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Despite publicly confirming that she is signed on to play the role of Professor Dolores Umbridge, Imelda Staunton has not yet been given the secret password to the Adult HP Actors’ Super-Secret Clubhouse, her agent told reporters in a press conference yesterday.
“Imelda is really excited about playing Umbridge, and looks forward to working with her new colleagues,” reads an official statement from Staunton’s representatives. “However, she feels a little hurt that Clubhouse President Maggie Smith has yet to give her the secret password. She thought that she and Maggie were going to totally be friends on the set, but this thing about the password is sending mixed signals. Now she’s not sure if Maggie really likes her or not.”
Situated in an undisclosed location since the casting for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone began, the Clubhouse was originally founded by Richard Harris, Smith, Alan Rickman, and Warwick Davis, and has gained new members as new adult characters have come into the Harry Potter films. It is currently considered the most totally cool clubhouse for prestigious actors in the film industry, an honor formerly held by the Merchant Ivory Super-Secret Clubhouse in the late 1980s to the mid 1990s.
“Okay, it’s really, really nothing personal against Imelda,” says Smith, speaking over the Clubhouse’s untraceable telephone line. “Imelda seems really cool, so it’s not her. I’d love to give Imelda the password, but according to the rules that Alan [Rickman] and I wrote in the Clubhouse Book, no one gets the password until the studio confirms their role. I mean, I can’t break the rules that I made myself, right?”
The Clubhouse, Smith reveals, has had other problems recently concerning its membership. “So, a while back David [Thewlis] passed me this note and it was all like, ‘You should let Anna [Friel] in the Clubhouse, because she wants to play Tonks.’ I mean, how dumb is that? I’m like, ‘David, I know she’s your girlfriend, but I can’t let her in the Clubhouse if she doesn’t meet the requirements. It’s not just me, this is Alan and all the original members too.’ So he passes me another note, which is like, ‘The studio knows she wants to play Tonks, so she’s going to be officially in any day now.’”
Warner Brothers later confirmed that Friel was not being considered for the role. “See? I would have totally lost my credibility as president,” Smith says. “I thought all that stuff was clear to David when he joined, but I guess not. I’m kind of glad that Anna can’t join the clubhouse, because Gary [Oldman] printed out this really funny Sirius/Remus photo manip and put it on the wall next to the billiards table, and I so know that Anna would have wanted us to take that down. Besides, what if they broke up? There’s already so much drama with Emma [Thompson] and Kenneth [Branaugh, who are divorced], and I really do not need any more stress. I read on the Internet that a lot of fans think Helena Bonham Carter would be a good Bellatrix, and I’m like, ‘That is so not what I need right now.’ Besides all the Kenneth and Emma stuff, Helena used to be the president of the Merchant Ivory Clubhouse and now she’s the president of the Tim Burton Clubhouse, so she’d probably ignore all the rules and be like, ‘I’m above this, I’m a president too.’ It’s okay if some members belong to other clubhouses – for example, Dawn French has been hanging out at the Narnia Clubhouse a lot lately – but another president? No way. Your loyalty has to belong to one club above all others, in case we decide to raid another club’s sleepover and steal their underwear.”
Smith took a moment to dismiss a rumor that has been making its rounds on the clubhouse circuit for over a year. “Everyone keeps saying that I gave the Clubhouse password to Michael Gambon back when we were filming Gosford Park, and I’d just like to say once and for all that it’s not true. He didn’t even ask me for it, and since he didn’t ever go in the Clubhouse until after he was cast as Dumbledore, he’s not the one who spilled the Coke on the couch. I know it was you, Fiona. It’s okay, we got the stain out, and I won’t get upset, just admit it was you so everyone will stop blaming Michael, okay?”
Asshole SeventhProphecy, who obviously didn’t check the publication date of the fic “Harry Potter and the Forgotten Apothecary”, left a review full of snarky and completely pointless “criticisms”, reports the fic’s author, Circe Flamel.
“Here, look at this,” Flamel said, pointing to the first paragraph of the long and utterly ignorant review. “He/she/it wrote, ‘You obviously don’t know canon, because Narcissa’s maiden name is Black, not McKinnon.’ Well no shit, Sherlock, but I wrote this in 2002, and seeing as OotP hadn’t been released yet, Narcissa’s family was up for grabs. He even has the arrogance to cite the page number in OotP where it says that Narcissa is Sirius’s cousin. The page numbers, actually, because this idiot apparently has the time to look it up in both the British and American editions. Is that supposed to make me bow before his expertise?”
The review goes on to say that Arabella Figg is a Squib and not a witch, that Ginny’s full name is Ginevra and not Virginia, and that if Flamel was “aware of Rowling’s website, [she] would know that Sirius’s eyes are gray.”
“Guess what, asshole, I was probably aware of the website before you were,” snapped Flamel. “I just looked at his profile – and yes, it’s a he – and he says that he first read Harry Potter in December of 2004. Sirius’s eyes are described as pale, which meant ‘blue’ to the vast majority of the fandom. Does this guy have a hobby? Any friends? The ability to read the words ‘September 2002-January 2003’?”
The worst part of the review, according to Flamel, is SeventhProphecy’s remarks about her portrayal of James Potter. “He wrote, ‘Your characterization of James is far too saintly and utterly one-sided.’ Well, that’s how James was before OotP. What was I supposed to do, make him a drug addict? Rape canon? Besides, James is only in one chapter.”
Flamel added that she doesn’t know where SeventhProphecy gets off on pointing out the things he sees as her faults, seeing as he’s the author of a Veela!Draco epic.
After speculating over whether Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire would win any of the three Critics’ Choice Awards it was nominated for (Best Family Film, Best Young Actor, and Best Young Actress), the news broke last night moments after the awards show was finished: HP slashers are really, really excited that Brokeback Mountain won Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actress.
“I was really hoping for Best Picture, but I didn’t think it’d really get it!” posted Harry/Draco shipper Arabellatrix on her LiveJournal, seven and a half minutes after the end of the Critics’ Choice Awards. “Can you believe they tried to cut off Ang [Lee]’s acceptance speech when he got Best Director? Oh, I just hope it wins all the same stuff at the Oscars!” Arabellatrix, who is glad to have a canon gay pairing in one of her fandoms for a change, made no mention of the failure of Goblet of Fire to win any awards.
Other slashers are equally thrilled. “I wish they’d shown more footage,” says Stevenne, a Snape/Harry shipper who is rejoicing over images of male characters kissing that are not fan art or photo manips, “but hey, what am I complaining about? What? Narnia beat Harry Potter for Best Family Film? Oh, yeah. I forgot Harry Potter was nominated, actually. When I think of the GoF movie, I think of Snape and Harry alone in that cupboard before I think of anything family-related.”
“Although they appreciate the Harry Potter series for many things other than romance of any kind,” says Dr. Martin Ellerby of the International Institute for Slash Research, “HP slashers grow tired of feeling as though they have to defend their opinions regarding which characters would make a good romantic couple. With Brokeback Mountain, the main gay relationship is not only clear and canon, it’s the focus of the story, which comes as a welcome relief to a lot of slashers. They don’t want to fix it, they’re happy to stand it, and they’re glad they don’t know how to quit it.”