19 Years Later: All the questions I still have for J.K. Rowling
Number 29: Can you mail a Portkey to your crush?
Sept. 1, 2017 marks the official “19 Years Later” date from the epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, wherein a grown-up Harry Potter sees his own children off to Hogwarts. As readers now find themselves older and wiser, EW is celebrating the milestone all week long by taking a closer look at the Wizarding World two decades later.
For all the tumultuous goings-on of 2017, one of the year’s most evident side effects is the temporary halting of J.K. Rowling’s latest hobby: Filling in arbitrary blanks in the long-since-concluded Harry Potter series.
Since revealing that Hogwarts tuition is free and Anthony Goldstein is Jewish, the genius author seems to have turned her focus to more important worldly matters than Hagrid’s Patronus. On the one hand, that’s a sign of relief to the segment of fans who had been growing beleaguered by the constant revelations; on the other, those morsels of information became part of Rowling’s beloved Twitter brand, and frankly, love them or not, it’s been far too long since we’ve had a good new batch of BTWs.
And hey, it’s not like there aren’t a thousand questions that fans aren’t still curious to have answered. I, for instance, have kept my own running list of personal queries, should Rowling ever need a quick plot hit for an #AskJoanne. Perhaps the arrival of the Deathly Hallows “19 Years Later” moment will spur her back into a generous and nostalgic mood, and for that reason, I hereby unleash my archive of questions that have burned in my mind for so long:
1. Was there a toothpaste spell?
2. Where is Bertie Bott’s factory?
3. What color was Lavender Brown’s middle name?
4. Do all house-elves know each other (or is that racist)?
5. How many student casualties has the Whomping Willow claimed historically?
6. Were there other invisibility fashion options besides cloaks?
7. Can you bake with floo powder?
8. Do portraits only start to move after you’ve finished painting them or can they start coming to life when their faces are only, like, half-done?
9. Did Hogsmeade have community theatre?
10. At what point do wizarding children learn that ghosts actually exist (or is this just a classic bombshell for Hogwarts first years)?
11. If young mandrakes look like human babies, then whaaaaat do older mandrakes look like?
12. What thread count are most Dementors?
13. Does Hogwarts do weddings?
14. Was there a boys’ bathroom ghost (and was he cute)?
15. Can Accio rip off a body part?
16. How did the mermaids decide which mermaid got to do the solo for the second task golden egg song?
17. What happens if you drink a Pensieve?
18. Can a Chocolate Frog melt and if so does it still have one good jump?
19. Who choreographed the Durmstrang entrance dance?
20. Did Celestina Warbeck ever chart in Britain?
21. Can you still have a house-elf if you technically only live in a one-bedroom?
22. Did McGonagall ever eat a mouse while she was a cat? Does she ever talk about it?
23. Can you text a Howler? (Never mind, this is a “phone call.”)
24. In the movie, why did Hagrid buy Harry an owl without even asking him? Is that not a large commitment to surprise someone with?
25. Does Ollivander’s accept returns?
26. What year did butterbeer pong come to Hogsmeade?
27. Is there a Mr. Grubbly-Plank?
28. Are there other beasts like Thestrals where instead of only appearing to those who have seen death, you can only see them if you’ve seen something awkward?
29. What happens if you mail a Portkey to your crush?
30. Do Ernie Macmillan and Justin Finch-Fletchley live together and if not, why not?
31. Where did Flourish and Blotts get their Hogwarts books from?
32. How freaky can the Room of Requirement get?
33. Has anyone ever used Umbridge’s detention quill for tattoos?
34. How many people has the Monster Book of Monsters killed (and how long until it kills again)?
35. Can your Patronus be a person?
36. Was there an Owlery for cats?
37. What would a boggart look like to another boggart?
38. Could you technically teach spin class on a broom?
39. Does Hogwarts have reunions?
40. Do students not get any physical exercise for the next six years after their first year of Flying lessons?
41. Do wizard hairdressers get asked for “the Harry”?
42. On a scale of 1 to 10 how frowned upon is breaking an ex’s wand in half?
43. What did Dobby feel like?
44. Did Harry ever get in trouble for destroying half of Gringotts?
45. Will we ever learn more about Goyle’s home life?
46. Is Hogwarts, A History basically completely inaccurate at this point?
47. Have any wizards won Emmys?
48. How did Crookshanks feel about literally everything?
49. If the Battle of Hogwarts took place in May 1998 and the wizarding community experienced a post-war bump in national morale would it stand to reason that everyone would have heard “My Heart Will Go On” that December?
50. Will there be a Babbity Rabbity movie?