Pottermore, Part II: Hufflepocalypse Now

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When my 7-year-old daughter Plum and I first explored Pottermore — the official Harry Potter website, which is currently undergoing beta testing — we found it both wildly exciting and a bit frustrating. The elegant art and J.K. Rowling's original text were totally compelling, and Harry's story is powerful in any medium. But we had some trouble figuring out the rules and the interface, and we ended our first session stuck in Diagon Alley. I take full responsibility.

After a week off from Pottermore, Plum was raring to get back to it. It was time to get our wand and get Sorted. We did. And once again we recorded it for posterity.

[Signing back in, we had a look at where our "friends" were. We don't know who our Pottermore friends are in real life, or even why they friended us. They all have cat avatars — in Pottermore your avatar is the same as your pet. We're a cat too.]

Plum: I can't believe we have a friend who's in Slytherin.

Me: I don't know how friendly I really feel towards him.

Plum: At least he's willing to be our friend.

Me: That's true. Should we be friends with ErisedElm?

Plum: Let's just get as many friends as we can.

Me: He has 34 House points.

Plum: Oh my gosh, he must be a good person. I wonder how many House points we have?

Me: We don't have a House yet.

Plum: Oh. Yeah.

[It's pretty clear that the question of our inevitable Sorting is weighing heavily on both of us. We've discussed the possible outcomes already. I'm pro-Ravenclaw. Plum is hoping for Gryffindor. Though I sense she's also strangely intrigued by Slytherin.]

Me: Come on, let's go to Diagon Alley.

Plum: Where we've been so many times; it's boring.

Me: I know. But this time ...

Plum: ... we can get stuff for once. Can we get stuff?

Me: Yes.

Plum: Yes!

Me: We have 448 Galleons. We're rich.

Plum: Which is like Malfoy. Darn it.

Me: We need a wand.

Plum: We also need to get Sorted. But we can't buy that. Wouldn't it be cool if we could buy the Sorting Hat?

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