Look at the list and answer the question that comes after: Black hair, top of their classes, arrogant, talented/powerful wizards, fell in love with Lily Evans, redeemed themselves because of their love for Lily Evans, killed by Voldemort, and died protecting Harry Potter. Now, is the list talking about James Potter or Severus Snape?
Horcruxes = piece of soul + container (+ very evile magick). The piece of soul depends on its container for survival, and thus the Horcrux is really, really difficult to maim or destroy. Remember how no matter what the trio did, they couldn't harm the locket or the cup without dark magic? WELL. That explains how Harry got out of all of those life-threatening situations alive, right? Harry could break his leg or almost drown or fall fifty feet in the air or get otherwisely severely injured, and the book would just carry on with the action. It's because he had special protection as a Horcrux.
Why Harry wasn't completely dysfunctional and maladjusted? The kid was bullied, criminally neglected, and belittled for his entire childhood. The care he got from his parents during the first year of his life couldn't have possibly been enough to cancel out the cruelty the Dursleys showed him. By all rights, he should not have been as kind, fair-minded, or even as sane as he is. Lily's protective magic which she cast when she died for him must also extend to his mind. He isn't just protected from physical damage, he's protected from psychological damage!
How did Fred and George know how to use the Marauder's Map? They were most likely magically gifted to figure out what kind of enchantments that had been applied to it, thus figuring out exactly how it works. They possibly were able to recognize its potential when they first laid eyes on it
Beware, lots of unmarked horcrux spoilers to follow: The inconsistency of Harry's scar is confusing. His glimpsing Voldemort's plans from a distance in book four when the only thing that happens in book one is some pain? Not to mention book seven, where it steadily gets harder for even Voldemort to block the connection, to the point where Harry only has to close his eyes during the final battle to view what Voldemort's doing, as opposed to book five where it only happened when Harry was asleep. However, the strength of the connection corresponds with the destruction of the horcruxes. Or, more accurately, the ratio of Voldemort's soul held by Harry versus held by Voldemort himself.
Book One: Harry only feels minor pain when in close proximity to Voldemort.
Book Two: Tom Riddle's diary is destroyed, strengthening the connection.
Book Four: Voldemort makes Nagini into a Horcrux and so holds less of his own soul. Harry gets a glimpse mid-process and start seeing more of Voldemort's mind.
Book: Five: Harry can now glimpse Voldemort's thoughts and actions while asleep. Voldemort can send false messages, but in the end starts employing Occlumency to block Harry out.
Book Six: Another horcrux is destroyed.
Book Seven: Voldemort can't block Harry out of his mind out anymore. Harry now glimpses Voldemort's thoughts and memories while awake, though only when Voldemort's feeling strong emotions. The locket and the cup are destroyed, and during the final battle all Harry has to do to activate Voldy-vision is basically just close his eyes. Voldemort is completely unaware of this, and has no control over it. This suggests that as the horcruxes are destroyed, Harry's control over the connection gets stronger and Voldemort's gets weaker.
In the first book, it's stated that Draco reminds Harry of Dudley. The comparison makes sense - both kids are heartless, spoiled-brat bullies with lackeys who verbally and physically abuse everyone and get away with it. But as the series commences, the parallels end up going further than that. Both get just barely redeemed and turn out to not be all bad. Both have mothers (with flower names) who turn out to truly care about them and not be all bad themselves (each of them has issues with her sister). Neither Draco nor Dudley's fathers get redeemed at all. The difference? The Dursleys (mostly Vernon) are intent on remaining a hundred-percent muggle, not acknowledging the magical world in the slightest, and they hate all wizards and regard them as freaks. The Malfoys (mostly Lucius) want to kill off all the Mudbloods, whom they regard as utterly worthless, and place wizards in control. The families are perfect mirror images of one another, but on opposing sides.
It's bothering how awful the "Dursley" sections of each book were, compared to the chapters in-between. The Dursleys seemed to be underdeveloped, derivative, irritating, and ridiculously lacking in redeeming qualities. Why J.K. couldn't have made them slightly more sympathetic—or at least cranked their villainy up into so that they'd be delicious, fascinating, shudder-worthy "love-to-hate" types. But: these are people who have spent their whole lives struggling to be boring. And it's working very well. Harry feels just the same way we do.
Neville spent the best part of six years being told that he wasn't brave enough to belong in Gryffindor, and we know it hit home. We also know that Godric Gryffindor's sword presents itself to any member of its House it views as worthy of receiving it, going with Dumbledore's statement that "help will always be given at Hogwarts to those that need/deserve it". During the first part of Book Seven Neville becomes the leader of an underground resistance against the Death Eaters, taking several level in badass as he goes: this basically involves him standing up to Snape - the man whose form his Boggart used to take (i.e. his greatest fear). He then proceeds to talk down VOLDEMORT HIMSELF and fight half of the Battle of Hogwarts armed with only a sword. To reiterate - he pretty much brought a knife to a gunfight, albeit a magical one. The Fridge Brilliance comes in when you remember him standing up to the Trio back in Book One, and realise that Neville has been so brave, and so deserving of the Sword, all along. It's the quote from Dumbledore that it "shows great courage to stand up to our friends and not just our enemies" that is evidence to him always being brave. Not to mention that that's exactly what Dumbledore felt he hadn't been able to do in regards to Grindelwald.
Headscratchers has an entry asking why Dumbledore never gave Snape an attitude adjustment, despite the fact that he very obviously needed one. JKR said it's because Dumbledore believes "that people in authority aren't always good" is a lesson the students have to learn. That's not the brilliant part; the brilliance comes in when you realize that every single book has featured at least one person at Hogwarts far, far worse than Severus Snape. First year, there was Quirrel, who has Tom Riddle stuck to the back of his head. Second year, we have Lockhart, an arrogant buffoon who can't teach at all (say whatever you want about Snape, he is at least more competent than Lockheart). Third year, we get introduced to the man who actually sold the Potters to Voldemort, Peter Pettigrew, a true coward and murderer. Year four has Karkaroff (coward) and Fake Moody, plus Cornelius Fudge, who refused to believe that Voldemort was back. Year Five: Umbridge's period of misrule, 'nuff said. Year six, Draco Malfoy joined the Death Eaters and cooked up at least two Russian Roulette-esque plans to kill Dumbledore, which nearly resulted in the deaths of Katie Bell and Ron Weasley. Oh, and he let other Death Eaters, like Bellatrix Lestrange and Fenrir Greyback, into the castle, too. Draco, ya little shit! And in Year Seven, the Carrows become the Muggle Studies and Dark Arts teachers, while Snape is made Headmaster and actually spends all of his time and energy making sure the Carrows can't torture and kill the students who defy them, and at the end of the book, Lord Voldemort himself enters Hogwarts. Bow to the brilliance.
Resident Slytherin bitch Pansy Parkinson is always described as being "pug-faced" by Harry in the books. Pugs are a kind of dog. In other words, Pansy Parkinson has a bitchy face!
It always seemed like somewhat weak writing that Harry never showed any curiosity about his family or the wider wizarding world, requiring Hermione to explain everything to him (and us) at every turn. It may seem Harry wasn't too bright but the Dursleys spent a decade beating any curiosity out of him and never answered his questions honestly. He's not dumb, he just still hasn't gotten over that part of his horrible childhood, poor kid.
Voldemort's NAME, for heaven's sake. In French, "vol-" means "escape," "-de-" means "from" and "-mort" means "death." His entire name is a mashup of the phrase "escape from death." Alternatively, in Latin, "vol" means "wish", "de" means "of", and "mort" means "death". So in Latin, Voldemort is "death wisher" or "one who wishes death". Tie that in with the French translation meaning "escape from death", and J.K. Rowling is a genius on so many levels. "Vol" can also be thief, or theft, too; both stealing from death, and stealing death itself. You can really tell J.K. Rowling was a languages scholar.
"I Am Lord Voldemort" fits neatly into the anagram "Tom Marvolo Riddle", with a last name that explicitly states the significance of the name - it's a riddle! The woman is a genius!
Remus Lupin = werewolf = Remus was one of the two wolf-raised brothers who founded Rome, and Lupin from lupīnus, the Latin for wolf.
Dolores Umbridge: "Dolor" is Latin for pain or grief, which she gives both out in large quantities. "Umbrage" means taking offense, annoyance and displeasure. Everyone is annoyed and displeased by her tyrannical nature.)
In every book, at least one person mentions that Harry looks incredibly like his father, but has his mother's eyes. Dumbledore comments that while looking like his father, he is more like his mother in his heart. This proved true the old saying: The eyes are windows to the soul.
It's bothersome that Slytherin House is painted as almost unequivocally evil, but: That's not bad writing, that's BRILLIANT writing! See, we're explicitly told that Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw are the "good" houses, so we just expect that anyone from those houses will do the right thing. Slytherin, on the other hand, has a reputation for churning out Dark witches and wizards like a machine, so we just expect anyone from that house to be evil. So when a Slytherin does something noble (i.e., Regulus Black stealing one of Voldemort's Horcruxes to try and destroy it) and a Gryffindor/Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff does something horrible (i.e., Peter Pettigrew turning James and Lily over to Voldemort), it's that much more of a shock. It's proof of Dumbledore's statement: "It is not our abilities, but our choices, that determine who we really are."
Not to mention that this takes place at one of the heights of the conflict between the houses. Evidenced by the Sorting Hat's song in the 5th book, the animosity was so great the Sorting Hat felt the need to address it, which it has only done a few times in history. One of the Aesop's of the series is that anyone can be good or evil, but Harry only fully grasps that by the end of the series (which is not so coincidentally the time the reader starts to see that as well).
The whole Statue Of Secrecy-thing never made sense. If Muggles can't use magic, it surely wouldn't hurt anyone if they tried? But there’s an interview where Jo said that Muggles couldn't use magic, but if they happened to pick up a recently used wand, it could suddenly "explode" with magic. A Muggle who had heard about magic would probably try to use it. If a Muggle picked up a recently used wand, they could damage themselves and people around them.
It was also created to hide wizard's from the increasingly violent witch hunts going around Europe and later America at the time.
Consider the contemptible treatment of Muggles even by the best of the wizarding world. At best, Muggles are seen as sort of amusing children or even intelligent pets, but almost never are they seen as equals, or even remotely intelligent. (Another smaller Fridge Brilliance: The Muggle Prime Minister actually remarks on this in the sixth book, heavily disliking Fudge's condescending attitude each time he appears in the PM's office, despite the fact that he, Fudge, is not exactly competent himself.) It's a great cultural tidbit because it's so imperialistic. The real-life Europe — and by extension Muggle Europe in HP — probably had this very same attitude towards the indigenous populations of the countries they colonized. So in that sense, one could argue that this plot device shows that Muggle culture and wizarding culture have that much more in common with each other — and neither group even realizes it. JK herself even said that Harry leaves the Muggle world and finds that the exact same problems exist in the wizarding world. It definitely shows that whatever wizards might think about Muggles, they're more connected to them than they know.
You know how drinking a unicorn's blood gives you a cursed life? Now what is a unicorn´s blood supposed to look like? Mercury, which turns anyone who handles it insane! It is brilliant!
General Part 2
Cruciatus is the root for the word "Excruciating" — an appropriate adjective for the curse's effects.
Why do the Wizards live in castles, and write, eat, and dress as if they were living in the middle ages? Because they always had magic, so their world never needed to evolve technologically like ours did.
Almost every single character trait exhibited by Harry can be linked back to his time at the Dursleys: He's a good seeker because he was malnourished enough to be small and fast, and had gained excellent reflexes from constantly dodging their swings at him. He wants to protect and help others, because no-one helped him. He hates bullies, like Malfoy, because he was bullied. He doesn't try at school, because he was never encouraged at home, and in fact, was probably punished if he did better than Dudley. And so on.
Films-only, and possibly accidental. In the last film, Voldemort, Bellatrix, and Nagini all die and shatter into small pieces. With Bellatrix that's because of the weird... liquid nitrogen spell that Molly Weasley used. With Nagini and Voldemort, it could call back to the very first movie. Remember Quirrel when he touched Harry. Instead of burning, like in the books, Quirrel actually crumbled into ash, piece by piece. Scary, yes, but if that's a deliberate callback, that's pretty cool.
Look at the cover of Philosopher/Sorcerer's Stone. Look at the cover of Deathly Hallows. Stone has a sunset in the background. DH has a sunrise in the background. Symbolically, you'd think it should be the other way around, until you realize every end is a beginning and vice-versa. The end of the Marauders is the beginning of Harry Potter. The end of his story is a new beginning for the wizarding world.
Another way to take this bit of symbolism is that the series, metaphorically, is a descent into the dark of night (Voldemort's second reign). Harry going to school in the first book means that the prophecies (etc.) about Voldemort and Harry are going to come true, soon, and so the 'day' that happened after Voldemort's first reign of terror was ending. As others have mentioned, the artwork gets progressively darker, until things are "darkest before the dawn", like in the sixth book when Death Eaters have killed Dumbledore and are actively taking over the Ministry. Finally, in DH, the long night of Voldemort is over, and so the cover shows the dawning of a new, Voldemort-free day.
The covers were all done by the same artist, Mary GrandPré. She uses a more mature style as the series progresses and the story lines become more mature.
Alan Rickman does a great job of capturing Snape's complex character. So much so that watching the film version of Order Of The Phoenix and watching his scenes involving the Occlumency lessons makes you realize: Snape shows almost genuine worry for Harry, describing what Voldemort could do if he got into Harry's head. He also seems to disparage traits associated with James or Sirius (such as being sentimental, foolhardy, or arrogant), whilst also praising traits such as self-control, mastery of the mind, and other such traits... that could easily be associated with Lily's strengths!
Rickman was the only person besides JKR who knew that Snape had been in love with Lily before Deathly Hallows came out, so not only was JKR dropping hints in all of the books, Rickman has been dropping some very subtle hints in his performance. The only character movie!Snape ever looks in the eyes is Harry.
Mad Eye turning Malfoy into a ferret seems funny at first. But Malfoy's a daddy's boy, and Moody is actually Barty Crouch Jr, who hates the Death Eaters who abandoned Voldemort, Lucius being one of them. When Draco mentions his father, “Moody” gets even angrier, because Lucius has made so much money out of not being loyal to Voldemort. Barty Crouch, Jr. was jealous of Draco.
In Deathly Hallows, Xenophilius tells the story of the three brothers. One died for power (elder wand), one died for love (resurrection stone), and one greeted death like an old friend. In the final battle for Hogwarts, three very important characters die: Voldemort for power, Snape for love, and Harry greets death like an old friend.
In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Draco Malfoy seems a funny character. But seen in the series as a whole, Draco Malfoy seems to be crafted into a classic Threshold Guardian, as every decision Harry made in book one that defined him as a hero for most of the school year happened in response to Draco being a douche.
At the end of the last book/film, when Harry died, he was allowed to choose whether he wanted to stay dead or come back to life for the final battle against Voldemort. This was because at the time, he was the owner of the invisibility cloak, the resurrection stone and the elder wand. He was the master of death, that's why he got to choose for himself whether to live or die, even in the face of an avada kedavra curse.
The symbolism of the wands. Voldemort's wand was made of Yew, the whole "death tree symbolism", but his and Harry's wands were connected by the same phoenix, the bird of rebirth -the whole "horcruxes of each other" thing with the core being the same and all phoenix-connected, and Harry's wand was made of Holly, connected to rebirth in several mythologies including Christianity, to mirror Voldemort's wand. Because even though they both come back, Harry's the one who ultimately lives.
Lily Potter's wand was made of willow, which is traditionally associated with healing, protection and love. Her last act on Earth was to give her son the protection of her love. Also Elder (sometimes known as witchwood) is linked magically to protection, often against lightning strike, but bad luck will fall on anyone who uses it without permission. In other words, Voldemort's use of a wand that wasn't strictly his brought about his death via a certain young man with a lightning scar.
The Elder Wand's core is of thestral hair. Thestrals can only be seen by those who have both witnessed and accepted the reality of death. Voldemort has never accepted death as anything but a disgrace or something to be defied, so has never accepted its reality despite having murdered hundreds of people. Harry, though he's only seventeen, has witnessed many, many deaths, accepted it can't be undone or defied, and walked uncomplainingly to his own death. Guess which one of them understands the Elder Wand's inner nature, and is worthy to receive it?
In Half-Blood Prince. The scene involving Harry making Dumbledore drink the potion was nasty enough to begin with, but it becomes much worse when you realize what that potion actually does, as hinted by the flashbacks in Deathly Hallows: It makes you live through your worst memories over and over, presumably worse each time.
General Part 3
People's predictions aren't as far-fetched as they seem. At every opportunity starting with Harry's first divination class in Prisoner of Azkaban, Trelawny has insisted that Harry will die a premature death (with one exception in Order of the Phoenix). Guess what? He does. She also references the Grim, which is supposed to herald death, and he even sees it a few times, but it turns out to be Sirius — whom Harry sees before he dies. Also, in Half Blood Prince, Dumbledore says that Slughorn has a knack for predicting who will go on to become famous. Slughorn then invites Ginny to his elite club after witnessing her Bat-Bogey hex. Fast forward to the epilogue, Ginny's become the senior Quidditch correspondent for the Daily Prophet after a successful career with the Holyhead Harpies team and is the wife of the most famous wizard of all time: Harry Potter. Not only that, but Harry and Ron's predictions for each other also come true: Ron predicts Harry will have a 'windfall of unexpected gold' and the next year Harry wins a thousand Galleons in the Triwizard Cup. Harry predicts that Ron will face 'trials and suffering' but also have 'great happiness.' Ron suffers as much as anyone in the series (apart from Harry himself perhaps), but in the end lives happily ever after with his hot nerd love, Hermione. Dynamic Dragon
Remember how Trelawney in Prisoner of Azkaban makes a big fuss of there being thirteen people at the dinner table, because the first to rise will die? In Order of the Phoenix there are thirteen people at dinner in Grimmauld Place: Harry, Hermione, Ron, Ginny, Fred, George, Bill, Arthur, Molly, Mundungus, Tonks, Remus and Sirius and Sirius rises first. Also J K Rowling is oft quoted on fan rumour pages as saying that a huge fan of Harry's was going to die. People took this to mean Colin Creevey or Ginny, but as she says in Order of the Phoenix Harry is the person Sirius most cares about. - Sweet-Indigo
Other prophecies no one gave credence to that came true: 1. Harry made up that the Griffin he saw in his Orb during his Divination exam was flying away. This seems to be a stubborn reflection of his hopes that Buckbeak will live. But that is exactly what happens. 2. Trelawney predicts the end of Half Blood Prince when Harry encounters Trelawny she is playing with a pack of cards and predicts the events at the end of the book (not even she believed it though). 3. In The Sorcerer's Stone the centaur's always say "Mars is bright tonight". Mars is the Roman god of war. They are predicting the oncoming war of the last books. - Kyos Ballerina
Sure, it was easy enough to accept that Snape hated Neville because he was a Gryffindor, he was incompetent, and he was available, but it wasn't until some time after reading Deathly Hallows that it becomes clear that his particular hatred for Neville was due to his belief that if Neville had been the Chosen One named in the prophecy - that if Voldemort had decided to attack the Longbottoms instead of the Potters - Lily would still be alive. - knave
After reading the seventh book, Snape's hatred for Harry is seen in a different light. Not only did Harry have his mother's eyes and look like his father (reinforcing the bond they had and the fact that Snape would never see Lily again), but he also might have been Snape's son in a different world. Hard to be friends with a kid like that. —Serene Shadow
If you read "The Prince's Tale" with the mindset of "Snape views Dumbledore as a father figure" (which, considering Snape's real father, is not that far-fetched of an assumption), it adds a whole new dimension to Snape's resentment of Harry: Snape is very much the "Well Done, Son!" Guy, constantly putting his life on the line for Dumbledore and doing everything he asks, which condemns him to a life of being hated by the entire Wizarding World when he kills Dumbledore, while Harry (in Snape's mind) will do much of the same and be worshipped by the Wizarding World, because everyone wants to see Voldemort killed. (Unfortunately, this makes Dumbledore seem pretty cold and even more manipulative than he already is, because it reads as though he deliberately took advantage of Snape's desperation for approval by a father-figure and tormented him with it.)
On the first trip on the Hogwart's Express, Ron has a smudge on his nose that won't come off. If you pay close attention to the conversation on the platform, it seems to be implied that the twins put the smudge on as a practical joke. - Comic Book Goddess
In Prisoner of Azkaban, when Snape confronts Sirius, he says: "Give me a reason. Give me a reason to do it and I swear I will." Pretty harsh, but remember, this is the guy that almost got Snape eaten by a werewolf. Then in Goblet of Fire and Order of The Phoenix, they're a bit more civil to each other, but still obviously carrying grudges. Fast forward to Deathly Hallowsand Harry's magical mystery tour through Snape's memories shows him that Snape was in love with Lily. And the realization hits with a big KA-BOOM. Like the entire rest of the magical world, Snape had thought that Sirius betrayed the Potters and was responsible for Lily's death, and only found out the truth after Voldemort's return (when he went to Voldemort two hours after the Triwizard final and would have seen Pettigrew there). Instantly did two things: put a whole new spin on that entire confrontation, and made you realize how far in advance JKR had planned out the whole thing. — DiScOrD tHe LuNaTiC
Also, Snape was in the Shrieking Shack while Sirius and Lupin were explaining the whole thing. The creak in the stairwell that is heard is Snape. He was late to the party, however, and only heard about his childhood days at Hogwarts: nothing about the Secret Keeper. He still thought Black was the one who betrayed the Potter's and that he was deluding Harry, Hermione, and Ron. - mermaidgirl45
Given that both are muggle-borns and teen geniuses, Snape's nasty treatment of Hermione might not be just because he's a jerkass, but also because she reminds him of Lily, and he's probably angered by her friendship with Harry (who of course reminds him of James Potter)- Jordan
At first it seem that Voldemort's line "Stand aside, you foolish girl" and offering to spare Lily's life was unimportant. Then Deathly Hallows rolls around, and Snape admits he begged Voldemort for Lily's life. Because of this, he offered to spare Lily if she let him kill Harry, and she offered herself in place. When he killed her he essentially accepted the bargain, and then went back on it, which was why the spell backfired. Because Snape asked for Lily to live, Harry is the Chosen One! It could never have been anyone else.That is brilliant. -Darkloid_Blues
Luna was shot from either knee or waist height, or from a distance so that her feet was out of focus in the film adaptation of "Order of the Phoenix". The only time that the camera showed her feet clearly was when she and Harry were in the Forbidden Forest, surrounded by the Thestrals, and Harry asked why she was barefoot.
In Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix. by rallying against Umbridge, they were rallying against the Ministry. If Umbridge hadn't been the DADA teacher, there would have been no reason for Dumbledore's Army to form. Dumbledore's Army was kind of its own family, and Umbridge helped form an allegiance between the entire student body and the teachers, as well as the ghosts. Without the family of DA or the entire schoolwide allegiance already established, nobody besides a few teachers would have been so willing to take up arms against Voldemort, both at the Battle of the Astronomy Tower, or the Second Wizarding War. Harry's support system would have been severely diminished, especially at the end of the seventh book. Harry would probably have not so eagerly led a group in rebellion, if it hadn't been for Dumbledore's Army. Basically, the whole reason anything in the sixth or seventh book worked at all, not to mention with as relatively few casualties there were, was because of Umbridge, and her Ripple Effect over the entire school in the fifth book. Jo, you are one clever bastard. katzgoboo
Take a good look at the prophecy lines "marked as his equal" and "has power he knows not". First, consider that Harry was a horcrux, which meant he couldn't kill Voldemort without dying first, whereas Voldemort clearly had no such restriction...making them not necessarily equals. Secondly, due to Voldemort's obsessive belief that Harry was the chosen one, it meant that he disregarded most everyone else's abilities as irrelevant. Now look at Neville, who 1) would be free to defeat Voldemort without dying, and 2) clearly not deemed as important to Voldemort, would possess abilities which Voldemort did not know what they were. In short, up until the very end, it was still up in the air exactly whom the prophecy applied to. - Totemic Hero
General Part 4
There was more to Harry's angst in Order of the Phoenix than just being a broody teenager. In Deathly Hallows, while taking turns wearing the locket Horcrux, whoever is wearing it feels miserable, and their situation seems even worse than it is (and it's pretty bad to begin with). Near the end of Deathly Hallows, we learn that part of Voldemort's soul is attached to Harry's soul. So imagine having the locket Horcrux inside you at all times with no way to remove it. And this was coupled with the fact that Voldemort had come back to full power, which strengthened the connection between his soul and the piece of it in Harry. So it wasn't just Harry wangsting and whining, it was being so close to Voldemort that it made everything seem worse to him. This also opens up more Fridge Brilliance about why Harry was more upset over Cedric's death than Sirius's. Because of Harry's connection with Voldemort, it made Cedric's death more tragic to him than to anyone else, except probably Cho. Harry was very upset after Sirius died at the end of Order of the Phoenix, but didn't seem to be afterwards. Voldemort started using Occlumency against Harry sometime between the fifth and sixth books. When Harry took off the locket in Deathly Hallows, he immediately felt much less miserable. After being directly connected to Voldemort's soul for an entire year, having Voldemort blocking himself from it was enough of a relief that he was able to get over Sirius's death faster than he could have with Cedric's. -Giga Metroid 99
JKR is known for her placement of Chekhov's Guns throughout the novels, like the locket and the diary, which are given an importance later on (though in the case of the diary, it was more of an explanation for why it could do what it did). And the reason Harry was able to get glimpses of Voldemort's plans... was because he was bonded to Voldemort... as a Horcrux. -The Otaku Ninja
When Petunia reveals that she knows what Dementors are (in the 5th book), she blushes and says "I heard that...awful boy telling her years ago" and Harry angrily says "If you mean my dad, just say his name". But after you read the 7th book, you discover that she didn't mean James at all. She was referring to Snape. It's a brilliant reference that frames the relationship between Lily, Snape, and Petunia, seeming like a useless remark from both characters until you read the last book.
The entire "Snape's Worst Memory" sequence was set up to be much more meaningful in hindsight. At first, it appears that it is his worst memory simply because it shows him being bullied by James and his friends and ostracized at school. His encounter with Lily is just an afterthought as Harry is pulled out of the memory. Harry angsts about his father not being the hero he had pictured, and we move on. However, we later find out that this was his worst memory because, in an angry attempt to save face, he called Lily, his best friend who he had loved for years, a "filthy Mudblood", ruining their friendship (since he had already been hanging out with anti-Muggle, future-Death-Eater students who Lily hated, this was the last straw) and destroying his chances at being with her.-Kiirii XVI
In the film version of Goblet of Fire,FakeMoody does a pitch-perfect imitation of Hagrid saying "Marvelous Creatures, Dragons." While kind of cool, it seemed to serve no real purpose. But: While in the book series the Polyjuice Potion changes people both externally and internally, it's established in the film versions of Chamber and Hallows that Film!Polyjuice DOES NOT CHANGE YOUR VOICE. Thus, Barty Crouch Jr. was set up as being adept at Vocal Mimicry, another reason he was able to successfully pass as Moody. As much as I hate the film representation of the Junior Crouch, this was a neat little final clue before the potion wore off. - Goblin27
It seemed at first that Voldemort cursed the position of the DADA teacher purely out of spite (if I can't have it, nobody can). Then, after the evidences of abysmal ineptitude of the general wizarding population were presented (like the Ministry of Magic having to buy hats imbued with a Shield Charm from a prank shop), the strategic magnificence of V's move becomes clear. He ensured that the DADA classes would become a total mess, no consistent teaching routine would be possible and before long the school would run out of decent DADA teachers completely, thus dealing a crushing blow to the opposition. - Gess
W Sirus' nickname Padfoot seems just a sort of pun like the rest of them because dogs have padded feet.But in some British Isles mythology, the black dog is a death avatar that goes by many different names. One of them happens to be Padfoot. Now Trelawney's prediction makes a lot more sense. Sirus also is a death avatar; his friends from school all die rather violent deaths, so does Harry, and his cousin Tonks. - ashilles
Ron mentioned in Deathly Hallows that Voldemort had made his own name taboo—that is, if anyone said it, it would automatically dispatch the Snatchers, who would then rough them up (or, if it turned out to be Harry, turn his ass in). He not only finds a way to separate Harry from everyone else (because he knows Harry's one of the few who has the balls to say the name), he also mocks Harry's (and by extension Dumbledore's) bravery. He wants to keep the wizarding world in a constant state of fear, and creating such an intense fear of his name alone is, in my opinion, sheer, terrifying genius. We're often told that Voldemort is super intelligent and super evil, but details like this really show it. -Maiira
Throughout the series characters speculate on why Dumbledore never gives Snape the Defense Against the Dark Arts job. Generally, the idea is that Dumbledore doesn't trust him near the subject. Actually, its' because Dumbledore knew the job was jinxed so that no one would last more than a year, so he put off giving it to Snape to make sure Snape was always around...until there came a time when he knew that Snape would be leaving before the end of the year anyway.
Lily might have been so good at potions (according to Slughorn) because she was friends with Snape. If that's the case, then Slughorn was right about Harry being just like his mother. They both got their potions skills from the Half Blood Prince.
The Marauders are first mentioned in Prisoner of Azkaban in the order "Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs". This just happens to be the reverse of the order in which they die - James first, then fourteen years later Sirius, then two years later Peter at Malfoy Manor, then a few weeks later Remus during the final battle. - Bulbaquil
We find out in the epilogue of Deathly Hallows that Neville became the herbology professor at Hogwarts. However, Word of God stated that he served briefly as an auror. Although he proved in the books to be adept at both herbology and auror-ing, it seems a bit of a strange career change to make. Then I realized it would make perfect sense if he ever found out his wife Hannah was pregnant — Neville was probably worried about being in such a high-risk profession, not out of fear for his own safety, but because he didn't want his kids to grow up without a father the way he had to.
Why is Hermione still a buck-toothed geek in her fourth year? Because her Muggle dentist parents want her to stay with braces. Why do they want her to have braces instead of the inordinately faster, cheaper, and more painless shrinking of her front teeth? Because they haven't figured out all the little exploits of magic yet, or don't want to figure it out. - Landis
The first thing we ever learn about Uncle Vernon is that he works at a company which manufactures drills. That's right: Uncle Vernon's job is literally boring.
Why is Harry the one who has to look for the Horcruxes (and Hallows)? Because he's a great seeker. It could have been indirectly foreshadowed as far back as when he first attempted to catch his letters from Hogwarts. Although that's a stretch.
General Part 5
Why does Hermione stick with Harry after Ron leaves? Remember how she had no friends before Harry and Ron in school? Also compare Harry's fallouts with Hermione in the third book and Ron in the fourth. Ron hangs around with his brothers and the boys in the class. Hermione meanwhile is left on her own - and it's her own fault. She alienates Harry after the Crookshanks incident but has learned her lesson by the sixth book. This time when she and Ron fall out, Harry still sticks by her somewhat. He's the first true friend she has ever had and she's repaying that by sticking with him. More importantly, she remembers how she felt when Harry and Ron weren't speaking to her. She knows how awful it feels to be alone and thinking your best friends hate you. She never goes back to being truly alone so it must have been truly horrible for her. She won't let Harry go through that as well in the middle of a Wizarding War.
Hermione's loyalty to Harry is also symbolic within the text. As Dumbledore later points out, she serves as the tempering, grounded influence that Dumbledore should've been to his former friend Grindelwald. While the two characters aren't especially close, Hermione definitely has seems to embody Dumbledore's more rational side who at one point has to convince Harry to keep his focus on the Horcuxes rather than the Hallows.
So when Voldemort went to kill baby Harry, he intended for that death to become his 6th horcrux — splitting his soul 7 ways. We don't actually know which item he intended to turn into a horcrux, though. We DO know he wanted to use items that belonged to the founders, and the Potters lived at Godric's Hollow.
Harry's ultimate plan for the Elder Wand was to put it back where it was, and die a natural death undefeated in order to break its power. On the surface, and given Word of God that he becomes an Auror, this seems like a bad plan. But the Elder Wand's ownership passes from one owner to the other upon the first person's defeat or murder. The opponent doesn't even need to know what they'd done, as proven by both Harry and Malfoy doing it by accident. So in the event Harry is ever defeated, possession would go to that person, and if that person were defeated, it would go to whoever beat him, and so on and so on until the Elder Wand's power is effectively broken by the simple fact that nobody knows who's supposed to be using the thing. — Sgamer82
In the Half-Blood Prince movie, when Dumbledore is trying to convince Draco that he doesn't have to kill him he says "Years ago, I knew a boy who made all the wrong choices, please don't become him." He seems to be referring to Tom Riddle, especially since this echoes his words at the welcoming feast in the beginning of the movie. However, I realized that it makes more sense if he's referring to Regulus Black. There are very few parallels between Draco and Tom Riddle, while Word of God has said that Draco and Regulus are very similar. They both got in a little too deep, but they weren't prepared for the consequences. Dumbledore doesn't seem to see Draco as someone who could possibly become the next dark lord. He seems to see that he's trapped and wants to help him. As far as Dumbledore knows, Regulus is a boy who made the 'wrong choice' to join the Death Eaters, got too far in, backed out, and got killed for it. Dumbledore doesn't want Draco to suffer the same fate, and perhaps wishes to offer Draco the protection he couldn't give to Regulus. - That Crazy Girl With Glasses
Just a small one from Chamber of Secrets: the flying car plummets out of the sky at the precise moment that it crosses the boundary of the Hogwarts grounds. That is, when it hits the various enchantments and protections, negating its Hovering Charms.
In the first book, it's easy to a small detail with Hagrid showing up at the cabin at the sea; namely, the fact that Vernon Dursley had a gun. This was a big deal: there is a strict gun ban in the UK. Vernon is so paranoid that he resorted to criminal acts in order to protect himself. - The Albino Primid
Slytherins are ambitious, but it's not the way one first things when asked to describe someone whose defining trait is ambition. They're grabbing what power they can in any way they can. Crabbe and Goyle didn't subjugate themselves under Malfoy because they're minions, they did so because they were presumably taught from a young age that they would be nothing on their own, and they could only grasp power by being the (non-intellectual) giants on whose shoulders Draco stood while holding onto his bootstraps as he rises to the top. Petty, cruel bullies like Pansy Parkinson and overtly violent bullies like Millicent Bulstrode push everyone else down; they are ambitious in the short-sighted way that bullies in high school, middle school/junior high, and even elementary school are bullies. As long as they're better than any random person, and especially anyone who stands against them (thus challenging their dominance), and can prove it one way or another, that's all they need to be better than everyone. Even Draco in the sixth and seventh books is showing ambition (a steady and sharp decline from his lofty expectations of the first couple or few books), be it in an increasingly desperate way: he's still playing the field as of the end of the sixth book, not necessarily hesitating out of courage or loyalty and certainly not hesitating because he calculated his best odds of survival, and by the time of the seventh book he's doing everything he can to survive under Voldemort's reign (until the Power of Love prompts a change in philosphy). If the houses were more integrated, Slytherin would probably pick off the easiest-to-manipulate First Years from Hufflepuff, but as it is, there are too many aspiring leaders and not enough lackeys so nobody (except Draco, who got Crabbe and Goyle ahead of time thanks to family connections) can build up enough of a power base to get out of the Crab Bucket. -JET73L
Ron Weasley as a Keeper? Brilliant. At first, it seemed like an odd position for Ron to take (considering his portrayal, he always seemed like more of a get-up-in-front Chaser type, like Ginny). However, remember the Chess Motifs. Ron, while by no means a genius on par with Slytherin cunning, is shown to have a talent for tactics, and has always stood behind Harry by "having his back". Just like a King would on the chessboard. Ron's position in Quidditch? He's a keeper, which requires him to stay in one spot and guard the goals. If he didn't have his team's back by doing that, the opposing team would simply keep scoring. Just like a King would on the chessboard. What song do the Slytherins sing, later to be modified and made awesome by the Gryffindors? Weasley is our KING. Mind=Blown.
Given that Ron mentions his brothers always made him play Keeper when they used him in practice, he likely chose it since it's what he has the most experience in. Then there's the fact that when he joined, it was the only opening.
The reason Harry and Ginny's relationship doesn't get as fleshed out as some people would like is that those are their moments. Harry's famous (both in-series and out), but it's mentioned that the moments he has with Ginny are just ordinary, sweet, romantic moments, and he feels as if they were stolen from the life of someone without a lightning scar. The author decided to give Harry some privacy. It's not just lazy writing—Harry's relationship with Cho Chang got plenty of development before it crashed and burned.
Not to mention the fact that Ginny and Harry aren't exactly strangers by the time they finally start going out. A lot of the fleshing out of their eventual relationship was done before the relationship became official. Another thing that wasn't described in detail was Ginny and Harry's interactions when they lived together in the Burrow over the course of several weeks every year. Starting with Chamber of Secrets, Harry's at the Burrow or otherwise living with the Weasleys for the majority of each summer and every single winter holiday. By contrast, Cho's attraction to Harry, not counting her complicated emotional state, looks that much more shallow.
In an old (pre-"Order of the Phoenix") chat interview, someone asked about Riddle's mention (in "Chamber of Secrets") of Hagrid raising werewolf cubs under his bed, and whether they were "the same kind of werewolves" as Lupin. Rowling stated that this never happened: "Riddle was telling lies about Hagrid, just slandering him". Of course, back in "Chamber of Secrets" no one would have batted an eye at a mention of werewolf cubs, but Professor Lupin gets introduced later and we find out that werewolves are really just people with an incurable magical disease. To call their children "cubs" and imply that they can be raised under a bed like dogs is seriously offensive Fantastic Racism, but coming from the young Voldemort, it's no surprise. It's also consistent with the way Voldemort uses Fenrir Greyback, a werewolf who's succumbed to and embraced his animalism, essentially as a dog to bite and frighten his enemies.
In Order of the Phoenix, when Molly Weasley encounters a Boggart in a locked cabinet, we're told what forms it takes - the lifeless bodies of her family: Ron, Bill, Arthur, Fred and George, Percy, and finally Harry. Did you notice that one tiny detail? Fred and George. Not even in Mrs. Weasley's worst nightmares could she imagine the twins being separated. -iheardavoice
Dumbledore, Riddle (Voldemort), Snape and Harry are four of the important characters in the series, and shared more than a few similarities. All four could be considered the best representatives of their respective generations. All four were half-bloods. All four considered Hogwarts their true home.
Lily and Petunia (and Narcissa) have flower names. Sure, but there's nothing really brilliant about it - until you think about the flower meanings of both. One of the meanings of the lily is death, the petunia can mean anger and resentment, and the narcissus means selfishness that leads to tragedy.
While still irresponsible, Fudge's skepticism regarding Harry's assertion that Voldemort was back makes a lot more sense when you consider what had happened (or, as it turns out, Snape convinced him had happened) the previous year: specifically, that Harry had been confunded by Sirius to convince him that the guy was innocent. We don't know a whole lot about the mechanics of the Confundus Charm, but just look at Dawlish's experience with it in Deathly Hallows, where being charmed lets everyone and their grandma (literally, in Neville's case) get the drop on him. Throw in Rita Skeeter's various articles throughout Goblet of Fire, and it's not that surprising that Fudge would see Harry as mentally addled at best, crazy at worst. All the evidence was indicative of just that!
Why would Voldemort, who Dumbledore claims is afraid of the idea of death, use Inferi (AKA Dead bodies reanimated by magic)? You would think that the Inferi would remind him that no matter how much magic someone has, they will still die. But it makes sense when you consider that Voldemort uses them to convince himself that he has some sort of control over death.
Who Hermione would have become if she hadn't befriended Ron and Harry : Percy Weasley. And that explain why Ron made her cry so easily. He struck right where it hurt immediately and didn't even think about it probably because that's how Percy is treated in his family (notably by the twins). The fact that Hermione realized that those two were ready to risk their lives to save her made her lie to protect them in return and generally gave her the first clue that rules aren't always the most important things which gave her the chance to prove how remarkable she could be under her bossiness. It's sad that Percy never had the chance to show this. .
The dormitories for Gryffindor and Ravenclaw are above ground in towers, while those for Hufflepuff and Slytherin are in the cellars. This arrangement corresponds to each House's animal mascot: lions like to stand atop tall rocks to survey their territory and eagles perch on clifftops or trees, whereas badgers and many species of snakes retreat underground to sleep.
It is heavily implied by various official sources that in the H.P universe JKR is a squib who wrote Harry Potter's biography and sold it to the muggles as fiction. This is wonderful because imagine the sheer joy of all the muggleborns who will be told the world of their favorite book is absolutely real. It also means that explaining the ins and outs of the wizarding world will be much simpler than before the books were published. Despite this, prime ministers will have an even harder time believing what they are told on their first night "Harry Potter really exists! Don't be ridiculous"
Hermione's patronus is an otter, and otters are members of the weasel family. Yet more proof of whom she'd marry!
A typical fanfiction device to vilify Dumbledore is that he never allowed Sirius to have a trial and didn't stop Fudge's manhunt in spite of being the head of the legislative/judicial branch of the Ministry. British law allows for bills of attainder (in short, someone who has confessed treason or murder can be chucked in prison without trial): Crouch had the Wizengamot pass a bill of attainder on Sirius based on him 'confessing' on sixteen separate felonies (the murders of Peter and twelve Muggles and aiding the murders of the Potters and Harry's attempted murder) before various witnesses, including Fudge. Meaning that, without either Wormtail being confirmed alive or a witness coming out and saying that Sirius' confession was actually him blaming himself for not having stopped the murders, Dumbledore has no way to give him a trial.
How did James and Lily wind up together, when James was a Jerk Jock and Lily was a loyal friend who would fiercely stand up for what is right? Well... they're not that different. They're both very loyal to their friends, even when those friends betray them, they're both very intelligent, quite popular (though, as a muggle-born, Lily still may have felt like an outcast like Snape did), magically talented, and pretty brave. They're very much two sides of the same coin; Lily uses her personality for good, and James abuses it and becomes a Jerk Jock. But then James undergoes Character Development, and it's only then that Lily begins to think of him than something other than an 'arrogant toerag.' The central theme to the books is that choices make people who they are, not inborn traits— Lily and James both made choices that made them the people who they were, and James's choices led to Lily finally falling for him!
In the movies, the Death Eaters' appearances were modeled after the Nazis and KKK. It made the comparisons to those organizations a little to blatant and Anvilicious. But dressing up like the Nazis and KKK would work to frighten and intimidate muggles and muggle-borns, the Death Eaters' primary victims, who would have knowledge of these groups from muggle history.
Several people have complained about the wizarding world only giving 7 years of formal education. This is internally consistent. In half blood prince Voldemort says that 7 is the most magically powerful number. If the nonmagical world discovered that x number of years of education is ideal, then we would ensure that people received x number of years of formal education. -timeaesnyx
A lot of people find it surprising that muggle-borns like Lily or Hermione can be so adept at magic. Well, it's not that they're naturally gifted with magic, they're just better at school because they've had five or six years of muggle education, which taught them skills like basic writing and academic discipline. Their wizard-raised counterparts are just starting school for the first time, and therefore have yet to adapt to the academic environment. If you compare Ron, Harry, and Hermione, you'll note that they're all pretty intelligent, but Hermione has more discipline as she applies herself most at schoolwork and is a good writer. Ron, on the other hand, is very lazy and clueless when it comes to writing essays. Harry's somewhere in the middle, as he did go to muggle school but probably didn't get as much out of it as Hermione because of mistreatment by both the Dursleys and other kids.
And why don't most pure-blood wizarding children go to Muggle primary school? Because the pure-bloods are generally seen as the WW's "aristocracy" (old and often powerful families), and until extremely recently, all aristocratic children were schooled at home until they were old enough for a school like Eton or Harrow.
The brilliance of the book order. Of course, as most of us know, Cedric Diggory dies in Book 4... which is the Wham Episode that changes the whole tone of the series. There are more deaths in books 5 and 6, and characters we've come to know well literally start dropping like flies in Book 7. But before all of this was Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. One of the running themes in the book series — really from Dumbledore's discussion with Harry from the ending of Philosopher's Stone — is of death being a part of life and really not being the worst thing in the world. Before the first major character death in Book 4, you have book 3, which stands out as the oddball in the series for being the only one where Harry does not have a direct confrontation with Voldemort. What he does face, however, are the dementors, and becomes more afraid of them than possible death at Voldemort's hand, which, second to The Power of Love, is the thing that makes him best equipped to stop Voldemort - especially in Book 7 when he's required to stand at the business end of an Avada Kedavra curse to destroy Voldemort's last horcrux.
Avada Kedavra. The most feared spell in the entire wizarding community isn't the one that gives you complete control of another, or one that fills them with mind-breaking pain. It's an unblockable killing curse. Why? There are many worse curses that kill in much more unpleasant ways (burning, crushing, freezing) but a spell that kills someone so quickly they don't even feel it is punishable with a life sentence. In the Muggle World, while it might be disliked, no country would ever outlaw it. It's too humane a method of killing. But wizards haven't fought the large scale style battles muggles have. Their warfare is mostly one on one or one on a few duels. The fate of an entire country would be decided by one unblockable lucky shot. Obviously that couldn't be allowed.
It goes far deeper than that. Using it is an automatic proof of a premediated murder ("you have to mean it"). Which, as is shown in the books, damages the caster's soul. Other two Unforgivable Curses are also single-use spells with severely adverse effects. Compare with a Stunning spell, which can be lethal but it is not its basic function.
It makes perfect sense that Harry, Ron and Hermione don't use guns to fight Voldemort/Death Eaters. Those from purely wizarding families like Ron wouldn't even understand what a gun is, let alone think it would be any help (and those like Voldemort would actively disdain relying on something invented by Muggles). Meanwhile, Harry and Hermione (despite having Muggle backgrounds), completely lack the criminal/questionable contacts necessary to get their hands on a gun (assuming they could even work it and resupply bullets). Lastly, wands have multiple functions in combat (like disarming, confusing or stunning an enemy). Guns can only kill or maim, which is what Harry and friends avoid doing.
Harry thinks of Snape as a Sadist Teacher and is devastated when he becomes the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, but when you think about it he's the only one out of six teachers who hasn't tried to kill and/or injure Harry directly.
Harry´s explosive temper seems a bit odd, being him (generally) a calm and quiet boy. But then you remember he´s lived with Vernon his complete life and it´s a lot more sense. First, he´s been repressed to express any feeling and second, that is the only way he knows to canalize his anger. Not to mention that being too close to one of Voldemort's soul fragments for too long is explicitly said to negatively influence emotions... Harry's got one living inside of him.
It's a good way of showing how biased Snape is when he awards House Points towards his own house and unfairly takes points from others, giving Slytherin an unfair advantage in the House Cup... or using blatant cheating and trickery to give an ambitious advantage to his house, in no uncertain words. No wonder Slytherin won 7 years straight!
But there's practically never been an instance when Snape has actually awarded Slytherin points, no matter how much it seems like that.
An extra possibility for why Harry and Hermione didn't happen. At the end of the sixth book, Harry alludes to Ginny being "tough" as one of the things he loves about her. As in, he likes that she's rarely weepy. In the previous book, Harry found all of Cho's crying very unattractive - and it was one of the things that turned him off her. Hermione...well let's face it, the girl is very dramatic. She cries openly in front of Harry and Ron several times. So Harry not liking the crying type is another reason why he doesn't have an interest in Hermione. Note that when Harry is confronted with a crying girl, he behaves very awkwardly and wishes for it to be over. But when Ron is, he comforts said girl.
The Dursley's mistreatment of Harry is seen as being because they're small-minded bigots. Petunia is later shown to have loved her sister Lily. They were probably very close, since Lily wrote and asked about Petunia coming to Hogwarts with her and Petunia being so upset about not being allowed to go. Petunia hates magic because she sees it as what destroyed her relationship with her sister and as what ultimately got her sister killed. This is why she's shown to dislike Harry. It's not him, it's what he has; magic.
What was the date of Voldemort's first defeat? October 31, or Halloween. What's the term 'Halloween' short for? All Hallows Eve.
The prophecy: "One must kill the other, for neither can live while the other survives". The repetition of "the other" is not at all a coincidence. One [Voldemort] must kill the other [Harry], for neither can live... *Beat* ... while the other [still Harry] survives.
Voldemort was born at the end of 1926, which is the Year of the Tiger in Chinese zodiology. Dumbledore was born in 1881, the Year of the Snake. By that little tidbit, Dumbledore should have been the Slytherin Dark Lord! "It is our choices that define who we are far more than our abilities", indeed!
The Weasley clan's Family Theme Naming is a bit subtler than most of the examples of that trope in this series, but it's clear that they're all named after British royalty and/or Arthurian heroes: the patriarch of the family is "Arthur", the sole daughter is "Ginevra" (Guinevere), the middle son is "Percy" (Percival), and the others are "Bill" (William), "Charlie" (Charles), "Fred" (Frederick), and "George" (...George). It can seem a bit odd that the most prominent member of the family, Ron, is the only one whose name doesn't follow the pattern. That's not an accident: it's a hint that Ron considers himself The Unfavorite, as the naming choice marks him as the odd man out.
A sort of general one, in the first book, Hagrid casts several spells with his broken wand, and a few of them without incantations. We're given evidence that silent spells are difficult and don't seem to be cast until about sixth year. Hagrid was expelled in third year, but casts with an advanced technique with a broken wand. What does that say about Hagrid as a wizard?
A lot of people have mocked Dumbledore's idea that "the power he knows not" was love, but think about it this way. How does Harry defeat his challenges? In every year, Harry needs the help of his friends to survive and win. What does Harry have that Voldemort never could? He has allies, comrades, friends. The Power of Love is not, in the end, some kind of mystical spell, but the simple ability to make friends who can aid Harry in his quests.
Unsorted because it really applies to two books. In book one, the Dursleys said that they meant to 'squash' the magic out of Harry with years of abuse. Come book six we meet the Gaunts, where we learn that such a thing is all too possible.
The very concept of the Wizarding World is Fridge Horror. Think about it. A bunch of people, who at best either know nothing about us at all or regard us in an extreamly condescending way, secretly Mind Rape us into not realizing they exist. And then they say we deserve not to know based on the logical fallacy that we wouldn't "believe" in magic sufficiently enough anyway, whatever that's supposed to mean.
Hagrid's reply to Harry when he asks why [the Wizarding World is hidden from the normal world] is that people would want magical solutions for all their problems, and it's a perfectly reasonable claim.
You know how "Avada Kedavra" sounds a lot like "Abra Kedabra"? The obvious implication is that someone heard the phrase, didn't know it's implications but knew it sounded/meant something awesome, and it got passed onto fake magicians as a catch phrase. The horror comes from the fact that it's now a common catch phrase and analogous to the sound of a magic gun going off. In book 7, dark wizards could accidentally return fire on muggle kids who scream it too loudly. Inquisitors are bound to shackle up street performers who use it in gambling alleyways (remember that inquisitors live long and leave their atticks clean of pop-culture, Holmes style). AND NOW HAPPY-GO-LUCKY TRICK MAGICIANS AROUND THE WORLD ARE CONSTANTLY SAYING "PLEASE #$%^ THIS SAWED WOMAN TO DEATH".
Let's think for a moment about how the wizarding world as a whole behaved in the past, if the one phrase almost everyone associates with magic is a corrupted form of the words of an unblockable deathspell. And . .. with Lockhart and a few others, we are shown quite well what unscrupulous wizards can do, and do routinely. Suddenly, the efforts of the Holy Inquisition in rooting them out seem genuinely heroic, in the universe Rowling has written.
Consider the following: Voldemort had an army. In order for someone to have an army - and to even spend some time with power in their hands - there has to be at least some measurable degree of support. In the real world, even the most horrid regimes are supported, if not by a majority, by a loud and not-too-small minority of the people in it - or they would simply fall apart in a few days rather than in a few years. It must, in short, be politically viable. So, Voldemort might be a very powerful wizard, yes, but he only gathered an army and managed to actually control things for a while because his ideology is politically viable in that particular environment. Meaning that, unless there was a purge of sorts (and these aren't exactly foolproof, nor necessarily much of a way to keep the moral high ground) or something, his ideas are still shared by quite a lot of people, some of whom have money and/or political/magical power (the Malfoys being the most iconic example, and they clearly lived through the first war). Said people might, in that setting, try and get into power by hook or by crook in the future.
Certain pure-blood families would rather have members marry their own cousins than Muggle-borns or half-bloods. Now we know why Crabbe and Goyle are so dumb.
Harry never goes beyond "mediocre wizard" at best... and he was never supposed to. Harry Potter is a story about an average boy who was inexplicably targeted by a terrorist (because of a prophecy) when really he's not worth being a blip on Voldemort's radar. The story wasn't about the rise of a hero — it was about a kid getting caught up in events that he couldn't handle (just like most kids today couldn't handle either). Realizing that made me be a bit less irritated with the last three books in general.
The Killing Curse is this when you consider that wizards aren't any less likely than Muggles to be serial killers or mass murderers. Someone could suddenly die one day, and without witnesses, nobody knows what happened to them or who killed them, or who the killer could be. The killer could keep right on going until they got caught, got tired of killing, or died themselves. We've already seen Wizarding law enforcement officials duping Muggles into thinking Muggle victims simply died of gas leaks or heart attacks. This is, of course, assuming that the magic doesn't leave a trace somehow, which would enable wizards to figure out that the victim was in fact murdered, but it still wouldn't leave any clues as to who the killer is. Someone could kill off loads of people just because they can't get caught unless there are witnesses, or other circumstantial clues that would point to a possible suspect.
This actually occurred in universe: Tom Riddle murdered his own family, at least one of his customers, and possibly other unknown people before anyone even suspected him of wrongdoing. It’s likely that only Dumbledore and Harry are even aware of his early murders.
Polyjuice Potion. By drinking it you will become a perfect copy of the original person, even taking over the eye-sight. It can have some horrible consequences, like somebody else posing as you to commit a crime. But, this also means that your privacy is gone. You want to know what a person looks like naked? Drink his/her potion! Stalkers would love it...
Dumbledore was confident that the only known relic of Gryffindor (the sword) was always well out of reach of Voldemort, but he was wrong. There was one more object at Hogwarts that once belonged to Gryffindor... the Sorting Hat! The hat itself mentions that it was originally Gryffindor's and it would have been fantastic as a Horcrux, allowing a piece of Voldemort's soul to peek into the hearts and minds of every student who passed through the school! It's a damn good thing Dumbledore never gave Voldemort that teaching position because had the hat been or become his true target, the story could have potentially ended very differently.
Voldemort wouldn't have used the hat. We saw in his confrontation with Neville how he saw the hat as just a raggedy piece of cloth; but that is Fridge Brilliance in a way because the hat symbolizes the sorting of all types of magical people. Tom Riddle/ Voldemort's disdain for the hat is symbolic of his disdain for other people in general, further by it being used to integrate Muggle-borns into a wizarding community. It seems that Voldemort would despise a common item, used by— he would see it as tarnished by— other people to form Houses that create communites between people and separating magic users from the class that he considered purest: Syltherin.
The whole Wizarding world (or at least British Wizarding), depending on one's interpretation of what we see. This society is presented as class- and caste-ridden; stagnant and insular. Voldemort was able to rise to political and magical dominance twice over the course of a few decades - which is like Hitler turning out to be alive in the early sixties and enacting the same political rise and war that he did the first time round. Voldemort is supported by the same people for the same reasons. The Wizarding world, apparently, completely failed to change to address the problems that allowed for Voldemort's success the Iraq time round (which is to say it's caste systems, it's elitism, it's insularity, it's conservatism). These problems are acknowledged in the series and recognised by the characters; the Fridge Horror comes in when we read the 'happy ending' and see that once again, this society has withstood massive turmoil and tragedy unaltered. The same problems are still firmly in place, cosy conservatism winning out over the progressive or challenging points made earlier in the series. The Hogwarts Houses are still creating fear and division amongst young people, Wizard society is till secret and separate from Muggle society for reasons that seem to be more about fear and elitism ton logic, there's no sign of non-human magical races being any more involved or respected in Wizard life. Wizard society is cursed with rigidity and stagnation, and doomed to repeat its mistakes indefinitely.
However, with people like Hermione (who is not only stubborn, but amazing at magic and famous in her own right) who firmly believes in creating equality and has connections at Hogwarts (Neville) and Harry Potter himself, there is at least a glimmer of hope that things might begin to change.
Let's think for a moment on Wizarding Britain's Pureblod elite for a moment. Their entire reason d'ętre is keeping their family line as pure as humanly possible for as many generations as possible and we know that there are certain families (the Blacks and Malfoys) who are considered "purer" than the rest. However, if we look at some of the members of these families, especially the Black family, we can see some disturbing signs of inbreeding resulting in various mental conditions. Bellatrix is psychopathic and prone to bouts of extreme anger as is Sirius' mother. Crabbe and Goyle are also seen as very dimwitted to the point that Draco is actually surprised to learn they actually can read. It seems like the main Pureblood families, because they have such an almost obsessive need to be "pure" have narrowed down the gene pools to such a degree that they are turning into Harry Potter's answer to the Targaryens!