15 Harry Potter Facts That You Probably Didn’t Know
July, to me, will always be Harry Potter month. Being born as part of the Harry Potter Generation, the month of July has always created an energetic knot of excitement in my stomach for several reasons. Besides it being the month of Independence Day and the month of my birthday, July was when four of the seven Harry Potter books were published in America and when three of the eight films were released.
Throughout the majority of my years growing up, I spent the month of July in various Barnes and Nobles and Megaplex movie theaters playing Harry Potter trivia games and making wands out of glittery chenille stems and straws while I eagerly awaited the next book or film. I have many souvenirs left over from those days, including a pair of Harry Potter glasses and a plastic replica of the famous golden snitch.
Although those days of midnight release parties are over (for now), I still consider July to be Harry Potter month. It is, after all, the month of Harry’s birthday, as well as the birthday month of his genius inventor, J.K. Rowling (both of whom celebrate their birthday on the 31st). So, in honor of their birthday and in honor of the story that changed my life forever, I present 15 Harry Potter facts you probably didn't know.
1. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are all featured on their own collectible chocolate frog cards. Both Ron and Dumbledore consider this to be their greatest achievement.
2. Professor McGonagall was once married. At 18, McGonagall met, fell in love with, and became engaged to muggle Dougal McGregor. Soon after, McGonagall broke off the engagement because she feared that marrying a muggle would force her to become her mother, who hid her magical lifestyle from her own muggle husband for many years. Because of the Statute of Secrecy, McGonagall could not tell her fiancé why she broke off the engagement, and, broken hearted, she fled to London. Though always in love with Dougal, McGonagall later married her former ministry boss, Elphinstone Urquart. Their marriage lasted three years, ending when Elphinstone died from a Venomous Tentacula bite.
3. McGonagall was a skillful Quidditch player, but a bad fall in her last year at Hogwarts forced her to stop playing. The fall occurred during the final game against Slytherin, forcing Gryffindor to lose the Cup. Losing the match resulted in McGonagall's lifelong determination to beat Slytherin and win the Quidditch Cup for Gryffindor.
4. In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Lucius Malfoy attempts to use the killing curse on Harry after he frees Dobby. Dobby protects Harry against death for the final time that year. Many people did not realize that Malfoy had attempted the killing curse because the spell was not introduced until the Goblet of Fire.
5. In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s (Philosopher’s) Stone, Dumbledore awards ten points to Neville for standing up to his friends. This puts Gryffindor in the lead, which makes them win the House Cup. However, readers come to realize how difficult it is even for great wizards such as Dumbledore to stand up to their friends and why Dumbledore found it such a valiant trait when we read about Dumbledore’s relationship and battle against the dark wizard Grindelwald.
6. When Dumbledore encounters a boggart, he sees the corpse of his sister, Ariana.
7. Herpo the Fowl, a wizard from Ancient Greece, was the first person to ever create a Horcrux. He was also the first person to ever breed a basilisk.
8. In Greek mythology, the seer Cassandra was cursed so that no one would believe her prophecies. Professor Trelawney is considered a fake having only ever recited two real prophesies. Trelawney’s great-grandmother’s name was Cassandra.
9. Voldemort was 71 years old when he died at the Battle of Hogwarts.
10. The Dark Mark eventually faded into scars on the surviving Death Eater’s arms.
11. Because of the family’s connection to the dark arts and his dislike for muggleborns, Lucius originally wanted Draco to attend Durmstrang. Narcissa insisted Draco attend Hogwarts because she couldn’t stand the thought of Draco being so far away.
12. Although Severus Snape was considered a hero for his loyalty to Dumbledore and thus for his assistance in the defeat of Voldemort, his portrait was not allowed to be hung with the rest of the previous Hogwarts headmasters. However, Rowling has revealed that Harry would have fought for Snape’s portrait and would have hung it next to Dumbledore’s.
13. The Harry Potter books are filled with symbolism and parallels. Colors, for instance, have specific significance in the wizarding world. Red represents good, whereas green represents evil. Gryffindor is red and gold, and Slytherin (though the house itself is not evil, it is the house that has produced the most dark wizards) is silver and green. Avada Kedavra is represented by green sparks and Expelliarmus (Harry’s signature move) is red sparks. Red is the color of Harry’s robes, the Hogwarts Express, Harry’s ink, and the color of the Weasley family’s hair. Green is the color of Slytherin, and the only thing Harry remembers from the night his parents died.
14. Platform 9 ¾ is not the only platform used by witches and wizards. The magical world can take Platform 7 ½ to get on the Orient Express.
15. J.K. Rowling is a Gryffindor, though her favorite house is Hufflepuff. If Rowling were to teach at Hogwarts, she would teach Charms. If she could take Polyjuice Potion, she would become former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Rowling would never play Quidditch because she is clumsy and has a fear of heights. Her dream wizarding job is writing spell books.
I hope you enjoyed my list of lesser-known Harry Potter facts. If you have a lesser-known fact that is not on my list, please comment below!
Questions & Answers
Is it revealed how and when Harry Potter dies?
Harry Potter is currently alive and well in the canon. He was born in 1980, so that would make him 39 now.