The U-Bend #24: Do Not Collect $200

by Andrew Lee and Robert Lanto

“Oh no, this is too trivial for Aurors, it’ll be the ordinary Magical Law Enforcement Patrol – ah, Harry, this is Perkins.”
-Arthur Weasley (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)

In the criminal justice systems there are two types of crimes by two equally important (yet strange) groups. The crimes committed by Muggles and those committed by wizards. Here are two of those stories.

The Muggles

As everyone knows (or should know) there was an attempted theft of copies of Half-Blood Prince. The story goes that the two men broke into the warehouse, stole two copies and intended to sell them to a tabloid newspaper. It’s a real shame the lengths some people would go just to make a quick dollar. It’s a shame that the two men stole the book and then tried to sell it. It’s a shame that a newspaper reporter tried to buy the book just to get the scoop. The most shameful thing of all was that the whole situation had to turn violent with gunshots being fired. Luckily it was revealed that the gun used was actually an imitation gun. The two men are out on bail right now and one is expected to return to court in a couple of weeks. In the end the reporter did the right thing by not paying for the book, especially when force was used.

The situation has become bad enough that J.K. got a John Doe injunction, which prevents all people named John Doe from reading Half-Blood Prince. Okay, it really prevents any publication of information about Half-Blood Prince unless they get the consent (and if it’s anything like Major League Baseball, it will need to be written) of Bloomsbury Books or J.K. Rowling. So, if we were to say that in Half-Blood Prince that the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher is [THIS PORTION OF THE U-BEND WAS REMOVED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE JOHN DOE INJUNCTION FILED BY J.K. ROWLING AND BLOOMSBURY BOOKS] which is something that no one will have ever expected. But, this also means that we shouldn’t expect any early reviews or new tidbits to come out anytime soon.

The case has been highly publicized in the media because truth is stranger than fiction. Society has gotten used to the idea of copying items to and from the internet; just look at the explosion of Bit Torrent. But this case is special. Since it’s a book, it isn’t easy to post the contents on the internet. And unless one of the thieves had a scanner and a lot of time on their hands, it wasn’t like they were going to share it with everybody for free. But, the strangest thing of all is the fact that they pulled an imitation gun just because the deal wasn’t going their way. For shame.

Personally we find the whole situation disgusting. Imitation guns, money and power all for a book! When people could have been hurt or die just to find out who Harry is snogging now is just plain ridiculous. With John Doe Injunction in place we can hope that this situation will not repeat itself. But, if these are the lengths people are willing to go through for this book, the level of security needed to protect the secrets of book 7 are going to be insane. Human greed is a terrible thing and we hope that justice is served in this case.

The Wizards

How to annoy Muggles. Some wizards live for this. The second war with Voldemort has just begun and J.K. has said that Muggles will notice elements of the war going on around them, but will anyone directly attack them? The best attack we’ve seen (so far) is exploding toilets (setting Ton Tongue Toffee, pig tails and covering up the fact that you are a murderer aside). Not exactly fear inspiring. With all the cool spells and charms shown in the Potterverse, is there nothing that can really mess with a Muggle’s daily life?

This is why we were so glad to see this! So much for exploding toilets, the wizards have struck back with a vengeance! Thanks to Google Satellite Maps we can now see the effects of unplottables being placed in cities. After all, if you were going to mess with Muggles what better way than dropping an unplottable point in the middle of a suburb? Several have been spotted in Los Angeles along with the one that was just shown to you in Florida above. The wizards are out there and placing unplottables in our cities! Look at what they did to New Jersey!

So the challenge is now yours. What is the best wizarding trick you can think of to annoy Muggles? Think about it and then send us an email and we’ll post some of the best ideas in this column in the near future…sometime when we’re reading Half-Blood Prince this July.

Author’s Note: Special thanks to Googlesightseeing, which has the links to the images used in this article.