The J.K. Rowling Index

List of all J.K. Rowling's writings.

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Contribution: The Birthday Book

Index ID: TBB — Publication date: October 1st, 2008

Note: This is an edited extract from The Birthday Book, published by Jonathan Cape to mark the 60th birthday of the Prince of Wales.

I admit that, at first glance, the extract I’ve chosen for The Birthday Book might not seem particularly celebratory, given that it has for its subject my hero walking to what he believes will be certain death. But when Harry takes his last, long walk into the heart of the Dark Forest, he is choosing to accept a burden that fell on him when still a tiny child, in spite of the fact that he never sought the role for which he has been cast, never wanted the scar with which he has been marked. As his mentor, Albus Dumbledore, has tried to make clear to Harry, he could have refused to follow the path marked out for him. In spite of the weight of opinion and expectation that singles him out as the “Chosen One”, it is Harry’s own will that takes him into the Forest to meet Voldemort, prepared to suffer the fate that he escaped sixteen years before.

The destinies of wizards and princes might seem more certain than those carved out for the rest of us, yet we all have to choose the manner in which we meet life: whether to live up (or down) to the expectations placed upon us; whether to act selfishly, or for the common good; whether to steer the course of our lives ourselves, or to allow ourselves to be buffeted around by chance and circumstance. Birthdays are often moments for reflection, moments when we pause, look around, and take stock of where we are; children gleefully contemplate how far they have come, whereas adults look forwards into the trees, wondering how much further they have to go. This extract from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is my favourite part of the seventh book; it might even be my favourite part of the entire series, and in it, Harry demonstrates his truly heroic nature, because he overcomes his own terror to protect the people he loves from death, and the whole of his society from tyranny.

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Wizard of the Month (Desktop Website)

Index ID: WMDW — Publication date: May 5th, 2004 to October 1st, 2007

Felix Summerbee

(1447 – 1508) Inventor of Cheering Charms

Gwenog Jones

(1968 – present) Captain and Beater of only all-female national Quidditch Team, the Holyhead Harpies

Donaghan Tremlett

(1972 – present) Bass player with the popular wizarding band The Weird Sisters

Honoria Nutcombe

(1665 – 1743) Founded the Society for the Reformation of Hags.

Uric the Oddball

(Medieval, dates unknown) Highly eccentric wizard who is famed, among other things, for wearing a jellyfish for a hat.

Glenda Chittock

(1964 – present) Popular presenter of the W.W.N. (Wizarding Wireless Network) programme ‘Witching Hour’

Devlin Whitehorn

(1945 – present) Founder of the Nimbus racing broom company.

Ignatia Wildsmith

(1227 – 1320) The witch who invented Floo powder.

Derwent Shimpling

(1912 – present) Ate an entire Venomous Tentacula for a bet and survived, though is still purple.

Artemisia Lufkin

(1754 – 1825) First witch to become Minister for Magic.

Mungo Bonham

(1560 – 1659) Famous wizard healer. Founded St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries.

Gondoline Oliphant

(1720 – 1799) Famous for studies of life and habits of trolls. Clubbed to death in the Cotswolds while sketching.

Felix Summerbee

(1447 – 1508) Inventor of Cheering Charms

Elfrida Clagg

(1612 – 1687) Chieftainess of Warlock’s Council

Chauncey Oldridge

(1342 – 1379) First known victim of dragon pox

Bridget Wenlock

(1202 – 1285) Famous Arithmancer. First to establish the magical properties of the number seven

Gaspard Shingleton

1959 – present. Celebrated inventor of the Self-Stirring Cauldron.

Fifi LaFolle

(1888 – 1971) Author of the ‘Enchanted Encounters’ series

Carlotta Pinkstone

1922 – present. Famous campaigner for lifting the International Confederation of Wizard’s Statute of Secrecy and telling Muggles that wizards still exist. Ms. Pinkstone has been imprisoned several times for her blatant and deliberate use of magic in public places.

Bowman Wright

1492 – 1560 Famous for developing the Golden Snitch.

Jocunda Sykes

1915 – present. Famous for flying across the Atlantic on a broomstick – the first person to do so.

Yardley Platt

1446 – 1557. Serial goblin-killer.

Daisy Dodderidge

1467 – 1555. First landlady of the Leaky Cauldron.

Grogan Stump

1770 – 1884 Popular Minister for Magic, appointed 1811.

Fabius Watkins

1940 – 1975 Legendary Captain and Chaser of Montrose Magpies. Died in freak collision with helicopter.

Daisy Hookum

1962 – present Wrote bestseller ‘My Life as a Muggle’, after giving up magic for a year. Married to celebrity gardener Tilden Toots.

Tarquin McTavish

1955 – present Imprisoned for crimes against Muggle neighbour, who was discovered trapped inside McTavish’s kettle.

Erica Stainwright

1932 – 2001 Disgraced 1950s housekeeping guru who made fortune selling ‘cleaning’ potions that really generated more mould and grime.

Hambledon Quince

1936 – present Author of controversial theory that wizards originate from Mars, Muggles from mushrooms.

Idris Oakby

1872 – 1985 Founder of the S.S.S. (Society for the Support of Squibs)

Lorcan d’Eath

1964 – present Heartthrob singer, part vampire, nineteen weeks at number 1 with hit song ‘Necks to You.’

Laurentia Fletwock

1947 – present Celebrated breeder and racer of winged horses. Has campaigned for tighter restrictions on broomstick use.

Harvey Ridgebit

1881 – 1973 Dragonologist, caught first Peruvian Vipertooth, established world’s largest dragon sanctuary in Romania.

Mnemone Radford

1562 – 1649 Developed Memory Modifying Charms. First Ministry of Magic Obliviator.

Tilden Toots

1959 – present ‘The wizard with three green thumbs’ Celebrity herbologist and radio personality

Magenta Comstock

1895 – 1991 Experimental artist whose portraits’ eyes not only follow the viewer around the room, but also follow them home.

Helga Hufflepuff

(Medieval, precise dates unknown) One of the four celebrated Founders of Hogwarts, Hufflepuff was particularly famous for her dexterity at food-related Charms. Many recipes traditionally served at Hogwarts feasts originated with Hufflepuff.

Salazar Slytherin

Medieval (precise dates unknown) One of the four celebrated Founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Salazar Slytherin was one of the first recorded Parselmouths, an accomplished Legilimens, and a notorious champion of pureblood supremacy.

Godric Gryffindor

Medieval (precise dates unknown) One of the four famous Founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Godric Gryffindor was the most accomplished dueller of his time, an enlightened fighter against Muggle-discrimination and the first owner of the celebrated Sorting Hat.

Rowena Ravenclaw

Medieval (precise dates unknown). One of the four famous Founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Rowena Ravenclaw was the most brilliant witch of her time, though legend has it that a broken heart – cause unknown – contributed to her early demise.

Albus Dumbledore

1881 – 1996 Brilliant and often controversial headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Albus Dumbledore is most famous for his 1945 defeat of Grindelwald and his steadfast championing of Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived. Dumbledore’s self-proclaimed proudest achievement, however, was featuring on a Famous Wizards Chocolate Frog Card.

Harry Potter

(1980 – ) The Boy Who Lived, only known survivor of the Avada Kedavra curse and conqueror of Lord Voldemort, also known as Tom Riddle. Harry Potter joined the reshuffled Auror Department under Kingsley Shacklebolt at age 17, rising to become Head of said department in 2007.

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