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Recently, a question was asked about a scene in Chamber of Secrets that was significantly different in the British version and the American version.

British:

"We're stuck, right? And we've got to get to school, haven't we? And even underage wizards are allowed to use magic if it's a real emergency, section nineteen or something of the Restriction of Thingy ..."

Harry's feeling of panic turned suddenly to excitement.

American:

"But your Mum and Dad..." said Harry, pushing against the barrier again in the vain hope that it would give way. "How will they get home?"

"They don’t need the car!" said Ron impatiently. "They know how to Apparate! You know, just vanish and reappear at home! They only bother with Floo powder and the car because we’re all underage and we’re not allowed to Apparate yet..."

Harry's feeling of panic turned suddenly to excitement.

Are there other scenes in the books that are also significantly altered between the British and American versions of Harry Potter?

(To be clear, I know there are minor changes such as "Philosopher's Stone" being changed to "Sorcerer's Stone" along with spelling and terminology changes, but I'm curious about scenes that are altered, for instance, by adding or removing sentences or changing what a character says).

Note that there was an existing question How different is the UK version of Harry Potter from the US version?, but it is just about terminology changes and does not acknowledge scene differences like the one shown above.

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  • For the first 3 books, someone compiled a full list of all differences "Harry Potter and the Transfiguration of Language:".

    As you can see, the difference your question mentions is the only meaningful large discrepancy in the first 3 books.

  • Additionally, no major differences exist in Lexicon's lists of differences for #4: GoF , #5 OoTP

  • #6 HBP has 1 meaningful difference:

    'Come over to the right side, Draco, and we can hide you more completely than you can possibly imagine. What is more, I can send members of the Order to your mother tonight to hide her likewise. Your father is safe at the moment in Azkaban...when the time comes, we can protect him too... come over to the right side, Draco...you are not a killer...' (UK edition pp. 552-553)

    vs.

    "He cannot kill you if you are already dead. Come over to the right side, Draco, and we can hide you more completely than you can possibly imagine. What is more, I can send members of the Order to your mother tonight to hide her likewise. Nobody would be surprised that you had died in your attempt to kill me -- forgive me, but Lord Voldemort probably expects it. Nor would the Death Eaters be surprised that we had captured and killed your mother -- it is what they would do themselves, after all. Your father is safe at the moment in Azkaban...when the time comes, we can protect him too. Come over to the right side, Draco...you are not a killer..." (US Edition pp 591 - 592. bolded text is added in US edition)

  • #7 DH no major differences again.

  • 1
    Oooooh. Don't like these training wheels. Great answer, though, +1 – Au101 Nov 6 '15 at 19:56
  • Seems a bit odd that the American edition added a few lines about Dumbledore offering to fake Draco's death when apparently Dumbledore had no such plans for himself. – Thunderforge Nov 6 '15 at 20:12
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    @Thunderforge Why would Dumbledore make plans to fake his own death? He knew he was a dead man walking, no need to fake it. – BMWurm Nov 6 '15 at 20:29
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    @MrLister: I suspect the US version just has slightly larger print, so less text per page. This is typical of books for younger audiences in the US. A trend I've never understood since you'd think it's the older folks that have a harder time reading small print... – Darrel Hoffman Nov 6 '15 at 20:31
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    @BMWurm I had figured he could still do some good if he lived longer. Plus there seemed to be some clues that he was faking his death, like Fawkes crying afterwards (Phoenix tears heal, which might be nice after you took a tumble from the tower). I guess we're getting a bit sidetracked though, so maybe that would be better for another question. – Thunderforge Nov 6 '15 at 20:35

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