Potterheads are aware that J.K. Rowling had to rewrite the plot of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and that it nearly caused her a nervous breakdown, but before it was overhauled, it had an intriguing version of Hermione. Although Hermione’s known foe in the series is Rita Skeeter who has a penchant for fabricating tales, the original Goblet of Fire plot had a “phantom character” who excelled in class just like Harry’s best friend.
A Redditor revisited the 2008 angle and talked about Mafalda, a cousin of the Weasleys who belong to the Slytherin House and was described by Rowling as the “most unpleasant child Mrs. Weasley has ever met.” Mafalda’s father poses as a stockbroker while her mother is a Muggle. When her parents learned about her abilities, they asked the Weasleys to take her in and teacher her about the Wizarding World although Mrs. Weasley believes that they merely wanted to get rid of Mafalda.
Prior to the launch of the Pottermore website, the British author revealed on her personal site that it was Mafalda who should tell Harry, Hermione, and Ron about the Death Eaters, but in the released Goblet of Fire version, Rita was the one who did it. She also explained why she removed Mafalda from the plot.
“Mafalda was supposed to convey certain information about the Death Eaters to Harry, Ron and Hermione, because as a nosy, eavesdropping Slytherin who likes to impress, she does not keep her mouth shut when she overhears their sons and daughters talking. Unfortunately, however bright I made her, there were obvious limitations to what an eleven year old closeted at school could discover, whereas Rita Skeeter, whom I subsequently built up to fulfil Mafalda’s function, was much more flexible.”
Nonetheless, Rowling also said that Mafalda’s attitude affected Hermione that the intelligent yet grounded witch thought of changing her ways.
“The best thing about Mafalda was that she was a match for Hermione. To the latter’s horror, Mafalda was highly gifted and a real show-off, so that Hermione was torn between deploring the rule-breaking and longing to join in and beat her.”
Throughout the years, several fan-made stories have emerged imagining Hermione as a dark and conniving witch. Most of these stories even pair her with Draco Malfoy leading to the moniker “Dramione.”
Even if the Weasley’s cousins did not make it to the final cut, another Mafalda did – the Improper Use of Magic Office’s Commander-in-Chief. Hermione even impersonated her using the Polyjuice Potion. It was also that Mafalda who sent Harry the letter notifying him of his expulsion from Hogwarts for performing the Hover Charm outside the school.
Fans who want to revisit the series may look forward to the upcoming exhibition that The British Library will open in autumn 2017. Marking the 20th anniversary of the publication of Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the library will display rare books, manuscripts, treasures from Rowling’s archives, and other things related to the beloved tale of The Boy Who Lived. The exhibit will open on October 20, 2017 and will run until February 28, 2018.
Rowling will also sell a copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, which she designed and handwritten. The book will go on sale at Sotheby’s auction house. It is one of the six copies Rowling created and gave to the people who helped her create Harry’s story. The book being offered was the copy given to editor Barry Cunningham. The item is expected to fetch up to $630,000.
In 2007, Rowling produced a seventh copy of the book which was used to raise money for her charity, Lumos.
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