Book Club Meetup – Chamber of Secrets

Words by Terrea Riggs. Pictures by Terrea Riggs and Alyssa Hancock.

Nothing beats the feeling of being welcomed home. I haven’t been away, I just never get over walking into an event late and being greeted warmly by my wizard friends (and this time the bartender, too!). So even though I had to work at my muggle job at 1am on Tuesday, my trek out to the George and Dragon Pub for book club on Monday night was well worth it. And what better way to set the mood for your meetup at a British pub than for it to rain the entire time you’re there?

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Our book this time was Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. As much as I enjoy new reads, I am equally excited about our group’s re-read of the series that has brought us all together. There were lots of thoughtful questions and plenty of debate (at least from this table).

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As if somehow sensing which book we were discussing this month, my wand broke in half at the meetup, doing its best imitation of Ron Weasley’s during the crash into the Whomping Willow! I hope that Ollivander can repair it next time I am in Diagon Alley.

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Slytherin house was not as well represented in attendance as I had hoped, but Alyssa and I made up for it by wearing our robes and best better-than-you expressions. Where did all these Gryffindors and Ravenclaws come from, anyway?!

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At one point in the night I had truly questioned whether I was in Orlando or not. The rain pelted down the entire time we were at the pub and I even started hearing more British accents than normal. Had I unknowingly apparated to London?

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Perhaps not.

We then broke into smaller groups to compete in trivia from the book for extra house points! While they all did their best at trying, Alyssa and I were the most ambitious and secured the SlytherWIN for the night.

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After that we celebrated with drinks, even inviting Dobby to join us.

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Once again it was a fun night and I can’t wait to do it all again in November with a new book!

A Slytherin Call to Arms

ATTENTION ALL SLYTHERINS!!! YOUR HOUSE NEEDS YOU!

As we all know, Slytherin is the superior house at Hogwarts, but how can we flaunt this superiority when we are currently in last place in the house ranks? We need to show these Mudbloods and lesser wizards how serious we can be when it comes to earning house points. This is why I call on you all to step up and take pride in your house! Let us show them the true power of the pureblood line in Slytherin! Do not wait until later to earn points for your house; the time to act is now! How can we uphold the esteemed values of Salazar Slytherin when we are currently losing to the lowly house of Godric Gryffindor?  I beg you all to come join in more activities at Hogwarts and remember to wear your full robes to earn maximum points for our house! As Slytherins, we are ambitious, clever, resourceful, and determined, so use these skills and make your house proud! Do not wait for another witch or wizard to do the work for you! If not now, when? If not you, then who?

Your Slytherin prefect,

Draco Malfoy

 

Written by Alyssa Hancock

Slug Club House Points Standings – September 18th, 2014

House Points

Here are the House points as of yesterday, September 18th.

Gryffindor is off to a great start! The question is – can they hold on to it? Gryffindor started off high in the rankings last term as well but that wonderful energy did not last for long.  Hufflepuff has been quiet over the last two years, with members being more interested in having fun rather than worrying about the pressures of the House Cup Competition.

The real surprise is the current standings of Slytherin and Ravenclaw, winners of our first and second term, respectively. Historically, Slytherin did whatever was necessary to advance their position in the ranks, jumping in when the stakes were high and helping out the group leadership team in exchange for house points. Ravenclaw is our largest house and, with a high number of book club and discussion-based meetings this summer and school term, expected to be a tough competitor. Can these two Houses come back before the House Cup Competition comes to a close?

Getting Back to Hogwarts

Words by Terrea Riggs. Pictures by Melissa Penatzer and Terrea Riggs. Video by Melissa Penatzer.

An account of events on September 1st.

Start of term is no joke. It required lots of preparation that I easily dismissed until long after I should have been in bed on August 31st. Then, super panic mode was activated! Where is my uniform? I have to get up how early?! Snooze. Snooze. Snooze. Snooze. Crap, I’m late! WHERE IS MY UNIFORM?!

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Luckily, I have the most awesome Hufflepuff in the world as a best friend. We determined my uniform’s hiding place and quickly located it. (FIND!) And by quickly, I mean we were only running an hour late. Guess we won’t be getting to King’s Cross as early as we had hoped…

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We then flew our enchanted car in an easterly direction whilst listening to some of our favorite wrock tunes. There was an attempt at listening to “Gotta Get Back to Hogwarts,” but we had a lot of magical interference (known to muggles as “buffering”) and had to give it up. Instead, we listened to The Whomping Willows and Draco and the Malfoys (both of which are more awesome, anyway).

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Upon arriving in London, we decided to grab pumpkin flavored coffees instead of pumpkin pasties then headed towards King’s Cross.

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Somehow, we managed to arrive early to meet up with fellow Slug Club members. Had Jess brought her time turner and somehow used it without my knowing? o.O

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We, as a group, then entered the station and prepared to get on platform 9 3/4.

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Some danced, some ran, some tried not to spill their hard ciders as they boozed their way through. Being a 7th year has its perks. 😉

To avoid being grouped with any muggles that had somehow managed to load onto the platform, we were told to stick to our tickets and queued to the side to wait for the Hogwarts Express at 11. I’m still not sure where the other trains went, but as they had muggles on them I didn’t really care; We were waiting to go to Hogwarts! 

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While we waited we decided to take our yearbook pictures early. House pictures, pictures by year, pictures with our tickets, pictures with our drinks. (We like pictures, ok?) Then, we sang the Hogwarts school song, each to their own tune and rhythm. It was a beautiful mess.

Shortly after it was time to go! We boarded the train at precisely 11am! The porters were wonderful about making sure all students were grouped together and that we would arrive at Hogwarts on schedule. None of us wanted to miss anything! Our journey to Hogsmeade was enjoyable; Many more pictures were taken and we even caught a glimpse of a few of our favorite wizards while looking out the window.

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We arrived at Hogsmeade where we decided lunch at The Three Broomsticks was a fabulous idea (with a quick pop into the Hog’s Head on the way)! One can only eat so many sweets on the train before needing an actual meal.
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Then, we proceeded to the castle, taking a few more group shots on the way.

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We even ran into some students from Durmstrang and Beaubatons! Were they lost? Last time they showed up it was for the Triwizard Tournament!

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Finally, our hike up to the castle by foot was complete (where were those blasted carriages?!). We asked to be shown to our dormitories, having somehow missed the feast at the Great Hall.

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We dropped off our trunks and debated getting a nap in… At least that’s what we told the professors and prefects, anyway. 😉

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Pfffft. We were already ready to sneak out of the dorms and get up to no good. Our large group dispersed in many ways. A few of us even rode back to London to get some forgotten shopping done!

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Before any good shopping trip starts in Diagon Alley, you simply must go to Gringotts. While we were all visiting our vaults a break in occurred and we somehow got mixed up in the mess. They even had a bloody dragon loose and running around! I’m not sure exactly what happened, but I bet that no good Potter had something to do with it. This has his name all over it.

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We found lots of new goodies in Diagon Alley and spent way too many galleons. After getting the last few things on my school list, I was very happy to find and purchase new Hollyhead Harpies items to wear at school and with which to decorate my dormitory. We grabbed butterbeers and ice creams at the Fountain of Fair Fortune, but in finding a place to enjoy them found ourselves in Knockturn Alley. Except when we almost lost a Hufflepuff to a dark wizard, a good time was had by all.

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Having tired from the events of the day, we decided to grab a pint at the Leaky Cauldron and call it a day.

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What a great start to what is sure to be an amazing year! Happy start of term, everyone!

All Aboard!

Ah, the end of August vastly approaches. For Muggles, that means the beginning of another boring school year filled with subjects such as Math, English, Gym, and much more. However, for witches and wizards, the end of August can’t come fast enough. September 1st is so much more then the beginning of another month; it is the beginning of another grand year at Hogwarts (I can already hear the Hogwarts choir now)

 Time to get on board the Hogwarts Express, where your friends and the snack cart await! (Just don’t let a house-elf shut down the barrier of Platform 9 and 3/4)

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 Once you arrive at Hogwarts, you will be directed to the Great Hall, where the Sorting Ceremony will commence. For those who have been to Hogwarts previous years, just don’t laugh too hard at the nervous faces as the Sorting Hat is placed upon the first years’ heads!

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 Once you have been sorted, you will be lead up to your Dormitories by your house Prefects. Once you get a night of rest, your classes shall commence. Just don’t blow anything up on your first day, some students are notorious for that! 😉

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 No matter what obstacles you may face this year, remember to make friends. Heck, even expand your horizons and get to know people in other the other three houses!

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