J.K. Rowling's New 'Potter' Story is Surprising

After finishing up the Harry Potter series back in 2007, J.K. Rowling took a well-deserved break; for a few years, little was known about the author's plans, what she had in store for a post-Potter future. Then, in 2012, everything changed; The Casual Vacancy was published, The Cuckoo's Calling was written, and Pottermore, her interactive website, began to pick up steam. And two years later, it's hard to imagine that the author ever took time off — between the Fantastic Beasts movie, the Cuckoo sequel, and the new Harry Potter stories, including one about Celestina Warbeck that Rowling released on Monday, the author is as busy as she was back in the days of broomsticks and boy wizards.

Back in March, Rowling revealed a new Potter article on the history of Quidditch, and in July, fans rejoiced at a World Cup-set story featuring Harry, Ron, Hermione and the rest of the series' favorites as adults. Now, the author has released a biography of Warbeck, a minor Potter character known as "the Singing Sorceress" for her popularity among music-loving witches and wizards. In the post, Rowling calls Warbeck one of her favorite "off-stage characters in the Harry Potter series," and honors her unique qualities, including her "extraordinary voice" and her "ability to drown out a chorus of banshees." It's a fun post that's sure to please all Potter fans, especially those who, like Rowling, take special pleasure in learning about the wizarding world's lesser-known individuals.

It's also wonderful to see the author doing the Potter writing she genuinely wants, instead of simply pumping out mini-sequels or fan-craved updates like many would expect. The pieces she's writing seem to be the ones she truly enjoys, regardless of readers' expectations or publisher's wishes. Commenting in the voice of Rita Skeeter, telling tales about Celestina Warbeck — the new Potter stories by Rowling may not be the ones fans would've predicted, but they're the ones the author clearly wanted to write more than anything else.

And, of course, they're tremendous fun to read. Sure, it would be nice to get more information on Hermione's work on the welfare of house-elves or learn about Albus Severus' bullying at school for that god-awful name, but the pieces fans have gotten are funny, creative, and satisfying all the same. And, hopefully, if Rowling's going to continue to produce the kind of work she's been doing lately, her next few contributions will shine a light on other lesser-known Potter characters begging for their own stories. The marriage woes of Percy and Penelope? Arabella Figg's life in Little Whinging? Oliver Wood's adventures on Puddlemere United? Readers would clamor for information on these beloved characters, and it'd be a treat for fans if Rowling decided to feature them or similarly-adored others in her next few stories.

But really, whatever Rowling writes, Potter fans will read. She could write out the items on Ron and Hermione's grocery list and readers would collapse from excitement. Whether it's an update on Harry or a biography of Molly Weasley's third cousin, there isn't a Potter fan out there who wouldn't want to read it, and thankfully, Rowling seems to be on a roll of releasing story after story that make both her and her fans very, very happy.