History of Magic

These early years tell the tale of two communities of people who took divergent paths. Wizardkind lived side by side with Muggles over many centuries. In ancient Egypt, Wizards were respected members of society, for example. However, the two communities began to separate and Muggles began to mistrust and eventually mistreat their magical brothers and sisters. As this enmity grew, four of the most powerful Wizards in the world decided to set up a school where they could train young people of their kind far from interference and persecution from Muggles. Thus, Hogwarts was founded toward the end of the first millenium.

The struggle between the two communities continued to grow worse as the years went by, and by the 1600s and 1700s, Wizards took steps to completely remove themselves from Muggle society. These years, then, show that progression from mutual friendship to complete separation of the Muggle and Wizarding worlds.

Ancient Egypt -
Egyptian wizards put curses on tombs; nowadays curse-breakers for Gringotts try to regain the treasure locked in those tombs, one pyramid has mutant skeletons of Muggles who'd broken in and "grown extra heads and stuff." Magic is integrated into society and Wizards are held in high esteem.

about 1000 AD -
Growing distrust on the part of Muggles for Wizards and Witches compels the four greatest witches and wizards of the age to found Hogwarts. Salazar Slytherin builds the Chamber of Secrets after his point of view that only Pureblood wizards should be allowed into Hogwarts was dismissed. The Wizarding World begins to withdraw and hide itself from the Muggle World.

The first half of the twentieth century is the era of Tom Riddle, Rubeus Hagrid, and Minerva McGonagall. The story of Harry Potter really starts during these years with the birth of two unusual, non-pureblood boys who would have an enormous impact on his life fifty years later. Half-Giant Rubeus Hagrid is described during these early years as "big, blundering,...in trouble every other week," while Half-blood Tom Riddle is the complete opposite: "poor but brilliant, parentless but so brave, school prefect, model student." The two boys, as well as Minerva McGonagall, were born in the mid-1920s. They attended Hogwarts one year apart from each other, until Tom Riddle's malevolent actions framed Hagrid and got him expelled. Tom Riddle had discovered the Chamber of Secrets, and this event was the catalyst for his eventual metamorphosis into Lord Voldemort some ten years later.

Minerva McGonagall was a witness to these events as a student, as was Albus Dumbledore, who was close to a hundred years old and a teacher at the time. Dumbledore's influence on events was subtle--he suspected and distrusted Riddle and kept him under close watch. Dumbledore restored Hagrid to something akin to a normal life. He also defeated the dark wizard Grindewald at this time. These events would resonate through the story of Harry Potter fifty years later.

After Tom Riddle disappeared, twenty years passed and life went on in relative peace and quiet. It is in this time that Molly and Arthur attend Hogwarts. We don't know the years for sure, but since Bill was born in 1971, we can make some general deductions. They probably were students during the 1960s. During these years a number of people were born who would play an important part in the story of Harry Potter, including Lucius Malfoy, Rita Skeeter, and Bertha Jorkins...and of course, his parents and their contemporaries.

All this time, Tom Riddle was becoming the evil Dark Lord Voldemort, consorting with the worst of Wizardkind and learning secrets and dark magic that would change him forever from the handsome, talented boy of the 1940s into a twisted, horrible person who would be known as the most evil wizard of his age. One can only imagine that Dumbledore kept watch for all those years, waiting and wondering what happened to the boy he knew as Tom Riddle...

During the 1970s, Voldemort began to gather followers who were eager for a share of his power. The closest followers of Voldemort were known as the Death Eaters. These years got progressively more dangerous and violent.

~As Voldemort's influence grew, some witches and wizards were controlled by the Imperius Curse and forced to commit atrocities, including the torture and murder of Muggles.

~Voldemort capitalized on the prejudice and distrust between the Giants and the Wizarding World; the Giants became Voldemort's followers and killed and tortured many people.

~The Dark Mark is used by Death Eaters to indicate a house where they have committed murder.

~No one dared to become friendly with strange witches and wizards, not knowing if they were Voldemort supporters.

~Hogwarts became one of the few safe places in the Wizarding World.

~Bartemius Crouch is head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement; he gives his Aurors the authority to use drastic methods not differing greatly from the tactics used by the Death Eaters they were fighting.

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is a fictional school of magic that is the main setting of the Harry Potter series.

Hogwarts Castle is a wondrous, magical building with many towers and turrets. It is home to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. If a Muggle approaches the castle, all they see is a mouldering ruin with a sign warning them to keep out, that it's unsafe. Hogwarts is built in a forested area, directly next to a fairly large lake, in the highlands of Scotland. The main entrance to Hogwarts is a set of huge oak doors which face more or less toward the west. The lake is to the south of the castle. The forest is very large, and parts of it extend around to the west of the castle.

The school grounds feature a Quidditch pitch, the lake, the Forbidden Forest, and at least three greenhouses.

Hogwarts is divided into four houses; Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin.

Students reach Hogwarts by a train called the Hogwarts Express. No apparition is possible on the school grounds, although adults seem to show up by means other than the school train; using brooms, or apparating to a nearby location and walking (shown in book 6), or probably using other magical means of traveling such as Floo powder. The school has strong charms around it to repel "Muggles" (non-magic people). In fact, if a Muggle were to walk by, Hogwarts would look like an old ruin with a sign saying 'Keep Out'. Electronic devices do not work on Hogwarts grounds; there is too much magic in the air.

The motto of Hogwarts is "Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus", which in Latin means "Never tickle a sleeping dragon". J. K. Rowling said she wanted a practical motto for Hogwarts, since so many schools have less pragmatic ones such as "Reach for the stars".

Several professors make up the Hogwarts faculty, each specialising in a single subject (see subjects). Other staff positions include that of school nurse, caretaker, librarian, and gamekeeper/groundskeeper. About a hundred house-elves work in the kitchen.

It is unclear how Hogwarts is funded, and its fee structure. It is assumed that students pay for the education themselves. It is mentioned that a special fund is set up for needy students' books/equipment. Apparition lessons, which are optional, are offered to sixth years or anyone 17 years old for a fee of 12 galleons.

The logistics of the classes seem fairly remarkable. Each professor teaches one subject to all seven years (five years for some subjects, including Divination, Arithmancy, and others) and there are at least two sessions for each year from the third through the fifth (first through fifth for core subjects such including Potions, History of Magic, Transfiguration, Charms, and Defense Against the Dark Arts) since Gryffindor is always said to be paired exclusively with Slytherin in Potions, for example, or Hufflepuff in herbology. NEWT-level classes in the sixth and seventh years, however, are not divided into multiple sections. At least once the classes were stated as being an hour and a half long. If all of the classes are this length, the professors of core subjects teach anywhere from 36 hours a week if each class meets twice a week and 90 hours if classes meet five times which seems quite unlikely. Professors of non-core subjects would teach between 24 and 60 hours a week. Without the aid of a time-turner, the higher numbers seem quite unlikely.

Rowling may have taken the name Hogwarts from the Molesworth books. The Hogwarts is the title of one of Molesworth's imitation Latin plays, and Hoggwart is also the name of the headmaster of Porridge Court, a rival of St. Custard's, the terrible prep school that Molesworth attends.


A. Early History

Hogwarts was founded over a thousand years ago by two wizards and two witches: Godric Gryffindor, Salazar Slytherin, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Helga Hufflepuff. Shortly after founding Hogwarts, Salazar Slytherin had a falling out with the other founders. Slytherin wanted to admit only pure-blood students, but the other three founders disagreed. Slytherin left the school, but not before secretly building the Chamber of Secrets. When his own true heir, the Heir of Slytherin, returned to the school, he or she would be able to open the Chamber, unleash a horrible Basilisk, and purge the school of all Muggle-born students.

The Chamber of Secrets

After starting Hogwarts the founders found it hard to get along with Salazar Slytherin. This was because he wanted only students with magic families to come to Hogwarts but not magic students from Muggle families.
Slytherin felt left out of the group so he bulit a secret chamber in the girls toilets on the second floor girls toilets at Hogwarts.
This chamber was named the chamber of secrets and could only be opened if you told the tap with a snake engraved on it to 'open' in parsel mouth.
Parsel mouth is the language that snakes speak and some wizards are born with it but very few are. Salazar Slytherin was one of them and he knew none of the founders could find his chamber if he made it only open to parselmouths.
Slytherin bbuilt a statue of himself and magicked it so that when you speak parsel mouth to the statue a basilisk would come out.

B. Middle History

About three hundred years after the school was founded, the Triwizard Tournament began between the three most prestigious magical schools in Europe: Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang. This Tournament was considered the best way for wizards of different nationalities to meet and socialize. The Tournament continued for six centuries, until the death toll became too high, and the Tournament was discontinued until 1994 (the schoolyear depicted in Goblet of Fire).

C. Recent History

The existence of the school was threatened twice when the Chamber of Secrets was opened. The first time it was opened was in 1942, when Tom Riddle, the Heir of Slytherin and the future Lord Voldemort, opened the Chamber in his sixth year. When a girl named Myrtle was killed, the Ministry of Magic threatened to close the school. As Riddle spent his time away from Hogwarts in a Muggle orphanage, he did not want the school closed, so he framed Hagrid.

In 1992, the Chamber was opened by Ginny Weasley, under the influence of a diary written by Riddle (one of the Dark Lord's horcruxes). The diary allowed Riddle's memory to possess Ginny, allowing him to act through her to open the Chamber a second time. Lucius Malfoy had secretly planted the diary in her schoolbooks, with the hope that she would be caught and held responsible, thus bringing an end to Arthur Weasley's Muggle Protection Act. However, Harry Potter discovered the truth, destroyed the diary, and killed the basilisk that was living in the Chamber.

In 1994, the Triwizard Tournament began once more, though with several safety measures in place. However, Barty Crouch Jr., disguised as Professor Alastor Moody, entered Harry Potter's name in the Goblet of Fire under the name of a fourth school, ensuring that he would be chosen by the Goblet. He used a Confundus Charm to trick the Goblet into forgetting that only three schools could compete in the tournament. Consequently, Harry became a fourth champion, to the great disgust of the representatives for Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, as well as many Hogwarts students. Crouch Jr. made sure that Harry won the Tournament, having turned the Triwizard Cup into a Portkey, which carried Harry straight into the hands of Lord Voldemort. Harry escaped, but Voldemort succeeded in using Harry's blood in a complex spell, which allowed him to attain a bodily form and defeat certain of Harry's magical protections.

Hogwarts was also threatened when the Ministry of Magic began implementing "Educational Decrees" in 1995, as part of a conspiracy to discredit Albus Dumbledore. Dolores Umbridge, the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, was the centre of this plan. With the Educational Decrees, she slowly took control of Hogwarts, and eventually replaced Albus Dumbledore as headmistress. After she was attacked by Centaurs in the Forbidden Forest and Cornelius Fudge was forced to accept that Voldemort had returned, Umbridge was removed from the school.

Facts About Hogwarts

~ Hogwarts has seven floors.

~ The Sorting Hat was Godric Gryffindor's hat.

~ The only way to get to Hogwarts is to catch the Hogwarts Express from King's Cross station in London unless you live in Hogsmeade the only wizarding town in Britian which is hidden from Muggles. You must go to platform nine and three-quarters at King's Cross Station which you get to by going through what appears to be a solid barrier. The Hogwarts Express will then take you to the village of Hogsmeade then coaches will await you to take you up to Hogwarts Castle.

~ The Hogwarts motto is "Draco Dormien Nuquam Titillandus" which translated in to English is "Never tickle a sleeping Dragon".

~ A few years ago, the famous James Potter and his friends created a magical map that shows every activity, secret and person at Hogwarts. They named it the Marauders Map.

~ Hogwarts is surrounded by the Forbidden Forest, which is inhabited by many facsinating creatures, such as: Centaurs, Monsterous spiders, The Wealeys Ford Anglea( now running wild!) Unicorns, and plenty others. This forest if off limits to any and all Hogwarts students, unless they are in there serving as harsh detention.

~ The teachers at Hogwarts are very strict when it comes to discipline. For
instance, if you mistreat a book in the Hogwarts School Library their is a
great chance the book is bewitched to hit you in the head, set your hair on
fire, or some other weird thing that you would never expect. So be careful
not to accidentally doodle on the cover of a Hogwart's Book, for you never
know what may happen!

~ Muggles cannot see Hogwarts. Instead if they do lay their eyes upon Hogwarts they will see a dangerous reckage.

~ Hogwarts holds over 100 house elves which is the largest number of house elves in one place in the world.

~ Muggle devices don't work in Hogwarts because there is too much magic in the air..

~ You cannot apparate into or out of Hogwarts.

~ The Hogwarts lake is home to a giant squid and Merpeople (see Monster Book of Monsters).

~ Hogwarts is a riddle to everyone. It has many secret passges, some known, some not, some used, others unused. Hogwarts is also so possessed by magic that places in Hogwarts regularly move around. Including the armor.

~ The entrances to all the common rooms are hidden. For instance the gryffindor entarnce is a portrait and the Slytherin entrance is a hidden trap door in the dungeons.

~ There are 142 stair cases in Hogwarts. Some take you to a different place on Fridays and some that have steps that you will have to remember because they are vanishing steps that dissapear when you touch them, the stairs at Hogwarts come in many different shapes and sizes that take you all around Hogwarts. You have to trust and approach the stairs cautiously if you want to get around Hogwarts. To get through some doors you have to ask politely, do whatever the door tells you to do or tickle them in exactly the right place. Sometimes the walls pretend to be doors so you have to be careful and try to remember everything....which is impossible when it comes to memorizing everything about Hogwarts.

~ Sometimes unknown rooms appear at random times at Hogwarts, maybe this book should be called Hogwarts a Mystery?

The Founders of Hogwarts

Over a thousand years ago, the four greatest witches and wizards of the age shared a dream, to create a school where young people of the Wizarding World could study and be trained in the magical arts they needed to become skilled, fully-trained wizards. These four great wizards each founded one of the houses of the school that they worked together to form: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. They have been referred to as The Hogwarts Four.

For a number of years, this arrangement worked just fine. Each of the founders took a group of students to be in their own house and even though they had differences of opinion about who should be trained, the house system helped them all to work together. However, as the years went by, the differences between Gryffindor and Slytherin became a serious rift. Eventually Slytherin left the school.

A. Godric Gryffindor

Godric Gryffindor was born on a moor, a wild, windswept area of heathland that famously bred the hard and rugged people of the Scottish highlands. The West Country, where Rowling was born and grew up, also contains substantial areas of moorland, and moors are also found in mid-Wales and the north of England. True to his origin, Gryffindor praised courage, determination and strength of heart above all other qualities. He also seems to have been the most in favour of allowing muggle-borns into the school. His only known relics are the Sorting Hat & the silver sword Harry used to kill the basilisk, both of which are currently kept in the office of the headmaster. He was initially a great friend of Salazar Slytherin.

"Godric" is an Anglo-Saxon name meaning "he who rules with God" or "he who rules well." This would lend credence to the idea that Godric was the unofficial leader of the four founders. "Gryffindor" comes from the French "Gryffon d'or" or "golden griffin," the ancient symbol of courage, echoed in the lion that is the symbol of Gryffindor house.

Gryffindor and his house are symbolized by a gold lion on red.

A historical Saint Godric has many interesting connections with the Potter family. Among them are his protection of a stag from pursuing hunters, allowing snakes to warm themselves by a fire, and black hair. However, JK Rowling refuted the theory that Harry Potter is an heir of Gryffindor but was cagey on the issue.

B. Rowena Ravenclaw

Rowena Ravenclaw was born on January 22, in a glen, a dead giveaway to her Scottish origin. A great friend of Helga Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw was admired for her incredible creativity, she is said to have thought out and designed the plans of the moving floors and staircases in Hogwarts. Ravenclaw House thus values in its members a sharp mind, wisdom, and cleverness.

She is described as "fair", that is, beautiful, a trait her house appears to have inherited. Harry Potter, Percy Weasley and Dean Thomas have all developed crushes on Ravenclaw girls, and when the delegation of Beauxbatons, home of the ravishing Fleur Delacour, arrived in the Great Hall, they were seated at the Ravenclaw table. If we are to judge by the films, even the Ravenclaw ghost is a beautiful woman.

Her name, Rowena, is Gaelic and means "red-haired", perhaps another clue to her Scottish ancestry.

Ravenclaw and her house are symbolized by a bronze eagle on blue in the books and a silver eagle in the movies.

C. Helga Hufflepuff

Helga Hufflepuff is the founder about whom we can deduce the least. She came from a broad valley, and favoured honesty, fair play, and hard work. A relic of Hufflepuff, a small golden cup, was once owned by distant descendant, Hepzibah Smith, until it fell into the hands of Lord Voldemort.

Her last name could be a contraction of "I'll huff and I'll puff", the cry of the big bad wolf in The Three Little Pigs, signifying the hard work Hufflepuffs are famous for.

Hufflepuff and her house are symbolized by a black badger on yellow.

D. Salazar Slytherin

Salazar Slytherin is the most notorious of the four founders, and, even though his house is arguably the second most successful in Hogwarts after Gryffindor, he is always instinctively spoken of last when the four founders are mentioned. This is probably because he left the other three founders soon after Hogwarts was completed. He came from a fen, an area of marshland in central England, and his swampy home may have been due to his being a parselmouth, a wizard with the rare ability to speak to snakes. Slytherin, more than any of the other founders, was selective as to who he would allow into his house. Not only did he favour resourcefulness, determination and ambition, often to the point of ruthlessness, he also refused anyone who wasn't at least partly of "pure" wizard heritage, and is widely credited with beginning the "pure-blood" ideology followed by such families as the Malfoys and the Blacks, and embraced by his last descendant, Lord Voldemort, whose mother, Merope Gaunt, was a member of the House of Gaunt , a very ancient pure-blood family.

The disagreement between Gryffindor and Slytherin about whether to allow Muggle-borns into the school became so heated that eventually Slytherin left, but not before completing his own addition to Hogwarts, the Chamber of Secrets, beneath the Hogwarts lake. Knowing that any of his descendants would be able to speak parseltongue, he placed a basilisk (a giant serpent that only parselmouths can control) in the chamber, assuming that one of his heirs would be able to use it to purge the school of impure students. Eventually, his last remaining descendant, Tom Marvolo Riddle aka Lord Voldemort, discovered the chamber and set loose the basilisk.

Slytherin has left two relics that we know of: a black-stoned signet ring and a locket emblazoned with his serpent mark, both of which were heirlooms of his last line of descendants, the Gaunts. The Gaunts, though impoverished, were proud of their lineage and spoke almost exclusively in Parseltongue, even to outsiders.

Slytherin is the only founder for whom we have a anything like a detailed physical description. His statue in the Chamber of Secrets depicts a man "ancient and monkey-like, with a long thin beard that fell almost to the bottom of [his] sweeping robes."

Salazar Slytherin was probably named after António de Oliveira Salazar, a former dictator of Portugal. Rowling lived for a time in Portugal and her first husband is Portuguese. "Slytherin" could be a pun on "slither in", "slithering", or "sly therein."

Slytherin and his house are symbolized by a silver serpent on green.

The Hogwarts Headmasters and Headmistress

A. Dilys Derwent

Dilys Derwent is a fictional character in the Harry Potter series. Derwent was a healer at St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries from 1722-1741, and headmistress at Hogwarts from 1741-1768. Dumbledore describes Derwent and another former headmaster, referred to only as Everard, as "two of Hogwarts's most celebrated heads" in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. She has a portrait hanging in St Mungo's as well as Dumbledore's office and can travel freely between them.

Dilys and Everard are engaged in the search for Arthur Weasley by Dumbledore because they are famous enough to have portraits in other buildings: St Mungo's and the Ministry of Magic, respectively.

B. Armando Dippet

Armando Dippet was the Headmaster of Hogwarts during the time that a young Lord Voldemort, Tom Riddle, who was a student, opened the Chamber of Secrets. This caused a student, Myrtle, to die during Dippet's Headship.

Dippet refused to let Tom stay at the school during the summer holidays. This was seen by Harry Potter through a memory in Tom Riddle's diary. Dippet ceased being Hogwarts Headmaster in 1955; it is unknown if he resigned or died. Dippet then became a portrait in the Headmaster's office, which allowed him to regularly discuss matters with other former Headmaster portraits and the current Head. He was suceeded by Albus Dumbledore, the Transfiguration teacher.

C. Albus Dumbledore

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore is a character in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series - the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and one of the most powerful wizards in the world. Being benevolent, slightly eccentric, and powerful, he resembles an archetypal good wizard in the style of Merlin or Gandalf. He is often sympathetic to Harry Potter's difficulties, and, as such, occasionally allows the young wizard more leeway than he would with others. He is also the only wizard Lord Voldemort ever feared.

The name Albus is from the Latin word albus ("white"), a frequently used symbol for good; "Dumbledore," which means "bumblebee," was picked by the author because she imagines him humming while strolling along the halls of Hogwarts.

In the movie versions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Dumbledore was played by Richard Harris, who died in 2002 of Hodgkin's disease. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Dumbledore is played by Michael Gambon.

Early life and career

Comparatively little is revealed about Dumbledore's early history or family. At the time of the series, he is (according to an interview by Rowling) about 150 years old, meaning he entered Hogwarts around 1851, being sorted into Gryffindor House. His brother, Aberforth, was prosecuted for "practising inappropriate charms on a goat," may be illiterate, and (as confirmed by Rowling) is the bartender at the Hog's Head Inn in Hogsmeade. Dumbledore's extraordinary magical talents were apparent from an early age, as later described by the elderly Griselda Marchbanks, Head of the Wizarding Examinations Authority, who had personally examined the school-age Dumbledore for his NEWT exams in Charms and Transfiguration. Marchbanks recalled that the young Dumbledore had "done things with a wand I'd never seen before."

Some time after his graduation from Hogwarts, he returned to the faculty as Professor of Transfiguration, and in this capacity also served in recruiting students for the school. He identified Tom Marvolo Riddle and offered him a place at Hogwarts, glimpsing the true nature of the boy who was to become Lord Voldemort. His keen observations of Riddle's student years led Dumbledore to influence Hogwarts' headmaster, Armando Dippet, not to offer Riddle a faculty position.

In 1945 Dumbledore defeated the dark wizard Grindelwald. As J.K. Rowling confirmed, Grindelwald and his followers are meant to be the magical-world analogues of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

Dumbledore also held the posts of Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, and Supreme Mugwump in International Conference of Wizards. He was a Grand Sorcerer, and was awarded the Order of Merlin, First Class. He was removed from the aforementioned posts during his conflict with the Ministry of Magic under Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge about the return of Voldemort and subsequent requisite actions; he was reinstated however when the ministry was forced to see their own error.

Dumbledore and the Rise of Voldemort

It was to Dumbledore that Sibyll Trelawney, subsequently appointed as professor of Divination, revealed the prophecy regarding Voldemort's fall.

Dumbledore was instrumental in the struggle against his former student, working tirelessly against him with the Order of the Phoenix. When Harry's parents, James and Lily Potter, were killed by Voldemort, it was Dumbledore's decision to place the now-orphaned Harry in the safekeeping of Vernon and Petunia Dursley, knowing that Harry would be protected by the special magic caused by his mother's sacrifice.

Throughout the series Dumbledore is portrayed as a wizard with modern/reformist ideas about pure-bloodedness and the rights of Muggles, part-humans, and non-humans. Dumbledore does not give importance to the so-called "purity of blood" and believes that an individual's choices reflect his character rather than his birth, blood, or family, saying "it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be." Voldemort angrily refers to Dumbledore as "champion of commoners, muggles and mudbloods.". Unlike most wizards, Dumbledore is not afraid of speaking Lord Voldemort's name.

Dumbledore makes the important discovery that Voldemort is trying to achieve immortality through the use of Horcruxes, one of which was Tom Riddle's diary, destroyed by Harry in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Dumbledore himself destroys a second Horcrux, and is killed after being weakened by attempting to find a third.

Dismissal from Hogwarts

Dumbledore was twice dismissed from his position as Headmaster, the first time during Harry's second year at Hogwarts, when Lucius Malfoy persuaded the school's twelve governors to remove him in the wake of attacks by a basilisk on people in the school. He was subsequently reinstated, after Harry killed the basilisk and Lucius was found to have started the attacks.

In Harry's fifth year, Dolores Umbridge was appointed by the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, to oversee activities at Hogwarts, after Dumbledore and Harry tried to convince the wizarding world that Voldemort had returned. Harry and other students organised a club called "Dumbledore's Army" to learn defensive magic. Umbridge discovered the club and used it as an excuse to dismiss Dumbledore as headmaster. Dumbledore was reinstated after Voldemort launched an attack on the ministry of magic.

D. Everard

Former headmaster of Hogwarts whose portrait now hangs in the headmaster's office. Everard is particularly famous and as a result his portrait hangs in many famous wizarding institutions, including the Ministry of Magic. Everard is a sallow-faced wizard with short black bangs.

E. Fortescue

Red-nosed, corpulent Wizard. Fortescue was at one time a Headmaster of Hogwarts. His portrait hangs in the Headmaster's office.

F. Phineas Nigellus

Phineas Nigellus Black, more commonly known as Phineas Nigellus, is a fictional character in the Harry Potter series. Great-great-grandfather of Sirius Black, Nigellus is considered to be the least popular headmaster Hogwarts has ever had. Nigellus' portrait hangs in the headmaster's office along with the portraits of the other ex-headmasters and headmistresses.

Like the other portraits, Nigellus helps the current headmaster. He does not enjoy doing this. He does not get along well with his great-great-grandson, young people or most people for that matter; however, he did seem somewhat upset to find out Sirius, the last male Black, was dead, for either purely dynastic or emotional reasons. He, along with Ginny Weasley, is unusual in being a character who openly criticises Harry Potter's often selfish behaviour in Order of the Phoenix.

"Nigellus" means "little Black", in Latin, so "Nigellus Black" makes little sense unless either Phineas Latinized his name or the Nigellus family Anglicised theirs fairly recently.

J.K. Rowling's choice for his first name is also a meaningful one. In the bible Phinehas, grandson of Aaron, is a high priest who kills two lovers because they belong to different ethnical groups. His example has been used to justify attacks on interracial couples over the centuries. This corresponds to the Black family motto.

E. Dolores Umbridge

Dolores Jane Umbridge is a fictional character in the Harry Potter series of novels by J.K. Rowling.

Umbridge is a short, squat woman resembling a large toad. She often wears a black velvet bow in her hair that reminds Harry of a fly about to be caught. She has a high, girly voice that Harry describes as sounding like poisoned honey. The name Dolores has the Spanish word dolor, or pain, as its root, and the name Umbridge is pronounced the same as umbrage, meaning resentment or pique at an often imagined insult. Another similar sounding word which fits in well with Umbridge's position is umpirage, derived from umpire, denoting someone who arbitrates between two parties or an official who enforces rules in a sports game (i.e. a referee).

When Umbridge first appears in the books in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix she holds the position of Senior Undersecretary to Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge, and acts as one of Harry's interrogators in the Wizengamot, a wizard's court, when he is tried on charges of breaking the ban on underage sorcery. (It is later revealed that Umbridge herself ordered the Dementors to attack Harry, causing him to use magic for self-protection.)

Umbridge is installed at Hogwarts as the new Defence Against the Dark Arts professor by order of the Ministry of Magic, teaching according to the Ministry's highly restricted and pared-down curriculum.

Her power gradually increases as she is soon appointed the first ever "Hogwarts High Inquisitor", in which position she is given extraordinary powers over the students, teachers and curriculum. Umbridge creates an Inquisitorial Squad, which rewards some students for reporting on others and sanctions them to act as enforcers of Umbridge's rules. She uses a very cruel and unusual punishment on Harry, forcing him to write magically with his own blood from the back of his hand. She probably got the idea for this didactic torture from the story "In the Penal Colony" by Franz Kafka.

After Dumbledore leaves Hogwarts, Umbridge is placed there as Headmistress. However, the Headmaster's office refuses to open for her, and her time as Headmistress is characterized by both active and passive rebellion on behalf of most of the student body and the professors alike.

Umbridge is severely injured and traumatised at the end of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, when she is tricked into entering the Forbidden Forest where she insults a group of Centaurs, calling them "filthy half-breeds", and is nearly killed. Very soon afterwards, Dumbledore is reinstated in his position as Headmaster and Umbridge is seen fleeing the school, pursued by Peeves the Poltergeist.

In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince it is revealed that Umbridge still holds a position at the Ministry of Magic under the new Minister for Magic Rufus Scrimgeour, but the nature of the position is not revealed.

F. Minerva McGonagall

Headmistress Minerva McGonagall (born October 4, ca. 1925)[1] is a fictional character in the Harry Potter series of novels by J. K. Rowling. McGonagall is played by Maggie Smith in the films.

She is the Headmistress, Head of Gryffindor House, and Transfiguration teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where she began teaching in December, 1956. McGonagall considers Transfiguration to be the most complex and difficult branch of magic. She became Acting Headmistress of Hogwarts after Albus Dumbledore was killed by fellow Professor Severus Snape. She is unlikely to continue teaching.

Stern, snappy, and reserved, Professor McGonagall has nonetheless shown herself to have the best interests of the students of Hogwarts, of her wards in Gryffindor, and especially of Harry himself in mind. McGonagall is also one of Albus Dumbledore's staunchest supporters and a member of the Order of the Phoenix. She is the first magical character and Animagus we are introduced to in the series.

McGonagall has black hair drawn into a tight bun. She wears emerald green robes, and always a very prim expression. She is, according to Rowling, a "sprightly" 70 years old. She wears square glasses with markings on them that are the same as the ones around her eyes when she is a tabby cat. She also has a fondness for tartan patterns, apparently derived from a Scottish heritage; even her dressing gown is tartan.

Her name derives from two sources: one is Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom (a name that suits Minerva very well). Her surname comes from that of a 19th century Dundee eccentric, William Topaz McGonagall[2]. He is often regarded as the worst poet in the history of the English language.

We first meet Minerva McGonagall in the opening chapter of the Philosopher's Stone, The Boy Who Lived, when she meets Albus Dumbledore at Number four Privet Drive. She is immediately shown to be an Animagus, a witch or wizard who has the ability to turn into an animal without the aid of a wand, and as such she waits on a brick wall all day in the form of a tabby cat. In this chapter, Professor McGonagall's complete personality is summarised: her caring side (she is worried when Dumbledore reveals he plans to leave Harry Potter, fresh from Lord Voldemort's attack on him, with the Dursley family, his only living relatives), her snappy, brusque side (she criticises a number of people, including Hagrid), and ultimately, her intelligence (to become an Animagus is very difficult, and can sometimes take years to master the magic).

McGonagall is the member of staff who performs the Sorting Ceremony at Hogwarts. She demands complete respect from all of her students.

McGonagall is very keen on Quidditch, and, as Head of Gryffindor House, she takes an interest in the house Quidditch team's progress. In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, she recommends Harry as Seeker after seeing him skillfully fly on a broom, despite the fact that, as a first year, he would not normally be allowed the position.

McGonagall, despite being a strict disciplinarian, often assists Harry in an indirect way. She has often hinted at certain things for Harry's benefit. One example at this is when she warned Harry in his fifth year that the Ministry of Magic was monitoring communication in and out of Hogwarts. She was also the member of the Hogwarts staff who most obviously disliked Dolores Umbridge, yet were not afraid of her. All of Umbridge's attempts to interfere with Minerva's business, whether career counseling or regular classes, would be promptly dismissed with a stern remark.

She was also friendly to Peeves at that point, overheard telling the poltergeist at Hogwarts that "It unscrews the other way" upon observing him attempting to unscrew and destroy a chandelier in a bigger plan to thwart Professor Umbridge's dictatorship at Hogwarts. She also lent him her walking stick, which he used to beat Umbridge with as she left Hogwarts.

Professor McGonagall is a member of the Order of the Phoenix, as is revealed in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. She warns Harry not to provoke Dolores Umbridge, as she works for the Ministry of Magic. In that book, she also attempts to keep Umbridge and her minions from taking Hagrid away forcefully, and pays for her attempt when she gets hit by four Stunning Spells. She is taken from the school to St Mungo's. However, after the battle in the Department of Mysteries, she returns to the school safe and well, returned to her usual brisk self.

After the death of Albus Dumbledore at the hands of Severus Snape in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Professor McGonagall becomes acting Headmistress of Hogwarts due to her position as Deputy Headmistress. Whether she becomes regular Headmistress will only become apparent when the 7th volume is published. If indeed McGonagall does continue her likely reign as headmistress, then she will need to appoint a new head of Gryffindor house, a new deputy, and a new Transfiguration teacher, as well as a new head of Slytherin House and the positions of Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher and (presumably) Potions teacher, as Professor Slughorn told Harry in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince that he would only be staying in Hogwarts for one year.

Four Houses of Hogwarts

In the Harry Potter series, the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is divided into four houses, each bearing the last name of its founder: Godric Gryffindor, Salazar Slytherin, Rowena Ravenclaw and Helga Hufflepuff.

A. Gryffindor

Gryffindor values courage and chivalry. Its emblematic animal is the lion and its colours are red and gold. Minerva McGonagall is the most recent Head of House. Nearly Headless Nick is the house ghost.

As this is the house to which Harry Potter belongs, its private quarters are the only ones that have been described in any detail, and its members tend to get the most attention. These are located in one of the castle's towers, the entrance to which is located on the seventh floor and is guarded by a painting of a fat lady in pink. She permits entry only after being given the correct (regularly changing) password. Behind her is a large common room, with a fireplace, and two staircases leading up to the boys' and girls' dormitories.

According to J. K. Rowling, Gryffindor corresponds roughly to the element of fire, which may partly be the reason for its colours.

B. Slytherin

Slytherin values ambition and cunning. Its emblematic animal is the serpent and its colours are green and silver. The temporary Slytherin head is Horace Slughorn, a former head; previously it was Severus Snape. The Bloody Baron is the house ghost. According to J. K. Rowling, Slytherin corresponds roughly to the element of water. The Slytherin common room and dormitories are located underneath the Hogwarts lake, and are reached through a bare stone wall in the dungeons. The Slytherin common room is a long, low underground room with rough stone walls and round, greenish lamps hanging from the ceiling.

Contrary to the beliefs of his peers, Salazar Slytherin wanted a stricter policy of admittance—one limited to pureblood students. The controversy this created eventually led to Salazar leaving the school, leaving the Chamber of Secrets behind. A millennium later, the house's students are still considered affiliated with Salazar's views (though some half-bloods, most notably Tom Riddle and Snape, have been in Slytherin); sometimes undeservedly, sometimes not. Blood purity is certainly one of the things in Lord Voldemort's agenda. It is often mentioned in the novels (especially in PS and CoS) that most of the dark wizards were in Slytherin.

C. Ravenclaw

Ravenclaw values intelligence, knowledge, and wit. Its emblematic animal is the eagle, and its colours are blue and bronze (silver in the films). The Ravenclaw head is Filius Flitwick. The house ghost is the Grey Lady. According to J. K. Rowling, Ravenclaw corresponds roughly to the element of air. The Ravenclaw common room and dormitories are located in a tower on the west side of the school.

Ravenclaw seems to have been second-best preference (behind Gryffindor) for Hermione Granger.

D. Hufflepuff

Hufflepuff is the most inclusive among the four houses, valuing hard work and patience, loyalty and friendship, and justice and fair play rather than a particular aptitude in its members. Its emblematic animal is the badger, and yellow and black are its colours. Professor Pomona Sprout is the head of Hufflepuff. The Fat Friar its ghost. According to J. K. Rowling, Hufflepuff corresponds roughly to the element of earth. The Hufflepuff common room and dormitories are located somewhere in the basement, near the castle's kitchens.

Perhaps as a consequence of the broad principles of acceptance upon which it is founded, Hufflepuff has been stereotyped as the house of the unexceptional (or, more unkindly, as "a lot o' duffers"). One of the few Hufflepuffs of note is Cedric Diggory, who brought his house rare glory as its Quidditch captain and Seeker, and later as Hogwarts' champion in the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Heads of Houses

A. Filius Flitwick (Charms) - Head of Ravenclaw House

Filius Flitwick (born October 17, year unknown) is a fictional character in the Harry Potter books. Flitwick is the Charms professor and head of Ravenclaw house at Hogwarts. It is rumoured that Flitwick was dueling champion when he was younger. Flitwick took part in the insurrection against Dolores Umbridge and is known to empathise with "half-breeds", such as Hagrid, due to the fact Flitwick himself is part goblin. As such, he is very short and requires a stack of books in order to see over the top of his desk. He has white hair and taught at Hogwarts when James Potter and company were there. It is possible that he will replace Minerva McGonagall as Deputy Head of Hogwarts.

It is told that Filius Flitwick was a dueling champion, very intelligent, and quite handsome when he was younger.

In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Filius is summoned by Minerva McGonagall to ask Professor Severus Snape to come to the aid of the Order of the Phoenix against the Death Eaters. Unfortunately, Snape stupefied Flitwick, joined the Death Eaters, and ended up killing (former) Headmaster Albus Dumbledore. (Battle of Hogwarts)

In Charms class, Flitwick is often hit by misaimed or bad spells, often flying around the room or growing boils.

The name "Flitwick" could be derived from the name of the town of Flitwick near London (though that name is pronounced "Flittick"), or it could be a combination of "flit" (that is, to move quickly and lightly) and "wick" (a word from Northern England meaning "lively.") Filius is the Latin word for "son".

Warwick Davis played Flitwick in the first two films. He also played the goblin bank teller in the first film. He will return in his role for the fourth movie, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

B. Minerva McGonagall (Transfiguration) - Head of Gryffindor House

Please see the post "The Hogwarts Headmasters and Headmistresses".

C. Horace Slughorn (Potions) - Head of Slytherin House until 1981; Acting Head of Slytherin House from 1997

Horace Slughorn is a character in the Harry Potter series of novels written by J.K. Rowling.

Slughorn is first introduced in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, but he was Potions Master at Hogwarts for several decades before retiring in the 1980s. At this time, Slughorn was also head of Slytherin House, a position he resumes at the end of Prince. He has prominent, pale-gooseberry eyes, a "shiny pate," and an "enormous, silver, walrus-like moustache." He is enormously fat, but is only as tall as Dumbledore's chin. He considers that he is an old man, though he is not as old as Dumbledore. He suffers from a weak, wheezy chest and rheumatism. Despite this, he has managed to hide out from Voldermort (and Dumbledore too) by moving from Muggle house to Muggle house, living there when the owners go on holiday.

Slughorn generally displays traits of Slytherin, such as ambition: he is very well connected through the wizarding world, and is ever hungry to be beside famous people. He never wishes to be famous himself: as Dumbledore says, "He prefers the backseat; there is more room to spread out." Slughorn is keen to make ever-more connections, and in his post as teacher makes a habit of having regular meetings with students who are famous, related to famous people, or gifted or talented in one way or another. Known as The Slug Club, this group of students are invited to Slughorn's office for dinner, parties, and the like. Slughorn invites no other children, and refuses to invite children whose parents were famous from illegal deeds. Slughorn's weakness is love of money, which Harry Potter plays to his advantage, having lured him to Hagrid's hut under a promise to get him access to Acromantula venom, an extremely valuable magic substance.

Slughorn's personality contradicts the typical "evil Slytherin" stereotype seen until the sixth book. Despite his ambition, he is not a bad person, is horribly guilt-ridden that he unwittingly helped Voldemort's rise to power, and has less prejudice against Muggle-born witches and wizards than most Slytherins. At the end of Half-Blood Prince, he replaces Snape as the Head of Slytherin.

D. Severus Snape (Potions/Defence Against Dark Arts) - Head of Slytherin House 1981-1997

Severus Snape (born January 9, 1959) is a fictional character in the Harry Potter series of novels. He taught Potions and Defense Against the Dark Arts for 16 years, and was Head of Slytherin house at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, a principal setting of the novels. His chequered past and his apparent hatred of Harry Potter cause Harry to distrust and dislike him.

Snape's physical appearance is that of the classic villain: tall, thin, "hook-nosed" and "oily," and clad from head to toe in forbidding black robes "like an overgrown bat". This has led to speculation that Snape may be a vampire or have vampire blood, but this theory has been denied by Rowling in an interview.

JK Rowling says that she borrowed his surname from the village of Snape, Suffolk. His first name is Latin for "strict" or "harsh" (hence, "severe"), and may have been inspired by the Imperial Roman Severan Dynasty, noted for their dictatorial ways and despised by the rest of the Roman elite as being Phoenician-descended outsiders.

In the Harry Potter films, the character is played by actor Alan Rickman.

Severus Snape was born to Tobias Snape (a Muggle) and Eileen Prince (a witch). Details of his early life are incomplete, but Harry comes to suspect that Snape suffered neglect from his parents and may have been abused by his father. He comes to these conclusions through his botched lessons in Occlumency. He learns in his final Occlumency lesson that Snape was extremely unpopular and lonely in his teens, perhaps due to or causing his interest in the Dark Arts.

The enmity between Snape and Harry begins in Harry's first year, from the moment that they first see each other. Much of Severus Snape's disdain for Harry Potter seems to arise from a rivalry between Snape and Harry's father, James Potter, when they were both students at Hogwarts. Snape seems to have been obsessed with the Dark Arts, and it was said that, as a first-year Hogwarts student, Snape knew more hexes and curses than most seventh-year students; additionally, his bookish demeanor and unattractive appearance made him an outsider and a target of scorn.

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry learns that Sirius Black (one of Harry's father James Potter's best friends, and Harry's godfather), lured Snape to the Shrieking Shack where he could have been seriously injured or killed by Remus Lupin in his werewolf form. Snape's life was saved by James Potter; Snape believes, however, that James had been involved in the plot and only decided to intervene out of fear of expulsion from Hogwarts. Later, in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, it is revealed that Snape suffered teasing and bullying at the hands of James Potter and Sirius Black during their fifth year at the school.

Snape frequently antagonizes Harry, calling him "a nasty little boy who considers rules to be beneath him" [HP4]. He taunts Harry during Potions lessons, ridiculing his work and giving him frequent detentions. Snape also attempts, on several occasions, to have Harry (and his best friend Ron) expelled from the school. Nevertheless, Snape saves Harry's life on more than one occasion.

At the end of the fourth book Snape tries to convince Cornelius Fudge that Voldemort has returned by showing him the Dark Mark on his arm, which reappeared when Voldemort returned. Dumbledore then sends Snape on a mission, which is later revealed to have been to visit Voldemort.

For a time during the course of the fifth book, Dumbledore assigns Snape the task of giving Harry lessons in Occlumency, the protection of one's mind from outside intrusion or influence. Snape is assigned this task because he is extremely skilled in both Occlumency and its companion art Legilimency, both proficiencies undoubtedly useful in his undercover work among the Death Eaters. The classes are cut short, however, after Harry uses Dumbledore's Pensieve (borrowed by Snape that he might sequester private memories during Harry's Occlumency lessons) to observe Snape's worst memory. Viewing this memory proves to be an unpleasant shock for Harry, who discovers that his father and Sirius had been arrogant bullies who persecuted Snape much as Dudley Dursley and Draco Malfoy persecute Harry.

In the sixth book, while at his home at Spinner's End, Snape is first seen swearing a vow to Narcissa Malfoy (mother of Draco Malfoy), that he will protect her son and help him complete whatever task Voldemort has set him to do. He is finally permitted to take the post of Defence against the Dark Arts teacher. He is seen by Hagrid arguing about some important task which Dumbledore has set him. At the end of the book Dumbledore asks Harry to get Snape to aid him, but when Snape arrives, he kills Dumbledore on the Battlements of Hogwarts (Battle of Hogwarts).

E. Pomona Sprout (Herbology) - Head of Hufflepuff House

Pomona Sprout (b. May 15) is the fictional Herbology teacher and head of Hufflepuff house in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. She is a dumpy, cheerful little witch. She wears shabby earth-covered robes and a patched and frayed hat over her fly-away grey hair.

Professor Sprout was played by British character actress Miriam Margolyes on screen.

Her most notable accomplishment in the Harry Potter novels is having prepared a draught of mandrake to revive those who had been petrified in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. She subsequently appeared in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. She made a strong amount of bubotuber pus that helps clear up stubborn forms of acne.

Later on in the school year she was chosen to comfort Amos Diggory and his wife after the death of their son, Hufflepuff student Cedric Diggory at the hands of Lord Voldemort.

In Order of the Phoenix, she accepts Harry Potter's story in The Quibbler about Lord Voldemort's resurrection. She awarded Harry 20 points to Gryffindor for telling his story, under a clever ruse.

In Half-Blood Prince Professor Sprout fights the Death Eaters along with her colleagues Minerva McGonagall and Filius Flitwick and five students from Dumbledore's Army. Professor Sprout is one of the main advocates of keeping Hogwarts open after Dumbledore's death, stating that Albus Dumbledore would've wanted it. She also supported the suggestion that Dumbledore should be laid to rest at Hogwarts. She attended Dumbledore's funeral, where she was seen cleaner than her students ever previously saw her, a reference to her usual activity gardening in the Hogwarts greenhouses.

As a likely reference to her subject of teaching, Professor Sprout shares her first name with Pomona, the goddess of fruit trees and horticulture in Roman mythology. Her last name is equally appropriate; "sprout" is an English verb meaning "to grow (as shoots or buds)".

Lord Voldemort

Lord Voldemort (born December 31, 1926) is the fictional archvillain of the Harry Potter series. He is an evil wizard bent on controlling the world and achieving immortality through the practice of Dark Magic. He is so feared by magical people that most refer to him as "You-Know-Who" or "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" rather than saying his name out loud. He is also referred to as the "Dark Lord", although generally only by his followers, the Death Eaters. His name means Flight from death in French (vol de mort). (This could also be translated as "Theft of Death.")

Lord Voldemort was born Tom Marvolo Riddle (in the English version of the book; see below for information on other editions) on New Year's Eve 1926 to father Tom Riddle Sr. and mother Merope (née Gaunt) Riddle. Through his mother, he was the last descendent of Salazar Slytherin.

Riddle was abandoned by his father, and his mother died shortly after his birth, so he was raised in an orphanage. He was discovered by Albus Dumbledore, who invited him to study at Hogwarts. Even as a child he had developed some control over his abilities, a sign of his immense potential as a wizard. By the time that Dumbledore met Riddle, he could move things with his mind, make animals do what he wanted, talk to snakes, "make bad things happen to people who annoy" him, and even make people feel pain. However, he also displayed cruelty, a disregard for others, a tendency to abuse his magical abilities, and a lack of moral judgement.

While a student at Hogwarts, Riddle was generally successful in concealing his motives and was a talented student. He began using the name Lord Voldemort among some of his followers, and would later go on to abandon his real name and use his adopted name openly. While Riddle was at Hogwarts, he amassed a group of people from Slytherin house whom Riddle called friends but had no compassion for. Many of these people became Death Eaters, including Rodolphus Lestrange, and Avery. During Riddle's fifth year at Hogwarts, he opened the Chamber of Secrets and killed Myrtle, a muggleborn girl. Dumbledore was the only one who suspected him, as Riddle had a talent for charming the right people, such as teacher Horace Slughorn.

After completing his education, Voldemort sought to gain employment as a teacher at Hogwarts. Dumbledore speculates that this was in order to find an object belonging to Godric Gryffindor or Rowena Ravenclaw. He was turned down by headmaster Dippet on account of his age. He was turned down later by Dumbledore because he had proven untrustworthy. Instead, he temporarily took a job with Borgin and Burkes, but quit upon acquiring (by theft and murder) Slytherin's locket and a goblet bearing the Hufflepuff badger, probably to use as Horcruxes. He then disappeared and was not seen again for many years.

His rise to power

Little more is known about Riddle until he rose to power as Lord Voldemort in the 1970s. The full horror of his attempt at control has only been hinted at. It would seem when Voldemort first appeared, he started his campaign with the idea of "purifying" the Wizarding race of Muggleborns, which appealed to the old Wizarding families. He briefly resurfaced to contact Dumbledore, requesting to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts. He was turned down. At some time he "showed his true colours," which apparently caused him to lose the support of some of the old families. The Ministry of Magic — led largely by Barty Crouch — worked against Voldemort, along with the Order of the Phoenix, led by Dumbledore, then headmaster of Hogwarts. Dumbledore is said to be the only person whom Voldemort ever feared, and Hogwarts was one of the few safe places during that dangerous time.

During this time, the wizarding world was embroiled with suspicion and fear. One could never be sure who was on Voldemort's side and who wasn't. Voldemort and his followers used curses which could cause excruciating pain, instant death, or allow a person to control another person. This third curse was the subject of much controversy, as many of the people who worked for Voldemort later claimed that his followers had been using this curse on them. Some of these people were later set free, and at least one (Lucius Malfoy) has been confirmed to have been acting of his own free will.

Voldemort had his own group of trusted aides: the Death Eaters, over whom he maintained control by continuous, and often brutal, punishment. The Death Eaters would employ the Dark Mark, a green skull (mors mordre) with a snake coming out of its mouth, as their symbol. This would be used to terrorise people – by causing it to appear above a house where they had killed people, for instance.

Despite the efforts of the Ministry and Dumbledore, Voldemort appeared to be winning, having infiltrated many of their organizations with his spies. The wizarding community was in shock and fear, and mutual suspicion was tearing it apart.

Then, in early 1980, Sibyll Trelawney, great-great-grand-daughter of a famous and gifted seer, Cassandra Trelawney, entered a trance in the presence of Dumbledore and uttered a prophecy:

"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches ... born to those who thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies ... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not ... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives ... the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies ..."

Two boys fit the description within the prophecy: Neville Longbottom and Harry Potter. A Death Eater named Severus Snape overheard the prophecy being recited and informed Voldemort; He only managed to hear the first few lines, however, thus missing out the part about "marking as equal." Voldemort believed Harry the most likely of the two to be a risk to him, even though Neville was a pure-blood (and thus, according to Voldemort's creed, the better wizard) and so went to kill the child, thus "marking him as equal" and confirming that Harry was the one referred to in the prophecy.

In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Dumbledore reveals further truths relating to the prophecy. He tells Harry that by attempting to kill him (giving him his scar in the process) Voldemort began the chain of events that would eventually lead to fulfillment of the prophecy (much as in Oedipus Rex).

His downfall

On October 31, 1981, Voldemort arrived at the home of James and Lily Potter, prominent members of the Order of the Phoenix, in Godric's Hollow. He killed James, and then tried to kill Harry. Lily tried to stop Voldemort from killing her son but was killed herself. Finally, Voldemort used Avada Kedavra, the killing curse which is also known as an unforgivable curse, on Harry — a curse with no known counter-curse, no way of stopping it, and no known survivor.

But one-year-old Harry survived, with only a scar in the shape of a lightning bolt on his forehead. The spell somehow backfired on Voldemort, reducing him to a barely-alive shell of his former self. He remained alive in six separate pieces; six split parts of his soul, five of which were preserved in Horcruxes, and a seventh part which had been in his body. He ran out into the night, and wasn't heard from again for ten years. He didn't have his sixth Horcrux yet, as he was planning to use Harry's murder to create it. (He wanted to have his soul split into seven parts)

Harry survived because of his mother's sacrifice for him, an ancient kind of magic which imbued him with a lingering protection against direct attacks by Voldemort, especially when in a place his mother's blood relatives (i.e. the Dursleys) live. This protection also saved his life from Professor Quirrell later on.

The news of Voldemort's downfall spread fast through the wizarding community. Without his personal power to back them up, many of his supporters defected or gave themselves up. A few attempted to find him, but were unsuccessful. Overnight, Harry became a celebrity for being "The Boy Who Lived." Many Death Eaters were captured and sent to Azkaban prison.

The years of exile

Voldemort settled in a forest, where even existence was a continuous struggle for him. His only remaining power was the ability to possess the bodies of others, and he frequently possessed snakes. Animal bodies made it hard for him to do any actual magic, crucial to regaining his body and strength.

Then, in the early 1990s, Voldemort found Hogwarts' Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Quirrell, passing through the forest. Seduced by thoughts of power and glory, Quirrell agreed to serve Voldemort. He took Voldemort to London and attempted, with the help of his new master, to steal the Philosopher's Stone, which would have allowed Voldemort to not only regain his former power, but to become immortal. His plans were thwarted by Harry, as recounted in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

Voldemort returned to his hiding place, angry that his Death Eaters had forsaken him, and afraid that he would not be able to find another wizard to possess. He spent the next two years in hiding. In this interim, Death Eater Lucius Malfoy attempted to send the memory (and, unbeknownst to Malfoy, part of the soul) of Voldemort stored in his diary into Hogwarts, by giving it to Ginny Weasley. This horcrux of Voldemort managed to manipulate Ginny into opening the Chamber of Secrets once again, nearly killing a number of students. Riddle then tried to drain Ginny's life-force out of her to allow himself to come into being outside the book. Harry defeated him once again as recounted in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It is not known what would have happened had Ginny been terminated by Voldemort, but J. K. Rowling has noted it would strengthen the present-day Voldemort.

Luckily for Voldemort, a series of incidents detailed in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban forced Peter Pettigrew, who had betrayed Harry's parents to Voldemort, to leave hiding and to go in search of Voldemort. While searching for his one-time master, he kidnapped Bertha Jorkins, from whose mind Voldemort learned enough to formulate the plan he executed in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. In the course of this plan, Voldemort first created a primitive body for himself, extremely rudimentary but still enough to allow him to perform magic by himself. He then used an ancient ritual of Dark Magic to recreate the body he had before his curse rebounded at the beginning of the first book. Harry's blood formed a part of this process of rebirth, preventing the effect which caused Voldemort to almost die when he first tried to kill Harry. Many Harry Potter fans suspect that this will eventually prove to be Voldemort's undoing, as the blood which now courses through Voldemort is Harry's own. After being reborn, Voldemort summoned the Death Eaters back to him, and attempted to kill Harry — but Harry escaped the Dark Lord yet again (see Characteristics).

The Second War

At first, the Ministry of Magic refused to believe that Lord Voldemort had risen again. The Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, began a process of defaming Dumbledore and Harry (the only non-Death Eater witness to the ceremony). Dumbledore was accused of being senile, and was removed from several important posts. Harry, on the other hand, was accused of making the whole thing up for attention. Meanwhile, Lucius Malfoy managed to gain large influence within the Ministry through heavy donations.

In opposition to Voldemort, Dumbledore reformed the Order of the Phoenix, and set it up in Sirius Black's old home — Number 12, Grimmauld Place, London. He also sent envoys to the giants and other non-human magical beings whom Voldemort might try to lure onto his side.

Meanwhile, Voldemort was waiting and plotting carefully. Only a handful of wizards (the members of the Order and his own Death Eaters) knew or believed he was back, allowing him a free hand in his schemes. He managed to coerce the giants, dementors and werewolves to support him.

Towards the latter half of the book — after engineering a plot to spring some of the Death Eaters from Azkaban — Voldemort embarked on a scheme to kill Harry and retrieve the record of the Prophecy regarding Harry and Voldemort, stored in the Ministry's Department of Mysteries. His plot failed, and the only copy of the prophecy was destroyed. All but one of the Death Eaters he sent to execute his plan fell into the hands of the Order of the Phoenix.

Just as the Order appeared to be winning, however, Sirius Black fell into a strange doorway in the Department of Mysteries, and apparently died. This doorway was supposedly created so that the Ministry could study death. Overcome with anger and grief, Harry chased down Bellatrix Lestrange, the Death Eater responsible for Sirius's death. In his rage, Harry used the cruciatus curse (a spell of the most intense physical pain) on her, but it only lasted a split-second, as Harry was not very familiar with it (as it is one of the three unforgivable curses). Lestrange was saved by Lord Voldemort, however, who appeared and tried to kill Harry, who in turn was saved by Dumbledore.

This led to a wizarding duel, in which Voldemort and Dumbledore battled each other, until finally Voldemort vanished, taking Lestrange with him. He was seen by the Minister of Magic, however, who finally accepted that Voldemort was back. At the end of the book, the Ministry of Magic is preparing to take him on once again.


Voldemort is described as having chalk-white skin, no hair, red eyes and cat-like slits for pupils, and long, thin hands with unnaturally long fingers. Earlier in life Voldemort was a handsome man with black hair, before his appearance began to transform from his experiments with dark magic. In fact, he did not look dissimilar to Harry Potter. The transformation into this monstrous state was caused in most part by the division of his soul so that he could create Horcruxes.

One of Voldemort's defining characteristics are his classist "pure-blood" tendencies. He looks down upon Muggles (non-magical humans) — a hatred which seems to have begun with his muggle father's bad treatment of his mother. He hates non-pure-bloods, despite the fact he is one himself.

In many ways, Voldemort matches the classic profile of antisocial personality disorder.

Voldemort does not want to be just an ordinary person. He wanted to be someone special. In fact, he was capable of consciously controlling his wandless magic at a very young age. That explains why he hated his name; other than the fact that it links him to his father who never wanted him, the name "Tom" is a common name and was not "special" to him. That was why he gave himself another name, one which others would fear in the future, Lord Voldemort.

Voldemort bears a certain physical resemblance to Ian McDiarmid's Emperor Palpatine from the Star Wars films although, as Darth Vader is "more machine than man," Voldemort appears to be "more magic than man." When first describing him to Harry, Hagrid noted that Voldemort might no longer be human enough to die:

"Some say he died. Codswallop in my opinion. Dunno if he had enough human left in him to die."
Rubeus Hagrid (to Harry Potter, in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone)

Voldemort is also a Parselmouth: a wizard who can talk to snakes in their own language, Parseltongue. This is an ability he inherited from his ancestor, Salazar Slytherin (of whom he is the last living descendant), and which he unwittingly passed to Harry when he tried to kill him.

Voldemort also has a tendency to forget seemingly minor details, which has led to his undoing on several occasions. In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone he states that he had forgotten the ancient magic which protected Harry from him, after his mother had died to protect him; in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets he forgets that the tears of the phoenix have healing powers. The Harry Potter Lexicon suggests that the glint in Dumbledore's eye in the Goblet of Fire when Harry tells him that Voldemort has some of his blood in him reveals another of Voldemort's memory-slips.

Many of these characteristics are shared by Harry, probably as a result of the failed curse which gave him his scar.

Voldemort's magic wand is made from yew wood (a wood associated with immortality and that gives poisonous sap), is thirteen and a half inches long, and has the feather of a phoenix at its core. The feather is from Dumbledore's pet phoenix, Fawkes. Unusually enough, Fawkes gave one more feather to be used in a wand; this wand belonging to Harry Potter. Because the two wands have a core coming from the same source, they cannot work properly when used against each other. If they are nevertheless forced to battle, what will happen is Priori Incantatem or the "reverse spell effect," where each wand will try to force the other to regurgitate shadows of the spells it has cast in reverse chronological order. All of this played an important part in Harry Potter's escape from Voldemort at the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and it might also be significant in the final book of the series.

After much speculation JK Rowling revealed that Voldemort's greatest fear is "ignominious death", this his boggart would be his corpse, to see "himself dead". What Voldemort desires most is to see himself all-powerful and eternal - which is what he would see if he were ever to look in the Mirror of Erised.

Voldemort's name

Voldemort's real name is Tom Marvolo Riddle (appropriate since his name is indeed a riddle); in the second book he explains that Lord Voldemort is derived from an anagram of his name:


As many other names in the Harry Potter novels, "Voldemort" seems to have French origins. Indeed, "Vol de mort" means (rather appropriately) either "Flight of death" or "Theft of death" (as the word "vol" has two meanings in French). The word "de" can also translate into English "from", leading to the meaning "Flight from Death". Given Voldemort's fear and attempts to escape death, this meaning is also appropriate.

Harry's Parents and their Best Friends

A. James Potter and Lily Evans

James Potter and Lily Potter (née Evans) are fictional characters of the Harry Potter series. They are the late parents of Harry Potter.

James Potter was born c. 1960 in England. He attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry c. 1971 to c. 1978 where his best friends were Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew. Sirius fell out with his parents and instead came to live with James' family from the age of 16. They treated Sirius as a 'second son', suggesting that James had no other brothers. James was a brilliant student and was Quidditch Chaser on the Gryffindor house team. There is considerable confusion over whether James Potter was a Seeker or a Chaser. Rowling has confirmed that James was a Chaser, and that his being a Seeker was introduced in the Harry Potter films. Described by Severus Snape as exceedingly arrogant he eventually matured by the end of his schooldays. Scenes from James time at Hogwarts have shown him behaving as something of a bully towards Snape.

While at Hogwarts he met his future wife Lily Evans, who had entered Hogwarts c. 1971 as well. Lily's parents were said to be delighted to discover their daughter was a witch, but her sister Petunia was not. Lily was also a talented student, described by Professor Slughorn as having a natural ability at potions, being cheeky and always seeing the good in others. She became a member of the Slug Club, which was run by Slughorn for promising students. They were Head Boy and Head Girl when they were in their final year. For most of the time they were at Hogwarts, Lily regarded James as an arrogant fool but when he matured she changed her mind and fell in love with him. They married soon after leaving Hogwarts. J.K. Rowling has said in an interview that "James inherited plenty of money, so he didn't need a well paid profession." It has not been revealed what careers they took up after leaving school.

James and Lily had a son whom they named Harry, born on 31 July 1980. James and Lily belonged to an organisation called the Order of the Phoenix, which was created for wizards who wanted to battle Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters. This organisation was created and lead by Albus Dumbledore. Dumbledore was given a prophecy by Sybill Trelawney that someone had been born who would defeat the Dark Lord. Voldemort was told the prophecy by Severus Snape and determined two possible children who might fit the description, Neville Longbottom and Harry. Voldemort resolved to kill them. James and Lily escaped three times from attacks by the Death Eaters and Lord Voldemort, but on 31 October 1981, the Potters were betrayed by their friend Peter Pettigrew and were attacked without warning at their home in Godric's Hollow. Their confrontation ended with first James and then Lily dead and Voldemort himself barely alive. Harry was begrudgingly adopted by Lily's sister, who is married to Vernon Dursley.

Lily could have saved herself when the family was attacked by Voldemort. He offered her a chance to stand aside while he killed Harry. She refused, so he killed her, but her selfless act of love invoked an ancient magic that gave Harry an innate defence against Voldemort. The magic was extended so long as Harry remained living with his blood relatives, until he turned 17. In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Professor Quirrell, acting as host to Voldemort, attempts to attack Harry to gain the Philosopher's stone, but is destroyed by the magic, and Voldemort returned to his prior non-corporeal state. Over time, however, Voldemort has learned to overcome some of Harry's defences.

James' Animagus form is a stag, like Harry's Patronus. James was therefore nicknamed "Prongs". Though Harry bears a great resemblance to his father, it is often noted that he has Lily's green eyes. Several rumours regarding the forthcoming events of the seventh Harry Potter book regard this detail as significant.

Though Lily was Muggle-born and thus should have been a prime target for Voldemort herself, Voldemort requested her to "stand aside" when he attempted to kill Harry. This was shown as a flashback sequence during Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The baby is his target, not her, but in the end, he was forced to kill her before approaching Harry. Given the fact that Voldemort kills any wizard without blinking an eye, this has given rise to speculation about his reasons for offering her a chance to live.

B. Sirius Black

Sirius Black (c. 1960 - June, 1996) is a fictional character in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series of novels. He is played in the film adaptations by Gary Oldman.

Sirius Black is one of the last people born to the House of Black, a prominent family of pure-blood wizards and witches. Known members of the family include Narcissa Black, who married Lucius Malfoy and gave birth to Draco Malfoy; Andromeda Black, who married Ted Tonks and gave birth to Nymphadora Tonks; Bellatrix Black, who married Rodolphus Lestrange; and Regulus Black, who, according to Sirius, tried to leave the Death Eaters and was killed on Lord Voldemort's orders.

At the age of sixteen, Sirius ran away from home, disgracing his family and prompting the removal of his name from the Black family tree tapestry.

Sirius Black was best friends with James Potter, Harry's father, and was also friends with Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew. When they discovered that Lupin was a werewolf, his friends helped him by secretly becoming Animagi because Lupin was not compelled to attack non-humans. Sirius's Animagus form was that of a dog and his nickname was therefore "Padfoot".

When James married Lily Evans, Sirius was his best man at the wedding and later became Harry's godfather. By making him godfather, James and Lily had appointed Sirius as Harry's guardian in case anything happened to them.

C. Remus Lupin

Remus John Lupin (born March 10, 1959) is a fictional character in the Harry Potter novels, portrayed by David Thewlis in the films.

Lupin first appeared in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, during which he taught Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. At the end of the year Severus Snape made public the fact that he was a werewolf and after that Lupin had to resign. He taught the class about dark creatures and gave Harry private anti-Dementor lessons. His students (excepting a few Slytherins) held him in extremely high regard and loved the hands-on style of his classes. He was considered by Harry and his friends to have been their only decent Defence teacher, although his competition was hardly stiff in this regard. Two were frauds, one was possessed by Lord Voldemort, Dolores Umbridge was appointed by the Ministry of Magic as a spy, and the latest was the intimidating Severus Snape. Lupin reappeared in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and in Half-Blood Prince, but his role in those books was smaller than in Prisoner of Azkaban.

Lupin was bitten by the vicious werewolf Fenrir Greyback as a child, thus becoming a werewolf himself. Though he and his parents were justifiably afraid he would not be able to attend school, Albus Dumbledore allowed him to enter Hogwarts. A house was built in Hogsmeade with a secret passage leading to it from under the Whomping Willow. Lupin was smuggled into this house for his monthly transformations to secure his safety and that of others. The transformation from human to werewolf is difficult and painful, and when isolated from humans or the company of other animals, the werewolf would attack itself with its teeth and claws out of frustration. The villagers mistook his screaming as that of extremely violent ghosts. The house was dubbed "the Shrieking Shack" and became known as the most haunted building in Britain. Although the house was not really haunted at all, Dumbledore encouraged this rumour to discourage curious villagers from ever exploring.

Remus kept his transformations a secret, but his friends (James Potter, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew) worked out the truth in their second year. By their fifth year they had learnt how to become Animagi to keep him company during his transformations. A werewolf is only a danger to humans. He was given the nickname "Moony" by his friends because of his condition. In their sixth year, Sirius Black played a prank on Severus Snape, whom all four of them loathed. He told Snape where Remus went every month, knowing full well it would lead to Snape's death. James stopped Snape, saving his life, but Snape still found out Remus was a werewolf and was sworn to secrecy by Dumbledore.

Remus was a prefect, though he had trouble exercising discipline over his friends. In an interview, J. K. Rowling linked this to Remus's desire to be liked by his friends, "because he's been disliked so often." Sirius said Remus was the "good boy" in Order of the Phoenix, and Rowling said he was the "mature" one. Sirius says that Lupin did not participate in his and James's bullying (of Snape, in particular), but Lupin regrets never having told them to stop.

In Prisoner of Azkaban, he is described as having "light brown hair" that is greying. In Order of the Phoenix, as having a pale face with premature lines. He has shabby, patched clothing. Few in the magical world want to employ a werewolf and almost all are prejudiced against them. With the addition of new anti-werewolf laws passed by the Ministry of Magic, finding employment became practically impossible and almost illegal. With Wolfsbane Potion provided by Snape during his time at Hogwarts, he can retain his human mind during transformations. Since he is a werewolf, Lupin's boggart takes the form of the full moon.

Lupin's werewolf form is often mistakenly believed to be a humanised wolf. This is likely due in part to the presentation of werewolf Lupin in the film adaptation, but the books inform us that there are only minor superficial differences between the appearances of a true wolf and a transformed werewolf in the Harry Potter world.

There is evidence to suggest that Lupin is a more powerful wizard than he lets on. While on the train during Prisoner of Azkaban, he summons fire without a wand (wandless magic being difficult to perform) and holds it in the palm of his bare hand. Later, in Order of the Phoenix, he is the only fighter besides Dumbledore who was not wounded, killed or knocked unconscious in the battle at the Department of Mysteries.

In Half-Blood Prince, it is revealed that he is hiding undercover as a spy amongst his fellow werewolves who are under the leadership of the very werewolf who originally bit him. Fenrir Greyback is now in the employ of Voldemort. Remus admits to Harry that he finds the werewolves' motives for siding with Voldemort hard to argue with, as he offers them more freedom than they are currently allowed.

At the end of the book it is revealed that Nymphadora Tonks is in love with Remus. He resists becoming involved with her because of the risks from his being a werewolf, and because he is too old and poor for her. However, the two are seen holding hands in one of the last scenes. The pairing of Lupin and Tonks was predicted before the release of Half-Blood Prince by some "shippers," but largely thought to be unlikely.

D. Peter Pettigrew

Peter Pettigrew is a fictional character in the Harry Potter series of novels. In the movies, he is played by Timothy Spall.

At first, in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry is told that Peter Pettigrew was a friend of his father (James Potter) who confronted Sirius Black after the latter had betrayed Harry Potters's parents. Sirius Black supposedly cursed Pettigrew, leaving only a finger behind and slaughtering a dozen-odd innocent Muggles at the same time. For this crime, Sirius Black was sent to the wizard prison, Azkaban.

At the end of that book, however, Sirius and Remus Lupin reveal that Pettigrew is an Animagus who takes the form of a small rat. Called "Wormtail", he had become the secret-keeper for James Potter and his wife Lily Evans when Harry was a baby, in hopes that Lord Voldemort would pursue Sirius Black instead. However, it turns out that Pettigrew always tries to find powerful friends; he betrayed the Potters to Voldemort in order to gain favour. During the confrontation with Sirius on that fateful night, it was actually Pettigrew who blasted the muggles and then transformed himself to escape with the other rats down into the sewers. He left behind a finger, successfully faking his own death and framing Sirius Black for his and the Potters' deaths. Since then, Pettigrew had masqueraded as Scabbers, the pet rat owned at first by Percy Weasley, then by Ron Weasley. It has not been revealed how Peter, as Scabbers, managed to get into the Weasley family.

Pettigrew later faked his own death a second time, to avoid Crookshanks, who was trying to bring him to Sirius Black. After his capture in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry convinced Sirius and Lupin not to kill Pettigrew. However, Pettigrew managed to escape, and he sought out and rejoined Lord Voldemort. Peter has a life debt to Harry because he stopped Lupin and Sirius from killing Peter. Dumbledore describes this as ancient magic that forms a bond between the two.

In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Pettigrew helped Lord Voldemort in an elaborate scheme to capture Harry. Pettigrew then performed a complicated spell which allowed Voldemort to return to the flesh, sacrificing his own hand in the process. Shortly after his restoration, Voldemort created a silver hand out of thin air and attached it to Pettigrew to replace the hand he had sacrificed in the ritual. The hand is much stronger than Pettigrew's old one.

Pettigrew did not appear in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, except in Snape's memory. He is also seen in a portrait of the original Order of the Phoenix; he was one of the original members of that organisation.

He also makes a brief appearance in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. When Narcissa Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange visit Snape, it is revealed that Pettigrew is currently hiding at Snape's home on Voldemort's orders. J.K. Rowling hinted that Pettigrew will make additional appearances in the final novel.

Peter is one of the few evil wizards who was not from Slytherin House.

The name "Pettigrew" is probably derived from the French word "petit", or small, and "grew." Hence, "grew small."

Places in Harry Potter

Wizarding Places

A. Hogsmeade

Hogsmeade, Scotland, UK is a fictional settlement that appears in the Harry Potter novels. Hogsmeade is the only pure wizarding settlement in the United Kingdom and is located south of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Third year students and older are permitted to visit the village, as long as they have a signed permission slip from their parent or guardian.

Hogsmeade remained unseen in the films, except for the short sequence where the train arrives at the Hogsmeade station in the first movie, until the release of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in 2004.

B. Azkaban

Azkaban is the fictional wizard prison in the Harry Potter series of books by J. K. Rowling. Wizards who violate the laws of the wizarding community are sent here. By the start of the series, Azkaban is guarded by the foul dementors working under the Ministry of Magic. Generally, only very severe crimes are punished with a term in Azkaban. Many of the prisoners were supporters of Lord Voldemort. According to Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Azkaban is located "in the middle of the North Sea," (although according to Rowling it is more specifically in the north of the North Sea.) The only island in the North Sea to meet this description (known to the Muggles, that is) would be Heligoland. Of course, Azkaban has some magic to it that hides it from the view of the Muggles.

Azkaban has a horrible and justified reputation. Its remote location is more of a precaution than a safety measure— the mass presence of dementors renders the inmates incapable of happiness and forces them to relieve their worst memories, as they become gradually helpless and very often severely insane. As dementors are extremely difficult even to injure—the only spell effective against them is the Patronus Charm, which only repels them—Azkaban was long considered escape-proof.

According to Sirius Black, because of the effects of the soul-sucking dementors many inmates of Azkaban simply stop eating and eventually die of starvation.

Prime among the crimes for which someone can be sent to Azkaban is the performing of one of the three Unforgivable Curses: the Imperius Curse, the Cruciatus Curse, and the Avada Kedavra. Performing one of these curses against any human is punishable by an automatic life sentence at Azkaban.

Azkaban has not played a direct part in the series, but lurks in the sidelines from time to time. In the second book, Hagrid is placed under temporary imprisonment at Azkaban, an experience so traumatic that he refuses to talk about it after being released. Sirius Black becomes the first wizard known to break out of Azkaban (he was actually preceded by Barty Crouch Jr., who managed to avoid detection by faking his death) in the third book. Albus Dumbledore once declared in front of the then minister of magic, Cornelius Fudge, that he could easily break out of Azkaban.

At the present moment Azkaban has been severely compromised; Professor Dumbledore has always been vocal in declaring that it was a mistake to guard Voldemort's greatest supporters with those creatures who have the most to gain if Voldemort returned to power. In the fifth book, this is in fact what happens. The Dementors leave their posts at Azkaban and join ranks with Voldemort. The prison still appears to be in use, but its emasculation has greatly harmed its effectiveness.

C. St. Mungo's Hospital

St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries is a fictional place in the Harry Potter series of books. St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries is the wizarding hospital of Britain. Doctors at the hospital are not called doctors, but are known as Healers. They wear lime-green robes. To become a Healer, a Hogwarts student must have N.E.W.T.s of at least grade E (Exceeds Expectations, second highest possible grade) in the subjects of Transfiguration, Potions, Charms, Herbology and Defence Against the Dark Arts.

St. Mungo's is located in London. To enter the premises, one has to step through the window of what appears to be a derelict department store called Purge and Dowes Ltd. This acts as a magical gateway to the main building, very much like the magical barrier at King's Cross railway station on Platform 9¾. The exteriors of the hospital are red-bricked and dirty, which is the complete opposite of the interiors. Inside, everything is very neat and looks exactly as a hospital should. There are six floors:

St. Mungo's was founded by Mungo Bohnam, the famous Healer, in the 1600's. The exact date is unknown. St. Mungo's emblem is a magic wand crossed with a bone.

Harry Potter first enters St. Mungo's after Mr. Arthur Weasley was attacked by a snake (Harry actually witnessed this attack in a dream). Other known characters taken to St. Mungos include:

~Professor Minerva McGonagall who had to spend some time there when she received four Stunning Spells to her chest from accomplices of Dolores Umbridge who were trying to remove Rubeus Hagrid from Hogwarts.

~Nymphadora Tonks was taken there after she was unconscious at the end of fifth book after battling with Bellatrix Lestrange.

~Katie Bell, a Gryffindor student, was sent to St. Mungo's after touching a cursed necklace she was carrying under the influence of an imperius curse.

~Gilderoy Lockhart, who inadvertantly wiped his memory.

~Frank and Alice Longbottom, tortured to insanity by Bellatrix Lestrange.

Lucius Malfoy's generous donations to St. Mungo's hospital have helped to give him influence with the Ministry of Magic and Cornelius Fudge.

Mungo Bohnam would have been named after the historical Saint Mungo (also known as Kentigern), who was the patron saint of Glasgow. "Mungo" was a nick name meaning "dear one" or "darling." He is considered the first bishop of Scotland. According to the stories about him, his pregnant mother was abandoned by her family before his birth. (source: Pocket Dictionary of Saints, published by Image Books, 1983. This theme of abandoned mothers is also found in the story of Merope, the mother of Voldemort, who was rejected by her family.

D. Ministry of Magic

In J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series of novels, the Ministry of Magic is the governing body of the magical community of Britain, succeeding the earlier Wizards' Council. It is known that other countries have their own Ministries of Magic. The job of the Minister for Magic seems to include executive, legislative and judicial functions. The Ministry has seven departments and many minor offices, to deal with different aspects of the wizarding world. Different departments communicate through "Inter-departmental memos", pale violet paper airplanes that will fly to their destination.

The British Ministry of Magic is based in an underground location beneath London. It was revealed in the first chapter of book six that the Ministry keep in touch with the British Prime Minister with the help of a wizard's portrait in the Prime Minister's office that notifies the Prime Minister when the Minister For Magic is arriving (ususally imminently). To enter the ministry, one must dial the number 62442 into a phone booth and state one's name and reason for entering. Passes are then issued (apparently through a magical system) and the Phone booth then descends through the ground into the ministry's lobby in Floor B8.

In books one through five Cornelius Fudge served in the position of Minister of Magic, however he was sacked and Rufus Scrimgeour was given the post in book six. Below the Minister are various undersecretaries (most notably Dolores Umbridge), and heads of various magical departments. The exact structure of power within the ministry is relatively unknown.

I. Houses

A. Godric's Hollow

Godric's Hollow is a fictional village in the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling.

It was the final hiding place of Lily and James Potter prior to being murdered by Lord Voldemort on October 31, 1981. It was at this same time that Harry Potter was left with his lightning-bolt-shaped scar.

Some readers speculate that Godric's Hollow may have been the home of James Potter's family, and/or the home of long-dead Hogwarts founder Godric Gryffindor. There is also speculation that one of Lord Voldemort's Horcruxes will be at Godric's Hollow. At the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter says he will revisit the village and his parents' graves.

As for the town's exact location, there are speculations that Godric's Hollow is somewhere in Wales (thus making Harry Potter Welsh of origin). The reason for this speculation is the fact that, when carrying baby Harry from Godric's Hollow to Little Whinging in Surrey, Rubeus Hagrid flew over Bristol - which is at the border between England and Wales.

B. The Burrow

The Burrow is the fictional house which belongs to the Weasley family in the Harry Potter series of books and movies. It is located in the fictional village of Ottery St Catchpole, Devon, UK, possibly based on the real town of Ottery St Mary. The house is very tall - perhaps four or five floors high - and remains standing only by magic. There is a well-hidden Quidditch pitch nearby that is used by the Weasley boys and (secretly) by Ginny. Real Quidditch balls cannot be used in case they escape and fly over the Muggle village.

The Burrow is highly magical, and most normally inanimate objects in the house have been enchanted to perform tasks automatically. A central feature of the house is a clock used by Mrs. Weasley. The hands of the clock represent members of the family, and the markings on the clockface are conditions and locations. With this, she can tell if any member of her family is at home, asleep, travelling, or in danger. The house also has a ghoul in the attic who keeps Ron Weasley awake at night by banging on the plumbing. The house provides a safe and fun place for Harry Potter to stay during the summer holidays, when he cannot stay at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The Burrow is home to Arthur Weasley, Molly Weasley, Bill Weasley, Charlie Weasley, Percy Weasley, Fred Weasley, George Weasley, Ron Weasley, and Ginny Weasley.

Cedric Diggory's family lives near the Burrow and Luna Lovegood's may as well.

II. Schools

A. Hogwarts

B. Beauxbatons

Beauxbatons Academy of Magic is a fictional magic school similar to Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series of books. It was first introduced in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and existed at least 700 years ago, as that was when they began participating in the Triwizard Tournament. Beauxbatons is located in France and its headmistress is Olympe Maxime.

Some have speculated that since bouillabaisse was served at the opening feast of the Triwizard Tournament, and this fish soup is generally served in southeast France, one could assume that Beauxbatons is somewhere on the Mediterranean coast of France, perhaps Marseille. This would also explain why Beauxbatons students are so cold when they are in Hogwarts.

The students' uniforms also suggest they are accustomed to warmer weather than what they encounter at Hogwarts. Beauxbatons uniforms are made of light blue silk, and the school coat of arms is two golden wands crossed over one another, each shooting three stars. Beauxbatons students stand at attention from when their headmistress enters the room until she seats herself. They also seem to care more about their studies and their school's reputation.

The Academy is in a glittering palace, probably newer and brighter than Hogwarts Castle. The food, at least according to Fleur Delacour, is delicious but much lighter than the food served at Hogwarts. Students are serenaded while they dine by choirs of wood nymphs. At Christmas time the dining hall is adorned with great, non-melting ice sculptures. Beauxbatons is Unplottable, so no muggles or even wizards from rival schools can find it on a map, and it may be disguised so no one can really see it unless they know to look for it. The Academy has existed for over seven hundred years, and was part of the Triwizard Tournament since its founding.

"Beaux bâtons" is French for "beautiful sticks." The "bâtons" part is presumably a reference to magical wands. The French word for "magic wand" is "baguette magique", which would make most people in the English-speaking world think of a loaf of bread, so it's not surprising Rowling didn't use it.

As both Hogwarts and Durmstrang are in castles and Fleur Delacour said Beauxbatons was a palace, it is likely that Beauxbatons is also inside a castle. Beauxbatons competed in the 1994 Triwizard Tournament. The champion for Beauxbatons turned out to be Fleur Delacour. Fleur wasn't impressed with Hogwarts, and spent much of her time bragging about how much better Beauxbatons was.

In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Olympe Maxime journeyed with Hagrid to get the giants on Dumbledore's side before Lord Voldemort could. It isn't known who took over the headmastership.

C. Durmstrang

Durmstrang Institute for Magical Study is a fictional magic school in the Harry Potter books, similar to Hogwarts. Durmstrang is thought to be located in eastern or northern Europe, probably in Scandinavia, or less likely, northwestern Russia, although that name points to its German origin. Given the historically strong German and Austrian cultural and political influence on all Middle and Eastern Europe, German can as well be the language of instruction. The school existed at least 700 years ago, as that was when they began participating in the Triwizard Tournament.

Like Hogwarts, Durmstrang is located inside a castle. The castle is only four stories tall and fires are only lit for magical purposes. It has very extensive grounds, suggesting it is far from the sea. Durmstrang has a reputation for teaching the Dark Arts, possibly because of its former headmaster, Igor Karkaroff. Karkaroff was a Death Eater, but he got out of Azkaban by giving the Ministry of Magic dozens of names of his co-conspirators. He does not admit Muggle-borns to his school, and is said to have not only been teaching them Defence against the Dark Arts but the Dark Arts themselves.

Bulgarian Quidditch Seeker, Viktor Krum, attended Durmstrang, and was still in school during the 1994 World Cup. In the 1994 Triwizard Tournament, Durmstrang's champion was, to nobody's surprise, Viktor Krum. It was ironic that Krum attended the Yule Ball with Hermione, who is Muggle-born and would not have been admitted at his school.

After the events of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Karkaroff fled after Lord Voldemort rose again. In the sixth book it is mentioned that Karkaroff was killed by the Death Eaters. It is not known who took over, or whether the school's reputation improved or worsened due to this.

III. Alleys

A. Diagon Alley

In J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels and their filmed adaptations, Diagon Alley is a large alleyway in London accessible to witches and wizards but hidden from Muggles. It appears to be the economic hub of Britain's sparse Wizarding world. It is home to Ollivander's, makers of magic wands since 382 BC and likely the country's primary supplier, as well as the goblin-run Gringotts Bank. Other establishments include the Flourish & Blott's bookstore, Eeylops' Owl Emporium, Quality Quidditch Supplies and The Leaky Cauldron Inn. For those shopping for Hogwarts equipment, Diagon Alley serves all needs. Gringotts operates a money-changing service for the Muggle-born.

Entrance by foot is shown to be done by going through the Leaky Cauldron pub (invisible to Muggles) and tapping the bricks of a wall behind it with a wand and in a certain order. Given the busyness of the area, travelling to and from the Alley is likely typically done by more magical means. In the first film, Diagon Alley appears to be a short walk away from Leadenhall Market in the City of London.

The name seems a possible pun on "diagonally"; evidence for that can be found in the movie version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The DVD of that movie includes a video "guided tour" of Diagon Alley, apparently shot on the original movie sets.

Leading off of Diagon Alley is the dark and dingy Knockturn Alley (probably a pun on "nocturnally") – much the same, only Dark.

B. Knockturn Alley

Knockturn Alley, a pun on nocturnally, is a fictional location in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series of novels. Leading off of the more savoury Diagon Alley, Knockturn Alley is a dark and seedy alleyway in London to which muggles have no access, and where no respectable witch or wizard ought to be found either. All of the shops and stores in Knockturn Alley are devoted to the Dark Arts; the largest and most disreputable is Borgin & Burkes, which sells sinister and dangerous objects.

Despite its reputation, Hagrid visits Knockturn Alley in Harry Potter and The Chamber Of Secrets in search of Flesh-Eating Slug Repellent and other items which he presumably requires for the care and feeding of the exotic and dangerous creatures to which he tends to become attached.

Harry, while travelling via floo powder to Diagon Alley, accidentally landed in Knockturn Alley, where he spied on a conversation between Lucius Malfoy, his son and Mr. Borgin. Harry was discovered by a witch who clearly wanted to take advantage of him being lost and vulnerable, but he was rescued by Hagrid.

Muggle-Related Places

A. Kings Cross Station

King's Cross station is a railway station in Kings Cross to the north east of central London. It is located in the borough of Camden, and is the southern terminus of the East Coast Main Line. It is immediately adjacent to St Pancras station.

The station serves routes to the North East of the UK, including Cambridge, York, Durham, Newcastle and Edinburgh. King's Cross also incorporates a major Underground station known as King's Cross St. Pancras, which is a major interchange station on the Tube network.

King's Cross features in the Harry Potter books, by J. K. Rowling, as the starting point of the Hogwarts Express. The train uses a secret platform 9¾ located by passing through the barrier between platforms 9 and 10.

Unfortunately, platforms 9 and 10 are in a separate building from the main station and face each other across the intervening tracks: Rowling intended the location to be in the main part of the station, but misremembered the platform numbering (in a 2001 interview she indicated she had actually confused King's Cross with Euston; hence also the wall/barrier confusion).

When the books were filmed, the main station was used, with platforms 4 and 5 renumbered 9 and 10 for movie purposes. In the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets film the exterior of the nearby St Pancras railway station was used, as St Pancras with its Gothic façade was considered more impressive than the real King's Cross. A cast-iron "Platform 9¾" sign has been erected on a wall of the station's suburban building where the real platforms 9 and 10 are. Also shown in the photograph is the recently added luggage trolley; the end sticks out visibly, but the body of it has mysteriously disappeared into the wall....

B. Little Whinging

Little Whinging, Surrey, England, is a fictitious town to the south of London, described in the Harry Potter series of novels. It was Harry's home for roughly the first 10 years of his life, where he lived with his cruel aunt, uncle and cousin, the Dursleys at Number Four Privet Drive. The author, J. K. Rowling, designed this place to be the most bland and stereotypical town in London's commuter belt in order to contrast it with the unique and spectacular Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry despises Little Whinging because of his memories of his treatment there, but in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore reveals that there is a reason why Harry must return there at least once a year.

The name "Little Whinging" is probably a pun on "whingeing", which is English slang for endlessly complaining about something. (The equivalent word in American English is whining.)

The owner of the house used in filming subsequently had difficulty selling it, despite hoping its status would command a massive premium.


Quidditch is a fictional airborne ballgame played on broomsticks, a sort of magical variant of football or polo. It was devised by J. K. Rowling for her Harry Potter series of children's books.

Quidditch is the most popular game of the wizarding world. There are numerous professional teams and the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has one team for each house in the school. In the fourth book, Harry attends the Quidditch World Cup for international teams. Quidditch has taken an important role in the first 6 books, but Rowling has said in a recent interview that the last quidditch match she would ever write was in the 6th book.

A. Rules

Quidditch is played on a long oval field with three goal hoops on posts at each end. The team that scores the most points wins. There are seven players to a team: one Keeper, two Beaters, three Chasers and a Seeker. They play with four balls.

The Quaffle is inert and the equivalent to the one ball used in many muggle games, though it has a charm placed on it so that it slows as it falls. Chasers handle it, trying to throw it through one of the hoops of the opposing team, which is worth ten points. The Keeper guards his or her goal hoops. Two heavy iron balls called Bludgers fly around the field on their own trying to hit players, and the Beaters use bats to defend their team or to hit the Bludgers at the opposing team. Finally, the tiny and winged Golden Snitch darts around at very high speeds and the Seeker attempts to catch it. Doing so scores 150 points and ends the game, generally winning it in the process.

B. History

It has been suggested that the name "Quidditch" is derived from the names of the balls: Quaffle, Bludger and Snitch, though, in the story world, the game is named after Queerditch Marsh, where the earliest version of the game was played in the eleventh century[HPQ].

According to the book Quidditch began as a simple broom-based game, with players passing a leather ball, the quaffle, which they attempted to place in goals at either ends of the pitch. Soon after, the Bludgers were added as charmed rocks, possibly an influence from the high-risk Scottish game Creaothceann, in which players attempted to catch falling rocks in a cauldron attached to their heads.

The addition of the Golden Snitch also derived from an earlier wizarding sport, in which wizards attempted to catch a Golden Snidget, a fast-moving magical bird. In 1269, the Chief of the Wizards Council, Barberous Bragge, unleashed a Golden Snidget offering 150 galleons (equivalent to over a million Galleons today) to the player who caught the bird. A value of 150 points was later added to the bird as a tribute to this event, though in time the Golden Snidget was replaced with an enchanted ball as the bird became endangered.

Quodpot, a variant of Quidditch, is popular in the USA and South America.

About Harry Potter

I. Introduction

Harry Potter is the name of a series of fantasy and wizardry novels by J. K. Rowling and the movies based on them. The main character is a fictional young wizard, Harry Potter. The Harry Potter books have attained a profile unparalleled by any other series of children's books. They have been praised for encouraging children to read, while also drawing criticism from some quarters. A series of films based on the books is under production.

Despite J K Rowling's assertions that she did not have any particular age group in mind when she began to write the Harry Potter books, her publishers initially targeted them at young readers, aged around 9 to 15. However they have acquired fans of all ages, and the books have more recently been released in two editions, one with the original 'children's' cover artwork and one with artwork more consciously aimed at adult readers. Additionally, as the series has developed, Rowling's writing style has become more sophisticated, and the content of the books has matured as the lead character, Harry Potter, has grown older. For instance, relationships are discussed as an issue for the teenage characters in later books. Accordingly the reading age for the books, both in terms of content and style, is rising as the series goes on.

The wizarding world is the setting of the wildly-popular, fictional Harry Potter series. Though the plot is nominally set in Great Britain in the 1990s, there is at least one crucial difference: magic is real, and those who can use it live in generally voluntary, but Ministry of Magic-enforced, seclusion, hiding their talents from the non-magic world. The term is used to refer to the society where wizards and witches live, and by extension all magical things, in sharp contrast to the society and the things of the non-magical, Muggle, people.

The terms wizard and witch are used in magical society more or less the same way the terms man and woman are used in the Muggle world. Mage and similar words are rare and usually only seen in titles or such. Since a person's most important capability – magical aptitude – does not depend on sex, gender equality is advanced and apparently never became much of an issue.

II. The Story Begins


Harry Potter, born on July 31, 1980, was orphaned on October 31, 1981, when the evil wizard Lord Voldemort murdered his parents, Lily and James Potter, a witch and wizard, respectively. Harry's mother's sacrificial attempt to save Harry causes the killing spell (Avada Kedavra) cast upon Harry by Voldemort to backfire, forming a fated connection between the two during which parts of Voldemort's power was transferred to the infant. From the spell backfire, Harry is given a lightning-bolt shaped scar on his forehead and Voldemort seemingly dies. Harry's mother's love and Voldemort's powers give Harry a lingering magical protection against further attacks by Voldemort.

Harry is retrieved by Hagrid under the orders of Albus Dumbledore and put in the reluctant care of his Muggle (non-magical) relatives, his mother's sister Petunia Dursley and her husband Vernon. They live in Little Whinging, a suburb of London, along with their spoiled son Dudley (born June 22, 1980). The Dursleys, who intensely dislike magic, conceal from Harry any knowledge of his magical abilities and tell him that his parents were killed in a car crash. The Dursleys mistreat Harry, whose bedroom is a cupboard under the stairs, filled with spiders.

A week before his eleventh birthday, Harry begins receiving letters informing him of his acceptance at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Despite the Dursleys' attempts to stop the letters, Hagrid eventually tracks them down and briefly rescues Harry from his relatives' grasp so that Harry can purchase his school supplies, only to return him to the Dursleys with a train ticket to Hogwarts leaving from Platform 9¾ at King's Cross station, London.

There are four houses in Hogwarts, each with very specific characteristics. Slytherin is filled entirely with ambitious, cunning witches and wizards. Ravenclaw is home to the most intelligent witches and wizards. Gryffindor houses only the brave, and Hufflepuff is where the most fair and honest go. Each student upon arriving at Hogwarts must go through the Sorting Ceremony by trying on an ancient hat. Though the hat considers placing him in Slytherin, Harry is sorted into Gryffindor house. His closest friends at Hogwarts become Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, and his biggest rival is Draco Malfoy, who belongs to the rival Slytherin house.

In the course of the year, Harry, Ron, and Hermione discover that a 3-headed dog, christened Fluffy by Hagrid, guards a trapdoor in a forbidden corridor of Hogwarts. They speculate as to what it guards and eventually they figure out that Fluffy guards the legendary Philosopher's Stone. The three friends come to believe Severus Snape, the sinister-looking Potions Professor, is trying to steal it in order to restore Lord Voldemort to power.

When they feel they have no choice, Harry, Ron, and Hermione go through the trapdoor to get to the Stone first. They negotiate the security system set up by the school's staff and find that Professor Quirrell, not Snape, is trying to steal the Stone. Snape was, in fact, actually grudgingly trying to protect Harry from harm all along. Harry confronts Quirrell and survives a second encounter with Lord Voldemort, who has been living inside Quirrell on the back of his head. Quirrell is killed in the process and Voldemort is driven away as a ghostlike form. Dumbledore agrees with Nicholas Flamel, the manufacturer of the Stone, to destroy it.


The story continues with Harry's second year at Hogwarts. Harry is warned by Dobby, a house elf belonging to Lucius Malfoy, that he will be in mortal danger if he returns to Hogwarts for his second year. Harry is still determined to return despite Dobby's advice, pleas, and attempts to stop him using magic. The Dursleys have locked away his books and wand, so Harry is a prisoner, but the Weasleys come to the rescue in their dad's flying car. After spending a pleasant summer with his best friend Ron, the whole family go off to platform 9¾ for the school train, but Harry and Ron are unable to enter the platform. In desperation, Harry and Ron take the car and fly to Hogwarts where they crash land, breaking Ron's wand.

Harry finds himself at the center of attention of three people: the vain new Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor Gilderoy Lockhart, admirer Colin Creevy who loves taking photos, and Ron's sister Ginny Weasley who has a crush on Harry. Events take a really bad turn when the Chamber of Secrets is opened and something goes on a rampage, turning students into statues. According to legend, the Chamber was built by Salazar Slytherin and can be opened only by his true heir to purge Hogwarts of students who are not pure-blood wizards. Many suspect Harry of being the Heir, especially after he inadvertently speaks Parseltongue (the language of snakes), a distinctive ability of Dark wizards which Harry gained when Voldemort tried to kill him as a baby. Harry, Ron, and Hermione spend the majority of the novel trying to discover the true identity of the Heir of Slytherin.

The attacks increase in frequency, leaving more pertified characters in the hospital wing, including Hermione. To top it all, a message is written on a wall declaring that a student - Ginny Weasley - has been taken into the Chamber, where "her bones will lie forever."

With Ron's help, Harry discovers the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets, where he discovers that it was Ginny who opened the Chamber, but that she wasn't acting of her own free will - she was possessed by Lord Voldemort, whose name at school was Tom Riddle. Riddle had imprinted a memory of himself in an enchanted diary, hoping to one day continue the work he had begun when he first opened the Chamber fifty years ago. That time, Hagrid had been blamed for what happened and had been expelled from the school.

The memory of Tom Riddle becomes steadily more alive as it steals the life from Ginny. It tries to kill Harry by setting loose the basilisk (the monster responsible for petrifying the students) but Dumbledore sends Fawkes, his phoenix, to give Harry the sword of Godric Gryffindor. Fawkes blinds the basilisk so that it cannot use its fatal gaze, and Harry slays it with the sword. Riddle is vanquished and Ginny restored to life when the diary is destroyed. The petrified students are restored to normal. Lucius Malfoy had owned the diary and must have given it to Ginny, but there is no evidence to prove what he did. The remains of the diary are returned to Lucius but Harry places a sock inside it. Lucius hands the book to his house elf Dobby, unwittingly giving him a gift of clothing, which is the traditional way a master frees a house-elf. Dobby is free and becomes forever grateful to Harry.

Meanwhile, Gilderoy Lockhart has been exposed by Harry and Ron as a fraud who wipes the memories of others and claims their achievements. When Lockhart tries to wipe their memories using Ron's malfunctioning wand, the spell backfires and wipes his memory instead, leaving him permanently confused and confined to St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies.


Harry's life at the Dursleys takes a horrible turn when his Aunt Marge comes to stay. Harry is well aware of the Hogwarts prohibition on students doing magic outside of school, but her cruel insults toward his parents so enrage him that he unintentionally and unconsciously "blows her up" (makes her expand in size) and she floats away on her own hot air.

Harry runs away from the Dursleys and is picked up by the Knight Bus; en route to London he learns that a criminal named Sirius Black has escaped from Azkaban. Harry is found but-to his bewilderment-not punished by the Ministry of Magic for blowing up his aunt.

Harry soon learns why: Sirius Black is believed to be after him, and the Ministry of Magic seems more concerned about his safety. The school is now protected by the Dementors of Azkaban to prevent Black from getting onto the grounds. The mystery deepens as Harry discovers that Black has mysterious ties with his own parents and their death at the hands of Lord Voldemort.

The story takes an unexpected turn when Harry finds that Sirius Black was innocent and wrongly sent to Azkaban. The real criminal is Peter Pettigrew, who is believed dead at the hands of Sirius Black. It was Pettigrew who betrayed Harry's parents to Lord Voldemort, and later killed a number of Muggles in an incident for which he framed Sirius Black and faked his own death. Pettigrew turned out to be an animagus, a wizard who can take the form of a particular animal at will, and had really spent the last twelve years disguised as Ron's rat, Scabbers.

Pettigrew gets away and the Ministry refuses to believe Harry, Ron and Hermione's tale. Dumbledore does believe the story however, and they sneak Sirius to freedom on the back of a hippogriff.


In this book, Harry Potter spends the end of his summer with the Weasleys in anticipation of the Quidditch World Cup. During the World Cup, a group of Death Eaters attack a number of Muggle bystanders, but flee when the Dark Mark - Voldemort's sign - mysteriously appears above them. The sign is found to have been made by a wand found with Winky, the House-Elf of Barty Crouch, a respected official at the Ministry of Magic. Winky is fired by her master at once. Crouch's treatment of Winky prompts Hermione to start campaigning for elves' rights.

When Harry arrives at Hogwarts, he finds that the Triwizard Tournament - which had been banned since many participants died during it - was to be restarted, and to be held at Hogwarts. The names of all intending participants would be put into a goblet - known as the Goblet of Fire - which would shoot out one name from each of the three competing wizarding schools (Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang). After choosing Viktor Krum from Durmstrang, Fleur Delacour from Beauxbatons, and Cedric Diggory from Hogwarts, the Goblet spits out Harry's name - although he was too young to have added his name to the Goblet. Harry is forced to participate, to the outrage of many.

With help from his friends and teachers, Harry manages to make it through the first two parts of the Triwizard Tournament. During this time, his relationship with his best friend, Ron Weasley, is temporarily strained by Harry's sudden explosion of fame. This fame soon backfires, as Daily Prophet reporter Rita Skeeter begins to dig deep to find anything which will tarnish Harry's reputation. Harry's friendship with Ron is saved once Ron realises just how perilous the Tournament will be for Harry.

In the last part of the Tournament - in which the four competitors have to run through a maze populated by many dangerous creatures - Harry and Cedric arrive at the trophy (placed in the centre of the maze) first and decide, because of the help they provided to each other, to grab the trophy at the same time, since it will be a Hogwarts victory anyway.

The trophy turns out to be a Portkey, a magical object which transports them to a graveyard - where they find Peter Pettigrew (also known as Wormtail) and Lord Voldemort. Peter kills Cedric using the unstoppable Avada Kedavra curse, then uses Harry's blood as part of a macabre ritual which results in Voldemort being reborn, more powerful than before, and immune to the charm which had prevented him from harming Harry twice before. Voldemort then summons the Death Eaters and attempts to kill Harry, to prove that "the boy who lived" will not be his undoing again. However, because Harry's and Voldemort's wands are formed from the same core - a feather from Dumbledore's pet phoenix Fawkes - a freak phenomenon known as Priori Incantatem occurs, in which Voldemort's wand begins to produce ghostly echoes of its past victims - including Harry's parents. The echoes hold off Voldemort while Harry manages to escape to the trophy which transports him and Cedric's body back to Hogwarts.

On reaching Hogwarts again, Harry lands in the centre of the confusion caused by his disappearance. He is led up to the castle by his Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher and Auror (Dark-wizard-catcher), Professor Moody. Moody reveals himself as a Death Eater, saying that it was he who put Harry's name into the Goblet, and who ensured that Harry made it through the three rounds of the tournament so that he would be delivered to Voldemort. As Moody is about to attack Harry, Dumbledore, Snape and McGonagall barge into the room, and stop Moody. After Dumbledore's interrogation of "Prof. Moody", it is revealed that "Moody" was Barty Crouch's son in disguise. The real Professor Moody had been kept imprisoned in a magical trunk for the entire year.

Having learned that Voldemort had risen again, Dumbledore began proceedings to restart the Order of the Phoenix. Snape and the Durmstrang Headmaster are revealed as ex-Death Eaters. Barty Crouch Jr. has his soul sucked out by a Dementor before he can repeat his story to The Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge. The Minister refuses to believe that Voldemort has risen again on the word of Dumbledore and Harry, which results in Dumbledore being removed from several important posts within the wizard community, and the reputation of Harry Potter being trampled judiciously in the next book.


The story begins with Harry at the Dursleys' home experiencing some teenage angst. Harry is frustrated because he doesn't know what the newly reborn Lord Voldemort is planning and his friends won't share any information through correspondence. After a fight with his aunt and uncle, Harry wanders around Little Whinging and meets his obnoxious cousin, Dudley. As the two boys are heading home, Dementors appear and attack them, but Harry successfully drives them off with the Patronus Charm. This saves Dudley from having his soul sucked, but still leaves him chilled and almost unconscious. Fortunately their neighbour Mrs. Figg arrives to help. She later reveals that she is a Squib and that she has been watching over Harry on Professor Dumbledore's behalf.

Once the boys arrive home, Vernon and Petunia turn on their nephew, blaming him for Dudley's illness. Vernon demands that Harry leave, even though Harry explains that Voldemort is after him. As this is going on, Harry receives a letter stating that he has been expelled from Hogwarts -- students are forbidden to do any magic outside of school -- but then several other letters arrive in quick succession. Letters from Arthur Weasley and Sirius Black warn Harry not to leave the house, while another overturns his expulsion and orders him to appear at a hearing at the Ministry of Magic. The last letter is a Howler which screams "Remember my last, Petunia". Upon hearing this, Petunia insists that Harry will have to stay.

After being locked in his room for several days, a large menagerie of wizards and witches come to rescue Harry, Professor Remus Lupin and Mad-Eye Moody among them.. They take him to the home of the Black Family, who used various techniques to hide the building, making it ideal for the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix of which the title speaks. The Weasleys, Hermione, and Sirius are all staying there. Sirius has been ordered not to leave the house because of the Ministry's continued search for him (see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban for details). Harry finds himself capable of anger and hostility over the fact that people he trusts have not been honest with him, and by the fact that Ron and Hermione were made Prefects while he was not. Everyone explains that the secrecy was under Dumbledore's orders. Harry manages to learn quite a bit about what has transpired since the summer began.

Although both Harry and Dumbledore have told the world that Lord Voldemort is back, no one believes them. Indeed, the Ministry of Magic has made it their job to discredit them both, using the wizarding newspaper The Daily Prophet to slander the duo, making them both sound as if they are "off their rockers." Those in the know, however, have resurrected the Order of the Phoenix, which existed the last time that Lord Voldemort threatened the world. A number of new members are in the Order as well, and it is dedicated to saving everyone from the resurgence of Death Eaters and Voldemort.

Harry's hearing for his possible expulsion from Hogwarts and loss of his wizarding status finally arrives. It fills much of the household with trepidation, but they are fairly confident that he will come out okay -- he used the magic strictly in self-defence, which is an allowed exception to the rules. However, upon arrival at the Ministry of Magic, Harry and Mr. Weasley find out that the time of the hearing has been changed to take place earlier, and its location moved to deep down in the basement, near the Department of Mysteries -- when Harry arrives, he realises that a full trial has been called, with the entire Wizengamot assembled.

Although this appears to be an attempt to both intimidate Harry and keep Dumbledore from showing up as Harry's defence, the ancient wizard and headmaster of Hogwarts appears nonetheless; with Mrs. Figg as a witness, testifying that the Dementors were real, not mere figments of Harry's imagination or lies, Harry manages to be exonerated. However, something seems strange - Dumbledore scarcely pays any attention to Harry, and as the young boy leaves, he sees Lucius Malfoy conferring with Cornelius Fudge. This shocks Harry, as Malfoy is a known Death Eater, though Mr. Weasley alludes to bribery.

Eventually, Harry and his companions return to school. On the Hogwarts Express they meet a girl named Luna Lovegood, who takes on a prominent role later in the book. At Hogwarts they discover two shocking bits of news: Hagrid has still not returned from whatever task Dumbledore sent him on at the end of last term, and their new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Dolores Umbridge, not only does not want them to use actual spells, but in fact works for the Ministry of Magic and seems to be pushing its agenda on the school.

Once school starts, things happen at a rapid pace. The fifth year is when the O.W.L.s are taken, and the teachers push hard for the students to do well on them. Professor Umbridge gains more and more influence on the school, through a succession of new laws passed by the Ministry of Magic, until she actually becomes the Hogwarts High Inquisitor, and begins to poll both students and teachers about their abilities. Ron is made the new keeper for the Gryffindor Quidditch team.

The new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher turns out to be a very unlikeable character. When Dolores Umbridge refuses to teach anything useful in her Defence Against the Dark Arts classes, Hermione convinces Harry to give secret lessons to a number of students who want to learn how Defence Against the Dark Arts really works; reluctantly, he agrees, and they all sign a paper stating their intent to never reveal the group to Umbridge.

Hagrid later returns, looking much the worse for wear. Although he eventually divulges his mission to recruit the giants on the Order's side, he is much more reluctant to come clean about the cause of his injuries. Both he and Professor Sibyll Trelawney are under heavy observation by Umbridge, as she seems to suspect both of being incompetent; Umbridge also dislikes "half-breeds," and Hagrid is half-human, half-giant.

As Umbridge convinces Fudge to pass more and more edicts, activities in the school become more intensely curtailed. All student groups are banned; the Slytherin Quidditch team is almost immediately reactivated--to no one's great surprise--but the Gryffindor team is held up until Minerva McGonagall goes over Umbridge's head and has Dumbledore reinstate it. The Slytherins compose a taunting ditty entitled "Weasley is Our King" in an attempt to intimidate Ron into playing poorly. It succeeds, but Harry captures the Golden Snitch in the first game to clinch victory. However, a fight afterwards provoked by Draco Malfoy results in Harry and the Weasley twins, Fred and George, being permanently banned from playing the game by Umbridge.

Secretly, however, the Defence Against the Dark Arts classes led by Harry go on. They now call themselves the "D.A.", initially for Defence Association but settling on Dumbledore's Army, since many believe Fudge's recent actions against Hogwarts are to keep Dumbledore from creating an army of his own to use against the Ministry of Magic.

All along, Harry has had a number of strange dreams, mostly about running down a hallway and attempting to open a door in the Department of Mysteries. One of these strange dreams put him on the point of view of a snake, where he attacks Ron's father, Arthur Weasley. Waking up, he immediately tells everyone, and Arthur is indeed discovered with poisonous snake bites and hospitalised, eventually escaping danger. Harry begins to wonder if he is being possessed and transported by Voldemort to do his bidding; others reassure him that this is not so. Soon, however, Dumbledore orders Harry to be placed under Severus Snape's tutelage in the art of Occlumency, the ability to block one's mind from being manipulated.

Hermione arranges for Harry to be interviewed by Rita Skeeter concerning the truth about Voldemort (Rita only agrees lest Hermione reveal to the authorities that Rita is an unregistered animagus). Luna Lovegood's father happens to be the editor of The Quibbler, and her father agrees to take Rita's article. When the article appears, Umbridge is furious: she forbids Harry from Hogsmeade weekends and bans students from having copies of The Quibbler. Fortunately for Harry, this gives the magazine the lure of the forbidden and soon the publication spread like wildfire throughout the school despite Umbridge's frantic efforts to stop it.

Umbridge attempts to fire and throw Trelawney out, but Dumbledore allows her to stay at the castle, saying he found a replacement that prefers to sleep on the ground; in her place, a centaur named Firenze, whom Harry met in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, becomes the new teacher. This irritates Umbridge greatly; Dumbledore did not consult her, and she dislikes "half-breeds" like centaurs and Hagrid.

Harry's attraction to the Ravenclaw Quidditch player Cho Chang further complicates the situation; he is awkward and confused in close situations with her. A particularly painful experience in the wizarding town of Hogsmeade appears to destroy what little foundation the two had built for their relationship; Harry's continuing close friendship with Hermione and Cho's sorrow over the death of her ex-boyfriend, Cedric Diggory, appear to be the key issues. Also, Harry has trouble understanding or communicating with her.

Things begin to come to a head when in the middle of a DA meeting, the members are informed that they have been turned in and Umbridge is punishing them. Harry is the only one caught and taken to Dumbledore's office. Dumbledore, in order to protect the students from taking the blame, has convinced Fudge that it was his idea to form DA to depose Fudge as the Minister of Magic. Fudge has always considered Dumbledore to be a threat to his profession. Dumbledore escapes, and Umbridge installs herself as the new Headmistress and begins the Inquisitorial Squad. The Weasley twins use their talents in pranks to give her so much trouble while all of the teachers, who dislike Umbridge intensely, rebel by doing nothing to help her cope.

The Weasley twins set off one last conflagration so that Harry can talk to Sirius via the fireplace in Umbridge's office - the rest are under watch after Sirius used them once too many times to talk to Harry - and are caught; they decide to leave school in a spectacularly memorable manner, leaving a magical swamp inside the school, and to use the winnings from the Triwizard Tournament that Harry had given them to finally start their Joke Shop.

During the OWLs, Harry and others witness a group of people attempting to capture Hagrid to expel him. Professor McGonagall tries to stop them, and is hit with a large number of Stun Charms, which have her hospitalised. Soon after, Harry has a dream which seems to complete the journey down the hallway: as Voldemort, he has Sirius captured in the Department of Mysteries, and is torturing him slowly.

Harry and his crew make a desperate attempt to contact Sirius via the fireplace in Umbridge's office, but the Black family's house-elf, Kreacher, tells Harry that Voldemort has indeed taken his godfather. Umbridge and her minions--Slytherin students--capture Harry's gang. Thinking fast, Hermione makes up a story about who they were trying to contact, and says that they were protecting a weapon, and that she and Harry would take her to the weapon. Umbridge asks Snape to give her some Veritaserum, but he says he has none left; she was not aware that he is also a member of the Order of the Phoenix. Umbridge tells Harry that it was she who ordered the Dementors on him during the summer.

They entice Umbridge into the woods, knowing that the centaurs, very angry that one of their brethren now works for humans, are disposed to hate adult wizards. The centaurs take Umbridge away, and are about to do the same to Harry and Hermione, when Hagrid's half-brother--a "small" giant named Grawp, whom Hagrid had brought back with him from his quest over the summer--appears and distracts the centaurs. Ron, Ginny, Luna and Neville appear, and they all decide to go to the Ministry of Magic to rescue Sirius, riding on thestrals, horse-like creatures which only people who have seen death can see.

Upon arriving at the Department of Mysteries, and after a number of false turns, they arrive at the location in Harry's dream, to find not Voldemort and Sirius but a bunch of Death Eaters. The Death Eaters include, among others: Draco's father Lucius Malfoy, MacNair the executioner in the employ of the Ministry, Azkaban escapee and former Department of Mysteries employee Rookwood and Azkaban escapee couple the Lestranges (including Bellatrix Lestrange -- cousin of Sirius Black and torturer of the Longbottoms). The vision of Sirius's torture at the Department of Mysteries was a trap. When Voldemort realised that Harry could see his actions, he planted fake ones in his mind. The Death Eaters are there to force Harry to retrieve a glass sphere; the record of a prophecy. Only the people the prophecy is about are able to retrieve it. As Voldemort does not want to risk being found out, he lures Harry into retrieving it for him. The prophecy, made before Harry's birth, is apparently about Voldemort and Harry Potter. As an initial partial understanding of that prophecy was directly linked to Voldemort's initial downfall (when he tried to kill Harry as a baby), Voldemort is determined to hear the full prophecy.

A great skirmish begins, with the students versus the Death Eaters. Most of the students are injured, and, as they near defeat, many of the adult wizards from the Order of the Phoenix appear to help them including Sirius. During the ensuing battle, the glass sphere which holds the prophecy is shattered. A ghostly image pronounces the prophecy but no one can hear it. Also, tragically, Sirius is struck by a curse from the wand of his cousin and Death Eater, Bellatrix Lestrange. He falls through a veil held inside an arch in the Death Chamber of the Department of Mysteries, which literally and figuratively marks his end. Dumbledore shows up and ropes off most of the Death Eaters, but Bellatrix escapes.

Harry blindly chases after Bellatrix, intent to avenge Sirius' death, and as he is catching up with her in the main atrium of the Ministry of Magic, they have a small battle. Then Lord Voldemort himself appears inside the atrium. He and Dumbledore duel, and after a dramatic fight and a brief episode where Voldemort actually manages to possess Harry, tempting Dumbledore to kill him in the body of Harry, Voldemort eventually retreats via disapparating and takes Bellatrix with him. Alerted Ministry of Magic employees arrive in time to see "He Who Must Not Be Named" for themselves. Among them is Cornelius Fudge, who finally accepts Voldemort's return and believes what Dumbledore and Harry have been saying. In turn, the Daily Prophet reverses its hostile stand on the pair, restoring and gilding their reputations with the additional accolade as the forewarners of Voldemort's return in the face of all odds and opposition.

As the story draws to a close, Dumbledore explains much to Harry. He did not wish to be close to him during the year, as he could sense Voldemort's growing power over the boy--indeed, on more than one occasion, Harry was filled with a desire to strike down Dumbledore. He regretted not helping Harry with learning Occlumency, and also tells him the prophecy: the copy in the Department of Mysteries was just that, a copy. It turns out that at her initial Hogwarts interview sixteen years ago (held in a room at the Hog's Head Inn in Hogsmeade) Trelawney predicted that:

The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches...born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies...and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not...and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives...the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies...

This was interpreted to mean that Voldemort would kill either Harry or Neville Longbottom, or vice-versa. After Voldemort, hearing of the prophecy, attacked Harry as a child, the latter part of the prophecy was realised; Harry would be his foe and kill or be killed by him, not Neville.

The existence of this prophecy brings clarity to Dumbledore remarking that Trelawney's prediction in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban has been her second real one. The first prediction was the Harry/Voldemort prophecy.

Dumbledore also elaborates on the reason why Harry has to stay at the Dursleys' each summer: as Harry's mother died for him, imparting him with magical protection through her sacrifice, he is safe in the Dursleys' home because Aunt Petunia shares Lily Potter's blood, therefore the protection extends to the Dursley home and Voldemort cannot hurt him there, provided he returns once per year. Dumbledore was the one who sent Petunia the Howler, reminding her of her agreement to take Harry in.

In the end, Harry goes back to the Dursleys', but not without Vernon and Petunia getting a stern talking-to by a number of wizards in the Order (including a menacing Mad-Eye). Changes are brewing in the wizarding world.


Voldemort and his allies begin to act openly, causing widespread chaos and paranoia in Britain. Rufus Scrimgeour replaces Cornelius Fudge as Minister of Magic, due to Fudge's previous inaction against Lord Voldemort[HP5]. Severus Snape makes an Unbreakable Vow to Draco Malfoy's mother Narcissa that he will protect Draco and aid him in his first mission as a Death Eater.

Security measures have been increased at Hogwarts. Snape is given his coveted Defence Against the Dark Arts post while Horace Slughorn is persuaded by Dumbledore and Harry Potter to return from retirement to replace Snape as Potions teacher. Slughorn lends the unprepared Harry an old textbook marked as the Half-Blood Prince's. Its handwritten notes help Harry to outdo even Hermione in Potions.

With Slughorn's reluctant help, Albus Dumbledore shows Harry details of Voldemort's past. They discover that Voldemort created six Horcruxes and divided his soul into seven pieces to become immortal as long as they exist. While two of Voldemort's Horcruxes have already been destroyed (Tom Riddle's diary by Harry[HP2] and Marvolo Gaunt's ring by Dumbledore), Dumbledore believes that there are four more that must be destroyed. Dumbledore and Harry set off to retrieve one (Salazar Slytherin's locket), but Dumbledore is heavily weakened by drinking the potion guarding it.

The two return to find the Dark Mark over Hogwarts and Death Eaters attacking students and teachers. As they investigate, they are surprised by Draco. Dumbledore paralyses Harry, who is invisibly cloaked. Draco reveals that he let the Death Eaters into Hogwarts via a magical cabinet. Other Death Eaters soon arrive and urge Draco to fulfill his mission, but Draco hesitates. Snape then arrives and kills Dumbledore with the Avada Kedavra curse, fulfilling his vow. Harry pursues Snape, who identifies himself as the Half-Blood Prince before fleeing from Hogwarts.

Minerva McGonagall becomes the interim headmistress of Hogwarts, but she and the other teachers fear that the school may have to be closed down. Harry discovers that the locket he and Dumbledore recovered is a fake. The actual locket was taken by the mysterious R.A.B.. After Dumbledore's funeral, Harry decides not to return to school so that he can devote his time to destroying the remaining Horcruxes and defeating Voldemort.


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History of Magic
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