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J.K. Rowling thanks everyone who is Helping Haiti Heal

It's been almost two weeks since the Potter community came together with others online to raise money for the relief effort in Haiti. Since then, Helping Haiti Heal has raised close to $97,000 thanks to all of your incredible efforts! If we get to the $105,000 mark, Partners in Health will name the three full cargo planes we funded after Harry, Ron, and Hermione. This morning J.K. Rowling has passed along a message, specifically to all of you: To everyone who has helped raise such an incredible amount for the earthquake survivors in Haiti: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. Like many others, I made a personal donation to the DEC shortly after the earthquake happened; but never did I expect such an amazing response from all of you. You cannot imagine how awed, moved and humbled I am to know that planes named Harry, Ron and Hermione are going to be flying off to help. I did not need this to remind me how extraordinary Harry’s fans are, but you keep giving me proofs. THANK YOU! – Jo Remember, that you can still donate right here with a chance to win some great prizes! Read More »

Fact: Sheep can recognize each other in pictures.

Hey guys! I just wanted to give you a quick update about a few of the projects Gaby and I have been working on that we're really proud of! Many of you know about Givoogle (Use Google to raise money for charity!), and GivesMeHope (FML for optimists), but a few weeks ago we launched LoveGivesMeHope – full of stories that make you go “AWWW!” Here's a recent one that got to me (yes, Gaby turned me into a big softy): When my sister was younger she came home from school one day and demanded I take her to the library so she could get books on sign language. …I asked why? She told me there was a new kid at school who was deaf and she wanted to befriend him. Today I stood beside her at their wedding watching her sign… “I DO”. Today, we are proud to announce the launch of OMG Facts – the official website of the #1 fact source on Twitter. Created four months ago by 16-year-old Adorian Deck, a former MuggleNetter, @OMGFacts already has 335,000 followers. OMG Facts uses GMH's user moderation system to ensure ONLY the most interesting facts are published. Here are a ... Read More »

Second Helping Haiti Heal broadcast occurring today at 2 PM

The Harry Potter Alliance has united with fan communities across the world, raising over $50,000 for Helping Haiti Heal! That money will charter an entire cargo plane that will bring critical life-saving supplies to thousands of Haitians and more. Today at 2 PM ET will be another Livestream event (not as long as last week's – but just as important nonetheless) at thehpalliance.org/haiti! And we're still going! When you donate at thehpalliance.org/haiti/prizes, you become eligible to receive one of over 200 thank you gifts based on individual donation levels. These gifts include a: -Full UK set of seven signed Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling, along with a handwritten card from the author!!! -Signed guitar from Harry Potter actor Tom Felton's personal collection. -Harry Potter book signed by the Harry Potter cast (courtesy of actress Evanna Lynch)!!! -Signed copies of Unseen Academicals and Wintersmith by author Sir Terry Pratchett! -A signed copy of Harlequin Valentine from Neil Gaiman! -And so much more! We are less than $17,000 away from chartering a second plane for Partners In Health! Every little bit helps – please donate today! Read More »

Potter joins with other fandoms to raise over $33,000 in just six hours for Haitian relief efforts

Earlier today, Harry Potter fans joined with members of fandoms from other popular books, movies, and TV series in a home-grown effort to contribute to the growing humanitarian aid and charitable relief activities in Haiti. The Helping Haiti Heal webcast, benefiting Partners in Health, raised over $33,000 in just six hours time! The fundraising efforts will continue throughout the week until Saturday, January 30 at 11:59 p.m. If you would like to donate please visit this page. You can become eligible for the now more than 200 gifts generously given by so many different people. The signature item is a signed U.K. Edition set of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, including a handwritten thank-you card from the author. Today's webcast will be available in its entirety shortly, as will the individual podcasts you heard on today's stream. We will keep you posted on all the details! Many thanks to the Harry Potter Alliance, The Leaky Cauldron, HPANA, and all the others who made today such a success! But most importantly, thank you to all who donated! Read More »

JK Rowling Donates Signed Set of Harry Potter Books to Helping Haiti Heal

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has donated a full U.K. edition set of her books, as well as a handwritten card, to Helping Haiti Heal, the multifandom donation drive kicking off tomorrow via Webcast. This extremely rare item joins more than 100 special gifts, including a signed book by author Neil Gaiman, five dedicated books by Sir Terry Pratchett, original conception art from the film Where the Wild Things Are, and much, much more. Join us at 2 p.m. Eastern tomorrow at thehpalliance.org/haiti to find out more about how to donate and stand a chance to receive any of these amazing gifts! All donations will benefit Partners in Health, an humanitarian organization in Haiti that has been aiding those most ravaged by the January 12 earthquake. Read More »

Helping Haiti Heal – raise money for Haiti with the entire Harry Potter fandom and beyond

Harry Potter fans have joined with members of fandoms from other popular books, movies, and TV series to create Helping Haiti Heal, a home-grown effort to contribute to the growing humanitarian aid and charitable relief activities in Haiti. This Saturday, January 23rd, at 2 P.M. EST, HPA's PotterWatch, PotterCast, MuggleCast, Hogwarts Radio, and FictionAlley will come together for a live fundraising webcast on Livestream to benefit Partners in Health.  This four hour live event will feature a donation drive where donors have the opportunity to win prizes, leaders and celebrities from various segments of popular culture, wizard rockers, interviews with civic leaders and Haitian Americans, and so much more. The MuggleCast LIVE portion will begin shortly after 2 PM ET. To help us spread the word, tweet the following: “We're Helping Haiti Heal – learn about a huge fandom event happening Sat. from 2pm to 6pm ET! http://bit.ly/5603s6 #hhh” Wizard Rock bands Harry and the Potters, Draco and the Malfoys, The Remus Lupins, Ministry of Magic, Lauren Fairweather, and The Whomping Willows will perform as part of this live event. Many amazing, unique, and rare prizes are available do donors, including: Half-Blood Prince DVD and Blu-ray copies donated by MuggleNet ... Read More »

Support Haiti recovery efforts by purchasing a Redwood Wand

Alivan's is donating 100% of the profits from all Redwood wand sales to the Red Cross to go directly to Haiti. All you need to do is purchase one of their Redwood wands (in either of the two Redwood designs) between now and Jan. 31st and Alivan's will take care of the rest. This is a great time to get a wand you've been wanting and help people in dire need! At the end of this campaign Alivan's will let us know how much was raised through wand purchases. We'll share the info with you when we receive it! Read More »

Send help to those affected by the Haiti earthquake

As many know, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti on Tuesday, and the country fears that more than 100,000 have died. Many more are currently in need of assistance, and the Harry Potter Alliance is rallying Harry Potter fans to donate to the cause: Please consider donating $10 to Haiti by texting “HAITI” to 90999. Or if you have access to a credit card, we highly recommend you donate to Partners In Health as they have been in Haiti for over 20 years and have written the book on health and human rights. Partners in Health both tackle the symptoms as well as the root causes. We encourage everyone to give what they can so the people of Haiti can begin recovery efforts. Read More »

Deathly Hallows Deluxe Edition, signed by JK Rowling and Mary GrandPre, up for charity auction on eBay

There is a very special collection of Harry Potter-related items up for sale on eBay this evening. 100% of the winning amount will be donated to two not-for-profit organizations. 50% will be donated to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Mid Florida Chapter, and the other 50% will be donated to Habitat for Humanity Sarasota, Inc. The gem of the collection is a Deluxe Edition of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows signed by JK Rowling and Mary GrandPre. What's more, Mary GrandPre drew a sketch of Harry within the book – it is the only Deluxe Edition copy with such a treat. Other items include a wand, cloak, and scarf donated by Alivan's, signed copies of MuggleNet's What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7 and Harry Potter Should Have Died, two MuggleNet shirts, a signed copy of Melissa Anelli's Harry, a History, and a National Multiple Sclerosis Society t-shirt and wristband. The auction runs from now until January 21st. You can see a video news report about the auction at this link. Click here to read more details and to place your bid! Read More »

Get ready for the New Year by looking at Potter over the past twenty years

2010 is looking to be another great year for Harry Potter fans. So far we know of two big events: the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in the Spring and the opening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 on November 19th. While you get ready to ring in the New Year, we wanted to remind you about two end-of-year specials here on MuggleNet. These were originally posted over the weekend. – Our 2009 Year in Review looks back at the top Harry Potter news stories of the year. We also highlight some MuggleNet-related numbers and recall the best videos of the year. – Our Harry Potter Timeline is an exhaustive look back at the Harry Potter franchise. From Jo's original idea in 1990 to the release of Half-Blood Prince earlier this year, you'll see all the news and events that made the franchise what it is today. Do you have high hopes for Potter in 2010?! Read More »

New way to enter Road to Hogwarts Sweepstakes

MuggleNet was the first to kick off Warner Home Video's “Road to Hogwarts Sweepstakes” a few weeks ago, and now Cinematical has the next part of the contest! By visiting their site and participating in the “Death Eater's Duel” game, visitors gain more entries into the Sweepstakes. The prizes? A trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park, copies of Half-Blood Prince on DVD, and many more! Increase your chances of winning by visiting Cinematical! Read More »

Oxford University now has a Gryffindor house

Wouldn't it be cool for your school's houses to be named after the four Hogwarts houses? At Oxford University, students are currently on their way to making that happen. For the first time in 550 years, the Magdalen College Junior Common Room at Oxford has been changed to the Gryffindor common room. From The Telegraph: Students are now campaigning to rename Christ Church, St Hughs and Merton colleges common rooms after the three other houses in Hogwarts; Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. “Magdalen College embodies the values of courage, daring, nerve and chivalry,” third-year student Zoe Tyndall, 21, who proposed the name change. “These are the characteristics of the Gryffindor house in Harry Potter novels.” The motion was passed with only six students opposing the name change. Tom Meakin, President-Elect of Magdalen Junior Common Room added: “Magdalen does after all look a little bit like Hogwarts, and not to put any noses out of joint, but my Vice-President does look a little bit like Hagrid.” Read More »

Road to Hogwarts Sweepstakes – new way to enter

Just last week MuggleNet and Warner Home Video launched the Road to Hogwarts Sweepstakes, where visitors could participate in various Half-Blood Prince DVD-related activities and earn more entries into the contest. Today, they've launched a new way to enter with their partner CafeMom Games: The Road to Hogwarts Sweepstakes continues its journey by launching Join the Slug Club! CafeMom Games has the activity EXCLUSIVELY this week so participants will have to head over there in order to gain another entry towards The Road to Hogwarts Sweepstakes. Professor Horace Slughorn is delighted to invite visitors to join the Slug Club. Anyone who aspires to be anyone in the wizarding world hopes to end up on his shelf! Through the magic of Harry Potter, you can stand alongside Slughorn's favorite students from Hogwarts. In this activity, users are able to Join the Slug Club by either uploading pictures of their face into one of the moving sequences or using a webcam or mobile video cam to upload their video image into the frame. Read More »

Felton talks Deathly Hallows at Memorabilia convention

Potter actors Tom Felton and Warwick Davis were both in attendance at a Memorabilia fan convention in Birmingham over the weekend. Both spoke to fans about Potter, and Tom had some interesting things to say about his work with Deathly Hallows. From The Telegraph: Felton said: “We've just finished doing the most substantial bits of filming. “I think we're revelling in the fact that this is it- the last one. I get quite emotional just thinking about it.” “I'm not looking forward to not being blonde anymore. I've forgotten what my real hair colour is.” A report on Snitch Seeker from a fan who attended the convention also reveals that Tom touched on filming the Epilogue: Tom was asked if he was to be used in the epilogue and as yet doesn't know but he told us that a mould of his face and the others was made last year and he was asked to provide photos of his brothers & father and remarked he couldn't wait to see himself wrinkly. Read More »

Potter fan hits roadblock with Halloween party

A single mother from the United Kingdom was planning to have a Harry Potter-themed party this weekend to celebrate Halloween. Instead Ms. Marmite Lover will have to change things up a bit. Last Friday, she received a cease-and-desist letter from Warner Bros. suggesting that her “proposed use of the Harry Potter properties…without our consent would amount to an infringement of Warner's rights.” Ms. Lover was looking to charge a small entry fee (as she has for other themed parties), but says that no harm was intended. She set up a small site to purchase tickets online. “My living room holds under 30 people, this is hardly some cynical money spinning exercise – at a maximum of 25 British pounds a head I won't make a profit, I'll be struggling to cover the costs of the ingredients and props I've shelled out on, such as dry ice and miracle berries.” Warner Bros. said they do not, of course, object to her holding a generic wizard/Halloween night and that is what Ms. Lover has been forced to do. What do you think of this? Should Warner Bros. be shutting down Potter-themed Halloween parties? Or is Ms. Lover in the wrong? Read More »

2010 Potter Itineraries from Magical Tours now posted

Our friends at Magical Tours have let us know that their great Harry Potter themed tours in Britain are ready for reservations. Next summer, five tours are being offered. It’s a little soon to tell too much, but their 2010 tour season is slated to have some really amazing surprise events. Magical Tours also revealed that there will be another Summer Intern Contest – soon to be announced right here on MuggleNet! Visit Magical Tours to see what’s coming up next summer, and stay tuned to MuggleNet to get the details on the contest to determine who will win an all-expense paid summer internship to learn the travel biz while traveling to all the Harry Potter book and movie locations in England and Scotland! Read More »

Infinitus 2010 registration now open

Registration for Infinitus 2010 is officially open! The people who brought you Lumos, Prophecy, Portus and Azkatraz are back at it again! HPEF is offering an early bird registration price for $165.00 until midnight of September 7th, 2009. After that, registration will be $180.00 until March 31, 2010. It will then increase to $200.00 pending availability. Be sure to put “MuggleNet” in the referral box when signing up! Please note that your registration will include all Formal Programming except Keynote Luncheons (which can be purchased at a later date). Information about tickets to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be available soon! For complete information, head on over to Infinitus2010.org. Infinitus will take place in Orlando, Florida from July 15-18, 2010. Read More »

Potter meets real world: moving pictures in print

We all know that there have been numerous attempts at a real life invisibility cloak in the Muggle world, but here's a new one: in the next issue of Entertainment Weekly, CBS will be publishing video ads within the printed magazine itself! Daily Prophet and/or moving portraits much? From the Financial Times: The cost of the full-motion video ad was not disclosed, but it will be far more expensive than traditional print ads, according to executives familiar with the technology, developed by a US company called Americhip. The willingness to spend on such a promotion highlights the radical means marketers are employing to reach consumers at a time when a growing number of people are using new technologies such as digital video recorders to avoid ads. “It's part of the future – a way to engage consumers in new and surprising ways,” said George Schweitzer, president of CBS marketing group. “How do you sample a drink? You give them a taste.” Unfortunately, the ads will only be issues delivered to New York and Los Angeles residents. If anyone can send in video of this impressive feat, please do send it in to us! Read More »

Hedwig crop circle found in UK?

A giant crop circle that looks like an owl has been found in a field in Wiltshire, UK, and there are theories that it's a tribute to Hedwig. Steve Killick, a Harry Potter fan, said: “It is very exciting to think that there are fans of Harry from other galaxies. “Most of the world has fallen in love with Harry Potter so it makes sense that most of the universe will do eventually too.” Pattern expert Karen Alexander dismissed the claims: “The owl is an ancient symbol of wisdom, so perhaps it is a message to people that we should be thinking deeper about the world around us. “This is obviously a time of some upheaval in the world so perhaps this is a sign that we should be looking backwards for some wisdom in how to deal with today's problems, rather than anything to do with Harry Potter.” Karen Alexander is a party pooper. See the crop circle here, and thanks to Cassie for the tip. Read More »

Final updates for MuggleMayhem

Great news for fans attending MuggleMayhem: we have some last minute guest updates for you. Joshua Herdman (Gregory Goyle) and Robbie Jarvis (young James Potter) will both be attending the convention. Also, Natalie Tena's (Tonks) band will be playing a set on the Saturday night themed party. For those of you not attending, you still have time to buy a ticket! Read More »