Harry Potter and the Virus of Doom
A wizardly rival to BOFH?
Without access to funds, Potter's future would look bleak. His path through life after the battle against the Death Eaters is probably that of Mr Incredible or any other hero who returns from the war to civilian life. Heroism of that sort is fine on the battlefield, but right now we have a balance sheet to publish, Mr Potter, we have your expense claims, which are late again, and you've insulted one of our biggest shareholders with your remarks on ethics in business. You'll have to spend a few more years in the audit department.
Many such heroes, as Henry David Thoreau quipped sadly, live lives of "quiet despair". Potter, fortunately, can rise above this. He can have a palace (or at least the semblance of one) and finding the basic necessities of life should be within his power and his talented wife's abilities too. But what about his sense of purpose?
Here, we have a template, and an excellent one.
Think of a war hero, unusually talented, intelligent, a hero of the sports fields and morally beyond reproach, who returns from unspeakable dangers to find himself remembered only by some for his unusual exploits on the playing fields of Oxbridge, but with his equanimity shattered by the horrors he's experienced in the trenches - horrors at least as bad as any Dementor's kiss. Wealthy, with social status above the common man, Peter Wimsey found himself wasted in a world where his brother inherited the Dukedom, and where earning a living was neither an option, nor a requirement. But he had to keep that tireless brain occupied, or go mad.
Lord Peter Wimsey became an amateur sleuth. And he was needed. And in the world of Harry Potter, such people are, clearly, going to be equally vital to the future. Such enforcers of Magic Law as exist have shown themselves to be easily daunted by authority, which seems to desire nothing more than a quiet life, and by bureaucracy which takes intervention in people's private lives as an absolute right, and has powers which no mere computer database or ID card could ever convey.
Harry has shown himself to be an uncannily expert investigator, able to find things in places where the highest powers have failed, able to expose corruption, fearlessly, even in those high places, and driven by his strong sense of justice to do so, even if his own interests are compromised by it.
A career as a master detective, working outside the ranks of the forces, beckons - all he needs is a cover story.
Wimsey's creator found a beautiful disguise for her titled detective, working in an advertising agency, conjuring copy to sell cigarettes. All Rowling's fan fic followers have to do is put Harry into the call centre. Every time evil rears its head in the new world, a Weasley computer will be available to monitor it, and the call will reach Lord Harry.
Watch for Harry Potter And The Virus Of Doom in due course... ®
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