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It’s now 20 years since we fell in love with the boy wizard, but there are still unanswered questions. I listened to all 21 hours of the seven audiobooks recently and discovered exactly how many questions never got answers. There are a lot.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Or Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, if you prefer. Nicolas Flamel was a philosopher in the edition I read first, so I’m running with that.
Can Dumbledore speak owl?
An owl flies past the window before Vernon Dursley leaves for work at the start of the book. Was it a coincidence or is Dumbledore able to speak owl and sent it on a scouting mission?
Was it cold leaving Harry on the doorstep?
We know Dumbledore wasn’t the best guardian (#spoiler). He knew that Harry was being abused and did nothing (and neither did the other adults), but intentionally leaving a baby on a doorstep on a November night? I hope he used a warming charm.
How did the Dursleys get off the island?
How is Hagrid’s first name pronounced?
The US audiobook gets Voldemort correct (dropping the T because it’s French), but not Grindelwald, so is the audio book’s pronunciation of Rubeus correct? I always thought Roo-bee-us, but Jim Dale says Roo-bay-us.
Does anyone fail Hogwarts?
Or is it like some private schools and Crabb and Goyle’s parents are rich enough to pay for passing grades? Which makes us question Hogwarts’ academic integrity.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Did Professor McGonagall ever just shake her head in disbelief that Harry was going to save them from Voldemort?
Harry was a true Gryffindor. He only really started thinking things through after Malfoy Manor (book seven, if you haven’t read them all). This question was prompted by Harry and Ron being stuck at Platform 9 3/4 with an owl and a heap of wizards about to walk back through the station, but deciding the only option was to fly an illegal car to Hogwarts.
Not a question, well, it kind of is.
Assuming no magic was used, Profs Flitwick and Sinestra carrying Justin Finch-Fletchley to the hospital wing would have been rather awkward. Is she as short as he or was it all just lopsided? They only need one person to use magic, and they used magic in many other instances. Picture them carrying him on the stairs, and you’ll know what I mean.
What time does Hogwarts serve dinner?
In Chamber, they are in their common rooms from 6 pm onwards. Does that mean a 5 pm dinner? It seems early. No wonder why they sneak to the kitchens.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Who picked up the bill for all Harry’s extras?
The Nimbus 2000? Prof McGonagall ordered it but did she pay for it too? What about when Fudge told Harry to stay at the Leaky Cauldron for two weeks? That’s expensive, and Harry was only 13. Rich and 13, but still 13.
Did Dumbledore make the Christmas crackers?
Did he intentionally give Snape a bird on a hat in his cracker? Dumbledore is the ultimate troll.
How did the twins not see that Peter Pettigrew was living in their brothers’ beds?
Wormtail spent 12 years with the Weasley’s. First with Percy, and then with Ron. Not only did they not notice the name of a dead person in their common room on the Marauders’ Map, but they also didn’t notice some random guy hanging out in their little brother’s bed.
How did Hermione not know how to repel dementors?
This is the girl who looked up the animagi registry. How was it she didn’t research dementors when it was announced they’d be guarding Hogwarts? It explains why she was in Gryffindor.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Did Dumbledore buy the Riddle house?
I know we made guesses on this years ago, but I don’t recall it ever being confirmed. Was Dumbledore the rich man who bought the Riddle House and kept Frank Bryce employed there? It makes sense.
Sure the spell names became more sophisticated as the books progressed, but this one is the flippendo of the books. It’s definitely descriptive, but Command Xus is about the same.
OK, so a big thing is made of the soaking wet students slipping and sliding through the Hogwarts entrance before the opening feast. They’re wizards, can’t they just scourgify the water and dry the students?
Why did Mad Eye Moody need three spiders to demonstrate the unforgivables?
I’m all for fewer spiders in the world, but using three seems excessive. The book is unclear, but it appears only two were killed (the first and third) and killing the second would have been mercy. I prefer to obliviate the movies from my memory, but that version was more humane using only one spider; torturing it twice before killing it.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Did Dudley ever remember Mrs Figg was there during the dementor attack?
It wasn’t just Harry she outed herself to that night. It gives Dudley a lot to question. I like to imagine him stopping by for tea and chatting about wizards while Harry was at Hogwarts in his sixth year.
How do the prefects get their information?
The prefects get a briefing on the Hogwarts Express. As there are no professors on the train, I assume the head girl and boy conducted it. But who briefs them? Do they have an end of summer meeting with McGonagall? We didn’t hear about it when Percy was head boy.
Why did Prof McGonagall start teaching in December?
The teaching appointments are generally for the year and last a year, but for some reason, Prof McGonagall applied for any teaching role and was offered a job within two hours. In Short Stories from Hogwarts we know she was unhappy with her Ministry job, but not why the transfiguration position was open four months into the school year.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Was Mrs Cole, the orphanage matron, inspired by Miss Harrigan?
Anyone who has seen Annie would recognize Mrs Cole’s behavior. The gin drinking, the pretending it’s all OK. Mrs Cole seems more generous than Miss Hannigan, who would never take the children on an outing, but there are strong similarities.
Who was the Gryffindor Quidditch captain after Harry? Was it MacLaggen?
I just hope it was Ginny. Or was Quidditch canceled in the Death Eaters’ Hogwarts?
More of why Harry wasn’t sorted into Ravenclaw and why Dumbledore’s OK with it.
At the start of Half-Blood Prince Dumbledore asks Harry to always carry his invisibility cloak for the year, at all times, no excuses. But when they head to the cave, Dumbledore sends Harry to fetch the cloak. He didn’t assume Harry had it with him.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
What happened to the Dursley’s house?
Was it intact for the Dursley’s to return to? Did the Death Eaters go looking for the Dursley’s there thinking they could get to Harry through them? I imagine they would have destroyed the house to send a message.
Check for Harry being cursed or jinxed under the cloak.
This made sense at the time, but now I’m not sure what my question was.
Are Narcissa and Bellatrix European or is that a Jim Dale addition?
This is another one prompted by the audiobook. Jim Dale gives the sisters an Eastern European accent. I only imagined them as British, so it’s distracting, but is it canon?
Who are Victoire’s godparents?
This isn’t that important, really, but it was a big thing that Harry has Sirius and Teddy has Harry, but we don’t know about Victoire. I like to think it was George. But now I’m thinking about it, maybe it’s a male thing in the wizarding world. We don’t hear of any godmothers or females having godparents. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
What is Aberforth’s happy thought to produce a Patronus.
It’s safe to say it included goats. I’d like to think it included his sister, Ariana, too. And that it was family-friendly. We have never been told what the inappropriate charm Aberforth was caught doing on goats was.
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