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Filched from the WWN files to make an Omniocular challenge holiday. - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
Filched from the WWN files to make an Omniocular challenge holiday.

I find that the BBC house style for formatting a radio script cannot be reproduced here.  My apologies to anyone who has the faintest idea what I’m talking about.  This is my response to the February cross-over challenge at the Omniocular community: I was given the task of working the Potterverse into Yes, Minister.  Inevitably, this resulted in Neville’s being Minister for Magic, Draco’s being Cabinet Secretary, and Ernie Macmillan’s being Neville’s PPS.



Episode 5: The principle of the thing


GMW Wemyss




RT HON NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM:           Right, then.  Now. We’ve nobbut one item on the agenda –

ERNIE MACMILLAN, PPS:                          Actually, Minister, if there’s only one item, this would constitute an agendum.  Er.  Sorry.

RT HON NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM:           Ernie.  If Voldemort had really wished to destroy the resistance, you and Percy Weasley could have ground us to a halt off your own bats.

DRACO MALFOY, CABINET SEC’Y:         Come, come, Minister.  Ernie’s life is an open book.

RT HON NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM:           Aye: Grammar for the Upper Forms.  Boogger that, though, let’s get on with it.  Draco?

DRACO MALFOY, CABINET SEC’Y:         The Transylvanian Minister for Magic has expressed a desire to visit Britain.  Officially.

RT HON NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM:           ‘Officially’?  You mean he doesn’t actually wish to visit?

DRACO MALFOY, CABINET SEC’Y:         Oh, no, Minister.  He wishes to visit officially.  As part of a mission.  Not quite a State Visit, naturally; rather, a sort of trade mission-cum-summit.

RT HON NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM:           A summit?  With that Death-Eating bugger?  That’s not a summit, that’s an oceanic trench.

DRACO MALFOY, CABINET SEC’Y:         Oh, most felicitously expressed, Minister.  Very droll.  The fact of the matter is, Minister Ţepeş is the duly – well, chosen – head of state for the Transylvanian Wizarding population, and his object is, not to put too fine a point upon it, trade.  His past political indiscretions are simply not a fit subject of concern.

RT HON NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM:           Or of enquiry?  I can imagine that you would think so, Draco.

DRACO MALFOY, CABINET SEC’Y:         That, Minister, is a breathtakingly unfair reference.  Your predecessors –

RT HON NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM:           Harry, Arthur, and Kingsley, you mean.  Happen they could forget as well as forgive, lad.  For my part, it’s forgiven, but not forgotten.  Point, lad, mind thi well, is, you were nobbut a lad when you buggered it oop, and your mam and da were hostages.  Bogdan Ţepeş was all but an open Death Eater during t’war and of full age to be held responsible.  The age of discretion, some call it.

ERNIE MACMILLAN, PPS:                          Whereas Draco’s errors belonged to an age of indiscretion, Minister?

RT HON NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM:           Whereas his errors were amnestied in return for his repenting, Ernie.  Bogdan Ţepeş is the same barbarian he ever was, and never a word of apology for backing Tom Riddle’s insurgents here.  It’s the clear policy of this government, Draco, to have no dealings with that sort, not if it puts a Sickle on the tax or requires an embargo – which Cabinet are mulling.

DRACO MALFOY, CABINET SEC’Y:         An embargo?  Cutting off trade? 

RT HON NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM:           It’s a matter of principle.  And policy – which is my prerogative, not that of the Sibylline Service.

DRACO MALFOY, CABINET SEC’Y:         Minister!  I am of course but a humble vessel –

RT HON NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM:           One that wants emptying of your own importance.  Your job, lad, is to effect the will of t’ government, and Cabinet: all duly elected, nowadays, which is more than that Wallachian bugger can say for himself.  When Kingsley, just after War, created an independent Sibylline Service and separated you lot from the Moot and governance, he didn’t mean to create a Sibylline Service that thinks itself independent of the government.

DRACO MALFOY, CABINET SEC’Y:         Naturally, Minister.  That is why all the purebl-, ah, the old families chose to stand for the Wizengamot rather than take posts in the departments.  I believe in fact that only Ernie and I – well.

ERNIE MACMILLAN, PPS:                          Kingsley spent a decade or more sniggering about how the purebloods left the Sibylline Service to the rest of Wizard-dom, only to find that it’s actually the Sibylline Service that runs things.  Er.  That is, as against backbenchers, Minister.

RT HON NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM:           Aye, Shacklebolt was a fawce one, cunning as ferret.

DRACO MALFOY, CABINET SEC’Y:         Minister….

RT HON NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM:           No, Draco.  My policy is clear and unwavering.  T’ rest of the world is free to put up bigots and terrorists as heads of government if they like, but they’ll bear consequences, and one of those consequences is, they won’t be welcome in Britain.  It’s a matter of principle.

DRACO MALFOY, CABINET SEC’Y:         Far be it from me to denigrate principled action, Minister. 


DRACO MALFOY, CABINET SEC’Y:         But there are other matters of principle at issue here that cannot be so lightly dismissed.  If indeed it is the policy of the government to leave the Wizard on the Clapham Knight Bus wandless, or to let Witches in hospital at St Mungo’s die, I shall of course have no choice but to carry that policy out to the best of my ability.  Even so –

RT HON NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM:           Wandless Wizards?  Dying Witches?  Talk sense, man!

DRACO MALFOY, CABINET SEC’Y:         Indeed I shall.  You are standing after all upon a matter of principle, and a very important principle it is, Minister, if I may so.  True, the Transylvanians do possess a near monopoly on certain indispensable potions ingredients, especially those used in healing potions, and of wand cores as well, of course – Veela hair, notably – but naturally, these considerations cannot possibly impinge upon the government’s principled foreign policy.

RT HON NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM:           That’s Sibylline Service Ploy Number Four Hundred Twelve, I believe.  I’ve all of ’em written down somewhere.  Just you leave the policy considerations to me, Draco, and get on with carrying them out.  That’s exactly why Kingsley overturned the old ways of doing things – or not doing anything – when he created a real civil service.

DRACO MALFOY, CABINET SEC’Y:         Had it not been for that, and had certain events gone the other way, I – even I, Minister – might now be seated in your chair.

RT HON NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM:           Aye, but you’re not.  And had things gone t’ other way, the place would be run and staffed wholly by Death Eaters.

DRACO MALFOY, CABINET SEC’Y:         Oh, most amusing, Minister.  I was referring, of course, to the last general election.

RT HON NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM:           So was I.  Now.  I want a programme drawn up for an embargo on the Ţepeş government.  By tomorrow forenoon, shall we say?  Off you go.

DRACO MALFOY, CABINET SEC’Y:         Very well, Minister.



HORACE SLUGHORN:                                 Ah, Draco!  Just the man I was hoping to see!  Sherry, dear boy?

DRACO MALFOY, CABINET SEC’Y:         Thank you, Horace.

HORACE SLUGHORN:                                 Draco, may I present Alexandru Ghica, the commercial attaché of the Transylvanian mission?

DRACO MALFOY, CABINET SEC’Y:         How d’you do.

ALEXANDRU GHICA:                                  Ah, the famous Dracul Malfoy, yes?  The Cabinet Secretary to the so-famous Minister Longbottom!  I am hoping to see much of you, with my Minister coming to Britain.


ALEXANDRU GHICA:                                  Ahhhhh.  So.  The rumours.  Leaks, you call them?  Yes: leaks.  That my Minister will not be welcome here.  Perhaps even that you will cut off trade with my so wonderful country.

DRACO MALFOY, CABINET SEC’Y:         Unreliable things, leaks.  That’s why they’re the symbol for Welshmen.

ALEXANDRU GHICA:                                  So I should not believe these rumours?

DRACO MALFOY, CABINET SEC’Y:         You might say that.  I couldn’t possibly comment.

HORACE SLUGHORN:                                 Draco.  A word in your shell-like, dear boy?  Do excuse us, Alexandru, will you?  Thank you.  (LOW)  My dear Draco, is it possible that you have lost control of your Minister already?  I must say, that was not at all what I anticipated when I recommended you to succeed me upon my well-deserved retirement.

DRACO MALFOY, CABINET SEC’Y:         Yes, odium cum dignitate.

HORACE SLUGHORN:                                 It’s no use prickling at me, dear boy.  Now, see here.  You must, you simply must, take charge of your Minister.  Otherwise, he’s quite likely to come to believe that he’s running the country – and what a disaster that would be.  I’ve seen him with cauldrons.

DRACO MALFOY, CABINET SEC’Y:         D’you think I don’t know that?  Unfortunately, he’s a war hero – and even now that gives him a powerbase of his own – and as stubborn as ever the Carrows found him.

HORACE SLUGHORN:                                 You must guide him, Draco.

DRACO MALFOY, CABINET SEC’Y:         I suppose you had control, as you put it, of Kingsley, Arthur, and Potty?  They’re as stubborn as Longbottom is.

HORACE SLUGHORN:                                 ‘Control’, dear boy?  I don’t know what you mean.  I simply offered guidance, wisdom, a steady hand on the tiller … I nudged, I warned, I influenced –

DRACO MALFOY, CABINET SEC’Y:         If you ever successfully influenced Potty, you must have first Polyjuiced yourself into the Weaselette.

HORACE SLUGHORN:                                 Oh, don’t be deliberately obtuse.  One simply uses the Socratic method, one draws them gently to the correct conclusions, one shepherds them and jollies them along.  Rather like dealing with undergraduates, really.

DRACO MALFOY, CABINET SEC’Y:         You’ve never dealt with an undergraduate in your life, Horace.  That’s why we made you Warden of Paracelsus for your retirement plum: ‘all souls and no bodies’, like its Muggle counterpart.  Or in the case of some of the Fellows, soulless nobodies.

HORACE SLUGHORN:                                 My dear Draco, I wash my hands of you.  If you don’t care for my methods, devise your own.  But I urge you – nay, I warn you: keep your Minister in check.  The man is perfectly capable of beggaring the country and starting a war in the same breath.

DRACO MALFOY, CABINET SEC’Y:         I’m astonished, actually, that you managed to keep Scarhead from doing just that.

HORACE SLUGHORN:                                 My methods have the benefit of effectiveness.  Although I must admit that, when the crisis in his successor’s day called him back into the field, I’m not sure whether he or I was the more relieved.  As Field-Auror Marshal and Chief of the Wizarding General Staff, he’s much less of a worry than he was as Minister for Magic.  And never forget: our Chosen One is Neville’s closest friend, and they both of them have considerable power if you’re fool enough to let them wield it.


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7 comments or Leave a comment
shezan From: shezan Date: February 10th, 2008 09:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Oh, most amusing, Minister. I was referring, of course, to the last general election."

"So was I."


*scoots off to read more*
wemyss From: wemyss Date: February 10th, 2008 10:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

Much obliged t'you.

Thanks. Good to know it amused so exacting and informed a critic.
shezan From: shezan Date: February 10th, 2008 09:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
DRACO MALFOY, CABINET SEC'Y: "You might say that. I couldn't possibly comment."

Surely Sir Drumphrey can't turn in to FU? (that would be his father if at all?)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: February 10th, 2008 10:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yes, I know.

The terms of the challenge were not so strict as to preclude a little sly fun, however.
lily_fayline From: lily_fayline Date: February 12th, 2008 10:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
DRACUL (HEH!!!) MALFOY, CABINET SEC’Y: Unreliable things, leaks. That’s why they’re the symbol for Welshmen.

What a marvellous piece so far. Must admit I had to google the above quote from House of Cards (the shame!) but thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing!
Reminds me of Waiting for Voldemort (quite a good version of Godot), for which link can be given upon request.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: February 13th, 2008 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

My thanks.

I'm delighted you had fun with it.

And do send that link, please.
lily_fayline From: lily_fayline Date: February 13th, 2008 04:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: My thanks.

As promised, but please disregard the misspelling of Nietzsche and Sartre (not that I wrote this, but it is my rec after all...); otherwise: enjoy!
7 comments or Leave a comment