Fantastic ‘Harry Potter’ Companion Pieces (and Where to Find Them)

Can you feel it, everyone? Harry Potter Day is just around the corner! In just two mere days, not only will it be Harry Potter’s birthday (happy 36th, we believe) but it will also see the release of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child‘s script! Between that and the upcoming movie, there’s a lot of heat coming from the Wizarding World, and we wanted to make sure that we were completely caught up on all things HP. We’ve uncovered four side-projects and companion books you might not’ve known were in the Harry Potter canon.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Sure, you’ve heard so much about the movie (and the next movie) that it’s probably making you a little sick at this point…but what’s the book actually about again? Rowling wrote this well-referenced Hogwarts textbook, in-character as magizoologist Newt Scamander, for the charity Comic Relief. The book, purporting to be Harry Potter’s personal copy, splices together origin stories of 85 magical creatures with notes and jokes written by Harry, Ron, and Hermione in the margins. The movie, as you can probably guess, will be more of a wink at the source material than a carbon copy for the screen.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Just like Fantastic Beasts, Rowling actualized the book of children’s tales she described in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The 110-page anthology, written for The Children’s Voice charity, serves largely as a vehicle for “The Three Brothers”, which tells the full story of The Deathly Hallows. Beedle was originally supposed to be an ultra-rare collector’s item; the first ‘pressing’ was a mere seven copies, handwritten and illustrated by R-dog herself. One was auctioned off for a record £1.95 million (nearly $2.6 US), in case you were wondering.

Quidditch Through the Ages

The twin sister of Fantastic Beasts, Quidditch Through the Ages is another work written as if it were plucked out of Hogwarts’s halls and into your hands. Deviously shorter (a mere 56 pages, practically a novella), this book succinctly accomplishes what it sets out to do: explain to the uninitiated the intricacies and history of wizards’ favorite pastime. Unlike Newt Scamander, though, Rowling’s method-author counterpart in this instance (Kennilworthy Whisp) lives a far less heart-pumping life, cooking vegetarian meals and playing backgammon. Unless there’s a director with an unwavering vision to marry the Potterverse with Hoosiers, we don’t expect this title to get the silver screen treatment any time soon.

Untitled Harry Potter Prequel

This 800-word short story was also written for charity, this time in 2008 for Dyslexia Action and English PEN. Noticing a common theme here? Rowling was one of 13 authors that participated in their challenge to write a short story in the space of a greeting card. Hers tracked a supposed encounter between Sirius Black, James Potter and a bumbling pair of muggle police. You can read the entire piece here, even the ending where she notes, “From the prequel I am not working on – but that was fun!” Fun indeed, Joanne…fun indeed.


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