Modia Minotaur

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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Johnny Howard and the Cauldron of Power

A Literary Pastiche In Dubious Honour of the Dark Lord's 10th Year in Power
Based on a True Story

Can it really be ten years since Lord Voldemort attained power? Yes, sadly it can - as of March 2nd, this Thursday. Ten years under the Dark Lord and his gang of mangy Death Eaters, and only yesterday, the Daily Prophet reported that his policy mandates could `well carry him in to a second decade' ... truly frightening stuff.

I remember the day well. Having had a rollicking good time at the - er - Mardi Gras (indulge me; the Harry Potter metaphor will only go so far), myself and a few fellow Gryffindors returned from Hogsmeade in the glow of good health and good spirits. We had not even bothered to look at the election updates; so confident were we that Dumbledore would romp it in as he had in '93. We were naive in those days; for the simple reason that we had agreed with everyone who had been in government since we understood what the concept meant, we assumed this would always be the case.

How wrong we were.

We had recently graduated from Hogwarts, and foolishly, we had agreed to meet up with a few of our old classmates at the Three Broomsticks. "How's the election results?" I commented casually to the wizard who was giving us a lift on his, er, broomstick (indulge me, indulge me).

"It's a landslide," he said, stony faced. "Voldemort's romped it in."

We sat in stunned silence until we reached the Three Broomsticks. We stumbled inside, instantly wishing we hadn't come. The place was brimming full of triumphant Slytherins, raising their glasses of mulled mead in celebration of the new Howard - sorry, Voldemort government. We even spotted our old P.E. teacher - sorry, Defence Against The Dark Arts teacher (you have to admit, those two are easy to confuse) living it up in celebration of the news. We questioned everyone we knew - we barely found a single person who had voted for Dumbledore. Perhaps it is the complacency of being on the `right' side. How had I so misread my classmates? I simply assumed ... but how could I be so wrong. Not only were they not angry ... they were actually pleased. Optimistic, even.

Then, outside, I found something that gave me the tiniest bit of hope. I found a single boy, a Ravenclaw whom I hadn't much liked, and whom hadn't much liked me. Maybe he'd had a few Butterbeers, I'm not sure, but boy, was he mad. "Bloody Voldemort," he was yelling. "Country's going to go to the dogs. Look at all those idiots in there. They don't know what they've just done. They've got no bloody idea. This night's going to go down in history."

I heartily agreed with him, and we commisserated over a few more Butterbeers. My Gryffindor friend and I left soon afterwards in a cab (OK, broomstick), still contemplating the enormity of what we had lost.

The march of the Death Eaters continues unabated. Sadly, there's no sign of a Harry Potter on the horizon.

(In conclusion of this silliness, Lord Voldemort's deputy, Peter Pettigrew, had some rather defeated and unconvincing words on his master during this morning's Insiders. I'll bet he'd have been pretty depressed if he'd have known he'd still be sitting around twiddling his thumbs, ten years later ...)

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