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Simpsons-Cauldron
Ms. Rowling decided to use her 12 Days of Christmas on Pottermore to explain once again that she still hates Chemistry. What a magnificent role model for children everywhere. But at the same time she 'splains that she loved writing about Potions and herbal medicine that are based on chemistry, as well as alchemy.

You could say that Alchemy has been J.K. Rowling's "bread and butter" all these years, since her first book was about Nicholas Flamel, one of the most famous of the alchemists. She also doesn't mind dropping the name of Paracelsus here and there either. Also, without Potions, Harry probably wouldn't have survived his years at Hogwarts. Did I mention her husband is a doctor?

But keep on hating the Chemistry, Ms. Rowling!

However, I do like her description of Snape as a "brooding, slow-burning personality." :)

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ChristmasSeverus
J.K. Rowling is giving the fans 12 Days of Christmas Presents on Pottermore, and the first was some background on Cokeworth, the town where Severus Snape, Lily Evans, and Petunia Evans grew up. This is also the destination of the Dursleys in Book One when they tried to flee Harry's Hogwarts Letters.

Of course as my friend, The Red Witch pointed out to me on Facebook, it makes no sense to hide from the letters in a town where Petunia's sister as well as Snape received their Hogwarts letters. Even JKR says "he should have known better." Duh - isn't it more likely he thought he would be protected in Cokeworth, since he knew that Lily's blood was protecting Harry? I don't get it.

 photo Snape-Cokeworth.png


It's great that JKR is sharing more about Snape and Lily on Pottermore, but the topic of "Cokeworth" was included in the first chapter of Half-Blood Prince, "Spinner's End" and the scene of the Unbreakable Vow because obviously Snape still lives in the old hometown of Cokeworth. That's just fine too except that Pottermore has jumped over most of the Snape chapters in Order of the Phoenix with no explanation. The Advance Guard is smushed together with Grimmauld Place, where Snape isn't included. And there is no Potions Class, nor is there anything about Occlumency! And worst of all, there is no "Snape's Worst Memory." Did they think we wouldn't notice???

So far Pottermore has progressed to "Felix Felicis" in Half-Blood Prince, and the new material from JKR is about Potions - I will write something about that in my next post.

New Marauders (and Snape) Fan Films

James-Lily
There are two trailers that have come out in recent months for fan films about the Marauders and their teenage years at Hogwarts. In both, the actor playing Snape seems good for the role, but they need to get better black wigs - especially for Sirius Black!

In the first video, "The Gathering Storm," the James Gang seems identical to Harry's group of Gryffindors, just average kids hanging around the dorm, except we know from the books that they were not. They were closer to Draco's trio with Crabbe and Goyle - your basic bullies. And they were illegal Animagi. But go ahead and point at the Slytherins as the bad guys at Hogwarts back then. I suppose we should be glad they allow Snape to speak to Lily in their fan vid.

At least in the second one, James is actually zapping Snape! :) And he seems badass.

I'm actually looking forward to watching these fan films when they are completed. The Marauders fans have been wanting to re-write the books for years, and I'm glad they finally have an outlet. Let's hope JKR doesn't sue them before they get finished.

Tumblr for The Gathering Storm




Kickstarter Page for the Snape and the Marauders


News from the Potterverse

Snape-WitchWeekly
Hello, everyone in the Potterverse. Today we have a cool meme, some Halloween news, and back-to-school with Harry:

People are making mock-ups of Witch Weekly covers, and they look very convincing.
I especially like the Theodore Nott cover.

Leavesden Studios in London is adding a "Dark Arts" section. Not about DADA, but scary stuff from the movies, and just in time for Halloween - including the Halloween Feast from Sorcerer's Stone. Also, the Malfoy Manor Fireplace from Deathly Hallows.
This page has Snape's, um, extended reaction to that . . . :)

Syracuse Business School is dividing into "Houses" with headmasters. Is this a good idea?

Meanwhile, Dartmouth is allowing students to name their dorms, and one group chose "Muggles for Magical Awareness."
Snape-Dumbledore-Disturbing
So JKR has posted a new story on Pottermore as Rita Skeeter, apparently!

If you don't have a Pottermore account, or if yours has been unfairly deleted, you can read the complete story on Today

12 Things We Learned in the New HP Story ~ via The Dose

Hmmm ... some of it is cringeworthy - why are Ron and Harry aging so quickly when Wizards live so long? Why is Neville drinking with his wife, who has gone from a Pub owner to a Healer and on to "Matron" at Hogwarts? She makes them all sound ancient! Other parts will make you wonder if she is hinting at a new series with Harry with the part about his "new scar." Probably JKR is just playing Mind Games with the fans, which is why she chose to use the odious Rita Skeeter to get her messges across.

Of course many fans have noticed that some of this is hardly "new" info about the characters. She has been over some of this ground in her interviews.
As my friend The Hare And The Otter pointed out on Harry Potter Network:
Oh dear god. Really? There is no point - Harry has grey hair! Ron's hair is thinning! Hannah is going from bar keeper to healer!
The only point to doing this (and the World Cup, and Pottermore in general) is to reinstate the view that JKR Knows All and JKR's Word is Law. A view that she doesn't let us go a few months without a reminder, and some "new" information.
GoreyPoisons
My friend subtle1science has had her Pottermore account deleted for no good reason, maybe simply because she hadn't logged in for a while.

I thought that wasn't supposed to happen - seems as if they promised that at the beginning - but then I saw that Pottermore Insider had addressed the issue at the end of June, and indeed, accounts have been deleted without warning. I think they could TRY to sound a little more remorseful about it. If I had lost my account, then discovered that Pottermore had "saved" my House Points for everyone else who still had an account, that would be little consolation.

Come on, Pottermore - some fans waited YEARS to get their accounts! This isn't fair.

By the way, my account is still there, but it won't keep me logged in no matter how many times I click the little square. Shouldn't some of these bugs be worked out by now?

Original Pottermore Insider Post expressing "Concern"

Updated Pottermore Insider Post on Deletions


Dear Pottermore Community,
As many of you have heard by now, some Pottermore.com users have experienced challenges and frustrations relating to account deletions. Even though this situation has affected a small percentage of our audience, we take your concerns very seriously and we apologise to members of the Pottermore community who have been impacted.

Here are a few key facts to know:


  • We identified a technical bug that was causing a delay in processing user-requested account deletions. We began our correction process in May 2014, working through a backlog of user accounts that needed to be deleted.

  • In some cases, the delay meant a lag of several months between when users requested for their account to be deleted, and when the accounts were actually deleted. We have significantly decreased this delay and we are working to eliminate it completely. We will notify the Pottermore community when the situation is completely resolved.

  • As part of working through this backlog some members of the community may notice a reduction in the number of their Pottermore friends – don't be alarmed – large numbers of people aren't suddenly leaving Pottermore – this is simply as a result of the account deletion backlog described above.

  • We are also in the process of determining if any user accounts were accidentally deleted as has been suggested by some members of our community. The Pottermore community will be informed as soon as we have more complete information about this.

  • When users choose to leave Pottermore.com we will no longer deduct their hard earned house points from the house that they have left so that the wider Pottermore community is not impacted by account deletions.



Queries about account deletions
Any member of the Pottermore community who has had his or her account deleted and does not recall requesting for an account deletion can alert us by visiting the help section of our website. Please click on "need more help" in the "Next Steps" section and complete the short form.
Remember, we can only correspond about your own account and we are unable to disclose another user's account status (except for the parents of children).

What's next?
Over the next several days and through the coming weeks we will be communicating with the Pottermore community through this section of our website and assorted social media channels to inform you about our progress resolving the account challenges and answer any further questions you may have.

Thank you for your loyalty and feedback. We are listening to you and we are committed to creating the best Pottermore.com experience for all visitors.

Sincerely,
The Pottermore Team
Posted by Pottermore Editor on Wednesday, June 25, 2014
- See more at: http://insider.pottermore.com/2014/06/an-update-relating-to-pottermorecom.html#sthash.fU5WI8sd.dpuf
HogwartsCrest
The Harry Potter Lexicon has been pretty quiet since the uproar of the court case died down, but they are bouncing back with a complete revamp. It's nice to see one of the older websites getting a makeover while other places have gone silent or shut down. Kudos to the Lexicon!

Thanks to Serpentine for the tip!


Lexicon Blog: Busy Little House-Elfs


First of all, the What’s New section has now become The Lexicon Blog. And it’s more than just a change in title.

While the What’s New section of the blog was managed by a copy of WordPress, it wasn’t presented as a blog. Instead it was presented as a modified version of what the What’s New page always was, a date based list of updates.

We’ve replaced the old archive pages with a full WordPress theme on the blog itself, including pagination, categories, yearly, monthly, and author archives. Each post now has it’s own url, with the comments for that post displayed on the same page as the post itself. This makes it easier to foster discussions on posts.

. . . We’ve manually created entries for everything on the old what’s new pages. Previously the blog only had posts back to August 11, 2006. We’ve added in all the entries from the old What’s New pages into the blog so that one set of archives now includes everything ever posted to a what’s new page.

Social Comments! The Pensieve can now better connect thoughts to people, thanks to the fabulous Disqus commenting system. You can now log in using your social media profiles. You can log in with Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, or a number of other social media profiles. It also lets you subscribe to your own comments, so that you’ll get notified if anybody replies to you.

The Hufflepuff Mystery

Snape-Sun
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J.K. Rowling designed four houses of Hogwarts but only told readers something about three of them. Harry visits the Common Rooms of Gryffindor, Slytherin, and Ravenclaw, the charming house of Hufflepuff was left out of the text.

So after the series was complete, Rowling filled in one blank by writing more about Hufflepuff on Pottermore, and letting those sorted into the house see what the Common Room was like. She packed a ton of information into the Hufflepuff Welcome Letter. Unfortunately some were disappointed in being sorted into the Hufflepuff, maybe because characters in the books from Hagrid to Ron made fun of it (thanks JKR).

In a webchat in 2012, JKR tried to soothe the fans: and perhaps she bent over backwards by stretching the truth a little and saying it was her "favorite house" - who would believe that when she sorted herself into Gryffindor? Even Scholastic didn't believe her! And it's unclear why she picked the scene from Deathly Hallows to discuss when it's controversial enough that all the Slytherins were treated as criminals thanks to Pansy Parkinson, a girl bully.


Young student: What would you say to people who are disappointed that they’ve been Sorted into Hufflepuff on Pottermore?
J.K. Rowling: That is actually my favorite question so far because this is a very sore point for me. This may surprise people, but it is the truth. In many, many ways, Hufflepuff is my favorite House. Here’s my reasoning. Bear with me. Again, I don’t want to spoil things too much for people who haven’t read the whole series, so I’m going to say what I’m about to say quite carefully. There comes a point in the final book where each House has the choice whether or not to rise to a certain challenge – and that’s everyone in the House.
The Slytherins, for reasons that are understandable, decide they’d rather not play. The Ravenclaws: some decide they will, some decide they won’t. The Hufflepuffs, virtually to a person, stay – as do the Gryffindors. Now, the Gryffindors comprise a lot of fool-hardy and show-offy people. That’s just the way it is. I’m a Gryffindor, I’m allowed to say it. There’s bravery and there’s also showboating, and sometimes the two go together. The Hufflepuffs stayed for a different reason. They weren’t trying to show off. They weren’t being reckless.
That’s the essence of Hufflepuff House. Now my oldest child, my daughter Jessica, said something very profound to me not very many days ago actually. She said to me – and she, by the way, was not Sorted into Hufflepuff House – but she said to me, “I think we should all want to be Hufflepuffs.” I can only say to you that I would not be at all disappointed to be Sorted into Hufflepuff House. So I’m a little upset that anyone does feel that way.

Scholastic: But you’re a Gryffindor.
J.K. Rowling: Yeah, I am a Gryffindor, but that’s not all good. I know Harry’s a Gryffindor, but Harry’s a Gryffindor for the same reason I’m a Gryffindor. I’ve got a short temper. Harry’s got his issues. I’m just saying. Also Gryffindor hasn’t , despite the way it thinks of itself, it’s turned out the odd dark wizard. Hufflepuff’s got pretty much a clean record. As, indeed, Slytherin has turned out more than one hero.


And now JKR has added one more "gem" to the Hufflepuff canon - literally. She has finally described what type of stones reside in the Hufflepuff House Point Hourglass in the Entry Hall at Hogwarts.

JKR on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/jk_rowling/with_replies

This particular tweet is Here

[Image: HUFFLEPUFFdiamonds.png]

So the house stones are as follows:

Slytherin - Green Emeralds
Gryffindor - Red Rubies
Hufflepuff - Yellow Diamonds
Ravenclaw - Blue Sapphires

More about the hourglasses here:
http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/House_...ourglasses


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Bookstore
.
Gosh I've really let my blogging slide this year. Too much real life going on! So this is a few weeks late.

J.K. Rowling's next Cormoran Strike book is called The Silkworm
and is due out in June.

Via Snitchseeker
Private investigator Cormoran Strike returns in a new mystery from Robert Galbraith, author of the #1 international bestseller The Cuckoo's Calling.

 photo 0321e81749d66962d1290ece9f930033.jpg


When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days--as he has done before--and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.
But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives--meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.

When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before...
A compulsively readable crime novel with twists at every turn, THE SILKWORM is the second in the highly acclaimed series featuring Cormoran Strike and his determined young assistant, Robin Ellacott.
DeeeLiteDanceCircle
The stuff Ms. Rowling says about her books is often unbelievable - almost a parody of herself, but she doesn't realize it. She seems to think of the books as an ongoing project that never ends, and we are here to take note as she changes her mind.

And she picked a rather funny time to drop a bombshell - the day after Chamber of Secrets Forum closed, possibly forever. Fandom is funny like that. This week's controversy is right out of the Shipping Wars of several years ago - for background on that Read This Article.

JKR now says, ta da! - Ron might not have been the best match for Hermione, and they would have needed marriage counseling. Like, duh! Almost any fan could have told her that before she wrote the ending of Deathly Hallows. But I'm sure some fandom heads are exploding. Of course some of them wish Harry had married Hermione, and some of them think Ron is TOO GOOD for Hermione (yes, those fans really exist).

 photo 3182f20d-e85a-4017-a0d0-87225ebf9ae0.jpg


Thanks to FifthOfFive on HPN for the link:

From Andrew Sims on Hypable
The shocking revelation came in the new issue of Wonderland, of which Watson is a guest editor this month. The comments were obtained by The Sunday Times.
Rowling says that she should have put Hermione and Harry together in the Harry Potter series instead of Hermione and Ron, according to the publication’s headline, which reads, “JK admits Hermione should have wed Harry.”
“I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment,” she says. “That’s how it was conceived, really. For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione ended up with Ron.”

“I know, I’m sorry,” she continued, “I can hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans, but if I’m absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that. It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility. Am I breaking people’s hearts by saying this? I hope not.”
Watson didn’t seem shocked by these comments and agreed with her. “I think there are fans out there who know that too and who wonder whether Ron would have really been able to make her happy.”
Rowling also says that Ron and Hermione would have needed “relationship counseling.”


Almost all the relationships between JKR's characters are extremely contrived, from Lily and James, through Ginny and Harry, and especially the dreadful Tonks and Lupin. (The exception is perhaps unrequited Snape and Lily - at least they had a sweet childhood friendship that stayed pure.) She comes close to depth with Harry/Luna in OotP, but backs away from it in favor of Ginny in HBP because . . . red hair and just because. It's really a shame that JKR didn't think outside the Gryffindor box enough IN THE BOOKs. In the actual books, Ravenclaw girls make good dates, but you just don't marry them!

Lisa Bunker - otherwise known as "Madam Scoop" on Accio Quote - wrote this on Facebook:
Unbelievable "shipping" wars were fought over this, but I was never in the H/H camp. I didn't think Ginny was right either... But the biggest missed opportunity plot-wise was that Jo didn't give us scenes between Neville and Luna. Can you imagine what could have been if she applied her insights to his situation?


CNN writes:

If anyone here feels Ron and Hermione should not be united in holy matrimony, speak now or forever hold your peace.
Well, guess who's got a problem -- seven years later.
Author JK Rowling, the woman who dreamed up the pair and turned them into two of the most recognized figures in literature, is now throwing cold water on the central romance in the gazillion-selling Harry Potter series.
Rowling now says she should have paired Hermoine Granger with Harry Potter, instead of his bud Ron Weasley.
And then she delivers this punch to the gut of Ron fans everywhere:
Ron and Hermione would have needed relationship counseling. What the what??!!

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