Thursday, August 4, 2011


Wow -- I'm in Pottermore! Sorta.

Pottermore has been billed as an interactive site for the Harry Potter fans. What it will be, no one knows, other than that it is currently exclusive. There are rumors of games and ebook downloads and fan forums. The TOS deals with the ownership of fan fiction and fan art posted on the site, so I assume that will be allowed as well. For the most part, however, it is a tantalizing mystery.

The big game right now, however, is to get in. One millions lucky souls will be allowed in early. That is, they will be allowed to experience the Beta site.
To be chosen as one of the lucky million, they must play a game. Each day for seven days, at a secret time, a clue will show up on Pottermore. Tack the answer to the clue to the end of the web address This may take you to the site where the magic quill is located. If you find the magic quill, then you can register for the site.

Using all the skill I had developed while trying to land substitute teaching jobs, I went to the Pottermore site. First I found the servers swamped. When I finally landed the site, the clue was not up. But after some time and a few refreshes -- it helps to be writing a really tough section of a novel and looking for a distraction, any distraction, from the uncooperative wordage -- I discovered that the clue was up. And it was, for me, an easy one. So I tacked the right answer onto the address and got...

I got a website advertising Sony products. Sony gaming systems, Sony TVs, Sony DVD's. Huh? No mention of a quill anywhere. Was my answer actually wrong? I tried a different answer, and an obviously wrong answer, and discovered that if the answer was wrong I was simply bounced back to the Pottermore site, with the clue staring me in the face. And the right answer took me to an advertisement.

Obviously, I was meant to be a Muggle.

As I was trying to figure this out, which meant multiple tries with the right answer, suddenly I got the magic quill. Okay, it worked. So I went through the more complicated than usual registration and was awarded a user name. I choose a password and wrote it down. Then I was congratulated and told that my registration would be complete when I clicked on the link in the email I would receive. It would arrive within a day. And then I could enjoy the wonders of Pottermore.

The email arrived within twenty minutes. It helps, as I said, to be grinding through a tough section of writing. I clicked on the link and went to the registration page, and carefully entered my user name and password.

My password was not recognized.

I tried again and again, checking each time. Same result. I went through the password change link, and tried again. Soon after, I was told that I had tried to log in too many times and was thus locked out for an hour.

They know I'm a Muggle.

I waited for an hour and tried again. Ahah! I was in! Or was I? What I got was a page congratulating me on completing my registration, but they can't let everybody in at the same time, so I should get my welcome letter in a few weeks.

How many is a few? There are only eight weeks until the site opens to everybody.

When do the Muggles get to enter?

At any rate, it is important to remember that this is a beta site, and there will be glitches. And frustrations. If you want in, just keep trying, and remember, a few weeks isn't that different from eight.

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