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45 Things About "Harry Potter" You Wouldn't Know Without Reading The Books

Disclaimer: This list is not a substitution for reading this magical series in its entirety. So get crackin'.

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2. Pass the Moldy Cheese

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Ghosts hold deathday parties to celebrate the day that they died. Harry, Ron, and Hermione attended Nearly Headless Nick’s deathday party on Halloween in their second year where they were served rotten fish, maggoty haggis, moldy cheese, and a tombstone-shaped gray cake.

3. Close One, Snivellus

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When they were students at Hogwarts, Sirius Black intentionally lured Severus Snape to the Shrieking Shack when Remus Lupin was going through his transformation from man to werewolf, with the intention of Snape being gravely injured. But James Potter caught wind of the scheme and went after Snape and saved him.

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8. Rough Résumé, Winky

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At the Quidditch World Cup, Barty Crouch’s house-elf, Winky, was found at the scene of the crime of the conjuring of the Dark Mark. Barty Crouch subsequently fired her and then Dumbledore hired her to work in the Hogwarts kitchens, alongside Dobby.

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10. A Family Affair

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Barty Crouch facilitated the escape of his son, Barty Crouch Jr., from Azkaban by giving his son and his wife Polyjuice Potion to each take on the appearance of the other, and switch places.

12. Oh Rita, You Skeeter

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Rita Skeeter, the Daily Prophet reporter, was an unregistered Animagus; she could turn herself into a beetle. Hermione, in an act of vengeance, captured Rita (as a beetle) in a jar after the Triwizard Tournament to prevent her from writing any more libelous stories.

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14. "Remember my last, Petunia."

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After the Dementor attack on Harry and Dudley, Vernon tried kicking Harry out of their house. But Petunia received a Howler that said “Remember my last, Petunia,” which mysteriously made her allow him to stay. The Howler had been from Dumbledore and it referred to the letter he had left with Harry on the Dursley’s doorstep the night Harry's parents died. That letter had informed Petunia of the charm that Dumbledore placed upon Harry that would protect him from Voldemort as long as he called Petunia’s house, where his mother’s blood resided, home.

16. Muggle Duels

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Professor Umbridge placed a lifelong Quidditch ban on Harry and George Weasley for getting into a "Muggle duel" (fist fight) with Malfoy after a Quidditch match. And for good measure, she also banned Fred Weasley, who did not fight due to being restrained by his teammates.

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17. The Longbottoms

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Neville Longbottom’s parents lived permanently in St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries after being tortured into insanity by Death Eaters.

20. The Prophecy

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The full prophecy was, “The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches….Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies…And the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not…And either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives….The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies….”

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21. Neville Longbottom: The Not Chosen One

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The prophecy could have been about Voldemort and Neville Longbottom, but Voldemort made it about Harry by attempting to kill him on that fateful Halloween night.

23. License and Registration, Please

When a witch or wizard is approaching age 17, they take lessons at Hogwarts to learn how to Apparate, practicing with the destination of a hoop placed in front of them. Then when they turn 17, they take a test to be licensed to Apparate.

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26. This Is How Rumors Get Started, Sev

Severus Snape was the informant who overheard Trelawney's prophecy about Voldemort and Harry being made to Dumbledore at the Hog's Head Inn. He then relayed his incomplete information to Voldemort, thus unintentionally setting him upon the Potters.

28. Do Not Pity the Dead, Except for the Ones Who Have Been Bewitched by Dark Magic

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The creatures in the lake surrounding the basin containing the fake Horcrux are called inferi, which are dead bodies bewitched by dark magic.

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29. The Lightning-Struck Tower

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When Snape killed Dumbledore, Harry was hidden by his invisibility cloak under a Freezing Charm performed by Dumbledore because Dumbledore knew Harry would try to intervene.

30. Fighting Fire with Fire

When she was a child, Dumbledore’s sister, Ariana, was seen doing magic by three Muggle boys. The three boys attacked her out of fear and left her magical powers essentially ruined. She could no longer control them and she would have fits of magical rage. Dumbledore’s father went after the Muggle boys and was sent to Azkaban for life.

31. Seventeen Going on 40

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During one of Ariana’s rages, her mother, Kendra, was killed. At just shy of 18 years old, Albus became the sole caretaker of his younger brother and sister.

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33. You Can't Judge a House-Elf by His Cover

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To test the defenses surrounding his locket Horcrux, Voldemort enlisted Kreacher, volunteered by his master Regulus Black, to accompany him to the cave, drink all the potion, and then be left there to die. However, Kreacher had been told by Regulus to return home, and a house-elf may not disobey an order. Because house-elves’ magic works differently than wizards’, he was able to disapparate from the cave. Voldemort never foresaw this because he never believed that a house-elf could have powers that he did not.

34. Talk About Traumatizing!

When he got cold feet about being in league with Voldemort, Regulus asked Kreacher to bring him to the cave where he had gone with Voldemort. He brought the fake locket and ordered Kreacher to switch the lockets after Regulus had drunk all the potion, and then for Kreacher to leave him there and return home to destroy the first locket. Kreacher watched as Regulus, weakened by the potion, was dragged into the lake by inferi.

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37. Albus + Gellert = BFFL

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During the summer after his mother died, Dumbledore developed a very strong friendship with Gellert Grindewald, who amounted to be one of the most notorious dark wizards of all time. Years later when Grindewald had gained power, after their friendship had long since ended, Dumbledore and Grindewald had a famous duel that Dumbledore was victorious in.

38. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named-Unless-You-Want-To-Be-Killed

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There was a taboo placed on Voldemort’s name where protective enchantments would be broken if the name was spoken so that the Death Eaters could immediately track and find the one who dared to say it.

39. Never Trust a Rat

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The silver hand that Voldemort fashioned for Wormtail ended up strangling him to death because he showed a moment of mercy for Harry in the cellar of Malfoy Manor.

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41. What I Did for Love

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While still alive, the Bloody Baron, who became the ghost of Slytherin House, was sent by Rowena Ravenclaw to retrieve her daughter, Helena, whom he was in love with. When Helena, who became the ghost of Ravenclaw House, refused to go with him, he became angry and stabbed her. Then, distraught with having killed her, he killed himself.

43. Sorry to Blow Up Your Spot, Petunia

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As a child, Petunia Dursley wanted desperately to be a witch like her sister, so she wrote to Dumbledore asking for acceptance to Hogwarts, which she was respectfully denied.

45. Elder Wand, Shmelder Wand

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Harry mended his own wand with the Elder Wand before he got rid of it. The Elder Wand was the only wand in the world that could mend another wand because it was the most powerful. And for that precise reason, Harry did not want to keep it.

But whether or not you knew any of these facts, always remember...

"...whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home." —Jo Rowling

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