Here’s Why December Will be Big for ‘Harry Potter’ Fans

source: Warner Bros.
source: Warner Bros.

J.K. Rowling has had a hard time removing herself from the world of Harry Potter. Though she’d always insisted that the beloved and bestselling series would end with seven books to chronicle the boy wizard’s seven years at the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, Rowling has recently been adding little pieces to the Harry Potter universe via her fansite Pottermore. Now she’s announced that her Christmas gift to Potter fans will be 12 short stories for the 12 days of Christmas that she’ll begin adding to the site every day starting December 12.

The site has promised that some of the new writing will be about Harry Potter’s arch rival Draco Malfoy as well as Florean Fortescue’s ghost plot. Like the other writing from the author that’s popped up on Pottermore, the stories will likely be short character sketches or small scenes with further descriptions not found in the novels.

Over the summer, Rowling wrote a scathing parody of tabloid journalism from the perspective of the Potter world’s newspaper gossip columnist Rita Skeeter. It was an exciting short story for Potter fans because it gave a glimpse of the gang as middle-aged adults attending the Quidditch World Cup with their families, where they were spied upon by the reporter.

Rowling has long been critical of the tabloid industry and used Skeeter’s character to make fun of tabloid journalists. In the new story, Skeeter speculates wildly about what could possibly be going on in Harry, Ron, and Hermoine’s lives based on no evidence. “One always hesitates to invade the privacy of young people, but the fact is that anyone closely connected with Harry Potter reaps the benefits and must pay the penalty of public interest,” Skeeter says, before plugging her upcoming book on Harry’s story.

Then for Halloween, Rowling published another short story to the site explaining the backstory of one of the Potter universe’s most hated villains, the professor Dolores Umbridge. “Dolores … is one of the characters for whom I feel the purest dislike,” Rowling wrote in a note at the conclusion of the 1,700-word story. “Her desire to control, to punish, and to inflict pain, all in the name of law and order, are, I think, every bit as reprehensible as Lord Voldemort’s unvarnished espousal of evil.”

Publishing new writing about Harry Potter when the book series wrapped up seven years ago is a great way to convince fans to get engaged with the official fansite. Harry Potter fans will always be rabid for new stories about the characters now that the books and movies are completed. Rowling herself seems to have trouble letting go of the Boy Who Lived and the magical universe surrounding him.

Aside from releasing new writing on the website, Rowling is at work on the screenplays for the upcoming film trilogy spinoff based on her book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. In Harry Potter lore, that novella is one of Hogwart students’ textbooks, written by the character Newt Scamander. Rowling wrote the book for charity back in 2001, but now Newt Scamander’s story is being developed by Rowling herself with Warner Bros. for the movies. That trilogy will be a huge expansion of the Harry Potter universe, though it will feature completely different characters and take place 70 years before Harry attends Hogwarts.

Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqui_WSCS

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