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    This week, we're finessing the animations for the next chapters of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

    We've been polishing up the Hogwarts moving portraits and tackling the challenging Whomping Willow to ensure they're looking their best.

    We'll have another update for you later this week on the Insider.





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  • 08/23/12--07:22: Items: The Sorting Hat
  • ‘Harry quickly looked down again as Professor McGonagall silently placed a four-legged stool in front of the first-years. On top of the stool she put a pointed wizard’s hat. This hat was patched and frayed and extremely dirty. Aunt Petunia wouldn’t have let it in the house.

    Maybe they had to try and get a rabbit out of it, Harry thought wildly, that seemed the sort of thing – noticing that everyone in the Hall was now staring at the hat, he stared at it too. For a few seconds, there was complete silence. Then the hat twitched. A rip near the brim opened wide like a mouth – and the hat began to sing.’

    - Chapter Seven, The Sorting Hat, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone


    The Sorting Hat places first-year students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry into one of four houses: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin.

    Sometimes the Sorting Hat knows immediately which house a student should be in, other times it takes a little while to decide. Those who linger longer than five minutes under the brim of the Sorting Hat are known as Hatstalls, although this is a rare occurrence.

    The Sorting Hat is imbued with the intelligence of the four founders of Hogwarts, making it an extremely clever and enchanted object.

    There have been many artistic interpretations of the Sorting Hat submitted to Pottermore. Here are some of our favourites from the Pottermore Galleries:

    - The Great Hall -

    by ThestralDust108





    by HazelCharm136



    by RoseSilver145



    by HazelSnidget13



    by SkyShadow157



    We also wanted to know what you thought the Sorting Hat would say to you, and whether you think it would know which house to put you in straight away. Here are some of your comments:

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     
                         (Tweets via @misfitsierra, @wesrford, and comments from our Facebook followers.)

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    Our artists are putting the final touches to some slugs, bugs, quills and watery spills in the next Pottermore chapters.

    Will you be able to guess where these might appear in the new Moments...?




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    Many of our Pottermore fans have been keen to see the next chapters of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, so this week we’re taking a sneak peek at one of the upcoming Moments - the Deathday Party.

    In Chapter Eight, Harry, Ron and Hermione are invited to Nearly Headless Nick’s Deathday Party, as the Gryffindor ghost celebrates his five hundredth deathday.

    Various ghosts gather at Hogwarts to attend the party, including Hogwarts residents the Fat Friar and the Bloody Baron, as well as ghosts from further afield, like the Wailing Widow from Kent.

    In this atmospheric Moment, you’ll be able to explore the Deathday Party and see some of the ghostly, spectral sights.

    Through the curtains, new objects and characters are waiting to be found; look out for a glimpse of Moaning Myrtle and listen to the quavering sound of the musical saws.

    You will also be able to unlock brand new, exclusive content from J.K. Rowling about Peeves the mischievous poltergeist in this Moment.



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    We’re excited to announce that the next Pottermore House Cup will be awarded in November.

    The exact date will be confirmed nearer the time, and in the run up to the award, it’s time to unite and earn honest points for your houses in this spirited competition. Declare your house pride – whether you’re in Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw, it’s your chance to share your rallying messages.

    Last time, Slytherin won the inaugural Pottermore House Cup and as champions, received early access to the first chapters of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

    This time the winner’s reward will be something different, and we’ll reveal more details at a later date. Until then, we want to know what you think it might be? You can let us know your ideas on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

    We’ll be updating you on all future news about the Pottermore House Cup, here on the Insider.



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    On Thursday, 11th October, Scholastic, a global children’s publishing company, will be hosting a live webcast with J.K. Rowling to discuss the world of Harry Potter, including Pottermore, and will be answering questions from children around the world, live.

    We’re giving all our loyal readers of the Pottermore Insider and Pottermore, the chance to help choose one of the questions that J.K. Rowling will be asked in her live interview.

    Below are four questions about Pottermore and we’d like your help in choosing the one you’d most like answered by our favourite author.

    You’ve got seven days to get your votes in and we’ll announce the chosen question next Tuesday, the 11th of September.


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    This week, we’re sharing an excerpt of exclusive new content from J.K. Rowling that can be found in the next instalment of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which will be released shortly.

    In Chapter Eight, at the Deathday Party, you will be able to unlock brand new material on Peeves the disruptive poltergeist.

    Have you ever wondered how Peeves gets away with causing so much havoc? Maybe you've been wondering about the other past caretakers who have had to endure Peeves' troublemaking and the attempts made to control him? You’ll be able to learn all of this and more as J.K. Rowling shares information on poltergeists and the many antics of Peeves.

    Here’s a snippet from this new exclusive entry:


                                         


    Keep reading the Insider for more news on the next chapters but in the meantime, why not let us know what exclusive content you’ve most enjoyed reading on Pottermore. You can do this by checking out our Twitter and Facebook pages and taking part in our conversations there.


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    On October the 11th at 5pm GMT (12pm ET/9am PT) J.K. Rowling will be answering questions about Harry Potter, including Pottermore, in a live webcast from Scholastic, the publisher of the print Harry Potter books in the USA.

    Last week, we asked you to help us vote for one question about Pottermore that will be posed to J.K. Rowling in this upcoming webcast.

    There were four questions to choose from and over 38,000 people voted for their favourite on the Pottermore Insider as well as our Facebook fan page. Today, we can reveal which is the winning one.

    The question we will be asking J.K. Rowling at the webcast, as chosen by Pottermore fans, is:

    'Which Pottermore house are you in?'

    With 15,779 votes, this question narrowly beat out 'Which Harry Potter book are you most looking forward to seeing in Pottermore?', which received 15,043 votes.





    Visit www.scholastic.com/hpreadingclub for more information on the live webcast, and we'll also remind you nearer the time here on the Insider to make sure you don’t miss the selected question and answer J.K. Rowling gives.


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  • 09/12/12--08:49: Characters – Hagrid
  • ‘If the motorbike was huge, it was nothing to the man sitting astride it. He was almost twice as tall as a normal man and at least five times as wide. He looked simply too big to be allowed, and so wild – long tangles of bushy black hair and beard hid most of his face, he had hands the size of dustbin lids and his feet in their leather boots were like baby dolphins. In his vast, muscular arms he was holding a bundle of blankets.’

    - Chapter One, The Boy Who Lived, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

    Hagrid is the Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts but is also entrusted with the tasks of delivering Harry to the Dursleys and later, on Harry’s eleventh birthday, informing him that he is a wizard.

    As Harry settles into his life at Hogwarts, he, Ron and Hermione become very good friends with Hagrid. They often visit the gamekeeper in his wooden house on the edge of the Forbidden Forest where they sample inedible rock cakes and drink tea.

    Hagrid’s love of dangerous creatures is well-known at Hogwarts, and his pets have included Norbert, an illegal Norwegian Ridgeback dragon, and Fluffy, a frightening three-headed dog.

    Being the Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts also means that Hagrid is responsible for looking after the grounds from the foreboding Forbidden Forest to the great black lake, as well as contributing towards Hogwarts’ festive decorations, with giant pumpkins and Christmas trees.

    There has been some brilliant art of Hagrid submitted by our Pottermore users and here are a few of our favourites:

    - Hagrid -

    by BronzeKey3451





    by SpellSeer122.jpg



    by GoldUnicron24



    by GallionOrme16193



    by StormShield12



    We also asked you what it was that you most admired about Hagrid and you have been sharing your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter:

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     


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    We’re happy to say that Chapters Five to Eleven of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets are now available for you to explore on Pottermore.

    Fly back to Hogwarts, encounter the Whomping Willow and test your herding skills by recapturing the Cornish pixies. Venture into Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom, learn about the legend of the Chamber of Secrets, and much more.

    As well as the next chapters and Moments to explore, you will also find additional new features on Pottermore.

    Pottermore Students will now be able to update their status on their profiles and there are new Pottermore Badges to discover and add to your collection.

    Thank you to all the excited and supportive Pottermore fans who have been looking forward to exploring these new chapters. We hope you enjoy discovering all the interesting things in the new Moments as well as the latest features that are now available on Pottermore.



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    ‘Are you sure that’s a real spell?’ said the girl. ‘Well, it’s not very good, is it? I’ve tried a few simple spells just for practice and it’s all worked for me. Nobody in my family’s magic at all, it was ever such a surprise when I got my letter, but I was ever so pleased, of course, I mean, it’s the very best school of witchcraft there is, I’ve heard – I’ve learnt all our set books off by heart, of course, I just hope it will be enough – I’m Hermione Granger, by the way, who are you?’

    - Chapter Six, The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

    We’re making this week about Hermione and today, we’d like to wish her a happy birthday.

    There are some fantastic artwork of Hermione in the Pottermore Galleries which has been submitted by you. We think they’re brilliant, and we hope you enjoy them too because we’re sharing double the number of our favourites to celebrate this special day:



    - Hermione Granger -

    by NimbusPixie208



    by ShadowJinx155





    by MagicStone34



    by PhoenixFlight4552



    by SkyOak167.jpg



    by WalnutHex192



    by RainPatronus18738



    by WingMaurauder3640



    by CrimsonUnicorn17872



    by NimbusKnight29738



    Throughout the week, we’ve also been hearing what you’ve been saying about Hermione on Pottermore and reading your birthday wishes to her on Facebook and Twitter. Here is a collection of our favourite birthday wishes and comments:








                         (Tweets via @HadilCh, @leosia666, @TayMartin_X, @CesP_David and comments from          
                          our Facebook followers.)



    Happy Birthday, Hermione!



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    As part of her birthday week, we’re looking at some of the best lines spoken by Hermione in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

    Which of these quotes from Hermione is your favourite?




    You’ve only got 24 hours to let us know before we share the results, so get voting for your top Hermione saying!

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    We're exploring a Moment from the latest chapters of Harry Potter and the chamber of Secrets - Flying To Hogwarts.

    Did you follow the Hogwarts Express north? What did you discover and see on the way?



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    Our Hermione week is coming to a close and we’re ending it by revealing the results of our Hermione poll.

    Yesterday, we asked which saying from Hermione in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was your favourite.

    Over 12,000 Pottermore fans voted to let us know their top choice. The numbers have now been counted and your favourite quotation from the clever, bright, young witch, winning by well over 50% is:

    'We could all have been killed - or worse, expelled.'

    Check out which of Hermione's other quotes was runner up and how they added up on the Insider and on Facebook:





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  • 09/27/12--08:49: Places - The Burrow
  • ‘It looked as though it had once been a large stone pigsty, but extra rooms had been added here and there until it was several storeys high and so crooked it looked as though it was held up by magic (which, Harry reminded himself, it probably was). Four or five chimneys were perched on top of the red roof. A lop-sided sign stuck in the ground near the entrance read ‘The Burrow’. Round the front door lay a jumble of wellington boots and a very rusty cauldron. Several fat brown chickens were pecking their way around the yard.

    ‘It’s not much,’ said Ron.

    ‘It’s brilliant,’ said Harry happily, thinking of Privet Drive.’


    - Chapter Three, The Burrow, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

    The Burrow could not be more different to number four, Privet Drive, Harry’s home with the Dursleys. On his first visit to the Weasleys’, Harry is in awe of the magical objects and items crammed within and around The Burrow.

    From the ghoul in the attic to the enchanted clocks and the gnome-infested garden, Harry finds that, unlike Privet Drive, magic is a part of daily life for the Weasleys and their busy home.

    Many of our Pottermore fans have submitted brilliant, artistic interpretations of what they think The Burrow looks like and we’re sharing a few of our favourites with you:

    - The Burrow -

    by SkyFirebolt7146





    by WombatBat11647



    by VolanteCatore12505



    by DragonScale20133



    by ThestralPurple16514



    You’ve also been telling us why you love the Burrow and what unusual and quirky items from the house you would like to own. Here are some of your choice items!

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     


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    Many things are happening in the Herbology greenhouse, but don't forget to collect your colourful earmuffs during your explorations – they're essential items for handling those Mandrakes!



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    There is now even more to discover on Pottermore. Selected Moments in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone now contain excerpts from the digital audio book for you to enjoy.

    Currently the audio excerpts are available in English UK, English US, German and Italian. Pottermore users from the United States are able to hear Jim Dale narrating, German users are able to listen to Felix von Manteuffel, Italian users can hear Giorgio Scaramuzzino and UK users can listen to Stephen Fry’s readings. If Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is not already a part of your audio book collection, you can find it at the Pottermore Shop.

    If you haven’t discovered where these audio book excerpts are yet, the Insider is on hand to help you locate the chapters or Moments in which they can be found. Over the next five days, we will be releasing different puzzles that will lead you to each of the audio book excerpts in turn.

    Are you prepared for the first puzzle? Get ready to add it up...


    Using information from the story, complete the following sum to find the chapter in Book One on Pottermore in which an audio book snippet appears:


    The number of minutes Professor Lockhart gives his class to complete a test in their first lesson with him, minus the amount of players on a Quidditch pitch, plus the amount of inches of James Potter’s wand, minus the amount of bedrooms in the Dursleys’ house, minus the amount of Galleons a single unicorn horn costs, plus the number of streets away that Mrs Figg lives from the Dursleys.


    Will these numbers defeat you? Share this puzzle with your friends and get them to help you work out the answer...


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    This Moment is all jumbled up! Can you un-muddle it to reveal another Moment in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone on Pottermore, where an audio book reading can be heard?






    Will you get the picture or will it remain a puzzle? Let us know when you’ve found where this Moment is by Tweeting on Twitter or commenting on our Facebook page.

    You can listen to even more Harry Potter audio books by visiting the Pottermore Shop and adding them to your collection.

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    Solve this anagram to find another location where you can hear an audio book excerpt from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone:


    Scale Moss Red Dish Out


    Can you unscramble the anagram to find the Moment or are you lost for words? Tell us the location once you’ve discovered it by sending us a Tweet or commenting on Facebook.

    If you haven't got them already, add the Harry Potter audio books to your collection. You can also find them from the Pottermore Shop.


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    This object belongs in a specific Moment in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Locate the Moment to discover an audio book snippet to listen to:






    Do you know where this object is from? Share the location with us if you’ve found it by Tweeting or commenting on our Facebook page.

    The Harry Potter audio books are also available from the Pottermore Shop. Add them to your collection if you haven't already got them and listen to more audio moments!

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