You just keep on trying until you run out of cake.
in the story. He's working on world peace, too.
Hogwarts is a big place.
When it was founded in 990, it was designed to be easily and greatly
expandable. Rapid growth in the magical population, massively
exceeding even the growth rate of Muggle Britain, resulted in most of
that expansion space being used within the next three centuries. By
1300, there was room for over a thousand students to attend the
school at any given time, and its adminstrators fully expected to use
The Black Death put an end to that. For reasons never determined,
the wizarding population was even harder hit than the Muggles.
Perhaps it was their greater ability to travel and import goods,
causing more exposure to Yersinia pestis. Perhaps it was something
in their genetic structure, due to a tendency to inbreed. Whatever
the cause, by the end of the fourteenth century, Hogwarts' student
population was under a hundred, and the population's subsequent
expansion had lagged that of the world around it.
As a result, Hogwarts had many wings that saw little or no regular
use. This was good for House Harem in one sense- there was
somewhere to put it- but bad in that it had been set up well away
from most of the castle's facilities, meaning that students had to
walk relatively long distances to get anywhere. This was a feature
of special complaint on Monday mornings, right there with the
exercise program, the occasional diets, the Quidditch practices in
poor weather, and the chance of getting tackled if you were too close
to the common room entry and an incoming student didn't stick the
About the only thing of note relatively close to House Harem's bed/
entrance was a broad stairway. Only a few classes, mostly upper-
level electives, were held in that wing, and those on the upper
floors. The third floor and those below were generally deserted.
Dumbledore had said during his speech at the beginning of the term
that the third-floor corridor was forbidden to those who wanted to
avoid a painful death. He had said this so matter-of-factly,
however, that it wasn't clear how seriously he should have been taken.
It had been Harry who was the first to find out exactly what lay
behind the doors, at the end of March. He had been tasked with
carrying a message to Professor Vector, who was then teaching an
Arithmancy class on the fourth floor. Unfortunately, this was on a
Friday afternoon, Harry was mentally tired from his classes, and he
miscounted the flights of stairs.
The loud growling he heard when he pulled on the dusty door handle,
and the hot breath on his face when he opened the door, persuaded him
to count much more carefully in the future. He slammed the door and
ran down the stairs, down the hall, and bounced on the bed so hard
that when he passed through the curtain, he slammed into Professor
Trelawney, who had been standing a good fifteen feet from the
"Dare I ask what brought this on?" queried Trelawney, not entirely
"Dog! Really big dog! Three-headed dog!" gasped Harry.
"Three-headed dog?" asked Millicent, who had just entered the common
room when she heard the crash. "I didn't know there was a Cerberus
around here. Why on earth would anyone keep one near children?"
"Say that again, please?" asked Harry, still breathing hard.
"Cerberi are carnivorous," answered Millicent. "A friend of my
father's raises them, and we never visited them after I was born.
They are supposed to be especially... fond of children. Which again
And then it hit her, and the other Harem students who had gathered,
what the question and the answer must have been.
"I think you just found the Philosopher's Stone, Harry," Trelawney
said quietly. "Or at least the path to it."
FUDGE NARROWLY LEADS FINAL POLL
Three Points Ahead of Bones
With One Week Before Election
"Remarkable Comeback Story"
Daily Prophet, 1 April 1992
BONES HOLDS COMMANDING LEAD
Twelve-Point Advantage As
Fudge Revealed Incompetent
The Quibbler, April Fool's/ Election Special, (1) April 1992
(Xeno Lovegood's grandfather, Alicaritas Lovegood, said when he
founded the Quibbler that the only way to handle the unfairness of
British Magical Elections was to treat them as a joke. It was he who
established the first-of-each-month schedule with that goal in mind.
This resulted in its being even more difficult than usual to tell
when the Quibbler was kidding in April of even-numbered years.)
For most of the evening of April 9th, Amelia Susan Bones held a
slender but apparently durable lead in the race for Minister of
Magic. She was headed to the podium set up near her home in the City
to congratulate her supporters when the last constituencies came in...
...And went overwhelmingly to Cornelius Fudge, who would survive the
election after all (by forty votes) and retain office for two more
Dumbledore switched off his Wizarding Wireless with a satisfied
smile. Fudge wasn't a puppet per se, but a suspect character heading
the Ministry would draw public attention from his maneuvers at the
school, even if people took the Quibbler seriously. Also, if Bones
had won, Harry would have a direct connection through her niece to
the most powerful post in Magical Britain. Now, he was still the
most powerful authority figure Harry would likely encounter. So long
as he retained his authority, he would be able to control Harry when
the time came.
Susan Bones was just not herself on the 10th. She had believed the
Quibbler's poll, and a fire-call to the Quibbler confirmed that Xeno
had played the poll as straight as he knew how. Sadly, Xeno had no
hard evidence of fraud, and with his paper's reputation and
circulation steadily improving, he wasn't going to claim that the
election had been stolen unless he could back it up.
Harry, Hermione, and the rest of the House had taken the results in
stride. Yeah, it's a shame that Susan wouldn't get to be the
Minister's niece, said Harry, but Amelia still heads the DMLE and the
Wizengamot, so she's not exactly out on the street.
"You don't get it, Harry. As long as Fudge is Minister, he can still
make changes here. Hire new teachers. Reassign current ones. He
hasn't done so yet, but he has the power," Susan detailed.
Fortunately, the upcoming Quidditch game against Gryffindor took the
Harem students' minds off the election and everything else.
The season's results had been as follows:
Hufflepuff 150 vs. Harem 150
Slytherin 570 vs. Ravenclaw 70 (1)
Harem 150 vs. Slytherin 100 (2)
Hufflepuff 260 vs. Gryffindor 60
Ravenclaw 280 vs. Gryffindor 100 (3)
Slytherin 210 vs. Hufflepuff 180
Harem 550 vs. Ravenclaw 550 (4)
Gryffindor 230 vs. Slytherin 140
Ravenclaw 300 vs. Hufflepuff 150
(1) Retroactively reduced due to mercy rule.
(2) "Granger Glide" game. Flynt (Slytherin) suspended for season.
(3) Christmas break after this game.
(4) Draw by mutual consent.
In short, Harem would win the Quidditch Cup with a win or a tie (by
point differential), while Ravenclaw needed a Gryffindor win.
Thirty minutes into the game, it looked pretty clear that Ravenclaw
would not get its wish. Superior brooms and (despite Oliver Wood's
best efforts) tactics had given the Harem chasers a consistent
advantage over their red-and-gold rivals. Gryffindor trailed 120-20,
and it would be a matter of minutes until the Quidditch Cup was in
House Harem's hands.
And then it happened. The Snitch was clearly sighted near the
Gryffindor goals. And Charlie Weasley was less than half as far away as Harry.
Harry urged every ounce of energy out of his Nimbus. He was fifty
feet away... thirty feet... twenty feet...
And it was over. Charlie Weasley emerged smiling with the Snitch in his
right hand, while behind and below him, Harry's Nimbus plowed into the
turf, sending Harry tumbling.
The Ravenclaws were screaming in joy. The game had ended. The world
After the game, a dejected Harem team gathered around their coach for
the last time that year.
"Ladies and gentleman," Sinistra said, "we know that the better team
didn't win out there today. You played your hearts out, and so did
they. In the end, it wasn't quite enough.
"But you should never have been in position to win the Cup to begin
with. A ragtag bunch of first-years, using brooms older than I am.
You had no business on the pitch in those first two games. But you
never quit. You not only gave it all you had with your bodies, but
with your brains. Yes, Hermione, I mean you.
"You are the better team now. Next year, you'll be better still.
Let Ravenclaw have their day in the sun. Tomorrow will be yours."
The Harem team cheered their coach before carrying their brooms to
their rooms, to stow them for the trips home that they would be
making in a few weeks.