The Room of Requirement can only be found by those whose need is great, and it is always suited for the needs of the person who found it. In this case, the needs of a few people were to find a community where they could discuss the Harry Potter novels and universe without getting dragged into the fandom. While fandom can be fun, sometimes, a person just wants a bit of a reprieve from the frenetic activity, the bustle, the glamour...
...Okay, so sometimes what people really want is a place to escape and talk about their favorite novels where everyone else isn’t completely nucking futs.
What we are is a community of rational and intelligent people who harbor a desire to discuss the Harry Potter novels and movies without the conversation getting bogged down by fandom opinions and activities. Some of us may indulge in fannish pursuits such as fanfiction or fanart, but not everyone here cares to engage in these activities. Fandom interests or no, all of us are here because we desire to discuss the canon material itself: We don't want to read fanfiction; we get our fill of 'shipping essays and pairing wars elsewhere, and we'd like a place free of fanfiction, fanart, or photomanips of our favorite characters caught in compromising positions. Sure, those things are all great and wonderful — don't get us wrong. We just want a place to discuss our love for the source material and J. K. Rowling's work without dragging fandom baggage into it.
We don’t have many rules, but we do expect that everyone read and abide by the ones we do:
1. No fanfiction. Really, fanfiction is great and all, but there are eleventy-billion communities and websites out there dedicated to HP fanfiction. Let’s leave the fanfics for those sites and keep them out of the Room of Requirement, mmkay?
2. No fanart/photomanips. Now, this can get a bit tricky. Have sneak-peek photos to post from an upcoming HP movie or a first-shot glimpse of Book 7’s cover? Post away! Though we would like it if you would check the archives back a bit to make sure it hasn’t been posted, and PLEASE post the picture behind an lj-cut. Frankly, your kindly moderators don’t care if you love or hate LJ-cuts: when you are here, you will love them because we require that you do. We require this because pictures throw off some people’s pages, are pesky for those of us on dialup connections, and sometimes, people just don’t want to see them. Remember that this is not a community of one; other people share this community with you, and we’d appreciate it if you kept some consideration for them in mind.
Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes. While official photos and such are kosher, fanart is not. Fanart is great; some of it is really beautiful and well-crafted, but really, like with fanfiction, there are plenty of resources and promotional sites out there for fanartists to show their wares. Let’s leave fanart off the site. As for photomanips...posting photomanips will cause you to be turned over to the giant squid for...ahem, “recreational” purposes.
3. Be nice. Really folks, we shouldn’t have to post a reminder about this, but here we are. We don’t have an age limit as to who can join (YET); we just ask that if you do join and choose to participate (we love lurkers, too!), be nice and act like an adult. Don’t come in here and pull off your best impression of Dudley Dursley; we will not be amused. There is plenty of dramatic tripe in the HP fandom at large; we are here because we want to avoid such headaches. Conduct yourself like an adult, play nice, and treat your fellow community members with compassion and courtesy, and you are more than welcome to join our ranks. We don’t ask for much, but do ask that you please check your Drama Queen tiara at the door. You’ll get it back when you leave, we promise.
Translation: Act like a twat and we’ll toss you out on your head, with boot imprints reading “Property of the Room of Requirement Moderating Squad” on your behind.
4. Don’t be a troll. Trolls are ugly and they smell funny. We try spraying Troll-B-Gon, but sometimes, it’s a weak formula or we get a rather persistent or stupid troll. The mods will deal with the trolls as we see fit, but in the meantime, be forewarned that it is always open season on trolls in the Room of Requirement. Just...don’t feed them TOO much. We don’t want trolls to get the impression that they are welcome here.
5. No 'shipping essays/rants. Don’t come here to foist off your manifesto on your pet pairing onto the rest of us. Most of us don’t particularly care if you think that, for example, Harry should really be with Hermione, or that Neville really carries a torch for Mrs. Norris. Keep it to yourself, while you're here. Hard as it may be for some people to believe, there are those among us who are quite capable of reading the books without playing Yenta to every single minor character who gets a name and more than five minutes of book airtime. There are scads of communities and such for pairing manifestos and the like; please go find one of those, or—better yet!—create your own community for your pet pairing.
6. Be welcome! Feel free to open your heart and speak your mind! We aim to be the place where people can discuss the books like rational adults without having to worry about ugly fanwars breaking out, or having the discussion devolve into mindless prattling and giggling. We’re here to discuss plot points, character development, plot twists…you know the routine.
7. Finally, be considerate...a.k.a.: don’t post spoilers. Don’t assume everyone has already read what you’ve read. If you must spoil, use an LJ cut and post warnings. The mods reserve the right to delete spoileriffic posts that lack a cut. Also, doing something like posting the terrific earth-shattering major spoiler at the end of a just-released book does not make you look like a Rebel Without A Cause; it makes you look like the Giant Snotburger With No Social Skills, and we will be forced to pin a giant, blinking sign that says “IDIOT!!!” to your back, so we can all laugh at you as the mods boot you out of the community for being a prat.
Another trick for posting spoilers is the White Text Trick. Feel free to copy the bolded text below and paste it into your comments or posts as needed:
<b><spoiler></b><font color="#ffffff">SPOILER TEXT HERE</font><b></spoiler></b>
Even if you do use the White Text Trick, it is still necessary to post the spoilers behind a cut, because the trick doesn't work if the background is something other than white.
We don’t mean for the rules to be constricting; we just want people to understand that we have certain standards we want our members to maintain, and don’t feel it is unreasonable for us to ask that you withhold those standards. Basically, keep the fanworks discussions out of this community, and we'll all get along just fine. Also, you’re always welcome to ask the mods if you’ve got questions; we are actually really nice people, and only chew on trolls and drama queens. :)
As for your Friendly Neighborhood Moderators...they are:
seidoo_ryuu - Co-Maintainer. Has been seeking a safe haven (albeit has not been seeking very hard) to discuss the books while avoiding fandom for a long, long time...and it finally occurred to her that "hey, I can just make my own community; I'm sure I'm not the ONLY one who isn't interested in the fandom!" Has been known to jump on chairs and shriek like a little girl when confronted with pairing wars, but won't hesitate to get out the Moderatin' Wiffle Bat, if push comes to shove. But really, she's a nice person, and would love to get along with everybody.
kuchenhexe - Co-Maintainer. Everything she knows of Harry Potter, she learned from Fandom_Wank. She has no interest in the books or the movies, and couldn't care less about opinions of characters or who's paired off with whom. Therefore, she is completely apathetic when it comes to fandom opinions in Harry Potter. She does, however, have zero tolerance for bullshit and wankery. She doesn't care about the topic of the fandom argument; anybody wanking gets a smackdown.