School Holiday

I'm sure you will all be pleased to hear that classes will end Wednesday, March 23rd, at noon. At that time any student who wishes to can board the Hogwarts Express to return home for the Easter holidays. You will be expected to return on the train on Sunday, March 27th, also departing at noon. Students who do not wish to return home are welcome to remain here. Fifth and Seventh year students will no doubt wish to remember that this is the last break between now and the time they take their OWLs and NEWTs.

Announcement at Breakfast

Students, it has come to my attention that some of the older students feel there should be festivities this evening above and beyond our Hallowe'en feast.  Therefore, the staff and I have arranged for a surprise Masquerade Ball after the feast, for fifth years and above.  Costumes are optional, due to the short notice, but the staff and I encourage students to use their imaginations and what they've learned in class to bewitch and amaze their classmates with their ingenuity.  All students will be expected to be in their House common rooms by eleven pm, as we do have classes tomorrow, and some sleep is recommended.

First through fourth years, there will be games sponsored in your common rooms after the feast, chaperoned by the staff members that are not in attendance at the party.

Happy Hallows Eve, everyone.

Quidditch, Round 4

(Home teams listed second.)

Falmouth Falcons vs. Ballycastle Bats at Orange Pitch

Falmouth 420, Ballycastle 370

Kenmare Kestrels vs. Wigtown Wanderers at Solway Stands
Kenmare 280, Wigtown 330

Holyhead Harpies vs. Wimbourne Wasps at Poole Memorial Stadium
Holyhead 240, Wimbourne 310

Montrose Magpies vs. Tutshill Tornadoes at Llewellyn Field

Montrose 200, Tutshill 420

Pride of Portree vs. Puddlemere United at Puddlemere Pitch
Portree 220, Puddlemere 240

Chudley Cannons vs. Appleby Arrows at The Grange
Chudley 280, Appleby 290

The Caerphilly Catapults had a Bye this week.

A reminder to fans--no matches will be played this coming weekend, October 30-31, due to the holiday.

Full match write ups on page 5.

Quidditch, Round 3

(Home teams listed second.)

Appleby Arrows vs. Caerphilly Catapults at St. David's Stadium

Appleby 380, Caerphilly 190

Ballycastle Bats vs. Chudley Cannons at Trevaylen St. Grounds
Ballycastle 270, Chudley 370 (ed. note:  No, this is not a misprint.)

Wigtown Wanderers vs. Holyhead Harpies at St. Catherine's Field
Wigtown 310, Holyhead 330

Wimbourne Wasps vs. Falmouth Falcons at Cerniw Field

Wimbourne 180, Falmouth 300

Tutshill Tornadoes vs. Kenmare Kestrals at Old Trinity Fields
Tutshill 330, Kenmare 360

Puddlemere United vs. Montrose Magpies at Montrose Commemorative Quidditch Grounds
Puddlemere 270, Montrose 260

Pride of Portree had a Bye this week.

Full match writeups and an interview with Chudley coaches and players on page 4.

Quidditch, Round 2

(Home teams listed second.)

Holyhead Harpies vs. Tutshill Tornadoes at Llewellyn Field

Holyhead 200, Tutshill 290

Chudley Cannons vs. Wimbourne Wasps at Poole Memorial Stadium
Chudley 330, Wimbourne 410

Kenmare Kestrels vs. Puddlemere United at Puddlemere Pitch
Kenmare 440, Puddlemere 320

Falmouth Falcons vs. Wigtown Wanderers at Solway Stands

Falmouth 320, Wigtown 240

Montrose Magpies vs. Pride of Portree at The Skye Pitch
Montrose 240, Portree 340

Caerphilly Catapults vs. Ballycastle Bats at Orange Pitch
Caerphilly 260, Ballycastle 300

The Appleby Arrows had a bye this week.

Full match writeups on page 3.

Quidditch, Round 1

The first weekend of the regular quidditch season was not a promising one for home games. Still, players and fans both seemed almost relieved to see the frantic pace of pre-season slowing down to normal.

Wimbourne Wasps vs. Caerphilly Catapults at St David's Stadium
Wimbourne 410, Caerphilly 260

Pride of Portree vs. Kenmare Kestrels at Old Trinity Fields
Portree 350, Kenmare 240

Tutshill Tornadoes vs. Falmouth Falcons at Cerniw Field
Tutshill 360, Falmouth 300

Puddlemere United vs. Holyhead Harpies at St. Catherine's Field
Puddlemere 260, Holyhead 210

Ballycastle Bats vs. Appleby Arrows at The Grange
Ballycastle 380, Appleby 150

Wigtown Wanderers vs. Chudley Cannons at Trevaylen St Grounds
Wigtown 310, Chudley 170

Final pre-season standings and full write-ups of the weekend's matches can be found beginning on page 6.

Identity of Mystery Witch Revealed

Jeffrey Fletcher
Political Correspondent

This afternoon the Ministry finally revealed the identity of the witch found dead in the early hours of the morning Wednesday. Margaret Silvers, nee Shacklebolt, was the wife of late Auror Reginald Shacklebolt. Her husband and eldest son Thomas, also an Auror, were killed during the first war against You-Know-Who and his followers. Her youngest son, Kingsley, is also an Auror, one of a dwindling number of fully trained and qualified members of the elite DMLE force.

While the identity of her murderer will likely never be revealed, it appears she was lured from her home, somewhere in the United States, by a man claiming that her son Kingsley was in danger of dying. Margaret's second husband, Adrien Silvers, arrived in London earlier today in possession of a parchment she left for him, explaining her reasons for leaving so suddenly. Exactly what happened after that is anyone's guess.

While the identity of the murderer is unclear, the Ministry appears convinced that it was planned and orchestrated by Death Eaters. Certainly the use of two Unforgivables supports such a conclusion. The motive seems to be revenge, or perhaps You-Know-Who's further demonstration that no one is safe. Aurors can't be everywhere at once. The backlash from this murder may surprise him though. At the Ministry today Aurors, always grim and tight lipped, vowed revenge, clearly roused by the attack on one of their own.

The victims family will be returning her body to the United States for burial. The family is requesting donations made to the Auror sub-branch of the DMLE in lieu of flowers.

For a full transcription of Minister Umbridge's speech this afternoon, delivered shortly following the announcement of the victim's identity, turn to page 11.

Unknown Witch Found Dead Outside Ministry Headquarters

Jeffery Fletcher
Political Correspondent

Early this morning the late shift Aurors getting off duty found the body of a currently unidentified witch lying near the exit to their training facilities. Initially Mediwizards were confused as to the cause, because the woman appeared to have no visible marks on her, but it was later revealed that she was killed by the Killing Curse, indicating Death Eater involvement. Further support for this theory came when the body was autopsied. It appears that the perpetrator cast the Cruciatus Curse before finally disposing of his victim. The use of two of the three Unforgivable curses leaves no doubt in DMLE investigator's minds as to who was responsible for this death. The question now seems to be, why? It is unlikely that question will be answered until the identity of the unknown victim is finally revealed.

Ministry officials, again, caution all witches and wizards to remain in groups, traveling in larger numbers for security, and to avoid unsavory locales such as Knockturn Alley. The Minister of Magic has come under fire again, in light of this most recent death, as the population asks what she is doing to stop such events from occuring. It has been many months since a successful mission has resulted in the arrest, or death, of any of You-Know-Who's supporters, and the mood in London seems to be one of fear and suspicion.

Anyone with any knowledge of this event, or who the victim might be, is urged to come forward. The Ministry assures confidentiality as to the identity of anyone who does so, hoping this will ease potential witnesses fears of retribution.

Ministry Murder Suspect Released

Jeffrey Fletcher
Political Correspondent

Ministry officials announced this evening that Derek Bole, the Ministry employee arrested several weeks ago in connection with the death of his co-worker Richard Winters, has been released due to new evidence in the case. Aurors Shacklebolt and Dawlish, acting on an anonymous tip, were able to clear Bole of the murder charges he was due to stand trial for later this week.

The Daily Prophet was able to question Auror Shacklebolt briefly on this matter, and he assures us that the new evidence leaves little doubt that Bole is innocent of the crime. In fact, despite earlier beliefs to the contrary, it seems that this murder is indeed connected to Death Eaters. A new poison, the result of Dark magic, was administered to the victim, whose family has long stood very publicly against You-Know-Who.

The Ministry was unwilling, at this time, to confirm whether or not new arrests were pending in this case, but they did reassure us that Mr. Bole was released this evening and was free to return to work tomorrow. Whether or not the stain of his false arrest will continue to haunt him is something only time will tell, and he was not available for comment on this matter.

See page five of the Prophet for details on the new poison.