The PrequelPosted by evil_underlord on 23.08.2006 at 23:14
Current Mood: knackered
Harry Potter and the Brisket Loaf: First Blood
The Adventures of Young Harry Potter
Episode 1: Harry Potter and the Post-modernist’s Igneous Slab
The seven year old Ginny Weasley stuck out her tongue as she wrote in laborious longhand:
‘Of all the gin bars, in all the world, you have to walk into mine,’ said the Handsome Prince.
‘All you have to do, is follow the yellow brick road,’ Snow White said, breezily statesmanlike. ‘Like a piece of toast.’
Autumn stole upon the castle slowly, like the death of a loved one from a slow-acting but inevitably fatal virus. The sunny summer days wasted away with a momentum that was at first imperceptible, allowing a sense of security to permeate the hallowed halls of wizardly learning, but was in its final effects, unavoidable.
‘Would you like a drink?’ The Handsome Prince asked.
‘I don’t drink... wine.’ Snow White replied.
‘We have to kill the demon
Balrog, Ngalfar, vampire before it eats our souls, and our livers, with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.’
Warm, balmy evenings, the last of their kind for a great long while, found
Harry Potter and his friends [Ginny angrily scrubbed out her mistake] Snow White and The Handsome Prince stretched out beneath the trees idly watching life go.
‘We should be quick, even a man who is pure of heart and speaks in prayer by night may become a wolf when the Wolfsbane blooms and the winter moon is bright.’
‘The force will be with us, always.’
Ginny couldn’t wait to finish copying out from this book that she had found in the secret library of unwritten books, you know like the one in Flight of Dragons and shit, that was in the attic of the Burrow. She was going to post it to the wizarding world network site Princessalley, the best place for Disney Princess fan-fiction. She couldn’t wait for the warm flood of f-mails telling her how good a writer she was, how special and wonderful a person she was, how-
‘Potter is a gay. Ha ha ha.’
Many miles away, the eight year old Harry Potter was being pushed against a wall in the playground of St Christopher’s Primary school in Surrey. Again.
‘Smelly Potter, Smelly Potter! Smelly Potter pooed his bed. Smelly Potter, Smelly Potter! Smelly Potter’s Parents are dead,’ sang his tormentors.
At least it showed some more imagination than their previous chants, Harry thought. He tried not to listen though, but just to look at the ground, to study it intently until Dudley’s gang finally left him alone, to hope that they didn’t make him too closely acquainted with its gravelly surface.
As he stared, Harry noticed that something was wrong. The paving stone that he stood on was different, somehow, to all of the others in the playground. The more he stared at it, the more he became convinced of its difference, and yet, he didn’t think that he would have been able to say what this difference was. It was a conundrum A mystery. Possibly even the effects of the sort of extreme mental dissociation he was beginning to develop at these times. But most likely not.
Most likely it was a manifestation of a rip in the space-time continuum.
‘Potter, are you listening?’ Mrs Samways snapped.
Harry looked up from his sums. ‘Yes,’ he said. But he hadn’t. He didn’t know what on Earth his teacher had just said. In fact, the last thing he remembered was the song that Dudley’s mates had made up about him, but that must have been over an hour ago, as they usually had story time just after lunch, before they started on their sums.
‘No,’ Harry said. ‘I mean, sorry Miss, but I was trying to do these sums, Miss, and...’
‘Harry, are you ok?’ Mrs Samways asked him gently. She was sure that there was something that she meant to say to, or do for, this child, but she couldn’t put her finger on it. It would always slip her mind.
‘Yes, Miss,’ Harry said obediently.
‘Ok, well. Carry on then.’ Mrs Samways shook her head. ‘As I was saying.’
That evening, Harry arranged his collection of wall plugs into alphabetical order in the cupboard under the stairs. There was nothing else to do and it helped him to think better. Somewhere around ‘W’ however, he started to see the strangest things. Images of war and fire and twisty CGI fractal patterns. A tunnel ringed with white electricity and blue vortexes. And evil laughter. And then he woke up. And it was morning already. It must have been a dream, Harry reflected bitterly.
‘I keep finding myself caught up in strange time paradoxes,’ Harry said.
‘Shut up, pooh-head,’ said Dudley, strolling past, and he punched Harry in the stomach so hard that tears came to Harry’s eyes and he fell to the floor. Fighting for breath, Harry realised that he was lying on top of the strange paving slab. The one that was different to all of the others in the playground. This close, Harry could see what was different about it. It wasn’t concrete. Instead, it was living rock, boiled up in the heart of a volcano and polished by the depths of the sea. Harry wanted to be like that, someday. To have that power and that grace. But most of all, he wanted to be able to breathe again. Now.
And the paving slab whispered into his brain:
‘The use of signs within the post-modern is even more intriguing,’ the voice of the American professor said. ‘The already dual nature, where the sign is both itself, the word or symbol or whatever, and it is the thing that it is signifying, is extended. It now has a new layer of meaning, which is the thing being referred to, the ‘other’ work. If this makes sense.
‘It helps if you think about tits. Maybe Madonna’s tits, they turn up in discussions of post-modernism quite a lot you know.
‘What this means is that the post-modernist can take aspects of another’s work, re-sequence that material within their own original work, usually in an entirely different context, but retain the original work’s signifiers, albeit in a somewhat subverted form, as well as their own new meanings. This can be seen clearly in the use of soul and funk samples prevalent in West Coast Hip Hop today. No-one would say that the tracks being produced are merely different versions of the sampled songs, or that they have the same meanings as those songs, but they do gain an extra set of meanings, often with an ironic intent, by having those samples present.
‘A warning must be made here, however. It has been known for the trenchant post-modernist to claim that ‘there is no longer anything new,’ and to use this as a get out clause and a fall back position. This sly creature will confuse their own plagiaristic cutting and pasting with the true generative and subversive/creative effort that is required for a real post-modern work to be produced’
‘Professor Robert Langdon of Harvard University?’ a stunningly attractive and immensely intelligent female student in the front row put up her
tits hand. ‘Excuse me sir, but what does this have to do with Symbology? Surely you’ve strayed into an English lesson here, and while I don’t doubt that you know everything that there is to know about English and are really good in the sack, that’s not what we are here to learn about.’ Harry’s Brain whited out.
When Harry could see again, he could see trouble. It looked like a bomb had hit. Half of the playground was a crater, the paving slab was broken into atoms, and there, by the climbing frame, a life-sized, moving, stuffed donkey was menacing his favourite patch of thistles. The patch that he had grown to love as his only friend, having been pushed into it so many times. Whatever happened, he knew that the thistles loved him, even though they hurt him whenever they tried to hold him, it wasn’t their fault. They didn’t mean it. they were just made that way. Harry Saw red. Harry went ballistic. Harry whited out into another power coma.
Mrs Samways came up to Harry and put her hand upon his shoulder. ‘Are you ok, Harry?’ she asked him gently.
Harry just kept rocking back and forwards, saying the same thing over and over again. ‘They were my only friends. I killed them. They were my only friends.’
Mrs Samways looked at the scorched and blackened patch of thistles that lay before Harry. ‘I’m going to talk to Dr Shorter, Harry. She’s nice and she’ll help you to understand what you’re feeling. You’ll like talking to her Harry, I’m sure of it. I think we should also think about finding you somewhere to live where you can be yourself. How does that sound, Harry? We’ll find you a place where you can have room all by yourself. Won’t that be-‘
Mrs Samways turned around. An impossibly old man who looked for all the world like Gandalf having a bad hair day was addressing her.
‘If you wouldn’t mind stepping over here a minute,’ the man said, although it was more like a command. ‘I do so hate to say this again, Mrs Samways, but it really will not do to have you interfering in the boy's upbringing like this,’ The man got out a wand and he touched it to Mrs Samways head, and then it was suddenly as if her worries had been lifted. She walked back into the school itself, leaving Harry to rock back and forwards on his own, beside the corpses of a patch of thistles and a constantly depressed stuffed donkey that had somehow made it out of the Hundred Acre Wood.
And that was that, for now at least. The paving slab that was also a rip in the space-time continuum had been destroyed, but it makes you wander what else might have made it through. I suppose you could find out next time, in Episode 2: Harry Potter and the Existentialist’s Brick. (Please Note, actual episode title may differ from that advertised.)
Lots love y'all.