Spoiler warning! There are some mild spoilers ahead – turn back now if you’re not familiar with all the books…
Did you know that Argus Filch and Arabella Figg were both Squibs? Though we came across these two characters in the films, this element of who the cantankerous Hogwarts caretaker and Harry’s cat-obsessed neighbour were was never properly explained. In fact, what the term Squib meant was also never clarified. In the books though Ron provided us with a succinct but useful definition.
Dobby and Kreacher weren’t the only house-elves that we became familiar with in the books. There was also Winky – the former house-elf of the Crouch family. Although, unlike Dobby, she was a house-elf who did not want to be set free and was distraught when Barty Crouch dismissed her after the incident with the Dark Mark at the Quidditch World Cup. She did find another job at Hogwarts (thanks to Dobby), yet she never truly recovered from being let go and spent her days depressed whilst succumbing to a Butterbeer addiction. Thankfully, there was a glimmer of hope in her story and – as J.K. Rowling later revealed – she managed to find enough strength to fight with the other house-elves during the Battle of Hogwarts.
Oh, Rita Skeeter. This Daily Prophet journalist and her Quick-Quotes Quill always seemed to get the latest scoop and the films never really told us quite how she did it. However, the books were a different story. Thanks to detective Hermione Granger, we discovered at the end of Goblet of Fire that Rita was an unregistered Animagus. She was able to creep around undetected as a beetle and eavesdrop on private conversations – not cool Rita. That was until Hermione put a stop to it. She caught Rita and put her in a jar bewitched with an Unbreakable Charm and said she would only release her if she kept her nasty opinions to herself for a whole year. In fact, knowing Rita’s secret came in handy when it came to a certain Quibbler interview the following year…
After Ron’s rat Scabbers turned out to be a cowardly Death Eater in disguise, it left Ron without a pet – enter Pigwidgeon! This tiny, speedy and loud bundle of energy came bursting into Ron’s life in Goblet of Fire. Though he liked to complain about Pig (as Ron called him) we think deep down he liked him really.
Ok, so maybe deep, deep down…
When Arthur Weasley was attacked in Order of the Phoenix, he was taken to St Mungo’s Hospital to recover. Whilst we didn’t get to see this in the movies, there was a whole chapter dedicated to Harry, Hermione and collection of Weasleys going to visit him. Not only did we see the magical hospital (which was disguised as a shabby department store called Purge & Dowse Ltd) and find out that Mr Weasley was going to make it, but we also came across a few new and familiar faces. It was in this chapter that we saw Gilderoy Lockhart again and found that his memory had been permanently damaged by the Memory Charm he had tried to cast with Ron’s broken wand. More importantly, it was where we met Neville’s parents and witnessed the devastating impact of Bellatrix Lestrange’s cruelty. Having been tortured into insanity, Neville’s parents no longer spoke and were now permanent residents on the Spell Damage ward.
Did you know that the prophecy the Sybill Trelawney made about Harry and Voldemort might not have been about Harry at all? Trelawney referred to a boy born at the end of July to parents who had defied Voldemort three times. While Harry was one potential candidate there was another – Neville Longbottom. His parents had defied Voldemort three times whilst they were members of the Order of the Phoenix, and his birthday was the day before Harry’s on the 30th July. However, when Voldemort attacked Harry as an infant and left him with his scar, he sealed Harry’s fate as the Chosen One. Yet, it is interesting to think things could have been very different.
This moment was one that had been a long time coming. Yet, while they both did happen on the night of the Battle of Hogwarts, this is one thing that was different in the film and the book. In Deathly Hallows Part Two, Ron and Hermione shared their first kiss after Hermione destroyed the Diadem with a Basilisk tooth in the Chamber of Secrets. In the book, they had their first kiss in the Room of Requirement after Ron remembered a particular group close to Hermione’s heart.
And yes, this kiss happened in front of Harry… awkward!
At Hogwarts, when students reach their fifth year, they have the chance of being selected as a Prefect. One girl and one boy from each house is chosen. In Harry’s fifth year Ron and Hermione were the lucky two from Gryffindor (Hermione was kind of a given there). Although we saw them rise to the occasion in the book – even if it did mean patrolling the Hogwarts Express rather than happily eating sweets in their compartment – we didn’t get to witness it in the films. And they weren’t the only familiar faces chosen for this role – Draco Malfoy was the Slytherin Prefect (interesting…) along with Pansy Parkinson (incidentally described as a complete cow by Hermione). There was also Ernie Macmillan and Hannah Abbott representing Hufflepuff and the two Ravenclaw Prefects were Anthony Goldstein and Padma Patil.
The Marauder’s Map was an invaluable tool for sneaking around Hogwarts, locating secret passageways to sneak out of Hogwarts and for generally getting up to no good. Fittingly Fred and George were the pair that handed this treasured item to Harry, but it was only in the book that we learnt of its true origins and the identities of Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs – Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, Sirius Black and James Potter. These four friends created the map after running around every nook and cranny of the castle and its grounds while in their animal forms – did we mention that three of them are also unregistered Animagi? After discovering Remus was a werewolf, they decided to become Animagi to keep Lupin company during his transformations and renamed themselves in honour of their new animal forms.
The Society for the Promotion of Elfish Wefare – which Hermione insisted was most definitely not called spew – came into being during Harry’s fourth year at Hogwarts. Founded by Hermione Granger, it was created to help improve rights for house-elves, including securing fair wages and working conditions for them. Hermione was so enthusiastic about the cause, that in her fifth year, she started knitting hats and hiding them around the Gryffindor common room in an attempt to free the house-elves of Hogwarts… much to their annoyance as we soon discovered.
In the Half-Blood Prince film, we caught a glimpse into Voldemort’s life as a young Tom Riddle stuck in the orphanage he despised – but the books showed us even more. We got to see how Tom Riddle came to be and learnt the tragic tale of his mother Merope Gaunt. How she was stuck in a house with her horrible father Marvolo and awful brother Morfin. How she tricked Tom Riddle Senior with a Love Potion. How he left her. How she died penniless after giving birth to Tom Riddle Junior having sold her only item of value, Slytherin’s locket (the same locket that would become a Horcrux). This was just the start. The books unfolded the entire journey of how Tom became Voldemort and the important role that his past played in shaping him.
One memorable meeting to occur in the sixth book was when Dumbledore decided to pay a visit to the Dursleys. It was strange (to put it mildly) to see this powerful wizard sat in the Dursley’s chintzy living room at Privet Drive – but there he was. He spoke to the Dursleys about the importance of Harry remaining there until he came of age, told them that they had done a terrible job raising Dudley, offered them a drink they didn’t accept (the glasses bouncing repeatedly off their heads was pretty funny) and then took off with Harry into the night. We’d say it was a rather memorable visit all in all.
Fred and George had an excellent talent for creating practical jokes and as a result their shop was extremely successful. But how did they get the money to get their business off the ground? The Weasleys certainly didn’t have the spare cash. In the films we never find out but luckily the books reveal all…
Turns out that Harry was their secret benefactor, and he gave the twins the thousand Galleons he won as Triwizard Champion. There was one the condition though, Fred and George had to use some of the money to buy Ron some new dress robes. Well…you can’t say fairer than that really – they were truly awful.
If you enjoyed part one, make sure to keep an eye out for part two of things you can only find in the books coming next month.