Harry Potter, last seen waving his children onto the Hogwarts train at the end of the seventh and final novel in JK Rowling’s record-breaking series, has just made his first appearance in seven years as a 34-year-old with “threads of silver” in his black hair.
Rowling’s millions of fans will pounce on the glimpse the novelist has provided of the wizard’s adult life, which sees Harry reunited with Ron, Hermione and their friends at the final of the 2014 Quidditch World Cup in a 1,500-word piece for her website Pottermore. The article is written in the voice of Rowling’s vicious gossip correspondent Rita Skeeter, and reveals that not only has Harry’s hair begun to go grey, but Ron Weasley’s “famous ginger hair appears to be thinning slightly”.
JK Rowling Vicious gossip … JK Rowling. Photograph: Debra Hurford Brown
“About to turn 34, there are a couple of threads of silver in the famous Auror’s black hair, but he continues to wear the distinctive round glasses that some might say are better suited to a style-deficient twelve-year-old,” writes Rowling/Skeeter of Potter.
Rowling has also given Harry a mysterious cut on one cheekbone, which Skeeter – a journalist for the magical world’s newspaper, the Daily Prophet – surmises could be a result of his work as an Auror. Aurors are an “elite unit of specialist officers trained to apprehend Dark Wizards”, said Pottermore.
Skeeter ponders if “the Chosen One” is “embroiled in fresh mysteries that will one day explode upon us all, plunging us into a new age of terror and mayhem”, or if his wife has “perhaps cursed him”, as “cracks [begin] to show in a union that the Potters are determined to promote as happy”.
Ginny Potter, Ron’s sister and now Harry’s wife, also attends the match, as does Hermione, the straight-A student who was a key part of the battle against the evil Voldemort, and who is now Ron’s wife. The friends – who called themselves “Dumbledore’s Army” as they fought the forces of evil in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – are also joined by their former schoolmates Luna Lovegood and Neville Longbottom, and by their children.
Ron Weasley is revealed to have worked for the Ministry of Magic along with Harry, only to have left after two years to “co-manage the highly successful wizarding joke emporium Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes”. “He shows no obvious signs of mental illness from a distance, but the public is not allowed close enough to make a proper assessment. Is this suspicious?” asks Skeeter.
Hermione Granger, meanwhile – described as “the femme fatale of the group” – is currently deputy head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and is “now tipped to go even higher within the Ministry”, writes Skeeter. Longbottom is a herbology teacher at Hogwarts, and apparently enjoys “a little more Ogden’s Old Firewhisky” than “most of us would expect from custodians of our children”, while Lovegood is married to Rolf Scamander and “still delightfully eccentric”.
Skeeter also writes sniffily about a “prolonged period of what, in my young day, was called ‘snogging'” between two younger members of the party.
The article is part of a series of pieces written by Rowling about the 2014 Quidditch Cup for Pottermore. The final article will be published on 11 July, and will see Ginny Potter, now a journalist, cover the cup final, between Brazil and Bulgaria.
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