Usually the announcement of a new Harry Potter short story from J.K. Rowling brings nothing but delight. But when Pottermore members flocked to the website ready to unlock the newest story many were in for a surprise. All of the interactive activity and accounts have been removed from Pottermore overnight and it has been transformed into a decidedly unmagical news site. New short stories will be found under Writing by J.K. Rowling, older short stories can be found in Explore the Story, although this section looks particularly light considering how many snippets I use to have stored in my favourites. There is a Features section full of List articles by an unnamed ‘Pottermore correspondent’ , which looks rather reminiscent of Buzzfeed, and the online shop.
Gone are the chapters we spent hours agonising over looking for clues to unlock new content, trunks stuffed full of potions ingredients, chocolate frog cards, house points, our mouldy Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans and Cauldron Cakes, virtual book collections and, most important, our wands. No more duelling club or Potions class, or wandering down Diagon Alley to admire the owls.
Pottermore staff have been answering questions on the Facebook page, confirming the new website will not introduce any more interactive features, although houses and wands will be reintroduced at some point. But one wonders why they couldn’t have just left the old Pottermore as it was and built the new ‘public’ website alongside it, rather than disappointing millions of fans.
In the meantime, there is a new story to read, the history of the Potter family.