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Issue #227 - Valentine's Day: A Scandalous Scam?

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This potion is sure to see your would-be beau paying you more attention in the future, but is subtle enough to be used in polite company (unlike amortentia). Homebrew Love Potion Recipe
Did Valentine's Day come and go with no notice from that special someone you've had your eye on for weeks, or even months? Sometimes, unfortunately, love doesn't come when called — but never fear, the potioneers at Witch Weekly are here to help. Try this homebrew love potion to give Cupid a nudge in the right direction!

This potion will see your crush come crawling, begging your attentions! Follow the instructions closely to secure your hearts' desire.

1. Put a piece of your intended lover's hair and a piece of your own hair in a bowl of distilled salamander's blood and leave it in direct moonlight for no less than three hours. We recommend leaving it in a windowsill overnight as any dew or other water can dilute your potion and lessen the effects. For best results, avoid direct sunlight.

Don't have a lock of hair from your heart's desire? See our tip sheet on page eleven for how to subtly secure some at your next social engagement.

2. Strain the hair from the salamander's blood and add three fresh rose petals (deep red is best, but other colors can be effective as well depending on the state of your intended's feelings currently), and one full, unmolested swan feather. Chopped or broken feathers will not work for this potion and may have disastrous effects on your intended!

3. Simmer in cauldron over low heat for two hours, then slowly stir in one vial of starfish oil. You should spend at least a minute slowly adding the oil. Take care, as going too fast during this stage can cause fires.

4. At this point, your potion should be thin but not watery and the color should be a moderate, rosy pink. If you have not achieved these results, it's best to start again. Note that you cannot reuse ingredients, including the hair from Step One.

5. Add one pinch of stardust, two drops of dragon tears, and three ounces of ash from a fire that has burned for longer than twenty-four hours using nothing for fuel but maple wood. Stir and reduce heat. Potion should lighten and thicken slightly until it resembles a pink wine.

6. Place the potion in a vial and leave it in a cold, lightless place for at least three days. Check the aroma before use: potion should smell sweet and appealing, not bitter or sour. If you seem to have achieved the correct results, slip it to your love the next time you see them (no longer than one week from completing the potion).

Need tips for getting someone to drink something at a party? See page twelve for success stories from our readers and learn from the best!

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Lonely Hearts
Fancy A Challenge?

Do you love literature? Have you read too many gothic romance poems and given up on traditional ideals of love? You are not alone. If you seek companionship and are not intimidated by a challenge, and will not be offended by a brusque exterior, write to me. Once you get to know me, you will find I am intelligent, humorous, and exceptionally kind, despite outward appearances.
Artistic Nature

Eldest daughter of a respectable middle class family seeks son of the same sort. Lady is artistic in nature and incredibly kind. Searching for a man with a kind heart and good morals. Should be fond of family and open-minded in regards to blood status.
Must Love Cats

Seeking a young woman of no more than twenty-five with a love of animals and an amiable smile for companionship, and potentially romance. I can offer you a world of knowledge and open the door to conversations with all sorts of interesting people; in my company I promise you will never find yourself bored. If interested, please write and tell me about the last book you read.
Workaholic Anonymous

Seeks someone to shake up his accustomed routines and remind him there is more to life than work. She must not mind a man of self-made status, mixed blood and a little eccentricity — indeed, a practical, independent spirit with passions of her own is much preferred.
I'm Mr Right. You're Miss Distinct Possibility.

Tall, handsome, well-built, articulate, intelligent, yet often grossly inaccurate man, 29, seeks wife. Must be of good reputation, of an age to bear children and able to put up with discussions about Quidditch.
Through No Fault Of Her Own

Single woman of impeccable breeding and good family seeks single or widowed man for courtship and eventual marriage. Ideal candidates will be honorable, with a comfortable lifestyle and companionable character, and should not have firm ideas regarding blood purity for their future bride. I believe I would also make an amiable mother to young children, should you already have some from a previous marriage.
Humble At Heart

A young woman of some modest but recently acquired means, I have been forced into social circles beyond my comfort zone. I have only meager breeding and no education to speak of besides Hogwarts. What I want more than anything is to settle with a man from origins as humble as mine, and use my money to support a small cottage and a bustling family. I will be a meek, honest, and placid wife to the right man, but am out of my depth at grand parties or social events, so my ideal match would be a more retiring sort. One other thing: I am a romantic at heart, so if you write, please make no mention of this advertisement
and address me only as dear lady until we have exchanged names.
Look Beyond The Name

I am a virtuous and romantic young woman from an established family, but haven't had the luck I was expecting in love. I fear my older sister (a non-traditionalist) may have driven men off from pursing me, but we share almost nothing beyond our last name! If you are willing to give a girl a chance, you will find in me a wonderful and dedicated wife (and have to contend with only a marginally undesirable sister-in-law). I have perfected ladylike skills and feel I would be a wonderful host; a suitable bride for a man of any station and status.
Responsible Seeks Reputable

Responsible Ministry man of good reputation and above-average intellect seeks reputable young lady for matrimonial purposes. The ideal candidate will be in possession of all the usual social graces. She will be sociable, but reserved, and comfortable interacting with those of different nationalities. Most importantly, however, she will be genteel in her bearing and in possession of a kind heart.
Homeward Bound

Recently promoted Ministry man in good position seeks a woman who is serious about moving a relationship forward. I have wasted time with too many girls who were not looking for the things I want: a comfortable marriage and a house full of laughing children, especially daughters with bouncing curls. If these are your goals, write and let us see if our personalities are compatible.
Happiness is just an owl away! Send a letter in with your personal advertisement or response to have it printed in the next issue. Address your letters to: Lonely Hearts, Witch Weekly.

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Valentine's Day: A Scandalous Scam?
Valentine's Day. It's the holiday everyone "loves" to talk about, but it's become more apparent that men and woman alike—from the dreamy, doe-eyed debutantes to even the most serious Ministry officials—have warped the holiday's message into one that exudes irresponsibility. A time that should be spent celebrating families and spouses has turned into one used as an excuse to rid oneself of all common sense and morality and act on every passing romantic impulse.

The romantic spirit has fueled numerous incidents over the past two years, some of which have cost ladies and gentleman their future success and happiness. No one can forget the elopements that took place during the amortentia scandal, nor the recent elopements of Lucille Flint and Ace Lukeson! Even unassuming members of society, such as the well-respected Ari Fisk, married suddenly after a short engagement period with no prior courtship!

This fact has become even more clear during the Valentine's Day Ball this year. It's not unusual for socialites to host these events, but it was clear that something was different about this one! Group dances were replaced by couple's dances, and there were more than a handful of private conversations happening between members of the opposite sex! It would be unfair to make assumptions, but it's difficult not to speculate!
Reuben Crouch and Melody Finch were spotted deep in conversation away from friends and family. It's an unusual pairing—and a questionable one, too!—given Mr. Crouch's flirtatious reputation and Miss Finch's upcoming nuptials. The last time Mr. Crouch was involved with a woman of Miss Finch's standing, she ended up disowned and destitute. We can only hope that Miss Finch has a more even head than Miss Annabelle Scrimgeour did! The two disappeared during the night, adding more fuel to the rumors about their involvement!

Tybalt Kirke and Elsie Beauregard were also spotted together, and the pair is no stranger to speculation. When Miss Beauregard reportedly turned down the advances of Mr. Percival Adlard, some speculated that her long-time friendship with Mr. Kirke was to blame! The two were spotted whispering away from the crowd. We can only hope that Mr. Kirke will do the responsible thing and let her go easy so she can find happiness with someone more stable!

While impossible to know what the pairs were discussing (as well as everyone else in attendance!), it's clear that Valentine's Day—and romantic-themed events in general—are leading society into moral bankruptcy. Gone are the days of careful matchmaking and years-long courtships, and in are the days of romantic rendezvous and elopements.

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Opinion Piece: Should Animagi be Allowed to Duel?
Though not many proper ladies take too much stock in that of duelling and the like, it may have come to the attention of several readers that two known animagi have recently used their abilities for the sake of advancing in their duels. It begs the question as to whether or not an animagus should have any right participating in a duel with such an advantage.

Miss Sweetie Whitledge
Miss Sweetie Whitledge is a recently registered animagus, while still under the care and guidance of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. A fine accomplishment for one so young, to be sure. However, Miss Whitldge had taken advantage of this gift for a tournament meant for displaying manners of spells and jinxes. One would not cast an unrelated jinx at a potion brewing competition, we presume?

Miss Bellona Zabini
While our first lady mentioned was a young, impressionable young lady, our next mention is a more experienced woman of society. Miss Bellona Zabini is a fellow animagus who had entered the adult portion of the competion. Coincidentally, she too used her abilites to evade an opponents spell. While a display of magic, to be sure, is it appropriate? Miss Zabini is more experienced in the ways of young Miss Whitledge, surely she should understand to practice these sorts of activities with more grace.

Our readers may catch on that the only examples that we have been able to offer is that of two young women of society. Is this an example that animagi are crossing a line that they should be more respectful towards? Or does it run deeper? Have women finally shown that they are too emotional to handle a duel with proper etiquette? This remains to be seen.

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