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POTS OF GOLD : LUCK OR LOOT?
by Kay of Kent

March, 2014; Dublin, Ireland – The residents of the city of Dublin, Ireland, were baffled by a rather mysterious turn of events. With St. Patrick'’s Day approaching fast, the town was no stranger to the antics and pranks played by the residents during this time of year. But when pots of gold began appearing at random times and on random doorsteps, the people of Dublin were caught between enjoying the gift and reporting it.

This phenomenon started occurring in the beginning of March, with the first reported incident happening to a small family, living just outside the bustling town. Mrs. Turnbuckle was surprised to find a small pot of gold right in front of her door, on the morning of March 3rd. According to reports, Mrs. Turnbuckle was already carrying out her chores in the kitchen that morning. She then stepped outside to put the milk bottles out for the milkman to collect during his morning delivery. When Mrs. Turnbuckle opened her door, she saw the pot of gold right in the middle of her doorstep. Speaking to reporters at the Auror Office, Judith Turnbuckle assured the public that she did not take a penny, “No, no! It’s not mine to keep. I have no idea how that pot ended up on my doorstep that morning. I called my husband immediately and we contacted the authorities.”

According to the latest data reports from the Auror Office, there have been at least 13 reported incidents involving the discovery of pots of gold. The Lead Investigator for the Financial Crime Division of the Auror Office, Mrs. Stentworth, in her statement to the reporters stated that the division believed that the number of reported incidents doesn’t reflect the severity of the situation. The Auror Office believed that there are more unreported cases around Ireland, but these individuals refused to step forward and report the strange occurrence. After all, the amount of galleons per pot has been reported to be somewhere around 500 to 1,000 galleons.

The sudden appearance of the pots of gold has raised a lot of questions as to where did these pots of gold came from. The Daily Prophet contacted the Auror Office for a statement, but was told that the investigators were looking at every possible angle of where these pots of gold originated. The Auror Office has also denied any break-ins and theft from the Wizarding Bank, Gringotts. According to the Auror Office’s spokesman, there had been no reports of illicit activities made by the bank to the authorities, assuring the public that their savings and possession are in good hands.

With no strong leads and evidence found at each crime scene, the likelihood of finding the perpetrator of these acts of benevolence grows thin. The public has begun numerous conspiracy theories as well as their own deductions as to where these galleons came from. Many believed that it was the work of a vigilante, trying to spread the wealth and give some families a well-deserved reprieve from their hard situations, even for only a short amount of time. Others cling on to the old adage that a Leprechaun has a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and perhaps this time, the rainbow ended on someone’s doorstep.

Nevertheless, the Daily Prophet would like to urge the public to report these incidents as soon as possible. Although it may seem like a good idea to keep the galleons, we do not know where the galleons came from and the possibility that they might be stolen property cannot be looked over. At the time of print, there have been two other reported incidents involving these pots of gold. The Daily Prophet would like to urge the public to come forward, if you have any information about the situation. Please send an owl to Mrs. Katherine Stentworth, Senior Auror of the Financial Crime Division at the Auror Office.

A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO HEX
by Grace

Hogwarts Extreme has this new feature called Dirigible Plums. When I was assigned to write a guide about them, I was kind of embarrassed a bit because I wasn't sure what they were and I felt like I should have. But, don't worry, readers, I have done my research and am now able to tell you the do's and don't's of Dirigible Plums.

You can find the Dirigible Plum tree in Goblin City, where you click on the tree. The first thing about Dirigible Plums, is you can only buy them on Sundays, then they have to be sold by the following Saturday or else they will explode.

Before you buy any Dirigible Plums, however, you must first head on over to Luna's General Store in Diagon Alley to purchase the required equipment. You'll need a watering can, a trowel, a planter, gardening gloves, and potting soil. After you have everything you need, you'll need to equip them in order to use them. This can be done by going to your inventory and clicking on an item and selecting the "equip" option. Then, if it's a Sunday, you can now go and buy yourself some plums. The current price of a Dirigible Plum is around 2,000 galleons.

After you have the plums bought, you'll need to buy some plant food, water, garden shears, a weed puller, and some dung so you can take care of your plums. Don't forget to equip and replenish your supplies.

Taking care of your plums can be tricky. See, you don't know exactly what results will occur by tending to your plum. Some actions could cause negative results, whereas some will cause positive results. A lot of experimentation is involved in finding out the perfect way to care for your plums.

Though you want to make sure you tend to your plums properly, you also want to make sure you don't over-do it. For example, try not to feed it too much, because that could result in negative side effects.

You want to keep in mind that your plums need to be as perfect as you can make them, since you have to sell them before Saturday when they explode. You sell them at the Apothecary located in Diagon Alley. The shopkeeper there will offer you a price on your plums, depending on the quality of them, how well you've taken care of them. You can either accept the offer, or you can deny it and try and make them better so you can get a higher offer. The shopkeeper will not buy plums on Sunday, which makes sense considering that's when you buy the plums. Do not forget to sell the Dirigible Plums, because if you do, and they explode, it would have been waste of Galleons. Lack of caring for your plums will cause their lifespan to drastically shorten.

There's not much left to explain about this interesting new feature here on Hogwarts Extreme. With a little time and effort, you can soon figure out the best way to care for your Dirigible Plums. Good luck, and have fun!

SLYTHERIN VS. GRYFFINDOR
by Grace

Hello, there. This is my first Debate Report and I'm excited because I love to read debates on Hex. Let's get started.

This debate was between Slytherin and Gryffindor. It was over whether or not the sport of Quidditch should be suitable for school-aged children due to its violent nature. With Slytherin as the Affirmative and Gryffindor as the Negative.

Slytherin started off the debate with a quote by Thomas Jefferson, then they went on to define Beaters and Bludgers, saying they serve no purpose in winning the game and their only goal is to injure other players.

They talk about fouls and how players use them to gain an advantage on opponents. Also mentioned is how there is little surveillance over the equipment for Quidditch, so things can be easily tampered with. The weather is added as a dangerous factor, because Quidditch matches aren't called off for things such as thunderstorms.

Slytherin concluded their first argument by restating the facts they had previously mentioned.

Gryffindor then comes in with their introduction stating that it may have the potential to become a violent game, but when regulated properly it should be played aggressively rather than violently; Wizarding children can have their injuries healed easier than Muggle children, thus no permanent damage resulting from the game; and there are physical, mental and social benefits associated with Quidditch.

They start by defending their first fact by stating that there's a fine line between violence and aggression. Quidditch is an aggressive sport, not a violent one, they say. Aggressiveness is rewarded, whereas violence isn't. There are penalties for those who break the rules. Quidditch is regulated and rules are put in place to make the game safer. There are also referees that oversee the matches. These arguments together are to prove that the game is heavily regulated and isn't generally violent.

Gryffindor also states in their rebuttal that Quidditch is just like any Muggle sport. The difference is, Magical children can heal much quicker than Muggle children can. They use the example of Neville's Uncle always dangling him out of the window and accidentally dropping him once. Noting how he didn't get hurt proves that Wizards and Witches are more resilient than Muggles. They sum up their third fact by saying how Quidditch can build one's self-esteem, using Ron as an example.

The Negative began their rebuttal by stating that without Beaters and Bludgers, there would be absolutely no way to prevent opponents from scoring. Pointing out that fouls are rarely used in a game, they also mentioned the ones that are used don't cause any real injuries to the player it is used upon. They also state that any protective spells placed on the balls to prevent tampering may be useless when it comes to House-Elves, since their magic is so much different than Wizard magic.

Next the Affirmative come in with their rebuttal. Arguing against certain things the Negative had stated. They started by stating that there are other sports besides Quidditch, such as Wizard's Chess, that students can participate in that are safe activities. They go on to say that aggression is what causes violence, since they both use force to accomplish a goal. Pointing out Harry's broken arm, they impress upon the fact that just because they can easily fix the injuries, that doesn't make it okay for them to acquire them. Using six examples from the Harry Potter books themselves, Slytherin proves just how violent Quidditch can truly be, what with the many injuries it has caused during Harry's time at Hogwarts.

Ending their rebuttal by stating that even if someone gets injured, they aren't taken out of the game, the Affirmative sticks to saying that violence is the essence of Quidditch.

Gryffindor comes in with their second rebuttal, stating that the Affirmative wasn't directly addressing all of their points. They brought up how Wizard's Chess was mentioned as an alternative to Quidditch, however, Wizard's Chess has some amount of violence associated with it as well. The Negative also brought up an excellent point about how the game itself isn't violent, there just sometimes tends to be players that make the game violent. Which could happen with any other game. They go on to insist that even though injuries do happen frequently in Quidditch, that doesn't make the sport unsuitable for children. Any sport can cause injuries to people. They conclude their rebuttal by restating all of the facts they had mentioned before.

The second rebuttal and conclusion for Slytherin is next, and they come in strong saying that the Affirmative clearly misunderstood the resolve. They basically say that no matter what way you look at it, Quidditch is a violent sport unsuitable for school-aged children. Regardless of how quickly injuries can be cured, they shouldn't be in that position in the first place. Their conclusion just restates all of the important facts mentioned in their other arguments.

By the end of this interesting debate, I am still torn between the two extremes. On one hand, I agree with the Negative about how Quidditch is a dangerous sport and I think it should be played with a lot of caution. On the other hand, I agree with the Affirmative that anything can be dangerous and they can cure the injuries after all. So I don't think it should be banned from schools.

The end result was that of a tie. Apparently the resolve wasn't as polished as it should have been, thus barely leaving the negative side with a shot since we all know how violent Quidditch can be. I think both sides did a fantastic job. I apologize if the report was too lengthy. Until next time, have a lovely day.

GOBLIN CITY NEWS - St. Patrick's Day and Goblin City
by MissBella

Hello, dear readers of the Daily Prophet! If you haven't been gripped by St. Patrick's fever yet, you will be soon. The Daily Prophet office itself has preparations on in full gear and we're only a wall color away from going green completely.

However, my interest is drawn more towards the preparations that are on in Goblin City. Yes, you heard it right - the dark lanes of the gambling city will now be plastered with green things of all sorts. Before you rush to pack your bags, here's a little backstory for you:

It's widely known (or perhaps believed) that goblins aren't the most festive of beings. They are rarely seen celebrating with friends and tend to keep a low profile as far as public events are concerned. Their dislike towards most things humans do is well-documented. However, it seems that goblins aren't very fond of leprechauns either. The goblins at the City got so frustrated with the 'green invasion' in their rather bleak streets that they threatened to ban anything to related to the festival.

However, in a suspicious turn of events, the ban was revoked just a week later. It almost even seemed like they were encouraging visitors to celebrate the festival. To most frequenters of the Goblin City, the green decorations were quite the shock. Several people assumed it must have been the work of very capable pranksters. They were shocked, indeed, when they found a goblin putting up the Irish-themed posters. Just a day later, they released an official statement that the Goblin City would host celebrations for St. Patrick's day this year.

While most seemed excited at the prospect of celebrations at the Goblin City, several raised questions. Rumor has it that goblins have made a deal with the Ministry of Magic, with the Minister for Magic approaching them personally. No one's really sure what the Ministry could have offered the goblins to make them agree to such a deal. When questioned, a Ministry official said, "We're glad to see that goblins have been so accepting of our traditions and we are grateful for their efforts to promote our culture. However, this is not a Ministry-sponsored event. We have nothing to do with any of it."

This hasn't stopped people from suspecting a publicity stunt. "I can't believe people can't see this!" a man said in an interview. "This is obviously a gimmick to attract more people to the Goblin City and encourage gambling. Of course the goblins are overjoyed! They know just how well humans take decisions in a festive mood and they are taking advantage of us letting our guard down to get us to empty out pockets!"

Jack, another man I met in Goblin City, said, "Who cares if this is a gimmick? The celebrations seem real enough and the City does look fabulous! Of course I want to be here!" Several people seem to agree with Jack. With huge advertisements of the celebrations appearing on the streets of Diagon Alley and other wizarding hotspots around the world, the number of visitors to Goblin City has hit a record high.

To grab attention further, the Goblin City is said to have it's very own parade. As if that wasn't enough, they've even called on the Irish National Quidditch team to take part in the celebrations. "I'm so excited to be here. I'm loving everything they have done so far," said Aidan Lynch, the team's Seeker.

Gambling houses are fully packed with people throughout the day, although aggregate statistics regarding profits and losses are impossible to know be because of the staggering number people hitting the place every minute and the amount of bets going higher and higher. The place is overcrowded with enthusiastic gamblers - both amateurs and pros.

Perhaps we'll get a more accurate picture of how well this gambling season has been after the celebrations are over. Until then, one thing is certain -- Goblin City is the place to be this St. Patrick's Day.

ARTS AND GRAPHIC CHALLENGES/ FEBRUARY
by Leviathan Dy

It's that time of month, my dear readers. I have gathered all the information regarding the March's Challenge winners from Arts and Graphics Forum.

It's quite tedious work waiting for the results to come out, but for you, my dear readers, I would wait entire day. This month had different set of winners and most amazing entries. I enjoyed browsing though them and trying to guess which one would win.

Graphic Challenge:

1st Place: 10,000 Galleons + 3,000 House Points - snage0rage #13
2nd Place: 5,000 Galleons + 2,000 House Points - Jrunnel #9
3rd Place: 2,000 Galleons + 1,000 House Points - anjel_313 #12


This is a preview of the first place, Snage0rage's Entry :



Writing challenge was quite unique and it was really fun reading all the entries. However, there can be only 3 prizewinners.

Writting Challenge:

1st Place: 10,000 Galleons + 3,000 House Points
Merri Patil - Entry #3

2nd Place: 5,000 Galleons + 2,000 House Points
Sebas7634 - Entry #11

3rd Place: 2,000 Galleons + 1,000 House Points
Alisyn Malfoy - Entry #7

PS. I have managed to procure a commentary from Merri and she gave me her permission to post her entry so everyone could see it.

“I am still a little surprised at receiving first place! There were so many beautiful entries. Major congratulations to everyone who stepped up and submitted something. Anyway, I guess I can tell you a little about what went into writing the poem. I hope I don't embarrass the person I wrote about by telling this.

When I read the A&G Challenge I wasn't really sure what flower I wished to pick. So I looked through random websites until I stumbled upon a lengthy description for a sunflower. I instantly knew who I needed to write about. My inspiration for the poem is a very dear HEX friend, Mattie (ccswimmer57). He is one of my closest friends here on HEX. I can't express how much I enjoy chatting with him! He's like a little mini me, my younger twin, and the best friend a person could ask for. With the poem, I wished to express how much he brightens my day, how much I rely on him, and appreciate his cheerfulness. I am so happy that I could find the words to properly do so!

As far as poems go... I love to write poetry! I write poems whenever I am having trouble expressing myself. I enjoy playing with words, rhythms, repetition, and phrasing to try and evoke whatever emotion I am aiming for in a piece. Which reminds me! I have to praise the A&G mods for picking such a wonderful topic. I found the theme very appealing and they left writers plenty of space to express whatever they wished. I really appreciate that!”

“My Golden Flower

Swirling patterns, meticulous, complicated
Yet identical in every aspect to mine
We are sunflowers, golden flowers

What other petal could represent more clearly?
Unwavering loyalty, you shine with pure joy
Like the sun itself, pushing through my cloudy days.

A smile… that same one you plaster to my face
With golden petals made from liquid honey and
Warmth that heats like waves pouring from the sky

My sunflower, my golden flower, my merry friend
Swaying and turning ever so consistently towards the light
You guide our friendship with your sunny, cheerful ways.

Finding you, holding fast to your unwavering rigidity
Our friendship builds upon the sturdiest of stalks
The sunflower, your flower, chases my darkness away.“

Thank you all for reading, and I'll see you in April.

LOVELY TIME TO COMPETE!
by Ashwin Shekhar

Hello once again, dear readers. The previous month was extremely tiny for my taste, but we managed to receive some awesome entries for the contests. Valentine's Day was the central theme during February, and that was indeed experimented with. I've dismally failed at procuring the entries that won the prestigious prizes, but I could give you a glimpse of their beauty though. Here are the contests that were of the main focus in the contest forum the previous month:

Letters of Affection
Genre: Arts


The task was to create a Valentine's Day card for a canon character, as a canon character. You could draw it by hand if you're a good artist, or maybe design one with a graphic designer. But the twist snidely added at the end of the task was indeed heart-stopping: The pair you're sending to had to be unlikely. I mean, I'm sure Draco and Hermione will never go together, but many people do that! They pair them up! So it had to be something that'd convince the judges that your character is in love with the other one.

This contest was quite challenging in my opinion, but I'm sure it was a piece of cake for our talented artists! Having seen their awesome work so far, I think they'd not have felt any difficulty in doing this. Here are the winners:

First ~ Valentine Teddy Bear + 4,500 House Points - MissHavokk (Slytherin)
Second ~ Yellow Rose + 3,000 House Points - Gwenivier Griffin (Gryffindor)
Third ~ Lockhart's 'Get Well Soon' Card to Hermione + 1,500 House Points - Jrunnel (Hufflepuff)


Looks like Ravenclaw's not quite ahead here. Maybe somewhere forward? Let's see.

Cupid Collection
Genre: Logic


Ah. Something where your brains have to be put to work. But unfortunately for the contest coordinators, our website has an abundance of intelligent people. This abundance notwithstanding, the staff decided to give us a scavenger hunt throughout HEX in search of cupids. Interesting, right?

And the brains weren't enough, it seems. You also need the luck of the randomizer gods (that's what the randomizers are called) to succeed. So it was a battle of wits and fortune. And the results were announced such, with these people winning über-allen:

1st jfs12 -- Hufflepuff -- Cupid's Bow + 4,500 House Points
2nd puma_lizzie -- Ravenclaw -- Holiday Candles - Valentine's Day + 3,000 House Points
3rd reiza (proof) -- Hufflepuff -- Heart Confetti + 1,500 House Points


Ah, finally. Ravenclaw has entered the race as well. Looks like all the houses are thirsty for victory, and with all those positions in the House Cup (neck and neck, my goodness), it looks like this is one of those spheres where the houses can exhibit their talents and earn points on the side. I wish luck to all the contestants out there who're not disheartened by their loss and are trying insistently in the contest each month. Obviously, I congratulate all the winners.

And now for my insight: This month, it looks like you have to envision yourself as the hated Filch and explain how a single day of his went. Interesting, that one is. I might go in if I could. The other one urges you to earn fortune by using your brains. The questions at first are quite easy, though I daresay they'll get tougher. But good luck to all of you taking part! Let neck-and-neck-ness prevail!

Wishing luck to all,
(Irish luck especially)
Ashwin

HERE'S SOME LUCK
by Molly Weasley and HEXians

Hello, wizarding world! This is Seamus Finnigan, and I am your co-host for this issue of the Daily Prophet. The editors thought I would be a good choice for this month as I am Irish. Anyway, we are going to be discussing how to bring more luck into your life, something we are supposed to be experts on. It has to do with all that business with leprechauns, the Blarney Stone and that sort of thing, I suppose.

I began by asking some of you how you feel about this subject, and these are the answers I received.

The first person I spoke with was Antheia. She said, "I think one of the best ways to create a bit of luck in your life is to keep a positive, optimistic outlook on things. When you have a good attitude about life, you open up a world of opportunities for yourself!"

Well, that certainly makes a lot of sense to me.

I then asked erikkagrey for her views on this, and she shared these thoughts with me.

"I'm not known to be very lucky. My negative attitude, I feel, may very well be to blame. Never wanting to truly try anything for fear of failure has plagued me for quite some time. I've blown off my short comings as 'bad luck', but is that what it truly is? Analyzing my actions and reasoning I've discovered that this may not be the case.

Recently I've begun to surround myself with challenges, whether it's HEX contests or real life projects. In doing so, my confidence has ascended to new heights and I find myself generally more content in myself. Is it luck? I believe it partially may be, but I try to give myself a bit of credit.

Attitude can effect so many things in our lives, big or small. If you feel that you're just a magnet for bad luck, don't stop, keep pushing forward. You never know what's around the corner.

"'Diligence is the mother of good luck.'
- Benjamin Franklin"

I think this was very well said!

Next I chatted with Chen Lee, who had this to say -

"I've set a goal to be achieved after four years and that goal is to become a nurse. Of course, when you think of your desired goal you always doubt of your own ability if you can do it or not. Sometimes I doubted myself if this is what is for me and sometimes I rely on people to do some stuffs for me because of that. But then I realized that it is worth to be achievable when you work on things your own way and no one else. I must be very assertive and proactive at all times.

In creating luck, I observed that you need to be more positive in your life. Let the positive energy flow unto you and never let the negative ones to dwell. You need put so much effort and nurture your ideas to achieved your goal. Sometimes, we can't control the events that will happen in our daily lives maybe a good one or bad one and I suggest that you must not take or avoid useless risk.

Believe in your goal and always believe in yourself. Luck dwells mostly on people who believe or have faith in there own with a positive thinking. Though sometimes, we fail in our work let yourself be reminded that failure is inevitable. The ability to gain luck and to reach success is to how you respond to your failures.

Hope it helps."

Yes, that did help very much! All of you gave some really wonderful effort, and I am sure our readers will appreciate it.

Personally, I agree that attitude plays a major role as far as luck is concerned. If you believe that good things are going to happen, the more likely it is that they will. It's all a question of mind over matter, or something like that.

Keep looking for that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and I'm sure that you will find it. Have a great St. Patrick's Day, everyone. Don't eat too much cabbage!

INTERVIEW WITH A GOBLIN
by SLYannique

Ever since I was 4 years old I used to try and find the end of the rainbow in order to find my pot of gold and be rich -- but alas I never found it. at the age of 12 I soon concluded that the gold at the end of the rainbow was gobbledegook. There was no gold and no one would ever find it.

However, as I was collecting my dividends at Goblin Alley last week, I overheard a few goblins whispering and muttering. "Stupid rainbows, gold and leprechauns." Out of curiosity I got an interview with one of the head goblins-Griphook. Read our interview below.

Jannine: I overheard some of the other goblins muttering about "rainbows, gold and leprechauns, would you mind telling me about that?

Griphook: Of course I could tell you, but at a price.

Jannine: Oh of course. Will 100,000 galleons do?

Griphook: Money isn't what I want. Your father, he had this Goblin-made goblet. I believe that should be returned to me.

Jannine: Umm well....sure...you can have that goblet.

Griphook: Now. Rainbows, gold and leprechauns. I assume the other goblins are just complaining about the extra work we get during the St. Patrick' day festivities.

Jannine: Extra work? From what?

Griphook: Everyone thinks those blasted leprechauns are good luck. In fact, they are just a bunch of pranksters. April is coming up after all.

Jannine: Pranksters?

Griphook: Well, have you heard about the gold at the end of the rainbow?

Jannine: Well yes, but I am sure that everyone thinks that is all a myth right?

Griphook: Well if we put all technicalities aside, yes it is essentially a myth. However, technically...it isn't.

Jannine: You are speaking in riddles here.

Griphook: That is where the leprechauns come in, you see. They find it hilarious to put these pots of leprechaun gold at the end the the rainbow, and then these idiots that identify themselves as wizards go and try to add them to their vaults. We usually can tell the difference though.

Jannine: Leprechaun gold?

Griphook: Yes. Leprechaun gold is basically fake gold. They look and feel like real gold, but they disappear within a few hours. The other goblins hate the manifestation of them because it makes Gringotts and Goblin City way too packed. Not to mention the amount of wizards trying to buy stocks and gamble with their money. Goblins and leprechauns can never get along.

Jannine: So does that mean that the stocks and economy become inflated?

Griphook: No, we are experts. We can point out fake money when we see it. Unlike you stupid wizards. Now our time is done. Time to collect my goblet.

QUIDDITCH : GRYFFINDOR VS. SLYTHERIN
by Grace

When the opportunity arose for me to do the newest Quidditch Report, I jumped on it right away. I figured, why not? I rarely leave my house, so I thought a change of scenery would be nice.

Soon after I made the decision, I found myself entering the Quidditch Pitch. It was Hufflepuff versus Ravenclaw and I was rooting for Hufflepuff. At first, I was excited to be there, relishing in all of the hopeful energy circulating the air. But after I made my way to the Hufflepuff tower and I discovered there were a lot of people there, I immediately regretted my decision to take on this assignment. I looked around earnestly for a spot that was as isolated as could be. Of course, this feat was nearly impossible as a lot of people show up to Quidditch matches. I eventually settled for a spot between a couple of young girls who were too excited and giggly to even notice I was there. I pulled out my notepad and quill and waited patiently for the game to start.

I watched down in the pitch as Rolanda Hooch stepped out and flipped a coin, which landed on tails, therefore giving Ravenclaw possession of the Quaffle in the start of the game.

A few minutes later, the game began. I watched as the two teams entered the pitch, dressed in robes of yellow and blue. They all kicked off the ground and flew into the air.

I watched in confusion as a whole bunch of activity was going on. It was the beginning of the game and already the Bludgers were being hit at all different players. I hoped no one got truly hurt. I liked to watch Quidditch and all, but I hate how violent the game is. Round One ended with Ravenclaw still in possession of the Quaffle. No one had scored yet, but I hoped someone would soon to make the game more exciting.

As Round Two started, things appeared to become more intense. I was just getting into the game when one of the younger girls sitting next to me started to talk to me. She asked who I was and I was trying my best to not be rude, so I told her my name hoping that would be the end of it. But she kept on talking about who knows what and it was majorly distracting me from the game. The only thing I caught on from Round Two was Alex from Hufflepuff punched Yuu, Ravenclaw's Chaser, in the face. I wasn't entirely sure why, but I didn't think that it was necessary. Eventually I became frustrated enough that I stood up and looked around for somewhere else to sit. I located a spot between some older gentleman and the wall of the tower. I then slowly inched my way over, apologizing profusely to everyone I walked in front of. Eventually I made it to the new spot and sat down. Relieved that I now had some general peace and quiet, I turned my eyes back to the game in time to see Round Two coming to an end.

Round Three started and ended with still no one scoring and really nothing of interest happening. After every round ended, I had this hope in the pit of my stomach that something exciting would happen the next round. But Rounds Four and Five went by without any scoring or anything worth reporting. This game was beginning to turn into a real snooze fest. Literally, too. I was so bored that I felt my eyelids begin to droop a little. Luckily, the older man sitting next to me sneezed and it was loud enough to jerk me out of my half-slumber. I then sat up straighter and focused my eyes on the players in the pitch, hoping the game wouldn't go on for too much longer.

Round Six had started and since I had nearly dozed off for Round Five, I was kind of clueless as to what was going on. But I soon was caught up, which wasn't hard to do because no one had scored yet. I looked over in time to see Elia on Ravenclaw almost hit the Slytherin tower. I chuckled a bit, and was relieved he didn't actually crash. That would have been very disastrous for everyone involved. I watched as he then shot the Quaffle at the Hufflepuff goalposts and crossed my fingers that their Keeper, Pierre, would catch it. Which, he did, causing my fellow Hufflepuff supporters to cheer. I yawned as Round Six ended without anyone scoring, yet again.

Round Seven came and went, of course with no one scoring. I was beginning to wonder if anyone was going to ever score. I know that Quidditch matches can go on for a long time, but I was hoping that the first Quidditch Report I did wouldn't be extremely long.

The match ended up going into Ten Rounds. I stopped writing down notes after the seventh round because it's rather pointless to narrate a scoreless game and I didn't want to bore everyone with the tedious little details. To make a long match short, (oh how I wished I could have made that match shorter), no one scored anything until the last round which was when the Ravenclaw Seeker, Lillian, and the Hufflepuff Seeker, Alice, both made attempts at catching the Snitch. Unfortunately for Hufflepuff, Lillian managed to get a hold of the Snitch. Thus ending the too long Quidditch match with the score being Ravenclaw, 150; Hufflepuff, 0.

That's the game, folks. Hopefully if I ever do a Quidditch Report again, it won't be as long and boring as this one was.

EAT LIKE THE IRISH
by Kay of Kent

Hello again, dear readers. I am back with another delicious recipe for you to try. This time around, we will be making Irish Soda Bread. It is a fitting recipe to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. You can serve this at breakfast with your favourite Irish sausages and eggs, or use this bread for the start of a good sandwich as a snack, after a long day of parades and parties.


The ingredients for this recipe are easily obtained. With a little patience and care, you too can sample the taste of Ireland in your very own kitchen. For a different variety, you can also add in pieces of shredded chicken and bacon, or you can also incorporate dried fruits and nuts.

Ingredients:

4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup buttermilk


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet.

2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and margarine. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an 'X' into the top of the loaf.

3. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Check for doneness after 30 minutes. You may continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.

Do try this at home, and I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed!

DUELING REPORT - The Eagle tackles the Snake
by Ashwin Shekhar

The Great Hall played host to an exciting host of matches when Ravenclaw took over Slytherin in a set of duels. Obviously, the atmosphere was tense, the houses being so close to each other in the House Cup. I scoured the Great Hall with fervor and prejudice (considering I'm a hardcore Ravenclaw) and gathered the results for you all to look at. It's in the order of duel by duel:

Match 1 - The_Sharpie_Fairy (Ravenclaw) vs. Sophia Oceanborn (Slytherin)
Winner: Sophia Oceanborn
This duel was a very interesting one indeed. It started with the Ravenclaw casting a protective, durable shield around her. The Slytherin, as the house's symbol is, cast the Serpensortia spell, and then enlarged the snake that emerged with Engorgio. In the next move, the Slytherin tried to conjure a water jet, but she also tried to disarm her opponent. Unfortunately, it failed. As for the Ravenclaw, she enlarged her shield by casting Engorgio twice on it.

Looks like the Ravenclaw duelist can win this, right? But the whole duel turned upside-down. The Ravenclaw tried to direct the large snake towards the Slytherin -- but it failed. The Slytherin tried the same, and it was successful.The Slytherin's snake attacked the Ravenclaw with all its might the second her shield collapsed; she was at the floor in seconds. Poor thing.

Match 2 - rosie2821(S) vs. Dahlia_Grace(R)
Winner: rosie2821
Another excellent duel. It started with Rosie casting Confundo and Stupefy spells at her opponent. But Dahlia's protective spells worked effectively against both of her opponent's attacks, and were strong enough to carry on to the next round. But the whole thing turned the other way round when Dahlia's shield collapsed the next round, and Rosie's Confundo spell attacked the Ravenclaw. Oh no.

Just as Dahlia had to come out of the duel due to her instability, Artemis Eve (Yuu) took her place. Interestingly, he tried to attack the Slytherin through a non-verbal spell, but something almost divine saved the Slytherin. She dodged the attack and attacked the Ravenclaw through an Incendio Orbis spell, scorching poor Yuu immediately. Oops.

Match 3: Xenexian (S) vs. Raventhefree (R)
Winner: Xenexian
This seems to have been established as a trend: the Ravenclaw, Raventhefree (Colin), started the duel by casting a durable shield around himself, and then enlarging it. But the shield was brought to its tiny size by his opponent, Xenexian (Silvanus) through a Finite Incantatem spell. The shield collapsed when Silvanus launched a scary combo of Stupefy and Sectumsempra at his opponenet.

We know that nobody can survive in such a condition. The duel ended, for poor Colin.

Match 4: Samantha Bradley (S) vs. NoxWolf (R)
Winner: Samantha Bradley
This duel was like the rest so far. NoxWolf (Elia) cast a protective shield around himself, and made it durable by casting Fianto Duri. Samantha Bradley (Veronica) tried to attack the Ravenclaw, through Expelliarmus and Petrificulus Totalus, but the shield held. Later in the duel, Veronica created a Firestorm, thereby shattering Elia's shield. Elia's suffered the brunt of the attack, but only half of it, thanks to her erstwhile strong shield.

Veronica then parted her firestorm, and Elia feebly tried to do the same, even attempting to use Sectumsempra on the Slytherin; but, then Veronica's spells hit him with full brunt, making him lose. Looks like Slytherin has really proved itself in this set of duels.

Match 5: Neunlen (S) vs. Valkyrieraylene (R)
Winner: Neunlen
The duel started as usual. The Ravenclaw player cast a protective spell and willed it to be durable for a while. The attack of the offense (Slytherin) failed due to this. But after this the duel changed a little bit. The Slytherin tore off the Ravenclaw's shield, which happened to be enlarged, and also hit the Ravenclaw with Sectumsempra. Ouch!

After that, the wounds of the Ravenclaw kept bleeding; but still, the girl kept fighting, successfully dodging the Bombarda Maxima. She tried that again, against the same spells, and this time she couldn't dodge the spells. She bears the brunt of the spells. And Slytherin wins this duel as well.

Slytherin: 5
Ravenclaw: 0


Looks like it's a clear victory!

Until next time,
Ashwin

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