Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Books

J.K. Rowling serves up new dish on Harry Potter and pals

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Not all of the Harry Potter news is coming out of Orlando. Some of it is datelined Patagonia, site of the current Quidditch Cup World Final.

On Tuesday, author J.K. Rowling posted a witty new short story on Pottermore.com, her online source for everything Harry. Writing under the guise of Rita Skeeter, that aptly named incorrigible insect of a gossip columnist (played in the films by Miranda Richardson), Rowling drops some tidbits updating her beloved characters as well as gleefully getting her digs in at the tabloid press.

Breathlessly and snarkily covering what she calls a reunion of Dumbledore's Army at the quidditch tournament, Skeeter clearly has no actual access to her subjects, so she deals in juicy rumor and general knowledge.

At 34, Harry has a few gray hairs, she reports, "but he continues to wear the distinctive round glasses that some might say are better suited to a style-deficient twelve-year-old." He also has a cut on his cheek, which she speculates might indicate new dark adventures — or a curse put on him by his wife, Ginny.

Ginny Potter works as a sports reporter for the wizarding newspaper, Daily Prophet, also Skeeter's employer. She has been covering the tournament, as Skeeter snipes: "(L)et's face it, when your last name is Potter, doors open, international sporting bodies bow and scrape, and Daily Prophet editors hand you plum assignments."

Skeeter also buzzes about Ron Weasley's thinning hair and wonders whether he is mentally ill, hilariously calls Hermione Granger (now Ron's wife) "always the femme fatale of the group," drops a little dirt about Neville Longbottom (a Herbology teacher at Hogwarts) enjoying "a little more Ogden's Old Firewhiskey than most of us would expect from custodians of our children" and notes prissily that Teddy Lupin, Harry's teenage godson, is enjoying too much public "snogging" with Bill and Fleur Weasley's daughter Victoire.

The story is a fun glimpse of Harry and pals as well as a reminder of Rowling's skill with tone. Pottermore.com members can read it there; the rest of you muggles will find it at on.today.com/U0RiTk.

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