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Which Wizard: Who's Who in the Wizarding World. This page has been updated for Book 7.

The Harry Potter Prequel

"From the prequel I am not working on -- but that was fun!"
--- J.K. Rowling

In the spring of 2008, Rowling wrote an 800-word short short story to be auctioned off for charity. The story has come to be known as the Harry Potter Prequel, since the story tells of an adventure shared by James and Sirius as they tangle with three Death Eaters and terrify two Muggle police officers. Rowling wrote the story by hand on a card and signed it. The card was auctioned off on 11 June 2008 and fetched GBP25,000.

The story is told from the point of view of Sergeant Fisher, an overweight police officer who, along with his partner, PC Anderson, corner two boys on a motorbike in an alley. While they try to get some information from the boys only to be met by good-natured jokes, the officers are stunned to see three men flying down the alley toward them on broomsticks. The boys use magic to lift the police car into the air and the men on brooms crash into the levitating car. With a wave, the boys fly off on their motorcycle.


The story takes place during the timeframe before Harry's birth while James and Sirius were members of the Order of the Phoenix. There is no way to tell for sure if they are still students at Hogwarts at this point, but it seems likely, since conversations in book five suggest that a witch or wizard would need to be of age (at least 17 years old) to join the Order. If this assumption is correct, it would place the story c. 1978-1979.

James and Sirius are wearing Order of the Phoenix t-shirts.

Of the names rattled off by James and Sirius, Elvendork has become particularly popular with fans, perhaps because James seems particularly fond of it, going out of his way to mention that it's a unisex name. Of the three names mentioned (the other two being Wilberforce and Bathsheba), Elvendork is the only one that Rowling invented. Wilberforce is the last name of a famous British politician and opponent of the slave trade. Bathsheba was one of the wives of King David of Israel and the mother of Solomon.


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Original page date 19 November 2009; Last page update 3 August 2011 SVA