Yup you guessed it! The title says it all, doesn’t it? What else could I be pottering around for except for Harry Potter??? Well not exactly among the 7 Rowling books but among the Potter fan fiction. And it is quite fun to read all these stories to pass you time. Most of what I read were short stories but I came across this novel on Goodreads website by Norman Lippert titled, ‘James Potter and The Hall of Elders’ Crossing.’ At first I thought its about Harry’s dad, James but no, its about his son, James’ first year in Hogwarts.
Firstly, anyone can read the book in PDF format on the following website: http://www.speedbumpstudios.com/chapters/JPHEC.pdf
The author obviously makes no money out of this but he himself has written a book called, ‘The Flyover Country’ and has also written books of James’ 2nd and 3rd years at Hogwarts, although I haven’t read them as yet.
The plot concerns James going into the first year of Hogwarts. Initially he is nervous, in general because it is his first year and in particular that he is great Harry Potter’s son and has to live up to that legend. Eventually he does make friends and relaxes a little. The novel touches upon other students as well and the mischief they do. But of course, being Harry’s son, adventure can’t be far behind right? This year at Hogwarts representatives from Alma Aleron and United States Department of Magical Administration are to arrive at Hogwarts. Also, a movement called the ‘Progressive Element’ is spreading among the students that questions the recent history of the whole Battle with Voldemort and the fact that the existence of the magical community has to be kept a secret from the Muggle world. James and his two friends, Ralph and Zane, an American whose father works in England, discover a sinister plot to bring back the most dangerous wizard, Merlin, to this time. And these three are determined and confident to foil this plan. Well, the book is more exciting than it sounds here. It really is.
Being a Harry Potter fan, it was good to read this particular book. ‘James Potter and The Hall of Elders‘ Crossing‘ is definitely not fantastic yet it gives a plausible imaginative story about Harry’s first kid. Reading the novel will stimulate any Potter fan as it takes the reader back to the school, gives tidbits of Harry and gang’s future and everything. Its quite fun to plunge back into that world again and is definitely enjoyable. So ok, Lippert is not a Rowling but his writing is decent, simple and comprehensible and retains the magic of the Potter world. The dash of the American element is well blended in in the book. Certain other imaginative bits like Snape’s portrait and Diggory’s ghost add a touch of nostalgia. The friendship between different houses, James need to become like his father and the slight sketches of the old characters like Harry in the role of the Head of Auror Department, Neville as the Herbology professor and several such more elements show Lippert’s desire to be different while still capturing the charm of the Harry Potter books. In fact, all sort of fan fiction does require neccesarily to hold on to the original books to make a connection with the reader. I remember feeling very happy seeing all the old characters in a new avatar.
However,there were some odd discrepancies which haven’t been explained such as James having subjects like Muggle Studies in his first year itself(which in Rowling’s case is supposed to be studied in the third year) or that different year students are attending the same lecture or that Harry gifting James’ best friend the Potions book that belonged to Snape(Harry couldn’t have got the book back because he left it in the room of requirement and also the things in that room burnt down because of the Fiendfyre set by Crabbe in the 7th book) etc. The whole idea of magic as a science wasn’t too appealing either but those classes of Technomancy were good nonetheless. It just showed(along with the American flavour) that Lippert has the capability to imagine quirky bits while mingling the original ideas from JK Rowling.
In all, its worth a read for sure. Its good to be back in Potter world and ‘James Potter and the Hall of Elders’ Crossing‘ just helps you take the plunge into it! Go for it!