This past Thursday HPSoc held its termly Casual Games Night.
Following a spirited game of Kingdoms (a true test of memory, naturally won by a Ravenclaw), and a nail-baiting game of Charades (which featured some...interesting performances), there was a round of the ever-popular game picture telephone.
How does picture telephone work? You start with a blank piece of paper. At the top, you write a sentence. The paper is then passed on to someone else, who interprets the sentence in a drawing. After covering the sentence, the drawing is passed on to the next person, who writes a sentence based on the drawing, covers up the drawing, and passes on their sentence. Oh, and the whole thing is timed--you get a minute to write, and two minutes to draw.
You can see where this is going. But in case you don't realize just how many things can go wrong, have a look at some of the picture-telephone sequences from the night (thank you to Raymond for the pictures!):
1. Harry riding a broomstick
This one starts off so simple: "Harry riding a broomstick". But mid-way through, some bad handwriting turns "Cool Harry flew on his cool broom in the cool weather, which was...so cool" into "Cod Harry flew...". Yer a fish, Harry.
2. Harry on a broomstick being struck by lightning
A dark take on the Harry-on-a-broomstick tale. The cards are stacked against Harry from the start: the page begins, "Harry Potter on a broomstick struck by lightning". But then someone begins to question all we've been led to believe: "Harry was struck by lightning on his broom?" Pretty soon, the horrid truth comes to light: "Hagrid driving a big car over a dead Harry." Harry's remains were too graphic to display.
3. Harry Potter and the Brexit of Fire
An attempt at political commentary gone wrong. It only took two people to get to "Harry Potter burning the United Kingdom", and from there, it only got worse. Not content to burn the UK, "Harry created a large scribble monster with his wand". The scribble monster, looking much like the one from Spongebob Squarepants (was Harry acting out some childhood trauma? The world may never know) was unleashed on the world. But the residents in Bikini Bottom, unaware of Harry's growing darkness, trusted him still. So "When Spongebob turned evil everyone in Bikini Bottom knew there was only one person who could save them: Harry Potter. Too bad they forgot to mention it to Harry..." Too bad indeed. One can only wonder what became of the sea creatures when they turned to the Dark Lord Harry for help.
Every Friday*, The Quibbler posts a new fanfic contributed by an HPSoc member. This week's special character edition was written by Adam Morris at the Michaelmas 2018 Design-a-Character Event.
*or occasionally on the weekend, when the editor forgets to post...
This past Thursday, HPSoc held it's first design-a-character event. Members were encouraged to come up with an original character, or characters in some cases, which they felt would make interesting additions to the Harry Potter universe. Prizes were awarded to the best characters, based on design and thoroughness of characterization.
Participants drew some amazing characters and provided excellent backstories to match, but there could only be one winner, and The Quibbler was lucky enough to convince said winner, Adam Morris, to allow his character's backstory to be published. A transcription of his submission at the event follows:
Agatha the Wicked
(6 June 1306 – 6 June 1326)
Agatha was born in a forest in Dartmoor on 6 June 1306; her parents are unknown. She was discovered sitting under a thatched basket of toads, surrounded by a ring of fire and making noises which were thought to have been cackling. This lead to rumours that Agatha was half-basilisk, which were furthered by the fact that she was the third known Parselmouth after Slytherin and Herpo the Foul.
Agatha was taken into an orphanage but an hour later, she inexplicably disappeared. It is thought that between 1306 and 1317, she was taken into at least three other orphanages, all of which she disappeared from without a trace within an hour. Her whereabouts outside of these events, which happened around the country, are unknown.
In 1317, Agatha turned up to Hogwarts and was sorted into Slytherin. She was described by the headmaster as “the smartest 11 year old in the history of England”. In her time at Hogwarts, she spent most of her time studying intensely, but she was also good friends with Wendelin the Weird – a witch who would later become famous for allowing herself to be caught by Muggles and ‘burned at the stake’ (while using a Flame-Freezing Charm) forty-seven times.
Agatha had a particular love for Alchemy, Transfiguration and Spellcasting, though she achieved full marks in exams for every subject, which she sat in third year. She invented six spells whilst at Hogwarts, all with incantations beginning with ‘D’:
Following her graduation from Hogwarts in 1319, Agatha is thought to have travelled around England taking revenge against Muggles involved in witch-burning, because between 1319 and 1325, sixteen such Muggles died of inexplicable causes. Their deaths were determined by Healers to have been caused by an unknown magic.
In 1325, Agatha travelled to an island in the North Sea which would later become Azkaban. In the 15th century, Ekrizdis would travel to this island and practice Dark Magic, luring Muggles to their deaths. In her time on the island, Agatha wrote a 667 page manuscript whose contents are unknown, as Ekrizdis burned it, declaring it to be “cursed magick too dangerous for even Dark Magick practitioners to learn of”.
Agatha is thought to have been the creator of dementors, which Bathilda Bagshot describes as: “Creatures more malevolent than any others in the magical world. The magic required to create them is thought to be more difficult and powerful than anything other than perhaps creating Horcruxes. Dementors feed on human happiness, and with direct contact can suck the soul out of a person. They are unlike any other known being, with no confirmed cases of Dementors dying or being born.”
Agatha’s gravestone remains in Azkaban today, reading “Here Lieth a Witch Moste Wicked”. The date of death is given as 6 June 1326, her twentieth birthday. It is unknown how or when the grave was created, as it was present when Ekrizdis arrived on the island, and there are thought to have been no inhabitants of the island between Agatha and Ekrizdis. Some historians have suggested that Agatha created the gravestone herself, committing suicide via poison out of the guilt that she felt for creating Dementors.
During her lifetime, Agatha popularised the pentagram as a symbol of magic, using it in the spellbooks she made for her six ‘D’ spells and perhaps in her 667 page manuscript. A pentagram appears on her gravestone.
Agatha is the only individual person to have a whole chapter dedicated to her in “Magick Moste Evile”. For unknown reasons, Agatha is depicted on the first page of the Voynich manuscript.
Appearance-wise, Agatha developed a hunchback from a young age. She had green piercing eyes and her voice is said to have been “a mixture of rasps and hisses”, both of which contributed to rumours that she was half-basilisk. Agatha was left-handed and never cut the fingernails on her pinkies, letting them reach two inches in length and then using magic to prevent them growing further, which she told her friend Wendelin was “a fashion choice”.
Every Friday*, The Quibbler posts a new fanfic contributed by an HPSoc member. This week's fanfictions were written by a group of HPSoc members, in the form of the game "Chinese Whispers" at the Michaelmas 2018 Casual Games Night.
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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