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society's standards ruin everything and your girl is sick of it

society's standards ruin everything and your girl is sick of it hi, hpft. it's been a while, but your resident ratTM hath returned from the dead (or: twitter) to hash out some of my inner dialogue once again. today's topic: the toxic environment we've created for teenage girls. bit o' light reading for your commute, you see what spurred me to write about this? well, my little sister: twelve years old now and in her first year of secondary. secondary is a big change from primary school and though it's been a few years since i was there, i still remember the culture shock from year six (you know, when you were convinced you were the Coolest Person Ever since you ruled primary school and all that jazz) to diving into secondary school more or less blind just a summer later. our local one is a bit... rougher than some (although it's improved since i left) so that adds to the pressure again. as an older sister, i've tried to guide her the best i can, but there's only so much you can do, especially since i'm not at school to guide her like our big sister was with me. and as my little sister - let's call her... strawberry (get it? because i'm plums 😜 ) - navigates her way through teenagehood, i've come to realise a lot of things i really don't like about the mindset she's being conditioned into. number one: the pressure to be 'pretty'. sometimes strawberry will talk about friends she's made in school and she'll add in a little line like she's so pretty, you don't understand which is a fairly valid (and nice) thing to say. but then later if i compliment her, she outright refuses to believe me. if i'm going through my phone and i find a picture of her and melt over how cute she is, y'know bc she is literally my baby sister, she says i'm lying. or that i'm just saying that because i have to since she's my little sister. and i'm like ?? in what world. like. why. she flat-out refuses to accept any compliments about herself. number two: the need to be 'skinny'. listen, i'm someone who struggles with confidence about my weight too. it was worse when i was younger, but i've learnt not to measure my worth in how much i weigh on a scale (i don't use one anymore) and i'm still learning to accept myself. i don't want strawberry to get to the stage where she has to learn how to accept herself. but she's already saying things like "when i lose weight, i'll have to..." or "does this make me look fat?" and i cannot put it into words how much i hate it. the other day, i discovered that she had started a DIET BOOK. SHE IS TWELVE AND SHE HAD A DIET BOOK. i can't put it into words how wrong that is. there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to fix up your diet so you're consuming less, say, crisps and more fruit - but monitoring what you eat?? that's exactly what i was doing when i was fourteen and literally so obsessed with my weight i felt like i couldn't sit down for fear of putting on more pounds. and no matter how many times i approach the subject with her, i can't help but feel like i'm getting nowhere. number three: social media galore. i understand that social media is such a huge part of the world we're in and that kids have more or less always had it around. but i hate how easily it can be weaponised for cyber-bullying, especially with things like snapchat where messages can disappear in the blink of an eye. this isn't a sudden and new problem, but just being on the other side of secondary school really makes you realise how people can get swept up in all that. there's a pressure to be plastered all over social media when you're younger. to have more friends than other people, to have loads of views on your snapchat stories, to rack up likes. and the influencers on these platforms glamourise impossible aspirations, making their livings off of presenting their lives as perfect. while i think that social media has many benefits (it is, after all, how i keep in contact with everyone here), i also think it can be really damaging to someone when they're growing up. it reduces their worth to arbitrary and ultimately meaningless measures. these are just some of the problems that i think are pretty toxic for all teenagers, not just teen girls even if they're the demographic i'm focusing on. i just really hate how society as a whole has reduced the value of women to their physical attributes, whether this is through social media or through the conditioning of people all around us. as much as i hate it, i know that strawberry is being directly influenced by the older female figures in her life: my mum, who panics once she goes over eight stones on the scale, and my sister who frequently calls herself fat despite going to the gym four times a week and averaging a size 6/8. it's the thoughtless comments of so-and-so is pretty but her sister is prettier instead of saying hey did you know suchabody was accepted into cambridge, she's doing really well with her life. it's how media seems to thrive off the male gaze, off expecting girls to smile like this and be this skinny and behave exactly like this. it's damaging. and for all my anger and awareness of the problem these past few years, it never really hit me how hard this bothers me until it affected someone i have an innate desire to protect. i don't want to see strawberry turn from this quirky, cheerful girl who was never too self-conscious for anything into someone who is self-conscious about everything. why should she have to go through all that? quite frankly, i'm sick and tired of society's bullshit standards. i look forward to the day they crumble.

dirigibleplums

dirigibleplums

 

The Great British Bake Off AU Challenge Results

Hello, good people of HPFT! So... it's been awhile. I do apologize for my absence from the forums during the time leading up to the end of the challenge--school got busy and I couldn't quite keep up with HPFT things. But I'm excited to finally announce the results from my challenge!  I was really pleased with the response to this challenge--I love AUs and I love Bake Off, so I thought that we needed more of them in our lives! Every entry was truly delightful to read, not a soggy bottom in sight! If any of you people are reading this blog post and have a spare moment, go check these out!  To start, here are the five entries I received, in alphabetical order: baking demonstrations of incompetence (M) by @lovegood27 Chill for an Hour (T) by @VaguelyCreativeName The Great Pawneean Bake Off (T) by @Chemical_Pixie The Great S.P.E.W. Bake Off (M) by @juls When Death Eaters Make Dessert (T) by @aelaia ~*~*~ AND NOW, WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, THE WINNERS!!! In THIRD PLACE, aelaia with "When Death Eaters Make Dessert!" aelaia, your prize is 3 reviews on any of your stories. In SECOND PLACE, VaguelyCreativeName with "Chill for an Hour!" VaguelyCreativeName, your prize is 5 reviews on any of your stories. and In FIRST PLACE, Chemical_Pixie with "The Great Pawneean Bake Off!" Chemical_Pixie, your prize is 7 reviews on any of your stories. ~*~*~ Congratulations to the winners! Please PM me with the specific stories you wish me to review for you. And thank you all for participating!

UnluckyStar57

UnluckyStar57

 

SKWERLS (and Other Mysteries of the English Language)

If you are on Twitter, you might have witnessed a fascinating discussion about how speakers of different dialects pronounce the word "squirrel." This reminded me of my linguistics and history of English courses - which I found truly fascinating. I got all excited and decided to make this blog post, so here we are.   One really important thing is, there is no "right way" to speak. There are some wrong ways to speak, sure. Like, if you pronounce the word "cheese" with a hard K at the start, I'm not going to call that a dialect difference. But from place to place, accent to accent, dialect to dialect, culture to culture, each way of speaking is equally "right." The idea of "proper English" is about power dynamics, colonialism, and social consensus.   My favorite language facts! (These are from memory of my coursework several years ago, so if I've misremembered anything please feel free to let me know) English spelling is so crazy because the spelling system predates a major shift in vowel pronunciation during (I think it was) the middle period of English
  Hogwarts was supposedly founded in the 10th century, aka the 900s, which means the school predates the Normal Invasion in 1066 that lead to, among other things, the creation of what would become modern English. If we traveled back in time to the opening day at Hogwarts, the Founders would be speaking Anglo Saxon, and it would be essentially incomprehensible to us.
  Although English contains significantly more words of French and Latin origin that Germanic origin, the majority of our most commonly used words are still of Germanic origin.
  English has a larger vocabulary than most other Western languages because we adopt vocabulary from other languages shamelessly into our own vernacular. 
  Shakespeare's speech was more similar to a modern US accent than a modern English accent.   Accent Tag! If you search "dialect tag" or "accent tag" on YouTube, you'll find a whole bunch of people comparing different versions of English. It's really fun! I can't do the word list for pronunciation in writing, but these are the typical accent tag questions: What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house? What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball? What is the bubbly carbonated drink called? What do you call gym shoes? What do you say to address a group of people? What do you call the kind of spider (or spider-like creature) that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs? What do you call your grandparents? What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket? What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining? What is the thing you change the TV channel with? My answers! TP (teepee) a house rolly poly I said "pop" until I went to college on the east coast and now I say "soda" If they are specially for the gym, I call them "gym shoes" lol. But generally, "sneakers". "You guys" Daddy long legs Grandma and grandpa shopping cart (I generally just say "cart") sun shower remote control (I usually just say "remote") Other notes  I live in the northern midwest region of the United States, and have for essentially all of my life (except college) I cannot hear the difference between the words "caught" and "cot". That vowel sounds exactly the same to me. This is fairly common for people my age and younger in this general region. A = sidewalk; B = boulevard; C = curb And, of course, I pronounce squirrel as "skwerl"  Share your answers, if you want!  

MuggleMaybe

MuggleMaybe

 

My First HPFT Anniversary!

I cannot believe I have only been here a year, friends!! It feels like so much longer, especially since I barely wrote in the YEARS leading up to this and now I am... too prolific, haha. Don't talk to me or my infinite oneshot sons ever again. This community was so welcoming from the get go, so kind even when I was a stressed nobody cold-PMing people to beta for me! I'm so glad that I get to be prefect and help make it a place of so much joy, and I'm so glad I've met so many friends here. ❤️ I love all of you!!!! I feel like I've been so spoilt to find a fandom community, because this is really the way I'm most comfortable doing fandom -- I don't understand what the kids are doing on tumblr or twitter or discord and I'm too afraid to ask. And of course Harry Potter was my first ever fandom and it's one that I just keep coming back to, in the end, over and over again. I first started reading in this fandom almost fifteen years ago, and here I am once more. You can check in but you can never leave. Finally, I'm actually really glad no one remembers me from my hpff/hpff-adjacent days, because gosh, I'm sure there was plenty I was terrible about. Did you know that I used to have 'no slash' on my review request thread, back in 2008? If only baby Emma could see me now, LIVING the slash and also writing plenty of it. Here's to many more years of queering and Jewishing everyone's fave characters. ❤️

facingthenorthwind

facingthenorthwind

 

Our Favorite Animals | March 8th, 2019

Our Favorite Animals Welcome to the Prefects' monthly blog post about fun things! This month, we decided to feature some of the Prefects' favorite animals and some information on endangered species and what you can do to help! Read below to learn about the different animals each Prefect loves. 🦄 *It should also be noted the admins were extremely excited about this blog post* EMMA (@facingthenorthwind) The Platypus
beaver otter duck thing Location: east coast of Australia (plus Tasmania) The platypus is truly the epitome of Australia: it's so ridiculous looking that when specimens were taken back to Europe they were believed to be a hoax; and it is one of the few species of venomous mammals. What more could you want out of an animal? As well as having a duck-like bill, a beaver-like tail and otter-like feet, it's also a monotreme, which means it's a mammal that lays eggs and then once those eggs hatch, they carry their young around in a pouch! The only existing monotremes are platypus and three species of echidna, which are all native to Papua New Guinea and Australia.  Platypus can range from 0.7-2.4 kg and males can reach 50cm in length. To Americans, that means: no, think smaller than that, when I saw a taxidermied beaver for the first time I nearly died because I had been imagining them as platypus-sized this whole time. They're semi-aquatic and use their front legs for propulsion and their back legs and tail for steering.  Platypus, echidna and dolphins are the only mammals known to have the ability to electrolocate their prey -- they can identify the electric fields created by muscle contractions to see where their prey is in space. This is especially important for platypus because they close their eyes, ears and nose when they dive, locating prey only with these electroreceptors on their bills!  The good news is that unlike so many native species, platypus are not endangered -- though you're not likely to see one in the wild, either, because they're just so difficult to spot! sources (all links : AA - 15+) Video of baby platypus from Healesville Sanctuary
National Geographic: Platypus
JSTOR: Platypus Are Weirder Than You Think   RUMPELS (@Rumpelstiltskin) The Narwhal
unicorn of the sea Location: Cold Arctic Coastal Regions With the body of a porpoise and the magical, spiral tusk of that would suit a particular magical creature, the Narwhal is certainly a breathtakingly unique creature of the seas. This horn is actually an ivory tusk, growing through the Narwhal's upper lip and can reach up to 8.8 feet (about 2.7 meters) long. This tusk is found primarily on males, though females also can grow a smaller, less prominent version of their own once they've reached an appropriate age for reproduction.  In fact, male Narwhals are actually born with two of these tusks but one generally becomes much more distinguishable over the other.  The purpose of these tusks eluded scientists for years, though they are now beginning to figure out more. A Narwhal's tusk contains millions of sensitive nerve endings and has a hard, dense center. There are many theories surrounding the tusks now, including hunting purposes like sensing chemical concentrations in the water and stunning their prey), sensory purposes (such as detecting water temperatures and salinity), mating, self-protection, dominance establishment, and more. Most likely, it serves a combination of purposes but it's most important to note that these tusks are important to the Narwhal's survival.  Overhunting of these creatures to obtain their tusks has posed issues to their population numbers over the years, as does overhunting with any animal. It is important to note that this overhunting is problematic on a commercial level. While there is hunting done by certain peoples, such as Inuits, generally they are using the animal for survival purposes (such as consuming the top layer of blubber for their source of Vitamin C, which is an extremely important element in the Arctic regions). Illegal poaching or even legal trade (in some countries) of the Narwhal ivory poses the real threat to populations when we start to look at things on a commercial scale.  Environmental changes and being unable to truly track their populations work in tandem with this overhunting to pose a rather uncertain future for these cool creatures.  sources (links to specific articles, all links AA-15+): The Ocean Conservancy
National Geographic
WorldWildLife.org   CHELTS (@Chelts-rhj) Elephants Gentle giants  Location: Sub Saharan Africa and Asia. The largest land mammals on earth may have more beneath their thick hide than you realize. They are highly intelligent, with Asian elephants being domesticated for logging and other industrial uses. They display complex emotions such as jealousy and grief. Recently it has been established that elephants use subsonic communication through the ground, which they pick up with their feet and trunks. This most likely is in order to make up for incredibly poor eyesight. The trunk is an elongated upper lip and nose serving many functions, the most notable of which is its ability to grasp fine objects such as leaves and sticks (useful when you’re an herbivore). Some elephants have even been trained to paint! Elephants also use their tusks (if they have them) for scraping bark off of trees, moving obstacles, and for protection. Usually they will favor one tusk or the other much like humans are left or right handed. The side they prefer will often be shorter than its counterpart as the ivory is worn down. Even so, elephants are often hunted for their tusks, which are essentially large teeth coated in ivory. Elephants are matriarchal, so the alpha in a herd is usually the oldest female of the family. Elephants have the longest gestation of any mammal, land or otherwise, remaining pregnant for a whopping 22 months! It’s no wonder these giants are so protective of their children. When danger is present the heard will gather all calves (baby elephants) in the center in order to deter any would be attackers. If a member of the herd is lost, elephants have been observed going back to the place where they died. Touching nearby objects and spending a few moments before getting back on the trail, wherever it may go. As they say, an elephant never forgets.   SARAH (@adorably cute) Giraffes
long neck, long legs, long everything Location: savannahs and woodlands in Africa The world’s tallest mammal, giraffes use their unique height advantage and 18inch tongues to eat from some of the trees and plants that are out of reach to other animals. One of their favorite foods is the leaves from the acacia tree. Their food also provides them with enough water to not have to drink too often. A good thing, since their tall stature puts them in a vulnerable position to predators when they bend down to drink. Giraffes have bulging eyes that allow for good vision and they can see colors! The giraffe’s long neck can be 6-7ft (1.8-2.1m) in length and contains only seven vertebrae, the exact same number as a human neck. Fully grown giraffes can stand 14-18ft (4.3-5.7m) tall. Their spotted coats are used to camouflage into the savannah and each giraffe has a unique coat. Until 2016, it was thought that there was one species of giraffe, with multiple subspecies. Some scientists have claimed that there are enough genetic differences between populations to distinguish between four different species. Population is currently decreasing, due to hunting, habitat loss, expanding agricultural activities, and ongoing civil unrest in some African nations. As such, giraffes are currently listed as a vulnerable species.  sources (all links AA-15+) encyclopedia britannica
national geographic
african wildlife foundation   ALEXIS (@Alexis Black) Red Fox Sly. Cunning. Elusive woodland creatures. Location: Northern Hemisphere Most often when one thinks of foxes, the image that comes to mind is of the red fox, and for good reason. Other than human beings, the red fox has the largest natural distribution of any land mammal. They’re even in Australia (despite those weird blue bees). Technically, foxes are a member of the Canidae family, which means they are related to dogs and wolves. Yet they have much in common to cats. For instance, they have vertical pupils instead of the rounded pupils that other dogs have. Another similarity is the retractable claws. Those claws allow the Grey foxes in North America to climb trees. Some even sleep on the branches. Female foxes are ‘vixens’ while males are referred to as ‘tods’ or ‘dog foxes, and baby foxes are ‘pups’ or ‘kits’. They live in small families units in underground burrows while raising their young until they’re about seven months of age. But for all that they make great parents, foxes are not pack animals. On the contrary, they are solitary creatures. So you’ll only see a ‘skulk of foxes’ if there are little ones around. Just don’t be surprised if you find anything small missing from your backyard - they’re playful thieves and known to even steal golf balls from golf courses. Tiger Woods has nothing on these guys. If all this makes you want to own your own fox, you can. All you need to do is cough up about $9,000. They’re sweet-tempered and bred to docile towards people from birth. Keep in mind some like digging in the garden while others enjoy marshmallows treats. What you might not be prepared for is the sound they make. No, we’re not talking What Does the Fox Say? Their mating call is more like a haunting screech. It’s particularly memorable if you’re walking around at night. Lastly, in honor of Alopex here’s a tidbit regarding the Alopex Lagopus or Arctic Fox: they don’t shiver until the temperature drops to -70C/-94F. Brrrr! Talk about cold!   MADI (@MadiMalfoy) Norwegian Forest Cats loves climbing and the cold Location: Norway, Sweden, Iceland, France The Norwegian Forest Cat is a domestic breed of cat originating in Northern Europe, and is currently very popular in Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and France. This breed is adapted to a very cold climate with a top coat of glossy, long, water-shedding hairs and a woolly undercoat for insulation. It is a big, strong cat, similar to the Maine Coon breed, with long legs, a bushy tail and a sturdy body. The breed is very good at climbing, since they have strong clawsThey are known as the Skogkatt in their native Norway, which directly translates to "forest cat", and are very intelligent, curious cats that do well in both homes and outdoors. This breed was almost lost until after World War II when breeders wanted to make sure it stayed on, and was officially named the official cat of Norway by the late King Olaf. They didn't leave Norway until the 1970s, and are only a very recently recognized international breed because of this late exportation. Norse mythology says that these cats were the favorite of Freya, goddess of love, fertility, and the heart. Vikings often took the ancestors of these cats with them on their ships to keep them clear of rodents and because of their ability to easily adapt to life on the water and easy coat maintenance. Freya also symbolized domesticity and was often portrayed with Norwegian Forest cats playing around her feet. Lovers wanting to marry asked the blessing of Freya and her cats. Because of this custom, many superstitions about weddings and cats began. Some of these superstitions included: girls who value cats will definitely marry; giving newlyweds a black cat as a gift symbolized good luck; Scandinavians believed that feeding a cat well would guarantee sunshine on the day of a wedding. Called Norsk Skogkatts or Skaukatts in their native Norway, these cats were originally thought of as fairy cats. A naturally large breed, Forest cats were said to be so huge that not even the gods could lift them. One tale relates how Thor, the strongest of the gods, lost a contest of strength to Jormungand, who was disguised as a Forest cat. Some of this mythology lingers even today, which is pretty cool! These are some regal looking cats with their thick, long fur, and they know their place is at the top of every household, as it rightfully should be.    KYLE (@FireCrest) Sloths
take things slow, eat a few leaves Location: Central and South America Sloths are tropical mammals that live in Central and South America. Their claws are 3 to 4 inches long and are used to hang onto trees and grab leaves that other animals cannot reach. Their claws make walking around hard, so they spend most of their lives hanging in trees. This and their slow moving helps them avoid predators who may otherwise find them delicious.  There are six species of sloths, either having two-to-three toes. Three toed sloths are about the size of a medium-sized dog, with lengths of about 23 - 27 inches (58 to 68 cm). The two-toed variety however the larger of the two, though they aren't the largest! Back in the good 'ol days there were giant ground sloths that grew to about the size of elephant. Though unfortunately they are now extinct. In the wild sloths can live on average 20 to 30 years, but can live a bit longer in captivity. One such sloth lived all the way up to the age of 43! Sloths are very solitary in behavior. Captive sloths sleep from 15 to 20 hours a day, while wild sloths only get an average of 10. While when thinking of sloths, a lot of people associate with them sleeping while hanging (which they do sometimes), sloths prefer to sleep in a ball in the fork of tropical trees. They typically only leave their tree homes for three reasons: to use the bathroom, establish new territory, and to find a mate. Due to sloths diet and slow metabolism, they only leave their trees once a week to poop in which they use their tails as a spade to dig a whole.  Mating is initiated by the females giving a monotone mating scream, and attracted males will go to her. If more than one male appears though, the two males will hang from their feet and have a go with their sharp claws.  While most sloths aren't endangered, they are at risk due to deforestation like many other tropical wildlife.  sources (links to specific articles, all links AA-15+):
Live Science
BBC - Earth
National Geographic - Kids   CARRIE (@scooterbug8515) The Bat
creature of the night Location: Most places save polar regions and extreme desert Ranging from small to large the bat is the only Mammal who can achieve true flight rather than just gliding like other mammals.  Their wings are comprised of elongated fingers with a membrane stretched between them.  A bat's hand actually resembles a human one.  These creatures of the night play a vital part in our environmental and economic services. Most species of bat eat insects, and a few eat fruit.  The blood-sucking variety that bats are generally known for is only three particular species found in Latin America, they typically drink from cattle and occasionally humans.  They only drink for about 30 minutes and not enough to cause harm to the creature they drink from, the bite itself is the most harmful as it can become infected and diseased. Unfortunately, because of these three species, bats are thought to be vampires and are hunted in Latin America due to fear of the creature.  Many times those that hunt these bats actually bring harm to productive and helpful bats who do not consume blood.  While there are over 1300 species of bat comprising one-quarter of all mammal species, there are twenty-three of these species that are considered critically endangered and another fifty-three that are categorized as endangered. There are several more species that we do not have data to determine if they are threatened or endangered.  Of the species we have studied over one-third of the species are at least considered threatened.  It is not just the bats in Latin America who are struggling.  Bushmeat hunters, guano (bat poop) minters, careless disturbances of bat habitats and a disease known as White-nose Syndrome are contributing to their extinction.   Bats face a very daunting life in all corners of the earth, but they are not a threat, or a problem like many people think them to be.  Please be mindful of bats and know they server more good than ill.  Leave then undisturbed if you can, particularly in the winter months as a disturbance during hibernation can mean their death.  If you wish to do more for the dwindling population of bats, you may want to consider donating to Bat Conservation International. sources (all links : AA - 15+) Bat Conservation International: Threatened
Defenders.org: Bats
National Geographic: Common Vampire Bat   Bees? Bees!!! Supporting Bees Outside of the US One important consideration when you're thinking about the bees is that a lot of guides have US-specific advice, and much of it may be useless or even actively harmful for your native bees/ecosystem! The information below is for Australian bees specifically, but be sure to seek out information relevant to your country's bees.  🐝 Also, if you're afraid of bees, know that plenty of native bees are stingless, my favourite kind of bee.  And some of them are +blue! [warning for pic of bee] The world is full of so many good things. Bee hotels: many native bees are solitary, so they don't have hives like bees in cartoons (and, I guess, real life). You can buy a bee hotel or make one yourself -- it provides holes for solitary bees to nest in, protection from the rain and also helps bees who have had their native habitat destroyed. (Leaf cutter bees stuff their holes with leaves and it's super cute!!!) Water: we are eternally in drought (blows a kiss to the sky for the farmers) and bees need to drink! However, open water can be a drowning risk, so make a bee bath -- +here are some suggestions for how.  Flowers: both exotic and native flowers will help attract bees. +Here's a great list of some native and exotic flowers to plant, including bottlebrush, flowering gum, grevillia and lavender. For more Australian bee tips, the internet has a wealth of information! I'd recommend +this list as a starting point. ❤️   Supporting Bees Inside the US: America’s honeybees are dying off for many reasons, but there are some ways that you can help! Buy honey and donate to local organizations supporting beekeepers: when colonies die, beekeepers are forced to charger farmers more to pollinate their crops. Plant pollinator-friendly flowers: planting a bee-friendly garden can make it easier for bees to forage through to transfer pollen. It’s recommended to use plants that are native to your area, which can be found +here Set out water: set out a plate of water for a bee bath or a rock with a with spots where rain can gather. Watch the chemicals: try to apply chemicals and pesticides in the yard early in the morning when bees and other pollinators aren’t around   Endangered Species What's happening, and what you can do about it As many of you probably know, scientists have been claiming we're on the brink of the next mass extinction event. An extinction event is a widespread and rapid decrease in the biodiversity on Earth. Such an event is identified by a sharp change in the diversity and abundance of multicellular organisms. It occurs when the rate of extinction increases with respect to the rate of speciation.What does it mean to be an "endangered" species? Well, it depends on what species you're talking about. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) maintains a Red List+ of all the animal species that are currently of "least concern" to "critically endangered". The categories are as follows from least to most concern: Least Concern: no immediate threat to species' survival Near-Threatened: may be considered threatened in the near future Vulnerable: faces a high risk of endangerment in the medium term Endangered: faces a high risk of extinction in the near future Critically Endangered: faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the immediate future Extinct in the Wild: captive individuals survive, but there is no free-living, natural population. Extinct: no remaining individuals of the species The most widespread awareness for species conservation for some species that are critically endangered or endangered are those such as the Asiatic Lion, Northern White Rhinoceros, California Condor, Asian Elephant, Bengal Tiger, Bluefin Tuna, and Green Sea Turtles. These are well-known causes, but there are hundreds of plant and insect species also on the verge of extinction! The United States enacted the Endangered Species Act of 1973+ to promote conservation within the United States, and many other countries have similar provisions. Some things you can do are to donate to conservation agencies like the IUCN and talk to your representatives about ending trophy hunting, illegal whaling, and overfishing the oceans. The increasing speed at which the world is losing bees is also quite alarming, as they cross pollinate at least 30% of crops and 90% of wild plants survive. Biodiversity across all species is very important to maintain, and the impact of human life on natural life is profound. Lobbying for conservation efforts wherever you live is a great way of contributing to ensuring that future generations can still see a lion or a tiger or sea turtles in the wild.    Please feel free to discuss your favorite animals in the comments and also your insights on species conservation around the world! Animals are a huge part of our lives and we'd love to know what in particular you all enjoy about them, whether it be your family cat or dog, or you work with animals in your job, or you plain just love 'em all!   -------------------------------- credits contributions: emma, rumpels, alexis, carrie, madi, chelts, kyle, sarah
bees: emma, sarah
endangered species: madi
graphics: emma

MadiMalfoy

MadiMalfoy

 

The Magical Menagerie Recap

🐾 The Magical Menagerie 🐾 Hello, magizoologists! Last month, you embarked on a mission that tested your endurance and pushed you to the very limits of your creativity - our magical menagerie reviewing event! Many of you may have gone in as novices, but you all came out as experts. Everyone who participated definitely would've gotten an E or an O on their OWLs and are trying to figure out whether Hagrid is teaching the NEWT classes decide whether to take NEWT classes. And after such a difficult event, your supervising magizoologists decided that we really should give you all a recap blog post - and a few awards. Here we go!   🦋 Round One: The Not-So-Friendly Skies 🦋 For this round, teams Leucrocota (Gryffindor/Hufflepuff) and Wyvern (Ravenclaw/Slytherin) had to capture flying magical creatures, including identifying the new dragon breed the Firetooth. In the end, both teams were triumphant and earned the 199 point bonus for capturing every creature in the scene! You were all very good finders here... but your journey was just beginning. You also received one point per review. For this round, that shook out to be... 191
140
60
34   🦑 Round Two: The Deep and Silent Depths 🦑 For this round, teams Griffin (Gryffindor/Ravenclaw) and Gorgon (Hufflepuff/Slytherin) had to capture water-based magical creatures, including identifying the new breeds the Demi-Serpent, the Kemora, and the Kraken. In the end, both teams were triumphant and earned the 226 point bonus for capturing every creature in the scene... though both teams had to draw on their every last ounce of knowledge, with team Griffin leaving more than 150 incorrect 'identify' reviews before finally finding the demi-serpent and team Gorgon almost resorting to guessing Pokemon. You also received one point per review. For this round, that shook out to be...   247
  192
  107
   49   ⛰️ Round Three: The Echoes in the Eerie Cave ⛰️ For this round, teams Chimera (Gryffindor/Slytherin) and Wolpertinger (Hufflepuff/Ravenclaw) had to capture magical creatures dwelling deep within a cave, including identifying the new breed the Runewinder. In the end, both teams were triumphant and earned the 199 point bonus for capturing every creature in the scene... though some of you obviously didn't stop there. 😛 You also received one point per review. For this round, that shook out to be...   306
  158
  119
   73   🐾Overall Event 🐾 Everyone who participated, whether they left one review or two hundred reviews (wait for it.......) or somewhere in between did an amazing job, and we're so glad that you found the time to jump in. It was so much fun to experience the event with you, and we're so glad that people seemed to have a good time! ❤️ The house's total review counts were...   711
  490
  286
  156
  awards by @galadriel   There were some people who really went above and beyond, and we want to make sure that they get a little extra recognition for the countless hours they spend on reviewing other HPFTers fics over the course of the month. @starbuck: 212 @TreacleTart: 187 @nott theodore: 111 We'd also like to give a special shout out to @Renacerá, whose 84 reviews were more than half of Hufflepuff's total review count!   Finally, we'd like to recognize each house's top reviewers for the rounds:   @Crimson Quill (Round 1), @LadyMarauder (Round 2), and @TreacleTart (Round 3)   @MuggleMaybe (Round 1) and @Renacerá (Rounds 2 and 3)   @potionspartner (Rounds 1 and 2) and @ReillyJade (Round 3)   @Rumpelstiltskin (Round 1) and @starbuck (Rounds 2 and 3)   You can all find your awards below: awards by @ShadowRose If you'd like to keep your awards, please rehost & credit! Thank you all again for making this event amazing - this is a wonderful community, and we're so glad to be a part of it! ❤️    - @abhorsen., @galadriel, and @ShadowRose

abhorsen.

abhorsen.

 

In the Spotlight | January & February Combo

Welcome to an extra-special edition of In the Spotlight! We'll be taking a look at some of the January and February recognized members and stories, including featured interviews and review columns!  With the FROGS well under-way, we hope you're having an amazing time reading all the phenomenal stories out there! You deserve a break after all that reading, so kick back, relax, and enjoy the show!  In January and February, @Renacerá and @abhorsen. were the recipients of the Order of Merlin Award, respectively, for their displays of awesomeness as staff members to the site.  We have some interviews from the January and February Head Students for you next!  In January, the site recognized @Crimson Quill (Abbi) and @adorably cute (Sarah) as Head Students! They're both incredibly sweet and enthusiastic members of the community!  S A R A H ' S   I N T E R V I E W What is your favorite place to visit on HPFT?  i LOVE the gryffie common room! it's always such a blast hanging out with my fellow lions, no matter what we're doing. there're just this great community in there and i love every one of you!
  If there’s one story of yours you would like to tell us about, what would it be and why? right now it's blood in the water. it's the newest story I've started and there's two chapters up so far! it's a next gen fic about James running this organized crime ring with his two partners in crime, Freddy and Charlotte, and them trying to get things back in order after this big huge ordeal happens. i'm super exited about it so far; it's pretty different from anything i've posted so far!
  Which of the following would you prefer to have and why: the ability to teleport to anywhere on planet Earth; the ability to have any kind food/beverages appear in front of you at your will; the ability to never have to sleep again (without feeling tired/in need of sleep)?
this is probably the hardest questioni've ever answered because normally the ability to teleport is my answer to questions like this without any doubt, like no questions asked. but the ability to have any kind of food or beverage appear in front of me at will is IDEAL, so i think i'm definitely going to have to go with that one.

What’s the best way to start the day?
the best way is with a nice, large cup of coffee curled up in bed or on the couch and watching a little bit of tv. on weekdays,i'm partial to a little good morning america, one weekend, i usually start my day off with a comedy on netflix or hulu

What do you think is more important: writing what you know or writing what you’re passionate about? Why?
writing what you're passionate about for sure! honestly,i feel like they line up sometimes, because a lot of times what you're passionate about is what you know-like that's what you read about and what you research and look into. but that's definitely not always the case and you should still write what you're passionate about even if you don't know what you're writing about! it's always fun to learn something new!

Which small animal/creature would you think would be cool to scale up to the size of a horse?
ohh this is tough! is dog too big? i would LOVE a horse sized dog, that would SO FUN TO PET!  if dog is too big, then i'm going to say seahorse because how wild would it be to have a horse sized seahorse 😂 In February, we saw @Renacerá (Emily) and @starbuck  (Kris) be recognized as Head Students. Both are very active and incredibly helpful people in the community!  E M I L Y ' S   I N T E R V I E W What is your favorite place to visit on HPFT?
Definitely the 'Puff common room! I absolutely love my House and my wonderful Badger Buddies! There's such a great community in the Basement and it never fails to make me smile. If there’s one story of yours you would like to tell us about, what would it be and why?
Well, this obviously has to be Collateral! So, I haven't been around as much on HPFT lately because I'm completely tied up in editing this story, but I really do love it! Collateral is the new version of a story that I wrote over the span of five years, previously posted on HPFF as Rule Breaker. It's an alternate seventh year story, where the trio returns to Hogwarts. I'd been challenged to take some of the usual Dramione tropes and freshen them up somehow, and I think I achieved that!  So you have Head Girl Hermione taking on a lot of really mysterious things happening in the castle, as well as hunting a murderer and just trying to get through her last year at school. Plus my own take on the Horcrux hunt! And, of course, through the course of this story, she and Draco become friends and have a slow burn romance that takes a very long time to unfold, if readers have the patience to wait for it! I really enjoy the new version of this story that I'm working on. I hope you all do too! What is one of your favorite character flaws to either read or write?
Ooh, this one is hard. I'll focus on what I like towrite, since I'll read just about everything and enjoy it if it's written well. 🙂  So let's start with my all-time favorite character to explore: our golden girl, Hermione. To start, I think it's important to note that Hermione tends to look perfect from the outside. With that in mind, I've been trying to deepen her as a character in stories I've written lately. I imbue her with a lot of things I personally deal with in my own life. I don't know if I would call them "character flaws" exactly, but I like to explore anxiety and trauma a lot. I think those experiences can really show different sides to people. I'm especially exploring PTSD in my post-war stories right now and that's been very eye-opening. What does plotting look like for you?
A lot of typing, haha. Before I write a chapter or story, I make an outline of the plot points I want to hit and/or the character development that should result. I use lots of bullet points and tiered levels of detail to organize everything in the layout. That way I know where I'm going and can follow along, but I can still switch things up if the story feels like it should go in a different direction. Who is your favorite protagonist and why? (Any fandom.)
Keladry of Mindelan from the Tamora Pierce book series, The Protector of the Small. She's such an incredibly strong, brave, compassionate woman. She's an absolutebad ass but she never loses sight of helping others. She's essentially everything I've ever wanted to be. 😍 You have to spend 30 days on a desert island -- what would you do to pass the time?
I mean, honestly, I'd probably sleep a lot. 😅 (Assuming I wouldn't have anything from off the island to occupy my time.) I'd explore and try to get to know my surroundings and then I'd just get comfortable and relax. I'm a pretty anxious person, so I think that just taking a step back and resting would be amazing. Maybe I'd think up story ideas too! K R I S '   I N T E R V I E W   What is your favorite place to visit on HPFT?
hah right now it's the slytherin dungeon - the writing workshop thread i started! i never expected it to become so popular and it's really cool that so many people are eager to participate and help each other with their stories and brainstorming. i don't have anyone IRL that i could talk to about my stories or bounce ideas off of so it's been pretty great, being able to do that with my fellow slytherins! If there’s one story of yours you would like to tell us about, what would it be and why?
Nuclear Love. it's adrastoria and i've been itching to write one for literal years but never got around to it until just recently. i was watching the first episode of medici: masters of florence when the first line of the story occurred to me ('It begins with a death, or murder, if you will, as these things usually do.'). from there, the story just unfolded and i couldn't stop writing, staying up late in bed with my laptop (which is something i never did up until then) and writing the story until it became an 8k monster. both astoria and draco are very broken by the war and i really explored astoria's character and the way she was affected by everything that happened during the war in the story. so much that i'm now itching to just write more about her job of all things i would also love to write more about her and draco and i definitely plan to sometime in the near future. they're not perfect, their relationship doesn't really start out healthy and i hope i managed to portray that and the way they develop as characters/people and help each other to pick up the pieces. In your opinion, what makes a good antagonist?
i just recently said something about how for me, grindelwald is a much better antagonist than voldemort. he's charismatic, he has a way with words that he manages to persuade people into his way of thinking - he doesn't have to use force at all. he uses the actions (reactions to his actions) of his opponents to further his own ideas and people drink it up. i can see parallels with the real world in this, where charismatic leaders are able to convince numerous people that their way is the right way - often manipulating the facts, using fake news and so on. so for me, that makes a good antagonist - charisma and ability to manipulate people without having to use force, therefore disabling their opponents in a way. when you can't quite point the finger at someone's evil-doing, it's difficult to convince people that they are, in fact, evil and that they need to be stopped. How do you overcome (or try to overcome) procrastinating writing?
by reading (books and fics)! it may seemas a way to perpetuate procrastinating but i've actually found that reading makes me feel inspired to write How much time do you spend planning out your characters?
that's a difficult question. i kind of start off with an idea of them, spending some time (like days? i think at least) thinking up their background, personality and so on...but then when i write the actual story, the characters keep developing and i keep planning them out. not sure if that makes sense - my brain can get weird at times. You have to spend 30 days on a new (inhabitable) planet -- what would you do to pass the time? 
omg explore what else?!?! i've always dreamed of going on an adventure, ever since i was a kid and read my first book (which was harry potter and the philosopher's stone!) so having so much time to explore a new place.......that would be awesome! We have two wonderful sets of SotM extras to share with you for January and February.  Both stories were wonderful to read and they absolutely deserve the recognition they've been given! Please enjoy these Interviews with the Authors and Review Columns!  The January Story of the Month Winner was @RoxiMalfoy's You Are a Light!  R E V I E W   C O L U M N You Are a Light is a powerful, touching piece that travels down the path of human suffering at its core. Deana explored different types of suffering, from personal issues to things that are far beyond the control of ourselves. Even as each story's type of pain and turmoil is different, it shows that each person's afflictions are important as they take a toll in different ways.  This outlines the importance to remember your fellow human, and know that they, too, may be suffering. It also draws attention to those who seem fine on the outside -- even so much as to help others in their times of need -- and reminds us that they might be suffering as well, and to reach out to them and try to help them as they've helped you. Filled with raw emotion, there are many people who can relate to at least some of the stories, whether on a personal-level or having known someone who has gone through something similar. As such, it is an extremely engaging piece.  I N T E R V I E W   W I T H   T H E   A U T H O R What inspires you to write? There are a lot of things that I cannot always put into words in the context of normal conversations, or feelings that I don't necessarily always know how to express, so I've often found that writing gives me an outlet in which to express those words/thoughts/feelings/things that have gone left unsaid. There is something about articulating your thoughts down on paper, and organizing one's ideas into writing. I would definitely have to say that emotion is the biggest thing that inspires my writing overall. I tend to write from a much better place whenever I let my emotions get involved, and the end result usually reflects that as well. I like to write from a personal experience, and use what I know to pour as much feeling into a piece as I can. Writing is therapeutic for me. It's a way to escape. And with writing Love, Not War, for example; it was a way for my young-adult-self to learn how to forgive my own father through Draco and Lucius’ father/son relationship, and all the trials that they have to overcome together. Then again, when writing You Are A Light, it was all extremely personal for me. I met a lot of people, and got to hear so many of their stories on my missions trip, and then coming back home and trying to readjust to “regular life” here in the US after seeing so many of the things that we tend to take for granted here… it weighed pretty heavily on me. Not to mention all of the people I know IRL at home, work, church, online, and acquaintances that I've made recently as well. There have just been so many untold stories from so many amazing people cropping up, and I just couldn't stop thinking about them all. So I opened up my computer one might, and I started to write. I had every intention of working on LNW for NaNo that evening, but before I knew it, this whole other story just poured out of me. What is a genre/trope that you’ve never written before, but want to try? I’ve always been really into the Crime/Mystery Genre, but I know that something like that takes immense planning to get ALL of the details right. I imagine you’d have to have incredible organization to get all the details down pact, and let’s face it: I am anything but organized and planned when it comes to my writing, lol. I have my basic outline of LNW (which has changed several times over the years) and then the rest of the details are kept mostly in my head. I’m way more of a wing-it writer, AND a solid procrastinator, haha!! So Idk if I’d ever have the patience or the skill to write a very believable (or good) crime/mystery fic or not... I sure do enjoy reading the crap out of them tho!!🕵️‍♀️ Who are some published authors that you look up to? Obviously, I’m a HUGE Tolkien fan, and I've always admired C.S. Lewis. But as to more present-day authors; I really love and respect both Christopher Paolini and Rick Riordan as well.  If you could give one piece of advice to your fellow writers, what would it be? That would definitely be to write for yourself, and not for the wants or desires of others. ✍️  Don't get me wrong, having lots of readers and a huge following in the fanfic community is awesome!! And it's good to “give the readers what they want” sometimes. But if that's the only reason you're writing for, then you're eventually going to lose your passion and forget what used to drive you, in my opinion... I write what makes ME happy, and I try not to stress so much about what others are going to think about my work. So long as I'M satisfied with the end results, and it has made Deana feel good, then it was all time well spent in my book. Sure, I will obsess on my read-count from time to time, and constantly check for new reviews as often as the next person right after posting a new story and/or chapter update. (I mean, don't we ALL do that? 😋  ) But my writing has always been therapeutic to me. And spending all of my time worrying about whether people will like it or not would simply detract from that… So my advice is to try to do whatever makes YOU happy when you write, and I'm sure that you will be way more pleased with the results in the end. 😊 Where did you draw inspiration for You Are A Light from? There were a lot of things that inspired this story, but perhaps the main/final influential factor overall I'd say was my missions trip to Honduras back in September. I know I haven't had a chance to talk very openly here onsite about it yet (and I really have been meaning to post another blog update about that) but we saw so many things there, and met so many wonderful people. And when I got back home; spending the month of October trying to readjust to “regular, everyday life” after that incredible, life-changing week of witnessing every day miraculous things…. It was, a bit overwhelming, to say the least. So when NaNoWriMo started, and I was meant to be focused on my writing again, it was in that first week that this story was born. Like I said in the first question, I had tried to focus on writing LNW to get ahead for November, but all of the people I had met, and a few other RL situations I had been dealing with too, just kept creeping into the back of my mind. So I started scrolling through the challenges section here on the forums, and that was when I came across the Inspired by Art challenge. Then I started Googling some of the artists that @Chelts-rhj recommended, and as soon as I saw the painting of Magdalen With the Smoking Flame; everything just kind of clicked into place. And once I finally started writing, I could not stop. It felt like I just had to get this story out. I drew inspiration for many of the scenarios in You Are A Light from people that I met in Honduras, close family members, several life-long friends, some online friends, and a few complete and total strangers that I had just met in passing. Two of them were even scenarios from own past, so when I say the story is very personal to me; I mean that in every possible way... I almost didn't share it at all, because it just made me feel so vulnerable after I was done writing it, and I was truly afraid of what people might say or think about it. (Which is rather contradicting to my advice in the last question, I am well aware, lol.) So the fact that this story has been received so positively (getting nom'd for Story OTM, and now even a FROGS Award) is just so mind-blowing to me! Like, seriously, I can't believe it. 😱  I am just blown away by the response to this story, and I am just so humbled by you guys, and so glad to see that this story has resonated with so many of you. The fact that it has gotten such positive feedback thus far is truly wonderful, and I just LOVE the unending support and love that this community here holds so freaking much!!!    What message (or messages) were you hoping to convey to your readers with You Are A Light? I think, overall, the underlying theme is that it's important to remember that everyone is suffering in some way or another. The grass is not always greener on the other side, as the expression goes. That family who seems to have the perfect life could be dealing with something so deep, you just never know. We ALL have a story to tell, including those people who seem ‘perfectly fine’ on the outside; the ones who always try to help other people in need. Even if you'd never expect them to be hurting because they “seem to have it all together” - take a second look at the world around you. Life is messy, and hard, and it sucks sometimes - for all people, from all walks of life. But the life of an empath is especially difficult, because they try to take on the pain of others in addition to their own. And it's difficult for them to admit when they're suffering too, because they do not want to be the cause of anyone else's pain or worry… So, if you know anyone like that in your own life, don't forget to be there for them as much as they are there for you. It is imperative that we give unto one another as much as we take, that we help each other out in dark times. That we be the light for the people around us who may need it. 💡 Then there is also the guilt factor that also comes into play towards the end of the story. I think that I myself was struggling with this a lot when we first came home from Honduras. I think it’s difficult for anybody not to feel guilty (or even a bit sad) about all of the things that we take for granted here in America on a daily basis, the first time after visiting a third world country, and seeing first-hand just how good we’ve actually got it made here. I definitely learned a lesson in humility on that trip, and it certainly made ME realize all of the things that I was taking for granted. But I have now come to the realization that we do not have to feel guilty about the blessings we have been given in our lives. Rather, we should be thankful, and take what we do have, and use that to our advantage to try and bless others. Whether you have a little, or you have been given a lot, you can either keep it all to yourself or you can chose to share it. Personally, I’ve been more on the sharing side lately, and I’ve been feeling WAY better about things. I used to be so selfish and me-focused with just about everything in my life - my time, my belongings, my finances. But meeting Nicole last summer (the homeless lady who lived out of her van that was mentioned in the story), and then getting to see Angie and her family (my sponsored child with One Child Matters) in Honduras, and just seeing first-hand the way that adversity did not overcome ANY of those children (or even the Staff) at the center in Tegucigalpa… It truly did change my entire perspective on everything. 💞 The February Story of the Month Winner was @Chemical_Pixie 's A Place Not Far From Here!  R E V I E W   C O L U M N A Place Not Far From Here is a thrilling and perplexing story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It's told through the eyes of Amelia Fortescue, an original character, as the murder of one James Sirius Potter begins to unravel a much larger, yet just as critical, mystery. As she uncovers more about the Ressurection Stone, a Hallow we're all familiar with, she inadvertently learns more about the enigma her life has become, one clue at a time. The story also calls into question of mental health surrounding trauma and reveals just how tumultuous silence can be.  The characterization is done wonderfully -- Amelia's character has a ton of depth. The story in itself is incredibly interesting and will leave you clicking on the next chapter just as soon as you've finished the one you've read.    I N T E R V I E W   W I T H   T H E   A U T H O R What inspires you to write?
Creative power. I’ve recently realized that, for the vast majority of my life, I have utilized some form of creative power as a way to empower myself. From fanfiction to music to painting to knitting to original fiction to poetry to making games, I have used creativity as a way to cope, as a way to change people’s perspectives, as a way to cheekily get around the rules. How do you use your creative power?
  What is a genre/trope that you’ve never written before, but want to try?
Hmm… I think it would be fun to write a super spy story or something of the sort, though my WIPs remain quite extensive, so I think I might have to hold off on that!
Who are some published authors you look up to? Noam Chomskyever articulate; speaks truth to power; develops and defends political activism; his drive to keep his politics, academic pursuits, and personal life as separate as possible: bell hooks: emphasizes the intersectionality of race, capitalism, and gender; her pedagogy of hope to break free from oppression; her amazing work to further feminist theory Carlos Ruiz Zafón: author of The Shadow of the Wind, which is a novel that reminds me of my love for books and for mysteries (and for Barcelona) Loung Ung: captivating memoir of her childhood in the Pol Pot regime; I met her in high school and have a signed copy of her book, First They Killed My Father; her amazing work as a human rights activist
If you could give one piece two pieces of advice to your fellow writers, what would it they be?
If you had thirty seconds to pitch A Place Not Far From Here to a complete stranger, what would you say?
If you do NOT want to read something that leaves you on the edge of your seat, that casts doubts on what you think is true, that will most likely break your heart, read something else.
What’s your favorite line from A Place Not Far From Here? I wonder if love will ever be enough. Spoiler alert: it won’t be. And yet… Lions Roar, Badgers Dance, Eagles Soar, and Snakes Slither -- here are some interviews.  J A N U A R Y Leading Lion: @adorably cute How long have you associated yourself with the House you’re in now & when did you first realize that you belong in your House?
hmm for a few years now! i am most definitely a gryffinclaw and i definitely have a lot of ravenclaw traits as well (gryffie primary ravenclaw secondary for anyone who uses the sorting hat chats system), but i noticed a few years ago that my gryffie ones were the ones i was identifying more strongly with and that i started to value more as i got older.

What is your favorite thing to do on HPFT? i love all the events! the collab ones we've been doing recently have been so fun because i've met and talked with a lot of people that i haven't talked with before! but i also love the ones where we're competing as individual houses (typical competitive gryffie right here) because as i've said, i love my gryffies❤️

What was your worst fear as a child?
gahh that's definitely the ocean. not like the shallow part, like i'd go stand anywhere i could reach. the deeper part. like even now, we still don't know so much about it. that's wild. shark week is crazy. tbh it's still kind of terrifying (though i have definitely grown out of my fear of it slightly and will go much farther into than when i was a child).

Name one character (from any fandom, or from something original of your own) that you associate the most with. How do you relate to them?
Lily Aldrin from How I Met Your Mother! She's fun and sarcastic and kind of dorky, but also not afraid to be who she is. She's also not perfect and at least kind of recognizes that😂 , and basically I relate to everything I've identified above.   Featured Fic: Swipe Right, Swing Left by @ShadowRose How long have you associated yourself with the House you’re in now & when did you first realize that you belong in your House?

since i was 15 or so, i think? before pottermore came out i was convinced i was a ravenclaw , but was frequently told i seemed more like a gryffindor (i have a natural tendency to never turn down a challenge and always want to dive into things headfirst). when i first took the "official" sorting test, i stalled between ravenclaw and gryffindor and it let me pick, and for some reason, i decided to go with gryffindor instead. and that was my moment of conversion i guess? i still consider myself a strong ravenclaw secondary, but i'm a gryffindor primary through and through.

What is your favorite thing to do on HPFT?
i spend a lot of time lurking in the online users thread. i like being creepy and seeing what other people are doing. 😉 and, of course, getting involved in whatever sitewide/CR events are going on at any given time.

What would Amortentia smell like to you?
freshly brewed coffee, a sweater weather candle from bath and body works, and the ocean. and probably a bit of that metallic-y smell of gym equipment, because i've recently come to the realization that i've developed a Type™ and it is slightly douche-y gym bros. 😅

If the last book you read suddenly became directly related to what was going to happen in your life, how would you react? Also, please share the book with us!
... this is about to be the least exciting answer ever, because the last book i read is quite literally just called yes we (still) can: politics in the age of obama, twitter, and trump, and given that i already work in politics (and specifically on the digital side of things), i don't think much would actually change?? like, all of that book is basically my reality anyways , lol.    F E B R U A R Y Leading Lion: @Sleepingbagonthesofa Tell us a joke or pun related to your House.
How do you get a Gryffindor to open up? A key 😉 I'm here all week people...   What is one of your favourite things to do on HPFT?
Lurk in the Online Users Page... Why? I have no idea. I'm nosy and find it weirdly calming  other than that it's easily hang around the Den or the Writers Nest section! 
 If you could ask any author (dead or alive) a single question, who would it be and what would you ask them?
ahhh... So, I had another answer to this but I've started re-reading ASOIAF and I just want to ask George RR Martin what the deal is with a character called Ashara Dayne because her name appears e v e r y w h e r e and apparently for no reason and the show doesn't include her and she seems important but... At this stage I wouldn't even ask how it ends just... Ashara? I NEEDS TO KNOW!  Ron Weasley or nah?
*thinks about the ginger, food loving, sort-of future telling, spider hating, brave, loyal, stubborn and stupid idiot with the emotional range of a teaspoon... the boy who gave us the lines “Percy wouldn’t recognise a joke if it danced naked in front of him wearing Dobby’s tea cozy.” and the classic "Don't let the muggles get you down."...* Ron Weasley.   Featured Fic: Project Azkaban by @Unwritten Curse Tell us a joke or pun related to your House.
I’m terrible at puns, and I ain’t Lion. 

What is one of your favorite things to do on HPFT?
I love to write with other HPFT’ers—either Rat Races or just a casual writing party. I think that writing can so often feel like a vacuum, so it’s both motivating and exciting to write alongside other writers (even if it is just through a screen). It’s fun to challenge each other to reach our goals and share insights that we gain as we write. It helps to clear out the writer’s block.

How has being a part of a writing community helped improve your writing?
I guess my previous answer works for this question, too! But in addition to motivating each other, I also love the focus on reviewing here at HPFT. Feedback is vital to our improvement as writers, and I’m very grateful for all the reviews I have received that have helped me to hone my craft. 

Who is your favorite HP character and why?
My answer to this question has always been Sirius Black and I think I’m sticking with that answer.  I love his story, that he was raised amidst elitist jerks and yet managed to keep his head on straight. The amount of self-assurance and courage that must have taken is incredible. And then he served years in Azkaban for a crime he didn’t commit, yet when he was released his main concern was for Harry’s safety and well-being. Like... what an incredible character. I know he’s fictional and all, but I really admire his strength.    J A N U A R Y Claw of the Month: @Chelts-rhj How long have you associated yourself with the House you’re in now & when did you first realize that you belong in your House?
I took the Pottermore quiz when it was still Pottermore beta (oh yeah, I’m OG  lol) and was very surprised to get sorted into Ravenclaw, but the older I get the more I come to understand that’s truly where I belong. In a job interview the president of the company said, “All of your references comment on how smart you are. Why is that?” I replied, “I abhor being ignorant.” And if that’s not Clawsome idk what is. What is your favorite thing to do on HPFT?
CHALLENGES!!!!! And getting comments from Ineke after she validated my thing. And reviews from Madi when I update Stand Tall (this chapter and I have a love hate relationship). Which mythological creature do you hope NEVER exists and why?
Chimera. Because I watched an anime and it scared me for life and I have to stop talking about it now before I remember too much of those episodes. K thanks bye. Who is your favorite villain and why? (Any fandom, or an Original Work of your own.)
UGH!!! I don’t think you realize how difficult it is to choose just one. I mean… goodness. I like my OF novel villains (brothers) because of how they watch out for each other. And I like Moriarty for sure (original and BBC series) because smart is the new sexy and I go goo-goo for an INTJ with questionable morals. But… Batman villains exist. And because Batman villains exist- the Joker is my favorite villain. I love how you never know if the gun in his hand is loaded with confetti and a little sign that says bang or if he’s actually about to kill you. I love how he knows just how to push Batman’s buttons. I love how he seduced Harleen, a competent psychologist. I like 50s joker. I like animated Joker. I like Jack Nicholson Joker. I like heath ledger Joker. Heck, I even like Jerome in Gotham. I just like the Joker. I’m sorry. (Also- the scene in Batman Origins video game where Harley thinks he’s talking about her and he’s really talking about Batman is just perfect and I love it.)
Story of the Month: The Eccentric Education of the Knight Bus by @potionspartner How long have you associated yourself with the House you’re in now & when did you first realize that you belong in your House?
I never really thought about it until I logged into Pottermore and then it was just obvious. Although I might make a good Puff, I'm way too cautious to be a lion and get caught at anything even slightly incorrect so Slytherin is out too.  What is your favorite thing to do on HPFT?
It's a toss up between the competitions. (I loved the Halloween mazes) and writing. When the muse strike, very little else takes priority in my life.  What would a dream writing location look like for you?
Super quiet, warm but not too warm, hot cocoa next to me and no matter what position I'm in my muscle don't ache after sitting there so long at the keyboard.  What is the most creative thing you could do with 200 pounds of cheese?
Have a party of course! The guest list would include Speedy, Jerry, Mighty, Mickey and Minnie.   Or perhaps I would become a sculptor and create the Leaning Tower of Cheese-a. F E B R U A R Y Claw of the Month:  @potionspartner Tell us a joke or pun related to your House. From Ravenclawravings:    What is one of your favorite things to do on HPFT?
I loved the Halloween Mazes because they are just big puzzles. Like all puzzles once you map them out, they are quite easy. I also liked the Nifflers because I received my first banners ever! What is your ultimate goal as a writer?
I honestly don't have a set goal. I've only been writing fanfiction for about 14 months, so I guess this year's goal is to write better than last year. There are so many amazing writers on HPFT and I'd love to reach their level.   If you could spend an afternoon with one character from any fandom, who would it be and why?
Hmmm. Someone dark and complex, Someone who would make you view the world a different way. Someone who you think you understand until you have an indepth conversation with him/her and you just stand their with your mouth hanging open thinking wow, I actually had a conversation with this person. If you know me, then you probably already know the answer.    Story of the Month: Black Ties by @lovegood27 Tell us a joke or pun related to your House. I can’t think of any good ones off the top of my head at the moment (or maybe it’s because I don’t know any...), so here’s this ancient meme instead: What is one of your favorite things to do on HPFT?
Apart from lurking around doing absolutely nothing, I love taking part in all the different events run throughout the year, whether it’s site-wide or just within my own house. The uniqueness of each event is part of the appeal, but it’s also such a good way of getting to know people who I otherwise would rarely talk to, and discovering amazing stories (Magical Menagerie?). Participating in challenges would probably come as a close second favourite thing to do (it is also a problem because I apparently draw no line between wanting to push my boundaries and going on a challenge-joining spree).  What makes a great antagonist, in your opinion?
I guess that they’re portrayed realistically? I‘m definitely no expert when it comes to writing antagonists but I think it’s important to consider them as a character in their own right, and not have them just have the sole purpose of...being the antagonist of a story. It makes them one dimensional. They should have redeeming qualities, however few, as well as flaws (and then it’s up to the writer to decide on just how significant those flaws will be), and a motivation for their actions so it’s not like they’re just plain ‘evil’ for the sake of contrasting good and bad. Oh, and I always love an antagonist with a tragic backstory lmao.  How do you tackle Writer’s Block?
Um, I don’t really (which might explain a lot). If it’s trouble with finishing a story I’m having, I’ll sometimes just force myself to keep writing, maybe adding on one or two sentences every day until I manage to finish it and then go over it again to refine things. But generally, I’ll just take a break from writing for a bit and come back when I want. Which could be in a couple of hours, or days. Or weeks. With starting a new story, though, I think that there’s always inspiration to be found; I tend to get loads of random little ideas from music, books, RL situations, and I file them away for later when I feel like developing them (even if sometimes that is never). HPFT is also super helpful if I’m ever short on ideas, there’s always loads of prompts and challenges for me to take inspiration from.  J A N U A R Y Snake of the Month: @RoxiMalfoy How long have you associated yourself with the House you’re in now & when did you first realize that you belong in your House? This is funny, because I actually spent my first seven and a half years of this community (from March 2008 to December 2015) in Gryffindor House. It was not until the second edition of the Pottermore Sorting Hat Quiz launched in January of 2016, and I got sorted into Slytherin for the 2nd time in a row, that I finally embraced it, lol. And even though SEVERAL sorting tests that I had taken over the years had always been pretty evenly split between Gryffindor & Slytherin, when the “official test" from JKR first told me that I was a genuine Snake; I admit that I was one of those people who went through, like, this whole identity crisis thing for like an entire year, lol!! 😂 But when I look back on that time period of my life now, I just cannot help but to laugh at the whole entire thing. Because, like, now that I have fully embraced it, I realize that I am 100% Slytherin AF, and that Gryffindor is MOST DEFINITELY my secondary house, for sure. 🐍 And I’ll often catch myself saying or doing things sometimes that are SOO Slytherin, it just makes me shake my head and wonder WHY I ever actually thought that I was a real Gryffindor, haha!! (Which is funny, because I live in a house full of nothing but Gryffindors, haha!!) And people IRL always be so surprised to learn that I’m a snake sometimes too. “But you’re not a bad person,” they always tell me, or my personal favorite: “but you’re way too nice to be in Slytherin.” UGH!! *total eyeroll moment*  🙄 Yes, this is all very true. Thank you. However, I think you have missed a few key factors... (Okay. I am about to be superrr transparent with you all. Please don't judge me, lol!) 😅 But I am also a VERY determined individual, I am ambitious af; to the point of having to be successful in all of my endeavors, I am loyal only to those who are loyal to me, I look out for me and my own first and foremost, and trust and believe that I will do whatever it takes to get that raise/promotion at my job. I may or may not be slightly selfish/conceited at times, depending on the day and/or occasion, I enjoy the finer things in life (when I can indulge in them), and I also hold some very traditional values and belief systems at the core of my being... So yes. Without a shadow of a doubt, I AM a Slytherin. And I am EXTREMELY PROUD to be so. In fact, I wouldn’t have it any other way.   What is your favorite thing about the Slytherin Common Room here at HPFT? Oh gosh, this one is SO HARD because we have so many awesome things to do in there now, lol!! 😁 But I’ve been hanging out in there a LOT here lately, and I think, perhaps, my most favorite thing of all in our Common Room right now has got to be the new Spoils of War Arcade [Link is for Snakes only, sorry!!] that Rumpels created. I mean, it’s no secret that I am a massive hoarder, lol!! 😜And those little S.o.W. Knights that Alexis and Rumpels have both created for each of our Common Room events & achievements are soooo cuuutee!!!! I simply cannot seem to have enough of them for my profile!! It’s like freaking Pokemon -  I've just gotta collect ‘em ALL, lol!!! And what makes it even better is that you can also redeem those adorbs little guys for cool prizes too (like reviews, WJ Questions, Picspams, Podfics, etc…) So yeah, even though it’s only just started not too long ago, I am totally here for ALL of this right now!! 💚 Which animal best represents your personality? So, NGL, I went and took a few Animal Personality tests to determine the result of this question, lol! I was initially thinking Cat, as they are so curious about their surroundings, and are adaptive, playful, and cats literally have the most attitude of any animal that I know, lol. But then I realized that it went far deeper than that. One of the tests that I took labeled me as a Bat Personality type, and even tho I hate bats, the comparisons actually made a LOT of sense to me! I knew that I would be some type of flying creature, for sure, and as soon as it mentioned being nocturnal and social, I knew that the Bat personality was 100% me. 🦇 Here is an excerpt from the test results that I got (which you can totally checkout +HERE, if you’re interested in reading all of it): So, I related hardcore to pretty much ALL of this! The full results also described the Bat as being artistic, reflective, unpredictable, and intuitive; all of which are totally me. And it also listed some of the ideal Careers & Hobbies for the Bat as being a musician, writer, artist (all of which I am), and a Social Worker; which was what I originally wanted to go to college for before I ever became a Medical Assistant... So yeah. I thought that this was a super interesting personality test, and the results were rather accurate, to say the least, lol. 👍 What five items would you put inside a mental health first aid kit? A copy of Turn Your Pain Into Art, by Ariel Bloomer. 📖 (Seriously, this book has changed my life, y'all!!) 💗 My iPod classic, with ALL of my favorite music downloaded 🎶 (because yes, I'm still old-school like that, haha!!) - And don't forget the headphones!! 🎧 My personal Journal + pens 📓🖋️ (to write down any story ideas, song lyrics, poems, prayers, and to makes lists, or whatever comes to mind if I'm taking some time away to myself for reflection). A Pumpkin Spice/Apple Cinnamon (or other similarly fall scented) Candle, complete with candle warmer 🍂 (because those totally work so much better than an open flame) to help set the mood of my environment.🕯️ Lots of Cinnamon & Spice hot tea ☕ (with extra sugar, please!) 🥄 Story of the Month: Ghost in the Attic by @juls How long have you associated yourself with the House you’re in now & when did you first realize that you belong in your House? 
Since February of 2007, when my Muggleborn First year was sorted into Slytherin. My HoH was (fortunate for me!) was a good writing friend, so her character was able to show me the GOOD side of Slytherin. I probably would have quit in despair if she hadn't. (This was way before Deathly Hallows, mind you. She basically gave my character the same type of talk as Harry gave Albus.) So I was usually Ravenclaw, cause I like to consider myself 'brainy', but this gave me pause. I've slowly accepted my Slytherin side, merged it with the Ravenclaw one, and consider myself (gasp!) Slytherclaw. It's a pretty awesome way of life! Money, time, and skill aside, what would your dream bedroom look like?
My dream bedroom? It would have to be huge, simply because I'd love to surround (at least on two sides) the room with bookshelves(filled, of course, with books!) . I'd love a nook beneath a recessed window where I can stretch out with a cuppa, a book, a cat (MUST HAVE CATS).  and music.... and a bed with lots of pillows and fluffy blankets to share with the kitties (and the boyfriend!) What has been your favorite character to write, whether OC or canon (any fandom), and why was/were he/she/they your favorite?
I've always loved writing Hermione. She's just so me, so I understand her well. Or - as least I think I do *wink* What is your favorite thing to do on HPFT?
Reading, writing, and reviewing stories. (Kind of the new '3R's', I guess.) Also, hanging out with the other Slytherins. Whether it's to chat, share ideas, or strategize. I think we make a great team. F E B R U A R Y Snake of the Month: @MegGonagall Tell us a joke or pun related to your House. 
I know this is an ooooold one, but it always makes me laugh. This picture: What is one of your favorite things to do on HPFT? 
One of my favorites is the Slytherin Game Room. A lot of our games are super fun, but I love hangman the most, and am (humblebrag) pretty darn good at it.  What character archetype is your favorite and why?
 I loooooove the grey characters, the shapeshifters, the ones who you’re never quite sure who’s side they’re really on, until the very end. One of the many reasons I adore Snape. I love the tension they bring to a scene, and they way they always keep you guessing. I love that they’re flawed, and usually more human than most other characters. They’re complex and just so freaking interesting to read.  If you had to rewrite any character out of the HP series, who would it be and what would you change? I don’t think I would rewrite any of them, to be honest. I think JKR really nailed it with her characters. She gave us a world of not only magic, but also some of the most real and relatable characters I’ve ever read. Even the “good guys” aren’t 100% pure. I mean, Sirius tried to murder Snape when they were teens, Remus is a werewolf, James was a bully, Harry was hot-headed and rash, Ron had no tact  and could be downright cruel at times, Hermione was ruthless and sometimes condescending, Dumbledore was a master manipulator with a less than clean past. I mean, even Voldemort had a sad backstory, that had you feeling sorry for Tom Riddle. None of them were perfect, and they were all beautiful. I really wouldn’t change any of them.  Story of the Month: Like Breadcrumbs by @Rumpelstiltskin Tell us a joke or pun related to your House:
What is one of your favorite things to do on HPFT?
It's a hard time between hanging out in the Resources and Information section (because resources and information, my dudes) and the recently resurrected Writing Exercises subforum (because those writing prompts are awesome). In fact, I've been having a lot of fun with the people who have been participating -- reading their responses to the prompts is awesome! What’s your favorite cliche/trope & why?
There has always been something about the Death of the Mentor trope that really tickles my fancy. I love the idea of having the mentor, to begin with, in order to help guide the MC toward whatever destiny awaits them. However, I do really appreciate the removal of said mentor at a certain time. By forcing the MC to go through this loss and leave them guideless, essentially, also poses a new opportunity for the MC to grow and develop, finally being able to take what they've learned and push forward. Plus, many times it fuels the MC's sense of vengeance or justice as they seek to overthrow the person or persons responsible for the death of that mentor.  What is the most difficult part of writing any story (for you)? The middle bits leading up to climaxes.  It seems that, once I've hit a climax (and it doesn't have to be the main climax), I'm golden to soar through that intense moment and slide on through the resolution. However, once I start climbing back up into another climax, setting things up, stories always feel a bit slow for me, though I try to make those sections as interesting as possible. I also get stuck during these parts when questions start cropping up that I hadn't considered during the outline (ie "what if character did this instead -- how would that affect the pot? is that a feasible route? do I really want to stray from the outline? blah blah!) Hello and welcome to the January/February monthly dilemma! If this is your first time, each month we will be asking you a question and you can respond to each question by commenting in the corresponding blog post. Anyone who comments in the blog post with an answer to the question is put into a randomized raffle to win a little prize. You will have until the 15th of the following month to answer the question to be entered into the raffle. Winners will be announced in that month's Monthly Dilemma section. The winner from the December Blog was @Chemical_Pixie! Congratulations, you've won one [1] free review on a story of your choice! Please contact a Prefect to let them know where you'd like it. The same goes for previous winners who have not yet claimed their prizes.   This month's dilemma is: Would you rather live in a place that is permanently Too Humid or Not Humid Enough? You have until March 15th to answer! This month's winner will receive one [1] free review on a story of your choice. ____________________________
credits:
header/dividers -- deni
interviewers -- madi, chelts, deni, sarah, rumpels
monthly dilemma -- emma
blog compilation -- rumpels
 

The Anti-Protagonist Challenge Results

The Anti-Protagonist Challenge Results For this challenge, participants had to create a sympathetic portrayal of a not-so-nice character (an anti-protagonist, if you will). There were six wonderful entries, all of which I recommend if you've got some free time and some tissues at the ready. Open your minds and your hearts to some beautiful stories about the "baddies." (As a side note--and I know everyone always says this BUT IT'S TRUE--it was so difficult to choose the winners, to the point that I was going back and forth even up to the point that I requested graphics for the results. ) Here are all of the entries, in alphabetical order: The Black Queen, featuring Bellatrix Lestrange
Written by @Chelts-rhj Demented, featuring dementors
Written by @potionspartner Five Times Dudley Needed Harry, and One Time He Didn't., featuring Dudley Dursley
Written by @Chelts-rhj I am Fenrir, featuring Fenrir Greyback
Written by @Alwynse Twisted, featuring Lucius Malfoy
Written by @MadiMalfoy Walpurgis Night, featuring Walburga Black
Written by @Chemical_Pixie
  And now, for the results! In third place, awarded for amazing creativity and an ending line that I will never forget... Demented by potionspartner!
In second place, awarded for its heartfelt simplicity and bringing things full circle... Five Times Dudley Needed Harry, and One Time He Didn't. by Chelts-rhj!
In first place, awarded for its complexity, nuance, and for breaking my heart in all the best ways... Walpurgis Night by Chemical_Pixie
Thank you to all participants and a huge congratulations to the winners! I was so moved by your entries and your capacity to make even the most flawed characters seem human and worthy of our attention. Winners, please DM me to request your prize reviews. And last but not least: credit for the amazing awards goes to @galadriel!
 

Happy anniversary to me :)

Today marks the tenth anniversary of my joining the Harry Potter fanfiction world. On 10 February 2009, I made an account at the old HPFF and loaded chapter 1 of my first fanfic story into the queue. I remember it quite well – I went through a few user names (mostly from Tolkien) before I found one that hadn’t been claimed yet, and while I had the chapter all organised, with a name and everything, I realised quite early on in the posting process that I didn’t have a title for the story it came from. Now, those of you who have known me for a while may know that I don’t have a very high opinion of my ability to name stories, so the one I came up with was very off-the-cuff and not my best ever effort. How to tame a Marauder. I wrote the story because I’d been reading Marauder era fics and couldn’t find one that fit my (admittedly strict) criteria. I wanted one that fit canon. I wanted one that had my interpretation of the canon characters, and – for example – didn’t portray Lily as either a goody-two-shoes or a screaming harpy, but rather a nuanced character with more than one dimension. Equally, there had to be more to Sirius than being an extroverted man-whore, right? I wanted one that didn’t give OCs old fashioned names in a nod to canon, but then conveniently shortened them to ones that were modern and trendy. I wanted one that was actually set in the 1970s and not imposing 1990s or 2000s values, lexicon and behaviours on people from that era. (Lily calling people “dude” or people wandering around with mobile phones were far more common in fanfic than I would like.) I wanted one with an OC to match with Sirius who wasn’t a blonde bombshell, the most popular girl in school, or Lily’s best friend (or a combination of the three). Or, alternatively, a Slytherin. I didn’t want Frank and Alice Longbottom to be in the same year as the Marauders because I was quietly convinced they were some years older (fully qualified Aurors with some experience when James and Lily were 21, plus having a child, meant either they were superhuman or the timelines didn’t add up). I didn’t like the tendency to include ALL names from the Order of the Phoenix, particularly in that year, just because they were the only names we had. (Marlene McKinnon and Dorcas Meadowes, I’m looking at you.) I didn’t like the stories that put Mary Macdonald as Lily’s best friend, because she wouldn’t refer to Mary by her full name when talking to Snape if they were that close. And I figured James would have too much pride to ask Lily out every second day, especially if she kept saying no. See? Told you I was picky. Now, I’m sure stories that meet all these criteria exist in their thousands, but I wasn’t patient enough to look on all the various sites for one and, quite frankly, while there were some great fics out there, they weren’t what I wanted to read. So, I figured I’d write it instead. HTM was never supposed to be the success it was. I just posted a story that I wanted to read, and then discovered that a bunch of other people seemed to want to read it too. These days it’s just seen as one of those older stories that some people still rave about, but when I was posting it it was, unexpectedly, huge. I realise that makes me sound a bit conceited but it was averaging I think about 10K hits per month, and one chapter was so popular there were 90 reviews up before 12 hours had passed. Someone who didn’t like the way I ended it threatened to kill me if I ever went to their town. (Fortunately said town was on another continent from me, but still, it bothered me a bit.) The whole thing was a tad overwhelming, and to an introvert like me, somewhat challenging. Of course, once I’d written that story, there was pressure, both internal and external, to write others. And fanfic can be pretty addictive once you get started, you know. Having to go through the queue at HPFF (and only one chapter at a time) meant I created an alter ego author page and posted other stories on that. I quite liked the freedom of doing that, because I had a bit of a name as HTM’s author and wanted to see how my other stories stacked up without that branding behind them. Luckily the response was pretty positive so I thought maybe I had this fanfic malarkey figured out. Then, an unexpected pregnancy and a subsequent lack of spare time (babies are hard work, y’all) meant I withdrew from the HPFF community. There were some things going on behind the scenes at that point that I wasn’t comfortable with and it started to feel toxic, so I just quietly faded away. The extra time it gave me was fantastic, but I did miss it a bit – not the toxicity that had begun to pervade the site, but the friendships. I still checked in every now and then and tried to keep on top of reviews (people still seemed to like HTM), but it had disappeared from my life to a fair extent. Fast forward a few years, and I was randomly looking at my Twitter account (which had remained active) when I saw that Holly and some others had started up a new site. All the fun and none of the bullying, they said, though perhaps not in those words. I may not have realised that the HPFF forums had disappeared at that point, but I did see the merit in setting up new ones. Plus, Holly and I had always got along (even if I didn’t know her real name back then) so that was reason enough to swing by and sign up. I’m still not as active as I would like to be, but I’m getting there. I’m not posting as often as I would like to, but again I’m getting there. And, I am actively trying to get back into the swing of things. My current WIP, which covers Neville’s seventh year, is about 70% written, but not quite finished enough for me to be confident on scene order (I write in scenes and then place them in the overall narrative, rather than in a linear way), but I’m doing my best. And, I have every intention of catching up on the last, um, probably two years of review responses. So yeah. I’m standing up to recognise my tenth fanfiction birthday, and to acknowledge HTM as my starting point. I just hope there are many more novels to come.

melian

melian

 

A Lock of Love

Welcome to this month's love-filled Prefect blog, co-authored by the man who knows (self)-love best, Gilderoy Lockhart! ♥️  We've got some great love story and Gilderoy-featuring story recommendations we'd like to share from members and also from us! Gilderoy was also kind enough to write some love letters for the staff for his contribution besides providing us with his usual charm and witty banter. His personal assistant also magicked up some personalized photographs of GIlderoy for each staff member! @galadriel @Sleepingbagonthesofa @ShadowRose  @toomanycurls   @LadyL8 @PaulaTheProkaryote @Chemical_Pixie @Veritaserum27 @abhorsen. @Unwritten Curse @TidalDragon @Alopex @Ineke Dear Lady Galadriel, Hello my darling creative writing Professor! I do hope later you can teach me some of your skills in crafting such beautiful writing. You have been working so hard lately, especially with having to train our dear students to capture all of those magical creatures last month! (Perhaps my latest quest didn’t turn out as it should have, my sincerest apologies.) I trust I could learn some new wandwork techniques from your capable hands, and everso look forward to it. Shall we rendezvous later this week in the Staff Lounge to discuss the newest writing techniques or the latest editorial in Witch Weekly? I’ll be awaiting your owl for our meeting time, oh lovely and celestial Nim! Love, Gilderoy Lockhart Dear Lady Paula, While I am not sure exactly what a prokaryote is, I do not doubt you are an expert in whatever this field is that I assume is related to Herbology. As you probably know, I am an expert in the field of Charms -- I haven’t won Witch Weekly’s Most-Charming-Smile Award five times in a row for nothing! Perhaps we can combine forces to tackle the media and the publishing office over a nice, candlelit meal in my office next week. I am also ever so keen to expand my knowledge in the hopes it will help me during a future encounter, so I do not doubt your lessons in Herbology would do me extremely well. I await your response by owl! Love, Gilderoy Lockhart Dear Lady Abby, I hear you like poetry, so I’d like to present you with one I’ve written myself. I am, after all, a literary icon, author of multiple best-sellers, and as I hear you are the fabulous new member of the publishing office, it is only fitting that we make our acquaintance early. After all, who would be better than yourself to appreciate such greatness; beautiful poetry for a beautiful soul. Please accept this lovely poem as a token of my gratitude for publishing my next best-seller:
There once was a man from Nantucket
My dear personal assistant tells me this is not the type of poem you will be looking for. I shall get back to you shortly! Love, Gilderoy Lockhart Dear Lady Beth, I wish to ask how you can dare have been departed from me for the time that you were, but how can I ask such a question when you have been matching exceeding beauty with immeasurable brains.  It is impossible to not love an academic and you my love are indeed an academic, a woman after my own heart.  I hope that we can be reunited soon and you can share with me all that you have learned upon which I can write a book about you, the woman of equal looks and brains. Love, Gilderoy Lockhart Dear Lady Branwen, Does the Headmistress wish to see me for my bad behavior in accidentally releasing all of those magical creatures around the school grounds? I’m sure I’ll learn my lesson this time. I know you did a lot of hard work in wrangling those beasts and I only wish to fully appreciate your skills in managing such an enormous task. Shall I conjure thee a comfortable chair and a large mug of tea to lessen the strain of your duties? I must say that many a witch has enjoyed a shoulder massage at my hands, and I will gladly provide you with my services, dearest Branwen, whenever you like. Love, Gilderoy Lockhart Dear Lady Gina, I see no one more worthy of myself than the “Queen of Gryffindor” and as such, I could not help myself from reaching out to you. For the spirit of such a fierce lioness as yourself could only be matched with someone with such accolades as myself. I trust two daring souls such as ourselves could find ourselves quite the unforgettable adventure! I’ll be awaiting your response owl so we can leave with haste! Love, Gilderoy Lockhart Dear Monseuir Kevin, It is with my sincerest regret that such a long period of time has elapsed since my last visit -- surely you understand what a busy man I am, battling banshees and disposing of doxies. To make it up to you, I'm leaving you a signed copy of my autobiography, Magical Me, and several autographed photographs. If you scatter them about your dwelling, it may feel like I've never left at all. It has come to my attention, however, that you have been performing great feats to match my own lately -- crafting FROG category posts and organizing collaborations for the ages... Perhaps we should meet over tea sometime soon and you can elaborate on your adventures. It is vital that nobody knows of our meeting, however. Uh -- you see -- if my masses of fans were to hear of our meeting, they may attempt to intrude upon our conversations.  Contact me to let me know what time of day works best for you! Love,
Gilderoy Lockhart Dear Lady Holly, How lucky for is it that happenstance has brought us together once again? What a duo the pair of us make -- with my extraordinary abilities and perfect hair and your renowned cartography skills, we could spend long hours mapping out the jungles of South America together. You know, I once conquered a particularly nasty band of werewolves hiding out in the Amazon Rainforest... it's a stunning vacation spot, if not for all the bugs and man-eating critters running amok (they don't faze me, of course). Alas, I must be taking my leave rather soon. This world isn't going to protect itself, after all. Don't feel put out, though, for I shall be leaving you with an autograph photograph of myself and a signed copy of Wandering Wayward Werewolves of Brazil as inspiration for that map.   Until next we meet, my dear!  Love,
Gilderoy Lockhart Dear Lady Ineke, How can I compare thee to anything but the force of nature that you are? I know our communication has been spotty as of late, but it only makes the heart grow fonder. Your superb senior management of the publishing office leads me to hope for a private meeting with you to discuss a possible arrangement concerning my latest work. Perhaps you’d enjoy a box of Chocolate Caramel Cauldrons to sweeten the deal as I know those are your favorite! Your publishing record is astounding, and I look forward to our future correspondence regarding Me, Myself, and I...and you. Love, Gilderoy Lockhart Dear Lady Lotte, It cannot be expressed how my heart has longed to hear from you in the past winter months.  I am told that you have recently moved.  Would you dare move again?  If so I would love for you to move closer to me so that I can more readily read you the more romantic passages of my book extolling to all how beautiful and wonderful you are.  You are simply a divine and sweet honey badger, both powerful and kind.  Love, Gilderoy Lockhart Dear Lady Rose, A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but Headmistress shall not be beat! I see you have an infant who needs no help from me in being heard or seen. Would you care to be whisked away for a relaxing spa weekend with me? You are most deserving of this wonderful chance to spend hours listening to my while away the time regaling you with tales of my accomplishments! I await your owl accepting this once-in-a-lifetime holiday with yours truly. Love, Gilderoy Lockhart Dear Lady Taylor, Words cannot espresso how much you mean to me! You’ve been a busy media manager this month, but you’ve still found time to mocha me crazy! In fact, I’m just going to say it. I like you a latte. We were meant to bean. I’ve got the coffeels for you. Such a brewtiful and amazing soul such as yourself deserves nothing but the best, and as the five time winner of Witch Weekly’s Most Charming Smile, I think we should give this our best shot! Shall we meet in the staff lounge this week to espresso our feelings? I eagerly await your response owl!
  Love, Gilderoy Lockhart    Dear Lady Deni, I hear you don’t like spinach puffs, so in your honor I shall go on a quest to have them removed from this Earth. After all, it is no concern of yours if people have food. You are a beautiful and busy lion, with media to manage, muggles to liaison with, and levers to pull (but best be careful not to pull the wrong one). Perhaps after I have eradicated all of the spinach puffs, we could collaborate on my next bestseller-author and inspiration for Stamping Out Spinach Puffs. I look forward to your correspondence. Love, Gildeory Lockhart
  We asked, and you delivered on some of your favorite ~love~ stories or stories that feature Gilderoy (the man himself!) or both! Without further ado, here are the stories to give you the feel-good romance vibes for this month 💕 How I Saved the Wizarding World with Hair Potions, by Gilderoy Lockhart by @Stella Blue Orange Cardamom by @ShadowRose Of Bookshelves and Baby Carriers by @poppunkpadfoot Amortentia by @greisful Eyes as Brown as an Enstatite Gem by @MadiMalfoy Rush of Blood by @nott theodore Chai Series by @800 words of heaven How Long? by @crestwood Golden Girl by @Finefrenzy__  The Anne Clarke Chronicle by @MrsDarcy   Moonlight by @Noelle Zingarella  The Woes of Mr Weatherby by @Bunbury  Shards of a Badger's Heart by @Hufflepuffbookworm1990 The Taste of Cherry by @scooterbug8515  Capture Me by @sunshine_locks  Meddling Aphrodite by @greisful That's All by @beyond the rain  Seasons of Love by @galadriel  Disarming Charm by @scooterbug8515                       ____________________ Credits post contributors + recs: Madi, Sarah, Carrie, Rumpels, Emma, Gilderoy Lockhart graphics: Rumpels Story Recs: @starbuck, @PaulaTheProkaryote, @MegGonagall, @Chemical_Pixie

scooterbug8515

scooterbug8515

 

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
Historical Fiction, Young Adult Fiction | T | 5 stars The book I read over the winter holidays was something that had been sitting on my shelf for a while, so I decided it was finally time to get around to it. The Book Thief takes the much-written about time during World War II and the Holocaust and writes from a different perspective -- that of Death, following the childhood of a young girl forced to live with a "loyal" German couple in Molching, Germany due to her mother's affiliation with the Communists.  Zusak cleverly uses Death's perspective of the world as shades of colors to give a unique illustration of each scene, and how the colors seem to fade into grays or sharp splashes of color when there is a sudden development. It's not overly graphic from Death's point of view, as he mostly describes Death as picking up and carrying the souls of the deceased to remain in his care. By using Death to peer into parts of little Liesel Meminger as she travels to Molching to live with Hans and Rosa Hubermann and then grows up as the War rages on, it changes how Nazi Germany is usually depicted in novels like these.  Liesel Meminger is a young girl caught in the middle of Nazi Germany and trying to navigate her youth while also being fed the propaganda of the Hitler Youth. Her character is bolstered by the stealing of her first book at her brother's burial, and from there on it gets very interesting, especially as she develops a strong bond with her foster father Hans. As Liesel ages, it becomes clearer to the reader that the Hubermann's aren't as sympathetic to the Nazi cause as they outwardly appear to their neighbors, and as the political situation deteriorates in Germany, they take more and more risks, and Liesel also does the same, albeit it in a different manner and for different purposes.  The lessons this book teaches are countless. This book illustrates the power of having the skills to read, to write, and to hold knowledge more than take in propaganda. Love is also much stronger than people like to think it is, and this is shown many times over throughout the novel.  Now, I know this has been made into a movie, but I haven't seen it yet. (If anyone has and has an opinion on whether or not I should watch it, please do so!) I highly recommend this book to anyone, even if they typically don't read historical fiction, because this book really made me think quite a lot about my own personal beliefs and how I learned of World War II and the Holocaust and what I can do to prevent something similar happening in the future and also understanding why that was allowed to happen. Go forth and read it!

MadiMalfoy

MadiMalfoy

 

The Happier Holidays Challenge Results

Hi everyone!   In this (and my very first ever) blog, I'm going to announce the results of the Happier Holidays Challenge! This challenge got far more entries than I thought I would get, so first of all I would like to thank everyone for their interest and entries in this challenge. It truly meant the world to me! This challenge was a challenge where characters who loated a certain holiday, ended up feeling better about the whole concept later on (even though they did not need to love it as it was). Because of this (and the sheer excellence of all the stories), I'd all recommend you to read all the entries, for some heartwarming stuff and just good feelings overall!   The entries were as followed: Tis The Season by @TreacleTart yitached yakum v'yiga'el by @facingthenorthwind Bake My Wish Come True by @ShadowRose Starlit Nights by @dreamgazer220 Anything Is Possible by @Pixileanin A Very Snapely Christmas by @juls The Woes of Mr Weatherby by @Bunbury   All entries were, as said, absolutely excellent, and it was very hard to pick, but I've made my decision, so without furder ado, here is the top 3: In third place yitached yakum v'yiga'el by @facingthenorthwind - a heartwarming story about Chanukah during Deathly Hallows, which explores the holiday during the wartime and how it can make everyone feel better even in dark times.   Congratulations! Please let me know on which two stories you want a review in addition to the one I'll be leaving on this later on!   In second place Starlit Nights by @dreamgazer220 - a heartbreaking story about Neville's daughter and the entire reason of why Christmas is so hard on her. Aside from that, there is a lot of stuff that literally made me melt and feel so good, so please do check this out!   Congratulations! Please let me know on which four stories you want a review on in addition to the one I'll be leaving on this later on!   And in first place Bake My Wish Come True by @ShadowRose - a Muggle Christmas Bakery Jily AU which literally made me cry (for a plethora of reasons) while reading it - a feat not easily managed. This story is great, has excellent characterisation and completely tugs at your heart!   Congratulations! Please let me know on which six stories you want a review on in addition to the one I'll be leaving on this later on!   I want to thank all of the participants again - all the promised reviews will be coming as soon as possible (also depending a bit on my still-flaky internet  ). It was a true pleasure to read all of your stories! I hope you will all join in with another challenge again!   x Ineke

Ineke

Ineke

 

To Our Magical Magizoologists

Thank you so much to @TreacleTart and @starbuck for their help in putting together this blog post! If you have been around the forums the past month, you surely observed or participated in the wonderful House Cup event the staffers created for us, 🦁 🦅 The Magical Menagerie 🐍 🐼 This event was wonderful for many reasons! Houses had the opportunity to partner with each other, it provided the opportunity to read stories that might earn a FROGS nomination down the road, and of course, leave and receive many reviews. The set up so incredibly creative, and it's truly amazing how the staffers wrote those descriptive passages to help us figure out which creatures were available for the catching.   Of course, in order for this event to be the wonderful time it was, staffers had to work hard during the event, too. So, we'd like to take this opportunity to say a tremendous ❤️ ❤️ THANK YOU ❤️ ❤️ to the Magizoologists we saw jumping into our Menagerie threads to answer questions and count up our reviews. Thank you so much to... abhorsen.   galadriel   ShadowRose   toomanycurls   Please rehost and credit these fantastic graphics to starbuck at HPFT   We appreciate all you do so much! And a huge thank you to all other staffers as well! Your work behind the scenes may have been less visible, but it is just as important. We love all our wonderful staffers!   If you have not already done so, please consider leaving a thank you gift for our marvelous Magizoologists. Reviews, WJ questions, graphics, or simply a thank you comment in this thread. Whatever you can do, we want them to know how much we all appreciate them!  

MuggleMaybe

MuggleMaybe

 

Mostly Nonsense Rambles and When a Writer Should Stop (an Opinion, Controversies Aside)(spoiler: the answer is never)

General Disclaimer: I'm just taking a subjective look at several topics. Because it is a subjective take, that means I'm just here with my opinions. I'm not a radical person, so I'm not coming here trying to swing the notion that my opinions are right while yours are wrong...no, no, no. I'm just coming here to unwind this mind and try to rationalize a few things with myself.  I'm not here to argue -- just here to ramble (and rambling is what I do best). Additional Disclaimer: While I'll be broaching the topic of FBAWTFT, I'm not going to be talking about any of the controversies surrounding the films, so you'll have to go elsewhere to find that. I'm speaking in terms of exploring her world when I'm mentioning the films (that I haven't gotten around to seeing yet, by the way, though I do intend to at some point in time).  And yet another disclaimer:  In the event my disclaimers go unnoticed, I will be reiterating CONTROVERSIES ASIDE throughout the text so that everyone can remember that I'm speaking in terms of Rowling expanding her universe ONLY and not speaking in relation to any of the controversies surrounding the FBAWTFT films. Furthermore, I will be rambling. Coherent sentence structures be gone! \O/ It's stream of conscious time, bbs! ❤️  So, on this whole Rowling should stop touching the Potter world thing... I mean, I can link to any number of articles of arguing why she should (+here's one as a reference if you haven't heard about this, though I doubt there are many people who haven't heard at least one of the reasonings as to why someone thinks that she should stop over the past few years). And, truly, I understand where these opinions are coming from. The Harry Potter series is something that many people (all of us included) hold close to their hearts for one reason or another.  But the thing is -- it's her world. She gets to decide when she stops writing it.  And honestly, who cares? Or the question should be, WHY do we care? We, as readers and/or viewers don't have to read the script for or watch the Cursed Child play. We as the audience do not have to watch FBAWTFT if we don't want to. It doesn't change the HP Series as we know it if we now know some sort of new canonical piece of information that we don't care for. In fact, we can ignore it completely.  Especially coming from the standpoint of a fandom who write stories to continue and further explore the story, how can we say that we don't want her to do the same thing? Because she's monetizing off of it? It's her world, she can monetize off of whatever she wants. What allows her to monetize off of it is if people watch/buy it. If she's making money off of people who are enjoying it, that's fine -- but it also feels as if she's making money off of people who don't like it, too. Negative attention is attention, all the same. Besides, the only reason she's making money off of these things is that people are buying it. (Which also broaches the subject of why can't the people who enjoy it enjoy it? ...controversies aside.) Now, I'll reiterate myself in saying I'm not talking about any of the more controversial issues.  The thing I'm trying to understand is, how can we tell a writer to stop writing, in the sense of expanding their own world (controversies aside)? Tolkien has many supplemental notions that have been carried on even after his death (books that were half finished, finished and released by his son, movies and ideas expanded upon by directors, etc.). If Tolkien were alive and was continuing to expand these things himself, releasing more information and stories about his extremely large world, I'd be hesitant to tell him to stop. Which is why I don't think that Rowling needs to stop, necessarily. Could she stand a bit more caution as far as what she's writing about, from what I've been told, probably, but we're asiding the controversial issues, remember. She's got a pretty sturdy universe to explore. The number of creatures and eras she's created leaves her open to continue to dabble in these things. She has backstories to unravel and creatures to feature, so let her. Again, if we don't like it, we don't have to watch it. (Controversial topics aside.) Now, if you're asking, but Rumpel, the controversial topics are WHY I think that she should stop, then this is not the place for you, because I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about an author (ANY author) expanding their universe to their contentment and as they see fit. One of the biggest issues I've seen consistently through opinions on why Rowling should stop is because it will "kill the HP series". If she wants to write her universe into the ground, that's her call. As I've said before, it still leaves the OG series untouched, unchanged, unsullied (conTROverSIES AsiDe).   Next, I'd like to ramble into this We, Lawbreaking Citizens (the Original Fiction I'm writing and posting to the archives). Since I love supplemental materials, I have been working on appendices to accompany my work (but I am working on updating the chapters too, sometimes the characters try to take control of my plot and I have to slap them around a little).  When I plan something, I go all in. World building is something that I really love to do. Am I Tolkien-level genius? Of course not, but I'll be damned if that's going to stop me from doing it. I keep binders and G'docs and spreadsheets and Google Keeps (shoutout to the Keep, which is basically Pinterest for writers -- or at least that's what I use it for).  So, from the beginning, I have supplemental materials that probably won't even make it into the appendices. From the beginning, I've had We, Lawbreaking Citizens planned out... I've had its sequel planned out. Now I have several spin-offs and a Prequel planned out. I have ideas for continuations and such because WLC takes place in a very small part of a very large world, and I will not let anyone tell me when I need to stop writing in this universe. I mean, there's so much potential on the Outside to explore. So, if I want to spend the next 50 years of my life (fingers crossed, boys) writing in this universe and releasing it to the archives (willing the archives is there in 50 years), I will.  I mean, I probably won't. There will probably come a point in time where I will say to myself, you know... that's probably enough. This is a good time to walk away from this universe and work on something else. But that will be on my own terms. I write for me, first, so even if nobody is reading the universe in 50 years and my crazy continuations, I'll still be writing it if *I* want to, because *I* am the author of WLC. It's my world. And I'll do what I want with it.  Of course, this also calls into the idea of monetization again, as I'm not monetizing off of anything, nor am I spinning controversies (but we're not talking about that here, remember the disclaimers).    So, I suppose the giant TL ; DR of this whole thing is that Rumpel's opinion is that I don't think it's fair to tell writers when to stop expanding their universe and that it is their choice. The other TL ; DR to this is that I don't want to talk about the controversies surrounding the FBAWTFT films, so let's not in this context.  I suppose I'm just tired of feeling like people feel like they can tell others what do to when they have no business in doing so. As readers, we are an audience. We can choose to be here or not, but that doesn't mean we have the right to tell someone to stop writing in their own universe.  Controversies aside.   Now, of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and this is just an opinion piece -- I do have my own from time-to-time, as I am a human and not a robot (surpise!). But why a public post. Because I know there are others around who feel the same way and who aren't comfortable with sharing their opinions with people who disagree with them. It's hard with opinions because even when we don't necessarily mean for them to come across as attacking, they can certainly feel that way, especially when we don't agree with them. With that being said, please know that I'm not attacking anyone else's opinion on that matter (nor am I talking about controversies). I think that people, in general, have all the capabilities of sitting down and having a rational expression of  their opinions without attacking, though here in internet land (not on HPFT, ofc...this is one of the safest places on the whole internet) people seem to not want to do that and would rather scream their opinions at one another to try and see who can scream the loudest [because obviously if you scream the loudest, then you win (sarcasm, if you didn't catch it)].  I just... Can we please... as human beings... with ranges of emotions and opinions and thoughts and loves and hates and passions and interests and hopes and dreams and futures get along?     Why do we care so much what other people are doing so long as they aren't harming others? Why do I care so much about this as to post an entire rambly blog post about it (er, more or less for the cathartic release, but that's neither here nor there)? We are living in an active hell for the majority of the time, here on our lovely Earth, for reasons that we can't quite understand...so why do we focus so strongly on things that don't necessarily matter (all controversies aside)? I mean, I can't even answer why I'm sitting here writing this, when there are so many other things that I can think about (because life is beautiful, amazing, terrible, traumatizing, crazy, and just about any other adjective you could think of, so there's a lot to think about).  I could be writing, too.    What I do know is that we're a very lucky community, as we are flooded with a ton of compassionate, caring, and wonderful people -- it's a little corner of the interwebz where we can come together and shield ourselves from the horrors and celebrate the wonders and magic together. We can run around like chickens with our heads cut off and forget about life and write and rejoice and be with people who are generally good and lovely people. <.< I also don't know where this is going anymore, so we should probably stop. We should've probably stopped ages ago, or have never started in the first place but I'm tired. This is what happens. Rambles. Happy rambling! \O/

Rumpelstiltskin

Rumpelstiltskin

 

My Opinions on the Hogwarts Houses of Irish Political Leaders.

Since a number of people are doing blog posts sorting various people, I think I'll post my views on where various Irish political leaders would fit. Taoisigh: W.T. Cosgrave: Not sure, maybe Hufflepuff. De Valera: Honestly, he had traits of all four houses, but on the whole, I'd say Ravenclaw. The man was a literal genius who won a scholarship to one of Ireland's top boarding schools when he was a teenager and who used to bore everybody talking about Maths and Science. Costello: Without a doubt, Hufflepuff. He held together a coalition of every single party except Fianna Fáil and a number of independents ('cause Fianna Fáil still had more seats than all the other parties together but not than all the other members of the parliament) and gave his Ministers a good deal of freedom. Seán Lemass: Not sure. He was a practical, efficient man. Hufflepuff or Gryffindor maybe? He doesn't really fit any of the houses. Jack Lynch: "Honest Jack." Hufflepuff. Liam Cosgrave: Possibly Hufflepuff. Charlie Haughey: Slytherin, without a doubt. This was a man that bought a mansion, a yacht, a private island, etc, despite growing up poor.  Garrett Fitzgerald: Ravenclaw, a very intelligent man with a concern for social justice. Albert Reynolds: Probably Slytherin. Bertie Ahern: Again, definitely Slytherin. Supposed to have been described by Haughey as "the most cunning, the most devious, the best of them all." Brian Cowen:  I have absolutely no idea. Let's put it this way: towards the end of his time as Taoiseach, I realised what "the other Minister" meant when he was describing Fudge at the end of his term in office. Enda Kenny: Definitely Hufflepuff. Typical primary school teacher who I doubt anybody expected to achieve the highest office. Leo Varadkar: Definitely a Ravenclaw.   One thing that surprised me was the number of Hufflepuffs. Maybe Ireland's system of government, with its regular coalitions, favours those who can compromise.   Presidents: To be honest, you could probably stick the lot of them in Ravenclaw, but I'll go through them. Douglas Hyde: Ravenclaw. A scholar who was chosen as president partly because he came from outside politics. Seán T. O'Kelly: Not sure. He'd probably think magic evil or something anyway. He was known for being sort of over-the-top religious. De Valera: As I already said when going through the Taoisigh. Probably a Ravenclaw. Erskine Childers: Definitely Ravenclaw. Cearbhall O'Dallaigh: He was only in power a short while and was our only president to resign, so hard to say, but probably Ravenclaw. Patrick Hillery: Either Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw. A soft spoken, intelligent man. Probably Ravenclaw as there are jokes about him "entering the Áras and playing golf for 14 years." I wouldn't imagine a Hufflepuff would do that. Mary Robinson: Probably Ravenclaw. A human rights lawer Mary McAleese: Either Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw. Michael D. Higgins: Without doubt a Ravenclaw. He was a lecturer before entering politics, he is billingual and extremely intellectual.

Margaret

Margaret

 

Sorting my Co-Workers

So I am sitting in the kitchen waiting on my Ramen to not be crunchy and started thinking of which houses my co-workers belong in. So here is useless information.    Mrs. Cubicle neighbor- Accounts Payable Ravenclaw. She spends a lot of her time like I do- asking why people are doing stupid things instead of smart things.  Mr. Walrus head- “Accounting Manager”  Slytherin. Uses personal connections to supervisor and president to get away with not actually doing any work. (Think Slughorn but without any actual compentence)  Mrs. Super nice clothes- Sales Slytherin. She is apt at making social connections that will help her and the company. Sells Girl Scouts cookies for people she wants to sign contracts with us, but buys her cookies from her grand daughter.  Mrs. Way overworked with a million kids- Estimating Gryffindor. I think she may be super woman. If I had that many projects handed to me by the president, I’d probably die. And she isn’t afraid to tell him he’s wrong. Mrs. You’re really young looking- Estimating  Hufflepuff. She will not say a bad thing about anyone. Even if that person is making her job harder.  Mr. My boss- Controller  Hufflepuff, could’ve been Ravenclaw at some point, but now he is just a nice old man. Ex- I am not eligible for a raise even though my work load has increased  and I need more income. His solution- slowly increase approved over time until it is generally accepted by our upper management that my position is deserving of 4+ hours of over time a week. Even though he isn’t supposed to approve over time as a general occurrence.    That is all. 😊  

Chelts-rhj

Chelts-rhj

 

Sorting Tortall (Nealan of Queenscove)

Note: I use the sortinghatchats system - +here’s (M to be safe) a link to their ‘basics’ post. To briefly summarize, though, they sort everyone on two different (and equally important) aspects of their personality: the first (your “primary” house) is why you do things, where the second (your “secondary” house) is how you do things. Today, I'm sorting Nealan of Queenscove from Tamora Pierce's Tortall series. Primary (the “why”) Neal is definitely a Ravenclaw primary: Ravenclaw Primaries have a constructed system that they test their decisions against before they feel comfortable calling something right. This might be constructed by them, or it might have been taught to them as children, or it might have been discovered by them some point later in life. Neal's system doesn't necessarily make sense to anyone else - I don’t think anyone else ever fully understands his decision to leave the university and become a page, despite not liking it much at all - but it makes sense to him, and he stands by it no matter what. When he hears a good argument, he’s also happy to incorporate it into that system - but he needs to hear the argument first. When he starts helping Kel fight bullies in First Test, he says: “… I’m trying to justify to myself the fact that the best lesson I ever had on chivalry came from someone five years younger than me. When you put it that way, well, I guess I’d better help.” It didn’t become the right thing to do because he was worried about Kel or realized that bullies were bad - it became the right thing to do because she gave a logical, convincing argument. There’s one scene in Lady Knight that probably illustrates his Ravenclaw primary better than any others: the scene where he confronts Alvik over his mistreatment of Tobe. When Kel-the-Hufflepuff-primary sees what’s happening, she stops the abuse and buys Tobe’s contract. When Neal-the-Ravenclaw-primary sees it, he puts an illegal spell on Alvik and then intimidates him into silence by saying, “Who will impress the Crown more, swine? The oldest son of Baird of Queenscove, or you?” Even if Kel could do that, I don’t think she would. Neal, on the other hand, is fine with breaking the rules, as long as he’s not breaking his rules. Secondary (the “how”) Neal is an academic who loves to learn, which on the surface sounds like it points to a Ravenclaw secondary: Ravenclaw Secondaries plan. They collect information, they strategize. They have tools. They run hypotheticals and try to plan ahead for things that might come up. They build things that they can use later. They feel less at home in improvisation and more comfortable planning ahead and taking the time to be prepared. However, enjoying to learn doesn't automatically make you a Ravenclaw secondary - Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs, and Slytherins can be academics, too. It's about how you use the knowledge and approach problem-solving, and Neal doesn't have the methodological approach that's described above. He could tell you all about the difference between strategy and tactics, but he doesn't tend to map out a strategy of his own - he just coasts on his innate skills, social status, and gut. That makes him a Gryffindor secondary: Gryffindor Secondaries charge. They meet the world head-on and challenge it to do its worst. Gryffindor Secondaries are honest, brash, and bold in pursuit of things they care about. Known for their bravery, it is almost a moral matter to stay true to themselves in any situation that they’re in. That's probably how he and Kel bond so quickly and so strongly despite having objectively little in common - Neal backing her up and not being a sexist jerk isn’t really a sufficient explanation for the strength of their friendship. Being two sides of the same Gryffindor coin, on the other hand, definitely goes a long way toward explaining how well they come to understand each other. Neal is generally pretty direct; he might change whether he’s saying something, but he doesn’t tend to change how he’s saying it. If it’s a fight that Neal believes is right, he’s in the middle of it. He’d generally prefer to use his words over his fists, but Gryffindor secondaries aren’t inherently more violent than anyone else - approaching the problem directly through sheer obstinacy is equally valid, and Neal is definitely the most obstinate person in the Protector of the Small series. He doesn’t deal with problems by shifting his presentation - he takes great pride and pleasure in telling people exactly what their deficiencies are and what they’re doing wrong to their faces, despite continually meeting with very mixed success. He picks a fight in almost every chapter he appears in. Neal doesn’t care about peace or harmony - he cares about being right. In summary: Neal is a Ravenclaw primary and a Gryffindor secondary. (Italicized sorting-related quotes from sortinghatchats)

abhorsen.

abhorsen.

 

N.I.F.F.L.E.R.s

Welcome to the N.I.F.F.L.E.R.s (the Nicest, Innovative Friends Found Leaving Exceptional Rewards celebration)! We are commemorating what an awesome, loving, altruistic community HPFT is by looking back at the recent gift-giving event, +The Nifflers That Stole Christmas.  During the month of December, you all left an awe-striking grand total of 786 gifts for your fellow Members, Prefects, and Staff!  For your tremendous display of Holiday Selflessness, following are some tokens of appreciation and recognition for all of the love given!  There were four participants who hit every single Wishlist (and at a staggering 48 threads, this was certainly a feat): @MegGonagall,  @ShadowRose,  @starbuck, and @Shadowkat678.  There were also some noteworthy individuals who left a little something for their fellow HPFT'er without having a wishlist of their own: @800 words of heaven, @TidalDragon, @forever_dreaming , @Veritaserum27, @Stardust.Soul , @Alwynse , @lovegood27 , and @Pixileanin.  Plus, each and every person who made at least one other person's day a little brighter with your fearsome awesomeness -- you're all completely exceptional human beings.  Thank You For Being Amazing! For everyone who participated! Whether it was planning this lovely event, making a wishlist, giving gifts, or playing Keep-Away From the Nifflers, we would like you present you all with this Niffler Nabber graphic!   Top Five Gifters! Throughout the event, @MegGonagall left 76 gifts, @ShadowRose left 65, @starbuck left 54, @Shadowkat678 left 53, and @Crimson Quill left 47. For this tremendous display of gift-giving, we'd like to give you all the Top Five Gifters. As a little extra something, please also accept these Niffler Tokens to further remember the event by!                                      Tremendous Acts of Selflessness We'd also like to recognize couple members who have stood out with their altruism. @TreacleTart's Holiday Wishlist was entirely centered around giving to others, without taking herself into account. It was a beautiful display of love and friendship! We'd also like to take a moment to recognize @800 words of heaven who left over 30 gifts without having made a wishlist of her own, asking for nothing in return for their gift-giving. For that, we'd like to recognize you both as the Most Spirited Gifters!     
A Touch of Creativity We'd also like to recognize @PaulaTheProkaryote for leaving some particularly creative and beautiful gifts! 
More Thanks It's without a doubt that HPFT is teeming with members who are kind-hearted, so an extra-special thanks to everyone who participated in the event! You're all amazing people who are truly endowed with the spirit of giving!  Here's hoping that everyone has had a wonderful December and January, and prepared to face the new year in style!    edit: credits: graphics by rumpels

Rumpelstiltskin

Rumpelstiltskin

 

Sorting the Arrowverse (Joe West)

Note: I use the sortinghatchats system - +here’s (M to be safe) a link to their ‘basics’ post. To briefly summarize, though, they sort everyone on two different (and equally important) aspects of their personality: the first (your “primary” house) is why you do things, where the second (your “secondary” house) is how you do things. Today, I'm tackling Joe West from the Arrowverse. Primary (the “why”) Joe West is a very strong Slytherin primary: Slytherin Primaries prioritize individual loyalties and find their moral core in protecting and caring for the people they are closest to. They often construct a morality system to deal with situations that are not addressed by their loyalty system. Joe has dedicated his life to the police force, and he talks a good game about the law… but when it comes down to it, his moral code is perfectly encapsulated in what he says in season three: "I’ve taken two oaths in my life. One is to uphold the law, and the other to protect my family. Guess which one takes priority." It’s not the only time he says something like that, either. When Earth-2 Harrison Wells shows up in S2, Joe gives Iris a gun and says, “I’m praying that Barry’s right and this Wells means us no harm, but… you can’t murder somebody that everybody thinks is dead, right?” There’s some benevolent sexism at the heart of Joe’s treatment of Iris that makes him particularly overprotective of her, but the same tendency to put on blinders and protect is true across the board. His morality revolves around his family. There is no right or wrong when Iris, Barry, or Wally is involved. There’s just Iris, Barry, and Wally. (I think that's probably true of Cecile as well, but we've seen a bit less of it.) He will lie to them and everyone else if he deems it necessary, shield them from even consequences that they probably should face, and use others for exactly as long as is necessary to keep them safe. It's not that he doesn't care about other people - he does! - but when it came down to it, even Eddie was a tool to keep Iris away from metahumans first and his partner second. He stopped objecting to the Arrow's kill-happy past when it was clear that the Arrow could help Barry. When his family isn't in danger, Joe reverts back to a more standard cop moral structure, but it's just a model. Secondary (the “how”) Joe is a Slytherin secondary, too: Slytherin Secondaries improvise. They are the most reactive secondary, finding their strength in responding quickly to whatever a situation throws at them. They improvise differently than the Gryffindor Secondary, far more likely to try coming at situations from different angles than to try strong-arming them. He routinely breaks the rules and manipulates the people around him in ways that they’re not necessarily comfortable with to ensure that his family is kept safe, no matter what, and we never really see him express guilt or remorse over it. His focus on their safety sometimes leads to conflict with all three of his children, but Joe doesn’t care - if he feels that what he’s doing will keep them safer, he’ll continue to do that at any cost. Sometimes that means keeping Iris’s mother away from her, or covering for Barry at work when he’s tardy (pre-Flash). Sometimes that means pressuring Iris, Barry, and Wally to stay away from superhero-ing, or the broader group to keep his kids out of it. Sometimes it means working with a man he distrusts, shrugging off the team’s incarcerating people without a fair trial, or letting a mass murderer go free in exchange for information. Joe doesn’t care: he’ll use any means he has at his disposal to keep them safe. Summary: Joe is a Slytherin primary and Slytherin secondary. How he ended up with three Gryffindor primary/Gryffindor secondary kids, two of whom he actually raised, I really don’t know.

abhorsen.

abhorsen.

 

You Matter, Thanks for Writing

Two years ago, in the midst of the MeToo fest that left me triggered every damn day, unable to sleep well and unable to function for months, I rediscovered fanfiction. In particular I came back to the Harry Potter fandom, and I in fact read everything I could get my hands on (like EVERY BIT) in one OTP since 2004 on. It took me three months, but I read millions and millions of words, and when I was reading it didn't hurt, and I could forget my own issues in favor of riding along with the characters I loved. I am convinced that if I hadn't had that outlet, I'd have done something even worse. After all, I did try to off myself at age 10. My family would be shocked to know that, and probably wouldn't believe me if I told them. I'm so damned normal, y'know? But I digress.  The fact is, it was all of those fanfic writers over the past decade or more who kept me company in the wee hours. Reassure me that there was hope, happiness, and smiles still to be had. I could imagine it for them, and by extension for myself. I didn't care if the grammar was good, or if the plot was particularly clever, or if I'd read something like it elsewhere. EVERY story in that OTP I read. (So long as it didn't hit on my triggers, loves.) This year I've had reasons to be down and stressed, no less than before really, but I've transformed from not just a consumer to a writer in the intervening time. I've made friends that I desperately needed through the writing, and was able to have some fun again. I can sleep for 6-8 hours, have lost weight, and even am doing WAY better about finishing my work on time than I ever have.  What I am trying to say is as fanfic writers, you might not get paid, and you might be writing for yourselves, which is great. But some of you might just have saved my life, and I wanted to just stop for a moment and say THANK YOU. You matter, thanks for writing. 

FawkesyLady

FawkesyLady

 

returns and golden ages

i have wanted to come back to hpft for more or less as long as i've been away from it. i don't even really think i could say i want to come back, because i was drifting into hiatus territory as soon as the old site went down in flames, and i haven't made my home here at all. instead, i migrated to twitter like so many others, staying in contact with the community while drifting further and further away from the forums and the experience of writing fic. i know my experience isn't unique. i'm guessing there are also people in the same boat i find myself in now - wanting to return to fic, wanting to get involved again, but having no idea how. the site is different. there are new people here who i've never properly met. there are new friendship ties and new groups and its so easy to feel like an outsider, especially compared to those who have been able to throw themselves into staff/leadership roles, or time-intensive events, and all the rest of it. seeing people return who were part of what was, to me, the golden age of my hpff experience (circa 2014-15) like @galadrieland @crestwood has made me want to do the same.  but my golden age was when i was in undergrad, when i had so much time to spend writing, and participating in the HC, and making graphics and being a prefect and editing the old QTR newsletter and sitting in giant Skype group chats. i miss being that involved, but i know that the days when that was possible for me have long since passed. so, i guess, at the heart of all of this, is a question. how do i come back? is it even possible? or do i start anew?

sapphicsunrise

sapphicsunrise

 

2018 Year End Wrap Up | January 7th, 2019

It's a bird! It's a plane! ... It's HPFT's Super Duper Year in Review!   It is officially 2019 and your prefects would like to present The 2018 Super Duper Year in Review! The past year has been a big one for all of us over here at HPFT and we'd like to take a look back at some of our biggest moments here on the forums and the archives. We've had a great year on the archives with a lot of incredible stories, many wonderful events on the forums, and some super fun stats to highlight, so prepare yourselves for a wild ride, because it's been one incredible year! First up: the Archives!   In 2018, the Archives saw a huge influx of new stories. Most of these stories were added during the months of March and April, in what has been dubbed "The Great Transfer".  The Transfer consisted of 1046 validations, of which 789 chapters were validated in April alone. There was a total of 2906 validations this year total, meaning "The Great Transfer" was approximately one-third of the total validated this year! This was all accomplished by a very small team of dedicated Aurors, with the help of the Admins, who gave up their time to read everyone's work and help grow the site to what it is now. We owe them a huge gratitude for all of their voluntary efforts! We look forward to seeing what magic they will continue to bring in 2019.      Sometimes finishing something can feel pretty super-human -- especially when it comes to completed novels! We'd like to give it up for the following individuals who took on such a great feat in the year 2018! You all truly are heroic! (Note: for the purpose of this collection, we chose stories marked as completed in 2018 on the HPFT archives that were greater than 25,000 words.)  We would like to present you with this little "I Completed a Novel in 2018" token graphic as a momento of your great achievement:
Congratulations! Icarus by @Stella Blue Raising a Hero by  @Tantrum  Home by @adorably cute An Inspector Calls by @PendleWizard The Rise of the A.W.L. by @Margaret Complicated by  @ShadowRose The Art of Surviving by  @esmeraude The Shenanigans of Lily Luna Potter by @greisful A Rollercoaster Called Life by @missclaire17 The Harder They Fall by  @victoria_anne Tess Covenshire & the Highcross Scandal by @KJ Cartmell Curiosity Is Not a Sin by Beeezie / @abhorsen. Ignite by Slide / @Wolfgirl Rabbit Heart by  @Pixileanin Even the Best Laid Plans by @potionspartner The Beasts Within by @Bardic Magic A New Life For Hermione - Version 1 by @Elena Liam Wren and the Dragon Wand by @KJ Cartmell A Little Bit of Hope by @CharmHazel  An Open Secret by @CharmHazel Keep Away by @Mistress Put Your Curse in Reverse by @frombluetored Delilah's Black Book of Poems by @Dark Whisper Have No Fear by Bardic Magic @Bardic Magic Put Your Guns Away, It's Tea Time by @frombluetored A New Normal by @CharmHazel Chicks Before Broomsticks by @banshee Rainfall [M] by @Leo Chasing Life, Seeking Love, Keeping Hope by @Bardic Magic Seek and Chase by @BellaLestrange87 Albus Potter and Slytherin's Office by  @Phoenix Potioneer Behind the Curtain by Cassius / @Cassius Alcindor The Joker and Her by @Illuminate The Fred Weasley Memorial Scholarship by @sapphicsunrise     Another type of super-heroics can be found in those who have a great sense of altruism. We would like to recognize the Top Five Reviewers of 2018, who left an extraordinarily long list of reviews to their fellow HPFT'ers, effectively spreading love and good-faith across our wonderful community!  @Stella Blue, @just.a.willow.tree, @Felpata_Lupin, @nott theodore, and @victoria_anne have all shown their true identities as superhumans (and who are quite possibly radioactively powered or have been bitten by some sort of reading spider in order to leave so many wonderful, loving reviews).  These heroes of written feedback have certainly vanquished the archnemesis, brevity  .  We'd also like to take a moment to recognize that of the five top reviewers, FOUR members hailed from Hufflepuff. These SuperPuffs are truly living up to Hufflepuff expectations, all in the name of love. There was a valiant attempt from the Puffs to get a monopoly on these spots (and during the year they achieved it for a time), but Sian held firm! Congratulations and thank you, Super-Reviewers!        January: The Second Annual FROGS awards took place in January! The top three winners in each of the 15 categories were presented with a chocolate frog card! A summary of the 2018 FROGS Award winners can be found HERE+ The Queue became unlimited, allowing for authors to post as many chapters at a time as they wanted to on the HPFT archives. We had a THREE-WAY TIE for First Place in the FROGS “Best Reviewer” Category; with @just.a.willow.tree, @Stella Blue, and @Felpata_Lupin - and this will forever be remembered as one of "the most Hufflepuff things ever"! (called as such by Maggie/Levana.) 💛🖤 February: We had 26 Participants in our 2018 Secret Cupid event, making up for a total of 13 matches. Participants spent the month of February spreading love to their secret-admirers, and several members went above and beyond for their partners. 💝 Our #1 Gifter for the month was @TidalDragon, the #2 Gifter was @just.a.willow.tree, and our two most creative Secret Cupids were @WriteYourHeartOut and @Ignatia.  Slytherin House brought back their Common Room Newsletter: The Silver Quill, after it had been on hiatus since October of 2016, and @RoxiMalfoy broke the emoji limit here on the forums, lol! (Fun Fact: There USED to be a limit of ONLY 75 emojis allowed in a single post.) 😅 The SQ Newsletter is now published on a quarterly basis (every 3 months) in the Slytherin Common Room.  Hufflepuff Staff/Prefect/Newsletter crew ( @Felpata_Lupin, @dreamgazer220, @LadyL8, and @Renacerá at the time) teamed up to leave every Badger on the HPFT archives a review under the secret reviewer name "Be My Badger"  March: Staff hosted the Spring Writing Event of 2018: Fic Feud!! During this event, participants in the competition were assigned a partner,  whom they had to write a 2-4 chaptered story with. Each match-up then had 4 elements chosen for them per each chapter. To make thing even more interesting, they were also able to sabotage another team by either assigning or blocking certain elements. There were 12 participants altogether, for a total of 6 collaborative stories written… 
And the Winners of our 2018 HPFT Fic Feud were: @pookha & @Levana, with their story: A Rescue in Space and Time. - Their assigned elements were: Chapter 1: Space Opera [theme], Humor [genre], Person of Color [inclusivity], and “It sounded like a good idea at the time.” [sentence] Chapter 2: Time-Travel [theme], Angst [genre], Anxiety [inclusivity], and “All great failures start with one spectacularly bad idea.” [sentence] Our Fic Feud runners-up were @Rumpelstiltskin & @victoria_anne, with their story: Mask of Truth. - Their assigned elements were as follows: Chapter 1: Fluff [genre], Angst [genre], Infidelity [theme], “I didn’t realize you actually had feelings. I’m going to have to reset my entire mental image of you.” [sentence] Chapter 2: Parody [genre], Dark/Horror [genre], Star-Crossed Romance [theme], “That’s all well and good, but I’m pretty sure she’s dead.” [sentence] April: Gryffindor House also gained several active new members during this time-frame, and made a HUGE comeback in both their Common Room and the House Cup from there-on-out ( @PaulaTheProkaryote has even now dubbed this happening as “The Great Gryffindor Revival of 2018”) 😆 🦁 May: In the spring, each of the four Common Rooms hosted their Annual Awards, giving all kinds or recognition to the amazing authors that can be found throughout our site! You can check out wrap-ups of each of the Common Room Awards here: Hufflepuff Gryffindor Ravenclaw Slytherin Slytherin livestream can be found HERE+  Gryffindor livestream can be found HERE+ Hufflepuff prepared for their CR awards with two review events: Badger Reveal and Badger Bingo, which saw 'Puffs teaming up to leave hundreds of reviews for each other @toomanycurls created the Review Transfer Tool; making it possible for members to save reviews from other sites back onto their stories, that might have otherwise been lost. HPFT spread to the wide-world of Facebook!! You can like our Facebook page +HERE, if you haven’t done so already - and don’t worry, it is set up as a private/closed community page, and the ML Team takes the security of our members here very seriously. Due to the nature of this platform, we do not use anyone’s real names or tag people in ANY posts on Facebook at all. 👍 The Muggle Liaison Team posted the very first Featured Fics Blog(s) as a way to create new custom content for the site’s social media outlets each month, and promote all of our wonderful stories that are featured here on the HPFT Archives!! June: The Graphics Talk section was added to the site, making it possible for members to request graphics, make new graphics, and offer pre-made graphics to members for use on both the forums & archives!! 🎨 The Prefects hosted their summer writing challenge, entitled the Prefects' Celebration Challenge. There were 12 phenomenal entries, and the full results can be found HERE+ Ravenclaw House revamped their newsletter "The Ivory Tower" according to members' answers to a poll and now have an established monthly posting! July: House Cup Finale happened, and every single house worked SO HARD to make all of their fabulous newspapers happen!!! Here are a few highlights from the event: All 138 of the incorrect guesses that Gryffindor House made for @teh tarik's Spinner’s End riddle, and the way that @Chemical_Pixie (who was still a rather new member at that time) really jumped in to help rally her house together. ❤️  The fact that Slytherin was the house to submit one of the most challenging puzzles/riddles in the first place; even trumping Tanya’s crazy Black Sabbath one - and then just about everyone on the other team's thought that it had to have come from Ravenclaw House too, lol. 😂 @potionspartner jumping into the heat of things and sneaking up late to stay online to help Ravenclaw House with all the various tasks that they had to do - talk about dedication!! And the fact that both @galadriel  or @hecate had NEVER MADE PICSPAMS BEFORE, and they totally NAILED every single one of the ones that they made for the Ravenclaw paper!!! 💙  @starbuck and her stealth-ninja-finding-skillz when it came down to the scavenger hunts.   Hufflepuff and their AMAZING layout, and all of the BEAUTIFUL, sparkly designs that @just.a.willow.tree used. @Dojh167, @MuggleMaybe, @Phoenix Potioneer's Founder's comics, and literally everything that was 'punny about that paper of theirs was just SO GOLDEN!  🤩 @Dojh167 made absolutely insane spreadsheets for basically every HC event Camp NaNoWriMo had a lot of participants -- many of whom reached or exceeded their goals for the month! August: All the houses eagerly anticipated the results of the House Cup Finale and final point tallying for the 2017-2018 House Cup! Ravenclaw House won the House Cup Finale! 💙 🧡 Hufflepuff House won the House Cup overall! 💛 🖤 House Pride Shoutout from @Renacerá: "Hufflepuff won the House Cup! We could not be more proud to be this year's HC Champions! Every 'Puff involved worked so hard (as we're known to do!) and really turned up for every event. We had a great time participating, and winning is just the icing on the cake (which we'll grab from the kitchens by our common room)!" Gryffindor brought back their Story and Member of the Month Awards! The two brand new prefects stepped up to bring back the Featured Fic and Leading Lion awards int he Gryffindor Common Room September: The Prefects opened the 2018-2019 House Cup Season with The Hogwarts Express event! Slytherin House WON the event, leading to their first time taking first place in a major site-wide House Cup activity 🎉 Slytherin House saw an amazing increase in membership this month, and thus the #SlytherinSquad was formed!! (As dubbed so by Deni, lol!) 🐍 Gryffindor House brought back their newsletter "Printed with Pride" after a long hiatus with great new content to keep the lions in the loop on the goings on about the Den each month. October: We had our very first Choose-Your-Own-Adventure event!!! All throughout the month of October, houses we tasked with finding their way through three CYOA Mazes that were designed by our Staff-Team, and then given various tasks to complete at the end of each maze. If you missed the event, or would like to they your way through the mazes again, they can all be found below... But BEWARE and enter at your own risk!! ☠️ Halloween Maze Adventure #1: The Dungeon by @toomanycurls Halloween Maze Adventure #2: The Little Hangleton Graveyard by @Alopex Halloween Maze Adventure #3: The Cave by @Renacerá Ravenclaw's @potionspartner made +this incredible map of the mazes!  Gryffindor begins their Common Room reviewing game, RvG and all staff are wildly impressed with the sheer number of reviews left on Gryffie stories in the first month of the game. November: NaNoWriMo was one of HPFT's most successful seasons this year! Whether you were a Rebel a full-on Nano’er, the Crazies Cafe was in full swing all month long, and we had something in there for everyone. We had aTON of engagement from the writing community on our SM pages this month - especially Twitter. And it was a lot of fun to see what everyone’s projects were and learn more about their NaNo novels along the way. ✍️ Prefect's Fall Writing Challenge - The [Insert Name Here] Challenge had 11 fantastic entries for their autumn/fall, myths & legends, and spooky prompts.  Full results can be found HERE+ December: The Muggle Liaisons opened the brand new Audio Talk section of the site, bringing Podfics back to HPFT via streaming on the brand new Wireless Wizarding Network tumblr page! Members can now request to have their stories read for the WWN - or offer their voices to be a Fic Reader for themselves - in this exciting new addition to the site! 🎙️ In addition to Podfics, our very own @PaulaTheProkaryote also introduced her first Podcast Series: Fantastic Myths and Where to Find Them as well! We brought back the Holiday Wishlists event via the Niffler’s That Stole Christmas, and 48 members signed up to help us come together and spread Holiday cheer throughout the month of December as we rounded up the missing shiny gifts that were stolen by those pesky Nifflers. 🎁 We went out of 2018 with a BANG on our Social Media pages! The Harry Potter Screenshot to see who you’ll be under the Mistletoe with GIF reached over 1,100 views on our Facebook page. And the customized Your 2019 YA Novel quizlet has now reached over 17,000 notes on the HPFT tumblr! 🔥 Gryffindor has broken its own record of RvG reviews each month since starting the game and shows no sign of slowing down #breakthespreadsheet     Because we all know, with great power comes great responsibility, we would like to recognize all the hardworking members of staff who have absolutely gone above and beyond to help continue to grow our fun and fantastic community! It is because of them that we have such a magnificent site with all manner of exciting events because when there's work to be done, this amazing team is here to save the day!  Thank you, HPFT Super Duper Staff!  Sidekicks usually don't get as much recognition as the heroes when, really, they're heroes in their own right. So, if the Staff of HPFT are Superheroes, then surely the Prefects are their heroic sidekicks! We'd like to recognize all Prefects who have taken a part in assisting Staff in 2018, helping in growing and maintaining the site! 

Of course, there are also so many of heroes who make up the heart of this community: the members. Without the member's avid support of the site, there would be no HPFT. It is because of all of you that we are all here, being amazing superbeings together! Thank you, super members, for being absolutely amazing!       Upcoming Events As we look back and celebrate the fantastic year that has passed, we would also like a moment to take a moment to shout out the New Year (hey, 2019 -- how the heck are you?) and look at a few upcoming events and activities that are sure to rock our world! In the near future, the community is looking at a revival of the +Writing Exercises subforum, with some fun revamping as done by a few Staffers and Prefects who decided to take the task under their wing! The first prompt can be found here! A huge shoutout to @galadriel, @Sleepingbagonthesofa, and @Chelts-rhj and @PaulaTheProkaryote for their hard work in prepping and getting this project off the ground! Also, according to the +HC Schedule, we're also anticipating the annual reviewing event to prepare for the F.R.O.G.s (the yearly site awards) will be taking place this month! While we don't know what the staff has in store for us yet, they did leave us all a teaser in the +January Bulletin and even gave away that this year's pre-F.R.O.G.s event is called The Magical Menagerie! Keep your eyes peeled -- we're sure to have a zoo of a time.   We are also excited to continue working on the +Great Collab of 2018-2019 as we move into the new year! This event is sure to put our time-management, creativity, teamwork, and resourcefulness skills to the test as we work together and against one another to write all the words!    A Final Thank You Firstly, we would like to thank everyone who has managed to make it to the bottom of what can only be described as a magnitude of gratitude. With a little bit of attitude! As a final note from us Prefects, all we can really say once again is thank you. This has been such a huge year for us! Prefects have come and gone, each one bringing something unique and wonderful to the job. We could not be what we are today without all of their hard work and dedication. This year we ran our opener event, which was the first Prefect run event and was an absolute joy to be a part of - from creation from execution. Each of our writing challenges throughout the year has seen a huge level of participation, and we could not be happier with the feedback we have gotten. To see everyone get so involved and excited for what we bring makes all the work entirely worth it.  If you'd like to join us on the Prefect team (or join our lovely staff), please put in an application! This month's applications are open until the 10th! Come join us in all our shenanigans- we know the staff would love to see your apps! 2019 is set to be another *super* year. We can't wait - bring it on!  _________________________ credits: graphics:
[headers and dividers]: emma
[staff awards and house awards]: deni
[prefect awards | top 5 reviewer awards | completed novel graphic ]: rumpels
If you'd like to post your graphics to your page, please rehost and credit the appropriate artist! post complied by: madi, rumpels, deni, sarah, emma   extra special thanks to @Renacerá, @RoxiMalfoy, @PaulaTheProkaryote, and @Ineke for their submissions and information!

adorably cute

adorably cute

 

Sorting the MCU (Peter Parker)

I’m a Brooklynite, so Captain America’s exchange with Spiderman in Civil War made my day and remains one of my favorite exchanges… like, ever. “Queens.” “Brooklyn.” Queens is not the best borough, obviously (which is why Steve wins the fight, in an art-reflects-reality kind of why), but Queens is still adjacent to the best borough and has the 7 train, so it deserves props nonetheless and may be the second best borough, all things considered. By this somewhat questionable logic, I decided to sort Spiderman. Note: When I sort, I use the sortinghatchats system - +here’s (M to be safe) a link to their ‘basics’ post. To briefly summarize, though, they sort everyone on two different (and equally important) aspects of their personality: the first (your “primary” house) is why you do things, where the second (your “secondary” house) is how you do things. Primary (the “why”) Peter is a Gryffindor primary, and it’s perfectly encapsulated in one of the first things he says in the MCU. When Tony Stark asks him in Captain America: Civil War why he does what he does, this is what Peter says: “Because I’ve been me my whole life, and I’ve had these powers for six months. I read books, I build computers. And yeah, I would love to play football, but I couldn’t then, so I shouldn’t now…. When you can do the things that I can, but you don’t, and then the bad things happen… they happen because of you.” That’s the pure, driven, idealism of a Gryffindor primary. From sortinghatchats: There’s a reason Steve (a strong Gryffindor primary himself) reacts the way he does to Peter in Civil War - when he asks Peter whether Tony told him anything else and Peter says, “That you’re wrong, you think you’re right. That makes you dangerous,” Steve’s immediate reaction it to tell him that he’s “got heart.” That’s a framing that Steve fundamentally understands and respects, and it’s because they share a primary and see the world through a very similar lens. That’s a thread that continues throughout Spiderman: Homecoming, too. Peter doesn’t always really know what he’s doing - he’s 15, awkward and clearly needed more guidance than he got - but he knows what’s right, and he knows that he needs to be making a difference in the world. Everything in his life revolves around stopping “the bad things” - he doesn’t think twice about quitting extracurriculars he seems to have enjoyed and disappointing the girl he has a crush on, because what matters is doing what’s right. Most superheroes would have left Liz at the dance - the stakes of doing nothing were just too high. The difference between Peter and other superheroes is that Peter doesn’t seem to regret it - nor does he seem to regret turning down an invitation to join the Avengers. That was a huge invitation, and it’s what he clearly wanted earlier on in the movie (and likely still would like to do in the future)… but leaving the dance and turning down Tony were the right things to do, so he did them and didn’t seem to dwell on it after the fact. Even after he puts on his new suit when he gets home, there’s no indication that he’s thinking about what he gave up - he’s just psyched to have the suit. And that’s not because Peter is incapable of hesitation, regret, guilt. He does hesitate (and ultimately refuse) to use his alter-ego as a party trick, even though it probably would have impressed everyone there and made his life a lot easier. He also clearly feels guilty about lying to May - it’s a necessary wrong, but it’s still wrong. Peter is only willing to give up being a superhero when his hero tells him, point blank, that what he did on the ferry was wrong. He did something to stop “the bad things,” and it made the situation worse. I wouldn’t call him burned at that point in the movie, even if just momentarily, but I do think that he’s slightly charred, and I think he stops being Spiderman because he’s confused about what the right thing for him to do is, especially since he doesn’t hesitate to pick it back up when the smoke clears and he sees it clearly again. He doesn’t have the tools he probably needs, but it doesn’t matter, because to Peter, right is right, and if he has to suffer or even die for it, so be it. Secondary (the “how”) His secondary is a little more hazy, though I do ultimately come down on the side of a Ravenclaw primary: The case for Ravenclaw is an easy one. Being bitten by a spider opened the door for Peter to become a superhero, but he walked through it on his own. While Homecoming doesn’t go into the details too much (which I actually liked), it’s made clear in both Civil War and Homecoming that a lot of Peter’s powers are things that he’s responsible for - for example, he tells Tony that he created the webbing, and we see him experimenting with it at school. He’s developed his tools, and with them, he’s confident and sure of his abilities. It’s also strongly implied (and even overtly shown, at a few points) that Peter absorbs a lot of knowledge that just isn’t very likely to be useful. He likes to tinker with electronics, and MJ mentions that he’d recently quit robotics lab (along with marching band). He seems to have a track record of looking for new things to learn, and a lot of them don’t seem likely to be particularly useful. In addition, Peter doesn’t really seem to rely on others the way a lot of the other MCU heroes do. When he’s buried in rubble, he initially calls for help… but he quickly decides that the only person who’s coming to save him is him. His friend Ned ultimately helps him, but it’s not in the strong, decisive way that other superheroes, both MCU and otherwise, gather people around them - Ned is helpful, but he’s not an integral part of Peter’s day-to-day hero-ing. There are points where Peter comes across as being great at improvising - there's nothing that could have prepared him for a huge Ant-Man or having to rescue Dr. Strange from a powerful villain in a spaceship, for example, and he clearly didn't prepare to break through the window on the National Monument either. However, I see both Ant-Man and Dr. Strange as actually being an example of his Ravenclaw secondary; he didn't pull those solutions from nowhere, he pulled them from pop culture. His finding a way to use them isn't evidence of him being exceptionally adaptable - it's evidence of his building up a broad toolkit that can be used in a wide variety of situations. To summarize: Peter is a Gryffindor primary and a Ravenclaw secondary. (Italicized sorting quotes from sortinghatchats.)

abhorsen.

abhorsen.

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