The last Harry Potter book was released way back in July 2007. The final installment of the movies was released in 2011. As a result, you might think that the phenomenon would have eased off a little, but not a bit of it.
With the super-successful Fantastic Beasts movies, the wizarding world is still a force to be reckoned with. Even without continued releases, Potterheads would be keeping the fandom alive.
These dedicated souls’ knowledge of the franchise knows no bounds. If you count yourself among them, and you think you know every ingredient of Polyjuice Potion and everybody’s Patronus from memory, here comes the ultimate test. Let’s see how you do with these super-difficult Harry Potter quiz questions.
That’s right, friends. We’re kicking this party off the right way, with a question that will trip up all but the most knowledgeable of Potterheads.
As you’ll no doubt remember, we’re introduced to Polyjuice Potion in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The trio need it to impersonate Crabbe and Goyle in order to question Draco Malfoy. It’s an incredibly advanced brew, but of course the super-smart Hermione is able to make it in her second year.
The ingredients? Lacewing flies, knotgrass, leeches, fluxweed, Bicorn horn, Boomslang skin and a part of the person you’re changing into (toenail clippings, hair, whatever). If you got all of those correct before reading the answer, that’s one well-deserved point to you.
JK Rowling carefully chose each of the six core ingredients for a specific reason, as she’s explained over on Pottermore.
Polyjuice Potion crops up multiple times over the course of the series (it’s vital to the events of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, where Bartemius Crouch Jr. poses as Alastor ‘Mad-Eye’ Moody for a whole school year), so it’s only fitting that we revisit it for our second question.
The potion is notoriously difficult and time-consuming to brew. The lacewing flies, for instance, have to stew for 21 days before they’re ready to be used in the potion, and another of the ingredients must be harvested at the full moon.
Which ingredient is that? The fluxweed. Did you know that too? Excellent work, you could probably brew this up yourself.
Of the many spells that exist in the Potterverse, Expecto Patronum is one of the most interesting. It’s certainly one of the most versatile, taking a range of forms and proving effective against a range of opponents.
The so-called corporeal Patronus is the most powerful and the most difficult to conjure, but a lot of witches and wizards are shown to be able to do so. They take forms specific to the conjurer (Snape’s is a doe, for instance, a reference to his lost love, Lily), and we’re familiar with the most common ones. Harry’s, say, is a stag. But what of Albus Dumbledore’s brother, Aberforth?
As we learn from the books, Aberforth’s is a goat. From some of the rumors that surround him, it’s probably best not to dwell on why.
The O.W.L.s (Ordinary Wizarding Levels) are a huge deal for any Hogwarts student. These exams are taken at the age of fifteen, and the results can determine a lot about the student’s future.
O.W.L.s decide where you’re going to go - in terms of classes and eventual careers - as your N.E.W.T.s (Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests) approach.
As we pause to admire JK Rowling’s sterling work with those acronyms, what do you know about Harry’s own O.W.L. results? He failed two classes, but do you know which ones?
That’s right. The first was Divination (which was a lost cause), in which he was given a Poor grade. The second? History of Magic. He got a Dreadful for that, although it wasn’t really his fault (he missed most of the exam).
So, yes. When it came to O.W.L. results, Harry wasn’t quite up to Hermione Granger’s standard (not that anybody ever would be, of course). Incredibly, though, he actually did outperform her in one of the exams!
The grading system for these exams is interesting. There are three pass grades (Acceptable, Exceeds Expectations and Outstanding, the highest of all) and three fail grades (Poor, Dreadful and Troll, the very worst). Harry achieved an Outstanding grade in one O.W.L., Defense Against the Dark Arts.
In the same subject, Hermione was awarded ‘only’ an Exceeds Expectations. Naturally, Harry’s real-world experience tangling with all manner of dark magic and ghastly creatures gave him an edge there.
The first installment of the Harry Potter series centers around the Sorcerer’s Stone/Philosopher’s Stone, a powerfully magical substance able to make the drinker immortal. Naturally, Voldemort wants a slice of that action, but… well, yes, we all know how that goes.
The particular Stone in question belonged to Nicolas Flamel, noted French alchemist. With the elixir of life on hand, you’d expect Flamel to be pretty darn old, but do you know exactly how old?
At the time that he and his friend Albus Dumbledore decided to destroy the Stone (thereby dooming Flamel to soon depart this life at last) to keep it from Voldemort’s clutches in 1992, he had lived since the 1300s. There are no firm dates, but he lived to an age of around 665-696!
The thing that so many fans love so much about the magical world is the scale of it. J.K Rowling meticulously crafted not only a series of novels, but a whole ‘parallel world’ for them to take place in.
From the magical wildlife indigenous to far distant countries to individual meanings of each of the ingredients of Polyjuice Potion, it just seems that she thought of everything. She must have filled reams and reams of notebooks while planning and writing the series, containing obscure details like the pant sizes of all the Hogwarts professors.
One obscure detail featured in the very first book is the exact number of staircases at Hogwarts. That number, friends, is 142.
You see, this is what a little magic can do for a person. One day, you’re being forced to wear your cousin’s old clothes (which are about eighteen sizes too big and being dyed by your Aunt in the kitchen sink) to a new school, with absolutely zero allowance or anything. Suddenly, out of nowhere, you’ve got a whole vault full of your mom and dad’s cash.
In the movie, the contents of Harry’s Gringotts vault are quite a sight to behold. Do you know which number his vault was, though? This one’s also extra-tricky, because Hagrid and Harry had to travel to another vault on the same trip.
Vault 687 is Harry’s.
As much as I adore the movie adaptions of the series, all kinds of things were cut. This is just inevitable, as the books became as thick as darn housebricks as the series wore on, but still. It’s a shame.
Classic characters had to be lost to save time (Peeves, Ludo Bagman and Winky the house elf among them), but so did all manner of obscure little facts and pieces of dialogue.
Did you know that Dumbledore has a scar above his left knee that is a perfect map of the London Underground (the subway, essentially)? Not if you’ve only watched the movies and never read the books, you didn’t.
Speaking of characters from the books that didn’t make the transition to the big screen, do you remember Hepzibah Smith? She appears in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, only as a memory experienced through the Pensieve.
An elderly and extremely rich witch, Hepzibah was visited by Tom Riddle several times, in his capacity as an assistant at Borgin and Burkes. She claimed to be descended from Helga Hufflepuff herself, and possessed priceless artifacts: Hufflepuff’s cup and Slytherin’s locket.
Needless to say, Riddle disposed of her and claimed the two treasures for himself (later making them horcruxes). Who did he frame for the crime? Hepzibah’s old, forgetful house elf, who was deceived into thinking that she had poisoned her mistress’s cocoa by accident.
What was the unfortunate elf’s name? That’s right, it was Hokey.