Not the end

Once readers finish Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final book in the series, there will be no more wondering about the fates of Harry, Ron, Hermione, Voldemort and Snape. Not officially, anyway. With countless Web sites devoted to the series, the characters will be leaving more than just traces of floo powder in their wake. Harry’s story will continue through the fan fiction now proliferating on the Web. In short stories, novellas and poems online, amateur authors expand upon a character’s storyline, filling in background detail or creating a life beyond the final pages of the book. boasts over 40,000 stories. contains not just fan fiction but also forums and editorials where users debate the true motives of Snape and Dumbledore. Thanks to the Internet, a magical community in its own right, the possibilities for discussion are endless. Rowling may be Harry’s official custodian, but because of sites like these, this unique world — with its moral lessons and colorful characters — will endure. So don’t despair, Potter fans: Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley and the Burrow will thrive online. Whatever happens to Harry, fans can always curl up with a Butterbeer and bring him back to life in their own little corner of the Web. — The Boston Globe