Pottermore Presents: Short Stories from Hogwarts

If you have been a constant reader of Pottermore you’ll no doubt recognize some of the short pieces in these three e-books as a few of them have previously been published on the Pottermore site. However they are separate entities and are being treated as individual books. The opening note of each book is touching and each theme and chapter has been thoughtfully, successfully executed.

  • Likes: where to begin? The cover illustrations, to start. The fact that they are a decent length (between seventy and ninety-two pages) is nice, the alliteration in the titles is right up my (Diagon) alley (ouch, that was bad), and there was a good mix of new material and stories I remembered.
  • Dislikes: this is a very book-ish thing to say but I wish these e-books had also been available as real books; also, I’d hoped for more on Snape.

A bit of what’s inside:

  • Details of the Hufflepuff common room, which was never described in the books because Harry himself never visited it
  • Background on Minerva McGonagall, Sybill Trelawney (one of her hobbies is “sherry”), Quirinus Quirrell, among others
  • A list of the Ministers for Magic dating back to 1707, and their memorable moments/quirks

J.K. Rowling on “Potions” from Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists:

“Chemistry was my least favourite subject at school, and I gave it up as soon as I could. Naturally, when I was trying to decide which subject Harry’s arch-enemy, Severus Snape, should teach, it had to be the wizarding equivalent. This makes it all the stranger that I found Snape’s introduction to his subject quite compelling (‘I can teach you to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death…’), apparently part of me found Potions quite as interesting as Snape did; and indeed I always enjoyed creating potions in the books, and researching ingredients for them.”

These e-books are a great addition for anyone whose a fan of the series or even new fans who want to learn more behind-the-scenes details. There is of course the question of if it is “worth” it to buy them, but as a serious Potter fan let me tell you, it is.

One more line which I loved (below) and there are tons more in the books themselves:

“After all, you don’t have to be a sword-wielding Gryffindor to be a hero; sometimes, all it takes is having your heart in the right place.” –Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardships and Dangerous Hobbies

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