Ok, Harry Potter fans, Hogwarts is most certainly back in session at Pottermore Take a look at today's rhyming riddle, and see if you know the answer...
The latest Pottermore riddle offers a clue that points to the professor who took over the Potions post after Professor Snape was finally appointed the coveted (by him, anyway) position of Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. Those with a Pottermore login can solve the riddle to open a new page in the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince section of J.K. Rowling's official Harry Potter website. It includes two new writings. We'll get to more spoilers about that, along with the answer to the riddle after this brief spoiler gap...
We're about to get into Pottermore spoilers, so if you'd rather uncover the new information yourself, head on over there and solve the riddle!
So, who's the professor with a large moustache and rotund shape? That would be Professor Slughorn. Dumbledore and Harry convinced Slughorn to accept the Potions post at the start of Book 6. Solving that riddle brings you to the "Felix Felicis" page of the Half-Blood Prince section at Pottermore. The illustration shows Harry, Ron and Hermione in Potions class. In addition to collecting at least one potions ingredient, the page will also allow fans to unlock two new essays from J.K. Rowling, one of which focuses on Potions and the other on Cauldrons.
Cauldon history is about as fascinating as you might imagine, but it's a welcome addition to the background history of this magical world, so no complaints! And Rowling's included thoughts on the subject reveal that she almost made Helga Hufflepuff's hallow a cauldron. "But there was something slightly comical and incongruous about having such a large and heavy Horcrux," Rowling admits. "I wanted the objects Harry had to find to be smaller and more portable."
As you may recall from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the horcrux related to Helga Hufflepuff was a cup. Much more portable!
As for the "Potions" essay, Rowling addresses whether or not a Muggle could make a potion if they had all of the ingredients. The answer to that is no, and there's a reason for that. Rowling also touches on using potions vs. charms or spells. And she explains why Snape fits perfectly to the stereotype of a Potions master. Of the two, this is the more thorough read, though I expect the subject of potions has a much richer history than that of cauldrons.
If you were wondering why J.K. Rowling chose Potions to be the subject taught by Harry's arch-enemy, Severus Snape? It's because it's the magical equivilant to Chemistry, a study Rowling admits she was never any good at.
You'll find even more information and insights in the essays at Pottermore. And there's more where that came from. Today's riddle is the third to be posted over at Pottermore this holiday season -- see also this one and this one. We're promised daily treats from Pottermore in the days leading up to December 23.