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Daily Prophet

The Hunt for Rogue Santa

LONDON - Recent reports about a real life Santa have been crossing the desks of Accidental Magic Reversal Squad agents for the past week, with no sign of stopping anytime soon.

The first came several weeks ago, when an impersonator at Harrod’s managed to shoot a silent Instant Scalping Hex at the mother of a five-year-old muggle, who was heard muttering to the wizard in disguise that all he wanted was for his “Mummy to quit spending so much time on her hair in the mornings and make [him] a proper breakfast.” Mr. Claus had apparated from the scene before the AMRS and Obliviators arrived.

Since then, many other instances have sprouted across the city. A collector dressed in the red, white-trimmed garb was sighted shouting lewd comments about Rudolph the beloved reindeer and where exactly he could shove his nose before sending several Cheering Charms out into a crowd of nonmagical citizens waiting for the oncoming morning train. At a local drugstore, medications were replaced with expired Fizzing Whizbees, hospitalizing no less than three people. Those folk have since been cured at St. Mungo’s and had their memories appropriately modified, though the increase in attacks has left those on the case believing that there may be various copycat Rogue Santas added to the mix.

“It’s an obvious violation of the Statute of Secrecy, which is why we’re concerned,” said Nicholas Frost, the Squad-Man on the case. “The more we allow these Rogue Santa attacks to occur, the more the muggles might actually expect a miracle on Christmas. You can imagine the shock on some parents’ faces when they wake up to empty stockings and crying kids on Christmas morning.”

The Rogue Santa(s) could face up to twelve years in Azkaban for their exploits, though it’s uncertain if a partridge in a pear tree will be awaiting them upon their release.

If you have any information that could be of help regarding this case, please forward all owls to Level Three of the Ministry of Magic, or here to the Daily Prophet.

Daily Prophet

Nothing but a Try-Hard?

Taking illegal magic carpet rides, dancing with mooncalves, and inspiring rebellion among teenagers; these might sound like the warning signs of an out of control star. In truth, that was only the beginning. Since hitting the music scene only a year ago, tweeny bopper ma&a (AKA The Artist Formerly Known as Who Even Cares) has gone from down-to-earth to all-out and extreme. She has shocked the nation and world.

The drastic makeovers, including the occasional self-transfigurations, have been called edgy and over the top, but we all love to see a young star exploring their style and identity. What we never expected was the sudden escalation over the past few weeks leading up to the stars greatly anticipated Christmas release. With the announcement of her engagement to none other than a river troll, the wizarding world has been left dazed and confused.

To make matters even more controversial, rumor has it that it won’t last. The current record for shortest celebrity marriage, a whopping 3 days and 5.7 minutes, has lasted over the past fifteen years. Many doubt ma&a will last 1 day in what is clearly an attention-grab.

Frankly, ma&a’s outrageous stunts reek of desperation. Let it be said that she is trying much too hard, walking on thin ice for publicity. No one wants their fifteen seconds of fame to end, and she obviously wants a permanent spot in the limelight. There’s no such thing as bad publicity, as the saying goes, but there comes a time when stars like ma&a need to take a step back and think of all the teens following in her footsteps.

But is she really responsible for their choices, when being scorned by the older generation is still better than being a nobody? Should it be any cause for a witch hunt, when her only crimes are bizarre taste and recklessness? It might not be fair to blame her, but she definitely should step it up. Magic carpet rides are so thirty years ago.

By Talia Ayers

Daily Prophet

Your Guide to the Stars

PHOENIX
23 Dec - 9 Jan
Do not let yourself be overwhelmed by stress, there is still time to achieve what you set out to do. Take advantage of your innate stubbornness and you will see it through. Similar to the Augurey, while distractions are needed as well be chary of which ones are worthy of your devotion.

YETI
10 Jan – 18 Mar*
It has never been a better time to leash your tongue than today, or else you may just blow down the house of cards you have so determinately constructed. It will see you through in your love life.

LEAPING TOADSTOOL
29 Feb
You’re convinced that you will neither advance in love or at work but if you let go of your conviction and realise that the planet continues to spin – no day can be taken back –you will advance in at least one of the two.

MOKE
19 Mar – 21 Mar
Ever heard of the saying ‘Unlucky at cards, lucky in love’? Lottery ticket purchases aren’t advisable but go talk to that crush of yours.

FAIRY
22 Mar – 20 Apr
There is beauty even in decaying leaves. Not all comments are critiques so like the Yeti, keep a leash on your tongue and control your moody temper until you calmly process the spoken words. Hindsight won’t mend all your hurt relationships.

AUGUREY
21 Apr – 22 May
Something you had planned for the day will be cancelled but you’ll be quick to fill the gap in your schedule. Just remember that it has merely been postponed and work still awaits you in the future. It is essentially better to do it now than later.

AETHONAN
23 May – 30 Jun
You are taking up space when there isn’t any; don’t spread out your wings just yet. While it is good that your eyes are set on the skies you better make realistic plans in the small time frame that you have if you want to achieve anything worthwhile.

PLEIAD
1 Jul – 31 Jul
Hold steadfast onto your beliefs and good things will come to you. Just remember to keep a calm demeanour despite the copious annoyances that you will encounter today.

SALAMANDER
1 Aug – 20 Sep
It’s been hard, I know, but your patience has finally paid off. Like the Pleiad, keep a calm demeanour but unlike them you will not battle copious annoyances, but yourself. Don’t let your victory get over your head.

MOKE
21 Sep – 24 Sep
Ever heard of the saying ‘A loser in love in gambling wins’? Today, this is true for you and it might be high time to buy a lottery ticket, but don’t over-do it or you will be a loser in both. Also minimize your interaction with any Moke born as the month wanes.

STREELER
25 Sep – 13 Nov
The well-deserved appreciation in the workplace hasn’t been shown to you and it’s due time you ask for the respect that you deserve. However don’t be disrespectful about it.

HINKYPUNK
14 Nov – 21 Nov
You’ll finally be able to taste the fruits of your labour. You will inspire those around you to follow in the same suit and spark some of your ambition into them. Relax today and enjoy that long postponed night out with your Salamander friend.

GLUMBUMBLE
22 Nov – 22 Dec
While your mood might not be at its peak do not neglect your responsibilities, you’ll just prescribe yourself unremitting headache in times to come, and if you choose to ignore that headache there will be one nice giant wall up ahead the road for you to slam into.

 

* Excluding 29 Feb

 

By Dione Odhar

Daily Prophet

Hexing Hextor

The Quidditch world is on high alert. And I’m not talking about the ridiculous manner in which the Magpies have been taking the league by storm. Flattery O’Malley, custodian of St. Mungo’s, has confirmed that the Captain and Beater of the Holyhead Harpies, Krystela Hextor was admitted under suspicious circumstances late last night.

“She was conscious and clinging to her beater’s bat. I wasn’t in the room, but the word around St. Mungo’s is that she was declaring her love for the thing! With her husband standing right there! Can you imagine?” O’Malley was the only member of the staff willing to comment but a trip to the Ministry of Magic was able to answer a few more questions.

It seemed that the Magical Law Enforcement Squad had brought in an unruly Billy Jenkins, 54, of Hamstead Heath. This isn’t Jenkins first brush with the law. Just five years ago he was brought in under suspicion of tainting a local muggle watering hole with illy prepared potions. It seems he may have been up to the same shenanigans.

If you’ve ever seen the team of witches on the pitch in the heat of the match, then you know how very feisty their lot can be. The entirety of the Harpies was waiting for “their turn,” to ask Jenkins a few questions. If you ask me, he would fair better to be set loose in a tank of grindylow.

But from what I can gather, Jenkins snuck into a normally heavy guarded practice wearing a quite humorous get-up. A frumpy old spinster’s dress, heels, a handbag and a dusty gray wig. In fact the only thing that he has admitted to the authority’s thus far is that, “m’ girdle keeps ridin’ up. Can’t I visit the ladies’ room?” Obviously the man is a bit touched in the head.

Sources say he was tossing amortentia laced bonbons up in the air. It is not yet confirmed whether or not Hextor fell victim to his no doubt rancid loved potion. As of right now, it seems that Wanderer may have to come off reserves to fill in for the next match.

One can only imagine how Hextor’s many, many children are taking this sudden occurrence. Particularly the three that are now attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  Bless their little hearts.

Daily Prophet

Saturday’s game was supposed to be an epic battle of raging rivalries and bloody noses. Featuring two teams of former Hogwarts students, one largely comprised of Slytherin alumni and the other full of alumni pledging loyalties to every house but Slytherin, the Falcons v Puddlemere match was expected to be a game of old vindications and people with something to prove.

All that they proved, though, was that none of them had any stamina whatsoever.

Pathetically, the game lasted five minutes. Five. I fly all the way to Cambridge for this game and it’s a rubbish five minutes. I even bought butterbeer.

After about three quaffle passes and maybe half an intercept, Puddlemere’s Golden-Keisi deftly snagged the snitch with both hands. The only saving grace was how royally annoyed the Falcons’ Montague appeared at this snitchercept, which our photographer caught in a brilliant photograph. But really, I took a day off to fly to this game and spend a weekend watching it. I was promised at least two hours of violent bludger pong. And nothing. Nothing at all.

By Feige Jarkeni

Daily Prophet

Odds N Ends

CLASSIFIED
ADVERTISEMENTS
 

 

Jobs

  • The hosts of the Annual Broom Race of Sweden is seeking twenty hard-working young people to man stations along the flying route to ensure a lack of cheating. Must possess your own fire-proof cloak. Send application to Jo Ann at Owl Box 444882, Őstersund, Sweden.

 

For Sale

  • Elegant pewter lion base, fire-colored turkey feather quill. Imported from the States. 4 Galleons, 7 Sickles, 28 Knuts. Send notice to Box 2, Yorkshire UK.
  • THE VERY FIRST RIDGEBACK RACER off the production line FOR SALE! Pristine Mint Condition! Never touched by a greasy hand, handled only with fine white gloves. 150 Galleons, FIRM. Owl Box 0200, Iverness, Scotland.

 

Lonely Hearts

  • Fun-loving spontaneous seventy-eight year old looking for summer fling. Ladies, send a message to Owl Box 8, Yorkshire, UK.
  • Twenty-four old male seeks female within five year age range. Must love the Harpies and cats. Send a note to Owl Box 91, Devonshire, UK.
  • I do not like birds. I do not like horses. I do not like dogs. I like fish. I am a forty-four year old female. Post information to Owl Box 0824, Iverness, Scotland.

 

Births & Deaths

  • Paisley Rose PAGLEY: On 3rd September 2030, to Mary (née Smith) and Evan Pagley, a daughter, Paisley Rose.
  • Mairead A. MCKENNA: On 12th September 2030, to Meaghan (née MacDougal) and Aaron McKenna, a daughter weighing in at 3.97 kg.
  • Rozalija Gintare & Pranciškus Stephonas LIUDVIKA: On 27 September 2030, to Edita (née Aras) and Marijus Liudvika, a daughter and son.
  • O’LEARY, ANNABELLE passed away on Sunday 22nd September 2030, leaving behind children Daniel, Seamus, and Roxanne; grandchildren Jan and Michael. Service to be held at Godric’s Chapel in Ramsey, Isle of Man.

 

Other Announcements

  • Mr. and Mrs. McDermott of Berwickshire, Scotland, announce the engagement of their daughter, Sally Anne, to James McAngus, son of Frederick and Sarah McAngus of Berkwickshire, Scotland. No date has been set for the wedding.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Jansteen of Ennis, Ireland, announce the engagement of their son, Gregory Dane, to Wanda Aberlane of Croesgoch, Wales. The date of the wedding has been set for 20 February 2031. Black tie event, invitations will be sent next month.

 

(Minor) International News… aka Rumors

  • Alesandre Pequito of Spain is reported to have cast an Unforgivable at a house elf. Since the house elf was his own, the Spanish Authority has turned a cheek to the situation. An insider tells us that the “Spanish Authority considers House Elves to be property and not intelligent beings, therefore it would be the same as if Señor Pequito had cast the spell on a tea cup.” The Stop International Mistreatment of House Elves (S.I.M.H.E) has descended upon Spain in protest of this situation. If you would like to help SIMHE’s efforts, please send a letter to Owl Box DA58774 in Ostrova, Latvia, citing your previous efforts in bettering House Elves’ lives.

 

By Kyle Trevor-Banes

Daily Prophet

Hippity-Hoppity, Boo?

Panic and mayhem within the Ministry has left several workers hopping mad. Despite feeble efforts to cover up the mishap, St. Mungo’s influx of patients who were bleeding profusely from gaping wounds and mysterious bite marks was enough to gain the attention of this reporter. Bunny Rabbits–that’s right people, carnivorous, flesh-eating, blood thirsty bunnies–have set up camp in the Ministry of Magic.

Tucker Flaxen, sub-standard Healer, said, “Weird shenanigans are often diverted here to the First Floor, but we assure you we have the healing side of things under control. If you could strap half the nutters in the Ministry to a gurney and let me have my way with them, we’d have that side under control, too.”

A little prodding and prying and we managed to locate the source of the bunny infestation. It seems that Sally McNair, formerly under the employment of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, became rather disgruntled when relieved of her duties after cross-breeding your average garden variety rabbit with a rabid murtlap. Instead of crustaceans, the appetites of these newly carnivorous bunnies includes, but is not limited to, human flesh.

Sally was reported to have said, “I only released two, but I suppose you know about bunnies and how quickly they multiply, I’ll take credit for the first two, the rest is all on everyone else for providing such a romantic atmosphere.”

By Nathara Froglegs

Daily Prophet

The Price of High Fashion

In the midst of latest fall issue of Diagon’s Bazaar, the debut of various collections and the sudden surge in controversial trends have caused an uproar in the socially-conscious wizarding population. Various organizations such as Wizards for Beast Rights have banded together to not only boycott any and all sales of the offending products, but to also hurl accusations left and right. Coupled with bamboozling numbers and suspect facts, their loud complaints have been a source for bad publicity for the wizarding world’s most famous designers.

Picture this: a flock of peaceful demiguises, bred and hunted for their highly coveted pelts. These endearing little animals live in the East Asian wilderness and are known for their innate ability to turn invisible. It is their hair that enables them to simply disappear from sight.

The Fur vs. Faux debate has lasted for decades with no resolution, and it has been taken to a new level as many witches and wizards have been considering the poaching of these beasts for their hair. For years, demiguise hairs have been used in the making of high quality invisibility cloaks, but it no longer stops there. As the latest trends have gathered momentum, the wealthy have taken to a new style of prêt-a-porter: woven in with the cloth is the invisible hair, creating elaborate and abstract patterns that are a source of wonder, awe, and confusion. Right now, it is cool to strut about head-to-toe in Sior, partially invisible to the rest of the world.

But what is the cost? The safety and welfare of these creatures are at stake, and the reputations of labels and designers at stake as activists dedicate themselves to being a pain in the rear. Are these designers guilty of one of the most heinous crimes imaginable to man? Are they the next Dolores Umbridges of the world, letting poor, defenseless magical creatures suffer in the name of fashion?

On the other hand, could it be just another high price of fashion? Can we trust the whims of the masses to put a stop to this trend, one and for all? We will have to see.

 

By Talia Ayers

Daily Prophet

A Dark Truth

Did nobody else find it bizarre, that despite being slain by schoolmate Herbert Longbottom during the First Task, Briony Prosser won the tournament after brutally abandoning Kasper Kats to the Dementor’s Kiss? Why was his very public relationship with Ms. Coture left uninvestigated for so long? Eyewitnesses and former friends of the notorious mass murderer claim a drastically different personality from the one we have all experienced at the Tri-Wizard Tournament.

Why? Tonight, the events of the Tri-Wizard Tournament, reported as they truly happened for the first time. Read, and for the good of wizardkind, spread the word.

The strange and enigmatic ambient magic at Durmstrang had fostered many a dark wizard, but fewer in modern days. It called for another to rise. It compelled Mr. Zotkin and Headmaster Everard to allow visitors onto the premises no media had set foot upon on in centuries, for a single reason. Longbottom was selected. With continued exposure, the darkness of the school began to sink into his mind.

The magic recognized the seeds of potential but understood the limitations of Longbottom’s body. It required a more suitable candidate. Thus, the soul of Briony Prosser was sacrificed during the First Trial.

Eglantine Coture was the next ingredient. Between the events of the First and Third tasks, the second which Longbottom conquered effortlessly as fear had no hold on the darkness of his magic, he focused on developing her affections. The pure power of maiden love, combined with the darkness of his soul, would allow for a ritual thought impossible for millennia.

It was during the Third Task that events were truly set in motion. Champions Blomqvist and Évalisse, reportedly intelligent and well-read students of such magicks, were able to quickly recognize the signs and escape swiftly, knowing they were unable to prevent the inevitable. Unfortunate Kasper Kats failed to follow Ms. Évalisse to safety but was able to escape the transference ritual and preserve his life while the love magic contributed by foolish Ms. Coture was consumed, as was the body of Longbottom.

Unfortunately, as he strode towards what he believed to be victory, Longbottom had completed the ritual and claimed both the Tri-Wizard Cup and Kasper Kats’ soul in an instant. The ancient magic of Durmstrang had brought its vessel, its Champion into being; the extreme potential of Herbert Longbottom combined with the fit, physical and soon to be immortal body of Briony Prosser.

Herbert Longbottom was once a victim, but is now the next Dark Lord we must prevent from rising at all costs. We beg the Ministry to take action quickly and avoid the catastrophic mistakes of its past.

Daily Prophet

Triwizard Deathtrap Conspiracy!

The controversy surrounding the nature of this year’s Triwizard Tournament has reached a fever pitch with its nail-biting conclusion. Listening in to live commentary straight from Durmstrang, fans across Europe sat on the edges of their seat in anticipation, oblivious to the reality of the Labyrinth of Doom.

The bait was set: the Triwizard Cup, luring the twelve into the heart of the ultimate trap. What should have been a race for glory was revealed as a ploy meant to lead the twelve champions to their untimely deaths. The conspiracy runs deeper than a mere amateur’s idea of sabotage; the maze itself was designed with malicious intent. Leeches and abominable snowmen, though dangerous in their own right, were not the real challenge. Unsurprisingly, all made it past the obstacles in due time, flooding into the center of the maze. There, the culling began.

Peers turned against one another, swayed by the grand prize, but it was hardly the bloodbath they wanted. Greater more extreme measures were taken when the champions failed to do their dirty work for them. The maze itself began to fall apart, though one can hardly believe it was due to poor workmanship. Suspicious! In no time at all, the lake claimed half the champions. An unidentifiable marine creature made to devour two more, though all traces of the behemoth had conveniently disappeared before an investigation could be launched.

Surely a foul plot was afoot, for the use of dementors as the guardians of the Triwizard Cup was both extreme and unnecessary—suspicious! Formerly tasked with guarding Azkaban Prison, the creatures were expelled in 1998. Clearly, that never stopped them from being used elsewhere; in the tournament, champions were almost overwhelmed. No sources can confirm the existence of any safeguards, and it is only due to luck that neither Briony Prosser nor Kasper Kats ended up victims of “the Kiss.”

The ugly truth can no longer be hidden. I urge you, readers, to state your dissent loud and clear. No casualties have been reported yet, but we must not stand for the destructive plans made that constantly endanger our children. We must put a stop to this mad conspiracy and find those responsible!

Daily Prophet

The Final Task: Who Will Reign Supreme?

Although this third task is even more guarded than the shocking second task, we at the Daily Prophet have been told that this will be the toughest challenge they have faced yet. The champions sure have their work cut out for them and they must come into this task with their wits and strengths in check if they want to succeed in the end. It left this reporter wondering, who would come out at top overall? Did the Goblet choose the most worthy Hogwarts students for this tournament? Do any other schools have an advantage over another? And who does the general public believe will win it all?

“I think the Goblet discriminates against real talent and its priorities are all wrong.” Hogwarts Delegate Isabella Carter informed us, letting us know the real truth about what is going on. The Slytherin claims she wouldn’t even place a bet on such pathetic options! Harsh words if it weren’t echoed by fellow delegate and classmate Apple Capalet. She voiced the same concerns and even predicted the sweet French Kasper Kats to win it all. Of course adding more on bully Herbert Longbottom, “I think everyone wants Herbert to fail. A bully should never win the tournament.” We can concur.

Not everyone has lost faith on the war heroes son however. Some at home believe his brutish nature will be what grabs the win for Hogwarts. “If one of them had to win, I’m backing Longbottom. The increased rations seem to be benefiting him, it’s the smart choice, really. I don’t have very much faith in others. I reckon Briony will die for real next, possibly Will.” Alexis Endicus told us, “Longbottom’s ruthless so I wouldn’t be surprised if he actually kills a fellow champion in the next task to guarantee a win for himself.” Yikes! What a strong prediction. We hope that isn’t the case!

Support amongst the folks at home wasn’t very strong for our Hogwarts champions. Twila Wilde of Gryffindor admitted to us that the champions “should’ve spent more time in the dueling chamber when they were at Hogwarts. I can’t recall the last time I faced any of them outside of Briony in tournaments. How’re they meant to fight things if they hardly practice?” Professor Owens personally told this reporter that she hoped they would fall on their faces and Slytherin student Kerr Donovan stated that Okasna Orlova had already won it all by him. Opinions have been raised that Durmstrang has had the advantage over all the schools thus far as well. We shall see what this will do to our champions for the last task.

We of course hope the best for our Hogwarts students but have to wonder if the Goblet has maybe lost it’s touch or perhaps Hogwarts’ educational standards aren’t as great as they used to be. This last task will surely be legendary and we hope you tune in next week for our LIVE broadcast!

Daily Prophet

The Truth About Herbert Longbottom

Following the interesting discovery that savage bully Herbert Longbottom and Hogwarts delegate Apple Capalet used to date, WW99 FM hosted a talk with the Hufflepuff student to reveal the truth about the son of legendary war hero Neville Longbottom. For those who missed it, an excerpt of the interview with the clearly traumatised delegate can be found below.

——

Interviewer: So, Apple, can you tell us exactly what was going through your mind when Herbert first asked you to be his girlfriend?

Apple: Well, I was in - um - third year? Something like that. So obviously it was kind of a big thing, I mean, being asked out by a boy. And so I think I kind of said yes because I was excited, and he seemed nice, but that was before I really knew what he was like to other people. I sometimes wonder what I was thinking when I look back on it, you know?

Interviewer: Yes, we know. Now Mr. Longbottom’s bullying nature has become evident, we predict that he will be unlikely to find himself any girlfriends in the future.

Apple: I would strongly advise any girl he ever asks out to refuse and run a mile.

Interviewer: That’s a bit harsh. Why would you say that?

Apple: It’s good advice! I think when I first started going out with Herbert he tried to be nice, by like meeting me after class and stuff. Then he got really horrible and started yelling at me if I did something he didn’t like, and then he started making me carry his bag around everywhere like some sort of skivvy. I had to do some of his homework too and he was the year above me so it was basically impossible, and when I did it wrong and he got T grades he would like… get in a mood with me. He tried to hex me one time, but thankfully I got away. He was really angry.

Interviewer: …Hex you? That seems awful. I personally would have never hexed a girl when I was at school. Could you tell us more about what happened?

Apple: I can’t really remember it very well. I think - yes, we were in the middle of the lawn at Hogwarts and he told me I got him a T in his Herbology homework. And I mean, his dad used to be a Professor of Herbology at Hogwarts! Couldn’t he have just got an automatic O anyway? But like, it was really weird ’cause he told me he’d disappointed his dad, and then he told his dad that he hadn’t actually done his homework and I’d done it and Professor Longbottom didn’t believe him. So yeah, he was really angry and I said I didn’t know anything because it was fourth year Herbology and I was a third year. So he just sort of got angry and aimed at me and yeah.

Interviewer: That definitely doesn’t sound very gentlemanly. How did your relationship end?

Apple: People say I was cheating on Herbert with Roman, a boy in Slytherin in my year. In hindsight I probably should have been cheating with Roman, because he was hot and I dated him after and it was the best year ever. But Roman sort of decided I needed a bodyguard, ’cause we were friends and I told him about Herbert trying to hit me. And then Herbert sort of took it the wrong way and he went really mental when he found out and he beat up Roman and put him in the Hospital Wing for a week. It was horrible to watch, especially because Roman was my friend. I was kind of glad it ended though, because I knew Herbert wasn’t going to end it because I was like his skivvy or something.

Interviewer: Ouch. And what has Herbert’s luck with girls been since?

Apple: He’s had two other girlfriends, I think. Anna was just as horrible as him, I think he had influenced her too much because they were in the same house. And Abrielle is a bit weird, I think she probably just wanted to date Herbert because no one else wanted to date her.

——

Anybody interested in hearing the full hour-long interview with Hogwarts delegate Apple Capalet can tune into WW99 FM on March 15th at 7:30pm, where the interview will be replayed in the run up to the mysterious third task.

Daily Prophet

Champions and Academics: Recipe for Destruction

Your number one source for inside gasp, gruel, and gossip this Triwizard Tournament is back once again with groundbreaking news that could grind Durmstrang’s reputation to dust once and for all. The institution has already suffered significant budget cuts over the past few years, but recent events suggest the Headmaster will soon be dealing with highly probable substantial financial setbacks (and a plausible intervention by Ministry officials!).

Only yesterday, two students were caught red-handed practicing academic dishonesty in public, specifically the most frowned upon act in any academia! Plagiarism! Worry not, the editors of Pixie Pinque are just as outraged as you. But that’s not all, dear Reader. In addition to being cheaters, liars, and academically dishonest toothpicks, both of these students are champions in this year’s Tournament! Shoquer!

Durmstrang has not yet formally addressed the issue, and rumors are they won’t address it at all. As always, the Headmaster is hoping to shove these disgraceful acts under the carpet. The students, later identified as the handsome (we don’t see it) Kasper Kats and his recent girlfriend, the striking (we don’t see it) Oksana Orlova, were supposedly “cramming for the next Tournament task” in the library (Hah!), when our source passed by. As they sit copying word for word the hard work and pride of former students, we can only conclude that the Tournament stress has gotten the best of their poor souls. In fact, the Pinque Crystal Ball reveals a heavy darkness in their shaken souls. Unable to excel in the Tournament, they have resorted to a diverse selection of petty means to ensure their continued prestige and glamour (after all, who doesn’t want O’s to impress mommy and daddy?).

Needless to say, neither of them accepted our hearty request for an interview. Sorry, fans, your idols are our idols here at Pixie Pinque. We, too, are disappointed.

Till next time! And remember: the Pinque Crystal Ball never lies.

Daily Prophet

Has This Year's Triwizard Tournament Gone Too Far?

Wizards across Europe were left in shock this week after details of the second Triwizard task slowly came to light. Perhaps the most startling piece in the puzzle the literal fog that kept the precise circumstances of this task under wraps.

Readers will recall the appalling act of terrorism just this summer, when the End of Term feast at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was infiltrated by nefarious sources. With details on how the castle, which many still claim to be the safest place in Wizarding Britain, was infiltrated still hazy, many throughout Europe are posing the question: just how safe exactly are our schools?

Such concerns seem not to have daunted Durmstrang. The traditional Yule Ball that took place on New Year’s Eve ground to an alarming halt as the hall was filled with thick smoke, leaving many attendees reporting severely affected judgment and mental abilities. When the fog ascended, only the Triwizard Champions remained.

Experts have dubbed this task “insensitive” and many went on to express concerns for the effect that this task could go on to have not only on the Hogwarts champions, all of whom were present for the attack last year, but the delegates from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang too. Indeed, it’s evident that this task greatly affected most of the champions. Briony Prosser and Dictys Ator, both from Hogwarts, emerged from the task visibly shaken, whilst fellow classmate Will Kilmarnook was unable to finish. Latocia Evalisse did not recover from her own traumatic experience until in recovery much later.

Questions are whirling regarding the ethical standards of this year’s Triwizard Tournament. Certainly, all eyes are on Durmstrang in anticipation of the third and final task. The question on everybody’s lips: just how far are they willing to go?

Daily Prophet

Post-Task Two: The Broken Hearts Club

Evidence suggests that the Yule Ball, occurring at Durmstrang School on the evening of December 31st, was put on hold as the champions were forced to complete one of the most mentally challenging tasks in Triwizard history.

And what’s more, one particular portion of this second task saw the twelve champions having to choose between two of their loved ones.

One had been petrified in the centre of a large chamber, while the other was being held hostage in the presence of a basilisk by inhumane foreign official Zdravko Zotkin. However, while choosing between two people you care about very much might seem like an impossibility for the majority of our readers, the considerable ease with which some of the champions made their choices could have caused heartache beyond belief.

May we first backtrack to the Yule Ball, which had been taking place just moments before the champions were unknowingly forced into their next task. Our readers might recall one Josef Köhler of Durmstrang School and one (not dead) Briony Prosser of Hogwarts School were rumoured to attend the ball together, but the fact that Prosser instantly chose her petrified ex-boyfriend Chase Eaton over her new lover during the task is highly suggestive indeed. But what’s more, Durmstrang’s Head Boy didn’t hesitate to choose schoolmate and fellow champion Oksana Orlova… over his own father! With a juicy history like Joksana’s, it’s no wonder that Briony did not even appear as one of her date’s loved ones in his task, or that Josef could not resist the temptation of his ex-girlfriend’s charms. Rumour has it that the heartbroken Prosser could be found crying for almost twelve hours straight in the Durmstrang library when this information reached her ears… poor girl.

Other loved-up champions whose ball dates appeared in the task included Isak Blomqvist of Durmstrang and Kasper Kats of Beauxbatons, who had been attending the Yule Ball with Hufflepuff delegates Ettie O’Malley and Apple Capalet respectively. But while Isak appeared to pay his date very little attention, showing more concern instead for his petrified best friend Bob Sandar, Kasper was reluctant to leave Apple when he had to continue with the task. These two outcomes are reflected quite clearly in the champions’ ratings, with Isak taking second place in his haste to get away from his loved ones and Kasper taking ninth after refusing to leave Apple’s side. I think we all know who we’d rather date…

But Eglantine Coture did not seem hesitant to let the world know exactly what she thought of her ball date, Hogwarts bully Herbert Longbottom, who did not appear in the champion’s task at all in favour of two of her family members. Following reports that the eldest Longbottom child murdered Briony Prosser during the first task, we feel this was a very brave decision from the Beauxbatons champion; although it has now emerged that Herbert only made a very suspicious attempt to kill his classmate, and failed to do more damage than the nundu, it could only be a matter of time before one of his nefarious plans succeeds.

Will Eglantine be next on the Gryffindor boy’s hit list? Watch this space to find out!

Daily Prophet

Yule Ball Outtakes

We all have embarrassing moments, even the Champions at the Yule Ball. Our awkward competitors didn’t ruin the night. However, there were some not so perfect moments at the dance. Irwin Cablamb is here to share all the goofs and blunders of the night! The blunders are rated from one * meaning blush-inducing, to ***** meaning totally awkward!

**Reports indicate that Beauxbatons champion Kasper Kats was easily impressed by the chairs. All the effort put into decoration could have been saved if they just added a few more chairs to the room! His date, Apple Capalet of Hufflepuff, seemed less pleased about his enthusiasm for chairs. Rightfully so, as the set decorations were amazing, and couldn’t be ignored!

***Will Kilmarnook showed up to the dance fashionably late. A few moments later, her toad was found contaminating the punch. The rumor is that many students found warts on their mouths and in their throats the day after the Yule Ball. No reports on if the toad is going to be sent back to Hogwarts after the fiasco.

****Famous Bully Herbert Longbottom and dragon cowboy Eglantine Coture were found stepping over each other’s feet while they were dancing. This might be the cutest thing ever, but they were dangerous and had the potential to ruin the whole dance!

*****Hogwarts delegate Kai Fireblader fell into fellow delegate Isabella Carter. They got tangled in her enormous dress, which nearly got destroyed from the punch being overturned by Durmstrang student Sigrid Mäkeläinen in an attempt to capture Miss Kilmarnook’s offending toad. Word is that said toad landed on his shoulders later, and he was reduced from Gryffindor delegate to babbling toddler.

Tune in to next week’s edition as we have reports of embarrassing moments from all your favorite celebrities!

Reprint from Witch Weekly.

Daily Prophet

Briony Prosser's Demise: Foul Play?

Yes, dear readers, the thought “too soon” might be running through your minds upon reading these words, but the truth must be told and our sources have plenty of it. New evidence suggests that when Hogwarts champion Briony Gretel Prosser was viciously masticated by the nundu of doom (still at large and whereabouts unknown, I might add) during the first task, it might have been more than just the hungry beast at work.

So what — or WHO — was to blame?

My sources have informed me that the death of the young Hufflepuff, a girl who had so much life still to live, whose bouncy little ponytail we can still picture in our minds, was NOT, in fact a freak accident due to human error. Some have come forward with eyewitness accounts explaining that not only was the girl pushed, she was lassoed and forced in front of the nundu by none other than fellow champion Herbert “Rope Slinger” Longbottom!

“That nundu was clearly heading straight in Longbottom’s direction,” said one witness.

“Yeah, if I was hungry, I would’ve chomped down that big boy first too,” added their sister, who had stood in her seat to get a better view of the brutal wreckage that was Team Hogwarts.

So, continues my source, Longbottom saved himself by offering Briony as bait and smiling all the while.

Unfortunately due to the nature of the competition it is impossible to investigate thoroughly enough to know every detail, but it is clear who played the evil role in this terrible scene. And so, dear readers, only questions remain: Why would Herbert “Heartless” Longbottom show his true dark side so early in the competition? Is it all too much for him? What has he gained besides blood on his hands? And what’s in store for the next round?

We’re going to try to sit down with the murderer soon for an exclusive interview. Until then, Blame Herbert t-shirts are already being produced, and for you, dear readers, we have included a special 15% off coupon. Get one today!

Daily Prophet

Tournament of International Love

Lovely, loyal readers, we have failed you. Yes, we have brought you news of failure and triumph. Yes, we have brought you news of Miss Prosser’s downward spiral into death, also known as the pit of a nundu’s stomach. But we have not given you news of how these champions live, the tumultuous youth to whom you have given your pride in hopes they will bring back victory.

Fear not, I – Chara Abrams, guest writer - bring you the freshest news from the sharpest talons today into the lives of two: Will Kilmarnook and Dictys Ator. Mr. Ator has been a bit of a middling champion, despite his apparent popularity (I mean, did you see the number of readers who was matched up to the dashing Slytherin in the quiz? I digress). We know dear Dictys is a Slytherin and came from modest means – the Goblet of Fire missed the memo that rarely anyone decent comes from Knockturn Alley but let’s hope that Mr. Ator had been reborn from the Goblet of Fire, like a phoenix! Now, I worked like a house elf to dig into the young man’s past. He left behind two sisters, a father and spellotape your heart, an ex-boyfriend. Yes, my readers, someone was able to dump that baby face. Scorned by the Head Boy at the start of the treacherous tournament, Dictys turned his sights on long-haired Morgan.

Otherwise known as Will Kilmarnook.

During preparations for the first task, it appears Miss Kilmarnook and Mr. Ator experienced an awakening in each other. Spotted: cuddling in the Durmstrang dining hall, spooning blueberry yogurt parfaits into each other’s mouths. Just what will these champions do next? Miss Prosser’s death however has put a damper on their budding relationship (boo!). The young Ravenclaw has hardly left her living quarters since, and let’s be honest, it’s not the amenities of the public transportation keeping her at bay. Dictys is keeping it busy, finding solace in the company of Durmstrang Head Boy Josef Köhler. Spotted: locking lips by the lakeside.

We caught Will Kilmarnook one late morning probably on her run to get some ice cream and inquired on her state of mind over the affair. She told us in confidence, “I . . . feel so . . . [sad].” Oh Will, we do too; our hearts break for you. It seems unfortunate to have a second setback (for readers who are behind, Miss Kilmarnook ranked 11, Category: Almost Dead) so early on. We suspect the champion in blue to be feeling quite alone at Durmstrang, with no one to write home to (hey, she did date her bro’s ex), and surrounded by what some call better-qualified candidates for her place in the tournament, for love and for glory.

 

R.I.P. DILL
November 2029-December 2029



Chara Abrams is author of Bewitching the Witch: A How-To for Wizards and Witches and Ten Easy Steps for Ruling the World without AKing a Single Soul. The views of this guest column do not represent the Daily Prophet.

Daily Prophet

Hogwarts Team Mourns Fallen Champion

For days, rumors have been swirling surrounding the first task of this year’s Triwizard Tournament, hosted by the notoriously secretive Durmstrang Institute. The slow trickle of information from the school has been unreliable and often erroneous, which is why this reporter traveled to the school to view the task with his own eyes. This reporter was not, admittedly, permitted access to the premises due to a variety of… dubious legal difficulties… but this reporter must assure his readers that all his sources are of the utmost integrity and credibility!

You may trust, dear readers, that what follows is the truth.

I will start with the most dreadful news to come from this year’s tournament yet: the first fatality has occurred. Hogwarts champion Briony Prosser was tragically eaten alive by a nundu during the task. According to my sources, teammate Dictys Ator was too busy blowing bubbles to come to her aid, while Herbert Longbottom was preoccupied with transfiguring various of his body parts into ropes, ribbons, and pieces of string (my sources did not explain why he was doing this).

After Ms. Prosser’s death, her resourceful teammates used her dead body to lure the nundu into a cage. Unfortunately, they could not overcome the points loss resulting from Ms. Prosser’s untimely expiration, and Team Hogwarts received last place.

The unfortunate Beauxbatons team was thrown into a stadium full of a dozen fully-grown dragons and forced to fight for their lives. Champion Eglantine Coture, in a fit of what this reporter can only assume was dangerous overconfidence, attempted to ride one of the dragons. Unsurprisingly, she fell off the creature’s back and plummeted to the ground. My sources say Miss Coture is absolutely fine, except for the fact that she suffered a grievous head injury and can no longer remember anything of her life after the age of six.

The Beauxbatons champions also decided that teammate Léa Archibeque was useless for anything other than being used as live bait. This resulted in her being nearly mauled to death by several angry dragons. She was rescued by the intervention of Durmstrang officiators wishing to avoid the overblown media reaction that might result from a second death so early in the tournament.

The Durmstrang team faced what my sources described as a herd of irritable garden gnomes, and emerged from the task with three broken nails, several small cuts, and one skinned knee. I am told the skinned knee belonged to champion Isak Blomqvist.

 

R.I.P. Briony Gretel Prosser
2012 - 2030

Daily Prophet

First Look into the First Task

Early this morning, 12 champions from Durmstrang, Beauxbaton and Hogwarts set out for their first task of the Triwizard Tournament. With no clues to indicate what they would be facing, the champions set out with nothing but rumors and guesses guiding their movements before the task was revealed. This reporter is happy to let the loyal readers of the Daily Prophet finally know about what our champions faced and how the task ended up.

The first of three tasks started off with creatures! Their mission was to guide their dangerous and possibly deadly creature to a cage about a mile away in the breathtaking landscape surrounding Durmstrang. It was soon shown that some schools had it better than others. Durmstrang was given a bunch of XXXX classified creatures (Erklings) while Beauxbaton and Hogwarts received XXXXX categorized challenges (Dragons and a Nundu cub). That didn’t deter Beauxbaton however as they somehow made it out on the top compared to the other two schools.

Teamwork was not well rewarded this task, those who set out on their own were the top ranked today. Top rated champion Kasper Kats seemed to think that dazzling the dragon shirtless would be the way to go. Second place champion Eglantine Coture merely had her teammates levitate her onto the dragon for a ride while poor teammate Lea Archibeque was forced to be live bait and horribly injured in the end. Durmstrang’s Jana Kohler seemed to have hexed the Erklings and ran off sending sparks, leaving her teammates to handle their task alone. But of course she returned in the mass confusion of spells that ended with some of the Erklings escaping their cage as the their time wrapped up. Fifth place Dictys Ator of Hogwarts didn’t even warn his teammates of the Nundu’s breath, placing a bubblehead charm upon his head long before poor Briony Prosser suffered from its disease ridden breath.

If this reporter had to pick, the top five they would be: Josef Kohler and Oksana Orlova of Durmstrang for the clever containment of the Erklings and guiding them along the valley with skilled transfiguration of boulders into childlike figures. Beauxbaton’s Latocia Evalisse for her epic transformation of the cage and rune use. And Will Kilmarnook of Hogwarts, with her flawless ability to lure the nundu to its cage while carrying sick teammate Briony Prosser on her back. All in all, we here at the Daily Prophet were impressed with the brains and skills these students showed in such a dangerous task.

Daily Prophet

Yule Ball 101 (Part Two)

What champions have already been lucky enough to score a date to the exclusive Yule Ball? We have all the answers right here, exclusively given to Witch Weekly by an anonymous source stationed at frosty Durmstrang.

It is a surprise for us to see that Beauxbatons champion Eglantine Coture agreed to go to the ball with the infamous Gryffindor bully Herbert Longbottom! While Herbert does have redeemable qualities in his facial appearance, he is quite husky and bulky for the delicate champion. We know that there are much better dates out there for her, and that Herbert definitely should fly solo on this one. Precious flower, be careful not to wither.

It seems the Coture isn’t the only one with problems on the horizon. Hufflepuff champion Briony Prosser might just have to share some attention, because our anonymous source says that her date, Durmstrang’s very own Head Boy Josef Köhler, has a love affair with his falcon. Perhaps they will be attending the ball as a trio? Time will tell!

A rather adorable pairing that we love is Beauxbatons champion Kasper Kats and Hogwarts delegate Apple Capalet. We hear that Kasper has been given Apple lessons in his native French, which obviously means that they are going with each other to the ball. The new Romeo and Juliet perhaps?

As for the decorations, your reporters are convinced that Durmstrang Institute is going all out. The Yule Ball has always been a way for a host school to show off their best qualities, so expect a beautiful snowbound set with icicle draping the edges of the walls. There will definitely be some magical touches, as this is the Triwizard Tournament after all, so keep an eye out for the small details that will be making its way into the ball. We will definitely have all the details in next week’s issue and we sincerely hope everyone’s just as stoked as we are for the Yule Ball!

This week, our reader poll is: What is the percentage that our predictions will be correct?

Reprint from Witch Weekly.

Daily Prophet

Yule Ball 101 (Part One)

This is it! Christmas is just around the corner and with the TriWizard Tournament going on, we all know what that means! That’s right- the Yule Ball! Who’s going with who? What drama is likely to unfold? With just five male champions, and seven female champions, there’s sure to be some catfights over claiming the guys. Let’s not forget the delegates, which make the numbers eight males and twelve females. More to come in the next issue while we cover the latest trends, fashions and what the mysterious Durmstrang Institute has in mind for the Yule Ball!

Wand Direction is obviously one of the first and most popular bands to come to mind. Highly successful, the five boys are busy touring Europe and are currently in Munich. Coincidence? I think not! Perhaps these talented five musicians would stop by for this celebration, causing mixed reactions. Hogwarts champion Briony Prosser claims to be their and I quote, “BIGGEST FAN!!” completed with an ear-piercing “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!” while Durmstrang champion Isak Blomqvist has clearly lived under a rock having never heard of the popular band (“Who?”).

Perhaps Durmstrang Institute will opt for something a bit classical or maybe even acapella groups. Of course the magical school is best at secrecy so what groups were booked will only be revealed in time.

As far as what’s hot and what’s not in terms of the latest trends, we’ve been lucky enough to be given a list by the most well-known fashion designers and stylists. Mainly, the latest hair trends. As the yule ball has not happened in quite a while, champions are expected to make a scene and what better way to have colour-ed strands of hair among the natural colour? Red for those with lighter colour hair and dark purple for those with darker tones; It’d be a very different way of accessorizing (unique too!), the pop of color is sure to match well with the entire attire just as long as our young champions and delegates take care not to go overboard. Go for something subtle yet majestic, not bold and daring. Let your hairstyle accentuate your features- experiment around! A chic bun? Loose beach waves? The options are endless.

As far as jewelry goes, silver seems to be all the rage these days and what better to match with the theme Durmstrang Institute has in mind than silver? White and silver just has that soft yet beautiful view to it, matching perfectly with the icy setting. Gold may prove to be a little bit strong, but as long as one matches it in all the right ways, it could be very well be dazzling, even moreso than the combination of silver and white.

Whether or not the attendants will take advantage of these tips on what’s in season or not will only be revealed in a days’ time.

Reprint from Witch Weekly.

Daily Prophet

The Giant Question

Now that our twelve Tri-Wizard Champions have been chosen, the tournament itself is the new hot topic. As we count down the days until our Hogwarts Heroes have to face their potential demises, your restless Daily Prophet Reporter spends her time investigating the nature of the upcoming tasks.

Upon approaching those responsible for planning and organizing the tournament tasks with a radiant smile and a quick-notes quill hovering over our heads, your favorite reporter receives few answers, the politest of which is “Scamper off, wench, before we make sticking that quill up somewhere private of yours a task for the champions.” The nerve! Reluctant though I am to report this degrading comment, I feel it is my duty as an honest journalist to show the Wizarding community just what type of human beings are running the famous Tri-Wizard tournament.

Our Champions are perhaps less impudent, but they are of no more help. “A challenge,” is the informative answer Archibeque presents to me when I ask what she expects from the tasks. “Tasks are meant to be a test of strength, wit and magical ability. So I expect that,” says the Kat of Beauxbatons. Thank you, Mister Kats, we did not know that. But we forgive you, for you are still gorgeous.

Witches and Wizards from all over Europe have discussed the topic to death (no pun intended). It seems the theories become wilder in tune with the female fan base of Josef Köhler’s. Some of the less absurd ideas circling the continent are that our Champions will have to battle a giant each, fight off an army of Nifflers whilst wearing armors made of pure gold and, as the beautiful Kasper Kats tells us, “Someone wrote to me suggesting the first task would be herding a hundred cats.” Yikes. I never liked cats. What do you think the formidable tasks will bring, faithful readers? Will they be a rehash of previous tournament tasks or should we whisper a prayer whilst we fish out our Omnioculars and wait for a flock of giants to cross the Tower Bridge?

Daily Prophet

Quiz Mania!

A recently published personality quiz, in which teenage females can find their ideal match in one of this year’s male Triwizard Tournament champions, has caused quite a stir amongst the young European wizarding population.

The quiz, published in a late November issue of ‘Witch Weekly,’ contained questions such as “Do you like muggles?” and “Are you a fan of Harry Potter?” for girls to answer to help them find their perfect match.

Research indicates that the viral quiz has been extremely successful in most wizarding schools across Europe, with 94% of readers concluding that they were pleased with the result they were given. The most common result appeared to be Slytherin student Dictys Ator, with Beauxbatons’ only male champion Kasper Kats coming in second. Surprisingly, Herbert Longbottom ranked fourth out of the five male champions, with Durmstrang’s Isak Blomqvist proving to be even less datable than Hogwarts’ savage bully.

 

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At Durmstrang School, however, the Triwizard Tournament champions and foreign delegates appear to be divided. While some had positive things to say, others were extremely disappointed or even offended by the contents of the quiz.

Apple Capalet, one of the Hogwarts delegates, told the Prophet: “It put me with the best looking champion. It’s a great quiz!” Léa Archibeque of Beauxbatons was clearly in agreement as she told us, “I do not have a problem approaching boys now.” Clearly her result of schoolmate Kasper Kats has inspired the female champion to develop her relationship with him. Could we see romance blossoming in the near future? It is very possible!

A particularly humorous response from Durmstrang’s Jana Köhler - “I am glad I did not get my brother,” - also highlights the astounding success of Witch Weekly’s quiz.

On the other hand, the male champions themselves were much less enthusiastic about the publication. “I would hope young girls and boys would be spending their spare time more fruitfully,” said an irritated Josef Köhler during his interview. Kasper Kats also deemed the questions to be very inappropriate and inaccurate, telling us that he does not hate muggles at all! And Isak Blomqvist informed us that he didn’t understand the quiz - perhaps a response prompted by the fact that he was the least popular of all the male champions?

All in all, it seems that the quiz’s success has prompted a variety of mixed reviews. But your humble nineteen year old Daily Prophet reporter, if you were wondering, was very pleased with her result of… well, that would be telling!

Daily Prophet

Zeroes, Not Heroes

The stage has been set: the Triwizard champions will soon face their first task against the backdrop of the unforgiving tundra. In a break from the tradition of past competitions, the champions will enter their task without a single clue, and blind to the challenges that await them. Without guidance, the champions must rely on themselves, armed only with their wands and their wits. Skill, tenacity, and perseverance will separate the true champions from the rest.

Our first impressions of the chosen twelve no longer suffice. Names tell us little about their hearts, their skills, and their motivations. The debut on the field will be their first chance to prove themselves: who will triumph, and who will lag behind? What is the measure of a Triwizard Champion, and who will fit the bill?

Unfortunately, few inspire confidence throughout their days of preparation, and most fail to meet our expectations. The students flock to Durmstrang’s extensive library, searching for answers in dusty tomes. Beauxbatons’ Eglantine Coture never seems to leave, under the impression that she may stumble upon something remotely relevant to the task. However unlikely it is, her dedication surpasses that of her teammates. The taciturn Latocia Évalisse would prefer to play in the snow while seasoned chaser Kasper Kats abandons his studies for trips to the Quidditch pitch. Léa Archibeque attempts to catch up to her older teammates, rightfully concerned with the risk of falling behind. Luckily for her, it should not take much effort given their stunted progress.

Gryffindor Herbert Longbottom claims to be “brushing up” on his spell work, but whether his words are said out of humility or carelessness is unclear. The other Hogwarts champions do not fare much better; in particular, Will Kilmarnook’s subpar efforts reflect poorly on her school and on Rowena Ravenclaw’s legacy. Durmstrang’s own Isak Blomqvist, though occasionally seen in the library, spends his time hiding from overenthusiastic peers instead of practicing. Oksana Orlova remains an enigma, but hopefully she proves to be less passive and less prone to slacking off than her teammate.

Their sense of initiative seems to have been tossed into the goblet with their names, or they fail to recognize the gravity of their situation. The history of the Triwizard Tournament is long, rife with accidents and, on multiple occasions, death. That the champions make mediocre efforts at best to prepare for their harrowing tests does not bode well for the first task. Rather than the survival of the fittest, it will be the clash of competitors who are entirely unfit for the challenge. One can only hope for performances that live up to the title of Champion, but take care not to become easy prey for disappointment.

To the champions: good luck. You will surely need it.