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Old October 2nd, 2008, 10:07 pm
Neville Longbottom
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Re: Hermione Granger / Neville Longbottom for Minister for Magic

Ron,
nice to see you in our thread! How are you doing? Looks like your campaign is going well. Congratulations on the video!





Dear Hermione,

I am amused to see that you are apparently becoming the pin-up of our campaign. Its just as well. One could hardly have asked me to take on that role!

After you put together such a lovely report of one of your campaign trips last week, I thought I might as well do the same for you today, because I have just come back from a place I am sure youd love!

You see, I had two good reasons for going to Oxford: firstly, there is a sizeable wizarding community there, and secondly its an interesting place to study, if you are thinking of setting up a university.




The wizarding community here was great to talk to! They were quite different from wizards I have met elsewhere there are quite a few who have a muggle job at the university, and they are therefore clued up about muggle science as much as about magic. I didnt know until recently that there were quite a few wizards like this, and I really enjoyed hearing about their perspective. If we found a research institute, we have to have links to muggle science, and I think a few of these experts were really rather interested. They also suggested that there were more scholars like themselves in the UK and abroad. Typically for scholars, they immediately scribbled down a few contacts on a napkin, and got together a pretty long list: I think those contacts might become very useful.

As for the university model as a whole: I love the college system. They seem to be good at managing funding and endowments: some are over 700 years old and going strong! As far as I can tell, they are also good to be in, and you have the same sort of cosy atmosphere as in the Hogwarts houses, with common rooms and all! I felt quite at home in some of the dining halls: this one, over 600 years old, is at New(!) College and even has four tables for the students, and the High Table for the teachers!



There is some college rivalry, but none of the hostility that we are working so hard against at Hogwarts. I am not convinced that rowing is quite as engaging to watch as quidditch, but the sporting rivalry is certainly taken seriously! Anyway the whole city seems to consist of colleges I dont think our university should be quite THAT big, but I guess even so well need quite a bit of space.



Sorry I always get carried away with this university idea. I guess its better we discuss this when we find some time in the next few days.


Anyway I loved my visit! Of course, since I was already in Oxford, I thought I might as well visit a few ancient libraries to look up a few herbology books. In the last few years I have been doing this quite a lot, and its fascinating! Muggle herbology is actually very advanced, although it hasnt taken into account magical properties for some centuries. However, their research into the chemistry and physics of plant life is amazing we wizards should really learn more about that!



You would love just how bookish this city is. Somehow I think that if you hadnt been a witch, you might well have come here, and I think the place would have made you happy. Just look at this: lots and lots of beautiful ancient books!



Its a bit like Hogwarts in many ways sometimes the similarities are almost uncanny! For example New College Cloisters somehow this made me think of ferrets. Odd, huh?



Of course, I also went to sample the local pubs. Hannah always likes to hear about pubs of all kinds. Of course no pub ever compares to the Leakey Cauldron. How could it? Hannah makes all the difference, for me anyway!



This one was particularly nice, although I bet that I could never get you to go in there: its somehow squeezed in between two parts of a huge bookshop! Almost looks like a magically hidden pub you know, just like Harrys Grimmauld Place house expands between its neighbours - , but they assured me that it always looks like this!

Anyway I can honestly say: its been an education. And I had a great day, too!
All the best,

Neville


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