Hermione looked over Harry's shoulder.

"What are you writing? You said you'd done all your assignments - Harry! I can't believe you are writing something called 'How I can be a successful Dark Lord'! Have you been possessed? Is your scar hurting? Talk to me, Harry!"

"It's a bit hard to talk to you when you are firing off stupid questions like a machine gun," said Harry. "Why don't you read it?"

Hermione huffed but snatched up the page of messy writing and read.

How I can be a successful Dark Lord

First it is necessary to study previous successful dark lords to see their methods. Voldemort is not a successful dark lord as he alienates his followers and can only rule them by fear.

Madam Puddifoot is a very successful dark lord.


"Keep reading."

Madam Puddifoot controls youths through the power of pink, and through overly sugared confections, convincing them that she is promoting their well-being and love life whereas she is well placed to make or break relationships with a casual word, such as hinting that one of them is two-timing.

Proof of this utter evil: Pansy Parkinson wears pink and so does She-who-must-not-be-named.

Therefore when I have evil minions I will insist that they wear robes of frilly pink. My minions will have more kittens than any other dark lord in existence and they will all be so cute that every witch in the country will adore them and me for having so many kittens. If I am adored I will not have to be feared.

People who are allergic to kittens will have to be found menial jobs suitable for such depraved persons.

"You mean it's a spoof?"

"You might say so, I couldn't possibly comment. I'm preparing this as a manifesto in order to combat the next lot of lies about me planning to be a dark lord. Besides, it's funny."


"What, I'm not allowed to have a laugh to combat the misery she and Snape are pouring onto me?"

"Oh. I'm sorry Harry."

"Keep reading."

In order to emulate dark lords like Madam Puddifoot, I shall learn a sweet voice and reasonable tone to throw people off guard. I will call everyone 'dear'.

"Harry, this isn't about Madam Puddifoot at all, it's about ..."

"Of course it is, dear, now don't be silly and don't abandon sweet reason, who else could it be about?"

"Oh Harry! I ... I think you might be on to something rather brilliant here."

When I need to punish my minions, I will be very sorrowful that it is for their own good, and I will use punishments which sap their strength and make them too tired to rebel against me. I will have an executive officer to carry out punishments so I have plausible deniability about the severity. As a successful dark lord, however, having had a minion punished, I will give them a cuddle and feed them tea and cakes and tell them how much nicer it is to be friends. If they spew up at my sweetness, I will probably have to execute them. Very regretfully. And I will have them buried in a coffin with pink silk lining and lace .with hearts on. However as I plan to make sure none of them are any good at spell work, they won't be able to rebel successfully.

I will never tell a rebelling hero my plans before I execute him in case he gets away

I will make sure I always have a kitten or, even better, a sweet six-year-old orphan on my lap if anyone comes to kill me to ask the hero 'why is you twying to hurt mine uncle Hawwy who feeds me ice-cweam?'

I will never have a stupid tattoo to identify my top minions.

I will never have my minions cover their faces with any kind of mask since it is easy then for other side to blip one of my followers on the bean and take their place.

I will encourage my minions to be friends, and to exchange extravagant gifts, so that none of them can afford to overthrow me.

I will permit my enemies to think that they can get into my secret hideout by answering sphinx riddles, but in reality she will only let people through whose magical auras are known to her. Those who correctly answer riddles are ushered past her into the obligatory oubliette. Those who fail are her perks for a varied diet.

I will restore order in Hogwarts and do away with house rivalry by making all the robes pink.

I will take pinkness to new depths by making it illegal to grow any kind of cabbage which isn't red.

I will give prizes to anyone who can find a way to make grass pink, and this will probably make Neville my most trusted advisor and lord of utter pinkness.

I will have Barbie declared a National Treasure.

"Barbie is American, Harry."

"What? This means war, Hermione, we will have to fight to free Barbie from MACUSA!"

"Barbie has always been American. Brits have Sindy."

"Well, she isn't pink."

"Change it to 'I will make a deal with Barbie as Dark Lady of MACUSA," said Hermione. "Wait, did I actually say that?"

"Brilliant," said Harry, snatching back the parchment to make an amendment.

I will make Pink Floyd National Treasures, but only if they change the covers of their albums to be pink like their name.

I will insist on pink icing on all confectionary.

I will have my trusted advisor, Neville, develop pink roses with vicious thorns and imbued with warding spells to protect all my properties, and Hagrid will breed caterpillars to live in them which are pink and have real cat faces. When they turn into butterflies they will have bodies of cats with pink butterfly wings.

"I think you lost it now," said Hermione.

"More than likely," said Harry. "Anything I should add before I send it to the 'Quibbler'?"

"How about, 'subscribing half-heartedly to the power of pink will be forbidden, and wearing only a pink cardigan over ordinary clothes does not count as sufficiently evil."

"Love it," said Harry, writing it in. "D'you mind taking it to Luna?"

Hermione sighed.

"At once, your Pinkness," she said.