J.K. Rowling today published a new Harry Potter short story on her website, Pottermore, all about Hogwarts professor Dolores Umbridge.
The new 1,700-word essay was published this morning as a special treat for Halloween.
The new story focuses on new facts, reflections, and insights into Umbridge, and can be seen in full on today.com without needing to sign up.
After the new story, Rowling reveals her personal thoughts on the character and how the malicious pink-loving witch was based on a real person that she knew. Although she makes sure she doesn't reveal who that person actually was.
In the new musings, she writes:
Once, long ago, I took instruction in a certain skill or subject (I am being vague as vague can be, for reasons that are about to become obvious), and in doing so, came into contact with a teacher or instructor whom I disliked intensely on sight.
The woman in question returned my antipathy with interest. Why we took against each other so instantly, heartily and (on my side, at least) irrationally, I honestly cannot say.
But hastens to add:
This woman was NOT 'the real Dolores Umbridge'. She did not look like a toad, she was never sadistic or vicious to me or anyone else, and I never heard her express a single view in common with Umbridge (indeed, I never knew her well enough to know much about her views or preferences, which makes my dislike of her even less justifiable). However, it is true to say that I borrowed from her, then grossly exaggerated...