28 December 2020
On Sunday December the 27th, 2020, the Convention Hall at Millennium Conference Centre in London, England was filled with witches, wizards and goblins alike. There was an event taking place in less than fifteen minutes, and already wands could be spotted out in the open, cooling the wielders with a gentle breeze.
An author, Trista Truelove happened to be there to share with the crowd – of mostly females – her thoughts and opinions. She would also be promoting her new slew of romance books for the fans. I felt oddly singled out, sitting in a row of girls. I was perhaps one of ten to fifteen boys in the hall. And I can safely say that the only reason I was there was because it was all my girlfriend’s fault (no offense, Miss Truelove).
Halfway through her little speech, I was already falling asleep while my girlfriend listened with rapt attention. Her hands clutched her copy of Myrtle Mopps and the Mysterious Muggle, eager to have an autograph on the inside cover, proof that, yes, Eleora Chance met and spoke to a trash novelist.
“There once was a man, whom we all know of. He was a fascinating man and seemingly had an answer for everything. I was fortunate enough to be a pupil at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry when he was Headmaster. He taught me a great deal about right and wrong. Tolerance and peace. He fought for those things. What else would a Gryffindor fight for?” she had said during her very long winded speech. However, this is the part my knowledge thirsty ears perked up for.
“His death is still shrouded in mystery for us common folk. Those who were there knew only the aftermath of what happened to the Wizarding World’s most loved, and respected wizard of all time.” She later goes on to share with the crowd her plans for the future – a biography of Albus Dumbledore.
I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at the idea. Not out of disrespect for the man or the wizard, but for yet another author who thought their version of Professor Dumbledore’s life was more eye-opening than any of the other hundred’s of biographies on him. I personally think she is fooling herself in thinking she has something better to offer, though I believe her popularity in the Romance novel industry will give her enough credibility to be successful.
I, on the other hand, have access to something she did not.
I found myself in Arthur Weasley’s (the current Headmaster’s) office after the New Year had begun. While waiting on the Headmaster to arrive for our scheduled appointment, I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with the Greatest Wizard the world has ever known – rather, his portrait.
“I don’t think Headmaster Weasley would look too kindly on a student occupying his chair, my boy,” the portrait with a golden plaque stamped with “PROFESSOR DUMBLEDORE” informed me. I looked up at the portrait, giddishly happy that I had this chance to take advantage of.
Usually, students paid no mind to the portraits in Hogwarts; their loss, I say, because the portraits hold the key to Hogwarts’ own history and the added bonus of secret passages. I’m not afraid to admit I was a little intimidated by a portrait – just this one.
“I think he’ll be happy I don’t have my feet on his desk,” I replied with a smile. “I’ve read about you before.”
“Have you now?”
“Yes. In fact, there are many biographies written about you.”
“Yes, I suppose there are.”
“I found some inconsistencies after reading a fair few.”
“Ah,” he nodded his head knowingly at me. “Those who are not me do not know what it is like to be me. Tell me what you’ve found.. Forgive me, I do not know your name.”
“Lyceus Falls,” I reply. “It’s true that you have all the memories of – how to put this – the actual Professor Dumbledore right up until he died?” He nodded at me. I caught a slight twinkle in his eye. It was as if he had a sense of understanding about everyone, and everything, and I knew this was something he got from his life well lived. “Several books claim you were pushed from the Astronomy tower that night.”
“Pushed?” he chuckled. “My, it’s wonderful how over the years stories get twisted into something unrecognizable with each telling.” It made sense, but I was still confused. With such a popular subject, I found it difficult to believe the truth that slapped so many people in the face was lost to them. “You will find, Mr. Falls, that there are those who might twist the truth to make sense of something they don’t understand. Or, perhaps it was to cover some tracks.”
“Are you saying that some of these writers might have had a hand in the plot against you?”
“That, I cannot say.” He stroked his white beard. “Perhaps, perhaps not.”
“Rita Skeeter said some insulting things about you, Professor.”
“Yes, Headmaster Weasley told me about that. We cannot control what people say or do. If people believe the lies, there’s not much to be done to counter it.”
“The truth would,” I told him firmly.
“The same truth that is twisted and obscured with each retelling?” he asked. “At this point in time, there is not much that can be said either way to change anything.”
“But… I could do it,” I told him. “It wouldn’t be someone trying to piece your life together. You could tell me everything, and I could write your biography. It would be the irrefutable account of Albus Dumbedore’s life. Isn’t that worth inspiring our fellow wizardfolk? Isn’t it worth setting the record straight?”
I would let him think on that.
I thanked the portrait for his time, a smile on my face, and a newfound sense to find the truth in things. It was odd that this revelation came from a portrait of all things, but it was what it was. I paused at the door and turned to look at the portrait once more. “One more thing, Professor,” I grab his attention, “just how old were you?”
He smiled with that same twinkle in his eye. “Goodnight, Mr. Falls.”
So, after all of that, I went to the white marble sarcophagus, a rose in my hand that I secretly plucked from the Greenhouse and paid my respects to a man I had never actually met. However, his memory does indeed live on.
Today is the anniversary of his death.
This is a story of a great man, a marvelous mentor, the greatest wizard to ever walk this Earth, and it’s one well known in varying degrees and told with an alarming amount of contradictions through the years before and after his untimely death. It’s just a shame this lowly article will never be read.
10 October 2019
Underage gambling has taken Hogsmeade by storm as the Triwizard Tournament kicks into full speed. While those ‘champions’ chosen struggle in their tasks, intent upon glory for themselves and their schools, student spectators are reportedly splurging their savings upon guesswork of who the victor shall be.
Ludovic Bagman is the accused personality - the target of these rumours. Bagman makes no secret that he acts as a bookie for the tournament, but denies taking money from children.
“But if I did,” says he, “If I did, you could hardly blame me. How are you meant to tell these days? Some of them are walkin’ around with full grown beards - even the girls!”
The Ups and Downs of Ludovic Bagman
Ludovic ‘Ludo’ Bagman has a spotted history. Back when yours truly was an extremely young girl, he was put on trial for acting as an informant to Death Eaters. Despite (or because) of any discretions, he rose swiftly to act as Head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports - a fitting occupation for one who is obsessed not so much with the sports themselves, but with those who win and lose.
This is not the first time he has been accused of betting with youngsters. At the 1994 Quidditch World Cup, which he was assisting to organise, he was known to make many illegal bets. Having lost all proceeds after the match (famous for the reason that the winning team did not possess the winning seeker), Bagman was forgiven his indiscretions.
But it seems he does not learn.
“I've been at Hogwarts before,” he says. “I officiated back then. Good times. Great kids. Wouldn't gamble with them - no, not knowingly.”
There is a charm about Bagman. Is he gambling with the students? If so, there’s no denying that he is scum that should be thrown to the the depths of the lake to lurk with the giant squid.
If not …
He winks at me. “How about a date?”
Where is the smart money?
Ludo says that cunning gamblers should place their money on Durmstrang. “Four strapping young lads - all in their prime, and good sturdy wands.
They’re sure to go far.”
7 September 2019
If chosen, you stand alone.
Those were the immortal words of Albus Dumbledore – whom we all now know as ‘that dead chap what used to run Hogwarts’, but was once both hailed and vilified as one of the greatest wizards to ever walk the earth.
Whatever your theories on the poor old deady, one thing is for sure. He is eminently quotable, and a tremendous source of wisdom for me.
So I say again – if chosen, you stand alone.
No surprise what the words are in regards to. With so much emphasis on unison and teamwork at the school, it feels somehow wrong that the Triwizard Tournament is all about solitary heroics rather than companionship and cooperation.
Certainly, it purports to be about friendship. After all, we drag our ruddy-faced northern friends and the twinkle-toed gallics to our bosom, don’t we? But think about it – what the tournament is actually about is the right to say one thing. “HAH! We’re better than you!” One school manages to humiliate the others – and not only is it one school that glorifies itself, but it is glorifying itself on the basis of one student, and one student alone.
I’m sure it’s true that one student really can be representative of the entire student body.
After all, we’re all just like Tom Riddle, aren't we?
In any case, if you’re chosen – yes, you stand alone. You stand alone, you work your guts out. And if you lose? Woe betide you. We’ll have nowt to do with you. But if you win? By damn, let’s share some of your glory!
What more can I say?
1 September 2019
Ten years indeed! And as a Hogwarts Alumna, this news is truly heartwarming to hear! Pardon me, for I cannot contain my excitement at the news that the Ministry and the three most prestigious schools of Europe are once again constructing the Triwizard Tournament.
I remember the last time, all those years ago, when our foreign companions not only provided the school with their presence, but forged many lasting friendships with me and others.
In my experience, watching the tournament and seeing students from other schools did more than just teach me and my peers that there was more to life than just Hogwarts. It also gave us insight into fellow European cultures. They aren't much different from us, but their views on certain subjects do vary. Bringing the tournament back only shows that we fellow wizards would love nothing more than to expand our current knowledge with influences other than our own.
To this, I tip my hat in the hopes that the best school wins.
- Lian Cleery
15 June 2019
The Ministry of Magic has reported a drastic increase in the number of pirated owls flying through the skies in the past month. Owl pirating is an age-old trick where the ‘pirate’ captures an owl, replacing its post with their own and then bewitches it to deliver the new message. Usually the pirated owl returns to its original owner, since the spell only lasts a day or two at most, but undelivered mail remains a cause for concern.
In a recent case, renowned author Regina Salicki had sent her completed manuscript for the next book in her popular goblin romance series, but became suspicious when it never arrived at Harrington Publishers. Salicki was quite distraught. “I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t have a backup copy of it – wrote it all out by hand, I did. My readers will be dreadfully disappointed!”
“This is a classic case of owl piracy,” says Ministry employee Magnolia Coppers. “What we are investigating is whether the victims are being targeted individually or whether the owls are being randomly enlisted to carry messages as the pirate sees fit.”
If you suspect that your owl is being pirated, report it to the nearest public Owlery. Officials will place a tracking spell on your owl, in order to be led to the pirates.
Experts advise against casting the tracking spell yourself, as tracking spells for owls operate very differently from those used upon persons, dogs or objects. Walter Willby learned this the hard way. “I thought I’d catch my neighbour Drusilla in the act, as she’s had it in for me for ages! When I put the tracking spell on my little Meriadoc, a pretty little barn owl, she was so weighed down by it that she couldn’t even take off! I had to call my niece, who runs a clinic for magical beasts, to come set Merri right!”
Left without reliable means of communication, will the wizarding world crumble? Magnolia Coppers thinks not. “Cut the dramatics, we’re not biscuits. It’s inconvenient, but when these wizards or witches are caught, they’ll all be paying hefty fines as retribution.”
The fine for a single incident of owl-piracy is 100 galleons but can be more, depending on the severity of the case and the number of incidents. If one thing is for certain, it’s that these pirates will be broke, even if they’re not sorry.
29 May 2019
“I know how to use a wand,” the boy opposite me says grimly, placing his fist on the table.
I’m sitting opposite James Sirius Potter, listening to him tell me his involvement in the terrifying and tragic events that transpired in Diagon Alley shortly before Christmas.
James is, of course, the eldest son of the ‘man-who-was-the-boy-who-lived’, but as that’s quite a mouthful, let’s just take James on his own terms. He is, unsurprisingly quite eager for this. “To those who know me … I've made it perfectly clear that I’ll make my own limelight. I don’t need my father’s name to be a talented wizard.”
It is then no surprise that when Death Eaters descended upon the alley, snatching his younger brother, Albus Potter, James quickly swung into action, despite reckoning that “dad was getting to it”.
“There were fireworks in his pants, you see … no-heat wet starters.” James first noticed the fireworks when the family was leaving their house. “I saw he was walking funny. Asked if he has a stick up his —” I did ask at this point whether James usually thinks Albus has a stick up his —. He gave a cheeky, roguish grin. “I don’t know,” is all he says.
Regardless, James obviously cares about his baby brother a great deal. Taking a huge risk, he shot a perfectly aimed shower charm at Albus, setting off the fireworks and causing a massive uproar that bought the Ministry time to gather reinforcements and spring into action against the Death Eaters, despite outrageous vigilante interference.
Unfortunately, the boys’ mother, vivacious Virginia Potter, was “quite furious”, despite her youngest son being saved from certain death. James admits freely that he was “pretty reckless”, but points out indignantly, “It was my brother … what choice did I have?”
Sadly for James, Mrs Potter was not the only woman in his life to get upset about these heroic activities. James had been dating soft-spoken brunette beauty Anna, who left off her quiet bookish ways to get “a bit crazy” on James after the events. “I can take care of myself,” James sighs. “I don’t need her to worry.”
Older readers, remembering my own interview with Harry Potter, so many years ago, will draw effective comparisons between James’ tumultuous relationship with Anna, and Harry’s own with Hermione Granger – his long-time girlfriend who eventually fell out with him over his constant endangerment, switching her affections instead to Harry’s safer friend Ronald Weasley, who in turn traded his younger sister, the now famous Virginia Potter, to Harry.
It may be this loss of his first love that leads Harry Potter to spend so much time away from his family. “Sometimes I wish he didn't work so much,” James face softens, showing his young age for the first time in our interview. “I miss heading out to Grandma and Grandpa’s to play quidditch with him out back. But he’s busy.”
When I suggest this may be because of Harry Potter’s leadership of the auror division at the Ministry, James believes his Dad works “completely more than necessary … if he wasn't so bent on solving everyone’s problems himself, he’d have more time at home.”
This insight may explain James’ conviction that he could handle being an auror. “It’s in my blood”. He is however, determined not to work so many hours as his father. “Not anywhere near”. It’s certain that James will make sure to leave plenty of time for Quidditch – which he plays obsessively with his Gryffindor team. Despite dabbling in seeking like his father, he is looking forward to switching to a chasing position. “It’s less stressful. And I tend to get bludgers swatted at me less.”
Quidditch has a side benefit of potentially drawing his ex-girlfriend back to him. Anna is “crazy about quidditch. Really loyal Puddlemere fan. Knows probably just as much about quidditch as anyone.”
Despite Anna’s dedication to James and the game, it seems possible that the Potter boy may already have wandering eyes, shifting, to be exact, onto a fellow Gryffindor named Megan. “Look, Megan knows I love her, okay?” The boy spreads his hands in a ‘what-can-I-do-about-it’ gesture. “I think about her day in and day out.”
After seeking doe-eyed Anna Lizzerd for some time, I ask her about James, only to see her face well up. “I don’t even KNOW the twit,” she sobs, before running off. Later, I find Megan Maguire, whose gorgeous vibrancy throws Anna’s mild sweetness deep into the shadows. “How do you feel about James and Anna breaking up recently?” I ask her, my eyes already narrowing upon this hussy. “Who the HELL is Anna!” She huffs, spinning and walking off angrily.
With this vixen on the warpath, it seems doubtful James will remain faithful to Anna for long.
Your stars with the Daily Prophet’s Delores Pudderswyth
Steady! Your impetuous nature may have led you one step too far this time. Or twenty! Did you really have to go so far, just to succeed? It’s time to make amends, Aries.
Ahhh, isn't the sunshine beautiful? The birds are singing, the grass is green, the squid is swimming merrily in the lake. Just don’t forget that sometimes there’s more to life than mere external appearances.
The moon is in alignment this month. You know what that means, right? It means you’re a genius! Go for it. It’s a perfect idea!
I have some peachy keen news for you. You’re about to come into absolutely masses of cash! And if you don’t? You’re obviously not trying hard enough.
You know what they say about paranoia. Just because you’re paranoid doesn't mean they’re not out to get you. Watch your back.
Throw away the rulebook Virgo. It’s time for LOVE!
Diplomacy is one of your very best traits. Unfortunately, it won’t help you with what’s coming at you this month. Might I suggest a very firm hex instead?
Methinks it’s time to go investigating. You never know what you might find.
Have you ever dreamed of being a rebel? All the signs point to this being the time for you to rise up. Just remember - nobody ever got anywhere by being afraid.
Unfortunately, a friend has just betrayed you. It doesn't matter whether you find out or not - it happened. I think you should just go mope somewhere.
Do you know any Sagittarians? If not, find one. Quickly. The two of you need each other.
Things aren't looking very good for any intellectual pursuits this month. No matter how hard you try, it seems you’re just going to get things wrong. It might be time to try a different approach.
17 May 2019
Flying broom fanatics went into mourning last night as the tragic death of Filberius Flyte was announced. One half of the famous inventing duo ‘Flyte and Barker’, Filberius was in the process of flight-testing his yet-to-be-released ‘Twigger Vista’ when an object, later identified to be a cauldron, fell upon his head from the air.
“It’s those bloody blackmarketeers,” says his wife, spunky Delores Flyte (herself a ‘dabbler’ in broom invention and creator of the new ‘Try-Trigger’, a training broom for toddlers which can be attached to their parent’s broom. “They’re always flying overhead – on carpets no less! They think they can bring their shoddy cauldrons in here – and the Ministry just lets them get away with it!”
Regardless of where the deadly cauldron came from, it is clear that Flyte’s partner, Geoffrey Barker, will have to continue work on the Vista by himself. Despite the trauma of his friend’s death, he vows that fans of the costly brooms will have reason to rejoice soon enough.
“As you know, we have eight brooms under the company’s belt already – ranging from the world-renowned Twigger 90, all the way to the Twigger XP. We’re confident that our customers will enjoy the luxury and ease of all Twiggers before – along with one or two brand new features, and a fabulous kitchy design!”
As a long time fan of the Twigger myself, I just hope they don’t leave off the self-straightening brush!
The Ministry of Magic could not be reached for a comment on the wayward cauldron.
16 January 2019
Many of us have been scarred over the horrible incident that occurred in Diagon Alley shortly before Christmas. The Alley has lost profit and families have been said to be keeping their young ones inside, for fear of a repeat performance. With five deaths hovering over the Ministry’s head and, more importantly, a kidnapping, our readers, along with myself, are left to wonder: what exactly is the Ministry doing to protect us?
Many of our readers remember a time much like that day in Diagon Alley, where fear was what controlled our world. Now that it’s repeating itself, we’re looking to the Ministry for help; for guidance during this trying time. However, if they cannot save just one person, how are we supposed to stay positive that they can protect each of us? Of course, I’m talking about Flora Trimble, Head Mediwitch at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, who was kidnapped by alleged Death Eaters. I say “alleged” because the Ministry has yet to cement this fact or not. With the disappearance of Madam Trimble, we are shown very clearly of two things: how will the Hospital Wing manage without Trimble and, what is being done to get her back within our ranks?
The very one person whom everyone expected to see race off to rescue Flora Trimble was, in fact, her husband, one of the former Defence Against the Dark Arts professors at Hogwarts, Derek Trimble. The startling truth of this complete opposite has shocked many. Why isn't Derek Trimble doing anything? More importantly, why isn't anyone doing anything? It has come to the Prophet’s knowledge just recently, from an inside leak at the Ministry, that Derek Trimble is being kept at St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. Is this against his will? No Auror or St. Mungo’s staff were available for comment, which goes to show just where our Galleons are going, folks.
Among our already hectic problems, we now have to worry about the Hospital Wing at Hogwarts. This reporter has made several visits there and it’s in quite a disarray. The brand new hire of Madam Rebecca Knight has brought up many questions with our readers. Is our Hospital Wing understaffed? It seems so, as there have just been three new Wing assistants hired, right out of the students attending; Kaoru Li, Sierra Leonki and Zoeigh Mcallister. Zoeigh McAllister, an overly-kind blonde girl, told me in a hurried fashion that, “It isn't actually so bad, but don’t quote me on that. But I wish that Madam Trimble were here.” A loud crash in the back had the young Hufflepuff rushing away, a panicked look in her eyes.
It is my observation that even with the new three student hires, the Hospital Wing is clearly needing of some assistance. Shane Banagher, a first year Hufflepuff, answered my question of how they had treated him when he asked for help with this quote: “Which time? I have been in there a lot this semester.” Does this mean that he couldn't get the help he needed when he first inquired within or is this boy just clumsy?
What’s even more shocking is the Ministry’s ability to keep the knowledge of Derek Trimble’s stay at St. Mungo’s a secret. Maria Johannson, a sixth year Gryffindor prefect, was quoted on his whereabouts this way: “Well, I’m only a student here, but I assume he’s out there looking for his beloved, right?” When the news of his staying at St. Mungo’s was revealed to her, she was quoted as saying, in a rather distraught tone, “Are you serious? Do you think he’s okay? Oh, I hope he’s okay.”
With the way the Ministry has been keeping secrets from us, there’s no telling. I think Lydon Ward, a sixth year Ravenclaw put it perfectly when asked of his opinion on what is going on. “I think it’s bloody stupid. Unless he is unable to move and going mental because of it, let him go and let him help find his wife. No one wants to feel helpless and I’m quite sure he’s feeling that to the extremes.”
5 January 2019
The New Year brings many things - not the least of which is resolutions. Some of us might make a vow to eat less chocolate frogs - deny the sweet burning which is firewhiskey. We might swear an oath to fly our broom more, instead of taking the easy route of floo powder. This year, the Ministry of Magic have been asked to make the bravest, hardest, most serious New Year’s resolution yet.
It was merely two days ago that greatly-respected Narcissa Malfoy, socialite and philanthropist, stood before various members of the Ministry, campaigning for our world to be a safer place through the removal of vigilantes and ‘want-to-be’ heroes from our streets.
She is referring, in specific, to the incident in Diagon Alley shortly before Christmas, where not only did buildings crumble away, leaving ruin and wreckage in their wake, but five civilians were brutally murdered, and dozens more left injured, both physically and mentally. The incident, beginning as a spat between aurors and a few Death Eaters, quickly escalated to extreme chaos and uncontrolled violence when a gang of rogue vigilantes waded into the fray, drawing the quarrel into levels of violence unseen in the streets since the time of “You-know-who”.
I was there to see her speech. Watching Narcissa Malfoy plead with the Ministry, passion in her trembling voice, it was impossible not to be moved by her words and her desire for the Ministry to take action for the greater good.
“The children’s ward of St. Mungo’s holds a child of just three years of age,” she said. “Little Gideon is too young to understand what happened that day, and why - but he is not too young to understand that after those horrific flashes of light, his parents will not be there anymore to tuck him in at night.”
I did my own research after the speech, interviewing those few spectators who are able to speak about the tragic events. Most are hazy about what actually happened, but the consensus seems to agree with Madam Malfoy - things got “much much worse” after the ‘heroes’ appeared.
Laura Gelley, whose fiancée Reginald perished in the crossfire, agrees tearfully to an interview. “I was inside Gladrags when it started. When I came out to see what was happening, all I could see was screaming people - running everywhere, and the lights…” She bursts into tears at this point, and I give her my handkerchief, waiting for her to bravely gather her strength to continue. “It wasn't until much later - long after the screaming stopped - that I knew Reggie was killed.” She stops crying and I see her knuckles turning white where she clutches at the handkerchief, her eyes shining through the tears. “All I know,” she says. “All I know is that none of them died.”
Of course Laura is not suggesting that the tragedy was actually the fault of these ‘heroes’. Neither are Madam Malfoy, or indeed, us here at the Prophet. Nobody would be so silly. It is however, blatantly obvious, that events would not have escalated to such terrifying heights if they had not simply plunged in without thinking.
“People need to step aside and let Harry Potter and his team of aurors get on with their work without interference,” Malfoy continued in her speech to the Ministry. “Being the boy who lived is not much good when everybody around you is dying. Surely Potter has enough to deal with without these imbeciles wading into the middle of things and throwing everything out of control. Innocent people die when they get involved.”
And this, as Madam Malfoy told the Ministry, is truly the crux of the matter. Were these ‘heroes’ simply endangering themselves, that would be okay. If they want to throw their lives away, that’s their business. But if they insist on putting themselves where they are not wanted - if they keep putting innocent civilians in the crossfire - they must be stopped.
Such reckless activity cannot be supported.
The Daily Prophet joins with Narcissa Malfoy in crying out for justice. These vigilantes must be stopped. A private member’s bill has been lodged with the Ministry requesting the illegality of crime-fighting by those without auror licenses. When it is passed - and we have every faith that it will be - these vigilantes will be found and imprisoned for crimes against the Wizarding World.
Have faith friends and loyal readers - the world will be safe once more.
18 December 2017
For years, now, Minister Abelard Clagge has been raking in reform after reform in hopes of bringing in a new age for the Wizard World as a whole, to commendable success. However, it seems that despite his great vision for improvement, there is one area of the Ministry he has been forced to leave unchanged.
The Auror Department, led by the (for all intents and purposes) politically immune Harry Potter, is in a state of disarray. Indeed, Potter has been riding on the coattails of his past successes and fame to the dismay of the wizarding community for years. This begs the question: when is enough enough? To answer that question, let’s take a look at the retrospect.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been under a nearly constant state of terror for over a dozen years now. Students and staff have been attacked, subjected to unforgivable curses, and at one point even abducted en-masse and used seemingly as test-subjects. Now in the last year the nation has fallen prey to a string of abductions and gruesome murders. The list of notable and not-so-notable persons only gets longer as the members of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement seemingly sit by and play Exploding Snap.
And throughout this escalation of crime, what can the Department of Magical Law Enforcement tell us? Where are the arrests? The suspects? The progress is negligible, if not flat out nonexistent, prompting the question: Is the nation safe while Harry Potter leads us?
Though the administration of Abelard Clagge has made aggressive strides in reducing waste in government spending with the prudent trimming of ineffectual personnel, no firings in the Auror’s Department have been reported. In contrast, the unexpected early retirement of celebrated former Minister of Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt, leads this journalist to wonder what state the Auror Department must currently be in to inspire such a move?
It would be wise for the Ministry to realize the severity of the situation and to recognize that the wizarding community will not tolerate incompetent leadership, no matter how impressive the résumé. We’re not in Hogwarts anymore, Mr. Potter, and neither is the threat.
5 December 2017
A Hero, no doubt, but there are some in the Wizarding World beginning to believe that Harry Potter has lost his touch when it comes to protecting us from the evil-doers around us. Such worries were heightened when word of Kingsley’s Shacklebolt’s retirement reached the wizarding public.
“I think it’s horrible,” commented Earnest Feezilby, a resident of Godric’s Hollow. “All of these disappearances, all of these murders, and what does Potter do? Goes and lets his best Auror decide it’s a good time to take up Gobstones in the old wizard towers. I heard they were close, too. You wonder if Potter even tried to keep him on.”
While the Wizarding World will always be grateful for Harry’s defeat of You-Know-Who, there are some who are beginning to wonder if Potter isn't resting on his laurels. “What’s he done?” One ministry insider asked on condition of anonymity. “Name one thing Potter has done since his seventeenth year. Nothing but spend our Tax Galleons any way he sees fit. Sure, he was Johnny on the spot once, but if he can’t do it now, when WILL he do it?”
Opinions of Shacklebolt lay strongly in the other direction. “Now Kingsley, there was a leader. The man held us together while Potter hid with his friends during the Dark Lord’s reign, and won some impressive duels with well known and dangerous Death Eaters. It’s Kingsley should lead the Aurors, Potter among them, if you ask me.”
Minister of Magic Clagge has remained unavailable for comment since Shacklebolt’s retirement, the precise details of which have never been revealed. Requests for interviews from Potter himself have been flatly denied. However, this correspondent, having once had the honor of several exclusive interviews with Potter as that brave young boy we all loved, is willing to make some guesses.
I find myself recalling that handsome young face, those startlingly green eyes as they wept, contemplating the early death of his nonetheless beloved parents. Such vulnerability, though admirable in a wizard and desirable in a friend, is not particularly fitting for a commanding officer. What if Shaklebolt, one of the few remaining older role-models left to Potter, did not in fact retire but rather was retired, assuring Harry that his last father figure would be safe from escalating Death Eater activity?
That Harry Potter has faced enough grief for a lifetime cannot be argued, but if it is beginning to hamper his judgment, his ability to lead the Aurors, then perhaps a change of the guard is required. Some have recommended Professor Trimble, Hogwarts former Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher and special Auror liaison to the School take up the post, allowing Harry time for his troubles, and what would of course be a much deserved rest from his struggle.
16 December 2017
Though reports are still coming in and key Ministry officials remain unavailable for comment, it is now believed that the death count from the alleged Death Eater attacks on the Northern Facility for Maladies of the Mind can be definitively placed at five, with some further reports yet remaining to be verified. (See Maladies, Page 5). This is the ninth such attack in the space of a year. While many of the attacks, like the one at the Northern Facility, have focused on experts within the fields of healing and potions: Healer Lucretious Mortimer, Healer Michael Wellpointe and imminent potions master, Henry Wallace. Others seem to have no apparent connection: Noted historian Tobias Bradshaw; humanitarian and muggle-rights activist, Morna Blyss; Department of Mysteries employee, Janet Rowland; as well as a number of muggles.
Strange disappearances are often considered “par for the course” among the experimental magic community, with lost members turning up eventually with a carrot stuck to their face or an ear transfigured into a saucer. However the sheer number of disappearances coupled with the apparent rise in muggle-targeted crimes draw comparisons to the rise of You Know Who, and has many whispering that the Ministry’s repeated claims that the Death Eaters are merely “a headless monster taking far too long to die” can no longer be taken seriously.
Perhaps even more disturbing are the indications that if such an organization exists, then it has been successfully evading the aurors for the better part of a decade, even managing to kill aurors in their strikes, such as the 2014 death of auror, Gilbert Rothchild. As always, repeated requests for comment from Ministry Officials on this subject are ignored, but others, such as Emma Bradshaw, widow of Tobias, are refusing to stay silent.
“If there’s anything that you know that might give a lead on who would do such a devastating thing to my husband, I beg you to step up, even if in fear for your life. Your information could spare others.” If you have any information on Death Eater activity or Ministry Efforts to discover this band of murderers, please send it to the Daily Prophet Investigative Reporting desk. Requests for Anonymity will be respected.
30 November 2016
The Minister of Magic’s office announced today that Kingsley Shacklebolt, former Minister of Magic and a hero of the Battle of Hogwarts, has retired after a long and illustrious career. The exact details of the retirement were not disclosed, with the Minister’s Assistant saying little other than the legendary career had come to an end, concluded with the following statement. “It is after years and years of dedicated service that the ministry final says farewell to one of its most senior agents, and wishes him well in his much deserved retirement.” Owls for further comment from the Minister were not immediately returned.
Reviewing Shacklebolt’s career, one’s eye is drawn irrevocably to the second rise of You-Know-Who, when the honored Auror parted ways with the corrupt Ministry of Cornelius Fudge to join with the legendary Order of the Phoenix, and then took a major role in the resistance under the pseudonym of Royal. He was one of the leaders in the Battle of Hogwarts and credited with the death or capture of several Death Eaters. Following the battle he was named temporary Minister and then Minister in full, before eventually leaving the office and returning to his role as Auror under the command of Harry Potter.
As he was such a highly trusted and capable agent of the Ministry, one would assume that the Minister would do everything in his power to retain Shacklebolt’s services, what with the growing number of alarming disappearances and deaths occurring in the Wizarding World believed to be perpetrated by the scattered remnants of You-Know-Who’s followers. Asked about losing such valuable experience in a time of crisis, a Ministry insider protested the term. “Let’s be frank, these are just a few isolated incidents caused by some sad freaks with delusions of grandeur. We wish Kingsley well but believe that a shake-up in the Department of Aurors is exactly what is needed to end these disappearances, and with his departure we may finally be able to get such change underway.”
Indeed, this departure may be what was needed to get the current Department Head, Harry Potter, to make the changes that will end this string of murders. Only time will tell.
Shaklebolt was not available for comment at the time of this release. Requests for comment from Harry Potter himself have been flatly denied.
28 November 2016
At the Germany vs Austria Quidditch World Cup Final, Aurors captured a Death Eater, who we can now reveal to be Amadeus Couriel. The Auror Division received an anonymous tip-off on Mr Couriel, a Ministry worker, which led to suspicions that he was involved in Death Eater activity. An entire gathering of Death Eaters was uncovered at the game as a highly trained Auror team apprehended Mr Couriel without disruption to the spectators.
The Death Eaters were discovered to be in a private box at the Cup Final, many of whom were disguised. When Couriel himself was apprehended, he had been imbibing Polyjuice and it was only through use of complex spells that the highly commendable Auror team identified him. Several others were also in disguise, but it is suspected that the nefarious Rodolphus Lestrange was present, who has eluded capture for years. Upon closing in, the rest of the Death Eaters immediately fled, but Auror Bevan reveals that there are several new names they are now considering adding to the growing list of dark wizards.
Mr Couriel has been taken into custody and will be interrogated for further information pertaining to the Death Eaters. Public safety is foremost in the Ministry’s mind. Any operations that Couriel was involved in at the Ministry are said to be compromised and are now under review. Auror O’Connell recommends that any who may have been affected by the affairs handled by this highly dangerous criminal to owl the Aurors detailing their plight, as well as anyone who may have any information regarding Couriel’s activities.
16 June 2016
Residents of Sandwich have found themselves in a state of shock at the discovery of Henry Wallace’s corpse just miles away from his place of residence last evening. The man was reported missing days earlier after one of his neighbors complained about his crup barking incessantly. Wallace, a potions master and collector of rare and exotic formulas, was considered by the Romanian potions community to be one of the better people in the profession. Henry was allegedly visiting a family member.
To the astonishment of the local community, it appears he didn't get far. It has been reported that his body was found in a nearby field near a muggle’s empty home. “Henry Wallace was an arrogant wanker, always making noise and experimenting. My property value went up with him gone,” said a clearly grieving neighbor.
Minister Clagge refused to comment, though a spokesman for the Auror Department did so in his stead. “You may rest assured that the Auror Department is doing everything in their power to find those guilty.” Witches and Wizards throughout the area have openly questioned Harry Potter’s ability to truly keep them safe from the unknown threat. In response, Harry Potter revealed he was unavailable for comment at the time.
The seemingly tentative Auror Department, baffled at the events that had transpired involving Wallace, has been helplessly scrambling to keep up. The Department has been struggling for progress despite the protests of locals, obviously discontent with the unwelcome attention.
9 June 2016
[A small snippet in the “Across the UK” section]
A Mr. Henry Wallace was reported missing late last night after his neighbor, Quidditch enthusiast Frett Barve, called the authorities to deal with Mr. Wallace’s pet crup. To the Ministry Official’s dismay, Mr. Wallace was not present. The media was told that there was “nothing to worry about,” as Mr. Wallace, age 59, “We have no reason to suspect foul play, but we do have reason to believe he was off visiting his brother.”
Henry Wallace may be best known in the Eastern European potions community for his publication of Potions You Should(n’t) Know, a piece detailing the uses of primarily illegal ingredients in potions.
5 March 2016
My first impression upon attending the Annual International Wizarding Gardening Competition, held this year in New Zealand, was that it would be a waste of my lovely Saturday. I never knew that I would walk away with a new respect for the gardeners; my hands are black and blue, and their manicured hands look just as good as their manicured lawns.
I’m jealous. I don’t have a green thumb, it seems.
Gardening is something that I would never have thought to be competitive, or a competition, or so darn complicated. I learned how to prune a mean Chinese Chomping Cabbage without fatal injuries, came to the realization that no matter how nicely you disguise a Devil’s Snare, gardeners can smell it from a mile away (and it ends up as a pile of ashes), and that Fanged Geraniums are bloody scary. Not only did one try to eat me, but I don’t think I’ll be able to hold a fork for a week. I did come to own a Flutterby bush; did you know they’re nice assets to your gardens?
And fertilizers? Don’t come between a gardener and their fertilizer. There were some ruthless debates about the differences between dragon dung and, well…other dung (I didn't stick around that conversation for long), and the merits of self-fertilizing shrubs.
But my personal favorite? Honking daffodils. Not only do they drive your neighbors crazy, but they get high marks in the competition. Something about accenting bushes, or tress. Oh? And Mimbulus mimbletonias? People still don’t know what they do. I would love to highlight my favorite division, Contorting Cereals, but in light of my recent article, I want to point a finger in the direction of the Grand Champion of Gardening, Hortensia Gavilbets, and her assistant, Wilbur Hegglesby.
They informed me, after their win, about how long it takes a gardener to prepare. Aside from trying to deny nature’s natural seasons, a perfect garden can take over a year. Sprouts can die, a drought can occur, and gnomes (a gardener’s worst enemy) can infest a garden and completely ruin everything. I never really understood how much work goes into a garden. Granted, the only thing I can grow are weeds, but still.
Gardening for these ladies and gentlemen are jobs and hobbies, even hobbies turned into jobs. It takes a lot of effort, and plenty of bruises and sore thumbs, but who knew that every year, this competition takes place?
- Candace Smith
28 December 2014
As we all know, the School of Hogwarts has long been burdened with the necessity to, frankly, pay for everything done. This was somewhat alleviated by the generous donations of Lucius Malfoy, philanthropist and a former governor of the school. However, since this wonderful man has been labeled as missing, so has much of the financial support of the school. This has led to such events as the disbanding of clubs as well as several delays in the reconstruction of the Quidditch Pitch during the year following, which has since been completed.
This leaves professionals such as Marvin McLawlercaek in awe as to how they plan to open a large, Quidditch Pitch sized pool in what will be what formerly was the Rose Gardens. “It’s complete garbage, that!” said McLawlercaek, also a resident of Hogsmeade. What’s more, the pool is planned to be open to no one other than the faculty and staff of the school, leaving the common witches and wizards, including the students, out of the proverbial loop. This leaves McLawlercaek flustered with the blatant insensitivity.
The estimated cost of a project like this is overwhelming, and must be taken out of the budget somewhere. The Prophet fears that Hogwarts has not been properly nourishing its students, and will be taking a detailed look at the problem to get to the bottom of it all. All of this prompts the question: is Weasley ready to run a school? Owl us in with your thoughts.
On an unrelated note, we’ll have coverage on Scotland’s counterfeit financial documents case later.
29 December 2014
Yes, I admit it. Quidditch rules my life. My boyfriend loves me for it, my best friend hates me for it, and my parents wish they had never bought me that old, trusty Eagle Pro. I’ve been to more games than I can count, thrown things at officiators who make horrible calls, and booed plenty of teams. To me, Quidditch is oxygen.
So, you can imagine my aggravation when I returned to my alma mater, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, to witness yet another defeat of perhaps the best team ever to fly brooms. I don’t think it’s quite understood, or appreciated, how amazing this team is. They work together fabulously, pull off plays flawlessly, and have fun. Not to mention they work harder than any team I've witnessed. And I've witnessed plenty of professional Quidditch team practices.
No one knows.
The Hufflepuff Quidditch Team has won one (just one) Quidditch cup in the entire history of the rebuilding of Hogwarts. The very first one doesn't even count as one, as the rules have been updated and refined, and it was snatched out of their hands immediately after. The team is made up of some of the best kids in the bunch, who work their hardest, and they have NEVER WON. I want to spotlight people who have never had the glory of the win. So far, the Hufflepuff Quidditch Team is the best team to have never won the coveted Quidditch Cup. No contest. None.
You may scoff at this article, or me, and say that I have reporter bias. I don’t care. Sure, I was a Hufflepuff. Sure, I played on the team. But since I left, those children have exceeded any expectation. They've surpassed goals, and certainly passed me as a player. They've improved so much. I watch them, and I am proud to say I know those girls and (so few) guys. Not flew with them. KNOW them.
Congratulations to Slytherin, Ravenclaw, and Gryffindor. By no means did you play badly; I just think it’s time for those who aren't in the spotlight to finally be seen.
In my next few columns, I hope to highlight those lesser-known peoples, groups, and/or teams. You’ll meet the winner of the International Gardening Competition, lesser-known Quidditch players, Ministry workers. These people don’t work for fame, or recognition. They do what they do because they want to. I think it’s time they got some recognition for their effort. Feel free to contact me with any suggestions of people to give a few fleeting moments of fame. It’s nothing much, but it’s a start. The Wizarding World isn't made up of the big-shots; it’s the people behind the scenes that really make us tick.
Stick around for the Ms. Smith’s next article, coverage on New Zealand’s Gardening Competition, next week, only in the Daily Prophet.
Note: The thoughts and opinions expressed here are not necessarily that of the Daily Prophet. But they might be.
- Candace Smith
22 October 2014
Last Tuesday a terrible breach in security occurred in the Dark Creatures Observation Facility when two children-eating trolls escaped from their enclosures, demonstrating a high risk for the staff, which has since been under heavy assault from the unleashed dark creatures, battling to obtain control over the havoc they have created.
This happened only a day after a third year class of Hogwarts was taken to a visit there as part of a practical lesson on Banshees, which can also be found in this structure. Luckily enough, they missed this terrible accident and avoided any sort of injuries. The visit had gone with no difficulties and the students had returned safely to Hogwarts.
The facilitation was opened more than a decade ago, and with only a few minor mishaps, nothing as serious as this has happened.
“I have spent over ten years studying the creatures in this place, and never have I seen them so aggressive as during this break out. I realize they are dark creatures and it’s in their nature to be violent, but this is insane, lad,” commented Donal Magee, director of the DCO and a preeminent expert in the study of dark creatures.
Now the Magizoologists are trying to discover what was the cause for this escape in a highly-monitored facility such as the DCO. There are no suspects or any reason to assume that this as done by an outside source, but the Daily Prophet discovered an investigation is taking place nonetheless.
22 October 2014
A few days ago an article by the name of Missing Historian Found made headlines on The Daily Prophet covering the death of famed historian Tobias Bradshaw. Now, while the cause of death is of known nature it doesn’t fail to surprise our reader the whereabouts of Mr. Bradshaw on his death night. Karn Alley, the equivalent if not the complete over the top competitor to Knockturn Alley, has been the source of much news in the past, thus making it the perfect location for such a death. However, it could attract the inquisitive minds of those who will, of course, launch false accusations and pin-point the blame on those who aren’t to be blamed- to investigate as to why Mr. Bradshaw was in Karn Alley.
But the true question is not what Tobias Bradshaw’s business in Karn Alley was or who killed such a respected Historian. The true question lies in: Is the Ministry of Magic reading between the lines? Tobias Bradshaw was not killed by magical means, but was it so the ministry wouldn’t trace the source of magic? Will the death of Tobias Bradshaw be labeled as “accidental” without any further evidence to prove the contrary? Or will an investigation be launched to catch the guilty party of this murder?
It would be a shame, for the Ministry of Magic to cover up another suspicious death, as they had been known to do in the past. Hopefully matters concerning this death will be made known to the public and the smoke be cleared from this untimely death of a respected man.
- L.E. Cleery
1 October 2014
I have hated the Chudley Cannons for some time now. Ever since I could remember, actually. I was reminded of this hatred a few days ago when I “attended” the “semi-finals” of a district Quidditch Cup. It was a joke. The Cannons should have tried to play without a broomstick.
The results would've been the same.
As a devout Quidditch fan, and a good player (if I do say so myself), it is brutally embarrassing to watch a game, any game, involving the Chudley Cannons. I would rather be trampled by a centaur than sit through a whole game.
Why? Well, isn’t it obvious?
Okay. For those who don’t find it obvious, let me explain. Number one: They wear bright orange. They’re a horror on the eyes. And believe me. I have a high tolerance for bright colors- I’m a former Hufflepuff. But bright orange? No thanks.
Number two: Any team who names themselves after cannons should at least be as fast as one, right? Not the Cannons. They are slower than cannons. It is quite painful to watch. Their interceptions are non-existent, their Keeper can’t seem to see the Quaffle coming towards him and always misses (and, might I add, A Keeper’s JOB is only to block the Quaffle and throw it back. As boring as it may be, it’s not that difficult), their bludgers are aimed towards the wrong people (if they can make it to a bludger in time to hit it), and the Seeker doesn't know the Snitch has been sighted until the Snitch rests in the opposing Seeker’s hand.
Honestly? It’s pathetic.
How the Cannons have fans, I’ll never know. I certainly am no a fan, and I feel bad for anyone who truly admires them- they obviously don’t know the difference between good and bad Quidditch teams. Granted, I did convert a Cannons fan the other day. Ask me about that topic- it’s really quite enjoyable. I thank him for finally seeing reason.
On a brighter note: I do like how the Cannons are so easily beaten. Thanks for pushing the Arrows up in the standings.
- Candace Smith
19 September 2014
The Romanian Littles won in a stunning feat against the new England Rumblers in the annual International Gobstones Tournament. The Rumblers, having sustained an unwavering winning season for their first season ever (including a grand total of zero losses) turned for the worse in the final of the Tournament. The Littles left the tournament in tears of joy, clinging to the trophy for dear life.
The Daily Prophet would like to congratulate the Rumblers on a good season and wish their captain, Ron Shady, good luck in the oncoming year.
21 September 2014
As some of you have undoubtedly heard, the ball in commemoration of the Battle of Hogwarts was turned into a disaster zone in what could most adequately explained as “preposterous.” The ball, fitting the day of commemoration dutifully, did appear to be a battle zone shortly after the dear Professor Neville Longbottom gave a short and riveting speech with the help of a rather aloof Luna Lovegood, in what leaves the few meager investigators baffled.
The students, dressed up as various creatures, inanimate objects, people of prestige and others were seemingly unwilling guinea pigs to an anonymous prankster’s idea of a good time. Transforming, in mind and body, to the item or being they were dressed up as, a scene that witnesses describe as “wicked,” (oh, the poor souls) was made. Fire breathing dragons, the late Albus Dumbledore, and even fairy princesses were just a few of the oddities. Various others of increasing danger to others were there, readers should note.
No casualties have been encountered, through some luck.
That night, Hogwarts was dressed in chaos. Ministry officials assure us that no foul play is suspected beyond the obvious. It is with an un-bias air that I offer my opinion to who I’m sure is an avid reader: Headmaster Arthur Weasley. Tighten your leash on the little miscreants of Hogwarts (though we assure those reading this article, it is not your children I refer to as such) to the point where such activity as jinxing clothing or hexing professors is quite near impossible.
After such events as the kidnapping the year before, Hogwarts is still on edge. Perhaps soon our dearest Hogwarts Headmaster will realize the intensity of even simple student pranks are to the safety and trust in his school.