Search Beyond Hogwarts:
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 6)
Regarding Abigail, Victoria is referring to the SECOND page that can be found at the link above. The poster of JK's prequel also posted what they thought the next chapter after that might be, I suppose this would fall under the "fan fiction" category.
In the fan fiction we're talking about, Abigail is a new invented character, and from the author's description is Sirius' girlfriend. We know James had a girlfriend, so I guess the author felt teeange Sirius deserved one, too.
Unfortunately, one can only imagine what happened to Abigail in the intervening time between then and when the Harry Potter books start, and why we don't see her now. A sad casualty of the first war with Voldemort?
Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on July 25, 2008 1:27 PM
I think that at the time of this prequel James and Sirius were of age and fighting Voldemort, therefore the bird on their shirts could of been a phoenix, showing that they were part of the Order.
If they were not of age I think the shirts could still be showing their allegiance to the Order. Maybe they were like Fred and George in OotP. They knew about the society fighting Voldemort and wanted to join the Order, but were told they were not old enough yet. They could have decided to make the shirts anyway to show support for Dumbledore and his cause.
Posted by Anonymous from Arizona on July 25, 2008 4:07 PM
oh so many questions this brings up.
1. what the heck is this bird? The bird cannot be a Phoenix because phoenix's are red,however it could be symbolizing a snitch!
2.The order dosnt recruit underaged wizards but they only they only need be 17 in the wizarding world to be conciderd adults so they must have been right out of Hogwarts at least a year or so 17 to 19.
3.We dont know to much about Harry's grand parents!
and so many more questions
Posted by Ally from Omaha nebraska on July 27, 2008 9:01 PM
Personally, I think it was a dumb idea to make Tshirts because if they really were still at school, then they would have Eaters-to-be all around them and they easily could have been ambushed. But in school they wore cloaks. However, if they weren't in school, it would have been a bit more safer i think.
Posted by Miss Cissy from Malfoy Manor on July 28, 2008 09:28 AM
James and Sirius could have been 17 and of age, but still not allowed in the Order because they hadn't left school. James's birthday was March 27, so he would have turned 17 during his sixth year at Hogwarts. Maybe Sirius did too. The prequel could have been taking place in the summer between their sixth and seventh years.
James and Sirius would not have had the opputunity to wear their t-shirts at school, but even if they had I don't think they would have had to worry about students who would become eaters. I think they openly showed they were against the dark arts, so students would know about them anyway.
I might be wrong, but isn't Fawkes's plumage descibed as red and gold in one of the books? I don't remember where, but I still think the bird on the shirts is a phoenix.
Posted by Anonymous from Arizona on July 28, 2008 1:51 PM
Remember, "T-shirts emblazoned with a large golden bird" is the muggle policeman's description. I think it is unlikely that a muggle would identify a snitch as a "bird", I think he would more likely say something like "golf-ball with wings".
Gryffindor colors are red and gold, it's not a stretch to believe they thought the golden phoenix would be doubly-symbolic, combining Dumbldore's phoenix symbol with the gold of the Gyrffindor lion...
Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on July 28, 2008 2:21 PM
As anonymous from Arizona points out, Fawkes is described as a red- and golden bird.
COS, chapter 17 (the heir of slytherin), page 338:
A crimson bird the size of a swam had appeared, piping its music to the vaulted ceiling. It had a clittering golden tail as long as a pea's and gleaming golden talons, which were gripping a ragged bundle.
So, we must conclude that a phoenix has both red and golden feathers. And we all know that it's not unusuall to pick only one of these colours if you want to make a simple drawing.
Another point, the phoenix on the frontcover of the adult edition of OOTP is a golden bird.
Personaly, I don't see why James and Sirius would have a Snitch on their shirts. I imediately thought about the phoenix when I read it.
Posted by Deep Purple from The Netherlands on July 29, 2008 09:08 AM
I think we can safely say the consensus here is that it is a phoenix.
So now, that being said, let's try to come to consensus as to what the t-shirts mean.
1. The boys are not yet in the Order of the Phoenix but want to be
2. The boys are in the Order and are proud of it, daring the eaters to come after them
3. The boys have formed their own group to fight the eaters, the symbol of the group is the golden phoenix, in honor of Dumbledore and Gryffindor.
Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on July 29, 2008 09:37 AM
I'd like to think they were in the Order -- J.K. makes a point of saying they're in their "late teens," which I assume means 18 or 19 (or else she would have commented about not yet coming of age, or just having done so) -- and being bold and brash as they were in their Hogwarts days.
However, Dave, it's fun to entertain the notion of your #3; sort of a precursor to Harry's D.A., you know?
Posted by Maggie from Philadelphia, PA on July 29, 2008 10:07 AM
I think whether in order or not, James and Sirius must have said "Voldemort", bringing eaters to their pursue as the name must have been jinxed for quite some time during first war.
Posted by swati from India on July 29, 2008 10:11 PM
After my first read thru, I too thought the golden bird to be a phoenix. I can't see why it would be a snitch, not just agreeing with what someone posted about how JK would have made the police describe it as 'a golfball with wings';I can understand why James would wear a shirt with a snitch on it, but why would Sirius? I also think two teenage boys (albeit older teens) wearing matching snitch shirts would think it rather fruity to do so. I guess it'd be easy to rationalize that maybe the golden bird could possibly be the symbol for a obscure professional quidditch team they both support, being that there are many, but I believe that to be unlikely as well.
Wearing a phoenix on their shirt, however, surely fits their bravado. I do believe that at this time they were already in the OOTP and that they were in fact fleeing from -Eaters (not the ministry, the ministry wouldn't fly brooms thru a muggle city in pursuit of wizards who weren't themselves flying, they may chase in ministry vehicles though) and that the police just happened to spot them speeding (away from said Eaters) and joined in the pursuit. It wasn't until after they legally broke the decree of secrecy defending themselves that they flew away, at this point it matters little because Obliviators arlready have to deal with the 'please-men'.
Wearing matching shirts which signify an alliance of good versus an open evil, which would surely draw the contempt of that open evil, is something I can surely see these guys doing. I just can't see them wearing matching snitch shirts, not at that age, could you imagine the teasing? "Are you two getting married, then?" But wearing shirts of something prideful, scorning your evil enemies, this I could see them doing.
And just because the birds are golden and not crimson or two-toned doesn't mean they're not phoenix's either, I've got an American Eagle shirt with a bright red horse's head on it, and the Chicago Cubs' bear is blue...I've never seen a blue bear before. I don't know, I guess to me, after all i've put down here, it's just plainly obvious it's a phoenix...but I reckon I could be wrong.
Posted by John from Chicago, IL on July 30, 2008 04:37 AM
It is obvious that it was a pheonix because as someone previously said
Posted by Anonymous from georgia on July 30, 2008 11:04 AM
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