UK Wand Shop Banned Harry Potter Fans from Buying Merchandise, J.K. Rowling Responds

The Guardian reports, “Spells trouble: JK Rowling joins row over Harry Potter fans’ right to ‘real wands‘” regarding a wand shop in Huddersfield that does not allow Harry Potter fans to buy their wands. J.K. Rowling responded with a sassy tweet, “Oh yeah? Well, I don’t think they’re real wands.” Read the whole article here.

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The Beasts of ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’

What are these mythological creatures that prowl around the wizarding (and muggle, thanks Comic-Con teaser trailer for ‘Fantastic Beasts’)? Entertainment Weekly has caught some of them on camera, as well as the official site for the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ movie. Here are a couple:

The Niffler, from EW: “Look something shiny!” That’s what’s going through the mind of a Niffler. The mischievous critter looks like a cross between a mole and a duck-billed platypus and loves anything that glitters. The Niffler will go after your jewelry and coins with burrowing and destructive ferocity. It’s treasures are stored in the pouch on its belly, which – like Hermione’s bag in the Harry Potter films – holds far more than seems possible. “One of the big inspirations was the honey badger,” Fantastic Beasts visual effects supervisor Christian Manz says. “We saw some great footage of a honey badger raiding somebody’s house with a completely insatiable desire to find food and nothing would get in its way.”


The Thunderbird, from EW: “Here’s what we’re hearing on this one: “The Thunderbird is a large, regal avian creature native to the arid climate of Arizona. Its head is similar to that of an eagle or, in the wizarding world, a Hippogriff. Its multiple powerful wings shimmer with cloud-and sun-like patterns and their flapping can create storms. Thunderbirds can also sense danger. After rescuing a Thunderbird from traffickers in Egypt, Newt named him Frank and promised to return him to his natural habitat in Arizona.” Also, the Thunderbird is the sigil of one of the American wizarding school Ilvermorny’s student houses.”

Image Credits: Warner Bros.


Frederick News-Post, “The magic of ‘Harry Potter’ returns”

The magic of ‘Harry Potter’ returns,” an article by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf from the Frederick News-Post in Frederick, Maryland, writes about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child announcement that there would be an 8th story. The article displays a photograph of Dr. Butler, professor of the University of Maryland, College Park Harry Potter course, HONR279Q, as she was giving a “lecture at Flying Dog Brewery on the censorship of the Harry Potter books.”



“For The Love of Harry” Fan Site

For The Love Of Harry” is a Harry Potter Fan Site that offers everything from exciting cosplay help, to a list of all the Harry Potter Events worldwide. The creator of the Site also offers a list of gift ideas, LEGO(r) sets, knitting patterns, DIY crafts, an explanation of characters’ wands and what that might mean about their personalities, and SO. MUCH. MORE.

Harry Potter fans should definitely check out this website in search of anything Harry Potter!


Pottermore Presents! A new trio of eBooks with original writing by J.K. Rowling!

Pottermore is introducing a new line of eBooks—three to be exact! They are called “Pottermore Presents” to be published in September… “The series offers Harry Potter fans added insights into the stories, settings and characters and were all lovingly curated by Pottermore.”

The series include:

“Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide dives into the nooks and crannies of the beloved wizarding school itself, unfurling everything from details about the Hogwarts ghosts, to what happens when the Sorting Hat can’t decide on a student’s house.

Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists explores the darker roots of the wizarding world. You’ll learn more about the troubles that faced the Ministry of Magic, the horrors of Azkaban prison and enjoy an entirely new original piece of writing by J.K. Rowling on Horace Slughorn.

Finally, in Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies, Pottermore celebrates the colourful staff of Hogwarts. There’s more to discover about Care of Magical Creatures teacher Silvanus Kettleburn, as well as another new piece of writing from J.K. Rowling on Minerva McGonagall, and her involvement in the second wizarding war.”

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Order them online here.


Chestertown Harry Potter Festival!

On the weekend of September 30th-October 2nd, Chestertown, MD will be hosting a Harry Potter festival full of fun activities for Harry Potter fans of all ages:

To learn more about the festival, visit their website at:

A few HONR279Q (UMD Harry Potter course) students attended the 2015 Chestertown Harry Potter Festival and enjoyed themselves.

Harry Potter Academic Conference and Festival at Chestnut Hill College!

The Annual Harry Potter Conference at Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia will be held this year in October 20-22nd, 2016. The conference offers, on the first day, a section for scholarly work—essays presented by a diverse academic population—as well as a fun Harry Potter festival on the second day. Those interested can submit papers “arising out of J.K. Rowling’s literature” in their website here.

A group of HONR279Q students (University of Maryland, College Park Harry Potter course) attended the 2015 conference. You can register to attend the conference here.

The festival will include fun activities for Harry Potter fans of all ages and will include a Quidditch Tournament:

Visit the website for much more information at:

Lumos—J.K. Rowling’s Special Charity

The author of the beloved Harry Potter series has dedicated much of her funds, attention, and time towards her charity, Lumos (formed in 2005)—which promotes the following:

“No child should be denied a family life because they are poor, disabled or from an ethnic minority. Lumos works to support the 8 million children in institutions worldwide to regain their right to a family life and to end the institutionalisation of children.” The following logo is presented courtesy of Lumos.


With her (famous) involvement, J.K. Rowling has catapulted the issue of the institutionalisation of children to the attention of fans worldwide. She explains why she started the charity:

TERP Magazine features ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ Article

UMD alumni and writer for TERP magazine, Karen Shih (’09) published a story titled, “Harry Potter” Fans and the Anxiety Over the ‘Cursed Child.'” The article features Dr. Butler (professor of the Harry Potter course at the University of Maryland, College Park) and Meg Galuardi (’16), a student who took the course as a senior the first year that it was introduced on campus.

Enjoy the article here.