Lauren said that I had to write a post, so to get back at her, I’m going to write about something that no one else will be interested in. The Harry Potter books came out when I was teaching middle school and all of the middle schoolers were reading them. Being the dutiful middle school teacher that I was, I read them too.
Well, I read most of them. I read six of them and by the time that the seventh one came out I wasn’t teaching very many middle school classes, so I didn’t read it. I did read a really funny satire of the last book that came out about 48 hours after the book did, so I felt like I sort of knew what happened.
But that’s not what I wanted to write about. Fast forward a few years and someone, probably a website somewhere, pointed me toward some fan fiction. I’d never read any fan fiction before and never intended to, because of their standing in the Geek Hierarchy.
As you’ve probably guessed by the general way this post is trending, I’m about to say that I read it and really liked it and think that you should read it too. But you’d be wrong. Sure, I read it and really liked it, but I’d say that there’s only like at 12% chance that you’d like it too, and if you’re not going to like it then why would I suggest you waste your time reading it?
Did I mention that it’s 101 chapters (1391 pages) long and counting? It’s not exactly a short read, but most people say that if you don’t like it by chapter 10 you should cut your loses and get out.
The basic premise is two fold (1) Harry Potter is smart (maybe not Hermione smart, but close) and (2) the world of Harry Potter has some sort of internal consistency. Here’s an excerpt from close to the start of the book:
“Now, just to be clear,” Harry said, “if the professor does levitate you, Dad, when you know you haven’t been attached to any wires, that’s going to be sufficient evidence. You’re not going to turn around and say that it’s a magician’s trick. That wouldn’t be fair play. If you feel that way, you should say so now, and we can figure out a different experiment instead.”
Harry’s father, Professor Michael Verres-Evans, rolled his eyes. “Yes, Harry.”
“And you, Mum, your theory says that the professor should be able to do this, and if that doesn’t happen, you’ll admit you’re mistaken. Nothing about how magic doesn’t work when people are sceptical of it, or anything like that.”
Deputy Headmistress Minerva McGonagall was watching Harry with a bemused expression. She looked quite witchy in her black robes and pointed hat, but when she spoke she sounded formal and Scottish, which didn’t go together with the look at all. At first glance she looked like someone who ought to cackle and put babies into cauldrons, but the whole effect was ruined as soon as she opened her mouth. “Is that sufficient, Mr. Potter?” she said. “Shall I go ahead and demonstrate?”
“Sufficient? Probably not,” Harry said. “But at least it will help. Go ahead, Deputy Headmistress.”
“Just Professor will do,” said she, and then, “Wingardium Leviosa.”
Harry looked at his father.
“Huh,” Harry said.
His father looked back at him. “Huh,” his father echoed.
Oh, there’s a lot of math and physics and other fun stuff in it too. You can read it in a bunch of places online (it free). This link is as good as any to start. But this link is a beautifully rendered .pdf file that you should look at at least to admire the Harry Potter font. It might take a while to open that second link. It is 1391 pages.