Pottermore, PoA Chapter 14 (what I’ve found so far…)

DISCLAIMER: This is not exactly a live blog and it’s definitely not a Finder’s Guide. It’s what I’ve found so far. There’s also probably some stuff I’m missing. :)

Here’s what I’ve found so far (DO NOT READ IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE SPOILED!)…

CHAPTER 14: SNAPE’S GRUDGE

Scene 1 (“Buckbeak’s Appeal”)

  • Zoom 1:
    • COLLECT a Bath bun – in the foreground, to the right of the candle.
  • Zoom 2:
    • Move cursor to get Buckbeak to eat from the bloody ferret meat in front of him.
    • Move cursor to get Fang to yawn.
    • Move cursor to make the worms move.
    • COLLECT Chocolate Frog Card for Wilfred Elphick (first Wizard gored by an African Erumpet) – by opening the top drawer beneath the worms.
    • COLLECT a Galleon – by opening the second drawer beneath the worms.
    • COLLECT Flobberworm Mucus – at the base of the chest beneath the bowl of worms.
    • CLOSER LOOK at the letter sent to Hagrid concerning Buckbeak’s attack on Malfoy – from the pocket in the hanging coat.

Scene 2 (“The Shrieking Shack”)

  • Zoom 1:
    • Move cursor over Harry’s head, to get Harry to become visible from beneath his Invisibility Cloak and hear the cloak removed.
    • COLLECT a bar of Frog Spawn Soap – from Ron’s pocket.
    • COLLECT a Leaping Toadstool – from the base of the tree next to the Shrieking Shack.
    • Move cursor over gate to hear it creak.
    • Move cursor over the pathway to get a squishy sound and the movement of what might possibly be leaping toadstools. (sorry, can’t tell precisely)
  • Zoom 2:
    • COLLECT Valerian Sprigs – from the valley to the right.
    • From the Comments:
      • COLLECT a Sprig of Lavendar from the dark patch on the side of the central hill. (Thanks, Annie and Elizabeth!)

Scene 3 (“A Spare Bit of Parchment”)

  • Zoom 1:
    • Move the cursor over the jars on Snape’s shelves to see some of the contents move.
    • COLLECT Pufferfish Eyes – from the left side of the third shelf to Snape’s left.
    • COLLECT Bat Spleens – from the floor below the shelves to Snape’s left.
    • COLLECT Dragon Liver – from the floor below the shelves to Snape’s left.
    • COLLECT Eels’ Eyes – from the right side of the second shelf to Snape’s left.
    • Move cursor over the bag to Harry’s left to see one of the items move. (sorry… can’t tell what it is).
    • CLOSER LOOK – the insult the Marauder’s Map gave to Severus Snape.
    • Move the cursor over Snape’s right arm to get him to throw the floo powder in the fireplace – and bring Lupin into the picture.

Key to Zoom Levels:
I am using the conventions I’ve seen used elsewhere when discussing Pottermore zoom levels:

    • Zoom 1 = the original zoom level.
    • Zoom 2 = zoom in one level from Zoom 1.
    • Zoom 3 = zoom in two levels from Zoom 1.
    • Zoom OUT 2 = zoom out one level from Zoom 1.
    • Zoom OUT 3 = zoom out two levels from Zoom 1.

Waiting for Pottermore: The Movie!

Well, a third set of Pottermore emails went out today, and I didn’t receive one. So I took the cue from my Waiting for Pottermore Top 10 List and went to Tyson’s Corner tonight to see the very last IMAX 3D showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. To tell the truth, it’s better in 2D. But hey, I didn’t have to wait as long to see the 3D version, and it was a rather intimate showing of the film.

Anyway, while I’m off busily writing about DH2, I thought you might find a way to entertain yourselves with this little movie. Enjoy!

ETA: OMG! GMTA!!! I just discovered that The Last Muggle posted this same video yesterday! But I solemnly swear I didn’t steal it from her. I found it in a social group on CoS.

Master of Death? (gasp!)

Well, it’s official. After completing four challenges, I won the “Quest for the Hallows” contest on the CoS Forum! And that, according to Professor Dumbledore, makes me “Master of Death”… whether I like it or not.

So here’s how it all breaks down:

Task #1: The Elder Wand: For the Elder Wand task, we had to write a story (or submit a graphic) about one person who was canonically Master of the Elder Wand.

I found the whole idea of writing a fictional story terrifying because I have always rather emphatically not specialized in fiction. But I entered the contest to help my House (Gryffindor) get enough entries into the contest to rack up some House points. I honestly never expected to win anything myself. But I got an idea, and people really liked it.

My entry took “2nd Place” and “Best Overall” (thanks to split votes between “Best Story” and “Best Overall”). Here’s my entry. And here are my banners:

Task #2: The Resurrection Stone: Having done well in a task, I was excited going in to the next one. For the Resurrection Stone task, we could create a HP-related story (or image) or a Personal story (or image) showing how we would use the Stone.

The most popular HP-related scenario was to bring Fred back so that George could say goodbye. But I did something entirely different. I was a bit confused by the task. When the instructions said you, I thought they literally meant me (not a narrator). Since I did not want to use the Stone, I came up with an elaborate workaround on how I could use the Stone without actually intending to use the Stone.

The entry took 4th place for HP-related story and 5th place overall. No banners this time, but I did get extra points. Here’s my entry.

Task #3: The Invisibility Cloak: After placing in the first two tasks, I was one of the contest leaders. But this was the task that I thought was going to destroy me. We had to cover something that we never wanted to see again with a Cloak of Invisibility unlimited by size. But I just didn’t see any logic in merely covering something if the thing was still actually there.

So I thought and thought and thought… and ultimately overthought it! Eventually, the only logical thing I could think of to cover was my garage. I didn’t want to remove the garage. I just didn’t want to see it. I knew I had no chance of winning the task the minute I saw the winning entry (Entry 17). But at least I placed 4th again! (oh, and here’s my entry!).

Task #4: Master of Death: Having placed in all three tasks, I was now in 2nd place in the contest overall, thanks to cumulative points. In the final task, we had to tell why we would or would not unite the Hallows and become the Master of Death.

Within a day, I got an idea. How about a narrator from the distant future, looking back on the past – sort of like the Babylon 5 episode “The Deconstruction of Falling Stars”? Eventually, this idea morphed into a post-apocalyptic Wizarding future in which goblins rule.

I knew the idea was potentially catastrophic for my contest chances. But being a Gryffindor, I reasoned that now was the time for a bold move, not a time to play it safe. I decided that if I was going to go down, I was going to go down in flames. Here’s my entry. Thankfully, enough people liked it that it again got into the final round of voting… and this time I tied for 3rd place (and I won a whole new banner!):

Tallying it all up: At this point, I was the only participant in the competition who had placed in all four tasks, and this gave me the highest cumulative score, which gave me First Place in the Contest. But there was an additional surprise. Because I also scored the highest number of House Points in the contest, I was the 1st Place House Champion (Go Gryffindor!). So here are  those cool banners:

Finally, what all this means is that I get the title “Master of Death.” And even though I don’t really want to be MoD, I do like the banner:

I put all of my banners into that nifty little animated GIF that opened this post. It is now my sig pic on the CoS Forum.

ETA: Oh! I forgot the best part! My big prize was the User Title of my choice! Custom User Titles are highly coveted on CoS (they appear right under the username). I chose, of course, my favorite HP quote: “Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!”

Okay… snarking is open now on the Comments thread! Have fun!

Harry Potter and the Invisible Man

Something fluid and silvery gray went slithering to the floor where it lay in gleaming folds. Ron gasped.

“I’ve heard of those,” he said in a hushed voice, dropping the box of Every Flavor Beans he’d gotten from Hermione. “If that’s what I think it is – They’re really rare, and really valuable.”

“What is it?”

Harry picked the shining, silvery cloth off the floor. It was strange to the touch, like water woven into material.

“It’s an invisibility cloak,” said Ron, a look of awe on his face. “I’m sure it is – try it on.”

The great thing with the Harry Potter series is that the title formula makes it very easy to write bizarro-scenario titles like the one I just wrote. (And if anybody wants to use “Harry Potter and the Invisible Man” for a fanfic, be my guest!)

Even though the Dursleys often treat Harry as if he’s invisible (and even though Severus Snape pretends he’s invisible after Harry witnesses a memory of his father humiliating Snape), Harry Potter never actually does not meet up with a literal Invisible Man in the course of JKR’s series. However, he does acquire an object that gives him invisibility at will. And there are “invisible” men willing to stay in the background as Harry moves to the foreground in the war against Voldemort.

Remember way back in January? We talked in one of the first re-read posts about the comparison between Harry and Cinderella. As a Cinderella figure, Harry has never really experienced a proper Christmas since his parents were killed. And his first Christmas at Hogwarts begins to set things right.

But a little backtracking is in order. When the Trio concludes that Snape tried to kill Harry during the Gryffindor-Slytherin Quidditch match, Hagrid accidentally lets it slip that what Fluffy is guarding is a matter “between Professor Dumbledore an’ Nicolas Flamel.” Naturally, the Trio becomes obsessed with finding out more about Flamel – setting up Harry’s first adventure with the Invisibility Cloak.

In fact, it should be noted that before that adventure, the Trio spends considerable time in the Hogwarts Library looking for Flamel… in all the wrong places. Harry even goes into the Restricted Section, and gets shooed out of the Library entirely by Madam Pince, the Hogwarts Librarian. Whatever possesses them to assume that Flamel is famous, I don’t know. But he is, and they do.

Before we get to Harry’s first Cloak adventure, however, let’s talk more about his first real experience of Christmas and his acquisition of the Cloak.

On Christmas Eve (six years to the day before his nearly fatal visit to his birthplace of Godric’s Hollow), Harry goes “to bed looking forward to the next day for the food and the fun, but not expecting any presents at all.” Instead, when he wakes up in the morning, he is stunned to find that he has a small stack of presents at the foot of his bed.

“Will you look at this?” [Harry exclaims] “I’ve got some presents!”

“What did you expect, turnips?” said Ron.

As it turns out, Harry gets a hand-carved flute from Hagrid, a 50-pence piece from the Dursleys (from which we learn that Muggle money fascinates Ron), a Weasley sweater from Molly Weasley (signaling the beginning of his unofficial adoption into the Weasley family), a box of Chocolate Frogs from Hermione, and the Invisibility Cloak. The Cloak comes with a mysterious note, written in a “narrow, loopy” hand:

Your father left this in my possession before he died. It is time it was returned to you. Use it well.

A Very Merry Christmas to you.

Since this is a re-read, I am going to assume that we all know that the note is from Albus Dumbledore and that it is his first direct outreach to Harry since Harry arrived at Hogwarts.

The Cloak not only belonged to Harry’s father, but his father inherited it from one of his parents… going all the way back to his ancestor Ignotus Peverell, with whom the Cloak originates, and who is buried not far from Harry’s parents in the graveyard at Godric’s Hollow.

Through Ignotus Peverell, Harry is distantly related to Voldemort (a direct descendent of Ignotus’ older brother Cadmus Peverell, who possessed the Resurrection Stone). The oldest brother, Antioch Peverell, possessed the Elder Wand – which is currently in the possession of Albus Dumbledore.

The reason I have mentioned the Cloak’s background is that I’d like to draw attention to something rather remarkable – the fact that Albus Dumbledore actually returns the Cloak to Harry, even though legend claims that the person who unites the three Hallows will become the Master of Death.

For 10 years, Dumbledore has held two of the Hallows in his possession. But rather than seek out the final Hallow, he instead relinquishes the Hallow that rightfully belongs to another. He could have kept it, and Harry would have been none the wiser. But Dumbledore allows himself to be merely the custodian of the Cloak until he can safely pass it on to Harry, its rightful owner.

Such an action would be remarkable for any Wizard who made a study of the Hallows. It is even more remarkable for Dumbledore, whose youthful fantasies specifically involved uniting the Hallows to create a world ruled by Wizards… or more specifically, by himself and Gellert Grindelwald. Returning the Cloak to Harry shows the  extent to which Dumbledore has turned his back on his past failings.

Though Dumbledore is later fatally tempted by the Resurrection Stone, it’s not through an attempt to unite the Hallows. It’s just a moment of weakness in which he succumbs to the temptation to bring back his dead sister (a point that is indirectly related to the second part of this chapter).

Regardless of Dumledore’s failings, returning the Cloak to Harry shows significant character growth since his sister’s death. In a very real sense, Dumbledore is one “invisible man” in this post’s title – a man willing to remain anonymous, willing to guide Harry from the background, willing to let the boy ultimately move into the spotlight.