Exactly a year ago today, the final installment of the Harry Potter films released internationally, and fourteen years before that, the first novel of the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone saw its first release. Potter fans everywhere may feel like they are suffering from what has been dubbed “Post-Potter Depression”. The close of a 15-year-old journey can be overwhelming, but luckily, there are ways to lift that dark cloud if only for a while. From fan-made musicals and prequels, official websites, and fanfiction, there are many ways to experience the magic all over again. If you or a loved one are experiencing PPD, use this list to help fight off the blues.
5. Pottermore.The JK Rowling-Sony collaboration received a lot of media hype last year, but reality came crashing down like a sack of bricks once the novelty wore off; it all seemed to lead up to nothing but annoyance with the Potions game, and people whining about not getting into the House they wanted to get into. (I got into Slytherin, so I’m perfectly happy with what the Sorting Hat gave me.) However, Pottermore recently opened its virtual doors to the public, along with the Chamber of Secrets area. The site allows fans to be Sorted into Hogwarts houses, receive their first wands, and join Harry through his years at Hogwarts. The site give a lot of interesting information and insight to fans, which may be especially helpful for fanfiction writers. Hey, speaking of…
With former fanfiction writers like Cassandra Clare (The Draco Trilogy, anyone?) and EL James (let’s not) getting the spotlight for theirrespective novels, it seems like a great time to be writing fanfiction. Fanfiction can broaden the already expanse universe of Harry Potter by creating post-Voldemort adventures, kindle romances between unlikely characters, or change a seemingly innocent character into the next coming of Evil. You fill in the blanks, and it probably exists. That’s something that’s both cool and terrible about the internet. For newbies to the fanfiction world, my suggestion to you is to steer clear of fanfiction.net, especially for Harry Potter. Mugglenet‘s fanfiction archive contains a variety of stories, as does HPFF.net. Mugglenet’s archive may require a login. Be mindful that some fics are not for readers under a certain age, and for good reason. Look out for warnings of what fics may contain, and if you don’t know what the acronym stands for, you might not be interested.
3. Fan videos.
Earlier today, I came across “It All Begins“, a fanmade prequel to the Harry Potter series. The mini-series itself, titled “Sirius Black and the Secret Keeper”, brings to light the backstory of Harry’s godfather, Sirius Black. The series is meant to be a tribute to the original series and to JK Rowling, and it does what I consider to be an amazing job. Only Part One has been released so far. Part Two will be released in late August.
This video is not the only of its kind, as there are many other Potter inspired mini series out there. But if you’re not really in the mood for something so dark and are looking for a laugh, you could check out A Very Potter Musical and A Very Potter Sequel.
I’ve mentioned Team Starkid a couple of times before, but I’ve never truly expressed just how much I love this fan-made musical. Headed by a young Darren Criss as Harry Potter and Joey Richter as his best friend Ron, A Very Potter Musical both celebrates and parodies the canon. AVPM takes viewers on a musical journey through Harry’s Second year, which Harry and Ron proclaim will be “totally awesome!” The sequel, however, takes us back to Harry’s first year at Hogwarts, and hilarity ensues.
Criss’s portrayal as a young, arrogant, guitar-playing Harry Potter shines, but biggest showstealers have to be Lauren Lopez as Draco Malfoy in the first musical, and Tyler Brunsman as Draco’s father Lucius in the sequel. (Brunsman also plays the enthusiastic Cedric Diggory in AVPM, who I find to be adorable.) Their scenes alone are hilarious, but prepare yourself for the side-splits in their scenes together. Popular songs include “Not Alone”, “Gotta Get Back to Hogwarts”, “Granger Danger”, and “To Have a Home”.
2. Muggle Quidditch
Muggle Quidditch has received a good bit of media attention lately. Earlier this month, it was announced that the Summer Quidditch Games in Oxford would be depicted as the Olympic torch passed through. This news had those not in the know raising eyebrows, and was written off as something done by kids who can’t let go. However, Quidditch in the real world has been a sport – yes, sport – for seven years now. Adapted by college students at Middlebury College, Quidditch has taken off and gained popularity not only within Potter fandom circles, but also to non-Potter fans. Just like in the books, there are seven positions: two Beaters, three Chasers, a Seeker, and a Keeper. Each player is required to play with a broom between their legs, as if they were flying. This may sound silly, but it is used as an impediment, just as dribbling is an impediment in basketball.
Quidditch has picked up popularity in colleges, and it’s not unheard of for intercollegiate tournaments to be held. There are even international events, such as the Quidditch World Cup, which is coming up soon in Kissimmee, Florida. The International Quidditch Association has a listing of official participants, if you’re interested in seeing how the game is played. For those who don’t have a team nearby, check out this video:
1. Start from the very beginning.
This is maybe stating the obvious, but rereading the novels could take readers on a journey different from the first time. Reading for context rather than reading to get done can completely change the reading experience; hidden gems that were once skimmed over may be caught this time around. And if reading is just too time consuming, all eight films are available for purchase. Revisiting the pages of the book or the depictions of the characters on the screen could feel a lot like coming home.
Life after Potter is difficult, but life must go on. As JK Rowling said a year ago, “The stories we love best do live in us forever. So, whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” Hopefully, through the above, readers will be able to find solace once again. The magic never truly ends.