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The first of J.K. Rowling's 12 'Harry Potter' short stories is here

The initial short whisks us away to Severus Snape's hometown of Cokeworth.

There's no spell casting today, but J.K. Rowling has given us a good look at Cokeworth, hometown of Harry's mother, aunt and Severus Snape. Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Bros.

On the first day of Potter-mas, J.K. Rowling gave to me, a new story involving Harry. Well, peripherally involving Harry, anyway.

Rowling kicked off the "Harry Potter" version of the "Twelve days of Christmas" on Friday with a short story about Cokeworth, hometown to Severus Snape, Harry's Aunt Petunia and Harry's mother, Lily. There's admittedly not much story in Friday's three-paragraph blurb posted to Pottermore, but there is some interesting information about the town and the role it plays in the "Harry Potter" series. For example, Cokeworth is the town Harry's Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon and Dudley Dursley fled to in an attempt to escape the barrage of Hogwarts admission letters sent to Harry in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."

Getting to the story wasn't terribly easy, as Pottermore users (you need to be logged in) must first correctly solve a riddle before being treated to the day's content. The riddle for today was "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 to the riddle is Severus Snape, but Snape's name needs to be entered as "Professor Snape" to gain access to the story. Tricky, tricky, J.K. There will be new content posted to Rowling's Pottermore site daily over the next 12 days, leading up to what we can only hope is another lengthy tale like the one about Dolores Umbridge, the singing sorceress Celestina Warbeck or the tale of a middle-aged Harry from earlier this year.