1. J.K. Rowling doesn’t actually have a middle name – the ‘K’ is the initial of her grandmother’s name, Kathleen. It was added when her publisher suggested that she not use her real name (Joanne Rowling) for the books.
2. The original Harry Potter manuscript was turned down by 12 publishers before Bloomsbury finally accepted it.
3. The chair that J.K. Rowling used in her Edinburgh flat to write the first two Harry Potter novels recently sold at auction for £278,000. It had been signed and decorated by the author.
4. Dumbledore is an Old English term for ‘bumblebee’. Rowling said she chose it because Dumbledore loved music and she imagined the wizard to be often found humming to himself.
5. Only 1,000 copies were printed in the first print run of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. These now sell for thousands of pounds.
6. On 31 October 1991, Harry, Ron and Hermione defeated the troll in the girls’ bathroom. This is generally accepted as the day the trio first became friends, but it’s also the ten-year anniversary of when Harry’s parents were murdered and Voldemort was defeated.
7. In the Prisoner of Azkaban, Professor Trelawney refuses to sit at the table, saying that there would be 13 people which meant that the first person to stand up would die. In Order of the Phoenix, 13 members of the Order sit around the table; the first one to stand is Sirius.
8. The character Hermione is based on an 11-year-old J.K. Rowling, who was an avid reader at that age. Her Patronus is even Rowling’s favourite animal: an otter.
9. Dementors represent depression and were inspired by the author’s own experience with the debilitating disease, which she struggled with in her twenties.
10. Fred and George Weasley were born on April Fool’s Day.
11. Professor McGonagall was a talented Quidditch player in her youth, but during her final year at Hogwarts she had a nasty fall that left her with several broken ribs.
12. After Voldemort was finally defeated, the Death Eaters’ Dark Marks faded into scars and no longer hurt them or burned.
13. Voldemort was 71 years old when he was defeated in the Battle of Hogwarts.
14. Michael Jackson once asked J.K. Rowling to consider collaborating with him on a Harry Potter musical, but she turned down his proposal.
15. The Deathly Hallows story, the Tale of the Three Brothers, was based on The Pardoner’s Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer.
16. Dumbledore’s Boggart – and therefore the thing he fears most – is the dead body of his sister, Ariana.
17. J.K. Rowling was the first ever person to become a billionaire (in US dollars) by writing books. She was also the first ever female dollar billionaire.
18. Dumbledore was able to see Harry under his invisibility cloak by using the human-presence-revealing-spell ‘homenum revelio’; because he is such a powerful wizard, he could perform this magic without using a wand or even saying the words out loud.
19. When Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was released in the UK, Bloomsbury asked stores not to sell the book until the end of the school day, to prevent truancy.
20. The Harry Potter books were the first children’s books to make the New York Times Bestseller list since E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web in 1952. And because they stayed in the top spots of the fiction list for such a long time, a Children’s Bestseller list was subsequently created.
21. So many people were taking pictures of Platforms 9 and 10 at King’s Cross Station, that the management decided to mount a sign onto the wall saying ‘Platform 9 3/4’.
22. The Hogwarts school motto is Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus, which, translated from Latin, means ‘Never tickle a sleeping dragon.’
23. Ernie Prang and Stanley Shunpike – the conductor and driver of the Knight Bus – were named after J.K. Rowling’s grandfathers, Ernie Rowling and Stanley Volant.
24. Harry was present at the death of every single marauder. We’ll just let that one sink in for a minute…
25. The Mirror of Erised shows the user their deepest desire; and what is Erised spelled backwards? Desire. Also, when read backwards, the engraving on the mirror’s frame – Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi – states: “I show not your face but your heart’s desire.”
26. Arthur Weasley eventually gets round to fixing Sirius’ motorbike years later, and passes it on to Harry.
27. James and Lily Potter were literally soul mates. We know this because Patronuses are physical representations of people’s souls – James’ Patronus was a stag and Lily’s was a doe.
28. The first and last words spoken by Dobby the House Elf in the books are “Harry Potter.”
29. Pansy Parkinson didn’t end up marrying Draco because Rowling says she always hated her: “She’s every girl who ever teased me at school. She’s the Anti-Hermione. I loathe her.”
30. Fred and George Weasley once threw snowballs in Voldemort’s face! How? When they bewitched them to hit the back of Professor Quirrell’s head in the Philosopher’s Stone, they were unknowingly hitting Voldemort’s face underneath the turban!
31. In Greek mythology, Cassandra was a seer who was given her powers by the God Apollo; the same god who later cursed her so that no-one would believer her powers. Professor Trelawney’s great grandmother’s name was Cassandra.
32. Harry Potter only destroyed one of the seven horcruxes himself.
33. The name and location of Hogwarts was chosen by Rowena Ravenclaw, who dreamt that a warty hog was taking her to a cliff by the lake.
34. After his twin brother Fred’s death, George would never be able to summon a Patronus charm again (*sobs*).
35. Apparently, somebody in the world starts reading the Harry Potter series every 30 seconds.
36. Harry Potter’s name is mentioned 18,956 times in the series.
37. These were some of the original character names before Rowling finalised them: Hermione Puckle, Neville Puff, Draco Spinks and Lily Moon (Luna Lovegood).
38. After the horcrux within Harry was destroyed, he lost his ability to speak Parseltongue.
39. There is a special potion used to develop photographs in the Wizarding World, and it’s this potion that makes the images come to life.
40. Dean Thomas’ father was killed by Deatheaters for refusing to join their ranks, but neither Dean nor his mother knew this.
41. After Hogwarts, Ginny goes on to become a Quidditch player for the Holyhead Harpies; after retiring from the sport and having children with Harry, she then becomes the senior Quidditch correspondent for The Daily Prophet.
42. Harry, Ron and Hermione all feature on their own Chocolate Frog cards – Ron considers it his biggest achievement.
43. Rowling has said that she decided to kill Hedwig because it represented Harry’s loss of innocence and security, with her death effectively marking the end of his childhood.
44. Lucius Malfoy originally wanted Draco to attend Durmstrang, partly because of his dislike of Muggle-borns and the family’s connection to Dark Magic. But Narcissa didn’t like the idea of Draco being so far away, so he was sent to Hogwarts instead.
45. In the Harry Potter universe, there are around 3,000 wizards and witches living in Britain.
46. When Hermione smells the Amortentia potion – the most powerful love potion in the world – she smells new parchment and freshly cut grass, but doesn’t reveal the third thing she smells. Rowling later revealed that it was Ron Weasley’s hair.
47. Snape’s portrait wasn’t added to the Headmaster’s office initially, but Harry insisted that it was placed next to Dumbledore’s.
48. Voldemort was incapable of love because he was conceived under the effects of a love potion.
49. There were two alternative titles for the final book: Harry Potter and the Elder Wand and Harry Potter and the Peverell Quest.
50. The final Battle of Hogwarts took place in 1998, the same year that the first Harry Potter book was published. Commenting on this, Rowling has said: “I open at the close.”