Full transcript here.
New Canon Introduced
The Leaky Cauldron: What, if anything, did the wizarding world learn, and how did society change, as a direct result of the war with Voldemort? (i.E., not as a result of Harry, Ron and Hermione’s future careers.)
J. K. Rowling: The Ministry of Magic was de-corrupted, and with Kingsley at the helm the discrimination that was always latent there was eradicated. Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny et al would of course play a significant part in the re-building of wizarding society through their future careers.
Ryan Love: From your fans at thesnitch.Co.Uk. Weren’t we supposed to see Ginny display powerful magical abilities in "Deathly Hallows" and find out why it’s significant that she’s the seventh child? Was her main role in the books only to be Harry’s love interest?
J. K. Rowling: Hi Ryan! Well, I think Ginny demonstrated powerful magic in the final battle, and that for a sixteen year old witch she acquitted herself pretty well. I don’t remember ever saying that her ‘seventh child’ status would prove particularly important in the last book, though – are you sure I said that?!
Elisabeth: In the chapter of King's Cross, are they behind the veil or in some world between the real world and the veil?
J. K. Rowling: For many reasons. The name works rather well, and it has been established in the books as the gateway between two worlds, and Harry would associate it with moving on between two worlds (don't forget that it is Harry's image we see, not necessarily what is really there.
Renee: From reading about the original owners of the Deathly Hallows, the Peverell brothers, I'm wondering if Harry and Voldemort are distantly related Voldemort's grandfather ended up with the resurrection stone ring?
J.K. Rowling: Yes, Harry and Voldemort are distantly related through the Peverells. Of course, nearly all wizarding families are related if you trace them back through the centuries. As was made clear in 'Deathly hallows', Peverell blood would run through many wizarding families.
Angela Morrissey: Why is it that Albus Dumbledore can see Harry under his Invisibility cloak at certain moments? (during the series is the cloak only infallible to those who do not own a Deathly Hallow).
J. K. Rowling: Dumbledore, who could perform magic without needing to say the incantation aloud, was using 'Homenum Revelio' – the Human-presence-revealing spell Hermione makes use of in Deathly Hallows.
J. K. Rowling: He saw his family alive, whole and happy - Ariana, Percival and Kendra all returned to him, and Aberforth reconciled to him.
Lucy: What is Dumbledore's boggart?
J. K. Rowling: The corpse of his sister.
Jamie Lewis: What ever happened to Winky?
Nicofr: Does Winky still drink a lot of butterbear?
J. K. Rowling: She's dried out a bit now.
J.K. Rowling: Hermione began her post-Hogwarts career at the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures where she was instrumental in greatly improving life for house-elves and their ilk. She then moved (despite her jibe to Scrimgeour) to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement where she was a progressive voice who ensured the eradication of oppressive, pro-pureblood laws.
J.K. Rowling: I think it was his hair. Every individual has very distinctive-smelling hair, don't you find?
Maggie Keir: Was Hermione able to find her parents and undo the memory damage?
J.K. Rowling: Yes, she brought them home straight away.
Laura Trego: Did Hermione really put a memory charm on her parents? She says she did but then about 50 pages later tells Ron she has never done a memory charm.
J.K. Rowling: They are two different charms. She has not wiped her parents' memories (as she later does to Dolohov and Rowle); she has bewitched them to make them believe that they are different people.
Tineke: Did Teddy grow up living with his grandmother?
J.K. Rowling: Yes, Teddy was raised by Andromeda. However, unlike Neville, who was also raised by his grandmother, Teddy had his godfather, Harry, and all his father's friends in the Order, to visit and stay with.
Vio91: Is Teddy Lupin a werewolf?
J.K. Rowling: No, he's a Metamorphmagus like his mother.
Blodeuwedd: Hi JK, first of all thank you for all the books. I have enjoyed each and every one of them. Could you tell us what professions Harry, Hermione, Ron, Ginny and Luna go on to have? Did the trio do their final year at school and take their N.E.W.T.s?
J.K. Rowling: Thank you! I've already answered about Hermione. Kingsley became permanent Minister for Magic, and naturally he wanted Harry to head up his new Auror department. Harry did so (just because Voldemort was gone, it didn't mean that there would not be other dark witches and wizards in the coming years). Ron joined George at Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, which became an enormous money-spinner. After a few years as a celebrated player for the Holyhead Harpies, Ginny retired to have her family and to become the Senior Quidditch correspondent at the Daily Prophet!
Lecanard: Will we see Harry and his friends having their own history on chocolate frogs cards?
J.K. Rowling: Definitely, and Ron will describe this as his finest hour.
Alicepie: What happend to Luna, did she get married who to?
J.K. Rowling: Luna became a very famous wizarding naturalist who discovered and classified many new species of animals (though, alas, she never did find a Crumple-Horned Snorkack and had, finally, to accept that her father might have made that one up).
Rosi: What does "in essence divided" mean?
J.K. Rowling: Dumbledore suspected that the snake's essence was divided - that it contained part of Voldemort's soul, and that was why it was so very adept at doing his bidding. This also explained why Harry, the last and unintended Horcrux, could see so clearly through the snake's eyes, just as he regularly sees through Voldemort's. Dumbledore is thinking aloud here, edging towards the truth with the help of the Pensieve.
J.K. Rowling: Snakes' sense are very different from human ones. They can detect heat and movement in a way that we can't.
Superhans: What was Dudley's worst memory?
J.K. Rowling: I think that when Dudley was attacked by the Dementors he saw himself, for the first time, as he really was. This was an extremely painful, but ultimately salutory lesson, and began the transformation in him.
Remus and Tonks
Casey Kunze: Who killed Remus and Tonks? I think if I knew this, I would get some closure over the very sad, but understandable, death of two of my favorite characters.
J.K. Rowling: I'm so sorry! I met a couple on launch night who had come dressed as Lupin and Tonks, and I felt dreadfully guilty as I signed their books! Remus was killed by Dolohov and Tonks by Bellatrix.
Laura Trego: Was the absence of Snapes portrait in the headmasters office in the last scene innocent or deliberate?
J.K. Rowling: It was deliberate. Snape had effectively abandoned his post before dying, so he had not merited inclusion in these august circles. However, I like to think that Harry would be instrumental in ensuring that Snape's portrait would appear there in due course.
J.K. Rowling: As established by Ollivander, a wizard can use almost any wand, it is simply that a wand that chooses him/her will work best. Where there is a family connection, a wand will work a little better than a wand chosen at random, I think.
J.K. Rowling: Because she is a very nasty piece of work. She has an affinity for this horrible object, which would help rather than hinder her.
Pablo: What is toadface Umbridge doing now?
J.K. Rowling: Glad to see you like her as much as I do! She was arrested, interrogated and imprisoned for crimes against Muggle-borns.
Tineke: What happened to Percy? Did he return to his job at the ministry?
J.K. Rowling: Yes, the new improved Percy ended up as a high-ranking official under Kingsley.
Su: How did Neville get the Gryffindor sword, is there a link to the hat?
J.K. Rowling: Yes, there is very definitely a link to the hat! Neville, most worthy Gryffindor, asked for help just as Harry did in the Chamber of Secrets, and Gryffindor's sword was transported into Gryffindor's old hat - the Sorting Hat was Gryffindor's initially, as you know. Griphook was wrong - Gryffindor did not 'steal' the sword, not unless you are a goblin fanatic and believe that all goblin-made objects really belong to the maker.
Steph: Will Azkaban still use Dementors?
J.K. Rowling: No, definitely not. Kingsley would see to that. The use of Dementors was always a mark of the underlying corruption of the Ministry, as Dumbledore constantly maintained.
Cornersoul: So what happens to all the Dementors? Where will they go? Will they be destroyed? If so, how?
J.K. Rowling: You cannot destroy Dementors, though you can limit their numbers if you eradicate the conditions in which they multiply, ie, despair and degradation. As I've already said, though, the Ministry no longer used them to torment its opponents.
Carol: Do Dementors have souls?
J.K. Rowling: No, that's what makes them frightening!
Hufflepuff common room
Smallbutpowerful: On behalf of all Harry Potter fans who consider themselves to be Hufflepuffs: Could you please describe the Hufflepuff common room as it is the only common room Harry hasn't visited?
J.K. Rowling: The Hufflepuff common room is accessed through a portrait near the kitchens, as I am sure you have deduced. Sorry - I should say 'painting' rather than portrait, because it is a still-life. It is a very cosy and welcoming place, as dissimilar as possible from Snape's dungeon. Lots of yellow hangings, and fat armchairs, and little underground tunnels leading to the dormitories, all of which have perfectly round doors, like barrel tops.
Camille: How is George getting along without his twin's death?
J.K. Rowling: Well, I don't think that George would ever get over losing Fred, which makes me feel so sad. However, he names his first child and son Fred, and he goes on to have a very successful career, helped by good old Ron.
Tierney Roth: If Moody got a magic eye and wormtail got a magic hand, couldn't there be some way to form a magical ear, if only to cover up the hole and make George look more symmetrical?
J.K. Rowling: Yes, he could wear a false ear (I'm starting to giggle at the thought. Perhaps he's better off with the hole!)
Jessica Lynn: Did Hagrid have to be able to see thestrals in order to train them if so, whose death did Hagrid witness?
J.K. Rowling: Hagrid has seen many deaths in quite a long life, so yes, he can see Thestrals.
Christiana: How did Voldemort get his wand back after he was in exile?
J.K. Rowling: Wormtail, desperate to curry favour, salvaged it from the place it had fallen and carried it to him. I admit that would have been a bit of a feat for a rat, but they are highly intelligent creatures!
Ravleen: How much does the fact that Voldemort was conceived under a love potion have to do with his nonability to understand love? Is it more symbolic?
J.K. Rowling: It was a symbolic way of showing that he came from a loveless union - but of course, everything would have changed if Merope had survived and raised him herself and loved him. The enchantment under which Tom Riddle fathered Voldemort is important because it shows coercion, and there can't be many more prejudicial ways to enter the world than as the result of such a union.
Maura: How come Voldemort was no longer employing occlumency against Harry, as he was in the 6th book?
J.K. Rowling: He is losing control, and unable to prevent Harry seeing into his mind. The connection between them is never fully understood by Voldemort, who does not know that Harry is a Horcrux.
Jon: Since Voldemort was afraid of death, did he choose to be a ghost? If so where does he haunt or is this not possible due to his horcruxes?
J.K. Rowling: No, he is not a ghost. He is forced to exist in the stunted form we witnessed in King's Cross.
Angela Morrissey: Were there seven horcruxes not six as dumbledore intimated to Harry? If so, does this mean that Voldemort had an 8 part soul not a 7 part soul?
J.K. Rowling: Yes, Voldemort accidentally broke his soul into eight parts, not seven.
James Farrell: Voldemort never told anyone about his horcruxes, so how on earth did Regulus Black discover his secret?
J.K. Rowling: Horcrux magic was not Voldemort's own invention; as is established in the story, other wizards had done it, though never gone as far as to make six. Voldemort dropped oblique hints; in his arrogance, he did not believe anybody would be clever enough to understand them. (He does so in the graveyard of Little Hangleton, in front of Harry). He did this before Regulus and Regulus guessed, correctly, what it was that made Voldemort so convinced he could not die.
Hayleyhaha: Why did Regulus have a change of heart?
J.K. Rowling: He was not prepared for the reality of life as a Death Eater. It was Voldemort's attempted murder of Kreacher that really turned him.
Lily and Snape
Jaclyn: Did Lily ever have feelings back for Snape?
J.K. Rowling: Yes. She might even have grown to love him romantically (she certainly loved him as a friend) if he had not loved Dark Magic so much, and been drawn to such loathesome people and acts.
Nithya: Lily detested Mulciber, Avery. If Snape really loved her, why didn't he sacrifice their company for her sake?
J.K. Rowling: Well, that is Snape's tragedy. Given his time over again he would not have become a Death Eater, but like many insecure, vulnerable people (like Wormtail) he craved membership of something big and powerful, something impressive. He wanted Lily and he wanted Mulciber, too. He never really understood Lily's aversion; he was so blinded by his attraction to the dark side he thought she would find him impressive if he became a real Death Eater.
Rachel Nell: JKR, thank you for such amazing books! I would like to know how come noone seemed to know that Lily and Snape were friends in school they were obviously meeting for chats, etc didn't James know their past?
J.K. Rowling: Thank you for your thank you! Yes, it was known that they were friendly and then stopped being friends. Nothing more than that would be widely known. James always suspected Snape harboured deeper feelings for Lily, which was a factor in James' behaviour to Snape.
Michael: Why didnt fawkes come back to help harry I would have thought that since harry was so loyal to dumbledore, fawkes would have been harrys new pet
J.K. Rowling: Something had to leave the school for good when Dumbledore died, and I decided that would be Fawkes. Dumbledore was a very great and irreplacable man, and the loss of Fawkes (and the fact that he was 'non-transferable'!) expresses this symbolically
Roseweasley: Why was colin creavey still a student at hogwarts when he was muggleborn surely he would have been locked up and interogated, not allowed back to school therefore, he shouldnt have died
J.K. Rowling: Colin wasn't a student. He sneaked back with the rest of the DA, along with Fred, George and the rest. He ought not to have stayed behind when McGonagall told him to leave, but alas - he did.
Jessie: Will lockhart ever recover?
J.K. Rowling: No. Nor would I want him to. He's happy where he is, and I'm happier without him!
Nippy23: We see socks a lot throughout the series, such as dobby’s love for them and dumbledore’s claim to see them in the mirror of erised, what’s the reason behind all the socks
J.K. Rowling: Nothing deep and significant, I'm afraid. They're just a comedy item.
Lady Bella: Whose murders did voldemor use to create each of the horcruxes
J.K. Rowling: The diary - Moaning Myrtle. The cup - Hepzibah Smith, the previous owner. The locket - a Muggle tramp. Nagini - Bertha Jorkins (Voldemort could use a wand once he regained a rudimentary body, as long as the victim was subdued). The diadem - an Albanian peasant. The ring - Tom Riddle snr.
Sampotterish: Why did dumbledore want ron to keep his deluminator
J.K. Rowling: Because he knew that Ron might need a little more guidance than the other two. Dumbledore understood Ron's importance in the trio. He wasn't the most skilled, or the most intelligent, but he held them together; his humour and his good heart were essential.
Natalie: Are house divisions as prevalaent in harry’s children’s hogwarts as in the previous generations
J.K. Rowling: Slytherin has become diluted. It is no longer the pureblood bastion it once was. Nevertheless, its dark reputation lingers, hence Albus Potter's fears.
Master of Death
Alborz: What does it mean to be the master of death
J.K. Rowling: As Dumbledore explains, the real master of Death accepts that he must die, and that there are much worse things in the world of the living. It is not about striving for immortality, but about accepting mortality.
Courtney: What child did harry give the marauders map to if any
J.K. Rowling: I've got a feeling he didn't give it to any of them, but that James sneaked it out of his father's desk one day.
Karin: What did petunia wanted to say to harry at the end of the dursleys departing
J.K. Rowling: I think that for one moment she trembled on the verge of wishing Harry luck; that she almost acknowledged that her loathing of his world, and of him, was born out of jealousy. But she couldn't do it; years of pretending that 'normal' was best had hardened her too much.
Barbara: I was very disappointed to see Harry use Crucio and seem to enjoy it. His failure to perform that kind of curse in the past has been a credit to his character why the change, and did harry later regret having enjoyed deliberately causing pain
J.K. Rowling: Harry is not, and never has been, a saint. Like Snape, he is flawed and mortal. Harry's faults are primarily anger and occasional arrogance. On this occasion, he is very angry and acts accordingly. He is also in an extreme situation, and attempting to defend somebody very good against a violent and murderous opponent.
Nigel: Can harry speak parseltongue when he is no longer a horcrux?
J.K. Rowling: No, he loses the ability, and is very glad to do so.
Nikki: How did sirius twoway mirror end up with aberforth or is it another twoway mirror
J.K. Rowling: You see Aberforth meeting Mundungus in Hogsmeade. That was the occasion on which Dung, who had taken Sirius's mirror from Grimmauld Place, sold it to Aberforth.
Katie Mosher: How exactly do muggleborns receive magical ability
J.K. Rowling: Muggle-borns will have a witch or wizard somewhere on their family tree, in some cases many, many generations back. The gene re-surfaces in some unexpected places.
Maggie: Is rita skeeter still reporting
J.K. Rowling: Naturally, what could stop Rita? I imagine she immediately dashed off a biography of Harry after he defeated Voldemort. One quarter truth to three quarters rubbish.
Lola Victorpujebet: Was minerva in love with albus
J.K. Rowling: No! Not everybody falls in love with everybody else...
Abbey: Will the chuddley cannons ever win the quidditch world cup
J.K. Rowling: Bless them, perhaps. But they'd need to replace the entire team and down several cauldrons of Felix Felicitas.
Stephval: Is scorpius as misguided as his father, or has draco improved and taught his child(ren) better
J.K. Rowling: Scorpius has a lot going against him, not least that name. However, I think Scorpius would be an improvement on his father, whom misfortune has sobered!
Draco and Harry
Lona: Did draco and harry lose their animosity towards eachother when voldemort died
J.K. Rowling: Not really. There would be a kind of rapprochement, in that Harry knows Draco hated being a Death Eater, and would not have killed Dumbledore; similarly, Draco would feel a grudging gratitude towards Harry for saving his life. Real friendship would be out of the question, though. Too much had happened prior to the final battle.
Defence Against the Dark Arts
Adwait313: Has the jinx on the dada teaching post at hogwarts been lifted
J.K. Rowling: Yes, at last! Incidentally, I know some have asked about Quirrell with regard to this question. He was teaching at Hogwarts for more than a year, but NOT in the post of D.A.D.A. teacher. He was previously Muggle Studies professor.
Emily: What ever happened to aberforth
J.K. Rowling: He is still there, at the Hog's Head, playing with his goats.
Lee: I recently purchsed nimbus twothousand it has a terrible knack of veering left is their anything I can do (wihout the use of a wand it was broken by a hippogriff) to repair it back to it original straight flying state
J.K. Rowling: Hm. I would advise a trip to Arkie Alderton's Kwik-Repair Shop. Never attempt to mend a broom at home, the consequences can be disastrous.
Abjoppotter: Is narcissa malfoy really a death eater
J.K. Rowling: No, she never had the Dark Mark and was never a fully paid-up member. However, her views were identical to those of her husband until Voldemort planned the death of her son.
Emzzy: Did mr weasley ever get around to fixing sirius motorbike
J.K. Rowling: Of course, and it ended up in Harry's possession.
Chelatina: Was Firenze ever welcomed back into the herd
Chely: James patronus is a stag and lilys a doe is that a coincidence?
J.K. Rowling: No, the Patronus often mutates to take the image of the love of one's life (because they so often become the 'happy thought' that generates a Patronus).
Gandalfxj9: Did krum ever find love
J.K. Rowling: Of course, though he had to go back to his native Bulgaria to do so.
Chucky: Have you had another alternatives as book title apart from deathly hallows
J.K. Rowling: The two other possibilities were 'the Elder Wand' (used instead as a chapter title) and 'the Peverell Quest', which I decided against quite quickly. I think the word 'Quest' is a bit corny!
The Stoic Cycle: Why is it that voldemort is unaware that the gaunt ring is a hallow, when he has worn it (such as in the memory the diary shows harry in book 2)
J.K. Rowling: Wearing the ring would not make the stone work. The stone existed outside the ring originally, and to use it you had to turn it three times in your hand.
Ea: Will the stone ever be found, since it was left just sitting on the forest floor
J.K. Rowling: I think not. I imagine that it was squashed into the ground by a centaur's hoof as the centaurs dashed to the aid of the Hogwarts fighters, and thereafter became buried.
Finchburg: Does the dark mark remain on those that voldemort has branded after his death or does the tattoo dissapear now he is gone thanks for considering my question!
J.K. Rowling: My pleasure, Finchburg! The Dark Mark would fade to a scar, not dissimilar to the lightning scar on Harry's forehead. Like Harry's, these scars would no longer burn or hurt.
Katie Mosher: How is the quibbler doing these days
J.K. Rowling: Pretty well, actually. It has returned to its usual condition of advanced lunacy, and is appreciated for its unintentional humour.
Isabel: Did bellatrix ever love her husband, or did she have love only for voldemort
J.K. Rowling: She took a pureblood husband, because that was what was expected of her, but her true love was always Voldemort.
Darchey: Did voldemort ever love a girl
J.K. Rowling: No, he loved only power, and himself. He valued people whom he could use to advance his own objectives.
Brian: Did the da keep the coins?
J.K. Rowling: Naturally. They would be like badges or medals of honour - proof that the owner had been at the heart of the fight against Voldemort from the start! I like to imagine Neville showing his to his admiring pupils.
Lechicaneuronline: Do you think snape is a hero
J.K. Rowling: Yes, I do; though a very flawed hero. An anti-hero, perhaps. He is not a particularly likeable man in many ways. He remains rather cruel, a bully, riddled with bitterness and insecurity - and yet he loved, and showed loyalty to that love and, ultimately, laid down his life because of it. That's pretty heroic!
Annie: Does the wizarding world now know that snape was dumbledores man, or do they still think he did a bunk
J.K. Rowling: Harry would ensure that Snape's heroism was known. Of course, that would not stop Rita Skeeter writing 'Snape: Scoundrel or Saint?'
Lou: How did snape get into grimmauld place to get the second half of the letter, if there were protection spells on the house stopping snape getting in
J.K. Rowling: Snape entered the house immediately after Dumbledore's death, before Moody put up the spells against him.
jenny: How did snape keep his patronus secret from the rest of the order?
J.K. Rowling: He was careful not to use the talking Patronus means of communication with them. This was not difficult, as his particular job within the Order, ie, as spy, meant that sending a Patronus to any of them might have given away his true allegiance.
Hannah: Why was snape so badly groomed
J.K. Rowling: Hmm. Good question. Poor eyesight? Did he look in the mirror and believe he was gorgeous as he was? I think it more likely that he valued other qualities in himself!
J.K. Rowling: Yes, because a Patronus is used against things that the Death Eaters generally generate, or fight alongside. They would not need Patronuses.
Louie: Did mariettas pimply formation ever fade
J.K. Rowling: Eventually, but it left a few scars. I loathe a traitor!
Tess: What muggle song do you imagine would be played at dumbledores funeral
J.K. Rowling: Surely 'I did it my way' by Frank Sinatra.