36 Things You Probably Didn't Know About 'Harry Potter' | 22 Words

Are you a true Harry Potter fan?

Because while you might think you know all there is to know, a bunch of facts have been discovered since the series was born, and there are always more to be uncovered.

For example, do you know which major character was almost killed off? Or what the only swear word used in the movies is?

Keep on reading, and soon enough you will...

Herpo the Foul was the original creator of the horcrux.

This ancient Greek dark wizard is the first known wizard to triumphantly create a horcrux — and breed the first Basilisk.

Professor McGonagall was once a talented Quidditch player herself.

She was the one who discovered Harry's Quidditch talents and cheered on the Gryffindor team at every game. Turns out, McGonagall played on the Gryffindor team during her years at Hogwarts, but stopped after an ugly fall during a Quidditch Cup finals game between Slytherin and Gryffindor.

Nicolas Flamel has a fountain at the Beauxbatons Academy of Magic.

Rowling wrote on Pottermore that, “It is said that the stunning castle and grounds of this prestigious school were part funded by alchemist gold, for Nicolas and Perenelle Flamel met at Beauxbatons in their youth, and a magnificent fountain in the middle of the school’s park, believed to have healing and beautifying properties, is named for them."

Tonks and Lupin weren't going to die.

In various interviews given after book seven was released, Rowling stated that she had intended to keep the two alive but had a change of heart at the last minute

Emma Watson's hamster may have had the coolest coffin in hamster history.

During the filming of The Sorcerer's Stone, Watson often brought her pet hamster to set. Sadly, it died a couple weeks into filming. The set department then created a specially made hamster coffin with velvet lining and "Millie" engraved at the top.

Harry and Dudley really do hang out together — sort of.

The two cousins never quite become best friends but "would still see each other enough to be on Christmas-card terms, but they would visit more out of a sense of duty and sit in silence so that their children could see their cousins," according to Rowling.

Rowling was going to kill off either Harry, Ron, or Hermione.

In an interview with Daniel Radcliffe, Rowling said that she highly contemplated killing off Ron but then decided against it. We can hear the Potterhead backlash just thinking about it.

Dumbledore could see Harry when Harry was using the invisibility cloak.

Dumbledore silently casted the human-presence-revealing spell, homenum revelio, to detect Harry under his invisibility cloak.

The last smell that Hermione's Amortentia potion gives off is Ron's hair.

Rowling revealed in a 2007 web chat that Hermione smells freshly mown grass, new parchment, spearmint toothpaste, and Ron's hair. Amortentia, of course, reminds a person of the things they find most attractive. And we all know how Hermione and Ron's relationship ended up.

Harry and Voldemort are distant relatives.

Their blood lines can be traced back to the Peverell family, but so can most wizarding families.

Voldemort's boggart would've been a corpse.

JK Rowling's said in interviews that if Voldemort ran into a boggart — a creature that takes the form of whatever is most feared by its observer — he would see it as his own corpse. Man that guy was suuuuper into not dying.

Dumbledore's name is Old English for "bumblebee."

According to the Independent, that's because Rowling could so easily imagine Dumbledore humming to himself. But also? Finding out what Dumbledore meant got a lot of fans theorizing that Dumbledore was an animagus, buzzing around and overhearing every conversation at Hogwarts. How else did he know everything that was going on? (We still don't know.)

Rowling eventually came to regret getting Ron and Hermione together.

We've heard from JK Rowling that she decided to get Ron and Hermione together early in the series, and could start to feel that they weren't right for each other, but she stuck to the plan. Personally, I think Hermione should've ended up with Harry (even though even the Chosen One who defeated the most powerful Dark Wizard of all time still doesn't really deserve her).

Fred and George did something the most accomplished wizards of their age would have been terrified to do.

In Sorcerer's Stone, we hear that Fred and George are throwing snowballs at the back of Professor Quirrel’s turban. Since we later learned that Lord Voldemort was hiding out in Quirrel’s head, that means our merry Weasley pranksters were embarrassing the darkest of dark wizards.

Hagrid was never even considered to be a casualty of the Wizarding War.

I remember being sure when I first cracked Deathly Hallows that Hagrid was done for. But Rowling wanted so much to see Hagrid walking out of the Forbidden Forest with Harry's pseudo-lifeless body that his death was never seriously considered.

Voldemort really did put Horcruxes into something belonging to all four Heads of Houses at Hogwarts.

A deep love for the school inspired Tom Riddle to find relics important to the four founders of Hogwarts and turn them into his Horcruxes. While he got Ravenclaw's Diadem, Hufflepuff's cup, and Slytherin's locket, we were lead to believe that Lord Voldemort never turned anything of Gryffindor's into a Horcrux. But that turned out to be only kind of true, as Harry himself, the Horcrux Voldemort never intended to make, was not only a descendant of Gryffindor's, but was so true a Gryffindor he pulled the man's sword out of the Sorting Hat. At the end of the day, Voldemort completed the set, which, for any collector, is way more important than ensuring one part of that set doesn't kill you.

JK Rowling was afraid she'd be asked what Dumbledore's wand was made of.

We get a bunch of seemingly innocuous details about characters, like their hair and eye color. Harry Potter books throw another detail on top of that — what the character's wands are made of. It never really matters, but it's always cool to know. But JK Rowling went on record saying she was always nervous that someone would ask her what Dumbledore's wand was made of, because she knew she couldn't answer. To say it was made out of the flippin' Death Stick would have sent readers down a research hole she did not yet want them going down.

Voldemort really did have a chance to go good at the end.

There's some talk of repentance towards the end of the series, and the magical power that seeking forgiveness can bring even the Darkest of wizard. Harry even gives Voldemort one last chance to feel remorse seconds before he reflects back the killing curse that ends the Dark Lord once and for all. But if Voldemort had taken Harry up on the offer? He might have been able to find redemption — because he'd taken some of Harry's blood (along with Lily's sacrifice) into his veins. As JK Rowling told Time, "Voldemort has unwittingly put a few drops of goodness back inside himself; if he had repented, he could have been healed more deeply than anyone would have supposed. But of course, he refused to feel remorse." Oh, what could have been...

Ron, well, he gets a job.

Rowing has also told the world what happens to her characters after the events of the books, and poor Ron has quite the interesting career path. After helping to save the world from Wizard-kind's greatest ever threat, Ron of course became an Auror alongside Harry. But then he just... quit? The guy eventually ended up spending his career helping George at Weasley's Wizard Weezes, which sounds like a nice, simple life. But still, kind of a comedown, isn't it?

Teddy Tonks avoided his father's curse.

Throughout Deathly Hallows, Remus Lupin is terrified to be with his pregnant wife Tonks because of his fear that his baby will be born a werewolf. But JK Rowling's since said that that fear was unfounded, because ol' Teddy Tonks was born not a werewolf, but a Metamorphmagus like Tonks. So he could change into a werewolf if he wanted to (but, like, why would he want to?)

Dementors represented something a lot of people struggle with out here in the real world.

The floating, soul-sucking Dementors were, for JK Rowling, a way to write about depression in the magical world. Makes a little more sense why chocolate lessens their effect, doesn't it?

The "K" in "JK Rowling" has a unique meaning.

Originally, JK Rowling's publisher thought her given name, Joanne, wouldn't be appealing to boy readers, so they recommended "JK." But Jo Rowling's middle name doesn't start with a "K" — she pulled the letter from her grandmother's name, Kathleen.

We know Hermione's Patronus is an otter, but what about Ron's?

Well, our number one Weasley boy conjured a Jack Russell Terrier Patronus, which makes sense. Those dogs are loyal, and eager to go along on an adventure, and have been known to chase otters.

Actor Alan Rickman knew Snape's endgame before anyone else in the world.

Because there were certain elements of the performance that Alan Rickman would have to change based on Snape's true allegiance, JK Rowling told him about Snape's history, and his love for Lily Potter (nee Evans), before he even accepted the role.

Where did the Resurrection Stone end up?

The Resurrection Stone, one-third of the Deathly Hallows and the one Harry would have chosen for himself, was used one time in the books — when Harry used to to summon his parents, Lupin, and Sirius as he walked into the forest to die at Voldemort's hand. He would drop the Stone once he reached his destination, but what happened to this incredibly powerful magic artifact? Well, JK Rowling again filled us in after the book was published, saying enough Centaur hooves have trampled it that its buried deep in the forest ground, never to be used again.

Yeah, wizards used to piss themselves.

JK Rowling dished out this fascinating (if not disgusting) fact on Pottermore a few years ago, saying that witches and wizards used to just empty themselves wherever they were and magic away what was left behind. Listen, you can't deny that'd be easier, but to use magic for something so unseemly? I dunno about all that.

Karma caught up with Dolores Umbridge.

In a book series that features around a wizard so evil his many murders caused him to physically look like a snake, it's really something for another character to be its most hatable. And yet, Dolores Umbridge, who gaslit and abused Harry and his fellow pals throughout Order of the Phoenix, managed to pull it off. Thankfully, JK Rowling said that she would later go to Azkaban for her crimes. I wonder if Harry ever visited?

The trio ended up on Chocolate Frog cards.

Harry Potter was probably a notable enough wizard to end up on a Chocolate Frog card when he was, I dunno, one year old. And Hermione probably deserved a Chocolate Frog card after her, oh, I dunno, second year? (My girl solved the mystery of the Chamber of Secrets before anyone.) But Ron? He definitely deserved a Chocolate Frog card after the Horcrux hunt, and it would've meant the most to him. The very first thing we hear him talk about with harry on their first train ride to Hogwarts was how cool the wizards who make it onto the cards are.

The legendary Merlin exists in Harry Potter canon.

We knew that Merlin's name had been bandied about in the Harry Potter books — a wizard of prominence can be awarded the Order of Merlin award, first class — but also? The guy went to Hogwarts. And he was a Slytherin! How did King Arthur ever trust a Slytherin?

A Malfoy ancestor almost married Queen Elizabeth I.

Those scheming Malfoys! Always with a plan! In a post on her website Pottermore, JK Rowling told the story of Lucious Malfoy I, who in the 15th century tried (and failed) to woo Queen Elizabeth I. Of course, she wasn't a pureblood wizard — kinda the Malfoys' whole deal — but ruling over the muggles as a king would have been enough to this rotten Malfoy.

Professor Trelawney was actually really good at this prediction thing.

Sure, we know that Trelawney objectively knocked it out the park when she predicted that the Voldemort-slayer was being born in late July and that the Voldemort-lackey would return to his master. But did you know she has some other impressive calls under her belt?

There was a shot called during Harry, Ron, and Hermione's first class with her.

The first time they met their Divination teacher, the trio heard Professor Trelawney say, "around Easter, one of our number will leave us for ever." Of course, they were meant to think she was talking about someone dying, but she was actually talking about Hermione, who would drop the class right around... Easter.

She foretold Dumbledore's death.

Our girl Professor Trelawney kept frying to warn Dumbledore of approaching doom, as she kept seeing a "lightning-struck tower." Of course, later in that very same book, Dumbledore would be hit with a killing curse — which sure looks a lot like lightning — atop the Astronomy tower.

And she knows what happens to those who peace out of dinners early.

In Harry's third year, he joins a number of teachers, including Professor Dumbledore, for Christmas dinner. When Professor Trelawney finds them, Dumbledore invites her to join. But she refuses, because when 13 sit at the dinner table, the first to rise is the first to die.

But Trelawney would've been the 14th person to join the meal.

Ron was eating at the table with his rat, Scabbers, who we would later learn was actually an animnagus'd Peter Pettigrew. So when Dumbledore rose from the table, well, he really was the first of that group to die.

We saw 13 gather at a dinner table one other time.

Early in Order of the Phoenix, Harry sits in on a meeting with — you guessed it — 12 other members. The first person to get up here is again the first of the group to die: Sirius Black.

Ron, Harry, and Hermione's friendship was cemented on a very important anniversary.

It was Halloween of their first year when Harry and Ron defeated a troll in the girl's bathroom and saved Hermione, thereby becoming her BFFs. But what else happened in the Harry Potter-verse on Halloween?

It was 10 years to the day since Voldemort had murdered Harry's parents.

How lovely is that? In one day, Harry lost his family, and then, exactly ten years later, he got a new family back.

Oh, and Ron is Dumbledore.

Okay, so maybe this is a theory that JK Rowling herself has debunked, but it was so prevalent during the run-up to the final few books that I have chosen to accept it as fact. So yeah. Ron used a time-turner, went back in time, and lived out his life as Dumbledore.

The evidence is there.

First, when Harry sees a young Dumbledore in Chamber of Secrets, he's described as having "auburn" (read: red) hair. It would explain how Dumbledore knows what the hell's going on all the time. And when an incredibly old witch, Griselda Marchbanks, talks about giving Dumbledore his O.W.L. test, she said he "did things with a wand [she'd] never seen before." Maybe because he learned them in the future? Finally, Dumbledore says that when he looks in the Mirror of Erised, that he sees himself wearing a nice pair of socks. And from that point on, every Christmas, Ron is sent a pair of socks from his mother for Christmas. Wouldn't it be tragic and poignant for Ron to go back in time and become the wizard he so respects more than any other, and lose his entire life and friends and family in the process?

The Deathly Hallows has a real-life story inspiration behind it.

The Pardoner’s Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer is the story that Rowling chose to base the Deathly Hallows off of. The tale is one of many from the well-known book, The Canterbury Tales.

The Dementors became unemployed.

When Kingsley Shacklebolt was made the permanent head of the Minstery of Magic, he banned the use of Dementors to guard Azkaban, and everywhere else in the wizarding world.

Dumbledore saw more than socks in the Mirror of Erised.

What the Hogwarts headmaster really saw was his entire family alive and happy. He also saw his beloved sister Ariana alive and Aberforth forgiving him.

Dumbledore took Fawkes with him when he died.

When Dumbledore died, Fawkes, too, left Hogwarts for good. Rowling said, "Dumbledore was a very great and irreplaceable man, and the loss of Fawkes (and the fact that he was ‘non-transferable’!) expresses this symbolically."

James and Lily's Patronuses were meant to be.

"The Patronus often mutates to take the image of the love of one’s life (because they so often become the ‘happy thought’ that generates a Patronus)," said Rowling on James' being a stag and Lily's being a doe.

Rowling thinks lightning-bolt shaped scars are cool.

When a fan asked how she chose the shape of Harry's scar, Rowling said, "Because it’s a cool shape. I couldn’t have my hero sport a doughnut-shaped scar."

The phrase 'I open at the close' holds great meaning.

1998 has significance as both the year the first Harry Potter book was published and the year of the final Battle of Hogwarts.

J.K. Rowling loves Hufflepuff.

Though Hufflepuff gets a bad rap for being too nice, Rowling herself has said how much she appreciates the house.

Snape hated Neville because of Lily Potter.

The Hogwarts professor knew that Neville could have been the Chosen One instead of Harry, which meant Lily would have lived. Of course, Snape was in love with Lily so that all makes sense.

You can thank an 11-year-old for bringing Dumbledore to life.

Richard Harris, the actor who portrayed Dumbledore in the first two movies, only took the role because his granddaughter swore she would never speak to him again if he didn't.

The Hogwarts houses were first written on a barf bag.

Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin, and Ravenclaw were first written on the back of an airplane sick bag when J.K. Rowling was on a plane and didn't want to forget the names before she landed.

You can thank a fight with an ex-boyfriend for the creation of Quidditch.

Rowling said she walked out of the fight, into a pub, and invented Quidditch. "I don't really know what the connection is between the row and Quidditch except that Quidditch is quite a violent game and maybe in my deepest, darkest soul I would quite like to see him hit by a bludger."

Mundungus means tobacco.

"Mundungus is always smelling of his pipe and various other unsavory things, so that's why he's called Mundungus," Rowling explained.

The funny-named plants in the wizarding world are real.

oadwax and Mugwort may sound like words Rowling made up, but in fact she got most of them from a real book called Culpeper's Complete Herbal.

The actors couldn't play contact sports while filming the series.

In order to keep them from getting injured, the actors were told not to do any contact sports. Instead many of them took up golf since it was considered relatively safe.

Helena Bonham Carter kept Bellatrix's teeth.

The actress got fake teeth for her part and kept them after the series ended since they only fit her. She apparently busts them out whenever she wants to bring Bellatrix to life.

Moaning Myrtle is inspired by crying girls in communal bathrooms.

Rowling said she frequently saw crying girls in bathrooms, "especially at the parties and discos of my youth. This does not seem to happen in male bathrooms, so I enjoyed placing Harry and Ron in such uncomfortable and unfamiliar territory in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."

Rowling would love the power of invisibility.

When asked what magical power she would want, Rowling answered, "If I had any power, I would have the power of invisibility and this is a little bit sad but I would probably sneak off to a café and write all day."

'Parselmouth' is a real word.

According to Rowling: "Parselmouth is an old word for someone who has a problem with their mouth like a hair lip."

The actor who plays Dudley Dursley is named Harry.

In real life, British actor Harry Melling portrays Harry Potter's bully cousin.

James Potter appears in every film but one.

That film is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Bill Weasley and Mad-Eye Moody are closer than you think.

Actor Domhnall Gleeson (Bill Weasley) is actually the son of Brendan Gleeson, the actor who plays Mad-Eye Moody.

West Ham is the only real football club mentioned in the books.

One of Rowling's oldest friends is a West Ham football club supporter, so she included the team in the books to honor them.

The trio are pretty fast runners.

In Deathly Hallows, the stunt director had to get the snatchers to speed up during the chase scene in the forest because Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint ran much faster than expected.

Daniel Radcliffe's handwriting is awful.

The actor was banned from writing Harry's name for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. One of the prop guys wrote his name on a piece of paper for him.

Ginny was always meant to be with Harry.

Rowling had been planting the seeds of Ginny as Harry's match relationship with many subtle moments, including Ginny beating Cho Chang in Quidditch.

The Divination room is also the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom.

The two rooms used the same set. New furniture, colors, and draperies were used when turned into the Divination room.

Real homework was done at Hogwarts.

While filming on set, the younger actors would work on actual homework to make the school setting feel more realistic.

Only one curse word was ever said in the movies.

That word is "bitch," and it was said by Molly Weasley before she kills Bellatrix Lestrange.

There's a reason why The Goblet of Fire book was so long.

Halfway through writing The Goblet of Fire, Rowling realized there was a giant hole in the plot which she had to go back and fix.