Tag Archives: unicorn

The Pottermore Experiment

As you might remember did I re-discover my wand core on Pottermore not long ago. By now I have played a bit again and started thinking that it might be interesting for my mum as well, simply because she likes point and click games.
From this thought another one started to form:

If my parents went through the sorting, which house would they get?

And thus started the Pottermore Experiment.

The Experiment Set-Up

To learn the answer to my question I had to register my parents to the site (see Link above).
When I made the account for my mum I had the slight fear they wouldn’t let me, as I already used the E-Mail address with mine. But I was able to create it and clicked through the tutorial pages while my mum read them. I tried letting her navigate by herself, but she’s awful at using the touch pad on my laptop ( I didn’t even bother to do either when it was my dad’s turn).
Therefore I navigated through the game and read the questions and answers out loud for her and later for my dad again (They by the way had different questions). While my mum knew what I was up to, my dad only realized it when we started the sorting, but neither of them were as curious as me.
Both times I tried to not influence them by stopping at certain answers I found most fitting, but I do believe some of their choices where more a „I have no idea what I’m supposed to answer so I’m just randomly picking one“ than „Yes, this sounds like me.“.
But I still got my results and that is what counts in the end (however weird they might be).

The Wands

The people familiar with the Harry Potter universe know that wands can be quite different even within the same family. Seemingly my family is even more different than that…
At Ollivanders you can get wands with Unicorn hair, Dragonheart strings or a Phoenix Feather.
Long story short: We managed to divide those three among us.
You already know that my wand is Laurel and Unicorn hair, my dad in turn got Larch and Dragonheart strings, while my mum got Dogwood and the Phoenix Feather. Both of their wands are supple, while mine is only slightly yielding. Seems like I am more stubborn than my dad after all. 😉
The attributes of these wands fit quite well for them (and for me too I guess) and even the lengths are according to their size differences (12 1/2 inch vs. 10 inch; mine is the odd one out with 10 3/4 and doesn’t fit the height pattern as I’m closer to my dad).
When the wands had chosen their wielder we finally got to the interesting part:


When I made the test back in 2012 I more or less anticipated to end up in Ravenclaw, but regardless of my interest in knowledge and reading, did the Sorting Hat put me into Slytherin.  Yeah, the one usually associated with the bad guys, but hey, even Merlin was in this house. 😉 I was surprised, but not unsatisfied with this decision, I’m probably far too lazy to be a Ravenclaw anyway…
Before my mum started answering the questions we speculated again and I would have put her into Hufflepuff. Afterwards we knew she is a Gryffindor. She was happy about it and I was confused. Though thinking about it, I guess she would be the Neville-kind of student. Always in the background, but there when you need her.
Now this got me thinking: If mum is a Gryffindor, than dad has to be in Slytherin, as we share quite a bunch of traits.
Thanks to my incredible sorting skills he wasn’t in the anticipated house either…
He is in Gryffindor as well…


With my parents in the house that has an ever lasting rivalry with my own I seem to be truly the Black Sheep in my family…
It is a bit confusing and somewhat shoking, but I don’t mind being with the snakes. 😀
It is a bit scary how well the Algorithm behind either question set work to determine your wand and house. During my Bachelors thesis I looked a bit into different mechanisms to do things like that and I can only say that I am highly impressed at how well they programmed it. I would really like to have a look at it one day…
Does anyone know how you can apply as programmer/employee for Pottermore? 😀
(Or at least tell them their German translations are awfully complicated and not without errors)
But I do believe that the house sorting could need a couple more questions, as I am pretty sure some decisions where a close call. You can’t argue with a program the way you can with the Hat and you wont know what the alternative would have been, so you are left with the results, questioning how the decision was made. Who knows maybe you’ll end up in a different house just because you had different questions than before (Happened to someone I know, first sorting Slytherin, second Ravenclaw)?
Anyway, have you tried sorting your family members into the different Hogwarts houses?
What were the results and do you agree with them/are you satisfied with them?
Let me know, maybe I’m not the only odd one out. 😀

Flipping Unicorns…

As I just noticed something again, after I had forgotten about it for a while I thought I might as well rant a bit about it. It’s not like I was already trying to sleep and this topic kept creeping back into my mind…
Unicorns are common in different mythologies and stories, yet I don’t even really like/care about them, but for some odd reason they still cross my path time and time again…
Probably the first unicorn I ever came in contact with was the one that was meant to be captured by The Valiant Little Tailor. A ruthless beast that tried to pierce him with its horn, but ended up stuck in a tree.
The other one was obviously The Last Unicorn, the beautiful lost creature that was turned into a human to save it from a ruthless king and his brutal Red Bull. Back when I still regularly played the accordion in music classes we frequently played the titular song. It wasn’t easy and quite long, but worth it.
While I never replied to the unicorn thread in The Forum its portrayed style, that I picked from the get-go is indeed called the „Unicorn Style“, which also uses motives displayed in the movie.
I didn’t think about it much when I wanted to have a more vicious version and ended up adding a black one to my short storiy „Wissen ist Macht“ (Knowledge is Power) and gave it a rather nasty role…
For quite some time I did not really notice any unicorns until one faithful day at Wacken last year, when DarkFairy called out:

„Look he has a…Pony with Horn…a Unicorn!“

If you remember my story about Karl the Moose, who was supposed to be a Pony with Horn you might remember that if it hadn’t been for simple coincidence I would now have a plush unicorn head hanging from my wall…
Again some time past, but the more festivals I attended this year, the more people in unicorn or brownie costumes I saw running around (some of the full-costumes I mentioned here) and it got even worse when Anice and I where at the Gloryhammer concert during the Rockharz and they started talking about

„Undead Unicorns of War“

As I had fun back then I listened to their album „Tales from the Kingdom of Fife“ (which I am going to review one day) and the refrain of the song you can find in the video below became a long running „earworm“ (Ohrwurm; a song that is stuck in your head) for me soon after.

Nearly all throughout my stay at the Book Hotel in July did this line never leave my mind:

„The Unicorn Invasion of Dundee“

I don’t know how many times I told my mum these five words during that weekend, but it was often and I’m still doing it when I’m around her and they are stuck again.
Recently I had a conversation with both Anice and, I think, Unmei (the girl from the bus) about Pottermore and somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered something about my wands core.
Three guesses as to what it is? Well, you probably only need one, as it is in fact Unicorn hair…
Which is quite interesting as my wand wood is Laurel and their abilities seem to be quite contradictory… (Unicorn: Faithful, Laurel: Easily swayed when the user is too lazy for the wands liking).
Anyway, I just re-discovered this and thought I might as well ramble a bit about it, before finally hitting the hay.
Honourable mentions also go to the unreal unicorn from Doctor Who’s Agatha Christy story „The Unicorn and the Wasp“ – with my favourite companion Donna – and In Extremo’s singer „Das letzte Einhorn“ (The Last Unicorn).
I’ll probably remember more unicorns when I try sleeping again…
© For the quotes and the video from „Tales from the Kingdom of Fife“ lie with Gloryhammer and Napalm Records.

Of Karl the Moose and Ponies with Horns

At the beginning of this month my flat got a new inhabitant.

Meet Karl:


Karl the Moose

What is there to know about Karl?

He is absolutely fluffy.
He is a Moose.
And he was supposed to me a Pony with Horn.

But how did he get into my possession?

He was a birthday gift from Black Kat, Schnitzel and Anice.

Yet, his story is way more fun than that.

His story includes an inside-joke, a thought spoken out loud and a horrible pun.

But let’s start at the beginning …

At last years Wacken (which I still haven’t reviewed yet) the following scene played out:

DarkFairy and I were waiting for Rammstein to start, when she discovered a man with a strange drawing on his back.
Without warning she proceeded to point at him and partly yell: „Look! He has a … Pony with Horn! … Unicorn!“ („…“ are pauses 😉 )

This description was so ridiculous that we kept on using it throughout the whole festival.
You didn’t have a proper argument for a conversation? Pony with Horn.
You didn’t know what else to say? Pony with Horn.
You agreed on the weirdness of something? Pony with Horn and an acknowledging: Pony with Horn.
We had great fun with the Pony with Horn that weekend … 😀

When later that year Kat, Iron Eve and I were in Hamburg for the HellNights (that are also still waiting to be reviewed), we ended up in a shop for flat decorations.
In that shop we saw several fake trophy heads that looked pretty cool and were awfully fluffy. (They had a bison, a shark, a mammoth and others hanging at a wall and thrown into a bin.)
When we skimmed through the catalogue I discovered that they also had a unicorn-version of this.
Without second thought I then said something out loud that I probably shouldn’t have said:

„When I have a proper flat, I’ll get that unicorn-thing for my wall.“

What a bad idea that statement was, became clear throughout the evening of my birthday earlier this month.
When I arrived at our meeting point Kat handed me an enormous package that I was not allowed to open before the other two arrived.
This in turn caused a weird conversation with the barman of the pub we went to:

„Should I put the package away?“
„No, I still need to open it.“
„Oh, so you don’t know what’s inside? A proper present then.“

Through shaking the package I knew that something plush was inside. Though I expected it to be something different.
I also didn’t remember my statement from several months before.
So when I could finally open it, I didn’t understand the present, until Kat reminded me:

„You said, you wanted to get it when you have a proper flat, but I thought you shouldn’t wait that long. Before Christmas there were some Unicorns left, but afterwards it was hard to find anything. So we got you the Moose.“

And this is how Karl the Moose came into my possession and I’d say he is one of the most hilarious birthday presents I got so far.
They even thought about adding a paper-horn. 😀

When I couldn’t quite stop petting the poor thing (the artificial fur is really soft and fluffy…) Schnitzel gave the Moose its name:

„If you go on like this he will be bald („kahl„) soon. You should call him Karl to make it seem like he is supposed to be bald.“

In retrospective a quite fitting name.
As I had recently seen it again the name „Karl“ reminds me of a crow (I think) from an old adaptation of  „The Snow Queen“. (I was shortly tempted to call my new laptop that arrived on the same day „Klara“, because of the crows companion >_< )
The other Karl it reminds me of, as I just noticed, would be the one whose Latinized name is in discussion for becoming the name of the Nameless King in the book I’m co-writing.

What also is fun, is the English version of his name.
As I said: „kahl“ means „bald“, following the pun, the English name would be „Baldur“.
Which by the way is a name-variation for „Baldr“, the god from Norse mythology, whose story I mentioned in this post.
I think it’s funny how those things tend to connect if you look a bit closer …

Short version: I have a new flatmate. 😀
(That has nothing to do with the Moose from Supernatural)


P.S. It finally snowed! 😀