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Hermione & Neville: In the Spotlight...or on the Spot?



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 30th, 2008, 7:06 pm
Neville Longbottom
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Hermione & Neville: In the Spotlight...or on the Spot?

Welcome to Hermione's and Neville's spotlight thread.




We'd like to use this thread to introduce ourselves and our ideas. The thread will kick off with various things we've been hoping to present to you for a while, a little bit more about us and our lives, but also more details about our ideas for the future.

In a few days' time we'll open this thread for discussion, so that we (or our team) can answer any questions you might have.


Right. Ready to go? Why don't I start this off by telling why and how I decided to run?


As soon as we heard the sad news about Minister Shacklebolt retiring, which was announced as we were in the Great Hall, I was surprised by the number of students and fellow teachers who came to me and asked if I was going to run. I had been so content as a teacher at Hogwarts that I hadn’t considered it.

My first reaction was that there was someone else better for the job, more qualified. When I began to think of specific names, however, I realized that I was as qualified as anyone for the position. I had never craved power and knew I wouldn’t run just for that, but I began thinking of all the good I wanted to do and could do from the Ministry and I knew I was going to try.

Of all the names I had thought of (and discarded) who might be better in the office of Minister of Magic, the only one I didn’t discard completely was my long time friend, Hermione Granger Weasley. But instead of deciding she was better, I decided we would make a great team. There were so many ways we could complement each other:
  • She had the experience with writing the laws; I had experience enforcing them.
  • She is muggle-born; I am pure-blood, giving us unique perspectives on the world.
  • We both have experience organizing and recruiting (DA in Hermione’s case and the student resistance in my seventh year at Hogwarts.
  • We are both interested in education and want to make sure not only that Hogwarts has freedom from political interests, but higher education is also available to those who want it.
  • We are both interested in the environment and bettering the world for the future of all races.
  • She has learned from books and experience, as have I.
  • We both have fought the dark arts from an early age.
  • Neither of us has any aspirations of power, but we are both willing to take a leadership position when needed.
  • We are both willing to do whatever may be necessary to accomplish what we see that needs to be done.
  • We have both traveled extensively working with other countries; she with the Magical Creatures Dept and me as herbologist.
  • We both have stood for principles in spite of teasing, bullying and danger from both peers and enemies and will not be swayed to do anything less than our best regardless of the provocation.

Well, once I had thought about all these ways in which we complement each other, it looked like a good idea to pursue this idea a bit further, so I got in touch with Hermione and found out that she had already been thinking about standing for the post herself .... but I know that she can tell you more about her side of the story.



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  #2  
Old August 31st, 2008, 12:37 pm
Hermione Granger
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Re: Hermione & Neville: In the Spotlight...or on the Spot?

'Well, Neville, since you are asking.... yes, I had thought about it before you popped out of my office fireplace on that memorable morning...


In the first hour after Minister Shacklebolt announced his retirement as Minister, several of my co-workers in the 'Department of Magical Law Enforcement' pledged their support for my campaign for Minister . As I left the Ministry that day, I was even more taken aback when some of the Ministry workers from other departments whom I barely knew pledged their support as well. It seemed like my campaign for the post of Minister had already began without my even lifting a finger. Overwhelmed and humbled by the support, I sat down to analyse the decision that had the potential of turning my peaceful (as peaceful as it can be, with a bunch of both young and old Marauders around!) life. Did I want to be a Minister?

The answer was pretty easy, really. During the dark times, the dream of a safe, peaceful and joy-filled future was what kept us going. As a Minister, I would have the power of turning this dream into reality. I knew that in reality, things would be far more difficult to achieve than they were in my dreams.


That's as far as I had got when you arrived, and it was just the right time, because you showed me how this was going to be a realistic idea.

And since then, well... we've been discussing lots of ideas and plans... some of which we'll be presenting in this thread.


  #3  
Old August 31st, 2008, 12:39 pm
Neville Longbottom
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Re: Hermione & Neville: In the Spotlight...or on the Spot?

You know, now that I think about it, I remember more....

The day that Kingsley resigned, we got a record amount of punters at the Cauldron.



Being a teacher, and the husband of the barmaid of a pub, it didn’t take me long to hear of it.

Of course, the fact that it was announced in the Great Hall at breakfast (by Ted Lupin, the little flobberworm), helped as well.

I was sat at the teacher’s table, tucking into my bacon and eggs, as you do, when Edwina Gerraw, the Astronomy professor, and good colleague, nudged my elbow (almost making me poke my eye out with my fork, I will add).

The question on everybody’s lips was, of course, “who’ll replace him?”

Who indeed. I spent much of the day (outside of lessons, of course), deliberating over the matter.

When I apparated home, to the Leaky Cauldron, I walked through the door to find a heaving establishment, all talking about the same thing.

And then Dedalus Diggle noticed my arrival.

‘Neville!’ I remember him saying over the general hubbub of the pub. ‘Neville could do it!’

I flashed back to the oh-so-many times I had been petrified in school.

‘Me? But I’m only a Herbology teacher,’ I stammered to the crowd, who’s eyes were all on me.

‘Which is exactly why you should do it, Nev,’ Dedalus persisted. ‘You’re well liked in the community. You’re head of Gryffindor house. You led Dumbledore’s Army in the country’s darkest hour. You cut the head of Voldemort’s pet snake clean off, with Gryffindor’s sword, and we all know what’s said about that.’

‘“Only a true Gryffindor could have pulled that out of the hat”, I know.’

I sighed. ‘Hannah, can you get me a butterbeer? I’m going to need to think about this.’

And so, I thought about it.

I flooed my good friends. Hermione Granger, her husband Ron Weasley, Harry Potter and Luna Lovegood, and asked them for their thoughts.

I got a lot of responses that derived from the phrase “good luck if you do run, you’ll be going against me”. Right. Not very helpful overall (though it did give me a heads-up on any potential competition).

I asked my wife what she thought. Hannah’s always been considerate, and always listens to people when they want to talk (as any patron of the Leaky Cauldron can testify to).

She didn’t deny that it would be easier, what with me only having to apparate a couple of miles to work every day instead of two-hundred, but realised that, should I win (and I know that there’s no guarantee of that, regardless of whatever stats my team throw at me), her life would be severely disrupted, what with the security issues and duties tied to the job. Mind you, she also said that it was a good opportunity to get some more dress robes, so make what you want of that.

I spent some days at Hogwarts, thinking about it. I could often be found in the staff room, mulling the idea over. Indeed, I have a sneaking suspicion that it was I who gave Professor Flitwick (or ex-Professor, as he is now known) to run for the position himself – dang and blast, is everyone I know running for this?

And in the end, I elected to run.

Some may say I’m an underdog. There are others with more experience than I, yes.

But I’ll tell you something:

I am not afraid. I am not a coward. And I have no intention of going down without a fight.

Swords are not the only things I can pull out of hats.




Last edited by Neville Longbottom; August 31st, 2008 at 1:18 pm.
  #4  
Old August 31st, 2008, 1:17 pm
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Re: Hermione & Neville: In the Spotlight...or on the Spot?

As some may remember, I started campaigning for Neville and when he decided to join forces with Hermione, I decided I had to put a few questions to rest, so I asked if I could have a chat with her. Recently, she invited me to her house for dinner.

We sat down to talk as Hugo slept and Rose played with her dolls in the middle of the floor.

“The first thing I have to ask, and I know it concerns a lot of other people as well…” I paused as I tried to decide how to word my question. Finally, I just said, “SPEW.”

Hermione groaned and covered her eyes for a moment. “I will never, ever live that down. Ron brings it up from time to time, teasing me about my youthful zeal.” She raised her eyes and asked with a smile, “Isn’t there anything you did as a child you now find terribly embarrassing?”

I grinned sheepishly as I recalled a few of my youthful foibles, but didn’t answer.

Hermione chuckled and continued, “Well, you have to remember that I was very young and muggle-born. I had never ever heard of house elves before meeting Dobby. They were so taken for granted by wizards that they weren’t even mentioned in ‘Hogwarts, A History’ at all. I had never run into one until Dobby, so of course, I assumed they were all like him. I hadn’t the experience to know that most were very happy in their situations. To me, it seemed like slavery and abuse, and Dobby reinforced that.

"To show how ignorant I was, I was making all those stupid hats thinking I could free the elves. If anyone could give a house elf clothes and free them, Harry would have freed Dobby himself immediately instead of having to trick Lucius into doing it.”

Hermione laughed again at herself before she continued. “Winky confused the daylights out of me the way she didn’t seem to want her freedom no matter how good her treatment was. I realized I needed more knowledge, so I spoke to the other house elves at Hogwarts and in other households later. Since that disastrous attempt to better their lives, I have learned a great deal. Most are happy as they are. Even Dobby told us that too much freedom wasn’t a good thing even in his eyes. House elves have no hobbies or interests or culture as we do, so they have nothing to do in their free time. That has changed some, and in my position in the Ministry, I have written laws to force families to treat house elves kindly by outlawing the abuse of house elves. I have also set up a system that allows those house elves who are abused to report their masters and receive an apology, or their freedom if they wish. You can’t imagine how much it means to them just to be acknowledged or thanked for their efforts. By bringing attention to their plight, I have made them less invisible, as it were. Wizards now think about them and realize they have feelings. Their lives have improved so much even without freedom. Many have asked for and been given their freedom, but if that’s not for all of them, fine. They at least now have the freedom to choose,” she finished proudly.

I was impressed by both her fire and her increased understanding.

“How do your muggle parents feel about their daughter being in the running for co-Minister of Magic?”

“Oh, they’re quite proud, of course. They urged me to do it. They still aren't quite clear on this co-Minister thing, but say if that's the way I want to do, that's fine with them. And they’ve been a great help with the children, helping as Ron and I coordinate our separate campaigns.”

“Oy! Did I hear my name mentioned?” Ron asked as he walked in the front door. Hermione rose to greet her husband with a kiss and stood asking him quietly about his day before bringing him forward to introduce me.

“Hey, could I have someone from my team to dinner?” Ron asked.

Hermione rolled her eyes and smiled. “Of course, Ron. Ask anyone you like.”

I could see the wheels turning in Ron’s head as he debated who to invite from his and Harry’s campaign. Then he returned to the topic of what we were saying about him when he arrived.

“Denise had just asked about how my parents feel about my campaign. I told her they were supporting me and were a big help as you and I coordinate our campaigning.”

Ron nodded emphatically. “With both my parents running and most everyone else we know running, it has been a real blessing that her parents are muggles. Although for awhile, I wasn’t sure they wouldn’t run, as it seemed everyone else was!”

“Oh, Ron!” Hermione hushed with a laugh.

“What is it like to have two separate and competing campaigns going on under the same roof?” I asked.

Both shrugged. “No different really than having two separate jobs of any other kind. If Ron wins, of course, I will support him completely.”

“And if Hermione wins, I’ll support her,” Ron added loyally. “Just because I think we would be better, doesn’t mean I think she and Neville wouldn’t be good.”

“And vice versa,” completed Hermione. “In case you hadn’t noticed, this isn’t exactly a cutthroat campaign. Most of those running are friends or family members. We all trust each other and with the exception of Voldemort and Malfoy—” she was cut off by her husband’s soft but angry words.

“Slimy gits should never have been allowed to run,” Ron muttered as he picked up Hugo, who’d awakened and begun to fuss. “After what they did, the gits should—”

Hermione cleared her throat, cutting Ron off. She raised her voice a bit and continued, “With one exception, we would trust and fully support any team running. There is no animosity here or at my in-laws’ house, the Burrow. There is love and acceptance and trust among us all.”

I shook my head in wonder. “Don’t you wish muggle politics could be this way?”

Hermione laughed at my sentiment. “That is as unrealistic as SPEW!”

The three of us shared a laugh as Ron took Hugo into the other room to change his diaper and Hermione and I went to the kitchen to start the meal.

During the dinner—while Ron helped Rose eat and Hermione fed Hugo—I asked a few more personal questions.

“Where did you get the name Hugo?”

“Family name,” Hermione answered. “My grandfather.”

“And Rose?” I asked, surprised to see Hermione flush and Ron strut proudly as he sat still, feeding his daughter.

“Well, Ron gave me roses on our first official date. He still brings me roses quite frequently…especially on our anniversaries. He can be quite romantic that way. When I learned I was pregnant and we realized that it had probably happened on our anniversary, Ron quipped that he had given me one more rose than he had known about at the time and that it would soon bloom. All through my pregnancy, even before we knew she was a girl, we kept referring to her as my rose.”

“And wow did she bloom,” Ron added in an undertone.

Hermione cleared her throat meaningfully. “He continually teased me about how my pregnancy was blossoming. When she was born, it just seemed appropriate to name her Rose,” Hermione finished.

“That is one of the most romantic stories I’ve ever heard,” I replied, marveling at the love this couple shared.

As a muggle-born myself, I was glad to see this political race wasn't descending to the level of muggle politics and would not damage relationships of friends and lovers.


Later, we’ll post a report about a visit with Neville and his lovely wife, Hannah.


__________________



Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many—not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.—Charles Dickens

Proud Gryffindor!
Liberals want big government to ensure they don't fail; conservatives want small government so they can succeed.
Davy Crockett learned a valuable lesson our current congress should learn.


  #5  
Old August 31st, 2008, 1:33 pm
Klio's Avatar
Klio  Female.gif Klio is offline
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Re: Hermione & Neville: In the Spotlight...or on the Spot?

Let's have a few of the endorsements we have had from various people over the last few weeks.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Potter
Hermione would be a brilliant Minister. She has been working in the Ministry for years and is used to dealing with new issues all the time. She has the brains for it, that's for sure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathlyH
Neville is super-awesome
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rell
congrats to Neville on getting into the competition! You're one of my favorite characters, and I was hopping you'd get in
Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy
First I have to say that these two make an impressive team. Hermione is likely the smartest witch in the whole of the wizard world her age. She more than proved her dedication and loyalty to fighting for what is right during the extermination of the evils of Voldemort during his second attempt at a take over.


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I served on the campaign which got Hermione and Neville elected as co-ministers of Magic
  #6  
Old August 31st, 2008, 5:09 pm
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Re: Hermione & Neville: In the Spotlight...or on the Spot?

While working for our campaign, I have been following the candidates and doing interviews and reporting a bit from the campaign trail. I have another episode that I am forced to share with you, whether Neville likes it or not!

As we toured the new broom factory that just opened, Neville was praising the innovations and came across the newest invention. We were told that it was inspired by muggle children’s roller skates. It was a pair of small brooms with very, very short handles. Before Neville quite understood what was happening, the inventor had offered him a pair and laid them on the ground in from of him.

“Uh, I’m not a great flyer,” Neville protested weakly, but I could see he was eager to try this new contraption.

“They are for children. I’m sure you’ll do fine,” Mr. Swift assured. “Just use body movements and thought and you’ll see they are more fun than a barrel of monkeys!”

Neville stepped forward onto the brooms and crouched a bit to keep his balance as they rose from the floor a few inches. Gingerly at first, he moved his feet as Mr. Swift demonstrated and was soon whizzing across the factory floor. He tried to turn as he reached the wall, but still brushed against it and windmilled his arms to keep his balance. Soon, though, he seemed to have gotten the hang of it and was racing circles around us as he laughed with pleasure.

Then I noticed his eyes widen. “Where are the brakes on these? I can’t get it to stop!”

Mr. Swift suddenly got a sheepish look. “Well, they are still experimental for a reason. We haven’t quite got that problem fully worked out yet.”

The look on Neville’s face at that point was priceless as he tried to determine how to get off the racing brooms without killing himself. By putting his arms out for drag and crouching low, he managed to slow himself down, then he gave a quick hop and lunged forward as he landed on the floor to catch the brooms.

The inventor’s eyes widened. “That was great! No one has managed to get off them without ending up on the floor. Can you show me how you did that again?”

Neville laughed and shook his head as he handed them back to Mr. Swift. “I’m afraid not. I have another appointment. Those were really fun. I hope you work out all the bugs and look forward to having a pair for myself when they are finished. Good luck!”

As we left, I pretended not to notice how Neville’s hands were shaking and instead, recalled how poised and in control he had looked as he had ridden the contraptions.

“Do you really want a pair of those?” I asked softly, trying not to laugh.

“Sure do,” he quickly replied. “They would help me make all these campaign stops and can you imagine how much easier they would make it for Hannah at the Leaky Cauldron? She could zoom up the stairs and down and around the tables. And to be honest, they were a lot of fun! Like muggle roller coasters,” he grinned.

I couldn't help thinking that this thread is called In the Spotlight or On the Spot, but our candidates are Spot On!


__________________



Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many—not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.—Charles Dickens

Proud Gryffindor!
Liberals want big government to ensure they don't fail; conservatives want small government so they can succeed.
Davy Crockett learned a valuable lesson our current congress should learn.


  #7  
Old September 1st, 2008, 3:47 am
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Re: Hermione & Neville: In the Spotlight...or on the Spot?

I dug up a few Newspaper cuttings that mention our Candidates -Here is one I found Interesting



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YOU HAVE TO ACCEPT THAT
SOME DAYS YOU'RE THE PIGEON!
AND SOME DAYS
YOU'RE THE STATUE!



Sorted

Last edited by SusanBones; October 25th, 2008 at 2:12 am. Reason: to fix link
  #8  
Old September 1st, 2008, 3:48 am
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Re: Hermione & Neville: In the Spotlight...or on the Spot?

Another note from the trail for you enjoyment and enlightment.

When I spoke with Augusta Longbottom about her grandson’s run for Minister of Magic, she told me that she had known he was destined for this position for many years and was glad she had lived to see it. She began to reminisce about the day Voldemort had been defeated, immediately after the battle had finished and the dead and wounded had been taken to their places for care. Here’s how she recounted the episode to me:

I sat a little ways away from Neville in the Great Hall as we all ate and tried to recover from the battle that had just been waged…and won, though at high cost. Even amid the physical pain, profound sorrow and bone-deep exhaustion we all felt, I could see Neville was basking in the triumphant accolades from the other students for standing up to the man they had all feared for so long. I knew that wasn’t why he’d done it, of course, but the unaccustomed fame and praise obviously felt good to him, although I knew he wouldn't let it go to his head. The Great Hall, like those of us inside it, was filled with a curious blend of emotions: wild exhilaration at the defeat of the Death Eaters and the actual, final death of Lord Voldemort; almost overwhelming sadness at all the losses of family and friends in the process; physical pain in the wounds to both people and building; exhaustion that in itself caused a combination of giddiness and solemnity.

I stole another glance at the sword on the table beside him. I still couldn’t believe how it had come to him. I’m not ashamed to say that I nearly had heart failure as I watched my grandson standing there petrified (as I was) while Voldemort set the Sorting Hat on fire. I feared I’d be forced to watch him die a horrible death before my eyes as I was unable to do anything to stop it. It still makes me shudder to recall.

Then I saw him break free from Voldemort’s spell and pull the Sword of Gryffindor from the hat. I remember that although I was surprised as those around me were, he hadn’t seemed to be surprised at all and wasted no time grasping the sword firmly and surging toward Voldemort to kill him for killing Harry and hurting so many.

I watched as he attacked Voldemort, believing the Potter boy had been killed at his hands. At that moment, as a few minutes before when he’d stepped forward and brought Voldemort’s attention and wrath on himself by challenging the…well, we can’t call him a man, by then can we? Anyway, again, Neville didn’t stop to think of consequences or torture or death, only of letting Voldemort know he hadn’t won, he hadn’t broken our will and we would continue to fight, in spite of Harry’s death, because that is what he would have wanted. Neville was determined to aid his friend any way he could. He wouldn’t allow Voldemort to kill Harry and then spread lies about him, adding insult to injury.

He told me later that he wanted to kill Voldemort first, but his loyalty to his friend had caused him to honor that friend’s last request and instead of his preferred target, he had taken the opportunity to kill Nagini as Harry had requested.

Many, myself included, had seen Harry as only a symbol, a talisman, a protector; but to Neville, Harry was a very good friend. They had been through so much together, and Harry had helped Neville become strong enough to face Voldemort.

Exhaustion was creeping up on me and I could see it weighing Neville down as well, so I reluctantly stood and approached him. I’m not one for sentimentality, but at that moment, I laid a proud hand on his shoulder. “I haven’t had a chance to tell you how very proud I am of you, my boy. Your parents would be immensely proud…if they could know and understand. You stood up to him as bravely as anyone could. And you killed that hideous snake of his. The entire Wizarding World owes you an incredible debt of gratitude.”

I remember how Neville blushed modestly as he replied, “No one owes me anything. I just did what I could, same as everyone else here.”

“No, that’s not true. No one else was granted Gryffindor’s Sword. No one else stood up and spoke to him as you did. And you stepped up and sliced that creature’s head off without flinching or fearing his wrath…despite what he had already done to you,” I loudly reminded everyone who could hear.

“I did that because Harry told me it was important to kill it. That’s all,” he tried to dismiss.

“And Harry didn’t tell anyone else about that important job, did he?”

Neville stopped. “He said Hermione and Ron knew, but he wanted me to know, too. Just in case.”

“There! You see. He didn’t trust them to do the job, so he told you, knowing he could count on you to see it done.” I was determined to make him and everyone else see that he was a hero, too. “Potter trusted you and your parents would be so proud of you.”

Neville gave me a sad smile then and I could see he was thinking of his parents. “I’m glad you are proud of me, Gran. I’m happy to think they would be proud of me. I’m pleased that Harry and all these people are proud of me. But most of all, I’m proud of me.”

Everyone could see that Neville was sitting up straight and tall with his head held high. There was no more shyness in him, no awkwardness, no clumsiness. In that instant, it seemed, Neville changed. He was no longer a scared, self-conscious, maladroit boy, but a man who seemed to have grown into his skin and himself and knew what he was and where he was going.

The sun seemed to gild his hair and I thought then that Harry may have been the one everyone looked up to, the one who had killed Voldemort, but he couldn’t have done it without Neville. But for a slightly different circumstance, it could have been Neville that everyone was lauding now. Then I saw others come up to Neville and thank him for his part and tell him how brave he’d been and how great they thought he was, and I realized that he did have all the glory he wanted. Neville would go far. I saw he now had that way of holding himself that gave others confidence in him without showing the slightest arrogance. He was accepting all the praise with innate modesty. He was comfortable with himself and so were others. As he had shown all year, he was a leader, every bit as much as Harry. My thought then was that I hoped I lived long enough to see him in the post I was sure would one day be his: Minister of Magic. I’ve never pushed him that way or even mentioned it to him, but I knew it would happen.


__________________



Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many—not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.—Charles Dickens

Proud Gryffindor!
Liberals want big government to ensure they don't fail; conservatives want small government so they can succeed.
Davy Crockett learned a valuable lesson our current congress should learn.



Last edited by Den_muggle; September 1st, 2008 at 3:51 am.
  #9  
Old September 1st, 2008, 12:14 pm
Neville Longbottom
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Re: Hermione & Neville: In the Spotlight...or on the Spot?

A few ideas on magical education

Let's talk about our education system - as you might imagine, that's a topic close to my heart. Actually, when I say ‘education system’, I mean Hogwarts. Let’s face it, for most wizards in the UK and Ireland Hogwarts is the only option, which means we have to make absolutely sure that it is the best it can be.

First, the big idea: we should actually see Hogwarts as part of a longer learning process.

We all know that many magical families find it difficult to give their children a primary education. The Ministry should look into offering them some help.

There is also no further education after Hogwarts. For many of us that’s just fine, but we always have a few excellent minds who would like to specialise further. We need to follow the muggles’ example and found a university. At the moment magical research relies on private initiative – people who do not have enough time and money to experiment never get a chance to test their ideas, and we lose valuable potential. As you probably all remember, the Snape/Weasley campaign has also made such a suggestion, and I agree with them that this would probably have to be tackled on an international level – which would also contribute to international magical co-operation. A proper environment for a research community and higher education could really offer us a chance to make new discoveries and advances that make all our lives better.

As far as Hogwarts itself is concerned, I think there are a few problems we need to address:
  • pupil’s opinions
    It’s crucial that pupil’s views about the school and its activities are heard, regardless of wealth, influence, blood status or any other factors. We should give all pupils a chance to state their opinions frankly and anonymously, both about individual subjects and teachers as well as the school as a whole.

  • useless teachers
    Let’s not beat about the bush. We all know that among some amazing teachers at Hogwarts there have always also been some who simply didn’t get their subject across. Think about it – a few decades of Professor Binns meant that generations of wizards – that’s basically the whole wizard population of two countries alive today – has not had a chance to learn anything useful about history. I am sorry, but that’s just not on.
    We have to find an independent way of dealing with this problem. I suggest an independent committee of Hogwarts teachers’, pupils’ and parents’ representatives, a panel of experts in the different fields taught at Hogwarts plus some independent members (some of which could be drafted in from abroad). The Committee would look at pupils’ feedback, the syllabus and examinations and make sure that the proper standards are met. They should also hold an open meeting every year where everyone, especially pupils and parents can attend and ask questions or offer suggestions and criticism. New members of the committee should also be elected by such a general meeting.

  • House unity
    I think we have all seen that this is essential. I would not want to destroy the unique identities of the houses, or the healthy competition between them, but I think there has to be more chance for pupils from different houses to interact and to get to know each other.
    I think there should be a general common room at Hogwarts. The house common rooms will be there, too, but there should be a comfortable place where people from all houses can meet. I’d also like to see more competitions with other schools (though, if possible, less dangerous ones than the Triwizard tournament).

  • Come and visit Hogwarts!
    Hogwarts should have an annual open day for the whole wizarding community – a chance to come back to the school whether you have children there or not, and essentially a big party for all. We should all be proud of our magnificent School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

  • The Ministry will stay out of Hogwarts
    This seems a bit of a paradox, when I am putting together Ministry policies for Hogwarts reforms. In fact, I would like to set this process in motion and let the school and its independent commission deal with our proposals, while the Ministry introduces very clear laws to prohibit all direct government interference in future.

So, those are my basic ideas for important changes we should consider. Hogwarts has been around for about a thousand years - and it's been serving us well, so obviously we don't want to fix something that isn't broken.

But a few years ago, I saw Hogwarts almost brought to its knees, and Voldemort was not the only one causing problems. I want to make absolutely sure that something like that NEVER happens again, and that Hogwarts will go on for another thousand years.


  #10  
Old September 1st, 2008, 3:45 pm
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Re: Hermione & Neville: In the Spotlight...or on the Spot?

I'm offering another report from the campaign trail, another glimpse into our candidates' lives and family:

I got Hermione’s permission to visit her parents and have a chat with them about their feelings concerning their daughter running for office. The home was a modest one in a nice section of London. As we sat down, Hermione’s mother offered me a glass of water (sugary drinks rot your teeth) and brought out a vegetable tray instead of sweet biscuits (crunchy raw veggies help clean plaque from your teeth).

“You seemed very focused on teeth. I mean, I understand that it is your profession, but it almost seems to be and obsession,” I began.

Her parents smiled with their perfectly white even teeth. “Perhaps, but teeth are very important. Everyone should take good care of their teeth. It’s easy if you just think about it, but most people don’t.”

“How did you feel about Hermione having her teeth fixed by the school nurse after that spell that made them grow?”

Their smiles died as her father replied, “We had specifically told her that she needed to wait to have those fixed until she stopped growing. I can understand her impatience, but we weren’t happy that she did that. However, that is past.”

“Were you happy when you learned she was a witch?”

They shrugged and Mrs. Granger answered, “Hermione is unique and we have always felt—and taught her—that she should embrace all her gifts. Her magical abilities are no more or less important than her intelligence. She seems to be happy working in that world but she visits us frequently and we work around it with explanations to family and friends. We still don’t really understand how that could happen or where she got that ability, but she has it. It’s just a part of her.”

“It didn’t frighten you when you first learned?” I probed.

They exchanged a puzzled glance before her father echoed, “Frightened? Why would we be frightened? It was simply an ability she had. An unusual one, to be sure, but simply part of our daughter. We were slightly concerned at first about how to help her develop this ability, but once McGonagall explained about the school teaching her all about it, we knew she’d be fine.”

I was pleased by their lack of concern and prejudice. Obviously, they weren’t at all like the Dursleys, even if they didn’t seem to show a great deal of interest in the wizarding world.

“How did you feel when Hermione told you she was marrying a wizard and going to live in the wizarding world instead of the muggle one?”

“That is what happens with girls. They leave their parents’ home to go to their husbands. It’s not like she’s living on Mars,” Mrs. Granger laughed. “She and Ron and their children visit us often. In fact, we have been seeing them very frequently lately as the two get so busy with their campaigns. Hermione has always talked with us about social issues that plague both worlds and tried to come up with common solutions to as many as possible. Now we hope that she will be able to have even more of a hand in helping to implement those solutions for the betterment of both worlds.”

“We couldn’t be more proud of her,” her father agreed. “She is making a difference in both worlds.” He grinned. “I remember how horrified she was when she learned there was no University for wizards. I’m sure that will be an early priority if she is elected.”

“You don’t think she has lost touch with the muggle world?”

“How could she? We visit frequently and talk about all the current events of both worlds and how they impact each other. I don’t know how she finds the time to do it all, but she is extremely well informed of events occurring locally in both the wizard and muggle worlds as well as what is happening in the Middle East and elsewhere around the world,” Mr. Granger replied indignantly.

“Yes,” added Mrs. Granger. “She obviously has a great deal of interest in the world her parents and other family members inhabit.”

“Do you think her early good showing in the polls is an indication that she will be elected?”

“It’s still early. I wouldn’t count that as a done deal until the only poll that counts is done. Hermione is too smart to take that for granted, so she’ll continue working hard until and far after the election.”

“What do you think of her running mate?”

“We haven’t talked to him too much, but he seems like a good boy. He and Hermione share many goals and work well together as far as we can tell. I did notice that he takes very good care of his teeth, so I’m sure he’ll take great care of the country,” Mr. Granger assured.

I refrained from rolling my eyes, and hurried on to my next question. “Do you hope Hugo and Rose have magical abilities?”

“They will have their own unique abilities and we will do whatever we can—as will their parents—to help them develop those abilities, be they magic, intelligence, charm, what have you.”

I was rapidly seeing where Hermione got her practical side. Her parents were both very practical about accepting the world as it was…although they did have a certain zeal for the things they felt were important…such as teeth.

“What would you like to see as a central platform of your daughter’s administration with Neville?”

“Oh, I agree with her that education is important. And better health, especially oral health, of course,” her father quickly answered.

“And global cooperation. If wizards from all around the world can cooperate, they can help influence their muggle counterparts to do the same. She is very keen on finding solutions that will benefit both sides, and that is very important to us all, obviously.”

“Is there anything you’d like the wizarding world to know about your daughter?”

“She is intelligent, hard-working, strong, compassionate and takes good care of her teeth. She will do her very best and I don’t think either world could ask for a better leader.”

“Some have accused her of being bossy and dictatorial. How would you reply to that?”

Jean smiled. “When she first learned she was a witch, she was so afraid that she would not be as good as other witches and wizards because she didn’t know anything about magic. She was so insecure that she often came across as bossy, when she was actually afraid. She studied all summer, all manner of books. I can’t recall the number of trips we made to Diagon Alley that summer to buy more books for her so she’d feel prepared. Now, she knows that she is as good as anyone and better than some at magic. She is smart, secure and has no more need to prove herself to anyone. I don’t know of anyone who has seen her lately who would call her bossy.”

“Except for poor Ron,” Mr. Granger laughed. “That boy can’t win against her. But then, what man can win against his wife?” he asked with a wink.

“Are you implying I bully you?” Jean asked in as intimidating a manner as possible.

“What is it the Americans say? I plead the third?”

I laughed. “I believe that’s the fifth,” I corrected.

Mr. Granger nodded. “Yes, I think you’re right.”

I came away from that visit with a profound sense that, although the Grangers were not very demonstrative, they were very supportive and had great confidence in their daughter. They knew she would be good for both worlds and would govern in a manner that would benefit both, for she was well prepared in many areas…and she took care of her teeth.


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Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many—not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.—Charles Dickens

Proud Gryffindor!
Liberals want big government to ensure they don't fail; conservatives want small government so they can succeed.
Davy Crockett learned a valuable lesson our current congress should learn.


  #11  
Old September 1st, 2008, 8:47 pm
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Re: Hermione & Neville: In the Spotlight...or on the Spot?

A colleague of Hermione's let us have two memos she wrote back in 2001 - just an insight into her early ideas about house elf welfare.






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Last edited by Klio; September 2nd, 2008 at 12:22 am.
  #12  
Old September 1st, 2008, 8:48 pm
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Re: Hermione & Neville: In the Spotlight...or on the Spot?

I sat down with Neville recently to talk about his first (but not only) love: herbology.

“You used to travel a lot as an internationally renowned herbologist. Now that you’re a teacher, I assume you don’t travel nearly as much. Do you miss it?”

“Well, Hannah and I travel some in the summer, usually, while school’s out, but I have lots of other ways to study plants. My good friend, Luna Lovegood Scamander, still travels a lot (or did before this campaigning started) and she and her husband send me back samples of interesting plants they find. Since I have found the muggle internet, I have been spending a lot of time searching it for information on plants from all over the world. The sharing of information that is available on the internet is wonderful. I think Hermione and I are going to have to see if we can promote something like it for the wizarding world…or some kind of shielding to allow electricity to work in wizarding parts of the world.”

I was surprised by this. “You are interested in muggle plants as well as magical ones?”

“Of course. Understanding of all living plants is important in my job. I have found some very exciting muggle plants. In fact, I have been working on cross-breeding a Venus Flytrap and different magical plants, hoping to find a plant that will help control pests naturally. Of course, it’s important to find one that will only eat the insects in the garden and not the gardener,” he laughed.

I found this to be very interesting. “Where are you working on this? Hogwarts?”

“Actually, I don’t want to do that because there are so many rare and valuable plants there that I just don’t want to risk anything getting out of hand. I built myself a greenhouse at home for my plants with a separate one for Hannah. She enjoys more simple flowers and lots of pretty muggle ones and got a little upset when she would nearly be assaulted by some of my experiments or some of the more aggressive plants I work with,” he grinned sheepishly. “So separate greenhouses seemed to be in order. Now we’re both happier and more able to enjoy our plants.”

“Do you still have your mimbulus mimbletonia, and is it still your favorite?”

“The original one my uncle gave me is in one of the Hogwarts greenhouses, but I have a smaller start in my personal greenhouse at home. It’s hard to pick a favorite. Especially as new ones are being discovered and cross bred all the time. I think I’ll refrain from answering that one,” he grinned, “despite the possibility that Ms. Skeeter will accuse me of being evasive.”

“What is it you find so fascinating about plants?”

His eyes widened. “What’s not to find fascinating? Some are very beautiful; some are dangerous; some are mysterious; and some are incredibly useful. For example, some people think stinksap is just a useless, noxious liquid, but through my studies, I have found that it has many wonderful uses: it can cure injuries caused by the venomous tentacula; it is a vital component in natural stain-removers; believe it or not, Hagrid and I learned that it is the only food his blast-ended skrewts enjoy. They thrive on it!” He gave another of his devastating grins and admitted, “Whether that’s a good thing can be debated, but it is a use. And Luna swears it repels Nargles. I won’t argue with her, although that won’t be one of the uses listed in my upcoming publication: 101 Uses for Stinksap. And, plants have great uses for defense. We used both mandrakes and venomous tentaculas to defend Hogwarts ten years ago. And of course, my friend Hermione would still be petrified without the mandrake potion that cured the effects of her encounter with the basilisk.

“Even non-magical plants have wonderful uses for wizards. On the internet, I learned about valerian, which is a natural relaxer/sleep aid for muggles. Working with Prof. Slughorn and others, we discovered that it can aid in sleeping draughts that are more gentle than dreamless sleep and can even be safe for the very young. It also aids some pain relief potions. Muggles knew cats love it, and I discovered that kneazles also adore it. Many wizards now feed it to their kneazles to help them calm down before vet visits just as some muggles do for their cats. It also aids patients who are suffering from prolonged stress.”

“Has it helped your parents?” I asked hopefully.

He lost his smile and looked at the floor as he slowly shook his head. “Unfortunately, no. I’m afraid my parents are beyond any help at this point. I haven’t given up on them and I continue to try as do many others, but there has been little progress and I am realistic. They have been helped in the sense that it can calm them when they become agitated without putting them totally to sleep, but as for real, permanent progress, I’m afraid not.”

“Do you and Hannah visit them?”

“We go to see them as often as we can. I’m not sure it could be called a visit, but occasionally, I do get the feeling that they recognize me a little. Gran thinks it’s my imagination, but sometimes, I do see a spark of recognition in their eyes. It’s brief and they still don’t talk,” he admitted sadly, “but they are calmer since they started taking the valerian potion and seem to enjoy our visits.”

I wanted to change the subject away from one he found so painful. “So how are you going to balance campaigning and teaching?”

“Well, of course today was the first day back for students. Fortunately, Prof. Sprout was willing to come out of retirement for this first semester and take her old classes back, leaving me free to spend my time on the campaign trail. If I win, she’ll stay on until a permanent replacement can be found.”

“So she’s supporting your campaign?”

He smiled. “Pomona has always been very supportive of me and my endeavors, but I won’t put words in her mouth. She isn’t as interested in politics as she is in plants.”

“Will you miss working with plants if you win the election?”

“Why should I? I do have my own greenhouse and Ministers are allowed to have hobbies,” he reminded with a smile. “Maybe I’ll build a conservatory in the Ministry building,” he offered with a wink.

“One last question, and it’s not plant related: Do you still have a remembrall or have you forgotten it someplace?” I teased.

He laughed at my mischievous question. “I suppose Ms. Skeeter will claim I have lost it, but I don’t carry it any longer. I needed it when I was younger because I was so nervous that I couldn’t remember much. Too much of my mind was consumed with worry to be able to remember little things. Once I got over that and became more sure of myself, I no longer needed the remembrall. I do write lists sometimes, especially for this campaigning, and those are much more helpful than remembralls, because they actually tell me what I need to remember, not just that I’ve forgotten something,” he finished with a grin.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at another side of one of our candidates. Be sure to send me an owl if you have anyone else connected to the campaigns of Hermione and Neville you’d like to see me sit down and chat with. I can’t promise I’ll be able to work it in the schedule, but I’ll try. Thanks for reading and I’ll be back soon with more interviews and snippets of our candidates’ lives.

Denise


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Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many—not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.—Charles Dickens

Proud Gryffindor!
Liberals want big government to ensure they don't fail; conservatives want small government so they can succeed.
Davy Crockett learned a valuable lesson our current congress should learn.


  #13  
Old September 2nd, 2008, 12:09 am
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Re: Hermione & Neville: In the Spotlight...or on the Spot?

Ok here is another little cutting I found



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YOU HAVE TO ACCEPT THAT
SOME DAYS YOU'RE THE PIGEON!
AND SOME DAYS
YOU'RE THE STATUE!



Sorted

Last edited by twinsrule26; September 2nd, 2008 at 12:25 am.
  #14  
Old September 2nd, 2008, 12:11 am
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Re: Hermione & Neville: In the Spotlight...or on the Spot?

Mr Fontby of the St Mungo's Research Institute wrote to us, saying that he'd like to support Professor Longbottom's campaign because he always supported his students so well. He sent us this letter of recommendation, which Prof. Longbottom copied to his student when he sent it to Malfoy Inc. Mr Fontby would like to emphasise how concerned Neville Longbottom has always been for the wellbeing of magical research.



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Last edited by Klio; September 2nd, 2008 at 12:22 am.
  #15  
Old September 2nd, 2008, 12:18 am
Hermione Granger
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Re: Hermione & Neville: In the Spotlight...or on the Spot?

The Wizarding World and its relations with Muggles

I am sure you are all aware that I am a muggle born witch – and therefore the relationship between our world and the muggle world that surrounds us is of particular interest to me.

First and foremost, I think that the Statute of Secrecy is important – it has served us well in the past, and I think it remains the most effective way of protecting our community.

However, it seems that while we were making efforts to hide from them, we have also managed to turn our eyes from their lives and achievements. I think this has been a dangerous mistake. Interestingly enough, Muggle Studies at Hogwarts and general wizard interest in muggles is mainly focused on muggle lifestyles, gadgets and invetions. That’s all useful to know, but ultimately, many aspects of muggle technology are at most curiosities to us: we have our own ways of making our lives easier – and frankly, our way is less damaging to the environment.

But muggles have done more than harnessed electricity or built airplanes. In the last few centuries our worlds have grown apart while physically existing in the same space, and it seems as if many of their best innovations simply passed us by. At the same time, the non-magical folks who once seemed to be at such a disadvantage compared to witches and wizards have learned to control their environment, and many advantages we once had are no longer so significant. This may make it all the more important to keep our world secret from them – but it is absolutely essential to engage with muggle ideas, because they are likely to have a crucial impact on our lives.

Some muggle activities have reached a scale where they do not just threaten us, but the life of all of humanity, both magical and muggle. Muggles have discovered horrific new ways of making war, they have invented weapons and strategies so terrible that wizards could not help to be affected if they were caught up in a large conflict. We have to learn more about this, and if there is any way in which we can contribute to defuse the situation, we should do so. Moreover, the muggles’ economic activities are causing serious environmental damage. Many believe that their habit of producing most forms of energy by burning carbon based substances causes climate change, and the depletion of natural habitats everywhere is speeding up at a worrying pace. It doesn’t look as if muggles can change their habits quickly enough, and things will probably get a good deal worse very quickly. All of us will be affected.
We wizards cannot close our eyes to such problems – we hid all those centuries ago to be safe - but today hiding from the muggles is not enough to be protected, because large areas will be affected. This means we need to get involved. Fristly, an international co-operation between wizards in all countries is crucial to consider these issues. Secondly, we need to use the direct link between our Ministry and the muggle government to consult with them about this problem, and contribute to a solution as best we can – as far as the Statute of Secrecy allows.

But there is more to muggles than those dangerous consequences of their technological advance. In the last few centuries muggles have had many ideas that may be useful to us, too, and it is particularly important to take a close look at muggle science, philosophy and politics.

- They have learned to understand nature in a way that is very different from ours, but which would be useful to us, too, to complement our magical sciences. I know that my running mate, Neville Longbottom, has a high esteem for the muggle science of botany, which complements wizard herbology in very fruitful ways.
- Muggles have refined the study of languages, from their history, and relationships to structure and phonetic building blocks. Research into new spells in our world tends to based on experiment – but I would suggest that the muggles’ understanding of languages, especially also their study of ancient languages such as Latin, could contribute significantly to our research into new spells and magical theory.
- Last but not least, in the last few centuries, muggles have developed fascinating ideas about politics, while (it has to be said) until recently the Wizarding World has been woefully behind in these issues. We should look into muggle’s thoughts about Human Rights and consider how these principles apply to wizards and sentient magical creatures. The Wizarding World would also benefit greatly from introducing a number of measures that would make our community more accountable and democratic. I hope to say more about this another time, but I am thinking about a strict division of executive, legislature and jurisdiction, freedom of the press, habeas corpus (an ancient muggle term; protection from detention without trial), and more generally protection of citizen’s privacy, freedom and property from the power of the state.

Apart from considering muggle ideas, we should simply make sure that they are not quite so strange to us. As we all know, our younger generation has fewer qualms about venturing out into the muggle world, and they have less of a problem to understand how muggles behave and dress. I think that this is a good thing – if we try to achieve complete separation we are only hurting ourselves by putting severe restrictions on our freedom of movement: after all, this island is very densely populated with muggles, and we really don’t want to think of most of our country as no-go areas!



All in all – don’t underestimate muggles. Yes, they have to get by without magic, but they have also achieved a lot, and they have given thought to many aspects of the world which we wizards rarely bother to enquire about. I was moved when I saw back in those dark days of 1997/8 how may wizards went to great lengths to protect muggle neighbours, and I think that ever since then, an interest in the muggle world has grown among us. I may be biased – after all, some of my closest relatives are muggles – but I really think it’s worth to know muggles, and it’s also worth listening to them sometimes.


  #16  
Old September 2nd, 2008, 12:26 am
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Re: Hermione & Neville: In the Spotlight...or on the Spot?

Here is a letter we convinced Hannah Abbot Longbottom to provide for us. She thought it might show why Neville has become so concerned with the environment.



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Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many—not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.—Charles Dickens

Proud Gryffindor!
Liberals want big government to ensure they don't fail; conservatives want small government so they can succeed.
Davy Crockett learned a valuable lesson our current congress should learn.


  #17  
Old September 2nd, 2008, 4:02 am
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Re: Hermione & Neville: In the Spotlight...or on the Spot?

What some voters say about Hermione:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignisia
Bossy or not, You must admit, Hermione is quite frequently right.

What Hermione says about herself:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermione Granger
By the way, I'm not bossy anymore, except to Ron . But aren't all wives that way?


__________________
YOU HAVE TO ACCEPT THAT
SOME DAYS YOU'RE THE PIGEON!
AND SOME DAYS
YOU'RE THE STATUE!



Sorted
  #18  
Old September 3rd, 2008, 2:00 am
Hermione Granger
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Re: Hermione & Neville: In the Spotlight...or on the Spot?

I hope you have had a chance to look at a few of the things that we and our team have put together for you in this thread.

But now it's time for you to talk back!
Feel free to comment, ask us questions or just come in to have a chat.


  #19  
Old September 3rd, 2008, 2:04 am
Neville Longbottom
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Re: Hermione & Neville: In the Spotlight...or on the Spot?

We'd really like to hear what you've got to say!

Hermione and I will try to answer posts whenever we can - and otherwise our team will do their best to respond to you.

Right... I am ready for a grilling. Hermione? Ready?

Let's go!


  #20  
Old September 3rd, 2008, 2:57 am
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Re: Hermione & Neville: In the Spotlight...or on the Spot?

Great job on your spotlight thread guys. You really did great, especially for having gone first.


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