From the Desk of Ms. Charlotte Noelle Thomas, Runeologist

Journal Entry: Day 1

After working at Grandmother’s tea shop for a year, today is my first day at my new job! I adore Grandmother and Paris dearly, but I am tired of the rude tourists and greatly welcome this change of pace. I was hoping Mum would be more supportive of my decisions to become a Runeologist, now that I finally have a job, but she still wants me to be a Healer like my brother. She even mentioned that I still have time to get my medical degree… like my stupid cousin Andrea who everyone adores. Sometimes, it’s like she forgets only ONE of us can do magic. 

All the stories I’ve heard of Hogwarts students nearly dying makes me wary of the place, but I am excited to work with Professor Barracus. She is one of the few Hogwarts alumni that were mentioned in our history textbooks who weren’t a part of the war or considered a criminal (at least by the United African Nations Magical Council standards). She’s…a bit scattered, but she’s so passionate about Wizard History that I can’t help but be excited! 

Journal Entry: Day 3

Journal, unfortunately, we are still in London. The Professor is still recording the information from her last excursion in Switzerland where she retrieved several maps, one of which should lead us on our journey.

She has informed me that we are continuing her search for a piece of Gwenddoleu ap Ceidio’s chessboard. She didn’t clarify how big the piece was, but legend has it that it was quite large and said to hold magical healing properties. 

Because the board was stolen by pirates, we are headed to Antigua! I am so excited because I have several cousins that live there and I haven’t seen them in ages. I must contact them right away to let them know I’m coming! 

Journal Entry: Day 7

This afternoon we are to have lunch at the Zabini manor. Barracus says that it’s important to humor Nicola Zabini because she is funding our expedition. I don’t know much about the Zabinis, except that they’re Black. I checked with my Uagadou classmates who have contacts at Hogwarts, and they didn’t have much on the family either. 

Regardless, it will be nice to interact with someone who looks like me. I haven’t really interacted with any Black people since coming to London. 

Journal, I have come back from lunch and I have many mixed feelings. Nicola is probably the most beautiful woman I have ever met, and her son Blaise is equally as handsome. It made concentrating on our lunch conversation…difficult. I was also informed by Barracus AT LUNCH that we are going to Botswana, not Antigua. 

I went from fantasizing about what my and Blaise’s children would look like, to watching all my dreams get crushed in front of my salad. Barracus claims that she read the map incorrectly, but I find it hard to believe that a world-renowned Wizard Historian and Archeologist is incapable of reading a map. 

On the bright side, Nicola has decided to come with us! (Blaise is not, as he is planning his wedding to someone else). We leave tomorrow. 

Journal Entry: Day 11

We arrived in Botswana two days ago and I’m not sure what to think. It’s dry season and the wizarding community in this region is sparse. Barracus says it’s because the locals used to hunt witches and wizards but there’s no way that’s the case. Most African countries, especially in the south, don’t have statutes of secrecy like in Europe. Wizards are usually left to their own devices, surely Barracus misspoke. 

We have brought in an excavation crew from Zimbabwe. They are friendly enough. They have taken to calling me ‘little sister’ in Shona. 

I have tried to follow up with the Professor about what we are searching for. It cannot be the chessboard, as that is on record to be stolen by pirates in the 17th century. All she has said is that what we are looking for has the same magical properties as the board. I am sure she is just tired from the trip, I will follow up with her later.

Journal Entry: Day 23

Today we dug under the hot Botswana sun for what felt like forever. Professor Barracus is convinced that the dragon dung we found after the first hour is proof that wizards lived in these parts. I think it’s proof that dragons defecate when they are in mid-flight.

I’m still not quite sure what it is we’re looking for, but the Newt Scamander Foundation is not going to be happy that we have been overworking the Jarveys. I have told the professor this countless times, but she won’t listen. 

The only sane person on our team is Zabini, who keeps joking that she brought a Niffler with her just in case. I’m not so certain it’s a joke…

Journal Entry: Day 72

We’re finally so underground that the Muggle geologist we hired (his wife’s a witch) has informed us that the Jarveys can’t dig anymore because they will compromise the structure of the site. We’ve started using digging spells. The professor has had to take several breaks because her wrists hurt. The construction workers we hired were schooled at Uagadou as I was and they keep making snide remarks about how surely Hogwarts couldn’t possibly be that great if their alumni can barely do the simple task of wandless magic. 

I have been trying my hardest not to laugh. 

Journal Entry: Day 105 

Last night as I was wrapping my hair, an unnatural chill fell over the camp. We are still digging and the crew is getting restless. Despite the digging spells, it doesn’t feel like we’ve made any progress. Either that or the palace we’re digging up is bigger than we anticipated. To make matters worse, the farmers have accused us of causing a drought. Apparently, us digging up the earth like this is bad luck or something. I’m not 100% certain, my Setswana is not good. 

It is unseasonably hot, and the energy around the camp is charged. Maybe the farmers have a point. 

I have asked the professor several times what it is she’s looking for, but she won’t tell me. Something doesn’t sit right and I’m starting to question if I should send an owl to the Magical Enforcement Agency. Something is telling me that I should start sleeping in town and Apparate to the site in the morning. 

Journal Entry: Day 107 

Moving to the inn in town turned out to be a better idea than I thought. I Apparated to the dig site today to find that half the crew was MISSING. No one knows where they went but they disappeared in the middle of the night. In addition, the professor has a black eye that she won’t explain. On the bright side, we have gotten far enough into our dig that my job as a Runeologist and Linguist has come into use. 

What’s left of the crew found several markings early this morning so I’ll be spending the morning figuring that out. Finally, the fun begins!

Journal Entry: Day 111

I’ve been having weird dreams as of late of war and star-crossed lovers. It has been raining for the past couple of days, which has seized the excavation. The rain is a blessing to the farmers who have been frustrated by the dry spell, but the professor is climbing out of her skin. 

Luckily she has gone into town for supplies. Her antsy-ness is distracting and I am not even close to figuring out what these markings mean. I thought the challenge would be fun, but I find myself quickly getting annoyed with everyone including myself. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get some well-needed rest. 

Journal Entry Day 112

Last night I had the most vivid and terrifying dream. I was sitting on what looked like a throne dressed in royal garb while my attendant reported what I assume was the news to me. I couldn’t understand what they were saying and every time I would ask them to stop or slow down, they ignored me and kept going. I got annoyed by the fact that they either couldn’t hear me or were blatantly ignoring me and got up to leave. But then I started to fall. 

The words from their mouths became solid and turned into the shape of the symbols I’ve been trying to decipher.

All of a sudden the words came to me clearly and I woke up. But instead of the warm bed by the fireplace in the inn, I was in my tent at the campsite.  

Journal Entry: 113 

After writing my cousin Dean (one of the few wizards in my family), I’ve decided to leave. The symbols were a warning that this site was cursed with Dark magic, but after I told Professor Barracus this she decided to stay! I talked to my friend Taylor and he told me he knows someone in Japan who could use my expertise. A small part of me can’t help but wonder what they will find, but the survivalist in me knows that I need to get out of there. 

Dangerous Dig in Botswana Leads to Death 

Yesterday 15 were found dead at an archeology site in Botswana, among them Professor Barracus, a renowned Wizard Archaeologist and Hogwarts alumni. 

The professor was heading a team of about twenty on this dig when, according to magical investigators, she and the fifteen people on her team were attacked by Dark magic suspected to be buried deep within the earth. 

A week prior, the Runeologist that was hired to translate any symbols or ancient texts found on the site was said to have resigned from her position after informing the professor and her team that the symbols that were found were very clear warning signs to anyone who came across them to stay away, as it wasn’t safe. 

The Daily Prophet reached out to Ms. Thomas, who is now working for The Ikuma Foundation in Japan. 

She stated, “My choice to leave was in correlation with me warning Professor Barracus that the site we were working on was dangerous. She chose to continue and I couldn’t in good conscience continue after what I knew. I informed the crew of the knowledge I acquired and many of them chose to stay.” 

“Obviously, I’m very disheartened by this loss. I spent a lot of time with the crew, my heart goes out to their families.” 

Among those who chose to leave included Nicola Zabini, a noted entrepreneur who bankrolled this venture. Nicola left to help her son Blaise Zabini with the purchase of a tux for his wedding.