Thursday, September 1

Quillbert's Hogwarts House: The Sorting Hat's New Song

The First of September is here! Time to hitch a ride to Hogwarts. Which house will Quillbert be sorted into? What will the Sorting Hat's new song be like?


Tuesday, August 30

Diagon Alley - The Wizarding World of Harry Potter | Literary Locations

The first of September is almost upon us, so it's time to head to Diagon Alley. What wonders await?


Sunday, August 14

Confunded By The Cursed Child

Well, it only took two weeks for me to sort-of sort through my thoughts and feelings about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child...but here you have it!


Sunday, July 31

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Parts One and Two by Jack Thorne, with John Tiffany and J.K. Rowling

In accordance with the FTC, Quill Café would like to disclose that the reviewer purchased this book. The opinions expressed are hers alone and no monetary compensation was offered to her by the author or publisher. The reviewer did not write this review while under the influence of the Imperius Curse, or the threat of either the Cruciatus Curse or Killing Curse. Cover art is copyright of Little Brown and is used solely as an aide to the review.

This morning I walked into the same building where I purchased Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows nine years ago – the book we all believed to be the final instalment. Until now.

It's true, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is not technically "The Eighth Harry Potter Book" as many have dubbed it. It is the rehearsal script for the two-part play that has just premiered in London. However, it does start off where the seventh book left off.

Nine years ago there were hordes of readers shaking in excitement to see how Harry Potter's journey would end. Yet there were only a handful of them when I went to get a copy of The Cursed Child at its release date of 11:01am on the 31st of July here in New Zealand.

I finished reading The Cursed Child in just a few hours and I don't consider myself a particularly fast reader. True, the format is entirely different – being mainly comprised of dialogue with few descriptors – but it was that same Potter fervour that propelled me through.

Unlike a lot of readers, I never asked for or wanted a sequel showing the next generation at Hogwarts. Nor did I yearn for a prequel starring the Marauders. In fact, the only series that piqued my interest was the idea of one about Albus Dumbledore in his years leading up to becoming the man as we knew him to be. There was so much conflict and character development to explore... Alas, it will never be.

The Cursed Child was something that I was initially excited about, but then put out of my mind. Even leading up to the release date, I hadn't pre-ordered a copy. Yet the night before its release it hit me. I knew I would be at the bookstore at 11:01.

Now I've read it.

To be perfectly candid – and to quote Cecily Cardew "I think that whenever someone has anything unpleasant to say, one should always be quite candid" – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is hard to swallow as canon. It's an odd notion, because while the play may have been penned by Jack Thorne, he co-conceived the story with John Tiffany and J.K. Rowling herself.

This is the part where I will go into some spoilers, but I won't dissect the book because, frankly, I feel thoroughly confunded. However, SPOILER WARNING. You have been warned. Please do not cast any Unforgivable Curses my way.

It is curious to me that the play chose to incorporate two of the biggest causes for disgruntlement in the Harry Potter fandom. It expands on the epilogue, which so many people – myself not included – detested, and it heavily incorporates the use of time travel, which many readers have been iffy about. Mainly the fact that it popped up and then went away. Surprise, it's back! I suppose that's the real reason I find Harry Potter and the Cursed Child so hard to take in as canon. It weaves together so many different realities, that I’m unsure how seriously to take depictions of certain characters. When Snape is acting like Sirius in one reality and Hermione is acting like Snape in another, it gets incredibly confusing.

To speak with perfect candour, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child reads like a trippy fanservice. Which isn't to say that I didn't enjoy it and – clearly – thoroughly devoured it. I suppose it's just something that takes time to digest. I never expected there to be another instalment in the Harry Potter universe – in whatever form – and now I and many other fans will have to adjust to this expansion.

My favourite parts about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child would have to be the friendship between Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy, along with each and every instance Ron and Hermione were together. Their dynamic has always been one of my favourite aspects of the Harry Potter series, and it was wonderful to read. I do wish that Rose Granger-Weasley had been more prevalent in the story. I was under the impression that we would have another Hogwarts trio – Albus, Scorpius and Rose – but I was mistaken.

I would love to be able to see the play performed. Many times while reading the stage directions I wondered how certain effects might be pulled off. I am incredibly jealous of those who do get the chance, and I think it might give a more well-rounded impression of the story to see it brought to life on stage.

All in all, I have no regrets in reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I thoroughly recommend that you read it for yourself, and I look forward to discussing it with other fervent Harry Potter fans.

Saturday, February 20

Pottermore PSA: How to Get Your Original House Back


Pottermore has recently undergone a lot of changes. It is no longer as interactive as it was, and it is now geared at mature readers, who only really joined to find out what house they were in, rather than new/younger readers. When Pottermore first launched, it was a big deal because this Hogwarts house sorting quiz was legit, created by J.K. Rowling herself.

Now with the new changes (although the algorithm of the quiz remains the same) there is the option to retake the Sorting Hat quiz. A lot of users are curious to see if they would be resorted into the same house...and a fair few are gravely disappointed. However, I want to make it perfectly clear that you do not have to retake the quiz...and if you do and are unsatisfied with your new house, it is still possible to reclaim your original one.

Here are three simple steps from your resident Ravenclaw to help you reclaim your original Hogwarts house:

1. Create a new Pottermore account with the email you originally used to sign up for Pottermore.


Already created a new account with that email? Is it the one you had your new house mishap with? No worries! Delete that account and then create a new one with the same email. You can delete your account by going to the "My Details" page.


2. After verifying your account (Pottermore hates Hotmail, your verification may never come) sign in and choose "Reclaim Your House."


3. Type in your old Pottermore username!


If you do not remember your username, check your old Pottermore emails, or email usernames@team.pottermore.com, making sure it is from the email you used to create your original account.

These three steps have been tested and should hopefully allow you to recover your old house and put an end to any identity crisis you may be having. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to ask, or check out the Pottermore FAQ page.

Unfortunately, as Pottermore no longer caters to younger members, those under a certain age (I am not entirely sure what it is) have had their accounts and information permanently deleted. Yes, it is exceptionally messed up. I am so sorry.

All the best for your Hogwarts adventures ahead!