Welcome to the June Edition of In the Spotlight! We've got our usual roundup of House news and some wonderful interviews with some lovely people, so read on to see what's happening!
Super shoutout to @sibilant for the Order of Merlin this month! Shreya just recently stepped back to join us on the Prefect team (and we are THRILLED to have her again), but she was absolutely killing it as an Auror and a Gamekeeper and we really can't thank her enough for all the hard work she's done for us as a site! She's recently been found pulling together the anti-police brutality fundraiser for the site, which raised over $2500, and provided information and advice for those interested in helping! Thanks for everything you do, Shreya, and for being such an amazing and wonderful inspiration
I N T E R V I E W
If there was only one forum that you could post in on HPFT, which one would it be?
Oh man, this is such a hard question??? I think I would pick the Writer's Journal subforum; I love reading others' WJ entries and always have tons that I want to add to my WJ.
What is a hobby of yours?
A recently developed hobby is cross-stitching (which I was told, btw, is the most Virgo fiber art ever and I feel...called out...). I stitched a unicorn as my first project and am currently working on a huge peacock (where I'm also learning a buncha new techniques, like combined colors or half cross-stitches and even some embroidery stitches!).
Who is your favorite character [from any fandom] and why?
Omg....this is also such a hard question to answer. I think a character that I have explored in some of my writing but really want to keep exploring is Cho. She was dealt a super bad hand by JKR, who really reduced her to a teary traitor with no actual ethnicity, prized only for her beauty. I've loved reclaiming her narrative and show how strong she is and make her a hero, rather than a sidekick, and I would love to keep doing that with her--as well as other deeply underrated characters, like Blaise Zabini! (Blaise is fantastic. I really want to write something about him at some point).
When is the last time you’ve written? What did you write about?
Uh...too long ago I think the last thing I wrote was the first chapter of an exercise in mediocrity, which is on some level an Oliver Wood/OC story, on another level the story of a girl going to literally any length to save her family's failing Quidditch shop, but on the highest level, a story about building trust after a war. I haven't worked on the story in a long time, but hope to return to it when I have more energy!
If you were captain of a pirate ship, what would the name of your ship be?
The Juicy Peach
What skill would you most like to master that you haven't yet and why?
So, my instinctive response is: airbending. Pls. That'd be lit. I think, concretely, though, I would love to master the skill of deep listening. I've made a lot of progress in the last year, but I still have a ton to learn.
| A D V E R T I S E M E N T |
Story Title: untranslatable
The spices don't give up their secrets easily.
a sequel (of sorts) to reorienting
Shreya writes a lovely piece about Padma and Parvati having a morning meal together and then trying to replicate their mother's pav bhaji. These two sisters have such a natural, loving rapport with each other, it's hard not to love their portrayal (and their attempts at cooking) in this fic! Through trial and (mostly) error they have a great bonding moment over cooking together, and Shreya's description of not only the setting, but the food and spices is just perfect.
R E V I E W C O L U M N
| L E T ' S K E E P I T C A S U A L |
As we all know, Taylor is a master writer when it comes to Jily AU fics, and this one is no different. Set up in the chatfic format, let's keep it casual is set when the Marauders are in college/university and, naturally, some chaos ensues. James and Lily have been sleeping together casually for a few months, when an incident occurs with Severus Snape that causes Lily to form a rather ridiculous revenge plan. The messages between James and Lily are great, but the exchanges with Sirius are also hilarious and poke fun at James for ~catching feelings~ more times than not. If you like modern AUs, Jily, chatfics, and more than one deer pun, read this fic asap!
I N T E R V I E W W I T H T H E A U T H O R
| D O W N - I N - F L A M E S |
What was the inspiration for let's keep it casual?
the entire concept came from @tatapb's trope stew challenge - i had five tropes to work with, and the moment i got my five this whole story concept of james and lily as friends with benefits teaming up to get revenge on snape just started coming together in my mind. and then i just started writing it with very little planning beyond that very vague idea and let the story come together as it went along.
What three songs would you put on a soundtrack for this fic?
ooh. casual by alex adair for sure, since that's the song i got the title from. also too many friends by hearts+colors and automatically in love by carly rae jepsen.
What's the last book you read and would you recommend it?
lol for the first time in a long time "the last book i read" won't be referring to a book i read like two years ago!! the most recent book i finished was where the crawdads sing by delia owens. i read it for a book club i'm in and loved it - so yes, definitely recommend.
What Potter character would you have for an invisible friend and why?
sirius black. i don't have a good explanation for this other than that my invisible friend needs to be at least as snarky as me and sirius seems like he'd meet that standard.
What's your favorite gym workout and what do you like most about it?
agh this is really hard - i really love really heavy leg days, which for me are usually pretty simple and straightforward and are basically just four exercises with just about as much weight as i can handle on each exercise. i live for challenging myself and there's something about knowing i'm lifting well over my body weight on a barbell that makes me feel like a badass. also boxing! bc punching things is fun and incredibly therapeutic.
4 albums, no skips- go!
i'm gonna make this harder for myself by only letting myself do 1 taylor swift album here: queen of the clouds by tove lo, digital druglord by blackbear, aurora by bea miller, and then obviously reputation by taylor swift.
I N T E R V I E W S
| I M A R A V E N C L A W |
What is your favourite place to visit on HPFT?
I love being in the Common Room with my fellow 'Claws. Participating in challenges is really fun and it's a great place to get story inspiration, so I like to hang around there too.
If there’s one story of yours you would like to tell us about, what would it be and why?
Honestly, this was such a toss up. But, since I decided to continue the story with a collection of one-shots, I thought that I should talk about Whose Are These?+ (T) It's not necessarily my best writing ever, but I'm really proud of it and I think the story has a bit of a universal message, although it is one that can be viewed in different forms. And, I think that it's Cedric Diggory at his most vulnerable and relatable since my Triwizard Trilogy in 2018.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I was a super indecisive kid. First I wanted to be a teacher, then a hairdresser, then a neurologist. But, I've always wanted to act.
What's your most used emoji?
The laughing emoji, definitely. I also use lots of red hearts and flags.
Would you rather have the superpower of teleportation or flying?
I think flying would be fun, but if you wanted to get somewhere quickly teleportation would be easier. If I could fly without getting tired though, I would definitely pick flying.
What would Amortentia smell like to you?
My best friend/honorary brother uses Duschdas Sport body wash. He lives in Germany, so I always miss his smell. I also love the way that the forest smells after it rains, and the fresh air of being in the mountains in winter. But, it would probably smell like Nutella and justice tbh (whatever justice smells like, I dunno?)
| M Y M I S C H I E F M A N A G E D |
What is your favorite place to visit on HPFT?
I love just seeing the different discussion points people open and how everyone engages with them. It's lovely having a place where other people also want to talk about the niche intricacies of Hogwarts and go into great detail about different characters and how they might respond to different situations. I also love browsing the challenges.
If there’s one story of yours you would like to tell us about, what would it be and why?
The story I'm most excited about right now is one I haven't started uploading yet, about Marlene McKinnon, but of my stories on here I think I'd most like to tell you about Three Snakes. It's a one-shot about Daphne Greengrass, Theodore Nott and Blaise Zabini and the relationship they have amidst the approaching war. I didn't have a detailed plan in mind when I started writing it and the characters really felt like they were driving their own story. I'm just really proud of how it came out.
If you could see any movie or tv show and/or read a book again for the first time, what would it be and why?
Is it boring to say Harry Potter? I have very mixed feelings (mixed? or just negative) about JKR right now but I love the books every time I read them and would love the chance to read them for the first time as an adult and see the story unfold. I also recently read The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern, and nearly cried when I finished it because I just wanted to still be reading it, so that would be a good one to read again for the first time.
What magical creature from the Harry Potter universe would you want as a pet and why?
Pygmy puff for sure. I love cuddly things.
Would you rather live in the ocean or on the moon?
Oo they both kind of freak me out to be honest. If other people were there too I think I'd go for the moon.
What's your favorite season in the year and why?
I find this question so hard! There are things I love about all of them. Probably Autumn, though, because I like the anticipation of christmas coming up but it's not too cold yet and in the UK we have firework night and I like getting all my knitwear out.
If you missed them, we've posted the results of the +Springtime Writing Event, as well as the results of the +Ravenclaw and +Slytherin House Awards! Stay tuned for the remainder of the series in the upcoming weeks to check out the results for Gryffindor and Hufflepuff!
C O M M O N R O O M U P D A T E S
| G R Y F F I N D O R |
A big warm welcome to all the new Lions who have joined us this month! We're super excited to have you and if you haven't already, stop by the Welcome to the Den thread or make yourself cozy in the Blanket Fort with us! We're currently deep in the Finale, so come join us for some fun! Earlier in the month, a couple of our lovely staffers announced the winners of our POGS awards for the year and you can watch the entire livestream on the HPFT youtube account or check a wrap-up post in the CR! Congrats to @maraudertimes for being June's Leading Lion!
| H U F F L E P U F F |
The Golden Chalice winners have been announced and were a complete success.
The Hear Ye, Hufflepuff crew welcomed @Renacerá back to the crew and were glad to see Emily jump right back into the fray with this month's edition of the newsletter.
Our monthly in-house awards also saw a return this month with winners to be announced in the July issue of HYH.
| R A V E N C L A W |
It's an eventful time, as we come off Nargles season and enter the House Cup Finale! Nargles results were announced earlier this month -- congratulations to all winners and nominees, and thank you to all Claws who nominated, voted, and of course wrote such amazing stories to begin with (by the way, Claws, I see you entering all these site challenges; you're on !)
The past month has brought us three new members, @Zinnia Grey, @Raspberry_cordelia, and @kuusi palaa (who switched not only towers but names; I think she might actually be in the witness protection program...) Our June Claw of the Month is @ImaRavenclaw. There was no Story of the Month due to the Nargles, but voting for July COTM and SOTM is currently open! And our very own @sibilant, who up until recently has served as an Auror for the site, has returned to the Ravenclaw Prefect and Ivory Tower staff.
In the past couple of months, our BvB review battle has seen an awesome spike in participation. There's still time left for you to come claim a team and link to any reviews you've left this month for other Claws.
| S L Y T H E R I N |
June brings us back to voting for our favorite Slytherin and Story of the Month. The Dead Snake Society is continuing with their book discussion on the 'Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Burrows. The epistolary book is set during (in Flashbacks) and just after the island occupation's by the Germans in WWII.
A new book will soon be put up for vote to read/discuss.
The Slytherin Writing Workshop thread is still open and ready for business for all of your Green and Silver writing needs.
If you're in need of relaxing, The Basilisk Bodega thread offers up the discerning Slytherin a comfortable basket, a fluffy blanket and pillow and a plushy of your choice to cuddle with your drink and snack of choice. (Remember the dark side has cookies!!)
And that's the news on Slytherin.
Last month, we welcomed @RonsGirlFriday to the Prefect team! Get to know Melanie a little better in her interview below!
Tell us three fun things about yourself
- I went and googled "Interesting facts about yourself" in order to try to answer this question.
- My husband and I were friends for more than 15 years before we finally got together for good and got married. We're real life friends to lovers -- except it was more like friends to lovers to friends to not-quite-friendly-anymore-because-I-went-and-married-that-other-guy to friends to lovers to "Are we gonna order Chinese from that one place again tonight?" "Sounds good" "Cool, I love you."
- At precisely 10:57 AM the day after this blog is posted, I will think of five actual interesting things about myself.
What would the title of your autobiography be?
What's the Worst That Could Happen? Because I am very good at catastrophizing, e.g. assuming that the worst will happen in any given situation, even though in the end, things usually turn out pretty okay.
Which Deathly Hallow would you like to have and why?
The invisibility cloak. I would wear it at parties where I'm standing around awkwardly, so that nobody sees me... standing around awkwardly.
What's the next thing you want to cross of your "bucket list"?
I actually have always wanted to try stand-up comedy. For the past year, I've started getting better about keeping notes to turn into a routine, and at some point I really would like to try it out at an open mic night.
oom advert, sotm review colums: madi
interviewers and writers: sarah, deni, melanie, juls, tasha, shreya
blog compilation: sarah