Friday, July 15, 2011

J K Rowling and the Resurrection

If you don't enjoy the Harry Potter books, you may want to skip this post because it may not make much sense without the background of J K Rowling's books.

If you do enjoy the Harry Potter books, you'll know the Christian themes of forgiveness and resurrection are worked into the plot of the books. Here is something I intend as fan fiction, a deleted scene if you will, where a Muggle targeted by the death eaters knows he is about to die. Professor Snape has warned him of his fate, but the fellow is facing his death with faith. Which is mostly a way to see some of the Christian themes she's worked into the books.

Snape took a deep breath and cleared his mind. He could not allow his heart to pound, his mind to race. He had taken considerable risk to warn the man of his upcoming death; the fellow's calm was unnerving. "Perhaps I have not made myself clear," Snape said in a tone usually reserved for students who were not paying attention. "They fully intend to kill you tonight." Still, there was no change in the man's untroubled demeanor.

The man looked up at the stars, blinking briefly. "It's not like it's the end. I'm a religious chap, you know. God will see me through."

"You're about to die," Snape enunciated each word carefully. He wondered briefly if fear had robbed the fellow of his senses. If that was the case, he had done all he could.

The man's smile was tinged with sadness as he replied, "Oh, I understood you just fine. I just don't see a way out of it. Not for me." The man fingered a crucifix that he wore on a chain around his neck -- Jesus on the cross, dying. As he showed it to Snape, the potions teacher greeted him with a sneer, but the man persisted.

"Nevermind, for the moment, who you think this is. I have a question for you: Do you know who I say this is?"

"I believe it's something about the fullness of God in bodily form. Nonsense, of course; why exactly would God take bodily form? He did as all 'bodily forms' ultimately do: he died," Snape said, with the impatient air of explaining a simple concept to a thick-skulled student. "Clearly, he was not the Immortal One."

The man continued with a patient smile, overlooking Snape's taunts. "And, when I go to services -- particularly when I take the Supper -- again, nevermind for the moment what you think is happening. Do you know what I think is happening?"

"You believe you are drinking the veritable blood of your savior."

"Exactly!" he exclaimed in delight, undeterred by Snape's exasperated look.

It was too much for Snape, who was accustomed to seeing his overbearingly cynical outlook put the brakes on even the most enthusiastic. "I fail to see how exactly that causes you good cheer. You go to drink a toast to the death of your 'God'?"

"Of course!" he smiled. "Though -- you all say you're wizards. Magic. I had a great aunt who went to Hogwarts, all hush-hush. She told me a thing or two. So -- you do recognize the ritual, right?"

"Naturally," Snape replied with smoldering anger. "A blood-bonding ceremony. Whoever drinks is blood-bonded to the one who has shed their blood. Afterward, their lives are inseparably linked."

"Right you are! But not just their lives -- also their fates." Snape raised an eyebrow, but refused to ask the question. The man again looked at the crucifix. "You do know what we believe happened next, don't you? On the third day?"

"Something about a resurrection, I believe -- which not even the Dark Lord can achieve."

"Well, meaning no disrespect, but your 'Dark Lord' is not exactly the most powerful force in the universe, is he?" The scowl on Snape's face was now truly frightening. "But allow yourself to at least think about it. Imagine the possibility that it did, in fact, happen. That should clear up the part that was puzzling you before." Snape made to interrupt, visibly gathering himself to launch a verbal strike after being accused of being puzzled -- but the man continued, cutting across him, "When you asked why, exactly, God would take bodily form." Snape's eyes narrowed as his boredom and exasperation gathered steam. He had little patience for being questioned about elementary matters of the supernatural by a Muggle -- least of all, by someone who imagined himself possessed of some sort of rare insight.

Snape had always taken a sort of delight in eloquent rudeness, and was preparing to demonstrate. "Your claim that the Lord Almighty would become human precisely so he could die, to join his fate with mortals, is nonsense. Though I should count on someone like you to have a God who is also an utter fool," he said by way of introduction, contentedly preparing remarks aimed at the satisfaction of watching the smile wither from the man's face.

"It's just this: that the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom."

"For some of us, perhaps," Snape muttered under his breath.

"But don't you see what he's done? When we take the cup, we are blood-bonded to the Immortal One. Because he lives, we are forever anchored to life. Foolish and weak to become human and die? -- I'll grant you that. But far wiser than man's wisdom, and far stronger than man's strength."

As with all fan fiction, no profit is being made and all the recognizable parts of the story are the property of the author of the original series. J.K. Rowling owns all things Harry Potter.


Martin LaBar said...

I was a little surprised by this. Snape, after all, was one of the good guys all along.

Sage said...

Pretty good, I liked it. I did find the last book to have much more "spiritual" in it than the others, especially when Harry is killed and goes to Kings Cross Station. I had hoped JK would have brought in a bit more.

For spiritualized fiction, I love LOTR though. Tolkien's Silmarillion was masterful and a capstone to the thought process of LOTR.

@Martin, Snape sold himself out to both sides to keep his love for Harry's mother alive in some way. I think he was too conflicted to be a true good guy.

Weekend Fisher said...

Snape is definitely one of the good guys -- but as a double agent, he can't always get out of participating in the bad things. The books made it sound as if killing Muggles was a recreational sport for Death Eaters. Snape's decency comes in trying to give the man some warning. Under the circumstances, it's all he can do.

That, and nobody does snarky conversations as well as Snape, so there's the other reason for him being the most likely choice for this little fanfic.

Sage - I love LOTR, and enjoy the good Professor's work. But I never really got Silmarillion. It didn't have the same appeal for me as the rest. It sounded like -- well, hope I can explain this -- have you ever read some of the Apocryphal gospels where they sound like they're trying a little too hard to make up foreign names? Kind of like parts of the Book of Mormon sound to me. Anyway, the parts of the Silmarillion that I'd read struck me the same way. Kind of turned me off to it. Have I missed something good?

Sage said...

@Weekend Fisher, I know...Snape is a great character you love to hate for all those books and then get whammied by the truth at the end.

It starts with the marvelous creation account being sung forth and then as creation goes askew by one who didn't want to follow the music, striking out on his own, made chaos. Familiar?

The names are a bit of a mouthfull, but I took the time to look at the language (it's out there as studies/books) that T. created and built the series for us of and it is beautiful. That was years back I studied it and I don't remember squat (who speaks elvish now?).