I’ve spent over a week thinking of this book and how to quantify the next chapter in a saga that defined my childhood. I think it would be too easy to say it isn’t “canon” or merely “fan fiction”. Maybe because it’s hard to move on, or accept that Harry grew up like the rest of us? Or perhaps that he grew into a world that no longer finds him special or the chosen one? I had trouble accepting this, but it did not make me doubt Rowling’s authenticity. She gave us the characters after all and she ultimately decides their fates. Tolkien knew this better than anyone when he wrote his appendages and detailed the ultimate ends of his fellowship. But for me what makes this book indispensable as part of the original story is where it leaves us: in a world of magic and wonders, where essential truths persist into adulthood. I think the world and those who grew up reading Harry’s novels needed reminded that love conquers the overwhelming pain of tragedy, division within us, and even time itself.
I published two short plays last year involving wannabe outlaws Vince and Thrash. They usually try to break the law and become infamous in the process. It never quite works out and last time we saw them they were arrested for domestic disturbance. This is the next chapter in their saga: Prison Pact.
Holographic News Anchor: Ben Ditmars, having invented flying broomsticks, and pioneered quidditch for realsies in 2230, is about to die. Naturally, the deaths of all famous celebrities are streamed live on intergalactic holovision, formerly known as TMZ. Let’s capture his last words.
Ben: Hello, Holographic News Anchor.
Holographic News Anchor: Hello, Ben. How are you feeling?
Ben: I’m about to die, but it could be worse.
Holographic News Anchor: How’s that?
Ben: My soul could be split into eight pieces.
Holographic News Anchor: That would be a buzz kill- which is actually a form of brutal execution in the future. Do you have any regrets?
Ben: Regrets? No, none of my own.
Holographic News Anchor: But you have someone else’s?
Ben: Of course. I have collected many regrets from fictional characters. And I never got over the ending for Corpse Bride. He should have chosen the Corpse Bride.
Holographic News Anchor: I have access to the Wikipedia and refute your claim. Victor had a life to live, you see.
Ben: The Corpse Bride was quirky and hot. Screw being mortal.
Holographic News Anchor: Any other fictional regrets?
Ben: Yes, I think Snape should have been nicer to Harry.
Holographic News Anchor: But, Voldemort would have seen it in his mind!
Ben: That’s true, but when he was dying, he could have thrown in “my son” or “I love you.”
Holographic News Anchor: That is inconsistent with his character’s development!
Ben: You know a lot about culture in the early 2000s for a hologram in the present.
Holographic News Anchor: Don’t tell anyone, but (takes off a mask.) I’m J.K. Rowling. I’ve come to tell you how awesome you are. Also, how sorry I am for killing everyone.
Ben: I knew it! So you do regret killing Dobby, Hedwig, Sirius, Lupin, Tonks, and Fred?
J.K. Rowling: Yes, yes, the books. Everyone remembers the books and not my tyrannical reign as Queen of Scotland.
Ben: I didn’t know you were Queen of Scotland. Or there was one.
J.K. Rowling: That’s because I invented it and fled for Jupiter the next day. Let’s just say, I got in a bad place with some Highlanders, and thought 4,000,000 horcruxes might save me.
Ben: Highlanders are real too!?
J.K. Rowling: Yes, but don’t tell anyone.
Ben: I’m about to die and we’re on intergalactic holovision.
J.K. Rowling: I thought this through about as well as I did the time turners in Prisoner of Azkaban.
Ben: How will you make people forget it?
J.K. Rowling: I’ll just add something on Pottermore tomorrow and come out with a new movie. People love new movies.
(The heart monitor starts sounding erratically.)
Ben: Well, I guess this is the part where I blow up.
Buzz Lightyear: Not today!
(Buzz uses his laser.)
Ben: Now I can live another fifty thousand years!
Buzz Lightyear: Exactly, because lasers really do light up in the future! Unfortunately, I’m still not a flying toy.