Book #50

Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics, and Pesky Poltergeists by JK Rowling

These stories of power, politics and pesky poltergeists give you a glimpse into the darker side of the wizarding world, revealing the ruthless roots of Professor Umbridge, the lowdown on the Ministers for Magic and the history of the wizarding prison Azkaban. You will also delve deeper into Horace Slughorn’s early years as Potions master at Hogwarts - and his acquaintance with one Tom Marvolo Riddle.

This is what I was waiting for; the stories of those attracted by power, the story of Azkaban, and tales of backdated political corruption. This little Slytherin's dark glee was bubbling.

The comparison of two Slytherins here is very important in diffusing some of the myths about our house. While Umbridge is the epitome of evil, she is ambitious (albeit selfish) in the main. I never believed she truly supported Voldemort, only chose her side by weighing up what benefits could be gained from each (and being appointed the severe head of Muggle-born oppression was a big one). Slughorn, however, has always been my favourite Slytherin. Slightly weak, yet kind-hearted, he revelled in others' accomplishments in order to have these reflect upon himself. Seeing, in this collection, his abject regret and woe at his ultimate mistake (explaining the concept of Horcruxes to Voldemort), truly shows where his loyalties lie. Not all Slytherins are dark, and Rowling does a good job here to show us the proof. We're ambitious, we're cunning, and we're classy as hell.

I've always been particularly impressed by Rowling's choices when naming characters and objects within her world. Being allowed to see the reasoning behind some of these is nothing short of wonderful. The derivation of Umbridge, Slughorn, and Quirrel's names was explained brilliantly, and reinforces my opinion that none of them could go by any other name.

Another excellent collection from Pottermore. Although I'm aware most of these stories are available to read on the website, there's something to be said about the flow of them being sewn together. I'm very sorry I only have one left to read.