There is no better time than October 31 to resurrect one of Harry Potter's most malicious villains. On Friday, J.K. Rowling announced she's publishing a new Dolores Umbridge Pottermore story on Halloween. The story will center on Umbridge's early life, according to a statement on Pottermore:
The new exclusive J.K. Rowling content provides a rich, 1,500-word back story about Umbridge’s life filled with many new details, as well as Rowling’s revealing first-person thoughts and reflections about the character.
Ministry of Magic Undersecretary and Hogwarts professor in Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor Umbridge is notorious in the Harry Potter universe for permanently scarring Harry — the only one to ever do so aside from ultimate "big bad" himself, Lord Voldemort, aka He Who Must Not Be Named. Using a Blood Quill, Harry scarred himself with the phrase "I must not tell lies." The movie scene of Harry's detention with Professor Umbridge, played chillingly by Imelda Staunton, made it into the top 50 greatest Harry Potter moments.
Rowling has called Professor Umbridge a "nasty piece of work," and she first appeared in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, when Harry walked into his classroom:
When they entered the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom they found Professor Umbridge already seated at the teacher’s desk, wearing the fluffy pink cardigan of the night before and the black velvet bow on top of her head. Harry was again reminded forcibly of a large fly perched unwisely on top of an even larger toad
Not much is known about Professor Umbridge's childhood. What we know basically boils down to two major things:
- She purchased her wand at Diagon Alley when she was 11, and it was a short wand. (Harry Potter fans know this is important: Abnormally short wands go to those whose moral character is stunted.)
- She attended Hogwarts, and she was sorted into Slytherin.
So Rowling has picked the absolutely perfect character to update us on for the spooky holiday. There's so much room for new — and probably super creepy — information.
Pottermore, for all you Muggles out there, is an interactive website set up by Rowling to delve into some lesser-known and untold stories of the Harry Potter universe. It also has a social and community element, along with games and quizzes (i.e. Which Hogwarts House Would You Be Sorted Into?) to satisfy any Potterhead's cravings.