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Intellect Loves Company
Fitzgerald and Nicholas were in Fitz’s mother’s basement, once again, playing a heated game of Dungeons & Dragons with members of the high school chess team. Like most intellectuals, the group often discussed various topics of literature, science, and math, at length and in depth. It appeared that the topic of the evening was concerning great authors of fictional literature. It transpired somewhat like this:
“You have been caught flat-footed by a dementor.” Fitz proclaimed with a self-important air. Nicholas had just got done rolling a 12-sided die and moving his cast-bronze figurine eight squares up the gridded board.
“An dementor? Really? Surely you can’t be serious, Fitzgerald.” Nicholas replied, without a moment’s hesitation.
“Yes, Nicholas,” Fitz said this with great annoyance, “a dementor.”
“You’re a joke. Did you honestly borrow a character from a Harry Potter novel?”
Nicholas said the character’s name with a great deal of loathing, as though the very mention of it were despicable.
“Why, yes, I did. I find Rowling’s work to be quite stimulating, thank you.” Fitz replied, again with the stereotypical self-important air of intelligence.
“You can’t be serious. She’s a sellout! A commercial bimbo! The entire series is easy to read and-“ He shuddered, “popular!”
“And you think that makes her a bad author? Besides, the works have depth. I’ve read the series five times now, and I find it just as invigorating, if not more so, each time I do. And besides, who do you think is a better author, hotshot?” Retorts like these were common, a very humorous mixture of extended vocabularies but an outdated lexicon of slang.
“Why, are you daft? The one and only John Ronald Reuel Tolkien!”
“Oh, I did not see that coming.”
“Well, it’s true. Tolkein was an absolute genius. His most popular work only took up three volumes, and the worst thing that happened to it was a movie deal.”
“Yes, but did Tolkein get millions of stupid Americans reading again? Thanks to Ms. Rowling, I think I might actually be able to have an intelligent conversation with some of my classmates for once. You couldn’t have even thought of that just a few years ago.”
“Well, The Lord of the Rings was a lasting work. It’s still required reading, and it’s highly regarded as a classic and a mark of intellectualism. Harry Potter is just…mainstream trash.”
Fitz had been getting irritated with his friend’s tenacity. “There’s only one way to settle this, then.” He said, and picked up a 20-sided die, giving it a timid roll.
“This is stupid.” Nicholas stated.
“You’ll have to tell that to the dementor. He just ate your soul.”