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Transcript of World Book Day Festival chat

© World Book Day
Date: 2004-03-04

The questions in this interview are all numbered with a superscriptQuestionXXX, where XXX are numbers. This means that that particular question is a local target in the file, and that you can access it directly in a link by putting the relevant "#QuestionXXX" right after the ".html" of the link to this page (without the quotation marks in both cases).

JK Rowling

Hi everyone, I'm here LIVE and ready to answer your questions!


Thanks for writing such wonderful books, Ms Rowling :). Just one question: What are Ron, Hermione and Ginny's middle names? Thank you :)

JK Rowling

My pleasure:) Middle names: Ginny is Molly, of course, Hermione 'Jane' and Ron, poor boy, is Bilius.

Sirius RiddleQuestion002

What houses were Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, James Potter and Remus Lupin in? Everyone tells me they were all Gryffindor, but I won't believe it unless I hear it from Ms. Rowling herself!

JK Rowling

This is JK herself saying that they were indeed in Gryffindor!

Stacey, 11 from PlymouthQuestion003

If you got the chance to make a Polyjuice Potion, who would you be and why? And what would you do in the hour time limit?

JK Rowling

I'd like to be Tony Blair for an hour. I'd call a press conference and announce all the policies I'd like to implement!


Thanks for the interview! So... will Harry be receiving a second kiss in his last two years at Hogwarts? ;)

JK Rowling

He might well be receiving another kiss (or two) but I'm not saying who the kisser's going to be...

hermione 3Question005

will Harry and Hermione will be together?*sigh*

JK Rowling

lol Not saying... but you've had enough clues by now, surely?!


What does the "J" in Remus J Lupin stand for?

JK Rowling

'John'. Boring but true!


Whatever happend to Sirius' flying motorbike?

JK Rowling

Ah, good question. You'll find out, but the real sleuths among you might be able to guess.


What about Wormtail? Is there hope for redemption?

JK Rowling

There's always hope, of course. You'll find out more about our rat-like friend in book six.


What happend to Harry's grandparents? Will we ever learn about them?

JK Rowling

They're all dead and not particularly important to the story, although you will find out a little bit more.


Will the two way mirror Sirius gave Harry ever show up again?

JK Rowling

Ooooo good question. There's your answer.

Shannon from St Mary Magdalen's Junior School - LondonQuestion011

How do you feel when you see children reading your books?

JK Rowling

I feel incredibly proud. Sometimes I want to poke them in the back and say 'guess who?' but I restrain myself.


Will we be hearing anything from Sirius Black's brother, Regulus, in future books?

JK Rowling

Well, he's dead, so he's pretty quiet these days.


If we ever see Sirius again, what form will he be in?

JK Rowling

I couldn't possibly answer that for fear of incriminating myself.


Did Wormtail use Voldemort's wand to kill Cedric? Is it why Cedric comes out of Voldemort's wand even though was Wormtail who killed him?

JK Rowling



Will Harry tell Neville about the Prophecy?

JK Rowling

Harry will tell his nearest and dearest about the prophecy when he's ready. He needs time to digest the news himself first.


What is the sixth book going to be called? The seventh?

JK Rowling

It will be called 'Harry Potter and...' something. Catchy, don't you think? And I think I'll follow the same model for seven.


How is Dobby able to Apparate inside Hogwarts if no one else can?

JK Rowling

He's a house-elf, they've got powers wizards haven't got (but wizards have also got powers that house-elves haven't).

polly weasleyQuestion018

Will Harry fall for another girl in book six, or will he be too busy for romance?

JK Rowling

He'll be busy, but what's life without a little romance?


Regarding Harry's subconscious feelings, how has it changed from book 1 to book 5?

JK Rowling

Well he's obviously been through a lot since book one and book five was the book when he cracked up a little. In book six, the wizarding world is really at war again and he has to master his own feelings to make himself useful.


Are you going to write books about Harry after school?

JK Rowling

Probably not, but I'll never say never because every time I do I immediately break the vow!

Kirk WilkinsQuestion021

Will you ever publish all your notebooks of information on the series? I am very interested in reading 150 pages on the history of the dementors!

JK Rowling

lol Who said there were 150 pages on the dementors??? I certainly didn't! I don't think I'll ever publish my notebooks. Too many revealing doodlings!


Would you like to see the same actors portray the trio in all 7 movies?

JK Rowling

Yes, I would. I really like all three of them.

Kirsten from Kirkintilloch High SchoolQuestion023

If Hagrid was a real person and came to your house, what would you cook him for dinner?

JK Rowling

Something like an entire side of beef, I think. And I'm quite good at Yorkshire puddings, so a couple of dozen of them, too.


Do you think a film no longer than the first two films can do justice to a book as long and complex as Goblet of Fire?

JK Rowling

I think that they will have to simplify the plot somewhat. Steve Kloves, the scriptwriter, is really good and if anyone can do the essence of the book justice, he can.


Did you come up with "Sugar Quills" from Charlie and the Chocolate factory? I believe there were "Sugar Pencils" in that book.

JK Rowling

Oh dear, I don't know whether I did or not. Not consciously, anyway. But it's not a very difficult idea to come up with; we all suck the ends of pens and pencils (or I do), so it seemed logical to make them taste nice, and at Hogwarts, obviously, they use quills!


Are there any plans for any more background books like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages in the future?

JK Rowling

Possibly. If I do them, it will be for charity like the first two.


Is Harry related to Godric Gryffindor?

JK Rowling

People are always wondering who Harry might be related to. Maybe he is ;)


Are the Muggle and Magical worlds ever going to be rejoined?

JK Rowling

No, the breach was final, although as book six shows, the Muggles are noticing more and more odd happenings now that Voldemort's back.

Sirius KaseQuestion029

Will we get to know the Grangers? Is Hermione an only child?

JK Rowling

I always planned that Hermione would have a younger sister but she's never made an appearance and somehow it feels like it might be too late now.


Is it true Harry will get a more permanent injury in the sixth book?

JK Rowling

I've read this rumour on the net and I'm not sure where it came from. I don't really want to get into what happens to Harry in book six, but I certainly never said that he would have a 'more permanent injury'.

Fran from Kesteven and Grantham Girls' SchoolQuestion031

Which character in the Harry Potter books are you most like?

JK Rowling

Hermione when I was younger, definitely. But there's a bit of Harry and Ron in me too.


Was Voldemort born evil?

JK Rowling

I don't believe that anybody was born evil. You will find out more about the circumstances of his birth in the next book.


What is the extent of Hagrid's magical powers?

JK Rowling

Not great! He can do magic to a fairly basic standard and occasionally surprises everyone (himself included) by bringing off more impressive bits of magic. Of course, he is somewhat hampered by the fact that his wand is broken and disguised as an umbrella.


I love Tonks, she's my favorite new character. Will she play a large role in future books and/or in Harry's life?

JK Rowling

Tonks is hanging around. I really like her, too.


Can we believe everything the sorting hat says?

JK Rowling

The Sorting Hat is certainly sincere.


If you had a job in the wizarding world, what do you think you would be?

JK Rowling

I can't think of anything I'd rather do than write, so I suppose I'd write spellbooks!


Will Lord Voldemort get more 'screentime' in the upcoming books?

JK Rowling

You will see him again, but like most evil dictators, he prefers his henchmen to do his dirty work.


Will we see Moaning Myrtle again?

JK Rowling

Oh yes, I love Myrtle, I couldn't shut her out for long.


How did Harry get the Marauder's Map back, when Crouch Jr. had it last?

JK Rowling

Loads of people have asked me this, I knew I should have shown Harry nipping into Moody's empty office and getting it back, but I assumed you'd all know that's what he did. Sorry!

Denise from Blackheath High School for Girls, LondonQuestion040

If Harry Potter was a girl, do you think his adventures would have been different?

JK Rowling

Yes, I do think they would be different. I imagined Harry as a boy from the start, so I've never thought about 'Harriet Potter', but I'm sure lots of things in the books would change, Ron for a start, he'd have to be Ronalda.


What is Trelawney's middle name (the one with the P)?

JK Rowling



Will Neville have a bigger part to play?

JK Rowling

I think he's already got a much bigger part. Neville has changed a lot as he's become older and more confident. Book five was a real turning point for Neville.


Don't want to ruin the ending, but will we be finding out more about the significance of the shape of Harry's scar in future books?

JK Rowling

The shape is not the most significant aspect of that scar, and that's all I'm going to say!


Will poor Harry be stuck at the Dursleys' all next summer?

JK Rowling

Not all summer, no. In fact, he has the shortest stay in Privet Drive so far.


Did the debt Wormtail has to Harry carry over to Voldemort when he sacrificed his arm to restore his body?

JK Rowling

No. Can't say any more than that!


Was Percy acting entirely of his own accord in Order of the Phoenix?

JK Rowling

I'm afraid so.

Wild RoseQuestion047

Will we see more of Narcissa Malfoy now that Lucius is unavailale?

JK Rowling

Yes, you will.


I noticed in the Black Family tree that everyone is named after a constellation. Is this intentional? Does this have any bearing on the plot?

JK Rowling

It's just one of those family traditions, although Narcissa breaks the trend. I had always thought of her as 'Narcissa' so I decided not to change her to match the others when I came up with their names. There's been a lot of speculation that she is in some way linked to Lily and Petunia, because of the flower theme, but I can put that rumour to rest here: she isn't related to them.


When you turn into an Animagus, can you choose what animal you become? Or does this get "assigned" to you?

JK Rowling

No, you can't choose. You become the animal that suits you best. Imagine the humiliation when you finally transform after years of study and find that you most closely resemble a warthog.

Josh from Cottenham Village CollegeQuestion050

Right at the beginning, when Voldemort tried to kill Harry, how did Voldemort and Harry both survive?

JK Rowling

That is the crucial and central question and if I answered it there would be hardly any point writing books six and seven... so I won't!


How did you feel when your first Harry Potter book came out?

JK Rowling

Elated, ecstatic, extraordinarily happy!


What did Dudley see when he faced the Dementors in book five?

JK Rowling

Ah, good question. You'll find out!


Do you have any future plans in particular for Draco Malfoy?

JK Rowling

I've got plans for all my characters. Actually, this is a really good place to answer a question about Draco and Hermione, which a certain Ms. Radcliffe is desperate to have answered. Will they end up together in book six/seven? NO! The trouble is, of course, that girls fancy Tom Felton, but Draco is NOT Tom Felton! (My daughter likes TF very much too, because he taught her how to use a diablo)


Which of your books does your daughter like best?

JK Rowling

It would be between Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix. She likes ACTION!


How are muggle parents convinced to let their kids go to Hogwarts, a strange place they never heard of before; and wouldn't they think it was a practical joke?

JK Rowling

In the case of Muggle parents, special messengers are sent to explain everything to them. But don't forget that they will have noticed that there's something strange about their child for the previous ten years, so it won't come as a complete bolt from the blue.

Helen from Ulverston Victoria High School - CumbriaQuestion056

Do you realise Harry & co sit on their broomsticks backwards? You can't balance like that?

JK Rowling

lol You clearly haven't read 'Quidditch Through the Ages', or you'd know about the cushioning charm! Buy it at once, it's for charity!


What happened between Hermione and Viktor Krum during the summer?

JK Rowling

Ron would like to know that, too.


If a Muggle looks at hogwarts what will they see? love Persia

JK Rowling

Nice name, Persia. They will see nothing but a ruined castle with large signs on it saying 'keep out, dangerous building.'


If you were to have a magical power what would you chose to have apart from the ability to write cos you've already got that

JK Rowling

I would like to fly. And sometimes to turn off other people's voices.


Do you believe in prophecies in real life?

JK Rowling

No, I don't. And even in the wizarding world, as McGonagall explains in Prisoner of Azkaban, true Seers are very rare.


One answer we're all longing for: How's the writing of book 6 going and when will it be released?

JK Rowling

I can't say when it will be released [load groan that JKR can hear from here] because that's down to my publishers. But it's going really well. I am loving writing it.


Does Voldemort die in the last book?

JK Rowling

Now, do you really really think I'd answer that?!


I wonder if you can let us know what form will Professor Snape's Boggart and Patronus take? I am very curious.

JK Rowling

Well, I'm not going to tell you Ernie, but that's because it would give so much away. I wonder whether Ernie is your real name? (It was my grandfather's).


Will we be seeing Krum again any time soon?

JK Rowling

You will see Krum again, though not soon.


Who are the two "unknown Gryffindor girls" in Harry's year?

JK Rowling

Oh, I've just understood what you mean. I haven't got the notebook to hand and I can't remember! That's terrible. I'll try and remember before the end of the chat!

Fiona from St Richard's Catholic CollegeQuestion066

Hubble, Bubble, Toil & Trouble, Answer this question for which I have trouble, Frogs legs, bat wings, cow dung bell, How do you come up with all of those spells? Easter, Birthday, Christmas cards 'cause I have found it really hard!

JK Rowling

Sometimes I use elements of 'real' spells that people used to believe worked, but mostly I make them up.


Do you plan for Ginny to take on a major character role in the next two books?

JK Rowling

Well, now that Ginny has stopped being mute in Harry's presence I think you can see that she is a fairly forceful personality (and she always has been, remember Ron saying that she 'never shuts up' in Chamber of Secrets)?


Were you consulted at all when the actors were chosen for the movie?

JK Rowling

Yes, Chris Columbus, who was the director of the first film, asked me if there was anybody I thought would be good and I said 'RobbieColtraneForHagrid' in one breath.


What is your favourite magical beast

JK Rowling

The phoenix, definitely.


I want to be a writer, any tips

JK Rowling

Read as much as you can. Keep writing and then throwing it away until one day you do something that you don't think belongs in the bin. Stick to writing what you know about. Don't give up.


How did you invent the sport 'Quidditch'

JK Rowling

I sat in a hotel room after a row with my then boyfriend and invented it. Looking back, I can understand why I liked the idea of Bludgers.


Hagrid mentioned he`s allergic to cats in PS why has he never sneezed when Crookshanks was around?

JK Rowling

He's never around Crookshanks very much. I'm allergic to cats and I can be in a room with one briefly. But of course, Crookshanks isn't all cat. Read 'Fantastic Beasts...'!


Do you ever get a dream which helps you in writing the Harry Potter series?

JK Rowling

No, and I wish I had! I did once have an incredible dream about Nicholas Flamel, though.


How old are Charlie and Bill Weasley in relation to their other siblings?

JK Rowling

Oh dear, maths. Let me think. Bill is two years older than Charlie, who is two years older than Percy.

Leanne from Eastbrook Primary School - Hemel HempsteadQuestion075

If you could spend a day in real life with one of your fictional characters, who would it be and what would you do?

JK Rowling

I think I'd most like to spend a day with Harry. I'd take him out for a meal and apologise for everything I've put him through.


What made Sirius decide to send Snape to the Willow?

JK Rowling

Because Sirius loathed Snape (and the feeling was entirely mutual). You'll find out more about this in due course.


Have you considered writing childrens' science fiction, or will you move on to a completely new genre?

JK Rowling

I don't think I'd be very good at science fiction; you need to know some science! Probably a completely different genre.


Where do wizarding children go to school before Hogwarts?

JK Rowling

They can either go to a Muggle primary school or they are educated at home. The Weasleys were taught by Mrs. Weasley.


Is 12 the maximum possible number of OWLs one can achieve?

JK Rowling

Yes, I think it is off the top of my head.


What will Ron's job be when he leaves school?

JK Rowling

Well, assuming he lives to leave school... I'm not going to tell you :)


Do you think that the films reflect well on the books?

JK Rowling

I think they're pretty faithful to the books. Hogwarts looks just as I imagined it; I had a lot of input on how the various locations look.


What type of books did you read when you were younger?

JK Rowling

Anything; books for adults and children alike.


Where did you come up with the word "Muggle"?

JK Rowling

I was looking for a word that suggested both foolishness and loveability. The word 'mug' came to mind, for somebody gullible, and then I softened it. I think 'muggle' sounds quite cuddly. I didn't know that the word 'muggle' had been used as drug slang at that point... ah well.


Is Remus a pureblood?

JK Rowling

Half blood.


Will Ron ever get on the Gryffindor quidditch team?

JK Rowling

Well, he's already there! The question is, whether the new Quidditch Captain will allow him to stay!


What happened to Wormtail?

JK Rowling

You'll find out in book six.

Bradley y4 GriffyndorQuestion087

Why did you call the school Hogwarts

JK Rowling

I tried all sorts of different versions of the name and then this word floated into my mind and I knew it was the right one.


Does Harry's eyecolour become important in the future books, like we've heard?

JK Rowling

No comment!


If you were Harry Potter for a day what would you do?

JK Rowling

If I, personally, were Harry Potter I think I would go and hide somewhere, but that's because I know what's coming!


Is Draco an only child?

JK Rowling

Yes. You wouldn't want more Dracos, would you?!

Majeed from Bristol Grammar School - BristolQuestion091

To what extent did you conceive Harry Potter as a moral tale?

JK Rowling

I did not conceive it as a moral tale, the morality sprang naturally out of the story, a subtle but important difference. I think any book that sets out to teach or preach is likely to be hard going at times (though I can think of a couple of exceptions).

Maidenhead LibraryQuestion092

Why did you choose to do books about wizards?

JK Rowling

It chose me... the idea just sprang into my head and I knew I had to write it.

Kings Park primaery schoolQuestion093

Which position would you like to play if you played Quidditch?

JK Rowling

Who wouldn't want to be Seeker? But I think I'd be dreadful at Quidditch, I'm not sporty, I'm not great with heights and I'm clumsy as well. Neville would be about my standard.


Why specifically does Dumbledore trust Snape?

JK Rowling

Another excellent and non-answerable question. I shall merely say that Snape has given Dumbledore his story and Dumbledore believes it.


If you could be any female character in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone which one would you be

JK Rowling

Hermione. Definitely not Pansy Parkinson.


Are you planning to ever visit Russia? There are a lot of young fans dreaming about meeting you!

JK Rowling

I'd love to visit Russia, it's a long-standing ambition, so you never know! My son's still a bit young for long journeys, though, he's not one year old yet.

class 14Question097

If you were a animagus which animal would you be? and why?

JK Rowling

I gave Hermione my idea animagus, because it's my favourite animal. You'll find the answer in the Room of Requirement, Order of the Phoenix!

LRGS SchoolQuestion098

Which character do you most dislike ?

JK Rowling

Probably Uncle Vernon.


What does it feel like when kids tell you that it's thanks to you that they started to read?

JK Rowling

Nobody could possibly say anything that pleased me more. It's the most wonderful thing to hear.


I find Moaning Myrtle is the saddest character in your books, inspiring a mixture of revulsion and pity. Does she play any further part?

JK Rowling

You do see her again. Don't you like her? I know she's a bit revolting, but that's why I'm so fond of her.

Class A.GQuestion101

Did you base Voldemort on any real people? If so are you related to them?!

JK Rowling

lol No I didn't base Voldemort on any real person!


Will Harry become headmaster of Hogwarts

JK Rowling

I'm not sure I can see Harry in an academic career, he's seen so much action!

Hannah from St Malachy's Primary School - ArmaghQuestion103

Did you feel the actors suited the characters of your book when you met them?

JK Rowling

Yes, I did. Emma Watson in particular was very, very like Hermione when I first spoke to her, I knew she was perfect from that first 'phone call.


Are Harry's powers going to get even greater?

JK Rowling

Yes, he's really progressing as a wizard now (which is lucky, because I know what's in store for him).


Why did Voldemort pick harry and not neville

JK Rowling

Dumbledore explains this in 'Order of the Phoenix'. Voldemort identified more with the half-blood boy and therefore decided he must be the greater risk.


Why did you kill Sirius? It made me very sad :(

JK Rowling

I'm really, really sorry. I didn't want to do it, but there was a reason. If you think you can forgive me, keep reading, you'll find out. [I feel really guilty now].


Is there a link between Snape and vampires?

JK Rowling

Erm... I don't think so.


Has Voldemort any children

JK Rowling

No. Voldemort as a father... now that's not a nice thought.

Joshua from Navigation Primary SchoolQuestion109

How were you involved in making the Harry Potter films and did Hogwarts look like you had imagined it?

JK Rowling

Hogwarts looked just as I imagined it. It was the most bizarre experience when I walked onto the set of the Great Hall; it really was like walking into my own brain.


Why did Harry have to split up with Cho Chang?

JK Rowling

That's life, I'm afraid. They were never going to be happy, it was better that it ended early!


If Harry dies in the ending of the books, will Voldemort be invincible?

JK Rowling

Pablo, I can't possibly answer. You'll have to read book seven!

Tanya J PotterQuestion112

If you could change anything about Harry Potter what would it be?

JK Rowling

There are loads of things I would change. I don't think any writer is ever completely happy with what they've written. One of these days - once seven is finished - I'll revise all seven books.


Is Mad Eye Moody the real Moody this time? And if he is, is he up to something fishy? Because he's acting too much like Crouch Jr - sniffing food etc.

JK Rowling

It's the other way around - Crouch Jnr. acted just like the real Moody.

Catheldral schoolQuestion114

Will Wormtail ever pay Harry back?

JK Rowling

You'll see... keep reading!

Vicky from Bishop Walsh RC Comprehensive - Sutton ColdfieldQuestion115

How do you react when your books/movies are criticized by critics?

JK Rowling

It depends what they say. Sometimes I agree with the criticism, though I can't say that's fun. It also depends who it is. There's a vast difference between being criticized by someone you really admire (which has happened) and someone who you don't admire at all (which doesn't hurt!)


Who is the 'one that never will return' Death Eater?

JK Rowling

You have to work it out, but a lot of fansites have got it right.


Will Winky ever recover?

JK Rowling

Poor Winky... she'll never be entirely cured of her Butterbeer addiction, I'm afraid.


How long does it take you to plan a book before you even start writing? Or do you just plan as you go along?

JK Rowling

It's hard to say; book six has been planned for years, but before I started writing seriously I spend two months re-visting the plan and making absolutely sure I knew what I was doing (learning from my mistakes - I didn't check the plan for 'Goblet of Fire' and had to re-write a third of the book.

Kings Park primery schoolQuestion119

What will happen to Hagrids half brother?

JK Rowling

You'll find out in book six. Luckily he's become a little more controllable.

JK Rowling

I'm sorry, we're running out of time... how about three more questions?

Kaidi MacKayQuestion120

Dumbledore is getting older, will it be a lot harder for him to fight Lord Voldemort this time around?

JK Rowling

He is getting older, but he didn't do badly at the end of 'Phoenix', so there's life in him yet!


Is there going to be a new minister of magic in the next books?

JK Rowling

Yes. Ha! Finally, a concrete bit of information, I hear you cry!


Any thoughts about a prequel series?

JK Rowling

No, no prequels here. You won't need them by the time I've finished, you'll have all the back story you'll need!

JK Rowling

That's it, everyone. There have been sixteen thousand questions, so I'm so sorry if yours hasn't been answered, but hopefully somebody else did it for you. I've really enjoyed it, hope you have. Back to the next chapter now... lots of love xxx

World Book Day home page: http://www.worldbookday.com/
World Book Day Festival home page: http://www.worldbookdayfestival.com/
Original chat: http://www.worldbookdayfestival.com/2004/jkrowling_chat.html
Text version of this transcript http://www.hogwarts-library.net/reference/interviews/20001019_AOL.txt

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