Sometimes I wonder if my maternal parent is indeed all she claims to be on that account. Could it be, perchance, I was secretly adopted and hail from a genetic line in which the aesthetic principle is celebrated more absolutely? Alas no. The results of the DNA test were pretty clear on that point.
But you will understand my confusion, nay – my utter bafflement at the birthday gift I received from Mumsie last year. I had hoped it would be yet another copy of one of the vibrant tomes by She Who I Am Not Worthy To Name, but instead it was a children’s book – in Latin. When I challenged her choice, suggesting that whilst I was ipso facto her child, I was no longer in childhood, quod erat demonstrandum. But she was not impressed.
“Moons,” she told me, “stop pratting around. Your father paid for you to have an expensive education so use it. Read the book.”
Needless to say ‘Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis’ still sits unread in my writing den where it’s presence is discreetly muted by shadows. However, so I could convince Mummy I had read the blasted thing, I was compelled to procure an English edition.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling.
A boy who is being generously raised by distant relatives, shows extremes of ingratitude and against their wishes takes off for boarding school seduced by the blandishments of those who try to persuade him he is some kind of messiah.
The school, called Hogfarts or something similar, is the educational facility of a secret cult which regards normal people as an inferior breed and calls the ‘muggles’, whilst endeavouring to promote a master race of magic users. Hogfarts uses a hat to choose which house a pupil should be in and the unfortunate child, who is called Harry, is not selected for the superior house and thus has to make do with some rather second-rate companions.
Amongst his adventures, Harry finds a mirror, a dog and a chessboard. He turns out to be quite good at sports, which was not something I had expected as he seemed the geeky sort. He also finds an invisibility cloak but uses it for the most boring things like sneaking around the school. Harry eventually succeeds in stopping a two-faced individual from getting hold of some pebble, but despite his dramatic victory he still finishes the book back where he started.
Two stars for being available in both Latin and English and thus sparing me Mumsie’s scathing vitriol.