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The Original Forty

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Originalforty

"The Original Forty" is the name of new information by J. K. Rowling found in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 11, Quidditch, "Charms Homework".

Location

The Original Forty can be found in zoom layer 1. There is a book lying open on the table and when the mouse is moved over it, its page flips. This uncovers another page, which can be clicked to reveal this information.

J. K. Rowling's Thoughts

Two of my most prized possessions are a pair of small notebooks, which contain my very first scribblings about Harry Potter. Much of what is written in them was never used in the series, although it is startling to come across the odd line of dialogue that subsequently made it, verbatim, to publication.

In one of the books is a list of forty names of students in Harry's year (including Harry, Ron and Hermione), all allocated houses, with small symbols beside each name depicting each boy or girl's parentage.

While I imagined that there would be considerably more than forty students in each year at Hogwarts, I thought that it would be useful to know a proportion of Harry's classmates, and to have names at my fingertips when action was taking place around the school.

As the stories evolved, I changed the parentage of some of the original forty. While some never appeared in the books at all, I always knew that they were there; some had surgery to their names after their first creation; a few emerged from the background to have their own secondary stories (Ernie Macmillan, Hannah Abbott, Justin Finch-Fletchley), and one, Neville Longbottom, developed into a very important character. It is very strange to look at the list in this tiny notebook now, slightly water-stained by some forgotten mishap, and covered in light pencil scribblings (undoubtedly the work of my then infant daughter, Jessica), and to think that while I was writing these names, and refining them, and sorting them into houses, I had no clue where they were going to go (or where they were going to take me).

Here, then, are the original forty:

See Also

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