This term is coming along quickly - hope you're all keeping up. Next week HPSoc will be participating in the termly inter-geeky-society Geek Quiz, naturally hosted online this time around. Do join us in coming along, and perhaps even go so far as to bring along a round! In the meantime, enjoy the hilarity (and questionable mouse-drawing...) of my personal selection of rounds from our virtual picture telephone using Broken Picture Phone during casual games in Week 3.
The end of Third Week (or rather start of Fourth Week) already in these strange times. Yet term still goes on, albeit in a more digital format: lectures, tutes and, of course, HPSoc. This week we managed to pull off Casual Games, but using online multiplayer versions of our usual games, including Picture Telephone and Pictionary (in place of charades), along with quizzes on Kahoot - not without technical difficulties of course. Nonetheless, I for one stretched more muscles laughing than from actual exercise this Thursday... No doubt I'll be posting some of the gems from Picture Telephone in the coming weeks. This week, however, in lieu of other submissions (and do feel free to send them in to me at my society email...), I have spend a little while this Sunday writing a short and very random little Harry Potter fanfic... Brownie points to anyone who can guess which book I randomly picked out my prompts from!
Needless to say, we are still running our events this term as best we can, so keep an eye out in your emails & our Facebook page!
A group of Fourth years had congregated at the Great Hall. Stood on top of the Slytherin table was none other than Maggie Switcher, who had transferred to Hogwarts at the beginning of second year. She was a right troublemaker, no doubt about that. It was of course unusual for Hogwarts to receive students from other countries, as the Sorting Hat had quite gleefully commented as Switcher took her place on the stool. That is to say her troublemaking was probably a side-effect of this; might as well give people more outrageous reasons to talk about you behind your back. This, therefore, was simply yet another of her wild ploys to get herself memorialised as “that girl who….”, rather than “that American girl”.
Her mother had been head of the Salem Witches’ Institute for years, not that that brought any sway at all in Hogwarts, which was frankly about as far removed from (or rather opposed to) American magical institutions as any organisation in the world. Nonetheless, spending so much time as a young child with a bunch of middle-aged witches that largely ignored her had resulted in one very bored child who spent a lot of time messing around with the various potion ingredients left scattered around the meeting hall by the lazier members of the coven. Therefore, though there would not have been much point in trying to get her way by name-dropping Salem, there was plenty point in threatening her teachers and fellow students with her wild card potions. One student who had dared make fun of the way she pronounced Wingardium Leviosa, for example, made the second grave mistake of not watching his drink at the main table. Unfortunately, it was a little troublesome for him to remember not to commit either error again, since his mind had been wiped. In fact, the poor boy struggled to remember his own name for several weeks…
Students at the back of the crowd stood on tiptoes as they attempted to glimpse just what Switch was doing with the table. Infuriatingly, those lucky students at the front of the crowd were sniggering periodically, resulting in an almost rhythmic swaying of the crowd as those at the back fruitless tried to push forward.
For those at the front of the audience, it was quite the sight. Where normally student could expect to find the wooden table filled with sumptuous food and assorted dining implements - or simply plain wood – today there was a miniature forest of a thoroughly unnatural and eerie green hue. The only one at that particular moment who truly knew what exactly it was supposed to be was of course Switcher herself, not only because she had planned it, but also because she was at the best angle to see her work.
It had taken her longer than she would like to admit to gather the right ingredients and brew them in just the right quantities to create the potion. Sneaking into the Forbidden Forest – where else? - to gather the cuttings for the forest itself had been a challenge too. But today, each component had come together just so and, having already placed the cuttings in the right places on the table, she had finally been able to reveal her masterpiece to her peers.
Switcher dripped a few last droplets of the adapted Regerminating potion and grinned fiercely. She had truly outdone herself this time. The students closest to her were leaning in, still sniggering occasionally (one claiming they could see a tiny centaur in amongst the tiny trees), though none were quite brave enough to risk touching it given her reputation. Impatient now, Switcher almost ordered them to come up onto the table with her. A few people gasped slightly, and some at the back of the crowd lost their nerve and snuck off out of the hall. It was one thing to watch mischief being done; quite another to actually participate in the mischievousness. One foolhardy soul, however, could not quite resist the temptation, and reached up a hand to the mastermind, who duly helped them up. Once there, they whooped and clapped Switcher on the back. More curious than ever, and naturally emboldened by the relative anonymity of not being the only one, more students climbed up to see what it was.
From above, it became suddenly obvious what it was. Naturally, of course, it was the Slytherin house crest. A perfect choice, since it would make removing it not only a hassle, but almost sacrilegious. How could the Head of Slytherin not let this slide when it was such a brazen show of House Pride?
It might technically be week 2 already, but nonetheless, welcome back all. What a strange time we live in; history in the making of the calibre of any of the great wizarding wars I should think. Except in this case, the magic we have at our disposal to combat our great enemy does not come from the end of a wand, but from the tip of a pipette, and the bottom of our hearts. I hope you are all as well as you can be in these times, and managing to adjust to the oddment of this term away from Oxford. We will, of course, still stay connected thanks to the other technological magics at our disposal, so do keep an eye on your owl post (email inbox) and Facebook for updates on what we'll be getting up to this term.
I don't have any fanfics for you this week, but the following are copies of a select few examples of Picture Telephone we played last term during casual games night. Apologies in advance for picture quality etc. Hopefully they can bring at least a shadow of the laughter we shared that night...
But before getting to that, let me leave you with a rather apt quote from the one and only Albus B.W.P. Dumbledore:
“WE ARE ONLY AS STRONG AS WE ARE UNITED, AS WEAK AS WE ARE DIVIDED.”
Dahria Kuyser is the current editor of The Quibbler. While she is unfortunately a Muggle, she takes great pride in the fact that she has no idea quite how many times she’s read the Harry Potter series, and in the fact that her trivia on the Wizarding World is far more extensive than that of the Muggle one. When she isn’t too busy practicing wand movements, she can be contacted through the Webmaster.
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