The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Pottermore makes the magic of Hogwarts last forever

We have been dubbed as Potterheads. We are the ones that have spent our free time fighting He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, the infamous, noseless Voldemort and going on Horcrux hunts with the trio. A fair few would say they’re wizards that are going to attend Hogwarts, albeit later than the average wizard or witch. Either McGonagall doesn’t like them or it’s horrible luck that the letters were lost in the owl mail.

For those wizards who managed to have the Weasley owl, Errol, deliver their Hogwarts acceptance letter, J.K. Rowling has developed Pottermore, “an online reading experience unlike any other” in which users can practice spells, brew potions, gain house points, and follow the Golden Trio through all seven books.

Pottermore allows the user to traverse through the books, exploring chapters with accompanying drawings that depict the story as avid readers imagined. There are items one can collect to add to their trunk as they read such as Harry’s alarm clock, Galleons and Chocolate Cards. In addition, according to Rowling’s Pottermore introduction video announcement, Pottermore provides new information about the Wizarding World that Rowling said she “has been hoarding for years.”

Before Pottermore is open to the public in October, Rowling has allowed one million lucky Potterheads to become beta testers, granting them access before the grand opening. People from all around the world took the Magic Quill Challenge in hopes of gaining early acceptance.

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Each beta user is assigned a username consisting of two words, such as Wormwood, and a number to maintain privacy. At the end of each chapter, commenting sections are available for any who wishes to leave a message behind for those who have yet to finish. Individuals can gain points that contribute to the overall House points and the possibility of winning the House Cup by brewing potions and dueling other users in Wizard Duel. But before reaching Hogwarts, they must go to Diagon Alley to buy supplies with your Gringotts account.

When Hagrid whisks Harry off to Diagon Alley, users come along for the ride. A pet owl or cat awaits you and after a quick this-or-that quiz, Ollivander has the user’s wand ready. Buy your robes, cauldron and textbooks and you’re off to Hogwarts.

Users can get their first peek into the Great Hall and be sorted into their houses all within one chapter. Rowling has developed a quiz where users choose between certain choices and are thus sorted into one of the four houses. Pottermore then lets you read a letter from a prefect and gives access to the common room.

Once pass the sorting chapter, users have accomplished everything they can at the moment and can only view previous chapters. Other aspects of the site are under wraps and in development. Users continue to brew potions to gain more house points. (Wizard Duel is currently unavailable due to technical problems). It gets pretty competitive.

As points continue to stack up, house competition gets heated as Pottermore betas continue to brew potions. Comment boxes are riddled with users cheering their houses on and trying to belittle the winning house. Ravenclaw and Slytherin are battling for the lead, each taking turns at the top.
It’s Hogwarts and there’s not much to complain about. Errol’s running a couple years late but Pottermore will be open soon enough for those who want the Hogwarts experience without having to wait for the owl mail to arrive. Muggles, keep out.

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