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Sky Alton

By the Fire

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  Come in from the cold and take a seat beside the fire. There’s plenty to do, whether it’s eating or drinking, crafting, telling a story or just chatting with everyone who’s gathered round.


  This is your space to get creative but also to chat. Below are a list of things you can submit, with the amount of rubies they’re worth in brackets. You can complete them at any time and in any order. Please post everything below (although if you’d rather send something to me privately, I’m also happy to count it).


  This is intended to be a conversation as much as a place to post stuff so feel free to chat as you post. The deadline for everything is the 2nd of January 2019.


Creative Options

Perfect Day (20 Rubies)

  How would you spend your first day at the lodge? Would you hit the slopes or stay cuddled up near the fire? Perhaps you’d head straight for the Games Room for some fun. Who would you want there with you? Do you have any tips on keeping warm?

  Tell us about your ideal day on the trip in at least 100 words.


Snowflakes (20 Rubies, 10 per flake)

  It’s very easy to make your own paper snowflakes to bring a touch of winter to a room. Follow the instructions below (or any others you find) and create two unique snowflakes of different patterns. Take a photo of them and include a slip of paper with your HOL name.


Note: This calls for tissue paper but ordinary printer paper will do fine. If you have any scrap paper (printed on just one side), use that!

  If craft isn’t your thing, tell us about a memory you have of snowflakes in 100 words or more.


Cosy Cookery (20 rubies)

  Food is an important part of keeping warm and also of creating that relaxed, cosy feeling. 

  For 10 rubies, share a recipe for something that you like to cook or eat/drink when it’s cold. If you copy it word for word from somewhere, YOU MUST credit the source.

  For another 10, tell us about what this particular dish or drink means to you in at least 50 words. Alternatively, you can make it and show us a photo (include a slip of paper with your HOL name).


Do You Wanna Build a Snowman? (20 rubies)

  Being inside in the warm is great but look at all that snow out there! What would you like to build? 

  Follow these instructions to make your own paper snowman and tell us a bit about them in a few lines. Post a photo of your new friend (including a slip of paper with your HOL name).


Alternatively, maybe you want to create something less traditional out of snow like a castle or a sculpture. For 10 rubies, create a graphic or describe it in at least 50 words. For the other 10, tell us the story of how it got built in at least 50 words: what gave you the idea, who helped you, how successfully it turned out.


Cold Weather Critters (20 Rubies)

  Those budding magizoologists amongst you will probably be going out for long walks in the hopes of spying a local creature. Alternatively, you might be posting yourself by a window with your binoculars.

  We don’t know that much about snow dwelling magical creatures so introduce us to one we’ve never heard of before. You can make a craft of it, show us in a graphic or write about it in at least 100 words.


  Alternatively, I’m hoping to see penguins which would be very magical indeed as they don’t live around here. If you’re stuck for your own beast, find a way to make my winter dreams come true and fill the lodge with penguins. You can write, graphic or make one of these.



Wrap Up Warm (20 Rubies)

  While you can get quite hot (and even sunburnt) while you’re skiing, it’s still important to have warm clothes.

Describe your ideal cosy outfit in at least 100 words or create a graphic of it. Alternatively, if you’re good with a needle, you could create something warm and show us a photo (including a slip of paper with your HOL name).


Wish You Were Here (20 Rubies)

  It may be cold out but the owls are still ready to take your post and I’ve got the school camera all ready to go.

  Create a concept for a postcard you might send someone back home: pictures of the mountains, a shot of the lodge, close ups of ski equipment?  You can draw, make a photo collage or describe what you’d include in 100 words or more.


Story Time (20 rubies)

  With everyone gathered round the fire, it’s the ideal time to tell us a story.

  This is a free for all: you can tell us an original story or anecdote, real or fictional, HOL related or not. It can be funny, sad or heart-warming. The only requirement is that it should be at least 100 words.

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First thing first before I jump into the Perfect Day option *hops on chair to attract attention* THANKS SKY, PROF. LUPIN, AND PROF. LESLIE-LEWIS FOR SUCH AN AWESOME EVENT!!! :D

Now, *hops off of chair* my perfect day at the lodge would consist of sleeping in, number one :P After that, I’d have some hot tea and sit by the fire before grabbing a friend and putting on all of our gear. We’d probably, in the mayhem of this, *screams at unsuspecting people “where’s my jacket! Did you take my jacket?!* gather a few more friends to go with us until we have a good sized group. After we have all suited up, we’d hit the slopes. Of course, we would start out with Beginner, or, maybe, we’ll go for Expert Advanced *runs to a practically drop down cliff with a Black Diamond sign, “this looks good”* After falling off our skis for a good two hours, we will all head back to the lodge where Sky will hand us all hot chocolate (Thanks, Sky! :D). Together, we will sit by the fire and I will make a big announcement while some of us fight over who won Monopoly in the corner. “Now, everyone! I knows it’s freezing, but I have knitted everyone fluffy mittens! *hands out assorted pairs of mittens to everyone* If anyone would also like a warm hat, I can also whip up one in your color choice, so just let me know!” Then, I would head to the game room where the Monopoly fight has finally begun to wrap itself up with money flying across the room and a player insulting the other’s train playing piece (your moves don’t count, because a train obviously needs a track to move, so I win!). I will steer myself away from this fight even though my inner self is screaming to get involved. I will instead join a friend at a cozy table to play the Game of Life. Looking forward to dinner and maybe a scavenger hunt closer to bed (because I took and hid Prof. Zenix’s snow boots). Well, this should be an interesting day!

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Cozy Cookery 

This option is great because I have two delicious recipes that I would like to share. The first one, is something that a family member made and the second I found somewhere a long time ago, but I don’t know where exactly.


So, the first one is called:

S’mores with a Twist



Graham crackers

Miniature Hershey chocolate squares (any chocolate is fine, but my experience is that Hershey’s is best for this project since it melts easiest)


Crush graham cracker until it is a sort of fine powder, but a few small chunks are good.

Put Hershey squares in a microwave-safe bowl and melt them.

Roll each marshmallow in melted chocolate and then roll it in graham cracker. 

Lay on a pan that is covered in wax paper

Let the marshmallows cool and then enjoy!


Don’t put the marshmallow in the fridge when they are done, because they will get hard. 

Don’t let the marshmallows cool too much, just enough so the chocolate hardens around them.

You can also put each marshmallow on a skewer to make them look pretty and put the tops in cute little see-through bags that you can tie up with ribbon ;)


The second one is called:

Awesome Jelly and Cream Cheese Tartlets!


Jelly of choice (I prefer strawberry, but it doesn’t really matter)

Cream cheese 

8 pack Pillsbury biscuit dough (you can use whatever brand you want, Pillsbury just comes to mind first:) )

Powdered or regular sugar


Preheat oven to 375 or whatever the biscuits say on wrapper 

Take each round dough patty and stretch it out on pan.

Take a small dollop of cream cheese and a small dollop of jelly and place it on top of biscuit.

Fold each biscuit over and press down the edges with a fork to seal in the jelly and cream cheese.

Cook for 11-15 minutes until edges are brown.

Sprinkle with sugar when done.

Serve with ice cream!


Place the jelly in cream cheese in the center of the dough so it doesn’t all leak out when you fold over the dough.

Make sure you pinch the sides down securely or everything will leak out while you cook it.

Opt for less filling than more. The more you put in, the more likely it is to break open and spill filling in oven.


The Smore’s recipe is rather special because my aunt made it for a Baby shower for a cousin. When I got home, I decided to try it out for myself and we polished off a whole bag of Marshmallows; Ahem, moving on. The second recipe is something my mom used to make and when she stopped making it, I made it for a dessert (or sometimes, it was dinner #bestdinnerever ) Anyways, definitely try them out because they are so delicious! 

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Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?


This is Whittaker!




Whittaker is in the middle of a large field that is perfect for snowball fights (*hinthint*)! His scarf is a gift from his snowman pal, Glenn. Whittaker enjoys watching the blue fringes fly around in the wind during flurries. They also help attract bird friends.

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My siblings and I made these adorable snowmen. My little sister decided to go all out with a hat which will keep hers very warm. I added lots of color to mine (mine is the one with the eyebrows that went terribly wrong LOL). My brother added a Gryffindor scarf to his and my youngest bro gave his big black eyes so he could see everything that was going on :D

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My first day would be spent getting a layout of the land. Presuming I had multiple days to do everything, I would want to take a look around first. I want to see all of the options and see what i might like best and schedule that for sure. Then if there is anything interesting i might make a note so when i get extra time after something i've scheduled i can go check that out! After I've looked around and made notes, i'll definitely cuddle up near the fire with some yummy hot chocolate as i look over my notes and prepare myself for learning how to ski tomorrow!

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Wish You Were Here


Here is a photo collage postcard of my recent trip to Killington, Vermont. My family goes every year around Christmas for over 20 years now. Photos are courtesy of my brother and sister with the cameras of their shiny new Pixel 3 phones. 




Top left: Killington gondolas with a rainbow in the background
Top right: Cody waving to my sister from the chair lift
Bottom left: Killington Peak the day after it snowed
Bottom right: Our doubles racquetball match at the resort - it was intense!

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Perfect Day

The morning sky is bright and clear. Grabbing a quick bite to eat I walk to my skis and start bundling up. Somehow, my hand warmers and gloves fit very nicely together and it doesn't take half an hour to keep my hands from turning blue. Going to the slopes and skiing is wonderful, and though I'm exhausted and quite cold, my fingers are all still the right color! I go and grab food, then make a mug of hot chocolate. Walking over to the wonderful Games Room, I spot Ketlin and Sky and everyone else. The rest of the evening is spent there, playing and relaxing near the fireplace.





Cozy Cookery

I love to drink hot chocolate when it is cold. We buy a premix, however, so I do not have a recipe for self-made hot chocolate. To me, hot chocolate is a reminder of winter, especially winter holidays. It's a reminder of family, tradition, and the new year. I associate it with good times with my family, especially my sister whose first love was hot chocolate. The drink itself is perhaps a bit too sweet, but it's the memories behind it that make this drink so special.

  1. Boil/heat up milk. If you want very hot milk I suggest boiling it on the stove, instead of heating it up in the microwave.
  2. Add the hot chocolate mix and immediately start stirring it to try and avoid clumps of chocolate.
  3. Add a few marshmallows to taste, I like to usually put in enough to cover the mug but not more.
  4. Add a tiny bit of whipped cream, too much and the drink will become too creamy.
  5. Sprinkle some crushed up candy canes into the whipped cream. And you're done!



Do You Want to Build a Snowman



Cold Weather Critters

This is a card I have made for my grandmother for New Years. Coincidentally it has a penguin on the front. The penguin is black with a light blue scarf that is lopsided to the right. The penguin has an orange beak and feet. On the belly of the penguin the words "Happy New Years” are written in calligraphy.



Wrap Up Warm



Wish You Were Here

I would include pictures of the mountain definitely. Probably a wide shot of the mountain in all its glory. Perhaps the picture of the mountain can be taken in the sunrise or sunset. Or if the mountain is extremely foggy and there is some fog at the top, that could also be a wonderful photo. In the corner there would be a close up shot of someone skiing, perhaps when they are stopping and the snow creates a beautiful arc. The whole postcard could also be a "snowy" theme with a light blue snowflake border. I would also perhaps write in blue pen or a black calligraphy pen, I feel like calligraphy goes well with snowflakes and a wintery theme.


Story Time

Once upon a time, a star was born. A small, dim yellow star came upon the night sky for the first time that night. But the star was lonely, all the other stars were older and the star didn't have any friends. From sadness, he became to grow dimmer and dimmer when suddenly he heard a small voice, "Look at that pretty star". Looking down, the star saw a small boy looking out the window. "Hey, Mr. Star! You're really pretty!", the boy said and suddenly the star felt so happy and free. He shone brighter and brighter as the night went on while talking to the small boy.


And so, every single day the star would come out to the night sky and talk with the small boy. The had tons of fun together and the star loved the boy. Years went by, and though the star grew a tiny bit each time, he noticed the boy grew more and more. Soon the boy often slept or just didn't come out to the star anymore. One night the boy never came out again.

The star was sad and crying, in distress, his light dimmed almost to the first time he felt lonely. But he didn't give up hope. As the star grew dimmer, the years went by faster and though the star looked around the whole world he never found the boy again.


As the star was ready to give up all hope of seeing his boy again he went by the town which the boy lived in. The star looked around the town ready to say his final goodbyes when he heard a voice say, "Look! Pretty star!" The star turned around and there was a small girl looking out her window. The star felt happy for he realized there were more children and more friends to be made. And so, the star shone as bright as before.


The End.

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Perfect Day (20 Rubies)

I will assume that we would arrive in the morning with the whole day ahead of us. As soon as I would unpack, I would make my way towards the slopes if the weather was nice. After a couple of hours of skiing, I would make my way back to the lodge for some food and hot drinks, to warm myself up and rest for the next few hours. After recuperating some, I would again make my way to the slopes, but for a shorter time, maybe two hours or so. Then, I would go back again.


After warming up some by the fire and with a mug of hot chocolate in my hands, I would either do some creative stuff before dinner or play some games. My last deed for the day would be to curl up with a good book and a warm blanket after dinner for some light reading.


Snowflakes (20 Rubies, 10 per flake)



Cosy Cookery (20 rubies)

Credit to Robyn Stone for this wonderful recipe.



3 1/2 cups sugar

2 1/4 cups cocoa

2 teaspoons salt



Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container.


Per Serving:

Heat one cup of whole milk per serving.

Mix in two tablespoons of hot chocolate mix and stir until dissolved.


I always had a soft spot for hot chocolate. It is practically a drink from my childhood. Whenever it got slightly chilly, or I was hurt (and I got hurt a lot as a kid!), my mama always made me (and my cousin) home-made hot chocolate.


Sometimes, it had consistency of hot cocoa, sometimes it was thick, but always, it was delicious. Whenever I make myself a cup of hot chocolate, I just breathe it in and recall those pleasant memories of home.



Do You Wanna Build a Snowman? (20 rubies)

This is Gary in snowman form. Gary is a long-suffering companion and best friend of one Maxim Trevelyan. He keeps him out of trouble if he can. He is not amused about Maxim's antics and wonders why he is even friends with him.


The photo shows a snowman with one yellow and one green eye looking right. He has a crooked orange nose and mouth made of six coal stones. Gary has a sloppily thrown on sparkling pink scarf. His jacket is held together with five silver, sparkly buttons.




Cold Weather Critters (20 Rubies)

The magical creature often seen during winter times is the Snowpuff. Its habitat is any place where it is snowing, no matter how remote or urban it is. It life-span is as long as the snow they inhabit lasts. Which might mean minutes, months, or decades.


No one knows how Snowpuff comes into existence. Magizoologists think that the concentration of the magic in the air forms Snowpuffs out of snowflakes when it starts to snow. They feed on snow and ice, on rare occasions when they cannot find food also on frozen flora.


Snowpuffs resemble a snowball, but with more of a giant-snowflake characteristics. They are extremely docile and love to perform in snowball fights with young wizards and witches.


Wrap Up Warm (20 Rubies)

First, thermal underwear is best if you plan to stay in the snow or just cold weather for a longer period of time. Otherwise, normal underwear and warm fuzzy leggings are the best. I also always wear a tank undershirt, for added warmth in torso area. Do not forget about one or two layers of socks!


Then, I normally dress myself in thin clothing. Like, long pants, similar to sweat pants and a sweater. It is important that they are not loose or they might get stuck on skis or other equipment. Over that, I wear warm and waterproof ski pants and jacket. A helmet and goggles are a must as well.


Perfect outfit for several hours on the slopes.


Wish You Were Here (20 Rubies)

I think that my postcard would be a combination of different things, like a collage. Since this is a winter trip, I think a white snowflake border would be the prettiest. Then, the postcard would be divided into several parts, separated with white lines. In the middle of the card, there would be a name of the place we went to.


The separate shorts would show the slopes with people skiing, a snapshot of one of the lodges, with smoke coming out of the chimney, a shot of the board games or books and a mug of hot chocolate/cocoa nearby, a shot of the mountains, of people building a snowman and the village/city overall.


Story Time (20 rubies)

'It's snowing,' she screamed. Her chapped, dry lips were open in awe at the wondrous sight, puffs of air escaping her mouth, clouding the chilly air all around her.


Her gaze turned toward the sky, eyes filling with happiness so rarely felt as small, brittle, flecks landed on her hair, clothes, nose and eyelashes, covering her in a white coat of cold.


'It's snowing!' she yelped again and stared running around in the garden, beckoning the person behind her to hurry out as well.


'Mama, it's snowing!' she looked into older eyes, which were accompanied with laugh lines around the edges. She picked up a handful of snow and tried to shape it into a ball. With a swing of her arm, she hit her mother in the chest, both laughing loudly. It was a start of a happy, care-free day.

Edited by Maxim Trevelyan

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