The following events occurred in the year 1996:
- Broderick Bode is strangled to death by a Devil's Snare while in St Mungo's.
- Nine Death Eaters escape from Azkaban prison in a mass breakout.
- February 14: Harry Potter and Cho Chang had their first date in Hogsmeade. Afterwards, Harry was interviewed by Rita Skeeter for The Quibbler, as arranged by Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood.
- Dumbledore's Army was discovered after Marietta Edgecombe informed Dolores Umbridge about the organisation. Albus Dumbledore took the fall and left Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
- Fred and George Weasley departed from Hogwarts, jinxing Inquisitorial Squad members on their way and leaving a Portable Swamp behind, and open Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes in Diagon Alley.
- Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw at the last Quidditch match of the school year.
- Hagrid introduced his half brother, Grawp to Harry and Hermione.
- June 16:
- June 17 and 18:
- Umbridge was attacked in the Forbidden Forest by centaurs when she called them "filthy half-breeds."
- Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Neville Longbottom, Ginny Weasley and Luna Lovegood thwarted Lord Voldemort's plans to steal the prophecy.
- Voldemort dueled Dumbledore and possessed Harry, but fled when the Ministry of Magic arrived.
- Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge was forced to accept Voldemort has returned, Umbridge was removed from Hogwarts and Cornelius resigned from Minister for Magic.
- The Second Wizarding War officially began, according to the Ministry of Magic.
- Mr. Ollivander mysteriously disappeared. The Brockdale Bridge and the Millennium Bridge were brought down by Death Eaters.
- Rufus Scrimgeour replaced Fudge as Minister for Magic.
- Draco Malfoy began his duties as a Death Eater.
- Narcissa Malfoy had Severus Snape take an Unbreakable Vow to help her son with the task Lord Voldemort assigned him: to kill Albus Dumbledore
- Harry Celebrated his 16th Birthday at the Burrow where the celebrations are marred by grisly tidings from Remus Lupin of more Dementor Attacks and Igor Karkaroff's body was found in a shack up north.
- Rufus Scrimgeour sent a letter to Albus Dumbledore trying to get him to convince Harry Potter to become the Ministry of Magic's poster boy.
- September 1: the first meeting of the Slug Club took place on the Hogwarts Express. Harry sneaked into Draco Malfoy's compartment and got hit with a Full Body Blind Curse. Nymphadora Tonks rescued him and Severus Snape took him to the Welcoming Feast.
- December 20: Horace Slughorn, new Potions professor at Hogwarts, held a Christmas party for his favourite students and other associates.
- Minister for Magic Rufus Scrimgeour tried to convince Harry Potter to work with the Ministry of Magic, but Harry confirmed his loyalty to Albus Dumbledore.
- December 25: Burning of the Burrow.