Los Angeles Times

'Chamber' Web site a hit

"The Chamber of Secrets has been opened." In J.K. Rowling's bewitching book "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," Harry and his friends Ron and Hermione discover this cryptic message written in foot-high letters on the walls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Although fans of the Harry Potter film series will have to wait until Nov. 15 for director Chris Columbus' cinematic adaptation of "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" to open, Warner Bros. Pictures has already unveiled its enchantingly enhanced Harry Potter Web site, www.harrypotter.com.

"The newly expanded Web site will continue to capture the magic and spirit of Harry Potter," promises Don Buckley, Warner Bros.' senior vice president of interactive marketing.

The site boasts a spellbinding selection of interactive activities that rivals a bag of Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans in terms of sheer variety.

The first order of business for new users is to "enroll and be sorted."

Even if your 11th birthday was ages ago, you'll receive a letter inviting you to attend Harry Potter's fictional alma mater, the prestigious Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After the Sorting Hat assigns you to one of Hogwarts' four houses, stop by Diagon Alley to pick up a personalized wand from Olivander's. After floating tape measures size you up, the unseen Mr. Olivander will hand you wands to wave until you manage to unleash a spell. (Aim for the shop's broken window to unleash a "Reparo" charm.)

Visitors also can read the Daily Prophet, although, sadly, the online edition is not delivered by Owl Post. The paper's magical masthead may proclaim "Future Fates Foretold," but the only person whose fate is foretold is Alfonso Cauron ("Y Tu Mama, Tambien"), who is slated to direct the third Harry Potter film, "The Prisoner of Azkaban."

The Daily Prophet also offers users a glimpse at the trailer for "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" that's every bit as animated as a wizard photograph.

"As the fans have demonstrated, Harry Potter is a truly global phenomenon," says Jim Noonan, senior vice president and general manager of Warner Bros. Online. "We are very proud to have created a website that captures the imaginations of millions of fans worldwide on a daily basis."

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