J.K. Rowling has published a new Harry Potter story, which briefly crashed her Pottermore website. But once it was up and running again, muggles were treated to aDaily Prophet column from tabloid diva Rita Skeeter.
The fictional news story is set at the Quidditch World Cup, but more importantly, it hints at more Harry Potter stories (and scandals) to come.
1. Our World Cup has NOTHING on the Quidditch World Cup
Which we now know takes place in Patagonia.
Major celebs were in attendance, including the six most popular members of Dumbledore's Army - Harry Potter, Ginny (Weasley) Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione (Granger) Weasley, Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood.
2. Dumbledore's Army is still popular in the wizarding world
Skeeter notes that crowds "stampeded [toward the area where Dumbledore's Army was reportedly located], tents were flattened and small children mown down."
3. Harry is still called the Chosen One
And that's why everyone rushed to the VIP section to see him.
4. Harry is nearing 34 and has two sons
Their names are James and Albus, in case you missed that tack-on scene at the end of book seven. Harry is also still married to Ron's sister, Ginny.
5. Ginny has a really cool job
She is a reporter covering the entirety of the Quidditch World Cup. (For the record, Rita doesn't think she's fit for the role.)
6. Harry's round glasses are still a thing
And so is gray hair, apparently. Skeeter notes:
There are a couple of threads of silver in [Harry Potter's] black hair, but he continues to wear the distinctive round glasses that some might say are better suited to a style-deficient 12-year-old.
7. His scar is still visible - and so is another slash on Harry's face
Along with the zig-zag scar on his forehead, Harry also has a cut over his right cheekbone.
And that cut has Rita all in a tizzy, especially since the Ministry of Magic refuses to comment on it.
So what are they hiding? Is the Chosen One embroiled in fresh mysteries that will one day explode upon us all, plunging us into a new age of terror and mayhem?
Or does his injury have a more humble origin, one that Potter is desperate to hide? Has his wife perhaps cursed him? Are cracks beginning to show in a union that the Potters are determined to promote as happy?
It feels like this isn't the last we'll hear about this cut. Foreshadowing?
8. Harry and Viktor Krum are friends.
Viktor was also at the World Cup, where he met up with Harry and the two hugged. If you remember, the pair competed against each other in the Triwizard Tournament. In the third task, Viktor, Harry and Cedric (RIP) entered the maze.
While Rita notes that no one knows what happened in that maze, we certainly do. (Barty Crouch Jr., who used Polyjuice potion to pose as Alastor Moody, put an Imperius Curse on Viktor in an effort to ensure Harry's victory.)
9. Ron and Hermione are still married.
And they remain very loyal to Harry, refusing to comment to the press about anything Potter-related. They also have two children: daughter Rose and son Hugo.
10. Ron quit the Ministry of Magic to co-manage the wizarding joke emporium
Two years after accepting a job alongside Harry, Ron left to assist his brother George at their very successful Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes.
11. A Hermione-Harry romance was once on the table(!)
This one is interesting given the fact that J.K. Rowling has publicly said she regrets the Ron-Hermoine romance. Rowling said that if she did it all over again, Hermione would have ended up with Harry.
That's why this particular passage in this new story is noteworthy:
Hermione Granger, of course, was always the femme fatale of the group. Press reports of the time revealed that as a teenager she toyed with the young Potter's affections before being seduced away by Viktor Krum, finally settling for Potter's faithful sidekick.
12. Neville is a Hogwarts teacher (and maybe a drunk)
Neville is now a popular Herbology teacher at the wizarding school, and he married a girl named Hannah (quite possibly Hannah Abbott, the half-blood witch who was the first in their class to put on the sorting hat. She left school after Lord Voldemort murdered her mother, but she later returned and joined Dumbledore's Army.)
Rita notes that the couple used to live above the Leaky Cauldron and that they "both enjoy a little more Ogden's Old Firewhisky than most of us would expect from custodians of our children."
Then again, you have to take everything Rita writes with a grain of salt.
13. Luna is still very Luna
She married Rolf Scamander, the grandson of Magizoologist (a person who studies magical creatures) Newt. They have twin boys, who apparently stay with Luna's father often.
Luna wore a robe with all 16 countries' flags, which Rita ridiculed in her article. But don't pay attention to her, Luna. You do you.
14. Harry's godson, Teddy Lupin, is a wild child
Teddy is the son of the late Remus Lupin and his deceased wife, Nymphadora Tonks. The half-werewolf boy, who is now under Harry's care, has bright blue hair and a hard time keeping still.
15. Teddy is secretly dating a Weasley girl
Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour's blonde-haired daughter can't stay away from Teddy. The two apparently sneak off on the regular to have long snog fests.
16. We may get ANOTHER Harry Potter story on July 31
Of course we saved the best for last. Reading through Rita Skeeter's column, it's abundantly clear the tabloid writer is opening doors (a Harry-Hermione romance, two shaky marriages and a wild son) for an upcoming book, which she - sure enough - plugs in the last line of her story. She seems to be set on exposing to secret side of Dumbledore's Army:
But let us not be severe. Harry Potter and his cohorts never claimed to be perfect! And for those who want to know exactly how imperfect they are, my new biography:Dumbledore's Army: The Dark Side of the Demob will be available from Flourish and Blotts on July 31.
Since wrapping up Harry Potter, Rowling has dabbled - rather successfully, we might add - in adult fiction with her book Casual Vacancy. Now that her original Harry Potter fans have grown up, it's not out of the question that she'll write an age-appropriate title for the generation that catapulted her to fame.
But then again, this all just may be a cruel joke from our frenemy, Rita Skeeter.
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