View all newsletters
Sign up to our newsletters

Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
  2. Books
19 March 2019updated 07 Jun 2021 12:02pm

For the love of god, JK Rowling, write that Dumbledore/Grindelwald slash fic you keep teasing

By Eleanor Margolis

When JK Rowling revealed recently that – beyond the pages of anything she’s ever actually written – her characters Dumbledore and Grindelwald had an “incredibly intense” sexual relationship, the internet responded exactly as you’d expect and made a meme about her “fake woke additions” to the Harry Potter universe. Rowling had already famously outed Dumbledore as gay, without there having been a single direct reference to the character’s sexuality in any of her novels. This led to even more controversy when the makers of the Fantastic Beasts film series decided not to portray the character as gay, even after his creator had – for want of a better word – “chosen” this sexuality for him.

Since hot Dumblewald (that’s their couple’s portmanteau) sex was spoken into existence, alongside some pretty funny tweets about how Hagrid is a furry and Fred and George Weasley spit roasted a house elf and whatnot, many have made the more serious point that it would’ve been nice for Rowling to have included queer characters in her actual books. So, you know, LGBTQ kids reading them could’ve benefitted from the representation. This certainly would’ve been a real kick against Section 28 – a law banning the “promotion” of homosexuality by local authorities and in schools – under which the first four books of the Harry Potter series were written.

And sure, Rowling could have written in gay wizards and not tried to claim retrospective allyship with LGBTQ people. But by effectively doing fanfic of her own… fic, she’s opened the floodgates for all living children’s authors to do the same, and wouldn’t that be kind of fun at least? Maybe Eric Carle could reveal that the Very Hungry Caterpillar was “very hungry” for dick. Or Judith Kerr could let us all know that “tea” isn’t the only thing The Tiger came for. Gay literary revisionism could be a whole new movement, just as long as its participants don’t claim to be woke or anything.

Perhaps it wouldn’t be limited to living authors, either. Could the Blyton Estate, for example, decide that the Famous Five grew up to be a sort of queer poly collective? It was inevitable, to be honest. And don’t get me started on the Secret Seven who – if I’m allowed to speak for Enid Blyton – are now living in a squat in Deptford and making art about the fascistic restraints of the gender binary and monogamy.

One challenge though, that I’d like to extend to JK Rowling in particular (and JK, in the unlikely event that you’re reading this… hi, it’s an honour, I’m a fan) is to put her money (so, so, so much money) where her mouth is and write that Dumbledore/Grindelwald slash (slash is erotic fanfic for anyone who wasn’t as dorky a teenager as I was). You’re a writer, JK, and writers – so I have been told – write. What in the known universe could be stopping an author who’s so keen on us all knowing two of her characters were boning from bringing that situation to life? Do it JK, do it for the gays like me who grew up reading your books and missing out on that sweet Dumbledore action.

And while we’re at it, Hermione/Ginny… that happened right?

Content from our partners
Unlocking the potential of a national asset, St Pancras International
Time for Labour to turn the tide on children’s health
How can we deliver better rail journeys for customers?

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.