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The Rowling Magazine Issue #42 · June 2020

Fantastic Beasts and How To End It

Oliver Horton

1020 words

Newt Scamander is the unlikely hero of the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, released in 2016, screenplay by JK Rowling. A wizard in his late twenties who likes magical creatures more than people, Newt is nobody’s idea of a Chosen One. But he possesses remarkable empathy, which enables him to unmask the villain for the greater good. 

The Fantastic Beasts series explores the wizarding world decades before Harry Potter. The saga begins in 1926 and will reach 1945 at least, the year big baddie Grindelwald duelled Dumbledore (cf. Dumbledore’s chocolate frog card). Two movies have been released so far; the third began production in Spring 2020. A total of five movies are planned. 

In the end credits of the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie, Newt Scamander’s footsteps appear on the magical Marauder’s Map. Has the Magizoologist come to ask the headmaster why a Hippogriff was sentenced to death at Hogwarts? Or did Newt visit a student? According to Jo Rowling, Newt’s grandson marries one of Harry’s best-loved school friends. 

While the Fantastic Beasts films are years away from completion, Jo Rowling had the ending of Harry Potter, “19 Years Later”, locked away for years before she finished the books. So perhaps the ending is already written. And perhaps the ending goes like this… proposed epilogue to the fifth and final Fantastic Beasts movie.

 

Int. – PLATFORM 9 3/4 – 2017 – DAY

The scarlet HOGWARTS EXPRESS gleams and steams majestically. 

The platform is a riot of activity. Wizard and witch parents see off their children. Trunks and owls are loaded onto the train.

An OLD MAN sits on a railway bench, an oasis of calm. He folds paper to create an ORIGAMI BIRD. With his plume of white hair and embroidered coat, NEWT SCAMANDER at 120 YEARS OLD looks most wizardly. 

Beside Newt lies his brown leather SUITCASE, reupholstered, gift-wrapped with blue and silver ribbon. Newt holds the origami bird on one flat palm. He extends his arm and blows on its tail and flicks his wand. The bird flies down the platform. 

A YOUNG WOMAN, mid-thirties, watches the origami bird flutter and swoop. She has very long, very blonde hair, which is bundled up on her head and held in place with her wand. She approaches Newt. 

    NEWT

          “Animal magic.”

The young woman speaks in the same sing-song voice she had as a teenager. She is LUNA LOVEGOOD.

    LUNA

            “The very best.”

Newt smiles. He no longer looks quite so old. 

    LUNA (cont.)

            “Thanks for coming. It’s like having a grandfather.”

Newt is charmed. He indicates the gift-wrapped suitcase. 

    NEWT

            “For you, Luna. For Rolf. Don’t open it here.”

Luna, awestruck, picks up the case to sit down next to Newt. She rests the suitcase on her lap and runs a hand across its surface. Clasped around her wrist like a bracelet, a green, twig-like BOWTRUCKLE lifts its head and looks around.

    LUNA 

            “Newt, you can’t.”

But she leans her ear against the leather. 

After a moment Newt gestures up the platform.

    NEWT 

            “Your friends, how are they?”

Luna lifts her head from the case and refocuses. 

    LUNA

            “Nostalgic. And so grown up.”

    NEWT

            “I know how they feel.”

Luna’s brief amusement gives way to something deeper. 

    LUNA

            “Thank you, Newt.”

    NEWT 

            “Professor Lovegood. Hogwarts doesn’t deserve you. But Care of Magical Creatures needs you.” 

The TRAIN WHISTLE blows. Newt glances at the train. 

    NEWT (cont.)

        “I’m grateful Luna.”

Luna’s fingers close around the handle of the suitcase. She stands up. 

    LUNA 

            “You put such care into doing what’s right. You and Tina both.”

            (Beat)

            “Hogwarts. Ready or not.”

She offers her free arm to the old man. Newt gets to his feet. 

    NEWT 

            “Will be good to see the old place again.” 

Together they walk the few steps to the train.

LUNA

            “Is it true you gave Hagrid his first Hippogriff?”

Luna lifts the case into the train. Newt looks up the platform and sees – 

HARRY POTTER, flanked by RON WEASLEY, HERMIONE GRANGER and GINNY POTTER-WEASLEY. 

The Trio are 36-years old; Ginny is 35yo. We are in the epilogue to the Harry Potter stories, “19 Years Later”. 

Harry and Ginny, Ron and Hermione watch their children, young Hogwarts students, settle on the train. Nostalgia is clear in their faces. A young redheaded girl, LILY LUNA POTTER, hugs her mother. She is holding the origami bird. 

Newt’s eyes sparkle. He reaches out a hand to Luna and boards the Hogwarts Express.

FADE TO BLACK. 

 

Among the information unleashed after the seven Harry Potter books, the author revealed that Luna marries Newt’s grandson, Rolf Scamander. Luna and Rolf are both Magizoologists. Luna is assumed to be godmother to Harry and Ginny’s youngest child, Lily Luna Potter. 

In the book series’ final pages, “19 Years Later”, we learn that Hagrid has invited Harry’s son Albus to tea that week. We can imagine Rubeus Hagrid, now in his late 80s, no longer teaches Care of Magical Creatures. The half-giant is probably blessed with long life, like Dumbledore, like Newt, but does not need two jobs. He can remain Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts. 

Because this epilogue leans on the movies’ visuals, blue and silver are used for Ravenclaw colours, rather than the books’ blue and bronze. The paper bird derives from Steve Kloves’ screenplay for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

You are reading an article from The Rowling Library Magazine Issue 42 (June 2020).
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