With a bigger, better RAM stick installed, I was ready to revisit the world of Pottermore with hopes of actually being able to run the site. I noticed two things in rapid succession: first, the interactive “moments” were indeed running far more smoothly, and second, these pages were painfully boring. I’m sorry, but I have yet to understand how clicking through some mostly-static scenes to collect salt shakers and seaweed is supposed to enhance my experience of the fiction. I progressed slowly through these scenes, thinking I must be missing something: this couldn’t possibly be the point, could it?
When I reached the Diagon Alley scenes, things began to open up a bit. There were items to buy with different attributes, and it appeared that these would aid in actual gameplay sections later on (at the time of this writing, I still haven’t reached a section where I make actual use of these items). Having kept both birds and toads in real life, I selected a cat as my magical creature. When all that was done, I went to Olivander’s and got myself a larch wand with a phoenix feather core. Eleven inches, rigid. Damn right.
Wand in hand, I hurried through the next few scenes to the one I’d been waiting for since I started on site: the Sorting Hat. I was subjected to the rather awkward and obtrusive video of Rowling explaining the sorting process (my friend had mentioned this to me before, and its awkwardness did not disappoint) and then began the quiz itself.
I have to stop here to ask if anyone, while reading the Potter books are watching the films, ever actually thought to herself, “Hufflepuff is totally the coolest house.” Friends of mine have described it as “the stoner house;” it’s where you go if you get into wizard school but don’t really stand out beyond that. I mean, Slytherin is kind of strange in that it seemingly exists only the harbor the fiction’s equivalent of neo-Nazis, but I do have friends who favor that house (probably due in no small part to the awesome that is Alan Rickman). I haven’t met a single person in real life who wants to be in Hufflepuff.
So while the rational part of my mind knew I was destined for Ravenclaw, there was a fear that my nice-guy tendencies (combined with a possible desire on the part of the site’s creators to distribute users somewhat evenly among the houses) might push me toward Hufflepuff. Try as I may to answer the questions honestly, that fear might have influenced me when I chose to save Merlin’s book before the dragonpox cure. In the end, the fear was unfounded; some users end up on the cusp between two houses and have to choose for themselves. I wasn’t one of them.
Greetings to all my new housemates. Check back soon for Part III!