A Very Potter Christmas – Part 2

We certainly don’t want the holiday season to be over, so here’s Part 2 of the #APottermoreChristmas blog from @AimeeMarieK from MuggleNet!

Harry Potter Christmas

In the final week of #APottermoreChristmas, Jo Rowling provides more Moments in Half-Blood Prince for us to explore. Let’s once more put our spy suits on to discover what Jo has in store for us!

The clue for day 7 brings us to one of the most familiar places in the books and films – The Great Hall. Take a look at the clue below:

pottermore-day-7

No new information was provided with this clue, but it does bring to the forefront one of the wizarding world’s means of travel: Apparition. As any spy will tell you, getting from one place to another undetected is key. You may recall that in the books, apparition is a great means of magical transportation, but it is accompanied by a loud cracking sound. In the films, the sound is a bit less jarring, but still not entirely on the level with what a spy would need to remain undetected.

This brings us to the clue for day 8, seen below:

Pottermore Gold and Emerald Locket

The answer to this riddle leads us to one of the Hogwarts founders and opens up a key Moment for Harry as Dumbledore takes him into the memory of a House-Elf in the employ of a witch who was trying to sell some of her heirlooms to a young Tom Riddle. Riddle was employed with Borgin and Burkes, a shop in Diagon Alley that sold many items that were imbued with dark magic or had a sinister history and purpose. In this memory, Harry watches as Riddle flatters the witch in order to gain access to an item that ultimately becomes one of the horcruxes that Harry must find and destroy.

For Dumbledore’s Army, the clue for day 9 is very important. See below:
Pottermore Day

If you guessed the answer was the Room of Requirement, you’re correct! This room provided a secret place (rather like James Bond’s MI-6) that Harry and his friends could congregate without being seen and where they could practice their Defense Against the Dark Arts. The room provided whatever the students required, including sleeping quarters, food, and all manner of training objects and materials for them to learn to defend themselves. It was here that Dumbledore’s Army prepared for the great Battle of Hogwarts seen in book 7.

The next clue brings us to one of the most frightening moments in the series – beyond Voldemort and his followers willing to kill anyone for any reason (or none at all), the employ of Inferi in the cave where Harry and Dumbledore find the hidden locket is a disturbing moment in the films. Take a look at day ten’s clue below:

pottermore-day-11_1000x1000

After a few days of no new information, Jo provides us with specific information on the Inferi, the reanimated corpses that Voldemort uses to guard the locket. Rowling tells us that the Inferi can be cursed to respond if disturbed (as they did when Harry and Dumbledore touched the lake water surrounding the locket), to kill without discrimination, and to take on jobs that the witch or wizard who cursed them did not want to do (either from the threat of danger or discovery – the possibilities are endless when it comes to the reasons for dark magic such as this!). Jo also reveals where Voldemort obtained the seemingly endless amount of Inferi that tried to kill all those who made it into the cave – they were, for the most part, Muggles killed specifically for this purpose, but others were those in the magical community who had “disappeared”, which leads me to believe that they were either killed by Voldemort or his followers. The final bit that Jo gave us about these undead creatures is that the only way to kill them is by fire, which explains why Dumbledore employed the use of flame to distract and kill them while he and Harry escaped the cave.

What I love most about Pottermore and the new information that Jo provides fans is that we often are treated to background information on characters in the series. In the clue for day eleven, see if you can guess which character Jo is about to shed some light on:

Pottermore Day 12

Perhaps one of the most hated characters of the series (besides Voldemort, Snape, and Lucias Malfoy) is the featured character in day eleven – another double agent, Draco Malfoy. Jo writes about this character in depth, both her thoughts on him as a character and also the history of the character growing up and a glimpse into his life after the Battle at Hogwarts. While he definitely is a character that we love to hate, there are things revealed in this Moment that help readers understand the reasons why Draco acted the way he did throughout the series and why and how he changed after the battle was over and Voldemort had been defeated.

Jo also addresses her thoughts on why on earth girls who read the books or watched the film series would “fall” for Draco, considering there wasn’t any redeeming quality in this character, apart from the fact that Tom Felton brought the character to life and was in fact very charming and a great actor. In my opinion, there wasn’t necessarily anything redeemable in Draco’s character, but as a writer, I can see where knowing his background and seeing the choices he made in the end made me feel for him. It can’t have been easy to work as an agent for Voldemort when he didn’t really want to – he was forced to in order to save himself and his family. I would think that to be a spy, you must have such a firm and strong belief in what you are doing. Draco, in the end, didn’t fight for Voldemort because he believed in Voldemort’s new regime 100%. He fought on the Dark Lord’s side out of fear, which doesn’t really make one the best spy on the planet.

The final clue appropriately brings us to the end of the Half-Blood Prince. See the clue below:

Pottermore Day 12

So much of the Half-Blood Prince is focused on Harry trying to determine who the Prince is and learning as much as he can about Riddle’s past, that sometimes we don’t see what is right in front of us. The clue for the final day of #APottermoreChristmas leads us to Albus Dumbledore and his Order of Merlin. We see a representation of his funeral in this Moment, which we did not get to see in the films. We also learn more about the Order of Merlin and information on Merlin himself, who it turns out, is a Slytherin! In addition we learn about the various classes of the Order of Merlin and what they are awarded for.

 

I hope that you enjoyed solving the Pottermore riddles as much as I did! Jo gave us more insider information on Harry’s world and the characters that reside there, which for fans, is a very good Christmas present indeed!

 

Don’t forget to check out Pottermore for yourself – there are many Moments to be explored through the entire book series, which is currently only up to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. You can create your own Pottermore profile, get sorted, get a wand, brew some potions, and even duel with housemates. All that and more is yours for the exploring – only at Pottermore!

 

 

Answers: Harry Potter’s Christmas

Hogwarts Christmas

In the spirit of the holidays, we created a Christmas-themed Harry Potter quiz! Check your answers now!

1. What color sweater did Mrs. Weasley knit Harry in book 1?

Green/Emerald

2. Harry has his first kiss with whom under the mistletoe?

Cho Chang

3. How many Christmas trees does Hagrid put up in the Great Hall?

12

4. What vegetable did the Weasley children throw at Percy when he brought the minister to Weasley family Christmas in book 6?

Parsnips

5. Where did Harry and Hermione spend Christmas in Book 7?

The Forest of Dean

6. Who did Harry, Ron, and Hermione run into on Christmas Day at St. Mungo’s in Book 5?

Neville Longbottom

7. What disguise does Harry adopt on Christmas Day in book 2?

He uses Polyjuice potion to become Vincent Crabbe

8. What did Harry receive from the Dursleys for Christmas in book 2?

A toothpick

9. Which St. Mungo’s patient received a disguised Devil’s Snare as a Christmas present?

Broderick Bode

10. What special event was held on Christmas day in Harry’s fourth year?

The Yule Ball

How did you do? Do you incorporate any Harry Potter-related traditions in YOUR Christmas festivities? 

Quiz: Harry Potter’s Christmas

Christmas

We’ve created a Harry Potter Christmas quiz! Can you celebrate the holidays like a true wizard?

1. What color sweater did Mrs. Weasley knit Harry in book 1?

2. Harry has his first kiss with whom under the mistletoe?

3. How many Christmas trees does Hagrid put up in the Great Hall?

4. What vegetable did the Weasley children throw at Percy when he brought the minister to Weasley family Christmas in book 6?

5. Where did Harry and Hermione spend Christmas in Book 7?

6. Who did Harry, Ron, and Hermione run into on Christmas Day at St. Mungo’s in Book 5?

7. What disguise does Harry adopt on Christmas Day in book 2?

8. What did Harry receive from the Dursleys for Christmas in book 2?

9. Which St. Mungo’s patient received a disguised Devil’s Snare as a Christmas present?

10. What special event was held on Christmas day in Harry’s fourth year?

Stop back tomorrow for the answers!

Quiz: Close Your Mind, Harry!

Occlumency Scene

After Christmas, life for Harry Potter and his friends gets significantly more complicated. Voldemort is not only back, he is clearly after something and he is not afraid to hurt people Harry loves to get it. Take this quiz to see how much spy craft you picked up on while you read this part of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix! Answers will be posted here tomorrow!

1. As Harry leaves Grimmauld Place to return to Hogwart’s after Christmas break, Sirius gives him a special communication device. What is it?

2. What is the mode of transportation back to Hogwarts after Christmas break?

3. Who is the driver (who is later arrested by the Ministry on trumped up charges)?

4. Dumbledore realizes through his double agent that Voldemort perceived Harry’s intrusion into his mind when he was possessing the snake. What countermeasure does Dumbledore insist Harry learn to prevent Voldemort from turning Harry into a spy against him?

5. When Harry asks Snape how they know that Voldemort detected Harry, Snape applies the need-to-know rule against Harry, and tells him what?

6. Before their special lessons, Snape takes what and puts them away in a secure location?

7. When Snape is able to see Harry’s memories that he fears, Snape warns Harry about what?

8. During Harry’s lesson with Snape he is able to see further along the hallway of his dreams and recognizes where the hallway is located. Which is where?

9. What is the name of the Weasley twins’ new invention that makes your head disappear?

10. Why should the Weasley twins be assigned to the CIA Science and Technology directorate?

Spy Terms:

CIA Science and Technology Directorate (proper noun): One of 4 major CIA components, this division develops technologies that provide officers in the field with a significant intelligence advantage. Follow the link to learn more!

Need-to-Know (adj): A security standard in which only those persons who absolutely must know the information have access to it.

         Example: Only the members of the Order of the Phoenix are allowed to know the address of number 12 Grimmauld Place, which is given to each one by the Secret Keeper, Albus Dumbledore.

 

 

Answers: Christmas at Headquarters

12_Grim_Place

You’ll find the answers to yesterday’s quiz below. These may seem like trifling details in the Order of the Phoenix, but a good spy knows that you need all of the little details in order to see the whole picture. Let us know how you did in the comments!

1. Kreacher keeps a framed photo of his favorite person in his hovel. Whose picture?

Bellatrix Lestrange

2. What is St. Mungo’s full name?

St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries

3. Who transports the Weasleys and Harry to St. Mungo’s on Christmas day, probably in a stolen Muggle car?

Mundungus Fletcher

4. When the Weasleys begin arguing about using human stitches, the children decide to go to the tea room. Who demonstrates his powers of observation by knowing what floor it is on?

Harry

5. Name two adults and one fellow student that the children run into at St. Mungo’s.

Gilderoy Lockhart, Neville’s Grandmother, and Neville Longbottom.

6. While in the locked ward, the children observe the nurse delivering a plant to a patient. Who is the patient?

Broderick

7. What eventually happens to Broderick?

The plant kills him

8. What is the name of the ability to tell what people are thinking?

Legilimency

9. What is the name of the countermeasure to prevent someone “reading minds”?

Occlumency

10. Harry is given a cover story for why he is having lessons with Professor Snape. What is that cover story?

 He is seeing Professor Snape for Remedial Potions

Don’t forget to try some of our other quizzes! How much do you know about St. Mungos, The Attack on Arthur Weasley, or Hagrid’s GIANT secret?