Ever wonder how the Dursleys, Harry Potter’s middle class abusive aunt and uncle, first met? Or how Professor McGonagall spent the day when Harry was delivered as a baby via flying motorbike to his childhood prison on Privet Drive? Back story content like that has already been added to the beta launch of the interactive all-things-Harry-Potter website, Pottermore.com.
While the site is sparse in its interactive features, such as a lack of sound of any kind and a frustrating teaser of the wizarding fun that will take place in the fall with the full launch of the site, the graphics and back story are already fairly impressive. Notes specifically added by author J.K. Rowling to enhance readers’ appreciation of the series are already being added to the chapter-by-chapter, book-by-book tour through the world of Harry Potter.
As each chapter unfolds in order, users are given fairly comprehensive visuals of the setting, almost as it must have appeared in Rowling’s mind throughout the writing of the seven-book saga. Interactive features include the ability to click on random objects scattered throughout the scenes, items that at first glance must appear pointless, such as the salt and pepper shakers in chapter three. However, knowing the twists and turns fans have come to expect from the magical world, even the most mundane Muggle objects may prove important down the road.
Pottermore is gathering information and feedback from the beta users in the form of comments’ sections on each chapter. It’s fairly interesting to read both the praise and the frustrations of the fans as they scour the much-awaited first look at the new site. Even if this is only a skeleton image of what is to come in October with the full launch, the real news for the fall will be the final ebook release of the titles in order.