Potterheads rejoice: on July 8, author J.K. Rowling released a new Harry Potter short story on the Pottermore website. I don’t know how to comment on this story without at least some spoilers, so for anyone who hasn’t read it: spoiler warning.
The story takes place when Harry and his cohorts are 34 and watching the Quidditch World Cup finals in Argentina. Harry is an Auror and still married to Ginny (who is a sports reporter), Hermione is doing her best to break the glass ceiling in the Ministry of Magic, and Ron left his Ministry job to help out his brother George at the Wizarding Joke Shop. And if you’re wondering, there are updates on some beloved supporting characters as well, like Neville, Luna, and Teddy Lupin.
I might be extremely biased because I am a huge Potter fan, but I loved this story. It’s written in the form of a newspaper article by the nosy, muckraking journalist Rita Skeeter, and I found her speculations hilarious. I was delighted to hear that my favorite characters are alive and well, so to speak. I think it is a good peek into the Potter-verse and I was glad to see that Rowling continued the story in its original style, but I wish it were longer or offered more details about characters other than Harry. It’s understandable given that Rita Skeeter was always fixated on “The Boy Who Lived,” but I would have liked to see more about how Hermione is balancing a career and motherhood, or what Luna is up to (other than still being loony). I would have also appreciated less focus on physical description (like Harry’s graying hair and the mysterious cut on his face) and more on what the characters are doing (like what Harry’s career entails or what Ron’s children are studying in school).
I would have preferred that Rowling had written it in third person, in the style of the original books, so that curious readers could potentially get a more unbiased look into the lives of Dumbledore’s Army, but writing it from Skeeter’s perspective as a tabloid article created a whimsical feel that hopefully hints at a further update sometime in the future.
Despite the slight lack of details, the overall reception by the fans is glowing. For those who grew up with the series, the story is heartwarming and a welcome contribution after years of trying to fill the void with movie marathons and mediocre fan fiction. I know some criticized Rowling’s epilogue in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows for being trite and cliché, and I fear this newest story could draw the same ire. However, I don’t believe it was meant to be anything groundbreaking, just a tidbit to keep fans happy. Of course, avid fans like me will always want more, but this is enough to sustain us for a while longer.
I’m hoping that the story is a taste of something larger to come. After all, Rowling did end the story by saying that Rita Skeeter’s exposé of Dumbledore’s Army would be available July 31, so a girl can dream.
John, Arit. “J.K. Rowling Has Gifted Us With a New Harry Potter Short Story.” The Wire. N.p., 8 July 2014. Web. 21 July 2014. <http://www.thewire.com/entertainment/2014/07/jk-rowling-has-gifted-us-with-a-harry-potter-short-story/374078/>.