An owl’s letter

Today, despite waking up at 5am (after sleeping at 10pm) and waking up to cough and a bit of colds, I found to my delight that I had FINALLY received my Pottermore email. After days and weeks of praying that I’d finally receive my email (especially after everyone said you had to get 3 emails, and I had gotten my first email about a month ago), I opened my email inbox and found the words Pottermore etched out unto the screen.

I remember I was in China when I first found out about Pottermore and how it’s suppose to be this interactive game of some kind. Being the gamer geek and Harry Potter fan that I was, me and my roommate were so excited while we watched the trailers and videos and sneak peeks. Due to unforseen circumstances last month in reference to the beta-testing, I wasn’t able to get a hold of an account. Luckily for me, my good friend Angela was able to spare me an account.

And now we get to today. And the mail that an imaginary owl has just delivered.

For now, I am beyond ecstatic to try out what Pottermore has in store. I’ll be sharing bits of information (in lieu of my account) that I’ve encountered so far. If you haven’t begun beta-testing yet, or if you have yet to receive your email, I suggest you turn back unless you want to spoil the fun of discovering the Pottermore world for yourself.

Just a few things I’d like to share so far as to how far I’ve gotten.

Introducing my wand and the details…

ALDER WITH DRAGON CORE, ELEVEN AND A HALF INCHES, SLIGHTLY SPRINGY

Dragon

As a rule, dragon heartstrings produce wands with the most power, and which are capable of the most flamboyant spells. Dragon wands tend to learn more quickly than other types. While they can change allegiance if won from their original master, they always bond strongly with the current owner.

The dragon wand tends to be easiest to turn to the Dark Arts, though it will not incline that way of its own accord. It is also the most prone of the three cores to accidents, being somewhat temperamental.

Alder

Alder is an unyielding wood, yet I have discovered that its ideal owner is not stubborn or obstinate, but often helpful, considerate and most likeable. Whereas most wand woods seek similarity in the characters of those they will best serve, alder is unusual in that it seems to desire a nature that is, if not precisely opposite to its own, then certainly of a markedly different type. When an alder wand is happily placed, it becomes a magnificent, loyal helpmate. Of all wand types, alder is best suited to non-verbal spell work, whence comes its reputation for being suitable only for the most advanced witches and wizards.

Also, this being the most heart-pumping part of Pottermore….the sorting. I tried to be as honest as I can, in accordance to what I would do as a Slytherin (as this is the house I really wanted to get into). Unluckily though, (thishouse) and Slytherin are both ambitious and instead of interpreting my answers as very Slytherin-like, I was put into…

I guess,  I really am a Blue Eagle by heart. Blue Eagle being the character for Ateneo (my university). And well, blue has been my school colors since I was in elementary school, up until high school and even into university. So I guess, I’m not that disappointed. Plus, the fun in the game is not getting into the house that you want, but working alongside other people to do the best for your house. Or well, that’s what I’d like to believe.

Off for more Pottermore exploration. But before I go, below is the welcoming message for Ravenclaw, for those interested. (And yes, I’m copying all thees personal character details into a .doc file for reference. I’m just a nerd that way. Haha.)

Congratulations! I’m Prefect Robert Hilliard, and I’m delighted to welcome you to RAVENCLAW HOUSE. Our emblem is the eagle, which soars where others cannot climb; our house colours are blue and bronze, and our common room is found at the top of Ravenclaw Tower, behind a door with an enchanted knocker. The arched windows set into the walls of our circular common room look down at the school grounds: the lake, the Forbidden Forest, the Quidditch pitch and the Herbology gardens. No other house in the school has such stunning views.

Without wishing to boast, this is the house where the cleverest witches and wizards live. Our founder, Rowena Ravenclaw, prized learning above all else – and so do we. Unlike the other houses, who all have concealed entrances to their common rooms, we don’t need one. The door to our common room lies at the top of a tall, winding staircase. It has no handle, but an enchanted bronze knocker in the shape of an eagle. When you rap on the door, this knocker will ask you a question, and if you can answer it correctly, you are allowed in. This simple barrier has kept out everyone but Ravenclaws for nearly a thousand years.

Some first-years are scared by having to answer the eagle’s questions, but don’t worry. Ravenclaws learn quickly, and you’ll soon enjoy the challenges the door sets. It’s not unusual to find twenty people standing outside the common room door, all trying to work out the answer to the day’s question together. This is a great way to meet fellow Ravenclaws from other years, and to learn from them – although it is a bit annoying if you’ve forgotten your Quidditch robes and need to get in and out in a hurry. In fact, I’d advise you to triple-check your bag for everything you need before leaving Ravenclaw Tower.

Another cool thing about Ravenclaw is that our people are the most individual – some might even call them eccentrics. But geniuses are often out of step with ordinary folk, and unlike some other houses we could mention, we think you’ve got the right to wear what you like, believe what you want, and say what you feel. We aren’t put off by people who march to a different tune; on the contrary, we value them!

Speaking of eccentrics, you’ll like our Head of house, Professor Filius Flitwick. People often underestimate him, because he’s really tiny (we think he’s part elf, but we’ve never been rude enough to ask) and he’s got a squeaky voice, but he’s the best and most knowledgeable Charms master alive in the world today. His office door is always open to any Ravenclaw with a problem, and if you’re in a real state he’ll get out these delicious little cupcakes he keeps in a tin in his desk drawer and make them do a little dance for you. In fact, it’s worth pretending you’re in a real state just to see them jive.

Ravenclaw house has an illustrious history. Most of the greatest wizarding inventors and innovators were in our house, including Perpetua Fancourt, the inventor of the lunascope, Laverne de Montmorency, a great pioneer of love potions, and Ignatia Wildsmith, the inventor of Floo powder. Famous Ravenclaw Ministers for Magic include Millicent Bagnold, who was in power on the night that Harry Potter survived the Dark Lord’s curse, and defended the wizarding celebrations all over Britain with the words, ‘I assert our inalienable right to party. There was also Minister Lorcan McLaird, who was a quite brilliant wizard, but preferred to communicate by puffing smoke out of the end of his wand. Well, I did say we produce eccentrics. In fact, we are also the house that gave the wizarding world Uric the Oddball, who used a jellyfish for a hat. He’s the punch line of a lot of wizarding jokes.

As for our relationship with the other three houses: well, you’ve probably heard about the Slytherins. They’re not all bad, but you’d do well to be on your guard until you know them well. They’ve got a long house tradition of doing whatever it takes to win – so watch out, especially in Quidditch matches and exams.

The Gryffindors are OK. If I had a criticism, I’d say Gryffindors tend to be show-offs. They’re also much less tolerant than we are of people who are different; in fact, they’ve been known to make jokes about Ravenclaws who have developed an interest in levitation, or the possible magical uses of troll bogies, or ovomancy, which (as you probably know) is a method of divination using eggs. Gryffindors haven’t got our intellectual curiosity, whereas we’ve got no problem if you want to spend your days and nights cracking eggs in a corner of the common room and writing down your predictions according to the way the yolks fall. In fact, you’ll probably find a few people to help you.

As for the Hufflepuffs, well, nobody could say they’re not nice people. In fact, they’re some of the nicest people in the school. Let’s just say you needn’t worry too much about them when it comes to competition at exam time.

I think that’s nearly everything. Oh yes, our house ghost is the Grey Lady. The rest of the school thinks she never speaks, but she’ll talk to Ravenclaws. She’s particularly useful if you’re lost, or you’ve mislaid something.

I’m sure you’ll have a good night. Our dormitories are in turrets off the main tower; our four-poster beds are covered in sky blue silk eiderdowns and the sound of the wind whistling around the windows is very relaxing.

And once again: well done on becoming a member of the cleverest, quirkiest and most interesting house at Hogwarts.

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