Sometime in November of this year, a website appeared containing a teaser about a story with the title James Potter and the Hall of Elders' Crossing. The graphics were very Harry Potter-ish and there was even speculation that this might be advertising a new novel by the beloved author J.K. Rowling.
However, I turned out to be a rather ambitious fan fiction story by an American fan of the books. He originally wrote it for his children, and, being a web designer, decided to publish it for the world to read.
Once you get past the passwords (you can find out what the passwords are by checking out the article about the website on Wikipedia), you can read each chapter in PDF format. A new chapter goes up each day, starting December 1st, until the last chapter on December 21st.
I've been reading it, though I'm over a week behind now. It's okay. There are new characters and some old favorites. You can tell right off it was written by an American, and one who doesn't have the same sense of humor as J. K. Rowling. He's got some things confused, or maybe he just thinks things should be different at Hogwarts. Students of all different levels seem to be in classes with one another, instead of first years sharing classes only with other first years, for example.
But what I really think he's got wrong is he's brought back Cedric Diggory as a ghost. I thought that sounded like something that wouldn't happen in the Harry Potter universe, and my son confirmed it for me.
He was reading over my shoulder one day and caught enough words to see the identity of the ghost. He immediately said "Cedric wasn't afraid to die!" He understands the author's "rule" that you only become a ghost if you don't wish to pass on, either you are afraid of the great beyond or you want to stay here and haunt the living, as is the case with Moaning Myrtle. Cedric, brave Hufflepuff Triwizard champion that he was, does not fall into that category. I tried to find a quote from Rowling to reallyh confirm this -- I'm sure I remember her saying that Cedric wouldn't be coming back as a ghost -- but I couldn't find one.
It's fun to read about James -- Harry's son, not his father -- and his first year at Hogwarts, but it's not really how I envisioned it, somehow. Reading it did, more than anything, make me want to write my own Harry Potter fan fiction.