Dumbledore’s Army has new foe to fight

Rachel Rosenbaum

The Harry Potter series has sparked die-hard devotees to share fanfiction, of which we have seen some atrocities, but also “authors” who decide they want to re-write it with a different agenda in mind.

A recent not-so-fan fiction piece causing a stir is passionate about re-writing the beloved series into a hail-Christianity novella titled “Hogwarts School of Prayer and Miracles”.

The author, going by Grace Ann or “proudhousewife”, her titled handle on fanfiction.net, states in her introduction that she decided to re-write the series because she didn’t want her children turning into witches and believes that this new version will appease “concerned mommies everywhere”.

“Proudhousewife” is not only destroying the integrity of themes J.K. Rowling has beautifully penned, but also spreading an ignorant and inconsistent ideology (and the absurd belief that reading the original series will turn you into a witch!).

She begins the story with “Once upon a time”, implying the start of a fairy tale. Her first order of business was changing Harry’s Aunt Petunia from a housewife into a formidable evolutionist-career woman who “never wore makeup” and donned “an unflattering pantsuit” and is described as “dumb”. Professor McGonagall doubles as Reverend Dumbledore’s blonde, long-haired wife and school cook and Hermione is their beautiful, obedient daughter.

At the peak of the feminism crusade, Grace Ann is not doing herself any favors. She takes once intellectual and brave female characters and demotes them to nothing more than Betty Crocker because our nurturing and loving traits, she states, “serve… best in the home”. She villainizes career-driven women, and claims that Harry is abused by his aunt because he is watched by a babysitter while she works. She further states that if Harry had stayed unsaved, he might have become a “fornicating, drug-addicted Evolutionist”…Woe is he!

Hagrid is now a door-to-door lumberjack-resembling Christian, recruiting Harry to be “saved”. Oh, and the school, if it can morally be called that, takes place in America with the “little ones” graciously munching on bacon and great-aunt Eleanor’s corn casserole. The original Houses are now decided on faith, being split between the Protestant heroes in Gryffindor, the hippie Hufflepuff Episcopalians, Catholic Slytherins with rude table manners and hateful Ravenclaws, who are representatives of an undefined group. All but Gryffindor are depicted as the fallen and Lord Voldemort’s- aka Obama- army of atheists are trying to take over the world and keep Christians from practicing their faith- cue “Pinky and the Brain” theme song.

What’s ironic is the whole point of this story to rid of the book magic, since it is apparently the work of the devil. Yet, Harry is teleported to Hogwarts and food is summoned through the power of prayer. Right.

Christians are portrayed as accepting people who are the only ones who can save the good in the world. However, all I see in this story of “miracles” is bigotry. Women with goals, other religions, and non-religions are targets.

As an agnostic woman who does no intentional wrong to anyone, this fanfiction piece is offensive.

Those who believe evolution is how we came to be are dumb and evil? Makes sense. Women who care about their job and having a nice car are all about a “plan” and a child is simply part of that superficial facade? Charming. Doesn’t God have a plan for us all, aren’t we just pawns in this game of Life? Only Christians are capable of being “good”? What does that even mean?

Any decently-sane adult can look at this prose and see it is uneducated and hateful, but the problem lies with the intended audience: children.

Let me tell you what Harry Potter, the real version, boasts:

It deals with fighting racism and sexism, loss of childhood, general prejudice, unconditional love as the true savior, spearheading against corruption, coping with death and finding strength in the face of adversity.

How can Grace Ann, or anyone, claim this “will lead children astray”?

Rowling herself has stated that the series has religious undertones- primarily Christian, though she pulled from others. The epigraphs in “The Deathly Hallows” are excerpts from the Pagan piece, “Libation Bearers” by Aeschuylus and William Penn’s “More Fruits of Solitude”, which is Christian. These serve to introduce the final theme in Harry Potter: confronting the boundaries between life and death.

We even see an allusion to resurrection when Harry accepts his fate to die at the hands of Voldemort, only to return to bring the latter to his demise. So, we can have readers with backgrounds that may or may not be religious, but the motifs still stand strong. Therefore, Grace Ann’s argument that the series is Anti-Christ is completely inaccurate.

These heavy topics set against the fantastical adventure is a model for morality if I’ve ever seen one, and being religious or not has no effect on the reception.

Grace Ann’s message does not show compassion, acceptance, love, bravery or loyalty. Instead, she is intent on feeding children a false sense of virtue. Her message is also poorly written with horrendous grammar.

Let’s hope this shoddy piece does not fall into the hands of anyone who might take it seriously, and rejoice with the knowledge that Rowling’s Harry Potter series is safely defended and treasured by Potterheads everywhere; Always.