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The Boy Who Lived Lives On

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Elizabeth Bernal

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On July 31, many Harry Potter fans stayed up all night sitting in front of their computers with their copies of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone opened to the chapter “Diagon Ally.” Finally, after hours of waiting, they all searched frantically for the number of owls on the sign at Eeylop’s Owl Emporium.

After finding the answer, the fans were rewarded by securing a place in the Beta testing of J.K. Rowling’s new website, Pottermore. Pottermore is an interactive reading experience for the Harry Potter series which allows fans a place for discussions, fan art and more. Pottermore will open for public registration at the end of October.

Pottermore users are swept into the stories all over again on this interactive site. They start with Harry on the day he arrived at Number 4 Privet Drive and journey with him through all of his magical experiences at Hogwarts.

After buying supplies at Diagon Alley, users receive their own personalized wand. Since “the wand chooses the wizard,” fans take a quiz to discover their own personal wand type. Fans also purchase an owl, a cat or even a toad on Diagon Alley to serve as their pet and user icon.

Next, users arrive at Hogwarts for the Beginning of Term Feast. They participate in one of the most anticipated activities of the site: the Sorting Ceremony. J.K. Rowling designed this activity to accurately sort fans into their houses at Hogwarts.

The ceremony is a quiz that changes questions for each user. These questions can be as simple as “What are you most afraid of?” or as abstract as “left or right?” In the end, each user is sorted into their correct house of either Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, Ravenclaw or Slytherin.

Senior Katarina Klask said, “I’m a Ravenclaw of course! When I finished the quiz and the screen turned blue I literally screamed because I was so happy. But was I surprised? Not at all!
”

Because many fans wish to be in Gryffindor due to the fact that it is the house of Harry Potter himself, J.K. Rowling came up with an ingenious idea to make users content with the results of their sorting. If sorted into a house other than Gryffindor, users will receive exclusive new content about their specific house such as the décor of their common room and notable house alumni.

The most exciting part about this site is that fans are also given access to new content from J.K. Rowling about characters, places and events. These “ghost plots” have never before been revealed until now. Fans can learn new content about all their old favorites such as Professor McGonagall or The Hogwarts Express.

“My favorite part of Pottermore would have to be all of JK Rowling’s behind the scene details. I loved reading about poor Professor McGonagall and the Dursleys,” said Katarina Klask.

Pottermore also gives fans a way to communicate with other Potter lovers all over the world. Discussion walls are available on each page of the book, in the Great Hall and in the house common rooms. Additionally, fan art can be shared on any of these pages, allowing users a way to share their visions of characters, places and events.

And for those competitive fans out there, never fear! Pottermore invites users to earn house points to help win the House Cup. By dueling other houses, brewing potions and collecting items throughout the story, users can either earn or lose points for their house.

The final treat J.K. Rowling has for her fans on the site is the first release of the digital copies of the books. In the first half of 2012, fans will be given the option to buy ebooks for their Kindles, Nooks and IPads so they can take the magic everywhere.

Right now, only Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is available for exploration on the site. Pottermore is staggering access to the books so that the experience will last longer. But Harry Potter fans are not daunted by the wait; they have waited a long time for the books and movies, and they are willing to wait a bit longer for the site.

Although the Harry Potter books and movies have finished, the magic still lives on through Pottermore. Pottermore is a great ending to this touching series. Ironically, both the snitch from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Pottermore have something in common: “I open at the close.”

 

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