The question of mapping the timeline of the Harry Potter books has been much discussed in the on-line fan community; often the question raised is that of Harry’s birthday; not the date, but the year.
When I made the first version of this essay I had long wanted to research this question in greater detail, my primary ambition being to present all the evidence in a coherent form suited to enable people to make their own conclusion—or at least enable them to see why there is an issue. But obviously I also wanted to present my own opinion on the matter. With this updated version my intentions have been to present the new evidence from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, but also to present a new conclusion that I have reached since the last minor update.
All quotations from the Harry Potter books are from the Bloomsbury children’s editions including quotations from the Comic Relief books. The following abbreviations are used for the book titles throughout: PS – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, CS – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, PA – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, GF – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, OP – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, QA – Quidditch through the Ages and FB&WtFT – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
To ease my job I will refer to the calendar years 0 through 5 when speaking of the calendar years covered by the five academic years we have read about. In this notation the PS take place in the academic year 0/1, CS in 1/2, PA in 2/3, GF 3/4 and OP 4/5. To make all clues comparable I will recalculate to the possible identifications of year 0.
Throughout this essay I have used the notation “ibid.” in a slightly different way than what is normal: here it means the chapter just cited instead of the normal ‘place just cited’.
The dating of the Harry Potter books normally rely on two pieces of information, both in CS: That the Deathday Party is the celebration of Sir Nicholas’ five hundredth deathday, and that he—according to the cake—died on the 31st of October 1492. This is normally taken to mean that the Deathday Party which Harry, Ron and Hermione attend in CS takes place on the 31st October 1992 (see e.g. the Harry Potter timelines at [Harry Potter Lexicon – Timelines & Calendars]) While this is certainly the best single piece of evidence we have, it is, unfortunately, not unambiguous, and it must also be placed in context with what other evidence there is—something which apparently confuses the issue further.
So; let us first look at this evidence of the Deathday. From CS:
‘Well, this Hallowe’en will be my five hundredth deathday,’ said Nearly Headless Nick, drawing himself up and looking dignified.”
(CS8 ‘The Deathday Party,’ p. 99) and p. 102 ibid:
… and, in pride of place, an enormous grey cake in the shape of a tombstone, with tar-like icing forming the words,
Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington
died 31st October, 1492
It must first of all be noticed that Sir Nicholas does not speak of the five hundredth anniversary, but of his five hundredth deathday. This makes the period since his death open to interpretation, as we do not know for certain how the ghosts count deathdays. Possible variations include:
- The actual day of death, 31st October 1492, is counted as the first deathday.
- Only years in which the date actually occur are counted and this date was one of the dates skipped when the magical community went from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar.
Under variation 1. the party takes place 499 years after Sir Nicholas’ death, under 2. it takes place 501 years after, and under none or both it must be 500 years after.
This Deathday Party is in year 1, and the three possibilities presented above, thus presents three possible identifications of year 1, namely 1991, 1992 or 1993, with 1992 being the most widely used. For year 0 this yields 1990, 1991 or 1992.
An oft-cited argument against using the Deathday Party for this purpose is Sir Nicholas’ comment a the sorting feast in PS7 ‘The Sorting Hat,’ p. 92:
‘I haven’t eaten for nearly four hundred years,’ said the ghost. ‘I don’t need to, of course, but one does miss it. I don’t think I’ve introduced myself? Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington at your service. Resident ghost of Gryffindor Tower.’
This comment throws some legitimate doubt on the question of how long exactly Sir Nicholas has been dead (it is generally agreed that he was not capable of eating during the first one hundred years after his death), but, as Tennant Stuart pointed out on the newsgroup alt.fan.harry-potter (AFH-P) in [Tennant Stuart 2002-11-13], this doesn’t matter for the dating, because Sir Nicholas would (probably?) have ensured that the date on the cake would fit with his claim of Hallowe’en, year 1 being his five hundredth deathday as ghosts count it. Thus, regardless of when he actually died the cake should bear out his claim (the interested reader can learn more about the possibility of Sir Nicholas lying about how long he has been dead in an AFH-P article by Tamar [Tamar 2002-12-03]). [Ed. note–this link is no longer available and a suitable replacement has not been found. However, Tamar is quoted on this subject in the Tennant AFH-P post referenced above.]
I can’t pretend it doesn’t exist, can I?
The timeline which is included in the Hogwarts Timeline which can be found on the DVD ROM extra material on the CS film DVD edition use the obvious dating based on the Deathday Party. The information in that timeline has been reported to have been edited and approved by J.K. Rowling herself [TLC April 14, 2003]. According to the reports the people at Warner Brothers took “a timeline” and sent it to Rowling, who then edited a few things and sent it back with her approval. It has been speculated that the timeline they took originally was that from the Harry Potter Lexicon and it is certain that the timeline is strikingly close to the timeline at the Lexicon.
The canon status of the DVD Hogwarts Timeline is, at best, dubious. It is clear that it didn’t originate from Rowling—she did not write it herself—and that is usually required for information to be considered part of the Harry Potter canon. [Ed. note–this link is no longer available and no suitable replacement link has been identified.] I do not personally consider the Hogwarts Timeline canonical, but others do not agree with that assessment.
I will return to the Hogwarts Timeline from the DVD ROM in the Conclusion, but for the rest of the analysis I am going to ignore it.
The next step in my analysis is to examine what evidence we’ve got that suggests a lower bound to the dating—i.e. what is the earliest possible identification of year 0?
Nicolas—or Nicholas—Flamel turns out to be a real person; a French alchemist born early in the fourteenth century, who married a woman called Pernelle.
Most on-line alchemy resources give Nicholas Flamel’s birth to be in 1330 AD, I’ve found one that puts it at 1329 and a few that puts it at circa 1330 AD. At the same time his death is given as either 1417 or 1418. I have not myself investigated the sources to the date of his birth, but I believe that the actual date can deviate no more than one or two years from 1330. The Flamel Collage says that [Ed. note—this link is no longer available, but another link has substantially all of this quote attributed to the same author: http://www.alchemylab.com/flamel.htm]:
There is nothing legendary about the life of Nicolas Flamel. According to the records, he was born in 1330 and died in 1418. He was a real person, who became one of the greatest alchemists in the world. The Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris contains works copied in his own hand and original works written by him. All the official documents relating to his life have been found: his marriage contract, his deeds of gift, his will. His history rests solidly on those substantial material proofs for which men clamor if they are to believe in obvious things. To this indisputably authentic history, legend has added a few flowers. But in every spot where the flowers of legend grow, underneath there is the solid earth of truth.
I will assume that Nicholas Flamel was born no earlier than 1328. In the chapter (PS13) Harry and Ron reads at Hermione’s insistence:
There have been many reports of the Philosopher’s Stone over the centuries, but the only Stone currently in existence belongs to Mr Nicolas Flamel, the noted alchemist and opera lover. Mr Flamel, who celebrated his six hundred and sixty-fifth birthday last year, enjoys a quiet life in Devon with his wife, Perenelle (six hundred and fifty-eight).
What is more: the boys read this from “
an enormous old book,” which Hermione got “
out of the library weeks ago for a bit of light reading.”
If Flamel was born in 1328 at the earliest, and that book was written the year after his 665th birthday, then the book must have been written no earlier than 1994. Furthermore, the book had time to look old! Let us, however, be generous and assume that this took about a year (the events described above took place early in year 1 anyway), so that 1994, is the earliest possible identification of year 0 according to the birth of Nicholas Flamel.
The first clue was first presented by myself on AFH-P in [Troels Forchhammer 2002-11-29] where I use information in QA to set a lower bound for year 0. We know that prior to his first ever Quidditch match in PS, Harry borrowed this book from Hermione, but unfortunately we don’t know if it is the same edition. That is, however, not the only way to gain information from this book.
QA has an excellent chapter on ‘The Development of the Racing Broom’ (QA9), in which the Nimbus broom models are listed (p. 51):
The Nimbus immediately became the broom preferred by professional Quidditch teams across Europe, and the subsequent models (1001, 1500, and 1700) have kept the Nimbus Racing Broom Company at the top of the field.
Immediately afterwards we see that
“The Twigger 90, first produced in 1990, was intended by its manufacturers Flyte and Barker to replace the Nimbus as market leader.”
In QA8, going through the Asian Quidditch teams we learn that:
The most successful Japanese team, the Toyohashi Tengu, narrowly missed a win over Lithuania’s Gorodok Gargoyles in 1994.
So, a Japanese team is known to have won a match in 1994, while the Nimbus 2000 broom, which we know was quite new by the end of July, year 0, did not make it to the book:
… Several boys of about Harry’s age had their noses pressed against a window with broomsticks in it. ‘Look,’ Harry heard one of them say, ‘the new Nimbus Two Thousand—fastest ever—’ …
(PS6 ‘Diagon Alley,’ p. 56).
Now, to be fair, the Toyohashi Tengu could have narrowly lost to Gorodok Gargoyles in January, the book been published in June and the Nimbus 2000 been released in July. That way the very earliest identification for year 0 becomes 1994.
On the first page of the QA book is a list of borrowers with due back dates from the Hogwarts School Library. The first entry (“borrower; due back date”) is “O. Wood; 9 April” after which the dates progress to “E. Macmillan; 12 August” and later “H. Granger; 2 March” and “H. Potter; 11 March”. Now, we know that Hermione borrowed a book titled “Quidditch through the Ages” from the School Library at the time of Harry’s first ever Quidditch match somewhere between Hallowe’en and Christmas year 0. Unless we assume a borrowing time of at least 4 months, then it cannot be the same book as the one that is published (I know it might be an error, but that would just create other difficulties). In any case we cannot assume that it’s the same edition or anything, so I believe that it is better to ignore the evidence of the list of borrowers.
This Comic Relief book purports to be a duplicate of Harry Potter’s own copy of the book; a book he bought on his eleventh birthday, year 0. FB&WtFT is a set book according to the letter Harry reads on the way to his first visit in Diagon Alley (PS5 ‘Diagon Alley’, p. 53). In footnote 6 to the entry on the Chizpurfle in FB&WtFT (p. 5), we read:
6 In the absence of magic, Chizpurfles have been known to attack electrical objects from within (for a fuller understanding of what electricity is, see Home Life and Social Habits of British Muggles, Wilhelm Wigworthy, Little Red Books, 1987). Chizpurfle infestations explain the puzzling failure of many relatively new Muggle electrical artefacts.
The key thing here is of course the reference to a book published 1987. Based on this I will assume that this edition of FB&WtFT (the fifty second) can be published no earlier than 1987, and that Harry therefore cannot have bought it earlier than that, which means that according to FB&WtFT year 0 must be 1987 or later.
Apart from the above, we have the case of the PlayStation. In GF (GF2 ‘The Scar’, p. 27f), Harry writes in his letter to Sirius:
Things are the same as usual here. Dudley’s diet isn’t going too well. My aunt found him smuggling doughnuts into his room yesterday. They told him they’d have to cut his pocket money if he keeps doing it, so he got really angry and chucked his PlayStation out of the window. That’s a sort of computer thing you can play games on. Bit stupid really, now he hasn’t even got Mega-Mutilation Part Three to take his mind off things.
The problem is, that the PlayStation wasn’t released before 3rd December 1994 (Japan, Europe was 29th September 1995) which would make 1992 the earliest possible year 0 as Harry writes the letter during his summer vacation in year 3.
The earliest mention of this, which I can find is by Tim Howe: [Tim Howe 2000-07-09], though Chris Rowe treats it in more detail here: [Chris Rowe 2000-08-07]. The release history of the PlayStation can be seen at [PlayStation WWW-News].
I have now pointed out three different lower bounds to the identification of year 0. In order not to limit myself unduly I will choose, in the treatment below, to restrict myself to years that don’t violate all three lower bounds. In other words, I will only consider identifications for year 0 from 1987 onwards.
The next step is the various date / weekday references. Those are the places where a specific date can be matched to one particular day of the week (or in one case to one of two weekdays). This only happens in certain years, and those can be calculated. I cannot be sure that I have spotted all the pairs in the books, but the eleven pairs that I have found are listed below (only fits giving a year 0 in the range 1987 – 1999 are included)—see appendix for how I arrived at these pairings:
The upper bound of 1999 is chosen a bit more arbitrarily than the lower bound; I simply feel that the books are not set in the future, and as such I have chosen to insist that year 0 must be earlier than the publication year for GF.
I am sure that I have missed some pairs and I would be pleased to be told of these.
The final issue that I want to raise is that of the moon. From PA we know about three full moons at or about 6th November (Friday after Hallowe’en), 25th December (Christmas Dinner) and 6th June (final exam). I will assume that Lupin can have been transforming for about three days on either side of a full moon. This yields the following possibilities:
According to [Moon Phases].
Should anyone know of some evidence which is not described in the above, I would very much appreciate to hear about it. It is my intention to make as complete as possible a presentation of all evidence.
To summarise; the evidence (identification of year 0) distributes itself as follows;
Obviously this is not a vote, and different people place different weight on the various arguments and evidence, so this count is a very simplified way to present the evidence.
The subject of the timeline or the year of Harry’s birth have been discussed more than once on AFH-P: a search on Google for messages containing ‘deathday’, ‘1992’ and ‘1492’ yields several hits Google]. Here are some references to a couple of threads [AFH-P 021112] and [AFH-P 021114].
As you will quickly discover if you peruse the threads in the links, I’ve provided, this subject is by no means closed. Most people seem to be satisfied that the Deathday Party immediately gives the correct answer (year 0 = 1991), but there has always been some who were willing to contest this dating.
The web-based Harry Potter timeline use the year 0 = 1991 identification which has the added advantage that the academic year described in book x will always start in the year 199x making translation easy.
In the end; what have I achieved?
I have shown that the textual evidence is inconsistent, but we knew that already. So, while nothing of what I have written is new, I have (hopefully) succeeded in presenting the evidence in a coherent form, which will show ‘just what the issue is’. 😉
Having presented what evidence can be found it becomes almost imperative to also decide which actual mapping is the “right” one; if possible at all.
The interactive timeline on the DVD-ROM section of the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets DVD puts year 0 as 1991, but it should be abundantly clear from this analysis that this identification actually fits the data very badly. As explained above the status of this piece of information isn’t entirely clear. Some will certainly consider it canonical or very nearly so and therefore stick to the information there. Personally I am reluctant to accept the information as part of canon unless and until Rowling confirms this separately. For all I know her approval might have been of accuracy within the context of the films, which doesn’t apply to the books. The same goes for other material that she has approved of; this approval is not necessarily proof that the information on the approved product is consistent with her intentions from the books.
Looking at all the data, it should be clear that mapping year 0 to 1995 is the ‘best fit’ in that it is the choice that fits the most data. It is perhaps noteworthy that this mapping is in accordance with the two Comic Relief books and with all the lower bounds as well as with a number of date/weekday pairs from CS, GF and OP. This will make the date of Harry’s birth 31st July 1984.
Going by the lower bounds alone year 0 can’t be set earlier than 1994—making the 1995 and 1996 candidates very strong.
Another good candidate is 1990. This mapping fits all data from the first two books except for the very first reference (Tuesday first of November year -10). This will make the date of Harry’s birth 31st July 1979. Unfortunately there is a lot of evidence in PA, GF and OP that doesn’t fit this mapping. The years 1993, 1994, 1996 and 1998 also appear to be good fits, though these emphasise the last two books.
Another way of looking at this is to make an attempt at discovering the authorial intent. Which, if any, mapping does Rowling intend? This is not necessarily the same as the best fit, but to many (myself included) it is more authoritative—it is her world, after all.
As it is, the evidence is too inconsistent to be useful for the purpose of discerning authorial intent, and an attempt must be made to analyse which pieces of the evidence are intended to tell something about the dating – and especially which pieces of evidence that are not.
The PlayStation data rely on JKR knowing when she wrote GF (which would be 1999 – 2000) when the first PlayStation was released: of course she might have, but I think it more reasonable to assume that she thought of the PlayStation as a generic game console rather than as a specific trademark. In my opinion the mention of the PlayStation is more indicative of the period when she wrote that book than of the period in which it takes place.
A quick scan of the date and weekday pairs show that those are not even consistent within the individual books—GF even has two Mondays after each other as described in the GF calendar. It is to me inconceivable that Rowling pays any attention to such details when she writes. She obviously doesn’t consult a calendar for the intended year, but rather fills in such stuff as she goes along. That Hallowe’en was on a Saturday in both PA and GF seems to bear this out as well. I think it is safe to assume that the date and weekday pairs are not indicative of the year, but should rather be seen as chosen for literary effect. The full moons in PA are clearly also placed for literary reasons only—there is no one academic year that fits even two of the three full moons, which clearly shows that those should also be disregarded as clues to Rowling’s intent.
The strongest pieces of evidence must therefore be the Deathday cake and the lower bounds (in particular the ‘publishing’ of QA and Nicholas Flamel’s age). Unfortunately there is no way the lower bounds can be reconciled with the Deathday dating, which leaves us with an unpleasant choice: to believe either that Rowling doesn’t know the implications of having the five hundredth Deathday celebration of a death that occurred in 1492, or that she doesn’t realise the implication of putting a year in a book (the year 1994 in QA).
I propose a third alternative. That Rowling doesn’t care, and probably deliberately doesn’t want the books dated in this way—I believe that she wants the books to be timeless; to take place in some kind of generic ‘now’ regardless of whether the reader lives in 1998 or in 2048. One piece of evidence has been particularly effecient in convincing me of this. The CS DVD was released some time prior to the release of OP, and whatever approving Rowling has done of that material, it must have been before she handed in the manuscript for OP. If she had chosen to adopt this dating, it could be suspected that OP would have somehow reflected that, but instead of doing this, she specifically gives a relative date.
When in OP34, ‘The Department of Mysteries’, Harry looks at the glass sphere that contains the prophecy (p. 688), he notes that “
In spidery writing was written a date of some sixteen years previously, and below that: ‘S.P.T. to A.P.W.B.D.’ ‘Dark Lord and (?)Harry Potter’” Everything on that sphere is quoted in full except the date! This certainly convinced me that Rowling doesn’t want the story fixed in time.
Another indication is possibly that when asked the birthday of Ron, Rowling gave the dates of both Ron’s and Hermione’s birthdays, but not the years [CR1-63]. It appears to me that Rowling quite consistently (except for the Deathday Cake) and deliberately avoids to give dates, even when it would have been natural or even easier.
For this reason I strongly recommend the use of relative dating, in the way which Rowling demonstrates in OP. Use the books and for events that take place a set time before one of the books (like the Chamber of Secrets being opened fifty years prior to CS) then use that—”fifty years before CS”—it can’t be that hard, can it?
In the interest of using a unified way of referring to specific years in Potterverse, I strongly recommend implementing the dating system suggested by the Harry Potter Lexicon, which can be found in the timeline section [HPL-years].
As I mentioned above, when I discussed the interpretation of the evidence of the PlayStation, it is possible that many of the references refers more to the period in which the books are written, than to the period in which they take place. This could also easily be the case with Nicolas Flamel’s age; PS was released in 1997 and it is, IMO, not unreasonable to assume that she wrote this passage in 1996, when Nicolas Flamel really did “
… celebrate his six hundred and sixty-fifth birthday last year, …” (when using the standard year for his birth, 1330).
The same connection could be made in other cases: Sir Nicholas’ Deathday Cake could have been drawn or the inscription put on a scrap of paper in 1992, QA was written after 1994, and Rowling could easily have thought of 1994 as “some years ago,” at that time.
In my opinion the evidence found in the Harry Potter canon [Ed. note–this link is no longer available and no suitable replacement link has been identified.] strongly suggests that it is a mistake to attempt to fix the Harry Potter timeline to a specific series of Muggle year numbers—the books are, I believe, intended to be timeless, to take place in some kind of eternal “a few years ago.”
It is obvious that this solution won’t satisfy everyone. Some people will want to have a single year to refer to. To those I recommend using the Deathday Cake dating. This is by far the most popular dating (I’ve even seen it stated as a matter of simple fact), and especially with the release of the Hogwarts Timeline on CS film DVD ROM this dating has gained momentum. It is demonstrably a bad fit to the data, but it is easy to understand. If you must use a specific year, then this will make your life easier.
Textual evidence used to decide the pairings of date and weekday. All references are to the Bloomsbury editions.
I have used [..] for when I have cut out things from a quotation, but it still continues on the same page. […] denotes that it continues on a later page.
1st November year -10 a Tuesday:
PS1, ch 1 ‘The Boy Who Lived’, p. 6
When Mr and Mrs Dursley woke up on the dull, grey Tuesday our story starts, …
P. 14, ibid. – McGonagall speaking:
‘What they’re saying,’ she pressed on, ‘is that last night Voldemort turned up in Godric’s Hollow. He went to find the Potters. The rumour is that Lily and James Potter are—are—that they’re—dead.’
PS4 ‘The Keeper of the Keys’, p. 45 – Hagrid:
‘Maybe he thought he could persuade ’em … maybe he just wanted ’em outta the way. All anyone knows is, he turned up in the village where you was all living, on Hallowe’en ten years ago. You was just a year old. He came ter yer house an’—an’—’
31st July year 0 a Tuesday:
PS3 ‘The Letters From No One’, p. 36:
Monday. This reminded Harry of something. If it was Monday—and you could usually count on Dudley to know the days the week, because of television—then tomorrow, Tuesday, was Harry’s eleventh birthday.
PS8 ‘The Potions Master’, p. 105:
GRINGOTTS BREAK-IN LATEST
Investigations continue into the break-in at Gringotts on 31 July, widely believed to be the work of Dark wizards or witches unknown.
‘Hagrid!’ said Harry. ‘That Gringotts break-in happened on my birthday! It might’ve been happening while we were there!’
2nd September year 1 a Monday or Tuesday:
CS6 ‘Gilderoy Lockhart’, p. 68ff:
The next day, however, Harry barely grinned once. Things started to go downhill from breakfast in the Great Hall
But he had no time to dwell on this; Professor McGonagall was moving along the Gryffindor table, handing out timetables. Harry took his, and saw that they had double Herbology with the Hufflepuffs first.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione left the castle together . . .(p. 70)
By the end of the class, Harry, like everyone else, was sweaty, aching, and covered in earth. They traipsed back to the castle for a quick wash and then the Gryffindors hurried off to Transfiguration. (p. 74)
Professor McGonagall wasn’t pleased.
Harry was relieved to hear the lunch bell. His brain felt like a wrung sponge.
‘What’ve we got this afternoon?’ said Harry, hastily changing the subject.
‘Defence Against the Dark Arts,’ said Hermione at once.
This establishes the timetable for 2nd September:
- Herbology (double)
- Defence Against the Dark Arts
CS7 ‘Mudbloods and Murmurs’, p. 81:
Hedwig was still angry with Harry about the disastrous car journey and Ron’s wand was still malfunctioning, surpassing itself on Friday morning by shooting out of Ron’s hand in Charms and hitting tiny old Professor Flitwick squarely between the eyes, creating a large, throbbing green boil where it had struck.
2nd September is not a Friday
CS9 ‘The Writing on the Wall’, p. 111:
The attack had also had an effect on Hermione. It was quite usual for Hermione to spend a lot of time reading, but she was now doing almost nothing else. Nor could Harry and Ron get much response from her when they asked what she was up to, and not until the following Wednesday did they find out.
Harry had been held back in Potions, where Snape had made him stay behind to scrape tubeworms off the desks. After a hurried lunch, he went upstairs to meet Ron in the library, …
(and after lunch the have History of Magic), so 2nd September is not a Wednesday.
CS11 ‘The Duelling Club’, p. 139:
‘What we need,’ said Hermione briskly as Thursday afternoon’s double Potions lesson loomed nearer, ‘is a diversion. Then one of us can sneak into Snape’s office and take what we need.’
And thus 2nd September can’t be a Thursday either. Only Monday and Tuesday remain.
16th October year 2 a Friday:
PA6 ‘Talons and Tea Leaves’, p. 80:
‘Thank you, my dear. Incidentally, that thing you are dreading—it will happen on Friday the sixteenth of October.’
31st October year 2 a Saturday:
PA8 ‘Flight of the Fat Lady’, p. 109:
‘First Hogsmeade weekend,’ said Ron, pointing at a notice that had appeared on the battered old notice-board. ‘End of October. Hallowe’en.’
The Hogsmeade visits apparently always happen on Saturdays, and it fits with being 15 days after Friday the sixteenth of October.
20th April year 3 a Saturday:
PA11 ‘The Firebolt’, p. 162:
We have decided to uphold the official complaint of Mr Lucius Malfoy, and this matter will therefore be taken to the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures. The hearing will take place on April 20th, and we ask you to present yourself and your Hippogriff at the Committee’s offices in London on that date.
PA14 ‘Snape’s Grudge’, p. 203f:
On Saturday morning, Harry packed his Invisibility Cloak in his bag, slipped the Marauder’s Map into his pocket, and went down to breakfast with everyone else. Hermione kept shooting suspicious looks down the table at him, but he avoided her eye, and was careful to let her see him walking back up the marble staircase in the Entrance Hall as everybody else proceeded to the front doors.
P. 214 ibid.:
‘No,’ said Hermione. She was holding a letter in her hands and her lip was trembling. ‘I just thought you ought to know … Hagrid lost his case. Buckbeak is going to be executed.’
6th June year 3 a Thursday:
PA16 ‘Professor Trelawney’s Prediction’, p. 234:
Their second from last exam, on Thursday morning, was Defence Against the Dark Arts.
PA21 ‘Hermione’s Secret’, p. 293 Fudge reading:
‘It is the decision of the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures that the Hippogriff Buckbeak, hereafter called the condemned, shall he executed on the sixth of June at sundown—’
31st August year 3 a Sunday:
GF10 ‘Mayhem at the Ministry’, p. 135:
‘It’s been an absolute uproar,’ Percy told them importantly, the Sunday evening before they were due to return to Hogwarts.
P. 136 ibid.
‘Now, Mum,’ said Fred, looking up at her, a pained look on his face. ‘If the Hogwarts Express crashed tomorrow, …
30th October year 3 a Friday:
GF15 ‘Beauxbatons and Durmstrang’, p. 207:
The delegations from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang will be arriving at 6 o’clock on Friday 30th of October. Lessons will end half an hour early—
22nd November year 3 a Sunday:
GF18 ‘The Weighing of the Wands’, p. 274:
I can’t say everything I would like to in a letter, it’s too risky in case the owl is intercepted—we need to talk, face to face. Can you ensure that you are alone by the fire in Gryffindor Tower at one o’clock in the morning on the 22nd November?
GF19 ‘The Hungarian Horntail’, p. 279:
On the Saturday before the first task, all students in the third year and above were permitted to visit the village of Hogsmeade.
In the night Harry speaks with Sirius making it Sunday morning.
24th February year 4 a Wednesday:
GF26 ‘The Second Task’, p. 419:
Just as it had done before he had faced the Horntail, time was slipping away as though somebody had bewitched the clocks to go extra-fast. There was a week to go before February the twenty-fourth (there was still time) … there were five days to go (he was bound to find something soon) … three days to go (please let me find something … please) …
With two days left, Harry started to go off food again. The only good thing about breakfast on Monday was the return …
12th August year 4 a Thursday:
OP2 ‘A Peck of Owls’ p. 35:
You may retain your wand until your disciplinary hearing on the twelfth of August, at which time an official decision will be taken.
OP6 ‘The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black’, p. 110:
He felt as though a brick had dropped into his stomach when Mrs. Weasley turned to him during dinner on Wednesday evening and said quietly, ‘I’ve ironed your best clothes for tomorrow morning, Harry, and I want you to wash your hair tonight, too.
2nd September year 4 a Monday:
OP12 ‘Professor Umbridge’, p. 204:
‘Look what we’ve got today,’ said Ron grumpily, shoving his timetable under Fred’s nose. ‘That’s the worst Monday I’ve ever seen.’
This happens on the morning after the start of year feast, which traditionally is the first September.
14th February year 5 a Saturday or Sunday:
OP24 ‘Occlumency’, p. 466f:
‘Mine was pretty quiet,’ said Cho. For some reason, she was looking rather embarrassed. ‘Erm … there’s another Hogsmeade trip next month, did you see the notice?’
‘What? Oh, no, I haven’t checked the noticeboard since I got back.’
‘Yes, it’s on Valentine’s Day …’
Hogsmeade trips are always in weekends.