Saturday, July 16, 2005

Bertie & Harry: Together at Last!

Consider this my obligatory Harry Potter post today.

The British newspaper The Guardian has recently held a contest for readers to write their own Dumbledore death scene in various literary and popular styles. It's all so very Who's Line is it Anyway and, therefore, hilarious. Some of my favorites include one of the Hemingway entries and a fellow who mimicked Terry Pratchet as Dumbledore discussed his fate with the ever popular Discworld character, Death.

I am choosing to quote the Jeeves and Wooster entry, and I have three reasons for this choice. One: Mrs. Mosley is a fan of both Harry Potter and the works of P.G. Wodehouse. Two: It happens to be one of the better written entries. Three: The rather ridiculous sounding names in the Potter series mesh well to the similarly silly names in the works of Wodehouse.

I settled back against the pillows and picked up the paper. No sooner had I picked it up than I dropped it in disbelief.

"I say, Jeeves!"

He had been wafting out of the room, perhaps bound for the next room, but to revise this plan was, for Jeeves, the work of a moment. "Yes, sir?"

I retrieved the paper from the covers. "'Hogwarts Headmaster Found Dead in Chambers,'" I read. "Isn't that the fellow Dumbledore?"

"Yes, sir."

"Why, Ladbrokes was offering us a 10-1 spread to that effect not a week ago. We could have made a packet, Jeeves. You advised against it, if memory serves."

"Excuse me, sir. I considered it a macabre investment."

I sighed over the paper for some moments more, until my mood grew philosophical. "Well, don't worry about it any further, Jeeves," I said. "Into each life some rain must fall, what?"

"So it is said, sir."

"Have you heard of this Voldemort?" I asked, naming the suspect.

"I have made his acquaintance, sir. He is well-known among London valets."

I discerned a tinny glint in Jeeves's eye, which was unusual. Jeeves, my valet, is the s.-and-s. type, not much disposed to hysterics or glints. The bean leaped to the occasion, unspooling the mystery like a spool of yarn in the paws of an assiduous detective-cat. "Rummy cove, eh?"

"His habits, sir, are unconventional."

"I don't wonder you heard that. It says here he stands accused of offing the man Dumbledore. Well, Jeeves," I said, folding the paper, "Let's keep an eye on this Voldemort." I disapprove of the murder of headmasters, but am all for their being occasionally inconvenienced.

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