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Fern-hunting parties became popular, allowing young women to get outside in a seemingly innocuous pursuit with less rigid oversight and chaperoning than they saw in parlors and drawing rooms. They may have even had the occasional romantic meetup with a similarly fern-impassioned beau. — Bree


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Avalon Discovered?
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— The —
Daily Prophet
Price One Knut
June 28th, 1888
Avalon Discovered?
Expedition Returns With Artifacts From Abandoned Island

The crews of the Ophelia and the Voyager returned to the London docks yesterday mid-morning, laden with various artifacts and keepsakes from an island discovered off the north-eastern coast of Scotland. The discovery was made during the latter part of the expedition, by Commodore Jones of the Ophelia. Due to the lateness of the discovery, the crews were only able to spend two days exploring the small island, but believe it to be uninhabited.

"There were a series of ruins which look to be from the proper time period," the Commodore remarked, "But we'll want to give the entire place a comb over with a team of experts before we can be certain." The Commodore spoke vaguely of mounting such an expedition in the future, but given the current fog situation in Scotland allowed that fundraising for such a voyage would have to be put off for some time.

One mark against the mysterious island being the mythical Avalon is its location; the discovery was expected to take place somewhere in the Irish Sea, since according to legend the boat containing King Arthur's remains set sail from someplace in Wales. With the use of magic it is possible that our medieval ancestors may have been able to reach the island recently discovered, but much debate on whether they practically would have.

The expedition also had several false starts, including landing on several islands previously discovered by the Muggle Royal Navy, and once on an island now believed to be the Isle of Dread, which was made unplottable by the Ministry due to being the home of a race of dangerous magical creatures called quintapeds. An encounter with quintapeds left one member of the Voyager's crew dead and several injured, including one crewman who lost a limb.

The artifacts which returned to England will be placed under study at the Museum of Magical Miscellany until their time period and origins can be determined, which may effect the future of any follow-on voyages to the unpopulated island.
Gulliver Doran
Written by Lynn


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