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Old November 15 2010, 11:18 AM   #1
Gaith
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Harry Potter Year 4½: The Missing Chapter

A few years ago, I broke a rare, unfilmed deleted scene from the HP6 movie script... And now, in honor of the upcoming release of HP7-1, I thought I'd share a totally authentic, unpublished chapter from London's literary archives!


Harry Potter Year 4
½: The Summer it All goes to Crap

Dumbledore (to everyone): Unfortunately, Voldemort is back. He killed Cedric.
Harry (clearing throat): Right, well, you heard the Headmaster. So, let's all buckle up, buckle down...
Fudge: Er, just a moment.
Harry: Yes?
Fudge: I don't believe you.
Harry: Ha?
Fudge: I don't believe Voldemort's back.
Harry: That's crazy. I saw him.
Fudge: Rita Skeeter says you might have been hallucinating.
Harry: You trust anything that bimbo writes? How stupid are you?
Fudge: Maybe you had a nightmare.
Harry: But Cedric's actually dead.
Fudge: He could have been killed in the Triwizard maze.
Harry: By something that doesn't leave any marks? Look, this is asinine. Give me veritaserum and a pensieve, and you can all see what happened.
Fudge: But if you were hallucinating, you'd think you were being truthful.
Harry: Okay, look. Wormtail removed a bone from one of Riddle's ancestor's graves. I can show you which one, and you can examine the incomplete skeleton.
Fudge: Doesn't prove anything. You could have done it during Spring Break or something. Or maybe Dumbledore did it.
Harry: Why the fuck would Professor Dumbledore do something like that?
Fudge: To deprive me of my position, of course.
Harry: Okay, so veritaserum him, and you'll see -
Fudge: Dumbledore is a very resourceful wizard, and -
Harry: Oh, shut up. I want to speak with the opposition leader: maybe s/he won't be brain-dead, and we can hold a public debate, vote on holding an inquiry...
Fudge: Speak with the who?
Harry: The opposition leader. You know, as in a parliamentary rival? From another party? Someone who might believe Dumbledore and I, and challenge you on the facts of the situation?
Fudge: A "parliament", like those backward Muggles have? I'm not sure if we have one.
Harry: ...
Fudge: ...
Harry: What do you mean, you're "not sure if we have one"?!
Fudge: Rowling never mentions one. Nor does she ever indicate how Ministers of Magic actually get the job.
Harry: You can't be serious. She once spent a whole chapter describing Quidditch. She wrote a bleeding spin-off book describing Quidditch teams from around the world. You're saying she couldn't be arsed to even mention whether or not there's a Wizard legislature?
Fudge: Politics is boring; sports is fun. Everyone knows that.
Harry: If it's so boring, then why do I meet the Minister of Magic several times, and in dramatic circumstances?
Fudge: Well, that's different. Joanne likes to capitalize on the glamor of having her boy hero meet politicians without so much as referring to such basic societal constructs as a parliament.
Harry: Wow, that's cynical. Could she get any more craven?
Fudge: Sure. Did you know that my refusal to believe that Voldemort is back is a direct, publicly acknowledged reference to Neville Chamberlain's failure to confront Hitler?
Harry: You're not serious.
Fudge: I totally am.
Harry: Sweet Gandalf, that's a preposterous analogy. Though it's true that the British government concealed the extent to which Germany was re-arming, no one had thought that the country's capacity for warfare had just vanished, Voldemort style. I mean, do you know what what Chamberlain's principal error was?
Fudge: No.
Harry: *sigh*, of course not. Well, his principal error was to try and appease Hitler, to buy a British peace by selling out helpless allies. Are you trying to appease Voldemort?
Fudge: Of course not; I just don't think that he's back. Because we couldn't have meaningful parallels to appeasement without somewhere mentioning the structure of government, now could we?
Harry: Exactly. That's what makes the analogy so infantile.
Fudge: Well, what's your point?
Harry: My point is that it's lousy and lazy storytelling to detail a whole wizarding world with countess of arcane tidbits, and repeatedly trade on the glamor of meeting heads of state, but never once mention whether or not this particular society is in any way democratic. My point is that when JK has her smartest young witch try to launch a political campaign, but then tacitly belittles that character's effort while going into minute details of sporting matches, she sides against her own (alleged) values in order to sell the maximum possible books to the lowest common denominator. My point is that the whole conceit of the fifth book is crap, that the internationalism promised in the fourth book goes exactly nowhere, and that the genuinely colorful and inventive saga teased by the first four volumes devolves into a lumpen ordeal of pointless camping trips, a dull-as-rocks final battle and an imagination-screwing epilogue whose character pairings could not possibly have been any more trite.
Fudge: Oh.
Harry: Yeah.
Fudge (after a pause): You're still resenting losing Hermione to Ron, aren't you?
Harry: Have you seen her lately?!

END OF BOOK 4 1/2
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Old November 15 2010, 12:48 PM   #2
Ancient Mariner
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Re: Harry Potter Year 4½: The Missing Chapter

Harry: Sweet Gandalf




The rest is perspicacious*. Most excellently perspicacious.

* Vocabulary courtesy thesaurus.com
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Old November 15 2010, 02:32 PM   #3
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Re: Harry Potter Year 4½: The Missing Chapter

Gaith wrote: View Post
Fudge: Rowling never mentions one. Nor does she ever indicate how Ministers of Magic actually get the job.
Harry: You can't be serious. She once spent a whole chapter describing Quidditch. She wrote a bleeding spin-off book describing Quidditch teams from around the world. You're saying she couldn't be arsed to even mention whether or not there's a Wizard legislature?
Fudge: Politics is boring; sports is fun. Everyone knows that.
Harry: If it's so boring, then why do I meet the Minister of Magic several times, and in dramatic circumstances?
Fudge: Well, that's different. Joanne likes to capitalize on the glamor of having her boy hero meet politicians without so much as referring to such basic societal constructs as a parliament.
Rowling never gets into that because it's in no way relevant to the story. In the story, everybody believes the Minister, including the media and most of the government, so whether there is an opposition/legislature or not isn't going to affect the story either way.
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Old November 15 2010, 02:41 PM   #4
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Re: Harry Potter Year 4½: The Missing Chapter

I think it is very relevant. It's one of those let's ignore the obvious or otherwise the story won't work moments these books are filled with.

I have often wondered who the fuck elected that guy anyway, or the next, and why they are called ministers if they're all more or less censoring morons with a dictator complex? Of course everyone is going to believe them if there is no opposition.

All the Quidditch details? Now that was info dump.

This missing scene is hilarious and much, much better written than the books themselves imo. Very well done!
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Old November 15 2010, 02:42 PM   #5
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Re: Harry Potter Year 4½: The Missing Chapter

I'm not sure what is the point of this. Literary worlds are not always totally realistic or completely fleshed out.
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Old November 15 2010, 02:55 PM   #6
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Re: Harry Potter Year 4½: The Missing Chapter

CommanderRaytas wrote: View Post
I think it is very relevant. It's one of those let's ignore the obvious or otherwise the story won't work moments these books are filled with.
No, not really. In the books, society at large believes Fudge. That includes any presumed opposition parties. So whether or not they exist isn't relevant. She could have included a scene of the opposition parties siding with the government in the legislature, but that changes nothing in how the plot goes. There are mentions of some members of the Wizengamot resigning in support of Dumbledore, but that's the extent of the disagreement.
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Old November 15 2010, 03:06 PM   #7
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Re: Harry Potter Year 4½: The Missing Chapter

Gaith wrote: View Post
Fudge: Well, what's your point?
Harry: My point is that it's lousy and lazy storytelling to detail a whole wizarding world with countess of arcane tidbits, and repeatedly trade on the glamor of meeting heads of state, but never once mention whether or not this particular society is in any way democratic. My point is that when JK has her smartest young witch try to launch a political campaign, but then tacitly belittles that character's effort while going into minute details of sporting matches, she sides against her own (alleged) values in order to sell the maximum possible books to the lowest common denominator. My point is that the whole conceit of the fifth book is crap, that the internationalism promised in the fourth book goes exactly nowhere, and that the genuinely colorful and inventive saga teased by the first four volumes devolves into a lumpen ordeal of pointless camping trips, a dull-as-rocks final battle and an imagination-screwing epilogue whose character pairings could not possibly have been any more trite.
Fudge: Oh.
Harry: Yeah.
Fudge (after a pause): You're still resenting losing Hermione to Ron, aren't you?
Harry: Have you seen her lately?!
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Old November 15 2010, 03:50 PM   #8
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Re: Harry Potter Year 4½: The Missing Chapter

This belongs in FanFiction not in SFF.
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Old November 15 2010, 08:57 PM   #9
Gaith
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Re: Harry Potter Year 4½: The Missing Chapter

^ Uh, no. It's an editorial in dialogue form, not a story in its own right.

CaptainCanada wrote: View Post
In the books, society at large believes Fudge. That includes any presumed opposition parties. So whether or not they exist isn't relevant.
Like I said, lazy and lousy storytelling. But it doesn't explain why Harry can't even get anyone to listen to his abundant evidence.


Thanks for the props, guys! Glad I could amuse!
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Old November 15 2010, 09:22 PM   #10
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Re: Harry Potter Year 4½: The Missing Chapter

Well, now, wait.

No word on how Butterbeer is manufactured and transported? How could such a long post ignore something so critical? First the books themselves are incomplete without it and now this very thread is useless since it decided to ignore this important issue!
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Old November 15 2010, 09:45 PM   #11
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Re: Harry Potter Year 4½: The Missing Chapter

iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
I'm not sure what is the point of this. Literary worlds are not always totally realistic or completely fleshed out.
Some people need to bitch and moan and try to look funny doing so?

Small White Car wrote: View Post
Well, now, wait.

No word on how Butterbeer is manufactured and transported? How could such a long post ignore something so critical? First the books themselves are incomplete without it and now this very thread is useless since it decided to ignore this important issue!
Exactly. The economics of alcohol is one of the most critical details to any well-thought out fantasy world, and most certainly relevant to the stories at hand. The fact that this element is missing means the books are absolute garbage, clearly.
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Old November 15 2010, 09:47 PM   #12
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Re: Harry Potter Year 4½: The Missing Chapter

Small White Car wrote: View Post
Well, now, wait.

No word on how Butterbeer is manufactured and transported? How could such a long post ignore something so critical? First the books themselves are incomplete without it and now this very thread is useless since it decided to ignore this important issue!
Woulda been funnier if you'd have posted this as a mock-dialogue.
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Old November 15 2010, 09:57 PM   #13
Gaith
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Re: Harry Potter Year 4½: The Missing Chapter

Small White Car wrote: View Post
Well, now, wait.

No word on how Butterbeer is manufactured and transported? How could such a long post ignore something so critical? First the books themselves are incomplete without it and now this very thread is useless since it decided to ignore this important issue!
You're right. The economics of butterbeer is just as consequential to the story as whether or not Wizarding Britain believes that Voldemort has returned. And the manufacture of Sprite is as vital a matter of real-world concern as whether or not North Korea will sell al-Qaeda a nuclear bomb.
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Old November 15 2010, 10:38 PM   #14
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Re: Harry Potter Year 4½: The Missing Chapter

Gaith wrote: View Post
You're right. The economics of butterbeer is just as consequential to the story as whether or not Wizarding Britain believes that Voldemort has returned.
Except we know what they believe. They don't believe he returned.

Look, in 2001 in the US Senate, only 1 person voted against the Patriot Act.

Why is it so hard to believe that the same thing happened here? Based on everything we do see, it seems pretty clear that it was something a lot like that in the Harry Potter world.

Do we really need a whole chapter talking about that one guy that voted for "Voldemort is back?" What would the point of that chapter be? How would it change the story in any way? It would just make the book longer for no good reason.
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Old November 15 2010, 11:26 PM   #15
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Re: Harry Potter Year 4½: The Missing Chapter

While I do wish that this hole had been filled at least somewhat, certain things can IMO be inferred from what we do know and see.

1 - The MfM's position seems to be a vague one, vacillating somewhere between autonomy and some manner of deference to the Muggle PM. This sadly leaves the position at the mercy of the wisdom or lack thereof of the occupant.

2 - Like Muggle Britain (AFAIK), there is no First Amendment-like guarantee of Free Speech, only a 'Gentleman's Agreement' that the government will stay out of most speech, but can impose dictatorial restrictions where it deems it necessary. That said, on the other hand, it should be tons easier to sue the likes of Rita Skeeter for slander, so the libel standard must be more like the US, where a supposed absence of malice can excuse some slurs.

(Please forgive any ignorance I end up showing here)

3 - Somewhat fearing persecution and like as not merely wishing to be let alone, the Wizarding World is insular and allows the Ministry to do what it must to keep things quiet and running smoothly, leaving an institutional problem when crises arise. A successful MfM is not a Churchill who sees them through war but one who comes and goes without fanfare, scandal or large looming concern.

4 - The bureaucracy that builds up around any model of government often embodies the weaknesses of the people it represents while turning the strengths to enforcing its will. Likely the Ministry also holds in it all the lurking crypto-fascist Anti-Muggle/Mudblood, Pro-Human Bias sentiment that sometimes even the best wizards find themselves falling into. It also supports the existence of vile people like Umbridge, who, even after all she did and was implied to do, survived two changes in MfM and thrived before YKW was brought low. Scrigemour (?Sp) prolly looked at it all and said, 'Yes, but she was loyal to her MfM--that's a quality I want to keep around'.
More's the pity.

5 - This last one is the purest form of fanboy speculation, but : It is possible that, given Merlin's standing primacy among sorcerers, the head of Britain's wizardry is given a form of deference that makes Voldemort's takeover an easy precursor to controlling much of the Wizarding World. In the pensieve-flashbacks, Kakaroff was tried by what seemed a Brit-only body of wizards, indicating some form of preferred jurisdiction.

Honestly, if the lady needs more money or just wants to, a book filling such holes would probably fly--and if an official RPG of some sort ever emerges, it may have to be written.
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