Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Pottermore Rated: Dumbledore's Army Reunites

Pottermore is a touch-and-go website; meaning that when the hype is high, us fans ride the waves over and over again. When nothing is chugging out, the news and excitement dissipate as fast as an emptying Quidditch stadium after a game. Most recently, and what should-be-exciting, author JK Rowling posted the sequel that should've never been - a return of our favorite gossipy journalist Rita Skeeter reporting on Dumbledore's Army Reuniting at the Quidditch World Cup in a quick short story / collumn.

When the announcement was made online, I really should have felt elated about the prospect of Rowling's new dish via Skeeter about the golden trio. Yet, and I didn't really go through any fandom feels at all. If anything, doubts arose if I should read it or not. One question popped up in my head the most: Do we need to know about Harry Potter and co. adult life?

Depending on your outlook on the Deathly Hallows epilogue, there are ways to satiate your lingering curiosity and love for the series post-Voldemort. The fandom is alive and happy spouting dreams of canon, AU, and shipping with delicately crafted details of the Marauder's Map, the second wizarding war, and so on. Gifs circulating on tumblr analyze the most minute detail that gives an entire new appreciation of every single scene from the eight films. Universal Studios just opened Diagon Alley, and two more Harry Potter themed lands are about to open in California and Japan. There is plenty of Potter buzz to go around, and yet there is still a void that is left by the seventh book's finale.

For me, it was all right. I wish that it had been longer and we had found more about the characters we grew to love. Sprinkled throughout the nineteen page ending, there were glimpses of what our fellow Gryffindor friends were up to nineteen years later after Voldemort's final demise, but there wasn't really enough. It was poetic, tied up some of the loose strings, but not enough to understand wherever everyone was at after the Battle of Hogwarts. Our hero Harry had survived the war to live well with Ginny and their children becoming an Auror alongside Ron. The Weasley son now married to Hermione Granger had children of their own, and reuniting on Platform 9 3/4 we assumed their lives were well off enough.

 I finally succumbed to reading the latest Pottermore installment, and again - it was all right. Skeeter shared her "insight" on the golden trio, Luna Lovegood (seems to be doing all right), and Neville Longbottom (might be a drunk). She hinted that it is not all paradise in both camps for the Potters nor Weasleys. Conflicts in relationships and the magical society following the seventh book is natural for Rowling to continue, however, some of it felt entertaining, other sections forced (that every marriage is crumbling). Our characters are grown up and mature, and the part of me that was always curious about what took place during Potter's post second wizarding war days were all at once over. It was entertaining but not necessarily enough.

We had been finally been given a sliver of outcomes by our favorite characters, and it was hard for me to rejoice. Being spoonfed conflict, and untrustworthy trite by Skeeter at that, did very little to resolve what I had felt was missing from the epilogue. And, part of me - like when Rowling confessed that Ron and Hermione might not have been a good match after all, felt this short story should've been omitted too.

Because after all - her voice is the confirmation of what's taken place in the wizarding world. We are aware that Skeeter is a manipulator of truth and gossip instigator, so her story shouldn't be taken as gospel - but then there is the big nut of the problem - the details we are getting are too playfully masked as fiction rather than fact; leaving blurbs to be released here and there to never really be enough to feel complete.

Where Pottermore suffers the most is not content but gossip. You don't even have to visit the site anymore to get exclusive content - sites freely post the fresh stories in their entirety for everyone to enjoy freely. Whichever gets the content out there faster and more shareable is better, I guess. However, Pottermore continues to lose the community it once strove to bring together. It's extremely lucky but also ill-fated that short stories and background information is the main gateway to get fans talking about the series on every site except Pottermore. Any news is potentially good news and gets our Hogwarts-colored hearts fluttering again. I just wish big stories like Dumbledore's Army reuniting had been a bit more tangible and less heresy.

Overall Review: 3 out of 5 owls

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