If Books Belong to Their Readers

Under the nom de guerre of Rita Skeeter – the infamous and enchantingly nasty journalist of the Daily Prophet, J.K Rowling resurrected the cherished personalities of the Harry Potter series. Upon discovering this news, I immediately rushed to my computer, thrilled to be reunited with my faithful elementary school companions. However, my excitement quickly subsided as it was replaced by disappointment.

You see, I think an author should give their readers a little credit and a little room for their own imagination – which can be achieved by leaving a certain level of vagueness nearing the end of a story. As John Green always suggests, Books Belong to their Readers. Whilst J.K Rowling offered Potterheads an extraordinary saga to relish upon, this latest snippet denies readers a certain sense of freedom. Rowling revisits the world of wizards, painting a vivid image of Harry Potter and Co.’s current state of affairs. Here are some of my findings:

1. The notion, Nothing Gold Can Stay, as proposed by Robert Frost is enforced as the characters of our childhood exhibit signs of aging. Exhibit A: Harry’s hair are reported to be graying.

About to turn 34, there are a couple of threads of silver in the famous Auror’s black hair

Exhibit B: Ron seems to display signs of balding.

In the immediate aftermath of the battle Weasley, whose famous ginger hair appears to be thinning slightly

The evergreen, youthful images of the characters of our childhood are replaced by images  of senility, reminding us of their mortality. Harry Potter won’t be forever, nothing gold can stay.

2. There may have been a Harry-Hermione love affair.

Press reports of the time revealed that as a teenager,  [Hermione] toyed with the young Potter’s affections

It is no secret that Rowling regrets the pairing of Ron and Hermione, preferring Hermione with Harry instead… but one my most favourite part of the series was the oddball couple of Ron and Hermione!

3. Neville Longbottom may have a drinking problem.

Idle gossip suggests that she and her husband, [Neville], both enjoy a little more Ogden’s Old Firewhisky than most of us would expect from custodians of our children

This makes me incredibly uneasy. Let’s just hope that it is merely the suggestion of idle gossips.

Things to consider:

  • The reportings of Harry Potter and co.’s future is done through Rita Skeeter – whose integrity and honesty are very questionable.
  • It can be argued that the series of books belong to J.K Rowling. An author does have the right to revisit her characters or revise the story.
  • The original text of the Harry Potter series stands still. Even if Rowling revisits the Harry Potter clan, it should not affect Potterheads’ relationship and understanding of the series. Besides, if Books Belong to their Readers, in the end, it is up to the readers to decide what they make of the story.
  • The Harry Potter series was my first love affair with literature, so despite all, you are the bomb dot com Ms. J.K Rowling.