Harry Potter and the Tabloid Story
May 12, 2003
It looks like even The Sunday Times is getting into the spirit with a bit of Fan Fiction of their own. A reader sent us this snippet of a brief intermission between the last book and this one:
The hottest day of the summer so far was drawing to a close as Harry Potter sat at his desk in the reporters’ room of The Sun. “Get me some stories, Harry Potter,” screamed Vernon Dursley, the paper’s portly news editor. “And if I find there’s any magic involved, it’ll be the worse for you.”
Harry sighed. When he told the Hogwarts careers officer that he wanted a job where he could use his skills in the Dark Arts, this was not quite what he had had in mind. Why hadn’t he followed Hermione into banking?
Harry was just wondering why Mr Dursley never gave him any expenses when the phone went. “‘Ere,” said a strangely familiar voice. “Is that you, Harry?”
“Who is this?” said Harry.
“Never you mind,” said the voice. “Let’s just say that it’s a complete stranger that you’ve never met before. And I’ve got a story for you. Two top secret copies of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix have been found in a field in Suffolk. It’s not out until next month.”
“Is that you, Hagrid?” said Harry.
“Absolutely not,” said Hagrid. “And it’s a complete coincidence that I’m going to send you these books by owl. Can’t be too careful. You Know Who would give anything to get hold of these manuscripts.”
“You mean the Daily Mirror?”
“Shh, Harry,” said Hagrid. “You know that most people never mention that name.”
It was then that Harry began to wonder whether Mr Dursley’s son, Dudley, was playing another cruel practical joke. “Just so I know it’s genuine,” he said, “how does the book begin?”
“Let me see,” said Hagrid. “Ah, here we are: ‘The hottest day of the summer so far was drawing to a close’.”
Now why did those words seem so familiar?
The story made the front page, and the following day the editor stopped beside Harry’s desk. “Good story, Harry,” she said. “Vernon’s been telling me a lot about you. Any chance of using that invisibility cloak in the Beckhams’ house?”