What if Harry Potter took place in America?

I had this funny thought last night. Of course, England is so much more magical and historical and “enchanted” than America… it seems EVERY fairy tale takes place there! But for the sake of discussion, what if Harry was American? Where would OUR school of Witchcraft and Wizardry be? What quaint mode of trasportation would gather up all the students to take them there? :hmmm: Here are some of my thoughts:

  1. Boston/ Cambridge area- like an old New England prep school- akin to the school in Dead Poets Society (and proximity to Salem!) With the Subway taking them there.

  2. A shopping mall (how very American)

Any one else care to ponder this one for a minute, just for fun?:slight_smile:

UC Berkeley !!:smiley:

You have raised an interesting point.

It occurred to me a few weeks ago when the book came out how many truly great fictional characters and fictional worlds were created in England by Brits. These worlds and their characters are so real that they often seem more real than real life.

Five examples come to mind:

  1. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes canon, including the great Sherlock Holmes himself, his partner Dr. John Watson, his brilliant brother Mycroft, the beautiful Irene Adler,Lestrade and all the other inspectors at Scotland yard, the evil Moriarity, and of course, the rich assortment of Holmes’ clients, including such wonderful people as Mary Morstan, Sir Henry Baskerville, etc.

  2. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, set in Middle Earth, and including fantastical characters like Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, Frodo, and Gollum, to name just a few.

  3. C.S. Lewis’s Narnia, including the four children, all the citizens of Narnia, and of course, Aslan.

  4. Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels, set in England’s Secret Service, and including such marvelous characters as James Bond, “M”, Miss Moneypenny, Felix Leiter, and of course all of the great Bond “women” and Bond villains.

  5. And of course, Harry Potter!

I know there are other British-created fictional “worlds,” e.g., the Wodehouse stories, but I don’t know much about them and I don’t think they have achieved the world-wide recognition as the five"worlds" I mentioned above.

Also, the Anne of Green Gables series is a Canadian series, but since Canada was at that time still under the British rule, it could arguably be called a product of British thinking, although I’m sure that Canadians would take vehement issue with this idea!

Is there something about Great Britain that encourages this kind of creative thinking in its authors and helps them to create not just good stories, but entire worlds populated with memorable characters that we all wish were real?

I honestly can’t think of too many American-created fictional worlds that are as enduring as these British ones.

I think American book series that have become classics are more autobiographical and less “imaginary” or fantasy based. Little House books and Little Women and other 7 children’s books by Louisa May Alcott for example. that may say more about American publishers and readers than about authors. Madeleine L’Engle’s books are an enduring, now 2nd generation “fantasy” series that have endured, and are set in US (until they take off into space or time dimensions). she has created several families and their worlds, and there is a diagram on how the various series and characters connect in front of each book.

where would Harry Potter be set if as publishers originally wanted, the version sold in America was set in America? good question (but I am glad JKR did not capitulate, part of the charm of the books is the glimpse of English public school life). I am guessing an inner city high school, one of those old red brick generic buildings from early in the last century, in a very ethnically diversere neighborhood, Chicago comes to mind. Kids would be bussed in from various places, and only the ones who were taken to a certain entrance would enter the parallel world that comprises the magis school.

In Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire (the book) it does talk about American witches and wizards going to the World Cup from…Salem.

**Salem’s good, but what about Roanoke Island? The original settlement being made up of Wizards and the colony was never “lost”, but became a gateway, much like Platform 9 and 3/4?

Or what about the Bermuda Triangle? The people who wandered into the area found out about Wizards and the “evil” contingent made them disappear thus creating the illusion of the area being a cursed place. If they ran in “good” wizards, their memory was erased and they would be sent on their way.

Or what about in the middle of one of the Great Lakes?**

Americans don’t do ‘magic’.

Americans do super-heroes: Superman, Batman, Spiderman, WonderWoman, The Hulk. All these are pure-blooded Americans (well, except for Superman and Wonderwoman:D).

In America, Hogwarts would be licensed all over the country. You wouldn’t need a letter of invitation, and you would have several thousand houses to choose from. No uniforms. You could live in year-round if you liked. And hardly anyone would ever study or be able to read. Most would be taking an “alternative” part-time or short course for vocational purposes only.

All those spells sound suspiciously like Latin, don’t they? I’m sure there would be a reform movement someplace along the line to make spells – and magic generally more “accessible”. Magicians of EdD degrees would invent a “whole spell” theory to replace the rote learning that had served for centuries – and no more magic in the US!!

Maybe a virtual charter school?

How about mainstreamed? That seems more like the American spirit of equalizing.

Hahahaha, maybe its the virtual charter school i go to lol. Actually when looking up homeschools there was one called Hogwarts. :smiley:

The ministry of magic would be located in Washington DC, just as the one in HP is located in London.

In half blood prince, we would have a discussion between the minister of magic and Bill Clinton for the opening chapter (Clinton was president when the book took place, mid 1990’s)

I dont know where Hogwarts would be but Voldermort would definately live in San Fransisco


One thing for sure, the language would be different. If we hadn’t lived in Gloucestershire for four years, with two kids in Brit schools, a lot of those terms would have gone right over our heads.

In America we swipe food instead of nicking it; we cut classes instead of skiving them, and an idiot is a doofus, not a git. And there’s a lot more where those came from.

You guys are awesome! Thanks for all of your thoughts!

Could you imagine all the lawsuits from parents who felt their little angels were being mistreated by the likes of Pro.s Snape or Umbridge? Oh boy!

The ACLU would sue to allow muggles to go to magic school and then sue again when they couldnt master it.

When the Minister of Magic showed up in Clinotns office he would have asked for a stock of love potion.

The teamsters would unionize the house elves and the students would have to cook for themsleves on weekends.

PETA would sue to free all the Owls and Toads.

NOW would demand that women should be allowed to be witches OR wizards.

Greespeace would be shut down the Hogwarts Express for polluting the air.

lol, That is so true.

Hogwarts would be in New England. Maybe upstate New York. Pomfret, Connecticut or perhaps just across the Hudson from West Point. Headless horseman country.

Or we could dump the mother country altogether and go with New Orleans and mix in a bit of Voodoo.

There are a still a few “dead poet” schools out there. I breifly attended one that has since become co-ed (I can’t imagine how the cloistered Benedictines ever did it.)
Unfortunately they trashed the old architecture at about the same time, so the Abbey doesn’t look Hogwarthian enough anymore.

:rotfl: again

However the last point is a non-issue. The loco has obviously been converted to burn natural gas. Evidence: plenty of white steam, but no black coal-smoke.

no doubt america lacks the certain “magical” qualities of england. but i do agree that if HP were set in america, salem, the bermuda triangle, and roanoke would be likely places for hogwarts. how about roswell, NM? perhaps the “alien” incidents surrounding the area were simply muggles experiencing witchcraft and wizardry? :smiley:

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