TIME Books

At Last, You Can Read Harry Potter in the Gryffindor Common Room

Harry Potter
Warner Bros.

Pour yourself a butterbeer and relive your favorite series

It took 14 years for J.K. Rowling to agree to make the Harry Potter series available digitally. And while the seven books hit the e-shelves in 2011 through Rowling’s fan site Pottermore, they’ve never been available like this. The e-reading subscription service Oyster — often called the Netflix of books, since it lets you stream an unlimited number of books on many devices for $9.95 a month — has worked with Pottermore to bring the entire series and the complete Hogwarts Library to users.

Oyster is noteworthy for having a customizable user experience: readers can alter the visual theme of their book. But those reading the Potter series can choose a Hogwarts house to read in — where the font and colors will reflect whether you’re a Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff. Users can even tap a Sorting Hat icon that will place them in a house to read in at random. (That is, you no longer need to make polyjuice potion to get inside Slytherin.)

Readers can choose a custom House Theme to read in. Oyster


The “Hogwarts Library” that will be featured on the service includes three books that once only existed in the wizarding world: Quidditch Through the Ages, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Fantastic Beasts, a textbook “written by” Newt Scamander, is being turned into a Potter spinoff of three films, the first of which will hit theaters November 18, 2016.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world,” Rowling, who is penning the screenplay, said in a statement in 2013. “The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.”

Long story short: now is a good time to study up on Thestrals, Hippogrifs and Norwegian Ridgebacks.

Read next: The Harry Potter Actor Who Played Malfoy Is Seriously Bummed He Was Sorted Into Gryffindor

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TIME movies

10 Things Beauty and the Beast’s Belle and Harry Potter’s Hermione Have in Common

From Left: 'Beauty And The Beast' and 'Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix' Disney; Warner Brothers

Emma Watson's new role as Belle in Beauty and the Beast has more in common with Hermione Granger than just being bookish

Emma Watson, best known for playing Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies, has been cast in Disney’s live-action version of Beauty and the Beast and thus is stepping into another role as a beloved nerdy girl. Hermione and Belle are probably the two most well-known bookworms in pop culture — and it turns out they have a lot more in common than their mutual love for the written word:

1. They’re both bookworms

Obviously, the casting directors for Beauty and the Beast wondered, “What other female character spends all her time with her nose in a book?” The best they could come up with was Hermione.

2. Everyone thinks they’re strange

Because Belle and Hermione are both beautiful women who love to read, everyone thinks they’re weird — obviously. Hermione is ostracized by her peers (including her future husband Ron Weasley) in J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book for being a know-it-all, while the townspeople sing about Belle in the opening scene of Beauty and the Beast, “Look there she goes that girl is strange, no question. / Dazed and distracted, can’t you tell?” People are the worst.

3. They love beastly things

While Belle shows her affection for the Beast, a creature who repels most, Hermione is kind to the gentle giant Grawp, half-brother of Hagrid, the Hogwarts gamekeeper. Grawp, however, never turns into a handsome prince.

4. They are humans that enter a magical world

When Belle comes to Beast’s castle, she finds an enchanted world where teacups and candelabras can sing and dance. Hermione is a muggle whose first major introduction to the magic is at Hogwarts where the ceiling can change from night to day and ghosts wander the halls.

5. They both live in castles

The Beast’s home and Hogwarts? They’re both massive, old and awesome magical castles. Emma Watson will feel right at home on the Beauty and the Beast set.

6. They both have major dress moments

Remember when Belle appears at the top of the stairs in a billowing yellow dress before her dance with the Beast? Remember when the exact same thing happens on top of another staircase as Hermione shows up in that gorgeous dress to the Yule Ball? They even have the same hairstyle! Here’s a reminder:

7. They’re friendly to all creatures

Belle defends her beloved horse, while Hermione is always a helper to the house elves (RIP Dobby). She even launched a Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare.

8. They both get hit on by terrible men

Gaston, a detestable human being, is relentless as he hits on Belle. Hermione, too, must suffer through the amorous advances of Cormac McLaggen at Potions Professor Slughorn’s holiday party. Both are smart enough, of course, to run away from their loathsome suitors.

9. They love wandering into restricted places

Don’t tell these ladies where they can and cannot go. Belle wanders into the forbidden west wing of the castle even though the Beast warns her not to do so. Hermione passes off an autograph from Professor Gilderoy Lockhart as a note that allows her to enter the restricted section of the library in Hogwarts.

10. They’re judgey about table manners

Hermione makes fun of Ron for eating like a slob, just like Belle throws shade at the Beast for eating his oatmeal like, well, a beast.

Read next: How 7 Disney Princesses Could Change the World

TIME movies

See How the Oscars Are Honoring Harry Potter

Harry Potter
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. , Left to right: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint Jaap Buitendijk—Warner Bros

Some belated love for a film series long snubbed

Plenty of Oscar winners and nominees starred in the Harry Potter franchise, and it was nominated for 12 Academy Awards over the span of its eight-film series. But it won none, leading some to call it the “most-snubbed-top-grossing franchise of all time.”

But The Academy, or at least whoever runs Oscars.org, has launched a new section of its Collection Highlights dedicated to The Boy Who Lived. Fans will find 27 pieces of Potter content, including casting and directing rumors, photos from the set and more. There’s newspaper clippings (but they don’t move like the Wizarding World’s Daily Prophet) highlighting some of the biggest media storms surrounding the films. For example, Steven Spielberg was long-rumored to spearhead the first film in the series and many speculated that an American actor could have been cast as Harry. And superfans might be surprised to learn that in June 2000, Tim Roth, well-known for Pulp Fiction, was originally cast as Severus Snape. The role eventually went to Alan Rickman after Roth chose to star in Tim Burton’s remake of Planet of the Apes.

The special section also recounts the drama over who would play Dumbledore after Richard Harris, the original Hogwarts Headmaster, died in 2003.

Radcliffe spoke out about the Academy’s snubs in 2012, when Hugo and The Artist dominated the awards, saying: “I don’t think the Oscars like commercial films, or kids’ films, unless they’re directed by Martin Scorsese. I was watching Hugo the other day and going, ‘Why is this nominated and we’re not?’ I was slightly miffed. … There’s a certain amount of snobbery. It’s kind of disheartening. I never thought I’d care. But it would’ve been nice to have some recognition, just for the hours put in.”

TIME Books

See These Weird New Images of Your Favorite Harry Potter Characters

Scholastic Harry Potter
Draco Malfoy Jim Kay—Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

J.K. Rowling has approved all the illustrations herself

It’s easy to think of Harry Potter’s best (and arguably smartest) friend Hermione solely as Emma Watson, the actress who played her in the movies. But the publishers of J.K. Rowling’s beloved young wizard series decided to give Ms. Granger and company a completely new look. And on Tuesday, a few more re-designs came on display for the first time.

Bloomsbury UK and Scholastic in the U.S. have released new images from the first fully illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which will be hit shelves on October 6. The new edition will be a hardcover with illustrated endpapers and illustrations by Jim Kay throughout.

J.K. Rowling met with Kay and had approval during the process, according to Bloomsbury UK publicity. “She’s definitely seen the majority of the illustrations,” a spokesperson for the publisher says. In addition to the new release of what Hagrid, Hermione, Malfoy and Ron will look like in the book, images of The Boy Who Lived himself and Hogwarts were released in December. See what they look like below.

Read next: Everything J.K. Rowling Revealed About Harry Potter in 2014

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John Green Takes Fans Inside His Creative Process

The 'teen whisperer' reveals the inner workings of his first novel in its anniversary edition. Warning: Subtle spoilers ahead

It’s been 10 years since John Green’s first novel Looking for Alaska was published. So to celebrate, Dutton has released a special edition with an introduction and Q&A from Green, along with original content and drafts from his original manuscript.

“The story I wanted to tell… was about young people whose lives are so transformed by an experience that they can only respond by reimagining time itself,” Green writes in the special edition release.

He also introduces fans to Julie Strauss Gabel, his editor, who was his date to the 2014 TIME 100 Gala, where Green was honored by the magazine for his influence on teens and literature in general.

“Books, like most of my favorite things, are collaborations,” he writes, constantly citing the help of Strauss-Gabel, who calls the book the one that changed her life.

The story follows Miles Halter’s experiences at prep school in Alabama, where he falls for an elusive and beautiful girl named Alaska. It’s currently in 4th on the New York Times Young Adult bestseller list, right behind Green’s bestselling The Fault in Our Stars and Gayle Forman’s If I Stay and Where She Went, all published by Strauss-Gabel.

The special edition will please fans who, like Miles, have never forgotten Alaska Young. Letting her go was just as difficult for Green and Strauss-Gabel as it was for readers. In fact, Green wrote one critical scene about 15 or 20 times, only to be told to rewrite it.

“Finding the right way to say goodbye to Alaska Young was a near-impossible task,” Strauss-Gabel writes.

She also includes annotated calendars used during editing to mark crucial dates and plot points. Fans will get an inside look at Green’s creative process, the inspiration behind naming Alaska, a handful of working titles for the book, plus some insight on how he drafted The Fault in Our Stars.

Meanwhile, Looking for Alaska is getting the big screen treatment from Paramount Pictures—with actress and filmmaker Sarah Polley to adapt and direct the film. Fans have plenty to tide them over until its release, as Green’s Paper Towns adaptation hits theaters this June.

The ‘teen whisperer’ celebrated the three-year publishing anniversary for Fault on Sunday.

No word if there will be a similar anniversary edition seven years from now but it goes without saying that nerdfighters everywhere would be pleased.

TIME Television

Your Guide to Hate-Watching Glee’s Final Season

'Glee' Fox

When bad TV happens to good people

It’s been a long time since the New Directions gave us all goosebumps with the group’s cover of “Don’t Stop Believin.” Since then, the a capella outcasts of William McKinley High School have had many ups and many downs, including incredible covers, interesting guest stars, 3-D films, Twitter hoaxes and the tragedy of losing star Cory Monteith.

Glee, the once popular musical dramedy, hit a ratings low during its fifth season finale with just 1.9 million viewers, and Fox trimmed its final season to 20 episodes. Even worse, the show got pushed to Friday nights. Last season was pretty awful, but the show must go on. So if you’re a Gleek who’s yet to let go, here’s what you need to know before tuning in Friday.

Where we left off

Things got ridiculous last season. Rachel landed the role of Fanny Brice in Funny Girl on Broadway and dropped out of NYADA to focus on her career. She was later upended when Santana became her understudy, which only fueled their feud. Blaine and Kurt got engaged to a sweet cover of “All You Need Is Love” during the Beatles episode. And Finn’s death was pretty much glossed over in a touching episode called “The Quarterback” (more on this below). Sam, Blaine, Artie and Mercedes moved to New York after graduation. Sam and Mercedes had an odd relationship in New York that ended when Mercedes left the city to go on a mall tour with Brittany and Santana, who got back together. Oh, we’re not done yet. Puck and Quinn, who reunited on the show’s 100th episode, got back together despite sharing a child together in the first season. Seriously, all of this happened. And to top it all off, at the end of the season, Rachel left Broadway to pursue a career in TV while the glee club was disbanded by whom other than Sue Sylvester. There were also guest stars like Shirley Maclaine, Demi Lovato and Peter Facinelli, and some returning ones like Gwyneth Paltrow and Whoopi Goldberg.

The struggle without Cory Monteith

The show said farewell to its quarterback Finn Hudson when Monteith died at 31 of a heroin overdose in July of 2013. The star dated on-screen girlfriend Lea Michele in real life, which was reflected in the goodbye episode that seemed as much a tribute to Monteith as it did to his character. The show’s creator Ryan Murphy explained that this final season was supposed to wrap up the love between Michele and Monteith’s Rachel and Finn. At the end of season six, Lea [Michele’s] Rachel was going to have become a big Broadway star, the role she was born to play. Finn was going to have become a teacher, settled down happily in Ohio, at peace with his choice and no longer feeling like a Lima loser. The very last line of dialogue was to be this: Rachel comes back to Ohio, fulfilled and yet not, and walks into Finn’s glee club. “What are you doing here?” he would ask. “I’m home,” she would reply. Fade out. The end.”

What we know about the final season

Rachel and Kurt have moved home to Lima to bring the New Directions back to life against Sue’s wishes. There are a handful of new characters, bullies and outsiders, who bring back memories of season one (arguably the show’s best), but will likely seem a little been-there-done-that at this stage. Originals like Mark Salling, Dianna Agron, Naya Rivera and Heather Morris will be back as well. “They’re all back home kind of to lick their wounds,” Jane Lynch told Entertainment Tonight.

Songs to expect

“Let It Go” is the most publicized of the numbers and was released earlier this week. No word on whether Rachel’s on-screen mother Idina Menzel, who sings the original from Frozen, will make another guest appearance. There have also been cuts of Darren Criss’ Blaine covering Ed Sheeran’s “Sing” and clips of the entire club tackling A-ha’s eighties hit “Take on Me.”

The two-hour season premier is set to air on Friday at 8 p.m. E.T.

Get your slushies ready.

TIME movies

Read TIME’s Review of a 2008 Charlie Hebdo Documentary

The film followed the trial surrounding Islamic groups that sued the satirical weekly newspaper after it published Danish cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad

In 2008, the Cannes Film Festival presented the documentary called C’est dur d’être aimé par des cons or It’s Hard Being Loved by Jerks, a documentary named for a controversial cartoon published in the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The film followed the lawsuit Islamist groups brought against the satirical newspaper after it published Danish cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad.

In the wake of Wednesday’s terror attack in which gunmen stormed the newspaper’s offices and killed at least 12 people, here’s TIME’s review of the film from 2008, written by Mary Corliss, and a clip of editor and cartoonist Stéphane Charbonnier, known as Charb, discussing the fallout of publishing the cartoons. Charbonnier was killed in Wednesday’s attack.

It’s Hard Being Loved By Jerks

That’s the caption for a cartoon of an exasperated Mohammed that ran on the cover of Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical weekly. It was the winner of a contest the magazine held in support of the Danish magazine that was threatened by Islamic fundamentalists after publishing an illustration of the Prophet with a bomb in his turban. Inside that issue of Charlie Hebdo were 12 other cartoons, including one in which four terrorist whose bodies are still smoking from a bomb blast are arriving in heaven, and Mohammed says “Wait, we’ve run out of virgins.”

Muslims in France were no more amused than the ones in Denmark. (They consider any depiction of Mohammed to be blasphemy.) So three Islamic groups brought suit against Charlie Hebdo. Leconte’s film follows the trial through recollections of witnesses and the legal teams as well as documenting the religious and political debates in the halls outside the courtroom. He focuses on the chronological suspense of the trial, and has the benefit of defense attorneys whose brilliance is as sharp as the magazine’s. When the plaintiffs’ lawyer argues that Islam is caricatured more unfairly than other religions, one attorney itemizes a long list of affronts toward Catholicism, including a description of the Pope as … well, it sounds like “Shiite.”

It’s a serious issue, gods know, but Leconte keeps the film racing along like a Preston Sturges comedy. Aside from being a tribute to the liberality of the French judicial system (at least on free-speech matters), It’s Hard Being Loved by Jerks is the briskest, most hilarious and, in its subversive way, most inspiring film so far at Cannes.


See What Happened When Lady Edith Played Cards Against Humanity

"Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb" New York Premiere - Outside Arrivals
Laura Carmichael attends the Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb New York premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater on December 11, 2014 in New York City. Jim Spellman—WireImage/Getty Images

Bonus: Mrs. Patmore talks about farting

It’s rare that Downton Abbey viewers get to see Lady Edith smile. But this new video changes everything. Laura Carmichael, who plays Downton Abbey‘s saddest sister, sat down with Lesley Nicol (Mrs. Patmore) and Phyliss Logan (Elise Hughes) to play the least appropriate of games: Cards of Humanity. Things escalate quickly to behavior that’s better suited for downstairs than upstairs.

“We’ve never played before so bear with us,” Nicol’s says at the start. But if you’ve ever played the card game, you can probably imagine the turn it took. Lady Edith talks about balls, Mrs. Patmore gets on the subject of farting and Mrs. Hughes says “bitches.” Lady Cora would be appalled. The three women can hardly control themselves. See if you can by watching the full clip at EW.com.

TIME Books

Everything J.K. Rowling Revealed About Harry Potter in 2014

Harry Potter
From left: Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, 2011. Jaap Buitendijk—Warner Bros.

The boy who lived. And lived. And lived

It’s been more than five years since J.K. Rowling’s final Harry Potter book was released. But it doesn’t mean the wizarding world has come to a halt. 2014 brought columns from Rita Skeeter, social media riddles from Rowling and revelations that Hogwarts was as warm and welcoming a place to diversity as Potter fans would have wanted. Though some critics argue Rowling needs to cool it with the new content, Potter fanatics feel otherwise. Here’s everything we learned about the wizarding world in 2014.

Dumbledore’s Army members are in their thirties

Rowling hit the heart of nostalgia in July when she published a gossip column from Rita Skeeter about Harry and Company’s reunion at the Quidditch World Cup. The infamous wizards, “no longer the fresh-faced teenagers they were in their heyday,” are now in their thirties. Harry, a 34-year-old with “threads of silver” in his hair, was sporting a new scar, a “nasty cut over his right cheekbone,” which Skeeter speculated was from an argument with his wife Ginny Potter, now a reporter for the Daily Prophet.

READ MORE J.K. Rowling finally gives Harry Potter fans what they want

Hermione Granger, the feminist fatale, naturally did not change her last name as Ginny did. Granger unsurprisingly rose to be Deputy Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Ron Weasley, however, is beginning to bald and left the Ministry of Magic after only two years to co-manage Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes with his brother George. Percy Weasley, meanwhile, is Head of the Department of Magical Transportation.

READ MORE J.K. Rowling, please stop talking about Harry Potter

Neville Longbottom is now an Herbology teacher at Hogwarts and is married to Hannah Abbot, a Hufflepuff. Luna Lovegood is married to Rolf Scamander (grandson of Newt Scamander, more on that below). Teddy Lupin, son of the deceased Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks, is now 16 and seems to be addicted to snogging Victoire, who is Bill Weasley and Fleur de la Coeur’s daughter.

Dolores Umbridge was inspired by one of Rowling’s own teachers

Rowling released a 1,700-word story on Halloween, noting that Umbridge was based on a former teacher who she despised. “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 on Harry,” Rowling wrote and “one of the characters for whom [she felt] the purest dislike.” Her affinity for kittens was also inspired by a woman Rowling once shared an office with, who “had covered the wall space behind her desk with pictures of fluffy kitties.” Umbridge’s backstory was revealed in the piece, including the fact that her mother was a Muggle, her father a wizard and her brother a Squib. “Nasty things tended to happen” to those who inquired about her family. And even to those who didn’t, we always knew.

Gilderoy Lockhart tried to make a line of hair products

The famous wizard was always looking for new ways to stay famous. Lockhart discovered Occamy eggs—Occamys are serpentine-like creatures with wings who are very protective of their silver eggs. The creatures’ aggressiveness made the shampoos too expensive and too dangerous to produce.

Celestina Warbeck was quite the dramatic rockstar

“An early marriage to a backing dancer lasted only a year; Celestina then married her manager, with whom she had a son, only to leave him for the composer Irving Warble ten years later,” Rowling wrote. Rowling posted the story about one of Molly Weasley’s favorites on Pottermore in August, along with a jazz-like song called “You Stole My Cauldron But You Can’t Have My Heart.”

Rowling is very excited about the Harry Potter spinoff

Fans thought Rowling was hinting at a new Potter book when she posted an anagram to Twitter asking fans to solve it. But a winner revealed it was simply a hint at Rowling’s latest project: The screenplay for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a Potter movie spinoff. The screenplay is based on a book that once only existed in the wizarding world and served as a textbook at Hogwarts.

There is room for everyone at Hogwarts (almost)

Rowling responded to a fan who tweeted that his wife had teasingly told him there were no Jews at Hogwarts, meaning that she was the only one qualified to be “magical” in the family.

She confirmed in a later Tweet that the only people she never imagined at Hogwarts are Wiccans. All sexual orientations are welcome as well, she confirmed when a fan asked about an LGBT club at Hogwarts.

There’s a reason Draco Malfoy is so mean

“Draco was raised in an atmosphere of regret that the Dark Lord had not succeeded in taking command of the wizarding community,” Rowling wrote, revealing that before meeting Harry on the Hogwarts Express, Draco, his family and other ex-Death Eaters thought Harry could be “another, and better, Voldemort.” Draco married Astoria Greengrass, who may have helped shape the bitter Slytherin into a better man. “As Astoria refused to raise their grandson Scorpius in the belief that Muggles were scum, family gatherings were fraught with tension,” Rowling wrote.

Snape is not a vampire, but there was almost a vampire in the series

Rowling toyed with the idea of a vampire professor at Hogwarts called Trocar, named for a “sharply pointed shaft inserted into arteries or cavities to extract bodily fluids.” Though Trocar was edited out early on in the Potter process, fans speculated that Snape was a vampire. “While it is true that he has an unhealthy pallor, and is sometimes described as looking like a large bat in his long black coat, he never actually turns into a bat,” Rowling wrote. “We meet him outside in the castle by daylight, and no corpses with puncture marks in their necks ever turn up at Hogwarts.”

The Inferi were not zombies

Inferi were somewhat inspired by zombies, but Rowling purposely didn’t call them that because of Michael Jackson. “I’m part of the ‘Thriller’ generation,” she wrote. “To me, a zombie will always mean Michael Jackson in a bright red bomber jacket.”

The Hufflepuff Horcrux was almost a cauldron

“But there was something slightly comical and incongruous about having such a large and heavy horcrux,” Rowling wrote.

The Leaky Cauldron was almost ruined by muggles

The oldest pub in London survived when Muggles built Charing Cross Road that “ought to have flattened it completely.” The bar also serves a beer that a former landlord created to honor a former Minister of Magic, but it’s “so disgusting that nobody has ever been known to finish a pint.”

Rowling has some regrets
The author regretted killing off Florean Fortescue, the owner of the Diagon Alley ice cream parlor. “I seemed to have him kidnapped and killed for no good reason,” she wrote. “He is not the first wizard whom Voldemort murdered because he knew too much (or too little), but he is the only one I feel guilty about, because it was all my fault.”

Read next: Now You Can Actually Attend a Hogwarts-Like Wizardry School

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J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore Christmas Comes to an End

This is what Rowling left for fans on the last day of the series

On the last day of J.K. Rowling’s 12 Days of Christmas Pottemore series, the fansite teased the latest piece of content on Twitter.

Alas, it was yet another disappointment, and a sad one thanks to the topic at hand: Dumbledore’s funeral.

Solving the funeral riddle with the Hogwarts Headmaster’s first name, Albus, unlocks a funeral scene that’s somber and grey. After yesterday’s lengthy piece on the childhood and future of Draco Malfoy, it seemed something magical could be in store today. But a measly three paragraphs explained the Order of Merlin, a prestigious award given to witches and wizards and, of course, to Dumbledore.

The new content from Rowling was widely criticized by fans who grumbled in the comments and from critics who claim adding more to the series now only highlights their shortcomings. But it’d be surprising to see any Potter fans turning away new content, which will undoubtedly continue. Rowling’s year was full of teasing fans with new content and information about the wizarding world. She’s also penning the screenplay for Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which is set for release in 2016. Emma Watson has even said she’d be up for a cameo in the film.

If only we had Hermione’s time turner to see what Rowling has in store for us next year.

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