Happy Halloween, everyone! Wanna read about some dark magic?
Hello, this is your resident Potterhead speaking. J. K. Rowling has just released six new Harry Potter stories. Repeat: six new Harry Potter stories are now online. This is not a drill, people. The author has been incredibly productive of late, but when she promised to unveil some new info about Dolores Umbridge and her life after The Final Battle, we definitely weren’t expecting this.
Here it is, Potterheads! Queen Rowling has graced us with her writing again!
Queen Rowling went above and beyond, posting the Umbridge story along with five others to Pottermore. But (there’s always a but, and this one’s pretty big) it’s not that simple. The stories are reserved for the most dedicated of Potter nerds. They’re in a special section of the website and users have to navigate the labyrinth that is Pottermore, clicking on images until they unlock each of the chapters.
As Vulture notes, Rowling expresses deep hatred for Umbridge, noting that the pink-obsessed character was inspired by a teacher whom she despised. "I have noticed more than once in life that a taste for the ineffably twee can go hand-in-hand with a distinctly uncharitable outlook on the world," she writes. "[Umbridge's] desire to control, to punish, and to inflict pain, all in the name of law and order, are, I think, every bit as reprehensible as Lord Voldemort’s unvarnished espousal of evil."
The rest of the stories add detail to settings and characters we already know. For example, did you know [minor spoiler alert] Azkaban was once home to a dark magician named Ekrizdis, who captured muggle sailors and subjected them to horrifying torture; alcoholic Professor Trelawney is, in the author's estimation, "90% fraud," and her marriage "ended in rupture when she refused to adopt the last name Higginbottom". Well, there goes the “all of Trelawney’s prophecies came true” theory.
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