Part Hogwartsian Facebook and part online university, the Hogwarts Is Here Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) is a strange Internet fantasy that will surely fill some gaping hole left by J.K. Rowling's cruel resistance to writing a Harry Potter prequel. The entirely fan-built site claims its goal is “to create the magical experience that we as fans have all been looking for since we finished the last book.”
The landing page—a perfect parody of college websites, complete with rotating photos of gargoyles and happy students in maroon-and-gold ties—takes you through the process of getting your own vault at Gringotts so you can “buy” books to prepare for your nine-week online course.
It's clear that the fans have put a lot of thought into this: There are delightful flourishes, like the lightning-bolt scar that appears on the blank Facebook-esque avatar, or the ability to collect chocolate frog cards as you move through the site. And the disappointments: Upon enrolling you select your house from a drop down menu—nary a sorting hat in sight—and it cannot be changed. (Though this shouldn't be a problem for most Potter fans, who have undoubtedly known their own house for years.)
Defense Against The Dark Arts is the fastest-growing class, though you can also learn the basics of Charms or Herbology.
Hurry up and enroll before Warner Bros. sends out the cease and desist notice. [via Slate]