Harry Potter and The Ancient Three
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to do time for abusing copyright law. Mostly because I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone going to prison for ripping off someone else’s fiction before, but also because my life in the outside world is pretty shit. Even at its worst, prison still gives you purpose. Just like school and University. The only problem is finding a way to get there without hurting anyone.
INT: ROOM WITH DESK, NIGHT
Copyright Law sits at its desk, smoking, waiting for someone to cross him.
Man…no one catchable ever crosses me. It’s not fair.
The phone rings. Copyright Law stubs out the cigarette and picks it up.
What? No way…who? [Pause] I’ll be right there.
Copyright Law puts the phone back and looks at a picture on the wall. It’s him standing next to that guy who wrote a book that sounded just like Kurt Vonnegut.
I got you, you bastard. [Pause] Kinda.
So here’s what happened to Harry Potter after Ralph Fiennes died…well, five years after it.
The street was dark, the houses quiet. You know the place. No crime, lots of snow, solid British actors keeping bad parenting behind closed doors and curtained windows.
An owl, fatter than most normal owls, flew past the windows and the trees and landed by the door of the last house on the left.
The owl sat and waited, a letter tucked into its beak.
After a few minutes the door opened and a voice whispered out into the night air.
‘What do you want?’
The owl said nothing.
‘You’re not my owl,’ said the voice, getting annoyed. ‘You’re too fat. Who do you belong to?’
The owl said nothing.
The door opened wider and a man stepped out. Or almost a man. He wore round glasses and had dark hair that looked like it hadn’t been washed for a year. There was a scar on his head, but it wasn’t burning anymore. In fact, it hadn’t twitched at all, not since Voldemort had turned to ash five years earlier.
Harry Potter leaned forward and took the letter out of the owl’s beak.
‘Who’s this from then?’ he asked, opening it. Once again the owl didn’t answer. It couldn’t, it was a bird, and this wasn’t a Disney film. And even if it could speak, what would it say? What have owls achieved that’s worth talking about?
Harry read the letter, scratched his head then read it again. What did it mean?
‘I don’t understand…’ He looked down at the owl, not really expecting an answer. The owl pecked at Harry’s shoes and laughed.
‘Hey, how can you…’
Before Harry could finish his sentence, the owl had grown and changed into a 1.8 metre tall man. And this man had a wand, and was pointing it at Harry’s face.
‘You’re a dead man, Potter…a dead man…’
Harry reached for his own wand, but…no, it wasn’t there…of course not, why would it be? He was wearing his dressing gown, and his wand…where was it? On top of the TV? In the shower?
‘Ha, they said I wouldn’t be able to catch you off guard!’ The man shook his wand, still laughing like a nut. ‘They said I wasn’t clever enough to…’
This time it was the man who didn’t get to finish his sentence. There was a flash of light from the garden path behind him, and the man fell to the ground either stunned or dead or pretending to be dead.
Harry stepped forward and kicked him in the head just to make sure it wasn’t the third one.
‘Harry, you old dog!’
Standing by the gate, eyes tired, hair a mess, was the wretched figure of Ron Weasley. Never had a man looked as rough as Ron did at 22 years of age. At 12, it could be overlooked, but now…
‘Ron! What are you doing here?’
Ron put his wand back in his pocket and walked forward, looking at the unconscious wizard on the ground and frowning.
‘Saving your life, it looks like…’
‘My life? Come on, Ron…I had things under control.’
‘Oh yeah? What was your plan then? Throw your glasses at him?’
Harry touched his glasses and laughed. If he’d heard the joke on TV, it wouldn’t have made a dent, but this was real life, this was Ron.
‘Actually, yeah. That was my plan. Kinda stupid, wasn’t it?’
Ron slapped him on the back and told him it wasn’t stupid, it might’ve even surprised the man.
‘What are you doing here anyway, Ron? And why was this wizard trying to kill me?’ Harry looked at the man on the ground, trying again to recognise him. ‘And who is he? I don’t know his face…’
‘We’d better go inside, Harry.’
‘I don’t know. Before, when we were at Hogwarts, we always used to go inside somewhere to talk about things for a long time.’
‘Oh right. Why did we do that?’
‘Beats me. I guess it was warmer inside.’
Harry smiled and said, never mind, let’s go inside anyway….and as they both turned to go in through the front door, something weird happened. Something that had never happened in the previous seven or eight movies. Something really, really weird.
The house disappeared.
‘Ron, where did my house go?’
‘I don’t know, mate.’
‘I don’t get it…my beautiful house…’
‘Beautiful? No offence, Harry, but it looked a bit of a mess.’
‘Shut up, Ron.’
‘Seriously, when was the last time you cut your grass or cleaned your windows?’
‘Never. No one cleans windows, that’s a muggle thing to do.’ Harry looked at where his windows and his house used to be, and scratched his head. ‘But who cares…I want to know where my house has gone.’
‘Well what?’ Harry asked, almost tempted to grab Ron’s collar and choke him until he gave a good answer.
‘Well…if you let me finish…I have seen something like this before. A long time ago.’
‘When we were at Hogwarts…’
‘Yeah, which book?’
‘Not in the books, mate. This was off the record, when things were quiet and…’
‘What? When was this? I thought we did everything together at Hogwarts…’
‘Yeah, mostly, but…you know, sometimes I liked to hang around with different friends. I mean, it’s not like we were married, right?’
‘You had other friends?’
‘Yeah, so anyway…one time, I saw a tree disappear, right in the middle of the Forbidden Forest, and Hermione looked it up in a book later and said…what was it…yeah, that’s right, she said it was vapourised. Which means it was destroyed so badly you couldn’t see any part of it at all…like, it’s completely gone, dead, finished…’
‘I get it. Thank you, Professor Professorson.’
‘Come on, you’ve never seen Community?’
Ron shrugged, looking confused.
‘Community college? Jeff Winger? Troy and Abed? Chevy Chase playing a bigot…?’
Ron double shrugged. He’d heard of Chevy Chase, but the rest of it was way too specific.
‘Ron, I can’t believe you’ve been missing this. Seriously, I’ll give you the website where you can down…load…it.’
Harry paused and looked around the garden. He wasn’t sure but it felt like someone was watching them.
‘What’s download? What’s a website?’
Harry didn’t answer.
‘Hey…where’s Hermione?’ Harry asked, turning back to Ron, who folded his arms as soon as he heard the name.
‘Don’t ask me about her. She’s nothing to do with me.’
‘You’re married, aren’t you?’
‘Not anymore. She’s dead to me now. I don’t know her and I don’t want to know her ever again. Hermione…who’s that? What’s a Hermione? I don’t know, never heard of it.’
‘Ron, what are you talking about? Where is she?’
‘Forget it, I’m not saying.’
Harry looked at his friend’s face and shook his head. There was no point asking Ron any more questions, he was too stubborn to answer when he got in one of these moods. Never mind, there was always later. And it looked like they might be staying together for a while, now that Harry’s house had been vapourised.
‘Okay, Ron, how about this? We go to the shed, get my spare wand, and get out of here fast…you know, I’m pretty sure there’s someone else here…’
‘…watching us? Yeah, I had the same feeling. I think it’s one of his friends.’ Ron pointed at the wizard on the ground, who still hadn’t woken up. Or he was pretending not to wake up. Yup, that was it. Because actually, at that very moment, his friend was a hundred metres down the street, dressed as a postbox, using the audio whisperus spell to tell his friend when to stand up and attack Harry and Ron.
Harry looked down the street and scratched his head [again!].
‘Hey Ron…that’s a funny looking postbox.’
Ron looked where Harry was pointing…
‘You’re not wrong, mate. It’s got legs and arms…what’s going on?’
Harry turned quickly, just in time to see the man on the ground getting to his feet and grabbing his wand.
Ron didn’t respond. He was still looking at the postbox with arms and legs.
‘I think it’s one of those new ones…’ he said. ‘You know, they want to make posting letters more personal and human, so they give the postbox arms and…’
Harry forgot about Ron and focused his foot on the man’s face. He connected. The man went down, dropped his wand and fell into dreamland again. The postbox, a hundred metres down the street, stood up tall and started running away.
‘Wow…it’s running, Harry. Do you think it’s delivering some letters somewhere?’
Harry grabbed Ron and dragged him to the shed in the corner of the garden. On the way, he called him an idiot and asked him how he’d ever survived his life up until now.
‘I’m not that stupid, mate. I helped you to kill Voldemort, didn’t I?’
‘What? You did nothing.’
Harry stopped, opening the shed door and pulling Ron inside. He told him to shut up and take the cloth off the far wall. Ron did as he was told, mumbling that he was at Harry’s side all the way in the Voldemort fight, and when the cloth came down from the wall, there was some kind of blue hole there.
‘What’s this?’ Ron asked.
‘A blue hole.’
‘Oh.’ Ron stared at it, pretending to understand.
‘You don’t know what a blue hole is, do you?’
‘Doesn’t matter.’ Harry slapped Ron on the back, held up his spare wand and took a deep breath. But wait, there was something he’d forgotten. ‘Hang on…you didn’t answer my question. Who was that guy?’
‘What…you mean you don’t know?’
‘Know what? I’ve been alone in my house for two years, ever since…’
‘Since Ginny left…right…sorry, mate.’
‘Forget about that…Ron, who was that guy? Is there a new dark lord? Malfoy? Neville? The Irish kid…can’t remember his name…Sinn Fein?’
‘Not quite, Harry.’
‘What do you mean?’
Ron shrugged again, looking at his friend.
‘There’s not one new dark lord, mate. There’s three of them.’
‘Yup. Like a big, scary triangle of dark stuff.’
Harry gulped, trying to tell himself quickly that it wasn’t that bad. It’s not like three wizards could be as powerful as Voldemort was, not even with their powers combined.
‘It gets worse, Harry.’
‘These three dark lords…when I said they’re new, that’s not exactly true. See, they’re not new at all. They’re old…ancient. They were alive when Hogwarts was first built.’
‘That’s what I thought. That’s what the Ministry of Magic thought too.’
‘The Ministry…what are they doing about this?’
Ron slapped Harry on the back and told him they’d talk about it later, inside somewhere, where it was warmer.
And then he pushed Harry into the blue hole. Only Harry didn’t go through the blue hole, he went straight into the wall.
‘Oww…Ron…what the fu-…’
‘Sorry, mate…I thought the blue hole was…’
‘I haven’t turned it on yet…you idiot!’
Ron said sorry again, and told Harry that he wasn’t an idiot, he just didn’t know what a blue hole was or how it worked, and Harry shook his head, pointed his wand at the blue hole and said ‘Awooga!’
The blue hole started to spin.
‘Now it’s working…’ Harry said, putting his hands on Ron’s shoulders and pushing him forward. ‘Have fun.’
Ron went into the blue hole screaming, quickly followed by Harry, who took one last look around the shed before he left, making sure no one was watching them.
Two minutes later, the wizard who’d been kicked in the face twice and the postbox walked into the shed. They looked around, saw the blue hole spinning and told each other the only thing to do was to follow, otherwise their three masters would kill them.
So they jumped into the spinning blue hole and….three thousand light years away, in deep, deep Space, the other end of the blue hole opened and spat them out, sending them slowly towards the burning mass of an ancient sun.
[To be continued…]