Friday, 31 August 2012

The next Pottermore House Cup is set for November…

We’re excited to announce that the next Pottermore House Cup will be awarded in November.

The exact date will be confirmed nearer the time, and in the run up to the award, it’s time to unite and earn honest points for your houses in this spirited competition. Declare your house pride – whether you’re in Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw, it’s your chance to share your rallying messages.

Last time, Slytherin won the inaugural Pottermore House Cup and as champions, received early access to the first chapters of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

This time the winner’s reward will be something different, and we’ll reveal more details at a later date. Until then, we want to know what you think it might be? You can let us know your ideas on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

We’ll be updating you on all future news about the Pottermore House Cup, here on the Insider.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

An Invitation to the Deathday Party...

Many of our Pottermore fans have been keen to see the next chapters of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, so this week we’re taking a sneak peek at one of the upcoming Moments - the Deathday Party.

In Chapter Eight, Harry, Ron and Hermione are invited to Nearly Headless Nick’s Deathday Party, as the Gryffindor ghost celebrates his five hundredth deathday.

Various ghosts gather at Hogwarts to attend the party, including Hogwarts residents the Fat Friar and the Bloody Baron, as well as ghosts from further afield, like the Wailing Widow from Kent.

In this atmospheric Moment, you’ll be able to explore the Deathday Party and see some of the ghostly, spectral sights.

Through the curtains, new objects and characters are waiting to be found; look out for a glimpse of Moaning Myrtle and listen to the quavering sound of the musical saws.

You will also be able to unlock brand new, exclusive content from J.K. Rowling about Peeves the mischievous poltergeist in this Moment.

Friday, 24 August 2012

An Update – All in the finer details

Our artists are putting the final touches to some slugs, bugs, quills and watery spills in the next Pottermore chapters.

Will you be able to guess where these might appear in the new Moments...?

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Items: The Sorting Hat

‘Harry quickly looked down again as Professor McGonagall silently placed a four-legged stool in front of the first-years. On top of the stool she put a pointed wizard’s hat. This hat was patched and frayed and extremely dirty. Aunt Petunia wouldn’t have let it in the house.

Maybe they had to try and get a rabbit out of it, Harry thought wildly, that seemed the sort of thing – noticing that everyone in the Hall was now staring at the hat, he stared at it too. For a few seconds, there was complete silence. Then the hat twitched. A rip near the brim opened wide like a mouth – and the hat began to sing.’

- Chapter Seven, The Sorting Hat, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

The Sorting Hat places first-year students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry into one of four houses: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin.

Sometimes the Sorting Hat knows immediately which house a student should be in, other times it takes a little while to decide. Those who linger longer than five minutes under the brim of the Sorting Hat are known as Hatstalls, although this is a rare occurrence.

The Sorting Hat is imbued with the intelligence of the four founders of Hogwarts, making it an extremely clever and enchanted object.

There have been many artistic interpretations of the Sorting Hat submitted to Pottermore. Here are some of our favourites from the Pottermore Galleries:

- The Great Hall -

by ThestralDust108

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets update

This week, we're finessing the animations for the next chapters of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

We've been polishing up the Hogwarts moving portraits and tackling the challenging Whomping Willow to ensure they're looking their best.

We'll have another update for you later this week on the Insider.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Have you been de-gnoming the garden?

Have you been gnoming the garden as best as you can?

What is the furthest you've flung those annoying gnomes? Were you able to clear the garden in the time set or did you have to try again?

Thursday, 16 August 2012

New to the Pottermore Shop - Quidditch through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them

The Pottermore Shop has added two new and exciting texts to the Harry Potter eBook collection – Quidditch through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them, by J.K. Rowling.

These two additions are essential for readers keen on indulging their interest in the game of Quidditch and expanding their knowledge of magical creatures. They can now be found in the new collection on the Pottermore Shop - Hogwarts Library Books

Quidditch through the Ages, by Kennilworthy Whisp, is one of the most popular titles in the Hogwarts school library. Now you can learn about Quidditch history too. Would you like to know about some of the seven hundred Quidditch fouls that have taken place? Or learn about the more difficult Quidditch moves? Then this is the book for you.

Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them, by Newt Scamander, is a duplicate of Harry Potter’s own copy and provides a useful guide to both the mundane and the more unusual magical creatures found in the wizarding world. It comes complete with additional informative notes from Harry and his friends.

Both texts are currently available as part of your eBook collection in English (US and UK editions), and all proceeds from the purchases of these eBooks from the Pottermore Shop will be donated to Comic Relief.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Update

We've been back in the studio this week, finalising more sounds that feature in the second instalment of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

From the cry of the Mandrake to Moaning Myrtle's sobs, we've been making sure the effects are just right.

There will be another development update, here on the Insider next week.

Places: The Great Hall

‘Harry had never even imagined such a strange and splendid place. It was lit by thousands and thousands of candles which were floating in mid-air over four long tables, where the rest of the students were sitting. These tables were laid with glittering golden plates and goblets.’

- Chapter Seven, The Sorting Hat, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

A number of special, momentous and fun events take place within the Great Hall at Hogwarts. It is here that Harry is Sorted and learns which house he belongs to. It is also where, at the end of his first year, Gryffindor find out that they have won the House Championship for the first time in seven years.

The Great Hall has a most impressive bewitched ceiling, charmed to look like the sky outside. During special feasts and celebrations, the Great Hall is decked out with fantastic decorations, such as tiny icicles at Christmas and live bats at Hallowe’en.

We’ve received some very creative and artistic depictions of the Great Hall. Below are a few of our chosen favourites, submitted to the Pottermore Galleries:

- The Great Hall -

by NimbusFloo107

Friday, 10 August 2012

Have you spotted everything in the garden…

Something abnormal is happening in the perfectly normal garden of number four, Privet Drive.

Did you catch a glimpse of those enormous green eyes?

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Your favourite lessons - the results are in...

'On Harry’s other side, Percy Weasley and Hermione were talking about lessons (‘I do hope they start straight away, there’s so much to learn, I’m particularly interested in Transfiguration, you know, turning something into something else, of course, it’s supposed to be very difficult –’; ‘You’ll be starting small, just matches into needles and that sort of thing –’).'

Chapter Seven, The Sorting Hat, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Last week, we asked you on the Pottermore Insider and on our Facebook page, which lesson would you take from the list of first-year classes at Hogwarts. The counts are now in, with surprising results!

Over 24,800 of you voted on the Insider and Defence Against the Dark Arts had a narrow win with 29%, followed very closely by Charms, with 27.7%:

On our Facebook page, it was a slightly different story. Over 4,000 people voted and Defence Against the Dark Arts won, with a impressive number of 1,384 votes. Charms came second with 899 votes:

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Characters – Dobby, the house-elf

‘The creature slipped off the bed and bowed so low that the end of its long thin nose touched the carpet. Harry noticed that it was wearing what looked like an old pillowcase, with rips for arm and leg holes.
‘Er – hello,’ said Harry nervously.
‘Harry Potter!’ said the creature, in a high-pitched voice Harry was sure would carry down the stairs. ‘So long has Dobby wanted to meet you, sir ... Such an honour it is ...’’

- Chapter Two, Dobby’s Warning, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Dobby the house-elf first appears to Harry in his bedroom at the Dursleys’. He tries to prevent Harry from returning to Hogwarts by getting him into trouble with his aunt and uncle, and with the school.

Like a lot of house-elves, Dobby is bound in servitude to one wizard family or household for life, and as a sign of his servitude he wears an old, grubby pillowcase in place of clothing.

This has been depicted in some great artwork on Dobby, submitted to Pottermore. Here are just a few of the wonderful depictions of this house-elf.

- Dobby, the house-elf -

by PhoenixWizard70

Friday, 3 August 2012

Have you visited The Burrow yet?

We're exploring another Moment from the Chamber of Secrets - The Weasleys'.

Did you spot the smoke furling from the chimney at The Burrow?

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Which first-year lesson would you take?

‘And then, once you had managed to find them, there were the lessons themselves. There was a lot more to magic, as Harry quickly found out, than waving your wand and saying a few funny words.’

Chapter Eight, The Potions Master, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

There are a number of interesting classes that Harry takes in his first year at Hogwarts. Given the choice, which first-year lesson would you take from following list?

You have seven days to vote for your top lesson and we will reveal the results on the Pottermore Insider.