Thursday, June 07, 2012

Harry Potter 8: The Muggles Rising

 This is the final installment of my brief adaptation of the Harry Potter series to include a bit more robust activity by the Muggles.  The first installment, here, takes place at the beginning of Book 6, when the Minister of Magic meets with the Prime Minister.  The second installment, here, takes place at the end of Book 7 during the Battle of Hogwarts.

This final piece is effectively the beginning of a hypothetical (and never to be written) Book 8.

Anthony Goldstein was dreadfully uncomfortable in his Muggle uniform, but regular clothes lacked the proper decorum for a military vessel and his Wizarding Robes made the Muggle crewmen nervous. Of course, they were skittish around him no matter what he wore, except for the captain. He treated Goldstein with the same genial contempt with which he treated all of his crew. The man had been in dogfights and landed jumpjets on carriers in the stormy gray skies and seas around the Falklands, he was man not easily spooked.  But a bit of discomfort was a small price to pay for being the Chief Magic Officer on the HMMV Dumbledore, the very first magic-infused spacecraft.

"Final check, all systems operational?" the Captain demanded.

Anthony began the final systems check. It was a tricky job. Magic and electronics did not get along well.  When Anthony first started at Arthur Weasley's new office at the ministry they were trying to mix magic and jet-fighters.  It had been a disaster.  But when they pulled some old mothballed Spitfires into service and added magic, the results were incredible. Muggles could manipulate magic infused systems pretty well, as long as they had an interface.   The Captain had been a test pilot and shot down a dragon in record time.

But you couldn't build a spaceship without some electronics, so keeping the two systems from interfering with each other was his main job.  They didn't even know if magic would work in space. Professor McGonigle was at Oxford now, discussing that problem with Muggle scientists. Rumor had it she was quite taken with one. Whenever anyone mentioned Professor Hawking, she flushed and muttered, "He's like a Muggle Dumbledore!"

Anthony finished his systems check and gave the all clear.

"Engage magic drives, ignite engines!" the Captain ordered.

The Dumbledore began rising, silently, like an enormous elevator.
Less then one hundred people knew about this launch.  The British Muggle-Wizard alliance was still a secret.  Shacklebolt as minister spent all his time keeping the wizards in line with the new order of things, he'd even had to send some particularly indiscreet wizards to Azkaban.  The leaders hadn't quite figured out how best to use their new capabilities. If word got out, other countries had wizards too and Britain would lose its advantage. Hermione was at the Defense Ministry studying the problem, he'd seen her lecture on it - game theory, comparative advantage, Magically Assured Destruction, it had been dreadfully boring.

Although they felt nothing, the Dumbledore was moving very fast. In moments the gray sky of England gave way to deep violet and then the inky star-studded blackness of space. The ship was silent as the crew stared out the portals in awe. Then, spontaneously they broke into song:

 God save our gracious Queen
Long live our noble Queen
God save the Queen
Send her victorious
Happy and glorious
Long to reign over us
God save the Queen

Anthony listened for a few seconds, then surprised, found himself joining in.


Robin noteverstill said...

I loved this series! What literature are you going to modify for us next?

Father Goof said...

Oh Robin, let there be no question that I love Mama Goof deeply. But you do something for me that she will never do, something that makes me feel special.

You read my blog.

Dunno what to take on next. There is an honesty to Anne of Green Gables that makes me want to leave it be. Maybe that is a fundamental difference between the science fiction/fantasy genre and regular fiction.

I'll have to see what the kids and I get mixed up with next. But straight mash-ups (Little Women & Zombies say) seem too easy and unsubtle.