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Yes, yes, yes! Since almost nothing of interest happened today, aside from me reading the first few books of some new manga series, which I doubt anyone is interested in my thoughts on (namely The Third, Mixed Vegetables, and Record of a Fallen Vampire), it's finally time for me to post my long, long, long-awaited story reduction of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix... now that we're only a few short months away from news of the next delay in the Half-Blood Prince movie, it's probably way overdue. As usual, I've put in plenty of jokes based on the differences between the movie and book versions, but this time, there's also a set of running gags about just how long and boring the book was compared to how much actually happened. If you don't think so, consider that my reduction of the fifth book is probably about as long as the first book. At least on par with the collected works of Beedle the Bard. So, with further ado, I present the necessary disclaimer.

WARNING: As the book series is already complete as of this posting (the seventh book came out not much after the fifth movie), and the fifth book was the one that really began in earnest the practice of revealing information key to the end of the series without revealing its significance at the time, this reduction not only contains explicit spoilers for Order of the Phoenix, but also some small, not particularly explicit spoilers for the last two books. If you haven't read them, you probably won't even know they're there. Like the books themselves, it might be fun to come back and reread it when you know more.

J.K. ROWLING: We've replaced our main character with a wizard with all the personality of Folger's Instant Crystals. Let's see if anyone can tell the difference.
DUDLEY: I hear you had a man-crush on Cedric, and you lose your temper at everything.
HARRY: I do not! Leave Cedric alone! I'll kill you!
DUDLEY: Dementors suck...
HARRY: Expecto Patronum! Good thing I remember spells I never actually use.
VERNON: For once, I'm going to talk sensibly about wizard stuff, making it a point to screw up the simple names.
J.K. ROWLING: Good, that ought to fill about twenty pages.
MAFALDA HOPKIRK: Harry Potter, your name closely resembles that of an Al Qaeda terrorist. Therefore, you are expelled from Hogwarts and will be arrested shortly.
HARRY: I'll just run away to avoid having to fight my way out.
ARTHUR: Don't run away or fight your way out! Do something that isn't either of those things! And no magic!
TONKS: Oops! I broke something.
KINGSLEY: I hear you know how to fly a broom. That's about all I get to say in this one, but everyone loves me anyway.
MOODY: We're going to travel in secret to a safe place, taking a long and circuitous route to make sure nobody sees us.
HARRY: Screw that! The movie's already getting boring and we're only ten minutes in. Let's buzz some cruise ships!
MOODY: (shrugs) You're the boss.
SIRIUS: Harry! I've been DYING to see you!
HERMIONE: Oh, Harry, we're so glad to see you!
HARRY: Yeah, well, I'm still angsting for another few hundred pages.
RON: It's all Dumbledore's fault, you know.
HARRY: How dare you guys have perfectly good explanations for everything? I hate you!
MRS. BLACK: Racial epithets! The same kind of language that nearly got Catcher in the Rye and Huckleberry Finn banned from American schools, only because they're made up words, it's perfectly okay!
SIRIUS: My family never liked me anyway. But at least I have good friends now, who will stick with me until my dying day.
KREACHER: Buggrit, millennium hand and shrimp.
TONKS: Oops! I broke something.
MOLLY: Okay, we're cleaning the house. Keep an eye out for objects relevant to the plot.
(Fifty pages later...)
ARTHUR: Time for the trial, Harry. And here's a complete catalogue of every department in the Ministry of Magic.
PERKINS: The Minister's attempts to influence the outcome of the trial are so unimportant, let's leave them out of the film.
FUDGE: Harry, you stand accused of being the only sensible person in the room, but the charges are for using a self-defense spell. I assume you're going to plead self-defense?
DUMBLEDORE: That's exactly what we're going to do, taking the perfect opportunity for some exposition.
J.K. ROWLING: Good, that ought to fill about twenty pages.
MADAM BONES: Is it true you can produce a Patronus?
HARRY: Yes, I can produce a Patronus.
MRS. FIGG: Albus told me exactly what to say to get Harry off.
FUDGE: Madam, we frown upon the seduction of underaged -
MRS. FIGG: On the charges!
DUMBLEDORE: In short, the Ministry can make Harry as miserable as it wants in the outside world, but at the school, he's under my excellent protection.
HARRY: This is going to be the worst school year ever. But I suppose, on the bright side, that it will be another year at school, right? Um... Professor Dumbledore? Where'd he go?
RON: Hermione and I are prefects, and Harry isn't! That can't be important enough to be in the movie, can it?
MOLLY: Well, that's certainly all the important stuff that will happen before school this year.
(Fifty pages later...)
SIRIUS: It kills me to see you go, Harry. Life just won't be worth living without you around.
DRACO: Did I recognize that dog, Potter, or am I just messing with you?
GOYLE: Huh huh... dog mess.
NEVILLE: Check this plant out, everyone. It makes you as unattractive to women as I am!
CHO: Oh, Harry... I don't think I like your choice of cologne.
DUMBLEDORE: Our new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher is so obviously evil, we won't even try to pretend she's actually not the antagonist in this book.
UMBRIDGE: I like fluffy kittens, the color pink, collectible china plates, hair ribbons, torturing children, foreign teas, and sweets, although not too sweet... I must watch my toadlike figure! (giggles girlishly) Come to my office, Potter. I'm going to make you bleed. (girlish giggle)
MCGONAGALL: You're not as powerful as you think, Delores.
UMBRIDGE: That's going to change as soon as dear Cornelius passes more Ministry decrees, giving me ultimate power over the school and its students.
MCGONAGALL: Of course, that means we'll be going head-to-head, but as that was the only scene in the entire 800-page book that made it worth reading, we'll leave it out of the film version.
FLITWICK: I used to teach Charms... why am I conducting a choir now?
TRELAWNEY: I predict I'm about to be fired...
UMBRIDGE: That makes you one for... how many predictions have you made? (girlish giggle)
(Fifty pages later...)
HERMIONE: Harry, let's break the last few school rules we haven't broken yet and form a secret society to learn Defense Against the Dark Arts. We think you can teach us.
DENNIS: I even sneaked out of school to Hogsmeade to be a part, even though I'm only second year!
HARRY: Okay, but only because Cho asked so nicely.
CHO: Is it true you can produce a Patronus?
HARRY: Yes, I can produce a Patronus!
SIRIUS: Molly's dead set against this plan, but I think the time for playing by the rules has expired.
DOBBY: Dobby is knowing a place where Harry Potter and his friends can practice magic in secret! He tells Harry Potter because he is tired of the Longbottom boy stealing all his scenes in the films!
HARRY: Believe me, you'll be wishing he stole your scenes when the final movie comes around...
HERMIONE: Since we all know you can't really teach us anything, I got you some books with useful magic.
J.K. ROWLING: Good, that ought to fill about twenty pages.
ANGELINA: We need a new Quidditch Keeper... how about Ron? He sucks, but Harry sucks at magic and everyone looks up to him.
SLYTHERINS: Hey, let's make fun of Weasley instead of Potter!
HARRY: Ron, you are the greatest, truest friend ever in the history of friendship for taking the heat off me. Now I'm finally able to enjoy Quidditch free of taunting and - oh, hell, I'll punch Malfoy anyway.
ANGELINA: ... okay, let's just recycle the entire team roster. I was planning to do that anyway.
FRED & GEORGE: This means a long, drawn out war with Umbridge.
(Fifty pages later)
FRED & GEORGE: Oh, hell, we'll just make it one climactic scene in the film and cut out all the fun bits.
HARRY: Is it a good time to mention that I've been dreaming I'm Voldemort, and his snake just bit Mr. Weasley?
RON: Yay! Early Christmas break! Dad should almost die every year.
HARRY: Well, it's a good time to catalogue all the floors of St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries.
J.K. ROWLING: Good, that ought to fill about twenty pages.
NEVILLE: What? I like collecting gum wrappers.
HARRY: I expect you to suddenly shape up in lessons and become a real hero all of a sudden because we know your secret.
SIRIUS: Well, my family burned me off the family tree, like they don't even acknowledge my existence. I might as well be dead for all they cared. But don't worry, Harry. As long as I live, I'll take excellent care of you.
SNAPE: Potter, time for Occlumency lessons. I'm going to extract the secrets you've been hiding for four years from your mind.
HARRY: And now that I'm learning to close my mind, it's more open than ever before. Remind me again why I'm supposed to trust you?
SNAPE: Amazingly, you broke through my defenses and protected yourself. That's exactly what I've been trying to teach you to do, and you did it. This is such an impressive feat that, in the movie version, I'll throw you out of my office and refuse to teach you any more, while in the book, I did that because you purposefully violated my privacy.
DIRECTOR: But who cares about Snape's credibility at this point in the series? Oh, I know! Let's have a really cool CG firework dragon and Filch nailing a bunch of Ministry decrees to the wall!
CHO: Why, Harry, of course I'll go out with the last boy who saw my boyfriend alive and didn't bother to save him, and also had a crush on me the whole time but I really can't question his motives, can I?
HARRY: I don't understand girls. Cho was putting the moves on me, but I blew her off so I could meet with Hermione, not bothering to tell her that it wasn't going to be a date. So why's she so upset?
RITA: And if you think that's unintelligent, he's trusting the reputation of a tabloid to make him look good.
UMBRIDGE: I finally found the secret meeting place and caught Potter, thanks to a... what was the word?
DUMBLEDORE: However, I can prove that I really do care about Harry by running away to keep him safe.
HARRY: I knew he'd bugger off at the first sign I really needed him.
HAGRID: Sorry, Harry, but I've got to run off too. I leave my giant half-brother in your care.
HARRY: Well, aside from all the teachers I care about leaving school with various amounts of injuries, I suppose the long-awaited O.W.L.s aren't going too badly.
TOFTY: Is it true -
HARRY: YES, I CAN PRODUCE A FLIPPING PATRONUS! As long as I don't have any of those crippling visions again.
SIRIUS: Okay, Voldemort, just kill me already!
HARRY: My first dream about Voldemort since I started Occlumency lessons, and he's in a place he can't possibly be, killing someone who can't possibly be there, plus I was warned (offhandedly) about him trying to plant false images in my head... I think this is the real thing!
HERMIONE: Well, it's pretty simple to break yet another rule and see if your vision was true.
J.K. ROWLING: Good... that ought to fill about twenty pages.
KREACHER: Master went out... I think he was dead serious.
HARRY: Dead Sirius! Did you hear that?
UMBRIDGE: I certainly did! Now feed my paranoia!
HERMIONE: Fine, we know where the weapons of mass destruction are. Now come with us into the most dangerous part of the school.
CENTAURS: Trespassers!
GRAWP: Grawp smash!
UMBRIDGE: Diplomatic immunity! (discovers the hard way that it doesn't apply here)
LUNA: Let's ride thestrals to the Ministry.
HARRY: Oh yeah... one more reason everyone thought I was insane until they discovered I was right all along. Can anyone say "precedent"?
NIDOKING: Well, if I mentioned EVERY detail, the reduction would be a novella. I never even described what the Order of the Phoenix is, and it's the title of the book!
MINISTRY SECURITY: Hmmm... kids coming. Let's all abandon our posts and help them get to the most secure part of the facility.
HARRY: Oh, look. Sirius isn't here. That can't mean this was a trap. Oh, look, it's the thing Voldemort said himself that he can't remove from the shelf. I'll remove it from the shelf.
LUCIUS: Boo! It really WAS a trap!
HARRY: There is no possible way I could have seen that coming.
ORBS: (general incomprehensible cacophony of intermixed prophecies)
DEATH EATERS: (various spells, including very few that would be effective even if they hit their targets)
STUDENTS: (running through the same few rooms over and over again)
J.K. ROWLING: Well, we could just make a whole book out of this stuff, couldn't we?
HERMIONE: Coloportus!
DEATH EATERS: Damn! If only we knew the Alohomora spell!
HARRY: Neville, hold the prophecy. It'd be safer in a trash compactor than in your hands, but we don't have a trash compactor here.
NEVILLE: (breaks prophecy) On the plus side, the bad guys didn't get it.
KINGSLEY: The Order of the Phoenix has arrived!
TONKS: Oops, I broke something.
SIRIUS: Harry, I'll save you if it's the last thing I do!
BELLATRIX: Dear cousin, have you seen my new curtains?
SIRIUS: This drapery is exquisite! Positively to die for! (falls through and disappears)
FANS: Lamest. Death. EVER.
HARRY: Sirius died? There is no possible way anyone could have seen THAT coming.
DUMBLEDORE: Here I am, rounding up all the Death Eaters single-handedly. Harry, there's no reason for you to stay with me, where it's safe.
HARRY: It's either dive through the curtain after Sirius, or try to kill Bellatrix. Right, well, it's curtains! I mean, for her.
BELLATRIX: You've got to MEAN it, Potter!
HARRY: How anyone could hate anyone or anything more than I hate you now, I'll never know. Obviously, this proves that I'm too pure of heart and full of love to cast the Unforgivable Curses.
VOLDEMORT: I never liked this fountain anyway.
HARRY: Voldemort came here? But that's impossible, as much as I wanted to believe it two hundred pages ago!
DUMBLEDORE: Let's have a wizards' duel, with living statues, transfigured silver weapons, and lots and lots of flashy teleportation and miscellaneous spellwork!
DIRECTOR: Hey, here's something we can faithfully reproduce!
VOLDEMORT: Argh! Beaten by love again! Apparently, I can touch Harry's body, but I can't touch his mind!
HARRY: It's still perverse.
FUDGE: So, you were telling the truth all along. Rather amusing, now we look back on it.
DUMBLEDORE: Harry, I owe you an explanation for everything that's happened. EVERYTHING until now... all five books' worth, and nearly fifteen years' worth of misery.
HARRY: Really? Actual answers for once? Maybe I'll stop angsting just long enough to listen.
DUMBLEDORE: I'm a colossal idiot.
J.K. ROWLING: Hmmm... that sounded better in the outline. Better stretch it to twenty pages or so.
DUMBLEDORE: In short, I realize now that had I ever explained any of what was happening to you, even the tiniest detail, your life would have been much easier. In my defense, I promise to tell you absolutely everything starting next year. Unless it's really important.
HARRY: I've gained respect for the headmaster, a close group of the best friends a boy could ever hope for, the support of the entire wizarding government, and yet another House Cup for Gryffindor... but I've lost the man who's been my guide and mentor for my entire life, ever since two years ago when I discovered he wasn't actually trying to kill me.
DUMBLEDORE: Speaking of which, that prophecy said that either you or Voldemort has to kill the other one. Well, you or Neville Longbottom, who was actually the second choice for the hero of this series. I just thought I'd throw that out there.
HARRY: Fascinating. Well, I'm still incapable of coping with death, so I'll go angst a while longer.
(Fifty pages later...)
BIG BIRD: Mister Hooper's not coming back? ... Ever?
HARRY: (cries) I finally understand death!
DUMBLEDORE: Very good. At the least, remember that I will always be here for you.
LUNA: And that it's never too late in the series to introduce new fan-favorite characters. Help me find my panties?
MOODY: And that your godfather wasn't the only one with the looks to frighten Muggles.
HARRY: Okay, to recap: Next year, I'll be under Dumbledore's care at all times, I'll know everything that's going on, my friends will stand by me through everything, and I won't have to spend the summer suffering. Why do I have the feeling none of those things will turn out to be true?
TRELAWNEY: Unfortunately, you also will not be attending my class, having dismally failed the exam this year.
HARRY: I think that's a wash, then.
ELECTRONIC ARTS: Now to take the latest in video game technology and turn out the worst Harry Potter game yet, including Quidditch World Cup!
J.K. ROWLING: Cha-ching!

Random trivia: I always end up adding one more thing at the last minute when I do these, and this time, there were two last-minute additions. See if you can guess what they were.

Also, the Big Bird line was a reference to this scene from Sesame Street. I thought it was rather pathetic how long it took Harry to grasp the concept of Sirius' death and figured that maybe the professional creators of a children's show could beat it into his head. Granted, I can't have been the only one who said the lack of a body was rather suspicious and expected a return sometime later, but obviously, the movie added an Avada Kedavra to the mix, and he's obviously not going to come back after that.

And that was my day.


Sep. 22nd, 2008 03:01 am (UTC)
Loli Racer approves of this post.
Sep. 22nd, 2008 03:02 am (UTC)
Thanks. I wasn't sure it would do justice to the earlier posts in the series, but I think one of my last additions gave it just the spice it needed to be perfect.
Sep. 22nd, 2008 09:28 am (UTC)
Hahaha. Epic. You gave this thing the thrashing it deserved.

... Honestly, I STILL think she killed off Sirius solely to drum up publicity, and when that flew about as well as a lead balloon, she upped the ante next book...

... Then she kills just about everyone in the last book...

... Freaking hate Rowling...
Sep. 22nd, 2008 01:23 pm (UTC)
I'd have disagreed, but I think she delighted in the whole "who's going to die in the next book" phenomenon as much as any of the fans did... even considering that everyone knew who it would be before each book came out. Killing main characters is fine - I'd argue that without it, there's no suspense - but for Pete's sake, don't make it the entire focus of the story, and don't play the "I wonder who's going to die this time" game!

I'm actually considering doing a reduction of the seventh book before the sixth movie comes out, and saving the sixth for later. There are just some things in the seventh book that really, really need to be poked full of holes.

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Yes, I'm THAT Nidoking. Sometimes I write fanfiction... often I waste all my time playing video games and watching anime. But it's not a waste if I enjoy it, right? I can quote from a movie, video game, anime series, or British comedy apropos of just about any situation, and one of my main goals in life is to entertain people. (The other big one is amassing as much anime and manga as I can... see below for a progress report.) That's me in a nutshell. ("Help! I'm trapped in a nutshell! What a bloody great nutshell this is!")
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