The books and movies focused on Harry, Ron, and Hermione, but any true Potterhead knows that the professors encountered their own fair share of drama. From McGonagall’s tragic past to Snape’s dark secrets, retelling the Harry Potter books from the Hogwarts professors’ point of view would definitely make for an amazing series. Get ready to “swish and flick” in charms class–here’s a cauldron full of magical facts about the secret lives of the Harry Potter professors.
Harry Potter Professors Facts
1. I Like Your Thinking!
It’s not hinted at very much in the books, but Grindelwald managed to turn a 17-year-old Dumbledore onto the idea of wizards ruling Muggles for the greater good. After Dumbledore graduated from Hogwarts, he had to go back to his home and look after his sister, Ariana. Going from Hogwarts to be a stay-at-home caretaker did nothing to encourage Dumbledore’s mind—until he met Grindelwald.
Their equally gifted minds rejoiced at meeting each other, and Dumbledore was only too receptive to ideas that he later found appalling and evil.
2. Things Fall Apart
Grindelwald’s schemes with Albus Dumbledore led to a confrontation between himself and Dumbledore’s brother, Aberforth. Aberforth accused Albus of neglecting his family, and Grindelwald reacted with violence when his plans were blocked. A duel took place, with Grindelwald using the Cruciatus Curse on Aberforth, even as Albus intervened.
During the scuffle, someone’s spell went awry and killed Albus’ sister Ariana. Grindelwald fled England immediately, leaving Albus paralyzed with guilt over which person’s spell might have killed his sister.
3. Unlikely Passions
When J.K. Rowling hosted a book reading in Carnegie Hall in 2007, she revealed that Dumbledore hadn’t just been convinced by Grindelwald’s ideology when they were teenagers. Dumbledore was actually gay and had fallen completely in love with Grindelwald. Rowling even compared Dumbledore’s feelings for Grindelwald with Bellatrix Lestrange’s feelings for Lord Voldemort.
4. Missed Opportunity
Sadly, for those of us who would love to see this kind of relationship, Rowling has maintained that Dumbledore’s passion for Grindelwald was one-way. Grindelwald never reciprocated Dumbledore’s feelings, dooming their possibly complex and interesting relationship to fan-fiction stories.
5. Time to Fight
Grindelwald’s rise to power was aided by the refusal of Albus Dumbledore to face him directly. This was due to their shared past, but also Dumbledore’s fear that Grindelwald knew which of them had killed Ariana, and he was terrified of what the answer to that question might be. Ultimately, though, Dumbledore did go and face Grindelwald.
The duel became the stuff of legends, and ended with Dumbledore triumphant, taking the Elder Wand for himself, and Grindelwald being imprisoned.
6. Muggle Interests
According to Pottermore (J.K. Rowling’s website for fans of the series), Dumbledore’s favorite hobbies include 10-pin bowling and chamber music. Apparently, being the most powerful wizard in existence can get a little boring.
7. Once a Ham, Always a Ham
Apparently, even when Gilderoy Lockhart was a student at Hogwarts, he needed endless validation, praise, and attention. He carved his name in enormous letters on the Quidditch pitch, sent a huge picture of his own face into the sky for all to admire, and even gave himself almost 1000 Valentine’s Day cards. The amount of owls was so huge that the entire Great Hall had to be shut down.
8. Also, No One Else Would Take the Job
According to JK Rowling, Dumbledore knew that Gilderoy Lockhart was a fraud. He decided to hire the wavy-haired wizard because he thought that teaching would reveal Lockhart’s deception and hollowness. When Professor McGonagall learned that Dumbledore planned to hire the dummy, she asked why. Dumbledore revealed his ingenious plan. He said, “there is plenty to be learned even from a bad teacher: what not to do, how not to be.”
9. Rowling’s Number One
You might assume that Rowling’s favorite character in the series would be the hero, right? After all, the books are called the Harry Potter series, not the Hagrid series or even the Hermione Granger series (although that would be awesome, right?). Rowling’s favorite character, however, isn’t the obvious choice. She admitted that she “hated killing” Lupin, because he was one of her most beloved characters in the whole series.
10. What’s in a Name?
Remus’ name is a clue to his identity: Roman mythology claims that the founders of Rome were two boys—Remus and Romulus—raised by a wolf. His surname is also hints at his true nature: “Lupin” is a play on the Latin word for wolf, “Lupus.” His middle name, “John,” refers to a wolf’s…. kidding! There’s no hidden wolf symbolism in “John.”
11. Change of Scenery, Change of Clothes
Lily Evans was the only bright spot in Snape’s young life. His parents fought constantly, though many fans believe that his life was far, far darker. Many think that Snape was likely abused as a child. His family struggled financially, and Snape was forced to wear poorly fitting, mismatched clothes. As such, he could not wait to leave this behind for Hogwarts every year.
He would immediately change into his robes upon boarding the Hogwarts Express, glad leave his shabby Muggle clothes behind.
12. A Tough Childhood
Although the heavy symbolism of name might suggest that Lupin had always had lycanthropic tendencies, he was not born a werewolf. He was bitten and transformed into one at the tender age of four. This was no random attack: it was revenge. Lupin’s father Lyall, who worked at the Ministry of Magic, angered a werewolf named Fenrir Greyback when Lyall disagreed with lenient treatment Greyback received in questioning. Greyback retaliated by climbing through Remus’ window and biting the sleeping child.
13. Skeletons in The Pink and Fluffy Closet
One of the cruelest villains in the whole series, Dolores Umbridge, is a half-blooded witch. After her parents split, her Muggle mother took her Squib brother back to the non-magical world and Dolores never spoke of that side of her family again.
14. Papa Don’t Sweep
Dolores Umbridge went to extreme lengths to hide her “lowly” heritage. As she rose through the ranks at the Ministry of Magic rose, she basically disowned her parent (her father was a janitor at the Ministry) and used a meagre allowance to make him take early retirement. She didn’t really care about giving her dad time off. She just didn’t want to be associated with the janitorial staff.
15. Maybe Try Tinder for Sociopaths?
Umbridge desperately wanted to marry one of her bosses at the Ministry of Magic but, shocker, there were no takers.
16. Not Unsupported by Ancient Myth, Just Saying
At the end of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the herd of centaurs abduct the villain Dolores Umbridge. The next time we see her, she’s in the hospital wing, numb and shell-shocked. While the trio think it’s funny that she’s received her comeuppance, readers wondered if something far darker happened in the Forbidden Forest. Many wonder if the centaurs assaulted Umbridge.
17. Would A Quirrell By Any Other Name Smell So Garlicky?
JK Rowling loves a good name. Explaining the name Quirrell (the secretly evil Defense Against The Dark Arts teacher from the very first Harry Potter book), she said that Quirinus was a Roman God who is usually associated with war. JK said that this was a clue that Quirrell “is not quite as meek as he appears.” She also said that the name is almost “squirrel” — a nod to the character’s seeming harmlessness and twitchy nervousness.
18. Fred and George, Legends
In the first Harry Potter book, Fred and George throw snowballs at the back of Quirrell’s turban. This means that the Weasley twins repeatedly hit Lord Voldemort in the face.
19. Perfect Nomenclature
Snape, like Lupin, has a lot going on for him as well. According to the English etymology, Snape means “to be hard upon, rebuke, revile, snub.” All of these words describe things Snape’s lived experience, as one of the saga’s most tragic heroes.
20. Hasn’t He Been Through Enough?
Rowling revealed a heartbreaking truth about Hagrid. She admitted that he couldn’t cast a Patronus, as it is a type of spell that would be too difficult for him, since he was expelled from Hogwarts.
21. Soft and Greasy
The two words used most often to describe Snape throughout the books are “Cold” and “Dark.” Runners up include “Soft” and Greasy.” Not exactly the adjectives I’d want, but hey, if the shoe fits.
22. Trust Me, I Know
The fact that Rickman knew more about his character than anyone else made for an interesting dynamic between the actor and his directors. There would be times where a director would tell Rickman to do something, and he would respond by saying, “No, I can’t do that—I know what is going to happen and you don’t.”
23. Death by Toenail
One of Snape’s weirder spell inventions? He created a spell (a hex really) that caused toenails to grow long incredibly quickly. Now, what would you need that for?
24. Alternate Universe
Many Harry Potter fans don’t realize that the movies were meant to be quite different. Hugh Grant was supposed to play Gilderoy Lockhart, Sir Ian McKellen was asked to play Dumbledore after Richard Harris died, Rosamund Pike was supposed to be Rita Skeeter, and in another world, Tilda Swinton might have been the lovably silly Professor Trelawney.
25. If Only
Most of the actors turned down roles in Harry Potter because of boring things like scheduling conflicts–but some had far more scandalous reasons. Apparently, Rosamund Pike didn’t want to commit to more than one movie and Tilda Swinton didn’t want to be in a series that glorified boarding school (um, okay). But by far the most tragic reason is Ian McKellen’s: Richard Harris said that he was a “passionless” actor. McKellen didn’t feel right taking over from a man who disapproved of his craft.
Daniel Radcliffe came up with a touching way for Harry to show respect to his most beloved teacher, Professor Lupin. When Harry taught Dumbledore’s army in the fifth movie, he would wear certain types of clothes that resembled the outfits worn by Professor Lupin in his lessons from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The director liked the suggestion that it became the basis for his look during those scenes in The Room of Requirement.
27. Carrying on the Line
While Remus and Nymphadora’s son Teddy did not inherit his father’s lycanthropy, he did inherit Tonks’ shapeshifting abilities. He was also sorted into Hufflepuff (like his mom) and made Head Boy in his seventh year. But Teddy’s most meaningful resemblance isn’t to his mom or his dad. It’s to the hero Harry. JK Rowling revealed that she intentionally ended the series with another helpless orphan figure, comparing Teddy’s fate to Harry’s at the start of the books.
28. He’s No Coltrane
Despite being willing to work for free, Robin Williams was turned down for the role of Hagrid.
29. Giant Plan
Early on in her planning of the series’ final scenes, Rowling became attached to one haunting image: Hagrid walking out of the Forbidden Forest with Harry appearing dead in his arms. Rowling states, “That was so perfect for me, because it was Hagrid who and took him into the world, and Hagrid who would bring him back.” Besides eliciting a million fan tears, the idea may even have saved Hagrid from Rowling’s instinct to kill him off earlier in the series.
30. Young Master
It should come as no surprise to anyone, but the Half-Blood Prince was a remarkably talented wizard, especially when it came to potions. In fact, young Snape was appointed Hogwarts’ potions master by September of 1981, when he was just 21 years old.
31. Love Lost
A scandalous love triangle is hidden within the Harry Potter films. Bellatrix is played by Helena Bonham Carter, who had previously had an affair with Kenneth Branagh, who played Gilderoy Lockhart in the second Harry Potter film. This affair led to the end of Branagh’s marriage to Emma Thompson, who also appeared in the film series as Sybill Trelawney.
32. Hidden Meanings
Actor David Thewlis, who played Remus Lupin in the movie adaptations of the Harry Potter books, revealed a surprising motivation for his character. Without consulting Rowling, the director of the third movie, Alfonso Cuaron, told Thewlis to play Lupin as though the werewolf were gay.
33. Sorry, Tonks!
Thewlis explains that he had to adjust his understanding of his character once it was revealed that Lupin would marry Nymphadora Tonks: “So I’d been playing a part like a gay man for quite a long time. Until it turned out that I indeed got married to Tonks. I changed my whole performance after that.”
34. Dark Prodigy
Despite growing up in the Muggle world, Snape was already a talented young wizard by the time he arrived at Hogwarts. Sirius Black once remarked that young Severus knew how to perform more curses upon his entry to the school than most students knew after seven years of training.
35. Scot’s Honor
Some Harry Potter fans may not know this, but McGonagall is actually Scottish. She was born the child of a Presbyterian Minister father and a witch mother. Growing up in the Highlands in the early twentieth century, young Minerva would start to figure out she was far from an ordinary Highland lass…
It’s no wonder that whenever the word “Mudblood” is uttered, she gets cross. McGonagall’s mother, Isobel Ross, was a witch, but her father, Robert, was a Muggle minister; her parents met and fell in love in the same village they both grew up in. The whole village, Robert included, thought Isobel went to a “select ladies’ boarding school” when in actuality she was attending Hogwarts. The two ended up eloping, and Isobel continued to keep her magical secret from Robert.
37. McGonagall’s Broken Heart
Years after the series ended, JK Rowling revealed Professor McGonagall’s devastating backstory. Apparently, the Transfiguration professor experienced terrible heartbreak. Repeating her mother’s fate, young McGonagall fell hopelessly in love with a Muggle man. His name was Dougal McGregor and after a summer romance, the young couple became engaged. But they were doomed to a heartbreaking end.
38. Breaking the Cycle
McGonagall’s parents were almost torn apart by the complexities of Muggle-Witch romance. As she thought about her new fiancé, McGonagall decided that she just couldn’t live the same life as her parents. She broke off her engagement and went to work at her first job: the Department of Magical Law Enforcement at the Ministry of Magic. Sadly, it doesn’t look like McGonagall ever found love again, though she did become an excellent teacher and warrior.
39. Hagrid’s Red Herring
We know Hagrid has a giant half brother named Grawp. However, it was also rumored that Hagrid had an evil twin named Dirgah who hid out in the forbidden corridor, which was why the corridor was off limits to students. It was all a ruse, however, to keep students away from the philosopher’s stone; “Dirgah” is “Hagrid” spelled backwards.
40. Stalling Out
It’s how every Hogwarts’ student begins their school career: the Sorting Ceremony. McGonagall’s sorting took an astonishing five and half minutes, resulting in was is known as a “Hatstall.” The Sorting Hat could not decide whether to put her in Gryffindor or Ravenclaw (she eventually became a member of Gryffindor). In later years, she and Professor Flitwick would joke about this; he was also a Hatstall between the two houses, but was placed in Ravenclaw instead.
41. Dark Creatures
When confronted with a Boggart, a shape shifting creatures that transforms into someone’s worst fear, Dumbledore would see the corpse of his dead sister Ariana. Dark Stuff. And you thought Ron Weasley’s fear of spiders was bad…
42. Learn from the Best?
Before Hagrid became the Care of Magical Creatures instructor, the position was held by Professor Kettleburn. We don’t know very much about him, except that by the time he retired, he only had one arm and half of a leg. Like Hagrid, Kettleburn just couldn’t resist getting up close and personal with dangerous creatures like dragons.
In the end, Michael Gambon became Dumbledore after Richard Harris’ death. In a controversial choice, he did not read the books before filming and, uh, it kind of shows. In a notorious example, the book specifies that Dumbledore “calmly” asks Harry if he put his name in the Goblet of Fire. In the movie, Gambon yells and runs towards Harry like a madman. It’s a…choice.
44. A True Dark Arts Master
So much of the series focuses on Snape’s ties to Voldemort and his disdain for Harry Potter, but this guy also has some serious magical skills. Snape invented (to just name a few) a nonverbal spell, Levicorpus, that can lift people up by their ankles, a counter curse spell to Levicorpus, and a violent spell that can slash through opponents called Sectumsempra. Uh, those definitely sound like dark arts to me.
45. Hagrid Gets Revenge
We first meet Walden MacNair in Prisoner of Azkaban when he is sent to execute Hagrid’s beloved pet hippogriff Buckbeak. This secret Death Eater is enraged when Buckbeak disappears and he is robbed of his chance to kill the creature, revealing a bloodthirsty and cruel nature. During the Battle of Hogwarts, we see MacNair one more time—when Hagrid throws him clear across a room.
46. Hidden Meanings
When Snape approaches our boy Harry P for the first time, the first thing he asks him is “What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?” It’s a pretty innocuous line, but it actually holds an incredible secret meaning.
47. Hiding in Plain Sight
One fan translated the etymology and symbolism of the words, particularly using the language of flowers. Asphodel is a type of lily meaning “my regrets follow you to the grave” in Victorian flower language, while wormwood symbolizes bitterness and sorrow. The fan interpreted it as, “On Lily’s grave, I promise to protect you.” Deep, man.
48. A Jinxed Position
Snape, as we know from The Half-Blood Prince, was half Muggle. His mother, Eileen Prince, was a witch who attended Hogwarts, but his father, Tobias Snape, was a regular, non-magical person.
49. What’s in a Name?
Rowling gets tons of inspiration for her characters’ names from literature, animals, and places: the names Hagrid and Dumbledore show up in a novel by Thomas Hardy. Also, Hagrid’s first name, “Rubeus,” comes from the Latin “rubinius,” or “red.” “Albus” (as in Albus Dumbledore) comes from “alba” meaning “white.”
50. Papa, Can You Hear Me?
As Rowling said, “Rubeus (red) Hagrid and Albus (white) Dumbledore…[were] both hugely important to Harry, seem to me to represent two sides of the ideal father figure he seeks; the former is warm, practical and wild, the latter impressive, intellectual, and somewhat detached.”
51. Not Like His Old Man
Dumbledore’s father, who’s name was Percival, was sent to Azkaban for attacking boys who had injured Dumbledore’s sister Ariana. His father was never released and spent the remainder of his life in the wizard prison.
52. Where We’re Going We Don’t Need Wands
Unlike most wizards, Dumbledore has the ability to do magic without the use of a wand. For example, in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Dumbledore saves Harry without his wand when Harry falls off his broom in a game of Quidditch. He could also change the colors of the banners in the Great Hall without a wand.
53. Ominous Wand
Dumbledore’s wand holds a terrible secret. It contains a Thestral core. On her old website J.K. Rowling revealed that the core of the Elder Wand is that of a Thestral, a creature that is invisible to those who have not seen someone die. Considering Dumbledore’s experiences with Ariana, the meaning of his wand is heartbreaking.
54. Pass the Tissues
Albus Dumbledore’s grave is the only one at Hogwarts. Dumbledore wanted to be buried at Hogwarts because he considered the castle his real home.
55. Who Needs a Cloak?
Dumbledore was such a powerful wizard that he had no need for an Invisibility Cloak. In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Dumbledore tells Harry that he does not need one of those fancy cloaks if he wishes to be invisible. Dumbledore most likely could perform such a powerful Disillusionment Charm that it made him impossible to see.
Before Harry was born, there was a prophecy made about the boy who would be able to bring down Lord Voldemort. Professor Trelawney gave Dumbledore the prophecy at the end of her job interview for a position at Hogwarts. That certainly got her the job!
57. Didn’t See That One Coming
Trelawney’s first name is “Sybill” which, to especially nerdy Harry Potter fans, immediately suggests something about her true nature. In Greek mythology, Sybil is an oracle who can see the future. When thinking about Trelawney, JK Rowling decided not to call her “Sybil” but “Sybill.” It was her way of saying that Trelawney doesn’t really measure up to the greats.
58. Handy Scars
In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Dumbledore claims that he has a scar on his left knee that is a perfect map of London’s Underground system. But for some fans, this weird detail is the key to a huge revelation.
59. Long Live Ronbledore
Before the seventh book was released, an amazing fan theory made the rounds on the internet. Readers wondered if Ron Weasley, everyone’s favorite ginger, was secretly a time-travelling Dumbledore who became Ron to guide Harry through his journey. The theory argued that both injured their left legs, both have red hair (before Dumbledore goes grey, his hair is auburn), and a weird time inconsistency.
Dumbledore says he grew up eating Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, even though elsewhere in the series, we learn that Dumbledore should have been too old to do this. But if Dumbledore is referring to growing up as Ron, it makes sense. In the end, the books didn’t make good on this theory, but still, it makes you think!
60. Behind the Scenes Drama
In the first Harry Potter movie, viewers are treated to Madam Hooch, the yellow-eyed Quidditch instructor. But sadly, she never returned after that one appearance. Years later, we finally know why. Apparently, the actress who played Hooch, Zoe Wanamaker, said that the producers were “notoriously mean.” She also revealed that her pay was incredibly low.
61. The Power of Friendship
Lupin admitted to Harry that it was difficult to remember his humanity once he had transformed into a werewolf. However, once the other Marauders became Animagi, their presence not only allowed James, Sirius, and Peter to keep Lupin company, it also helped him stay more grounded in his human self throughout the full moon.
In the third book of the series, Lupin says to Harry that “Under their influence, I became less dangerous. My body was still wolfish, but my mind seemed to become less so while I was with them.”
62. McGonagall Forever
In the late 2000s, tragedy struck the Harry Potter set. Dame Maggie Smith, the esteemed actress who plays Professor McGonagall, revealed that she was battling breast cancer. The actress bravely decided to keep filming the sixth movie, but fans worried for her health. Happily, the actress recovered and returned to play McGonagall in the last two movies.
63. Post-Traumatic Stress
When forced to drink the potion in the cave to get the locket Horcrux in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Dumbledore begins to weep and say “it’s all my fault” over and over. Fans believe the reason is horribly dark. Dumbledore is probably reliving the worst moment of his life: the death of his sister.
Dumbledore may have killed his own sister, Ariana while duelling with his younger brother, Aberforth and his friend at the time, Grindelwald. The three wizards had an argument, which escalated into a full-scale duel and Ariana was killed in the crossfire.
65. Mad-Eye? More Like Dad-Eye
Brendan Gleeson first appeared in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as the slightly-unhinged Mad-Eye Moody. Soon after, his real-life son Domhnall Gleeson was cast as Bill Weasley. This fact brings special significance to the scene in Deathly Hallows where Bill is the one to break the news to the Order of the Phoenix of Moody’s murder by Voldemort.
66. A Mouthful of Names
Dumbledore’s full name was Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. Which begs the question, who needs three middle names? The best wizard ever, that’s who.
67. Flitwick’s Past Life
Filius Flitwick, the petite Charms instructor at Hogwarts, is actually half goblin. As a young man, he was bullied for his non-human heritage, though he didn’t let the haters get him down. After leaving Hogwarts, little Flitwick became a Master Duellist and fought against Voldemort in the First and Second Wizarding Wars.
68. Kind Words
Snape might not get much credit in life, but after his passing he eventually got some acknowledgement for all the good works he did. Harry eventually describes Snape as “The bravest man I ever knew.”
Snape is the only Death Eater who can conjure a Patronus, which is (of course) a doe, just like his love Lily Potter.
70. Getting Into Character
The late and great Alan Rickman had a hand in how Snape was portrayed on the big screen. Rickman determined the tightness of the sleeves, the number of buttons, and other critical features of Snape’s costume.
71. Something Is Missing
Despite Rickman’s involvement in Snape’s character design in the movies, there is one thing missing from the book: a goatee. In the series, Snape is always illustrated with some kind of beard, which is mysteriously absent from the films. Thanks to Die Hard, we know that Alan Rickman isn’t follicly-challenged, so who’s to say why the goatee never made it into the movies?
After he graduated, Riddle approached the Headmaster to ask if he could stay on and teach Defense Against the Dark Arts. He was turned down; he was too young, and was told he could be considered for the role at a later date. But that’s not the whole story. Dumbledore, who was the Transfiguration professor at the time, recognized Riddle as a threat. It was he who convinced the Headmaster never to hire him.
73. Real-Life Influence
It’s not unusual for authors to base their characters on real people, and J.K. Rowling is no different. Hagrid was inspired by a very big West Country biker. Robbie Coltrane, who plays Hagrid and has met the man, has said in Harry Potter Page to Screen that the real-life biker is “Just huge and terrifying, And then he would sit down and talk about his garden and how his petunias had been very bad that year.” The real Hagrid is just as much a softie as the book Hagrid!
74. She Knows What She Wants
Rowling insisted that Robbie Coltrane play Hagrid and said that if he hadn’t signed on it would have been a deal breaker.
75. A Style All His Own
Furry brown suits, yellow spotted ties and large brown overcoats: It’s safe to say that while Hagrid will never win any fashion awards, he rocked whatever he put on. The only time we see Hagrid being self-conscious about his appearance is when a certain fellow half-giant named Madame Maxime comes onto the scene in The Goblet of Fire .
76. Art Imitates Life
Author J.K. Rowling revealed that the character of Dolores Umbridge was based on a real person whom she “disliked intensely on sight”, and whom “returned [her] antipathy with interest”, even though she honestly could not explain why they hated each other so much. Maybe it was all that pink?
77. Snape’s POV
Pottermore is the gift that keeps on giving. On the site, there’s a feature article that includes a summary of the Harry Potter books from Snape’s perspective, offering a differing view of the story about The Boy Who Lived. Makes you think.
78. Personal Invitation
Remember the rush in book one when Harry receives his letter to Hogwarts? Remus Lupin got something even better: a personal visit from Albus Dumbledore. As wise as ever, Dumbledore did not agree with the discrimination werewolves faced in the wizarding community, and so he made specific accommodations, such as building the Shrieking Shack in Hogsmeade Village, that made it possible for Lupin to attend Hogwarts.
Later on, Dumbledore would do Lupin a similar favor by offering the younger man the job of teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts.
79. Raised by a Single Parent
Hagrid mentions his dad a lot in both the films and books. Hagrid’s father, a wizard, is never named, and was married to a giantess named Fridwulfa. Sadly, the couple wouldn’t last. Fridwulfa left his father to raise his son alone when Hagrid was only around three years old. Hagrid’s father was even short by regular wizard standards, and Hagrid tells Madame Maxime, “Tiny little bloke, my dad was. By the time I was six I could lift him up an’ put him on top o’ the dresser if he annoyed me.”
80. Just the Two of Us
Hagrid’s father died in 1940, leaving Hagrid virtually an orphan, like Harry. Nonetheless, Hagrid was glad his father didn’t live to see his son expelled from Hogwarts.
81. Like Mother, Like Son
Though he takes after his dad when it comes to his personality, his size definitely comes from his mother. The wizarding world is unfortunately very prejudiced against giants (and half-giants), which didn’t make Hagrid’s life any easier. He’s also too big to ride a broomstick like other wizards, and can only ride a magical motorbike. On the bright side, he gets to ride a magical motorbike.
82. Pain Begets Pain
Severus Snape’s tragic story is painfully similar to that of many real-life bullies. When he arrived at Hogwarts, he was almost instantly singled out for torment by James Potter and Sirius Black. His victimization led him to fall in with similarly cruel Slytherin students, and he became a terrible bully himself—eventually ending up as a Death Eater.
83. The Gloomy Professor
Professor Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series is one of the most interesting and complex characters in literature, and happens to be inspired by a real-life person. John Nettleship was one of J.K. Rowling’s teachers, and he was a strict, short-tempered chemistry teacher with long hair. Nettlesnip was quoted as saying he was ‘horrified’ when he learned of the connection.
84. Worst Teacher Ever
Every reader can relate to Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s pain in History of Magic class. The professor, the ghostly Prof. Binns, drones on and on, managing to make cool-sounding stuff like the Goblin Wars become painfully boring. Apparently, Binns is so dull that one night, he fell asleep at his desk and then died. Instead of moving on or, it seems, even noticing that he had passed, he simply walked through the walls and kept teaching the next morning.
85. Mama’s Magical Boy
The egotistical and ill-fated Gilderoy Lockhart is a half-blood, born to a witch mother and Muggle father. He is also the only one of their three children to inherit magical power, as his two older sisters were both born Squibs. As a result, Lockhart’s mother openly loved him most of all the children.
86. That’s a Neat Trick!
Avid book readers and film fans know McGonagall is an Animagus: She can transform into a cat at will. What fans may not know is that she is only one of seven Animagi who registered with the Ministry of Magic in the 20th century. It’s no easy feat learning how to turn into an animal—just look how long it took James Potter and Sirius Black! It was McGonagall’s passion for Transfiguration that made her want to become an Animagus, and she even asked Dumbledore for help in her final year.
87. Hot Prof
Following the war, Neville joined Harry and Ron at the Ministry working in the Auror office. He only stayed long enough to reform the Ministry of Magic, and then went on to work as the Herbology professor at Hogwarts.
Dumbledore was the first wizard to have possession of all three of Deathly Hallows. He never had all three at once, but he was the first to encounter all of them. He had the Invisibility Cloak after Harry’s parents were killed, the Resurrection Stone when he tracked Voldemort’s ring Horcrux, and the Elder Wand when he defeated Grindelwald.
Although Harry names his son Albus Severus after both Dumbledore and Snape, that’s not the only being named for Snape: In 2017, researchers discovered a new species of crab and called it Harryplax severus. Well, he is a pretty crabby guy.
90. Wonderful Wizard
Dumbledore’s talent was recognized all over the wizarding world. He won a whole host of awards in his lifetime, including the Order of Merlin First Class. The award is given to witches/wizards who performs an outstanding act of bravery or distinction in magic. He received the honour for defeating the dark wizard Grindelwald.
91. Glow Up
Did you notice that in between Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Flitwick’s entire look changes? He goes from being a tiny old man to a middle-aged, well-dressed professor with dark hair, a moustache, and a new vocation as the Hogwarts choir master. The change puzzled fans, but recently we learned about what happened behind the scenes.
92. Channeling Snape?
It turns out that Flitwick wasn’t actually supposed to be in the third Harry Potter movie, but the actor, Warwick Davis, was so keen to return that he offered to make a cameo as an entirely different character. And so the French-looking choir master was born! After seeing his new look, the director of the fourth movie decided to retcon the series and pretend like Flitwick always rocked dark hair and a middle part.
93. Against JKR’s Wishes
However, JK Rowling disagreed with these controversial creative choices. She says that in her mind, Flitwick is an old man. Some fans also wonder about the Charms’ professor’s glow up. Some believe he simply got a makeover. Others think he may have gotten into a magical accident.
94. Small World
Dumbledore’s family was from the town of Godric’s Hallow. The same place as the founder of Gryffindor, Godric Gryffindor, and Harry Potter. There must be something in the water there…
95. Family Man
We all think of Dumbledore as an honest character who would never decisive his friends. Except that he lies to Harry about what he sees in the Mirror of Erised. Dumbledore tells Harry he sees himself with a new pair of socks. In a 2007 interview, Rowling revealed what Dumbledore really saw was, “his family alive, whole and happy.”
When Alan Rickman first took the role of Severus Snape in Harry Potter, the ending of the book series had not yet been revealed. So, to make sure that he could best portray the complicated character, J.K. Rowling revealed a key piece of information about the character to him. Rickman died never revealing what that piece of information was, but Rowling eventually let fans in on the secret.
She told him what lies behind the word “Always.” It means that Snape would always love Lily Potter, that he would always protect Harry, and that nothing in the world, no amount of torment or danger, could change that. So while audiences were left guessing as to Snape’s allegiances until the final film, the actor himself knew all along.
97. One and Done
As far as we can tell, Grindelwald was the love of Dumbledore’s life. The headmaster never had another important romantic relationship.
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