The franchise of Harry Potter is all about the wizarding journey of Harry Potter and his friends at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. These books penned by J.K. Rowling are fantasized into movies by directors Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell, and David Yates and are mainly produced by David Heyman.
It’s a dream of every Harry Potter fan to explore the wizarding world of Hogwarts and revive every magical year of the wizarding school.
Here in this article, we are about to know every wizarding year and the magical journey of Harry and his friends during those years.
So, how many years were there in Harry Potter?
JK Rowling has mentioned seven consecutive years in Hogwarts.
The journey of Harry and his friends began from the year 1991 to 1998, when they had to learn magic through different curriculums. Apart from studying at Hogwarts Harry had to fight against his prevailing enemy, Lord Voldemort.
Let us dive into every magical year of Hogwarts and witness Harry’s journey throughout every year.
The movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone reveals the first year’s journey of Harry Potter and his friends at Hogwarts.
The first year commenced in the year 1991-1992 at Hogwarts. The first-year students were usually eleven to twelve years old. They had to arrive at Hogwarts by train from the magical Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station.
At Hogwarts, they were sorted into different houses which are determined by the enchanted and the cleverest, Sorting Hat. The houses included Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin.
Meanwhile, the student in the first year had to attend different classes including Defence Against the Dark, History of Magic, Transfiguration, Charms, Herbology, Astronomy, and Potions. These subjects were compulsory for the first five years of magical education excluding flying class which was included only in the first year.
Harry’s First Year
Harry’s first-year experience was very special as this year he was freed from his abusive uncle and aunt and brought to Hogwarts. Also, he made two best friends, Ron Weasely and Hermione Granger.
He also knew that his parents were killed by Voldemort who also had cast a killing spell on him. He had survived the killing spell which made him a special child in the wizarding world.
Meanwhile, at Hogwarts, Harry was sorted into Gryffindor’s house. Eventually, after knowing about the philosopher’s stone that can create the Elixir of lIfe, Harry finally discovered that Quirinus Quirrell, Defence Against Dark Art teacher was the one who wanted the philosopher’s stone.
It was revealed that Lord Voldemort had been living on the back of his head inside Quirrell’s turban. Voldemort tried to take the stone from Harry as it had been in his possession due to Headmaster Dumbledore’s protection enchantment.
Voldemort through Quirell tried to kill Harry as he refused to give him the stone. During the fight, Harry touched Quirrell’s skin which burnt into the ashes and led Voldemort’s soul to rise from there and escape. He passed through Harry’s body which led Harry to fall unconscious.
Harry was shown to have recovered. Dumbledore then revealed that his mother Lily had placed a love-based protection spell on him against Voldemort before she had died. This was the reason Quirell with Voldemort in his head could not touch Harry.
Finally, The House Cup, this year belonged to Gryffindor. The bravery of Harry and his friends became the plus point for their victory.
Harry was grateful for finally reaching his real home at Hogwarts and finding his friends and family as his real family at the end of the year.
The plot of the second year is revealed in the book/movie Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. This plot took place from the year mid-1992 to mid-1993.
In the second year, the mandatory subjects were the same as the first year. In addition, students had to choose two elective subjects for their third year to the fifth year. The subjects to choose from were Divination, Arithmancy, Study of Ancient Runes, and Muggle Studies.
Harry’s Second Year
Harry had his worst birthday at the Dursely’s house. Dobby, a house elf, warned Harry that going to Hogwarts was dangerous. Dobby however didn’t clarify his statement and instead ruined the important dinner hosted by the Dursleys.
Harry had to pay for the mischief created by Dobby as Durselys blamed Harry and locked him inside his room to prevent him from going to Hogwarts. Ron and his brother came to rescue him by flying Ford Florida. Then, Harry stayed at Weasleys and went to Diagon Alley to stuff their school supplies for their second year.
Meanwhile, Harry noticed something suspicious as he saw Lucius Malfoy slipping the book into Ginny’s bag. Also, the students were introduced to Hogwarts’ new defense against the dark art teacher, Gilderoy Lockhart who was seen signing the books.
Eventually, Harry and Ron reached Hogwarts by the flying Ford Florida as the portal of King Cross station was blocked. After a few days at Hogwarts, a peculiar thing was seen to be written with blood on the wall which said “The Chamber of Secrets has been opened, enemies of the heir… beware.”
It was believed that the Chamber of Secrets was built by one of the founders Salazar Slytherin in a dispute with other founders about admitting Muggles to Hogwarts. It consists of a monster, Basilisk. Meanwhile, Dobby appeared and told Harry that he was the one who blocked the portal at Platform 9¾ and also revealed the Chamber of Secrets was opened before too.
Soon, Harry, Hermione, and Ron discovered the Diary that belonged to Tom Riddle. Later when Harry reached the Chamber it was revealed that Tom Riddle was none other than Lord Voldemort. He possessed Ginny with the help of the same Diary that Lucius Malfoy had slipped into her bag earlier, to open the Chamber of Secrets. Also, he revealed that he had opened the Chamber before as he was the Heir of Slytherins.
Meanwhile, Voldemort unleashed the Basilisk. Harry fought with the Basilisk and slew him with the sword of Godric Gryffindor and got poisoned. He stabbed the diary with the fang of the Basilisk, destroyed it, and revived Ginny
In the end, it was revealed that Dobby was the elf house elf of Malfoys but was working to protect Harry. Harry freed the elf from them.
With this bravery, gaining the highest points Gryffindor won the house cup this time too.
The story of the third year is depicted in the book/movie Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The wizarding journey of the third consecutive year began in mid-1993 to mid-1994.
Third-year students were generally aged between 13 to 14 years.
The third year was an important year for the students of Hogwarts as the students had to study any of the two elective subjects which they chose in their 2nd year, along with their mandatory subjects. The elective subject includes Divination, Arithmancy, Study of Ancient Runes, and Muggle Studies. They could drop any one subject if they wanted to.
The students from this year could visit the nearby village of Hogsmeade if they got the permission letter signed by their parents.
Harry’s Third Year
It was Harry’s third year when he knew about Sirius Black, a prisoner who escaped from Azkaban. Black was also supposed to be the supporter of Lord Voldemort and intended to kill Harry.
On the way to Hogwarts on the train, the trio encountered Dementors searching for Sirius. They got introduced to the new Defence Against the Dark Art teacher, Professor Remus Lupin who repelled a Dementor which had entered their compartment.
At Hogwarts, Dumbledore revealed Dementors will be protecting Hogwarts from Sirius Black. Eventually, Harry learned the Patronus spell secretly from Professor Lupin to repel the Dementors.
Harry didn’t get permission to go to Hogsmeade. Thus, he went there under the Invisibility cloak where he came to know that Sirius had betrayed his parents and was even his godfather.
Later Black revealed that he was falsely accused and Pettigrew was the actual culprit for the betrayal with Harry’s parents. It was also revealed that Black was a dog in an Anigamus form, and his friend Professor Lupin was a werewolf who get transformed into the animal form on the full moon.
Eventually, both Black and Lupin start to fight in their animal form. Then, the Dementors attack them and after a while, Harry saw the unknown figure using Patronus’s spell to repel them before losing consciousness.
After gaining consciousness Harry learned that Sirius was subjected to a Dementor’s kiss (an act of sucking out the victim’s soul). Harry and Hermione thus went back to time using Time-Turner as advised by Dumbledore.
Upon going back in time Harry realized that the unknown figure was his future self as he used the Patronus spell this time by himself. Harry and Hermione further freed Sirius from the prison and reached back to the present time.
Therefore, Harry and his friends had a thrilling journey in their third year.
The fourth year of Hogwarts is shown in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It took place between 1994 to 1995. This year consisted of the same patterns as the third year. Students should study mandatory as well as elective subjects, they are allowed to visit Hogsmeade village on weekends.
The workload might be greater than in the third year as the students also had to prepare for their O.W.L (Ordinary Wizarding Level) exams that would occur in the fifth year.
Harry’s Fourth Year
The fourth year is the adventurous year for Harry as he was selected as one of the four Champions by the Goblet to FIre to participate in the Triwizard Tournament.
The first task of the tournament was to steal the egg from his assigned dragon, Hungarian Horntail. He was able to accomplish this task earlier as he summoned his broom to help him get the egg.
For the second task, champions had to save somebody they love from Black Lake. Harry saved Ron and also Fleur’s sister as Fleur had withdrawn from the tournaments. He gained the second position in the tournament.
The third task consisted of a maze consisting of the Triwizard cup at the center. The champions had to navigate through the path labyrinth with different spells and creatures. A champion who touched the cup first is considered the winner.
Both Harry and Cedric reached the cup to realize it was the Portkey that led them to the graveyard. There, Pettigrew killed Cedric, who also revived the Dark Lord. The killing curse of Voldemort was deflected that he cast on Harry.
Soon, Harry took Cedric’s dead body to Hogwarts using the cup after ghosts distracted Voldemort. Harry informed Dumbledore about the whole incident. Then they discovered Barty Crouch Jr was impersonating Alastor Moody to make Harry enter the tournament to ensure the return of Voldemort.
Dumbledore announced Voldemort’s hand behind the death of Cedric which was denied by the Ministry of Magic.
In the final, the tournament came to an end. Our hero, Harry, brought the winning title to Hogwarts.
The FIfth year is depicted in the Harry Potter and Order of Phoenix in the year between 1995 to 1996.
This year was one of the most important years in the wizarding college. This year students had to attend their O.W.L exams. This exam plays a vital role in the career of the wizard or witcher as this help to determine the subject to choose from for N.E.W.T(Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Test)
This year students get counseling from the head of the house, who suggests students choose the subject in N.E.W.T which will be helpful in their career.
This year could be very exhausting as the students had to bear lots of pressure regarding their exams.
Harry’s Fifth year
Harry was subjected to expulsion from Hogwarts as he had used magic outside Hogwarts to defend against the attack by Dementors. The decision was later reversed after hearing from the Ministry of Magic.
Later, he was taken to Sirius Black childhood home where he was explained about the secret organization, Order of Phoenix led by professor Dumbledore who was fighting against Lord Voldemort.
There, Harry got informed that the Ministry of magic was not concerned regarding the return of Voldemort. Sirius Balck also told him that Voldemort was after an object he lacked during his previous attack.
At Hogwarts, the newly appointed Defence Against the Dark teacher, Dolores Umbridge, refused to teach defensive magic. Harry secretly formed a group, later called Dumbledore’s army who practiced defensive magic under him. Meanwhile, Harry and Cho Chang developed a romantic feeling for each other.
In this phase of time, Harry realized his mind was connected to Voldemort. Hence, Dumbledore instructed Snape to give Harry a lesson on Occlumency to defend his mind from the influence of Voldemort’s mind.
Eventually, Umbridge and her squad exposed Dumbledore’s army. Dumbledore escaped as Cornelius Fudge, Minister of Magic ordered his arrest making Umbridge a new Headmistress.
Then, Harry’s relationship with Cho fell apart as he believed she betrayed Dumbledore’s army for Umbridge.
Meanwhile, Harry had the vision of Sirius being tortured by the Dark Lord. Harry along with his friends Hermione, Ron, Ginny, Luna, and Neville flew to the Ministry of Magic in Thestrals in an attempt to save Sirius. The six encountered the bottle prophecy, which Voldemort was after.
However, they were ambushed by Death Eaters including Lucius Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange. Harry refused to give prophecy to them which instigates the fight between the Death Eaters and Dumbledore’s army.
Death eaters held all of Dumbledore’s army except Harry and declared to kill them if not handed over the prophecy. The prophecy broke down on the sudden arrival of Sirius Black with the troop of the Order of Phoenix. As the fight continued Bellatrix killed Sirius. Eventually, Voldemort and Dumbledore arrived through the flue network moments.
The duel between Voldemort and Dumbledore destroyed much of the atrium. Meanwhile, Voldemort possessed Harry’s body to force Dumbledore to kill him. The love Harry felt for his friends and Sirius made Voldemort hard to remain inside his body.
Ministry of Magic’s officials arrived before Lord Voldemort escaped from Harry’s body. Fudge is forced to admit the arrival of Voldemort and also forced to resign. Umbridge was removed from Hogwarts and Dumbledore returned as the Headmaster.
In this way, Harry had spent his fifth year.
The sixth year is based on the book/movie Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This year the students would be 16 to 17 years old between the years 1996 to 1997.
This year the subject that students could study would be based on the grades they had brought in their O.W.L exams. They were able to select the class on their own if they had met the minimum requirements of a particular subject.
They were supposed to select the same subjects in the seventh year and attend the exam of the same subjects as they had selected in the N.E.W.T. level studies.
The sixth year also introduced nonverbal spells which may be useful using the Dogwood wand which does not accept the verbal spell.
Special classes such as Alchemy also would become available in the sixth year if sufficient students were interested. Similarly, classes of Apparition could be available for the fee of twelve Galleons.
Harry’s sixth year
In the following year, Voldemort and his army created destruction around the Muggle world.
At Hogwarts, Harry suspected Malfoy of plotting something big and believed him to be part of Death Eaters.
Meanwhile, Ron found his first teenage love in Lavender which upset Hermione. Harry too seemed to develop a love feeling for Ginny.
In the third year, Harry and his friends also learned about the Apparition magic to travel from one place to another magically.
Eventually, Harry found the book that mentioned its belonging to “Half-Blood Prince”. Harry excelled in the Potion class with the help of spells and notes written in the book. He was awarded the Liquid Luck Potion as a reward.
Harry later used the Luck Potion to convince Slughorn to submit the memory of Lord Voldemort which had the information about the Horcruxes. As summoned by Dumbledore, Harry had already destroyed the two Horcruxes (Tom Riddle’s Diary and Marvolo Gaunt’s ring) among six Horcruxes. They further went to the cave where Dumbledore drank the potion that hid another Horcrux, Slytherin locket before destroying it.
Returning to Hogwarts, Deatheaters confronted Dumbledore which Harry had witnessed hiding under his invisible cloak. Draco disarmed Dumbledore as Lord Voldemort had commanded Draco to kill him before. Snape cast the Killing Spell against Dumbledore as Draco hesitated. It was also revealed that the Half-Blood Prince was None other than Severus Snape.
Whole Hogwarts shed tears for the demise of their favorite headmaster. Further, Harry, Ron, and Hermonie promised to avenge Voldemort and go in the search of other Horcruxes without caring about their final year.
The book/movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows contains the journey of the seventh year.
This was the final year of the Hogwarts students who would be 17 to 18 years old in the year between 1997 to 1998.
Head Boy and Head Girl would be selected from the seventh-year students by the Headmaster or Headmistress.
The schedule for this year would be the same as the sixth year. They would study the same subjects and further, they would be finally appearing N.E.W.T. on the basis of N.E.W.T. level studies done in the sixth year and the seventh year.
This year students also get the chance to sign up for the internship program to start their professional journey as a witch or wizard.
The final year of Harry
Harry didn’t go to Hogwarts in the seventh year. Instead, he along with his friends Ron and Hermione set the mission to put the Dark Lord on the death bed.
They went to search for the other four Horcruxes. They stole the Horcrux locket from Dolores after many consequences and later Ron destroyed the locket with Gryffindor’s sword.
The trio eventually realized about the deathly hallows which were the Elder Wand, Recursion stone, and the Invisibility Cloak. The one owning all these three hallows ultimately becomes the master of death. Harry also got the vision that Lord Voldemort stole the Elder Wand from Dumbledore’s tomb.
Likewise, Harry retrieves another Horcrux Hufflepuff’s cup with the help of Griphook from Bellatrix’s vault. Harry again had a vision of Voldemort being informed about the heist of Horcruxes making him decide to check them. Harry also realized the next Horcrux was Nagini and the other Horcrux remained hidden at Hogwarts.
The trio then entered Hogwarts with the help of Aberforth (Dumbledore’s brother). Voldemort declared war knowing the presence of Harry at Hogwarts. Meanwhile, Ron and Hermione destroyed Hufflepuff with the Basilisk fangs. Harry also discovered Ravenclaw Diadem was one of the Horcruxes which got accidentally destroyed by Draco and his friends.
Meanwhile, the teachers and students of Hogwarts were defending Voldemort. Many of them were killed by Voldemort’s assault.
Eventually, Voldemort realized Elder Wand was not working properly. He believed Snape was a true master of Elder Wand and hence murdered him. It was then revealed that Snape acted as the double agent against Voldemort and had always protected Harry as he had a love feeling toward Harry’s mother.
Harry thereafter realized he was one of the unintentional Horcruxes and Harry had to die at the hand of Voldemort to end his immortality. Hence, he dropped the Resurrection stone as he met Voldemort who cast the Killing Curse on him,
Then, Harry went to limbo where he met Dumbledore. He told Harry that the killing curse cast by Voldemort had destroyed the Horcrux present in Harry. Harry was given the choice to live or to take a rest, he chose the first choice and hence returned to life.
On coming back to life, Harry revealed to Voldemort that Draco was the former master of the elder wand and upon disarming Draco he had become its master. Voldemort refused to believe Harry and cast the Killing spell once again. The wand refused to kill its master and hence the spell rebounded which led Voldemort to death.
Hence in the final year, Harry won the battle against Voldemort. He didn’t finish his higher education at Hogwarts as he had to battle against the Dark Lord in his final year.