Happy Thanksgiving from the Portus staff!

The beginning of the holiday season is always a joyous, busy time for everyone. Family and friends gather to share in the excitement of the season and the Portus staff is certainly not exempt from that.

In this issue and the next we will be making a few announcements that are sure to meet those expectations! Be sure to check out the December Portal for a few special surprises that are sure to brighten your holidays!

As a part of the Thanksgiving celebration we will be offering discounted registrations! It's our way of thanking you for your support of HP Education Fanon, Inc. and of Portus 2008. Our Thanksgiving discount will be at the price of $180.00 from Friday the 23rd of November at 12:01 AM through Sunday the 25th of November at 11:59 PM. Make sure to catch this special discount by visiting our registration page and using the coupon code: TURKEY.

Best Regards and a Happy Thanksgiving,

Aziza Aba Butain


Portus is very excited to announce a first! Snapecast will be hosting Snapefest at the Hilton Anatole!

The event will take place on July 9th and will include a day full of activities honoring Professor Severus Snape. Formal programming includes presentations, roundtable discussions, panels, trivia contests, competitions, displays of fan art and videos, costume fashion shows and much more. Afterwards, Snapefest attendees are welcome to attend a candlelight vigil for Professor Snape held outside the Hilton Anatole and a dinner at a nearby restaurant.

Snapefest is open only to registered Portus attendees who are 21 years of age at no additional cost. Registration opens on January 9th, 2008. Spaces are limited, so get your spot fast!

For more information, you can visit their website at www.snapefest.org, or visit our Snapefest sub-forum.

*Snapefest is sponsored by Snapecast and is not in any part sponsored by HP Education Fanon Inc. or Portus 2008.

Announcing Portus’ Saturday Keynote Luncheon: Monique Trottier

“Digital Owls, Pensieves and Portkeys: The phenomenon of electronic media in building and sustaining an online audience of Harry Potter fans”

Podcasting, vidcasting, blogging, RSS. The online environment is one that is media rich. And yet because the signal to noise ratio is exceedingly high, individuals and organizations who wish to connect to like-minded online users must understand the dynamics of this online marketplace--the social square where we gather to share and exchange news, gossip, products and services. In the case of the Harry Potter series, the emergence of social media tools and techniques meant that fans around the globe could connect and interact in ways not previously available. These tools also meant that author J.K. Rowling, her publishers, and the webmasters of fan sites could extend the message of Harry Potter beyond the confines of their own websites and could generate buzz throughout social networks and the blogosphere. These dynamic online communities, podcasts, blogs, video blogs, and RSS feeds make the Harry Potter series stand out in an increasingly crowded space.

Monique Trottier was instrumental in developing Raincoast Books’ online marketing campaigns for the Harry Potter series. She was the Internet marketing manager at Raincoast, where she implemented the company’s literary podcast series, making Raincoast the first Canadian publisher to podcast. Her work on social networking, corporate blogging, podcasting and personal blogging has led to speaking engagements across North America.

Monique’s blog on books, technology and publishing can be found at www.somisguided.com.

Tickets for Ms. Trottier’s luncheon are available through our registration page.

Please visit the Feasts page for information on Saturday's Luncheon menu.

Portus Podcast Palooza

In a new take on a previous event, Portus 2008 presents the Portus Podcast Palooza. Join us for a night of podcasts featuring Harry Potter fan communities! The night will culminate in a podcast panel, with participants discussing the highs and lows of being a Podcaster.

View the new Portus Podcast Palooza page to learn more about attending this event, or podcasting with us!


November Prompts
By Jenn Clack

“There is no such thing as accident; it is fate misnamed.”

                              — Napoleon Bonaparte

We continue our tour through the Ministry of Magic. This month we will explore themes from the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes.

  • “Come now Harry, the Ministry doesn't send people to Azkaban for blowing up their aunts.” (PoA 4)
    • Harry’s accidents and their consequences throughout the series.
  • Obliviator Headquarters
    • How memories (or the lack thereof) drive events and characters.
  • Muggle-Worthy Excuses
    • Why are muggles so misunderstood by the Ministry?
  • Accidental Magic Reversal Squad
  • The Sirius/Peter face-off
    • Wizard CSI what clues were found and what was missed?
    • Alternate Universe fanfiction What if Sirius had been proven innocent? What if Peter had been caught?
    • Junior Minister Fudge How did the Sirius/Peter aftermath shape the future Minister of Magic?
  • “…when my great-auntie Enid offered him a meringue and he accidentally let go. But I bounced…” (SS/PS 2)
    • Was this our first clue to Neville’s true abilities?
  • “I asked him… had he not, too, sensed the distant vibrations of coming catastrophe?” (HBP 25)
    • What role does or should Divination play in catastrophe preparation?


Afternoon Teas

“Would you care to join me for a spot of tea?”

Sit down away from the hustle and bustle of the symposium and enjoy a quiet setting with friends while partaking in some yummy scones, pastries, and a selection of premium teas and coffees. The Portus afternoon teas are the perfect way to take a break and enjoy the company of friends. Visit our Feasts page for a detailed menu. You can purchase your tea ticket by updating your registration at the registration page.

Portus Message Boards

Where’s the perfect place to chat with fellow attendees, share proposal ideas, and talk to the organizers? Our message boards of course! Like the Portus water cooler, the boards are a great place to make some friends and share information.

Got a question? Ask an organizer.

Need a roommate? Go to Room-sharing.

Have a programming idea? Head to Programming Collaboration.

You can visit the Portus Message Boards here.


Lauren M. Johnson
By Kari Phillips

Lauren is one of our best and most enthusiastic volunteers that we have working on Portus 2008. I first met Lauren during Prophecy 2007, where she served at the Head of Common Room Games. I knew Lauren would be a great choice to serve as our head of the Common Room because Lauren is very dedicated to the event as a whole, and was very eager to work on another HP Education Fanon Inc. symposium. Lauren really lives up to her title of proud Hufflepuff by being an extremely hard worker, and by getting along with everyone. If anyone has need of Lauren, you need not look far. One trip to the Common Room and you would find her fluffing the pillows on the couches, refilling barely sipped glasses of water and making sure that everyone in the Common Room is comfortable! We're so happy to have Lauren as our Head of Common Room for Portus.

Lauren’s adventures with Harry started in 2004 when she saw the movie Prisoner of Azkaban. She hadn’t been a fan of the movies before she walked into the theater but two and a half hours later, she was a different person. Two days later she had read through the first two books and was rushing through the third. After immersing herself in the fandom, she jumped at the chance to attend Prophecy 2007 and volunteered immediately for the Common Room. She loved the experience so much, she immediately volunteered for Portus 2008 and Infinitus 2010, wanting to be a part of the action. When not working hard on the HP Education Fanon Inc. symposiums, Lauren is a part time student at a local community college where she is majoring in small business and works as a barista in a local coffee shop. In her spare time, Lauren likes to scrapbook and enjoys some time at the beach.

Want to learn how YOU can help us create the magic of Portus 2008? Visit our Volunteer page for more information!


If you have questions or comments concerning the Call for Proposals, programming, etc., please contact us at info@portus2008.org.

If you have any questions or comments about The Portal or the Portus Previews, please feel free to contact us at portal@portus2008.org.