BREAKING NEWS : WHO YOU GONNA CALL? CERTAINLY NOT THE GHOSTBUSTERS
OCTOBER, 2014; LONDON, ENGLAND – Two Muggle children in ghost costumes were found dead in front of a wizarding house one morning. It is suspected that the owner of the house had something to do with said crime on the children.
The two children, who authorities guess were about 8 or 9 years old, were found dead in front of the gate of the Libian manor residence at about 10 in the morning of today. There was no sign of blood or of any injury on the children, so Aurors suspect that their death was caused by a killing curse.
Now who would've done such a thing, no one knows, exactly, but the Aurors are continuously investigating the Libian manor for any suspects. Ironically, there was no one in the house, upon inspection. It is likely that the culprit left after the deed was done, leaving all his belongings and material possessions behind. Either the person was so willing to kill the children that he was willing to leave everything behind to escape, or he felt extremely guilty of his act that he would rather not show his face or any of him in shame.
Again, we don't really know his reasons, but the Aurors are working hard to find out more about the suspected murderer.
The community themselves were aghast about the incident. Some wizards and witches were surprised that a person could be so cruel as to kill children, above all people. "Sure, killing anyone in general is bad," Leia Roberts, 26, reacted in her interview. "But for you to kill CHILDREN? That's just sick, deranged, AND wrong."
"Honestly, it's really kind of weird how we don't remember much about the witch or wizard," Curdon Endlom, 24, said. "We all just know that he was in the community, and he lived like every one of us. But no one knows what the hell was up for him to have caused such a death on the lives of innocent children."
Upon asking some other residents of the village, some have come up with theories about why the man committed such crime. "I feel like he was scared. Last night, you see, we had a trick-or-treat event where children of all shapes and sizes dressed up as whatever they wanted. Of course, it was our duty to hand them out treats to compensate for any tricks they had in their sleeves. Poor man probably didn't get the memo and was so surprised... he killed them." Alimar Trinkadle, 30, speculated about the incident. "I know, I know, it doesn't make sense, but I seriously feel that he was just frightened... didn't know what to do... then BAM. Pretty morbid, really, but it would only make sense, right?"
The residents of the village, Muggle and magical folk alike, are still in a state of shock. No one really knows what happened, and there's still no evidence to lead to who the culprit was (which is surprising, really, considering he -did- leave all his belongings behind). One thing is for sure, though, the village of Lamania will probably never have Halloween parties again. Who was to say if any other witch were to suddenly Avada Kedavra the entire community instead of just two unsuspecting victims?
No one really knows what may come of the incident, but everyone believes the same thing - constant vigilance is a must. You'll never know... you may actually be living beside a psycho in disguise, so stay safe and be careful. Remember to always have your wands ready for in case you may get into a fight with them. The village isn't safe anymore, and it's best to do all you could to protect all you could.
HOMICIDE : THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALICE GROSS
OCTOBER, 2014; LONDON, ENGLAND - The disappearance of schoolgirl Alice Gross is now a murder inquiry after a body was found in west London.
By Samantha Bradley
Detectives report that significant efforts were made to conceal the body, which was discovered on Tuesday night.
Alice's family has been informed. Formal identification is yet to take place and a post-mortem examination is due to be held later, police said.
Convicted murderer Arnis Zalkalns, 41, from Latvia, remains the prime suspect.
He was filmed cycling along the Grand Union Canal 15 minutes after Alice had walked along it, on 28 August. This is the last known sighting of the 14-year-old.
The body was found in the nearby River Brent.
Mr Zalkalns has been missing from his Ealing home since 3 September.
At the time Alice went missing, he was working as a general labourer on a building site in nearby Isleworth.
He is believed to have come to the UK in 2007, following his release from jail, where he had served seven years for his wife Rudite's murder.
Latvian court documents about the 1998 murder case revealed that a psychologist assessed Mr Zalkalns as mentally stable and indicated he knew exactly what he was doing when he murdered his wife and buried her in a shallow grave.
During his confession, Mr Zalkalns told police his wife had informed him she was gay and that she began to regularly go out without him shortly after making that statement.
ECONOMY: GRINGOTTS' NEW SCANDAL
OCTOBER, 2014; DIAGON ALLEY – Gringotts has forever been a pillar of economic stability in the Wizarding World. With able employees and strict security guidelines, this ancient establishment has long been the go to institution to handle personal and corporate finances. This old bank boasts a clientele worthy of stories and songs, from King Arthur’s court all the way to the eccentric singer, Lady Gaga.
By Clara Staunton
However, Gringotts is back in the news not because of its sterling record, but rather the newly announced service tax rate as well as the new interest rate. Wizarding folk all over the country were surprised with the announcement made by Gringotts manager, Volbrod through the Wizarding Wireless Network’s Bulletin at Eight.
The Daily Prophet took to the streets to find out what the regular people in Britain thought about the new rates introduced by the bank. Many were a little surprised and upset by the increase, citing that with the economy not being what it was, galleons are hard to come by. A Suffolk residence, Mr. Roger Tolstoy, was interviewed after leaving the bank, looking irritated. “I can't believe they've increased the rates! I'm barely making any profit as it is, and now with the new service tax rate, even the new interest rate won't cover it. This is a form of oppression on us middle class people!”
Another client of the bank, Miss Etheridge Scalding cited similar sentiments when interviewed upon leaving the bank. “I know the new interest rate is quite nice, but the service tax rate takes away from the amount that we make. Unless they are planning to increase their quality of service, or expand their repertoire, I don’t see the need for the new revised service tax rate.”
Not everyone was against the new rates. A frequent patron of the bank, Mr. Draco Malfoy felt that the adjustment was necessary, “The previous interest rate was three percent. It has been raised to five percent, which is rather generous. The service tax was at two percent, and now it’s at four percent. We are still making profit from our savings, albeit maybe not as fast. Gringotts has been quite efficient in dealing with my family’s finances. I don't think this little amendment will make me take my business elsewhere.”
Many ancient noble families were either indifferent to the change or for it. The question is this – would the middle to lower class families be able to afford Gringotts' services after this? The change of percentage might be small to the wealthy, but to those who survive from one paycheck to another, this might make or break their savings.
When contacted by the Daily Prophet, the bank manager, Volbrod, insisted that this change hasn't been made permanent. The new rates were introduced as part of a management shift. Gringotts is looking to expand, and with the new proposed size, new services were also planned. “We are trying to make the Gringotts experience worthwhile for everyone. While the new rates might be shocking to some, I assure you, what is to follow will be worth it.”
The suggested change is still months to come, but until then, what will happen to the families that cannot afford these rates? Will they find other banks to satisfy their needs or will they revert back to the age old saving method – the piggy bank?
REGIONALS: UNLUCKIEST MAN IN THE UK - OR
Wales - It almost appeared as if all the world had to talk about was crime and sports. But I finally came across a story. It's a story unlike any other I have ever read before. What are your thoughts on luck? Do you believe in it? Is it possible to be unlucky?
MAYBE JUST WALES
Well, before I heard about Mike Petkovic, I didn't believe in such a thing as "unlucky". I mean, sure the randomizer Gods might utterly show a dislike towards me in raffles and contests, but that is nothing compared to what Mike has gone through.
After nearly dying in a fire, going through three floods, and being trampled by a horse, I do believe Mike has to be a very unlucky. The first thing that happened was being trampled, it left him with a severely injured spine.
Mike had been living in Cardigan when it happened. He went to a nearby stable, where he boarded his horse, Max, at a shared stable. When Mike unbolted Max's door to let him out, Max bolted upon sensing the presence of female horses. Mike had fallen face down and had the bottom part of his back shoulder stepped on. Max did realize eventually that he was on Mike, but not before damage had been done.
Once X-rays had been taken, they found out it really wasn't that bad at the time. The bottom four vertebrae were fractured, the discs were fractured, as well as a few being broken. Even after this incident, Mike still loved horses. He loved all animals.
While recovering, Mike was on crutches, but he continued to work as an entertainer at a local park. One of the nights he returned home from work and started cooking food in the oven, and then Mike was surrounded in flames. Upon seeing the flames, all he could think to do was find his cats. He wanted to save others before saving himself. He wasn't able to find them though. In order to escape, Mike had to dive through a wall of flames, which is the only part of this ordeal he is able to remember without being told what happened.
The fire Brigade had arrived by the time Mike was outside. They managed to save one of his three cats. Sadly the two that weren't saved had already died. Mike was airlifted to the hospital and died a few times before arriving. On his way to recovery, Mike was re-housed in Aberystwyth, but has moved three times since because of storm damage.
Mike found out about Radio Bronglais during his recovery from the fire, even though the burns made him feel embarrassed to go out. This radio station helps connect volunteers with projects. Since Mike had some broadcasting background, they were all over him. He was truly important to them and is assisting them in expanding.
As he is waiting for an operation on his spine so he doesn't have to be as reliant on his partner, Mike is saving for an electric wheelchair. He also looks forward to helping others regain their confidence through the radio.
Since hearing the story about Mike, have you changed your mind about bad luck not existing? His story is truly inspiring. Even after all those obstacles thrown at him, he still continued on with his life. He never once gave up or felt resentment. I am sure taking twenty-two pills couldn't have been fun, and that was all from the burns and spine issues he had. I couldn't imagine going through what he’s gone through. I couldn't imagine being the unluckiest man in Wales.
INTERNATIONAL : EBOLA OUTBREAK WORSENING
October, 2014; LONDON – The Muggle world was rocked to its core with the sudden outbreak of Ebola. The first reported case was reported to be in West Africa. West Africa could face up to 10,000 new Ebola cases a week within two months, the World Health Organization warned Tuesday, adding that the death rate in the current outbreak has risen to 70 per cent.
by Judith Jones
The Muggle Health Regulators, WHO assistant director-general Dr. Bruce Aylward gave the grim figures during a news conference in Geneva. Previously, the agency had estimated the Ebola mortality rate at around fifty percent overall. In contrast, in events such as flu pandemics, the death rate is typically under 2 percent.
Acknowledging that Ebola was "a high mortality disease," Aylward said the UN health agency was still focused on trying to get sick people isolated and provide early treatment.
He told reporters if the world's response to the Ebola crisis isn't raised within two months, "a lot more people will die" and health workers will be stretched even further. Experts say the epidemic is doubling in size about every three weeks.
Health workers have been hit hard by the virus, which is spread by contact with bodily fluids like blood, vomit and diarrhoea. Doctors Without Borders said 16 of its employees had been infected with Ebola and nine of them have died.
Speaking Tuesday in Johannesburg, the head of the charity's South Africa unit, Sharon Ekambaram, said medical workers have received woefully inadequate assistance from the international community.
"Where is WHO Africa? Where is the African Union?" said Ekambaram. "We've all heard their promises in the media but have seen very little on the ground."
For the last month, there's been about a thousand new Ebola cases per week - including suspected, confirmed and probable cases, Aylward said. The UN agency was aiming to get seventy percent of Ebola cases isolated and seventy percent of victims safely buried by December to reverse the outbreak.
Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have been the hardest-hit nations in the current epidemic, and Aylward said WHO was very concerned about the spread of Ebola in their capital cities, where people move freely across borders.
While some regions have seen the number of Ebola cases stabilize or fall, Aylward said "that doesn't mean they will get down to zero."
He said WHO was still focused on trying to treat Ebola patients, despite West Africa's often-broken health care systems.
"It would be horrifically unethical to say that we're just going to isolate people," he said, noting that new strategies like handing out protective equipment to families and setting up very basic clinics was a priority.
Aylward said there was no evidence that any countries were hiding Ebola cases, but said countries bordering the affected area, including Ivory Coast, Mali and Guinea-Bissau, were at high risk of importing the disease.
"This is not a virus that's easy to suppress or hide," he said, noting that Ebola has not spread very much internationally. "I don't expect this virus to just go anywhere. There is exit screening in place and sick people won't be moving."
The Daily Prophet will continue to report on this outbreak. Readers are advised to remain vigilant and to report any suspected cases to the local Health Authorities in St. Mungo’s.
POLITICS: EBOLA EPIDEMIC CAUSED BY WIZARDS
The Ministry of Magic has been on its toes for the past few weeks, and not for what you think. The Ebola epidemic originating in Africa, as we all know, actually turns out to be a magical incident. Starting in St. Fulgentius (Africa's St. Mungo's), a young wizard intern thought he would try healing a curse wound with a spell of his own, causing major complications and the spread of the disease.
Completely immune to it, besides a few comings and goings of jelly-legs, wizards have no problem with the disease. The Ministry of Magic has a lot to answer for, though. Why was there a young wizard there so foolish to start an epidemic like this? How will we stop this? I caught up with the current Minister of Magic to talk to him about how he is handling the situation.
"Well of course we are very concerned with the problem," he confided to me. "There is nothing more we value than the safety of both wizards and muggles."
Ever since the eighth law passed after the defeat of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, it is said that the Ministry of Magic must go to great lengths to help the muggles, and that includes curing a magical virus spread by a young man in a foreign country.
"There isn't much we can do at the moment, as it is, without exposing wizards to the world. We have to be very cautious with the way this is handled. On October 16, I will be holding a meeting with the Ministers from every country. Hopefully we can solve the problem quickly and easily."
After that, the Minister had a conference to attend, so that was the end of my meeting. Many questions still remain though. How will they solve the problem? What will happen to the wizard in Africa who caused this?
SPORTS SECTION: GOBSTONES WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Many of our loyal readers will recall the unfortunate incident between our previous editor, Barnabas Cuffe and Grugwyn Rufford, a member of the Welsh National Gobstones team. According to Mr. Rufford, the Daily Prophet “totally ignored the great sport of Gobstones” and our editor responded with a rather harsh editorial, citing that people found that Gobstones were “deeply boring”. For that matter, I have been sent by our new editor to cover this year’s Gobstones World Championship.
By Alan Davies
The 2014 Gobstones World Championship was held in Scotland, for a whole month since early October. Players from all around the world attended the preliminary rounds at a chance to be crowned the Gobstones World Champion. Also in attendance was the reigning champion, Kevin Hopwood. When interviewed after his quarterfinal win, Mr. Hopwood seemed positive that he would once again return with the trophy. “I've been training hard during the off season. I see some new blood, some with a lot of potential. But I'm confident the trophy would be mine once again.”
There were other players on the roster who seemed to give Mr. Hopwood a run for his money. A rather young player from Belgium, Mr. Alan Swenson, is one player to keep an eye on. He had won most of his matches in straight sets. A modest man with very few words, Mr. Swenson had this to say when the Daily Prophet caught up with him, “I’m trying my best. We have a lot of seasoned players here and we'll have to see how I do.”
After two weeks of intense competition and healthy sportsmanship, the final match was between the reigning champion, Kevin Hopwood and a surprise entry from Russia, Joseph Komenicci. The match was a nail-biter from the get go, with Mr. Hopwood winning the first set. The underdog Ruski then surprised us all by winning the second set. However, victory belonged to the reigning champion, Kevin Hopwood.
Mr. Hopwood walked away with the championship trophy, a monetary reward of fifty thousand galleons, as well as a set of solid gold gobstones. In his acceptance speech, the reigning champion thanked his family and his friends. Mr. Hopwood also thanked the people of Great Britain for their unending support.
This is the Daily Prophet, finally covering a story on the Gobstones World Championship. We hope Mr. Rufford is happy to be reading this cover story on the beloved and well-liked sport, the Gobstones.
A new month means brand new things to get started and do on HEX. However, before we get to that, let's recap the last few events that happened over the course of last month.
With the start of the new school term up and about, the term debates began last month. The two houses involved were Gryffindor and Ravenclaw. The topic for the debate was 'RESOLVED: Hogwarts Students should be allowed to practice magic over the summer holidays.' The two teams had to explain whether or not the use of of magic over summer should be allowed and permitted, given the possible outcomes of doing so. On the affirmative was Ravenclaw, while the negative was Gryffindor. Both teams had excellent arguments and points about their perspective on the topic, but in the end, by both points and argument, Gryffindor won the debate. (The tally of the scores and house points were as follows:
Ravenclaw 284/6=47.(3)*200=9467+5K=14467 HP;
Gryffindor 295/6=49.1(6)*200=9833+15K=24833 HP)
In lieu of last month being the start of the school year, Roleplay Central's roleplay of the month's topic was 'New Year, New School'. There were certainly very diverse plots and characters that were portrayed, and it was a month of roleplays that we would never forget.
Last month, Gryffindor also had their joint restock and sitewide event. It was called, " Wizards Assemble: An Infiltration At The Ministry'. Just when you thought the Ministry was in safe hands, Loki and his men decided to take over it over because Loki accidentally dropped something on our planet. Imagine that! Of course, though, if Loki had his supporters, there were bound to be people who supported the Ministry too, right? And who was more suitable to help the Ministry out than the Muggle heroes we've come to know and love? The question is -- which side did YOU play? Were you with the Ministry... or against it?
Debate wasn't the only Magical sport that began last month, though -- dueling did as well. In a battle of epic proportions, the legendary rivalry of Gryffindor and Slytherin was put to test on the dueling platform. Both teams fought their hardest, but only one took home the gold. With 22500 House Points earned, Slytherin fought their way and won all their duels. Gryffindor earned 7500 House Points for their loss.
Last month also marked the opening of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows forum. With different activities and chats for the seventh book, you're bound to reminisce everything that happened in the seventh year. Re-live the magic, the fun, the excitement, the tears, and basically all your emotions of the seventh book put together in one forum. The magic never stopped even after it's finished anyway, right?
Last month also marked the beginning of HEX Idol 7. Where your voices and your singing prowess are put to the test, this fierce competition is one you would definitely not want to miss. You have the option to audition for the biggest HEX singing competition of the year, and you also have the choice to join the activities made just for the audience members. Get ready for HEX Idol 7, everybody, because it's another year of awesome singing and participation.
As for the events this month, pumpkins were introduced. Pumpkins are sort of like the dirigible plums, except they require more attention, and you may have the option to do more things with your pumpkins. Whereas your plums have only a set day to purchase and to sell them, your pumpkins give you more freedom. The only catch? You have to continue tending to them throughout the day for them to grow. If you're able to take care of them all the time, though, there shouldn't be a problem. At the end of 7 days, you may have the option to sell it for galleons, trade it for an item, or carve your own symbol on the pumpkin. You may also have the option to convert your pumpkin to a special pumpkin and enter it to the pumpkin fair where different prizes and surprises await.
If last month villains and heroes battled it out in the Ministry, this month Pikachu and his pals are in Hogwarts. Brought to you by the Hufflepuff staff, this Pokemon-filled event is one that could bring and engage Pokemon fans of different shapes, sizes, and generations. A plus is that for a prize, you could even get to hang in the Hufflepuff common room, the Pokemon event, AND your respective dorm. So what're you waiting for? Go catch 'em all!
As it is the month for Halloween, the Arts and Graphics forum brings us something very Halloween-y. With a writing challenge that allows you to come up with a NON-scary Halloween bedtime story, and a graphics challenge that lets you edit a scary Halloween picture to a NON-scary one, well, you're definitely in for a ride. So join the people in the Arts and Graphics forum and celebrate a Halloween that you're sure to remember.
Lastly, what would the start of the month be without another Roleplay Central roleplay? This month's theme also incorporates Halloween. With the theme being 'Monsters at Midnight', your Halloween roleplay would certainly not be what you expect it to be. Nowhere is safe, and you can't run or hide -- because Halloween is the time when Monsters come out to play... and possibly HAUNT you as well.
I guess that's all from me now, as I think I've covered everything there is to know for the events of HEX from last month to this month. If there's anything I left out, I'm really sorry about that. Whatever the case, this is Char... signing out!
I am pleased to say that more letters have come in since last time seeking our sage advice. As always, we are happy to oblige with some tips I hope you will find beneficial.
By Samantha Bradley
Dear Daily Prophet,
Does using Salazar's Cauldron have any effect - adverse or otherwise - on your potion brewing?
That's a very good question, one I'm happy you asked. Indeed, you should exercise extreme caution when working with Salazar's Cauldron. Not only is it a highly potent source of magic, but the possibility exists that there could be some leftover residue from the basilisk in there. That's definitely something you don't want to deal with! I would recommend you stay as far away from it as possible unless you are the true Heir of Slytherin.
~ All the best, Sam
Dear Daily Prophet,
One of my friends wants to go out with me. I know because he asked. I haven't given him an answer yet and I just want to let him down easy. I don't want to ruin our friendship but I don't like him that way either.
I'm not sure who Grizel is, but I feel I can address your question.
I wouldn't worry about ruining a friendship if the possibility exists for something more. You might discover this is the most precious person you will ever meet, the one who could give you a lifetime of happiness. I would recommend you at least keep an open mind and see what comes of it.
~ Good luck, Sam
Dear Advice Column,
There's this girl, and I've been dating her for several months now, but... things are getting pretty rough. She lives pretty far away from me, and I've never met her in person. I owled her over the summer, and I maybe sorta asked her out. She agreed and we've been owling each other ever since. I'm a Gryfinndor and she's a Ravenclaw. How can we make this relationship work when we've never met in person before? She's a year younger than me. I fear that some dark lord might rise up and prevent us from seeing each other
First of all, I would recommend you don't even think about anything like that. The Dark Lord is gone for good and no one has shown any indication of wanting to become his successor. I would think positive and see what develops. I have a good feeling about your future together. Gryffindor and Ravenclaw may seem very different, but remember that opposites attract.
~ All the Best, Sam
Dear Advice Column,
Hello there. I am a newly sorted Ravenclaw, and I'm having problems of communicating with them. No, they're not cruel, or evil, or ignorant - basically, they don't have any of the negative traits possible! (Wait, they sure do, they're still humans, but oh, well, you get my point.) I'm just worried about how can I possibly befriend them? I'm way too shy and they're way too clever and nice. I'm afraid of being isolated.
From, A Shy Ravenclaw
Dear Shy Ravenclaw,
First of all, you need to keep in mind that the sorting hat is never wrong. You were placed in Ravenclaw for a reason, which means you are every bit as witty and sharp as those students you are mingling with. Let go of your negative thoughts and soar high like the Raven you are. A whole new world awaits your discovery.
~ Sincerely, Sam
Dear Daily Prophet,
A girl said she'd murder my friend. What should I do to protect my friend?
~ Worried Sick
Dear Worried Sick,
This sounds like a case for an Auror. I urge you to contact one immediately!
~ Good luck, Sam
AUNT EDNA'S CLEANING COLUMN
Hello, lovely readers! Aunt Edna is back again with the best advice for you to manage your household and keep it from looking like a dangerous abode of horror for anyone who passes by.
While household maintenance might not be as complicated as Arithmancy to most of my regular readers, this month I'm going to focus on those readers who cringe at the mere thought of having to clean anything at all. Some of you who fall in that category might admit to being lazy, some might call yourself inexperienced and helpless due to lack of knowledge, and some of you might even claim that you find cleaning 'unnecessary' and 'a waste of time'.
This reminds me of a distant uncle of mine I met at a family gathering long ago. He lived in a small cottage much like Hagrid's hut. This dwelling of his was said to be so unclean that Aunt Jenna claimed to have seen doxies during an unfortunate visit to the hut. Needless to say, none of us ever dared to go to his place after hearing that. However, the uncle never seemed to be bothered by any of it at all. "Cleaning? Cleaning?" he shouted one day, when asked about his negligence towards his house. "What do I need to clean for? My house is fine, alright! Doxies? Yeah, they're there. So what? You scared of them? Cleaning is for those with too much time on their hands and nothing to do. I am a man of intellect and learning! I have much higher pursuits and use of my time!"
It would suffice to say that the uncle never had many visitors. While people such as my uncle do exist, I'm sure the majority of you wouldn't like to be in such a situation. You might find cleaning tedious and cumbersome, but you sure don't want to shoo people away just from bad feedback from your guests.
So for those of you who couldn't care less about cleaning but still have an urge to not fall to the highest levels of social exclusion, don't worry at all! This month, I'm going to give you nice and easy tips and tricks to make your house presentable enough to your guests.
First of all, if you have a garden or a porch, take care of it! Nothing is a worse turn off than having to look at dirty lawns and plants growing crazy right in front of the house. This shouldn't be a very difficult job. Simply grab a copy of 101 Tips for a Beautiful Garden and you're good to go! The spells in it are very basic and wouldn't take much time or effort at all. For those of you looking at me grudgingly for having mentioning a purchase of something, I hear they're giving away free copies of the book at Diagon Alley this weekend.
Make sure the main door or entrance is clean and free of spots. And no, stains from cake fights last Christmas aren't an exception.
Make sure there's good space for your guests to hang their coats, especially since winter's on its way. Don't use the hangers for anything and everything. It's not a dump-anything-at-all-as-soon-as-you-come-home space!
The sofa and chairs should have tidy covers. You might like to laze around all you want on the couch, but trust me, your guests wouldn't like the sweet smell of your two-day-no-shower body. So make sure they're clean and do a smell test. Extra tip: have a trusted friend help you perform the smell test if you suspect you've grown too used to the odour of the living room.
Make sure your cutlery is spot-free. Dishes are important, my friends! No one wants to eat on unclean plates. So, no, simply washing your dishes with water won't do! Make sure you use a cleaning agent of some sort.
That's it! These are the basics of making your house presentable to guests. Just make sure they don't venture into your bedroom! Or worse, your storeroom or basement.
Wishing you all a guest-friendly October, and good luck with your cleaning ventures!
MONTHLY RECIPE: Butternut Squash Soup with Crisps
by Mrs. Weasley
Hello, dear readers! October is back once again and that means this month pumpkin reigns supreme. But today, I want to share with you a recipe without pumpkin in it, but rather a close cousin, the butternut squash.
Nothing gets wasted here: the crisps that go with this easy soup are made with rosemary-speckled squash peelings.
1 butternut squash
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
Butter, to taste
600ml vegetable stock, plus additional stock to loosen soup if desired
1 heaped tsp hot smoked paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the crisps :
Reserved butternut squash peelings
Drizzle olive oil
Few drops sherry vinegar
2 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
1. Peel the butternut squash and reserve the long strips of skin.
2. Discard the butternut squash pulp and chop the remaining butternut squash into chunks.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large casserole, add the onion and butternut squash and plenty of butter (to taste) and cook until brown and caramelised.
4. Pour over the stock. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, leave to cool slightly and then blend using a food processor or hand-blender to the desired consistency.
5. Add hot smoked paprika and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
6. For the crisps, preheat the oven to 140C.
7. Place the reserved butternut peelings in a roasting tray and top with the olive oil, sherry vinegar, chopped rosemary and put in the oven to cook for 20 minutes on a low heat to crisp up.
8. Remove the crisps from the oven and place on kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.
9. Serve the soup with the skin crisps.
If you ever decide to try this, do owl us and tell us what you think! Happy Autumn!
TO RENT THE AD SPACE, PLEASE BE ON A LOOKOUT FOR THE RENTAL THREAD IN DIAGON ALLEY
DAILY PROPHET STAFF
Kay85 (Clara Staunton, Alan Davies, Judith Jones, Mrs. Weasley)
Should you wish to participate in the Daily Prophet as a guest writer, please send an owl to IL PROFETA with the subject, "Daily Prophet Guest Writer."