Friends: A Slytherins Guide To Bribery, Extortion, And Exploitation
This life-changing book will take you through: the simplest and quickest means to obtain friends; the ways in which said friends can be used to your advantage; and the proper way to cash in on the investment you have made in these companionships.
*Please note that this book is the work of a true Slytherin, though editing was outsourced to a Ravenclaw. As one does.
Bribery: The Easy Route.
Now, don't take this chapter's title too seriously.It was written by a Slytherin. You probably shouldn’t take anything from this book too seriously, for that matter. Yes, bribery is the simplest way to get what you want. Everyone knows that. It is a system that is beneficial to both parties, and can gain you various political advantages. You could use money to buy the friendship of an official and bend the rules your way, or you could even bribe the right people to gain political power for yourself!1 However, there are two traps you must be careful not to fall into: The “prepared deviant” and the “holier than thou.”
The Prepared Deviant
This is someone who sees you coming a mile away (not that difficult when Slytherins are statistically large and ugly). They've been offered money before, they know what you're about to ask before you do, and they won't think twice about double-crossing you. The easiest way to avoid being used by one of these people is to never attempt to bribe other Slytherins who are wealthy, those whose families have superior blood-status to yours, or those you have seen reading this book.
In case you didn't guess, you want to be the prepared deviant — not the victim of one! Seek out the weaker, poorer Gryffindors and Hufflepuffs that are most unappreciated by their peers and the most ostracized. You can't hope to gain much political power from such people, but buying their loyalties can be useful if they're just a small peg in a much larger matrix. For example: If you need illegal ingredients shipped in by owl to rig a game of Quidditch, then naturally you don't want to buy them yourself or ask one of your highly connected “friends” to assist! What if you’re caught when the owl arrives? What if your associate is caught? You don’t want to waste a well-invested relationship on such a possibility or risk offending them by asking for help with menial labor. Be wise about your tool choices. No one would ever suspect a Gryffindor of rigging a game for Slytherin. Furthermore, it would be in your best interests to bribe others to make and apply the spell, too. However, always make sure to have evidence of their involvement so they aren’t tempted to implicate you after the fact. Routinely keep well-documented and well-spelled backups for all of your bribery and extortion endeavors (for more information, see Chapter Five).
The Holier Than Thou
As long as we are talking about Gryffindors, make sure to look out for your second road block: The “holier than thou's.” These are people who will turn down good money due to misgivings driven by a previously established moral compass. Even if you don't ask them to do much, chances are they won't help you unless they know every detail and each item seems to their liking. If your plans don't fit into their sense of morality, then your gold won't do you any good! Ravenclaws are also unusually susceptible to the “holier than thou” syndrome, though their moral focus is usually academic-based. You can't bribe a Ravenclaw to share their test answers,literally and hypothetically speaking.
To circumvent these issues it is best to paint your task in a light appealing to the target. In the case of a moral Gryff, describe your plan and their role in it using positive language. Try to spin as much of it as possible towards their leanings without actually lying; the dark one is in the details. In the case of a logic-prone Ravenclaw, tread carefully. Bribes may be successful if emphasis is placed on the economic impact the gain will have on their current intellectual project. Surveys and potions lab work are expensive and need funding, too. Again, if a moral compass is an issue, try and refer to “the greater good.” Bribing a Hufflepuff, as previously mentioned, is typically unsuccessful as they will see it as an affront to their sense of loyalty. Bribery with a Hufflepuff is best done in retrospect. For example: If you need a Hufflepuff to do something for you, treat them to something nice and expensive under the guise of true friendship. After the fact, hint publicly that they should help you with your goals. Most people will already believe this is a bribe anyways as there is absolutely no reason for a Slytherin to associate with a Hufflepuff in any other circumstance. The Hufflepuff will be so ashamed that they will feel obligated to assist.2
As with any of the steps to friendship outlined in this text, use your own judgment. If you don't think a certain method will work on a person, then trust your instincts. Only go for the sure-win.
1 You may be asking yourself— Why would I need to worry about this now? Have you ever wondered what the price of a Minister of Magic is? It’s a lot. You don’t want to be draining your trust fund before you even get a chance to count it! Bribery is significantly cheaper if you start out when those you are bribing haven’t reached the peak of their magical careers -or- are so young and stupid that they’ll do all of your useless Divination homework for you in exchange for a somewhat rare Scarf of Sexual Preference chocolate frog card.
2 This technique is closely related to the concepts of a “solid” as well as extortion and can be applied to members of other Houses as well. Use with your own discretion as this may influence how future prospects view your interactions in the future. Cultivate the image that best suits your goals.
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