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How we think the fight will go
How Brent Weeks, creator of Kylar Stern, thinks the match will go:
[With many, many sincere apologies to J.K. Rowling, whom I admire greatly.]
“So, Harry Potter, we meet at last,” Kylar Stern says, coming to stand in front of the booth at The Three Broomsticks.
“Sorry, who are you?” Harry asks.
Kylar winces. “Going right for the gut, huh?”
“Teasing, teasing,’” Harry says. “Hermione told me about the whole thing. Pub Match instead of a Cage Match. Sounded awesome but that was, um, yesterday, so I’m afraid I don’t remember all the ground rules exactly. How about you give me a refresher, and the Butterbeer™ is on me.”
“Butterbeer™?” Kylar asks, taking a seat. He waves to the burly server, who has an eye that rolls around freely in his head, seeming to see everything.
“It was a generic, but we figured, hey, why not trademark that sucker and collect royalties? We’re rolling the official brand out in twelve countries this week. We had to put down the lawsuit from Madame Rosmerta, so I always check for spells and poisons in mine here, but Mad Eye keeps an eye on things for me.”
So much for trying poison then, Kylar thinks. “You’ve come a long way from the cute little kid with glasses, haven’t you?” Kylar asks. And indeed, it’s true. Harry Potter is about twenty-five years. He’s clearly been working out, and while his hair is still unruly, now it seems to be unruly with the help of hair gel. His hair parts neatly and permanently around his trademark lightning bolt scar, and his teeth are the white that only veneers can bestow. And tellingly, he’s not wearing glasses any more. “I just can’t believe you got rid of the glasses,” Kylar says.
“Yeah, plain old muggle contacts. You’d think with all the runs-ins with Voldemort and Bellatrix and the gang that it might have occurred to one of us that glasses fall off.” He shrugs. “It’s hard to get good help these days. So, pub match? Is this tiddlywinks or quarters, or what?”
“Tiddlywinks?” Kylar asks.
“I learned it at Gringotts. You know, you get a coin and you take another coin and… oh never mind.”
It’s all about the coins with this guy.
“Hermione and I still had some disagreements. She won on placing it in your universe. I won on not letting you be ten years old. Can’t kill a ten year old,” Kylar says.
“Oh, this is a fight to the death?” Harry asks. “I should have thought I’d recall that!”
“No, no, no. Pub Match. Hermione thought it would be fun to make a chart of our powers and experiences.”
“A chart? Oh goodness, that does sound like Hermione.”
“Each time the other guy gets a check mark on the spreadsheet, you have to drink.”
“A drinking game? We’re keeping this quiet, right? I mean, I’ve already been banned enough places!”
“It’ll be our little secret,” Kylar says. “Besides, parody is protected speech. So just to start, we agreed that we should only compare conflicts that the two of us went through in our books. We aren’t comparing fans or something lame like that,” Kylar says. It feels strangely dirty to lie to Harry Potter, like you’re taking your own childhood and showing it shocking pictures off the Internet.
“No, no, no. That’s a terrible deal. We can’t take all of that out of the equation! I’ve got eight movies. Eight! That’s more movies than books! Who has more movies than books?”
“To be fair,” Kylar says, “Twilight—”
“Twilight?! Twilight?! How dare you, sir? Have you, at last, lost all sense of decency?”
“And how many movies do you have?” Harry demands.
“I’m young!” Kylar says. It’s weak, and he knows it.
“I’ve got a theme park!”
“I’ll admit that’s pretty awe—”
“A theme park, bitch!”
Kylar grumbles. “Look, let’s say on extra-fictional factors, you win. Fans, money, copies, theme parks, movies. Ya got me. Even though I still think it’s kind of lame to compare fan response—yeah, fine. Let’s give you a point for all that.”
“One?” Harry asks.
“Harry, you’re a nice kid, but I think we know what would happen if we had an actual fight to the death. You have wondrous adventures with your friends; I kill people. One point.”
Harry smiles. He really is quite handsome these days. Almost as good looking as Neville turned out. “Fine. One.”
Whew. Kylar’s got a chance now. He tilts back the Butterbeer, mentally not adding a ™ to it.
Harry draws his wand. Kylar flinches. A black, irisdescent metallic substance seeps out of his palm, forming a mesmerizing black ball in his hand. He squeezes it, and in an instant more, the ka’kari has elongated into a black wand.
“Easy there, Mr. Nameless,” Harry says. “I wouldn’t attack you unprovoked. You’re not the only one with a moral code, you know.” He draws the wand through the air and an owl sweeps into the room on silent wings and drops a roll of papers on the table. Harry smoothes them out. It’s the chart Hermione made.
“Extra-novelistical activities” has a single point ticked off in Harry’s favor. A little note is attached, “’Harry, make sure you get at least four points for all your extra-novelistical activities. Seriously, you have a theme park!’”
Harry Potter sighs. “Oh, now I remember, she said to make sure I get this paper before we start.” He grimaces. “My best power has always been my friends, hasn’t it?”
“That’s line two,” Kylar says.
“Oh, yeah, look at this: I’m friends with the smartest wizard of all time: Hermione Granger. Hey, who wrote this? Meh, I guess it is true. You?”
“Ezra the Mad. Close personal friend.” Kylar keeps a straight face. There are advantages to the other guy not having read your books.
“Mad Moody was your friend,” Kylar points out.
“True. I also had a winner of the Tri-Wizard Cup as a close friend.”
“The guy who became a shiny vampire?”
“No, no, no, you can’t hold that against me!” Harry says. Kylar isn’t the only one who wants things both ways.
“Can I hold being naked and enamored with horses against you?” Kylar asks.
“That was a youthful indiscretion. He was a young actor looking for street cred.”
“Nothing says street cred like getting naked with horses,” Kylar says flatly.
“Let’s give us both a point for the friends and move on,” Harry says quickly.
Kylar lets it go. He thinks the quality of his friends is pretty good, but Potter definitely has the edge on the numbers. They both drink.
Madame Rosmerta brings another round. Harry grins at her, but she gives him an icy glare, instead smiling nicely at Kylar.
“I had a bad ass mentor,” Harry says. “Dumbledore? Tell me you have anything close to him!”
Kylar raises an eyebrow.
“Oh, Durzo Blint. That’s… yeah, I have heard of him. One point each.”
Kylar orders another round, this time of Firewhiskey. It arrives in little Firewhiskey™ shot glasses.
“Orphaned. Rough childhood,” Harry says.
“What?!” Kylar explodes. “Hermione changed it to ‘rough childhood’? We agreed on ‘grew up on the streets’! I should totally have gotten the point on that!”
“I can only go by what’s on the scroll,” Harry says.
They both throw back their Firewhiskey™.
“Invisibility,” Harry says.
“Gotcha on that one,” Kylar says.
“No no no. I’ve got that old invisibility cloak!” Harry says.
“Weak, Harry. It doesn’t even work against powerful wizards.”
Harry shrugs. Kylar sighs. They both drink.
“I’ve got a map!” Kylar says.
“I’ve got whimsically illustrated chapter headers,” Harry says.
“Drat.” They both drink.
“A near drowning,” Harry says. “Mine at the hands of mer-people.” He’s sweating and red-faced from the alcohol.
“I almost drowned too, under the stacks saving a friend.”
“Ah, you saved a friend, too?”
“And faced a dragon to do it,” Kylar says.
“That’s three different lines here,” Harry says. “Couldn’t Hermione have made a more compact list?”
They pound three Firewhiskeys™.
“Ah!” Kylar says. “Awkward relationship with a smokin’ hot redhead! I slaughter you on that one. Vi Sovari.”
“Um, Ginny Weasley,” Harry says.
“Ginny Weasley. Against Vi Sovari? You have got to be sh—”
“Dude,” Harry says, “Ginny’s my wife! Don’t do this to me. C’mon.”
“Dealt with the pressures of fame?” Kylar asks, reading the next one. He definitely loses on that one.
“Yeah!” Harry says quickly. “Clearly both of us had to do that!”
“Fair enough,” Kylar says, taking the trade. They drink.
The table is littered with empty shot glasses and mugs of beer. Harry is weaving in his chair a bit. “I’m thinking we might need to wrap this up, Kylio. I’m afraid I’m a bit tipsy.”
“Faced a god,” Kylar says. “And didn’t come out of it too bad.”
Harry purses his lips. “Guess that’s all yours.” He drinks.
“Looks like we just have one left,” Kylar says. “Pretty much came back from the dead. Cheers.” They both drink.
It leaves them tied.
“What do we do now?” Harry asks.
“We go home. Guess it’s up to the fans now,” Kylar says. He swears under his breath. “Well played, Harry Potter.”
“It was always going to come down to the fans,” Harry says. “It always does.”
They stand and brace themselves on each other. “Woo, might need a bit of help,” Kylar says.
“You’re good people, Kylar Stern,” Harry says, a bit glassy-eyed.
They wander out into the night after Harry graciously puts the drinks on his own tab. It’s a snowy night in Hogsmeade. They walk out with their arms on each others’ shoulders, gradually escaping the evil glare of Mad-Eye Moody. Kylar had thought that Mad-Eye Moody [SPOILER], but Harry assures him that in this alternate only-sort-of-Harry-Potter-world, every character can be found, even a few from much less popular fantasy series. He doesn’t seem to realize that’s an insult, so Kylar lets it go.
Kylar also lets go of something in the snowbank as they stumble and slide.
“‘arry,” Kylar says as they walk. “I feel silly doing this, I mean, asking for this, but, man, can I get your autograph?”
“Sure!” Harry says.
They each check their pockets for something to sign, and Kylar finds a bent piece of parchment. “Can you sign it with your wand?”"
“Oh yeah, special wizards’ signature, can’t be faked, and all that,” Harry says. “You muggles gotta get on this.” He draws his wand and zaps his signature onto the parchment. “Oh, hey, I didn’t mean anything by that muggle comment. Are you technically even a muggle anyway?”
“I think while I’m here in your universe I am, but that’s alright. It gives me a little vacation from my own rules. Say, that snatchio thing you do, would you show it to me, or does getting, er, pissed interfere?”
“No, no, I mean, it can interfere, if you lose your concentration, but I’m a pretty advanced wizard these days.”
Kylar says, “Ah, how about this?” He draws a strange, many-barbed weapon from his pack. He throws it into a snow bank ahead of them. “That’s called a ka’kari, show me?”
Harry rolls his shoulders and grins. “Accio, ka’kari!” he says, giving a flick-swish flourish. Nothing happens.
“Cool,” Kylar says.
“Accio, ka’kari!” Harry commands. He’s actually got a pretty awesome wizard voice now, and Kylar think it might have been a good call to avoid a straight-on fight. “ACCIO, KA’KARI!” Harry’s voice shakes the trees, and from the snow bank back at The Three Broomsticks, something flies with astonishing speed. It’s small and black and shaped like a spike, and Harry is turned the opposite way, pointing at the snow in front of him.
The ka’kari stabs straight through Harry’s back, goes all the way through his body, and stops, quivering, at the point of Harry’s wand, exactly where it was called.
Harry drops to his knees, and Kylar takes the ka’kari from him. “Sorry, Harry,” Kylar says. “The moderators told me it really had to be a death match. If it makes you feel better, I’m sure your fans will be outraged. They’ll say you didn’t act like you at all.”
Harry pitches over, and Kylar walks back to The Three Broomsticks. The ka’kari treats alcohol like poison and blocks it, so he’s not even tipsy yet. He’ll get there, though. He’s got some celebrating to do. He checks Harry signature, and unrolls the parchment. It’s a transfer of deed. Kylar now owns his own theme park. And Harry was right. That is pretty awesome.
Predicted Winner: Kylar Stern
NOTE: THIS MATCH ENDS ON THURSDAY, MARCH 15th, 2012, AT 5 PM, EST
Harry Potter is a character from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling; Stern is a character from the Night Angel series by Brent Weeks
Don’t forget–we’re always looking for fans’ depictions of these characters. Check out the details here
Cage Match fans: We are looking forward to hearing your responses! If possible, please abstain from including potential spoilers about the books in your comments (and if you need spoilers to make your case, start your comments with: “SPOILER ALERT!”