Warner Bros. Entertainment Everett Collection
Whether you loved the way it neatly wrapped things up or hated the cheesy fairy tale ending it gave the series, the epilogue to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has been, for the most part, the only real glimpse that fans got at the lives of Harry, Ron, and Hermione after their time at Hogwarts concluded. Though many have been able to get their fix of the Wizarding World through the snippets that J.K. Rowling has posted on Pottermore, she's been silent on the fate of the Golden Trio and the rest of Dumbledore's Army... until Tuesday morning, that is. In honor of the Quidditch World Cup — which conveniently coincides with the muggle world's World Cup — the author has released a series of short stories and mock articles about the game, its history, and now its famous spectators.
But while the always reliable Rita Skeeter has filled us in on what Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny have been up to in the years since school (working as an Auror, helping George run Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, working up the ranks in the Ministry, and becoming a Quidditch reporter, respectively), there are still so many more characters whose fates were not addressed. In fact, Rita's article brings up more questions than answers, since everything it reveals leaves us wanting to know more about the Wizarding World. On the off chance that Rowling is looking for inspiration for another Pottermore update, we'd recommend she start by tackling some of these burning questions:
Where’s Draco Malfoy? We don’t expect Draco to be hanging out with Dumbledore’s Army any more now than he did when they were all at Hogwarts, but does Rowling really expect us to believe that he would pass up any opportunity to swan around a VIP area and brag about his success, real or exaggerated? Surely, if everyone were gathering at the World Cup, he would be there, flanked by Crabbe and Goyle and ready to start a fight, just as he always was. Draco Malfoy never shies away from a potential spotlight.
Did Lee Jordan Ever Make It as a Quidditch Announcer? Perhaps the greatest sports announcers – real or fictional – of all time, Lee Jordan had a gift for adding color and sass to even the most boring of calls, and even if Professor McGonagall didn’t appreciate his admittedly biased reporting, readers certainly did. It’s hard to imagine a career that suits the Weasley twins’ former partner-in-crime better.
How Does Rita Have Trouble Telling the Weasley Boys Apart? They might all have red hair, freckles and hand-me-down clothes, but all of the Weasley boys are distinct entities, and if she’s already got Ron and Bill down, it shouldn’t be too difficult for her to figure out the other three. Here’s a cheat sheet: if he looks self-important, slightly nerdy, and wears glasses, it’s Percy; if he’s ruggedly handsome and desert-worn, it’s Charlie, and if he has one ear, is constantly joking around and seems like there should be another one of him standing right there, it’s George.
Has Luna Mellowed Out Since School? Rita seems intrigued by Luna’s World Cup outfit, but we’re a little disappointed by it. What happened to the elaborate roaring lion’s head she broke out for a Gryffindor vs. Slytherin match in the sixth book? Where are her radish earrings or her Spectrespecs or her colorful shoes? This is the tamest Luna costume we’ve seen, and it makes us a bit worried that she’s lost some of her unique, spacey edge.
What Did Hannah Abbott Do Before She Married Neville? The epilogue revealed a bit about what the other potential Boy Who Lived has been up to since school has ended, but we know next to nothing about the new Mrs. Longbottom. What were her school years like? What did she get her OWLs in? How did she and Neville meet and fall in love? How long have they been married? What did she do for work before deciding to become a Healer and move to Hogwarts with Neville? Forget the Marauders; we want to hear a lot more about Neville and Hannah.
Warner Bros. Entertainment Everett Collection
Where’s Angelina Johnson? There’s no way that the former Gryffindor Captain would let her husband George Weasley attend the Quidditch World Cup without her. After all, this is the one person who was as obsessed with the sport as Oliver Wood, who captained the team with a drive and determination that would have made even her predecessor request a day off. The only possibly explanation, therefore, is that she’s a Chaser on the English National Team and was getting ready for the match at the time Rita observed her friends.
Is Hagrid Still Working at Hogwarts? That mention of Neville and Hannah hoping to move to the school’s grounds reminded us of the only non-dormitory living quarters we’ve seen: Hagrid’s hut. So, naturally, we’re curious as to what the Wizarding World’s foremost foster parent to dangerous animals is up to now. Is he still working as the Keeper of the Keys and Grounds? Did he and Madame Maxime ever manage to work things out? Did he ever get his pet dragon? For the sake of everyone else on the Hogwarts grounds, we’re hoping the answer to that last one is still “no.”
Is Professor McGonagall Still Headmaster? She was, after all, the natural successor to Dumbledore. And more importantly, is she still the toughest, kindest, smartest, most sensible and admirable woman in the Wizarding World? Actually, we can just answer that one ourselves. She definitely is.
Who’s the Current Minister of Magic? We know that the Department of Magical Transportation falls under Percy’s jurisdiction, and that Hermione is, as expected, quickly working her way up the ranks at the Ministry, and is currently the Deputy Head of Magical Law Enforcement. But what we don’t know is who Hermione would potentially be outsing as Minister of Magic, should she ascend to the position. Last we heard, it was Kingsley Shacklebolt, but knowing the Wizarding World as well as we do, it’s entirely possible that power has changed hands since then.
Who Is Still Hiring Rita Skeeter as a Writer? Was the Daily Prophet so desperate for subscriptions that they kept her on? Or does the Wizarding World have its own version of TMZ, where Rita can write and publish all of the gossip her QuickQuotesQuill can possibly come up with? Is there a publication out there that could keep up with the sheer number of slander lawsuits she’s probably had filed against her?
Charlie Weasley Is Basically the Wizarding World’s Equivalent of George Clooney, Right? Handsome bachelor, more focused on his glamorous job than his love life, unlikely to settle down any time soon, but making people swoon everywhere he goes? All Charlie needs is a villa in Italy, and they’d be the exact same person.
When Ben (Sean Biggerstaff) breaks up with Suzy (Michelle Ryan) he develops a sort of superpower: He can freeze time. He also develops chronic insomnia. Nevertheless Ben takes a job at a supermarket and meets an attractive checker Sharon (Emilia Fox) as well as other clerks who play games to keep themselves amused. Ben’s trick for passing the time is freezing time and stripping women to admire their bodies but not in a sleazy way. He gives those who deserve their comeuppances a healthy kick as well. Cashback follows boy-meets-girl patterns but rather than rely on a high concept it turns out that even this super power isn’t enough to resolve even a simple misunderstanding. The story explores these possibilities with a fascinating and simple device as we learn about Ben’s character through his exploration of frozen time. Biggerstaff (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) is a perfect leading man. He’s not the adorable bumbling Brit or the lifeless stuffy type; he’s just a modest kid with a deep appreciation and love for women. He may be better at expressing this in his own time than in real time but Biggerstaff imbues Ben with enough intelligence and strength that we completely understand him. We absolutely never think he’s evil for undressing women. Meanwhile Fox (Keeping Mum) is a dream girl. Never dolled up or oh-so-cute her Sharon is just an exasperated working girl who wants to find her dream man. She’s a real person working her way through life and when she faces the slightest disappointments you want to give her a great big hug. Ryan (TV’s new Bionic Woman) is the ultimate manipulative bitch. She is so angry at the world you know it’s better for Ben to be alone. When she tries to come back into his life however she’s not the overt villain. She’s more about how a person can try to weasel their way back into their exes’ lives. The other characters play more caricatures but still relatable. The goofy stock boys the stodgy boss and others fill in the cast like a Kevin Smith movie. Cashback is an example of how unique an independent film can be. In a studio’s hands this would be Clockstoppers with a bad-guy caper. Instead we get a brilliant masterpiece from first-time director Sean Ellis fully fleshed out from his acclaimed short. The director lets the story tell itself rather than using tricks and stunts and finds clever ways to play with the time freezing for laughs. Still the film never takes itself too seriously. For their part the frozen-time sequences are just magical with little to no CGI. The actors are mostly standing completely still on their own accord. You might catch someone waver but you totally suspend disbelief because there are no frills. There are also wonderful transitions between time as Ben’s past and present bleed seamlessly and artistically into one another. Most importantly the voyeuristic moments with the unclothed women are some of the classiest and sexiest on screen. Ellis films women in the most flattering light always admiringly never exploiting. Cashback is expert filmmaking pure and simple.