Questions I have from the Harry Potter series

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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?

MC-Harry-Potter-series-unanswered-questions-Hogwarts-3Hagrid and Harry took the boat. Did the hut owner visit and find them abandoned? Then how did they explain the missing boat AND a missing child? Jo answers, please!

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?

MC-Harry-Potter-series-unanswered-questions-Hogwarts-2Harry 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.

Deletrius. Really?

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.

MC-Harry-Potter-series-unanswered-questions-Hogwarts-1Why wasn’t magic used to dry the students after being caught in the rain?

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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More about Bianca

Bianca's a nerdy, book worm who is constantly curious and appreciates being alive while the internet exists. During the day, she's a content writer for a tech company. The rest of the time she's reading, and running, and bike riding, and sipping coffee, and taking photos around Melbourne, Australia.

10 thoughts on “Questions I have from the Harry Potter series

  1. George

    I could never get past the fact that Hermione (who had two Muggle parents) was so careful to never say Voldemort’s name. Perhaps being such a lover of knowledge gleaned from books she was merely bowing to convention, however it always seemed like a lapse on the part of the author. It seems unreasonable that she’d be any less likely than Harry to say the name. This bothers me (still) far more than her knowing nothing about Dementors.


  2. Beatriz Carvalho

    I there!
    I am a big fan for many many years now and I’ve always struggled with this question about the Harry Potter series:
    Where do young wizards go to school prior to Hogwarts? I mean where do they learn how to read and maths and etc?


    1. Bianca

      I think this was answered, or it’s just so commonly discussed in the fandom that I remember it as being answered. The children are home schooled or have tutors. There’s no primary/elementary school in the wizarding world. I can see good and bad points. It definitely keeps parents out of the workforce or makes it expensive to work. I like to imagine Molly Weasley created a little school for her children and the neighborhood kids.


  3. Dhruti Pradhan

    I’d like to answer one of the questions:
    1) How did Hermione did not know how to repel dementor or why didn’t she find out?
    Because firstly, Hermione was too much busy coping with her overburdened curriculum even with the usage of time turner, secondly she was not much affected by the dementors, and thirdly she was also having emotional problems at that time as Ron was fighting with her the whole year because of the crookshanks attacking scabbers.


    1. Bianca

      Fair points, but I’d question the timing. Their first encounter with a dementor is before they arrive at Hogwarts, and Dumbledore confirms them being there during the opening feast announcements. She had plenty of time early on to spend five minutes looking it up.


  4. Marcie

    This is hilarious! My husband and I have been listening to the audiobooks every night this month and I keep pausing it to ask him these questions! I hadn’t read the books, just watched the movies (which leave out a lot!) I feel better knowing I’m not the only one curious!


    1. Bianca

      I have read the books numerous times each (and own multiple copies of each), but it was from the audiobooks that I noticed so many more quirks. There are a lot more that JKR has answered in subsidiary stories and interviews that I left off.


  5. Kathleen

    Stephen Fry says Roo-bee-us so it’s probably a “pronouncing tomato” argument.


    1. Bianca

      What? It depends who you’re around which way you say it? Or that just how ai deal with tomato.

      Does he give Narcissa and Bellatrix accents? Thinking back, I don’t recall if Andromeda has one.


      1. Kathleen

        No he doesn’t give them foreign accents. I think that’s why I struggle listening to Jim Dale, it’s too American.


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