Harry Potter was an instant hit, but it also caused a wave of concern in some Christian communities, as some groups feared that the novels would lead their children into witchcraft. In a fanfic that’s going viral, one author claims she’s trying to fix that.
Grace Ann, the author of a Harry Potter story on a fanfiction site, says that she is a Christian mother who was afraid the Harry Potter series would turn her kids into witches. Her solution, she says, was to rewrite the series in a Christian way. In an elaborate piece of satire, Harry’s aunt and uncle are turned into evil evolutionists, and young Potter, a wide-eyed obedient boy, says the sinner’s prayer and is whisked off by the very manly Hagrid to Hogwarts School of Prayer and Miracles.
“Tell me how to get to this heaven place!” Harry cried wistfully, clasping his hands together. Sometimes, the wisdom of little ones is really amazing. We think we grownups know it all; but then God speaks through the mouths of little ones; and shows us how we are all mortals struggling along the path of life. Humility.
“All you have to do is be saved. Do you want to be saved?”
“I do, I do!” Harry squealed, jumping up and down.
“Then pray the sinner’s prayer!”
Aunt Petunia tried to stop him; but she was powerless against Harry’s pure, innocent, holy energy. Soon, Harry had said the prayer. Hagrid beamed happily.
“You’re a Christian now, Harry!” Hagrid cried proudly.
Another segment shows how Harry gets to Hogwarts. It doesn’t involve broomsticks or floo powder.
“How will we get to this school, Hagrid?” Harry queried curiously.
“We will pray,” Hagrid retorted knowledgeably.
“How do we do that?” Harry solicited inquisitively.
“Watch,” Hagrid said; and then got down on his knees on the road. He motioned for Harry to get down on his knees too. Hagrid raised his hands to the heavens; and cried out in a deep, thunderous voice, “Dear Lord, take us to Hogwarts!”
Harry felt himself being whisked away; and in a moment, he was sitting in the cool, damp grass outside a humongous, beautiful castle. He looked in awe at the tall towers and the gray stones. What a beautiful place!
The fanfic author has produced six chapters of the story so far. It’s perfect timing for the story to go viral, too, with Daniel Radcliffe (who portrayed Harry Potter in the movies) playing the devil in a movie that will be released on Halloween.
Some have expressed that the author should be sued for copyright infringement, but First Amendment Center notes that parody and satire have wide protections. There have been cases of successful copyright suits against satirists, but the Fair Use Doctrine explains that some factors that are considered are damage to the original work, and the potential for the satirist to profit.
It’s clear that Grace Ann isn’t trying to affect sales of Harry Potter, only to express an opinion about how some people reacted to the series. Do you think the Harry Potter parody is a copyright infringement, a good joke, or poor taste?