Living Together in Harmony?

Are you ready for some Harmony?

If my HP-related feeds this morning are any indication, JK Rowling’s latest bombshell is the spark that could re-ignite the fandom. What was the bombshell, you ask? Just that little tidbit that she now regrets the Ron/Hermione relationship.

According to those who participated in the HP fandom pre-Deathly Hallows, the “Shipping Wars” made the infamous “Snape Wars” pale by comparison. According to Morgoth (founder of the Chamber of Secrets forum), reading through Shipping War threads was like reading lengthy dissertations in which even the footnotes had footnotes.

So what’s with the “Harmony” at the top of my message? It’s the name of the Harry/Hermione ship. Followers of this ship are known as “Harmonians.” JKR just give this ship new life. No, she didn’t come out and say that Hermione should have ended up with Harry, but that IS how the Harmonians will read it.

Last night at supper, I was in the process of saying to my husband, “And this is just sooooo irresponsible. JKR knows about the Shipping Wars. She knows what happened the last time Harry/Hermione was on the table.”

And then, in mid-sentence, I stopped and turned around and said… “But wait. All the forums are closing. There’s really NO PLACE anymore for engaging in a Shipping War. What if…. What if this is all just a ploy to bring back the forums? What if she did this just to give fans something to buzz about?”

One little comment re-opens the Shipping debate… and also sparks questions about “What constitutes canon?” Will those Hermione/Ron shippers who have been so certain that any random utterance out of JK Rowling’s mouth is canonical gold still believe that point now that she has demolished their ship with a single random utterance?

Anyway, get ready for the fireworks. It looks now like the Chamber of Secrets may not be closing…

Screen Shot 2014-02-02 at 10.44.19 AM


The Chamber of Secrets Has… Huh?

I had planned to write a post tonight with the headline: “The Chamber of Secrets Has Closed.”

The Closure has been months in the making. Forum owner Morgoth (Matt) announced it at the end of March. Then came the postponements, and finally came the announcement of a Closure Date: Jan. 31.

The Forum came alive again in the past few days, with members “coming home” and putting in their last words on the various debate threads, or saying their goodbyes and thanking the Staff.

Then, this afternoon, came this:

Greetings

MuggleNet have contacted me about a possible new arrangement. At this stage I’m not revealing anything about the fate of the site. Whatever happens, the site will need to close for maintenance anyway over the next few days.

MuggleNet want to be more involved with CoS and its running. Up until now I’ve paid for the site out of my own pocket and allowed volunteers to help maintain the site. MuggleNet is part of a wider corporate entity owned by Emerson Spartz through his company Spartz Media.

I haven’t had this option before now because MuggleNet & CoS have operated very independtely over the years and our two respective teams rarely talked, mainly because we had no real need to. However, that said, MuggleNet want to be more involved now and have opened up a dialogue with me about the site.

It may mean, as I said above, that the site will close for a bit whilst we change some of the behind-the-scenes features. A lot of the staff will possibly leave the site and they’re free to do so. I expect as part of any formal change in ownership, should that be the final call, I’ll leave the site myself and new staff will take over management.

Please discuss in the usual thread, here

Morgoth

With that announcement, what was seeming like a tranquil passing turned in to a big debate over whether a Mugglenet takeover would be a good thing or a bad thing. Everyone seems pretty sure, though, that it will at least be a “different” thing.

So this brings me to the point…

I have let this blog slide because I have had other interests arise, and I really thought that I was finished with the blog. But the last few days on CoS have made me realize that I would like to revive it if for no other reason than to give my CoS friends a place to come where they can tell me just how wrong I am!

I’m not sure how much Pottermore focus the blog will maintain – though I do think we could continue with some casual scavenger hunts. I do know that I would like to discuss Pottermore content written by JKR. But for the most part, I think the blog will return to its origins with book content – and move back to a re-read of the series.

In the meantime, here is something from what is almost certainly my last post in the Lily thread at CoS… at least under the original ownership:

To clarify: The point I was making – and I think the point [my friend] was making – was that Lily’s choices were not so limited. It did not have to be either James or Severus. It could have been somebody entirely different – someone who did not engage in disturbing behavior.

Now, I like Lily. I admire her strength in standing up to Severus, and I have maintained that point consistently throughout the years of debate on CoS. But here is what I find problematic in her ultimate choice of James:

James not only attacked Lily’s friend, but he held her friend hostage in an attempt to blackmail a kiss out of Lily. As a woman, I find this to be degrading and extremely disturbing “flirting” behavior, and as a woman, I find it hard to imagine Lily getting past that before her graduation from Hogwarts.

Now I realize that this is my subjective reaction, but it is based on how I actually have reacted when I have had similar things done to me – hence my comment that I would not have given either one of them the time of day after SWM.

So… how wrong am I? Care to discuss?

Pottermore’s New Layout: Completion Bars (and replenishable points?)

In the new layout, there’s a completion bar at the bottom of each scene. When the completion bar moves all the way to the right, you have collected everything – AND performed every animated action – that you can perform in that scene. So yeah, in order to complete a scene all the way, you will probably also need to hover your cursor and make things happen… like make plaster fall from the walls or cause a spider spin from the top of some curtains or make a Hinkypunk move.

What I found this afternoon, though, is that when I went back in to some of the scenes I’d completed a couple of days ago, the completion bar was no longer full. And items that I had previously collected were right there to be collected again. And yes, I got House Points for them a second time – without having lost any House Points from the other day!

This makes me wonder if Pottermore has added new ways to gain House Points or if this is just a glitch that they will fix when they find out about it. ;)

We’ve always known that you can replenish your Potions ingredients after you’ve used them up. But you didn’t get points for them a second time. And in this instance, I had NOT used up ingredients. I got to collect items I’d already collected and earn new points GRATIS!

So now, I’ve scrolled all the way back to the opening scene in PS/SS on Privet Drive and guess what… ALL of my completion bars in the earlier books are empty. I’m pretty sure that I still have the collectibles in my trunk. But there’s a possibility that I may get to collect the collectibles agaon – FOR POINTS. At any rate, I’m sure going to try! I’ll let you know how I fare.

UPDATE: No replenishable items to collect so far in the earlier chapters. No alarm clock, no postcard, nothing. So it looks like we don’t get a shot at those points a second time. :(

UPDATE 2: Here’s some information on the new layout from the Pottermore Insider: http://insider.pottermore.com/2013/07/whats-new-on-pottermore.html

Pottermore, PoA Chapter 22 (what I’ve found so far…)

DISCLAIMER: This is not exactly a live blog and it’s definitely not a Finder’s Guide. It’s what I’ve found so far. Judging by the new completion bar, I do appear to missing items from both scenes. :(

Here’s what I’ve found so far (DO NOT READ IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE SPOILED!)…

CHAPTER 22: OWL POST AGAIN

Scene 1 (“Professor Lupin’s Office”)

  • Zoom 1:
    • Hover cursor to make the door to Lupin’s cabinet open and shut. Once it’s open…
    • COLLECT an empty inkpot.
    • COLLECT a chocolate bar.
  • Zoom 2:
    • COLLECT a roller.
    • COLLECT an old quill.
    • UNLOCK “Remus Lupin” (JKR-exclusive content).
    • Use cursor to unroll a scroll and knock a candle from its sconce. (Thanks, Let’s Call Me Lily… I knew about the scroll but not the candle).

Scene 2 (“Back to London”)

  • Zoom 1:
    • Riding on the Hogwarts Express.
  • Zoom 2:
    • Double-click makes you enter the compartment.
    • Use cursor to open and shut the window.
    • Hover cursor to make Pig hoot and Crookshanks purr and move his tail.
    • COLLECT a Pumpkin Pasty.
    • COLLECT Exploding Bonbons.
    • COLLECT a Gobstone. (Be quick! It’s hard to catch!).
    • COLLECT a Galleon from the rack above Crookshanks. (Thanks, Madam Pince!)
    • CLOSER LOOK at Sirius’ letter to Harry.
    • CLOSER LOOK at Sirius Black’s note giving Harry permission to visit Hogsmeade.

Key to Zoom Levels:
I am using the conventions I’ve seen used elsewhere when discussing Pottermore zoom levels:

    • Zoom 1 = the original zoom level.
    • Zoom 2 = zoom in one level from Zoom 1.
    • Zoom 3 = zoom in two levels from Zoom 1.
    • Zoom OUT 2 = zoom out one level from Zoom 1.
    • Zoom OUT 3 = zoom out two levels from Zoom 1.

Pottermore, PoA Chapter 21 (what I’ve found so far…)

DISCLAIMER: This is not exactly a live blog and it’s definitely not a Finder’s Guide. Apparently, I found everything, so…

Here’s what I’ve (DO NOT READ IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE SPOILED!)…

CHAPTER 21: HERMIONE’S SECRET

Scene 1 (“Time Turner”)

  • Zoom 1:
    • Now that’s some awesome animation! I’ve never envisioned the Time Turner looking like that before!
  • Zoom 2:
    • Double-click and the doors open, and we see the jewels for the different Houses moving backwards.
    • UNLOCK “Time Turner” (JKR-exclusive content). We learn a lot more about the limitations of time travel in the Harry Potter universe, and JKR reveals why she destroyed the entire stock of Time Turners during the Battle in the Dept. of Mysteries. NOTE: Rowling’s problem arose because she used the “time paradox” trope of time travel. However, since Time Travel itself is a convention, time paradox is not the only way in which Time Travel can play out. But it’s the best trope to use if you need to change the past!
    • COLLECT 5 Galleons.
    • COLLECT Bertie Bott’s Cheese-Flavoured Bean.
    • COLLECT Montrose Magpies badge at base of Ravenclaw statue. (Thanks, Ramona!)

Scene 2 (“Buckbeak’s Rescue”)

Hmmm… this looks an awful lot like “The Committee.” ;)

  • Zoom 1:
    • But since this is the same scene through the Time Turner, there’s new stuff to collect!
    • COLLECT Unicorn Tail Hair.
  • Zoom 2:
    • Hover cursor to get Buckbeak to move his head.
    • COLLECT Dried Billywig Stings.
    • COLLECT a Galleon

Scene 3 (“Prongs”)

Thanks to Let’s Call Me Lily for helping me straighten out the Zooms…

  • Zoom 1:
    • COLLECT a Murlap Tentacle (known for their healing properties).
  • Zoom 2:
    • UNLOCK “Patronus” (JKR-exclusive content).
    • COLLECT Tubeworms.
  • Zoom 3:
    • COLLECT Slimy Seaweed.

Scene 4 (“Sirius and Buckbeak Escape”)

  • Zoom 1:
    • Hover cursor to make Buckbeak flap his wings.
    • COLLECT a Galleon.
    • COLLECT an Owl Treat.
  • Zoom 2:
    • COLLECT Hesper Starkey Chocolate Frog Card. (She studied the phases of the moon in Potions making).
    • Move cursor over top of tower to make an owl fly and ring a bell.

Key to Zoom Levels:
I am using the conventions I’ve seen used elsewhere when discussing Pottermore zoom levels:

    • Zoom 1 = the original zoom level.
    • Zoom 2 = zoom in one level from Zoom 1.
    • Zoom 3 = zoom in two levels from Zoom 1.
    • Zoom OUT 2 = zoom out one level from Zoom 1.
    • Zoom OUT 3 = zoom out two levels from Zoom 1.

Pottermore, PoA Chapter 20 (what I’ve found so far…)

DISCLAIMER: This is not exactly a live blog and it’s definitely not a Finder’s Guide. It’s what I’ve found so far. There’s also probably some stuff I’m missing. :)

Here’s what I’ve found so far (DO NOT READ IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE SPOILED!)…

CHAPTER 20: THE DEMENTOR’S KISS

Scene 1 (“Full Moon”)

  • Zoom 1:
    • UNLOCK “Werewolves” (JKR-exclusive content). This is fascinating content and well-worth reading – particularly the bits about the Ministry’s various werewolf offices and what happens when werewolves mate in werewolf form.
    • Hover cursor to make manacles jump.
    • COLLECT Dittany.
  • Zoom 2:
    • Use cursor to make Were-Lupin and Animagus-Sirius bite at each other’s muzzles and snarl even louder.
    • COLLECT Wormwood.
    • COLLECT Monkshood. (I guess we’re making the Draught of Living Death!)

Scene 2 (“The Lake Shore”)

  • Zoom 1:
    • Harry faces off with the Dementors. Nothing to do here.
  • Zoom 2:
    • COLLECT Tubeworms
    • COLLECT Spine of Lionfish
    • COLLECT a Pebble (No Potions use, but apparently useful as a paperweight)
    • In the Comments, Let’s Call Me Lily adds: “To fill the bar, click on Harry’s wand in moment 2 – it will kinda spark and tinkle :) Very like a Patronus, right?”

Key to Zoom Levels:
I am using the conventions I’ve seen used elsewhere when discussing Pottermore zoom levels:

    • Zoom 1 = the original zoom level.
    • Zoom 2 = zoom in one level from Zoom 1.
    • Zoom 3 = zoom in two levels from Zoom 1.
    • Zoom OUT 2 = zoom out one level from Zoom 1.
    • Zoom OUT 3 = zoom out two levels from Zoom 1.

Pottermore, PoA Chapter 19 (what I’ve found so far…)

DISCLAIMER: This is not exactly a live blog and it’s definitely not a Finder’s Guide. It’s what I’ve found so far. There’s definitely some stuff I’m missing. :)

Here’s what I’ve found so far (DO NOT READ IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE SPOILED!)…

CHAPTER 19: THE SERVANT OF LORD VOLDEMORT

Scene 1 (“Peter’s Transformation”)

  • Zoom 1:
    • Hold Scabbers in the air and listen to him squeal.
  • Zoom 2:
    • When you double click, Scabbers turns into Wormtail (and man, he looks older than his 33/34 years!)
    • COLLECT scarab beetle bodies from the plaster heap in back of Wormtail, on the Sirius side.
    • COLLECT bat wings from the wall where the plaster is falling
    • COLLECT spider legs from the plaster heap on the Lupin side of Wormtail.

Key to Zoom Levels:
I am using the conventions I’ve seen used elsewhere when discussing Pottermore zoom levels:

    • Zoom 1 = the original zoom level.
    • Zoom 2 = zoom in one level from Zoom 1.
    • Zoom 3 = zoom in two levels from Zoom 1.
    • Zoom OUT 2 = zoom out one level from Zoom 1.
    • Zoom OUT 3 = zoom out two levels from Zoom 1.