Ask A Prefect Faq

Ask Questions About HOL
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Boris Bigglesworth
No broom
Posts: 45
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 7:28 pm
Location: Slytherin

Postby Boris Bigglesworth » Mon Jul 05, 2004 5:55 pm

Afternoon all.

This is the newly updated Ask A Prefect FAQ, which contains the most frequently asked questions on the AaP board, and will hopefully be able to answer your queries without you having to post. Which works well for everyone :)

If you still have questions that aren't answered here, then by all means post them, and one of the Prefects will do our best to help you.

Remember, these are only the most commonly asked questions, designed to augment the superb resource that is the HOL Handbook -- which should be your first port of call for any and all queries.

This FAQ was originally written by Sir Psycho Flea and Ody Moody (two very awesome people :) ) and has been periodically updated by various Head Students or Professors (check the bottom of the post to find out more). Huzzah!

NOTE: You can also view the AaP FAQ on the HOL Main Page through THIS LINK. Prof. Mark Mandrake has made it very pretty and indexed the topics for easier viewing pleasure.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

First and foremost:


Q: Who is allowed to post answers on this Ask a Prefect Area?

A: Please, only Post-Graduates, Prefects, Professors, Admins and Head Students are to post answers here. This is to avoid confusion of wrong answers that may be given, etc. Points will be taken if this rule is broken and the student's post will be deleted. Yes, we know there are other students who might know what they’re talking about, but we really would appreciate it if they let the student committee and/or the staff members take a crack at it.

(and yes that question was deliberately large. READ IT.) If you need any more information regarding the above question, please refer to this post.

Signing up

Q: How do I sign up for HOL?

A: To become signed up for HOL, go to Everything you need to do is on this page.

Signatures and Avatars

Q: What is an 'avatar'?

A: An 'avatar' is like a little picture that is right below your name when you post. It has no real use; it's more of another form of signature.

Q: How many pictures and lines of text are allowed in a signature?

A: You can have a maximum of four lines of text and one picture with a maximum of 250 pixels in width and 100 pixels in height. To check your pixels for the picture, right click it and choose 'Properties' and then beside where it says 'Dimensions' look at the second number that is shown. (Width x Height)

Q: My signature has been deleted or it's been edited. Why?

If your signature contains an image larger than the permitted dimensions, the forum moderators reserve the right to edit it, with silly messages or an ingenious image. Similarly if your signature contains inappropriate content (remember this is a G-rated site) or any links, which are banned in signatures then they too may be deleted. These rules are in place to prevent those on a slow connection waiting for ages to load the page due to oversized images, and because we cannot control external content through links.

Q: How do I get an avatar?

A: Log in at the HOL Forum and go to 'My Controls'; under 'Personal Profile' click on 'Edit Avatar Settings'. You can choose a pre-installed avatar, browse your computer files and upload an image to use, or provide a link to an image that is hosted on a web page to be used. Please be sure they are appropriate!

Q: How can I put an image in my signature?

A: First, you need to host your image on a website. Then, go to 'My Controls' and under 'Personal Profile' and click on 'Edit Signature'. In the white box, type out (without spaces) [ IMG ] http://imagelinktitle [ /IMG ]

Q: I'm a Second Year but my avatar says I am a First Year. Why?

A: There are scripts running that will change this setting automatically. However, there are instances that the script might not be able to find you. In which case, contact a forum administrator.

Clubs and Classes

Q: I want to start a Club here at HOL. What do I do to get it started?

A: Professor Emeritus Chaotica's post here explains the process that MUST be followed if you wish to start a club at HOL.

Q: When are class sign-ups?

A: For Summer Term, class sign-ups will commence on August 18th (or thereabouts), and will run till the end of September. For Winter Term, class sign-ups will commence on February 1st (or thereabouts), and will run till the end of February. You can sign up for all classes that are open for sign-ups, maximum five classes at any time. However, every Professor has the full control over when they accept new students for their class, whether sign-ups close early, or if they accept students also during a term.

The classes available during the current term can now be seen over here here.

Q: What are the different types of classes available?

A: HOL Classes can run over one term or two terms. All available classes, their settings and status, and class sign-up, is accessible from the Classes Page. You can now be a member of HOL without taking a class.

Q: How are classes' lessons made available?

A: It depends upon the professor. Some e-mail the lessons, some post them on web pages, and some have forums where they have all of their class work.

Q: How do I advance to the next year?

A: For a student to pass the year (to advance to the next year), they need to have at least 2 quills by the end of the schoolyear.

Quills are awards given by professors to students. For passing a class, a professor will award one quill to the student in the Staff Room. Every Professor can give one quill per term and student, this makes a total of 2 quills for a class that runs the whole schoolyear. But quills are not bound to classes only, they can be earned in contests, for work in the library or a school publication, and the Heads of House or the Headoffice can give out quills to students. Quills have no house point value, but receiving them do give you beans as well as allow you to graduate to the next year.

Q: How do I become a professor/start a class?

A: You must be at least 17 years old to become a professor, and can only apply to become one when announcements are made asking for applications. Watch the HOL Blog for when applications will be accepted. Class applications are usually accepted during the summer and winter, before term begins.

Q: Where can I find a list of the quills I've earned?

A: From the HOL Main page, go to "My Profile". Once there, click on "Fact Sheet" on the right navigation, and then "Classes and Quills".

Q: How can I sign up for the HOL OWLs Class?

A: You can't, and if you do so, you'll probably be dropped. OWLs are taken by those who are in their 5th, 6th, or 7th year, and they are added to the class manually by those leading the OWLs (currently in charge - Prof. Cassandra Lobiesk). This class does NOT count toward the limit of 5 classes per term, it's an additional class to which you're added to if you're in those years and haven't taken the OWLs yet.

Q: How do I pass the OWL class?

A: To earn a quill in this class you must pass (with an "Acceptable" grade) at least 6 of the 12 possible OWLs. Only then will you be able to take the NEWTs examination. For each OWL you can earn up to 30 house points, and get a different grade based on the points you've earned. In order to pass an OWL, you need to win at least 15 house points for it.

Q: Is there a NEWTs Class?

A: It's not actually a class, but more like a test. Anyway, you won't get to find out more about this until you've passed your 7th year and have successfully passed at least 6 OWLs previously.

Prefects and Head Students

Q: How do I become a Prefect?

A: Each Head of House will decide about the selection of new/additional prefects, if they deem them necessary. Watch the HOL forum and your common rooms; when news comes about new Prefects and applying to be one, it will be posted there.

Q: How are Head Students chosen?

A: The Head Office will choose the Head Students each year. You do not apply to these positions.

Posting (Brooms, Spamming, etc.)

Q: How do I get a Broom?

A: Ah, the dreaded 'Brooms' question. Quoted from Prof. Paddy O’Brien:
You get brooms in the forum according to the number of posts you've made.
100 posts: Oakshaft 79
200 posts: Moontrimmer
300 posts: Silver Arrow
500 posts: Cleansweep One
750 posts: Comet 140
1000 posts: Cleansweep Two
1300 posts: Cleansweep Three
And then: Comet 180, Tinderblast, Swiftstick, Shooting Star, Nimbus 1000, Nimbus 1001, Nimbus 1500, Nimbus 1700, Twigger 90, Nimbus 2000, Nimbus 2001, Firebolt...

Please keep in mind, however, that trying to increase your broom count by spamming will only affect in loss of points, so don’t do it. More information about spamming can be found below.

Q: What is spamming?

A: The other dreaded question. *g* Spam is defined in the HOL Handbook as this:

SPAM can be a lot of things: useless or pointless posts, especially anything whose sole purpose in life is to hike up your post count to get a broom, like lightning rounds. ... SPAM will lose house points!

One word posts, multiple one word posts, simple "I agree" posts, creating new threads that ask questions that have already been answered in the FAQ, discussing your broom, your lack thereof, the arrival of your new broom, the impending arrival of a new broom, etc., etc., is all considered SPAM, but is by no means an exclusive list. If you're not contributing anything to the discussion, don't post! You may lose points for it. At the very least, you risk irking your fellow schoolmates and professors. Keeping the chaff (SPAM and junk) down will help ensure the grain (good discussion) doesn't get lost in the jumble.

Q: How do I change my fonts/colors/sizes?

A: First, select your font, etc. (which you know how to do) then type what you want. At the end you need to type [ / font ] [ / color ] [ / size ] or whatever you used (you don't need to do the [ / color ] if you did not change your color obviously) without the spaces.

This is size seven and I type [ / size ] without the spaces to end it.

You type [ / color ] without the spaces to stop color.

Also: instead of typing in the [/ stuff ], you can also click on the close current tag to end the most recent option, or close all tags, which ends all options.
Use which you are most comfortable with but please remember to stay within the guidelines. Any further questions about this feel free to PM a prefect.

Q: Is there a way I can disable the emoticons so they don't show up when I post?

A: There are two ways to do this:
1) Every time you post, uncheck the checkbox beside where it says, "Enable emoticons?".
2) Adjust the settings in your Control Panel, under Board Settings. Where it asks "Do you wish to view images in posts, such as smilies and posted images?" choose No.

Q: When I read a post and it says [censored by McNish] in it, why is that there?

A: The "McNish" function is an automated part of the board itself; there is a list of inappropriate words that admins can add to that will be automatically censored by McNish, and if one of those words is in a post, you will see the phrase '[censored by McNish]'. You should be able to judge for yourself what kinds of words are inappropriate, as this is a family community.

Common Room Boards

Q: How do I post in my common room?

A: You need to sign up for your common room and they will approve your account shortly and give you your password. The addresses for the common rooms are these:

Q: When I log in at my Common Room Board, a screen comes up that tells me that my account has not been enabled yet. What's going on?

A: The forum administrator has to enable every account by hand to be sure that only the specific house members are allowed onto their Common Room Board. Be patient; your account will be enabled as soon as possible, and shouldn't take more than a few days. If it takes longer, contact an admin.

HOL Forum Registration

Q: I am a registered member but every time I try to log in, it always logs me in as a guest.

A: You need to have your account approved by HOL. Once it is approved, you will log in correctly under your name.

Q: Do you need to wait for your Student ID number to sign up for the Forum?

A: No, you can sign up before you have your Student ID, just make sure you use your full HOL name! :)

Q: My account has been verified for this Forum, but every time I log in my user name stays as 'Guest'. What do I do?

A: Your Cookies and Security settings need to be readjusted. In your web browser, go to Tools in the top menu and then click on Internet Options. Once there, click on the Privacy tab. Move the bar down to 'Medium'. It should now accept the cookie to keep you logged in.

Q: If I am signed up at this HOL Forum, am I signed up at all of the HOL Forums?

A: No. Each different forum that you go to requires an account to be made. So, if you are signed up at the HOL Forum, you will also have to sign up at your Common Room Forum and any other Forum that you visit.

General Forum Information

Q: Why isn't my name the colour of my house?

A: The colours of the names displayed on the bottom of the main forum page, they're not that way because of House affiliation, but by whatever group you're in here on the forum.

Novices - Black/Grey, First years - Blue, Second years - Green, Third Years - Pink, Fourth Years - Turquoise, Fifth Years - Ice Blue, Sixth Years - Lilac, Seventh Years - Indian Red, Staff - Yellow, Prefects - Purple, Head Students - Pretty Blue, Admins - Red.

Q: None of the graphics come through on my computer. Why is that?

A: Rames answers: I can't reproduce this "error" - I checked it on three different systems and it works fine on all of them. But I will add a "text mode" to this skin, what more or less just means that if you have images off, you will see it saying "reply" where the reply-button should be and "edit post" for the edit button.

This question was actually answered by the person who asked it:
If you are using an Internet privacy program like Norton Internet Security and have it set to block the name/address of the website you visited prior to the forum, you can't see the graphics. If you change the "referer" setting in the Browser Privacy window for the domain and permit the server to access the information, the graphics magically appear [no wand or spell required].

Windows XP has its own firewall/privacy settings that could also be the culprit on some computers. Playing around with those settings may solve the problem, but I'm not sure exactly what would have to be changed or how to do it.

Q: Why was my post edited?

A: You are not allowed to give out personal information or include huge images or outside links within your posts, for the same reasons to do with conserving bandwidth and keeping the content G-rated as mentioned above in the signature questions. For more information on all Forum queries, please read the relevant section in the Handbook.

Q: Why can't I post in certain areas?

A: If you've registered for the HOL Forum just recently, then it's probably because of that. All new users need to be validated first, and then to get their status changed from "Novice" to their proper status in order to have posting access in the whole Forum.


Q: Under my profile that is shown next to my posts, it says my group is First Years. The group is wrong, so what do I do?

A: Contact an admin of the forum (Prof. Mark Mandrake, Prof. Rhiannon Llewellyn, or Prof. Ulol Kimil) so that they can make the change.

IRC Chat

Q: How can I make my writing on IRC chat be a different color every time I write something?

A: For this you need the remote: on *:input:*:{ if ($left($1,1) != /) { /say $chr(3) $+ colors here $+ $1- | halt } }
Copy and paste that code, beginning with 'on' and ending with '}', into the Remotes box and replace the 'colors here' with the numbers of the colors you want your writing to be. The first color you put will be the text color and the second (the two are separated by a comma) will be the background color. (To view the colors available, push Ctrl + K at the same time.)

Q: What is a remote?

A: A remote is someone's automatic response to a certain word or phrase on IRC. A remote works whether the person is present or not, and can be turned on and off by going into the settings. A remote is set off when someone else in the chatroom says the triggering word or phrase. For example, if Leah has the word "muffin" on a remote, and someone else says "Can I have a muffin?" Leah's response will automatically be "oh muffin!" without her typing anything. Remote abuse is a serious concern on IRC. If you PURPOSELY set off someone's remote (or multiple remotes), it can be classified as spam and will cost you a warning, or even points. On the contrary, if you have too many remotes for simple words like "hello", "life" or "goodbye" you will be asked to turn those off, as those words are very common in speech and will likely be triggered every few seconds. Additionally, during newbie season it is highly advised to remove all possible remotes.

General HOL Information

Q: How many years are there on HOL?

A: Since HOL started, the original first years have already advanced through their seventh years and became HOL graduates. There are, however, still ample opportunities to participate in HOL even beyond seventh year.

Q: Can you tell me any good tips to getting off to a good start at HOL?

A: Helping everyone you can, being nice, and turning in your homework are all important. Be sure to read all of the Handbook. too. If you want to make some friends we suggest downloading an IRC client and coming to chat at #hol. You can get more help with this here.

Q: I've forgotten my HOL Office password! Help!

A: You need to post in this thread and one of the admins will take care of this for you.

Q: Can I be set to Inactive / Quit?

A: There are no longer active/inactive members, just members. As soon as students earn house points, they will count for the house cup and house multiplier. It doesn't matter where (classes, contests, quidditch etc.) these points have been earned, or if they are positive or negative. Students who have not earned any points in the past 60 days will no longer count for the house multiplier and become "passive", the old points stay of course. As soon as more points have been awarded, this student will count again for the house multiplier. There are no exceptions, and the whole procedure will be fully automatized.

Q: Where did my Wiki Page go?

A: The HOL Wiki got too "crowded", spammy even, and it wasn't of much use lately anyway so we got rid of it. Whatever you may had there is probably gone now, though you could check with those close to you in case they kept a copy of that stuff.


Q: How do you get money to pay for things at Hogsmeade?

A: Your HOL 'currency' is your beans. You can use your beans to buy items at the various shops in the Hogsmeade portion of the site (which includes the Thrift Shop, Pet Shop, etc.).

Q: How do I get Beans?

A: There are several ways to get beans.

1. When someone adds you as a friend, you receive a bean.
2. When you earn points, you receive one bean for every ten points
3. When you review/rate the stories that are in the HOL library you will receive one bean for each rating you perform.

There are other various ways students and professors can earn beans. Try to unravel the secrets yourselves!

Q: How do I get a pet or wand?

A: To get a pet, you can access your Bean Pouch on the main HOL Page. If you have a good number of beans (and if you’ve created a bean pouch), you will be able to click on "Buy a HOL Pet in the Hogsmeade Pet Store". You have a choice between a cat or owl or toad. As for wands, you can access the Wand Shop through the Pet Store, or by going directly to this link.


Q: Who are my House prefects?

A: To find your House prefects, simply go to the "Houses" link under the navigation on the main HOL page. The Houses are Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. You will find the most recent information of your House professors, prefects, and post-graduates, including position and emails.

Q: Who is McNish and what is his motto?

A: McNish is the entity floating inside HOL's current caretaker. He only comes out in order to keep the boards clean of foul language, and cleans up the corridors from those students who leave muddy footprints (though he does this grudgingly and with much grumbling). Beware though, his shout of 'No magic in the corridors' usually means trouble is on the way for the guilty students.

Updated Links (August 20, 2014) - Amy
Updated FAQs, Links, Info (March 3, 2012) - Zoki
Updated Admin list (08/07/2010) - Rhi
Edited Gryff and Slyth CR links (06/24/2009) - Missa
FAQs Updated, Links Re-checked, Information Consolidated, Wording Edited, Yada Yada Yada (July 30, 2008) – Cassie
Years elaborated upon (February 13, 2008) - Cosmo
'How to find my quills' question added (June 27, 2006) - Cosmo
'Wand' question elaborated upon (09.11.05) - Rai
Changed address to Slytherin's Common Room (August 18, 2006) - Paddy
Edited by Emma (July 7th, 2005)
Last edited by Boris Bigglesworth on Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Updating

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Prof. Cassandra Lobiesk
Cleansweep One
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2002 7:22 pm
Location: Ravenclaw and proud of it!

Postby Prof. Cassandra Lobiesk » Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:16 pm

Just giving this a quick dusting and bumping up! For those of you who have a few queries regarding HOL, it's best to make a quick search at this FAQ in case your question has already been answered. It's been fully updated for the incoming term, so it doesn't hurt to familiarize yourself a bit with the information.

If your question is still unanswered, then feel free to make a post on the AaP board itself. Thanks! :D

User avatar
Prof. Tarma Amelia Black
Firebolt Galaxy
Posts: 5470
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 6:31 am

Postby Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Sat Aug 07, 2010 7:32 pm


Hi everyone!

Yes, it's time to 'bump' the AaP topic.

What's AaP, you ask?

It's Ask A Prefect!

The absolutely lovely CassieButterfly, when she was an Ickle Prefect (before her Professor-ship days ...) bumped this topic last year. No, a year and a half ago!

No ... *gasp* ... it's been over TWO YEARS ....

Gee, and we have all sorts of changes since those halycon days ...

We've survived a new Headmaster ... or

... he's survived us?


IN THE MEANTIME -- read the top post. It really does answer a lot of your questions!
"You have the inborn natural right to remain silent. Don't think about it, don't talk about it, shuush ....... STILL." ~ Xaris

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Prof. Zoki Phantom
Shooting Star
Posts: 1863
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:38 pm
Location: Macedonia, Europe

Postby Prof. Zoki Phantom » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:30 pm

*waves his wand and sets several broomsticks to start cleaning the topic*

I've updated the FAQ with the recent questions and I've fixed any previous info that has gotten old by now. Should be shiny and nice, make sure you read it all before you ask your question. ;)

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