You knew she wouldn’t be able to keep away. JK Rowling has penned a brief story for the Pottermore website (promptly crashing it) that features a glimpse at the life of Harry Potter as an adult.
Thankfully, since official fan community site has spent much of its time unavailable since the story debuted, NBC’s Today was able to get the story placed on their website for anyone to read, not just Pottermore members.
Written from the point of view of Rita Skeeter, the most infamously obnoxious tabloid journalist in all the wizarding world, Rowling tells the tale of Harry and his closest friends as they venture forth into the public eye with their families to take in the Quidditch World Cup (I don’t think the timing was an accident). Though the account is fraught with nasty rumor and speculation about their private lives, we do get more than a little insight into what has been happening with The Boy Who Lived and his closest friends Ron and Hermione since the Battle of Hogwarts that went down in the 7th and final novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Here are just a baker’s dozen worth of things we learned from this all-too-short story:
- Harry and his pals are pretty much royalty to many. The Queen Mum, One Direction, Doctor Who, and the Beatles times a thousand. At least their celebrity is deserved. They actually did something heroic and of true value to humanity. So it’s not completely weird that so many people would be fangasming over them. I’m sure there are still bootleg t-shirts with moving pictures on them being sold in Diagon Alley as we speak (no, not the one at Universal Studios in Orlando).
- Harry is in his early 30s, Ron is balding, and Hermione is still getting razzed about her unkempt hairstyle. Remember, this is the books, not the movies, where Emma Watson’s natural good looks eventually turned Hermione from a frazzled preteen know-it-all mess into a rather beautiful young woman by the end of it (understatement).
- As an Auror, it appears that Harry still mixes it up with baddies from time to time – at least that’s the rumor. Skeeter makes note of a scar on Harry’s cheek, making her wonder what kind of trouble the Chosen One is getting into these days. You know from just that one line in the story that fans will be dying to read the entire adventure just to know how he got that scar. You know he didn’t get it falling off a stool while changing a lightbulb in the kitchen.
- Skeeter also speculates that there’s trouble at home for Harry, as his wife Ginny took the plum assignment of covering the Quidditch World Cup over staying at home with the husband and kids. Considering Ginny’s history as a top-notch Quidditch player herself, the assignment from the Daily Prophet isn’t an unusual one, but Skeeter’s jealousy brings doubt to the happy future of the now on the verge of middle-aged wizard couple. Of course, for fans, this opens up a whole other can of worms, especially since Rowling had once said that she wishes that Harry and Hermione had gotten together in the end instead of Ron and Hermione. If she ever pens the continuing tales of Harry Potter the Auror, one can only wonder if she’ll also shift the tone from children’s horror series to adult drama with mature situations where our heroes face down such demons as divorce, or worse, becoming widowed.
- Harry and his once former Triwizarding Tournament foe Victor Krum are now good pals. Harry gets the VIP treatment to take his sons Albus and James to visit the Quidditch world famous Bulgarian Seeker. To the rest of the world, they’re just celebrities meeting for a photo op. But for us readers, we know they’ve been through a lot more than even Rita Skeeter can make up.
- Harry and his friends are often referred to as Dumbledore’s Army, which is what they called themselves during that time when they trained to take on Lord Voldemort at a time when no one would believe he had returned (mostly because he had some of them under his control). They are so popular that when they take their seats in the VIP section, fans create bridging charms to make a quick dash to meet them, hopefully before “Security Warlocks” can stop them. There’s no mention of anyone throwing witch panties at them.
- We learn that while both Harry and Ron joined the Ministry of Magic to become Aurors following the Battle of Hogwarts, Ron left after two years to help his brother George in running Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, a wizard joke emporium, which is doing amazingly well.
- Hermoine, along with having two children named Hugo and Rose with Ron, is now the Deputy Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Even Rita can’t deny that Hermione’s success is well deserved and will probably lead her on to bigger and better things (but she can’t help but make a crack about her hair).
- Rita even mentions other beloved members of Dumbledore’s Army, such as Neville Longbottom, who is currently teaching Herbology at Hogwarts and is married to a woman named Hannah that, while training to be a healer, is also shooting for the role of Matron at Hogwarts. Then Skeeter feels the need to spread a little gossip about how they’re both heavy drinkers, considering they lived above the Leaky Cauldron for a few years, but she still wishes them well. How magnanimous of you, Rita!
- And then there’s Luna Lovegood, who Skeeter mentions as being married to Rolf Scamander, and while has done some growing up by raising twin boys, is still as eccentric as ever by wearing a robe cobbled together of all the competing Quidditch teams’ flags. Of course, Rita can’t stop with just that tidbit. She follows up with a disparaging remark about how Luna’s oddness may have rubbed off on her boys, which is why they didn’t accompany them to the games. Bitch.
- Skeeter then goes down the list of remaining Weasley brothers, ticking off their status in the world of wizarding with more gossip than facts at her fingertips. George is running the Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, Charlie is still a dragon wrangler but unmarried at his age (why? she asks), Bill is still hideously scarred from the Battle of Hogwarts, but is still married to the gorgeous Fleur Delacour. Skeeter wonders if their longevity is the result of an enchantment or even plain old blackmail, showing that she truly doesn’t understand the motives of genuine people at all.
- One of the most interesting bits comes in the form of Harry’s godson, Teddy Lupin, a troublesome 16 year old half-wearwolf with a blue shock of hair and is “dating” Bill and Fleur’s beautiful blonde daughter Victoire. Much to the embarrassment of everyone, Rita assumes, the two are often found sneaking off to dark corners just to snog. This feels like the groundwork for Hogwarts: The Next Generation. I’d read a story of adventures featuring those two, even if they end up being the misunderstood villains of the piece.
- Of course, at the end, Skeeter can’t help but plug her own book about the lot of them, a biography called “Dumbledore’s Army: The Dark Side of the Demob“. It is also supposed to be available for sale on July 31st at Flourish and Blotts, a notable wizard book store chain. Of course, it could also mean that there could be more coming our way from J.K. Rowling. Could there be more to this story?
It’s no secret that Rowling misses the Potterverse, but whether she serves up more of their stories in the coming years is still up in the air. Of course, Warner Bros will be releasing a series of films called Magical Beasts and Where to Find Them, set in that world that does not star the original cast of characters, but that won’t necessarily satisfy everyone’s desire to learn more about the world of Harry Potter and his gang. There may be no more Harry Potter movies starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint, but no one can tell Rowling that she can’t write more books. She has to run out of those billions SOMEday, right?
Image: Warner Bros