Rachel Paige
July 31, 2015 7:23 am

Harry Potter turns 35 today! Our favorite born wizard was born on July 31st, 1980. (It so happens he shares the same birthday with his maker, JK Rowling). Though we didn’t meet him until 1997, when Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was first published, it feels like Harry’s been with us since before we can even remember.

So in honor of this big day, here are just 35 of the best Harry Potter facts you may know, you may not know, or maybe you’ve forgotten about. Harry Potter re-read-binge, anyone?

1. When Harry first arrived at 4 Privet Drive, he was traveling with Hagrid on Sirius’ motorcycle. When Harry left 4 Privet drive for the last time — during Deathly Hallows — he left that same way; traveling next to Hagrid on the motorcycle.

2. Harry’s wand was 11″ long, made of holly, and possessed a phoenix feather core — one from Doumbledour’s phoenix, Fawkes. It cost him seven galleons.

3. Harry’s roommates at Hogwarts are: Ron, Dean, Neville, and Seamus.

4. Over the course of the books, Draco comes up with some interesting nicknames for Harry: The Boy Who Scored, Scarhead, Saint Potter, The Chosen Captain.

5. The Daily Prophet once nicknamed Harry, “The Boy Who Lies,” in order to squash rumors that Voldemort was back.

6. Harry gave all of his winnings from the Tri-Wizard tournament (1000 Galleons) to Fred and George. Why? So they could open Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes.

7. Harry only destroyed one of the seven Horcruxes: Tom Riddle’s diary, with the basilisk, Second Year.

8. There’s also that pesky Horcrux in Harry, too. After it was destroyed (by Voldemort himself) Harry could no longer speak Parseltongue.

9. After the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry got his face on a chocolate frog card (Ron and Hermione did, too). Harry’s card reads (according to Harry Potter mastermind/scribe, J.K. Rowling): “The first and only known wizard to survive the Killing Curse, most famous for the defeat of the most dangerous dark wizard of all time, Lord Voldemort.”

10. Harry’s Quidditch number is 7.

11. 7 is also the number of just about EVERYTHING related to Harry. There are 7 Horcruxes, there are 7 years at Hogwarts, there are 7 floors in Hogwarts…

12. …there are also seven players on a Quidditch team, Harry caught 7 Golden Snitches during his time as a Seeker. You get the idea.

13. When Harry joined the Quidditch team in his First Year, he became the youngest player at Hogwarts in over a century (since First Years weren’t allowed their own broomsticks, and henceforth couldn’t play Quidditch).

14. Harry has only owned two broomsticks: A Nimbus 2000 (gifted by Professor McGonagall when he makes the Quidditch team his First Year) and a Firebolt (given to him by Sirius as a Christmas gift). The Nimbus was destroyed in Harry’s Third Year, and the Firebolt was lost when Harry was escaping Privet Drive with Hagrid in Deathly Hollows.

15. Dolores Umbridge also banned Harry from Quidditch FOR LIFE after he got into a fistfight with Malfoy. But that was quickly overturned as soon as she left Hogwarts in the 5th year.

16. Though Harry had lost people throughout his life already, he couldn’t see the thestrals until his Fifth Year. The first death Harry witness firsthand was that of Cedric Diggory during the Tri-Wizard tournament. Harry had the summer to mull over the death, and when he returned to Hogwarts in the fall, he could see the creatures.

17. When Harry and Cho Chang kiss, it’s through tears. Because Cho was still really upset about Cedric.

18. AND, that’s why Harry then fell in love with Ginny, rather than Cho. Ginny was the exact opposite of Cho.

19. Harry was present during death of every Marauder: 1) his father’s death as a baby; 2) Sirius’ death in the Ministry of Magic; 3) Remus’ death during the Battle of Hogwarts; and 3) Peter’s death in Malfoy Manor.

20. Sure, the scar on Harry’s forehead tingles every time Voldermort is around, but that’s not Harry’s only scar. After Umbridge made Harry write, “I will not tell lies” again and again — and it became carved into his hand — that scar would tingle every time Umbridge was mentioned.

21. But wait! Still not his only scars. In a story released on Pottermore, Rowling mentions that Harry now has a new scar above his cheekbone, that the Ministry has “no comment” on.

22. Harry’s least favorite subject? Astronomy. He only placed with “acceptable” on his O.W.L.S., and didn’t apply to proceed with the course.

23. On the other hand, he placed in “outstanding” for Defense Against the Dark Arts. Even Hermione didn’t even get an “outstanding” for DADA.

24. Harry never graduated from Hogwarts. He didn’t even attend his Seventh Year. Hermione returned to complete her schooling, but both Harry and Ron opted out.

25. Harry became the youngest head of the Aurora Office at the Ministry of Magic at age 26 (which means, he’s held the position already for nine years, seeing as how that would have happened around 2006).

26. Mrs. Weasley has knit Harry the following sweaters: a solid green one, a scarlet one, one with a Hungarian Horntail on it, and one with a Golden Snitch on it. They were always better than Ron’s sweaters.

27. Even though Sirius’ motorcycle was damaged in Deathly Hallows, Mr. Weasley fixed it up for Harry, and gifted it to him.

28. And how come Harry didn’t die when Voldemort used the killing curse on him? Simple (OK, not really). Voldemort only managed to destroy the part of his soul in Harry — the Horcrux — and Harry, still after all these years, was still protected by the love of his parents.

29. After Dobby’s noble death, Harry refused to use magic to dig his grave. Harry instead did it all by hand, placing socks next to Dobby, writing on his gravestone that he was a free elf.

30. The first and last words Dobby actually says are: “Harry Potter.”

31. Though Harry and Dudley never had a great relationship growing up, Rowling has mentioned that the two are on “Christmas card terms.”

32. Though he could wield the Elder Wand, Harry didn’t want to keep it. Instead, he used it to repair his own broken wand, and then buried it with Dumbledore so it could never be used again.

33. Harry also insisted that Snape get his portrait hung up in the Headmaster’s Office, and insisted that it be hung next to Dumbledore.

34. Harry married Ginny (duh). They have three children, James Sirius Potter, Albus Severus Potter, and Lily Luna Potter. However, before starting a family, Ginny played Quidditch professionally.

35. We’re still two years away from the year of the Deathly Hallow‘s epilogue. It takes place in 2017.

Happy birthday, Harry!

(Images via Warner Bros, Giphy, Tumblr)

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On reading Harry Potter for the first time in my 20s

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