Still mourning the end of the Harry Potter series? As it turns out, J.K. Rowling can't get enough of the Boy Who Lived, either—in the best holiday surprise we've ever received, Rowling released the first installment of her 12-part series yesterday, and we'll be getting new stories every day leading up to Christmas Eve. This almost makes up for those Hogwarts acceptances that clearly got lost in the mail all those years ago.
This first piece gives us insight into Severus Snape's past, and though it's not extensive (it's just three paragraphs long), it does give us some more details about Cokeworth, where it's confirmed both Snape and Lily Potter grew up. What does this tell us? That their friendship likely goes back even further than we originally thought—and Snape's life-long love of Lily is that much more heartbreaking.
In case you've forgotten, Cokeworth has been mentioned a few times over the course of the seven-book series: In the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Uncle Vernon takes Harry and his family to Cokeworth after their home is inundated with letters from Hogwarts, as he feels that "Cokeworth is so distinctly unmagical, the letters will not follow them there" (he was wrong). Then at the start of the sixth book, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Snape visits his parents' old home with Bellatrix and Narcissa.
Rowling will be releasing new content at 8 a.m. EST every day leading up to Christmas Eve—and to access the stories on Pottermore.com, you'll need to answer a riddle. The first one?
"In a house on Spinner's End, a meeting takes place, a mother begs help for her son, tears on her face. Agreeing to help, though he doesn't know how. Which potions master performs an unbreakable vow?"
The answer is—spoiler alert!—Professor Snape.