What is the Place of Pottermania in the Cormoran Strike World?

In the first Reading Writing Rowling podcast on Cormoran Strike, we speculated about whether the Harry Potter phenomenon would ever be mentioned in the Robert Galbraith series. The series is well-known for including mention of contemporary news stories in the series: William and Kate’s engagement and marriage, the shutdown of the News of the World amid the phone-tapping scandal, the London Olympics. But, there has been no mention another major news event of the time: the premiere of the final Harry Potter movies. Deathly Hallows Part 1  opened on the day of the Roper Chard party in The Silkworm; Part 2 would have premiered during the prologue of Lethal White, when Robin was nursing Matthew back to health after his encounter with the sea-borne bacteria.  Save a mention of Emma Watson on a real-life magazine cover–at the same time Charlotte Campbell graced the cover of the fictional Tatler–there has been no hint of the Harry Potter phenomenon in any of the Strike books. It was Dr. Karen Keblare’s opinion, and I think the rest of us concurred, that Mr. Galbraith would probably avoid the awkwardness that mention of Ms. Rowling’s creation would bring.

That doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t wonder, though.  Overlapping key Harry Potter dates on the Strike books’ timeline shows that Robin would have been prime Generation Hex age, as a twelve-year-old schoolgirl at the time of Philosopher’s Stone’s publication. As a straight-A student with an inquisitive mind and a thirst for mysteries, it is highly likely she would have been a fan of the series. Moreover, she would have been near the end of secondary school and preparing for university when the three-year book drought was broken by the publication of Order of the Phoenix. This puts the start of her university career, the rape, and Matthew’s first betrayal during the gap between Order of the Phoenix and the Half-Blood Prince. 

Once you realize that, it becomes easy to imagine Robin as a Potterphile, and even speculate that she, like many other readers, found the series a source of comfort after trauma. I’ll admit that idea has been percolating in my head for some time.  Therefore, when I saw a fan-fiction challenge to write a short, romantic story with the prompt of “That Touch of Magic,” I saw an opportunity to flesh out this idea a bit.  Thus, I have written my first real fan-fiction in probably a quarter of a century, and the first not to involve a DC Comics character. As you can see, I took the opportunity to plug Hogwartsprofessor.com, pull an extensive Mary-Sue on Robin by letting her write my own paper, and even give Strike a chance to meet his own author.

Please check it out and comment, here or there.  It is quite G-rated, except for a few of Strike’s usual swear words. And be assured, I have no intention of contributing further to his particular genre.


  1. As a rule, I do not read fan fiction. Life too short, et cetera.

    This, piece, however, is an absolute treasure. Thank you, Louise, for writing it and letting us know about it. I suspect, as was true of the only other fan fic piece to grace this site (the post Deathly Hallows story in which Scorpius meets Rose and Albus with Albus choosing to become a Slytherin), that this will become a touchstone among Serious Strikers and maybe even the foundation of a play…

    And I’m still hopeful that we’ll learn in Strike7 that Leda Strike’s maiden name is Potter — or, better, Granger!

  2. I love it, very fun!

  3. I always loved that Cormoran was watching the Opening Ceremonies in LW because JKR participated in them. The idea of him knowing who she is makes me very happy so this was just lovely! And I always thought Robin would be a Gryffindor so I enjoyed reading why you think she’s a Ravenclaw.

  4. Bonni Crawford says

    This is brilliant; I love how you work your trademark nickname for Matthew in there as well – I’ve added Vanessa calling Matthew a flobberworm to my headcanon – it’s perfect!

  5. Just a test comment from The Blog mechanic

  6. This is amazing John! It is the very first fan fic I read in my life and I enjoyed it. Can we say it is canon in the Galbraith’s universe? 🙂

  7. Sorry, Louise! It is amazing! I read the author after I posted my comment 🙂

  8. That was really great. A fun, sweet little daydream. Loved it. Thank you!

  9. Louise Freeman says

    No problem! I am honored when people mistake my writing for John’s!

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