Revolution at Hogwarts – first draft
This is a fictional re-telling of an academic paper I published about the anachronistic way that the world of Harry Potter treats non-human animals, magical and mundane. Although JK Rowling was writing 40 years after C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien created similar fantasy worlds, the world she created is far less enlightened.
The action starts about 3 years after the close of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. There is a cross-over with two other worlds, one a fantasy, and the other a television series.
"The dragon roared, fire leapt from its nostrils as it pounced, straight for the throat of the boy wizard. The boy stood firm, legs apart, wand raised. The fire crashed against the shield spell; crackling, burning, white hot and dangerous. The boy swayed backwards but held his ground. There was a sharp crack, followed by a gasp from a thousand throats.
The dragon had gone. In its place a mouse, twitching its tail and squealing.
The boy walked to the golden egg, picked it up and held it aloft. A section of the audience in bright red robes started a gutteral chant, "Krum, Krum, Krum", stamping their feet to the monosyllabic rhythm. This was taken up by other member of the audience, until the entire stadium was one throbbing mass.
Karel Krum, the competitor from Durmstrang was the last event on the programme. The judges announced the scores, and there were further cheers and stamping when Krum was pronounced the leader. The audience started filing out, starting with the top tier, reserved for VIPs.
The huge hairy man slipped out of his chair, closely followed by a thin middle aged woman. "So what do you think of our Tri-Wizard Tournament, Prime Minister?" the man asked as the two made their way to the castle.
"Most impressive, Professor Hagrid," Lucy Hacker replied. "I can't wait until we can reveal it to our own people. I would never know the dragons aren't real. A real triumph of co-operation."
Hagrid nodded. He thought back to the day when the two Slytherin boys, Albus and Scorpius had come to his study. They had been travelling together during the summer holidays, and what with Albus's father being high up in the Ministry, they had been able to go to an alternative world that was blocked to most wizards. They told Hagrid that the place they visited had spectacular scenery where the elves are masters, not servants, where they exist on plant foods, and heal curses with plant based remedies.
The two boys had presented a petition to Hagrid as the Care of Magical Creatures teacher demanding an end to what they called 'animal exploitation' and 'cruel experiments'.
"I thought their demands were reasonable at first," Hagrid told the Muggle Prime Minister. "They asked the school to stop using spiders and other small animals to demonstrate the cruciatus curse on. That's something I always thought was wrong, so when I became principal after Minerva retired I was happy to do that. I even helped them to petition our Minister to repeal the rule that dragons should be shot on site. I like dragons, I do, and I'm glad she listened.
"But the boys were not content with these sensible measures; they wanted more. Our Minister was a bit of a stirrer herself in her time – wanted to free all house elves. Didn't last. She's more pragmatic now – but these two had the Slytherin tenacity and weren't going to give in till we had created some sort of bunny hugging world where the elves and animals were all free.
"I tried to tell them how much modern potioneering depended on eyes of newt and toe of bat. 'The great Dumbledore himself was famous for pioneering new used of dragon blood,' I told them.
"The boys were unimpressed. One generation's hero is the next one's laughing stock. 'That duffer,' said Albus 'My father worshipped the ground he walked on, but it seemed to me he made one mistake after another, helping one dark wizard in his teens, and then letting another one walk around Hogwarts as if he owned it.'
"As you know, Prime Minister, I consider Professor Dumbledore to be the greatest wizard that ever lived, so I was about to give those two an ear-full back, when they delivered this shocking ultimatum.
'The elves in the place we visited grow strong and prosper on plant food,' Scorpius told me. 'The muggles also are moving away from eating animal products and testing their own types of pills and potions on animals. As magicians we have a greater capacity to make nutritious and delicious alternatives in our kitchens, and to make better use of the healing magic of herbs in our potions. Unless Hogwarts stops using animals; in food and in teaching, we will be exposing it to Muggle protest groups.'
"You wouldn't," I gasped. The two stood side by side nodding. They were Slytherin through and through. They would."
"So was that when your Minister approached me with your ideas about the tri-wizard tournament?" asked Lucy.
"That came later," Hagrid replied. As you know, we wizards have always been wary of revealing our existence to the Muggle world." That's why young Scorpius's ultimatum unnerved me. I went straight to Hermione, er, to Minister Granger, and told her about the Slytherins' plans.
"She wasn't as shocked as I thought she would be. I thought that all her campaigning for house elf rights would have shown her the futility of this kind of posturing, but no, I caught her just after one of her regular visits to you, and it was almost as if she had been charmed.
'I have been talking to Lucy, the Muggle Prime Minister,' she said, 'and she has been telling me about changes in the Muggle world that started when she was Minister of Health in her father's cabinet. She instituted reforms in institutional catering in all government establishments. Bacon, sausages and eggs were phased out, and lentil roasts, tofu scrambles and bean casseroles were in. Health improved as a result, and when Lucy eventually became Prime Minister she started encouraging plant based agriculture and promoting scientific testing without the use of animals.'
"'You know, Hagrid' she continued. 'I think our continued isolation from the Muggle world has been a mistake. We have a lot to learn from them, and them from us. So I rather think we should use this little plan by Scorpius and his friend to our advantage. Have them bring in Muggle agitators to Hogwarts, and let me talk to them.'
"I was naturally hesitant. I'm not a Muggle hater, not a Death Eater, but I still think the less we see of them the better – present company excepted of course," Hagrid added hurriedly as Lucy frowned at him.
Lucy rolled her eyes. Hagrid had a generous heart, but his conservative nature prevented him from ever tying anything new. Fortunately Hermione was the boss, and Hagrid had done what he was told.
The next week a bunch of Muggles had arrived at the castle by conventional train to Inverness, and then hired coaches that Albus had laid on with the Potter fortune. They were a motley bunch, all ages, races, sexes and costumes. Lucy remembered how shocked Hagrid had been about a bunch of punk rockers with their hair dyed all colours of the rainbow.
"Morphomagi", he'd cried. "Cryptomagi!". Traitors to the wizard world." Hagrid knew about magicians who had hidden their magical powers from sight, refused magical education and had lived among Muggles. Lucy and Hermione had had to persuade Hagrid that making oneself look hideous was not only a preserve of witches and wizards.
Scorpius and Albus stood at the head of the mob, smirks on their faces. The establishment would have to listen to them now. They were totally gob-smacked to hear the establishment representatives, Hermione, Lucy and Hagrid, their voices magically amplified, thanking them for coming and promising that they would implement all the changes the crowd were demanding. The house elf servants would use their magic to create delectable plant-based foods, the Ministry of Magic would take advice from the Rangers of the alternate world to produce potions from plants, and with the help of computer software specialists from the Muggle world, Hogwarts would produce holographic dragons for the upcoming tri-wizard tournament.
"No need to hurt any real dragons," said Hagrid his voice tinged with emotion.
"Futhermore," continued Hermione, "we welcome a new era of co-operation with the Muggle world. This is not the middle ages. Both our cultures are mature enough to join together and take advantage of our respective strengths in magic and technology. I would like to thank our two young people, Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy for bringing this about."
Hagrid and Lucy finished their drinks, and Lucy stood up.
"Nice chatting to you, Professor Hagrid," she said. "I will see you at the next task."
"Certainly, Prime Minister," Hagrid opened the door for his guest. "I'm pleased that we no longer have to obliviate your memories like we did the last time we met."
"That would be the time ten years ago when I was Minister of Health and accidentally walked into a meeting with my father and your Minister of Magic," said Lucy. "The time that you were discussing compensation to Muggle property destroyed by Death Eaters, and you were arguing that some of the destruction had been caused by dragons and therefore not covered under the Wizard-Muggle Compensation Memorandum of Understanding?"
Hagrid's mouth dropped open. He nodded.
"Yes, I agree it's a good thing we don't need to hide anything from each other any more. Oh, by the way, could you pass me my wand, please. I seem to have left it on the chair."
Hagrid passed the wand to the Minister, who thanked him, placed it in her handbag, and walked out of the room.