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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 5)

Thanks for that comment Dave -- you've cited several things that JK has said in the past that have spurred lively debate and I've always vehemently argued back that if it isn't in the book, it isn't cannon:P Not taking shots at you, just glad that you've made that statement as it cements the 'academic' nature of this site:)

As to the Seeker/Chaser debate, it very well may have been something I read by Jo outside the book that stated it. I'll go look and see if I can find an in text citation on what position he played. While Harry was the perfect build for a seeker and was nearly identical to James, this doesn't necessarily mean that he played that position -- there may have been someone more sed or he, like Harry, may have been presented an opportunity to show himself shining in a chaser's role. The snitch is, in my opinion, the Quiddich symbol, so anyone who plays quiddich is bound to have some sort of connection to the elusive little winged ball. It is the smallest and easiest to conceal, so stealing it wouldn't be all that hard, especially if it was taken from the case. Lastly, the ability to be fast enough to grab a snitch is not a guarantee that you must play that position...having a nimble hand and strong agility is important in a chaser too, is it not? James was pretty good at anything he did, so impressing Wormtail with his ability to catch it under no pressure and just a few feet away, not on a broom can't have been that difficult a task. Either way, I'm off to consult the source (I'm almost certain it says so somewhere, but again, my memory could be tainted by Jo's superfluous and often irresponsible commentary).

Posted by Tim from Mesa, AZ on July 19, 2008 6:58 PM

Well, Tim, my opinion on this changed the day we had ly Hallows in our hands. Until that time, while J.K. was technically writing, what she said in public was still relevant to what she was writing. But now that it's all done, the official policy of this site is the books belong to us, and stand as they are.

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on July 19, 2008 7:37 PM

it was only in the film that there was a plaque that stated james to have been a seeker, j.k has corrected this as james being a chaser.

Posted by sophie on July 20, 2008 06:44 AM

Good point Dave, hadn't thought of it in those terms. As I said, I mean no disrespect at all -- all of your writings have been very entertaining and convincing -- I just love to play the other side of any argument, even if I agree with the point presented:p Still looking for citations -- there many not be one at all and I do appologize for the tone of my original statement...I perhaps came off a bit rude. Just like to be accurate (and right:P). Regardless, fun discussion -- always glad when new stuff pops up.

Posted by Tim from Mesa, AZ on July 21, 2008 8:51 PM

Given the personality of Sirius and James, and their fondness for risk and "bravada", wearing a phoenix when the Order was targetted by Voldemort and the Eaters sounds quite right! I figure they were making a diversion to save another member of the Order (large Phoenix birds displayed on their chests were meant to attract the attention of the Eaters, and it worked!). Maybe they were helping the Longbottoms achieve a dangerous mission - since they also defied Voldy 3 times... (just wondering...)
Anyway, I cannot help thinking that JKR has her mind working even without thinking on this events, as well as on Albus Potter... she does not want to be rushed or give false hopes, but her mind has been creating all this world and characters for 17 years, and I don't think it stop that easily to work on it... We see! (fingers crossed here)

Posted by Cecil from Tacoma, WA on July 22, 2008 11:25 PM

If, as people say, phoenixs only come is red, why would it be odd for them to have a golden Phoenix on their shirt as a mix of OOTP and Gryffindor House? Did it say what the back ground of the shirt was? Was it red?

Posted by Bela from US on July 24, 2008 08:00 AM

I think that James grew up in a family like the weasleys where they were like in love with muggles but were wizards.

Posted by Miss Cissy from Malfoy Manor on July 24, 2008 7:10 PM

With regards to James and Sirius involvement with muggles,
Sirius had pictures of muggle women on his bedroom wall (DH) which I would suggest proves the point that they where indeed 'interested' in non witches and wizards

Posted by Danzey from Midlands UK on July 25, 2008 04:28 AM

Miss Cissy, I think the Weasleys didn't know that much about the world of Muggles and their habits; Ron, for example, didn't really know how to use a telephone - well, he could ring up the Dursleys but wasn't aware that there was no need for shouting. Mr Weasley was curious about the Muggle way of life, but Mrs Weasley didn't approve too much... I should imagine James' parents were really well educated and probably travelled a good deal as they were well off - and they could afford exploring the magical world as well as the Muggles'.

Posted by Siena from Nottingham, UK on July 25, 2008 10:10 AM

The sign on the shirts. Was it a phoenix or a snitch? They couldn't have actually been in the Order, could they? Unless they were of age...

Posted by Miss Cissy from Malfoy Manor on July 25, 2008 11:43 AM

That's the problem, we don't know! What do you guess, based on what we know from the books? (I think it's a phoenix...)

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on July 25, 2008 11:58 AM

that was really great jk! i wanted to keep reading....but there was no more to read! but who is abigail?

Posted by victoria on July 25, 2008 1:13 PM

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