Almost a year after it was supposed to launch, Pottermore is finally available to the public. With more than a year of beta testing in the books, Sonygave the final okay to open the wizarding world to the “muggles” on April 14th.
Pottermore is the new interactive Harry Potter website by J.K. Rowling and Sony. The site is a virtual gateway into the world of Harry Potter, a fantasy for any Potter fan.
After you register with the site, five names appear for you to pick from. They are generated with common vocabulary from the wizarding world. Users are not allowed to choose their own usernames due to a child protection law and the wide variety of ages that use the site.
First stop is the “The Philosopher’s Stone,” where the magic really begins. You explore the chapters, which are split into “moments,” which are interactive scenes that help tell the story. In these moments, you discover items such as chocolate frog cards and Bertie Bots Every Flavored Beans. Such items are saved to your trunk to look at later.
Beginning at “Privet Drive,” you are put in the shoes of Harry Potter.
Throughout these moments, there are unlockable stories, quotes and information written by J.K. Rowling specifically for Pottermore. Each small piece of information enhances your journey into the wizarding world. For instance, back-stories for Petunia and Vernon Dursley, as well as Professor Minerva McGonagall and others, are available.
Like Harry does in the book, you then travel to Diagon Alley to shop for school supplies and open up a bank account at Gringotts.
The wand is perhaps the most important tool in a wizard or witch’s bag of tricks. It is the last thing you receive before you board the Hogwarts Express, and it is chosen for you after you answer a series of questions.
And then comes the best part: the Sorting Hat.
Whether you like it or not, this is the most accurate Sorting Hat that will ever be in existence; Rowling had all the input in making this quiz. Many people believe in conspiracy theories about algorithms to keep houses balanced and blah blah blah, but given that currently Gryffindor has about 20,000 more members than any other house, I personally don’t believe it.
Each house has a common room, where you mingle with your fellow house members, trade tips or secrets, or just trash-talk the other houses.
From sorting on, you compete for the House Cup. You can earn points by finding items throughout the moments, by brewing potions or by dueling with members of the other houses.
Brewing potions is one of the most painstaking processes on Pottermore. To complete a perfect potion, you must adhere to a recipe precisely while following series of directions that must be completed in a certain amount of time, which is usually very brief.
Dueling, on the other hand, is the most competitive aspect of the House Cup because you can challenge opposing houses. Dueling involves precise key presses or mouse clicks to enhance the power of your spell.
The Great Hall has not seen a boring moment since the public launch.
The Great Hall is where we truly see that the Sorting Hat knows what it is doing. Since the day Pottermore was released to the public, the Great Hall has been full of comments from all houses bad-mouthing the others.
This is where you can truly tell why people were sorted into Slytherin; they are currently winning and have been since public launch, and they as a house are not afraid to let you know it.
Along with this comes the suspicious Ravenclaws, who accuse the “Snakes” of cheating in some way. The Gryffindors bad-mouth the “Snakes,” just out of hatred. The members of my house, the Hufflepuffs, just want everyone to get along.
Pottermore currently has just under 2 million users, but more are given access every day.
For now, users have access only to “The Philosopher’s Stone.” The release date of “The Chamber of Secrets” has not been announced.
Speculation online is that we will be notified several weeks before its release, when the end-of-the-year ceremony and the winner of the House Cup will be announced. Once “The Chamber of Secrets” is released, current points will be erased, the new “year” will begin, and the quest for the house cup will start over.
Now that the movies and books are over, Pottermore is our haven for all things Harry Potter. The experience is beyond what any “Potterhead” could ask for. Whether it be trash talk in the Great Hall, bonding with fellow housemates or dueling for house points, this site has all we could ask for and more.
My name is WaveCrimson11882. I am a Hufflepuff, and if you challenge me in a wizards’ duel, I will take you down!
Until then, NOX.