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In Who Killed Albus Dumbledore?, Wendy B. Harte says:

The [Black Family] Tree is an important secondary septology resource, much like Jo's [Rowling] Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Quiddich Through the Ages. Both books contain many series clues, and both were written for charity.

I always assumed that these two books were devoid of any material pertinent to the main Potter storyline, and (to be blunt) just aimed at getting a few more million dollars from the Potter fans, especially (the parents of) the youngest ones.

Since the conclusion of the Potter storyline is known now (unlike when Who Killed was published), was this supposition (that the books contain clues) correct? If so, what clues were in these two books that were not also found in the main Harry Potter books?

The Tales of Beedle the Bard was published after Deathly Hallows, so it wouldn't have contained clues (since all mysteries were revealed). Did it likewise answer questions not resolved in the final main Potter book?

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I'm curious as to general impressions as to whether Fantastic Beasts and Quiddich are worth reading also, although that's not the main question here. –  Tony Meyer Nov 8 '11 at 7:28
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Re: "worth reading", I've always thought the books are analogous to the "technical guide" type books that you can get in the Star Trek world - entirely unnecessary to enjoy the main body of work but for someone who enjoys the "universe" the stories are set in they provide added depth and something more to help them get their "fix" =) –  Rob Nov 8 '11 at 10:11
    
I'd say give them a read especially since they were written by JKR. –  OghmaOsiris Nov 8 '11 at 14:48
    
Related, sorta: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/6473/… (Does not pertain to main plot, so is not an answer) –  Izkata Nov 9 '11 at 0:20

2 Answers 2

The various books highlight some aspects the main books don't have time to cover, e.g. some more background on the Quidditch teams seen in book 4, some insight into dragons, and the tales of the Deathly Hallows.

None of this is crucial to understanding the main story line of the book, though it does allow one to make comparisons to say, how the Deathly Hallows in The Tales of Beedle the Bard and HP:Deathly Hallows differ. It's those sort of minor differences and additions that I believe Wendy B. Harte is referring to.

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I wanted to read Wendy B. Harte's contributions to Who Killed Albus Dumbledore before answering this, but it has to be purchased and doesn't have a free preview. Hopefully I won't provide anything out of context.

Wendy B. Harte writes:

Both books contain many series clues, and both were written for charity.

I've read all three of these books numerous times -- to be honest, I don't see "many series clues" in Quidditch Through the Ages (QTTA) or Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (FBAWTFT). Unsurprisingly, clues and resolution come mostly from Tales of Beedle the Bard (TBTB). It's got a lot of good info in it.

In QTTA, in the section about the Golden Snidget/Snitch, there is no mention made of any kind of compartment or space in the center of the Snitch's body where a small object could be concealed. It does say that the Snidget is a certain weight and the Golden Snitch was created at the exact same weight as the Snidget -- we don't know if Scrimgeour weighed the Snitch Dumbledore left to Harry, but had he, because of the Resurrection Stone inside, perhaps there might have been a weight discrepancy which would've confirmed to Scrimgeour that there was indeed something inside the Snitch.

In FBAWTFT, the Demiguise is listed and it is mentioned that Demiguise hair can be used to spin invisibility cloaks; however, there is no specific information about invisibility cloaks as there is in TBTB, i.e. the difference between a Demiguise-spun cloak and a cloak gifted by Death himself.

There is a large section on dragons (Triwizard Tournament; Norbert; escape from Gringotts) but, again, it's not specific to the story. The Erumpent horn is mentioned (Xenophilius Lovegood) in a general manner. Phoenixes are featured and it is noted that Phoenix tears have healing properties. I'm pretty sure Chamber of Secrets had already been published by 2001, though.

So as far as QTTA and FBAWTFT go, I would say that no, they do not have clues hidden in them. They were mainly written as a comedic endeavor for Comic Relief. They're more fanciful than TBTB.

TBTB answered a few questions. For example, the Avada Kedavra, Cruciatus, and Imperius curses weren't sanctioned as "Unforgivable" until 1717. We learn Sir Nicholas's backstory. We learn the first of Adalbert Waffling's Fundamental Laws of Magic: Tamper with the deepest mysteries -- the source of life, the essence of self -- only if prepared for consequences of the most extreme and dangerous kind. Wizarding portraits are explained. Animagi are explained a bit more. There's a paragraph or two on invisibility cloaks -- they are not generally infalliable, etc.

So I don't see either QTTA or FBAWTFT as having clues to the series. TBTB does, of course, but as Tony Meyer mentioned, it was published after the series was complete.

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The more to the Mirror of Erised "extra" doesn't even seem necessary, given what we know of what Ron saw in the mirror, and what Dumbledore said about it... –  Izkata Jun 17 '12 at 17:20
    
That's true. I can take it out. :) –  Slytherincess Jun 17 '12 at 18:03

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