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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 9)

Ms. Prongs: I think the rock band thing was just for fun. But still, I'm sure Harry doesn't know everything about the marauder's school years...

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles on August 22, 2008 07:32 AM

You never know, Dave, maybe Sirius and Stubby Boardman were one and the same! Ha Ha!

Posted by Kim from Manchester on August 23, 2008 2:57 PM

ha ha, very funny kim

harry couldn't possibly know everything about the marauder's in school. as far as i'm concerned, all this about animagi and torturing snape was just the basics of it all. there has to be so much that even if harry asked, lupin wouldn't have told him. and that go for harrys kids too. they won't know a million things harry, ron, and hermione did at school. however, ms rowling definately got us thinking like she usually does. remember how we all thought snape was evil and about the locket that couldn't be broken? jk rowling knows how to get us to overlook a lot of things.

here's what i came up with after reading what everyone had to say:

1) sirius and james were 17 years old, or of age
2) the sign on the shirts is a phoenix
3) sirius and james used a simple spell (like "wingardium leviosa") to lift the car
4) the eaters could not have been in school with them. voldemort would never assign wizards who are fresh with coming of age to do his bidding and hunt down members (or wannabe members) of the order of the phoenix. he only used malfoy to dumbledore which he knew malfoy couldn't do and was only trying to punish his mother and him for the doings of his father.

its a lot i know and it only made sense today so tomorrow i probably won't get what i just said. and warner brothers kept us waiting so long to watch hbp and now its not coming out until july '09.

Posted by miss cissy from malfoy manor on August 24, 2008 3:29 PM

But, Miss Cissy, Voldemort DID use Draco beyond the plot to Dumbledore in HBP -- in DH, Draco must torture (or what people BEING tortured) those who have done wrong, in Voldemort's eyes.

I believe what Draco said (braggingly) in HBP -- Voldemort doesn't care how old a wizard or witch is, just that he/she is loyal to him. Regulus joined up quite young -- he must have been 16 or 17 at the time! -- so it's entirely possible the pursuers were close in age to Sirius and James.

What if one of the Eaters chasing them was Snape?!?

Posted by Maggie from Philadelphia on August 25, 2008 05:46 AM

i dont quite get what you're saying, maggie.

one thing i still don't get is that snape loved lilly beyond anything in the world, right? and james and lilly ended up becoming friends in school, so wouldn't it make sense if snape tried to ignore james for lilly's sake?

Posted by miss cissy from malfoy manor on August 28, 2008 7:08 PM

I believe the bird on the shirts was a pheonix, regardless of the color. In the early stages of the first war, did the eaters and Voldemort know that there was a organized society of brave witches and wizards who were ing to stand up to them? And even if they knew such a group existed, it doesn't mean they knew the name of the group. It was a SECRET society afterall. So the shirts may not be worn to wave a red flag in the face of the eaters, but as a way for members to identify themselves to one another.

Posted by Tina from long island on August 29, 2008 6:19 PM

I wish that J.K. Rowling wrote more about when Wortail told Voldemart where the Potters lived, and how Voldemart heard the prophecy, and how he went to the Potters to destroy Harry Potter

Posted by Anonymous on August 30, 2008 12:38 PM

It'd make sense if Snape ignored James, but I don't think that happened. Remember when we learn that Lily and James began to date? Even after he was with Lily, James continued to torment Snape; feelings for Lily aside, I'm sure he would have defended himself, continuing their ongoing tensions.

Posted by Maggie from Philadelphia on September 3, 2008 10:12 AM


i agree with you about how jk should have written more on wormtail telling voldemort about the potters.

however, snape heard the prophecy being made when dumbledore was interviewing trelawney and told voldemort immediately (though he regreted it with his life)

also, you'll find that on pages 342 - 345 in DH, she gives a clear description of what happened that night that james and lilly were ed and its all in voldemort's point of view.

Posted by miss cissy from malfoy manor on September 4, 2008 5:50 PM


When I was reading DH I must have not been paying attention to the pages when it gives that clear description, thank you for telling me.

Posted by Anonymous on September 6, 2008 11:11 AM

I don't think James had a muggle or part-muggle upbringing, and I think James and Sirius were either on a top secret mission for the Order or were having what their idea of a wild night was.

Posted by Lou from Mountain View, CA on September 7, 2008 11:31 AM

Miss Cissy-
Thank you for giving me a clear discription of Voldemarts eyes, but I still wish the prequel was a bit more serius. It was all fun and how the upset the muggles. I wish it had more to do with James and Lilly at school. And Serius and Wortail, and how they were a group. I wish it told the from James or Lillies point of view.
And although I should be grateful for a prequel, she should write something about dumbledore. I want to know more about him. I also want to know more about Harry's children.

Posted by Anonymous on September 14, 2008 3:50 PM

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