J.K. Rowling has a special Halloween surprise for devoted Harry Potter fans. On October 31st, the author is releasing a new 1,700-word tale – which tells the backstory of Dolores Umbridge, the evil, pink-donning Hogwarts professor – for free on her Pottermore website.
As The Independent notes, the evil Umbridge first appeared in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix as the Minister for Magic's Senior Undersecretary and was portrayed by Imelda Staunton in the popular movie adaptations. Infamously, the witch forced Harry to scar himself with the words, "I must not tell lies" using a Blood Quill, and she was arrested and sentenced to an Azkaban life sentence for crimes against Muggle-borns.
According to a character description on Pottermore, “Umbridge is not only one of the most malicious Potter characters, she is the only person other than Lord Voldemort to leave a permanent physical scar."
The Pottermore site describes the new tale as a "rich, 1,700-word backstory about Umbridge's life, filled with many new details, as well as Rowling's revealing first-person thoughts and reflections about the character."
In July, Rowling released another Potter story. This installment – which temporarily crashed the Pottermore site due to massive traffic – focused on a 33-year-old Harry reuniting with Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger to take in the finals of the Quidditch World Cup.