The Winner of the House Cup…


Thanks to the courage and bravery of Lily Nott (Litha @ Victorian Soul Critiques), who earned 40 points and won the Diagon Alley Scavenger Hunt, the House Cup goes to…




Thank you for participating!  It was lots of awesome Harry Potter fun!

Harry Potter Book Night: A Night of Spells!


It’s #HarryPotterBookNight!  From now until 9 pm CST (10 pm EST), I’ll be here and on Twitter chatting about all things Harry Potter and responding to commenters.  Below are a bunch of activities that you can participate in, as well as some other fun HP related links, but first up, we all need to find out our Harry Potter names.  Head on over to the Harry Potter Name Generator to get your name.  My new name is:

Rowena Abbott

For tonight, I’ll be going by my new name.  Let me know in the comments or on Twitter what your new name is as well as the House you belong in (mine is Gryffindor), and don’t forget to use the official hashtag, #HarryPotterBookNight.  If you need to be sorted, hop on over to Pottermore.

Harry Potter books giphy

Now, on to the games and other fun stuff:


Here are a bunch of ways to earn points for your House.  You have until 8 pm CST to complete the various games, and I will announce the winning House, along with the individual winners of the scavenger hunt and Potion Masters contest at 9 pm CST tonight.

  • Diagon Alley Scavenger Hunt: Fortified By Books has temporarily opened up shop in Diagon Alley, and to celebrate I’ve put 7 magical items on random pages and posts throughout the Fortified By Books blog!  Each is worth 10 House points, and you’ll win an additional 30 points for your House for finding them all.  Look very carefully for wizard coins, a copy of the Daily Prophet, the book cover of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, an owl, a wand (5 bonus House points to the first person who can tell me who the wand belongs to), a Chocolate Frog, and a broomstick.  Can you find them all?  Leave a comment on the page or post where you found each item and then leave a comment on this post to let me know you’ve found them all.
  • Potion Masters: You have been asked to invent a new potion.  In a comment, list up to five ingredients that it contains, what it does once taken, and a unique name for your newly invented potion.  1st place will get 100 House points, 2nd place will get 50, and 3rd place will get 25.  All other participants will get 10 House points.  Anyone who also provides what their potion looks and smells like will get 5 bonus points.
  • Harry Potter Trivia Challenge: See if you can answer all 60 questions correctly to earn an O (Outstanding).
  • G.N.O.M.E.S.: Take any, or all, of these quizzes, and for every one you answer all the questions correctly, you’ll earn 10 House points.  Just share the results and then come back here and leave the link in a comment.
  • Who Is Your Hogwarts Best Friend? Take this quiz to find out, and then share the results.  All participants who come back here to leave their shared results link in a comment will earn 10 House points.
  • Do You Remember the First Chapter of “Harry Potter”?: You’ll earn 10 House points for answering all the questions correctly, sharing the results, and then leaving the link in a comment.


Image: Sean Chun Seian Liew

This is going to be a great Harry Potter Book Night!  Enjoy the games and fun links, and let me know what your favorite is, or if you’ve got any of your own Harry Potter Book Night links to share.

Monthly Discussion: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Deathly Hallows

This is it!  We’ve come to the conclusion of the Harry Potter series, and, therefore, the end of my HP re-read.  My eyes kept getting watery while reading this book, just as I suspected would happen.  Those pesky allergies.  We’re not completely done with all things Harry Potter, though.  Oh, no.  We’ve still got Harry Potter Book Night, A Night of Spells!  Join me on February 4th to celebrate the series and the Boy Who Lived!  There will be a post chalk full of links to games and other fun activities, and maybe a few of my own creation. I’ll also be on Twitter, using the official hashtag #HarryPotterBookNight.  I’m kicking everything off at 5 pm Central Time (6 pm EST), and the party won’t be over until 9 pm.  That’s FOUR HOURS OF AWESOME!


Since this last book of the series causes all the feels, especially reading it after Alan Rickman passed away earlier this month, I’ve listed some less emotional but still interesting links after the discussion questions.

Discussion Questions

  1. How have the characters changed with each book in the series?  How different or similar are Harry, Ron, and Hermione from when they started at Hogwarts?  What about other characters?  How has Dumbledore developed as a character in the series?  What about Snape?
  2. Harry, Snape, and Voldemort’s histories have been linked from the beginning of the story.  How did their early experiences and their choices in life shape their characters?
  3. How did reading the article about Rita Skeeter’s book on Dumbledore and parts of the book itself affect Harry’s feelings for Dumbledore?  Why didn’t Dumbledore share certain parts of his past with Harry?  Why is Harry disturbed when he learns at Bill and Fleur’s wedding that Dumbledore’s family lived in Godric’s Hollow?
  4. How did the Death Eaters gain control of the Ministry?  How did they maintain that control?  Compare the Death Eaters’ takeover of the Ministry to tyrannical regimes in history.
  5. Why does Slytherin’s locket affect the mood of whoever is wearing it?  Do you think the locket affected Umbridge the same way?  Is it the locket that causes Ron to desert Harry and Hermione?  Why is it fitting that Ron is the one to destroy the locket?  Compare Ron’s experience with the locket to the way in which Ginny is possessed by Tom Riddle’s diary in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
  6. When Harry, Ron, and Hermione discuss which is the most important Hallow, they each choose a different one.  What does this tell us about them?
  7. Why does Wormtail’s silver hand cause his death when Harry reminds him that he spared his life?  Compare Wormtail’s death to Dobby’s death while saving Harry and his friends.
  8. Why does Harry insist on digging Dobby’s grave himself without using magic?  Discuss what Griphook means when he tells Harry he is “an unusual wizard.”
  9. When Harry reaches Hogwarts, he doesn’t want to involve the other students until Hermione tells him, “You don’t have to do everything alone.”  Compare Harry’s response to Tom Riddle who confided in no one and worked alone.
  10. What is the most important thing Harry learned from Severus Snape’s memories?  Why was it important for Snape to share them with Harry?  By using the Pensieve, Harry discovered Snape’s love for Lily Potter and the truth about Snape’s relationships with Voldemort and Dumbledore.  What does the epilogue reveal about Harry’s final judgement of Snape?
  11. Harry gets confused between real events and his imagination, but Dumbledore tells him, “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?”  Could this be used as a comment on fiction in general?  How real does the world of Harry Potter feel to you?  What makes this series so believable?
  12. What insights has Harry gained during his quest to destroy Voldemort in this book and throughout the series that makes him a real hero?

Fun HP-Related Links

Will you be joining me for #HarryPotterBookNight?  Let me know in the comments below and feel free to share any of your Harry Potter-related posts as well!