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Monday, June 18th, 2007
3:39 pm
Locked to the Safehouses
Dear Aunty Hep
This is very embarrassing. I fancy this person in another House desperately. But with the war on and all that there's nothing to give her. And every time I'm near her I can't think of anything to say. What do I do? She already has boyfriends. Two of them. Sign me
Billy No-Mates



Dear Billy
Shyness is always difficult to overcome, especially when you're facing the sea of hormones and adrenaline that characterize a decent fancy. And there are times when you're not exactly sure that you can make coherent sounds in front of the Adored One. It could lead to despair, anxiety, even bedwetting. My own very dear Great Uncle Cobb suffered from shyness so severe that he would faint whenever he thought he saw someone look his way. The sound of female voices and footsteps would give him anxiety attacks. He took to sleeping on top of the wardrobe in his room so he couldn't be surprised. All in all it looked as if he would live a lonely bachelor existence.

That is, until he took a trip to Serbia. There he met Mira, a beautiful Serbian girl and he fell head over heels in love with her. Every day was just a little sweeter for the knowledge that Mira was awake in it. His food was more delicious because Mira might be eating the same thing. Every glance from her beautiful brown eyes thrilled him to the core. There was only one difficulty.

He didn't speak Serbian, and she didn't speak English.

At first the situation suited Great Uncle Cobb perfectly. He didn't have to talk and she didn't have to talk and he could stand and admire her and she could stand and be admired. He had a wonderful time, gazing on her and sighing gustily. Eventually Mira's mama came down to supervise her daughter, and watch over the courtship. Which seemed to consist of little more than longing glances and heartfelt sighs. Eventually Mira's mama got herself a little portable windmill and set it up. With all those sighs she was able to run her electric sewing machine and make a little extra money so that worked out just fine.

Cobb wanted more. He wanted to take Mira's hand (as long as it was still attached to the rest of her) and kiss her on the lips and tell her in low tones just how much, how very very much he adored her. Even though he was as shy as ever that passion beat in his breast and would not let him be. So he began to search for a translator to assist him in conversing with the object of his desire.

His first choice was the local priest, who knew a little English, and a lot of Serbian. So the three of them sat together in the sunny little garden outside the church, and Father Nicolau would translate what he could of Cobb's English into the appropriate Serbian. Which meant that Mira and Cobb had a long discussion about the importance of not putting chewing gum into the poor box, and what one really should do about the mice in the vestry. It was all very interesting, but Great Uncle Cobb felt that he wasn't really *advancing* very much.

So he thanked Father Nicolau, and went off to find another translator. There weren't many, since the little village he was in was not a booming cosmopolitan center. However, he did find a woman who was self employed, and as it turned out she knew even more English than Father Nicolau did.

So he invited her to come with him when he went to meet Mira in the public park, and his heart was light with the idea of a good long chat with Mira. About little things,preferences, the the sort of talk that lovers build their dreams on.

When they arrived at the park, Mira got to her feet and gave them both a frosty little bow. Without another word she departed, leaving Great Uncle Cobb alone with his benefactress. He excused himself in haste and went after his beloved.

By means of dumb-show, and a lot of gesticulating, he learned that the lady he'd asked to translate was the daughter of a local taxidermist. And as it turned out Mira's father was *also* a taxidermist, and the two professionals were the keenest of rivals. Just recently Mira's father had stuffed a terrible wolf, the biggest of it's kind ever seen. Only to discover that the other lady's father had stuffed a *crocodile*. He'd had to unstuff it first of course but the locals felt that that merely showed his commitment to his art. Particularly since the first taxidermist hadn't really done anything to the crocodile but stuff it.Now it was smiling, and standing on it's hind legs. In one plump forearm it cradled a walking cane, and in the other it held a top hat. A fine, white starched cravat encircled it's nearly-non-existent neck, and atop it's pale belly, the white shirt's folds were neatly arranged. The cigar between it's teeth was, it was popularly felt, a crowning touch.

Mira's father was a broken man. Despairing, he turned to the shameful use of crossword puzzles to pass the time. Before he knew it he was doing three or four a day. In pen. Mira didn't know whether to laugh or cry, but eventually that was decided for her when she burst into tears and flung herself at Great Uncle Cobb.

Who had the presence of mind to catch her.

Hearing her sob, Great Uncle Cobb came to a very difficult and important decision. Mira had admirers. Many of them. He knew because he'd seen them. What she did not have were real friends. People who were willing to accept her as she was and care for her. He decided that that would change this very night. He might adore her, but he wanted to make her truly happy. Maybe it was better for him to simply be her friend, and let fate unfold as it would.

He took Mira home, and assured her that things would work out. He'd find a way to help her father so that the little taxidermist's family would not be thrown out into the street. He kissed Mira's little white hands. And then he went back to his hotel.

He wrote to an old friend of his, who was in Nairobi and asked him to send over some things. And he wrote to his mother, because he thought she ought to know that he'd found the girl of his dreams.

The packages from Nairobi took a long time to arrive. In that time he'd established himself as Mira's friend, taken a correspondence course in Serbian and lost a few pounds.

He'd also taken up golf.

Golfing in the mountains requires a certain philosophical frame of mind. When a drive goes badly awry, and the ball bounces it's merry, inevitable way down a ravine, there's nothing one can really do but be thankful that at least the goats cannot *tell* anyone what they've witnessed.

Great Uncle Cobb collected his package from the post office, brushed off the inquiries of the interested locals and carried his prize (huffing and puffing all the way) to the very door of Roman Ljubojankov, Mira's father. The man answered the door in a nightshirt and thesaurus with several days growth of whiskers on his chin, and stared blearily at Great Uncle Cobb.

Who lifted his flat cap, and bowed a little. "How do you do," he said.

"What's a twelve letter word for a second arising?"

The man was clearly far gone. Great Uncle Cobb scratched under his cap, and murmured that it might be 'resurrection'. With a grunt the man stepped back and went inside, leaving Great Uncle Cobb to sort out the niceties of whether or not to go in by himself.

He came in, and looked around. Mira left the cottage neat and clean, of that he was sure, but the table was piled with books, dictionaries, notebooks and stubs of pencil. There were even, most shamefully, books of crosswords with what looked like pages from the answers in the back torn out to aid in cheating.

Great Uncle Cobb set his parcel on the table. It covered the acrostic ruins of the man's life, and sent a few bits of pencil to the floor. "I understand you're a taxidermist," he said.

Ljubojankov nodded his head. "I am. Or I was. Before I was so soundly beaten." And with that he covered his face with his hands and began to sob.

Great Uncle Cobb patted him on the shoulder. "Buck up, man. It's not too late. You can still rescue the situation if you have the determination."

"But..but how?" The man lifted his tearstained face.

Great Uncle was implacable. "By applying all your skill and all your art to the package I have before you. You will see upon opening that it is none other than Manis gigantea, the Giant Pangolin. Bones, hide, snout,claws, and scales. I believe there are even eyelashes. And of course there is a costume. Since your friend wished to present the village with a dandified crocodile what can you do but carry on? It would be impossible to top. Do let me know, however, if the tutu gives you any trouble."

Mr. Ljubojankov's face brightened. "Oh, no that won't be necessary. I have a number of evening gowns that I have saved for just such an occaision." And with that he scooped up the package and began to stagger toward his workshop at the back of the house.

Great Uncle Cobb could see that he was no longer needed. With a smile he bowed in Mr. Ljubojankov's direction and then he quietly let himself out.

Time passed. Mira came to tell him that her father was a changed man. No longer did he sit in his nightshirt and brood over the Find-A-Word. Now he was up until all hours in his workshop working on the pangolin, and drinking heavily. Since all the other men in the village drank to excess she felt that this was an enormous step in the right direction.

Great Uncle Cobb was most encouraged. He took Mira for walks, listened to her as she spoke in Serbian and the odd, mangled English phrase, and managed to go through a lot of notepaper in their attempts to communicate with one another. Their friendship deepened and grew warmer as the days passed.

Finally Mr. Ljubojankov unveiled his great creation, which he called "Pangolin for Compliments." The pangolin was resplendent in an olive-green moire silk, with a fine lace bertha, and a cashmere shawl. The shovel bonnet was actually very flattering, and the ribbons of green and gold brought out the warm browns of it's beady glass eyes. The village arranged for the two beasts to be brought together, with Madame Pangolin's heavily clawed forearm tucked into the crook of Mr. Crocodile's arm. All pronounced it most romantic, and the town council proposed a biergarten and wedding chapel to be built there on that very site.

Mira was ecstatic. Her father's reputation shone more brightly than ever. She thanked Great Uncle Cobb over and over, and when he protested that it was nothing, no more than he would do for any friend, she murmured shyly "Not just *any* friend, I hope."

Emboldened beyond words, Great Uncle Cobb dropped to one knee and proposed on the spot. There was a necessary amount of dumb-show and gesturing, and lookers-on got into the spirit of the thing by asking questions, but when Mira saw the ring in Great Uncle Cobb's hand she understood immediately, and nodded her assent.

They were married three days later, with the crocodile and the pangolin to look on, and most of the town there to celebrate. Great Uncle Cobb decided to put down roots in Serbia, and the last we heard he was running a brisk business selling roller skates to energetic goat herds.

The moral of the story--if there is one, Billy--is to be a friend. You may get what you want--her love and admiration, or you may not. But you will never regret having made a friend. For without real friendship, nothing more can really occur.

I hope that this helps, and that you find happiness with your friend. Do write and let me know how you get along.
Love,
Aunty Hep.
Friday, March 16th, 2007
9:01 am
Tuesday, February 27th, 2007
2:03 pm
LOcked tO valeriUs ViscOnti
blidDY HEll, mte..rite on thenOse. All SWllen. Gd shot. Gng tO Mme Pmfry.
Monday, February 19th, 2007
9:17 pm
Thursday, December 14th, 2006
9:53 am
Locked to the Safehouses
You all thought I'd forgotten, haven't you?

Hah!

Not a chance.

I am calculating the winners of the earlier contests, but the Recent Events have inspired me to make two NEW catagories.

The First One:

"My Room Mate From Hades Is.."

And the second one:

"All I Want For Christmas Is.."

And yes, I know that most everyone wants to go home for Christmas. Which isn't the point of the catagory at all really. The second catagory isn't at all about *you* the poster. It's about what you are going to be getting, making or wishing for, for the people you love. Think of this journal as a direct pipeline to heaven. From your lips to God's overflow buffer. I understand that Aunty Hep, the Disingenious Damozel has had a long and comfortable friendship with Father Christmas. So speak your minds! Just take care not to land in the Naughty List.

And so, on with the show!


My Room Mate From Hades would have to be:
The anonymous soul in the second year who stepped on my head on his or her way to the loo. I say his, because he went to the gent's, but you never know when some people have to go. Next time you have that much tea at supper, love..try and wear loud shoes and give the rest of us a warning, eh? Thank you.


And all I want for Christmas is:

I want more than anything at Christmas to give everyone here the wishes of their hearts. So that everyone will be home and safe and loved *next* Christmas, and planning to attend a new year at our *proper* Hogwarts.

Now it's your turn! Give it a go.
Tuesday, December 12th, 2006
3:29 pm
Monday, November 27th, 2006
5:44 pm
Locked to The Safehouses And Their Allies (This lock works)
The "I Never Told You" round

Everyone has something they keep secret. Something that weighs them down A thank you never said, a farewell never uttered, a sin committed that they'd like to confess. Here's your chance.

First. ALL POSTS ARE TO BE ANONYMOUS. No exceptions. Well except for me. No one is to make guesses at another poster's identity or to criticize them for their confession. Anyone caught doing so will have their posts removed before I infect them with a heavy head cold and then lock them in a chest full of Puffskeins.

Secondly: What you tell or do not tell is up to you. You may use names, but be very careful. If I see a post that threatens to cross the lines of good taste, or to make someone uncomfortable I'm pulling it. This is your chance to say something that needs to be said, and not be judged for it. This not a chance to air dirty laundry or continue a vendetta.
I can't emphasize it enough. I *WILL* find a way to find you if you do this.

Lastly: This isn't going to be voted on. I will pick one first place post, one second, and one third, based on the quality of the writing and it's effectiveness at conveying that moment. Even a poor grammarian can be effective, but good grammar makes it easier.

So that you get an idea of what I mean by all of the above, I'll go first:

1.) Good bye Lisa. I never got to tell you goodbye. Or that I was proud to call you my friend. You made me laugh, you made me think. Sometimes you just made me very glad that I wasn't living in the girl's dorm and therefore a possible target for one of your practical jokes. You always made time to talk, even when we were supposed to be doing other things. I forgave you for telling Abigail Cross I fancied her. I wish I'd told you that before. I miss you.

2.) When I was a first year, I used to wish I was a Gryffindor. I hated being in Ravenclaw. No one there was as brave or as strong. Professor Dumbledore came from Gryffindor. And so did Professor McGonagall and Professor Lupin. I wanted to be like them. I wanted to be another Goderic Gryffindor. What sort of a Hero could someone named *Rowena* be? I mean, yes. I have read Ivanhoe. Rowena is not heroic, trust me.

3.)Eleanor Branstone, Lavender Brown, Parvati Patil, Susan Bones. I am incredibly proud of all of you. Given everything that's happened, you've managed to stay normal, sane, and healthy. You've remained compassionate and unselfish persons. You make me proud to be in Hogwarts with you.

Now it's your turn. Remember the rules, but have fun.
Tuesday, November 21st, 2006
7:13 pm
Locked to Safehouses and Allies
Temptresses, Temptors, Villains, Vixens--or--who puts that smile on YOUR face at night?

This catagory is for the naughties. Not only that seductress who makes the air sizzle when she walks past, but for that rat who cheated you out of six sickles and four knuts when you were playing Exploding Snap. Who do you love to lust for? And who do you love to hate? Keep your answers clean and genteel please, but when you nominate give a reason why.

1.)Villain-Voldemort. Because he's a sneak thief, a bully, and a sadist. And he's not even worthy of my hatred. I just want him *gone*.

2.)Villain-Lucius Malfoy-for making a lie out of my government just by *existing*.

3.)Villain-Dolores Umbridge. For being a bullying toad, for going after Professor Hagrid, and for just making me afraid of cashmere twin sets.

4.)Temptress-Kaithe Gray. For being scrummy and singing like a nightingale.(x2)

5.) Alicia Knock--for being a dab hand at being a mum, and for proving that size and height have nothing to do with being sexy.

6.) Susan Bones--for making me wish I could draw so I could draw her.(x4)

7.) Valerius Visconti because three different girls I know were absolutely *mad* about him. And apparently you can't trust your toast around him.(x3)

8.)Padma Patil, for insipiring chivalrous thoughts in more than one young man, and because apparently your breakfast toast isn't safe around her either.(x5)

9.)Professor Snape-because there were more than a few hearts *besides* Abigail Cross's that beat faster in Potions.(x4)

10.) Ron Weasley--because apparently the red hair gets the girls. Lots of girls. He just never knew and maybe that's best.(x3)

11.)Hermione Granger, for having the sexiest smile I've ever seen, and for proving that the most incredibly sexy thing a girl can ever have is intelligence.(x3)

12.)Parvati Patil, for breaking my heart and falling for a much better man. God bless them both.

13.)Professor Weasley (William) Because no other professor seems to have gained as much feminine attention. Lucky so and so.(x3)

14.) Diane Archer--for the sexiest voice I've ever heard. I could listen to her talk all day. (x2)

15.) Remus Lupin, because strength and compassion and kindness are truly sexy.(x4)

16.) George Weasley, because getting someone to laugh even when they don't want to is a skill.

17.) Hestia Jones--who knew Aurors could be sexy?

18.) Bellatrix Lestrange, for proving that the female of the species is occaisionally deadlier than the male. Except of course for Voldemort whose gender is anyone's guess by this point.

Now it's your turn! Who boils your kettle in a good or bad way? Nominate nominate, but remember--be nice and keep it clean.
Monday, November 20th, 2006
4:53 pm
Locked To Safehouses And Allies
Hello and welcome to Michael Corner's First Annual Hogwarts Personal Excellence Awards. Here in this post we will discuss the excellences of various individuals and..dare we say it? Even a few of the faults.

Here at wonderful Ravenclaw Safehouse, the view of the Lists is unimpeded. It's a grey day but it looks like the weather will hold up long enough for Mr. Corner to finish his chores and actually record some of the winners. This is merely Round One. You are invited to nominate your own contestants, and the reasons why you think that THEY deserve this award. All nominations may be appended to this post in the form of comments. At the end of the third round--should the voting go that far, the Winners with the most nominations will receive the titles of Queens/Kings of their various catagories. Runners-up will be Princes and Princesses and after that, Dukes and Duchesses. As Mr.Corner is skint, there will be no ACTUAL prize. Merely the title and boasting rights. Be forewarned that there will be NO slagging off of the various contestants. Offending comments will be removed.

Without further ado, let us begin with the first category:

Beauty.

1.) Hannah Abbot,for most dazzling smile and because I never claimed to be perfectly objective. (x2)

2.) Susan Bones for the most amazing mane of glorious hair. (x4)

3.) Padma Patil for the loveliest eyes (x4)

4.) Hermione Granger, for the most perfectly slender throat.(x3)

5.) Parvati Patil for long, slender legs and dainty ankles.(x2)

6.) Eleanor Branstone for a classic profile.(x2)

7.) Lavender Brown for a pretty nose (x2)

8.) Diane Archer for proving that great kindness and great wit do indeed go together. Whoever wins her heart is a lucky man.(x3)

9.) Ginny Weasley for a look of melting innocence that utterly belies her skill at cheating cards.(x2)

10.)Professor Sprout, for a laugh so infectious and wonderful it makes you feel better just hearing it.(x4)

11.) Professor McGonagall for the most *vivid* green eyes I've ever seen.(x2)

12.) Professor Trelawney for her ethereal air. It's difficult to maintain in this cynical age. (x2)

13.)Professor Vector for her graceful hands.(x2)

14.) Professor Hooch for her penetrating gaze. And for honesty. If you can't see the beauty in that try living without it for an hour or two. (x2)

15.) Luna Lovegood for being unique. (x4)

16.)Mrs Weasley for being wise.(x2)

17.)And Hestia Jones. For being pink cheeked and lovely. But I'm not saying who thinks so, cos he'd thump me.(x2)

18.) Can't forget her. I myself nominate Kaithe Gray. For being absolutely top totty, and exactly what I'd like to find under the Christmas tree.(x2)

And now the gents.

Calm down there in the back. I'm not changing sides.

1.Professor Dumbledore, for his grace under fire. (x2)

2.) Professor Snape for celebrating the oft neglected and misunderstood cloth-covered button.(x5)

3.) Professor Hagrid, for his appreciation of and incorporation of nature in his day-to-day wear.(x2)

4.) Professor Weasley,(C) for always wearing socks. Which match more often than they don't.(x3)

5.) Ron Weasley, for proving that red hair is not a handicap to getting a beautiful girl.(x3)

6.) Professor MacMillan, for an amazing chin which is always perfectly shaven. And for being a mad romantic.(x3)

7.) Lars Nilsson, for being unapologetically tall. And being a completely unromantic git.(x2)

8.)Harry Potter, for having a smile that transforms his face. And according to Miss Lovegood, the greenest eyes anyone's ever had. (x4)

9.) Remus Lupin, for being the person I'd most like to have at my back if I had to fight. And for acceptance.(x4)

10.) Arthur Weasley, for skills with the wireless. Without him, we wouldn't have had proof that Professor Dumbledore wasn't dead. And if you don't think intelligence is beauty, take a good long look at stupidity.(x2)

11.)Kingsley Shacklebolt for keeping his head down, and his chin up.(x3)

12.)Neville Longbottom because somebody loves him, lucky so-oul. (x2)

13.) Argus Filch for beautiful cleaning (x2)

Please feel free to add your nominations below.
Tuesday, October 31st, 2006
9:20 am
Dear Aunty Hep

Do animals go to heaven? I thought that my familiar, Pongie died (He's a toad) so I put him in a box and buried him in the ground. Only now I read in the library that he wasn't dead he was only sluggish because it was cold. I'm very sorry he's dead now as he was a good toad and my mum says I won't get another wone any time soon. Is he in heaven?
Signed
Worried.


Dear Worried
A lot of people have written a lot of things about Heaven and who can go there, but their words are to be considered carefully before you accept them. After all, none of them have actually been there, now, have they? Even those people who are now dead and presumeably in heaven have written their critiques pre-mortem as it were.

This might lead you to believe that heaven is an awful lot like Uzbekistan, a place that a lot of people talk about but no one actually ever goes to. Let me assure you that nothing could be further from the truth.

Heaven is a marvellous place. If, as he sounds, Pongie was a solid toad, a good toad, who was mindful of his toadly duties, and cared for others, then I think that yes, he will be waiting for you there, in heaven. Where the ponds are cool and deep and delicious and there are no end of flies and other tasty things to catch and eat.

As far as how to actually *get* to heaven, there are a lot of different thoughts. My best advice is to listen to your mum and dad and the way that they teach you on how to get there. When you get older you may find other ways that seem more sensible, and then of course it is up to you. No matter what you choose to do or to believe, treating others with respect and kindness and helping people who are in need of help where you can is an excellent way to begin.

I would not worry too much about Pongie. I know you probably miss him very much, and he misses you too, but I am certain that he is happy and well cared for where he is, and the last thing that he would want for someone he loved was for them to lose the chance of making new friends because they felt that they owed that to him.

You might ask how Aunty Hep knows all these things, as, as she has pointed out, everyone who's written about heaven hadn't gone there yet at the time of writing. Well, my dearie, Aunty Hep's first cousin, one Proof-of-Purchase Jackson is in heaven right this minute, and has been known to send messages to Aunty Hep on the subject. Usually during afternoon sherry tea. So you may believe that while my information lacks the stamp of antiquity it is the freshest and most up-to-date news available. I hope this has helped, my dear. Aunty Hep will see if she can't contact Mr. Jackson very soon.

Concernedly
Aunty Hep
Thursday, September 7th, 2006
7:47 pm
Locked to The Safehouses and Allies
Dear All
First I want to send a welcome to all the newcomers. Don't worry, dears, it'll all be clearer soon. Remember, even that swotty, snotty seventh year who thinks it's fun to take the mick was a first year once, and didn't know his arse from a teakettle. Not that he does now.

Your time will come.

Secondly, I want to reply to a confidential little note that I received. The person wanted to remain unknown so details about the House, and the name and age have been removed and I will not reprint the whole letter.

Dear Aunt Hepzibah
I have a problem. You see, sometimes I wet the bed. I don't mean to. But getting up and changing the sheets is so embarassing and everyone makes fun of me. I hate it. I hate my life. I don't know what to do. Can you help? Please don't tell anyone who I am or what house I'm in.

Desperate in the Dormitory



Dear Desperate

First off, dear, you're quite right. It's no laughing matter. In fact it's serious enough that I want to take it in steps.

First off: It's nothing to be ashamed of. It happens, and there are reasons for it. There are things that you can do, to help yourself. But there's no reason at all for you to be ashamed, or to allow others to take the mick out of you for it. I imagine they would do exactly the same thing in your situation. So hold your head up, my dear and dry your eyes.

1. This could be the sign of a medical problem. Cystitis or bladder or urinary tract infections are very common, and can be treated easily by a competent mediwitch or mediwizard. Madame Pomfrey is one of the very best. And if you go to her she will keep what you say very confidential. She will not laugh or look down at you. One of the signs of cystitis is that urination is painful or irritating, and you occaisionally feel you have to go when you don't.

2. It's an old adage, but limiting your fluid intake before bedtime *does* help. Try not drinking much with dinner, and don't drink a lot after dinner. Avoid tea, it increases the desire to urinate, and also avoid sugary drinks, because they can make you thirstier after you drink them.

3. If you're a heavy sleeper, and you're afraid that you won't wake in time to reach the lavvy, then there are little strips of paper, charmed to react to the presence of liquid, that will wake you up with a gentle shock. You can order them from Madame Gorto's, and I will be happy to help you order them. You see, if there's nothing organically wrong, then it's a fairly simple matter to train yourself to wake in time. Have faith in yourself and confidence.

4. Lastly, if you're feeling very blue, or homesick sometimes your body reacts in ways that you didn't expect, because you're not letting yourself express that homesickness any other way. Talk to a sympathetic teacher, or your head of house or even someone who is experienced, and kind like Mrs. Weasley. She will treat what you say as private, and give you excellent advice, because I expect there's not a lot she hasn't experienced or seen, being a good mum.

Let me know how you get on, Desperate. I'll be thinking about you.
Concernedly,
Aunty Hep
Friday, August 18th, 2006
9:39 am
Aunty Hep's Homily For The Day

How To Get Along With Your Elders

Dear All,

It seems only yesterday that I was a wee lass, worrying about what House I'd be sorted into and riding my ickle broom around and around the family cat to make him dizzy.

Ah, those halcyon days! Still, I had my wee worries. Whether or not I could pinch my brother's toffees before he found out, whether or not Mummy was going to make peas and mint for tea (I can't stand peas and never could.) Whether Daddy had discovered that I'd filled his boots with shaving lather. These things weighed heavily on my mind, and as I discovered later, weighed heavily on my bum as well, since Daddy did discover the boots, and Brother was a lot more vigilant about his toffees than he was about his laundry. Ah, the joy and terror of discovering that Actions Have Consequences.

And that's really what this is about. Aunty's seen a lot of cheek about the teachers being done under cover of anonymity, and while I do like a bit of snark, providing it's well done, there's no point in taking it over the top.

Keep in mind that your teachers, no matter what you think of them are your guardians while your parents are away, and this is even more critical now that you're here in the safehouses. Your teachers bear a lot of responsibility, none of it particularly enjoyable, and I can testify that unenviable responsibility tends to make the most saintly person a bit testy and hard to live with.

Not that Aunty Hep's noticed any candidates for beatification among the current staff, so keep that in mind when you're making your comments.

Aunty could go on and on about the sacrifices that your teachers have made for you, but frankly none of you are stupid, and you've heard it before. So I'll just point out one more thing and then I'm off to put the kettle on and have a bit of a sit down before I turn my next door neighbor Mrs Platt into a courgette for what she said about Our Shannon.

Your teachers are older than you. That means that they're sneakier than you, better read than you, more experienced than you and tougher than you. Most importantly, they know and have practiced a hell of a lot more hexes than you have.

Think it over, have a bit of Bovril. I'm sure that you'll come to the right conclusion.

Yours, advisedly
Aunty Hep
Tuesday, August 15th, 2006
3:23 pm
Locked to The Safehouses and Allies
Announcing..the return of..

That Doyenne of Distress
The Maharani of Mindfulness
The Kumquat of Kindness

Hogwarts own Agony Aunt, for these Journals Only..
Procured at great Expense..

Aunt Hepzibah!

Aunt Hepzibah will answer your questions on all matters of love and romance, matters of the heart, soul and mind. A widely travelled and worldly woman of the worldly world, she may not know all but she certainly has seen it all. So don't delay, write her, today!

Aunty Hep will also comment in *your* journal if requested.
Saturday, August 12th, 2006
8:50 pm
Locked to the Safehouses and Allies
The next person to say they see anyone who shouldn't be there, be it Professor Snape, Cornelius Fudge or Seppi the Wonder Pig and comes to tell me about it will be hexed until his arms drop off and then covered in Indian Itching Powder.

You're all entertaining my cows. Cows aren't meant to be entertained. They're made for boredom. They live for boredom. In those slow dull silences lie all the noisy, gastrointestinal secrets of the universe. Cows that don't have anything to do don't panic, they don't try to jump fences, and above all they don't try to step on the feet of the person looking after them. All they do is what any right thinking, upstanding, cow with any sort of moral fiber would do. Eat grass, and make milk.

So while I'm bandaging my foot I shall be richly cursing the name, genealogy and personal hygeine of the person who startled Buttons while I was attempting to sit down and examine her bag. If you don't know what a bag is don't ask you don't need to know.

And lastly will the feeble minded *idiot* who left a great big piece of chewing gum on the barn window sill please let me know who you are? Because Bessy has eaten it, paper and all.

Owl To Hannah AbbottCollapse )
Monday, August 7th, 2006
1:43 pm
Monday, July 31st, 2006
2:52 pm
Locked to the Safehouses and Allies
Has anyone seen the Quibbler recently?

I found someone's copy in the library. Oh, I do hope that the idiots at the Ministry can read this. Not saying anything about Professor Snape. He'll never be my best friend. But it's good to see someone's still awake-ish. Even if he's not entirely tethered to reality.
Sunday, July 30th, 2006
7:18 pm
Locked to The Safehouses and Allies
If anyone's bored enough to join in, I'll have an unofficial inkdarting challenge, out in the cow pasture, once the cow-beasties are in their barn. Tonight, after supper. I've cleaned the field a bit and will do it again before the inkdarting. I've found a way to make the ink glow in the dark. And I think a bit of night time practice might be good for us all. No students who are currently studying for exams please. Sorry, but you lot need your education.

Also, I'm taking the manure to Professor Sprout. The prize for winning at inkdarting will be a *lovely* Banoffee cake my mum sent and the ability to rub the noses of the losers in it. The losers will accompany me to the gardens, where we shall spread manure, and weed the gardens. And yes, I do mean me as well. Let's take defeat and make it worth something.

My mother sent this. I think she's daft. But if it's useful to anyone else, here 'tis.

Clotted Cream

Recipe Summary
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 8 minutes
Yield: 1 cup

2 cups pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized) cream

Set a filter basket, lined with a filter, in a strainer, over a bowl. Pour the cream almost to the top of the filter. Refrigerate for 2 hours. The whey will sink to the bottom passing through the filter leaving a ring of clotted cream. Scrape this down with a rubber spatula and repeat every couple of hours until the mass reaches the consistency of soft cream cheese.
Friday, July 7th, 2006
5:00 am
Tuesday, July 4th, 2006
12:39 pm
Saturday, July 1st, 2006
6:07 pm
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