J.K. Rowling Isn’t Done With The ‘Harry Potter’ Universe, But Where Could The Series Go?

Yesterday brought huge news for “Harry Potter” fans. Nuclear news. Comparable to “The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner“-scale news.

“Potter” creator J.K. Rowling revealed that she’d like to return to the “Harry Potter” universe, “maybe in the next 10 years.” Harry’s boy wizard story ends pretty decisively in the last book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” but an epilogue suggests there’s more to the tale for Harry Potter the man wizard. There’s also this incredibly rich, detailed universe that Rowling created; who’s to say future “Potter” spun stories have to deal with Harry directly? After the jump, I run through a few possible directions that Rowling could potentially go in with future books.

Potter, Harry Potter
Rowling has, in interviews, filled audiences in on where her characters end up after the events of “Deathly Hallows.” Harry Potter went on to marry his sweetheart Ginny Weasley and become an Auror, the magic-world equivalent of a keeper of the peace. So picture if you will a series of books covering Harry’s tenure as an Auror, from his early days learning the ropes all the way up to his appointment as head of the department (another fact revealed by Rowling). This is probably the most obvious direction to take the story in, and one that would undoubtedly please fans who have imagined how Harry would shape up in the adult world. Maybe Harry could even be sent off on a mission that takes him to the magical underworld in the United States. The possibilities are endless.

Potter Babies
Hogwarts is central to the series. That’s largely because the story follows the principal characters through their magical education, but there’s no denying that school has become a character unto itself. So perhaps the next “Potter” book will pick up immediately after the epilogue, following Harry/Ginny’s and Ron/Hermione’s children as they go through school. A “Harry as an Auror” series wouldn’t necessarily need a new villain — he could just chase a different Dark Wizard in each book — but a story that follows the kids would probably need to introduce a new ongoing antagonist. Perhaps someone with the last name Malfoy.

Potter Senior
Rowling doesn’t necessarily have to look ahead. For years now, we’ve been hearing stories that further flesh out the early years of James and Lily Potter, Sirius Black, Severus Snape… the whole gang. So what if Rowling takes a page from the book of George Lucas and serves up a series of prequel books? Wouldn’t you like to see the full story of how Tom Riddle becomes Lord Voldemort, no more fog-shrouded Pensieve memories? Or the antagonistic relationship between James and Severus? How about a look at what a jerk James was in his younger days? Maybe he’d even start out as a sort of villainous character with redemptive qualities. Lots of possibilities here.

Back To The Roots
The “Harry Potter” name would probably have to be dropped, but Rowling could also look much further back, at the early days of Hogwarts and its four founders. We heard much about the institution’s history, but wouldn’t you like to see it fleshed out even more?

The World Is More Than Enough
Again, the “Potter” title would probably need to be dropped. But there’s a giant magical world beyond the Hogwarts school grounds. Many more schools, mystical lands, beasts… you name it. So what if Rowling simply drops everything we’ve come to know about the universe she’s created and builds a wholly original story in an entirely new location? Maybe we’ll follow a half-giant outcast who is pushed out of his home? Or a gifted, young future wizard — with none of Potter’s family drama — coming up at Durmstrang or Beauxbatons? Again, Rowling could take this in any number of directions.

What would you like to see? Do you have any other suggestions for where “Potter” could go after “Deathly Hallows”? Do you want to see more of Harry and his friends or would you rather get an entirely new story?