Saturday, 17 September 2011

The Myth and Science Behind Potions, Part 1

In today's post I'm going to be exploring the science and mythology behind Pottermore potion ingredients. In attempting to discover why insect stings and snake fangs make viable potion ingredients, I'm going to take a look at the Muggle history behind the ingredient, illuminating the reasons why such a seemingly odd selection of items might well have magical properties. I'll also be referring to information found in Newt Scamander's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which is available at Flourish and Blotts for just two Galleons - or from many other major booksellers for an equally small price!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

"I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even put a stopper on death."

There's been some serious maintenance taking place at Pottermore HQ this week. Many users reported receiving what's now been named the 'pink screen of doom' - a sign that Pottermore is either experiencing incredibly high traffic or is getting some of the maintenance that is an essential part of the beta-testing process. With the site up and running again, there are some very noticeable differences to at least one aspect of the Pottermore experience: potions! In this post, I'll be explaining the changes to potions and also letting you know which potion will get you the most points in the shortest period of time, using the cheapest ingredients.

Saturday, 10 September 2011


For the lucky two-hundred and seventy thousand users who have already experienced Pottermore, there's one question that's beginning to be asked more than any other: When will Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets be accessible? Potter fans are no strangers to waiting - first for books, and then for movies - but already anticipation is high for what Chambers of Secrets might bring to Pottermore. Whilst we wait for 2012 and the next step on our Pottermore journey, there has been comparatively little talk about the still-locked padlock present on the Pottermore main menu. What could this final feature of the Pottermore experience be? 

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

"You will have classes with the rest of your house, sleep in your house dormitory, and spend free time in your house common room."

Over the past week and preceding weekend, a flurry of new members have been admitted to Pottermore. At the end of August, there were around 127,000 students in the Great Hall - and today there are 221, 908! To members of the No Owl Party - beta-testers who are still awaiting their welcome emails arrival - this is fantastic news. After providing only sporadic updates on when more emails were due to be issued, the Pottermore Insider has been a much more visible presence on Twitter, keeping us all hopeful that our friends will receive their owls sooner rather than later.

As more and more users gain access and are Sorted, a number of web-forums have popped up in response to the growing desire for House members to communicate with each-other. Each of these forums is fan created and therefore not affiliated officially with Pottermore, but is a great way to get to know fellow users beyond the limitations of Pottermore itself.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

"The subtle science and exact art that is potion-making."

Have you paid a visit to Gringotts recently? After buying everything I needed for my first day at Hogwarts - and then everything else besides, including two spare cauldrons - my vault is looking a little less golden than it did to begin with. Unfortunately, there's no way to find or earn any more Galleons until Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is released on Pottermore in 2012. Until then, it's down to cunning young wizards to find the resources they need to keep their house in the running for the House Cup. With that in mind, I've put together a list of where you can find the ingredients you need for potion making - including where you can get some ingredients for free!

Friday, 2 September 2011

"Hermione, you're good on feelings and stuff, but you just don't understand about Quidditch."

Blagging, blatching, blurting and bumphing. Braga Broomfleet or the Pride of Portree? If that sounds like more than just a random jumble of words to you, there's a good chance you're a fan of the wizard world's international broomstick sport of choice: Quidditch! On this afternoons blog post, I'll be taking a break from the doom and gloom to explore the potential that Pottermore has to offer the ancient and noble (ahem) sport of Quidditch.

"There was no point in worrying yet.... what would come, would come."

It's no coincidence that the Magical Quill challenge - which promised to grant one million lucky users early entry into Pottermore - began on July 31st. It's a date of great significance. Author J. K. Rowling was born on this day and shares her birthday with none other than Harry Potter himself. In the Magical Quill challenge itself, the minds behind the daily clues also seem to be aware of the importance of numbers, as fans quickly noticed that the number 7 factored - in some way or another - into the clues and their answers.

It should come as no surprise then, that as September 1st approached, the members of the No Owl Party - early registrants who had yet to be granted access to Pottermore - waited with giddy anticipation for what should surely be the biggest wave of welcome emails yet. After all, September 1st is the day that all new students board the Hogwarts Express. What better time to welcome a new 'wave' of users into Pottermore?