J.K. Rowling Writes About Harry Potter as an Adult, and It’s a Little Depressing

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
July 8 2014 11:52 AM

J.K. Rowling Writes About Harry Potter as an Adult, and It’s a Little Depressing

Harry_Potter_Hogwarts
Oh, for these halcyon days.

Warner Bros.

In addition to writing books for adults—sometimes under a pseudonym—and making misguided comments about Harry and Hermione, J.K. Rowling has spent her time since the last of the seven Harry Potter books was published writing material for her online “Harry Potter experience,” Pottermore. For the last few months, Rowling has been reporting there on the 2014 Quidditch World Cup in the voice of Harry’s wife, Ginny Potter, née Weasley.

That may or may not grab your fancy—the prospect left this Potter fan indifferent—but this morning fans got a big payoff with something different: a gossip column from notoriously misleading (and entertaining) Daily Prophet columnist Rita Skeeter, chronicling what the gang has been up to. The column offers a glimpse of what’s gone on for the Potter clan and the rest of Dumbledore’s Army between the close of the last book’s main story and its epilogue. (That epilogue is set “19 Years Later,” which is still three years from now.) The result is … kind of depressing?

There are jokes about graying and thinning hair, and there’s a hint of marital discord between Ginny and Harry. Skeeter also gets in a jab at her favorite target, the wildly successful Hermione: “Does Hermione Granger prove that a witch really can have it all? (No—look at her hair.)”

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Of course, Skeeter is not the most reliable narrator—she’s fanned the flames of false scandal before, with misinformation and misreported interviews—but the glimpse she provides of soon-to-be 34-year-old Harry is intriguing. He has, for one thing, a new mysterious scar. This may be Skeeter trying to whip up controversy, but she ends her column noting that her new book, Dumbledore’s Army: The Dark Side of the Demob, will come out on July 31, Harry’s birthday.

He’s probably not too excited for the present, but his fans—by which I mean, of course, Rowling’s—can hold out hope that they’ll get a glimpse, too. Right?

Read the full column over at Pottermore

Miriam Krule is a Slate assistant editor.

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