J.K. Rowling to Publish New ‘Harry Potter' Story for Halloween

The cover art for "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone". (Photo: Scholastic Books)
The cover art for "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone". (Photo: Scholastic Books)
If Halloween wasn’t already one of your favorite holidays, if you love the Harry Potter books at all, it’s probably about to start moving its way up to Number One on your list in fairly short order.

Why? Well, in the wizarding universe created by J.K. Rowling, Halloween is basically like Christmas for young witches and wizards, but this year it’s Potter fans worldwide that are the ones getting a present. The author has announced that she’ll be releasing a new short story from the world of Hogwarts on October 31. (!!!!!)

The new  tale will focus on the notorious Dolores Umbridge, vile Senior Undersecretary to the Minister of Magic, who is basically the one character in the Potter-verse that’s pretty much as universally hated as Voldemort. Umbridge, who arrives at Hogwarts during the events of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, is best known for both her horrifying punishments – Harry is forced to carve “I will not tell lies” into his own skin via a special quill during several detentions – and her super creepy obsession with kitten-themed dishware. Umbridge was last seen being carried off into the Forbidden Forest by centaurs and no one knows exactly what happened to her after that – and no one is likely losing any sleep over that fact, either.

Per the latest from official Harry Potter site Pottermore, Rowling has written a “rich, 1,700-word backstory about Umbridge’s life filled with many new details”, which ostensibly is meant to help explain why she’s such a nasty and awful person. There will also be “Rowling’s revealing first-person thoughts and reflections about the character” included along with the new short.

“Umbridge is not only one of the most malicious Potter characters, she is the only person other than Lord Voldemort to leave a permanent physical scar on Harry.”

The story is set to debut on October 31 on the Pottermore website but will doubtless be virtually everywhere on the internet the moment it is posted, so keep an eye out.

Are you interested in the prospect of more backstory for various members of the Potter universe? Do you think Dolores Umbridge, in particular, will have an interesting one? 

Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Twitter at @LacyMB