by T. Mack
I’m fortunate enough to work with a plethora of geeks who enjoy diving into and discussing various fandoms on a daily basis. Recently, the group has been overtaken and obsessed with the latest offering from Pottermore.com: the ability to discover your Patronus! I have to admit, I am deep into the obsession as well.
Pottermore.com was created by J.K. Rowling to keep the magic of the world of Harry Potter alive and continually evolving. There, Potterheads can receive updates from the magical world, read new stories from Rowling, be sorted into a Hogwarts house, and more. The newest test on the site lets you determine your Patronus!
If you’ve read any of the later HP books or watched the third or fifth HP films (The Prizoner of Azkaban and The Order of the Phoenix), you probably recall that the Patronus is a defensive charm used as protection from Dementors. The Patronus manifests as an animal made of light. Witches and wizards do not get to choose the animal that will be their Patronus. However, it is often a representation of an animal that has been significant in their lives. Other times, it is more a reflection of their personality. A Patronus may be a mundane creature or a magical one. And very occasionally, they can change–if a person experiences great sadness, loss, or tragedy.
Now average muggles like us can log onto Pottermore.com and find out what our Patronus would be. Not only is the process somewhat mysterious and intriguing, but it is also visually appealing. The graphics and imagery that are used to create the experience are wonderful. And the choices that must be made are not always easy. You have to rely on your instincts to guide you and it’s sometimes harder than one might think. Also, the test is timed. If you don’t make your selections quickly enough, the options disappear and you’re left wondering what could have been.
While there are really fun elements to discovering your Patronus, there is also a bit of a catch. There are at least 142 possible animals that can be assigned to you. They vary greatly from the mundane to the magical, from the common to the unusual to the rare, from the small (dragonfly) to the large (dragon). However, once your Patronus is discovered, that’s it. You’re stuck with it. Even though Patronuses in the books sometimes change, you are not in the book. And Pottermore.com will not let you retake the test. So be prepared. You may find yourself elated, but you could also end up gravely disappointed.
For example, my Pottermore profile was absolutely perfect before I took my Patronus test. I have been sorted into Ravenclaw house at Hogwarts. At the American wizarding school, Ilvermorny, I’m in Horned Serpent house, which is commonly equated to Ravenclaw. Do you understand what that means? I’m essentially a double-Ravenclaw! YEAH!
On top of that, I have a wand made of rare redwood with a powerful dragon heartstring core and a respectable length of 12-3/4 inches. However, my Patronus turned out to be… a mole.
That’s right. My Patronus is that little, blind, underground-dwelling creature, who often sports hideous things I like to call “face-fingers” and is the common namesake for snitches, spies, and traitors. Moles are not exactly what you think of when you picture yourself magically fending off soul-sucking monsters. And yet, it’s what I got. Of course, I could always delete my account and start over, but I can’t do that because… double-Ravenclaw, remember?!
So I did what any respectable and obsessive fangirl would do. I created an account for my second email and tried again. This time, I got different questions and ended up with the unusual (according to the test) Patronus of an impala.
That’s more like it! An impala I can work with. It’s a graceful, noble creature. It even has antlers! It can run and jump and attack with it’s front hooves. I am pleased with my new impala Patronus. So I retake the other tests as well. I end up with nearly the same wand. The only difference is the wood. Excellent! But then things go wrong. Under the new profile, I am sorted not into Ravenclaw, but into Gryffindor. To add insult to injury, I’m then sorted in to Ilvermorny’s Thunderbird house, which is basically the equivalent of Gryffindor. So here, my Patronus is acceptable, but I’ve lost my precious blue and bronze and been given scarlet and gold instead. And I’m kinda like…
I now have a problem. I can claim Ravenclaw, but I must also claim the horrid little mole as my Patronus. Or I can claim the noble impala Patronus, but then I’d have to accept Gryffindor as my house. And please don’t get me wrong. I love Gryffindor. Some of my favorite witches and wizards are Gryffindors. I have Gryffindor friends! But I am not a Gryffindor. I’m a Ravenclaw! And so, I must claim my mole and take solace in the fact that I’ll never actually have to fight off a soul-eating Dementor–not with a mole or any other animal made with magic and happy memories. Though it is fun to sit around with friends and pretend we could.
If you’re interested in finding out what kind of Patronus you could have, a (mostly) full list of possible Patronuses can be found over at hypable.com. And if you don’t want to risk the chance that you might get an orangutan, a buzzard, a field mouse, or an aardvark, you can find cheat sheets out there in the interweb that can tell you exactly what answers to give to get a dragon, an erumpant, a thestral, or some other rare, magical creature of your choice. (I actually have a work friend who chose that route after deleting and reopening his account 20 times over 2 days so he could retake the test. His goal: to end up with something besides a dog, rabbit or bird. After that just didn’t work, he finally decided to just cheat.)
Do you have a Pottermore.com profile? What houses are you in? Have you taken the Patronus test? If so, what animal did you get? If not, what animal would you want? And what is your latest fan obsession? Let me know in the comments.