Is J.K. Rowling Setting Up Another Harry Potter Story?

A new story? A book? The pitfalls of wild speculation?

The wizard-loving world was abuzz yesterday, and all it took was a little newspaper column. Well -- a newspaper column that gave a brief but tantalizing update on the lives on Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger and the rest of Dumbledore's Army.

The Daily Prophet article, written by J.K. Rowling in the voice of Rita Skeeter, was the first time the author has returned to the life of her most famous creation, and it had people dying for more. Of course, when it comes to something as beloved as Harry Potter, you give the fans a Knut and they'll ask for a Galleon.

What was that new scar on Harry's face? Is this confirmation of a new enemy? The article even heavily teases that there could be adventures we aren't privy to yet. "Is the Chosen One embroiled in fresh mysteries that will one day explode upon us all, plunging us into a new age of terror and mayhem?"

It's important to keep in mind that this is Rowling writing as Skeeter, who by her very essence follows everything to its juices possible conclusion. This could very well just be Rowling saying that Harry has continued his hobby of getting into skirmishes with dark wizards, without having to write a whole new book about it. We know he's an Auror. Scars are a part of the job description.

And yet, even hinting that Harry is going on adventures that we'll never see feels like an unnecessarily cruel thing for the person with literally all of the answers to do. Assuming Rowling isn't trolling everyone, the update from the wizarding world does make me wonder what this is all leading up to.

The hubbub about "The Return of Harry Potter" may have obscured what was really going on here. Rowling has been more giving with wizarding goodness than people might realize. The Rita Skeeter column was only the latest piece of writing that Rowling has done around the 2014 Quidditch World Cup, which she has been covering via Harry's wife Ginny, who is now a reporter for the Prophet.

Ginny has written regular match reports for weeks, and Skeeter's column references the upcoming final, which Rowling will no doubt cover somehow. It would seem odd for Rowling to go through all of the work of writing about the World Cup, only to write another Ginny Weasley article about how it ended uneventfully.

If the recent Pottermore post leads to a new adventure for Harry Potter -- like everyone hopes it will -- I think Rowling will follow the pattern she's set and publish a new Daily Prophet article chronicling something like a dark wizard attack at the World Cup and how Harry and the gang took care of it, just like the good old days. The column also references July 31, Harry Potter's birthday and the publication of Skeeter's new biography, giving Rowling the perfect date to delight us all.

But then again, that's just the kind of speculation that Rowling is poking fun at in the article.

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