A 'Harry Potter' Fan's Open Letter To J.K. Rowling On Why We Need A Marauders Sequel Before We Die
Dear Queen Joanne Rowling,
I have very few bones to pick with you. Sure, you did not accept the self-insert Harry Potter fic I wrote at 11 as canon and instead let Jack Thorne write Harry Potter and the Cursed Child , but it's been 14 years, and I, the secret twin sister of Harry James Potter who is also sickkkk at magic (like, even better than him, some might say!) have forgiven you for that transgression. Mostly because I have a favor to ask of you, and it's a pretty big one.
First and foremost, thanks for 2016. It's been a straight up garbage fire year, minus the release of the ~eighth Harry Potter book~ and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, plus all the sweet quizzes and stories that hit Pottermore. That was a real bro move on your part, and I don't want to seem ungrateful in the slightest. But there is one thing I want — nay, one thing I need. A thing I have needed since approximately Sept. 15, 1999, when eight-year-old me finished Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and still need to this day of 25 and a half-ish years of living.
J.K. Rowling, I need me a Marauders prequel.
Honestly, I'll take anything. I'll take a two minute skit on how James and Lily fell in love. I'll take an interpretive dance about Peter Pettigrew's betrayal. I'll take a poem about one time Sirius and Remus fist-bumped from the perspective of the Whomping Willow. I will take the notes of the Hogwarts therapist that Minerva McGonagall had to see to deal with the Marauders all those years. I will take half of a page from Lily Evans' friend's roommate's diary in French that was stepped on by a stampede of centaurs.
I am a cactus in a desert, a dog without a bone: I. Will. Take. Anything.
But since you asked (or I'm pretending you did), here's my dream: I want either a 1,000 epic page novel, or an eight season television show optioned for Netflix that follows them through every year and finally ends where Harry's story begins. I get that you're busy and have four more Fantastic Beasts movies to write on top of who even knows what else, but I'm taking a "go big or go home" stance on this, so here we are, my friend/fairy godmother/shaper of my childhood and most of my adult world views.
And in case my single, desperate plea is not enough to convince you of the mighty need for this work, then maybe these outlined points below will! Here's why we need a Marauders prequel ... well, yesterday.
I Personally Have A Huge Crush On ... Well, All Of Them
Young James. YOUNG LILY. YOUNG SIRIUS!!! YOUNG!! REMUS!!!!
I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm in a professional environment and I shouldn't even be thinking about this, let alone typing it in this otherwise totally legit, not at all self-serving open letter. Ahem. Moving on.
We Have So Many Questions That Were Left Open That Only A Narrative From You Can Address
For starters: How exactly did Lily fall for James after hating him for years? When did they all find out Remus was a werewolf? Now that we know how Animagi are made, how did the boys all get 'er done? What the heck happened to James' and Lily's parents? At what point did Peter start to ~turn~?
We have approximately 86,000 questions, but I'll pause myself on that to focus instead on all the themes you could explore: the angst of Sirius getting kicked out of his parents' house; the legacy of the Potters; young Petunia, jealous and bitter as Lily hogs the witchy limelight; Remus being adorably nerdy and melting hearts all over Hogwarts, while breaking readers' hearts with his lack of self-esteem; Peter wrestling with his conscience as he is lured by Death Eaters; James slowly but surely getting the sense knocked into him as he betters himself; Snape trying to reconcile his thirst for power with his love for someone who is against everything he believes in; the miles and miles of backstory for Regulus you must have in the back of your head, itching to be shared. The angst! The romance! The sweeping drama of war times and impossible decisions and oh, yeah, a marriage and a baby before the age of 20!
In the words of the teens, J.K., it's A Lot. And I haven't gone on the seven paragraph rant I could go on about how SICK the '70s Muggle fashion at Hogwarts would be. (Another day, Joanne, another day.)
The Thirst For This Is So Aggressive We Have Made Thousands Of Prequels Of Our Own
I know you probably aren't web-surfing on Fanfiction.net, AO3, or any number of the forums where the fic writers are lurking, but we're still here, J.K. We're penning Marauders fic, we're aggressively reading each other's, and we're making infinite fan art and mood boards on Tumblr. Some of us even adulted this real hard and have funded and filmed our own Marauders prequels. Yeah, you read that right. Prequels, plural . (Incidentally, has anyone ever told you your fan base is super nerdy?)
All of this is to say — we are so desperate that we are using up the few free hours we have in our work weeks, our precious dollars we could be using to buy Chipotle, and putting our hearts out on the (on)line for this. The need is so burning that we will clearly stop at nothing to make it happen. (I mean, look at me. I'm at work and writing a 1500 word letter to you. At my actual, literal job. 'Sup.)
We Have Literally Fancast The Whole Thing For You, So That's Taken Care Of (You're Welcome)
As it stands right now, I'm pretty sure we have come to a somewhat universal consensus on Tumblr that Aaron Taylor Johnson is James, Ben Barnes is Sirius, Andrew Garfield is Remus, Jamie Bell is Peter, and Karen Gillan is Lily. Yeah, they're all too old to do something set in Hogwarts now, but that right there only goes to show just how desperate we are for this prequel — we've wanted it so long that our original fan cast has outgrown it by a DECADE.
So no, we are not ~dead set~ on any particular casting — our young Snape may not have even been cast in his fifth grade play yet! — but we are clearly very, very determined to make this happen, so much so that I watch Prince Caspian and wonder why Sirius Black is running a kingdom in his spare time.
Yes, We Know The "Ending" — But That Won't Affect Reader Interest
The only pushback I could understand going into this is the idea that knowing the ending might take away from the story. But when you consider that Romeo and Juliet, the most famous tragedy of them all, has been adapted more times than there are spiders in Aragog's brood, it's clear that there are exceptions to that — and undoubtedly, this is a huge one.
Because yes, the ending is "spoiled". But we know so, so very little about all the in-between. There is so much room for subplots and little known characters and even richer context into why and how these characters did the things that they did, and how it shaped the generation of Potter characters we grew up with.
I know the whole story is in your head already. Not a single thing happens in the Potter universe without you first thinking of its centuries-long history and tucking it away into that beautiful brain of yours. And you've seen the way we all wigged out at Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts . If you were wondering about your fandom and whether they'd still be here After All This Time, the answer is Always. And in that regard, we will always, always want that Marauders prequel we have begged for time and time again.
Anyway, I won't take up any more of your time; I'm sure you and Eddie Redmayne are busy chilling on the Ilvermorny campus or chasing a Niffler through Paris. I appreciate your consideration, and nerdily await your reply — because be it tomorrow or 25 years from now, I will be ready.
Forever yours, and from the bottom of my Hufflepuff heart,
25-year-old adult human No-Maj, Emma Lord/still the secret twin of Harry Potter who is BFFs with Hermione and also really good at Quidditch and low key dating Oliver Wood (but shhhh).
Images: Warner Bros; Giphy