“Harry Potter” What If…?: Seven Things That Would Change the Story
The Internet has provided us with loads of opportunities for headcanons, fan fiction, and ideas about the Potterverse ever since the books came out. Nearly every plot point and character has been examined to the extreme, and J.K. Rowling’s every word has been analyzed. And still, we’re not done. We can’t help but wonder, what if? Here are seven things that, if changed, would alter the entire story.
1. Harry’s Childhood
What if Harry Potter’s upbringing had been better? What if, for example, Sirius Black hadn’t pursued Wormtail or had killed him in secret? Would he have taken care of Harry, told him about his parents from a young age, and raised him with love instead of treating him like a servant and a waste of space? This would completely change Harry’s attitude. It’s likely that he would have been much more arrogant, but he also would have been introduced to the wizarding world much earlier. Without the Dursleys to constantly bring him down, Harry’s story would have changed massively.
2. Working Wolfsbane
What if Remus Lupin had drunk his Wolfsbane Potion the night that Peter Pettigrew was discovered in the Shrieking Shack? If Lupin hadn’t turned, the chaos that ensued and allowed Pettigrew to escape would not have happened. Harry would have been able to turn in his parents’ traitor, and Sirius would have walked free. Moreover, Pettigrew would never have been able to find and resurrect Voldemort, saving Harry and the rest of the wizarding world a lot of trouble.
3. Snape’s Allegiance
This one is two-fold. On the one hand, we can wonder what would have happened if Severus Snape hadn’t switched sides and worked as a double agent – maybe if Voldemort thought Neville Longbottom was the Chosen One instead of Harry? (Which leads to all other sorts of fundamental changes to Harry’s story!) But on the other hand, what if Snape hadn’t joined the Death Eaters in the first place? There’s a fair chance Lily Evans might have married him, which means Harry wouldn’t even have existed.
4. Draco’s Dad in Azkaban
What if Lucius Malfoy had ended up in Azkaban when Voldemort first fell? If the Ministry hadn’t believed him when he told them he was under the influence of the Imperius Curse, the name of Malfoy would have been a disgrace. Not only would Draco have grown up with this burden to carry, but he also would not have been influenced by his father as much. True, his mother might have spoken with praise of Lucius, but it still would have affected Draco – and perhaps that would have been enough for him to treat Harry and even Ron and Hermione differently the first time he met them.
5. Petunia’s Honesty
What if Petunia Dursley had told Harry the truth about his past and his parents when he was a child? The Dursleys’ main objective was to make Harry as non-magical as possible, and they did this by not telling him anything about magic at all. However, if they’d taught him to fear magic, fear his own powers, things might have gone a bit differently. Instead of having magical “accidents” that Harry couldn’t explain, by fearing his magic, he might have turned into an Obscurial who willingly represses his power. Imagine what Dumbledore would have thought the moment he realized what was happening at the Dursley house in that case…
6. Draco’s Assignment
What if Draco Malfoy hadn’t disarmed Dumbledore? What if he had used some other spell that did not cause the Elder Wand to change allegiance? Would the wand have belonged to Snape, causing Voldemort to win possession of it during the Battle of Hogwarts? Or would the wand not have recognized Snape as the rightful owner, and would someone else have that honor? What if the wand had decided no one was the true owner anymore after Dumbledore died and called it quits?
7. Sirius’s Mirror
What if Harry had opened Sirius’s present earlier and used the mirror? Instead of running off to the Ministry to save Sirius after Kreacher told him that the house was empty, Harry could have contacted his godfather directly. He’d have seen Sirius was okay and would not have walked into the trap Voldemort set up for him. This means the fight at the Ministry wouldn’t have happened, Voldemort wouldn’t have accidentally revealed himself to the entire wizarding world, and – most importantly – Sirius would have survived.
Want more of these? Watch the video below! (And sing along to our own special version of The Nightmare Before Christmas’s “What’s This?”!)
What about you? What are some Potter what-ifs that are keeping you awake, and how would they have changed the story?