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The Newsstand WWN September 2019 Broadcast Script

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Episode of WWN: September 2019

00:00 - Intro

Writer: Vievelynn
Host: Branwenn

Welcome back to another broadcast of the Wizarding Wireless Network. I am Branwenn and I will be your Host today as we join you in this busy Back To School month. Even if you yourself are not heading back to school, nor have kids doing so, we've got something for everyone. So, sit back, and enjoy this quarterly broadcast where we will delve into comparisons between the Muggle education system versus the Magical one; or what it's like to attend neither, if that's more your tune.

Bringing you all the information you would ever need to know about the alternative to public institutions - a.k.a. homeschooling - here is the Wizarding Wireless Network. This broadcast has been brought to you by Flourish and Blotts - a store that caters to all your learning expeditions.

(Disclaimer - read quickly) The WWN is not affiliated with the Ministry of Magic, and all material is provided for informational purposes only. Professional and legal information regarding magical education should be taken to the Department of Magical Education.

01:05 - Homeschooling

Writer: caylen9
Host: Branwenn (Host), Sammy (Melinda Toppet), ilostmyleftshoe (Anonymous Parent & Henry Gaffin)

Host: After Hogwarts’ mandatory attendance under the regime of He Who Must Not Be Named, you may find yourself among the growing number of parents who don't wish their children to be at the mercy of our education system. And there are certainly other options. But, unfortunately, homeschooling presents its own set of unique challenges. Therefore, we devote this segment to you, parents, and your tireless efforts. Search no longer, because we are unveiling new methods for ensuring your children's future success!

While issues with staffing and breaches of safety are prevalent, it cannot be denied that Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is perhaps the foremost in academic achievement. With experts in every field, teaching every tool in a wizard’s arsenal, a homeschooled child must achieve marks that go above and beyond if they hope to compete with a Hogwarts student. And, obviously, you can’t be an expert in every field, so how do you make up for the lost content?

We spoke to Melinda Toppet, one of many home-schooling parents teaming up to create “floating classrooms”. In these floating classrooms, students are learning skills every day in different topics, and each parent serves to teach a subject. A similar tactic has been known to be employed by Muggles in their own homeschooling. The students being taught in this technique say they find it extremely beneficial to have an entire day to learn and practice a concept, rather than a few hours. One girl even showed us three aging potions she had concocted; the first attempt was a silty consistency and possessed a yellowish hue. Hardly safe for testing. However, her third attempt had progressed to a clear, green liquid capable of growing her owl chick to a full-feathered miniature of the adult.

Melinda states that in addition to the benefits of longer class times and several more adept teachers, the children also form important bonds and friendships. Ones often extending into their adult lives.

Melinda: Children need someone to talk to. Friends among their peers. And it really helps them to try to do their best when they compete with each other. We’ve never had any problems with bullying or fallouts, which is more than can be said for Hogwarts.

Host: For parents lacking extensive connections, several schooling packages have been written through collaborations of notable wizards and witches. We've talked to a parent who wished her name not to be disclosed, and she used a packet co-written by Neville Longbottom, Hannah Abbott, George Weasley, and Cormac McLaggen.

Anonymous Parent: It’s just wonderful! My son can go at his own pace, and learn from some of the most notable names!

Host: We also spoke to Henry Gaffin, who utilizes an unusual strategy to educate his three daughters.

Henry Gaffin: I owns meeself a Pensieve, see. I can show them my own classes taught by my teachers. Then, I knows exactly what to help them with when they struggles.

Host: These strategies seem to be working for the children. So much so that many parents disregard Mrs. Toppet’s concerns about friendship. In fact, they claim that their children meet with fellow students outside of the class setting, on a regular basis. One thing that did surprise us, however, was the fact that parents did not place much importance upon O.W.L. and N.E.W.T. preparation. When asked why, Melinda told us that it had proved unimportant.

Melinda: We know what we’re teaching. They’re always ready.

Host: And that is indeed a correct assessment. According to the Department of Magical Education, homeschooled witches and wizards in Britain perform 15 to 30 percent better on O.W.L. and N.E.W.T. exams than students educated at Hogwarts, Durmstrang, Beauxbatons, and Ilvermorny. One boy showed us his O.W.L. results, and he was beaming as he did so. For good reason, too; five O's, one E, and one A.

Admittedly, the perks are alluring. But this is magic we're talking about, and there are bound to be mishaps. While Hogwarts has trained Healers on site, St Mungo’s takes no extra precautions against injuries in education - though, it does print a pamphlet for safe and healthy magical instruction. We spoke to Devlin Brothers, a prominent insurance firm situated in Diagon Alley, to discover that magical education is too unpredictable to turn a profit. And, as such, it is very unlikely to find a worthwhile insurance plan. Thus, parents planning to homeschool are, more or less, on their own in terms of ensuring the safety of the children in their charge.

But that doesn't necessarily mean that the homeschooling classroom is a dangerous setting. For example, while we were visiting a floating classroom, a group of Muggle boys knocked on the door mid-Potions lesson. And by the time the parent-turned-teacher had traversed the room, cauldrons and vials, wands and knives had all been stashed away and replaced with board games, cake, and balloons. The parent opened the door and purchased cookies for all his guests. The door closed and class resumed. Just another day in a wizarding homeschool.

Now, for a slight change of pace, bringing you a segment on Muggle Schools, written by siriuslywinchester, this is Branwenn.

06:30 - Muggle Schools

Writer: siriuslywinchester
Host: Branwenn

Young witches and wizards around the world are getting set to head back to their magical schools. So, perhaps, we should spare a thought for the poor Muggle children who are forced to endure the horror that is Muggle schooling.

As a lover of Muggle Studies, I have long enjoyed learning about how young children with no magical talents learn to survive in their strange and uneasy lives. Schools are aplenty in the Muggle world in comparison with the number of Wizarding schools. And, yet, so many Muggles seem completely incapable of doing… well… anything!

(Quite flustered)

The most obvious difference, of course, is the lack of wands. Young Muggles need not learn spellcraft. Instead, they start off learning numbers and letters, and doing all sorts of things with these that don’t seem to have any relevance later in their Muggle life. Why this is deemed necessary, I have yet to establish. They take great pride in their youngsters who do well at a subject known as "Math-er-mat-tics". This involves doing things with numbers and symbols that one could not quite fathom. I have, on the rare occasions I’ve ventured into a classroom, heard that this is a vital skill for later in life. One young child dared to ask what exactly they would be needed for later in life and was given a very evasive answer of, “You’ll see when you’re a grown up.” Merlin knows what would happen to our poor children if we gave that answer to the age-old “What does this spell do?” question!

Having seen inside both Wizarding and Muggle schools, another huge oversight of our non-magical counterpart is the lack of ink. They use neither the feather quill nor an ink pot; just a mere tube of plastic or wood that seems to leave a trail behind in the style of writing. It seems oddly like witchcraft to me but, of course, as an educated witch myself, I know this not to be true. The Muggles call these objects 'pens' and 'pencils' - though what the difference between the two is, I haven't quite worked out. I have also failed to figure out how these devices work, particularly if you take them apart and try to put them back together again. Some of them have SPRINGS inside, for goodness sake!?!

(Quickly moving on as though she has had a brain wave - becoming more flustered)

Speaking of ‘inside’, Muggle schools often take their young students on trips. While this might sound like a jolly good idea, it is certainly not the delightful Floo-powdered excitement that our young witches and wizards enjoy. Oh no, no. The Muggle children are all crammed inside a large metal box - a good fifty of them can fit in at once! - and they spend all day travelling off to their destination, all the whilst singing awful songs. From what I can gather, the journey is worse than Apparition and many poor souls fall foul of sickness. What on Earth possesses Muggle professors to take on this task is quite beyond me. It is most certainly not for the faint of heart!

Well, I must say I’m becoming quite flustered just thinking about the trials and tribulations that our young Muggle friends must go through to become educated. I have pages upon pages of research (Sound of notepad flipping through) and just not enough time to elaborate on them all.

Dear listeners, I implore you, if you see a young Muggle child looking lost and forlorn, go right on up to them and give them a hug. Merlin knows they need it after a hard day at those horrible houses of education.

Now that you will be convinced of our education system more than ever, it's time to board none other than the Hogwarts Express. Bringing you a historical piece on how this seemingly Muggle transport came to be, this is The Hogwarts Express, written by caylen9 and hosted by Sammy.

11:09 - The Hogwarts Express

Writer: caylen9
Host: Sammy (Host), Branwenn (Percy Weasley), ilostmyleftshoe (Ministry Official)

Host: As a wizarding parent living in the UK, you’ll most likely be taking your student to Platform 9 ¾ for a happy sendoff to Hogwarts on the secure, safe, and fast Hogwarts Express. But what if that wasn’t what happened? In fact, why is a train the method of transportation to a wizarding school, of all places? It’s well known, of course, that one cannot Apparate onto Hogwarts grounds but wouldn’t, say, a Portkey be an easier way to ferry students to school? Or the Floo Network, perhaps? Why is it that we find ourselves commuting around the countryside like Muggles on holiday?

When I posed this question to Percy Weasley, Head of the Department of Magical Transportation, he appeared mildly annoyed.

Percy: Do you know how hard it is to create one Portkey effectively - let alone that many? And to organize them to be in the right places without anyone being splinched, or lost, or any other disastrous mishap? Unimaginable hassle! And the Floo Network isn’t made for that kind of strain; it’d burst!

Host: He walked away before we could inquire what he meant by ‘burst’. Another official, who asked to remain unnamed, shared the sentiment.

Ministry Official: The liability cost of a few students getting hurt, when compared to the reliability of most wizarding transportation, makes them inadvisable for public use. The numbers just aren’t feasible.

Host: So, Floo Network is out of the question. But what about Portkeys? We had to ask, and our source was all too happy to relay that usage of Portkeys to and from Hogwarts has been tried and... busted.

Ministry Official: Portkeys may seem like a decent solution at first glance. However, numerous students missed their Portkey time slots or failed to locate the plain and inconspicuous Portkey item. So much so that only 70% of students made it to the school each year. As safe and organized as it may be, Portkeys were not effective.

Host: So, how did we go from a Portkey to a Muggle train? It wasn't until 1827 that Minister for Magic, Ottaline Gambol, proposed the controversial suggestion of utilizing a Muggle steam locomotive to transport the student body without attracting Muggles' attention. To say that pureblood families were outraged would be an understatement. But when the Ministry decreed that students either rode the Hogwarts Express or did not attend Hogwarts at all, dissenters had no choice but to accept the conditions.

As useful as magic is, it still has its shortcomings. Especially when a situation requires not just grand and complex feats, but inconspicuousness. Human ingenuity is sometimes crucial to overcoming issues too challenging to be solved by a flick of one’s wand.

14:02 - Ghosts

Writer: Ariana Rosier
Host: ilostmyleftshoe

The ride may have been bumpy and tedious... But congratulations, folks, you've made it to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! There are many a wonder at this place, but perhaps something - or someones - we simply cannot forget are the non-living. Particularly, the ghosts.

For Muggle-borns, the moment of walking into a school full of apparitions may be the most terrifying experience of their life. So, as a precautionary measure, we offer a brief and flattering introduction of our undead friends at Hogwarts.

Ghosts are one of the most fascinating parts of the magical world. Despite the many advancements made in spells and potions over the last few centuries, we are still unable to truly bring someone back from beyond the dead. Even the foulest of magics cannot do such a deed, although many dark wizards have certainly tried.

And, yet, ghosts exist. A ghost is the imprint of the soul of a deceased witch or wizard. Muggles cannot become ghosts nor can they see them clearly, although some may sense their presence. Most wizards and witches do not become ghosts when they die, and simply pass on. However, those with some sort of unfinished business in the living world can stay behind and return as a ghost. This unfinished business may be fear of death, guilt, desire for revenge, or a strong attachment to the material world.

Hogwarts is home to many ghosts. In fact, it is the most heavily haunted dwelling place in all of the continent. To the point that each House has its own ghost. And I bet all my Galleons that the competition for those mascot positions was deathly high - pun fully intended. There is Gryffindor's Nearly Headless Nick, Hufflepuff's Fat Friar, Ravenclaw's Grey Lady, and Slytherin's Bloody Baron. These ghosts are some of the most famous ones at Hogwarts. They often talk with students, although the Grey Lady can be shy and the Bloody Baron intimidating. In other words, they're just like people... But people you can walk through.

It's really nothing to freak out about.

Each of these ghosts had already lived fascinating lives. Nearly Headless Nick was known as Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington - try saying that five times fast - and he lived a most noble life in the court of Henry VII. Then, most unfortunately, he tried to magically beautify a lady-in-waiting and instead caused her to sprout tusks. And, now, he is most known for his death... or the gory details of it, more accurately. You see, the executioner botched his beheading and left his head still partially hanging on, leading to his nickname of Nearly Headless Nick.

The Fat Friar was, as his name suggests, a friar in the Catholic Church. His good-hearted use of magic to help cure peasants of the pox lead to suspicion from leaders of the church, and he was ultimately executed.

The Grey Lady is more mysterious than her Gryffindor and Hufflepuff counterparts. She is reserved, and mostly speaks to only other ghosts and sometimes Ravenclaw students. She's a little exclusive, so if you ever manage two words out of her, you know you are very special. While her past is unconfirmed, she is rumored to be the daughter of the very founder of Ravenclaw House, Rowena Ravenclaw. With her youthful but sad appearance, her life story was probably a very short and tragic one.

The last of the four House ghosts, the Bloody Baron, also has a mysterious past. He often frightens the students and sometimes even his fellow ghosts (and a certain Poltergeist who denied these claims). He wears blood-stained clothes and heavy chains, so a sudden and unexpected meeting with this sir is not for the faint-hearted.

(Hushed) There are rumors about him and the Grey Lady, but you didn't hear it from me.

Some say they had a love affair, that they fought, and one killed the other. Whatever the truth is, it is probably only known to the two of them.

Among the other famous ghosts at Hogwarts is Professor Binns. He is the only ghost among the Hogwarts staff, and he teaches the subject of History of Magic. He was a professor during life, and continued teaching after his death. Some say he doesn't even know he's dead, and just keeps going about his job as usual.

The Hogwarts ghosts are a fascinating lot, and there are plenty besides the ones I mentioned. Go explore the castle, if you get the chance, and I urge you to find a ghost to chat with. Contrary to a popular belief in the Muggle world, dead men tell the best tales.

The next segment is not exactly 'Back To School', but bringing you an account of how learning doesn't necessarily end with one's school years this is Minister Moore and Sammy in Artificer Shopping.

19:30 - Artificer Shopping

Writer: Minister_Moore
Hosts: Minister_Moore (Ministry Official), Sammy (Ms Finch)

(Sounds of wind and birds)

Ministry Official: (Knocks on door) Anyone home? (Pause. Then a cat meows.) Hello there. Is this your home? (Cat purrs. Knocking on door becomes more pronounced. Pause. Then doors opens.)

Ms Finch: Good Morning. What brings a finely-dressed official out into the countryside this time of day?

Ministry Official: I'm looking for a Mrs Finch.

Ms Finch: Oooh, I think I know who you are looking for. That mad woman who makes fantastic things.

Ministry Official: Do you know her?

Ms Finch: I like to think so. Would you like to come in for a spot of tea?

Ministry Official: Thank you, but I really must find Mrs Finch. Ministry business, you know.

Ms Finch: Oh, in that case... (Claps hands. Sounds of porcelain and metal whooshing.) I call it 'Tea for two'; still working out the details.

Ministry Official: I see. You - you're Mrs Finch?

Ms Finch: Ms, actually. Here, have a cup. Hermione sent you?

Ministry Official: Yes.

Ms Finch: Come inside. I don't get visitors… ever. (Sounds of footsteps. Noise music fades in.) Coming in, Sir?

Ministry Official: Pardon?

Ms Finch: The cat. His name. Sir. (Door closes.) Sorry about that, I just needed to be sure. I don't like having to shoo Muggles away. I like the company, but nosy Muggles make it complicated. (Sounds of porcelain and metal whooshing. Sounds of sipping tea.)

Ministry Official: Spiced tea - my favorite. The Minister tell you?

Ms Finch: A little owl told me. Like a tour?

Ministry Official: Indeed. I'm the sole officer in the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts office; I take a fancy to all these magically mechanical apparatuses you have on show here. I'm sure that is why Minister Granger sent me instead of her assistant.

Ms Finch: As well as a chance for me to meet someone who appreciates my work. She mentioned you had a passing fascination with Muggle antiquities.

Ministry Official: Passing? More of a fixation. I'm here to collect some 'True Seeing Glasses'. May I see them?

Ms Finch: I have them round the back. Downstairs. We have to walk through the display room anyway. I want to show you some of my things!

(Music noise changes. Sipping sounds accompany traveling footsteps.)

Ministry Official: Wow, what does that one with the dancing spools of thread do?

Ms Finch: That's a New England Braiding BRD491. It's making shoestrings.

Ministry Official: Magical shoestrings?

Ms Finch: No, normal ones. Afterwards, I use spells on the strings to make them self-tie.

(Footsteps continue.)

Ministry Official: Oh, of course, easier that way. (Pause. Sipping tea.) Are all of these your father's?

Ms Finch: Oh, no. I make many of them myself. Some of them are just ideas that have no real use - art, sculpture, kinetic art. Sometimes, an art idea evolves into a real world application. Those are special. I can't just think 'today, I'll make an animated statue'. I might think about a Wizard chess set and then make it big. Kind of like that.

Ministry Official: You are an artist, then - like a painter? Start with a blank canvas and look for inspiration?

Ms Finch: Oh no, I'm not very good at taking people's portraits and imbuing them with memories, like the ones at school. I should practice that, though. I might be good. I'll never know until I try. I like the feel of metal and wood, and the craftsmanship of a well-made gear. I wonder if they still have my practice dummies at Hogwarts? Some of my early work. I mostly work at making tools and furnishings.

(Footsteps continue.)

Ministry Official: Everything here is in such well-kept condition, but why are those machines not moving?

Ms Finch: Before Ollivander set up his shop in Diagon Alley, my grandfather had been making basic school wands for beginning magic practitioners, around the turn of the century. He would sell a few cases to every European school at the beginning of every autumn. It's one of his early successful inventions. He modified an Egan spoke lathe from '88 to make the wands, a Blower & Force #106 press to core them, and a modified Lynx14 sausage stuffer to add the Kneazle whisker core. Mass-produced wands were predictable and easy to use; schools loved them because they were safe. And students could get a custom wand in their third year. Garrick Ollivander changed all that, probably for the better. Custom wands are so much cooler.

Ministry Official: Having no Muggle Protection Act back then made it easier to use old Muggle machinery for mass production.

Ms Finch: Right!

(Footsteps continue.)

Ministry Official: I admire your respect for these old machines. Not many people appreciate old things these days.

Ms Finch: Just because it's old, doesn't mean it's kaput; they just have special needs.

Ministry Official: Perhaps that's why Minister Granger keeps me employed.

Ms Finch: And sent you here.

Ministry Official: You're too kind.

Ms Finch: And here we are. Age before beauty. (Stairs creak as footsteps climb them. Noise music fades to background. Sounds of sipping before cups are placed down.) They're on the dining table there.

Ministry Official: Is that it?

(Sounds of moving object.)

Ms Finch: Yep, not very remarkable after the tour, is it?

Ministry Official: They're… so simple.

Ms Finch: Some of the best things are.

Ministry Official: They look like sunglasses. How do they work?

Ms Finch: Put them on; I'll show you.

(Sounds of picking up glasses and putting them on.)

Ministry Official: The room has a kind of a… blue glow around it.

Ms Finch: Look at this marble. Unremarkable, right?

Ministry Official: Okay, yes.

Ms Finch: Now look at this Gobstone.

Ministry Official: It has a blue outline - kind of like an aura.

Ms Finch: And that's it. They let you see magical auras around almost anything that has a spell on it. The Aurors can use them in public without showing a wand. If the Aurors approve them, I may be making a lot more.

Ministry Official: Impressive.


Ministry Official: (simultaneously) I, aaah, think I must be going.

Ms Finch: (simultaneously) Can you stay for supper?

(Light laugh from both.)

Ministry Official & Ms Finch: (simultaneously) Of course. (Light laugh from both.)

Ms Finch: Fish and chips okay?

Ministry Official: That little owl tell you that, too?

Ms Finch: Maybe. (Cat meows.) I think Sir likes you.

Ministry Official: I love cats. I have a few of my own. I used to take them camping with me. Sometimes I miss that old tent... (Fades out on last line)

25:12 - Quidditch Round-Up

Writer: siriuslywinchester
Host: ilostmyleftshoe

With the school year starting back up, the Quidditch House Cup is nearly underway as well. The first match this year is Hufflepuff versus Ravenclaw. As the reigning champions of the 2018-19 Quidditch Cup, Ravenclaw didn’t lose a single game last year. And you can bet that they’ll be hoping to continue their winning streak as they take on Hufflepuff in the first match of the season. It has been 11 months since these two Houses went head to head in a Quidditch match.

In the previous season, Hufflepuff lost by a mere 200 points - that only amounts to one shot and catching of the Snitch! A year has passed since then. And if there is anything the House of Hufflepuff is known for, it is being a hardworker. So, who knows how this year's Hufflepuff versus Ravenclaw game will play out? You'll find out next week out on the Quidditch Pitch.

Then, coming up on November 1st is the second match of the season: Gryffindor versus Slytherin. Last year, the lions smashed the snakes in a score of 300 to 150. However, they ultimately could not top the standings, losing to both Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. Conversely, although they may have finished at the bottom of the House Cup last season, Slytherin is no weak competition. In fact, they scored a win against Hufflepuff, a team Gryffindor did not have the pleasure of beating in the 2018-19 season.

Even if we disregard the canon rivalry between these two Houses, there could not be a more suspenseful and unpredictable match, folks! The Gryffindor versus Slytherin match will take place out on the Quidditch Pitch on November 1st. So, make sure to stop by to catch the exciting rounds of this match!

As always, you can keep up with the games at the Quidditch Pitch, and join fellow spectators in the stands to see what weird and wonderful things will happen in this season's House Cup.

27:12 - Outro

Writer: Vievelynn
Host: Branwenn

And that wraps up this quarterly broadcast focusing on Back To School. Thank you for listening to this broadcast brought to you by the Wizarding Wireless Network. Be sure to leave us your feedback, plus learn more about our hosts and writers by visiting us at wizarding wireless network dot com, or on Facebook at facebook dot com slash wwn on hex. And join us again next quarter for another exciting broadcast! This is Branwenn, wishing you a year of successful endeavors, from all of us at the Wizarding Wireless Network.

[color=white]Edited by Vievelynn
18 Years of Magic

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