Part of the series' massive success stems from the wizarding world's wildly intricate rules and rich history; one that might have been quite different if J.K. Rowling didn't have a team of highly skilled editors by her side.
There are a number of Harry Potter plot points J.K. Rowling didn't use, and it's probably for the best. From a Sorting Hat that was little more than a lackluster collection of straws, to killing off the only admirable father figure in the whole series, these cut scenes from the Harry Potter books would have unarguably changed the wizarding world for the worse.
Thankfully, these abandoned Harry Potter ideas were cut more thoroughly than Nearly Headless Nick's neck.
Hermione's Dad Saved Harry PotterPhoto: Warner Bros.
Hermione's parents are pretty absent throughout the whole series. We know they love their daughter, but they lead a quiet, non-magical life. The only real glimpse the reader gets comes in the gut-wrenching scene where Hermione has to painstakingly remove their memories of her in order to protect them from Voldemort.
In the first draft of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the Grangers actually knew Harry's parents. Lily and James Potter lived on an island, and the Grangers lived just off-shore on the mainland. One fateful night, the Grangers hear an explosion, prompting Mr. Granger to sail his boat over to the island to see what's wrong. That's where he finds baby Harry sitting in the wreckage of his house.
Wisely, Rowling later transferred this role to Hagrid, who then becomes a mentor to Harry, setting him apart from the other students. If Harry and Hermione knew each other throughout childhood, Harry's entire shtick as an outsider would've been debunked, and the inclusion of a normal father figure would've made his character lose some edge.
Draco Malfoy Wasn't The Baddest Bully In HogwartsPhoto: Warner Bros.
Draco Malfoy may be bad to the bone, but the original Harry Potter was supposed to have an even badder bully. Rowling intended for Theodore Nott, another pureblood son of a Death Eater, to be Draco's equal. If you don't remember Nott, he is briefly mentioned during the Sorting Hat ceremony in the first book, and mentioned again in the fifth book as a "stringy Slytherin boy" standing behind Draco.
“…We rarely see Draco talking to anybody he considers a real equal, and he is forced to see Theodore as such because Theodore is just as pure-blooded as he is, and somewhat cleverer,” Rowling said. “Together these two Death Eaters’ sons discuss Dumbledore’s regime at Hogwarts and Harry Potter, with all sorts of stories that the Death Eaters tell about how this baby boy survived the Dark Lord’s attack."
Somehow, Rowling ended up allowing us a speck of sympathy for Draco, so adding in this element would have made him either egregiously unlikable or far too sympathetic.
Hogwarts Had A Vampire ProfessorPhoto: Warner Bros.
Thankfully, J.K. Rowling never delved too deeply into the world of vampires (pretty sure Twilight has that covered). Though vampires are mentioned in the series, they're not actually shown (though admittedly Snape is pretty suspect).
At one point, Rowling wanted to delve even deeper into the idea of a non-human professor. We get a glimpse with the werewolf-professor Remus Lupin, but we never got to see Rowling's vampire teacher. This bloodsucking instructor was originally named Professor Trocar, after a sharp medical tool used to drain blood. Thankfully, Rowling did away with the idea, since the concept of vampires has basically been beaten to death.
“The vampire myth is so rich, and has been exploited so many times in literature and on film, I felt there was little I could add to the tradition," she wrote on Pottermore.
The Weasleys Had A Nasty Slytherin Cousin In "The Goblet of Fire"Photo: Warner Bros.
The Weasleys are an especially earnest bunch of wizards. They're known for their red-haired kindness, but it turns out not every Weasley was supposed to be so sweet.
The clan originally had a second cousin named Mafalda Weasley who was a notoriously bad egg. She was supposed to be Hermione's rival in The Goblet of Fire, much like how Draco Malfoy adversely mirrors Harry throughout the series.
Mafalda was in Slytherin, a show-off, and a massive eavesdropper; the kind who might accidentally spill enemy secrets to Harry while trying to impress the gang. Instead, her shoes were filled by Rita Skeeter.
"I had to pull a character [in Goblet Of Fire]. There you go: the phantom character of Harry Potter. She was a Weasley cousin. She served the same function that Rita Skeeter now serves," Rowling admitted in a 2000 EW interview. "Rita was always going to be in the book, but I built her up, because I needed a kind of conduit for information outside the school. Originally, this girl fulfilled this purpose."