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Published On: Tue, Nov 4th, 2014

JK Rowling releases new Dolores Umbridge Harry Potter story

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By Felicity Morse Newsbeat social media producer

This time it’s a biography of Dolores Umbridge, the pink-loving, sweet-smiling, Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher.

A complex personality, Umbridge dabbled in the kind of nastiness that was plastered over with a sweet childish grin.

With her love of kittens and teacups, she often manages to hide her true nature from authority.

She first appears in the Order of The Phoenix and was not only Professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts but also worked at the Ministry for Magic as Senior Under-Secretary.

Her evil was different from Lord Voldemort’s and she operated within the system. onetheless her soft, fluffy exterior masks a dark, sadistic character. It was perhaps first revealed when she made Harry write lines in his own blood after giving him a magical quill that etched whatever he wrote into his skin.

JK Rowling reveals that Umbridge is the character she hates the most. “Her desire to control, to punish, and to inflict pain, all in the name of law and order, are, I think, every bit as reprehensible as Lord Voldemort’s unvarnished espousal of evil,” she says. JK Rowling’s dislike of Umbridge can be seen in some of the details in the books.

For example, Umbridge has a short stubby wand which is meant to reflect her stunted, imperfect character. The author also says in the new Pottermore essay that Umbridge is based on a real person.

She said she once shared an office with a woman who liked “pictures of fluffy kitties” as well as frills, bows and undersized handbags. She said this woman was also “the most bigoted, spiteful champion of the death penalty”.

She explains: “I have noticed more than once in life that a taste for the ineffably twee can go hand-in-hand with a distinctly uncharitable outlook on the world.

“A love of all things saccharine often seems present where there is a lack of real warmth or charity.”

It is also revealed that Umbridge is a half-blood in the 1,700 word essay. This is important because Umbridge is particularly cruel to non-magical humans in her role as Head of the Muggle-Born Registration Commission, where she sends many supposed muggles to Azkaban, the wizarding prison, for “stealing magic” from magical beings.

The reason JK Rowling chose the name Dolores Jane Umbridge is also explained. The author writes: “Dolores means sorrow, something she undoubtedly inflicts on all around her.

“Umbridge is a play on ‘umbrage’ from the British expression to ‘take umbrage’ meaning to take offence.

“Dolores is offended by any challenge to her limited world view; I felt her surname conveyed the pettiness and rigidity of her character.”

Rowling published several other entries on the site on Friday, including a history of Azkaban prison and details of everyone who has held the post of Minister for Magic.


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