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Issue #261 - The Hogwarts Coming Out Ball: Girl Most Likely...
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1891 Trends from the Hogwarts Coming Out Ball
The Hogwarts Coming Out Ball is the beginning of the Season for the newest flock of debutantes, many of whom are eager to leave their mark on society! The easiest way debutantes manage this is through their fashion choices—and what better place to showcase their style than the ball that marks the beginning of it all?

1. Gold. Traditionally debuting girls don themselves in white as a testament of their purity (but more so to stand out against a crowd of mothers and married women). However, a number of the debutantes were seen wearing gold as a part of their ensemble. Miss Angelique Farbridge's gown shined gold in the candlelight against her lily-white skin and blonde curls, and Miss Fortuna Cresswell wore a golden overlay on her gown that complimented her deep complexion.

2. Puff sleeves. Another trend that's emerged coming out of the Hogwarts Coming Out Ball is the popularity of puff sleeves—a trend we're not certain will stick around for long given how awkwardly it looks on certain body types, like Miss Shona Lukeson, who was seen wearing one with particularly frilly puff sleeves!

3. Capes. While long trains have traditionally been associated with coming out gowns, a number of debutantes were seen donning long capes instead of trains. While not necessarily a practical fashion choice, it's certainly a pretty one!

Off-shoulder sleeves. While not uncommon for evening gowns to allow a bit of cleavage, it seems that some of this season's debutantes, including head girl Miss Frida Lestrange, have opted to show a bit of shoulder as well! It's definitely a trend reserved for ladies with an impeccable complexion—some of us couldn't imagine showing that much skin!
Capes—pretty or impractical?


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Will Your Season Be Triumph or Tragedy?
1) A gentleman inelegantly spills his lemonade on your newest gown. How do you react?
a) Swoon, offering him the chance to revive you and save face.
b) Joke about your fondness for citrus scents
c) Scowl and demand a formal apology


2) What skills have you perfected in preparation for the Season?
a) Dancing in pinched shoes - a lady never allows pain to impact her form
b) Colorswitching spells - why only arrive once?
c) A haunting Requiem - bombastic arias on death can only elevate your soiree


3) What was your best subject in school?
a) Charms and etiquette, and one or two appropriate clubs
b) Classwork was simply a distraction from your social pursuits
c) All of them - your peers were a distraction from your academic aims


4) What roses grace your garden?
a) Only the purest white, with maybe one or two perfect red roses
b) Jovial yellow and soft pinks
c) You prefer practical plants, like mandrakes


5) A child falls in the park where you promenade. How do you respond?
a) Coax the little one to stand with a soft voice and ask after their guardian. Perhaps the tot's widowed father will hear of your kindness.
b) Offer a sweet you were saving for yourself and assure the neglectful governess that grass stains are surely in fashion among children.
c) Publicly lament the failings of youth. This one needs more discipline and less play.

6) Your ideal husband has what profession?
a) He is a Ministry man, perhaps eyeing the Wizengamot
b) A man of leisure or a Quidditch player, someone that can match your energy
c) You have exacting standards, perhaps a man of the Church or an academic.


Mostly As: Triumph – Future debutants will study your technique for years to come! Your mastery of obedience to your betters, dramatic self-sacrifice, and keen sense of fashion will have you penning dozens of rejection owls. Naturally, your former suitors will treasure their heartbreak as it grants them a last look at your perfect penmanship.
Mostly Bs: Comedy – The best stories contain a few twists and turns along the way. Your love of fun, convivial charm and stunning style will make you the belle of the ball. Make sure to bestow those girlish giggles sparingly, lest your reputation lead to something truly laughable – the stage.
Mostly Cs: Tragedy – Just like the beautiful maidens in the stories, you’ll find yourself in mortal peril. Unlike those maidens, there will be no brave knight to save you. Make preparations for your spinsterhood now, you silly shrew.



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The Hogwarts Coming Out Ball: Girl Most Likely...
As a new host of debutantes descend the stairs to the Great Hall and enter this summer’s season with grand hopes and dreams, this is Witch Weekly’s expert guide to who’s who of the latest young ladies on the social scene, and what to expect from them.

...To Marry A Cousin: Seneca Lestrange. Like most young Lestrange ladies, she will no doubt be educated to excellence as a Pendergast Rose, but may never be on the marriage market: a gentleman may attempt to seek her hand, but we would wager on another family arrangement.

...To Be Unlucky In Love: Darling Whitledge. A picture perfect debutante, and as pretty as her name. Although Miss Whitledge is entirely deserving of a happy ending, she may instead face her family’s terrible luck and end up dead, unmarried or worse, working at the Ministry.

...To Disappoint Her Family: Cecilia Bulstrode. The Bulstrodes’ only daughter, her family are no doubt hoping she will prove herself a diamond of the season — but rumour has it their daughter may not share their confidence. Will the pressure be too much for her?

...To Travel The World: Holliday Fudge. The Sanditon Resort may be the perfect summer destination, but Miss Fudge, like her late magizoologist father, adventuring uncle and curse-breaker brother, may well find herself drawn to foreign shores before she thinks of settling down.

...To Have Loose Morals: Citrine Weasley. While from a perfectly respectable family, Miss Weasley clearly does not hope to marry, for she is said to be taking up a career in professional quidditch. She is either the next unhappy Mrs. Desdemona Pettigrew in the making, or all that mixing with men and working class women will see her quite ruined.

...To Reject A Proposal: Angelique Farbridge. With looks, charm and money, this young heiress seems inclined to settle for nothing less than perfection. Perhaps there is something in the rumours of distant Veela heritage, and she will see gentlemen falling at her feet — but will any of them be enough for her, or will she always be disappointed by her own expectations?

...To Devote Herself To Charity: Shona Lukeson. Said to be of a sweet nature, this former Hufflepuff no doubt knows what it is to be pitied, what with the troubles of her extended family and the vivid red hair she shares with them. No doubt she will seek to find meaning in her life by helping those less fortunate. And then telling everyone else about it, probably.

...To Begin A New Fashion Trend: Nicolette Fernsby. Spirited and spontaneous, the advantage of her surname and her mother’s fashion house makes this almost a sure thing. We look forward to seeing how the latest Fernsby debutante is dressed to attend events, and whether any of her attempted styles catch on.

...To Be Found At The Piano: Cordelia Fawley. If she fails to make an advantageous marriage, this former prefect is extremely well-placed to make an accomplished governess or lady’s companion in high society, for her musical abilities are said to be beyond compare. She may not find a husband, but she will make a pretty ornament at society parties.

...To Make Someone Else’s Match: Ruby Urquart. With an avid interest in Divination and the stars on her side, Miss Urquart is a friend worth having, and will no doubt be able to offer good advice to those she cares about when it comes to making a match. If she approaches you at a party, it may be because she knows just who your soulmate ought to be!

...To Die Of Dragon Pox: Jemima Farley. Even having a handsome healer in the family may not spare this young lady the trials of a terrible disease. We are not convinced she will live long enough to see marriage; even at her first ball she was spotted with bloodstains on her white gown. Tuberculosis, perhaps?

...To Marry Up: Fortuna Cresswell. A gold overlay on her gown at the Coming Out Ball might be merely the sign of a proud Hufflepuff, but we suspect more ambition beneath. Miss Cresswell no doubt is looking upwards for her future, and may just have the drive to achieve that success - and with an architect for a father, she is likely to have a cool eye for constructing complicated schemes to get her way.

...To Settle Down In A Season: Frida Lestrange. With good breeding, a striking countenance and a demure character, what is stopping her? Hogwarts’ latest Head Girl and first down the steps, Witch Weekly sees no reason why she should not be first to the altar as well, and happily settled and on the path to motherhood before her peers have made a start.

...To Be The Life Of The Party: Amity Rosewood. She may not marry as swiftly as Miss Lestrange, though she could; but Miss Rosewood rather looks set to take the scenic route in life — and not just because she resides at the Sanditon! No, fun seems first and foremost this Gryffindor’s desire, and we can only hope a love of parties does not end up leading her astray.

...To Meet A Tragic End: Lillian Avery. Though intended to debut with the rest of her class, Miss Avery’s father met an ill-fated end in the wreck of the Santa Antonina, sinking her hopes of debuting. Will she ever make up for time wasted, or will Miss Avery be swept up like the tragic heroines of ballet, and meet an untimely, unwed end in a manner fitting of Giselle?





















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   Lillian Avery, Ruby Urquart


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We here at Witch Weekly value the thoughts and concerns of our readers. Here are but a few letters that we have received from our valued clientele. Letters From Our Readers
Dear Witch Weekly,

I think the former Miss Zabini – I will not bother with her ill-gotten married name – owes the young ladies of the ton a formal apology! To elope just before the Season begins with one of our most eligible bachelors shows a lack of consideration as well as just how light her skirts are. A half blood mingling with the old families is tragedy enough, but her reckless disregard for others means her scandal will eclipse the matches of our young, respectable ladies. The gall!

Sincerely,
Righteous Indignation


Dear Witch Weekly,

I worry deeply for Miss Lillian Avery. So much potential, hidden away in shrouds of mourning wear. With this said, perhaps a trip on the boats with her fellow class companions was ill advised? Perhaps the Board of Governors could spare future mourning graduates the pain of joining their joyous classmates on such a journey? I would suggest sending the dear mourners home earlier in the day, for the sake of respecting their pain!

Sincerely,
A Concerned Citizen


Dear Witch Weekly,

Have the Parkinson family lost their minds? One would think that things have gone too far for far too long between Mr. Parkinson and that bastard girl! I have just heard that the wedding is at the end of this month. How ridiculous! What of my respectable daughter? There are so many respectable, young debutantes that would have been far better matches than the daughter of a whore. How disgraceful! Mr. Selwyn should have cast that gold digger out the moment she was born!

Sincerely,
Rightfully Distraught


Dear Witch Weekly,

It is time to reexamine the Hogwarts Bludger Ban for the prestige of British Quidditch. Any Hogwarts student with professional flying aspirations will be woefully unprepared for the rigors of the game. Consider the moral edification bludgers and beaters represent for the lower classes. The lower classes, who are more likely to favor a career of instant gratification to support their families, face a world full of difficulties and suffering. It is cruel to send them into the world with anything but the harsh realities of life. Let them know a swift bludgeoning when they are still green, and they will better value the beater’s role of protector and gain experience recovering from life’s painful setbacks. The Board of Governors must reinstate beaters now, for the sake of the masses!

Best,
Strive and Struggle


Dear Witch Weekly,

I have grown up looking forwards to receiving my copy of Witch Weekly and I've kept my own subscription for years and I have always thought Witch Weekly to hold society figures in high regard. When you have written speculating in the past, your articles have always had some form of a base. But this time you have stepped too far.

How dare you! How dare you prey upon a poor woman barely a month after the loss of her husband as you have! You prey upon my sister in her weakest time, relying upon the regard your readers hold in you that they will believe you speak the truth. Well, I write you know to inform you that are the farthest you could ever be from the truth. You write nothing but outright lies and slander against a widow and a man who may no longer defend his own honor.

As someone who knew the couple dearly, I can assure the writers at Witch Weekly and the readers both that the account that Witch Weekly presented of William and Diana Abbott contains no truth when describing their characters. As you have speculated, the pair knew each other in their Hogwarts years and have maintained a friendship since. This is the reason their courtship was short - because the pair was already familiar with each other for years prior to my brother-in-law's proposal so they did not need the extra time to get acquainted with each other. Mr. Abbott waited these years to propose so that when he did he would be in a financial position to offer my sister the stability she deserved. How could a man who worked hard to prepare years for marriage not be prepared for the responsibility he would soon face?

William Abbott was a kind man and a caring husband to my sister and would have made a wonderful father. When we spoke of my sister's upcoming child he was nothing but excited to become a father. He had naught a cruel bone in his body and would have been incapable of leaving his wife and unborn child behind nor is my sister shrewish as you dared to call her.

And while I cannot claim to know much regarding his business, I can assure you that your theory is ridiculous. He hired on Mr. Bensouda as he believed that the man would be able to teach his team well - within the bound of an English playstyle. Besides, as you have clearly proven not all rumors are to be believed. Rest assured you will not find Mr. Abbott in Morocco, France, Spain, or any other country you might think of for, due to unfortunate tragedy, as the announcement from the Ministry stated, William Abbott was lost to the sea and we will mourn him greatly.

I appeal to you now, Witch Weekly, to extend a public apology for your words and the harm they have caused, not just to my own family and sister, but to the Abbotts as well.

Disappointed and hurt,
Octavia Rose Fawley


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