You know Harry Potter. You know that we know Harry Potter. Throughout the years, the characters, stories, and magical worlds of Harry Potter have permeated nearly every facet of our culture. For all that we collectively know about the extended Harry Potter universe, there is still so much to learn – like these 10 magical facts!

Harry Potter cast with "Top Ten Magical Harry Potter Facts" written on it

Think you know everything about J. K. Rowling’s magical world of Harry Potter? See how many of these fun facts you already knew and tell us in the comments below!

J. K. Rowling invented names of the Hogwarts houses on the back of an airplane barf bag

You read that correctly. Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin were all made up while J. K. Rowling was riding an airplane. She didn’t want to forget the names before she landed, so she immediately jotted them down on the first bit of paper she could get her hands on.

Professor Snape is based largely on one of J.K. Rowling’s teachers

In an interview, Rowling confessed that her character Professor Severus Snape, the potions master at Hogwarts, was partially based on a real-life person. That man is John Nettleship, Rowling’s high school Chemistry teacher.

Dementors are based on J. K. Rowling‘s time of depression in her 20s

“Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you. If it can, the Dementor will feed on you long enough to reduce you to something like itself… soulless and evil. You will be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life.” Dementors are a perfect physical representation of what depression feels like. In their presence, all the joy, warmth, and happiness feel like it’s been sucked out of the air. Fitting, right?

There were two Harry Potters

Say what?! Two Harry Potters? It can’t be!! In a post on Rowling’s website Pottermore, she discussed the Potter family tree. Harry had a great-grandfather named Henry Potter, who was known as Harry to those close to him. There are rumors that we will be hearing more about this mysterious ancestor in one of the upcoming Fantastic Beasts movies!

Dumbledore’s past

Dumbledore wasn’t always the wise old man we know today. In fact, Dumbledore had to work his way through the ranks just like everyone else! During the time of Tom Marvolo Riddle, Dumbledore taught Transfiguration at Hogwarts.

Newt Scamander was a Hufflepuff

I say this with complete pride and joy (As I too am a Hufflepuff). Newt Scamander was in the house of Hufflepuff during his time at Hogwarts. It seems like he is proud of that as well, based on the scarf he wears in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Show off those house colors, Newt!! You rock!

The original plan for Arthur Weasley…

In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Arthur Weasley is viciously attacked by Lord Voldemort’s precious snake Nagini. Did you know that Rowling originally planned to kill off the muggle-loving Arthur Weasley right then and there? In exchange for saving his life, Rowling instead decided to kill someone else. Can you guess who that was? *Cue Bellatrix Lestrange’s evil laughter.*

Dumbledore was gay

When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was first released, there was a lot of debate back and forward whether or not Dumbledore had romantic feelings towards his dear friend Gellert Grindelwald. In an interview at Carnegie Hall, J. K. Rowling confesses the truth that yes, Dumbledore is gay.

The history of Azkaban

Originally, the wizard prison of Azkaban was unknown to either muggles or wizards. This dark tower was created by a wizard by the name of Ekrizdis who used the fortress to study dark magic. This evil wizard would lure muggle sailors in, then torture and kill them. Creepy, right?

He Who Must Not Be Aged

Lord Voldemort was 71 years old during the battle of Hogwarts. Apparently, Voldemort had really figured the anti-aging thing out. Drinking unicorn blood and splitting your soul into seven pieces does wonders with the skin!

There’s nothing about the world of Harry Potter that isn’t thoroughly fascinating! The next time you want to geek our hard about this epic series, head to Bookmans and ask anyone which magic house they belong to. You’ll have a crowd around you in no time sharing their love for everything Potter!