Everyone should have at least one friend with whom they can do insane (or just plain weird) things. I am fortunate enough to have that kind of friend in abundance (as has been seen before).  So last year, a friend and I were in a silk painting class at school and we didn’t really like it much. Both of us like drawing, simple drawing, with pencils. We shy away from color and paint. Silk painting is all about color and dye and no detail. Not a great match.

I had done a version of silk painting over the summer at an arts camp. I say a version because the method there was very different from at school and less really artsy. I was allowed to produce these simple testaments to my obsession:

My argument was that there was lots of little detail in the Gryffindor crest; the teacher at camp may have bought it, but my school teacher certainly wouldn’t. So in the class, we had to be really creative. Which meant produce stuff in the style of the teacher, to his liking, and use every suggestion he gave us.

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It’s like Harry Potter meets Winnie the Pooh and the Heffalumps. And some people had too much time on their hands over the summer and emailed each other weirdly.

We don’t  mean to offend any magical races or persons.

Any similarities to recognizable Harry Potter characters, ideas, or objects are completely intentional. It’s because we like them.

L: “Resembles a gummy walnut.” I think that is the most disgusting description ever. I would like to throw up.

E: What resembles a gummy walnut?? A brain?

Well here’s a bag.

L: Tom. The barman at the Leaky Cauldron. Says so on in the paper. “Wizened old man who resembles a gummy walnut.”

Thank you. It has not yet materialized. I will call you when it does. Um, who throws up in a bag?

E: It says that Tom the Barman resembles a gummy walnut? Well that’s demented.

Hmmm. The teleportation portal must be crowded. People on planes.

L: Disgusting, huh? Actually, I may have closed it on my side. I’ll go check.

E: Okay, and?

L: No, it’s open, I don’t know why that bag is not coming through.

E: Hmmmm. Maybe it was intercepted by a bag-nabbing wirszuz.

L: This system is so inadequate. If you can’t protect items from bag-nabbing wirszuzes, how can you possibly guarantee they won’t fall into the hands (claws, I guess) of snarkle-nosed kaputs? Or worse, the purple-snail-clad-assasin priests?

E: I can’t. I should’ve insured the darned thing. Against polygleefis mirdipuds as well. Those are practically taking over the east Peridian portals.

L: I suppose it’s a necessary precaution, nowadays.

Did you put a tracker on it? I was so hoping for that bag. We ought to go I.I.E.M.P (Interfering and Intentionally Ivil Magical Pest) hunting this weekend. The bpalooker knazzes (among other things) are getting out of hand. I’ve used all my poison guided arrows and don’t know where my ray gun is, though. Do you have extra of either that I could borrow? I mean, my wand would do, but those IIEMP’s have an uncanny ability to avoid stunning spells, and one once carried off my friend’s wand. I do NOT want that to happen. I only have a limited amount of money, and I’m using it to buy school clothes.

E: I forgot to get the tracking number. Damn. The zollipleedus widdlefugs enjoy eating trackers anyway; they hardly ever survive. You think it was the IIEMP’s? Gosh, I’d only gone as far as IMP’s (Interfering Magical Pests). We should probably owl extermination. Lately I’ve been finding kahzoozles all over the house. One was even in my fridge drinking Old Ogden’s! If I see that happen again, it’ll be the magical pest bureau and no mistake!

I used my last guided arrow on friday—killed a garnickle with it, too. But I still have a couple rayguns and quinrim spears. You should probably fly by to pick them up though; can’t trust the portals now. And they’re too heavy for owl.

Wow. Did your friend complain? She should have. And all the new books! Insanely expensive.

L: Really E? I’ll never get that bag. Think how many gold bobbets we’ve lost!

See, I suspect the IIEMP’s because they’ve been knocking off the IMP’s lately, polishing them off by the dozen. It must be the weather. All these lunar flares, planetary enlargements, and shooting stars could be affecting their appetites.

Owling extermination, that’s a good idea. You should suggest that to the Department of Magical Portals and Transportation. They’re being much more open with and accepting towards the public now.

Wow—kahzoozles! The only thing I ever get are bidiplogs. What do you do with them?

I support you all the way, though good luck getting ahold of the bureau.

No more arrows! Do you know anyone who has a few to spare? Oh fantastic. I’ll surely do so. Definitely not. These transportation networks have all gone haywire, from what I’ve heard. Did you read about what happened to the latest distributed batch of floo powder? It will either immobilize you or take you to the spot furthest away from your chosen destination. Wouldn’t want to waste another owl, either.

She did, but, as you know, a snapped wand is a snapped wand.

I know. I’m loosing gold so fast you wouldn’t believe it…

E: I was all in a tizzy when I sent it. . . the neighbor’s crizzenthen was attacking my old cat. I’m afraid you might not.

WE lost? It was all me! My gold to send you that bag. . .

Oh, right. Good point. Read an article about IIEMP expansion yesterday in The Prophet. Their advice was to lock your doors and hide the children. All you can ever expect from that paper anyway. Someone should ask the centaurs. Not me though! I had enough of them last year at the International Interspecies Convention! Always asking for something or telling you you were about to die. . . worse than Trelawney! And they wouldn’t leave my department alone about a new broom that could seat a centaur! Really now! A broom for a horse?

I think I will. Well they have to be, what with all the goings on recently. They’re losing face and’ll take any suggestion to get out of it. And now with all the waddlumps in their offices. . .  bidiplogs are rather scarcer my way. But kahzoozles! I do it the muggle way—after ’em with a hatchet. They’re immune to most minor hexes and jinxes.

Yeah, I’ve tried 9 times in the last week. They’re backed up till next christmas. I think Grizelda Marchbanks had a few. But she was murdered. . . let’s see. The Prewitts’ were stolen by biddipongs last Wednesday. . . the Turpins might have a couple. Try them. Yeah. And I can’t drop ’em off either. My hovercar broke down this morning. I think a kneazle crawled up inside the engine. Brilliant. I have to speak to the Department of Futuristic Un-Wizardly things now on top of all the IIEMPs.

Oh yeah, I heard about that at the office. I caught Jan trying to give some to Pete too this morning. Had to stop THAT. Still. There should be some kind of reimbursement.

L: I thought your cat was part snerklax? Well, you can give me a new bag when I fly over to pick up the raygun later this week.

But you see, the ministry has just instated that black gold tax, so it was partially me as well.

Oh well that’s helpful. Biting books? Lock your doors, hide the children. Leaking cauldrons? Lock your doors, hide the children. Dark wizards? Lock your doors, hide the children. And now IIEMPs? Same thing. Precisely, I’ve come not to hope for too much. One might even find more truth/relative information in The Quibbler!

How did you work your way into that convention? I heard it was going to be packed; did people skive off because of the dragonpox epidemic? Oh, so NOW they want to involve themselves with us? It’s always been their dearest ambition to disassociate themselves from the human magical population. Filthy seers, the lot of them. What hypocrites! A broom, merlin’s pants! Next time one prances up to your department, tell it to consult the stars for its’ answer. But i don’t know, E. Trelawney could give them a run for their galleons. She’s taken to haunting my office this summer, I don’t know what she’s hoping for. She thinks my hair is a sign of distress. “The curls! Ah, my child, a sign of certain impending doom, a deathly shadow on the horizon!” Excuse me, but if she thinks I’m going to go running because of my hair, she’s up her tree. I think what she really wants is my office, but I’d sooner eat my owl.

That’s what I thought. The ministry is completely useless these days. Have you tried talking with filius? for some reason I think he has a connection in that particular department. Though I don’t know how useful it will be now, what with all the goblin inquiries.

E:  Well she is, but she’s getting up in her years. Can’t do anything against a crizzenthen nowadays. Used to be she could tear their scales off with one swipe, but not now. She can’t even outrun pete.

I will if you remind me when you’re here. Everything’s just gone to Azkaban in a dementor’s pocket these last few days. . . can’t even get my shoes on the right feet most mornings.

Oh right. The black gold tax. Aren’t they protesting that over in Godric’s Hollow already? Not surprising seeing how much they’ve lost there due to all the stiltend attacks in the few years.

Always the same. Honestly. All those leaky cauldrons a few years back were not threatening anything but your fire. My potions put it out all the time. So let’s hid the children! Why not? Merlin. I’d like to strangle that Rita Skeeter woman and then feed her to a kernuzzle. Slowly. Recently The Quibbler‘s been publishing some good stuff in between the reports of crumple-horned snorkacks in Kent. Did you see the bit about Shacklebolt’s secret pudding recipe? I don’t for a moment doubt it’s true. That man’s always been a little too gruff for my liking. . . and 50 page reports on every call! What a git.

The dragonpox epidemic hit Surrey hard, but I was there on official business. Not that I wanted to be, but I had to represent the Ministry along with ol’ bushy-hair Granger. She was there petitioning for house-elf and centaur rights and I was there to make sure she didn’t accomplish anything. God. Can you imagine house-elves getting wages? And holidays? They LIKE it. Why granger has to go about stirring up trouble when we’ve got enough on our hands as it is I don’t know. . . and the centaurs and their brooms! Godric! It was worse than the Romanians at the world cup this July! And they are such hussies! You’re right. Only 2 years ago they were content to go live off in their forests doing who-know’s what with twigs and now? Brooms! To accommodate a horse! And of course they got all offended about being called horses, but what else could I say? We were all nearly kicked out on the second day of the convention. Dueling over whether or not one is like that hag umbridge is apparently not convention-sanctioned. But I talked my way out of it, Granger was no help of course. She just threw me dirty looks the whole time and told me I was hurting her cause. Well good, is all I have to say.

Didn’t Granger walk out of a lesson with Trelawney back in school? Don’t blame her, but why she would have taken the class in the first place beats me. I’ve only met the old bat three times, but each time it’s: “The signs! The signs! I have seen in my crystal that you will meet an old wizened woman in shawls in the near future. Do not speak to her, she spells DEATH.” The arse. Doesn’t even realize she’s talking about herself. I’m not sure she wants your office, Minot. What would she do with it? Make it rain? Naaaah. She’s a crazy old bird if there ever was one. Can’t see why Dumbledore’s kept her on so long anyway. . . then again he’s misplaced a few marbles along the way too. Thinks the world’s problems can be solved with a hug. Bit like The Prophet. Bad grade? Here’s a hug. Giant snake attacking students? How ’bout a hug? Mass-murderer escaped? He just needs a hug. You-Know-Who’s back? His mummy never gave him hugs. And I don’t blame the poor woman, with a mug like his, not even your own mother’d want to get too close.

No, I’ll owl Filius later today, that sounds like a good idea. The pesky goblins!!!! Almost worse than the centaurs! Though of course they picketed the convention. That solved a few problems. Security was looser too. Never can trust a goblin. They’ll give their allegiance to the highest bidder and, rumor has it, right now that’s He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Brilliant. A whole race we have to capture and interrogate.

Dun. . . dun. . . duhhhhhhhh!

That’s a quote by the way, I didn’t decide to probe “my darkest ponds” on my own. It was an assignment. And it wasn’t fun.

My friend and I spent hours discussing what the heck we were going to do about that assignment while wandering around campus the day it was assigned. Neither of us really ended up doing it. I wrote this and she emailed our teacher an extremely long and detailed description of why she could not, would not, and should not do the assignment. I think she probably ended up doing it better than any of us.


I don’t think I have a “deepest, darkest pond.” And I certainly couldn’t think of anything to write about. So I rambled about why I couldn’t and deteriorated into a sword fight with a sea monster (who lives in a deep, dark pond). That bit was atrociously fun to write. My friend gagged upon reading it.

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I took Creative Writing: Nonfiction as an elective this semester. But I wouldn’t have if I’d been a little better informed on what the class was. I know plenty of people who love it; in fact it almost seems like the whole class does except for me. Well, and one of my best friends, but she hardly counts because she doesn’t like anything except Sweeney Todd and tea. In fact, another of my best friends practically worships the class, then again I disagree with him on pretty much everything except the fact that fencing is fun.

Well, I don’t know what most people think when they hear Creative Writing: Nonfiction, but for me it certainly wasn’t memoir. I was thinking, I don’t know. . . historical stuff, creative essays, whatever. But NOT memoir. Or mehm-wahr as I now say and spell it automatically as a result of my teacher’s peculiar stressing of the word.

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