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A forbidden peek at young James and Sirius

J.K. Rowling's 800 word prequel to the Harry Potter story, which she wrote for charity and which sold at auction for $50,000, was posted online last month by UK bookstore Waterstone's. You can read it online or see it in J.K.'s own hand here.

In this brief glimpse of a story, James and Sirius are being chased, and run afoul of the muggle police. Who was chasing them? And does their nonchalance with the muggle police give us an insight to James' upbringing? Did he possibly have a muggle childhood like Hermione?

Read the prequel, and tell us what you think!

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Reader Comments: (Page 4)

I want another book!

Posted by al on July 17, 2008 05:52 AM

Maggie from Philadelphia: I think you may have a point, Dumbledore was a transfigurations teacher at Hogwarts and I assume he was an animagus and what would be more logical than his animal form be a phoenix?

Posted by Prongs from Athens,Greece on July 17, 2008 06:11 AM

That's what I'm saying, Prongs!

See, if it was the early stages of the first Wizard war, would Voldemort and the Eaters have known the name of Dumbledore's organized group? I can't imagine from whom he would have gotten that information -- not when Snape is such an accomplished Occlumens.

The shirts would have looked like a show of support for Dumbledore -- provided he was a phoenix Animagus, which I believe he was -- and not a direct connection to the Order (though we all know they were).

Dave, to your earlier point about Stubby Boardman and the Golden Snidgets (or Snitches), maybe they were running from parents annoyed at them for their treatment of witch groupies? :-)

Posted by Maggie from Philadelphia on July 17, 2008 09:09 AM

Further evidence of Dumbledore being an Animagus: McGonagall is a cat Animagus, and she is also the Transfiguration professor -- the position Dumbledore held when Tom Riddle was a Hogwarts student.

Posted by Maggie from Philadelphia on July 17, 2008 09:14 AM

The shirts could seem to show allegiance for Dumbledore, but I think it would only be because of the Order of the Phoenix or Fawkes, not because Dumbledore is a Phoenix Animagus.

Hermione says in the Prisoner of Azkaban that there were only seven registered Anamagi in the century. She mentioned McGonagall, but not Dumbledore. I don't think Dumbledore would be unregistered and if he was on the list Hermione would have mentioned him. Also, the Anamagi we know about (Sirius, Rita Skeeter, McGonagall etc.) can transform into ordinary animals. I know Dumbledore was extremely powerful, but would he be able to become a magical animal like a phoenix, with all its powers like healing tears and being reborn from its ashes?

Posted by Anonymous from Arizona on July 17, 2008 1:03 PM

In Half-Blood Prince at Dumbledore"s -- didn't Harry think he saw a blue Pheonix come out of the fire.

Posted by Pamela Sue from ark on July 17, 2008 3:35 PM

The topic of Dumbldore is a Phoenix Animagus has been discusses ad nausium in other threads here and elsewhere. As it turns out Dumbledore is actually , weather he was or wasn't a Phoenix Animagus is, in my opinion, a moot point since it didn't bring him back to us:(

Also, the name of the band Sirius was supposed to be the lead singer of was, "The Hobgoblins" (don't recall what page/chapter, but it was in OOTP).

Also, somone corrected somone about James playing seeker, not chaser -- you're wrong. He played chaser, it was the movies that got it wrong citing him as having played seeker -- that one is in SS and it discusses him nicking the snitch just because he thought he was cool in HBP.

I think the bird could be a griphon, making complete sense seeing as they were both Gryffindors. It could also be a snitch or a Phoenix, but there really is not enough evidence to draw a firm conclusion. I think the Griphon makes most sense, then the snitch, then the Phoenix.

If people want to refute my above rebuttles, I'll go find page numbers, but I was feeling too lazy to go look 'em up.

Posted by Tim from Mesa, AZ on July 17, 2008 11:49 PM

where does it say James played chaser and not seeker?

Posted by Anonymous on July 18, 2008 12:15 PM

Interestingly, in book one, Professor McGonagall states that Harry's father was an Excellent Quidditch player. Not sure if they ever say what position.
In OOTP, it's heavily implied that he's a seeker, as he constantly plays with the snitch and that he had nicked it. Not sure if any other player position, would be that interested in the snitch.

To Maggie in Philadelphia:
The Motorbike was always magical. Hagrid was given the bike from "Young Sirius Black"...and Harry "fell asleep as we was flyin' over Bristol"...according to Hagrid, in book one.

As for the timing, it appears to be right after their 7th year, because Lily and James started dating in their seventh year. In 1980, Harry was born [ July], when they were both a little over 20...Unlike Harry, they would have been 18 when they finished their 7th year.

Posted by scout on July 18, 2008 4:33 PM

Thanks for agreeing with me scout. James must have played seeker for a few reasons. One: in sorcerer's stone, when mcgonagall is introducing harry to wood, wood says that in addition to being able to catch, he's got the perfect build for a seeker. And as we all know, Harry looks exactly like his dad did, therefore James would have had the perfect build for a seeker as well. Two: After sirius d, Harry thought back to sirius in dog form watching him play quidditch. Harry wondered if sirius had gone to see if harry was as good as his father was, and that now he would never know. Why would Sirius compare harry's quidditch ss to his father if they played different positions? It wouldn't make any sense. And three: as stated above, James had nicked a snitch. And James was letting it go to almost out of his reach before snatching it back again with a good showing of his s. Why did james have a snitch and why was he so good at catching it and keeping it within his reach? Because he played seeker. Thank you, thank you

Posted by Anonymous on July 19, 2008 08:59 AM

In response to the Chaser/Seeker debate regarding James Potter.

Jk Rowlings own answer to the question:
Question: What position did James play on the Gryffindor Quidditch team? Was it seeker like Harry, or something different?
J.K. Rowling responds: James was Chaser.

Posted by Orlando from England on July 19, 2008 10:09 AM

We know J.K. doesn't think Quidditch is as cool as we do. It may not just be important to her, and she changed her mind, misspoke or just forgot.

Whatever J.K. has said in interviews, as far as I'm concerned, THE BOOKS are the last word, not what J.K. says exterior to them. She is not canon, only what's in the books is.

It's interesting to hear how J.K. answers these questions, but as far as I'm concerned, they're not the last word.

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles on July 19, 2008 12:32 PM

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