Happy Birthday Harry Potter

Sunday (31 July) was the birthday of one of the most well-known characters in modern literature, Harry Potter. Perhaps not so coincidentally it is also his creater J K Rowling's birthday too.

This was Harry's 36th birthday. For those of you thinking, 'hang on a minute, Harry's secondary school career roughly matched mine year for year, why is he not in his mid-Twenties?' Well it turns out Harry was older than you thought; Harry James Potter was in fact born on 31 July, 1980.

In honour of Harry's birthday we have taken a look at his birthdays over the years (and book series'), and considered how the events of each day moulded his future.

1st birthday - 1981

Harry spent his first birthday with his parents, James and Lily at their home in Godrics Hollow. He received his first (toy) broomstick from his godfather Sirius Black, and it was then that his father said he was a natural-born Quidditch player.

Sadly this was the only birthday Harry got to spend with his parents as they died a few months later.

11th birthday - 1991

"If it was Monday, and you could usually count on Dudley to know the days of the week because of television, then tomorrow, Tuesday, was Harry's eleventh birthday. Of course, his birthdays were never exactly fun, last year the Dursleys had given him a coat hanger and a pair of Uncle Vernon's old socks. Still, you weren't eleven every day."

Harry's eleventh birthday was a day that changed his life forever, for it was on this day he learned he was a wizard.

Having been forced to flee Privet Drive with the Dursleys to evade the mysterious letters Uncle Vernon so clearly didn't want him to receive, it appeared Harry was going to spend his birthday in a shack on a rock in the middle of the sea.

However, as the clock struck midnight, Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, knocked and subsequently broke down the shack door, handed Harry a birthday cake and revealed to Harry the truth about his parents' death, the existence of the magical community and his role within in.

Harry happily spent the rest of his birthday in London with Hagrid getting his first glimpse into the wizarding world.

17th birthday - 1997

Molly Weasley: "I've been wanting to ask you how you want to celebrate your birthday, Harry. Seventeen, after all, it's an important day...."

Harry Potter: "I don't want a fuss. Really, Mrs. Weasley, just a normal dinner would be fine... please, don't go to loads of trouble."

Turning seventeen is an important day in the wizarding world as it is the age a young witch/wizard becomes an adult.

Harry's seventeenth birthday was a very happy occasion. He celebrated it with a party at the Burrow (the Weasley's home) surrounded by friends. He received traditional gifts like the watch from Mr and Mrs Weasley, and magical gifts, which proved to come in very useful in the dark days to come, like the Sneakascope Hermonie gave him which detected untrustworthy behaviour or the pouch Hagrid gave him which concealed items only the owner could retrieve.

Romance also blossomed for Harry on his seventeenth birthday as it was on this day that he shared his first kiss with his future wife, Ginny Weasley.

Harry's loyal fans received a treat of their own last weekend as the eight official instalment of the series, a play by Jack Thorne, 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' was published.

If you're in need of a Harry Potter fix, why not re-read your favourite book from the series or learn what the future had in store for him and his friends by reading Thorne's play?


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