Book #47

Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship, and Dangerous Hobbies by JK Rowling

These stories of heroism, hardship and dangerous hobbies profile two of the Harry Potter stories’ most courageous and iconic characters: Minerva McGonagall and Remus Lupin. J.K. Rowling also gives us a peek behind the closed curtains of Sybill Trelawney’s life, and you’ll encounter the reckless, magical-beast-loving Silvanus Kettleburn along the way.

I cannot get enough of the bloody wizarding world.

This short collection of stories from Rowling delves into the lives of two of my favourites - McGonagall and Lupin - alongside those of Trelawney and Kettleburn. I greedily devoured the childhoods, loves, and family lives of the former two; both of them had such heartbreak and darkness surrounding them. Going into this already emotionally invested in both of them, it was a really sad, but important, read.

McGonagall's choice between locking away either her wand or her love for a Muggle farm boy was woefully tragic. I loved seeing this side of her. Despite loving her fierce yet composed manner, and her strict but loving teaching methods, seeing a reckless, besotted McGonagall only made her ultimate decision all the more heart wrenching. To then see this episode in her life cement her close friendship with Dumbledore after an evening's spilling of hearts, well didn't my heart just spill over as well.

Lupin's family life, and self-imposed exile from society was another blow. To think of the weight his father had to carry, knowing his son's condition was entirely his fault, is absolutely harrowing. Lupin's moral battle over whether to marry Tonks, and the deeper insight into this thought process, made me melt inside. That he finally succumbed to his feelings only to die shortly afterwards is akin to a Shakespearean tragedy. I'm still not over that.

Trelawney and Kettleburn's chapters were considerably shorter, but I was grateful for their comedic value. I've always enjoyed Trelawney's smoke and mirrors approach to her supposed skill, and the details on Kettleburn were nothing short of hilarious, despite his blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance in the novels.

This was a wonderful little collection of details on the characters I loved the most from the series. It's pleasing to see that Rowling hasn't yet left the wizarding world behind and is continuing to give us more of what we what.

I'd like a Marauders one next; an entire book, not a wee one like this. Please and thank you.