Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone... if it was set in Ireland
It's the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone!
Everyone's favourite bespectacled orphan wizard leapt off the page and into our hearts exactly two decades ago today, and here at JOE we've chosen to celebrate the occasion by imagining just how the first Harry Potter book would have gone down had it taken place in Ireland.
Set aside a few moments of your day, suspend disbelief and let us take you on a journey...
Harry Potter and the Sam Maguire
[HAGRID HAS JUST BURST INTO THE DURSLEY’S HIDEAWAY TO TELL HARRY THAT HE’S A WIZARD.]
HARRY: I’m a what?
HAGRID: You’re a wizard, Harry, and it’s time for you to come and pursue your magical education in the land of Ireland… Now let’s go and get you baptised!
HAGRID: That’s right, baptised. Hogwarts has been owned by the Christian Brothers for at least 200 years now, and what they say goes. On your bike.
HARRY: Can't be any worse than the Roald Dahl situation I've got going on with these people. Let's go.
[WALKING AROUND DUBLIN, BUYING SUPPLIES FOR HARRY’S FIRST YEAR AT HOGWARTS.]
HAGRID: ... so things went downhill after the government bailed out Gringotts back in 2008. A lot of people say the boom is back but… I don’t believe it. I think recession is out there, biding its time, waiting for another property bubble…
HARRY: That’s all very interesting Hagrid, but I would quite like to know a bit about my own past. Like how I ended up with this scar.
HAGRID: Well the one who gave you that scar… It was… Well, it was your man.
HAGRID: Sure you know yourself.
HARRY: I really don’t, you need to actually tell me his name—
HAGRID: I don’t even like to say his name… Voldemort. He was in Hogwarts the same time as me. A real bollocks. He came to get revenge on your father one night and well... he and your mother, they protected you, Harry. They saved you. But Voldemort still managed to give you that scar. The bollocks.
HARRY: Revenge? Revenge for what?
HAGRID: I shouldn't have said anything, you're too young for all that carry-on. Now let's finish getting your things so we can send you off to Hogwarts.
HARRY: How do I actually get to Hogwarts, Hagrid?
HAGRID: Well, usually you’d be getting the Hogwarts Express from Heuston Station but the train drivers are on strike. Dublin Bus appears to be on strike as well, and the Luas drivers are... yeah, they're on strike... and Busaras got rid of their route, so you’re probably as well asking if there’s any lifts going.
RON: I’m sorry, did you say you’re trying to get to Hogwarts? My family’s driving down, you can cadge a lift with us, as long as you don’t mind sitting on Fred’s lap.
FRED: I’m not Fred, he’s Fred!
GEORGE: You call yourself our brother.
RON: Sorry lads.
FRED: Only joking, I am Fre—
HARRY: Sorry, can we get on with it, please? I’ve just left a city with a fully-functioning and comprehensive underground public transport system to come to this kip to be a wizard so if we could get a move on that would be fantastic.
— JOE.ie (@JOEdotie) June 26, 2017
[THE GREAT HALL. STUDENTS ARE MILLING ABOUT, GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER, CLASSIC FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL BEHAVIOUR.]
MALFOY: Red hair, and a hand-me-down robe? You must be a Weasley.
RON: How can you possibly tell, Malfoy? This is Ireland. Half the school is wearing second-hand shite and at least 80% of them are ginger.
MALFOY: Yeah well, you’re especially bad.
HERMIONE: Quiet both of you, we’re going to be sorted into our houses soon! Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin. I hope I’m not in Hufflepuff…
HARRY: What’s so bad about Hufflepuff?
HERMIONE: Eh, nothing especially. They’re just a bit… You know, they’re kind of like the Leitrim of Hogwarts houses.
RON: Wow, here comes the principal! They say he’s the most powerful wizard in all of Ireland…
HARRY: Albus Dumbledore?
RON: No, don’t be ridiculous. It’s Wes Hoolahan! He’s got more technical ability in his baby-toe than Albus Dumbledore has in his whole body. He put in the cross for Robbie Brady’s winner against Italy in 2016, and scored the opener against Sweden to boot.
HARRY: He’s… a football player then?
RON: “A football player,” he says! Wes is a proper street baller. He should be the first name on the teamsheet every time, but the Ministry of Magic have a problem with him. He’s too technical. They act like they leave him on the bench because of his age, but he’s out there doing tricks for Norwich week-in, week-out.
HARRY: So does the school have a soccer team?
RON: Nah mate, Quidditch only. Playing anything else could get you excommunicated. Rule 27: no foreign games.
[POTIONS CLASS. SNAPE ENTERS.]
SNAPE: I see we’re joined today by our new celebrity: Mr. Potter. Tell me, young man, what basic ingredients are needed for a simple curative potion.
HARRY: Is it wolfsbane and dragon’s—
SNAPE: No. My, my Mr. Potter… It appears fame isn’t everything… and that you are… a fuckin’ eejit. The answer is of course… flat 7Up. And can you tell me what a wizard might use if they don’t have access to 7Up?
HERMIONE: Lucozade! The original flavour!
SNAPE: That’s right, Ms. Granger, or possibly Calpol. Do you even know what Calpol is, Mr. Potter?
HARRY: No, Professor.
SNAPE: And what about a magic sponge? Do you know what liquid is applied to a magic sponge in order to cure any bone or muscle injury, Mr. Potter?
HARRY: I don't know.
SNAPE: Just as I thought. It's water. Preferably from one of those blue and yellow Lucozade Sport bottles that everyone in the country has. You fuckin' eejit.
[DEFENCE AGAINST THE DARK ARTS CLASS.]
QUIRRELL: Today, children, we’ll be discussing the most powerful curse known to man. Who can tell me what that is?
HARRY: Is it the Cruciatus curse?
QUIRRELL: A good guess, Mr. Potter, but I’m afraid not.
HERMIONE: The killing curse?
QUIRRELL: Close, but not quite. Mr. Weasley, would you like to venture a guess?
RON: Is it the curse of ’51?
QUIRRELL: That’s right. The most powerful curse ever visited upon our country. It is said that in 1951, as the Mayo quidditch team made its way back west from Dublin that they passed a funeral without stopping to pay their respects…
HARRY: My dad played quidditch for Mayo!
QUIRRELL: That’s right. It just so happens that the fella being buried was mates with Voldemort. As you can imagine, that scary bastard didn’t take that sort of behaviour too kindly, so he cursed them and now they can never win the All-Ireland again.
HARRY: I’m sorry, Professor. Did you say… Voldemort? The man who killed my father?
QUIRRELL: Yes, the very same. I suppose that’s worse, in a way. Worse than not winning in quidditch, I mean.
HARRY: Where can I find him? It seems like me and him have a few things to straighten out…
QUIRRELL: Do not seek out the Dark Lord, Mr. Potter, for he is more powerful than you know, and capable of great things. Terrible, but great. And perhaps, he’ll find you sooner than you can find him.
HARRY: I feel like I’m the last person you should be saying that shit to really.
[HARRY AND RON ARE SAT IN FRONT OF THE MIRROR OF ERISED]
RON: How did you find this, Harry?
HARRY: I just ended up here one night while wandering beneath my cloak of invisibility. Headmaster Street Baller Wes told me that it shows the deepest desires of whoever’s looking into it.
RON: Wow! What did Lionel Wessi see in it?
HARRY: He told me “a starting XI role for the rest of the qualifiers… ahead of that Glenn Whelan muppet,” whatever that means. I see me and my parents… I’ve defeated Voldemort, and I’m lifting the Sam Maguire high, in my Mayo jersey. Everyone is cheering. What do you see, Ron?
RON, looking at a vision of himself shifting Hermione at Wezz: Yeah. Yeah, something similar to that.
[ALL OF A SUDDEN, A LOUD BANG, AND VOLDEMORT APPEARS BEHIND HARRY AND RON.]
VOLDEMORT: You think you can defeat me, Mr. Potter? I’m the most powerful wizard in Ireland. I’m the one who came up with the idea of water charges. I’m the one who rang Garth Brooks and told him he should do five gigs in Croke Park or nothing at all. I’m the one who makes sure The Late Late Show only ever books guests who are actually already employed by RTÉ in some other capacity. And as for the whole Saipan thing, well let me tell you—
RON: Please, we’ve heard enough!
HARRY: Listen Voldemort, I don’t know what happened to make you this way—
VOLDEMORT: That Thierry Henry handball thing was me as well, actually, now that I think of it.
RON: And the recession?
VOLDEMORT: No, that was primarily Fianna Fáil, in fairness. Schillaci though, that was all me.
HARRY: Well you don’t fool me, Voldemort, I believe that there’s good in you still, and I’m going to defeat you by bringing it out.
[HARRY TAKES A STEP TO THE RIGHT, LEAVING VOLDEMORT STARING DIRECTLY INTO THE MIRROR OF ERISED. ALL OF A SUDDEN, NATHAN CARTER’S “WAGON WHEEL” BEGINS TO BLARE.]
RON: Where is that coming from?
HARRY: It’s coming from the mirror…
VOLDEMORT: Yes, it’s playing Nathan Carter’s “Wagon Wheel!” Objectively the greatest song released since 2012. I can see myself in the front row of his concert. He asks me up on stage to sing it with him…
RON: That can’t be all you want.
VOLDEMORT: What makes you say that?
RON: It would be remarkably easy to make that happen. The guy tours hotels, for Christ’s sake. It would be harder not to meet him.
HARRY: Irish people are statistically more likely to see Nathan Carter live in concert at some point in their life than they are to get married. It’s like meeting Marty Morrissey, it just kind of happens automatically.
VOLDEMORT: Is that true?
RON: I went to one by accident. I was just trying to have dinner in a restaurant in Fermanagh and all of a sudden there he was, banging out "Wagon Wheel."
VOLDEMORT: Do you think… do you think we could go see him some time?
HARRY: Absolutely. As long as you relax and stop causing all of these problems.
VOLDEMORT: Consider it done.
RON: There’s only one way to celebrate. A big huge fucking bag of butterbeers with the lads.
VOLDEMORT: Can we stall it to Coppers afterwards? I hear they play Wagon Wheel every night.
RON: You better believe it.
HARRY: So does this mean Mayo will win Sam this year?
VOLDEMORT: I’m a wizard mate, not a miracle worker.