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In 2007, author J.K. Rowling released the final book in the beloved seven-part Harry Potter series. Since then we have seen some other stories set in the same world, but there are no plans for an eighth novel. This may disappoint some fans, but the good news is that a company has used predictive keyboards to write a chapter of a new Harry Potter book that is more insane and hilarious than anything Rowling could have come up with.
The company Botnik Studios - which identifies itself on Twitter as a "Human-machine creative force" - has provided some rather interesting reading material for the holiday season, none of it written by an actual human. Instead, the text, titled Harry Potter And the Portrait Of What Looked Like A Large Pile Of Ash, was written by a computer with knowledge of all seven of J.K. Rowling's Potter books. The result features characters like Harry, Ron, and Hermione, but is considerably more ridiculous than anything from the real novels. Here is a passage as an example:
Leathery sheets of rain lashed at Harry's ghost as he walked across the grounds toward the castle. Ron was standing there and doing a kind of frenzied tap dance. He saw Harry and immediately began to eat Hermione's family.
That probably sounds utterly ridiculous, but I promise you that the text only gets more insane from there. It doesn't all track logically, but there is a showdown with Voldemort involved after the main trio decides to spy on what is a shockingly polite meeting between Death Eaters. Harry takes on the wizard who shall not be named, but his defense against the dark arts is a bit different than fans will remember:
Harry could tell that Voldemort was standing right behind him. He felt a great overreaction. Harry tore his eyes from his head and threw them into the forest. Voldemort raised his eyebrows at Harry, who could not see anything at the moment.
The whole thing is truly a magnificent read, even if you're only vaguely aware of what Harry Potter is or who the characters are. It's only a little over three pages long, and can be read on Botnik's official website. Fair warning: you're probably not going to want to read it while you're at work, because it probably will cause you to laugh hysterically, and that will probably draw some strange attention from your co-workers.
We can only hope that this isn't the only version of Harry Potter And the Portrait Of What Looked Like A Large Pile Of Ash that we're ever going to see. It would probably take a good amount of money to put together, but it would be insanely wonderful to see Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint reunite for a special adaptation of this story. It will probably never happen, but a guy can dream, right?