose his funny-side as a result. Initially, Remus and his wife Tonks, were not supposed to both die, but since Rowling decided that someone had to lose both their parents at the battle at Hogwarts, she chose them. Like Harry and Neville, their son was left orphaned, but unlike them, he went on to have a good upbringing.
4. Harry And Ron Remained Hogwarts Dropouts
One of the most common things kids hear throughout their education, is that school is important if you want to make something of your life, and for the most part that is solid and very true advice. As mentioned earlier, Harry, Ron and Hermione, all went on to work for the Ministry of Magic in important positions, but out of the three, only Hermione had the academic credentials to actually get such a job. After Voldermort was finally defeated, Harry and Ron chose to not attend their final year at Hogwarts, becoming dropouts. Hermione though, went on to complete and ace her final exams, and participate in the traditional Hogwarts’ graduation ceremony which included riding boats away from the school. It is a good thing that Harry and Ron had name recognition and friends within the post-Voldermort Ministry, because if they did not, it would have been really unlikely that they would have gotten those jobs.
3. Dumbledore Was Gay
Throughout history and literature, there have been individuals who have been attracted to and loved other people of the same gender. For a long time, most societies looked down on those who were homosexual, but over the last two decades, many societies have come to accept gay people for who they are, which is why there was not an absurd amount of backlash towards J.K. Rowling when she implied that Hogwarts’ famed headmaster Albus Dumbledore, was himself gay. When a fan asked Rowling if Dumbledore had ever been in love she answered by saying that the great love of his life had been his best friend Gellert Grindelwald, and that she had always thought that Dumbledore was gay. Things did not end happily for the friends though, as Gellert became a dark wizard bent on ruling the wizarding world, and Dumbledore was the one who stopped him, after emerging as the victor of a duel between the two which is still considered to be the most intense wizard duel of all time.
2. It’s Possible Ron And Hermione’s Relationship Was A Mistake
Whether it be a movie, television, comic, or book series, there is always a pair of characters that the fans wished ended up together but did not. With the Harry Potter series, many fans wanted Harry to end up with Hermione, as the pair were always on good terms with one another, always seemed to understand each other, and had plain good old fashioned chemistry together. Hermione ended up with Ron though, and some time after the release of the final book, Rowling herself said that putting the two together may have been a mistake on her part. She has admitted that the pair’s relationship was done for personal reasons and that she went through with it in order fulfil her original vision of the books, not because the two made a good couple. She has gone on to try and justify the pairing by saying that Harry and Ginny Weasley’s relationship worked because they were true soulmates, while Ron and Hermione’s relationship was based off of the opposites attract premise; but that justification does not negate the fact that in retrospect, she thinks that Harry and Hermione should have ended up together instead.
1. Harry And Voldermort Were Related
The Deathly Hallows were three incredibly powerful objects which consisted of the invisibility cloak, resurrection stone, and elder wand. It was revealed that these items were given to three brothers belonging to the Peverell family, and that the invisibility cloak and resurrection stone were passed down over the generations to the descendants of Ignotus and Cadmus Peverell. Harry was given the invisibility cloak by Dumbledore during his first Christmas at Hogwarts, but Dumbledore was simply keeping the cloak safe in order to give it Harry as it belonged to Harry’s father who was a direct descendant of Ignotus Peverell. Cadmus Peverell’s descendants became the Gaunt family, and Marvolo Gaunt was Voldermort’s maternal grandfather which is why he said that the resurrection stone was his birthright. Since Harry and Voldermort were direct descendants of the Peverell brothers, it means that the two enemies were actually very distant relatives.