Life in the Harry Potter universe has not stopped since the infamous Battle of Hogwarts, which took place in 1997, and thank God. Because if it had then the legions of rabid Harry Potter fans would have been finally forced to confront the reality that Harry Potter, Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, Quidditch, and all the other aspects of the story that make this world so incredibly rich and vivid were all just so much fiction. Though J.K. Rowling has said she believes Harry Potter’s story is done, it will live on in the hearts and minds of dedicated fans, at least, until the end of time. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opens in London on Harry’s 36th birthday, July 31st, and some of us might need a refresher on what has been going on with our favorite characters in the last 19 odd years. Below, find 15 of the major life events of Dumbledore’s Army since the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
15. Hermione finished her last year at Hogwarts (Ron and Harry did not)
Hermione, being Hermione, of course went back to school following the Battle of Hogwarts and finished her education. It has often been said that Harry gets too much credit for being a “great wizard” when he would have been honestly lost without Hermione. This little tidbit is so in character for her, that most fans probably didn’t even need J.K. Rowling’s confirmation of the fact that Hermione Granger was committed to completing her education. Rowling also said of Hermione that her decision to leave Hogwarts to hunt horcruxes with Harry and Ron proved that her heart was bigger than her brain in the end (which is certainly saying something for this character), but that she was not naturally drawn to battle. She’s no Bellatrix Lestrange, and finds no joy in fighting, but went anyway out of love for her friends. Of course, after all of that, she would want to return to her studies for her final year.
14. Hermione started her Ministry of Magic career at the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures
In the fourth book of the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Hermione formed the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare, also known as S.P.E.W, which was much derided by Ron, and pretty much everybody else, for the entire series. Hermione was appalled at the idea of using elves as slaves, and for the remainder of the series remained committed to working to improve their lives (in her breaks between fighting Lord Voldemort and studying for her exams of course). It makes perfect sense, therefore, that after Hogwarts, she would begin her career at the Ministry of Magic by working for the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, where, according to Rowling, she did much to improve their standard of living, as well as fighting for other subjugated creatures. Always ambitious and upwardly mobile, Hermione did not stay forever in the Magical Creatures department, but she certainly made her mark while she was there, as we all would expect her to.
13. Harry and Ginny got married and had 3 kids
It would have been highly disappointing if Harry and Ginny’s relationship went the route many high school relationships do, in which people move away, change, and grow apart. Luckily, they did not and the couple eventually got married and had three children, James Sirius Potter, Albus Severus Potter, and Lily Luna Potter. All three children are named after important figures in the Weasley-Potters’ lives. In the Deathly Hallows epilogue Harry explains to Albus on his first day of Hogwarts that he was named after two of the greatest wizards he had ever known, and that one of them was a Slytherin, explaining that Slytherins perhaps aren’t all bad. Then again, Albus could always choose which house he’d like, as his father did. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will focus on Albus, and how he deals with his family’s extraordinary legacy. On a secondary note, young James Potter will start his second year of Hogwarts on September 1st of this year.
12. Hermione and Ron got married and had two kids
Another Hogwarts relationship that went the distance was Hermione and Ron’s. From the moment in The Deathly Hallows (the book version) that Ron took time in the Battle of Hogwarts to worry about the house elves, the world in general– and Hermione in particular– knew that this was a relationship meant to last. Hermione and Ron eventually got married, and they had two children, Rose and Hugo Weasley, who are, of course, close to their cousins, the Potter children. Ron quips in the epilogue that he hopes Rose beats Draco Malfoy’s son Scorpius in every test, and thank God she inherited her mother’s brains. Rose is entering Hogwarts in the same year as her cousin Albus, and will likely play a big part in the action to come, but there’s not much information to know yet about her younger brother Hugo. Perhaps Rose got her mother’s intellect and Hugo got his father’s sense of humor.
11. Luna married Newt Scamander’s grandson, Rolf Scamander and became a famous Naturalist
Fans might have wanted to see Luna Lovegood marry fellow oddball and black sheep, Neville Longbottom, but it was not to be. Luna eventually married Rolf Scamander, the grandson of the famous Newt Scamander, who will be portrayed by Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which is hitting theaters this November. After school and The Battle of Hogwarts, Luna Lovegood became a celebrated naturalist and traveled the world looking for rare creatures. Unfortunately for her, she never did find a Crumple-Horned Snorkack, and was eventually forced to admit that perhaps that one at least was made up. According to Rita Skeeter’s Daily Prophet columns, Luna continued to embrace avant-garde fashion, and her wedding dress was apparently voted by her readers as “The Most Hideous Outfit of the Year.” At the 2014 Quidditch World Cup, she wore a dress made of the flags of all of the qualifying countries. Her twin sons, Lorcan and Lysander, she reportedly left at home for the event.
10. Neville is a Hogwarts Herbology professor and lives above the Leaky Cauldron
The only subject in school in which Neville Longbottom ever excelled was Herbology, which he loved with a passion. So rather than follow the path of his friends who got swanky and occasionally dangerous jobs at the Ministry of Magic, Neville became the Herbology professor at Hogwarts. He didn’t marry Luna, as some fans expected him to, but instead married the sweet Hufflepuff, Hannah Abbott. Hannah went on to become the proprietor of the The Leaky Cauldron, the famous local pub that doubles as the entrance to Diagon Alley. Apparently this gave Neville a little extra street cred among the students, who thought it extremely cool for a professor to live above a pub. While J.K. Rowling has admitted that she did feel a slight pull between Luna and Neville as characters, in the end she decided not to put them together because it all felt a little too neat.
9. Hermione rose to become Deputy Head of Department of Magical Law Enforcement
Hermione’s ambition knows no bounds, and it was clear from her first day at Hogwarts that she was meant for great achievement later in life. Though she started her career in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures at the Ministry of Magic, she eventually moved up the ladder to work in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Eventually, she became the Deputy Head of the department, which is exactly where Hermione should be. Having spent most of her adolescence playing police officer to her two best friends, Harry and Ron, it stands to reason that she would naturally excel at professional law enforcement. Ever the activist, Hermione worked hard to help eradicate oppressive and pro-pureblood laws. Perhaps the only thing that is surprising about her career trajectory is that she hasn’t yet been made Minister for Magic. Though knowing Hermione, it would be foolish to discount the possibility.
8. Dumbledore’s Army are Beyonce and Jay-Z level celebrities
One of the first new stories J.K. Rowling added to the Harry Potter canon after the publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was written from the perspective of gossip columnist, Rita Skeeter. Harry Potter fans will remember her as the irritating reporter from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire who often embellished the truth to be more salacious in her coverage of the Triwizard Tournament. This time, she’s at it again, breathlessly describing Dumbledore’s Army in the VIP box at the 2014 Quidditch World Cup. Harry, Ron, Hermione, as well as Neville, Luna, and Ginny are now pretty much as famous in the Harry Potter world as the actors who play them are in the real world. Of course, when Harry started Hogwarts he was already a celebrity, even if he didn’t realize it. Almost 20 years after he left Hogwarts, his fame has only grown, bestowing a huge legacy on his children. According to the teaser description of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, his children are going to struggle to live up to this legacy.
7. Harry is department head at the Auror Department in Ministry of Magic
It was Harry’s lifelong ambition to become an auror, a wizard who fights the dark arts. Ironically, this ambition was inspired by Professor Moody, who turned out to actually be Barty Crouch Jr., a dark wizard pretending to be Professor Moody with the use of Polyjuice Potion. Perhaps for his first job application Harry’s resume included his position as the leader of Dumbledore’s Army, when he was just 15 years old. The organization was founded (mostly by Hermione) in order to teach students what they really needed to know about Defense Against the Dark Arts. This was the year, if you remember, in which Dolores Umbridge took over the position as Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, and steadily rose to become the most reviled character in the Wizarding World, which is no small feat. Harry successfully taught his classmates some much-needed skills to defend themselves against Dark Magic, including how to produce a patronus. Now an adult, Harry was the youngest wizard ever promoted to his office, as the Head of the Auror Department in the Ministry of Magic.
6. Ginny played for Holyhead Harpies – the all-female quidditch team
Ginny Weasley played Quidditch at school as a Chaser, and was as talented a player as Harry (though perhaps a little less celebrated for it at school). After Voldemort was defeated in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, known in the Wizarding World as the Second Wizarding War, Ginny went on to play for the all-female Quidditch team, the Holyhead Harpies. Before Ginny, the most famous Holyhead Harpies player mentioned in the books was Gwenog Jones, who was a famous Beater. She was apparently part of Professor Slughorn’s “Slug Club,” while she was at school, and later gave him free tickets to matches whenever he wanted them. Or at least, that is what he claimed. The team was reportedly founded in 1203, and with the exception of Valmai Morgan, all the known players have either a first or last name beginning with the letter “G.” The Holyhead Harpies is the only known team to employ only female players.
5. Ron learned to drive
In the Epilogue to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Ron tells Harry that he passed his Muggle driving test, though Hermione doubted that he’d be able to without placing a Confundus charm on the instructor. “No I didn’t. I had complete faith in you,” Hermione responded. Ron of course then admits in a whisper that he did, in fact, confound the driving instructor, but only because he forgot to check his side mirror– and he can always use a super-sensory charm for that anyway, right? Perhaps Ron’s interest in driving comes from his father, Arthur Weasley, who was famous for his fascination with Muggle technology. Everyone will of course remember Harry and Ron’s driving mishap from the second book in the series. Arthur had bewitched the car to have flying capabilities. And when Harry and Ron somehow couldn’t get through to Platform 9 ¾ to get on the Hogwarts Express, they decided to take Ron’s dad’s flying Ford Anglia, and wound up crashing the car into the Whomping Willow. Hopefully with his new driving skills Ron will not feel compelled to try and make his car fly as well.
4. McGonagall is no longer the headmaster at Hogwarts
By the time Harry, Ron, and Hermione had left school, Professor McGonagall had take Severus Snape’s position as headmaster of the school. But according to J.K. Rowling, after a while, McGonagall had started to get on in years, and it was eventually time to retire. By the time the famous trio’s children are off to school, Hogwarts has an entirely new Headmaster. This, of course, means that while many things will, of course, be the same as the Hogwarts we remember, many things may have changed. Who knows what daily life is like at the school these days, and what sort of new traditions are in place there alongside the ones we are familiar with. There is also, naturally, a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, though this position no longer faces the same curse it once did, and it is as safe as any other faculty position in the school.
3. Ginny is a sports reporter for the Daily Prophet
When Ginny and Harry decided to start a family, Ginny retired from playing Quidditch for the Holyhead Harpies, and took a position instead as a Senior Sports Reporter for the Daily Prophet. Essentially, Ginny followed a fairly standard career trajectory for professional athletes. In 2014, while the Muggle World was watching the football/soccer World Cup, the Wizarding World was watching the Quidditch World Cup. J.K. Rowling wrote a few stories on her site Pottermore in the voice of Rita Skeeter and Ginny Potter (née Weasley), who were both reporting on the match. One of Ginny’s articles reports on a fight between the two teams’ mascots which resulted in over 300 injured crowd-members. J.K. Rowling also live-blogged the final match, with commentary alternating between Rita Skeeter’s voice, which focused on Dumbledore’s Army in the VIP box, and Ginny’s voice, which was focused far more on the actual match.
2. Rita Skeeter is still insufferable
Never the most beloved of Harry Potter characters, Rita Skeeter was first introduced to the Harry Potter canon in the fourth book of the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, when she reported on the Triwizard Tournament and started spreading gossip about Harry and his friends. In 2014, J.K. Rowling began writing articles in the voice of both Ginny and Rita Skeeter about the Quidditch World Cup. Rita Skeeter’s gossipy article about the goings on of Dumledore’s Army in the VIP Box gave fans a much desired look into the lives of the characters post-Deathly Hallows. Of course, everything Rita Skeeter writes has to be taken with a grain of salt, as it appears the tabloid reporter hasn’t changed her tactics a bit. In her first story, she writes, among other things, that there might be cracks in Harry and Ginny’s marriage. Rather hilariously, real-world news outlets then began reporting on the imaginary cracks in an imaginary marriage based on an imaginary gossip item that even within the fictionalized world is probably untrue.
1. Harry has a (second) mysterious scar on his face
J.K. Rowling’s short Daily Prophet story told in the always unreliable voice of Rita Skeeter contained a number of intriguing bits of information, including that Dumbledore’s Army remains as close of friends as ever, and that Harry Potter, now in his mid-30s, is sporting a few streaks of gray in his black hair. He also appears to have acquired a second scar on his face, in addition to the lightning bolt scar he has been known for since childhood. As the Head of the Auror Department at the Ministry of Magic, random scars could be just another hazard of a rather dangerous job. Alastor Moody, for example, was basically just one giant walking injury, with his club foot, magical fake eye, and heavily marred face. But what if there’s more to the story? Harry’s lightning bolt scar was no ordinary scar after all. In the first book, Dumbledore chooses not to remove baby Harry’s scar because scars can be useful. This could mean that there’s more to this strange new mark than meets the eye.