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Naivete in Publishing: A Harry Potter Fanficlet

[NOTE: Contains spoilers for Book #6]

"I can completely understand, however, the mentality of an author who thinks, 'Well, I'm going to kill them off because that means there can be no non-author written sequels. So it will end with me, and after I'm dead and gone they won't be able to bring back the character.'" -- J.K. Rowling

Harry jolted awake. A moment ago, he had been in the midst of his final battle with Voldemort. Now, he found himself lying on a cot in the Headmaster's Office at Hogwarts.

He sat up and adjusted his glasses. Sitting across from Harry, behind a cluttered desk, was Albus Dumbledore. Harry rubbed his eyes in confusion and looked again. Dumbledore persisted in his existence.

"Good morning, Harry. Sleep well?"

"Um," Harry said. "Headmaster?"

"Yes, Harry?" Dumbledore asked, a twinkle in his eye.

"What am I doing here?"

Dumbledore smiled broadly. "New adventures, Harry, my boy. Evil is on the rise. Voldemort threatens the world once again."

"But I'm dead," Harry said.

"No, you're not."

"But I am. I remember it. Voldemort and I killed each other in our final battle. You yourself spoke at my funeral. You said, 'Harry Potter is absolutely, positively, irrevocably dead," and you glared at the sky."

Dumbledore chuckled. "If you were dead, then how do you remember your funeral?"

"Um," Harry said. "Was I a ghost? It doesn't matter. I'm dead. I don't understand what I'm doing here."

"Look up there," Dumbledore said. He pointed his finger in an invisible direction, and his finger disappeared at the knuckle.

Harry turned his sight towards the fourth spatial dimension, and saw a woman floating high above them, peering down with a look of intense concentration. Her fingers dashed upon a computer keyboard.

"Who is that?"

"That's the new author of the Harry Potter books. It's fifty years later, and the publishers have commissioned new sequels." Dumbledore smiled. "Official sequels, Harry. Part of the canon."

"But the story's over. We won. I'm dead."

Dumbledore scoffed. "So? Did anything stop from Alexandria Ripley from writing a sequel to Gone With the Wind? Did the Oz books come to an end when L. Frank Baum passed on? Did the producers of Star Trek throw in the towel when Gene Roddenberry died?"

"But Rowling killed me off. She didn't want anyone writing official sequels after she was done with the books."

"Shows how much she knew." Dumbledore stood up, came around the desk, and placed a hand on Harry's shoulder. "Characters cannot die, Harry. Only their authors can die."

"But --"

"No buts!" He pointed at the exit. "Go out that door, Harry. Your public awaits."

Harry shrugged and climbed the stairs the led out of Dumbledore's office. He paused at the door. "Um, sir?"

"Yes, Harry?

"Aren't you dead?"

Dumbledore chuckled. "Sure, Harry. You just keep believing that."




Leading, of course, to the much awaited novel Harry Potter and the Copyright Infringement Case.
For some reason, the thought of the Weasley Twins buying the Whizzo Chocolate Company just popped into my mind.
I hadn't seen that remark from JKR - oh, dear. She really doesn't seem to know anything about - oh, let's call them her literary predecessors, does she?
I saw it in today's New York Times, and it's also been quoted at Sci-Fi Wire.

I can understand her impulse, but the fact is that she could show Harry Potter being stabbed, shot, drowned, and burned to death -- and a future writer could still bring him back to life, if the later copyright owners so wish it.
I have NOT read your post--I just wanted to say thank you for the spoiler warning in your subject line.

Some of us have a long list of books to get to, and are quite far behind. ;)
You're welcome! The thing is, it's possibly a spoiler you might already know, and if you can avoid reading the last three paragraphs, you can avoid it and still get the gist of what I've written.

At least, feel free to read the first paragraph, the one in italics. No spoiler in the Rowling quote.
That's pretty much where that quote takes my thoughts every time I see it (though not with such style). Rowling is in her 50s, so she could have another good 30 years or so left. So her copyrights are going to last a long time, and her heirs could easily eat up their inheritance. I can't think of any more pressing impetus to have new books authorized.

(Hmmm... 50 years from now I'll only be 90. I wonder if I should start cozying up to Rowling's kids now on the chance I could get the assignment.)
J.K. Rowling is 41. She'd be quite "well-preserved" were she in her 50s and looking as she does.

Your larger point is of course quite true. :)
*dies laughing*

The scary thing is, it probably won't even be 50 years, more like 5...

May I link to this and point other people to it?
Be my guest...
Lovely! The wife and I were just talking about this on the way to work today when we heard the announcement about book 7.
You neglected Sherlock Holmes in the pantheon of formerly dead characters. Although, in his case, it was the original author who was forced to bring him back (damned readers!).
Ah, but that's different, precisely because it was the original author who brought him back. That's why I chose not to include him.
This is awesome.
Thanks for this!
Hilarity, just when I need it most. Thanks! Although i might have to delete the fact that you wrote fan-fic from my brain...
Well, it's not really fanfic, when you get right down to it. It's more parody, I'd say.
Fortunately I saw the subheading before reading the post, but as a general comment, I would recommend putting anything with spoilers behind a cut-tag...
Since the spoiler doesn't actually show up until the last three paragraphs, I figured it wouldn't be a problem.
Wandered over this way via LJ links, and had a good chuckle. Thanks, I needed that!
Glad you enjoyed it!

December 2016

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