Monday, November 05, 2012
A First-Year in Harry Potter's Seventh Year
You know, it must have been amazing being in school with Harry Potter. Triwizard tournaments, pranks, broomstick basketball, and classes taught by centaurs. Awesome. Well, at least if you were in the same class as Harry Potter. But what if you were younger? What if your first year in Hogwarts was Harry's seventh year? Can you imagine that?
First, you get the letter. "Ma, I'm a wizard!" You dance around! Callooh-callay! No more placement tests or China foreign policy papers. You're going to a world full of jelly beans and unicorns and flying cars and pumpkin juice. Just like you've heard your friends talking about.
Except you get there day one, and your head master looks/acts like Edgar Allen Poe. And he's a known ally of Hitler Junior. Oh, you didn't know? Yes, the wizarding world is currently being terrorized by a maniacal power-hungry wizard who's dead set on killing anyone who's related to a non-magic person. By the way, I have a few questions about your parents.
And right now there's kind of a war going on, with Hogwarts being one of the contended territories, since it's the premier wizarding school (congratulations on your acceptance, by the way). Of course, you're lucky the school's open at all. It was attacked by Voldemort's army and its headmaster was just killed. By the guy who's now the headmaster. Appointed by the governing wizard council, which has also been compromised by Voldemort.
But I guess it's still better than learning algebra, right? Let's see what house you're being sorted into. Maybe you'll be in Slytherin. That was the headmaster's house, so that might be a good place. Except all your friends will be rich assholes. And while it might most favored by the administration, it's least favored among all the other teachers. (Not to mention, that once the Battle of Hogwarts begins, you'll be relegated to the dungeon for the remainder of the time. And don't forget, you're just a freshman. You're 10 years old.)
Of course, if you're in any other house, you're going to get shit on. You heard about the trips to Hogsmeade, Honeydukes? Yeah, none of that anymore. Now it's more like military academy, where most of your classes will be about hating and killing all your old friends. Discipline is handed out by two psycho twins, who simply beat the tardy out of you. And if you're unlucky enough to get detention, you won't be writing lines or signing autographs. No, now they just torture you with magic. They say it feels like "white-hot knives piercing every inch of your skin". Better think twice before setting off that cherry bomb.
Students speak of a student. Harry Potter, maybe you've heard of him? All throughout his attendance, he saved Hogwarts: from a giant snake, an escaped prisoner, a tyrannical disciplinarian, and numerous death eaters. He's the reason Voldemort fell in the first place. Of course, now he's back and they think Potter's the only one who can kill him. Where is he? Oh, he's not here this year. Sorry, guess you're born just one year too late.
But you've gotten through your classes, you've put up with the teachers. The students keep hope alive. If you manage to avoid spilling the beans about the reformed "Dumbledore's Army" and survive the Dark Arts classes, you might see him return. Oh, of course, now you have to fight a war against the guy, who maybe you've been told is a fine upstanding citizen. This is your first year as a wizard so everything you've heard to this point is propaganda put out by the occupied ministry. Maybe you're not even on the same side anymore.
But let's assume you've seen the light, and now you've been handed a wand, spun in the right direction, and told to go kill the enemy. Meanwhile, do your best to avoid the giant stone golems falling around. Once again, I remind you that you are a ten-year-old first-year. All you can do is levitate a feather, and you're being told to face an army of magicians hurling Avada Kedavras at you. And you aren't even supposed to learn about those until fourth year.
To be honest, I actually think there's a great story in here. Imagine two students, one from Gryffindor, one from Slytherin. They both enter at the same time, neither knowing a thing about Hogwarts, Voldemort, or anything. They have no prejudice. They're both nice guys, even if the Gryffindor's a little more straight-edged and brave, and the Slytherin is more cunning and devious, a little darker. They're both sides the same coin. And even though they're in separate houses, they become friends. They struggle through the looming war, the totalitarian academy, and the war that separates them both.
P.S. Every house has bedrooms separated by gender. You sleep with like four or five roommates. How do you jerk off? Where do you get your me-time? Do you have to learn to masturbate without moving like I had to in college?