The short story marks Rowling’s first story starring her beloved character since 2007’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, though she has published previous writing about the Harry Potter universe on Pottermore. Fans shouldn’t get their hopes up, though – Rowling spokesman Mark Hutchinson said there are “no plans” for a new Potter novel.
The new story takes place at the 2014 Quidditch World Cup, which the mid-30s Harry attends with his old friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.
The story is written in the style of a gossip column for the Daily Prophet by reporter Rita Skeeter, a minor character in the novels.
The style allows Rowling to poke fun at the tabloid press, which she has accused of invading her privacy and that of her family.
Skeeter takes cheap shots at the aging trio of heroes, mocking their graying, thinning hair. Elsewhere in the story, she continues her string of hilarious mischaracterizations from the Harry Potter stories, noting that Hermione was “always the femme fatale of the group” and speculating on a homosexual relationship between Harry and Viktor Krum.
Despite its short length, the update will likely be worth it to fans for its “Where Are They Now” qualities. Harry is still an Auror, and Ron now runs the family joke shop, while Hermione is a – literally – high-flying civil servant, Deputy Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.
There are also updates on other characters, including Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood, as well as glimpses of a new generation of wizards, some of whom take part in the classic Potter tradition of “snogging.”
There are no plans to turn the excerpt into a movie, but after the announcement of a film adaptation of Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, anything is possible. So, who should play the grown-up versions of everyone’s favorite magical trio? Our choices, below:
Harry Potter: Christian Bale
Rowling’s excerpt proves that Harry’s days of fighting evil didn’t die with Voldemort. As Rowling’s Skeeter reports, the 33-year-old Potter “is sporting a nasty cut over his right cheekbone” to go along with his favorite scar. Super-intense Welshman Christian Bale – no stranger to action franchises – would be adept at handling whatever scrapes the older Harry finds himself in.
Hermione Granger: Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet, to our knowledge, has never played a stupid character; the English actress would excel at playing a tougher, more mature version of Hogwarts’s smartest student. And as the few viewers of Hideous Kinky know, she’d be able to pull off the idealistic heart just a few inches below Hermione’s famous brain.
Ron Weasley: Ewan McGregor
He’d have to cover his delightful Scottish brogue for the role – the Weasleys, as far as we can tell, live in Devon – but McGregor could bring the right notes of impish glee to grown-up Ron, while still giving the underestimated redhead a note of much-needed gravitas.
– The Associated Press contributed reporting