The best thing about re-reading the Harry Potter series is spotting all those little details that would end up being really important in future books.
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Here are just a few we’ve found:

‘... Thanksss, amigo.’

As the snake slid swiftly past him, Harry could have sworn a low, hissing voice said, ‘Brazil, here I come ... Thanksss, amigo.’
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Back before Harry had even heard of Hogwarts, his chinwag with a boa constrictor was our very first sign that Harry was a Parselmouth. Good thing too – how else would he have opened the Chamber of Secrets?

‘Caution: Do Not Touch’

Harry’s first brush with Floo Powder whisked him off to the sinister Knockturn Alley. There, he saw Draco Malfoy browsing a few choice items:

He paused to examine a long coil of hangman’s rope and to read, smirking, the card propped on a magnificent necklace of opals: Caution: Do Not Touch. Cursed – Has Claimed the Lives of Nineteen Muggle Owners to Date.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Sound familiar? Four years later a similar opal necklace almost killed Gryffindor student Katie Bell. They really weren’t kidding with that sign!

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‘…a really rather magnificent collection of chamberpots.’

‘I took a wrong turning on the way to the bathroom and found myself in a beautifully proportioned room I have never seen before, containing a really rather magnificent collection of chamberpots. When I went back to investigate more closely, I discovered that the room had vanished. But I must keep an eye out for it. Possibly it is only accessible at five thirty in the morning. Or it may only appear at the quarter moon – or when the seeker has an exceptionally full bladder.’
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Isn’t it obvious now that Dumbledore was talking about the Room of Requirement? The film Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) reminded us of this when Ron asked what would happen to the room if you really needed the toilet.

‘…that awful boy’

‘I heard – that awful boy – telling her about them – years ago,’ she said jerkily. ‘If you mean my mum and dad, why don’t you use their names?’ said Harry loudly, but Aunt Petunia ignored him.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

We naturally assumed the ‘awful boy’ Petunia mentioned was James Potter and we’re pretty sure the Dursleys called his dad far worse things over the years. But thanks to ‘The Prince’s Tale’, we know that the boy telling Lily about Dementors was actually her old pal Severus. Would Snape be pleased to hear he’d been mistaken for James Potter? Probably not!

‘… a heavy locket that none of them could open’

Who knew that this locket found among the junk at Grimmauld Place just happened to be a Horcrux? Oh wait, Kreacher knew...

Several times Kreacher sidled into the room and attempted to smuggle things away under his loincloth, muttering horrible curses every time they caught him at it.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Just think – that Horcrux nearly went in the bin.

‘… a grumpy-looking old man’

The barman sidled towards them out of a back room. He was a grumpy-looking old man with a great deal of long grey hair and beard. He was tall and thin and looked vaguely familiar to Harry.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Maybe the bartender just had one of those faces, or maybe he just happened to be Professor Dumbledore’s estranged brother. So only potentially a very important sentence…

‘… a dusty old wig and a tarnished tiara’

When Harry’s annotated copy of Advanced Potion-Making got him in trouble, he hid it in the Room of Requirement:

Seizing the chipped bust of an ugly old warlock from on top of a nearby crate, he stood it on the cupboard where the book was now hidden, perched a dusty old wig and a tarnished tiara on the statue’s head to make it more distinctive...
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Wait a minute… what did he put on the statue? Harry not only stumbled across Rowena Ravenclaw’s lost diadem (minus the Billywig wings, don’t tell Luna), but also another Horcrux. He just kept letting them slip past, didn’t he?

A tale of two Vanishing Cabinets

The vanishing cabinet in the Room of Requirement

In Half-Blood Prince, Draco used a pair of Vanishing Cabinets to let Death Eaters infiltrate Hogwarts. But did you notice they’d popped up many times already?

First, Harry used one as a hiding place in Borgin and Burkes …

Harry looked quickly around and spotted a large black cabinet to his left; he shot inside it and pulled the doors to, leaving a small crack to peer through.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

… meanwhile, the other one was safely tucked away at Hogwarts…

But as Filch lowered his quill, there was a great BANG! on the ceiling of the office, which made the oil lamp rattle. ‘PEEVES!’ Filch roared, flinging down his quill in a transport of rage. ‘I’ll have you this time, I’ll have you!’
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Oops! Looks like it wasn’t that safe.

‘That vanishing cabinet was extremely valuable!’ he was saying gleefully to Mrs Norris. ‘We’ll have Peeves out this time, my sweet.’
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

It was still broken when Fred and George stuffed Montague inside …

‘He never managed to get all the words out,’ said Fred, ‘due to the fact that we forced him head-first into that Vanishing Cabinet on the first floor.’
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

… and thanks to that, Montague discovered the link between them and informed fellow Slytherin Draco.

The rest, as they say, is history.

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