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THE BOLD, THE YOUNG AND THE DEATH EATERS
by Kay of Kent

February 2014; Devon, England -- The district of Devon was rattled with a series of unexpected attacks on Muggle villages. Reports have been pouring in about a group of teenagers dressed in the full attire of Death Eaters, terrorizing the small villages around Devon. The identities of most of these teenagers remained a mystery, but the Auror Office has managed to detain three of these youngsters for further questioning.

For the last two weeks, the Muggles in the villages of Devon, especially in Catchpole St. Ottery as well as Ottery St. Mary, were shocked to find frozen and dead squirrels at the end of the village near Devon's Game Reserve. The number was large enough that it caused a panic throughout the homes about a possible wild animal, attacking their native squirrels.

The local newspaper reported that the Muggle Game Reserve Animal Forensic team was baffled at the state of the frozen squirrels since the Devon District had not seen a single snowfall since the third week of January. Upon further investigation, the cause of death of these squirrels remained unknown. There were no apparent injuries, internal or external dealt to these creatures. The deaths of these squirrels were ruled as a result of a sudden temperature drop in the night, which caused the squirrels to die of frostbite.

A few weeks later, the residents of Devon District were once again horrified to find that their beloved pets, ranging from a tortoise to much larger pets, such as dogs and horses, were being attacked at night. The owners of these animals were shocked to find deep gashes and scratches on their animals, almost as if a wolf or some other creature was attacking them. The Muggles, then filed a report with the Muggle Police about the situation.

However, there were a few wizarding families living in these villages. Two witnesses came forward to the Auror Office to report suspicious activities that happened during the night. One of the witnesses, who refused to be named, talked to the Daily Prophet about what he saw. “I heard some clanging in the middle of the night. I had woken up to see to the baby. She woke up when she heard the noises. That was when I saw them, a group of Death Eaters mucking about old Stan's stable. They looked weird though. They were not as tall. So, I opened up my window and that's when I heard them. They sounded like young people. I was so surprised.”

The situation in these villages now remained under control with the Auror Office keeping a close surveillance. The Daily Prophet has been told that there are a few Aurors patrolling the villages at night, to make sure the incidents will not repeat themselves. Upon further inquiry, the Auror Office has informed us that the teenagers in custody are interrogated as we go to press. For the sake of their’ safety and their families' safety, the Auror Office only identified the three as Mr. Jackson, Mr. Allen and Miss Blackridge. The lead investigator, Mr. Clark Johnson, Senior Auror of the Criminal Division talked to press yesterday on this matter. "The teenagers, ranging from the age of 15 to 17 were detained in one of our operations after a slew of tips from the residents of Devon District. Many managed to get away; we didn't want to use brute force on them. After all, they are children. However, the Auror Office will continue to find them and their families to determine their risk to both the wizarding and Muggle communities."

The Daily Prophet managed to get a hold of the full names of the teenagers and our correspondent managed to track down the whereabouts of the teenagers' families. The first family was reluctant to speak to us, but offered a small comment: "We were surprised at what he was doing. I thought he was in school, studying hard. I’d never imagined he would be interested in what that monster preached. He should have known better. We lost his brother to one of Voldemort’s Death Eaters. He should have known better!"

Another family was less sympathetic on the panic their child caused the Muggles in Devon: "Why? Why shouldn't he do what he did? They were just Muggles. They don’t deserve to be here. This used to be a wizarding village, but now, it’s run over with Muggle half-wits. My son doesn't deserve to be locked up like some animal! He was just trying to rid us of these filthy people!”"

The situation in Devon was under control at the time of print. However, The Daily Prophet would like to remind the public to exert caution when travelling at night especially when travelling in Devon. If you have any information about the situation, please send an owl to Mr. Clark Johnson, Senior Auror of the Criminal Division at the Auror Office.

These teenagers are obviously troubled and with proper help, these young people could be made to see what is wrong and what is right.

A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO HEX
by Grace

There are many lovely forums here on HEX, but my personal favorite is Dumbledore's Office. It's a forum full of lovely people and a place where you can go and just be yourself. You can find this amazing forum under "The Castle."

When this forum first started, I was filled with a feeling of ultimate happiness that HEXwas being awesome and making an awesome forum. Not that HEX wasn't awesome before, of course. But that's where I spent a majority of my HEX time for a while. It's an environment not just for people to discuss such things like their sexuality, but also for other things. You can find people here that have gone through similar things that you have or are currently going through. You can easily find solace in this forum knowing that there are people you don't know, never met before in your life, that care about you regardless. It's a beautiful place full of beautiful people.

Dumbledore's Office currently has some contests going on. Including one where you simply post different uplifting quotes, or whatever you can think of that's uplifting. It even now has something called The Quill of Acceptance. It's awarded every two months to a person of whom people collectively agree embodies what the forum is all about. There's a thread where you nominate people, but you of course can't nominate yourself. Also, you can only win the Acceptance Award once.

At the top of this forum, there is a link that says "Support Links" that takes you to a thread which has various links to different support websites that can help you if you're going through a rough time. There's an International one, as well as some for the USA and Canada and Europe. It's a useful thing for those who may need help someday.

The main part of this forum are the various threads throughout. There's plenty of topics that one can join in if they so desire to. Topics including dealing with one's sexuality, dealing with mental disorders, such as depression, and dealing with religion -- and there are many others. There's an introduction thread located at the top of the page where you can introduce yourself and tell people your story. About what hardships you've faced in life and about any struggles you've faced or currently may be facing. You can also read other people's introductions and see that you're not alone in the world, and you can maybe make a new friend or two there.

There's also a watch thread that if added to your watch list, you'll be notified of different contests and other happenings going on in the forum. As I've said before, it's an amazing forum full of just as amazing people. A place where you don't have to be afraid to be yourself because no one is going to judge you. So if you're feeling like you need a friend, you should head on over to Dumbledore's Office. There you'll meet people just like you who are looking for a warm, comforting place to get away from the harsh realities of life. I know it's where I spend a lot of my time on HEX, just reading through different threads, occasionally participating in a few if I have any input to add. For me, if I'm upset about something, going to this thread makes me feel a little better to see the non-stop acts of kindness going around to everyone. So if you're looking for a friendly environment, look no further than Dumbledore's Office.

GRYFFINDOR VS. HUFFLEPUFF
by ArielKitteh

Hello, readers. I hope that everyone has had a good month (has it been that long?) since our last issue! This time, I bring to you the Gryffindor vs. Hufflepuff debate over whether Lord Voldemort – also known as Tom (Marvolo) Riddle – was born evil, or if he was a victim of circumstance.

In this debate, Gryffindor argued the affirmative and Hufflepuff argued the negative.

The debate began with Gryffindor presenting their introduction and first argument. They decided to first look at Tom Riddle's upbringing. According to the team, and to science,– a child's development is firmly determined by the environment the child is in, and also how it is nurtured or cared for. Obviously, as we can infer –and are somewhat informed – from the books, Tom's upbringing and environment and interactions were not the healthiest for a young child. As canon information supplies, Merope Riddle, Tom's mother,– suffered depression after his father left her, and it is said by scientists that mother’s with depression increase risk of a child having a mental illness. So even when he was simply a fetus, Tom's brain was being effected by the depression his mother was feeling and shaping him to be who he was.

Doing some research, the Gryffindor team showed us that J.K. Rowling herself said that being conceived and brought into the world because of a love potion – the way that Tom was – is simply the worst way. Additionally, she mentioned that he could be mentally unstable because of a long history of inbreeding.

To end off their first point, they sum it up with saying that Tom Riddle was aware that his mother died, left him on purpose, and it definitely messed him up. As well, he was definitely mentally unbalanced because of his upbringing in the orphanage and life/childhood/upbringing without love.

For their rebuttal, the Hufflepuffs began with an intro, telling us the three different topics they'd be discussing. First, they'd be discussing different choices that he made that proved – in their opinion – that he wanted to be evil. The next topic was disputing Gryffindor's point about Riddle's environment having an effect on him, saying that the orphanage did not cause the evil within him. The third and final point of their first argument is that his genetic makeup had a lot to do with his evilness.

The Hufflepuffs explained that it wasn't the people around him that influenced him to be evil, but rather his lack of interaction with them. His lack of wanting to interact and learn to be a better person, therefore shaping him into an evil person. They point out that Harry Potter grew up in an arguably worse environment and still turned out to be a good person.

They end by pointing out that, yes, Riddle had a lineage of inbreeding that made him evil – as the affirmative had stated, inadvertently helping the negative – and that he had bullied the other children at the orphanage without provocation, proving that he already had evil inside him.

The affirmative then point out that the negative failed to say that if Riddle's past had been different, so would have been his choices at the orphanage. They venture to even say that he had psychopathy, despite the minimal information we have about him from his orphanage. They dispute the negative's point that it would be a ‘huge mistake’ to say that Riddle was not affected by the orphanage, for he despised the mere thought of going back.

They say many things about his outbursts and the way he might've scared the other children, especially when he learned to control them and unleash his anger constantly.

The two keep going for a few more posts, discussing more about his mental issues and abandoned state, about his failure to interact with others (also known as social anxiety). This went on until both teams made their conclusion.

The first to conclude was the negative team and they reinstated their points that Tom Riddle had always had something wrong with him; that the orphanage hadn't helped with it and that his biological past had a lot to do with his being evil.

The affirmative ended by reinstating their points as well. These points included that he had went by his evil nature, rather than being nurtured into a more loving personality. Also that his lack of parents at a young age made him feel abandoned and unloved and thus turned him into a bad person.

It ended with the Gryffindors winning, proving that, no, Tom Riddle had not been evil, but instead a victim of circumstance.

From my point of view, I thought that this was true. It seems to me that no baby can be born evil, it has to be shaped and molded into that. (In my opinion) Tom Riddle, also known as Lord Voldemort, was not born evil, and instead turned into an evil person.

Sorry for the rushed description, readers, but Happy Valentine's Day and see you next time!

GOBLIN CITY NEWS
by Samantha Bradley

Greetings, fellow witches and wizards! I am proud to be reporting live from Goblin City and bringing you all the latest news! I want to address a question I've been asked over and over. That question is: Exactly what is the King's Fortress?

It took quite a bit of investigation on my part to get any kind of information on this issue, as the Goblins chose to remain mum. (Which is nothing unusual, they tend to be naturally tight-lipped about this kind of thing anyway.) I realized that I would have to go directly to the King's Fortress myself if I really wanted to find out what was happening there. And of course, I couldn't resist the challenge. What is it the Muggles say? Curiosity killed the cat? Something like that.

I watched silently from the shadows of some nearby bushes as goblins went in and out of the building, waiting to utilize the Polyjuice Potion I had carefully prepared for just this very occasion. Once I was certain that the goblin whose single hair I had managed to secure was out of the picture, I consumed the potion. It had a most unpleasant taste, a bit like stale old cheese.

Moments later, I could feel my ears growing long and pointed, my stature shrinking down. As I looked at my skin, I realized it had taken on the sickly hue of a goblin's skin. It was time to go inside, for I had only an hour to accomplish this mission before the potion wore off!

As I walked through the doors of the Fortress, I nodded at each passing goblin. To my relief, each of them nodded back as if nothing unusual were going on. I haven't had that much experience with Polyjuice in the past, so this was a very good sign indeed.

Within moments I was inside a very large room. I realized that it must be some sort of throne room, for there in front of me was a large metal throne. It was made entirely of swords which were obviously goblin-forged. Instantly, I thought of a throne that a Muggle friend had described to me from a book called Game of Thrones. At the moment the throne was completely vacant. I could have gone over and sat on it if I had chosen to, but the sight of it was not very welcoming. It had to be a very uncomfortable seat, at the very least. Not being into self torture, I chose to continue past it and investigate further.

The next room was far more interesting to me, for it contained a variety of gems of all manner -- emeralds, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, topaz, garnets, peridots, jade, amber, tiger's eye, amethysts. Every imaginable hue and color was represented here and every jewel was absolutely perfect! I fought hard to resist the urge to nab one for myself, and consider myself very strong willed to have only taken the one tiny emerald. It will make the perfect pendant for me to wear to the St. Patrick's Day Ball!

After several minutes I left that room and entered another one. This was in stark contrast to the gem room, for it was very smelly in there. In fact, the air was almost too stinky to even breathe! I realize that I had entered some sort of laundry room for goblins. All their dirty clothing was in there, and one single, extremely ugly goblin was washing each of the items out by hand. How could anything possibly smell so foul!

All I wanted to do was get away as quickly as possible. I had only a short time before the Polyjuice wore off, so I turned and quickly made my way out of the Fortress. Of course, I took one last look at the gem room as I did so, taking two more tiny emeralds to make a matching set of earrings to match my pendant in the process. I deserved it after being in that horrid wash room!

So now you know what's going on at the Fortress. Unfortunately, I still don't know whether there is actually a goblin king in there, as I only saw the throne. Still, I consider it an eye opener.

ARTS AND GRAPHIC CHALLENGES/ JANUARY
by Leviathan Dy

Dy was frantically scribbling her article which she was supposed to give to her Editor. She was so busy these past few days that she almost forgot about her article on Arts and Graphics Challenge winners.

As she wrote the last word of her article, Dy quickly put on her cloak and ran toward the announcement board.

It was luck that helped her along the way, because when she got there, they have already announced people who won. It was quite surprise to see that Kay85 had won two first places. That was saying something about dedication to her House.

Dy admired all those who entered the competitions to win points to their Houses.

Writing Challenge
1st Place: 10,000 Galleons + 3,000 House Points - kay85 #16
 2nd Place: 5,000 Galleons + 2,000 House Points - xxsilent_moonxx #7
3rd Place: 2,000 Galleons + 1,000 House Points - Sophia Oceanborn #13

Graphic Challenge
1st Place: 10,000 Galleons + 3,000 House Points - kay85
2nd Place: 5,000 Galleons + 2,000 House Points - kydsis9
3rd Place: 2,000 Galleons + 1,000 House Points - jrunnel

Below this article you'll find the two winning entries from Kay85.



Writing Challenge Entry

It's done.

The fresh rain didn't mask the smell of fresh dirt. The once meticulously manicured lawn now lay disturbed, with a hole in it. Well, a covered-up hole anyway. As I walked away from the grave, my mind kept on replaying the eulogy. It was beautiful, heartfelt and sincere.

But, no one talked about his fireworks.

There was a sadness floating around the house, like a wisp of dark cloud hanging just inches above the roof. Everyone was wearing black, black dresses, black suits; black, black, and more black. I sat in the corner of the room, watching people comfort each other. He was kind, they said. He was such a loving person, they lamented.

But, no one talked about his fireworks.

I lay on my bed, staring at the blue ceiling. Everyone was gone and the house was so still. His room was now empty. There was no sign of any familiar movement. I no longer see his shadow walking across the room. I sat up, staring at the room in front of my own. The bed was empty, only a bouquet of flowers lay atop the covers. There was nobody, no presence. He was gone, truly.

But I'll be the one to talk about his fireworks.

They were green and blue. They were red and yellow. They were bright and loud. They were his fireworks. He would light them up to make me smile. He would set them flying over the moon, just to see the glint of awe in my eyes. He would hold my hands while we watched. He would whisper in my ears, telling me how much he loves me. Fireworks will never look the same to me again, never again.

That is why I talk about his fireworks. Forever and always.



Graphic Challenge Entry



Thank you for reading this article. I hope to see you entering these challenges for the chance to win your house some points.

COMMENCE WITH A BANG
by Ashwin Shekhar

January was a very interesting month for me -- the contests this month were truly amazing, well-written and, of course, interesting. Be it the greatly mystic world of dreams, or the fun world of animals, the contests provided an excellent platform for HEX's awesome writers. The best ones were very good, I heard, and it was a hard choice, choosing the top three. Without further ado, let's look at the top three names and also briefly learn about the contests.



Tracking the Beast
Genre: writing


This contest dealt with a mysterious footprint in the Forbidden Forest. The contestants had to guess which animal's print it was, and describe the animal. Sure, it kind of looked challenging to me, (especially me being so very imaginative, pfft) and I wondered how people were going to go about it. But to my surprise, there were winners. Who, according to the judges, did great work. Oh my goodness, the world's oh-so talented!

The winners:
First Prize - Erikkagrey - Slytherin
Second Prize - Riya Potter - Ravenclaw
Third Prize - neunlen - Slytherin

My comment: Wheeeee, our House's catching up! Okay, I'm biased again. I love the way Slytherin so stylishly bagged the first and third positions, successfully putting itself ahead in the game of contests, but still, Ravenclaw wasn't so behind. Hufflepuff and Gryffindor were not visible here, so I rushed off to the next contest to look for them. Obviously. Such high achievers couldn't just disappear!



Fifth Year Divination Dream Interpretation
Genre: writing


Imagining that they were in a Divination classroom, contestants had to recollect their dreams and delve into the world of dream interpretation. It required, like the previous contest, a lot of imagination and writing skill. But obviously our talented Hexians did it without much sweating. They were, like: "Elementary, dear," and they did it like it was nothing. Ugh, I'm envious again.

The winners:
First Prize - cyndog - Hufflepuff
Second Prize - Arabella_Volturi - Gryffindor
Third Prize - DragonChaser - Gryffindor

Looks like Gryffindor took quite a place here. No sign of the previous two Houses, eh? Great, but, still: There's competition, and that nail-biting count to the House Cup is something I love like anything. On the account of love ... Happy Valentine's Day to people here! Excellent day to you all!

Signing off for now,
Ashwin

VALENTINE WOES
by Molly Weasley and HEXians

Valentine's Day is one of the most important days of the year, and it is definitely the most romantic. That is the day Arthur proposed to me, so it is very close to my heart.

You want everything to go perfectly on this special day, so I decided to seek out opinions from some of the experts. I asked the each of them four most important questions I could think of: How do you ask out your Valentine? Where should you go? What should you wear? What kind of flowers should you pick up?

The first person I consulted was adam_strickland.

"How do you ask out your Valentine?
Well, obviously you have to be smooth about it. If you come on to strong, you'll end up lonely on Valentines day and that is sad. You just have to be respectful, polite and sweet. I recommend starting months before Valentine's day. Butter them up and then when things feel right, spring the question. Just remember not to do it to early as they may find someone else who is romancing them. But don't be too late, as they might have already found someone.

Where should you go?
Well, if you ask me (and obviously you have or else I wouldn't be here) a dinner date is perfect. Don't make it super fancy, but don't be slouchy about it either. This is the perfect time to make your first impression on your date, so pick something that is a little more than casual. After that, maybe a drive or walk.

What should you wear?
Make sure that you don't over dress like a suit and tie. For a guy, a collared shirt or a semi-dressed up button down. Khaki pants and some nice shoes. Don't overthink it. You'll just end up messing up!

What kind of flowers should you pick up?
Roses. Most guys go for red, but I say white roses are the best."

Next, I sought advice from Lucala.

"How do you ask out your Valentine?
Well in advance of the day, like two weeks in advance, because who wants to WONDER if their guy is going to make Valentine's Day reservations or plans or just blow it off!

Where should you go?
If you can afford it: a cute little restaurant that has character and doesn't rush you out. If you can't afford that: a real dive that still has fantastic food

What should you wear?
This depends on where you're going (question above).

What kind of flowers should you pick up?
If your date is very environmentally conscious, do NOT buy cut flowers flown in from far away. They don't treat the farm workers well; it's not great for the environment to buy stuff grown really far away due to the fuel expended to get it to you; and they pesticide them to death. If your date is "green" then get them a potted orchid or a potted local plant.

IfIf your date is NOT "green" then go for anything but chrysanthemums (unless your date loves them). I hate them because they remind me of funerals. But yeah, roses are nice if you want them to say "I'm serious about you" but if you're not THAT serious, then just a colorful bouquet of mixed flowers."

Next, I sought the opinions of rritian_riddle, and she had this to say -

"H"How do you ask out your Valentine?
You buy them coffee or a treat you know they will like! If they say yes, they're happy! If they're irritated you asked, they're happy anyways since you bought them something they enjoy! It's a win-win, even if they say no!

Where should you go?
Don't do surprises. Ask them and come up with an idea together! This way both of you have fun! <3 It's all personal preference!

What should you wear?
Depends on where you are going! Again, personal preference!

What kind of flowers should you pick up?
If unsure of what they like, Roses. Classic never hurts!"

Finally, I asked firebolt32 her thoughts on these matters - r>
"H"How do you ask out your Valentine?
Just come right out and ask.

Where should you go?
A nice romantic dinner then a movie.

What should you wear?
My jeans and a HP tee shirt, I'm a simple girl.

What kind of flowers should you pick up?
None. I am allergic."

As for myself, I think the best way to ask out your Valentine is through a nice, flowery letter with lots of romantic words in it. This works even better if you sprinkle rose petals inside your letter. So romantic, and makes it smell nice, too!

You should definitely go somewhere super romantic. Paris is a great choice for lovers, but if you can't make it there then you should find a nice spot where you can be alone. Movies are good for this, as are some restaurants. Find the one with the right vibe and enjoy your time together.

You should wear something that makes you feel handsome or pretty (depending on if you're a guy or a girl). Wear something that your Valentine will appreciate. After all, this day is all about them.

And as far as flowers go, I would definitely go with the roses. Everything about them speaks of love to me.

There's some really good advice here, so I hope you will find it helpful and have the date of your dreams!

BREAK-IN AT GRINGOTT'S, NOTHING TAKEN
by SLYannique

Upon entering the Gringotts bank to see the Goblins participating in a chaotic frenzy, a heavy weight fell in my stomach. Upon inspection it was evident that nothing was stolen, Aurors and MoM officers concluded that it was just some kid trying to see if they could break into the bank known for such heavy security, but is that all there is to it? I was scared for all of the possibilities that this break-in could be involved in.

If we take a look back at the past years that Gringotts had successfully been broken into, we can see that it was never a challenge to see if they could do it.

Let us take a look back to 1991. Someone broke into Gringotts, but again nothing was stolen. Was that a test? No, it evidently wasn't as the thief was reported to be after the Philosophers Stone that was residing in Vault 713. The vault that was emptied by Rubeus Hagrid -- upon Dumbledore's command -- the very same morning. It was also later found out that the person who broke in was Lord Voldemort, acting from Professor Quirell's body.

If we look at our current day break-in. How are we sure that the operator in this breaking in wasn't in fact after something that they thought was inside one of the vaults? What if a past Death Eater is once again trying to resurrect his lord?

Now let us take a look back at the other time that Gringotts was broken into. An act orchestrated by Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley and of course, the Chosen One, Harry Potter. Did anyone even know what was stolen from Bellatrix Lestrange's vault? Quite unlikely as the vault had a multiplier charm. It would take ages before someone found out what was stolen from a vault that had all their items multiplied. Maybe our conspirator did in fact steal something, it just hasn't been acknowledged yet.

Now I am not crossing out the idea that this person just broke into the bank to see if they could. However, according to past break-ins it is shown that the motive was never as a joke. Let us say that the person did break-in to see if they could do it? How are we sure that they aren't doing it as a practice run for a planned theft. This person got into the bank once, what is there to say that they can't do it again? When that time comes will the goblins be prepared?

Furthermore, how are we sure that this break-in isn't just a cover up? A distraction from a bigger crime? All the attention is put upon the actual event of this break in, but no one is looking at the possibilities around it.

Yes, no one evidently stole anything, but how are we sure that no one put anything in there? Muggles have invented those like explosive things that go off with a timer, how are we sure that the bank isn't hiding one of those right now? The Aurors took one look at the bank, concluding that it was just a practical joke when they saw nothing to be stolen, did they bother to take a look around to see if anything was added?

Are these Aurors seriously the ones who we trust our lives upon? If I was an auror, I would look at this crime from all angles. We all know that nothing is ever as it seems.

QUIDDITCH : GRYFFINDOR VS. SLYTHERIN
by Kay of Kent

Honestly, I have no idea what was the boss' beef with me! Of all the assignments he could have given me, Quidditch would be the last thing I wanted to do. How on earth am I going to a sporting event with my fabulous Louis Vuitton heels? Honestly, I spent some good Muggle money to buy these fabulous heels! I guess there isn't much you can do when the boss threatened to send you off to Namibia, covering the mating rituals of the Blow Fly. I guess, to the Qudditch pitch I go!

Quidditch season was at its peak when the match I was supposed to cover rolled around. It was against my former house, Gryffindor, with their ancient rivals, Slytherin. So, I took the Hogwarts Express from London all the way to Hogwarts. The air was electric with anticipation and rivalry woven into it. I took my seat at the Gryffindor tower and flipped open my notebook. It wasn't long before Rolanda Hooch flew to the middle of the pitch.

I was never fond of Madam Hooch. She instilled the fear of Bludgers deep into my psyche. Anyway, the wind had picked up rather suddenly, but unpredictable weather was to be expected in the Highlands. Madam Hooch was serving as a referee, and she demanded attention from the players as the coin was being tossed. As it were, the gleaming coin landed on tails, giving Slytherin possession of the Quaffle.

The game went into high gear from the get go, with Slytherin's Chasers tackling each other for Quaffle. What in the world are they up to? The Chaser who had the Quaffle, a rather willowy girl named Veronica had intended to pass the ball to her teammate, when the rogue Slytherin Chaser, Kai, rammed into her and controlled the Quaffle. Poor Gryffindors; they were caught unaware of the little scheme and so were unable to gain possession of the Quaffle. Round one ended with the score being nil-nil with Slytherin having possession of the Quaffle.

At the start of round two, Gryffindor Chaser, Kaliana, zoomed in and rammed herself into the Slytherin Chaser, Kai. With a quick tug, the Quaffle fell into the lions' possession. But wait, the serpents weren't going to let it go easily. Veronica zipped through the air and tackled Kaliana, even after the Gryffindor had managed to possess the ball. Madam Hooch blew her whistle and gave the Slytherin Chaser a warning. Unfortunately, the broom's handle managed to poke Kaliana right in the solar plexus. At the end of round two, the score was still nil-nil with Gryffindor having the possession.

Round three started with good intentions, as Kaliana attempted to shoot the Quaffle for some points. As if the Slytherins would allow that. Maeve rushed through the air and tackled the Gryffindor Chaser for the Quaffle and unfortunately for the lions, Slytherin had possession of the ball. At the end of round three, the score was still, nil-nil. This is turning out to be a rather drab match, I must say.

The game was heating up in round four as an array of passing, hitting, shooting and tackling happened. The Gryffindor Chaser, Evanna, wasted no time in tackling Maeve for the Quaffle. The Slytherin Chaser on the other hand was aided by a Bludger aimed towards Evanna by her teammate, Dracarys. The iron ball hit Evanna right under the chin despite the valiant effort from Dexter, the Gryffindor Beater to block the Bludger from hitting his teammate. Poor Lions, this wasn't really their round as Slytherin managed to sneak in a goal after a confusing turn of events involving their reserve Keeper who walked out onto the pitch much too early. At the end of round four, Slytherin, one, Gryffindor, nil, with Gryffindor with possession.

Round five began almost immediately with Kaliana of Gryffindor having possession. She attempted to pass the Quaffle to her teammate, Eve. Even with the forceful efforts of the Slytherin Chaser to tackle the ball from the Gryffindors, Kaliana managed to pass the ball to Eve. At the other end of the pitch, the Slytherin Seeker, Kailen, managed to spot the snitch fluttering about the pitch. Both Seekers from the two teams eyed the Snitch with great enthusiasm. This didn't sit too well with Slytherin Beater, Dracarys, who tried to deflect a Bludger towards Gryffindor’s Seeker, Diana. With great agility, Diana managed to escape unscathed. At the end of that round, the score was still Slytherin, one, Gryffindor, nil.

Somehow, I lost interest in the next round. There were a few passes and something called an Acorn foul, or was it a Dragon foul? I honestly don't recall. After about fifteen minutes, I asked the gentleman sitting next to me what had happened. He told me that Gryffindor managed to snag a penalty, but even with that, they didn't manage to score. Oh, poo! At the end of that round, the score was still Slytherin, one, Gryffindor, nil.

Oh, looks like I've run out of typing space. Oh well, might as well wrap this up. In the end, boys and girls, Gryffindor won after the Seeker, Diana, spotted and managed to catch the elusive Golden Snitch, much to the dismay of the opposing team. The Gryffindor players twirled and zoomed all around the pitch celebrating their victory. I, on the other hand, was eager to return home and write this rather tedious article about a sport I have little knowledge about. Before I forget, the score was Gryffindor 150, Slytherin, 10. Until next time.

I do hope there isn't a next time.

VALENTINE SUGAR COOKIES
by Kay of Kent

Valentine'’s Day is a great day to be celebrating everything about love. Even if you are alone with no one to celebrate it with, like me, there is no reason you couldn'’t have some tasty desserts to help boost your mood and tickle your taste buds.

I have a recipe for you here that is not only simple for the busy but also very pretty to look at. It is a recipe I inherited from my grandmother, and she told me these were the cookies that sealed the deal with my grandfather. They were happily married for 60 years and I would listen to my grandmother if she said this was the key to a great marriage. Here is the recipe. Please keep it safe and use it to please your significant other or yourself this Valentine’'s Day. Enjoy!



Ingredients:

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Directions:

In a large bowl, cream together butter and confectioners' sugar. Beat in egg, vanilla and almond extract. Mix well.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and cream of tartar; blend into the butter mixture. Divide dough into thirds and shape into balls.

Working with 1/3 of dough at a time, roll out dough into desired thickness on a lightly floured surface. For each heart sandwich cookie, cut out 2 3-inch hearts. Cut out the center of ONE of the 3-inch hearts with the 1 1/2-inch cutter.

Place each piece separately on an ungreased cookie sheet, 1 - 2 inches apart. Bake in a preheated, 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven until lightly browned (7-8 minutes for 1/4 inch thick cookies). Cool completely on wire rack. Frost bottom cookie with Pink Valentine Frosting and place an open centered cookie on top to form the sandwich. Also frost the small 1 1/2 inch hearts and serve as separate cookies.

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Il Profeta

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Kay85 (Kay of Kent)

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