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What is going on with Pottermore? On Twitter, they announced that potioneers and duelists in the four houses are now working towards the "Last House Cup."

Mugglenet wrote this hopeful message:

Some fans are theorizing that the tweet may have been a simple mistake meant to read, “we’ll be awarding the latest House Cup,” rather than, “the last House Cup.” This, however, remains pure speculation with no response from the Pottermore team.
We currently have no further word on Pottermore’s plans going forward, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated when new information becomes available.

But no - the same message was posted on the Pottermore Facebook.

Ever since last year when Pottermore took down the fan art and closed their Insider blog, fans have been wondering what the heck is going on. When the Order of the Phoenix Chapters appeared in December, all the Snape material was omitted without explanation. Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows are just as dismissive of Snape's character, even though he is key to the series. My last straw was turning to the "Silver Doe" chapter and finding no picture of the Silver Doe - one of the most beautiful images in the canon. Instead, there is a picture of Harry and Ron with the Sword of Gryffindor, and possibly a shadow of Snape behind some double trees.

Fans on both Facebook and Twitter are wondering if Pottermore is closing down for good. If that happens, JKR is taking a rather cowardly way out of discussing the Marauders era, and that Snape-Lily-James Triangle. Of course, she could take it all down and just say she is working on her "Scottish Book" encyclopedia, and then keep us waiting for ten more years. That wouldn't surprise anyone, would it?

Possibly she just wants to talk about the new kid in town, Newt Scamander, and his way with animals. Look for the next big surprise from JKR - a Fantastic Beasts website to make up for taking away Pottermore. Anyone who remembers how quickly her original official site disappeared wouldn't be surprised by that either.
It's official that Eddie Redmayne will play the monster-hunter Newt Scamander in the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them:

From E-Online
After months of speculation surrounding whether or not the Oscar winner is going to be cast in the upcoming prequel, E! News confirms that Redmayne has signed on for Warner Bros.' Future Beasts and Where to Find Them.
"Eddie Redmayne has emerged as one of today's most extraordinarily talented and acclaimed actors," Warner Bros. Pictures' President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production Greg Silverman said in a statement.
"We are thrilled to welcome him into J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World, where we know he will deliver a remarkable performance as Newt Scamander, the central character in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them."

On Twitter, J.K. Rowling hinted that she would reveal the name of the American Wizarding School in the movie. No, it's not the Salem School for Witches, and it's not in New York either - the setting of the movie.

Rumors About Fantastic Beast Casting

New rumors flying about Fantastic Beasts!

Actor Eddie Redmayne is the new frontrunner to play Newt Scamander in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie. I think he has a very Weasley-ish look about him.

[Image: a6fa6e66-2af8-44ca-8620-508fd6f1b9a7.jpg]

From Hollywood Reporter:

Quote:Warner Bros. has zeroed in on Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne for the lead role for Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

. . . the feature project, which is set 70 years before the events of the Potter series and centers on a fictitious author named Newton Artemis Fido Scamander. In Potter lore, Scamander compiled a reference guide to magical beasts, and the movies will follow his adventures after he is commissioned to write the tome.

Redmayne, who would play Scamander, has no offer at this stage but is the studio's top choice. One thing holding up the process is that the script is still being worked on. Sources say Redmayne won't commit until he reads it.
Warners had no comment.
Other leads in the movie are two sisters, their parents and a character named Jacob, say sources.

Redmayne is already a studio favorite after chewing up the scenery in Jupiter Ascending (even if the movie didn't do particularly well at the box office). But his fan base grew even more after he won an Oscar for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.
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." :)

 photo Pottermore-Potions-1.png
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

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

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."
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.
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.

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
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.


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