Fat’ is usually the first insult a girl throws at another girl when she wants to hurt her. I mean, is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me; but then, you might retort, what do I know about the pressure to be skinny? I’m not in the business of being judged on my looks, what with being a writer and earning my living by using my brain… I went to the British Book Awards that evening. After the award ceremony I bumped into a woman I hadn’t seen for nearly three years. The first thing she said to me? ‘You’ve lost a lot of weight since the last time I saw you!’ ‘Well,’ I said, slightly nonplussed, ‘the last time you saw me I’d just had a baby.’ What I felt like saying was, ‘I’ve produced my third child and my sixth novel since I last saw you. Aren’t either of those things more important, more interesting, than my size?’ But no – my waist looked smaller! Forget the kid and the book: finally, something to celebrate! I’ve got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don’t want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I’d rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before ‘thin’. And frankly, I’d rather they didn’t give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons.
Harry witnessed Professor McGonagall walking right past Peeves who was determinedly loosening a crystal chandelier and could have sworn he heard her tell the poltergeist out of the corner of her mouth, 'It unscrews the other way.
Oh, are you doing magic? Let’s see it, then. She sat down. Ron looked taken aback. Er — all right. He cleared his throat. Sunshine, daisies, butter mellow, Turn this stupid, fat rat yellow. He waved his wand, but nothing happened. Scabbers stayed gray and fast asleep. Are you sure that’s a real spell? said the girl. Well, it’s not very good, is it? I’ve tried a few simple spells just for practice and it’s all worked for me. I’ve learned all our course books by heart, of course.
And it’s Johnson, Johnson with the Quaffle, what a player that girl is, I’ve been saying it for years but she still won’t go out with me —' 'JORDAN!' yelled Professor McGonagall. 'Just a fun fact, Professor, adds a bit of interest —
Be ruthless about protecting writing days, i.e., do not cave in to endless requests to have "essential" and "long overdue" meetings on those days. The funny thing is that, although writing has been my actual job for several years now, I still seem to have to fight for time in which to do it. Some people do not seem to grasp that I still have to sit down in peace and write the books, apparently believing that they pop up like mushrooms without my connivance. I must therefore guard the time allotted to writing as a Hungarian Horntail guards its firstborn egg.
It’s so difficult to describe depression to someone who’s never been there, because it’s not sadness. I know sadness. Sadness is to cry and to feel. But it’s that cold absence of feeling— that really hollowed-out feeling.
There is a room in the Department of Mysteries, that is kept locked at all times. It contains a force that is at once more wonderful and more terrible than death, than human intelligence, than forces of nature. It is also, perhaps, the most mysterious of the many subjects for study that reside there. It is the power held within that room that you possess in such quantities and which Voldemort has not at all. That power took you to save Sirius tonight. That power also saved you from possession by Voldemort, because he could not bear to reside in a body so full of the force he detests. In the end, it mattered not that you could not close your mind. It was your heart that saved you.
Hello, Professor McGonagall, said Moody calmly, bouncing the ferret still higher. What — what are you doing? said Professor McGonagall, her eyes following the bouncing ferret’s progress through the air. Teaching, said Moody. Teach — Moody, is that a student? shrieked Professor McGonagall, the books spilling out of her arms. Yep, said Moody. Moody, we never use Transfiguration as a punishment! said Professor McGonagall weakly.
Hermione, if Harry’s seen a Grim, that’s — that’s bad, he said. My — my uncle Bilius saw one and — and he died twenty-four hours later! Coincidence, said Hermione airily, pouring herself some pumpkin juice. You don’t know what you’re talking about! said Ron, starting to get angry. Grims scare the living daylights out of most wizards! There you are, then, said Hermione in a superior tone. They see the Grim and die of fright. The Grim’s not an omen, it’s the cause of death! And Harry’s still with us because he’s not stupid enough to see one and think, right, well, I’d better kick the bucket then!
I love you, Hermione, said Ron, sinking back, rubbing his eyes wearily. Hermione turned faintly pink, but merely said, Don’t let Lavender hear you saying that. I won’t, said Ron into his hands. Or maybe I will . . . then she’ll ditch me . . .
At that moment, Harry fully understood for the first time why people said Dumbledore was the only wizard Voldemort had ever feared. The look upon Dumbledore's face as he stared down at the unconscious form of Mad-Eye moody was more terrible than Harry could have ever imagined. There was no benign smile upon Dumbledore's face, no twinkle in the eyes behind the spectacles. There was cold fury in every line of the ancient face; a sense of power radiated from Dumbledore as though he were giving off burning heat.
He was about to go home, about to return to the place where he had had a family. It was in Godric’s Hollow that, but for Voldemort, he would have grown up and spent every school holiday. He could have invited friends to his house. . . . He might even have had brothers and sisters. . . . It would have been his mother who had made his seventeenth birthday cake. The life he had lost had hardly ever seemed so real to him as at this moment, when he knew he was about to see the place where it had been taken from him.
You’ll soon find out some wizarding families are much better than others, Potter. You don’t want to go making friends with the wrong sort. I can help you there. He held out his hand to shake Harry’s, but Harry didn’t take it. I think I can tell who the wrong sort are for myself, thanks, he said coolly.
He did not know or care whether they were wizards or Muggles, friends or foes; all he cared about was that a dark stain was spreading across Dobby's front, and that he had stretched out his thin arms to Harry with a look of supplication. Harry caught him and laid him sideways on the cool grass. "Dobby, no, don't die, don't die -" The elf's eyes found him, and his lips trembled with the effort to form words. "Harry...Potter..." And then with a little shudder the elf became quite still, and his eyes were nothing more than great glassy orbs, sprinkled with light from the stars they could not see.
But Dobby shouted, "You shall not harm Harry Potter! ... He got up, face livid, and pulled out his wand, but Dobby raised a long, threatening finger. "You shall go now," he said fiercely, pointing down at Mr. Malfoy. "You shall not touch Harry Potter. You shall go now.
It was as though they had been plunged into a fabulous dream. This, thought Harry, was surely the only way to travel — past swirls and turrets of snowy cloud, in a car full of hot, bright sunlight, with a fat pack of toffees in the glove compartment...
No - no - no!" someone was shouting. "No! Fred! No!" And Percy was shaking his brother, and Ron was kneeling beside them, and Fred's eyes stared without seeing, the ghost of his last laugh still etched upon his face.
Directly above them, framed in the doorway from the Brain Room, stood Albus Dumbledore, his wand aloft, his face white and furious. Harry felt a kind of electric charge surge through every particle of his body - they were saved.
By the time she had interpreted Harry's dreams at the top of her voice (all of which, even the ones that involved eating porridge, apparently foretold a gruesome and early death), he was feeling much less sympathetic toward her.
My readers have to work with me to create the experience. They have to bring their imaginations to the story. No one sees a book in the same way, no one sees the characters the same way. As a reader you imagine them in your own mind. So, together, as author and reader, we have both created the story.
Will there ever be an encyclopedia? Possibly. I would say two things about the encyclopedia: firstly, I’ve always said and I stand by it, whenever I do do a printed encyclopedia I would like all the proceeds to go to charity. Back in 1998 I never dreamt I personally I would be in the position that I could set up a large charitable foundation and personally do things for charity, and I’ve done other charity books already.
Dumbledore was on his feet again, pale as any of the surrounding Inferi, but taller than any too, the fire dancing in his eyes; his wand was raised like a torch and from its tip emanated the flames, like a vast lasso, encircling them all with warmth.
Neville kicked aside the broken fragments of his own wand as they walked slowly toward the door. "My gran's going do kill be," said Neville thickly, blood spattering from his nose as he spoke, "dat was by dad's old wand...