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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 2)

Throwing a car in the pathway of wizards on broom would undoubtedly be painful for those crashing into the vehicle -- evidence, in my opinion, that the chasers were Dark, and not ministry, people. (James and Sirius liked a good joke, but NEVER -- think of Snape and the pathway under the Whomping Willow -- did bodily harm to someone for a laugh.)

I also think that, when being charged at as James and Sirius were, something more serious than Wingardium Leviosa -- maybe Oppugno, used to great effect by Hermione on Ron in HBP? -- was what tossed the car at the Eaters.

Posted by Maggie from Philadelphia on July 14, 2008 11:12 AM

Speaking of James's upbringing, I wonder how old his parents were went they d -- and if their s were from natural causes or something/someone Dark -- because James was awfully young when he married...perhaps following his parents' example?

If his parents had had him at the age he and Lily had Harry, they would have only been in their early 40s when Lily and James were ed, which makes me think they were ed by Voldemort or his Eaters. A pure-blood family that didn't ascribe to wizarding community purification wouldn't have been looked upon too favorably by Voldemort and his army.

Posted by Maggie from Philadelphia on July 14, 2008 11:27 AM

Dave Haber:
I have no doubt that those people were Eaters, now that I read it again. Who else would Sirius and James try to crush with a car? But the only thing I'm still wondering is where does it say that there are 3 people on broomsticks?

Posted by Shannon from Missouri on July 14, 2008 12:57 PM

It doesn't actually say three. It says "Those men were flying". But then later it says, "flump -- bump -- crunch -- they heard the men on broomsticks slam into the upended car".

Flump, bump, crunch. Three broomstick flyers crash into the car.

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on July 14, 2008 1:09 PM

to all the people wondering whether the 1st war going on during this prequal - yes it is. in the princes tale chapter in ly hallows Lily tells Snape that she knows that he wants to be a eater when he leaves hogwarts, which implies that war had started and i guess it had been going on for a few years as Lily knew about Eaters, which would mean that they were actually out in the open and committing crimes, because before the war properly started Voldemort - in dumbledores words - "acted alone and was friendless"

as for the fact that james and sirius are being chased by muggle police i think that at this point they had already left school and were used to getting into trouble anyway and knew that they could possibly have used a memory charm on them to wipe their memories of the incident

Posted by carl from birmingham, england on July 14, 2008 1:46 PM

In J.K.'s writing, it looks to me as though it says three men on bromsticks, not those men on broomsticks.

I do agree James and Sirius would not crush ministry officials with a car. Those men were probably Eaters.

Posted by Anonymous from Arizona on July 14, 2008 3:09 PM

Oops! You're right, I looked at the originals again, it is "Three" and not "Those".

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on July 14, 2008 3:31 PM

So, J.K. is full of it -- she is sooooo writing the sequel. She can't leave it that she has put pen to paper and let people know she is, denying it is an obvious ruse.

My guess is that it is a snitch on the shirt and that James and Sirius are not long out of Hogwarts and that the war is on. The three men are probably eaters. Lets remember that James thrice defied Voldemort, perhaps this is part of one of those three events or, at least, a precursor thereto.

I hope she is actually working on the book -- i've always said I disapprove of her 'adding to the cannon' without making it official...i.e. stop giving us little snippets and expecting us to take them on fact and yet not be in published work.

Posted by Tim from Mesa, AZ on July 14, 2008 10:39 PM

This was wild! I hope she writes a sequel. I also think that the golden bird was really a snitch. I hope she writes another book!

Posted by Ray from Detriot on July 15, 2008 08:26 AM

James played Chaser, though, for Gryffindor, so why would the t-shirt graphic be a snitch? Rapid Quidditch fans? No, to me it seems more likely now that it was a phoenix.

And yes, I agree with the previous comments about this sequel -- the story from the childhood of Lily, James, Sirius, et al. through the s of Lily and James is the one in which I'M most interested!

Posted by Maggie from Philadelphia on July 15, 2008 09:03 AM

It doesn't surprise me that James and Sirius are seemingly comfortable with the Muggle police - I could just imagine the pair of them on Sirius's bike trying to wind up the local constabulary. Also - a bike is a relatively muggle mode of transport (flying or not!), which suggests Sirius must have had an interest in the Muggle world - perhaps just to wind his parents up, and therefore possibly explaining his knowledge of the police.
The t-shirts could just be in reference to a band - whoever was the group of the moment in the wizarding world.

Posted by Orlando from England on July 15, 2008 11:36 AM

I don't think the T-shirts were for a musical group (Wizarding or otherwise) because that's what JK says the muggles thought they were, and she wouldn't have said that if they weren't wrong.

UNLESS! What if the marauders had started their OWN Wizard Rock band?! Sirius Black and the Golden Phoenixes!

Maybe Sirius WAS Stubby Boardman after all!

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on July 15, 2008 11:42 AM

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