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Issue #217 - The Elopement Epidemic: Who will be next?

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The Flight of Miss Flint
The wedding of Miss Lucille Flint was scheduled for this week, but the bride-to-be has already fled from the altar. Her engagement to Mr. Durant Lécuyer had already raised eyebrows in some circles due to its brevity and the lack of any sign of interest between the two parties before it was announced. Indeed, some reporters here at Witch Weekly had begun to wonder if the Flint family was trying to arrange a hasty cover for one of Miss Flint's mistakes — using her extensive dowry as payment for a respectable man to take on a wife he had no real inclination to court. Whatever the story behind the engagement may have been, however, following through with it would doubtless have been less of a scandal than what actually occurred.

During the middle of the month, Miss Flint fled her family home in order to elope. Our sources report that she told no one — though, given our suspicions about her prior engagement, perhaps this sort of secretive behavior is not entirely new to her. In any case, she now finds herself wife to a man the same age as her — two children, in essence, starting a family together.

Her new husband, Mr. Ace Lukeson, is no stranger to impulsive and ill-advised decision-making. Earlier this year a close friend of his was badly injured in a potion mishap, and several sources have claimed he has seemed shiftless and lacking direction since the death of his father last year, which is perhaps understandable because of his exceptionally young age. After being made guardian of his siblings, he nearly lost a sister to malaria after allowing her to cavort around in the Irvingly fog, and has not made any particularly good decisions as the head of the family since then. Some inside sources have speculated that the only thing holding the family together is the involvement of an aunt, who has been the real helm of the family. Mr. Lukeson also purchased a Quidditch team this summer, presumably because he is a man of twenty with no idea what else one might want to do with money than buy Quidditch teams. Undoubtedly, the rest of the Lukeson children (and the former Miss Flint as well) will be feeling the consequences of his financial frivolity sooner rather than later.

But this ill-advised elopement unfortunately had consequences beyond the two misguided children involved. As some of our readers may be aware by this point, Mrs. Laverna Flint, the mother of the
bull-headed bride, was driven to an untimely death by the shock of the scandal which followed the elopement.

Although, as Lucille Flint is the sole heir to her late mother's estate and wealth, the Lukeson family may see this unfortunate turn as something of a boon. They shall have plenty of money to squander while they continue to act out on whatever impulse strikes them in the moment. Perhaps Mr. Lukeson can buy another Quidditch team.
Might Miss Flint be reconsidering her decision even now?

Ace Lukeson, her now husband.

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Reasonable Healer: Ten Facts About Mr. Kingsley Wells
1. He was a Ravenclaw.
As quite the intelligent gentleman and healer, it's hardly a surprise that he was sorted into the house where intelligence is a prized asset. It's even rumored he has a photographic memory and doesn't forget the things he learns. A young woman shouldn't have to worry he'd ever forget anything important about her then!

2. He is tall.
Standing at an almost unfashionable height of six foot, he'd be perfect for any young lady that also finds herself on the taller end of the spectrum.

3. Family is important to him.
He has an older sister and two younger brothers. His brothers both were stricken with the Laughing Plague but survived. He ended up taking time off work to spend with his family after all was well.

As a healer, Mr. Kingsley Wells has added knowledge of potions.
4. Stars are important.
Many among his family are named after different stars. If you've a specific naming scheme in mind, chances are he'll go along with it!

5. He lives in London.
Though he lives in a simple flat for now, that can always change should the right lady come along.
6. He's an activist.
Though perhaps not the best of things, it shows he stands strong in his convictions. He does tend to focus on helping those in need which shows a great deal of compassion on his part.

7. His wand is made of Larch with a Dragon Heartstring core.
It is said Larch wands can be tricky to handle but that they can eventually bring out the best of their wielder. Along with a Dragon heartstring, he has quite the wand and is likely a very accomplished and strong wizard.
Kingsley Wells is quite the attractive and very eligible gentleman.
8. He's a Potion and Plant Poisoning Healer.
He's surely well versed in Potions and Herbology as a result and would be able to help his wife should she have any health issues.

9. He's a Halfblood.
And he tends to speak vocally about blood equality so any young lady that may not find herself of pureblood certainly has him as a prime option.

10. He wears glasses.
Though not the most common thing, they certainly make him look all the more intelligent and distinguished adding to his obvious good looks.

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The Elopement Epidemic: Who will be next?
It is one elopement after another these days, as every young lady in society refuses to be discouraged by the last scandal, and cannot be satisfied with a courtship, engagement, and advantageous marriage in the usual fashion. Below we lay out some of the most likely flight risks in the future, upon whom society should keep a close watch. Could the next place you spot them be sneaking off to Gretna Green?

Camilla Zabini.
Vibrant and successful hostess she might be, but thus far the younger Zabini sisters have been unable to find themselves a good match. If, given their impure bloodline, they continue to set their sights and standards higher than they can realistically reach, desperation may well drive Miss Zabini to make a hasty bid for happiness — or, at least, a drastic measure to see she does not end up alone.

January or October Lynch.
Their elder sister Mrs. February Umbridge may yet prove a cautionary tale, and the younger girls may be kept well away from their contentious sibling for their own good. But there is an equal possibility that either of these young ladies might find themselves swayed by some story of romance in their sister’s endeavour, or begin to feel oppressed by parents determined not to see a scandal repeated, and rebel against it in the most foolish manner.

Diana Fawley.
The former Miss Flint is proof that even the least likely suspects can prove to be just as flighty, fanciful, and ready to lose it all. Demure as she is, sources say she has almost too kind a heart — and has even been overheard vigorously extolling the virtues of a gentleman like, say, Mr. Julius Scrimgeour. And no one is oblivious to what disaster lies bound up in the Scrimgeour genes, surely, not even she.

Zelda Fisk.
By no means the most conventional in her family, the youngest Miss Fisk has gone against the grain before in choosing a Ministry career, and does not appear to have any hopeful prospects. But hark, you may cry, she is a sister-in-law of the Minister. She wouldn’t dare! To this, we can only say: this generation does so love a scandal.

Katherine Russell.
Isn’t it obvious? As the daughter of a famed murderer, elopement really is her only option.

But just as Eve was tempted to the apple, we must not pretend that a well-bred young lady will come to such a perilous decision on her own. No, indeed: they must be swayed by someone’s attentions, so perhaps after all it is our young men we must attempt to rein in. Too many freedoms afforded to them, and all at once they imagine they feel more, know better, can offer more than all the world. Which amongst them might be next?

We at Witch Weekly feel obliged to warn you of any man who has quidditch experience (the more professional, the worse); any wealthy man who has inherited too young, and knows not how to manage himself; the poor man who persuades you that money does not matter... but, most of all, the man who is always charming and pleasant, utterly devoted to you, and, deep down, you already know, just a little too good to be true.

Miss Camilla Zabini

The elder Miss Lynch

Miss Diana Fawley

The youngest Miss Fisk

Daughter of the infamous Thomas Russell

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Opinion: Women Don't Need a NEWT Education
The magical community is leagues ahead of the muggle world, the subject of female empowerment being one of many. Unlike in the muggle world, where women are allowed to finish their primary education but are barred from many of the esteemed universities that allow for more lucrative careers, witches are permitted to earn their Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Exams—the highest level of education required for nearly every job on the British Isles.

Still, women are not usually seen in many of these jobs, bar healing, and even then it's widely debated about whether women should be exposed to the harsh realities that healers often have to witness. I propose that women need not receive a NEWT education, as it makes them a better woman and a more desirable wife.

It goes without saying that ladies who need to work should not need their NEWTs. Their families need their presence, whether it be on the farm or in the family shop, so they have no business twiddling their thumbs in their NEWT-level Charms class their sixth and seventh year. It does not change that there are one or two of these young ladies that choose this wrongful path each year in the name of education—all because they are simply permitted to!

Women from families of comfortable means have more flexibility during their last two years at Hogwarts, but many have no need to be there anyway. Magical Britain has allowed a NEWT education to become a given for those who are able to afford it, giving no question when their daughter, having expressed a desire to marry like every young lady should, brings home her OWL results. Where is the need for advanced Potions lessons when the most a young lady will be mixing in adulthood is a nice cup of tea? Where is the need for advanced Astronomy lessons when that knowledge will only help her show her children where each star is, assuming she can remember? No, NEWTs are a waste of money and knowledge.

As a NEWT education is often seen as a luxury, I do not blame the wealthy for seeing that their daughters have as much knowledge as the farmer's daughter who saw it a necessity to attend her full seven years. Some families value intellect and knowledge—it is not uncommon to see a family where most or all members were Ravenclaws!—but even then, it is still not necessary for their daughters to have a NEWT education. The most valuable education for a young woman of good breeding can be found in a reputable finishing school such as Pendergast's School for Young Roses in Irvingly. Not only does it provide a thorough curriculum in etiquette and dancing, but it also covers the household magic that may be necessary in their lives.

So you see it now: no woman truly has a need for a NEWT education. Some women choose to pursue a career, which is a whole other topic for another time, but unless they see fit to become a healer, they should find the sense to leave their classes after their fifth year and pursue their adult life instead!
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