Hermione Granger and the Rickly Hallows

Silhouettes of Rick and Morty against a blue starry sky.

Image from reddit. (I would love to credit the original creator – please let me know if that’s you!)

It is exactly page 295 of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The middle of paragraph 5, to be precise. HARRY and HERMIONE are mucking about with her Time-Turner and have just saved the Hippogriff BUCKBEAK from execution.

SCENE: Edge of the Forbidden Forest, dusk. HARRY and HERMIONE are leading BUCKBEAK behind bushes. A sudden burst of light, and a green portal appears behind them on a tree. Through this jump RICK and MORTY. (These are season 1 RICK and MORTYS. RICK hasn’t even slightly mellowed yet, and MORTY is the ultimate wimp who communicates primarily through gibbering and screaming.)

RICK’s momentum crashes him into HARRY, knocking him against a tree, unconscious. BUCKBEAK looks strangely unconcerned and gives MORTY an interested eye. HERMIONE draws her wand.

HERMIONE:
Expelliarmu-!

RICK hits her wand out of her arm firing his blaster at the wand.

RICK:
Ha. Latin, quaint. No match for my blaster though. See, Morty? Science one, magic nil.

MORTY:
RICK! We’ve just arrived and you’re already attacking things! Hermione, are you all right?

HERMIONE:
(On floor, rubbing wrist, but otherwise unhurt)
Yes – who are you and how on earth do you know my name? And what is that wand, or gun?

MORTY:
It’s a, uh, blaster, but we come in peace! We’re just travellers, uh…

RICK:
Travellers from another dimension. Say it, Morty. Don’t beat about the burp-bush, we’re wise travellers from a land of science and technology, just passing through so I can show my grandson why his beloved b-book series is full of crap.

HERMIONE:
What?

RICK:
Well, Morty here has spent all frigging day going on and on about his favourite books and how magic is SO much better than science – when they’re really the same – so I brought him to the one dimension in the multiverse where things just happen to be exactly as they were in his books. Magic, wizards, noseless douchebags all that cr-crap. You’re here, M-Morty, look, it sucks. Sucks balls. Sucks big, hairy, magic crystal balls.

HERMIONE:
I’m a character? Rubbish, I’m a person, I’ve got a life. Parents. Friends. Free will!

RICK:
Yeah. That’s just what you think. Yu-belch-ou’re story characters. Big franchise, films, theme park, books which wise guy here –

Elbows MORTY

RICK (CONT.):
– insists on forcing me to watch and then goes on about the power of wu-love or something. I dunno. Anyway the point is, all this magic is just science in a different word. And it’s not cooler than mine. There, I’ve shown you were wrong, can we go now?

HERMIONE stands thoughtful, processing the information she is suddenly confronted with. Her life a fiction? A lie? Not that she believes anything that readily but these travellers are rather odd.

HERMIONE:
(muttering) I mean, that would explain some wild coincidences and inconsistencies. I have always wondered about how magic actually works – the physics, or something, behind it. Or even… but still… my life, choices… (she tails off, deep in thought.)

MORTY sidles up to her. Eyes wider than dustpan lids, he clearly likes and wants to impress her.

MORTY:
(Gazing fully into her eyes)
Don’t worry about Rick, he’s just a mean old bastard. I know multiverses and alternative realities are a lot to take in, but it’s not important right now.

Camera starts to pan in on his moon-like face.

MORTY (CONT.):
What’s important is that you, and Harry, and Ron never give up against the forces of evil, and believe in your friendship, and love, to the very end. If there’s one thing you taught me it’s that with belief in yourself anything is possible, even when the odds are hugely stacked against you –

RICK interrupts with a crass laugh.

RICK:
Yeah and if the girl in the film is super bangable then that makes up for all this upbeat c- crap anyway.

RICK takes a swig from his hipflask. HERMIONE is sharply pulled out of her thoughtfulness.

HERMIONE:
Wait, I’m thirteen. If I’m a film character in your reality then I’m – I mean, surely the actress is young. You can’t say that about a thirteen-year-old, there’s laws against that.

RICK:
Oh sure, but good luck w-w-belch-wading through all the Potter spunk on the internet. Little Morty here’s expelliarmus-ed his wand to stuff even I can’t stomach.

HERMIONE:
“Internet???”

RICK is super exasperated.

RICK:
Aargh! Shiiit! It’s a modern technological system where computers across the world are linked together and can share data and topless pics of children, of course you’ve never heard of the internet this is w-w-what, the 90s? Oh and you live in a castle in a reality of “magic” that’s stagnated any actual technological development since the middle ages, seriously Morty, you like this place? This is the worst.

RICK and MORTY continue to argue on in the background. We get HERMIONE in voice over.

HERMIONE:
What an arrogant man. Though it is worrying how the wizarding world has, well, stayed the same for the last few hundred years. Why don’t we incorporate more muggle technology? Like biros, I could get twice as many essays done. Why is no-one looking into this? Is the ministry keeping something from us? Too scared of upsetting the status quo? Think of how muggle inventions could be developed using magic… This portal-wand or internet, for instance… oh god, there’s people out there doing god-knows-what to pictures of god-knows-what and me…

HERMIONE noisily throws up onto BUCKBEAK’S feet. The hippogriff roars with anger and disgust.

A sudden rustle from the path – this is just the moment that DUMBLEDORE, MACNAIR and FUDGE are passing on the way back up to Hogwarts.

FUDGE:
Who’s there?

MACNAIR:
That’s a hippogriff! It came from there!

Three men emerge into the clearing. RICK is sick of arguing with MORTY, and is sick of the wizarding world in general. These unexpected guys are the last straw.

RICK:
Screw it. Morty, let me take it from here. Hey, I’m a wizard, but I’m a much better wizard than you long-bearded freaks so…

RICK whips out his blaster and atomises MACNAIR and FUDGE before anyone can say “accio”. He moves his blaster towards Dumbledore…

MORTY:
(Flinging self in front of blaster.)
Not Dumbledore! You can’t!”

RICK:
(Quite bored.) Morty, it’s not like it matters. We’ve already affected the storyline. And this isn’t your story, this is just another reality where the things that happened in your story actually happened. There’s infinite realities just like this. It. Doesn’t. Belch. Matter.

MORTY:
(Screaming)
It matters to me! Don’t kill him for me! Please!

MORTY is windmilling his arms in front of Dumbledore, who’s just watching them with a mildly curious expression.

MORTY (CONT.):
Professor Dumbledore, he, he, teaches Harry to believe in himself! And his friends! And Neville! He thinks he’s useless and unimportant but…oh…please Rick!

RICK:
(Suddenly interested) Ah! So this is what we’re getting at. You don’t think you’re a Harry, you think you’re a Neville! The guy who develops from a weedy, stupid piece-of-piss into a hero with convictions and a suddenly amazingly fit body. Well I’ve news Morty – that’s all he is, a character archetype designed to make real, w-weedy pieces-of-piss, like you, feel better about themselves. You’re not gonna magically transform and get the girl! That’s not how life works! Get over yourself and drop the frigging comfort blanket.

MORTY:
RICK! You’ve proved your point! OK?! Now stop it, stop it!

RICK sighs and lowers his blaster, raising up instead the portal gun. DUMBLEDORE has remained silent with an amused expression all this time (despite the wanton murder), and now fixes RICK with a piercing gaze over his half-moon spectacles and opens his mouth. But before he can draw breath…

RICK:
Ok…I…am…a…wizard from another dimension, wooo. Look at my hair, it’s so crazy, that’s pretty conclusive. Yeah. So, we’re just passing through, no spoilers, though I preferred the guy who played you in the first couple of films…not that I really care, just when you’re forced to watch 19 hours you develop some opinions…

RICK starts to back away from Dumbledore and picks up MORTY under his arm, who struggles back.

RICK (CONT.):
And…you go get Lord Volde-squanch, yeah, I b-believe in you… and…peace out!

RICK fires the portal gun into a tree. A flash of green light; RICK flings him and MORTY into the green pool and they, and the portal vanish.

A quiet breeze ruffles the trees for a moment. HARRY stirs in his unconsciousness. HERMIONE is a little stunned by the evening’s events and takes a moment before snapping out of her reverie.

HERMIONE:
Professor Dumbledore, are you all right?

DUMBLEDORE:
(As hard to read and unflappable as ever) I am quite all right my dear. If not slightly perturbed. I have seen a great many strange things in this magical world of ours, but none odder than those explorers. Though I wouldn’t pay too much heed to their words. Though, no doubt, other worlds exist, they are none of our immediate concern. I presume your presence here is because of the time turner? And now that you have Buckbeak you plan to save Sirius?

HERMIONE:
Yes…

Mind back on the job, she shakes HARRY awake (who mumbles a bit confusedly; he’s got no idea what just happened) and turns back around.

HERMIONE:
Professor, one thing, if we’re fictions, would we know it, would…I do have free will, don’t I…?

But DUMBLEDORE’S vanished. He doesn’t need to be here to help with the plan, and besides, he’s got to concoct a not-too-incriminating excuse for the sudden vanishing of Macnair and the Minister for Magic.

Plus, DUMBLEDORE just loves that air of mystery.

HARRY mounts BUCKBEAK with no hassle, but HERMIONE cannot get within five paces of the hippogriff. She mutters apologies for the vomit, but to no avail.

Looks like rescuing SIRIUS might be more difficult than they thought.

But does that matter? Hermione now has so much to consider…

 

Scene 2 – The garage of a modest family home, somewhere in America.

RICK fiddles with a screwdriver and some contraption at a bench. The kitchen door bangs open and MORTY, the human whirlwind, careers in, simultaneously waving a book under RICK’S nose and beating him over the head with it.

MORTY:
Rick! RICK! Look at this! Loo-OOOOK! It’s changed! You said what we did in reality wouldn’t affect the book but it did and looOOOK!

RICK:
All right, all right, let me see…

RICK snatches the book off Morty and flicks through pages.

MORTY:
They couldn’t save Sirius because Buckbeak threw Harry off into the W-w-w-whomping Willow! And then Harry became addicted to healing potions, with no father figure to steer him clear! Then with Fudge dead, the Death Eaters sneaked into Ministry positions so Voldemort could seize power years before he should!

RICK:
Oh boy. Hey, your favourite, Neville became leader of the resistance though…

MORTY:
(Screaming still)
He was too young! He wasn’t very good – there, you were right again! He didn’t get a chance to develop as a character once Dumbledore went to Azkaban for murdering Macnair, and Hermione vanished so she could never encourage him to see the hero inside of himself and it’s all gone to crap because you had to show me how clever you were about frigging magic and science and shit! You’ve ruined it, Rick! Ruined it!

MORTY stops, breathing heavily. RICK processes this information.

RICK:
Okay, so we made a few changes. To be honest I hadn’t expected the reality to be able to affect the fiction so much. That author must have some special link up or something that I’m gonna look into because that knowledge is –

MORTY:
(Howling)
Just FIX IT, RICK!

RICK:
Ok, ok…so…we need to –

A flash of green light and a portal appears over the shelves by the garage door. Through steps a familiar woman – late teens, wild bushy brown hair and a glowing electric-blue eye that…wasn’t there when they last met her.

RICK:
Hermione? Nice body modifications!

MORTY:
Cyborg-Hermione?

HERMIONE:
Yes. Well, only the eye. I lost that when Hedwig attacked me. Vicious bitch.

MORTY:
(Shocked. Not the girl he had a crush on.)
W-w-what the hell happened? Where did you go?

HERMIONE leans against the workbench.

HERMIONE:
I didn’t believe you at first, but I investigated multiverse theory and…came to conclusions. After seeing your technology I wondered how we could get the wizarding and muggle worlds to help each other. No-one wanted to know. But I’m clever. I worked alone, putting together magic and science until I could travel through dimensions like you.

She holds up her old wand with a bulbous mass attached.

HERMIONE (CONT.):
This is my portal wand. I’ve been looking for you.

MORTY can’t believe his eyes. His perfect girl, his first crush, has changed.

MORTY:
But w-why didn’t you use that tech to fight against Voldemort? Harry needed you – Neville needed you, it’s your support and encouragement that gets them to win in the end –

HERMIONE:
Oh yes, it’s all about helping the boys through, isn’t it?

HERMIONE’S blue eye glitters angrily as she rounds on Morty.

HERMIONE (CONT.):
That’s what you all like to read, is it? I’ve read your sort of fan fiction, “Oh you’re so brave and smart, here let me help you with my infinitely better ideas and then encourage you again when things get tough. Here, take my intellectual and emotional labour and be the hero.” Well, no, this is for me. I’m cleverer than any of those lumpy morons and why should I help them? They’ll be fine in another reality. Me, I’m doing this for me. My superior intelligence is made for better things than being a supporting character. This is MY story. I’m exploring and doing whatever the hell I want.

RICK and MORTY look at each other for a moment.

MORTY:
She’s turned into you –

RICK:
She’s turned into me, yep.

MORTY:
Well do something.

RICK:
No way, she seems happy and hey, a helluva lot more interesting.

HERMIONE:
Don’t get me wrong, I did try. I took my work to the ministry but they weren’t interested. Even the resistance was afraid to use my developments against Voldemort. Besides, I thought speed would give me the edge but it’s still faster to cast an unforgivable curse than power up my blaster.

HERMIONE’S softened slightly after her outburst. She seems tired now.

MORTY:
W-w-why were you looking for us though?

RICK’S taken HERMIONE’S blaster and is poking around in the internal workings with a smaller screwdriver.

HERMIONE:
Well I wanted to thank you for opening up my eyes, Rick. And kick you in the balls. Good versus evil was a lot simpler but I understand there’s way more to it than that now. It’s annoying in a way, but I do have so much freedom.

MORTY’S sidling up to her again and places a hand on her slumped shoulder.

MORTY:
Is it really… though? Maybe all your new knowledge is… y’know, dragging you down a bit?

HERMIONE:
You’re saying it’s better to be naïve and happy in ignorance than to know what’s truly going on? That’s bullshit, kid. Now I can see the way of the universe we’re all just killing time before we all meet our ends. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. And that’s rubbish, but it’s the way it is.

MORTY:
No, I-I’m saying that maybe knowledge of the universe just clouds the issues. You gotta step back and try for the bigger picture. I-I mean the medium picture. Not the big endless-void picture. But Voldemort against the wizarding world, against your friends, that’s good versus evil. And yes, some people on the good side are jerks, no-one’s perfect, but there are way more jerks on the evil side who want to do harm to everyone. Maybe there’s no point to it all, maybe we are all just killing time, but surely it’s a good way to spend that time making sure people aren’t hurt, or killed, if we can?

HERMIONE looks like begrudgingly agreeing.

MORTY:
You’ve got the technology and you’ve still got the heart, I think, and if you’re anything like Rick now then you’ll fling yourself into the fight out of sheer curiosity and find your way out in the end. Only you can save the wizarding world in YOUR reality. You never forget your first reality.

HERMIONE looks thoughtful.

RICK:
(Flinging blaster-wand back at her.)
That’s fixed now.

He turns back, like he’s not even slightly interested, to his bench.

HERMIONE:
What have you done to it?

RICK:
Hmm? Oh, poked around a bit, sped it up. I wasn’t too sure about your “magic” relay leading into the matter converter, so ripped that out, stuck in a capacitor and other things…it’s faster than a speeding curse now. Try it on Morty.

MORTY:
HEY? He’s-he’s just joking, don’t try it…

HERMIONE:
(Examining her blaster-wand. Her electric blue eye makes whirring noises as it focuses in, out and makes calculations.)
You…yeah, I see what you’ve done…Thanks, Rick.

RICK:
(Waving her away)
Don’t mention it. Just don’t kick me in the balls, I need my sperm for a cloning     program that Morty doesn’t want to know anything about.

HERMIONE:
(Still examining, now smiling.)
This is…worth a look. I could always go and put some Death Eaters out of their scummy, shit-ridden misery.

HERMIONE catches MORTY’S eye.

HERMIONE (CONT.):
Oh, and maybe save the day, of course.

RICK, still ignoring them because the thing on his workbench is much more interesting, fires his portal gun over his shoulder.

RICK:
If you want, then that’s your reality. You’ll land straight in the Battle of Hogwarts, plenty of Death Eaters to dismember. Or w-w-whatever. Don’t let me influence you. Do what you like, who gives a fuck. Wubba-lubba-dub-dub.

HERMIONE:
Wubba-lubba-dub-dub…

HERMIONE is nodding her head. She shoulders her bag, focuses the blue eye and heads to the portal. Waving at MORTY, she steps through, into her old reality.

MORTY, now smiling that his book hasn’t been entirely ruined, opens his mouth…

RICK:
Don’t say anything.

MORTY closes his mouth and opens again quickly.

RICK (CONT.):
I mean it, don’t say anything sappy about heroes or finding yourself and helping others, or whatever optimistic crap you usually slap out, and ruin the moment.

MORTY:
So we are having a moment then!

RICK farts loud, long, and with aplomb.

RICK:
There’s your moment.

Pause.
Better go finish having your moment in the house, that’s a nasty one.

Coughs. Pause.

Seriously, go away or put on a respirator, there’s one on the shelves.

MORTY leaves the garage.

Finis

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