J.K. Rowling Writes New Story About Off-Stage Harry Potter Character Celestina Warbeck

Posted on August 18, 2014

Harry Potter fans are in for a treat. J.K. Rowling has written a new, fun essay about a character who was mentioned in the Harry Potter books. The 500-word piece is all about the Singing Sorceress herself, Celestina Warbeck,

Rowling writes that Celestina is one of her favorite "off-screen" characters. She says that although Celestina never walks through a door in the seven Potter books, she is mentioned. Rowling says she imagines that the internationally renowned wizard and singer looks as sounds like Shirley Bassey, who is best known to younger American audiences for belting out "Goldfinger" at the Oscars during the James Bond commemoration.

Rowling's essay, which can be found on Pottermore.com after you jump through various digital hoops, is fascinating. She tells the story of Celestina and her very colorful personal life. We get her birth date -- today, August 18th -- and some interesting facts. The site also has the first song ever posted there: it's an audio clip of Celestina singing one of her classic hits.

So at this point you may be thinking, "I've read all the Potter books and I don't recall any Singing Sorceress." Celestina appeared in three of the books. In Book 2, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Harry hears Celestina's name on wizard radio when he was hanging out at the Weasley's (Mrs. Weasley is a big fan). In Book 6, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Celestina is a performer on the Christmas Broadcast on wizard radio. She also gets a mention in Book 7, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

At the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida, Celestina performs every day. She is usually backed up by some banshees. Here's a clip of Celestina singing the classic torch song "You Stole My Cauldron, But You Can't Have My Heart." She's quite marvelous and so is the staging. Take a look: