Harry Potter and the order of the Harman

HARRY Potter was looking glum. With a sigh, he picked up his trusty magic wand and muttered: "Magic is one thing, but this will take a miracle."

Hermione Granger bounded into the Hogwarts common room. "Why the long face, Harry?" she chirruped, in her annoying, jolly-hockey-sticks accent.

"Well," said Harry, pausing to take a kick at a passing house elf, "JK Rowling has been asked for help by the Labour party. They want her to levitate its popularity in the opinion polls."

"Goodness!" said Hermione.

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"There's nothing good about it," said Harry. "Apparently the deputy leader – a fierce-looking woman called Harriet Harman – yesterday asked JK to make a keynote speech at the Labour conference in the autumn."

"I thought JK had already done her bit," said Hermione. "Didn't she make a 1m donation last October because she's a friend of Sarah Brown?"

"Aren't you clever," said Harry, in an unpleasantly sarcastic tone that was rarely to be found in the books. "It's only a matter of time before we're roped into this."

"You mean, political product placement in the books and movies? Eek! With Hagrid coming out with turgid critiques of George Osborne's fiscal irresponsibility? Harry? Where are you going?"

"Bugger this. I'm going to feed myself to the basilisk in the basement..."