Chapter 1: In Which We Are Brought Up to Date

Headlines from the Daily Prophet:

He's Dead! June 6, 1997

Early today, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, George Weasley, and Ginerva Weasley returned from Hogwarts bearing the head of Lord Voldemort. George Weasley is quoted as saying, "We broke his wand, dismembered him, set him and it on fire, and brought his head back in case someone in the Department of Mysteries can think of anything we didn't to make sure he's not coming back…"

Horror in Hogsmeade! June 8, 1997

Last night, during the street celebration in Hogsmeade, over one thousand witches and wizards were killed or wounded when Death Eaters called down white-hot fire from the sky. The entire town is in ashes, and no one has been able to remove the Dark Mark floating where the town used to be…

St. Mungo's Massacre June 8, 1997

Within hours of the destruction of Hogsmeade, St. Mungo's, filled to the brim with the wounded and dying, was blown up. It is reported that no one survived. The Dark Mark hangs over the hospital…

We Will Not Go Quietly June 11, 1997

Early this morning, an anonymous letter was delivered to the Ministry of Magic. Titled the Dark Mark Manifesto, it states that as long as there are any Death Eaters left, nowhere in the Wizarding World will be safe. The terror attacks will continue. The letter says that the Ministry of Magic, Hogwarts, and Diagon Alley will all be destroyed before the week is out.

The Ministry very strongly recommends that everyone stay home. Do not go out. If you live in or near one of the potential targets, flee. We have no reason to doubt the sincerity of this letter…

Double Strike June 14, 1997

Death Eaters, insane with desire for revenge, simultaneously targeted Hogwarts and Diagon Alley.

In the first good news since the death of You-Know-Who, Hogwarts is still standing. Headmistress Minerva McGonagall tells us that Hogwarts is protected by very old and complex magic, and that nothing short of Armageddon will cause it to fall.

Unfortunately Diagon Alley was not so lucky. It, like Hogsmeade, is now a smouldering pile of ash. It is believed that two thirds of the population of Diagon Alley was unable to leave quickly enough to avoid the strike.

Refugees from Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade are encouraged to go to Hogwarts. "We've got the room," said Headmistress MacGonagall.

We Got One! June 16, 1997

Bellatrix Lestrange was captured last night while attempting to enter the Ministry of Magic.

"We are using every tool at our disposal to get information as to who else is alive and what they are planning," a highly placed ministry official who wishes to remain nameless tells us.

Azkaban in Ashes June 17, 1997

The Wizarding Prison, Azkaban, was destroyed last night. More a symbolic gesture than a useful one, the Dark Mark hangs over what is now an empty island. The buildings were razed, and the few guards left were killed.

Snape Is Alive! June 21, 1997

Severus Snape, reported to have been killed during the battle of Hogwarts, has shocked the Wizarding World by not only surviving, but also turning himself in to the Ministry of Magic. We are told he has been incredibly useful in helping track down the remaining Death Eaters.

"We've caught three in the last two hours," said Roland Sittleworth, Auror. "His information is extremely good."

Ministry Destroyed! June, 23 1997

Riding the tide of good feelings caused by the capture of fifteen Death Eaters in the last two days, no one expected another bombing. However, in what looked like an attempt to turn herself in, Narcissa Malfoy walked into the Ministry and detonated herself, destroying the building and everyone inside it. We are told they won't know exactly how many were killed for quite a while, but because only a skeleton crew was actually still located in the Ministry, it's not as bad as it could be.

"I stayed home yesterday, just wanted to spend some more time with my kids," Arthur Weasley, Head of the Department of Muggle Relations, told us. "Luckiest thing I've done in years."

The surviving members of the Ministry are being relocated to an undisclosed location.

19 Down 2 to Go June 25, 1997

Early today, Lucius Malfoy was captured. His capture marks 19 of 21 surviving Death Eaters off the streets. Fenrir Greyback and Gregory Goyle are the only two outstanding members of You-Know-Who's followers still free.

Got 'Em! June 27, 1997

In what is being hailed as one of the greatest strokes of luck in a very long time, both Greyback and Goyle were captured within hours of each other. As of this point, every known Death Eater is dead or behind bars.

"We're still interrogating them for information about anyone else who may be of interest. But I think, for the time being, we may be safe," said an Auror who preferred to remain anonymous.

Snape: Not Guilty! April 4, 1999

London: The most interesting trial this century is likely to see ended today with a verdict of Not Guilty for Severus Snape. Since the fall of the Death Eaters the trial of Snape has been the most complex, causing many to spend hours debating whether he was or was not really a Death Eater. (See our award-winning series: Divided Loyalties for more background on Severus Snape.)

Reuben Vitellus of the Wizgamot said, "Really, it was the Pensieve memories that made me decide to acquit. You can't convict someone of murder when you can see the victim ordering the person to do it."

"For me, it was the information leading to the capture of the other Death Eaters. The Aurors told us that only Lestrange and Malfoy could have been captured without Snape's information. And, well, they both walked into the Ministry under their own power. We're not talking about expert deductive powers here," said a member of the Wizgamot who preferred to remain nameless.

"I still think he's guilty as sin. The only reason he helped turn the other Death Eaters in was to save his own skin," Dolores Umbridge told us.

Long Term Effects of War and Black June Just Being Realized June 19, 2000

London: On the third anniversary of the capture of the last Death Eater, we are just beginning to realize the long-term effects of the War and Black June. Our most recent census data shows that more than 70 percent of the British Wizarding population was killed or wounded between the start of Vold War II and June 30th, 1997. Witches now outnumber wizards by three to one.

In what is probably the biggest threat to our continued survival, the number of magical people in Britain has dropped below the level needed to keep Muggles producing wizard children.

"We think about 5000 wizards are needed on an island this size before the magic quotient is high enough for the spontaneous birth of Wizards. The most recent census showed us at 2986," said Percy Weasley, Secretary to the Head of the Department of Repair.

"It's not like most Wizards have a terribly high birth rate anyway, but if we are to survive we need to change that.

"We need to figure out a way to get across the message that one or two kids just won't do it anymore. In my own family, I was one of seven. I currently have five nieces and nephews. Since only two of us are married, it's a very good start. But the Wizarding World needs to do more. We need babies. And we need to make sure that they are not inbred. Three ladies survived Black June for every man that did. Even if all of those men marry one woman, we'll be extinct in three generations."

Polygamy Legalized! October 24, 2001

In a move that shocked the Wizarding World, Britain is the first country to re-legalize polygamy since the Dark Ages.

"We spent the last year encouraging people to have babies, and it just didn't do all that much. There have been only nineteen new babies since last year, one of which I'm proud to say is mine, but that just isn't enough. Especially since many of them are full siblings to babies already here," Percy Weasley, Head of the Department for Rebirth, tells us.

"What we've found is that our gene pool is getting too small. Any child who is a full sibling of another one makes that pool even shallower. We hope to encourage a more diverse gene pool by this measure. We've also added incentives for anyone travelling abroad to bring back a spouse. Any family with more than three children per woman will be paid an annual stipend of 250 galleons, and 500 galleons if those children are not full siblings of each other."

First Muggle-Born Wizard since Black June! January 28, 2002

For the first time in over four years, a new Muggle-born wizard has been added to the British Wizarding Population. Although Sean Sharpe does not yet know it, he has a fate different than the other Muggles lying in their cots next to him.

"This is extremely good news," said Percy Weasley, Head of the Department for Rebirth. "The more Muggle-borns we can add to our population, the better. This may also allow us to scale down our estimates of how many Wizards are needed in a given area to allow for the production of spontaneous Wizards. In fact, this may allow us to forgo even more radical plans to encourage the increase of our population!"

Sean Sharpe Conceived in France March 2, 2002

Looks like we were a bit hasty on the good news front. Further research showed the Sharpes lived in France for three years previous to moving back to Britain for the birth of their first child. As of this point, the level of magic in Britain is still too low to sustain spontaneous Wizard Births.

Marriage Law Passes April 2, 2003

In a continuing effort to curb the falling population of the British Wizarding World, the Marriage Act of 2003 has been passed. The extremely contentious legislation caused different groups in the Ministry to break down into screaming matches. But finally, on the 157th vote, it was passed last night.

In effect it states: All fertile, unmarried male and female wizards must find a spouse within the next six months, and begin to produce offspring in the year after that. The bill will expire in thirty years, when the Ministry hopes that the population will have stopped dropping, and gotten to the point of growth again.

Hermione Granger put down her copy of the Daily Prophet, looked out her window for a moment, and said, "Fuck!"