British Fiction Focus

A Pottermore Christmas

I don’t know what it is about them, but the Harry Potter films have become a kind of Christmas tradition for me and mine. There’s rarely enough time to reread the books or I dare say I’d do that too. This year, that said, I may have to make time, because Pottermore.com has announced that a fortnight of festive fun is forthcoming, including “a wonderland of new writing by J. K. Rowling,” and I’m already hankering to hear a bit more about Harry and his.

Starting Friday, December 12, we’ll be releasing a new surprise for you every day at 1pm GMT (8am EST). With brand new writing by J.K. Rowling and even a new potion or two, make sure you don’t miss out on these daily treats.

Oh, I won’t. Nor should you! That said, I’d counsel caution. At least one outlet is erroneously reporting that Rowling plans to “put out 12 additional Harry Potter stories” over advent, which is not at all what the originating email and accompanying press release teased.

We can count on the author talking about “Florean Fortescue’s ghost plot” and sharing her “thoughts on the sneaky Slytherin Draco Malfoy,” but beyond that, the nature of the surprises on the horizon is unknown.

We can hope, of course. And we’ve good reason to, to boot, because Rowling has contributed some significant stuff to Pottermore.com in the past. Earlier this year she shared a bit of biography about her favourite “off-stage” character from the novels—the singer Celestina Warbuck—and in July, with football fever running high, she wrote about the surprise reappearance of Harry, Hermione, Ron and so on as thirtysomething fans at the final of the Quidditch World Cup; from the perspective of the Daily Prophet’s gossip columnist Rita Skeeter, even.

Both were short pieces, but sweet, and Harry Potter remains remarkably relevant, so I certainly understand the desire for more stories about the boy wizard and his partners in magic… but don’t count your turkeys before they’re roasted, readers.

To unlock these treats, whatever shape they may take, you’ll have to have an account at Pottermore.com, then, from December 12, there’ll be a selection of rhyming riddles for you all to solve. In the interim, consider yourselves encouraged to follow the fun on Facebook and Twitter using the wonderfully unwieldy hashtag #PottermoreChristmas.


Niall Alexander is an extra-curricular English teacher who reads and writes about all things weird and wonderful for The Speculative Scotsman, Strange Horizons, and Tor.com. He’s been known to tweet, twoo.

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