As we all know, the last book of the Harry Potter series was released in 2007. And the film adaptation was released in 2011. And now, with the exception of the Fantastic Beasts series,the occasional updates to Pottermore, and The Cursed Child, the rabid fans looking for more to the story have had to resort to writing fanfiction. And there’s a lot of fanfiction out there. Fanfiction.net alone has a total of 595,000 stories (and change) for the Harry Potter fandom alone. There’s a couple good stories among them, a lot of crap, and quite a few that are really bizarre. Previously, the most notable ones in this category are “My Immortal,” the poorly-spelled story of Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way and her love affair with Draco Malfoy and Harry “Vampire” Potter in a bizarre bisexual love triangle and attending the same exact My Chemical Romance concert multiple times, or “Thirty Hs” which starts with the sentence: ““Dobby relished his groinsaw’s roar as he retrieved the flesh choked blade from the astronaut’s ruined skull.”
And then came Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash. It was created by Botnik, which described itself as “a community of writers, artists and developers collaborating with machines to create strange new things.”
It started with them taking the entire text of the seven Harry Potter books (all 1,084,170 words of it) and feeding it into a predictive keyboard. And while I’m not sure about the exact process the team used, they eventually came up with an entire chapter of a book called Harry Potter and What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash. The chapter, called “The Handsome One” involves the trio encountering and defeating a group of Death Eaters. So far, so good. The prose even seems a bit like Rowling’s. But then, you actually read it. Here’s the first paragraph:
The castle grounds snarled with a wave of magically magnified wind. The sky outside was a great black ceiling, which was full of blood. The only sounds drifting from Hagrid’s hut were the disdainful shrieks of his own furniture. Magic: it was something that Harry Potter thought was very good.
The chapter is a very short one, weighing in at about four pages. I could go into more detail, but you have to read this to believe it, and the whole thing can be read here, complete with a mock-up of pages copied from a mass-market paperback and a cover that’s a thinly veiled altered version of the Order of the Phoenix‘s cover.
And in addition, there have been multiple readings, and here’s one from one of my favourite Youtubers in this area:
No plans have been announced to write more chapters of Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash.