But while some of these mysteries — such as that of the entire Time-Turner storyline — will likely remain unsolved, a number of the more frustrating inconsistencies have been explained away in the years since the books were published.
From the presence of Peter Pettigrew to the conspicuously invisible Thestrals, here are five major Harry Potter plot holes with resolutions.
The truth comes out
When Rowling launched her new website in December 2016, she included a FAQ section to clear up some confusion about the first movie in her new wizarding world saga, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, as well as a few lingering questions about the Potter series. One of these queries revolved around why Veritaserum — a.k.a. the most powerful truth serum in the wizarding world — isn’t used by the Ministry of Magic to interrogate suspects.
“It is, but skilled wizards can avoid its effects by using antidotes and charms. A gifted Occlumens could also resist Veritaserum,” Rowling wrote, referring to those, such as Severus Snape, who are skilled at shielding their minds from invasion.
Among other details, this explains why Veritaserum couldn’t be used to weed out the real Death Eaters from those who claimed they had only done Voldemort’s bidding under the influence of the Imperius Curse following the First Wizarding War.
What about Wormtail?
Considering Fred and George Weasley nicked the Marauder’s Map from Filch during their first year at Hogwarts, it seems strange that they never noticed Peter Pettigrew — who was still posing as Scabbers the rat — sleeping in Ron’s bed every night once their younger brother arrived at school. However, in a June interview with The Huffington Post, Oliver Phelps, who played George in the movies, provided a (somewhat jokey) answer to this conundrum.
“Maybe it’s a boo in the family that no one talks of. ‘Who’s this Peter bloke?,'” he said. “Maybe it was an unspoken word in the Weasley’s family.”
The case of the missing Thestrals
When Harry arrives at Hogwarts for his fifth year in The Order of the Phoenix, he realizes that the school’s carriages aren’t drawn by magic, but rather a flock of Thestrals. Luna Lovegood — who can also see them — then explains that the Thestrals are now visible to him because he witnessed Cedric Diggory die. “They can only be seen by people who’ve seen death,” she tells him.
However, some fans have pointed out that since Cedric died during the Triwizard Tournament, it seems like Harry should have been able to see the Thestrals when the carriages transported him to Hogsmeade station at the end of The Goblet of Fire.
But in a 2004 interview at the Edinburgh Book Festival, Rowling maintained that this wasn’t an error.
On destroying Horcruxes
Described by Rowling on her website as, “an oldie about Chamber of Secrets that I’ve been asked at least once a week for nine years,” the mystery in question concerned the Horcrux inside Harry surviving his encounter with the Basilisk in the second book of the series. Because Basilisk venom is one of the few substances that can destroy Horcruxes, some readers apparently wondered why the part of Voldemort’s soul residing in Harry wasn’t destroyed when he was bitten by the giant serpent.
Of course, the ever-wise Rowling was able to shed some light on the matter. “A Horcrux can only be destroyed if its container is damaged beyond repair, Harry was healed by Fawkes,” she wrote, referencing Dumbledore’s beloved phoenix. “Had he died, the Horcrux would indeed have been destroyed.”
And when a fan pointed out that the Resurrection Stone still worked for Harry after Dumbledore used Godric Gryffindor’s sword to destroy the Horcrux inside Marvolo Gaunt’s ring, the author provided some further explanation. “The crack in the stone was irreparable,” she tweeted. “Only Dumbledore [could] have extracted the soul fragment but left the original charm intact.”
The corruption of Quirrell
Since Voldemort was reduced to a shell of his former self after attempting to murder baby Harry, some fans were confused as to how he was able to get the young Professor Quirrell under his control in The Sorcerer’s Stone. But in the 2016 Pottermore eBook Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists, Rowling explained that the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher was “turned into a temporary Horcrux,” — a possession that showed up in the appearance of the Dark Lord’s face on the back of Quirrell’s head — which made him unable to resist the will of the “far stronger, evil soul inside him.”