"That was bloody brilliant!" The Potterverse is expanding right before our eyes. Earlier this week Andy Brown, a member of the 2013 Entrepreneur First cohort, launched a website for the wizard governing body, The Ministry of Magic — and it's epic. The magical Harry Potter revival that started with J.K. Rowling's announcement that Warner Bros. had optioned for a series of Rowling-penned Potter spin-off films and that she's producing a pre-Hogwarts stage-play for London's West End has spawned a whole new super fan movement. And our magical hearts couldn't be happier about it.
In case you're not a Potter-scholar, The Ministry of Magic is the official governing body of all magical beings within the United Kingdom. It's comprised of 12 departments that oversee all instances of magic as well as the protection of muggles and maintenance of anonymity of the magical community. Its headquarters, according to Rowling's novels, is located in London and is only accessible via the Floo Network and magical toilets. Brown, a self-taught coder who recently worked for the Government Digital Service, constructed a site for the magical world's government based off the official site for the British government and it's awesome. Like, really awesome.
Not only did he repurpose and emulate Gov.uk's site to perfection, the details he included on the site will make your Potter-loving head explode. Brown included a series of articles announcing an official holiday on July 12 to celebrate the defeat of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, an announcement that Arthur Weasley was named the new head of the Department of International Magical Cooperation, and a "What We Do" section explaining simply and plainly exactly that. Unfortunately for the endless consumers of Potter-fandom, the site is only homepage so when you click on any of the links provided they take you a Confundus post. (The Confundus charm is used to confuse the person its cast upon.) Clever, clever. We'd be angry at Brown if his idea and execution weren't so great, and now our imaginations are now running wild with possibilities of other Potterverse sites cropping up in the near future.
Here are the top five sites from the Potterverse that we want to see next (we might actually go out an buy a code book and get started on them ourselves):
Granted this would be the least exciting of Potter-themed sites, but enjoyable nonetheless. Shop for drills, learn about drill innovation, and maybe a letter from company director Vernon Dursley — think about it, it could be fun and different. Considering we frequently ignore the Dursley's and the muggle world on account of the fact that they were vile human beings, it'd be a welcome change for someone to come up with this. I mean, Arthur Weasley would surely enjoy it.
Just take a moment to close your eyes and imagine what a psychotically awesome situation this site would be. Think pop-ups, automatic-play videos, probably a variety of moving parts and animations — you'd have to agree to an "Enter At Your Own Risk: Site May Cause Nausea, Vertigo, And/Or Permanent Damage." And hopefully there would be original footage of the Weasley's testing out their Skiving Snackboxes and student testimonials... and also cute videos of Pygmy Puffs playing in a pen.
Standardized testing was and continues to be the worst. And we all are definitely still fielding nightmares about the countless hours we spent on The College Board and Princeton Review planning for college and setting up our SAT tests. In case you forgot about the O.W.Ls and N.E.W.T exams that plagued fifth and seventh years, they sound just like the SATs. The site might bring back our PTSD, but it also might cure us by being seriously fun. Extra points if mini exams Potterheads would be included on the site that fans could take to determine which careers they'd be on track for based on their Potter knowledge.
If Brown could come up with a series of articles to tease on the Ministry's homepage, a serious Potter fan would be able to create a web version of Xenophilius Lovegood's The Quibbler. It'd be the perfect place for "Weird News" and they'd probably have some seriously challenging crossword puzzles. We're voting for a Quibbler site to launch before the Daily Prophet because let's be serious, the Prophet has always been the damn worst.
Harry Potter's hometown has some of the most interesting history of any of the places Rowling featured in the series. It was home to one of Hogwarts' four founders, the Dumbledore Family, famed historian Bathilda Bagshot of Hogwarts: A History, it's where the Peverells were buried, and where Harry survived Voldemort's Killing Curse the first time. Essentially, it's an epic vacation spot for all wizards and wannabe wizards alike so a faux-tourism site for the area would be so simple yet amazing that we'd probably sit on it for hours as if it were a real place we were visiting. An announcement of, "Potter Family's Home Now Open To Public After Restoration" or "Learn The History Of The Legend Of 'The Deathly Hallows' While Touring The Graveyard Where Ignotus Peverell Is Buried" would grab our attention, for sure.