The short story, which was published on the Rowling-managed fan-site Pottermore, describes her beloved characters as adults attending the final match of the 2014 Quidditch World Cup. Harry's nearly 34 and his hair is graying, Ginny's a sports reporter for the Daily Prophet, and the rest of Dumbledore's Army is there, too.
The story is written in the style of the character Rita Skeeter, who is known for making real tabloid writers look like Mother Theresa. Given that, a lot of what's revealed shouldn't be taken seriously, but you can also bet you're in for plenty of laughs.
You have to be signed in to Pottermore to read the story, and the site has seen heavy traffic this morning (no surprise there), making it difficult to get in. To tide you over while the spinning wheel of death makes you wait in another tab, here are some details from the piece that will only get you more pumped to read it.
- It ties in the World Cup.
Leave it to Rowling to know what all the Muggles are talking about. The story is Skeeter's gossip correspondence from the Quidditch World Cup, and it perfectly captures the pandemonium of its soccer equivalent. Imagine how the presence of famous people only fuels the mania of the crowds in Brazil. Throw in people trying to use spells to get to Harry and some Security Warlocks trying to stop them, and you've got yourself the Quidditch World Cup.
- Luna has no sports allegiance.
One of the many lovable things about Luna Lovegood is that she's often oblivious to animosity, like sports rivalries. The same witch who brought you the giant Gryffindor lion headgear (despite being a Ravenclaw) doesn't seem to be supporting any country in particular at the World Cup. She manages to work the flags of all 16 countries into her attire. Come to think of it, that'd probably be a hit at the FIFA World Cup, too.
- Teddy Lupin is a rebel.
While Harry seems to have control of his biological children, his godson is now in full teenager mode. It could just be Skeeter hearsay, but word on the street is that Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks' blue-haired son "has been behaving in a way unbefitting of wizarding royalty." Come on, Skeeter. He has Harry as a father figure. Did you really expect him to follow the rules?
- Harry's still fighting...something.
Of course evil never sleeps, but there's a difference between picking off the minor bad guys and getting into a scuffle. Harry clearly has done the latter before attending the Quidditch World Cup with his family, and he can't hide the scar from the ever-nosy Skeeter. Though he could have slipped and fell before putting on his glasses one morning, there's also a chance that there's a new foe giving Harry some grief. A new enemy means more excitement in Harry's life, which means reason to write more books. Right, Rowling? Right?
- Rowling throws her hat into the "women in the workplace" discussion.
It's an easy-to-miss detail, but this story proves Rowling has something to say in the ongoing conversation about double standards and women in the workplace. After the CEO of PepsiCo explained last week why she does not believe society allows women to "have it all," Rowling uses that exact phrase in relation to Hermione's Ministry job and her family (Skeeter predictably snubs the series' heroine, saying her appearance proves she can't have it all). Coincidence? Possibly. A topic Rowling will explore in future works? A reader can only hope.
- Many of Rowling's asides about characters' careers are fleshed out.
Over the years, interviews with Rowling have revealed details about characters' careers that have begged more questions, many of which are answered in this piece. Are Ron and George successful in running the joke shop? What position does Percy end up filling at the Ministry? How's Neville getting on working at Hogwarts, and what's his wife Hannah Abbott up to? So much new information, it's magical.
- Is something happening on July 31st this year?
All of Rowling's fans know she's a tease when it comes to releasing new material, but they also know she leaves clues everywhere. The end of the story mentions a release date for 'Skeeter's' new expose on Dumbledore's Army members. The date, July 31, is Harry's (and Rowling's) birthday. Could this be one of her infamous clues? Only time (23 days, to be exact) will tell.