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Transfigured Children Sold as Statues
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— The —
Daily Prophet
Price One Knut
May 9th, 1889

Transfigured Children Sold As Statues
House Elf Reveals Illegal Business

A routine case for the Department of House Elf Relocation has revealed a shocking secret in London's East End. Ms. Victoria Hatfield, a magical resident of the area who made a living peddling distinctive stone cherubs for use in gardens, passed away last Sunday evening. As no relations of Ms. Hatfield stepped forward following her death and the woman left no will, her house elf, Kliney, was designated for reassignment through the Ministry bureau. During a routine interview to determine what work Kliney had the most skill and experience in, he revealed that the cherubs Ms. Hatfield had been selling for decades were not statues at all, but instead actual children who had been turned to stone.

Mr. Flynn Squire of the House Elf Relocation office referred the case to the Improper Use of Magic Office, who dispatched investigators. Six children were able to be recovered from the storefront, where they were currently being offered for sale as garden cherubs. The children include two infants, a girl of five, a boy of seven, and a pair of ten year old girls. Interviews with the older children have lead the Ministry to believe that Ms. Hatfield may have been running a baby farming business for several years.

The Ministry will be making attempts to locate the families of the rescued children and hopefully to reunite them with a relative or guardian. Anyone with information regarding children who have disappeared is encouraged to contact the Ministry, care of the Law Enforcement Office, secretary's desk.

Investigators have also obtained a sales ledger for Ms. Hatfield's business and will be attempting to located other transfigured children. Her store runs back nearly twenty years, and it is currently unclear when she began incorporating actual children into her stock. There were several non-human statues for sale in the storefront as well.

Anyone who has purchased a stone garden cherub and wishes to determine if it may be one of the affected statues is invited to make an appointment with the Improper Use of Magic Office.
Ian Pengloss
Written by Lynn


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