12 April 2014
DISASTROUS OPENING CEREMONY
LEADS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT QUIDDITCH WORLD CUP SECURITY
From the Daily Prophet's Quidditch correspondent in the Patagonian desert, Ginny Potter.
Not a single Quaffle thrown, not a single Snitch caught, but the 427th Quidditch World Cup is already mired in controversy. Magizoologists have congregated in the desert to contain the mayhem and Healers have attended more than 300 crowd members suffering from shock, broken bones and bites. The Argentinian Council of Magic is reeling from accusations that their decision to stage a mascot-themed opening ceremony was foolish and reckless.
In the weeks leading up to the opening, an impressive ornamental lake was created in the middle of the desert to accommodate the Fijian team's Dukuwaqa (a shark/man shape-shifter). Organisers announced that mascots representing the other teams participating in the first week's matches would take part in a choreographed display, advertised as 'a magnificent exhibition of the diversity of the magizoological world'.
The ceremony started in gentle style, with river Genies from the Ivory Coast dancing in formation over the surface of the lake. It was only when the Fijian and Norwegian mascots were released that disaster struck.
President of the Argentinian Council of Magic, Valentina Vázquez, has issued the following statement:
'While prepared for the arrival of the Fijian Dukuwaqa, we were surprised when the Norwegian delegation announced that they would also require lake-space for a gigantic lake serpent, the Selma. We had assumed that the Norwegians would be accompanied by their usual troop of performing trolls.
'We are not aware that any study has ever been undertaken into the compatibility of Dukuwaqas and Selmas, so the Council of Magic cannot accept liability for the unfortunate consequences of placing the two in close proximity.'
Speaking exclusively to the Daily Prophet, Chief Consulting Magizoologist Rolf Scamander disagreed:
'The Dukuwaqa lives in a warm ocean, the Selma in an icy freshwater lake. The former is a shape-shifter that can transform from fish to man, the latter is a serpent that devours human flesh and fish. You would need the brains of a Billywig not to foresee an immediate bloodbath if both were crammed tightly together in tepid, brackish water.'