Friday, July 13, 2007 (GBN News): Given the intense interest in the upcoming Harry Potter book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, GBN News has been able to secure an advance copy, making us the only news organization known to obtain one thus far. The following is a brief rundown of the plot, which surprisingly, revolves around characters familiar to New York City parents. However, readers who do not wish to know any details of the new book before reading it themselves are hereby warned not to read any further.
As Potter fans know, the previous book, “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince”, saw Harry watching in horror as Professor Snape kills the Headmaster of the Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft, Albus Dumbledore. In the new book we learn that in a secret plot engineered by the evil wizard, Lord Voldemort, the New York City Department of Education had taken over Hogwarts months before Dumbledore’s killing. It turns out that Snape was simply carrying out the DOE policy of removing “underperforming headmasters”, after the Hogwarts students showed “insufficient progress” on their “OWL” exams.
Much of the book revolves around the DOE reorganization of Hogwarts after Dumbledore’s departure, and the attempts by Harry, the other students, and the staff to cope with the massive changes. Class sizes rise, and the school’s young wizards and witches spend most of their waking hours in test prep. The DOE bans owls, thereby cutting off any student communication with their parents in an emergency. Worst of all, the entire Quidditch season has to be cancelled because the Quidditch pitch is leased to a consortium of private schools of wizardry and witchcraft, and the Hogwarts students are no longer allowed to use it for their matches. And even if they had a field, there is a shortage of brooms due to transportation cuts by the DOE consultants Alvarez and Marsal.
In the book’s climactic scene, a visit to Hogwarts by Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein so traumatizes the students and staff that they beg for mercy, saying that anything would be better than this, even Voldemort. Harry and his friends finally make a deal with Voldemort: they will not challenge his primacy in the Wizarding world in return for his promise to keep Bloomberg and Klein away from Hogwarts. It is a hard lesson in “the lesser of evils”, and somewhat telling that the students choose Voldemort over Bloomberg and Klein. While the rumors that Harry dies in this book may not be literally true, his interest in education and his thirst for knowledge die a painful death at the hands of the DOE.