Harry Potter is back - mysterious, married, and going grey.
J.K. Rowling has given fans a glimpse of the grown-up boy wizard in a new story posted Tuesday on her Pottermore website - the first update since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was published in 2007.
The 1,500-word story describes Harry, about to turn 34, attending the final of the Quidditch World Cup with his family and old friends Ron and Hermione.
Harry now has “threads of silver” in his hair and a mysterious cut on his cheekbone, related to his “top secret” work as an evil-battling Auror.
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, a real-life bugbear that she has accused of invading her privacy and that of her family.
Skeeter observes that Harry and friends are “no longer the fresh-faced teenagers they were in their heyday” and speculates about the state of Harry’s marriage to Ginny Weasley.
She says Ron Weasley’s red hair “appears to be thinning slightly,” and notes witheringly that Harry still wears “the distinctive round glasses that some might say are better suited to a style-deficient 12-year-old.”
The story discloses that 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 teenage wizards. Rowling has long said that Deathly Hallows, would be the last Potter novel, but the new story will raise fans’ hopes.
Since 2007 the author has produced other Potter-related material, including spin-off story collection, The Tales of Beedle the Bard.
Rowling has also published a novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy, and two detective novels under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.