The following events occurred in the year 1996:
- Dumbledore's Army is discovered after Marietta Edgecombe informs Dolores Umbridge about the organisation. Albus Dumbledore takes the fall and leaves Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
- Fred and George Weasley depart from Hogwarts, jinxing Inquisitorial Squad members on their way and leaving a Portable Swamp behind, and open Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes in Diagon Alley.
- 16 June:
- 17 June and 18 June:
- Umbridge is attacked in the Forbidden Forest by centaurs when she calls them "filthy half-breeds."
- Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Neville Longbottom, Ginny Weasley and Luna Lovegood thwart Lord Voldemort's plans to steal the prophecy and the Battle of the Department of Mysteries ensues.
- The Order of the Phoenix comes to their assistance; various Death Eaters are captured; the prophecy is destroyed and Sirius Black is murdered by Bellatrix Lestrange.
- Voldemort duels Dumbledore and possesses Harry, but flees when the Ministry of Magic arrive.
- Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge is forced to accept Voldemort has returned, Umbridge is removed from Hogwarts and Cornelius resigns from Minister for Magic.
- The Second Wizarding War officially begins, according to the Ministry of Magic.
- Mr. Ollivander mysteriously disappears. The Brockdale Bridge and the Millennium Bridge are brought down by Death Eaters.
- Rufus Scrimgeour replaces Fudge as Minister for Magic.
- Draco Malfoy begins his duties as a Death Eater.
- Narcissa Malfoy has Severus Snape take an Unbreakable Vow to help her son with the task Lord Voldemort assigned him: to kill Albus Dumbledore
- Harry Celebrates his 16th Birthday at the Burrow, but the celebrations are marred by grisly tidings from Remus Lupin of more Dementor Attacks, and the discovery of Igor Karkaroff's body in a shack up north.
- Late Summer
- Rufus Scrimgeour sends a letter to Albus Dumbledore trying to get him to convince Harry Potter to become the Ministry of Magic's poster boy.
- 1 September: the first meeting of the Slug Club takes place on the Hogwarts Express. Harry sneaks into Draco Malfoy's compartment and get's hit with a Full Body Blind Curse. Nymphadora Tonks rescues him and Severus Snape takes him to the Welcoming Feast.
- 20 December: Horace Slughorn, new Potions professor at Hogwarts, holds a Christmas party for his favourite students and other associates.
- Christmas holidays: Minister for Magic Rufus Scrimgeour tries to convince Harry Potter to work with the Ministry of Magic, but Harry confirms his loyalty to Albus Dumbledore.
- 25 December: Burning of the Burrow
Individuals that started at Hogwarts
Individuals that graduated from Hogwarts
- Mrs. Abbott
- Broderick Bode
- Amelia Bones
- Sirius Black
- Igor Karkaroff
- Emmeline Vance
- Florean Fortescue
- Fox near Spinners End