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What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Harry Potter and the Stolen Mountain July 2, 2016

J.K. Rowling has finally released the location of the North American School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Ilvermorny is located on the peak of Mount Greylock. My inner Harry Potter geek is so thrilled to finally know where the American wizards of Rowling’s world study and learn. But the author me is having a minor meltdown.

See, way back at the beginning of The Tethering Series, I knew I wanted to use a real mountain for the lair of the Pendragon, the chief evil dude in the series. After a ton of research, I chose Mount Greylock, spelling it Graylock to match the name of the clan that rules that territory. I even climbed the mountain to make sure the mountain would work well!

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After all that research, three years later J.K. Rowling added her wizarding school to the mountain. The Pendragon has new neighbors, and I’ll bet there’s a quidditch pitch.

On the one hand it’s cool that my research and Rowling’s research led us to the same mountain. Great minds think alike and all. On the other hand I’m terrified for what it might mean for the mountain. It’s not exactly a well-known or expertly trailed park. There is a monument right on top, exactly where Ilvermorny is supposed to stand, but other than that there’s not much. I don’t know if the park can handle an influx of eleven-year-olds on September 1st. People are going to get lost in the woods, and parking and peeing will be a nightmare.

On the third awkward hand that nobody likes to talk about, The Tethering Series is now doomed to be called fan fiction. Despite the copyright date inside the book, people will assume that Rowling’s magic moved to Mount Greylock first, and Amazon reviews will start coming calling The Tethering fan fiction. Being the good little author that I am, I won’t be able to respond to tell them to check the copyright date and see that the battle at Graylock with the Pendragon came before Ilvermorny was even a word.

My mom said to just think of it as J.K. Rowling writing fan fiction of my books. She liked The Tethering so much and found the scenes on Mount Graylock so inspiring she had to create a whole wizarding school based on my mountain.

I know that she probably just did the same geographical research that I did, minus the actual climbing of the mountain, and decided it was an amazing spot for magic. But as I am in the midst of a panic attack, that’s what I’ll tell myself. J.K. Rowling just created fan fiction of The Tethering Series.