Fortunately, it appears they may be allowed to romance other students they meet at Hogwarts, but it’s going to take some serious time investment. It’s purely logistical: Your witch or wizard starts the game attending their first year at Hogwarts. That means they’re 11-years-old when the game begins. Players probably won’t be able to start developing more intimate relationships, if that ability becomes available, with characters until they’re a little further in their Hogwarts career.
“You start as a first-year student,” Matt London, a writer on the game, told Polygon. “You’re 11-years-old, but the game covers the entire seven-year saga. So overtime, as new stories get unlocked and you progress through the game, you’re going to have to wait and see what type of relationships develop.”
This shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise for long-time Harry Potter fans. Harry didn’t develop his first crush, on Ravenclaw’s Cho Chang, until his fourth year, and he doesn’t kiss her until his fifth year. He was roughly 15 when that began.
Unlike the books and films, however, is that Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery has the opportunity to possibly, openly include gay and lesbian relationships. London wouldn’t confirm that queer relationships will appear in the game, but told Polygon the studio is committed to incorporating more diversity.
“Our studio is 100 percent in favor of supporting diversity in all aspects, and we’re hoping to pursue that actively and presently,” London said.
It’s a big step for the Harry Potter universe if the game does include queer relationships. Hogwarts Mystery was developed by Jam City under Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and its Harry Potter-specific Portkey Games label, meaning that it’s an official Harry Potter property. The franchise has never featured an openly gay character; Rowling revealed in 2007 that Hogwarts’ headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, was gay, and tragically in love with his childhood-friend-turned-evil-wizard, Gellert Grindelwald, but that never made it into the books.
The relationship also won’t make it into Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and the first opportunity Warner Bros. has had to introduce the relationship. The decision to not include their relationship, or showcase Dumbeldore’s romantic feelings for Grindelwald, deeply upset the Harry Potter community, which asked the studio and Rowling to do better.
Being able to explore a gay or lesbian romance in Hogwarts Mystery wouldn’t be the same as seeing two canonical figures get together in the main Harry Potter franchise, but it could at least be an option for players in the future.