1. The phrase "vol de mort", in French, can be loosely translated as "flight of death", in reference to Voldemort's quest for immortality.
2. Professor McGonagall was named after Minerva, Roman goddess of wisdom.
3. In Greek mythology, Cassandra was a woman who was gifted the power of prophecy by the god Apollo. After she refused to marry him, he cursed her so that her prophecies would never be believed. Professor Trelawney's grandmother was named Cassandra.
4. And Sybill – Professor Trelawney's first name – is derived from the Greek name Sibylla, meaning "prophetess".
5. In Greek mythology, Narcissus (like Narcissa Malfoy) was a man known for his beauty, who died after spending too much time looking at his own reflection.
6. In Greek mythology, Argus was a giant with 100 eyes. His surname, Panoptes, means "the all-seeing one".
7. Filch is an old English word meaning "to steal something, usually of small value".
8. Speaking of Filch, one of the meanings of the word "squib" is "a broken firecracker" that burns but does not explode.
9. And Mrs Norris is an unpleasant character from Jane Austen's novel Mansfield Park.
10. Remus and Romulus were twin brothers said to have founded the city of Rome. The brothers, abandoned by their parents, were discovered and brought back to health by a wolf.
11. And Remus' surname, Lupin, comes from the Latin "lupinus", meaning "of a wolf".
12. Sirius is named after the brightest star in the sky – which is also known as the Dog Star.
13. In fact, almost all of the Black family are named after stars. Bellatrix is the third brightest star in the constellation Orion; Andromeda is the name of the nearest galaxy to Earth; Regulus is the brightest star in the Leo constellation and Arcturus is the fourth brightest star in the sky.
14. The name Ariana is derived from Ariadne, who in Greek mythology led Theseus to escape the Labyrinth after he killed the Minotaur. The painting of Dumbledore's sister, Ariana, led the trio to Hogwarts for their final battle.
15. Fenrir Greyback is named after Fenrir, who in Norse mythology was a ferocious and gigantic wolf. After freeing himself from the gods, Fenrir roamed the world "devouring everything in his path".
16. Luna's father is named Xenophilius Lovegood. In keeping with the attitude of the Lovegood family, xenophilia is a love or affection for the strange and unknown.
17. Alastor – Mad-Eye Moody's first name – is Greek for "avenger". Zeus, the king of the gods of Mount Olympus, was called Zeus Alastor when he assumed a vengeful form.
18. Janus Quirinus was a Roman god with two heads. Professor Quirrell's first name was Quirinus.
19. Fred and George Weasley were born on 1 April – otherwise known as April Fools' Day.
20. Nicolas Flamel – Dumbledore's friend and creator of the Philosopher's Stone – was a real person. He was a French scrivener, married to a woman named Perenelle, and only gained his reputation as an alchemist hundreds of years after his death.
21. The legend of the Philosopher's Stone is also real. It is said to be able to turn base metals into gold or silver, and alchemists believed it could be used to create the Elixir of Life.
22. Three-headed dogs – like Fluffy in Philosopher's Stone – are prominent in Greek mythology. The most famous is Cerberus, who guards the gates of Hell. In the book, Hagrid says he bought fluffy from "a Greek chappie" he met at the pub.
23. Diagon Alley is a play on the word "diagonally", while Knockturn Alley – its Dark counterpart – is a play on the word "Nocturnally".
24. Griffon d'Or (pronounced the same way as Gryffindor) is French for "golden griffin". The door to Dumbledore's office holds a golden knocker in the shape of a griffin.
25. And Slytherin could be a play on the words "sly therein". Slyness is one of the distinguishing qualities of members of Slytherin house.
26. The name of the wizarding school Durmstrang is derived from the German literary movement "Sturm und Drang", which literally translates to "storm and stress".
27. When using the visitors' entrance to the Ministry of Magic, you step into a disused telephone box and dial 62442. These numbers, on a telephone keypad, correspond to the letters M-A-G-I-C.
28. Fawkes' name could be a reference to Guy Fawkes, who plotted to kill King James I by blowing up the Houses of Parliament. The event is commemorated every year with bonfires and fireworks.
29. Harry's owl was named after St Hedwig of Silesia, patron of the Sisters of St Hedwig, whose main aim is the education of abandoned and orphaned children.
30. Pigwidgeon – the name of Ron's tiny, annoying owl – is an English word often referring to something small or insignificant.
31. And Percy Weasley's owl was named after the Greek god Hermes, messenger to the gods.
32. J.K. Rowling has said that Cedric's death was inspired by Homer's Iliad, at the end of which Achilles returns Hector's body to his father.
34. The word inferi – the name of the animated dead bodies of which Voldemort attempted to create an army – is Italian for "underworld".
35. In mythology, Yew trees were used as symbols of immortality, but also seen as bad omens due to the fact that they are often found in graveyards. Voldemort's wand was made of Yew.
36. Holly trees, on the other hand, were seen in mythology as charms against evil. Harry Potter's wand was made from Holly.