A very Harry Christmas: A recap of Pottermore’s “Half-Blood Prince” release

As we previously reported, over the past 12 days Pottermore has been releasing new moments from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince as a Christmas treat. Despite rumors, these were not 12 new stories, but there was some new writing from J.K. Rowling included in this release.

To access this new release, Pottermore had users answer a riddle each day. If you didn’t get the chance to see or answer these riddles, we’ve listed them below for you:

Pottermore's Rhyming Riddles

Day 1: Dec. 12

"In a house on Spinner's End a meeting takes place
A mother begs help for her son, tears on her face.
Agreeing to help though he doesn't know how
Which Potions Master performs an Unbreakable Vow?"

Answer: Professor Snape

Reward: "Cokeworth" moment and new writing by J.K. Rowling on the town Lily, Petunia, and Snape grew up in

Day 2: Dec. 13

"Weasleys' Wizarding Wheezes is a marvellous place
Full of jokes and potions by the box and case
The premises are stuffed with people, ready to pop
But on what magical street can you find this fun shop?"

Answer: Diagon Alley

Reward: "Ninety-three, Diagon Alley" moment with new writing by J.K. Rowling on Florean Fortescue's ghost-plot and the Leaky Cauldron

Day 3: Dec. 14

His Potions lessons are full of interesting things
With students keen to see what each day brings
With his large moustache and rotund shape,
Who teaches this class after Professor Snape?"

Answer: Professor Slughorn

Reward: "Felix Felicis" moment with new writing on cauldrons from J.K. Rowling

Day 4: Dec. 15

"In a snowy Hogsmeade, there's a frightening scene
Four students watch Katie Bell rise and scream
The Gryffindor student falls victim to a dastardly scheme
But what position does she play on the Quidditch team?"

Answer: Chaser

Reward: "Katie Bell is Cursed" moment and the new Doxycide Potion

Day 5: Dec. 16

"In an orphanage in London where Tom Riddle resides
A suited wizard visits him, it's quite a surprise
After showing the boy magical tricks of all sorts,
Which future headmaster offers him a place at Hogwarts?"

Answer: Professor Dumbledore

Reward: "The Orphanage" moment and a newly available Potions badge

Day 6: Dec. 17

"With vampires and authors and a gatecrashing Malfoy
Slughorn's Christmas party is one for (almost) all to enjoy
Much to the surprise of fans, friends and the rest
Which Loony Ravenclaw did Harry bring as a guest?"

Answer: Luna Lovegood

Reward: "Slughorn's Party" moment with new writing on vampires by J.K. Rowling

Day 7: Dec. 18

"Wilkie Twycross orders students to persevere
In their futile attempts to turn and disappear
But regardless of whether the students can do it or not
What is it called when a wizard appears on the spot?"

Answer: Apparition

Reward: Galleons

Day 8: Dec. 19

"In the Pensieve Harry sees a gold and emerald locket
Which a young Tom Riddle sincerely wishes to pocket
But which serpentine member of the Hogwarts Founders Four
Did the ornate necklace belong to in days of yore?"

Answer: Salazar Slytherin

Reward: "Hepzibah Smith" moment

Day 9: Dec. 20

"There is a secret room used by Dumbledore's Army
Concealed opposite the tapestry of Barnabus the Barmy
But what do students call this mysterious place
That on the Marauder's Map leaves no trace?"

Answer: Room of Requirement

Reward: "The Room of Hidden Things" moment

Day 10: Dec. 21

"In the cave when Harry and Dumbledore try to escape
They are surrounded by zombie-like monsters from the lake
But can you remember the names of these creatures
Who have white cloudy eyes and corpse-like features?"

Answer: Inferi

Reward: "Inside the Cave" moment with new writing by J.K. Rowling on Inferi

Day 11: Dec. 22

"Death Eaters gather on the Astronomy Tower
Keen to rid Dumbledore of his life and power
But which student masterminded this plot with precision
In order to fulfil the Dark Lord's terrible mission?"

Answer: Draco Malfoy

Reward: "Avada Kedavra" moment with new writing on Draco by J.K. Rowling

Day 12: Dec. 23

"The funeral of a beloved headmaster and teacher
Brought tears of sadness from each man and creature
But can you recall as best as you can
The first name of this great man?"

Answer: Albus

Reward: "The Funeral" moment with new writing on the Order of Merlin by J.K. Rowling

Some of the most exciting new information from this Pottermore release included a more in-depth look at Draco Malfoy and Florean Fortescue.

In the moment “Avada Kedavra,” we learned that Draco’s actions toward Harry were motivated by envy and the desire to imitate his father, though J.K. Rowling writes that he later changed his life slightly. She also admitted she was “unnerved” by many readers’ attraction to Draco (though she does not “discount the appeal of Tom Felton”) and that she is firm on the point that “[Draco] and Harry were not destined to end up best friends.”

In the moment “Ninety-Three, Diagon Alley,” Rowling revealed a ghost plot surrounding Florean Fortescue, the ice cream shop owner first introduced in Prisoner of Azkaban and mentioned as kidnapped in Half-Blood Prince. A descendant of a former Hogwarts headmaster, Florean was intended to give Harry information on the Elder Wand and Ravenclaw’s diadem. However, this information was later provided by other characters, and JKR said that she feel “guilty” for his kidnapping and death because, she writes, “it was all my fault.”

This is only a taste of the new information revealed in Half-Blood Prince. Enjoy this entire gift of new moments on Pottermore today!

Are you excited for these new moments? Which was your favorite? Let us know in the comments!


Alison Siggard

Alison is a Gryffinpuff and probably what Hermione Granger would be like in real life, from bossiness to reliance on books to bushy brown hair. She is a teacher, writer, traveler, and a lover of all kinds of stories and storytelling. She is MuggleNet's staff coordinator and a host on Alohomora!