Tuesday 7th October 2007
"The Muggles have been acting very strangely recently."
"How so?" the minister for magic asked the correspondent.
The correspondent, Karly, stopped for a moment to catch her breath before running to the minister's side again. "When I went to visit the Muggle prime minister, he kept glancing at my wand and seemed reluctant to answer any questions about us forming a relationship with them."
"Now that is odd. I think you should keep an eye on him, Karly."
"Yes minister." The correspondent bowed slightly before running off to catch the elevator.
"Karly just informed me that the Muggle prime minister has been acting strangely towards her upon her recent visits." The minister for magic, Bruce Heavensbee, told his second-in-command.
"Oh, really?" Joe Johnson replied with fake interest. "Minister, I think you should look at this." He presented an issue of the Daily Prophet to him.
"What is the date on this?" The minister asked, without taking the paper.
"Why are you showing me this?"
"Because I thought you should read the front story." Joe said hesitantly.
"I have read it, Joe. I read the paper every day."
"Okay. Sorry sir." Joe bowed, took the paper back and scuttled away.
"Joseph!" Joe spun round to face the minister again. "Where are you going? We have a meeting."
"Apologies, sir, I forgot."
Joe caught up with the minister and the two of them made their way to the meeting room.
Bruce Heavensbee looked down at the man who was speaking. He had been talking to his Muggle neighbour, who had been showing him some of his gadgets.
"And then he swiped across the screen of this peculiar device and it showed another picture of more weaponry! I couldn't believe my eyes!" The man exclaimed, barely able to stay in his seat, due to his excitement.
"Well, Mr..." Bruce began.
"Mr Firebrace. I am fully aware that the Muggles have been advancing in their technology. My wife has been attending several Muggle classes to spy on the types of technology that they use. We understand that this technology may be a danger to the magical world, but we must also take into account that this technology has proved useful for ourselves. How many of you own a technological item in your home?" Bruce addressed the rest of the meeting room.
Most people raised their hands cautiously. The few people who didn't raise their hands, looked around the room before also raising their hand. Everyone, apart from one, had their arms in the air.
"Mrs Brockhurst, do you not own any technology?" The minister asked in surprise.
"No. I prefer to live a simple life, I do not have any electricity connected to my house and prefer just to use gas for my stove." She said proudly.
"Don't you have a car?" Another member of the meeting asked.
"No." Mrs Brockhurst looked round the room. "Who does?"
"Interesting point." Bruce remarked. "Who here owns a vehicle of some sort?"
Most people in the room raised their hands again, but this time about ten people shook their heads.
Bruce picked one out who had said no. "Mr Jones, why don't you have a car?"
"I don't see the need. I have a broomstick that can carry my luggage and I travel by apparition mainly." He told the rest of the room.
"What about you, Ms Kelly?"
"I used to own a car, but I never bought another one after my husband had the accident in it. I might buy another one at some point, but I'm getting along okay without it." She said calmly. Her husband had died in a car crash seven months ago when he was driving to work. It was a head-on collision and her car was written off.
"Okay, that's fair enough." Bruce looked at the rest of the room. "So, clearly most of us do use technology in our lives, even though we fear the Muggle advances in it. The Muggles are more disadvantaged than we are because we have our magic, they must have a substitute for their lack of magical means. Technology is clearly their substitute, performing the roles that our wands perform for us. Of course, technology is no where near as advanced as magic, but we have to give them credit for trying."
"But, what are the solutions?" Joe Johnson asked.
"What do you mean?"
"Clearly the Muggles are beginning to advance beyond our wand's ability to cope with the change. What happens if they overrule us?"
"The Muggles aren't going to overrule us anytime soon. They are still young in their developments. If you study Muggle history, then you will discover that technological advancements have really only happened since the harbouring of electricity by Thomas Edison in 1879. Whereas, magic has been around since the beginning. Wands have improved in their creation, just the same as Muggles have improved in their creation of technology. There is no need to worry about technology yet." Bruce concluded.
A series of mumbles and whispers raised in the meeting room and stopped suddenly when Bruce raised his hand for silence.
"I believe that's it for this meeting. You are all dismissed." He stood up and left the room, leaving everyone else to discuss the topic among themselves. They could present any queries at their next meeting.
"Sir! Sir!" A voice called down the corridor after Bruce Heavensbee.
"Oh, hello Karly, what is it?" Bruce said, stopping to let his correspondent catch him up.
"I have the transcript from your meeting and a letter from the prime minister." Karly presented a small pile of paper and an envelope.
Bruce took the envelope and turned it thrice in his hand. The envelope was made out of heavy parchment paper, inscribed with black ink and sealed with a red wax seal.
"Hm... I wonder what he could want." Bruce took up his marching pace down the corridor, in the direction of his office, and Karly scurried after him, still hanging onto the transcript.
"Sir? Do you want this?" Karly asked, panting slightly as her small legs tried to keep up with the minister's long strides.
"Oh yes, but do come with me so I can read this and write a reply. Then you can send the reply off." Bruce said.
When they reached his office, he marched round to his desk and sat down, opening the envelope and reading the heavy parchment paper inside. He put the letter to one side when he had finished, and pulled out his own writing paper and quill. The minister wrote out a response to the prime minister's letter, before sealing it in his own envelope and marking it with his own red wax seal.
"Here," Bruce handed the letter to Karly, "take this and make sure it gets to the prime minister as quickly as possible. When you're done, come back here."
"Of course sir." Karly bowed, took the envelope and turned to leave. "Oh, sir, your transcript." She said, turning back and handing the pack of paper to the minister. He nodded and she hurried out, clutching the envelope as if her life depended upon it.
Bruce Heavensbee sat still at his desk, contemplating what he had said in the meeting. He scanned over the transcript, looking for anything that shouldn't have been said. Then he reread over Joe's question: "what happens if they overrule us?"