Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

For me, the magic of Harry Potter is a Christmastime story. The first time I ever read the series, the first time I ever watched the movies, I just felt like they were definitely Christmas stories, ones of magic and beauty, and I’ve held onto that feeling for years, possibly because the earlier movies tended to come out around the holidays, or perhaps because J.K. Rowling always included Christmas in some way in each novel, but regardless, Christmas means it’s time for Harry Potter once again. Or at least, it did. It used to be that every Christmas season, I’d rewatch all the movies (usually in one sitting), and if I had the time, I’d re-read the entire series as well. But it’s been years since I’ve done this due to life and some other personal things. This year, however, the pull of nostalgia for my teenage years and the feelings of happiness Harry Potter always brought to me came flooding back, and I decided that I’d once again re-read the entire series, re-watch every movie (including the extended versions of some that I’d never seen before), and oh my, the magic of Christmas lives once again. And with that, I decided that since I’m back into blogging after so many years away, and since I haven’t posted about Harry Potter since 2013, that this Christmas season, I’d go in order and re-review each book from the prequel to the final novel as we lead up to Christmas day, partially for myself, and partially to spread the joy and cheer of Harry Potter as I know it. Enjoy!


From Goodreads: The Harry Potter prequel is an 800-word story written by J. K. Rowling, and was published online on 11 June 2008. Set about three years before the birth of Harry Potter, the story recounts an adventure experienced by Sirius Black and James Potter.

At the bottom of the card, JKR wrote: “From the prequel I am NOT working on – but that was fun!”

There is no official ‘cover’ for this short story, seeing as it was penned (By JKR) on an A5 card for the auction by bookseller Waterstone’s, in aid of two reading charities, Dyslexia Action and English Pen. It was auctioned off for £25,000.


As a precursor to Harry Potter and all its goodness, J.K. Rowling wrote this very short teaser, as it were, to give readers young and old a small glimpse into the antics of James Potter and Sirius Black, Harry’s father and godfather, before Harry himself was even a thought. And a glimpse it is because it is so short that it does leave more questions than answers, but also allows the mind to come alive and fill in the gaps, especially for anyone familiar with Harry Potter in any of its forms. This short 800-word glimpse is so well done! Written with the same love and attention readers have come to know, Rowling’s description of the muggle cops scuttling out of the car like crabs in a slender alleyway and attempting to accost James and Sirius is comical and brought audible giggle’s from my depths as I re-read this fantastical, yet brief, tale. Sirius and James were always described by the characters in the Harry Potter series as being cheeky, and here, readers get to see it first hand as they speak with the muggle cops about names, which warmly reminded me of Fred and George Weasley and their nonsense responses when facing trouble.  Of course, readers are left to wonder who the three men on broomsticks were, perhaps Death Eaters, or perhaps someone less nefarious, like friends catching up as part of a game, but the main thing is, we’ll never really know, unless by some fantastic design Rowling decides to take up her pen again and write the prequel series she so adamantly states will never happen. Five stars and a huge want of more.

You can read this very short prequel at MuggleNet for FREE, though some words are a little hard to discern, as this is literally written in Rowling’s cursive handwriting. Enjoy.


et cetera
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