A true witch?

Dolores Umbridge, from J K Rowling’s fifth Harry Potter book, The Order of the Phoenix, has had her evil status bolstered after the author released some new content on her fan website, Pottermore.

So what’s new?

Rowling told her fans that Umbridge was, in fact, a half-blood (the child of a wizard and a muggle), despite the character boasting about her pure blood heritage in the book and film. Another insight from Rowling revealed that Umbridge was the only other person apart from Lord Voldemort to permanently scar Harry Potter, after the memorable detention scene when a magic quill etched the words “I must not tell lies” on his hand.

A figment of Rowling’s imagination?

No. The character of Umbridge, played by Imelda Staunton (left) in the film, is based on a real person whom Rowling “disliked intensely on sight”. She said: “The woman... returned my antipathy with interest. Why we took against each other so instantly, heartily and (on my side, at least) irrationally, I cannot say.”

As bad as he who must not be named?

Oh yes. Rowling described Umbridge as “one of the characters for whom I feel the purest dislike. 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.” Umbridge, dressed in pink and sickly sweet in nature, was hated by students and teachers at Hogwarts for implementing multiple rules and dealing out cruel punishments. She also fired much-loved teachers at Hogwarts such as Hagrid and replaced Professor Dumbledore as headmistress.

Aren’t the Harry Potter books all done and dusted?

They are, but every now and then Rowling delights her loyal fans with new information and updates of the character’s lives after Hogwarts. Previously, she wrote about a reunion where a 34-year-old Harry bore a cut over his cheekbone, symbolising his membership into the group of wizards called the Aurors.

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