Pottermore's Tenth Christmas Explores The Cave And The Inferi

On Pottermore's tenth Christmas surprise, Harry Potter fans can join Professor Dumbledore and Harry inside the cave in a brand new moment from The Half-Blood Prince.

"Encounter the terrifying monsters that Harry and Dumbledore battle in the cave, and discover the gruesome roots behind this Dark magic in J.K. Rowling's new writing," said Pottermore's official website.

Here's the riddle: "In the cave when Harry and Dumbledore try to escape, they are surrounded by zombie-like monsters from the lake, but can you remember the name of these creatures who have white cloudy eyes and corpse-like features?"

The answer: Inferi. Fans can then enter the fiery cave and hover their mouses over the creatures and watch them dunk in and out of the water. They can also collect seaweed and a pebble (are we on the naughty list or something? A pebble?).

When users zoom in, they will see Dumbledore with his wand in the air, producing fire to ward off the Inferi. Harry is also there, pretending to help. (Tip: hover your mouse over his wand for an epic fiery explosion).

J.K. Rowling also gifted us with new writing today about the Inferi, and gives a little background on the creature's history.

"An Inferius [plural: Inferi] is a corpse that has been reanimated by a Dark wizard's curse," Rowling said. "It becomes a grisly puppet, and my be used an an expendable servant by the Dark wizard in question."

Rowling said the Inferi that Harry and Dumbledore deal with in the cave were cursed by Lord Voldemort.

These Inferi were likely to be "homeless Muggles whom Voldemort had murdered for the purpose during his first rise to power, although some were the earthly remains of wizards or witches who 'disappeared' without explanation." Lovely.

In the rest of her writing, Rowling explained she chose not to associate the word "zombies" with Voldemort's guards of his horcrux for a few reasons.

The first is that zombies are not part of British folklore, and "while the students of Hogwarts would learn about them, they would not expect to meet them walking down the streets of Hogsmeade."

The second reason is due to Vodou tradition, which said that zombies "can be nothing more than reanimated corpses, a separate but related tradition has it that the sorcerer uses their souls, or part of their souls, to sustain himself." This, Rowling said, conflicted with her horcrux story.

"Lastly, zombies have been represented and reinterpreted on film so often in the last fifty years that they have a whole raft of associations that were of no use to me," she said.

"I'm part of the 'Thriller' generation; to me, a zombie will always mean Michael Jackson in a bright red bomber jacket."

These moments seem to be getting darker and darker lately, huh? Hopefully these next few days will bring us something a little more festive. If it's more moments from the Half-Blood Prince, however, I doubt it.

Come back tomorrow for a full report on Pottermore's eleventh day of Christmas.