Fans of the Harry Potter series have been discussing hidden details for decades, but there are some small, strange facts that no one ever talks about.
- Hogwarts toilets drain into the Black Lake, creating some unsanitary situations for both Slytherin students and the champions in the Triwizard Tournament.
- Phineas Nigellus Black was Dumbledore’s Hogwarts headmaster and their dynamic explains Dumbledore’s exasperation with Phineas’ portrait.
- Harry Potter had exactly seven encounters with Lord Voldemort in the flesh, aligning with the significant magical number mentioned throughout the series.
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The Harry Potter series is full of subtle details, and some of the weirdest ones aren’t discussed nearly enough. Fans have debated major points about the characters and plot for decades, analyzing the hints and forming theories that have major implications for Harry’s story as a whole. With so much to talk about, it’s easier for the more subtle aspects of the wizarding world to go unnoticed. They may not have a massive impact on the plot of Harry Potter, but the fact that these details are canon should be enough to make you stop and think.
This was brought up by a Harry Potter fan on Reddit, who noted that they found it strange when rereading the books that it is at one point revealed that the Hogwarts plumbing drains into the nearby lake. This began a conversation about what else the Wizarding World franchise has revealed about the finer details of Harry’s story. From canon realities that audiences often forget, thanks to the changes made by the Harry Potter movies, to details and characters that are mentioned so briefly they could easily be missed, these little-discussed facts are too strange to ignore.
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10 Hogwarts Toilets Empty Into The Black Lake
In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Moaning Myrtle revealed that she is familiar with the mermaids of the Black Lake since she often ends up in their territory if someone unwittingly flushes her toilet. This was gross enough on its own but becomes even worse when remembering all that goes on in Hogwarts’ lake throughout the series. Later in the same installment of Harry Potter, the Triwizard champions were sent deep into the body of water for the Second Task, which seems far from sanitary. Additionally, the Slytherin common room is revealed to be beneath the Black Lake, with windows that look out into the water. Surely, some floaters wouldn’t make for a great view.
9 Phineas Nigellus Black Was Dumbledore’s Hogwarts Headmaster
Though the Harry Potter movies left him out, Phineas Nigellus Black had a fairly important role in the books (or, at least, his headmaster’s portrait did). Then, fans got to know him even more in the video game Harry Potter: Hogwarts Legacy, which is set during the time that Professor Black was headmaster. He was known as the least popular person to have held the position, which is unfortunate for Albus Dumbledore since he would have been a student at Hogwarts during Black’s reign. This would further explain why Dumbledore was often exasperated with Phineas Nigellus’ portrait.
8 Harry Potter Had Exactly Seven Encounters With Lord Voldemort
Seven was an important number in Harry Potter. During Harry’s Horcrux lessons with Dumbledore, he learned that seven is considered the most magically significant number. Fans often enjoy pointing out all the instances in which “seven” makes an appearance (years at Hogwarts, number of Horcruxes, etc.). Still, they often miss that Harry had exactly seven encounters with Lord Voldemort (in the flesh): when Harry was a baby, the Philosopher’s Stone incident, Voldemort’s resurrection, at the Ministry of Magic, the Battle of Seven Potters, at Godric’s Hallow, and the Battle of Hogwarts.
7 The Magical Maintenance Workers Controlled The Weather At The Ministry
Like Hogwarts, the Ministry of Magic is a large building full of mysteries, and it would likely take years for someone to discover all its secrets. Throughout the Harry Potter series, Harry visited three times, and each was filled with action. Still, there was a small moment in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix that was easy to overlook. Harry noticed that, despite being underground, the offices within the Ministry had windows. When he asked about this, Arthur Weasley explained that it was a spell and that the Magical Maintenance workers control the weather outside. Once, when they wanted a raise, they forced everyone to look out at a hurricane for days on end.
6 The Barrier For Platform Nine & Three-Quarters Was Metal (& Wizards Lean Through It)
Even when reading the books, it’s only natural to picture Harry running through a brick barrier to get onto Harry Potter‘s Platform 9¾. This is what has been seen in the movies, and the iconic moment in Philosopher’s Stone when Harry did this for the first time is hard to forget. However, this makes the moment in the books where the barrier is described to be made of metal jolting to read. What’s more, it’s easy to forget that the characters often subtly lean into the barrier when no one is looking to get onto the Platform. This makes quite a bit more sense than running at full speed.
5 The Golden Trio Found Slytherin’s Locket In Order Of The Phoenix
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry, Ron, and Hermione had difficulty figuring out what had happened to Slytherin’s locket. Harry had found a fake version of the Horcrux in Half-Blood Prince and had little to go on aside from the initials R.A.B. What he didn’t realize was that he had actually held Slytherin’s locket in his hands in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix when he was helping Mrs. Weasley clear out Grimmauld Place. No one could open it, so it was tossed out (though Kreacher thankfully snagged it). Now, when going back to read Order of the Phoenix, it’s funny to see this moment and fully understand what was happening.
4 Harry Encountered Malfoys Vanishing Cabinet In Chamber of Secrets
In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Draco Malfoy used sister Vanishing Cabinets—one at Borgin and Burkes and the other in the Room of Requirement—to sneak Death Eaters into Hogwarts Castle. Precisely what the Slytherin student was up to was a central part of the mystery that year, which made it even more frustrating for Harry to remember that he had actually hidden within that very cabinet when he accidentally wound up at Borgin and Burkes in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. This becomes even more alarming when realizing that Harry might have vanished while inside without the Hogwarts one working—he may never have been seen again.
3 People Often Smoked Strange Substances In The Wizarding World
Mundungus Fletcher was only introduced in the Harry Potter movies for the Battle of Seven Potters, but he had been around for a few years in the books. Harry often noticed the man puffing on a pipe that billowed strange green smoke, though it’s never revealed precisely what Mundungus was smoking. This same green smoke was observed again around guests at Bill and Fleur’s wedding, still without an explanation for what it was. Likely, it was a plant unique to the wizarding world, but it’s certainly curious what the effects of such a magical plant would be.
2 Ludo Bagman Won Half An Eel Farm In Goblet Of Fire
For a while in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Ludo Bagman seemed like a possibility for the one who entered Harry for the Triwizard Tournament. As it turned out, he just didn’t know when to stop gambling, and it got him into several wolds of trouble. Still, a moment during the Quidditch World Cup reveals that a woman named Agatha Timms had bet Bagman half her eel farm that the match would last a week. Though it was never addressed again, the fact that the game didn’t last so long means that the man should have gotten his due. Perhaps this was where he went when he disappeared after the Tournament’s end.
1 Harry Potter Can’t Be Imperiused (At Least Not Easily)
The Imperius Curse could be rather frightening since it was often difficult to tell if a good character had been taken over by a Death Eater. What the movies don’t mention is that not everyone can be controlled by this particular Unforgivable Curse in Harry Potter. In Goblet of Fire, Mad-Eye Moody (really Barty Crouch Jr.) placed students under the Imperius Curse to show them what it felt like. He had them dance around or, as he tried to do to Harry, jump onto a desk. However, thanks to Harry’s stronger-than-average will, he was able to break free of the curse. This explains why it was never an option for the Death Eaters to Imperius the Boy Who Lived in Harry Potter.