'Harry Potter' encyclopedia: Which questions must it answer?
Where do Hogwarts professors go during their summer vacations? What are the 12 uses of dragon’s blood? What’s behind that locked door in the Department of Mysteries? And why in the world did Hermione and Ron name one of their kids Hugo?
I’ve been yearning for answers to these questions since 2007, when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows marked the end of J.K. Rowling’s book series as we knew it. (Well, technically, The Tales of Beedle the Bard marked the series’ real conclusion — but since it’s a supplementary storybook, I don’t know if it should really count.) Rowling responded to a few pressing fan inquiries soon after the book was released; she revealed, for example, that Harry himself became the head of the Ministry of Magic’s Auror Department and occasionally moonlights as a guest Defense Against the Dark Arts speaker. But there are still plenty of mysteries about the wizarding world that remain unsolved.
Luckily, they won’t stay that way for too long. Rowling’s website recently revealed that the author is finally working on her long-promised Harry Potter encyclopedia, a reference that will offer a definitive look at her magical world. Knowing that it’s coming makes me excited as a pixie in a room full of second-year Hogwarts students — mainly because we might finally find out how, exactly, one becomes a ghost.
So which burning questions are you hoping the book will address? Here are a few responses from the Potterheads at EW:
Stephan Lee: “Aren’t there at least two Gryffindor girls from Harry’s year who are never mentioned? I might be wrong, but if I’m not, I want to know who they are!”
Denise Warner: “What exactly did Ron go on to do post-Deathly Hallows? In some interviews, it sounded like he was an Auror with Harry, while in others, Rowling said he ran the joke shop with George.”
Adam Vary: “How do you make a Horcrux? Are there magic schools in America? Africa? Asia? Or is magic just limited to Europe? And actually, speaking of magic — how did it start? Who conjured the first spell?”
Okay, PopWatchers: it’s your turn. In your opinion, what does the Encyclopedia Potterica have to answer — and which characters do you hope will get more fleshed-out backstories?