Chapter Thirteen: Nicolas Flamel
Better Title: Americans Are Real Good At Smarts
Harry remembers why the name Nicolas Flamel is vaguely familiar—he read it on the back of Dumbledore's wizard card. The mysterious man is briefly mentioned as being Dumbledore's alchemy partner, and from there, the Potter kids quickly learn that Flamel is the only person who has made a sorcerer's stone, and this stone is hidden in the door under the three-headed dog.
Or is it a philosopher's stone?
The true British text uses the term Philosopher's Stone, so that is obviously the most correct. When the book was translated into American Word Talkin', "philosopher" was changed to "sorcerer," because we Americans are dumb and cannot handle the truth. This wasn't Ms. Rowling's doing; a bunch of very wise business people decided to make the change—perhaps the same people who financed Transformers 2 and invented headaches.
Our version of the book also features a larger font and fewer adjectives. Every third word is "totally." And there are several activity pages throughout the book, featuring fun mazes and connect-the-dot puzzles to help entertain our poor, hyper minds. There is also a random car chase in the middle of the book, and a new character—the 18-year-old sex-ed up party girl named Whorey Anne who, for some reason, can only perform magic while bending over in a bikini. (And she loves to party.)
The book also comes with a Black Eyed Peas CD and a photo of the American flag. The book's full title is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: Presented by Geico. And the back cover is one big coupon for 75 cents off a Butterfinger. Also, Hermione's name is accompanied by a trademark symbol each and every time it's used.
I should be reading the real version of the book, but I live in America. Well, technically, I live beneath America in my own underground country, which I call Pennsylvania 2: Basement Municipality, but I am still a consumer of American products, which means I'm stuck with the dumbed-down version of the book. I can only imagine what other tidbits have been changed to help the stupid American readers understand the plot.
Perhaps the British version features a complex subplot about the Vietnam war, or deals honestly with the subjects of race and sex. I'll never know. What I do know is that because Quidditch sounds a tad risqué, the sport has been changed in America to Broom Event. And Harry's parents don't really die in our version, but were taken by Voldemort to a nice happy farm in the country where they live out the rest of their lives peacefully. And for some reason, Harry keeps talking about the delicious new taste of Diet Dr. Pepper.
And does the British version come with a reading helmet, too? You can never be too safe, people. Always wear your reading helmet and word smock.
So to those who told me I am using the bad version of the book, you're correct. I'm sorry. But please stop yelling, because my favorite Black Eyed Peas song is playing and I'm about to enjoy a Butterfinger while playing beach volleyball and reading words that are easy and short. USA!
The Philosphicerer's stone can make things live forever and turn things into gold. I like that it can do two very distinct things: grant immortality, and also turn things into a specific element. It's like having a garden hose that's also a radio. (An invention I'm trying to patent called a "radi-ho.")
I wonder if there's a switch on the stone that lets you choose which function you want to use. If not, thing could turn tragic when you're trying to cure your sick grandma and she suddenly turns into gold. Or it could be disappointing when you're trying to turn your annoying grandma into gold, and instead she ends up living forever.
This chapter also features another Quidditch game. This time, the evil—but not really THAT evil—Snape is refereeing, causing a lot of drama and panic amongst the Potter kids. By the way, refereeing is a word that never looks right to me, just like vacuum, pi, and Wyoming.
Harry catches the Snitch easily, and Gryffindor wins a lot of House Points. Of course, in the American version of the book, every House is awarded the same number of House Points, because it's just the fair thing to do. Everyone wins. Also, Snape's first name is Mike.
Deleted (American) Scene
HARRY: Hey! Mike Snape is up to something. We should investigate.
HERMIONE: We should drink these delicious energy potions to give us the speed and wakefulness we need to stop Snape's evil plan.
RON: These drinks are good. Where are they available?
HERMIONE: You can find them in most stores, or check out their websit,e www.EnergyBlastDrinkTurbo2000.com.
HARRY: I heard that you can play fun interactive games on their website. Is that true?
HERMIONE: Yes, it is.
WHOREY ANNE: Dare me to mouth kiss Filch? Because I already did it. I'm flirty!
HARRY: Instead of having a conflict, maybe we should just have a dance party.
MALFOY: Harry, I just found a secret prophecy in the dungeon.
HARRY: What does it say?
MALFOY: It says we should all be friends, because friends make life grand!
DUMBLEDORE: For being able to breathe air, I award everyone in school six thousand points and a trophy!
SNAPE: Surf's up!
HARRY: And now I'll use magic to make the world better. Magic magicy magic!
HERMIONE: And I'll use the spell of enchantment to help you. Magic magic magic magic! Maaaagic! Magic!
RON: Magic magic! There. I just said the spell that will make brownies!
HARRY: Magic Magic Double Magic! That's the spell to give everyone skateboards!
Chapter Fourteen: Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback
Better Title: I'd Still Rather Have a Jetpack
We need a collective name for Harry, Hermione, and Ron. Ideas? I'll try a few out during this blog. While the Potter Adventure Squad continues to investigate Snape and the hidden door beneath the giant three-headed dog, Hermione is concerned with the upcoming final exams. She's bookish, you know.
While studying in the library, the Potter Conclave of Mystery find Hagrid looking nervously through books about dragons. He hurries off, but the Potter Wonder Committee of Excitement later learns that Hagrid is now the proud owner of an illegal dragon egg.
I'm a nerd. I enjoy laser guns, rocket ships, magic spells, robots, and time travel. But growing up, dragons never appealed to me. Ask ten-year-old Dan if he'd rather ride a dragon or a jetpack, and he would first ask you to play Nintendo (Lil' Dan was very trustful of strangers and desperate for Nintendo friends), but then he'd tell you that jetpacks are like dragons, but better. And then he'd try to ride his bike fast enough to travel on top of the ocean, because Lil' Dan had big ideas and a gutsy attitude.
Over the years my appreciation for dragon culture has grown, and they have finally cracked my top ten list of magical modes of transportation:
2. Hover Board
3. Calvin's Wagon
4. Magic Carpet
5. Magic Carpet That Can Talk And Give Sassy Comebacks
6. Magic Broom
7. Winged Tiger
8. Bruno, That Guy Who Carries Oscar the Grouch
10. Springy Shoes That Turn Into Skis At the Touch of a Button
The Potter Friendship Commission meets up with Hagrid in his hut, and they discuss the dangers of dragons, and Snape's involvement with the secret door. Hagrid is still unwilling to offer up much useful information, but Harry, Ron, and Hermione (a.k.a Shark Force Omega) continue to press him.
After the talk with Hagrid, The Harry and Hermione Experience (feat. Ron) feels safe knowing that Snape can't get to the magical stone without first getting to Hagrid. Soon after, the dragon egg hatches, and the Potter Brigade of Truth rushes to Hagrid's hut to see the baby dragon named Norbert. There's oohing and aahhing, but villainous Malfoy was spying on them the whole time! He could rat them out and get them all in trouble! Sorry for shouting.
But Malfoy bides his time, letting the Potter Syndicate worry about how and when he will blackmail them. The Triad of Justice convince Hagrid that the best thing to do is ship the dragon off to Ron's brother Charlie in Romania. Charlie works with dragons and will be able to release the feisty Norbert safely into the wild.
A plan is set to sneak the dragon up to the top of the castle, where Charlie's friends will swoop down and pick it up without drawing much attention. Using Harry's Invisibility Cloak, Harry and Hermione take the dragon to the roof and hand it off. They try to sneak back into their dorm room, but they forgot the Invisibility Cloak on the roof, and are easily caught by Filch. Cue the dramatic music.
Deleted (American) Scene
HARRY: I can't believe the year is almost over.
RON: I know. It feels like just yesterday that we first walked though the doors of Magic School #192.
HARRY: Remember when we ate all those treats onboard the midtown bus to Magic School #192?
RON: I must have eaten so many chocolate squares, and beans that taste like candy.
HARRY: But now we must find out what Mike Snape is doing.
RON: Perhaps we can you use your Jacket of Disguise.
HARRY: Good idea. We can use that to sneak out and find the room with the one-headed dog.
RON: And then we can catch Snape trying to steal the rock of power.
HARRY: Hold on. My owl, Larry Rodgers, just gave me a letter.
RON: What does it say?
HARRY: It says, "We love you very much. Sincerely, Mom and Dad." Ouch!
RON: What is it?
HARRY: My head really hurts. It must be my scar.
RON: It's probably allergies. Here. Take some Claritin.
RON: Be clear, Harry. Be Claritin clear.
Chapter Fifteen: The Forbidden Forest
Better Title: Horse Men!
Because they snuck out, Harry, Hermione, and Neville (who somehow got mixed up in all this) are sentenced to an evening of detention, and 150 points are deducted from Gryffindor. Again, had I been at Hogwarts, I wouldn't give a flying flip about House Points. I would, however, impress my peers with knowledge of science and my ability to distinguish between an isthmus and a canal. (Thanks, high school education! The ability to identify an isthmus has gotten me far!)
The good news is that they spend detention helping Hagrid. The bad news is that Malfoy is also assigned to this rather brutal detention, which lasts an entire evening. Hagrid needs help tracking down a wounded unicorn in the forbidden forest. The forbidden forest? The place where students are not allowed to dwell because it's far too dangerous? That's where you send uncooperative troublemakers? And you send some of the kids out into the woods by themselves?
If you brought a nude magazine into school, Hogwarts would probably punish you by making you work as a camera operator on a porn movie.
Something is killing the unicorns, and Hagrid wants to find out what or who is responsible. He shows them silver unicorn blood splattered on a few leaves in the forest, and tells the kids to follow the trail. What a joke. We all know unicorn blood isn't silver. It's purple and tastes like grape.
As they search, they come across two centaurs. I like the centaurs in this book. They're crazy, and often brutal. I just wish they were less…um…naked, because it's very difficult for a straight guy to tell his friends, "Centaurs are the best" without getting a few odd looks. And calling them "Horsy Fellows" only makes it worse.
Harry and Malfoy eventually find the dead unicorn, and a mysterious figure drinking its blood. Malfoy bolts, but Harry sticks around as the mystery man raises his head. Luckily, the kickass centaur Firenze saves the day and leaps to Harry's rescue. Harry jumps on Firenze's back, and the centaur carries him to safety.
Centaurs don’t make my list of favorite fictional modes of transpiration because A) It's strange to ride a naked person, and B) Centaurs aren't fictitious. They're just very small and well hidden.
The other centaurs aren't too happy with Firenze. Centaurs are not suppose to interfere with humans, and allowing a human to ride you is considered rude. I completely understand. This is why I apologize to my mountain bike, my car, and my stilts before I ride them.
Back in their room, Harry tells Ron what happened, and then notices someone has returned his Invisibility Cloak. I bet $40 it was Flitwick!
Deleted (American) Scene
HARRY: Are you a horsy man?
STEVE: Yes. My name is Steve, the Horsy Man. I saw that the mysterious figure was drinking albino horned horse blood and rescued you.
HARRY: Eww. Horse blood? That's gross.
STEVE: Agreed. I'd much rather have a refreshing Starbucks drink, perhaps one of their new Spring flavors.
HARRY: Where are you from?
STEVE: Me and the other Horsy Men and Horsy Women live here, in the Forest of No-No.
HARRY: I heard there are scary things in the Forest of No-No.
STEVE: Indeed. There are spiders of average size deep in the forest.
HARRY: Why did you rescue me, Steve?
STEVE: I recognized the scar, and knew that you were the one who saved us from the evil power of Nathaniel, the evil dark wizard.
HERMIONE: Don't say his name out loud!
WHOREY ANNE: Hey guys.
NARRATOR: Whorey Anne stood in the forest, wearing tight-fitting shorts with the magical word "Yummers" written on the butt. She was able to conjure a protective shield over her friends by slowly licking an ice cream cone made of magical protective ice cream. Ice cream is a type of frozen dessert. Dessert is a type of food that is sweet and tastes good. Food is like wood but you can eat it. Eat is a verb. Verbs are like nouns, but busier. Hey, aren't you thirsty for some Diet Dr. Pepper?
Do you scorn Dan for his American version of the book?
Related post: Blogging Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: Part 4