10 Scenes From Books And Movies That Hit Differently A Second Time

The recently published Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets may not have caused a stir, but it increased fans’ desire to consume the original Harry Potter story again, looking for previously unknown clues to who Dumbledore was before Harry met him. However, as fans watch or re-read Harry’s story, they’ve noticed some aspects of the plot that feel completely different now than when they first experienced it.

Harry grows up surrounded by mysteries and secrets, but in the end, he and the audience put the pieces together and discover characters and events they never expected. This results in several scenes early in the series feeling considerably more meaningful and impactful than the first time around. From Snape’s expression the first time he sees Harry to the introduction of doomed characters like Dobby, these moments in the books and movies hit differently when audiences know the ending.

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Snape sees Harry for the first time


In the Philosophical Stone movie, Harry spots his least favorite teacher at his first feast at Hogwarts. At that moment, Snape looks up at Harry and their eyes meet. As the eerie music plays, Harry’s scar begins to burn and the audience assumes that this character must be of devilish importance.

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However, this scene is the first time Snape sees his lost love’s child. He must have felt a surge of crazy emotions at that moment, seeing the spitting image of his childhood bully with the eyes of the girl he had loved. It becomes even more impactful when the audience remembers that, as reported Varietyactor Alan Rickman knew Snape’s turn was ending from the start.


Harry hears about Sirius Black


Gary Oldman as Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

When Harry first hears about Sirius Black from Stan Shunpike in prisoner of azkaban, he and the public both believe him a dangerous criminal. Shunpike explains the vicious crimes Sirius allegedly committed, and Harry watches with interest and horror.

Of course, Harry would learn that Sirius Black had a lot more to do with him than he thought and that he would become one of the most influential people in his life. So, watching or reading this scene, it’s hard not to think about everything Harry didn’t know. It also brings back the sadness of Sirius’ death and the profound impact it would have on Harry’s life.


Scabbers Biting Goyle


In the Philosophical Stone book, Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle began causing trouble in Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s compartment on the Hogwarts Express. But their bullying fun was cut short when Ron’s rat, Scabbers, bit Goyle, proving he wasn’t useless after all.

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Early reads of this scene felt like comic justice and made Ron and his pet rat quite likable. However, its meaning changes dramatically when remembering that Scabbers is the Death Eater responsible for the death of Harry’s parents.


Harry is told he is like his father


James Potter and Lily posing for a photo.

In prisoner of azkaban, Harry learned a lot about his father and began to feel connected to him for the first time. When Lupine told him he looked a lot like James, Harry’s heart swelled. He had heard that before, but it meant more coming from one of James’ best friends.

However, in The order of the Phoenix, Harry wondered if being like his father was a good thing. James had done horrible things, and several Harry Potter fans still argue that he was a bad person. While still up for debate, it’s hard to feel the same way about Harry’s scene with Lupin on the second reading.

Dobby’s Freedom


Dobby talks to Harry Potter.

In Chamber of Secrets, Dobby is a willing and slightly annoying creature who puts Harry in danger rather than helping him. He still had an endearing quality that made it hard not to like him.


In Dobby’s final scene in the movie, fans are happy to see the little elf finally regain his freedom and get a seemingly happy ending. However, after a second reading or reading, Dobby’s eagerness to help Harry Potter and his joy at his freedom becomes heartbreaking. Dobby would only enjoy freedom for five short years before giving his life to save Harry, proving to be the most heroic supporting character in Harry Potter.

Fudge rejects Harry’s rule violation


Cornelius Fudge from Harry Potter

In The order of the Phoenix, Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge is almost as unsympathetic as Dolores Umbridge. His treatment of Harry is so despicable that it’s easy to forget that he was a rather pleasant and reasonably likable character.

The most memorable scene that contrasts with his later personality is in prisoner of azkaban when Fudge pleasantly dismissed Harry’s rule violation. He jokes about Harry blowing up his aunt and shows a seemingly sincere concern for Harry’s well-being. However, this scene leaves a bittersweet feeling on a second watch, knowing that Fudge would later be such a jerk.

Percy fights with the twins


Percy is perhaps the least beloved of all the Weasley siblings, and his best scenes in the book were when Fred and George made jokes at his expense. Percy got along the least with his sibling’s twins and often viewed them with bitter judgment.

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While these scenes were initially just more comedic reasons to dislike Percy, the meaning changed significantly after Fred’s death. Fred’s final moments were praising Percy for cracking a joke, and his death was followed by Percy’s cries of mourning. It’s devastating that the brothers only found common ground at the end.

Interactions with Moody in Goblet Of Fire


Brendan Gleeson as Mad-Eye Moody

For most of Goblet of Fire, it seemed that Harry had found another great Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher to follow Lupin from the previous year. Mad-Eye Moody was different from its predecessor but still likeable. Although he made several bad teaching decisions in Harry PotterMoody seemed trustworthy.

Of course, that wasn’t true – the Moody Harry had come to know turned out to be an impostor. Throughout, when Moody (or Barty Crouch Jr) seemed to help Harry, he tried to lead him to his death. Thus, during a proofreading or proofreading of Goblet of Fire, it’s hard not to analyze every move the impostor makes. Additionally, it changes later scenes with the real Moody, as the deception makes it difficult for the two characters to mentally separate.

The Boggart of Molly Weasley


Molly Weasley, wand pointing, with the Weasley family in the background

In the The order of the Phoenix book, Harry meets Molly Weasley trying to get rid of a Boggart. Molly cried hysterically as the shape-shifting monster took the form of each of her family members, including Harry, lying dead on the floor. Harry rushed to help, but the revealing scene showed how scared Molly was of an impending war.

Molly’s moment with the Boggart was already sad, but it becomes even more devastating when the audience remembers that Fred would not die until a few years later. Molly’s biggest fear in Harry Potter lost a family member, and sadly, it would happen.

Dumbledore’s explanations


Dumbledore sitting at his desk in Harry Potter

Typically towards the end of another school year at Hogwarts, Harry had a conversation with Dumbledore in which the Headmaster explained everything that had happened. But of course, Dumbledore never gave all the information at once.

In Chamber of Secrets, Dumbledore tells Harry that Voldemort probably transferred some of his powers to Harry when he killed his parents. It explained why Harry could speak Parseltongue and why he felt so connected to Tom Riddle. While Dumbeldore was telling the truth, it wasn’t the whole truth. Upon learning that Harry himself is a Horcrux, there is a strong urge to shout at Harry through the screen.


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Andrea G. Henderson