The Harry Potter series is a bit like pizza — it's so universally loved that it's easy to forget that some people don't actually like them. That might be why a woman is making waves with a fan fiction that lends the fantasy series a sharp Christian edge.
[jump] This retelling of JK Rowling's classic was posted to fanfiction.net back in August, and is now eight chapters long. Posting under the username proudhousewife, the author identifies herself as Grace Ann, a mother who wanted to give her children an alternative to the original books.
“Hello, friends! My name is Grace Ann. I'm new to this whole fanfiction thing; but recently, I've encountered a problem…My little ones have been asking to read the Harry Potter books; and of course I'm happy for them to be reading; but I don't want them turning into witches! So I thought….. why not make some slight changes so these books are family friendly? And then I thought, why not share this with all the other mommies who are facing the same problem? So-Ta da! Here it is! I am SO excited to share this with all of you! “
Titled Hogwarts School of Prayer and Miracles, the books tell the story of Harry Potter, who lives with his Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia, a strict Evolutionist who dresses in pantsuits and has a career (!) Harry gets a visit from Hagrid, a missionary decked out in a cowboy getup, and is convinced to leave his home to attend Hogwarts School of Prayer and Miracles, a Christian school lead by Reverend Dumbledore.
As the story progresses, we learn about life at Hogwarts. The Houses represent different types of Christians. Slytherin is for idol-worshipping Catholics, Ravenclaw for Westboro Baptist types, Hufflepuffs for fornicating Jesus hippies (?), and Gryffindor for fundamentalists (you can guess which house Harry joins). We're also given ominous news of Voldemort, a sinner trying to push an anti-Christian agenda through Congress.
All the magic in the story is replaced with “prayer,” where the characters kneel and ask God for things, which will suddenly appear, as if by, you know, magic.
“Why don't you come with us, then!” Dumbledore cried kindly; and then got down on his knees. Everyone else did the same. Raising his large, massive, manly hands up to the heavens, Dumbledore bellowed in a voice even louder than Hagrid's had been, “Lord, please take us to the kitchen!”
“Suddenly, they all found themselves in a tasteful, decorated kitchen!”
If praying worked like this in real life, we'd all be at Grace Cathedral right now.
Regardless of your beliefs, if you've read the books you're probably going to laugh at how much Grace Ann gets wrong. In Hogwarts School of Prayers and Miracles, Professor McGonagall is now Dumbledore's obedient wife (apparently she's one hell of a cook), and Hermione is their adorably chaste daughter (who's nothing “like the career women…on The Sex and the City.”) Ron and the rest of the Weasley's are Slytherins, and Snape is now in charge of Gryffindor (wtf?). Ever get confused by that whole sorting business? Neither have we, but Grace Ann has reinvented it anyway, introducing Sorting Hats, baseball caps worn by all the characters (at all times) to indicate their house.
Even among those who sad few who know nothing about the Harry Potter universe, certain claims in the story are sure to cause controversy. Just listen to Harry defend Luna Lovegood (a Hufflepuff who eats veggie bacon) from a sexist Draco Malfoy:
“Women shouldn't not have careers because women are stupid!” Harry shouted indignantly. “Women are not stupid at all! Women should not have careers because women are nurturing and loving and their gifts serve them best in the home!”
You can read the original version here. Most Potterheads (and plenty of Christians, might we add) aren't going to be fans.