Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

‘Gryffindor for you, my lad’ J.K. Rowling writes heart-warming letter to bullied Harry Potter fan

jk rowling.jpg

J.K. Rowling has given the Gryffindor-seal of approval to one avid Harry Potter fan after learning of how the fictional books got him through years of bullying. 

Teenager Johnnie Blue met Rowling at an event for her new book The Silkworm in July 2014 (pictured below) and he subsequently gifted her a notebook that was personally designed by Jason Cockcroft (who did the cover art for UK Bloomsbury Harry Potter books). Inside the notebook he left a handwritten letter detailing how the author changed his life.

The 17-year-old from Ayrshire, Scotland, told Rowling, “Thank you so much, you’ve really changed my life,” at the time of meeting, to which she replied, ‘Wow, that’s an amazing thing to say,’” the youngster told BuzzFeed

A month later, Blue came home from school to find a purple tissue-lined envelope with a 'Chamber of Secrets' stamp on it. When he opened it, he found J.K. Rowling's signature letterhead. 

“What you say about Harry helping you at what was clearly a dreadful time in your life means more to me than I can easily express,” wrote the author. 

“I freely confess that I loathe bullying and the way it is still so often “handled” in schools. Your experience is shocking and disturbing and that you have turned out to be a compassionate, moral, highly motivated person is high testimony to your courage. Gryffindor for you, my lad…,” she added, referring to the Hogwarts school house that protagonist Harry Potter resides in.

Harry Potter on the cover of 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'

An illustration of the boy wizard on the cover of 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'

“By the time I was finished reading the letter, there were tears rolling down my face,” the teenager recalled. 

“J.K. Rowling to me, is a hero,” he added. “She’s saved so many peoples lives, along with mine, something I will be eternally grateful for.”

At the end of the letter Rowling vouched to stay in touch with the young fan on Twitter, where the two had in fact already had a previous exchange.

A month prior to their meeting, Blue tweeted the star Anyone else feel like an orphaned boy wizard when @jk_rowling tweets other fans but not you? and C'mon Jo please, we're only looking for a few clicks *sad Dobby eyes*.

To his surprise, the author responded, OK, but only because of the Dobby eyes.

Blue reminded Rowling of the exchange when he met her, saying I was the Dobby eyes boy you replied to on Twitter, do you remember me? to which she replied Ahh, it’s you! Of course I remember you!’

Johnnie with J.K. Rowling at an event for 'The Silkworm' in July 2014

J.K. Rowling is known to respond to her passionate Harry Potter fans in Twitter and last year she send another handwritten note to a teenager who survived a shooting massacre that killed her family.

At the memorial, days after the attack, she bravely made a speech in which she quoted Hogwarts' headmaster Albus Dumbledore: Happiness can be found even in the darkest times if one only remembers to turn on the light." 

Rowling was so moved by the courageous 15-year-old, she sent her a letter of comfort, handwritten in purple ink, from "Dumbledore, accompanied by an acceptance letter to Hogwarts, a list of school supplies and a signed book.

Read J.K. Rowling's full letter to Johnnie Blue below.

"Dear Johnny,

You have fantastic handwriting. That’s not the most important thing I’ve got to say to you, but I thought I’d mention it — I’m a connoisseur.

On to more important things:

What you say about Harry helping you at what was clearly a dreadful time in your life means more to me than I can easily express. I freely confess that I loathe bullying and the way it is still so often “handled” in schools. Your experience is shocking and disturbing and that you have turned out to be a compassionate, moral, highly motivated person is high testimony to your courage. Gryffindor for you, my lad…

Thank you so much for the stunningly beautiful notebook. I love it.

This letter seems to be a series of non-sequiturs, but why break the pattern: I have family roots in Ayrshire — Arran, to be precise. And I’ve never been there. Embarrassing, isn’t it? Don’t tell the Nationalists.

I’m sure we’ll see each other again. In the meantime, I’ll watch out for you on Twitter.

Love from Jo"

letter

Comments

More

Ruby Tandoh on how to support a friend with a mental health problem

You are not alone.

by Sarah Biddlecombe
28 Apr 2017

The Moth bring their StorySLAM to the Emerald Street Literary Festival

Unleash your inner Hannah Horvath

by Victoria Gray
28 Apr 2017

This is why we’re not reading as much as we want to

Even if we won’t admit it

by Hayley Spencer
27 Apr 2017

Bookworms, there’s a Japanese word for people who buy too many books

Commit this to memory, bibliophiles...

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Apr 2017

12 of the best translated books to broaden your literary horizons

It's time to stray a little further afield...

by Scarlett Cayford
27 Apr 2017

The best new books to read in May 2017

It's going to be a wonderful month for bookworms...

by Sarah Shaffi
27 Apr 2017

Join us at the Emerald Street Literary Festival

The perfect Saturday for interesting women

by The Stylist web team
24 Apr 2017

Backlash as star says The Handmaid's Tale is “not a feminist story”

"It’s a human story, because women’s rights are human rights"

by Sarah Biddlecombe
24 Apr 2017

Elisabeth Moss on why you shouldn't binge watch The Handmaid's Tale

"You may need a second to step back and think about what you’ve seen"

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Apr 2017

Exclusive: young mother who escaped Boko Haram shares her story

"I had to be prepared for the worst at all times."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
07 Apr 2017