Fantasy and magical realism have long been a genre I feel at home in but I am not personally into sparkly vampires. I love wonderous creatures and secret realms a breath away from the mundane. The reader can both escape the ‘real world’ and question daily realities, observing the familiar from new perspectives. The pages of my favourite novels have taken me on uncharted journeys with people we all feel we know. Many authors of this genre appear to have experienced much while refusing to completely grow up. This is a state of mind and sense of purpose I relate to. Fantasy is a genre open to a lot of great fan fiction. Many fantasty writers today have even cut their teeth this way, from Paul Cornell to Sarah Rees Brennam; Whovians, Sherlockians and Hogwarts Alumni abound in both popular fiction and quietly industrious imaginations.
The Harry Potter books and films, and more lately the first of the Fantastic Beasts series, have long since become one place of comfort and return to that belief in each of our abilities to affect the world around us. (Though issues around JK Rowling’s thoughts regarding the rights of trans women have cast a shadow over this). I reached a point where I needed a new adventure in Potterverse but there was a long wait ahead for the author to work her spell. Meanwhile, stories and, even more persistently, characters started taking shape in my head and my fingers itched to give them a voice. I realized I had time and imagination. The Potterverse is so detailed and vivid we feel we can inhabit it. My unexpected foray into fan fiction had begun.
This fantastical journey began in a less fantastic way. The project started in part as an exercise to get my ability to type and speak back, after a time when I’d not been able to speak or write much. (It’s a neurological thing. I have complex disabilities and chronic conditions.) Soon the characters were speaking for themselves and taking me on their adventures. They are always impatient with me, pushing me to catch up with them when I have to rest and when I cannot take that next step. Weaving words, whether into stories, poems or political rants, has always transported me, including after I lost the ability to walk unaided. String the right sentences together and you can go just about anywhere without the need to use your legs. The same is true for reading; there are old bookshops and libraries I would happily live in for weeks if I could. It’s my hope that the words I write can help transport others too.
The story had to involve trains and travel. I believe JK first ‘met’ Harry on a train. Like others in my family, I’ve always loved the adventure and romance of rail journeys, from (supposedly) zippy intercities to old steam engines. I was fortunate and blessed enough to see a bit of the world when I was a bit younger and have worked and lived in international communities as well as those close to home. All this influences my story. Please see my disclaimer, regarding ownership of the material. Rowling’s penmanship crafted the world my characters live within. I’ve added my own voice and the characters that came to me have added theirs. Different adult personalities inhabit the same magical world in another era. Real (muggle) history is referenced from a year that, at time of writing, had not been part of the known stories from the world of Harry Potter. 1919 seemed a complex, hopeful, confusing, dangerous, epoch-shifting time, according to the history books, which are adjectives we could also use for today’s world.
I write from an adult(ish) perspective, so the story may not be suitable for much younger readers and is aimed at teens, young adults and older adults like myself whose inner child is very much alive and kicking.
The illustrations, believe it or not, were created using Publisher. I don’t have posh photo editing and digital art apps. I created them myself, both to go with the book and for a separate Ravenclaw gallery and story section.
Recently I decided to share what I’ve written. As it is a piece of fan fiction, I seek no commercial benefit. I will also be encouraging readers to donate whatever they can to Rowling’s charity Lumos or to other charities dealing with hunger, homelessness human and animal welfare and disability. Check out the Lumos Links page for ideas or chose your own. There is also a section linking to other (non-fanfiction) writing I do. If you like my work please consider giving what you think it is worth to one of these organizations. Alternatively, give a few hours of your time to a local foodbank or shelter, some clothes or toys in that are still in good condition to a favourite charity shop or old blankets to a local dog’s home. This is my way of giving. To quote Dumbledore:
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” JK Rowling, from Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
***DISCLAIMER: Please note that this is a FANFICTION. JK Rowling and her associates own everything concerning The Harry Potter & Fantastical Beasts franchises. This fan fiction does have original characters and real historical references, but they and the plot are set within a world of another’s skilled creation. This fanfiction is not for profit. This fanfiction is for entertainment purposes only with entirely optional donations to charities (totally unconnected to the fan fiction author) encouraged. Antonia Sara Zenkevitch as the author of this fanfiction work does not claim ownership over any of the ideas she has adopted from the magical world of JK Rowling, only for the new characters she has created. This is a piece of fan fiction that is not a part of the original authentic series. This work has many influences, but began as an inspiration born of the books, films, and plays of the original franchise. ***