July 8, 2014 will go down in infamy as the day that the Muggle world collectively sighed and placed its head on its neighbors shoulder. The Harry Potter fandom, long established as having a creativity and obsession worthy of keeping Rowling's magical world thriving, was gifted a Daily Prophet article on the Pottermore website that allowed us all a peek into the Ever After. Writing as the deplorable Rita Skeeter, Rowling gave us a snapshot into the present day lives of Dumbledore's Army that managed hilarity, curiosity, snark, and joy all in one pass.
Writing from the Quidditch Cup finals in the Patagonian desert, "Skeeter" takes us into the lives of Harry and Ginny, Ron and Hermione, George [excuse me hold on I need to weep for a few minutes], Neville, and Luna. We learn more details about careers, spouses, and children, and are given just enough mystery to make us ravenous for more.
Read the Daily Prophet Article here. I'll be sharing some spoilers below.
Harry has a new scar. Hermione is a Ministry superstar and Ron has joined George in the joke shop [yeah nope still weeping don't judge me]. Neville and his bride are popular faculty members at Hogwarts, and Luna is exactly as I would want her - kooky and happy.
By stepping into Skeeter's shoes, Rowling has allowed herself a little more fun in the tale and conveys such familiarity with that awful, covetous tone, all the while shading our happily-ever-after with doubt. Is Harry's marriage OK? Is Ron bonkers? Neville? Firewhiskey? Say it ain't so! I certainly felt myself pulled just a bit into the Skeeter drama, and when I was done I loved the author an infinity percent more than I did before.
I'm sure there will be commentary that accuses Ms. Rowling of "milking" the Potter world, and to them I say "where is your sense of whimsy, sir or madam? Where... is your sense of whimsy." I would also find a polite way to ask them to shut up and not ruin it for the rest of us. I was 21 when the first Potter book, and sometimes I'm a bit embarrassed about my level of immersion in this world. But Harry Potter fans are some of the most talented, creative and intelligent people I have ever met. Their fan fiction, art, and deductive skills are worthy of any Tolkien scholar. And while we could carry on this world with new stories for generations, nothing will ever beat news and tales from the great creator. And Rowling possesses extraordinary love and gratitude to her readers, almost as much as she holds for her characters. It shows in her new material - nothing I've read on Pottermore has ever felt contrived or cheap. The site itself ebbs and wanes as far as "must read" material for me, but the initial registration, sorting (yes! I'm a Slytherin!), and plunge into all the supplemental stories about star and supporting characters alike make the time spent a fun investment on a mediocre day, and a warm hug from an old friend on the best of days.
Truly the reason I signed up for Pottermore in the first place was singular. The ride has been fun, but my eyes are set on the prize: One day, Rowling is going to tell us what Neville's patronus is.