1. Dumbledore is gay
The original, and still the greatest, post-Potter plot twist. Unfortunately, the love of Dumbledore's life was future dark wizard Grindelwald, so this is a pretty bittersweet reveal. "He met someone as brilliant as he was, and… was very drawn to this brilliant person, and horribly, terribly let down by him," Rowling revealed, adding "If I'd known it would make you so happy, I would have announced it years ago!"
2. Draco Malfoy is not meant to be a tragic anti-hero
Sorry, Dramione shippers, but there's a reason Malfoy's hidden depths never really got explored in Deathly Hallows. Though Rowling clearly appreciates a good redemption story (hey, Snape), she was apparently blindsided by the fan following Malfoy developed and "unnerved" by the legions of teenage girls declaring their love for him.
So it fell on Rowling to tell fans "rather severely that Draco was not concealing a heart of gold under all that sneering and prejudice, and that no, he and Harry were not destined to end up best friends."
3. You don't need a wand to do magic
Whaaa…? Yeah, this one was a mind-blower, but it's not quite that simple. "Nearly all wizards use wands, which makes magic easier to channel. Wandless magic is sophisticated and takes more talent," Rowling explained earlier this year. Only the top 1% of the top 1% of wizards are actually gifted enough to dispense with wands, she added, also revealing that "broomless flight" is a thing.
4. The Longbottoms never recovered
Maybe more traumatic than any of the many, many Potter deaths was the fate of Neville Longbottom's parents, who were tortured into insanity by Death Eaters and ended up in the psych ward at St Mungo's.
Some fans held out hope that the Longbottoms would make a recovery after Voldemort was finally defeated, but Rowling was quick to deliver the bad news. "I know people really wanted some hope for that, and I can quite see why because, in a way, what happens to Neville's parents is even worse than what happened to Harry's parents," she said, letting us down gently. "The damage that is done, in some cases with very dark magic, is done permanently."
5. Ron and Hermione probably didn't work out
Another dream, casually crushed. In fairness, Rowling didn't put quite as much of a dampener on Ron/Hermione as many headlines at the time claimed—in fact, she's a fan. "For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione ended up with Ron," she explained, calling the relationship a kind of "wish-fulfilment." Given more perspective, she wondered if Harry and Hermione might have been a better fit—but "maybe she and Ron will be all right with a bit of counseling."
6. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley nearly died
Depressed yet? Before writing the bloodbath that was the seventh book, Rowling wasn't entirely sure which characters would survive, and both Weasley parents were in danger at one point. Arthur Weasley actually could have died back in Order of the Phoenix, when he was attacked by Voldemort's pet snake Nagini—that was Rowling's original plan before she settled on killing Sirius.
7. We've been pronouncing Voldemort wrong all along
To be fair, Rowling admitted that she's the only one who pronounces it the intended way—with a silent "T", as in the French word for "death."
8. Harry, Ron, and Hermione got their own chocolate frog cards
There is some good news! Given how much Ron loved collecting chocolate frog cards, this has to be some consolation for his marital troubles. Rowling revealed in 2007 that Harry, Ron, and Hermione were each honored with their own Famous Witches and Wizard Card—basically the wizard equivalent of getting your own action figure—thanks to the key roles they played in defeating Voldemort.
9. Harry and Dudley stayed in touch
Most of us expected Harry to sever all ties with the Dursleys as soon as physically possible, but not according to Rowling: "Harry and Dudley would still see each other enough to be on Christmas card terms, but they would visit more out of a sense of duty and sit in silence so that their children could see their cousins." Which seems like a lovely revelation, until you start to think about just how awkward those Christmas dinners would be.