|IN THE KITCHEN|
|ON THE STREETS|
|DAILY PROPHET STAFF|
|DAILY PROPHET'S OFFICIAL ARCHIVES|
This month, we at The Daily Prophet are happy to bring you an update on the alleged fraudulent Filibuster's fireworks said to be exploding across our wizarding community. Those whose ears are constantly tuned into the Wizarding Wireless Network may have heard the news that a supposed illegal trade in "Dr Filibuster's Fabulous Wet-Start, No-Heat Fireworks" has been hitting the nation in recent weeks.
In preparation for New Year's Eve, magical families have been heading out to their local branch of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes and purchasing large crates that they - rightly so - assumed were filled with the product of their desire. "Dr Filibuster's Fireworks" have been a popular tradition at New Year's for decades in the wizarding community, so naturally many believed they would yet again be safe to use.
However, when New Year's Eve came around, these eager wizards and witches lit the crates…only to find that there was a major fault with them.
"Yes, it was awful, absolutely terrible!" Mrs Lavada Burchfield, one of the victims, informed us. "Of course, there were no injuries or deaths, though that might have livened up the event; they were simply incredibly dull and boring."
As it turns out, the "fireworks" only created minor explosions that lasted for a mere twenty minutes - certainly not the 24-hour excitement that they were promised. This, naturally, has upset many people, who are demanding for their twenty Galleons to be returned to them immediately.
Interestingly enough, however, many other wizarding families have been reporting no fault with their fireworks. This piqued the interest of our eager writers, seeking the truth behind the lies. Our reporters set out to the site of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes in Diagon Alley in order to speak to the proprietors of the chain. With great luck, we managed to meet up with founder and one of two current owners, Mr George Weasley, in order to ask for his opinion on the matter.
At first, Weasley seemed alarmed to hear that his shop's good name could have been spoiled by these allegations; however, once he had hastened to check the counterfeit products, he could not hold a coherent conversation through his unrelenting laughter.
Not ones to be put off, our reporters made an attempt to check the stock rooms for the unauthorised goods, only to be removed from the shop by the second owner, Mr Ronald Weasley. As we were being ejected from the premises, Weasley told us, "It's not our bloody fault if they're buying from the Muggle section!"
Therefore, in conclusion to our shocking report, The Daily Prophet would like to kindly remind all families to check the labels on the boxes before purchase; be careful not to confuse "Dr Filibuster's Fireworks" with the WWW Muggle equivalent, "Dr Fili-busted! Fireworks."
We wish you the best of luck for your celebrations this month, and also send our regards to Mr Weasley and Mr Weasley, in the hope that they will lift the lifetime ban from their shop that they have placed on several of our reporters.
The Ministry of Magic has found itself in the middle of an investigation by the Union of Fair Pay for Witches and Wizards (UFPWW). For months, there have been rumours of a growing unrest amongst the employees across all departments. From what was thought to have stemmed from the recent upheaval with the rearrangement of departments and the employment of new management, employee satisfaction has dwindled. A string of refusals from the higher-ups has caused the drastic action to be taken. A reliable informant at the Ministry of Magic has passed on the following information to us. The person behind these changes, a Ludwig von Earl, a new addition to the higher management, suggested the changes to worker's protocols to try and make the departments more efficient and more akin to their European counterparts. A stickler for rules and organisation, he believes that the employees will "simply have to get used to the new changes and if they don't agree they know where the doors are." The Ministry needed some rigorous changes, but the sudden implementations have flopped, rather spectacularly.
The man leading the fight against the "Tyrannical" leader, a Roger Harper, 48, has worked at the Ministry of Magic for over thirty years and is the head of the Muggle Liaison Office having worked himself up from a simple internship in the department of the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts. On asking his opinion on the current situation he had this to say: "Thirty years I've worked here and I've never seen such a mess. Von Earl has no clue as to what he's doing and clearly he's interfered one step too far and we are not going to stand for it. If they think they can take us for fools they have another thing coming. Not only have we been denied our pay rises, which we were promised last year, we've had our hours lengthened considerably with some of the Auror department working over sixty hours a week! The departments have been mashed and mingled and even though Von Earl denies it some people have been demoted. We will not stand for this. The union is here to make sure that our rights are upheld and until they are we will continue to protest. And if it comes to it we will strike. We will not be made to be unruly and pushovers." Clearly, passionate about the cause, we understand that Mr Harper has over seventy other employees behind him and industrial action is becoming a real possibility.
We asked Ludwig von Earl for a statement but his assistant refused us point blank, although he did say: "This entire situation is a sham! And they should be ashamed of the trouble that they have created, Mr Von Earl has done a wonderful job!"
We will keep you up-to-date with the developments of this story.
Congratulations, it's January 2017: you've made it.
It's finally time: you can take down that tree - we know you've been longing to - and the family is happy with their new wands and broomsticks. Finally, a whole month without any carol-singing and present-giving; just one month of peace, quiet, and…
Fireworks! Excitement! Get back up off that chair; it's time to celebrate New Years in style!
But wait, what's that I hear you say? You hate New Years!? Then this is a problem! Never fear, however, because I'm here to offer support and guidance to the magical population that dreads December 31st so much that they even long for Christmas again.
Without further ado, here are some rather clever ideas that wizards and witches all over our country have come up with for surviving this post-festive season.
Over in Northern Ireland, it has been reported that two-hundred gallons of Butterbeer have been shipped across, straight from The Three Broomsticks itself. Now, you would think that such a large quantity of butterbeer is a sign that a party must be taking place you are sorely mistaken. In fact, residents of one town have simply been filling their pantries with as much beer as they can store!
"Can't talk now," one gruff fellow informed us, "or all the best ones will be gone."
Maybe Butterbeer (or more specifically, the barmaids at The Three Broomsticks) is right up your street. Perhaps you should consider visiting this charming pub on New Years' Eve, or even following in the footsteps of the Irish and ordering yourself some for home consumption?
In parts of Scotland, gangs of wizards have formed with the intention to cause rainy weather over many important cities. Edinburgh and Glasgow are thought to be high on their target list.
For many, this may seem perplexing, but one woman, who wished to remain anonymous, told us: "It's quite simple, really. Full-on rain means no fireworks, and I've had about enough of those stupid explosions over the years!"
While this may be seen as being on the extreme end of the spectrum, it is certainly an option for those of you who absolutely detest these beautiful lights.
What about the Welsh? Many grumpy magical people there are calling to have the New Years' festivities banned altogether. Protests and rallies have been recorded up and down the country. The Ministry of Magic was forced to put a stop to these after one woman became so riled up that she accidentally Transfigured herself into a tyrannosaurus rex.
Fortunately, no Muggle or member of the magical population was seriously injured, although it has been reported that a cat has been taken to St. Mungo's for shock treatment.
We at the Daily Prophet are required to report that, while protests may be allowed, we ask that you always remember: "If Muggles are near, make wands disappear."
Finally, the English - what can possibly be more exciting than dinosaurs and shell-shocked cats? Well, according to our surveys, the English introverted wizards and witches have headed out to local Muggle shops and purchased themselves "televisions" - radios with moving images. They are preparing to sit down on New Years' Eve with the fire on, Firewhisky in hand, and the chance to watch the London fireworks live on television.
If this sounds more up your street, then head "down your street" to your local shop to buy your own television today (though please remember that British Muggles use a different currency to us, known as the "pound" - exchanges can be made at Gringotts Bank in Diagon Alley).
That's all for our guide, but I hope you have gleaned some useful ideas for how you personally can celebrate, readers. Now, go out there and end 2016 with a bang - even if that bang isn't from a firework!
Hey, guys! It's Char! No longer am I 'BLMB', but I'm 'Char' now. Anyway, moving on, last year, I recall talking about different Christmas traditions during our Christmas issue. This time around, I'll be talking about how my family and I celebrate New Year. I know, I know, you're probably wondering how in the world is this international news? I can totally justify this by saying I come from the Philippines. It's not big news or anything, but a small sharing about how we spend our New Year -- or at least how I spend mine.
So basically, in my family, what we do on New Year's Eve is sort of like what we do on Christmas Eve. We gather with my mum's side of the family, and we wait for the stroke of midnight together. All of us bring food to eat, and once midnight comes, we all have a get together with the food that we brought and we eat together. On Christmas Eve, when midnight strikes and we start eating, we call that 'Noche Buena'. The counterpart for the New Year's Eve celebration is 'Media Noche'.
If I'm not mistaken, they're both Spanish in origin, as our country was previously colonised by Spain. It was the Spaniards who brought Catholicism to the country, so we sort of inherited some traditions they celebrated too, and I believe these two are some of them. I don't know for certain, as I'll have to do more research for it, but I'm pretty sure it's originally a Spanish tradition.
Before we eat, though, at the stroke of midnight the fireworks come, and we start jumping along with the fireworks. For some reason, there's this absurd superstition that states that the higher you jump, the taller you will get the following year. (Unfortunately, the superstition has long been untrue for me, but it can't hurt to keep trying) We also make as much noise as possible by honking our cars, playing the radio as loud as we can, and basically causing a ruckus of sorts that everyone is used to because it's how New Year goes for us. I think it's because the louder the noise we make is, the more welcoming we are for the New Year? More noise, more blessings.
I'm not entirely sure, but what I do know is that we make a lot of noise, we watch the fireworks, and we jump a lot. My cousins and I also tend to listen to what the Number One song of the year is. (Apparently, this year, it was Justin TImberlake's 'Can't Stop the Feeling'). Once all of that is done, then we eat and celebrate with the food. It's really fun, honestly. Sure, it's very noisy, and the smoke from the fireworks tends to get overwhelming, but it's been a long-standing tradition, and it's just hard not to have it.
On the morning of January 1, we go and celebrate mass (again, much like we do on Christmas day itself), but after the mass, we have this get together with our other relatives (again on my mum's side). The relatives we tend to spend New Year's Eve with are my first cousins, but this get-together on New Year's Day itself we spend with our second/third cousins and the other people in my mum's family.
That part, I feel, gets overwhelming a lot of times because of the number of people. There are so many people in the family, it's just so hard to keep up with everyone there, and I tend to not really be good with socialising, so I'm that awkward girl somewhere in the room, talking to the cousins I'm close to.
Awkwardness aside, though, it's always fun celebrating with them. You get to hear their different stories, and you get to talk to other relatives you haven't seen in months, and there's (of course) more food. Sure, at the end of the day, I feel really tired because of all the socialising, but the food always makes up for it (at least it does for me).
Then at the end of the day, we go home, and we end the start-of-the-year celebration. In summary, we celebrate with: food, family, and more food. That's basically the summary of what we do.
In spite of how tiring it gets, though, it always is fun to celebrate with the family, and it's always something I look forward to because it's only once in a year you get to have grand celebrations like that, after all.
How about you guys? How do you celebrate your new year? I'd love to hear about it!
The alarming number of attacks made by the IS have caused serious distress for many members of the British Muggle community. People are still trying to recover from the devastating and shocking attacks during Bastille day. Travellers are now hesitant to go on trips due to the suicide bombers' attacks on the airports and metro-system.
Despite the new year's celebration, people's hopes for peace and safety have been dashed. Threats of chemical attacks are now circulating. Sources note that these terrorist groups are planning to make a mass casualty attacks and are not afraid to use any means necessary to accomplish their goal.
The Muggle Community is taking steps towards protecting themselves from potential attacks. However, high ranking officials of their governing body have expressed their concern over traitors within their midst. Dubbing them, "the enemy within," these unknown people are the ones who have the potential to inflict the most damage since they are already deeply rooted in society. Watching, waiting, and hiding in plain sight.
A source says, "The insider threat, as we would call it, is real and it can be exploited and there are people trying to do that as we speak."
It begs the question, why are the terrorist groups doing this? What is their main goal? Their purpose?
Many theories have been brought up as to the justification for these horrible acts. But generally, the IS group aim for a worldwide Islamic caliphate. A religious government without borders.
The Ministry of Magic was quick to respond to these threats and have advised members of the Magical Community to always be on guard. Placing a protective charm around oneself and one's home is usually a good safeguard. There have already been some flash announcements being given out about the benefits of "Repello Muggletum" or the Muggle-Repelling Charm.
Master potioneers are also working on pre-empting some of the most wide-spread effects of any chemical attacks. However, the Daily Prophet would like to point out that there have yet to be any MoM approved potions to counteract Muggle attacks. This publication neither supports nor condones any "quick-fixes" that may or may not already be circulated during the release of this article.
When asked about how this affects the current movement towards stronger ties between the Magical and Muggle communities, representatives of the Ministry refuse to give any full comments except for, "We will continue to strive for peaceful relations with our non-magical peers. But the Ministry's main concern will always be the safety and protection of everyone under its authority."
It's the halfway point of the Quidditch season and things are heating up in the battle for the Championship cup! All year long the teams have battled vehemently to inch their way towards the top of the league and snap up the cup. While some have stumbled, others have flourished, none more so than the Tutshill Tornadoes! Having finished a disappointing 15th in the league last year, the odds were against them to make this season any better. But after buying a new Seeker from the Tokyo Tigers, Hana Tsukishima has lead the Tornadoes to staggering victories and has moved up in the world Seeker rankings to fifth in the world. With 43 points, their nearest rival is the Chudley Cannons at 38. If things carry on as they have been, the Tutshill Tornadoes will have made an amazing comeback, never trust an underdog!
As for last year's champions, the Holyhead Harpies, after their first team was decimated with injury after injury they have dropped down the board to 8th place with only 25 points, there is still time for them to reclaim their former glory, but it is a very slim chance, based on the prospect of the higher-positioned teams losing almost all of their next matches.
There is upheaval once again at the struggling team Appleby Apples. The manager, Andrew Hardcastle, a once famous chaser for the national team took over early last year, is spending his first night unemployed after being sacked by the club's owners after a string of lost matches. In the last twenty games, they have drawn twice and only won once. With 17 losses, there really wasn't much more hope for his career furthering at the club. Not only that, the head coach Emmaline Lawrence quit this morning after a dispute with the club's owner, Edgar Allen after he accused her of having an affair with the team's captain, Luke O'Connor. Both sides have denied this accusation, as both parties are married, with Mrs Lawrence marrying only last year. Without a head coach or a manager, it is hard to think that this club could redeem itself before the end of the season. There are rumours that Mr Allen is already on the search for a new manager and has a target in his sights, although he remains quite on who his candidate could be.
With nothing else to do but wait for the next match in the season, we will have to be patient to see who will take the cup!
It has been a busy year for Edward Wreck, 28, the current World Champion of Wizarding Chess. Having taken the National Championships by storm and decimating the league tables, Edward's hard work paid off in the form of the number one spot in the world! We sent one of our reporters down to interview him!
Kaylee Park-Walker: Congratulations! It must be an amazing feeling to be number one in the world. And after the record-breaking season you've had, it must be the cherry on top of the cake!
Edward Wreck: Thank you very much! I'm still waiting for it to sink in, to be honest. I never expected any of this. After last year's season, I knew I had to work hard but I had no idea as to how well that would pay off.
KPW: That last match had me on the edge of my seat! your opponent, Gregor Gregoravich, has won the competition six times already. That must have been daunting for you?
EW: I was terrified! Utterly terrified. But Gregor is a lovely guy, we've been friends for a long time, and to play against him with such high stakes was quite fun and refreshing, once the fear had subsided. But no, in all seriousness, he's a great opponent and one hell of a strategist. He almost got me. I'm still not sure how I managed to turn it around, but I did.
KPW: At least there is a strong friendship between you both. But that's not the only good news you've had this year, is it? I hear another round of congratulations is in order?
EW: Thank you, it is. My wife is pregnant with our second child. She told me just after the match, which is why in most of the photos I look a cross between dazed and ecstatic, we have a three-year-old daughter and she's excited as well, which I'm glad about. When I found out my mum was having my brother I threw a three-day tantrum!
KPW: Siblings, you either love them or hate them. Speaking of your wife, she's a professional Wizard Chess player as well?
EW: Yeah, Madeline is, she's fabulous and I'm not ashamed to mention that she's destroyed me a fair few times at the game as well. It can get quite heated in our house when we start playing. She won the Regionals and came second in the Nationals. I'm just glad I didn't have to play her in the final; that could have ended in bloodshed, for me at least! I love her and even though I'd love to say that I let her win, she's utterly ruthless and I would never insult her by doing that.
KPW: She came fifth in the World Championships and is currently ranked fifth in the world as well? Is this something that you want to pass down to your children when they're old enough?
EW: To be honest, we've talked about it and if they show an interest we'd be more than happy to teach them to play but we're just going to wait and see. The other day we found Katie chewing on one of the pieces so it could be a sign or she might just have been giving us a hint about being hungry, who knows?
KPW: You can never be sure! Let's hope they inherit a love for the game. Thank you so much for making time for this interview and we wish you luck in the next year and with your growing family!
EW: Thank you very much! I really do appreciate the support and kindness I've received.
There you have it, the current number one Wizard Chess player is heading into the New Year and we can only wait and see how he continues to progress!
Welcome, welcome, dearest HEXians, to the first HEX monthly Report of 2017! Are you a budding biologist (or not)? Then check out the A&G Forum this month! Are you an anime or manga fan (as I have so helpfully been informed is called an "otaku")? Then the RP Central has the perfect competition for you!
Read on, minna-san…
Arts & Graphics Forum
How would you describe the brain and blood? Are they vital organs that allow us to sustain life? Or are they "things that think" and "red stuff that keeps us going"? If your thinking is somewhat along the lines of the second option, then head on over to the A&G Forum's Writing Competition to potentially earn yourself some Galleons and House Points!
Are you more the artistic type? Would you like to have a go at re-designing yourself? Then why not give this month's Graphics Competition a try. Who knows, you could end up richer as a result!
Also, a big shout-out to last month's A&G winners: julieexann, ButterflyWings1803, SuperSquirell, Sternbeere, Silentfalls and adamsowl!
Ah, anime - who doesn't love it? From the adorable Moes to the fierce Tsunderes, all the way to the cool and aloof Kuuderes: there's a role for everybody. Do you fancy yourself an anime enthusiast? Ever dreamed of working in your own maid café? Are you simply a big fan of role-playing? Then be sure to visit the RP Central, and check out their January RP of the Month: Café Culture.
Have you ever fancied trying out a group RP, or do you know for a fact that you enjoy them? The wonderful RPC moderators over in the RP Central have been working their butts off to introduce to you a brand new event: Roleplay With the Mods. Go over there and sign up today!
Finally, a shout-out to the winners of "A Murder Most Festive": parasvati, Sea_Change, of4gg, and Morgan93! If you want to see what a winning RP looks like, then have a read of their role-plays in the RP Central!
The Dorms have had a drastic change around, thanks to the Staff and House-elves of HEX! If you're searching for your perfect dorm, or you'd like to have a browse of some of the others around the castle, then make your way over to the Student Dorms and have a read through. Here's to finding your dream dormitory!
The most wonderful time of the year may have come and gone, but that doesn't quite mean the celebrations are over yet. Make sure you've opened the presents underneath your tree and sent your thank-you cards, Candy Grams, and owls before it's too late! I hope everybody had a lovely HEXmas 2016 - be looking forward to this year's celebrations!
Of course, this article has been written in early January, so many of the exciting events due to be released later this month are inevitably going to have been left off. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the fantastic new competitions that will take place all throughout the year!
Dear Ask Us,
Is there a specific vacationing area in which only witches/wizards go to? And if there is, where is it?
Hello there, Vacation Enthusiast!
Honestly, being the Mixed Blood that I am, I have a parent who is a Muggle and another one who is Witch. Because of how things are in the family, I tend to spend my vacations in places of Muggle interest. Whether it's the mall or travelling to another country to see their sights and places, I feel like it isn't really something that witches/wizards go to alone, because we'd usually be surrounded by Muggles.
I don't think I'm the best person to ask here, as I've not had the most experience with wizarding vacation spots, but I'm pretty sure you can ask some people in Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade about it! With how many people are around in different shops often, I know they'd definitely be better versed in the vacation department than I am!
What, you think I don't have vacations? Hey, I do! Just... not to very wizarding places, it seems!
Dear Ask Us,
Why do Chocolate Frogs move by themselves?
- Confused Candy Eater
Hello there, Confused Candy Eater!
I think the reasons they move by themselves is because the creators of it wanted them to do that. I'm not entirely sure if making it move was an accidental thing, but I feel like it could've been? Like, they were thinking of what kind of chocolate to make and decided to make it shaped into frogs. Then, by accident, one of them transfigured it, so that it would actually jump but still taste like a chocolate in the shape of a frog.
Or it could have been something deliberate because they wanted the chocolate frogs to be interactive with the younger audiences, so it could go both ways! I'll have to take a visit to the Chocolate Frog manufacturers to ask and be sure about which story is correct. (Or if both stories are wrong, you'll never know). I'll let you know once I've gotten more updates!
Dear Ask Us,
I really want a job as a reporter for The Quibbler how do I get one?
- Eager Writer
Hello there, Eager Writer!
It's funny because the column you're asking is for the Daily Prophet... not The Quibbler, haha. However, I do know that the Quibbler has applications open right now. You can find them on this thread, I believe. Go apply if you want to.
Dear Ask Us,
I had a cold on New Year's Eve. Does this mean I'm going to have a cold for the entire year? I know there's this saying that whatever you do on January 1st will be what'll happen for the rest of the year, so does that mean I'll be having a perpetual cold? That doesn't sound too nice!
- Don't Want No Colds
Hello there, Don't Want No Colds!
Thankfully, that saying isn't always correct. I know there's a saying that goes, "Start your year right", but I'm pretty sure it doesn't mean that whatever you're doing on the first of the year means you'll be doing it for the rest of the year. After all, each day is different from the other, and it would be rather repetitive if you kept doing the same thing over and over and over again for 365 days.
I don't think it's even possible to keep doing the same thing over and over again, is it? You're bound to do something differently at one point, right? Whatever the case, I'm positive that you wouldn't be having a cold for the rest of the year. Unless, of course, you do something that would cause you to have a cold again... and again... and again... If that's the case, then you'd -definitely- have a cold the entire year.
If you find ways to avoid it, though, then you should be good and okay!
Dear Ask Us,
Resolutions are something I've never really been good with. Does it make a difference to make one this year... to -try- and stick to it, or should I not bother, because I don't end up doing it anyway?
Hello there, Resolutionless!
Honestly, I'm one of those people who never even bothered with resolutions. Why? I sorta kinda forget I even have a resolution, so I don't bother following through with it. I don't know. I just... I feel like it doesn't make sense for me to make a resolution when I end up forgetting I have one or end up just ignoring it entirely.
I feel like this could be the case for you. You don't really do resolutions either, or you forget you have them. It's entirely up to you if you still want to do them this year. If you want to -try- to make some, I don't see what's wrong with doing that. You can always try to prove yourself wrong and follow your resolution, then make more along the way!
However, my advice would be that if you do want to come up with a resolution, you should start with just one first. That way, you could remember that one resolution you have and try doing it. Then once you've done that, you can create more. At least it could be a step by step follow the process, right? Rather than have so many listed and accomplish none, it could be better to have one listed first, then keep adding along the way.
Hope that helps!
Welcome back my little lemon drops! It seems you've found yourself back in this neck of the newspaper, the best column, in my opinion, so sit back and read on.
Ah… the New Year! It wraps up that crazy holiday season and we can finally put ourselves at ease... Unless your family is pestering you to keep and make those New Year's resolutions! I still get bothered to this day. The portrait of my late mum is hanging in my room, and she always comes in January to pester me about them! So, here are three fun ideas for New Year's resolutions, and how to keep them.
Take up a new hobby There are so many fun and easy hobbies that you can take up in 2017, especially a creative one! Now, you're probably going to drop this newspaper and cry "DEAR MERLIN! This is ridiculous! This isn't helping me at all. Creativity and I don't work well together." But fear not! The following hobbies will make you feel creative and organised.
The first one is bullet journaling. Bullet journaling is fun, creative and keeps you organised. I, personally, hate planners. I can never find one that works and my handwriting often gets crammed. With bullet journals, you don't have to keep a to-do list, a diary, a planner, and shopping list all on separate papers! (Because if you're anything like me, you lose them all the minute you write them…) You can customise the journal however you want and decorate it in whatever way. In mine, I split each day into my day's agenda, general to-do list, any events, or activities that day, a little section to reflect on the day, and a place to write what I am grateful for because sometimes we forget. It's so much fun and doesn't take much time. I set up the pages for that week when I have free time, then spend 5-10 minutes adding what I need to, and finishing before I go to bed! It's fun to look back at everything and see the improvement.
The second is calligraphy. Merlin, I had horrible handwriting back in my days at good old Hogwarts. I often had to rewrite whole essays to make them more legible! Even if you have good handwriting, calligraphy is a great hobby to take up. While it is difficult at first, calligraphy can become very relaxing. Sometimes, I spend 2-3 hours practising my calligraphy and I don't even notice! There is a variety of fonts as well, all of which look amazing. It does take some practice and requires patience and 100% of your attention, but in the end, it is worth it. You get a cool, fancy written word, or letter, and over time, a gradual improvement in your handwriting, as it forces you to be more aware. There are several different types of calligraphy: the old-fashioned dip-the-quill/pen-in-the-ink type, the calligraphy pen (you put a cartridge of ink in the calligraphy pen so you don't have to dip it) and the paintbrush type where you use a special paintbrush and ink. I recommend starting with the calligraphy pen because it allows you to focus on your technique and not dipping. After you feel comfortable with it, you can move on to one of the other techniques. Now, you can be the one posting those artsy photos on your Muggle "Instagram"!
Read more Unfortunately, reading is not such a popular thing. Kids spend all their time fooling around, playing sports and attached to their Muggle technologies. However, reading is very useful as it broadens your vocabulary and can help build a creative mind. It can also be very pleasurable and relaxing once you find the right type of book for you. There are several genres of books, that I'm certain you know: science fiction, realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery (I personally love murder mysteries), fantasy, romance, adventure, biographies, history and MANY more! Try a few books from each genre to familiarise yourself with them and find the one you love the best. To force yourself to find time to read, I recommend you join a book club! I'm sure the library (a real one or the one here on HEX) has plenty of book clubs you can join! If you don't have too much time on your hands, find one (or make one) that doesn't meet too often to give you enough time to read the required sections of the book. So, go get reading! I also have plenty of suggestions for books you can read, if you want to drop an owl by me!
Go to the gym more often Now this… this is the typical New Year's resolution that gets broken instantly. It's so easy to break; just tell yourself you'll go later, or tomorrow, since you don't have anyone watching you. But, if you've been on a school team, you know it's so much easier to do things when you have a teammate or coach pushing you to do it. So, find a friend! Look for gyms nearby and ask for a gym membership for your birthday, or (coming up) Valentine's Day! Set up a date with your friend. It doesn't have to be every day, it can be just once a week! Knowing someone is expecting you is often helpful to force yourself out of the house and to the gym. I also get embarrassed when I go alone, so having a friend is a tremendous help. You don't even have to go to the gym. Go for a run! I did cross-country for the first time ever this fall, and I never knew I could run. Start out with a mile. Work at it until it's easy. Then add a mile. And another. I did cross country for 2-3 months and could barely run 2 miles at the beginning. At the end, I was able to run a 5k (3.1 miles) in 25 minutes and run up to 5 miles. It was amazing. Soon, 3 miles felt like a nice relaxing run. If you don't want to run, do tabatas, or mini (but hard) work-outs. You can use the online tabata timer and look up or create exercises that will be beneficial for you. Soon enough, you'll be strong, fit and feel better than ever!
So, that's it for today my little puffskeins! I hope you got some ideas from today's issue and I hope you come back for more next month! Until next time! Xoxo ~ Aunt Edna
Hello, their faithful readers! Today we have yumminess abundant straight out the kitchen of a fabulous lady named Paula Dean. The recipe is for homemade chicken and dumplings. It is a great meal, especially for cold winter days. So snuggle up by the fireplace and enjoy!
1 (2 1/2-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon House Seasoning, recipe follows
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can of condensed cream of celery or cream of chicken soup
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Directions: To start the chicken: Place the chicken, celery, onion, bay leaves, bouillon, and House Seasoning in a large pot. Add 4 quarts of water and use callesco to heat. The chicken should be tender and the thigh juices should run clear. Remove the chicken from the pot and use frigus to cool the chicken so it is cool enough to handle. Then, remove the skin and separate the meat from the bones. Return the chicken meat to the pot. Keep warm over low heat.
To prepare the dumplings: Mix the flour with the salt and mound together in a mixing bowl. Beginning at the centre of the mound, drizzle a small amount of ice water over the flour. Using your fingers, and moving from the centre to the sides of the bowl, gradually incorporate about 3/4 cup of ice water. Knead the dough and form it into a ball. A simple conspergunt can be used instead of the hands for kneading.
Dust a good amount of flour onto a clean work surface. Roll out the dough (it will be firm), working from centre to 1/8-inch thick. Let the dough relax for several minutes.
Add the cream of celery soup to the pot with the chicken and simmer gently over medium-low heat.
Cut the dough into 1-inch pieces. Pull a piece in half and drop the halves into the simmering soup. Repeat. Do not stir the chicken once the dumplings have been added. Gently move the pot in a circular motion so the dumplings become submerged and cook evenly. Cook until the dumplings float and are no longer doughy, 3 to 4 minutes.
To serve, ladle chicken, gravy, and dumplings into warm bowls.
2017 is here at last and let's hope it's better than the last! We've suffered together, cried together, laughed, trembled and smiled. So, let's move forward to this clean slate and make 2017 memorable for all of the right reasons! As is tradition, many of us make resolutions for the new year or make goals that they want to complete. The Daily Prophet was eager to know what, so as we do, we sent out reporters out to find out what you're most looking forward to this year! And to see what everyone else has chosen, if anything, for their New Year's resolution!
"I'm really looking forward to participating in a few competitions and turning 13 this year! I have a resolution of being more organised and making sure my grades are high." ~ Pastelfox - Ravenclaw
"My resolution for 2017 is to find the time to log in and keep role playing. With the end of 2016, it became harder to log in and keep up with the holidays, work and working on my education. With the dawn of 2017, I'm going to try and schedule my time more wisely to allow some extra free time to log in and continue to roleplay as well as create new roleplays and new friendships. 2017, at the moment, is a year of infinite possibilities. I'm looking forward to, and somewhat crossing my fingers, the possibility that maybe there will not be a lock in this year. Additionally, I'm looking forward to the end of term here on HEX as well as in real life." ~ Graffias Black - Ravenclaw
"I'm looking forward to all of the new opportunities this year will bring. I don't have a specific resolution, but I have decided to focus on being happier and healthier." - Vally ~ Gryffindor.
"We must accept the past but we can make tomorrow wonderful by our choices today. My one and only resolution for this year are to be more active in my community's events and charities." ~ Todd3569 - Gryffindor.
"Giving yourself and everyone you know a healthy year!" ~ Miladylestrange - Slytherin.
"I'm definitely looking forward to 2017 - my brother is getting married in February, I'm seeing Hamilton in March, and I'm going to Disney World in Florida to spend my birthday at Harry Potter World! I don't know that I necessarily have a ‘resolution,' per se, but I'm hoping to just better myself overall this year and to just enjoy life and everything it has to offer." ~ Katie Baron - Ravenclaw.
"This year, I'm looking forward to seeing what kinds of competitions will be held across HEX - they're always so unique, so I can't wait! I'm also excited about the films being released this year - Logan and The Space Between Us look amazing. As for my resolutions…Mine is to work the hardest I can to achieve high grades in my exams! Here's to an amazing year to everyone!" ~ Snowleetah - Slytherin
"The start of the New Year always brings a fresh start; people think that they'll magically become a new person or gain new habits. I don't make specific resolutions for this reason; it takes about 60-something days for something to become a habit. So the one I have every year is to take care of myself, physically and mentally. I can't predict the future of what's to come so I just take care of my well-being and hope for the best to bounce back from what obstacles that may come my way." ~ Aetherene - All of us at the Daily Prophet wish you a happy and prosperous New Year!