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Issue #241 - British National Team: What's Next?

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The Ghost That Wouldn't Go
Anyone who graduated Hogwarts has met at least a handful of ghosts. For most of us, our lives are peppered with interactions with spirits. You may even have a ghost in your extended family. But what happens when a ghost becomes unwelcome?

Daphne Winters was married in 1879 and had two children. Her husband passed away during the laughing plague of 1884, but lingered in their Bartonburg house as a ghost. "At first I was glad that he stayed," Daphne told us, "But it got to be too much very quickly. He was still laughing all the time, filling the house with the noise. It started scaring the children."

The late Mr. Winters wanted to be involved with the lives of his children, and would not take his wife's gentle suggestion that it might be best for him to steer clear. When he wouldn't relent, she took the children to her sister's house for a little peace and quiet.

"He got restless after we left. He started wandering to the neighbor's houses, looking for something to do. They wrote me to complain. That's when I contacted the Spirit Division at the Ministry."
The Spirit Division has the power to issue restraining orders to ghostly residents who overstep their bounds and harass the living. In cases where restraining orders have been violated, they can also perform exorcisms. Exorcised spirits are left to wander freely, but are magically barred from returning to the area they have been exorcised from. Most eventually disappear. Experts are uncertain whether this is due to listlessness which causes them to be more willing to 'cross over,' or whether being removed from their place of origin physically weakens the ghost and eventually forces them to dissipate.

"After the restraining order was issued, he became belligerent," Mrs. Winters told our reporters. "The man I'd married was gone, replaced by this... angry, bitter thing. It was heartbreaking."

Mrs. Winters moved in with her sister permanently and placed the house up for sale, but the presence of Mr. Winters deterred potential buyers. Eventually, she requested the Ministry to intervene with an exorcism.

"It would have been better if he'd just died," Daphne said in closing. "At least we would have had his memory, unsullied by all this unpleasantness."

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The Tragic Termination of E. Turnbull
Esther Elizabeth Turnbull. A name that did not draw immediate recognition save for her charitable works—until just last week, when a bludger ended her life far too swiftly.

She was situated in the stands of the Quidditch World Cup when the incident occurred: a bludger fired by one Lachlan MacFusty went wildly into the stands, causing a head injury that would take the young woman's life. The mediwizards who arrived on the scene reported that there was nothing that might have been done: the damage was instantaneous, and it is likely she felt very little pain.

Mrs. Turnbull will be dearly missed by friends and family alike.
Born in December of 1869, Ethel Turnbull was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell Quiddel (of Hogsmeade Howlers and Daily Prophet fame). Though her family was unwilling to provide any sort of commentary on her childhood, sources report that she was an easy babe and courteous student during her time at Hogwarts, where she performed well, but not particularly remarkably, in all subject areas. A proper young lady through and through, she did not partake directly in quidditch, but was an avid supporter of the Gryffindor house team. The then Miss Quiddel left Hogwarts after her Ordinary Wizarding Levels to attend the Pendergast School for Young Roses, where she spent two years before making her debut and swiftly marrying. At the time of her passing, she had rendered her husband an infant son, now motherless as a result of the sport he otherwise would have grown up loving.

Some speculate that Mrs. Turnbull's father, Mitch Quiddel, may be leaving his sponsorship of the Hogsmeade Howlers.
Her husband? One Mr. Gregory Turnbull, an investor from a reputable family and well known by friends and public alike as a gifted broom racer. Though reported to be good friends with the notorious Reuben Crouch, Mr. Turnbull has long been seen as a respectable sort with a passion for broom sports, much like the Quiddel family.

Mrs. Turnbull was involved in a number of charitable causes: she was a member of the St Mungo's Hospital Foundation, a patroness of the St Mungo's Home for Inconvenient Children, and helped no fewer than three of her less-advantaged schoolmates find meaningful education. Her caring and sunny spirit will be greatly missed by society at large, her soul ever the price paid for a bit of entertainment.

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British National Team: What's Next?

Esteban Zavala, Puddlemere keeper and captain, was selected to captain the British National Team.

After a decade on the field, it is likely that retirement is in Mr. Zavala's near future. A man of his status cannot afford a debilitating injury at his young age. Said to be a favorite of Mr. Pettigrew, it is unlikely that Mr. Zavala will fade into absolute security following his leave from the league; we at Witch Weekly think he will have no trouble securing a position in the Department of Magical Games and Sports—or even as his team's coach.

Mr. Rufus Bixby, Appleby Arrows chaser and captain, was selected to for the British National Team.

Mr. Bixby's has gained notoriety off the quidditch pitch for his marriage to Fortuna Lockhart in 1888 following the amortentia letter scandal. The two were rumored to be involved at the time of the scandal, with many believing that it was bound to happen at some point, amortentia or no amortentia. At six-and-twenty, he may have had more years ahead of him on the quidditch pitch if not for the bludger that struck his knee. He and his wife are expecting a child in the upcoming months, so we expect his time as chaser may be ending sooner than later.

Miss Augusta Robins, chaser for the Holyhead Harpies, was the only woman selected to play for the British National Team.

Miss Robins has little going for her off the quidditch pitch. Beauty, of course, is not something afforded to every young lady, nor wealth or luck in marriage. At six-and-twenty, Miss Robins' days on the quidditch pitch are unlikely to see their end for at least a few more years, in which case we expect that she shall pursue another occupation or attempt to find a husband for herself. (We at Witch Weekly think she'd be a good pair for Mr. Zavala, don't you think?)

Arthur Pettigrew, Hogsmeade Howlers chaser and captain, was selected to play for the British National Team.

Notorious past aside, Mr. Pettigrew has remained in the public eye due to his marriage to Mrs. Desdemona Collins, former teammate and now coach of the Holyhead Harpies. Quidditch lovers have been speculating about his retirement since the moment they married, and the speculation has only intensified since Mrs. Pettigrew left the pitch to welcome their daughter into the world! After his injury in the World Cup, fans of the Howlers may be saddened to hear in the upcoming weeks that he has no intention to return to the sport. Mr. Pettigrew has favor for Mr. Fitzroy Prewett, head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports, so it is likely he'll have no trouble securing a position in the Quidditch League (unless he, like his wife, intends to coach a team after retirement!)

Beckett Longbottom, former player and current Wimbourne Wasps sponsor, returned to the quidditch pitch as beater for the British National Team.

The path to sponsorship was a natural one of the quidditch-loving heir of the Longbottom family. It is a given that he will return to assist the Wasps with their upcoming season now that the Quidditch World Cup has concluded, but many have been speculating that marriage is in Mr. Longbottom's future! At thirty-one, Mr. Longbottom is the only unmarried child of his parents, and has recently been seen in the company of numerous young ladies during the many society events this season. It is said that the blow to the kneecap he suffered at the Quidditch World Cup has left him with a permanent limp. His prospects might be more marred if not for his advantageous position in life; still, we believe it is in his best interest to find a wife while he is still young and handsome!

Lachlan MacFusty of the Chudley Cannons was selected to play beater for the British National Team.

A promising choice for beater turned a horrid mistake when a misfired bludger left his sister with a dislocated shoulder and Ethel Turnbull, daughter of Howlers sponsor Mitch Quiddel, dead. It is unknown if Mr. MacFusty has a future at all; though the sponsor for the Chudley Cannons has publicly supported Mr. MacFusty through the scandal, the beater reportedly disappeared the night after the bludger attack and has not been seen since. Assuming he is found safely, it is likely that the scandal will have marred his reputation both on and off the pitch.

Cassius Lestrange, Chudley Cannons seeker, was selected for the British National Team's second-string, but played both against Hawaii and Morocco.

Though only officially on the second-string, Mr. Lestrange played through the entirety of the Quidditch World Cup after the first-string seeker fell ill. Unarguably a talented player, Mr. Lestrange was successful all throughout the tournament until he finally met his match in Moroccan seeker Hassan Sabri. As Lucius Lestrange's middle son, it is likely he will find a place in the Ministry once his time on the pitch comes to an end. When that will happen, we are yet unsure! Sources say he has been seen in the company of Miss Nora Abercrombie despite his youth, so one can only wonder if he seeks to find a wife before his family can find one for him!

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Missed Connections
The Perfect View

We sat in the same box for the World Cup finals, and spoke a bit. I don’t know if you noticed, but I couldn’t take my eyes off you for the rest of the match. In the chaos I did not get to say goodbye, but I want you to know you have the best laugh I’ve ever heard. I gave you my name, so write to me if you feel the same.
Quills & Spills

Were you shopping at Scrivenshaft’s Tuesday last, and ever so pleased about buying yourself a nice eagle feather quill? Don’t think I didn’t see you fiddling with all the ink bottle lids! You’re the reason my new gloves are ruined. I have left my details at Gladrag’s, and if you have any remorse you will attend to reimbursing me there for a new pair immediately. Yours, Miss Spelling.
Meet Me at the Platform

9 3/4 at 11 o’clock, as we used to. Do you remember? Once we have bid goodbye to the children for the year, I will be waiting for you past the brick wall. Perhaps we might share a private compartment somewhere? Yours, A.

You absolute harlot! I heard you and a friend having a nasty little conversation at a party last week. Do you think no one else could understand all the dreadful things you were saying? Everyone speaks French, you imbecile! Vous avez fait une grande erreur.

Weak At The Knees

The real question about the Morocco vs. Britain match is: did you see that Moroccan beater? Forget the players’ kneecaps, he has made my knees buckle: I don’t think my heart will ever beat for another. If perchance he reads this, he will find me waiting for him on the Sanditon boardwalk every day next week. Please get down on one knee for me.
Looking Out For You

There was a bit of a stampede in our section of the stands after the bludger incident, and you dropped a pair of quidditch-viewing spectacles on the stairs. I picked them up but could not catch you - you had brown hair, were wearing blue - so if that’s you and you find you are missing something of yours, write to me at P. O. Box #143 at the Hogsmeade post office.
Great Show, Britain

What a useless game at the finals. But what could we expect from a team full of usurpers and murderers? If you, too, are disgusted at our national team’s lack of skill, join us at Padmore Park next Saturday morning to reform our quidditch league and find Britain some better players for next time. Greet us with the words: Justice for Peter Quince!
There's no such thing as the One That Got Away! Send a letter in with your personal advertisement or response to have it printed in the next issue. Address your letters to: Missed Connections, Witch Weekly.
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