Hawking Selwyn and a Brief History of Time

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
[Harry Potter Fanfiction]

A wizard down on his luck discovers a strange book about the history of the universe...

Submitted: May 15, 2019

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Submitted: May 15, 2019

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Hawking Selwyn has been having a rather bad day. A few hours ago, he was fired from his job. To be fair, his job, a desk job in the Ministry’s Administrative Registration Department, was rather boring. Still, losing one's job isn’t the type of thing that makes one happy. To make matters worse, his landlord just kicked him out and his longtime girlfriend dumped him only a few hours later. Hawking, as one is ought to do when a situation like this presents itself, has decided to have a drink at a local pub. Said pub happens to be the oldest bar in London: a little place called the Leaky Cauldron.

“She dumped me, Tom!” he shouts at the bartender through slurred words. “I can’t believe she dumped me!”

The bartender, Tom, pours Hawking another beer. He gleefully drinks it down. The next few hours are a bit of a blur. Hawking distinctly remembers leaving the pub. It’s what happened after that that he has trouble remembering. Fragments of him leaving the pub and wandering down the streets of London are spread randomly through his mind, surrounded by blackness. He vaguely remembers walking into a Muggle bookstore and buying a book because it had his name on it, but that’s about it.

The next day, Hawking awakens in a room above the Leaky Cauldron, presumably paid for during his drunken stupor. His head is pounding, likely the result of a night of drinking. He grabs his wand and points it at his head. He mutters the word Episkey and his headache disappears. As he dresses himself, he notices a thick book sitting on the bed. He looks at the title, A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking.

Hawking walks down to the pub and orders a cup of coffee and a bowl of pea soup. He waves his hand over his coffee cup and his spoon begins to stir on its own. He opens the book to a random page and starts reading.

The increase of disorder or entropy is what distinguishes the past from the future, giving a direction to time.

Hawking scratches his head. The book uses big words and talks about concepts that Hawking struggles to comprehend. Although Hogwarts taught him much about transfiguration and potion making, he never once heard the word entropy in his seven years of schooling. He turns to another page and continues reading.

If there really is a complete unified theory that governs everything, it presumably also determines your actions. But it does so in a way that is impossible to calculate for an organism that is as complicated as a human being. The reason we say that humans have free will is because we can't predict what they will do.

More gibberish. The bizarre ramblings of about free will written by a Muggle. Hawking turns to a different page.

Ever since the dawn of civilization, people have not been content to see events as unconnected and inexplicable. They have craved an understanding of the underlying order in the world. Today we still yearn to know why we are here and where we came from. Humanity's deepest desire for knowledge is justification enough for our continuing quest. And our goal is nothing less than a complete description of the universe we live in.

Hawking laughs. The idea of Muggles attempting to understand the universe without knowing about the existence of magic is beyond amusing. He takes a sip of his coffee and keeps reading. A few hours later, Tom places another mug at Hawking’s table. “What’re you reading?” he asks.

“Some Muggle book about the world,” Hawking replies.

“Sounds pretty boring.”

“Nah, it’s really interesting. They think they know so much about the world, but they don’t know anything.”

“What do you mean?”

“Like, they think that time travel is impossible, ‘cause they don’t have time turners. And they think predicting the future is impossible, ‘cause they don’t know how to divinate.”

Hawking flips to a random page in the book. “Here, let me read you a little,” he says. “We now know that our galaxy is only one of some hundred thousand million that can be seen using modern telescopes, each galaxy itself containing some hundred thousand million stars. Have you ever heard something so ridiculous? Everyone knows the universe isn’t even a fraction of that size.”

Hawking finishes the book by dinnertime and spends the rest of the night at the bar. That night, as he lies in bed unable to sleep, the words of Stephen Hawking replay over and over again within his mind. Words about space and time, of black holes and gravity, pages and pages dedicated to a world he had never learned about. The next morning, Hawking returns to the bookstore and buys dozens of Muggle books about physics and history.

A week later, a wizard with red hair knocks on his door. Hawking climbs over the piles of books and opens the door. “Hello there,” the red hair wizard says. “My name is Arthur Weasley. I’m with the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office. May I come in?”

“What brings you by, Mr. Weasley?” Hawking says.

“Arthur is fine. The barkeep, Tom Dodderidge, he called the Ministry and said you’ve been acting rather strange. He said you’ve been locked up here, reading Muggle books.”

Hawking walks over to his bedside table and pours two cups of tea. “Did you say you’re a Weasley?” Hawking asks while handing one of the teacups to Arthur.

“Yes, I did.”

Hawking smiles. “Good family, the Weasleys. One of the only pureblood families left. Actually, I think my great aunt was a Weasley, now that I think about it.”

Arthur frowns and places the teacup on a pile of books. “Mr. Selwyn, my office is tasked with making sure enchanted items don’t end up in the hands of Muggles. Far too many witches and wizards deliberately enchant magical items in an attempt to harm Muggles.”

“And you’re accusing me of trying to do that?”

“Not necessarily-”

“What do you know about me anyway? What gives you the right to-”

“Your name is Hawking Selwyn and you were born in 1962. You’re the son of Hamish Selwyn and Elizabeth Cracknell. Your father is currently locked up in Azkaban for crimes he committed in the last wizarding war. You were a Slytherin who graduated at the top of your class and became an Auror, only to be fired four years later. You worked at the Administrative Registration Department until you were fired last week.”

“You read my file.”

“Mr. Selwyn, I mean no offense, but you seem like exactly the type of person who I should be worried about.”

“I’m not going to enchant these books. I bought them so I could read them.”

“Read them?”

“Yeah. Muggles, they’re-”

“Fascinating?”

“Terrifying. My father always told me that Muggle were idiots, that we were superior. But that’s bullshit. They’re far smarter than we give them credit for. They’ve sent men to the moon, they’ve created metal birds that fly faster than our broomsticks, they’ve even made weapons that can destroy cities in an instant.”

“Yes, I’ve always been amazed by the ingenuity of Muggles.”

“We have to destroy them.”

Arthur frowns. “I’m sorry, could you repeat that?” he says.

“We have to destroy the Muggles while we still can,” Hawking says. “Every day, the grow smarter. Someday, they’ll figure out wizards exist and try to wipe us out, and we’ll be powerless to stop them.”

Arthur and Hawking stare each other down, each realizing that this conversation is about to grow dangerous. Arthur reaches for his wand and Hawking waves his arm, wandlessly casting stupify and knocking Arthur off his feet. “I don’t want to fight you, Arthur. Us purebloods need to stick together,” Hawking says.

“You can’t kill Muggles, Hawking,” Arthur says. “They’re people!”

Hawking summons his wand to his hand and points it at Arthur. “Sorry about this,” he says. “Avada-”

In an instant, Arthur raises his wand and casts Expelliarmus, knocking Hawking’s wand out of his hand. “Stupefy!” he shouts.

A blast of red energy erupts from his wand, hitting Hawking in the face and knocking him out. Arthur sighs and pulls himself to his feet. With a flick of his wand, he destroys the Muggle books and erases Hawking’s memories of them. The next morning, Hawking wakes up with a massive headache. He presumes that the headache is the result of a hangover and goes downstairs to order some coffee.


© Copyright 2019 Eugene Conard. All rights reserved.

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