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In the Spotlight | October 30th, 2019




Hello and welcome to the October 2019 edition of the In the Spotlight blog post! Apologies for running late this month! We all hope you've had a very spoooOOOoooky season and a fun-tastic time with the latest House Cup event! We've got all your usual treats packed in this month (and no tricks, we promise)! Enjoy!


For October, we awarded our four amazing Headmasters (Admins) with the Order of Merlin! Congrats again @Alopex @abhorsen. @toomanycurls & @crowsb4bros!

| I N T E R V I E W |

What’s your favorite part of being an Admin for HPFT?
I think it's probably the ability to jump in where we need a gap filled as well as helping to brainstorm/implement new directions for the site to go in - for example, I've been working on rewriting the archive rules/tutorials to make them more user-friendly, and I'll also be helping to implement some new ideas the gamekeeper team has had (including but not limited to implementing whatever the results of the poll re: non-gamekeeper staff participation in house cup events are, which are currently overwhelmingly positive).

What’s a hobby of yours?
I really enjoy soccer (particularly La Liga and the Champions League). ^_^

Who is your favorite character [from any fandom] and why?
Hmm. I'm not sure I have a favorite-favorite character, but my current obsession is Crowley from Amazon!Good Omens - I really appreciate his snark, his edge, and his ingenuity. Also, his modern day!aesthetic is awesome. Crowley is just the best. 

When is the last time you’ve written? What did you write about?
In the last couple days, actually! I've been working on finally finishing up some chapters that have been mostly done for months but which some depression/ADHD/RL stress made it hard for me to focus on to actually finish up. (English Lessons, a one-shot about James's parents pretending they're not involved, and a sorting for Nebula from the MCU. Does the sorting count? I'm going to say it does. I'm inspired because multiple people at LeakyCon agreed with my take, which made me super happy.

What was the last book/story you’ve read?
think it was Fire and Blood by George R.R. Martin, but it might have beena reread of Graceling by Kristin Cashore. I really really enjoyed Fire and Blood - extended trips to the department of backstory always appeal to me :P  - and Graceling is the only book I can ever remember finishing and flipping right back to the beginning. (If you haven't read it, 10/10 recommend!)

What is your favorite genre to write in? Why?
Hmm. I'm not sure I have a favorite genre to write in, actually - it kind of depends on my mood. There's a lot about mental illness/the aftermath of trauma that I really enjoy exploring, which is where my Drastoria fics in particular come from. That said... I'm generally a fairly optimistic person when my brain isn't screwing with me, and I really enjoy writing stories that focus more on humor and being more light-hearted. So it's a mix.

How would you spend $1 Million?
Ummm... god, that's such a mind boggling amount of money. I'd definitely donate some of it, probably pay for a master's degree and some travel, and get a two bedroom apartment so I could have a designated work space that's slightly closer to where I want to go + a bit bigger + that allows dogs. (I'm fairly boring.) I'd be careful with it, though - I have some chronic health stuff that hasn't been properly identified, and that's always on my mind in terms of things that could happen that could really screw me and any plans I have up.

| A D V E R T I S E M E N T |
English Lessons


Bill and Fleur's English lessons take an interesting turn.

It's theorized that the best way to learn anything is through positive reinforcement, and there are some extra steamy positives found in English Lessons. Looking for some good smut? Want your smut with actual plot and good characterization? Look no further! The quality of Branwen's love scenes is difficult to beat -- it's spicy, sexy, and just plain good writing. What's more is that the characterization is well-rounded, and the author even goes as far as to show growth and development in her characters in the midst of all this sweet and saucy goodness. How? Branwen is magic.



| R E V I E W  C O L U M N |
African Violets


The African violet on the windowsill catches her eye again. It is dying, or perhaps it is already dead. She wonders if African violets are like dogs that yearn after their absent masters

If anyone needs a good, solid cry, you need to read African Violets. It takes a special something that creates ability to be able to write heartbreak and grief so beautifully as Holly has done here. Emotion pours from the pages as the author writes about the aftermath Neville Longbottom's death and what he's left behind, and how that affects Hannah in its wake. Symbolism and imagery are used in such dynamic and pulchritudinous that the emotional punch comes no holds barred.


C R O W S B 4 B R O S
| I N T E R V I E W |

What’s your favorite part of being an Admin for HPFT?
I'm very nosy so I enjoy being able to visit all the common rooms and slip into the best games.

What’s a hobby of yours?
I have pages and pages of pressed flowers and leaves. It's a hobby I picked up my freshman year of college and never stopped. They are currently in moving boxes, but I'm itching to pull them out.

Who is your favorite character [from any fandom] and why?
By far my favorite character in the world is Inej Ghafa from Six of Crows. She's a series of dichotomies that just work. Soft and deadly. Strong and vulnerable. I'm beyond excited for the show to come out. 

When is the last time you’ve written? What did you write about?
I wrote a few days ago when Bianca inspired me to write! I was working on a transition scene in one of my original fics and actually made some head way for the first time in a looong time. 

What was the last book/story you’ve read?
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. 10/10 would recommend. 

What are your favorite things to see in stories? (Open to interpretation.)
I like to see platonic soulmates, healthy relationships, character development that doesn't necessarily rely on trauma, and characters I can identify with!

If you could add a new word to the dictionary, what would it be and how would you define it?
Anxisharing (v) revealing too much information because you have to shout into the void. 

| A D V E R T I S E M E N T |
The Great Crow Mother


Luna Lovegood tries to join a cult. 

Paula has an amazing mind -- to be able to come up with the concept behind of The Great Crow Mother is nothing short of genius. When Luna brings the wrong ingredient to a certain potion in a ceremonious right preformed by the Great Crow Mother, something goes...horribly awry. With only 292 words, something amazing, peculiar, and wonderful has happened with this little story.


| I N T E R V I E W |

What’s your favorite part of being an Admin for HPFT?
Let's see... Mostly I'm just happy to see the site flourish and that people enjoy being part of the site. The relationships I've gained are the best part of being an admin for HPFT. 

What’s a hobby of yours?
These aren't so much hobbies as much as they are things I spend a lot of money on that I shouldn't necessarily do. I really enjoy shopping (both online and in store). Shopping for clothes, shoes, and makeup are my go-to things to buy. I also really enjoy spa days. My favorite spa combo is a full body scrub and facial. The body scrub is kind of like a massage and I just love getting facials. 

Who is your favorite character [from any fandom] and why?
Dana Scully from The X-Files. She's just a complete boss. I love how complex and principled she is throughout the series. She has so many honest struggles as she juggles her faith and the rationality of science. A lot of my love for Scully comes from how she's portrayed by Gillian Anderson. She conveys emotions with such conviction that it makes everything so real and hard hitting. 

When is the last time you’ve written? What did you write about?
The last thing I wrote was Say Goodbye which is a one shot that's about the Marauders going on a camping trip after they graduate from Hogwarts. It's mostly a friendship fic with about 25% wolfstar feels. I really enjoyed just writing their friendship at the precipice of the first wizarding war. 

What was the last book/story you’ve read?
The last fic I read was All the Truth about Jimmy Portman. It's amazzzzzzzzzing. I don't want to spoil it but it's quite an earth shattering AU. Chiara does such a great job changing canon that it's easy to get into even with the changes and re-writing of the HP books. 

What is the element you focus least on while reading a story? (ie: characterization, plot, structure, etc.)
I didn't quite understand this super well until @merlins beard wrote a thread about it on Twitter but -- I pay the least amount of attention to description while reading. The thread that Anja posted was about aphantasia which I think I have a slight case of. When I read stories with too much description I struggle to focus on reading at all. But I've gotten pretty good at still getting through description heavy stories. I think writing description is a real gift but it just doesn't register in my mind's eye like it does for most people. 

How many characters have you killed off in your stories? (What is your character Body Count?)
Are we counting people that were killed in canon and I just wrote about/included their deaths?? Up to this point in my writing (not including all of Lightning Love) I've killed: 

Canon: 10

Not canon:  6

So 16 deaths across my currently published stories. I might have more in stories that I took down from HPFF but haven't reposted yet. 

| A D V E R T I S E M E N T |
Lightning Love



Love strikes as fast as lightning and burns as slow as the sun for some. With others it takes many attempts to combust and backfires with an unpleasant bang. For some the spark never comes at all.

What will be the love story of Lily and Lysander?

Their romance seems like a sure thing until you throw into the mix a houseful of young adults at Burrow plus the large Potter-Weasley family and anything could happen.

Lightning Love is a phenomenal WIP for Next Gen lovers. With a large cast (expertly implemented and executed) you'll have a large group of characters to fall in love with. Rose is amazing at utilizing drama and tension to bring her stories to life, and this one is definitely no exception. One of the things we love most about this story is that Rose peppers in a particularly tasty brand of humor and fluff to break those more tense moments up. It helps to create an astoundingly charming story that you simply won't be able to put down. It's also in the same Universe as Pure Intentions and True Romance, as an extra incentive for those of you who are already familiar with this 'Verse. ;)


We had two amazing Head Student's this month: @Aphoride and @crestwood!

| c r e s t w o o d |

What is your favorite place to visit on HPFT?
When it’s in season, I spend an exorbitant amount of time in the Crazies’ Cafe. Probably more than I spend writing, in all honesty. 

If there’s one story of yours you would like to tell us about, what would it be and why?
flower in its decay. It’s the story of Lysander Scamander and Louis Weasley in the grips of a prestigious French programme at a Muggle university and the hijinks they get into. I think it’s the story of mine with the most fully realized characters and I really enjoy how specific it feels to my sensibilities - because it’d probably be a much different story written by anyone else. 

What horror film/book would you least like to have to experience in real life?
Happy Death Day. A time loop is literally the last thing I’d ever want to happen to me. What if I got stuck on a really bad day? 

What is your ideal writing location?
In my room! Preferably warm, and listening to Sufjan Stevens. 

What is your OTP? What about your BROTP (fav friendship)?
My OTP is, of course, Scorbus. My favorite friendship is definitely Hugo and Lily! I can’t imagine a world where they aren’t best friends. 

What does planning a story/chapter look like for you?
My outlines tend to be really detailed. I typically brainstorm the events of my stories at work and then scribbling it all down on my breaks. Then, when I get home, I fill in the finer points, and by that time, it’s practically written itself.  


R E V I E W  C O L U M N
| F A K E   I T   T I L   Y O U   M A K E   I T |

If you're looking for a phenomenal piece of Original Fiction to spend a few evenings with, you definitely have to check out @Rhaenyra's Fake It Til You Make It! Join Violet Armstrong and Jon Summers in a fun friends-to-lovers fake-dating story that will make you laugh and warm your heart.

The only thing worse than having a critical sibling is when that critical sibling is getting married and leaving you feeling as if you're coming up on the short end. This is Violet's dilemma when she announces that she'll be bringing her nonexistent boyfriend to her sister Stella's wedding. To cover for her lie, she reaches out to a friend from her past (Jon) who agrees to be her fake date to said wedding.

The characters are endearing in their own ways, and Vi and Jon have executed their fake-dating roles expertly! You'll definitely fall in love with the pair of them before they realize they're falling for each other! ;)


I N T E R V I E W   W I T H   T H E   A U T H O R
| R H A E N Y R A |

What inspires you to write?
I love to learn (hello, Ravenclaw) and my mind often asks a very simple question: "What if...?" That is good and bad, because it often means I can get distracted by worldbuilding and creating universes for a story to take place in. I also think the world could always use more stories with complex characters who aren't cookie cutters and more stories with healthy relationships.

What is a genre/trope that you’ve never written before, but want to try?
I want to try a good heist at some point. Failing that, a mystery full of twists and turns you can't see coming. For now, I find the possibility of pulling either off decently too intimidating!

Who are some published authors you look up to?
Victoria Aveyard, Sabaa Tahir, and Leigh Bardugo all have such great ensemble casts from all different walks of life. I aspire to write a group so well.

If you could give one piece of advice to your fellow writers, what would it be?
You learn more from finishing a longer piece than you will ever learn from re-writing and editing the first half over and over again.

What is your favorite aspect of the Fake-Dating Trope?
Fake dating lends itself so well to tension between the supposed couple. Not knowing what sweet comments, sultry eye contact, and awkward encounters are from the lies and what are from the attraction they won't quite acknowledge to each other is hard to resist.

Where did your inspiration for Fake It Til You Make It come from?
I can't remember when I read my first fake dating fic, but it was probably as a young teenager. I was drawn to the concept but never figured out what I would do with it. One day, my love of that trope crossed with an idea for a wedding (a high-stakes event with extended family) with a set of characters with relationships reminicent of Jily and Lily/Petunia. I was having a rough go mentally when I started writing it, but the fluffiness and goofiness proved to be just what I needed because the words poured out. I like to think my muse/subconscious knew what I needed and that just happened to be a rom-com with (mostly) loveable characters.


Lions, Badgers, Eagles, Snakes, oh my!


Story of the Month
Pesky Pixies by @CheekyTorah-Lex

How did you come up with the idea for Pesky Pixies?
Like many of my ideas, this one came to me in a dream.  I had been wanting to write something for Noelle’s Challenge that had a similar feel to the old European Fables that my grandmother used to read to me as a child. I wanted it to have a distinct Magical feel to it, to include magical creatures and children, but to depict a moral or lesson to be learnt from the story as well. I wanted it to have a dark tone but something that was light enough to read to my own children.

I wanted to write characters who were so human in their actions, children wanting to live up to the heroes they grew up listening and reading about.  Wanting adventures and experiences of their own. Children are often playing pretend but in a world of magic, the line I'm certain would be a bit blurred. I also wanted to bring in a bit of muggle Fae theory into the story and that's where some of it came from as well.

You've been on fire recently entering challenges! Which challenge entry has been your favorite to write and why?
It's hard to choose, I have so many different reasons to enjoy them all. I guess I would have to choose Pesky Pixies.

’Pesky Pixies’ is a story that I've never written anything like before. There was no romance which always seems to be what I fall back on, and there wasn't even named characters which was not easy but I wanted to stick with. I had a lot of fun writing it, and I think I would like to write something like that again. I'm really glad I went out of my comfort zone to write it because I'm not sure if have ever written anything like that without the nudge. 

What's your favorite genre to write and why?
I think I would say Angst, because it hits close to home I guess. I find it easy to draw on that part of myself to inspire my writing.

Describe your perfect writing environment.
Quiet, I really need the room or space to be quiet to really get lost in my writing. Though I could write just about anywhere. I love writing by the river near my house, and if I have a coffee then all the better.

Name one character you haven't written yet but would still like to.
I would like to write a story about Helga Hufflepuff, I think it would be a fun experience to write about one of the founders.


Leading Lion

Tell us about the most Gryffindor thing you’ve done lately.
i've recently 'found my voice' at work, which probably qualifies as a relatively gryffindor thing. i'm the youngest in my department (and relatively young across the entire company, given that i'm only a year out of undergrad), but i've also very much gone through trial by fire when it comes to size and scope of projects i've been assigned, so i do know what i'm talking about, even if people are inclined to dismiss me because of my age/experience. there's a lot of back-and-forth about projects sometimes, and i've gotten much better at being more vocal in those discussions and pushing back when needed, even with people who are significantly older than me - which is something i've struggled with for years in all sorts of workplaces.

Who's the canon Gryffindor you most identify with and why?
ever since i read the books as a kid, the character i've most identified with is definitely hermione. i'm usually the one amongst my friends that actually has a plan for any given situation instead of just jumping in and winging it, and i'm usually the type of person who ends up in a lot of rulebreaking situations with said friends but is constantly reminding them that what we're doing is against the rules. :P i was also frequently labelled as 'bossy' and a 'know-it-all' as a kid, and in present day am probably accurately summed up by ron weasley's line of 'you're a little scary sometimes. brilliant, but scary.'

What book are you reading right now and would you recommend it?
unfortunately, my current life balance (working full-time, running a blog/social media thing as a side hustle, being on staff here, and attempting to still have a social life on top of all of that) means i don't get much reading time, so i'm going to answer a totally different question that you didn't ask by telling you all about my favorite podcast, since that's the closest thing i can get to a book right about now. i'm lowkey obsessed with the receipts podcast, which is a girl talk type podcast with a couple of brilliant hosts who are oh-so-relatable and so. freaking. funny. it's exactly the sort of thing i need on my commutes in the middle of a stressful week.

What are your three favorite fall (autumn) activities?
oh, this is a tough one! hopefully i can narrow it down, lol.

  1. college football games - i don't live close to my college anymore, so i more often than not just watch the game at one of the alumni bars near me, but i occasionally head home for a game and it's just... my favorite thing. the tailgating, the crowds, the energy level, it's all just so much fun.
  2. hiking! once it cools down a little, it's the perfect weather to go out and explore, and everything's always so pretty this time of year. bonus points if there's a good instagram opportunity along the way. :P
  3. haunted houses. nothing in haunted houses really scare me (who needs actual monsters when you've got your own eternal fear of failure chasing after you, amirite??) but something about them makes me laugh my ass off every time. i'm sure some of the poor haunted house workers are disappointed when they jump out at me and i just start cackling at them, but boy oh boy is it fun.

Would you rather be a centaur or a mermaid?
mermaid. i'm really into the whole looking-pretty-and-luring-unsuspecting-men-to-their-deaths thing.


Hufflepuff of the Month

Congratulations on making Hufflepuff of the Month! How do you feel about this recognition?
Eeeeep. I have a lot of happy feels and I’m super flattered to be HOTM, especially since I wasn’t expecting it at all. You guys are truly the loveliest! ❤️ 

If you had a timeturner, what would you use it for?
I really struggle with getting everything done in a timely manner — procrastination is my middle name — so that would be useful, especially when assignment deadlines are close! I’d also love to be able to spend more time with my dogs so that would definitely be something I’d use a timeturner for!

What's one fundamental ingredient for a great story, according to you?
Compellingly flawed characters. They might make bad decisions, do things that we wouldn’t do, but if a reader is able to feel invested in the character(s) then that keeps them going. I’ve struggled to get through fics with Mary Sue-ish characters, but I’ve read some fanfics where I’ve not been in love with the plot but the characterisation was on point and that kept me clicking on the “next chapter” button, because I loved the character(s) and wanted to know what happened next for them.

If you could resurrect one (but only one) character from the Harry Potter series, who would they be and why?
...Just one?? WHY? This is torture. There are so many people that deserve to be resurrected. 😭 I think I’d have to — reluctantly — pick Tonks though, because Teddy deserves to have at least one parent and as much as I love Remus, I feel like Tonks could handle the survivor’s guilt a lot better than Remus could (since he’d also have anxiety about his lycanthropy and the stigma associated with it and how that makes him a “Bad Dad”).

Which three adjectives would you choose to describe yourself?
Scatter-brained, emotional, overly optimistic.

Your stories are wonderful! What writing projects are you working on - or thinking about working on - at the moment?
I’m planning a 50:50 project for NaNoWriMo (this ties in with the “overly optimistic” answer to the last question, because I start a new temporary job on November 4th in a city two hours away (each way) on top of full-time study) which will be 50% fanfiction and 50% OF.

For the fanfic I’m going to be working on a Molly Weasley one-shot with some pretty difficult themes, and a fluffier one-shot that’s a Christmas gift for a friend. Then for the OF I’m going to be working on my 2017(?) NaNo, featuring a teenage boy who drops out of uni and runs away to NYC in search of the father he’s never known. I didn’t get to write it before because other stuff got in the way, but the new job in November is in a theatre, and MOB (the OF) involves the theatre, so I’m hoping I can draw inspiration from RL!

 Thank you so much for the questions!! ❤️ (except #4. I love you but I’m still whimpering because it was SO HARD to pick JUST ONE)


Claw of the Month

What is next on your "To-Write" List?
So much, honestly. Probably too much :P Right now i'm focusing on finishing up a couple of things and working my way through my endless WIPs on my page. After that... I don't really have any real plans for after that - we'll see? :P 

What makes you a Ravenclaw?
This is a hard question? Um, I guess that I'm pretty insatiably curious. I love knowing things - and new things, especially. I'm always getting distracted looking things up for no real reason, even if it's only for a single line in a story somewhere :P

If you could travel to one place in the world, ignoring expenses, language barriers, etc, where would you go and why?
India. China's a close second, but I've wanted to go to India for a while now. It's such a beautiful country with such a rich culture - so many cultures and languages and all sorts of new things to learn and experience. It would be an incredible trip - unfortunately, I'm terrified of snakes so the thought of going scares me :P

What book are you currently reading and would you recommend it?
As I'm currently reading three books, imma go with the one I'd recommend, which is The City of Brass by SA Chakraborty. I'm not really reading it through all again - I have a habit of re-reading bits of books I like afterwards, jumping in and out of them - but it's so so good. It's the first book in a trilogy of fantasy books set in the Middle East/Egypt area, following Nahri - a Cairo girl - as she discovers she's a djinn and ends up in this difficult, dangerous, twisting kind of world. It's an incredibly rich, vibrant sort of world and the whole thing - characters, setting, plot - is addictive, honestly. 

Do you know how many more chapters are going to be in Imperium? If so, will you tell us how many? 
I do ^_^ For once, I planned it out fairly early on in the story. There's going to be two more chapters and I'm hoping to have the last chapter out on 31st December - Tom Riddle's birthday  :P

Story of the Month
Notes From the Ravenclaw Bulletin Board by @Lost_Robin

What drew you to this format for this story?
I was trying to think of a series of letters to write for the Epistolary Challenge, but I was having a lot of trouble with coming up with who should be the writers of the letters because all of the ones I could think of spoiled pretty much the entirety of Iris' series. It kind of came to me as a sudden thing like 'What if I did notes on a bulletin board?' and decided to try it. As I wrote it, I started enjoying it more.

How do you envision this story ending, and at what point in the canon timeline?
I am going to end it at the end of the 1995-1996 school year and the last notice will be Audrey and Evan's farewell. I only wanted to focus on the house's reaction to Umbridge, and I would worry that having it go on would make it hard to have an overarching conflict. I might occasionally visit it in future stories, but I doubt that this will become a series. The bulletin board will be in future stories, I promise, but it will not be a story itself.

Of the many characters you have putting up notices on the bulletin board, who is your favorite to write and why?
For notices? Fred and George. They're pretty much just cameoing, but I love their relationship with Audrey and I might visit that in the future. I really liked developing Audrey in these notices. She's very lawful at the beginning, but she cares very much for her house. I think that she is the main character of this story, followed by Evan or, really, the house itself.

I have a lot of fun writing the notices, especially when it's some of the more inane ones. It's a bit relaxing, so I really like writing all of them.

What HP character do you identify with most and why?
I would have to say Hermione. I've dressed up as her for Halloween a few times (and this year, because I'm being lazy) and she was always the one I related to when I read the books. She was the bookish girl who got made fun of, and I was a lot like her as a kid. As we've grown up, I've drastically changed from what she became in the later books, but I still think she is the one I identify with.

Now, what I find funny is that I am not great at writing her. While I identify with her, I've always had a problem writing her well. I don't know what that says about me, but I just find it interesting.


In lieu of OtMs this month, we have a review column featured in the Silver Quill (the Slytherin Newsletter) this month:

| O R E G O N I A N |

There is something incredibly haunting about @Oregonian's story, Maggots.

While I'm in no way an expert, I tend to read and watch a lot of horror, and therefore have seen a lot of different horror sub-genres and stylings, and I enjoy many of the different venues. Maggots delicately encompasses hints of psychological horror (that are both symbolic and phobic driven in nature) while treading into the territory of anticipatory horror on a number of counts.

The setting and timeline of the story plays one role in aiding the anticipatory horror effect. We're dropped into a missing moment circa 1997, during the time of the Death Eater's occupation of Hogwarts. Not only is this an interesting time to explore, as we aren't given an excess of canonically-provided information, but it's one that has a dark cloud above it. It was a terrifying time for the students in Hogwarts (and for much of the Wizarding World), one that is shrouded in both mystery and terror, so it is in personal taste that I find this particular area extremely engrossing area to explore. More on point, it aids to the tone of trepidation that kicks the story off.

Like a lighthouse in the fog, Hagrid wants to lift students spirits -- or at least give them some semblance of hope/normalcy that they've been gravely missing -- during the story. The only thing is that his plans seem to be falling by the wayside, little by little, which creates a beautifully haunting comparison to the dreary uncertainty of the future during this time period. Even when Hagrid (with the help of a few others) muddles through the problems, the ever-present reminder of what is happening (like the Carrows' unwanted presence and contributions ) may be the thing that quells the hope. Like a pulsating lot of maggots beneath the ground's surface, trying to bury the problems and move forward with hope seems to be failing the characters.

What I Love: The type of horror this is can be appreciated by people who aren't necessarily horror fans. While it's definitely poignant and certainly creepy, it isn't the sort of blood-and-guts, high-horror thriller that tends to lead the stages in the horror genre. There's a specific sense of subtlety to it that is appreciated -- when you can creep me out without all the bells and whistles of a traditional horror, you've definitely got a 10/10 from me.

In addition, I did very much enjoy the characters, especially Hagrid, who Vickie did an absolutely amazing job of portraying and utilizing during this.

Overall, it was a wonderful story, perfect for the spooky season, and I would feel safe recommending this to even the scardiest of sneks ;) .


Welcome to the Monthly Dilemma, where we ask you a question and you answer by the 15th of the next month in the comments to be entered into a raffle for a review! (We're nearly caught up now ^_^, thank you for your patience)!

Last Month's Dilemma Winner: @crowsb4bros! Please contact a Prefect for your review!

October's Dilemma Question: What is your favorite holiday in your region and why is it your favorite? *bonus points if you provide details for one that not a lot of people are familiar with*

stunning graphics: deni
oom adverts, sotm review column: rumpels
monthly dilemma: tasha
reviewers: madi
interviewers and couriers: madi, deni, sarah, joey, tasha, kate
blog compilation: rumpels

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favourite holiday!!! okay so clearly i am at a disadvantage here because we have SO MANY HOLIDAYS and i love all of them 😭  hmmmmmmm. I'll give you two answers, one that is my favourite for the whole year, and one that is more traditionally OctoberTM flavoured.

My fave fave: Shavuot (some non-Jews translate it and call it "Festival of Weeks" but I have never heard a Jewish person say that haha). You traditionally celebrate it with two things: cheesecake and studying, my favourites. You're supposed to stay up all night studying, but instead the minhag (custom) in our community is to study until midnight and then they have coffee and tea available at the morning service nine hours later, haha. You study religious texts, but we often just do Judaism-adjacent topics in the forms of little mini speeches, although we have some text study as well. Also, did I mention cheesecake? There are multiple breaks for cheesecake.

October-fave: Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). I know, I know, a day that involves spending 13 hours in a 24-hour period at synagogue and a day where we're atoning for all our sins is a weird favourite! And yet it's right up there with my other faves. It's so powerful -- the music, the whole community coming together, the ritual!!! We make amends for all the sins we committed against other people (because God can't forgive those, only other people can) and we pray to atone for our sins against God. It's fantastic and I love it, not gonna lie.

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ugh i'm so basic, my favourite holiday is halloween :P i just love the aesthetique of it all. i'm an emo kid, okay, i love bats and vampires and stuff!

(also, i love candy lol)

thank you for this excellent edition of In the Spotlight, i really enjoyed reading what the admins had to say! ❤️ 

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Well, it's not so much a holiday as it is the many, many local festivals we have throughout the summer. My favorite is the Blackberry festival. It's on the waterfront in my hometown of Bremerton and in addition to having live music, fair food, and fun vendors to shop from, there is a variety of blackberry food to eat. The must have at this event is blackberry pie made by our a local org (I forget their name) and there are often other blackberry flavored foods to have. Definitely not a holiday but it is hyper local. :D

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W O W these graphics! 🤯

I appreciate the nice, thoughtful responses to the admin questions compared to mine 😬

I love Halloween personally. I'm very basic. Dressing up with low stakes and getting free candy. It's hard to beat!

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No bonus points here, I'm afraid, because my favorite holiday is Independence Day (the Fourth of July).  The weather is good (cool, damp June has finally opened up into summer, although the Hermiston watermelons are not here yet 😕), everyone is happy, relaxed, out-of-doors.  There are parades and picnics and parties in the park with bands and music.  One year we had a live performance of the 1812 Overture with real cannons. Everything is low-stress, laid back, yet special at the same time.  We hang the flag on the front porch and ice our sheet cakes with white icing, blueberries, and strawberries.  No cards to send or gifts to bankrupt yourself over  Just fun and appreciation for what we have.

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What a great blog!  I loved reading the interviews and I really like this format!

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