LONDON, DECEMBER 13, 2002
I was lucky enough to get from Sorrel Lucent, Editor-in-Chief of READING, an exclusive interview with Ron and Ginny. This is what she told me about the interview: "I had hoped to speak to Ms. Rowling at the awards dinner. When I heard that she had asked Ron and Ginny to represent her, I asked to speak with them. Ms. Rowling and the Ministry of Magic gave permission and approved the questions and the final draft."And here it is an exclusive interview with Ginny and Ron as will be seen in the January 2003 issue of READING:
SL: Ron, Ginny, I am delighted to finally meet you. Are you representing your U.K. publisher or the Harry Potter franchise here at the conference?
GW: Oh, neither. Jo asked us to come.
SL: Jo...that's J.K. Rowling?
RW: Right. She's putting the finishing touches on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and couldn't get away, so she asked us to speak here on her behalf.
SL: Did anyone else from Hogwarts attend?
GW: Hermione is too busy.
RW: Harry is feeling a bit over-exposed at the moment.
SL: I hope you'll pardon me, but you look a bit older than I expected.
GW: The first book was published in 1995. I was ten years old then. This is my last year at Hogwarts.
SL: Do fictional characters age in real time? How does that work?
GW: Parallel literary universe, time-space continuum... I am not sure.
RW: (Shrugs.) Hermione can explain it.
SL: Of course, our Muggle readers will want to know what you think of the film versions of the books. Have you seen them?
GW: Oh yes, several times.
RW: They're brilliant. Of course, it's just the Hollywood version. We are literary characters. Our loyalty is to Jo, the author.
GW: We are more concerned with the written word, you see. But the films are great fun. Our Muggle-born friends say it's just like home videos--whatever those are--with better production values . . .
RW: Whatever those are!
SL: So everyone is satisfied with how the books translated to the screen?
RW: Not everyone, ummmm, Hermione...
GW: She feels her character was over-glamourised and well, that Hogwarts' academic rigor was rather trivialised.
SL: I see. Speaking of Hermione, what is she doing now?
GW: I thought you would ask, so I may a few notes. (Unrolls a roll of parchment.)
RW: Ginny, we have only an hour for the interview. That list will take days.
GW: It's just the highlights.
SL: Hermione was head girl last year?
GW: Yes. Oh, I didn't even write that one down.
SL: Please go on.
GW: She is the youngest full professor in Hogwarts' history. Right now she is teaching first- and second-year Charms, besides doing research with Professor Flitwick.
RW: And one section of History of Magic.
GW: Someone had to finally tell Professor Binns that he was dead and he deserved a sabbatical.
RW: Muggle Studies, don't forget Muggle Studies.
GW: Hermoine has re-done the entire curriculum for Muggle Studies. She has a book coming out which is expected to be the definitive text. Advance orders have already surpassed Gilderoy Lockhart's final book, Magical Me.
RW: (Rolls eyes.) That's saying something. There's a huge display in Flourish and Blott's. Brilliant. Y'know, Muggle Studies was considered a soft elective. Hah. Wait till our Hermione gets to 'em.
SL: Can you tell us about her changes in the coursework?
GW: Well, 5th and 6th years study traditional Muggle disciplines, chemistry, calculus and so on, and their applications to Wizarding subjects. Seventh-year students do a course on Muggle Technology.
RW: Not sorry to miss that one.
SL: Fascinating. Can you tell us about Harry? Ron, I do want to hear about what all you Weasleys are doing, too.
GW: He is at Hogwarts, too. He's to be the next Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.
RW: There's no one in the world more qualified.
GW: Harry's not a full professor yet. He's practice-teaching under Professor McGonagall.
RW: He teaches Advanced Flying and coaches Quidditch, too. Ginny, you forgot to mention the benefit when we were talking about Hermione.
GW: Oh right. You know that Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is over one thousand years old, so fund-raising has gotten a bit haphazard.
RW: Hermione and Parvati Patil took it over this year. There was a huge event Halloween weekend, an alumni Quidditch match. It was brilliant.
GW: Witches and wizards came from all over the world. The event raised thousands of galleons for Hogwarts' scholarship fund.
RW: You should have seen Cornelius Fudge puttering around on an original "Twiggy."
GW: That's the first ultra-light flying broom designed for Quidditch.
RW: They have been out of production for about two hundred years.
GW: My brothers were falling about laughing when they saw it. Harry played, of course.
SL: How are the Dursleys taking all this attention to Harry?
RW: Dudley took a fair bit of harassment at Smeltings. Not that he didn't deserve it.
GW: Vernon Dursely barricaded himself in the house for a few weeks at first. When he realized that the publicity didn't hurt the drill business, he calmed down a bit.
SL: Please tell us about your family.
GW: Dad is still at the Ministry of Magic. Percy is now, too.
RW: No surprise there.
GW: Charlie is director of the rare dragon breeding program and head of all the dragon preserves in eastern Europe now.
RW: Bill is traveling for Gringott's. Mostly in Asia.
SL: Ginny, you are in your final year. Any ideas beyond graduation?
GW: I am just focused on my N.E.W.T. exams. No plans yet.
SL: How are Fred and George?
RW: Successful! You know they have the joke shop. Shops, actually.
GW: There's the big one in Diagon Alley, and the smaller one in Hogsmeade. We all try to help out during holidays and the big Christmas shopping rush, even Mum.
RW: I have been working for Fred at the Diagon Alley location.
GW: And next year. . .
RW: Well, I am to take over the Hogsmeade shop while George scouts a New York location. We are planning to expand into the U.S. market.
SL: New York! Is there an equivalent of Diagon Alley there?
GW: Yes, of course, where do you think North American witches and wizards shop?
RW: (low booming voice) I shouldn't 'a said that. I should not have said that.
SL: (Laughs) Good luck to both of you. Thank you, thank you for your time.
GW: Our pleasure.
Reprinted with permission British Publishing Group, from January 2003 issue of READING. Interview by Sorrel Lucent, editor-in-chief.
Note: This article's content is copyright © 2002 TheSnitch.co.uk.
Thanks so much to Sorrel...Lupinlock