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r/HarryPotterBooks is a discussion forum devoted to the Harry Potter book series, and associated written works by J.K. Rowling. This subreddit focuses only on the written works and does not allow content from the popular WB movies.

r/HarryPotterBooks is a discussion forum devoted to the Harry Potter book series, and associated written works by J.K. Rowling. This subreddit focuses only on the written works, and does not allow content from the popular WB movies. Discussion and Questions centered on the novels are welcome here. Links and images are currently disabled to encourage the posting of quality content.

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Sidebar last updated on August 22nd, 2023. Rules are subject to change at the mod team's discretion.


69,873 Subscribers


What death makes you the most angry/sad?

I am new to the sub! Hi everyone, Harry Potter been with me through my entire existence, I also have read many books and read many deaths but Fred Weasley and Hedwigs really shifted something in me. I get really frustrated it's like I've know them lol I also would get really frustrated at Remus and Tonks but as time passed it doesn't bother me as much.

So what about you guys?

00:42 UTC


Prisoner of Azkaban Minalima version arrived today

It just got delivered to my doorstep! It’s stunning, as always, and looks fantastic next to the first two books. Going to dive in ASAP. Would love to hear everyone’s opinions on it too :)

22:27 UTC


Is it ever explained how owls can find anyone anywhere?

Rereading GOF, Hedwig is able to find Sirius even though he is in hiding. Harry even suggests that he might send Pig to Sirius if Hedwig isn't up to it.

Couldn't the ministry just send an owl to someone they were looking for, like Sirius, and track the owl?

17:19 UTC


In SS/PS...

When Harry was talking to the snake at the zoo, was he dialing parsel tongue? Or could this have just been one of those accidental magic things where he was speaking normally. Obviously it's foreshadowing of things to come and his link with snakes and Voldy but just wondering if this might have been the first time he spoke parsel tongue or if it was just his regular voice in this moment. Thoughts?

16:42 UTC


I think Peter Pettigrews betrayal is mischaracterized

Peter is portrayed as having “betrayed” his “best friends” and I think that’s a mischaracterization of what happened. Peter hated the Marauders, and he was justified in that hate.

They treated him like garbage. We don’t get too much information about the marauders time in hogwarts but from the glimpses we get- we know that James, Sirius, and Lupin were friends who genuinely saw one another as equals, and then Peter they considered a hanger on who was lucky to be around them. Sirius admit’s that they all saw him as weak and talentless.

And the worst part is Peter is arguably the most capable death eater (i have a post on that loaded up in my drafts) so as a talented wizard constantly belittled by the people who treat you like they’re doing you a favor talking to you, it makes perfect sense to join up with a group that treats you with respect, and rewards talent.

To Peter, it’s not a betrayal of his friends, it’s a defeat of his enemies. Peter’s biggest mistake was doubting himself in the end.

15:38 UTC


MinaLima Prisoner of Azkaban

Do you have it already? How do you like it? Any interesting facts? Show me some interesting illustrations and interactive elements. What does the spine look like together with the first two books?

I'm waiting for mine and I can't wait.

I wonder how wide will be Goblet of Fire!

1 Comment
08:02 UTC


Dumbledore and Snape's "terrible mistake"

So I'm just listening the HBP audiobook and in chapter The Seer Overheard Harry realized that Snape was the one who told Voldemort about the prophecy.

When he confronts Dumbledore, he says that Snape made a terrible mistake because he didn't know which boy / family will Voldemort choose to go after.

I didn't thought about it before but Dumbledore's words sound like Snape's actions concerning the prophecy were considered mistake only because it triggered someone they knew. But what if (for whatever reason) Voldemort decided to go after someone e.g. in Romania they didn't know? It seems to me that Dumbledor's argument about mistake is really bad. I mean, Dumbledore (and Snape) must knew that Voldemort would kill the baby (and his/her family) no matter who it was, so it is dumb to presume that Snape made a mistake only because Voldemort attacked the Potters - either way someone would die and only because Snape regretted that it was Lily doesn't mean he would have same regrets if it would be someone else. Actually I think he wouldn't care at all. Thoughts?

P.S. Sorry if it's a little bit chaotic, just wrote it on my way to work.

07:15 UTC


Least favourite books, and why?

Which of the books is your least favourite? For me it's Goblet of Fire. I don't know why. I just don't like it. And even though I know Harry didn't put his name in the Goblet, and that it was tricked, it still annoys me that Harry competed. And won.Even if it was by a fluke, AND THEN HE GAVE AWAY 1000 GALLEONS!? LIKE WHAT?? He could've given Gred and Forge half. Still a substantial amount.

02:03 UTC


Hermione Granger: Does She Suppress Her Classmates’ Shine?

Let’s explore a thought-provoking question: Does Hermione Granger’s relentless pursuit of excellence inadvertently overshadow her classmates? In her quest for knowledge and top grades, does she leave room for others to shine, or does she tend to dominate the spotlight?

Would you like to have someone like her as a classmate?

19:41 UTC


Prophecies about the others in the Ministry?

Rereading OotP, I’m at the part where they are in the department of mysteries, amongst the prophecies. They run past a bunch of shelves, and it says that some of the prophecies they pass glow as they do.

“And he led them forward, between towering rows of glass balls, some of which glowed softly as they passed….”

That’s exactly how it is written, with the “….” And everything. THEN when they find the prophecy about Harry, it is described as glowing softly.

“Ron was pointing at one of the small glass spheres that glowed with a dull inner light…”

So I wondered if those that glowed as they ran past may have been about one of them. What do you think?

17:43 UTC


Neville was supposed to be part of the trio.

There are several reasons why I think Neville was to have a much bigger presence throughout the series.

  • Nevilles's Herbology skills: Herbology is Neville's best subject. Throughout the series we find situations where knowledge of Herbology might come in handy (SPOILERS, if you haven't read all the books). Devil's Snare in B1, Mandrakes in B2, Whomping Willow in B3, Gillyweed in B4, Devil's Snare again in B5. I think that Neville was supposed to be like Hermione and Ron who each have something that helps Harry in his journey, Hermione- Book knowledge, Ron- Strategies and Wizarding World Knowledge and Neville- Herbology. I think JKR intended to utilise Neville in this way hence giving him Herbology expertise, none of the other characters like Seamus, Parvati get any expertise.

  • In the first Book, Neville is much more involved with the trio. Hermione helps him find his toad during the train journey. While Harry meets with Ron, Hermione has already met with Neville, so this is a great way to introduce the group to the readers. Neville is involved in the fight with Malfoy, he goes to Forbidden Forest with them, he tries to stop them from getting the Stone.

  • JKR probably already had some idea of Marauders, group of 4 troublemakers. So it makes sense she would plan for Harry-Neville-Ron-Hermione as the next generation of Marauders. They are all misfits in their own way. Hermione is an annoying know-it-all, Ron has self esteem issues, Neville is too timid and poor in magic. But they could work as a group helping each-other.

What do you think?

How would the series change if Neville was there for all their adventures?

17:31 UTC


When do we first hear Lily and James’ middle names?

As I was finishing the final book, I was looking out for the full names for Harry’s kids to be mentioned. Unless I’m completely missing it, he only mentions Albus Severus. I already knew it was James Sirius and Lily Luna, but I am wondering when this is first mentioned?

17:25 UTC


Did Tom Riddle see Ginny’s poem?

I was thinking about Chamber of Secrets and Lockhart lets students have “Cupid” send Valentines from other students. Ginny sends Harry a poem and it’s delivered in a crowded corridor. Harry has the diary at the time, but he’d just gotten it from the girls’ toilets recently. So, what do you think? Did Riddle see that poem or variations of Harry love poems? Did he have to help workshop them to keep Ginny engaged? Because, personally I love the idea of Tom being like, “He’s got green eyes, right? Maybe something with that? Slytherin or emerald or fresh pickled toad.”

05:44 UTC


Why is my hardcover First American Edition of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire smaller than the rest of my first American edition hardcovers? (I’ve had gotten all of them as they came out as gifts growing up).

Since fifth grade I’ve been gifted each new Harry Potter book, the First American Edition, hardcover and all of them are the same size (and I’ve seen other copies that are the same size)…all except my copy of Goblet of Fire. It is about an inch shorter and it is smaller than the rest of my hard copies. I’ve googled for answers, to no avail. I was wondering if any of you had a similar copy or know why it is smaller? Maybe a misprint? Thanks!

23:19 UTC


Hoopla Audiobooks

I just finished listening to the series on Hoopla for the first time (always actually read before). What a delight it was to be read to. I haven’t read the books in probably 10-15 years, there was so much I had forgotten about!

23:10 UTC


Did Dumbledore truly believe that Harry could get the memory from Slughorn?

“Sir — I’ve got it. I’ve got the memory from Slughorn.”Harry pulled out the tiny glass bottle and showed it to Dumbledore. For a moment or two, the headmaster looked stunned." His reaction seemed to me either of disbelief at that moment or maybe the unexpectedness of the situation at that odd hour where he might have faced some dead ends personally. But i also feel that Dumbledore wasn't 100% sure of Harry to succeed in this task.If Dumbledore with his legilimency skills and years of experience couldn't get the memory out of Slughorn surely an underage wizard possibly couldn't! Opinions?

20:25 UTC


Repost - Is Sirius Protected by Love?

I tried to Crosspost, but was unable, so I'm going to repost it, I wanted to know what you thought, as I also prefer the books to the films.

Ok so I'm not sure if this has been discussed but bare with me.

In PoA we learn from Mr Weasley and Fudge that Sirius isn't affected by the Demeter's the way others are, that he's manage to keep most of his mind.

We also learn from Sirius himself that the reason he never lost his mind is because he knew he was innocent and though it wasn’t a happy thought the Dementors couldn’t suck it out of him which kept him sane and in control of his magic.

We also know that when it came too much he'd transform into the dog because Dementors can’t see, you know they see through sensing people's emotions. But what if it wasn't just that...

Dumbledore always mentions the power of Love and Harry's ability to also love telling Harry that this is how he'll defeat Voldemort.

So couldn't Sirius also be protected be love, he loved James and Lily, the brother and sister he never had, he adored and loved Harry would do literally anything for him, so couldn't that also be used as a protection.

Sirius knows Harry will needed him, he's the only one who knows Peter is alive, that overwhelming Love for Harry keeps him safe without him releasing it. And so when his worst dreams become reality he's ready to escape to protect Harry in the way he failed with James.

What are your thoughts?

PS: To those people who keep telling me that Sirius didn't know that Wormtail was still alive here is a direct quote from Chapter 19 if PoA.

PoA - Chapter 19 - The Servant of Lord Voldemort

‘My God ,’ said Lupin softly, staring from Scabbers to the picture in the paper and back again. ‘His front paw …’‘What about it?’ said Ron defiantly. ‘He’s got a toe missing,’ said Black. ‘Of course,’ Lupin breathed, ‘so simple …so brilliant … He cut it off himself?’‘Just before he transformed ,’ said Black. ‘When I cornered him, he yelled for the whole street to hear that I’d betrayed Lily and James. Then, before I could curse him, he blew apart the street with the wand behind his back, killed everyone within twenty feet of himself – and sped down into the sewer with the other rats …’

He knows Wormtails alive he just doesn't know where.

19:12 UTC


All four named house-elves in the series were abused - Hermione was unquestionably correct to demand their immediate freedom and rights

“Hermione — open your ears,” said Ron loudly. “They. Like. It. They like being enslaved!”

Even if this were true for all elves (it’s not), and even if this was a good justification for slavery (it’s not), such a notion would only make sense if elves were generally treated fairly within their servitude. But they are not. Slavery is of course fundamentally unfair, but Dobby, Winky, Kreacher, and Hokey are all abused in ways that go beyond the "typical" master-servant relationship.

Take working animals. Humans will work some dogs and horses extremely hard, but it is still considered cruel to beat them. It is still considered cruel to starve an animal, or to keep it in horrid conditions, even if there is ownership, even if you plan to later kill and eat it!

What Ron is talking about is that many elves genuinely enjoy serving their wizard masters. Which is true, seemingly. They take pride in it. What they absolutely don't enjoy though, is being abused. Dobby admits upon meeting Harry that his family punishes him excessively:

“But won’t they notice if you shut your ears in the oven door?”

“Dobby doubts it, sir. Dobby is always having to punish himself for something, sir. They lets Dobby get on with it, sir. Sometimes they reminds me to do extra punishments. . . .”

Winky is made to sit in a high Quidditch box, terrified of heights, with a dangerous criminal under her care, held by an Imperius Curse that's wearing off. When things go wrong that night, she is treated with little dignity:

“What’s going to happen to Winky?” said Hermione, the moment they had left the clearing.

“I don’t know,” said Mr. Weasley.

“The way they were treating her!” said Hermione furiously. “Mr. Diggory, calling her ‘elf’ all the time . . . and Mr. Crouch! He knows she didn’t do it and he’s still going to sack her! He didn’t care how frightened she’d been, or how upset she was — it was like she wasn’t even human!”

Ron is quick to point out that Winky is not human (to Hermione's anger), but she is still being treated inhumanely.

As for Kreacher, Sirius was not known for being particularly gentle:

At which Sirius, ignoring Hermione’s protests, seized Kreacher by the back of his loincloth and threw him bodily from the room.

Hokey was the house-elf of Hepzibah Smith, a rich witch murdered for her heirlooms by Voldemort. Hokey was abused, not by her master, but by the Ministry:

“Hepzibah Smith died two days after that little scene,” said Dumbledore, resuming his seat and indicating that Harry should do the same. “Hokey the house-elf was convicted by the Ministry of poisoning her mistress’s evening cocoa by accident.”

She was convicted of poisoning her mistress... by accident? Case closed, I guess. Like with Winky, wizarding law enforcement was far too quick to assign blame to a poor elf:

“Voldemort modified her memory, just like he did with Morfin!”

“Yes, that is my conclusion too,” said Dumbledore. “And, just as with Morfin, the Ministry was predisposed to suspect Hokey —”

“— because she was a house-elf,” said Harry. He had rarely felt more in sympathy with the society Hermione had set up, S.P.E.W.

It's one thing to observe, as Ron does, that house-elves generally enjoy serving. Even if that were true, the system that enslaves them is ripe for abuse, as evidenced by, well, every elf character not employed by Dumbledore. Like a wizard John Brown, Hermione sees this mistreatment straight away as an obvious evil, and works to defeat it militantly. She organizes. She recruits. She works to free elves in every way she can, even as a young student.

14:05 UTC


Umbridge keeping Harry for 7 hours

Re-reading The Order of the Phoenix, and I always trip out at just how long his detentions with Umbridge were. He meets her at 5:00, and it says he doesn’t leave until past midnight!

So he is spending at least 7 hours continuously carving into the back of his hand. I think that’s crazy, and he doesn’t let any noise that would show his pain out. On top of everything else happening in his life. Harry was so strong.

19:10 UTC


Luna is the reason Pluto is no longer a planet?

In Order of the Phoenix Luna, Ron and Ginny are separated from Harry, Hermione and Neville in the department of mysteries. When asked where they has been, Luna says they were in a dark room full of planets, floating around. She says a death eater attacked Ginny, so she blew up Pluto in the deatheaters face.

Question: what if whatever magic is in that room, is how we perceive the universe and the real reason Pluto suddenly isn't a planet anymore, is actually because Luna blew it up, so it's no longer on the universe room!?? Thoughts?

15:53 UTC


If You Were Voldemort, How Would You Manage Hogwarts More Effectively?

What if Voldemort had managed Hogwarts more effectively? If you were in his position, how would you have structured things differently? How about staffing? Who you’d appoint or remove?

Consider options such as offering better education and preparation for Slytherin students while possibly reducing Gryffindor’s effectiveness.

13:17 UTC


Barty Crouch Jr theory

Upon my 1000th rewatch of Goblet of Fire, this hit me. In the book, Barty Jr kills his father, transforms his body into a bone, and buries it. Could this be because, had Barty Jr survived longer than he did, he was planning on making a horcrux for himself and saving the “bone of the father” for the same ritual that gave Voldemort his new body in the graveyard? If any Death Eater knew or could go about the horcrux process (besides Snape), it would be Barty Jr.

01:38 UTC


Why dose Vernon hate wizards?

Obviously I can see why petunia hates them. But why dose her husband? Is it because he’s married to her, or just because he hates the world? I don’t remember if it was ever said in the books.

23:48 UTC


I think Rowling made up apparition as she went along in each book

I mean, half the time, it makes a loud popping noise that Harry even recognizes as the exact sound of someone disapparating (OotP), and half the time it’s completely silent. You could argue “it depends on the skill of the character” since Dumbledore is (usually, but not always), but then I would think the sounds would go up or down in volume of the pop based on their skill, not either loud or silent. So it kind of has a set sound, but not really.

Also splinching wasn’t anything real, nothing but comical until Ron started losing body parts and the seriousness of that, weakening him. Otherwise any time people splinched themselves in the middle of the road and had to wait for ministry wizards to come get them, they’d have massive blood loss before anyone got there lol. People wouldn’t just flinch at it and explain the only problem is “they can’t move either way, they’re stuck”. When Susan Bones apparated and left her leg behind, she wouldn’t just be scared, she’d be screaming with blood gushing out of her leg.

Edit splinching clarity: so I forgot it was always painful. My point was that it wasn’t medical, potentially deadly. If it were, transporting your top half and leaving your bottom half behind would have you bleed out dead almost instantaneously. The fact that they used “stuck” “waiting” for the wizards to come “sort it out” implies they kinda hung out, even if in pain. But not the deadly thing it turns into.

I’m not even going to go into side-along-apparation that came into existence so Dumbledore could bring Harry, and Harry could bring Dumbledore back when he was weakened. Or the head-in-fire apparition which always irritates me because if it hadn’t been made up and they just stuck to regular apparition, Harry would’ve found Sirius in the house and not relied on Kreacher to lie to him.

I guess I did go into it a little… lol only because Sirius is one of my favorite characters and it’s an insult to his character that he’s really only in 2 out of 7 books, but supposedly a main character still somehow, and he died way too soon. So I especially hate that head apparition thing. But basically, I think it’s one of the most inconsistent pieces of magic, as far as basic, supposedly simple pieces of magic go. I genuinely did only start writing this with the intent of talking about the noise thing. The rest just came out.

Edit edit: I mixed up the fire head as apparition when it’s floo powder. My mistake. I was writing the annoyances of the instant transportation inconsistencies, and my Sirius-loving brain went right to the fire head floo powder plot device that stopped Harry from being able to full floo and go into the house and find Sirius and prevent him from dying!!

22:19 UTC


I recently reread GOF and it’s clear to me now that people weren’t just bothered about Hagrid being half giant. There has also got to be some stigma about a wizard somehow managing to have sex with a giant. Like- Hagrids dad is definitely some kinda perv right?

17:55 UTC


What would have happened if Voldemort had known the full prophecy?

Why did Dumbledore keep the prophecy so secret?"

11:50 UTC


Should Dudley have been a Squib?

I can’t decide if it is a missed opportunity or if it’s a better story without it.

It would have been an interesting dynamic, but it would change the nature of squibs. As it is, you to have a wizard parent to be a squib, but it is not just a description of heritage. Squibs might be able to use magic things (not totally clear how much this is just that a say a secrecy scanner could be used by anyone), but they can get around the magic that keeps out true muggles, and see magical things invisible to muggles (poltergeists, dementors, ghosts, etc), it seems they just can’t produce their own magic.

So comparatively it is like when you a have a phenotype that is controlled by multiple genes, and squib is just when the part of what makes a wizard connect to magic exists, but not the part that has its own magic. I could see a version of HP where they pop up and sometimes muggles think the squib is a psychic or medium since they can see spirits, or people normally realize they are squibs because they live around muggles with the wizarding world hidden to them.

I could even (albeit something of a stretch) see a scene where Vernon is losing it at petunia after finding out Dudley was “different” only for the scene to somehow reveal Vernon is a squib too. Though the shock of that might just kill him 😅

Edit: TL;DR: Pottermore says Squibs are more than just muggles born to Wizards.

Wow, didn’t realize there was such a division on the perceptions concerning if Mrs. Figg was lying about the ability to see Dementors. To me, the fact that she couldn’t cast a patronus kept her from helping, but she knew what was going on. When Potter tried to hide his wand, she said don’t and that “they”could come back. That seems to me that she saw them. I can guess that others think she assumed there were dementors because she felt them and knew enough about patroni to guess what happened, and then lied to make the case stronger during the hearing. I find it less likely, as I don’t think Albus would risk the only witness lying and then being exposed. I can’t find the author, but there is this article “Everything You Need To About Squibs” originally on Pottermore; it says they can see spirits but it reads like something not written by JKR, so I can’t count it as primary canon.

04:22 UTC


Ron's sudden change of heart to Hermione's Polyjuice Potion idea

I'm listening to the second book while at work, and noticed that Ron seems a bit harsh with Hermione at times, but that's their dynamic. However, during the moment Hermione was explaining how the Polyjuice potion would work, Ron at first was taken aback and mocked the idea ("No toe nails!"). However, when he saw Hermione's reaction to this was sad/disappointment, he quickly changed his mind and went along with it.

"A month?" said Ron. "Malfoy could have attacked half the Muggleborns in the school by then!"

*But Hermione's eyes narrowed

dangerously again, and he added swiftly, "But it's the best plan we've got, so full steam ahead, I say."*

This isn't anything major, but Ron can definetly be sweet sometimes (unless he was just scared of her?) . It just made me smile.

18:01 UTC


Places of Work?

I’m an HR Professional, so I think of these things a lot.

Does it seem like there are very few places of work in the wizarding world?

The only ones I can think of are: Ministry of Magic (a “public” organization), Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade, and Hogwarts? And, maybe very seasonal work on the Hogwarts express?

How is there enough job infrastructure in the wizarding world? It doesn’t seem sustainable.

Also, yes, this is an incredibly specific and maybe silly question but I’ve wondered it ever since I was a kid.

16:33 UTC


Snape wasn’t a bad teacher

There is this idea that Snape is a bad teacher, but I don’t think this is the case. I think the thing that people often Miss about snape and his lessons is that tons of students do well in his classes, Harry just does not learn the way Snape teaches.

We can see throughout the books that Snape teaches from a point of necessity, because that is how he has always learned. Prime example would be Occlumency lessons- he has personal experience with Voldemort’s mind reading abilities and he almost surely used the fear of not only Voldemort but of his peers as a student or perhaps his mother to forge this mental skill. Snips entire life has been a big, strong or be crushed ordeal and so that is how he teaches because that is how he learned.

People always hate on him threatening to feed Trevor the frog a potion Neville made, and there is a solid chance. This is something that would have happened to him as a student either from one of his peers, or even his mother. We see that sleep seemed to know how to do plenty of magic before getting to Hogwarts and I suspect this is because his mother forced him to learn.

Sleep went it’s far is to invent his own spells- doing so because he was being bullied by the marauders. This is high levels of magic performed out of necessity.

Basically everything Snape knows how to do. He knows how to do very well, because the results when he was younger, we’re either humiliation pain or death, if you did not succeed. He re-create these feelings in the classroom for the students because to him that is the best way to learn. Ironically we see Hermione learn very much the same way and she does very well in potions under him, despite his attitude towards her.

15:25 UTC

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