Monday, July 28, 2008

The truth about Stuart Cauldwell.

From the beginning of the term, people have been wondering who exactly this Stuart Cauldwell character is. Still curious to know?

At the end of HSKS4, Headmistress Wartbobble posted a list of names that she wanted people to avoid choosing in HSKS5. Both my first name and my surname made the list, so I decided to reinvent myself for the next swap. Thus, Serafina Starfire stepped aside, and I created a new persona: Stuart Cauldwell, erstwhile mischief maker of Ravenclaw Tower.

I thought it would be fun to try to experience knitting through the eyes of a young boy, and even more fun to see how long I could pull off the deception. I know some of you were pretty suspicious (particularly Elanor Cadogan) but I did manage to make the whole swap.

I chose Stuart's name very carefully. Stuart is my father's middle name, and Cauldwell is my best friend's maiden name. Stuart comes from the same part of Scotland that my dad is originally from. I did indeed buy my first home and move into it during the course of the swap, and I did adopt a tiny kitten named Dorian (who is not likely to stay tiny for all that much longer, I don't think). As some of you had asked for photos of both, click here for photos of the house, and here for photos of the kitten. Building all of these pieces of the persona out of reality made it a lot easier to keep track of things, and I had SO much fun thinking up situations for Stuart to get himself into (and out of) all term.

None of this would have been possible without the help of the powers that be: Miss Wartbobble, Neila, and Minee were all instrumental in helping me to keep my identity a secret. Both my spoiler and my spoilee helped to keep the secret too; CGP in particular did an excellent job of playing along.

The real me is 26, female, and an English Lit prof at a small university in northern Ontario. I love knitting, alpacas, tea, reading, sewing, writing, baseball, curling, and loads of other stuff. I am very much a Ravenclaw in pretty much every possible way, thought I do have a side streak of Hufflepuff, too. I usually blog at, but it's been a little slow lately because of how busy I've been.

Thank you all for reading this far, and I hope you enjoyed Stuart as much as I did. I hope even more you'll have him back next term!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

in the summertime, when the weather is hot...

Does anyone else have any big plans for the summer? It's been a busy term here at Hogwarts, and we definitely all deserve a holiday before gearing up again for HSKS6. I've not yet decided how much I'll be involved next term; I guess we'll have to see how I make out with the knitting over the break.

I had an owl from my mum yesterday, saying that she wants to go down to Edinburgh during the break, and catch part of the Festival if we can. I'd be quite happy to do that too, as the Fringe Festival will be on at the same time and one of my cousins is working as a Muggle actress, and she's supposed to have a play opening for that.

That, and Edinburgh is just a grand city to spend some time in. The castle, the palace, the penguins at the Zoo...I'll be quite happy to have a fortnight there.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


1. When Hagrid returns to Hogwarts after being sent to see the giants with Madame Maxime, Professor Umbridge questions him on his late return to school. She suspects that Hagrid had been to the mountains, but where does he tell her he has been?
a. Europa
b. Fiji
c North America
d. South of France

2. Professor Umbridge comes to Hagrid's Hut and searches his cabin one evening (as she believes Harry, Ron and Hermione are there visiting him at night when they are not supposed to). When she walks past the place where Harry, Ron and Hermione are hiding under the Invisibility Cloak, Harry holds his breath. True or false?
a. True
b. False

3. A stately-looking witch in an emerald green shawl is one of the members of the Advance Guard who rescues Harry from Privet Drive. What is her name?
a. Emmeline Vance
b. Dorcas Meadowes
c. Amelia Susan Bones
d. Bellatrix Regulax

4. What is the name of the witch who was killed two weeks after the photo of the original Order of the Phoenix was taken?
a. Alice Longbottom
b. Marlene McKinnon
c. Emma Fenwick
d. Dorcas Meadowes

5. Which two fifth year Ravenclaw students does Dumbledore choose to be prefects?
a. Terry Boot and Mandy Brocklehurst
b. Luna Lovegood and Ernie Macmillan
c. Cho Chang and Michael Corner
d. Anthony Goldstein and Padma Patil

6. Which house was Rose Zeller sorted into?
a. Gryffindor
b. Slytherin
c. Ravenclaw
d. Hufflepuff

7. What is the color of Murtlap's essence?
a. Pink
b. Peach
c. Yellow
d. It is transparent

8. Name the Ravenclaw girl who became prefect in Harry's fifth year.
a. Hannah Abott
b. Padma Patil
c. Luna Lovegood
d. Marietta Edgecombe

9. According to a healer's portrait at St. Mungo's hospital, which disease was Ron suffering from?
a. Splattergroit
b. Splittygrot
c. Spottygroit
d. Spattergroit

10. Which book did Harry give Hermione for Christmas?
a. "New Theory of Numberology"
b. "A Compendium of Common Curses and their Counter-Actions"
c. "Acheivements in Charming"
d. "Moste Potente Potions"

Picture Scavenger Hunt

Padma Patil

Hannah Abbott


Dumbledore's Army

Cedric Diggory

(Extra 5 pts - What movie will Robert Patterson star in this December?)
(The answer, of course, is Twilight.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

quidditch, exams, and next year's adventure...

It has been a good term for me here at Hogwarts. Headmistress Wartbobble's idea that knitting would keep me out of trouble seems to have been successful, much to Michael and Euan's disappointment. I'm not likely to come out tops in any of our classes (it's a tremendous feat for us Ravenclaws) but I don't think I'll be too far off the mark, either. I've made lots of new friends amongst the other knitters here in the castle, and they've even invited me to take some more advanced classes with them next term. I haven't decided just yet, but I will definitely be thinking about it. I've enjoyed it much more than I would have thought possible.

A big topic of conversation around the castle in the last few days has been dyeing yarn. A lot of the other knitters here are dyers as well, and the things that they come up with our truly magical. I've purchased some natural yarn, and am hoping to try to work some magic upon it soon--it's my treat to myself once the term is over and I'm all done exams.

Dorian the kitten continues to be cute all of the time. When he sleeps, he looks like he has no spine. He curves all over the place. There's one Quidditch match left, and I'm going to kit him out in some Ravenclaw gear...which will hopefully bring us a little luck.

Monday, July 14, 2008


I ran into my swap partner in the library yesterday, and she asked me for some help in researching some foolish divination thing she was interested in. I tried my best to help her, but I don't think I was successful. We were looking at a huge book, and when it fell over on me, she didn't help me up. It took one heck of a Wingardium Leviosa charm to get that thing off me.

I am definitely putting some Pygmy Puffs in her package. (Which I have, miracle of miracles, actually finished, and will be hiring an owl for shortly.)

It turns out the kittens love knitting, especially for eating.

Friday, July 11, 2008

the newest member of Ravenclaw tower

This tiny ball of fur is the newest inhabitant of Ravenclaw Tower. His name is Dorian, and he is ten weeks old. He is ungainly and clumsy, but full of love and purrs, and is quite pleased to be somewhere where so many hands are always looking to pet him.

Michael, Euan, and I are starting to settle into our new quarters here. We've been busier than I had imagined we would be--apparently there is never any shortage of work to be done, and the Headmistress has some odd ideas about things being done without magic, so we've been working hard at getting things into shape.
The kitten likes to help, if by help we mean "sleep often, get frightened by dust bunnies, and eat loads of food".

Ravenclaw Quiz!

1. What is the literal translation of "Albus Dumbledore"?
White Busy Bee

2. "Occlumency" is not, in reality, a word. However, it seems to be derived from a familiar real word that means "to block". What is that word?

3. Remus Lupin, the werewolf, has a name that is a double reminder of his traits. From what languages are his two names derived?
Greek and Latin

4. Percy Weasley's owl takes its name, quite appropriately, from the Greek messenger god. Who is this god?

5. Many of the creatures studied in the Care of Magical Creatures class or encountered by Hogwarts students are based on mythological animals while many others were made up. Name a mythological animal which is studied and/or encourntered by Hogwarts students.

6. Harry is tried for the "crime" of using magic outside Hogwarts by the Wizengamot. From what culture is the name "Wizengamot" derived?
Old Norse

7. The hospital in OotP is called St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. Who was the real St. Mungo?

Ooh, great question! He was also known as St. Kentigern, and he was a Scottish holy man who was the founder of Glasgow. He performed four miracles during his life, and his tomb is in Glasgow Cathedral.

8. Dobby the house-elf gets his name from another kind of creature. In English folklore, what is a dobby?
A work horse

9. Mundungus Fletcher is a disreputable little wizard with a penchant for trading in stolen goods. What exactly does mundungus mean?

10. Harry's arch-nemesis throughout OotP is Professor Umbridge. Why is her name appropriate for her?
It's a play on the word 'umbrage', which means pique or resentment at a perceived slight, and it's appropriate for her because she does that quite frequently.