Natalie McDonald, who appears on page 159 of Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, was a real person. She was a nine-year-old girl from Toronto, Canada, who was dying of leukaemia. She wrote to JK Rowling asking what was going to happen in the next Harry Potter book as she would not live long enough to read it. The kindly author emailed back, but Natalie had died a day earlier. In tribute, she became a first-year student at Hogwarts named by the Sorting Hat in Gryffindor - the house for the brave at heart - in the fourth book. When Rowling was later in Canada for a promotional tour she visited the McDonald family.