"Ready for dinner"
Weeks after “Harry Potter” author and real-life wizard J.K. Rowling published a short story revisiting the kids of Hogwarts as adults, Rowling has written a bio for one of her favorite “offstage” characters, Celestina Warbeck. Even devoted fans are not likely to remember Warbeck, whose name appears in peripheral comments or descriptions only a few times in the seven-book series. But the character, a famous singer in the Wizarding World, has been part of the series since its inception and is a headline staple in the Daily Prophet, the newspaper of the magical realm.
The “Today” show republished Rowling’s bio and introduction to the “Singing Sorceress” from fan site Pottermore:
“Celestina Warbeck is one of my favourite ‘off-stage’ characters in the Harry Potter series, and has been part of the Potter world ever since its inception, making an early appearance in the short-lived ‘Daily Prophet’ series I produced for members of the equally short-lived fan club run by my British publisher, Bloomsbury. Although we never lay eyes on Celestina during the whole seven volumes of the Potter books, I always imagined her to resemble Shirley Bassey in both looks and style. I stole her first name from a friend with whom I worked, years ago, at Amnesty International’s Headquarters in London; ‘Celestina’ was simply begging to be scooped up and attached to a glamorous witch.”
Today is Celestina’s birthday, and, if you’re wondering, she is from House Gryffindor. “Today” also debuted a clip of Warbeck singing “You Stole My Cauldron but You Can’t Have My Heart,” the first original song released on Pottermore’s site.
Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at email@example.com.More Prachi Gupta.