Monday, June 30, 2008

one very lucky guy

Michael, Euan, and I have been in our new quarters for a few days, and it's just starting to feel a little more settled. I cannot believe how much stuff we have, especially given that we really only go to Hogsmeade once in a while, and home less often than that.

I received my first owl in my new quarters today. A very sweet, but very determined express owl brought me my swap kit from Cassandra Grubbly-Plank. CGP outdid herself in making sure I got the package quickly, and what a wonderful surprise it was. I will definitely be nominating her for best swap kit, as this is quite above and beyond what I was hoping for--I'm only sorry it took me so bloody long to find my camera to take the photos of the kit.

She wrote me a very nice letter too, and even sent me a special "tower warming" gift: two male Pygmy Puffs. Well, I don't know who sold them to her, or if they know anything about Pygmy Puffs, but I think it's safe to say that one of them definitely wasn't male, as I am now the proud owner of approximately 37 of the little buggers. It's a good thing they're cute, that's for sure.

To be showered with this kind of generosity is always overwhelming, and never more so than at a time when everything around you is changing. The thoughtfulness of this package means a lot to me; CGP is truly an Outstanding level swap partner.

Tempted Yarn's Glam Grrl in the Rowena Colourway. If I had to pick a favourite part of the whole kit, it would probably be this. My experience in knitting is so limited that I haven't got to do a lot of projects with really interesting or really fun fibres, and I think this qualifies under both.

It's a superwash merino/silk/nylon/silver blend, and you can actually see the silver here. I love the subtle complexity of the colours!

My Puddlemere United bookbag!

And P.U. mug for tea (also filled with different teas!)

Lunchpail tin with candies in the Ravenclaw colours (what a clever idea). Must research charms to prevent tin from being opened by anyone (Michael and Euan) other than me...

Owl and snitch cotton clothes.

Blue and silver Ravenclaw stitch marks, on a neat striped holder.

Mini Sorting Hat, Hogwarts textbooks, and card game

Ridiculously soft and awesome felted bag. (If I picked a second favourite part, it would be this - this bag came out perfectly, as best I can tell, and the felted i-cord handle looks fantastic and sturdy.)

Thunderstorm candle, cat, owl patch, and journal. (I especially enjoy the elastic band, which will keep it in nice condition in my bag.)

Owl knee sock pattern (I think the owl on my cloth comes from here?), Magic Loop book, and 40" circular needle from KnitPicks

Chocolate wand and some delicious dark chocolate.

A lone Pygmy Puff.

All of his buddies.

So, if anyone would like a Pygmy Puff, just let me know!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Not fair...

My mum and dad took advantage of being on holiday last week, and went to visit my dad's sister Nettie, who is living on the Isle of Skye right now. The Isle of Skye is supposed to be one of the nicest parts of Scotland to visit (a fact I cannot confirm, as every time I've gone to visit Nettie it has been raining). My parents got lucky, it seems, as the weather was nice the whole time they were there, and they wound up renting a Muggle car and touring around the island. (Apparently you can "see more" this way, as opposed to travelling by broomstick; I rather think my father was just happy to get his hands on the wheel of a Citroen again.)

As they were driving, my mother noticed a sign that said, "Handspun - turn right," and she compelled my father to turn the car. (A look from her is often more effective than confunding someone, my father has often said.) As they were travelling down the road towards this farm/studio, they saw this:

They got to have a look around at all of the facilities, including all of these fabulous yarns:

I think these ones were silk or silk blends:

The worst part of all this is that my parents didn't buy anything. Apparently they didn't have any Muggle money on them!

(It was at the precise moment that my mother confessed to not buying anything at this shop and I became quite irate with her that I realized I have converted to this knitting thing wholy and completely. I can't wait to try making socks.)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Quidditch Round #2

1. At the beginning of the year feast, who is the only person who rudely interrupts Dumbledore during his speech?
Answer: b. Professor Umbridge

2. Off what street is the alley where Harry first met Sirius?
Answer: c. Magnolia Crescent

3. Tonks' mother had two sisters, both pure-bloods, and both left on the Black Family Tree. What are their names?
Answer: c. Narcissa and Bellatrix

4. What spell are the students studying in McGonalgall's class when Umbridge is doing her inspection?
Answer: d. The Vanishing Spell

5. Who comes to warn Harry and the rest of Dumbledore's Army that Umbridge and her group of followers are coming to break up their meeting?
Answer: Dobby

6. Who are the members of the Order that met Harry Potter in the Dursely's house during the summer before his fifth year?
Answer: c. Alastor Moody, Nymphadora Tonks, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Emphias Doge, Dedalus Diggle, Remus Lupin, Emmeline Vance, Sturgis Podmore, Hestia Jones

7. Moody used the Disillusionment Charm on Harry.
Answer: Yes

8. Which of these Death Eaters is Sirius related to?
Answer: d. All of these

9. At what age did Sirius leave his home?
Answer: 16

10. How many of the original Order members were killed?
Answer: b. 8


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Gifts of which I am not worthy

It's no secret around Ravenclaw Tower, but the rest of Hogwarts may not know that I will be moving to another part of the Tower next week. The boys' section needs to undergo some repairs to the tower structure, and so Michael, Euan, and I are being shunted around. The headmistress was hoping that the repairs could be held off until the term finishes, but after all the rain we've had in the last few weeks, they'll have to be started sooner as opposed to later.

Since the move is still a week away, I haven't started packing yet.

I awoke to a very pleasant surprise this morning. My spoiler, the lovely and talented Seeker from Gryffindor, Cassandra Grubbly-Plank, had borrowed an express owl to send me a very special package. (See photo above.) I guess she has heard through the grapevine about the move, and thought I might need a little motivation to get things together. She sent me some Spellotape for the boxes (with a dispenser, too, which will hopefully prevent me from taping my hands or my wand to my robe), some markers to label my boxes, and a pen and notepads to keep track of everything. She also very thoughtfully included some Gummy Bears, which are one of my favourite Muggle treats, and which will be very useful in keeping myself motivated over the next few days...

Thanks so much, CGP!!

Friday, June 13, 2008


1. It's changing out there. Just like last time. There's a storm coming, Harry. And we all best be ready when she comes.

Rubeus Hagrid

2. Dumbledore's Army was about doing something real. Or was that all just words to you?

Neville Longbottom

3. Dementors in Little Winging? Whatever next? The whole world's going topsy-turvy.

Arabella Figg

4. The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure. Thoughts are not etched on the inside of skulls, to be perused by an invader. The mind is a complex and many-layered thing.

Severus Snape

5. Face it, Petunia. Our boy has gone lumpy.

Vernon Dursley

6. You're a fool, Harry Potter, and you will lose everything.

Lord Voldemort

7. Practicing is good, but there's something else that's even more important: believing in yourself. Look at it this way: every wizard in history has started out as nothing more than we are now -- students. If they can do it, why not us?

Harry Potter

8. I WILL have order!

Dolores Umbridge

9. When are you going to get it into your head? We're in this together.

Hermione Granger

10. When all this is over we'll be a proper family, you'll see.

Sirius Black

11. That's right. Anyway, my mum always said things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end. If not always in the way we expect.

Luna Lovegood

12. You may not like him, Minister, but you can't deny: Dumbledore's got style.

Kingsley Shacklebolt (in the film version--as others have pointed out in the book, the quote is slightly different and it's spoken by Phineas Nigellus)

13. Who wants to watch me take off Snivelly's trousers?

James Potter

14. One person can't feel all that, they'd explode!

Ron Weasley

15. They're very clean, these Muggles. It's unnatural.

Nymphadora Tonks

16. How dare you speak his name! YOU FILTHY HALF BLOOD!

Bellatrix Lestrange

17. Just because you can use magic now does not mean you have to whip your wands out for everything.

Molly Weasley

18. Did you actually believe, or are you truly naive enough to think that children stood a chance against us? I'll make this simple, Potter. Give me the prophecy now, or watch your friends die.

Lucius Malfoy

19. You sort of start thinking anything's possible if you've got enough nerve.

Ginny Weasley

20. Ah, I thought we might hit this little snag. You seem to be laboring under the delusion that I am going to -- what is the phrase? -- come quietly.

Albus Dumbledore

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hogsmeade Weekend

Our trip to Hogsmeade was fantastic - exactly what we Ravenclaws needed to get over our Quidditch loss. I was even more excited about it because my mother had sent Weeps to me last week to let me know she'd ordered a surprise for me and that it would be waiting for pick up at Gladrags.

This left me thinking, What on earth could my mother possibly have ordered for me that I'd have to pick up at Gladrags?

Michael, Euan, and I hit up Zonko's, and I managed to restrain myself quite admirably/to live vicariously through Michael and Euan (saving my pennies for the swap - and is it just me or are all the owls S-L-O-W right now?). Michael bought some Whizzing Worms and Hiccoughing Sweets, and Euan found some special wizarding photograph film that allows you to choose a different background for your pictures. He took one of me and Michael in front of the Hog's Head, but the photograph shows us in front of a pyramid down in Egypt. I'll have to see if he'll let me scan it in to show you. In the photograph, I am punching Michael on the arm.

Scrivenshaft's was fun to go to; I like looking at all the different parchments they have there. They've also got seals, which I think are tremendously interesting (mostly because you get to use fire to melt the wax before you stamp with the seal). Some of the spells you can work into the wax are pretty amazing--one will transform the letter into a letter to your Great-Aunt Ethel if anyone but the recipient breaks the seal.

When we finally made it to Gladrags, I went in and gave the saleswitch my name. "Stuart Cauldwell?" she said. "Oh yes, we just got your package in. You'll needing to try it on to ensure the fit." She went back to retrieve my gift, and I told Michael and Euan that they could go on ahead and that I'd meet them at the Three Broomsticks, but of course they were more than happy to stay around while I got to try something on. In the words of Euan, "If your mum bought it for you *and* you have to try it on, it's probably something that's going to be something that makes you look stupid."

As soon as the saleswitch brought it out, though, I knew exactly what it was. As I wrote in my biography a few weeks ago, my family is pureblood, but what I didn't mention is that we're also closely connected to some Muggle families, specifically the Scottish Clan Gordon. One of the branches of the early clan showed some magical talent, and over time gradually became part of wizarding society. They never forgot their obligation to the clan, however. When my dad's mother passed away, she left some money to my parents to buy Jim and myself proper Highland regalia.

(Euan took a picture of me but it placed me in front of somewhere most unspeakable so I will not be looking to post it.)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Patronus charm

The Patronus charm did not come easily to me, perhaps because I've been fussing at my finger and not focusing my mind as I should. (Madam Pomfrey is ready to kill me, since I have apparently managed to undo the healing spells she cast on it.)

I did get there eventually, though, and here was the result:

What Is Your Patronus Charm?
created with
You scored as Rabbit Patronus

Although it took a bit of work, you managed to produce a swift Rabbit Patronus! Quick-witted and clever, you truly know how to think on your feet. You are usually an organized, structured person, glued to schedule and an admirer of cleanliness. But those are not your only good points. As a friend, you are committed and generous, willing to devote all of your time to that lucky person. You are a very special someone, and you should share your extraordinariness with others. Now go kick some dementor butt!

Rabbit Patronus


Fox Patronus


Owl Patronus


Dog Patronus


Cat Patronus


Horse Patronus


Butterfly Patronus


Swan Patronus


We went into Hogsmeade for the weekend, and I got something really special. I'll write more about it later, but for now I need to go back to the infirmary so Madam Pomfrey can have another go at my finger.

Friday, June 6, 2008


I was in Potions today, and we had to chop Shrivelfigs quite finely to make a Shrinking Solution, so of course I managed to slice right into my finger. Madam Pomfrey was as kind and gentle as she always is, and I'm certain it will heal up properly, but it's quite sore right now. I'm really terrible clumsy--it's a wonder I can manage the dexterity to knit at all.


1. Which Ravenclaw does not like games?

Miranda Moonstone

2. Who is taking a course in Remedial Magical Symphony?

The lovely and talented Cecelia Kettleburn

3. Who got 3 puncture wounds in the bottom of her foot by stepping on a hair brush?

Ophelia Hopkirk

4. Who was formerly employed by the Ministry of Magic?

Emma Diggory, but in the United States.

5. Who has been enrolled in a Magic Fibres Class in order to learn to knit?

That's me (and I am actually enjoying it).

6. Whose mother is a squib?

Minee Kwikspell

7. Whose father is an auror?

Chrysta the Cursed

8. Whose room smells like wet wool most of the time?

Elanor Cadogan, Emma Diggory, and Chrysta the Cursed (Glad that none of this goes on in the boys' half of the tower)

9. What Ravenclaws spent time in the infirmary for allergies?

Wisteria Lovegoods, Agatha Vablatsky and Minee

10. Whose wand is made of holly with a kelpie feather?

Hydrangea MacDuff!

11. Whose mother was a Ravenclaw and father was a Hufflepuff when they met at Hogwarts?

Olive Bladvak

12. Whose silencing potion backfired?

Emma Scrimgeour, Andromache Tonks, and Patonga Pinkstone’s group effort

13. Who has purple hair?

Andromache Tonks

14. Whose son attends Hogwarts?

Emma Wigworthy's!