Expanded Wizarding World Details

This is a collection of facts that Rowling has revealed outside of the books, in various interviews and on her website over the years. For a collection of the information revealed on the Pottermore website, visit our page here.

  • Prefects can take points; Ron got it wrong in Order of the Phoenix, which makes him a pretty poor prefect, eh?
  • Fred and George Weasley were born on April Fools’ day (no joke).
  • Ginny Weasley’s first name is Ginevra, and she is the first female Weasley born for “several generations.”
  • Arthur Weasley has two brothers.
  • Molly Weasley’s maiden name is Prewett. Gideon and Fabian Prewett were indeed Molly’s brothers. Molly even gives Fabian’s watch to Harry for his seventeenth birthday. Their deaths do provide some explanation and excuse for some of Mrs. Weasley’s fears and her overprotective stance towards Harry.
  • Crookshanks is half Kneazle.
  • Dean Thomas’s father was killed by Death Eaters when he refused to join them. Neither Dean nor his mother know.
  • Hagrid, Lily, and James were in Gryffindor. (Hagrid was NOT in Hufflepuff.)
  • Hogwarts has about a thousand students. (True, that number doesn’t seem right, but JKR said so and she’s the boss.)
  • James Potter was a Chaser on the Gryffindor Quidditch team (although the movie claimed he was a Seeker).
  • The Hogwarts teachers do not stay at Hogwarts during the Christmas holidays. However, Filch, Hagrid, and Dumbledore do.
  • A few of the Hogwarts professors have spouses.
  • To remove the tail that Hagrid gave Dudley in the hut on the rock, the Dursleys went to a private hospital where the staff were very discreet, and said that a wart had gone out of control.
  • Dragons can’t be domesticated, no matter what Hagrid thinks.
  • James Potter inherited lots of money and didn’t need a well-paying profession.
  • James Potter inherited the Invisibility Cloak from his father.
  • Witches and wizards have longer lifespans than Muggles.
  • The Gringotts goblins return the Muggle money they acquire back into circulation.
  • The approximate value of a galleon is about five pounds ($7.30 or 8.00 Euro), though the exchange rate varies.
  • Dumbledore is 150, McGonagall is 70 (and is really an old softy; she just doesn’t act like it), Snape is 35 or 36.
  • The happiest people do not become ghosts. (Therefore, we can assume that ghosts are people that died while sad, angry, etc.; Myrtle was teased.)
  • The animal that an Animagus turns into is a reflection on his/her personality.
  • For Hagrid, keeping dangerous creatures is all about overcoming something that could kill him.
  • Azkaban is in a sea north of the North Sea. A very cold sea.
  • You can do unfocused and uncontrolled magic without a wand (like when Harry blows up Aunt Marge), but to perform really good spells, you need a wand.
  • Muggle education is not required for wizard children prior to attending Hogwarts.
  • A magical quill detects the birth of every magical child and records it in a book, and Professor McGonagall sends an owl to each child when he or she turns eleven.
  • Sirius was “around twenty-two” years old when he was sent to Azkaban.
  • Mrs. Norris is not an unregistered Animagus, but an intelligent (and unpleasant) cat. (To our knowledge, JKR has not specified if she is part Kneazle like Crookshanks.)
  • JKR sees Neville and Luna as very different people. She says that, although they share a certain isolation within the walls of Hogwarts, this wasn’t enough to foster true love. They may be friends but “Neville would always find Luna’s wilder flights of fancy alarming.”
  • If a teacher is head of a Hogwarts house, they were in that house; that goes for ghosts as well.
  • Fred and George never noticed Pettigrew on the Marauder’s Map because they didn’t know who he was. Even if they had recognized his name, they would have assumed he was just a student with the same last name. Pettigrew was one of many moving dots on the map, and Fred and George would have only been focused on the path their mischief took that day.
  • Colin Creevey’s Muggle camera worked because it was “running off the magical atmosphere,” and his photographs were developed “in the magical potion that causes the figures therein to move.”
  • House-elves are different from wizards; they have their own brand of magic, and the ability to appear and disappear within the castle is necessary to them if they are to go about their work unseen, as house-elves traditionally do.
  • When Aunt Petunia said Lily turned teacups into rats, she was exaggerating a little, although “just like her son, Lily was not averse to testing the limits of the Statute of Secrecy, so you can safely assume she will have had a few warning letters – nothing too serious, though.”
  • Wizards can make themselves untraceable, which is why they can’t be found simply by sending and following owls.
  • Veritaserum is not used in criminal trials because it works best on “the unsuspecting, the vulnerable, and those insufficiently skilled (in one way or another) to protect themselves against it.” Veritaserum is not infallible.
  • Dumbledore did not request the school song since Book 1 because he has not felt as “buoyant;” times were getting darker.
  • When the Marauder’s Map insulted Snape, Prongs was not writing the insult, but it was like he had left a magical recording of his voice in the map.
  • Most wizard children are home educated before Hogwarts because they cannot be trusted to keep their magical abilities hidden from Muggle schoolmates.
  • None of the pure-blood families are actually “pure” – they merely cross Muggles and Squibs off the family tree. The number of families who can claim to be pure is diminishing as they are finding it increasingly difficult to perpetuate themselves.
  • Nymphadora Tonks was in Hufflepuff House, while Moaning Myrtle was in Ravenclaw.
  • Theodore Nott has been raised by an elderly widower and a Death Eater father. He is a clever loner who does not need to join gangs — including Malfoy’s.