Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released in 2007, meaning over a decade has passed since Harry defeated Voldemort and saved the wizarding world.
In the twelve years since the last book was published, rabid fans have flooded author J.K. Rowling with questions about the Potter universe, including what the characters’ lives look like in the future. She has answered some of those questions, while others remain a mystery.
In celebration of J.K. Rowling’s 54th birthday, here are 9 revelations that the author has revealed in various interviews since the final words were written. Enjoy!
9. Harry and Dudley Are Now Friends, Sort Of
You’ll remember Dudley as Harry’s cowardly, selfish, and muggle cousin. Later in the series, Harry moved out of the house he shared with Dudley and his parents. Can’t say we blame him, since they had him living in a closet under the stairs. Rowling has said that Harry and Dudley remain on “Christmas card terms” and that even though they aren’t the best of friends, they still see each other on occasion, when their children play together.
8. Voldemort and Harry Were Related
Remember the fairy tale of the three wizards and the Deathly Hallows? The Invisibility Cloak, the Resurrection Stone, and the Elder Wand were all family heirlooms handed from generation to generation. Harry received the Invisibility Cloak from his father (through Dumbledore), who was a direct descendant of Ignotus Peverell, one of the three brothers from the tale. Likewise, Voldemort gained possession of the Resurrection Stone from his grandfather Marvalo Gaunt. The Gaunt family obtained it originally from Cadmus Peverell, one of the other brothers. So Harry and Voldemort are actually very distant relatives, Rowling has confirmed — a connection that goes all the way back to the Peverell family.
7. Ron and Hermione Need Relationship Counselling
Rowling has said that her original plan for Hermione and Harry to end up married in the epilogue, but she went with the Ron/Hermione relationship anyway for “personal reasons.” She has since stated that they don’t make a very “credible couple,” since they are polar opposites in many ways:
“Hermione’s got the sensitivity and maturity that’s been left out of Ron, and Ron loosens up Hermione a bit, gets her to have some fun. They love each other and they bicker a bit, but they enjoy bickering, so we shouldn’t worry about it,” she said, adding that they couple probably needed some professional help to work through some of their more annoying differences.
6. Neville Longbottom Became Cool
Poor Neville Longbottom, often seen as the dopey sidekick of Gryffindor. However, after his heroics during the Battle of Hogwarts, where he took care of Nagini the snake with the sword of Godric Gryffindor, things turned around for Longbottom. According to Rowling, he would earn the respect of his peers and eventually become the Herbology professor at Hogwarts. He would also marry Hannah Abbott, who managed the Leaky Cauldron. They would live together above the pub.
5. Ron and Arthur Weasley Almost Died
A lot of beloved characters were lost over the course of the Potter series. When Rowling realized that, statistically, at least one of the massive clan of the Weasleys would have to parish as well, she almost choose Ron. That would have broken a vow she originally made herself to keep the main trio alive. Weasley patriarch Arthur was next on the chopping block, but Rowling felt it would be too big of a blow for the characters of Ron (and even Harry) to cope with. In the end, Fred Weasley was the sacrificed character.
4. Harry Was A Hogwarts Dropout
It may not have even occurred to you, but the main trio (and all their student friends and enemies) never finished their education at Hogwarts. This makes sense, since the school was half destroyed by Voldemort and Death Eaters in the final tale. Rowling has since revealed that Harry never bothered to return to school, although Hermione did (obviously). It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Ron also decided to skip his final year.
3. Dumbledore Was Gay
You have probably heard of this one already, but it was a pretty big bombshell when Rowling originally dropped it, so we had to include it here. It makes sense when you think about it. Dumbledore’s love life is never really mentioned in the series — no wife, no girlfriend, no love interest at all. Rowling would later say that she always thought Dumbledore was gay, and his main love interest was former-best-friend-turned-enemy Gellert Grindelwald.
2. Snape’s Honour Would Be Restored
Severus Snape is easily the most tragic character in the whole book. He remained secretly loyal and true to Dumbledore to the very end, despite being hated by almost everyone around him. At first, many will remember him as the man who killed Dumbledore, but Rowling has said that Harry would surely make sure his real story is told. It will restore Snape’s glory as a wizard and former Headmaster of Hogwarts.
1. The Trio Would End Up Working For The Ministry Of Magic
This one sounds kind of boring. Turns out that Harry, Ron, and Hermione go on to have exciting adventures as they… work for the government? Despite not finishing school, Harry goes on to become an Auror for the Ministry of Magic. Rowling stated that Harry became the youngest Auror ever at age 17, and soon ascended to the head of the department. Hermione ended up in The Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, where she campaigned for the rights of house elves (RIP Dobby). After that, she moved up in ranks The Department of Magical Law Enforcement, where she and Ron, along with Harry and the Minister of Magic Kingsley Shacklebolt, reformed magic law to remove corruption and prejudice against non-pureblood wizard and witches.