To paraphrase the old TV show: only the names and places have been changed in order to protect... well me really; that JKR is one litegous bitch!

When they said he was to get a big corner office Barry Porter should have known it would be something like this. Sitting down at his cubicle in the corner of the otherwise unpopulated sub-basement seventy-three of the Ministry of Magic he wondered how at only thirty-years old his life had come to a standstill like this.

The glory days when his name was synonymous with saving the world over-and-over again seemed a lot longer ago than the mere five years since he had first taken this job.

"Getting yourself in on the ground floor, that's the way to greatness my boy!" is what Bumbleport said to Barry before he had levitated away from Sowpimple College for the last time.

Well if Barry had started on the ground floor why was he now seventy-three floors below it? Advancement they had called it, but the only advancing Barry ever did was shifting the paperwork from the 'in' side of his desk to the 'out' side. And since the Ministry of Magic has a very strictly enforced 'no magic within its walls' policy he had to physically shift all that paperwork too.

A fortnight ago; and since the long-grey-beards up-upstairs had introduced a time dilation to increase productivity that'll be sixteen and a half days, the five enchanted mice that had been weaving fibre cables through the huge multi-dimensional building for several years and nine hours had finally reached sub-basement seventy-three (now you would think these magical mice would pose a problem but since their business was 'in' rather than 'within' the walls they clearly fell outside of the stated ministerial policy) and then three whole days later the muddles from tech support had arrived to hook-up Barry's M-Mac to the presumably still sunlit outside world.

So with the humming central air conditioning unit come dimension stabilization plant come main photocopier toner distribution pump below his feet making the only other sound in the vast empty room Barry had quickly found the one advantage to being hidden away all alone for eight hours-a-day; eight and a quarter days-a-week.

That advantage, providing that the always suspicious and all seeing Blazing Vertical Partition Committee (since they met in a room were the walls were literally ablaze the BVPC was more commonly known as the firewall) didn't mind, was uninterrupted, uncapped and unsupervised all-day-long access to wizards on muddles (all one word) dot spl.

Barry's wife had banned him from visiting his favorite of his favorites at home after she had caught him late one night trying to increase his bandwidth! So now while at work Barry's wireless headphones continually sang with the sounds of willing warlocks and their multiples of muddles on an often hours long magical mystery tour; or thanks to one particularly popular fetish catagory - magical misery tour.

Distracted for a moment while dragging a stack of files into the (since the dimension stabilization plant was acting up again) literally endless distance it was an inflection in a voice that Barry thought he recognized. Scattering the mound of papers as he flew back across the room he landed in his chair far too excited to hope no one had noticed the spike in the Ministry's magical ether.Ctrl+F12 completely filled Barry's twenty-two HD inches with a rather too large swinging ballsack for his particular liking - a large pale, be-freckled and sparsely ginger-haired swinging ballsack!

"I know those!" He yelled while pointing at the screen as if there had been someone to show the digitalized event to.

The memories of sharing rooms at the school, of teen-age boys returning from the shower block and of one particular incident when his ardent request for a tea-bag was completely misunderstood all instantly appeared in Barry's brain.

Then sure enough; just as the camera angle panned and the three people hovering about four feet above the bed rotated around each other the contorted freckled face of Don Beasley appeared from between the legs of... of... .

"By The Great Zort's ghost," Barry exclaimed loudly, "it's another dude!"

"Well I never." Barry slumped in his ergonomic chair which in detecting his incorrect posture immediately tipped him onto the floor. Well at least Don looks like he's enjoying himself - Barry thought while knelling at his desk; taking it like a man really.

"Wow! Now he's actually taking it from a man..., now two men!" he chuckled to himself.

Yet as Don Beasley's passionate groanings flowed from Barry's headphones and echoed from another memory of Sowpimple's darkened dormroom Barry Porter couldn't stop himself from giggling like a novice witch - or from watching; come to that!

"Damn!!!" Barry exclaimed far too loudly, "fuck'n buffering... !"

March 2010.


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