How the Potter family became wealthy
In September, J.K. Rowling debuted a spruced-up Pottermore.com alongside a brand-new Harry Potter story. The tale dives into the boy wizard’s genealogy, starting with Linfred of Stinchcombe, the first Potter. Nicknamed ‘the Potterer,’ he cured Muggle neighbors with magical remedies and was responsible for coming up with concoctions that became well-known potions like Skele-gro. “ His sales of such cures to fellow witches and wizards enabled him to leave a significant pile of gold to each of his seven children upon his death,” Rowling wrote. But it was Fleamont Potter, Harry’s grandfather, “who took the family gold and quadrupled it, by creating magical Sleekeazy’s Hair Potion,” which he sold for a large profit when he retired.
It's the dawn of the age of Hufflepuff
Move over, Gryffindor. The Hogwarts house—known for its brave of heart and characters like Harry, Ron and Hermione—is taking a back seat to Hufflepuff. Newt Scamander, the main character of the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film, was a Hufflepuff. So when Pottermore posted a list of famous Hufflepuffs, best known for their loyalty and patience, Rowling couldn’t help but chime in:
The reason Hagrid can’t produce a Patronus
The Patronus—an advanced defensive charm—typically takes the shape of an animal that carries deep meaning to a wizard. Which is why Harry’s magical guardian is a stag, just like his father. When a fan asked Rowling what gamekeeper and fan favorite Rubeus Hagrid’s would be, she delivered a heartbreaking revelation:
She has a favorite fan theory
Potter fandom is home to many different theories about the series, so naturally, Rowling had to announce her favorite.
This particular theory stems from the wizarding fairy tale The Tale of the Three Brothers, which follows the Peverell siblings as they receive rewards for cheating Death. These gifts—the Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone and the Invisibility Cloak—are considered the Deathly Hallows, hence the name of the final book. In this theory, Voldemort is assigned the Elder Wand, while Snape is driven to suicide after attempting to resurrect his lost love. And Harry escapes Death using his handy Invisibility Cloak.
But in Rowling’s preferred theory, Dumbledore is Death: “He greeted Harry at King’s Cross and was the one behind Snape and Voldemort’s death. ” It’s a fitting thought for a series that treats death as “the next great adventure.”
She’s really sorry about killing Fred Weasley
Even hardcore Potter fans knew their favorite characters weren’t safe from Voldemort, but one death hit especially hard. Eight years after Deathly Hallows’ publication, Fred Weasley’s death during the Battle of Hogwarts is almost too much to handle. Rowling issued a mea culpa in May:
We’ve all been saying Voldemort wrong
He Who Must Not Be Named? More like He Who Must Not Be Correctly Pronounced. Rowling confirmed on Twitter that she was probably the only person who was pronouncing Voldemort’s name with a silent ‘T.’
As with all things Rowling, there’s meaning behind it. The french word ‘mort,’ pronounced with a silent T, means death.
No student needs a loan for Hogwarts
Whether your Gringotts vault is stacked with galleons or not—Hogwarts is tuition-free. When a reporter estimated that it would cost more than $43,000 to enroll at the magical school (including the cost of wands, robes and cauldrons), Rowling shut down the rumor.
James Potter is officially a Hogwarts student
Rowling caused a movement on social media with the hashtag #BacktoHogwarts when she revealed that Sept. 1, 2015, was James Sirius Potter’s first day at the magical school. The Internet went crazy at the news — if only because it made original fans feel so much older. Rowling, as usual, played up to her fans, letting them know James was sorted into Gryffindor, just like his dad.
There’s an American Hogwarts
With Rowling writing the screenplay for her Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the author has used Twitter to tease bits and pieces about the story. But it wasn’t until recently that she confirmed the main character would be visiting an American wizarding school.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will continue Harry’s story
In June, J.K. Rowling announced that a new play—that’s definitely not a prequel—featuring Harry Potter would hit London’s West End in summer 2016. And in October, the details were finally announced: the play’s plot will pick up right where the books left off, 19 years after the battle of Hogwarts and just when Harry’s youngest son is off heading to the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The play has already proved so popular that producers have extended its run through May 2017.