"Harry could tell Voldemort was standing right behind him. He felt a great overreaction. Harry tore his eyes from his head and threw them into the forest. Voldemort raised his eyebrows at Harry, who could not see anything at the moment."

Thus transpires the confrontation between Harry Potter and He Who Must Not Be Named in a just-published new chapter, 'The Handsome One', from Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash. This new tome—of which only the one chapter so far exists—is so not from the mind of J.K. Rowling. It’s not quite from anyone’s, actually. It’s the result of an experiment by the Botnik organization, and it’s hilariously stupid. Naturally, it’s going viral.

Botnik describes itself as “a community of writers, artists and developers collaborating with machines to create strange new things.” Mission accomplished. Botnik’s core members include computer scientist Elle O’Brien, creative developer Joseph Parker, Jamie Brew, former head writer at Clickhole, and Bob Mankoff, who for years was the cartoons editor at The New Yorker, and as such was the main subject of the HBO documentary Very Semi-Serious. Anyone is welcome to join the Botnik community.

'The Handsome One' is the product of a predictive keyboard app Botnik developed. Predictive keyboard apps attempt to guess the word or phrase a user is typing so the user can simply tap the displayed word or phrase for entry, instead of typing it out.

Brew has been playing with predictive keyboard creations for a while, with his Batman Loves Him a Criminal posted to Tumblr a while back. Others have created poetry with such apps.

The predictive algorithm in Botnik’s app is based on the language in the actual Harry Potter books. Botnik distributed the app to members for them to experiment with, and their favorite results were submitted for compilation as the insane Harry Potter chapter.

The Handsome One, page 1

(BOTNIK)

Everyone who reads 'The Handsome One' will have their favorite passages. Here are some of ours:

  • Leathery sheets of rain lashed at Harry’s ghost as he walked across the grounds toward the castle. Ron was standing there doing a kind of frenzied tap dance. He saw Harry and immediately began to eat Hermione’s family.
  • To Harry, Ron was a loud, slow and soft bird.
  • Locked,” said Mr. Staircase, the shabby-robed ghost. They looked at the door, screaming about how closed it was and asking it to be replaced with a small orb. The password is “BEEF WOMEN,” Hermione cried.
  • Mountains of mice exploded. Several long pumpkins fell out of McGonagall.
  • “I’m Harry Potter," Harry began yelling. “The dark arts better be worried, oh boy!”

In any event, it looks like carbon-based authors and poets are safe from obsolescence for now. Not so much Voldemort, though, who is a “very bad and mean wizard,” according to The Handsome One’s best friend.

Read the full chapter over at Botnik.

 

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