Welcome to the seventh edition of Ask Elm. To ask a question: CLICK HERE.
Answers to questions below the cut…
“Hi there! I was wondering what you love the most in Pottermore and what you hate the most. And what would you change to the thing you hate the most? Cheers!”
This is a tough one. I would say the thing that I like the most is potion brewing. Even though I would like more potions, this is probably just because I’ve been on the site for close to a year with the same potions and no new options. I feel like they did a good job balancing fun and difficulty with the potions.
The thing that I hate the most is the way the comment boards work. I wish there was a way to reply to a specific comment. There is a like function that does absolutely nothing to make using it worth while. The delay in the posting of comments is painstaking. Moderation screens are tricky to maneuver around and drive most people from using the Common Room or Great Hall. I would definitely change that if I could. At the very least I would settle for being able to write a complete user name without the moderation screen going off.
“When I’m dueling with another house, I keep getting stalled by “verification” screens (captcha). Right now it comes up after every duel. Is this normal? Seems like it kind of discourages dueling between houses.”
The Captcha verification screen comes up based on the length of time it has been since your last duel. I believe if you request within 60 seconds of a completed duel it pops up. Are you dueling that fast? I find on a night when I’m going slow I rarely see it, but on a night where I’m dueling rapidly with multiple tabs open with duels I will start to get it a lot.
Unfortunately the Captcha doesn’t look to be going away either. During Beta when it first surfaced I wondered why, and am still not ENTIRELY sure why they put it there unless it was to prevent the more computer savvy users from programming a computer to duel for them.
“Hey Elm, it’s me Midnight Nettle. I have a strange, and not necessarily important questions… I am hearing that all of the other House Welcome letters talk about their Head of House, but not ours. And since we are in the book “Sorcerer’s Stone” I and many other people have been “acting” like we are first years, new to Hogwarts, etc. Just as Harry is brand new. then you get the people who are operating in “post Potter mode” and acting like Snape and Dumbledore are already dead, Harry is no longer there, etc. What is your take. are we “in the past” so to speak, and should play along in the timeline of the first movie, and if so, why no mention of our illustrious Potions Master???”
We are running on the same time line as Harry, Hermione, and Ron as they go through school. My evidence? When you sign up for Pottermore and it shows you your name in the book it is listed alongside their names, and the names of other students who started Hogwarts at the same time. I have seen people in the Great Hall attempting to act as if we are attending Hogwarts in the time of the next generation of students (alongside the sons and daughters of the main characters from the books) but if that was the case Dumbledore surely could not be our Headmaster, and he is listed as such in the Great Hall of Pottermore.
I, too, thought it was curious that our letter did not speak of Professor Snape, but the Gryffindor letter does not speak of Professor McGonagall either. Perhaps they thought since it was not talked about much in the books that the Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws might need a reminder as to who their heads of house are.
“I was wondering does a unicorn have to die to have a unicorn horn for a potion, do they shed them like deer, or can they regrow them? I have not seen anything in the book about this but I might have missed it and you seemed like a great person to ask. Thanks!”
In the first Harry Potter book Hagrid talks about how it is a monstrous thing to kill something so innocent. This is why a witch or wizard who drinks unicorn blood will lead a cursed life, he says, because they killed a unicorn. So despite it never being outright said in the books, I think it is safe to assume that horn can be acquired without killing the unicorn. As to whether or not they would regrow a new horn I am really not sure, but it sounds like a neat idea!
“Hey, I don’t know if anyone’s asked this already but do you have any idea when the House Cup is awarded or if it is at all?”
“Hello, I am in Slytherin, and everytime I go into the Common Room, everyone is up in arms about House Points and beating the Gryffindors. I was wondering, when is the House Cup announced? Or when is there a winner? Hopefully the four Houses won’t be locked in battle for the House Cup forever? Lol”
Unfortunately we simply do not know WHEN the House Cup will be awarded. According to the entry about the Cup in the Help section of Pottermore (look under Houses and House points) it will be awarded, just as in the books, at the “End of Year Feast” and that they will tell us a couple weeks in advance so we can get as many points as possible leading up to this.
If I had to GUESS I would say that the House Cup will probably be awarded just before Chamber of Secrets opens up. It would make a lot of sense to end Year One by awarding the cup just before opening up Year Two. But we will just have to wait and see.
“On Twitter you use the term “point stall”. Could you explain how and why that works? Thanks!”
Point stall is not an official term, I was referring to a specific dip in the graph of House point totals on HouseCup.Info that day (May 10th) I also posted the following shot of the graph:
As you can see here, Slytherin and Gryffindor were both in a steady upward climb, but around 3:30 pm this day, Slytherin stalled and suffered a dip in their point gain while Gryffindor continued it’s steady rise. I call this a point stall and actually you can see this happen back and forth up and down the graph at HouseCup.Info. It’s started to make me have not so easy to answer questions about the points trend.
“Hi Elm, On Pottermore I was gifted Sleeping Draught as a gift,If I was to gift a potion to a Pottermore Friend, would it regenerate like Ingrediants or Objects do so I can find it again?”
Unfortunately not. Since you never find Sleeping Draught in the story to begin with, it can not regenerate because it doesn’t have anywhere to regenerate. Only things that are found in the story the first time you play it will appear when you no longer have them. Potions are something that we create and can only be acquired by brewing it or being given it by someone who brewed it for you.
“When will chamber of secrets be open please”
“When with the Chamber of Secrets be open as a book?!?! I’ve been waiting forever. Will it be open by summer?”
“how can I get the book 2?”
“do you know when the second book will be released im desperate to get in??!
We still have shockingly little information as to when Chamber of Secrets, the second book, will appear on Pottermore. About a month ago they said that they were actively programming it, but to expect to see new stuff coming to the site in the weeks before it’s release. Since then we have seen new info from J.K. Rowling added to the site.
Just before the site opened, Charlie Redmayne the CEO of Pottermore said that the timeline for the release of the next book was “months”. I have seen recent quotes that say “weeks” but these are both such vague answers that can really mean the same thing.
There is lots of speculation on this. You will see people claim any number of months as the release. September because that’s when Hogwarts is supposed to start. October because that is the month Pottermore was supposed to open. Summer, because if it got bumped six months back like the opening did “Early 2012″ would become summer time.
The bottom line: WE DO NOT KNOW when the next book will open. And anyone claiming a time frame is probably just guessing or repeating a guess from someone else.
“My husband and I signed up for Pottermore within minutes of each other after I was emailed an invitation. We haven’t gotten very far, but it seems like we have different versions. His version has background sounds, plus sounds for interactive objects. I get the sounds of interactive objects, but not the backgrounds sounds. Also, in the kitchen, he got the letters to fall out of the fireplace by rolling over them, but we couldn’t get them to fall out in my version, no matter what we did. How do I get the complete version?”
“Why can’t I collect the dragon egg in chapter 14? I’ve clicked everywhere on the egg. I do not get the “collect” box that usually shows up when you are in the right place. Thanks.”
“I still can’t find the books in ‘THE LIBRARY’ and ‘HAGRID’S SECRET’. In Hagrid’s Secret I was able to locate the book but before I could click it, it became all dark and disappeared. Please HELP!”
“Hey Elm! I am stuck at Book 1 Chapter 16. The page opens and says “To solve the puzzle you must select the two correct potions”. BUT, I can’t click on anything. Is this a glitch? Thanks for any help”
My suggestion for all of these are the same: try a different browser or update your existing browser.
Tessa, there are no “versions” of the site. It is a site that is the same for everyone, and you log into it using different accounts. One account doesn’t see something different than another account. I suggest you logging in on his computer and browser and see if you can access the same things he can.
Kathy, Pratishna, and phtbmgrl it sounds to me as if the flash on each of these pages isn’t loading correctly. The Dragon Egg and Potions Puzzle are two of the notoriously bad loading moments. If refreshing doesn’t work try a different browser or computer. In regards to the new books, I myself had some difficulty collecting a couple of them. I sometimes had to refresh for it to show as actually unlocked, or to get it to reappear after vanishing before I clicked it. If refresh doesn’t work, close out your browser and re enter it.
If anything ever doesn’t load correctly on Pottermore I recommend using a different browser. I use Google Chrome but sometimes have to switch to other browsers if something doesn’t load right.
“Hey elm, I just have a quick question: do you know where exactly all the books from the new library feature are yet? Because I know there is new content on the book A beginners guide to Transfiguration, but I can’t find it. I’ve found all the other ones, but that book is just undiscoverable.”
I know already that you have probably gotten them all Morgana, but for any of you still looking for the new readable Library Books on Pottermore: CLICK HERE.
“Hello, Elm I’m just wondering… If someone sends me a gift, How do I collect it? I know it seems totally foolish… but I can’t seem to work that out!”
When someone sends you a gift, you do not need to accept it. The item is automatically added to your inventory, and you receive a notification saying that “SoAndSo54 sent you suchandsuch as a gift”.
“Hello! Since I enter in Pottermore, I see people talking about: dance, balls, dates, and a team of quid(ditch) anyway, You know what is this? When we have again? And how we participated???? Thaaaanks”
These are all role-playing things that have been unofficially taking place in the Great Hall. Basically a bunch of students playing out an imaginary dance, making imaginary dates, and trying out for an imaginary Quidditch team (or just claiming to be on the Quidditch team). I couldn’t tell you when another one will happen, as it is an unofficial thing you’d be better off asking in the Great Hall when another might be happening. To participate you just have to be in the Great Hall at the right time and have an open mind.
Phew, that’s all I have today. Keep those questions coming! Remember you can read all the volumes of Ask Elm from the top menu of the blog.