Second Task Twists
On a blisteringly cold Saturday morning the sun rose on the Second Task of the Triwizard Tournament.
After weeks of speculation the task began on the lake with the champions diving to locate what had been taken from them. In a shock twist the champions had to be prepared for water and the added risk of memory loss. Lethe water was used in a subterranean pool that the champions had to pass through and still remember the task at hand.
Elliott Reid (Hogwarts) produced a bubble head charm teamed with impervius to protect him from the cold. Utilising a magical breathing apparatus Lars Stangeland (Durmstrang)entered the water, but with a stunning piece of magic Cardan Duarte (Beauxbatons) stole the opening scene with gillyweed and then produced birds which she proceeded to transform into a shark to ride upon.
Facing weeds, whirlpools, and various underwater dwellers the Champions sped through to find their way.
Despite the rules of the Tournament stating that Champions are to Work Alone it shocked onlookers as an apparent alliance was formed between Stangeland and Duarte. The Durmstrang champion protected the two of them leaving Reid to struggle against a swarm of Grindylows, an impressive display of magic from the Hogwarts Champion enabled him to catch up and enter the mermaid protected caves with a mere ‘please’.
Clarence Thomas was apparently correct in saying “Good Manners will open doors that the best education cannot.” This was evident as Stangeland proceeded to try and attack the mermaids, only gaining passage after Duarte asked nicely.
Twist upon twist continued as the champions then came upon what had been taken from them, in the form of Dagmar Gaard (Durmstrang), Albert Tournadre (Beauxbatons), and Magnus Laufreyn (Durmstrang), but that wasn’t enough for the Department for Magical Games and Sports! The Champions were then faced with a terrible choice; choose their captive, or choose something that will help them in the third and final task.
Luckily each champion chose to save their captives with Stangeland showing his true colours, rescuing his before the other two Champions, and the sigh of relief in the observing stands was audible. Bursting out of the water with their captives in tow the Champions all arrived within minutes of each other and, consistently on theme, their scores were all as close as they were. Elliott Reid won the task, with Cardan Duarte taking second, and Lars Stangeland in third.
With the rules stating that the combined scores dictates the commencement of the final task Elliott Reid of Hogwarts will enter first, followed by Lars Stangeland, and then Cardan Duarte
– Saffron Foxclaw, Current Events
Psychic Satin Says…
I’m getting the voice of a woman – writes Psychic Satin, nationally acclaimed predictioneer and medium to the dead – it could be a man, it’s very hard to tell. Come to think of it, it may be a horse. Whoever it is, they have a voice that could make a grown dementor cry. I can hear them clearer now… Beryl, her name is Beryl. She tells me she passed onto the other side after mistaking the draught of living death as a cup of tea. Easily done, Beryl. If done improperly they really are one and the same. She has a message for Tony. It’s fuzzy but… she seems to be saying… don’t forget to feed the owl, you lousy good for nothing – well, I shan’t repeat the last word, but I think you get the picture! She’s gone now. Such a beautiful spirit, with bright silvery curls and a manicure to die for. Tony, wherever you are, it was my pleasure.
Snow and Skeletons
On the cold day of January 17th, a pair in the Patrol Squad from the Department of Magical Law Enforcement arrived to a very unusual scene indeed; a Muggle crime scene, mere steps from the forest gate of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It was blocked off with plastic police tape. Upon arrival there, the two Patrol quickly realized that there was an investigation going on and if it continued further it could lead the Muggle Police to the gates of the castle.
While the chance of them seeing anything on school grounds that could be damaging to the Statute of Secrecy was non-existent, there was still the fear that Muggle Police would find the mysterious meteor that was perhaps a little too close for comfort to the area in question.
A member of the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes, by the name of Mister M. Toomes, was called on site to assist with the Muggle. Once that was sorted, members of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement were quick to search the area and found a skeleton with a note. Given that it is an ongoing case and the note is still evidence I am unable to share contents of the note with readers at this time.
A wand was also discovered at the site, one that a wandcrafter helped the Department to learn had once belonged to a man who has been missing since 1998, three decades ago, a Mister Charlie Anderson. It was truly a sad day when his wife, now widow, Isabella Anderson had to hear the news of the wand being found, possibly without the owner.
While there is no clear proof yet that the skeleton is the missing Charlie Anderson, his wand was found in a pond nearby. The case was passed into the hands of Auror Alys Cadwell when it was discovered that the last spell that the wand had produced happened to be the horrific killing curse, taking the case to a whole new level. Was Anderson the victim of his own wand, or the attacker that ditched his weapon and fled into hiding?
More to come, readers!
– Sterling Raggs, Magical Crimes Reporter
February’s Bestseller List
As an antidote to the weight of current politics, the Daily Prophet overviews this month’s top five best selling reads.
- “British Goblinkind – A Political History” by Bailor Estoppel (politics / history). A rigorous historical review of the relationship between goblins and wizards in Great Britain. A highly recommended read for anybody wishing to better understand the historical context of the “Gretreat” negotiations. With news of the Goblin questions now spreading across Western Europe, it’s not surprising to see this as this month’s bestseller.
- “The Personal Lives of Spirit-Beings” by Tamsin Lillitu (academic / biography). Former expert in the Spirits Division of the Ministry, Lillitu offers a delightful and intriguing insight into the psychology, temperament, and recreational culture of Caipora and other spirit-beings. We are told that her description of their dancing preferences is academically debatable but that does make her descriptions any less enigmatic.
- “Memories of Hogwarts” by Aisling Colquhoun (Illustration). This charming little illustrated volume settles at number three this month. The book is a series of beautiful illustrations of Hogwarts School by the artist, illuminated by lovely stories and descriptions. Definitely one to buy to escape the humdrum of current affairs and return to the romance and innocence of your school days.
- “Befuddle Me Silly: The Simple Art of ‘Knock ‘Em Dead’ Beautification for the Busy Housewitch” by Moll Coldheart (self-help). The queen of unconventional beautification potions brings her tips to the household cauldron. No need for complex brews or rare ingredients, Coldheart shows how you can warm the glances of your neighbours with even the simplest potions knowledge. Some potioneers have criticised her methods, but what is life without a little risk?
- “Devil Snare’s the Dashing” by Milicent Savage (romance). Another novel in less than a month? How does Savage do it? This one is certainly dreamy; an ambitious Ministry caretaker, a hunky Herbologist, and several pots of Honeyduke’s finest whipped cream. You’ll definitely be snared by this storyline in the upcoming Spring nights.