WIZARDING CRIMES : Another Muggle Hate Crime
JULY, 2015; LONDON - A large shipment of biting tea-pots was apprehended by the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts dispatch team. It has been found there were no less than seventy-five biting teapots in each of the ten crates, taken by Ministry members, that were to be sent to a Muggle store and sold to consumers. The culprit is a Yorkshire wizard by the name of Thomas Widdershins. When questioned Widdershins, age 22, had this to say, "The Muggles deserve a little stirring up. It isn't my fault they're so thick they can't tell a biting teapot from a normal one till it's got its teeth in their conk?"
Ministry spokesmen assured the Prophet that the teapots were all being corrected by the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Center and that they would be thoroughly checked before being return to Muggle shelves.
A Muggle hate crime of this caliber hasn't happened since the unfortunate incident involving regurgitating toilets, a jinx performed in Bethnal Green by Widdershins' Uncle Willie, who has, to date, been charged guilty on sixty-five accounts of Muggle hate crimes. Thomas Widdershins' father Matthew, had this to say, "I knew it wasn't a good idea letting Tommy spend so much time with his uncle, but he was only a boy, and he loved being with Willie. We should have put a stop to it when we had the chance."
Mr. Widdershins (Thomas) has been charged with a sixty-seven galleon fine and will be monitored by a Misuse of Muggle Artifacts staff member for the next six weeks, pending a break in his probation. There is to be a Wizards' Council meeting to vote in favor of adding a law stating that crimes of Muggle hate, which result in serious injury/repeated occurrence will be reprimanded with a week's stay in Azkaban. Some feel this may be too harsh of a punishment, but as a reminder, Willie Widdershins has been charged on sixty-five accounts of Muggle hate crimes and seems to be making no effort or progress in leeway of changing his ideals towards Muggles. St. Mungo's has also offered a sort of therapy in which witches and wizards who feel particularly violent toward Muggles may be cured of their hate through evasive, but entirely harmless, therapy.
"We are currently addressing different ways of dealing with this appalling behavior, yes, " the Minister of Magic, commented earlier this morning, "but I assure you it will be dealt with in the best and most effective way possible."
This reporter would like to take a moment to remind readers that Muggles are not dim or in any way deserving of this kind of spiteful hexing. They deserve the dignity and respect you would show your fellow wizard, mayhaps more-so, as they live the day-to-day without all the conveniences magic has allowed us.
ECONOMY : SWIFT MOVEMENT
JULY, 2015; LONDON, ENGLAND - In response to last month's article, which detailed rising immigration and unemployment rates, the government has decided to raise immigration taxes as a temporary solution. "Not forever, of course," the Minister of Magic was quick to add, "Just until things settle down a bit, that's all."
So are things back to normal? David Loloby, a well-known billionaire of London, believes so. "England is back to a prosperous economy. We've almost paid off our national debt, the immigrants have finally stopped stealing our jobs, and best of all, Loloby Insurance is selling more life insurance than ever!" Loloby Insurance was founded by David Loloby, and sells life insurance to native, wizardly Englishmen.
Of course, that's not all. Muggle Rights activist, Penelope Swift, argues against Loloby's statement. "Aren't we forgetting something? Is anyone else concerned that in the Muggle world, homeless rates are higher than ever in England? With our economy prospering, isn't it our duty to help these Muggles?" Swift has started a charity under a Muggle identity that helps homeless Muggles find homes for free. "Mr. Loloby may believe he's safe up on his little throne of insurance, but it's people like him who need to reach out and help Muggles in need!" Swift declared.
Indeed, Swift's charity, Swift Homes, has reduced the homeless rate for Muggle England by two percent, thanks to an anonymous donor. However, Swift believes that the Ministry should 'rise to their duty as human beings' and help the Muggle government. She has started a campaign, already widely known as the 'Swift Movement', stating that Muggles are human beings and should be helped out when possible. She encourages wizards and witches to donate to her charity and help Muggles in need.
The Minister of Magic disagreed with Swift's outlook. "We need more people like Loloby out there," the Minister declared. "In these times, we need to look up to people with a positive outlook in life. Not to people who simply want to cause trouble. I'll tell you what happens if we decide to help out Muggles. Not only will we lose what we have gained regarding our economy, but our identity will be revealed! We can't have that happening, now can we?"
Many have joined Swift's campaign, and the Ministry refers to them as 'dreamers.' "Sure we would love to help out everyone in England, Muggle and wizards alike," the Minister told us, "but it's not realistic. There's simply no way we could help the Muggles and our economy, as well as our secrecy, at the same time."
The Minister went on say that already England's wizards game economy was suffering from Swift's campaign. "Wizards and witches are spending their money on this campaign instead of on more important things. We have schools that need funding, roads that need building, people that need helping! And instead, people gleefully spend their money on Muggles! If the Muggle government got their people into that situation, I say, let the Muggle government get them out of it!" The Minister believes campaigns like Swift's need to be put to an end. "For the good of our economy," the Minister added.
The Daily Prophet went on to ask a civilian, Donald Hunn, about the matter. "I don't care a lick about the whole matter," Donald told us, "as far as whether the Muggles get their homes or not. Honestly, the Ministry should keep its nose out of our business more often. So what, this Swift lady wants to raise money? What's it to them? It's our fault if we spend our money on charities and the like. They can always claim they had nothing to do with it and raise taxes or something. After all, raising taxes always seems to be the answer, doesn't it?" Donald added that a good friend of his had donated to Swift's charity, and it hasn't had any effect on the local economy. "It didn't really do anything to the economy, and I know the Ministry would like us to believe donating will end the world or something, but in reality, it's no big deal. You donate or you don't, who cares?" As for his part, Donald refuses to answer whether he donated or not. "It's my business, not yours or the Ministry or Ms. Swift's, you know?"
At the moment, England's economy hangs in balance, neither raising or lowering. It is uncertain whether, on a large scale, the 'Swift Movement' will have an effect on the wizarding economy, or whether it will be positive or negative. One thing is for certain, however. Swift believes her campaign will have a positive outlook, for she believes it will improve relations between the Muggle and Wizarding aspects of England. As for the Ministry, many fear this campaign will reveal wizarding kind to the world. Only time will tell.
REGIONALS : SCOTLAND - THE HIGHLAND GAMES
Everyone from Cowal to Tomintoul, and all points in between buzzed with excitement this July as this year's Highland Games started in Kenmore on July 1st.
By Desiree Snow
Why, the Scotts are famous for their Highland Games which are known to be the only true test of any mans strength, wits, will and grit!
What most people probably don't know about the Highland Games is that it was originally a tradition that came from Ireland back in 2000 BC. It made its way to Scotland with the fourth and fifth century migrations of the Scotti into Dalriada and beyond.
In Kenmore, they had the traditional Highland Dancing and Pipe Band performances. And staying true to their tradition, they also had the hammer throw event. The Hammer throw event is a way for the Scotts to remember the time when their people were cunning enough to come up with an alternative method of conducting military training when King Edward I of England passed a prohibition on all Scotsmen to possess weapons during the Wars of Scottish Independence.
In Kenmore, they did something a little bit unique and that is by throwing the Tirinie Stone. The Tirinie Stone is an almost spherical stone that can be found in the Tirinie Farm of Kenmore. It weighs 101 lbs and the participants attempted to break the record of 170 inches.
Other than the Hammer throwing, there was also the Piping competition as well as an open foot race.
Bagpipes or Pipes, along with drums, are traditional musical instruments of Scotland. During the competition, we heard some of the classical Scotland Bagpipe music such as "The Drunken Piper", "Farewell to Gibraltar", "Lachanside", or "Battle on the Tyne". These pieces speak right to the heart and history of the Scots and are always wonderful to listen too.
Once they have roused their spirits, they then participated in some more blood pumping activities such as the open foot races. The open foot race event has mini races for children and adults alike. There are also adult races that cover 100, 400, and 800 metres.
INTERNATIONAL : EID IS UPON US!
JULY, 2015; AROUND THE GLOBE - After a month-long fasting period, Muslims all around the world will be celebrating Eid on the 17th/18th of July. It is a month-long festivity to celebrate the triumph of fasting, and observing the spirit of Ramadhan for one whole month – a reward of sorts.
For those who are not really acquainted with Ramadhan or Eid, here’s a brief description of why Muslims celebrate these two festivities.
It is a month where Muslims all over the world fast from dawn till dusk. During this time, apart from fasting, we must also observe our attitude and thinking. The objective of fasting is to remind ourselves of the things we take for granted, like water and food, and to remind us that there are a lot of people in this world who have neither. In this month, we are encouraged (in ten folds) to give ‘sadaqah’, the act of giving to the poor. Albeit ‘sadaqah’ can be given at any time, it has been said that ‘sadaqah’ during this month will be tripled in reward by the Almighty.
During Ramadhan, we are also encouraged to double our efforts to become closer to the Almighty. The reciting of the Quran should be done regularly, and in addition to the five prayer times, we also observe the ‘Tarawiqh’, an additional Sunnah prayer at night.
The thing that Muslims must observe the most in Ramadhan is their patience. Ramadhan is a month where most of us are tested. A simple act of anger or impatience can cancel out all the good deeds and reduce the reward from God. We must observe how we talk to each other and how we treat each other. It has been said that Ramadhan is the month of the Followers. It is a month filled with blessings and miracles, thus it is a month for Muslims to make the best out of it.
After fasting for one whole month, Muslims get to celebrate their triumphs and achievements with the month of Syawal. This is the month where we bond with each other, meeting family members and asking for their forgiveness. It is also the time to bury old animosities and start fresh. It is a month of love, family, friends and great food!
Naturally, after fasting for one month, the first day of Eid will consist of food! From the traditional to the new, from the spiciest to the sweetest, there will be an abundance of food to be shared with the whole family and friends. It is also the time where we exchange gifts and give ‘sadaqah’ to our fellow men. It is a day for laughter and celebration, and boy, it lasts for one whole month!
Each Muslim country will have different traditions for Eid. For me, coming from Malaysia, we are a culturally diverse country. Some will have what we call an open-house, where friends and families can come over to sample all the delicious delicacies prepared with love. People of all races will gather together to celebrate Eid and enjoy all the wonderful Eid specialties. Things like the rendang, ketupat, satay and a bevy of other mouth-watering food will keep you full and happy for the rest of the day.
For those celebrating Eid, I wish all of you Eid Mubarak, Happy Eid and Selamat Hari Raya. I hope you had a fruitful Ramadhan and may all your good deeds be rewarded and all the sins be absolved. Have a safe Eid – don’t play with firecrackers – and be sure to take lots and lots of pictures of the food you will have on Eidul Fitri.
POLITICS : THE LAW OF THE LAND
Greetings and salutations Daily Prophet Subscribers, Verum here for another installment of the Political Reform.
The Statuete of Secrecy
In the last issue we discussed briefly on Wizarding Law - The Wand Ban. Have you all thought about the questions and concerns that we at the Daily Prophet had of this law? Have you formulated any comments, or additions?
This week's submission will include a brief introduction to the International Statute of Secrecy. We are all introduced to this Law from the beginning of our lives, and are trained to uphold and adhere to its strictest of standards.
The International Statute of Secrecy holds each individual governing body of each country to enforce the guidelines set forth by the International Confederation of Wizards. The author Bathilda Bagshot who wrote "The History of Magic" touched base on this Statute. The following is an excerpt from that basis :
"Upon the signature of the International Statute of Secrecy in 1689, wizards went into hiding for good. It was natural, perhaps, that they formed their own small communities within a community. Many small villages and hamlets attracted several magical families, who banded together for mutual support and protection."
The Statute was originally drawn and signed in 1689, but it wasn't until 1692, three years later, that it was fully enacted as a fully enforced Statute.
It was in 1750 that Clause 73 was included within the Statute. The Clause is as follows :
"Each wizarding governing body will be responsible for the concealment, care and control of all magical beasts, beings, and spirits dwelling within its territory's borders. Should any such creature cause harm to, or draw the notice of, the Muggle community, that nation's wizarding governing body will be subject to discipline by the International Confederation of Wizards."
As an entity, the Statute of Secrecy is a big intricate part of our daily lives. We have our means to protect ourselves from each other, but if at any point when we are confronted by Muggles, we are to hide our status. There are a fair amount of Muggle-born Wizarding families that live very magical lives, and to which have no need for this Statute. Were the International Confederation of Wizards meaning for their doctrine to be held to the highest extent of the moral code? Or was it by accident that their original decree was meant for a small factor to protect our world from being overrun by critics and "entertainment" enthusiasts? Yes, a bit of a stretch we do realize, but if we don't state it, who will?
Are these laws helping us, or are they defeating our forced co-existence? The choice isn't for us to decide, but for you the people of the Wizarding World to interpret. We are only here to lay the foundation. At the end of it all, it is your opinions that truly matter.
This is Verum signing off, until next time.
SPORTS : GALLOPING GARGOYLES! OR SHOULD THAT BE GALLOPING KNIGHTS?
Only last week, a new wizarding attraction was unveiled in Surrey. Wizarding Chess! What's that I hear? Every wizarding household has a set? Well, not one like this.
The life-sized pieces in this particular set are inspired by Professor McGonagall and her chess pieces enlisted to protect the infamous Philosopher's Stone, although these are charmed specifically so that they don't try to 'take' any real people they happen to encounter on the board.
Made by Norman wizardChess (NwC), they are charmed so that you can play against the board or against another person. Both are attractive options, although it is recommended that you hold off playing against the board as a beginner - things start to get complicated, and the board doesn't have 'play nice' settings.
In fact, unlike most wizarding chess sets, any rule-breaking will be automatically either disregarded or corrected (depending on how quickly it is caught by the board). This is a new feature of only the most advanced sets - new to 2013, but interestingly has not had as much interest as anticipated due to the larger price and the reduction in guarantee that it will work. There has actually been nothing to suggest that the charm will not work, although it is a closely guarded secret so we don't actually know what the charm is.
The set is located in Surrey, in the garden that once housed Harry Potter! He and his family so kindly agreed to rent it out to NwC, who have completely charmed the house and garden so that Muggles will only see a normal house with a particularly reclusive family. It is on a normal Muggle street after all, so putting simple Muggle-repelling charms wouldn't go down well.
Anyone interested can Apparate directly into the house or take the Floo Network there (just say 'Norman Giants'), and riding in on brooms is discouraged, although possible if you want to book ahead and come in the night.
Anyone walking or taking Muggle public transport or cars should wear Muggle clothes - a guide is in the bestselling book, "So you want to fit in with Muggles?" NwC can also provide you with a small booklet if necessary
NwC would also like to remind the Prophet and its readers that they are not responsible for any breaches of the International Wizarding Statute of Secrecy.
Alexander Harrison - Fallen from his broom
In a deeply shocking event that has caused Alexander Harrison's immediate suspension from the Bulgarian Quidditch team, a girl was found bound and gagged in a closet of the young player's home.
More details of the event itself are in the Starburst column, but the Bulgarian team is outraged by this, and surprisingly not only because of what he has done.
Ivanova Sinistar has personally consented to have her statement published in the [i]Prophet[/i], saying "I knew he vas no good! He has ruined our chances of winning in the Quidditch World Cup this year! Ve vere sure to vin, but he has stopped our chances and now we must find a new Chaser!"
Several of her teammates agreed with this, but most of them seemed more worried about the girl affected and her family than their chances in the Quidditch World Cup.
Stay safe, readers.
I hope everyone is enjoying their summer break and the somewhat slower pace. However, that doesn't mean that things have slowed down completely on Hex. In fact, this is far from the case!
By Samantha Bradley
Just a few weeks ago the second ever HEX Pride Celebration in the Dumbledore's Office Forum (Forum 1969) was held. There were lots of fun contests with chances to earn tickets for awesome prizes. There were also fortune cookies which were to be shared with a friend along with other random events for beautiful items like the Flag of Acceptance. This event was particularly important this year in that it began on the day of the historic Supreme Court ruling in the United States making gay marriages legal, making the timing perfect for this wonderful event of unity and acceptance.
In other news, the IHC (Interhouse Competition) is in full swing. The Quidditch Match has been lasting for a while and will probably still be ongoing at the time of the publication of this issue. It is a very close match and it is anyone's guess who will win! The Writing competition has already finished with the results pending, and the Graphics competition is currently in progress but will be done by the time you read this. There are four more events after this, so keep watching to see who wins! Remember that there is a chance to join in the final task by participating in the audience events in the IHC forum, so don't miss your chance to do so! This event is often the deciding factor on who ends up winning, so you don't want to miss your chance to be involved. You can win some prizes and stuff, too!
Though the school year is over, there are still lots of opportunities to earn House Points. The Arts and Graphics Forum, Clubs Forum, Book Forum, Games Forum, Magical Theories Forum, Movie Forum, Magical Archives Forum and Fan Fiction Forum all offer plenty of chances to earn points each month, so don't miss your chance to do so!
And for those who are thinking about donating to the site, now is a great time to do so. There is a new feature where you can get two different Random Events each month, and I know a lot of you could have fun with that! Be sure and check it out.
Stay tuned next month for more exciting happenings and up to the minute news on the IHC. See you then!
*The result for the Quidditch match for IHC is out, with Gryffinclaw taking the win with 170-10.
*The result for the Second Task (Writing Contest) is out as well, with Gryffinclaw winning another contest with 88.5/100 points.
Dear Daily Prophet,
I recently noticed my pigmy puff is changing color. When I first got her she was a lovely pink blush color but in the last few weeks she has started to turn into a purple hue. I have fed her the same thing and looked it up in fantastic beasts and where to find them but I still haven't found anything useful. Is my puff sick? Is this normal? And how can I get it to go back to being the lovely pink I liked?
Color changing confusion
Hello there, Color Changing Confusion!
Unfortunately, I still haven't had much experience with pygmy puffs since the last time I was asked this question. I don't own a pygmy puff, see, so I can't really have firsthand experience to help. D; However, I do have this theory that pygmy puffs change colors depending on their mood. If you've been feeding your pygmy puff the exact same thing, and the only variable that changed is its color, then it must be something within the pygmy puff, right? Perhaps, it changes colors depending on what it feels!
Maybe it's happy if it's pink, and it's feeling slightly more sullen if it's purple. Or maybe, it's feeling cheeky and wants to play around with you, so it's changing colors to catch your attention. Who knows, really? It could be anything! I'm sorry I'm not really the expert to help you here, but I can definitely help with searching more about pygmy puffs. I don't believe something's wrong with your puff, though. Personally, I think it just wants to play and have with you. ;) So don't you worry about its color changing, it'll get back, definitely. I don't think it's sick.
(Although, personally, I would prefer its purply-color compared to pink, but hey, that could just be me~)
Dear Daily Prophet,
Help! I recently was cleaning my boyfriends apartment and came across a small box. I know I shouldn't have gone through it, but I was really curious. Inside was a set of magical
engagement rings. I could tell from the inscription that they're likely quite old and a family heirloom. They have a strong fidelity charm on them, of the extreme old world magic. Now I
don't know what to do because I'm not even supposed to know my boyfriend is considering proposing soon, but I really don't want him to use these rings to do it! I'm all for fidelity charms but not ones this extreme, I looked into the charms of this type and I wouldn't even be able to hug my male friends without getting burned! Old world
magically charmed rings are definitely not something I want, but I don't know how to bring this up with my boyfriend without offending him about his family traditions or ruin the surprise of the proposal.
In love but not crazy
Hello there, in love but not crazy!
While I'm all up for engagement and love and all that fun stuff, I'd just like to make sure that those rings are for you. I mean, sure he's your boyfriend, and you could've been together for how long, but you can never be too sure when you accidentally see engagement rings, you know? For one thing, how are you so sure they belong to you? What if he's secretly going to give that to his boyfriend you don't know about? What if he's just keeping it with you, so that his real girlfriend (or boyfriend, honestly, you'll never know) doesn't see it?
I'm probably being paranoid and thinking worst case scenarios, and you probably shouldn't be thinking bad of your boyfriend, but it can't hurt to be sure, right? I mean... what if you're expecting it to be yours, but then months come, and it never happens anyway? Again, this could probably be a worst case scenario, but I could also just be deranged and insane for thinking this.
Once you're sure that the rings are REALLY yours (i.e. He has already proposed to you), THEN we should consider the fidelity magic problem. For one thing, I don't understand why it's necessary to add something as complicated as that. I mean, if he trusts you, and you trust him, why need some fidelity magic to prove that even
further? I feel like that in itself is something fish, and something you should try looking more into.
Next, how to break the news to him... well, that bit is hard. I suppose you can always make mention to him when he's in a good mood? I mean, okay, let's say it -is- a family tradition. You should still express to him how uncomfortable it makes you feel and what you could do about it. I'd suggest doing this -after- the proposal and not before, because you can never be too sure with what you accidentally see, yes?
Anyway, just trying reasoning out with him and explain what you feel. The least you can come up with is a compromise, yes? I hope it works out for both of you and that the ring is really meant for you! Best of luck~!
Dear Daily Prophet,
What would you say is the best way to make money on HEX?
Hello there, Money Maker!
I don't think there is any 'best' way to make money on HEX. Cause each person has his or her own means to earning money and to gaining it, and what one could consider to be the best, the other could find completely awful. I don't want to give some specific means of earning money, when it might not work for everyone else. xD
As you know, the list of ways you can earn galleons can be found HERE
. I think it's up to you to find out which one could give you money the best.
Personally, the thing I've been consistently doing to earn money is plums and investing in stocks. I do plums each week, and I earn about 75K or so from it, which is good, really. I also earn dividends from the stocks I've invested, so that's a plus too. (Although, I still believe I should be investing more, to earn more dividends, but I'll get to that once I've finished paying my debts, haha). So really, the choice is yours. Some people think gambling is best, while other people do buy's and sell's to earn, so its really depends on how you go about it.
I think it's worth a try to look at these ways you can earn money, then find whichever you can really stick with, and you know you can continue doing and pursuing to keep earning money. Cause perseverance and hard work at it is the key, after all. ;)
Best of luck!
Dear Daily Prophet,
As soon as applications are open, I want to apply to be a Chaser for the Gryffindor Quidditch Team. Though there are loads of REALLY good Gryffindor writers who will also, possibly, want to be a Chaser. Tips, please?
Hello there, Chaser-Wannabe!
In any team one would apply for, it's inevitable to have competition. There will always be other people also applying for the position you like. There isn't really much you could do about the other people, but there is something you could do. You could continue practicing and reading the rules. :yup: Of course, reading the rules and understanding is no use unless you put them into practice in situations.
So while it's good for you to know what each role can do, what each foul can do, how to go about strategy, it's also important to practice for you to see if you can apply what you've learned in an actual match. The more you practice, the more you learn about what you can do. It also makes you learn about what you can improve on and what needs to be avoided when playing a match.
Practice makes perfect, after all, right? Good luck!
Dear Daily Prophet,
My crush talked to me! I was in the Common Room, struggling a bit with my History of Magic homework, before he came over and helped me with it. He said he saw my face all scrunched up with confusion and my ears went red, but thank Merlin he didn't notice. Anyway, after that he asked whether or not I would like to go to the next Hogsmeade weekend with him! I kind of panicked a bit and told him I'd have to check up on my friends first, but of course they'd let me go. What should I do? I feel like I'm having a nervous breakdown! D:
Hello there, Fainted Heart!
I think a lot of us have been in that position where we've been too nervous to respond to our crush or someone we like. It's all right, don't feel nervous. It's perfectly normal. I mean, what if your crush himself was also feeling nervous about asking you out? You probably were both nervous at that time, and you just didn't know!
What you CAN do about it now, though, is say yes to him. Girl, it's your love story, and he just wants you to say yes. So say yes to him. Immediately. I bet your friends would understand just how important it means to you, and they would gladly help you out once the weekend comes, so it should be something you agree to and want to do!
My gut tells me your weekend would turn out swell, so you shouldn't worry too much about that. Just make sure to be yourself and be honest with him, because I'm pretty sure that no matter how lame you think you are or how lame you feel you can be, he likes you for who you are... not for who you are not.
So just say yes to him, just be yourself, and just have fun! I don't doubt you'll have an amazing time. ^-^
Dear 'Ask Us',
I'm going into grade 11 next year. I'm really scared! Starting to think of collage, getting more involved, volunteer hours, it all seems too much! What do I do! I'm so stressed! My question is, what kind of stress-relievers could I get into, and do you have any tips for a soon-to-be junior?
Hello there, Jr. 11!
High School was the best four years of my life. Sure, there were ups and downs, but I loved every bit of it. There was stress, definitely. It's one thing that was constant in High School, really. Stress isn't something I'm adept with, though. Honestly, my stress reliever is by being here on HEX and by talking to the people around me. It's something that makes me relax (to the point that I end up procrastinating, which is bad) xD I guess it also depends on what makes you think of something else. Be it something to distract you from the pressure you're feeling, or by doing something else first before tackling your stressful situation, it sometimes helps. Just make sure that the spare thing you're doing is making you breathe a little more and not cause even more stress and pressure, because built up pressure is never good.
As for tips, I think that it's great that your forging your path to college and working on what you want to do as soon as now. Keep doing that, and I know you'll go far. It's important to remember to relax and breathe as well, though. Sure, your studies matter, and they would no doubt bring you to a brighter future, but you have to make sure you also have breathing space. You have to make sure you have time to yourself and time to do the things you want to do as well.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, after all, so you have to make sure you give yourself a little time to do something that makes you smile and laugh. Spend some time with your friends, have an outing, try something new. It's always nice to be able to do what you want while at the same time getting to a future you've been working hard for too.
Hope these help, one way or another!
STARBURST! : CELEBRITY UPDATE
Hello Starburst readers. I should warn you that today's article is not as happy or light hearted as usual. This article will be talking about only one celebrity today, Alexander Harrison. You all might remember him as the darkly handsome Quidditch player, but today he stands trial for abducting a sixteen year old witch, Maya Sanderson.
By Cassandra Lovegood
I'm sure you're all just as shocked as I am. Fanatic Quidditch fans have followed his progress from being a fifteen year old prodigy at Durmstrang to third, second, and finally first string of the team. While in a few bar brawls, Alexander seemed like an average wizard and a brilliant Quidditch player.
Aurors received a noise complaint of the 24th of May. A young couple, that wished to stay anonymous, reported hearing loud music and drunken yelling. When Aurors arrived on the scene, they were forced to remove the front door to enter the premises.
Inside, they found Alexander Harrison passed out drunk on the floor. A Muggle stereo blared out music and once Aurors turned it off, they heard a loud thumping. Following the noise, a young Auror found the terrified Maya Sanderson locked in a closet with tape around her wrists and mouth.
The young witch had been a fan of Alexander's and has reportedly gone up to him at a bar to speak to him. Her friends figured that she had gone home after that. Aurors are asking why a group of underage witches were able to enter a bar without any questions asked.
Thankfully, Maya was only frightened and unharmed. Mind Healers diagnosed Harrison with schizophrenia and sociopathic tendencies. It seems to be an open and shut case and Maya will not need to testify.
However, we can't help but wonder. If someone as young as Alexander hid his true face from the public, what are the people we trust at the Ministry capable of? We hope that Alexander's trial goes quickly and gives justice to Maya. We reach out to her and her family with relief that she is okay. That's all for today, readers, and I wish you a safe day.
AUNT EDNA'S COLUMN
Hello again readers! Aunt Edna is back again to bring you another tantalizing article on how to run your Wizarding Household!
HOW TO RUN A WIZARDING HOUSEHOLD?
So, as we all know, it's not always easy to keep a Wizarding Household running! There's the bills to be paid, the garden to be de-gnomed, and the constantly depleting jar of floo powder. It can be hard work for anyone, and who knows how Muggles manage to get by without magic! I for one would be lost, which is why I'm bringing you the five best tips to run a Wizarding Household effectively! These are all tried and tested within my own home and they have never failed me - well, maybe that one time - but no one could have foreseen a Blast-Ended Skrewt with a bad case of diarrhea.
Tip Number One :
Always use cleaning charms! Trust me, whether you live in a fifty roomed mansion, or a studio flat cleaning charms will be your friend and ally in battle against dirt. They are simple and easy to use and you can keep them going even if you're out the room. They cut down the time and allow you to spend more time with the family! Which is a bonus; unless its like some of my more - ahem - colourful members of the family. They are vital to keeping a Wizarding Household running! And they can be found in comprehensive guides available at all Wizarding Bookshops and come in varying levels of dirt destruction. Just remember to be careful if casting certain spells near naked flames.
Tip Number Two :
Plan ahead. You can practically guarantee that no matter how much you plan for a certain day or occasion something, thanks to Murphy's Law, will go wrong. However if you plan, even for back-up plans of the back-up plans, something is bound to go right for you eventually! It's always good to have a list of important dates and not to leave the planning and day's errands to the last minute. You wouldn't want to miss you Hippogriff's Magical Vet Appointment now would you? Planning is your friend, as tedious as it can be, it's inevitable.
Tip Number Three :
Bills, nobody likes paying them. We don't like to see our hard-earned money slowly deplete away out of our Gringotts account. Whereas we may never have as much money as we want and we can't stop paying our bills, it's always best to set something up with the helpful Goblins at Gringotts. They have recently started a service where they allow payments to come straight out of you vault without having to get it yourself and our now flying secured owls to your home addresses to drop off galleon packages to save you having to go to Diagon Alley to withdraw it yourself. How very handy!
Tip Number Four :
No matter how much your children/husband/partner/third cousin twice removed tries to get around you, remember that pets are for a lifetime and the likelihood of you getting the care of them dumped on you is high. And let's face it, no one wants to end up babysitting a dragon with a bad case of the sniffles. Also, if you are going for a magical pet, I wouldn't recommend a dragon. They tend to grow rather big. And breathe fire. And just imagine the piles of dragon dung lying around, it would do the roses wonders though.
Tip Number Five :
This is probably the most important tip for anyone running a Wizarding Household, remember to make time for yourself! Relax, make yourself a cuppa and put your feet up! You certainly deserve it!
Well, that's just about it from Aunt Edna this week! Enjoy the summer weather folks! See you next time dearies!
MONTHLY RECIPE : PINEAPPLE DELIGHT
This is a delicious biscuit recipe, just right for indulging with a cool drink or refreshing cup of tea/coffee etc.
340g unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup/240ml of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of almond extract
3 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 and ½ cups of diced pecans
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/ Gas Mark 4.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla and almond extracts.
3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter/sugar mixture. Add the pecans and mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together.
4. Dust a surface with flour and dump mixture on to it. Shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
5. Roll out the dough about ½ inch thick and cut into squares with a plain or fluted cutter (or any other preferred shape). Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet.
6. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, until edges begin to brown. Allow to cool at room temperature before serving.
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