By Keith Staskiewicz
Updated June 23, 2011 at 11:27 AM EDT
Credit: Dave Hogan/Getty Images

After a full week of wild speculation over the purpose of J.K. Rowling’s new site Pottermore, the Harry Potter author announced it to us Muggles this morning. Theories had ranged from a real-world treasure hunt to a MMORPG based on the books to the revelation that magic was actually real and that I had just been accepted to Hogwarts despite being far too old for it (wait, was that just me?), but according to the video uploaded to YouTube by Rowling (watch it below), Pottermore will actually be a comprehensive website with a number of features, including e-books and, Rowling says, “additional information I’ve been hoarding for years.”

The site, which will combine social networking elements with an immersive game-like world, will fully open in October, but a lucky few will be allowed to pre-register before anyone else. The author’s exhortation to “follow the owl” refers to a challenge that will begin on July 31, and the first million fans to complete it will be granted early entrance. At a press conference in London, Rowling said that the idea originated with releasing e-books and grew from there. “This was about the give-back,” she said. “The technology now existed to do something outside the books and the films for existing fans.” So start submitting your e-mail addresses and practicing your wand-flicking, Potterheads.