Friday, December 2, 2016

Wizarding Picture Frames and Pottermore Pages

While wandering around the Dark Arts Specialty shop Borgin and Burkes in Knockturn Alley I unearthed two of the great picture frames above.  The third frame at the top was from one of the shops on the boardwalk.  I am excited to put these up on my desk at work on Monday (when I am cast free - hopefully).

I realized recently that the Pottermore site has more more features that it did when it first visited.  Pottermore is an official Harry Potter website made by J. K. Rowling. It offers an experience focusing on the reading of the Harry Potter series with interactive features, new information from Rowling's extensive collection of notes, and eBook editions of the stories available for purchase for the first time. Prior to our trip I visited the Pottermore site to take the Discover Your Patronus quiz.  A Patronus is a defensive charm.  A form of advanced magic.  The Patronus has two forms, non-corporeal and corporeal. A non-corporeal Patronus can appear as mist. A corporeal Patronus has a form that is defined.  Each Patronus is unique to the witch or wizard who conjures it.

My Patronus revealed it's self as a Sparrowhawk.  I thought it would be fun to see what other members of our family came up with.  Alex's Patronus is a Manx Cat and Anthony's is a Goshawk.  I thought it would be interesting to see those protective charms in living color so here they are.  Not very magical but you can get a clearer image of their true form this way. 

 Anthony - Goshawk Patronus
 Alex - Manx Cat Patronus
Kelly - Sparrowhawk Patronus

We decided to see about what houses we would all be sorted into while visiting the Pottermore site.  Interestingly enough Alex and I were both sorted into Hogwarts Gryffindor House and Anthony was sorted into Slytherin.

Gryffindor is one of the four Houses of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, founded by Godric Gryffindor. Godric instructed the sorting hat to choose a few particular characteristics he most values. Such character traits of students Sorted into Gryffindor are courage, chivalry, and determination. The emblematic animal is a lion, and its colours are red and gold.

Slytherin is one of the four Houses at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Founded by Salazar Slytherin, the house is composed mostly of pure-blood students, due to its founder's mistrust of Muggle-borns. The house is traditionally home to students who exhibit such traits as cunning, resourcefulness, and ambition. Its emblematic animal is a snake and its colours are green and silver.

Next we moved on to be sorted into the Ilvermorny Houses.  This time Anthony and I were both sorted into the Horned Serpent House and Alex was sorted into the Pukwudgie House.

Horned Serpent was one of the four houses at Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in North America founded by Irish-born witch Isolt Sayre.  Horned Serpent house is sometimes considered to represent the mind of a witch or wizard. It is also said that Horned Serpent favours scholars.

Pukwudgie was one of the four houses at Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in North America.  It was named so by Muggle James Steward, after the Pukwudgie, a fiercely independent magical creature based on stories he heard from his wife Isolt Sayre about William the Pukwudgie.  Pukwudgie house is sometimes considered to represent the heart of a witch or wizard. It is also said that Pukwudgie favours healers.

With one quiz left to take we all decided to unveil our personal wizard wands.  This was neat because we all ended up with completely different wands.

Anthony's Yew Wood Wand, Phoenix Feather Core, 12 1/4 in Length and Rigid Flexibility

Yew wands are among the rarer kinds, and their ideal matches are likewise unusual, and occasionally notorious. The wand of yew is reputed to endow its possessor with the power of life and death, which might, of course, be said of all wands; and yet yew retains a particularly dark and fearsome reputation in the spheres of duelling and all curses. However, it is untrue to say (as those unlearned in wandlore often do) that those who use yew wands are more likely to be attracted to the Dark Arts than another. The witch or wizard best suited to a yew wand might equally prove a fierce protector of others. Wands hewn from these most long-lived trees have been found in the possession of heroes quite as often as of villains. Where wizards have been buried with wands of yew, the wand generally sprouts into a tree guarding the dead owner’s grave. What is certain, in my experience, is that the yew wand never chooses either a mediocre or a timid owner. 

This is the rarest core type. Phoenix feathers are capable of the greatest range of magic, though they may take longer than either unicorn or dragon cores to reveal this. They show the most initiative, sometimes acting of their own accord, a quality that many witches and wizards dislike. Phoenix feather wands are always the pickiest when it comes to potential owners, for the creature from which they are taken is one of the most independent and detached in the world. These wands are the hardest to tame and to personalise, and their allegiance is usually hard won. 

Alex's Pear Wood Wand, Unicorn Hair Core, 10 3/4 in Length and Slightly Yielding Flexibility

This golden-toned wood produces wands of splendid magical powers, which give of their best in the hands of the warm-hearted, the generous and the wise. Possessors of pear wands are, in my experience, usually popular and well-respected. I do not know of a single instance where a pear wand has been discovered in the possession of a Dark witch or wizard. Pear wands are among the most resilient, and I have often observed that they may still present a remarkable appearance of newness, even after many years of hard use.

Unicorn hair generally produces the most consistent magic, and is least subject to fluctuations and blockages. Wands with unicorn cores are generally the most difficult to turn to the Dark Arts. They are the most faithful of all wands, and usually remain strongly attached to their first owner, irrespective of whether he or she was an accomplished witch or wizard. Minor disadvantages of unicorn hair are that they do not make the most powerful wands (although the wand wood may compensate) and that they are prone to melancholy if seriously mishandled, meaning that the hair may 'die' and need replacing.

Kelly's Dogwood Wood Wand, Dragon Heartstring Core, 12 3/4 in Length and Surprisingly Swishy Flexibility

Dogwood is one of my own personal favourites, and I have found that matching a dogwood wand with its ideal owner is always entertaining. Dogwood wands are quirky and mischievous; they have playful natures and insist upon partners who can provide them with scope for excitement and fun. It would be quite wrong, however, to deduce from this that dogwood wands are not capable of serious magic when called upon to do so; they have been known to perform outstanding spells under difficult conditions, and when paired with a suitably clever and ingenious witch or wizard, can produce dazzling enchantments. An interesting foible of many dogwood wands is that they refuse to perform non-verbal spells and they are often rather noisy.

As a rule, dragon heartstrings produce wands with the most power, and which are capable of the most flamboyant spells. Dragon wands tend to learn more quickly than other types. While they can change allegiance if won from their original master, they always bond strongly with the current owner. The dragon wand tends to be easiest to turn to the Dark Arts, though it will not incline that way of its own accord. It is also the most prone of the three cores to accidents, being somewhat temperamental.

The following notes on wand length are taken from notes on the subject by Mr Garrick Ollivander, wandmaker: 

Most wands will be in the range of between nine and fourteen inches. While I have sold extremely short wands (eight inches and under) and very long wands (over fifteen inches), these are exceptionally rare. In the latter case, a physical peculiarity demanded the excessive wand length. However, abnormally short wands usually select those in whose character something is lacking, rather than because they are physically undersized (many small witches and wizards are chosen by longer wands).

The following notes on wand flexibility are taken from notes on the subject by Mr Garrick Ollivander, wandmaker: 

Wand flexibility or rigidity denotes the degree of adaptability and willingness to change possessed by the wand-and-owner pair - although, again, this factor ought not to be considered separately from the wand wood, core and length, nor of the owner’s life experience and style of magic, all of which will combine to make the wand in question unique.

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