The James Potter (also known as Hogwarts Next Generation) series is an unofficial continuation of J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels, written, adapted, and self-published by American author, G. Norman Lippert. Not to be confused with Harry's father, the series centers around Harry's first-born son of the same name (see James Potter II), beginning eighteen years after the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, in James' first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry . Originally written as a fanonical project, the series has become an international success, gaining over a million readers worldwide, and being translated into over nine different languages.
The books are available on the series website in PDF, EPUB, and MOBI portable formats, with print versions at the Grotto Keep Forum. An audiobook version of the first book is currently available on the Living Audio, UK website.
As of right now, the series has four books (not including an unconfirmed fifth installment). A side novel, The Girl on the Dock, is not self-published, and is available on sale at all book-sellers.
The Origin of the Story
G Norman Lippert describes the origin of the James Potter series as mentioned on his website:
- "It started very simply. My wife and I rushed off on the night Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released (myself dressed as Hagrid, since it would have been rather difficult to pull off a believable 6 foot 4 inch Dobby) and procured our copy of the book. Savoring it as much as we could, we consumed the tale over the course of a week. When it was complete, I felt thrilled with the climax of the series, and yet bereft, as did many of you, that I would know these beloved characters no more. The next afternoon, I sat down at my computer and began to write. I hadn't written anything seriously for years, but I felt compelled, for purely cathartic reasons, to push the Harry Potter story just a bit further. I wrote a little drabble about James Sirius Potter, son of Harry and Ginny, getting on the Hogwarts express for the first time, excited about starting his own adventure, yet worried about how he might (or might not) live up to the enormous legend of his father. It ended with James meeting two new friends-- a brick of a boy named Ralph Deedle and an American transplant named Zane (a homage to my then four-year-old son). That night, I read the drabble to my wife, who liked it a lot. On a lark, the next day, I wrote just a little bit more. And so on. The story grew, and I kept reading it to my wife. Two and a half months later, the little drabble had turned into a 400 page novel. I typed ‘The End‘, and my wife suggested I post the tale online for others who might be suffering from ‘Post-Potter Depression‘. With that in mind, I used my ‘day job’ skills to build a website to host the tale, announcing its release for December 1, 2007. At the time, I had never even heard of the term ‘fan fiction‘. I had no idea that there were countless others writing stories based on Miss Rowling's work, some just as long and detailed as my own. I had no concept of the legal implications, or the occasionally ferocious loyalties and detail-hawkishness of some Harry Potter readers. I just knew that I had written a story that kept the magic going for me just a bit longer, and thought there might be a few others who would enjoy it as much as I had. I expected to garner a few dozen or a few hundred readers, if I was fortunate, and was happy to think I might achieve that. Had I known what I was about to get into, I might never have gone ahead with it at all. Then again, maybe I would have. The website announcing ‘James Potter and the Hall of Elders' Crossing’ had a slow start, garnering a dozen or so hits a day. This lasted for a week, and then, one evening, I returned home from a class I was teaching, checked the web stats, and blinked in disbelief. The site's hits had jumped from a few hundred before class to nearly four thousand. Every time I refreshed the web page, there were dozens more visitors. Some frantic research led me to an Australian news agency which had run a story about my website, speculating that it might, in fact, be the clandestine work of Warner Brothers, or J. K. Rowling herself, preparing the launch of a new series. I had intended the website to be enigmatic and mysterious. I hadn't intended for it to be mistaken for the ‘real thing‘. I began to get rather frightened. Shortly, the internet was buzzing with the news. Speculation was everywhere. Both Warner Brothers and Ms. Rowling's agency had to officially deny any involvement with the 'JPHEC' website. The Scotsman newspaper ran a story claiming that Ms. Rowling intended to sue me. I was interviewed by my local Fox news affiliate, and the story was picked up by affiliates all across the country. Canadian Public Radio discussed the phenomenon with me, and ran the interview twice. In the meantime I decided to contact Ms. Rowling (or at least her agency) directly. To my great relief, they were happy to speak to me, and even agreed to pursue an advance copy of the story. For legal reasons, Ms. Rowling herself did not view it, but the incident did lead to her very gracious announcement that she was happy to allow the free release of stories such as mine. At that, of course, I breathed a great sigh of relief, and turned my attention to the next most daunting facet of the Potterverse: the Harry Potter fans. Admittedly, there were obvious mistakes. I misspelled Kreacher's name. I forgot to transliterate Hagrid's accent. I placed first years and second years into some of the same classes. I was usually glad for the notes of correction, although I was dismayed by the ones that accompanied by the verbal equivalent of Howlers about my abysmal writing, occasionally adding that I had 'ruined Harry Potter'. To my surprise and delight, however, the hateful notes were increasingly outnumbered by notes of thanks and praise. 'You're no J. K. Rowling,' most of the notes seemed to say, 'But I enjoyed the story. Thanks. And write more.' I began to consider it. The truth was, in the process of writing the Hall of Elders' Crossing, I sensed that it was, in fact, only one part of a much larger story. I didn't know for sure what it was, but I wanted to find out. I decided to write one more. The sequel, 'James Potter and the Curse of the Gatekeeper', came almost eerily easily (after a rather difficult beginning). It was released on September 1 of 2008, and despite the fact that I had almost no way of contacting the hundreds of thousands of readers who had accessed the first story, 'JPCG' garnered over 40,000 downloads during the first day of its release. The reader response was, to me, shocking. At this point, I have received over 20,000 emails regarding the stories, coming from every corner of the globe. I have made friends with readers from places I had hitherto barely even heard of. It has been an absolutely incredible, nearly surreal experience. And the one question I have been asked more than any other is this: 'Will you write a complete seven book series?' And the answer, of course, is 'I don't know. But I want to.' I know the story, now. I didn't when I began JPHEC, or even when I finished JPCG, but I do now. It's as if the groundwork was laid without me ever knowing it. That sounds a little crazy, I know, but it's true. This is that kind of tale. I know who will live and who will die. I know what happens in the end, right up to the last page of the last book, and if it comes out half-way as well as it exist in my head, it will be well worth writing. So why might I not write it? Will it all work out? Nobody knows."
- —G. Norman Lippert, 2009
James Potter and the Hall of Elders' Crossing
What's it like to be the son of the most famous wizard of all time?
James Potter thinks he knows, but as begins his own adventures at Hogwarts, he discovers how much of a challenge it really is to live up to the legend of the great Harry Potter. And as if it wasn't enough dealing with the delegates from the American wizarding school and figuring out the mysteriously, polite Slytherins, James and his new friends begin to uncover a secret plot that could pit the Muggle and Magical worlds against each other in an all-out war. Now with the help of Ted Lupin and his band of merry mischief makers (the Gremlins), James must race to stop a war that could quite possibly change the world forever. His only hope is to learn the difference between being a hero, and being the son of a hero.
James Potter and the Curse of the Gatekeeper
A summer of change brings James back to Hogwarts with a new perspective. Confident that last year's adventures are well behind him, James prepares for the immense challenges of schoolwork, trying-out for the Quidditch team, and keeping an eye on his brother Albus and cousin Rose. However, a new school year brings some worrying questions about the new headmaster, as well as the increasing fear that an entirely new and unspeakable evil has entered the world, one whose origins stretch all the way back to the time of the founders. Unsure who to trust, but knowing that all of his hopes hinge on the questionable loyalties of one individual, James faces a struggle that challenges his most deepest fears...and secret hopes.
The Girl on the Dock: A Dark Fairy Tale
The Girl on the Dock is a side novel to the series, acting as a back-story to the third book (see below).
It follows along the struggles of Petra Morganstern, returning to the home of her grandfather after her final school ye. arReturning to the home of her grandfather after her final school year, Petra Morganstern has changed greatly. And confident in her recent choices, yet plagued by dreams of what they cost her, Petra is unsure what to do with the rest of her life. Her one ray of hope is her younger step-sister, Izabella, whose simple-minded charm is only offset by her hateful mother. Desperate to protect Izabella from their mother's increasing rages, she struggles to find balance between the forces that seek to rule her heart. Will she cling to the choices she has already made, upholding good over her own greatest desires, or will the ghost of power and revenge, always at work in the back of her mind, be her finalg?
James Potter and the Vault of Destinies
- "I enjoyed this story, as the author, because it gave me so much more wiggle room for invention. Taking the story out of Hogwarts and into Alma Aleron made it a much more personal story, and allowed me to make up my own rules along the way, which I quite like."
- —G. Norman Lippert
It is a year of change and upheaval for the entire Potter family. Harry, as head Auror, has been sent to the United States to help investigate a nefarious underground group whose proclaimed goals are to unite the Muggle and Magical worlds by any means necessary. Unwilling to be separated for the lengthy trip, Ginny insists that the family accompany Harry, launching a year-long journey to the United States and the American wizarding school of Alma Aleron. Though determined to avoid adventure for the term, James finds himself unwillingly pulled into an international incident involving an old friend. Apparently framed for a crime she didn't commit, James and his friends must prove Petra's innocence before she is convicted and permanently separated from everything she loves.
Despite how difficult it might be, James must chose to confront the truth he has been seeking, knowing that it may well shatter the stability of the magical world at large.
James Potter and the Morrigan Web
As James Potter returns to Hogwarts in the wake of "the Night of the Unveiling", he discovers that even in the protected center of the magical world, nothing is quite the same. As the school year progresses, James' world is gradually overshadowed by a growing threat known as the Morrigan Web, a mythical doomsday weapon which threatens to tumble the entire world, Muggle and Magical alike, into the hands of the vicious Lady of the Lake. But James must learn that not all things are the way they seem...
James Potter and the Crimson Thread
The fifth, and final installment in the James Potter series has not yet been confirmed for release. Further details will come when available.
All four novels (along with The Girl on the Dock) have been made into audiobooks by Living Audio, UK. The first book is currently available at the Living Audio website, and will be on free-streaming until September 1.
After the novel first appeared online in early November 2007, some Harry Potter fans on the Internet initially speculated that the site might be part of an elaborate viral marketing campaign for an official continuation or spinoff of Harry Potter, one either written or at least approved by Rowling herself. On November 9, 2007, Rowling's agent Neil Blair denied that Rowling was in any way involved with the purported project, and Warner Bros., the studio which owns the rights to the Harry Potter film series, denied that the novel was in any way connected to the official Harry Potter franchise.
On 19 November, 2007, The Scotsman reported that Rowling had threatened legal action against Lippert for allegedly violating her intellectual property rights by producing and publishing the novels. A specialist in intellectual property law at Strathclyde University commented that, "If an insubstantial character from a novel is taken and built up by another author in a new story, that can be a defence against copyright infringements."
However, after Rowling's agency agreed to an advance copy of the story, Rowling dismissed her threatand said she supported the novel and any others like it. Afterwords, Lippert subsequently produced a sequel to the first, James Potter and the Curse of the Gatekeeper.
Overall, the James Potter stories have been well-received, gaining mostly positive reviews and averaging four out five stars per book on Goodreads.com. Here's what some readers have said about the James Potter series:
"The biggest question I had after immersing myself in this amazing epic over several sleepless nights was why the tale isn't widely recognized as the best Harry Potter fic written." -- Gioia
"(Four out of four stars) This is one of the few 'fan fictions' that seems to come close to crossing the border between online wishing and real life writings...I was happy to be back in that Harry Potter world - and I really did feel like I was." -- Purply Cookie
"Once in a very long while, you'll read a fan fiction author that makes you feel as if the piece you're reading is SO good, it should probably be canon. I didn't expect to be impressed with Lippert's James Potter series, and yet, unbelievably, I'm bowled over." -- Tara Lynn
"The best compliment I can give this - is that you forget J. K. Rowling didn't write it as you were reading it." -- Briansgirl
"G. Norman Lippert has outdone himself, taking a concept that many would churn out as trite 'fan-fiction', and instead creating a literary piece that stands out as a spiritual successor - to J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series." -- Trent Rayner
"If there's ever any more new books to the Harry Potter series, this is the closest it can get." -- Mounica
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