The Chamber of Secrets Is Closing (sad fandom news…)

The Chamber of Secrets forum – site of some of the most famous debates in the HP fandom – will be closing sometime around July. The closing of CoS will mark the end of an era for the fandom.

I have been posting on CoS since December 24, 2009… and have actually spent a lot more time (and done a lot more writing) over there than I have done on my own blog. To tell the truth, probably some of my best writing is currently over there.

I am about to rectify that. I’m going to work on salvaging my favorite posts by migrating them over here.

Expecto Patronum! is official back from (long) holiday… I hope you enjoy.

Pottermore Releases Prisoner of Azkaban… and my semester is over!

I am so sorry to have been silent for so long. I have 23 comments in the moderation queue… and I will get to them as quickly as I can.

Just so you know… I have been engaging in a non-stop grading marathon for the past couple of months. I had about 50 students in my face-to-face classes and another 30 or so in my online classes. And I teach writing and literature. There’s just no way to relegate the grading to a scantron. :( I actually have to read the papers… and give them some thought… and comment on them. Today is literally my first free day.

Anyway, that is the long-way round of saying that I’m back – at least during the semester break and the early part of the new term, before it goes mega-crazy once again. And maybe it won’t go mega-crazy next term. I have fewer hours to spend on campus. But of course, I will be teaching an 8-week class (so that part of the term will be nuts), and I’ll be taking an online class as well. So we’ll see.

I’ll be back in a little while to share what I find in the Prisoner of Azkaban chapters. And I’ll release a bunch of comments from moderation limbo. :)

Well, it’s good to be back. And it’s good to be starting in on the book where we learn how to say… Expecto Patronum!



And another milestone… Expecto Patronum! reaches 200,000 page views

As of this moment, Expecto Patronum! has reached 200,027 page views. Not bad for a blog that started out as a place for me just to dump my immediate thoughts after finishing DH!

Thank you to everyone who has read, commented, or even linked!

Oh, and yes… I did re-start the re-read today. Here you go if you’d like to see the post that sets the stage for CoS.

100,000 Page Views… Thank you

Expecto Patronum! crossed 100,000 page views tonight.

I was pretty certain it was going to happen today, but I was still a bit surprised when I looked at the stats and saw that the blog was now showing 100,010 page views. Not bad for a blog that started out as a post-DH brain dump!

For the longest time, the blog’s most popular page was Battle of Hogwarts Anniversary. That surprised me at first because I wrote the post in about 15 minutes. Most posts – or at least the analytical ones – take hours to write. Judging by the search terms in my stats, I think a lot of visitors were looking for the fanart featured in that post and stumbled across my blog.

Lately, though, the blog’s top page views have been the ones pertaining to Snape’s Logic Puzzle – or (in Google Search Term Lingo) the “Potions Puzzle Pottermore.”

The blog post again took about 15 minutes to write, but Solving Snape’s Logic Puzzle – the permanent page that the post points toward – took a good number of hours.

I wrote the page while doing the PS/SS re-read over a year ago, and I wrote it actually as a companion piece to the re-read post An Ounce of Logic, which was just getting too long. Solving the puzzle based entirely on the rhyme (and without being able to look at the bottle layout) was great fun because it was an opportunity to go all super-mega-ueber-geeky!

Because it is so geeky, Solving Snape’s Logic Puzzle got maybe an average of 3 page views per day in the year before Pottermore opened for Beta testing. But now – now that you actually have to solve the Logic Puzzle to advance in Pottermore – the hard work I spent solving the puzzle and writing about it last year has finally paid off. The average page views per day for that single page have jumped about 3000% since August 15… and who knows what the percentage will be come October, when Pottermore opens to the public. After all, the solution is already laid out, and people are looking for a quick way of solving the problem.

I can’t really think of a better way to celebrate the 100,000 milestone than by knowing that some of my personal favorite work on Expecto Patronum! has caught on and taken us over the mark.

So thank you, everybody who’s reading, for visiting and supporting this blog. :)

Pottermore House Elves on the Move!

Hi everybody! It’s time for a few House Elf Duties…

Expecto Patronum! is now on Facebook

Yes, it’s true. You can join the (currently small!) Expecto Patronum! fan community on Facebook. All you need to do is use the “Like” button in the sidebar on the right.

As you can see, we currently have small enough numbers that the widget is duplicating faces. So use the “Like” button to add some more faces to Facebook!

Spoiler Warnings!

Well, I agree with Jess. It’s time to mark Pottermore spoilers so you can’t miss them.

When you see this, you will know that there are spoilers up ahead…

When you see this, it’s safe for even the most spoiler-averse to proceed…

And now for some comments about Comments:

Comments not showing up right away:

WordPress sites have a very powerful spam filter, and sometimes perfectly innocent comments get stuck in it.

I love substantive analytical comments. My spam filter does not. It thinks they are spam because spammers often post long amounts of nonsense text around spammy key words. The spam filter can’t distinguish, so it flags your excellent comment as spam.

If your comment does not appear right away, don’t worry. I do go into the spam filter and rescue real comments.

Also, if you are new to the blog, your first comment will be delayed. After the first comment has been approved, you should have no problem with posting… assuming that your comment does not get stuck for some inexplicable reason in the spam filter. ;)

Comments with links to protected Pottermore content:

J.K. Rowling is very nice to fans. She actually lets fans use her characters and her world in their own non-commercial creative endeavors and she does not sue them for it.

Pottermore right now, though, is a different story. It has proprietary material that nobody has ever seen before, and that material is under some pretty strict Terms and Conditions. Like these:

Our content includes any information or other material found on or via Pottermore, including text, databases, graphics, software and all other features on Pottermore. For all content, you may download any individual page on Pottermore onto one hardware device or print one copy of such page or view any video or images provided that this use is non-commercial and you keep intact all and any copyright and proprietary notices and do not edit the same. Apart from that, none of our content may be republished, posted, transmitted, stored, sold, distributed or modified without our prior written consent.

Even though Expecto Patronum! is not a commercial site, I really do not want to get on the wrong side of JKR or Sony. If you wonder why, just remember the Lexicon!

According to the T&C, we can download or print Pottermore content for our own use, but we can’t post it online. So, here’s the latest quote from me:

Please do not post links to actual Pottermore content (i.e., screencaps or text) in the Comments section.

Putting a description of Pottermore content in your own words, though, is fine.

Thank you. :)

How to add Spoiler Alerts of your own:

If you’d like to post spoilers in the Comments thread and would like to add the Spoiler Alert GIFs to your own post, the code below the animations will work. Feel free to copy and paste. :)

Spoiler Start:

<img title="LunaXeno-start-small" src="" alt="" width="300" height="114" />


Spoiler End:

<img title="LunaXeno-end-small" src="" alt="" width="300" height="114" />

Have fun! And Spoil Away!

Waiting for Pottermore: A Top 10 List

For Harry Potter fans, waiting has always been a part of the game.

We wait months and years for book releases, months and years for movie releases. And now we have worked ourselves up into a massive fandom frenzy, waiting anxiously for the early access opening of a website that most of us never knew existed more than three months ago.

As we await our Welcome emails, we may just need a few distractions…

So, here’s the Expecto Patronum! Top 10 list of things to do while waiting for Pottermore:

10. Refresh your email every 5 seconds, hoping it will make the elusive Pottermore Welcome message arrive in your Inbox that much sooner.

9. Set your Web browser to report any small changes to the Pottermore homepage, and then tweet the rumor “OMG! The Chair moved half-an-inch! They must be getting ready to open the site!”

8. Find combinations of words to add to the beginning of, just to watch the inevitable redirect:



7. Have a conversation, using only HP quotes, just to keep in practice:

You have to admit Minister, you might not agree with Dumbledore, but he has style.
“Are you mental?”


6. Find your Harry Potter character AND your Myers-Briggs type all in the same (outdated) Harry Potter character quiz!

Pirate Monkey's Harry Potter Personality Quiz

Is he really INTP? Nope! But I am. :)


5. Practice up for your Sorting here
or here
or here
or here
or even here.

4. Join the SnapeGPS Project and find canon phrases to help confused drivers find their way:

Turn onto route… three hundred and ninety four.

Out for a little drive… in the moonlight?

Recalculating… Does anything penetrate that thick skull of yours?


3. Divert yourself by scouring Tumblr for amusing HP GIFs:


2. Go to see Deathly Hallows 2. Just one more… OR two more… OR three more… times. Or perhaps re-read random chapters from the books!

1. Remember, if all else fails, there’s always Potter Puppet Pals…

How Expecto Patronum! will spend its time waiting for Pottermore…

Yes, I know that #2 is the tame spot on the list, but I put it there to make a point. This is the next stop for Expecto Patronum!

As soon as I finish writing the end-of-term paper I’m working on, I will be re-visiting the DH2 film… and finally writing my long-awaited review. The first three times I saw the movie, I was just too emotionally overwhelmed to say anything coherent about it. Maybe fourth time will be the charm!

And once that mischief has been managed, I’ll start reading random chapters in the Harry Potter series – at reader request – while we wait for the main doors of Pottermore to open in October.

Of course, once the doors open for early access, I will report whatever I can. But the next big thrust in the re-read will take place once Pottermore is open to everybody and the entire Web can re-read the Harry Potter series from within the Pottermore experience.

So what do you plan to do while we are waiting for Pottermore – short of trading in your HP fandom for something involving Hobbits, or Time Lords, or Cylons, that is?

Top 50 Potter Blogs – We’re on the List!!!

This is rather unbelievable, particularly since I’ve posted so sporadically since the semester began.

But today, when I learned that Last Muggle’s blog had made it into the 50 Best Blogs for the Ultimate Harry Potter Head (w00t!!!), I discovered that Expecto Patronum! had made it onto the list too! This is really exciting news, given that the finest Potter blogs on the planet are on that list.

We are listed under the “Fan Sites” category.

For those of you who are just arriving at this site through the “50 Best Blogs” link, let me give you a little bit of background:

This site began about 48 hours after I finished reading Deathly Hallows last December because I just needed to clear my head about the Dumbledore-Snape revelations in “The Prince’s Tale.” About a month later, I started an in-depth re-read, which progressed through PS/SS. We are just getting started on CoS, but I’ve been a bit derailed by a heavy schedule… which should lighten up in a few weeks. In the meantime, there’s plenty of content to read from the past 11 months.

We’ll pick back up on CoS probably around Thanksgiving. And we’ll definitely discuss the Deathly Hallows movie later this week. So stay tuned!