If she could do things over again, J.K. Rowling would make a lot of changes to one of the most beloved book series of all time: Harry Potter. The wildly successful British author has openly admitted to making mistakes in her best-selling novels about the boy wizard since the final installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was released in 2009.
Her latest qualm? Killing off one of the characters. While Rowling has lost no sleep over the deaths of some major fan favorites like Fred Weasley, Dobby, Sirius Black, or Remus Lupin, she’s a bit torn up about the loss of a character so minor that he did not appear in any of the eight film adaptations.
In a short essay on Rowling’s Pottermore site, she explains her guilt over killing Diagon Alley ice cream parlor owner Florean Fortescue.
“I seemed to have him kidnapped and killed for no good reason,” Rowling wrote. “He is not the first wizard whom Voldemort murdered because he knew too much (or too little), but he is the only one I feel guilty about, because it was all my fault.”
The author, who has since Potter penned the novels Casual Vacancy, Cuckoo’s Calling, and The Silkworm, revealed that her original intention was to use Fortescue to help Harry, Ron, and Hermione uncover the horcruxes in the final book.
“I originally planned Florean to be the conduit for clues that I needed to give Harry during his quest for the Hallows, which is why I established an acquaintance fairly early on,” she wrote. “The problem was that when I came to write the key parts of Deathly Hallows, I decided that Phineas Nigellus Black was a much more satisfactory means of conveying clues. Florean’s information on the diadem also felt redundant, as I could give the reader everything he or she needed by interviewing the Grey Lady.”
This isn’t the first time the creator of the worldwide phenomenon has admitted regret. Earlier this year, Rowling came out saying it would have made more sense for Hermione (played by Emma Watson in the films) and Harry (played by Daniel Radcliffe in the films) to have ended up together.
“I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment,” she told The Sunday Times. “That's how it was conceived, really. For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione ended up with Ron. I know, I'm sorry, I can hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans, but if I'm absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that. It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility.”
Tell Us: Do you wish J.K. Rowling had used Florean Fortescue in the final book?