WIZARDING CRIMES : ROBBERY AT QUALITY QUIDDITCH SUPPLIES
JAN. 2016, DIAGON ALLEY, LONDON, ENGLAND - New Year wasn't as happy as it normally was in Diagon Alley. Typically, it's the ultimate place to go shopping. From school supplies to other pricier keepsakes, it's where witches and wizards alike go to buy or purchase something. It's where people sometimes gather together and meet-up because why not, right? Unfortunately, what usually is a place of life, fun, and good spirit ended up having a robbery on New Year's Eve.
One would wonder how a place as safe as Diagon Alley could end up penetrated like this. Usually, protective spells are conjured and cast to prevent breakages or anything from being stolen. Occurrences like these don't normally happen unless it was something really big or really valuable. Out of curiosity (and also because I had to report about it), I went to the store where the robbery took place - Quality Quidditch Supplies.
I talked to the shopowner, Merla Rynon, to get more details about what happened. She was a small woman of about five feet, and she seemed very friendly too. It was a pity that such a case had to happen to her and her shop. Upon entering her office, she immediately offered me the seat right across her. Her office smelled of lavender, and it felt very nice and cozy. She was the type to keep Quidditch mementos herself because across her wall, she had posters from different teams with a number of signatures written on them. What I felt was her prized possession, however, was the Firebolt encased in glass hanging at the far end of her wall. I wasn't sure if it was encased in glass because this was THE actual Firebolt Harry Potter used, or if it was something relating to a Quidditch player using the Firebolt, but it looked more expensive than my life, so I did my best to stay clear of its glassy and pricey exterior.
Upon sitting, I gave her a smile and greeted her, then the interview began.
C: "Good afternoon, Mrs. Rynon, how are you doing?"
R: "Oh, I'm good, definitely. Other than the fact that a few items got stolen from my store, that is, and that's never something nice. If not for that, I'm pretty okay."
I frowned. She seemed like such a kind soul already, I felt even more awful that it was her store in which the robbery took place in.
C: "Speaking of the robbery, can you tell me what happened that day? I mean, if it's okay with you being reminded of it, really."
R: "Oh, sure, it's no problem! So it was December 31st, and I intended to close the store early that day. I didn't want the people in my store working late, especially on New Year's Eve. We closed at about 7pm that day for all of us to get to our families. Honestly, we did what we always do whenever we closed the shop. After we'd taken note of inventory and all those technical stuff, I locked the door, then all of us went about our business. It wasn't like we didn't have our protective enchantments cast because I made sure I checked before I left. The robbers must've found a way around that. Maybe they used a Finite Incantatem so strong that it breached our protective enchantments. I don't know how, when I know we had strong enchantments placed, but that's the only possible explanation I could think of."
I nodded in agreement. That was also my theory before I came to talk to her. I knew that all shops in Diagon Alley were heavily protected. The only way the protective charms could've been rendered useless was if someone MADE them useless. That could only happen with a very powerful Finite Incantatem... or maybe a spell as powerful as that that we weren't really aware of. It made sense, really.
C: "Do you think the robbery could also have something to do with it being New Year? Perhaps someone was looking for a gift and didn't want to pay too much for the item? I mean... I know it's a long shot, but it could be possible, right?"
R: "Indeed, I have considered that. With inflation that's been going around as of late, I wouldn't be too surprised that people find these brooms pricier than usual. It's not like it's my intention to raise the prices, though. You just have to be in line with the times of the economy, and the price of things have generally been higher as of late. The cost to build brooms is also a lot more lately because the materials needed are getting less in number. Manufacturers have been trying to find other places and countries to get the materials from, but that hasn't been going so well."
C: "Ah, I see, I see. I understand what you mean! So the brooms that were stolen... were they the most expensive kind?"
R: "Unfortunately, they were. We lost a Starsweeper XXI and a Firebolt Supreme. They were the brooms worth the most at that time. It's a pity such a case had to happen, especially on a supposedly celebratory evening."
C: "Definitely, Mrs. Rynon. I'm really sorry for your loss. I'm sure your brooms will be found soon, though, and these robbers will face the justice they deserve."
After the interview, the two of us then began talking about different Quidditch teams and players, and she even let me hold that Firebolt! I was so afraid that I'd screw up and drop it or something, but luck was on my side, and I didn't mess up. Thank Merlin.
There still has been no update on who stole these brooms or why they did so. It's been speculated that they could be people who wanted to get the brooms as a gift for someone, but they didn't have enough money. In desperation, they ended up stealing instead of trying to bargain with the owner. (I also asked if anyone had bargained with her before and if she had allowed it, and she kindly said she did allow bargaining, so I don't know why they didn't try that out too.)
It could also be possible that it was a member of a Rookie Quidditch League who stole the brooms. Maybe they were so desperate to be part of something greater that it brought about desperate measures.
Maybe someone's career depended on getting that broom that all sense of rationality got thrown out the window once they saw how pricey it was. We'll never know why, really, but I do hope that whoever broke in will be put to justice soon.
Yes, they have their reasons (whatever they would be), but stealing from a shop -- especially with such an accommodating owner like Mrs. Rynon -- is never the answer. Other, less illegal means could always be done instead, and Mrs. Rynon would've found a way to make things work.
I think I've spent a lot of your time already, so I'll be heading off now. I do want to remind all of you that stealing is never the answer to one's problems! It only creates even BIGGER problems AND issues. Those are never good.
Despite that, though, I'm hoping everybody has a wonderful New Year ahead of them! (Without any stolen goods!)
ECONOMY : CHRISTMAS SHOPPING
With the Christmas rush that happened in the month of December and the need for several gift materials (or just... material goods in general, really), the wizarding world has been experiencing an inflation. It isn't too surprising, really, considering the amount of gifts people had to give one another. Just imagine, if you had about ten people to gift, and you had to buy their gifts from different stores, each of the store would earn from what you bought, right? Multiply that ten gifts by the amount of people buying something -- some people buying more than the rest -- you could just imagine how much stores have earned over Christmas.
It's no wonder some of the goods that are usually priced within range suddenly becoming two times - or, god forbid, three times - more expensive. Don't get me started on Naut For You. They're honestly so true to their name, I wish they had a change of name to stop selling things at outrageous prices, geez. I mean, of course things are more complicated than that, and there are reasons behind the prices of their items, but it can't hurt to hope, right?
Thankfully, some of the stores have been kinder and have been giving Christmas sales or Start of the Year sales. While these sales are amazing, and it gives those of us who can't spend AS much a chance to buy, it's also a little worrisome getting to the stores. The amount of people is CRAZY. Diagon Alley usually has a lot of people heading here and there, but when the SALES come on, oh my gosh. One could hardly breathe with how many people there are. Some people even wait for the stores to open just to get their merchandise!
I heard it's just as crazy in the Muggle world whenever these sales occur. I was curious once and decided to check out just how bad (or how okay) it is. I went to this mall near where I lived, and it said it had various sales of sorts. I wanted to get in early, so that I could assess and look at things without much people but boy was I WRONG. There were already Muggles lining up too! They were right in front of the mall, waiting for it to open!
Once it DID open, it was madness! I felt like I was experiencing firsthand what the Exodus looked like because the amount of people was overwhelming. The mall was filled in minutes, and I could hardly make my way to the different stores! Now, I'm not really the claustrophobic type, but the amount of people hardly gave me a chance to breathe!
I was able to see the various discounts they had, though, and I understood why so many people waited for these sales. Some items had 50%-70% discounts, can you believe it? It's kind of ironic, if you think about it. At the beginning of last year, all these items were worth so much, and now they're worth half their prices, so it's a bit sad. I mean, of course it isn't sad because the people who buy it now get it at a lower price, but I pity the people who bought it before the discounts.
I myself have been a victim of this. I got a pair of shoes that ended up being discounted months later, can you believe it? Anyway, all I'm trying to say is be careful with the things you buy this coming New Year. Some stores might overprice, so that they earn more. Don't go for those, unless you really REALLY want the item.
Lots of other stores may be putting discounts and sales, which are really good for our pockets, yeah! Just don't forget that a lot of other people may be buying too, so the influx of people just might be overwhelming. Also, make sure not to buy what you don't necessarily need! Yes, the prices may be discounted, but there isn't any point if you don't need it!
Well, that would be all from me for now. I'm hoping all of you have an awesome new year and manage to get the items you're looking for!
REGIONALS : STORMY WEATHER
The Wizarding world is in danger. Recently there have been reports of a Saharan dust cloud coming over Britain. Within this dust cloud comes many dangers to our world. First, there is the danger of wizards with lung conditions, next comes the children and future Hogwart students, then the final thing is the danger of casting a spell during this dust cloud storm.
Casting a spell during this dust cloud storm is VERY VERY DANGEROUS. The effects of casting any spell could be fatal to the caster and the target. We here at the Daily Prophet warn everyone to not use their wands during this storm. The storm is supposed to last for about a couple weeks.
We asked a few former Hogwarts students what they think could happen during this storm - Hermione Granger and Neville Longbottom. Hermione had this to say, "This storm could potentially wipe out a whole city if everyone is outside, which is statistically impossible."
And Mr. Neville Longbottom had this to say, "This dust cloud storm could kill anyone in its path. I and the rest of the Hogwarts staff recommend that everyone stay inside during this storm."
Our co-reporter Mr. Delillo Marvlo had taken some photos of the storm in the Sahara.
This just in: the dust cloud storm has hit the wizarding world and so far there have been 45 wizarding deaths and 25 injuries. Out of the 45, there were 31 children killed, and 14 men and women also lost their lives. Several different types of injuries were reported, from busted skull to lung conditions. Once again, if you are reading this paper, please stay inside at all cost. This is an emergency.
I recently spoke to the Minister of Magic to see what he had to say about this situation.
Daily Prophet : Minister, have you declared a state of emergency yet?
Minister : Not at this moment, no. But judging by the condition, an announcement will be made soon.
Daily Prophet : Why the delay?
Minister : The storm was taught to contain itself in the Saharan Desert, but as of today, the situation has worsen. We at the Ministry are doing the best we can to cope with this sudden event. The storm redirected its path, and we didn't expect that to happen this soon. We would like to advise everyone to stay inside your homes during this storm. If you there is need to go to your local storm shelter, and please take cover as this storm can kill.
Well, there you have it! The deadly storm had struck the wizarding world and had killed 55 people. Over 40 more injuries had been reported. Please stay inside your homes at all times during this storm. Our local meteorologist, Steve, had this to say, "This storm will remain in our vicinity for the next 7 days."
INTERNATIONAL : THE OCEANSCRAPER
Like every year, Christmas closes the year with the spirit of giving and joy. Sitting around the fireplace with friends and family, exchanging gifts in celebration, and sitting down to a huge Christmas dinner is a great way to end 365 days of survival. But when the clock strikes past midnight on December 31st, it's a new year, a new beginning, and we are to treat it that way. A Belgium architect recently took that famous saying to the extreme.
The 'Aequorea', he calls it. A legitimate plan that can house over 200,000 people in futuristic villages over the surface of our very ocean. It's projected to take about 250 floors, reaching a depth of 1,000 meters and consisting of living quarters, labs, sports fields, farms, and hotels. Now, how are all of these people to stay alive? Seawater is desalinated for drinking, while farmers and cooks serve their purpose of supplying food. For light, the village will use bioluminescence. It's shaped like a jellyfish, spirals to the sea floor, and to be made from recycled plastics from 'The Great Pacific Garbage Patch'. Though the source of materials sounds utterly stupid, I can assure you it's entirely safe.
Artist Rendering, Credit to CNN
Just from the description, this sounds like a great place to live. Almost too good to be true. These 'oceanscrapers' have been proven to be entirely possible. Take a look at the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, where customers can eat and sleep in a transparent chamber sixteen feet below the surface. The world's first underwater museum that sits in Cancun, Mexico. Or the undersea hotel that's currently being built in Dubai within the boundaries of a barrier reef. This eco-village is certainly something to look forward to.
We know for sure that the Aequorea takes care of food and water, and it can be made into a reality. The last question would be the safety of the residents. I don't mean from fire or attackers, because that could be easily fixed the same way it is on mainland, but from hurricanes, tsunamis, and earthquakes. Unlike the sturdy ground of land, these buildings are in the ocean. No need to worry, the way the buildings are structured, it can counteract whirlpools. The thickness of the outer layer increases as it descends, compensating for the strain caused by the pressure. Now of course, it isn't indestructible, but it's strong enough to keep us all safe inside just like if it were on land.
It's the people who can turn fantasy into reality that have their name become a legend. Think about Steve Jobs who created Apple, one of the most famous technology companies. Or the experts in Japan coming closeto creating Artificial Intelligence (AI). Aequorea could set a precedent for many other innovative inventions. "Every day is a new beginning, treat it that way." Who knows? A city in the sky could be a result of your perseverance.
POLITICS : THE STATE OF MINISTRY ADDRESS
Another year has come and gone, and as per usual, the Minister - Kingsley Shacklebolt - delivered his State of the Ministry address. The speech was broadcast live from the Holyhead Harpies stadium here in London to over seventy-five thousand eager witches and wizards in attendance. Shacklebolt broke the address into three parts - security, education, and social issues - citing these as the most important issues facing the wizarding community today.
He began by delving into security over the past year, touching on Muggle-related incidents, as well as Death Eater sightings. One of the biggest issues of the year was "The Bludger Debacle" - so named after a rogue Bludger from the Chudley Cannons vs. Puddlemere United game got out of the stadium and wreaked havoc on the nearby Muggle village. For months, it seemed the Ministry was intent on keeping the event quiet, giving little to no information about what really happened. The situation was only confirmed after last night's vague answers. "After our official investigation, we have determined that the incident was the result of a bewitchment and the responsible party has been punished accordingly. I assure you all, the Ministry does not take these sort of attacks lightly, and we will always do everything in our power to keep everyone safe."
After saying practically nothing in a rather reassuring manner, the Minister moved on to education: the big issue here is the proposed increase in N.E.W.T. standards. For the past year, the Department of Magical Education has been working on a brand new set of standards for N.E.W.T. students. The new standards, though not released until later this year, would require all students to complete at least four N.E.W.Ts prior to graduation. Many have opposed this standard; however, the Minister seemed convinced of the merits of this new plan: "Our schools should be in the business of giving every student the very best education. These new standards will provide a more well-rounded education for all young witches and wizards." As eloquent as this statement is, one can't help but notice that no real proof was provided. Perhaps as the standards get closer to execution, more legitimate information will be released.
Finally, the State of Ministry address was rounded out with predominant social issues facing the wizarding community. This, of course, points directly to the recent protests that have been staged, arguing for equality for all magical beings - goblins being the masterminds behind most of these protests. Because of Shacklebolt's illustrious history with the fight for equality, it is not at all surprising that he would round out his speech in the following manner:
"By now you have all heard talk of protesting and riots and I just have one thing to say on this subject: It is now, and will always be a grave injustice when someone's - anyone's - rights are denied. This has been said time and time again, and if nothing else, this is the injustice I hope to correct in the next year."
Despite the vagueness of certain points, this was an excellent way to end the address and bring in the new year. They are obviously flaws with the Ministry. Some ran so deep, they may take years to correct. However, knowing the fight for equality will rage on in 2016 is a wonderfully positive message of hope, and sometimes that little bit of hope is all that's necessary for change. I, for one, am certainly looking forward to the new year.
SPORTS : NEW QUIDDITCH LEAGUE?
This month, I come to you with breaking news from the sports area of the Daily Prophet. I went in and got some insider's information from the professionals in charge of Ministry Department of Magical Games and Sports. They have informed me that with the new year upon us, a few new teams have been introduced to the world of Quidditch. Three new teams will be ruling the pitch as they try to make their way to the top.
The first team, the Terminal Titans, will be constructed completely of superstar Quidditch players that have already permanently (though not anymore) laid down their brooms. Yes, it's true that the Terminal Titans will consist of retired players that have agreed to return for the purpose of regaining their old glory. May it be to get their name back to the top or just to reminisce about the good old days, we don't know. Some witches and wizards are skeptical as to whether or not this team will be a success because of how long it's been since some of these players have caught a Snitch or whacked a Bludger across the pitch. We'll see how well this team does and whether or not they can prove their worth to the wizarding community.
The second team the Ministry Department of Magical Games and Sports will be introducing is the Fluorescent Flobberworms. While the name may sound deceiving, this team will be composed of the new players of the current season. These select seven players are supposedly the best players of the new year. They've reached the highest marks any players can get and their private coaches were itching to get them on a team. Many of the most loyal Quidditch fans are placing their bets on this team to win.
The third and last team being introduced in 2016 will be the Stabbing Spartans. This team seems to be the least stable of all, made up completely of throwaway players that have been tossed from their professional status - Quidditch rejects. Some people have hope that these gangly players will get their act together and prove how wrong we were for doubting them, but it seems like a long shot for them to even win one game after hearing how practices have been going. It seems like the Chudley Canons won't have to bear the title of worst in the league anymore, though. This team is hanging on by the threads, and many are questioning the sanity of our superiors.
That's all for now with the sports of Britain. I hope to see you all next month for another update that will leave us on the edge of our seats.
Dashing through Hogsmeade
On a Firebolt broom
Over stores we go
Dueling all the way!
Well, hello, HEXians! It's January and this month's HEX Report is being written by your gal, Cass, and everyone knows what January is! (Besides the New Year and stuff.) It's the month after many holidays, or on HEX, HEXmas!
By Cassandra Lovegood
Aww, what a wonderful time of year. I personally was quite busy and didn't get to play much, but other HEXians sure did! There should be some things you should have noticed and loved during the HEXmas event.
Santa came to town and gave the Daily Money a few magical tweaks! While it is not a new thing for HEXmas, it is still one of my favorites. (Although getting 48,000 galleons at a bonus hour last year sure helped!) Most money values were increased and if you were lucky, you could hit quite the jackpot! Speaking of the jackpot -
The Lottery is hard to win, and being one of those users who had thrown thousands of galleons at it, it could seem frustrating. New Christmas prizes made it interesting, along with the gorgeous new design. I hope that some of you guys managed to sneak a few prizes into your stockings!
I swear, I am not leading into these on purpose. Stockings are quite fun with many little stuffers inside. These presents can be quite rare and it's a lot of fun opening them up underneath the tree!
The Christmas Trees?
Talk about a Christmas miracle, me actually leading into these well! Ha ha, anyways, the Christmas trees were a lot of fun. You could leave presents under the tree, which was different than the Stocking stuffers, because it was your friends leaving you them. With a sweet message attached, it was fun. Not to mention, I just love the sound of the tree falling!
Anyway, for some really cool info for events in January!
Poinsettias have appeared once again! They're similar to plums, but they're only here for a limited time, so go check them out! You can eventually sell your poinsettias for some shiny, gold galleons!
We had the Murder Under the Mistletoe event, hosted by Slytherin House. Contests have already ended, but you should still go check out the forum and the threads!
And for some administrative news - Rose has been promoted to Administrator! Let us all congratulate her for a job well done! We hope to see many great things in the future from Rose.
It seems we haven't had many events in January yet, but the year is still young! (Quite young, I might add.) Check back next month for your monthly HEX report! Cass out!
What do you do if you have a long-time BFF who is starting to act stuck up? It's not like she's my only friend, but we used to be so close!
- friendship woes
Hello there! I know how difficult it can be to have a close friend's personality change all of the sudden. Here is this person you thought you connected enough with to deem a best friend, only to have them change - in your opinion - for the worse.
I had a best friend that I'm now completely out of touch with. At school, she started acting different and hanging out with people I never cared for. I tried to stay by her side in school, but her personality had changed so much that eventually we just drifted apart.
While that situation is different than the one at hand, I feel like the resolution could be the same. I tried to stick by her as much as possible, but sometimes a person can change in a way that you don't care for. You obviously can't make them change back to the way they were. If you two do start drifting apart, approach someone different. Maybe the person that's always been nice to you, even if you hadn't spent too much time together. Have lunch with them. Test the waters. You could find someone you like spending time with.
That could be an answer you weren't looking for, but sometimes people just drift apart. It's nothing you can control, trust me.
Good luck with your friend. I'm sure everything will turn out well in the end.
I am a very loyal person, so I have trouble leaving people until someone does me extremely wrong, then I have no problems with dropping them whatsoever. Is this a good or bad thing?
- Savage Slytherin
There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It takes a lot to have you drop a friend? They've probably done something to deserve it. Never keep friends around that hurt you that badly. It makes for a toxic friendship.
You're a loyal person. If a friend slips up, you can acknowledge that it maybe isn't their fault. But if someone makes you upset enough for you to want to stop being friends, then there is absolutely no reason to keep them around.
Do you have any recommendations for how to keep a New Year's resolution?
- tried and failed
Well, first you need to know your resolution. You should pick one that's more realistic and has clear guidelines. (Ex. Instead of 'increase your savings', set a specific, realistic goal of a certain amount.)
If you run into a setback, don't worry too much about breaking the resolution. You can't expect everything to go smoothly. Try to learn from the obstacle instead of beating yourself up about it.
Try to take small steps to reach your goal. Dramatically altering your normal behavior so quickly is what causes a lot of people to stumble. Small steps make it easier to stick to a certain objective.
Finally, have someone to support you through this. Having a friend or family member to talk to can help you motivate yourself.
Best of luck!
STARBURST! : NEW CHAPTERS
A new year is upon us, and with that we bring you exciting news concerning the royalty of the wizarding world! Yes, dear witches and wizards, I am referring to our talented celebrities, of course.
By Samantha Bradley
Should I tell you the biggest story first, or save it for later? It's so tempting to tease, but I simply can't hold it in any longer! After an extended absence leading many to believe that she would never be heard from again, the most famous songstress of them all has appeared with a brand new album filled with a whole new collection of songs that are sure to be instant hits! I am, of course, talking about Celestina Warbeck, and her fans are just giddy with excitement!
"I can't wait till it comes out!" gushed Molly Weasley, who professed herself to be Ms. Warbeck's #1 fan. "I reserved my copy already and plan to play it every day from the time I wake up until I go to sleep!"
Mrs. Weasley's daughter-in-law, Fleur Delacour Weasley, reportedly had a contrary opinion. "Remind me to stay away from The Burrow! Ugh!" I guess it just proves that you really can't please everybody all of the time. In any case, the album will be out soon, so be prepared one way or the other!
It just wouldn't be Starburst if we didn't bring you news about a hot new couple, now would it? We have it on good authority that Emma Meredian, famous wizarding model and now the star of the hottest wizarding musical of the season, Scamander, has recently been seen dating world dueling champion, Edgar Paddock. It seems the two met backstage during her premiere of Scamander, where she plays the role of Angelina, one of Porpentina's two sisters who also happened to be involved with Newt in a romantic way. They both view their relationship as a "new and fresh beginning", and we wish them well.
Now, we simply must mention a famous Quidditch player, namely Jasper Hogsworth. Rumor has it that the hunky Seeker is about to be traded from the Kenmare Kestrals to the Chudley Cannons. That's quite a new beginning for the new year, or perhaps we should say rude awakening? In any case, all we can do is say good luck with that!
Stay tuned next time for all the happenings you secretly long to hear about! We never disappoint.
Hello my dears! It's a new year already. My, my - how the time flies.
This time, Aunt Edna is going to give you a few helpful tips on the day-to-day maintenance of housework.
Have an abundance of those pesky lawn gnomes? They do tend to be rather cute but are a nasty business when your vegetative life comes into question. Personally, I recommend a good strong Immobulus spell, to keep them safe from harm but still unable to move. The others will come out one by one in curiosity, and once you get them all rounded up, I recommend calling the Ministry for a removal team. Make sure they get the little dears as far away as possible, or they're likely to come back and resume eating all of your household plants.
If you live in an older house, as some witches and wizards do, it can be a bit dangerous to remove all of the nasty magical creatures that tend to lurk in magical homes. Aunt Edna highly advises against this. I tried to take on a boggart myself while cleaning out my attic. Needless to say, I ended up being chased around my home by a very angry headless chicken.
Many of my readers have sent me tips of their own and recipes they think I'll enjoy. I do, from time to time, try out some of these tips and snacks and am delighted to find that most of them are incredibly helpful and delicious, but do be careful! I'm not as young as I used to be and my eyes are starting to go. I was reading one of the recipes and thought it called for two ounces of dragon tongue instead of two teaspoons. Well, I ended up with a batch of angrily enchanted cookies that wouldn't stop trying to eat each other. It gave me a dreadful fright, and when my poor grandchildren came to visit, oh dear. Let's just say they haven't been fond of cookies since.
This month, Aunt Edna has a new recommendation for all my lovely readers -though I have spoken of these books before - the Gilderoy Lockhart book set is truly a delight and is incredibly useful for all types of housework, including cooking, cleaning, and even caring for the little ones. It's a wonder that one man can posses so much knowledge! I never leave home without at least two of his books, just to be safe. I can say I have met Mr. Lockhart in person, and he is an utter delight - and so handsome!
Well my dears, that's all I have time for now. Seems like my kitchen curtains are become ablaze. I best toddle off and take care of my cooking.
Lots of love,
MONTHLY RECIPE : BOUNCING BEETLE-BERG PIES
The brand new year is upon us! Parties are happening left, right and centre and let's face it, we all want to try and level up from our neighbours. Whether it's a small gathering of family members that you mostly like or friends who you really enjoy spending time with, this tasty treat will go down happily with anyone at any occasion!
Preparation: 10 Minutes
Cooling Time: 30 Minutes
Makes 36 individual pies
1 (400g) tin sweetened condensed milk*
3 tablespoons cocoa*
1 teaspoon vanilla essence*
1 packet of cockroach clusters
100g of fudge flies
3 1/2 cups (300g) desiccated coconut*
32 large marshmallows*
Ready-made shortcrust pastry*
*These Ingredients are available from all good Muggle supermarkets. The others can be found in most magical shopping branches.
1. Roll out the ready-made shortcrust pastry and put it into an empty muffin tray, make sure to get the pasty pushed into the corners of the tray. This recipe should fill three trays.
2. Combine the butter, milk, cocoa and vanilla into a saucepan (or cauldron, whichever you feel more comfortable with) and stir over a medium heat until it melts and the mixture is smooth and easy to stir.
3. Leave the mixture on gentle heat and prepare the cockroach clusters and fudge flies by dipping them into milk chocolate before slipping them into the mixture in the saucepan. Then add the desiccated coconut to the mixture, stir a while longer over the heat until the coconut is covered entirely by the mixture. Add in the marshmallows and let it melt. Mix thoroughly.
4. Leave the mixture to cool until you can spoon it easily onto the pastry. Make sure not to overfill the pastry to avoid spillage.
5. Sprinkle desiccated coconut onto the tops of the mixture before covering the tray with cling film and placing it into the refrigerator.
6. Once the pies are cool, enjoy! To give the Berg Pies a little more flair, add a single Cockroach Cluster or Fudge Fly to the top of each pie.
ON THE STREETS : THE JOYS OF JANUARY
January's swung by again, and it seems that HEXians know how to celebrate! I had to help a particularly frivolous Hufflepuff back to her common room, actually... but enough about that. That's my experience, and since you're reading this, I doubt that that's what you're here for!
Anyway, I located a few people dotted around the castle, and they kindly agreed to share their thoughts on how HEX - and they - celebrated the new year. Thank you very much, and thank you to the staff who created the events!
Hex knows how to celebrate, that's for sure! My only 'issue' (and it's not much really) was that Hexmas seemed to blur into New Year's a little too easily. It felt like it was almost part of the same celebration. Not that I minded over much, Hexmas was an absolute blast! A little more differentiation for New Year's would have been nice though. And on that theme, the after-party vibe of "McGonna Partayyy" was an awesome idea. Good job on Hexmas/New Year.
- Hierophant, Gryffindor
New Year's is a pretty brilliant time for people such as myself, partly because it means we have made it through another year of school, and partly because it means we finally have a day where we can stay up until four in the morning on Hex without someone yelling at us. The celebrations on Hex this year have been amazing, as usual. Nothing brings Hexians together like the sharing of crackers and hunting of REs after all! You cannot help but get caught up in the excitement of it all. If only Hex had these celebrations all year round...
- A particularly lovely second year Slytherin - but for the life of me, I can't remember their name! Ever so polite, though
My new year's resolutions are to REALLY start here on HEX and, not at all HEX related, to run 2016 km in the next 16 months. As for HEX, I think it's pretty great and I really enjoyed HEXmas
- aninas, Gryffindor
New Year's has been great for me. It has been exciting for me to get up early on New Year's Day, just to be able to be on Hex the moment it turned midnight there. As it is still my first year on the site, all the celebrations are equally exciting to me. As for resolutions, I don't really like making them for myself, but I hope to be even more active on a Hex that doesn't have to change a lot for me. I hope everyone has a great New Year!
- Marki, Ravenclaw
Historically, New Year's is known as a time for starting over. And that's exactly what we're doing over at Slytherin House! As we slowly slip into January, I have to admit that I'm incredibly excited about some of the prospects we have planned for our common room and loyal Slytherins. While I'm not really allowed to give away much information, I can hint that there will be major changes to look out for by the end of this month! So, step out of those withered winter skins, Snakes, and let's get ready to celebrate with
copious butterbeer and cookiesour new beginnings!
- bloodofreptile, Slytherin
Some wonderful resolutions, and some things to look forward to - and perhaps a hint of something coming up? I hope that each and every person reading this had a wonderful new year, and I wish you the best of luck in any future endeavours you may have.
Until next time,
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