After the last spell

JK Rowling releases a short Potter story on Halloween

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Harry Potter’s story may be over, but his magical world still needs exploring – and fans are thrilled.

Author JK Rowling plans to give fans new details by releasing a 1,700-word story on Halloween, focusing on the life of professor Dolores Umbridge, one of the series’ antagonists. The story will be posted to Pottermore.com, a website created by Rowling that allows readers to virtually experience the Potter world.

“For Professor Umbridge to have a story written about her, book five on Pottermore would need to be unlocked,” said Haley McNeely, a junior psychology major. “This would mean that along with Umbridge’s story, Rowling plans to unlock the fifth book and open up a whole new area of Pottermore.”

This isn’t the first time Rowling has surprised fans. She released a 1,500-word story in July about Potter himself, this time as a 34-year-old father who was meeting some old, magical friends.

Most recently, she posted a 500-word description of character Celestina Warbeck, or the “singing sorceress.” She is never actually seen in the Potter world, only spoken of by other characters. Included in her brief biography is an audio track from the singer titled “You Stole My Cauldron But You Can’t Have My Heart.”

“From a psychological standpoint, people become emotionally attached to the characters in these books,” said Dr. Shira Gabriel, a psychology professor. “For [Rowling] to offer more to fans through Pottermore is really incredible and allows people to maintain these attachments.”

So what’s next?

Rumors of a new project had been circling for months after cryptic tweets she posted staring in early October, beginning with her Oct. 6 post “Cry, foe! Run amok! Fa awry! My want won’t tolerate this nonsense.” She revealed an anagram was hidden in the tweet after it drove fans mad.

The author claims she is done writing books that have to do with the series, and she has scoffed at rumors that she penned a romantic novel. Her other pen name, Robert Galbraith, was used to write her most recent novel The Cuckoo’s Calling.

“If J.R.R. Tolkien can write new material after Lord of the Rings, JK Rowling should continue to write new stories,” said John McCarthy, a freshman biology major. “If people are still interested in her writing, why not?”

Regardless of what her next big project is, the author keeps fans excited by regularly updating Pottermore.com.

The website features trivia, games, detailed information about the wizard world and a store for all things Harry Potter related. The author goes into such miniscule detail that she describes the clothing of the wizard world in depth, in order to paint a better picture for fans. She even talks about events that never happened in the books, giving fans something more to look forward to, despite the series being complete.

By choosing to continue giving bits of information about the world readers and moviegoers have come to love, Rowling keeps her fans interested in the series.

Her attention to detail paid off – she is currently the only billionaire to make her fortune off writing. The movies based off of her books have grossed over $5.3 billion, and her books have sold 400 million copies in 69 languages.

“I’ve read the books myself, and now I read them with my children,” said Gabriel. “They never really get old, no matter how many times you go through it.”

Through Pottermore.com, the Harry Potter world may only continue to grow – in size and legacy.

email: arts@ubspectrum.com