Written for the QLFC, Season 5, Round Seven.

Position: Captain

Position Prompt: Write about the conflict within wizarding society, between those who want to study Muggle technology in order to understand it better and those who think it's a bunch of garbage.

Title: Saturnites

Word Count: 3,000

Beta(s): DinoDina

Go Wanderers!

The Daily Prophet, 10th of September 1976.

There were ripples of dissent in the Wizengamot today as Albus Dumbledore came to the fore to once again discuss his controversial desire to bring Muggle technology onto the grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The Head Mugwump had this to say:

"I am not attempting to connect our castle to the power grid*, I am simply requesting that Muggleborn students be allowed to bring their implements into the castle. Muggleborn children are accustomed to alternative formal education, and the magical world presents a gargantuan adjustment. I have done much of the research into forming a comprehensive list of the items a Muggle child might expect to use on a daily basis, and this is my fourth year bringing it before the Governors to provide these options within the list of required materials sent to students during Summer, and to have several of the items removed from the list of banned paraphernalia."

There is an ongoing concern that if the infamously wiley wizard is given an inch, he'll take a mile. The Head of the Board of Governors, Argyle Marblet, commented:

"There has already been enough obsession with Muggle culture from the youth of today. The interest in Muggle music and attire is pervasive, perhaps Dumbledore would have us do away with our wands altogether in exchange for… well, wires I suppose. We simply don't know enough about what we would be allowing into our schools. Against the wishes of many of the Board members, however, the Headmaster's list has been put under consideration, initially to confirm there are no suspect items before we move forward. I myself have a number of questions to ask about the exact purpose of a yo-yo, and what role it has to play in our schools."

*This term refers to the Muggle tubes which carry light into their houses.

Gryffindor Tower, 10th of September 1976.

"Dumbledore making waves as usual, he doesn't need the permission of the Board. This is on principle," James Potter postulated, finishing the Prophet article and tossing the paper out of his perch at the dormitory's window seat.

"Marlene was telling me that Evans has a Muggle Sneakoscope that she winds up, and it goes off every morning. There's Muggle junk all over the castle," Sirius said in agreement. He was still dressed from Quidditch practice and was sitting with his back to the door so as not to walk muck into the room.

"What sets the Sneakoscope off?" James asked, frowning.

"Probably Wormtail sneaking around the girls dormitory," Sirius theorised, tossing one of his gloves at the lump of a boy.

"Says you with your bike parked up on Ravenclaw Tower!" Peter replied around a mouthful of fudge.

"It sounds like a very poor and misleading description of an alarm clock," Remus mumbled from his desk across the dorm. "And don't throw those things in here, Sirius. You ought to bloody change."

"Who are you to go around calling things poor and misleading, Moony? And anyway I like this ensemble, it's sporty."

"At least I have a job," Remus retorted and then glanced over and rolled his eyes. "You're dripping on the carpet."

"If you call being an agony aunt work," Sirius snickered.

"Do you even know what an agony aunt is?" Remus asked, pulling off the wire reading glasses he'd picked up in the newsagents'.

"A little overworked ant," Sirius replied confidently.

"A poor and misleading ant?" James asked, wiggling an eyebrow.

Remus clicked his pen and sighed. "It's a person who has to explain things to people all the time, actually, and if that were my job you lot would owe me a sodding fortune."

But the irony was lost on his companions as they fixated on the plastic in his hand.

"Is that pencil made of glass?" Peter asked, wiping his sugary fingers on the duvet.

"Are you writing on one of those books of blank parchment?" James added, craning his neck.

Sirius stood from the floor and pushed his hands into his lower back to stretch as he toed off his boots. "Remus, when did you get all Muggle?"

"I've always had this stuff, it's just all so trendy now that Dumbledore's notified everyone that it's not technically allowed. Suddenly you feel the need to take an interest."

"I've always liked Muggle stuff," Sirius said, tilting his chin up with the misplaced pride of a trendsetter.

"Give it a rest, rebel without a cause," Remus said.

"Why do you use all that Muggle shite then, Moony. It's not very prefectly of you," James said, rubbing his head off the rough stone wall behind him to catch an itch as though the stag in him was egging him on.

"Well, it's part habit, part convenience. My mother needs to be able to light up a room too."

"Your mother always lights up the room, Moony," Sirius crooned, his hand on his heart.


"Convenience?!" James snorted. "All that fiddly bloody ticker tape junk?"

Remus held up the pen he'd picked up in the Muggle factory he was working in and clicked it several time in quick succession. "Yep, it's a real peril of design." He clicked it twice more. "Nothing to see here whatsoever. Just a boring old writing implement you never have to dip in a pot of ink that was made all the way in China. Click, click. Truly useless." Remus frowned at the object before tossing it on the floor and pulling a Chocolate Frog from a drawer in his desk.

James looked conflicted for a moment until he saw Sirius lurch out of the corner of his eye. "Bugger off, Padfoot. It's mine!" James announced, and launched himself at the pen Remus had just discarded.

Northernmost Staff Lounge, 18th of November 1976.

"Really! There has to be a better way to educate the students than just allowing them to figure it out for themselves. The school is in pieces with all of this tosh. We must intervene," Horace Slughorn complained, pulling a bag of striped peppermints from his pocket.

"Students educating one another simply leaves too wide an opportunity for underhanded behaviour," Professor Septima Vector chimed in, her lips tight over her teeth.

"Do you think perhaps we could create some sort of buddy system?" Slughorn suggested.

"Oh yes, that's just what we need, to make it unavoidably clear in the minds of our students which ones are of Muggle parentage. How could that possibly go wrong?" Professor Pomona Sprout challenged, crossing her arms over her overalls.

"Do you remember a few years ago when we held that class to introduce Muggleborn students to basic magical culture? It was a catastrophe! We nearly got done for discrimination and Muggleborn students were walking around stiff as boards after their first class trying to look like convincing witches and wizards. Drinking pumpkin juice like it was the law," Minerva McGonagall said.

The tension was palpable in all corners of the staff lounge, it was clear to all present that there was an issue, but they struggled to address it.

"It's different for the magically raised children though, they're not being immersed in Muggle culture, they are being drip fed at the disclosure of the Muggleborn students," Pomona reasoned.

"Some of the students are wearing borrowed Muggle attire, others are listening to the music. Kingsley Shacklebolt doesn't even appear to own a quill anymore and has half his house using biros," said Rolanda Hooch, the youngest and most recent addition to the Hogwarts staff.

"Using what?" Slughorn asked, his face creasing up.

"Those ink wands!" Silvanus Kettleburn explained, his mouth opening with a pop and closing with a clap denoting his typical abruptness.

"The glass ones with the little tops?" Slughorn clarified.

"Then there's Sirius Black attempting to store a magically altered Muggle vehicle in the broom shed! I swear the Ministry is having a field day over it, but they couldn't touch him. They've set the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office on task purely to legislate against him and his infernal contraption, and his father is leading the parade," Hooch said, enjoying the opportunity to gossip with her new co-workers. It was her first staff-meeting since the one where she had been introduced.

"And the Muggleborn students have convinced one of the Black sisters that the glassy shiny material all those Muggle contraptions are made of are toxic to Purebloods," Sprout told the younger witch who laughed brightly.

"The plasma! Yes, there's no shortage of plasma around the school now, that's what those biros are made of," Kettleburn said, curling what was left of his upper lip.

"It's plastic," Bathsheda Babbling said.

"What did Black do with his vehicle?" Slughorn asked, always curious about his misplaced Pureblood.

"The thing is monstrous, it sputters worse than the express and now he's parked the bloody thing on the roof of Ravenclaw Tower," Vector cut in, with the attitude of someone who disapproved of the tone in which the Professors were swapping these stories.

"Why hasn't it been removed?" McGonagall asked.

"You'd swear that boy had been doing nothing but practicing sticking charms all Summer, and Flitwick is refusing to get involved. Said he'd wait for the Ministry's verdict before he used magic on anything Muggle. I hear he gave Black extra credit for the charm he put on it," Hooch said, grinning as Sprout laughed in response to this.

"He's a charming lad," Slughorn chuckled and McGonagall pursed her lips.

"Am I the only one appreciating the use of plastic to spook Pureblood students? I mean that's really quite ingenious," Sprout said, her eyes a little watery from giggling.

"You don't think the student was right, do you? About the toxicity?" Slughorn asked.

"What are we going to do to address this?" McGonagall asked, hoping to get some thoughts together before Albus arrived with a radical three point agenda.

"Maybe we should just try to manage it situationally. Address each case as it comes?" Slughorn offered.

"The issue is that since their industrial revolution, the Muggle way of life has been rapidly changing from our own. The only major steps we've taken to understand Muggle technology has been to remain secret from it. Soon the Ministry is going to need a department for Muggle satellites alone," Bathsheda Babbling announced.

"I swear I understood less than half of what you just said. What do Saturnites have to do with anything?" Aurora Sinistra asked

"Is that that Centaur cult? Are they mobilising?" Kettleburn asked.

"Do you even hear yourselves?" Babbling asked, shaking her head.

"It's that sort of self-involved Muggle advocating attitude that is the reason people don't want to get on board with studying Muggle lifestyles. Muggleborns are so bloody exasperated all the time, as though they're so smart arriving without knowing a bedknob from a broomstick," Vector grumbled.

"Muggleborns grow up purposefully kept in the dark about wizarding culture, magical children could access Muggle information at any time, particularly since Muggles are obsessed with spreading information, it's a mainstay of their culture since the printing press," Babbling pointed out.

"Am I the only one who has no bloody idea what this one's on about?" Hooch asked, although she was looking at Professor Vector.

"That's another issue, most of the teachers in this school are Pureblood, they don't know a television remote from a spatula," Babbling said, just as Dumbledore entered the room.

"I know what a spatula is, you use them to scrape crushed insects out of a mortar and pestle. How much more Muggle technology could we need? We've already integrated radio, and locomotives, and graph paper," Slughorn said, smiling benignly.

"I do find it strange that wizards got behind graph paper but Shacklebolt is a one man ballpoint pen revolution," Bathsheda sighed.

"Would you stop showing off, you're not Muggleborn and just because we don't know enough to correct you doesn't mean we should have to sit here and listen to your gibberish," Vector complained.

"I happen to be married to a Muggle," Babbling retorted, holding up a hand sporting what could only be described as a very Muggle ring.

"Married to a Muggle, in Merlin's name, since when?"

"Septima, we had the ceremony by the lake," McGonagall muttered, attempting to help the stern witch save face.

"So did you say your were a Muggle when you met or… Well I suppose you must have... " Vector trailed off.

"Well I suppose I must have," Babbling said, smiling a little as she chose to take the woman's curiosity as a good sign.

"See? You managed! Why do we need to waste time learning about Muggle rubbish when we have magic! We're never going to need to rely on plasma or locomotives to survive. They have their things, and we have ours. It's part of the reason we keep our world separate. It's what's best for all involved. We must keep our children protected. There are so many Muggles, and just twenty years ago they blew up half of London with their ruddy explosives. We don't want to be getting mixed up with all that," Slughorn said, his off-colour comment evidence to his inability to read a room. He filled the space around the table of tea and biscuits with his peppermint breath.

"We could have a class on the dangers of engaging with Muggle technology! Or even just a special bulletin," Vector suggested, and Bathsheda's face fell.

McGonagall sighed, with the staff in disarray there would be no stopping whatever idea was twinkling behind Albus's eye.

"What are you thinking?" McGonagall asked and Dumbledore began to braid his beard.

"Muggle studies," he replied.

"They'll never go for it," she said. Knowing full well she was about to watch the wizards convince his staff it was all their idea to begin with.

Gryffindor Tower, 18th of November 1976.

"Oh thank Merlin," Remus sighed, reading a special bulletin in the common room and slumping into a beanbag chair Frank Longbottom had summoned.

"What is it, Remus? Did you find those chocolates you'd been missing?" Peter asked.

"What? Oh no, don't remind me of those. You'll only upset me. Look! The Board eventually caved, and there's going to be a new module introduced for Muggle studies."

"It's what they say about Dumbledore, isn't it?" James said, with a box of Wizard chess tucked under his arm. "Give the man an inch and he'll take a mile."

"Why are you so excited, Moony. Looking forward to the easy A?" Peter asked.

"Sure, now that you mention it, but I'm also looking forward to getting you thieves off my back. You've been obsessive."

"What do you expect to happen when you try and keep something like elastic bands to yourself?" James asked, rolling his eyes.

"I expect to be able to return to my dormitory without finding anything small enough to have an elastic band wrapped around it bound to something of similar shape and size," Remus replied, rubbing his temples but smiling.

"You're always complaining that we're not organised enough, it's not easy to be organised when someone is hogging all the Muggle stationary to themselves. I've been meaning to ask you about the spatler-"


"Whatever, what's the counter charm? Or… thing?" James set the game up just as Sirius could be heard beginning his solo on the staircase. He took enough steps for four legs no matter what form he was in.

"Stay away from the staplers, James. Didn't you hear Ted Tonks explain how they're toxic to Purebloods?" Remus warned.

"You're going to miss being able to perpetuate lies like that when we start our new class," Sirius announced once he'd arrived an paused to read the board with a grin. "My Mother is going to shit a brick."

A classroom on the ground floor next to the new generator, 20th of January, 1977.

"Alright, welcome to introduction to Muggle Studies. We'll be starting with a little bit about why the faculty felt that this class was needed, then we'll be moving on to outline what we'll be covering for the rest of the course. I grew up around Muggles, so I'll be doing my best to address the core difficulties most people seem to have with understanding-"

"Sir, wouldn't it be better for us to learn about Muggles from someone a little less close to the topic at hand? Muggleborns always assume far too much is implied."

"Ms. Goyle, I assure you a lot of consideration has gone into the following hour, you won't be left in the dark," the professor said, pulling a glass bulb from his pocket as he said so. "Let's get started."

It wasn't long before the complaints began to ring out over the classroom as students were asked to make paper airplanes by hand using Muggle paper. Complex paper creatures flew through the air as wands concealed in pockets were slyly waved.

"Right, one more dragon like that, Jordan, and you're going straight to the Headmaster!"

"But sir, this is so pointless!"

"Give it a rest, Muggles know what they're talking about, trust me!" James interrupted, the letters 'J.P.' printed on his tie in staples and his left wrist obscured by a collection of coloured elastic bands.

Somehow Lily forgot to stalwartly ignore the boy for a moment and smiled.

Daily Prophet, 10th of September 1977.

In a less than surprising twist in the Muggle culture debate, Muggle Studies has been introduced as a fully approved module in the Hogwarts curriculum, with a high sign up rate from students of all backgrounds.

The vote was eventually swayed by a surprising bout of support from a group of members leading with a desire to: "Know one's enemy." Although we've promised not to quote them on that.

"As the Muggle population grows, we will need to understand their abilities whether we are willing to engage with their culture or not."

I struggle to think who could disagree with that!