Pottermore / Rants

The REAL “new Harry Potter short story”


So hey, I’ll bet you noticed that Rowling wrote a New Short Story and posted it on Pottermore. It would be hard not to notice, since it’s been talked about all over, even in the Muggle news. I rushed online to read it the moment I found out.

And it’s pretty cool! Good old Rita Skeeter, still at it. (I can’t help but wonder if she has come clean to the Ministry about being an unregistered Animagus). But it’s not really a story, not like the Prequel. It’s no more a story than are the Quidditch World Cup news articles that written by Rowling as Ginny Potter for the past few weeks. It’s more of a list of details about various characters, almost all of which we already knew.

I love it, don’t get me wrong! Any glimpse into the world of Harry Potter, especially how things are going many years later, is exciting. But as I said, most of what’s in there we already knew. The bits we didn’t know hardly warrant the frenzy I’ve been seeing online.

A story should have a plot. This doesn’t. It hints at a little drama, I suppose, but most of that’s manufactured by Rita and therefore isn’t even real. This is cool, it’s interesting, it’s exciting, sure. But it’s not a “new Harry Potter short story,” no matter what the media says.

mcgonagallbust-lfHowever, there actually is a brand new Harry Potter short story, a story filled with passion and pain and the struggle between the Muggle and Wizarding worlds. It’s a story Rowling wrote some time ago now but which never received the kind of acclaim that this minor little gossip column has. It’s also on Pottermore, that site that so many fans have decided wasn’t worth their time. It’s the story of a young witch growing up in a Muggle/Wizarding household, watching the pain and frustration this dichotomy caused her mother and father. It’s the story of a young witch who fell in love with a handsome Muggle boy and who chooses to leave him rather than live a lie like her mother did. It’s the story of that same, more mature witch who married a wonderful man only to lose him in a tragic accident.

It’s the story of Minerva McGonagall. It’s a real “new Harry Potter short story.” And it’s been on Pottermore for ages now, untrumpeted and ignored. Let’s talk about that story for awhile!


Pensieve (Comments)

  • Brian Gensel

    also the Remus Lupin story!

  • Ken Grabach

    I have some issues with the Pottermore site. I heard about it when it was rather newish. I went to it, and this 61-year old fan of the books was underwhelmed. It looks to be nice if you want to enter yet another role-playing game world. I don’t care to go to those gaming levels of pretend, and I certainly don’t want to compare my feeble efforts to those of pre- and teen and twenty-something enthusiasts who have time, interest, and skill sets to do them. I keep hearing about gems such as this. But I am unable to find where they are. I just want to read the story! I also am unable to read the Skeeter’s gossip. She must have a few grey hairs she is bleaching, as well, Marcel waves or not.

    • The site isn’t really a RPG per say as much as it is a way to add visuals, audio and ancillary information to the story as a whole. The general idea is to read the books while you have the site open, and you move from one moment to the next in time with reading the books, it’s designed to help you immerse yourself in the world a bit deeper.

      Yes there are game segments that appeal to the RPG demographic (potions making and dueling for example), but for the most part I just use it for the stories.

      And it’s chocked full of gems like this. As you are reading your way through the story, at appropriate moments she adds in articles she has written about various things. The McGonagall story is released in portions in key McGonagall moments in the story. In particular you can build McGonagall’s story by reading the details in the following chapters (so far):

      PS1, PS9, PS15, PS16, CS5, CS10, CS13, CS14, CS16, CS18, PA8, PA10, PA11, PA13, PA15, GF12, GF13, GF15, GF17, GF20

      Tons of details about McGonagall’s life spread out over all those moments, it’s fantastic.

      The Quidditch World Cup 2014 was something special. It isn’t in any of the moments, and instead is located in Diagon Alley in the Daily Prophet office in the form of 25 Daily Prophet Newspaper articles. Unlike the rest of Pottermore, these articles are actually presented in current time, in character giving us a view of what the Wizarding World is like in 2014. 23 of the articles are written from the perspective of Ginny Potter who is now a Quidditch Corespondent for the Daily Prophet. One (the one everyone was talking about) was written as a gossip column by Rita Skeeter, and the last one is written as a real time commentary of the final match of the QWC from both Ginny and Rita.