J.K. Rowling surprised the world today by releases, with no advanced publicity, a 1,500 word short story about Harry Potter and the rest of the gang reunited — in their 30s — for a Quidditch Match. Rowlings Harry Potter website, Pottermore, could not, however, take the server load and crashed, although it does appear to be up and running now (and here’s a link to the short story).
The short story itself is an account of the reunion written by Rita Skeever, a journalist in the Harry Potter universe, and it appears to be taking the piss out of the media. From the Daily Mirror:
Skeeter writes: “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.”
Previously, author JK Rowling appeared before the Leveson Inquiry saying she felt ‘under siege’ by journalists.
The fictional gossip column says Ron Weasley, played in the hit films by Rupert Grint, has aged less well with his ginger hair “thinning slightly”. His wife Hermione, Harry’s wife Ginny, and their children all feature in the story.
Rowling also gives fans a hint of Harry’s new life by describing a mysterious cut over his cheekbone which signifies his membership of a top-secret group of wizards called the Aurors.
Job-wise, it appears that the three friends all worked together in the Ministry of Magic, though Ron left his job to “co-manage the highly successful wizarding joke emporium Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes.” Meanwhile, Hermione — “the femme fatale of the group,” according to Skeeter — is the deputy head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.
A 1,500 word short story? Given what Peter Jackson has done with The Hobbit, I have no doubt that someone can — and will try — to turn those 1,500 words into a new Harry Potter trilogy.