In case you missed this morning’s news, JK Rowling published a new Harry Potter story as part of the 2014 Quidditch World Cup coverage on Pottermore. Before we dive into our analysis and reactions, let’s recap some of what we’ve learned (or been reminded of) in Rita Skeeter’s “Dumbledore’s Army Reunites at Quidditch World Cup Final:”
- This takes place pre-epilogue, set in present day.
- We get to see Harry & friends the way the wizarding world sees them. It’s easy to forget that they were primarily on the outside of Harry’s fight against Voldemort.
- We see Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville, Hannah, George, Charlie, Bill, Percy, Fleur, Krum, and even some of the next generation, Teddy and Victoire.
- Harry is an auror. And has grey hair. And is a dad.
- Ron co-owns Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes (It still exists! It’s still a thing! Excuse us while we pour some Firewhiskey out for Fred.)
- Hermione is the Deputy Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, poised to go even higher in the Ministry. “Does Hermione Granger prove that a witch really can have it all? (No – look at her hair)” Sorry Emma Watson. We love you, we really do, but your hair is too perfect for our favorite heroine.
- Dumbledore’s Army: The Dark Side of the Demob will be available from Flourish and Blotts on July 31st. Will we see this book on display at the new Diagon Alley Park in Orlando? We’d give anything to read this.
This article written by Rita Skeeter (delightfully catty, purposely snide) was the perfect insight into the present day wizarding world, beautifully set up with throwback mentions of Celestina Warbeck and the familiar rows of magical tents. Krum is still better than all of us at quidditch, Harry is still The Chosen One, and Luna is still her eccentric self. We’ve come know these characters on an intimate level, and here Rowling gives us a chance to see our favorite fictional friends the way the rest of the wizarding world sees them: through quick sightings and tabloid articles. These days we can only speculate about what they’re up to. What’s with the cut on Harry’s cheekbone? What were the aftereffects of defeating the Dark Lord? Are Neville and Hannah alcoholics? What’s the deal with Teddy Lupin? It almost feels like the epilogue we never really got. We like to joke about the fact that the epilogue was kind of lame and read a bit like fanfiction, and it probably gets dismissed too quickly. We accept the epilogue we think we deserve—this is the one we always wanted.
We’ve got two nods to the upcoming movie “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” announced almost a year ago last September. We’re immediately introduced to the “controversial American wizarding band The Bent-Winged Snitches.” As we talked about in Fantastic Beasts and What You Need to Know, the story will be set in New York City. Maybe we’ll see more of the Bent-Winged Snitches? Later on, we’re reminded that Luna is married to Rolf Scamander, the “swarthy grandson of celebrated Magizoologist Newt.” It would be unlike Jo to leave out all traces of Potter in the screenplay.
Are these clues she’s dropping already? For so long we’ve joked as a fandom that Jo misses Harry as much as we do, and here is evidence of the truth. We all miss Harry, and now Jo has this new freedom to write about Harry when she wants, in whatever way she wants. It’s all one big Harry Potter inside joke, and we’re all in on it. Thinking about Jo typing out these words, that Harry “continues to wear the distinctive round glasses that some might say are better suited to a style-deficient twelve-year-old.” A style-deficient twelve-year-old. Or the meta-homoerotic-subtext that is the greeting between Harry and Krum: “as they embraced upon meeting (what really happened in that maze? Speculation is unlikely to be quelled by the warmth of their greeting).” Leave it to Jo, to give us a hilarious view of our Chosen One, while slipping in some social commentary.
But the most chill-inducing, sweat-producing part of this article? It feels like the start of something. Perhaps it’s the groundwork for Fantastic Beasts hype, but maybe, just maybe. With the new gash on Harry’s face, Hannah’s try for Matron at Hogwarts, Hermione building her way up in the Ministry—it’s like the chess pieces are falling in place. Are we going back? Is it wrong for us to hope? After “Deathly Hallows” was published, Jo swore up and down that she was done. Well joke’s on you Mrs. JK Rowling, because we can’t quit Harry Potter. And neither can you. It will always be about Harry’s scar.