C O N T E N T S
WIZARDING CRIMES
ECONOMY
REGIONALS
INTERNATIONAL
POLITICS
INTERVIEW
HEX REPORT
ASK US!
STARBURST!
AUNT EDNA'S
IN THE KITCHEN
ON THE STREETS
DAILY PROPHET STAFF
DAILY PROPHET'S OFFICIAL ARCHIVES

WIZARDING CRIMES : SANTA IMPOSTER STRIKES AGAIN!
By Rosie_May

During the last two weeks, there have been over a dozen reports of burglaries taking place in the wizarding community, each with a common denominator, the perpetrator was dressed as Santa Claus. The first case to be reported to the Ministry of Magic was from Edmund Groves, 45, of West Halifax. We managed to get in touch with him and he had this to say: “I can’t believe how heartless people can be. It’s supposed to be the season of goodwill and cheer and some idiot is taking a figure of goodness and twisting it. I have lost all the presents for my wife and my children as well as those for my friends. With only a few more weeks until Christmas I have no idea how we are supposed to replace all of them. I just hope they catch the guy who did this and throw the book at him!” His house had been broken into while he and his family were staying with the in-laws for the week. There were no signs of forced entry to the property, but sooty footprints in the living room suggest that the thief had used magic to climb down the chimney and then back up. This modus operandi has been repeated throughout the crime wave, hitting houses that have been empty for more than one night and are decorated with Christmas decorations.

As far as the Daily Prophet is aware, the only items taken during these burglaries were Christmas presents. In some households’, magic had concealed the presents but they were still taken. The authorities at the Ministry of Magic are working on catching this criminal before any more houses are broken into and more Christmas presents are stolen. We received an owl from the Auror Department and the captain of the team working on these crimes; Albert Fraud, a notable figure in the capture of many thieves over the years. He had this to say: “We are working on stopping this criminal as soon as possible. We have various leads that we are following, however, we are unable to share those at this point in our investigation. What we can tell you is that this is an individual acting on his own and that there is a connection between the victims. We are advising people to step up the security at their homes and to contact the Auror Office’s emergency owlpost if they spot suspicious activity.”

With this spate of burglaries there are a few precautions you can take to ensure the safety of your home:

1) Ensure that all protection charms are working and have been maintained correctly.

2) If you must leave your house for more than one night, inform your neighbours of your absence or ask for a house sitter to take care of it while you are away. All houses that have been targeted, the owner was away at the time.

3) Hide all presents and valuables, this can be magically or just hidden in a locked cupboard. Do not give the thief a reason to break into your house

We will keep you updated with this investigation in hopes that the Auror Office can catch this criminal quickly.

ECONOMY : CHRISTMAS IS HERE! AND YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS … PRESENTS!
By Rosie_May

As the big day draws closer, Muggles, wizards and witches alike are rushing around snagging the presents they need for family and friends. Whether you’re one of those who starts buying in the January sales or one who waits until a week before Christmas to start shopping, we’re all interested in a bargain, in deals and offers. After extensive research, the Daily Prophet has accumulated a list of the best-selling gifts for people of all ages!

Babies and Toddlers:

The Telltoll Monitor: Everyone who has ever had a child knows how important it is to be aware of what your baby is doing when you are out of the room. Well the Telltoll Baby Company who has recently opened a new store in Diagon Alley has created an invention just for that. The Telltoll Monitor is a mobile which hangs above the baby’s cot and as it rotates it sends messages to the parent using a complex spell to a watch-like device which tells the parent how the child is doing. It’s a revolutionary method to put parents’ minds at rest and is a great present for new parents.

The Duck Rider: A new toy from the leading manufacturers in the wizarding world. The Duck Rider is a duck shaped cart which a toddler can be strapped into. It follows a spelled path so that the child can’t speed away from their parent, it comes with a safety harness to keep the child strapped in and comes in a variety of forty-six colours. It also features sounds and lights.

Boys and Girls aged 5-10

For girls, there is a magical doll, Sally Locks, whose hair grows overnight, so each day it can be styled, cut, and dyed differently. It comes with a range of accessories and make-up to be played with. There is also a range of clothes which can be bought for it. Everything can be owl-ordered by using the order form on the back of this issue or can be bought from the store, on Oxford Street. The store recently relocated to larger premises and to enter, tap on the three plastic bins with your wand at the back of the Disney Store and the doorway will appear.

For boys, the latest model of the kids’ Firebolt 4,000 is available. It comes with a security net and three practise hoops for those seeking to be the next best thing in Quidditch. It comes in three colours: hot pink, lightning rod red and sunshine yellow.

Teenagers aged 11-18

Hogwarts is the centre of attention at this time in a child’s life, and there are plenty of presents out there to help and support them. Some of the best products out there are:

  • A homework planner: I know, homework at Christmas? Such a bore. But they won’t be saying that when they have five essays to finish and they can’t remember what day it is! This is an important purchase for any student during every school year.
  • Rainbow Quill: It writes in different colours depending on the mood of the writer. Not recommended for essays.
  • Trunk Organiser: This is highly useful if you’re looking for a book you lost three weeks ago, in the bottom of your trunk.

Adults:

There is a sale going on at Naut Fur You on their jewellery section, give the person you love a sparkling gift with discounts of up to 50% on some items! And don’t forget their special spender’s club. If you spend a certain amount on each purchase during the year you can enter the spender’s club where you receive specific bonuses and discounts at Christmas!

And don’t forget, a new range of Broomsticks is going to be released a week before Christmas! Pre-order them now at Quality Quidditch Supplies in Diagon Alley to make sure that you get the one you want! Order soon as they are guaranteed to sell out incredibly fast!

The staff at the Daily Prophet wishes you all a Merry Christmas and good luck in finding that special present for your loved ones!

REGIONALS : CHRISTMAS IN IRELAND
By Desiree Snow

"Nollaig Shona Dhuit!"

If you live in Ireland or have plans of visiting the lovely land of leprechauns and fairies, then you are sure to receive the greeting, "Nollaig Shona Dhuit," or Happy Christmas!

That's right, "Nollaig" is Irish or Gaelic for Christmas. And Santa Claus is called "San Nioclás." Most of the people in Ireland celebrate Christmas. And Christmas for the Catholic Irish people lasts from Christmas Eve to the feast of the Epiphany. The feast of the Epiphany is held on January 6th and is often called "Little Christmas'.

So how do the Irish celebrate this most wonderful time of the year? Well, much like everyone else around the world. Children hope that "Daidi na Nollag" (Father Christmas/Santa Claus/San Nioclás) will visit them and leave them presents on Christmas Eve. They also have a unique tradition where they will put a tall, thick candle on the sill of their largest window after sunset on Christmas Eve. They let this candle burn all night as their way of welcoming Mary and Joseph.

Another unique tradition is St. Stephen's Day, which is celebrated the day after Christmas. St. Stephens Day is equivalent to Boxing Day. During this day, football matches and horse racing meetings are held. The Wren Boys Procession is also held on St. Stephens Day.

The Wren Boys Procession is a tradition that dates to ancient times when a real wren, a very small bird that makes a very loud sound, was killed, and carried around in a holly bush. Nowadays, some processions still occur but they no longer use an actual wren. Young men and women will make costumes and go from house to house while singing a rhyme about a wren bird. There are times when they would also be accompanied by violins, accordions, harmonicas, and horns. This tradition is fairly similar to Christmas carolling.

'The wren, the wren, the king of all birds
On St. Stephen’s Day was caught in the furze.'

There are very few counties in Ireland that still practice the Wren Boys Procession; among the known remaining areas, is the Dingle town, in Country Kerry.

Traditional Irish Christmas food includes a round cake full of caraway seeds. Some houses also make a Christmas cake like the ones found in the UK, a fruit cake covered with marzipan and icing. They also have some spiced beef and Christmas pudding. Yum!

INTERNATIONAL : WHAT TO DO THIS CHRISTMAS SEASON!
By Rosie_May

With only a couple more days until Santa delivers our Christmas presents, there is plenty of time to celebrate the build-up to the greatest day of the year, and here’s how!

Over in Bucharest, Romania, the annual snow sculpture building contest is taking place next week. The contest which lasts four hours, sees groups of magical families and friends battle it out to make the most amazing snow sculpture possible. Magic is allowed and there have been some astonishing winners over the years. In 2001, the winners, a married couple and their two teenage children recreated the Romanian Ministry of Magic with actual flying owls delivering delicate snowflake envelopes to the people watching in the crowd. In 2010, Aleksandra Oleg of Ukraine won by creating a magical snow dragon which exhaled real fire without melting the sculpture. This year’s prize is a thousand galleons and a trophy made of everlasting ice.

In Reykjavik, Iceland the Festival of Lights is taking place, where people gather to watch the northern lights as they dance across the sky. During the three-day long festival, elves from the neighbouring mountains exchange gifts with the magical community who are there to watch. Each gift has been hand-crafted by the elves specifically for this festival.

London, as always, will be hosting a Christmas Fair where a forty-foot Norwegian Spruce will be decorated and the lights switched on. The event, which will be held at a closed location and to be revealed on the WWN broadcast tomorrow, will feature street vendors selling a plethora of Christmassy food, beautiful decorations, and quality handmade gifts. The fair will also include performances from popular wizarding rock band the Weird Sisters and the release of Celestina Warbeck’s latest Christmas single. For those that entered the Daily Prophet raffle, six names have been picked out to attend a special feast on the night of the fair at the Ministry of Magic’s Ceremonial Hall. Congratulations to Lucinda Parker, Caramella Watkins, Richard Prowl, David Markham, Lee Hollingsworth and Sandra Dupre, each person is allowed to take a plus one to the feast. Enjoy your evening, ladies and gentleman!

Also, as a new idea, the choir of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry will be performing a Christmas Concert at the Ministry of Magic on the 23rd of December at 12:30 pm. For all of those that wish to attend, tickets can be bought at the atrium of the Ministry of Magic.

So, whether you’re travelling near or far to enjoy the holidays, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year. And we hope you all will pick up the first edition of the Daily Prophet in January 2017.

POLITICS : PIXIE PROBLEMS AT THE MINISTRY OF MAGIC
By Lalala99

The Ministry of Magic is in chaos and seems to be heading towards another full-scale war, with possibly its greatest enemy yet: a roving band of Cornish Pixies.

Back in the 17th century, the witch Dymphna Furmage attempted to have pixies removed from the country after she claimed that they kidnapped her. Alas, to her dismay, her request was declined, and she passed away not long after. Now, the Ministry of Magic may be wishing they had taken a different view on the matter.

Last week, it was reported that around twenty to thirty of the pesky creatures - featured in Newt Scamander’s book, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” - were found to be residing in the Christmas presents stored on the shelves of the Muggle Liaison Office. Although Ministry officials have been heavily disputing that this department had anything to do with the sudden appearance of the pixies, insiders have revealed to us that this office is one even the Ministry cleaners have been avoiding, due to its habit of “biting back.”

Since then, these Cornish Pixies have been travelling around on top of interdepartmental memos, terrorising workers of all departments. There have been many reports of Ministry members ending up on the receiving end of these troublemakers’ tricks. Samuel Wadsworth, of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, was found only two days ago, tied to a chair in his office, with the words “PICKSEES RUL” scribbled on his forehead. Yesterday, Eustolia Olivo, of the Department of Magical Transportation, was supposedly strapped to a faulty broomstick and sent whizzing around the Ministry, only able to land when the broom collided with Sabina Scroggins, of the International Magical Trading Standards Body.

Other members, however, have found the arrival of these little blighters to be rather amusing. Several members of the Auror Office have reportedly been sighted freezing the Cornish Pixies and bouncing them back-and-forth in their bubbles to see who can keep them upright the longest. When we questioned them about this, the Aurors refused to comment, but we noticed they had hastily pulled down a scoreboard taped to the notice board.

After consulting “Gilderoy Lockhart’s Guide to Household Pests,” a factual encyclopaedia written by once-famous author Gilderoy Lockhart, loud cries of “Peskipiksi Pesternomi!” have been heard throughout the offices of the Ministry. However, this spell is not at all effective at removing the pests, but rather angers them; this is supported by the fact that many of these witches and wizards find that their wands mysteriously disappear when they have their backs turned.

This mayhem seems set to continue, with members of both the Beast Division and the Pest Advisory Bureau threatening to resign, leaving the Ministry to deal alone with what is already a growing problem.

However, there is a simple solution.

“It’s really quite easy, actually,” says Carleen Longoria, an expert in the field of pixies and doxies. “The trick is to immobilise the pixies before they can make their move. One good shout of “Immobulus!” should have them all frozen on the spot quicker than you can say ‘Hippogriff!’

If the Minister for Magic is out there reading this, they should take a leaf from Longoria’s and the Aurors’ book, and start freezing the blighters before it gets too late. We at the Prophet wish the Ministry of Magic the best of luck dealing with these pixies; let’s just hope they get them sorted before another Ministry official ends up in St Mungo’s over the Christmas holiday!

INTERVIEW : A CHAT WITH FILLIUS FLITWICK
By Rosie_May

Fillius Flitwick has graced the hallowed halls of education at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for many years and within that time he has become a teacher of much renown. Having been a duelling master during his youth and having a talent for performing and teaching complex charms, one could be certain in saying that Hogwarts simply wouldn’t be Hogwarts without him. We sent one of our reporters out to Hogwarts to meet him for a very special interview on his ninetieth birthday, the still active teacher was more than happy to oblige.

Susan McDougal: So, Professor, it’s been a long time. How is it to still be teaching? Have things changed much over the years?

Filius Flitwick: Oh, my dear, there have been plenty of changes over the years but one thing has remained certain: the need for charms to be taught to the next generations. As for teaching, I love it. It is the career that I always wanted. I know how my own professors at Hogwarts were able to influence and define myself and I wanted to pass that onto other willing students, and I hope I have over the years.

SM: I can assure you, Professor, you have touched the lives of many students including my own and many readers of the Daily Prophet. Has retiring ever crossed your mind?

FF: Normally during the last few weeks of term when I have a mountain of schoolwork to mark! But I carry on because I know what I am doing is important and in all honesty, I would be rather bored if I was to retire. Teaching keeps me young and I want to do it for as long as I can, you never know I may end up like Professor Binns one day!

SM: That is a possibility. But at least Hogwarts wouldn’t be without you. Not only do you teach Charms but you also run the school choir?

FF: I do. It’s a wonderful thing. Music can do many things for many different people and by bringing together a group of people to form a choir a different kind of magic can be created. The choir at Hogwarts has students ranging from the first year to their seventh each as equally talented and dedicated as the next. I am very proud of how my students prepare and engage in the choir lessons after school. It may not be as physical as Quidditch or as intellectual as wizards chess but it brings something else, a quiet serenity and a moment in which one can truly appreciate the important, simpler things in life.

SM: Which brings me onto the news that the Hogwarts Choir has been asked to perform at the Christmas celebrations at the Ministry of Magic! Congratulations Professor!

FF: It is an honour to be performing at the Christmas Concert! I get myself a ticket every year and haven’t missed one since I was seventeen. Music is a passion in my life and to hear it in such an event is heart-warming. And as for my students, I could not be more proud of them for what they have accomplished. This year they have shone like the stars in the night sky and for them to be given this honour of performing in front of the Minister for Magic and other important delegates; I couldn’t be happier for them.

SM: Can we get a clue as to what you might be performing on the night?

FF: Well, I would love to tell you, but I’m sworn to secrecy, we want it to be a surprise on the night. But I can tell you we are performing five songs and that one of them will be a solo with backing vocals for one of my students, it’s going to be an amazing night for all attending, that I can promise.

SM: Well Professor, thank you very much for this interview. Happy Birthday, of course, and I can’t wait to see what you have hidden up those sleeves of yours for the Christmas Concert, I expect it will be spectacular.

FF: Thank you all very much, it's lovely to know that people appreciate all that I have done as a teacher even if sometimes I gave them too much homework!

HEX REPORT
by lalala99

HEX has been buzzing with activity this December. As the holidays approach, get excited for what HEX has in store for us!

International HEX

Hexians come from all over the world, united by our love for Harry Potter. HEX has introduced a new Q&A thread available in different languages to make it easier for those whose first language isn’t English.

Fantastic Beasts

After the release of the fantastic new movie, HEX created a forum for those who have seen it; complete with contests, spoilers, and chatting, this forum has been an active one. There is currently a spoiler ban across HEX, and you may only post Fantastic Beasts spoilers within spoiler tags on that forum.

Arts & Graphics

This forum is going for a winter theme this December. The art challenge is hand lettering a winter quote, while the writing challenge is creating a winter fairy tale. It’s hard not to be inspired, with the snow swirling around you and the world transformed for winter. And don’t forget to check out the beautiful artwork while you’re there!

RP Central

This month at the Role-Playing Central, Hexians are investigating the murder of Mr Boddy, but with a twist. Each writer must take on two characters, and they must be from TV, books, or film. No original characters this time. What will happen next? No one knows. Can you investigate the crime and solve the murder? Head over and check it out!

Hexmas!

That’s right! Finally, everyone’s favourite holiday has arrived, with many new activities along with it, included are: Santa Daily Money, where you can get even more Daily Money than usual, Staff Daily Tasks, where you have until 11:59 to complete tasks posted each day. You are rewarded with a lottery ticket (yes, there’s even a lottery!) for each task you complete. Also included are Poinsettias, which you can buy and grow in Hagrid's Hut (supplies at Luna's General Store), a Christmas Tree Farm where you can choose and chop down a Christmas Tree to show on your user info page. Once you pick one you cannot change it, so be careful. Along with these, Fred’s Holiday store has re-opened, with a special gift-wrapping service! Buy wrapping paper for each gift you want to send to a friend, get the items wrapped, and send them off to be placed under your friends trees! Finally, Candy Cane Grams can be bought from Fred’s all month long. Send a message to someone with a flair! All these activities are up and there's more to come on the Hexmas forum, so go over there and check it out! Merry Hexmas!

ASK US!
By thundercat123

Christmas is almost here! Are you Stressed about the in-laws, food, presents? Feeling a bit overwhelmed and don't know what to do to make this holiday season as perfect as it can be? You are not alone! This time of year, can be frantic, and readers have bombarded our offices with calls for help and advice.

Dear Prophet,

My little girl recently turned six. This year, all she says she wants for Christmas is socks. I ask her what kind of toys she likes and she just says socks. I show her the ads and she still just says socks. Is this really what she wants? Is it a phase? Is she testing me? Do I just buy princess socks?

- Sock Mom

Dear Sock Mom,

Well, first off, I'd say you need to get her some socks. That isn’t the only thing you have to buy her! But she has made it very clear that is something she'd like. Look for fun prints. Maybe some characters she loves printed on them, or her favourite colours. Get her a wide variety of different pairs. Then, I'd suggest toys, candy, and other items you know she has a fondness for. Don't think too hard about it; you know her and you know the types of toys she likes. Enjoy your shopping!

Daily Prophet,

I started dating this guy a couple of weeks ago, but it's almost Christmas, so I have to buy him a present. I just have no clue what to get. I don't want to seem cheap or un-invested. I also don't want to over or under spend on him. So, what do I get him?! Cologne? Candy? Myself with rose petals? What?

- Desperate for Love

Dear Desperate,

Just like any problem which arises from a relationship communication is key. Don't wonder and panic in silence. Bring up the issue with your boyfriend. Discuss the expectations of the gifts and maybe even set a price limit. Or whatever works for your relationship. Get all the cards on the table, so to speak. Remember, he is likely experiencing something similar to you and it's a very easy fix for you both.

Dear Ask Us,

My dad is giving me my grandma's recipe for her stuffing this year. I have been hinting at wanting it for years. When he said, he was going to, he said he can't wait to feel like his mum is around again. Now I am super scared. I will never cook it as well as she did! He is going to regret giving it to me. Plus, I'll make him sad because his hopes will be all up and happy and then he'll take a bite and hate it. His Christmas spirit will evaporate all thanks to me. How do I get out of this? How can I not ruin Christmas now?

- Scared Stuffing

Dear Scared Stuffing,

First, take a breath. Your dad loves you. He didn't mean to send you into this spiral when he mentioned his mum, I'm sure. He trusts you and your cooking abilities if he’s giving you the recipe. He knows you can do it justice! Even if the taste is slightly different, he'll love it and you just the same. Just the thought of passing on her traditional recipe will make him feel close to her. He will shine with pride and love because you are using it. Relax when you make it, and have fun! You wanted the recipe, right? It's something you looked forward to. Feel that again, and your meal will be fantastic.

STARBURST! : QUIDDITCH WORLD CHRISTMAS UPDATE?
By BLMB

The Department of Magical Games and Sports have decided to postpone the Quidditch matches for this season. Typically, in the month of December, there would be one match per week, leading up to the semi-finals come January, and the finals in February. But that is not the case for this season. The Head of the Department, Mr Cavendish, had declared there will not be any matches this December.

Of course, the members of the department were perplexed when he declared this. The Christmas season was when a lot of people bought tickets to watch the games. The holidays would always be the best time to watch a Quidditch match, and it would always give the biggest number of viewers. They had more time to watch games, really, and more time meant more people.

The officials tried reasoning with Mr Cavendish, but his mind was made up. When asked about this, all he said was, "It's a time for gift-giving. Surely, the least we could do for the Quidditch players is give them a gift too, right?"

It made no sense, considering how many Quidditch players they would have to gift if they were going down that path. The Head then shook his head. "No, no, what I meant to say was that we could arrange some sort of gift-giving to the players -- so that they, too, could feel the holiday spirit. With them playing matches all year round, they hardly have time to rest and enjoy what's going on around them."

Which, if one would think about it, is true, because Quidditch players tend to spend less time with their families if they had to play during the holiday season. They'd have to spend it training and braving the cold weather instead of staying home and relaxing or enjoying the spare time they had.

And so, it was decided that all the Quidditch players would gather and have a gift exchange. How they even managed to fit all players from all over the world, I have no idea. They probably did it in batches? By continent, perhaps?

Whatever the case, they managed to gather all the players, and they all had to pick a name from a list of names of all the people present. Once the name was picked, the Quidditch player would then have to find a gift for the other person, to be delivered to them on Christmas day.

Personally speaking, I feel like this was a unique gesture by the Head of Magical Games and Sports. What better way to share the Christmas spirit than by gifting to other people all over the world.

I did hear, however, that the mechanics of the gift giving were initially drafted differently. Instead of personally sending an owl to deliver the present, each Quidditch player would have to send their gift to the Department, and it would be up to the Department to send it to the respective player it was meant for.

Concerns were raised with this system because of fear that the officials would want to keep the gifts and give something else instead. As such, a majority voted to have the 'Secret Santa' just give the gift directly to the player instead of on Christmas day. Whether or not this activity will be a success, we have no idea, but it definitely has good intentions. It'd also be interesting to see what each Quidditch players would gift the other, considering they may not know one another very well.

Who knows, maybe it'll bring players of different teams together too!

Kudos to Mr Cavendish for thinking of this idea, and I feel like it would definitely help the players feel the Christmas spirit during this season. I'm hoping it could also be used in the succeeding years, if successful.

Well, that's all from me for now, but when I get more updates on this Quidditch Teams Secret Santa, I'll let all of you know!

AUNT EDNA'S HOW TO CLEAN YOUR ATTIC ROOST
By Secret_Garden

It’s common to leave the attic of your house as a roost for your owls, or for delivery owls that need to recover. The exposed beams, the abundance of spiders, and open portico windows are perfect for our winged messengers to nest and enjoy. But it serves more than just that purpose too! An attic roost ensures that no home ever has a stray mosquito when the windows are open in summer, or nesting mice or other vermin in the winter. Owls are the perfect companions for magical folks because both sides benefit from the attic roosts!

There’s just one problem, isn’t there? The smell.

When I was a young witch, scouring the attic was one of the worst chores my gran could assign! I would rather degnome the garden, scrape cauldron bottoms, or wipe off the angry paintings twice over than to scour the attic. I swore to myself that when I was a grown witch, I would never have an attic roost, but let my owls nest outside like the natural ones do. Of course, it changed once I came of age and received my Hogwarts graduation present: a beautiful horned owl, whom I named Pericles.

Pericles was a very young owl, just newly hatched and trained for courier duties the day I got him, and naturally, my heart melted when he hooted dolefully all through the first night. I let him into my bedroom window the next day and woke to such a mess of bones, molted feathers, and droppings, I nearly screamed with frustration. So, I did what every other witch and wizard have done: I built an attic roost.

It’s very easy nowadays since Wiseacre’s Wizarding Supplies started selling the “Boost Your Roost” kits that expand once you untie them. The spellwork is already included, and so rearranging rafters and creating windows with heat-sealing thresholds is no problem at all. Of course, in my day, we had to do it all by hand. And the odour diffusing spells hadn’t really taken hold in the community yet (this was before the 70s, you know), so my own attic roost – the one I swore I’d never build! – made my eyes water with the stench.

The problem, of course, with owl roosts is that you can’t use common cleaning products like Mrs Skower's All Purpose Magical Mess Remover or Isaac Shiner’s Floor Scrub because the intense chemicals in the potions can harm our feathered friends! So, what to do? I’ll let you in on a little Aunt Edna’s secret on how I’ve learned to spring clean my attic roosts:

  1. Using the Clean Air Charm (Aerocentibus), tie a kerchief around your nose and mouth. It might be best to enchant some old glasses to repel dust to keep your eyes clear.
  2. Make sure all owls are out for delivery, or well out of the way of the roost window.
  3. Take down the entire wall where the window is; go ahead and separate it carefully from its joists and levitate it. If you live in a Muggle neighbourhood, be sure it doesn’t float out of your Muggle detection barrier.
  4. Using Nemesco, send a small whirlwind to clear out the dust, feathers, pellets, and dirt into a waiting self-digesting garbage bag.
  5. Cast Propulso Aguamenti to use your wand to power-wash the floors, directing the runoff outside onto the waiting flowerbeds. (Two chores in one!)
  6. It’s perfectly all right to allow things to dry naturally, but Exaresco can speed the evaporation along.
  7. Now here’s the real trick! Using a roll of Totterbaum’s Tacked Tauplin, line the floors with a self-adhesive liner so that next time you clean, you only have to remove the wall, peel up the new flooring, bag it up, and you’re good to go!
  8. Hanging potions ingredients in the rafters of the attic roost can also keep the smells more pleasant while the odor-diffusing charms are in effect. I’ve found that my current owl, Volans, doesn’t mess with most of the ingredients (non-toxic, of course) that smell nice, such as lavender, dittany, basil, angel’s trumpet, lemongrass, and the like.

Now cleaning your attic roost will be the work of a few minutes every month, instead of a dreaded chore twice a year!

IN THE KITCHEN : MAGICAL GINGERBREAD HOUSE
By Cassandra Lovegood

What is Christmas without gingerbread? This recipe puts a magical twist on the holiday classic that all wizarding families will enjoy.

Preparation Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Assembly Time: 20-30 minutes approximately

Ingredients:

1 stick of butter (warmed to room temperature)
1/2 cup of dark brown sugar
1/4 cup of light molasses or dark corn syrup
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons of water

For assembly and decoration:

Melted white chocolate
Glacial Snowflakes
And a variety of other sweets of your choice.

And most importantly you will need a fully functioning wand!

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. If you are using a magical oven adjust the temperature with your wand to gas mark 5.
  • Cream the butter in a bowl. Add the brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and baking soda and mix until smooth. Blend in the flour and water to make a stiff dough. Chill for at least 30 minutes or until the dough is firm. Use either a wand or a utensil to mix the ingredients.
  • Cut out the template of the house which is attached to this issue of the Daily Prophet by rolling out the dough to fit the stencil.
  • Bake at 375 degrees or gas mark 5 for 15 minutes.
  • Trim the edges of the gingerbread and then leave to cool, for 10-15 minutes.
  • Once cool use your wand to build the gingerbread house and to stabilise the walls and roof of the structure. Once it is set, decorate the house as you would like, using all sorts of Muggle and wizarding goodies to make the perfect gingerbread house.
  • Using any spare dough or a separate mixture of it, cut out the figures for gingerbread people and animate them with a simple spell. It is best to put a boundary spell over the gingerbread house so that the gingerbread people don’t escape during the night and scare the neighbours.
  • To add an extra Christmassy, feel to the gingerbread house use Lumos on the windows of the gingerbread house to make them glow faintly.
  • We also recommend shaving some of Honeydukes best white chocolate and making it fall over the house to look as if it is constantly snowing over the gingerbread.

We hope you enjoy making this recipe as much as we have! If you have Muggle neighbours or just want to try out the muggle version of the recipe, the full instructions can be found here! Happy Holidays everyone!

ON THE STREETS
By Cassandra Lovegood


Welcome back, Hexians! Hopefully, you’ve noticed the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and Hexmas events for this month. I dropped into the Hexmas event forum to ask a few of you what your thoughts on the events were! Here are the replies.

“I really enjoy these types of Hex events. The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them event was really cool because it allowed me to celebrate this new addition to the Harry Potter world with all my Hex friends, who I've already spent a lot of time fangirling out with. As for Hexmas, even when I've been really busy with life, Hexmas brings me back to the site and gets me chatting with everyone again. Hex does a really good job at making the holiday spirit felt all around and it's wonderful to see all the joy and cheer. Passing out gifts, setting up the Hexmas tree, and all the interesting events that go with Hexmas is really fun and exciting. I can really appreciate all the effort that the Hex staff puts into it to make it really fun and interactive for everyone. Thank you, staff and writers, like you who make the site even more enjoyable. <3” ~ damiana, Hufflepuff

“The events going on around the site are very exciting and almost, just almost, overwhelming. There are so many things to do! It's so great that the activities are geared for all sorts of abilities and interests. My favourite activities are always the puzzles and the hand drawing contests. They are a blast; the Fantastic Beasts activities have been great. Everyone, of course, loves the REs. Newt's case appearing in everyone's inventory was wonderful. I love my Demiguise and giant squid. My favourite activities are the hand drawing contests involving the magnificent monstrosities and the newly found creature. Having been here last year as a newbie for Hexmas, the Christmas tree and Fred's delivery service are much anticipated. They are here! Yay! I had to pick out the most obnoxiously large tree that I could find. I would have liked to have a tree that twinkled, but love the look of the tree too much to choose something different. I'm also very glad that some of my friends and I did some of our most intense shopping last night. I'm ready to start wrapping up some of my major gifts. Now off to Fred's store to see if I can afford anything!” ~ Anonymous

“I loved the Fantastic Beasts event. The design of Newt Scamander's trunk is lovely, and I really enjoyed having four of the beasts fall as RE's. They are beautifully designed as well. I couldn’t actually enter any of the contests due to being ill, but I heard that they were a lot of fun. The Crittergotchi one looked particularly interesting. I'd like to see more contests like that in the future. Overall, I think it was a great event. As for Hexmas … ahh, what can I say? I live for Hexmas. It blew my newbie mind last year and this year looks like it will be the same. I can't wait to see what the staff has cooked up for all of us this time around. I'm really hoping the trees will be back. They were so beautiful last year and seeing everyone's gifts under them really brightened my day every time I logged on. It's also a great way to find newbies that don't have many friends yet and put a little something under their tree for them. It truly is a magical time of year and the staff always make it a tonne of fun!” ~Ladyice Spellkey, Gryffindor

So, those are the thoughts of a few of our resident Hexians! I hope you enjoy the events!

DAILY PROPHET STAFF

EDITOR
Rosie_may

WRITERS
Cassandra Lovegood
Desiree Snow
PCZDJ
Lalala99
Secret_garden
Snowleetah
Thundercat123

CODER
Sara



Should you wish to participate in the Daily Prophet as a guest writer, please send an owl to THE DAILY PROPHET with your submission.

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