| |


This is a guest post by Imogen.

J.K Rowling Confirms Harry Potter Encyclopedia is Underway – Will Your Questions be Answered?
J.K Rowling has delighted fans this week by confirming that there will be another Harry Potter related book. Despite the release of her first adult novel this September, it seems that the best selling author isn’t ready to leave the wizarding world behind her just yet, as she informed fans that she is currently working on a Harry Potter encyclopedia. Taking to the FAQ section of her website, Rowling said: “for a long time I have been promising an encyclopedia of Harry's world, and I have started work on this now – some of it forms the new content in Pottermore. It is likely to be a time-consuming job, but when finished I shall donate all royalties to charity." 

Four years ago, Rowling took a small American publishing company to court over their plans to publish Harry Potter Lexicon – an unofficial, online A-Z guide of all things Harry Potter. Rowling claimed that this was ‘theft of her work’ and won the case. So news that she is now planning to create her own, official manual has been greatly welcomed, with one fan tweeting ‘Happiness x10000, it’s like Potterhead Christmas!’
No further details about the content of the encylopedia have been revealed yet, but fans are speculating that it will be a guide to the creatures, customs and characters of Harry’s magical world that will hopefully answer some of the questions that were left open at the end of the final novel. Some of these questions may include:

What was the baby Harry saw in his ‘dream’ after being killed by Voldermort in book 7?
It is widely accepted that the crying, baby-like creature that Harry and Dumbledore see during the Kings Cross ‘dream’ chapter is the part of Voldermort’s soul that had lived within Harry. Rowling tells us that Harry was the horcrux that ‘Voldermort never intended to create’ and by using the killing curse against him, Voldermort unintentionally killed that part of himself. However this was never fully explained in the book and when Harry asks Dumbledore what the creature is, his only response is ‘it is beyond our help.’

Why doesn’t Harry ever use the killing curse in battles?
The answer to this could be deceptively simple – Harry is a good person and therefore will only ever seek to disarm, not kill. However some fans have questioned the logic behind this, especially when Harry is up against Voldermort – the person who killed his parents and has been responsible for so much evil work.

What happened to the Dursleys?
At the beginning of book 7 there is a poignant moment when Harry and Dudley say goodbye that suggests that while the two may never be great friends, they are not parting as enemies. The last we hear about the Dursleys is that they have gone into hiding and are being protected by Aurors. However we never find out if Voldermort caught up with them or if Harry ever had any contact with them again.

What is beyond the veil that Sirius falls through in book 5?
It is no secret that the veil and archway that Sirius falls through represent death. Some fans have referred to it as a ‘portal to the other side’ which seems plausible when you consider that Harry hears voices and has ‘the strangest feeling that there was somebody standing right behind the veil.’ The theory is that when you pass through the veil you die, and, as Luna suggests, the voices that can be heard are the voices of the dead who are just ‘lurking out of sight’. However the presence of such an important portal throws up a lot of questions, especially when one of the best loved characters is lost beyond it. Why does it exist within a room in the Ministry of Magic? Do all wizards that die go beyond the veil? What about ghosts? And perhaps most importantly, did Bellatrix’s curse kill Sirius or did he die because he fell through the veil?

Were the Malfoys ever punished?
Before Voldermort’s return, any witch or wizard who had previously been associated with him was put in Azkaban. Despite their late realisation that their family was more important than their allegiance to the dark lord, the Malfoys were well known Death Eaters in the last few novels. Therefore many readers have questioned if they were punished. At the end of book 7, Harry sees Draco at Platform 9 and three quarters where he gives him a ‘curt nod and turns away’. This suggests that Draco at least was spared from going to Azkaban, but what about his villainous father Lucius? Were they ever accepted again by the wizarding world?

Despite her original claims that the final book would tie up all of the loose ends of the series, it seems that there are still a lot of unanswered questions for fans. Harry Potter is a character and a story that has had no problem engraving itself into the hearts and minds of those who have followed it, so it would be nice for some of the unfinished business to be dealt with in the upcoming encyclopedia.