Hold onto your (sorting) hats – three new collections of short stories from J.K. Rowling are now available for download.
Pottermore previously announced three collections of Rowling’s writing about Hogwarts would be available Sept. 6. Most stories in the e-books can already be found – for free – on Pottermore. However, there are some completely new stories and other details added to existing writing sprinkled throughout the compilations, none of which are available on Pottermore without downloading the e-books.
Professor Horace Slughorn gets an entire multi-part chapter in Short Stories from Hogwarts: Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists, which is the longest piece of entirely new writing in the collections. The story covers his whole life from childhood (along with some of the early snobbery he appears to have inherited from his parents) to how he was honored by Slytherin House after the Battle of Hogwarts. It also goes into his reaction to Tom Riddle’s transformation into Voldemort, why he left Hogwarts after the first wizarding war, Dumbledore’s suspicions about what he knew and what prompted him to go on the run shortly after Voldemort’s rebirth at the end of Goblet of Fire.
The second longest new piece is a detailed explanation of how a wizard becomes an Animagus in Short Stories from Hogwarts: Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies. We already knew the process involved keeping a Mandrake leaf in your mouth for an entire month – it turns out that’s just the start of a long, very precise process to successfully transform.
There’s also a previously unreleased poem called The Ballad of Nearly Headless Nick, which is Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington’s poetic account of his own botched beheading, in Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide.
Other new tidbits include:
-Accounts of what Minerva McGonagall was doing during the first and second wizarding wars, and a reflection on her relationship with Harry, added to her existing biography
-The Mirror of Erised’s final fate
So is that list worth paying $2.99 per e-book when you can already get most of the stories for free?
I believe so. Not only did I find the new writing more than worth the under $10 price tag, you’re also buying a nice package, which means you no longer have to search Pottermore to find these particular stories (unless you really want to). Plus, I liked the excuse to go back and rediscover some of the details Rowling previously revealed in light of new information – for instance, I had forgotten one of Rowling’s early ideas for Hogwarts sorting involved statues of the four founders coming to life, which turns out to be close to the way it’s done at Ilvermorny.
The e-books are available on Pottermore or through Barnes and Noble, Amazon, iBooks and Kobo Books.