Book 2 - The Prophecy is posted here.
If you're reading this, it means you've most likely slogged your way through over 96,000 words - or roughly 20,000 more than The Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone (which was my length goal setting out). First, I would like to say thank you. I know it was a time investment on your part and I appreciate it. I would also appreciate any feedback you might have on what you liked, what you didn't like, or even ideas about what adventures you think might await the Pathfinders in the future. (I have my own ideas, but I'm open to suggestions)
Here's the origin of the story:
Six years ago (2014-15), I spent the entire school year reading the Harry Potter series to my daughter - one chapter a night. From September through May we managed to finish the entire series. When she reached the end, she was hungry for more (but of course there isn't any more...at least none that I knew about.)
It made me think that perhaps I could write a story for her. A story like The Sorcerer's Stone that introduces a young nomaj like my daughter into a magical world. One that follows all the rules of Harry Potter's world, but one that is her own story, set in her own home, in her familiar surroundings. So I set out to create that story. After all, how hard can it be?
It turns out that it can be very hard, very frustrating, and very humbling. I spent six months writing the story (this is all before Pottermore came out with the idea for Ilvermorny). I knew the story had to be set in a contemporary setting (my daughter has no idea that there was life before Google), I needed to set it in America mostly because I'm awful at writing dialogue in British english, and I needed to have the perspective of a completely nomaj family stepping into this universe. As I've told other reviewers, I've always been fascinated by what could have possibly convinced Mr. and Mrs. Granger to send their kid off to Hogwarts. How would that interaction go here in America, short of just casting a confundus charm on the parents? So the story grew over those six months from a basic idea into the final form you see now.
About the time that I completed the story using my own ideas, Pottermore began releasing more and more information about Ilvermorny, the American wizarding school. The more I read, the more my own story became less and less canon and the more frustrated I got with how to fix it. In the end, I walked away from the story in mid-2016. Now, four years later, I've had enough time away to wrestle with that problem. My assumption is thus: If the population of witches and wizards is roughly proportional everywhere, then I can take the population of the United Kingdom and Ireland in 1990 and compare it to my best guess at the population of students at Hogwarts (I guessed around 300). Translating that across the pond, there would be over 1600 students at Ilvermorny (and more if there's no Canadian school.) Thinking this was too many for a single boarding school, I decided that Ilvermorny was going to be the largest and most prestigious American school - but that there would be others: namely - Gampton Hall Academy. Poof! Problem solved.
I used the harrypotterfanfiction.com forum community to help me along the way. I'm incredibly indebted to the reviewers who took the time to review my writing, provide feedback, and give such great ideas. I know I'm a better writer for having worked with them. Thanks especially to Nick (elderflowers) who stuck with me to the end, even though our writing styles are profoundly different.
I hope you enjoyed the story. Book 2 - The Prophecy is posted here.
-Drew (aka Pathfinder or Ameripuff)
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