Goblet of Fire
It was the first book that I failed to read in one sitting. It was just too long. I remember I’d been reading the whole day without a stop and by the time I’d reached the graveyard scene with poor Harry tied to the tombstone my head was literally buzzing with Voldemort’s shrieks and Death Eaters’ laughter. So… revelations! I was shocked to learn that Mad-Eye Moody Harry trusted throughout the year turned out to be a Death Eater in disguise – so much for ‘Constant Vigilance!’ – and that the real Mad-Eye Moody had spent the whole school year at the bottom of his own trunk subdued by spells – so much for one of the toughest Aurors there has ever been! I was even more shocked that the Death Eater in disguise turned out to be Barty Crouch Jr, whose trial we’d seen earlier in the book and whom I’d felt genuinely sorry for. I couldn’t believe it! Or that he killed his own father and turned him into a bone that he buried somewhere in the Forbidden Forest! I was shocked to learn that Snape was a Death Eater too or that he actually revealed his Dark Mark! I was floored. On a lesser scale, I was really astonished to see a whole different side of Fudge. I didn’t expect such a total parting of ways there. Also, it was inconceivable for me to see Ron turn his back on Harry like that. It broke my heart to see them torn apart by envy and jealousy. But to see Rita Skeeter locked up in an enchanted jar as a beetle by Hermione made my day! All those clues about her buzzing around and I didn’t see it… Just like the fact that it never occurred to me that there were house-elves at Hogwarts.
Order of the Phoenix
I suppose the biggest revelation of all was the content of the prophecy as well as the person who gave it and the person who received it. Of course, Aunt Petunia talking about Dementors and Azkaban. Arabella Figg, Harry’s old, batty, cat-loving neighbour, being a Squib and working for Dumbledore. The Order of the Phoenix! Harry being watched round the clock. Sirius’ dark family! Grimmauld Place. Percy’s new attitude. St. Mungo’s. The Ministry of Magic and its many and varied departments. Dumbledore’s fall from grace. Harry’s stigma as an attention-seeking liar, possibly disturbed and violent. Snape’s worst memory. His childhood memory. Harry’s revelation about his father and mother. Fred and George leaving Hogwarts on broomsticks! Grawp! Thestrals! What else… what else?! It was such a HUGE book it’s hard just now to remember it all.
I really enjoyed that we got to learn a lot more about Voldemort. I didn’t see that coming, but I’m usually bad at guessing. I was taken aback by the whole Half-Blood Prince/Snape thing. I was devastated when Snape killed Dumbledore. I wanted to believe that it was part of the plan but I have to confess that it was hard. My faith wavered. Later on my best friend would reproach me for not trusting him – she believed him through and through. Just like she always believed that Harry and Ginny would end up together. I was slightly surprised when I saw the first inklings early on in the book. However, I wasn’t surprised to learn that Snape asked Voldemort to spare Lily because he loved her – I remember once upon a time discussing different theories with my friend and suggesting more for laugh than anything just that; well, she laughed all right, but I proved right in the end! But I was really shocked when I discovered that it was Snape who’d overheard Trelawney telling the prophecy to Dumbledore and reporting to Voldemort! What an ugly, horrible revelation that was! Voldemort’s request to teach at Hogwarts and the jinx that he put on the job when denied. Now who could have thought that? Horcruxes. Vanishing Cabinet. Fleur and Bill getting married! Snape getting to finally teach DADA…
The final book has some of my favourite revelations. Dumbledore’s backstory: so many shocking things from his father’s imprisonment to Dumbledore’s swift and heartbreaking friendship with none other than Gellert Grindelwald and everything in between! Helena Ravenclaw’s devastating story. Who would have thought that the ghost of the Ravenclaw Tower, the Grey Lady, was Rowena Ravenclaw’s daughter, who broke her mother’s heart, and who was loved and killed by Bloody Baron? I mean, on top of everything else! And, of course, the story behind the Deathly Hallows. I love it!
Have I missed anything crucial? What were your favourite revelations? Not necessarily momentous but just interesting?